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Wearing a culture.

“You look hot in your leathers” they say. “Woof Sir, wonderful leather jeans”. “Wow, love you in your boots”.

Let’s say that inside of the “community” the WHY behind the WHAT, regarding wearing leather, is not something of which is felt the need of clarity; not that much. And this is, in my not so humble opinion, a big problem. But here today I want to talk to the other fellows; the ones outside the community, wondering why on earth should I wear this way, and why. Most of the people outside the community find it hot and sexy, even when they are talking bad about it (because of course god forbid that someone around them think that “they might like it”).

I think, thought, that an explanation is needed both for the people gravitating towards the community and also for those ones already inside of it. As I stated before, there is no sense in doing the WHAT if there is no WHY. I can say why I wear my leather, and why I think other people do. But these are just my two cents. Two very big, heavy coins.

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The BDSM community found its fortune and development in the US and central Europe right after War World II. Of course it always existed, back to the time of Ancient Egyptians and Greeks. But let’s say that in CONTEMPORARY CULTURE the explosion (and the beginning of social acceptance) of BDSM happened in that time. After World War II, life slowly started again to breathe and spread, and there was much more space for opening new clubs, bringing up new ideas and ideals, and meeting different cultures. Motorcycles were very common and profusely used back in the day, and especially US military officials still staying in Europe* were seen going around the towns and the harbors in their uniforms and boots. The culture of the motorcycle is a big part of what defined the Leather Culture. Plus, many motorcycle clubs opened and many of them were gay motorcycle clubs.  From “The Satyr” in Los Angeles to the “New York Motorbike Club”, the “Warlocks” and the “California Motor Club” in San Francisco; loving to ride a motorcycle, the sense of extreme freedom it gives, paired with the extreme freedom of the end of the war and being able to work a sense of community around each ones sexuality, was a great thing. So you  can imagine how quickly it started to spread, wearing leathers, among gay people of a certain community. Wearing leather became a political statement. It meant identifying yourself as part of bigger community, a community led by freedom, an independent and original (your own) sexuality, the need to create a sense of FAMILY and PACK. This thrown leather into pop culture, from where Marlon Brando and James Dean where seen by millions of people riding motorcycles, wearing Muir caps and dressing in tight leather and boots. And here you have it: the globalization of a “look”, which means a lot, but nowadays almost nobody realizes what it mean.

*The US military was a strong presence, but the cultural stereotype from where today’s leather worship come from is also about German (yes, Nazis too) military, UK military, Holland military…

So yes, it tears my heart into peaces when I got to party and I see literally hundreds of guys wearing an harness, a leather jock strap, or god forbid chaps and boots and a Muir cap. Literally today each and every homosexual person around have seen an harness onto somebody and / or owns one. Leather shops are not helping in this sense, selling of course all kinds of new “gear” with pipings and colors* that have no reason to exist or meaning whatsoever. Though they “look pretty”. I need to puke. It is an insult to the strong and brave heart of the community I live for, but I understand that the globalization and the turning into “fashion” of something has some consequences. The problem is therefor all relational, as these guys come to me and try to approach, I dismiss them, and they say “we are part of the same tribe, what’s wrong with me”. No, boy. We are not the same. Not a bit. And I’m saying this not because I think I’m better than people around me. I’m saying this because where is lack of WHY, I’m not interested in the WHAT.

*About colors: did you know why leathermen (but not only them) wear coloured items such as hankies or wristbands? And did you know that they have a precise meaning, and also wearing them on the left or on the right has a meaning? Long story short: left top, right bottom. And here is a list of which colour indicates which “activity” or, if you wish, interest.

 

So why do I wear leather? There is both a tiny bit of fetish in it, but most of all, it is a political statement. It is wearing a uniform. It is honoring the roots of the big big family I live in. When I’m wearing my leather I feel pride, I feel power, I feel commitment and I feel I’m not alone. Yes, I feel I’m not alone. I’m part of something bigger, and I’m not part of it because I need to be part of something; I’m part of it because this is my nature, and there’s nothing better than finding your people.

Regarding that tiny bit of kink and fetish: we are all humans and we all love sex. To be more precise, I love sweaty, raunchy, steamy, naughty perverted sex. I love the scent of a man whose sweating. I love the grip on my crotch my leather jeans give me. I also love the smell of leather and sweat together, which brings me to when I was 4 years old and my mother would stop by the BUTCHER near our apartment in the city centre, to gather some MEAT. Yeah mum, you did a great job with this boy!

The BUTCHER was a huge burly man, whom I suspect today was banging my mother, and would always wear this thick leather APRON on his big BELLY. So many keywords, whoa. I remember when he used to pick me up in his big arms and bring me around the shop showing me the different kinds of meat, and I would smell on his APRON, which tastes like leather, sweat, and a hint of blood. BOOM.

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I guess that many people have other reasons to have a kink about leather. From the boots and law enforcement apparel and all it can mean to many of us, the idea of Domination it conveys..
I understand the passion for leather gloves, which again brings up to other symbolisms and ancient meanings. In other words, wearing leather recalls to people the world of bikers and the world of the Army. Both very sexual topics to us men. These topics do convey, because of pop culture, the idea of forced Domination and other erotic landscapes our society is drenched in.

