Kink About Town
by Race Bannon
Over the past two weeks I've attended a number of events that have highlighted for me just how lucky we are in the Bay Area to have such a diverse set of offerings at which us leather and kink folk can gather. If any local kinkster says to me there's nothing for them to do, my answer is that they're not looking very hard.
As an example, kinky guys have been asking for more dance venues in which they can cut loose to some great music while in their gear. I recently attended just such a dance at Beatbox produced by Patrick Holstine called Wüf, sponsored by Holstine's company of the same name (www.wufgear.com). Our own Demetri Moshoyannis opened the night with the first set of music followed by another of our own, Brian Maier, bringing the night to a nice crescendo of music and men. It's nice to see San Francisco getting yet more places where kinksters can get together and have some fun.
The event was successful and producer Holstine echoed that. "For the first Wüf being on a Friday night on Superbowl weekend I am impressed seeing a couple hundred folks come through the door."
I won't go into a detailed reporting of the Rubber Men of San Francisco's Tenacious rubber fashion show that I discussed extensively in my last column, but this year's version was again a success.
On a more spiritual note, the new Pastor at Metropolitan Community Church San Francisco (www.mccsf.org) was installed and he is none other than Robert Shively, a well-known leatherman in the Bay Area who is often affectionately referred to as Daddy Robert. Anyone who has met Shively knows why MCC fell in love with him and wanted him as their Pastor. As evidence of his popularity within the leather scene, a large group of leather men and women attended his installation ceremony dressed in their finest kink garb. I'd say at least a quarter of the church was filled with leatherfolk.
Shively's installation as Pastor is even more welcome because he is an open and active leatherman with polyamorous relationships. MCC is to be commended for seeing the shining, loving light that emanates from Shively amid what some might wrongly consider an alternative life incompatible with the spiritual leadership that Shively has undertaken at MCC. I wish Shively and MCC a wonderful future in San Francisco. For those leather men and women who are seeking a spiritual home in a church-like atmosphere, you are welcome at MCC with open arms.
For some upcoming events, The 15 Association Anniversary Weekend is happening February 21-23. The 15 Association (www.the15association.org) is a social and sexual fraternity for men who engage in BDSM and they are the longest-standing gay male BDSM association in the western USA. The weekend features two play parties, a brunch and the anniversary banquet. The Bay Area is lucky to have such an active men's BDSM organization with such a rich history. Visit their website for information on how to attend these events.
On Wednesday, February 26, Leathermen's Discussion Group (www.sfldg.org) will present one the national kink scene's brightest stars, Mark Frazier. The topic of the night will be caning, belts and straps, a subject that Frazier knows extremely well. Frazier's teaching style is friendly and nonjudgmental. So even if the topic is something you're not entirely sure is your cup of tea, I still think local kinksters would get a lot out of the evening. Also, LDG's monthly events are not only places to learn and discuss, but just as importantly have become a regular socializing event for the kinky gay men of our area.
I asked Frazier why he feels such types of flagellation play are so popular.
"Flagellation using canes, belts and straps can appeal to many people for different reasons," he said. "Personally, I believe they are popular because their use can be very tactile. You can start off lightly or can progress into a heavier scene."
Coming soon is one of San Francisco's biggest leather weekends, the Leather Alliance Weekend February 28 to March 2. The weekend originated around the centerpiece Mr. San Francisco Leather contest, but has grown to include a meet and greet, roast, men's and women's play parties, seminars, community awards brunch, tea dance, and more. Tickets can be bought for each individual event or as a package by going to the website (www.leatheralliance.org) and clicking on the weekend link.
Ray Tilton, Producer and Director for the contest and the roast, encourages all segments of the community to attend.
"I believe the weekend of events offers something for every leather-associated person, from kink to social to community," he said. When I asked Tilton if he felt that the current Mr. San Francisco Leather, Andy Cross, winning International Mr. Leather might help give the local contest a higher profile, he said, "I do believe Andy winning will help. However, I also believe that it is the overall hard work of the contest staff, its consistency over the last four years, and that the Leather Alliance has a good track record of putting on a great weekend that keeps them coming back in the long run and keeps the weekend and the contest growing and improving each year."
Finally, there is so much going on in our area that there's no way I can cover it all within this column itself. So make sure to always check out the calendar event listings to see what events you might want to attend.
Race Bannon is a local author, blogger and activist. You can reach him through the contact page on www.bannon.com.
Leather Events, Feb. 21-Mar. 6, 2014
There's always a lot going on in the San Francisco Bay Area for leather and other kinksters.
Fri 21 – Sun 23
15 Association Anniversary Weekend
Two play parties, a brunch, and the anniversary banquet. Visit website for venue and ticket information. www.the15association.org
Gear Up Men's Play Party @ Mr. S Dungeon
Friendly erotic space where kinky men can socialize with, learn from, and play with other men, $20, 385A 8th St., 9pm. www.gearupweekend.com/play-parties
Code @ The Edge
Bringing leather back to the Castro and the Bay Area boys of Leather kick off their pledge drive, 4149 18th St., 9pm. www.edgesf.com
GameGear @ Wicked Grounds
Rubber Men of San Francisco's game night, 289 8th St., 7:30pm. www.rmsf.org
Leathermen's Discussion Group @ Mr. S Dungeon
Caning, Belts & Straps – a conversation with and demo by Mark Frazier, 385A 8th St., 7:30pm. www.sfldg.org
Leather/Gear Buddies @ Blow Buddies
Erotic fun for leather and gear guys, $15, 933 Harrison St., 8pm. www.blowbuddies.com
boys Cocktail Hour @ SF Eagle
Bay Area boys of Leather hosts a cocktail hour, 398 12th St., 7pm. www.bayareaboys.org
Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club
Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.
Fri 28 – Sun 2
Leather Alliance Weekend
Meet and greet, roast, play parties, seminars, Mr. SF Leather contest, community awards brunch, tea dance, and more. Visit website for event specifics and ticket information. www.leatheralliance.org
Mayor of Folsom Street Fundraiser @ Center for Sex & Culture
Small, informal fundraiser featuring a short reading from the book, Mayor of Folsom Street, a biography of Alan Selby. Sneak peak at the upcoming exhibit, silent auction, open mic of speakers and the launch of the t-shirt fundraising campaign. 1349 Mission St., 5pm. www.sexandculture.org
Board Games with the boys @ Wicked Grounds
Bay Area boys of Leather host a game night, 289 8th St., 7pm. www.bayareaboys.org
Bay Area boys of Leather @ After Dark At Exploratorium
Bay Area boys of Leather attend this adult night at the Exploratorium, 6pm. www.bayareaboys.org