SCCLA held their annual dinner on September 9 in San Jose, CA. Photo by Rich Stadtmiller
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, September 20, 2017. This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com
I will be at San Francisco Leather Pride for the Folsom Street Fair and other events followed by a week of fun travel along the California coast to see many places one flies over or drives by in either direction from Los Angeles. With that, I will have plenty of goodies.
Good news folks. Dave Rhodes' Hump Day is beginning to take root. I have Instant Messengered many of you and some are responding to the offer to include your events. This is really encouraging and if it succeeds we will have found the formula that ties the web site to the print version.
Tom of Finland - The Movie
Dome Karukoski’s critically acclaimed Tom of Finland, the film which has already been selected as Finland’s official submission to this year’s Academy Awards to be considered for Best Foreign Film, has introduced its trailer. Take a peek at this highly-anticipated movie which is due to release on October 13 in New York City, NY and October 20 in los angeles and San Francisco. https://www.facebook.com/pg/ToFFHouse/videos/?ref=page_internalref=page_internal
Leather Archives & Museum Executive Director Search
The Leather Archives & Museum Executive Director Search Committee has announced that they are looking for a new Executive Director. Complete information is available at http://leatherarchives.org/hiring.html The Search Committee is accepting applications for the Executive Director position through October 15. Listed are detailed time line for applications accepted to hiring, qualifications and compensation. The candidate selected will be the applicant who offers the best combination of qualifications and demonstrated evidence of being able to succeed in all essential duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director position.
Transgender woman accidentally hanged herself as she took pictures of her erotic asphyxiation
A transgender woman accidentally hanged herself while taking bondage photos in her bedroom, an inquest has heard. Zoe O'Brien, 39, was found dead hanging from the ceiling at her home in Brighton, England on June 7, the city's coroners court heard. A remote controlled camera and bondage equipment found in her room led police to conclude she was taking photos at the time of her death. Full story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4901900/Woman-accidentally-hanged-BDSM-session.html4901900/Woman-accidentally-hanged-BDSM-session.html
Say what? Folsom volunteer ad banned by Facebook
What initially began as attempt by the GLBT Historical Society to solicit volunteers for the upcoming 34th Annual Folsom Street Fair, the world's biggest leather fetish event, has turned into a big headache. This is not Facebook's first run-in wit hthe LGBT community. In 2014, the tech company demanded that drag queens use their legal names on their accounts. A huge push back led by San Francisco's Sister Roma, pressured Facebook enough that it reversed its policy. https://www.folsomstreetevents.org/
Empire City MC 53rd Anniversary Dinner
Join Empire City MC on Sunday, October at 44 1/2, 626 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036 for their 53rd Anniversary Dinner in New York City, NY. The cash bar opens at 6 PM and dinner is served at 7 PM and there’s plenty of free parking on and around 10th Avenue on Sunday. Tickets are now for sale for only $39.95/per person. Get them at http://www.ecmc-53.eventbrite.com and although you can pay at the event, Empire City MC asks that you please purchase your tickets in advance to prevent denial of admission due to limited seating. For more information on Empire Motorcycle Club go to http://empirecitymc.com
Emcee Thib Guicherd-Callin announces Jerimyh Jackson as Mr. Long Beach Leather. Photo by Lthrbound
Mr. Long Beach Leather 2017 Jerimyh Jackson
The new Mr. Long Beach Leather is Jerimyh Jackson who won his title and the opportunity to compete at International Mr. Leather in May. Also competing was Mike Orpia. Eagle 562 was the venue on Saturday night, September 16. The Friday night meet and greet was at The Crest. Both bars are in Long Beach, CA.
Mr. Long Beach Leather 2016 Ali Mushtaq had an amazing year. He was interviewed by major news organizations including the los angeles Times and New York Times as an out Muslim who is into Leather. The emcee was Thib Guicherd-Callin. The judges were Sir Frank Cavallo, Brent Sweer, Mr. Long Beach Leather 2016 Ali Mushtag, IML 2017 Ralph Bruneau and head judge Shae Flanigan.
Mr. Michigan Leather
Mr. Michigan Leather (MML) Weekend is holding its 22nd contest September 22-24 at the Dunes Resort, 333 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck, MI. The judges for Mr. Michigan Leather 2018 are Mr. Michigan Leather 2017 Kenn Kennedy, Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King, American Leatherwoman 2015 LE, Kentucky Leather Sir 2007 Rick Mora, Mr. Chicago Leather, 2015 Luis Tipantasig. https://mmlweekend.com/
Marpa Franzoni was chosen to be Mr. Sister Leather 2018 at the Eagle LA. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Mr. Sister Leather 2018 Marpa Franzoni
Marpa Franzoni was chosen to be Mr. Sister Leather 2018 at the Eagle LA on Saturday night, September 16 in a contest produced by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. A huge silent auction raised funds for the One Archives Foundation. Franzoni will compete in the Mr. los angeles Leather 2018 contest on Saturday night, March 24. The los angeles Sisters paid homage to the Stonewall riots, the famous 1969 uprising in what is widely considered to be the most important event leading to gay liberation. https://www.facebook.com/LASisters/
Philadelphia Leather Pride Night
Philadelphia Leather Pride Night will celebrate its Ninth Annual charity auction event on Saturday September 30 from 5 PM to midnight inside Voyeur Nightclub in the heart of Philadelphia's Gayborhood. Jo Arnone will once again take the stage with her booming voice as auctioneer. Renowned ASL interpreters Michelle Jackson and Kevin Lowery will sign. http://www.leatherpridenight.com
Mr. Bolt Leather 2018 Adam Eaton who won his title in Sacramento, CA on September 9.
