Categories

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Heart of America Leatherman 2013

Kansas City, MO. February 8-10, 2013. Missie B’s was the place to be on Saturday Feb. 9 for workshops and lunch that afternoon and the main event…. the contest for Heart of America Leatherman and Leatherboy 2013.  Two men stepped up to the plate for HOA Leatherman. Both fairly new to the Community and willing to serve and represent the Community for a year as titleholder. Judges panel: Dibble, Head Judge, pup Luckey and Daddy Don, International Puppy and Trainer, Jeremy, Tony Mayes. The ever energenic and enertaining Karen Ultra, emcee.

I managed to fly in to Kansas City via United Airlines. Must remember that if seat D is a window seat…. it’s one of those very small puddle jumper type planes where there is virtually no overhead bin space and your bag will be taken at the gate, tucked away in back of the plane and returned at the gate upon landing. Just hope it’s not raining because you’re going to be walking on the tarmack 🙂 FYI I was at Denver Airport for this flight and almost ended up in Hayden instead of Kansas City. Never assume that your boarding pass will get you onto the correct plane, listen to the destination before the plane leaves the ground…

Got to the hotel and into bed around 2am, got up at 8am to check in on line for the flight out of Kansas City, back to sleep and up just in time to get my complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Taxi to Missie B’s. Could have walked but running later than planned so I got a car ride and a view of the city between the hotel and contest venue. Another first time in a new city. I’ll have to visit when I have more than one day to visit.

Mr. SF Leather 2013

The annual Mr. San Francisco Leather contest, now produced by Ray Tilton had a few changes from past contest years. Once, again a contestant could compete as an Independent if sponsored by a local organization or place of business AND no fantasy portion as a judged catagory. The changes were more in line with previous contest years and is structured like the International Mr. Leather contest to be held in Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend. It was noted that all the Judges this year came on their own dime and were not financially compensated for travel or lodging expenses directly from the Mr. SF Leather contest budget or weekend income ie. silent auction or Beer/Bev Bust. Funds collected locally could be distributed in a greater quantity in the local Community. The annual community awards from the SF Bay Area Alliance was programed as a Brunch on Sunday as a change from last year’s Dinner on Friday evening. A very entertaining Tribute/Roast was held on Friday night after the Meet/Greet. Queen Cougar was this year’s guest of Honor. Heavy on tribute though well balanced with Empress XXX, Donna Sachet’s gift bag of items to help Queen Cougar “be more like her (Donna Sachet)” because many have tried but to little success…

 

The energy of the weekend was very good as there were 5 outstanding men from the usual Powerhouse Bar and Edge Bar, the soon to open Eagle Tavern, new organization The Legion of Sin MC and independent sponsor Daddy’s Barbar shop.

And the winner of Mr. SF Leather 2013 is……. Mr. Powerhouse Bar, Andy Cross!

SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band

The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band performance of Lord of the Rings, Symphony No. 1 by Johan de Meij was standing room only! The Ebanezar Luthern Church had the main floor filled and seating in the balcony was opened to the delight of the band. The love of performance always outweighs the need for a large audience, but it’s really really nice to have an audience outnumber the number of musicians on stage 🙂 The band numbered    and wsa under the baton of Dr. Martin Seggelke, candidate for Artistic Director.

I received personal praise for my “low note”.  For you musicians out there it was my “A below low C” which is about a 4th or 5th below the comfortable range for my peers in the horn section.  Horn player in the audience said praise for the note! This was the perfect piece for me to get my fill of bass notes so I was very pleased with our performance and will look forward to Sunday’s repeat performance. Not all our sets have multiple performances so this was a treat for me. The band usually only does one set per quarter as we need the time to practice and work a set to performace level. Two performances is a perfect way for us to have more performances but not split our rehearsal efforts in half for two programs.

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!!   www.GearUpWeekend.com

International Mr./Ms. Olympus Leather 2012

This year’s International Mr. and Ms. Olympus Leather 2012 contest was held in Los Angeles at LAX Studios during the Dom Con LA conference weekend. Contestants included 5 women and 4 men. All were very personable individuals whom I had the chance to chat with a bit before the official contest began. The Canadian pair were actually husband and wife!

I managed to reach the host hotel for Dom Con LA to find Alex Wosniski, Candadian Producer and friend I met back in my early days of ABW (as of 2003). A big THANK YOU to Cowboi Jen for my contest ticket 🙂 Much drama in purchasing my ticket prior to contest date included both contest producers and current title holder Master Tallen. Despite website and PayPal difficulties I managed to travel same day to the contest attend the event and fly back that evening.

