Tom of Finland the movie

Tonight the movie about Tom of Finland has it’s premiere here in Norway. I was able to see it a couple of weeks ago, in a preview at the Oslo Fusion International Film Festival. I will not spoil the movie, just give my impression and thoughts.

The movie is set in the time period from the second world war to the mid 80’s, a period of time with big changes in our community. From it being illegal to be gay. Passing through when to be gay was an mental illness, ending in the aids crisis. It is hard to see what those pioneers of our community had to cope with. But still they stood their ground. I my self, born in the mid 80’s, just remember how the AIDS epidemic was portrait in the media. It is nothing compared to the tragedy for so many guys.

Touko Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland) is protraied as in a way which is easy to relate to. His discovery of himself and of his art was quite a journey. The impact his work had on guys in the US, it must have been overwhelming for him. We get to see different aspects of Touko’s life, family, friends, love, loss, fear, acceptance. It is a movie about one man, but what an artist and what a legacy?

This movie should be a mandatory watch for everyone who are of the opinion that the fetish community doesn’t belong in the LGBT community. There is no room for doubt that our place are right in the middle.

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Oslo Leather Weekend

This upcoming weekend is the first Oslo Leather Weekend. It was an idea of the President of SLM Oslo, when the club was asked to hold a party after the Tom Of Finland movie. Then add another party at SLM and a Leather Social, and you have yourself a weekend. It is a small start, but who knows, it might develop to something big.

The plan for the weekend

Friday (September 22th)

18:00 – Preparty @ Cinemateket
Meetup in front of the movie.

20:00 – Tom of Finland @ Cinemateket
The movie is shown as a part of the Oslo Fusion Film Festival. You can get tickets here: http://www.cinemateket.no/billetter?eventId=161013

22:00 – Afterparty @ SLM Oslo
This is arranged by Oslo Fusion, and is open for everyone. But you must register to the facebook event, you’ll find it here: https://www.facebook.com/events/467570686951222/

Saturday (September 23th)

23:00 – Tom’s Night @ SLM Oslo
Men only cruising, register for entrance http://slmoslo.no/om-klubben/pamelding/

Sunday (September 24th)

13:00 – Leather Social Brunch @ Ett Glass
Relax after a long weekend, here you need to announce your attendance through https://goo.gl/forms/ESzXMSEG7eUL2B9A3

Freshman at Folsom Europe

In about a week the Folsom event in Berlin has just started. I have never been at Folsom Europe before, even though I have been visiting Berlin regularly. Heard a lot about it of course. Some thinks it is the fetish heaven on earth, while other describes it as the most crowded catwalk in the world. I can’t wait to make up my own mind.

Me and my boyfriend arrives on Wednesday evening and will be staying until Monday. We haven’t decided on what to do yet. The Pig party on Saturday sounds good. It is going to be at the old mint in Berlin. To judge from the pictures on their website it seems like a party where less is more when it comes to clothing. The Leather Social on Thursday and the BLUF meeting on Friday are the only events I’m quite sure I will attend. The rest will fall into place sooner or later.

Last year they said it was really hot, the weather forecast at the moment show about 21-23 degrees and fair, somewhat colder that at CSD Berlin this summer. Which reminds me, I must clean my leather shirt. Anyway, I look forward to experience Folsom Europe for my self.

If you see me feel free to come over and say hi. I don’t bite.

It isn’t your Parade!

Update 2017-07-03: The original article has been removed, but as nothing is truly deleted on the web you can find a print screen here.

Earlier today I stumbled upon this comment where the author don’t want to see kink in her pride parade. Well, I got news for you honey, or it isn’t news, it’s a short history lesson.

The gay leather subculture have existed at least from the fifties, with gay motorcycle clubs or just leather clubs. SLM Oslo (then SLM Norway) is the oldest gay club in Norway, it started in 1976. First they may just have been to there to celebrate masculinity, but there has always been some elements of BDSM and kink. Anyway, over the years the community have grown and embraced different types of kink, for instance rubber, neoprene and puppy play. So kink has been in the LGBTQ* community from the start.

I find it narrow minded to deny a straight cisgender person who is into kink, the right to show their support to their brothers and sisters by joining us in the parade. Actually I know of several straight cis-men who have no problem playing with other men, so the premise for the article falls away.

It is interesting to see how this author in other posts tries to remove stereotypical stigmas, but walks right into one here. Kink and BDSM does not require use of sexual organs, they do not even need to be accessible. It does not even have to be sexual.  For instance the Japanese art of bondage, Shibari.

