Robert Davolt | 1958-2005
I would like to take this opportunity to honor a wonderful author and a brilliant book. Robert Davolt left us last month, and we will miss him so. His clever and entertaining legacy lives on in his collection of essays written over the course of a decade. I raise a toast to you, Robert!
Painfully Obvious: An Irreverent & Unauthorized Manual for Leather/SM
Humor is my favorite survival instinct. Sure, it's great to know how to administer CPR, start a campfire or change a tire, but most importantly, if you can laugh at the situation, you are on top of the game.
Enter Robert Davolt- an "Old Guard" leatherdaddy, survivor of the dramatically extinct Drummer magazine, survivor of a nearly extinct generation of leathermen. And, especially as a seasoned leatherguy, he has witnessed the stoic and mysterious leather scene turn into shiny fabrics, trendiness, and "toys" instead of "gear." The Shadow has morphed into "Does that collar match my new pants?"
I'm not saying he's not complaining- that's the best part. Steve Lenius of Lavender Magazine called Davolt an "equal opportunity curmudgeon." Think Larry David of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with a whip in his hand, or a macho male Bette Davis making snappy verbal jabs while handcuffing you to the chair.
All this humor and a helluva lot of uncensored, in your face advice to chew on. Davolt wrote this for and about the Leather Community. He is wonderfully immersed and dedicated to this community- and has been for nearly three decades. And like any member of a typical dysfunction family, he's got a lot of family frustrations he's lived through and witnessed that he would love to help fix.
Take the Leather Contest. Davolt has been a part of one pageant or another year after year:
"Like any minor nobility, leather titles have their share of stars and statesmen, inbreeding and madness, the invisible, the inspiring and the insufferable, embarrassments, thieves, whores and much less interesting characters. For those thinking of running- either to or from the warm embrace of the spotlight- and those who are just amused by it all, a few insights, tips and suggestions:"
I call Davolt's relationship with the leather contest a Love/Smirk relationship. Smirk filled with a lot of Love, mind you.
The Leather/BDSM/Queer/Pansexual Communities have been through so much in the last few decades. Visibility is at an all time high, while civil rights and freedoms are threatened every day. What better way to enjoy making sense of it all than by reading the insights of a very clever sadist.
I highly recommend Painfully Obvious. I guarantee you'll end up quoting it at your next SM social.
Best regards, Lucky Lana
For more information about dear Robert and his lifetime acheivements: