Avatar Club Los Angeles is known for its annual Holiday Party, and the one held on Saturday night, December 14 in Glendale, CA was no exception as about 100 attended on a clear night which was chilly enough to wear plenty of Leather.
The members of the Atons of Minneapolis elected a new slate of officers for 2014. During the December 2013 business meeting the following individuals were voted into office: President, Andrew Bertke; Vice President, Tim Holden; Secretary, Rob Anderson; and Treasurer, Jayson Glynn.
In addition, Tim Holden will serve as Membership Chair and Rob Anderson will serve as Social Chair.
The Atons would like to thank everyone in the community for helping making the 2013 Atons Holiday Fundraiser a big success. This year the Atons selected Clare Housing as the benefactor for all money raised during the event. Once again, The Aliveness Project received over 450 pounds of food items donated at the door. Thanks to the many donations that were collected for the raffle/auction and photos with the Atons' Sexy Santa, Ryan Brown, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013 Ryan Brown, the Atons were able to present a check to Clare Housing for over $1,450.
Martine Ling Chu (aka BadSchoolgirl on Fetlife), the current Ms Central Canada Olympus Leather, has become the first female pledge to The Ottawa Knights, a formerly all-male, Leather and Denim club located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
In November of 2013 the Ottawa Knights amended their constitution to allow all people who reached the age of 21 and who had a common interest in the mandate of the club to apply for membership. Given that Martine had received much support from the club as Ms Central Canada Olympus Leather, and was volunteering at the club's bar nights, she felt that it would be appropriate for her to seek membership. She submitted her application in late March of 2014 and at the club meeting on June 19 she became their first female pledge. Martine's husband, Jeff, joined the Ottawa Knights in 2012. With her appointment, they are the first heterosexual married couple to be members. Martine and Jeff were also the first married couple to compete in the International Olympus Leather contest in 2012.
Andy CosmicRoo, Mr. Rubber Toronto of Canada, won the Mr. International Rubber 2014 title at Mr. International Rubber XVII (MIR 17) weekend in Chicago, Illinois on November 9.
Andy was one of 10 contestants from across North America and Europe who traveled to Chicago to represent their regions at MIR. The first runner-up was Mr. Midwest Rubber of Des Moines, Iowa Jesse, and the second runner-up was Mr. Fetish Leather Austria of Vienna In Trouble.
Chicago entertainer Teri Yaki was the emcee throughout the weekend.
The contest took place over two nights at the Center on Halsted in Chicago’s Boystown. The first part of the contest on Friday, November 8, included the introduction of contestants; a step down speech by Stephen Perry, the husband of late MIR 16 Jason Lynch; rubber image and fantasy. Saturday’s portion of the contest included speeches; Mystery Bag; and audience vote.
Michael F. "Mike" Guice,55, longtime Ripcord Houston bartender and active Leather/Levi community member passed away on July 7, 2014 with his long-time partner at his side.
Mike was the founder of Spankfest Houston. He was also an active participant in many Leather-oriented demos and activities at the Ripcord.
He also was a volunteer with KPFT public radio Houston as co-host of the Pas-Sale Zydeco music show.
He is survived by his partner of 28 years Roger Rother, his mother Mary, brother John, sister Kelly and favorite Aunt Barbara...as well as his cats Dash and Missy. Mike will be deeply-missed by all whose lives he touched.
By Anthony Harmon
January 26-29 Drummer North America held its Third Annual Drummer, Drummer Boy, and Drummer Bootblack contest at the re-known Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, NV with the winners being Drummer - Jack MacCullum, Drummer Boy - Pup Cruze and Drummer Bootblack - Boy Tig. The annual Brotherhood Award, voted on by the contestants, went to Boy Tig.
1. Please tell us about yourself, and your connection to the leather world.
I am a 51 year old white male and was till recently the secretary of the SA Leathemen Cape Town chapter. I have been the manager for 5.5 years at the oldest Gay male only guest house in SA until it was sold in April 2013. I also dabble into making small leather products for myself and anyone who might be interested, supplying the local bar and an online sex shop with various small leather products. I try and help create an environment in our community where we can be proud to be out and open about our leather community.
2. How long have you been into leather, what or who got you started?
I was introduced to the leather world by my ex boyfriend in 2000. Whilst we were dating he was working at the local leather bar "Bar-Code" when it was still situated in Hudson street Cape Town. Since he worked nights and I was working days it became clear to me to join him in working at the bar. And what an eye opener that was.
3. Which club or bar are you affiliated with and tell us more about the history?
I did always go to Barcode but the scene has changed so much that I no longer feel that it is the bar for me. We now mostly gather at Lions Corner in Observatory or at Amsterdam bar in Greenpoint. With the community being quite small it is difficult to have a bar that solely caters for the Leather community as a whole.
4. Tell us about your charity involvement and goals.
I personally support "The Gay Pride Shelter" and volunteer there on a permanent basis in doing all their handyman work. I have also together with the Golden Gay foundation raised funds and collected food and clothing for them to be distributed amongst our desperate and in need members of the broader gay and Lesbian community. The Pride shelter is one of the nonprofit organizations that give back to our people. It is time that we start looking after our own.
5. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
My Mom, she is my hero. She supports and loves me unconditionally and has never made me feel anything less than the most beautiful person she has brought into this world. I am very lucky and happy to enjoy the full support from my whole family.
6. In your mind, what's the biggest misconception of the leather community?
I think the notion out there that we are sexual deviants that it is all about the sex in our community. We are so much more than just a sexual preference.
7. What would you say is the best thing that happened while at a leather function or event?
Experiencing the mindset change amongst an audience when they realize it is not all just about the fetish. When you see that spark in their eyes when they look at you and realize you are way more than their preconceived ideas and perceptions.
8. What does sexual freedom mean to you?
It means I can express myself sexually with whom I want and experiment without the fear of being persecuted, I n an environment of my choice.
9. What do you see for the future of leather in your community and internationally?
It is my strong believe that we as a male only Leather chapter should open up our group to include ALL the Leather brothers and sisters of South Africa. The only identifying criteria should be Leather; not whether we are male or female, gay or straight. It should become a totally inclusive group. At the moment it is just too fragmented to make any impact and that is why we will always be on the fringes of society unless we unite under single umbrella group structure.
10. Tell us what your favorite piece of leather is and why?
Oh that must be my harness......the smell and feel of the leather on my skin is just wow!!
11. You are a very talented man, making leather, what piece of leather can you design, make to represent yourself?
I still want to make the perfect leather waistcoat for myself. With enough well placed inside pockets for your keys and other little tidbits....
12. In your own words, can you tell us how important it is to maintain sexual freedom and how should we continue to making sure we have our rights?
If you can no longer express your sexual freedom we will no doubt land up like our brothers and sisters in Russia. You will be persecuted just for whom you love and care for. And that in the whole will make you as an individual lose your identity to conform to narrow minded bigots idea of what a society must be. We did not choose to be gay; it is whom we are. I was born this way.
13. What are your favorite S&M activities and tell us one you haven't tried yet?
Welllllllll........... Now that would be telling..... Well I like the fisting scene as it is one of the most intense, trust building and intimate scenes I know. Would not mind being introduced to a little bondage....if I can get over the fear of being tied up.
14. What's the funniest safe word you ever heard?
15. What's your favorite meal, and cook us a meal that represent you and what would it be called?
Oh it must be Lamb shank. I make a very nice Beef Curry. The complex spices and taste should just be right. Too little or too much and it is yuk!
16. Tell us your favorite book at this moment.
The Gay man's Kama Sutra
17. We both live in Cape Town, what 5 things would you show me and why?
- Paternoster - the sea, open spaces, beauty and fresh air
- Table Mountain – it is like standing over our beautiful land and looking as far as the eye can see and just take in the majestic view, the creation of a Higher Power.
- The Pride shelter – to highlight the plight of our brothers and sisters in need.
- A beautiful wine farm – to savor the flavours of our wines.
- Blikkies dorp – the most impoverished community that still survives against all odds. Their needs and aspirations, and how we can help.
18. In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the leather community of South Africa?
Stand-up and stand together all the boys and girls! It does not matter who or what you are; if you love Leather then you are part of this community.
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.
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.
The DoubleTree Atlanta Hotel once again played host to DomCon: Atlanta which was celebrating its 10th Anniversary the weekend of October 16-19 in Atlanta, GA.
The hotel room block for DomCon: Atlanta was sold out several weeks in advance. Many DomCon groupies from Southern California attended and a couple noted the friendly people of Atlanta including the DoubleTree staff. What's more, discussion among the locals centered around the idea of attending DomCon: los angeles.
The Friday and Saturday night play parties at 1763, owned and operated by Ms Whip, were packed until closing time. A van shuttled guests to and from the play party.
The Pantheon of Leather Awards 2013 were presented on Friday night with 32 honors being presented. The emcees were International Ms Olympus Leather 2013 Robyn and International Mr. Olympus Leather 2013 Praxxis.
An auction to benefit Pantheon was led by David Nelson. The Small Club of the Year Panther L/L and Large Club of the Year Men of ONYX were there to receive their Awards.
On the evening of Thursday, July 24, 2014, the Ottawa Leather/Kink/Pup communities were shocked to learn of the death of Mr. Leather Ottawa 2014 Jon Nizzi. "Nizzi," as he was affectionately called by his many friends, had been a driving force in the various communities since moving from Toronto in 2013. In November of 2013, Jon won the Mr. Leather Ottawa title and went on to compete in the International Mr. Leather contest in May 2014, where he placed in the top 20 of a field of 46.
As news of his death became known late Thursday night, messages of grief, tribute and condolence from friends across North America and in the international Leather community had begun to fill his Facebook profile.
“With a smile from knowing you and quite a few tears I’m headed to bed; glad that you’ll rest well brother. (Pats and scritches) We will make sure Loki’s taken care of,” wrote International Mr. Leather 2012 Woody Woodruff.
