Full Cow: Edge Talks Leather and Kink

Bodies + Gear

January 06, 2023 Edge Season 1 Episode 11
Full Cow: Edge Talks Leather and Kink
Bodies + Gear
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to Full Cow, a podcast about leather and kink where your host, Edge (he/him), shares his 30+ years of experience in the community. In this episode we consider the challenges between collecting gear when bodies inevitably change over time.

Edge opens by sharing his body journey and his gear journey, discussing how the two are deeply interrelated. Then we talk about how to build a gear collection that's resilient--one that can last through body changes--and that's scalable--one that can build over time.

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Ask Edge! Go to https://www.speakpipe.com/LTHREDGE to leave ask a question or leave feedback. Find Edge's other content on Instagram and Twitter. Also visit his archive of educational videos, Tchick-Tchick.

Edge :

Let's talk about collecting gear when your body changes over time this podcast contains material intended for a mature audience before proceeding, please check your local laws and confirm that you are an adult Welcome to full cow cast my name is edge My pronouns are he him and I am your host. This episode is a little different. I do not have a third segment, because the holidays happened and I got a little behind on production. So sadly, I only have two segments for you. In this episode, however, I think they're two good segments. And their topic we're thinking about is collecting gear, and the relationship that has two bodies and how they change over time because bodies inevitably change. So I think it's a good intersection of topics that bring up questions of body goals, body image, self esteem, but how to collect gear in ways that are responsible and sustainable. I do have a couple of emanations because as I was editing the audio, I realized I made a couple flubs. So in the first segment, I talked about giving away some leather jackets after I finally received my Vanson No, no, no. That should be after I finally received my Lang let's. And then in the second segment, I mentioned Mr. Julius, it's actually Mr. Virgilio. So my apologies for a slightly wonky episode to start out the new year. However, I do think it's a good topic and worth discussing. And I hope that my discussion gives you some new insights for your own journey. So let's get started. To tell the story of my gear collection over time is really to tell two stories, the first about my body, and the second about my gear. And I grew up a very chubby child, in part because in my family, food was love. And in general, I was a weird, nerdy gay kid. Didn't like the sports, played a lot of imaginary games in my head didn't have a lot of friends. And people at that time, said I had a potbelly. And I carry that with me still quite a bit, I carried the weight of that literally, quite a bit. It wasn't until I got into high school that I really started to try and change my weight by dieting. And if anyone's ever dieted, you know what happened, I yo yoed I would lose weight, I would get back, I would lose weight, I would gain it back. And that continued for years and years. And it wasn't until I was about in my early 30s. When I got sober what happened, the deal I made with myself is you know what, okay, you're not going to do math, but then you can eat whatever you want. And my weight Shut up quite a bit. So before I got sober, my waist was about 33 inches. And after I got sober and went up to a 38 inch waist, I was 210 pounds or roundabouts At my heaviest and miserable, I had trouble putting my socks on, I couldn't really bend over sitting down to put my socks on, I was pretty miserable. The good news is, as I also got sober, one of the things I started doing was walking. And in Florida, the nice thing is you can kind of walk year round. And that walking was very connected to my 12 STEP program of recovery for me. And at first, I don't think I can make it around the entire block. But each day, I walked and then I walked more and I walked more. And I was finally able, for the first time in my life to really take weight off and keep it off. But what happened was there was one winter in Florida that was very rainy and cold. And so I couldn't walk every day. And that really made me anxious about getting the weight back and that's the first time I joined a gym. Historically gyms have been so intimidating to me, because I feel like they're this temple of masculinity. And I never felt like I belonged. I didn't know what I was doing. It was filled with all the cool kids. I felt all the anxiety of my childhood chubby pot bellied kidness in a gym It took a long time to get through that. And I did start working out and you know, I did okay, I gained some mass in terms of muscle mass, but it wasn't. It wasn't chiseled or anything like that at a certain point, I did CrossFit. And then I got super lean because I was doing paleo too. I was on the whole CrossFit paleo wave, it was crazy. CrossFit was very expensive, and you kind of had to turn your day around the wad. And at a certain