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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reviews of Our First FetishMen Dance

Back around ten years ago, I started up what became known as the Rampart dance party. The first time I held it, a total of ten true friends attended, and that was all.  It took a while, but the numbers grew. After a few months, we were getting between 400 and 600 men every time, and after a couple of years, men all over the world were planning their San Diego vacations to include attending Rampart - I know, because I always speak to ALL of the new faces that show up.

After a six-year break, the stars have aligned again, and the FetishMen Dance is the new tradition for 2011 and beyond. Last night's event was held at the end of a holiday weekend, and I'm incredibly honored by the men who made a special, brotherly effort to show support and to help create a new, ongoing series of "Occasions for Communal Joy":



In the last few months, many good-hearted events have been documented here, and the community spirit is growing ever stronger. Well, that spirit hit an incredible peak at the dance - Everything that I promised came true, because every man there WANTED exactly the same thing that I did - a truly Tribal Dance that we can treasure as an ongoing tradition.

My personal payoff came when I saw the entire crowd on the dance-floor, dancing at full crank and waving their arms in the air in unison. The crowd hit peaks of pleasure together, many times. People were out of their minds with joyful exuberance.  I never saw a single couple dancing together, even once; everyone formed circles and then re-formed other circles, again and again. It was an affectionate swarm.  People only left when they finally got too tired to dance, and they all departed with huge grins on their faces.

Personally, I would have preferred having 40,000 attendees, but the QUALITY of the first event set a very high standard.  My prediction is that with the honest feedback from so many respected men, and the energetic participation of DJ Rob  and the staff at the Flame, each event will grow in satisfaction and quality.

Now, let's hear from others who attended:

===

I thought the whole thing was great. The music was delightful and engaging, and the men there were quite wonderful and outgoing. Everybody seemed to be having a great time. There weren't a lot of people present but that didn't deter those that were there from enjoying themselves.

Rob (the DJ) did mention that the base cabinets should have been put back for our dance. Our dance was during the early evening and therefore there should not be a noise problem. We'll need a little more promotion if we want this thing to grow fast I think. Overall, a great evening and I am looking forward to the next one.

David

===

I was impressed by the fact that there were no clicks that excluded people. I felt welcome to dance with anyone and vice versa whether or not a sexual attraction was present. All in all, good people, a nice mix of past and present dance music, with focus on just having a good time. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Mike W

===

Wow

What an amazing party last night!!  I wanted to personally thank you and all in attendance for their love and support.  I have been djing for 10 years now and I have never played at a party where so many guys showed their appreciation for my music and made me feel welcome and a part of the crowd.

I look forward to continuing to be a part of this wonderful community you are building!

Rob

===

I already wrote you a short note on recon.  So you already know I think it fracking fantastic!! I loved the music.  My only (VERY minor) complaint is that I only heard a few tracks I knew. But with all the music the Rob had to choose from, it's not really surprising.  Still, I think his music selection was spot-on!

You asked me to introduce myself to everyone.  I've been trying to live up to your expectations in that regard since the first leather-night at the Eagle.  So I already had met many of the guys last night.  But there were a few new faces, and I believe I covered the entire crowd.

My only regret (mostly because I know you put in a ton of work on this) is that the crowd wasn't even bigger.  But I've asked dozens guys I've met on recon, at Mo's/Kickers, the Centre, etc., if they were gonna be there.  The most common reply I got from guys that weren't going was that the holiday weekend made it hard.  So I'm sure the crowd would have been even bigger if not for that.  On the other hand, if there were too many people, I wouldn't have been able to comply with your request and still dance!  LOL

I can't wait for the next dance!

— Bob

===

Hello Tony,

Al here.  Just a few points:

-Great concept - hope that it catches on
-Great location - that would make a great leather/denim bar
-Great atmosphere  - guys were friendly, new most...met a few new faces
-Possibly change the time to a bit later - remove the word "sharp" from the time, people might have been able to make it a bit later but possibly felt that the doors would be locked at exactly 4pm. (just my thought...)
-Post the event at ALL the leather/denim bars in town - along with the email blast.  That may provide for a better show of faces

All in all I totally enjoyed myself - love to dance.... wish I had more of an opportunity to do so while in full leather.

