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LA Leather Getaway by CLAW - Third edition

By December 19, 2023


LA Leather Getaway by CLAW

The third iteration of LA Leather Getaway by CLAW held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles Thanksgiving weekend, November 22-26, showed a 10 percent

growth from 2022. Several tweaks made it easier for attendees to navigate the Bonaventure. Major events were joined

in the huge Pasadena Room on a lower level.

As does its older sibling, CLAW, LA Leather Getaway boasts it is "Zero percent contest and 100 percent fun." In keeping this there were several events going on at the same time at almost all hours of the event.

The vendors, a Leather Town square, dark parties, late night dances and more filled the Pasadena Room. In fact, the closing Kinky Kabaret show on Sunday night was held there. LA Leather Getaway included 100 plus Skills and Education sessions, a Leather Vendor Mart, City of Angels Cigar Deck (open 24 hours/day, Hercules BDSM play parties hosted by Avatar Club Los Angeles, Fetish Speed Dating, three silent auctions with more than 600 items; Kinky Art Show and sales counter, Bound & Beautiful live exhibition and jockstrap auction, hotel parties and socials, ABDL Playground, two pup and pet moshes, Strip Bingo, Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and weekend closing Kinky Kabaret.

There were 18 vendors ranging from large merchants like Rough Trade Gear and Ben Orson Leather to information service organizations including the Leather Archives & Museum, NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) and CLAW booths while an adjacent Town Hall had social areas with the Bullet Bar, The Leather Journal, and the Los Angeles Leather Coalition.

Members of Avatar Club Los Angeles organized and staffed the huge Hercules play parties held most of the weekend on a cordoned off second floor with about 20 pieces of dungeon equipment brought by Avatar members and friends. Because Avatar has done this all three years of Leather Getaway, the club was named a recipient of the LA Leather Getaway Club of the Year during the Saturday night International Leather Family Dinner. The award itself was presented to the club in person at the Avatar Holiday party in December.

The erotically hot Bound and Beautiful display and auction was held on Friday night. Many missed this because it was moved to a different room unannounced and started later in the evening. Hot young men were bound in several positions wearing as little as possible in many cases and fully encased in rubber in others. This was the eye candy and photo op event of the weekend.

The BLUF (Breeches and Leather Uniform Fans) Reception and Dinner featured a family-style feast including a triple-entree main course. The keynote speaker was Jack MacCullum, publisher of Drummer Magazine.

Le Mensch (Paris) bar owner Etienne Philonenko shared stories from his life as a Leatherman in New York City and Paris from the 1980's to the present.

There were many classes, presentations and demos including Sensual Rope Bondage, Suspension Uplines: From The Ground Up, both by Shibari Shawn, Boy Moose and Daddy Lawless; Write Your Leather Story by Ty Dehner; Leather Walking Tour of Downtown LA with Jon Wright; Encuerados: LA Latino LGBTQ+ Documentary Q&A by Orlando Bedollai and Mosqueda; Cigar Play - All up in your Ash by Sir Joel; Violet Wand Introduction by boy Scotty; Mindfucking Mindfully by Sir Ezra; Practical Humiliation for Doms by Hunter Greenee; Leather Sewing Basics by Joseph P. Easton; Navigating Race in BDSM Negotiations by Sir Trey; Power Exchange - Spiritual Aspects with Drew Lighthouse and Queer Asian Bear; British Vice - Corporal Punishment with Derek Cohen and David Williams; CBT and Light Ballbusting by Bob Joel; Cock, Ball, and Tit Torture by Peter Fiske and Al Parso-York; and Flogging - The Art of the Whip by Mike Van H. and Daniel V. and plenty more.

There was no shortage of Speed Dating opportunies. One could hook up with others based on Spankling, ABDL, Fisting, BDSM, Rubber, Couples and Thirds, Daddy and Boy, and Uniforms.

Cartoons & Cuddles on Saturday was nostalgic cartoons paired with cuddlers' favorite cereal, kicking back and relax with the best cuddle buddies that could be found.

