Sexual Shame, Kink, and Starting Points.

I was a Virgin until I was 19.

Up to that point I didn’t even really know about masterbation, and the one time I tried I got caught by my mother which ended in a screaming fit from her about being “dirty” or somesuch, I don’t really remember.

My first real time having sex was unremarkable and unmemorable, and to be honest while I remember her(we dated for 2 or 3 years), and flashes of having sex, the first time in particular I don’t.

My third partner however, I won’t ever forget her, She was also my first blowjob sometime around the age of 22. The reason(s) I won’t ever forget her start with trauma and end with it too. The first time I came from oral sex I was unprepared, I didn’t know what to expect, and truthfully I didn’t warn her, because I didn’t know that was a thing. When I came, she immediately popped up and promptly spit my own cum back in my face, and proceeded to yell at me while rinsing with mouthwash, and, as she put it “get the filthy shit out”of her mouth.

That relationship was my “sexual awakening” I spent 5 years with her, and I was domestically abused, raped, and cheated on. Not to mention forced to sleep on my own couch without sex for close to 2 years before I finally managed to convince my family to come get me and bring me 4 hours to my home city.

During those 5 years, I was on my computer a lot when not working, and found Kink through websites like Wasteland, ICQ and Old message boards that have been long closed. The first time she ever caught me watching porn (kinky porn no less) she told each and every one of my friends I was a disgusting pervert who wanted to abuse her but lacked the balls so I had to jack off to disgusting porn instead of fucking her like a real man.

Once I got home, my pattern of picking sexually repressed and abusive partners continued, One couldn’t come from intercourse so used toys, and basically used me to facilitate a threesome between her and our female friend, where I was promptly completely ignored. I had one other partner during that time, and my rape at her hands resulted in the birth of my son, I was used as a sperm donor and shortly after we found out we were pregnant she went back to her Ex-bf who was unable to conceive.

I’m sharing all of this for a reason. It’s not pity, and it’s not for hope of some sort of epiphany – it’s to illustrate that once I was in a healthy, openly communicative and supportive relationship the shame took over, and still influences my life to a degree. I didn’t know how to talk to women (still don’t lol), and I damn sure didn’t know how to talk about the things I wanted to experience.

Sexual shame is a learned behavior, and not something men talk about a lot, nor the root causes. We tie far to much self worth into sexual performance, penis size and forget to just seek out experiences.

We enter this world for a multitude of reasons, Community, Sex, S&M, education, exploration, the list goes on. We always say solid communication and sharing is the key to making a kinky/authority transfer relationship work, but I say why stop there? Why can’t we have those tough conversations with other men and male identifying people? Why can’t we share those snippets of ourselves for information purposes?

In the end we need to start having these conversations so we can start living a sex positive existence, but doing so in a healthy, respectful and informative manner – We might just end up creating a space where BDSM, and alternative sexual expression is celebrated, rather than shunned.

Regards,

Syn

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For the Alliance – MMO’s and Kink Compersion.

Ever since I was young I’ve played video games, both competitively and recreationally. It’s just part of my life, who I am, and no small part of my self care.

One of the biggest online games I ever played was World of Warcraft (WoW), it’s a fantastic world with no shortage of things to do, from questing/leveling to Player versus Player, an in game economy, and the really big draw: Raiding.

Now when I started playing, I was coming over from a Player Vs. Player Driven MMO I was incredibly serious about – I was also very good at it. I tackled WoW with the same optimization fervor that I had in my previous game. I spent a whole day researching what Race to pick based on the Class I wanted to play to get the best synergy I could.

I started playing and leveling with a friend, and quickly realized the closer I got to the raiding and “end game” that I was woefully ignorant of mechanics, Gear and other things that set the “serious” players apart from the casuals. So I sought to inform myself, I read a lot, I did a lot of trial and error, and I sought out guilds (groups of players with a common purpose) with a heavy focus on raids and raiding. This is where I found my First guild: Advent Children. I met some of the oldest and longest Friends I ever had there – From Kithus the surly fucker from Boston, to Lecithin the (then) 14 year old girl who was one of the top players in the guild. These people and Samma (my mentor) basically elevated my knowledge, game play and became some of my closest friends. Over the years some left, some came back, and we found new people that shared similar goals.

