LEATHER ~ The Beginners Guide by GlovdCop SF
Here is a little story : pupkesh turned me on to this Blog address. I was like a kid in a candy shop when I started looking around a bit. Really hot Gallery of Fetish Of The Month Pics,Gear Hunt Section, An E-Bay Auction page and among other pages an incredible Beginners Guide to leather. I was so jealous of this Beginners Guide because I have tried to create the same guide for our little Leather Community here at GT.ru. Well, I took a shot and E-mailed the blogger and asked for permission to use his guide instead of reinventing the wheel. I am happy to announce I was given permission to use his guide!!! I will attempt to recreate his post here to the best of my ability. All text will be an EXACT copy and paste process.
PART ONE : LEATHER
I seem to get a steady stream of emails asking "What should a leather novice do to get started?"
So I decided to write it out here, instead of trying to rewrite it into dozens of individual emails. A lot of it is instinct. Most leather perverts get their start early, before they even realize what "sex" is.
So here's a little advice on how to get started, the better choices to make.. and the mistakes to avoid.
First off - If you see leather as "fashion," stop reading my website and go buy a copy of Vogue. Leather is fetish, not fashion.
Second - Everything below is strictly my opinion. This is primarily advice for beginners to leather. The advanced should already know this material. You should find your own style, your own approach to your new fetish. Don't become a leather clone. These are just some guidelines to avoid the mistakes that many people make… not a bible as to what to do.
Third - Leather is not a cheap fetish. So spend wisely. Don't buy a crappy piece of gear just because it's cheap. Save your money, and buy a quality piece of leather. You'll be much happier with it, and want to wear it more often. Look for sales, and peruse Ebay.com There are always a few bargains to be had there.
Fourth - This guide is designed to get you the basic pieces for your fetish. If you find a unique piece of gear like a German Polizei uniform (green leather uniform) at a bargain, by all means -- buy it.. but remember, it's not gear you'd wear out every week. Once you have the basic elements, you'll find there's one look you're most comfortable in. That's the point I'm trying to stress.
If you can afford custom gear.. it's generally worth your time and money. Investigate. Custom leather gear often isn't much more expensive than off-the-rack. You get a perfect fit, and it's usually better quality leather. If you can find a part-time leathermaker, you might find a bargain and great service. Certain items like leather breeches or leather uniform shirts should always be custom made. Chaps should be custom, or at least altered to fit.
So how do you begin?
You need the basic elements to begin your new leather fetish.
The most important thing to buy: a good pair of chaps. Chaps are the single most versatile piece of leather equipment you'll own. Very easy to travel with, perfect for accessing your private parts while maintaining a heavy leather presence.. And convenient to put on/take off if you're trying to be discreet.
Let's go through some basic equipment..
Chaps should be your FIRST major purchase. I can not stress this enough: Chaps are the most versatile piece of leather you'll own. And personally, this is a minimum requirement for many men (including myself) for sex.
Why are they so important? Chaps show a serious interest in leather. And they convey that message to others. Chaps are not fashion. For most leather fetishists - the more leather, the better. And the ability to keep your legs wrapped in dead cow while fucking, or getting fucked, is quite hot.
A good pair of leather chaps will cost you $200 minimum. A great pair of chaps will probably run you about $400. Do NOT buy a $79-$99 pair of chaps. You'll regret it. They're paper thin, have little style, and just don't cut it.
Features to Look For:
Where To Buy Them.
You're nervous about going into a store? Get Over It! These shops are in business to sell leather.. they already know you're a pervert – they're perverts too.
The best places to go are Fetish Leather Shops or Motorcycle Leather Shops. Do not go to a MC Leather Shop with overpriced bikes and a tiny leather dept. Go to a store that specifically sells leather, preferably one that makes their own products on premises. Look around, see what catches your eye, then absolutely let someone help you.
Try on a pair or two. If you're not sure what you're doing -- the salesperson will likely help you put them on. It's okay. Make sure to wear tight jeans so you get a proper fit. The sizing is based on thigh size, not waist size. (so measure your thigh at its widest point - or a salesman can do this for you). And let the leathermaker do alterations so they fit you right. (i.e. length, adjust waistbelt if necessary). Minor alterations shouldn't cost more than about $20-$30.
The thicker the leather, the better. You want a heavy weight leather. It looks 100% better. And you don't want cheap looking chaps.
If you ride a motorcycle, you want the zipper on the outside (so it won't scratch your tank). Otherwise, a zip on the inside is fine.
Chaps to Avoid.
Please don't buy "neoprene" chaps! These are not fetish! They are parachute pants with the crotch cut out. I call them "fakey chaps" because they look good from a distance in a dark bar.. but then you get up close, touch them, you'll say "What the fuck is this fake shit?!?"
The point is for the material to be leather, rubber, or something that turns you on. These aren't even "neoprene" in the true sense of the word -- neoprene was that great thick rubber they made diving suits out of in the 50's and 60's. These are fancy polyester. Sure, they're cheap.. and they look it too.
The next purchase to make:
A good pair of boots or heavy shoes.
