Ego, Community, and Progress.

“Why is success so ephemeral? Ego shortens it.  Whether a collapse is dramatic or a slow erosion, it’s always possible and often unnecessary.  We stop learning, we stop listening, and we lose our grasp on what matters.  We become victims of ourselves and the competition.  Sobriety, open-mindedness, organization, and purpose – these are the great stabilizers.  They balance out the ego and pride that comes with achievement and recognition.” – Ryan Holliday – Ego is the Enemy

It seems as of late many levels of the BDSM community has had issues with a multitude of things: consent violations, predatory behavior, divisiveness, and hero worship. I don’t profess to have the answers to all of it, but I do truly believe that most things can be attributed to ego.

Ego breeds divisiveness, the belief that so-and-so is better than others, that somehow their knowledge or past deeds affords them the ability to remain above or separate from both the community on a whole and consequences of their actions (or inactions). The belief that one group is more deserving of loyalty over another, based on an imagined (and often unseeable) line in the sand. The inability to constructively criticise or not attend an event for personal reasons without being ostracised. It all leads back to community divisiveness and a less safe environment for all.  We fail to discuss predatory behavior, or consent violators, or toxic people because we somehow believe that these discussions are drama.

“Choose not to be harmed — and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed — and you haven’t been.” — Marcus Aurelius

Ego is something I have struggled with over the years. In turn, it led me down a path of divisiveness, rather than learning, and comfort rather than progress. I’ve learned that if someone has an honest opinion of you that you disagree with rather than being hurt and taking the path of divisionism find what can be improved in yourself and move forward with unity in mind.

Now, that is not to say that if a person is a repeat offender/predator/unwilling to learn – that you should go out of the way to be inclusive. On a whole, a unified community would police itself much easier, rather than these individuals hiding in the “camps” of a divided community, because communication and shared goals have broken down.

I’ll be honest there have been times rather than “rock the boat” I’ve kept quiet due to politics, I’ve since realized that while tact and neutrality are important, I will always be pigeonholed into having chosen a side, whether I personally believe I am neutral or not. Do I attend every event? no, is it because of people? sometimes honestly it is. Other times, I dislike the venue, venue staff, offered learning experiences, etc. The problem with this being that ego can lead people to believe it’s an “us against them choice”.

“The problem is politics is made a sport, almost as much a sport as football or baseball. When it comes to politics, adults and politicians do more finger-pointing and play more games than children ever do. Too often are we rooting for the pride of a team rather than the good of the nation.” — Criss Jami, Healology

Thriving communities have one thing in common, and that is that the people who are involved in it are looking out for each other and the well being of the collective – there will always be dissenting ideas, but no voice should be too small to be heard, if not listened to. It should not be about political clout, it should be about moving toward the same destination if not in harmony, at least without sabotaging one another as well as some level of civility.

Just a few thoughts,

 

Syn

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Live, Thrive, Be Better.

This day started on a completely different trajectory than it ended on.

Woke up, had some time with my little fae, went to work, and started writing. I had a clear and definitive topic, I spewed out the initial thoughts, and they do need to be expanded on and cleaned up, but that will likely happen tomorrow.

So work ended and I headed to the gym, just like I do 4 times a week, I was pretty excited since I was too sick to go last week. Chest day went very well and I have to admit, immediately after setting a Personal Record in bench press I was thrilled!

However, sometime between my last rep and pulling the weight off to start my assistance work – Something happened. I was hit with the biggest wave of futility I’ve experienced in years. I usually work out with as much intensity as I can muster, I focus and work until I can barely do another exercise, and I love it.

Today my depression came back more vicious than I’ve experienced in years.

My sauna time, shower and walk home have been filled with me revisiting things I long ago made peace with, from old embarrassing moments to arguing with myself about why I go to the gym every day since it’s obviously (to me) not doing shit. I originally started this with 90% vanity and 10% lifestyle in mind, and I’d be lying if I didn’t still feel like a fat asshole pretending to be a powerlifter. Logically I KNOW my body composition is changing, I KNOW I’m getting stronger (the number tell me so). but my weight hasn’t moved (the scale is bullshit, I know, however 260lbs at 5’9…. :/).

I KNOW it’s a long game, not a sprint.

