Thursday, December 1, 2011

Contest Speech

Here is the rough text of my contest speech.  I don’t have a recording or notes, so I’ve rewritten it from memory:

(enter stage with an iPhone in hand)

You know, these things have really allowed us to re-invent cruising.

It used to be that we would go to the bar, hang out in a dark corner, and peer at guys across the room, hoping one of them would want to talk to us.  Then came the Internet, and we could stay at home in our pajamas and peer at pictures of guys online, hoping one of them would want to talk to us.  Now, though, we can go back to the bar, hang out in a dark corner, and peer peer at pictures of guys online…

Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Still, for all the advances these things have given us, sometimes we run into problems.  A few months ago, Grindr deleted my profile text for being too naughty or something.  So I’ve done an end-run on them and now I list my hanky colors in my profile instead.

Flagging a hanky has always been an invitation to conversation, and I get more responses than I expected:
  • “Does anyone still use the hanky code” — well, obviously I do!
  • “What do all those colors mean?” — I send them to Google to learn more
  • “I know red and gray, but what is peach?  Or mustard?” — these are the guys I can educate a little
  • And then I get “I flag red, too!  Mine’s on the left.” — and well, you know how things go from there
In other words, sometimes the oldest, tried-and-true cruising methods are still ones which can work just fine today.

Photo © 2011 Malixe Photo, used by permission.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dream Journal: November 25, 2011

I actually had a dream this weekend regarding the International LeatherSIR contest:
I dreamt that the contestants, their producers, and the contest staff were gathered together to draw numbers for contestant placement — who would go first, second, etc.  Weird thing #1: we were on the patio at the Cuff (in Seattle), not in San Francisco.
The regional producers drew the numbers rather than the contestants.  Weird thing #2: drawing for the Northwest Region were Mike Daggs and Jeff Henness (neither of who have been involved with LeatherSIR, other than when Mike’s other half Kelley was Community Bootblack). 
Mike drew #1, and Jeff drew #25, which in the dream was the last placement, despite there being 16 regions and thus there would be 32 numbers drawn.  (And that leaves out the Community Bootblacks completely.) 
I chose to take #25, leaving #1 for Northwest Leatherboy Danny, saying “No way in Hell do I want to go first!”
There is statistical truth to my dream preference.  When there is a large field of contestants, there is a judging bias that favors those who compete later in the order — this can be seen in competitions ranging from International Mr. Leather to Olympic figure skating.  (Taking IML as an example, they winnow 50+ contestants down to the Top 20 for the final portion of the contest.  The first half of the contestants are typically about a quarter of the final 20.)  Part of this is that no matter how good an early contestant is, the judges feel restrained from giving too high of marks, because they have to leave open the possibility that later contestants will be even better.  Another factor is just weariness: there is a tendency to relax the tightness of scoring as each contestant blurs into the next.

I don’t have any data about whether the scoring bias continues in an upward trend (does being last or near last in a long field give even more of a boost?) or if there’s a bell curve trend (do those in the middle half of the group get the benefit, with those near the end losing out like those near the beginning do?).

Photos from the Contest

I’m finally able to post some pics from the contest.  These photos are © 2011 Malixe Photo, used by permission.  (Thanks, Charlie, and thanks for taking great pics!)  Separate posts will have pics from the Speech and Fantasy portions of the contest.

Friday Meet & Greet

The vest is a custom one from X-Rated Leather in Copenhagen, which I won as 1st Runner-Up for Mr. Outgames Leather in 2009.

Introduction of Contestants

I opted for a very informal look for this, since it was both a non-judged segment and I had to change immediately for the Fantasy portion.


Asked on stage about my ass tats, I said they are based on the superhero Lightning Lad.  All my tats come from the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Jockstrap (rearview)

You may notice a design similarity between the ass tats and the Outgames vest.  The vest has the lightning motif repeated large on the back.

Final Winners

Ruin, Danny, and myself.  The color combination —
red, white, and blue — was completely coincidental.

Updated on February 24, 2015:

Pussied-out the naughty bits on a pic to try and keep Google from blocking the blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This Thursday, Thanksgiving evening, is the latest rendition of the “Spanksgiving” fundraiser.

Started in 2004 by Northwest LeatherSIR 2005 Michael Congdon (who later won the International title), the event was later brought back by Northwest LeatherSIR 2010 Hugh (who also later won International) and continued by Northwest LeatherSIR 2011 Darian.  Although the Northwest LeatherSIR, Leatherboy, and Community Bootblack titles are no longer sponsored by Generic Leather Productions of Washington, Northwest Leatherboy Danny and I volunteered to continue the tradition this year.

Spanksgiving will run from 9 pm to midnight at the Cuff Complex (1533 13th Ave. in Seattle).  Ryan and Danelle will be there to mete out spankings and flogging — pay for eating too much turkey, boy!

In addition to buying swats for yourself, you can buy them for your friends as well.  What’s that?  Your so-called friends bought you a spanking and you don’t want to submit?  Tell you what: donate an equal amount and we’ll let you off the hook.  (evil grin)

We will also be offering tickets for a prize raffle, with a number of great items available, including a women’s leather jacket, a paddle, cards featuring kinky gingerbread men, and even a fabulous pie (donated by Northwest LeatherMOM, my own mother).  Yes, it’s true: on Thanksgiving, you can’t get away from food!

Proceeds from Spanksgiving will go to support the 2013 Leather Leadership Conference, which will be held in Seattle.

Updated on December 1, 2011:
Spanksgiving 2011 raised roughly $450 for the 2013 Leather Leadership Conference.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HARD 3 (Vancouver, BC) • November 4–5, 2011

Vancouver Men in Leather had their third “HARD” party in early November.  According to guys from Vancouver, the event is half dance party and half dungeon, held at Five Sixty (560 Seymour).  I have not been able to attend the previous two because they were on Sundays, which would mean taking Monday off from work.  (For the Canadians, they were on the Sundays of three-day weekends, so not an issue for them.)

Cliff and I were in Vancouver for New Year’s Eve and had been at Five Sixty then.  That night, it was packed to the gills, including a 45 minute wait at coast check.  (And the line just got longer as midnight approached.)  Yeah: got there at 10:30, had time for one drink before midnight (with a 20+ minute wait in that line).  And then there would be the same wait to pick a coat up later.  But since this wasn’t a mixed event and wasn’t on a Saturday or a holiday, we knew that wouldn’t be the case.