point, there was a transition in my job, and I just couldn't do that anymore. So I just went back to the gym. And again, I was doing okay, not a great body, but it was an okay body. And then in 2015, my husband passed from brain cancer. And I suddenly knew, first of all, I had to date in Wilton Manors, Florida, which is filled with the most gorgeous muscle bearers. And I knew I needed something to fill time and space, in my life, and in my mind, and so I became very focused on the gym. For the first time very serious, I had a friend who was a muscle bearer, and he kind of helped me really think about how to work out differently, you know, my workouts, I used to live for a half hour now, as I was lifting for an hour, I used to do three sets. Now I'm doing four sets, I got very serious about the gym. And I started going in the mornings, I used to be a night owl. And then I committed to going in the mornings, and I still go to the gym in the mornings today. And so the body you see, in all my videos and all my pictures is pretty new to me, it's only about seven years old. Well, I mean, took about a year to get it to that state, right. So it's only about six years old for me. And I still have a lot of like, the internal self image has not at all caught up with that external body. What I've learned that for me to get and keep this body, first of all, consistency is key. I go to the gym every day. And that's what works for me. So I don't care how many times you go to the gym as long as you do it consistently, consistently. But the other big thing is that at some point, when I committed to going to the gym, and I started going in the mornings, somewhere along the way, it became a joy making activity. And I went to the gym, not simply changed my body. In fact, at some point, I stopped having that as the primary purpose. And the primary purpose became Joy, I get a lot of joy from going to the gym, it is me time completely. People know not to talk to me at the gym, because I'm super focused on my workout, I have really great music going, I am known at my gym for dancing between my sets, because I am joyful there. And the moment the gym became a joy making activity, then I wanted to go everyday because I crave that joy. So if you've struggled with working out first of all, nothing wrong with your body, I invite you to accept it as it is. But the key for me was consistency. And the way I got to consistency was by focusing on joy. Now, once my Punisher transforming and I started getting some muscles, then I encountered another problem, which is I wanted to get bigger, and bigger, and bigger and bigger. And then I had what we hear in 12 step recovery call an honest moment or moment of clarity. There was a moment when I realized I could never be big enough, I could never have enough muscles. And so I was trapped in the same unhappiness with my body, it would never be enough. And that's what I realized that as much as I was working on the outside of my body, I had to work on the inside as well. I had to come to learn how to be comfortable in my skin. So I both work on the outside still I go to the gym. But I've worked on the inside as well through my program of recovery through therapy through meditation, with the goal of meeting myself in the middle, and being comfortable in my skin. That's the story of my body. Now all of this impacted my gear collection. For example, I ordered my first pair of custom bas West goes, but by the time they arrived, I gained so much weight, they couldn't fit over my calves and that was devastated. You can imagine how devastating that was. I saved a year of spare change or squirreling away a couple of dollars every week. I saved a year to buy those boots and waited. I would imagine six months and when they got there, I couldn't even wear them. It was so horrifying. I didn't know what to do. Fortunately, I thought to hold on to them. In general, I would say I've had probably five sets of gear, full sets of gear at least over over my time being in gear, and part of that is simply, as I've grown in my career, I've had more financial resources, and I've been able to buy better gear. But a lot of that has to do with the different body changes I've been through long time I was a 30 to 33 inch waist, I shot up to a 38 inch waist, I shot down to about a 28 inch waist right now I'm at like 2930. So all those variations, all that yo yoing, all those changes in my body impacted what gear I could wear at any point in time. And that meant Sometimes there are things in my closet, I can't fit, but I hope someday I fit into again, some days, there are things in my closet that are simply going to be too big forever. And then there are points where I take something from the closet, and I accept I'll never fit into it again. And I decide what to do with it. Now all of this both my body and having five sets of gear over 30 years. Clearly, this is a remarkable marker of privilege in multiple ways. My body is a sign of privilege, because I have a job that allows me to work out every day, I have enough money to buy high quality protein and good food and supplements, I can afford a gym