I KNOW it’s my depression coming back like it does every year.

I KNOW once it goes back to a small voice in my head I’ll realize I’m being silly.

I KNOW I’m my own worst critic, and depression helps out with the criticism.

I KNOW I have room to improve.

I KNOW it’s not an excuse to be mentally abusive to myself.

I don’t KNOW why I do it every year.

I don’t KNOW what triggers depression.

And I don’t KNOW if tomorrow will be a better day.

I do KNOW that it will be better eventually.

And that is life with depression.

That is better than I was when this started.

That is the process of living with it, Be better than you were.

That’s life. That’s Mental Illness, That’s me.

Regards,

 

Syn.

Fear, Growth, and Keeping things on the Radar.

Fear is an odd thing. We all have fears, some more than others, fear is part of this weird cocktail of emotions that make us human.

I was raised to be fearful of change, I love my parents, but they’ve been stuck in the mindset of fearing change for more years than I can count, or remember. Time and time again I will say something and my little fae will say to me “That’s your Mother talking, Sir.” and she’s not wrong. That is her loving way of reminding me that I need to take a breath and alter my thought pattern on whatever we’re talking about.

As of late, my Mother’s voice has been in my head a lot.

So what change am I fearful of?

It’s hard to explain, with our goals for the upcoming year I am less fearful and more restless, I don’t like dragging my heels when it comes to things we want to get done. Where I am concerned, in order to progress with self, I have to address a few things and hope for some self-acceptance.

All my life I’ve struggled with body image and acceptance. In high school, I was a huge geek who preferred to read and play video games rather than sports – My formative years during puberty were spent being turned down by girls in favor of athletes and in other cases someone who wasn’t fat and could talk to girls without turning beet red. Now I understand this was in some cases twenty years ago, but the lessons and head fuckery still pop up today. Even in front of my little fae I can still be self-conscious about my body hair, and figure. I am getting better a little bit at a time, However, it’s a slow process and one that is hampered by the fact that certain people in the lifestyle can be shallow. I might not face the direct cruelty that teenagers are capable of, but if you think men aren’t held to a beauty standard, even in a body positive space like the kink community, you’re kidding yourself. Don’t believe me? Look up “bears” on fetlife, and try to find something that doesn’t revolve around a relationship based on fetishization outside the gay community. I’ll wait. Even now, during operation look better naked, I’ll still be a bear – I’m built big, and the downside is, I don’t have the height to match. Lol.

The other thing I fear and more immediate in nature is confronting my Wants and Desires in regard to the lifestyle. My needs are well met by my little fae, and I’ve tackled a few wants, I have Lola as a partner as well, who understands healthy polyamory more than I would have guessed, she and her primary have been amazing as we explore this. There are other things than what I mentioned in my previous post which I consider harder to simply talk about and even acknowledge they exist as a thought in my head. Some of these things are desires, some are wants. Some are relatively tame, and just need some further work to make a reality. Others will need some help from self-acceptance, and conversations with my little fae and perhaps Lola -if- I think she can help. it’s a scary thing opening up some of your deeper and more closely guarded thoughts, even to people you love and trust.

Now, this point isn’t so much fear, as confusion. For my entire life, I’ve identified as straight, however, there’s always been that little voice in the back of my head that isn’t so sure. I should clarify this before I go any further. from a purely physical standpoint, I am definitely attracted to women – curvy, bigger, muscular, average, athletic it doesn’t matter – I love ALL female shapes and sizes. As of a year ago (think), I found myself attracted to a MtF transgendered Pre-op woman, I love her brain and her personality, and in the process, I found there may have been some pants feelings attached to this. Now, nothing ever came of it, and probably for the best – she and I are what I would consider great friends, and her partners are fantastic. It just put the thought in my head, that I might be “Pan-curious” – hey, if people can be bi-curious or heteroflexible, I can be Pan-curious, maybe I’ll meet a brain at some point that does it for me again. Or does that make me queer? It bears some thought.

It’s Ironic I saved this one for last, as my little fae was just here to drop off some things at work, and get her collar put on, so she read everything up to this point prior to it being finished.

