Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Woof: Muscle & Ink

So today I have returned from an awesome weekend in Benidorm, you may think Blackpool in the Sun and for part you'd be right. But it has an amazing gay scene that so few know about - I'm doing a blog post about that in the coming days.

On the flight out there was a welsh rugby club stag party, and while there we saw so many stag parties. And most seem to involve two things in the groups ... muscle and tattoo's! I wasn't objecting to either, and so here are some pics inspired by the weekend.

A personal fave above, and finally to finish off the something rugby themed.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Woof: Baseball Cap

Tron, Batman & Storm Trooper Bike Leathers

I have always loved bikers and seeing guys in their leathers! Even now when a biker passes me in full leathers I'm always drawn to them. Ever since I can remember I've appreciated them. I'm not bothered about the bikes, I'd quite happily just have the gear to wear!

When Tron Legacy was released at the cinema there was a lot of excitement about the new suits - damned sexy creations! I'm sure many a nerd and perv lusted after owning one and indeed riding out in one.

Well now you can! UD Replica's have released an officially licensed Tron Rinza and Sam Flynn bike leathers suit!

But if you fancy something or someone else, how about a Batman or Captain America suit?

And then of course for the real sci-fi geeks - the all important Star Wars Stormtrooper kit!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Woof: Restrained

Boys in restraint - what's not to like? These are a bit more arty composition then your usual tied up shots. And for that I find them all the more interesting and erotic.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Woof: Biker Sex

Stories From The Quilt

John Bischoff (Block 3462)
One evening before John died he was helping me go through some of my things. Somehow we stumbled across Grandma Minnie's quilt and began talking about it.  John said immediately that he would like to have a piece of it and I promised him that I would share a piece of it with him.

It would be a number of months after he died that I began to create a panel for my cousin John, but when I did, Grandma Minnie's quilt came rushing into my mind.  I could not think of anything that could better symbolize eternal life than that quilt, created by my great grandmother who lived to be 100.

With this, I hope to help John live forever in our minds and our stories just like our great great-grandmother did.

- Amber Jean Crews
The AIDS Memorial Quilt celebrates the lives of real people who were loved and lost to HIV/AIDS. They are each remembered on a stretch of fabric called a panel. The website offers a closer look at one of the 47,000 panels that comprise the ever-growing AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

Harnesses & Leather Bonding

One of the stalls at the CLAW vendor mart was a small company called Leather Bonding who make a variety of harnesses and related gear. Harnesses are hot, they can look sexy and they can give you something to grab hold of!

I would say in recent years the traditional X style chest harness has been replaced with the English Bulldog harness as the item of choice to wear. There really are a lot more guys wearing these style now, though I've always been a bit of a fan of the Holster Harness myself. Not that I really wear a harness - as with so many things this kinda gear is really suited to my body shape, much more for those with pecs rather then moobs.

But getting back to the chest in hand. There are many styles of harness available, shapes, arrangements, fixing points etc. But they all tend to be the same - black leather or rubber, chrome studs / buckles and maybe some studs or small amount of decoration. Some push the boat out with some coloured piping / edging. But in essence they are plain black leather.

These guys are different - they really have taken the concept of the harness and redesigned them! And they look awesome, and the guys who run the company are equally awesome! I would probably say the Asymmetrical 3 Strap Harness shown above is my favourite, but so many of their designs work. So if you are in the market for something new for your next leather event, night out, or just because you want to go shopping check them out!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Woof: Avengers Assemble

Thor and Captain America ... two reasons, and bloody hot ones, to go and see The Avengers / The Avengers Assemble at the cinema. It's a great film, and great demonstration of why Joss Whedon is so good at this type of work.

Go see!

Friday, 4 May 2012

CLAW 11 - Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend 2012

Many people this weekend asked my how I heard about CLAW … not many of us over the UK have. And truth be told, I'm not actually sure. I must have been through my visits to SF, Folsom, IML or most likely mentions on blogs and twitters I follow.

However I found it and I really am glad I did!

This weekend was so busy with so many great experiences not all of them could be included in this blog. I've done my best to give an idea of what I got upto and what goes on over the weekend. I have some further posts coming to discuss some specific elements, but this hopefully gives you a feel for the event.

I introduced my trip to CLAW in this post last year, and what I found so appealing about it. And I must say that it really didn't live up to my expectations. No, it by far exceeded them in ways I couldn't have imagined!

I was a CLAW virgin, I was going by myself. I knew nobody else attending. I had no idea what to expect. Oh and the trip involved visiting a city in another country with 12 hours of travel and a five hour time zone shift. Hello jetlag!

