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South Plains Leatherfest

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the owners of South Plains Leatherfest-International Master/slave Weekend?

The actual “owner” of SPLF is SPL Enterprises, LLC. Master Jim, slave marsha and Sir Cougar make the day to day decisions about the event and put it on with the help of a group of amazing volunteers.

Don’t you guys live in Houston? Why is the event in Dallas?

The owners do all live in the Houston area (as a leather family in the same house, but that’s a topic for another FAQ!) – however, South Plains has its roots deep in the Dallas leather community, where Master Jim and slave marsha were active members for years. Master Jim still maintains his ties to the Dallas community with memberships in NLA-Dallas and Discipline Corps. The owners have no plans to move the event.

How do I contact South Plains?

You can contact us by email at southplainsleatherfest@gmail.com, by phone at (713) 299-9696 or by mail at SPL Enterprises, 22136 Westheimer Parkway #202, Katy, TX 77450.  Please do NOT contact any of us by private message at FetLife.  We need to keep all South Plains correspondence in one place so that we can ensure we get a response to you as soon as possible.

Where do my event registration fees go?

On average, just over 50% of the event registration fees covers the travel and hotel costs for our presenters – and those costs are rising every year. In other words, the majority of your registration money goes directly towards supporting what you come to South Plains for – great presenters giving outstanding seminars. We strongly believe we should not build our event on the backs of our presenters, or make profit off of them, by requiring them to pay their own travel costs.

Another 15% of the event registration fees goes to other hotel costs such as rooms for key staff members (who work so hard before and during the event) and food for the International Master/slave judges and contestants.

Approximately 15% of the fees covers publicity costs, including travel in support of the IM/s Regional Contests and associated events.

About 8% of the fees goes to registration costs (supplies, wristbands, program, run pins, publicity, website, etc.).

About 7% of the fees goes to supplies and AV for the South Plains Cruise, the International Master/slave Contest and the Brunch.

And finally, the remaining 5% of the event registration fees becomes the seed money for the next year.

One hundred percent of the money specifically raised on behalf of the International Master/slave Travel Fund during the weekend is disbursed to the titleholders in four equal installments across their title year.

Is South Plains a non-profit organization?

The answer to that is no… and yes. South Plains is not a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as defined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The owners elected to not organize SPL Enterprises as a 501(c)(3) because of the fairly complicated structure and reporting the IRS requires for those organizations. But like a 501(c)(3), none of the net earnings of South Plains is returned to any of the individuals producing the event – in other words, Master Jim, slave marsha and Sir Cougar do not receive any income from the event. So yes, in effect, South Plains is a non-profit, at least when it comes to our family’s pocketbook!

What is your refund policy?

For requests received on or before December 18, 2017, a refund of registration and other fees, minus a 20% processing charge, will be issued.

For requests received from December 19, 2017 through February 19, 2018, a refund of 50% of registration and other fees will be issued.

No refunds will be given on or after February 20, 2018 for any reason.

You may transfer a registration to another person before February 19, 2018. Please contact southplainsleatherfest@gmail.com for more details.

South Plains cannot be responsible for illness, Acts of God, or other events that may preclude your attendance at the event. Under all circumstances, South Plains will refund fees paid in accordance with our Refund Policy.

I’m gay/dyke/queer. Am I welcome at South Plains?

Welcome home! South Plains has a specific mission to create a home for the gay/dyke/transgender/queer leather community. All three of the owners of South Plains are gay – Master Jim is a gay leatherman while slave marsha and Sir Cougar are leatherdykes. It is our goal to make South Plains a welcoming space that understands and meets the specific needs of our community. Come join us.

I’m heterosexual. Am I welcome at South Plains?

Absolutely and welcome home! Part of South Plains’ stated mission is to create a home for the gay/dyke/transgender/queer leather community – but we welcome all who are interested in learning about and sharing in leather/SM and Mastery/slavery, whatever your gender or sexual orientation.

I’m a TNGer. Am I welcome at South Plains?

Without question those who are members of TNG groups members or who are in the 35 and under age group are most welcome. Much of who we are and/or become is a product of who we surround ourselves with and how open we are to learning from them. The benefits of generational teaching and learning are embraced at South Plains. We encourage those in the TNG community to come to South Plains and bring all that great TNG energy, ideas and perspectives with you!

I’m none of the above – what about me?

Come one, come all! If what we offer at South Plains interests you, we love to welcome you home to your Leather Reunion – no matter how you identify (or don’t identify) in terms of gender, sexual orientation, race, relationship role or any other identifier!

Do I have to be into that whole “Master/slave thing” to come to South Plains?

