Welcome to the blog of Sir Dave where you can find news, appointment availability, new purchases, new ideas and just my thoughts on life work and the world. Oh and maybe the odd photo or collection of photo's I like.
I’ll admit it, I don’t go out too much to the kink / fetish scene in the UK. Sometimes if you spend too much time on Twitter and Instagram etc you can get the impression you are only a real kinkster if you go out on the scene loads. Nothing could be further from the truth! The gay fetish scene really doesn’t cater for all tastes, and unfortunately like most niche markets is very focused on London (particularly if you are the UK’s largest gay fetish site).
But there are pockets of kink and “man spaces” around the country. And one of those spaces is the long established Boltz Club in Birmingham – my local if you will. The Birmingham fetish scene consists of six main events / spaces:
For the UK’s second city (I can hear the screeches of dissent from Manchester already) this may not seem a lot, but what we have works well for us and satisfies many perverts needs!
Boltz has had a few name changes over the years, and has moved location before but it has been where it is now for a good few years now – just on the edge of Birmingham’s Gay village. The small doorway entrance leads to a dark world to explore!
There are several key areas to Boltz, the bar area, one large central bar with some stools and limited seating options and then all the other areas pretty much lead off from here. There is the outdoor smokers space, heaters, tables and seats there, the ‘educational’ cinema, the cruise maze, the cottages / toilets, sling room, glory holes and of course The Bullring. This is a different take on traditional cruise spaces, it seven different themed spaces / rooms: orgy, dungeon, slave, worship, bike, sling, web. I’ll let you discover for yourselves the different rooms – but if you have every wanted to be fucked on or over a motorbike with horny guys watching this is the place to go!
Boltz hold many events throughout the year, fetish nights, gear nights, sportswear etc all catered for. But one of their most popular is Dare2Bare on the first Sunday of the month (3pm – 8pm). There is a strict underwear / naked dress-code and the place gets full, hot, sweaty and can be a lot of fun!
Bolts isn’t just a fetish / fuck club. It’s just a great bar to hang out with your mates in. I’ve had some great afternoons, evenings there with mates passing the time buy enjoying the vibe, music and drinks on offer. And one of the best things are the great bar tenders they have! I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to the USA a lot and some of my favourite bars are there (the SF Eagle is one of them). And in most American bars you get great bar tenders, they are their to serve drinks, make amazing cocktails, host you and help ensure you have a great time. As one said recently in Key West “if you can’t trust your Bar Tender who can you trust?”
Boltz has been one of the few bars I have been in where the guys working the bar keep an eye out for who is waiting to order, and more impressively they remember what you drink! They notice you’ve finished drinking and ask if you want the same round again. Makes you feel appreciated and welcome!
So if you are in Birmingham and fancy exploring the darker side of its gay scene, Boltz is a great place to go! Or if you just fancy a pint and chat get along, the best thing about Boltz is that you can gear up if you want, you can fuck if you want, you can suck dick if you want, you can wank watching others do that, enjoy a cigar in the smoke area, or you can just sit and enjoy a drink. I will definitely be making more use of this place in the future.
I saw a post on twitter that reminded me of my very first sling, and associated sling stand!
At the time I didn’t have anywhere to permanently hang a sling, or at least fix attachment points to that I was confident would be safe and secure! So I looked at doing what lots of people do in that situation and buy a portable sling stand. The problem was … not many places sold them in the UK, and certainly not at a reasonable price!
Back then one of the few places to make a decent frame was Jim Support (and in my view still one of the best). Fort Troff were a distributor and did a good priced package that included the frame, a canvas sling and importantly canvas bag to carry it all in! The bag was quite important …
The plan was to buy the stand whilst on a trip to the USA, as it was significantly cheaper. And a few messages to and from FT helped to work out that the frame in the bag would fit within the checked baggage dimensions and it was just under the weight limit for my flight home! Maybe an unusual item to carry home, but it fit and that was good for me.
So order placed in plenty of time, and a few dildos and extra items added to the order too. Instructions agreed for delivery to hotel, who were notified to be prepared for delivery prior to my arrival. Package was Fedex’d from Fort Troff to the hotel … exciting!
On arrival at the hotel check in was the usual breeze, and the receptionist informed me there was a package waiting.
They went to fetch it.
two minutes later returning to the front desk with a small box about 20cm x 20cm. “That’s not what I was expecting … I think there should be another much larger and heavier box.” A few clicks, a phone call…
“No, that’s it Sir this is all we have for you.”
This wasn’t going well … my rather expensive delivery was lost somewhere in the USA! I contacted Fort Troff who were super helpful and did some checking, yup both parcels delivered. Front desk continued to claim just the one. I was waiting on the proof of delivery to be emailed over while I went out for a coffee and donut … I needed comfort food! Forwarded to the hotel along with the name of the person who signed and an hour later it had been “found”.
I then had a slightly different frustration – the hotel rooms are quite compact and not enough room to try out my new purchase! No way I was going to balance it on the bed … a recipe for disaster!
The frame survived the flight and journey home, and had several years of excellent use before being passed on to a new home to be enjoyed and used!
