Known as the 'Windy City', Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and a real hotspot for the gay fetish scene. There's a flourishing gay community that attracts fetish men to stay and play from all over the Midwest, the US and the world.
If you're planning a visit, here are Chicago's best gay fetish spots.
A bit of background
Chicago is a progressive, bustling metropolis and the gay scene is focused in two main areas - Boystown and Andersonville, although there are gay venues all over the city. Boystown is the main hub and was the first gay neighbourhood in the country to be officially recognised by its home city. Most of the wildest nights take place here, while Andersonville has a more relaxed vibe.
Gay fetish is hot in Chicago and particularly leather; the city has been home to the International Mr. Leather competition since 1979.
Top recommended bars and clubs:
• Touché: A laid back take on the Chicago leather scene, you can feel equally at home in full gear or just jeans and a tee at this easy-going bar. The crowd tends to be a bit older, the beer is cheap and the porn is on mute, so there's still plenty of cruising potential for fans of leather and Levi men. • Jackhammer: With three large club areas dedicated to dance, sports and leather plus a huge outdoor patio, Jackhammer features a varied line up of live music, international fetish events and its notorious underwear party. It's best and busiest at the weekend. • Sidetrack: This multi-room bar and club is light and open, with exposed brick and trendy industrial touches but don't let that fool you. The monthly Woof Wednesday night sees the young clientele don their gear and get wild, with a helping hand from the signature frozen cocktails. • Cell Block: Dark, sleazy and in the heart of Boystown, Cell Block attracts bears, BDSM fans and, thanks to its monthly Furr night, lovers of hairy fetish men. Open on weekends, the back bar is where things get serious. • Steamworks: Strictly speaking, this is a men's gym, sauna and bathhouse, but that doesn't stop there being a full calendar of seedy DJ-hosted club nights. It's a members' club, but as a 30 day pass is just $7, it's worth signing up. Check out the Bear Hump, Lights Out and Boyz Night events for steamy locker room fun.
Top recommended events:
• International Mr. Leather: Now a huge five-day event, the IML contest takes place every May alongside a packed schedule of parties and workshops, a fetish and leather market, and the IML Bootblack contest, which crowns the best (and hottest) leather boot polisher around. In recent years, specific IML events have included Pup and handler meet ups, erotic hypnosis and parties hosted by the Breeches and Leather Uniform Fan club (BLUF Chicago) and the Chicago Hellfire kink club. • **Mr International Rubber: Celebrating its 20th year in 2017, MIR's rubber-themed equivalent event combines rubbermen gear sales, parties, kink education sessions, latex wrestling meets and a rubber pup rumpus across three days in November. The MIR contest itself sees current regional and international title holders and competition newcomers battle it out to be named the most desirable man in rubber.
To find out more about the Chicago gay fetish scene, why not ask the locals? Contact Recon members based in Chicago to make connections and get the insider low down.
**CORRECTION** The event in it's 21th year is actually Mr International Rubber not International Mr Rubber has stated in this article. We apologise for the mistake.