My name’s Hywel Phillips, and I’m a full-time fetish photographer....
SM: Hello JG Leathers and thank you for taking time to do an interview with Scene Magazine. Let’s begin shall we? Your website is very intriguing. How long have you been running JG-Leathers?
JG-L: Hello. Thank you for your interest in who I am and what I do. JG-Leathers, as a name, has been around the scene since the late 1970′s, but the web site by that name has only been in operation for about 7 years.
SM: How did the website begin?
JG-L: About eight years ago my good friend Mark Burnley, the web master of Serious Bondage, Serious Images and Serious Male Images, asked me if I’d like to contribute to his web site, by providing some pix of what I do and an article or two. Of course being the ham I am, I was happy to do so.
About a year later, Mark got on my case and insisted that I should have my own web site, given that what I create and do is unique in the whole of the scene. I protested that I had zero knowledge of HTML and web site construction, but Mark, being the most generous and kind person he is, said that presented no problems, and gave me an old copy of Dream Weaver, then showed me how to use it.
I was still a little reluctant to take the plunge but he offered to build a few pages as well as the site structure for me and so I eventually gave in. Learning how the background coding worked was not of interest to me, but I could easily create pages using standard word processing protocols, something I was already very familiar with, thanks to my writing.
The Web site went on-line on March 17th,2004 and has been going since then.
SM: What is the main objective of your website?
JG-L: Why do I have the web site … I suppose it’s my way of claiming a little immortality and at the same time showing off what I create and do for entertainment, in a scene sense. Truly, it’s just sort of a glorified blog.
JG-L: If I am to be regarded as an ‘explorer’ in the scene, that’s not a bad thing, I believe. I’ve tried many areas to be sure, but there are a lot of others that are not of any interest. I don’t really have a main focus, but am deeply interested in leather harnesses, rubber enclosure and gas masks, sensory deprivation, breath control, steel restraints, strict bondage, intense e-stim sensation play, transvestism (I make a really ugly woman, truth to tell), suspension, corsets, chastity belts and hidden public bondage.
SM: Would you like to talk about your favorite fetishes?
JG-L: You could say that rubber is my favorite fetish material of all the things available. As far as activities are concerned, that’s closely followed by an abiding interest in chastity belts, male or female, and steel restraint gear. When all three are combined and e-stim is added into the mix, then the situations I get into can become pretty wild and damned intense.
I also enjoy suspension in bondage, sensory deprived in full rubber enclosure, being inescapably bound and subjected to intense e-stim by a demanding domme, all at the same time.
SM: How do you see the fetish scene changing?
JG-L: As with all things, the scene continues to evolve. When I discovered and accepted my off-the-wall interests back at the beginnings of the 1960′s, the scene was a very secretive thing, particularly in Canada and any sort of S&M, B&D or fetish activity was not mentioned to anyone. As a matter of fact it was almost, but not quite, illegal, to do the things we take for granted today.
As time moved along and communication became better and easier, we all began to find one another. Then the internet came along and suddenly, everyone could connect with others of like mind and so that was a huge leap forward to where we are today. Social media came along a couple of years ago and the process has speeded up even more, so that now, finding someone who shares the same interests that you do is incredibly easy, compared to what it was like when I found the scene.
Another part of the scene change is that many younger people are finding out about their kinks far earlier in life than many in the past did and that is a truly good thing, for it tends to preserve one’s mental health by knowing that there are others out there who share the same interests and you don’t feel like you are the only person in the world with strange interests. Those interests are not necessarily bad … just different.
In another area … I see the development of on-line kink games and life style areas such as the GOR groups, Second Life, and other sites that offer user-defined CG kink situations.
Then too, there is the continuing development of what could be called ‘tele-sex’, and that’s an area that will be incredibly interesting as it becomes more readily available. One can then be one sex or the other, the top or the bottom and get to experience all the sensations of just about any situation or orientation by direct input to the brain. Incredible, really, when you think about it.
SM: It is the techno age, do you see technology playing a more significant role in B&D/S&M/Fetish scene? How so? Or how not?
JG-L: As I alluded to in the last question, yes, I see technology playing a huge part in the scene in general. Not only in terms of communications and interactivity, but also in the advent of a huge number of purpose-built devices and toys for those in the scene. Some examples of this are: the Robo-jack, The Sybian and Venus 2000, Erostek’s line of e-stim devices, and a host of others doing the same thing.
SM: It took you 10 years before you “Came out”. When you look back, would you rather have come out sooner?
JG-L: I hope you’ll pardon me correcting you, but I’ve been bent since I was born and if you’ll permit me the awful pun, kink is not in the jeans, but in the genes. I actually emerged into a public venue, personally in full kink flower, away back in October, 1988 at the Dressing For Pleasure even in New York City and have not stopped since then. It was the right time and the stars and planets were in the correct positions. I’d have been psychologically unable to do it sooner than that, I believe.
The above being said, I’d already been visible in the scene for about 6 years. My first true appearance came in about 1983 when I was fortunate to have a lot of my photographs published in Hog Tie Magazine then, two years later, I provided the equipment for the Pony Girls At The Ranch videos, and actually ‘starred’ in them as the male lead: the ranch ramrod, Jack. That happened because the producers couldn’t find a guy who could figure out how all the equipment went together and so I was asked if I had a problem with appearing in the video and the rest, as they say, is history
JG-L: Yes, I’m an author and have always written. It’s a terrible disease and in some cases a lot of hard work. I started off writing (poorly) a science fiction story called “Castille”, then began to write fantasy stories of ladies being tormented, teased and aroused while in rubber and bondage situations, as well as some recitations of my own experiences in self-bondage, using my own equipment, and the stories have evolved from that point. Generally, my themes are centred around B&D/S&M/Fetish areas and many progress towards permanent imprisonment
SM: Have you had many books published?
JG-L: I now have 14 books in print and all seem to be selling well. However, in addition, I’ve also written articles for scene-oriented publications such as Secret Magazine, and Marquis.
SM: Any new books on the horizon?
JG-L: Lots and lots of them, actually, and for a few years to come. My most recent book was published in October, 2011. All of my tales of woe and terror are available at: www.EroticBookNetwork.com . As mentioned, I still have a substantial number of stories to be published and these generally come out every six months …. Spring and Autumn.
The next one will be a re-publication of my first two books, published by www.houseofgord.com, originally released back in 1994. They’ve since gone out of print, so it was time to put them on offer again as there seems to be a continuing interest in what I write. The Story is called THE CONTRACT and what I’ve done is to combine the original two stories into a single volume and added 40,000 words for a full length story of about 136,000 words.
Gord has been most kind, generously allowing me to use all of the original illustrations from the original books, and I’ve added in some other rather poor sketches of my own. I think that the cover picture will be a real eye-grabber … always a good thing.
SM: What is your relationship with Gord?
JG-L: Gord and I have been close friends for many years … before the advent of the Internet in fact, when we used to exchange, actual, hand-written letters and he used to live at my home for 5 months at a time, over a three year period when he was creating his fist web site. Like all good friends we’ve certainly had our areas of disagreement over the years, but they’ve been resolved as time passes, for we both treasure our friends greatly. We have too short a time on this earth to fritter it away on disagreements.
SM: Please tell us about the infamous Creature?
JG-L: Wow, that’s gonna take considerable time to fully describe, so I’ll give you a capsule description here, but would ask your readers, please to check out my (free) personal web site, to discover more about it and see other images of it.
Before going any further I should explain that I decided to design The Creature as a component-based ensemble, so that one part did not necessarily require any of the others to function fully.
Briefly, The Creature originally began as a ‘Horse Man’ body, head and limb set of harnesses, for me, that could be employed to restrain, or restrict, used for suspension (and so it is over-built), or used as a ‘work horse’ harness, to pull carts, etc.
The ‘horse’ harness set also includes a bridle designed to fit the human head, yet leave the face unencumbered by its structure, and as with all bridles, various types of bits are available as part of Command and Control. The bit sub-harness adds wonderfully to the sensations of being controlled and there are other sub-harness sets with it; anti-toss reins, bearing reins, blinkers to limit peripheral vision, and a full face mask, leaving only the eyes uncovered. I’ve also recently added a set of hames … these being used by working horses.
