This is something that has been asked of me on many occasions. What are the differences between Leather and the BDSM pansexual communities? What are the differences between the Gay Leather communities and the Heterosexual Leather communities?
There are major differences. Let me explain my own personal insights and experiences why these are so important to explain and share.
Leather and the Pan communities
There are many differences between these two groups. Leather is more insular. Leather has set traditions and history. Structure and protocols are common and expected within Leather circles. Leather stresses the importance of community. To be visible, active and be a positive influence through service where we live locally. This includes social, political, sexual and educational activism. Leather is about being a Family, a Tribe, a Club or an Association. Leather is about the sex. Leather is raw and primal; just as the same way as leather has been looked and used at throughout the ages. Leather is about personal identity and journey into a deeper understanding of spiritual, sexual and social awakening.
The pansexual community welcomes and is trying to be everything for everyone. It has gained mainstream acceptance through things such as ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘ and social media sources such as ‘Fetlife‘. It is not about belonging to something greater than themselves; but more about having my needs met now through a party or munch. Structure, protocols and activism are rarely seen or accepted within the pan communities.
Gay Leather and Het Leather
Both Leather groups came out of the early 1950’s, during a time of social change, alienation and a rebellious spirit. Both have been very active in spearheading education and safety initiatives. Gay Leather has had to come to grips and become activists with AIDS and alienation within the larger gay community. Het Leather has had to separate itself with the outlaw MC; and distinguish itself as an advocate for education and speak against society’s ignorance of the abuse of women.
Leather stresses the importance of belonging to something bigger than just yourself. Belonging to a Leather Family, a club, a Tribe or an Association. Being accountable, supportive and productive to others who rely and depend on you through your word, action and deed.
Leather stresses the importance of community. To be visible, pro-active and be a positive influence through service where we live locally. This includes social, political, sexual and educational activism.
Leather stresses the importance on individuality. Setting your path and walking your own journey. Being accountable, responsible and motivated to live with honour, integrity and pride.
Leather stresses the importance of spirituality. Living between eroticism and spirituality. Spirituality exists, even in those who deny any interest, it manifests in their ethics, codes of honor, values, and a quality of their spirit.
Leather stresses the importance of being primal. It is to start from or get to a place, where the feelings are primary – pure, raw, animal emotions, sensation and/or instinct. It could be fear, vulnerability, desire, grief, or any profound emotional state.
Leather stresses the importance of traditions. The handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice.