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Press Releases

CLAW 19 Press Release May 27th, 2019

a national leather charity

P. O. Box 111282, Cleveland, OH 44111
Fed Tax ID # 223887040
Contact: Bob Miller, Executive Director
269-588-9100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cleveland, Ohio, May 27, 2019 – CLAW 19 was a huge success, enjoyed by a record 2250 registered attendees, a 15% increase over last year, marking 18 consecutive years of growth.

CLAW filled three hotels (Westin, Hampton and Aloft) and several other venues with more than 250 different events and exhibitors:

  • 125 different skills and education sessions, the world’s largest curriculum of kinky sex education for men;
  • 50 different vendors -- all on the Westin’s 6th floor;
  • 20 hotel parties and receptions, including the magnificent Bound and Beautiful Live Muscle Gallery and Auction;
  • 10 banquets, including our best ever International Leather Family Dinner and the debut of three new dinner buffets at the Westin, including our first ever BLUF dinner;
  • 10 speed dating sessions, where hundreds of men got to meet 12 like-minded men each in less than an hour;
  • 10 bar parties at the Leather Stallion Saloon, Mean Bull, McCarthy’s and Stella’s;
  • 7 Men’s BDSM Play Parties at the extraordinary Academy Dungeon;
  • 3 naked pool parties at FLEX Spa;
  • 3 silent auctions with 500 different items of gear and other merchandise.

CLAW 19 also featured in-room coffee service, a CLAW Body Spa, two showings of the Tom of Finland movie, six Leather Recovery meetings, and the third annual SquarePegToys® Misfit Toys Sale, which raised almost $9000 for CLAW charities.

The CLAW Bootblacks raised a record amount for charity too, and ten people participated in the Bootblack Apprenticeship program.

The 11th annual Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch honored the Leather Archives & Museum, Samois, and Fakir Musafar.

The private and equipped CLAW Cigar Deck on the Westin’s 5th floor parking ramp continued to be the greatest space on earth for hundreds of CLAW attendees.

Last but not least, CLAW and Alphatribe Magazine were hosts to Fetish Alliance, the first ever business to business reception for leather and kink professionals.

1001 volunteers helped make all this happen, including 400 in leadership roles. Volunteer of the Year Awards were won by Roger Edwards (Facilities Coordinator) and Rostom Mesli (Leather Hall of Fame Coordinator) and the Cornerstone Award was given to long time emcees and entertainers Larry Golubski and Lou Romano. Awards were presented to the Titans of the Midwest for all their educational initiatives, and the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Case Western Reserve University for all their tireless work protecting the health of sexually active communities, including ours.

Very special thanks to our five Master Sponsors: SquarePegToys®, Mr-S-Leather, FLEX Spas, REV4Men and LeatherWerks, and our twenty Sustaining Sponsors: Nasty Kink Pigs, Blow Buddies, Twisted Headz Smokeshops, Jackhammer, Leather Stallion Saloon, Torso, Leather64Ten, Chicago Hellfire Club, Jim Support, Alphatribe, Recon, Touche, Palm Springs Leather Pride, The Point Tent and Trailer, ICON Detroit, Mr Michigan Leather, Bootblack Round-Up, Stompers Boots, Westin Cleveland and The Hampton Inn Cleveland.

The profits from CLAW 19 will be distributed to community charities by the CLAW Board of Directors on Sept 6, with planning meetings for CLAW 20 on Sept 7-8. Contact CLAW through our website for more information and to help us plan to make CLAW 20 even bigger and better. The future of sex is very good!

Bob Miller
CLAW Executive Director

P R E S S  R E L E A S E

Leather Hall of Fame 2019 Inductee List

December 3, 2018

The Leather Hall of Fame honors and preserves the legacy of the extraordinary people and organizations that have significantly shaped the history of the leather/BDSM communities worldwide since 1950.

The Board of Governors is pleased to announce the nominees selected for induction in the Leather Hall of Fame in 2019: SAMOIS; FAKIR MUSAFAR; THE LEATHER ARCHIVES AND MUSEUM.

PR Inductees 2019


Created in June 1978 in the Bay Area, Samois was the first lesbian and feminist SM organization. Like other contemporary SM groups such as The Eulenspiegel Society and The Society of Janus, Samois had three main functions: social, educational, and political. During the infamous feminist “sex wars,” Samois led the fight against Bay Area antiporn feminist organizations and, by becoming one of the major voices of sex-positive feminism, it gained fame well beyond the SM world and well beyond California.

FAKIR MUSAFAR (1930-2018)

A founding father of the “modern primitive movement,” Fakir Musafar gained a large audience through his art, his writings, and his classes. He became an extremely influential figure of what he called “body play” — body piercing, branding, body-sculpting, sensory deprivation, flesh hook suspension, etc.. In a society largely hostile to his explorations, Fakir’s passion for intense bodily experiences resonated with many kinksters. Fakir helped to broaden the scope of kink, and to expand awareness of, and access to, many of the now popular technologies of body modification.