In the process of creating the original design, I decided that I also wanted to make it usable by a female play partner, and so created a female crotch piece and breast harnesses. My brains, by this point, had gone into overdrive and turned to chicken gumbo, so I decided that I also wanted to be able to add-in training/disciplinary attachments. That meant designing and creating the vacuum/electrical breast cups for male or female use, and the crotch pieces for each sex. The male crotch piece has a vacuum/electrical penis tube and this has interchangeable end caps that can accommodate a urethral ‘sound’, either smooth or ribbed, whereas the female one has an electrifiable dildo. With both crotch pieces, a ‘floating’ or fixed butt plug can be employed … either single pole or bipolar.
The female version has an added option that I call that an ‘Inhibitor Bar’ and this is a long post that can be mechanically and rigidly attached to the dildo. The Inhibitor Bar can be of any length required …. mid-thigh to below the ankles and is a supremely controlling option that ensures the lady is constantly and inescapably reminded of her femaleness, while at the same time discouraging her ability to run, and utterly prohibiting any attempt to sit down.
That pretty much takes care of the actual harness part of The Creature, but now, with the capability of e-stim and vacuum applications, I next had to design the actual devices and fittings, then find suitable machinery to run these aspects. That took a couple of years, but I now have the machinery needed and it all functions very well..
Then, there was the need to provide restraint for the wearer and so I began another long search for the kind I wanted. I eventually settled on the ones made by Axsmar in Germany after 10 years of looking. They are the very best, in my view.
The next part of The Creature’s development came when I decided that I wanted to be able to wear it over a rubber cat suit and helmet, complete with an airtight gas mask that could be used for breath control, if that aspect was to be employed during play sessions. So, I embarked on yet another search and eventually had one custom made for me by a friend here in Vancouver. Other rubber came along with the addition of thigh boots, helmets, and isolation mittens.
And so, there you have a brief history of The Creature’s development.
SM: Does The Creature always join you on your travels?
JG-L: Yes. The Creature, or a smaller version of it, normally travels with me. I’ve taken it all over the USA, to Australia a half dozen times, and innumerable times to Europe … normally France, Germany, Holland and the UK. It’s impossible for me to bring along the entire thing and all the support machinery for it, unless I rent a cargo container.
JG-L: No, not at all. Although The Creature appears to be other worldly, and is in a sense a self-contained universe of its own, it is by no means a ‘robot’. The Creature is designed and intended to animate its wearer by external control of its stimulation or discipline aspects, but is not sentient on its own. Sex in TC is possible although difficult, but the person in The Creature is the one being controlled in all aspects of their life, and so there is a large element of compulsion involved and that alone could be defined as sadism, I suppose.
SM: You had an large part in the creation of the movie Pony girls At The Ranch, can you tell us any important details from those videos?
JG-L: I’ve mentioned it above, and yes, I was deeply involved and instrumental in the creation of those videos. Upon seeing my pictures and designs, the good folks at House Of Milan (we’re still friends, all these years later) began discussing the creation of a video, and two years later, in 1985, it came to pass.
I’d told them that I had a vision of having a horse woman or two controlled by a machine and thought that a horse exerciser (a ’hot walker’) would be the ideal device, and photographically, very striking. On a trip with my cousin from LA to Reno, I’d glanced out the window of the car and seen one of these on farm we were passing and then, the lights came on … that was exactly what I wanted. They then spent quite a while locating one on a good property and things went from there.
SM: Are you still learning?
JG-L: Oh, absolutely! To stop learning is to invite your brains to depart and that’s when the slide into senility begins. I continue to discover new techniques for writing, making all the various components for TC, and learning more computer stuff, both for drawing and building the web site. I’m also an avid, life-long photographer and keep learning new tricks in that field, both for taking pictures and the editing of them.
SM: Do you like to attend fetish events? If so why?
JG-L: Yes, I enjoy going to events a great deal. First of all, I get to show off, and I’ll make no bones about that aspect of my personality. When I wear The Creature at an event most, people generally stop and stare, and if they’re bold enough, will come up and chat with me. That’s something I truly enjoy … meeting new people and learning about them and what they do.
To walk through an event in full costume and watch people’s reactions to what they see is a great pleasure and hugely entertaining for me, and I hope, for them.
In somewhat the same vein, I get many letters from the web site and from folks seeing me on venues like FLIKR and Fet Life and make a point of answering every one. It’s a huge compliment to me that they feel inspired enough to write and I feel that I’m obligated to respond.
SM: Can you tell us how do you like to modify kinky toys? Can you give us any examples?
