Cyberspace, Planet Earth, April 29, 2020 – 350 people participated in Virtual CLAW 1 (“VC1”) on Zoom, April 25 and 26, the same weekend CLAW 20 was originally scheduled in Cleveland, Ohio.
The two-day, twenty-hour event featured five education sessions each day, including Flogging; Rope Bondage; Cleaning Out; Advanced Ass Play; Naturism and Leather; Pup Play; Social Media and COVID19; Art of TOM, Etienne and the Hun, People of Color in White Dominated Spaces, and Naked Yoga and an all-star lineup of presenters: IML 39 Ralph Bruneau; Scott Douglas of Square Peg Toys®; LA&M Executive Director Gary Wasdin; NCSF’s J. Tebias Perry; Team Friendly leader Dave Watt; Tyger Yoshi; Dale Ross; Daddy J and Pup Spaz. Immediately following VC1, an online Naked Yoga club formed across all four continental time zones.
Several co-presenters also contributed to the virtual sessions, and CLAW’s moderators dispersed downloadable handouts, instant survey questions, videos, photographs, and organized more than 100 questions from the audience. Some notable community members were spotted in the audience, including IML 1989 and Leather Hall of Fame inductee Guy Baldwin of Los Angeles, Recon Events Manager Antoin Strachan of London, UK, and Darklands organizer and Alphatribe publisher Jeroen Van Lievenoogan, from Antwerp.
Saturday night’s Gear Party was another highlight. Attendees geared up at home and made their own drinks to enjoy music by DJ Steve Henderson, conversation, and lots of live video cruising and private messaging. The night ended with a wild video sex party with 2 hours of performances by JustFor.Fans porn stars Silver Steele and Dominic Pacifico – along with lots of performances from the sheltering at home audience.
Sunday evening’s events began with a Cigar Social, hosted by CLAW Cigar Deck Manager and X-Tube star Dillon Halford and CLAW President and co-founder Bob Miller. The virtual event ended with a one-hour flashback to Kinky Kabaret 2016, including show stopping performances by Woody Woodruff, Elle St. Cyr, Robyn Hearts, Bruiser Wolfe, Steven Parker, Rob Anderson and the inimitable Lulu Belle. The encore performance looked and sounded great on Zoom, and was emceed live by Larry Golubski and husband Russ Donaldson from their home in Long Beach, California. Larry and Russ first met on stage at CLAW 2011.
The event was also a fundraiser for CLAW and the community charities it supports. Ticket prices ranged from $0 – $500, with a suggested price of $20 and free admission to anyone for any reason. There were more than 300 paid attendees from 37 states, five Canadian Provinces, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia. 80 people paid $50 or more, resulting in total receipts of nearly $12,000.
VC1 has received widespread praise and gratitude from the attendees. Special thanks to CLAW Systems Coordinator Sir Merrill Squiers and Guest Services Coordinator boy Shannon, who along with Miller led a team of 25 VC1 volunteers. CLAW plans to hold several more virtual events this year.
CLAW 20 has been rescheduled to November 19-22, 2020 at the Westin Cleveland Downtown.
CLAW Corp is a 501c3 charity dedicated to fundraising, education, volunteerism and other charitable needs of the leather community. CLAW produces a large annual conference for men in Cleveland, Ohio. CLAW holds that adult interest in leather, fetish and BDSM is natural and healthy. We learn that from each other in person – and sometimes online too.