Thanks Tony!

SDBeechGuy

===

For being my first event, I really had a good time, meeting everyone I meet and dancing.  It was a very laid back fun just being yourself, I can't wait for more to come!

Peter

===


Papa Tony

I just read your message about today’s Tea Dance and I wanted to reinforce a couple of points that you made because they speak in volumes to me.  Many years ago I attended one of several Rampart dances that you hosted. I reluctantly went to see what was going on, I had no intention to stay, I was more curious than anything else. I walked into the room and was surprised by the large energetic crowd of guys and even more astonished by the incredibly warm and accepting vibration that filled the room.  As I always did, I walked in and positioned my self on a stool in a dark part of the room so that my presence would be as insignificant as possible as I sat and observed. Your comment was “protective coating of friends, just to avoid feeling lonely” reflected what I did with my protective coating that made it possible for me to be invisible.  Needless to say that I was there a short time before you spotted me sitting there and walked over and enveloped me in your warmth and friendship and got me on the dance floor, something that I was secretly longing for and waiting for. You danced two dances with me and, while dancing, you introduced me to several guys in the same floor space.  I was ready to leave after this dance session but that didn’t happen.  I walked back to my dark corner and within seconds some of the guys that you had introduced me to were in front of me talking, laughing, and including me in a good time.  Your comment that everyone is truly dancing with everyone else is more than true! I never had a single dance partner for the rest of the night I was dancing with the tribe!

After attending tonight’s event, I have several observations. First of all the eclectic energy in the room was many times more than that of Rampart even though the numbers did not come close. I am sure that will change in the up-coming events.  Second, I look forward to inviting all of the FMSD members that were not able to make it, I encourage all of you to come and sample the infectious energy that took over all of us. Proof of the united Leather-men souls was seen when all of us on the floor threw our hands in to the air while dancing because the lyrics say, “Raise your hands and dance”.  Thank you Papa Tony for setting the stage!

Keep Dancing!
Ray
AKA Pup

 ===

Thanks Papa Tony and the rest of your cohorts for getting me out of my self-imposed, misanthropic, suburban state of mind.
Tom in Lemon Grove

===

Hi. I had a great time. Met some very friendly guys. Hope you plan more of these.
Thanks for putting this one together.
Stephen

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tomorrow's Dance Party: What To Expect

IN LOVING MEMORY: DANCE PARTY


TIME:  4PM sharp, Sunday, November 28th, 2010

LOCATION: The Flame, 3780 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92103-3639

I've hosted over 600 events, and over 100 of them have been dance parties. These dance parties are VERY NON-TYPICAL, so don't expect the standard, stiff-and-awkward sort of event.

All of my dance-parties are occasions for Communal Joy. We haven't had them here for years, so I need to explain:

These dance parties have a host, dedicated to making sure that everybody is relaxed, happy, welcome and having fun. It makes a crucial difference. By the time the party hits its peak, you'll be able to count the teeth on the super-diverse crowd on the dance floor... they'll be grinning from ear to ear because they'll be so happy. You deserve to be just as happy, so here's how it works:

- The nicer you are, the more fun you'll have. My events attract well-socialized adults. The druggies, the angry folks and the Attitude Queens tend to get really creeped out and leave. You have my personal word of honor that nobody will ever treat you shabbily at any of my parties. How can I make such a promise? Because the sort of people that come running to my events tend to be just as alert and unwilling to tolerate any harshing of the vibe as I am, and it sets a totally different, vibrantly happy tone.

- You don't have to bring a protective coating of friends, just to avoid feeling lonely.  You don't even have to wait for a dance-partner… Just throw your ass right in the middle of the dance-party, and DANCE. I promise you, everybody really, truly IS dancing with everyone else there, in brotherhood. It won't be the typical bunch of isolated individuals, feeling awkward and alone. The energy will spiral through the roof, and everybody will hit Diva Overload at the same time, over and over again.  It's an amazing endorphin-rush of happiness.

