Pride, Mastery, and Service.

I find it strange, on the internet there are copious amounts of blogs, writings, essays, and websites devoted to BDSM and being a Master. They talk and debate and educate endlessly on how to manage your slave through discipline, ritual, protocol and routine.

These are all great, and sorely needed resources – knowledge is power and benefitting from (in some cases) years of experience can help shape and solidify anyone’s power exchange.

The one thing in my travels on the internet that I find sorely lacking is the journey to get to the point where you feel you ARE a Master – Everyone says that in order to be a Master to your slave you must first master yourself.

Mastering oneself takes a pile of work, I’ve recently started further down that path, and I’m hoping by writing about it, perhaps I can help shed some light on my process and in turn, help others who may feel as lost as I do.

I recently starting reading a book called Ego is the Enemy, and while I’m not quite ready to tackle the subject of ego – it did get me thinking.

For years As I mentioned in my last post on Healthy Vulnerability and Mastery I’ve been overly prideful, and due to some…. Issues the past week, I’ve really had to take a long look at how I deal with things and go about dealing with said conflict in my daily life.

In the past, my pride would direct me to attack, be the proverbial bull in the china shop. No Compromise, No Quarter. Or, if the situation warranted, as a last resort, I would simply cut out the offensive party(s) and move on with my life. Or the flip side, Apologize profusely for fear of being alone.

I believe the trick with this, is having enough pride to understand your worth and not too much to become arrogant.

So how do I plan to combat this?

Well, I have done a fair bit of reading about pride, and while most of the websites I found are religious in nature, they raise interesting solutions – Service being primary among them. Now in their context they talk about service to the lord, being pagan I’ll have to modify a little bit.

For me, the best way I can serve anyone is sharing knowledge, I am a sponge when it comes to certain topics – computers, vaping, all manner of electronics…. you know that guy who saves you money by fixing your computer for you so you don’t have to take it into the shop? Yeah thats me. I believe knowledge is power, and sharing that power is one of the most important things you can do. This is probably why I do enjoy facilitating MAsT as much as I do with the rest of our facilitators.

Build others up for the sake of building them up – A kind word here, a bit of advice there, teaching a skill, or lending expertise. All of these things don’t cost a penny, except for time, and could mean the world of difference to someone.

Service to one’s community. My little fae and I do volunteer our time to quite a few things in the other city, and support as many events there as possible, locally it’s much more difficult to do so, however we have a plan in place to give back to our local community, whether well received or not, at least we will know we tried.

I know that this is just the start to combating Pride, or at the very least dampening it, it will be a constant struggle for me to continue forward while remaining humble and remembering that service requires you to give of yourself while not expecting in return, or letting it feed ego to the point of it being destructive.

Just some random thoughts.

Regards,

 

Syn.

Leather – Revisiting my Path.

I’ve been thinking and re-reading my old posts a lot lately, and I have to admit I’ve changed my view on quite a few things, my opinions and thoughts have evolved and therefore I think it’s high time I revisited some of my older posts and shared my updated thoughts.

So what’s first you might ask?

A topic near and dear to my heart: Leather.

In the past, I referred to it as Hetero Leather.

I don’t necessarily make that distinction now, and not because I think recognition of Gay and Lesbian Leather cultures detract and are somehow wrong. Just the opposite, in fact, I think recognition of the longstanding traditions and guiding principles are what will help us grow as Leatherfolk on a whole, and because of that, I’d like to think we’re all in this together, orientations are secondary.

I read SO MUCH trying to understand Leather, and it all led back to gay leathermen, and leatherwomen. I automatically assumed that as an (at the time) straight, CIS man there was no inlet for me into Leather culture. What a bunch of bullshit thinking that was.  Thanks to some amazing people and their wisdom I think much differently now.

I’ve spent the majority of my time since then getting to know Leathermen, Leatherwomen, Boy’s, Girls. and all manner of Leatherfolk. One overriding thing I have learned is that Leather is what you make it. Guided by service, respect, honesty, loyalty, integrity and being an open-minded student of life in general.

Leather isn’t about being gifted Leather to wear (although that’s awesome too.)

