Break out the leather gear for A Week of Leather and Fetish
Gay men and leather – it’s all about dark, sexy images of masculine gents in harnesses and arseless chaps involved in all manner of trysts and activities, a la Tom of Finland and hardcore porn. Or is it?
Whatever the case, the connection between the two is enough for the Laird Hotel to present AWOL: A Week of Leather. So what is it about gay men and leather? What is the attraction?
“We don’t know exactly why it’s more prominent with gay males,” speculate Brett and Mark, co-owners of the Laird. “There are leather lovers in the lesbian, straight and pan-sexual community as well, but it does seem that there are a higher proportion of gay leather men. Of course, the attraction differs between leather men, with some seeing leather as a part of everyday life, and more casual guys who may only wear leather to certain events.”
Normally, when you think of the gay leather scene,we think of London, Berlin and San Francisco. How does Melbourne compare? “Our leather scene is large and diverse, but it’s hard to compare with those cities in Europe and the USA – but I guess in a ‘per capita’ sense we’re on par. That said, I think the size of the scene is not as relevant as the sense of community, which Melbourne certainly has,” Mark explains.
Just the mention of leather evokes all sorts of myths and fantasies, something that Brett is happy to debunk. “Wow, where to start? There are so many. I guess one of the main misconceptions is that all leather men are into BDSM, and while many are, it’s not a given for all. Another is that all leather men have frequent casual sex and/or are in multi-partner relationships, where a lot of the guys who frequent our events are in monogamous relationships or may only occasionally venture outside those relationships.”
For that reason, AWOL provides a variety of events, ranging from social and educational, all the way up to the leather-only full-on closing party, Code Black. So polish your chaps and get your jockstrap in order; it’s going to be a bumpy week!