- You do NOT have to worry about fitting in. Nobody cares about how well you dance, or whether you resemble a porn model. If you're nice, and you love to dance without a care, you're in. Nothing else matters.

- DJ Rob is eager to build mutual affinity with our crowd, and he wants to please us as part of the same pleasurable vibe, month after month. Expect fun, playful music that is easy to dance to.

If this sounds good to you, bring non-perishable food items for Mama's Kitchen, bring an open heart, and bring the news to your friends that San Diego FINALLY has a regularly-scheduled, joyful and satisfying dance-party again.  We're long overdue, frankly.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things Have Changed For the Better, Finally!

As I have said before, the worldwide gay fetishmen's community has had some tough times. We became fractured and isolated from each other, and we have been hard to find in public. The Internet has not been our friend, because the rush to cash in has made the major cruising sites unwilling to make the slightest effort to support local communities.  If it hasn't made them money directly, it isn't allowed. 

In my opinion, the crotch sites have been directly responsible for the collapse of at least 90% of leather bars worldwide, leaving nothing of value to replace them. Leather sexuality without brotherhood and mutual support is like trying to eat nothing but cotton candy - It's empty calories, and bad for everybody's long-term health.

The good news is, the pendulum is swinging the other way, at least in San Diego.

We're finding each other again.  Small networks of friends are telling their other friends the good news, and the networks are starting to join together.  I keep watching the online statistics, and the curve is ever upward.  I've had several friends tell me that the local San Diego chatter on Recon.com is constantly increasing, which indicates that men are connecting on a social level at greater rates.

Outside the Internet, I'm seeing bigger and bigger turnouts at events. There isn't just quantity, there is quality. These are events that feed the soul.  In college, they teach about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Here is the relevant quote from Wikipedia:

"Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs, or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, may ignore the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging."

In order for us to see better, bigger variety of events, fundraisers, social gatherings and parties, somebody has to come up with the original ideas, and build a team to see them through to completion. This is my favorite part of what has changed in San Diego:

We're getting more leaders, volunteers, teams, idea-fountains and mentors, stepping up and declaring their intentions, on a weekly basis.  I'm having lunches and coffee with excited new idealists in the community, several times a week.  I'm starting to see more Daddies start to take ownership of their skills and reaching out to others. It's no longer fashionable or socially acceptable to be stuck in Peter Pan Mode. 

The pressure is coming from underneath - The general public is tired, tired, tired of how things have been, and wants to be a part of what happens next. This makes it much easier for community-minded people to do what THEY are best suited for, because their potential constituencies are actually going to show up for them. Everybody wins.

If you have a dream of what you want to see changing in our Tribe, start telling us about it.  You have a very high probability of attaining your goals, but you have to be bold and extraordinary. Use this new, fertile environment as a springboard to shift your own life permanently upward to a new, powerful phase in your existence. The time for griping about how crappy things used to be is over… Now. we can all build better days together and feel good about what happens as a result.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review of Last Night's Breakthrough Event

I attended Mr. San Diego Leather 2010 Anthony Rollar's Meatball Turkey Day Fundraiser for Mama's Kitchen at the Center last night, and had some thoughts that I wanted to share:

- First of all, it was 100% sold out. There were ticketless folks outside trying to gain entry to the main, huge hall at the Center. Extra chairs had to be found, and some of the late arrivals were eating off of plates in their laps. If you've ever been to an event at the Center, you'll know that it was a BIG crowd.

- It was also an extremely congenial group. Lots of FetishMen on this list were mingling happily amongst the rest of the attendees. My feeling was that there was an elevated mood of brotherhood that intrigued the folks who had not yet figured out what made the difference in the mix. In events from many years past, I use to feel despair when I would see different factions hating on each other across the room at major San Diego events, and hissing and spitting on a personal level. Those days are gone, based on what I keep seeing here in San Diego. We're all fed up with the isolation of the Internet, and the community is roaring back with a lot of energy. Everybody is on their very best behavior, because we had all hit bottom and learned from it. We're not willing to settle for less than Tribe any more.

