An Interview With Richard Savvy, Mr. Sydney Leather 2012!
Richard discovered Leather in 2005, when he first arrived in Sydney. He hasn’t looked back, and earlier this year he was named Mr. Sydney Leather 2012. As The Naked Barber, Richard has become one of his town’s most wanted men, offering his one-of-a-kind fetish grooming business to those lucky bad boys of Harbour City. Richard has also taken The Naked Barber to the stage, performing at most of Sydney’s major Leather and Kink events. He has used his unique skills for a greater cause, plying his titillating trade for such organizations as Sydney Leather Pride, Harbour City Bears, and various other charities in his home town. His mission is twofold. On the home front, he is committed to strengthening and bonding Sydney’s Leather and Kink communities. On a more global level, he will represent Australia at International Mr. Leather in Chicago this May. Mr. Savvy spoke with Jed Ryan about The Naked Barber, his endeavors for the upcoming year, and his very offbeat celebrity crush as a kid:
JR: Hi Dick. Thanks for speaking with me. First off, I have to ask: How did “The Naked Barber” come to be born?!
DS: At the time, I was managing a barber shop is North Sydney. I knew I needed a change in what I was doing, but I had been doing hair for more years then I spent at school– so I felt like it was the only thing I was good at and I didn’t know what else I could do! After feeling this way for a while, I guess it started to show and you could tell I was not happy in my work life. One night at a dinner party, a friend of mine brought up the fact I did not seem happy in my life, as I once was. After a little chat about my circumstance and a few glasses of red wine, the idea flew out of my mouth and It was such a good idea I just could not let it go!
With the concept born over a few glasses of red wine, I then got to thinking, Where do I want to take this idea?… Who is the Naked Barber and what is fetish grooming? I saw the Naked Barber as a kink (a lot like me), who provided man with an experience like no other! No matter what the request, I wanted to make The Naked Barber everyone’s fantasy groomer– whether that means I am butt naked or in full leather, I want to deliver… every time! With that down, the fetish grooming part came easy. I just wanted to offer a service that no-one else was, no matter if that was a beard trim or a ball wax!
From this whole experience, the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the trust that guys have in me. Think about it: I put guys my sling, legs in the air, cock in one hand and razor in the other! That is a lot of trust to have in one person. I am proud that guys feel comfortable enough with me to do this.
JR: Damn! That sounds hot! So, congratulations again on your Title of Sydney Mr. Leather 2012. How has your Title year been treating you so far?
DS: Thank you! It sure has been keeping me busy, I can say that much…
I have only had the title since February 26th 2012 so it’s only been for two months, but it’s been one of the most amazing two months of my life and with my first trip to the States for IML coming up in May. I say it’s just going to get better!
JR: Since winning, do you find that you get hit on more?! Or, are guys intimidated by the Sash?
DS: I have been in the public eye here in Australia for about four years with The Naked Barber business, and erotic fetish shows I have performed in clubs around Sydney and Melbourne— so I would say that was when I noticed that guys started hitting on me more. To be honest, I find everyone is different: some get intimidated and others get attracted to it. I guess the Sash just give the guys who have never known what to say to me a chance to pop up and say hi…
JR: Gotcha! So, one of the duties of a Titleholder is to raise money and awareness for philanthropic causes. What causes or issues are you dedicated to?
DS: Firstly, within the Leather community, I would like to use my Title to lift the profile of the Leather scene in Sydney. I look to use my title as a platform to find new ways to promote Leather in our city. I am planning Sydney’s first slave auction, taking place on May the 6th. Part of the goal in organizing the slave auction is to provide Sydney with a new type of leather event: one that I hope will bring together all aspects of the Sydney alternative fetish scene, old and new. Secondly, still within the Leather community, I will also look to raise awareness for safe play within our scene. With men and women opening up their experiences to the Leather scene, I feel it is important that we, as experienced members of the community, pass on our knowledge of safe kink and S&M play. Looking wider than the Leather scene, I would to use my title, to work and raise money for ACON (The New South Wales AIDS Council). I am hosting a community forum around Drugs and Alcohol: something that I strongly believe we need to open a dialogue about, to understand the impact that drugs have on all of Sydney’s LGTB community. The slave auction I will be hosting will also be raising money for ACON and the work they do across New South Wales.