Another point that comes up in the article is that it is not appropriate to minors to see people with kinks in the parade. Let me ask, is it more appropriate to see men with perfect bodies dancing around with less clothing than I have in one of my hankies? Why should they be able to show their body as an object of sexual admiration, and i don’t?

I’m into leather, the first time I had leather jeans at work I got comments. I have stopped counting how many times I have been called Nazi when I’m in full leather on the street. Leather is not directly sexual for me, I have even baked cakes dressed in leather.

The parade is not yours alone, it is for everyone in the LGBTQ* community and those who support us! So please, do not try to limit the expressions of your brothers, sisters and fellow human beings, there is enough of those who want to do that already.

The Boots

One lonely boot hanging in-front of the building and a small sign high upon the wall is the only sign of Antwerp’s biggest and hottest fetish club.

This fetish venue is in the northern part of Antwerp city centre, in a quiet street. They even have a sign on the way out informing visitors that this is a residential area, and to keep the noise to a minimum outside.

As the Boots is a members-only club, you have go sign up for a membership to be able to enter. But you can sign up for a weekend membership, if you are visiting for a short period, like for the Leather Pride Belgium. And you can do it at the door. You will get a card that says that you are a member, to use the next time you enter. You do not need the card when you are inside the club.

When entering the club, you get a drinking card, where your coat hanger number is noted (if you use one). This is also used when you order something at one of the bars, and you pay when you leave.

The club is using the whole building. Starting at the bottom, which might be one level below street level. Here you can find some play areas, with benches, slings, gynaecology chair, as well as a small bar, with a sling and benches. The level above is mostly used as a hallway, but it also contains an extra cloakroom. The next level is where you enter the club, with the reception, cloakroom and toilets/changing area. You will walk up one flight of stairs from street level to get to this level.

Above the reception, you will find the main bar, with a smokers lounge and a large number of boots hanging in the ceiling. Further up it is a cruising floor, with a labyrinth, tub, slings and benches. And at the top level, there is a small bar among seating and play areas.

The area above the main bar might be closed off if it is a slow night. Be aware of the black light they are using, some might find that it makes it difficult to see when the eyes are directly exposed. Not dangerous, unless you walk into a wall.

We were visiting during the leather and fetish pride, when the city was full of hot and horny men. And probably most of them visited the Boots at some point, judging by the sexy atmosphere that was felt throughout the building.

If you take a taxi back to your hotel, make sure they start the taximeter. I got ripped off. One should think that such things would not happen in Belgium, but I was wrong.

Website: the-boots.com

MrB in Amsterdam

This is store is probably my favourite store. They have a good selection, the staff is helpful, and the atmosphere is relaxed and sexy. Most Mr. B. stores have somewhat the same articles and the same design. The staff in Amsterdam makes the big difference. It is difficult to point out exactly what they do in Amsterdam compared to for instance Berlin, maybe a more relaxed attention to the customer. The balance between getting personal space without being left alone is just right for me.

Another nice feature, if you can call it a feature, is that their workshop is also located in Amsterdam. So, when they didn’t have the leather pants I wanted in my size, it took just a couple of hours to get a pair from the workshop. Just enough time to relax and grab some pancakes with cookie filling, from one of the Creperies in the street.

The products they sell are mostly of their own brand, but they also have some fetish articles from other brands. There is something for every taste, also rubber, neoprene and sportswear. I myself love the leather items with stitching on the sides, like the belts and ties. It is a nice detail. When I think about it I have a pair of boots from this store as well. They are the only pair of high boots I have tried that fit strait of the shelf. It should be said that this is not a cheap store, but the prices are reasonable when compared to other stores with the same quality and service.

If you are going to Amsterdam, this store is definitely worth a visit. Remember that if you want tax return (if you are from outside the EU, like Norway), you need to bring your passport.

mrb

Website: misterb.com

Eagle Vienna

This is one of the places you must know about to find. In the basement of something that seems like an apartment block, some steps down from street level you can find the entrance and doorbell. And a sign that states “men only”. There is one exception, one of the bartenders is female. Rumour has it that she is the sister of the owner.

The bar stretches from a cloakroom on the right, and around a corner towards the entry to the toilette and a small darkroom. There are some sex shop articles for sale, for instance leather cuffs, t-shirts, cockrings and DVDs. I’ll have to get me one of their t-shirts.

The darkroom became quite crowded, but I’m not sure of how much action there actually were. I had my valuables on my person, and didn’t want to try my luck. Next time I’ll put them in my jacket.

Eagle Vienna don’t have a strict dress code the crowd might be in normal everyday wear. The night I was there the I would say the average age was about 45, and most was wearing a shirt and jeans. The last point suited me quite well, as I was visiting after a business dinner. There was some smoking indoors, so don’t be surprised if your cloths smells like cigarettes in the morning.

