Leather Mythbusters!

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Titleholding

So, did you know that to be a Leatherman, you must be an old gay man who is unapproachable, enjoys hurting men’s balls without any provocation and with no aftercare, and who is possibly a neo-nazi, and is likely to allow someone to cut off his arm?

Well, that’s the word on the street, at least among some of the younger members of the BDSM community.

This past weekend, I gave my first run of a new class I’ve developed called “Leather Mythbusters.”  The idea is similar to the Mythbusters TV show and is aimed primarily at TNG groups and other groups unfamiliar with Leather.  I came up with the idea based on my own experience  starting out in the pansexual BDSM scene.  For years, I heard myths about Leather and those myths were a big part of why it took me so long to come around to exploring Leather as a possible path for me.  Most of the myths I heard were at best exaggerations and at worst flat out wrong.  I decided that it would be good to come up with a class to address those myths directly as well as be something fun that would engage participants rather than preach to them.  So, Leather Mythbusters it was.

My group was about 15 to 20 strong and was a good cross section of people aged 18-40, although most were in their 20’s.  The majority had never even heard of Leather before.  Those who had came up with some great myths.  Many related to gender and orientation and the commonly held beliefs that there is no place in Leather for women or heterosexuals.  Others revolved around protocols and terms like “old guard.”  Still others had to do with the “brutal” play that Leathermen engage in and whether or not it is safe to play with them and if they take care of their bottoms.  One of my favorites was a question of whether Leather slaves would allow their Masters to cut off their arms if they chose to.  Once we got started, the questions kept coming and coming and the members got excited about asking them.  We addressed a lot of common myths and many came away at least with a rough idea of what Leather was and wasn’t and maybe even some more curiousity.

For me, this class reminded me of why I ventured out of my own comfort zone to run for a title to begin with.  I remember what it was like to be where they are, exploring my own deviant sexuality and trying to find where I fit in.  I remember wandering the pansexual BDSM scene and just feeling like it didn’t quite fit me.  I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I just had this feeling that there was more out there than what I’d seen.  I often felt like a “freak among the freaks.”  I wanted to play harder.  I wanted to go deeper and further.  I wanted more protocol, more tradition, more power exchange.  I wanted more everything.  I was lucky in that one thing I wanted more of was boots and that eventually led me to seek out a bootblack.  I was even luckier when she saw something in me and took me under her wing, teaching me bootblacking and along the way, mentoring me in the beginning of my Leather journey.  I ran for a title because I wanted to pass on what she had given me to others who were out there wandering and searching as I was.

Saturday I felt like I took another step toward doing just that.


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