Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 25 / 22 June 2017
 

Big Winners

Leather


Portland's Dara (left), the new International Ms. Bootblack, and the new International Ms. Leather Patty (right) in San Jose. Photo: Rich Stadtmiller
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ADVERTISMENT

It's difficult to report on every leather or kink event that takes place in the Bay Area, although I try to list entries for as many of them as possible in the calendar that accompanies this column. But some big events took place recently that deserve a significant mention.

During the weekend of April 24-27, the International Ms. Leather (IMsL) Weekend was held in San Jose. The weekend serves to celebrate women in the leather and kink world by offering lots of cruising, flirting, playing, watching, hot fun, education, connecting, shopping and much more.

Toronto's Patty onstage at the International Ms. Leather and Bookblack competition in San Jose. Photo: Rich Stadtmiller

The weekend started on Thursday with Seduction, a steamy show to get the attendees fired up. On Friday, the event hosted educational classes all day long, a vendor area and play space along with the start of the contest judging and the opening ceremonies.

On Saturday there were more classes, a continuation of the vendor area, a silent auction and the second half of the contest. Sunday concluded the weekend with a brunch, poker and Bawdy Storytelling. Throughout the weekend attendees were also treated to hospitality areas and parties hosted by various clubs and organizations.

This year's IMsL keynote speaker was S. Bear Bergman. The contest MC was Karen Ultra with Lamilani taking on MC duties for Seduction and Lolita Wolf as MC for the brunch.

The IMsL contest judges Andy Cross (International Mr. Leather 2013), Jaco Lourens (Mr South Africa Leatherman 2009), Synn (International Ms. Leather 2012), Ashley Young (Activist and Writer), S. Bear Bergman (Author and Storyteller), Allison Moon (Author), and Carol Queen, PhD (Staff Sexologist and Company Historian at Good Vibrations) had their work cut out for them judging some great competitors.

This year's IMsL contestants were submissann (Los Angeles, CA), Mel (Sacramento, CA), Lydia Joie Divine (Sydney, Australia), Jenniffer Allen (Des Moines, IA), Lynn (Indianapolis, IN), Patty (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Flossie (Columbia, SC), Nerine (Oakland, CA).

When the dust settled on the end of the IMsL competition, the judges selected Patty from Toronto as the new International Ms. Leather 2014.

Judges for the International Ms. Bootblack competition this year were Tarna (International Ms. Bootblack 2012), Bootdog (International Mr. Bootblack 2008), and Laura Antoniou (award-winning author). The bootblack contestants were Dara (Portland, OR) and Tabitha (Phoenix, AZ). The judges selected Dara of Portland as the new International Ms. Bootblack 2014.

Nick Elliott, International Mr. Bootblack 2012, was in attendance and was very impressed with this year's event.

"As a male, I felt very welcomed by both other attendees and staff," he said. "In fact, despite this being an event somewhat marketed to women, it felt like one of the queerest events I've been to. There were some phenomenal speeches, the best I feel was delivered by Dara, and some strange fantasies and some epic ones too. Rock 'em sock 'em robots, and a rock star using human slaves as a drum kit were two of my favorites. And of course bootblacks were working every day for three days. Lots of people coming and going and feeling the love."

One of the IMsL contestants, Jenniffer Allen, had this to say about her experience.

"From a contestant point of view, the entire weekend was well organized and in a wonderful space," she said. "Each of the ten of us had something different to bring to the table. My opinion of sisterhood for IMsL contestants has changed, in that I was told not to expect helpfulness and kindness from everyone competing. That turned out to be completely wrong information. Our sisterhood is strong! We stand beside Dara and Patty as a team!"

Readers might want to start making plans to attend next year's IMsL Weekend. Sir Ernie Johnson sure is.

He said, "IMsL 2014 was my first IMsL. I arrived Wednesday evening and my first impression was one of welcoming and a rekindling of friendships. I enjoyed the hospitality events and the event was a great opportunity for me to experience a predominately female energy, from solid butch to high femme. All of the contestants were amazing in their unique ways and it was great to hear their stories and journey that brought them to IMsL. I am looking forward to watching their journeys continue and I am already planning to attend IMsL 2015. I would encourage other gay leathermen who have not attended to come and support our leatherwomen and experience the awesome energy here."

 

Baring It

Another big event to take place here recently was the 2015 Bare Chest Calendar Finals Contest on April 27 at the DNA Lounge. The finals competition benefits AIDS Emergency Fund (AEF) and Positive Resource Center (PRC).

This year the finals contest fulfilled the vision of those who created this format nearly ten years ago. They envisioned the finals contest to reach a level where the average amount raised per finalist would be over $3,000. This year's team surpassed that by over $700 raising over $67,000 for AEF and PRC. Combined with the semifinal contests, their total raised to date is over $85,000. But as Will Victoria of AEF noted, "None of this is possible without all of the volunteers and contestants who have participated since January."

The Bare Chest Calendar was born from the leather community's response to the devastation they saw in 1984. The calendar is now in its 31st edition. While the calendar has grown away from those roots, they still represent that history at events throughout the year. The Bare Chest Calendar is also celebrating Scott "BigRed" Farrell as the 13th calendar man to hold the Mr. San Francisco Leather title.

