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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

A couple of days at Leather Pride Amsterdam

Almost a week after the Leather Pride in Amsterdam I finally got some time to do a little write up of this small, but fully packed event.

We arrived on Thursday, and soon found our self in the Mr. B store. It ended with a couple of high boots, and me naked on the hotel room polishing them – the shine on the boots must at least be as good as the shine in the leather pants. Of course, it did not have to be done naked, but I like the feeling of leather against the skin.

That night we went to the piss party at Dirty Dicks. It is not quite my thing, but my partner in crime/life/travel/love/play enjoys it. He had lots of fun drinking beer and finding some pig for some recycling. At one time one guy asked the bartender where the toilets were, and the answer he got was epic “You ask where toilets are? On a piss night? They are sitting all over the place.”

On Friday, we went to the bondage workshop with Master Dart and Sir Bart, quite an eyeopener. The subject was predicament bondage, let the submissive choose between the fast and painful or the slow and not so painful, at least not at first. The possibilities are endless. I went only to one workshop, while my partner for the rubber workshop as well. He got to try out a rubber sleep sack, it will be interesting to see if that is something he would like to repeat.

After a late dinner at Getto, we ended the night at Eagle.  They had a bit earlier presented the Mr. Leather Amsterdam contestants. The place was packed with hot leather guys, even found a friend from Berlin there.

We lived some blocks south-west of Leidseplein, a 30-minute walk from Eagle and Dirty Dicks, especially in new boots. Five or ten minutes after we got back to our room, it knocked on the door. At four in the morning. Outside in the hotel corridor a guy in the beginning of his twenties stood and asked if he could be my slave for the night. I firmly said no and told him I wasn’t interested. After I had closed the door, I began to wonder if he lived at the hotel or if he had followed us. I hope he lived there…

What would a trip to Amsterdam be without a canal cruise? And on Saturday they had a leather canal cruise. It was a kind of meet and greet at Mr. B before we went to the boat. Here both Mr. Leather Amsterdam 2015 and the owner of Mr. B, said some words. The latter was talking about the importance of the leather community and the challenges we are experiencing. I say “we”, even though he was probably thinking mostly at Amsterdam, because the challenges are similar all over. If we want a community, we should use and support it.

The boat was almost full. Interesting people to talk to, and the scenery of Amsterdam from the canals are truly astonishing. Afterwards some of us went to The Web, a small bar that had a second-hand flea market, there was some interesting articles, but I did not get anything.

We were discussing what to do in the evening over dinner. The choice stood between going to the invasion party or to the BLUF party at Dirty Dicks. As we had to leave quite early, we decided to go to BLUF. It was full of leather guys, and I had several interesting conversations with both new and old friends. Several of them recommended the leather pride in Antwerp, we must see if it is possible.

Amsterdam Leather Pride here we come!

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks, starting Leather Social Oslo and just life as a whole. Leather Social Oslo was a success, and we have already set a date for the next one, but more on that in another post.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for Amsterdam Leather Pride. Ready for a weekend with party, fun and socialising. I might even do some shopping, a pair of high boots wouldn’t be amiss. But that might become a Herculean task.

I’m also going to one or two of the workshops on Friday, but it was a bit hard to find and understand the ticket system. On the main site I found the tickets to the Invasion party, but not to the workshops, those were on the Amsterdam Kink Academy website. But I’m still looking for a package with two workshops and Invasion Night Pass. I’ll just have to ask someone when we get there.

It is a bit annoying that the BLUF meeting is at the same time as the Mr Leather Amsterdam competition. Now I have to choose. I’m not sure which of those I’m going to attend, it is likely to be the Mr. Leather competition.

If you are in town, drop me a line if you would like to grab a beer or something. Anyway, looking forward to the weekend, I might be dropping a post or two if I get the time.

Short trip to Gothenburg 

From Oslo to Gothenburg it is about four hours by train. It is the second largest city in Sweden. I’m sorry to say that Gothenburg doesn’t seem to have much of a fetish scene, if any at all. Even though the city is big and inclusive of LGBTQ people. There is a Scandinavian Leather Man Göteborg club, but they did not have any events in the summer. Have to revisit when they have some kind of party or event.

We found a nice bar and restaurant just inside the moat, called “bee”. I’m not sure if it is a gay friendly straight bar or a straight friendly gay bar, the line is a bit blurry, if it exists at all. Good wine and nice service. It is the first place I have visited where two half bottles of wine is cheaper than one full bottle.

We visited “Liseberg”, it is an amusement park in the middle of the city. As I tweeted, some of the design of the area around the rides reminds you of other forms of amusement. Some a bit steampunk inspired, and other more like a modern factory maze. See more pictures under the tweet

 

CSD Berlin 2016

CSD Berlin keyring out of leather pantsCSD in Berlin is one of the biggest gay pride event in Europe. In 2016 it happens on Saturday July 23, a month later than usual due to the football EM-cup. This year they have decided to use the motto or slogan if you will “Danke für nix”, or translated into English “Thanks for nothing”. It is a reaction to the German Bundestag (parliament) not voting same sex marriages (or gender neutral marriages) into law last fall. It will be interesting to see how this will be used under the event. To hear a speech given by a passionate and a bit angry German is still a bit unsettling, even if the subject of the talk is equal rights to all.

Well, back to the event. It starts with a parade from Kurfürstendamm (near the Berlin Zoo) and walks towards Brandenburger Gate, via Nollendorf Platz and Siegessäule. Between the Siegessäule and Brandenburger Gate is the Pride Village. With a lot of stalls, where you can buy drinks, food and other commercial products as well as visit different organisations. You will also find a couple of stages with different DJs in this area. At the Brandenburger Gate you will find a big stage with speakers, bands and entertainment. The Pride Village closes at midnight.

Tip: Make sure to have cash before you get there, it might be hard to find an ATM that still contains any money.

There is lots of people everywhere, the forest around the Pride Village (Tiergarten) becomes a crusing area, or a bigger crusing area than normal. They even set up big floodlights in the forest in the evening (at least they did last year). These lights make some parts of the forest a bit like an episode of X-files.

I recommend to check out BLF (Berlin Leather and Fetish e.V.) beer wagon. It is a natural gathering point for Leather men and other twisted guys. Maybe I see you there?

As always, play safe and mind the Jägermeister.