Mr. Bolt Leather 2018 Adam Eaton
The Mr. Bolt Leather 2018 contest saw Adam Eaton best three other men at the Bolt in Sacramento, CA on Saturday night, September 9. Fred Colmenares stepped down after a fantastic year. Eaton will compete at International Mr. Leather in May. http://sacbolt.com
This couple were part of the AIDS LeatherWalk on Sunday, September 16 in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Rich Stadtmiller
The 26th Annual LeatherWalk took place on Sunday, September 17 in San Francisco, CA. On-site registration and check in begins at 10 AM at 440 Castro. Please check in at the bar, drop off your last-minute donations, and get your collectible LeatherWalk pin. Entertainment starts at 11:30am at Jane Warner Plaza. The walk itself plans to start moving at 12:00pm from the front of Castro Theatre. The walk features Master of Ceremonies Sister Roma with performances by some of San Francisco's most amazing vocal and drag talent. Folsom Street Events presented LeatherWalk as the official kick-off for San Francisco's Leather Week which culminates one week later at the Folsom Street Fair. https://www.classy.org/san-francisco/events/leatherwalk-2017/e131804
San Diego AIDS Walk XXV
The San Diego Leather community is participating in this year's AIDS Walk and Run San Diego on Saturday, September 27 because HIV and AIDS have touched our lives and affected the people we love. This is an opportunity to be visible in the support for those living with HIV and AIDS while raising much needed funds for critical support services in the community. http://events.thecentersd.org/goto/BeWhoYouNeeded
Bi Visibility Day
September 23 is Visibility Day across the globe, celebrating Bisexuality since 1999. http://www.bivisibilityday.com/
Don Hood, Frank Schreckenberger, and Andy Mangels. Photo by Carlos Silvas Photography
Andy Mangels and Don Hood wedding
Two longtime Leather community leaders/activists/members were finally married on September 17 when Andy Mangels and Don Hood exchanged vows in front of over 100 people at a private residence in Portland, OR. Both have been involved in the Leather community since the early 1990s. Andy and Don met at Living In Leather VI in October 1991 in Chicago, then reconnected at International Mr. Leather in 1994. They became a couple on the 4th of July 1995, and recently celebrated their 22nd Anniversary. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Father Frank Schreckenberger, Imperial Sovereign Rose Court Emperor V, with a musical interlude by the Broadway Bears.
Moving Pictures - Art and Culture Festival by Tom of Finland
Moving Pictures - Art and Culture Festival including art, film, tattoos and skateboarding The Tom of Finland Art Fair will be September 29 - October 1 in los angeles, CA at the Tom of Finland House, 1421 Laveta Terrace, los angeles, CA 90026. The Festival is one of the key public events initiated and run by the Foundation, and serves as a platform in furthering its mission to preserve, protect and promote erotic art. To salute Kino Lorber's October release of the Tom of Finland biopic, this year's programming will have a focus on moving pictures and pictures in motion, namely skateboards with artwork and tattoos on living bodies. The Festival's guest artist is Brian Anderson, the legendary skater who declared to the world a year ago to that he is gay. He is skateboarding's most prominent pro star to come out and has recently released a zine that includes his paintings. Check out https://www.yelp.com/biz/tom-of-finland-foundation-los-angeles
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.
A Friendly Feast benefit in LA
A Friendly Feast, hosted by IML 2017 Ralph Bruneau at Farmboy Kitchen. If you've been to Farmboy, you know how delicious the food is. If you haven't, here's your chance. Please join Ralph, Charlie and Hunter in a feast of delicious passed trays and help the SoCal team of Mr. Friendly continue to reduce HIV stigma, one friendly conversation (or meal) at a time. $40 admission includes food and beverage (alcohol not included), Ralph Bruneau's new IML 2017 run pin, and a ticket to win a private dinner for 4 hosted by Charlie and Hunter. Great food, great company, great cause. Silent auction, Mr. Friendly merchandise, and some cool giveaways. Farmboy Kitchen, 1050 Vine Street, los angeles, CA 90038. https://www.facebook.com/events/1027108394099009/?active_tab=aboutactive_tab=about
The YARD - The Prisoners Take Over
The YARD - The Prisoners Take Over, hosted by Bears LA will be at the Eagle 562 in Long Beach, CA on Saturday, September 23 at 8. Eagle562, 2020 East Artesia Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90805. https://www.facebook.com/events/142784462989003/
Scott Lovegrove won the title of Mr. QLD Leather 2017. Photo by Dylan at HDGimage
Mr. Queensland Leather and Queensland Leather Boy
The winners of BootCo’s annual Mr. Queensland Leather and Queensland Leather Boy competitions for 2017 have been crowned. Scott Lovegrove won the title of Mr. QLD Leather at the Brisbane Leather community group’s annual Corium Leather and kink dance party on September 9. Nick Michael was the winner of Queensland Leather Boy 2016, also presented at the party. The whole article is posted at http://www.qnews.com.au/bootco-crowns-this-years-mr-qld-leather-at-corium-2017/
SeanWolfG Free Concert at Oil Can Harry's
This is a full-length concert of Gay Country Western Music with guest Don Mike on vocals, David Eccles on bass, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar and Dennis Willis on mandolin, banjo, electric guitar, and violin. Colin Deane. Wednesday, September 27, 8-11 PM at Oil Can Harry's los angeles, 11502 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604.
