Carter/Johnson Leather Library March 2011 - Volume 1 - Issue 3
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Wow, thats all I can say. Thank you for putting this all together for another Issue. The first Issue was great, but this one is so full of surprises to me that… WOW
From the very well thought out perspective of Jaki Grier to the great find of Erziehungs- Flagellantismus, which I can’t wait to gander at next time I get to the library, I am continually humbled at how well you all do this labor of love.
I wish I had more time to help, and would love to be able to digitize parts if I can. My work schedule keeps me local far too often, but when I can I will spend time with you folks.
Thank you for all that you do, keep up the great work and know that your efforts are truly appreciated.
Janus – ArtesianReign.com
1951 – 1990
Published by the Athletic Model Guild
The Library has just acquired over 60 pristine copies of the magazine series “Physique Pictorial.” Only ten magazines of this series are needed to complete the Library collection.
The “Physique Pictorial Magazine” series, published by Bob Mizer’s Athletic Model Guild, was part of a category of magazines classified as beefcake.
This genre of publications, supposedly dedicated to promoting health and fitness, showed handsome muscular young men in various body building, wrestling or artistic poses against back grounds meant to evoke images of classic Greece, Rome or even the old West.
The advantage of these sets to the kinky young gay man was that the setting allowed for the occasional set of chains, or whip to be introduced into the picture as a prop.
Mizer showed the beauty of the male form and chose models that were not only handsome, but seemed to radiate confidence and pride in their body and its beauty. For a young man just coming to terms with his sexuality in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Bob Mizer’s men were strong self confident positive images of what male sexuality could be.
“Physique Pictorial” was sold in drug stores and on magazine stands all across America.
One of my great joys is taking people through the Library and showing them the many hidden gems of kink history that are on the shelves. Exploration and discovery often lead to the question, “Can you tell me more about this?”
Tales from the Librarian
It has been another busy month here at the Library. The phone has been ringing with inquiries for everything from small one table exhibits to multi-day events requesting the full library and staff.
A call came in From San Francisco requesting information and a budget for transporting the Library across country. Calls and emails have been exchanged and plans are in the works for 2012.
Our next inquiry came via email from the University of Chicago. Their kink student group is hoping to bring the Library to U of C either in late spring or early fall of this year. We provided them with the information needed to write and submit a wonderful proposal that they are hoping to get funded. In the mean time the Library Genie has sent graphic designs for tee shirts that they can use for fundraising.
We got a call in mid January from New Mexico FetLifers in Albuquerque New Mexico. They have invited us to bring the entire Library to their event, Evolution of the Revolution 2, this September 16-17.
Boy Robi grew up in Albuquerque and got very excited about bringing his favorite project back to his home town. He placed a call to his alma mater about the possibility of a showing there either before or after the event. Boy Robi is taking the lead on this project, and I’m looking forward to seeing the Sandia Mountains again.
Two inquiries did not come to such successful ends however.
A small group in Phoenix does not have the budget or fundraising capabilities needed to bring the Library to their state, and this year’s Leather Leadership Conference, taking place in Los Angeles, also did not have enough money to cover the cost of the van rental and fuel needed to transport the 70 some odd crates of books and magazines with their accompanying bookcases, supplies and staff.
But out of thwarted effort comes good news. Girl of Boston has taken up the cause of fundraising for a Library van. Girl had a table at the New England Fetish Flea and was handing out information and talking to just about everyone there about the Library, the work we do, and how much we need transportation that will not collapse the budgets of the groups who would like up to come and visit.
In addition, she hosted a fundraiser during the event that raised over $700. GGOOOOO GIRL!!
As I write, I am getting ready to bring the “Leather Library Show and Tell” exhibit to the town Jill and I hold forever in our hearts, Tulsa Oklahoma. The original plans were to have the entire library come and spend a week in Oklahoma but enough funds could not be raised to cover the expenses.
The producers of the Xpressions of Tulsa event, Malik and Cathy asked if I would come home to Tulsa with a smaller exhibit. “No” was not even considered as an answer to their question.
It has been far to long since I have touched the red earth of Oklahoma. I am honored to be going back to the city I call home!
Today I was doing some scanning. Nowhere near as much work got finished as should have because I kept reading the “to be scanned” pile and stumbling down Amnesia Lane. In the pile of magazines and newspapers on the schedule for today was an old Drummer, Drummer June/July 1973 to be exact.
Wait, I can guess that some of you are thinking one or two things. “Mama Vi, you must have an incorrect date” and /or “women read Drummer”? Well, the answers to these two questions may just surprise you.