And if you are ever looking for a sling stand to use on your own home, dungeon, event or hotel room the Jim Support frames are amazing! No tools required, they can take a hell of pounding and heavy use and pack up super small to slide under the bed or in the cupboard.
The canvas sling is great because you can throw it in the washing machine to get all the spunk, lube, piss etc out no problem. But they aren’t super comfortable for longer sessions as they don’t offer much support to the back across the shoulders – a firmer leather sling is best if possible.
I’ve been looking back at an old blog and a few years ago I wrote a post about the SM Apartments, owned by SteelCollar, in Berlin. I thought it was worth sharing a slightly updated version of this post as some of you kinksters may be interested in it.
I’m very lucky in that I have my own permanent dungeon space, but appreciate that most people don’t have that luxury. And so quite often look at hiring somewhere to play, and over the years there have been some amazing play destinations. The Black Tulip in Amsterdam was quite legendary for example!
Around the UK and London there are some dungeons available for the evening or by the hour. But there is something about taking a break away with your boy /slave / maid to an apartment that has everything you need and a fully equipped dungeon & more right there. Oh and one that happens to be round the corner from some very horny bars!
And the SM Apartments are still, in my view, some of the best dungeon spaces you can get!
Berlin is also home to the Hoist Basement apartments – but these don’t appeal as much for me. And there is a very simple reason – the Hoist ones are almost over styled to be hard sex environments. Yeah a good dirty play space is awesome, but I really also like comfort and style to relax in and have my boy clean my leathers and boots in or just sit at my feet as we relax with a good wine. And the SM Apartments offer both the play space, and relaxation and comfort.
This trip we stayed in The Suite, the largest of the three apartments available. This review is based on a visit from 2012, so some of the decor and features and decor have changed since then, but the principles and ideas are the same!
For a long time now I’ve felt in a minority … a proud active Leatherman. But one for who the majority of the gay fetish “scene” in the UK hasn’t held much interest. I’ve always enjoyed my trips to Leather events and bars in the USA – CLAW (Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend) is a favourite event, and The Eagle in San Francisco a favourite bar.
And one of the reasons I have always enjoyed them is they have a real sense of community, of support, of brotherhood.
Something that until recently I can’t really say I have found at most events in the UK. I recently had my first visit to The Backstreet in London, what I can now see has been the UK’s only Leather bar for a long time. But that is going to form another blog post in the coming weeks.
This past weekend was the Annual General Meeting of Manchester Leathermen (MLM). The group was founded in 2012 and in 2015 merged with the Manchester Superchain, and last year I was excited to join as a member and attend my first MLM events.
Unfortunately, I have found it hard to get to as many of the regular events they host as I would like. The additional cost of a hotel (living two hours away) and free weekends lining up with events seem limited.
Even though I can’t get to many events I follow the activities of the group through their Twitter and Newsletters etc. Throughout all of this there comes a real sense of community, a group of people who support each other, who want to build something more than just another bar night.
One of the members of MLM who has helped spread the word of the group across the country and Europe is Joe King. He won Mr Leather UK 2016 and then Mr Leather Europe 2016. As a holder of both titles he has worked for the benefit of the community.
And now he is hoping to make it to International Mr Leather this May in Chicago. But attending such an event takes time and money, quite a lot of money!
One of the aspects of community I have admired from the American Leather scene is its willingness to support each other in representing their own bars, cities and organisations.
IML is an amazing event to attend, and for many it involves one thing – sex and lots of it! For others it’s cocktails, and lots of them, for others it’s about social time, shopping and discovering new friends.
For those who are attending to compete it is a very different weekend! They must attend all the formal events, rehearsals, meetings, meet and greets, interviews with judges, photo calls, press calls, networking and promotional events.
It’s busy, it’s hard work, it’s incredibly full on! In fact, most contestants usually have at least one person with them acting as their Personal Assistant. Ensuring they attend everything, are in the right place at the right time, have everything they need, their kit is ready, they eat, they sleep and hopefully get to enjoy what is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The only time a British Leatherman has won the title of International Mr Leather was when John Pendal won in 2003. So I think its’s about time we changed that! And we also showed the rest of the kinky leathery world that the UK is working hard to build an amazing community. And quite frankly American’s love the Royal Family …
So please join me in helping Send The King to IML and make a donation to his travel fund and to put the UK on the map again at the worlds biggest gay fetish event!
Thankyou Manchester for not just a Big Weekend, but an amazing weekend! And thankyou to all my friends who were a part of it and made it so special. I last went to Manchester Pride a three or four years ago, and had quite a mixed experience of it. But was determined to make the best of it this year … it’s all in the planning.
I have quite a love / hate relationship with pride – indeed a good friend on twitter replied to a comment saying “you sound like a crotchety old man”, which is about right. I don’t really like hugely crowded places, queuing to get in a bar, or the fact that you can apparently only celebrate pride with music turned up to 11. I do enjoy a good bar with a drag DJ taking the piss out of everyone, but most of the time I’d prefer an old man boozer.