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Old Guard, New Guard, and Stand & Model

This came from the list written by Lthrwoman. My thanks goes to her for her permission to post this message on her views of the Old Guard, New Guard and Stand and Model in the Leather Community.

i believe that the primary differences between Old Guard, New Guard and the "Stand & Model" crowd are primarily rooted in tradition, respect, and history.

Old Guard has within it a purist stance on those things that it considers important. It is rich in tradition and ritual with a history that is to be both revered and utilized. There is an almost contumacious quality in regard to protocol and respect. The rules are rigid with little room for compromise. There is more structure, discipline and an expectation of excellence, both in attitude and behavior, of all, both tops and bottoms. The pluses are that this provides a rich "family" environment in which new members can benefit from the skill and wisdom of the more established members. There is also an additional emotional tie, because this *is truly a family structure in many ways. The down side is that there is little room for those who *are different, leaving many to be ostracized and/or smothered.

New Guard was i believe, a direct result of members who would not or could not conform to the rigid expectations of the Old Guard. The rules, belief system, and expectations are more relaxed. There is a loss of tradition and ritual, but a beginning of new definitions. The pluses are that this provides for a much larger variety of choices and circumstances which may be necessary for certain members. It also increases the opportunity to engage in more s/m relationships regardless of the nature, thus learning and having fun on one hand, but creating difficulties in regard to bonding on the other hand. It is more social and allows for more individual freedom of expression. The down side is that there is a loss of family, the closeness, support, and education that family provides. There is also more confusion by members as each member struggles to define what New Guard is to him/herself and then attempts to mesh with others who live by the same definitions. In short, everyone *knows the rules in Old Guard. No one knows the rules in New Leather because its boundaries are set by the individual, not necessarily conducive with of history/tradition/ritual of Old Guard.

The "Stand & Model" crowd is a direct result of main streaming and marketing. It is immature masses who are *trying to become enmeshed with the current "cool" crowd. This leads to the natural progression that they will eventually disappear when it is no longer considered "cool" and move onto the next "cool" crowd. It is only a matter of time before this happens, but they are as persistent as a fly at a picnic. Outward appearances are what matters most to this group. Wearing leather as well as the opportunity to "rub elbows" with more established members of the community is what brings them pleasure. Thus, an outward indication of their acceptance and belonging to the leather fold. They have no understanding, respect or real interest in leather as it pertains to them because it really doesn't pertain to them at all.

In closing, i believe that Old Guard lives and breathes their beliefs. It is an intricate part of who they are. New Leather has not yet reached that point, <and by the very definition, never will as a group> they are still exploring what leather means to them and are constantly changing as each member struggles to redefine it for him/herself. "Stand & Model" are "weekend warriors," most of whom can be more adeptly described as weekend wannabes who havenĘt a clue and will eventually fade into the distance.

And for the record, i have been blessed to be of an age where i have stood in both worlds of Old Guard and New Leather. While i enjoy some of the benefits that New Leather provides, i am by nature Old Guard and am happiest within that realm. i do not judge either of the two except as they pertain to me There is room in this world for both to peacefully co-exist. Apparently, there is also room for the "Stand & Model" crowd, or else we wouldn't be swatting at all those flies. <smile>

Lthrwoman <<<
*who, btw believes that women have and still do encompass Old Guard as well as men.