Five Sixty has three levels.  The main level is a large dance floor and a stage.  Upstairs from that is a lounge area overlooking the dance floor.  Downstairs is a long, narrow space with a partition down the middle — bathrooms on one side, bar and lounge alcoves on the other, plus coat check at the far end.  For HARD, the lounge alcoves became the dungeon space, with a fuck bench and dark corner in one, a sling in the second, and a couple crosses in the third.

We got a room at the Ramada less than two blocks away (good deal at $70, too), which was convenient.  One of the members of Seattle Men in Leather had won free passes but couldn’t attend, so we got to take a couple of the tickets.  (Thanks, Paka!)  The event was scheduled to start at 8:00, but I had been told no one shows up until 10:00, so we planned to leave the hotel after 9:30.

Until Cliff decided to go on Wednesday, I had been planning to ride all the way.  The weather promised to be dry, buy pretty cold.  It would be my last long distance ride chance of the year, to be sure.  Since he was going, though, I just rode to his place in Stanwood (about an hour’s ride north of Seattle; an hour and a half when you’re talking 4 pm Friday traffic, of course).  As expected, cold ride, but standable.  (If I had ridden all the way myself, I would have stopped in Mt. Vernon anyway to warm up.)  We took his truck the rest of the way, an uneventful ride.

It turned out that our preconceptions of the event were a bit off.  As described above, there were only 3 or 4 play spaces — which would be enough, of course, if anyone actually played.  Neither of us have gone to enough “leather dance parties”, or we could have predicted that the attendance — which had a leather/fetish dress code, allegedly no street clothes allowed, although I didn’t see any enforcement of that, but neither did I see flagrant violations — would be primarily hunky muscleboys in the one harness they own (yes, I know I’m looking down my nose at the type), plus a decent dose of the regular PumpJack/VML leather crowd.  (Several of our Vancouver friends attended — Mitch and Brian, Darryl and Josh, Jacques, Ian — although several did not.)

In the end, the playspaces were pretty underutilized.  in the 10:00-11:00 hour, there was some bondage and violet wand use, and one assplay session later (the bottom was inexperienced, so not full-on fisting), but most of the play beyond that was nipples and dick sucking.  In retrospect, that’s perhaps not surprising.  Combine Friday night (when guys often aren’t horned up yet), plus a crowd leaning toward S&M (stand-and-model), and the eternal case of “What will it do to my reputation to have sex play where my buddies might see?” — hon, it will create your reputation, if you do it right! — and it’s no surprise that most play is furtive cocksucking.

We didn&rasuo;t realize that there was an after-party scheduled for Steamworks, or we might have gone.  Heck, almost certainly would have bugged out of HARD around midnight and gone to get some harder play in.

As Northwest LeatherSIR, British Columbia is no longer in my “region” (it is part of the Western Canada region), so although I wore my title vest, I wasn’t there in any official capacity.  I likely would have gone up even without the title, but that certainly gave the added incentive.  I’m not sure how many guys saw the vest or identified the title, though, since no one commented on it.  Vancouver has struggled to have any leather title consistency for the past decade and more, so I’m not sure how much cognizance most of the locals (stand-and-model or otherwise) have of leather titles, whether it was just a fancy patch to them.

Still, I’ll keep my eye out for HARD 4.  The difference between Friday and Sunday might change the makeup of things, and might change the desire to play (last chance for the weekend, you know).  Warmer weather in the spring and summer might make it better, too.  (As would me knowing what to expect, of course.)

Added poster on November 22, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Foodplay Workshop

One of the requirements for my title year is to teach a BDSM workshop.  (Actually, I think the contract just said “a workshop”, but I guess teaching dance lessons [in a non-leather context] wouldn’t really qualify.)

On Friday, November 11 (tonight!), I will be presenting the Seattle Men in Leather Tribal Instinct session, entitled:
“A Loaf of Bread, A Bug of Wine, A Klondike Bar… and Thou”
A Foodplay Workshop

This will take place at the Center for Sex Positive Culture (in the Annex), and it is a men-only event.  (Sorry, ladies, that’s how Tribal Instinct is designed.  The workshop content isn’t necessarily men only, and most of it would be appropriate to all genders.  If it goes well, I would be happy to present it again for a mixed crowd.)

For those of you who cannot be there, you can access a slideshow of my notes here:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

LURE (Portland, OR) • October 22–23, 2011

On Tuesday, I realized that I didn’t have anything scheduled for this weekend other than the Northwest Bears Brunch on Sunday, but this was the 4th Saturday and thus the LURE leather event in Portland.  As Northwest LeatherSIR, I need to cover the entire region as much as I can — not just Seattle, but all of Washington, plus Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and even Alaska.

Portland is the easy and obvious one of those.  There’s relatively little in terms of leather going on in the rest of the region, unfortunately.  Lucky Dog Tavern in Boise had a couple events in the past, and there are a couple fisting parties in Moses Lake and Richland, and Dylan got up to Alaska last year.  So needless to say, when I’ve got an available weekend and there’s an out-of-town leather event, I’m going to try to be there.

(British Columbia isn’t in my ILSb region — it’s part of Western Canada — but it’s as close as Portland, so I’ll get to events up there, as well.  Give them some leather love.  Or glove.  Whichever.)

So a quick Hotwire deal on Wednesday and I had a cheap enough (yet nice) hotel at the Courtyard at Lloyd Center.  I then wrangled up Northwest Leatherboy Danny to go down with me.  Ms. Oregon Leather Ms. Tracey was also having a Fetish Makeovers workshop that afternoon at the new location for Fantasy For Adults Only, so we tried to leave early enough to get to that.

Well, tried.  I slept a little later than planned, and so did Danny.  When we got to Olympia, I realized “Crap!  I forgot my boots!”  (Oh, the shame!)  Fortunately, the Centerville Western Store is at the outlets in Centralia, so we stopped for the fastest boot shopping in the West: 15 minutes in and out and I had a new pair of harness boots, plus some boot socks, bandanas for myself and Danny, and boot laces for Danny.  But that was still a delay, as was the unfortunate pull-over by a cop right after we got back on the road.

I forgot that the speed limit plunges at Centralia, and he was just waiting for someone.  Remember that old line from Driver’s Ed about it being safer to not travel in “wolf packs” of cars?  I now wonder about that, because he basically said he picked me off because I was not in a group of other cars — “I was keeping pace with traffic” apparently didn’t apply to the traffic that was a couple hundred yards ahead of me, traveling the same speed.  But what can you do?  I was legitimately over the speed limit; you takes your lumps (and you pays your tickets).  But it added another 10 minutes to us running late.  Sigh.