I was particularly impressed with all the contestants and wish them well in their regional title year as well as the additional duties for the International titleholders in their extended title year. I will share my experience and hope for a better contest event in 2013.

The contest itself was plagued with medical pauses. Mistress Cyan stepped where no steps existed walking from stage level directly to floor level. Dave Rhodes managed to flatten a folding chair. Dr. Larry was in the house as Head Judge and “Doctor on site” by default. Nothing critical enough to call 911, thank goodness.

I had some wonderful conversations with contestants and participants at the event. By far those on stage out numbered those in the audience. I was sad for fact that this was an “International” contest event for which locals were not seen and regional support was slim at best.

I wish all well in their title years either regionally and/or internationally until the contest in 2013!!

“So You Want to be a Titleholder!?”

Alameda County Leather Corp Education Series presents: “So You Want to be a Titleholder!?”  The evening included Gary Kenyon, Mr. SF Eagle 2009, Vic Germany, SF Dyke Daddy 2002, Daniel Basse and pink, Northwest Master/slave 2011, Joan Norry, American Leatherwoman 2008, boy tyler Fong, American Leatherboy 2011, and Lamalani Severt, International Ms Leather 2009. Contestant applications included the titles represented plus San Francisco Leather Daddy’s boy, California LeatherSir/boy, California Community Bootblack, International LeatherSir/boy and  International Community Bootblack. Contestant requirements, contest format and titleholder requirements vary according to contest level ie. bar, local, state, region, nation or international and contest formats differ according to contest ie. inclusion of a fantasy for LeatherSir/boy, ABW, IMsL versus presentation for Master/slave and technical boot for International Community Bootblack.

Accomodations and/or sacrifices have to be made during one’s title year. This could be financial, extra cirricular, personal/relationahip. All very important to consider before competing.

It never hurts to actually attend the event you think you may compete at and get to know the Producer(s), production staff, past and  present titleholders. Everyone and everyone’s year will be different but nothing beats actual experiences versus stories from friends who heard it from a friend who heard it from another friend. If possible, find out what the titleholder’s responsibilities are for the title year. This may be travel outside the USA, fund raising for a particular charity/organization, producing event(s), public speaking, education or attendance at meetings and other events.

There are so many titles out there that one or more may be a very good fit. Some are obviously not a good fit ie. a Master running for a slave title. It is true that titles are “work”, but most will say there were some very fun times to be had as well.

Bottom line, the more you know the more likely you will get the title. It may take several tries and maybe even several different titles. I ran for San Francisco Leather Daddy’s boy twice and didn’t even get 1st runner up. At International LeatherSir/boy I was middle of the road among the contestants. All the contests I competed in gave me experience and perspective as a contestant. Audience attendance at contests also gave me great perspective similar to the Judges. I took over 10 years to feel my way into and through the title circuits but I believe it made me a better contestant for the title of American Leatherboy.

This was a great workshop and will likely be presented again in the same or similar format across the US and beyond. If you really have the interest keep your eyes open for a workshop near you. Never hesitate to strike up a c0nversation with past and/or present titleholders. Even if you never intend on competing, talk to titleholders because they are a piece of history in the greater BDSM/ Kink/Fetish Community.

Mid-Atlantic Leather 2013

The annual Mid-Atlantic Leather contest and weekend was held at the Hyatt Regency in Washington DC, January 11-13. This was one weekend earlier as the Presidential Inauguration will be populating the city over Martin Luther King Weekend.

I shared a room this year at the host hotel and enjoyed the convenience of poping in and out of my room with as much or as little clothing. Temperatures were signigicantly warmer than 2012 but not warm by any means.

Lots of great men in attendance and a small contingent of women as well. This weekend is not as big as IML which seems to put a more intimate feel over the weekend. It’s more about real men in real gear with little to no attitude about the diversity of gear displays. So in addition to Leather you would see rubber, neoprene, sports gear, uniforms and even some furries!

I served as Judges’ boy this year for a second time as there wasn’t a “new American Leatherboy”, but looks like future American Leatherboys will be asked to serve as Judges’ boy. This is how Leather connects us as family. We celebrate across the USA at various times of the year which, for me makes life wonderful all year long. I get connect with Leather family and take in the local offerings.

