Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What is “Gear”?

A few months ago, Leatherpost.com started sponsoring a monthly Gear Night at the Cuff Complex.  This is by no means the first use of the term “gear,” but what does it really mean?  What constitutes or qualifies and “gear” and what does not?

The first uses of the term “gear” that I encountered were in the rubber community, as an expansion of that fetish to include sports gear — jock straps, football shoulder pads, cleated shoes, and so.  (Why expand rubber — which already included two major subgroups of tight latex and thick industrial rubber — with the seemingly unrelated genre of sports gear?  Heck if I know.  Maybe there's a connection via spandex?)

By extension, “gear” would also cover the tools and the accessories attached with other fetishized professions, especially firemen but also medical, police, construction, and so forth.  We certainly have seen an increase in fire fighter pants and boots (and gas masks) in recent years.

And thus, we can come around to an actual definition:
“Gear” is all the fetish clothing and equipment which we accept into the greater “leather community” (and that's a whole 'nother definition) which isn't leather, uniform, or rubber.  “Gear” is the “Etc.”, the “E” in “L.U.R.E.”
Under this definition, note that traditional leathers — pants, chaps, shirts, vests, harnesses, etc. — are not “gear”.  Tight shiny latex or hip boots and surf suits — not “gear”.  Police or military uniforms or cammo — not gear.

            Cowboys (and Indians)
                    Puppy and Pony Play
… that's “gear”.


  1. The IRS has a rule on deductibility of required occupational attire; in essence, if you can wear it in normal social settings, it's not deductible (suits, dress shirts, khaki trousers), but if you wouldn't normally (kevlar chaps for chain saw protection, safety glasses, steel-toed work boots), it is.

    I keep trying to propose that a similar rule serves well in the gear definition. Minus drag.

  2. That would seem to include 90% of the leather and rubber outfits that hang in our closets, though. Do you want to include those under "gear"? (Because then we should start referring to it as the "gear community", maybe?)

    I prefer to target "gear" as a new leg of the community table, or if you prefer, a leg that was there all along but which is now taking full share of the weight.