LSM Presents Submit Pizza Party
The Lesbian Sex Mafia will host Submit Pizza Party on Friday, September 29 from 8 - 9:30 PM at Two Boots Pizza, 284 5th Avenue at Park Slope in Brooklyn, NY. Every party about 50 to 100 women and trans folks come to fuck and play and watch and meet and flirt. Going to a party alone is tricky; make some friends over pizza first. To find out more about the Submit Party check out http://http://www.submitparty.com/Submit.html and about the Lesbian Sex Mafia go to http://lesbiansexmafia.org/
Mistress Cyan and Sanctuary LAX Special Guests of Doomsday Fetish Ball
Mistress Cyan and the warrior women from Sanctuary LAX will be special guests of honor at the Doomsday Fetish Ball, Saturday, September 23 at the historic Globe Theater in los angeles. Presented by LA Fashion and Fetish Ball, the night will feature a post apocalyptic dystopian Mad Max world with supercharged fashion, explosive performances and high octane music. The clubs Batcave, Dark Circus, and Submit have joined forces to bring LA's hardcore party slaves two levels of live bands, DJs, aerialists, grinder girls, go go dancers and perverse performances. Performing in the special BDSM play area will be Mistress Cyan and her carnal crew from Sanctuary LAX. The Globe Theater is at 740 South Broadway, los angeles, CA 90014. Doors open at 9M For more information, go to https://FashionandFetishBall.eventbee.com/event?eid=116556353
Man pleads not guilty to firing shots at Club Fetish
By Ben Wright Ledgar-Enquirer
One of three men accused of firing shots July 4 at Club Fetish pleaded not guilty Friday to an aggravated assault charge during a Recorder’s Court hearing in Columbus, GA. Ricardo Williams, 30, of Fort Mitchell, AB., was ordered held on a $50,000 bond after the 2 PM hearing before Judge Mary Buckner. He joins Dennis Brown, 27, and Dontavis Matthews, 26, to face charges in the 2 AM shooting at 4504 Armour Road. Authorities are still looking for a fourth suspect. Complete story at http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/crim/article173650836.htmlenquirer.com/news/local/crim/article173650836.html
Great Lakes Leather Alliance XVI
Great Lakes Leather Alliance XVI (GLLA) is all set to go the weekend of September 28 - October 1 at an unnamed hotel in Indianapolis, IN. The keynote speaker will be International Mr. Leather 2016 Patrick Smith and the Carter Johnson Leather Library will be there. Plenty of workshops and classes, play parties and socials, and a few Leather contests too. http://greatlakesleather.org/
Ottawa's Erotic Art Show
Ottawa's huge and sensuous Erotic Art Show wil lbe on Friday and Saturday, September 29 and 30 at Collabspace, 70 Bongard Avenue in Ottawa, Canada. Tickets are $10 at the door, cash only. There will be more than 20 artists and 200 pieces of erotic art and photography. http://www.eroticartshow.com
Palm Springs Leather Pride 2017 Parking Lot Party venue change
Palm Springs Leather Pride 2017 will be held October 26-29 in Palm Springs, CA. The big news is the Friday night Parking Lot Party will be held next to the Barracks in Cathedral City. A pool party on Saturday afternoon is a newbie. https://www.palmspringsleatherpride.org/
Northwest Leather Celebration
Northwest Leather Celebration informed us that the Northwest Master/slave Contest and Northwest Bootblack Contest will be held May 3-6 in Sacramento, CA. Note that this is two weeks earlier and those who want to attend Northwest Leather Celebration and DomCon: los angeles can do so. The NWLC Education Program will include over 50 classes. http://www.NorthwestLeatherCelebration.com
On Sunday, September 1, Club X and Fetish Men San Diego got together for a relaxed, sociable evening on the beach at Fiesta Island. Photo supplied by Papa Tony
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 September 29, make sure I have it by Monday afternoon, September18.
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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San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener addresses the AIDS LeatherWalk crowd on September 17. Photo by Rich Stadtmiller
Pantheon of Leather
The Pantheon of Leather Awards were held at the Double Tree by Hilton Market Square in Dallas, TX during ILSLb ICBB weekend on Thursday night, August 30. The Woman of the Year was Girl Complex and Man of the Year was Rod McCoy (aka Rod Onyx). Christopher Edwards was the emcee. To see a list of all Pantheon of Leather Awards 2018 recipients go to
The Southern California Leather Gathering (SCLG) 2014 will be held on Saturday, June 21 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, CA, from 11 AM - 4 PM.
SCLG is an annual outdoor picnic gathering that is open to all Leather/BDSM/Fetish, kink, motorcycle and bear individuals and/or groups of all genders and orientations. The aim of the Southern California Leather Gathering is to provide an opportunity for these various folk to interact in a relaxed atmosphere, have fun and raise awareness about the size and diversity of the Leather/BDSM groups within Southern California. There will be games and prizes. Several clubs and groups bring tents or umbrellas.
