I’m fairly new to the leather world and I’m enjoying my explorations quite a bit. But I find the rigidity that some leathermen have about roles to be disturbing. I’m versatile and enjoy all kinds of roles at different times (master, slave, daddy, boy, mutual, and so on). Do most leathermen really stick with just one role? Am I in the minority for liking my variety? ~ Jack, Portland
I believe the supposed rigidity that most men in the leather scene show regarding roles to be one of the great lies infecting the leather scene. As an illustration, when one noted sexuality researcher asked practicing SM players in an anonymous survey where on the top/bottom spectrum they would place themselves, the answers, when tallied and plotted, were no surprise. At least not to me. The answers resulted in a perfect bell curve graph. What this means is that there were very few that saw themselves as exclusively top and very few that saw themselves as exclusively bottom. The majority were some combination of both. The greatest numbers were in the 50/50 range. I believe this to be much closer to the truth than the apparent rigid roles that most leathermen portray publicly. And this study was done more than 15 years ago. I believe versatility has increased over the years and my own form of casual research backs this up. Few men I know who profess to be top are always top and few men I know that profess to be bottom are always bottom. Versatility, at least to some extent, is the norm rather than the exception. So revel in your versatility. You are not alone. Although I’m speaking here about gay leathermen, I have no doubt this applies to men and women of all orientations. I talked about this as part of a keynote address I gave earlier this year and you can find that speech text here.