Guy Baldwin

Master/slave Conference Keynote Speaker Announced

The Executive Committee for the Master/slave Conference selected the top speakers for MsC 2013, which will mark its tenth anniversary.

The Keynote Speaker will be kinky psychotherapist, author, prominent Leatherman and iconic figure in our community, Guy Baldwin, from Los Angeles.   Baldwin is the author of SlaveCraft and Ties That Bind and an authority in the Master/slave community.  The Keynote address is delivered during the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening of the weekend conference.

The “Our Traditions Live!” program, held immediately after the Formal Leather Banquet on Saturday evening, will be dedicated to the Tenth Anniversary of MsC.  There will be two short speeches by the MsC founder and Executive Producer, Master Taino, who will be addressing on the history of the event, followed by Master Skip Chasey who will speak on behalf of the presenters and attendees for MsC.  Master Skip is one of a handful of attendees who have been in all ten conferences.

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By |December 13th, 2012|Events US|0 Comments

The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook – Guest Editorial Review by Guy Baldwin

Editor’s foreword – Some months ago, after a soul-satisfying dinner of Chicken Korma with Guy Baldwin, our after-dinner conversation turned to leather history and the “myth” of the Old Guard.  It’s a topic that I’m keenly interested in for a variety of reasons including a tendency to pretentious pre-occupation with Old Guard protocols that I see in our various communities, and that, despite growing my leather eye-teeth in San Francisco, I’ve never seen one shred of evidence that the Old Guard, as it’s currently mythologized, ever existed.  
As it happened a new book, in fact a new “handbook”, had just hit the scene and was making a big noise with accolytes lining up to sing praises and critics to heap abuse.  I asked Guy if he’d seen it.  I can only describe his look as withering.  “Yeeeesssss,” he said, drawing out the response.  “And I’d be happy to review it for Leatherati but I refuse to buy a copy and put money in the author’s pocket.”  So of course I purchased a copy (we weren’t offered a review copy) and had it express delivered to Guy.  I won’t tell you his reaction but I believe it was a reference to my having maternal carnal relations.
But the gauntlet had been thrown and Guy rose to the occassion.  And by the way, this is only the second book review Guy has written and judging by how excrutiating he found it to write this one, it’s distinctly possible there will not be a third.
Both the book, and the subsequent review have distinct viewpoints.  Beyond those, I think the most important dialogue we can have is “why”.  Why is the Old Guard important?  Why are many of us seeking a connection to it?  Or disavowing it entirely.  Why does it matter to us, in 2012, what a bunch of leather guys may or may have not been up to in the early days?  I encourage you to link this review far and wide and let’s start that dialogue.  
Loren Berthelsen, Editor in Chief
And now, Guest Editor, Guy Baldwin, offers his review of The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook: A Handbook on “Old Guard” Rituals, Traditions and Protocols by John D. Weal Published by The Nazca Plains Publishing Company, 2010 Las Vegas, Nevada  ISBN:  978-1-935509-76-9

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By |January 31st, 2012|Books, Community|67 Comments

The Leatherman's Protocol Handbook – Guest Editorial Review by Guy Baldwin

Editor’s foreword – Some months ago, after a soul-satisfying dinner of Chicken Korma with Guy Baldwin, our after-dinner conversation turned to leather history and the “myth” of the Old Guard.  It’s a topic that I’m keenly interested in for a variety of reasons including a tendency to pretentious pre-occupation with Old Guard protocols that I see in our various communities, and that, despite growing my leather eye-teeth in San Francisco, I’ve never seen one shred of evidence that the Old Guard, as it’s currently mythologized, ever existed.  
As it happened a new book, in fact a new “handbook”, had just hit the scene and was making a big noise with accolytes lining up to sing praises and critics to heap abuse.  I asked Guy if he’d seen it.  I can only describe his look as withering.  “Yeeeesssss,” he said, drawing out the response.  “And I’d be happy to review it for Leatherati but I refuse to buy a copy and put money in the author’s pocket.”  So of course I purchased a copy (we weren’t offered a review copy) and had it express delivered to Guy.  I won’t tell you his reaction but I believe it was a reference to my having maternal carnal relations.
But the gauntlet had been thrown and Guy rose to the occassion.  And by the way, this is only the second book review Guy has written and judging by how excrutiating he found it to write this one, it’s distinctly possible there will not be a third.
Both the book, and the subsequent review have distinct viewpoints.  Beyond those, I think the most important dialogue we can have is “why”.  Why is the Old Guard important?  Why are many of us seeking a connection to it?  Or disavowing it entirely.  Why does it matter to us, in 2012, what a bunch of leather guys may or may have not been up to in the early days?  I encourage you to link this review far and wide and let’s start that dialogue.  
Loren Berthelsen, Editor in Chief
And now, Guest Editor, Guy Baldwin, offers his review of The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook: A Handbook on “Old Guard” Rituals, Traditions and Protocols by John D. Weal Published by The Nazca Plains Publishing Company, 2010 Las Vegas, Nevada  ISBN:  978-1-935509-76-9

[…]

By |January 31st, 2012|Books, Community|66 Comments

The Old Guard: Classical Leather Culture Revisited

Editor’s Note:  The article below by Guy Baldwin on the Old Guard is the first and only reprint of this piece that Mr. Baldwin has ever authorized.  It appeared in Issue 20 of International Leatherman (now extinct) in  October, 1998.  The essay is copywritten so while you may link to it, reproducing any of it anywhere without Baldwin’s permission would be both illegal and disrespectful.
by Guy Baldwin
I am continually surprised at how frequently conversation in what I’ll call “leather circles” turns to “The Old Guard.” Whether it is on the Internet, at any of the various leather conventions held all around the country nowadays, at contests, in bars, or even over a card game, the Old Guard seems like the topic that will not die. Even more interesting to me is the fact that, except for rank novices, almost everyone seems ready to offer comment on it. When I occasionally turn up at leather events, I am quizzed endlessly and carefully about it. The longish essay I published about it back in the late 80’s remains one of the most frequently quoted things I’ve ever written.
Stranger still is the fact that the Old Guard is usually talked about by people who weren’t part of it as though it were some kind of monolithic, behemoth… homogeneous and static, neither of which was the case… is the case, because yes, the Old Guard is still around and still functioning, although the passage of time pretty much seems to guarantee that it is slowly being transformed into myth and legend as ever fewer and fewer of us are around to offer real descriptions of it. Perhaps the reason it remains a topic of interest is that attempts to describe it as a rigid and dead thing rather than an evolving, living cultural entity will always be doomed to failure. And so, I’ve decided to try to shed a bit more light on the Old Guard, perhaps by trying to talk about it in some different ways.
The Golden Age of Leather
At the risk of annoying bunches of people, I feel safe in saying that the first Golden Age of Leather occurred from about 1972, when the war in Vietnam ended, till about 1982. Depending on where one lived, it began a bit earlier (in the bigger cities) and ended a bit later (in smaller cities). But by 1983 it was clearly in decline as disease began to rear its ugly head, first with reports of rampant intestinal diseases (mostly parasites and something that was called “Gay Bowel Syndrome”), and then with early reports of the “gay cancer,” which gave way to GRID (Gay-Related Immune Disorder), and finally to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). By 1985, the party was over or ending in most places. The wind had been knocked out of the sails of the leather world as we had known it, and we began to hunker down for the long night’s journey toward daylight, which may only now be dawning. The jury is still out on that one, however.

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By |September 27th, 2011|History|9 Comments