Questions about the leather subculture

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by seth, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. seth

    seth New Member

    Since BDSM and the leather subculture are closely related, I thought someone here might know this...

    I read that the wearing of leather attire is not necessarily a requirement for inclusion within the community, but also of the "uniform" look. Would anything in-between suffice? As in, not "full" leather, but a jacket, or pants, etc. mixed with maybe an article or two of "regular" clothing?

    As well, are there people who wear nothing but leather, wherever they are, whatever they're doing, 24/7/365 (with perhaps a few exceptions, or not even)?
  2. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    I assume you are referring to the gay leather subculture. The leather community is not particularly exclusive, if it ever was. If you're making an effort to wear leather, you're part of the group, although some guys will complain if you seem insufficiently masculine (basically, they don't like effeminate guys in leather). Most leathermen enjoy a range of clothing fetishes; uniforms and quasi-uniforms (leather cops, for example) are popular. Things like rubber, latex, and spandex are also popular, although they're not entirely part of the leather scene (they're two separate subgroups with a lot of overlap).

    If you want to go to a leather event, leather bar (if you can find one anymore) or so on, a good basic look is jeans, a white (if you're a sub) or black (if you're a dom) t-shirt, leather jacket, and boots of some sort. Most leathermen will accept that as making a reasonable attempt to fit in; once you have that gear, start looking at adding, in no particular order, leather pants, a leather cap (Muir cap for doms, rebel cap or baseball cap for subs), a quality leather belt and Sam Browne, a wrist- or arm-band, leather gloves (you'll be surprised how many guys get really turned on by simple leather gloves), and a leather shirt and tie.

    As far as guys who live their entire lives in leather, or at least their entire non-work lives, they're few and far between, although there are more of them in Europe than here in the US. I've rarely seen someone in leather pants and jacket just on the street in the US, but I've seen that a couple times in Europe.
  3. Moonlight

    Moonlight Member

    I thought only rock stars wore leather pants, then put on the leather vests just to make us girl listen to their music. I had no idea there was such a thing as this.
  4. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    If only rock stars wear leather pants, then I'm a rock star several times a month.
  5. Moonlight

    Moonlight Member

    LOL do you do screaming vocals or the guitar?? LOL

    Well rock stars and bikers. :)

    Well I knew other people wore leather. My husband and I both have leather jackets, I just never realized there was a culture called leather.
  6. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    The leather subculture emerged in the US after WWII, as demobilized vets returned to the US and sought to recreate aspects of their war-time experience (which many of them had found deeply transformative): an all-male society, easy access to sex, male-bonding through stressful situations, a sense of danger, a sense of a moral code, and so on. Many were also unconsciously seeking help for their undiagnosed PTSD. Some of these men gravitated to the coastal cities of NY and SF and laid the foundations of gay BDSM practice. Others preferred not to be pinned down and favored a more mobile lifestyle, so they created the biker gangs. There was a good deal of cross-over between these two groups, especially between the gay bikers and the BDSM crowd. Both embraced leather--it offered protection in case of motorcycle accidents, it offered a sense of danger but also a sense of strength and pride. Apart from biker jackets and chaps, though, it wasn't until the later 70s that leather clothing was manufactured in large numbers, because up to then it was mostly hand-made by a small number of fetishists.
  7. Moonlight

    Moonlight Member

    Now that is interesting. I had never heard that before. I have friends here who are bikers and knew they wore leather to protect themselves better in case of a fall, but I had no idea the story behind why they wore it otherwise.

    We almost got some bikes. I got pregnant and decided to hold off and then a very close friend of ours was killed a few months ago when someone pulled out right in front of her. She did nothing wrong and there was no way for her to avoid hitting his truck since she was going 55. That really made us pause with a young child and another on the way. Someone took a picture of the parking lot at her funeral and there were at least 500 bikes there. So many people were there in the leather of the group she rode with that they not only filled the chapel but the foyer and even they were even standing in the parking lot. She was such an awesome person, every time I see her kids I want to hug them but I worry they are getting a bit sick of it by now.

  8. In terms of my own experience of leather, the lady who "corrupted" me was Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in the second series of the Avengers. Sadly she didn't do it in person - she would have been arrested, I suppose!

    Some images for those who don't know of her...

    As a ten year old watching this stuff I couldn't quite work out why my dick kept getting hard, but I knew I liked it :)

    I think leather catsuits are a very strong Dominatrix image.

  9. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Moonlight: When someone dies, people often feel awkward talking about the dead person around his/her family, for fear of bringing up hard feelings. But the family members often say that what they want most is for people to talk about their loved one, and the silence that descends makes them feel that their loved one is being forgotten. So my guess is that your friend's children probably don't mind you talking about her and hugging them. If you're unsure, ask.

    Stanley: You're not the only guy she had that effect on. The character's name is, after all M(an) Appeal, meaning she appeals to men. That was the origin of the character idea.
  10. Moonlight

    Moonlight Member

    I know exactly what you mean! She was due to sing at our towns fall carnival with a little band they had together a few days after she died. Another woman filled in for her but they had an empty microphone as a memorial to her. I saw her husband there and I was so relieved that he was surrounded by people since I did not have a clue what to say or do. I could not exactly ask how he was doing since I knew he was doing horrible. His wife he loved dearly was just killed 3 days ago. My husband stopped to talk to him later. He said while it was obvious he was devastated he seemed to be doing as well as could be expected.

    And I had never seen that lady before. I saw cartoon skits of being tied to a railroad track. I had heard some say that is where they grew to like bondage. All I could think when seeing that is there is a train coming.. yikes.
  11. Femsupreme

    Femsupreme New Member

    All the years I've been in the leather community, mostly femdom I can count on one hand the times I wore leather. I'm just not into it. If you saw me walking on the street or even at an event you'd never guess I was kinky or a mistress. I may come across as an alpha woman but you couldn't guess all the shit I'm into unless you were part of my private life.
  12. Ladygenuine

    Ladygenuine New Member

    Fascinating! I love the smell and feel and taste of leather ... Total turn on. Which is really fucked up because I am a vegetarian.
    But this is ... Fascinating.
  13. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    LadyG: Honestly, I'm not at all surprised that a vegetarian finds leather arousing. Our kinks tend to be transgressive--they violate rules, sometimes society's rules, and sometimes our personal rules. That's why things like age play and incest play are arousing--they pretend to break taboos around pedophilia and incest. Vegetarianism is all about ethical treatment of animals, so it's going to arouse some people precisely because it breaks those rules about how to treat animals.
  14. Moonlight

    Moonlight Member

    Not too long ago I read how they used handkerchiefs to identify their orientation and what they were into. When I read the different colors and such all I could think was how I would probably get it all wrong.
  15. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Yeah, the hanky code was a good idea, but it was never standardized. Certainly colors meant different things in different parts of the country. Today, it's a loose guide, but nothing more--double check about what the guy thinks he's flagging as.

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