Thursday, June 30, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Dykes, Pirates and Parades, Oh My!
San Francisco, our lady by the sea…..or something like that. I spent the weekend in San Francisco to join in a whole queer and kinky smorgasbord of events. As many of you know, it was Pride weekend in San Francisco—which is like Christmas and the Fourth of July and Valentine’s Day all wrapped up together with a rainbow bow.
The first big event got down and dirty Friday night—In Bed with Fairy Butch. And let me just say—I will be sharing no photos of this show with you because there were bountiful breasts, naked and dancing everywhere! No photographs were allowed!
I have to tell you, I am a bit of an idealist sap when it comes to witnessing real self-acceptance, self esteem, and healthy, joyous sexuality on display. This show was the best example of that I have seen in a long time. There were big curvy girls stripping down to their g-strings and throwing themselves in the audience like an orgiastic mosh-pitt. There were F to M trannies dancing and showing off their post-op scars. A bar full of screaming lusty women throwing dollar bills at the stage can’t be wrong. The host, Fairy Butch, has a great book the Stockroom carries, The Ultimate Guide to Strap-on Sex:
I also got to witness the hot new phenomena, Lesbian Speed Dating. No, silly, this does not involve mind altering drugs! It’s the hottest new dating game phenomena. About twenty gals lined up, ten on each side facing each other, and played a sort of musical chairs—each pair getting about ten minutes a piece to get to know each other. I wonder what lust and romance was sparked??? Anyone out there ever tried this? Any good stories? Do tell.
Saturday, after a lovely stroll in the Castro and a visit to the coolest beat poet bookstore, City Lights Bookstore, founded by poet/writer Laurence Ferlinghetti, I found my way to Dolores Park in the Mission for the Dyke march—notably the largest Dyke March in the World.
I have never seen so many lesbians in one place in my whole little life! I was truly impressed.
Then I had the pleasure of witnessing Beach Blanket Babylon—a musical revue that has been an SF staple for over thirty years. For a femme like me—oh the costumes! The giant hats! The voices that blew me out of the water!—I highly recommend it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it lasts another 30 years.
Then on to the Pirates!!!! I had a blast dressing up as a swarthy pirate:
Kinky Salon lived up to its rep as a great party host. The place was all dolled up in Sea-worthy attire, and there was a wheel of danger that involved finding the pirate’s buried treasure (if you catch my drift!) and a floor show with….stripper pirates! I am not sure if there were ever such shows as the gals walked the plank on the seven seas back in the day….but we sure got a treat! Burlesque is alive and well in San Francisco. And she’s wearing an eye patch! AAAAaaaarrrrgh! This was a pansexual event—as are all Kinky Salon events—and all sorts of clever male and female pirates (and a ninja…..I don’t know why) frolicked and cavorted the night away.
The next morning was the big Pride Parade—there were a good 750,000 in attendance. Huge! The parade lasted for a good many hours, and everyone was in rainbow-brite, sparkly spirits. The omni-present Midori, author of Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink, led the parade with the dykes on bikes. Oh the roar of some 300 engines was a … gas!
Other highlights: The leather and kink community is alive and well in SF. Every imaginable organization was marching proud. I loved the balloon guys and their porcupine-like head dresses
and the Polynesian hula dancer float—the moves were so lovely and hypnotic. (Insert hula photo).
Can you believe I did this all in 2 and a half days? Oy. I need a vacation from my vacation. Thanks, San Francisco!
Friday, June 24, 2005
I am very proud to announce that this weekend I will be fulfilling a lifelong fantasy of mine: I am attending a kink party as a Pirate. Bring on the grog and let the nubile young maidens walk the plank! Or maybe just tie up the local beer wench and spank her! Either way.
The most fabulous kink party planners in San Francisco, Kinky Salon, are holding “Kinky Salon Sails the Seven Seas!”
They are promising Pirates and Mermaids and Sea Creatures of every kinky variety. Imagine Latex clad Sirens luring in the Leather Pirates. The possibilities are endless…
One of my favorite latex designers, Polly Pandemonium, and her Moral Minority, should be sporting some of her master designs. I am putting together a terribly sexy pirate girl outfit, complete with a leather eyepatch. Aaaargh!
I even took the quiz to get my pirate name:
Red Anne Bonney
|Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!|
And learned a little about Talking Like a Pirate!
I think Pirates and Kink are a most natural combination. Why aren’t there more Pirate kink parties? Think of applying all the fancy rope tying skills you’ve learned from Midori’s book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage, to tie up the bonny lass on the poop deck. Or gloriously torturing your captive sailors with a wooden paddle or some spikey leather gloves?? That’ll get them to tell you where they’ve hidden the gold treasure!
