Leather? Bad representation of gays?

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    Jan 17, 2010 11:59 PM GMT
    So today I went for a little tour of the Mid-Atlantic Leather weekend festivities.... MAL is held every year in DC... its similar to IML or whatever they have in Chicago every year. A big leather/fetish fest for gay men.

    I have to say... awkward. Leather is not my scene to begin with, and there are elements of it that I think can be really hot. But I think overall... creating an entire culture that centers on sex, role playing, masculinity/ sub/dom is quite bizarre... then there are the whole 15" circumference dildos, hoods, ball gags, whips, chains... you name it.

    I find it odd that people don't think its a little out there. Perhaps they do?

    I followed a few friends of mine as we made our way through 3 large ballrooms stuffed to the brim with fetish gear for sale... then we snuck up to the rooms of the hotel which had mainly been booked up by patrons of the "leather weekend". Men were cruising up and down... some doors were open with groups of men huddled around a bed with someone (presumably) on the bed, guys in leather all over the place...

    And I thought to myself... this is like the twilight zone. Except that it's trashy and it gives gay men a really bad reputation. Am I judging? I guess so, a little bit. lol. I think its fine to get into bondage or whatever... in the bedroom... but when it becomes such a big part of you, who you are, the way you dress and present yourself... it seems problematic and somewhat pathological. I couldn't help but wonder what the Hotel Staff thinks of the way the men at the hotel were behaving, dressing, etc. This is the representation that we have, this is what people see... and this is thus how we are stereotyped. Leather-wearing, drug using, drinking at 10 am (or earlier), sex-obsessed.... etc.

    I wonder why it is that so many men could care less and will do whatever in the name of pursuing pleasure etc. Drugs are rampant in that scene, and it seems rather unhealthy as safe-sex isnt necessarily any kind of a priority (as per the kind of porn that was on the screens everywhere).

    So, before I get the "if you dont like it, why would you go to a leather convention???" questions.... it was because I wanted to see for myself what was going on. In many ways it wasnt as bad as I was imagining. No public displays of sex or anything like that. But there was bareback porn, fisting, etc on screens all over the place. Men in chaps (showing their asses) all over the place.

    I have to wonder... as me and as a psychologist in training... what motivates this behavior, this culture? It just felt so empty to me, so cold and emotionless. The idea of sadism and masochism is actually not very normal anyway. Sadism implies that you like to PUNISH or inflict pain on others.... while masochism implies that you like to receive the aforementioned pain or punishment from others.... is this normal? I'm not so sure. I wonder what kinds of internalized unconscious feelings people have about themselves that may at least partially drive this behavior. I do feel it can be destructive and distracting from what's important. I left the place feeling depressed... the place felt dead and empty to me, despite all of the clamor inside.

    The point of this thread is to stir the pot a little bit. Is the leather community divisive? Does it make "the gays" look like we are "messed up"? Is it unhealthy? Your thoughts?
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    Jan 18, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 said

    The idea of sadism and masochism is actually not very normal anyway. Sadism implies that you like to PUNISH or inflict pain on others.... while masochism implies that you like to receive the aforementioned pain or punishment from others.... is this normal?


    I was sympathizing with you right up until this point....

    You fuck men, or are fucked by them..... Those who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones my friend and as an sexual deviant from the general population shouldn't you think twice before declaring other's sexual behavior happening between two consenting adults "not normal".

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    Jan 18, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    Definitely not something I would be familiar with seeing. That's for sure. lol
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    Jan 18, 2010 12:31 AM GMT
    MsclDrew said
    ZbmwM5 said

    The idea of sadism and masochism is actually not very normal anyway. Sadism implies that you like to PUNISH or inflict pain on others.... while masochism implies that you like to receive the aforementioned pain or punishment from others.... is this normal?


    I was sympathizing with you right up until this point....

    You fuck men, or are fucked by them..... Those who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones my friend and as an sexual deviant from the general population shouldn't you think twice before declaring other's sexual behavior happening between two consenting adults "not normal".



    Fine, point taken.

