Friday, October 9, 1998

Mario is new Ms. MN Leather

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #88, October 9, 1998)

As the publicity for the contest prophesied, Ms. Minnesota Leather is back! Her name is Mario and she’s the president of Dykes on Bikes, the women’s motorcycle group that is a perennial favorite at the Twin Cities Pride Parade.

After a year’s hiatus, the contest staged a blazing return Saturday night, September 19, at the Bell Museum Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. (Also a feature of the weekend was Friday’s combination meet-and-greet and “Bare As You Dare” party at the Saloon.) This was the most untraditional leather contest I’ve ever seen—and I mean that in a good way. It was a fresh, creative, and sensual celebration of leathersex from a womyn’s perspective. If a guy like me found the evening’s entertainments erotically stimulating, I can only imagine what the women in the audience were feeling. Then again, I guess it wouldn’t take much imagination; the audience, which was made up of all sexes, genders and orientations, was unrestrained in voicing its approval.

The evening’s fantasy presentations were entertaining and skillfully presented. But, to me, it was the contestants’ speeches that really stood out—they were more performance-art pieces than speeches. Mario told her leather history entirely in verse (and clever verse at that—see below). Ruth gave a stream-of-conscious monologue about her leather/SM history. Pamela tried (and failed) to maintain her composure as she delivered a lecture on various methods of tanning leather, and the various uses for the leather produced by each method. Babalon, who took first runner-up honors, gave the sole traditional speech of the evening; it was about being visible as a community so that no one ever needs to feel they’re the only kinky person on earth.

The evening’s emcee was International Ms. Leather 1991 Kay Hallanger. Head judge was current International Ms. Leather Megan DeJarlais; other judges were Joshua Smith, current Mr. Minnesota Leather; B.D. Chambers, current Mr. Minnesota Olympus Leather; Sue Able, Ms. Nebraska Leather 1994; and long-time member of the Twin Cities leather community Russ Helbig.

More About Mario

The new Ms. Minnesota Leather’s full name is Mario Lorenzi, but everyone knows her as Mario. Those who remember Foxy’s and Ladies Night, two womyn’s bars of years ago, may remember that Mario was a DJ and bouncer at both of them. Nowadays her interests are many and varied: She lives in northern Minnesota where she runs a ranch and horse stables. She is a musician and writes original music and lyrics, which are performed by her band, “Stay Hungry.” She is a welder and metal sculptor whose art is in the collections of celebrities such as Bonnie Raitt and the artist formerly known as Prince. And, as mentioned earlier, she’s president of Dykes on Bikes. She says that during her title year she “wants to be visible in the community”; she also thinks raising funds for local causes and groups is important and plans to make that a focus of her title year.

Mario’s speech at the Ms. Minnesota Leather Contest was really a poem (or perhaps a lyric), “Intro to Leather 101,” written by Mario for the contest. Here it is, reprinted with her permission:

Intro to Leather 101

By Mario Lorenzi

My intro to leather
Was at quite a young age.
Black leather diapers set the stage,

Ahh, at the daycare I was all the rage
My intro to leather was at quite a young age.

I enjoyed all my spankings . . . the sound and the slap
As my mom bent me over and gave me a whack.

I sought out the trouble as only I could
With the hopes Mom would catch me and give it to me good.

And in adolescence, I’d share what I knew
Got caught spanking Julie behind the church pew.

Got caught spanking Shelly and Katie and Jen
Got caught and got punished, and did it again.

And now that I’m older, I do what I want
I do what I want, and my leather I flaunt.

I do as I please and I please who I do
As I’ve got a collection to please even you.

I’ve got black gloves, and bracelets
My chaps and my whips.

There’s the belts and the handcuffs
And clips for your tits

There’s shackles, a rack,
And a sweet cat-o-nine.

My tight leather pants
And it’s mine all mine.

Upcoming Leather Events

Please note: The Mr./Ms. Minnesota Olympus Leather Weekend has been postponed due to the impending relocation of the event’s producer, former Mr. Minnesota Leather Roger Gregg. (A fabulous career opportunity means he and his boy david will be moving to San Francisco in short order.) Watch for a rescheduled Minnesota Olympus Leather event later this year (or perhaps in January 1999).

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