Mark O’Keefe

Mark O’Keefe

Mr San Diego Leather 1997

My journey in this life style started when I was seven and had my first whip.  I had no indication of what that would turn into later in life.  When I tied up my boyfriend in 1985, I began to have a little bit of suspicion.  Although there were hints of SM throughout my life, I did not act on them.  I stayed on the fringes of leather for a long time before deciding it was the life I really wanted.  I watched, listened and learned.

In 1988, I became clean and sober.  I joined the Knights on Iron; a gay clean and sober motorcycle club.  After joining, I was elected treasurer and started working on fundraisers. Then I started to get involved with other groups of interest in San Diego.  I helped to create a cigar group called Hot Ash San Diego.  In 1990 I attended Living in Leather 5 in Portland, Oregon.  My first thought was, “I’m not like these people!?!”  (I had no clue).  I became aware of a group called National Leather Association and they had a little educational weekend called LeatherFest.  This was LeatherFest 3.  I attended and wanted to get more involved.  A friend chaired the weekend and suggested I help out with LeatherFest 4.  I helped with many areas including the first motorcycle run for LeatherFest.  The chair encouraged me to take his position. So, I co-chaired LeatherFest 5 in 1993.  The ball was just starting to roll.

I was clean and sober for 5 years now and needed more support.  I thought wouldn’t it be great to have a Leather/SM AA meeting?  Someone else agreed with me. Together we started Sobriety and Miracles (SMNAA) on Friday nights, a meeting which still continues today.  Also, at that time NLA was in need of people for the board. I decided that,” if I can run LeatherFest, I can run a Board”’.  So, for the next three years I worked the Club X board, while continuing to co-chair LeatherFest.  In 1996 I also held the treasurer and registration position for LeatherFest 8.  However, the following year was to be a little different.

In 1997 I was honored with the title of Mr. San Diego Leather!  I began working with many organizations such as: MCC, the Leather Ministries, and the Imperial Court de San Diego. I even earned a Leather Prince for Life title with the Court. Then I traveled to IML in Chicago. During this time, I continued my work by setting up the men’s events for IMsL in San Diego and attending the first Leather Leadership Conference in New York.  In 1998 I co-chaired LeatherFest 10, before moving out of State briefly.

Upon return to San Diego, I provided a number of workshops for different organizations. I coordinated the workshops for Leather Realm during Gay Pride 2004 and Den Daddy for Mr. San Diego Leather 2005.  It was there that the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence bestowed upon the title of Saint Mark.  I also began work with the Ms. San Diego Leather contests in 2007.  I continued to help with Mr. San Diego Leather. I was surprised when presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Diego Leather Awards in 2008.  In 2009 I worked on the San Diego Leather History Project. I also went to school for Museum Studies, worked full time and created my own WhipArt.

In November of 2009 my life took a big change. My partner, Jon, and I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.  We bought a house, rescued 3 cats, and found new jobs.  Life was pretty simple and normal. We both quickly fell in love with Cincinnati.  We married in a cemetery there in October of 2016. Our guests and staff all dressed as zombies, and we danced until our limbs fell off!

Lately I have started to venture out again, living and playing in the lifestyle.  I have started mentoring and formed a small Whip Family.  I’ve also become a member of TPEC (The Power Exchange Center) and of RITL (Recovery in the Lifestyle).  I look forward to giving a singletail whip workshop for TPEC in April. In July, I will be celebrating 30 years of being clean and sober and plan to start my porn career (just kidding).  You can find me on Fetlife as WhipFather.  Please feel free to ask me anything or friend me. Not only am I hard to resist, but I’m also the nicest Sadist you will ever meet.