Michael* has a somewhat illegal hobby. He sneaks into construction sites at night and lives out his passions there. We ask what’s behind it.
Who are you when you’re there?
Michael: The gaffer, the construction worker, the trainee, the builder, the handyman, sometimes even the owner on inspection. My role is usually spontaneous, depending on what I find there or what I feel like doing.
What exactly do you do?
In short, I put on all the work clothes of stranger builders, including shoes, helmet and gloves. I explore the construction site and try to play a possible role.
What appeals to you about the construction worker stereotype?
The masculinity, manual labor, sweat, dirty work clothes.
I deliberately focus on this overblown stereotype.
How did you discover it for yourself? Was there a particular situation or has it just happened for you over the years?
Of course, there was a first occasion as well. I was fascinated by various fetishes even before that. Soccer clothes, uniforms and ice hockey equipment are just a few examples that I have tried out. But often these fantasies were difficult to implement or my partner did not play along. Actually visiting construction sites came about by coincidence. One night, after a quarrel with my partner, I just wanted to get out into the fresh air and be on my own. A thunderstorm came up and it started to rain. The streets in my neighborhood were being repaved and I walked by a team container at random. That’s when I noticed that the window was open and right by it there were shining high-visibility work clothes. I first hesitated, but then jumped in and examined the dungarees and work jackets. The thought that just a few hours earlier sweaty construction workers were in the clothes turned me on. As a result, I began to look for open construction containers during evening walks and noticed that they were often completely unlocked.
Surely watching takes a couple of hours each time, or you return to the same places – how do you experience yourself during that time? Are you awake, in a kind of flow state? What feelings does it trigger?
There are always longer construction projects that can be visited weekly and still remain interesting. The crew of one construction company would frequently be there late into the night, winding down the evening with a leisurely beer. I would find a quiet hiding place to watch them.
In the corona year, I was very lonely and underutilized, and I was looking for ways to intensify it. So I lingered in my hiding place for hours watching them. While doing so, I wore sweaty strangers work clothes and had a gas mask on, inhaled poppers almost permanently and had my cock stimulated with e-stim. Wild fantasies and speculations shot through my mind. The boss would let his workers serve him, but if they discovered me, they would tie me up at the table and fuck me one by one. The thoughts keep piling up and I get into a flow state in which fiction and sensory impressions form a hyperreality.
The thought of being watched without your own consent would be uncomfortable for many. Do you think you’re harming someone?
As long as the people who are being observed don’t know about it, I think it’s fine. For me, neither clothing nor voyeurism is about the actual person but about fulfilling my very personal fantasies. This also contrasts with the fact that in other areas of life it is very important to me not to objectify people.
Have you ever been in legal trouble or have you been caught?
I have been caught a time or two – luckily before I started my activities. That way it was only a case of trespassing.
If someone discovered you, would that disrupt or inflame the situation for you?
The risk of possibly being caught in flagrante delicto is extremely appealing to me. But if that were to really happen, the chance that it might turn into a horny situation would be vanishingly small.
Organization and timing seem to be the foundation – how do you reconcile it with your everyday life?
During the week, I usually go out at 9 p.m. and search for construction sites in my area. If they are blocked or I can’t decide on the right outfit, I sometimes take the bus a little further away. Some evenings I don’t get back home until long after midnight. So it’s an advantage if the next workday doesn’t start until 10 o’clock.
Do you like to talk about your fetish with others or do you prefer to do it alone?
The community that deals with the workwear fetish is very widely scattered and largely located in Germany. Many are on Twitter and Instagram and share photos and videos there. Particularly friendly are also the „Warnschutz Freunde“, who arrange to meet and do things together on WhatsApp.
I like to live out the pure fetish itself in company. Visits to the construction site, however, are rather something for me all alone.
The high visibility fetish is about work clothes in signal colors, i.e. neon orange and neon yellow. I’m particularly attracted by the fact that I stand out from the crowd. And also that I’m completely invisible in many situations. People ignore you when you’re dressed like a garbage collector. The fetish is now quite widespread and has a firm place in the scene.
How do you deal with it in steady relationships? Have you met with understanding so far or has it been a more difficult topic?
My partner understands why I do it and that it is important to me. Of course, I know that it’s not always easy to be with someone who is as deep in his fetish as I am. I am very grateful to him for that.
*Name changed and known to the editors
Cover image: Arbeitshose | © baupolier.eu
lebt, arbeitet und studiert in Graz. Er reist gerne mit dem Zug durch ganz Österreich und liebt Urban Exploration. Am liebsten kocht er zuhause Köttbullar und Pasta. Viel seiner Zeit fließt in ehrenamtliche Projekte bei der öh joanneum und bei den RosaLila PantherInnen. Er plant Veranstaltungen und gestaltet visuelle Kommunikationsmittel und Webseiten. Er sieht sich als Generalist und kennt sich in vielen Bereichen der Gestaltung aus. Deshalb ist ihm ein facettenreiches Arbeitsumfeld wichtig. Auf den ersten Blick wirkt er of zurückhaltend, sanftmütig und nett, wer ihn jedoch besser kennt, weiß, dass er auch ordentlich auf den Tisch hauen kann.