Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 37 / 14 September 2017
 

Rubber rebels

Leather


Many of the participants in this year's RubbDown 2017. photo: Rich Stadtmiller
Print this Page
Send to a Friend
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on MySpace!
ADVERTISMENT

One of my recent regular refrains is pointing out the significant diversification of our leather and kink scene. It's not just about leather anymore, and maybe never was just about that, really. Rubber, among other fetishes, has solidly taken its place among the many options increasingly being enjoyed by larger numbers of kinky people.

During this past week, San Francisco experienced one of its biggest convergences celebrating the sensual and erotic nature of rubber garb. For some, rubber is as much an identity as leather is for dedicated leatherfolk. For others, rubber is but one of an array of fetishes that populate their sexual landscape. Regardless of one's level of rubber interest, the collection of events this past week called RubbDown offered ways for the rubber fetishists among us to socialize, play and revel in their kink.

RubbDown is a multi-day tour of sorts offering unique opportunities to rubber fetishists from around the world.

The series of events started Thursday night with a meet and greet at Mr. S Leather. It's always fun to attend social events at Mr. S Leather because it provides one of those rare opportunities to mingle with fellow kinksters while having the option to shop at this world-renowned leather retail establishment. From the meet and greet, folks moved on to a rubber invasion at the Powerhouse that took place Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

On Friday, the RubbDown folks hosted a tour of the infamous San Francisco Armory. With kink.com shutting down its video production operations at the Armory, this might have been one of the last chances to visit this historic venue in its current kinkiest glory.

Let me take this opportunity to thank kink.com for being such a vital and supportive part of the San Francisco scene for so many years. Their absence from our great city will surely be felt by all of us as we continue to attempt to maintain a firm grip on all such businesses and institutions that find maintaining operations in the city challenging.

The RubbDown weekend continued Saturday with a hospitality social event at Blow Buddies during which they hosted a cigar party as well. That same night the men of RubbDown hosted a play party in the same location.

As a lead in to the main event for the weekend, there was a Bloody Mary mixer held at the Powerhouse on Sunday. Then, the centerpiece of the week, Tenacious, took place.

Brandon Leon, Mr. San Francisco RubbDown 2017, and Julian Marshburn at RubbDown 2017. photo: Rich Stadtmiller

Tenacious stretched itself to be something other than a fashion show. Since the fashion and music communities are key to the popularity of rubber, they celebrated with their own red carpet fetish fashion music award party to coincide with the Grammy Awards that were held on the same night.

Rick Holte, Executive Producer of RubbDown, explained the new RubbDown and Tenacious format this way.

"There are several things that are new this year," he said. "One is the association with Blow Buddies. Russ Bono is a well-known rubber kinkster and has generously opened the club to RubbDown guests. We have full access to all of the amazing features of the club during the day for play and hospitality including a private patio cigar/bondage party hosted by The Bondage Boss.

"Regarding the reformatting of Tenacious, it's still the headline event for RubbDown weekend, but rather than a rubber fashion show, it has become a red carpet fetish event featuring the Grammy Awards. We invite fetishists of all persuasions the opportunity to strut the carpet and show off the amazing gear they love to wear. It has also become a fundraising event designed to contribute most of its proceeds to a scholarship for LGBT students of music and art attending City College of San Francisco. We feel in this political climate that encouraging members of our community to use the arts as a means of positive progress is vital to our success."

Many rubber and gear kinksters walked the red carpet showing off their fetish glory for all in attendance to see. It was joyous for them, fun and filled with far less formality than one often sees at typical leather events.

Maybe that's one of the many reasons why there has been an increased interest in rubber lately. Holte and many others have expressed to me that rubber people tend to focus on a deep level of social and physical contact. Because rules and role play are tools for play rather than a focus, the rubber community tends to be very casual and open to welcoming newcomers. Maybe it's that philosophy, along with willingness to explore variations of incorporating rubber into other fetishes, that allows it to grow and become more of a mainstream accessible fetish.

Joe Coloff (left), Co-Producer, and Rick Holte (right), Executive Producer of RubbDown. photo: Race Bannon

One more addition to the RubbDown event is that of a titleholder to represent the event and promote the San Francisco rubber community. Brandon Leon won that contest in October and has used the title to focus attention on the rubber communities of San Francisco and the Bay Area. The contest, called Assets, was intentionally held months before RubbDown so that the titleholder had the opportunity to invite others to come have fun with him during RubbDown rather than watching a competition.

I asked Leon, Mr. San Francisco RubbDown 2017, why he competed and what the title experience has been like for him.

"I became Mr. SF RubbDown 2017 in a way in which one might not think. I have always wanted a title. After dropping 60 pounds and posting endless selfies on Facebook, Rick Holte asked me to run and I never thought I would win. After winning Mr. SF RubbDown 2017 it has been great and I am loving every minute."

We're so lucky to live in a city where we have an entire weekend of events celebrating just one aspect of our vast local leather and kink culture. Let's keep our diverse and vibrant leather and kink scene alive. Gear up and I'll see you out!

