Category Archives: Leather Contests

A Real Post, Sort Of

All right, so I am here and more or less back to normal.

I haven’t unpacked, of course.  I’m still working on pictures, but I’m closer now.

I’m still processing, I think.

One of the things that was funny was how many people from Louisville were at International Mr. Leather.

We left for Chicago about 1 or so.  Chicago traffic is always challenging, though I was not driving, which is always a plus to me.

I went with Jay and Karen, my Leather SIR and Leather Ms.  Neither of them had ever been to IML before.

We were staying a ways out because I had gotten a deal on a hotel room, thanks to a friend.  We were going to at least see how the train worked, and it did work pretty well for the first two days, though taking a train limits what you can do and wear, so the third night we paid exorbitant parking rates and it was worth it.

We got checked in and by the time we had gotten to the hotel and changed and figured out the trains and actually got to the hotel it was too late for me to get my press credentials, which was fine anyway.

We walked around the hotel for a few minutes, which is packed virtually to the rafters with hot gay guys who are, if not fully naked are somewhere between half and three quarters naked.

We had not eaten on the way up, so Karen and I went to dinner.  We walked a block or two to a grill and were having a very nice meal when Karen said, as someone walked by, “Isn’t that Chris?  Donald’s Chris?”

I looked up and indeed it was Donald’s Chris and Donald, too, and another friend or two of ours as well.

You have to come to Chicago to see your friends, I suppose.

We didn’t do a lot that night, we went back to the hotel for a bit after dinner, had a drink, talked to more hometown folk we saw, as well as some out of towners I don’t often see.

Eventually I will catch up on sleep.

More tomorrow.

I Lost My Post

I had one written, I swear.

A decent one.

I was actually proud of myself because I have been so behind, I haven’t commented or responded to comments, I’m a bad person, and I had actually written a post.

I’ve been so busy with Bluegrass and I will be for another three weeks, I’m behind everywhere.

I had it ready, I hit publish.

Usually I cut and paste it to be sure, but I didn’t, of course.

And it’s gone, and I can’t find it and there’s no draft for it and I logged in so I shouldn’t have lost it, but I somehow did.

I might go cry.

Website!

I am SO freaking happy to announce that I finally have my blog up on my own domain, something that has been on my agenda for a couple of months.

If you’re reading this on MsConstanceExplains at WordPress, well, I’m still very glad to have you.

However, if you’re reading this on my own domain, at MsConstanceExplains.com, well then, I’m even more glad to have you.

To give credit where credit is more than due, I had little to do with this.

My good friend Charles did the migration for me.  I had tried and played at it a few times, but just never got it to work.  I was worried I’d lose everything because I’m not that much of a tech person.  I had spent a couple of hours trying to figure it out, and a month kind of playing at it.

I gave Charles the information last night, and he had it done before noon today.

Now THAT’S a geek.

In the best sense of the word.

So, I am very pleased to have this done, to be able to check it off my large to do list.

On another note, I started sending out questions to my crew that are planning to run for Leather titles, and I plan to do that daily.

The thing about Leather Contests is that it’s not unlike a job interview.  You are, in fact, interviewing for the job of a title holder.

International Mr. Leather, for instance, there are usually in the range of 50 contestants.

IML is a BIG deal.  Participants are judged on stage presence and personality (Pecs and Personality), leather image, presentation skills, and physical appearance.  To be named as one of the top twenty contestants is a big deal, to be named top three is extraordinary.

I hold a Leather title with slave drew.  He and I are Great Lakes Master and slave 2003.  We competed at GLLA, where we won, then went on to compete at the International Master and slave contest, where we did not win.

When we ran, there were no feeder contests for the regionals.

There are, for most of the major contests, three levels of competition.

You compete at the state level, then at the regional, then at the International.

I can produce five titles, if I have contestants.  I can produce Bluegrass Leather Pride Master and slave, Bluegrass Leather Pride Bootblack, Bluegrass Leather Pride Sir, Bluegrass Leather Pride boy, and Ms Bluegrass Leather Pride. I produce a state contest.