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Bend the Boyfriends Over
|At a recent product meeting at the Stockroom (Yes, we do have meetings- we don’t just run around trying out sex toy products all day!) I was curious about the sales of the amazing Feeldoe - a delicious double-headed dildo that can be used without a strap-on. It’s one of our top sellers. I asked, oh so innocently, “Do we have that many lesbians buying this?” I was answered very enthusiastically, “It’s mostly straight couples buying it! Everyone wants to bend over their boyfriend.” How bad ass is that? (No pun intended!) My heart swelled with love as I pictured all these gals all over the country making their male counterpart take it up his hungry pink pucker. I am terribly excited about this trend for many reasons:|
A. It’s a loving tribute to the phrase, “Turnabout is fair play.” Having been on both ends of the… ahem… stick, I can confidently say that it is a revelation being the Penetrator after enjoying for years the sensation of being the Penetrated. No one can deny that penetrating is a powerful feeling. Why should all the straight girls of the world miss out? And there is nothing like making your lover wait with breathless anticipation while you buckle on a mighty strap-on and choose just the right dildo for the job. Whew. Is it getting hot in here?
B. This act is the great equalizer. Now he knows what it feels like. This gives a guy a chance to let her take over. Grab the wheel and let her drive. Plus, guys have this magic spot called the Prostate that makes this ride well worth he trip.
c. And what better way for a woman to experience playing the part of the Top or the Dominant than to take him where he is most vulnerable?
My favorite married gal had these great points when I brought up the topic: 1) stuff in your butt doesn't make you gay 2) don't start with something that looks like a big cock 3) don't strap it on to start, tiny butt plugs rock 4) male g-spot/prostate 5) dogs like to chew on butt plugs, so don't leave them lying around the house
She told me she’s lost two plugs already! Learn from this!
I was surfing the web a bit and found a hilarious article written by “Raunchy Love” for a Canadian University, sighting rising popularity of the Bend Over Boyfriend trend. Raunchy wrote: “Yes, ‘Pegging’ is a craze that’s been sweeping the nation faster than Canadian Idol and it’s all about gals playing ‘quarterback’ and their boyfriends playing ‘tight-end.’” Love those Canadians and their football metaphors.
The grand cheerleader of hetero butt-sex, Tristan Taormino, has dedicated lots of energy to the cause and helped developed Liberator Wedges and Ramps that make bend over positions all the more accessible and sexy.
And then there are Bend Over Beginner starting kits and the Bend Over Boyfriend Instructional DVDs and Videos by a hero of mine, Dr. Carol Queen. These are great starter tools for the curious and the uninitiated.
I haven’t heard much open discussion from hetero men about this, but maybe that’s part of the appeal. The juicy secret of hidden submission and pleasure between a man and a woman cannot be overestimated. But hey- if any of you readers out there have some helpful/entertaining insights to share, I’d love to hear them. Until then, pucker up, boys.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Robert Davolt | 1958-2005
I would like to take this opportunity to honor a wonderful author and a brilliant book. Robert Davolt left us last month, and we will miss him so. His clever and entertaining legacy lives on in his collection of essays written over the course of a decade. I raise a toast to you, Robert!
Painfully Obvious: An Irreverent & Unauthorized Manual for Leather/SM
Humor is my favorite survival instinct. Sure, it's great to know how to administer CPR, start a campfire or change a tire, but most importantly, if you can laugh at the situation, you are on top of the game.
Enter Robert Davolt- an "Old Guard" leatherdaddy, survivor of the dramatically extinct Drummer magazine, survivor of a nearly extinct generation of leathermen. And, especially as a seasoned leatherguy, he has witnessed the stoic and mysterious leather scene turn into shiny fabrics, trendiness, and "toys" instead of "gear." The Shadow has morphed into "Does that collar match my new pants?"
I'm not saying he's not complaining- that's the best part. Steve Lenius of Lavender Magazine called Davolt an "equal opportunity curmudgeon." Think Larry David of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with a whip in his hand, or a macho male Bette Davis making snappy verbal jabs while handcuffing you to the chair.
All this humor and a helluva lot of uncensored, in your face advice to chew on. Davolt wrote this for and about the Leather Community. He is wonderfully immersed and dedicated to this community- and has been for nearly three decades. And like any member of a typical dysfunction family, he's got a lot of family frustrations he's lived through and witnessed that he would love to help fix.
Take the Leather Contest. Davolt has been a part of one pageant or another year after year:
"Like any minor nobility, leather titles have their share of stars and statesmen, inbreeding and madness, the invisible, the inspiring and the insufferable, embarrassments, thieves, whores and much less interesting characters. For those thinking of running- either to or from the warm embrace of the spotlight- and those who are just amused by it all, a few insights, tips and suggestions:"
I call Davolt's relationship with the leather contest a Love/Smirk relationship. Smirk filled with a lot of Love, mind you.
