About Leather

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So, Kali Erotication asked this: “Do you believe that someone has to be part of a ‘leather family’ or specific leather community in order to identify “truly” as a leather woman or person?” and in answering it…I came up with this:

I don’t even know what a “leather family” is. Is it your ring of friends? Everyone you play with? The kinky people you’d want at your wedding? Only those with familial-sounding roles in your life? (i.e. Daddies, etc.)

And frankly, there is no “leather community” – there are pockets of fellowships, groups, events, locales and an occasional region where there are groups of people who either fetishize leather, wear it for effect, or don’t even bother with any of that but just figure they can call themselves leather because who gets to stop them?

Traditional “old guard”? Nonsense. Whose tradition? The “Manly Name” bar of San Francisco, circa 1947? The “We Saw The Wild Bunch” biker club of Atlanta, 1971? The readers of The Leatherman’s Handbook in the original *groovy* edition, or the more severe second edition? Those who acted out scenes from “The Real Thing,” “Mr. Benson,” or just bought a leather vest, armband and cockring at IML and said, “Sure!” to whatever the hottest stud hitting on them suggested?

Not a lot of girls in all that traditional old guarde world, nor straights, no transfolk, and more rules about how to dress than some quasi-military/boarding school world of proper behavior and secret oaths and rituals for giving out hats.

>I’ll tell you what I did get out of all that fetishy stuff, though – images and names to put to my nascent desires. But just because we can dress up like a Tom of Finland mural doesn’t mean we’re part of a group. To me, leather is always personal.

When I judged IML, I asked a lot of dudes, “Do you have to be kinky or be into SM to be leather?” and about half of them said no. But see, to me, leather clothing is just the outward sign of what it means TO ME to be a leatherwomen. To me, it means everything I am, see and do is somehow flavored with an essential part of my nature, my attraction to and embrace of conscious authority and surrender.

Take away all my leather and I’ll miss the fetish aspects of it, I’ll miss my armor. But it won’t change the fact that when I am completely alone and have only myself to pleasure, when my thoughts drift of their own accord, nothing will set a spark until the power levels are determined. Somehow, to me, leather became my shorthand for all that is my kinky identity. So…there ya go.

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