- Leathersex: A Guide for the Curious Outsider and The Serious Player (October 2002 issue)
- Chainmale 3SM: A Unique View of Leather Culture (December 2002 issue)
- Aubrey's Playroom (February 2003 issue)
- SouthPlains LeatherFest (April 2003 issue)
- Leather Navigator (June 2003 issue)
Leathersex: A Guide for the Curious Outsider and The Serious PlayerLeathersex: A Guide for the Curious Outsider and The Serious Player by Joseph W. Bean was a rich delight to read. Many in the Collars' audience will appreciate the content, accurately described by the chapter titles: "Getting Started in Leathersex", "Playing with Power and Sex", "Playing with Pain", "Playing with Pleasure", "Playing with Life and Death", "Leather Relationships", "Anatomy, Physiology, and First Aid" and "Leathersex and Spirituality".
The author's writing style is both engaging and informative. "Leather Relationships" has an intimate quality to it, including an interesting interview with the founders of MAsT and another with the author's late boy. The latter interview and writings around it answer, as best I've seen, the question "What is a 'boy'?" "Playing with Pain" included information on some techniques for pain processing and storage that I'd not run across in book form before. "Leathersex and Spirituality" is a short but welcome chapter.
The book flows well.
The author does not shirk from addressing edgy topics when relevant.
The index is exhaustive.
I highly recommend "Leathersex" to a gay male leather audience.
Chainmale 3SM: A Unique View of Leather CultureChainmale 3SM: A Unique View of Leather Culture by Don Bastian is a welcome addition to our leather history.
Many how-to books have been written in the last decade, but no autobiographies of which I am aware. The author perceives his leather journey as spiritual, and shares that journey with the reader. The style includes flashback vignettes - simultaneously relevant and sexy -- that work uncommonly well. The domination and submission elements in the flashbacks were delicious without being lurid.
The author is a gay male leatherman and because of that perspective and the writing I believe many in the Collars audience would enjoy the book, though be forewarned there are quite a few proofreading errors.
Aubrey's PlayroomI had noticed Aubrey's Playroom in the Resources section of Collars for years. Then finally one night I had trouble sleeping. I got on the computer and pulled it up to pass some time, and was delighted with what I found.
The format is "a 60 minute Internet talk show featuring diverse conversation for the Leather, Fetish, BDSM, and Alternative Sexuality Communities with your host Aubrey Hart Sparks, available any time your dark heart has time to listen." A new show aired most weeks during the 34 months from October 1999 - July 2002. As a result, there are over 100 interviews available through the online archives. That's a lot of leatherfolk and leather topics. (A search utility for the archives would make finding a specific person or topic easier.) I enjoyed the host's playful, dry, sense of humor and the site's depth of content.
[Update: The show ran 1999 to 2004. Audio archives are exhibited at www.leatherarchives.org under Collections | Online Exhibits]
SouthPlains LeatherFestSouthPlains LeatherFest in Dallas provided an uncommon opportunity to socialize and learn with others on the Mastery/slavery path.
The format is a Friday-Sunday weekend event in late February [now mid-March]. There are two tracks. In addition to the Master/slave track, a leather/SM track offers advanced workshops on a variety of SM techniques.
The Master/slave track offerings addressed three relationship stages:
More information about the specific seminars offered is available at www.southplainsleatherfest.com
- Developing and structuring Master/slave relationships.
- Maintaining Master/slave relationships.
- Advancing Master/slave relationships.
"The Master/slave Network" made its debut at this past SouthPlains. This idea, borrowed from our own slave david stein and generously implemented by our own Jack Rinella, was designed to create meeting opportunities for those searching for a Master or a slave. In short, both Masters and slaves were given the opportunity to make it known that they were in the market. After registration and confirmation, people were allowed to create an online resume which could then be viewed by the others who had also registered. At the event, folks could sign up to interview people who interested them. The organizers made a conference room available to do 15-minute meetings. That room, tucked in a corner of the event's layout, achieved a good balance between keeping the meetings in a public space for initial-meeting safety reasons while also providing some degree of privacy for a frank conversation. Kudos for both the idea and the implementation!
Additionally, the International Master/slave Contest is now at SouthPlains.
Next year the event is February 27-29. Registration remains $69. Host hotel rooms will be available at $59/night. The Web site www.southplainsleatherfest.com currently has information about the 2003 event already behind us, but that should change as things take form for 2004.
Leather NavigatorHumans who call themselves Master or slave seem to focus on at least two distinct areas. One area of focus is dungeon/SM activities. Another area of focus is on broader principles of control and obedience. I'll call the former a dungeon Master or dungeon slave and the latter someone with Heart of Master or Heart of slave. (I first heard Master Steve of Butchmann's use the "Heart of" terms.) Sometimes someone is focused solely on one of the areas and sometimes the person's interest overlaps between both.
The personals in Collars appear to state that many people are searching for a dungeon slave or dungeon Master.
I find a similar emphasis on Leathernavigator.com, where "Since '96, we've worked hard to create an online space, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, where Leathermen and Leatherbears can be open about who they are and what they want -- without censorship. Out of this openness has evolved an incredible online community of men... looking to chat, traveling to various events, and searching to meet in person."
A subscription might be worthwile for those seeking a dungeon slave or dungeon Master. For example, a quick search on "Master" or "slave" returns about 280 people with that in their "fetish" listing. "Control" returns a whopping 482, but the results are skewed by specific control fetishes like "breath control" (185). By contrast, "obedience" returns a mere 35 men.
There's a Preview Tour which gives a sampling of the eight primary areas: WOOFPAGER (chat), WOOFpages (profiles), WOOF Galleries (where each member can create a gallery of his photos), Fuck Buddies (though few cities are represented), Webcam Buddies, Travel Buddies (by city or leather event), Video Woof (a small smattering of online streaming erotica at no additional charge), and WOOFexchange (photos by category, such as "mummification").
At any given time there are a hundred or so men logged in. A small thumbnail picture appears to the left of a person's member name. Underneath the member name is a brief blurb, the person's city, and up to three upcoming travel plans. Clicking on the member name takes one into that person's WOOFpage for more details. Clicking on the thumbnail picture usually starts a chat window. I personally do not choose to spend my time in chat so I turn the chat feature off but stay logged in anyway: That way my member name appears in the list of folks logged in, people can see from my blurb that I'm in the market for a slave, that I'm located in San Diego, and can get more details if desired.
A basic utility allows users to search by member name, e-mail address, physical stats, fetishes, and locations. About a year ago I used the utility in my own hunt for a slave, searching on "service". Of 60+ hits, six men used it in the broad context I was seeking, while the vast majority were of the "i'd like to service your cock, Sir" variety. But, that meant that there were six people to look into as possible matches as my slave. I sent them notes. Within short order we each quickly realized which ones were not good fits. A more promising dialogue ensued with one.
An intriguing new feature called "Geo Filter" is being rolled out within WOOFPAGER (the chat section). Geo Filter allows a person to specify "show only members who are logged in and who are within X miles of X city".
My personal experience is that I have not found my "Heart of slave" match on Leathernavigator.com But I get feedback from friends that they have found it useful for establishing friendships and creating opportunities for dungeon Master or dungeon slave experiences. If those are your areas of interest, I'd recommend it. Pricing starts at $24 for 3 months, with discounts for longer subscriptions.
© 2002-2015 by Officer Wes