We rolled into Portland at 4 pm — the workshop was supposed to start at 3 pm — but we went to Fantasy anyway.  Ms. Tracey was still there, along with her partner (and former Ms. Oregon Leather) Lady Alycyn, plus store manager Chanelle and one of the local leathergirls (whose name I missed).  The gist of the workshop was having the opportunity to try on any of the outfits and gear in the store.  We quickly put Danny in an Asylum straight jacket, plus a gas mask.  Checking out other stuff they had there, I ended up buying a funky Ruff Doggie Styles flogger with braided tails with leather leaves braided into them and leather rosebuds on the ends — pretty, yet still functional, and likely to be a big hit (ahem) for Spanksgiving next month.  (The rosebuds actually give some weight and unexpected thud to it.)  I also picked up a hand-held Foreplay Ice Frost massager — it has a silicone sleeve you fill and freeze, then add a vibrating bullet to make for an ice toy which doesn’t get everything wet as it melts.  We’ll see how well it actually works.

We then went out to Aparaphilia, the recently opened leather store out on 82nd and Fremont (which the Maps app on the iPhone can’t find by name, just be address).  They carry about 75% men’s leather gear, 25% women’s, plus a selection of cock rings, sounds, cuffs, and so on.  As usual when I go to a leather wear store these days, there wasn’t anything I needed (I’ve got a full leather and rubber wardrobe) — nor after buying boots and a flogger already that day, would I have wanted to buy anything more!

We checked into the hotel and I had a short nap.  We then caught the light rail to the Pearl District and at at the Republic Cafe, a Chinese restaurant that Danny liked when he lived in Portland.  After a shower and clothes change, we headed off to the Eagle Portland for the LURE (“Leather, Uniform, Rubber, Etc.”, named for the former leather bar in New York) event.

This month was themed for Puppy Play, and there were a handful of leather pups there.  The Border Riders also had their monthly meeting in Portland, so they all showed up as well, and the bar was packed.

Shout out hellos to Mr. Oregon Leather Tarsus, Oregon Boot Black Nick, leather community jeweler John Poncé (you’ve seen him at big leather events, I’m sure), Thom Butts of Blackout Leather Productions (and a former Northwest LeatherSIR, Andy Mangels, Oregon Cub Dalin, former Oregon Bear Don James, and so on.  Hunky Lance and George were visiting from Denver, and Don was up from Los Angeles, plus furry local Nick and who knows who else that I met and am not remembering right now.  Special thanks to Don and Hal for good times (and for getting my lost leather cap back to me!).

It turned out that the Northwest Bears board meeting was supposed to be after the Sunday Brunch, so I had a bunch of texts back and forth on Saturday evening and Sunday morning with board president Pete.  I had forgotten the discussion about moving the board meeting, and apparently others did as well, since there wasn’t a quorum.  Although I’m not on the board per se, as an outgoing titleholder for the club and part of the website and Spring Thaw committees, I had needed to get some info to Pete.

The trip back was uneventful.  For several miles north of Kalama, a pickup track with a mass of compacted oak leaves in the bed was having the wind pry the leaves out as he drove, and they were bouncing on the road, dancing along with the cars.  It was a nifty, uplifting scene.

Before getting Danny to come along, I had hoped to ride the scooter down, but it rained most of our trip down, so I wasn’t too bummed about driving.  The trip back, though, was broken clouds and nice enough that I pined for the chance to ride.  In two weeks, I’ll be going up to Vancouver for the Hard 3 leather dance/dungeon party, so I’m crossing my fingers that the weather will be dry enough to do that trip, since it’s the very last distance trip I think I could hope for.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sundance Stompede • October 14–17, 2011

This weekend, I was back in San Francisco for the annual Sundance Stompede GLBTQ country-western dance hoedown.  While it’s not a leather event, there are a lot of guys into leather and leathersex who attend, and rust is one of my hanky colors (under the “Cowboy/His Horse” definition — cowboy fetish).

I come down for this event every year.  This is about the 12th or 13th one — they would know for sure — and I’ve been to all of them, even back when it was just the one-night “Hoedown” dance event at the Galleria.  I teach two-step workshops for Stompede each year (for about 7 or 8 years now, maybe more), usually on Friday afternoon, typically in a ballroom with 100-150 dancers.  It can be quite a challenge to teach some intermediate/advanced content to that many people.  (I’ve been teaching dance for some 15 years now.  The teaching skills themselves play forward into teaching leather workshops just as well.)

International Community Bootblack Luna and International Ms. Bootblack 2007 Ms. V were at Stompede, doing boots.  We have bootblacks at our Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle each year, and I’m glad to see it propagating out in the country community.  Dancers have largely never learned much about care for their boots, and it makes for good bridging of communities (and while perhaps easier/quicker per person in the chair — not laces in most cases — the bootblacks also get the chance to encounter a variety of colors and materials not seen often in the leather bar).  I arranged for bootblacks at the IAGLCWDC hoedown in Philadelphia earlier this year, thanks to the Bootblack Brigade, and I need to see what I can arrange for the one coming up in for next May’s hoedown in New Orleans.

Friday night, I went out to Kok Bar (formerly Chaps II).  I met Rod Wood (Mr. Russian River Drummer 2000 and now on the ILSb board — I remember him with that title from before I moved to Seattle) and his boy Roger.  Got some heavy nipple play and CBT going with an Aussie named Brad.

Saturday, I cut out of the dance earlier than I would have liked, because I wanted to go to the Hell Hole party.  (Amazing, isn’t it: I’ve managed to hit that party each trip to San Francisco this year!)I could have easily danced another couple hours, although I know I would have had exhausted feet on Sunday if I had.  So off to the slings I went.  Thanks to Paul, Dana, and Billy for good times, and special kudos to Billy who lost his fisting top cherry that night.

Sundance Association has a silent auction as part of their Saturday dance at Stompede each year.  A lot of the items aren’t of much to to bid on for out of town folks — restaurant gift certificates, local massage therapists and personal trainers, local theaters, or collections of a dozen bottles of wine (like I can get that home?) — but there are also a couple things to bid on.  This year, I ended up with a woman’s corset and a couple ostrich feather ticklers, at about 1/3 the list price.  Any past leather titleholder will know the line on this: “I can use these for a fundraiser later on.”

On Sunday, I set up a play session with a guy named Jake.  A while after we started, I asked him, “Did you go to Wet ’n Hot in 2001?”  That had been the second year I went, a few months after I had moved from the Bay Area to Seattle, when attendance was dropping each year.  What salvaged it that year was playing most of the weekend with two guys.  One was, I think, a gray-haired guy named Chris, maybe from Texas; the other was dark-haired “J” from San Francisco (that’s about all I could remember of him a decade later).  Sure enough, Jake was that guy, and we had a good play session as well as catching up a decade later.

