The Leather Research Reference Shelf

Off the Wire

When content is the main concern, never judge a book by its cover, and never judge a web site by its flash or lack of it

[This review is reposted with permission from the August 2004 issue of the Guard Post, the newsletter of Twilight Guard.]

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then knowledge is the mind of the reader. Such is the case with Dusk Darkling (okay, don't giggle) Leather Culture, 1945-1985: A Bibliography of Printed and Online Resources.

It is not loaded with a lot of flash, fireworks, or animation that tends to be a trademark of a lot of websites these days, half of which do not even work on some Internet brousers. Neither are there any nude or seminude leather-clad boys just for eye candy. Dusk's Leather Culture 1945-1985 is a fine and valuable resource covering 40 years of leather history.

Posted just this summer (August, 2004), it is an ongoing bibliography of leather history that centers on gay leather/SM history. Nonetheless, the site does offer resources on lesbian and heterosexual SM. One heterosexual leather reviewer had some problems with the site because, in her words, "Dusk, you did a very good job, however I don't see too much of the heterosexual history listed and nothing of the history of the B&D magazines; the history of those people is excluded." Then again, it's well-known that this reviewer is never happy unless, as far as leather culture goes, heterosexuals are standing head and shoulders above their gay and lesbian counterparts. To give credit where credit is due, Dusk had made it a point to emphasize that the site does center on gay leather culture in his announcement at the site's opening and on the page itself. Despite the heterosexual quibble, the site is very well researched and extensive in its resources of gay leather culture. It was developed as a bibliography for Dusk's upcoming fiction series, Loren's Lashes. This working bibliography includes works that aren't directly related to leather culture, and such incidental works are located in portions of the bibliography without the words "Leather/SM" in the section titles.

Leather Culture 1945-1985 is divided up in to three headers and 13 subsections:

Terminology and Abbreviations

Period Writings

Historical Studies Modern Studies If you are looking for a one-stop site for your leather culture resources, this is your site.

One page. No multipart sections.

Works in both AOL and Internet Explorer. Safari is unknown at this time.

One page site, hot links to header sections, and subsections, or just scroll down.

There are several links located throughout the section as part of the entree on the page. There is no general link area or page. All links at this time are functional with no dead end pages to report. At the beginning and end of page, a popup window is offered via Outlook Express to send e-mail to the site's owner/author Dusk.

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Copyright: All Rights ReservedCopyright © 2004 Twilight Guard. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Guard Post.

Remaining text:

Creative Commons License: Some Rights ReservedThis text, or a variation on it, was originally published at as part of The Leather Research Reference Shelf. Copyright © 2004-2008 Dusk Peterson. Some rights reserved. The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( You may freely print, post, e-mail, share, or otherwise distribute the text for noncommercial purposes, provided that you include this paragraph. The author's policies on derivative works and fan works are available online (