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Causing Mayhem: An Interview with Colton Bell, Mr. Mayhem Leather 2022

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KINK ALLEY: Where Leather and Fetish Live in Salt Lake

I recently caught up with 26-year-old Utah native Colton Bell, Mr. Mayhem Leather titleholder, to talk about his winning the competition, his kink awakening, and pushing boundaries within the traditionally masculine gay male Kink/Leather/Fetish community.

Congratulations on being named Bears, Bikers & Mayhem’s Mr. Mayhem Leather 2022!

Thank you so much! It’s an honor to have this title. Thank you for having me for this interview!

What is Bears, Bikers & Mayhem?

Bears, Bikers & Mayhem is a yearly event that takes place in Gettysburg, Penn. This year was actually my very first one!

Did you expect to win?

I don’t know if expect would be the right word, but I definitely planned to win. I think if you ever walk into a contest not planning to win, you’re setting yourself up for a less enjoyable experience; however, if you walk into a contest expecting to win, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment, or even if you win, having no opportunity to exceed your goals.

Tell us about your kink awakening — how and when you realized you had a taste for more than vanilla

For me, learning about kink was similar to coming out. I really didn’t ever consider myself as vanilla, just like I never really thought of myself as straight. Instead, it was that I didn’t know the words to explain what I was, or that straight/vanilla was all I had ever heard or known. The more words, phrases, and knowledge you have as a person, the easier it is to understand yourself and your identity.

How do you kink identify — Dominant, submissive, Daddy, boy, Handler, pup, Master, slave, Switch, etc.?

I identify as “let’s talk about it,” haha. I’m really open to a lot of identities, and there are a few that I’d really love to explore with someone very comfortable teaching me more about them. I’m only 26, and have only been fully involved in the community since COVID. I’m excited to still have so much to learn. I do know for certain I would consider myself a switch and a service top.

What does being Mr. Mayhem Leather 2022 mean to you?

Causing Mayhem! Duh! Having this title means way more than I could ever explain in words, but there are two things that stand out most to me. The first is to uphold the title history, event history, and general attitude of Bears, Bikers & Mayhem and their beneficiaries and community. Mayhem to me is about pushing buttons that are not often pushed. I want to be someone who is known for saying what needs to be said in our communities. I want to be someone who learns and grows while helping others learn and grow. Most importantly I want to be someone who others can look up to and see themselves in, especially if they haven’t got to see those kinds of people represented before. Visibility is important, and I’m going to use every ounce of Mayhem I can cause to make sure everyone gets to see it.

What are your plans as you represent Bears, Bikers & Mayhem for the next year?

I want to make an impact and I want to be visible. I want to touch corners of the world that have never seen this kind of person and I want to help educate them, bring visibility to them, and just show them how much of a great time this community is to be a part of. I’m excited to leak two exciting fundraisers coming up that I and my sash brother Mr. Mayhem Leather Bear 2022, will be co-hosting. Our first will be a beer bust at Wilton Manors Fort Lauderdale on October 29 to raise money for Equality Florida. The second will be a drag show spectacular with BOTH of us in drag, raising money for the Trevor Project. That will happen on November 11 at the Clifton Pleasure Club in Baltimore.

I also want to bring my title impact here to my home state of Utah, so I’ve decided to choose Genderbands as my own personal organization I plan to donate my fundraising proceeds. Genderbands is based in Orem, Utah that has an amazing mission and some amazing opportunities to make large impacts in transgender and gender non-conforming people’s lives.

Mr. Mayhem Leather titleholders are historically traditionally masculine. As someone who identifies as being on the non-binary spectrum, what does it mean (both to you, and to the Kink/Leather/Fetish community) that you now hold this title? Have you experienced and do you anticipate any pushback on this issue, and what has been or will be your response?

Being on the non-binary spectrum to me ultimately means a big FUCK YOU to all those typical expectations that can sometimes be set in our community. When I talk about visibility, these are the exact barriers I’m trying to break down. Gender roles are fucked, and to be honest, gender is fucked. What does it even mean to be a “man” or “woman”? Every single person is going to answer that question differently, and frankly, it isn’t important to me anyway. I’m nowhere close to fully understanding my journey in gender presentation, and I’m okay with that. For now, I’m very happy to exist somewhere in between. My pronouns are he/they. I am on the non-binary spectrum. I am still a “Mr.” title holder. I push boundaries on femininity. I do drag. And all those things just add to my non-stop drive to showcase my authentic self at every moment of every day. Those labels are not for everyone else, they are for me to understand myself better. The more comfortable I can feel in my own skin, the more privilege I have to help others who don’t have that comfortability see pieces of themselves reflected in a positive light. With all that said, I haven’t received as much pushback on this concept as I first thought.

That doesn’t mean it’s not being said, however. I know there are people out there who are VERY unhappy with my interpretation of leather. My response to anyone talking about it will be this:

“Leather has always existed to push the boundaries of the expected, and to stand up to showcase your true self. If I’m doing that exact thing, then what about my presentation is so upsetting to you? In what ways would you want me to change? And do you think I’d still be representing my fight, my spirit, and my authentic self by changing that? I don’t believe I would. I want to learn. I want to celebrate history. But I also want to make some as well. I’m going to continue doing so whether you like it or not. So go ahead and be mad, because it’s only going to make my story that much more interesting.” 

Colton, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us.

Of course! Thank you so very much for having me. It’s been a pleasure!

To learn more about Colton, visit his official Facebook page at Mr. Mayhem Leather and on most social media platforms at linktr.ee/Draaegon

To learn more about Bears, Bikers & Mayhem, visit bearsbikersandmayhem.com

Alpha Mercury

Alpha Mercury has been an out-and-proud member of the kink/leather/fetish/BDSM community his entire adult life. He has a degree in film production from the University of Southern California and is an author of erotic fiction. He lives with his leather family in Salt Lake City. Reach him at kink@qsaltlake.com

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