All of my contestants then go on to Great Lakes Leather Alliance, which is the regional contest.

Some of the winners of GLLA will go to specific international contests.

The Great Lakes Master and slave, for instance, will go to South Plains Leatherfest, where they will compete for International Master and slave.

The Great Lakes Leather Sir and Leather boy will go to International Leather Sir and boy Contest.

The Great Lakes Bootblack can choose to compete at International Mr Bootblack, or in the case of a female, International Ms Bootblack, or International Community Bootblack, which is affiliated with the International Leather Sir and boy.

Great Lakes Ms. Leather Pride can choose to go to compete for International Ms Leather, which is called IMsL for short – pronounced “im-sill” – or she can go to compete for the International Ms Olympus contest.

What the regional and state contests endeavor to do is create an experience as close to the international contests as is possible.  We basically take the application from the International and use it for regional, and from regional and use it for state.

The more often a contestant going through the same contest, the better they do.

Virtually all contests have some of the same components – an interview, a speech, and a pop question.  Some, like the Master and slave, also have a presentation.

M/s couples are also judged on their Master and slave dynamics; those qualities that make them a Master and slave as opposed to simply a dominant and submissive couple.

Some of the Leather contests also have an image or appearance component, but you shouldn’t interpret that as meaning that only traditionally perfect people compete and win.  One of the good things about the Leather community is that we tend to have a broader view of what’s attractive, and often, it’s far more about being comfortable in your skin.

So, we are working on preparing people for interviews by asking questions.  Next week we will work some on speeches, which is often one of the things the people find terrifying.

So, once again, I hope you visit my new home.  I’m very happy to have gotten moved in finally.

Titleholder Preparations

We had one of the titleholder preps we do in Louisville tonight.  We do preparations for people planning to run for titles and tonight we had five potential contestants and seven or eight of us who were working with them, asking questions, giving feedback on the questions that were being given and the way they were given.

We talked about why they wanted to hold the titles for which they were running, what they thought they brought to the table that other contestants might not, what part spirituality played in their Leather lives, why they were running for the title they were running for.

It’s always interesting to hear how people answer those questions, and I’m generally pleased with where we are.  We have more work, but things are going well.

Then we had the Sunday munch after, and that was fun, but it’s nearly bedtime now.  More tomorrow, I swear.

Special Interest Groups

So we had our SIG meeting this afternoon and the topic, which had been requested in our topic listing, was Leather History.

I did a bit of prep for the meeting, which included going through the Leather Archives and Museum Leather History Timeline.  If you’re interested you can find that here.

I pulled out items that I thought were particularly interesting from that time line:

1954:    Satyrs MC founded in Los Angeles, the first gay motorcycle club.

1955, Sept. 21:    The Daughters of Bilitis, the first Lesbian organization in America, is formed in San Francisco.

1958:    Oedipus MC founded in Los Angeles, the second gay motorcycle club.

1958, June:    Chuck Renslow becomes manager of The Gold Coast in Chicago and creates the first Leather Bar.

1960, March 16:    The Gold Coast, Chicago’s first leather bar, (opened June 1958) is purchased by Chuck Renslow and Associates.

1960:    Warlocks MC, and California Motor Club formed in southern California and San Francisco respectively.

1963, Sept. 15:    Second City Motorcycle Club founded in Chicago.

1964, June 26:    Life magazine features “Homosexuality in America,” an article by Paul Welch that includes a two page spread on the Tool Box, San Francisco’s premier leather bar, and sparks a migration of eager leathermen to “Baghdad by the Bay.”

1964:    Empire City MC founded in NYC and holds first Empire City Christmas Party and Toys for Tots.

1964:    Recon MC founded in San Francisco.

1965, Apr.:    Second City MC founded in Chicago. The first such club in the Midwest.

