Man. I needed that.
I'm back from Mid-Atlantic Leather. It was a weekend of pure indulgence. Doing just what I felt like doing. No more, no less. Looking only to my own needs, wants, and desires. Such a rare thing in my life. Not infrequently, I do this schtick with Faithful Companion. When he wants a treat or a walk or his dinner or a walk or a treat or his walk, I'll look at him and say, "Oh sure! It's always all about you. What about me? What about my needs?" (And then I take Faithful Companion out for a walk or give him a treat or fix him his dinner.)
Not that I'm complaining! I like my life. I want for nothing. I am a happy man.
But every once in a while, it's not a bad thing if I shut the door behind me on those... uhhh... beings whom I love but who depend on me and just spend some time enjoying myself.
It was tricky to extricate myself from the Baron and my father on Friday, but I finally managed to do it and get on the road. The drive down went pretty well, although I ran into rush hour traffic when I hit the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Parking in DC took about as long as the drive down, but I lucked out and found a space just a wee little block away from the Washington Plaza Hotel. My room key was waiting for me at the front desk, and soon enough, there I was enjoying a cigar in the cigar tent, greeting men--tearfully in a few cases--who I just don't see often enough. Regrettably, getting up at four thirty in the morning three days before my trip down had taken its toll: at about a quarter past twelve, my eyelids were getting pretty heavy. It was time for bed.
I slept soundly, as always, but surprisingly I woke up at 6 a.m. Not very helpful. I stuck it out in bed until seven, then decided to succumb and get up and get my day started. First order of business was to have a Good Morning Smoke. No easy thing with the new DC smoking laws. Not just a trip down to the lobby but out the door to the cigar tent.
The lobby was deserted. The hotel staff was gathered at the front desk, talking and laughing. When they saw me heading through, their smiles faded and they couldn't quite suppress expressions of "Good Grief. It starts again already." Back in the room, I took a nice long bath, then headed across Thomas Circle and down Vermont Avenue to Starbucks.
For Christmas, my brother and his wife gave me a Starbucks card. I locked it away in anticipation of MAL: that would be my meal ticket. For breakfast anyway. When I finally made my way back to the Wash Plaza, things had come alive. And so, for me, it was back to the cigar tent.
Far be it from me to cast aspersions, but that cigar tent was damn chilly this year! Those guys who braved the cold in there wearing latex or nothing have my admiration. I sure didn't get that gene. One good thing about the cold though: on Friday night, we were subjected to the musical stylings of DJ Turn That Shit Down, but I'm guessing that he found it way too cold to work in there because there was no sight of him or his turntables thereafter. Sure hope that the heating budget didn't go to pay for him.
I also hit the leather market. Not to buy, mind you, since my budget couldn't have encompassed one of those little rubber cockrings this year. But I got to talk to Bearman and Horowitz and Bruiser and some other folks I knew I could find there. Disappointed not to see two of my favorite vendors this year: MP Uniform and Supply of Allentown and Station House Leathers from Enfield CT. But if I did have some bucks to spare, I sure could have dropped some regardless of those notable absences. After UnShopping, I headed back to the icy arctic tent for another cigar.
And whom to my wondering eyes should appear but Man of Discipline! He looked great, and was quite a sight for sore eyes. He mentioned that his club was hosting a play party at the Crucible that night and should I be able to make it down there, he and his remarkable back would be available to me and my tantalizing whips.
I try not to make plans during MAL weekend, keeping my options open. But in this case, I decided that nothing could keep me away from the Crucible that night. Seeing as my sleep schedule was off, I decided that it would probably be best if I had a nice afternoon nap. Not inappropriate for a man of advanced years such as myself. It would be really really bad if I got all sleepy around midnight, especially if I was going to be whipping Man of Discipline about then. It is Not Okay to whip a man when you don't have your wits about you.
And so I did.
I woke up courtesy of my roommate at six o'clock.
What to do for dinner?
