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My Road to ILW2023

Last year I attended Iowa Leather Weekend for the first time. This was also my very first leather event. At first, I thought I would be really overwhelmed and not enjoy it. I could not have been farther from the truth. I was immediately approached and met new people who made me feel at home. I was among people like me. I was with family.

Sir was running for Iowa Bear and I swore to support him as much as I could, even if that meant me stepping outside of my box. By doing this I was able to face the social fears I had about big groups. Sir is always helping me conquer my fears so that I can not worry all the time. I do worry a lot and I am slowly learning to deal with my mental health.

I have struggled with my mental health for years and am finally getting the help I need and learning how to work through things. Every day I try to do better than the day before. Sir has also been helping me with things as well. Last year at ILW Sir and a few others mentioned that I should run for Iowa Pet. I just kind of shrugged it off and laughed, thinking I could never step that far out of my box. My inside voice told me I could never do good because I am not one of the popular members of the community.

Fast forward to this year and after speaking with more people and hearing the same suggestions, I have decided to run for Iowa Pet at Iowa Leather Weekend 2023. Ive been talking to people and working on getting over some anxiety and worry about specific aspects of competing. Am I nervous? AB-SO-LUTELY! Am I worried? OF COURSE! But with the support of Sir and our family, I believe that I will do great. Sir is running for Iowa Bear, so we will both be competing this year. I look forward to the connections competing will bring and hope that those connections blossom into great friendships.

My main platform is going to be access to education about kinks and other subjects that have an impact on the kink community. When I first entered the community, the pandemic had just hit and the world as we knew it was shutting down. There was no way to go to an event and learn how to tie shibari bondage ties. I had to learn everything I know by doing research online and watching videos on youtube. I tried to research places that would have in-person classes and was not having much luck for the area I was living in.

If members of the community had access to quality education on subjects such as the following: shibari, electro play, safewords, d/s dynamics, mental health, and sti testing. I am not in a place where I can say I am teaching because I am not a teacher. But what I can do is bring awareness and work at creating this with those who are more experienced in different areas to show and share what they have learned so someone can possibly learn something new. I hope to make new friends and connections in the community this year as I compete for Iowa Pet.

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