From Issue 3.1 - September/October 1996
Margo St. James, founder of the prostitute's rights organization COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) is running for San Francisco city supervisor. The election for Board of Supervisors will be held November 5th. A field of 27 candidates is running for 6 open seats, including 4 seats held by incumbents. St. James sat on the San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution which recently released its final report recommending decriminalization of the sex industry. According to St. James, "sex is the only activity that becomes illegal when there is money involved." St. James has a long list of queer supporters as well as endorsements from several politicians. In addition to sex workers rights, St. James supports the decriminalization of medical marijuana, improved conditions for bicyclists, efforts to reduce domestic violence, safer streets, camping accommodations for the homeless, increased funding for education, and tighter safe water regulations. St. James will be hosting the Original Hooker's Ball on October 26. This year's ball will be the second since the 1970s tradition was revived after a long hiatus while St. James resided in France. The ball will be held at Maritime Hall at 1st Street and Harrison. Tickets to the VIP reception and show (7pm) are $75 and tickets to the ball (8:30pm) are $45; both are available through BASS.
Beset by controversy, the bi-annual Powersurge women's leather conference brought leatherwomen from all over the globe to Seattle during Labor Day weekend. E-mail boxes coast-to-coast were buzzing with fiercely held opinions about the inclusion of transgendered people in the women-only conference.
Some women objected to the inclusion of female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals as workshop leaders. Women who defended the FTMs' right to attend objected to the inclusion of male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals. A few registrants on both sides of the issue boycotted the conference, though threatened disruption of workshops failed to materialize.
According to some reports, the highlight of the conference was an anal fisting workshop. Several attendees were disappointed with the quality of the workshops as a whole, specifically the lack of "hands-on" as opposed to discussion workshops. The "Amazon Feast" proved to be slim pickings, the entertainment did not measure up to past standards, and the conference dungeon was ill-equipped by San Francisco standards, according to some participants.
Pat Califia is circulating a questionnaire to find out how women feel about these issues. If you registered to attend Powersurge, you are eligible to complete the questionnaire. Results will be made available to the Powersurge planning committee. You can get a copy of the questionnaire by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Pat Califia, 2215R Market Street, Box 261, San Francisco, CA 94114.
The Kink Aware Professionals referral service is a project initiated by Race Bannon to compile names of kink-knowledgeable and kink-friendly professionals, including therapists, physicians, dentists, chiropractors, and lawyers. KAP refers people to appropriate professionals in their area. All KAP professionals abide by belief that adults have the right to engage in any safe and consensual erotic activity. KAP has a new web site Bannon hopes that the web will facilitate greater access to the service. Those without web access can request referrals by writing to KAP Mail Request, c/o Race Bannon, 584 Castro Street, Suite 518, SF, CA 94114 (include SASE for 64 cents), or sending e-mail to email@example.com. The referral service is always looking for new kink-aware professionals to add to its databases.
Rage! Ready is an evolving group of artists supporting self-defense at the community level. The group is committed to raising funds to provide self-defense training for women for whom it may not otherwise be available. Rage! Ready is allied with Home Alive in Seattle, the collective formed by women after the 1993 rape and murder of Gits singer Mia Zapata. The first San Francisco benefit, a play party held July 27 at the Power Exchange, was extremely successful. Watch for an upcoming show in the fall. For more information or to get involved call 415-928-8599 or 415-252-1030. --Thanks to Anna Bergman.
London held its fifth SM Pride March on September 15th at Whitehall Palace. While San Francisco and several other cities have leather pride weeks, London plays host to the only leather/SM-specific pride parade. This year's parade was led by the Pony Club -- riders pulled in sulkies by their human ponies -- and included members of SM Gays, SM Bisexuals, SM dykes, and many others of all genders and sexual orientations. This year's event was especially poignant, as it falls during a year of stepped up police harassment of SM and other kinky sex events and venues, and precedes the European Court's November hearing of the Spanner case. -- Thanks to Kellan Farshea.
