Pride, Mastery, and Service.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how do I plan to combat this?

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

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

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

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

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

Just some random thoughts.

Regards,

 

Syn.

Defending Your Life.

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I have a very eclectic taste in movies, my top 5 are all over the map. I do want to talk about one in particular. However, the list has an overriding theme that I think will become clear if you are familiar with them.

  1. Fight Club
  2. Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  3. Tombstone
  4. What Dreams May Come
  5. Defending Your Life

Now if you know all the movies on my list, you get major cinephile cred with me.  That said, I am sure more than a few of you had to click the link for Defending Your Life. It’s major draw in the 90’s was (and would be today) that Meryl Streep was in it. Truth be told this is one of the few movies with her in it I can stomach (and maybe Julie and Julia). That’s neither here nor there, however. Have you figured out the one thread that ties this movie to the others on my list?

They are all about confronting fear or dealing with it.

Albert Brooks wrote this movie and the end premise is about conquering fear and how many times you are fearless quantifying if you are ready to move on to the hereafter.

So what does this have to do with either my journey, or BDSM, or both?

Bear with me, I want to tell you a little story about myself first – we’ll get there, I promise.

When I was in high school, not many people knew, but I LOVED sports – and a few would have agreed I was really good at quite a few of them. I never played on high school teams though.

One afternoon when I was 16 or 17 (grade 11) a bunch of us had a free period and would go fuck around in the gym. Well rather than just shooting hoops by myself, as I did ALL the time at home, and during some free periods, there was a volleyball net set up. You see, my school had one of the best Highschool AAA volleyball teams in the country (for both boys and girls). In my high school, volleyball players were treated with the same reverence some high schools treat their basketball and football players. Well, I couldn’t shoot hoops, but one of the girls I had known since primary school invited me to fill the 6th position on their team, I am sure the rest of the varsity team was salivating at the prospect of spiking a ball directly into my face. You see on a good day back then I was 5’9 and 180 Lbs – Short and built like a beer keg – great for the martial arts I was involved in, not so good for vertical lift.

So, the game begins and I try as hard as I can, I’m diving for digs, and receiving in the back row fairly well.  I Always try as hard as I can, no matter what I’m doing. Suddenly it’s my turn in the front row, now for those who are not familiar the front row is responsible for attacking – Spikes, and blocking spikes – Oh shit. Truth be told I did better than OK, and the Short beer keg looking bastard that I was even managed to get high enough to Spike the ball with a reasonable downward arc.

When we were done and just sitting back on the bleachers waiting for the bell, I had 3 members of the boys and girls varsity teams ask me why I never tried out – in their estimation, I would have made the cut. I never did answer them with more than a smile and a shrug. But I knew the answer clanging around in my head all too well.

I was Scared of Fucking up and being laughed at and ridiculed.

I have no real defense, other than to explain that I was raised that way – my parents were both scared of me getting hurt, or worse if I ever played sports or did anything physical. Even the martial arts I was involved in, I kept MUCH of the physicality of the sparring to myself so that they wouldn’t “convince” me to stop going.

Now that all of that is at least 20+ years behind me, I look back on it and laugh at what a poor mindset that was. I look at my mom who I love dearly and see all the irrational (to me) things she still harbors fear about, I don’t want to end up like that – however it is hard to undo YEARS of growing up with that, much like deprogramming people who are no longer catholic, but will still answer “and also with you” when they hear “may the lord be with you”.

With BDSM, and power exchange, We are all living outside of the norm – most of society would Squirm if they ever witnessed a scene between a sadist and masochist in real time. I remember an incident on fetlife with a face slapping video: someone watched it and because people fear that which is unknown or foreign to them this man threatened to call the police on them for domestic violence. Fear is everywhere, and it can be destructive to not only yourself but others too if you let it leak out.

Many facets of personal growth in the lifestyle can boil down to conquering fears – that is why it’s so important to have a slave or s-type that encourages growth, along with the Master doing the same for the slave. As the Master in the relationship, most will tell you we must have a good handle on our fears,

As the Master in the relationship, most will tell you we must have a good handle on our fears, and truth be told we do, but not as firm a grip as most think. Masters can have fear too – I choose to address mine in many ways, writing here, talking with my little fae, and seeking advice and opinions from people we are close to, and respect.