    Let's reword.... Is this "healthy"?

    Normality is a fuzzy term that really has no definition and implies a range of behaviors. But... Sadism and Masochism are technically still classified as disorders.
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    Jan 18, 2010 12:51 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 said
    MsclDrew said
    ZbmwM5 said

    The idea of sadism and masochism is actually not very normal anyway. Sadism implies that you like to PUNISH or inflict pain on others.... while masochism implies that you like to receive the aforementioned pain or punishment from others.... is this normal?


    I was sympathizing with you right up until this point....

    You fuck men, or are fucked by them..... Those who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones my friend and as an sexual deviant from the general population shouldn't you think twice before declaring other's sexual behavior happening between two consenting adults "not normal".



    Fine, point taken.

    Let's reword.... Is this "healthy"?

    Normality is a fuzzy term that really has no definition and implies a range of behaviors. But... Sadism and Masochism are technically still classified as disorders.


    Nope not true...

    The American Psychiatric Association modified it's definition in 1994 so that consensual sadomasochistic behavior is no longer considered to be a sexual disorder.

    and even so homosexuality was also classified as a sexual disorder by the American Psychiatric Association right up until 1973 icon_neutral.gif

  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Jan 18, 2010 1:05 AM GMT
    And the leather scene is not restricted to gays. Just ask Betty White...

    goldengirls2.jpg

  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Jan 18, 2010 1:05 AM GMT
    I think you should march right back into that hotel and tell those miscreants how mentally unstable they are and how badly their deviant behavior reflects on the rest of us! And don't stop proselytizing until they listen and amend their ways!
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:09 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidmasochism implies that you like to receive the aforementioned pain or punishment from others.... is this normal? I'm not so sure. I wonder what kinds of internalized unconscious feelings people have about themselves that may at least partially drive this behavior.

    Well, I'd be considered mildly masochism.. I like rough treatment, I like pain (not that it actually hurts) and I've no interest in inflicting that back, for me personally, it's not so much internalised unconscious feelings I have about my self, it's more about my body then anything else, tickling me is excruciatingly painful to me, I laugh, I can't help but laugh, but I hate being tickled, but unfortunately, just the lightest touch on me can tickle, during sex it's the worst thing someone can do, it kills the mood instantly for me and even more unfortunate, doing something like running your hand up my abs and chest tickles, gentle touching tickle, everything gentle tickles, I've tried desperately to focus on ignoring it but the feeling is so intense that I can't focus on anything else.

    But slam me up against the wall, bite me, grab my body and be completely unafraid of hurting me and it feels amazingly good, no tickling sensation, I can relax my body and mind safely know I wont suddenly be tickled, go nuts and it doesn't hurt me in the slightest, I've had a few guys go a little far and draw blood and it never hurts, I don't particularly like it when they do it, I'm not into that, but it doesn't hurt me, I've been pushed up against door knobs, fallen outta beds, off tables, more then one occasion I've hit my head on things pretty hard and I barely feel it.

    Aroused by body seems to become as hyper sensitive as my wrists to the slightest touch, but anything above a certain point I can't' feel.

    perhaps things like this arne't as uncommon
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:10 AM GMT
    Hey ZbmwM5, We'd recommend reading 'Come Hither' by Dr Gloria Braeme for better insight into what the straight world is up to. lol, makes gays look as tame as kittehs.


    Here: http://gloria-brame.com/


    -us two


  • tinman511

    Posts: 28

    Jan 18, 2010 1:23 AM GMT
    As for the Leather scene, some of your ideas are a bit stereotypical and only an opinion. Drugs and unprotected sex are not part of the leather scene no more than they are part of the "gay" scene. Some of what you witnessed may have been part of the extreme fetish and even what some (most)of us would prefer to be behind closed doors. Although I am not part of any leather community I personally get turned on by leather and bondage. I just believe that I am responsible for my own health in any situation.
    Having said that I am only one person and that is just MY opinion
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:27 AM GMT
    Hey dude, i totally agree that this display of deviance (anything deviating from the norm) is wrong. Its just another bar holding closet cases from coming out and perpetuating the deviant concept heterosexuals have of gay communities.
    Its awesome that people feel liberated sexually, go on with it, whip the ___ out of eachother, but in the private of your own life. Theres a line when it comes to social norms and they need not be crossed.
  • Teacherguy