This one is one I always battle with, I always have a low-level fear of fucking up, or not being “enough” for my little fae. I am told time and time again by people that she’s too good for me, or that I’m in the way and if I wasn’t they’d “steal” her. I’ve had people say this directly to my face, and sometimes in front of her, both men and more often, women. Now I should point out that more often than not I ignore them out of hand, but cumulatively even though she tells me there’s no chance, that little voice in the back of my head sometimes gets just a bit louder. I wonder if someday I’m not going to be enough to help her when she hits a low,  I wonder if someday I just won’t be…. enough. I have to wonder if I can continue to provide what she needs to be a healthy and happy girl, at least to the best of my ability. It’s a dumbass way to think, but when dealing with the gremlins in your head, you have to realize it will happen.

In the end, fear is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to progress out there. For me posting this here is a step towards healthy vulnerability and addressing some harder topics for me, they are topics that don’t really fit with the normal narrative for me, these are things I don’t have solutions for – and really lack any sort of cohesive plan, but they do bear acknowledging and remembering they are there.

 

Regards,

 

Syn

 

 

 

There are no Shortcuts.

Lose weight without exercising! Grow your penis 3 inches in 8 weeks! Local singles looking to fuck!

Shortcuts, we’ve all seen them, considered them, or fallen into the trap of trying to use them.

Yesterday as I was leaving the gym, I had someone who I recognized stop me. He complimented me on my progress thus far and then proceeded to tell me I should try some form of an “almost” legal version of human growth hormone. Apparently, it could help me be better with 0 effort. Now to be completely transparent, I know all about HGH, and steroids, in my research regarding operation look better naked, the information is easily available, and I am always learning. Had the thought ever crossed my mind? Not really. I believe in hard work and the grind, I’ll get there when I get there – and I’ll do it without a magic little bottle full of a shortcut.

So what does this have to do with power exchange and BDSM?

In the end, you can read all you want, Jay Wiseman, 50 shades, B.E.S.T. slave training, even the entire Society of  Janus Library. There are no shortcuts or substitutes for hard work and real-life application. On paper, anyone can seem to be knowledgeable. I’ve read about and talked to my little fae over 9 years about her job, and what she and her staff do – I can even hold a conversation using the lingo and identify what paperwork is what for the most part. Would I be able to show up at the office and put in a days work? Not a chance, because as informed as I am, I have no practical real world experience with it, but I could fake it really really well for a few hours.

As a Master or Dominant, you have a duty of care, and should be working in the best interests of both you and your S-type. If you enter into a power exchange under the guise of someone with experience, you should be honest that it is either real world or “on paper”. Now It’s OK to only have read, knowledge is power – what matters is how you APPLY that power. Progressing, and learning is how we keep the community vibrant and moving forward. ASK for play partners, experiment (as safely as possible), and progress. Just don’t misrepresent your level of real-world experience in the process.

Much of the same can be said for S-types. Misrepresenting yourself and your experience can be destructive. I find more often than not it is slightly different in perspective though. It seems to be a disconnect which, while affecting both, seems (to me) to be a little more prevalent in submissives. Your life will not end up like the Beauty trilogy, or a Cassandra Claire novel. Your D-type might be a kindergarten teacher or a hairstylist, or even a retail worker. Your submission won’t always be waiting for the lick of a flogger, or a tug of the hair. You might have to do dishes, or clean her house, or do any manner of things you dislike so the question will be – will you serve in all ways, or are you simply looking for an over-romanticized idea you read in a book? Submission isn’t all pretty bruises, ruined orgasms, and sexy times. Be open to tasks, learning, and LIVING submission, rather than living in your head and expecting the 6-foot Amazonian Domina, or suited refined classy archetype. Sometimes it’s sweatpants and domestic duties, other times it will be sex and all the pants feelings. Your Submission will be different than anyone elses, but also similar in so many ways.

I urge anyone new to this lifestyle, or even old-hats, Get out, talk to others, learn from them, get hands on mentorship, admit what you don’t know. If Power exchange is truly something you NEED, then put the work in, and stop looking for shortcuts to your ideal situation. Shortcuts will often  times lead to disappointment or gaps in your knowledge. EARN the knowledge through hard work, shortcuts will cheapen the results.

