OMG. It was fabulous.
I arrived on Thursday night and immediately met a flurry of activity. I stopped by the community center to speak to a friend of mine and saw the set up activities. Those vendors and the Chicago rubbermen were working hard.
Friday was a fabulous kick off to the kink market. It was really very full! Lots of vendors around selling their rubber wear from around the world. I particularly enjoyed the display by Full Kit Gear of Boston, MA. Unfortunately they don't have a store website up yet, but I really enjoyed their color variations on blue, red, green...their latex was very unique! I'll definitely be keeping up with their website to see when they've posted a store. RECON also debuted their new line of signature latex, which honestly, looked pretty hot! TLS and E7 were there as well showing their always fabulous wear.
One of my favorite parts of the kink market is the demo pit, including gear provided by KinkRubber. RubberKai was the demo pit coordinator this year, and he did a fabulous job of starting and maintaining scenes, encouraging people to try something new, and keep the energy levels high. RubberKai is also a member of the Chicago Rubbermen, whom, by the way, I cannot say enough about! The members of that group pour a lot of their time and energy into producing an absolutely amazing event, and to dedicate the amount of time and energy they have deserves a gigantic rubber Thank You from all of us.
After wandering, shopping, meeting up with old friends, trying on a few pieces of gear, and having a beverage or two, I was off to the Greet the Meat cocktail party prior to the first half of the contest on Friday night. It was a lot of fun to get to see some of the contestants that I competed with last year, like a little reunion. After a few drinks, the contestants all drew their numbers to determine their order of competition on stage.
The Friday Night contest included the Rubber Image portion (also known as the runway walk) and the return of everyone's favorite, the Wet Rubber contest! I'm so glad they brought back wet rubber. I didn't get to do it as I competed last year, but it was so fun to see all those hot boys on stage, having their rubber fantasies read while they posed and looked delicious under a shower in the community center.
And speaking of contestants, I have to say, this year's pool was really great! Some very hot, well accomplished guys. 8 of them, all of them were titleholders. There would have been 9 contestants, however, Roger mentioned to me that Mr. Rubber Netherlands couldn't get a visa to get out of the country, despite having a passport. Sounds like a major paperwork fail. :(
For more details about the contest or the individual performances, you should look at my live blogging on Leatherati Live.
After the contest this year, there was a "Strict Rubber Dresscode" party, aka play party, at a private 3,000 sq. ft. dungeon in an undisclosed location. THAT was definitely a blast. Lots to do, lots of people to meet and do. I really hope they do this again next year, because it was totally epic and something that I think a lot of guys missed.
After I stumbled out of bed on Saturday morning, I went up to the kink market to do a demo with PupSkoll. I mummified him for the crowd, and let Kai drag him all around the vendor market on a tour. :) Shortly after this got done with, there was the annual puppy rumpus, which is always a blast to watch. I think there were about 9 or 10 pups in the pit, with several different handlers around taking good care of their dogs.
I couldn't stay and watch that long because I participated in a panel discussion at 3pm with PupNitro of Atlanta and RubberCannuck of Vancouver, on the topic of "Building Communities". Both of these other two panelists have a great amount of experience with bringing new and curious members in and making them feel welcome, and even though it was only scheduled thorugh 4pm, we continued to speak amongst ourselves as well as the attendees until around 4:45. We had too many good ideas flowing, it was great to have that kind of energy!
I grabbed a quick bite and got a rubber massage by the masseur in the vendor market, and then I was off to the Leather Cocktails/Black Carpet affair before the contest on Saturday night. Cocktails was uneventful, but still very relaxing. :) The contest on Saturday was fantastic. The contestants and Roger performed a parody of Lady Gaga's "Alejandro". Anything I might write about it won't be doing it justice, so I'm just going to pass and allow you all to wait until the video comes out in the coming weeks. It. Was. Epic.
I live blogged the contest on Saturday night which went swimmingly. The two portions this night were the onstage question which all contestants had to answer, and they all did a spectacular job. The next portion included the "Mystery Bag". Each contestant had to make up a kink scene on the spot, using everyday objects from a bag they had to choose at random. Can I just take a moment to say that I love the contest? It's so entertaining. I blogged my rubber fingers off so if you want more specific details, check out Leatherati Live.
I love our winner. Si Hands is a great rubberman from the UK, our first ever winner from the UK. He even came to my panel discussion earlier about building communities. His passion for this rubber life shows through and through. And he's really hot too!
Afterward, I went to Jackhammer/the Hole for the RECON party. I really can't say enough about the staff/bouncers at Jackhammer. They were kicking out people in cotton to make more room for the rubberboys waiting once the line started to get long. The party was crowded, well attended, and there, my details will cease. A fox doesn't kiss and tell. ;)
Sunday, I again rolled out of bed and made my way back to the vendor market. I made it just in time for the Lube Wrestling contest and got to say some goodbyes to some dear friends. It's always so sad to say goodbye; the weekend goes by way too fast. Some of these rubber family I only see once a year and having to say goodbye to them makes me kinda sad, but we'll all be here to do it again next year.
And on that note, congratulations to MIR for being in their 15th anniversary! In the intermission of the contest on Friday night, they served complimentary champagne to toast this milestone birthday. Here's my toast: "Here's to 15 years of rubber contests, and here's to another 15 years, so I can STILL be coming here before I turn 45!"
The vendor market closed, I cried a little, and then I was off to SIdetrack for slushies, rubber showtunes, friends, goodbyes, gay music, and fun. *le sigh* I always wish they would play a bit younger music there. I don't care if it makes me a bad gay, but I don't know most of the songs that they play. :(
I had a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend at a play party in the apartment with one of my good friends. I met him when he was 19 and he went to one of my workshops at MBLGTACC. Just a few years later, he's been to IML, MIR, and hosting play parties. I couldn't be prouder.
To everyone who came and made the weekend a fantastic time, thank you. It just shows how many of us there are from all corners of the world! To everyone who couldn't make it, stand strong kinksters! Hope my recap was enough to convince you that attending would be a good idea for next year. :) MIR was my first big event I ever went to 4 years ago, and I go back every year now. I'm so happy to be a part of a rubber family.
With that, it was over, and I'm already missing it. Is it November 2012 yet?