I am a leatherman. Leather profoundly shapes my understanding of my sexuality. My earliest recognition of my interest in kink came through Tom of Finland’s artwork. The first time I tried on black leather I had a “where have you been all my life?” moment, and the guy who let me try on his leather said “you look more comfortable in that in 5 minutes than some guys look after 5 years.” So what is it that I love about leather?
- Leather is a total sensory experience. It feels powerful. It looks fuckin’ sexy as hell. It smells heavenly. If you’re licking it, it tastes of dominance. And it even sounds sexy, making a slight creaking sound when you move in it.
- Because leather is tight and doesn’t stretch the way most fabrics do (although it does soften), it slightly constrains the wearer in ways that affect doms and subs differently. For doms, it tends to bring out our aggression, because you have move a bit more forcefully in it. For subs, it can create a faint sense of bondage that simply helps put you in the right mindset.
- Leather is simultaneously protecting and exposing. Because leather is tougher than human skin, it creates a sense that one is stronger and tougher than one truly is. But of course the classic leatherman clothing is revealing; chaps reveal the ass and the crotch, and leather jackets are commonly worn shirtless. The protective quality of leather makes exposing parts of the body seem less risky.
- Most of the classic leatherman look is drawn from Tom of Finland’s drawings, and Tom drew significant inspiration from military uniforms, so leather fashion subtly conveys a sense of hierarchy and authority to it. Put on a full leatherman’s outfit and it’s almost impossible to not feel some like you’re in charge.
- Leather makes people pay attention to you. At least in the US, when you go out in public in full leather, people will stare at you. So just by wearing it, you become the star of the show. (Incidentally, my trick for wearing leather in public spaces is to just act as if I’m dressed totally normally. I just go about my business and ignore the stares. It’s surprisingly empowering to do this, because people almost never actually say anything, so I feel like they’re responding to my control in a subtle way.)
- Add boots and a muir cap to the leatherman look and you’ve added about three inches to your perceived height. That just makes you a bit more powerful and intimidating.
- Wearing leather makes me feel like I’m connected to a tradition, that I’m part of something bigger than myself. Somehow that too makes me feel stronger, like I’m supported by all my leather forefathers and that I’m supporting all those who come after me.
- Because of leather’s association with kinky sexuality, wearing leather is a declaration of one of the deepest parts of my identity, a statement that I’m kinky and dominant and that I’m not afraid to admit it.
So what do you love about leather?