I bundled up and headed out into the bitter cold, heading up Fourteenth Street, thinking of Thai Tanic or some similar place. Thai Tanic looked packed, and it was packed with men in leather. Now normally, I don't have a big problem eating alone, but that sort of gave me pause. What if a Person Of Interest would see me sitting there pathetically scribbling in my journal like Winona Ryder's character in Heathers on the Saturday night of MAL? Pathetic, right? I headed on. I made a left onto P Street, and before I knew it, there I was at Dupont Circle. At that point, the choice was obvious. I was going to my favorite restaurant in DC, Afterward Café at Kramerbooks. No leathermen in sight! I perused the books while I waited for a table to open up. There's this book on the Reformation new from Penguin publishing that looks pretty cool. If'n I had some money to spend, I might be investing in that.
Although I was tempted by the filet mignon, I decided to go with my old stand-by, Fettuccine New Orleans. I first had the FNO back in 1991 or so, when I was down in DC for work. And I've had it so many times since then. Given the turnover in kitchen help in restaurants, I wondered how many people had fixed my FNO over the years. And where they might be now. Some of them did an exceptional job, a couple of them... not so much. The latest in a long line of people who work the line in in Afterwards Café did a damn fine job! I had to forego dessert because time was a'wastin', as they used to say in Li'l Abner. I had to go to the MAUL party! So it was back into the wintry night (cue sound effects: shrieking wind and howling wolves). I was coming up on Thomas Circle when who did I run across? My Friend and (Former) Landlord! He invited me along with him to dinner, but I had to beg off cause I had just eaten (duh!), but we agreed that I'd give him a call the next night.
Time for MAUL. ("MAUL," of course, would be the excellent Mid-Atlantic Uniform League.) Since I wanted to get to the Crucible, it would have to be just me stopping by, but after the great time I had with Men of MAUL at CLAW last year, I wanted to put in an appearance at the very least. But a funny thing happened on my way to the MAUL party: I got waylaid. Or laid anyway. A guy in the elevator was making eyes at me, got off at my floor, and together we headed off to his room.
It's MAL for pete's sake!
So sorry Men of MAUL. I have needs, y'see. I learned later that the MAUL party was Busted! Not by the cops. That would have been interesting. Imagine all these cops in uniform busting into a hotel room to break up a party and finding... a bunch of guys in cop uniforms! The MAUL guys told me that the Cleveland cops they ran into at CLAW thought that the MAUL uniform was way cooler than what the Cleveland Police Department provided to them. If the writers for Reno: 911 haven't thought about the idea of the Reno Sheriff's Department busting a party of a group of police uniform fetishists, then maybe they should. But as it happens, it was just the hotel folks that shut the party down. But props to MAUL, huh? They threw a party that Got Out Of Hand! Kudos!
A little later than planned, I headed down to wait for the shuttle to take me off to the Crucible.
Much to my torment, the shuttles to the Recon party at Apex and to the Eagle came by every fifteen minutes or so. But no shuttle to the Crucible.
Finally, two other guys who were also Crucible-bound joined me in the vigil. For about four minutes. Then we decided to say nuts to the shuttle and split cab fare. Good thing, too, because when we got to the Crucible we learned that the brakes had failed on the shuttle. The men of Men of Discipline were doing their best to provided taxi service. And despite this, the turnout was great. The joint was jumpin'. There didn't seem to be a single piece of equipment in that particularly well equipped dungeon space up for grabs.
While I was wandering around hunting for Man of Discipline, I ran into Master of Mirage. And ARt. And Roman Cool.
Just so we're clear, that means I'd be whipping Man of Discipline in front of the two men who taught me how to throw a whip, and Roman Cool who is generally esteemed to be among the best in the world.
Feelin' the pressure?
And there was another obstacle. Man of Discipline told me that he thought he might have to take a raincheck. Since he had his car, he felt he had to provide taxi service to get the restless, sweated crowd back to the hotel. Luckily, he said this within earshot of one of his club members who insisted that Man of Discipline hand over the keys so that he could get whipped good and proper.