1969:    Time magazine declares 1969 “The Year of the Newly Militant Homosexual”

1969, June 28:    New York City Police raid the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher St. near 7th Ave. triggering riots that last several nights, and becoming the seminal event in public awareness of the fight for gay rights.

1969, June 29:    “Four Policemen Hurt in Village Raid” reported the New York Times, on page 33.

1969, July:    Reporting on the Stonewall riots, Time magazine says, “The love that once dared not speak its name now can’t seem to keep its mouth shut.”

1969, July:    The Gay Liberation Front is formed in New York City.

1970, June:    Celebrating the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the first gay pride parades/marches/rallies are held in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cycle MC marches in the Christopher Street Liberation Day parade in NYC.

1971, Jan. 3:    First lesbian center in the US opens in New York City, sponsored by the NY Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis.

1971, Feb.:    The Eulenspiegel Society is founded in New York City as North America’s first SM organization. It is open to all sexes and orientations.

1971, Apr.:    Bob Ross begins publishing the Bay Area Reporter, aka the B.A.R., in San Francisco. Mr. Marcus begins his leather column in this newspaper in August of 1971. As of this writing in Jan,. 1999, both the paper and the column are still going strong after 28 years!

1971, Aug.:    In Chicago: Thirteen men decide to organize a group specifically to hold gay male SM play parties and the Chicago Hellfire Club is created…

1972, April:    The (San Francisco) Bay Area Reporter newspaper begins publishing a column devoted to leather related news, gossip and information written by “Mr. Marcus,” (Marcus Hernandez.) The first, and longest running, column of its type, in 1999 it is still going strong!

1972, Oct.:    In a contest held at the Chicago Leather bar, the Gold Coast, John Lunning becomes Mr. Gold Coast. The FIRST leather title holder.

1974:    Bella Abzug and Edward Koch become the first members of the US House of Representatives to introduce legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

1974:    The Society of Janus is started in the San Francisco Bay area by Cynthia Slater. It is an SM interest group open to all genders and orientations.

1974, Apr. 8:    Members of the American Psychiatric Association agree with its trustees to stop listing homosexuality as a mental disorder.

1976, Oct. 26:    The Mineshaft in New York City opens. This after-hours club allowed and encouraged virtually all forms of sexual activity among its hot male patrons. It was a Mecca for leather/SM types in the Eastern US and Canada. Closed in Nov. 1985.

1977, Feb. 7:    US State Dept. announces it will no longer automatically bar gays and lesbians from employment.

1978, Nov 27:    Harvey Milk, openly gay San Francisco Supervisor, assassinated, along with mayor George Moscone, by former Supervisor Dan White.

1989, May 28:    Tony DeBlase presents his design for a leather pride flag to the audience at International Mr. Leather, the first time the flag is presented to the public.

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We talked, too, about some of the “rules” of the Old Guard leather, which I also find quite interesting.  Let me say that there are those who disagree that there ever even was an Old Guard, but regardless, I still find the list an interesting one:

Always wear boots, butch ones, and preferably black.

Always wear a wide black leather belt plain, not fancy.

Never mix brown leather with black leather.

Never mix chrome or silver trim with gold or brass trim.

Long pants only, Levi’s or leather, and no shorts.

Chaps indicate more commitment than Levi’s, and leather pants more commitment than chaps, especially when worn consistently.

Leather Jackets must have epaulets (bike riders excepted).

Head gear is reserved for Tops or experienced or heavy bottoms only.

Bottoms may not own collars unless a particular Top has allowed that bottom to be the custodian of the Top’s collar. A bottom wearing a collar is a slave, and belongs to the owner of the collar who, presumably, has the keys. Other Tops are not to engage a collared bottom in conversation, but other bottoms may do so. Should such a relationship end, the collar must be returned to the Top.

Never touch the bill of a bike cap, including your own.

Never touch another man’s cap (or head gear) unless you are very intimate friends or lovers.

Keep studs and other decorations to a tasteful minimum unless they happen to be club insignia.

Never wear another man’s leather unless he puts it on you.

