The streets of Chicago grow a bit more … rubbery this time of year, particularly around The Hyatt Regency Chicago. That’s because International Mr. Leather is here (that, or the Rapture happened).
It’s not uncommon to see men walking around in head-to-toe latex or rubber suits, wearing spiked collars and gag balls like it’s every-day leather-casual in the Loop. This year marks the 33rd anniversary of IML, an event that started in 1979 with about 400 of the “hardcore” variety. Insiders say the following has, yes, softened over the years and now has a large number of experimental and curious followers.
One category of experimental and curious might just be the Bootblacks. I learned about bootblacks last year from a knowledgeable source. Bootblacks are youthful, playful sprites, who have a very important job: shining attendees boots. “If you’ve never had your boots done, you’re missing one of the simplest…and best…treats IML has to offer,” says the website. Those who have their boots shined can vote for the best bootblack, and the lucky winner receives funds to help out with his travels over the next year (kind of like a scholarship, one could say).
Since I won’t be attending IML (I’m female, so I don’t fit the demographic, and, besides, I have a candy convention to go to tomorrow), the best I can do is point out more highlights from the website:
Highlights from the 2011 Vendor List:
Adopt A Sex Pig
Balls and Chains
Dr. Clockwork’s Home for Electrical and Medical Oddities
Mid America Fists In Action
MIR Mr. International Rubber
Oooh Papi Underwear
TLC Tugger Foreskin Restoration
World Gay Rodeo Finals
Highlights from the schedule:
– Exploring and Deepening Master/slave and Dom/sub relationships presented by Liza and her slave, Jody (International Master and slave 2011)
– Chicago Rubbermen Meet and Greet: Join the Chicago Rubbermen as they host the annual gathering of hot and kinky rubberists from around the world!
– BLUF Social Gathering – BLUF is an international club for men who enjoy wearing breeches, leather and uniforms. The organization boasts a network which spans across more than 40 nations worldwide. BLUF is one of the strictest dress-code clubs in the world and as such would like to remind all attendees to respectfully adhere to their dress-code: leather breeches and/or uniform and boots.
-Pecs and Personality Contest
-MCC Church Service
-Leather Recovery Meeting
-International Bootblack Reception
-The Black and Blue Ball