THE LEATHER RESEARCH REFERENCE SHELF ¶ Transcend ¶ Leather Spirituality News and Links

Leather Spirituality Links

A table of contents for this page is available on the home page.

All articles below represent the views of their authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the editor of this site.

This site carries links related to the leather community. Some of the links are intended for adults only. Parental supervision is recommended for minors visiting this site.

Writings from or about the Leather Communities

The articles listed at this site are written by members of the leather community or by neutral or positive observers of the community. In a few cases, articles are listed that give negative reactions to neutral or positive articles about the leather community.


The sites listed in this section have many articles on leather spirituality.

Baphomet's Temple: Raven's Pagan BDSM Page. By Raven Kaldera and his boy Joshua.
Pagan (the essays by Joshua also mention Christianity and Eastern religions). Pansexual.

Born Slaves. By SlaveMaster. Spirituality articles are scattered throughout the site.
General. Pansexual (from a gay perspective).

Going Deep: Topspace, Bottomspace, and Sado-Erotic Ecstasy. By Chris M. A ten-part essay on the spiritual experience in SM.
General. Pansexual (from a heterosexual perspective). [White Light / Black Leather: Writings on the Spiritual Practice of SM]

Household Keppeler. A family of leathermen who base their household rules on the Rule of St. Benedict.
Christian. Gay.

LeatherJews. The home page of a Sephardic Jew. Includes photographs of Jewish leathermen by Mark I. Chester.
Jewish. Gay.

Sensuous Sadie's Domain: BDSM & Spirituality. Skip down.
General. Pansexual.

Spirituality. By Jack Rinella. Several of the author's LeatherViews columns. Go to the drop-down menu and search under "Spirituality" and "Spirtuality."
General. Gay.


The Causing of Pain for Religious or Spiritual Purposes. Includes quotations of positive perspectives on sexual sadomasochism that is practiced for spiritual reasons. This excerpt is part of a 1995 report, Consent in the Criminal Law, issued by a British Law Commission appointed by the United Kingdom Home Office. [ReviseF65]
General. Pansexual.

Consent in the Criminal Law (full report). The link leads to an HTML file that links to a PDF file of the official report. [BDSM/Sex Research]
General. Pansexual and nonsexual.

Response to the Law Commission Consultation Paper No 139, 'Consent in the Criminal Law'. By the Joint Ethico-Medical Committee of The Catholic Union of Great Britain and the Guild of Catholic Doctors. Criticizes, on religious grounds, the report's recommendation to decriminalize some types of sexual sadomasochism. [Guild of Catholic Doctors]
Christian: Catholic. Pansexual and nonsexual.

Pain and Ecstasy: From Suffering to Sacrifice to Exhaltation. By Mark Sullivan. Examines the religious foundations for the enjoyment of images of pain, including erotic enjoyment. [American Pain Society Bulletin]
General. Pansexual and nonsexual.

"Power and Submission, Pain and Pleasure: The Religious Dynamics of Sadomasochism". Abstracts from an academic convention. [American Academy of Religion]
General, especially Christian and Jewish. Gay.

Homosexual S&M Part of Christianity? A critical report on an American Association of Religion convention session devoted to sadomasochism. [WorldNetDaily]
General, especially Christian and Jewish. Gay.
Self-Inflicted Pain in Religious Experience. By Heather. Makes passing reference to sexual sadomasochism. []
General. Pansexual.

Spirituality and Voluntary Pain. By Rev. Jason Cusick. Sympathetically examines some of the motives that religious people have for embracing pain. The article does not address the issue of erotic motives. [American Pain Society Bulletin]
General. Nonsexual.


Ask the Therapist: Spiritual SM. By William A. Henkin. "<Q> I've heard about some so-called "spiritual" groups that claim to practice SM . . . Do you know anything about them?" [Society for Human Sexuality]
General. Pansexual.


Spirituality Means Different Things to Different People. By Aubrey Hart Sparks. (Site's warning page.) Windows Media Player. Two minutes and forty seconds into this talk show from March 25, 2000, the host briefly answers a listener's question about leather spirituality. [Aubrey's Playroom]
General (especially Buddhist). Gay.


Spirit and Leather. By Officer Wes. "An abbreviated compilation of resources for learning more about spirit/spirituality and leather."
General. Pansexual (from a gay perspective).


Avadim Chayanu: Once We Were Slaves - A Seder for the Leather Community (PDF file). By Karen Taylor and Laura Antoniou. (Site's warning page.)
Jewish. Pansexual (from a lesbian perspective).

