This weekend, while thousands of San Antonio couples go the traditional route for Valentine's Day, with dinner and champagne and chocolate-covered whatnots, dozens will gather to explore their naughtier side. Beginning Friday, the third annual Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend
takes place at the Hilton Hill Country Resort — classy, right? — giving locals an opportunity to explore their inner freak nasty.
The Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend, or ACLFW, is the brainchild of Steven Parker, a San Antonio resident and Mr. Third Coast Leather 2012, a title he earned in a Houston competition representing the entire Gulf Coast leather community. He started the now yearly event to raise the level of kink awareness in the Alamo City.
"I was surprised at the lack of a leather and kink presence in the San Antonio area," Parker said. "The purpose of Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend is to show more of a presence of the leather and kink community to people who might not know it really exists, and to bring the diverse groups together to share in an event experience while raising awareness and sharing knowledge."
ACLFW features a number of seminars, vendors and social events — and a brunch! — designed to cater to both seasoned fetishists and newbies looking tap into their nasty side. On Saturday, guests can break out and attend the day's scheduled seminars, which serve as introduction to a range of light, medium and extreme fetishes. Topics cover everything from spanking to cock-and-ball torture, if that's what you're into. Hey, no judgment. You do you, as they say.
"The mild classes are geared more for individuals who are new or have only thought about adding some kink to their life or relationship," Parker said. "The more extreme demonstrations may be too much for some people, which is why there are less intense options available that run simultaneously."
Parker highly encourages fetish novices to attend, and recommends they take in as much as possible. But virgins to the scene should be prepared to express their boundaries and comfort levels.
"It something isn't for you, that's okay," he added. "There are so many aspects of kink that you might have one that you never even realized was a fetish. Just keep in mind that everyone is different and unique, and what turns us on and makes us hot are just as individual. Simply walk away if you see something you don't like or turn you off."
The event will also play host on Saturday to the Mr. Alamo City Leather competition for the second year in a row. The winner will represent the city's leather and kink community for an entire year. Think of it as a much more interesting Miss America pageant.
So what if you attend this weekend for the first time and are hooked? Parker recommends attending the monthly Temple of Flesh party (templeofflesh.com
) for those who want to continue their kink exploration. And what do you know? The next Temple of Flesh party is February 22
While ACLFW, is open to people of all sexual orientations, Parker says the event is primarily populated by gay and bi attendees, for now.
"I think part of the reason more straight kinkster groups aren’t involved right now is because of conflicting events, and the desire to be remain independent," he said. "It would be incredible for all the groups to come together for one event, to share in each other’s knowledge and experience, and network amongst community members."
Proceeds for ACLFW benefit Leather Archive and Museum
in Chicago, which serves as repository for photos and paraphernalia that document the history of the international leather community.
Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend
$10-$45, Feb. 13-15, Hilton Hill Country Resort and Spa, 9800 Westover Hills, aclfw.org.