Is it a marketing gimmick? Is it yet another of the hundreds of flags and ideologies and families? Is it just another philosophy, stated by another would-be-FetlifeKing, pending approval-and-then abandonment.
Well, no. Not quite.
You see, it begins -- as many things do, especially good stories - a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
It starts a few years after Creative Kink began in 2002, started up in the basement of Kenova's apartment in Frankford, after moving to Philadelphia to follow his (now ex) wife's dreams.
(A Side Note from the story --- Move to follow YOUR dreams. If you're a Couple, you should BOTH have a Dream involved before moving. Never move only to follow someone else's dreams. Never works out.)
So, Kenova was working as a copy editor/writer with a company that pimped him out for higher pay. (the bastards didn't even wear a feathered hat while doing it. cheap bastards.) They ho'ed him to insurance groups, aerospace companies, legal publishers and engineering firms to use his English dual-degree to update their manuals from professional language into "plain language" in the type of work that is now done by AI's and chimpanzees with keyboards.
Needless to say, our protagonist had free time, so he also ran a small lifestyle self improvement group rather arrogantly named (being rather arrogant at the time) "Master's Temple". Not that it was gender specific mind you -- a third of the members were minus the third leg.
Master's Temple was all about improving the Modern Dominant. Keeping the violence, rough sex and body fluids, while integrating the discipline of leather, and the code of the modern warrior.
Savage Leather, as a concept, began in those arguments as the same contradiction was tossed around, over and over.... --
"Can a sexual predator really live up to the Leather principles, and the Warrior's ethos, and still be a real predator?"
Aside from horrible phrasing (the phrase "sexual predator" hadn't yet become quite so Megan's-Law-flavored-yet) -- the question was valid.
The answer at the time, and the answer if you have ever watched any single episode of Zoo-related television (or the Crocodile Hunter, crikey!) - is, of course, NO.
A real predator is defined by hunger. A real predator is desperate hunger and feeding on wounded and lame prey to fill an always echoing belly -- because winning isn't a game to a predator, it's surviving to see another day. And a predator, in BDSM play - wants to be that, in a sexual way. They want to make a weaker being give in to their hunger, caught frozen in their stare. They want their play partner to feel their blood go cold, and their heart ache as it skips.
That's Predator/prey dynamics. And it's a conflict, to live that way, if you're also trying to live Leather principles, and a Warrior's ethos.
And so, as life went on, and "Master's Temple" splintered into a dozen other groups, and the fact that we had used the phrase "sexual predator" became increasingly embarrassing -- the discussion faded.
But it lived on in the CK family. Because our style of play has always been... primal. Violent. Hungry. Possessive. And we teach to pursue the important things in life the same -- with Hunger. With "Desire".
But we also require a difficult level of accountability, discipline and responsibility from members of our family. Both kink, and blood. And we train, as modern warriors. In unarmed combatives. In pistol, or rifle. In sword or spear. (guandao, this generation.)
So it clashes. It causes problems when the kids (the new members, and the actual, literal kids) have questions which to follow. It's emotionally draining.
Something had to give. To wear smooth, meld together, blend into a melting po-- (...look, the thesaurus is running dry. The two ideas clashed, and they eventually found a way to fit. )
So, back to Savage Leather. What is, Savage Leather? Why is the Leather Flag hanging up there, with bloody red claw marks, with white bone slivers showing through the wounds?
Civility and Savagery. Black blood dripping from the lips of the stock broker in the boardroom. Embracing Contradiction. That's what Savage Leather is.
Humans are the one animal that can live the life Contradiction. It's all in how we Choose to be. Look at our history. The deMedici's were one of the wealthiest and noble families of their age, giving patronage to arts and sciences without which we would never have had the Age of Reason -- yet they were the most feared poisoners of the century. They had a life of nobility and decency -- and made weapons of terror from their civility, knowing when to let the jagged claws slide out from the tips of lace gloves.
We can take the things that make Leather -- consent, honor, and decency -- and we can decide when they will be the stuff armoring us against the world --- and when we will bear Savage claws.
The blood soaked claws neatly folded under a scarf in the lap of the sweet young secretary in coke bottle glasses. The scarred, unshaven old biker with blood and booze stains on his vest and holes in his oil stained denims who speaks with the accent of a college graduate, after spending his first lifetime as the club's accountant.
Embrace Contradiction, as only humanity can. Accept that it's okay to be conflicting natures, regardless of what modern philosophy tells you.
You yourself are a person who goes against the evolutionary drive to avoid pain and injury -- seeking out a partner who will push you into harder and harsher pains and places.
We embody contradiction. Especially Us -- especially if you're one of Our kind, with a private "pinterest" of #MasochistMonday pictures for inspiration, curry combs and scalpels Amazon-checked-marked to watch for markdowns, and bookmarked pages on bruise and scar treatments in a folder underneath the one of bread recipes.
Embrace Contradiction. Embrace the Savage, and still live the life of Leather.
Join Us, in neatly pressed suits and polite smiles, covering the bloody raw scarlet mess of last night's orgy of barbarism and brutality.
Welcome. Glad to have you.