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Leather love, compassion: mentorship

Social Chaos: Gear Up!

Left to right: Jeff Breeze, Mr. So Cal Bear 2009; Everardo Aguilar, Mr. Bear San Diego 2001; Ron Brundige, Mr. Bear San Diego 2007; Mark Flores, Mr. Bear San Diego 2011; Dave Bendixen, Mr. Bear San Diego 2006 and 2010; and Mike Ferguson, Mr. Bear San Diego 2009

As a member of the leather community, I have been privy to the love and compassion of my leather family since my inception more than 10 years ago. I was raised by the San Diego leather community and mentored by former and present community leaders, who took me under their wings and nurtured me to the man that I am today. So in return, I’m doing the same.

Over the past couple of weeks, I had the pleasure of observing my brothers and sisters display their love and compassion for others to witness. The San Diego leather community received many visitors these past few weeks and displayed exemplary togetherness, mentorship and camaraderie. Feedback on the past three weeks has been outstanding. Congrats to Adam, Annie and the crew for a job well done – they really put on a show. We don’t do just contests, or just hang out in bars; we go to movies, do dinner, picnics and have coffee. Brunch and camping are our favorites. We love to travel. This past weekend a few of us attended L.A. Leather Pride. Let’s talk about mentoring. One does not just walk into the leather community. It comes with protocols. In my first column, I mentioned the hierarchy or the organized structure of the community. Today, I will start at the bottom, because everyone knows a good bottom really can make or break a scene. What’s a bottom you ask; it could be a boy, girl or boi! They are the submissive ones. They can, if they are good, top from the bottom. Oh, now you would like to know what’s a top. Tops are the final decision makers, so they think, the dominants. A good bottom helps his top feel in control. The hierarchy consists of folk who have been in the leather community for a few years; let’s call them Elders. They have gone through the mentoring process more or less through attrition. Some start out as bottoms, but then again there are some born tops. Should you ever want to learn something about leather kinks or fetishes, seek out an elder, and then you can learn to play safe!

They can be referred to as Masters, Daddies, Dominants or Dominatrix. Some are known as uncles, or mammas too, all receiving the same respect. Approach an Elder for advice with sincerity, compassion and the truth. They reek of wisdom and knowledge. If they tell you to sit back and watch, do it! You’re going to learn something about yourself, and others around you. They’ve done it all, and you’ll hear about it. But all B.S. aside, they’re very sane! Elders can teach tops to be great tops, and bottoms to be even better. They allow you to experience things that you thought about and want to experience. Now here is the kicker, a relationship with an Elder is not a romantic one, it’s a mentorship. History tells us that a Roman soldier would take a young handsome page under his wing and teach him the ropes on how to be a warrior. At the end of the day they would play, cuddle and sleep together, but once the warrior took a mate, the play would subside. So, all of the training and teaching that a leatherman or woman receives is done with mutual consent.

I wrote this column with passion to express to you, the novice, my future brothers and sisters the values that leather folk hold true. Look at the last words of each of the last paragraphs and you will find the leather creed: safe, sane and consensual. These also come with trust, honor and respect.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of watching a taping of He Said, She Said, hosted by Ophelia and Aaron. They interviewed all the current leather titleholders. It was very informative and very entertaining. Last weekend, the Eagle had their monthly underwear contest, and rumor has it that Sir Miles won! The Bears San Diego had their annual contest at the Hole on Saturday as well, and of the three contestants Mark Flores is now Mr. Bear San Diego 2011. The Bears raised more than $10K and donated $5,000 each to Mama’s Kitchen and the Matthew Sheppard Foundation. The turn out was great!

Here are some things that are coming up that you should know about:

• Friday, April 8 the Fetishmen are hosting Dress It Up! Strip It Down! at the San Diego Eagle.

• On Sunday, April 9 at 12:30 p.m. ClubX in conjunction with Submissive Voice is hosting Game Day at the Joyce Beers Center in Hillcrest.

• Also on Sunday, the handsome Anthony Rollar will be hosting an IML fundraiser cigar social at Bourbon Street from 4 to 7 p.m.

• Pecs, in conjunction with Three Olive Vodka are hosting a Bear Night on April 13 at 8 p.m.

• On April 14 at 7:30 p.m. ClubX is having a Ritual Body Marking workshop at Joyce Beers.

Any more questions, contact me at intlleathersir2003@cox.net.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Apr 7, 2011. Filed under Gear Up!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Leather love, compassion: mentorship”

  1. Just because someone has been in the scene for a long time, or calls themselves Master or Daddy does not make them automatically a worthy source for someone new to seek out.

    Being around for a while means simply that, they’ve kept coming out over the years. That doesn’t mean they learned anything, or even know anything.

    Someone who calls themselves Master? Big deal. I can call myself Master too.. it’s meaningless.

    Whatever happened to getting to know people, period, no matter who they are? Finding out for yourself if you get along with someone, if you can relate, if they speak to you? How about community reputation… do others know them?

    I’m only 34, and I’ve been in the scene for 13 years. Does that make me an elder?

    Sorry to slam on this, but I’m tired of having “elders” forced down our throats. Experience and wisdom has nothing to do with age. There are as many fake, phony, older idiots as there are younger ones.

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