I made one trip to the Postal Museum on the day of my departure. Always good to get in some time away from the conference itinerary. Cool history of the postal service, mail delivery methods come and gone to present and I even found a dog story! Owney was found and adopted by a postal carrier after a mail bag fell from to the ground, Owney jumped and stayed with bag and the carrier returned to retrieve the bag later that day. Owney became famous and collected “tags” from all over the country.

 

Northwest Leather Celebration – 5th Anniversary

Northwest Leather Celebration is the regional contest weekend for Northwest Master and Northwest slavew. 3 couples competed this year and I served as Judges’ boy along side of girl angel, Judges’ girl. Two couples had Dominant male and submissive female and one couple was gay male.

Note that Master/slave couples are open in regards to gender and sexual orientation as well as monogomy, that is a poly type arrangement could include multiple Masters and/or slaves with one or more Masters and/or slaves. I don’t claim to understand it all but am still learning. Traditional restrictions regarding relationships is exactly that…. restricting for some so other arrangements are negociated and played out on a case by case basis.

I was particularly interested in the gay couple because I know them both. Master Morris Taylor was the first male Dom who topped me in a BDSM scene in 2001. I’ve been involved in the Leather title circuit for manh ears and was pleased to see Master Morris step up to the plate to represent. He is a concert pianist and will engage in play only if it is “FUN”. Note that he is over 80 years old so knows a thing or two about gay men, Leather and BDSM from a time significantly before I even existed!

One note of contrast for the Master/slave contests is that in lieu of a Fantasy, the couples make an abbreviated Educational Presentation. The purpose/function of the titleholders is to educate within the M/s, D/s, Leather and mainstream population. I am completely on board with the philosophy of the NWLC Producers in that the titleholders must be good teachers. If no couple meets minmal standards to fulfill a title year with productive education then the region will go a year without current title holders. This essentially means that even if only one couple competes it is NOT an automatic “win”.

One demographic note: mostly pan sexual only some gay present. All genders and orientations are welcome and encouraged to attend.

 

 

Golden Dildeaux Awards

The Golden Gate Guards hold their annual event called the Golden Dildeaux Awards to raise money for the AIDS Emergency Fund. Nominations are requested for various catagories and then the voting takes place and is available on line. Each vote now requires a donation of $1 to cast the vote. There is no limit as to how many votes per voter or per catagory.

This year I was nominated for two catagories: “Junk in the Trunk” aka the ass that just won’t quit and “The Red Tail” aka gets spanked and shanked.

Nominees were announced on stage and the winners took home their very own “golden dildeaux” fashioned by the same artist of many years past. Lots of fun voting before the evening’s announcement as well as that night at the Powerhouse Bar, SF. The stage was set center near the office door versus to the side as I’ve seen it forever. New stage position allowed for participants to gather around three sides of the stage versus two so I think it was a good change.

Golden Dildeaux recipients for 2012 are posted on www.ggguards.org

So the winner is…… boy tyler for “Junk in the Trunk”!! If there’s a pic it’s because I figured out how to include it in this post. If not, I’m working on it and will make it happen in the future.

IMsL / IMsBB 2012

International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack is the international women’s Leather event held in San Francisco. Women from all over the country and beyond are in attendance. This year saw attendees from Australia and Canada in addition to the usual USA.

I was granted VIP seating as current American Leatherboy so I was only a few rows away from the stage! The ballroom was totally packed with hundreds in the audience. All the IMsL contestants were at the top of their game and represented very well. Really, any one of them could have taken the title that night. Speeches all well prepared and the messages were clear. Fantasies were over the top, too. Ms. Texas had one of her extras on stage literally folded in half and come out from a suitcase! I heard after the contest that the back rows of the hall thought it was just a doll prop not an actual live human being.

I wasn’t able to take in too many of the workshops, but I did manage to do two volunteer shifts as security and play one of three hosts to the ABW Hospitality Suite as well as a photo shoot with Mark I Chester.

I consider this the event where I can best help the Women’s Leather Community and provide service as a volunteer. I know many women from all over attend and I’m certain they would prefer to enjoy all there is to offer over the weekend rather than be stuck covering a volunteer shift.

I hope you will consider volunteering in your local community, whether at a Leather event as I have done or if it’s a more traditional event like a walk-a-thon. Volunteers and service opportunities are numerous and can be found near and far, small and large, once a year and several times during the year.