From Pageant Mom to Handler to Sash Widow : Being the Girlfriend of International Ms Leather 2011
I am pleased to announce that this year’s International Ms Leather 2011 (IMsL) is my lovely girlfriend Sara Vibes. IMsL is a competition to determine the women that will represent the leather community and promote visibility, awareness and acceptance of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Trans and Queer community internationally. This weekend long event included educational workshops, safe play spaces, vendors and hot, sexy events. The competition includes a fantasy performance, speeches, a interview with the judges, and pop questions for each competitor. Alongside the IMsL competition is the International Ms. Boot Black 2011, kd Diamond being the current title holder.
Sara was approached by Glenda Rider, owner and one of the producers of IMsL and asked to run just six weeks before the competition. It took Sara only moments to decide to run for the title. And being her loving partner, I agreed to support her along the way. With very little time to run, we formulated a plan to gain a title that would allow Sara to shine in the sex education, leather, polyamorous and queer communities. I took on being her Pageant Mom and Handler, helping her create her costumes, speech and fantasy. If you have been reading my column, you’ll remember some time ago I wrote about hesitantly taking on being a service bottom.
Nothing pushed me into service space more than helping Sara prepare to run for this title. I discovered a lot of qualities about myself that I never knew (and was reminded of qualities I have being trying to forget). I’m a mirco-manager and an extreme multi-tasker. I love to be in control and I like things to go the way I planned. So you can imagine how stressed and anxious I get when things don’t go my way or when things are not organized in the way I think they “should” be. But the brilliant thing about being in service is that it’s not about me or my insecurities or my fears. It’s about the needs of the person I’m in service to. IMsL was all about Sara.
At the start of the weekend, I loved it: laying out all her outfits down to detail, preparing food and drink, scheduling times for her rest and giving her the perfect amount of kisses to calm her before rehearsals. But as the weekend got busier, I found myself tired, frustrated and overwhelmed. Usually, I would have a breakdown but I remembered, ‘I’m in service and this weekend isn’t about me.’ So I took a deep breath and went on a walk through the streets of San Francisco to calm my nerves. I realized it’s so much easier for me to take care of myself when someone special is depending on me. It feels damn good to take care of myself.
As the night of the competition neared, I was beginning to appreciate the results of our hard work! The connection that developed between Sara and I the weekend of IMsL was remarkable. We have been through a lot as a young couple and have put a significant amount of work into our poly relationship. She is my best friend, my ally, my sister girl, my lover and my partner and it was an honor to serve her.
Sara is the youngest IMsL titleholder (at the tender age of 22) and the first titleholder to represent New York City. Her goals for the year are to travel across the East Coast alongside the International Ms Boot Black, kd diamond. Sara plans to spread awareness about disabilities and sexuality by sponsoring charity events, teaching and speaking on behalf of leather women. And as we wind down from the weekend and shift back into our normal lives, I still don’t want to let go of the act of serving. Plus, there are plenty of things I do not know how to do yet, like fold shirts or lace a corset. So I am enlisting into “finishing school” and having a close friend show me the ropes of service bottoming! I’m excited and terrified and ready. Something I am beginning to discover is growing is never comfortable but for what Sara and I are up to, it’s certainly necessary!
I cannot even begin to express my love and gratitude for the leather, poly, kinky and queer folks who aided us in getting here. The weekend of IMsL I was awe at the continuous love and support I felt from the community. I felt the presence of family in a way I have not before. Thank you to all the people who encouraged Sara to run. You will not be disappointed!
Keep reading, as I embark on my journey as a Sash Widow and Handler of IMsL 2011, Sara Vibes!!