Approximately 500 Leatherfolk attended the Southwest Leather Conference which celebrated its 15th Anniversary at the Four Points Sheraton in Phoenix, AZ the weekend of January 19-22 with the highlights being the Southwest Master slave Contest and the Dance of Souls. The weekend was high on spirituality, branded "the woo" by regulars.
This speech was delivered on January 26, 2014 as the Sunday brunch keynote address at the Southwest Leather Conference held in Phoenix, AZ.
Let's Focus On What's Important
Good afternoon. For those of you I have not yet encountered in person this weekend, let me offer my rather late welcome to this conference. I hope you've been having a great time. I certainly have.
I would like to thank all of the organizers and volunteers at this conference with a special thanks to Joseph for asking me to be here this year. And thanks to everyone in attendance, all of you, for taking the time out of your weekend to listen to what I have to say. I truly do appreciate it. Thank you.
For those who might wonder, I believe brevity is a virtue. So I promise I will not make you sit attentively for too long. [pause]
As some background on this speech, I want you to know that as I was writing the first version of this speech, I suddenly realized that I had something else to say and I scrapped that speech. Almost in its entirety. There are snippets of the original speech left intact. But what you're about to hear is an amalgam of a bit of what I had wanted to say and, mostly, what I realized I truly needed to say here today. I mention this because I want you to realize how important I think this message is. [pause]
During the inaugural Leather in the Desert weekend, held March 1-4 in Phoenix, AZ, George Saltzman won Southwest Leather Sir 2012, boy Bamm-Bamm became Southwest Leatherboy 2012, and Master Onyxe became Arizona Ms Leather 2012. Mark Christensen was Southwest Leather Sir 2012 runner-up.
The judging panel included head judge Alan Penrod, Pup Nitro, Luna, robert torrance, Joe Brumley, Justice Prevails, Kyle McDonel and slave alena girl. Keith Davi and Brian Glanville of Bear Nation were tally masters. Pup Mohawk was the judges’ boy, Alan Keeler was den boy and Steve Marino and Drew Sauer were stage managers.
The weekend started with Boots and Burgers at Apollo’s Lounge on Thursday followed by greet the meat kink auction and demos on Friday at Anvil bar. Kink items auctioned were 25 minutes worshiping Sir Alan, an electro session with Pup Nitro, and a hot bondage bootblacking from Luna.
Saturday, a formal Leather dinner attended by 56 Leatherfolk at Friends was followed by the contests at the packed Bunkhouse Saloon where the newly-formed Albuquerque boys of Leather publicly presented their colors for the first time.
Emcees Stephen Palaschak and Shawn Shaw started the contests by introducing the Phoenix boys of Leather Color Guard for the National Anthems followed by a blessing from the Sister Navi Ho of the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
When the dust settled in the large ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona settled, Sir Valentino and panda were announced as Southwest Master and slave 2014 and Angel as Southwest Bootblack 2014 on Saturday night, January 25 during the Southwest Leather Conference.
There were three contestant teams in the Master/slave competition with no runner-ups named and Angel was the lone Bootblack aspirant. She met or exceeded the 70 percent minimum needed to win;
The Southwest Leather Conference featured about 45 workshops, two nights of play parties, social parties, a well-supplied hospitality suite, three meals, Race Bannon as the Sunday brunch keynote speaker, numerous community service awards, 15 vendors and a Dance of Souls. A full story on the Southwest Leather Conference will appear in Regional News soon.
The Mr. Phoenix Leather Contest was held on January 4 at Anvil Bar in Phoenix, Arizona. Four men competed for the title with Robert Schenberg being named Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014, and Mark Christiansen being named runner-up. Cody Millinger and Dorian Flores also competed. The winner of Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014 will advance to compete for International Mr. Leather this May in Chicago, Illinois.
The judges were Mr. Phoenix Leather 2013 Michael Parra, International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, International Leather Sir 2013 George Saltzman, International Drummer boy 2000 Richie Black, Southwest Leather boy 2010 Jerry Heitman, Southwest Leather boy 2008 Stephen Palaschek, and Master Lady LJ.
Mr. Phoenix Leather 2009 Bob Weber and Shawn Kyle White served as the Masters of Ceremonies.
Contestants were judged on their On-Stage presence at Friday’s Meet and Greet, Interviews, Speech and Formal Wear, Skin-wear and On-Stage Question, and Overall Weekend Attitude and Interactions.