For a forthcoming book, Jon Jacobs (Different Loving, 1993) and Polly Peachum are seeking women willing to be interviewed about their submissive lifestyles. The book, tentatively titled Submissive Women, will describe the experience of women whose submissive feelings are persistent and intense enough that they must accommodate them in some life-changing way. The book will delve into topics such as the paradox of submissive self-esteem; submissive fantasies versus real-life possibilities; resolving one's submissiveness with feminism; dealing with the everyday world of family, work and vanilla partners; intimacy; and more. If you are interested in being interviewed, please send us a page or two of information about yourself which includes your general family and geographical background, age, marital status, a general description of your current D&S relationship if applicable, some information about your experience as a submissive, and anything about your life experiences, desires for the future, or fantasies that you think might be of interest. All information will be kept completely confidential. No interview will be used without a signed release. Most interviews will be conducted by telephone. If interested, please contact at P.O. Box 191754, Atlanta, GA 31119-1754; phone 404-240-0019; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Leather Association's eleventh Living in Leather conference will be held October 3-6 at the Portland Conference Center in Portland, OR. The dates this year are a departure from the usual Columbus day weekend. This year's LIL theme will be "Medieval Madness," and will feature a theme banquet on Thursday evening. The opening ceremony for the conference will be held Friday. Friday through Sunday there will be a vendor area and workshops and seminars on a wide variety of topics, including dungeon etiquette, SM on a budget, fire and ice, head bondage, and getting published. Play parties will be held each evening, hosted by San Francisco's own Daddy Irwin Kane. The host hotel is the Comfort Inn Convention Center at 431 NE Multnomah. For reservations call 503-233-7933, and ask for the special LIL rate. Registration includes workshops and seminars, vendor area, breakfast and lunch Friday through Saturday, and a dinner show on Saturday evening; the Thursday banquet and play parties are extra. For information or to register, write to LIL c/o NLA: Portland, P.O. Box 5161, Portland, OR 97208.
On November 8-10, Chicago's newly formed Men of Rubber will host a Rubber Blowout Weekend in conjunction with the Leather Knights of Boston. The weekend will include a Friday welcoming reception, a Saturday evening dungeon party, and a Sunday brunch. Mr. Vulcan Rubber 1997 will be selected at a contest at the Cell Block. Mr. Vulcan Rubber is the first men's rubberist title contest, having premiered in Boston in 1993.
Mr. Vulcan Rubber 1994 Ryan Johnson of Chicago has held the title since then. "My 50,000-mile tread life has worn down over the last two and a half years," Johnson noted, "it's time for a new rubberman to carry on this kinky tradition." For more information, write to Studio R, 3023 North Clark Street, Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60657, call 312-506-8747, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
The first ever Amsterdam Leather Pride week will be held October 25
through November 3. Amsterdam is to continental Europe what San
Francisco is to the U.S. as far as the leather/fetish scene is
concerned, so the weekend should be an event not to be missed. Many
leather and SM organizations, shops, and bars are joining forces to
put on the 10-day festival. Friday October 25 will be a Hot Leather
kick-off party. Spain's Antonio Sanchez will pass on his sash at the
Mr. Drummer Europe contest on November 1, followed by the Winners
Ball. The contest weekend events will be held at the Arena, a former
nunnery. The New York Lure's PORK! dance party will move overseas on
Saturday afternoon, followed by the Pigs in Paradise party. The week
will end with a Halloween party on November 3. Proceeds will benefit
Countdown on Spanner and the Homo Buddy Project. Drummer is offering
package deals starting at $160.00 including accommodations and
events. To reserve, call 31-20-627-6467. For information write to
Amsterdam Leather Pride 1996, Postbus 18, 1000 AA Amsterdam, the
Netherlands (please include 2 International Reply Coupons), or check
out the Leather Pride web page.