There are no shortcuts to building the Life, Love, and Power Exchange you want, sometimes it’s trial and error, frustration and triumph. However, if you’re smart, able to compromise and able to be realistic about your experience, and desires, it will end up being exactly what you need.

Regards,

 

Syn

 

 

 

 

Plans, Goals and Declarations of Intent.

I really do dislike new years resolutions. I firmly believe that if something is important enough, there is no need to wait to accomplish, or start it.

However, I felt that I needed to put some plans in writing both from a personal goal standpoint, as well as a kink standpoint, a declaration of intent if you will. Much of this stems from My little fae’s post on our goals for the upcoming year, and more still because I rarely spill out plans and prefer to keep them in my head, causing some to be overlooked or lost. So here we are.

From a personal (and more vanilla) standpoint – Operation look better naked continues, it’s a slow process and one that will take some learning, I’ve never actually done any sort of a bodybuilding cut, and while I am stronger than I have ever been – I’m being a little vain and wanting to look a little more aesthetic. So back to self-experimentation once again. I want to continue to learn from the stoic philosophy, I find that stoicism helps me calm down here and there, reduce anxiety and think a little more critically about situations I find myself in. In that vein – I also want to start reading more again, I used to crush a book a week, sometimes two or three depending, and I have so many books sitting waiting to be read that it’s starting to look insurmountable.

From a kink/Power Exchange standpoint – I must admit, I’m very happy with where I and we find ourselves. We’ve met and befriended some amazing people this past year, and I can’t wait to continue to cultivate those relationships. To that end, we do both wish to travel more and connect more with the Herd, not to mention the people from other provinces who we felt/feel a strong connection with. I think this year is going to be one of just enjoying ourselves, and learning, I am very much looking forward to it.

From a personal Kink and relationship standpoint, there are a few things I want to learn/do/focus on. Relationship wise, seldom and I are in a better spot than ever – I do want to finish buying the last of her bootblack kit, as I know it’s something she enjoys, and truth be told, it’s fucking hot. I want to continue to practice with cigar play/service, I am learning the ash, and how it behaves, heat, and relearning the joy of a nice smoke and scotch. I want to continue to refine and perfect my rough body play techniques, incorporate more boot work, and I realize that operation look better naked will help with the stamina in that regard.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention my other partner – Lola. I want to be able to make more time for her, it’s hard being in a long distance relationship, between kids, conflicting schedules and obligations, we’ve had one dinner date. At the very least I’d like to have more face time with her – We do talk almost every day, however our schedules are a bit opposite, about the time I’m going to the gym after work, she is heading to sleep with her primary, and by the time I get up for the day/work she is already halfway through hers. I feel a bit…..guilty (?) about the lack of time/quality conversation we’ve had. I plan to fix that.

Finally one thing I really do need to work on, and I am aware this is a little counterintuitive when you realize I talked about stoicism earlier in this writing. I need to learn how to become a bit more of a hedonist, and not fucking worry about so much. A little self-indulgence, self-gratification and just enjoying the moment is something I’m horrible at. I constantly over analyze, and over think things I shouldn’t – both in BDSM and vanilla life. My little fae is excellent at pointing it out, but I don’t think she realizes just how deep that goes into my brain. I plan to learn how to shut that shit off to an extent, not to my detriment, but enough that I can just learn to enjoy pleasure for the sake of pleasure. (It makes sense to me anyway).

So there you have it, just a few thoughts about the coming year – I think it’s going to be amazing.

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable. – Seneca

Regards,

 

Syn.

Hypocrisy and Realism.

 

Bear with me, I am about to get a bit ranty.

A Long while ago I wrote about over-romanticizing the lifestyle and setting yourself up for failure. I think it’s high time I revisited that.

Now before I start, I’d like to point out two things.

I am Liable to piss off a lot of people with this post, and that’s ok – if it pisses you off, you likely needed to hear it.

I am by no means referencing erotica, or fictional writings with this post. That’s a completely different animal.

Now I may be completely off base, or maybe it’s just me, however, I don’t see submission or dominance as any sort of “gift”. What power exchange is at its core is a form of symbiosis. Both of you working in concert to build the life, relationship and sexual experience you want. At the end of the day, the Master makes the final decisions on what is and isn’t acceptable within the bounds of the negotiated limits, yes, the slave can say no but that will 99% of the time end the relationship as it exists.  In my case, you can say no, but there better be a damn good reason, and if there isn’t you better do as you’re told.

