The past couple of months I have had the golden opportunity to judge several contests. First I judged the Mr Ramrod contest here in FT Lauderdale. There were SEVEN contestants which was a record. I thoroughly enjoyed myself; not only because I had the chance to meet some new guys but because it gave me a new perspective on contests. Things have indeed changed over the years. The owners of the bar came into when the judges were; BEFORE we did the interviews and guided us as to what THEY were looking for in the title holder. The winner would NOT necessarily go to IML in Chicago (International Mr Leather) and that it was a BAR title NOT a Leather Title. Of course this took me by surprise because if the owners decided to send the winner forward it WOULD be to a Leather Title so if the judges chose someone based solely on the bar without focusing on leather and then they decide to send the guy forward he would likely lose and not even place or show..so what would be the point in sending him at all? It didn’t seem to me anyway to make much sense. The guy that was chosen was a black BUILT like a stone wall 28 year old kid. He wasn’t my first choice but hes well spoken friendly and was coached to do and say all the right things( in my opinion) and would represent the bar just fine..now as for winning an International Title solely based on his body? Er… I don’t think that would fly with the judges on an international level. It was a unique experience for me indeed.
This weekend that just ended was the Tampa Bay Leather and Fetish Pride weekend with 3 contests. The Leather SIR contest, the leather boy contest and the International Pup contest. I went to St Petersburg Fla to celebrate our first anniversary with my boy Rene at this same event we met at last year. However when I arrived on Thursday I was asked intensely if I would be one of the judges for the series of contests because one judge had to work and could not perform her duties. I reluctantly agreed so Daddy was judging his SECOND contest in 2 months. Am Grateful that my boy understood the spot I was put in. This time the judges were ALL leathermen and we worked hard. The interviews ran almost THREE hours for the contestants which included 3 SIRS, 2 boys and 5 puppies. My favorites were the puppies. I am not at liberty to give you the process but it was involved, lengthy and fun, as it was for the SIR and boy interviews which were behind closed doors. I am not sure but I believe I was the only one up on the panel who actually handled puppies and dog boys so my questions to the pups were very personal and probing since I “get them” and where they are coming from. The on stage contest later in the evening went almost 3 hours but in the end I believe that the correct three in the SIR, boy and puppy category were chosen and I truly believe they will go on to do well and I expect some great things coming out of this years class of title holders.
I am competing for the SECC Leather contest in February and being a judge this past weekend gave me a unique opportunity to see what a large scale judging process entailed and what I should expect from my judges and how they look at things and the personna and presence of the contestants. However being in the leather community almost 4 decades and meeting and knowing some of our royal family in leather has given me great wisdom and insight into many varied aspects; not only from the male perspective, the SIR or boy perspective but from the woman’s point of view since Mama Sandy was one of the judges for the Mr Ramrod contest and I got glimpse of how women judge and view things which is indeed different from men. All in all I also believe that I broke a record since I don’t know of anyone who got to be a judge for 2 contests in 4 weeks (Oct 9,10,11 AND Nov 9,10,11). My life seems to be situations which provoke me to grow and both of these experiences has taught me SO VERY MUCH.