Monday, October 3, 2016

The Iconic BLUF man (Calling all Northwest Leather Uniform men!)

Muir cap. Leather uniform shirt. Sam Browne. Tie. Leather breeches or formal Leather trousers tucked neatly into a pair of knee length, high-shine boots. Gloves. Leather patrol or Leather uniform jacket. The clothing worn by men who hold Leather uniform as fetish, commonly referred to as BLUF men.

Recently on the Saturday night prior to the Folsom Street Fair, BLUF men gathered at The San Francisco Eagle. The patio riser provided a perfect gathering place. Considering the number of men who descended on the Eagle that night, we were in a small number, just a few of us wearing the recognizable items that identified each of us as a BLUF man.

When I came out decades ago, the BLUF look was iconic. The artist Tom of Finland had codified the look through his erotic images, along with Etienne and other Gay erotic artists of the seventies and eighties. Muscular men wearing breeches, caps, and big, black boots graced the pages of magazines, bar murals, and posters. Often the men would be shirtless, their black, Leather patrol jackets forced open by bulging pectorals and erect nipples. Punctuating the fetishistic nature of the artwork, the men always sported large crotch bulges, their cocks outlined by the tight Leather of their breeches.

Decades later, the icon of the BLUF man continues to evoke worship, in spite of the dwindling number of actual men who wear the clothing. Even though other fetishes have joined the broad "Leather" umbrella, the muscular man in his tight Leather uniform and boots reigns over the clubs, gatherings, and online publications. In spite of the fact that the numbers of BLUF men are few compared to other Leather fetish types, popularity both online and in clubs continues. After midnight at the San Francisco Eagle, as I waded through a sea of puppies and young harnessed men, I was inundated with requests. "Be my Daddy!" "SIR, take me home. I will be good!" "Fuck, you're hot!" And standing next to my handsome husband on the dias, also dressed in BLUF gear: "I need to tell you guys that you are REALLY hot!" Such accolades, even if primed by alcohol, betray the fact that Leather uniform is alive and well in the fetish lexicon of younger men.

I would like to encourage those BLUF men in Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; Western Canada; and the Northwest United States; to join with us on November 12th, 2016 as BLUF men. If the thought of putting on a pair of breeches, a Muir cap, and Leather boots makes you hard, then you are a BLUF man.

  • On Saturday, November 12th at 2:00 PM, BLUF men will meet for a Boots and BLUF Brunch at The Dish, 1068 Davie St, Vancouver, BC. For more about this local favorite, see Full BLUF gear is not required.
  • At 9:00 PM, we will meet for a BLUF Pubcrawl, beginning at The Pumpjack, 1167 Davie St, Vancouver, BC. BLUF Dress Code.
  • In addition, on Friday, November 11, a Cards Against Humanity get together is planned at a private home for those participating.
If you would like to join other BLUF men in Vancouver, send me an e-mail at Or find these events on the BLUF calendar at:

In Leather!

SIR Hugh

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How I became a Leatherman

Decades ago, I came out into a world of confusion and loss. Although I had flirted with Leathermen over the years, I had never allowed myself the freedom to fully explore this world until the early 1980's. At that time, AIDS was beginning to take its toll on the Leather Community, and I felt as if I was emerging into a world that was fading rapidly. In spite of this, I was determined to explore the boundaries of man to man sex. A few years later, I would be "out" to everyone. My main focus, to find my soulmate. In spite of continued dalliances with BDSM, I dated men who were not part of the Leather scene. "I am not a Leatherman," I told myself. "I am just a man who likes Leather and enjoys creative sex.

During that decade, I played with many men. Being a professional ballet dancer, I enjoyed the thrill of the rough physicality that could occur between Leathermen. Unlike the staid and often guilt-riddled sex in the mainstream Gay Community, many Leathermen were deeply invested in celebrating sex while advocating safer practices. To offset my impetuous sexual behavior, many experienced men would take the time to instruct me in these practices. They would also show me how to wear clothes to accentuate my body, instruct me on the nuances of cruising, and teach me how to show respect for myself and others. These men were gods to me, beautiful men who exuded sex and confidence.

"A Leatherman must be invited to such exaltation," I thought. "I am not worthy."

Around this time, I met a handsome Seattle Leatherman with a tight, toned body, a perfectly groomed mustache, and a voracious appetite for sex. We met at the Triangle Campground north of Everett, Washington, and passed a long weekend in unbridled passion and hot sex. After returning back to Seattle, he called me up on the telephone, and asked me out on a date.

My response was immediate. "I can't," I replied. "You are a Leatherman. I am not. It wouldn't work."

I will never forget this man's astonishment. "WHO do you think you are?" he asked. "We have spent days having hot Leathersex, and you say you are not a Leatherman?"

To which I replied, "Sorry! It wouldn't work between us. I am not like you."

During the next couple of years, in spite of my growing attendance at Leather gatherings, I still did not consider myself part of the Leather Community. I wore my boots daily, always impeccably shined. I developed a reputation as a hard player. I hung out more and more with Leathermen. Still, I felt I had not earned the right to call myself anything but "Hugh."

One spring evening, I attended a Leather awards event. I listened as my friend, Wes Randall, presented tokens of appreciation to various members of the Leather Community in Seattle. Wes had a particular way of speaking that always made me smile. As he called out each name, I watched the person walk to the front, receive the award, and return to join the group of applauding Leatherfolk. After he had finished presenting the awards, Wes stopped, smiled, and said in his distinct voice, "I would now like to take this opportunity to recognize someone who does not consider himself a 'Leatherman.' He feels that he cannot assume this title, so I am going to give it to him. To Hugh, the best Leatherman I know."

I felt embarrassed, speechless, and I felt proud. I stood sheepishly as members of the Community looked on approvingly. After years, I had been invited to join the ranks of others that I had respected and revered. I felt validated, worthy to wear my Leather in public. I had become a Leatherman.

The world today seems to revolve at a faster pace than it did then. Leather is easier to obtain, as is instruction into Leatherplay. Becoming a part of the Community now takes days instead of years; there is a place for everyone in the expanding world of Leather and fetish. Still, I value the slow path that led me to become a Leatherman decades ago. Today, as I stand next to my husband, another proud Leatherman, I feel fortunate to have emerged from a generation of so many great Leatherfolk, a great number who are no longer with us. To them, I owe a great debt that cannot be repaid.

With respect!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Back to Black

After a painful and productive period in my life, I am ready to write again. Little did I know that such drastic changes would happen at this stage. Instead of contemplating my upcoming retirement I am beginning again. Saul has undergone conversion and Paul stands strong.

In the last few years I lost both of my parents, my thirteen year relationship, my Seattle home, and a number of submissive men who looked to me as their SIR and MASTER. I lost the respect of many men in the Community through my efforts to be honest with myself and others. I have angered others who feel that I have not continued to be as active in titles and events.

Rather than being defined by my what I no longer have, I feel defined by what I have found since the summer of 2012. I found a new appreciation for men who have demonstrated true brotherhood, my chosen family, outstanding Leathermen who have supported me in times of weakness and rejoiced with me during times of strength. I have felt the continued support of friends. Most important, I also found the love of my life, my perfect boy, my compliment, my husband. I am now a legally married SIR. I prepare to emigrate to Canada to be with my new husband and to begin a new life there. I investigate academic options that will enable me to build on my professional life in the United States. I feel as if I am just beginning to realize my potential in life.

Even though I attend fewer events I am more Leather than ever. Together with my handsome husband I play more and feel more liberated by the power dynamics of our relationship.

I am almost 59 years old, proud to live in accordance with the core values that I learned decades ago. I am a Gay Leatherman.