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Carter/Johnson Leather Library May 2011 - Volume 1 - Issue 5

In This Issue ….

  • Tales From the Librarian
  • New Acquisition
  • Tell Me More About … 
  • Points of View

Support The Library

You can support us by becoming a member of the Library, linking to our website, shopping at our e-store or making a donation directly to the Library. You can also make a donation directly to the Library Van Fund.

New Acquisitions

“The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine”

Volume III, January through June 1867

The Library is pleased to have added this beautiful and rare tome to its collection.

Wikipedia states: “The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine” was a magazine published by Samuel O. Beeton from 1852 to 1879. The magazine published articles on middle-class domestic issues, fashion and fiction”

“In 1867 Samuel Beeton expanded the correspondence section of the magazine. The contents of “Conversazione,” now including contributions by men, included material extolling the attractions of corsetry and tight-lacing, cross-dressing and flagellation; extracts on the latter were republished in pornographic compilations such as The Birchen Bouquet.”

For those curious about the far reaching influence of “The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine” and how it was used by a cross sections of the population, check out “In Female Attire: Male Experiences of Cross-Dressing – Some Historical Fragments” by Peter Farrer in “Blending Genders.”

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?”

Community Corner

Special Thanks go to:

  • Lady MJ
  • Trident International Windy City
  • R.A.C.K.
  • L.R.A.
  • The Kinkdom
  • Mistress Lily
  • Goddess Lakshimi

Tales from the Librarian

Greetings everyone;

WHAT A MONTH!!!

So very much has happened in the last few weeks that I almost don’t know where to begin. The trip to Chicago was incredible!!!!

A song I’ve often sung says “Let’s start at the very beginning …”

Friday April 22 was spent laughing, fighting (over what should be taken) and playing the giant Tetris game of “Let’s load the van”. This special game is only ever won by Boy Robi who can stuff extra book boxes, portfolio cases, bookshelves and supply boxes into places no one else can even see.

And a good thing too since my assistant director spend a great deal of time on loading day “explaining” that I could not take every book, magazine and piece of art the Library owned. There were a few reminders and threats that the car could not “take a few extra boxes” because there had to be room for our luggage.

Saturday morning two vehicles hit the road for Chicago. Robi and Max took charge of the van and its precious cargo. I drove the car with all our personal gear. We stopped for the night in Indiana, about four hours from our final destination, found food and a good hotel.

After a refreshing night of sleep and a good breakfast we were on our way. At 5pm we met the students of R.A.C.K. at International House and began the unload into the Coulter Lounge which would be our home for three days. After a five hour set up, three weary storytellers headed across town to our host for the week, Lady MJ.

Monday had us up bright and early to beat the legendary Chicago traffic and be ready to greet our first guests. The first morning students didn’t quite know what to do with us. Many would peek into the Library for a quick look see and then rush out into the hallway to tweet friends about what they had seen.

Others came because they had seen the advertisement in the paper. One young man visited in a wheelchair and when he could find no handicapped entrance asked three students to lift him and his wheelchair down the five stairs into the Library. By afternoon, the trickle of people had become a steady stream of the curious, the inquisitive and the kinky. 

Monday evening the students of R.A.C.K. hosted a reception for the Library. The leather clubs of Chicago came out in full force to show their colours and their support for the students and their project. The food was delicious, and the conversation wonderful.

Tuesday brought a steady stream of reporters, faculty and our only troublemaker. The three of us had been giving tours and answering questions all day about the Library. Somehow the questions of one man about the collection began to trouble me.

He was talking to me about NAMbLA and how I personally felt about pedophilia. After telling him more than a few times that a child cannot give consent, he finally left. The man in question was Pete LaBarbera, also known as Porno Pete. His article and history are available from links in other places on our site. 

Tuesday evening was a two hour closed door session with about 45 students on the topic of “You Are Not Alone.” The session was wonderful, the discussion lively and the brainstorming ideas will help the Library reach out to its next generation.

Wednesday, the Library was open until 5 when we closed out doors and began the pack-up and move to the L.R.A.

Thursday morning we set up the Library in its new location and readied the books and ourselves for private tours and a special donor’s reception that night.

