Ah, but to have been around for the real heyday of Leather, back in the fifties and early sixties in those alley hideaways of New York or Chicago or San Francisco when S and M sent a guy’s cock into a St. Vitas Dance of twitches.
The next best thing is to visit a sleaze hole like London’s fabled warehousey Hoist which I had a chance to check out for the first time a few winters ago. It was like taking a time machine back 20, 30 years, one living HD, 3D porn flick. Naked butch men with bodies by God and Sir Steroids dancing on a stage across from the bar, their nine inch poles hard enough to hang clothes on; dark corners crowded with groping men, and upstairs, some guy in the shadows getting perpetually fist fucked like an automaton on a ride in Disney World. Hell, a few butch boys worked my tits over so bad I had to put them up in casts for a week. Rough bunch. I visited Paris on that same trip but wasn’t able to get to Le Glove, a fist fucker’s paradise (I opted for Sun City, a local sauna with a Turkish bath motif and got my euros’ worth). But friends tell me Five Finger Harry, as Le Glove is known by the in-crowd, is still alive and well.
So why aren’t the young guys turning to leather in greater numbers to replenish the race here in the good old U.S. of A.? Maybe because they’re over all the hang-ups about being gay that we, the first few generations who followed on the heels of Gay Liberation, were still saddled with, and who turned to leather and all its masculine smell and feel and image, perhaps, to convince ourselves and the world that we were men first.
My prediction is that in a decade or less, that as its traditional aging clientele drop off their harnesses at the local thrift shop and trade their cock rings for a TV remote, leather bars and stand-up guy bars, if they exist at all, will go mainstream gay – read young and swishy with lots of girl girls – or even str8. The bottom line is that to stay in business, to sell those six dollar drinks with fifteen cents of liquor in them, to survive, bars that were once exclusive retreats for a mysterious “men only” leather scene will have to capitulate – and some have already – to whatever and whoever walks through the door.
Once, I ran out on a trick that wanted me to perform asphyxiation sex on him. In my panic, I left behind my favorite leather vest. In all the years since, I’ve never been able to find a vest that fit me as well as that one did.
And now I realize I never will.