If you're just starting out, you don't have to spend a fortune. But a good sturdy pair of black boots or shoes are very basic. Granted, you'll probably want to move on to a pair of Dehner's or Wesco's at some point.. but they're not cheap.
So let's look at the basics of what you want.
Features to Look For:
The Tough Look.
Wesco is the most notable brand, but also the most expensive. You can find Carolinas, Danner, Chippewa, Red Wing for a more reasonable price.
This is a good sturdy boot that should last you a long time, and looks masculine. It should have a thick lug sole, and always be black. The boot shaft varies in height. But you generally want them nearly knee-tall - 16" to 18". Try to avoid Engineer boots that come to lower-calf, they look a little awkward.
This was pretty much my first pair of boots. Simple design, and comes from several companies. The most notable name is Frye, but there are plenty of companies who make this design. These are normally mid-calf, but look all right that way. A simple harness above the heel. And normally a square toe. A rubber sole is best (otherwise they make too much noise when you walk.)
These will work in a pinch. If you can find black construction boots, then you're in better shape.
Riding Boots (Police Motor Patrol).
This is for the more uniform-oriented.
Dehner is the primary name in police patrol boots, but very pricey. Minimum cost would be about $400 for a pair of Dehner's. (Though look on Ebay, you can sometimes get lucky.)
Realistically, there are other brands that look just as good, and most people wouldn't know the difference. Look at horse-gear websites, you can find a few bargains there. There are often good pairs for about $125.
These should always be knee-high. Make sure the calf fits well. There should be either a buckle on the top rear, or lacing on the top sides. This ensures a certain tightness around your legs. Lugs on the bottom are often best. Otherwise, a rubber sole is important. (avoid leather soles – they wear out)
The easiest thing to find. Styles vary from maker to maker, but try to stick to simple and clean designs. If your budget is very low, try an Army Surplus store. You can usually pick up a used pair for $30 that are in good shape. You'll also find lots of potential kink items in Army Surplus stores.
Can't afford boots? Then find a good pair of work oxfords. They look fine under a pair of chaps or jeans, and work just as well. You can find these almost any place, but be selective in style. Again --simple and clean design. If you're brave enough, go into a cop shop and buy them there. They tend to last longer than ones you'd buy at a regular shoe store.
Better brands to look for: Bates, Doc Marten, Danner.
Boots to Avoid: (in my opinion)
Don't wear ugly club shoes or fashion shoes with your gear. They don't belong with it. And if you really own ugly club dancing shoes, perhaps you should forget about leather as "fetish."
These are motorcycle boots with a big sheet of metal on the front (pic to the left). This is just my opinion, but these look freakin' stupid.
Cowboy Boots. (Sometimes)
This is sort of regional. In the South, it's acceptable. If you have a fetish for cowboy boots, it's acceptable. If you're wearing cowboy gear, it's acceptable. Otherwise it's really borderline "fashion." I will admit, these are growing more and more acceptable to me.. but they still look goofy if not worn in the right context.
NOTABLE WEBSITES TO CHECK:
• Stomper's Boots: My favorite place to buy boots - best prices you'll find.
• Big Black Boots: A great selection of boots.
• Hot Boots: A great info site on boots and bootmen.
• Ebay: Do a search and you might just find the boots you want "cheap."
A good leather vest is a pretty basic element that you should have in your fetish wardrobe. There are plenty of styles to choose from, but your best bet here is to get a leather "bar" vest.
Features to Look For:
As just mentioned, a leather bar vest is your best first vest purchase. It's a simple, masculine design, meant to show your chest. A good bar vest will typically cost $75-$100. You want to make sure the fit is tight. It should not hang over your chest, but rather to the sides of it. (see pics to the right)
You can buy a biker vest, or western style, or one that looks like a standard biker jacket without sleeves. Lots of choices. Whatever you buy, the point it to make sure it fits right. If you wind up with a big bulky piece of leather, it makes you look awkward… sometimes fat. So make sure it fits you right!
If you buy a bar vest -- make sure it has a good shine to it. In fact, most any vest should have a good shine to it. Leather should almost always be soft. Beware of "damp" leather. It will wind up molding.
Where to Buy a Vest.
There are tons of places you can do this. But please don't buy one in the mall. And avoid crappy leather stores in tourist trap districts. The merchandise in these stores is often moderately priced, but very low quality. Imported from some god-forsaken country with slave labor. And the leather usually feels plasticky. Remember, you get what you pay for. So shop wisely.
Stick to fetish shops, or true leather stores (where they make the goods on premises.)
Okay, this is something you likely already have. But just make sure you have a good one. There are several types of leather jackets that are acceptable as "fetish," but primarily these are jackets that are meant for motorcycle riders. Either true biker leathers or even racing leathers work well here. Also leather police jackets work fine.
Features to Look For:
Now this part is quite important. Make sure the jacket fits you properly! You don't want a big bulky piece of leather - You wind up looking fat. Look at the way the jacket fits the guy to the left. He wears it perfectly. That should be your goal. If you can afford custom, go for it. Otherwise try on several different jackets until you find the one that fits you perfectly. Zip it up, make sure there's no air bulge in your stomach. It's best if there are lacings at the bottom sides of the jacket so you can adjust the fit.
