Guest Column: Last Weekend, Tonight

By Sir Shadi

Shadi CLAW 1Confession: I had honestly never heard of CLAW before this year. When I heard that the event occurred during the final weekend of April, I easily dismissed it as an impossible endeavor, as academia implodes at about that time each spring. Though I am by no means superstitious, a rather odd convergence of events afforded me the opportunity, and I really needed the escape from the 24/7 grind of grad school.

Shadi CLAW 2I was lent Master G’s slave for the weekend. I had never had first-hand experience with controlling a slave, identifying much more as a Sir than a Master. I must say, it was rather nice to have almost any desire fulfilled without question (and the bonus of having my copious amount of luggage carted around for me). Being in control of someone as a Dom or a Sir is much different, in that the sub/boy can still generally get out of an uncomfortable situation. A slave doesn’t have that escape clause, so a comparatively higher degree of trust is necessary for this kind of interaction. It’s empowering knowing that it gives itself over completely to you, but a fearsome responsibility in that you, as Master, are responsible for every moment of the interaction. We had some fun with it being leashed, dining out at a Red Robin, a local sushi place, and a local Indian restaurant. Some stares were in order, and some odd behavior (one server put latex gloves on while taking our order), but as they saw we were just regular Joes, everyone relaxed. The server took his gloves off. People started asking questions about why the slave was leashed. One woman called out that I had the cutest dog (I was so happy for the positive reception that I didn’t correct her). It was nice to explore this aspect of the BDSM spectrum, and though I do not think that it is for me, I am more than glad that I tried it.

Shadi CLAW 3My “volunteer” shift at BDSM speed-dating was quite interesting. After finding the room, most of the equipment was already set up. I was told that how I could help would be to fill in as a top (intentional phrasing). Part of me was somewhat ambivalent, as I had never attended a speed-dating event before. I was worried that I would come off as trying to sell myself with a generic elevator pitch. Not for the first (or last) time this weekend, I was mistaken. I met a few interesting people there, and ended up playing a bit the next day with a few of the attendees. The event was all too short, and it was often difficult for the moderator to get us to rotate.

Shadi CLAW 4The next day, I spent a good deal of time snapping pictures, socializing with attendees, and marketing my title platform. I feel very strongly about leather ambassadorship to smaller cities in Illinois/the Ohio River Valley region outside of Chicago, so this was me in my element. Making connections, passing out my business card, and making plans for a few events was quite enjoyable, and for once, the infamous Sir Justin St. Clair plague was successfully avoided! I loves seeing everyone decked out in their formals and steampunk accessories.





Shadi CLAW 5

And that Oklahoma Mr. Leather? He’s the reason why Oklahoma has beautiful mornings. . .

Shadi CLAW 6The other interesting part of the day was meeting some of the people from the speed-dating event. What I thought was going to end up being a gray-flagging day became one of aluminum foil. I had never done much electronic-stimulation play, and only as a top before. Being with a Sir who was playing and demoing at the same time helped to bring down some of my existing ambivalence, and once my nipples were hooked up, I was in pig heaven. I couldn’t let myself have all the fun, so I was more than happy to share the love. This also set the stage for the next late-night encounter.

Shadi CLAW 7After this bit of fun, I went to my second volunteer shift, selling raffle tickets. Let me tell you, it was hard selling tickets to a bunch of men who had been tapped dry by two days of ticket sales, alcohol, and leather purchases. I brought out the inner slut, and offered to have the boots-to-balls tickets be sold up from my boots to my balls (and offered up my co-volunteer to do the same). That inspired sales, but still wasn’t good enough for me. Near the end of my shift, the silent auction for the day ended, so I milked the guys, gals, and everyone in-between for more donations while they were waiting to claim their tickets. Yes, a slightly underhanded tactic, but we made more in those 20 minutes than we had the previous couple hours.

Shadi CLAW 8The next day, I finally got to the leather market. I brought along my Borg bear Bearg, decked out in pleather. Needless to say in our nerdy kink audience, he was a big hit. I was set to meet a friend of mine who had driven in from Pittsburgh who had no experience with leather, having never owned more than a belt made of leather. Seeing his face when I brought along the collared slave was priceless. I could see him relax a bit as we went along, but was viewing some kinks with some degree of disbelief. He did buy a CLAW t-shirt, and as more hot leather daddies passed by, you could see his interest being piqued. I had convinced this friend to bring his Cher doll, and bought a little kinky outfit for her to wear. I think the laughter got him to relax some more, and he agreed to come with me to the leather cabaret that evening.

My friend came back to meet me for the Leather Cabaret show. He brought back Cher, and being the dominatrix that she is, she put Bearg into submission. I also administered the slave’s punishment, which was to spend an hour calliShadi CLAW 10ng everyone “Sir” for an hour. I felt that it would be best administered before the start of the show and at the conclusion of the show. In all honesty, the punishment had slipped my mind; I’d likely be a very poor Master. Every time that it missed saying hello to anyone, it earned a slap with my strap. Saying, “Hello, Sir,” to everyone who passed by it brought about a bit of hostility from some people, which is why I was on-hand to explain why it was saying that. I learned a good deal from a couple boys and a Dom Miss, who explained why it might not be taken well. I passed on what I learned to the slave’s Master, and it reinforced a personal mantra: that we scan never close ourselves off to learning if we are to be effective human beings.

The Leather Cabaret was a success. People were entertained thoroughly, and the drag queen co-host was perfectly off-color. Leathermen performing Broadway showtunes and skits are what finally relaxed my friend, and he shared with me an epiphany afterwards.

Shadi CLAW 11“I discovered that a segment of the gay population wasn’t as scary as I thought they were. Sure, they participate in a lifestyle that is different from me and may be a bit too wild for me, but you know what. I was blown away by the level of brotherhood these men share. They are fearless and comfortable and confident. There was such an atmosphere of free love that I picture the late 60s had to be like. I was envious of that. I wanted to be part of that. But I know I was a tourist there. However, I was treated cordially by everyone I met. The authenticity of these guys really had an effect on me. I have to admit I found them to be, like, the sexiest bunch of guys I’d ever been around. I’m happy I went. I got to see what they’re all about and I admire the sense of love and community they possess. ESP with it all dressed up in leather. Cheers to these guys!”

There can be no greater way to illustrate the second part of my general leather mission: to demystify our kinkster communities to the general populace, and to let them see that it’s not weird to have non-“normative” sexual proclivities. This unintentional outreach made a good friend think about embracing leather, and hopefully feel like less of an outsider to our greater community.

In other words, a successful CLAW. On to an enjoyable IML, and to prepare for my GLLA Leather Sir title run. Now that my grades have been turned in, it’s time to relax, by which, I mean showing up at bar events today and tomorrow. In the words of the Borg Queen Lady Alexandra St. James-Gray, “There is no rest for the wicked.”

Read my blog for a post on my initial entreaty into subspace at the close of the weekend.

Sir Shadi is Illinois LeatherSir 2016.

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