I was a student until I was 26 years old and money was always tight. A big night out was a cheesesteak wit, so I didn’t own much in the way of gear. I used to go occasionally to the Bike Stop, the leather bar in Philly, and was always envious of the leather clad men. I owned a pair of boots and a jacket, so even though they had a dress code, I could get by.
I moved to LA when I got my first job and started going to the Eagle and began to accumulate my first pieces of gear. Behind the bar was a leather shop run by a man apparently well known in the bdsm community. I don’t remember his name or the name of the shop, but I understand that he was a serious player (I didn’t know that at the time). I heard he passed away some years later and there is (or was) a memorial to him at the Faultline.
I was actually a bit nervous walking into the shop. I wanted to get kitted out with chaps, a jock, a harness, vest, and a few other items. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the items available. I was the only customer in the store and the owner took me into the large workroom. There was bondage equipment and several whips hanging from a rack. There was a St Andrew’s cross in the corner. He fitted me for chaps and a bar vest. He made some complimentary remarks about my body and my package as he fitted me. He then brought out a number of harnesses. I wanted a full body one. He picked one that he thought would suit me. He asked me to strip so he could fit the harness. I didn’t think anything of it. It was a full body harness, so I did as he requested. Pretty soon, My jeans were around my ankles and he was fitting the harness to me.
Eventually, he remarked that he thought he shouldn’t sell it to me unless my chest and pubes were shaved. I giggled nervously. Then he mentioned he would be happy to tie me up and shave me. He kept saying how good I would look shaved. He also thought a collar would look good on me. I hemmed and hawed and pretended it was just a joke. He was kind of a hot Daddy but I was young and naive. This is the way porn stories start, but I didn’t get that he was coming on to me. He made the shaving comment several times. I didn’t pick up that he was flirting. I could have played the situation out and probably had a very interesting afternoon and a really good story, but I didn’t. I just blushed and laughed it off. I mean, I’m virtually naked, in a harness, surrounded by gear and restraints (his shop was also his playroom, I believe). I didn’t walk in there expecting anything other than buying my first gear, so I was not in the mindset that anything else was on the table. I was also still fairly inexperienced, having spent the previous 26 years essentially in school full time and there not being the internet (yeah, I’m that old). All I had was my limited experience. If I knew then what I know now, I’d have probably walked out of there several hours later, smooth, used, and bruised.
He did eventually fit the harness on me and he did try a collar around my neck, with plenty of innuendo, none of which I picked up on. I still have that harness, which sadly doesn’t fit anymore. I mean, I was young and tight with long brown hair and a 28 inch waist. I was kinda hot in my youth (alright, I was hot back then).
I think about that now and again (probably through rose-colored glasses). I wonder what could have happened. I think it would have been memorable, but I don’t know. I think of things I wished I had said, with the benefit of experience and hindsight. I was young and really naive at that time. It wasn’t until I moved to the Bay Area a year later that I started to come into my own. I wonder what might have happened. It might have been an amazing experience, or it might have been awful. I’ll never know.