To me? To me it is about being who I am, and honoring the pack I’m in. To me it is a honor to wear my leather.

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6 thoughts on “Wearing a culture.”

  1. Would love to read more about it or you. Very interesting thoughts of a man knowing what he thinks of and why he thinks so going back to look for its roots. Great esteem towards your writing!

  2. Hello,

    My Name is Rob and I am a Dutch guy living in Berlin, Germany.

    I was really touched by your Story, because I had the same experience when I was a child. I was one year older than you were, when I was in a shop with my mother and I saw a pair of Brown leathergloves for children. The Moment I saw them, I needed them. I had no idea why (at the Age of five one doesn’t have a clue about the existance of fetish) but I needed them badly.

    So I stole them, having a real Situation with ma mum when she found them 🙂

    I started loving my father’s gloves and I put them under a drawer to take them out when I was in bed. I was about 7 years then.

    When I was eight, I did my first communion (no idea if this is correct English) and I got my first suit. Afterwards I loved to wear my White Shirt, tie and my gloves playing Gangster and hostage with my buddies. Binding them at a tree “Smoking” a chewing gum cigarette and Holding a toy gun.

    At nine I had my first erection during a “Scene” and when I was 13 I entered a sex shop and saw drawings of Tom of Finland for the very first time. And then I knew what I Need.

    When I put on my leather, I become my true self. I relax and feel happy and proud. It is not about being fashionable or handsome. It is about Feeling the leather, Hearing it when Walking and playing with buddies and being proud to be a true leatherman.

    It just males me feel so good to be part of this community by nature.

    Unfortunately the Scene in Berlin is getting smaller and smaller. Oh I know, during Folsom Europe and Easter there are loads of guys in Berlin wearing leather. But during the rest of the year most guys run around in Sneakers and jockstraps.

    And even during those Events there are Little true leathermen. Many guys buy their fancy leatherthey day they arrive and they are “vogueing” in the Lab (Berlin Club), at the PIG Party etc. They are dressed up like a leatherman, but they are not.

    I love to call them “Alexis Carringtons in Leather”. There is one Thing that betrays them… It’s their eyes. When they lean against a wall, one leg angled with a bottle of Becks on their thigh, one could think “Fuck he’s a real leatherman!”.

    But when you look into the guy’s eyes, you’ll notice that he is not himself. Confident, comfortable, strong. Such men just Dress up to attract real leathermen. But ist’s a fake.

    When I take someone home many men immediately start undressing. I never undress and alway sleaze fully geared. There’s no exception. Sex without wearing leather is no sex for me. I Need gear (I also fancy the great U.S. cop uniforms) Those men who do the same are very, very rare nowadays.

    And when I force them to put the gear on again, they do but one notices that tey are not comfortable. Although I am a demanding TOP it still doesn’t work when the heart is not involved. I like to force and I love to dominate, but such Scenes only work when both want it. Otherwise it becomes shallow.

    I hate it when I fuck a guys throat and he wont kneel but just hunkers down. I tell them to kneel and than they often say “But than my leather will get scratches and get dirty”. I walk away because I am turned off.

    Leather is not about being “pretty”. It is protection gear. Like the author already wrote., were the first gay bare biker Clubs. As far as I know did gay men write contact adverts with some codewords, because being gay was still a crime in those days.

    Biker Clubs where another possibility for men to meet and the only material for biker gear was leather, because synthetric fibres hadn’t been invented or weren’t used yet. So leather was rough enough to protect when having an accident with the bike. And if there’s a scratch or some liquids *grin* drip on the, oh so precious, designer leather, what the hell. Take a Cloth and whipoe it off.

    And the signs of being used makes leather more beautiful. use greas to Keep it in condition and the scratches are history.

    I have no idea why it has become some fashionista Thing to wear leather.

    My first BLUF Party in Berlin was a big disappointment. When I arrived I saw a crowd of men all in black leather and I thought “I’m in heaven”. Well not really…

    It was like a cocktail party with fingerfood. There was no sexual tention at all, because the gents were talking about brands, styles and prices. “Who tailored your uniform? Ah really? He’s so good. I love his style. What did you pay?”. Like the profile of a BLUF member who writes in his dislike list “Cheap Leather”…

    What the hell is that about? I rather have a masculine guy in $100 leather than a dressed up, disguised one in a $6000 uniform. Leather is not about being fancy, posh, pretty. It is about pride, masculinity and being part of a community of proud men with values.

    I love men who are naturally comfortable and proud to be a leatherman and all that comes with it. I am longing back to the times when the leather community was authentic.

    Thanks a lot for reading this long epos.

    Regards, Rob

    • Hello Rob. Couldn’t agree more with what You said. Each line, expexially about leather events and BLUF, which sorry people, for many reasons sometimes I feel like “Bullshit Lines Up Fashionable”. Though I am a young Master and I respect the elder leather men and don’t want to be misunderstood. I will write a longer post about this later. For now, really hope to grab a beer together at Folsom if you’ll be there. We’re bringing the youngest of our slaves, he’s never been there. Big hugs

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