Interludes are short segments between regular episodes with no editing but WITH leather creaking. It's a chance to hear a little more about what's going on in my life. In this interlude I share my experience at quote-unquote Leather Getaway, an even in LA over Thanksgiving weekend.Support the show
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Welcome to full cow, a podcast about leather kink and BDSM. My name is edge My pronouns are he him and I'm your host. And this is another interlude. The episode between episodes offered raw and unedited but with leather creaking. And in this interlude, I wanted to discuss my recent experience attending leather getaway, which was last weekend. Leather Getaway is only in its second year, and it is in Los Angeles over Thanksgiving weekend. So for those of you not in the United States, that is in late November. Now, the first thing to know about leather get away is nobody was calling it a leather get away. We were all calling it claw. Because last year it actually was cloth, because it's put on by the same people who put on cloth. And because it's easier to say cloth and leather get away. So technically, it's slow to get away. functionally it is claw. I had a really wonderful time. I had a great time last year, which is part of the reason why I went back. And I think it's a great event. It is held at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles, which is a humongous hotel 35 floors, I think, with class elevators, which I will tell you are terrifying if you're afraid of heights like I am not a lot of fun, particularly when you're in a class elevator high up in the air in a place prone to earthquakes. So you can imagine what would go through my head. In any case, what are the nice things about the hotel being so big is that the event never felt overwhelming or crowded. You could go to different spaces, and you would find people, but it was always manageable. And for me as an introvert. That was one thing I really enjoyed. The other thing that's great about the event is that it is a claw type event. That means there's always something to do. That includes classes, the vendor Mart, different parties speeddating, it provides a lot of options for someone so you never run out of something to do. And I think that's fantastic. There were a couple of spaces that I thought they did particularly well this year. They have a cigar deck, which is sort of outdoors and last year was just sort of with a little temporary fencing, couple of tables, some sad little chairs. It was nothing to write home about. But this year, thanks to the sponsorship of Ben Orson leather who I interviewed in the episode on whether the space was really fantastic. There was sort of very clear entryways that provided some privacy. The hotel set up a bar right there, so you didn't have to go half a mile to get a drink. They had a sort of tent like structure a couple of sofas and heaters, which came in handy because as it turns out, Los Angeles does get cold at night. The other space that needs to be talked about is the one every single person at claw was talking about, and that is the 20,000 square foot play area. Now, they always had the Hercules play area, which was sponsored by avatar, which was sort of more of a kink play area. But this downstairs claw after dark area was set up like a sex club. There were beautiful labyrinths, you would run across slings, little nooks, little crannies, places to rest, deejay playing music gloryhole booths, it's not really my thing, but I walked through it and it was stunningly designed. And I tell you, every single person was all about that space. And assuming they do another one of these, I expect attendance to go up quite a bit simply because of this space because it was the talk of the event. The rest of the event was really well done. The vendor Mark was small, and but I was able to get a few items I usually am. And the big vendor there for leather was Rough Trade, which is located in Los Angeles in Palm Springs. They make some beautiful items. I'm particularly fond of their uniform shirts, those of you who know my signature bright electric blue uniform shirt with the black quilted accents. That is from Rough Trade, I was able to get another one that I think I might have to have altered a little bit a little tailor just a little bit feels a little big on me. I will say that this time, my clever strategy of being intentionally social about events, a strategy I developed for international Mr. Leather earlier this year. That strategy backfired on me a little bit. I had so many plans with so many people that I really felt like I was going kind of nonstop. And in fact, on Friday, I didn't even get a nap and now I know oh poor me. That sounds horrible. I nap every single day of my life so for me to not get a nap in. That's actually pretty significant. I do not regret it, though at all, I had blocked large chunks of time, like half a day or a day with people who had a certain significance in my life. And I wanted to make sure I spent extended quality time with them. And I'm really grateful I was able to do that. In addition, I had smaller plans with people that I knew or that I wanted to meet, that I