Leather, other than boots and belt, must be ‘earned’ through the achievement of successively challenging ‘scenes.’

Wearing gloves is reserved for heavy players, glove fetishists or bike riders.

Always indicate SM preference, only with keys left or right.

If you are cruising seriously, wear the keys out; if not seriously, tuck them in a back pocket.

Always indicate strictly leather sex or ‘rough sex’ interest by wearing no keys at all.

Those who ‘switch’ are second class players and not to be taken as seriously because they haven’t made their minds up. If you must switch, do so in another town.

‘Full’ leather is reserved for after 10:00 P.M. only and only with ‘our own kind’.

Respect the public by wearing less of it during the day–don’t frighten old ladies (l did once by accident), or anyone else for that matter.

About Socializing and Cruising:

Experience in the Scene determines social seniority (Top or bottom), not age, not size, not amount of leather worn, and not offices held in organizations, awards received or titles won.

Tops and experienced bottoms should be accorded higher respect and deference unless and until they behave rudely–all are expected to observe rules of social courtesy-bad manners are inexcusable and can lower one’s status in the Scene (thereby reducing access to the Knowledgeable People for information or play),

Real Leathermen keep their word: they do not borrow or lend money; they conduct their affairs with honor and integrity-they don’t lie.

Preliminary social contact should be on the formal side.

‘Senior Persons’ (Top or bottom) are not to be interrupted when in conversation.

Experience being equal, Tops lead the conversation.

Junior Tops defer to Senior Tops and Senior bottoms in social situations.

Junior bottoms defer to all others in the Scene but not to outsiders.

When walking together, bottoms walk half-a-step behind and to the left of Tops with whom they are involved or playing.

It is up to the Top or the experienced bottom to extend a hand to invite a handshake. (All touching is highly restricted during initial contact between strangers.) NEVER over-indulge in drugs or alcohol in public, or otherwise attract scornful attention to one’s self–to do so brings dishonor on the men in the Scene,

Tops should always have the first two opportunities to make verbal or physical contact.

The more submissive one is, the less direct eye contact one makes-glance frequently at or stare at His boots only when cruising; less so in non-sexual conversation. The more dominant one is, the more direct the eye contact is unless there is no erotic interest (cruising only).

Men in the Scene do not discuss (or write about the Scene with outsiders. All men in the Scene must be able to spot outsiders with the ‘right stuff’ and be ready to facilitate them into the Scene after they indicate sincere interest.

None of these rules are taught or explained to anyone except by innuendo, inference, or example.

Erotic technical information is only shared among peers.

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We talked about why people thought Leather history was important, and discussed the positives and negatives of both inclusion and exclusion within the community.

We spent some time specifically talking about Stonewall, an incident I find quite moving.  If you don’t know a lot about Stonewall, the Wikipedia entry here is well-written and interesting.

All in all, I think it was a worthwhile discussion and one that people enjoyed.  That’s always my hope, anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On another topic, my website is up and running and it’s now possible to get yourself registered for Bluegrass Leather Pride and the Kinky Bloggers convention by going here.  I look forward to seeing at least some of you there.

 

 

Titleholder Prep

We did our first Titleholder Preparation for the new year tonight.

We met at the local pizza joint where we’ve been doing munches for 15 years.  They give the basement over to us, and generally let us do pretty much whatever we want to do.

We had four people who are planning to run for my titles, and a couple that are preparing for international contests.

We talked about what good reasons are to run for a title, because you think you have something to say, because you want a platform, because you want to serve your community.

We talked about issues to consider like, can you afford to run for a title financially, can you afford it in terms of the time you have available, can your relationships afford it?

We talked about recognizing that running for a title almost always leads to at least some outing.  You may not necessarily have your name on the front page of the paper, but it’s entirely possible that people will learn about your kinks.

The story we talked about was a couple of years ago when we had a Leather Pride float in the Gay Pride Parade.  As it turned out, we happened to be the first float in the parade because we were where we were supposed to be.  We were using a truck, with titleholders just standing in the bed.