This might seem an Odd thing to write about in a BDSM context, however, I have to admit as a I progressed in my years as a newbie, to a veteran raid leader, to part of a top 50 world progression guild. I learned a few life lessons too.

The Great part about MMO’s as well as communities is that you have so many people inhabiting the same spaces, however for different reasons. There’s PvP’ers, Raiders, achievement whores, Auctionhouse superstars, The list continues. As a raider I sort of stood apart from the rest of the community, My entire existence online was focused around my Role as a raid leader. Farming materials for raids, reading fight strategies and watching video’s, and showing up for 5 hour raid nights 5 times a week. Because of this I had very little in common with many casual players or other inhabitants of the game world. I rapidly out grew people I started playing with, along with members of other guilds on our server.

The Same can be said for the kink community. I want to explore, I want to do next level shit with others who want to do next level shit. Because of this, there are people I (or we) outgrow, or never connect with. This too, is OK. Social circles change, we progress around a different path, or simply take a different direction from those we were once close with.

Another thing I learned in my time in WoW, is that people will hate your successes, not everyone mind you, but enough. Let them hate – we used to have a saying “Are you paying for my subscription? No? well when you are, you can tell me how to play”. Over the years I was accused of everything from cheating, to running illegal programs, to bribing people to “carry me along” with real world money…. For the most part, your haters know fuckall about you beyond the story they’ve made up in their heads about you. Do you, the people who want to do epic shit with you WILL find you or vice-versa. The ones who choose to pick at you from the shadows or whisper in ears are generally just unhappy, jealous or just plain incapable of compersion of any sort.

In the end We, as members of this bdsm collective, are all here to participate in the amusement park of activities available to all of us. We all share common problems, issues, and interests. However, we don’t all get to be porn-stars, hardcore BDSM “legends”, or Fetlebrities, what we do get to be is anything we desire, why not gravitate towards people who will help you along that path, or at the very least let others who are doing what they want the fuck alone as long as the behavior isn’t damaging.

Politics, Influence peddling, and snide remarks aren’t going to enrich the culture we inhabit, Compersion and focusing on your own growth and journey will. You just might get lucky enough to find a guild, tribe,family that shares your passion for improvement.

Regards,

Syn

Home, Community, and Understanding.

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” — Christian Morganstern

Coming home to a small town after a large event is an odd thing, if you’ve never been to one, I don’t know if I can rightly explain the sense of belonging, community, and togetherness.

One of the presenters at Wicked in the West had said when they leave an event they crawl back into their cave and are alone again until it is time to “peek out”. I didn’t really understand this until I had time to think about it, and now I understand completely.

For us, it’s hard to keep in touch with people: work, the gym, minimal time with my girl as it is – our random phone calls, talking back and forth on social media it’s all a way to keep connected. However, I must admit, I miss talks till all hours of the morning over scotch, hugs, and not feeling like an outsider because of my/our fetishes or play. Even the act of entertaining, which we love isn’t something we get to do often, if ever.

The great part about being who we are, is that we are out, we make very little (if any) distinctions between vanilla and kink life, because of that I’m known as the slightly “odd” friend. There are parts of our lives I can’t discuss in good conscience from authority transfer to S&M on a regular basis.  I’m at home with this, and truth be told, we are currently moving towards helping create a local community, or at least increasing the miniscule one we have.

For those of you in a larger community, I offer this suggestion.

Quit taking things for granted, quit complaining and start contributing. Sure, there are issues – predators, drama, personality conflicts, and good old fashion disagreements. Is there a perfect solution? Hell no, however, at the very least do your best to not make whatever the current issue is, worse.