Essentially, I summed that up above. You want to have at least one good basic leather jacket in your wardrobe. Pick the right style, and you can wear it over and over again. A standard motorcycle jacket is best. Wide lapels, button down collar. With a belt that is not sewn onto the jacket. (It should be a good wide belt). Epaulets are your own personal choice, but to me they tend to look a bit over the top. If you get them, they look best when they're sewn down in the middle (to avoid flapping.) Avoid gaudy hardware.
I've said this already, avoid the plasticky looking leather. I remember when I was 16 and saved up $50.. went to Alexander's in Paramus, NJ and bought my first leather coat. It wasn't anything great.. and the kids at school said "Hey - what a great pleather jacket you got." Yup, "pleather" as in plasticky leather. Aim for quality. You can find a good leather MC jacket for about $200. A great one for $400 and up.
What to Avoid.
Don't go overboard on the zippers.
It winds up looking like a Michael Jackson leather jacket.
Avoid fur collars. Unless you're a pilot from the 1940's, it just doesn't work.
Avoid jackets with knit cuffs or a knit waistband. You're buying a leather jacket.. so make sure it's completely made of leather!
Don't buy your fetish-oriented leather at the mall. Buy from a real leather dealer.
NOTABLE WEBSITES TO CHECK:
• Johnson's Leather: My personal favorite place in SF to buy leather. Great custom work too. Good prices.
• Classic Motorcycle Jackets: My favorite leather jacket came from here. They're not cheap! But well worth the price.
• Vanson: Professional heavy duty racing gear and motorcycle leathers.
• Langlitz: Custom leathers with a long waiting list. If you've got the money, these are the best leathers you can buy.
• Branded Leather: If you find yourself in Queens, NY – check out this place. Great leathers, fair prices.
• San Diego Leather Factory: Some great police style jackets at decent prices.
This may not be something you think of right away, but it really can make a big difference. In my opinion, the right man can look perfect wearing just a pair of gloves and nothing else. EXAMPLE >>
But I digress. They are a great intimidation factor. Tell me the idea of a gloved hand over your mouth doesn't excite you, and somewhat scare you at the same time? Gloves just add that finishing touch. And have an extra special way of attracting other leather fetishists.
A quick story:
In my mid 20's, I was at the DC Eagle on a Thursday night. Not a big crowd, but there was one quite attractive man there.. chaps, gloves, smoking a cigar. I was in chaps, a pair of gloves in my back pocket. So I put them on, lit up a stogie.. and quickly got his attention. He came over to me and said "Now that's hot. A man smoking a cigar with his gloves on." It was definitely one of my more memorable nights.. I was in an oddly masochistic mood, and this guy fit the bill quite right. I let him fuck me (quite rare I let that happen,) and to this day, he is the only one who ever got me to enjoy it.
So, hopefully that little story conveys the power of a pair of gloves.
Features to Look For:
There are plenty of brands out there, but as your first glove purchase, buy Damascus D302's. Hands down, the best glove you can buy. They'll cost you about $35-$40. But you can't beat them. You can find them in any decent cop shop, or look at the links below.
The next highly recommended brand would be Ram Tough. A little harder to find, but nearly as good as Damascus. I've only seen them in cop shops, and from toughgloves.com. Hatch is so-so. Several people swear by them, but they seem of questionable quality to me.
What to Look For.
You want gloves that are wrist-length. The wrist should also be elasticized. Avoid gloves that have a little "skirt" after the wrist.. sort of sloppy looking. And hardly as intimidating. The look here is "police" - authoritative. That's why you want the clean design. The back of the glove should either have 3 seams or a solid back. You want unlined gloves (for dexterity purposes.)
Medium/Small - 7
Medium - 8
Medium/Large - 9
Large - 10
Most men should prob buy a size 8, since the point is to keep them nice and tight.
What to Avoid.
Don't buy gloves with cut-off fingers.
You really don't want "driving gloves." (They are good to have in your collection, but not to wear in public as part of a fetish look.)
Don't buy lined gloves unless you are using them for practical purposes (i.e., riding a motorcycle in winter weather.)
Make sure the gloves feel like leather.. not plastic. Buy quality.
Unless there is a specific purpose, do not buy colored gloves. Buy black.
Avoid zippers, snaps, etc. Solid leather gloves with no gadgets are best.
NOTABLE WEBSITES TO CHECK:
• Stomper's: Not just boots.. they have a great selection of gloves too.
• ToughGloves: Probably the best selection of gloves you'll find, good prices.
• Damascus: You can't really buy gloves direct, but you'll get a better idea of their products.
The Deal on Leather Pants:
Don't get me wrong, I love a man who can wear leather pants right. But practicality-wise, they are awkward for sex. They don't give easy access to your private parts. They have to come off, or dangle around your ankles. That's why I strongly recommend chaps.. they give you the easy access you need. Leather breeches with a zipper down the ass are also a great choice.
The Deal on Harnesses:
If you don't have a chest, don't waste your money on a harness. You're just highlighting what you don't have.
If you want a harness, go light on the studs. Buckles look better than studs.
Again: Clean designs work best.
