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The Titans of the Midwest is a nonprofit social organization whose mission is to provide education and guidance to further the development of knowledge and skills of the Midwest kink community. We are open to all without judgment, encouraging the exploration of kink in the name of fellowship while promoting safe, sane, and consensual fetish related activities through awareness and education.
The first Men’s Room opened its doors in the Toronto Village in October 2014 focusing on men’s fashion, grooming and fetish needs. Conceived to be a “One Stop Shop” for the urban man looking for the latest styles and high quality products, The Men’s Room quickly established itself as a premier retail destination in the neighbourhood. Over the following year a barber shop and grooming studio were added to the original location to better serve our clientele while new retail stores were opened in Montreal and Chicago in 2016.
We design and create fine fetish furniture and accessories. While we utilize many different materials we truly love the beauty, warmth and vitality of wood. Combining exceptional aesthetics and innovative designs to create objects that enhance the enjoyment of your play and relationships.
We believe that you deserve to have items in your dungeon and toy bag that are beautiful and worthy of being part of your life.
In 2000 Michael Syrjanen and Eric Kugelman traveled to Sydney, Australia, in hopes to promote Chicago as a potential candidate to host a Gay Games in the future. While there they met Ray and Barry, the owners of Mephisto Leathers Sydney. Located on famous Oxford Street. Over the week long meetings with FGG, the men from Chicago formed a friendship and bond with the owners from Sydney. At the time, being ambassadors from Chicago, Eric and Michael encouraged Ray and Barry to become vendors at International Mr. Leather in 2001. Due to the extreme cost involved Eric and Michael offered to open their home to Ray and Barry, as well as providing them with transportation to the vendor mart at International Mr. Leather 2001, and Michael’s famous home cooked meals. Late one morning, Eric received a phone call from the Aussies stating that they would love to come and would Eric and Michael be able to receive their merchandise if they shipped it direct from Australia. In addition, they had contemplated bringing a contestant as well. They later decided that the cost and time involved in selecting a contestant was too extreme and it was suggested that Eric represent them and their store in the contest.
After some debate as to the response from the local leather community, Eric agreed. He saw this as an opportunity to expose the beautiful product from Australia to the world at large during International Mr. Leather.
Eric didn’t expect the IML experience to effect his life in such a personal and professional way. He soon learned that many involved in the contest have had similar life changing experiences.
2001 Eric Participates in IML 23
2002 opens Mephisto Leather NA out of home as a wholesaler to North American Retailers
2002 Ray, Barry, Eric, and Michael triple the size of their booth at IML Vendor Mart
2003 Opens Mephisto Leather NA retail location on Broadway Ave in Chicago with tailor Sheldon Harrison also known as “Shel-Don”
2003 Opens Kiosk at Cell Block bar for Thursday through Saturday Nights
2004 Open Kiosk locations in JJ’s (now known as The Jackhammer Complex) Thursday through Saturday Nights
2004 Open small retail location next door to Touche on Clark Street with John Pope
Late 2004 Sheldon leaves business to open own location
2004 Eric partners with tailor Paul Christensen of Paul C Leathers
2005 Eric leaves Broadway location to open larger location at 6410 N Clark St.
2006 Last year attending Vendor Mart
2007 Justin St. Clair participates at IML as Mr. Mephisto Leather NA (only individual to ever hold the title)
2016 During the MR.LEATHER64TEN Contest Weekend, we opened our new lower level expansion, inspired by stores in Europe and the Male Hide Leather’s fetish basement. Weekend nights and during special events, our basement store opens additional doors into The Hole, part of The Jackhammer Complex, encouraging customers to circulate through and stock up on supplies.
Over the years Leather 64Ten has gone through many names, owners, and configurations but the location has remained firm at 6410 N Clark.
We look forward to having more of a presence participating in and sponsoring regional contests, vendor marts, and fundraising efforts to support the community
Southern Sole Bootblack Weekend (SSBBW) started out as an idea in 2012. During my travels through the South during my title year as Southeast Community Bootblack, I observed a lack of educational opportunities for bootblacks, and even fewer leather bars for bootblacks to practice their art. After being asked several times to do more teaching events and demos for various leather clubs and groups, I approached a few friends in Georgia, specifically Pamela (Elegant) and Sonya in Atlanta, and Roscoe in Augusta. We joined forces and, based on several ideas, collaborated to put on an educational and social event for bootblacks, by bootblacks…and Southern Sole was born!
The Parliament House Resort (P-House) of Augusta, Georgia agreed to host the event. The site was chosen not just for its location, but also because it was the meeting place for the leather clubs in the Southeast Conference of Clubs (SECC). The P-House had the space to hold the event and a bar that could easily accommodate a small army of bootblack stands. It was an ideal venue for a one-stop shop where participants could eat, sleep, learn, play, and then later bootblack in a bar setting.
The concept was to have participants learn an idea or a process, practice it with others led by a team leader, and then do it live in a bar setting with support available. It was arranged so that in the bar, new bootblacks would have either a fellow student or teacher sit in the stand while another experienced bootblack was with them. This provided a supportive environment so concerns or worry about “messing up someone’s boots,” were lessened. We also encouraged bootblacks to sit in the stands themselves so that they could experience what it was like to get blacked.
We wrote a resource guide for bootblacks that included much of the information we discussed and was comprised of how-to guides, tips and tricks, and also technical and scientific aspects of techniques and products.
We were very ambitious our first two years and covered a wide array of topics such as erotic bootblacking, repairs, caring for exotic leathers, garments, toys, and ended with titleholder roundtables. It wasn’t all school, though! We made sure to tie one on (Southern Sole style!), so there were plenty of cocktail parties, play, food, games, and shenanigans!.
This year we are smaller and more focused on the advanced and the unusual. We want to explore those things that we don’t typically encounter in bootblack education. And learn and share some amazing techniques and cool products.
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CLAW holds that adult interest in leather, fetish, and BDSM is natural and healthy. We learn that from one another in person. CLAW is a 501c3 charity dedicated to fundraising, education, volunteerism and other charitable needs of the leather community. CLAW produces a large annual conference for gay men in Cleveland, Ohio.