- On a personal level, I'm seeing more and more new faces stepping up to make a difference, and succeeding. This was only Anthony's second event, and even his first event was a marvel. New, effective and charismatic community leaders such as California Leather Sir Miles B. and Kurt Wendlborg are finding constituencies of followers who believe in their dreams and want to be the wind beneath their wings. That's what our community needs, and I know of many more people who are starting to build up their support-network and their plans. You'll be hearing about them in the near future, and I'll also be profiling the long-term leaders who have kept the torch burning for our community when things weren't so rosy or supportive.

- From an entertainment viewpoint: I have been burned by some horrid, amateurish drag shows in my distant past, and as a result, I was wary before this event. I needn't have worried. The entertainers at the fundraiser (GlitzGlam, Daisy DeadpetalsDisco DollieDaisy TorresMiss Conception and Ladonna Monroe) were absolutely superb, highly entertaining, and professional-class. I made special mental notes to follow the future plans of a few special stars among them. Several went out of their way to greet me by name while wandering around and socializing in the crowd, which baffled me utterly, because my memory for faces is bad enough WITHOUT makeup to throw me off the track! It was a drag show to please even people that normally can't abide them.

- The food was plentiful (with extra left over, afterward) and superb. I was surprised to see the variety, quantity and excellent presentation. I can't recall having better food at an event like this one. International Leather Sir 2003 Mike Russell did a magnificent job on the turkey. Which brings me to…

- The volunteers were ON THE JOB. An event of this magnitude doesn't happen at random, and it doesn't happen solely because somebody is out there being the quarterback. Volunteers are crucial to handle the preparation, timing, coordination, heavy lifting, dealing with random surprises, final completion and cleanup. I saw an incredible variety on the team, and they were all working as if their lives depended on it.  It takes love and dedication to a better world to get into this class of volunteers.  If I would change one thing about what happened last night, I would have found some way to gather the full team together for a group photo. They made a huge difference, and that's worth documenting for our history.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friday Night Beat and Greet

(Note from Tony - This is a fun event, and if anybody is interested in going, it's well-worth checking out. I've had a lot of fun there, and it's a very safe, welcoming and visually splendid environment).

Friday Night Beat and Greet

Hosted by Bryan Teague - American Leatherboy 2010, tiger - Ms San Diego Leather 2010, caryl - San Diego's premier Sea Monkey Trainer, and Mike Underwood - San Diego's very own Curmudgeonly teddy bear

Downtown San Diego Dungeon - Email for information - addresses below.

8:30 pm - 1:00 am -- Doors close at 11:30pm!

The Friday Beat and Greet is usually held on the 3rd and 5th Fridays each month:



       In 2011:

- February 18
- March 18
- April 15, and on the 29th, it's a male-only event.
- May 20
- June 17
- July 15, and on the 29th, it's a male-only event.
- August 19
- September 16
- October 21
- November 18
- December 16

This event is open to people age 18 and above.

Soft drinks and water will be available at the dungeon, we are asking for $1.00 donation for each drink.

This social/ impact play event is for friendly people who would like to learn more about flogging, paddling and the like. We'll be demonstrating techniques on eager volunteers and curing the curiosities of those who have questions. Nothing too wild, just pleasantly kinky enough to bring a smile that lasts a while!

Do not be intimidated by coming to a dungeon or being in the night life of Downtown San Diego, this event is open to all levels of experience, and beginners are particularly welcome. If you're new to this sort of thing, you can always trust that you'll end up with a positive experience. You'll be surrounded by very, very nice folks who have a lot of expertise and a deep level of trust with each other. We've been doing this a long time, and we like to share what we now.

This is not your typical BDSM event, it's not a fundraiser, a workshop, or a class really. Even though teaching and learning will be involved, Friday Night Beat and Greets are just a pleasant way to share some good times in a relaxed kinky setting. We all need to get the heck out of the house once in a while - why not hang out with some folks that enjoy doing what you enjoy doing?

There is no charge to attend the event, we just ask that you leave any Attitude outside the door, be playful and open-hearted!

Things to keep in mind for this event:
This event is held in a private space; however, you are responsible for your own actions at all times. Safety measures will be in place during the event. Please bring a valid ID and be prepared to sign a liability form. All information given will be kept confidential.

