What is leather fetishism?
Leather fetishism and the larger leather sexual subculture has been around in various forms since the 1940’s.
Some leather fetishists are sexually drawn to people who wear leather, whereas others feel empowered by wearing it themselves.
The culture’s roots are attributed to post World War II motorcycle groups. Leather fetishes are most commonly attributed to the gay male BDSM scene, but also have places in lesbian culture, hetero female Dominatrix’s, the pet play community, and leather is used throughout the BDSM community in varying ways. Whatever form leather fetish takes it is almost always manifested in clothing & accessories or toys, most often ones used in impact play.
Gay male leather culture is by far the most visible and observable group within this fetish and lifestyle. With its roots in military and law enforcement, its traditions are highly regimented and often strictly observed, both in the outward expression of it and the hierarchy within it. There are many famous leather clubs and gatherings for gay men [though not all exclusively] where one can experience this culture such as Folsom Street Fair, the International Mr. [and Ms] Leather competitions, Eagle Bar in Amsterdam, and Mineshaft in New York City. In San Francisco there is even an officially recognized LGBTQ and Leather District.
Lesbian leather culture has become increasingly mainstream in recent years and has been recognized by the larger leather community as well. Many female Dominatrices, whether hetero or LGBTQ often wear leather as part of their outfit and often include it as part of their sessions in toys, impact play instruments, or even boot worship. Bootblacking is also a fetish and role within the leather community, where submissives do traditional boot shining and care in service to Dominants in the scene as part of booth worship or submission.
Leather also plays a major role in pet play lifestyle especially within the horse or equestrian roleplay community. Leather is used in saddles, bit gags for the mouth, masks, and other elements of the outfit. Leather paddles, floggers, whips, and restraints are often used in BDSM scenarios and contexts as well. There have been a large push by animal rights groups and activists within the fetish community to use more synthetic alternatives to real leather, which has been met with mixed reactions. Overall leather is one of the most pervasive and recognizable elements of the BDSM and fetish community as a whole, with most mainstream depictions of people in the community featuring some kind of leather element.
Terms associated with leather subculture:
A male dominant with a fetish for leather clothing.
Also known as Leather Mama. A female domme who’s into leather. Usually of an older age and a lesbian.
A dominant with a fetish for leather clothing.
A submissive with a fetish for leather clothing.
A young submissive gay female who acts in a masculine manner and has a fetish for leather clothing.
Categories: Leather; Fetish
A young submissive male with a fetish for leather clothing.
A female member of the leather subculture, defined by wearing leather clothing at nearly all times.
A young leatherwoman.
A member of the gay leather subculture sometimes called Old Leather or Old Guard. Leathermen started from male-only motorcycle clubs and veterans of WWII. Leathermen emphasize masculinity and reject effeminate gay stereotypes.