membership, right, I have all the time, money and resources I need to get my body into the shape. Certainly even if you look over the course of 30 years, having multiple sets of gear over time is a remarkable marker privilege. Sort of, I will say I always spent beyond my means, particularly with gear. And I did declare bankruptcy in 2000 Because I was young and an idiot. And people were giving me credit cards left and right and I use them. And I bought a lot of gear. So but I do want to acknowledge that everything I'm sharing here is also a marker of my privilege. But I will say I also started my gear collection in a pretty inexpensive way. I was in my very early 20s 21, maybe 22 When I was first collecting gear, and so the first source I went to because back then we didn't really have the internet. Believe it or not. My first horse were thrift stores. And that's where I got my first pair of boots, he used a pair of combat boots. That's where I got this really great padded motorcycle jacket that smelled entirely of cigarettes and took a lot of professional cleaning to get better. And then I also went to motorcycle catalogs, and I got a nice pair of padded leather pants, and they were decently priced. So I looked for inexpensive sources because my resources were more limited. And that included things like thrift stores or catalogs that weren't necessarily the Fetish catalogs. Slowly, over time, I got more quote unquote, real pieces. And for most of my history, I would aim to have one nice piece of gear a year. For me it was usually when I got my tax refund. I was like oh, now I can buy X. Some items. I knew I wanted it and I saved up long term to get them. In the course of all this my weight was changing some items of gear left my collection, some came to me, that is obviously a part of the cycle of growing. Because no matter what happens over time, your body is going to change and you're going to your collection is probably going to change. I will say I do have a couple of my original items. The first pair of chaps I ever bought a pair of pants and chaps, I still have those and they still fit. Now they've been modified a little bit over time, but they still fit. I have my first pair of boots that I bought real brand new boots. I wore them until they essentially fell apart but they were harness boots and I kept the rings from the harness on the boots. So I have some things that have stayed with me a long time. But more commonly I've given and taken and given and taken and given and taken. And there's been a lot of ebb and flow in my leather collection. At this point in time. My body is pretty stable in its shape. And my gear collection is pretty stable as well. I have more than enough gear. And I don't have a lot of stuff I still really want. There's if I see a nice item, particularly if I see a bargain, I'm gonna get it I gotta say, but I feel really comfortable where I'm at. And that's taken an enormous amount of work. Even saying that I realized change will still come. First of all, I am one back injury away from radically altering the shape of my body. I am one shoulder injury away from radically changing the shape of my body. I'm getting into my 50s Things are a little bit more fragile. and require a little bit more healing time. So I don't take my body for granted, I realized that my body will continue to change and in ways I may not like in ways I may not be able to control, and that will impact my gear collection. And that's just a fact of life, I am ready to accept that. As part of all this, throughout my journey in my body, and in my gear, I have gifted leather, and I have been gifted leather. Now if you're fairly new to the community, you may not know exactly what this means it sort of means exactly what it says, people will give you items of leather, or when you're ready to get rid of something, instead of selling it on eBay. You give it to someone. This is an extraordinarily special part of the community. Because it connects us. First of all, used gear is always the hottest gear, let's be clear about that. But when it's been used by another leather person, it becomes even more special. And usually, if they're gifting it to you, it's because you're connected to them in some way. And it's a beautiful way of materializing that connection in a way that you can wear on your body and carry with you I very much as often as possible gift my leather. Rather than selling it, there have been a couple of occasions where some more minor items of gear I've simply sold to people. But more often than not, I try to gift items most recently, you know, once I had, I had a really nice Vanson padded jacket, I had a really nice padded jacket from another man in New York. Once I got my Vanson I'm like I'm in Florida, first of all, so hardly ever wear a jacket. And then I don't need three padded leather jackets, because I'm always only going to wear the Vanson. So I'd feel quite lucky to have gifted both of those jackets to very special men who I hope are really enjoying them. I can also go through my closet. And I can pick out items that have been gifted to me that are rich with stories. Some of