Photo by Lady Katerina
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, November 15, 2017.
This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com
Pup Rush was chosen to be LA Puppy 2017. Photo by Motorboot Photography
Los Angeles Puppy Pride
Edward "Pup Rush" Decimus was tops among seven amazing contestants and left MCC in the Valley on Saturday night, November 11 with the los angeles Puppy 2017 title. Pup Apollo was named Alpha-Beta Pup and Pup Wolfy was chosen to be Alpha-Beta runner-up. Friday night's meet and greet was at the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood and the victory party on Sunday was at Eagle LA. International Mr. Olympus Leather 2014-15 Dave Faunce was the emcee. Bon Mike was presented the Legendary Pup Award by LA Puppy producers Dan Lovell and Matthew Mullins. The LA Puppy 2017 judges were International Pup Trainer 2016 Sir Pounder, Alex "Pup Beastly" Cheves from Fort Troff, Erik Escareno, Mr. San Diego Leather 2016 Jay Heimbach, Dave Rhodes from The Leather Journal, Michael "Pup Ryker" Kaplan, West Coast Trainer 2004 Gary Reisch and head judge West Coast Trainer 2004 Pup Figaro. And for those in the know - Munt. https://www.facebook.com/LAPuppyPride//
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
Mufasa Ali is Great Lakes Leather Alliance keynote speaker
By Christina K. Court
Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) announced that Mufasa Ali will serve as the GLLA 2018 keynote speaker. Mufasa Ali, a member of the Leather community for over 20 years and the inaugural Mr. World Leather 2006/2007, is the founder of ONYX, an international club supporting Leathermen of Color and the recipient of the 2013, 2016 and 2017 Pantheon of Leather Large Club of the Year Award. He currently serves as the Chair of the ONYX National Council, and he is the founder and primary facilitator of the People of Color Leather Caucus seminars at IML and Black Beat, Inc. GLLA 2018 will occur September 6-9 in the same Indianapolis, Indiana host hotel as GLLA 2017. Event registration will open January 1.
Dr. Brad Sagarin, one of the leading researchers in the physiological and psychological effects of BDSM, will return to the Southwest Leather Conference in January 2013 to share the latest scientific research on BDSM/Leather in the post-pathology era and will continue studies during the Sunday afternoon Dance Of Souls event at the conference.
A learned research team will join Dr. Sagarin at Southwest Leather Conference to discuss the results of previous studies including a large-scale comparison of personality traits in BDSM practitioners and non-BDSM controls (spoiler alert: BDSM folks come out looking pretty good), experimental evidence that empathy softens sadism, and an academic analysis of the benefits of explicit discussions about consent over silent assumptions. The team will also share the latest results from their lab including a Switch Study that produced the first known objective evidence that BDSM causes altered states of consciousness.
The 2013 change in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual) that depathologized sadomasochism has opened the doors to more mainstream research pertaining to sadomasochism including studies that show positive benefits of BDSM. Dr Sagarin has been a forerunner in scientific BDSM research and this change allows him even more latitude to further his investigations.
Smokeout 2018 in Las Vegas - second private pool added
Smokeout 2018 was held at the Alexis Park Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, NV the weekend of April 4-8 with more record attendance, a second pool has been reserved exclusively for Smokeout. The host Desert Brotherhood Motorcycle Club lead their traditional Saturday bike ride with guests, this time around Lake Mead to the Valley of Fire. Smokeout is a fun-filled uncomplicated weekend in Las Vegas for cigar and pipe studs, Leatherman, bikers, bears and friends, from all over the world. A free-flowing weekend so everyone can enjoy Las Vegas the way they want to ... in the company of fellow studs. No rigid program to follow with lots of time for being a tourist, enjoying a show, attending events or just relaxing and having a great time. Smokeout With Your Cock Out, presented by The Bullet Bar with Leo Iriarte, was three nights long. Large groups restaurant and buffet raids were at The Hofbrau Haus, Silverton Casino, Hard Rock Cafe. There were Leather nights at Hawks Gym. See http://lasvegassmokeout.com/
Master Kelly Lee Ellis passes
By Rhonda Tomo
On April 6, 2018, Master Kelly Lee Ellis completed his life journey and arrived at his eternal destination. Kelly was born on August 8, 1961 in Dunsmuir California. He grew up in Dunsmuir, Roseville, San Francisco and Antioch, California. After multiple surgeries and hospitalizations due to complications of diabetes and kidney failure he opted for hospice care and passed peacefully in his home with his family by his side. Kelly graduated from Antioch High School in 1980 and married his first wife, Judith Melancon in 1981. They had two children together, Jennifer and Matthew. After their divorce, Kelly met Carlene Silva (DeRosear) and they married on June 7, 2008. Kelly’s children blessed them with two grandsons, Andrew and Asher. Kelly worked for the Department of Transportation (CalTrans) for 22 years. He started working as a toll collector on the Bay Area bridges and progressed to maintenance worker, climbing over and under the old Bay Bridge. He finished his career as a computer analyst working at the main CalTrans maintenance yard in Sacramento.