Friday the L.R.A. opened its doors to the kinksters of Chicago. The Library staff gave tours all day. We even had students from other Chicago colleges come to do research. The L.R.A. gave the three of us memberships in the club. What an honour.

Saturday was the perfect final day. There were visitors and private tours all day, then a talk that night on Leather history and why its preservation is so important. People were in the Library until after 3am.

Sunday we packed and prepped for a one evening stop at the Kinkdom in Detroit.

Monday the Kinkdom greeted us with a gourmet feast prepared by Mistress Lily’s Chef-slave complete with soup, and a celebratory cake made with hand spun sugar flowers and enough delicious imported chocolates to make someone gain weight by just looking. 60 people shared this feast for the palate as they enjoyed looking through and learning about their kink history.

Half way through the presentation I pulled myself away from our hostess and the members of her club long enough to realize that Max and Robi were concerned about something.

The issue was … what? Outside the Kinkdom they filled me in on the troubles that had assailed R.A.C.K. during the course of the day. They read me parts of the articles attacking the students and the Library. Both of them were expecting me to be upset. I found myself actually cheering the news for the Library but worried for the students.

About eleven years ago, the book burner that I met on line was funded by the same types of groups that were attacking the Library now. In many ways it was they that I can thank for turning the collection into the obsession that has become the Library.

Lady MJ and Max directed R.A.C.K. to talk to the N.C.S.F. about what had happened and they were reassured by both the N.C.S.F. and the University that they were in no jeopardy for having had the Library visit.

We returned safely on Tuesday to unpack the van and get the Library ready for its visit to BootCamp.

That is where we are heading now. More on that in our next newsletter.

Tell Me More About … 

Instigator Magazine

About five years ago I was in Dallas for a conference. A young man I knew from previous visits to the Library approached me. In his hand was a copy of Instigator Magazine. He showed me this new (new to me) magazine and asked if I had others in the Library.

I had never seen Instigator before so I asked if he would mind if I took a minute to look through it. He said sure Mom and walked off. The few minutes turned to almost half an hour.

I started to flip through issue four and was first struck by the high quality of the printing. Whoever published this was proud of his work. The magazine popped open to the centerfold. There on a sexy blue crotch rocket was a new age pet and his owner decked in hide, and flesh and gear. 

This was not the art of my generation. This interpretation of next gen kink was irreverent, fresh and very very hot. A few pages later the work of another young artist caught my eye. I found myself laughing at the cartoons of Drubskin and getting turned on at the beauty of the photo spread Leviathan. I wanted to see more of this.

Reluctantly I returned the mag but made a mental note to find another copy. Within a few weeks I had done that and more. A stroll through Ebay got me issues eight, nine and ten. Now, unrushed, Mom could take a good look at this brand new Library acquisition.

Issue eight contained the art of Axel, (I’m now a major fan.) a center spread full of gear, a few how-to’s with a modern twist and the techno art of John Abrahamson a Giger-esque artist with a kink twist. The eye candy was amazing.

Then I read the advice column of Gene Mar and I was hooked. Gene’s column and other articles in Instigator speak frankly to a new generation about hot sex in any for you can think of without guilt or shame. (Heck, these guys are even harnessing furries.) Instigators bottom line seems to be, revel in your sexuality in whatever form it takes as long as you do it with awareness and knowledge.

Instigator is exactly what its name implies, provoking, stimulating (ahem) and exciting

This Drummer for a new age is in the Library for my next generation to find!

Leather History Conference

Why A Leather History / Storyteller Conference? by Gypsie

It started innocently enough, as these things generally do. My Leather family and I were on the road, returning from MsC (Master/slave Conference) in Washington, D.C. The boy of the family had been presented with his earned leather belt in the presence of Elders, friends and peers within the warm yet auspicious confines of The Carter/Johnson Leather Library with MaMa Viola Johnson standing guard.

He asked why we didn’t arrange to have the library visit North Carolina? How long had it been since the library had visited North Carolina and what would it take to make it so, so to speak? Those of us not driving, accessed our smart phones to dig up the information on the five and half hour drive home and came up with some interesting facts.

The Carter/Johnson Leather Library had not been in North Carolina since the last T.I.L. (Together in Leather) which took place in 2004 in Charlotte. Master Rick and I were lucky and blessed to have been a part of that event and the two before it and remembered it well.

