Readers, I hope you are all ok and that as summer approaches you are thinking about socialising, parties and the rest. I was recently invited to visit The Eagle, Hathian’s newest queer space and with the sad demise of Rough Ryders this is perhaps the only dedicated space I am aware of at least within the main Hathian parish. I was excited to be given this chance!
I am delighted to report that I really enjoyed my time here, so read on to understand a bit about the place, background and the owners. You can also check the event details below for this Friday!
Quick interview with Jack and Oba
I met the two business owners Jack and Oba outside the building and snapped the picture you see in the header of the article. Before stepping inside I wanted to ask them more about their club, which is in a very prime location, close to central Hathian!
Daiyu: “So thank you for your kind invite! This looks a really good location for a bar. Can you tell me more about it and what it brings to Hathian? Why is the name ‘The Eagle’?”
Jack: “The name ‘The Eagle’ is an institution in the gay community; an homage to decades of LGBTQ+ history. Prompted by the Stonewall riots in NYC in 1969, and subsequent growth of NYC gay culture, the club ‘The Eagles Nest’ became a popular gathering point for the city’s gay mens’ leather subculture, biker groups, and sports clubs. Eventually this inspired the creation of similarly named gay bars across the United States and internationally. These days, there’s over 30 gay bars in locations around the world operate under the name ‘Eagle’. The Eagle Hathian continues that proud tradition of Queer Sanctuary and Service, creating a home for all members of Hathian’s LGBTQ+, Leather, and Kink communities.”
Daiyu: “So, what would you say makes this branch unique, what’s the ethos and approach you are looking to achieve here?”
Jack: “Same as many of the gay leather bars that take The Eagle name – sanctuary. A space where folk know they won’t just be tolerated but celebrated. For their identity, for their sexuality, for their kink, all of it. Hathian’s had a contentious history with the queer community. Sure, there’s spots that come and go, even some solid institutions like the Twister that have always been welcoming to our people. But I think the queer folk of Hathian are eager for a place of our own. While The Eagle does center on gay men’s leather culture, we want it to be welcome for every gender here. All people who keep the leather culture are welcome”
Daiyu: “So can you tell me a little bit about any rules you’ve got or other things you want our readers to know?”
Jack: “We do have rules we expect from patrons at The Eagle. No fighting. No faction shit. No exceptions. The Eagle is neutral ground in this city and we intend to enforce that. That said, we also don’t allow cops, off-duty or otherwise. Unless they got a warrant or legitimate probable cause, they can contact our lawyers but they ain’t gettin’ in that door. The queer community has had a contentious and violent past with police rousting our places of sanctuary. That’s what started the Stonewall Riots originally. It was a protest against police violence on queer bodies and queer spaces, and we won’t have it in The Eagle.
Otherwise, we also expect good bdsm and leather etiquette from folk in our bar, especially in play spaces. Those who don’t know that etiquette can read the posted signs, or we will have an opportunity to learn at our Boots and Cigars nights hosted once a month. We’ve got a lot of plans for more events coming soon.”
“This Friday, 21st of April from 6pm ((SLT)) until late, The Eagle will be having our opening night. We’ll be hosting local gay dancers and gogo boys for entertainment, full bar, and access to some of our private spaces. We hope that our community will come down to the place and check it out. See you at the Eagle!”Jack – owner of the Eagle, also reproduced from Oba’s Twitter
Readers, as you can probably tell I think this is a great venue for Hathian to have. I’ll just spend a small amount of time on the venue itself as I hope many of you will visit and see for yourself. Within the building there is a bar area, a number of potential pole dancing stations, a bathroom and a ‘dark room’ which has some kinky equipment in it. I also saw a playroom that is larger and can assist with various kinks. Think Spankys, but with gruffer and somehow more ‘lived in’ vibe. It’s good and feels like a place I’d like a drink in.
What follows are a small range of photos showing some of the interior space. I’ve decided to keep the more… adult places for you to discover! Let me know what you think readers when you visit!
Overall, the place as you can see from the photos is excellent and I understand all credit is due to Oba who builds and decorates as a hobby.
I’d be very happy to have a drink here and if it was appropriate to watch the culture. I wear a huge amount of leather, which is for my little sub-culture but I’d really like to understand more and see how things work for others.
Just before I left I was given a chance to observe part of Leather culture, where Oba performed bootblacking for Jack. I thought this was some form of D and S play, but I was really pleased to be educated further and be able to watch the routine and understand more.
Daiyu: “Hey, that’s pretty cool, is it a shoe shine chair? Like a dom thing?”
Jack “Bootblacking culture is a big part of gay men’s leather BDSM community”
Daiyu: “I’ve not heard that term before, so it’s different to just having a dom and a sub thing then?”
Jack: “It does usually carry an element of d and s to it, yes. Leather bootblacks derive their sense of service from shining, polishing… and sometimes worshipping Leathermen’s boots. Leather D/s isn’t purely sexual… It’s service. Dedication. Integrity. And yes… also about sex.”
Oba: “Service. This is pleasure. Priviledge t’tend mans boots.”
I did some research after my visit and I understood that for Jack, leather is part of his code of honour and it could be a way to signify that he is proud of what he is and who he was, even when perhaps society at large had been challenging or rejecting of him in the past. As I understand it, while acceptance has grown and the Leather community has expanded, there is a comfort and ritualistic approach to bootblacking which includes many people of differing sexual orientations, genders and so forth.