Editor’s note: This column may contain content that is offensive to some people.
One of the aspects of leather that came out of WWII (more on that next month) and the early Leather community is “earning your leather.” I would like to talk more about this and what it means.
To earn your leather was where someone, either your mentor, or your Dominant, or your community would present you with leather because they felt you earned it. So what does it mean to earn your leather?
When a submissive would mentor with a Dominant, one of the first things they would learn was how to properly take care of the Dom’s boots. Once the Dominant felt that the submissive had properly learned and mastered the ability to properly care for the Dom’s boots, the Dom would present the submissive with his own pair of boots.
Other leathers (shorts, pants, chaps, vest, jacket – usually in that order) would be presented to the submissive when the Dominant felt they had properly learned some aspect of the leather culture or had pleased the Dominant in some way. Some Dominants would work their way up starting with the boots and present leathers from the feet to the head with a cap being the final presentation.
However, not everyone does it the same way. Others started with the head and worked down; others presented whatever according to how they felt the submissive had earned it.
Dominants can also earn leather. This is in the form of a Muir Cap (also called a biker cap) where the community felt they were worthy of being honored by the community as a whole.
My boys earned their leather when I would explain some part of how the Leather community worked and saw that they implemented that into their lives without me having to tell them to do it. When a submissive automatically takes something they’ve been told and they implement it into the relationship/lifestyle, that is impressive to a Dominant and we want to reward them for having done so.
A problem we are seeing in today’s world is that some Dominants do not fully understand this “earning of leathers” and have corrupted it to be a source of manipulation. What I have seen is that they instruct the submissive if they do something, they will get a reward. They think this is earning. It’s not; it’s manipulation and that’s NOT what we are about.
When someone tells you to do something in order for you to get something, you need to be very careful about it. I know of situations where someone will tell them, you’ll get your scene (whatever that might be) only if you will do this. That’s not how leather works. You give to your submissive because you want to. You please your Dom because you want to.
Now Dominants, you need to watch out. Because if the submissive is only doing something because they think they will get something in return, you have a problem. And if they use the term or have the attitude, “I deserve it” you have an even bigger problem. Remember, manipulation can go both ways. So you need to watch out.
I want a submissive that will do things (play or lifestyle) because HE wants it; because he likes it. This is what pleases me and that’s what I want to see. Trust me, leather is NOT a cheap lifestyle and I’m not going to be forking out money on a submissive that truly does not deserve it.
And submissives, you too need to watch out. If someone tells you that you have to do something in order to get either a play scene or something to wear, you need to get out of that relationship as fast as possible. It’s one thing to have a manipulative submissive, but it’s a WHOLE different situation to have a manipulative Dominant. These types of Dominants are not someone you want to learn from and definitely not someone you want to play with. You’ll end up getting hurt both physically and emotionally.
What everyone needs to realize is that this does not just apply to the leather culture. It can also apply to anyone in any relationship in any culture.
So if you want to learn more about Earning Your Leathers and the proper way to do it, please contact the WOOLF group. We will be glad to help educate you. We meet the fourth Saturday of each month for a munch at Club Boomerang starting at 5pm. Everyone is welcome to come join us. l