Bring your own food and beverages (non-alcoholic only). Feel free to bring extra food to share. There will be grills heated up and available for anyone that wants to grill food.
The Avatar Club los angeles educational program for Wednesday, August 27 is Fire Play with Orpheus Black at MCC in the Valley, 5730 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601 starting at 8 PM.
Fire Play by Orpheus Black will include discussion on Basic Fire Safety: Preparing private or public fire play scenes, checking tools, fuel storage and transportation, safety equipment and measures, treating burns. Preparing the Sub: Easing fears, outlining safety protocols, negotiating safe words, phrases and gestures, cultivating the head space. Technique: Types of torches brushes and their differences, review of basic torching methods and basic cupping, tips and tricks Advanced Techniques Fire Painting Techniques:How to perform half body trails and full torso transfers Advanced Fire Cupping:Demonstration of horning, using cups as tie points and leads Torching Techniques: Safely combining rope bondage and fire play, safely increasing the heat and intensity of the flame.
Don Thompson passes
Don Thompson, perhaps best known as San Francisco Leather Daddy VIII, passed away on the morning of January 5, 2018 in Cathedral City, CA due to a long time illness. Don studied at Cambridge and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, country of his birth. Professionally, Don was a concert organist and president of Pipe Organ Presentations. Much of Don's Leather community service was as producer of Fetish Balls in San Francisco in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a member of the California Eagles Motorcycle Club. For several years he was co-emcee of the Pantheon of Leather Awards. One proud moment in his early years was as the organist for The Beatles' Mr. Moonlight. Thompson is survived by his husband Henry Jordan. A memorial service is being planned for Don. Photo gallery which will not leave one with dry eyes https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157037282395968&set=rpd.1132007819&type=3&theater
On November 2 The Threshold Society will present its annual Bizarre Bazaar. In addition to numerous vendors, there will be sampler booths, food, and entertainment.
This event is open to the entire community, with the doors opening at 1 PM and the fun winding down at 7 PM. Admission is $10. There will be vendors from around the country and locally who will be selling some of the finest and most interesting wares in town. Here is an opportunity to handle and size those "special" items for which one has been looking.
The sampler booths will give Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Gearfolk a chance to try some activities they may only have been fantasizing about. Try out the violet wand, or a flogger, or a needle or two. What does a cane feel like? Here is a chance to get a small taste in a safe and fun atmosphere.
Join Threshold on the night of November 1 for the club's version of Dia De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, play party. It is the night the "spirits," so get closest to the land of the living and celebrate the night away. This party is open to the community and admission is $20.
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?
Mr. LA Leather title goes to LA Leather Bear
The Mr. los angeles Leather 2018 contest saw Mr. LA Leather Bear Ben Johnson win he Mr. LA Leather 2018 title and the Brotherhood award which was selected by his fellow contestants at the Globe Theater on Saturday night, March 24 in los angeles, CA. First runner-up was Mr. Precinct Leather Spike and second runner-up was Mr. 562 Eagle Leather Pup Yoshi. 11 men have won preliminary titles all over los angeles County and it all comes down to this. The LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence gave a rousing blessing. Jeremy Ronceros and Jasun Mark rocked as emcees and Pup Dazzle was amazing in his A Capella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Legion Meets Megawoof, the Official Mr. LA Leather Victory Dance immediately followed the contest. For more go to https://losangelesleatherpride.com/
The Southern California Leather Gathering (SCLG) 2014 was held on Saturday, June 21 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, CA with a huge crowd of 150 Leather/BDSM/Fetishfolk in attendance.
SCLG, an annual outdoor picnic gathering that is open to all Leather/BDSM/Fetish, kink, motorcycle and bear individuals and/or groups of all genders and orientations, saw perfect weather.
Among the clubs with booths, tables and or tents were Among the clubs with booths, tables and or tents were Threshold Society, Satyrs MC, MDHL, los angeles Band of Brothers, LA Girls of Leather, , LADS, Monarchs, Avatar Club los angeles, The 15 Association and Orange County Social.
Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 Eric Paul Leue emceed several games, including a tug of war and a water balloon toss that saw about 30 players bombard Eric with all of the balloons at once.
International Olympus Leather 2019 - Three winners in Chicago
International Olympus Leather was held in Chicago, Illinois May 3-5 with Rayna kitten becoming International Ms Olympus Leather 2019, Ferris Oxide chosen to be International Mx Olympus Leather 2019 and Randal boy glovez named International Mr. Olympus Leather 2019. 11 International Olympus Leather Alumni were in attendance. Head judge Fred Anderson won the Leather Rhodes Service Award. West Coast Olympus Leather Producer Anthony Harmon passed the West Coast Producers torch to Rayna kitten and Mina Fatale. Anthony Harmon was named International Olympus Leather Contest Producer and Vonn Tramel announced she would be focusing her efforts on the expansion and administrative efforts. Karen Ultra emceed and lit up the stage in a neon-orange dress and blonde wig.
