Okay, okay, okay, I hear ‘ya! When I have blogged (see May 2 post) about the term “fetish” in the strict definition of the word, I get feedback that is appropriately saying that I am too clinical in the use of the term, and that it is a generalized word to use when referring to those of us who like to wear leather — for whatever reason.
And yes, my partner could take me to my gear closet, pointing out what some may consider to be an inordinate amount of leather, and say to me, “be honest with yourself: you have a leather fetish. As long as you can afford it and it makes you happy, enjoy.” The commenters are correct, and thanks for the feedback.
Back in the 1980s, when I was acquiring much of my leather gear, I was also beginning to go out to leather-oriented events, bars, and other gatherings of the Leather Tribe. There I was, decked out in full leather, from Muir Cap to boots and all in between. I felt a thrill. And yeah, a certain member below the waist was frequently excited. The leather felt great, and I felt sexy in it. I felt the sexual energy of a mob of leather-clad men equally decked out in full leather.
After I met my partner, when he was a bit more sociable, we frequently would go to the Baltimore Eagle and DC Eagle on a Saturday night. I’d leather up completely, and so would he. We would hop on my Harley and be bad leather-clad biker dudes for the night. We enjoyed it. It was thrilling to be surrounded by other leathermen, especially to watch their envy as we roared up to park the Harley out front in the designated “motorcycle only” parking.
We would attend Mid-Atlantic Leather and a few other local leather-oriented events. While we did not go with other men we met at these places for more clandestine or private activities, we knew what was going on and felt the sexual urges that gay men normally have. We quickly took care of those passions as soon as we got home behind closed doors.
Then, things changed. It happens when you get older and settled into a monogamous relationship. My man turned me on, but I found those turn-ons to occur at times when I wasn’t in leather. My man wore leather less often, yet doing so wasn’t necessary to get me excited. Thus, leather became less and less something we had on during sex. And these days, hardly ever at all.
Further, my partner had several surgeries which made it difficult for him to walk. He could no longer ride as my passenger on my Harley. We stopped being interested in going out for several reasons:
- leather bars morphed to being a “y’all come” bar, where fewer patrons wore leather, or even boots. The number of guys in shorts and sneakers at these places made them less interesting to me.
- My partner didn’t want others to see him limping or in pain.
- My stamina for being able to stay awake late into the night has never been good, and has decreased as I have aged. That bed at 9:00pm looks awfully tempting.
- Since we couldn’t take the bike to get to a leather bar, the whole process of getting into our truck, driving all the way into town, hunting for a parking space, and then hanging out with sneaker-clad dudes became more arduous than it was worth.
Therefore, the leather investment I have made is used to provide protection and warmth for riding my motorcycle, which is still a passion I enjoy. While I may not choose to attend leather fetish events or bars, I am not ready to give up the gear I have acquired which can still be used for a functional purpose while riding my Harley.
That’s really that… from fetish to function.
Life is short: wear your leather!