As it happened, the Master and slave couple, Charles and jacki, were in the front and, because we were the first float, we were on most of the local and regional news feeds.

Meaning Charles, who is, while not narrow, very straight, was on the opening footage of the Gay Pride Parade.

He got some calls, he got some questions from friends and family, and it was a situation one couldn’t have anticipated, either.

We talked about what to expect if you win, what happens to your life.  We talked about the components of contests, and what matters about those components.

We talked about the kinds of questions you should absolutely know the answer to, including, what are your best qualities, what are your worst, what will you do if you win, what will you do if you lose, and why are you running.

We talked about how to answer a question, how to prepare for the actual contest, what to do – get rest, be on time, make sure you are organized, and what not to do – don’t drink, don’t hide in your room, and, the standing joke, don’t sleep with any of the judges.

We’ll do more preparation, but it was nice to get that started.

I also spent my day working on my Bluegrass Leather Pride website and registration, and I have that nearly ready to go live.  I expect it will be up tomorrow.  Hurray for me.

I’m also going to talk about Kinky Bloggers tomorrow, I believe.  Stay tuned!

 

My Day

My day has been pleasantly quiet, generally.

I had a late breakfast with a submissive male who is a friend, too, and is always interesting.  We chatted about art, about the current political debates, and compartmentalization in our respective lives.

After that, I came home and spent the rest of the afternoon going through email, answering emails in my normal account and my Fetlife account, making some reservations for upcoming events, and working on my Bluegrass Leather Pride contest.

Then I joined a group of friends to celebrate a birthday, which was fun.

Working on Bluegrass Leather and some on Great Lakes Leather Alliance is going to be my day tomorrow, too, and I hope to have many of the details ironed out tomorrow.

This is, then, going to be short and not that exciting, because I need to pop back to that.

I also want to thank everyone for the nice comments regarding the passing of my half brother, they have meant a great deal to me.  I’ll have some time over the next few days to catch up on comments, too, so I’ll respond individually, but I did see them, and thank you all for them.

Winding Down

The year 2012 is winding down.

There are three days left and then this year will be over.  I can’t say I will be unhappy to see it in the rear-view mirror.

It hasn’t been a bad year, in many ways.

In February, my own Bluegrass Leather Pride contest went well, despite having lost two venues in the last month or so before.  We ended up doing it in a private home and the upstairs of a local restaurant, and while it wasn’t ideal, it worked.  My contestants didn’t end up competing at GLLA, but that happens sometimes.

I was also in Indianapolis in February for Beat My Valentine, an event sponsored by IMAS, Indiana Masters and Slaves.

In March I drove out to Dallas, to South Plains Leatherfest, to watch Charles and jacki compete for International Master and slave.

In April, we went to Fort Lauderdale for Beyond Leather, for the International Power Exchange contest.  I presented there, including a brand new presentation on crops and canes.  slave thomas also came and met us there, which was particularly nice.  We spent a bit of time in Sarasota, and in Sanibel Island, one of my favorite places on the planet.

In August, we had another very successful Great Lakes Leather Alliance, despite some curves thrown at the last minute.  One of my scheduled cocktail parties didn’t work out, but I had anticipated the possibility and made arrangements for an alternate plan.

I also presented there, one class that I always do, a class for newcomers to the event, and events in general, and another new class, So You Want to Be a Titleholder.  I also played more at that event – three times – than I ever have before all put together.

In September, I was in Atlanta to present at the International Transgender Leather contest.  I did a humor class there with Ms Tammy.

In October, slave drew and I went to Chicago for Kinky Kollege, and had a very good time there.  Chicago has never been my favorite city, but we had a better time there than I had before.  We really enjoyed it.

I worked to found the first Masters And slaves Together chapter in Kentucky, MAsT: Derby City.  It is running successfully now and I’m proud of that.

