Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, September 27, 2017. This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com
Denver's Exile 6 Fetish Ball
By Exposer Magazine
For six years, Lokusdor Productions (at the EXPO Event Center in Denver, CO) has put on the event and each year, it seems to gain the attention of many new people. 350 attendees had already arrived by 10pm and the show had just begun! Bringing in new vendors and sponsors. Last year, this event raised $10,000 for organizations in our community. You don’t hear too often of an event that gives so much back to its community, but that may be why this particular event rises above all others around it....The Exile Fetish Ball has a showcase of kink everywhere you look, from the flogging posts to the right of the stage, along with electrical apparatuses designed to heighten your sexual arousal. This place has it all, for any sort of fetish you might be into. More photos and details at https://xposermagazine.com/exile-6-fetish-ball-2/
Los Angeles Boys of Leather
Join the los angeles Boys of Leather for HELL BOY! on Friday, October 13 at 9 PM at The Bullet Bar in North Hollywood, CA. Get your Halloween Costume ready and join in our Costume Contest. Live Performances by the amazing Ursula Major and the freakishly phenomena Annie Chryst. Raffle prizes, bloody Jello shots, hot men and sexy women. $7 at the door! With admission you will receive one raffle ticket to win some amazing ghoulish prizes. https://www.facebook.com/labolclub/photos/gm.1952370658334790/1944377002485026/?type=3&theater
Bears in Kilts by Bears LA
Join Bears LA for Bears in Kilts at the Bullet Bar on Saturday night, October 30, starting at 9 PM. $6 Dollar cover or $5 when wearing a kilt. Best Kilt contest has a $50 prize. https://www.bearsla.org/
Leather History Preservation Weekend
Leather History Preservation Weekend, October 20-22, Radisson Hotel High Point in High Point, NC will be a weekend of shared journeys, camaraderie and fellowship, with multiple historiographers sharing their experiences. Among the historians are JAH Holiday, OB Hamm, Sir Tom Matt, JP Garner, and Angel Propps. Go to http://www.lhpfoundation.org
The incredible true history of gay pirates and their strangely modern world
Gay Star News
From deadly cross-dressing pirates having a lesbian-affair to booty, rituals and same-sex civil unions....Piracy was a world apart, and one where homosexual couples may have been the norm, not the exception. So to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day (19 September) here’s our queer history of piracy....But they didn’t just have health insurance. A form of same-sex civil unions, called matelotage, was also common. Buccaneer Alexander Exquemelin wrote: ‘It is the general and solemn custom amongst them all to seek out… a comrade or companion, whom we may call partner… with whom they join the whole stock of what they possess. Your partner was called a ‘matelot,' which can also be translated as bunkmate. It’s possible the relationships started with one man selling their services to another, to satisfy debts, get food or for protection. But it went deeper than that. If one matelot died, his partner inherited his property and share of the booty. In some cases, partners took punishment on each other’s behalf. In battle, they fought as a team and died together. Arrrrgh! Read the rest here https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/incredible-true-history-gay-pirates-strangely-modern-world/#gs.hVDo4sgstrangely-modern-world/#gs.hVDo4sg
Bay Area Cub
So you think you can Cub? Join us for the Bay Area Cub Contest at the Lone Star Saloon (Bear Bar USA). We welcome all definitions of "cub" and will be celebrating the diversity of our community all afternoon while raising funds for the Alliance Health Project and Project Open Hand. Featuring a beer bust, Bay Area Cub Contest, performance by the Boys of Bearlesque, raffle prizes, jello shots and sexy cubs on Saturday, October 14 at 3 PM at the Lone Star Saloon, 1354 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94103. https://www.facebook.com/events/116608262383657/?active_tab=about
Bad Ass Spanking Weekend VIII
Bad Ass Spanking Weekend VIII is all set for October 19-22 in Augusta, GA and is the largest multi-day event on the east coast for men who are into spanking. http://www.bawevent.com
Leather bar in Mexico City
Traveling to Mexico? The third largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere should have one and it is Tom's Leather Bar which is in one of Cuidad de Mexico's LGBT parts of town. There are strippers and a back room and the place fills up. Go to http://toms-mexico.com/ to find out more.
Texas Leather and LGBT candidate Jeffrey Payne interviewed by Dallas Voice
By Tammye Nash, Dallas Voice Managing Editor
Jeffrey Payne is a businessman, bar owner, Leather titleholder and now, a gubernatorial candidate. "Texas has been good to me. Texas has been very, very good to me,” Jeffrey Payne said in an interview this week. Now he wants to repay the favor. That’s why, the Dallas businessman said, he is running for governor in 2018. see complete interview here https://www.dallasvoice.com/setting-sights-austin-10242440.html
Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend
The Hyatt Regency on Capital Hill is now accepting reservations for Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend 2018 which will be held January 12-14 in Washington, DC. Leather Cocktails on Saturday night and the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather contest on Sunday afternoon. And oh, the lobby at the Hyatt Regency on Capital Hill. Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2018 will be a contestant in the International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago, IL, Memorial Day Weekend. Go to http://www.leatherweekend.com/ to find hotel information.
