MEMBER INTERVIEW: SirJoeKing – Mr Leather Europe 2016
21 October 2016
Recon: Congratulations on winning both Mr. Leather UK 2016 and Mr. Leather Europe 2016! Talk us through what it was like to win both these titles?
SirJoeKing: Thank you! Oh man, it was totally mind blowing on both occasions. Each time I really prepared myself, I did everything I could to get ready for the contests. I won Mr. Leather UK first in March, and when I went for the competition I didn't really know what to expect. Each Mr. Leather contest has a different format, but every one usually has a section where you have to speak. Public speaking has always been a huge horror for me, so it took a lot for me to get up there and deliver a speech - in a leather jock and boots - in front of an audience of hot men. I decided to speak from the heart and be myself and it seemed to do the trick.
Going for Mr. Leather Europe was even more daunting. The competition was tough as the other contestants were amazingly hot and very committed to their communities. I repeated the same tactic as at Mr Leather UK - I was totally honest and myself. After all, if I won I couldn't spend a year stressing, trying to be something I'm not.
Both times, when my name was announced as the winner, I realised I hadn't thought about what I'd say or do in that moment. It's fair to say I was completely flummoxed, overwhelmed, amazed, humbled and proud in equal measure.
R: What duties come with these titles? Will guys be seeing you around a fair bit over the next year?
SJK: Well its really up to the title holder which events you attend and what duties you take on; to decide what's important and what you'd like to achieve in the year. Money is tight and you have to bear the majority of the travel and expenses, plus you have to balance things up against your other life demands. But the leather community is hugely important to me. There are people all over Europe working on brilliant projects, creating events and carving out places for fetish people to live and function, so my focus is to support these activities wherever possible.
As Mr Leather UK I have tried to get around the country as much as possible since winning, supporting the leather groups at the various Prides and special leather events. Now that I am Mr. Leather Europe, I'm spread a little more thinly and need to support the efforts of our European family as well as the UK. But yes, I do get about. I've just got back from Folsom Europe; I have Manchester and London Leather weekends coming up; the election of Mr. Leather Spain in early November; then the rest of the year is turning out to be just as busy.
R: What's been the best thing to happen so far since winning?
SJK: That's really easy to answer - it's the number of new mates I've made. I'm happy to say that the best part was definitely making such great friends with the other contestants – it's so great when we all get together - it's an honour to know them. I feel so incredibly humbled by the warmth, generosity and creativity of the people within our community and those connected to it. Having this opportunity to meet so many members of our crazy worldwide gang has been mind blowing.
R: What is it about leather that turns you on? When did you get a taste for it?
SJK: Thinking back, I've always been a leatherman, even from being a kid. I have a profoundly acute sense of smell, and the scent of leather drives me wild. It always has. But then as my sexuality switched on I was deeply attracted to the masculine energy that men in leather project. As soon as I could afford to I was wearing it, and it all fell into place. I love the way it feels on my body (and on others), the creaking sound it makes as you move, and the way that it moulds to your body over time. There is something deeply primal and unapologetically masculine about it. It's a celebration of pure male energy, and sharing that common intensity with other men who feel the same way is very powerful. The sex that goes with leather culture is also incredible – you explore your own boundaries, you can create and engage with your own scene and no one judges you for what you're into. Its extremely liberating, horny, hot and satisfying.
R: You're based in Manchester. We've heard quite a bit from rubbermen there, but what's the leather scene like?
SJK: The leather scene took a huge nosedive in Manchester some years ago, but we're all working really hard to bring it back up, and I'm glad to say it's turning around. Manchester Leatherman are growing really quickly now and our socials are getting bigger and bigger. This is really great, as bars and clubs are beginning to start catering for us now that we're becoming a real presence again. We're also starting to look at new opportunities for creating more leather events in Manchester on the back of Manchester Leather Weekend and our regular socials, so watch this space!
R: After the closure of Legends a few years ago, where would you say has become the main place to go for guys into gear?
SJK: The main night is Alert!, which is the first Saturday of the month and usually coincides with the Leather and Rubber weekends. Alert! also occasionally do other events in between the monthly ones, so they're worth watching out for and are a lot of fun. The Eagle has just relaunched its regular monthly gear night, and I'm hoping to put on a regular fetish retro night too. Then there's the Rembrandt if you just fancy a beer in gear, which is traditionally a mixed crowd, leather, rubber, skins etc.. All based around the gay village.
R: Speaking of geared up guys, what do you go for in a fetish man?
SJK: Someone who's comfortable in their own skin, who is creative in exploring their fetish and isn't afraid to experiment and learn new things about themselves. I like masculine men who look after themselves both physically and mentally, who don't smell like a Selfridges perfume counter, are hairy, wear jocks and appreciate leather.
R: What do you use Recon for?
SJk: Well I'm in a monogamous relationship, so I use Recon primarily to keep in touch with people and to keep an eye on what's going on in the fetish scene, and to perv of course…
R: Any experiences you've had on Recon you'd care to share?
SKJ: I've been a member (with various rebirths) for years and years, and I've had many an adventure thanks to Recon…but the juicy detail of those need to stay locked up in my dungeon I'm afraid… ;)
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