SweetSalt’s Earned Leather Ceremony

Once upon a time in a far-off land there was a small, private group of like-minded Leather people that united for a weekend of fellowship, appropriately distanced of course. Does it sound like the beginning of a fairy tale? Well, not exactly, but Craptastic 2020 has handed us a year where we learned to overcome and celebrate in our brothers and sisters successes and triumphs. Seriously though, one of the most spectacular experiences that occurred the weekend of November 21st was a beautiful ceremony of acceptance, recognition and love. Those in attendance were blessed enough to bear witness to one such amazing Leatherwoman who was recognized after years of service, commitment and selfless dedication to our community: SweetSalt.

Master Malik started by reminding us that they had been together for a little over 5 years. “It’s been an interesting and fascinating journey.” And he wanted to give her earned Leather after reaching out to some of her friends first. He asked them to share their thoughts “does she deserve earned Leather?” As anyone that knows her would agree, the resounding response was: hell yes!  The first response was a beautifully crafted message of adoration from Briar read aloud by a teary-eyed rebel. Briar believes SweetSalt’s consistent actions uphold the principles of Leather: honor, integrity, trust, respect, and loyalty. Sir Mark (in a sexy pair of bike shorts and a leather vest) shared his thoughts and conversations within the Leather Heart Clan on her being a rock, always exemplifying her values in her actions, and being a leader within our Leather community. Next, Alice read a letter from Master TC where he spoke of his awe watching her transformation from a shy girl into a confident, strong woman with self-respect who is an amazing teacher, “AND ONE HELL OF A LEATHERWOMAN.” Master Malik read a letter from Hardy Haberman next that referenced many of her endearing qualities, but it really all boiled down to “she marches to the beat of her own drum.” Lastly, rebel shared Ivey’s thoughts where she described how she viewed SweetSalt as the embodiment of Leather, about being unapologetically yourself and fucking! Finally, and most deserving, Master Malik dressed SweetSalt in her earned vest. She strives to do more of  “her Leather” for her peers, community, and her Master, but this moment of recognition is an experience she will forever treasure because “It made me feel like I actually have made a positive difference which part of my purpose in life.”

SweetSalt (she/her)

Leather Education: Leather and Cigars

Cigar lounges the world over are filled with people of disparate backgrounds and opinions, but their passion for cigars transcends politics and other barriers that would otherwise separate them.  Among these enthusiasts are a significant number of Leatherfolx who continue to add to the long history of cigar smoking within the Leather community.  As an activity that simultaneously celebrates the individual and creates a kinship centered on this passion, cigars serve several functions for us.  They are a hobby, a fetish, a tool for play, and confer status upon those who are knowledgeable about them and skilled in their uses.  In this video which showcased at BV Online 2020, Fred gives us an introduction to the world of cigars; and Sir Badge, Alice, and Rebel show us some of the fun to be had with cigar service.  Enjoy!

A Review of BV Online by Miss Velvet Steele

Attendees at Beyond Vanilla Online on October 3, 2020, were treated to a smorgasbord of kinky information and fun conversation.  A couple of classes had wow moments that got us excited and ready for more.  Master TC ended his Negotiation class with a demo that left us all reaching for our fans and praying to our gods the scene actually happens when we are nearby, and Doctor Bubbles and KitKat Ann’s look at Fear Play culminated with a surprise mini scene that clearly demonstrated the difference between surprise and suspense.  Beginning our journey in exploring the gender spectrum, Maverick introduced us to some of their friends who showed us unequivocally that one’s parts do not always define one’s gender and that assumptions based on appearances can be way off base.  Lee Harrington’s thought provoking exploration of Intentional Relationship Design was interwoven with his signature melange of spiritual appreciation and pragmatic application.

Throughout the day, classes alternated with pre-recorded videos to keep the educational opportunities going.  Butterscotch’s enthusiasm for tea service shined brightly as she walked us through her take on tea.  Ursus’ demonstration of a bar shine gave us a glimpse into the world of the bootblacking, offering something for those interested in being a bootblack, as well as those who seek out their service.  Fred illuminated the world of cigars and cigar service for attendees, information that was later put to good use at the post-event hybrid virtual and in-person Beyond Vanilla After Dark.  Before we were off to enjoy our own cigars, though, we were treated to illusions and comedy by the inimitable Hardy Haberman.

Thanks to the Beyond Vanilla committee for producing this wonderful event.  I walked away more informed, having met some new folkx, and ready to put what I learned into action.  Now I can’t wait for Beyond Vanilla XXX, October 1-3, 2021!  Registration is available at BeyondVanilla.org.    – Miss Velvet Steele

Contests and Title Holders: Texas Power Exchange (TXPE)

Seeking Contestants! Apply Today!!