Interview with Laura Antoniou. By Sensuous Sadie. For her thoughts on the Seder, skip down to "Sadie: You write an article on an experimental Seder". [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]

Description of the Seder by Andy

Description of the Seder by Mistress Kim (Site's warning page.)

Description of the Seder by Moonlight (Site's warning page)

Description of the Seder by Ron Avidan (PDF file; scroll down to page two. Site's warning page.) [The Kaleigh Current]

Household Keppeler: Resources. With sections devoted to contracts, rituals, and rules. From a family of leathermen who base their household rules on the Rule of St. Benedict.
Christian. Gay.

Josh's Contract. [Baphomet's Temple]
Pagan. Gay.

Rituals & Prayers (scroll down). Edited by Raven Kaldera. [Baphomet's Temple]
Pagan. Pansexual.


BDSMChristians. Yahoo Groups. The Links section of this group (which you gain access to when you join) has more links to pansexual BDSM Christian groups.
Christian. Pansexual.

JewishPowerExchange. Yahoo Groups.
Jewish. Pansexual.

leatherchurch. Yahoo Groups.
Christian. Pansexual.

leatherhumanists. Yahoo Group.
Secular Humanist. Pansexual.

LeatherJews. LiveJournal community. Information on the community.
Jewish. Pansexual.

Leather Spirituality. A discussion board at
General. Pansexual.

OUUCH. Yahoo Groups. Organized UU's for Consenting Hierarchy.
Unitarian Universalist. Pansexual.

BDSM and Religion. Related e-mail lists.
Christian and Pagan. Pansexual.

ESSAYS: General

See also Major Resources.

And Ne'er the Twain Shall Meet? Are the East Coast and West Coast Really That Different? By Lady Green and Mistress Veronika Frost. A 1995 article from a pansexual BDSM magazine. Includes a two-paragraph section, "Body or Spirit?" about the importance of spirituality in West Coast SM. [Cuir Underground]
General. Pansexual.

Encyclopaedia of BDSM: Religion (scroll down). (Site's warning page.) [SM Gays]
General. Pansexual (from a gay perspective).

God is Pro-Gay, Pro-Sex, and Pro-Leather! By Rev. Marj Creech. A message preached at a World AIDS Day service at a leather bar. Accompanying photos. [MCC Granville]
Christian: Metropolitan Community Churches. Gay and lesbian.

Heart of a Master. By Master Steve. (Site's warning page.)
General. Pansexual.

Heart of a slave. By Master Steve. (Site's warning page.)
General. Pansexual.

Mastery and slavery: Many Know the Path, But Few Follow It. By slave marsha. Includes comments on mastery and slavery as a spiritual calling. [Home page]

My Life as a Shaman and Leatherman. By Stuart Norman. [Home Page]
Shamanism. Gay.

Myth #28: "Leather Spirituality is an Essential Part of Leather Sex". By Robert Davolt. A criticism by a leatherman of this viewpoint. []
General (from an atheistic perspective). Gay.

Further Comments. By Robert Davolt (skip down to the paragraph beginning "On the subject of BDSM and spirituality"). [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]
The Qualities of a Realized Master. By Skip Chasey. (Site's warning page.) From "Priest in Black Leather: Mastery as a Spiritual Calling."
General. Pansexual.

Radical Relationships in Beloved Community - Radical Openness: The Spirituality of Leather. By Rev. Lea Brown.
Christian: Metropolitan Community of Churches. Lesbian.

SM and Shamanism. By Joy Schulenberg.
Shamanism. Pansexual.

Spirituality of Sex and Kink. By Midori. Critiques the fact that "SM-induced major brain activities become interpreted as somehow spiritual or otherworldly." [Eros Zine]
Agnostic. Pansexual.

Vision, Passion & Direction: The Right Stuff for Authentic Leaders. By Skip Chasey. Keynote speech for the Leather Leadership Conference IX. [Leather Leadership Conference, Inc.]
General. Pansexual.

Wind Spirit. By Master Phil Ross. (Site's warning page.)
General. Gay.

ESSAYS: BD/SM/DS Activities

Cathartic Flogging: Merging the Erotic with the Ecstatic. By Skip Chasey.
General. Pansexual.

ESSAYS: Memoirs and Personal Journeys

Officer Wes' Personal Journey of Leather Heart & Spirit. By Officer Wes.
General, especially 12 steps. Gay.

SM as a Spiritual Path. By SlaveMaster. [Born Slaves]
General. Pansexual (from a gay perspective).


Becoming a Servant to the World. By slaveboy rick. An interview with the slave to Master Skip Chasey.
General. Gay.