Knight Hawks of Virginia Puppy-Palooza 2
Puppy-Palooza 2, hosted by the Knight Hawks of Virginia and MJ's Tavern will begin at 10 PM on Saturday, October 14. Have you always wondered what it is about? Don't have a clue? Well come out and let the Pups of the Knight Hawks give you some information. Additionally, if you are a pup or a handler and want a safe accepting location, come out and join us for the night. MJ's Tavern, 4019 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504. https://www.facebook.com/khleather/photos/gm.1322857347836522/1917008615224706/?type=3&theater
Dallas Fetish Ball
The Dallas Fetish Ball: Torture Garden will be held November 10-11 featuring performances by Yusura, Miss Miranda and Lou Lou D'Vil. The Dallas Fetish Ball will include vendors, latex fashion, a spanking booth and a photo booth. The event is produced by The Church Dallas and will be held at 2424 Swiss Avenue. Get tickets in advance at http://www.LeatherMasters.com Many premium spots have been sold, so act soon.
The Formal Fetish Dinner Party in London
The Formal Fetish Dinner Party is unique in the world. Hosted by the founder of Skin Two magazine and owner of KFS TV, it takes place in a fabulous hotel very near Piccadilly Circus. The next dinner is on Sunday, October 8. You can book a hotel room and stay overnight if you wish. Everyone is dressed in their fetish finest - no business suits or cocktail dresses! We serve a three-course dinner and there is a dungeon for play afterwards. This event is restricted to 30 sophisticated couples of any age. Newcomers are welcome - we are friendly people. (No single blokes or Daily Mail readers though. I mean, there is a limit...) We are happy to answer questions and meet for tea and a chat, by all means. https://london.craigslist.co.uk/cas/d/the-formal-fetish-dinner/6302853807.htmldinner/6302853807.html
Leather community working on South Of MArket District in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Eric Pratt
Once seen as a moral scourge, Western SoMa's BDSM scene is poised to become SF's Leather Cultural District
By Peter Lawrence Kane, SF Weekly
Today, SoMa’s Leather scene consists of fewer than half a dozen bars, and although they’re packed on weekends, the neighborhood faces a renewed threat of extinction in the face of displacement. To preserve this vital subculture, activists have chosen a novel strategy: partnering with City Hall to designate a portion of Western SoMa as the San Francisco Leather District. The degenerates are about to be officially sanctioned....“We want Leather businesses to continue to thrive here,” (Supervisor Jane) Kim tells SF Weekly. “We want people to continue to live here. We want it to be a living, breathing district — and that is a lot harder to do than some plaques and street-name changes.” Complete article here http://www.sfweekly.com/culture/feature-culture/folsom-and-jetsam/culture/folsom-and-jetsam/
Las Vegas Rope Social: Twisted Touch: An Intro to Rope and Pressure Point Play
The Las Vegas Rope Social presents: Twisted Touch: An Intro to Rope and Pressure Point Play By Mike Payne. A painful push… a sensual touch… a playful poke. There is a myriad of ways to make physical contact with someone when playing with rope and so many fun, painful, stimulating, and erotic places to touch. This beginner level class will cover safety, pressure point types, some pressure point locations, and techniques to incorporate them into the application and removal of rope as well as everything in between. Saturday, October 14 from 3-5 PM at 705 North Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89101-2058. https://ropesnob.com/
Douglas O'Keeffe interviews a guest during a recent Inside Leather History: A Fireside Chat
Inside Leather History: A Fireside Chat
Inside Leather History; A Fireside Chat announced an ambitious European Chat schedule. Douglas O’Keeffe, co-producer and host of the Chats, will present two high profile interviews in Manchester England October 7 during Manchester Leather Weekend. “I’m very excited to be part of Manchester Leather Weekend” O’Keeffe enthused “I’m interviewing Daddy Ian Allen and Joe King, Mr. Leather Europe 2016." A Fireside Chat is an independent production of Douglas O’Keeffe (host) Mistress Joanne Gaddy, and Vonn Tramel. https://www.facebook.com/Inside-Leather-History-A-Fireside-Chat-1728635300768185/Leather-History-A-Fireside-Chat-1728635300768185/
American Brotherhood Weekend
American Brotherhood Weekend in Chicago, IL is on tap for October 6-8 and features the American Leatherman, Leatherwoman, and Leatherboy contest at the Leather Archives & Museum. The judging panel will include David Katzenberg, Robert "Bobbie“ Smith, Bella Oliver, Jeff Willoughby and Laura Antoniou. For more information go to http://www.AmericanBrotherhood.com
Female Filmmakers Out in Force at Sixth Finnish Film Affair
As many as 22 women-directed pics will be presented at the Finnish Film Affair this year. Among the filmmakers is Selma Vilhunen, who earned an Oscar nomination in 2014 with her short “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” and will be on hand to pitch her second film, “Stupid Young Heart,” as well as present her documentary feature “Hobbyhorse Revolution.” Another promising female director, Kaisa El Ramly, will pitch “Scenes from a Dying Town,” one of the projects to be presented in the Work-in-Progress sidebar.... Among the projects that were previously presented at the Finnish Film Affair and went on to have a successful career in festivals are Teemu Nikki’s “Euthanizer,” which is premiering at Toronto, and “Tom of Finland." http://variety.com/2017/film/global/women-filmmakers-out-in-force-at-6th-finnish-film-affair-1202560069/
