Philadelphia Women’s Leather Bar Night

WLBN PhillyI visited Philadelphia last night for a Women’s Leather Bar Night. It was my first time visiting Philly and a first chance to get some face time with very active leather women in my region. I haven’t been to a leather women’s bar night since back in Florida when Peggy O ran Dykes n Dolls maybe in the early 2000’s. There aren’t a whole lot of good events scheduled on Fridays, so I was very excited when I saw this posted. I always have Fridays off, so right away I blocked this date out on my calendar and began to plan on how t get there. It’s rather simple and inexpensive to hop on a bus and travel from NY to Philadelphia for a few hours and ride back the same night. So, I took advantage of this great opportunity to visit a different city, meet leather women, have a few drinks and be on the receiving end of the bootblack stand.

The event was held at a gay leatherman’s club called The Bike Stop. It turned out to be walking distance from the Greyhound bus stop. I strolled along the city streets and circled around until I found the ally way to The Bike Stop. The only marker to identify the bar is a gay pride flag flying over the door. That and a not-so-motley crew of women and men smoking outdoors, some wearing leather, and some flagging with hankies. The Bike Stop is a multi-level bar and us women were going to be hosted in The Pit. Walking down the stairs to The Pit was edge play or a mind fuck, not sure which, maybe both. It was pitch dark and steep. Thank goodness I survived and now can tell the stories of my first Philadelphia Women’s bar Night.

Having survived my descent into The Pit I got a highly erotic hello and welcome from the infamous womanizer (I say that with love lol) Glenda Rider. Yes, I actually called Glenda a womanizer to her face. I forget to filter sometimes and I own that I lack subtlety at times. Also let’s face it, Glenda is a bit known for loving women and doesn’t seem remotely apologetic for her glee of making them squirm and squee. Upon sitting myself down at the bar and ordering a drink from Glenda’s lovely partner Tina… I turn to watch & hear, a young woman squealing, in uncontrollable laughter, hugging and being hugged back by Glenda. I was more than curious what all that was about and was soon to find out. I came in for my own hug and Glenda did this thing to my ear that, Oh My! All I know is I would love to have a three way with Tina & Glenda. You know, for science…

Jade Wikked the Philadelphia Bootblack 2015 organized for us to have a bootblack on hand for the event. I took no time to jump up in the stand and get some TLC from our bootblack Brianna. Brianna and I had crossed paths earlier this year at the bootblacking stand we both worked at during Folsum Street East. We started talking and we shared amongst other things our story about how we got started and mentors/mentorship. Brianna has had the great fortune to be mentored by two different bootblack, one of them was there and Brianna was kind enough to introduce me. Her name is Tracy Black and we got to talk at length during the evening. Tracy Black was the first Mid-Atlantic Bootblack in 1999 and that really peaked my interest, because that is right at the time that the International Bootblack contest held at IML separated into IMBB and IMsBB. We talked about the tradition of all women sitting for the first shine at IMBB, how splitting the contest into male/female gender affected trans folk, and that not everyone wanted it to be separated by gender. Later on Tracy was skill sharing with me about products and technique and I valued that time a lot. You would think living in NYC I would get a lot of chances to skill share with other bootblacks, but its not the case. NYC is very divided in some ways. This woman has so much knowledge to offer and it touched me that she was willing to share with me so openly. It was a great start to my night.

I met quite a few wonderful women, but something else I noticed specifically was there were quite a few leather dykes. In NYC the leather women & the leather dykes have seemed to nearly all but gone into hiding. I have roots from my days in Dykes n Dolls of being around amazing leather women & leather dykes and I miss them. It’s not the first time I have thought about and wondered what happened, where did they go, and why? I’m thinking I’m going to explore that more this coming year. I feel this need, it says to me that female spaces are not enough for me at this time, and that I am hungry for leather women. I want to find more of these leather women that speak to my heart.

I’m going to be at Chesapeake Leather and Pride (C.L.A.P.) at the end of this month. I’ll have a chance to meet up again with some of the women I met last night. It’s going to be great to see familiar faces of other leather women. I’ll be working the bootblack stand and hopefull some of them will trust me to come give their leather TLC. I’m hoping I get to go back to Philly again soon. Best night I’ve had in a long while…

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