Realize that you HAVE a community of like-minded individuals available to you, for munches, play parties, and learning opportunities to explore things YOU find important. Even if it’s only 4 or 5 people who get together and practice rope ties. Your micro-community is there to support one another, and find joy in things that others can’t (or won’t) understand.

Reach out to people, try and find common ground, morals and beliefs. Be compassionate, fair, and non-judgemental. Have boundaries, sure, but be welcoming, inclusive and kind.

Be a builder, be engaged, and be thankful you have a home where people understand you.

In Leather,

 

Syn

 

 

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

Integrity.

Integrity is a strange concept to most.

Many know the word, even more use it, but few really know how to define their version of it.

Folks in Leather circles also tout integrity as one of the standard core principles, but really what does it mean?

I can’t profess to tell you what integrity will mean to everyone, but I can tell you what it means to me, and how it relates to my leather path.

Integrity for me, contains two parts – being honest, and having strong moral principles.

Honesty is a no brainer for me. I will admit in my distant past I was less than an honest person, and it cost me dearly.  I used to surround myself with less than honest people, and so lies, deceit, and political games became my norm, couple that with the circles I ran in, the behaviors I indulged in, and the people who encouraged it, and it’s no wonder I hit bottom and bounced. I’ll get back to this later on, but I wanted to get this one out of the way for the time being.

Strong Moral Principles.

It hasn’t been an easy road to develop those, Just like my honesty, in my younger years I existed in a morally grey area, I lived a life that, in order to survive I continually compromised my morals to fit in, to make a living, and even just to feel like part of the people I chose to associate with. Cheating, lying and using people for my own ends was the norm.

I hit bottom, and disappeared, I had to reinvent myself because I didn’t really like the person I had become.

I won’t go into the proceeding years, but I will say I took a long hard look at my values, morals, and how far I would really go to protect the person I wanted to become.

So this brings us back to the two things I consider integral to Integrity. Honesty, and strong moral principles.

In my life I expect honesty from myself and others, I don’t word vomit everything to be honest or transparent, however if you ask me a question I will answer you truthfully – You might not like the answer but you’ll get it. I expect the same honesty from the people I choose to trust and let in. I also Do my utmost to be honest with my partners and family about needs, wants, desires. Honesty isn’t a part time thing, it’s all or nothing, in my mind it requires you to be comfortable with being a villian in many eyes, and strong enough to stand by your convictions.

Being of strong moral principle is a little more of an ephemeral thing. Everyone’s morals can and will be different, so I will speak from my own standpoint and beliefs.

I have a few core morals – conducting yourself ethically in relationships (ethical monogamy, and nonmonogamy), honesty, honor, transparency, and doing the right thing. There are MANY more, but these are some of the ones that spring to mind in regards to lifestyle context.

I tell my girl all most everything in regards to what is going on in my life, who messages, what we talked about etc etc…. The potential of new partners – play, sexual or otherwise is something that should be discussed on the ground floor in the interests of honesty and transparency. I also take the same stance with my girlfriend as much as able, and again to be transparent – less so in terms of scenes I may have, however I don’t hide them by any means. I also take a similar stance regarding friendships and acquaintances – If the information is relevant to them, I often share it, regardless of the outcome.

Doing the right thing is something that I think encompasses all of the above, however, Also the easiest to bend to fit your own world view. In my past I hurt a lot of people because my moral compass was quite literally broken as fuck. As I got older I vowed to try and do what was right, and it’s all I continue to try and do daily. It took a lot of work to get here, and I’ll be damned if I ever undo the work I’ve put into it.

Integrity is one of those core leather principles I hold dearly, and many profess to do so as well, some are genuine, and some like to think they are.

I really do try and surround myself with people who closely resemble and echo my thoughts on integrity and other Leather values, the trick is finding them and recognizing it in them. In my travels I have found many of those people and I am honored to call family, tribe, and love them as hard as I can.

In Leather,

 

Syn

 

 

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

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