The C/J Library, as we began to coin it, still has its resting place in Pennsylvania and still runs almost entirely on MaMa Viola Johnson’s and her partner Jill Cater’s funds and now, finally, also on a few, small, donations. In order to get The C/J Library to North Carolina, we would have to arrange for a leased van, fuel, tolls, lodging and food for enough C/J Library staff to load, unload, setup, run, break-down, reload and drive the van from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and back.

It seemed like a daunting task, but the boy would not be deterred.

“You can do it Ma’am. Just have a Conference.”

And so, the beginning plans for Leather History Conference 2011 began. What started out as a small fund-raiser to bring The Carter/Johnson Leather Library to North Carolina, soon became much more than that. A cry resounded from around the region, not only North Carolina but her neighboring states, requesting, demanding, begging for a conference to celebrate Leather.

Something that would put The C/J Library at the doorstep of those wanting to touch and feel the written words of history. Then, another voice began to rise above the den calling for more. The voice of the community became unified, asking, seeking out those that had made that history. Those that had written that history. Those that had lived that history, lived our history and forged the way for us in the past.

They want to hear from the Elders about how it felt to live what they can only read about, hear about now in this day and time. From the ‘middle guard’ about how they learned from the Elders, changed what they had learned into what is being lived now. They want to hear from the newest generation, the TNG’ers, about what the future may bring to Leather and where it is going from here.

To this end, I have written countless Elders around the country and invited them here, to Wilmington, North Carolina to tell their personal stories at Leather History Conference 2011. So that we may hear first hand, how it was for each of them as they paved the way for Leather generations to come. How Leather changed their lives, enriched their journey, their trials, challenges, joys and accomplishments.

I have asked many and many have answered. There are those that are unable to attend, due to health, finances and/or outside obligations and there are those that can and will come to share their experiences with us first hand. To pass down their knowledge, one to one, in an atmosphere reminiscent of a family reunion, our “Leather Family Reunion” here at Leather History Conference 2011.

Come and celebrate Leather with us at Leather History Conference 2011, October 21-23, 2011 in Wilmington, NC.

“Come and Touch History – Stay and Become a Part of History!”

Points of View:

Kink & The Next Generation Perspectives – by Jaki Grier

Disclaimer: I don’t have authority to speak for everyone who identifies as kink 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 kink 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.


Why You Should Give A Damn About Community: A Rant

A certain segment of the population who dismisses the idea that they are a part of the Kink Community even as they actively engage in alternative sexual behaviors. If that sounds like you, listen up. There is this idea that if you are a “bedroom player” (which I take to mean, you only play in private and you aren’t actively attending lifestyle events), that you aren’t really a part of the larger Kink Community.

People think if you don’t have the Leather flag tattooed like some bar code across your ass, you have no business hanging out with the Rest Of Us. Us, being the Go-To-Every-Munch-And-Buy-Millions-Of-Toys Lifestylers. I will say that this thought is in part perpetrated by people in the community who make “bedroom players” feel less welcome when they share their experiences.

It’s all about being extreme, edgy and out there so what if you don’t consider yourself any of the above? Then you should go back to your bedroom and sit there like a prude, some might say. There is a technical term for people like that. Those people are called “Fuckers.” Don’t let Fuckers make you feel like you don’t have a place in the Kink Community.

Maybe you don’t know what you like. Maybe you know exactly what you like and the rest of the activities under the “Kink Umbrella” don’t appeal to you. kink umbrella. Either way, there is no law that says you need to organize bi-weekly and have a suggestive bumper sticker on your car in order to qualify as kinky. Nor are you required to tell your mother, your pastor or the lady on the bus that you enjoy taking enemas and being beaten with a tennis racket.

Frankly, it’s no one’s fucking business. You do not need to feel pressure to share anything with the world that you are not comfortable with the world knowing. Once it’s out there, personal information has a way of growing legs and traveling further than you might prefer. Taking it a step further, what the fuck does a “bedroom player” even truly mean? That you play in the bedroom? Me too! My bed is the perfect place to do sexy things. Sometimes, I even have SEX there too!

