Old Gods Die Hard

speech by Guy Baldwin,  September 20, 2014, Tacoma  WA
As some of you may already know, I’ve been invited here to Tacoma to offer some comments on the single most troublesome, misunderstood, divisive, and distracting issue to bedevil our leather world, and for succeeding generations: of course, I refer to The Old Guard.

This is the 23rd […]

By |September 27th, 2014|History, Opinion|28 Comments

A Mysterious Note

I arrived home to find a curious envelope in my mailbox, tucked between the pages of a newsprint coupon mailer and cozying up to a picture of the local realtor who deems it necessary to plaster their face on every bit of junk mail they send. This envelope was not junk mail. It […]

By |September 12th, 2014|Community, Opinion|0 Comments

The Curious Case of the Covering

It came in the mail, that quaint and anachronistic service that actually delivers bits of paper with messages written on them. It was encapsulated in a fine linen envelope and was printed with slightly raised letters, much like a wedding invitation. The message was curious. It seems my presence was requested at a […]

By |July 3rd, 2014|Current Affairs, Opinion|13 Comments

Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper)

This week sees the opening of a new exhibition entitled ‘Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper)’ at The Institute of Contemporary Art in London, UK.
The exhibition explores how artists since the 1940s to the present day have used drawing to address ideas critical and current to their time, ranging from the politics of gender […]

By |June 16th, 2013|Art, Events Europe|0 Comments

Ten-Year Time Out

I will soon be celebrating 36 years as an active member of San Diego’s Leather Community. I’m also the biggest proponent of nurturing our youth, so that our community has a vibrant, lively future.

So, I have a request:

Can we lay off the “Old Guard” stuff for a while? Can we let everybody off of the […]

By |February 8th, 2013|Community, Opinion|0 Comments

Worries of the Young

by Saint St. James

I was discussing my recent malaise with my boy Chance and others recently and I have to get this off my chest. I am known for saying what is on my mind and I hope that those who listen to me and follow my writings can respect that. My message today is […]

By |January 10th, 2013|Community|0 Comments

Beyond Leather V Keynote Speech

Caro’s Keynote Speech, Beyond Leather 2012Apologia from the Antichrist in a Corset
Greetings, everyone, and my thanks to Top and bonnie for thinking I might have something interesting enough to deliver as the keynote speech at Beyond Leather Five. First, my congrats and well-deserved kudos to everyone involved with this fantastic event on its fifth year anniversary. It’s a wonderful milestone for any event, and I’m honored to have been asked to participate.
At any conference, it’s typically the keynote speech that addresses the issues and sets the tone or mood. More often than not, they are designed to make those who hear it all warm and fuzzy. Well, that presented an enormous challenge for me, because I don’t do “warm and fuzzy”—I’ve never done warm and fuzzy. Actually, I have a better shot at translating the Kama Sutra from the original Sanskrit than I do at pulling off warm and fuzzy. Besides, at this stage of my life, if I even attempted warm and fuzzy, I can name at least five bitches out there that’d be tweeting their thumbs off that I’m suffering from dementia.
So I’m going to continue to do what I’ve always done, tell the truth and call things as I see them, (the code word for that is “controversial”). As far as how that truth is handled? Well, I’ll leave that up to each of you and I will offer condolences in advance to any of you who may be offended by what follows, but I will not apologize for what I say, who I am, the choices I’ve made, or the life I’ve lead.
This weekend we assemble in our kinky finery to participate in kinky festivities. We celebrate being sexual outlaws and renegades. If that’s how you feel, that’s great, but honestly, maybe it’s time to reconsider, because when 300,000 people attend the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, or when IML constitutes one of Chicago’s largest conventions, or when what we do is seen in films and on prime time TV; and when what we wear shows up on runways in Paris, Milan, and New York, and Hot Topic, and when every weekend there’s kinky activities to be found even in the most remote locales like Batcrotch, Wyoming, then it just might be time to get past thinking we are special little kinky creatures and sexual outlaws living on the edge.

[…]

By |May 8th, 2012|Community|5 Comments

Intergenerational Leather Discussion Group

Debunking Leather Generational Myths – One Thread and Comment at a Time
by Tyesha, Leatherati Calendar Editor
There have been many times when communication issues and questions of the importance of learning history have surfaced, which have involved different generations of Leather. Most of the time, a solid solution has not been found. 
Those who have been around longer have felt their voice and history were not being heard, their traditions were not being kept and that they were being disrespected by those younger.
Those newer to the Leatherfold have sometimes felt undervalued, talked down to and as if their role was only to be quiet and listen.
Many perspectives have been heard on various Elders’ panels for years. The cry for history to be kept and recorded has long since been answered and is beginning to produce fruit. What we are now just seeing is that we need balance. One step towards finding balance would be perspectives from of all walks of the Leather journey on one panel. Questions and opinions directed to and given from all sides would hopefully provide greater understanding for everyone.

[…]

By |March 17th, 2012|History|5 Comments

The Upside of Bull Shit

by Kissiah Aiken
I may not have found “kink” on the internet, but as soon as I got on the internet, I looked it up.  What I found there was amazing.  Some of it was straight out of books of jack off fiction, but others were more moderate and informational.  The latter, of course, was in much shorter supply.  Almost all these websites were heterosexual.  I need to add in here that not all the bull shit was on websites.  Much of the misinformation as to kink and leather history was given verbally through anecdotes and stories told in BDSM and fetish groups all over the country.  Some of my more memorable were;

Based on the Gor books by John Norman, websites popped up all over the place.  People role played Gorean men and women in chat rooms all over the web and even “lived Gor” in Pennsylvania.  
There was Castle Realm, where Lord Colm and his slave published their thoughts, beliefs and writings.  It was a very popular site for newbies actually.  
Let us not forget those websites and in person workshops which taught about the slave positions, protocols, house keeping and management tips and ways to anally train your slave.  
Any and all Old Guard websites, rumors and rituals which came from Old Leather Houses and Families. 
Ancient, Secret, European Houses of Slavery which would kill a person for even mentioning them.  
Leather sites and rumors which proclaimed that a dominant had to, in the past (and still should) start out as a bottom and learn and work their way up to being a top and then a dominant.  Not to mention the various rituals and ways a person could earn their leather vest or boots.  

