Peter Fiske book launch | 18th August | TOM House

Avatar Club Los Angeles and Tom of Finland Foundation invite you to a celebration of the new book, My Leather Life: Early Years by Peter S. Fiske, narrated by Thomas V. Peterson.

My Leather Life: Early Years by Peter S. Fiske

Jack Fritscher writes, “At the center of leather life for 50 years, Peter Fiske whips up history in his delightfully conversational new memoir.” Tim Brough calls Peter’s book “one hell of a ride,” and Race Bannon characterizes it as “a gift to the leather world.”

Peter will read from his memoir and sign copies. Books will be available for purchase.

Light refreshments will be served.



TOM’s Men, without shame

I never expected to see a movie about Tom and a great one at that. Tom would have liked it very much but I think but he would have said make more sex. Do not miss this classic film and see it in a theater if at all possible – made me cry, but in a good way, for all the good times with Tom and his men.

OK, here is my real feeling on seeing Tom of Finland. Spoiler alert if you have not seen.

At many times I felt it was Tom, not an actor. I cried during a lot of it. They caught the essence of Tom in the film from his Leather muse, to Durk Dehner, to his trips to America in 1978 and 1983, to his life partner Veli, and his sister Kaija.

I met Tom in 1978 at the opening of his exhibition at Fey Way Gallery and at the Eagle but I was the boy in the film with the Physique Pictorial under a blanket in his bed – me 1958 – after I bought my first Tom.

Tom was charming, laconic, intense in his gaze, as moved by us as we were by him and a very sexy man. In 1983 he came to a dying San Francisco because we needed him. He judged IML that year where my partner Colt Thomas was selected. He came to sell his sex positive book Tom of Finland Retrospective. I went to the Casto and stood in line and he signed my book “From Tom of Finland to Peter Fiske of San Francisco”. I even have a photograph to prove it.

From 1984 until his death in 1991, Tom would come to stay with Durk at TOM House and with my friend Felix Jones, we would head south to see Tom almost every year. We would see Tom and Durk and have lunch at the LAPD Academy which is open to the public. If you like cops go there, but I digress.

In 1987, after his husband Charlie Smith died, Coulter wrote Tom and asked him to make a picture of them and send a photograph. Tom said return the picture of you as a cowboy and I will make a new picture for you. Tom loved Coulter. Coulter loved the picture and he loved Tom. That picture now hangs in Tom’s room in TOM House. Go there if you are in LA – it is a place of pilgrimage if you are one of TOM’s Men.

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Coulter Thomas and Charlie Smith), 1987, Graphite on paper, Gift from Peter Fiske, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection, © 1987 Tom of Finland Foundation

Finally, let’s talk about TOM’s Men. They are incredibly sexual and they are happy, strong, healthy, good men. They love sex and they love each other. They live and love without shame. That is I think the greatness of Tom. His strong men live and love without shame, and they have joy and fun and sex.

Peter Fiske

2017 Inductees

The Leather Hall of Fame recognizes people and organizations who have made significant contributions to the modern Leather community over time and provides a historical and educational reference for the community. We represent all people in the modern Leather community (1950 – present) around the world, without regard to gender or sexual orientation.

Durk Dehner (b. 1949)
He has provided much of the institutional and organizational structure that made the art of Tom of Finland (2009 inductee) widely known in the United States and around the world. Originally from Canada, by the 1970s Dehner was a hustler and worked as a model for Bruce Weber and others in New York. He wrote a fan letter to Tom after seeing one of his drawings at the bar, and they became pen pals and eventually business partners, and artist and muse. They created Tom of Finland Company in 1978 and  Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) in 1984. For more than 30 years, Dehner and ToFF have been the curator/owners of TOM House in Los Angeles, where he and Tom lived during the last and most prolific years of the artist’s life. ToFF has preserved and helped popularize Tom’s work, and is a key institution preserving and fostering masculine Gay sexual art.  

Peter Fiske (b. 1945)
Whip and whipping expert, Peter Fiske, has been a mentor to two generations of Leather folk. Originally from New York City, Peter Fiske has been a Leatherman for more than 50 years.

He is a Stonewall veteran and a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association. He moved to San Francisco in 1966 and was a member of the Koalas MC San Francisco from 1966 to 1969. Peter is a founding member and Chairman Emeritus of the 15 Association San Francisco and of Delta International (Chairman and Coordinator 2009/2010), and a long time member of GMSMA, SNC London and the Chicago Hellfire Club. Peter was presented the Caligula Award at Inferno XXV in 1996. Also known as “Daddy Peter,” he is a well known educator and has presented at hundreds of events and clubs across the country. Peter was San Francisco Leather Daddy XXI in 2003. His community service includes Board Member (1999-2003) and President (2000) of the Aids Emergency Fund and Cofounder of the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Peter was a SF Pride Board member from 2002 to 2004 and was awarded the Heritage of Pride Award in 2005 for long term service of over 15 years to the SF LGBT community. He has long been a strong advocate for acceptance and inclusion of Transgender men and women in the Leather and SM community. Now retired in Palm Springs, Fiske is still an activist and educator.

MSC Hamburg e. V. (Founded 1974)
Officially founded in 1974 after the first official Hamburg Leather meeting the year before. After this big success with around 300 visiting Leathermen from various European countries, MSC decided to host the second leather meeting in August 1974 where they showed a fist fuck movie at the event: the first time ever such a movie had been shown to the German public. This began the club’s influence on European leather. The annual MSC Hamburg Leather meeting became the number one Leather event in Europe – including wild parties on the famous MS Cap San Diego ship. The MSC party posters created by Martin S. Cool (aka Günter Henzler) are legendary. Along with producing the annual Leather meeting, the club and its members are active in Hamburg LGBT organizations, and produce the Mr. Hamburg contest.

Image by Leather Hall of Fame 2009 Inductee Tom of Finland © Tom of Finland Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and brunch will be held during CLAW 17 (April 27-30). Complementary and reduced price tickets are available. We invite all Leather people to join us to learn about, celebrate and honor the lives and accomplishments of these inspirational inductees. Find out more, and order your tickets now at