Make sure the straps are at least 2 inches wide. Thin straps are cheaper – and they certainly look it. The wider the strap, the more masculine the look.
The Deal on Jocks:
You bought the chaps, but don't want to "hang out" in public? You can wear jeans.. or just conceal your privates with a nice leather jock. There are too many styles to really tell you what to buy. But a few good points to keep in mind:
- Make sure it is solid leather (not just the front)
- Don't buy an overly complicated jock. Simple is good.
- On a codpiece jock, make sure it is "shaped" at the peak. Otherwise, it forms odd shapes in your crotch. It needs to be sewn so it has a naturally flattering curve that is rounded in the right spot up front.
- Keep in mind "how" you are going to use it. If you are going to get fucked with jock and chaps on – make sure there is no strap going down your ass. (unless it unhooks/unsnaps.)
- You may even want to get the kind that can be undone without going through the hassle of removing your chaps. Usually they have snaps on the waistband around your thighs. It makes it much more convenient.
The Deal on Shorts:
This is a personal pet peeve of mine.
If you go into a leather shop around Folsom time, you'll see club kids and vanilla faggots buying leather shorts
– so they'll "fit in" at the fair.
It's disturbing. They're circuit queens ruining Christmas for Perverts. That's why I dislike leather shorts.
The main exception to my disgust for leather shorts are bodybuilders. They can pull it off. But if you're overweight or rake thin, don't believe it when the salesman says "they look great on you!"
Other exceptions to this rule are more twisted versions of shorts:
Bondage Shorts -- because they serve a good purpose and Crotchless Briefs -- just because they're meant for getting fucked in.
Information is purely advice, and for entertainment purposes only. Do not accept it as pure fact!
Images on these pages were found through news groups, mailing lists and various personal sites. Where thought to be from a certain company, credit is given. The original source is often unknown.
If any pic should not be here due to copyrights, please just send me an email
…and they will gladly be removed or credited with an appropriate link.
THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
BUT FEEL FREE TO LOOK AT WHAT I'VE WRITTEN SO FAR
Did Ponch & Jon give you a woody? Do you set your VCR to record "Cops?"
Or have you just been driving in circles to keep checking out the motor cop doing traffic?
Well, whatever the trigger, you've now got the police uniform fetish.. but don't know how to get the gear?
Here's a little advice to get started.
First off – Remember -- DO NOT go out on the street in a uniform and actually pretend to be a cop. It's illegal. Some uniforms may be illegal depending on where you live. A lot of the equipment is illegal to wear in public as well. We'll go through some of the legal issues below.. but for now, let's get you suited up...
This section is dealing solely with police uniforms. If you have other uniform fetishes, check another site that caters to your needs. Just a reminder - this page is aimed at novices. Since this is a fetish, you're going to want a motor officer's uniform (with breeches and boots). So how do you find one? Let's get started...
So let's look at the basic uniform first. You need to decide what color you're after. If you have a specific dept. in mind, go for it. But my suggestion: Get a simple dark blue uniform first. It's the main color of most police departments today, and looks the most professional.
Unless you're already a cop, you really can't walk into a cop shop and buy a uniform (especially after 9/11, they've got much more restrictive about it). So what can you do? The best thing to do is buy the pieces seperately via mail order and put them together. In other words – buy the shirt and sew the patches on yourself.
Again: My suggestion -- buy a dark blue uniform first. There are plenty of websites to buy these from - See the links below. Another good source is Ebay. You used to be able to buy full uniforms there! Then Ebay got restrictive as well.
But you can still find patchless uniform shirts at a decent price on Ebay.
A good uniform shirt will cost you $30-$50.
Make sure it has pleats/seams down the front and back.
The badge holder should be grommets -- not just holes.
Material should be Poly/Cotton blend.
- Flying Cross
- Horace Small
A little harder to find these, but there are definitely sources out there on the internet. There are a few good links below for that. What you're looking for here is a snug fit. Cops really don't wear flared breeches anymore.
Poly breeches will cost you about $125.
Wool breeches will cost you about $225.
Wool is heavier, but the standard for many departments like LAPD.
Try to get the appropriate stripe sewn on. Most companies will do it for $10 extra.
You don't need them. So don't waste your money. Once you slip on a pair of breeches and patrol boots, you'll never wear pants again.
A Full Uniform.
Boots Plus used to offer a deal on a full LAPD or CHP uniform. I haven't seen it listed in a while, but check their site (free areas - "shop"), it may come back... You'll find it at hXXp://www.bootsplus.com.
You'll also find other uniform goodies there, including other breeches and used gear.
NOTABLE WEBSITES TO CHECK:
• Boots Plus: Full Uniforms and Used Gear.
• CycleCop.com: Great for breeches and misc. motorcop gear.
• Gall's: Everything from uniform shirts to leather goods.
• QuarterMaster: Good for shirts & patches (do a search for patches)
• Chief Supply: Police & Fire uniforms.
• Black & Tans: A bulletin board for swapping police gear.
• Ebay: A good source for shirts, breeches and police duty leathers.
FULL LEATHER UNIFORM
You have a fetish for leather… You have a fetish for Uniforms.. So why not take the next logical step and mix the two? Having a full leather uniform made is pretty much the peak of fetish.
