Of course people with a preference for leather clothes have “always” been around, or for the rough men who wear certain clothes for their profession, for instance cowboys with chaps, police scouts with high leather boots or motor cyclists in their leather jackets. This last group got an exciting icon in Marlon Brando in the 1953 movie “The Wild One,” while in the subcultural circuit, the drawings of Tom of Finland present a wide selection of exciting men in (professional) leather.
Quickly after the gays became more visible and militant in the late 1960s and early 1970s, leather men also came out of hiding, handing out a terrible blow to the stereotype of gay men as effeminate sissies. As early as 1972, the leather scene was put in the spotlight of interested men with the publication of Larry Townsend’s “The Leatherman’s Handbook.” In this book, Townsend describes a world of leather wearing men who surrender themselves to casual sex with other men, often with a sadomasochistic streak.
The availability of “The Leatherman’s Handbook” was, at least in the USA, widespread through newsstands and bookstores. One year after the publication of Townsend’s book, the aesthetics of the leather scene once again hit the spotlights with the release of the erotic film “Nights in Black Leather.” The - autobiographical - lead was played by sex symbol Peter Berlin, who’s looking for sexual contacts on the streets and in the night-life of San Francisco as a German immigrant. The film was an international sensation and was shown for months in adult cinema’s in the USA and Europe.
In the early 1970s, the leather scene in Amsterdam also started to expand, with unprecedented prosperity in the following decades. The Dutch capital already housed the Motor Sportclub Amsterdam (MSA) and “the oldest leather bar in Europe,” the Argos, opening its doors in 1957 (unfortunately closing them in 2014). In 1974, The Eagle opened on the Warmoesstraat, which eventually became the hub of the capitol’s leather scene.
Oddly enough it was not until 1996 that the first Leather Pride was organized in Amsterdam. The initiative came from Martijn Bakker, owner of leather and fetish shop RoB. He got the idea a year earlier, during the thirtieth anniversary of the MSA, which organized a huge party weekend at Hotel Arena in October 1995.
Almost the entire fetish scene of Amsterdam collaborated on this event, which sold out and was a huge success with more than 1,000 visitors from all over the world. In the years to come, RoB Amsterdam continued to organize the Leather Pride, but early 2015, the organization was taken over by Michael Roks of The Eagle.
Certain changes will be made, but the event, this year taking place from October 21-26, will continue to be organized for the community. Activities and parties will take place at different locations in Amsterdam, and there will be workshops and a flea market with leather and fetish as a theme. Getto Food & Drinks, Warmoesstraat 51, will host the Leather Pride Special from Thursday to Sunday, the “Diva Burger” for just 13.50 Euros (one drink included).
The “Kick-Off” for the 2015 edition of Leather Pride will take place on the 21st of October from 22:00 to 04:00 at Eagle Amsterdam, Warmoesstraat 90. There is no dress code in place. Those who do not feel like clothes at all, can visit the “Naked Bar” at Club Church, Kerkstraat 52, a cruise night that’s always very busy and exciting, and at which only shoes are allowed.
Men who place less importance on dress codes, but have a desire to see these outfits (however minimal) worn by hairy men, have to wait until Friday, October 23, when The Web, Sint Jacobsstraat 6, hosts the Leather Pride Edition of “Fur-Real,” a party for butch hairy men (and their admirers). Entry is free, and there is no dress code in place. The music is by DJ Albert, known from the iT.
The so-called leather scene is no longer exclusively frequented by leather lovers, but also by men with different clothing preferences. The Cuckoo’s Nest, Nieuwezijds Kolk 6, therefore organizes during Leather Pride the already famous “Black Body Rubber Only Party” on October 23, from 22:00 to 04:00.
Whether they wear leather, rubber, or something else, the saying goes: There are two kinds of fags, size-queens and liars. Both groups are very welcome for the second edition of “Machofactory” in The Warehouse, Warmoesstraat 96, on October 23 from 23:00 onwards, a “live porn dance night” with actors and lovers of Machofucker. This porn producer calls itself the “number one website for amateur interracial bareback porn.” The Urban Dictionary, moreover, describes a machofucker as “invariably well-endowed and often of black or Latino origin.”
No wonder Manhunt Daily concluded that Machofucker’s “videos consistently feature humongous cocks and cum-hungry bottoms who know how to take those aforementioned cocks deep, hard and rough. [...] Sometimes, it’s truly unbelievable that these dicks fit into the holes they’re filling.” The entry fee for this well-hung spectacle that goes on to five o’clock in the morning is ten Euros.
Those who cannot get the machofuckers out of their system, but want to use them in another way than by pleasing them orally or anally can visit the next day Dirty Dicks, Warmoesstraat 86 (13:00-15:00) for a workshop “Cock and Ball Torture” (CBT), led by Dan Madden. Many feel uncomfortable at the idea of torture, however light, but if that torture is administered on cock and balls, they flee the scene all together. Madden, however, will demonstrate that CBT can offer much pleasure, for both parties involved! The workshop is developed to break down the myths and prejudices surrounding CBT lust. Besides this workshop, five other workshops will be organized on Saturday and Sunday, on electricity, fear, bondage, “Rough Body Play” and “Puppy Play.”
These workshop ideas can then be put into practice at the main party and highlight of the Leather Pride, “Damage.” This fetish party will take place on Saturday, October 24, from 22:00 to 05:00 in De Marktkantine, Jan van Galenstraat 6, and is organized by Tony Varlack, Jeroen Bloemers, Nelson Sousa da Cunha, and Michael Roks. The first edition of “Damage” during Fetish Pride was a huge success, which hopefully will be surpassed. At “Damage” all forms of fetish wear are allowed - think of leather, rubber, sportswear, uniforms and harnesses with jeans - but the bears will also be entertained.
“Damage” will also have a special Leather Lounge for leather men. De Marktkantine, with a capacity of 1,500 men, will be transformed into a hot, wild and sizzling venue with entertainment from DJ John K (ES) and DJ William Sizen Bell (UK), porn stars, GoGo dancers, and VJ Emile Steginga. The enormous dark room will have a “wet area” and an SM area with slings and more.
“Damage” is the main party of Leather Pride, but it doesn’t stop there. Size-queens and all other gays can find more entertainment on Sunday afternoon at the “Horsemen and Knights Safe Sex Party” in The Warehouse from 15:00 to 20:00. The dress code is leather, rubber, naked or underwear. Club Church will host the famous party “S.O.S - Sex On Sundays.” The dress code is “shirtless” but many visitors are only dressed in underwear or are naked even.
And this is just a small selection from the exciting things on offer at Amsterdam Leather Pride 2015. The full program can be found on www.leatherpride.nl.