The Texas Power Exchange Contest (TXPE) is kicking off its inaugural year on October 10, 2020.  Producers Malcolm and Master John are thrilled to be bringing this new contest to Dallas because it embraces such a wide swath of our community and promotes education about the myriad of possibilities in power exchange dynamics.  Open to those over 21 regardless of gender or sexual preference, all flavors of mature (1+ years) power exchange pairs/triads/poly/families are invited to compete, limited to 3 representatives from a poly family.  Because of a strong commitment to the health and safety of all contestants, judges, volunteers and attendees, logistics are still in the planning stages.   

TXPE contestants will be judged in four areas:  an educational presentation in which contestants demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and educate about their specific dynamic, a demo/fantasy in which contestants will be invited to present a scene or scenario that involves their power dynamic, a closed interview with the judges, and their overall presentation during the contest.  With fundraising assistance from TXPE, the selected titleholders will have the opportunity to present demos and classes to educate others about their dynamic in venues across the country, and they will go on to compete in the International Power Exchange Contest at Beyond Leather in May of 2021.   

When asked what made this educational title special, Malcolm and Master John had this to say:  “The Texas Power Exchange Contest celebrates the wonderful diversity of power exchange dynamics found within our community, both those that identify as leather and those that do not.  From Owner/property to Taken in Hand to Sir/Ma’am and boy/boi/girl/little and everything in between, we have much to teach each other and much to celebrate.” 

Beyond Vanilla Online October 2020

Beyond Vanilla is excited to announce the first ever Beyond Vanilla Online, to be held on October 3, 2020, as an added benefit for Beyond Vanilla XXX ticketholders.  As we announced previously, Beyond Vanilla XXX has been postponed until October 1-3, 2021, but the need for physical distancing hasn’t diminished our interest in kink!  BV XXX ticketholders will have the opportunity to attend a one-day online conference where we will explore topics such as fear play, gender, and intentional relationship design.  Keep an eye on Facebook and Fetlife, where we’ll be announcing our exciting lineup soon.  In the meantime, head on over to beyondvanilla.org to get your Early Bird ticket so you can join us at BV Online next month and BV XXX next year.

We look forward to seeing you at 

BV Online on October 3, 2020 and at BV XXX in 2021!

Earned Leather: A Personal Account of a Community Tradition

Thick, pungent cigar smoke wafts lazily in the air of the Underground cigar shop and invades my senses. I’m observing the well-lit social smoking area, listening to the laughter and voices of everyone gathered to partake in a long-held pastime of gathering for a good stick, drinks, and conversation. The atmosphere is one of good vibes and fellowship as everyone catches up and relaxes, having a chance to forget for a moment about the raging pandemic and uneasy political climate outside the little cigar shop’s door. As six-thirty rolls around, Master TC calls the meeting to order and announces that the topic of the evening is the different ways of procuring leather in the leather community: bought, gifted, earned, and legacy leather.

A guided conversation ensues: the elders of the Dallas leather community guiding and instructing the leather younglings on a vibrant culture of fluid traditions and the significance of the meaning of each type of leather, and how it came to be and why. Unbeknownst to some of us in the room, as Master Gator comes back from his vehicle with his cover on for what we think is going to be a visual presentation of a Master’s cover, Master TC announces the real reason for tonight’s conversation topic: a gifting ceremony. “Attention to Order!” Master TC’s voice rings loud and clear through the little shop, full of command, presence, and intent. A bright, brand new, orange leather vest appears from a USPS postal package, sheds its plastic wrapper, and is presented to the bewildered, visibly shocked Alice.  

Bright red and teary eyed, Alice humbly accepts her vest and tries it on. Master TC continues, “The reason Alice got her vest tonight is because Alice has been working behind the scenes and in front of the scenes for a while now. Ever since she entered the community.” A list of her service work and what she has been involved in ensues, including work and volunteerism in the community with events such as Beyond Vanilla (BV) and Oklahoma Leather Fest (OKLF), while co-leading the group Smoke and Mirrors and her service with NLA-Dallas, in which she is now the Marketing Chair on the EC Board. “I had no fucking clue, you Asshats!” she jokes as the room settles back down from formal ceremony to a gathering of friends and family. Master Gator even chimes in on the fun and says, “There’s kinky with just the feather,” then he turns and points to Alice, “and then there is the Whole God Damn Chicken.” The room erupts into roaring laughter as Alice shakes her head in agreement.

Later, when I ask how she feels about receiving her vest, Alice smiles and says, “I feel seen. I feel respected. I feel loved. And I’m really pissed because they made me cry and I didn’t see this coming.” According to Daddy Eir, the planning for this gifting ceremony has been in the works since South Plains Leather fest back in March, with plans to present her with her vest at OKLF. However due to COVID-19 canceling events left and right, it was decided that her vest would be presented her tonight at the cigar social. According to Master TC, “That’s how this shit works!”

