Healthy Vulnerability and Mastery.

We are back from our trip to the city for yet another event, and while I had something completely different set to be written, after a conversation with my little fae, I feel this needs to take precedence, and in writing it, may end up being more therapeutic than the original idea I had.

Bear with me, this is going to be long, emotional and hard as fuck for me to get through because I’m going back many years –  and unearthing things that need to be unpacked to help me move further along my path.

I have a few undesirable traits that I need to get rid of in order to move further along my path of Mastery, and self-growth, but I’ll be damned if I know how to deal with them, or even if my fear of letting go of them will ALLOW me to.

In my early twenties, I was a very vulnerable person. I had a lifetime of wearing my heart, emotions, and thoughts on my sleeve. As a result, I was taken advantage of in my life by just about everyone, I have no one to blame but myself – “What you allow will continue” – and it did.

It continued, and I developed coping mechanisms and cultivated personality traits to shield myself from the hurt. I drank, heavily – more to allow my brain to stop with the anxiety and to possibly connect with people I wouldn’t connect with because of my shyness and low self-image.

The personality traits I cultivated are really the issue here, and I will address the why and what of them individually – as to move forward requires honesty and disclosure as a start.

Ego. 

I cultivated a fake sense of Superiority – Rather than becoming better at something, or working towards it, I was always at the top of my game, I created a fake confidence to shout down the voice that (sometimes still) screams in the back of my head that I am worthless, inept and “playing” at whatever it is I am dealing with. To this day even though I help facilitate MAsT in this area, I can’t help but manufacture confidence in the material rather than have the confidence come naturally. I manufacture fake confidence through ego in a great many things – even sometimes where the confidence SHOULD be genuine. Ego also caused me to become detached from the very people I reached out for, eventually, I withdrew into self-importance and sabotaged (unknowingly) my attempts to connect with people.

“When we remove ego, we’re left with what is real. What replaces ego is humility, yes—but rock-hard humility and confidence. Whereas ego is artificial, this type of confidence can hold weight. Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous.”
Ryan Holiday, Ego Is the Enemy 

If Ego is the Toxicity, and Humility replaces Ego.  how do I start to deconstruct a carefully crafted ego built with 20 years of care and exactness designed to keep me safe? I find it hard to be humble, truth be told I know I have moments of humbleness, and then they’re gone, as quick as the come. Like just now. I read this passage of and I realized, by acknowledging, I have moments of humbleness, I am letting ego take over because in actuality I shouldn’t have to point it out. Fuck.

Vanity. 

I can be a vain creature in many things, and that started at an early age (and in a different capacity continues to this day). I am constantly considering what will people think? I can’t do that I’ll look idiotic, or sounds stupid, or any other manner of vain excuse to not do, say or communicate what I really think, feel, or want. Vanity has led me to self-sabotage, and stunted personal growth, and happiness. Vanity has also led me to a place where if I do manage to communicate these things, it is only under duress, a feeling of being threatened, or absolute and concrete necessity. It cuts me off further from others because I am scared of being seen as weak for needing help. Do as I say not as I do Goddamn it.

“There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”
Tennessee Williams

 

Pride.

Pride is something I struggle to find balance in, pride itself can be good, or bad, being Prideful is the problematic part. I take pride in few things but I am prideful about too much. Being prideful lends itself to an aura of arrogance, which, in my past was an excellent tool for keeping people at a distance. I still break that one out of the toy bag on occasion because it can help keep me out of situations or conversations where my vanity may be challenged. Pride in work well done is great, however too much pride in one’s image of self is another thing, it’s an odd dichotomy, I have a low self-image, but because I am prideful I cover showing that to most by self-deprecating humor. If they’re laughing -with- you, you can get out of saying anything of substance.

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
C.S. Lewis

The last point to touch on can’t be “sub-headed” in one word and it is something I need to modify so I can bring it out of the dark place I buried it years ago behind a wall made of Bourbon and pain.

Cultivating healthy vulnerability.

A healthy vulnerability is something I -know- about, but I have a hard time putting it into practice – in today’s world vulnerability has very negative connotations – exposed, and defenseless are probably two very common words associated with vulnerability.

Healthy Vulnerability to me is a form of freedom. Freedom to live authentically, and rather than sharing personal insights, it is instead the freedom to show people the “real” you, quirks, imperfections, and all manner of imperfectly perfect life. The problem for me, and why I shoved that into a box and crammed it behind my metaphysical wall is I do not know HOW to accomplish being vulnerable in a healthy manner.

