Old Guard leather

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Old Guard leather was a term coined in the late 1970s to differentiate the mores of the majority gay leather scene from the more relaxed New Leather style which was emerging.

Gay male BDSM leather culture had grown out of post-WWII biker culture. The early gay male leather subculture is epitomized by the Leatherman's Handbook by Larry Townsend, published in 1972, which essentially defined the Old Guard leather culture. This code emphasized strict formality and fixed roles (i.e. no switching). Very few lesbian women or heterosexuals were visible during the early emergence of gay male leather subculture.

Some BDSM people with no connection to or knowledge of Old Guard leather now claim to be members of it, or even "Old Guard trained." These assertions are often similar to the myth of Ancient European Houses, involving claims of highly secret BDSM organisations of great age which a prospective submissive may be admitted to.

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