David's Chicago Sexual Underground - 4/1/20

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Greetings P(r)icksters!

Hopefully this finds you hunkered down until this Covid-19 virus crisis is over. The state shut down the bars in Illinois on March 16th and just today extended the closure order thru April 30th. So much for the Bloody Mary and Rusty Nail drink specials for Easter weekend.

It’s kind of hard to talk about what’s going on when in reality its absolutely nothing!

The weekend before the closure we were encouraged to limit the number of patrons in the bar, to keep it under 100. Was not much of a problem here, many folks had already started avoiding crowds and business was falling off steadily in the preceding weeks.

Since Saint Patrick’s Day was that coming Tuesday, we knew it would be a busy bar weekend. The city cancelled the parade to avoid the crowds downtown, but the crowds around the bars were too much for our Governor and we got the shutdown order that Monday.

Leather fetish events scheduled in March, April and May are all being cancelled or postponed. No big IML weekend over Memorial Day weekend to kick off our summer. But it was a necessary step to stop folks from gathering in large numbers and allowing the virus to spread.

Good thing, too, as since then it has become clear how quickly this virus has spread and how deadly it can be. It’s odd to see Chicago almost a ghost town. The food stores are busy all day but they try to limit the number indoors, hand out gloves and ask for “social distancing” while you shop. Still can't figure out the hoarding of toilet paper. The virus attacks your lungs, doesn’t give you the shits.

Reports of shortages of supplies for healthcare workers are the big concern. We’ve seen what’s been happening in New York, Boston and other east coast cities. We expect Chicago to peak in mid April and the city and state here are trying to stockpile supplies before it hits. Which has medical supplies coming in from all kinds of places - construction sites, businesses and more.

I even saw a report that over in the U.K. that a fetish dealer made a donation. Seems that MedFet U.K. provides medical gear for folks who like to play doctor & nurse. They donated their stock of masks, protection suits and gloves to local health officials. I wonder how many other fetish stores have supplies that could be used in this emergency.

So while we are just hanging out at home, we can play doctor, too. My P(r)ick of the Week first choice is Steve Scott’s Games from 1983. Featuring Al Parker, Giorgio Canali & Leo Ford during the first Gay Games in San Francisco. One of the scenes takes place in a hospital with the good doctor applying some therapy to an injured athlete.

Let’s stretch the doctor theme to 1985’s Blacklode. This Marksman Production centers around a doctor/scientist studying the human orgasm and his need for studs to provide “samples” for his work. Any excuse to watch some humpy black men pull on their big dicks works for me.

Take one or two and you’ll be feeling better in no time at all. Keep them handy if you suffer a relapse and need more therapy. Let’s play doctor!

David

Games images
Games (D00271) - On DVD and Streaming

Blacklode images
Blacklode (D00826) - On DVD and Streaming
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International Mr. Leather 2019 Fashion

posted by Madame Bubby

I passed by a booth at the leather market, and I noticed witches' hats. Yes, the kind with the peak. I heard a woman cackling. No, I am not making the above up, and I am not recounting a surrealistic dream.

And this booth was also selling a particularly hot item at the mart, a leather crown (for Baby Boomers like me, it resembles the head gear of the character Jughead in the Archie comics).

jughead leather crown

To be honest, I've noticed changes in the types of items sold at the market over the years, but this one was certainly, let's just say, interesting. The leather market is no longer solely a gay male space, or for that matter, a “traditional” gay cis leatherman space, with guys wearing the iconic Village People gay macho gear.
 

Village People

Through the years, as a diversity of genders have competed in various contests, the overall inventory of the mart and those who attend it has changed to reflect a more fluid, self-defining identification with and practice of kink.

Thus, the witches' hats could reflect, however superficially, a Wiccan influence, and many gay leathermen have rejected traditional monotheistic religions in favor of other forms of spirituality, often veering toward transmutations of beliefs and rituals prominent globally before Christian domination and colonization. In fact, the polyamorous life of many leatherfolk meshes well with a fluid polytheism.

Other kink/fantasy trends that have integrated themselves into International Mr. Leather include costume play. Think Renaissance fair, think Lord of the Rings, think Game of Thrones. Opera masks, capes, pirate boots with the cuff.
 

Renaissance men's clothing

I also noticed a couple of furries, though the fox had to take off the head (the mart tends to become hot and claustrophobic).
 

Leathermen and furries at IML

And, surprisingly, because I had thought it was not trending, steampunk fashion. I noticed a couple of guys with this gear attached to their hats.

One of the events this year was a discussion of the superhero fetish; this event makes sense, as the culture is replete with multiple constructions, reconstructions, and deconstructions in this genre. The line to get into Avengers: Endgame merges with the line to get into the mart.
 

Men in superhero fetish attire at IML

Even the conventional leather gear is taking on the colors of the rainbow. No longer black and red leather shirts: I noticed bright yellow and a green that somewhat resembles a lawn turf.

Uniforms composed of cloth are now composed of leather. I noticed a boy scout uniform produced completely in leather, and a couple of leather football shirts. Leather for those who can afford it or who want to combine looks and textures, while the cloth will fulfill the fetish/fantasy on its own terms.