Knight Hawks of Virginia
This year, as the Knight Hawks of Virginia celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we will be hosting one of our biggest and best cruises ever. Not only will we be having it on a Friday Night this year, but we will also be extending the fun and hosting it for 4 hours from 10 PM until 2 AM. The boat still departs from Norfolk Waterside and boarding will begin at 9:30 PM. We will again be having demo's, buffet of food, cash bar and DJ Matty will be providing the music this year. Each ticket will include a welcome packet, a program celebrating the 25 years of the Knight Hawks, a raffle ticket for door prizes and a commemorative pin. Tee shirts will be available for an additional fee if ordered in advance. http://www.leathercruise.com/event-3.html
As a former Leather titleholder, I have a vested interest in ensuring that the Leather culture continues in perpetuity. Over the past few decades, what that "means" has continually been reshaped to best suit the needs of the current crop of Leather enthusiasts and the times in which they live. One thing, however, has remained consistent: the outgoing generation reviles the changes brought about by their incoming replacements.
Perhaps the one stable meeting place for those in the Leather community has been the ubiquitous "Leather bar" - that often dingy, dimly lit bastille where the local Leather denizens gather to preen as much as their restrictive clothing (or lack thereof) will allow. Beneath the layers of posturing and displaying, however, there are turbulent conversations being had about the future of these bastions of our culture, and what that future may mean for the community.
Before I delve into the content of these conversations, I should take a moment to describe my own experience. I have moved a grand total of 43 times, the most recent in April from los angeles, CA to Morgantown, WV. As someone who was raised on the outskirts of the Leather community in New York City in the late 80s, only to be transplanted into the rural South in my teen years, I was lucky enough to experience a variety of different "scenes" along my journey to my current state of being. When I first started going out to bars, the only options around were of the "small-town gay bar" variety - a hodgepodge of every social type, gender, and sexual proclivity. It is largely due to these vastly different experiences that I am so open to change. The decor and clientelle aside, these bars are the most similar to Leather bars that I have found in that they provide patrons both with a sense of belonging to a community and of being on the outskirts as an anomaly within that community.
These things having been established, please allow me to begin:
When I first moved to los angeles, I found myself voluntarily thrust into the middle of the Leather titleholder community, and by way of my then-partner, the Avatar education non-profit. As an educator, myself, I have always been concerned with ensuring that whenever people engage in any type of sexual activity, they're smart (and educated) about it. At one of my first educational sessions (on the subject of fisting), I entered into a rather heated debate with a very prominent figure in the LA Leather community over the current state of Leather bars.
"I don't even like to go out to (redacted) on a Friday night! How is it that I'm the one being given the stink eye over my attire in my own goddamned bar?"
Flip flops, tennis shoes, outsiders, and, worst of all, women - no irritant was too small for my friend, each of them more of an affront to his sensibilities than the last.
"I miss the days of enforced dress codes," was his, and the most common, refrain when arguing that the Leather bars just "aren't what they used to be," and to some degree, I agree with him. When I made my first (legal) forays into the Leather bar scene, it was so I could find for myself a sense that I was not the outsider standing on the sidelines while the rest of my peers played in the big game. That I was into BDSM and fetish gear happened to be my Scarlet Letter in the small-town gay bars; it was in these Leather bars that I sought acceptance and, most horrifying to me, now, admittance - a feeling that I had been allowed into a special event to which few were ever invited.
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I played the part and donned the drag of my Leather compatriots, but still, there was something missing from my experience. While I had all but forced my way into this exclusive brotherhood, the reality was that, even though I get on famously with the 40-plus crowd, I still found their approach to enjoying their scene still too conservative for my tastes. So many rules; so many protocols; so much bullshit.
Over time, I began to realize that, while after a few (dozen) drinks I could find myself having a good time, I always felt like the Leather bar scene was such a compartmentalized part of my life. I was cut off from the friends I held dearest because, as my friend so vehemently pointed out, they were not welcome on this field of play. My female, straight, bisexual, and "normal" friends often found themselves on the receiving end of distasteful and inartful signals that they had wandered into the wrong part of town; that they'd better get off the old man's lawn.
It was at this time that I began to notice the existence of those to whom I refer as "The Gerontocracy" - a group of gay men over the age of 40 who played a very vital roll in the late 80s and early 90s in helping to ensure that LGBT rights and causes were advance, but who, in their (as my friend put it) "senescence," have come to find themselves being not-so-gently shoved out of the spotlight only to be replaced by those whom they feel to be either too incapable or too incompetent to take up the mantle they so publically bore.
"The younger generation doesn't care about our traditions; they don't respect us," my friend averred, as I sat across from him wearing my title vest and medallion at the tender age of 28, the four pieces of Leather I could afford clinging to my form as I endured his tirade. Was I so dismissive of our Leather heritage? Was I really the cause of the downfall of the Leather bar?
In a word, "No." Economically speaking, the times had to change. The Leather bar faces a unique challenge ahead of them because, if this is the attitude of those in our community who are supposed to be leading and teaching the new generation, they are not replacing themselves at their rate of expiration. Younger people have fewer economic advantages than their elders, and have had to make some not-so-tough choices: $250 for a pair of Leather pants or rent? I'll go with rent. And so they go to the Leather bars in what they have, more often because they are the bars where they are ostensibly less likely to wind up on the receiving end of shady pretty boys because they can't afford to wear high-end clothing and get into the VIP lounge. What they often find, however, is an older generation no more forgiving of their status than their A-Gay peers.
And so, I posit this:
Rather than bitch about how the Leather bars are falling from grace and devolving from dens of iniquity into just another gay bar, why not welcome all comers into the fold and educate them about what we find so damn wonderful about our culture and our community. The days of the oft-mourned Leather bar are gone, and I say, "Good riddance." We have to realize that the Leather community is no longer the only game in town, and if the newer generations can't find acceptance for the sexual deviances with us, they will most assuredly find it elsewhere.