When you close the door of that room, what happens there is between the people inside. No one has the right to judge you or make you feel unwelcome. I will say this however, one of the beautiful things about this community that you are a part of is… you are not a unique snowflake. Not only are there hundreds if not THOUSANDS of other people who enjoy those same activities, there are resources available to teach you how to do them safely.

Private bedroom play can quickly turn into embarrassing or deadly Emergency Room stories if you aren’t careful. If you would like your activities to remain between you and your partner(s), it would behoove you to make sure you’re doing it as safely as possible. Your community allows you that. You might even find fun exciting ways to engage in your favorite activities when you start up a conversation with another friendly kinkster.

There are a great many people walking around at events, parties and munches in situations like yours. They can’t talk to anyone outside about what they enjoy. So they come around like-minded folks and use those moments to gain information to take home. They also take the time to share because it’s sometimes very lonely when everyone else in your world doesn’t appear to have your secrets.

I’d also challenge you to look around you, really LOOK at the people in your life. The domineering wife with the happily “pussy-whipped” husband? The secretary at work with the high heel fetish? Many of the people in our lives are doing kinky things and just don’t have the language to express it. You really aren’t alone, even in “vanilla” land.fetish ducky

Look, I know what you’re going to say. You can’t come out to everything. You can’t afford a babysitter every night or even the cost of admission. Perhaps you’re living with your family who isn’t supportive of your explorations. Maybe your government clearance makes you concerned about being publicly out. Or maybe you’re just not ready to take that step.

I’m here to tell you, I understand. For a variety of reasons that I’m not here to judge, everyone can’t do everything. I will never pressure you to come out waving your personal pride flag until you are mentally, physically and spiritually ready to do so.

Lest we forget, it’s still illegal and dangerous in many places to practice BDSM. People have their lives, jobs, and families to consider. Do what you think is wise. But I would urge you to do SOMETHING.

I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this knows of a horror story where someone was doing something kinky and they got hurt. I’m sure some of you heard these stories like modern day morality lessons. “What an idiot! Well, that’s what he gets for trying to stick something in his asshole!”

Have you ever considered that the person probably didn’t know any better? That person would have benefited greatly from any of the hundreds of classes, books, mentors and resources that other people sneer at? You could very easily make the same misinformed mistakes and end up as some Internet Meme with one of your photo attached. Is the joke still funny then?

People in our community hurt themselves and die because of lack of information. If you want to continue enjoying that oh-so-wonderful kink, you have an obligation to protect you. I give a damn about our community so that means I give a damn about you. You should give a damn about you too.

The mere fact that you managed to stumble through the Internet until you found this article means you’re searching for something. But, I’m here to tell you… even if you can’t go in person as much as you like (if at all), you are still part of this community. You can choose doctors, businesses and professionals who are sensitive and aware of your issues as a kinky person.

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom has a wonderful listing of professionals who can help you in the privacy of their offices. No one needs to know where you found your therapist but if might do you a world of good to talk to someone confidentially.

You can vote for leaders who protect the rights of sexual freedom. No one has to know what happens in the ballot box. You can donate to causes that support those rights so that slowly, the climate of this country can change and perhaps it will be a safer place for people like you to explore in peace.

I would dare to take this further. Everyone who is out and proud, what are you doing to contribute to the community? It’s wonderful that you are a VIP at every party but do you strive to make the community a safer place? Do you welcome new people (and not just the ones you want to fuck)? Do you share access to information (once again, without obligation to fuck)?

There are myriad ways you can help people and most of them involve not being a Fucker. A Fucker makes people feel that their interests are silly or mundane. A Fucker is more concerned with status than substance. A Fucker is happy to give you their exciting scene reports but isn’t interested in the ways that we are all connected by What It Is That We Do (WIITWD).

I don’t care how many pride buttons you have, if you care more about exclusion than inclusion, you are a Fucker and frankly, the community doesn’t need that type of contribution. Any community is about people coming together so that as a whole we can enjoy the same protections and freedoms.  Community

That includes the freedom to say, “It’s none of your fucking business.” It should not be a few elevating themselves to Rock Star status in order to look down on others. Each of us made decisions and choices based on our lives that got us to the place. At some point, we all needed to know that we wouldn’t be ridiculed for wanting something different. At the end of the day, my bedroom or yours, aren’t we all looking for fulfilling experiences?

Gee, that sounds like something we share in common, doesn’t it?