The Leather/BDSM/Queer/Pansexual Communities have been through so much in the last few decades. Visibility is at an all time high, while civil rights and freedoms are threatened every day. What better way to enjoy making sense of it all than by reading the insights of a very clever sadist.
I highly recommend Painfully Obvious. I guarantee you'll end up quoting it at your next SM social.
Best regards, Lucky Lana
For more information about dear Robert and his lifetime acheivements:
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Hyatt Regency Under Attack for Hosting IML
Hello lovely people,
I just received an email this morning that I want to pass on to you, dear readers. The host hotel of the International Mr. Leather Contest, the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, is getting flack from a right-wing group, and now the Hyatt needs your love and support! I can say personally that the hotel did an incredible job of hosting the event, and I am planning on calling the hotel in support this very morning. The group is also condemning Kraft foods. Long live Mac 'n Cheese!
Gang, this is important!
It looks like a local right-wing group is attacking the Hyatt for its support of IML. Lots of lies and distortions.. maybe a good idea to contact the Hyatt and let them know they are supported, so this threat doesn't get any traction. Feel free to share with others....
I wanted to make you aware that a right-wing Christian group (the Illinois Family Institute, IFI) has called upon its fanatics to contact the Hyatt and complain for its support of IML. It is also condeming Kraft Foods and the Gay Games, since the Games had a booth at the leather market.
The IFI is more of a pain in the ass, but they can stir the pot a bit, so it's good to be ahead of them and take actions necessary to support the Hyatt and the City of Chicago.
They've also posted pictures from the leather mart—possibly from the imrl.com site, which could be a copyright violation. As well, one of these photos features Daddy Don with boy roger and another, last year's Mr. German Leather, Phillip Tanzer. These photos were used on their site without any photo release from the people featured in them, this de facto outs them in mainstream media. They also make the false claim that IML violates obscenity laws—a claim that should not go unchallenged. This cannot go unanswered.
I don't forward mail very often, but this one just burns me. Hate is a very loud and out there emotion. Respect (for differences) is much quieter. I wanted to tip you off to this, so you can re-assure the Hyatt Regency that its continued support of IML is the right thing to do—it's also a great revenue maker!
If you have your own mailing list, perhaps consider sending your own alert to counteract any negative calls from these right-wing kooks. Or perhaps put something on your own website and ask people to contact the Hyatt and your other sponsors, letting them know we support them.
Here is the link and text of their "call to action":
Please spend at least a minute letting someone know we do appreciate the respect and effort that the Hyatt, Kraft, and others put forth to recognize us not just as gay men and women, but as leathermen and leatherwomen.
Fortunately, the IFI was nice enough to give us the phone numbers of the Hyatt and others at the bottom of the "article":
Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Kraft Foods: 1-800-323-0768
Harris Bank (with more than 150 Illinois locations): 1-888-340-2265
With much respect,
Mr Leather Ottawa-Outaouais 2003
The Wonderful World of Dildos
We get a lot of questions at the Stockroom from adventurous folks about dildos. One of my favorite subjects! Remember—and this was not that long ago—when the only dildos available were those grayish, white-boy, fleshtoned meatsnakes that all looked like underdone, bloated sausages left behind by the closing shift at the deli? I do. It was not pretty. Or hot. And those fleshy dinosaurs were made out of some soft, crumbly rubber that made the faux penis look like it had spent a night in combat and returned with chunks of flesh torn out.
Dear readers: if you still have one of these in your toy drawer, throw it out! You deserve better!
Ahhhh…...but where to begin? There are so many to choose from these days! And lordy knows, a lady never has just one pair of shoes. Or one dildo. Or one vibrator. And there are so many different kinds, made of many different materials. Which ones can you boil? Which lubes can you use?
Let’s see if I can get you started in the right direction. Because believe me, a good dildo will bring more smiles to your face than another pair of shoes. And I love shoes. Okay; buy another dildo *and* another pair of shoes. You have my blessing.
Let’s start with my favorite: Silicone Dildos & Vibrators
Silicone is a great material for dildos because it feels warm to the touch. These smooth, flexible dildos are resilient and durable. Their texture is similar to the softness of skin, giving them a sensual feel.
The non-porous silicone cleans easily with soap and water and, unlike some latex materials, doesn't get sticky after being used. (No more picking lint off your freshly washed dildos!) And silicone can withstand high temperatures, so you can boil them (as long as there is no vibrator unit inside) for 5-10 minutes or put them in your dishwasher to disinfect them. Silicone products are a great way to go for people who have latex allergies. I recommend these toys, especially for use with strap-on harnesses.