Mix the two fetishes together for a very authoritative look. But if you're going to spend the money, get your gear made custom. It looks so much better. Find a local leathermaker who can do this, or you can try to do it long distance from a notable leathermaker.
Features to Look For:
You can find one off the rack in many leather shops. Some are good, but again - for better fit and style - Go Custom. If you have a cloth uniform shirt that fits you well, have a leather maker duplicate it.
A few things to make sure the Leather Tailor does:
- Duplicate the shirt to every detail
- Duplicate the seams (running down the front and back)
- Metal grommets for the badge holder
- The Badge Holder should be a rectangular patch of leather with grommets on top of the shirt - so if you wear it without a badge, a t-shirt or flesh will not be visible through the holes)
- Give him the badge for accurate grommet spacing
- Use snaps, not buttons
- Have him sew on all patches
- Keep it unlined (you will get too sweaty in a lined leather shirt)
Sometimes you can find leather police breeches on Ebay.. And there are a few sites that sell off-the-rack breeches, but not many. This item really has to be made custom. The prices are usually close enough between off-the-rack and custom anyway, so just get it done right, and go custom.
You really have to be measured in person for this.. there are many variables. And even if you found a pair on the 'net that may fit your waist.. they may not fit your calves.
A few things to make sure the Leather Tailor does:
- Decide on the leg flare.. Figure out where it should be, and how big it should be . Check the breeches from VK79, he has a great sense of style on this. There are varied locations and shapes, so think about this. You can also go with "no flare".. but then they're just leather pants you can tuck into your boots.
- Bring your boots. You need to make sure the breeches fit into your boots.. so it will determine the thickness of the leather in the calf portion. Just because they fit with your cloth breeches, doesn't mean they'll fit with your leather breeches.
- The Zipper. You really want it to be able to go as low as it can.. extra long. This is so you can fuck with them on. If it's too high, you snag your cock.
- Rear Zipper. I can't push this option enough! For any of you who are bottoms, have a rear zipper put into your breeches. Nothing is hotter than to be able to fuck a man through that zipper. This is what "Full Gear" is all about.. hotter than chaps. And DO NOT believe any leather maker who tells you "it's a bad idea structurally." NO!! It's not true. I've personally convinced a dozen bottoms to do this, and it always works - even to the disbelief of the leather maker who installs the zipper.
- Use a double-snap or snap/catch combination at the waist (above the zipper). Do not use a button.. Just too hard to do/undo.
- Belt Loops. You may want this wide enough to hold a 2.5" duty belt.. or just stick to the regular sized belt - your preference here.
- The Ass Patch. You want to have a distinctive ass-shape. Look at the pics to the right, that will help define this. Rounded, apple-shaped look. Sometimes even a different color. But if this is your first pair, get solid black on black.
- The Stripe. Decide if you want one or not. If you do, figure out a color, width, and single or double stripe. All a matter of personal style. Remember the color is often linked to a particlar fetish (red=fisting, yellow=piss, grey=bondage, etc).. so choose carefully, or stick with white (neutral.) Don't pick a dark color.. navy blue or black will be invisible in a dark bar.
NOTABLE CUSTOM LEATHER MAKERS:
• VK79 - Berlin
• Rawhides - Near NYC
• David Samuel Menkes - NYC
• Johnson Leather - San Francisco
• Mr. S Leather - San Francisco
When you find out how much you love your leather breeches, you'll tend to wear them more often. And after a long period, you'll build up an aroma of sweat, piss, and cum inside them. And it's not really that pleasant.
It's like B.O. for your leather gear. So how do you get rid of that?
Saddle Soap? Leather Cleaner? Alcohol Spray? Nope, they don't work.
But here's what does – Urine Gone.
Yes, that awful infomercial about a spray to get rid of pet smells in your home (the video plays automatically on their site. I love the first line -- "Is your pet a peeing machine?")
It has enzymes that eat up the bacteria causing the smells, leaving a neutral non-scent. Be sure to only spray it on the inside of your breeches, the rough side of the leather. It's quite effective at getting rid of the b.o. smell.
You can also save yourself a few bucks and some time -- Pick it up at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20.
This is where "under construction" takes over. As soon as the blog is updated I will fill in any missing info!!
Top Intro Text
Features to Look For:
NOTABLE WEBSITES TO CHECK:
• Stomper's Boots: Assorted patrol & other styles
• Big Black Boots: Assorted patrol & other styles
• Dehner Boots: The quintessential patrol boot
• Wesco Boots: Some patrol; mostly biker styles
• Hot Boots: Links to several more bootmakers
PART 3: Meeting Leathermen
You don't buy the gear to spend time with it alone at home. You need to connect with other like-minded men to unlock the power of your new fetish.
So where do you go? How do you find them? Are you even ready for it?
Before we get to "Where.". let's take a quick look at "you" first.
Do you know where you are sexually? – Top, Bottom, Versatile?
Well, you're starting a new fetish and you're looking for experience. For the majority, it means you'll have to start on the bottom, and get training from an experienced Top. (It doesn't mean everyone will do this, but it's probably the best way.)