Country-western dancing is one of the big loves of my life.  I’ll give up an evening of it now and then — like half the Saturday dance here for the Hell Hole party, or to teach the Tribal Instinct workshop on Foodplay in November — but it still overall rules the roost.  Next May, for example, I won’t be going to International Mr. Leather in Chicago; I’ll be in New Orleans for the IAGLCWDC convention (and dance competition — I compete in dance as well as leather).  As I’ve told people before, the country event needs me more than IML does.  At IML, even now as a regional titleholder, I'm just one more faceless leatherman there, one more backpatch, but the leather presence I can bring to the country-western world, and to the New Orleans leather scene that weekend has more value than my presence can bring to Chicago that same weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moldy Old Leathers

Four times since the contest, I’ve had to deal with cleaning leathers which were not tended to properly after a scene.  Frankly, this is embarrassing, since I should know better.

Three of them stem directly from the contest fantasy, with its ice cream.  Between just dealing with the contest, plus the food poisoning I was suffering from, and the trip to Lake Cushman the next day, I left my stuff from the contest in the suitcase rather than taking out and dealing with it.  I had liberally rinsed everything off from the ice cream after the fantasy, I thought.  When I took one of my vests out to wear it, I got to the bar and found a white fuzzy patch on the side.  Thankfully, that cleaned up easily in the bathroom.  My tall boots also showed some fuzz, and then I had to thoroughly hand-wash my Nasty Pig vest with the cloth lining.

Fortunately, mold doesn’t grow fast or furiously on leather, and neither piece is the worse for it — it was just growing on ice cream bits on the surface — but I will condition them to be sure.

In the other instance, I had misplaced a bin of my rubber gear after Rubbout back in April, but finally figured out where it was.  Pulling out the neoprene chaps, there was gunk along all the seams.  I had probably put them away slightly damp from sweat (piss, lube, cum, whatever) from the Saturday night play party.  (The bin had sat next to my computer all summer and I never caught a whiff of the mold, so it wasn't very serious.  It probably had been dead for months by the time I found it.  Everything else in the bin was in separate bags.)

Fortunately, there’s very little organic material in neoprene and nylon thread and piping, so there is no apparent damage.  A little Woolite and a low heat dryer and they were fine.

I fully embrace learning from your mistakes and turning things like this into teaching moments.  Since I’m doing a foodplay workshop in November, I will definitely include some of this in discussing clean up and food safety at the workshop.

And hey, cleaning mold off your leathers isn’t nearly as bad as cleaning off cat shit.  (But that's another story.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Folsom Street Fair 2011: Monday

Also know as “Recovery Day”.  Because boy do we need it.  You can’t catch an evening flight after something like Folsom, because you end up missing some of the events.  And you can’t catch an early morning flight, because then you have to leave the evening parties too soon and be totally wasted as well.  So I have the reverse issue: I have a full day to kill, with an 8:30 pm flight (which means I don’t get home home until about midnight.  Yawn.)

Graves and I had breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In (same building as the Opal Hotel), and then checked out.  After stashing our luggage with the front desk, we caught the bus down to Mission and then visited Raging Stallion for Graves’ meeting with Kent Taylor.  We also got a small tour of the place, including the upstairs filming area, where they were painting the floors and prepping a set for a movie Tony Buff will be doing for them.  Something with a post-industrial torn-up look — industrial equipment, car parts, etc.  It will be interesting to see what comes out of that.

We also got to see the box covers for Tony’s new videos, Institutional Encounters and the upcoming Indecent Encounters.  One of Graves’ photos is being used for the main image on the later.

We caught some coffee, and then Graves headed off to Oakland to meet a friend and catch his flight home (around 5:00).  I went back to the Castro.

Had a crabcake sandwich lunch at Caffe Luna Piena.  Bought Christmas gifts for Cliff and Ruby at Under One Roof.  Then back to Starbucks (I told you, bow to SODO) for WiFi and more coffee before heading back to the hotel myself.  Uneventful trip to the airport, with dinner being a corned beef reuben from Max’s Deli at the gate.

And thus was Folsom survived.

But was it better than in the 90s?  Or even different?  On the basest level, no, not really.  The weather this year made it calmer, but it’s still a huge press of leathered flesh, lots of lines, a decent amount of spectacle, plenty of drug use (like the the couple who hit me up on AssPig, wanting to do glove-free fisting on Ecstasy), and not enough bang for my buck.  (Thank God for organized, sane, and stable play parties like Hell Hole and Tom’s, or it wouldn’t have been a good sex weekend for me, either.)

Ultimately, I will continue to use the same line about Folsom that I have for the past decade: “Everyone should go to Folsom twice — the second time to realize that you enjoyed it a whole lot more the first time.”  (I use a similar line about International Mr. Leather, for pretty much the same reasons — “…the second time to really empty your wallet”, in reference to the huge vendor market at IML —.  I go to Mid-Atlantic Leather each year instead (here’s a past trip report), and in parallel, the smaller Dore Alley weekend is more of what I like about Folsom and less of what I don’t.)  I’m sure I’ll get back to Folsom someday — if I win International next year, for example — but I’m not in any rush.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Folsom Street Fair 2011: Sunday

Sunday morning came too early, and drizzly.  I’m from Seattle, but totally not my fault.

International LeatherSIR 2010 Hugh had advised me to go to the Folsom brunch hosted by Empress XXX Donna Sachet and International Mr. Leather 1992 Lenny Broberg, so Graves and I caught the MUNI to the Castro, got coffee and cash, and traipsed up the hill to 21st and Castro.  (And we’re talking HILL here.  Ugh.)  We ran into International Community Bootblack 2011 Luna on the way, who was trying to find the brunch.

Lenny’s note to Hugh had said we would know the house when we got there, and yes, the leather flag-colored streamers did cue us in.  It was a great little brunch, met a number of the titleholders who were present, not to mention a number of guys whom I lightly remembered from when I lived in the Bay Area.

We needed to be at the 12th Street Stage by 12:40, so Graves and I left with Mr. Bullet Leather Joey (cutie!) and his photographer buddy Jay.  Stopped for more coffee (hey, I’m from Seattle, bow toward SODO five times a day!) for me and 5-Hour Energy drinks for them, then hopped the F Line to Van Ness.  Got to the staging area with just a few minutes to spare.

