Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Playroom Portraits

Yesterday just before a play session in the Playroom my husband grabbed a few quick iPhone pics. A small amount of tweaking and the the results are below, can't wait to get the room decor finished and to sort out a proper shoot soon!

And as a quick bonus, on Sunday we visited the excellent Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar and this was a quick shot grabbed in the corner of one of the toilets. So pleased with how it came out.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Internet Killed The Leather Bar?

Internet Killed The Leather Gear

MTV first started to broadcast in 1981 and the first video they played was Video Killed The Radio Star, a great song that didn't quite live up to its name.

In the late 90's the World Wide Web started to gain popularity, and it very quickly became a part of most people's lives. Very shortly after we started to hear the discussions in bars, the comments on Bulletin Boards and then before long the blog posts blaming the Internet as it had become known for the demise of the Leather bar scene. Here I am using the term Leather to include all forms of fetish gear.

In the last year I have travelled to San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam and London. In each city I have done a very unscientific experiment using the Recon iPhone App I looked down the profile list at all members within 1 mile of my location, usually near the centre of the gay village area of the city.

I then counted how many fit into the following criteria:

1) Fetish gear photo (someone in leather, rubber, skinhead, uniform or clearly fetish gear such as S.W.A.T. gear)
2) Just in a harness / jock
3) Topless, so if not in category 1 would usually mean jeans, tracksuit trousers etc
4) Street wear
5) Headless / no photo

Bearing in mind this was done only using what is probably the largest gay mens fetish cruising site. And it was quite depressing, I would say over 60% were topless / street wear or no photo. Then only about 15% were actually fetish gear pics.

The Internet has had an effect on the bar scene, both positive and negative. But it has far from killed it off, it has evolved and changed as the guys who are going have evolved and changed and new blood comes in. And sometimes new blood are like children - they don't want to do what their parents did because that is so uncool.

Tastes and fetishes have changed, back in the Old 'when everything was better' Guard days you would have been lucky to see guys in rubber, and neoprene was unheard of! Now both of these have become much more popular, have more unique fabrics such as NastyPig Rubber - the manufacturers of many leathermen's first Chaps.

If you head out to what would be considered a Leather bar on most nights what can you expect to see? Most guys in jeans and t-shirts, plenty of trainers some boots and if your really lucky some leather jackets. It is only when places and events have enforced dress code events that people actually gear up.

Even then it's rather depressing ... If you go to most fetish events in London for example, Recon's Full Fetish often being the biggest, they aren't really fetish events. They are sex / cruise clubs with a dress code. And in the majority of cases that means a harness and designer underwear / jockstrap. And most of them would have no idea what a collar on a guy actually meant.

For me if I go to a fetish club event I want to play. I want to tie my boi to a St. Andrew's Cross and flog him, I want to get a guy strapped down to a fuck bench and tease him and put on a show. I don't just want to walk around seeing 100 blowjobs.

And for me this lazy attitude is what is killing the bar scene. Guys are leaving the gear at home. They are loosing the pride of standing tall in full leather or full rubber, for showing off who we are and what we like.

There is one area of the fetish scene that is slightly different, that the guys get geared up and play. The pups are coming!

In the past few weeks one of the oldest Leather bars in Amsterdam, Argos, closed its doors for the last time. The response was the same as to when Woolworths closed in the UK ... People complained, they said it was the loss of an institution, it was a place of so many memories, it was an amazing place etc. Ask any of these people when they last visited ... Oh years ago. Ask them if they went in any gear ... Oh no and then some rubbish excuse of why they couldn't.

So I am joining BLUF and others in trying to encourage people to get out to visit the bars and more importantly to do so with some gear on! Show others and newbies that fetish is alive and well, we are proud of our kinks and don't just want to hide away in the bedroom.

Gear up, get out and get off!

And if you don't support these businesses shut the fuck up moaning when they close! They are businesses with rates and rents to pay, with staff and bills to pay.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Coffee, Cake & Kisses

A good few years back there was an amazing place in London to go for amazing coffee, cake and a little bit of Kink if you wanted. It was the aptly named Coffee, Cake and Kink.

It was a great place, and one that was not afraid to bush boundaries. Back in 2006 for example it featured an exhibition by renowned Leather / Fetish photographer Uli Richter. The first public exhibition of gay SM Artwork in London for two decades!

Of course people got upset by it, CCK was visited by the both the police and local council to investigate. Both stayed for coffee and the exhibition ran its course without incident or causing the downfall of society. But unfortunately like many small independent business they have ups and downs. It is hard work selling coffee for a few quid in the centre of one of the worlds most expensive cities and with great sadness they closed.

But their passion, their drive and their ideas were far from dead!

The world moved on, the Internet got bigger, and new things started. And new sites started to help people get started – sites like Kickstarter.

