Category: Leather

Book Review: The Leatherboy Handbook

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*disclaimer: 1) This review is on the 1st edition of this book which is no longer in print. An expanded version is now available under the new title The Complete Leatherboy Handbook. 2) I am not a gay male.

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The Leatherboy Handbook (1st ed.) by boy Vincent L. Andrews published by The Nazca Plains 2008.

I had very high hopes for this book as it came strongly recommended from a number of leather people in my life. Unfortunately, I may have set the bar a little high for this book. Very clearly in the introduction Andrews lets readers know that this book is written from his experience primarily for gay males interested in the leather lifestyle. The book is divided into eighteen chapters which at first glance look very well thought out. Andrews is very repetitive throughout the book, not just of major concepts but all minor details, and I found my self thinking “didn’t I just read this.” Additionally, a large portion of the book is really focused on cruising without coming off like an ass and finding yourself a Daddy. While I can absolutely appreciate the need to help new people not look like an ass this made up the majority of the book became a bit tedious. While these were annoying points I could read around them and still get some good information from the book.

The serious complaint that I have with this book was how Andrews chooses to treat the rest of the BDSM community. I understand that the kink and leather sides of our community do not always meet eye to eye. Many “just kinky” people don’t take the protocols, power exchange, or rituals beyond their play. This does not mean they are lesser than those who chose to live in these dynamics full time. There is a beauty in the fact that we can choose our level of depth within these dynamics our partners. At least once per chapter Andrews blatantly shames those who are not leather or D/s 24/7 and regularly says that they are a prime reason for the demise of the leather scene. It becomes pretty elitist and may be a turn off to many who are interested in the leather lifestyle but also enjoys other kinks.

Overall, this book is ok. It does provide some good information for those who are interested in starting a leather journey of their own but readers will need to take much of what the author shares worth a grain of salt.

Pros: Quick read, some good chapters on service, written from a submissive’s POV

Con: Repetitive and somewhat derogatory towards non leather BDSM communities

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My First Earned Leather

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In 2013 I attended Beyond Leather and had my first experience with people who identified as “leather. With the structure, etiquette, and sense of community I wanted to learn more. So I started to talk to people who identified as leather and reading up on any sources I could. I attended a number of events, large and small, to gain a broader sense of what “being leather” could mean.

After about 6 months of investigating what a leather path may look like I knew it was a journey I wanted to take. I appreciated the emphasis on community. Of sharing the knowledge you have been given with those that are seeking. Dedication to service to your partners, family, and community. Commitment to personal growth. The way families and leather houses were structured. The process of earning of leather as one progressed.

Vested at BL
A quick shot of my new vest.

The next year and a half saw a lot of major events for me. Some were exciting (finishing my Master’s degree) and some were rough (the end of my relationship and service to my Sir). Throughout the ups and downs though I tried to stick with my path. I continued to give back when ever I could through educational opportunities and volunteering.

Last weekend at Beyond Leather 2015 a small group of people, whom consider family and dear friends, honored me with my first earned leather: a vest. It was their way of  recognizing my perseverance and dedication to my leather journey regardless of what life has thrown my way. I was overwhelmed by the gesture and hope that this will be one of many steps along my journey where those I respect and admire will be proud of me.

 

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