 

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
Madeleine L’Engle

In the Search for authenticity and Mastery of myself, these are my first steps, they are the biggest ones because they are what remains of a toxic mindset of a scared young man, who was ill-equipped for life, and scared to let go of toxic people for fear of being alone.

I’m not that person anymore, and I don’t want to be, I want to let go of it. So here I am writing this for someone who has extended the hand to help.

 

Regards,

 

Syn

Scattered Thoughts.

Most days I am beyond amazed that a woman like My little fae not only agreed to, but throws herself into her life with me. I’m not the easiest person to serve, and I know this – I can be demanding, harsh and sometimes I am overcome with my own past rearing it’s ugly head.

Skeletons are a motherfucker to deal with some days.

Other times I wish I could do more, be more, accelerate my personal growth in area’s I lack. I understand it’s a slow process, I also understand that I should take things at a mediated pace so that I don’t fall back into old patterns and archaic (to me) thoughts.

With a kinky event coming up, I am reminded of two things: One, My little fae is all I need.

Two: although I wish I (we) could find us another partner to share the fun, love, and general tomfuckery that is our lives, it happens when you least expect it…. I should feel blessed that at least someone we had been talking to, while interested, is not currently in a place she feels comfortable to commit to anything.

Our love life is amazing, and we are together – but the thought in my head to be more, do more is always there… like a persistent itch I can’t get rid of. dot has assured me she is happy – but I always feel as though I should do more to show her that I appreciate her service, love, devotion, and council.

Random thoughts, and scattered sentences… but I needed to write them out…. not bad for ten minutes at work, sadly solving and deciphering the mess that is my head will take longer.

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.

Dear Brain – Please Shut The Fuck Up.

I have to admit sometimes it’s difficult for me to reconcile my reality with what my brain is telling me.

My little fae and I have settled into  a bit of a routine, Life has been busy lately. Little time to play, but our TPE is still strong.

I love all the time we’ve been getting together, but I do miss playing – I was/am more comfortable with my sadistic side, however in becoming so, I find I miss our sessions…. They seem to only happen when we travel to the other city for events, and even then Co-topping is what usually occurs.

Here is where the disconnect happens.

I’m at a loss for how to make things happen more organically – between work, kids visiting more than periodically, the need for sleep for both of us on off(ish) hours than the other, and the fact that I prefer play to be unplanned, leads to a difficult time making it happen.

Couple all of that, with the issues I’ve had accepting my Sadism in the past and my logical brain is wondering what the fuck is wrong with me.

I don’t know why these words fell out of my head, or what if anything the solution is, however here it is.

I plan to write more, as work now allows for it, but just a quick entry to let you know I’m still alive and moving somewhat.

 

Regards,

 

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.

Fear and the Disciplinarian.

Recently as you may be aware, we have taken on a third into our dynamic. bubs is still new in the kink/Power exchange world, but is currently under consideration to be my submissive.

I can’t help but feel as though this is a test from whatever force you believe is directing us on this floating rock.

A test I feel as though I am barely keeping my head above water on.

I got incredibly lucky with dot – she had been in the lifestyle for many years, and was long since trained as a submissive when she met me, and as she reminds me she has the slave heart she has always been submissive minded, it is something you are born with.

With bubs she is new, and honestly I’ve never “trained” a submissive before…. So this is all undiscovered country with me. I’ve done my best to guide her towards making better choices, and teach her as much as I can about power exchange – along with trying to teach her how to be more assertive in life, and make healthier choices.

I suppose I take for advantage (in a way) that dot and I have come very far from where we were at bubs’ age, we’ve put in the work, had less than stellar pasts and come out of the other side of our crucible, stronger and with many more life lessons to draw on.

In a way I am envious of bubs…at her age I wasn’t quite done making my mistakes yet, and the spectacular ones were just starting to pile up. I think if I had come into the community earlier I might have found the part of me that was missing sooner….but as they say – everything happens for a reason.

Now, why do I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water in this situation ?

Part of this is my own doing.

bub’s and I had a conversation some time ago, about me not being as strict on her as I should (can) be, and I vowed that in order to be authentic and truthful to her I was going to tighten up and be as much of a disciplinarian with her as I am dot.

This has not been the case.

Up until now I’ve been scared… scared of scaring bub’s off because I can be a pretty demanding hard ass. I do it out of love but it can be way too much for some people, and I can’t help but think it was that raw part of me that scared off the hellcat as well…. I voiced these opinions to both dot and bubs and I was assured that was not the case.

So now what ?

