5 tips for leather market virgins
International Mr Leather competition 2010 (Tribune File photo / May 21, 2012)
Open wide: Not just your mind, (duh), but your wallet. Sure, plenty of people visit the IML Leather Market to browse the latest toys to slap, tickle and punch their lover, but show your support for the vendors who schlepped their wares to Chicago. Buy something, anything.
Tip your bartenders: Those civilian bartenders working the Leather Market are stuck in the bowels of the Hyatt Regency, and by the end of their shift they've seen and heard it all. And you know what? They're always friendly and polite and they have a great sense of humor about it all. Break out that wallet and show them some love.
It just makes scents: There's no dress code at the Leather Market, but there is an unwritten law regarding colognes and perfumes: Don't wear any. Eau de homme is the preferred scent du jour, and besides Chanel No. 5 doesn't really go with the tangy odeur of used workout gear (yes, they sell that.)
Taking pics: Leather Market virgins will likely feel compelled to whip it out (their phones) and snap pictures of everything in a leather vest and studded collar. Just remember--you're not Jane Goodall on some anthropological study in the wild. Ask first. Odds are people will be happy to oblige you. If not, smile and move on.
--Tony Peregrin is a RedEye special contributor