I discovered the leather community when I was living in San Francisco from 2005 to 2012. I have always been kinky, but I hadn’t found the right fit in various other sexual communities I had experimented with. Leather felt like home.
My leather father is a very sweet gay man who lives in San Francisco. He is a long time participant in the community and an amazing organizer. His name is Daddy Ray Tilton. Our dynamic is one of mutual admiration and support.
My extended leather family is not a live-in sort of dynamic, but rather more a series of social alignments with people I love much deeper than a simple friendship connection. My specific relationship with Daddy Ray Tilton has a title, but many of the people I consider leather family are less formally connected. My immediate leather family currently includes myself and my boi, who is collared to me. We're potentially open to adding more people if and when we find the right fit.
Even in my own experience I’ve had very different dynamics at different times. For a few years when I was living in San Francisco I was in service to a Sir, had a Daddy, and two girls of my own. The Sir and Daddy were acquaintances with each other, the Daddy and two girls were friendly with each other, and the two girls considered each other leather sisters. I served the Sir (no sex, sometimes play,) bottomed for and had sex with my Daddy, and topped and had sex with the two girls.
Some people may be surprised that we were all female-identified, yet resonated with those titles. As far as other leather family dynamics, there is a very wide range.
On one end of the spectrum there is Mama’s Leather Family, of which I am a member. It includes a staggering number of people, now reaching over 2,000. Mama Sandy Reinhardt is the matriarch and everyone else is considered to be one of her “babies.” We are all inducted with our own Mama’s Family name and “pinned” with a name badge. All the names are listed on her website. Mine is, “Mama’s very very good girl.”
Other leather families can be much smaller, sometimes private or other times more public. They can be arranged however makes sense to the participants. Very often you witness elements of D/s, but that isn’t a requirement. It is as varied as individuals and relationships are.
Absolutely! I’m Co-Editor in Chief of a website called Leatherati.com that is dedicated to leather community journalism and thoughtful opinion columns. Leatherati has been an amazing touch stone for me throughout my time in the community. I can’t say enough good things about Loren Berthelsen, the Editor in Chief. Though we’ve never formalized our relationship, I certainly consider him an integral part of my leather family.
I was honored to be chosen by the community as a Leather Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade in 2012. With that, I was pulled by a human pony in front of the Leather Contingent; it was an amazing experience. I have a long history of service in many aspects of the leather community, it might be easiest to refer folks to my community resume if they are interested in knowing more.
I’ve recently joined the team of a great sex-positive storytelling show in Portland called The Mystery Box Show. I’ll be at the Unofficial Pre-Party with Stella Harris (August 12th). If readers would like to watch me tell a story on The Mystery Box Show about the first time I bottomed in a (consensual) gang bang scene, that’s available online.
I’ll also be teaching a class on D/s protocol in Portland in the near future. I don’t have more specific information to share at the moment — please keep an eye on my social media to find out more. I'll be organizing a rubber/latex event to be held in Portland, Oregon. Longer term, I’m writing a memoir about coming into leather in San Francisco, but for that you’ll have to be patient!
Thank you, Leland!
Images provided by Leland Carina & OCD Photography
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