And so an idea began for a new kind of coffee shop, a place that makes you go “mmm...”

Coffee, Cake & Kisses, a new fusion concept from the founders of Coffee, Cake & Kink.

With everything for sale except for its staff, Coffee, Cake & Kisses celebrates bonds between people, and quality relationships of all kinds. It keeps the diversity and inclusion ethos of Coffee, Cake & Kink, as well as much of the original store’s merchandise while also making difficult concepts more accessible to the general public.

With a firm focus on relationships, however traditional or alternative, Coffee, Cake & Kisses aims to provide a comfortable, non-judgmental space for the exploration of all things carnal and cerebral, inclusive and welcoming of all genders, sexualities, relationship models and lifestyles. Staff training will include brewing methods, home baking and kissing tips and tricks, all to be shared with customers.

This new concept for a store is about inclusion, in the same way Neil Patrick Harris declared Broadway “not just for gays anymore” CCK is for everyone however they identify. Be it Leather, straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans or undecided. Books, art, cards, and gifts available for sale will range from coffee equipment to cookery books to gender politics, polyamory and sex education. An eclectic line-up of events includes anything from bake dates to erotic story-telling to sensuous body painting workshops. As an added twist, everything you will see in store – from coffee equipment to furnishings to lighting – will also be available for sale, with only staff excluded (but do feel free to ask).

The campaign is drawing to a close in its final hours now. But it is not too late to help this incredible business go from concept to reality by quite simply pre paying for some coffee’s and cakes! Indeed it is possible to get a signed A3 limited edition glicee print of your choice by Ulli Richter and the opportunity to meet him for coffee.

Find out more on their Kickstarter here.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Brighton Looses Village Campaigner- RIP Mike

Brighton, a small seaside town on the southern English coast, has long had a reputation around the world as a great destination for queer travellers. It's gay village has a vibrant community with many bars, shops, clubs, restaurants and hotels.

Like any community it has its characters and leaders, and this past week it lost one of its greatest most outspoken characters. Mike Dalley was known to pretty much anyone who spent any time in brightens gay village. If they didn't know him he probably made sure they soon did.

He was a successful local business man, owning and running two stores in the centre of Kemptown, the official name of the gay village area. The first was a tanning salon, and the second how I got to know Mike - the Cardome greetings card and gift store. My husband supplied him with many greetings cards and gifts.

If he wasn't found in the store he would have been in his office ... The Townhouse bar and restaurant over the road. He would hold court here for hours, and have meetings with suppliers, campaigners or just those who happened to be there.

I had the pleasure of Mike's company on just two occasions, and the impression he made was instant. A truly lovely gentleman who cared passionately about his beloved community. He had a great smile, a story for every occasion and cutting remark for those who he disagreed with.

The editor of Brightons gay scene listing, GScene, describes how when he last saw Mike in hospital his last words were to make sure that the police stopped cyclists cycling down St James Street the wrong way. Something that was a strong mission of his, until his last moments he was fighting for what he was passionate about.

In Mike's passing Brighton, and the British gay community has lost a great star.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We will remember them

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Behind the Sash Calendar

I just stumbled across this little discover a few days ago. It is a new charity calendar in aid of the excellent Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago.

It features photos of 12 Leather and Bear titleholders from around the world, namely:
  • International Mr. Leather 2012/Mr. Michigan Leather 2012 Woody Woodruff  
  • Mr. 501 Eagle 2012 Ron Kautz
  • Mr. Missouri Leather 2012 Scott O'Brien
  • Mr. Washington State Leather 2011 James Dunagan
  • Mr. Bluegrass Leather 2011 Sam Clemons & Mr. Kentucky Bourbon Bear 2011 Aaron Huddleston
  • Mr. Code Florida 2012 Steve Hedrick
  • Mr. Chicago Leather 2012 Angel Velez & Raphael Ferreira
  • Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2012 Derek Harley & Josh Cronan
  • Mr. Iowa Leather 2012 Jeremy Morris
  • Mr. North American Bear 2012 Jed Ryan
  • Mr. UK Leather 2012 Kilker Alcaraz
  • Mr. Sydney Leather 2012 Richard Savvy

I have a trip to New York coming up and so hope to pick up a copy to grace my new playroom wall! If you are from the UK let me know and I can pick one up for you too.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Amsterdam Kink Academy

Unfortunately I can't make this, I am away then which is a real shame as I wanted to go to the Flogging and Bondate workshops. Hopefully next year!

Full details: Amsterdam Kink Academy

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Intense CP - No Way Out

No Way Out Punishment is a British porn site, it specialises in hard, all-male Corporal Punishment (CP) and spanking. They spank, whip, cane, strap, paddle and flog our way through a lot of guys arses! Old young, slim, built - they have a lot to choose from.  If the thought of dominant males beating bare ass turns you on then you will love what we do.

