OH MAN IT’S MY FAVORITE WEEKEND OF THE YEAR. International Mr. Leather is happening this (Memorial Day) weekend, and if you don’t already have leather-themed brunches planned then I don’t know what to tell you. Literally 50,000 + leather men and fetishists come to Chicago for this. TRY and go out this weekend and you’ll see the best tourists EVER.
It’s not just a beauty pageant-like contest where hairy men dressed in their best hide compete in categories like “Pecs and Stage Presence,” interview, physique and attire. It’s also a celebration of atypical body types and the freedom of sexual expression that a lot of other countries in the world do not have. By the end of the weekend, the winner cries, gets a leather sash, roses and the title of Internation Mr. Leather. For the rest of the year they get to roam around the planet getting all the booty they desire. And if the IML contest is a test for tops, The Mr. Bootblack Competition is the best of bottoms! Men and boys, all subs, compete to see who is the best at polishing boots. Serious.
If all of that seems a little formal to you, then the least you can do is enjoy the Leather Market. A craft fair for fetishists, the Market is rooms and rooms of enticing-to-frightening wares sold at reasonable prices, and it’s all about the people watching. One good moment was encountering a man in a leather body bag, and it wasn’t until my 2nd look that I realized all you could see was his scrotum hanging out, all while a “sales person” was electro-stimulating his man-sac. NICE.
A full schedule of events is located at www.imrl.com and most events are happening at the Chicago Hilton, 720 South Michigan Avenue, 312-922-4400.