NSFW: International Mr Leather celebrates 45th anniversary with steamy festival

From fit daddies to hot twinks and the cutest puppies, this year's International Mr Leather had it all, and we're drooling all over these hunks.

The image shows the three winners of the International Mr Leather contest 2023. On the left is a black man wearing a red leather jacket. In the middle is a latin X man wearing a black leather outfit with a sash and on the right is a man wearing a leather waistcoat.
Image: @theresonlyone_keaton via Instagram

Strap on your harnesses, folx, because we’re about to take a deep dive into the Mr Leather International contest and conference 2023. 

This year marked the 45th anniversary of the event, and as you might have guessed, it was one not to be missed! 



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The Sapphire anniversary saw approximately 20,000 leather lovers from all over the world converge on the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Chicago last weekend, May 25 to 29.

Marcus Barela from San Marcos, California, walked away with the coveted title of International Mr Leather while Chris Gonzalez from Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded 1st runner-up and Matthew Moody from Pheonix, Arizona, took home the 2nd runner-up accolade. 


The weekend had an action-packed programme catering to any desire under the leather/kink/BDSM banner. As well as the daily market flogging every leather treasure under the rainbow, the Open Shine saw the bootblacks getting their shine on as they showcased their leather care skills.



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Themed parties and socials brought the festivities to life with a Puppy Party, Rubber Gear Social, the Pecs and Personality Contest, and the Breeches and Leather Uniform Fan Club cocktail reception, replete with an essential full-leather uniform dress code – a must for any leather-loving queen.



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The Saturday night POW! Superhero Fetish Party had folks dressing up as comic book characters and dancing the night away. Crocodile Rockstar played Elton John tunes on the piano, and a cabaret performance by Penny Tration made this one of the weekend’s most popular parties. 

But fun and frolics weren’t the only order of the day. Saturday saw four Seminar Kink sessions covering topics such as ‘Submissive and Single: Scratching Your Own Itch’, ‘Don’t Make it Weird’, and the crucial ‘Prescription for Perspective: Navigating Healthcare While Practicing Kink, BDSM, and/or Consensual Non-Monogamy’.



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The People of Color Leather Caucus hosted a panel discussion with ONYX founder Mufasa Ali and the Men of ONYX, along with Leatherfolk and Kinksters of Color from around the world.

On Monday, the annual Black and Blue ball returned to round off the frivolities with DJs Ale Maes from Chicago and Isaac Escalante from Miami playing until 4am, leaving attendees begging for more. Here’s to International Mr Leather 2024! 


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