Many gay men wear harnesses at saunas, clubs and at pride events and their origin within the gay community is an interesting story.
Table of Contents
Origins from BDSM, Kink and the vision of manliness
Most likely the wearing of harnesses comes from the leather and kink communities, although harnesses have evolved beyond their original associations with leather and BDSM. Modern harnesses come in various materials, styles, and designs, catering to a broad spectrum of tastes within the gay community.
Some individuals may have perceived harnesses as a symbol of confidence, strength, or assertiveness, which aligns with certain traditional notions of masculinity. In this sense, wearing a harness can be a way for some gay men to express themselves in a manner they associate with masculinity.
Five reasons why some gay men wear harnesses
- Fashion and Style: Many gay men wear harnesses as a fashion statement. Harnesses come in various designs and materials, allowing individuals to express their unique style and enhance their overall look.
- Club and Nightlife Scene: Harnesses are popular in the LGBTQ+ club and nightlife scene. They can be seen as a bold and confident choice for those who want to stand out and make a statement during events, parties, or pride celebrations.
- Body Positivity: Some gay men wear harnesses as a way to celebrate and embrace their bodies. It can be a form of body positivity and self-expression, allowing individuals to showcase their confidence and comfort with their own skin.
- Kink and BDSM: In the context of kink and BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism), harnesses may be worn as part of fetish or role-playing activities. It’s essential to note that not all gay men who wear harnesses are involved in BDSM.
- Empowerment and Liberation: Wearing a harness can be a symbol of empowerment and liberation for some individuals. It represents breaking free from societal norms and expressing one’s authentic self.
Do Tops Or Bottoms wear harnesses?
The choice to wear a harness is not necessarily tied to someone’s sexual role as a top or bottom. Both tops and bottoms, as well as individuals who identify as versatile or sides/switch, can wear harnesses. The decision to wear a harness is more about personal style, fashion preferences, and individual expression rather than sexual roles.
What kind of harnesses are there?
There are various types of harnesses, each serving different purposes and often associated with specific contexts such as fashion, BDSM, or outdoor activities. Here are some common types of harnesses:
- Chest Harness:
- Style: Wraps around the chest, creating a visually striking design.
- Use: Popular as a fashion accessory and can be part of BDSM attire.
- Body Harness:
- Style: Extends beyond the chest, covering the torso in intricate patterns.
- Use: Fashionable accessories in alternative fashion scenes and BDSM.
- Shoulder Harness:
- Style: Covers the shoulders and upper chest, often creating a bold look.
- Use: Aesthetic accessory in fashion and alternative scenes.
- Leather Harness:
- Style: Made from leather, providing a rugged or fetish aesthetic.
- Use: Common in BDSM and alternative fashion.
- Harness Bra:
- Style: Combines elements of a bra and harness for a sensual look.
- Use: Fashionable lingerie or BDSM accessory.
- Full-Body Harness:
- Style: Extends across the chest, torso, and sometimes down to the hips or thighs.
- Use: Can be a fashion statement or part of more elaborate BDSM attire.
How to care for your harness
Caring for your harness is essential to ensure its longevity, maintain its appearance, and promote safety, especially if it’s a safety or BDSM harness. Here are general care tips:
- Read and Follow Care Instructions:
- Always check and follow any care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different materials and designs may require specific care.
- Regularly clean your harness to remove dirt, sweat, and oils. Use a damp cloth or sponge for spot cleaning.
- For leather harnesses, use a leather cleaner or a mild soap designed for leather. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the material.
- Allow your harness to air-dry completely before storing it. Avoid direct sunlight, high heat, or using a hairdryer, as these can damage certain materials.
- Store your harness in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Hanging it or laying it flat can help maintain its shape.
- For leather harnesses, use a dust bag or wrap it in a soft cloth to prevent scratches.
- Avoid Moisture:
- Keep your harness away from excessive moisture or humidity, as it can lead to mold, mildew, or leather damage.
- Inspect Regularly:
- Check the harness regularly for any signs of wear, loose stitching, or damage. Repair or replace any damaged parts promptly.
- Use Appropriate Lubricants:
- If your harness is used in BDSM activities, be mindful of the type of lubricant you use. Some lubricants can damage certain materials. Choose a compatible, body-safe lubricant.
- Rotate Use:
- If you have multiple harnesses, rotate their use to prevent overuse and prolong their lifespan.
- Avoid Extreme Conditions:
- Avoid exposing your harness to extreme conditions such as extreme heat, cold, or prolonged sunlight, as these can cause damage.
- Follow Safety Guidelines:
- If your harness is a safety harness for activities like rock climbing or racing, follow the specific safety guidelines provided for its care and use.