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LEATHERSEX AND SPIRITUALITY — a panel discussion

  • Mr. S Studio 385 8th St San Francisco, CA, 94103 United States

with Robert Shively/"Daddy Robert", Sage Mahosadha, Sister Mora Lee D'Klined, Marc Fuentes and Deborah Addington, moderated by Justin Tanis

Join our diverse and distinguished panelists as we investigate the intersection of leathersex and spirituality. What is a spiritual experience, anyway? How do we differentiate it from intense pleasure, intense sensation, an endorphin high, even love?

Does neuropsychology have anything to tell us about “threshold” states of consciousness? Does spiritual experience presuppose a belief in God, or in an eternal soul? How does spiritual experience shape your conscience and values and behavior, or does it?

Do specific practices foster spiritual discovery? What about specific faith traditions and how they view sexuality?

This program is presented in cooperation with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.


DEBORAH ADDINGTON has a longstanding reputation in the leather/kink community as a writer, educator, organizer, mentor, and elder. She is the author of A Hand in the Bush: the Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting (1999), Fantasy Made Flesh: the Essential Guide to Erotic Roleplay (2003), and Play Piercing (2006). Deborah is currently in a Ph.D. program in Theology working at the intersection of BDSM sexualities and spirituality/religion. She is an ordained minister in the tradition of modern mysticism and an avid crocheter.


MARC FUENTES has been a member and officer of Defenders/San Francisco since their formation in 1994, currently serving as its President, and a member of Dignity since 1988. He experiences his spirituality through power-exchange relationships and finds a connection with the Divine in nature. He is one of the 18,0000 same-sex couples in California who were legally married in 2008, and had a religious commitment ceremony with his husband in 1993. Marc has been riding motorcycles since 2010 and currently rides a Harley Heritage Softail Classic.


SISTER MORA LEE D’KLINED grew up as a Jehovah's Witness, which meant going door to door with the full Bible-banging, come-to-jesus, I’m right-you're-wrong, only-through-me-can-you-be-saved spiel. She has been active as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence for over five years in the San Francisco House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., and currently serves as its President/Abbess. She has worked with various community organizations, including Folsom Street Events, and lives by the rules “Don’t sell yourself short — always charge full price,” and “Always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, especially if they are expensive. Then run away." Mora is a solitary practitioner and a follower of Pan.

SAGE MAHOSADHA was formerly a Catholic monk and has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice, an AIDS/HIV clinical manager and researcher, and as a hospice professional. He is a guiding teacher for the POC (people of color) sangha at Oakland’s East Bay Meditation Center and an independent spiritual teacher and meditation instructor nationally and internationally. Sage is grateful for his over 20 years' involvement with the leather/fetish/kink community, which he approaches as both a spiritual practice and an avenue for physical, emotional and relational development.

REVEREND ROBERT SHIVELY a.k.a. DADDY ROBERT, currently serving both as senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco and on the board of directors of the S.F. Leathermen’s Discussion Group, purchased his first flogger and harness with student aid money during his first year of seminary. Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 2003, he earned field education hours at the Pacific School of Religion by volunteering as a gate monitor for the Folsom and Dore Alley street fairs and at the S.F. Eagle beer busts. Robert is the founder of San Francisco’s “Whips in the Park,” an associate member of The 15 Association, and a partner and Daddy in his committed polyamorous relationships. He also currently serves on the board of GearUp Weekend.

JUSTIN TANIS (moderator) earned his M.Div. degree at Harvard Divinity School and his Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He contributed chapters to The Queer Bible Commentary and Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible, and his published dissertation was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in 2003. Justin has presented at numerous leather events including Leather Leadership Conference, South Plains Leatherfest, the Master/slave Conference, Los Angeles Leather Weekend and Rio Grande Leather. He was the recipient of the 2008 Pantheon of Leather Rocky Mountain Regional Award, the Spirit of Service award from Southwest Leather Conference in 2011, and the 2011 “Master Jack McGeorge Excellence in Education Award.” Justin serves as managing director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry in Berkeley and is working on a second doctoral degree.