HOT IN D.C!
International Mr. Leather 2013 Judges Announced,
Bryce Caine Named Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2013.
This wasn’t your Mama’s cocktail party (Although, it may be your Daddy’s!…). On Saturday, January 12, The Washington D.C.-based Centaurs Motorcycle Club hosted “Leather Cocktails” in the Regency Ballroom of The Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. It’s an annual tradition since 1976, where true to its name, dedicated Leathermen and a few of their lucky guests dressed in their best Leather and met up for cocktails at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria. The event was marked by the accidental tradition of dropping a metal cockring onto a tile floor. Today, 37 years later, “Leather Cocktails” still opens with the tradition of “dropping the cockring”. However, this one-of-a-kind Leather cocktail party is only one event in what has become an entire three-day weekend (Four days for many!…) known as Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL). MAL has now grown into a major “gotta be there!” event every January, attracting not just dedicated Leatherfolk but also BDSM and fetish enthusiasts of all ages, races, and levels of experience– from all over the world. Once thought of by some as a regional event, MAL is now one of the Leather Nation’s largest events of the year as well as an important antecedent to International Mr. Leather. In addition to networking, MAL’s famous Exhibition Halls, and no-holes-barred (ahem…) partying, the weekend also features the Mid-Atlantic Leather 2013 Contest, in which the Winner competes at IML in Chicago in May.
The weather was surprisingly and nicely merciful when Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend 2013 kicked off. The weekend actually started out on Thursday night, as thousands of men and a healthy number of women slowly but steadily made their way into town. That night, those who were lucky to arrive early enjoyed some extra meeting and greeting time in the hotel lobby and bar… while a few miles away, Washington’s quintessential Leather Bar The DC Eagle was the site for the Former MAL Titleholders Party. By Friday, the Hyatt was no less than jam-packed with thousands of attendees, representing a seemingly infinite range of fetishes. Leather, rubber, latex, uniforms, athletic gear, pup wear…… Name your scene! One twenty-something first-time attendee, clearly excited, was overheard saying, “This should be called ‘Night of 1,000 Singlets!’…” I have no doubt that a lot of guys spent a majority of the weekend in the hotel lobby, where there was no shortage of hard candy for the eyes. There was also no shortage, however, of soirees going on that night, including the DC boys of Leather’s “Where the Boys Are” Party and “ONYX After Dark”, courtesy of the hot-to-trot Men of ONYX. Saturday night featured plenty of options as well, including the Manhunt party with free Manhunt jockstraps and free paddlings, and the infamous live demos at the SPuRG Party. Whoa! There’s nothing hotter than “MAL After Midnight”! (Sorry, I can’t give away too many dirty details… You had to be there yourself!)
On Saturday at 12 noon, those who wanted to meet the next generation of Leather/GLBT leaders took a break from the festivities to learn who would be the Judges and Tally Masters for the next IML, coming to Chicago in May 2013 to a new venue. Attendees got to meet nineteen diverse brothers of the new IML Class of 35, representing many states as well as Canada. IML Coordinator Jon Krongaard thanked The Centaurs MC for yet another successsful MAL… and then proceeded to announce the Judges and Tally Masters for International Mr. Leather 2013: The Tally Masters will be George Brown of Saugatuck, MI (Mr. Cellblock Leatherman 2005), here for his “fourth and final year” as Head Tally Master; and Danny Tamez of Neptune Township, NJ (Mr. New Jersey Leather 2012), a member of the IML Class of 34 who unfortunately had to drop out of the competition due to emergency illness. The Judges are as follows:
- Adam “Woody” Woodruff (Farmington Hills, MI): Mr. Michigan Leather 2012 and Mr. IML 2012,
- Bryson “Pup Nitro (“Needs Intense Torture to Reach Orgasm”)” Hankinson (Atlanta, GA): Co-Founder of The Hotlanta Rubber and Gear Club and International Leatherboy 2011,
- Hardy Haberman (Dallas, TX): Author, Filmmaker, and “Pain Technologist”, and active member of Leather/BDSM/Fetish communities since the mid-70′s,
- Uwe Langer (Hamburg, Germany): Founding Member of Spike, Hamburg: “Born and raised behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany…”,
- Murray Lavigne (Ottawa, Ontario): Past President and Executive Board Member of the Ottawa Knights, and past Producer of Mr. Leather Ottawa (His favorite saying is, “So many acronyms, so little time!”),
- Patrick Mulcahey (San Francisco, CA): Lecturer, Presenter, and Program Director of the San Francisco Leathermen’s Discussion Group,
- Brent Seeley (Portland, OR): Mr. Oregon State Leather 2009; V.P. of Blackout Leather Productions; and Host of a monthly Leather, Scotch & Cigar Social,
- Rik Newton-Treadway (Baltimore, MD): AKA “Sir Hooker”, President of Hooker and Boys; multiple Title holder; and community activist for over 30 years,
- Lolita Wolf (New York, NY) Presenter, Author, Blogger, Advocate for sexual freedom, and everyone’s favorite “Leather Yenta”!
On Sunday, it was time for The Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest 2013. Three Contestants– all distinctive but all equally dedicated (and hot!)– competed for the envied Title. Reigning Mr. IML 2012 Woody Woodruff, an accomplished singer and one of the Judges, warmed up the crowd by performing a provocative Garth Brooks ballad. The audience was also treated to a slideshow tribute to The Centaurs’ seemingly ageless Frank Nowicki, MC of The Contest, who was celebrating 20 years since his own winning the Title of Mr. MAL back in 1993. A shot of adrenaline came with a surprise performance by Ella Fitzgerald (No, not THAT one!), local D.C. drag celebrity and former Ms. Gay Universe. The diva, who may strike you as Patti Labelle’s naughty twin sister, really got the crowd going with her over-the-top diva persona and lines like, “I’m looking for a Leatherman with GOOD CREDIT!… Do you want a blowjob? So do I!”. Ultimately, Pittsburgh native Bryce Caine won the Title of Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2013, making him the third consecutive Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish to win the Title. (Damn, it’s apparently it’s “Hot In Pittsburgh”! Does Betty White know about this?). Mr. Double L Leather 2012 Josh Pennington was named First Runner Up, and Mr. Connecticut Leather 2013 KJ Nichols rounded out the top three as Second Runner Up. Caine, the newest ambassador to the Leather Nation, got swept away by a paparazzi scrum of photographers and well-wishers… but he, the other Contestants, and countless others went to D.C.’s U St. Club for the official After-Contest Dance Party. U St. is basically a big black box with a few disco balls overhead… but the music was flawless, as DJ Quentin Harris dished out one closet classic after another, even throwing out a tribute to the late diva Donna Summer. After the bars closed, it was back to the Hyatt for more “MAL After Midnight”. Let’s just say that there was no shortage of male bonding going on…
Monday morning was something of a rewinded videotape of Thursday night, when a slow but steady stream of kink crusaders made their way home. Not a minute too soon, apparently. The Hyatt’s next incoming contingent was The National Association of Evangelicals. (Gotta love America!) Congratulations go out to Mr. MAL 2012 Matt Bronson for a great year, our new Mr. MAL 2013 Bryce Caine, and The Centaurs MC. Start getting ready for MAL 2014!
International Mr. Leather 2013 will be held on Friday May 24 through Monday May 27 (Memorial Day Weekend), 2013. The host hotel will be the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 North Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit www.IMRL.com.