Time and time again I see writings from other D-types that are pandering and catering to a completely unrealistic view of the lifestyle, mostly for likes on FetLife. They make it appears you will find a d-type or s-type and suddenly you become otherworldly and hold the secrets of pure power exchange in the palm of your hand. Suddenly with the proliferation of the internet, ANYONE can seem like an authority, and precious few people call them on their bullshit. Even me, you read the writings I post, and assume I know what I’m talking about, but do I have the experience my words carry? I encourage you to ask – I have a long-term slave, I have friends that can vouch for me, and at the end of the day I try to pass on what I’ve learned to those that have EARNED the knowledge. When I repeatedly say I am an expert at impact play, ASK people who have seen me play (or played with me) if that’s the truth. DO NOT blindly assume I am an authority because I write well, or post pretty pictures that make you weak in the loins.

I read something the other day that blew my goddamn mind. Regarding a threesome, the D-type in question said that it wasn’t about him, it was a “special gift” for his girl. BULLSHIT. If you receive even a bit of compersion from the joy of your partner, it IS about you in a small way – but let’s be honest here: I’ve seen countless posts on how ALL men want to get their dicks wet, and that’s all they want. Barring that, how many times have you seen a meme, or another post about sex being the primary driving factor for men, and even some women? you can’t have it both ways and applaud one person for their altruism while condemning another for being honest that a threesome will be fucking hot and that’s what they are focusing on. I want a cuckquean experience with a cute lady and my girl – why? because I’m fucking horny, and I like sex…. does that diminish my power exchange or the reality of it? No – but I won’t pander to the masses and tell you a cuckquean relationship will be a “special gift” for my slave. We both want it because we like sex, and we’re sluts. If a full-on relationship with the cuckcake happens, that’s awesome too, another person for sexy-times, with or without a Power exchange. Please also bear in mind, I/we are looking for partners that aren’t a cuckquean dynamic either – which might or might not have a sexual component.

It’s interesting to me to say the least, that with my writing about separating myself from the social media herd, I had some advice from someone I respect and admire, telling me to just shoot a PM and get to know the individual that caught my eye, So I did. I didn’t come on like a creep, I referenced something non-sexual that caught my eye, and was polite and respectful (trust me, I had my girl read and approve the message). I was summarily dismissed without so much as a second sentence. I’ve had people I find attractive, basically tell me to my face, that I’m not attractive enough, or assertive enough, or any other host of things, Hell I’ve even had people (on both sides of the slash) tell me that if I wasn’t in the way, they’d try and seduce My girl. These same people sing the praises of some fictional internet persona (some of which I know) and claim that because of their pictures, or writing, they are somehow “understanding” something those of us with real, palpable experience do not.

All of the above are forms of hypocrisy I have encountered on a fairly regular basis, and it perpetuates an unhealthy environment, where more and more you have people developing unrealistic expectations of people, power exchange, and potential partners on a whole. Not every D-type is going to have a supreme grasp of power exchange or every technique BDSM has to offer. Not every S-type is going to be a supple and pliable mind, or body you can order around without working on bonding with them. Not all potential partners will be physical sex personified in a suit or leather dress. Be smart enough to recognize pandering and call out hypocrisy, both from yourself and others – don’t blindly become a fanboi/gurl.

Now that you’ve read this far, I imagine there’s a ton of folks foaming at the mouth, waiting to tell me I’m wrong, or misguided, or mad, or I’m pissed because my life sucks.

Sorry to tell you, for the most part, I love my life. Just like anyone, there are things I’d like to change (and I am working to do so), but I felt that so many say we never talk about difficult issues – it was about time I tackled a bit of the hypocrisy I see on a day to day basis. Feel free to disagree and educate me, but don’t be an asshole about it.

Regards,

 

Syn.

Reflections on a Long Term Power Exchange.

Earlier this month my little fae and I celebrated 9 years together, and almost all of that time was in one form of power exchange or another. We’ve transitioned from Top/ bottom to Dom/sub, to Master/slave and to what we are now (it could be taken as some form of Owner/property and Leatherman/leathergirl).

