I really think my biggest fetishized object is a leash. Of course it goes w/o saying that you can’t wear a leash w/o a collar, so that’s a bonus. For me there’s something about being led about on a leash (weather it be in full pup-mode or on 2 legs) that really gets me turned-on and puts me into such a warm, happy, subby headspace. Before I started sleeping in a kennel my Owner would put a leash on me each night, usually tied to the bed. Traditionally at Frolion, Ma’am would lead me around by leash for at least a few hours of the day. It’s a simple thing, but it really does make me a happy puppy-dog. Of course the collar means owned, but the leash seems to make it so much more obvious: this is my pet; he belongs to me.
Last Sunday was Atlanta Dominion, our bi-monthly all-male play party at 1763. My Alpha pup was basically in-charge of the event and he was also recovering from surgery, so we knew he wouldn’t be up to any very physical play – but early on in the day he put my leash on me and kept me that way, by his side, for most of the afternoon… and this made for a very happy wolfhound. *wags* Even w/ Sir not physically up to playing rough we still had a very hot scene that went from couch to spanking bench and back to the couch again and had me flying high… and the leash certainly helped the headspace (especially when Sir stopped me from playing w/ myself by using my leash, while still on my collar, to tie my hands together at chest level).
Last Wednesday evening my Owner took her pup to the regular Wednesday Kinky Karaoke night at the Upstage in Charlotte. We met someone there who had a kinky brother living in San Francisco, and she mentioned how great it was that, out there, you can lead your sub about on a leash in public and nobody minds. Ma’am put a different spin on things, however, by expressing her belief that “my rights stop where your rights begin – some people really don’t want to see things like that, and it’s rude of me to force it in the face.” I basically agree w/ my Owner. I mean, I’ll wear my collar around in public, but I think it looks comparatively natural – in fact I’ve only once ever had a stranger say anything about it (she assumed I was wearing the collar of a beloved family dog as a kind of dog lover’s gesture of solidarity, obviously not noticing the small, gold padlock on the back). But as much as I absolutely love being led about by leash, I have to agree w/ Ma’am that I wouldn’t find it appropriate to do that at the grocery store or an art museum or a restaurant. I’m not into “shocking the vanillas” – I think it’s rude and often a bit immature.
(The counter-argument has come up that saying kinky people shouldn’t use the leash in public is like saying that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to show affection in public b/c it might upset some people. My Owner and I both disagree w/ that argument b/c gay people are generally just asking for the same rights as straight people: if it’s okay for a straight couple to hold hands or kiss publicly then gays should be able to do the same. However, when you talk about leading someone on a leash, that’s kind of a different kettle of fish b/c you’re not simply asking for the same rights as others.)
That said, there are places where the context makes it appropriate to be leashed in public. Frolicon, obviously; at a pride parade; at Folsom; or even just in certain neighborhoods in San Francisco where such things are common sights and not really shocking… or even at Dragon*Con where you see all kinds of crazy costumes and such so the guy on the leash just blends in with the storm troopers, Klingons, and Doctor Who. In such contexts where unusual dress is expected (so nobody could reasonably complain) I am all too happy and eager to be on-leash.