By Thornton J. Young
The team behind the Fourth Annual Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend (ACLFW), led by Sir Steven Parker, has been working hard at planning and coordinating all the moving parts for the event being held February 5-7 at Fitzgerald's Bar and Live Music in San Antonio, TX.
“I really want to make this year something everyone can enjoy, regardless of their kink," Parker said in his home just north of San Antonio proper. “My goal since the very beginning has been about developing three key
things within the local community: to create an event that provides inclusion, acceptance, and exposure to all sorts of kinks and fetishes."
After winning Mr. 3rd Coast Leather in 2012, Sir Steven wanted to bring the Leather community to San Antonio in a way that it hadn’t been before. When he started the event, he felt there wasn’t really a place that welcomed
all groups, and in 2013 during the first ACLFW he was pleasantly surprised to see people come out of the woodwork and participate.
That first year had humble beginnings, with an emphasis on education in different areas of kink, and small but excited turnout. The buzz around the event proved that there was a need for a place where people could learn, but Sir Steven didn’t stop there. The following year he added the Mr. Alamo City Leather contest, now entering its 3rd year. An addition to the event that premieres this year is the Alamo City Bootblack title.
“I wanted to be able to provide bootblacks an outlet to compete locally, and a way to hone their skills. Also, it is a way for them to display their passion for the art of bootblacking. It is all about raising awareness and status within the subculture locally."
That doesn’t mean that people don’t come from all around the country. The evidence is in the swelling number of attendees. Last year, ACLFW reported the largest number in attendance yet, and they are preparing for even more people to come through this year.
While aspects of the weekend have been changed and improved, one thing has remained constant – the desire for education to be a large purpose of the event.
“Friday night is all about having fun and being sexy, letting your kink show in a place where there is no judgment, and where someone might see something and say ‘hey, that looks kind of interesting.’ Saturday provides people with the chance to learn more about kinks and fetishes they might not know about, and also expand their knowledge about the things they are into."
Classes include things like electroplay, mummification, flogging, submission, and other areas that many find interesting. They are set up so that those who are new to kink and Leather can learn the basics, and those who are more advanced can learn something from a different class. Offering the option as to which class to watch has always been important, so multiple classes are happening at the same time, giving everyone a chance to take away something new.
Through education, ACLFW hopes to bring all the communities together, including the communities that might normally separate themselves across the lines of sexual preference. The event is open to all sexual identities; be it straight, gay, pansexual, transgender, or any other self-identification.
“A large part of the weekend is about networking. Getting out and meeting people in your community, as well as those you might not normally socialize with. This is a way to build healthy relationships between people. Not behind a computer screen, or an app, but rather face-to-face. I think that is really important in the steps to understanding and accepting each other."
This mission will be carried on by the creation of a 501(c)(3), the Alamo City Leather and Fetish Workshop. The purpose of the group will be to continue education throughout the year, provide a group for safe and accepting play parties, and to strengthen the sense of unity between the kink communities within San Antonio.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to two benefactors:; Project HOT and the Leather Heart Foundation. Project HOT is an HIV awareness organization in Alamo City that is also working on bringing a PrEP clinic to San Antonio. The Leather Heart Foundation is an organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to individuals of all sexual orientations within the Leather, BDSM, M/s and fetish communities.
“Really, it’s about getting everyone together, celebrating our kinks, having a blast, and doing some good while doing it."
For tickets and more information, including host hotel and event location, or to apply for Mr. Alamo City Leather or Alamo City Bootblack visit http://www.aclfw.org
By Rob Silver
Rick Boehle, from Los Angeles, California won the title of Mr. CMEN Leather 2015 at CMEN's West Coast Gathering in Malibu on September 10. Randy Dieter, from Polk City, Florida, was the runner-up. The 2015 Gathering marked the organization's 20th Anniversary.
Rick has actively volunteered as part of West Coast Gathering leadership for the last decade. He is looking forward to representing CMEN at local Leather community events and plans to compete in the International Mr. Leather contest in May 2016.
The judging panel was composed of all former Mr. CMEN Leather winners including Head Judge Mr. CMEN Leather 2004 Mark Lager, Mr. CMEN Leather 2009 Danny Brookshire, Mr. CMEN Leather 2013 Gordon Kirk, Mr. CMEN Leather 2013.
Mr. CMEN Leather 2003 Rob Silver served as emcee.
California Men Enjoying Naturism (CMEN) is an international social organization for gay and bisexual men who enjoy naturism.
CMEN's West Coast Gathering is the largest naturist event for gay and bisexual men on the West Coast. This 10-day event takes place in the Malibu hills each September and features outdoor recreation, social activities, seminars, workshops and evening entertainment. Activities allow men to have fun together, share their interests and develop new friendships. First held in October 1999, the West Coast Gathering has grown to draw 400 to 450 male naturists each year from throughout North America, the Pacific Islands, and Europe.
CMEN also hosts smaller naturist gatherings in Northern California and Tennessee, and other naturist recreation and social events in the greater los angeles area throughout the year.
For more information visit http://www.CMEN.info
The Leathermen's Discussion Group of San Francisco, CA (LDG) has been an educational and social hub of the San Francisco Leather Community since 1996. Attend one of the Leathermen's Discussion Group programs or events and find friendly, smart, hot men who experience dominance and submission in pup play, Leather, rubber, kink, BDSM, gear, Master/slave protocols, bondage, and more... and they can help one figure that out.
The LDG Mentor Program helps pair up newer, curious, men seeking experiences with men who have been there and can help. This program isn't dating, hooking up with, playing with, or fucking the person you're paired with: It's about networking with the community and learning from others how to examine one's desires and experiences so they can. Example: One wants to experience flogging. Their mentor won't flog them, but he can help one learn how to find, approach, and negotiate a hot scene with an experienced flogging top in the community.
The Leathermen's Discussion Group is now accepting applications from men who are interested being either a mentor or being mentored. The pplication deadline is January 13.
For more information about the program, and to contact organizer Dr. Richard Sprott, see the Leathermen's Discussion Group web site at http://www.sfldg.org/mentoring
Leathermen's Discussion Group usually meet monthly from 7:30 - 9:30 PM on the fourth Wednesday at the Mr. S Studio (the space above the store, generously donated by Mr. S).
By Joe Barlow
Eric Alden of Boston, MA walked away with the Mr. New England Leather title in Provincetown, MA on Saturday night, November 21, thus becoming the third man to hold this title.
First runner-up was Jonathan of Boston and second runner-up was Sir Rick of Provincetown. Six men competed.
The Mr. New England Leather judging panel consisted of Mr. New England Leather 2015 Dalton Flint, Jon Krongaard, Sister Rosetta Stone, Harry Harkins, George Peet and Hector Aponte.
Encompassing the weekend of November 20-22, Weekend featured a fireside chat with International Mr. Leather founder Chuck Renslow, a New England-focused exhibit by the Leather Archives & Museum, several social, dinner and bar events and of course the Mr. New England Leather 2016 competition.
Eric will compete at International Mr. Leather in Chicago in May.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were on hand and were instrumental in helping to raise $1,200 for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod throughout the weekend.
Joe Barlow, co-owner of Full Kit Gear, produced the Mr. New England Leather Weekend.
Photos and a full list of sponsors are available at http://www.MrNewEnglandLeather.com
Photos by Jim Maciel