We started creating Fringe Elements, a 501C3 Queer Community Center.  We’re close to finding a physical venue, which has always been our goal.  I took the Executive Director position, and I’m comfortable there.  I’m good at running things, I like all sides of it.

I started this blog.  I wasn’t sure I’d keep up with it, but I have. I posted for the first time on May 26, which was 216 days ago.  This post is the 210th, meaning I’ve missed a total of six.

I’ve only really forgotten to post once, I know once was a power outtage issue, and I didn’t post for several days while I was at GLLA, but I think missing  less than 3% is a pretty good percentage.  I’ve seen the number of people who read, and comment, rise, too, and that’s been really gratifying.

It was the 15th anniversary this year of the Louisville Munch, an impressive run for any group.  I added three new people to my formal Leather family by presenting Earned Leather to Gabriel, to Cerrin, and to Shane.

We all lived through an apocalypse, or should I say, another apocalypse.  It reminds me of a line from my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a musical episode called, “Once More with Feeling.”

“What can’t we do if we get in it?
We’ll work it through if there’s a minute.
We have to try. We’ll pay the price.
It’s do or die. Hey, I’ve died twice!”

How many apocalypses have there been and, so far, we’ve lived through them all.

There have been the usual problems and challenges.  Issues with people, the usual things one encounters when one is involved in groups, the usual struggles there.

I’ve been profoundly disappointed in a few people this year, which is also part of living, I think.  People disappoint us.  Other people have stepped up, risen to challenges.

I’ve gotten closer to a few people, and that’s been nice.  I’ve met other bloggers, both face to face and virtually, and that’s been an experience as well.

I lost at least two awards this year, and was “presented” one on a stage in front of a couple hundred people that turned out to be for someone else, though I wasn’t made aware of it until the award handed to me had another person’s name on it.

I know, I know, you should be flattered to be nominated, and I was – one was a Pantheon Lifetime Achievement award, which is a very significant award in the Leather community.  The final result, however, was that I lost.

I turned 55 this year, and I have not liked that at all.  I know, I know, I’m aware of all the things that are good – experience, wisdom, a level of acceptance, my health is good, and it’s far better than any alternative, but I don’t like it.  I doubt I ever will.  It is, however, what it is.

So, three more days and it’s all just one more memory.  I suspect that our New Year’s Eve celebration will end up being a quiet one at home, us and the pups, probably one of those years in which we don’t even stay up late enough to greet 2013 officially until the morning.

And I’m ok with that.

That Fallacy of Time

So, I have a list of approximately 1000 things to do.

I have to finish up the dining room, though progress has been made.  But there’s a window covering to do, a wall shelf to hang, the living room to empty out, and then the kitchen, and then the cleaning of aforesaid locations.

There’s stuff I need to do for the upcoming Fringe Element Bizarre Bazaar, and for my own Bluegrass Leather Pride.

There’s a Leather Presentation I need to write.

I have to refill my ink on my printer.

I have some business of life stuff, things to mail, things to pay, things to buy.

slave drew’s birthday is Wednesday, Thanksgiving is Thursday and then it’s the holiday weekend.

I made a list of the things I have to do and haven’t done them, but making a list was kind of on the list.

I need to get my nails done.

I need to go to the grocery and to the bank.

I have to make pies.  It’s Thanksgiving, for heaven’s sake, I have to make pies.

I have to make some calls, settle some final details about this and that.

I need to answer emails and comments and look at Facebook and Fetlife and those seven million social sites we keep up with, sort of.

I need to type an invoice for drew.

I have to move some plants and rearrange others and, and, and, and…

So I always think I’ll have time.  Tomorrow or in a day or two, and I suppose I should know by now I never will have that time, really, not in the optimistic block of it I see in my mind.  I’ll be sitting at my desk, the dogs sleeping or happily playing, the sun is shining.

I have a pot of tea and a smoking fast connection, my desk surface is mostly clear, other than this fabled list, which is in the center of my desk.

