Life After IML - October 2007

As usual it's been a busy few weeks since my last column. The highlight was flying to America to attend Inferno, which is the annual run of the Chicago Hellfire Club. This was my fourth Inferno and it was full of good experiences.

There has been a lot of news from other organisations I support, so rather than covering one subject this month here are summaries of three announcements:

Headshot of John in a white t-shirt, smiling at the camera

April 2007 - sightseeing in Minneapolis
Photo credit: Dave Harris

Cartoon of a woman's screaming face under the shock headline Invasion of the Pornsnatchers

Invasion of the Pornsnatchers

The UK Government is pressing ahead with plans to "criminalise possession of extreme pornography". The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill will receive its second reading in the UK's House of Commons on 8th October. If the bill becomes law in its current form, Part 6 (sections 64 - 67) will make it illegal to possess any image considered to be produced for sexual arousal and which shows an activity which may be considered life threatening or cause serious injury.

No distinction will be made between images of real or staged activities, or between those acts which are consensual versus non-consensual. It is entirely possible that people could be imprisoned for possessing the photos they've taken of their own consensual BDSM activity which caused no harm.

There is no protection under the current proposals even if you have taken a still or clip from a movie with a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) certification. If you have modified the film in any way, (by extracting a still or sequence, for example), you might still have broken the law.

Part 6 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill should be opposed as vigorously as possible.

BACKLASH is an umbrella organization opposing the proposed legislation. Please visit their website for more information ( and persuade as many UK voters as possible to write to their MP explaining their objections.

Online Survey

Larry Iannotti and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom have updated and re-launched their 1998 survey of Violence and Discrimination against Sexual Minorities. They would like as many people as possible to fill out the survey, wherever they live in the world and whether or not they've ever been a victim of discrimination. One aim is to collect some basic demographic information about the leather, BDSM and fetish communities - so the larger the sample size, the more they can hold up the results as broadly representative. Another aim is to get as accurate an assessment as possible of the frequency of discrimination, harassment and violence aimed at members of the leather/ SM community. The survey takes a few minutes to complete online and is completely confidential.

Please go to to fill in your responses.

NCSF logo

Official IML 30th anniversary poster

International Mr Leather - May 2008

Next year is the International Mr Leather contest's 30th anniversary. A press release was posted on the official IML website in September to say that "due to overwhelming demand for our 30th anniversary celebration, we are excited to tell you we are changing host hotels for 2008, moving from the Palmer House Hilton to the Hyatt Regency Chicago, (151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago)".

The notice goes on to say "the Palmer House Hilton will be contacting anyone with an IML reservation, informing them it has been cancelled and will be providing info on how to make a new reservation at the Hyatt Regency Chicago."

For more information go to

And finally ...

Back in July, I was tied up on all fours by Midori in one of her classes at Thunder in the Mountains. A member of the audience drew a sketch of the moment (adding the dog's head) and I was so impressed I asked for a copy, posted here with kind permission from the artist.

White sketched lines on a black background of John on all fours

Sketch by Shari DM

Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with.

Best wishes,

John Pendal
International Mr Leather 2003

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