Bare Chest Calendar man for December 2015 Dane Whitaker celebrates at the finals. Photo: Rich Stadtmiller.

Victoria added, "On a more personal note, the contest this year was also the closest it's ever been. Each of the 18 men fully deserved a spot on the calendar. I have never been so heartbroken over those we did not select. Many calendar men, myself included, don't make it the first time around, I hope to see them compete again."

In the end, the men picked for the 2015 calendar are Senan Ryan (January), Guy Johnson (February), Matty Johnson (March), Jake Juarez (April), LaGuan Lea Jr. (May), John Marino (June), Fons Mendoza (July), Brad Weintraub (August), Rick Latulippe (September), Ron Evcimen (October), Al Saadia (November) and Dane Whitaker (December). Finalists, who also raised funds include Steve Jirgl, Tiger Hoyle, Matt Welch, Paul Younadim, Michael Armado and Scott Gregory.

One finals contest audience member, Steve Kaye, was very impressed by the group of guys competing. "The organizers deserve a lot of credit for recruiting using a wide net to capture the diversity of the gay community. Do you know that Dane Whitaker, who competed and won, is the first transman to appear on the calendar? At least as far as anyone knows, certainly the first openly transman. It may not be a true leather organization anymore, but there were definitely several leather guys up on stage, so that was good."

 

March Marshals

On May 3, members of the local leather community gathered at the SF Eagle to vote to elect this year's male and female Leather Marshals who will lead the San Francisco Leather Contingent in this year's Pride Parade. Female candidates were Beth Bicoastal, Lou (Alchemy), Deborah Wade and Tracy Wolf. Male candidates were Brent Gannetta, Patrick Mulcahey, Scott Peterson and Graylin Thornton. After the votes were tallied this year's 2014 Male Leather Marshal is Scott Peterson and 2014 Female Leather Marshal is Deborah Wade.

That is a whole lot of awesome winners that the San Francisco Bay Area can be proud about. Congratulations to them all.

 

Race Bannon is a local author, blogger and activist. You can reach him through his website, www.bannon.com

 

[Correction: In a previous column photo with Missy Bootlover flanked by Nick Elliott and Lance Holman, Missy was erroneously identified by the editor as a member of The Exiles. We regret the error.]

 

 

Leather Events, May 15 – June 1, 2014

 

There's always a lot going on in the San Francisco Bay Area for leather and other kinksters.

 

Thu 15

Master Taino @ SF Citadel

"Living Real and Authentic Lives: The key to our Happiness," a talk presented by Master Taino. 181 Eddy St., $20, 8pm. www.mastertaino.com

 

Fri 16

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 16 – Sat 17

Northwest Leather Celebration @ San Jose

Weekend leather/kink celebration open to all. San Jose, CA. www.northwestleathercelebration.com

 

Sat 17

Novice Workshop @ Mr. S Playspace

Fisting event presented by the Handball Academy, with a 90-minute Q&A followed by three hours of practice under the guidance of experienced coaches. Advance registration is required. Noon to 5pm. www.handballacademy.org

GearBox @ Mr. S Playspace

Rubber Men of SF play party and social for men in gear. 385A 8th St., Free, 7pm. http://www.rmsf.org/free-play/

Hell Hole @ Alchemy

Men's fisting party. 1060 Folsom St., $25, 8pm. To get an invitation (you need to be on the email list) visit www.hellholesf.com

 

Wed 21

Handball Academy @ Center for Sex and Culture

"The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure," presented by Charlie Glickman. Curious about prostate play? This event is for you. 1349 Mission St., free but donations encouraged. www.sexandculture.org

Red Hanky Nite @ Powerhouse

Men's fisting social bar event. 1347 Folsom St., 9:30pm. www.hellholesf.com

 

Fri 23

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

The San Francisco Party @ International Mr. Leather

Not a local event, but there will be lots of San Francisco guys there. www.imrl.com

 

Sat 24

GearUp Men's Play Party @ Mr. S Playspace

Friendly erotic space where kinky men can socialize with, learn from and play with other men. 385A 8th St., $20, 9pm. www.gearupweekend.com/play-parties

 

Tue 27

GameGear @ Wicked Grounds

Rubber Men of San Francisco's game night, 289 8th St., 7:30pm. www.rmsf.org

 

Wed 28

Leathermen's Discussion Group @ Mr. S Dungeon

"Through the Looking-Glass: 25 Years of Sex, Sweat, Tears and Resilience," a talk with Frank Strona and Race Bannon. 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

 

Thu 29 – Sun 1

Wildwood's Kinkfest @ Wildwood

Weekend men's leather/kink event. Click on "Register/store" under the top banner and scroll down to the KinkFest event. www.wildwoodretreat.com

 

Fri 30

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

 

Sat 31

The 15 Association Men's Play Party @ SF Citadel

A men's BDSM play party. 181 Eddy St., 8pm. www.the15sf.org






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