J recently attended a conference nicknamed NAPS, a gathering of religion scholars in Chicago. NAPS is always in Chicago, it is always Thursday - Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The first time we went, on the way back to the airport on the subway, I noticed lots of guys in leather and Levis. Then I noticed the T-shirts for the International Mr Leather weekend (IML.) It didn't take me long to put two and two together, and through the magic of google, discover that there are two conferences in Chicago at the same time, NAPS and IML. NAPS lives up to it's nickname, and has a modest trade show of academic and religious book dealers. IML has a trade show known as the leather market. One year the top seller at IML was a T-shirt saying, "It is a sick world, and I am a happy guy!"
The next time we were in Chicago I decided to take a talk on the wild side and see what the IML trade show was all about. Now I am strictly look and don't touch, I have to admit the show is worth the cost of admission (up to $15 for a day pass, $25 for the weekend for the leather market alone.)
A few I have learned from watching:
- Someone finds everyone attractive
- If you are comfortable in your own skin, why not let it show
- Some people look good in rubber, and some don't
- Leather, is just playing dress up in a different fabric
- Some of the nicest people, have the most weirdest hobbies.
I do enjoy the show. This year it was in an older hotel, with the market space split up in a dozen rooms over three floors. It was cramped and hard to find your way around. I do hope IML moves to a nicer venue.
Have you taken a walk on the wild side?