Because Dungeon Servitus resides within the confines of a residential and commercial building, we ask that you act and dress appropriately anywhere outside of the dungeon.

Anyone behaving in a manner that is considered inappropriate will be asked to leave the property and may not be allowed reentry for future events. The decisions of the Dungeon Servitus staff and hosts are final.

Please note a few things about the Beat and Greet:
1) The maximum capacity is 50 people. There is a chance you may be asked to wait until someone leaves before being permitted to enter.

2) In order to allow everyone a chance to try things, we ask that you limit your time on the play equipment to a short time. If there are people waiting, we may ask you to wrap up your time on the equipment after 10 minutes.

3) This is a community event that is hosted by members of the community. Membership in any club or organization is not required.

For more information about the Beat and Greets, please contact Bryan at mrsandiegoleather2009@kinky365.com or Caryl at caryl-cx@earthlink.net

Hope to see you there!

Annual Winter Inter-Club Holiday Party

Now that FMSD is booming along, and large numbers of us are becoming visible and friendly again, it's time for our coming-out party. 

We're ready for the big Family Reunion.

The local kinky community has missed seeing so many of their gay brothers. We have the power to make a lot of people REALLY, REALLY HAPPY, just by showing up, in a joyful crowd:


Annual Winter Inter-Club Holiday Party
7PM to 9PM, Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest  (right next to the restaurant called Terra)
1230 Cleveland Street San Diego, Ca 92103

Be sure to park underground, to avoid getting towed. 

Here's a picture from last year's event - Even Santa needs to be kept in line periodically!  There will be fun games and activities, and a whole heck of a lot of friendly chatter.  It's also a great opportunity to talk to representatives from other local affinity-groups:

RAWW
Club X
Bears SD
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
SD Gay Rodeo
SDLOG
SDLboys
MAsT
SD-TNG (Next Generation)
San Diego Yellow Hankies
SoCal Shibari
Dungeon Servitus
SoCal Leather Women
California Cyclemen Motorcycle Club
The Leather Foundation
SD Leather History Project
Diego Poly Network
SD Fet (San Diego fetishists and fetishes)
LA Pony
SoCalPEX
Rubber Dog
SD Puppy Patrol
Submissive Voice


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Friday, November 5, 2010

Meatball Turkey Day Fundraising Dinner for Mama's Kitchen

Meatball Turkey Day Fundraising Dinner for Mama's Kitchen

Friday, November 19 · 5:00pm - 9:00pm
The Center 
3909 Centre St 
San Diego, CA 92103-3410 
(619) 692-2077

Presented By Mr. San Diego Leather 2010 Anthony Rollar. All you can eat spaghetti & turkey dinner & drink specials. Raffle ticket included with entry fee. Performances By: GlitzGlam, Daisy Deadpetals, Disco Dollie, Daisy Torres, Miss Conception, Ladonna Monroe. All this for only $10.00.

"In Loving Memory" Dance Party

FetishMenSanDiego is hosting a new, monthly Tea Dance on the fourth Sunday of each month, starting with a very special and unique theme for this month:

IN LOVING MEMORY: DANCE PARTY

TIME:  4PM, Sunday, November 28th, 2010 (three days after Thanksgiving).

LOCATION: The Flame, 3780 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92103-3639

COST: Free of charge. A requested donation will be made for either non-perishable food items or a $5 donation to benefit Mama's Kitchen, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

WHO IS INVITED: Everyone, anywhere, who wants to honor the memory of so many of our brothers who have died of AIDS. Please tell your friends and come along:

In order for gay men to move powerfully into the future, we have to acknowledge our past. Gay leathermen were the first to start dying of AIDS, and we were hit the hardest.

This fact has robbed us of many of our best leaders, mentors and role-models. It broke our momentum as a thriving community, and crushed the souls of too many survivors.

It's time to deal with it, and powerfully. Together. NOW.

We do it by dancing joyfully. Many of our brothers can't dance any more, and they won't be coming back, no matter how much we want them to. So, we dance for them.

Bring your friends, and carry the spirits of your brothers in your heart. Go wild. Every song will be a celebration of life... High spirits, wide variety, Diva Overload.

