Leather subculture

leatherleathermenleather cultureLeather fetishismleather barleather communityleather fetishleather sceneleathermanLeather Bars
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets, vests, boots, chaps, harnesses, or other items.wikipedia
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Sexual fetishism

fetishsexual fetishfetishes
But for others, wearing black leather clothing is an erotic fashion that expresses heightened masculinity or the appropriation of sexual power; love of motorcycles, motorcycle clubs and independence; and/or engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism.
In a review of 48 cases of clinical fetishism, fetishes included clothing (58.3%), rubber and rubber items (22.9%), footwear (14.6%), body parts (14.6%), leather (10.4%), and soft materials or fabrics (6.3%).

Kink (sexuality)

kinkkinkykinky sex
But for others, wearing black leather clothing is an erotic fashion that expresses heightened masculinity or the appropriation of sexual power; love of motorcycles, motorcycle clubs and independence; and/or engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism.
In the 21st century the term "kink", along with expressions like BDSM, leather and fetish, has become more commonly used than the term paraphilia.

BDSM

sadomasochisticsado-masochismsado-masochistic
Many people associate leather culture with BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sado/Masochism, also called "SM" or "S&M") practices and its many subcultures.
Sexually speaking, the same 2006 study by Nordling et al. found that gay males were aware of their S/M preferences and took part in them at an earlier age, preferring leather, anal sex, rimming, dildos and special equipment or uniform scenes.

Cruising (film)

Cruising1980 film of the same nameCruising'' (film)
The novel was the basis for the 1980 movie Cruising, which depicted aspects of the men's leather subculture for a wider audience.
It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker about a serial killer targeting gay men, particularly those men associated with the leather scene in the late 1970s.

Folsom Street Fair

South of MarketFolsom Street East FestivalFolsom Street Events
In 1984, the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco was held for the first time, the world's largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture. the four works of art are: A black granite stone etched with a narrative by Gayle Rubin, an image of the "Leather David" statue by Mike Caffee, and a reproduction of Chuck Arnett’s mural in a former leather bar, engraved standing stones that honor community leather institutions (one being the Folsom Street Fair), leather pride flag pavement markings through which the stones emerge, and metal bootprints along the curb which honor 28 people who were an important part of the leather communities of San Francisco.
Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair, held in September, that caps San Francisco's "Leather Pride Week".

International Mr. Leather

International Mister LeatherIMLInternational Mister Bootblack title
Even so, the most visibly organized SM community has been a subculture, as evidenced by the American competition known as 'International Mr. Leather' (established 1979), and SM in the UK (established 1981). Other large events include Easter in Berlin (the largest leather event in Europe), International Mr. Leather and Mister Leather Europe, and Amsterdam Leather Pride (see Wikipedia article in Dutch).
International Mister Leather (IML) is an international, though largely American, conference and contest of leathermen held annually in May since 1979 in Chicago, Illinois.

Leather Pride flag

Tony DeBlase
The leather pride flag was designed by Tony DeBlase (who lived 1942-2000). the four works of art are: A black granite stone etched with a narrative by Gayle Rubin, an image of the "Leather David" statue by Mike Caffee, and a reproduction of Chuck Arnett’s mural in a former leather bar, engraved standing stones that honor community leather institutions (one being the Folsom Street Fair), leather pride flag pavement markings through which the stones emerge, and metal bootprints along the curb which honor 28 people who were an important part of the leather communities of San Francisco.
The Leather Pride Flag is a symbol used by the leather subculture since the 1990s.

International Ms. Leather

International Ms. Leather and Bootblack
International Ms. Leather was first held in 1987.
International Ms. Leather (IMsL) is a leather subculture fetish convention for women, held annually in California.

Chaps

half chapsassless chapschap
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets, vests, boots, chaps, harnesses, or other items.
Chaps are also popular in fetish fashion and the leather subculture, where they often are tightly fitted and worn without jeans or other garments layered beneath them other than a codpiece.

Leather

leather goodsdeerskinpigskin
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets, vests, boots, chaps, harnesses, or other items.
Leather fetishism is the name popularly used to describe a fetishistic attraction to people wearing leather, or in certain cases, to the garments themselves.

BLUF (fetishism)

BLUF
In 1975 Europe's biggest fetish event started, Easter in Berlin Leather Festival. Also in Europe younger men combined the aesthetic and exploration of sexual power with the gay skinhead movement and social-fraternal organizations like BLUF, from the late 1970s.
BLUF is a part of a larger leather subculture and the sexual aesthetic is similar to the exaggerated masculinity seen in the work of Tom of Finland.

Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland FoundationTouko LaaksonenTom of Finland Company
The pornographic films of one of Tom of Finland's models Peter Berlin from Berlin, such as his 1973 film Nights in Black Leather, also reflected and promoted the leather subcultural aesthetic.
Laaksonen's drawings of bikers and leathermen capitalized on the leather and denim outfits which differentiated those men from mainstream culture and suggested they were untamed, physical, and self-empowered.

V. M. Johnson

Tara IndianaViola Johnson
In 2005 Viola Johnson started The Carter-Johnson Leather Library, "a non-profit [501(c)(3) pending] organization that consists of a traveling collection of thousands of books, magazines, posters, art, club and event pins, newspapers, event programs and ephemera showing leather, fetish, S/M erotic history."
V. M. (Viola M.) Johnson (born 1950) is an American leatherwoman, activist, author and archivist who embarked on her journey in the leather and BDSM scenes in the early 1970s.

San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley

It includes the San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley, with four works of art, which opened in 2017:
The San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley consists of four works of art along the Ringold Street alley in San Francisco's SOMA district honoring leather culture; it opened in 2017.

Killing Machine

Hell Bent for LeatherBefore the DawnHell Bent for Leather" (song)
Halford wore a leather costume on stage as early as 1978 to coincide with the promotion for the Killing Machine (Hell Bent for Leather in the United States) album.
At about the same time, the band members adopted their now-famous "leather-and-studs" fashion image, inspired by Rob Halford's interest in gay leather culture.

Mister Leather Europe

Other large events include Easter in Berlin (the largest leather event in Europe), International Mr. Leather and Mister Leather Europe, and Amsterdam Leather Pride (see Wikipedia article in Dutch).
Mister Leather Europe (MLE) is a pan-European contest of leathermen held annually around October in Europe, organized by the ECMC, European Confederation of Motorsport Club, and hosted each year by a different member club.

Easter in Berlin

BLF
Other large events include Easter in Berlin (the largest leather event in Europe), International Mr. Leather and Mister Leather Europe, and Amsterdam Leather Pride (see Wikipedia article in Dutch).
Easter in Berlin is the biggest Leather- and Fetish Event in Europe.

Folsom Europe

BLF leather/fetish convention
Folsom Street Events now organizes many events each year including Folsom Europe.
Folsom Europe is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair held in September in Berlin, Germany.

Leather Archives and Museum

Many LGBT museums, archives and libraries collect material relating to leather communities, with many holdings substantial collections, including the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the dedicated Leather Archives and Museum, based in Chicago.
The Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), based in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States, "the first formally organized archival collection of artifacts, ephemera, and other materials relating specifically to the history and subculture of the leather community was founded by longtime activist Chuck Renslow in Chicago in 1991."

Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives

the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
Many LGBT museums, archives and libraries collect material relating to leather communities, with many holdings substantial collections, including the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the dedicated Leather Archives and Museum, based in Chicago.
ALGA has also built up extensive collections relating to key aspects of LGBTI life in Australia, including: pride festivals such as Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Midsumma and Feast Festival; HIV/AIDS education and activism; faith-based organisations in particular Christian groups and support groups; sporting organisations and events in particular Gay Games; leather, kink and BDSM.

Fetish fashion

fetish clothingfetishfetish wear
They are usually made of materials such as leather, latex or synthetic rubber or plastic, nylon, PVC, spandex, fishnet, and stainless steel.

National Leather Association International

National Leather AssociationLiving in LeatherMr. National Leather Association
It was founded in 1986 as the "National Leather Association" (NLA), as a national integrated organization including gay leathermen, kinky heterosexuals and bisexuals, SM lesbians and transgender sadomasochists, and representing their interests in the face of prosecutions.

Gayle Rubin

Gayle S. Rubin
the four works of art are: A black granite stone etched with a narrative by Gayle Rubin, an image of the "Leather David" statue by Mike Caffee, and a reproduction of Chuck Arnett’s mural in a former leather bar, engraved standing stones that honor community leather institutions (one being the Folsom Street Fair), leather pride flag pavement markings through which the stones emerge, and metal bootprints along the curb which honor 28 people who were an important part of the leather communities of San Francisco.
In 1978 Rubin moved to San Francisco to begin studies of the gay male leather subculture, seeking to examine a minority sexual practice neither from a clinical perspective nor through the lens of individual psychology but rather as an anthropologist studying a contemporary community.

Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District

LGBTQ and Leather Cultural District
The LGBTQ and Leather Cultural District was created in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood of San Francisco in 2018.
The Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District is a cultural district in San Francisco's South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood commemorating the history and culture of the leather subculture active in the area for approximately half a century.

Tom's Bar

Once exclusively a leather bar, Tom's now has a less restrictive dress code, though patrons still wear leather and skin clothing often.