letters recently have pointed out the difficulty of finding
appropriate partners into leather when you don't fit the
usual categories. Specifically I've heard from a bisexual
woman, a man into feet, and a gay male in a faltering
When I look around at the gay leather scene, it seems
that finding other men for sex is pretty simple. After
all we have the convenience of more than several bars,
publications, and organizations that provide an atmosphere
conducive to scoring.
Straights, women, and those who have unique tastes have
to be more creative in their search. On the other hand,
I think that common sense and clear communication go a
long way to helping anyone locate their dream mate.
A while back a straight guy asked me how to find a submissive
woman. I immediately thought of him when I got a letter
from a Chicago-based women looking for a dominant partner.
Unfortunately distance makes match-making these two somewhat
impossible, as well as the fact that I don't know the
Reading the woman's letter a second and third time reveals
some of the problems that make this woman's search more
difficult. Even without her self-doubts, her avenues are
more limited than mine but if she looks around she can
conclude that it's not as hopeless as she fears. Mainline
publications are filled with ads from members of both
genders. Answering or placing an ad is a slow process
but works. I suggest the use of a post office box to provide
Arrange your first meetings in a public place, such as
a coffee shop, and ask for references. Take time to get
to know your prospective partner on the phone before you
decide to get serious about meeting. Does all this work?
I know I straight woman who took out an ad looking for
a submissive man and got more than 300 responses!
There is more to my reader's dilemma, though. She is looking
to be dominated by a bisexual woman who has a submissive
boy friend. For some reason, which she can't explain,
she is hesitant to submit to a man. On the other hand
she writes, "I find it hard to approach women due
to the fact that I don't want to misrepresent myself as
a Lesbian to a potential partner."
I think this sentence underscores the basic problem. With
every potential partner it is important that one be as
clear and direct as possible. Each of you should know
what the other is seeking. To lead someone on by hiding
or obscuring facts is wasteful of your time and disrespectful
of the other person's rights.
The idea of misrepresentation that brings hesitancy to
my reader's negotiations is really unfounded. Start the
communications as best you can and allow the conversations
to include as much as you think is necessary for the other
and you to know. Simply put there's no subject that's
off-limits when sexual intimacy is the goal. Yes, there
are details that might be no one's business but general
data is certainly within the bounds of propriety.
Take that comment above. As soon as my reader says she
is bisexual she has communicated that she is not a Lesbian,
though female-to-female sexual contact is not out of the
question. If I've miss-read her intentions, then she needs
to call herself a straight woman seeking to submit to
a woman without a sexual component to the submission.
In any case, talking it over, which is an imperative to
attaining one's goals, will make the matter much clearer
to everyone concerned. Perhaps what I sense here is that
my reader needs to overcome her fear of rejection and
get on with her search. "Nothing ventured, nothing
gained," Mom always says.
Likewise I would reply to her other request. "Where
do leather women meet in Chicago?" she asks. Contact
Leather United, (PO Box 138058, Chicago, 60613) or the
National Leather Association, (312-404-0478) and ask them
how you can go to their meetings. Both of these are pansexual
Another avenue is to go to one of the leather bars in
town. In either case, once there it's a simple matter
of walking up to another woman and asking the questions
my reader asked me.
Let me clarify something here. Asking for help in finding
a partner is not the same as cruising a person. The person
you ask doesn't have to be a potential partner. You can
ask anyone for information. You don't have to fear their
rejecting you. The worst they can tell you is "I
It's a simple fact that leather folk are generally very
willing to be helpful. So walk on up, say "Excuse
me," and ask away.
The guy with the faltering relationship has a different
kind of problem, but one that many people have to face.
Until he resolves his current situation, his chances of
finding what he wants are severely limited. After all,
one can't easily sneak off for a weekend of intense bondage
and discipline and then come home to a lover without causing
the lover to wonder what happened.
Here the issue of honesty with oneself and with one's
partner is paramount to cruising well. As I've told the
guy, I'm willing to use him as he desires, but not under
deceptive arrangements. There are, of course, many lovers
who will tolerate extra-relational affairs and many potential
partners who don't mind a cheating heart. So we're back
to knowing what one wants and then finding ways to communicating
it to others.
That then leads to the "foot guy." Over the
course of four or five years, I've heard the same request
from him several times. I've got to give him credit for
persistence. I suggest that he either organize and motivate
a group of like-minded friends, analyze what he's "doing
wrong," or learn to compromise a bit so as to get
what he wants.
I'd suggest that more specific magazines might be appropriate
places to place or find ads, though even a simple ad like
"foot-friend wanted" in a general mag might
work. Here it's a matter of playing the numbers. I hate
to say it, but the more "Noes" you get, the
closer you are to a "Yes."
Since I don't know this guy as well I might, it's a bit
difficult to make concrete suggestions. I would say, though,
that if he feels he's getting nowhere, it might be very
helpful to begin asking why he seems to be failing. If
you keep on doing what you've always done, you're going
to keep on getting what you've always gotten.
Question yourself and others as to why you are failing.
What part of the process needs to be changed? I always
ask myself "What has to be different for this process
to become successful?" Self-analysis that leads to
practical solutions is very helpful.
1999 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in
any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact
Make that analysis concrete. As I told the guy with the
faltering relationship, make a list of pro's and cons,
positives and negatives. Prioritize what you want and
what you want to change.
His response "I'm too confused" doesn't make
muster with me. He's not confused. He's overwhelmed. He
obviously can't do everything at once. What he can do,
though, is what everyone can do: analyze, prioritize,
and make a step-by-step plan. Take care of step one before
you worry about step two. A day at a time, a step at a
time will bring amazing results, even a dominant female
foot loving sex partner who doesn't care about your lover!
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