Interviews with BDSM & Spirituality Authors. By Sensuous Sadie. [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]
General. Pansexual.

TLC: Year with a Leather Club - Interviews. Spirituality is discussed in the interviews with Stuart Norman, Jim Prezwalski, Gil F., Gary H., and Steve W. [TLC: Year with a Leather Club]
General. Gay (within the context of a pansexual organization).


Other news articles can be found scattered throughout the different sections of this page.

Bishop Stirs Up a Storm Over Sex: Holloway Clashes with Anglican Establishment as He Says Sodomy and Sadomasochism Should Be Tolerated. By Stephen Breen. A neutral report from a gay periodical. [The Scotsman]
Christian: Anglican. Pansexual.

His Master's Voice. By Naim Attallah. Interview with Bishop Richard Holloway. [The Scotsman]
Christian: Anglican. Pansexual.
Mr. Leather and the Minister. By Ingrid Deon. An upbeat report that includes a passage on leather spirituality.
Christian. Gay and lesbian.

The Ties That Bind: Is There a Hereditary Inquisitiveness That Leads Jews to Bondage? By Helen Ruth Rosner. Includes both criticisms and praise of leather spirituality. [JewsWeek]
Jewish. Pansexual.


BDSM: Health and Safety. Links. (Site's warning page.)
Secular. Pansexual.

Kink Aware Professionals. "The resource for people who are seeking psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal professionals who are informed about the diversity of consensual, adult sexuality."
Secular. Pansexual.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. An American rights advocacy group for the SM- leather-fetish, swing, and
polyamory communities. Includes information on abuse.
Secular. Pansexual.

National Leather Association-International Domestic Violence Project.
Secular. Pansexual.

Safer SM. "Practical guidelines and advice on HIV & STD prevention within SM play." From the Safer SM Education Project of the AIDS Commmittee of Toronto.
Secular. Pansexual.

SAFER+SANER. "Founded in 2005 by Blackkat (American Leatherman 2005), SAFER+SANER was formed to provide sexual, substance, and physical safety information to the leather, BDSM, kink, and fetish communities." Illustrated with photos.
Secular. Gay.


Quotes. Inspirational quotations, including quotations from leatherfolk.
General and secular. Pansexual. [Mistress]


Gay Body: A Journey Through Shadow to Self. By Mark Thompson.
General. Gay.

Review by Bob Anderson [White Crane: A Journal of Gay Spirit, Wisdom & Culture]
Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice. Edited by Mark Thompson.
General. Gay and lesbian.
Review by William A. Henkin (includes spoilers) [Society for Human Sexuality]

Review by Harry Ugol []

Sacred Exchange: Stories of Spirituality and Transcendence in Dominance and Submission. Edited by Lisabet Sarai and S. F. Mayfair.
General. Pansexual.
Interview with the editors [Clean Sheets]

Review by Gary Switch [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]

SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude. By a grateful slave, with Guy Baldwin.
General. Gay.
Excerpt [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]

Excerpt and Table of Contents []

Excerpt and Table of Contents [Google Print]

Review by Aspirant [Slave's Path: Diary of a spiritual modern day slave]

Review by Tammy Jo Eckhart [Ds Nexus]

Review by Mistress Blair and jim [Mistress]

Reviews by Sir Stephen [The Restraining Order]

Review by Mark Thompson. There is a fee for accessing this article. Also in print in White Crane Journal (scroll down). [Lambda Book Report]

Urban Aboriginals: A Celebration of Leathersexuality. By Geoff Mains.
General. Gay.
Review by Jim Drew [Seattle Men in Leather Newsletter]

Review by Sensuous Sadie [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]

Interview with the editor of the 2002 edition, Mark Thompson. By Sensuous Sadie. [Sensuous Sadie's Domain]

REVIEWS: Television

Celibacy (HBO).

Review by Gloria G. Brame [Blog].

BDSM/Fetish Demographics Survey. By Gloria G. Brame. A 1999 survey of over 7000 BDSM and fetish people. Questions 16 through 20 deal with religion.
General. Pansexual.

Writings from or about Other Communities

This section links to articles from or about non-leather communities. Some people in these communities hold positive or neutral views on topics related to leather. Others hold negative views.

The articles linked here offer overlapping or opposing perspectives on issues discussed in the leather community. The articles are listed here in hopes of providing education and dialogue between the leather community and other communities whose members deal with related issues.


The body modification communities practice such activities as piercing and tattooing.There are an enormous number of articles on the Web concerning the spiritual aspects of body modification. This section only links to those that discuss body modification in relation to leather.

