This question, “why do gay men find leather so attractive?” was entered into a search engine and brought a visitor from Ottawa, Canada, to a post on my Blogger version of this blog. The post it went to was about what masculine gay men find attractive, which is a different issue.
So why do gay men find leather attractive?
First of all, not all gay men find leather attractive. While I enjoy wearing leather regularly for its protective properties, warmth, and style, I know that there are a lot of gay men who would not be caught dead in any hide of any animal — much like I would not be caught dead in a pair of men’s dress shoes or sneakers. Blecchhh.
From the perspective of a “former” gay leatherman — and I say “former” because I have completely lost interest in gay leather activities, parties, gatherings, “runs,” contests, so forth and so on — let me share my perspective.
Gay men who are attracted to leather probably felt like I did, back in my youthful, single days:
1. A guy decked out in leather from Muir Cap to boots can be captivating for his perceived virility and masculinity. Just look at the history of the Tom of Finland drawings and the rugged masculinity presented through his art.
2. Many men have said that they feel more confident, strong, and masculine while wearing leather. Some gay men are strongly attracted to the “tough guy” image that leather projects.
3. Leather can feature the best parts of a man while helping to hide (or make less prominent) the less attractive parts. I’ll let you figure out what I am referring to by “best parts”. The less attractive features of some men — such as an “unchiseled” chest, balding scalp, and a wider waistline — can have leather cover or distract from those features.
4. Leather just looks better than shorts and flip-flops. Sorry, but that’s how I feel. I never was attracted to any guy wearing flip-flops no matter how well-built.
5. Some men find the aroma of leather intoxicating and some even find it arousing. There were times in my youth that I would, ahem, “rise to the occasion” the first or second time I pulled on a pair of leather pants.
6. Some men, including me, like how leather feels on the body. Leather has a certain sensual feel from its slight roughness of the interior hide that touches the skin to its heft. That is, you know you are wearing leather because it is heavier than most other materials from which garments are made.
7. Some men find have a strong fetish interest in leather. To them, leather excites them and makes a guy having sex while wearing leather have a longer, more intense experience — and without drugs!
It all boils down to two things that gay men find attractive about leather: how someone looks while wearing it — a physical attraction — and how someone feels while wearing it.
I consider myself a “retired” leatherman. I still have a lot of leather garments. I wear them regularly during cooler months (from September through May). But I am “retired” because I am not interested in or attend any gay events any more. No club “runs,” no Mr. Leather-This-Or-That contest, no “pride” stuff. I have long outgrown any interest in those activities. After all, I married the same guy I’ve been with for 20 years and I am an “old fart” who is much happier in the suburbs and going to bed at 9pm than any city-life party-late shenanigans.
However, just because I am retired as a leatherman does not mean that I cannot appreciate how some gay men are attracted to others or feel aroused by leather-clad men (or being leather-clad themselves.)
Life is short: wear leather — more that a bomber jacket on a cold day.