Overall, dizzying! A traditional Old Guard type might lament the diffusiveness and lack of authenticity he sees in these fashions, while a millennial might rejoice that she can find something that fits her sensibility and budget. Leather gear has always been expensive. In fact, I noticed substantive price increases all around), and I am not trying to perpetuate the broke millennial stereotype, but the traditional leather scene has tended to attract older, established guys who possess the time and money to be kinky.

But who can really determine not just how to appear non-normative, but be non-normative? The leather kink world thrives on the tensions between hierarchy/freedom, appearance/reality, norm/taboo.

Perhaps the kaleidoscope of colors and textures shows this tension as the scene embraces generations who assume sexuality develops on a spectrum, and for whom reality shifts at a dizzying pace between a cyberspace primarily visual and private: pics, gifs and memes, and the physical, public space of the mart invaded by all the senses: the smell of leather and sweat, the sound of boots, the touch of meaty hands and moist tongues.

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Coming Out to Boots, Cummin' into Boots


Happy National Coming Out Day

Thursday, October 11 was National Coming Out Day. For most LGBTQ persons, coming out on a most literal level means embracing one’s sexual orientation, but the sex is still sex, that is, genital contact with a person. Fucking. Well, not always, but that’s the usual direction. Some members of the community call that “vanilla,” which implies sweet, even bland. I think that’s a rather faulty assumption, but the term is used in juxtaposition with another variant, and some might say, deviant, form of sexuality. Leather. Fetish. BDSM. Think: Dark vs. light. Day vs. night. Mild vs. wild.

Yet that binary doesn’t really fit uniformly. I was going to say bare foot versus boot, as that binary particularly applies in my case, but foot fetishes are quite populary in “non-vanilla” circles, along the entire sexual spectrum. Still, most sex involved getting naked, and the footwear goes off. Not with me. When I came out, I was already cummin’ into boots.

This fetish seized me before puberty, but I didn’t really seize it openly until I came out when I was a young adult. I was lucky, or perhaps even unlucky, because obsessions can distract, that when I was younger, guys were wearing boots. One of the most popular boots when I was in high school was the Frye campus boot, and pretty soon afterwards the “urban cowboy” craze erupted. Cowboy boots ruled the halls when I was in college and my first graduate school.
 

Frye boots ad

A book that first articulated for me this dynamic was The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe, (long out of print and now going for outrageous prices on Amazon). I found it in the local public library, and I was drawn to the discussion of the effect of the black male motorcycle/harness boot on the fetishist, and that such effects based on the overall nature of the boot itself even non-fetishists are aware of. The author emphasizes its blackness, the heavy heels, the loud clicking sound. Through this imagery and the pictures he choose, the author associates this boot with the taboo-breaking motorcycle gangs of the 1950s; sex and power coalesce.
 

The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe cover

But not the effect is not just power and authority, which need not be necessarily of a sexual nature, and the cowboy boots was designed for a horse-riding person.

The boots themselves embody, invite their wearer to break boundaries. A person submissive in daily life may wear boots sexually, and vice versa. Of course.

And the foot itself is a boundary, and it is the only part of the body that touches the ground. The boot protects the foot from touching the ground, but in doing so, makes the wearer more aware of that boundary.

And, the boundary reversal here is stunning. The bottom of the body becomes more powerful than the top, the head. The ground becomes the sky. And even if the head is the source of that sexual power, it physically climaxes not once in the genitalia, but with each stomp far below.
 

Buy on ground licking boots

I’ve noticed lately the stomping originates from women more than men. I rarely see younger guys, or guys for that matter, at least in my geographical area, wearing the type of more overtly fetishistic boots like harness, engineer, or cowboy boots. If they do wear boots, they wear rather quiet lace-ups, fashionable variants of work boots or brogue dress shoes. And one almost never sees a guy with pants tucked into boots; this look is generally viewed as eccentric, even effeminate in circles outside the fetish community.
 

Vintage ad for 1950s black engineer boots

I wonder why. Something more is going on than the vicissitudes of fashion. I could explore that trend in another blog, but in the meantime, I’ll be the guy who wears cowboy boots with dress pants, drowns out the high heels of the ladies in the subway tunnels, and, unfortunately, only at leather events or in my private sex life, tuck my leather pants into my thigh-high Champion Attitude boots.
 

Thigh high Champion Attitude boots
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What's really a sexual taboo these days?

What's really a sexual taboo these days?

The National Geographic Channel has recently been airing a series called Taboo, focusing on topics ranging from religious practices that involve extreme bodily pain (of course, having been taught by pre-Vatican II Catholics who often focused on graphic details in the passion of Jesus, not really that strange, at least to me?!) to obesity (why is fatness taboo?), to “strange love.” The one episode focusing focusing on “strange love” that has garnered some media attention is the real-life "Lars and the Real Girl" relationship, when a man in the United States falls in love with a sex doll (see http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/taboo/4599/Overview).

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