They have some themed parties, which is announced on their website and Facebook. The opening hours are normally Monday to Sunday 21:00 to 04:00, and closed on Sunday. But check as exceptions may occur.

I liked the atmosphere, it was relaxed and sexy. The bar staff was efficient and pleasant. As a famous Austrian said, I will be back!

Website: eagle-vienna.com
Facebook: EAGLE Vienna

Leather Pride Belgium

A big fetish event in Belgium’s largest city, Antwerp. The main events are located indoors in a big, old storage building at the docks. It is called “Darklands” during the pride. Inside there was this year three parts, a marketplace, a party area and a cruising area. Some parties and meetups was at other bars in the vicinity, like The Boots and Down Town.

The pride started on Thursday and ended on Sunday. The Darklands was open from Friday about five in the afternoon until Sunday evening.

In the marketplace, all the big fetish stores were represented, Mr. B, Boxer, Rob, Underground and Regulation, as well as different brands of toys, makers of slings and organisations. At some stands you could participate in competitions or try gear. For instance, a vacuum bed.

leatherpride_vac

My boyfriend tried a vacuum bed in the marked area. I have to admit I got flash backs to Star Wars and The empire strikes back.

The marked area of Darklands was open till about eight in the evening. A couple of hours later the main party of the night started. This year it was Fusion on Friday, Rage on Saturday and Alphatribe on Sunday. I did not notice the big difference between the parties, but what more than good music, sexy men, and a but it was fun. On Sunday, the party was a bit smaller, but that was expected since quite a few people had already left.

At the big stage in the party area they also had the Mr. Leather Belgium and the Mr. Puppy Europe competition. The X-Awards was held at the main stage on Sunday, giving out ten different awards. I can’t find an official list of winners online, but BLUF won the award for the “Association of the year” and Thorsten Buhl won the “Man of the year”.

leatherpride_xaward_bluf

BLUF won the “Association of the year”, received by Nigel Whitfield, it was given by Thorsten Buhl who later was awarded “Man of the year”.

It was fun to meet new and old friends. And if you stay until Monday, I would recommend to go the Boots on Sunday evening. We had a blast in Antwerp, and will be back next year.

leatherpride_darklands2

Leather events in 2017

A new year is almost here, and there is a lot happening throughout the coming year. I have gathered a list here of the events that came to mind. It is at the moment just events in Europe.

If you know of an event I should have listed let me know and I will update the list. (Last updated 2017-03-06)

January

20: Mr. Leather UK, London, UK

27-29: Leatherpride Dublin, Dublin, IE

February

15-20: Leatherpride Belgium, Antwerp, BE

March

03-05: Mr. Leather Hamburg, Hamburg, DE

April

12-18: Easter Fetish Week Berlin, Berlin , DE

30: Mr. Leather Italy, Padova, IT

May

11-14: Paris Fetish, Paris, FR

June

01-05: Cologne Fetish Pride, Cologne, DE

23-02 (July): WorldPride, Madrid, ES

July

09-16: Fetish Week London, London, UK

15-16: Lesbisch-schwules Stadtfest, Berlin, DE

22: CSD Berlin, Berlin, DE

August

10-13: Leatherparty, Hamburg, DE

September

06-10: Folsom Europe, Berlin, DE

22-24: UK Leather Pride, Bristol, UK

October

06-08: UK Leather Pride, Bristol, UK (moved til september)

06-08: Manchester Leather Weekend, Manchester, UK

20-21: Baltic Battle XL, Stockholm, SE

November

03-05: Mr. Leather Spain, Benidorm, ES

December

Left or Right side?

When starting with any kind of fetish and fetish parties it might be good to remember the rule about left and right in correlation to sexual preference (top or bottom). It might be displayed as a cuff on one wrist, keys on the belt, or the well-known hanky.

I am surprised how often I get this question, mostly from new guys in the fetish community, but also from men that has been around for a couple of years. I have talked to people who think the meaning of left and right are different between Europe and the United States, this is not the case, it is the same everywhere.

Left hand side: Right hand side:
  • Top
  • Active
  • Giver
  • Dominant
  • Bottom
  • Passive
  • Receiver
  • Submissive

You will see guys with plain black cuffs on both wrist. Then ask, they might be a switch, or it might be that they think it looks better. If the cuffs have some colour you can expect that they are a signal of sexual preference.

I always take such signs with a grain of salt, a good talk is preferred. A submissive might signal he is dominant on purpose, for instance if he is looking for someone special, and to discourage play with other random tops. Or if the guy is like me, mostly dominant, he might switch for the right top.