The use of the word “boy” in the leather scene and more generally in the kink scene has become one of the most frequent and over-acted terms in use. Actually, in Old Guard Leather being a boy is an actual title (which therefor has to do with identity and attitude) and comes with a meaning, rights and duties. Like everything in leather culture, differently from what the scene has become in the late second decade of the 21st century, titles, words and actions have a meaning and a value that goes beyond cosmetics and appearance.
What is a Leather boy?
As explained in several other posts, in Old Guard Leather traditions, newcomers to the scene would always start as boys, if they wanted to pursue the correct path to becoming a Leatherman and a trustworthy BDSM person. In the community there were figures that were able to give appropriate Mentoring: Leather Daddies (who could also be subs), Leather Masters, and other experts.
Normally the boy would seek Mentoring from a man he had admired for his skills, power, commitment, intelligence and so on; while normally the boy would most of the time be a submissive, as most of the young men attracted to Leather, this was not a rule. Boys who wanted to be Mentored to become Masters were and are extremely welcomed and sook after. To train an Alpha boy and to plant the seeds for everything that you are as a Leather Master, and to know that your heritage will live on in that boy and the future generations, is priceless and hast to do with something that rides with the basic human instincts since the dawn of time.
- A boy is a newcomer to the Leather scene, introduced by a Mentor or looking for one.
- One can be a boy and then evolve to what his deep identity is: slave, dog, horse, pig or other pet, Sir, Master…or stay a boy!
- Being a boy is about identity first of all; some men need to go back to being a boy and allowing themselves to learn and absorb under the guide of someone to look up to, or some others have it all figured out, and they find such a pleasure and satisfaction on their identity in staying a boy, that they stay that figure.
- A boy would get more patience from the Dominant, as depending on the person’s history, there might be taboo topics, things that scare him, and emotional rollercoasters.
- A boy must face his own fears and taboos in order to become stronger and mature, at an appropriate pace and without rush.
- A boy must respect every other title in the Leather world: from slave to Masters, they all know it all better than him and he has to learn from everybody. He will also have the general support of everybody who knows that being a boy is fantastic, but it’s also about a constant struggle and sometimes a painful journey of self discovery and self acceptance.
- A boy is not always right.
- A boy is not always wrong.
- Generally a more flexible application of High Protocols is given to the boy, depending at what stage of his development he is at.
- Generally some practices are not done on a boy untile he is ready; this might involve heavier BDSM.
- All of this extra care and attention is a boy’s right, but it should never be abused or taken for granted. Every party participating to the boy’s growth and learning curve are people he must be deeply grateful towards.
- Being a boy is about learning first of all to let go on your pride and Ego.
- Being a boy is about learning that being a Leatherman is a honor, not a given right by default, and the privileges that come with it must be respected with the duty of a leatherboy.
- The boy has the duty to always respect others.
- The boy has the duty to listen, learn, grow, make questions, and remember that he is free to go whenever he wants if he doesn’t like what Leather life is, but he has not the right to change things up to his own pleasure. Directly, or indirectly.
- The boy has the duty to serve his Master however the Master sees fit. An aware and good Master will always know not to gratuitously bend the boy to his own will, but to deliver to boy a path and framework to develop and become the best version of himself.
- Being a boy doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want: it simply means that you’re going to be helped a little with a softer hand by your Mentor: but it’ll still be that same gloved hand that is not so patient with slaves or seasoned Leatherman.
- Being a boy is a privilege; honest and total submission is not demeaning, it’s an achievement. The boy’s natural reaction will be gratefulness and admiration for the Mentor and for himself. This way, the boy understands the basic mechanism of power exchange.
- A good boy never abuses his privileges, and understands they are temporary filters to allow him a safe and complete entrance into a world made of honor, courage, love and commitment, but also pain, discipline and intense power dynamics.
- A boy learns the ropes and then, together with the Mentor, understands in which direction he wants to develop. In both cases, the boy is going to go through a training that will shape him as a Leatherman.