wanted to really invest in a kind of friendship or relationship. And so even though I was going kind of nonstop, I don't regret it at all, I had a really wonderful time because I was able to really connect with people. Unfortunately, I had thought to keep Sunday mostly free. And so I was also able to have a couple of surprise encounters, which were significantly delightful, I will say. So despite having a really booked schedule, I also did manage to have some spontaneous fun. And that spontaneous fun was really, really, really fun. I am so grateful for the people I was able to meet, and the friends I was able to see. Now the downside of this sort of hotel, so big little clusters of people everywhere, great for an introvert. The downside of that is that when I came home and looked on Facebook, I realized that I had friends who were attending that I never saw ones I didn't even know they were there. So the thing that's missing at claw LA or lock law, or law, or live or get away, however we want to call it is that sort of central lobby, at events like Mid Atlantic leather or international Mr. Leather, that central lobby is a central gathering place. And that is great, because you see everyone, it's awful, because it can be a little intimidating and overwhelming. I do think claw la would benefit from some sort of central space, there was the sort of bar cafe area in the center of the lobby, and I would wander through there and run into people. The vendor Mart had a really nice kind of, outside of animart, there were some tables to hang out. And then inside the vandermark, they had some sort of lounge area, which was also quite nice. So there were gathering spaces, but there was no central gathering space. I wouldn't say that's a reason not to go. But understand that you may never see everyone at the event. I couldn't even tell you how many people were at the event, I have no conception. I mostly stayed on site, I will say the hotel restaurant was perfectly serviceable, the food was great, very expensive, I was really quite shocked at what I was paying for meals. But for me, that's part of the leather event experience, I go with a very large budget, because I don't necessarily want to be wandering off site. Part of that is, I don't know the city, I don't know where to go eat. Part of it is I don't necessarily want to be tromping through downtown LA and my full gear. And part of it is I'm there for the event, I want to spend as much time at the event as possible. So even though I wasn't thrilled with the pricing, I didn't mind it because I had budgeted for it. And for me, it was worth it to be able to spend even more time interacting with people. In fact, a lot of the plans I set were around meals, and we they were almost all at the hotel. I did do one meal off site. And it was delicious and delightful with really quality company, I really enjoyed my time with him. But other than that I was at the event. I will say that for someone on the East Coast, it is a fucking haul to get to the West Coast. And I really felt the jet lag this time. I didn't feel it as much last time, and I'm not quite sure why. But I was very kind of low energy for the first day and a half or so. And then when I came home, it hit me even harder. Worth it completely worth it. But it is a good reminder to myself that a lot of times when I go to these events, I want to make sure to block out some time in my schedule before and after the event to make sure I don't have anything, particularly anything social planned before and after because I need some recovery time. Speaking of recovery time, I did experience some event drop which is a little unusual for me. So if you're new to the leather world event drop is a known phenomenon. So you go to a leather event. It's a very intense nonstop weekend where you are constantly surrounded by people who see you recognize you and understand you and everywhere you look. There's the delicious piece of eye candy no matter what your aesthetic is, no matter what you're into. You're in this place where there is something for you everywhere and it's fantastic and it is affirming and it is exciting and it is thrilling and it is a little exhausting, and then you go home, and then you return to your regular life. And a kind of depression sets in because you have to make this very sudden gear change back into going to work feeding the cat, getting groceries, and you are no longer encompassed by people who see you recognize you affirm you, you're no longer able to see a delicious piece of eye candy Wherever you look, because you're back home. And let's face it, you've already seen all the eye candy at home that you're ever gonna see. I'm generally, I think, a little immune to event drop. And mostly because I feel so much of my life here in Fort Lauderdale is kind of lived in a leather saturated environment, not that I wear leather all the time. But we have a great community here. So there's not as jarring a transition from an event to non event regular life. But this time I felt it. And I think it was probably related to the quality of the connections I was having. In Los Angeles, I've met some really wonderful people who are becoming very special to me, and was