IS IT IN THE GENES OR IN THE JEANS?
JG-Leathers is a combination of letters that says as much about me as can be managed in a short time. Basically, they started off referring to the harness designs that I began to create a long time ago (back in the late 1970's); but over the years I've adopted the combination as a whole persona, if you will, that covers my "scene" identity.
Now, I use the conglomeration for a pen name, e-mail address, my logo on drawings and sketches, and damned near everything else I do that's "scene" related in my life.
I suppose I came from the womb with kink embedded in my genes and it just matured into what you see now as JG-Leathers. From my earliest memories, I've always been fascinated with harnesses and controlling devices. I can remember a lot of funny and (unaware of my obsession at those moments of my life) seemingly inconsequential little scenes along my way to hell and perdition, or if you prefer, the point at which I currently find myself in life.
At about age 18, I finally began to make some sense of the world, and knew that THIS was the general direction in which I was headed. I ran across some "scene" oriented magazines and comics, and then shortly after, found that I could actually go out and buy the restraints that were advertised. Being of a somewhat limited income, I scrimped and saved desperately, then mailed off my money to one of these places, and when the gear finally came, I had to go down to the local Customs Bonded Warehouse and claim it, pay my taxes and duty on the merchandise, and submit myself to the scrutiny of a cod-fish eyed representative of Her Majesty's Officialdom.
I went through the whole process a couple of times, then finally reached the point where I said to myself, "Hell! You can draw a little! You're not bad with tools, and you can design stuff!" I suppose you could say the light suddenly came on, and so off I went to the local craft store and bought my first leather, rivets, buckles, and a set of hand tools. From that point on, I've never bought another piece of bondage gear I couldn't make myself. Really, all I need is a quick glimpse of a particular piece of equipment, and I can come pretty close with a fully-functional and matching design in very short order, be it in leather, rubber or metal.
On my next birthday, I'll have been around for 66 years, and truly, I suppose you could say that the actual JG-L thing has been in existence for a little over 45 of those years. I toiled away in obscurity for the first 10 years or so, but then finally, in 1988, decided to hell with it and "came out". That happened at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City by Constance Enterprises, at the 3rd Dressing For Pleasure Ball and was an exhilirating experience that I still remember fondly.
I don't make a big splash about my scene interests with family and vanilla friends, and so only some of them are aware of who and what JG-L is and does for fun. Most only see small facets of the whole picture and seem satisfied that it exists; but my hobby doesn't come up and smack them in the face, for I don't make a big issue of it. If they ask, I tell them a little bit. The more they ask, the deeper they get.
One of my sisters actually accompanied me to the next DFP event the following year, in 1989, and we had a fantastic time of it.
As far as other acquaintances are concerned ... most have some suspicions, and a couple, a more detailed awareness, but again, I don't reveal my hobbies to them without being prompted to do so. As matters have evolved, the vast majority of my friends are in the scene, and they of course have a much clearer picture of who and what JG-L is and does. No one but me though has the full picture, and I suppose that's true of all of us.
Most of my designs are original, although I'll be the first to admit that there really is nothing new under the sun. I've just taken some everyday pieces and ideas, then perverted them from their original function by redesigning and/or reassembling them in somewhat, well, unorthodox configurations and/or uses than was the original intent of the designer.
JG-L isn't a full time affair, but now that I have I retired from my "real world" job, I'll go at it with more dedication because I know that folks out there enjoy my drawings, designs, and the stories I write. My interests certainly haven't made me wealthy, and if anything, they've made me poorer than I should be, just like any dedicated hobbyist. I've spent a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy on my interests and figure that I probably have about $20,000 invested in hand tools and small equipment alone, to say nothing of the amount of money I've spent on supplies used to create the harnesses and ancillary gear. Then, there's the equipment that makes it all function as I want it to. Wealth from JG-L? More like owning a boat ... i.e., a hole in the water, into which one pours unending amounts of money, blood, sweat, and not a few tears.
As to personal statistics: on the 13th january, 2012 I'll be 66 years of age, am five foot, eleven inches tall, and shrinking. I weigh 165 lbs., and so given that weight and height, have a relatively slim build and with no typical middle aged pot belly or pear-shaped behind. My rapidly graying hair is below shoulder length and most of the time worn in a pony tail. I dye it gray to cover up my blonde roots. Eyes are blue and I've worn glasses since I was 12 years old. I've been told that I have a deep voice (comes from my days as a Drill Instructor in the RCAF), and that I could manage to do the BBC news in the proper "sotto" voice.
I've been married to the same wonderfully understanding lady for the last 29 years and we elected not to have kids, having gotten married a little later in life than most. When she married me, she was fully aware of my warts ("scene" stuff), and over the nearly 30 years of our marriage, has been very accepting of my kinky clay feet. I'm very fortunate to have such an understanding partner.
She has no interest in the scene and does not play, even though aware of my strong interests and desires, and there's a big pile of those! I'm sure she does what most wives do when asked; the comment being, "Oh! That's just his hobby. A male thing, I guess."
I'm very thankful for her understanding and acceptance of the JG-Leathers side of my person for without them, I'm not sure JG-L would exist. She's a wonderful lady to put up with me and all of my interests.