CLAW keeps the tradition of growth going - The Leather Journal

CLAW keeps the tradition of growth going


As many as 2,500 Leatherfolk attended CLAW 18 (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) at the Westin Downtown Cleveland April 26-29. CLAW and its affiliated CLAW Nation events have rung up over $800,000 in donations to charity since its inception in 2001. With fundraising activities everywhere, everyone is having the time of their lives while giving.


The International Leather Dinner at the Great Lakes Science Center saw about 200 guests enjoy a fabulous view of the Cleveland waterfront during dinner and the chance to explore numerous exhibits on Saturday night. Several awards were presented CLAW volunteers, staff and sponsors.

There were so many classes and presentations by the likes of Richard Sprott, Piglet, Jax Kelly, Dave Watt, Ralph Bruneau, Scott Douglas, Sir Rob Davidson, Tyesha Best, Dale Ross, Master Taino, pup Havoc, Pup Tripp, Peter Fiske, Vi Johnson, John Krikorian, Doc Hoskins Jr., Sister Nadia Heddensmile, Jean Plamondon, Gregg Lakota, Rod ONYX and Dax Volpe.

Among the classes and presentations were IML 40 Contestant Roundup, Vac Cube and Vac Rack, Sped Dating, CLAW Rubber Social, Pup Trainer 101, Cause and effect Bondage, Scat - Beyond Brown, CLAW Virgin Party, People of Color and Leadership, 12-Step Friday Night Live, Make Your Own Silicone Sounds and Cock Rings, Asian and Asian American Experience in BDSM and Fetish, Leather Club Forum, Playing With Fire, Bondage Barber and Fisting For Dummies, Erotic Humiliation, BLUF/MAUL Met Up, Bastinado, and about 30 or so more.

Bootblack stands were on the seventh floor, lobby and fifth floor parking area set up as the Boots and Cigar Deck. The cigar area was open all weekend and always had a crowd.

Puppies had classes which informed guests about pups and handles, a few parties two rooms of puppy mosh pits.

Dr. Gayle Rubin and Jackie Thompson did an interview with Carter Johnson Libray co-founder Vi Johnson while Ralph Bruneau interviewed IML contestant coordinator Jeff Tucker.

The Chicago Hellfire Club hosted a play party The Academy, a men's BDSM play space and other parties and classes were held there throughout CLAW.

Carter Johnson Leather Library had its traveling road show on the 23rd floor. Books from the 1700s, posters from every era, A full set of The Leather Journal and art were on display. The Library opened an Extension in Florida in April, so it is growing.

Events at the Leather Stallion included bootblacks on most nights, a Call To Duty uniform party and a Hot Ass in Cleveland party.

The nearby Hampton Inn and Double Tree by Hilton filled up as additional hotels with workshops and classes also at the Hampton Inn.

47 vendors including big boys like Leather Masters, Leather Werks, Le Chateau Exotique, Leather64TEN, Mr. S Leathers and Stompers Boots were there. Peter Fiske from Palm Springs had several of his stock of 1,000 whips and Tim Brough had a wide selection of books. A few non profit organizations including Mr. Friendly and the Leather Archives and Museum were represented.

The Silent Auction raised a huge chuck of the funds during Claw, but were not available yet. Items included Leather wear - old and new, art in the form of posters, photography, toys including whips and floggers, registrations for events, books and magazines, hoods and masks, and services.

The CLAW Coffee Corps, consisting of pups, boys, Alphas, Handlers and Sirs, delivered coffee, tea, hugs and pounces and more directly to guests' hotel rooms if they were staying at the Westin or Hampton and signed up for it. Service was on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch on Sunday saw three inductees introduced by emcees Issa Arden and Rob Bienvenue, The Society of Janus, Black Leather In Color Magazine and International Mr. Leather. IML was founded in 1979 by Chuck Renslow and Dom "Etienne" Orejudos, Janus was founded in San Francisco in 1974 and Black Leather In Color ran from 1994 to 2000 with eight issues being published. The Leather Hall of Fame recognizes people and organizations who have made. significant contributions to the modern leather community over time and provides a historical and educational reference for the community. The Leather Hall of Fame represents all people in the modern Leather community (1950 - present) around the World, without regard to gender or sexual orientation.Anyone can nominate a person or organization for the Leather Hall of Fame. A full story on each honoree can be found at

The closing Kinky Kabaret was emceed by the comedy team of Larry Golubski and Lulu Belle was amazing as usual. The two were merciless toward each other and the crowd howled at every barb. The show featured about 15 solo singer, one played a guitar and the finale by Rob Anderson had almost everyone there in tears and joy at the same time. It was a version of Leather's Got Talent. On some of he CLAW T-shirts were the words, "Stay until Monday" and it was wise advice. Every year we think it cannot better, but it always does.

The Westin will be CLAW's home through at least 2022.

The dates for CLAW 19 are April 25 - 29 and one can already book their room for the at

















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