I’ve made a conscious decision to meet my fears as head on as possible and deal with them if at all possible. I do still have a few that I struggle with daily (and sometimes less frequently) but I will get there eventually – it’s a marathon, not a race.

Bob Diamond: They can make a mistake. You shouldn’t let others get to you like this. Just follow what’s in here.

[points to his heart]

Daniel Miller: [Daniel nods in agreement]

Bob Diamond: Don’t worry, and don’t kick yourself forever. Just take the opportunities when they come.”      – Rip Torn as Bob Diamond, and Albert Brooks as Daniel Miller in Defending Your Life.

I will follow what I want in my heart, and deal with my fears – quite possibly the most imporant thing I can do as a Man, a Master, and someone trapped on this floating rock for a finite period of time.

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.

Consideration: Like Test Driving for Power Exchange.

I recently decided to bring back an old tradition very few seem to practice anymore, and I’m not sure why more don’t.

Consideration.

In a power exchange relationship or at least the more traditional D/s or M/s dynamics there used to be a period of consideration which may or may not include a collaring. For myself it did not include a collar – for me a collar is a VERY special recognition of my belief that you will fit well into the lives of not only Myself, but my slave as well.

So what IS consideration?

To me (and from much that I have read) it is a period where an S-type requests to be considered for a permanent position (and collar) with a dominant. Now I would think that a slave or submissive would also want to check out the dominant. Think of this consideration phase like a test drive or (if you’re old enough) going steady. The submissive would be given rules to adhere to ([different or less than] the rules she would have as a fully collared S-type within the Master’s house). It allows the Master to evaluate the submissive – and see if the fit would work within his house, as well as setting up a rough plan for how to improve upon, and integrate her skills to fit his needs.

In the reverse, it is also a chance for the S-type to check out how the Master does things, and see if he would be a good fit for her goals as well. After all – a babygirl would have one hell of a time with a disciplinarian focused dominant and would not flourish, which if they’re both astute, they should realize quickly. It is also a chance for the submissive to prove to the Master she could also settle into a pecking order with other S-types and blend into service with them with as little disruption as possible.

For these reasons alone I think it is more than worth waiting to collar an S-type. How many times in vanilla life (or other kinky dating) did you get through  a month or two of dating and realize you were completely incompatible ? Probably made it difficult (or at least awkward) to break it off I’d assume?

If both parties go in KNOWING that this is the equivalent of a test drive, then there should be less hard feelings should one party decide the arrangement won’t be for them.

Now the consideration phase should still include things like first meetings, safe calls, and negotiation without any power imbalance. Setting guidelines amicable to both is paramount so that the consideration phase can have as high as possible of a chance of succeeding.

Most will also Adhere to this being a time when the S-type is essentially “off-limits” to other Dominants, as they are considering moving into a heavier commitment with the Dominant who is considering them. Some also impose a set period of time for the consideration phase, with renegotiation able to happen at the end of that period. Renegotiation could either be another consideration phase, or moving into a training collar.

To some this may seem antiquated or like “too much work” – however to me, and at this point in my life I have decided that it is neither. I have my slave, and I love her dearly, she proved, bled and earned her collar through service, hard work and PROVING she wished to give her all to me. Why should I accept less from a potential partner ? For one who truly wishes to join her and I on a journey, we will give her our all, so she should be prepared to pass the consideration period, and give as much as we will give in return.

Too many times I see “velcro” collars.

Oh you’re owned by so-and-so?

oh, that was last week ?

So you’re now owned by So-and-so?

Oh, that was yesterday ?

Today you’re owned by someone else?

This does not show me a true desire to submit, Defer and need anything but a fashion accessory around your neck for an ill percieved “status” symbol.

So why would I waste my time? I certainly wouldn’t waste yours.

 

In Leather,

 

Syn.