You need some patience here. Not every Top likes leather virgins. They don't want to be put in the role of "teacher." And then again, some love breaking in fresh meat. So keep that in mind when you begin your search. It will be most evident when looking for leather on the 'Net.
Most Leathermen look for men in leather (duh, sounds simple, right?.) Well, that means you need to own some! So take my advice from Part One, and buy a pair of chaps. That is usually the key piece of gear that makes you viable to most Leathermen.
(A Harness & Boots will not cut it for most.)
So let's see where we are.. you own the gear, you're horny, and you're looking to meet men with your fetish. What are your best options? Let's take a look.
MEET & GREET
You've already discovered the internet on your own – since you're on it now. But are you using it right? This is a major problem for so many people that it's painful to watch. So let's go over how to make it effective for you.
This will be repeated several times below: No Pic / No Profile = No Chance. Headless pics, dick shots, blank profiles -- will get you nowhere. If you are attracted to someone's pic/profile, why shouldn't they expect the same option from you? (Almost sounds like common sense, doesn't it?) So forget the excuses -- and have a face pic available.
On most services (like AOL, Yahoo, etc.) you have the option to create multiple screennames and profiles. Your "sex" screenname/email address should not be the same one you give to Mommy! Keep it separate. The screenname can be tame or provocative. However, your profile should be detailed and explicit. You need to make it clear what you're looking for.
I, personally, will not respond to non-kink profiles. If you have no profile at all, you get no response at all. When you find a profile you're attracted to -- The other person expects the same from you! You shouldn't make other people play 20 Questions to figure you out.. because most people will not be bothered to do so.
Be creative with your profile, but don't put in stupid shit like song lyrics, your love of Barbra, or lame quotes from "Auntie Mame" -- Be a man, not a queen. And please avoid cheesy cliches like "mild to wild." -- That is such a turn-off line to real Leathermen.
Don't use a city in your name, unless you know you'll never move
(i.e. "glovdcopSF" makes everyone think I'm still in SF.)
Be careful with abbreviations. Some don't make sense, some just look bad (i.e. using "STD" instead of "STUD")
By the way - if you don't have the goods to pull off "Stud" or "Hunk" or "God" etc., don't use it in your screenname. You're just setting others up for a letdown, and yourself for a disappointment. Be realistic.
Work with your fetish, your best attributes, a clever play on words -- whatever will make you stand out from the herd.
And don't go overboard listing what you're not into. People search profiles by keywords. You're just attracting the people you don't want. You know how often I search for "leather" and find a great guy.. then realize he's saying "I'm not into leather." Pick and choose your words carefully.
Have A Good Self-Pic.
Posting a picture of yourself with Grandma blowing out birthday candles will not get you laid. Same goes for pics of yourself with your fag hag, sister, babies, cat, etc. So DON'T post those! What is wrong with you??
And while we're on the topic - Stop posting graduation pictures, photos of yourself at a relative's wedding, and limit your vacation photos to 1 or 2 max. C'mon -- really? Does any of that turn you on when you see it other people's profiles? It's nothing but filler material.
You want to put the BEST pic of yourself forward...
-- First impressions are very important. --
So find a good pic. If you're still not digital - scan one in, and use that. Scanners are as cheap as $50, or go do it yourself at Kinko's.
Take a pic with some leather, it will work in your favor -- even just a decent leather jacket helps. You're trying to attract leather fetishists, so give them a reason to be attracted to you, too. If you are shy about showing your face -- don't expect many takers.
Blind dates hold little interest for most men. Yes, there are several reasons not to post your face publicly on the internet. But have a private one available to send. (This is common sense, guys)
And for crying out loud, don't give the finger in your pictures.
It doesn't make you look like a rebel, it makes you look uneducated.
Your picture should represent "you." And what you're looking for in others.
Nobody is above a few typos here and there... but please, avoid basic spelling errors in your profile that give others a bad first impression of you. The most common and painful ones are "Versital" (Versatile), "Definate" (Definite), and "Dominate" (when meaning Dominant.)
Also, when you mean "You Are" -- use "You're" -- not "Your!"
These basic grammar errors makes a lot of smart people look very stupid.
You want to come off as confident, but don't be a nuisance.
Have a decent opening line, make sure to talk for a few minutes before you ask the inevitable "want to trade pics?"
Send your face pic first. Burn someone with a dick shot or headless pic first, and don't expect the conversation to last, or any connection to be made.
If he's not someone you find attractive, well.. be tactful. Most people understand when you just tell them "it's not a match."
If it is a match, you need to work out the details. The longer you delay setting a meeting time, the less likely it is you will connect.
Make it clear what you'd like to get into, and if you are unsure -- ask to talk on the phone or even meet out for a drink first.
(But be a little more smooth with that... don't act like "I'm worried you're a serial killer.")
Real Time vs. Too Far Away.
The one awful thing about the internet... the men you like are always across the ocean or 3000 miles away. Don't let that stop you from trying to start a conversation, but you need to realize the limitations that distance imposes.
If neither of you travels, it's not a likely connection. And conversations have a death point. There's only so far 99% of them can go without the ability to connect.