So, whoever is approaching this lifestyle with integrity and the needed humbleness, starts out as a Leather boy. This is very important both for the community (which’ll gain an educated, prepared and empathic newcomer, instead of a rude and entitled person creating possible problems) and for the boy itself, who is going to enjoy the right to be a boy.
What a Leather boy isn’t
A boy is a very different figure from the general submissive or the slave. While the term sub indicates the general submissive identity (a slave is a submissive, a boy is most often a submissive, a submissive bottom can be submissive whilst not being a slave or a boy), and is generally used to define a person who has not a fixed strong identity associated with this personality, the term boy just like the term slave indicates a very specific identity.
It is a title, and as all titles, it should have to do with a strong authenticity.
- A Leather boy is not just a younger submissive bottom.
- A Leather boy is not a person who doesn’t want responsibilities
- A Leather boy is not someone who has less commitment
- A Leather boy is not someone who will escape accountability for their action
- A Leather boy is not a brat
- A Leather boy is not someone who wants to try people and relationships out without commitment
- A Leather boy is not necessarily young
- A Leather boy is not a know-it-all youngster who feel entitled to change rules to adapt them to their own agenda
- A Leather boy doesn’t have the right to hurt anybody’s feeling just because “he’s a boy”
- Being a Leather boy is not an easy lane for those who can’t take the lifestyle seriously
- A Leather boy is not a bottom hunting for tops to use
- A Leather boy is not necessarily a bottom
- You don’t need to own any expensive leather to be a Leather boy
- A Leather boy is not necessarily hyper sexual, nor necessarily a-sexual
- A Leather boy should not use their difficult past or traumas as reasons not to grow up
- A Leather boy is not a toy
- A Leather boy is not either a prince or a princess, and has to work as hard as other submissives in the community
Everyone has the right to be a boy, in Leather.
Most of men, especially Dominants, are raised in situations in which they’ve never been allowed to be show vulnerability, and generally a lot of expectations come with “being a man”, especially in the context of patriarchic societies. When you start your life in Leather, you are reborn; you have the luxury of going back to the roots of starting an entire new existence / experience from an identity awareness and fulfillment point of view. At this stage, it’s normal and expected that you don’t know it all. It’s ok and expected to need guidance and learning from scratch.
In Italy, we have saying that goes: “nobody is born learnt”. And it truly is so. When you’re a kid, nobody expects you to be ready to do everything life will put in front of you, nor anybody expects you to have a valid opinion on everything. There are many complicated things that you get to understand only way later in your life, unless they are taught you by present and attentive parents. Being present and attentive doesn’t mean pampering or making life easier. It means caring for the development of the boy or the girl, in the society and the world that is going to “welcome” them.
In the same fashion, being Leather an environment completely different, and touching strings which are way deeper and raw than any other “civilian” topic and experience, it is clear how needed it is to have a guide or someone to teach us; and it’s also a right.
- Everybody has the right to put down their Muir Cap and request Mentoring.
- Everybody has the right to be a boy and being cared for by someone.
- Everybody has the right to fail and learn in a path of Training.
- Everybody has the right to be submissive to somebody else, even the strongest of Masters has that right and there’s nothing wrong with it. Zero role shaming.
- As long as there is true commitment and it’s not just for the sake of an afternoon, everybody has the right to feel safe and secure in a relationship that is about building you up, and not tearing you down (not that any other dynamic in BDSM is about tearing down, it’s always about building up. Here, it is specifically about building the foundations for the happiness of the person and his/her partners).
- Everybody has the right to be a boy despite their age.
- Everybody has the right to be a boy despite their body shape.
- Everybody has the right to be a boy independently from their attractiveness.
- Everybody has the right to be a boy, as long as they are serious and committed.
Different types of boys in Leather culture
Although every setting and family can have their own definitions, frequently a boy has a sufffix or prefix to his title, to define his personality to the community or the pack, and also to validate it and make it official, depending on the boy’s tendencies and nature.
