Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guy Baldwin on the Old Guard (Must read!)

Guy Baldwin, the man who popularized the term "old guard" in 1991, sets the record straight. This is an extremely good, fascinating essay, and I really hope a lot of people read it.…

Best part, for me:

"Thus, the phrase, “The Old Guard” was first coined by third-generation guys in the late 1980s. They intended the phrase to be critical of that condescending elite. "

In other words, the label was originally a slam on stuck-up assholes in the 1980's who made shit up.


"In general, much of the stuff they made up was about high-Leather formalism, formalism to the point of being “Masonic,” when as far as I could tell, from playing with men in Denver and San Francisco through the 1960s and into the 1970s, very few first and second generation guys had a style dominated by formalism."

The conclusion is so good I must quote it in full:

"At this point you may ask, “What’s the harm, really, in promulgating one or another greatly oversimplified Old Guard story?” Myth, after all, is so much more attractive, more coherent, more comforting than truth, which always bristles with contradictions and loose ends.

"But off-the-rack identities and hand-me-down answers are crappy substitutes for the self-exploration required to build one’s own, personalized identity, from scratch. And the blind embrace of a counterfeit “structure” to escape having to make our own choices is — in my opinion! — antithetical to our paths as erotic seekers.

"Consequently it is my fondest wish that everybody would shut up about the “Old Guard” and do what feels right, as long as it does no harm.

Bottom line: There is no one right way to do anything in our world. As is true of all other kinds of fundamentalism, erotic fundamentalism is the real enemy here."

But please take a few minutes to read the whole essay. Seriously. And pass this on.

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