1. You like to look. You know you do. And there’s something so deliciously perfect about combining kink culture with a museum setting. Sex is on display and you’re allowed to look. In fact, you paid admission. It’s where our inherent voyeurism can go to meet exhibits on exhibitionism. And yes, you will find yourself doing that slow, pretentious gallery walk with your arms behind your back as you contemplate paintings of muscular men sucking each other off. Just let it happen. As long as you keep your hands off your junk and off the exhibits.
  2. You want to find out how to be kinky. There’s a nifty little video that plays at the entrance to the museum called S&M 101 which can help you get started. It will give you the basics rules and definitions of kinky practices. For example, it describes “kink” as any sexual practice that isn’t “vanilla”, by which they imply practices generally accepted by society. The video stresses the consensual nature of kinkiness. You can’t just tie someone to your bed without warning and without talking about it first- no matter how long you’ve been carrying those furry handcuffs in your purse. It’s just not cool.
  3. Books turn you on. The Leather Archives and Museum will give a whole new meaning to the word “bibliophile” in your once sterile little universe. The LA&M houses its own library full of texts on sexual history, sociology, and various forms of erotica that will dirty up your mind and make you want to bang a librarian. Along with standards like the Kinsey Report and Mapplethorpe photo books, you’ll find outlandish tomes on how to use the knots you learned in Boy Scouts for bondage. Who knew being an Eagle Scout could be so kinky?
  4. You’re searching for an alternative form of masculinity. The collection of erotic art at the LA&M will allow you a glimpse of another kind of male sexuality/psychology that you may not be used to. Whereas mainstream culture portrays gay men as effeminate and flamboyant, the LA&M will show you depictions of gay powerful and muscular he-men. It’s a subversion of the mainstream effeminate stereotype as well as of taboos such as gays in the military. Let’s just say there are a lot of depictions of men in uniform. And I approve.
  5. You’re an activist and want to agitate for sexual freedom. The LA&M holds records of various sexuality based groups throughout the country and their resources. Furthermore, having a sense of what a community has faced in the past, and what has succeeded or failed can strengthen the movement. Get your research on!
  6. You’ve been naughty. Very naughty. There’s a dungeon. With a spank machine. And whips. And floggers. And speculums. Not that you get to play with the toys, but just looking at them will give you something to fantasize about later.
  7. You want to learn more about leather sexuality and its communities. There are various artifacts on display belonging to leather groups across the U.S. There are vests, hats, pins from sexual conquest, etc. There is even a replica of a leather bar complete with dress codes, signs, and memorabilia. The museum also has a video about a motorbike group called the Satyrs and their history that really gives you a sense of the male camaraderie to be found in these organizations, all the loyalty and intense support. You get to feel the love and brotherhood.
  8. You want to be the next International Mr. Leather or International Miss Leather. And c’mon, be honest. Who doesn’t!? The LA&M has a history of the contests, along with titleholders and sashes on display for you to imagine yourself in.
  9. It’s actually kind of romantic. While it’s not an ideal first date, there’s a love story involved. The LA&M houses the largest collection of Dom Orejudos’ erotic art (aka Etienne) which his lover donated to the museum after Etienne’s death. He felt the work of this pioneer of homoerotic art should be shared with the world and wanted to make sure his lover would always be remembered, thus becoming one of the catalysts for the LA&M project. Now if starting a museum in memory of someone you love isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is.
  10. Last, but not least, you should go simply because I told you to. And for some reason you just can’t resist obeying my command…

The Leather Archives and Museum is located at 6418 N. Greenview Avenue and is open Thursdays and Fridays from 11 am until 7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am until 5 pm. General admission is $10 with discounts for students, seniors, and military personal. Visit their website for more information and to receive a discount on admission.

Share this! (You know you want to.)

Got something to say? Say it loud!