I’ve been thinking and re-reading my old posts a lot lately, and I have to admit I’ve changed my view on quite a few things, my opinions and thoughts have evolved and therefore I think it’s high time I revisited some of my older posts and shared my updated thoughts.
So what’s first you might ask?
A topic near and dear to my heart: Leather.
In the past, I referred to it as Hetero Leather.
I don’t necessarily make that distinction now, and not because I think recognition of Gay and Lesbian Leather cultures detract and are somehow wrong. Just the opposite, in fact, I think recognition of the longstanding traditions and guiding principles are what will help us grow as Leatherfolk on a whole, and because of that, I’d like to think we’re all in this together, orientations are secondary.
I read SO MUCH trying to understand Leather, and it all led back to gay leathermen, and leatherwomen. I automatically assumed that as an (at the time) straight, CIS man there was no inlet for me into Leather culture. What a bunch of bullshit thinking that was. Thanks to some amazing people and their wisdom I think much differently now.
I’ve spent the majority of my time since then getting to know Leathermen, Leatherwomen, Boy’s, Girls. and all manner of Leatherfolk. One overriding thing I have learned is that Leather is what you make it. Guided by service, respect, honesty, loyalty, integrity and being an open-minded student of life in general.
Leather isn’t about being gifted Leather to wear (although that’s awesome too.)
Leather isn’t about what genitals you have, or what genitals you like to stick your genitals into (or have stuck in you.)
Leather isn’t about status or personal gain.
Leather isn’t something that fits in a nice neat little box.
So, going forward here – what is Leather as far as I am concerned?
Well here is what I consider to be my Leather path.
At its core Leather has close ties to sex, rough Leathersex, S&M, all manner of deviant shit, which I love, however it’s about being unapologetic about loving these things. It is who we are, it’s about wearing whatever gets you hot, and (within limits) Fucking or playing exactly how you want. I Love Beating ass, bruising the hell out of it and listening to the whimpers when I decide to fuck it. End of story, if I find a partner who likes being on the receiving end, and we go make that happen that’s Leather, you need not apologize or feel guilty for any of it.
It’s about being of service, both to people, and to your community. Give back, be an ear for a friend, tell them they’re being an idiot if they need it, buy them a beer, or a place to crash if shit has gone south, teach someone a skill. Give your time to your community, Support local groups, go to fundraising events, offer some time to volunteer. Be of use – Master, slave, it doesn’t matter: The highest form of humbleness comes from being of service to someone or something worthy of your effort.
Respect everyone who deserves respect. From the most wealthy CEO to the bartender keeping you in good booze – We all end up in the same sized box. The true measure of a Leatherperson is how you treat those who can do absolutely nothing for you. It can be as simple as a please and thank you to the kid at the front counter at McDonald’s, it’s the same please and thank you would give to the guy signing your cheques.
Be honest. Not only with the people you meet, be honest with yourself. Be honest about your strengths, your weaknesses. Be honest about every little part of yourself about who you are, who you want to be, and whether you are living a life that is authentically your own.
Be loyal to the people that deserve loyalty. I have Dot, our Leather family, and another house we are part of who have my implicit loyalty. All they have to do is ask, and if something is in my power it’s theirs. I would defend them to the ends of the earth because I trust they would do the same for me.
Integrity. This one is rather hard to quantify, integrity is different for everyone. Because I believe myself to be a person of integrity – I will do my utmost to conduct myself living as close to my morals, beliefs, and honor as a man of my word, because to me that is integrity.
I will never stop learning, never stop growing, stagnation is a slow death by doing nothing, Always better yourself, and move forward.
That is My Leather path.
In the end, it’s not about clothes or any one sexual orientation.
It’s about being unapologetically you, having a guiding set of principles, and living the fuck out of them every day.
So, here I am two and a half years later.
I have grown.
I have lived authentically.
I have evolved.
I have much still to learn and work on.
I have a Leather Path.
I hope you find yours if you are looking.