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Jim Ward: "Running the Gauntlet"

  • Blowbuddies 933 Harrison St San Francisco, CA, 94107 United States (map)

Join us for a conversation with Jim Ward, an "Old Guard" elder in the leather community who established the body piercing industry, opening his first Gauntlet studio in the mid-1970s. He is recognized as the preeminent pioneer in transforming body piercing from a personal fetish and back-room amateur pursuit into a respected and regulated profession. Jim developed many of the piercing techniques and jewelry designs that are still industry standard and "state of the art." His dedication to and masterful blending of meticulous safety and hygiene standards—with recognition of piercing as a rite of passage—made the Gauntlet approach the standard to which others continue to aspire.

Over the decades, Jim has been interviewed by many national and international media outlets, and in 2003 was prominently featured in an MTV program on the social history of body piercing. They termed him "the granddaddy of the modern body piercing movement." Jim is a long-term member of the Chicago Hellfire Club and is also a member of The 15 Association. His place in the leather community was established over the course of four-plus decades. His richly illustrated memoir and history of the modern body piercing movement, Running The Gauntlet: An Intimate History of the Modern Body Piercing Movement, is now available (

Jim has never wavered in his dedication to providing the best possible experience to those who enjoy the aesthetics, sensory enhancement, and sense of pride in one's body imparted by a body piercing done with integrity and skill. Here's an opportunity for you to hear from a leatherman who genuinely made history.

Copies of Jim's book will be available for sale, inscribed by Jim personally.

LDG programs start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:10 p.m. We advise arriving early as seating is limited.

As a reminder, this is a safe and supportive environment for all genders and levels of experience. Fetish gear and erotic wear (or lack there of) is encouraged, but not demanded. Upcoming meetings and events on our home page at