This isn't any of that pretend BDSM porn crap! This is real men causing real pain with real screams ... definitely not for the faint of heart.

So I thought I'd introduce you to one of their latest clips, Steve isn't really my 'type' - too young for me, but I know there are a lot of guys who would love to see him getting his arse beaten.

Steve is only 18 years old and has been spending way too much money going out and drinking with his friends. London is an expensive city - he borrowed some money off his friends and now he can't afford to pay it back. There was nothing else for it - he decided he had to take it HARD for NO WAY OUT. I was only too pleased to help show Steve some hard discipline and I was delighted when I saw his ass - he has a great ass for punishment - young and smooth. I made him bend over and just grit his teeth as he presented it for us. I punished him hard with a variety of implements and loved watching his ass turn from a pale, blemish-free state to pink, to red and then to very red and very, very sore. This is a very harsh introduction to CP for this young lad. Belts and paddles hammered down on those ass cheeks until I felt he had learned his lesson. It was very humiliating for a straight guy too. I gave him something to bite down on while he took the punishment like a man - a paddle now has Steve's teeth marks set quite deeply into it.
As you can see from the scenes below Steve certainly takes a hard beating! I'm sure sitting down was a bit of an issue for the next few days!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cable Locked Collars

Yesterdays post about the SM Apartments in Berlin closed with a picture of me wearing a new steel cable collar. The collar is feels amazing and is a fantastic original design! The one I am wearing came from the Recon store where they credit an American manufacturer with making them.

A bloody good find by their purchasing team!

Another awesome find was by a friend who found the website for Cable Locked in Denver, USA.

Four of the designs from Cable Locked

Founded only this year Cable Locked Designs is a part time business that makes Industrial Jewelry out of cable - all of them are designed to be locked on and are hand made to order.

It is an outstanding piece of design work, and I really hope they make a success of it - they deserve the recognition for the design and work. I personally love the blue collared lugs, and suspect I will be ordering that one before too long to go with my existing red one. Clearly not to be worn a the same time!

On the website you can order both uncoated cable and one with a clear vinyl coating. Personally I would recommend anyone looking at these for long term wear go for the vinyl coated on. Not only will the cable snag and pull on neck / chest hairs the very abrasive nature of the cable won't be good for the skin.

So if you are looking for a new original design of collar for your property or just to wear something unique check out the website! Shipping to the UK is also available from them.

Monday, 3 September 2012

SM Apartment Berlin

For quite a while now I have wanted to try hiring a dungeon space, or even an apartment with dungeon. Unfortunately some of the old favourites like the Black Tulip in Amsterdam closed, as did the RoB apartments there. London has a few dungeons available for the evening or by the hour, but there is something about going to stay somewhere for a few nights with its own playroom that really appealed.

A long time ago I found the SMApartments Berlin and really fancied them, and this past weekend I finally got to stay at the SM Suite with my husband. Berlin is now Europe's leather capital, Amsterdam lost that crown a few years back – it is now trying to get it back which is great to see!

Berlin is also home to the two RoB and two Hoist Basement apartments - but these don't appeal as much as the SM Apartments.And there is a very simple reason - the apartment space looks really nicely designed and styled. The RoB and Hoist ones are almost over styled to be hard sex environments. Yeah a good dirty play space is awesome, but I really like comfort and style. And the SM Apartments offer both of these.

We booked the SM Suite, and because of how flights worked we later added an extra night to the stay. The only down side was the arrival time - out flight landed about 10:00pm. We had excellent directions to give the Taxi driver and were met at at the apartment to pay the balance, be shown around, and of course to get the keys. Even if a little late – we didn't get in until 11:00pm, but this wasn't a problem.

The Suite is the largest of the three apartments available. If you really don't like Tom of Finland art you may not love the apartment - it is decorated with 14 of his iconinc drawings throughout the lounge, hallway and bedroom.

You walk into the apartment into a large airy lounge area - the rooms are very very tall giving a great feeling of space! The kitchen area and breakfast bar / dinning table is off the lounge. It has all the essentials - fridge freezer, toaster, microwave, kettle and Nespresso machine. There is also an electric hotplate should you need it. The fridge and kettle were about all we used, along with the dish washer.

The bedroom has a large king sized bed with plenty of drawers for storage, a hifi and wall mounted TV. The apartment also comes with it's own iPad and WiFi. A word of warning with the WiFi ... the walls of the apartment are very thick and the signal sometimes gets lost if you stray too far from the edroom – no wifi in the loo at times on my old 1st gen iPad.

The bedroom is where I think I would say I only had one complaint - lack of pillows on the bed. There were just two very thin pillows that offered no support. But we made use of the blankets there too boost them up and all was good.