Many do not know that Drummer was a newspaper before it was a magazine. Drummer newspaper was put out by a group called H.E.L.P. the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection in Los Angeles, California. H.E.L.P. was an organization started in the late 1960’s to assist in finding sympathetic lawyers for gay men who were victims of the numerous arrests and entrapments of the LAPD, as well as to raise funds for those who could not afford legal counsel.
Two great leather men, Larry Townsend and John Embry, were presidents of this organization. Drummer newspaper became the communication standard for the organization and helped galvanize the Los Angeles community to stand up and fight the LAPD and its chief, Ed Davis.
A few years later Drummer Newspaper became Drummer Magazine with John Embry as its publisher and a woman, Jeannie Barney as its editor and co-founder!
In the early 1970’s Jill and I sporadically read hand me down copies of Drummer. Yes, I was a woman married to another woman but I still loved looking at the male form. Beauty is beauty regardless of sex or gender. I enjoyed the artwork, the Larry Townsend stories and the adventures of the comic character Drum. Then in issue 29 a story called “Looking for Mr. Benson” began its serialization. By the third chapter I was hooked.
I knew the date and the time Drummer would hit the only newsstand in the Village that sold it. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest adventures of Mr. Benson and his slave Jamie. Then one night after a Eulenspiegel (TES) meeting a group of us went out to eat and one of the dominants at the table asked if anyone would loan her their Drummer. She wanted to know what new adventures Mr. Benson was up to.
Within a few minutes all the women at the table, dominant and submissive were talking about Drummer and what they liked or read in the magazine. We were all surprised to know that there were other women who read Drummer also. It didn’t matter that Drummer was a gay men’s magazine. We read Drummer, learned from it and enjoyed it.
Would you like to read a pre-Drummer Drummer? The Library has the entire run of Drummer magazines and five or six of the newspapers. Come join us in the Library and put your hands on these important pieces of history.
The OAC (Online Archives of California) has a collection of H.E.L.P artifacts., While none of the artifacts themselves are available online, the comprehensive collection guide is available here.
Points of View:
Kink & The Next Generation Perspectives – by Jaki Grier
Disclaimer: I don’t have authority to speak for everyone who identifies as kinky or The Next Generation. Nor do I believe my definitions for both groups are universally accepted. However, as a person under 35 who is navigating the kinky community, I have noticed a disconnect that really boils down to failing to understand the opposite point-of-view. My goal is to take situations and phrases then give a side-by-side explanation of both group’s perspective about the subject.
“These are my friends.”
Friendship has become an interesting concept in the age of the Internet. With Fetlife, Facebook and hundreds of other social networking sites that pop up in order to connect the dots in human relations, claiming to know a person gets pretty tricky.
There was a time when having friends involved in BDSM meant these were people for whom you personally vouched. Friendship was part of the general net of safety that linked every person together by degrees. You are a friend of someone and they are a friend of mine so that joined us in a bond based on our mutual admiration for a fellow kinkster.
Not so any longer. If you are active online, a friend is a person who is listed on your profile. A friend is a follower of your photo updates and a subscriber of your journaling. A friendship can begin or end with the click of a button.
For many, a friend can simply mean that someone wrote you a polite email 3 months ago or they could be a person you consider a member of your family. Each equally gets a little square on your page with no way to distinguish the two. No one uses the term acquaintance any longer.
Friend is the bare minimum in human relations, slightly above stranger. This becomes dangerous in our little community. After all, much of our safety involves us policing each other. You ask if I’m friends with someone and I say yes but neglect to mention that our friendship is purely text based. How can we vouch for each other when we are miles apart and have never met?
For the TNG crowd, friend is simply shorthand for “friendly.” As if to say, “Yes, I am friendly with that person.” There are no other connotations attached. This translation error leads some of the older crowd to wonder when they see younger person who seems to boast with their profiles full of faces. They don’t understand how we can trivialize the important dynamic friendships can have.
For them, a friend is a prized title. A friend is a label that carries weight and isn’t given unless earned. A friend is a protector, a shoulder to cry on and a person to help you process the very confusing experiences that arise through exploring your darker sexual desires.
What can we do to bridge the gap between what friendship means now and then? Understanding is always the first step. From there, defining what friendship actually means for you works wonders.
The next time someone asks, “Hey, is so-and-so a friend of yours?”, you can explain that you two have spoken a bit but you reserve that title for closer bonds… or saying, “Yes, we’re friends. We’ve only hung out a little bit but so far I think they seem nice.” Assuming that everyone understands your definition of friendship is a surefire way to contribute to our generational disconnect.
Friendship, at it’s core, is about acknowledging a connection that exists and it’s up to each individual to qualify what that means. If our community is going to thrive, we need to speak the same language or make damn sure to translate so that everyone is clearly heard.