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.

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

 

 

 

 

Live, Thrive, Be Better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I KNOW I have room to improve.

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

I don’t KNOW why I do it every year.

I don’t KNOW what triggers depression.

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

I do KNOW that it will be better eventually.

And that is life with depression.

That is better than I was when this started.

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

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

Regards,

 

Syn.

Fear, Growth, and Keeping things on the Radar.

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

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

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

So what change am I fearful of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Regards,

 

Syn

 

 

 

There are no Shortcuts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regards,

 

Syn

 

 

 

 

Plans, Goals and Declarations of Intent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regards,

 

Syn.