Leather is often used in the making of BDSM toys and garments. It was first popularized in the 1940s by the gay biker community and has since been used by other subcultures such as the Goth community and the BDSM community. Leather is also a common fetish among BDSM practitioners. Some leather fetishists are sexually drawn to people who wear leather, whereas others feel empowered by wearing it themselves.
The leather subculture first emerged after World War II in the United States. It was conceptualized by gay veterans who had an interest in military life and sought to distance themselves from gay stereotypes. At its onset in the 1940s, leathermen hung out in closed groups and motorcycle clubs, where they had to follow a semi-military hierarchy and adhere to the subculture’s dress code. This period is referred to as Old Leather or Old Guard. Being part of the leather subculture meant having an interest in unconventional sexual behaviors and especially s/m and D/s. However, in the 1970s and 1980s leather elements had begun to appear in popular culture too, especially in movies and among rock stars. Soon the leather culture characteristics, which once appeared only in closed groups and clubs, had become widespread and new groups were formed. Unlike the Old Leather groups, these groups were open to everyone and even initiated international leather competitions, like the famous International Mr. Leather, that contributed to the formation of more leather communities around the world. This change in the leather culture is often referred to as New Leather or New Guard.
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.