Leather isn’t about what genitals you have, or what genitals you like to stick your genitals into (or have stuck in you.)

Leather isn’t about status or personal gain.

Leather isn’t something that fits in a nice neat little box.

So, going forward here – what is Leather as far as I am concerned?

Well here is what I consider to be my Leather path.

At its core Leather has close ties to sex, rough Leathersex, S&M, all manner of deviant shit, which I love, however it’s about being unapologetic about loving these things. It is who we are, it’s about wearing whatever gets you hot, and (within limits) Fucking or playing exactly how you want. I Love Beating ass, bruising the hell out of it and listening to the whimpers when I decide to fuck it. End of story, if I find a partner who likes being on the receiving end, and we go make that happen that’s Leather, you need not apologize or feel guilty for any of it.

It’s about being of service, both to people, and to your community. Give back, be an ear for a friend, tell them they’re being an idiot if they need it, buy them a beer, or a place to crash if shit has gone south, teach someone a skill. Give your time to your community, Support local groups, go to fundraising events, offer some time to volunteer. Be of use – Master, slave, it doesn’t matter: The highest form of humbleness comes from being of service to someone or something worthy of your effort.

Respect everyone who deserves respect. From the most wealthy CEO to the bartender keeping you in good booze – We all end up in the same sized box. The true measure of a Leatherperson  is how you treat those who can do absolutely nothing for you. It can be as simple as a please and thank you to the kid at the front counter at McDonald’s, it’s the same please and thank you would give to the guy signing your cheques.

Be honest. Not only with the people you meet, be honest with yourself. Be honest about your strengths, your weaknesses. Be honest about every little part of yourself about who you are, who you want to be, and whether you are living a life that is authentically your own.

Be loyal to the people that deserve loyalty. I have Dot, our Leather family, and another house we are part of who have my implicit loyalty. All they have to do is ask, and if something is in my power it’s theirs. I would defend them to the ends of the earth because I trust they would do the same for me.

Integrity. This one is rather hard to quantify, integrity is different for everyone. Because I believe myself to be a person of integrity – I will do my utmost to conduct myself living as close to my morals, beliefs, and honor as a man of my word, because to me that is integrity.

I will never stop learning, never stop growing, stagnation is a slow death by doing nothing, Always better yourself, and move forward.

That is My Leather path.

In the end, it’s not about clothes or any one sexual orientation.

It’s about being unapologetically you, having a guiding set of principles, and living the fuck out of them every day.

So, here I am two and a half years later.

I have grown.

I have lived authentically.

I have evolved.

I have much still to learn and work on.

I have a Leather Path.

I hope you find yours if you are looking.

In Leather,

 

Syn.

Body Image and Body Positivity For Men.

I really should be working on my presentation for MAsT coming up, but I find I can’t. Not yet anyway.

I’ve been having a rough week self-esteem wise.

No longer working (Got fired from a rather Homo/Transphobic place I spoke up about [they, of course, found a reason to fire me]). Not really having much of a support system/friend base here at home, and my manageable but still present depression, has created a fairly impressive “low” for me.

Something I have been mulling over recently, and for quite some time, is not really a double standard, but perhaps more of something that slips by marginally unnoticed for a few reasons. I hope to shed some light on it, as well as perhaps put my own mind at rest, or even just catharsis through putting it all on “paper”.

Male body image issues.

All the time you see Female body image empowerment. This is a fantastic thing! people should be comfortable with who they are and celebrated. I do have a caveat for this for both men and women, though – As long as you are healthy! Not to say we need to look like the preconceived images of modern day Adonis or Aphrodite, far from it, but one should not be a walking time bomb of health issues either.

From BBW dance nights(which I enjoy going to immensely btw), to support groups, meme’s, and all manner of other empowering supports. They’re everywhere, which as I said is fantastic!

Women are constantly held to a perceived standard by media:  Kim Kardashian, Ruby Rose, Scarlett Johansson, and Megan Fox, the list goes on.

Men are also held to a similar standard: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Brad Gosling and Connor McGregor.