Our Northwest Community Bootblack 2012 titleholder Ruin was also there, with her partner.  She was relieved to see me, to have someone else she knew there.  Curiously, Ruin, Luna, and I were the only LeatherSIR (et al) people there for the titleholders presentation.  But Ruin and I weren’t the baby titleholders on the block any more, as Mr. Connecticut Leather was there, having stepped up just last week.

I also got to meet the Alameda County Leather Corps titleholders, Kate and Curren.  I’m an auxiliary member of ACLC.  It was my first club, back in 1999; I joined at the same time as past International Bootblack Andrew “Bootdog” Johnson and past American Leatherwoman Joan Nory, so there was something in the Hayward water that year.

An hour later was the Mama’s Family photo at the Powerhouse.  (I am “Mama’s Rubber Cowboy”.)  After that, I headed back to the hotel for a costume change, to get rid of the sash and the leather pants and shirt, into something lighter and cruisier (chaps, jock, vest with no shirt).  The sun came out solidly by about 3 pm, which was a relief, making for a nice, warmer afternoon.  I lost track of Joey and Graves and Ruin after the titleholder presentation, but I got to have some short chats later in the day with both Donna Sachet and Lenny Broberg, separately.  Lenny said he may be coming up to Seattle for the WSMLO contest in March; this is his IML 20th anniversary year.  I also saw Mitch and Brian again, and Paul and Cole, and bootblack Paul and past Northwest Community Bootblack Scout, among a handful of other people I know.  Also: my ex, John; Arami and Washington State Mr. Leather James; Tony Buff at the Raging Stallion booth; Element and Kyle again, with Element in those killer silver boots.  Relatively few of the Seattle crew, surprisingly; I know a lot were down, but I hardly saw any of them.  Different circles, maybe.

I succumbed to some jambalaya at about 5 pm, and the Fair shut down at 6 pm.  I headed back to the hotel for a brief nap, and later wen back to the Castro for Tom’s fisting party.  He has a very nice set up, although the step ladder to the attic space was a bit rickety for my tastes, so I played mostly downstairs.  Thanks to Janeer, Tony, Eric, Raj, Nigel, and a couple other guys for some good play, and especially thanks to Tom for opening up his home for us!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Folsom Street Fair 2011: Saturday

There’s always something you forget when packing for a trip.  This time, it was earplugs and my septum jewelry.  Old hotels like the Opal have thin walls and noisy plumbing, so after about 8:30 am, little further sleep was forthcoming due to the noisy shower next door.  As for the septum jewelry, I don’t wear it during the week for work, and it has been on a shelf up above eye level in the bathroom, so I saw it but forgot to put it in.  Sigh.  (Did that for the contest weekend as well, only remembering to put it in for the brunch on Sunday.)

Continental breakfast at the hotel — toast, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs (which is kind of cool), OJ, and coffee.  Kept it light, for the potential for play later today.

I’m room-sharing (and bed-sharing; it’s a king) with Graves from Seattle, who has been doing a bunch of leather photography in recent years.  We joked that I get my own paparazzi for the weekend.  Graves has an appointment later at Raging Stallion, to do porn set photography for them.  If it can work out, I’m going to try to tag along with him.  I’m a big fan of their FistPack videos, and although I’ll never likely get to do one myself (professionally, anyway; I video some private scenes), the chance to see the back end (ahem) would be cool.  (Alas, we couldn’t synch this up for Saturday.)

Came down to the Castro at lunch time.  The naked boys are out in force at Castro & Market, to the delight of picture takers.  Stopped in at Cicatrix Tattoo & Piercing (where Gauntlet used to be; I had my PA done there in 2001) and got a septum ring — black ring with a silver captive bead.  Looks cool.

More shopping: Chaps (formerly Jaguar Books) for some lube and inhalants.  Whatever… Comics for some 50% off comics collections (aww yeah, Pet Avengers!) and a Lightning Lad figurine.  Succumbed to a slice at Escape from New York PizzaWorn Out West for a chain collar, in case I need one this weekend.  (Never know!)  Then a couple beers at 440 Castro, where Graves arrived and then one of my FF buddies Jose (who has the most fantastic deep ass, but I digress…).  I started yawning, though, so headed back to the hotel for nap and then dinner at Thai Stick.

Saturday night reminded me of why I’ve always disliked Folsom weekend: lines everywhere, too many people, and none of them wanting to fuck me (or at least not wanting to commit to it; there’s always someone prettier/hunkier across the room, you know?).  In fact, a couple years when I lived in the Bay Area and didn’t have the San Diego Gay Rodeo that weekend, I didn’t even go out on Folsom Saturday.  Why bother with the parking, the lines, and not getting laid?

I got the the Powerhouse at about 9:45, and the line moved okay.  I got to meet IML Eric Gutierrez and several of the IML contestants from this year.  But as noted, way packed. Headed over to the Lonestar, but saw there was a 30 minute line (at least), so chatted with some guys (Matthis, Shawn, and Dan), and then headed to Kok.  Short line there, maybe 10 minutes, and fortunately more leather than on Friday night.

I did connect with someone there.  The pec punching was good, but I can now cross two more fetish acts off my “done it once, that’s enough” list: concentration camp roleplay and knock out play. (As in “come to on the floor, twitching”.  Nope, thanks, like the knife running along my dick that time at IML, once is plenty.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Folsom Street Fair 2011: Friday

Ugh, 4:30 comes way too early.  I hate getting up before the sun to get to an airport.  The coffee I need to just move that far then keeps me from sleeping on the plane.  Oh well, I got the Preview part of the trip report written on the plane.  (On the new iPad I got yesterday, with the indispensable — for writing — Bluetooth keyboard.  Way less to tote that the netbook.  Note to self, though: I spent way too much time setting it up yesterday than I should have.  Don’t get new tech the day before a trip!)

Staying at the Opal Hotel (Van Ness and Geary).  I know how hard to get and expensive hotel rooms can be in San Francisco for Folsom weekend, and this is just over a mile from 9th & Folsom (so it’s walkable).  At $166 a night, I snapped it up when it came available a couple weeks ago, and prepaid for a discount (which essentially took care of the hotel tax).

Got to the hotel at 11 am, but couldn’t check in yet.  So I ditched my bags and headed to Mr. S.  Saw Mitch and Brian from Vancouver walking on the street, and Earl from Vancouver online, and at Mr. S, Paul from Seattle was there (Cole wouldn’t arrive until Friday night).  Turns out Paul was on my flight, and I saw him at the baggage claim, but he was too dazed from lack of sleep to know it was me at the airport.  Saw Kyle and Northwest Leatherboy 2011 Element later, putting up posters for Element’s new video.

