Leather Bound began as a written column a few years ago, in my pre-title years when I wanted to feel a connection to others who felt like me, men and women who were exploring themselves, their sexuality, and power dynamics in their lifestyles or play styles.
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Life, for many of us, and for many different reasons, seems to be swirling out of control.
Needless to say, I’ve seen many photographs taken of me since winning my title back in late 2007, and I realize now that I’ve come to use these images to form a new (but still distorted) self concept: not thin, but certainly thinner than I used to be; confident, but not arrogant; masculine, maybe even a bit butch, although certainly short of the hyper-masculine look that some guys have that makes my jaw drop and salivary glands go into overdrive.
With all the public activity around what I do for fun (or what I do for a little attention, if I’m completely honest with myself), perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me too greatly when I was recently chatting with a friend-a gentleman whom I respect a great deal-and he asked me about whether I charged for my services.
When I identify myself as a leather man, the first response most people seem to have is to conjure up images of whippings or floggings or something equally painful. And that’s before I tell them about my modified cattle prod or that I used to burn temporary brandings into my boy using a butcher’s meat marker and electrical current (and yes, there are pictures out on the internet showing this).
I’m writing this column on Thanksgiving Day, grateful for the blessings that I’ve received as an individual, and even more thankful that the nation has elected a new president who is not so much radical as he is radically different from the current inept and ignorant administration; with Obama we have a president who will lead by taking inspiration from the Constitution rather than overseeing an administration that circumvents or destroys it.
I began writing Leather Bound before I was a member of any leather club or a holder of any titles.
Gay men are mostly cock whores.
It’s not uncommon to hear leather folk speak of a spirituality that arises from their life- and play-style. But if you are not among their ranks you might wonder what they are talking about.
After winning the Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2008 title, I was given some great advice by both the contest producer, Jim K-Z, and the contest sponsor, Jim Madden, owner of the Bike Stop bar. The advice was simple: Have fun!
Years back when the City of Philadelphia was looking at a new tourism slogan, it was leaked to the press that one (presumably joking) slogan proposed was "Philadelphia: It’s Not as Bad as You Think."