Historical Essay. South of Market has been undergoing so much rapid change in recent years that many of its current habitues are unaware of or uneasy about its recent past. The newspapers endlessly repeat a mantra of how brave pioneers -- usually restauranteurs catering to an "upscale" crowd -- have wrested the area away from the "lowlife" elements that once made the area "undesirable. Gay "leathermen" are one of the most visible and least understood of the ostensibly vanishing groups of SOMA aboriginals. Reading about the world of leather in the straight press is a bit like reading the reports about indigenous peoples written by dumfounded missionaries in the heyday of colonialism. When I see the disappearance of its gay population used an indicator of the South of Market "renaissance," I am reminded of the ways white settlers in North America spoke of the Native Americans they displaced.
In the room downstairs, a strobe flashed over mounds of muscle and harnesses. Men slipped in and out of shadow. I later understood that to be the point. Upstairs, things were different — a quiet dive bar, people milling around wooden tables. Someone was choking on a dick in the corner. His gagging noises mixed with the music and talk.
LeatherWerks is the Southeast's premier Leather and Fetish shop. We are a full service leather store addressing the needs of gay men and the greater fetish community. We don't think there is anything pornographic or offensive about our website. However, in some jurisdictions there may be narrow minded prudes who do not understand our culture. Therefore, by clicking on any of the links below you agree that you are not one of those narrow minded prudes, you are not offended by adult themed information and images designed primarily for adult gay men, and that it is legal for you to view such adult themed information and images in the jurisdiction in which you live.
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets , vests , boots, chaps , harnesses , or other items. Wearing leather garments is one way that participants in this culture self-consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures. Male leather culture has existed since the late s,  when it likely grew out of post- WWII biker culture.