$230 dollars later, I was able to escape Mr. S.  (One StreemMaster, because I’ve apparently lost my previous one, god knows where.  One leather cap, handmade at Mr. S, which I quite like and will end up wearing all over town for the rest of the weekend.  One neoprene red-stripe jock, which I’ll also get some good use out of this weekend, I’m sure!  And a new pair of red boot laces, because my current ones are getting dingy — due to both age and bootblack hands.)

After too-short of a nap, I met up with Michael from Recon, who I’ll be playing with next weekend when he is in Seattle.  Daddy David has been sending me fisting boys lately; I need to start paying him a commission!

Got an offer for play with Frank from New York at his hotel, so I headed over there for some cocksucking, nipple play, and fisting.  A nice warmup for later on.

Dinner was coffee and a slice of pumpkin bread.  That’s how it goes when you’ve got a fisting party to attend.  (Food all day: a bagel, a pear, a small OJ, a soy/almond smoothie, and several cups of coffee.)  Want as little solid stuff going through the system as possible.  I can eat tomorrow.  (I lie: I’ll probably do this all weekend long!)

Friday night was the Hell Hole/Fists Over Folsom party.  Probably 20 slings and a good size (but not too packed crowd).  Had a great time, some in the sling and some in front of it.  Chatted with one of the former Northern California LeatherSIR titleholders who was there about the fact that I was there in the title vest.  (He approved.)  Thanks to Murray from New Zealand, François from the Netherlands, and Nick, Norm, and one other guy whose name I’m blanking on (all from the States) for good times; Raj will just have to wait for later (maybe Sunday) at Tom’s party. 

Folsom Street Fair 2011: Preview

I lived in the Bay Area during the 1990s.  I’ve attended the Folsom Street Fair probably seven or eight times.  The first time (1991) was as a member of the San Jose Spurs dance team, staffing a booth selling temporary tattoos.  (That seems very odd today.  I don’t recall seeing such a booth from anyone after about 1993.)

After that year, Folsom and the San Diego Gay Rodeo vied for my attention.  At the time, the rodeo was always the last weekend of September, and Folsom Street Fair was always the 4th Sunday of the month, which meant that the two would conflict roughly every three years.  One year, I took a morning flight back from San Diego to be able to also do Folsom, but I both had to cut short my Saturday night in San Diego and got to Folsom late, so what was the point?  Eventually Folsom’s organizers apparently decided that it was too confusing for people to track the dates and switched to always be the last Sunday, so it was always in conflict with the rodeo.  Bummer.

One year (1998?), I even had a vending booth at Folsom, for my fetish t-shirts.  Oy, that was an adventure.  First time in Folsom history that it rained, I was told.  And I realized that the guys attending by and large didn’t want to buy anything (and have to carry a bag around), and they even less wanted to buy something that would cover up their gym-pumped bodies.  So the booth (plus insurance) was expensive (about the same as the full weekend vendor space at IML!), and I didn't sell a lot of t-shirts, and most of the guys who came into the booth were just getting out of the rain (except for the small crew who stopped in to get out of the rain and pop some GHB or other party drugs).

After I moved to Seattle in late 2000, I never got back for Folsom.  I go down every year for Sundance Stompede in October, and dealing with two trips to San Francisco in close proximity just doesn’t make sense.  I did get down for Dore Alley once, and International Bear Rendezvous a couple times, plus a few trips for work (working for companies with San Francisco, San Jose, or peninsula offices makes that easy).  This, then, is my first trip to Folsom in over a decade.  It will be interesting to see how it has changed.

Of course, I’ve changed a lot as well.  I’m in my 40s now, where my earlier experiences were in my late 20s and early 30s.  This time, I’m attending as a titleholder, which means I will have a few specific events to attend, and I will be looking at the proceedings with a different eye.  (I long ago realized that I enjoy events a lot more if I have a task or assignment attached.  Just having to be at the 12th Street Stage for the Titleholder Roll Call at 12:40 on Sunday gives me some focus and means I won’t be wandering around aimlessly, wondering whether I should drink, cruise, or just go nap.)

(I should cruise, obviously.)

In many ways, thus, this Folsom may be a fresh and new experience for me.  Or maybe it won’t, maybe it will be pretty much just what I remember, just with new faces and new pecs and plenty of attitude.  We shall see…

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shut Up or Speak Up?

For a long time, the popular wisdom for new titleholders has been for them to not make a name for themselves, at least not in online venues.  The LeatherTitleholders mailing list — back when it was actually a viable venue for titleholders current and past to mix and converse (that stopped long ago, alas) was among the most notable such venue, where many a titleholder was told by his or her contest producers, “Join the list and introduce yourself, read everything on the list, but don’t post anything until your year is up.”

The theory there was that many new titleholders might inadvertently put their own foot (boot) in their mouth with any number of gaffes.  Many titleholders are somewhat new to the leather community; even those who may have been into kinky play for years (and thus wouldn't make some of the worst gaffes you can imagine) may not have had a lot of experience on the public side of things.  Others may not have a lot of experience in online venues and might say/do something dumb.  And of course, a list of leathermen and leatherwomen is bound (ahem) to have people who like to get into heated debates, who like to stir the shit, and who like to provoke others into emotional reactions (aka “flamewars”).

Most of all, of course, titleholders who would later be competing at one of the national or international contests might well have some of their judges on that same list, men and women who would be quietly reading all the posts and not saying anything.  Men and women who, if the new titleholders said anything — good or bad — would start to form an opinion of the titleholder which could carry through to the eventual judging.  (“Mr. Topanga Canyon Leather: back in October, you got into a nasty online fight with someone in which you wrote ‘We shouldn’t let women into our bars, our playspaces, our contests.’  Given that I, as International Ms. Leather, am here as one of your judges, could you expand on that further?”  “I… uh… um… crap.”)  So the general preference from many title producers was to have the new titleholders not make any impression on their judges ahead of time, figuring that a blank slate was better than a dirtied up one.

(I hope Robert Davolt would approve of the continued use of “Mr. Topanga Canyon Leather” as a generic leather titleholder.)

Today, of course, the Internet is in a different state.  The Leather Titleholders list and the AltLeather list which got created as a response to issues on the original one are both practically silent these days.  And so many other venues exist, from Facebook to FetLife and beyond, that if judges want to pre-research contestants, the odds of a digital paper trail existing are far greater than before.