    Posts: 150

    Jan 18, 2010 1:29 AM GMT
    If it is who cares??? There will always be people to judge no matter how homosexuality is presented.
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:32 AM GMT
    Teacherguy saidIf it is who cares??? There will always be people to judge no matter how homosexuality is presented.



    anything will be judged, hetero, homo, vegans, blacks, whites, u name it.. theres a line tho, and like i pointed out, its called reasonable social norms. If we, as a variation of humans, act like a bold child and just flaunt our flavours of the week and inhumane behaviours, were asking for hate and disgust.
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:33 AM GMT
    whosyourpaddy said
    Teacherguy saidIf it is who cares??? There will always be people to judge no matter how homosexuality is presented.



    anything will be judged, hetero, homo, vegans, blacks, whites, u name it.. theres a line tho, and like i pointed out, its called reasonable social norms. If we, as a variation of humans, act like a bold child and just flaunt our flavours of the week and inhumane behaviours, were asking for hate and disgust.

    Your post is disturbing

    I can't say much more then that, I'm in a good mood and am going to keep it that way..

    But your post is disturbing.
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    lilTanker said
    whosyourpaddy said
    Teacherguy saidIf it is who cares??? There will always be people to judge no matter how homosexuality is presented.



    anything will be judged, hetero, homo, vegans, blacks, whites, u name it.. theres a line tho, and like i pointed out, its called reasonable social norms. If we, as a variation of humans, act like a bold child and just flaunt our flavours of the week and inhumane behaviours, were asking for hate and disgust.

    Your post is disturbing

    I can't say much more then that, I'm in a good mood and am going to keep it that way..

    But your post is disturbing.




    forums are for opinions, thanks for yours icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 18, 2010 1:43 AM GMT
    MsclDrew said
    ZbmwM5 said
    MsclDrew said
    ZbmwM5 said

    The idea of sadism and masochism is actually not very normal anyway. Sadism implies that you like to PUNISH or inflict pain on others.... while masochism implies that you like to receive the aforementioned pain or punishment from others.... is this normal?


    I was sympathizing with you right up until this point....

    You fuck men, or are fucked by them..... Those who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones my friend and as an sexual deviant from the general population shouldn't you think twice before declaring other's sexual behavior happening between two consenting adults "not normal".



    Fine, point taken.

    Let's reword.... Is this "healthy"?

    Normality is a fuzzy term that really has no definition and implies a range of behaviors. But... Sadism and Masochism are technically still classified as disorders.


    Nope not true...

    The American Psychiatric Association modified it's definition in 1994 so that consensual sadomasochistic behavior is no longer considered to be a sexual disorder.

    and even so homosexuality was also classified as a sexual disorder by the American Psychiatric Association right up until 1973 icon_neutral.gif



    Interesting... I'm sure there's a provision for excessive sadomasochistic behavior... even between consenting adults.

    I'm reading the DSM... dont see anything about what you said re: consensual SM behavior.
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    Jan 18, 2010 2:16 AM GMT
    The funny thing about minority groups is that they are always judged by things that have nothing to do with them. It is a part of being a minority it seems. The behavior is usually one shared by the "majority".

    Straight people for example also get into the whole leather and S&M thing, and yet who says .. "oh let me define heterosexuality as leather and S&M"

    That is often the nature of prejudice. You define the "other" as bad because that is what you are taught .. then you proceed to reverse associate things with that "other" group that you deem "bad" even while the group you belong too is guilty of the same thing.

    This is how the "majority" often sees minority races or ethnic groups with thing such as crime and prison without even really knowing the numbers.

