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About Guy Baldwin, MS

Short Biography

Guy Baldwin is an American leather titleholder, psychotherapist, and author hailing from Los Angeles, California.

Guy Baldwin was born and raised in a working-class Italian Catholic family in Brighton, Colorado. His early life involved summers spent wrangling horses on his uncle's guest ranch.

He embarked on a transformative journey in 1965 after his mother discovered he was gay and kicked him out of her home. He found solace in Denver's gay leather scene, where he formed deep connections with first-generation leathermen many of whom were World War II veterans.

One of them, James (Jim) Kane, became a mentor for young Balswin. In Baldwin's words, mentorship in the leather scene of that time meant providing advice for love life and sex life; a home-life with our own kind; information about how leathersex worked; ... information on who were the responsible players in the community and who was best avoided; the very important Protocols, of course; and general mentoring.

After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in anthropology and education, his biker family encouraged him to pursue further schooling. In 1972, Baldwin moved to San Francisco, a west coast ground zero for young leathermen. There, he became associated with the Society of Janus, founded by Cynthia Slater and Larry Olsen in 1974. Baldwin, the first openly gay man to walk through its doors, found himself the most experienced and knowledgable member of the largely hetersexual group. He soon became friends with Slater and started teaching classes for the organization.

Throughout the 1970s, Baldwin alternated between San Francisco and Los Angeles, connecting with trailblazing west coast leather figures like Gayle Rubin and Tony DeBlase. His involvement in various aspects of the leather community, including becoming an associate member of a bike club, marked a period of exploration and growth.

Baldwin's advocacy extended into the realm of academia in the 1980s. In 1981, earned a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology by 1983. This educational journey was marked by his commitment to de-pathologizing homosexuality, a stance that provoked intense debate at UCLA. He became the first publicly out, kinky, and gay licensed private practice psychotherapist.

Recognizing the need for more kink-fluent mental health professionals, he initiated what would become the Kink-Aware Professionals List through a Drummer magazine ad in 1986. This effort, later known as the Kink-Aware Professionals List, aimed to connect like-minded professionals. The list, initially managed through hard-copy letters and notes, eventually evolved into an online resource managed by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.

Baldwin's advocacy extended to the "DSM Project" in 1987, aiming to influence the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM.) His efforts contributed to changes in the DSM IV in 1994, reducing the pathologization of BDSM.

Baldwin's impact as a writer, psychotherapist, and advocate continued throughout the 1990s and beyond. He held the titles of Mr. NLA and International Mr. Leather in 1989, becoming the only man ever to hold both titles concurrently. His contributions as an educator, writer, and speaker, including the design and management of seminar tracks and keynote speeches, solidified his position as a respected figure in the leather, BDSM, and kink communities.

As a prolific writer, Baldwin contributed columns to Drummer magazine, wrote articles for Frontiers, Checkmate, International Leatherman, and The Leather Journal, and authored or co-authored influential books, including Ties That Bind (1993), The Leather Contest Guide (1993), and SlaveCraft (2002.). His impact as a public speaker and advocate is evident in his design and management of the seminar track for the International Master/slave Contest in 1999, as well as numerous keynote speeches at leather and BDSM events.

He has received numerous awards, including Mr. National Leather Association, International Mr. Leather, the Pantheon and Dominion Lifetime Achievement Awards, inductions into the Hall of Fame for both the Society of Janus and the Leather Hall of Fame.

Guy Baldwin's forty-five years of service and dedication have positioned him as a highly honored and influential figure in the leather, BDSM, and kink communities, shaping the understanding and acceptance of alternative sexualities.

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Books by Guy Baldwin

  • Guy Baldwin (1993). Joseph W. Bean (ed.). Ties That Bind: The SM/Leather/Fetish Erotic Style: Issues, Commentaries and Advice. Daedalus Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-881943-09-9.

    The writings of one of the most respected and knowledgable people on the subject of SM/leather/fetish erotic style has been compiled in this book. Issues regarding relationships, the community, the SM experience, and personal transformation, as they relate to this form of erotic play, are addressed. Unlike many in the mental health field, Mr. Baldwin takes the approach that this style of erotic play can definitely be part of a healthy expression of one's sexuality. Many have benefitted from his sound advice in seminars, workshops and through his many published articles. Now, much of this man's wisdom has been published for you in this book.
  • Guy Baldwin (1993). The Leather Contest Guide: A Handbook for Promoters, Contestants, Judges and Titleholders. Daedalus Publishing Company. ISBN 1-881943-08-9.

    Currently, the leather contest is the only semi-systematic way we all have with which to identify and encourage local, regional, national, and international leather community leadership. This contest method is perhaps not the ideal way to choose our leadership, but it is "state-of-the-art" for now. Given this, it is important that contest be conducted with style, dignity and intelligence. And, of course, they should be a good time.
    Our community deserves the best of the best. If we don't do a good job with our contest system, we are cheating ourselves, and the time for doing that must come to an end. Our community has had second class status in the eyes of many people for far too long; that, too, must change.
  • a gratetful slave with Guy Baldwin (2002). SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude—Principles, Skills and Tools. Daedalus Publishing Company. ISBN 1-881943-14-3.

    Guy Baldwin, author of Ties That Bind, joins forces with 'a grateful slave' to produce this gripping and personal account on the subject of consensual slavery. Philosophical and intense, SlaveCraft dares to delve beneath the surface of D/s relationships and gives us an intimate and revealing view from a rare perspective - that of a slave. The authors examine the psychology and spirituality behind the Master/slave dynamic, and the result is a book that is resourceful, thought provoking and sexually charged. Beautifully written and intriguing, SlaveCraft is sure to leave an impact.

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A men's leather title contest.  An older MC is interviewing a contestant at the front of the stage. The contestant carries a massive gift basket.  A caption reads "In men's leather title contests, 'a good basket is always appreciated.'"

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