So the big question is what has allowed us to last as long as we have? Over the years I have learned some things that have surely helped, but not all the learning has been easy. Worthwhile, yes, easy, no.

I thought to myself that sharing a few of the things I have learned about power exchange might be a good idea.

You will fuck up – a lot, and that’s ok. Through mistakes and the ownership of them, your best growth can, and will happen. Nobody is perfect, even Masters, contrary to what they’d have you believe. I’ve fucked up quite a few things with my little fae, but through communication, analyzation, and adaptation we’ve moved forward, and carved out things that work for us. Your journey will no doubt be different than mine, but by stowing ego, and thinking critically you can help your power exchange grow and create long-lasting pillars to build the foundation of your power exchange on.

It’s ok to have a slave who is smarter, more professionally successful, or further along their path than you are. We’re all human, with our own strengths and weaknesses. We end up being a product of the people we surround ourselves with. My little fae is far more professionally successful and intelligent than I will ever be (even though she tells me I’m crazy). I value her input on how to better (more professionally) handle work issues, advice on people, and her experiences in the community from years ago. Does this diminish the person or Master that I am? fuck no. If anything, it makes me a better person, partner and capable of making better choices for us. Put aside the pride and realize you have a whole pool of knowledge to draw from.

Be open and honest about needs/wants/desires. I’ve been blessed that my girl is open minded and fairly receptive to just about anything. She would do anything I asked, however, it’s much easier when they are receptive, encouraging and excited. For a long while I found it hard to talk about (what I considered) some of my weirder fetishes, Cuckqueaning, Degradation, and humiliation, even heavy S&M play.  Once I learned that by using my words I could find a partner I wasn’t miserable with and even might have some kinks in common with dating, fucking, play and power exchange got easier, more enjoyable and downright eye-opening. If you’re in a power exchange that can’t deliver on your basic relationship needs, then why are you even in it? Can you compromise on yours and your partner’s desires? Do you REALLY need something, or is it a want? As a Master these are important questions – Sure, you may -want- a supermodel who cooks like Nigella Lawson, fucks like Angela White, and Dresses like Dita Von Teese, (or is that just me?) but do you NEED that? Be realistic and honest.

Don’t fall in love with your own legend or pretend to be something you’re not. It’s great to take pride in who you are, and what you do – however pretending you’re something you’re not, or allowing untrue stories to proliferate WILL be damaging in the long run. Again, we’re all human – this wonderful mess of personality, skills, faults, and virtues are uniquely yours. I’m confident in the fact I am VERY good at Rough body and impact play of all intensities. I am also confident that I need work with Cigar play and confidence approaching potential partners. Would I attempt to mentor or teach someone either of these skills? Not a fucking chance, I’d end up at the least giving bad information that might cause someone to correct them later (and I’ll look like an asshole), and at the worst severely injure someone.  Consider it negligence or unhealthy ego if you will.

Don’t overload yourself to the detriment of your primary relationship. Now, this isn’t just poly people. Having a slave/property (S-type) in general can be a lot of work, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Priorities here are important. A good slave can be incredibly self-sufficient once they reach a certain point, Give them their instructions and off they go. However, if your plate is too full with work, family, other partners, and all the obligations that come with life, then you need to perhaps step back and prioritize the things you need to keep your relationship healthy, not only with your slave, but with yourself and others. Take time for reflection, self-care and making sure your energies are being spent in a way that enriches your power exchange(s).

Be part of your kink community. Go to events, meet people, volunteer or organize. Masters too should serve, service to one’s community and others is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Knowledge, experience, and opinions. All of these things can foster discussion, and in some cases growth for other people – help build the community you want to see, and your life will improve because of it, and so will your power exchange.

Finally, something I find most important. Never stop being a student. Learn voraciously, read not just things about the lifestyle, but read books on management, psychology, and philosophy. Apply the principles to your life and power exchange, learn from others mistakes, and how to avoid them yourself. Be a student of life.

Have fun, be silly, laugh often, play hard, and be open to experiences.

Adapt and Survive.

 

Just a few thoughts from a long-term power exchange.

 

Regards,

 

Syn