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Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend 2008Indianapolis, ID – After flying into Chicago on Thursday, Derek and I drove into Indianapolis for Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) weekend on Friday. We were invited to present a Shibari class as part of the extensive series of educational workshops associated with the event. This was a welcome trip since I had not been able to see the boy for several weeks. It was also a wonderful opportunity to visit with friends from around the country and make new friends in the Great Lakes region.

Ms Kendra, the Executive Director of GLLA, and her crew produce a spectacular event in Indianapolis. By combining several title contests, offering quality BDSM workshops, open events and an excellent dungeon space / play party in a hotel setting the weekend attracts a large crowd of true players from the region. As far as regional contest events go, GLLA is a fine example to emulate.

Congratulations to all the new titleholders from the Great Lakes Region. They are pictured above from left to right, standing: Trooper (Great Lakes Bootblack 2008) Lisandro, (Mr. Mid-States Leather 2008), Sir Merrill, (Great Lakes Leather Sir 2009), Mistress Simone (Great Lakes Ms Leather Pride 2008), and Master Gallad (Great Lakes Master 2008); and kneeling: boy neil (Great Lakes Leather boy 2009) and slave kelly (Great Lakes slave 2008). And, kudos to the many volunteers that helped make the weekend a success.

The Shibari class Derek and I conducted on Friday was on one of the Quick Arm Binders we teach. There were about thirty or so people in the class. It was well received and I was really pleased to see several of the attendees practicing throughout the weekend. As promised, I've posted the handouts with step-by-step instructions for both the Speed Coil and the Binder. You can find the PDF file here or by following the linked image on the left.

Unfortunately, it may be some time before I can post this particular entry or update this site at all. Early Friday morning my computer went non-operational. I'm not terribly worried because all the data is safely backed-up. Online correspondence however will be shoddy at best for an indeterminable period. Please bear with me.

On a more personal note, there was one specific addition to the weekend that I truly appreciated. The organizers made an anonymous, rapid HIV testing service available to all the attendees. When I heard this announced, I thought for a moment and realized that it had been over a year since my last test. My travel schedule and the immediate availability of close support had pushed this particular action item down my to-do list. With my boy Derek and Dragon Clan brothers Gene and Mark close at hand, I decided that there was no time like the present and went to get tested.

There is always trepidation and anxiety associated with getting tested... even when the wait is only twenty minutes. Yes, I play safe, but there is always a risk unless you abstain completely, which is something I won't do. Testing positive is one of the last things anyone familiar with the consequences of HIV wants to learn. Thankfully, my test came back negative and I can now begin my thirty-eighth year with that knowledge.