All of these men hold a few things in common besides their star power – Ridiculously sculpted physiques. Time and time again people try to sell you on the idea of fat loss, thermogenic’s (fuck these things btw), the next big bad workout routine, 6 pack abs in 12 steps! What people don’t realize is two things they can’t dictate are a genetic predisposition. Not everyone can get down to 8% body fat and hold it (yes single digit body fat is where visible abs happen). Then there is dedication – don’t get me wrong, more and more people will spend tons of time in the gym, eating properly and all the other things you need to do. However, guys like The Rock spend HOURS in the gym, same with these other stars , when preparing for a role they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on diet, trainers, and pure time spent. The average guy just can’t, or if they do they’ll sacrifice other areas of their life to achieve, and it can be detrimental to living a balanced life.

Always be happy, Never be satisfied.

My body type is  one that will never be at single digit body fat, I am a mesomorph but I did take a period of time to spend 5 days a week in the gym, my goal wasn’t fat loss, though, I wanted to get as strong as possible. As I once told a friend, I don’t do a lot of cardio, I’d rather kill the bear than run from it.

During my time at the gym, I overheard things leveled right at me by people who assumed my music was on. I won’t go into it, but let me just say, they were some very negative comments about my physique. Body shaming doesn’t just happen to women, I have had it directed at me as well.

Even as recent as two weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend (via video) and someone passing by in the background exclaimed “Put your fucking shirt on! We don’t want to see that!”. Keep in mind I am a big guy, and hairy as a grizzly. These two things have always been an object of ridicule until I met my little fae, she for some reason loves both my size and my Furriness. However, thanks to my previous experiences I am VERY self-conscious about these things, if you’ve ever seen me shirtless, then I trust you, more than most.

The other body image issue men are constantly bombarded with is something that bothers the shit out of me, as well as something that was brought closer to the surface thanks to of all things a radio add I heard not long ago.

One of the most vicious insults you often heard hurled at a man is penis size (this is not including the Fetish of small penis humiliation). “limp dick”, “small”, “is it in yet?”.

You’ve likely heard these things leveled at someone at some point, and really if you’re looking to truly insult a guy, the penis, and inherent masculinity is closely tied together.

Even on sex-positive sites like fetlife I see lines like “I’ma size queen so if you’re not hung don’t bother”, and other similar “size queen/king” statements.  How many guys have actually measured the size of their penis ? More than you think.

The other day we were driving to a neighboring city and I actually heard a radio ad for something promising to increase length and girth all the while a smug female voice promising that it would drive women crazy, WHILE implying the bulk(no pun intended) of men were inadequate. Fuck those people, fuck them with our average sized dicks in the ear.

Now, I’ve never considered myself anything but average, honestly, I DID measure myself when I was younger, and always considered myself small when you compare to the 8 to 10-inch monster cocks you see in porn. No one ever talks about an average dick, dildo’s and vibes are 7 to 8 inches long. and what you see on fetlife are guys who post penis pics – apparently the new rage is holding your dick next to a can of coke, or hairspray to prove its fucking huge. Personally, if I rely on my dick for self-worth, I’d never have sex again – I can’t compete with Hernando the monster cock, or the guy who’s as thick around as a bottle of water. (I have seen this, and really genetics ? what the actual fuck?) But I am sure those who enjoy that are especially happy. I’d just prefer to see more love for guys who are average.

All in all male self-image is a huge concern, but that brings me to my last point.

None of this is ever fucking mentioned because it flies under the radar. Men are not to show weakness, WE DO NOT talk about our problems because it shows weakness, it’s just another thing that is “unmanly”. I say fuck that, by nature, we are simply making the problem worse, men who show weakness are to be further ridiculed. “we don’t talk about our feelings”, “we don’t show that anything bothers us”, and my favorite “be a man about it”.

All of these things are used to shame us into silence, and largely those of us with issues are SCARED to get the help we need.

In the end, we NEED more male body acceptance, for ALL body types. We need to realize that male self-image is a bigger problem than people believe, and we need to start appreciating men for who they are, not based on an unrealistic interpretation of masculinity perpetuated by Hollywood, and big media.

Men, Women, Humans in general are ALL beautiful, and we deserve to be told so.