Strap on your harnesses, boys! The International Mr. Leather competition is once again descending upon Chicago, the last weekend of May, during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S.

IML is one of the largest and most prestigious leather and fetish events in the world, and brings thousands of leatherfolk to Chicago each year. Founded in 1979, contestants for International Mr. Leather 2023 range from around North America, South America, and Europe, and compete in interview, physique and stage presence categories.

Much of the excitement about IML is staying at the host hotel, the Congress Plaza, which turns into a big leather community during IML weekend. Attendees are repeatedly reminded to respect the hotel, and there has been drama at previous hotel locations (which are no longer hosting the event). But any time a hotel is filled with thousands of sexually adventurous men, partying in their favorite leather gear, debauchery is going to happen. And that is why attendees show up year after year.

Much of the attraction for IML weekend is visiting Chicago, one of the premier cities in the U.S., and also one of the most exciting gay and trans communities in the world. “Boystown” is famous for its bars, and of course IML attendees often enjoy a visit at Steamworks.

In previous years, there has also been a Mr. Bootblack competition at IML, but not in 2023.

Other big leather events for 2023 include Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, Folsom Berlin, and Maspalomas Fetish Pride.

Check out the Spartacus Pride Calendar

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