Vancouver
2 min

Scrabbling at the door

Ushering newbies into the leather fold

Credit: Xtra West files

Last month I spent some time listening. A bunch of leatherfolk were talking about newcomers to the leather community. Newbies, they called them.



One expressed a thought that keeping out the newbies should be a priority in any serious leather group. Others chimed in. Newcomers are dabblers. They’re socially clumsy. They don’t know how to play. And they don’t have the right outfits.



Of course, I thought smugly. Newbies are inexcusable and should not be tolerated.



I, myself, popped from my mother’s womb in chaps and harness, holding in my infant hand a treatise I had authored on the subtle differences between the BDSM credos of Risk Aware Consensual Kink, and the more common Safe, Sane and Consensual.



Oh. Wait. No, that’s not how it happened.



Thinking back, I realize that I got my inner kink into my outer world at about age 20. And I’d had very, very many kind helping hands along the way.



All sorts of people took the time to explain their kinks and their complex relationships to me.



Utterly engrossed, I sat through seminars at every kink conference or event I could find. I learned not the basics, because the basics were already in my fantasy life, but a great deal of detailed, safe technique. I absorbed philosophy. I even, by observing some unfortunates, learned that some exact techniques were best left undone.



I often hand made outfits to wear to fetish parties, sometimes placing intricate new stud patterns into old leather on the bus as I commuted.



But I was even happier to go to play parties, where the focus was on what we did together, not what we wore together.



I had a shockingly good time having pervy sex and intricately planned BDSM play. I remember my awe and excitement upon handling my first cane, and the tentative way I used it on an experienced and patient bottom’s bottom. Ooh. Did that hurt? Wow.



So if I was once a raw newcomer, I know that every single other pervert started out just as newbie-ish.



I’d hate to think of someone like myself as a young, budding pervert, scrabbling at the armoured shell of the leather community, shut out and cut off from the best source of information, experience and, well… hot dates.



That shouldn’t happen to anyone, and least of all to the people who are the future of our rather kinky social circles.



Hey, you. Over there in the leather. Find someone new and open a welcoming door into our community.



You may not get a toaster oven prize, but I think you’ll find that the friendships you’ll make will keep your buns warm just as well.



* Elaine Miller is still just learning.