the most special items that have been gifted to me include my late husband's boots, his boss West goes, which he won at a raffle at leatherworks. And he was so delighted because he had never won anything in his life. I have a beautiful pair of chaps and a vest from a local Leatherman, who I just saw respected and who was so hot, and who passed away from cancer, I have a black uniform shirt from a very special friend in Atlanta, who's one of the most important people in my life. And I can talk about more, I can pull up many items that have been gifted to me. And part of what makes them special is that I can tell you the story of them. And when I give something to someone, I make sure they know the whole provenance. Here's who made it, here's how I got it. Here's why it's special to me, here's what you need to know about it. Because those stories are also part of the community. And that's really part of what creates the sense of belonging, and continuity. It helps the community continue across time. When we gift leather, which unfolds the stories behind that leather. I've given many pieces, and I've given them freely, I've given some things to people who were marginally on the community, I don't even know if they still have them. For me, gifting leather is a release. So I give it to you, you can do with it, whatever the hell you want. Because it no longer belongs to me. I think that's an important part of this process, right? I'm not controlling it, I'm not having expectations of how they're going to wear it, or how often they're going to wear it or what they're going to do with it. I simply let it go. And then it's up to them. But it is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful thing. So you know, some of the takeaways from this segment. First of all, body changes are inevitable, we can shape some of them, you can set goals for your body, you can work towards those goals. And in my experience, the way to reach goals for my body was to connect that to joy. And once I connected to joy, then the body was sort of the side effect, right? It was about making joy. And as a beautiful side effect I got a nice body. That's what's been most effective for me, but body changes are inevitable. Obviously, this is a challenge for gear collections, because it means you will lose gear you will have to get new gear, you will not be able to fit into all your gear all the time. However, this is not a reason not to get gear and I'll talk about that a little bit more in the next segment. Instead I invite you to get the gear you can afford today that fits you today to enjoy it today and wear it today to keep it as long as you can until you know it no longer sir because you, and then to gift it to another leather person, someone who has a place in your world or someone who you want to open up the space in the community for. And I hope you're able to do that. And I hope you are the recipient of some gifted leather. And I hope you're able to pay that for because that process is really fairly amazing. In this segment, we're thinking about two things. First of all, how do you create a gear collection, which is slightly resilient, which can weather multiple changes in the body? And then second, how do you create a gear collection that is scalable, so that you can start with some affordable items. And then later on, when you have more financial resources, or a different sort of body shape, invest in some more expensive, higher quality gear? Before we get to that, though, I have a very important message. Please listen to me, listen to me. If you're waiting for your perfect body before you buy gear, you will always be waiting. I saw this firsthand with my late husband. He wanted to lose weight before he got really nice gear, and he had diabetes. And he was on Metformin, and losing weight was really challenging. And he died before he got the gear he really wanted. So please, please get gear today, get at least some gear today and wear it and enjoy it. Now to help with that. Let's think about items of gear that are resilient, that will stick with you no matter what fluctuations your body tends to go through. And to do that, let's think about what doesn't change much no matter what you weigh. And you know, your shoe size tends to stay around the same, your hands don't tend to get that much bigger and your head tends to stay the same size. And that means that if you invest in a good pair of boots, some good gloves, and a hat, either a cover or a cap ye also known as a slouch hat or a rebel cap, that if you invest in those items, they're likely to fit you no matter what else is going on in your body. For boots, I recommend a short pair of lager boots, those would be lace ups. And that lace up Ness actually gives you even a little bit more flexibility. If your feet for whatever reason change size a little bit. There's a little bit of expansion with the laces for gloves. I'm a huge fan of the D three of ones from tough gloves now sold through stampers gloves. And as for cover or Cappy first of all, let me say, I'm not a big fan of leather baseball caps, so I do not recommend them. I don't think they ever