I write this as I take a break from packing for what I have come to call “The Great Chicago Migration”. See every year Kinkster’s, Bear’s, Rope Folk’s, Sir’s, Miss’, Bootblacks, Daddy’s, Pup’s, Age Players, Leather Folk, & people of every conceivable identifier make their way to Chicago, Illinois. What possible reason could there be for so many people interested in so many different aspects of BDSM to travel from around the world to visit Chicago on Memorial Day weekend you might ask. Well that’s because Memorial Day Weekend (or as I like to call it Leather & Rope Weekend) happens to be when Chicago hosts two of the largest BDSM Conventions in the United States.
That’s right, Chicago is host to both the International Mr. Leather Contest as well as Shibaricon all on the same holiday weekend. What better way to immerse yourself in your community that to come to a city that will be over run with like minded people? I sure can’t think of one.
For those of you who are on a fixed budget or just prefer to be frugal with your spending there is another awesome part about this weekend that isn’t talked about as often as it should be. See on Leather & Rope weekend the Chicago BDSM Community opens it’s arms to all of those who have come to visit, providing a number of FREE events and outings for you to attend.
Examples of these free opportunists include LRA’s Annual Fetish Ball, The 18th Annual IML Breakfast, The LA&M Silent Auction, a special screening of the film Age of Consent, the Trident Annual Meet & Greet and Cigar Smoker, & on Thursday the Leather Archive & Museum has free admission. That’s a whole weekend of fun right there with no required admission.
Another fantastic option for those of you who would prefer to spend your money on new toys or apparel is the IML Leather Market. Whether you are in the market for Leather Goods, Medical Play Equipment, Impact Toy, Sex Swings, Electric Play Equipment, Rope, Lube, or Dildos of all shapes and sizes you will find it at the Leather Market. But for the financially conscious the best part is that the Leather Market is huge and you can spend just about a entire day looking at everything for a mere ten dollars. The Leather Market is so popular that often Shibaricon attendees, who have a full weekend schedule of classes to attend, will travel downtown to check out the kinky goods the Leather Market has to offer.
In closing if you never been to Chicago over Leather & Rope weekend or if your a seasoned veteran of the Great Migration, look into the events and gatherings I mentioned. It’s a lot of fun that can be had on even the most frugal budget. And I promise that you will enjoy yourself.
Now I really should get back to packing, I have a three hour drive to make.