A leather fetish is inclining leather-based forms of sexual activity. Some people also like it when a partner is dressed in it. The garments can be used in other kinkier relationships with restrictive gear is made from leather.

A majority of people and society in general associate leather with some form of BDSM. Although the two cross paths, they are not the same thing. The wearing of black leather clothing is prominent among hard rock musicians, the gay community, and bikers. Most people with this fetish can be found in these mini-communities.

The shininess of this type of clothing is appealing to the eye, and the tightness of them can properly bring out the figure in someone. Maybe this is a huge selling point for this kind of fetish. A leather restraint is like a 2nd skin, and the lingerie is top-notch. Erotic wear can add sparks to a relationship, and the material is very good for it.

There are plenty of discussions of how and where this fetish originated from. Most theories seem to point out the gay leather culture which started in the USA post World War II. This hyper-masculine gay culture where the men referred to themselves as ‘Leatherman’ has brought us to where we are today. It is possible to say the leather fetish has grown to the point of disassociating itself from the gay community.

Back in the 80’s when the AIDS epidemic first struck, people would protest while wearing leather in support of the gay community. Wearing the products is one of the ways that people identifying with this culture separate themselves from the rest.

The Connection with BDSM

If you go back a few years, this fetish community was seen as a subset of other fetishes like BDSM. It has, however, grown to become the mainstream and have a huge following. Leather and kinkiness go hand in hand.

Guys into BDSM can use leather clothing like boots, jackets, and even leather straps for sexual stimulation. Whips and restraints are also commonly used.

People are aroused by others wearing leather are the most common type of this fetish.

How the Modern Leather Subculture Is Growing

People who take pride in using leather clothing as part of their daily routine encompass the leather subculture. The clothing is part of identifying the culture and forming an identity. It’s a form of erotic fashion catching up in the modern world.

This kind of wear was associated with hyper-masculinity, biker clubs, and fashionable gay men in the past. Honestly, it has changed due to the appeal of the black leather product by late boomers and millennials. The new fans are referred to as the New Guard, while the hardcore partakers are known as The Old Guard.

The two identify with guys who consider themselves masculine and strong. It can be a way of life for some and not limited to relationships or bedroom affairs. If your wardrobe choices include a few leather jackets, it’s influenced by movies and popular culture.

The first on-screen appearance of a ‘Leatherman’ on TV was by Marlon Brando back in 1958, wearing a black leather jacket and cap. His depiction resonated with many men who wanted to break ties with the culture at the time. So, guys started to copy him by wearing black leather boots, jackets, and caps. It combined with the efforts of motorcycle clubs and leather bars that came up in the 50’s lead to the birth of this community.

The new community is more open and inclusive to other members of the society. Unlike in the past, this community is not just associated with BDSM or the pride community. Hundreds of movies years later, we can see the leather subculture depicted in movies, shows, and music videos.

The Leather and Archives Museum

This museum is based at Greenview Avenue in Chicago. It is playing a huge role in preserving the culture and eradicating the stigma around it. The museum was founded in the early ’90s to store the memorabilia from members dying of AIDS.

It was inducted in the LHF (Leather Hall of Fame) in 2019 for the outstanding efforts it had done at the community level. It’s a safe space for stories and artifacts from the past. Members of the public can learn about the fetish community in the museum.

Events and Festivals

  • The Folsom Street Fair. It is held in California annually and is one of the city’s biggest outdoor events of the year. It’s also the largest event in the world with cultural showcases of the culture and kinks. The organizers also set up such events in other locations like Europe.
  • Easter in Berlin. This is the largest leather festival in Europe and worth a try. Thousands of people across the globe travel to Berlin for it.

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