Not at all. We do seek to serve the Master/slave community through our M/s Track of seminars and the International Master/slave Contest, so if M/s is your “thing,” you’ll find an amazing weekend here! But if you’re just into hard and heavy SM, we’ve got you covered with the SM/Leather Track. And if you want some of both, you can mix and match to fit your needs!

How old do I have to be to attend South Plains?

You must be at least 21 years of age to attend South Plains. Yes, we realize that some leather/SM groups are allowing those 18 years of age and older to attend and we salute them for doing so. However, because there remains a division of opinion in the law as to when someone is fully an “adult.” As a result, we as owners could be personally at risk for liability arising from who we allow to attend South Plains, so we feel we must play it safe and limit attendance to 21 years of age and older, so that there can be no question that only adults are allowed to attend.

I’ve never been to a leather/SM event. Is South Plains right for me?

South Plains is geared toward the “advanced player” in the community, so you won’t find many “SM101” classes at our event. Nevertheless, someone brand new to leather/SM events with a willingness to take a “crash course” will fit right in! We also offer a “South Plains 101” class that will introduce to the weekend and what to expect to help you feel more at home. Many folks have made South Plains their first leather/SM event and lived to tell the tale! And most importantly, our first-timers keep coming back home.

Where is South Plains held?

The host hotel for South Plains 2018 is the Doubletree by Hilton Near the Galleria, 4099 Valley View Lane, Dallas, Texas, 75244. All South Plains affiliated activities are held at the host hotel and when on-line registration is open, you can link to the hotel page directly from the South Plains page! Parking is free.

By the way… did you know that one of the best ways you can help South Plains continue to bring you an incredible event every year is to stay in the host hotel? The most important leverage we have with the host hotel to get the best room rates, prices and loyalty is through the number of rooms we book. So help us help you – book your room early and stay in the host hotel!! (Besides, you’ll save time and avoid Dallas road rage plus have more fun – we promise!) See the Hotel page for more details.

Which airport should I fly into in Dallas?

Our host hotel is only 8 miles from Love Field (home of Southwest Airlines). And, with restrictions on non-stop flights no longer in effect, flying in and out of Love Field may a better option for you than in the past. DFW-International Airport is about 16 miles (30 minutes) away. The hotel does not offer shuttle service from either airport. Rental cars and cabs are readily available at the airports, or check out Super Shuttle.

How can I keep up with the latest on the event?

Please join us in the South Plains Leatherfest-International M/s Weekend group on FetLife (www.fetlife.com). You’ll find announcements from the SPLF-IM/s owners, information about classes and special events, introductions from attendees and more! Or, feel free to follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter where we’re @splfdallas!

Why do you price things separately (event, brunch, play parties)? Why don’t you have an all-inclusive price?

Not everyone wants to go to the brunch or the play parties, so why should they have to pay for them? We try to make South Plains as affordable as possible for everyone!

I’ve bought an event package and now I can’t attend – can I transfer my registration to someone else?

Yes, as along as the transfer is made no later than February 19, 2018. If you need to transfer a registration, please contact us at southplainsleatherfest@gmail.com for further instructions.

Why do you have separate women’s play space, off-site activities for men and sometimes gender limited classes? Can’t we all just play together?

 For some time now, South Plains has offered opportunities for separate men only and women only space.

Why do we do this?

From the beginning, we’ve said that South Plains is not about being “politically correct.” Instead, South Plains is about remembering our leather history – and that means providing a home for the queer leather community that has been at the heart of that history.

In a speech slave marsha gave a few year ago, she talked about the need to accept that in a community as diverse as ours, not everyone will want to play together – or learn together – all the time. Sometimes, groups will need separate space – and that’s okay. In fact, if we as the greater Leather/SM community honor that need, we may find that everyone is more willing to come together when it really counts.

At South Plains, we believe providing that separate space doesn’t do harm to the community’s diversity – instead, it supports it by acknowledging the fact that not everyone has the same needs and wants when it comes to leather/SM. It honors the simple truth that not everyone is going to want to play together all the time.

Rest assured that the majority of what we do at South Plains will remain open to everyone. But from time to time, we will have some restricted seminars or spaces, in particular to help engage and build the queer leather community and its allies.

As event owners, we want South Plains to be different – and it’s likely that at some point, one or more of those differences will challenge you in some way. We hope you’ll keep an open mind and join us in supporting our community’s diversity.

What do you mean by “men only” and “women only?”

Quite simply, if you identify as and live as a man 24/7, you’re welcome in “men only” space. And if you identify as and live as a woman 24/7, you’re welcome in “women only” space. And for all the other wonderful, diverse genders and identifications, there’s pansexual space!

