That’s the big question. Lots of whispering in the scene. So…is Leather dead? What IS Leather? Is it a kink? A material? A lifestyle? A sexuality? A philosophy? Yes…and. But the young guys are mostly into “gear.” So…what’s that? Back in the day, tough guys who rode motorcycles wore leather. Some still do. Those of us who were kids fixated of these masculine guys in black leather on bikes in boots. And cowboys in Westerns. And other outlaws. Tom of Finland and The Hun. But kids these days? They grew up with different images, materials and memes. Kevlar. Manga. Boards. Kicks. Thugs. Different kinks, but still kinky, and still into POWER. The more things change…
On Wednesday, July 27th in San Francisco, a stellar cast of Leather Community stars will discuss the future of Leather. This historic conversation is being sponsored by the Leathermens Discussion Group. Panel participants are leatherman, author, activist and pioneering psychotherapist Guy Baldwin, organizer, educator, commentator, and nontraditional sex activist Race Bannon, Instigator editor-in-chief Michael Thorn and Leather historian and scholar Gayle Rubin. Come join the conversation. Get there early. This one will be especially popular!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm @ Andrew Spencer Ceremonial Room, 4th floor, SF LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, San Francisco.
Posted in History, Leather, San Francisco, Scholarship, Subcultures
Tagged BDSM, Culture, Gay, Gayle Rubin, Gear, Guy Baldwin, History, Instigator, Is Leather Dead?, Kink, Leather, Leathersmens Discussion Group, Michael Thorn, New Guard, Old Guard, Race Bannon, SOMA
Photo and Design: Gay Highwaymen 2011
Old Leather; New Gear. Same fucking twisted kinky throbbing bobbing dripping ass-kicking mind-bending challenging pervert stuff as always. Of course. Style changes but stiff pricks and throbbing balls always rise to the particular season’s occasion. It’s about what got us hot and hard when we were young, and what does it now. N’est pas? See-see bone! Leather? Kevlar? Rope? Metal? Crazy new materials fresh out of R/D labs? All the wonders of modern technology? Or go way old school: kidnap a willing victim to the woods for some paleo-punk action in private. Way past medieval. Lots of room to get lost. Or…show off under the spotlight. Or…or…or. Sure. Why not? If it gets you hard and he’s game, have at it! Do the hokey-pokey. Because that really is what it’s all about…
Gear Up! is a Mens weekend party/run happening this weekend at Saratoga Springs. (The Cali Stagecoach Stop not the NY Resort!) This is the run’s first year and it is “geared” towards the younger set, to the post AIDS-crisis generation of men who lost most of the Men who would have been their generational elders and mentors – had more survived. Thankfully, some did! So…it’s a mixer. As the GearUp guys say: “amid open playspaces and numerous educational workshops, GearUp brings together the open-minded beginner with the trustworthy player.” Sounds like a plan! For more information on GearUp click here. More on Saratoga Springs here. Plus…if you are at the run and want a cool opportunity for a little silence and solitude in the midst of so damned much hotness, check out the Nishikigoi (Koi) Pond, here. Oh, oh oh, ommmm….!
Posted in AIDS, Leather, Nishikigoi, Northern California, Photography, Spirituality, Subcultures
Tagged Avant Guard, BDSM, California, Culture, Gay, Gear, Gear Up, Kevlar, Kink, Leathermen, Materials, New Guard, Old Guard, Paleo-punk, Photography, Saratoga Springs, Sexy, Spirituality
Eric Robinson and "Leathermen" at Las Manos Gallery in Chicago
Eric Robinson’s wet-plate ambrotypes will be showing as part of QIY: Queer It Yourself, which opens Saturday at SOMArts. The exhibit presents alternative, queer, do-it-yourself processes and projects, collaborations, zines, posters, green architecture, activist interventions and recuperations of low-tech media. Robinson took his 19th century kit (big awkard camera, portable darkroom, an array of chemicals, beakers and trays…) to the Dore “Up Your Alley” Fair in 2010, supplementing a series of portraits of Leathermen that he began the previous year. Images from that series will be on exhibit. More on Robinson here, here, here and here.
Robinson at work making wet-plate ambrotypes. These one-of-a-kind photographs on glass were common during the mid 19th century. As it disappears into the digital realm, this work reminds us of the physical, chemical and optical origins of photography. At the same time, generic conventions suggest that “fetish” photography should be slick and polished, suitable for publication in magazines, and “straight” in the photographic sense. These images kick that cliche, their hand-hewn aesthetic underscoring the sense that we are looking into not only the history of photography, but that of Leather. Old Guard all around…
QIY is part of the National Queer Arts Festival. This year’s theme is A Sustainable Queer Planet. More on the festival here and more soon. QIY opens Saturday, June 4th with a reception from 1pm until 4pm. SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan at 8th St. in San Francisco. The gallery is tucked under the freeway, just to the east of the Trader Joe’s complex.
Posted in Art and Artists, Beards, Collecting, DIY and Maker Culture, Eric Robinson, Facial hair, Leather, Men, Photography, San Francisco, Southern Illinois, Subcultures
Tagged 19th century, Ambrotype, Art, BDSM, Culture, Dore Alley, Eric Robinson, Gay, Kink, Leather, Leathermen, LGBT, Old Guard, Photography, QIY, Queer Arts Festival, Queer It Yourself, San Francisco, Sexy, SOMA, Somarts, Up Your Alley Fair