Hands" is an unfinished novel in my computer's hard
drive. It's a story about this guy with an SM ranch in
the mountains outside of Cincinnati. I think it's pretty
good jerk off material, but since I wrote it while I was
jerking off, that sentiment is to be expected.
wrote in the days when leather sex was a rare event for
me, except of course that I could think about it anytime
I wanted. It was the fantasy of it all that propelled
my orgasms, the fiction that for me was real, at least
in that moment between me and paragraph I was writing.
is often the entrance way into the leather scene. God
knows there's a lot of good stuff out there these days.
Books like John Preston's Mr. Benson or Robert Payne's
The Exchange are powerful fuel for our fantasy lives.
I'd like to get an invite to a slave auction just to own
one of the characters in the novel "In Search of
of my first leather experiences were played out in my
mind, amply fed by hot stories in Drummer Magazine. Likewise,
my idea of what real leather men looked like was formed
by drawings like those done by Tom of Finland or Etienne.
else could I find fodder for my dreams? Where else could
I give form to the desire for my own boy, one who would
serve me sexually at any moment, ever ready to obey my
every command? I still search for that perfect slave.
I still wish that I really could own that ranch in the
I read, it's easy for me to recognize the importance of
the written word in our culture. What I have read has
been formative in my development as a person, as a teacher,
as a writer, and of course, as a leather man.
is more than fiction. Good fiction is good because it
portrays the truth. It strikes a cord within, exciting
and informing. The characters of fiction become real within
our minds and that reality makes an impact.
has the same effect: through the written word our fantasy
life grows. What isn't becomes what we wish would be.
Fantasies are wishes. As such they are the life stuff
of our dreams.
they can be more than that. As thinking, feeling, and
acting men we have it in our power to transform fantasy
into reality. Jules Verne's fantasy of travel to the moon
was fiction in his day, reality in ours. It still amazes
me that his novel placed the launch pad in Florida. Did
he have some insight into the future of Cape Canaveral?
studied enough metaphysics to know that creation begins
with thought. Manifestation, as they say, is the result
of idea and emotion, thought and energy. "Whatever
the mind can conceive, man can achieve," is an old
premise, still true.
classified ads in the back of this magazine are a telling
list of leather men's fantasies. Dreams of dominance and
submission, of fucking and owning, of fisting and pissing,
of hot daddies and compliant boys take form in three or
four lines followed by an address, a mail box code, or
a phone number.
answered my share of ads over the years. I can't knock
their utility. Met my good friend Gary in a Drummer ad
over ten years ago. Honestly though, the fantasy of his
ad and my answer never really came true.
had a great time the weekend he came to visit me. By the
time his stay was over we were friends. He had arrived
with the pseudonym of Mark, a fantasy really. By the time
he left I knew the real Gary. Our friendship has long
evolved into something much better, much deeper, and far
more valuable, than the "puppy dog" of Mark's
(sic) fantasy. I like Gary a lot more than I could ever
like that Mark of his invention.
so my column moves from fiction to fact. It seems like
a big leap doesn't it? Who ever jerks off to reality?
Who'd ever buy a novel that depicted the real life of
a master and slave?
more than enough experience to know that the truth is
much more complex, much more demanding, and far more boring
than the fantasies we dream. I can wish for the full-time
live-in slave, but who pays his doctors bills, his rent,
never read about income taxes or exhaustion in those stroke
books, but both are possible, probable, and prevalent.
Tales of all-night orgies get me going, but who wants
to read about cleaning the house the next day?
friend Lynn and I have spent more than a year comparing
notes in our search for slaves. We're both pretty well
set in what each of us wants, our fantasies are very much
alike. I guess I'm not quite as picky as he, since he
tends to look a bit more for the right body type, while
I'm more inclined to look for the right attitude.
it's all fantasy. Real mastery is more than giving orders
over the phone. Real slavery doesn't happen until the
boy makes a commitment to showing up at your doorstep.
then, slavery is more than showing up. One night or one
weekend doesn't create the lifestyle of which fantasies
are made. There are many other forgotten factors as we
stroke our cocks with a lubed fist and read about the
fisting party in the attic.
not to say that I don't keep trying. I know what I want
and will search and work for it until I get it. It also
means that I've added more than a bit of reality to my
I desire to have a man as my own, the fantasy obviously
involves two people. In fact, it includes the fantasy
of a leather family but that was a column a couple of
months ago, so I won't continue that idea here. It's the
involvement of the other, the one who will do the submitting,
get the beating, and be on the receiving end of the fucking
that has to be added to my fantasy to make it real.
lies the difficulty. It takes courage to take the risk
and submit. It takes energy to manifest the idea. Lynn
and I have corresponded with no less than twenty men over
the last twelve months. Each wrote and called with words
of eager submission.
all said the same kind of things: "Looking for a
Man to take control," or "Eager slave with no
limits will serve Your every command."
keep our correspondence separate but in comparing notes
we often find the same sentiments. Occasionally we'll
even hear from the same guy. In variably though, the letter-writing
and the phone calls become fewer and further apart. When
push comes to shove, when you ask him when is he going
to arrive, there's an excuse.
I admit that they are good excuses: no money to travel;
a sick mother; bad weather; can't get time off from work.
