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The History and Protocols of Old Guard Leather
A Collection of Essays From People Who Know

The following essays tell of this style of BDSM that has become known as Old Guard Leather. When it was being done, it didn't really have a name. It just was what it was. Now, in the Internet age, we look back with respect on those that came before us, searching for the ways and traditions of our elders, and call it Old Guard Leather. In acknowledgement of a debt that can never be repaid, this page is dedicated to those elders, both alive and dead.

Old Guard: History, Origins, and Traditions by Guy Baldwin

"I only recently realized that there was a strong likelihood that large numbers of leather guys don't quite know for sure what the phrase, '0ld Guard' really means. I'm sure that I have never seen a description of the style (and it is a style), so I want to offer one now."

Old Guard? If You Say So by Joseph W. Bean

"Old Guard versus New Guard. It's all become so much more complicated than it used to be, and so very much more complicated than it ever needed to be."

Old Guard Leather by Master Doug and boy bob

"Protocol is a way of doing things. It simplifies life. I'm lazy. I enjoy having things a certain way. The rules and expectations and understanding of them makes life easier. It makes it less gray."

Letters, Essays, and Poetry to Our Community by boy bob

"The various types of protocols which have been the basis of today's BDSM were very much real, not myth, and are still very much in evidence today if you know what you're looking for."

The Myth of The Old Guard by Jack Rinella

"If I'm going to make any point in today's rambling, it's going to be that there never was, and never will be, an Old Guard."

An Essay About "The Old Days" by Jay Wiseman

"For some time now, and in particular within the last year or so, a number of assertions about so-called "Old Guard" traditions, customs, and teachings have come to my attention. Many of these assertions have caused me to roll my eyes and utter a world-weary sigh."

"20 Years ago you came out as a bottom or top under the tutoring eye of a mentor who awarded you your leather stripes. The roles were rigid and unquestioned. This generation says "I can be anything I want that feels good. Top, bottom, switch, bi-sexual, fetishist."

Changing of the Guard by Hardy Haberman

"I was not steeped in the traditions of "old leather" but I was mentored by a few people who were. What they created was a community of like-minded people who were intent on living and loving outside the societal boundaries."

Unsafe At Any Speed But Making Good Time by Laura Antoniou

"You think your spiffy blue collar needs a name? Fine! Name it whatever you like, name it George! But don't call it an Olde Guarde Collar of Discipline."

Leather Archives & Museum: Oral History Project

Interviews With Tony DeBlase, Larry Townsend, and Marcus Hernandez.

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