I couldn't help but to point out that the ability to delegate is critical to effective leadership.
So the fix was in.
And Master of Mirage, ARt, and Roman Cool bid me goodnight and good luck and caught a ride back to the hotel leaving me as the Whipsman in Residence.
So we were good to go.
Given that the first time I whipped Man of Discipline was so damn great, how can it be that it gets better and better every time? What an amazing man. I can just lose myself completely when I'm whipping him. AND he's smokin hot. AND he's sweet and easy-going and kind and possessed of a dry wit. And did I mention that whipping him till he bleeds is sublime?
A cross opened up, I set up shop, got Man of Discipline blindfolded (blindfolds are critical with him), and got to work.
Y'know, having so few opportunities to use my whips--since it's winter, I can't even practice on shrubbery in the back yard--I get worried that I'll be off my mark. But like magic, it just comes right back to me, like I do it every day. As with chain bondage, I think I have a gift there.
It went beautifully. Just beautiful. I was so in the zone. I won't say that every throw hit home. I couldn't help but to go for Man of Discipline's luscious butt tucked into his black Levi's. Unfortunately, going for that low angle threw my aim off I guess, and I put a couple laterally across Man of Discipline's lower back. (That had to hurt, huh?) But overall, a nice spread, and of course my senses came alive when I saw those first red rubies: Man of Discipline was giving up his blood for me.
When I asked if he was ready for the final ten, Man of Discipline once again showed me why he's just the best, and asked if we could make it a final twenty.
We sure could!
I caught a ride back to the hotel after we got all cleaned up. Hung out in the lobby some. Floating on a big fluffy pink cloud of bliss. After the good night's sleep I had the night before and my nap that afternoon, I wasn't much in the way of tired, but I went to bed anyway thinking that there was nothing more the day could offer me.
I slept late the next morning. It was nearly Noon when I woke up. First order of business: I wanted a nice smoke. That meant another trip down to the lobby. I yawned, stretched, grabbed my Camels, a lighter, and my room key, and caught an elevator.
Today, the lobby wasn't deserted. It was fairly busy. Men in full leather were, I assume, getting ready to go over to the contest. And there I was, in my pajamas, frittering away whatever social capital I possessed. Yeah. Well. Whatever. I wanted a morning cigaret. Thus ready to start my day, another nice hot bath and off to Starbucks to take in the Sunday Times. All that put me in a very good frame of mine. I headed back to the cigar tent, found a chair, and fired up a nice maduro.
And who should happen by but Man of Discipline! "I thought I might find you here." He thanked me again for the night before, and I thanked him. He reported that he had a memorable shower that morning. (Love that.)
Life, indeed, is good.
My reveries were almost broken again by the publisher of a certain magazine. A magazine that makes me angry every time I see it. The writing is awful and the lighting in the photographs is always off. I just think that's irresponsible. That certain publisher had lost the back of one of his earrings down the rubber underwear he was wearing and a long search ensued.
Dude! Don't harsh my mellow!
And he didn't. I outlasted him.
About then, I noticed the Way Hot Man. He sat talking animatedly across the room. I enjoyed sitting there, just sort of drinking him in, the heft of him, the playful glint in his eyes, his unselfconsciousness, his nape cleavage. Nice. All nice.
Soon enough, I felt myself getting hungry. I gave my Friend and (Former) Landlord a call, and as I was dialing, he gave me a call. We agreed to meet at his hotel room at 6:30, giving me just over an hour. I headed up to my room. To kill some time, I turned on the television. There was an old movie on about a twelve year old kid who was a pitching prodigy and made it into the major leagues, playing for the Chicago Cubs. Because it involved baseball, it made me cry some.
Out into the bitter freezing cold and over to Friend and Former Landlord's hotel, the Westin. His room was pretty sensational. He had gotten some kind of an upgrade. And, true to form, he had this woofy boy in a sleep sack when I arrived. Friend and Former Landlord debated leaving the woofy boy there, bound and hooded, but decided to take him to dinner with us. But before we headed out, he wanted to point out a special though probably unintended feature of the place.
