In recent decades the leather community has been considered a subset of BDSM culture rather than a descendant of gay culture. Even so, the most visibly organized SM community has been a subculture of the gay community, as evidenced by the International Mr. Leather organization. Meanwhile, other subcultures have likewise appropriated various leather fashions and practices.
The Leatherman’s Handbook by Larry Townsend, published in 1972, epitomizes the association of the leather subculture with BDSM. This book also encoded what is retrospectively described as Old Guard leather culture. This code emphasized strict formality and fixed roles (i.e. no switching). Other Old Guard practices emphasize discipline, honor, brotherhood, and respect, and are said to promote a stricter lifestyle, education, and intra-community privilege based on successive ranks or levels.
In a broad sense, there are organized Leather Communities with traditions and some internal consistencies which are heterosexual or partially heterosexual in many areas. The term “Leather Family” is in wide use even in the local DC area community. It is worth knowing that this is a subculture that in some areas views itself as very cohesive and may view outsiders as less serious about BDSM or D/s, however there is much to learn from this culture. Most of the D/s practices in these Protocols originate with the Gay BDSM community, and are interpretations of various Old Guard traditions.
Gor, the Counter-Earth, is the alternate-world setting for John Norman’s (the pen-name of Dr. John Lange) Chronicles of Gor, a series of twenty six novels that combine philosophy, erotica and science fiction….The customs, terminology and imagery depicted in these books has inspired a related BDSM-influenced subculture. On- and off-line followers of this lifestyle are called Goreans.
Knowing of the existence of Gor is a useful reference point. A few Gorean terms such as “nadu” have come into common use in the BDSM world, and the wide popularity of Gor in online BDSM communities makes it likely that the coming generation will have more, rather than less exposure to Gor.
Not using “May” or Asking Permission
In the widely used Butchmann protocol, it is put forward that: A submissive never asks permission, nor is permitted the use of the word “may.” Either of those expressions implies that the submissive could want something that the Master does not. The Master’s response then becomes one of either acquiescing to the request of the submissive or denying the request. Since a submissive only wants and needs what her Master wants and needs, there can be no conflict and the submissive only asks Sir’s intention regarding the activity of the submissive.
It is worth noting that we explicitly reject this assumption. It is our belief that in many cases it is perfectly permissible for the submissive to have desires or needs, and to express them and that this does not present a conflict with the will of the Dominant. The constructions that are required to maintain this element of protocol are laborious and it is my belief that they actually subvert the purpose of Protocols by necessitating the formation of passive-aggressive constructions in order to handle basic needs.