able to spend some really significant quality time with them. And I was missing them. I was missing that connection. Because the truth is here locally, I like to say I only have two friends in town. I have a lot of acquaintances. I have a lot of people I know I have a lot of people who know me. But there are only two people here in town who I would consider deeply on the inside of my life, my two best friends. And so I don't have this sort of over abundant plenitude of connection locally. A lot of that I have virtually, and that's okay. But it doesn't doesn't compare at all, to the quality, the energy, the sustenance gained from connections in person. And I think this year in particular, I was feeling that, and the jetlag. So, you know, I got there on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, all of my flights were booked, travel is definitely back. I came home Monday, leaving very early in the morning, getting home in the evening here, and then dealing with that rough transition of the jet lag and the time change and the temperature change and the environment change and the connection change. And it took me, I would say until about Thursday, to really recover. I plan on returning to this event. Now claw, classic claw, Cleveland claw has always been probably my favorite event that I've been to their love events, I still have to check out right. And I hope to attend claw in Cleveland in April 2023. But what's nice about this is that it's you know, well balanced with claw claws and April, quote unquote leather get away, which we all call claw lock, la, la claw law, claw LA. That's in November. So it's a way for me to have two of these events that I really love any year with more than enough time between them to budget, save up, find good flights. I'm also starting to think about my travel for 2023. Now the truth is, I'm specifically not I returned home from claw wanting to never traveled again. I think that was a part of the event job and part of the jetlag. But I know that sometime I'm recording this on December 4 Sunday, sometime soon, I'm going to want to start targeting the events I want to hit in 2023. I know I have a work trip to Chicago in February. Right now that is the only travel on my calendar. I am thinking about Cleveland claw. It's really complicated and 2023 Because it's scheduled for Easter weekend. Smoke out in Las Vegas is scheduled for Easter weekend. Easter Berlin, in Berlin is scheduled on Easter weekend. That's three major events on the same weekend and that is likely to split and Splinter King stirs. So I'm not sure what attendance at any of those three are going to be. People have to make some decisions about which they want to attend. So I'm not sure you know, I kind of want to get to smoke out because I found a lot of people meeting people at smoke out. I haven't been to smoke out in five or six years I think. I love claw. I would like to get back to claw. I'm certainly not going to be able to make Berlin this year that's not in the budget. So I want to choose a kind of spring event. And that may even be IML I don't think so I think it'll be claw or smoke out. And then I did have a great time at Provincetown mates in October, I would like to get back to that my beautiful, wonderful traveling companion can join me. And then I think claw, la, la, la, la claw, LA, CLI, LA, whatever we call it. I really have enjoyed that event, in part because I have so many wonderful West Coast friends, and it's very easy for them to reach it. And therefore for me to connect with them. I will also say that it is pig week here in Fort Lauderdale. It is in fact the last day of pig week. I have done almost nothing at pig week. I went to ramrod last night, which technically was pig dance, which is always the first Saturday of every month, but it was pig dance for pig week. And I had a very nice time. But pig week as an event doesn't appeal to me because it's nothing but public sex parties. That's it. That's like sex party at 321 sex party leatherworks sex party at Inlander Pool Party sex party, circuit party sex party at sex party here a sex party there, that's fantastic for people who really, essentially are that free in their expression of sexuality. I'm not I'm not I prefer my genital sex in particular to be far more private. And those public spaces I ended up feeling very awkward at and so I know there are a lot of people in town, I was able to meet a couple of them very grateful for that. And that event is coming to a close. Now there's a sort of beautiful, quiet time as the holidays in the end of your approach. And I'm looking forward to that as a way to rest and recharge and renew. I'm also need to get on top of this podcast, and get a few episodes in the bank. And I've got a couple topics in mind. So I'm gonna work on that. But that is the story of my time at quote unquote leather getaway wonderful event. I absolutely recommend it if you're looking for a new event to check out, particularly if you're on the West Coast. And then we'll see what 2023 brings. So thank you all as always for joining me. And I hope whatever events you attend, I hope you're able to make some events. I hope whatever events you attend, are simply amazing.