GearUp Weekend 2013

GearUp Weekend held it’s third run this July 11-14, 2013 at Saratoga Springs, California. The weekend focus was on BDSM for younger gay men and encourged men of all ages (21+) and all skill levels with interests in S/M, kink and fetish to gather for a weekend of skill sharing, conversation, a few workshops and fun under the sun poolside (hot tub was open, too). The event was created from men based in San Francisco and the greater SF Bay Area. It served as an extension of the SF based Leathermen’s Discussion Group (LDG). LDG is a monthly educational gathering covering topics about BDSM, kink and fetish. One or several presenters cover basic techniques, safety in play as well as topics of a more political nature like Leather in America versus Europe, transmen in all male spaces, etc.

Though it was a weekend of  “opportunities for play”, that was not my main focus. I enjoy the social aspect and more one on one, face to face talk time. This weekend gave me the chance to catch up with familiar friends and meet new ones. Networking can be very difficult. I’ve been around for over 10 years now and have made many connections with folk around the country and beyond. I am familiar with vendors/businesses who serve our Community directly as well as events and organizations who bring folks together for varied common interests. My Southern CA experiences and connections may now benefit a new friend from the weekend and my local awareness may help a local SF newbie to BDSM get his feet wet just outside his door.

I seem to step into events with the frame of mind that I’m here to say “Hello”, get to know me, then I may or may not disclose my trans status. This event happened to be openly trans-friendly but sometimes I just don’t want that to be the first piece of information a new friend gets. BTW it did come up at the last dinner time meal and the guys didn’t bat an eye. I took it as a moot point for them…. conversation continued 🙂

I very much enjoyed the weekend, would recommend it to any of my gay male friends to attend, any age, any level and any kink/fetish or just questioning. Great fun under the sun!!

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