"And The Kinkiest City In The United States Is…"
On Sunday, August 11 The Gloss published an article by Amanda Chatel stating that Phoenix, Arizona is the kinkiest city in the United States. She presented a Top 10 cities that are the kinkiest in her opinion. San Francisco and Los Angeles made the list, but some other huge cities are conspicuously missing. One is the hub of the Midwest and Great Lakes and the other is on the Eastern Seaboard and will not be amused to see that they are not there.
"Guess.Seriously. I want you to guess. Rack your brain, think of the kinkiest people you know and where they reside. New York City? los angeles? Some Podunk town in Kansas somewhere? Where, oh where, could they be?They’re in Phoenix, Arizona, you guys."
September 27 – 29, 2013 will see exciting happenings at Arizona Power Exchange (APEX), Phoenix, Arizona. Not only will APEX be celebrating 25 years of providing educational and social activities to the Arizona BDSM/Leather community, they will be hosting the Inaugural Arizona Master/slave 2013 Contest. This contest celebrates the Master-slave relationship and will provide contestants to the regional contest held every January during Southwest Leather Conference. When asked why states were starting to have local feeder contests, Joseph Brumley (Producer of SWLC) states,
“State level contests help promote the Master/slave lifestyle at a more local level than the regional SW M/s contest. The SW region is currently composed of 8 states and Southern California and it’s always possible for people to attend SWLC each year. Having local contests gives people an opportunity to run and support their local communities, educating others about Master/slave relationships and provides an opportunity for the local communities to see the M/s lifestyle in action.”
Colorado and Southern California are two areas that offer a local Master-slave contest, and others will be following suit in the next few years.
The titleholders will be expected to travel around the state teaching and sharing the Master-slave lifestyle. This title is not about a particular look, but more about communicating what it is to live the Master-slave lifestyle. In order to be eligible for this contest, at least one of the pair must live in the state of Arizona, both must be over the age of 21, and they must have been in their Master-slave dynamic for a minimum of one year.
It is very appropriate for this new contest to make its’ debut at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of APEX, as the first SW Master-slave titleholders were the APEX Founders – Master Bert and slave Nadine back in 2003. The winner of the SW Master-slave contest will go on to compete at International Master-slave Contest held each March at South Plains Leather Fest.
The judges for the Arizona Master-slave 2013 Contest are Steve Loki – Mr. Phoenix Leather 2012, Team Friendly Arizona Project Founder – Phoenix, AZ: Loki is Mr. Phoenix Leather, and competed at IML 2012 and an active member of the Phoenix Boys of Leather currently serving as Secretary.
Slave Meta - Slave Meta is an advocate for education and has given back to the community by volunteering to present on topics ranging from Master/slave relationship to skills classes. These well received classes have been taught nationwide, including the Bay Area, CA, Portland, Chicago, Cleveland and New Orleans. She has been a volunteer team lead for the Southwest Leather Conference in Phoenix, AZ and Sin in the City in Las Vegas.
Jefferson James - Master Jefferson is the founder and President of Baja Arizona Leather, producers of Behind Closed Doors. In 2010 he was proud to receive the Southwest Leather Conference’s Spirit of Service Award. He has been the proud Master of Lois since April 1, 2011. At Southwest Leather 2013, Master Jefferson was presented with his Master’s cover by Master Skip.
For more information regarding the weekend festivities, go to http://arizonamasterslave.com/
Are you looking for a way to have a great time on a Friday night and support your SW Leather Sir/boy and SW Community Bootblack? Then head down to Pat O’s Bunkhouse Saloon on Friday, August 16. Festivities begin at 9 PM and continue through the evening. Southwest Leather Sir, Sir George Salyzman, Leather boy Michael Kurt, and Southwest Community Bootblack Kyle McDonel will be present raising funds for the travel fund of the Southwest Title Family.
Sir George, boy Michael and Kyle will be heading to Dallas, TX Labor Day weekend to compete at International LeatherSIR/Leatherboy/International Community Bootblack. The funds raised through the performances by the Imperial Court of Arizona and ALBAC will provide assistance with travel for the SW titleholders.
There is no cover charge, and no formal agenda. According to Sir George, it is a chance for everyone to have an overall fun time before the titleholders have to get themselves together for International Competition.
Pat O’s Bunkhouse is located at 4428 North 7th Street, Phoenix AZ. So bring your cash and help send Sir George, boy Michael and Kyle off to Dallas in style.