This article is part of my Mentoring for Tops/Sirs/Doms/Masters curriculum.
I will soon be celebrating 36 years as an active member of San Diego's Leather Community. I'm also the biggest proponent of nurturing our youth, so that our community has a vibrant, lively future.
So, I have a request:
Can we lay off the "Old Guard" stuff for a while? Can we let everybody off of the hook and take a break? Ten years ought to do it, very nicely, with zero harm done.
These are solid, undisputed facts:
- The only possible path for a true Sir to wear and credibly possess a Muir Cap / Master's Cap is to EARN IT, after a long, arduous process issued by at least ONE wise elder who truly represents Old Guard.
- All leather gear must be EARNED, not bought for oneself.
- I own a unicorn that poops ice cream.
All scenarios are just as likely for the average man who would like to embrace his inner Sir. It's a lovely fantasy, but IT'S A FUCKING FANTASY.
I'm indisputably the most well-connected leatherman in San Diego County. No contest. I can name maybe FOUR men in our area who are deeply qualified to do this sort of work. Are they inclined to? Possibly. Probably not. IF they are, they would be favorably disposed to train applicants at the S-L-O-W rate of one guy at a time. I have even met one guy from another city who charges $200 an hour to get another Sir to the point of earning his Master's Cap and leathers.
Does the math look bad to you? How many centuries do we have to wait, in order to get back to where our Tribe was in 1979? What are we really committed to, here? Are we seeking to shrink the Tribe down to a comfy little clique of "me and my cronies"? In that case, can we just admit that we have no interest in the new, the shy, the FUTURE OF OUR COMMUNITY?
I'm mentoring a good four-dozen men who are working toward owning their built-in Dominant natures. Why am I helping so many? BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WILL. A good amount of my efforts go toward informing them that their inhibitions and worries about worthiness as True and Valid Leathermen are based upon assumptions that are a solid three decades out of date.
So, let's review how things have changed since our beloved Old Guard Protocol books were written:
The vast, vast majority of wise, deeply experienced elders either died, or gave up on being actively involved in anything. I've spent ridiculous numbers of hours trying to convince our elders to come back and mentor our newer leathermen. I have written articles. I have spoken directly to over 600 men of my age (late 50's) or older, using every tool in my arsenal to convince them to be role-models. Yes, that is a true statement. Anybody who has ever seen me in action at public events knows that I'm stating a fact.
You know how many have accepted my request and stuck around? THREE. All bottoms, and new to the scene. Number of Wise Old Guard Dominants? Zero.
FUCK! (((anguished scream)))
Thanks. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me go on to say that I love my older brothers. We are a generation that is wounded from losing so many of our best and brightest. We have every right to enjoy a nice, relaxed squat on the porch in a rocking-chair.
But not much else.
If you don't currently have any skin in the game, you need to quit yapping about how things oughtta be. It's too reminiscent of "You Kids Get Off Of My Lawn!"
We need to quit fooling ourselves about how much influence we have. We are yesterday's newspaper… Not particularly relevant. As I have said before, we are like pterodactyls, surrounded by small furry mammals. It's time to learn to love the small furry mammals, because there are vastly more of them than there are of us.
The men who come to FetishMenSanDiego's events who are aged between 20 and 49 tend to be bewildered and unsure of themselves. What little they know of our culture tends to be judgmental, baffling, exotic and unwelcoming.
If it is ever to become THEIR culture, then we need to start everybody at a crawl. We have to use Operant Conditioning, where we only use positive reinforcement teaching techniques. We want our newer brothers to have the experience that we are all providing a culture of nurturing, supportive, and flexible sweethearts who want them to thrive, and to eventually replace us in the pantheon of elders.
We have many, many books to guide our newer brothers who crave the structure and protocols that sustain Old Guard. That wisdom won't be lost, and that is a good thing, because if the world still depended on us old farts verbally sharing our history, experience and wisdom, then we would be in much, much worse shape. It only works if we SHOW UP.
So, please - Let's all take a step back, tone down the shrill judgmental behavior, and voluntarily dismantle the flaming hoops of unreachable (and certainly impractical) expectations for our newest brothers. We will be a lot more likely to HAVE a gay leathermen's Tribal culture for centuries yet ahead if we come from love and approval NOW, as we rebuild a wounded community.
Otherwise, we are just angry, punitive bitches. Is that how we want to be remembered after we are gone?