We Represent the Naugahyde Guild

So this week in DC it's Mid Atlantic Leather weekend. Now, despite the name (which those unfamiliar with the event may find intimidating) and the copious amounts of cowhide, this event is basically a bunch of people gathering in DC and having a very good time, and in a world full o' crap that is a good thing indeed. I always found the event a bit odd though - mostly because it seemed like a great example of the human ability to normalize anything.

What do I mean by that? Well, there's just something funny about the way that something that appeals to people because it's transgressive (leather and SM) that manages to spawn all kinds of events and contests that feel more like a Kiwanis meeting than a gathering of outlaws. I think it's one of those inevitable things and has nothing to do with leather, or with the people organizing any particular event. People with similar interests find each other, get together, the curious onlookers gather, and boom! it's not so out there anymore, which tends to make it a little less interesting.

I always find these things to be some of the most unintentionally funny events in town, though; somehow what started as a gathering of people interested in unusual forms of sexual expression ends with a contest where someone who wants to be Mr. Water Sports Bottom 2005 tells us how he wants to promote a positive image of the leather community. I'm sorry, but that's funny.

When I lived in DC, I would always be amazed by how much some people could put themselves together early on a winter day. Typically I'd find myself going somewhere mid-morning on the Saturday of the event, having thrown on a sweatshirt and found a warm coat, and pass someone on the street in chaps, harness, jacket, hat, etc. I find it pretty impressive - I could never fasten that many snaps and zip that many zippers just to go to brunch.

In any case I am sure a fun time will be had by all, whether that fun time involves hanging from chains or just ogling hot men in leather and enjoying the communal spirit. I meanwhile will be going to see Bad Education, taking a motorcycle ride, and shivering in our chilly winter temperatures (50s for the next few days). Enjoy your weekend...

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