Leather is Always Changing…part one

I’m sitting here preparing myself for a new journey this year. My eyes have been opened so much in the last six months that I did not think I could ever learn more about my community.  I have been blessed with meeting some amazing people over the last few months and being introduced to people from all around the world via social networking.

I have met pups and a Mystryss, a Godess and Sirs.  There are Masters, Alphas, Betas, Omegas, and more.  I have spoken to people from Australia, Singapore, Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Canada, and all over the United States.

The community as a whole is global.  Which is great, because it is ever changing as well.  We evolve with the times.  I sit here reading The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook as I prepare for some big events that are coming.  I know I still have a lot to learn, yet I have learned so much. I mean I have had the opportunity to read several other books that were passed on to me from others in the community including  S&m 101: a Realistic Introduction, Safe Beginnings, Health Care Without Shame, The Leatherboy Handbook, and The Leather Contest Guide *updated

So I thought to myself why not find out the views of some of the Titleholder’s in our community and see what they have to say on various topics that have come up over the last six months.

Here are the amazing people that took time out of their lives to answer a slew of questions from this crazy puppy:

What is your name and current or most recent title?

brian donner

Brian Donner

Mr. TriState Leather 2014

Representing Ohio, Indiana and KY

eric kugler

 

Eric Kugler

Mr. Leather Akron 2016, Ohio

Mr. Freedom Valley Leather 2016, Ohio

 

gryphn

 

 

Pup Gryphn

Mid-Atlantic Puppy 2016.

 

 

 

rocky

Rocky McCombs

Mr. Ohio Leather 2013

Mr. Leather Akron 2012

Mr. Cocktails 2013

spaz

 

Pup Spaz

Head Instigator for Indy PAH

Tri-State Pup 2014

 

 

tim ASH!

 

Tim Hotchkin

International Leatherboy 2015

Great Lakes Leatherboy 2015

 

 

Turbo

 

Pup Turbo

Northwest Puppy 2016

 