"Look out the window," he said.
I couldn't really. There was this white scrim kind of thing rolled down.
"Uh huh," Friend and Former Landlord replied when I pointed this out, "Come out on the balcony."
I braced myself for the cold, but needlessly so. The place was built around an interior atrium. But I quickly saw what had gotten Friend and Former Landlord so exercised: in the rooms where the scrim was pulled down, you could see everything going on inside, but the folks inside seemed blissfully unaware of this.
"In that room there they were fucking last night. Over in that room... that guy is so hot." Currently, there seemed to be a party going on. We were hoping it would turn into an orgy, but it turned out just to be drinks before they headed out to get something to eat. And in another room, this kid with a great body seemed to be trying on everything he bought at the leather mart that day. I liked the bright green motorcycle leathers, but Friend and Former Landlord and the woofy boy didn't so much.
It was hard to tear myself away. From the balcony, it was like watching six different home movies. I've never been much of a voyeur, but I sure could see enjoying giving it a try.
For dinner, Friend and Former Landlord and woofy boy were amenable to Afterwords. I wanted to try the filet mignon, which was excellent. It turned out that woofy boy had been trained as a pastry chef, and I shared with him my recent exploits in making the perfect dessert. We had walked over to Dupont Circle, and poor woofy boy nearly froze as he was way underdressed. We caught a cab for the trip back.
The lobby was packed. I grabbed a cranberry juice and was on my way to the cigar tent. And there was the Way Hot Man holding up a wall outside. I caught his eye as I passed and said, "You are Way Hot."
And he offered the perfect reply to that: "What?"
"You're hot!" I repeated.
"What was that?" he asked again.
So of course, I approached and came right up to him, "I said, 'you're way hot.'"
"Oh," he answered, "I couldn't tell."
This guy is good.
We headed together into the cigar tent, talking and smoking. It turned out that he was Bucks County, although from the far southern end of the County. He had lived in Europe for several years, then come back to look after his mother. (I couldn't make this stuff up.)
So Way Hot Man invited me back to his hotel room. It was six blocks away.
"Are you worth a six block walk through the cold?" I asked.
"Baby," he said, "I'm worth eight blocks at least."
This guy is very good.
But truth be told, I wasn't exactly in the mood for sex. The weekend had been so full already, it would almost be gilding the lily. De Trop, as the french say. But after a year of sexual abstemiousness, I didn't say that I could refuse and not regret it, so off we went, through the bitter freezing cold for six long blocks.
Back at his hotel room--I immediately asked him to turn the heat way up--Way Hot Man and I undressed and got into bed. Somehow, he intuitively sensed that I had an itch in the middle of my back that I couldn't scratch. (In fact, when I had been whipping Man of Discipline the night before, I kept aiming for that very patch of his perfect back, as if trying to reach on him what I couldn't reach on me. It really had been itching me all weekend.) And Way Hot Man scratched my itch.
This guy is very very good.
After that, he continued, gently rubbing and touching my body. We both were rock hard, but neither of us really acted on that other than in a pretty non-committal way. We just wanted to enjoy each other's bodies. On and on it went, and at some point, I fell asleep, and spent the night sleeping soundly next to Way Hot Man. So much have I longed to have a man beside me in bed that at some point in the middle of the night, he woke me up and asked me to move over; I had him at the very edge of the bed. I relented.
After that it was getting up, meeting his visiting german roommate, he walked me downstairs, I headed back to the Washington Plaza, packed, stopped at Starbucks, loaded up my car, and headed north towards home.
So there you have it. My trip to Mid-Atlantic Leather 2008.
Do you sometimes feel that if you stay very still and quiet and watch carefully that you become aware you're not out there alone in this insane scramble that is your life? That on rare occasions you get a slight intuition that Someone is looking out for you, making sure that you get the sustenance you need, giving you a few drops of water that you'll need to press on with the journey ahead?
I know I do.