look right. Covers are extraordinarily tricky and best bought in person, because it's all about the proportion. And it all depends on your head, where the peak is how large is the brim all of those things require you to try them on to really see how it looks. But a rebel caps are pretty inexpensive, flexible, adaptable piece. Some of them even have a little buckle in the back. So if your head for whatever reason does change some sizes, you can still be wearing your kepe and with boots, gloves and a hat, you are basically set as a leather person. So your jeans get bigger, your jeans get smaller, your T shirt gets bigger, your T shirt gets smaller, but you are always in some basic gear. The next thing you might want to think about are items of gear that are highly adjustable, so that as your body changes shape, your gear can change with it. A harness is a really good affordable choice. I will say I do not like harnesses personally, I don't think they really look good on me. I don't think all of the variety of harnesses in the world today make sense to me from my leather aesthetic. However, every harness is going to have buckles or snaps that allow you to adjust it as needed as your upper body changes shape. And that means that it is a piece with longevity. It also means that if you gain a lot of weight or lose a lot of weight, you can have that harness pretty easily altered by adding an expansion strap or cutting it down. And that means a harness that's going to stay with you for a really long time. The other item of gear which I think is so super underrated, and so versatile, and adjustable, and so beautiful. That's a good pair of chaps. chaps are good in the summer, chaps You're going in the winter. If you wear chaps with black jeans, they're going to read as leather pants in a bar, because bars are dark. And chaps are great for sex, because they allow access to everything. In terms of longevity, chaps are super duper adjustable. They're instantly adjustable because every pair of chaps comes with a waistband that is adjustable, there's usually some laces in the back, or a Velcro in the back or a buckle in the back so that as you gain 510 pounds, you lose 510 pounds, the waistband on the chaps can be adjusted. The key measurement for Champs is the thigh measurement, that's the thing that's really hard to adjust. If you gain or lose a lot of weight. The good news is that even if you came a lot of weight with a pair of chops, you can add a stripe to the side of your chops. And that easily adds about an inch, maybe a little more in the thighs. In general, you know, chaps are fairly easy constructed, right? It's five pieces of leather. And that means it's pretty easy to replace lots of items I've actually on my chaps had the entire waistband replaced, because I had changed weight quite a bit. And so that was a pretty easy change to make. I'm sorry, I keep seeing easy. And now I'm conscious of the fact that I keep saying easy. So I'm just gonna step out of that. And I'm gonna say I apologize for that. But the truth is, it is easy. Anyway, the point is that chaps are a piece you can keep for long time despite body changes. So now that you have boots, gloves, cap or hat of some kind, a harness and chaps, you basically have a good set of leather that will stay with you for most of your life through most of your body changes. Let's think about instead scaling your leather. Keep in mind, there are affordable fetish ops and options besides leather, including cloth uniforms, go back and listen to the uniform episode if you need help with that, sports gear spandex. These are items that don't require quite the same financial investment as leather, but so allow you to participate in fetish communities. However, if you're like me and leather is your thing, then the first thing you want to think about is shopping the secondary leather market. And that's pretty important today as I record this December 19 2022, because there's a weird shortage of leather everywhere it seems. And so turning to the secondary market is a really good option that includes sites like eBay or second skin. It includes like your local thrift stores, you're never quite sure what's going to show up at a thrift store. That's what makes thrift stores such an exciting adventure. But also if there are any local events, sometimes they will have sales of us leather or auctions silent auctions as part of the event. And the bonus for all of these in the secondary market is that you're getting used gear used gear is effing amazing, because it's already been broken. And that means it's already nice and soft and supple and bends in all the right places. And it already has another person's energy in it. And you get to kind of absorb that energy and meld it with yours so hot. So very, very hot. Beyond the secondary market, there are some very affordable options for leather. There's a brand called kooky spelled with ks K O O K i e, and they make uniform shirts and they make breeches. And you know what the quality. It's not the best in the world, but it's decent, and the pricing is decent. And the cookie leather uniform shirts come in every