Dead Centre of Cleveland
I wanted to get into Cleveland on the Tuesday to give me a few days to get over the jetlag before things really kicked off at the weekend! Boy am I glad I did – because the lag was horrendous. But more then that, I am so glad I volunteered on the Wednesday and Thursday – there is nothing to do in the downtown cleveland area! I mean seriously absolutely naff all!!

CLAW is a complete non-profit charitable organisation, everyone gives their time freely. From the two founders Bob and Dennis, the convention manager Donn and all the volunteers. We each give our time to help make the event what it is. And the money raised goes to cover the running costs and then significant donations to appropriate supported charities. It is a community event in the truest sense of the word.

Since I was in town early I volunteered to help with the two days initial setup on the Wednesday and Thursday. My thinking was two fold, firstly I wanted to feel involved in an event the nature of doesn't exist back home, and also it would give me a great opportunity to meet people and to get to know some of those attending. I can be a quiet shy person not very confident in big groups I don't know, I find it hard to start conversations or to join in. Usually a few gin's or glasses of red wine can help, but sometimes its just better to jump in feet first and push your boundaries. Just in the same way playing with a new Top / bottom can.

I've attended events and conventions of various sizes before, both commercial and volunteer. But there is something you never really get to see until you are there right at the start. Just how much planning, work and effort goes into putting on a weekend like this. It is a huge amount of work! And that was all before we unloaded boxes and boxes of merchandise, supplies, dungeon furniture, food and drink, paperwork, documentation and equipment.

Wednesday afternoon started with the van unload, and then working out what it was all for and where it was to go, we re-arranged the stage, we rebuilt the interrogration chamber, we put up signs and we slowly transformed the hotel into a destination for Leathermen of the world.

Something that makes CLAW so different – is just how friendly it is! All those people who seem to know everyone also want to get to know you. Larry, the MC for several of the hotel events, asked people at one event to do something at the end … go and talk to two total strangers. Make new friends!

And I hope I have done that, there were maybe seven or eight people I really got on well with and spent quality time with. There was one family in particular who were so welcoming of me and they really did help to make my weekend a very special one. Then the co-ordinators, I got to know most through setup, were amazing - everyone always had time for a hello and chat. Well if they weren't dashing between problems of course!

The weekend kicks off on Friday afternoon with the Vendor Mart opening – with loads of leather, toys, t-shirts, gear, belts, boots and more to choose from! And Friday afternoon is also when the Newbie Party is … and this was very different to what I thought it would be, but very clever and very in keeping with the spirit of CLAW. Not going to give away too much detail though so not to ruin the surprise.

Throughout the weekend a Silent Auction ran which was a great way of getting some great products, gear or art at quite a bargain price! For those who attend in the future definitely worth checking out!

Having my Boots Blacked
The first big party of the weekend is the Cleveland Rocks friday night kick off. A real mix of events – the Puppy Olympixxx, a fashion show featuring products all available from sponsors and the vendor mart, a bunch of games and stuff. Puppy play not really my bag, but these pups and dogs were just so adorable! And most of them managed not to get distracted by the Squirrel in the middle of the course which I was really impressed with.

I did have to skip one part of the party – Colton Ford. I have to be honest, I'm not a fan and I remember his performance at IML a few years back. While he was on I was stage I was in the Cigar & Boot tent having my Grinders blacked. They hadn't been done for a loooong time! And the blacks were all working to raise money for the supported charities.

Not everything takes place at the host hotel, there are several bars hosting parties – Leather Stallion Saloon, The Shed and Mean Bull at Flex. There was a regular shuttle bus to take everyone between the hotels and bars, for me the Stallion was probably the best of the three.

I didn't get to many of the skills workshops this year, but the selection looked good and I heard good feedback from those who did attend - apparently the Fisting 101 was particularly good.

Recon hosted / sponsored some play parties over at the Flex complex, and I went along on the Saturday night with a Sir and his boy. Maybe we went too late, or maybe they just weren't very well attended. But I have to say it was a big dissappointment! There must have been about 20 – 30 guys there, and very few of them actually playing or doing much. Ok if you want to go and put on a show for people, but not so great to find action – you are much better doing that back in the hotel and up in your room!

Chilling with Cigar
One of the advantages of the new host hotel (this is only the second year at this hotel) is the large car park space that can be used for the construction of the Cigar & Boot Tent. Kinda does what it says in the name, a place to go to smoke cigars and get your boots blacked. You can of course smoke cigarettes or a pipe if you prefer – though for me it was somewhere to enjoy a cigar and catch up with folks.

