“I was Mr. Long Beach Leather in 2016. I am proud to represent South Asians, Leather, and being a Gay Man”

Fetishes and fantasies, with regard to sex, sexuality et al, is so hush hush in our sansarkri ‘cultural’ nation, which makes you damned if you talk about it, and damned if you do not. Let’s not be hypocrites, for we come from the land of Kamasutra. In the past and as well today, I do write a lot about sex; I love it and I write about it passionately, and thankfully my sex dates and fuck buddies are pretty open to try it all. Well lucky me. Anyhow, today I would like you all to open your minds a little more- trying doesn’t kill- meet a friend of ours, an ardent fan and follower of GAYLAXY; someone with quirks of his own, proud and unabashed. For all of you who love the kink side of life, and not just 50 shades saga, here is MR LEATHER, 2016 – Ali Mushtaq – a Pakistani American, talking about leather fetishes and fantasies. Take note, get inspired and enjoy the conversation I had with him.

India needs to grow up big time when it comes to fetishes and fantasies, considering we are the land of kamasutra. Now that you have been crowned MR. LEATHER, I would like you to help us in India understand the leather fetish.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ali: I won the Mr. Long Beach Leather contest in 2016. I’m finishing my PhD in Sociology and I’m a professor of sociology in Long Beach.

Wow that was short! Crisp! Nice! What is ‘leather fetish’ all about?

Ali: Basically, you have vanilla sex (when you penetrate someone using the penis, finger or tongue), and then you have non-vanilla sex (or fetishes) which means you’re sexually attracted to things outside of that.

Any examples to cite?

Ali: One example, some people are turned on by wearing leather, smelling it, and seeing it on other people. There are plenty of these fetishes. Some people like pup play where they pretend they’re a dog. Others like to be spanked or peed on. There are plenty of other fetishes. But leather celebrates the diversity of these differences.

Ali Mushtaq

What are the myths behind leather fetish which needs to be debunked?

Ali: One myth is people who are into leather are (mentally) disturbed. People in the community are mostly of sound mind when they do this. We just found other ways to express ourselves sexually.

Another myth is that leather is for white people. Leather is for everybody, even if they’re Black, Latino, Indian, Pakistani, etc. It’s also for women, transpeople, and anyone else that wants to explore their sexuality.

Finally, another myth is that leather is unsafe. People have a stereotype that leather people do things to harm each other. Usually, people in our community know that we need to take consent to do whatever we’re doing. We also promote safe sex, may it be condoms or PrEP (Pre exposure Proflexysis). We encourage everyone to make decisions that are best for them.

We believe that sex and any other fetishes are OK as long as it is consensual and safe.

How safe is leather play when you are with strangers, a mate, a sex date or even with your lover, partner, or better half?

Ali: It depends on the person. If the person is new, I tend to go slower with them and try to meet them where they are. However, if the person is a stranger and in the community, I ask other people about them to see if they’re okay to play with. Usually, with anyone, regardless of who they are, we run down a list of what we expect will happen. All of what we do is pre-negotiated.

How did you get introduced to this fetish, or was it something innate and something that you knew you were meant to relish?

Ali: I feel like I was always really edgy and I feel like I always wanted to be someone that had an edgy sexuality. I wanted to explore my sexuality and to be who I was. I eventually moved to San Francisco and attended the Folsom Street Fair. There I got flogged by someone and went to bars that celebrated what I looked like.

Can there be softcore elements with leather fetish? Most confuse leather fetishism with hardcore torture, what are your thoughts on the same?

So everything we do is consensual. This means that me and the other person (or people) agree to what will take place. Some people are interested in doing things like being spanked, tied, up, to maybe wearing leather, rubber, latex etc. Some people like being peed on. Also, some people like being lightly flogged. Sometimes, people just like to role play and not do anything. Like for example, pretending to be a cop and robber and sexualizing that. These are very entry level kinds of kinks that a lot of people get into. Some get into more “heavier” forms of fetish. So some people like being whipped (with a whip), or even “tortured.” But all of this is all agreed to.

So basically fetishes exist on a spectrum of intense to not intense. And people should experiment and find their comfort zone if they’re interested.

Ali Mushtaq

Interesting, now, if there was one Bollywood hero you would like to play leather with, who would it be and why?

Ali: I would love have a fourway with Salman Khan , Ranveer Singh, and John Abraham., I think older men can be sexy and hot.

Do you watch Bollywood movies? If yes, is there any actor you think could be fit for leather fun?

Ali: I wish I knew more about Bollywood. I grew up watching Pardes, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Nah Ho, and Dil to Pagal Hai.

But I would definitely want to do lots of things to John Abraham ,especially tying him up and playing with him when he can’t move.

Tips and advise for people into leather or thinking of exploring the leather fetish world.

Ali: Generally, you can look up leather/bdsm/fetishes on tumblr and google. I’m sure you can find lots of resources on the internet if you look around on google. If you’re in the West, America, Australia, the UK, or Canada, best is to check out a leather bar. If you’re in India or Pakistan, check out a website called Recon, a leather/fetish site for gay men. There’s also Fetlife.com that caters to everyone.

Talking about HIV/AIDS and Prep, we need the stigma for the same to be gone, kindly elucidate and enlighten your fans on the same.

Ali: I’m HIV negative and I’m also a gay South Asian man. I think more South Asians need to get rid of the stigma around HIV. We need to heal our wounds and accept ourselves for who we are: being gay, lesbian, trans, HIV positive, old, young, and so on. In America, the American Center for Disease Control ruled that being HIV undetectable means that you do not transmit the virus if you are taking medication and actively working to control the virus. Thus, we encourage the idea of treatment as prevention: we prevent the spread of HIV by encouraging everyone to get tested, to not fear the virus, and to encourage those with HIV to get treatment. We must love our positive brothers and sisters and to remember to treat others with respect and dignity. I am a gay South Asian man. One way I choose to protect myself is by taking PrEP. You take one pill a day, every day, and you get tested every three months. This is one way we prevent the spread of HIV. For some people, they are not comfortable taking PrEP, or can’t take it. If not, I encourage condoms to stay safe. Either way, PrEP is something we all should explore.

How would you describe yourself as a person?

Ali: Spicy, hairy, short, cuddly- Knowing that there’s more work to be done and to represent the South Asian LGBTQ community.

Ali Mushtaq

Your definition of ‘hot’ would be

Ali: A beard, a nice chest, and fur

Your ideal date would be…

Ali: A successful date involves a nice talk over wine.

Your favorite aroma, smell , perfume, deo etc?

Ali: My favourite perfume is the natural smell of a man’s armpit.

Ok, so what are your talents which we don’t know about?

Ali: Some of my talents you never knew about: I’m a competitive west coast swing dancer.

You ultimate fantasy is…

Ali: Getting beaten with a flogger while I get fucked.

That is all for now, do get in touch with our dearest friend and get to know him better. What I love about him is that even though he is so famous in the LGBTQIA world, and is well-known and has been interviewed by the biggest of magazines too- HE IS STILL HUMBLE and does rake up a chat when you ping him anytime.

Rohan Noronha