  1. What was your reason for wanting to compete & what did you get out of the experience?
    • Turbo:  Prove to myself I was a “good puppy” and make my puppy family proud. From the experience I found out how loving and supportive the puppy community is.
    • Tim:  I came back into the community a few years ago and encountered contests. I knew it was something I’d done long ago if I’d stayed in the community and once I discovered the Leatherboy path I knew it was for me.  I have gained confidence, numerous new friends, and a better understanding of myself.  That last one can be good and bad.
    • Spaz:  Spaz was excited to represent its community, and the ability to leverage the title to encourage others and expand knowledge and awareness of pups both inside and outside the leather community.
    • Rocky:  The first time I ran for a title it was to pay honor to the two men who brought me into the leather community who both were mr leather akrons I went to compete for fun and actually won what I got out of it was a lot of support and love from my community and learned how to be a leader.
    • Gryphn:  This is a tough question for me, but I suppose i ran for the competition because I felt a calling to be something more than I was at the time. Much like i did when I joined the Marines. When I got to the competition I expected things to be tense between the other competitors and myself, what I experienced and was met with was something much more than that. I found a family the 5 of us banded together and vowed to ourselves to support one another no matter what, and that is still something that we do to this day.
    • Brian:  One of my local leather brothers, Matt Hengle, competed in 2013 as Mr. Midwest. I got to travel around a lot with him during his title year and really was stunned by how caring, nice….and sexy, that the other members of his class were. That’s what really got me interested, but it took a couple more years before I felt I was ready (mainly due to my job and school) to really commit my time and energy.  My Sir and I had many discussions about why I was doing this through the whole process.  I feel that a titleholder’s role is to be friendly to people, to help newcomers to the community find the resources they need, and to try to raise awareness and support for good causes.  These were all things I felt like I was doing already, and I wanted to put myself out there to maybe inspire others to do the same.  There’s also the cliché about brotherhood and community, and that’s because most cliché’s are built on some truth. The experience of bonding with this group of incredible men in my class has been phenomenal and I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again.  And working with the people in my region to do fundraisers, hold community events, and just be there for each other has made me REALLY proud to represent the area and I talk them up every chance I get.
    • Eric:  Mr. Leather Akron 2015 is one of my closest friends. It was his encouragement to compete that made me really want to enjoy this experience. For Mr. Freedom Valley Leather, I was friends of the producers and they were looking for candidates. They asked a friend of mine to judge, and I figured that I would compete. Having friends be judges is always harder because they are always hard on you. There is always this assumption by others that they might not be able to be impartial; so, they really push you to attempt to distance that assumption. While other contestants got questions like, “Who is your favorite Disney character and why?” I got questions like “What are the colors of the leather boy flag and what do they mean?” and “How can a leather boy be a title holder?” What I got out of it was that I can be big and I can be beautiful. I always worry about body image issues and concerns leading up to these things. I’m also always very nervous. I normally go through a huge period of self-doubt. Winning these titles has served as my way of facing my fears, owning them and defeating them. I will probably always have some sort of body issues, but the love and support I have gotten from amazing people because of my title is truly awe-inspiring. That being said, you do not need a title to be a happy and well-adjusted leather man. You also do not need a title to make a difference. Some of our best programs and events come from people who actually did not win a much sought after title.
  2. What is your community platform?
    • Eric:  I desire to work with local organizations such as GLSEN NEO to prevent the mal treatment of our children and teenagers. No one should have to be bullied. I also desire to work with other organizations to create programming aimed towards teenagers and mental health care. I also hope to work inside of the leather community and in accordance with other great organizers (Project Touch Base, World without Suicide and Mr. Ohio Leather 2015) to focus on mental health care in the leather community.
    • Brian:  Joss Wheedon said once “Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset” and I’ve really taken this to heart. One of the things I LOVE about the leather/kink community is its embrace of the weird, even if we don’t recognize it as such all the time. We create safe spaces for people to express a side of themselves that they rarely get to tap into, and that’s beautiful to me.  So I’ve really wanted to promote the idea that what makes you weird is just a new way of seeing the world, and that has value to society.  And, as a community, we should foster and protect that weirdness as much as we can.
    • Rocky:  Stigma free HIV awareness and educating the “newbie” to leather.
    • Gryphn:  My platform is fairly simple, I am starting on a journey that is going to last far beyond my title year, and that journey is to bring the leather community together, not as a community but as a family, where everyone watches everyone else back in times of need.