Back in my early days, which was around 1997, the one piece of actual, scholarly history of BDSM I could find was Robert Bienvenu's dissertation.  It was and still is available at http://sexresearch.us/sexresearch.us/Home.html  although now you have to write to him to get it.  The dissertation has increased in size over the years.  It's an invaluable resource.  

[…]

By |February 23rd, 2012|Books, Community|4 Comments

John Weal’s Response to “The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook” Controversy

Editor's Note – John sent this response to us and asked that we post it as a separate article and not attached as a comment to either Guy Baldwin's editorial review of "The Leatherman's Protocol Handbook" or to Jeffrey Payne's response article.  We agreed because John is on the hot seat for his book and because he is responding to different articles.    
I am deeply saddened by Jeffrey Payne’s remarks but I am even more saddened by what I must do now.  Mr Payne, I used to think of you as a good personal friend and as that friend I would have thought you would have talked to me about what you were thinking of doing or saying before releasing this.  Being that we all talk of honor, trust, respect and integrity as the basis for our lifestyle let alone friendship and common courtesy.  I have yet to find anyone who has shown me any of these.  I have tried not to stoop to anyone’s level through this entire interrogation however, it appears that I must having read Mr. Payne’s comments and remarks.  The more painful thing is that Master and his friends lives are in question and it's taken several years to get over his death and now I have had to spend many sleepless nights thinking of what would he think, what would Master do about all this.  I have even had some chest pains that now worry me about my longevity.  But enough about me.
Of course Joanne would edit your statement as she is the one who started all of this.    
I want to start by saying to Joanne Gaddy (Mistress Joanne) that without you this wouldn't all have happened.  Your constant attacks on me through emails to various people, including Guy Baldwin, Mr Payne and others, trying to do damage to me, my reputation and who I am is totally unforgiveable.  Your supposed apology letter emailed to me really was way too late and wasn’t even an apology letter for your actions.  I know you were unhappy with the grammar in the book and I have apologized to all several times for that issue, but I do thank you for pointing that out to me for my next venture in writing. 

[…]

By |February 22nd, 2012|Books|3 Comments

John Weal's Response to "The Leatherman's Protocol Handbook" Controversy

Editor's Note – John sent this response to us and asked that we post it as a separate article and not attached as a comment to either Guy Baldwin's editorial review of "The Leatherman's Protocol Handbook" or to Jeffrey Payne's response article.  We agreed because John is on the hot seat for his book and because he is responding to different articles.    
I am deeply saddened by Jeffrey Payne’s remarks but I am even more saddened by what I must do now.  Mr Payne, I used to think of you as a good personal friend and as that friend I would have thought you would have talked to me about what you were thinking of doing or saying before releasing this.  Being that we all talk of honor, trust, respect and integrity as the basis for our lifestyle let alone friendship and common courtesy.  I have yet to find anyone who has shown me any of these.  I have tried not to stoop to anyone’s level through this entire interrogation however, it appears that I must having read Mr. Payne’s comments and remarks.  The more painful thing is that Master and his friends lives are in question and it's taken several years to get over his death and now I have had to spend many sleepless nights thinking of what would he think, what would Master do about all this.  I have even had some chest pains that now worry me about my longevity.  But enough about me.
Of course Joanne would edit your statement as she is the one who started all of this.    
I want to start by saying to Joanne Gaddy (Mistress Joanne) that without you this wouldn't all have happened.  Your constant attacks on me through emails to various people, including Guy Baldwin, Mr Payne and others, trying to do damage to me, my reputation and who I am is totally unforgiveable.  Your supposed apology letter emailed to me really was way too late and wasn’t even an apology letter for your actions.  I know you were unhappy with the grammar in the book and I have apologized to all several times for that issue, but I do thank you for pointing that out to me for my next venture in writing. 

[…]

By |February 22nd, 2012|Books|3 Comments

Guy Baldwin, Leather’s Enfant Terrible at 65

by Leland Carina As one would expect, with Guy Baldwin presenting, the space above Mr. S Leather in San Francisco was filled with eager Leatherfolk. We were treated to an informal presentation, with Patrick Mulcahey acting as a mediator/interviewer for the majority of the time and some questions near the end from audience members.Darren Bondy Mr SF Leather 2011 welcomed us. This session is part of a larger series entitled Making the Connection, which is his title project. He joked that he wanted to contribute something besides parties at bars and putting out. Patrick started by asking Guy to talk about Leather people and places that used to be in San Francisco and still cast a long shadow.Back in the day, Guy reminisced, SOMA didn’t have any street lights; it was dark. It had warehouses and dives that eventually become Leather bars. The sun would go down and Leathermen would creep out from wherever they had been hiding. There were no parking issues then, he pointed out to the audience’s amusement. First, he said, was the Toolbox on Harrison and then later the Ramrod, which was the flagship Leather bar. Later it became Chaps II and is now known as KOK.

[…]

By |February 13th, 2012|Books, Events US|5 Comments