    Some over-sexualize gays and see right past all the overt sexuality in "straight" society. Titty bars, straight porn, kinky straight practices .. overtly sexual TV shows, commercial, bill boards, convenience store porn racks .. I get random straight sexually explicit spam emails all all the time. straight sex is all around us yet no one attributes all those behaviors to being "heterosexual".

    The bottom line is that you cannot control what the minority of a minority does and the rest should not be expected to somehow be responsible for it. That is a prejudicial way of thinking.
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    Jan 18, 2010 2:29 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidThe funny thing about minority groups is that they are always judged by things that have nothing to do with them. It is a part of being a minority it seems. The behavior is usually one shared by the "majority".

    Straight people for example also get into the whole leather and S&M thing, and yet who says .. "oh let me define heterosexuality as leather and S&M"

    That is often the nature of prejudice. You define the "other" as bad because that is what you are taught .. then you proceed to reverse associate things with that "other" group that you deem "bad" even while the group you belong too is guilty of the same thing.

    This is how the "majority" often sees minority races or ethnic groups with thing such as crime and prison without even really knowing the numbers.

    Some over-sexualize gays and see right past all the overt sexuality in "straight" society. Titty bars, straight porn, kinky straight practices .. overtly sexual TV shows, commercial, bill boards, convenience store porn racks .. I get random straight sexually explicit spam emails all all the time. straight sex is all around us yet no one attributes all those behaviors to being "heterosexual".

    The bottom line is that you cannot control what the minority of a minority does and the rest should not be expected to somehow be responsible for it. That is a prejudicial way of thinking.





    Very well put.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Jan 18, 2010 2:35 AM GMT
    Live and let live.
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    Jan 18, 2010 2:45 AM GMT
    Dominatrixes, Sploshers, Furries and Plushies? Bad representation of the straight community?
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    Jan 18, 2010 2:56 AM GMT
    Im a member of the leather community (I guess). Events such as IML and MAL are not for the general public. Usually they are held in closed hotels that require some sort of entry fee. I know IML actually had hotel staff posted by the hotel entrances stopping anyone who wasn't there for the event this past year.

    Wether your tastes run to the Vanillia or the very extreme (but still legal) sexual tastes, its a great place to meet like-minded men. In my personal experiance, no one is forced to do or see anything they dont want to. I spent the long holiday weekend at IML meeting new people and talking, hanging out.

    I would have been at MAL myself, except it was my birthday weekend and I had plans already.

    and I already have my reservations for IML again this year.
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    Jan 18, 2010 2:57 AM GMT
    My only issue with "it" is there's a time and a place, like NOT at 1pm on a Tuesday while you're running errands and all. Personally, the Doctor, the Business guy, the Attorney, the Superintendent or whatever your Profession is, knowing that you have this side of you is mysteriously HOT!
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    Jan 18, 2010 3:13 AM GMT
    I have to admit that I have dabbled a little bit in the leather bondage, master/slave role playing. However, there was no drugs involved and I had a safe well known friend and buddy to play with, I played the slave role and was extremely turned on being competely under his control, and he tied me and cut and ripped my clothes off as he desired and played with any part my body the way he wanted to and when he wanted to, and directed every action of mine on his.body as his sexual slave. He talked to me in a totally superior voice and with firm commands as to a slave.

    He had me tied up totally naked ,while he was in leather jock and leather chest harness. Some guys really do look hot in such leather gear.

    I have a leather jock and have gone with him to this leather bar wearing only the leather jock because drinks are half price there, if you wear only a leather jock. icon_smile.gif

    They actually have restaining cuffs on the wall there to lock a guy's arms and legs eagle spread agaist the wall, like a St. Anrdrews Cross. It is very hot to see strong hot masculine guys restrained nude in a vunerable eagle spread way .
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    Jan 18, 2010 3:13 AM GMT
    oohh those kinky straight folks icon_lol.gif as a pop quiz how do you use sushi in straight sex? sashimi anyone?



    If you want to see just how "abnormal" heterosexuals are, just watch HBO's real sex series
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    Jan 18, 2010 3:17 AM GMT
    straight but not narrow! ooh baby icon_lol.gif