Patterns.

I’ve written a bit about energy exchange in the past, and the give and take that people have both in the lifestyle and in day to day life. Using positive and negative energy to our advantage or detriment is something that, if you’re unaware of, can dictate your success or failures with partners or even your chosen role.

Which brings me to something I’ve been reflecting on for the last little bit.

Patterns.

Humans thrive on patterns, whether you believe it or not. We hear it every day “They had a pattern of behavior”, “A pattern of abuse”, and other patterns. The trick is recognizing them and learning how to break a negative pattern.

Personally, many moons ago, I had a pattern of the type of partner I would seek out, and honestly I didn’t even realize it at the time. Looking back it’s very clear.

Abusive partner I could “save” them from? Check.

Minimal work on Loving themselves or self eteem? Check.

unhealthy coping skills? Check.

Vapid, Jealous, and mentally or physically abusive? Check.

Now all these things aside, I had my own issues to deal with, which I have gone into at length elsewhere – The important part was realizing my pattern and trying to break it.

Originally I placed the blame for my patterns squarely on others, it’s so much easier to blame others for your circumstances than put the work in to change them. In the end, the truth of the matter is that -I- was (and am) the common denominator.

I took the initiative to change my thinking, and really analyze how I deal with people and situations.

Am I being true to myself?

Am I openly and honestly communicating my needs, wants, and desires?

Am I seeking relationships that will enrich my life and help with personal growth?

Do the people in my life add anything of value, be it joy, friendship or companionship?

Am I being honest with myself about what kind of person I am?

Are my interpersonal/coping skills the problem?

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

On the path of mastery one of the greatest things I ever made peace with was the fact that human beings on a whole are imperfect by nature (or nurture). I might not be able to control how they choose to act, live, and respond, However, I can choose to compromise with them.

Does my Partner make me happy? Hell yes she does, she adds to my life and my journey, but she does NOT define it, or control it. I see too much of people saying BDSM or power exchange “makes them whole”, or defines them, or their partner is used to define who they are as a person.

I used to think my partner, and my friends defined who I was as a person – that isn’t so, They do enrich my life, and expose me to a connection of something bigger than myself, however, at the end of the day I am the one responsible for my own joy, happiness, and how I view and interact with the world.

Dominant or submissive, it shouldn’t matter, YOU must strive to be the best PERSON you can be, not a label, and not relying on others to define you as a person. If that is the pattern you find yourself in perhaps it’s time to break it.

Patterns can be positive or negative but if you’re caught in a cycle of drama, destructive relationships, or even a cycle that stunts your growth, the only limiting factor is you.

YOU control your fate:

Not your Family.

Not your Friends.

Not your Dominant or Submissive.

Take the responsibility to analyze your patterns, and change them if you need to, ask for help, find a mentor, do what you need to.

Be authentic, be true to yourself, be courageous enough to break the patterns, and courageous enough to stop pointing fingers and start changing yourself for the better.

Regards,

 

Syn

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Lets Create Something.

So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about something a few people have said to me.

“I couldn’t handle the way you play, I’m not ready for that level.”

I’m paraphrasing, but you get this gist.

The public play that most are exposed to are Dot and I together and truth be told I beat the hell out of her, because We like it. I’m a sadist and she is (among other things) my masochist. Canes, heavy rough body play, blood, spit, the list goes on. It’s hot as hell and we both need the release. However, what people don’t see is the softer side, or less physical activities.

Sensory Deprivation and sensation play, Needles and Needle play, mind fucks, Spanking, forced orgasms and orgasm denial, service, and bootblacking, the list goes on.

I’m adept at much more than just rough body play and other more violent and fucked up activities, I LOVE getting responses, whimpers, facial expressions, gasps, giggles and the connection that comes with it.

Too much I see people pigeonholed into one thing being their thing – the whip person, the rope person, the toy whore, the knife person. I am more than just a one trick pony, I truly believe that connection over a shared activity is much more important than the intensity of the activity, it’s about creating something together that is fun, satisfying, and beautiful together.

Before allowing yourself to pigeonhole someone, or being pigeonholed, I’d highly advise you look beyond a list of fetishes, or your preconceived notions about them. I for one hope that people realize I’m not just the heavy body play/cane guy, I have a whole world of other BDSM activites I enjoy and am quite proficient at. I want to share that with people and help create something we can both carry with us forward.