For myself, the option to not pre-set any expectations in the eyes of the judges is pretty much impossible.  I have been online, starting with BBSes, for just shy of 30 years!  I have been at times a prolific poster in Internet/USENET venues — newsgroups, email lists, etc. — for 22 years.  This is my fifth blog; I had a collection of opinion essays online for over a decade, since almost before the word “blog” was coined.  I’ve competed and placed in several title contests over the years.  I’ve been name-checked in The Leather Journal and won a Pantheon Award (Northwest Region).  Suffice to say, there’s plenty of digital paper trail out there on me.  The odds are good that I will be an known name to at least some of my judges at International, perhaps all of them.  (I know one of them in person already.)  If there are embarrassing writings and behaviors in my past — and there probably are! — there’s not a lot I can do to cover that up.

So given that the judges will likely know at least a little about me when I’m standing in front of them — and potentially a whole lot about me, if they research the contestants a bit ahead of time (and what good contestant doesn’t research the judges in reverse, eh?) — I figure I might as well give them their money’s worth.  If my leather life can’t be a blank slate, I’ll make it an open book.  My past experience says that the best way to have a position settled for yourself and to be able to be expressed to someone else is to think it through and write it down.

If a judge wants to know my thoughts on safer sex requirements at play parties, I’ll have written a piece on it.  Where do I draw the line with drug use and why?  I’ll have tackled that.  Can a Sir bottom?  What is the value and importance of “earned leathers”?  Does the hanky code still apply in the twenty-teens?  How can the leather bar reinvent itself to stay valid?  What is the difference between a bottom, a sub, a boy, and slave?  And so on.  Some of these writings will end up on this blog — those with direct application to my title and my title year — and others with a broader leather focus will go on my Sounds Kinky-er blog (but I’ll cross-reference them here, too).

These sorts of philosophy and educational posts won’t be the total focus of this blog, though.  I’ll also have reports for events I attend, status updates about the fundraisers and workshops I do during the year, photos, and ample other light content throughout the year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Horoscope for the Contest Weekend

The day after the contest, I got to see a copy of the Seattle Gay News and read my horoscope for the week (they carry Jack Fertig’s QScopes).  I’ve never put any faith in horoscopes, and especially not in newspaper horoscopes, since even if astrology had any validity, newspaper ones would be covering all people born across 30 days.  So at best, a horoscope column will be applicable to your day of the month one time in 30, and to you personally something way less than that.

Still, now and then one turns up that makes you wonder…

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22): As naughty fantasies come up inside your head, explore them safely there.  Putting them into reality could be delicious, but be very, very careful!  Whether you explore them in theory or practice, you can learn a lot about yourself.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What is “edge play”?
How do you do “edge play” in a contest fantasy?

For our contest, we had a weekend theme of “Edge Play”.  Each of the regions for ILSb (sixteen of them) are assigned a theme (at random, I think).  In past years, our region has had Rough Trade and Outdoors, among others.  I’m not sure how tightly integrated these are into the contests for each region.  For our contest, we were supposed to include Edge Play into our fantasy, although without any discussion of what that means (and what it doesn’t mean).

Here’s what the International site says:
The themes are intended to inspire contestants’ onstage fantasies that are appropriate to the image of masculine leather sexuality and to showcase the diversity of leather interests.  The themes are not intended to be restrictive.  ILSb contestants are encouraged to be creative and expand the boundaries of their themes.
Here are a few definitions from online sources:
In BDSM, edgeplay is a subjective term for types of sexual play that are considered to be pushing on the edge of the traditional safe, sane and consensual creed.
EDGE PLAY is the action of offering new challenges to the Edges of play you and your submissive are already familiar with.  Every physical challenge is equally mentally challenging as it is asking your submissive to reach beyond where they think they can
Steel-Door Newsletter
Refers to rough and deviant sex play, intercourse and foreplay
The most widely used definition of “edge play” at the moment is playing at the threshold of someone’s limits of fear, pain or endurance.  For someone who has never been tied up before and is terrified of bondage, that first rope around their wrists might well be edge play.  But if he or she has no fear of bondage then the first rope isn’t edge play at all.  It doesn’t become edge play until the Top and bottom go on the journey all the way out to the edge (whatever and wherever that may be) - and then stop and play there for a while.
John Pendal, International Mr. Leather 2003
  1. Edgeplay is SM play that involves a chance of harm, either physically or emotionally.  It’s also subjective to the players involved; what is risky for me might not be risky for you and visa versa.  A few examples of edge play under this definition are fireplay, gunplay, rough body play including punching and wrestling, breath play and blood play.
  2. Edgeplay can also literally mean play with an edge.  Such examples of play are cutting, knives, swords and other sharp implements.  These forms of edge play also fall under the broad term in #1.
  3. Any practice which challenges the limits or boundaries of one or more of the participants.
In my own experience, especially as comes to contest stage fantasies (which let’s be frank, are playing at Edge Play, not Edge Play themselves), Edge Play typically takes one of two forms: Abduction/Rape fantasies (that is, non-consensual/no safeword) or Gun/Knife (that is, inherent danger.  Those two forms are what people have come to expect in an Edge Play presentation.  And thus stuff which should be edgy actually becomes old hat because it has been done enough that the edge has been scraped right off it.

Personally, I like the last definition piece above: challenging limits and boundaries.  I like that because it allows any scene to tackle Edge Play — you don’t have to involve violence or physical danger, but you still have to push boundaries for what is comfortable, allowed, and accepted.  This allows more freedom to reach for the edge, but only if you are willing to take that freedom.  If the bottom can’t handle being restrained, any ropeplay can be edge for him.  Turning the tables on a 100% top can be edge play to the top.

In a contest fantasy, doing “edge play” is two steps more difficult.  First, this is a stage presentation, and most things are thus faked up to some degree.  (Things are at least somewhat pre-choreographed, both parties know the script, warm-up and foreplay get left out, and everything gets compacted to fit in a few minutes of real time.)  Depending on the venue rules, you likely can’t do actual penetration.  You can’t fellate a real gun; you can’t actually cut the bottom or put in hooks or anything resulting in blood and body fluids other than spit; you can’t use open flames.  And the audience knows this, so the power of a takedown, an abduction, a gang rape very quickly evaporates — how long can the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief last when people around them are chit chatting?  Second, the stage fantasy is performance art, and the meaning of art is in the eye of the audience.  It isn’t just you and a partner up there, it is you and a partner and the judges and the audience.  Even if what you are doing is/would be edge play to you, it probably isn’t edge play to everyone present.  (As they say, “What I do is normal, what he does is edge play.”  It doesn’t matter what it is you are doing, someone finds it scary, someone finds it hot, and someone did it three years ago at Inferno and is looking for something new.)