JG-L: Generally, I create my own kinky toys, rather than modify existing ones, although there are exceptions. I’m very fortunate to have been endowed with a widely-varied set of skills and artistic talents, so I can envision things in three dimensions, ‘explode’ them to figure out the components and how they all go together, then draw them out in engineering concept sketches, write about them in a coherent fashion, and finally to fabricate them with whatever tools I need. Normally, if I can look at a thing for about five minuets … I can duplicate it or come pretty damned close.
SM: What are your areas of enjoyment?
JG-L: I’ve partially-covered that already, but over and above scene stuff, I enjoy travel, photography, walks in the wilderness (not too far though! My idea of camping out is to swim up to the in-pool bar and order a couple of beers at the Shera-tent), reading a good book, watching movies and sampling new beers all over the world.
SM: Since B&D/S&M is not the central theme in your life, what is?
JG-L: I suppose you could say that the central theme in my life now that I’m retired, is to exercise my creativity and get to see and experience all the things I dreamed of doing when I was younger. I own my home and like to keep it in top shape and have a good relationship with my sisters and brother and all the other family members. I prefer harmony to strife and stress, and work towards that as best I can.
JG-L: That’s an interesting question. I suppose I’m interested in it because it’s the ultimate command and control situation and there is a good deal of risk to it also, no matter how mild the experience is. That risk factor is an attraction, but I never do breath elimination. That I suppose is a no-brainer. Limiting/restricting the amount of air received, it’s odour and frequency of delivery, are all a part of the scene and if you’re bound and wearing a full gas mask, with perhaps a gag underneath, then it can get truly frightening.
SM: What is a TV/gender Bender? Can you explain to us the various abbreviations? If it isn’t too much to ask?
JG-L: Not at all. Please keep in mind though, that these are my definitions, but I think they’re widely accepted. TV refers to transvestism … i.e. the wearing of the opposite gender’s clothing; perhaps from the skin out, or maybe only the outer coverings. You could certainly call me a gender bender. I define that as someone who may have the external appearance of the other sex, but retains full (original) sexual equipment.
In my case, I wear women’s clothing and even have outfits made for me. I wear breast forms nearly every day of my life, complete with bra, slips, panty hose, corsets, stockings, boots, blouses, and jewellery, but I don’t wear panties; preferring to wear my Latowski chastity belt under a skirt (or trousers). To continue on the gender bender theme, and this tends to really confuse people who meet me for the first time when I’m dressed … I don’t do feminine gestures, nor do I do make-up (a colossal pain in the butt), and I do not even attempt to speak in a falsetto voice. I spent too long in command and control positions and have a relatively deep voice, so it would be difficult if not impossible for me to change my voice cadence and timbre.
SM: Why do you like to dress in rubber?
JG-L: I found that I really loved rubber quite late in life and when I did, it was a wonderful revelation. I enjoy the sensations of tightness and restriction that it gives, and especially so with an all-body enclosure. When you perspire, that adds even more to the sensations and it should be remembered that the skin is the largest sensory organ of your body. Rubber can help you enjoy your skin hugely and pervasively. Not only do you as the wearer feel its constraint, put rubber reacts rapidly to temperature change as well, and visually, if shined, it is very impressive.
SM: We see you wearing a lot of heavy rubber … how does leather fit into the whole JG-Leathers scheme of things?
JG-L: That’s a fair question, of course. I originally started out as somewhat of a leather freak, but rubber, being so sensual, soon superceded it. Now, I use leather for purposes of restraint or harness creation, and wear it together with rubber, thus getting the best of both worlds.
SM: Any words of inspiration, encouraging thoughts or good wisdom to our readers in the Fetish and B&D/S&M world?
JG-L: Me? Words of ‘wisdom’? Hahahahaha. No not really, but there are a few points I’d like to make. First of all, you can always make more money … NOT more time. Second … be empathetic. That word is probably the most important one in any scene play, or in everyday life for that matter. Third … enjoy the moment and the journey as a whole, for sometimes, reaching your goal can be anti-climatic. Fourth … remember the old Confucian saying … “Virginity, Ego and Balloon all same thing … one prick … all gone!” Finally … take chances on sane adventures that may present themselves. There’ll be nothing worse than sitting in your rocking chair on the porch, at 85 years of age, and saying “I wish I’d done this or that.” By then, it’s too bloody late.
SM: Thank you JG Leathers for this interview with SceneMagazine.
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