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Don’t forget your gasmask

rubberweekend-picofalex-pages15-17As the Manchester Rubbermen prepare to descend on the village for their annual weekend of madness, Gaylife manages to catch up with one of the event founders, Alex…

So Alex, for those that don’t know, remind us what the Manchester Rubbermen are about?

Well the Rubbermen are a community group aimed at building friendships and links amongst guys into rubber locally and globally. We’re coming up to our 6th birthday, which is why we’re holding the Manchester Rubber Weekend at the end of March. I’m a relative newbie to the scene only joining two years ago and I’ve loved every minute.

So why rubber?

It’s slick, tight and seriously fun. Because it’s so versatile you can be whoever or whatever you want to be – there’s some awesome designs out there to cater for all tastes from sleazy to sporty through uniforms and superheroes. You have to try it.

The event seems to be getting bigger each year, how did last year go?

Yeah, last year was awesome. We had guys from 15 countries come to see us, from the United States to Austria and Finland to Switzerland. We also aim to raise money for charity. Last year we raised just over £1800 to support Stonewall’s overseas work in Russia and Uganda.

That’s great, and what can we expect from this year?

Bigger and better! Guys are coming from even further and after the success of last year we know people see us as a great international destination. We sure know how to throw a party! We have the cornerstone of the weekend which is Manchester’s fantastic regular fetish night Alert! which has just celebrated its 10th birthday. Our official birthday party Slick will be back at the Eagle and we have loads of fun events (because you should never take yourself too seriously) from rubbered up show tunes at Oscars to a prize-packed bingo with literally over £1000 of kink prizes to be won. And that’s just the stuff we’re keeping from last year!

rubberweekend-usethisasasmallpic-pages15-17Come on, I’m sure we’re all curious to see what new tricks are up your wizards sleeves for this year!?

We have a big new night on the Saturday planned for this year. Darkcell will be taking the best from Manchester’s fetish and queer-alt scenes and creating a dark and edgy vibe for folk to dance, sweat and play. With music from the gorgeous Grace Oni Smith and hunky Brett Denning and some amazing dungeon equipment we know this will go down an absolute storm for kink regulars and newcomers alike. We’re also hosting a kink market where those who want to add to their rubber wardrobe or just try rubber for the first time can shop to their hearts’ content.

Bringing the charity angle closer to home we’ve chosen to give donations raised over the weekend to the Manchester Royal Infirmary’s Liver Clinic to support the fight against Hep C and Cirrhosis both of which are really prevalent in the village but largely overlooked.

We noticed the “Men” has been dropped from the “Rubbermen” weekend this year, was that on purpose?

Absolutely, we’ve totally met our original goals of building community in the fetish scene, and it’s grown bigger than just us now. While there’s still Alert and Slick aimed at the rubber guys, over the last few years we’ve got a name for ourselves in the village. Our bar crawls have had 70+ at times, we won an award for best walking group in last year’s Pride parade and the rubber scene is growing outside of just the regular fetish nights. You’ll see us in rubber from Sunday Service to Hot Space, Drunk at Vogue to Cruz and we’ve really become part of the wider LGBTQ community. This year we’re flattered that Cha Cha Boudoir are even honouring us with a rubber special. Darkcell is going to be a bit of an experiment; while it’ll mostly be guys we’re going for what events like Hotwired and Hard On in London do so if you’ve got the gear to fit the dress code come and party with us. Cheddar Gorgeous will be helping host, bringing some dark drag and Grace Oni Smith, an absolute Trans icon will be providing some twisted beats. The Manchester scene is one big family and we want people to share in that.

That sounds amazing, how do folks find out more!?

This year there’ll be weekend booklets with all the details in venues around the Village or look up www.manchesterrubber.co.uk. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter and search #MRM6 over the weekend to keep up with the action!

Finally, before you go, can you tell us what ‘yellow’ means now, Sly wouldn’t tell us last year?

We all know it’s a way for those who love lemon drizzle cake to swap recipes!

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