Kelly was preceded in death by his brother Sonny and mother and father, Laura and Walter Ellis. He is survived by his wife, Carlene, ex-wife Judy (Ira) Worthen, daughter Jennifer Catrina, son Matthew Lee, and grandchildren Andrew and Asher. He is also survived by his chosen Leather family, brother and sister Bruce and Cyndi Ulrich, and babygirl Liz Welch. Services will be held on Friday, April 13 at Cochrane & Wagemann Funeral home, 103 Lincoln Street, Roseville CA. Doors will open at 12:30pm for viewing and services will begin at 1 PM. An informal reception will be held after the services at The Monk’s Cellar, 240 Vernon St, Roseville.
Bears, Bikers and Mayhem VIII
Bear, Bikers and Mayhem will be held April 5-8 at the Eisenhower Inn in Gettysburg, PA. One of the highlights will be the Mr. Mayhem Leather and Mr. Mayhem Leather Bear contests. The Pandemonium Party on Friday provides an opportunity for Leather and fetish men to welcome bears to their brand of fun. The Boots to Briefs Party on Saturday is a chance for bears to show their hospitality. A few of the many events are bowling, field trip to Boswell Pipe Factory, Battlefield bus tour, meals, cigar party, cuddle room, puppy mosh pit, Smell My Pits Pig, comedy show, porn star bingo, after party, vendors and farewell brunch. There are 11 beneficiaries. http://www.bearsbikersandmayhem.com
The 15 Association - GLBT Historical Society
The GLBT Historical Society located in San Francisco features a Main Gallery at 4127 18th Street, San Francisco with rotating exhibits, programs, tours and private receptions. It also houses an Archive, 989 Market Street, Lower Level, of personal papers, photographs, audiovisual recordings and community organizational, business and political campaign materials. The 15 Association was established in San Francisco and has grown in membership annually as it continues to serve the men’s BDSM community with regular play and social opportunities. Various materials including letters, pins, patches, photos and flyers have accumulated since 1980, taking up several boxes with no permanent place to call home. The Fraternal committee has decided to keep our primary archives within the city of San Francisco as well as select duplicate materials in Chicago at the Leather Archives and Museum.
Leatherman of Color Dax Volpe is one of a record number of IML contestants competing in Chicago next month.
IML will have at least 73 contestants
The Leather Journal has compiled at least 73-plus photos of men who will compete at IML 40 as of April 10. The Leather Journal publishes a gallery of photos of IML contestants every year and there usually are a handful who do not send their information or who won preliminary tiles after the deadline. There are several more from Europe and a few more from Southern California which helps to bring the number up. IML contestant coordinator Jeff Tucker has been a huge help in gathering the information. http://www.imrl.com
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
Eagle LA - Meat Rack
Meat Rack with DJ Billy Fever is hosted by Eagle LA on the fourth Saturday of each month and the next one is on April 27 at 9 PM. Party, house music, electronic dance music. $6 cover. Eagle LA, los angeles, CA 90029. https://www.facebook.com/events/130452464444475/
Golden Gate Guards - Springtime in Yosemite
Registration for Springtime in Yosemite is now open. Join the Golden Gate Guards for an exciting weekend of fun in the Sierras in Yosemite May 18-20. The weather and waterfalls are going to be spectacular this year. This is a great run for beginners to experienced motorcycle riders. Springtime in Yosemite will be at the View Lodge in El Portal, CA which has nice rooms and most have balcony with an enchanting close-up view of the rapidly-flowing Merced River. Depending on interest, there will be an optional Sunday brunch at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel formerly known as the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite which is a separate expense. Registration is open at http://www.ggguards.org/events/yosemite.htm
International Olympus Leather Weekend
Again, while not part of San Diego Leather Pride, this is a big event for America's Finest City International Olympus Leather Weekend will be held May 4-6 in San Diego, CA at the Crowne Plaza - San Diego Mission Valley and will feature the 2018 International Mr., Ms and Mx Olympus Leather Contest, vendors, classes and socials. Join us as the first class of gender neutral and non-conforming Leatherfolk come together to compete for International Mx Olympus Leather alongside men and women from other Olympus Leather Regions. Be there for the contest, stay for the Bootblacks, barbers, classes, Luau, cigar socials and hospitality. Crowne Plaza - San Diego Mission Valley, 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA92108. https://www.facebook.com/events/293592137758718/
MAUL and COMMAND bar night
The Mid-Atlantic Uniform League (MAUL) and COMMAND MC (Corps Of Men Making A Noticeable Difference) will hold their monthly bar night at the Baltimore Eagle Night Club on Saturday, March 17 at 8 PM. Uniforms and prison gear encouraged. Baltimore Eagle Night Club and Bar, Baltimore, MD 21218. https://www.uniformleague.org and/or http://www.commandmc.org
CBT and Sounding - Hardy Haberman and David Carranza
Unfortunately Duct_Tape Dave had to cancel for being our Instructor but thank you to Hardy Haberman who has graciously agreed to do the class for CBT and David Carranza will do the Sounding portion at Leather Masters on April 14. Tickets will be available on line at http://www.leathermasters.com Tickets are $20 per person. Hardy Haberman is an American author, filmmaker, educator, designer living in Dallas, Texas. He is a prominent figure in the Leather/fetish/BDSM community, and a frequent speaker at leather events and contests. Hardy has written Family Jewels, More Family Jewels and Playing with Pain to name a few. Leather Masters, 3000 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75226.
Fetish Men San Diego - new venue
With Summer approaching, we've moved our workshops and socials to our venue, the Panorama in La Mesa, CA, 94141. Our first workshop, Toys and Toy Care with Dustin, was on April 8 and the venue host is excited to have us. And with the weather changing, we are hoping to take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather by moving our workshop time to 3PM to 6PM, giving us the opportunity to use the venue for mid-day socials poolside. FMSD's next workshop is scheduled for Sunday, April 22 and will be taught by Mr. San Diego Eagle 2018 Jody M. The topic? Humiliation Play, with a helpful demo by Jody and two of his own bottoms. Check the Facebook Events, or E-mail or for the address.
Get your Leather Archives memorabilia through Amazon
Shop Amazon.com and support the Leather Archives & Museum through Amazon's charitable giving program, Amazon Smile. For every qualifying purchase, Amazon will donate a percentage to the Leather Archives & Museum. It's that simple! https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-3841874
Foxhole - Positively Proud, Sex Positive Edition
Green Mirror Entertainment's Foxhole, a bathhouse theme party teams up with CA Drummer 2017 Xavier Espejo, for another night of debauchery Green-Mirror style, and to celebrate the official release
of Positively Proud: CA Sex-Positive Men Calendar on Friday, April 13 at 9 PM. https://www.facebook.com/CAsexpozcalendar/ Models will be on-site for photo ops and to sign calendars as well as the usual fun. Free clothes check and towel service for our guests, gogo foxes, men's area, underground beats by DJ Brian Novy and horny men. Bullet Bar, 10522 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. https://www.facebook.com/events/1769057676469356/
TBOL sets meeting dates
The Tampa Bay Boys Of Leather will hold their monthly TBOL Meeting the third Friday of the month at 8 PM. The Tampa Bay Boys Of Leather's home base is now the Flamingo Skyway Room. This month Tampa Bay Boys Of Leather will have an education portion for the first half of the meeting. Sir Gethan will teach Protocols 101. We all hear the words Etiquette, Ritual, Protocol, and Service Task - but do any of U/us really understand what they mean? Flamingo Resort, 4601 34th Street S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711. https://www.facebook.com/events/347598885724217/
CLAW in two weeks
3,000 Leatherfolk are expected at CLAW 18. CLAW returns to the magnificent Westin Downtown Cleveland April 26-29, and is CLAW's home through at least 2022 - including vendor mart, parties, cigar deck, and more than 100 different Skills and Education sessions. A few rooms are still available at our other two hotels - the nearby Hampton Inn and Double Tree by Hilton. CLAW expects more vacancies before the end of April, so get a room now, or get on the hotel wait list and plan to be in Cleveland next month. http://www.clawinfo.org
New! Trivia Question of the Week
The lead actor in the controversial movie Cruising which was about a sadistic murderer preying on the clubs and bars of New York in the early 1980s was named?