    • Spaz:  Providing safe spaces for pups to learn and explore, enhancing knowledge of the pup culture and the opportunity that pups provide for the leather community, introducing and encouraging the use of PrEP and building a strong and resilient group of like-minded individuals to act as a resource to all that think they’re alone or are shy about exploring any facet of leather.
    • Tim:  Being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do in life. We’re all into something.  Accept yourself and it’s easier to accept others.
    • Turbo:  To hold on to the familial qualities and inclusiveness puppy inherited from the Leather community.
  3. What is the one thing about yourself you didn’t know at the start of your title year?
    • Rocky:  How strong of an influence I had in the community by just being me
    • Tim:  That I would enjoy being an Alpha so much.  Before I became Great Lakes Leatherboy, ASH! liked watching out for other pups he knew, but the thought of being an Alpha didn’t occur to me.  A little over a year later, I have four betas who each add a lot to my life.
    • Gryphn:   I didn’t know how much I of a caring person I was until the title that I hold put me into a position where I could help others more positively and productively than I could as a normal person walking the streets. And I plan on continuing to do that work for as long as I am able to.
    • Spaz:  Spaz didn’t fully realize the resources and assistance that was available to those that step up and share their enthusiasm.
    • Turbo:  How much I don’t like airplane turbulence.
    • Brian:  There were many things during the year that I prepared for and felt that I prove my ability in, like fundraising and public speaking. But there were a few things that surprised me. One thing that I learned was that there were some people in my community that really didn’t like me. I mean REALLY didn’t like, and for reasons I’ve never been entirely clear about. I always assumed that people had a positive or neutral opinion about me, so I was very surprised to hear about people actively disliking me and accusing me of things that never happened. That took some getting used to and I had to take some time to figure out what I felt about that. Where I came to was that I would carry myself in such a way that anyone hearing the stories would not be able to believe them. The other thing I learned was that I’m a good manager. I knew I’d need a team to get me ready for the competition, so I tapped the people I know, coordinated them and made them understand what I needed, then let them do their jobs. This let me focus on IML and I think made it a better experience for all of my team.
    • Eric:  Winning the competition is the easy part. We work for the community, and I am proud of that. We are held to such high standards. You find out very quickly who your supporters and detractors are, and you end up needing to get your house in order. Everyone also just assumes you are in this for the sex or recognition. I’ve actually turned down some amazing personal experiences because I had title related commitments. I’m very proud of that. Winning the competition is the easiest part. No one truly realizes what it is like to feel the need to avoid disappointing everyone at all cost, it’s a lot to carry around. “Kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I’m the queen.”
  4. What do you think evokes the perfect leather person?
    • Brian:  I think one of the best things we talk about a lot that few others in the world really do is the idea of Consent. We are willing to be bound, beaten, humiliated, etc. but it’s okay because we’ve given consent. We WANT that, and are willing to not only say it, but go out of our way to get it.  And I think this can make you more aware of when someone is trying to exercise power over you that you’ve NOT consented to, and to change those terms.  So, for me, the ideal leather person is one that owns themselves.  They know what they want, what they don’t want, as well as who and what they are and are proud of those things.  I don’t care if you’re wearing full uniform leather, spandex, lingerie, a t-shirt or nothing at all.  Own who you are and you will be empowered, and we all know that power is sexy.
    • Turbo:  Someone who loves their community, promotes it in a positive light, and welcomes new members with patience and education.
    • Eric:  HEART! It’s the heart that will always make the perfect leather person. We are a community that prides itself on being inclusive and loving. We tend to do a good job of that. We are also a service community. We are also a fun community, and yes we do get to have some naughty kinky fun experiences, but for me, those experiences are about building each other up, and that requires real heart.
    • Spaz:  The ideal leather person is someone that is confident in themselves and can express where the want to go, and encourages others to follow their own unique paths – oh, and a bit kinky!
    • Tim:  There is no perfect leather person.  We all fuck up and succeed at times.  We do a service to ourselves and others by admitting and accepting those times.
    • Rocky:  Fraternity/ leadership /action/ service/ kindred/ community/ legacy these are the 7 cornerstones of mr ohio and I believe every leather person title holder or non should look at those words and see what the me to them and live by those standards
    • Gryphn:  I don’t really think that this is a fair question. I say this because everyone is different, both in what they are looking for, and who they are as a person. No one person is perfect. With that being said I think that a good leather person, is someone that is kind, caring, compassionate, and that that person keeps a good moral standing. They don’t have to be a leader, in fact some of the best leaders make better followers.
  5. What are your views on inter community bullying and body shaming, and what do you think could be done to change this? And what have you personally done or what will you personally hope to do to encourage people that feel some sort of guilt, shame, etc about their body to open up and be more accepting about their body?
