HomoQuotable – Chris Jensen

“The International Mr. Leather competition is purportedly the climax of the IML weekend. But this cowhide beauty pageant—which, at 3.5 hours, rivals the Oscars in terms of jaw-dropping self-regard—is interesting more as anthropology than as entertainment. (If you consider that the entire multi-hour event is underscored by a steady OON-cha-OON-cha-OON-cha house beat, punctuated with triumphalist theme music from “Gladiator,” you’ll understand why I had to go to the lobby at intermission to buy a handful of Excedrin.)

“The ceremony opened with a genial speech by IML founder Chuck Renslow, who set the tone for the evening by assuring us that “[Leather play is] still a power exchange. It’s still about trust and learning.” (Throughout Renslow’s speech, several guys in the audience actually said “Amen,” while others raised their hands as if in prayer, tent revival-style. Now that I think of it, the whole IML experience reminded me just a bit of my fundamentalist Promise Keepers days back in the mid-’90s. Except, of course, with less laying-on-of-hands and more fisting.)” – Examiner.com blogger Chris Jensen, describing his first IML. The 2008 IML winner is Gary Iriza of Palm Springs.

[Photo credit: Dan Nash for IML Inc. More Photos here.]