In celebration of all things leather and kink we asked a few sober folks in the leather community how they integrate their leather and kink lifestyles with their clean and sober lives.
>> BY PAULO MURILLO <<
“I surround myself with people who are supportive of my sobriety and who can give me proper guidance to experience kink in a sober and safe realm. I always have sobriety as a priority before I go in to play or have hookups. I always mention no PNP. If I’m around people where I know that’s going on, I just know that I need to be more aware and safeguard my sobriety and always give myself the option to leave if I need to.”
—Dalton Huckaby Jr., sober since January, 1995.
“In my early training I was taught not to party and play because it is unsafe if you are impaired, so I follow that and I do not play with people who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol… Whether it’s dominant/submission play, or heavy-duty impact play, I feel that to be safe, sane and consensual, both parties have to be clear. It’s not challenging for me because I like to be present and I like to connect, even if it’s with an anonymous person. I still want to connect physically, mentally and spiritually and I can’t do that if either one of us is not sober.”
—Maxx Litwak, sober since June, 2011.
“With everything in my life, sobriety comes first. As an adult film performer, both fetish and mainstream, I learned to bring my higher power with me in whatever I do. The freedom I found in sobriety allows me to let my walls down and embrace that darker side of myself. For me, leather and kink is a state of mind. There is a huge misconception in sobriety that you should not participate in behaviors with leather and kink, because it is deemed unacceptable and non-spiritual. As long as I can put my head down at night, I didn’t hurt anybody and my higher power is okay with me, I am okay.”
—Jeff May (Chris Matthews), sober since September, 2007.
“I got sober the day after L.A. Leather Pride last year… Now I’m more aware of my surroundings, as far as what I put my body through during sexual activity. Obviously, I don’t do poppers and that was a big thing for me. I just happen to be surrounded by these sober people who are into it. I find my group and I stay in the middle of the boat. I still have fun. It’s much better for me. It’s much more freeing and I’m able to express myself more. It’s also humbling to be able to do this sober.”
—Daniel Blair, sober since March, 2014.
“I’m very new to the leather/kink community and I’m still finding my way, but so far I’ve learned that just like anything new I do in sobriety, I need to take God in with me. I need to replace fear with faith and just have fun. And so far, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I have sober friends who support me and who are also into leather and that is who I hang out with and talk to.”
—David Sanford, sober since March, 2008