Call for Participants: Documenting Alternative Sexualities with the Leather Archives & Museum

The Leather Archives & Museum is an amazing organization. They collect, preserve, and exhibit the histories of the BDSM and leather communities. A lot of the ephemera, artwork, films and literature produced by communities of erotic affiliation gets lost or destroyed and the LAM is doing a huge service to these communities and to sexology by preserving them.

I just received a press release calling for people to document their “alternative” sexual practices as part of their collection. They’re especially interested in hearing from people who don’t identify as part of or participate in the BDSM communities. Check out the call for participants below and get in touch with Clarisse if you want to be part of this project.


Clarisse Thorn

The Leather Archives & Museum, a cultural center in Chicago devoted to preserving the history of alternative sexuality, wants your help documenting sexual practices that are not widely discussed. Do you enjoy giving or receiving a little pain during sex, such as spanking, biting, or scratching? Do you fantasize about being overpowered or overpowering your partner, including using ropes, handcuffs, or other restraints? Do you role-play during sex? We want to learn about your experiences through an interview.

We are seeking interviewees whose sex life includes various “alternative” practices. Interviewees who do NOT often participate in adult sexuality workshops, sex parties, or educational meetups are especially encouraged to respond.

We respect your privacy. Anything you tell us will be kept under an anonymous name, if you prefer, or your real name only if you are comfortable with such disclosure. Interviews will be recorded and stored at the Chicago location of the Leather Archives & Museum. They are not being collected for a specific purpose at this time, but may be used for future museum exhibits and will be made available to researchers and scholars who use the museum’s collections for study.

Interviews may be conducted in any way that makes you feel comfortable — by email, phone, an online voice service such as Skype, or even in person if you happen to live in Chicago. Again, we completely respect your privacy; if you get in touch, we will gladly work with you to figure out how to keep you feeling safe and comfortable throughout our discussions. Whether you have just started looking into this kind of sexuality, or have been exploring for years, please consider getting in touch with us.

The point person for this project is Clarisse Thorn, who can be reached by email at clarisse@ You can also leave her a voice message if you call the Leather Archives at 773.761.9200.

ABOUT THE LEATHER ARCHIVES & MUSEUM: The Leather Archives & Museum is devoted to preserving the history of alternative sexuality. By sharing your experience with the Leather Archives & Museum, you will be helping us document sexual practices that are not widely recorded or understood. The Leather Archives & Museum is located at 6418 N. Greenview Avenue in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, IL, USA; you can visit the website at

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