Since the early 1990s, when Tony DeBlase and Chuck Renslow laid the foundations for a repository for the primary documentation, art, and artifacts of leather culture, the Leather Archives & Museum has become a premier, central, and unique leather institution. The LA&M houses an extensive library, with over 7,100 titles; a museum that contains over 1,500 artworks as well as 10,000 fetish objects and gear; and an unparalleled archive preserving the papers of over 125 individuals and leather organizations and making them, as well as oral histories, manuscripts, accessible to researchers.


The 11th Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch will be held during CLAW 19, April 28, 2019 in Cleveland, OH. All leather and fetish folks are invited to join us to learn about, celebrate, and honor the lives and accomplishments of this year’s inductees. Tickets can be bought at

To learn about the Leather Hall of Fame’s criteria and procedure to select inductees, to learn about the previous inductees, and to make a nomination for future induction, please visit

CLAW Distribution Press Release July 2018

a national leather charity

P. O. Box 111282, Cleveland, OH 44111
Fed Tax ID # 223887040
Contact: Bob Miller, Executive Director
269-588-9100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cleveland, Ohio, July 2018 -- CLAW Corp. distributed $75,000 to community charities, representing the net profits of CLAW 18, held in April.  Since it began in January 2002, CLAW’s annual event has raised $596,000 for 49 charities. CLAW Corp. has helped raise an additional $282,000 at hundreds of smaller events around the country -- bringing CLAW Corp.’s fundraising total to $878,000.  This year’s total is the second highest for a single year.

23 different charities were awarded money, each with important missions.  The largest shares were awarded to the Leather Archives and Museum ($20,000), the Leather Heart Foundation ($8500), LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland ($8000), and Rainbow Railroad ($8000).  A complete list of beneficiaries and their missions is attached and is available at

Big thanks to everyone who made these exciting results possible, especially our five Master Sponsors:  Square Peg Toys, Mr S Leather, LeatherWerks, Twisted Headz Smokeshops, and FLEX Spas.

CLAW voted to increase the size of the Board of Directors from 12 to 15 people over the next three years.  CLAW is pleased to announce new Board of Directors members Jonathan Schroeder, Tom Stebel, Steve Givens and Dr. Ralph Bruneau, as well as the renewed terms of Jack McNulty and Noel LeBoeuf, and the election of Scott Douglas as Treasurer.

The 23 Charities of CLAW 18

Twenty-three community charities were awarded a total of $75,000 by CLAW 18.

52% ($39,000) was donated to leather related charities; 35% ($26,250) to Cleveland and Ohio area LGBT/AIDS focused charities; and 13% ($9750) to LGBT/AIDS charities outside Ohio.

Leather Charities (“National” Charities) ($39,000; 52%):

1. Leather Archives and Museum ($20,000) compiles, preserves and digitizes our history. $10,000 to continue free Thursdays, $10,000 for the Leather Preservation Project

2. Leather Heart Foundation ($8,500) emergency financial assistance to our tribe

3. Team Friendly ($3000), volunteers combat the stigma of HIV all year long

4. CARAS (Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) ($3000) promotes excellence in the study of alternative sexualities

5. National Coalition for Sexual Freedom ($1000) advances equal rights for kinksters through direct services, education, advocacy and outreach

6. IMsL Foundation ($1000) education on alternative sexuality and sexual freedom

7. Woodhull Freedom Foundation ($1000) produces annual Sexual Freedom Summit

8. Western New York Anti Violence Project, Buffalo, NY ($1000) education, including workshops on BDSM and consent

9. Tom of Finland Foundation ($500): promotes and preserves kinky art

Cleveland and Ohio LGBTQ and AIDS Charities ($26,250; 35%)

10. LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland ($8,000) The Center. CLAW’s grant continues to fund a seniors’ drop-in program

11. Prince of Peace Neighborhood Center ($4000) computers, gardens and other support to 600 families in Cleveland’s Stockyard area

12. Equitas Health ($3000) includes HIV/AIDS Camp Sunrise, a 13-CLAW beneficiary

13. AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland ($2500) Pantry and Jon Brittain Food Drive

14. Trials for Hope ($2000), backpacks of provisions for Cleveland’s homeless youth

15. Cleveland Aquatic Team ($2000) logo speedos build community through swimming

16. Equality Ohio Education Fund ($1000) advocates for fairness and equal opportunity

17. Center for Integrated Therapies, ($1000) complementary alternative therapy for pain

18. B. Riley Sober House ($1000): Cleveland LGBTQ+ sober living facility

19. Plexus ($1000) promotes LGBTQ businesses and improves the workplace

20. Out Support, Medina County ($750) health and equality just south of metro Cleveland

National LGBTQ Charities ($9750, 13%)

21. Rainbow Railroad: ($8000): Saving lives of persecuted LGBTQ people around the World

22. Center for Lesbian Rights ($1250): The Born Perfect campaign to outlaw conversion therapy everywhere, championed by IML 2017 Ralph Bruneau

23. Being Alive: People with AIDS Action Coalition ($500) Los Angeles area AIDS agency

CLAW has a 0% tolerance for illegal drugs at our event.
If you think you might have a problem with crystal, heroin, cocaine or other party drugs, please call 855-DRUGFREE.