 

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

 

Brandon Leon, Mr. San Francisco RubbDown 2017, standing amid rubber clothing for sales at Mr. S Leather, the site of RubbDown kickoff meet and greet. photo: Race Bannon

Leather Events, February 16 – March 5, 2017

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

Thu 16

Sex Talk @ Strut

Group discussion about sensuous, enriching, hottest, kinkiest, riskiest sexual desires, facilitated by Richard Carrazza, and directed towards getting more of what we want and avoiding what we don't want. Now with PEP and PREP, sex need not be deadly. How do you determine your best practices? Have some fun, share insights, make some new connections, and tap into our collective sexual wealth and potential. Scent-free event. 470 Castro St., 7-9pm. www.strutsf.org

Fri 17

United @ The Lone Star Saloon

A new tradition in honor of the 35th Mr. San Francisco Leather. See the Class of 2017 draw their contestant numbers. Benefits the SF Leather Alliance. 1354 Harrison St., 7-9pm. www.leatheralliance.org

Pet Play with Azalea @ Center for Sex and Culture

Ever wanted to be an animal? Have you thought about having a human pet of your very own? Come and learn about petplay; talk about choosing your animal and getting into headspace, some safety tips, different styles of play, how to negotiate a petplay scene, and more. Open to all women and those self-identifying as other than male who are 18+. $5 members, $10 non-members, 1349 Mission St., 7:30-10:15pm. www.theexiles.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. www.castrocountryclub.org

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm. www.442parties.com

Sun 19

Bark! @ Renegades Bar

Come romp, play and socialize for a pups and Handler mosh, with mats out to pup out on. New to Pup play? Check out www.sfk9unit.org for FAQ and mosh pit guidelines. 501 W. Taylor St., San Jose, 2-5pm. www.renegadesbar.com

United II @ The Edge

A new tradition in honor of the 35th Mr. San Francisco Leather contest. The Class of 2016 and the Class of 2017 join forces on this one. Beer/Soda Bust. Benefits the SF Leather Alliance. 4149 18th St., 4-7pm. www.leatheralliance.org

Alameda County Leather Family Beer Bust @ The Lone Star Saloon

Socialize with fellow kinksters and support the American Leather Family Challenge beer bust. Raffles, food and much more. 1354 Harrison St., 4-8pm. www.aclcweb.org

Smooches at RubbDown 2017.
photo: Rich Stadtmiller

Mon 20

Ride Mondays @ Eros

A motorcycle rider and leathermen night at Eros, bring your helmet, AMA card, MC club card or club colors and get $3 off entry or massage. 2051 Market St. www.erossf.com

Wed 22

Leathermen's Discussion Group @ Mr. S Studio

Master slave relationships (or, power-based relationships '201'). How do you make M/s relationships work? What have been your struggles, and or successes? Is this the right kind of relationship for you? How do you make an M/s relationship work when the 'real world' intervenes? Structure: too much, or too little? One of the most misunderstood relationship formats, as well as other types of power based relationships, will be discussed. 385 8th St., 7:30-9:30pm. www.sfldg.org

Leather/Underwear Buddies @ Blow Buddies

Erotic fun for leather, gear and underwear guys, $15, 933 Harrison St., 8pm. www.blowbuddies.com

Fri 24

Testostérone Gear San Francisco @ SF Eagle

Traveling fetish party from Montréal is coming to San Francisco. Fetish fantasies come true in this underground men's event. The strongly suggested dress code is leather, rubber, jockstrap, military, uniform, singlet, sport gear and underwear. No street clothes or t-shirts. 398 12th St., 9pm-2am. www.sf-eagle.com

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

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

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm. www.442parties.com

Fri 24 – Sun 26

The 15 Association Anniversary Weekend

Celebrate The 15 Association's anniversary with a formal banquet and two play parties. Details at the link. www.the15association.org

Sat 25

Clean & Sober Munch @ Wicked Grounds

Join SFBASiL for their much. Help send off Mr. Bay Area Sober Leather 2017, Al Rahm, to compete for Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017. You don't have to be clean and sober to join us. 289 8th St., 6-8pm. www.wickedgrounds.com

BLUF SF @ SF Eagle

Bar night for all gear men. BLUF SF also welcomes Boots & Breeches, Hot Boots, Cigar Buddies and Rubber Men SF joining them for a fun night in gear. 398 12th St., 9pm. www.bluf.com

Fog City Pack Presents: Alpha @ Club Six

An evening of aggressive beats, low inhibitions and pure adrenaline hosted by Fog City Pack. Clothes check available with two fully stocked play spaces provided by Mr. S Leather. Photo booth with photos by FBFE. 60 6th St., 10pm-4am. www.eventbrite.com/e/fog-city-pack-presents-alpha-tickets-30859760374

Mon 27

Ride Mondays @ Eros

A motorcycle rider and leathermen night at Eros, bring your helmet, AMA card, MC club card or club colors and get $3 off entry or massage. 2051 Market St. www.erossf.com

Wed 1

Exiles Monthly Munch @ Cactus Taqueria

Whether you're an Exiles member or not, hang out and enjoy the company of like-minded kinky women (along with those self-identifying as other than male) who are 18 and over. 5642 College Ave., Oakland, 6:30-9:30pm. www.theexiles.org

Fri 3

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

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

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm. www.442parties.com

Fri 3 – Sun 5

Leather Alliance Weekend 2017

Big leather weekend centered around Mr. SF Leather Contest XXXV main event but with lots of other activities including a titleholder reunion, education track, vendor fair, brunch and community awards, victory beer bust, and more. See the full schedule and ticket options at the link. www.leatherallianceweekend.org






Follow The Bay Area Reporter
Newsletter logo
twitter logo
facebook logo