(Editor’s note: Midwest Ursine is the original name of the Great Lakes Den.)
By John Schmitt
Titusboy, the current International Leatherboy and an Ohio resident, took time out of his busy schedule to talk with the Midwest Ursine about his experiences and opinions on the Leather community.
MU: How long have you been active in the leather lifestyle?
Titusboy: I have been in the leather lifestyle for about 10 years and really was drawn to it when I lived in the Baltimore/Washington DC area in the 90s. I really started living what I call a full-time leather lifestyle about two and a half years ago. Like many others, I evolved into my desire to live the lifestyle.
MU: What has been your most memorial moment as a title holder?
Titusboy: I am not sure if I can point to one moment but instead I will say that every event I attend is memorable to me. I am always amazed at the love, support and kindness the leather family openly offers no matter where my travels have taken me. The love is an amazing strength and asset for the community and it is a privilege to be allowed the opportunity to experience that love. I guess I feel a huge responsibility to return that love as my talents will allow.
MU: What advise do have for people have just begun their leather journey?
Titusboy: It is overwhelming in terms of the contributions you can make. The biggest problem is it is overwhelming – where do I start? The two best pieces of advice I can give are 1) focus on one or two issues you feel most passionate about and stick to them. Do not try to spread yourself too thin and 2) ask for help from your Leather family with where you want to focus your support of the issues. To do it yourself is impossible.
MU: What person has made the largest impact on your life as leather boy?
Titusboy: The most important person would be TitusSIR. He is a continuous guidance and mentor to me. I learn about myself every week in serving him. At times I know I try his patience and strive every day to do better for him, my leather family and myself. He himself has a lot to offer the community in his wisdom and common sense. I am truly lucky to be a part of his family.
MU: What are your thoughts on the puppy movement,?
Titusboy: Well, first off I can say my Sir loves, I mean LOVES puppies. We have had the fortunate luck to meet some very nice trained puppies over the past several months. When someone is in true puppy mode, you can feel the positive energy emanating from their bodies when playing with them. It is nothing short of truly amazing. Actually my Sir has done some puppy training on me and I have found a very rewarding release of myself in that manner. Although I am not sure if I am a long-term puppy, I have seen a lot of growth for myself in serving him that way.
MU: What are your definitions of a Master, slave, Sir and boy?
Titusboy: A Master is someone who assumes responsibility for another as their property. They require the entire devotion of another’s body and mind because they are extending themselves through that property ownership. A slave is the true extension of the Master’s will. They extend their Master’s life by total service to his/her goals and what they want for their household. A Sir takes responsibility for a boy as a very strong guide and mentor in a boy’s life. The guide and mentorship is through control. In return the boy provides to his Sir service in making his life an enjoyable and a rewarding experience.
MU: Which one of those roles most suits you?
Titusboy: First and foremost as a boy. Because of who I am I benefit a great deal from the guidance I receive under my SIR’s control. He makes me a better person than I seem to have been able to accomplish on my own. He offsets my failings in my personality which we all have. My particular shortcomings in my personality seem to be better managed in this type of situation and I am the better for it.
MU: What do you think is the most important issue facing the gay community today, and how would you work to solve it?
Titusboy: I think the biggest issue we are facing is equal protection under the law. In Ohio alone, there are ordinances in Cincinnati that permit discrimination in housing! The state of Ohio also is passing a law that legally prohibits the state from providing Domestic Partnership benefits. ( Editor’s Note: Since this interview, the Ohio legislature has passed that law) I think that progressive states are driving conservative ones in the other direction. To solve the situation we are going to have become more visible, vocal and active in our political system.
MU: Would you consider the time you have spent as title holder as a positive experience?
Titusboy: Absolutely! Actually it is one of the most incredible opportunities to learn about yourself. It is a rare and unique opportunity that I am truly humbled by. I am especially grateful to the community that asked me to take that journey. It is definitely a challenge to oneself to stretch your ability to contribute positively to a community.
MU: Often in the leather community you hear “old guard” versus “new guard.” How do you view the two?
Titusboy: I believe old guard is steeped much in Protocol and rigid hierarchy. The new guard though has many common elements may not place as much emphasis on the Protocol and hierarchy. If you look at community I think that both are a part of it and there may be no separation as views and lifestyle choices co-mingle. Maybe it is more of an evolution of a community with different and new subcultures that make up the whole evolving as well.
MU: What is your favorite Kink?
Titusboy: Oh sure, make me pick one! I would have to say that I have become fond of flogging. It is a singular activity in itself that has what I call that layering effect. I like pain in my sexual experience and flogging gives that mental and physical challenge of dealing with the pain in a layered way. It is also very sensual as well in that every person that flogs has a different feeling to the recipient so it is very personal.
MU: What is your least favorite Kink?
Titusboy: I would have to say chastity is my least favorite kink. It is more of a punishment to me and it has such a difficult mental aspect for me that is definitely my least favorite without a doubt.
MU: Do you view the leather family is inclusive and expecting of all lifestyles?
Titusboy: Although I think you can see natural circles of different sub leather families/cultures I do sense they are supporting other cultures openly. They are attending cross events and are actively understanding each of the groups.
MU: If you could date any man who would it be and why?
Titusboy: Lenny Broberg and purely from a visual standpoint since I have not had the honor to know him on a personal level. But I have to say in a word WOOF!
MU: What was your first piece of leather?
Titusboy: A pair of chaps was my first piece of leather and they were given to me which makes it even more significant. A good choice because I cannot think of a piece of leather that is more erotic or masculine than chaps. Especially when worn without jeans underneath them!
MU: If you could make one statement to the leather community as whole dealing with any issue what would it be?
Titusboy: There are plenty of forces in daily life tearing communities apart and down. We should take great care that we do not allow ourselves to tear each other apart when there are plenty of outside influences already working toward those ends. We are fast becoming a society of individuals and communities of all types are disappearing. Remember, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Sounds simple but it is true and I think that communities are becoming a rare thing today. It’s a shame because there is so much strength in community.
MU: Who actually as the control of a scene in your eyes the Dom or the sub?
Titusboy: To me it is not really about control. It is much more a matter of responsibility. Giving control or taking control really equates to giving responsibility to someone else. But the bottom line is that both parties must be responsible at all times. It is easy to get lost in the scene on either end and both parties do have to insure that something bad does not happen.