Why The Leather Community Is Cautiously Optimistic About Fashion’s Fetish Moment
By Mikelle Street, Huffington Post, Queer Voices
Last week, Comme des Garçons teamed up with Vetements on a limited-edition capsule collection of sweaters. Teased on Instagram, the “gay, lesbian, and fetish” range was sold as a Dover Street Market exclusive with the “fetish” design selling out online shortly after launch. The piece, priced at $620, nodded to a very specific community....In 1989 Tony DeBlase, founder of the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago and publisher of Drummer magazine debuted a flag design for the Leather community at the International Mr. Leather competition. Read the rest of this article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/leather-community-fashion-fetish_us_586d07bbe4b0eb58648b5084fetish_us_586d07bbe4b0eb58648b5084
Drummer North America
The Drummer North America contests will be at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, NV, the weekend of February 22-25. DNA contests are open to all gay-identified men in the fetish/kink communities who are residents of Canada, United States and Mexico. Weekend packages are $125. For more, check out http://drummerna.com/
DomCon: New Orleans
Domina Angelina, Madame Margherite, and Mistress Penelope Dreadful of Australia have been named official Mistresses of Ceremonies for DomCon: New Orleans 2017. The event brings together professional and lifestyle BDSM enthusiasts from around the world. Dominants, submissives, fetishists, Leatherfolk and the kinky from all over the globe to DomCon for the latest in fetish and bondage gear, classes in new BDSM techniques, discussions on community, legal, and relationship issues, and of course electrifying parties. DomCon New Orleans will be held October 5-8 at the Astor Crown Plaza Hotel, 739 Canal Street. For photos, guest info, sponsorship opportunities, and details on classes and workshops go to http://www.DomConNewOrleans.com
Circlet Press 25th Anniversary
Help kick off the 25th Anniversary of Circlet Press - your home for sexy aliens, sultry dragons, mystical werebeasts and all manner of dystopias and fantasy worlds! Back this Kickstarter and actually get to choose the stories going into their Best Of... anthology. And THEN, if we can push into stretch goals, establish the publishing schedule for the next line up of books. "Best Erotic SciFi" Anthology. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceciliatan/circlet-press-25th-anniversary-best-erotic-scifi-a?ref=project_link?ref=project_link
Desert Fetish Authority
The Desert Fetish Authority's Discussion Group meets once a month on the second Friday. At the end of each discussion, DFA selects a topic for the following month to serve as a jumping off point. On September 13 they meet at 7:30 PM, LGBT Center's New Headquarters, 1301 North Palm Canyon Drive, third floor, next to Denny's in Palm Springs. http://desertfetishauthority.com
Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2018
Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2018 will be hosted by TULSA Leather at the Tulsa Eagle in Tulsa, OK the weekend of October 20-22. Tulsa Eagle. 1338 East 3rd Street, Tulsa, OK 74120. http://tulsaleather.com/ TULSA is for people interested in uniforms, Leather, Levi, motorcycles and the celebration of our special interests. The association is open to all individuals, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin, and is dedicated to educating the community and promoting unity via social and charitable activities.https://www.facebook.com/events/1873758806228361/
Leather Leadership Conference XX
Leather Leadership Conference XX will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Atlanta, GA, March 9-11. Keynote by Hardy Haberman and endnote by Laura Antoniou. "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." --Jack Welch. http://leatherleadership.org/index.html
Mister International Rubber XXI
MIR (Mister International Rubber) will be held the weekend of November 3-7 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL. https://mirubber.com/
Master Anthony is questioned by emcee Dave Faunce during Mr. SoCal Leather. Anthony heads the Sherman Oaks Munch. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Sherman Oaks Munch
The Sherman Oaks Munch is held the second Tuesday of every month in the River Rock restaurant at the Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City. 6:30 - 11 PM. This munch has been going for over six years and draws in excess of 250 kinksters each month. No host bar and food. Sit and eat, move around and share. Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel, 12825 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604. http://sportsmenslodge.com/river-rock/
Sash Bash Weekend in Iowa