color you can imagine. And I've actually looked at them and thought about getting a couple of myself simply because they look pretty nice. The breeches are completely serviceable. I had a pair of kooky breeches when I was at my heaviest, I have friends who are cookie breeches. It's not an embarrassment. They're actually just find breaches. And you might be able to find these certainly online. I know our local leather shop carries it some other local leather shops may carry it as well. So you might want to look for kooky. I've also been hearing a lot lately about Mr. Virgilio is out of Europe. I think they're actually based perhaps in Amsterdam, and they offer surprisingly affordable gear. I don't have any personal experience with it, but I know a lot of people who are buying it and who are happy with it. Another thing that's become really big recently is Pakistani leather. This is huge on Instagram, and I have several friends who have explored this option. Now, beware, because from the stories I've heard it To 5050 chance, I have friends who ordered a leather uniform from a Pakistani maker showed up perfect. They ordered a second uniform and a different color, exact same measurements, exact same pattern. And when it arrived, it was completely the wrong size, nothing fit. It took forever to get it resolved. So if you decide to pursue the Pakistani option, be aware that there are risks. For me, I resist it in part because even though Well, first of all the patterns they're making, they've essentially stolen from, you know, leather makers, but they're also missing the cultural context. So they're making these things but they don't really understand them. And so for example, I have seen a Pakistani leather hood that was aligned in satin, which just completely baffles me, because it's someone who doesn't understand what a hood is, or hood should do. A lot of the leather I've seen from Pakistani makers is line which is ridiculous, because you want the feel of the leather on your skin. A lot of times I find the proportions a little off the pockets, maybe a little big or the breeches don't flare just too much. And it's because even though they understand that they're making a pattern, they don't understand the cultural context of the leather community in which that pattern has meaning and make sense. All that being said, they remain a very affordable option. If you do some diligent research, talk to other people who've used them. There couple of big ones, I'm not going to mention names because I can't fully endorse them. But it is an option worth exploring. As you move on in life, as your body stabilizes at whatever size. And let me pause here and say every body looks better in leather. If you've got a big body, and you cover that in leather, or just a hot leather person, if you've got a very lean body, and you cover that in leather, you're a hot leather person. There's something about the melding of leather with a body that enhances both, right? So when I talk about when you get to the body you want, I don't mean some perfect, idealized, Instagram, filtered, muscle, whatever body I mean the body that you can live in comfortably, without killing yourself by having to starve yourself to death. By living in complete dis integrity with who you really are. I mean, the body that you can be comfortable in whatever that body is. That's the body. That's perfect. And when you get to that body, when you are at peace with your body, then you can start looking at store brands. I'm going to call them Mr. S Rough Trade Mr. B, Rob, Leatherman, York City, Rubio, FM, leather. All of these have really great items of gear and I will say I have preferences across them like Mr. S has a really beautiful the Berlin bar vest is absolutely stunning. But I don't tend to like the breeches from Mr. S. Rough Trade, I'm absolutely mad for their leather uniform shirts, not quite as thrilled with their breeches. Leather man love their breeches. Right? So, so different makers, I'm fond of different items they make. But when you reach that point where you're at a body that you can live with, then you can start investing in these items. And that doesn't always mean spending ridiculous amounts of money. The Berlin bar vests for Mr. S, is about 150 US dollars, which is fairly affordable when you think about a fetish item. And the cut. That vest is amazing, because it looks like everyone has a bigger chest, because it's got this little swoop that just makes your chest look like it's bursting out of the vest no matter what size your chest actually is. Later on as you acquire more financial resources. And once again, when you're with the body you can live with you can consider some custom leather, from makers like Ben Orson or Troy anisette. Now the beautiful thing about custom is you get exactly what you want, exactly fitted to you. And a lot of us the bodies we are able to live in or not standard off the rack bodies because you're a bear or because you're super tall, or because you're super lean or because you're short. And so custom is not a preferred option for some people. For some people, it's a requirement. The good news