We want every age, every color, every body-style, every experience-level. There will be men and women of all kinds at the November event - We all need to express powerful feelings of loss and remembrance through dance, and we all benefit by sharing.

We will be unified as a community by honoring our loved ones. Be like a happy three-year-old: dance with no cares or concerns.

Please spread the word, by forwarding this email far and wide - Let's jam the place. Let's make this MEAN SOMETHING, once and for all. I could use some healing, and I'm not the only one.

Come and be welcome.


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Upcoming Events for Gay FetishMen

After a string of very successful events, we had a short break, and now more events are coming up:

Tonight, Wednesday, November 3rd: PUPPY PLAY 101, hosted by San Diego puppy Patrol and California Leather Sir Miles B.

This Friday, November 5th, 7PM - MENTORING WORKSHOP, hosted by SDLOG

This Sunday, Nov. 7:  CIGARS, BOOTS AND BEER , hosted by FETISHMENSANDIEGO.ORG and Joe Whitaker, who will be bringing an array of cigars for sale from his cigar store.

Nov. 11-14: Palm Springs Leather Pride.  If you attend NO other event, the parking-lot party is the cruisiest event all year! There's a smoky haze of pure testosterone floating around everybody's heads, and it's intoxicating!

Friday, Nov. 19, 5PM. Mr. SD Leather's Meatball Turkey Day Fundraiser for Mama's Kitchen

Sunday, Nov. 28, 4PM. FetishMen Tea Dance, with a very special celebration of life theme, in honor of our brothers who have died.

After that, there will be a lot of events, many of which will conflict with each others' schedules, due to the holiday season. After the first of the year there will be clear sailing!

CIGARS & BOOTS

Repeats on the first Sunday of every month:

       In 2011:

- January 2
- February 6
- March 6
- April 3
- May 1
- June 5
- July 3
- August 7
- September 4
- October 2
- November 6
- December 4

5PM-8PM on the patio at

Redwing Bar
4012 30th Street,
San Diego CA 92104-2602
(619) 281-8700


This event will be hosted by FetishmenSanDiego and California Leather Sir Miles B.  Joe Whitaker will be bringing an array of cigars for sale from his cigar store.


ALL interested gay fetishmen are invited to attend. You don't have to wear boots, or smoke cigars, or drink beer, if those aren't your thing. We want your company, period. This is a highly sociable event, and it is going to get a lot bigger as the months go by. We tend to attract a lot of really nice guys!

We plan to have several bootblacks on duty, because they are part of a proud tradition that goes back many decades. Bring cash for tipping, because you'll really want to reward these folks for taking superb care of your boots and leather gear. They do it because they LOVE it!

Mentoring Workshop Friday, Nov. 5

(Note from Tony: I'm one of the panelists for this workshop. Anybody else want to share their thoughts on mentoring that night? The more, the merrier!)

SDLOG Workshop Nov 5, 7:00 pm 

1230 Cleveland St
San Diego, Ca

Please note:  This is a Men's only meeting 

The world has a long history of mentoring.  It was, and often still is, one way of passing needed skills and history from one generation to the next.  This tradition has been incorporated in to the Leather community in a variety of ways.  From learning the traditions and protocols that our community holds dear, to sharing about the various forms of kink that each of us enjoy,  mentoring is a great bonding and personal growth experience for both parties, and our community.

In talking with people about this subject, I have often heard, "But I don't know as much as other people."   Mentoring isn't about who is best at something because we all have our own ways of doing things,  our own traditions,  and our own experiences.  No one person holds the cornerstone on knowledge.   Mentoring is about sharing our personal knowledge and experiences with those who want to learn more.

Come join the San Diego League of Gentlemen for a round table discussion of mentoring, and what it means to be a mentor, as well as what it means to be someone being mentored.  We each have a social responsibility to pass on our knowledge, even while we are learning.   

The second half of the meeting will be an opportunity for those who have skills and knowledge to share to meet individually with those who are seeking to learn.  If you have something to offer, or if you are looking to learn,  join us for an evening of Leather brotherhood and bonding.

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