Regards,

 

Syn

Mentors Vs. The Cult of Personality.

When I first started dipping my toes into the wider world of BDSM (AKA found Fetlife and joined the local community), I made a few very telling mistakes… and it’s something I see a lot of still happening to people on a regular basis.

I fell into the trap of hero worship (emulation) rather than forging my own path and adopting things that had practical real world value for my life and relationship.

You see, my town is incredibly small and at the time there were few (No) power exchange couples locally for me to talk to and exchange ideas with – So I went searching, and this is where I found out the difference between carefully constructed fantasy versus real world applications. For those of you familiar with them, I aspired to be the next Peter Acworth, Stefanos, and James Mogul. Is this smart or healthy? I suppose it could be, had I not been taken up in the PERSONA’s rather than the real people behind the characters.  (For reference Stefanos is still someone I’d love to meet/attend a class from.) I very quickly was approached by someone who kindly offered some advice Via PM on fetlife and Helped nudge me in a better direction, To this day even though we don’t talk much I follow things he (and his slave) likes and comments on closely.

Over the years since then I’ve learned the difference between hero worship and mentors.

Mentors are people you can go to with questions, or in need of advice, and for the most part they are readily available to answer said questions or give out some wisdom. They’re regular people with flaws, insecurities, and practical real world experience. They can fill gaps in your skill set, and might offer other people to talk to who have a better grasp of certain subject matter. They want to see you succeed and reach your goals, and will help facilitate that however is needed, they should push you and challenge you. Mentors should not: try to fuck you,  sabotage your goals, or not practice what they preach.

Hero worship is blind allegiance to the ideal of something. Imperfections, and the struggle to become are swept aside in favor of a sparkling view of effortless success. The sad and accurate truth is these individuals are usually lauded with praise, and afforded attention that others are either denied, or have to work harder to achieve by order of magnitude. In such a sexually charged environment like the BDSM/and Leather cultures something as simple as a certain aesthetic or method of play can cause the hive mind to elevate that person to status and credibility that they might not otherwise attain or deserve.

So whats the point?

I see time and time again mistakes I’ve made manifesting in others, the Cult of Personality is strong, and the pull is intoxicating – To fit in, to aspire to the pinnacle, it can be human nature to do so, all too easily, and the followers of the these people can be zealots, from the D-list to A-list celebrities in vanilla and BDSM circles.

Many people confuse this with mentorship whether they mean to or not. Blindly accepting something as the proper path, or one to aspire to, will, in the long run, cause a pretty spectacular train wreck, publicly or privately.

Think critically of the people you put your trust in, your future in this subculture is your own – don’t blindly follow and expect success through emulation of your hero’s or trying to copy their aesthetic. On the flip side evaluate if you want to be a paper paragon, or someone people want to follow based on realism and merit.

I for one plan to do what I do, because I like it, and if people choose to ask – I have no problems digging up the pristine, along with the dirty truth of my journey because they just might learn something.

 

Syn

 

 

 

 

Lessons, Leather, and Small Cats.

It’s odd how something so intensely personal on one level, can get you thinking about something which seemingly has no real relation to it in the first place.

Then the connections and reasoning become clear.

I lost my Constant companion Daisy a little over a month and a half ago, and truth be told it’s still affecting me today, I still come home and have to stop myself from checking her nap spots, or worrying about feeding times. I still get sad, having her Urn near me on my bedside table simultaneously makes me feel better she is near and fills me with sadness my friend is gone and I’ll never be able to trade head boops with her again. I will say though, it’s gotten me thinking.

In my past and especially at the start of my leather journey I was so fucking worried about being universally liked or desired, or even fucking NOTICED. I went out of my way to try and achieve these things and ended up angry (in my head), when I was ignored or dismissed because of stupid and arbitrary things, like my physical appearance, or play style, or clothing choice – hell even the fact I had a dick. There were friends and acquaintances, who to my FACE, told me that they wished I wasn’t in the picture so they could “go after” my slave. Truth be told it was soul-crushing at points.

When I was younger, I was always the fat wingman, the white knight, and the “buddy” who always third wheeled. Reliving that in my adult life, albeit differently since I am in a committed Power Exchange, with not only someone who is my slave, girl, little fae, best friend and fiance, made me question connections I had made, and overall community on a whole.