1. Dustin Hoffman.
2. Al Pacino.
3. Robert Redford.
4. George Kennedy.
5. Sylvester Stallone.
Answer next week when a new question is asked.
Last week's Question answered - How many African American men have held the International Mr. Leather title and who were they? Answer - Three - Ron Moore, D Cannon and Ramien Pierre.
Empire City MC - Motorcycle Weekend
Yeah, it feels like the winter that won’t end, but a little birdie told us that in a few days, spring will break and we’ll be on the road again. Therefore, it’s time to sign-up for Empire City MC's Motorcycle Weekend, our four-day event (including formation ride up and ride back) held in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State over Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28. The run-fee is $40/per person. This is a bargain! Run fees under $100 haven’t been seen since the 80s. Of course, this event is a bit restrictive. All participants must be male, arrive by motorcycle and pay the $40 run fee. http://empirecitymc.com/
Southland Honors in June
The Southland Honors Dinner will be held on Saturday night, June 23 at Taix in the Echo Park district of los angeles, CA. Nominations will open soon. Southland Honors is owned by the los angeles Leather Coalition with its first Honors being held in 2004. This will be a single event and will be a formal banquet. Ticket and nomination information will be available soon.
Rubber Fucker returns to Eagle LA
Rubber Fucker returns to the Eagle LA on March 16 at 10 PM, and you don’t have to wear green, just wear rubber, Neoprene, latex, pvc, or something made of hot and sexy form fitting plastic-like or rubbery material... and you get in for free! All others can come dressed however you like, and your entry will be $6 at the door. This is a great party with lots of hot sexy men in rubber, that’s why it’s free for the studs who clad themselves in latex, rubber and Neoprene. Come show everyone how hot you are in a bar full of shiny rubbermen. Eagle LA, 4219 Santa Monica Blvd., los angeles, CA 90029. https://www.facebook.com/events/1957670611162324/
Growlr Bear Den
The Bullet Bar will host Growlr Bear Den with DJ Sean Niles on Friday, April 20 at 9 PM. Bullet Bar, North Hollywood, CA 91601. Show that you're a GROWLR subscriber and receive happy hour prices
Hang with some fur by the fire pit on our patio https://www.facebook.com/events/241523539724351/
Hunter & Charlie's
Farm Boy Kitchen changed its name to Hunter & Charlie's in March. Serving American Food, the restaurant in Hollywood has been popular with LA's Leather community. Hunter & Charlie's, 1050 Vine Street, los angeles, CA 90038. (323) 848-4790. http://www.hunterandcharlies.com
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Leather Archives & Museum Road Show visits Portland
By Gary Wasdin
If you're looking to expand your Kink interests, there's no place better to do it than at KinkFest in Portland, OR. The Leather Archives & Museum spent Easter weekend with kinksters from all over the world at the 20th Annual celebration of all things kink. This event, sponsored by Portland Leather Alliance, is the premier west coast kink conference celebrating sexual diversity, BDSM, fetish and Leather. The LA&M was happy to share a few treasures form its collections with the crowd. Be sure to look for us at IMsLBB/IMsL in San Jose later this month. Stop by and say hello. http://www.leatherarchives.org
Urban Bear X
Urban Bear will celebrate its 10th Anniversary the weekend of May 17-21 in New York, NY. A full weekend of events is planned including an Urban Bear Street Fair on Sunday, May 21, Stash Bash at Julius Bar and Grille and Brutus Party at Nowhere bar on Thursday, May 18, Bear Invasion: Highline and the Whitney on Friday, May 19, Bears on Bikes on Saturday, and Grizzly Guzzler at the Gym on Saturday, May 20. Also, Urban Bear will now have monthly bar parties at Nowhere, 322 East 14th Street, New York, NY on the second Friday of each month. For more go to https://www.theurbanbear.com/
Northwest Leather Celebration - Loves our Bootblacks
The Northwest Leather Celebration and the Northwest Master slave and Northwest Bootblack Contest will be held May 3-6, Sacramento, CA. Northwest Leather Celebration Loves Our Bootblacks. Got Boots? Got Leathers? How about Rubber or a Puppy Hood? Come to the NWLC Bootblack Lounge and get all your gear loved on. Led by Kian Leggett, the NWLC Bootblack Lounge will be serviced by bootblacks from throughout the region. This is not just about boots; come in your chaps, pants, shirts, corsets, skirts, gloves, rubber, latex, pet gear – whatever you need to shine. Tipping is appropriate and encouraged. Bootblacking is a spectator sport. The Bootblack Lounge is located right in the middle of the NWLC Lounge, a place to hang out, socialize and watch the hot bootblack action. It all starts at the Boots and Cigars Party on Thursday night. http://NorthwestLeatherCelebration.com
Monthly Fetish Celebrates First Year with Body Partialism Edition