So don't be a pest! Don't message someone everytime you see him sign on. It is annoying as hell. I have a few dozen people blocked just because they are that freakin' annoying. There's only so many times you can say "Hey what's going on? Not much, and you?"
Be able to realize who are your "internet buddies", your "internet fuck buddies", and your "internet acquaintances" -- the ones you should say hello to periodically.. but don't stalk them.
WHERE TO FIND LEATHERMEN:
• RECON LEATHER: You can get the basic membership for free, or pay to upgrade. It has many sites catering to different fetishes under one umbrella. Heavily European, but Americans have become more dominant on the site.
• MANHUNT.NET: This is a very mixed site, but does have a good amount of leathermen on it; you have to wade through the non-kink, but it's there - I've noticed that there are quite a few leather guys on here that you won't find on the other sites. Basic (but very limited) membership is free, but pay to upgrade. It's worth it.
• BNSKIN.com: This site is still very Euro, but more twisted than most. Definitely worth checking out. Though follow the rules when submitting your "verification photo" very closely.. or the moderator will likely ban you from the site (he's very testy about the specifics.)
• CRAIGSLIST.ORG: They actually have a pretty good M4M section under "Personals." You do have to weed through a lot of headless pics, but it is surprisingly good. Lots of very twisted fucks on there who don't advertise elsewhere.
• AOL: Their chatrooms are still a draw, and thousands of leathermen are there. But it's not the same as it used to be.
(Also the service itself can be difficult when looking for M4M)
There are several more sites to check out on my Links Page.
Also make sure to check the Links Pages on other personal websites of Leathermen. You can spend hours going from one site to another, finding a lot of men you'd want to meet.
This choice really depends on where you are. In many smaller cities, the only ones wearing any leather in the local leather bar.. are the bartenders.
So, assuming you're making your first trip to a leather bar.. What should you do? What do you need to know? Let's go through some of the basics.
Before you head out, some quick notes:
First - No Cologne!
You're not going clubbing, looking for women or twinks, you're looking for men. So don't wear perfume. Besides, you don't want your gear to smell like cologne.
Second - Clean Out!
This goes for any sexually-related activity.. if you think there's even a slight chance you may have sex, clean out your ass well (with a douche hose if possible.) Most men are not into scat, and there's nothing more disgusting than sticking your cock into someone.. and coming back with a chocolate covered banana. A second fuck date wouldn't be likely.
Keep it clean, pig.
As the term "Leather Bar" denotes, there is an implied dress code. Not every bar strictly enforces it, but it should be observed. Again, don't be stupid. Don't show up to a leather bar in sneakers or inappropriate shoes. Don't show up in a suit, shorts, or club clothes. You're going to a leather bar, so butch it up.. or stay away.
Assuming this is your first trip, you may not know what to expect. The only thing worse than being under-dressed.. is being over-dressed. You may want to keep it very simple. T-shirt, jeans, boots or black shoes, and a leather jacket or vest. Bring a pair of chaps in a backsack. Check the bag or leave it in your car. If the crowd is "leather" enough, put them on. If the crowd is "leather light," well, hang on to them in case you get lucky.. and put them on later.
This is where novices can fall into trouble. If you don't know the Hanky Code.. don't wear one in your pocket. I have a friend who told me how on an early visit to a bar, he wore a red hanky in his back right pocket. Imagine his surprise when he found out what that meant.
Most people only know the most-used colors: Black=S&M, Grey=Bondage, Red=Fisting, Yellow=Piss. Right indicates Bottom, Left indicates Top.
These locations are also valid for other "flagging" items.. Keys, wallet chains, armbands are signals. Wear them on one side, and people assume you are a bottom or a top from it. So keep that in mind when choosing your accessories. Of course, those who wear two arm bands are either versatile.. or just like to confuse…
Picking Up Men.
At first, sit back, watch the crowd. When you find a man you like, well, a lot of it is instinct. Make eye contact. Be aggressive. Approach people. Start a conversation. See where it goes. If it doesn't seem like the person is interested back, take the hint. Not everyone will say a direct "Fuck off!" to your face. If it seems unlikely after a few minutes, excuse yourself and move on.
When you find Mr. Right Now, you may need to disclose your experience level. Judgement call on your part. Perhaps you can fake it, and see where the night takes you.
Do your best to avoid the nuts, because they do exist. If you bring someone into your home, do not let him tie you up. Never let anyone do that in your home on the first fuck date. It's a safety thing. You may want to take things very slow. Or just keep it to "leathersex."
To avoid looking like a leather virgin, remember -- it's about the gear. So take off your jeans, but put those boots and chaps right back on. You shouldn't have to be told. Take that off, and you're just having vanilla sex. You may also want to pack a small bag of gear/toys to bring with you when you go out. Sometimes it can be handy.
Throw 10,000 leathermen into one small section of a city for several days.. and chances are, hijinks will ensue. (In other words, pretty good chance you'll have some leather sex.) This is a great option for people who live in rural areas and want to have a leather-oriented vacation. They do turn into an odd mix of Leathermen, circuit queens, and the confused.. but a good time is to be had.
There are numerous leather events worldwide. So which ones are worth your time? Let's take a closer look at the Big 4 in the USA.
