Saturday, February 10, 2018

Gene's Take on MAL

I'm back in Pittsburgh after a great experience at Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend, in DC!

After a 5 year hiatus, I enjoyed participating in the evolution of 'The Leather Community'. I say 'evolution' because I observed a broadening of dress code, a relaxing of gender normativism, and an openness to generate change within the 'Leather' theme. MAL's openness to change throughout their 33-year history is alive and visible in paving a road for growth into the future.

There were younger to older guys in jocks and harnesses; sports gear, and superhero personas all around. And whether it was from the viewpoint of marketing or desire; I could envision them all naked at The Gathering since there wasn't much of a Puritan gear theme to suggest otherwise.

As you may have heard, the Pocono Eagle threw a Boots and Bourbon Party. It was an overcapacity sell out with volunteers and guests approaching 100. We got full and stayed full, and once guys had their clothes off they didn't want to put them back on. It felt awesome being embraced by that radiating, deeply sensual, body warmth and humidity with 10-degree temperature outside. The group that started as the 'Leather Community' very quickly became the 'GNI Nude Community' at a Leather event and, as a friend from Pittsburgh said: "That was the best time I had for $25 in a long time!".

With the entry being $25, our goal of being self-supporting is getting closer. The cost associated with the party covers a few aspects including travel expenses to various leather events and promoting The Pocono Eagle as well as GNI, our Mr. GNI Leather contest, and our current title-holder Brian Ballone, Mr. GNI Leather 2017. Since initial funding did not come from GNI, I’ll list how the event came to be a success and I will thank individually in a later message: 

  • The help of various volunteers.
  • LeatherWerks
  • Stompers Boots
  • Our Membership (Near and Far)
  • Our Guests
  • Advertisements, Posters, Handouts
  • GNI Facebook/Social Media
  • Publicity on our GNI web site
  • Posting to The MAL Meat N Greet
  • Bourbon
  • Word of Mouth
  • The GNI Board

Also, Dan Marrs has put together a gofundme page:
We are at $1,600 out of our $2,500 goal. 
Contribute if you recognize the effort everyone has put in.

I realize a few of you may be thinking: "Enough with the leather already, GNI is getting invaded by harnesses!"

Here is a word about that: nothing we are doing is designed to change the GNI Gathering foundation. We're naturists.  Becoming 'Leather' is not the goal; introducing ourselves to the numerous sub-groups we are all parts of, and offering an opportunity for those sub-groups to express their inner nudists, ultimately at The Gathering, is the goal.

To expand on that, there are numerous sub-interests within our group. For an example, we have had an active yoga group at The Gathering. Jon, Michael, Colby and myself are now planning to take it to the next level offering a structured retreat-like approach. And there are opportunities for expanding upon other offerings. What about a “Workout Bootcamp”? Can you imagine going home after 10-days, 5-6 lbs lighter and feeling great?

So we are open to any ideas or suggestions for themes and sub-interest development.

We appreciate your help and support for all of what we are trying to do to make this a great experience for everyone.

Keep naked with a smile on your face.



PS: In addition, and don't tell anyone about this, the DUCK IT, NO PANTS! Mr. GNI Leather 2017, Brian Ballone, Travel Fund Raffle is still selling pins. A $20 pin could win a half week at The 2018 Gathering.  A total of 3 will be given away: a general pass, an under 39, and a puppy. 
I could really use the love from a general winner, an under 39 and a puppy, when I win and give these away.  So please don't buy these! I want my odds to be good. But just because I'm obligated to tell everyone, here's the link to the info.