The bedroom is where we also came across our first item of dungeon furniture - a Fetters Mk 1 Whipping Bench. A great classic bit of dungeon furniture!

And then the playroom ... the real reason everyone stays here!

A huge cage, sling stand, suspension rig, wall restraints, bondage table, gyno chair, tv & dvd player, russian gas mask, restraints, chains, ropes, leather sleepsack, rubber sleepsack, condoms, lube, pegs and a few other bits and pieces you will enjoy. I think some pictures say much more about the space, I have to add thought that the lighting was awesome!

We had a great time at the apartment and really enjoyed exploring Berlin as a city. The apartment is very well location for the U-Bahn, just ten minutes walk away if that. One of my fave bars visited was Prinzknecht just around the corner. Walking in I felt like I'd been transported to San Francisco, it felt very American to me in its styling and service. None of which is a bad thing - very different, a great thing and a great bar.

Berlin is an amazing city and I will be making some more posts about the shops in the area. I can't wait to go back!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Lube Review: FistPowder

The 'ultimate' lube is something make people continue to look for. Different lubes are more suited to different activities, for most people who just want a good fuck something like Liquid Silk or ID Lube works well. But for those who like a little more - bigger toys, bigger dicks, more fingers, or a fist or two the requirements change. It needs to stay slick, give a good slide with a slight grip so toys don't fly out of your hand - you could get someones eye out with a flying butt plug if your not careful.

Most hole players have their own preferences, popular ones being Crisco / Trex (much cheaper to get hold of in the uk) or often J-Lube with Aqueous Cream.

I must admit I've never been a huge J-Lube fan - it's messy. Very messy! It's going to be good for fisting - this stuff is designed for vets to shove their arms up cows!! But it is very stringy which means you end up in a mess of lube and if you're not careful of your flooring also flying across the dungeon / bedroom! The other problem you have with J-Lube is the clean up ... just washing with soap and water doesn't work, it just gets super slippy and doesn't really clear up. I'm sure many a J-Lube virgin has freaked a little bit at this point, no you need to keep a tub of table salt in the bathroom cupboard to break it down.

Several years ago there was an amazing lube in on the market - K-Lube. This was very popular as a regular lube and for fisting, they did some nice warming / tingling / relaxing mixes too. And they also sold it in mix your own powder form and it cleaned up with soap and water- a big advantage. But then the owners of the company had some personal nightmares and had to close the company it was sorely lost.

But 2012 the world of lube is changing! K-Lube powder is back (original formula apparently) and then  two new players on the market! The first is from a French company called FistPowder, and the second from a UK based company but developed in Germany - X-Lube.

And so, to the lube! I have so far only tried FistPowder a few times, so this is a first impressions view.

The powder comes in a rather compact tube / bottle, and the design of the package follows the website which I think looks awesome. Something to be aware of is not to remove the outer label from the bottle, just by twisting the top you break the seal - the label has on it a small marker line at the very top of the lid. This is used for measuring the amount of powder required to make up 500ml of lube. The bottle has a secure flip top so don't worry about spillages in your toy bag.

The problem with all these powder lubes is the mixing - finding the best way of doing it. I think I've found a good way of making it easy! I use a 700ml Maximusle Protein Drink Shaker. 500ml of warm water (this has measurements on the side), and a 5g measure of powder. Put the lid on - make sure its sealed and shake, shake shake. Then leave for five minutes and shake shake shake again! You are then left with a bottle of lube!

The resulting gel is latex safe - so ok to use with condoms and gloves, is colourless, odourless and apparently doesn't stain! The first thing I noticed - no stringy bits and it  pours really well and is easy to control both the amount you want and where it goes!

The slip is good, really nice natural slide to it but its not like liquid teflon! You can pick up a butt plug or dildo and actually keep hold of it! And I think that is a critical part of a lube, something that J-Lube misses out on.

I enjoyed it, it worked well, and found it lasted well without drying out too quickly. I will definitely continue to use it, and look forward to trying different mixes of powder to water.

It's a great lube to help whatever your your shoving up an arse get in and come out again easily!

I think there is something that they should look at doing - releasing the product in 5g sachets. To 'try out' the product costs over £25.00 for one tube with delivery, a bit steep to see how you get on with a product. So being able to request a single sample would be helpful, and also selling say packs of 10 x 5g sachets makes for great travel lube! You take a sachet, on the way you pick up a 500ml bottle of water. Tip in sachet, shake and fist! I can hear the the Jingle now - do the shake n fist ...

As a final word they really need to get the malware warning on their website sorted! Getting a bit annoying now and will be putting people off looking at it. I know they are trying to get it sorted though.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Canal Pride - Join the Mister B Boat!

Wish we could be there this year - hope everyone who goes has a fantabuloso time!