Leather, Fetish or Fashion? My Obsession with Leather

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

I’ve always loved leather.

I bought my first leather jacket when I was 14 years old, and wore it everywhere. It made me feel good, powerful, confident, at an age were in reality I was shy and awkward.

Marisa Miller for Harley Davidson

Leather fashion stared with the biker gangs, and has since been incorporated by many different subcultures and mainstream ones too. From the gay scene as early as the 40s and 50s, where many were inspired by Marlon Brando’s character in The Wild One, to the rock and metal music scene, and now more than ever, by the mainstream fashion industry too. Today celebrities grace magazine covers and appear in music videos dressed in what would have once been seen as fetish attire.

The gay scene is where leather as fashion first took a turn into the world of sex and kink. As early as the 40s wearing certain leather items could indicate a sexual preference or an interest in BDSM, even just the term leather could indicate an interest in kinky sex. The community catered for this fashion with leather fetish nightclubs and parties becoming increasingly popular in the 70s all over the world. The leather look signifying the ultimate feeling and expression of masculine sexual liberation and an alternative way of life.

Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

Traditionally it has always been the more dominant roles that wore the leather, a female Dominatrices nearly always portrayed head to toe in leather or latex. And in the world of BDSM these roles may still be in place a lot of the time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a straight guy with a leather fetish wants to be dominated or that people who love wearing leather should be stereotyped as being into certain things.

Leather fashion started with the bikers, and to this day they still wear it for practical and fashionable reasons. It’s no coincidence that the origin of the term Heavy Metal came from the biker anthem Born to be Wild inextricably linking bikers to heavy metal and therefore heavy metal to leather.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Goth and alternative fashion is also influenced heavily by the leather and biker style, but also BDSM in general, taking it one step further with more overtly sexual accessories, such as leather chokers, chains, and straps, a fashion style that definitely crosses over into the world of kink.

Why do I like wearing leather?

It’s hard to say. I like how it feels on my skin, being laced tightly into a leather corset feels a little like I’m being bound. It clenches in my waist and pushes up my breasts, it’s sexual. I like how it makes me look, it gives me confidence. Wearing leather high heels, a leather jacket and pants, I’ll walk with my head held high feeling sexy and knowing I look good. I’ve never been an extroverted person, but I feel I can express my true personality through my style.

I enjoy it in the bedroom too, leather whips, riding crops, paddles, chokers, lingerie. It sets the right tone for what I’m into, bondage and kink.

For me is it a fetish?

I’m not sure…

Dita Von Teese

For someone with a fetish seeing someone dressed in leather may ignite a feeling, whether it just be excitement, appreciation, or a strong sexual desire. For me I guess maybe I want to be the one being looked at and thought about in that way.

However, does the sound of a leather whip on flesh, or leather belt being unbuckled turn me on? Yes, so maybe there is a sort of fetish there.

With the fashion industry bringing leather more and more into the daily lives of everyone, and faux leather options making it more accessible and affordable for all, there are multiple reasons why someone might enjoy it. And although when worn as fashion it’s not necessarily classed as a fetish, it’s a look that remains dark, mysterious, and undeniably sexual.

dita von teese

Some may feel those that wear leather are hinting at their sexuality, maybe they are more likely to be open minded, or experimental, not afraid to show their raw character or desires.

Gone are the days of having to buy DVDs or top shelf magazines to get a glimpse into the world of kink, for most its now as easy as following a hashtag on your phone. With social media making it easier than ever for different fashions and fetishes to be shared and seen by many it’s a look that may become more and more normalized, however it’s always kept its sexy and powerful image, and always will.


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