Folsom Street Fair
San Francisco / Last Sunday of Sept.
The largest leather event in the world. Roughly 10 blocks long, and filled to the brim with lots of leather eye candy. It's so big, that SF embraces it as the tourism gold it is. There are more events to Folsom than just the fair itself. The week prior to it is called Leather Week.. with various events at different SF bars.
Most people tend to arrive around Wednesday and stay for a long weekend of fun. Some stick around to the following weekend for the Castro Street Fair (mostly vanilla, some leather.) Check the official website FolsomStreetFair.com for more information. It also worth checking out the SanFranciscoLeather.com site for events.
Dore Alley Fair (a.k.a. Up Your Alley)
San Francisco / Last Sunday of July
The second major event in SF's leather community. It is a scaled down version of Folsom, in practically the same location.. but only around 5 blocks long. A lot of people actually prefer Dore to Folsom. Much fewer twinks, virgins, and gawkers with babycarriages. It tends to be a more concentrated leather crowd. And is easier to handle overall, compared to Folsom.
The FolsomStreetFair.com site is also the official site for Dore Alley Fair.
IML - International Mr. Leather
Chicago / Memorial Day Weekend
(Last full weekend of May)
This is a different bag than the street fairs. The event itself is concentrated in a hotel, which is taken over by Leathermen. Because of that, this is probably your best choice to get laid in leather. It's much more likely at this event. It is Chicago's largest convention, period. So the rotating host hotels really go out of their way to accomodate the guests.
Spend the money, and stay in the host hotel. You're MUCH better off. You can come and go to your room with ease. Even if you skip the contest, etc., you'll do just fine – most people hang out in the lobby, smoking, drinking, cruising and connecting. Probably about 10,000 men wind up here. Arrive on Wed/Thur, leave on Mon/Tue. A good time is guaranteed.
More information is available on IMrL.com.
MAL - Mid-Atlantic Leather
Washington, DC / Mid-January
Similar to IML, but a little more spread out. If you can, stay at the host hotel again for ease (The Washington Plaza.) If not, there are 4-5 other major hotels right there- all with leather guests staying there. Most people congregate in the lobby at the Plaza, or at the Green Lantern bar (one block away.) I personally get a more hardcore vibe from MAL than IML.. just an East Coast thing. But you have to remember - DC in January is freakin' cold. Good leather weather, but really cold. Snow storms are possible. But then again, you may never leave the hotel.
More information is available on LeatherWeekend.com.
Other Events / Leather Calendar
There are many other events that may be more suited to your needs, your fetishes, your location, etc. Here are just some of the ones I know of.. there are plenty more. Click on links for more details. If you have a good event to add to this list, Let Me Know!
Washington, DC MAL - Mid-Atlantic Leather
Palm Springs Maximus (Cigars & Leather)
San Francisco IBR - International Bear Rendezvous
Dallas South Plains Leatherfest
Sydney Gay Mardi Gras
Los Angeles Mr. Los Angeles Leather / LA Leather Weekend
Las Vegas SmokeOut (Cigars & Leather)
Vancouver, BC RubbOut
Berlin Mr. German Leather (& Easter Party)
Cleveland CLAW Leather Wknd (& Monthly Dungeon Parties)
Palm Springs Palm Springs Pump Weekend (Vac Pump)
Los Angeles Black & Tans Spring Maneuvers
Chicago IML - International Mr. Leather
Chicago Bear Pride
Palm Springs Fist Fest
San Francisco Gay Pride
San Francisco Uniform Ball
New York City Gay Pride
New York City Folsom Street East
Los Angeles Gay Pride
Toronto Gay Pride
Sydney Gay Pride
Atlanta SouthEast LeatherFest
Toronto Folsom Fair North
Montreal World Out Games (LeatherMen Info)
San Francisco Dore Alley Fair
Russian River (Calif.) Lazy Bear Weekend
Hamburg Hamburg Leather Party
Montreal Montreal Leather Weekend
New Orleans Southern Decadence
San Francisco Hairrison Street Fair
Berlin Folsom Europe
Palm Springs West Coast Rubber Weekend
San Francisco Folsom Street Fair (Leather Week / Mr. SF Leather)
San Francisco B&B Corps "Roll Call" (FSF Wknd)
Provincetown Mates Leather Weekend
San Francisco Castro Street Fair
Charlotte International Leather Sir & Leather Boy
Palm Springs Palm Springs Pump Weekend (Vac Pump)
Amsterdam Amsterdam Leather Pride
Palm Springs Palm Springs Leather Weekend
Chicago Mr. International Rubber (Rubber BlowOut)
TBA ( Apparently a Month of Rest & Recuperation )
Thanks again to GlovdCopSF for this Beginners Guide!!! Please send any comments and thanks to him @ hXXp://www.glovdcopsf.com/home.html
llukesh last edited by
kidgamer last edited by
Great guide. Much appreciated for posting.
Thanks for providing this! I wish I would have had this information when I first was coming out because I came out very Leather inclined and felt extra lost…thinking I was really "different" when I discovered that I not only desired to be with a Man, but a Leather Man. I was really hard on myself and living in a small town very alone. The information you've provided will help MANY I'm sure.