One year ago, Monthly Fetish published their first issue. During the past year, they’ve covered a wide array of fetishes including feet, BBWs, Financial Domination, cosplay, bondage, transformation, latex, sploshing, looning, and spanking. And, their one year issue investigates body partialism. Body partialism is all about how a person can focus on one body part for sexual gratification. Boobs, butts, and legs are the most popular, but there’s also heads, shoulders, knees, toes, feet, eyes, noses, and many more. “We’ve covered a lot of fetishes our first year, but there are thousands more we can spotlight,” says Editor Jenn. “...We’ve got more incredible interviews planned for our second year. Make sure to not miss a single issue and feel free to write in anonymously with your questions." Check out the Partialism Edition of Monthly Fetish and previous issues at http://www.monthlyfetish.com/featured-fetish/fetish/
How a New Senate Bill Will Screw Over Sex Workers
By Tina Horn for Roling Stone - supplied by the NCSF
If SESTA becomes law, victims of human trafficking will be able to sue the websites their abusers may have used to communicate with one another. The implications reach beyond justice for survivors, however, as consensual sex workers may be charged with facilitating prostitution if they use an online forum to exchange safety information such as bad date lists. The threat of prosecution has already led such forums to simply shut down rather than face potential legal liability. When sex workers don't have access to digital resources - such as Craigslist, Backpage, Rentboy or MyRedBook - they often engage in high-risker street work. To read the rest of this article visit https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/controversial-anti-sex-trafficking-bill-screw-over-sex-workers-w518323
SW Bootblack Boot Camp
The SW Bootblack Boot Camp is planned for June 22-24 in Phoenix, AZ. When SW Community Bootblack 2015 Cherielle created the Arizona Bootblack Academy, using her formal apprenticeship program as a foundation, she set out to provide that which was lacking. The Arizona Bootblack Academy exists to provide a well rounded education in the art of bootblacking to all who express an interest in learning. Classes in technique are offered on a weekly basis, with field trips held occasionally. In addition to educational opportunities, students are provided the opportunity to give back to their communities in various ways. Students are encouraged to find ways to provide service using their bootblacking skills. Topics covered are bootblack lab, bootblack games, round tables, six meals and limited lodging. http://arizonabootblackacademy.org/
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West Coast Olympus Leather
Beat Your Drum Productions proudly announces, the return of the Mr., Ms, and Mx West Coast Olympus Leather competition; Scheduled to take place June 29 – July 1 at the Sanctuary LAX Studio in los angeles, CA. WCOL is affiliated with The Leather Foundation which is a recognized 501(c)3, non-profit, 100-percent volunteer organization whose purpose is to provide aid to the Leather community, addressing unmet welfare, health and safety issues unique to our community members. http://westcoastolympus.com/
Central Plains Leather Sir/boy and Community Bootblack
The Central Plains Leather Sir/boy and Community Bootblack will be held at Missie B's in Kansas City, MO the weekend of April 20-22. April 20 at 7 PM is a Pub Crawl with KCLU. 9 PM meet and greet with contestants and judges. Saturday 1 PM educational classes. 9 PM Central Plains Leather Sir/boy and Community Bootblack contest begins. 805 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-3856. https://www.facebook.com/events/837222923154164/
Reno Revelry - Hardy Haberman to keynote
Register for Reno Revelry. Spend a lovely fall weekend, October 19-21, with the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community of Reno. Revelry, a first-year event, plans lots of classes including the Femme Boot Pride Track, not to mention the first Northern Nevada Bootblack Contest. Oh, and the best of all, the Keynote speaker for the Sunday brunch will be the one and only Hardy Haberman. https://www.facebook.com/renorevelry/
Tampa Bay Boys Of Leather - Shenanigans Leather/Kink Weekend
The Tampa Bay Boys Of Leather will present Shenanigans Leather/Kink Weekend at the Flamingo Resort in Saint Petersburg, April 13-15. There is no costs to attend. We will have vendors, demos, games, shows and a social area to keep you entertained. Flamingo Resort St. Pete, 4601 34th Street South, Saint Petersburg. FL 33711. https://www.facebook.com/events/541687659520223/
Palm Springs Leather Pride dates announced
The Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert publicized the dates for Palm Springs Leather Pride: Renegade to be October 25-28. Just shy of Halloween which is the Wednesday immediately after. Palm Springs LGBT Pride is the following weekend. Palm Springs Leather Pride Chair/Media Director Randy Carmanaty said, "This past year we had a 30-percent increase in attendees over the year prior with attendees coming from 26 countries and all 50 states." http://www.PalmSpringsLeatherPride.org
One of the many couples enjoying the sun at Smokeout in Las Vegas in early April.
