Back in the Day (First Steps)

Way back when….San Francisco, 1980…I took my first steps in trying to come out as a leather, BDSM, submissive boy.  I had my tight fitting Levi 501 button fly jeans, tee shirts, black leather combat boots, and my wide black leather belt.  The buckle, which I still have, has the emblem for the old Southern Pacific Railroad.  I “dressed up” and headed out to a bar that I think was called The Balcony in the famous Castro area.  The bar had lots of Leathermen with the musky smell of sweat, cigarette smoke, and booze.  Quite a heady mixture.  The music was thumping in the background and the hot men were gyrating to the beat of the hit music of 1980.

At the time I think it was more of a draw toward the Leather, the attitude, and the hyper masculinity of the men, and not the desire for, experience with, or knowledge of BDSM/Kinky sex.  I was exceedingly shy, and therefore didn’t assert myself enough to hookup and experience the excitement of sex with a real Dominant.

Fast forward a few decades after settling into a vanilla, but quite happy and satisfying long term relationship in a fairly large Midwest city.  My BDSM/kink interest was still burning inside me.  I was drawn to the appearance of very masculine men at our local bar, and to pictures of Leathermen and Bears in magazines.  This WAS pre-Internet!  I hooked up with a hot guy once, well maybe twice…who was a Spanker.  It was an exciting and illuminating night giving me hints of the kinky bottom boy I actually was.

Now I live in South Florida and as an older gay man who survived the AIDS pandemic, I have reached that point in my life where I am NOT having a midlife crisis, but rather what I call “a late midlife reawakening.”  I want it all.  I want to keep my husband and my friends and acquaintances here.  But I also want, maybe need, to embrace my true nature, desires, and the community of Leathermen and boys here in my city in Paradise.

I’ve been sneaking, and covertly insinuating myself into the community.  I’ve been attending classes at the big local Leather and fetish emporium learning about flogging, sounds, catheters, watersports, hot wax, percussion play, and most recently how to be a better, prouder, and more knowledgeable submissive.

Next time: Clubs, Friends, Bars, and getting some actual hands-cuffed experience…

19 thoughts on “Back in the Day (First Steps)

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  12. It will be interesting to hear about your experiences in the leather scene from back then. We have a bookstore on Polk that has some of those leather mags from the 70’s. Tom Finland, Peter Berlin, Jack Rubella, Larry Townsend and others. The thinking of back then has shaped the bdsmscene community of today!


    1. Yes I suppose all history and its people help form us and our communities into what they become. Without the hard work of the BDSM/Kink/Leatherfolk of years gone by we would not be as free and open with our sexuality and choices as we can be today. I am still working hard to cast away all remnants of shame and embarrassment as a kinky sub boy.


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