More improbable though are the positive responses that
go unfulfilled. I once got a postcard from a guy with
whom I had been talking. I hadn't heard from him in a
while, thought he had dropped out of the "process,"
so I called him to let him know I was still interested.
was so glad to hear from me. Yes, he surely wanted to
be my slave. A few days later the postcard arrived. "Thanks
for calling. I'll call you soon," he wrote. And that
was the last I've heard of him.
can understand that it's not easy to make the commitment
of time and finances needed to enter into a relationship
as deep as the one about which I dream. But even the small
easy things go undone. More than once I've seen myself,
or Lynn, or hundreds of other leather men tell me that
they were stood up. Waiting around for that "boy"
to show is no fun.
a two way street, of course. I recently chatted on the
phone with an applicant from Seattle. He lamented that
he had spent hours on the phone with a guy in New York
who was to be his Master. When he packed up and went to
New York, all he found was a man into phone sex. End of
dream, end of fantasy.
can seem like a brick wall, ready to bloody our foreheads
for trying to reach our goals. But what if reality is
just as much illusion as illusion? Is the good life, the
one worth living, no more than a stroke book? Are the
only sex farms the ones in pulp novels and computer hard
guys, I think not. The idealist, the flower-child, the
leather man in me knows that this lifestyle can be and
is for real.
it takes some getting used to. It takes a lot of learning.
As my grandmother used to say, "Roma wasn't built
at the once." What is that getting used to? It's
clarity, negotiation, commitment, and trust.
do you want? I spent an afternoon recently with a guy
who bemoaned the fact that he was single. Then he went
on to say how he loved his privacy and really didn't want
to let down his defenses, since he was afraid of being
hurt. Did he want what he said he wanted? I think not.
I think rather that he was very content to stay as he
want to be a full-time Master? Are you ready to take that
much control, have that much responsibility, lose that
much privacy, give that much direction and support? And
you slaves-to-be, can you pay that much attention to one
person, let him take that much control, give him everything
for his pleasure?
paves the way so we know what we need to make the commitment
needed to bring the fantasy to reality.
is the word that seems to scare everyone off. It ought
not to do so. When I asked my last slave applicant to
come back for a second visit and to stay for ten days,
it was so that each of could see what it would be like
to live with each other on a day to day basis.
wasn't being unreasonable. The man was unemployed, staying
at a friend's apartment. I have volumes of letters from
him, telling me how right I am to be his master, how much
he needs to have someone to control his life, "give
it structure" he politely calls it.
last conversation ended the process. He would rather stay
in his current state than take the risk of ten days' commitment.
Sadly we cling to the status quo. Most fantasies are unlived,
watch the faces of the men and women who walk down the
street and I see sadness. I wonder if it's only my interpretation,
only my rose colored glasses that taints my perceptions.
Is the world so full of unhappy people?
know unhappiness. I spent years plagued with depression.
Outwardly I had the trappings of success: a beautiful
and creative wife, two lovely, well-behaved children,
a good job, nice salary, home in the suburbs, friends
who loved to party within reasonable and comfortable limits.
at night, when the house was quiet, wife and daughters
lost in their own dream-filled sleep, I would pull my
copy of Drummer from its hiding place behind the fireplace
and stroke my fantasies into reality.
the months turned to years and the depression deepened,
I sought therapy and through it became aware that I was
Gay and wanted to live that way. Then I had to choose
myself and my dreams or continue the deadening state of
the wife and children held much security for me, Yes,
I loved them (and still do) but love of myself was important
as well. Respect for the real me, the one wishing all
the time for a man to sleep with, a boy to discipline,
a buddy to fuck, had to happen. "To thine own self
so I made the first steps to finding the life I was meant
to live. I had to trust that I could do it, that within
myself there would be the strength and the wisdom to know
how to survive in this strange "Gay" world.
I had to learn a new language, a new lifestyle.
didn't seem all that easy, but looking back it wasn't
all that hard. Oh, walking into Jewels in New Orleans
or the Mineshaft in New York held a certain amount of
trepidation, but the fear was only a shadow.
reasonable and take those steps one at a time. Don't throw
out the baby with the bath water Don't burn your bridges
do move forward. Test the path, take little steps. Be
honest with yourself and open with those with whom you're
talking. If you won?t move to Kalamazoo, say so right
away. If you need to know details, ask for them now.
and slaves are a dime a dozen in the stories and stroke
books, but few and far between otherwise.
OK. You need not wish for ten year's incarceration at
the hands of the Viet Cong in order to be a real leather
man. What you want in life is important to you and that
is how it should be. Place your priorities first, even
if that means your first priority is to another. Take
pride in your fantasy and find ways to explore it, to
see it, to feel it.
doing so you test it, purify it, make it true, sustainable,
to shape it into a dream that can take form on this planet.
Likewise it will shape you, change you so that you will
have the power and the clarity to live it, to give it
day to day sustenance, to make it real, whatever the hell
hardly reads like copy for an issue of Drummer. I'm not
beating off and you probably aren't either.
is more to successful leather, the kind we live and do,
than fantasy. The excitement of a heavy scene, the endurance
of rough play, the sight of a hot man is more than fiction
come true. It is the result of work, of faith, of sweat
know the world of fictional sex and imagined man-gods.
I've been there in my thoughts. I go there in my reverie.
precious though are the real men in leather.
they're never as good looking as the air-brushed centerfolds
or the phone sex ads. The scenes never last a lifetime
nor do the orgasms shoot a quart of jism seven feet. But
like Lynn and Gary, they are the warmth, the vitality,
the squeezable, feelable, fuckable reality of leather.
fact it is men like them, men like you that give birth
to the fiction in these pages. For fiction comes from
truth and brings us back to reality.
2000 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in
any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact
to Main Page