Home  History of The 15

History of The 15 Association

In February 1980, six leather men got together and formed a new club in San Francisco for gay men into BDSM. Two of the six included David Lewis from Vancouver and Alexis Sorel.

This new club was named The 15 Association (The 15). The name comes from the bylaws which say that up to 15 men, called *‘Fraternal’ members, can be voting members, while the other members are called ‘Associate’ members.

The 15 Association is longest-standing BDSM club for men on the West Coast. The men were friends and had just returned from Inferno X in Michigan and some were members of the pan-sexual club Janus, who wished to create a new men's club. The 15 Association was incorporated as a non-profit organization with the State of California on October 1, 1980. Currently the 15 Association has over 140 members from all over the US (AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, IA, IL, KT, MI, MN, MD, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, WA) and from several foreign countries (Canada, Italy, United Kingdom).

The purpose of the 15 has always been to be a social fraternal organization for men over 18 into BDSM and Leather. While primarily a play club, the 15 has always participated in the local Leather community supporting education, safer SM, fund raising for worthy community charities and support of other leather and BDSM clubs.

Our first party, ‘Scene One’, attended by over 150 men, was held in June 1980 and since our first play space opened in January 1981, the club has, with only a few minor pauses, held play parties on a monthly basis. We have had annual runs to the country called ‘Boot Camp’ since 1988.

The 15 has won Pantheon of Leather Awards including Small Event of the Year and Club of the year. The 15 was also recognized by the Mayor of San Francisco during our 20th Anniversary with a reception at the Mayor's office, the first Leather club to ever be received officially by the Mayor of a large US city.

The 15 has also received a community service award from the Aids Emergency Fund for the club's contributions to this important HIV charity. The 15 manages its own fund to assist members and aids sponsored friends who are in financial need, called the ‘Sorel Fund’. There are also two other funds to help members attend club events. The ‘Seibert-Click Fund’ and the ‘Jones Fund’ both named for former Fraternal members.

Our special events include a yearly ‘Anniversary Weekend’ each February, an ‘Associate Weekend’ in April and ‘Boot Camp’ in June.

Our play parties are well attended and known far and wide as hot, safe and a great place to meet that special someone. Many men have met their partners at The 15 parties and events. The 15 also sponsors an annual ‘Beer Bust’ at the SF Eagle Tavern, which is always well attended and raises funds for charity.

The 15 is open to all men 18+ who are into BDSM. We do not discriminate by race, national origin, body type, or age or birth gender.

After 30 eventful years, the 15 Association continues to change and grow. It is a welcoming club that is alive with a sense of real brotherhood. As Peter Fiske** so aptly put it, “we like to say the 15 is our ‘Gentlemen's Club’ for when we don't want to be a Gentlemen”.

All are welcome to attend the monthly fraternal meetings and to fully participate in the club and its activities. You, our members and our honored guests ARE The 15 Association.



  • *A Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Boot Camp Chairman, Membership Chairman and Charitable Fund Chairmen are elected from members of the Fraternal membership.
  • **Peter Fiske, Fraternal Emeritus is one of the original 15 becoming a member in May, 1980. Mr. Fiske is a major contributing editor to this history of The 15 Association.

Chairmen of The 15 Association

1980 – 1981 David Lewis, founder
1982 – 1984 Charles Durham
1984 – 1992 Les Farnak
1992 – 1994 Peter Fiske
1995 – 1996 Bear Dog Hoffman
1997 Peter Fiske
1998 Steve Cantine
1999 – 2001 Arturo Salazar
2002 – 2003 Don Folkers
2004 – 2005 JW Rutkowsk
2006 – 2007 Steve Gaynes
2008 Bob Brown
2008 Steve Ward
2009 – 2013 Jeff Garner
2014 – 2015 Steve Gaynes
2016 – 2020 Eric See
2021 – present Christopher Wood.

Founding Flyer from 1980