Join Mr. Iowa Leather 2016 Rob "Papa Bear" Anderson and current and past titleholders from around the region for a weekend full of fun, fetish, and family, Sash Bash Weekend is an event for the Leather family and friends to come together and celebrate, socialize and bring kink to Eastern Iowa area. March 2-4 at Studio 13, 13 S Linn Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. https://www.facebook.com/MIAL2016RobA/photos/gm.272421293272800/1571218662922049/?type=3&theater
Lambda Literary Awards nominations open
Lambda Literary is proud to announce the opening of the submissions period for the annual Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys). Entering their 30th year, the Lammys honor books in more than 20 genres ranging from literary fiction and poetry to speculative fiction, graphic novels and memoir. Finalists will be announced in March 2018 and winners at the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards gala on Monday, June 4 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. https://www.lambdaliterary.org/
Mr. Leather64TEN will be March 8-11
The 3rd Annual Mr. Leather64TEN Contest will be held in Chicago on March 10. The Mr. Leather64TEN contest and events were created to help the Chicagoland Leather community explore, celebrate, and showcase their Leather pride. https://www.leather64ten.com/calendar/
Tom of Finland 2018 Wall Calendar
The Tom of Finland 2018 Wall Calendar, published by Bruno Gemünder and Putinki, is available through the Tom of Finland Store, Tom of Finland Store, 8116 Romaine Street, West Hollywood, CA 90046. Price is $20. https://tomoffinlandstore.com/collections/paper/calendars
How you can include your information on Dave Rhodes' Hump Day. If you come up with a date and basic information on a new event, please send us the date and a short detail or two. This is designed for the web site and less so for print, so there is no 45 days-in-advance deadline. If your event is happening on October 27, make sure I have it by Monday afternoon, October 9.
You had a contest or run over the weekend - send us the names of the winners and a photo and a brief bit about it. Your events hotel room block opens - that is news. Send the link and a brief. Someone passes and you want people to remember them, let us know - photo please if available, but do not let lack of an immediate photo stop you from sending.
We're getting more photos - join the club. Send yours to us. If a news item comes in which we feel should also be a larger article we will contact you about it. Send to me at Photos need to be jpg format.
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The NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) is inviting Leather / BDSM / Kinkfolk to take its Mental Health Survey. They would like to know more about your BDSM practices, mental health and relational violence experiences.
The NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will compare our responses to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT-identified.
The NCSF will use these results to help with its advocacy, benefiting both existing and developing programs. Specifically, the study's results will assist in educating law enforcement, legal and psychological professionals about the practices and mental health of BDSM practitioners.
The survey will take approximately 35 minutes of one's time.
This survey is anonymous. Neither the NCSF nor outside researchers have access to any identifying information about participants.
The NCSF's (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) Consent Counts project is holding discussions around the country to gather input on their Consent Statement so they can move forward to change laws and and perceptions of BDSM. Kinky people still have significant legal, political and societal issues facing them. The majority fears the very real threat of being prosecuted or losing our jobs or families. To change the assault laws, the world needs to know what we think of consent. What is ethical consent? What are the gray areas? Are there things people shouldn't be able to consent to in a BDSM context?
On Saturday, June 23 the los angeles Leather Coalition (LALC) celebrated its 15th Annual Southland Honors at Taix French Restaurant in Echo Park, CA. The awards and recipients are: Business/Business Person - The Leather Journal, Next Generation Award – Taz Efeek, Mentor of the Year – Sir Frank Cavallo, Cultural Arts Award – Francisco Perales, Nasty Puerquito Photography, LALC Chairman's Award – Dennis Beisbier, Community Choice Woman – Cypher, Community Choice Man – Ben Kaufher, Olga Perez-Stable Legacy Award - Olga Perez-Stable, Co-founder of Desire, Jeff Burnam Community Service Award – Romaldo Mancilla, Club/Organization of the Year – AVATAR los angeles, Event of the Year – AVATAR LA 35th Anniversary and Erotic Art Fair and George Wong Person of the Year – Ralph Bruneau.
The Leather Leadership Conference 2014, to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and the William Way Center in downtown Philadelphia April 11-13, has done an internal inventory of what it has offered, combined with conference feedback forms and with the results of their 2012 community survey, with the result of that inventory being the creation a new Do It Yourself (DIY) program that will debut in Philly with a new delivery system for that program.