JR: Damn, you‘re gonna be busy! So, in your opinion, who is a true role model for the Leather community?
DS: Wow, role model huh? I guess when I think of a role model for the Leather community, I just look at my mates who have been around in the scene for a longer time than I have. They have lived through the worst of the AIDS epidemic, watched friends get sick and some pass. These men still get out of bed everyday, throw on their leather and walk outside. These are men who are still out there and active, organizing Leather parties and events. These are the men that we should look up to. I know they are the men that I see as my role models.
JR: Speaking of role models: As a role model yourself, what can every guy and girl in the Leather community do, on a day to day basis, to keep our community thriving?
DS: Be proud. Leave the websites and mobile apps behind at home. Throw on your leather, get to a club, and meet up with some friends, or maybe even make a few new ones.
JR: Amen brother! Now, a lot of Americans only know about Australia from what makes its way into our pop culture: like Foster‘s Lager, Kylie Minogue, and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”! But what would be the biggest thing that Americans DON’T know about your homeland that they SHOULD know?
DS: What about a leathered-up Hugh Jackman kicking ass as Wolverine? (Laughs)
If Americans want to know what makes the country a great place, apart from the beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife, wide open spaces, and exciting big cities…. It’s the people. I love how welcoming, open, and generous the people in Australia are. I have traveled overseas and loved every minute of it, but coming home to the great people of Oz is a very warm feeling.
If you haven’t already, come and check us out!
JR: It’s on my list, trust me! I had a lot of fun with The Sydney Convicts, Sydney’s gay rugby team, when they came to play in The Bingham Cup in New York in 2006. Now, what makes the Leather community in Sydney different from other cities that you have visited?
DS: I lived in London for a while, and in that time I went to Amsterdam for a visit. Both cities have a larger Leather scene… with more bars and clubs than Sydney and a lot more leather and fetish shops too! I think it has a lot to do with a smaller population and the fact that we lost a lot of Leathermen in the late 80s to the mid 90s to AIDS. That said, the heart of the Sydney Leather scene makes up for the smaller numbers. Being smaller in number, the one thing I will say is that the sense of family is amazing. As a young man new to the scene, I was revived with warm and open arms… and every step forward I have made, I have had my Leather family right there supporting me all the way. We have a very cool alternative Kink and Leather scene in Sydney, one that I am proud of being a part of. I guess it’s up to me and people like Ms Tokyo (Sydney Ms Leather 2012), to start building our numbers back up!
JR: If one of your American Leather brothers or sisters comes to visit Sydney, what stops should he include on his or her visit?
DS: Well first off they should come and visit me at The Naked Barber Studio for a scotch on the rocks and maybe a haircut or shave!
JR: (Laughs) Yes, definitely!
DS: Then I would make sure they stop into The Oxford Hotel on a Thursday night for BUZZ, a night that I run with a good mate Ben Drayton. The Oxford is Sydney’s top Leather bar, so its a great place for any of my Leather brothers or sisters to start. Then… its whatever exciting Sydney is throwing at you that week! There is always something going on around the scene….
JR: Wow… Now I can’t wait! So, Dick, do you have a celebrity crush?
DS: I did have a crush on Tony Danza from “Who’s The Boss?” when I was younger; I have a thing for short guys. Nowadays, no crush to mention. I find my crushes play out more in real life. The chemistry I find with a guy forms the basis for most of my crushes these days.
JR: I can understand that! Lastly: Leathermen are often seen as the epitome of masculinity and sexiness. As a sex symbol yourself, what makes a man sexy?
DS: Cheers for the complement, but I think I am far from being a sex symbol… Confidence is the sexiest quality of any man. No matter what shape or size, what colour or creed, as long as a guy is confident and respectful, he will have sexy coming out of his arse. A cheeky smile always helps too!
JR: Or, smiling cheeks…! Thanks, Dick!