Page 48 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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28                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               Having been recruited as a deputy sheriff for the City and County
            of San Francisco, Jack Fritscher had the lust to focus on military themes
            and cops and prisons and brigs and cowboys and sports to bring out of the
            closet idealized man-to-man relationships so that those theretofore straight
            identities could cross-over into gay man-to-man sex games. Because of the
            Vietnam War which lasted until the first issue of Drummer in 1975, he
            was careful to glorify not war but the same kind of soldierly camaraderie
            found celebrated in Walt Whitman. In the virulently anti-war culture of
            the 1970s, he dared make it okay to wear uniforms for sexual role play.
            As Drummer publisher Tony DeBlase pointed out, Fritscher recognized
            that the Drummer base was interested in bikes and leather as only the first
            of many metaphors and fetishes of the kind of masculinity Fritscher was
            creating in his monthly training manual.
               Personally, Jack Fritscher was a major influence on my emergence
            into the world of gay male S&M. Born in the hills of Virginia in the
            early 1930s, I was not aware of my homosexual tendencies until I was in
            my early twenties. I knew something wasn’t quite in sync with the world
            around me and I definitely knew I liked to tie men up, but that was as
            far as it went. Living in Appalachia, I sought others with similar drives
            in urban publications ranging from Justice Weekly to The Advocate, but it
            was not until 1975 when I encountered Drummer that I felt I was on the
            right emotional track. The first Drummer I read was interesting, but not
            interesting enough to hold my attention. Then Fritscher appeared on the
            scene and refocused the magazine. The impact on me is a personal and
            professional history which I have yet to put on paper.
               Some day perhaps I’ll add my eyewitness to his.
               Fritscher, whom I never met personally until the 1990s, influenced
            me from afar in other ways. One of his missions was to clarify the mys-
            teries of gay S&M to those seekers who wished to play but didn’t know
            how to start. He published articles (e.g.: bondage) on technique, safety
            practices, and other practical information for the benefit of the uniniti-
            ated. When he left the editorship of Drummer which in the 1980s deflated
            into a leather contest magazine, the mission of covering technical matters
            passed on, for the most part, to Dungeonmaster, of which I became editor
            in the late 1980s. Fritscher’s influence encouraged me when I wrote my
            own cross-over article on adapting military interrogations to S&M play
            for the first issue of Dungeonmaster.
               When  Dungeonmaster went into decline, I and my partner, Bob
            Reite, established Checkmate that Fritscher volunteered to support with
            his Drummer-style writing and photography which we published. Like
            Drummer, Checkmate was killed by the Internet after our ten-year run.
            Without Fritscher blazing the trail to opening up S&M writing about

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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