The Kinky Art Show sponsored by the Tom of Finland Foundation gave guests the opportunity to peruse and purchase kinky art from more than 32 artists most of the weekend.

Breakfast Seminars included Consent Into The Future on Friday and Tie Me Tight: Sexual Agency, Hypermasculinity, and Consensual Non-Consent on Saturday in the California Ball Room. There was an optional breakfast buffet each morning.

Payasos LA hosted several parties including Postre suite after party on Thursday night, Subterraneo on Friday night by Encuerado and NYC Inferno, Muy Tarde on Saturday and Sunday nights with Nasty Pigs on the latter. Diaper Dance Party was an event for littles in the Pasadena Room on Friday.

The main meal of the weekend was the International Leather Family Dinner to celebrate LA Leather Getaway sponsors, staff and guests. The keynote speaker was Durk Dehner, founder and long-time leader of the Tom of Finland Foundation. There were photo ops galore as this was the formal event of LA Leather Getaway. Awards were presented with honorable mentions of major sponsors.

Boots and Cigar Deck parties went on most of the weekend which was open all hours, every day on the fourth floor outdoor pool and bar level. Hot Ash hosted a party as did Ben Orson Leather. Another was a social with GarCzar.

CLAW After Dark parties were in the cavernous Pasadena Room with its 8,000 square foot Dark Room from mid evening to 5 AM on Friday. This was busy. So was SUBTERRÁNEO by Encuerado, a dance party with special performances and spectacles with deejays Leo Iriarte and Your Girlfriend.

Drummer Magazine hosted a Tough Customers party and live photo shoot in one of the executive suites on Saturday night.




15th Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

By Rostom Mesli

The 15th Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on Sunday, November 26 at the Leather Getaway by CLAW at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The LHOF Induction was part of the greater CLAW LA weekend where there were vendors, classes, dance parties, play parties and socials. A private cocktail reception was held for the award recipients on Friday night in one of the executive suites.

A bit about each of the recipients:

Robert Meijer
In 1974 Robert Meijer founded RoB Amsterdam, a popular brand of Leather and kinky gear with brilliant, original designs and outstanding quality. Their flagship store and gallery on Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam remains popular today, almost 50 years later. At various times, RoB stores have also been open in Berlin, London, Paris, New York City and San Francisco. In 1990, Robert Meijer met an untimely death due to AIDS, but RoB’s legacy and RoB brand gear endure.

John Sutcliffe
John Sutcliffe was among the most influential fashion designers, entrepreneurs, and kink technological innovators of the 20th century. He published AtomAge (no. 1, 1972), "Magazine of Modern Leather Couture," dedicated to kinky fashion with innovative use of leather, rubber, and vinyl materials. Rare during this period, Sutcliffe operated a public store offering fetish clothing and publications in London. His distinctive designs, such as the fetish "catsuit" for women, inspired others and contributed to the popularization of kink styles in fashion, media, and popular culture.

69 Club
Founded in London in 1965 by Tony Hepworth and by Felix Jones (LHOF 2015), the 69 Club was the first gay male motorcycle club (MC) in Europe. This type of social and sexual institution quickly spread throughout the continent. The 69 Club ended its activities after 56 years in December 2021, but dozens of MCs stand as their heirs, from Portugal to Estonia and Russia.

It was no secret that 2022 was the last of a three-year commitment between CLAW and the Bonaventure. Determining that the hotel was way too big for an event like this, LA Leather Getaway will be moving to a new hotel next year. The event wants to have full run of a hotel which fits the size of the event with room to grow. In other words, a shoe that fits. Leather Getaway will very likely be moving to a new date. Executive producer Bob Miller is searching to fill both needs.

Leather Getaway is produced by CLAW Corp., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has donated over $990,000 to Leather community charities including LA Leather Getaway 2023. CLAW in Cleveland, at a fully-renovated XXX should be when the million dollar mile stone is reached. CLAW in Cleveland will be held April 11-14.





LA Leather Getaway Gallery


These 67 photos were taken by Dave Rhodes, Bear Mike, Thor Stockman, Motorboot Photography.