Saturday, December 25, 2010

Review of MIR

I was charged with writing a review of MIR by one of the volunteer members of the staff, so I thought that I'd put it here as well. I think these community events are really amazing and tie the group together. The internet is great and all, but there's safety, cohesiveness, and a great time by all when these events go well. I really appreciate all the hard work everyone at MIR did this year, especially the volunteers. This is a 100% honest review, so I'm going to bare it all here:

MIR 2011 was my first MIR experience so I cannot compare it to earlier events. I got there at around 9:30 pm on Friday, as my flight was late, and headed straight to the Majestic Hotel, as I booked my room after the host hotel was fully booked. Also, word has it that the Majestic was better than the Hawthorne Terrace hotel, so many people stayed there, to my knowledge.
I texted all my friends and they replied, “Go to Cell Block, we’re not staying at the event.” I was a bit confused, as the Greet the Meat events are usually quite popular, and personally I really enjoyed the Greet the Meat rubber event at IML, as I met quite a handful of good-looking perverts. So, this social maneuver of my friends was a bit curious until I met them at Cell Block after I got dinner and change into rubber and it was around 10:30. I asked them why they didn’t go to the event itself: “It’s a rip-off.” Now, I come into these events feeling that at some point I’m going to pay for a rip-off, but it’s in part a way to support the event or the community as a whole. It’s just financially what a community member must accept to keep the events afloat; however, I was told of the $30 cover charge for just the Greet the Meat event. This was absurd to me, especially when I was told that the drinks at the party still costing a fair amount. People I talked to were certainly dropping plenty of cash on a bartab, but the cover really turned them off. On the other hand, CODE, at the same time, was offering two free drinks after you paid $10 cover just across the street. This was a no-brainer.

Cell Block was packed, but no one was going into the back room where CODE was. There was no incentive. The Cell Block manager firmly does not allow frontal nudity, so the back offered no more sexual solace than the front of the bar, hence the reason everyone just stayed in the front. Rubbermen took over the bar anyways, so this makes sense to not feel persecuted in the front of the bar.

When you look at it from a historical perspective, or what I surmise from the oral history of MIR, this is what MIR is all about: bar night(s). It started as just one evening in a bar, and now it’s grown to be an IML clone, and it’s not astonishing if it is hemorrhaging money by trying to be IML. It needs to keep its own identity, own culture and own pride. People loved that night, and everyone had a smile on their face seeing old and new faces. I saw all my good friends and loved giving them the hugs and smooches that they deserve, but I also enjoyed meeting new faces, like rubberswim from NYC, Mel from Louisiana, and pdondel from Columbus OH. The Cell Block party in the front, by being low key and not trying to be anything at all, became the de facto Greet the Meat party, and it was really fun.

The next morning, I woke up, got a great continental breakfast, got ready and went to the market at around 12:30. I really wanted to find jeans or leggings, with a thru zip. Let me just say, I found neither at the event. There was a lot of rubber, sure, but the market had a few holes of things that I would have wanted. TLS, Polymorphe, and Mr. S all brought their A-game when it came to merchandise, but I did not feel like recon brought as much as desired, even though I did buy my polo from recon in the end. I ended up having to buy the pants off of my new friend pdondel whose jeans did not fit him anymore. I also really enjoyed the gear swap part of the event. That was a really nice touch, though there were some things that had nothing to do with rubber in the gear swap, which made me feel like the Chicago rubbermen were just being desperate.

During the day, there was chatter about a protest party in the locker room at the Center, charging something like $3 a person for all you can drink until the liquor runs out type of party. It was a really funny idea, but people ended up not following through.