Then we met the people who would eventually become “The Herd”, and Some others who might as well be family too. (you know who you all are, and if you don’t – Ask. <3)

So where does Daisy fit in all this?

As I reflected on the years with her, I realized a few things I should have a long time ago.

Cats, dogs, animal companions, in general, don’t give a fuck what you look like, how you dress, or if you make an ass of yourself. They love and accept you completely, without reservation. They will cuddle with you if you had a bad day, and you can tell them your secrets, content in the knowledge you won’t be judged or have it used against you because they can gain something. They don’t care if you have a penis, a vagina, or your sexual orientation. True companions simply want to be with you when you experience life, they want connective experiences, love, and affection, and will return what you put out in kind.

These are the connections I crave, value and want in my life.

I have all this and more with my girl, as well as my other partner Trixie and her primary. I’ve recently discovered this with The Herd and other others who have become family of choice. Discussions and laughs over a Too-big (LOL) breakfast, smiles and tackle hugs from people I see far too little of. Even connections we’ve made in other provinces, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and beyond, being welcomed with an open heart and arms is new to me, and I must say I appreciate it more than I can express, and I value each and every one of you.

I’ve never really had anyone close enough to me I would consider A Brother or Sister of choice, and truth be told, now that I do, I find it hard to express just how much it means to me…. I consider you family, my tribe, and I hope that I can be someone you are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with. Others from the Leather Nation who I’ve met, and helped show me their connections and energy, thank you – coupled with some introspection, it has restored some of my faith in people, and I hope I can return some of that energy and positivity some day.

It seems odd that a tiny, outcast, feral cat could help me realize these things, but I swear that’s how my mind connected the dots. I’ve always said lessons can come from anywhere, and I believe it more now than ever.

The next part of growth is for me learning how to verbally articulate these things rather than spewing them out in text.

People deserve to know they are valued, loved and accepted unconditionally.

A tiny cat, who just happened to be the best friend I ever had taught me that, and I’m sure she still has lessons for me for years to come.

In leather,

 

Syn

19 Years.

19 years is a long time.

In 19 years you can get married and raise kids to be young adults.

In 19 years you Can be conceived, born, and finish public schooling.

In 19 years You can find a best friend and experience a lifetime with them, and that’s what happened to me.

Two days ago I said goodbye to Daisy, my Cat who was that best friend for 19 years.

When I was younger and in my first serious relationship as an adult, my partner was missing her cat from home, and she wanted to go to the local humane society to visit the kitties. Truth be told, I didn’t want to go, I was NOT a cat person, my family had always owned dogs, I loved our dogs, so obviously I was a dog person, not a cat person.

That all changed when we went down and I saw my Daisy. She was out of her kennel for playtime, because she only had certain cats she could be put out with – She’d beat the hell out of weaker cats. A pure white cat with emerald green eyes was actually something I had never seen before, so I walked over to say hello and giver her a pet if she’d let me. She accepted and was even affectionate, which according to the staff there was very strange, She usually just ignored most people unless they had food – something I understand all too well honestly. for our entire visit, she followed me around the room – crawling on my shoulders and back. To say the volunteers were surprised was an understatement. By the end of our visit, I had made my mind up that I wanted to adopt her. So much for being a dog person. Adoption from the humane society actually requires a few things here; Obviously an adoption fee, but you needed to answer a two or three-page questionnaire,  AND have references. I got lucky on all accounts as I had a close friend whose mom worked for a neighbouring town’s humane society, and on the strength of her reference, I was able to take Daisy home with me less than two days later.

Our first few years were spent with that serious relationship in two different cities, I learned very quickly that Daisy was two things: 1 – not like other cats at all, and 2 that she was my child and I would do anything to protect her, keep her safe, and keep her with me… these lessons were in part thanks to Daisy’s “aggressive” training methods for her human.

The relationship ended thanks to abuse, and other things I have talked about at length – and won’t revisit. However when I moved home I had nowhere to go but my parents place – broke, an alcoholic and unsure of what to do. Daisy had to stay with my now ex for a month at our apartment a province away until the rent ran out and I could get something together for her and I. We agreed I would take her because I could “afford her” and she might be sent to the humane society if I couldn’t take her. I vowed this wouldn’t happen ever – so I made deals, scrimped, saved, and hustled to make sure I had a place for Daisy and I, she couldn’t come to mom and dad’s because they had a dog.