If you disinfect them, you can share them with your partner, otherwise, use condoms. Do not use silicone-based lube with silicone toys—they break the toys down!
|These days, the designs of silicone dildos are so impressive. Some of the most creative and ergonomic designs come from the creative minds at Fun Factory. My favorite Fun Factory dildos are the Heartbreaker Vibrator (left) and the Paul and Paulina (right).|
|The other dildos that are superstars are from Tantus. The Stockroom carries a huge line of their dildos and anal plugs. Being a size queen, I am a fan of the thickness and shape of Butch (left) and the beauty and length of Magnum (right).|
Jelly Rubber Dildos & Vibrators: These guys are great as an inexpensive alternative with plenty of great designs to choose from. They tend to be softer and more pliable than silicone and often have a shiny jeweled look.
You just need to play a bit more consciously with them because they are not as durable and need a condom on them every time. They can't be disinfected like silicone because they are likely to melt and are too porous to be disinfected by boiling or dishwashing, anyway. It is also important not to throw Jellies in the toy box next to silicone or rubber toys; they can break down and lose their shape. No oil-based lubes should be used with these.
|Some lovely jelly options are the Triple Twist Rabbit Vibrator (left) and the Jelly Double Dong (right).|
Cyberskin/Softskin: These toys are the most realistic in look and feel and are great for role playing! They are porous and cannot be disinfected, so use a condom—that makes it feel even *more* like the real deal! Wash with mild soap and water, then powder this toy with corn starch after use so it won’t get sticky—but never with talc powder; talc is associated with cervical cancer and should never be inserted inside your butt or pretty pussy. Use water-based lube.
|Our Cyberskin Cock with Balls will do the trick:|
Soft Vinyl/PVC: Vinyl differs from latex or silicone in several respects: It can be used with any type of lubricant. (Silicone products can be degraded by silicone-based lubes, and latex may be damaged by oil-based lubes. But there aren't any vinyl-based lubes!) The material is pliable, and its texture is smooth and inviting to the touch, but can still have a nice firmness, with excellent strength and durability. Like silicone, vinyl is very resistant to breaking and crumbling. And absolutely safe for people with latex allergies. Many of our vinyl dildos have suction cups on the base, & they're particularly strong and effective.
|And do we have some impressive vinyl guys to choose from! How about a dong as big as your forearm? Try the Sumo Rustler (left). Or how about one that looks like it came from a Mad Max movie? Try Vinyl Cock with Bumpy Balls (right).|
Hard Materials: Last but not least we have HARD PLASTIC, LUCITE, ACRYLIC, GLASS, STONE, and METAL. Fantastic new designs are popping up every day for these toys. Some great plusses are: they are non-porous, conduct vibrations really well, can be used with any type of lube, and are great for g-spot orgasms. Yummy.
Clean them with anti-bacterial soap and water. Do not boil plastic, Lucite or acrylic. Use condoms if sharing. Pyrex (glass), Lucite, and acrylic are shatter proof, but stop using a toy if you see a crack in it. Glass, metal and stone retain temperature extremely well, and they can be disinfected by boiling. Groovy thing about glass: a little lube of any kind goes a *long* way.
If you have any more questions, feel free to email me. Happy hunting!
Friday, June 03, 2005
International Mr. Leather 2005
I am finally back in L.A. after a six day stint in Chicago attending the infamous IML convention. Whoa boy! What a ride! How does a pervy, 5’4” female fare in a sea of hundreds of Leathermen? Swimming through a sea of the crème de la crème of hunky kinky gay dudes? Oh, she does quite well for herself….
IML is an event that overwhelms all the senses. The first sense that is hit the minute I hit the front door of the host hotel is the blast of aroma. That’s right. Imagine a primal blend of leather (natch), sweaty man sweat, testosterone, cigars and DESIRE. These guys are horny horny horny. You can smell it in the air. The scent is so damn sexy.
Next of course is the sights. Imagine Tom of Findlands, Freddie Mercurys, and the leather dude from the Village People multiplied by a thousand. And most are dressed to the leather nines 24/7. It could be 6am and there are guys in chaps in the lobby. Fantastic.
Then there is touch. Now, because I am just a little female, I was nearly invisible to these guys. Except maybe I’d get a compliment on my dress, etc. So there was no funny business-kind of touch going on. (Although this hot androgynous gal gave me a look like she wanted to devour me like a pork chop!) So touch for me involved lots of brushing up against hairy, sweaty arms and shoulders as I tried to squeeze through the flirt-fest in the lobby.
The Stockroom booth in the leather market downstairs was hopping as usual. Being a very clever business, JT’s managed to employ some very hot and tasty men to work the booth and strut their stuff. These guys wore our fabulous rubber apron that highlights the gym –toned booty so well.
I helped Midori kick off her brand new book, Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink at the Daedalus booth. Midori took matters into her own hands when she tied up our guys Japanese Bondage style and used them as book displays! She also ran around Shibaricon after a rousing opening event speech.
|Other highlights: Kissing comic icon Judy Tenuta’s hand, the Hello Kitty corset from Marvelous Mayhem, and kinky couples who dress alike.|