Is watersports edge play?  Is fisting edge play?  Is foodplay edge play?  Is suspension play?  Predicament bondage?  Blindfolded anonymous sex?  Breathplay?  Gender play?  Domestic violence?  Scat?

(Now put the word “simulated” before each of those, and “to the judges and audience” after them.)

With my fantasy, a couple of the judges scoresheets indicated that they didn’t think the fantasy was very edgy.  On the other hand two prominent leather community members who were present (both former titleholders) turned out to have hard limits with foodplay, and the themes in my fantasy totally squicked them.  For myself, portions of the fantasy were right in line with my regular kink actitivities, portions were an area I’ve only been able to explore my own limits with in the past few months, and portions were completely new ground for me.  (So it was in some was personal edge play.)

(One portion of the fantasy didn’t come off quite as hoped for; things would have been about three steps further into “edge play” if it had, and if I redo the fantasy at Northwest Sash Bash or International next year, I will ensure that component gets done right.)

In retrospect, I can see two places that I failed to accomplish the edge play aspects as well as perhaps I should have (but these are also things which can be fixed next time!):
  • While deciding to not do the expected (overdone) versions of Edge Play, I perhaps ended up playing things too subtle, so that the judges and others looking for Edge Play would need to look harder, beyond their own preconceived notions, which isn’t always easy for someone to do.  I could have included some “danger” references, for example, to give people looking for something standard a tidbit to chew on.
  • I relied on the uncommon nature of the activities being done in the fantasy, and the frequent setting and violating of expectations, to carry across the “edge” nature of things.  I could have been more upfront about that, having the dialogue and body language indicate reluctance and fear of the activities being done, to carry that the actions were edge play in the fantasy (rather than just another Saturday night at the bar).
For most of the audience, I don’t think they had a clue that “edge play” was supposed to be involved, nor had much thought as to what that might entail.  But niether do I think they cared.  They were just fucking well entertained by what they got!

Updated on September 19
Alternately, I could have just tied up the bottom and forced him to list to U2 songs.  Because then he would have heard (bad pun alert) the Edge play.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Leather Contests and Food Poisoning Don’t Mix

Early Saturday morning, I woke up at dawn with a nasty pain in my stomach.  After fitfully not quite sleeping for the next two hours, I finally got up and headed to make coffee.  Before I could get to the kitchen, I stopped by the bathroom and dry heaved over the toilet bowl.  Nothing came up, but I could taste the remnants of the salad from dinner the night before.  I instantly knew I was probably dealing with food poisoning, likely from not properly washing the farmer’s market salad mix.  (Dumb.)

Once I felt a bit better, I had coffee and a light breakfast, then headed to get dressed and head out for the Contest Interviews.  Before I could get to the bedroom, I stopped by the bathroom and wet heaved up my coffee and breakfast.  Not the best start for the day.

(I can’t think when the last time I puked was.  Well, from being sick.  Every couple years, I hit my gag reflex while sucking dick, but that’s a different scenario.  And with a whole lot less volume.)

(Oh, and for what it’s worth, this was definitely not caused by contest anxiety.  Between teaching country dancing — to over a hundred people at a shot at one event each year — and past leather and dance competitions, anxiety to the point of vomiting is not a problem I have.  I used to get nosebleeds form anxiety, but even that ended nearly 20 years ago.)

No further vomiting for the rest of the day, but very low energy (too little sleep and no food do that!), plus a low fever, diarrhea, and the accordant dehydration.  After a nap, I ate a peach and tried to have phở for dinner, but only managed to eat maybe a cup or so of it — no appetite.  But the show must go on, so I kept going.  I made it through the Contest, probably mostly on adrenaline, and put in appearances at the queer play party at the Center for Sex-Positive Culture and at the private one for the contest, but I sure wasn’t up for playing.

Sunday was only moderately better — poor sleep, no vomiting, same symptoms .  After the Victory Brunch and getting fitted for my title vest, I rode out to Lake Cushman (via Olympia; 100 miles, a bit over two hours ride).  Monday (riding back to Seattle) and Tuesday (back to work) saw gradual continued improvement, but still lousy sleep and gastric distress.  I was finally able to get some yogurt late on Monday afternoon, and started hitting Immodium at 3 am on Tuesday.  Now Wednesday night, I seem to be 90% back to normal.  Thank God.

Mostly back to normal except for the constant low-level cramp in my left thigh and calf all day Wednesday and Thursday, that is.  Vomiting causes potassium deficiency; a couple bananas seem to have resolved this.  I also don’t recommend food poisoning as a weight loss technique.  There have got to be more pleasant ways to drop 3–4 pounds.

I’m sure there’s a level of irony in this, to have my title contest Fantasy be a raunchy foodplay scene and me be fighting food poisoning at the same time.

Updated on September 8, 2011
Updated on September 13, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Regional and International LeatherSIR Families

Standing: International Community Bootblack 2011 Luna, Northwest Community Bootblack 2012 Ruin, International LeatherSIR 2011 Alan Penrod, Northwest LeatherSIR 2012 Jim Drew
Kneeling: International Leatherboy 2011 Pup Nitro, Northwest Leatherboy 2012 danny Carpenter

(Photo © 2011 Malixe Photo)

First pic

The day after the contest, I went to Lake Cushman for the Rain Country Dance Association’s members retreat.  Seeing this sign on the way up from Hoodsport, I made sure to stop on the way back and get some pics taken.

Pete seems to agree.

(Thanks to Pete and Cathy for taking the pics.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

First post

I won the Northwest LeatherSIR 2012 title on Labor Day weekend (September 2–4) in Seattle, WA.  More details and thoughts about the contest forthcoming.

I have been active in the leather community since 1991, first in the San Francisco Bay Area (1991–2000) and currently in Seattle (2000 to date).  Over the years, I have served on organization boards, competed in leather contests, received recognition awards (including a Pantheon award), and mentored men on their entry to the leather community.

Currently, I am active with Seattle Men in Leather, Northwest Bears, and Rain Country Dance Association, as well as being an auxiliary member of the Alameda Leather Corps and part of Mama’s Family (“Mama’s Rubber Cowboy”).  I maintain the Northwest Leather Calendar, and I am active with the Puget Sound fisting community, hosting events and mentoring men new to the activity.

Via this blog, you will be able to track my title year, peek into my upcoming events calendar, and read my observations, opinions, and insights into the leather community.