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.
I had a great time at International Mr. Leather.
I saw lots of people I knew, met tons of people I didn’t.
I laughed until I cried more than a few times.
I took the train by myself in Chicago, which if you know me makes you afraid for me. I didn’t have any incidents, by the way.
I bought one new toy, nothing fabulous, but a long quirty thing. It was from a vendor I have bought toys from for 15 years, I didn’t have anything like it and it was very inexpensive, particularly for IML.
I had great seats at the contest and took, literally, close to 500 photos, I think, and I need to get through them.
Tonight, I am dead tired, though, and I’m not even going to write a proper blog.
Look for me soon, I swear I will be back.
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.