By Bob Miller
CLAW XVII will be held April 27-30 at the Westin Downtown Cleveland. The bulk of the CLAW schedule will be at the Westin, including the vendor mart, banquets, speed dating, cigar deck and most of the Skills and Education sessions, with some events at the nearby Hampton Inn, bars Leather Stallion Saloon and Mean Bull, FLEX Spa and Hotel and the brand new Academy Dungeon, a 6,500 square feet well-equipped facility that hosts the Men’s BDSM Play parties and hardcore skills sessions Both the Westin and Hampton are sold out, but CLAW has big blocks of rooms at the nearby Double Tree and the Kimpton Schofield hotels. More than 2,000 Leather men are expected at CLAW 17.
CLAW (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) has rented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHoF) for a private party on Thursday night from 8 PM - Midnight. Located two blocks from the Westin and the Double Tree, the Museum will be staffed with all exhibits and bars open. Want to say you’ve sung at the RRHoF? Pick your song for Inductee Karaoke on the main stage. All songs must be by artists that are in the RRHoF. Reserve a spot by writing
CLAW will have 100 skills and education sessions – a 30 percent increase over CLAW 16. Most of the skills sessions are participatory, including: Kinky Tech: A Pervert's Guide to Internet-enabled Play presented by Brian Bolt Donner; Caning and Birching - a British vice, presented by Derek Cohen and David Williams from London, and Human Pup Play Skills by Dr. George Forgan-Smith, from Melbourne, Australia.
Returning are Bootblack Apprenticeships, from one of CLAW’s more than 20 volunteer bootblacks and Entrepreneurial Internships with Square Peg Toys mastermind Scott Douglas. A schedule of CLAW 17 Skills and Education is available on the CLAW website.
Also new are Naked Pool Parties at FLEX Spa (Men only) on Friday and Saturday afternoon, including OINK.
The CLAW Vendor Mart is bigger, with 45 vendors including CLAW sponsors Mr-S-Leather, Leatherwerks, LeathermanNYC, Torso, and Le Chateau Exotique.
Friday night’s highlight is Strip Bingo!! with hot male strippers and special performances, vendor-sponsored games and prizes, and more. Sunday night finale is Kinky Kabaret, an amazing show of singers and comics, hosted by CLAW’s hilarious emcees Larry Golubski and Lulu Belle.
New will be an urban Boots and Cigar Deck, open 24 hours a day.
The Pup Events at CLAW are sponsored by CLAW’s first Kennel Master and newest Master Sponsor, Twisted Headz Smokeshops, and include a huge pup mosh pit party, LEASHED; five pup/handler education sessions, pup/Handler Speed Dating, and a pup’s luncheon at the Leather Stallion Saloon.
CLAW Speed Dating expands to 11 sessions. Meet 10 guys who like what you like in less than an hour. New sessions include Couples and Thirds and Looking for LTR; Back for more - Meet and Beat; Leather and Boots; Assplay; and Smokers’ Speed Dating. Advance registration strongly recommended.
Also on schedule at the Westin: three silent auctions, Rubber Lovers Social, BLUF at CLAW social and the Man on Man Wedding Reception, in-room coffee service by pups and boys, a raffle, the CLAW store and wheel of fortune, Leather Community Circle of Life, Leather Archives exhibits, the Titleholders Cocktail Party, and Bound and Beautiful - a gallery of bondage and hot muscle.
Shuttles will run between hotels and parties at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Leather Stallion Saloon and Hot Ass in Cleveland Party, Mean Bull's Kinky Muscle Boy Party, and Super Villians Gear and Grind Party.
CLAW 17 packages include men’s play parties at the Academy and the party at the Rock Hall, more than 170 events. Packages are $169/advance ($189 at the door. Or join the CLAW Volunteer Corp and get a package for free in exchange for eight hours volunteering. Volunteers have access to a Volunteer Hospitality Suite all weekends.
Separate tickets are required for a few things at CLAW: Square Peg Toys celebrates their 20th Anniversary as sponsor of The International Leather Family Dinner ($100) on Saturday, featuring food from Urban Farmer’s executive chef and keynote speech, On Masculinity, by Guy Baldwin..
The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and Brunch ($50) is Sunday and honors Durk Dehner, Peter Fiske and MSC Hamburg.
For late night pig sex, three FLEXXX ASYLUM parties ($40/each or 3/$100 feature kinky adult film stars in a special warehouse space above Mean Bull. A small VIP party Man Meet kicks off ASYLUM’s Friday night and is limited to the first 20 tickets sold.
CLAW is a 501 (c)(3) charity of, by and for the Leather Community. CLAW has donated more than $700,000 to community charities.
For more information, to reserve a room and get a package, go to http://www.clawinfo.orgg