LLC has been the offering leadership training for Leather/BDSM/Kink/Fetish and LGBT communities for nearly 18 years. During that time, several changes have taken place and there has been more acceptance for those in alternate lifestyles, including more positive media. The Internet has given endless opportunities for contact, communication, and networking. There are a multitude of groups, munches and events to attend; sometimes so many that one could go to at least one event a week or have to choose where to participate.
The 2014 version of the Folsom Street Fair took place in perfect Leather weather on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets on Sunday, September 21, one week earlier than the usual fourth Sunday of September. It was cloudy, not sunny, but was perfect for Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Kink/Gearfolk wearing plenty of Leather - not too cold. The Fair seemed to be crowded earlier than normal and several booths were open just after 6 PM as that usual 5 PM wind did not arrive.
The move one block west did what organizers hoped it would do. That, and the stage moved to 10th Street not far from Howard made for better viewing. The short walk from Folsom Street over to the San Francisco Eagle at Harrison and 12th Streets worked. What had been a parking lot across from the Eagle was converted into a party area with a $20 admission.
Most of the usual suspects had vendor or social booths including The Society of Janus, Steamworks, the San Francisco Bare Chest Calendar Men, Mr. S Leathers, Orchid and Serpent.
ONYX: Southern California's Second Second Anniversary. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, September 13, 2017
This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com
ILSLb ICBB 2017 results
The International Leather Sir 2017, International Leatherboy 2017 and International Community Bootblack were held in Dallas, TX on Saturday night, September 2 in front of about 200 cheering spectators. The contests were emceed by Pantheon of Leather Man of the Year Thib Guicherd-Callin the weekend of August 31 - September 3. See photo below. See the results at https://www.theleatherjournal.com/news/international-news/item/1954-ilslb-icbb-winners-in-dallas
Empire City MC Folsom Street East. Photo by Chaz Antonelli
ECMC’s Motorcycle Weekend
Empire City MC’s Memorial Day Motorcycle Weekend was simply amazing this May at The Ranch in New York State – everything from the ride up, the ride back, the fantastic meals served all weekend-long, the camaraderie of the guests – we couldn’t have had a better time. The day trips were fun and included: Cycle Stop, Extreme Biker Leather, Ground Rounds (prime beef hamburgers) at Bill Gray’s and Abbot's Frozen Custard. On Sunday afternoon, we had a pizza-baking contest. We were all exposed to craft beers, thanks to the folks from Three Rivers MC. There was even a very touching collaring ceremony on Friday night! Sunday, anti-road gremlin bells were presented to three new bikes/bikers: Jack, Erik and Earl.
Folsom Street Events announced charitable giving in the amount of $330,745 on December 15 in San Francisco, CA. With this, Folsom Street Events cleared the $4.6 Million Mark in its 28-year giving history.
Board president Jacob Richards said, “2011 was a solid year for Folsom Street Events and our charities. We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, beneficiaries, beverage partners, and the leather/fetish community for the ongoing support. This check represents an increase from our $326,161 in charitable giving for 2010. Particularly given the depressed economy, we feel that this check is a total success.”
According to executive director Demetri Moshoyannis, “Given that we had a less-than-stellar year with respect to the weather at both Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair, we relied much more heavily on the successes of our Magnitude and DEVIANTS parties. The size of our check proves the potency and spirit of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community. The vast share of the check will support our 16 Major and Supporting Beneficiaries, including AIDS Emergency Fund, Castro Country Club, Central City Hospitality House, Frameline, Project Open Hand, and Transgender Law Center, among others. Given what has been happening locally with other community organizations that distribute funds from special events, we feel particularly proud of our efforts. Combined, we are supporting over 70 great charities in San Francisco and around the U.S.”
Folsom Street Events hosted a special evening to honor its beneficiaries, sponsors, and nonprofit partners with a check ceremony at The Armory, 1500 Mission Street, well known in the Leather/BBSM/Fetish community as the home of Kink.com. Special invited guests included Supervisor Jane Kim (District 6), Supervisor Scott Weiner (District 8), and many others.
Folsom Street Events is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that produces seven annual fetish events: The San Francisco Party at IML, Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley®, SF Leather Week Formal Dinner, Magnitude®, Folsom Street Fair®, and DEVIANTS™. Its mission is to create volunteer-driven Leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self expression while raising funds to benefit charity. In 2011, an estimated 250,000-plus event attendees raised money for charitable donations.
As in every year, there are stories that define a year, mark a change for the better or worse, establish the end or beginning of an era, lend recognition to achievement, or just simply make a statement that cannot be forgotten. Here are ours.
