I’m wading through a sea of leather, rubber, and fur in the high-ceiling lobby of the Hyatt with my eyes skipping from one handsome face to the next looking for my friends among the crowd. I see cops, soldiers, and gladiators all rendered in leather; puppies barking and sniffing with each other; harnesses framing tattoos on muscular bodies; Boys in collars and Sirs in gloves…I’m at Mid-Atlantic Leather with my head about to explode with all the excitement. WOOF!
My first MAL weekend began with lots of “OMG what to expect?!” thoughts on the bus ride down to D.C. Fortunately I had several other MAL-virgins along with me as well as some seasoned brothers who were very familiar with the event to give some guidance. Together we gathered at the host hotel, donned our gear and ventured forth into the fray. And then things didn’t stop until Monday morning…
Basic needs such as eating and sleeping become secondary to meeting new friends and hanging out. Days and nights are meant for fun and with only a few days to enjoy this Gathering of Leathermen I had to make the most of it (of course this meant by Sunday evening I was somewhat delirious with fatigue and had to enforce nap n’ cuddle time).
In short, MAL was AWESOME! I made some new friends, got to hear about the leather community in other parts of the country, and grew closer to my NYC brothers. I’m always asking, “what is the leather community? who are we past/present/future?” and after this weekend I feel like I have a much better answer to this question. My leather community is made up of the leather brothers who I share my life with: the men and boys I play with, run around in speedos with, cry, cuddle and laugh with; the guys who bring out the best in me, the men who encourage me to be an honorable and strong man. While the L.C. as a whole is a hard to define group, I know that my personal L.C. are those brothers close at hand and heart.
MAL has reinforced my connection and belief in our kinky clan and I can’t wait to see everyone again at the next event. The only downside is adjusting back to “normal” life with all the cotton and boundaries. Thank goodness for CODE Thursdays (and coming soon GEAR Fridays…!). Enjoy the slideshow below 🙂
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