    • Rocky:  I don’t like and I don’t let it happen. If you see it going on and someone is not standing up for themselves step in and stand up for them, honestly one word of kindness can save a life.  I can’t do anything to help somesome with how they feel about their own body. They will think what they want no matter what but I can offer my friendship and let them know I love them for who they are. If they aren’t happy with their body they are the only ones who can change it.
    • Gryphn:  I think that inter community bullying and body shaming is something that needs to stop in our community, there is no place for it. and what I would do to change this is I would like to start pointing out to the folks that are doing this, that they are hurting people and what they are doing is destructive. I currently have a good friend of mine that is not confident about his body type, as he is a larger guy. And what i do to make him comfortable is I treat him as my friend and do everything i can to help him feel better about himself, and if he wants to go for a walk because he is feeling bad about his image  encourage him and go for a walk with him.
    • Tim:  I don’t give it too much thought.  I’m probably spending too much time buried in the armpits and chest hair of big sexy bears. The aforementioned armpit and chest hair thing happens in public at events most of the time.  If people don’t know that I’m a big fan of people all shapes and sizes, they’re not paying attention or caught me on an off night.
    • Eric:  It is not just a community related concern. Body dysmorphia runs rampant in the gay community in general. It also runs rampant in the female community. However, I believe that leather is about heart and that means we should focus on building each other up and not tearing each other down. There is so much outward judgment coming at us, sometimes even by people that identify as LGBT that it is sad when we bring that into the community. Some of the most beautiful men I know still struggle with body dysmorphia. Bullying and body shaming often comes from those that are unhappy with themselves. We need to reach out to those and allow them to love themselves by being supportive not destructive. I took my first sash in a pair of boy shorts, and I posted that picture on Facebook. I took my second sash in a bar vest with no shirt. I do not have the perfect body. I am harder on my body than anyone ever could be. You do not really need to think of insults in that regard, I’ve already thought about them. However, if I can take my shirt off and stand in front of, and be judged by, an entire group of people, anyone can. I also encourage others to do just that. We need to love and support everyone. Nothing good comes from destroying others to make ourselves feel better.
    • Spaz:  Based on Spaz’s experience, body shaming is something that usually strikes those that are not confident in themselves haven’t grown into their own skin, their lack of confidence in themselves expresses itself by them finding differences from their perceived ideal and then magnifying that to override everything else that they are capable of to the point of neglecting loving of thy self. Leaders in our community combat that by demonstrating love and compassion for all, carrying on conversations with those that aren’t confident in themselves and encouraging them to reach out, share with others and build confidence in themselves. Leaders also actively discourage those that are disrespectful or flippant with those that don’t reflect their ideal embodiment of sexiness at the surface and neglect considering what’s inside the person. It’s not, IMHO, an issue that needs a public announcement or a class on “sensitivity” training, rather demonstrating appropriate behavior and lifting others up while addressing and or correcting others insensitivity and superficiality.
    • Turbo:  We are bullied enough by muggles, we don’t need any more within the community. We fight it through education and passing along values of family to new folks. I try to be open about my own body issues and struggles to love myself.
    • Brian:  Well, I think we’re overly critical of ourselves on this point. Yes, there’s bullying and body shaming in our community…as there is in ALL communities. But I think we’re more aware of it and willing to change it.  But as I said, it exists here and I wish it didn’t.  So I guess I wish we could give people the tools and encouragement to be and see the best self they can be, and to say to anyone who feels the need to degrade them (non-consensually) “Me not being right for you doesn’t mean that I’m ‘wrong’.  For someone else I’m perfect and if you don’t like it, fuck off” One, I try to nip any body shaming I see in the bud. Two, I try not to get too focused on thinking a certain type is better than another. I’d rather have great sex with someone who isn’t necessarily my “type” than boring sex with someone who is.  I doubt I get this right all the time, but I’ve had a number of people say that they were surprised that “a guy like me” was so nice to them.  I think there are a lot of things that led up to that statement that need to change.
  6. What do you feel can be done to reach out to bring new people into leather? And what have you done to reach out and bring new people into leather?
    • Eric:  I think we start by supporting those that have shown any interest at all. As a title holder, I get a heart-on whenever someone tells me that they never saw an interest in leather until they went to XYZ event and hopefully saw me or another title holder and that person reached out to them. However, you do not need a title holder to do that. Reach out to your friends, reach out to new people at an event. My first event was CLAW 15, and the one person I will remember more than anyone was a hot little puppy/boy, Kooper, who had no title but all heart. I have had conversations with those new to leather. I have sought to build up those new to leather. I have also had conversations with people that had never done leather but seemed curious about it. If I see an interest, I tend to talk with people about that interest.