BME: Body Modification Ezine. Includes items on spirituality.
Secular with general references. Pansexual.

Pagan Faerie Piercing Rituals: An Editorial on Body Play. By William A. Henkin.
General (from a Pagan perspective). Pansexual (from a heterosexual perspective).


This section lists official statements by religious organizations.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Message on Commercial Sexual Exploitation. A 2001 statement that condemns sadomasochism, among other acts. [ELCA]
Christian: Lutheran. Pansexual.

The Official Report of the Lambeth Conference 1998: Human Sexuality. A report issued by Anglican bishops of the world, meeting in the United Kingdom. It condemns sadomasochism, among other acts.
Christian: Anglican. Pansexual.

The Victims of Pornography. A 1985 analysis by a portion of the American Lutheran Church, the predecessor to the ELCA. It is not binding on ELCA members. It condemns pornography that shows sadomasochism or "sexual domination/submission/humiliation" but says that "portrayals of respectful, even erotically explicit, sexual encounters may be edifying." [ELCA]
Christian: Lutheran. Pansexual.


The articles in this section address religious or spiritual perspectives on injuring oneself for reasons that are not necessarily erotic. Most people in the self-injury community make a distinction between self-injury (compulsive injuring of oneself for emotional release) and sexual masochism (injuring oneself for sexual release). Some of these articles examine non-compulsive self-injury in historical times. See the Body Modification section for related information on non-compulsive self-injury.

The Bible on Self-Injury. Biblical passages condemning and urging self-injury. [The Self Injury Anthology Project]

Help for Cutters (and Others Who Self-Injure in Some Way). From a conservative Christian site. Includes a book list and links. [Christian Answers Network]

Lysamana Project on Self-Injury. A Christian self-help site for people who wish to stop injuring themselves. Includes book reviews.
Christian. Nonsexual.

The Razor's Edge: Why Even Christian Teens Aren't Immune to Self-Mutilation - And What You Can Do. By T. Suzanne Eller. A news article, which suggestions for people to contact for self-help. [Christianity Today]
Christian. Nonsexual.

Self-Injury: The Body and Mind. By Joey Kellogg. Discusses reasons self-injury takes place, including religious reasons. Reprinted at a major resource site for self-injurers. [Self-Injury And Related Issues]

Timeline: Self-Mutilation in History. Includes a number of entries about self-mutilation for religious reasons. [Self-Mutilation]
General. Nonsexual.

What Does the Bible Say About Self-Mutilation/Suicide, If Anything? Quotes biblical passages condemning self-injury and tattooes for religious purposes. [NeverThirsty]
Christian. Nonsexual.

What Self-Injury Is. From a self-help site. Makes a distinction between culturally sanctioned self-injury (including religious sanctioned self-injury) and non-culturally sanctioned self-injury. [Secret Shame: Self-Injury Information and Support]
General. Nonsexual.


This section lists articles from the sexual addiction communities that explore religious or spiritual aspects of recovery from sex addiction.

Bondage & Sadomasochism (BDSM) - A Christian Perspective. A criticism, through biblical texts, of the view that BDSM is compatible with Christianity. From a conservative Christian site devoted to assisting people who are addicted to pornography or sex. []
Christian. Pansexual.

Holding on to Sexual Purity. By Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel. From an international ex-gay organization. Includes a section on fetishes. [Exodus International]
Christian. Ex-gay.

Masochism as a Spiritual Path. By Dorothy C. Hayden. By a "kink-aware" psychotherapist who practices BDSM herself. [Center for Healthy Sexuality]
General, especially Christian and Buddhist. Pansexual.

Need Help & Prayer. On an ex-gay list, a member responds to a newcomer's request for help in stopping fantasies of bondage. [exgaydiscussionboard]
Christian. Ex-gay.

What is the Psychology of Bondage? On an ex-gay list, members discuss what causes a desire for bondage, and whether knowing the cause is important. [exgaydiscussionboard]
Christian. Ex-gay.

Reply 1Reply 2Reply 3Reply 4Reply 5Reply 6.
What's OK? What's Not? By Paul and Lori. The site, not specifically devoted to addiction issues, discusses healthy sexuality from a conservative Christian point of view. This particular article discusses "things the Bible does not seem to spell out," such as BDSM. It offers a "sometimes yes, sometimes no" answer to whether these activities are acceptable. [The Marriage Bed: Sex and Intimacy for Married Christians]
Christian. Heterosexual.

[ HOME ] [ The Leather Research Reference Shelf ] [ Leather Fiction, History, and Magazines ] [ E-mail ]

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 © 2005 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 (