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.
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.
Tonight is the biggest party of the year. No, it is not Eurovision Song Contest, but Valhall at SLM Oslo. This is the closest thing to leather/fetish pride you come in here in town. We will also celebrate the club’s 40 years anniversary, quite impressive isn’t it?
I have just begun looking into ropes, the possibilities are endless, and at the same time really complicated. I have been tying knots since I was two, but then it was to secure objects to its place or chain reactions in the best “Home alone” style. A technique not suitable for bondage.
Safety is the most important thing in all kinds of play, especially when the danger of permanent damage is possible (both physical and psychological). If I tie the rope to tight, the blood circulation may be blocked and cause damage. On the other hand, the person might get a panic attack, and then it is important to handle it in a good way. I read a good blog post from Sir Dart about taking care of one’s playfellows. I know a couple of guys that really need to practice aftercare, but that is a subject for another time.
My challenge with tying up bodies is how to tie the knots so it is fast to untie, like a fast release, and knots that do not tighten when the cord it pulled. My goal is to tie a full body harness with suspension, but that is still some time away. Moreover, I need a hook in the ceiling.
My boyfriend has become my practice doll, he is complaining about all the times he has gotten a whiplash from the end of the rope. Regretfully it is still a drain on my mental capacity to focus on both the knot and where the end of the rope is. Hopefully this will get better with some practice.
I just have to see if this would be my thing or just one activity in my toolbox. I will keep you posted.
Today is the international HIV/AIDS day. Every year I set off some time to remember those who have died of this terrible disease.
I once saw a documentary about HIV in San Francisco in the eighties. One picture is imprinted on my mind. Two guys, both with AIDS, supporting each other going down the street. I knew that they would not survive more than a year. I still get a tear in my eye when thinking of those two.
Now the medication is so good that one can live normal lives, and if one is healthy in other aspects one is not contagious. But even so a big number of guys do not know that they have the disease. Some of those do not think they have been exposed to the virus, and therefore do not need to test themselves.
So take the time to get your self tested for HIV, and other STDs as soon as possible. It is better to know.
First post, may it not be the last.
In this blog I will write about the fetish life of a Norwegian Leatherman. It might include whatever my mind is on at that or any earlier moment.
So now a bit about me. Norwegian and interested in leather (In case you didn’t get that from the title of the blog). I’m living in Oslo with my boyfriend. I like to travel to other places, get to know new people and have fun.