    • Spaz:  Being seen in your leather in the greater community, being approachable and willing to share your enthusiasm and answer questions that those outside the community have and providing the curious safe places to explore and ask even more questions. And nothing, Spaz swears, nothing at all! But if you want to know anything about it, feel free to ask!
    • Turbo:  Come out! We don’t have to wear full leather to work but there is no need to hide who we are. I am puppy everywhere I go, so I end up informing and educating others about what puppy and leather is and inviting them to come see if it’s for them.
    • Rocky:  Get the hell out of our leather bars! Go out in your leather everywhere! It is so much easier for someone who might be interested in leather, if you go to their home turf where they feel safe. I have always have been that person that people come to and ask question and if they want to learn, I teach and protect them so they feel safe.
    • Brian:  We need to be visible members of our communities.  If there’s interest, they will seek us out, but only if they know we’re there. I’ve helped out with a number of Guerilla Leather Bar events, where we go out in leather to non-leather spaces. And I try to be friendly and helpful to ANYONE who has questions, even if they think they’re stupid ones.
    • Tim:  As simple as it sounds, reaching out.  Saying hello to that new guy you see standing or sitting alone at a leather or gear night.  Someone brought you into the community.  You don’t have to be everyone’s friend or mentor, but the occasional hi to a stranger could bring someone really valuable into our midst.  Also, having fun events for people to go out to.  Not just contests, but other gatherings and educational opportunities.  Giving people opportunities to connect.  Engaged as many people as I could about the things I like to do and learning about what they like to do.
    • Gryphn:  I think that as a community that we need to band together and present a more welcoming image, and be more accepting that quite a few people in this time and age cant really afford to be decked out in leather, we need too stop turning them away at our doors because they wore tennis shoes to the club, we need to embrace them and welcome them into our club and show them that leather is part of the soul, not what you wear. I use popular dating apps to make new friends and to educate people on my lifestyle.
  7. This is a three part question:
    1. What do you feel about role of pups in the leather community?
    2. How do you feel about pups being title holders in non pup leather titles?
    3. If you are a pup, tell me your pup name and how did you get it? If not a pup, what would you name yourself, if you were?
      • Tim:  1. I was just thinking this would make a great contest interview question and here I’m getting asked it.  Crap.  Pups have all sorts of roles.  Alphas and betas and omegas.  They’re helpers and leaders.  If I were to try to say one thing that the pups bring to the community (especially since they became a more prevalent part of it) is a renewed sense of the fun that can be had with kink. 2. Um…awkward.  I am one, so…I guess…I’m very cool with it.  Be who you want to be.  Not who someone else wants you to be or – worse – who you think someone else wants you to be. 3. ASH! is my pup name.  I gave it to myself.  It’s an acronym for Assertive Submissive Hounddog (which I am).  The exclamation point is part of the name; I somes feel weird ending sentences with it because putting a period after an exclamation point feels anti-climactic.
      • Gryphn:   1. I feel that pups play a large role in our community, but I wouldn’t say that pups fall under the leather community solely. They introduce a playful side to the community that i feel is needed. To many events I have been to have a very fun atmosphere but is still dominated by the leather Sirs and boys, I feel as though the pups show that you can still be obedient and playful. and I have yet to see where a pup hasn’t brought a smile to someones face when they are seen running around.  2. I don’t really see any issue with a pup running for a non pup title. If they feel that they are the right person to fill the role that they are running for then who am I to tell them that they are not? 3. My pup name is Gryphn, it is a name that I chose for my self when i entered the pup scene. It comes from my furry name Gameslay3r Gryphnbutt. Game is my Little side and I thought it fitting that Gryphn fill my pup side.
      • Brian:  1. I could really go on about this one.  In short, I think that Pups are not only the new generation, but a new frontier. They’re the first new Dom/sub dynamic that has come out post-Stonewall (that I’m aware of) and it differs in one very key aspect: Affection is built into the model.  It also allows for multiple roles that aren’t as strictly defined.  You can have top pups that fuck their Handler (though I’m not a fan of the term), a pup can have betas, who in turn can have other betas.  It allows for a more updated expression of sexuality that isn’t as narrow as the Sir-top and boy-bottom one that pervades our community.  NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT, if it works for you.  I just like how Pup roles allow for a more fluid expression. 2. Someone once asked me quite seriously “Can a bottom be a titleholder?”  I look at this question with the same amount of head shaking and say “OF COURSE THEY CAN!”  If a titleholder’s role is to be friendly to new people, of service to his community, and help people in need, I don’t see a single reason why a pup shouldn’t be able to fulfill that role. That said, as a leather titleholder, you are representing LEATHER, which is really pretty specific as far as appearance and protocols.  If a pup isn’t willing to do that, then I think that should count against them.  But otherwise I think pups are as qualified as anyone to run for and hold a leather title. 3. Bolt.  I got it from a local Dom when we did pup play the first time.  He got me into the gear and deep into the headspace then asked me my name.  It’s the first thing that was in my head.