We aren’t the genitalia police – no one is going to check your ID or what’s in your pants at the door (unless you ask nicely). Please respect the energy of any separate spaces we offer.

What is the dress code for South Plains?

Part of the excitement and atmosphere of South Plains is seeing what everyone is wearing, whether, whether it’s leather, latex, rubber, collars, covers, boots, stilettos, or… you name it!

However, please be aware that the hotel is not completely closed off to the public, so we ask that your dress be both “street legal” and respectful of those not attending the event when in public areas: no bare breasts for women and no bare butt cheeks or exposed genitalia for any one. The bottom line is, if you wouldn’t wear it out on a public street, please don’t wear it in the public areas of the hotel. These dress guidelines are in effect in the hotel lobby, the hotel restaurant, pool area, and in all hotel hallways.

It is especially important that all South Plains attendees follow these guidelines when going to and from the play parties.

Why don’t you use nametags at your event?

Nametags are not only expensive, they take a lot of energy to do right. (Think of all the unique scene name spellings and capitalization conventions. Then think of how upset people get when you don’t get their name right!) We prefer to put the event’s money and energy into other things we think add more value like bringing in the best presenters we can find for you! Besides – we like to cruise the old fashioned way – by actually asking someone what their name is!

Why don’t you have event T-shirts?

This is nametags, part two – t-shirts are expensive and it’s difficult to guess how many you’ll need, much less in which sizes. (Even requiring people to request sizes in advance doesn’t help much – trust us.) And there’s no market of any consequence on eBay for left over event t-shirts. So again, we’d rather put that money into bringing in the best presenters for you!

I want to present at South Plains – how do I make that happen? How do you choose your presenters? 

We generally select our presenters in May/June the year before the event. The owners of South Plains select the presenters for both the SM/Leather and M/s Tracks. We look for presenters with a proven track record of presenting in the Leather/SM/M/s community who we believe will bring something new and/or edgy to the event. We welcome and rely on recommendations from our attendees.

If you feel you meet these criteria and are interested in presenting at South Plains, please send a “leather resume” listing your presenting experience and a list of your seminar topics with descriptions to southplainsleatherfest@gmail.com.

I want to be a vendor at South Plains – how do I get booth space?

South Plains is proud to offer an exciting and varied selection of vendors each year. If you’d like to join us, you’ll need to complete an on line vending application by the deadline that will be posted on the Vending page. Please note that we do NOT select our vendors on a “first come-first serve” basis – we select vendors based on product type, diversity, uniqueness, etc.

I want to volunteer at South Plains – how do I sign up?

South Plains is proud to be one of the few events that thanks its volunteers for their hard work by providing a full event package in exchange for 6 hours of volunteer time over the South Plains weekend. (Play party and Sunday Brunch tickets are not included.)

In order to be eligible to be a South Plains volunteer, you must be available to work at any time during the event. This means you must be available between Friday at 8:00 am and Sunday at 4:30 pm, including during the Friday and Saturday night play parties. There are no exceptions to this requirement – please do not apply for a volunteer position if you know you will not be available throughout the event.

We’ll say it again – you must be available to work any time during the event in order to be a volunteer and there are no exceptions to this requirement.

Interested? First, please read the Volunteer page for important information, including the deadline for submitting your application and apply by submitting an on line application through the link on the Volunteer page of the web site. There is a $10.00 volunteer processing fee that will be charged at the time of registration. 

Please note that we do not necessarily select volunteers on a first come, first served basis – factors such as past reliability as a South Plains volunteer and special skills/talents needed by the event will also be considered.

How do I volunteer to be a dungeon monitor?

To be a dungeon monitor at South Plains, you need to have some previous DM experience and if you are a female, be willing to go into female only space or if you are a male, be willing to go into male only space. You also must be available to work either Friday or Saturday night. First, please read the Volunteer page for important information, including the deadline to submit your application and then apply by submitting an on line application through the link on the Volunteer page of the web site. There is a $10.00 volunteer processing fee that will be charged at the time of registration. 

Can I buy an ad in your program?

Over the years, we have found that what we charge for ads does not offset the additional printing costs created by having more program pages – and if we raised ad prices, there would be little to no market for ads. So we have discontinued selling program advertising and will only be accepting ads from regional feeder contests, certain sponsorship levels and a few other events/contests with which we have cooperative relationships. But you’re welcome to put flyers/cards in our run packets – see below. (Or consider becoming a sponsor of South Plains!)

How do I become a sponsor of South Plains?

We’re glad you asked! 