A poignant photo of the Leather Pride flag flying at half mast was posted by Ms Leather Toronto 2013 Youkali Youkali.
The Advocate published 30 Kinky Terms Every Gay Man Needs to Know, a series of photos and one-paragraph definitions of many common Leather/BDSM/Fetish words and phrases.
While some of the definitions may be a little off, or seem like they were written by an outsider, it is worth a read. Take note that it is presumably written for vanillafolk and/or beginners, and seems tame in some cases.
Some of the photos and graphics are hot. Determining which ones are hot and which are meh is entirely up to the reader/viewer.
The first gay publication I ever set eyes on was a copy the first issue of The Advocate back in 1969-70 in my college dorm.
Here's a sample - "Sub/Submissive - Every particular Dom-sub (typically shortened to D/s) relationship has a slightly different power dynamic, but the sub/submissive is always the one who relinquishes control to the Dominant...."
Go to the link and enjoy http://www.advocate.com/love-and-sex/2016/2/12/30-kinky-terms-every-gay-man-needs-know
The Leather and Kink community came out in full force to support the Atons of Minneapolis as they hosted Gopher XXI the weekend of July 18-20. This was their first in-town run in over 15 years. Although there were some that missed the traditional outdoor camping experience, it was evident that everyone enjoyed their time together.
Gopher XXI: Tails of the City, was held at the Doubletree by Hilton in the Minneapolis neighboring community of Saint Louis Park. The hotel provided great accommodations and delicious food during the Saturday evening banquet and Sunday morning breakfast.
Many brother/sister clubs from the Twin Cities area, as well clubs from out of town hosted socials and cocktail parties, featuring a wide variety of drinks and some even got into the spirit of the run theme and donned inspirational attire.
The Folsom Street Fair will take place on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets on Sunday, September 21 from 11 AM - 6 PM.
While the South of Market streets have changed fairly drastically over the last 20 years, the location of Folsom Street Fair hasn't changed at all. In 1995, the fair expanded its footprint to include the block of Folsom between 11th and 12th Streets; however, in all of the years since then, the fair's footprint has remained constant and unwavering. Until this year, that is. For the first time since 1995, Folsom Street Fair will be updating its layout to accommodate the needs of a changing city.
According to Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis, "The Board of Directors agreed to move the fair slightly in order to achieve three major objectives: 1. Improving street traffic around the fair; 2. Minimizing impact on residential side streets; and, 3. Engaging new community businesses. The shift of just one block in our fair footprint means that we can improve traffic flow by opening up 8th Street to live traffic; we can engage fewer residential side streets; and, we can create new or improved relationships with community businesses like The SF Eagle, Sports Authority, and Cat Head's BBQ - all of whom will be able to participate more actively now. Getting the Eagle onto the fairgrounds feels especially relevant for many of us in the Leather community."
You are formally invited to enjoy fun and debauchery in the corn fields of Iowa October 4-6, 2013 in the form of the 25th Annual Iowa Leather Weekend. The titles to be awarded during the weekend will be Mr. Iowa Leather and for the first time, Ms Iowa Leather. Unlike most contests that combine the contests into one day, Iowa Leather will host the Ms Iowa Leather competition on Friday, October 4 and the Mr. Iowa Leather contest on Saturday Oct 5. A continuing tradition is the partnership with Le Chateau Exotique as the official Leather vender and Liberty Gifts as the official lube and toys vendor.
Judges for the Ms Iowa Leather contest will include Elena Franco, owner/producer Heart of America Leather Weekend, & Producer Kink-U Kansas City; Sarha, International Ms Leather 2013; Mike Pagano, cofounder of Titans of the Midwest and Mr. Iowa Leather 2011; His Most Imperial Majesty, Matthew ‘Wait for it’ Aspire, Emperor for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa; and Her Most Imperial Majesty Muffy Rosenberg, Empress for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa. Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013, will be MC for the evening and Pup Itus will be the tally master.
The Blazing Saddle will be the host for the 25th anniversary of the Mr. Iowa Leather contest. The winner of this contest will go on to represent Iowa at International Mister Leather XXXVI competition in Chicago, IL May 2014. The panel of judges for this year's MIAL contest will be Chad Neil, co-founder KC boys of Leather, Chester Munroe, former Mr. Chicago leather, Sir Papa Bear, Great Lakes Leather Sir 2013, Jesse Driscoll, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013, former Mr. Blazing Saddle, executive board member Titans of the Midwest, and Mr. Friendly - Team Iowa co-founder, and Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013 and Top 20 IML XXXV contestant. The emcee will be David Watt, founder of the Mr. Friendly program and former Mr. Michigan Leather. The tally master will be Pup Itus and the den daddy for the evening is John Jack Trujillo.
A Victory Brunch will be held on Sunday, October 6 at the Blazing Saddle at noon. The Iowa Leather travel fund will be the beneficiary for the Victory Beer Bust fundraiser held at the Blazing Saddle at 2 PM.
Anyone interested in competing should contact any Iowa Leather staff member or former title holder for the application. Applications may also be downloaded from the Blazing Saddle website.