Hereby follow some examples:
Alpha boy: usually a boy who is learning the path to become a Sir, and has privileges of Alpha over the rest of the subs pack. He will have also more responsibilities though; an Alpha boy takes body discipline heavier than other boys, has to do harder work than other boys, has to be an example to the other boys and has to put the boys to sleep when it’s time, or assist them in their emotional and physical journey. An Alpha boy is protective towards the pack, but is not justified from the duties of a boy. He is generally dominant with other subs, but also needs to be submissive.
Beta boy: as the name suggests, he is not an alpha and he is actually submissive to not just the Sirs but also other boys. He is in most cases a submissive who is going to develop into a slave or a full time sub, or to stay a boy. He is an individual that takes a lot of pleasure out of providing service, and doesn’t need to be constantly compensated or told he is doing a good job. He feels at the highest when his help or service are required also by other parts of the family, and is often a creative and sweet person.
Sissy boy: Sissy fetish has to do with the emasculation or feminization of the masculinity in a boy who feels so much better and more comfortable in a male-female dynamic, where his femininity is not only welcomed, but valued and requested. Often in chastity, and having only sexual intercourse with his mouth and anus, can be wearing female clothing and detailing, or simply feminine underwear. The sexuality with these type of boys is generally different and less “Extreme BDSM” oriented than other boys, and requires therefor the right Master for it. This doesn’t mean that a Sissy boy is a less strong individual than an Alpha boy. To accept and embrace every kind of radical identity requires bigger balls than any.
Pussy boy: A pussy boy is pretty much like a sissy boy but without the necessary feminization or emasculation. He is, behaves and feels like a male boy that is used by other men and especially older men for their pleasure. The boy feels good about being always at any time available and of service and at the same time being poked in a friendly and consensual environment with sexist comments or names by the Dominants. This enriches both his and the Dom’s experience in a healthy way, as to both of the individual this isn’t a toxic dynamic, but something that feels very good.
These are simply some examples; the most beautiful thing in this lifestyle, once the basic core values and Protocols are respected, is the freedom to express authenticity. I, for example, was called boy-boy during my training; as I have embraced all the Fetishes and I was an Alpha, my Mentor thought so highly of me to consider that I was, in his own mind of course, an all-rounder boy.
What does it mean to identify as a "boy" in Old Guard Leather culture?
Identifying as a "boy" in the leather culture typically means embracing a submissive or service-oriented role within the BDSM and leather communities. It can involve various degrees of submission, service, and mentorship. In Old Guard Leather, every Leatherman starts as a leather boy.
How do individuals typically become involved in the leather community as a boy?
Nowadays people often become involved by showing interest, participating in local events, and seeking mentorship from experienced members. There's no one-size-fits-all path, as it can vary by region and personal choice.
Are there specific expectations for dress and appearance for those who identify as boys?
Dress and appearance can vary, as today that's viewed in a political correct way as a "personal choice and can vary within the community". However, good sense should teach that a leather boy might be a newcomer to the scene, and no one should expect him to have "gear" to respect his identity.
Are there common misconceptions about being a boy in the modern leather scene?
The modern kink scene is all about misconceptions. Some common misconceptions include assuming that all boys are the same or that it's purely about sex. In reality, it's a diverse identity with varying degrees of power exchange and service. Another misconception is that "boy" is just a term to seem "butch" while shooting some amateur pornography, or that it's a play-title one can switch with "Master" or "slave" at their pleasure.
How do gender and sexuality intersect with the concept of being a boy in the leather culture?
Gender and sexuality are diverse within the leather culture. Boys can be of any gender identity or sexual orientation, and their roles and experiences are respected and valued accordingly. It needs to be mentioned that of course when the roots of Leather culture have been laid, there was no need for "gender-non-binary" idealism; the whole concept didn't even start to make its appearance until the 70's. Therefor, a cisgender or transgender person, would still identify as boy, boi or girl.
What is the historical and cultural significance of the "boy" identity within the leather culture?
The "boy" identity has historical roots in the leather and BDSM communities that have been explained in this article, and has evolved over time in what is today the leather pop scene. It represents a unique and valuable aspect of the community's diversity, emphasizing service and submission.