They also had some dungeon furniture that was put to good use of the weekend, but as Dave Watt showed on the Sunday evening all you need is some space and a selection of floggers!

Sunday afternoon is Bingo! Who doesn't love the excitement of a game of bingo? And who doesn't love it when you have boys stripping for you. All in aid of Breast Cancer – and a good fun change in the pace of the day!

Because this was my first CLAW I wanted to try out as much as possible, so decided to attend each event so that for future visits I can pick and choose those that I enjoyed. One of the more surprising events was the Leather Hall of Fame Brunch on the Sunday. Again this is something that many back home won't have heard about, and I'm sure there are many who don't see the point of it or see it as the same people giving themselves a pat on the back. I will admit … I was scepticle about it and did consider if it was worth going to. But I'd paid $30 for the ticket, and breakfast in the hotel would have cost nearly $15 with a tip so instead of wasting the money I went along.

And I'm glad I did! For those not aware of the LHoF it is a small organisation that recognises the contribution someone has made to the leather / kink / bdsm community. Anyone can make a nomination, and they can nominate anyone they feel a worthy recipient … but they must have been active in their contribution for at least 15 years. They need to have actualy done stuff!!

This year there were three individuals being inducted, the first a tattoo artist, Sam Steward. And the second a guy hardly anyone has heard of, but probably had a huge amount of influence beyond his years, and significant impact on hundreds of thousands of people. And the irony being he had no direct interest in BDSM acts or lifestyles he had a very simple objective – make as much money as possible for his family. Indeed his grandson wasn't aware of his work that had had such an impact on modern society. His name was Irvine Klaw - the founder of Pin-Up's and finder of Bettie Paige!

The third and final recipient was Guy Baldwin. I must admit to not really knowing much about him other then what was given in his introduction. I know the name, but not really much more. Though I did like one of the comments he made, he was saying that we as a community we're 'uncommon' … which sounds pretty darned good to me! Why be one of the common people following the crowd when you can be uncommon and do your own thing and live life beating your own drum?

The other comment he made that I thought was excellent was our relationships to each other. We need to ensure what we do add's something to the people involved. It needs to help them grow, become a better person, it needs to add to their life experiences – it must be positive. What we musn't do is something that detracts from someone, if it doesn't add to their life but detracts from it that is abuse.

No matter how you try to justify your actions it is not acceptable. And we must look out for each other and reach out to help those who are in abusive relationships. They may push you away, but I am of the view if you really care for someone you will push back, and you will push back harder and stronger!

Moving on from events I really must make a comment about the hotel, in my experience without exception each member of staff at the hotel was amazing! Having your hotel taken over by a huge group of leatherfolk, with their own protocols and unique style of dress, may for some people make them feel uncomfortable amoungst us. But not once did any of the staff even question anything – they just got on with their jobs making sure we had a great stay.

There is however one member of staff who I need to mention. Anyone who went to the front desk / reception in an afternoon / evening will know exactly who I am talking about. Nothing was ever a problem or too much trouble for her … she should have been given her own CLAW 11 Hero award for making us feel so welcome.

During the closing ceremony / show I was given a CLAW 11 Hero award! I just flew half way across the world and helped out where I could. I'm sure there were many who did so much more, but I was still rather touched by it. Thanks guys!!

There are a few things I want to take away from CLAW, and somethings I have learnt. In no particular order they include:
  • I want to buy more leather
  • I need to try and work out how to get my mojo working
  • Just because you don't know someone doesn't mean you can't talk to them
  • I prefer the Alec Bradley MAXX cigars in the Connecticut wrapper
  • A skilled bootblack is someone to be reverred … and tipped well
  • There is something nice about being uncommon
  • Be yourself with your friends
  • American's think a jumper is something very different
  • Dogs can really be the randiest of all
  • A group of leathermen can still have a discussion about who is the best – Cher, ABBA, Barbra or Bette, and a boy can disagree with his Sir on this.
  • I still don't know how guys tie their rope into those little platts
  • One bark means yes, two means no
  • Pissing on a guy lying in a tub really isn't that erotic
  • I still don't understand the title holder obsession
  • Volunteers rock!
Jerry Springer used to close with a small line about looking after each other. I'm going to do the same, but with a little WolvesPerv addition.

Be risk aware, give and expect respect, play safe, look out for those close to you and make new friends.