Time to actually tighten up and start expecting more, if I fail to be the Master that I am, then I am not being authentic. That won’t gives bub’s the -real- me, and thats not fair to her…. Nor is it fair to dot because I don’t let her get away with anything, I should expect no less of anyone else joining our house.

Moving forward I WILL be tougher, not overly so, but I will make it comparative to what I expect of dot, it is fair, and to do less would lessen a TPE structure I have already built, and another one I am hoping to continue to build.

 

Regards,

 

Syn

Hindsight, New Beginnings And My Absence

It’s probably going to be difficult at best to explain my extended absence from these pages – however I think I will simply write, and perhaps by the end, my reasons will become clear… I have missed writing, but had no clue how to say what I wanted or at certain points even what to say.

The past few months have been filled with both highs and lows, but I think since the High moments speak for themselves I will start with those.

The largest event of the past while is most definitely the news  of my little fae and I getting our first house together.  We took posesion at the start of last month and are as of now almost 100% moved in. combining two houses worth of stuff is time consuming and a cluster-fuck to say the least, but I am beyond happy  to have her with me ALL of the time now. She keeps asking if I’m happy and I don’t know if I can properly convey just how fucking over the moon I am to have her with me all the time.  That said – I should also point out that on top of combining houses, we’ve also introduced all of our cats, totaling 5 4 legged asshole feline overlords in the house now…. more on that as it develops (lol).

We also recently said goodbye to “The Ball” an event we attended in a neighboring city bi-monthly, it was a pansexual fetish event held in a bar and Canada’s longest running one at that. The Hotel/Bar where it was hosted was sold, and the organizers decided to hang it up rather than look for a new venue as they believe they accomplished what they set out to do when it was first started 20 years ago (and I can’t say I disagree with their logic). The reason I consider this a high point, is simply because the event itself was amazing – time with some friends we rarely see, and just a general sense of togetherness throughout everyone in attendance – even a contingent of local Leathermen showed up – which was amazing to see, since i indentify very closely with leather Ideals.  I’ll be sad to See the Ball go, but at the same time we still have MaST, and the possibility of a new event Stepping up to take its place.

So, on to “the” low.

Those of you that have read my last few entries may have noticed I have avoided mentioning my Hellcat.

That is because we haven’t been dating her for going on a month and a bit now.

I’ve made peace with it, I really have. I needed the time to process before i could write about it and truly make sure that was the case though.

So what happened ?

I’ll spare the direct details, but give you some of the highlights/Problems as I see it now (hindsight is always 20/20 – or so they tell me).

I’ll start with me.

I made a few assumptions (which based on the info I had at the time seemed reasonable) which ended up being problematic. Because of this I’ve learned that even if someone says “organically grown” TPE is what they desire – I need to make it a point to establish and negotiate expectations for the relationship, what they want, what I want, how we’re going to get there, and limits off the get go. I did not do this, and it bit me in the ass.

I also learned that I can handle rejection fairly well….

In the end, the Hellcat and I had a lengthy discussion regarding the end of the relationship and what went wrong, however I was given one piece of information that floored me – Apparently according to her, our part of the dynamic had “problems” from day 1. I was COMPLETELY unaware of this, as there was very little communication of any issues on her end towards me.

So after she was “done” with me – she wished to talk to My little fae (no doubt to try and explain her lack of contact to either of us for almost 2 weeks, basically since we moved her from her shared apartment to her solo one).

I know most of the details of this – but only one snippet is pertinent here: My little fae had to break up with -her- there was no intention of doing so on the hellcats part.

I’ll admit I was hurt pretty badly by it all, if you were paying attention to previous writings, my biggest poly triad fear was that the female partner we found would prefer my little fae – and that was indeed the case. Looking back on it, I just wish I had known sooner before I invested both my time and money into the hellcat to help start her on (what I considered) the proper path. I felt (and feel) well and goodly used.

I am proud of myself though – I handled it very well compared to previous break-ups so we’ll call that personal growth – the hellcat and I are still civil, and will occasional crack a joke at one another when we see each other at events. My little fae is still on her radar I think – but I know that there is nothing there on my little fae’s part. so we will see.

All in all it’s been a bastard of a few months – BUT I can tell you that My little fae and I intend to move forward in the poly arena together – I think I’ve proven that with a bit of work and some more careful consideration I CAN make poly work. The time I did have with both of them was amazing, and it made me happy, as well as my little fae – we just hope going forward we can find something more permanent.

Good to see you all, I WILL post more, I promise.

Syn