The Leather Journal's Top Story of 2013
US Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8 - Marriage-ban states fall like dominoes
Not long after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs who sued to have Proposition 8 reinstated had no standing, enabling same sex marriages to resume in California, marriages resumed.
Only a handful of states allowed same-sex marriage at the beginning of 2013. By the end of the year, 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, permitted same-sex marriage, with a few more likely to change. The last of the bunch, Utah on December 20 because a court judge ruled their same-sex marriage ban that was voter-approved in 2004 is unconstitutional. This was the biggest surprise of all. A dagger was struck into one of the main arteries of the devil that has fought against same-sex marriage.
1. For those who don’t know you, please tell us about yourself & what your titles are.
First the easy part: As far as titles are concerned, all mine have been given to me as honorary titles.
1999 Man of the Year from National Leather Association International
2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from National Leather Association International
2010 Recipient of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leather Leadership Award
2012 Presidents Award - Pantheon of Leather
Now the hard part: I am a native Texan and have been active in the LGBT community since the early 1970's. I became fascinated with Leather in the late 1970's and stepped into my first Leather bar sometime around 1978. Since that fateful day I have continued on my Leather journey and am a former member of the Dallas Motorcycle Club, Leather Rose Society, National Leather Association, Discipline Corps and a founding member of Inquisition Dallas.
I have written many articles on Leather/BDSM topics and am the author of four books currently in circulation including "Family Jewels, a Guide to Male Genitortureand Torment "and” Soul of a Second Skin-Memoirs of a Gay Christian Leatherman."
I have also directed a few films on Leather/BDSM subjects including "Leather" a short film-poem about the gay male Leather experience and "Out of the Darkness, the Reality of SM" a documentary on the critical difference between SM and abuse.
Professionally I am a Marketing Specialist and I live in Dallas with my boy/partner of 18 years Patrick and our feline mistress, Elvira.
2. What or who got you started in the leather community and for how long?
What drew me to Leather was the hyper-masculinity of it. I never considered myself feminine; nor was I attracted to feminine men. Leather just pushed all the right buttons for me and once I got involved I fund that I really liked rough sex and SM.
The community, as such, didn't really exist when I came in, but the subsequent AIDS crisis pulled us together and gave us a real sense of purpose. We, in Dallas, started educating our community to the many ways sex could be hot and kinky and still be safer-sex.
3. Which club or bar are you affiliated with and tell us more about the history?
Currently I am a member of NLA: Dallas and Discipline Corps. NLA: Dallas is a pan-sexual organization with a mission to educate and network Leather/Fetish/BDSM folk of all sexual orientations and genders.
Discipline Corps is a men-only social and play group whose primary focus is monthly dungeon parties and having a good time!
When I go to a bar it is the Dallas Eagle, our local Leather bar, though I am not officially affiliated with it the owners, Mark Frasier and Jeffery Payne are close friends of mine.
4. How did you enjoy being one of the judges at IML XXX5 and what were your favorite moments?
Judging at IML was an amazing experience. I was worn out form the long days, but energized by the great men I met during the experience. I knew most of the judges before the contest, though I did make new friends since a couple of the judges were new faces to me. We all bonded immediately and the contestants were all outstanding. The final choice was very hard, since any of the Top 20 could have easily been a wonderful IML.
My favorite moments were getting to meet so many folks from outside the US, and the South African delegation was a particular joy!
5. Tell us about your charity involvement and goals.
As far as charity work I have several. My contributions to my church, Cathedral of Hope are an ongoing passion of mine. We even have a full pew of Leather folk wearing their colors every Sunday. I also work with Kiva, a micro loan organization that funds small businesses and individuals across the world.
I serve as Chairman of the Board for the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance in Washington, DC and work raising funds to support it and its many programs.
6. Tell us about your leather family.
My leather family is small, just me and my boy/partner. My extended Leather family is larger. About 8-10 close friends who I think of as family. Beyond that I have a large circle of friends who I have met at events and contests all over the continent and they too, are like family. I consider them my Leather cousins.
7. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
I have to say my father. He taught me a lot as far as values and how to treat other people. He was authentic and honest and I try to emulate that. He loved his work and his family. He was intellectually curious and being a scientist, he never stopped learning, and that is something I think I got from him.
8. In your mind, what’s the biggest misconception of the leather community?
The biggest misconception I see about the Leather community is that we are some sort of homogenous group with a written code of conduct and values. No such thing. We are as varied as the general population, except for our love of kink and Leather. As a whole I have found our community does communicate more than the average vanilla folk, and I attribute that to the fellowship of our organizations and to the need for communication when we play.
9. What would you say are the most important strengths to have as a Leather man?
Honesty, authenticity and a good bull-shit detector.