I want to relate a story about the next few years of my life with her because it’s only one of a thousand that I have, but one of the few that really means more than I can put into words.

After that failed relationship – I fell into a deep depression, my rebound relationship ended just as poorly – a fight to end all fights with my pregnant ex – her using our child as ammunition against me, and I sank further into my alcoholism as I slipped quietly out of her life. One night, in particular, I went out to the bar I used to work at and got so shit-faced drunk I barely remember getting home. I got in, and usually I fed Daisy her soft food, and we curled up in bed together. That night for whatever reason I decided to pass out on my kitchen floor and NOT feed her. The last thing I remember is her crouching next to me, and softly headbutting me as I passed out. about 9 hours later when i came to the first thing I saw was my Daisy laying right next to my face and watching me. I am pretty sure (or choose to believe) that she didn’t leave my side, even though I was a drunk bastard who couldn’t even take care of her properly. This continued a few more times, but eventually I Sobered up, and while still clinically depressed, I was doing better, through all of this, she was my constant companion, even when I pushed others away and “hermiting” in my house for years (yes years), she was there providing a smile, a laugh or just a tiny furry presence to keep me company while I was gaming.

Eventually, We reconnected with Dot and most know how that has gone – there was some jealousy at first, but Daisy accepted her and even began to show her affection.

In those years together leading up to us combining houses, I must admit I took Daisy for granted. She was always there, and I ignored the lost teeth from age, I ignored the longer and longer naps, and finally the lack of her ability to clean some harder to reach spots. She had been with me a long time and I knew she was getting older – but she’d be around for a long time yet, right?

FInally Dot and I bought a house, and with the new house, came the “joy” of introducing Daisy to the Boys – you see at the time Dot had 4 cats – so Zeus, Einstien, Darwin, and Skitz, got to meet the grumpy old lady. Truth be told during that first week together in the house, I realized how Old my little girl had gotten. She used to be as big as, if not slightly bigger than Zeus and Skitz, and now although still full of the fire and brimstone of her younger years, she lacked the size of previous years to back up the “yelling”.

Still, nightly, even in a king size bed – Daisy slept with me (and Dot) between our head, she affectionately became known to us as “Jesus Cat” – Remember the old Sayings at School Dances? “Leave space for Jesus while dancing”? Daisy was our Cat equivalent for sleeping. She gave absolutely zero fucks in her old age, she was there and that was that. Want sexy time? She ain’t moving, so get used to it. Lol

By this point also My little girl had no teeth left, so she was strictly on soft food which Dot and I would feed her 3 times a day. Life continued.

Until this Past Saturday.

I won’t go into details, but I will say her health started deteriorating rapidly, and I had to make a choice. After a talk with Dot – I made the call to a local vet with the decision that it was time to help my little girl move on. (truth be told I detest the rainbow bridge analogy people use, but to each thier own).

My last night with Daisy was spent Cuddling on the couch crying with her and when she wobbled off to try and drink or eat, sitting on the floor with her and holding her up because she simply didn’t have the strength to do so on her own. She was so Light, and I could feel every rib, and her little heart beating against my palm.

When the fuck did that happen? I thought. Just the other day I brought her home from the humane society and she promptly curled up and slept. Wasn’t it just last week I picked her up from the ex? It seemed like no time at all had passed. She wasn’t old, I was holding on for a miracle. But why the fuck couldn’t I stop crying? Just because she had never laid on my chest in my arms before, didn’t really mean I was saying goodbye to my little girl did it?

I said goodbye to my little girl on the first day of spring, in a quiet room, with My mom and Dot present. I asked them politely to leave while I was still crying, I wasn’t ready to leave her. Even though she was already gone, I kissed her head one last time, touched her nose and told her what a good girl she had been – and then left her there.

She will be coming back to me in about two weeks time. I chose a lovely Ceramic urn for her – because I will ALWAYS take her with us where ever I go from here.

Today is a better day than yesterday, and I’m not OK, but I will be.

19 years isn’t a long time.

19 years is enough to live seconds with the ones you love.

19 years is enough to truly realize what you have.

19 years is long enough to find a best friend, a lover, and a family, but is it ever long enough to show them how much they mean to you?

Goodbye Little Girl, thank you for taking care of me when I couldn’t even take care of myself. I’ll never be able to repay you, but I can remember you.

Always.

 

 

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

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.