      • Rocky:  1.  I believe pup should be welcome in the community but they need to learn when it is ok to pup out and when it is not. If they want to be taken serious and be accepted, then they need to settle down and be serious not being loud and disruptive cause they are pup and that’s just what pups do. 2. I had a friend who ran for IML and he wore the normal leather formals we all wear but he had the puppy customized to suit his own style and he didn’t place to high at IML. He walked the stage as a leather man with a pup side and he was staying true to who he was and no one can judge him for being himself. So puppy as title holder, go for it! Just respect the title and what it means and respect yourself.
      • Turbo:  1. Pup transcends leather and has the ability to bring more people into it that would otherwise not be interested. I was not interested in leather until I became a pup and got to know other leather folk. 2. We contain multitudes. Just because we are a pup doesn’t mean we cant be interested in other things.  A person should go after what they feel they can represent well in the community they enjoy. 3. Pup Turbo.  After months of being nameless and not knowing any other pups in Jacksonville, Florida, I chose a name that fit and I felt I could respond to. I used to be known for the massive turbo on my car and the turbo tattoo on my shoulder.
      • Spaz:  1. Pups rock, Spaz checked! Spaz says that not because it’s biased, but because it’s generally true – they already have opened their minds and are curious by nature, introducing them the joys of leather often results in a leather oriented pup… and mischievous pups into leather are one hell of a driving force to the greater leather community – a source of new blood, enthusiasm and curious interactions that quite often leads to new leather people. 2. We all have diverse interests, and if you’ve ever identified as a pup, you probably understand that the mentality of that pup is something shared by many of those into leather – people that aren’t afraid to try new things, get dirty, kinky, nasty, and generally have a great time! We all have diverse interests, kinks, fetishes, needs and desires, and if someone feels confident in their leather and believes they embody and express that leather in their community then they have just as much right to hold a leather title as anyone else. 3. Spaz, it was recommended by an ex-boyfriend, and Spaz wasn’t so impressed by it for a few months, then it grew on Spaz to the point where Spaz started dropping hints that it would like to be named it… Spaz felt that a pup name was / is more meaningful if given to you by your family / local community – and within a few months, Spaz was named by two people on the same night as “Spaz”! Spaz also learned recently that “Spaz” is a derogatory term across the pond in Europe, somewhat close to “retard” – Spaz is OK with that, but it explained the funny expressions Spaz got from some foreigners!
      • Eric:  1. Puppy tends to be an entrance into leather. Puppy itself is becoming more and more popular as time goes on. It is an interesting culture in and of itself. You could make the argument that it is both part of leather and a separate entity. There is enough overlap that it can serve to bring new people in. Those into puppy can chose to be owned by a Sir/Handler and ideally that Sir/Handler will teach them more about leather customs if they do not already do that research on their own. Also, they might just stay as puppies, but I view this as a community about supporting each other and supporting causes as we can. Pups have done a great deal in many cases to build up those around them, and that is the heart of leather. 2. Confession. I’m part puppy. I’m not all puppy, but I’m proud to be part puppy. There is a great deal of controversy around this, and I understand both sides. If you look at some puppy contests you see things like, “puppies don’t even speak.” If you look at some puppy contests, such as TriState, you see a puppy contest that allows you to reflect your puppy side as you represent yourself as a leather man. It was not that long ago that we tried to make a legitimate argument that boys should not be title holders. We let that go, we need to let the puppy thing go as well. Look at pups like TriState pup 2014 and 2015, both are amazing leather men that just so happen to be puppy as well. 3. Grovner, and my partner of five years gave it to me. He is hugely into English culture and I identify as an English bull dog in that I’m cute until you make me bark, then look out. His favorite comedy and long life fascination is Monty Python and Gro(s)vner came out of that background.
  8. What do you feel about boys being title holders in the leather community, in non-boy titles?
    • Eric:  I’m also a boy, and I will answer this the same way I answered that question when I was asked at my first competition. You see, boys used to not be able to hold titles outside of boy either. So, this is not an uncommon question. The answer I gave was, as a boy I know how to serve, I know how to serve a Sir, I know how to serve a Dom, I also know how to serve the community, and what is having a title if it is not the ultimate in community service.
    • Spaz:  See above – many leather titles are NOT dominant / submissive (or Sir / Boy) oriented – rather, the title is for the one that best represents leather at large. See answer to pups running for leather titles.
    • Turbo:  See above.
    • Rocky:  As long as they are not going for a title that is like sir or anything like that, then they have every right to, and honestly service boys make the best title holders because they service their community and work very hard to make things happen in the community.
    • Brian:  See above with pups.  Actually, in my experience, boys tend to do BETTER at running for titles than strict Doms because they understand and embrace service.
    • Tim:  See my pup anwer.  I’m also a boy.  Follow your own path.
    • Gryphn:  Please refer to my answer on pups running for non pup titles, as i feel the same way here.

