Wicked Trifecta – Or 2 out of 3 Ain’t Bad.

We just returned from Edmonton and the Wicked in the West conference. It was celebrating it’s 3rd year, and this was our second time attending.

Our second go ’round with wicked can be captured with a statement I thought of while in the car home. “Our first Wicked was like finding long lost family, this one was like coming home to them.”

I attended many of the classes that focused on the Journey of why we do what we do, how we got there and how to foster community. As per usual I learned a lot, about myself, my authority transfer, my Friends, and family. To each and every one of you, Thank you for having the hard discussions, letting us into your lives, and your transparency.

I have to also take a minute and recognize all of the WCPE and WCBB competitors, it takes a huge amount of courage to open yourself up and let people (in some cases relative strangers) put you under a microscope. Your commitment to sharing your passion, dynamic, and expertise is worthy of so much respect.

I have to confess, I do feel slightly guilty about not being able to meet as many new (to me) people as I would have liked. In the organized chaos of coming and going, play, and reconnecting with our western Brothers and Sisters, I felt a bit selfish for not being able to carve out more time.

Last year We attended with the intent of experiencing as much as we could at a Con far from home, meeting people, and learning from as many people as we could, this year for me, Wicked felt different in a few ways but no less game changing, and certainly caused no small amount of self reflection.

I learned the importance of family and being present with those we love for their milestones, Thank you for including me, and allowing me to share in your moment, and everything after.

I learned that I care little about judging pasts, but care deeply about how it helped turn them into humans I have taken to caring for a great deal in a short period of time. Thank you for your vulnerability, your wisdom and welcoming us as family. I will say it again – One day we’ll sit down and I will hopefully be able to share my past with you, so you will understand.

I learned the value of connective energy – from a few people, thank you for allowing me to share your energy, your joy and your catharsis through our scene (with one beautiful human) and being there for the others while you were having hooks thrown.

I learned the value of working on being a hedonist a little more, be in the moment, enjoy things for what they are. My head fuck things up a lot – and sometimes I need to listen to those that love me, and those that challenge those preconceptions I have. 10/10 would be less awkward. (Ok, I’m still going to be awkward, but I’m more OK with it now)

I learned the value of accepting a compliment at face value, I’m lucky to have friends in my life that see things more clearly than I do sometimes, and need to accept good council all the time, not just when it suits my comfort or narrative.

I learned I have things to do, and things I want to accomplish rather than just existing, I have found my way to continue to give back, I promise to try and live up to the idea of being a lynchpin because I think I understand now.

I learned that though I may not always agree with my Leather Family, We are still family, and I continue to be impressed, humbled and blessed to have you all in my life.

I learned the value of second impressions, especially when they are  close to chosen family sometimes the person you first meet, isn’t the same person the second time.

I learned that my girl is even more amazing than I thought, and although people may come and go, she is my constant, unwavering partner in life, love and so much more.

There are other lessons, other thoughts, and memories, but these are the ones I have been chewing over in my coconut the past week. I am sure as I unpack more I will have more learning, lessons and love to reflect on.

Thank you Nelson and imp for giving all of us a place to come home to every year and reunite, meet, and learn together. It’s a gift I can’t adequately thank you for, ever.

So that was part of my Wicked Family experience.

I learned.

I laughed.

I grew.

I was loved.

In Leather,

Jason/Syn

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That Tiny Voice Gets Louder.

Conferences are interesting things.

Classes, people, Organized chaos, family, and friends, new and old.

For me these are just a few of the reasons I go to them. As a wise friend of mine said “That’s my favorite part of conferences, not the classes, the moments spent over a scotch or a meal, just visiting with people important to you.”

There’s the problem for me – My social anxiety lies to me a lot leading up to events like we have in just 9 days. Over the last year and a bit My (our) journey has put me in the path of some of the finest people I have ever met. hg

It’s hard to come back to the middle of nowhere and just sit it out until we can be reunited with Family and Friends again. Disconnection, and social anxiety sometimes has me questioning whether the connections I feel to people are real on their end too.

I’ve learned to write in order to express thoughts and emotions I can’t unpack inside my own head. This is both a good and bad thing though…. I write pretty clinically, I have a lot of time to think, measure, and decide how best to word or say something. It helps me see things in a different way, I can be a very spur of the moment and emotional/extroverted in person. You never really know whats going to come out of my mouth in pursuit of a laugh. After all, if you make ’em laugh, you have a way better chance of making them like you. Because of the disconnect between me as a person, and me as a writer – I absolutely suck at bridging the two together.

I see Dance card threads, people connecting, flirting, all the other stuff that happens around a gathering of us being imminent. It’s a piss off to be stuck between being excited, unable to express that, or involve myself in things I want to, Not to mention feel apart because my head is being an asshole.

Anxiety and awkwardness seem to be the norm for me, it’s less with my girl, but still there too, I’ve always struggled with it, it just seems amplified around conventions and the longer we go without seeing family and friends.

Some days I wish I could be more of a hedonist, more able to express things, and confident enough to do so.

Anxiety is a bitch.

It’s a tiny voice that gets louder some days.

It lies to you.

Tools, Not Toys.

Not so recently, my opinion on Tools for BDSM activities has changed, I’ve gone quite minimal for a couple of reasons, which I’ll get into in a minute.

Right now, if you were to watch us pack for an event you might be surprised, my gear is simple: Black Jeans or Road Leather pants, Vest, random t-shirt, and my cane bag. That’s it.

Inside the Cane bag there’s a fairly impressive and growing collection, all from one vendor: Badass Canes. I have two other tools in there, Motherfucker and Oh SHIT!

Now the reason my Tool bag is so spartan is actually because of a thought I had a long while ago. I basically look at S&M as a hobby, and I’ve never been one to Cheap out on hobbies.

Full disclosure – I think the BDSM on a budget classes have their place, they’re a great place to get your feet wet and try out things for a minimal investment. However, my over-riding thought is that if you’ve decided to get serious about ANY hobby, you should eventually dedicate some serious money into quality tools.

Tobacco, scotch, vaping, drone racing, paintball/air soft, even photography. All popular hobbies/collections with functional application, but eventually you have to sink some cash into quality tools to improve the experience. I have a few friends who even knit or work with fibers, I’m sure they can tell you the investment in proper equipment is not only worth it, but improves the experience and end product by light years.

Using this logic I am of the opinion that, in order to create something extraordinary for myself and my bottom, I owe it to them to have high quality equipment. Picture a dark and dingy Kink.com video (we’ve all seen them), the bottom is squirming, yelping and sweat and blood is flowing off them, the dingy floor collecting all the various fluids, the screams echoing off the stone walls and floor – the tall dark and mysterious top is kicking them, punching, and taunting – then as a climactic finale they pull out the neon green and orange dog chew toy and proceed to swing it with wild abandon.

Would that ruin the carefully constructed fantasy from professionals? Probably.

We talk so often about fulfilling wishes and desires and carefully constructing scenes, but I find on a whole we rarely realize that the tools you use, from functionality to aesthetic is rarely considered – it’s all part of the scene you create, and personally I’d much rather have one REALLY well made tool, than a bag full I don’t give a shit about because they’re cheap.

Again: Quality tools are an investment, and yes based on the scene you’re creating or your level of involvement budget toys do have their place. All I hope you think about is how does this hobby stack up to other ones you have? Does it deserve a bit of an investment?

Just my 2 cents and a random thought.

 

Syn

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

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

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.