is custom doesn't usually end up costing all that much more than off the rack. It's a little more expensive, but it's not usually ridiculously more expensive. If and then you get exactly what you want, exactly fitted to your body. So it's often worth the investment. Down the line at some point you may want to go for sort of the Bentley or the Rolls Royce of leather and that's probably Langlands. Langlands, if you do not know, is not a fetish company. They are a maker of motorcycle leathers out of Portland, Oregon. However, they have an extraordinarily large gay fetish following their breeches, and their jackets are legendary. And if you see pictures of fulsome Europe or you see pictures of any major weather event and you see people in these breaches in these jackets with quilting, chances are it's all Langlands. Langlands is a significant investment in a significant investment in time as well as money. The last I heard, it is now a 14 month wait to get your leg lifts leathers after placing your order and making your deposit. It's worth it. We're talking about the highest quality leather, the highest quality construction, we're talking about a product that will life lasts a lifetime. Now the flip side of that is, you know, I first of all, I never thought I was gonna get Langlands I never thought I was gonna be able to afford it. I never thought I just thought I was gonna die without getting Langlands. And most people assumed I had Lang licks because I have some pieces that were quilted, and they're like, oh, that's slang. Let's know. I finally got land let's when I turned 50 That was my 50th birthday present to myself. And now like, once you get language, you've got to make a commitment to whatever body you have, because it's not like going to the store and buying a new pair of jeans. Langlands is leather for life, it's going to last your life. But the flip side of that commitment is you really kind of have to commit your body to your Langlands I will say the language I got isn't inflexible at all. Now, when you order language, you have the option of being like, I want them extra tight, or I want them a little loose. And I went for the little loose option. And so my language is built in with a little bit of cushion should I gain a little bit of weight, and I actually really liked that. So you can see that in your gear journey, you can start extremely affordably through the secondary market or through some smaller makers. And then once you reach the body you can live with then you can start investing more. This is a journey over time, I have a lot of break here, guess what I've been buying gear for 30 years that helps. Along the way, in this journey, there will be items you want to get rid of, I really encourage you to gift those items to local leather people who are just starting out to local leather organizations that are going to have sales or auctions to help raise funds, keep the leather circulating within the community whenever you can. And this isn't always going to be possible, right? That's also a marker of privilege to be able to give away an item of leather worth hundreds of dollars. But there's something extraordinarily special and intimate and loving and community oriented and spiritual about an item of leather that you've had, and passing it on to someone else. I've always found it super rewarding. But then again, I had the resources to replace that leather to buy more leather to give it away without having to sell it. So I understand based on where you are in your journey, through life and through leather, where you are in your financial resources you may not ever be able to afford just give leather away. But at least think about participating in the community in other ways if you can't gift leather, and certainly you can sell it on the secondary market. And that's one way to make that money back to buy new leather. And I've done that I have occasionally sold leather to buy leather, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Regardless, if you understand that your body will inevitably change, then the first thing to do is don't wait until you get to some perfect body before you buy gear. Buy gear now, with the understanding that even if you have the perfect body now, you would still be changing gear over the years because bodies do change inevitably. As part of that, you can start with affordable pieces, you can do the work to find a body that you're comfortable with. And that is the perfect body for you. The body that you can live in comfortably is the perfect body for you. And once you're there, you can forget you can begin saving and resourcing and to get the items of care you really really want and that's how the leather journey works. And it's pretty Beautiful, it's damned expensive. But for me as someone who's so connected to leather and to leather as a fetish, it is absolutely thrillingly worth it. And that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for joining me. Please consider subscribing or you can send feedback to edge at full cow dot show. As always, may your leather journey be blessed

Edge's Body Gear Journey
Resilient and Scalable Gear