Then I ended up seeing Ruff of the infamous ruff’s stuff blog, someone that deserved a smooch the night before and, also, my utmost friendship. We chatted for a second and then we talked about getting me into a gimp suit for a demo. I was down. So we grabbed Reddy (reddywhp), whom you all may remember from the “Cry” and “Ladder” entries. We put me in a red gimpsuit and then they played with me for a bit, before putting me in a sling. Then John Jacobs just enters the scene kind of randomly and helps put some bluebands around my cock in prep for electro. I’m not a fan of the bluebands, but we just kind of played with it and practiced on getting me more used to them, but didn’t do anything extreme. I was much more happy just at the level of gimpsuit. It’s really fun if you’ve never tried one on. It was kind of loose, so it didn’t destroy my arms as much it does typically for someone. The following picture is of this scene, which was posted on The Leatherati flickr, "Photo by Brian Mincey," while RubberZone is also claiming it.

Anyhoo, once I had escaped (reluctantly) the clutches of Reddy, I tinkered around still searching for pants, leggings, or chaps, finding nothing I wanted, until it was time for dinner. Dinner I went to Fast&Fresh. Sounds pretty terrible. It’s actually amazingly good. If you’re looking for something greasy, yet fresh, this is the place. I just needed to grab something and then get ready for the Hole that night.

I’m always kind of intimidated by cruisy areas like the Hole; rather, I should say I used to be. The Hole was great. I went in the same thing I wore the night before: a full black catsuit, chemical rubber gloves and thigh high rubber firemen waders. This night, however, the waders were going to be used as urinals. I got there early, and no one was there quite yet, but the place just filled to the brim, almost like my waders. The juxtaposition was uncanny. As everyone from the contest filled in, I remember meeting MIR 2011, GMan from Atlanta, and talking to him about someone having to use pudding in the competition, while another contested was getting fucked against the wall right next to him. “Making pudding, I see…”

The sleaziness of the Hole was really nice and refreshing for a place of refuge for us. I got some good fun in, and ended up leaving the second time 2am came around. Daylights Savings Time was awesome. I ended up getting home safely thanks to a cab, but no thanks to the driver falling asleep at the wheel at least three different times.

The next day, I was pretty tired and kind of hung around the market halfheartedly. I got to try out the Fist cube which was really a great time, especially because two hotties were playing with me in it. There was a camera all up in my grill though, as the cameraman was trying to get coverage immediately, which kind of made the mood lost a bit. The film was forced, instead of people just being able to have fun and keep the event as a word of mouth, a bonding opportunity, and something organic. It would have been so much more fun for the bondage experience here to be just about evildoug, ruff, and me playing around and being all smiles, and others playing around all smiles, than making MIR into a big hullabaloo.

I chilled and ended up going home to take a nap that afternoon, going out with an adorable friend for dinner, and then heading to the Sunday night party at Sidetrack. Showtunes Sunday in rubber was phenomenal. Everyone was having a great time, and, if there’s anything rubbermen know, it’s the lyrics to the Golden Girls Theme Song. I had a great time and ended up staying for a long time after showtunes ended and going home with an adorable kinky boy that wasn’t into rubber. So it goes!

In the end, I really enjoyed MIR, for what MIR used to be and should continue to be. MIR is trying to be IML for rubber, but that’s not what it’s been. It started as an excuse to have a bar night, and then it has evolved since. I’m hoping that MIR XV next year will bring it back to the roots of the event, and will focus on the bar nights. Each of these events have their own huge pull. For IML, the pull is its sheer size, market depth and broad interest. MAL has the friendliest lobby. And MIR is known for its bar nights. Bring them back. This is also how MIR should regain its revenue, via the bar nights. They outsourced to CODE and Recon this last year, but I think they might want to reconsider that in order to gain cash. People go to MIR because rubber is a tight-knit community, full of people that really enjoy each other, want to go out in rubber, flirt, and get laid. The party atmosphere is what’s beautiful to these events, and by having a host hotel sans lobby, you’re depriving the organic system of a kink event of its bloodflow. MIR can be the future of kink, where MAL and IML are the history and current strongholds, but it has to understand the beautiful humanity of the kink community, and the bright socialization and community that it tries to service. And trust me, there’s plenty of good service to be done that would go plenty rewarded.

I’m excited for MIR XV, but it’s got some room to improve.

MIR 2011 Highlights from Mr. International Rubber on Vimeo.

In other news, Merry Christmas, hope you get all the rubber you wanted. :-)

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