The Leather Research Reference Shelf

This set of sites provides information for people researching leather culture. Leather is a gay male subculture centered upon the wearing of leather clothing. Some leathermen practice sadomasochism. The word leather is sometimes also used to refer to lesbian or heterosexual sadomasochism.

This set of sites addresses the literature and history of sexuality. Parental supervision is strongly recommended.

"If you are looking for a one-stop site for your leather culture resources, this is your site."
Review in the August 2004 issue of the Guard Post

This directory is maintained by Dusk Peterson. Fiction by Dusk Peterson is available, including leather fiction.

Updated in May 2012.

Store: Love in Dark Settings Omnibus (all of Dusk Peterson's Websites in one e-book).

International Directory of Online Leather Magazines and Newsletters. The most complete directory available of gay, lesbian, and pansexual magazines and newsletters. Recommended by the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.

Leather Books in Alternative Formats. Gay, lesbian, and pansexual books in audio format, large print, electronic text, and braille.

Leather Culture, 1945-1985: A Bibliography of Printed and Online Resources. Lists online and printed resources on leather history around the world.

Leather Fonds: Archives and Libraries with Collections Related to Leather Culture. Places where you can find leather books, magazines, and historical documents and objects.

Leather TOCs: Tables of Contents for Leather Magazines. Tables of contents and other information on gay, lesbian, and pansexual magazines such as Drummer, Brat Attack, Checkmate, and Metropolitan slave.

Transcend: Leather Spirituality News and Links. Links on Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Pagan, Shamanic, Unitarian Universalist, and general leather spirituality from gay, lesbian, and pansexual perspectives.

Related Sites by Dusk Peterson

Leather History Essays by Dusk Peterson.

The Literature and History of Friendship, Romantic Friendship, Romance, and Sexuality. Includes GLBT resources.

Online Leather Fiction by Dusk Peterson.

Sites on the History and Literature of Western Hierarchical Relationships.

Topman: Online Writings by and about John Preston.

True Tales: An Erotic E-zine of Masculinity and Power. Many of the stories and articles are on gay leather. See also the magazine's leather links.

Other Major Leather Research Sites

American Fetish. Robert V. Bienvenu's online dissertation on kink history.

Carter/Johnson Leather Library. Catalogue, images, and information on a travelling library of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual publications.

Colors of Leather. Images related to gay, lesbian, and heterosexual magazines, clubs, bars, and leather history.

Leather Archives and Museum. Primarily gay, but with some lesbian and heterosexual material.

Penitential Arts. A kink history site with an extensive links list. Go there to find links to other important leather history sites that are focussed on particular topics.

Search The Leather Research Reference Shelf


To search all of the sites at The Leather Research Reference Shelf, type in "leather research" (including the quotation marks) and then the word or words you are seeking. Put quotation marks around phrases. You do not need to capitalize. For example, if you want to find references to New Zealand, type the following:

"leather research" "new zealand"

Alternatively, you may type the name of the specific site within The Leather Research Reference Shelf that you wish to search.

"leather tocs" preston

Be aware that the Google engine searches the entire domain, so the results will occasionally bring up a page that links to The Leather Research Reference Shelf.

Once you've located the page you want, use your browser's Find command (such as Control F) to search within the page. The word or words you are searching for may occur more than once on the page.

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Creative Commons License: Some Rights ReservedThis text, or a variation on it, was originally published at as part of The Leather Research Reference Shelf. Copyright © 2004-2008, 2012 Dusk Peterson. Some rights reserved. The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( You may freely print, post, e-mail, share, or otherwise distribute the text for noncommercial purposes, provided that you include this paragraph. The author's policies on derivative works and fan works are available online (