Yes, we know - it's late. Lots of things hit at once.
Pantheon of Leather Awards 2017 in Dallas, TX.
Pantheon of Leather Awards nominees are in and posted
The nominations are in and the ballot almost set to go. Voting for the Pantheon of Leather Awards 2018 opens soon and runs through August 3. The formal announcement and clarification of this will be made on stage at Pantheon of Leather on Thursday night. August 30 during International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack. To see the list of nominees go to https://www.theleatherjournal.com/component/k2/item/2029-pantheon-of-leather-2018-nominations
Knight Hawks of Virginia
This year, as the Knight Hawks of Virginia celebrate their 25th Anniversary, they will be hosting one of their biggest and best cruises ever on Friday, September 28. The fun will last four hours - from 10 PM until 2 AM. The boat departs from Norfolk Waterside. There will be demos, a buffet, a cash bar, and DJ Matty will be providing the music this year. Each ticket will include a welcome packet, a commemorative program celebrating the 25 years of the Knight Hawks service to the Hampton Roads community, a raffle ticket for great door prizes and a commemorative pin. Tee shirts will be available for an additional fee if ordered in advance. http://www.leathercruise.com/event-3.html
William Jason Hall - October 16, 1974 - June 28. 2018
The Leather community was saddened by the passing of William Jason Hall on June 28. 2018. He was born on October 16, 1974. William held the Mr. Philadelphia Leather title in 2015 and was a loved for his kindness across the country. Jason had a long-term disease effecting his brain which led to his passing. He was the Director of Curatorial Affairs and Education for the Battleship USS New Jersey and is an alumnus of Plymouth State University. He participated in many Civil War and WW II battle reenactments. http://www.boucherfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Jason-Hall/#!/Obituary
Bootblack Round Up 2018
By Kevin Sparkie Perdue
Bootblack Round Up 2018 will be held at Touche' in Chicago the weekend of August 10-12. Events include the bootblack movie High Shine - 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack by Christina K. Court, Bootblack-focused classes by Kink U at the Leather Archives & Museum, Meat + Boot - a bootblack social at Leather64TEN with at least two bootblack stands open, run pins, patches, stickers, flags, Third Annual Shine Off Contest, CLAW Nation Party, and Leather Archives Museum Bootblack Centric Tours. Touche', 6412 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60626. http://www.bootblackroundup.com
PIGS hosts The Leather Journal Launch Party
By Matthew Jensen
The Leather Journal held its historic first Launch Party to celebrate the release of the July - August Issue on Tuesday night, July 3 at Eagle 562 in Long Beach, CA. Guests saw the introduction with Motorboot Robert of the California B&B Corps on the front cover. Food was provided by the Spicy Kitchen. There were jello shots. Be sure to check out future launch parties coming soon to the Bullet Bar and the Eagle LA. Presented by PIGS - Perverted Interracial Guys. https://www.facebook.com/events/146158429583809/
BLUF San Francisco Leather Lounge
BLUF San Francisco's Leather Lounge is a monthly social held on the patio at the SF Eagle from 9 PM to closing. Our next event is Saturday, July 14 and the following Leather Lounge will be on August 11. All are welcome. Put on your Leather or kink gear and your boots and join the party. If you're in gear, there's no cover charge before 22:00. BLUF events in San Francisco are organized by Lexx (3656) and Larry Kenney aka Hot Boots SF (26), and include an annual dinner before Dore Alley, usually one of the busiest events of the year, plus some events in association with other groups, and bar nights. SF Eagle, 398 12th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. https://bluf.com/local/sf
ONYX - Blackout XXIV
ONYX's Bi-annual Leather run will be held in los angeles, CA the weekend of October 10-13, 2019 the national organization announced recently. There will be breakout sessions that will educate, explore and empower your mind; a bar crawl that will give you a glimpse into the los angeles Leather community; an infamous ONYX dance that will leave you dripping with perspiration; a play party that will satisfy your innermost hunger for kink; a fireside chat with one of ONYX’s original founding fathers that will touch on past, present and the future of ONYX; and an AGM/Awards Brunch that will recognize some of our outstanding members Hilton los angeles North/Glendale and Executive Meeting Center, 100 West Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202. https://www.facebook.com/events/1803909546584966/
Mx Virginia Leather
We are excited to present Virginia’s first Mx Leather Contest. This Leather Contest is all-inclusive regardless of gender or sexual identity. Join us to see who will be our first Mx Virginia Leather titleholder and will be held March 1-3. Contestants and judges meet and greet, demos, bootblacks, go go dancers and vendors at Fallout RVA, 117 North 18th Street, Richmond, VA 23223. https://www.facebook.com/events/2112030975721309/
IML 40 story with lots of photos
If you have not yet seen our coverage of International Mr. Leather and International Mr. Bootblack. It is a must-see. The weekend was a tribute to the late IML founder, Chuck Renslow. Here is the link https://www.theleatherjournal.com/newsrssfeed/item/2024-iml-and-imbb-2018-sets-records-as-founder-chuck-renslow-remembered
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/
Leather People Building A Better World
By Robert O'Dell
Leather List and LeatherList.org - the next step in Leather’s nearly 40 years of charitable fundraising in Leather service. Contribute directly and securely online to help Leather people and culture. Discover and support local and national nonprofits in Health and Medicine, LGBTQ Support, National Leather Institutions, Radical/Sex Positive Life and Relationship Freedom. Leather List also helps Leather clubs and organizations develop Leather Service To Communities, a new model that honors Leather’s past, present and future. Take a look at this new concept in raising funds for Leather community needs. To donate to The Leather Journal check out https://leatherlist.org/contribute/leather- list-national/list-national/ and to see the home page go to https://leatherlist.org/
Help keep us going - send a few dollars our way!
