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.
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!
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.
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”.
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.
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)
20: Mr. Leather UK, London, UK
27-29: Leatherpride Dublin, Dublin, IE
15-20: Leatherpride Belgium, Antwerp, BE
03-05: Mr. Leather Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
12-18: Easter Fetish Week Berlin, Berlin , DE
30: Mr. Leather Italy, Padova, IT
11-14: Paris Fetish, Paris, FR
01-05: Cologne Fetish Pride, Cologne, DE
23-02 (July): WorldPride, Madrid, ES
09-16: Fetish Week London, London, UK
15-16: Lesbisch-schwules Stadtfest, Berlin, DE
22: CSD Berlin, Berlin, DE
10-13: Leatherparty, Hamburg, DE
06-10: Folsom Europe, Berlin, DE
22-24: UK Leather Pride, Bristol, UK
06-08: UK Leather Pride, Bristol, UK (moved til september)
06-08: Manchester Leather Weekend, Manchester, UK
20-21: Baltic Battle XL, Stockholm, SE
03-05: Mr. Leather Spain, Benidorm, ES
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.
The leather scene in Oslo is quite small, but none the less I know of at least nine or ten leather guys in Oslo, and there are more. At the moment we have one gay leather/fetish bar in Oslo (SLM), but there are few guys in leather. Actually it seems like the dress code becomes looser every year. As you probably know it requires a couple of guys in leather to not feel overdressed, so then the work to “recruit” more started.
A friend of mine has invited to a Leather meetup before going to SLM, the interest was good, but few guys came. So we discussed how to get all Oslo’s Leathermen together, and thought of Leather Social in Berlin and London. In the last few months the idea of starting Leather Social Oslo has been brewing.
It has been lots of discussions over a pint of beer at SLM Oslo on how to do this. But now it is about to take shape into something definite. A simple social happening, without any pressure. Visit leather.social to read more about Leather Social Oslo and the event we will have in October.