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BLUF (Breeches and Leather Uniform Fanclub) is an international fraternal organization of gay men and MSM sharing a fetishistic interest in leather breeches and uniforms. The leather breeches are worn inside tall leather boots known as jackboots. BLUF is a part of a larger leather subculture and the sexual aesthetic is similar to the exaggerated masculinity seen in the work of Tom of Finland. Members share interest in leather fetishism, boot fetishism, and uniform fetishism. Some wear leather uniforms reminiscent of German World War II era uniforms, but without the Nazi regalia or embracement of NSDAP politics. The other common uniforms worn are those of American style police motorcycle patrol and German police.
Dresscode and Guidelines
Membership is open to men of all races and nationalities above the age of consent in members' home countries. In order to join the club, the applicants are required to respect a strict dresscode and a set of guidelines explained on the club's official website: BLUF Dresscode. Any breach of the requirements listed will result in a rejection of the photo and therefore of the application. Once the application is accepted, the member is assigned a random number that identifies him among the other members.
BLUF began as an Internet site in 1997 but has evolved to a series of in-person meets and events regularly scheduled in European and North American cities. Members frequently plan vacation time around, and travel to, international meetings. A majority of members live in northern Europe, primarily Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden, but members are also found in North America, Asia, Central America, South America and Africa.
BLUF started in October 1997 as a simple HTML based website for men into full leather uniforms. I was living in Montreal then and I had just discovered the joys of Internet. I joined Leather Navigator, which at that time was the only internet platform for leathermen. Being disappointed with the absence of any kind of dresscode, I started BLUF. I contacted a few friends by email, sent postcards to others (not everybody had a computer in those days), and informed them about the new club. Some of them joined. At the beginning, almost all new members were American. I had met quite a few at parties in Canada and the US. Not many Europeans had internet access then. The site consisted in those days of a Picture Gallery, a List of Members, a List of Admirers (for those that couldn't meet the dresscode requirements), an Online-Magazine and (a little later) a Forum. Access was free. The cost of the server was covered by me. I was the webmaster and maintained the site.
In September 1998 the first BLUF party was held during Folsom Weekend at the Loading Dock in SF. Although we only had about 150 members then, the party became a huge success and is still remembered as one of the best in BLUF history. Around November 1998 the first in a series of BLUF parties was held in London. Many guys from the UK joined as a result. In 1999 I moved back to Amsterdam, and in the Autumn closed down the site because of financial problems. Some of the members got together and convinced me to re-open the site and give members the opportunity to donate money to keep the site running. Around the same time, I restricted access to the BLUF Public Picture Galleries through an Age Verification System (AdultCheck, now ManCheck). This brought in enough money to pay the bills and for a while even provided some pocket money. More Europeans joined the club. Slowly, the emphasis shifted from North America to Europe." — Leon, BLUF Founder
In 2009 'BLUF 3' was launched.
After a few months of testing, the revamped site - 'BLUF 3' - went online in December 2009, and with quite a dramatic effect. With the ability to send messages between members and upload photos directly, the site's continued to grow and sees many more people using it on a regular basis, with almost half our members now visiting the site at least once a week.
In December 2010 the old logo was changed and it is still used nowadays. In 2012, during the fifteenth anniversary year. the organisation reached its 3000 member.
On Sunday 20th January 2013, during Belgium's Leather Pride, BLUF won the X Award for "Fetish Organisation 2013"
On 1 August 2013 the BLUF membership card was launched.
As well as showing that you're a member of the club the card, which is available to anyone who has donated to BLUF in the last six months, also entitles the holder to discounts at around twenty different locations around the world.
- Hooven, F, Valentine. Tom of Finland, His Life and Times. St. Martin's Griffin, Stonewall Inn Editions: 1994. ISBN 978-0-312-11365-0.
- Ramakers, Micha. Tom of Finland: The Art of Pleasure. Taschen: 2002. ISBN 978-3-8228-8598-7.
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