West Coast Olympus Leather
The West Coast Olympus Leather 2019 contest was held at the Sanctuary LAX Studios on Saturday night, June 30 in front of a full house and when the dust settled Ferris Oxide took the Mx title, Fifi LaFille became Mr. and Rayna Kitten captured the Ms title. The emcees were Ms LA Leather 2017 Scarlett Sin and Mr. International Leather 2014 Dave Faunce Dave Faunce. West Coast Olympus Leather producer Anthony Harmon presented the March to the Beat of Your Own Drum Award to Mistress Cyan. http://westcoastolympus.com/
San Diego's Leather Realm in 2017.
San Diego Pride - Leather Realm
Join the 2018 San Diego Leather titleholders in beautiful San Diego on Saturday, July 14 and show your pride by walking with the Leather Contingent in the San Diego Pride Parade. The parade kicks off on Saturday at 11 AM and ends just in time to visit the Pride Festival grounds and the Leather Realm in beautiful Balboa Park. Join in the staging area for the pre-Pride party from 9:30 AM onward. Hillcrest Pride Flag, University Avenue and Normal Street, San Diego, CA 92103. https://www.facebook.com/events/1793414757381542/
Harbor Room - 18th Anniversary Weekend Leather64TEN
The Harbor Room will celebrate its 18th Anniversary in Milwaukee, WI the weekend of July 20-22 with Leather64TEN of Chicago being the host vendor. Plenty of events all three days with a cookout and beer bust on Sunday afternoon. Harbor Room, 117 East Greenfield Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53204. https://www.facebook.com/events/1520099918098772/
CMEN’s West Coast Gathering
By Rick Boehle
CMEN’s West Coast Gathering 2018 will be held August 31 – September 9 in California’s Malibu Hills. A Leather focused social hour and the Mr. CMENLeather 2018 contest will highlight activities on Thursday, September 6. Daily activities will include seminars and workshops, outdoor recreation, pool and social activities, afternoon social hours and evening entertainment. This all nude, all male gathering will attract men an estimated 500 men from throughout North America, the Pacific and Europe. Register in advance, session options available. http://www.cmen.orgg
Pup Mosh in Denver
There is a Pup Mosh every second Friday at Trade in Denver, CO with the next one being Friday, July 13 starting at 9 PM. Fridays are for Fetish and every Second Friday Trade goes to the dogs. Pup play area, drinks in dog bowls and lots of fun. Handlers, pups and the curious are all welcome. Trade, 475 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204. https://www.facebook.com/events/285844715281392/
Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District
The elation and activism of the Pride Celebration is fading a bit now, but enthusiasm for our new District remains high. So, first things first, it is time to mark your calendar for the next Community Meeting, Wednesday, July 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at SF Catalyst, 1060 Folsom Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, in San Francisco. This community meeting is open to all. http://www.sfleatherdistrict.org/
That special morning
Coffee - check
Nice warm muffin with butter and jam - check
The Leather Journal newsmagazine - check
Subscribe to the print version
ONYX Lands at the Eagle NYC
By Mr. Eagle NYC Cee Jay
Join the men of ONYX NY Northeast the second Saturday of every month at 7 PM with the next one on July 14. We are a Leather Fraternity for men of color and their admirers. We seek to provide a comfortable space for men of color who are interested in Leather. Eagle NYC, 554 West 28th Street, New York, NY 10001. https://www.facebook.com/events/944509692369123/
Hosted by Lick It at Powerhouse SF on Friday, July 13 at 10 PM. Go out and dance and play and have a taste of some sexy fun at Lick IT. We have DJ Blackstone bringing you some soulful beats that will make your hips move and groove. No fancy dates. No unrealistic expectations. Just some good old down right dirty fun - where Licking IT is only the beginning. Second Fridays. Beneficiary is the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Powerhouse SF, 1347 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA. https://www.facebook.com/events/154128572050183/
Barking Billiards group at Eagle 562 in Long Beach, CA. Photo by Kirk Pup Kappa
Barking Billiards is a weekly social pup meet up at Eagle 562. We mosh and pup play, play games and hang out with 20-30 puppies around 8 PM every Tuesday. Barking Billiards has been going for a couple of months and the energy is awesome. Eagle562, 2020 East Artesia Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90805.