10. What does leather mean to you?
I could prattle on about this topic forever but I would sound like I was doing a canned speech for a title contest. In reality leather means as many different things as there are people involved in it. Some simply are drawn to the fetish. Leather clothes and gear are sensual, organic and arousing. Some are drawn to the BDSM aspect of it. That was part of my attraction.
Leather folk, the energetic and intense encounters that SM play offers. I went into it thinking I would be a "grey Hankie" guy. Only into bondage and light SM but quickly realized that bondage was really not very interesting to me and more hard-core SM was my thing. Changed my hankie to black and never looked back.
11. What do you see for the future of leather in your community and internationally?
It is in a state of flux. Leather always changes, as sexual pioneers we are on the edges of what is possible physically and sexually and so there will always be something different and new. I see a disturbing trend to try to turn back the clock and relive the glory days of Leather in the 1970's, but surprisingly the people who are trying to do that are predominately straight. They have adopted the Leatherman look as though it was a codified uniform and remind me of " Renfair" folks, donning period costumes and role playing at Leather.
12. What does sexual freedom mean to you?
As someone who came of age I the late 1960's sexual freedom means being able to define my sexuality on my own terms Being able to enjoy consensual activities with other adults and not have to conform to any rigid rules. I have begin to think of myself more as "Queer" than gay, not because I do not have an affectional orientation toward men, but because I enjoy playing with anyone so long as we click and our goals are the same. Sexual freedom is a basic human right, it is up to us to define it and express it and celebrate it.
13. Whats your view on the huge anti-gay wave that is happening in certain states in America? What do you think people can do to protect their rights and help others retain it?
What you mentioned as the "anti-gay wave" sweeping parts of the country is not a massive display of anti-gay sentiment in my opinion. It is the last gasp of the hard core bigoted right. Their attitudes are dying out. Public opinion polls show most Americans believe in equality for LGBT citizens. What these anti-gay laws are is an attempt by the right to change the framing of the issue from "equality" to "religious freedom" or as I call it the freedom to hate.
All of these attempt have failed and even in far-right leaning states like Arizona. Even there the Governor recognized it's not a religious freedom issue it is equal rights. The laws are clumsily crafted and over reaching to begin with and would not withstand judicial scrutiny, so I have o believe its just politics and its not working.
14. We all have so many issues we want to highlight, please tell us what cause is close to your heart right now and how are you involved?
The issue closest to my heart is the cause of sexual freedom. I believe sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and as such it needs to be protected and nourished. To that end, I work with the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, a human rights group with the focus on sexual freedom. In fact I am chairperson of the board. That's how involved I am and how important it is.
We work to affect policy concerning sex education, freedom of speech, sex workers and gender and sexual inequality. It's a great organization that has made a real difference for our country. Woodhull holds the gender and sexuality seat on the US Human Rights Network, the group which monitors our country's adherence to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
15. What advice can you give a future title holder?
Be authentic, approachable and honest. Bull-shitters stick out like sore thumbs. The title holders I know and admire are all down to earth folks who try to use their titles to benefit the community not themselves.
16. Tell us what your favorite piece of Leather is and why?
Other than my hat, my favorite piece of Leather is my flogger. It was made by Janet Hartwood and designed to fit me perfectly. The falls are longer than most folks like, but they balance perfectly with the handle and the flogger becomes an extension of my body when I play. I have several floggers and all were custom made for me. I believe if you invest in quality your toys will live as long as you do.
17. In your own words, can you tell us the difference between BDSM and Leather?
Hard to say. I used to think of them as the same, but apparently there are folk who see a big distinction. Leather does not imply SM, it can simply be a fetish. It is also a different kind of community and that is what sets it apart nowadays. To some folks Leather can only be gay men and BDSM is pan-sexual. There is another word that is loaded with nuance. Pan-sexual was a word coined by the Leather community to describe its inclusion of all sexual orientations, but has been co-opted by the straight community to mean "heterosexual" sexual orientation with some lesbians thrown in for spice. If I sound cynical, that's because I have seen this in practice. Play space where two women playing together was acceptable if they were playing in ways that the men enjoyed, but men playing together got stares and snide comments.
Personally I don't have problems playing in the newly defined "pan-sexual" spaces, I think a Leather person can define their own Leather-space and create a scene wherever it works.
18. Please tell us exactly what is beyond vanilla & what are your favorite activities you indulge in?
I would think anything that goes beyond plain sex would qualify as beyond vanilla. Spankings, role play, bondage, SM all of it moves beyond vanilla for me. My favorite activities are floggings and clothespins and CBT, but most often these are woven into some kind of erotic experience. I think all SM is better with an element of Eros. It doesn't have to be penetrative sex, but without a sexual aspect it has less appeal for me.