Based on the above questions and answers I want to give my feedback and beliefs on what I have gotten from the community so far.

  1. Everyone has their own reason for competing in any competition, whether its the support of others, the call to it from the community, or the need to fulfill an inner want. Some are pushed into it through their peers but later find out they had an internal calling to it, which makes them all the better in whatever title they have.
  2. Everyone brings something different to the community platforms, which is amazing.  From a focus on unity, to education, to just preaching to #bewhoYOUare, there is always something to show our community that we can improve in some way
  3. One of the things that stood out to me is that sometimes just by winning a title results in people talking negatively about you, even if they don’t know who you are personally.  That’s a tough thing to have to face, yet we do it on a daily basis in our community as a whole.  How are we ever going to fix this?
  4. Everyone has a different view on the perfect leather person, which is what makes the leather scene so amazing. We can be what we want and find who we want to surround ourselves in and should still feel comfortable, becasue someone is going to find that perfect leather person in each of us!
  5. As a person who has dealt with body shaming this was an important question for me to hear the answers to, and I appreciate the fact that some of these answers are not very stock type answers.  I love Tim’s and Turbo’s answers, as in stop worrying about what others are thinking and basically have fun.
  6. Reaching out in the leather community is huge.  If it weren’t for the people that saw me sitting on the sidelines watching and inviting me into their circle, I never would be where I am today. I am more proud of myself. I don’t cringe everytime I see myself naked.  I have worn vests, harness, jockstraps, and next to nothing in a bar now. I never would have done any of that with out the support of the people around me. And I kind of think it’s pretty obvious as to what I do to try to bring new people into our community, it’s by giving myself and others a voice to show that our community is safe, is fun, and is caring!
  7. Pups in the community, I was afraid of the answers I would get from this one, but I got some amazing answers instead.  Sirs and Boys and Pups abound, they see that we are an emerging breed in the community, we bring a new life to the community in some areas and show that there can be love and affection in the leather community versus the dom/sub relationship that you read about or hear about. I love being a pup, but I also see that you can be in multiple roles at the same time.  We have boys that are pups, we have pups that are boys. We have alphas that are boys, and betas that are alphas.  This freedom to explore territories and redefine the culture is what’s great about the carefree pup!
  8. And boys, i see now that boys are a bit more accepted than I thought they were, this is amazing, as it allows for the service oriented individual to run for a title and hold that title well.

It’s great to see the diversity in the answers that these men have given and I am happy to say that there is more to come, we talk about transmen, women, bootblacks, and more. Stay tuned for the followup blog coming soon!!  We will also have some other titleholders with the same questions in parts three and four of this running blog!

As always I appreciate any feedback you may have, leave your comments below for everyone to see!

Pup Bayard a.k.a. Matty!

Arf!

COMMENTS

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    I enjoyed reading the responses. I kind of wished you had included a non title holder for comparison. Also, a couple of questions I would like to ask : Are pups the new boy? What advice for subs that have embraced their dom side, and that acceptance and growth in community, and lastly, the old and new stigma of HIV+ in community.

  • comment-avatar
    Matty Bayard 2 years

    Matt thank you for your comments and questions!! I had high intentions of having non leather title holders answer the questions, but didn’t receive the response I had hoped for. But that’s where my responses to the questions come in to play, since I am a non titleholder.

    As far as pups being the new boy? Great subject for a future blog, thanks for the idea! 😉

    HIV stigma in the community has been the subject of a few of my blogs, and was brought up by a few of the titleholders, there’s more talk of the past HIV stigma in the followup to this blog, in a future question.

    Find me on facebook and let’s talk some more!

    As always thank you for your time!

    Pup Bayard

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