You can easily support your “leather home” at any one of 4 sponsorship levels. Whether you own a business, lead a group or just want to show your love of South Plains as a leatherman or leatherwoman, we’ve got a sponsorship level that’s right for you:

“The Heart of South Plains” Sponsorship: $800

Leather Sponsorship: $400

Vendor Leather Pride Sponsor: $300 (available to businesses only)

Levi Sponsorship: $200

For more information on specific sponsorship levels and how to become a sponsor, please see our “Sponsorships” page.

Can I put flyers/cards in your run packets?

You are welcome to send us flyers/cards to put in the South Plains run packets. Unlike some events, we do NOT charge for this service – we think it is part of our “give back” to the community to help spread the word about other resources and events. Please send 600 pieces to SPL Enterprises, 22136 Westheimer Parkway #202, Katy, TX 77450. The deadline for us to receive your flyers/cards is February 25, 2018.

How do you select the judges for the International Master/slave Contest?

Our commitment to the Master/slave community is to select judges for the International Master/slave Contest who have demonstrated significant real life experience in and/or knowledge of Master/slave relationships and who have a desire to support the IM/s title. In addition, we do our best to select a panel of judges diverse in gender, sexual orientation, role (Master or slave) and geographic region. The judges are selected by the owners of the International Master/slave Contest.

How can I and my slave compete in the International Master/slave Contest?

The International Master/slave Contest has established 5 regions covering the United States; if you and your slave live in the U.S., you must compete in and win the regional contest (or whatever selection process that region uses) in your geographic region. If you reside outside of the U.S., you may apply directly to compete at International Master/slave. (There is a limit to the number of international contestants that will be accepted each year in addition to the 5 regional contestant pairs.) For more information and contest rules and requirements, please see the section of the South Plains website entitled “IM/s Contest.”

Where does the money for the International Master/slave travel fund come from?

The money for the International Master/slave travel fund comes entirely from money raised through sponsorships of the   South Plains Café and other designated fundraisers during the South Plains weekend.  For more information about South Plains Café sponsorships, please see the Sponsorship  page. If you would like to make a direct donation to the travel fund, you can do so at the time you register on line or please contact us at southplainsleatherfest@gmail.com.

Are there on site play parties?

Yes, there are. On site play parties are Friday and Saturday nights, from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am. There are pansexual, women only, and men only play spaces. The cost for a play party package (both nights are included) is $30 per person. We do not sell individual play party tickets. You MUST be registered for South Plains in order to attend the play parties and you can purchase your tickets on line at the time you register for the event.

I can’t get to the event hotel until late on Friday/Satuday

In order to attend any South Plains activity, including the play parties, you must first complete the on-site registration check in process at the Registration Desk. The Registration Desk will be open the following hours:

Thursday, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Friday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Saturday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

We will not be able to extend our Registration Desk hours or reopen Registration for late arriving attendees, and we will not check in attendees at the door of the play parties. Please keep this in mind as you plan your South Plains schedule.

I have a great piece of dungeon equipment I’ll loan to the South Plains’ play parties. Who do I contact?

Please send an email to southplainsleatherfest@gmail.com with the subject line “Dungeon Equipment.” We’ll forward your email on to our incredible Team Dungeon!

Can I just go to the vendor area without buying an event package?

Yes, you can – you’ll need to go to the registration desk at the event first to sign the event release and get a vendor only wristband and then you can shop the vendor area at no charge.

But while we’ve got you here… remember, we can only bring you this great selection of vendors if we have folks willing to register for the event. So at the risk of sounding like public television, won’t you do your part to keep South Plains going strong by registering for the event? Then you won’t miss a single fabulous part of South Plains!

Do you sell day passes?

Yes, we do. Day passes are available at event registration and are $70. If you purchase a Friday day pass, you may also attend the South Plains Cruise that evening. If you purchase a Saturday day pass, you may also attend the International Master/slave Contest that evening. With the purchase of a Friday or Saturday day pass, you may also purchase a play party package for an additional $25, if packages are still available. If you purchase a Sunday day pass, you may also purchase a Brunch ticket for an additional $25, if tickets are still available. But won’t you consider taking advantage of early registration prices and getting the whole fantastic South Plains weekend for only $115? (Café, Brunch and Play Parties are extra.)

I’m with a media outlet and I want to attend South Plains – can I get a press pass?

It is an unfortunate truth that being involved in the leather/SM community may make someone vulnerable to loss of job, family and friends if their interest becomes public. Because of this concern and the need for many in our community to practice some level of identity protection, we do not allow coverage of South Plains by media outlets outside of the leather/SM community. Registering for and/or attending South Plains with the intent of covering it in any form of media (print, broadcast, cable, radio, online, etc.) without the consent of the owners of South Plains is strictly forbidden. Violators will be escorted from the event and will not receive a refund. Don’t make us be mean.