Mr. International Rubber 2000 (November 11-15, 1999)

Before the Weekend (going as far back as July, 1996)

     In April 1999, I bought a couple round-trip airline tickets on American Airlines at an auction, good for anywhere American flies in the continental United States and the Caribbean.  I also paid way too much for them, closing in on the actual cost of such tickets, which meant that they could not be used frivolously.  When I finally examined them a couple months later, I found that they expired at the end of the year, and the flight had to be arranged a month in advance (plus the expected blocked out dates around holidays).  At one point, I was going to use one to go to Montréal for my birthday in August, then revised that to New York, then downgraded that to Phoenix (not using one of the tickets), and I ended up having to work on my birthday instead.
     One got used to go on a “professional obligation” trip to Columbus, Ohio.  (I was then the secretary of the International Association of Gay/Lesbian Country Westerm Dance Clubs, and this was one of our twice-yearly business meetings/conventions.)  I briefly considered going to New York for Hallowe’en (and catching some Broadway shows), but my growing interest in latex and rubber changed my mind.

     Digression time: my first exposure to rubber in a sexual context — well, outside of rubbers — was when I got picked up by a guy at the Cell Block in Chicago in July 1996, and he had me tie my cock and balls up with a long rubber strap.  That entire night was well beyond any limits I had set for myself before that, with leg irons, suspension, tit clamps on the head of dick, and so forth.  (Yeah, yeah.  Preach at me some other time about being picked up for S/M scenes by guys I’ve never met before.  Hi, Duane.)

Thomas Smith,
Mr. International
Rubber 1999

     In early 1997, I dated a guy who had several latex shirts and the like, although he never wore them while we were dating, dang it all.  (That was also the short relationship where I discovered how much I like to beat off while someone pays serious oral attention to my balls.  Hi, Craig.)  That May, at International Mr. Leather, I bought a green muscle shirt from Mr. S, but I didn’t wear it until the Leather Tip at that year’s gay square dance convention — in Las Vegas in July.  (Am I a glutton for punishment or what?)

     I wore the shirt a few times after that.  The following April, at Club X’s LeatherFest, I met Midori and a group of people from Colorado (Hi, Rich.  Hi, CJ.); Midori was wearing a fabulous full-length purple latex Chinese-style dress.  That summer, I had Molly at So Hip It Hurts create a shirt for me based on the outfit currently worn by Star Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes (who, in his 1980s incarnation, had a major impact on my gay identity).  In September, I discovered Whiplash! in San Diego, and dropped $550 in one trip.

     After that, it was all downhill.  Soon, you could find me out in San Francisco wearing latex probably at least every second weekend.  I would typically hang out at the Loading Dock, and then often go went the Lonestar and scared the bears.  (Latex Myth #2: You can’t wear latex if you are hairy.)  One couple I know claims to be shocked when they see me out in “all natural fabrics.”  (Hi, Rich and Cal.)  I’m also member #003 of The Rubbermen of San Francisco Bay (RMSF).

     Anyway, after discovering that the Mr. International Rubber 1999 competition only had four contestants, and wanting to help push the existence of RMSF to the greater community of rubbermen, my decision was made.  Or was it?  From February through July of 1998, I had dated a guy in Chicago.  (Hi, Scott.)  The last thing I had heard from him was in January 1999, a phone message saying he was going to be moving to San Francisco later that month (but he had been saying that since I met him).  Having not seen him in the Bay Area all year long, I presume he didn’t move out here, so maybe he was (is) still in Chicago.  Did I want to chance running into him?

     Oh, what the heck.  It wasn’t like there had been any severe breakup; more just me cutting off contact with him when I decided that he probably wasn’t going to follow through on his move plans (plus the fact that he turned down my offer for him to move in with me — big warning sign there! — and some other things that I’m not going to air here).

     So my pocketbook developed a mission: to empty itself into the coffers of Mr. S (and other latex/rubber venues).  Except for when I was in Columbus, I bought one new piece of latex or rubberwear each week during the two months before the contest: shirt, shorts, vest, pants, harness.  Sigh.


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Last update: 01/05/01