Mission and Values
Responding to the aftermath of the HIV/AIDS crisis, LDG strives to reinvigorate the culture of mentorship that once played a vital role in the passing down and preservation of our community’s collective knowledge and wisdom. By creating a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment, LDG also empowers individuals to step away from silence, isolation and stigma into a positive state of open communication, participation and acceptance. The LDG Mentoring Program facilitates the introduction of experienced, caring and very kinky men to men looking for guidance, insight, advice and instruction as they explore their own fetish/leather/kink sexuality and identity.
- Commitment to the health of the men’s leather/kink community
- Openness to Experience
These values are also the qualities we are looking for in men who wish to serve as Mentors in the LDG Mentoring program, and in the men who wish to find mentors through the LDG Mentoring program. People who are mentors in the LDG Mentoring program should also have the following kinds of experience or characteristics:
- at least 10 years of kink experience
- a history of involvement in the men’s kink community
- a social network within the community
The LDG Mentoring Program is a new effort, and so this first round is a pilot program, to see how things work or don’t work, and to identify areas of improvement.
The Role of LDG
LDG will set up a meeting to introduce mentors and mentees, and LDG will provide monitoring and resource backup for both mentors and mentees. Monitoring includes periodic checks with mentors and mentees to confirm that the relationship is unfolding as expected. A few Kink-Aware professional therapists have offered to be accessible as resources if any mental health problem arises during the mentoring process. Mentors will be able to consult with these therapists, arranged through Richard Sprott as the point of contact. The point of LDG’s role is to support the natural development of the mentoring relationship, which is personal, unique and primarily private. LDG cannot promise that a person will find the perfect mentor, nor can we guarantee that all mentoring relationships and interactions will be smooth and helpful.
Expectations of the Mentoring Relationship
Mentors and mentees should meet or make contact at least once a month. The initial phase is for a six month period. The mentoring relationship is not a sexual relationship, so both mentors and mentees should take sexual contact “off the table” for the first six months. If a relationship does start to go in a sexual direction, we ask that mentors and mentees recognize the need to withdraw from the program in order to pursue that different kind of connection. Mentors and mentees should not financially exploit the relationship. If mentors or mentees miss two consecutive monthly meetings or contact times with each other, we will consider that as withdrawing from the program. Mentees are expected to be clear about their goals in working with a mentor. Mentees should be able to supply two community references for participation in the LDG Mentoring Program. Mentees should also be men who are serious about their kink life, as evidenced by at least 12 months of community involvement or attendance at community events (LDG, play parties, Folsom Street events, club events, contests, etc.).
LDG MENTORSHIP PROGRAM APPLICATION FORM
is available from Mentorship chair Richard Sprott (email@example.com) or from firstname.lastname@example.org