Her Pleasureship Becomes Her Leathership
People have called me a lot of things during my life. Now they can call me Ms. Oregon State Leather 2004.
The leather sash was placed across my shoulders on the evening of Saturday, August 14 and, yes, I felt tears well for a moment in my eyes. A bouquet of leather roses and a single leather rose with a rhinestone dewdrop on a stem of barbed wire were placed in my arms to nestle next to the bouquet of roses and other blooms presented to me earlier by my wonderful Darkling volunteers. Then Andy Mangels (http://www.andymangels.com) — my new “sash husband” – and I stood in an informal receiving line of sorts, shaking hands with visiting title holders and other community leaders who had come to watch the evening of speeches, performances, and judged socializing. Then it was time to begin the bar tour where we introduced ourselves to the patron’s of Portland’s Embers night club, as well as the Dirty Duck and The Eagle. We met drag queens, cross dressers, gay leather men and women, bears and cowboys, bikers and brides-to-be. It was a weird and wonderful evening of wearing leather garments, giving speeches, answering questions, and dressing up like the Statue of Liberty during a “fantasy” segment. The night ended with me visiting a private play party at Venom, the new dungeon in town. I had been heralded as leather royalty earlier in the evening, but what small chance their might have been of my becoming insufferably arrogant was nipped in the bud by a strange Asian man lounging in the doorway of a nearby a porn shop when he mistook me for a prostitute as I was walking back to my car.
Remember Darklady, thou art mortal.
There’s more to holding a leather title than bar hopping and attending parties – although both of those things definitely have their place. Each titleholder’s personality determines how involved they will become in any aspect of their duties, but the bare minimum for this form of leather leadership involves attending GLBT and leather community events, hosting fundraisers both individually and jointly with one’s sash spouse, marching in the Pride Parade, and judging in the following year’s competition. There is, of course, so much more that can be done – including traveling to leather conferences and competing in national/international competitions.
Among the many conferences worth attending each year is the Leather Leadership Conference (http://www.leatherleadership.com), which will be held in Phoenix Arizona in early April of 2005. I co-presented at this year’s LLC 8 in New Orleans and found the experience extremely valuable – and the other attendees absolutely delightful. There are two competitions that I can compete in: Ms. World Leather (http://www.msworldleather.com) and International Ms. Leather (http://www.imsl.org). It is my hope that with the help of generous financial and product sponsors I can attend and write about conferences and events throughout the country, as well as participate in one or both of the international competitions during my year as Ms. Oregon State.
Perhaps you are such a sponsor or donor – or know someone who is. Being a professional sex writer is certainly one of the most fulfilling and exciting jobs I can imagine, but it is not currently one of the most financially lucrative. Fortunately, some of the fringe benefits are worth the ramen and rice. Speaking of which, I hope you’ll excuse me, but I have two men and a woman waiting to give Her Leathership a full body massage in the living room.
– Originally published in Playtime Magazine –