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
On December 10 the Leather Hall of Fame announced the inductees for 2015.
They are Felix Jones, Pat Bond and Terry Kolb, and Jeanne Barney.
The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch will be held during CLAW 15 at the Holiday Inn Cleveland South in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday, April 26 at noon.
Felix Jones (1915--2003)
Felix Jones was a pioneer in the Leather and bike club scene in the United Kingdom and Europe. Felix founded the 69 Club aka SNC London in 1965; it was the earliest gay motorcycle/Leather club in Europe. In 1969, Felix Jones and Alan Selby co-founded the Rubber Man’s Club (RMC).
The Leather Hall of Fame announced the names of its 2017 inductees: Durk Dehner, Peter Fiske, and MSC Hamburg who will be honored at a brunchduring CLAW (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) on Sunday, April 30 at the Westin Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland, OH.
The Leather Hall of Fame was established to honor and preserve the legacy of the extraordinary men and women who have significantly shaped the history of the Leather/BDSM communities worldwide since 1950.
Durk Dehner (b. May 23, 1949)
Durk Dehner provided much of the institutional and organizational structure that made the art of Tom of Finland (2009 inductee) widely known in the United States and around the world. Originally from Canada, by the 1970’s Dehner was a hustler and worked as a model for Bruce Weber and others in New York. He wrote a fan letter to Tom after seeing one of his drawings at the bar, and they became pen pals and eventually business partners and artist and muse. They created the Tom of Finland Company in 1978 and the Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) in 1984. For more than 30 years, Dehner and the ToFF have been the curator owners of TOM House in Los Angeles, where he and Tom lived during the last and most prolific years of the artist’s life. For more than 30 years the ToFF has preserved Tom’s work and been a key institution in preserving and fostering masculine gay sexual art.
Peter Fiske (b. 1946)
Whip and whipping expert Peter Fiske has been a mentor to two generations of Leatherfolk.
Originally from New York City, Peter Fiske has been a Leatherman for more than 50 years.
He is a Stonewall veteran and a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association. He moved to San Francisco in 1966 and was a member of the Koalas MC San Francisco from 1966 to 1969. Peter is a founding member and Chairman Emeritus of The 15 Association San Francisco and of Delta International (Chairman and Coordinator 2009/2010), and a long time member of GMSMA, SNC London and the Chicago Hellfire Club. Peter was presented the Caligula Award at Inferno XXV in 1996. Also known as "Daddy Peter,” he is a well-known educator and has presented at hundreds of events and clubs across the country. Peter was San Francisco Leather Daddy XXI in 2003. His community service includes Board Member (1999-2003) and President (2000) of the AIDS Emergency Fund and cofounder of the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Peter was a SF Pride Board member from 2002 to 2004 and was awarded the Heritage of Pride Award in 2005 for long term service of over 15 years to the SF LGBT community. He has long been a strong advocate for acceptance and inclusion of transgender men and women in the Leather and SM community. Now retired in Palm Springs, Fiske is still an activist and educator.
MSC Hamburg e. V. (Founded 1974)
The MSC Hamburg was officially founded in 1974 after the first official Hamburg Leather meeting the year before. After this big success with around 300 visiting Leathermen from various European countries, the MSC decided to host the second Leather meeting in August 1974 where they showed a fist fuck movie at the event: the first time such a movie had been shown to the German public. This began the club’s influence on European Leather. The annual MSC Hamburg Leather meeting became the number one Leather event in Europe — including wild parties on the famous MS Cap San Diego ship. The MSC party posters created by Martin S. Cool (aka Günter Henzler) are legendary. Along with producing the annual Leather meeting, the club and its members are active in Hamburg LGBT organizations, and produce the Mr. Hamburg contest.
The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch will be held during CLAW 17. Complementary and reduced price tickets are available. Find out more, and order your tickets now at http://www.clawinfo.org
LHoF nominations can be made by anyone. A board of community scholars, organizers and leaders select three inductees each year. To learn about the Leather Hall of Fame’s previous inductees, or to make a nomination, please visit http://www.leatherhalloffame.com
CLAW is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and has donated over $700,000 to community charities.