[Ed. Note: My ass seriously does appear towards the end of this post. Maybe read it on your phone instead of your work computer.]
Is anyone out there old enough to remember the episode of Friends in which Joey unwittingly became the poster child for sexually transmitted diseases?
Although this particular moment aired 25 years ago, it was all I could think of this morning, mainly because of the number of texts I received from concerned friends going, “Um… did you know your picture is featured in an article about barebacking?”
Okay. IML 41 is coming up at the end of May, so naturally there’s going to be a lot of pre-contest coverage and mild muckraking, and of course, as one of last year’s contestants, my image might show up here and there in association with all of that. But I gotta say, folks, I just don’t know that this is the most appropriate picture to go with this article. Are we supposed to be going, “Hooray! The ban on condomless sex has been lifted!” Or are we like, “Hooray! Look at us, supporting safer sex at a leather competition!” The whole layout really leaves more questions than answers.
But speaking of questions…
One of the categories at IML is Pecs and Personality, in which each contender comes out on stage in their sexiest gear and answers a humorous pop question. The official point of the exercise is to gauge the competitors on their charm and repartee, but, y’know, it doesn’t hurt that they’re all basically naked in front of a live audience.
While I generally consider myself clever, I was more than a little terrified of Pecs and Personality — not only because I’d be bopping about in front of hypercritical strangers while wearing what amounted to a leather bikini, but because of the possibility of my wit failing me right when I needed it most. Like when I ran for Mr. Texas Leather a couple of years ago, and, in the middle of explaining what duet I would sing with one of the judges, I forgot the words to “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)“.
Let’s just stop for a second and really unpack this incident: The refrain of the song is literally just the title repeated over and over ad nauseum, and I. Forgot. The Words.
It was not my finest hour treading the boards. This time, however, I was prepared.
Everything you’re asked at IML comes off your application, and because of what I’d put down on mine, I knew I was going to get a notary question. I bloody knew it. I’d even included a detailed description of the Notarizer. How could I not get a notary question? I had a snappy comeback for any notarial inquiry the emcee could lob at me, and I’d never been more ready for anything in my damn life.
And then… well, this happened:
Considering I proudly announced myself as a saucy power bottom in response to a question about geomancy, maybe sticking my pic next to an article about gay sex is a little more apropos than I’d care to admit. But I also didn’t panic when the situation made a turn I wasn’t expecting, nor did I shout, “YOU’RE CONFUSING GEOMANCY WITH FENG SHUI, INFIDEL.” And, as I’ve said before, I got to be me — and despite all my fears and insecurities, the 500 or so leatherpeople packed into the theatre thought that was pretty cool.
I may not have made the top 20, but as far as I’m concerned, this is the moment when I totally won IML.