The first night I walk in out of the cold into the Hyatt and am instantly hit by warm air and the roaring mumble of many men talking and laughing at once in a large open space. A few more steps in and I peer down into the lobby and see a continuous sea of leather-clad homos standing around catching up and flirting. It’s at once overwhelming and wonderful, intimidating and comforting. As I descend into the fray, I hungrily scan the crowd and look for friends–both old and soon to be 🙂
MAL: a weekend where men and women from all over the US and the world come together to have fun, socialize, play, buy/sell all kinds of fun products, and put on a leather title contest. My Mid-Atlantic Leather 2012 was a success.
Following my guide from last year’s experiences I managed to:
- Eat consistently and sleep pretty regularly (though 4am bedtimes were a bit rough by the end).
- Only pack a handful of gear I didn’t use (I knew my second neoprene outfit was just a backup).
- Stay away from creeper man who creepily creeped me last year.
- Successfully engage with a singlet-encased muscle stud who still breaths heavily in my dreams.
- Fall utterly in pup-love with some new buds (*wagz wagz wagz*).
The weekend is FULL of potential and excitement with so many hot, friendly, fun men in one place, but this all-access buzz can turn around and smack you in the face if you don’t manage your expectations well. With all the gear, all the teasing and enticing, all the parties and places, your masculine mind is ready to explode by midday Saturday. Thank goodness there are so many great guys around to provide comfort and support. The socializing at these weekends is ultimately what you walk away smiling about and knowing that I have dear friends scattered around the country who I’ll see again soon is what sustains me when I have to say goodbye and return to the real world.
I think brotherly love–the need for and acquisition of genuine affection and care from other men–and the desire to explore the Leather world are the reasons I go to MAL. I’m so happy this world exists and I have found a place in it to grow and become a better man. Being able to wear singlets and football uniforms around in public and be praised for it is also pretty awesome. To all my brothers, thanks for a great weekend!