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Leather customs.

Within the Leather community there are many customs and protocols that are used to govern our lifestyle. This month's article is a hope to shed some light on those customs and how they are different from area to area.

The customs and protocols of the Leather community are as many and varied as the communities where leather exists. Because of these variations, the customs of one community are not necessarily the same as the customs of another. This has been the case ever since the U.S. Leather community came into existence back in the 1940's.

The Leather culture originally formed in Europe before World War II and then came to the U.S. after the end of the war. However, the customs between Europe and America are vastly different.

There are even differences between the customs between Canada and the U.S.; even though they are different they are more similar to each other than to the Leather customs in Europe.

Even here in the U.S., the customs differ from coast to coast and from city to city. No two are exactly the same. Yes there are similarities, but the one constant is they are all different. So you may be wondering, "How on earth do I learn the customs of a community if they change from place to place?"

First of all there are basics that every community uses. Some use them to a greater degree than others, but the bottom line is that there is a foundation that exists in all the communities. The Dom/submissive relationship is one of those basics. Honor, integrity and respect is another. To find out how a community operates, sit back and observe the leathermen and women and soon you will recognize the leaders of the community. Then you can approach them and inquire more specifically on how that community operates.

When the Leather community was first getting started here in the U.S., there were three main areas; the West Coast, the East Coast and the Chicago area. One custom that was veiy different between the East and West Coasts was the hanky flagging. Flagging is a way to subtly let others know your sexual preferences. Early on. the West Coast Dom's flagged on the left and submissives on the right however, the East Coast was the opposite.

Today, the West Coast way of flagging is the standard that everyone uses. This is just one of the many things that was different and that has changed over the years.

Here in Wichita, the Leather leaders have taken an approach to try and adhere to as much of the traditional customs and protocols that were prevalent in the 50's and 60's. Some of those customs have been lost because of the AIDS epidemic. Of the customs that have survived, some of are no longer applicable, but many are still relevant and we are working to incorporate them into our community. It's been a slow process recreating the lost customs and working out how to implement them into the community. Many other communities are watching the Wichita Leather tribe to see how we bring about applying our traditional customs back into the community.

So if you have questions regarding the customs or protocols of the Leather community, when you see us out, stop one of us and ask. Or contact anyone on the WOOLF Board at


The Liberty Press is expanding! We're looking for a commissioned ad sales person in the Lawrence/Topeka area. Also looking for assignment writers in Lawrence, Topeka and Wichita. Must be able to meet deadlines, have e-mail, be familiar with the paper and be involved in the community. E-mail Kristi at for a brief application. No phone calls, please.

By Nolin Christensen aka Master C
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Title Annotation:Leather life
Author:Christensen, Nolin
Publication:Liberty Press
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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