Now as I sit here typing this fondly, remembering the events that unfolded this evening, I can’t help but smile and sit in awe to think I witnessed such a momentous step on Alice’s journey. Tonight Master TC started talking about the path, a mindset, also called one’s journey and I can’t help but wonder what type of future is in store for the Dallas leather community and where we are headed next. Will the pandemic affect us as a community? Will there be events next year? Will the conversations around Racism and monikers further divide us? Will we ever get back to normal? These are the questions that I ask myself during these times of uncertainty as I reflect on my own burgeoning leather path; but for now, I am so proud of Alice and respect the hell out of her for having achieved such a monumental milestone on her journey. For now, I say with a hell of a lot of gusto and enthusiasm, “Congratulations Alice on doing the work and earning your vest!”


Master TC, Alice and Master Gator

Beyond Vanilla – A History In The Making

Beyond Vanilla is a multi-day event in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex celebrating its 30th year in 2020!  In 1984, as the AIDS crisis was gaining momentum, a men’s BDSM group called the Disciples of de Sade was founded. They began holding seminars in the small meeting room in the back of the Dallas Gay Alliance, with 15 – 20 people in attendance. Through the years, the presentations grew, moved locations, and became known as Beyond Vanilla.  In 1990, it was turned over to the then young club, NLA-Dallas, who has grown and shaped it to what we know today. 

What began as a safe sex workshop has evolved into an educational conference about how to do what we do safely and consensually, with the primary focus on newer community members.

Through the years, Beyond Vanilla has also served as the host to several contests for Bootblacks, the Pup community, to include International Pup/Handler, and Great Plains Olympus Leather.  This year, Beyond Vanilla is excited to welcome the Inaugural Texas Power Exchange Contest (TXPE), which is planned as a feeder into the International Power Exchange Contest hosted by Beyond Leather.  

TXPE is an inclusive contest open to power exchange relationships of any kind, established for at least one year. Contestants can be individuals, couples, or a triad of representatives of a poly power exchange relationship of any size. 

Please note that Beyond Vanilla is committed to an anti-racist culture and has a zero-tolerance policy on racism and bigotry. Diversity and Inclusion are more than just words for us; they guide our approach to community and education as we welcome, embrace, and protect all participants, especially BIPOC, all colors of the Pride rainbow, and all flavors of kink. Our name, after all, is Beyond Vanilla!

Master TC ready to roll at Beyond Vanilla
Master TC ready to roll at Beyond Vanilla

Fetish in the Woods

NLA-Dallas is pleased to present Fetish in the Woods.

We invite our fellow BDSM and leather community members from across the state to join us for a weekend full of camping, socializing, good food, kinky demos, and play.

This weekend getaway will be an event not to be missed. So bring your toy chest and your tent and get ready to have some fun. For more information and to register please visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fetish-in-the-woods-tickets-35584852251

June Bar Night

Join us at our Club Bar Night on Saturday June 10, 2017!
This is for both members and non-members to come out, meet up, and support our local Leather and Levi bar – The Dallas Eagle! We’ll have a few drinks, smoke a few cigars, and just enjoy the company of leatherfolk and other good people for the evening. Whatever your plans, add NLA Dallas Bar Night to them every second Saturday of the month!

This bar night is a monthly event sponsored by NLA Dallas. We are a DFW based organization with a focus on the education of those interested in and/or living the leather/SM/fetish lifestyle. As a gateway leather club, NLA Dallas is open to people of all walks of life regardless of orientation or identification. We invite you to join us for a General Membership meeting on the first Monday of each month, Bar Night on the second Saturday, Leather Perspectives or an Advanced Workshop each quarter.

June General Meeting

Join us Monday, 6/5/17 for the NLA-Dallas June General Meeting.

Leather Wisdom will be: New Leather a social group for people ages 18-21 of all sexualities, gender identities, and races who are interested in the Leather, BDSM, and/or Kink communities to come together and meet and greet with each other. New Leather is a Dallas based group for those who would like to know more, or be a part of our local community.

Our Education program will be Violet Wanda out to show us a shocking good time for the evening and if you pay close attention may show you how you can shock a few people of your own. If you want to learn some new and interesting things about how you can get creative with your Violet Wand and still be safe come out and see this months presentation.

Also NLA Members please make sure to bring your membership cards as our anual election for open board positions will be held that night as well.

The first Monday of each month NLA Dallas hosts a general meeting for current and prospective members. The brief business portion is followed by a presentation on a relevant topic. Leather Wisdom is a brief discussion early in the meeting on a mini topic or brief introduction to a larger subject matter.

NLA Dallas General Meeting is a monthly event sponsored by NLA-Dallas. NLA-Dallas is a DFW based organization focused on the education of those interested in and/or living the Leather/SM/fetish lifestyle. As a gateway leather club, NLA-Dallas is open to people of all walks of life regardless of orientation or identification. We invite you to join us for a General Membership meeting on the first Monday of each month, Bar Night on the second Saturday,

Leather Perspectives or an Advanced Workshop are held each quarter.


Fetlife Event: https://fetlife.com/events/559586

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1208552039255517