Keep the leather scene alive - sign up to our 12x12 pledge

events • policy • tips • venues

Submitted by Nigel, aka SubDirectory (3), 26 December 2011



One of the most important things that BLUF does every year is to organise meetings around the world; these are arranged by volunteers, and take place in the UK, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, the United States, and many other countries.
At many of these, attendance is excellent – at The Backstreet in London, for example, we’ll regularly see the bar filled almost to capacity, and the same is true at many other events, including of course those organised by other groups around the world, like Folsom Europe.

One of the things that many people often say is that they wish the bars were so busy more often; there are plenty of people that, for instance, we’ll only see at The Backstreet the four or five times a year that there’s a BLUF party.

A decade ago, that wasn’t the case – there would be a good turnout most weekends, and plenty of people making the effort to get out in their gear. Now, of course, plenty of people stay at home, thanks to smoking bans, the cost of drinking in bars, and the ease of making contact online. Just one more click, it sometimes feels, and we’ll find Mr Right, or Mr Right Now.

Today, lots of people say that they’d make the effort, but they don’t want to be the only ones in a bar in full leather; and, to an extent, that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more of us who stay home because we don’t think there’ll be many other people in gear, the worse the bar scene will become. Everyone ends up saving themselves for ‘special events,’ whether it’s a BLUF party, one of Recon’s Full Fetish events, or something else.

We need people, as MenInGear says, to get geared up and go out.

Support your bars in 2012
In the current economic climate, everyone’s having a tough time, and that of course includes many gay bars; some of the most well known, like the Eagle Tavern in San Francisco, have closed, while others have relaxed their dress codes to try and get more people through the door.

Great though big parties can be, there aren’t many bars that can survive on just a few party nights a year, especially when commercial promoters take their cut. They need our support to stay open – otherwise we’ll come out of the recession, to a chorus of people asking “Where are all the leather bars?”

It’s not just the bars that are having a bad time too, of course. Many of us are feeling the pinch; but even so, at this time of year, when many people are thinking about resolutions for the New Year, I’d like to ask people to make a simple pledge, summed up in the graphic below.

We’ve called it the 12x12 pledge, and it’s simple. We don’t want you to prop up the bar every night. Or to make a point of going out every weekend. But we would like to you step away from the PC, and get out in your gear.

We want as many leather and fetish guys as possible to try to make sure that in 2012, they visit their local leather bars, at least twelve times. If enough of us do, perhaps we can make a difference, and make sure that the leather bars we do have aren’t just places for special events from time to time, but somewhere we can meet like minded people, whenever we do feel like going out.

So, please, if you think you can make this one of your resolutions, please add a comment below, and feel free to share this post with other people around the world and around the net, or to Like our Facebook page.

Nigel Whitfield,
BLUF webmaster

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