About Patrick Mulcahey

Patrick Mulcahey writes and speaks on leather and M/s topics, and is the 2014 recipient of the National Leather Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Leadership — and Buying a Ticket (LLC XX Keynote)

(keynote address, Leather Leadership Conference XX, March 18, 2016)   For 37 years, my workplace has been the television industry, and trust me, it’s very industrial. Television employs about as many Americans as the firearms industry. In fact, there are about as many guns as there are TV sets in the country, upwards of 300 million. The [...]

By | March 19th, 2016|Community, Events US, Opinion|1 Comment

On “Building Community” (Master/slave Conference keynote)

Thirty-five years ago, and again ten years later, I worked for a television show named Guiding Light. Now, I realize those of you who don’t watch soap operas think they are all alike, but in truth, each of the shows has its own personality. We had a character who was born when the show was [...]

By | September 5th, 2015|Events US, Opinion|2 Comments

SIN IN THE CITY keynote speech, Las Vegas, March 1, 2015

I seem to have reached that inevitable stage of living when I am, not obsessed, but fascinated by the question of how my life turned out the way it did, rather than some other way. I’m not unhappy. I’m the happiest person I know. But when the first digit of your age becomes a six, [...]

By | March 1st, 2015|Events, Events US, Opinion, People|8 Comments

Do Good Tops Really Start on the Bottom?

Rummaging through the storehouse of old leather half-truisms (“Slaves are submissive,” “Masters have had years of training and study”), we inevitably come across this one: “To be a good Top, you must start at the bottom.” No one tells architects they must start out by bashing their thumbs with a hammer. Still, I worked my [...]

By | February 1st, 2015|Opinion, People|2 Comments


I was having tea with Sybil Holiday — well, we call it “tea,” but I don’t have tea, only partly because I’m not thirsty. It might seem rude to accept an invitation to tea and then decline tea when it’s offered, but I don’t want to ask a lady in a wheelchair to serve me. [...]

By | December 26th, 2014|Community, Opinion, People|3 Comments

Five Weddings, Four Lawyers, Three Ghosts, One Bound Bear

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Traditional Marriage The first time I got mass-married was at the March on Washington in 1987. It was one of the scheduled activities. We assembled in front of the IRS. Apparently some committee decided to frame marriage as a pocketbook issue, a special discount we weren’t [...]

By | October 28th, 2014|Community, Opinion|3 Comments


My friend Andrew is honest, funny, cultivated, wise, twisted, frighteningly smart about things I’m dumb about, and a plausible candidate for King of Switches, if such a title existed (and didn’t already belong to Race Bannon). So a few years back when he met Frank — tall, hot, furry, athletic, witty, dazzling smile — we [...]

By | September 19th, 2014|Community, Opinion|2 Comments

Of Gay Pride and Gay Shaming

Non-LGBTI people are always asking, or wondering politely in silence, “Why ‘Pride’?” They get that coming-out is important, but haven’t we already done that, like to death? I’ve had my own head-scratching Pride moments. I won’t say I ever look away from glitter-sprayed go-go boys bumping down Market Street under SMIRNOFF banners, but they do [...]

By | June 25th, 2014|Current Affairs, Opinion|6 Comments

Judging IML

The danger in our leather contests is that they can grow stale and false and reactionary, forcing the hapless men and women corralled into them to espouse fossilized standards and beliefs we no longer share, if we ever did.

By | May 21st, 2014|Contests, News, Opinion|2 Comments

The Handsomest Man in New York

Leatherati HIV/AIDS Series  By Patrick Mulcahey Richard was the handsomest man in New York. Anyone who knew him would tell you the same thing. The few snapshots I have of him aren't compelling evidence. He had the kind of beauty an amateur's camera can't capture. And he was already sick when they were taken, although [...]

By | May 9th, 2014|Opinion, People|21 Comments

Pride, Shame and Coming Out

The following first appeared in the June 2013 issue of "Growing Pains," the newsletter of the Society of Janus, in Patrick Mulcahey's regular column. My self-esteem gets hit hard when I dwell on being a pervert. I know I'm “normal” — but do others battle with this rollercoaster of emotions? Only all of us. But [...]

By | June 26th, 2013|Opinion|1 Comment