19. What’s the funniest safe word that you have heard?
Then comes the safe word. I have heard lots of strange ones from "aardvark" to "Pontiac". Personally, I like this system. I tell my bottom or sub to call me "Sir" as long as he or she is having fun, and to call me "Hardy" if they need to talk. It keeps the communication going and has never failed me.
20. What’s your favorite drink? And if you could invent a cocktail for the Leather community and what would you call it?
Well I stopped drinking in 1986 so my favorite drink is sparkling mineral water. My drink for the community would be just that, mineral water with a chaser of mouthwash, cause I love kissing and detest bad breath!
18. We would love to have you visit South Africa in the future, what classes do you think we could benefit from?
I do a lot of classes, but my favorites are a workshop I call "Putting Sex Back in SM." The pan-sexual dungeons in the US are notoriously tepid when it comes to palpable eroticism. Many do not allow sexual activities for legal reasons and some just are uncomfortable with sex. This workshop is intended to put that spark of the erotic back into the play in the dungeon and discusses and demonstrates how scenes can become erotic encounters with no "traditional sex" happening.
My "Family Jewels" workshop is always fun. Concentrating on CBT and how it can become part of a scene. I explain the use of toys, safety and exploration of various aspects of genitorture.
I have a complete list of classes I present I can provide you.
19. In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the Leather community of South Africa?
I would add that the Leather community in South Africa seems to be vibrant and growing and I encourage you to continue to explore, share what you learn and nurture the next generation of Leatherfolk. To them you will become the "Old Guard" and with that is the heavy responsibility of knowing you are setting an example for future generations. Play hard, play safe, have fun!
Centaur MC will be making donations to charities that total $100,000
By Todd White
It is with great pride that I am able to announce that the Centaur Motorcycle Club will be making donations to charities that total $100,000. This years charities are: Leather Archives & Museum, Shepherd Wellness, Moveable Feast, HIPS, Rainbow Railroad, The Leather Heart Foundation, Team DC, Black Gifted and Whole, and Brother, Help Thyself. On behalf of the club I want to thank all the clubs who held special events over the weekend, the local bars, the Hyatt and their amazing staff, and all of this years attendees. It was an amazing year and we look forward to MAL 2019. I can't say it enough but a big thank you to my club brothers you are an amazing group of men and I am so proud that you call me brother. I love you all and you deserve a huge pat on the back. In brotherhood, Todd White - President Centaur MC.
The Red Dragons Riding Club inducted their newest club, the Lagniappe Chapter based in Louisiana, with a Friday night, January 24 ceremony on the outdoor patio of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, host of the Southwest Leather Conference of which the Red Dragons are a sponsor of the Southwest Leather Conference Bootblack Lounge.
Approximately 40 members and many onlookers shared the ceremony which featured a Native American blessing.The Red Dragons Riding Club is a national BDSM/Leather motorcycle riding club dedicated to serving the BDSM and Leather communities..
There are five chapters with one in each in Southern California (the Mother chapter), as well as in Arizona (Centennial Chapter), Washington State (Evergreen Chapter), Canada and Louisiana (Lagniappe Chapter).
July 17th through July 20th, 2014 will be Northern Exposure 5 a truly mind-blowing, eye-opening event!
For the 5th year in a row FoxFinder Productions, in collaboration with the Alaskan Community, is planning the 5th installment of Northern Exposure. Alaska’s only BDSM/Leather Educational Conference!
The three day weekend will be jammed packed with On-Site Play Parties, Delicious Meals, Stage Shows plus the best in Fetish, Sex, BDSM and Leather education taught by educators, authors and kinksters from all over North America. If you have never attended Northern Exposure here are a few things you may want to know:
The weekend kicks off Thursday, July 17th at 7pm at The Raven, in Anchorage, with a presenter potlatch! Come out and say hi to the 15 presenters from all over North America! Past presenters include: Midori, slave Jazz, redwarrior, Master ShibariPyro, mare, Lee Harrington and Sinclair Sexsmith among many many other talented kinky folks.
Registration for TES Fest 2014, to be held July 3-6 in Piscataway, NJ, is now open.
TES Fest is the annual gathering for the BDSM and sex-positive communities to celebrate the steps TES’s founders took in 1971: the opportunity to find our freedom. TES Fest is an event in the NYC Metro region for everyone (from amateurs to seasoned veterans) to socialize, learn new skills and simply have a great time.
With classes and special events covering the gamut of topics and special interests, TES Fest allows people to explore, educate and entertain themselves in a healthy, safe and sane environment. TES Fest will take place at a 3.5-star hotel in Piscataway, New Jersey.
TES Fest is produced by The Eulenspiegel Society.