Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Who's your Daddy?


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My Mentor, My Guide by Blade T. Bannon; The Nazca Plains Corporation, $16.95

Dubbed a "Handbook for Daddies and Boys for the New Generation," San Francisco resident Blade Bannon's new handbook smartly addresses theories of male bonding, sexual role-play, and the meaningful, highly intimate connections that develop between men active within the BD/SM arena.

Writing with a sensible, non-threatening, conversational tone, Bannon points out the key components necessary to ensure the success of these kinds of unique relationships, where the interactions of "Masters, Daddies, Trainers, Sirs, Mentors, and Guides" come into play. Trust and both verbal and non-verbal communication (being an "active listener") are paramount among these core foundations, as are honesty (about HIV, STDs, etc.), spirituality, a capacity to love, compassion ("a willingness to listen and an openness of heart"), and, of course, a limitless imagination — as where the author describes a scene involving himself, a boy, and a room packed floor to ceiling with balloons.

His advice turns cautionary when describing the not-so-pleasurable side to the Daddy/Boy association, where both sides can very easily fall into the wrong crowd or engage in an interactive partnership that can go sour in a heartbeat. Folks to watch out for: the "loose cannons," the fakes, the "professional victims" and "rescuers" (those who will discreetly and systematically strip their partner of his/her independence), the druggies, and the lonely "emotional vampires."

The most engaging portions of the book are the sections where the author describes his own personal experiences. He unflinchingly tells of the shaving and eventual collaring of a not-quite-out gym buddy with the same enthusiasm as describing a enlightening night spent with a juvenile probation officer Daddy who brought him to a leather contest as his dog. Initially reluctant, Bannon ended up spending the night on the floor of the bar at his Master's feet.

This is not a book that's been carefully scripted and edited for content that might offend or insult, and that's a good thing. Bannon fearlessly addresses taboo, controversial issues like HIV and sero-conversion fantasies within a bondage scene, along with same-status partners engaging in unsafe sex. In the most non-judgmental of tones, the author never criticizes or lectures, he just wants readers to be responsible for their own actions and to recognize that every interpersonal sex act carries some form of risk.

Bannon implores newcomers to bite the bullet, dismiss their reluctance, swallow their shyness, and just get out there and network within the expansive leather community. Within the fold, he promises, there will be many men willing to mentor a new boy, offer friendship and guidance, and foster both an intense exchange of sexual energy and quite possibly a loving, mutually satisfying, ongoing courtship. Members of the leather community as well as those with a burning curiosity that has yet to be sated should be delighted with the release of this sensible, well-written, and extremely accessible guide to the mentoring aspect of the Daddy/Boy relationship.

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