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Mr. Leather Israel 2017 Aviv Grundman is one of the 73-plus men competing for International Mr. Leather in May.
Past Dave Rhodes' Hump Day blogs
Some of the LA men who were at Smokeout in Las Vegas, seen in the Utah Rebellion hospitality suite.
Mr. Leather64Ten 2018 Kurt Allen is competing at IML 40.
Take this survey even if you’ve never had a consent violation. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) wants to know what are your power exchange and sexual identities. Are you “out” about being kinky? How often do you go to BDSM groups and online communities?
The NCSF will use these results to help perform its advocacy, such as helping law enforcement, prosecutors and health care professionals understand the experiences of kinky people and provide better quality service.
This survey is anonymous and your privacy is guaranteed by Survey Monkey, a secured survey hosting website. The NCSF does not have access to any identifying information about the participants.
Rough House, Toronto’s popular BDSM dungeon party, will hold three Leather parties at Steamworks Baths Toronto, 540 Church Street, Level 2, Toronto, Ontario, Canada between October and February coinciding with Steamworks’ popular Sunday Service party. Also organized by the Rough House gang is the annual twisted Squeal party at Steamworks, which will return in April 2014 as part of Eastern Canada Leather Sir and Leatherboy weekend.
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 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.
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.
Avatar Club los angeles and its guests were delighted with the presentation Dynamics of BDSM Encounters by Brian Dawson on February 19 at MCC in the Valley.
63 Leatherfolk attended the first public club meeting of 2014.
Topics included understanding how very different we are as sexual beings, what makes us hard (physically, emotionally and spiritually), and whether we consider our play to be sport or control born out of Dominance and submission.
A huge and impressive Avatar banner created by Nick Drance provided the backdrop for the meeting.
The men of Avatar and the Bullet Bar, 10522 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, will kick off LA Leather Pride Week with the official start of LA Leather Pride 2014, Odyssey: The Road to Mr. LA Leather 2014. The Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 contestants will draw their numbers.
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?
Amazon Video Direct is banning Robert Dante's bullwhip instructional video Bullwhip - Art of the Single Tail Whip. Amazon.com has been selling the hour and seven-minute long single tail instructional video for $19.99 for 8 years. They continue to sell the DVD released through Amazon in February of 2008, and at least 6 other similar titles, while simultaneously banning it on the re-seller giant's own digital services.
Dante applied to have the video streamed on Amazon Video Direct. It was rejected. They refused to give any reason - perhaps it was because it is about consensual BDSM, but whatever their reasons, this video scared them. Want to see the video? Well lucky for you Dante quickly found another, friendlier provider, to www.bullwhip.xxx and see what the hullabaloo is all about (or just a topless chick getting her titties bullwhipped cause...Dante's work is hawt!!!).
The interesting thing is that Amazon has been selling Dante's video for 14 years with no problems. It was vetted by the Ontario Film Board in 1995 and approved. The instructional video received only positive reviews, including in Adult Video News.
"I must assume it is being rejected not for its content, but for what it actually is: a factual, educational DVD about consensual BDSM, with no sex, no nudity, no injury, no humiliation, no degradation. This is from the same company that brings the execrable "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Secretary" to its audiences." Dante ruminated in his letter to us.
Dante sent TLJ the full Orwellian exchange, in chronological order, after it had been rejected at lower executive levels:
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/
Mid-Atlantic Leather judges named
By Patrick Grady
The judges for Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather were named. They are Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2017 Martel Brown, International Mr. Leather 2017 Ralph Bruneau, International Mr. Leather 1992 Lenny Broberg, Mr. Eagle NYC 2016 Darkqwolf, American Leatherwoman 2012 Doc, Mr. Leather Europe Joe King and Sister Tiny Bubbles. The scores will be added up by Mark Branson of COMMAND MC and International Leather Sir 2015 Tug Whitehead. Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend will be held January 12-14 in Washington, DC. 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/ for details.