Friday, October 24, 1997

Roger Gregg is Mr. MN Leather ’98 (and a Few Word about Electrical Play)

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #63, October 24, 1997)

PHOTO: Roger Gregg, Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998

In an extremely close contest, Roger Gregg took the sash at the 1998 Mr. Minnesota Leather competition held Saturday, October 4 at Club Metro Underground. Other competitors were George Vuckovic, Karl Keturi  and Steve Eue, who captured the runner-up spot.

Saturday’s contest was preceded by a Thursday-night warm-up at the Brass Rail and a Friday-night “lights-out” party at Club Metro Underground which was quite dark and quite festive. These two events were well-attended, and Saturday night drew the biggest audience for a contest in recent memory.

The crowd was not disappointed. The four contestants looked great on stage and gave interesting, heartfelt speeches. The evening's fantasy performances displayed a creativity and a degree of showmanship not often seen at local contests. Epitomizing this was Roger Gregg’s “cast of thousands” extravaganza with the largest and most diverse cast I’ve ever seen in a fantasy—anywhere.

The judging panel included not one but two current international titleholders—International Mr. Leather (and outgoing Mr. Minnesota Leather) Kevin Cwayna and International Mr. Fantasy Ariq Robinson. Also judging were current Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Mike Siemer, current Mr. Minnesota Drummer Jack Maynard, Gary O’Neill of Wolf Productions, and your humble columnist.

Gregg will compete at next year’s 20th-anniversary International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago, where he will try to bring the International Mr. Leather sash home to Minnesota for the second year in a row.

Electricity: Please Don’t “Die-Hard”

To anyone out there who is considering exploring electricity from an SM perspective, a request: Learn about Mr. Kilowatt before you play with him. There's a lot to learn—much more than this column can go into, so I'll only touch on a few of the basics here.

For SM purposes there are two kinds of electricity: electricity that moves along the surface of human tissue, and electricity that penetrates human tissue and moves through it. Violet wands are of the former type; most other electrical toys are of the latter.

Violet wands were originally sold as medical devices but are now widely recognized as medically worthless. In SM situations, however, they provide both an interesting tactile sensation and an impressive visual image. (However, I don’t play with them because my instincts tell me that they burn holes in one’s aura. Your instincts may tell you something else, and that’s fine.)

Now, as to the other kind of electricity: Think of the various interactions between electrical current and the human body in non-SM situations. Downed power lines and hairdryers in bathtubs can be lethal. Electric chairs are designed to be lethal. Some non-lethal uses of electricity applied to the human body include torturing political prisoners and using “stun guns” to subdue attackers. And there's the legendary convention-time prank involving male conventioneers using cattle prods on female showgirls—all in good fun, of course (or so the men think).

Medical science uses electricity with somewhat loftier intentions. Electricity to the head (electroshock therapy) has been used for decades to treat mental illness and depression, but even after all these years there are still some major side effects to deal with. And in emergency rooms, electric “paddles” are used on the chest to jump-start a heart that has stopped beating. If you've ever watched “St. Elsewhere” or “ER” you know the strength of the jolt the paddles deliver.

Conversely, an electric shock can stop a beating heart. Years ago I learned from a TV repairman that when he was messing around inside a TV set he always kept one hand in his pocket. That way if he got a shock it would only go up one finger and down the other; if he had both hands inside the TV the shock could go up one arm, through the heart, and out the other arm—possibly killing him in the process.

So, since we don’t want electricity around the heart or the brain, the mantra for everyone involved in electrical play is (repeat after me): “Never above the waist.” One major manufacturer of electrical toys for SM play feels this is such an important rule that they've incorporated that slogan into their logo.

If the idea of electrical play intrigues you, don’t just buy a cattle prod at Fleet Farm and start experimenting, and don't try to see what else you can do with a car battery and jumper cables. Before you actually do anything with electricity, learn about electrical play by reading about it and/or by talking with others who have some experience in this field.

Leatherwomen: Contestants Wanted

W.I.L.L.O.W. Productions Inc. is accepting applications for the 1998 Ms. Minnesota Leather Competition (see previous issue for contestant requirements.) Contact W.I.L.L.O.W. Productions Inc.. (W.I.L.L.O.W. Productions Inc. is the Official Representative for the 1998 Ms. Minnesota Leather Competition.)

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