PIGS-Perverted Interracial Guys - Agents of PIGS
By Matthew Jensen
Sunday, July 21 at 9 PM at the San Diego Eagle. Perverted Interracial Guys Joel Thomas Royal and Matthew Jensen join forces with Mr. Eagle San Diego 2018 Jody Mitchell for a cosplay fetish party the Saturday of Comic-Con International. $5 cover. San Diego Eagle, 3040 North Park Way, San Diego, CA 92104. https://www.facebook.com/events/881406908697729/
Help Keep Leather Alive in SOMA
Contribute to SF Catalyst. Your support will help keep and improve SF Catalyst, the Leather community run space at 1060 Folsom Street in San Francisco, CA. Go to the SF Catalyst Facebook page and click on their IndieGoGo link https://www.facebook.com/CatalystSanFrancisco Space Rental - Catalyst features more than 3,000 square feet of dungeon, play and social space well-stocked with BDSM furniture. The space is currently available to rent for photo shoots, filming, art shows, gatherings, dates, life events, professional sessions, and play parties. Inquiries for renting the space may be sent to
Trivia Question of the Week
Who is known as the Mayor of Folsom Street?
1. Harvey Milk.
2. Mr. Marcus Hernandez.
3. Tony DeBlase.
4. Alan Selby.
5. Don Thompson.
Answer next week when a new question is asked.
Last week's Question answered - Where was the first Mr. Drummer contest held? San Francisco, CA.
By Papa Woof Roth
We are bringing Puppy 101 back to it’s original focus - Education and Discussion. Discussions of issues, and things directly relating to the puppy community. Event-related posts must have a direct educational focus for the puppy community, such as, discussion about workshops or looking for input for educational topics at an event, etc. Educational topics on gear, training, safety, etc. Gear pics - Once a month we will have a Show and Tell Sunday, you can share all the gear pics you have that abide by Facebook standards. https://www.facebook.com/groups/puppy101/
International Mr. Leather Bear 2019
Tickets are Officially on sale for International Mr. Leather Bear 2019 which will be held at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, MD the weekend of October 5-7. For Tickets and information, please visit https://baltimoreleatherbar.com/imlb/
Support the NCSF
Several articles in Dave Rhodes' Hump Day are supplied by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom through a press release form. Support them be becoming a member. The NCSF is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the US that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. The NCSF aims to advance the rights of, and advocate for consenting adults in the BDSM/Leather/Fetish/Swing/Polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach, in conjunction with our partners, to directly benefit these communities. http://www.ncsfreedom.org/
ILSLb ICBB weekend around the corner
The International Leather Sir/Leatherboy, International Community Bootblack will held August 30 -September 2 at the at a new host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas - Market Center, located only five minutes from the Love Field Airport. In addition to three exciting Leather contests, ILSLb ICBB weekend will include a 2018 ILSb-ICBB commemorative pin, shuttle buses to and from all ILSb-ICBB sponsored events, Pantheon of Leather Awards Show, Kick-off Party with contestant demonstrations, Official Victory Party, Kinky Bingo, vendor market, Sunday Leather Family Lunch, cigar social, puppy mosh, kinky workshops, 2017 Titleholder roast and Alumni Brunch. http://www.ilsb-icbb.com/
World Bear Weekend - Mr. Kilt International Contest
World Bear Weekend will be hosting the first Mr. Kilt International Contest in Lexington, KY on August 24 Emcee John David has been active in the Bear and Leather communities for a number of years. He has held several titles including Mr. Kentucky Bear 2008 and International Mr. Bear 2009. This amazing stole, made by Wolfstryker Leather, along with $500 cash, $500 worth of kilts, and a custom sporran could be yours. Ready to compete? Visit http://www.Worldbearweekend.com for details.
Thunder in the Mountains
Thunder in the Mountains will again be held at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver the weekend of July 20-22. Thunder in the Mountains, with an outstanding line-up of presenters and classes and, our 50,000 square-foot dungeon, and puppy mosh pit and pony track, this promises to be the best party so far. Some of the big-name presenters are Laura Antoniou, Master Skip Chasey, Mark Frazier, Midori, Lee Harrington, Peter Fiske and Glenda Rider. Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center 15500 East 40th Avenue, Denver, CO 80239. Details at http://www.thunderinthemountains.com
Valley Pride Street Festival hosted by Bullet Bar
The Valley Pride Street Festival will be hosted by Bullet Bar on Sunday, August 12 at 11 AM - 8 PM. The ‘block party style’ location for VPSF is on Burbank Blvd. between Cahuenga Blvd. and Strohm Street. Come ready to celebrate anything that gives you pride in who you are and what you believe in. We want you to bring that energy and share it with everyone around. Food, vendors, clubs and one big party in The Valley. Bullet Bar, 10522 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. https://www.facebook.com/thebulletbar/
ABW announces judges
The announcement of this year's American Brotherhood Weekend judges was during CLAW weekend. The judges are Lee Carl, Karri Plowman, Daddy Al Santora, Rylee Janus Spire and Vonn Tramel. ABW will be held at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago, IL on October 5-7. The weekend includes meet and greets, fellowship, food, and the American Leatherman, American Leatherwoman, and American Leatherboy contests. The contest will be held at the Leather Archives & Museum. http://www.americanbrotherhood.com/
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Past Dave Rhodes' Hump Day blogs
San Diego's Leather Realm in 2014.
Mama's Family at West Coast Olympus Leather.
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!
The SF Bay Area Leather Alliance, an all-volunteer 501(c)3, is proud to announce the opening of SF Catalyst, a new community-run educational and social space in SOMA. The 2,500-plus square foot space is now available for use by groups and organizations for events that are in alignment with the mission of The Alliance: to create a welcoming and supportive environment for members of the SF Bay Area Leather Fetish, Kink and Motorcycling communities.