I think it was 1988 when I found Fledermaus through his Magazine DUNGEON MASTER. I read so much about him in Drummer Magazine and Dungeon Master that I thought he would be the perfect man to bring me into the world of Leather and BDSM.
He seemed wild, obviously knowledgeable and well respected by the community in Chicago. It took me years to creep out of the closet and finally make the decision to make my fantasies a reality.
The only connection that I made before calling Fledermaus was a guy named Joe in my hometown. He showed me his sling and immediately wanted to strip and fuck but I was in no way prepared for that. He was kind of creepy. He smoked like a fiend and baked and decorated cakes that he set on a brick in the middle of his basement floor. He kicked me out of his house when I wouldn’t get undressed.
Anyway, back to the real story. I talked to Fledermaus during several afternoon phone calls when my wife was at work and finally made an arrangement to meet him at the A.A. Meat Market on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. The Friday that we were to meet came and I nervously drove into the city to meet him, feeling terrified. I found a parking place south of The Meat Market across from Malehide and walked to the bar. I was shaken and hungry for what I saw as I walked to the bar. Guys wore leather chaps and jocks with their bar asses hanging out, handcuffs dangling from the right or left side of their belts and big black boots. I saw one guy wearing a leather collar who turned toward me as he and his Master passed. He said “HI!” I envied him so much that I would have done anything to have what he had.
I got to the bar and stood there, unable to reach the door handle. Once I worked up the courage, I grabbed the handle where I froze. My hand was stuck to the handle like a tongue sticking to a flag pole on an icy winter day. My heart beat so fast and loud that I was sure anyone within a few feet of me could hear it. My hand finally opened and the door handle slipped out of it. I walked back to my car. I went into Malehide and bought a pair of knee high engineer boots that I wore out of the store. I was newly resolved to go meet Fledermaus but when I stopped at my car to leave my shoes in the car, I crawled into the car and drove away. I drove around the block several times before I headed for the expressway.
I called Fledermaus on the following Monday to apologize. I told him about freezing at the door handle of the bar. I told him how afraid I felt. He was very kind and told me to let him know when I am ready.
I met him two years later when I joined the Chicago Bondage Club that met at the Hellfire Clubhouse. It was a weekend long party called Bondfire that went on during IML weekend. I met him again in the fall at Inferno. He moved to San Francisco shortly after that when he took over Drummer Magazine. My partner and I stopped in his office there and took him out for lunch. He had sweetbreads. I don’t remember what I ate. I finally got to play with him a couple days later outside in the trees near his home.
I was excited and willing to do anything except blood and scat. I couldn’t give limits because I didn’t have any. What a wild ride!
Fledermaus was one of the nicest of all the wonderful people that entered and left my life in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He was the consummate sex educator and a friend, one of two, who taught me how to protect myself in the Leatherworld, including the fact that I should never tell an unknown top that I have no limits.
Oh! I met the guy who said “Hi!” to me in front of the bar when I joined CHC.