I move through my list, making calls, writing emails, typing invoices, checking things off the list tidily.  I pause occasionally to let the happy dogs in or out, or to refill my pot of tea.

The house is quiet and there is nothing to distract me.

In reality, home and work and life and relationships and obligations and the best laid plan have gang aft agley, to quote Burns.

The dogs are indeed outside, barking obsessively at the neighbor’s dog, making HIM bark, making them bark.  Two will mostly come if I shriek loudly enough, but Belle is really nearly stone deaf, though she hears the word “carrot” just fine, thank you.

Meaning I have to go out and chase her down and run her in.

I have a large yard and if it’s dark that’s actually a task, especially when you’re looking for a dog about the size of a breadbox with short legs and pointy ears and a perfect carrot tail.  Different kind of carrot.  It’s what they call it, I swear.

The emails I answer generate more emails which have to be answered, and where the fuck DID I put the registration for my car, I really have to go find that now, I know it was in the car…

It was tucked under the visor, by the way.

The quick phone call turns into a pleasant and really important chat, but there goes an hour.  Then there’s the errand I have to run before 1 and the appointment to be considered at 2 and then there’s the pickup at 3 and the meeting at 6 and and and and…

And morning comes early and it’s now already past my bedtime.

Which makes me think of Ralph Hodgson:

Time, you old gipsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?

And now, I’m out of time for the night.

Kinky Bloggers at Bluegrass Leather Pride

So, my friend aisha and I had talked for a bit about having a Kinky Bloggers Convention.

You can find her blog here.

Anyway, she mentioned it on a blog, and I pointed out that it’s actually pretty easy to make that happen, because I already have an event planned for March 1-3, in Louisville, Kentucky.

That event is Bluegrass Leather Pride, and it will open with a Meet and Greet/Reception traditionally held in a bar, on Friday night.

There we’ll have classes during the day on Saturday, the 2nd.  We’ll break for the Louisville Munch, then come back for the actual Bluegrass Leather Pride contest, followed by a play party.

I’ll also have a keynote speech, and I’m not sure when it will be, it might be at a Sunday brunch of during the contest,

The contest will be entertaining, if nothing else.  I have contestants, I’ve done it before, I know how it works, it’s a lot of work, but it’s work I have experience with.

So every year, I like to do something different, maybe something that’s not really been done before, at least around here, in terms of education.

Making it easy to decide to add a track for your online presence and how to manage it.  I think it might be interesting and probably meaningful for the people that are involved with it.

Sometimes you judge success by value not quantity.

So, anyway, I think that kind of subject could create a lot of value and interest.

I’d like to see a class of some kind on the merits of FetLife and FaceBook and Twitter and all the other places and ways that one can promote oneself.

I’d like to see someone talk about the nuts and bolts of writing erotica, with an idea that erotica can be held to the same standards of writing well.

Addressing marketing your blog would be interesting, too.

If that format didn’t seem workable, it would also be possible to arrange it so it’s a full-day intensive and, basically, you all do whatever you all want, with a general idea of what and how.  You do panels, you practice writing, whatever.

Basically, I’m pretty willing to make it be whatever you all want it to be, within reason.

The caveats are,there will be a fee to attend the event, and I don’t know yet what it will be.  I would expect it would be between $25 and $40, though additional options, like a brunch, would be more.

It will be March 1-3, 2013, in Louisville, Kentucky.  I’ll have a nearby host hotel with, at least, a better rate than usual, probably in the range of $60 to $90 a night, but there are quite a few inexpensive hotels in the area, too.

You’d have a time frame from something like 10am to 5pm or so for the educational portion.

You could also plan to spend time Sunday in someone’s hotel or living room, too, and do more/different things, too, effectively doubling the time you have available to do whatever you want to do.

I don’t expect that I’ll have a location arranged for on Sunday, but I will on Saturday.

On the other hand, realistic responses in terms of who really would be willing/able to attend something like that would be helpful, too.

We’ll do something, regardless, but the more people who show, the more options there are.

So, what do you all think?