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Old Guard

Written by Rover. Posted in BDSM Topics

Old Guard

by Rover (copied with permission)


 The term 'Old Guard' refers to a specific group of people, in a specific period of time.  Namely, the gay servicemen returning from WWII who founded organized leather in the US.  So, unless these Dominants you spoke to were gay and in their seventies or eighties, they most assuredly are not Old Guard.  The organizations founded by the Old Guard gradually took on the B/D S/M characteristics we are familiar with today, and until the mid 1970's, they excluded heterosexual men and all women.  Yet, they eventually evolved to become many of the well known, pansexual and inclusive organizations that are in existence today.
 
Even those claiming to have been trained in "Old Guard" are suspect, in my view.  Because there were NO universally accepted rules, protocols, etc. amongst the various Old Guard organizations that cropped up across the country.  While each group may have evolved their own protocols and practices (much like individual organizations and groups do today), there was no uniformity amongst the various groups.  Granted, some individuals entering the lifestyle in the 1960's and 1970's (VERY few of whom would be heterosexual, mind you) may have been trained by someone who is Old Guard.  But that training can not be portrayed as anything other than one person, or one group's, practices and protocols.
 
Over the past few years, the term "Old Guard" has come to take on a meaning altogether different than that of its origin.  Which in and of itself is new, not Old.  It has become quite fashionable, especially online, to claim Old Guard membership or training, without even understanding what it is they are claiming membership (or training) in.  Using one of my favorite expressions, it has become self masturbatory adulation.  A way to make one's self seem important, and to boost a sagging ego.  It is, however, nothing more than a fantasy at best, and a lie at worst.  It has all the credibility of declaring one's self "medieval". 
 
For those wishing further information, written by respected lifestyle authors who were contemporary to the times (meaning, they were there and saw it for themselves), I highly suggest these two historical retrospectives by Jay Wiseman and Guy Baldwin.  They should dispel any of the revisionist history of those that are falsely portraying themselves as "Old Guard".
 
Jay Wiseman's article:
 
 
Guy Baldwin's article:
 
 
 
Information is your best protection against being manipulated and exploited.
 
Rover

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