Whether you’re chasing an international title or just learning the ropes, Canada and the United States offer a variety of leather and fetish events for all interests and skill levels. Shine up your boots (with the continent’s top bootblacks, of course) and explore the best kink events of 2016.  

Mid Atlantic Leather
Washington, DC
Mid January (2017 dates TBA)

Washington kicks off the leather year with one of the continent’s biggest events. Featuring socials, demonstrations, cocktail gatherings, a Puppy Park, bootblacking and an all-day exhibitor hall, MAL has secured itself as one of America’s must-do kink events, where leather, rubber and all that lurks beyond comes out to play, culminating in the Dark & Twisted closing dance.

 

Washington State Leather Pride Week
Seattle, WA
March 11–23, 2016 (2017 dates TBA)

The Pacific Northwest has an active fetish scene from Vancouver to Portland, but it’s down and dirty Seattle that hosts the region’s biggest event. The local Mr and Ms Leather contests are at its centre, but the full program for 2017 is yet to be announced. Expect a range of events at kink-loving local stalwarts like Cuff Complex, Seattle Eagle and Diesel.
 


(The Saint at Large/Vevo)

The Black Party
New York City, NY
March 19, 2016 (2017 date TBA)

Leaving the big leather competitions and workshops to other cities, New York instead brings together an incomparable fusion of kink, music and fashion at The Black Party. Like most of the cool parties in NYC, it’s been forced out to a warehouse in Brooklyn. But this celebration of gay erotica, fetish culture and sexual expression ranks as one of the world’s top gay dance events.

 

Los Angeles Leather Pride
Los Angeles, CA
March 27–April 3, 2016

Los Angeles hides a kinky scene behind its sunny facade, and it comes out to play at the beginning of April. Running since 1999, Leather Pride runs the full week and takes place across a range of venues, including the Eagle LA, and features the crowning of local title holders. The theme for 2016 is BOUND, with strong emphasis on the ties that hold LA’s leather and fetish communities together.

 

International Ms Leather
San Jose, CA
April 14–17, 2016

If the American fetish calendar seems a touch male-dominated, IMsL not only restores some balance, but forges its own niche. There’s the namesake competition, along with International Ms Bootblack, workshops designed by educators from around the world, top-notch entertainment, guest speakers and a popular silent auction, alongside a wide range of vendors.

 

CLAW Leather Awareness
Cleveland, OH
April 28–May 1, 2016

Tennessee Williams famously quipped that America had three cities: New York, San Francisco and New Orleans, and that everywhere else was Cleveland. That joke might have had a different punch line if he’d gone to CLAW weekend. Ohio’s premiere fetish event draws attendees in the thousands for workshops, parties, a vendor mart, shows and a men’s play space at the host hotel.

 

International Mr Leather
Chicago, IL
May 27–30, 2016

Arguably the world’s largest leather and fetish event takes over Chicago at the end of May. With it comes a suitably enormous leather market, a physique competition, bootblack contest, the award for International Mr Leather and the annual Black and Blue Ball. Beyond the hectic contest schedule, however, the event is a chance to meet and mingle with a truly international, kinky crowd.

 

Gear Up Weekend
Saratoga Springs, CA
July 7–10, 2016

This annual retreat dedicated to the next generation of kinksters welcomes men — cis and trans — of all kinks and fetishes with workshops, play spaces, mentoring and room to explore with new friends in a safe environment. All skill levels are welcome, and assistance is available in reaching the event. Discounts are also offered for students, servicemen and law enforcement.

 

International Puppy Contest
St Louis, MO
July 14–17, 2016

North America’s woofiest weekend lands in St Louis each summer. Contests, classes, workshops, mosh pits and plenty of canine fun dominate, attracting pups of all genders and sexualities. St Louis also releases its kinky side during Midwest Leather Weekend in early October, but it’s the Puppy Contest that is uniquely the city’s own.

 

International Deaf Leather
Dallas, TX
July (2016 dates TBA)

Dedicated to bringing together the deaf kink community, IDL is a unique, gender-inclusive event that celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016. The event rotates its host city, maximising its accessibility throughout North America. The emphasis is on networking, socialising and education, in addition to bridging gaps to the fetish community.

 

Toronto Leather Pride
Toronto, ON
August (2016 dates TBA)

No list of North American Leather Prides would be complete without Toronto. The local scene is so active it holds a second event, Toronto Bound, in mid-February. But the big week takes place in August, including the Full Fetish party, Leather Ball, meet-and-greets with title holders and contestants, an educational series, puppy mosh and the refreshingly visible Leather Pride march.

 

Southeast Black and Blue
Atlanta, GA
August (2016 dates TBA)

Taking full advantage of the cavernous Eagle Atlanta, SEBB keeps the emphasis on classes and demos, making it a great event for beginning kinksters, or those looking to expand their skills. Workshops in 2015 included mummification, breath control, prison scenes, piercing, balancing kink and life, spanking, gay and straight leather history, branding, knife play, erotic bootblacking and more.

 

Montreal Fetish Weekend
Montreal, QC
Aug 31–Sept 5, 2016

There’s a distinctive air of style and colour at Montreal’s biggest fetish event, which closes out the summer by celebrating kinky fashion in all of its forms. Creativity and sensuality are emphasised over titles or play, creating an event that’s somewhat unique, yet remains faithful to its kinky inspirations. Dance parties in the Montreal LGBT village area keep the festivities going.

Folsom Street Fair
San Francisco, CA
Sept 25, 2016

Ah, Folsom, a name that’s become synonymous with urban outdoor hedonism. What began as a protest against the gentrification of SoMa has itself been threatened by gentrification in recent years. But the original kinky street fair is still the best, offering demonstrations, vendors and the chance to meet kinksters from across the world. Folsom Street East also hits New York in June.

 

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