Sadly my computer has met with an untimely death, so for a while I have to go back to vlogging…
Personal growth is a funny thing, for years I raged against it, I was comfortable in complacency, I didn’t want to move forward and leave my comfort zone. In all honesty when I was younger I needed that, a safe place to rebuild myself after years of self neglect, abusive relationships, and addiction.
As of late myself and my little fae have taken steps to move forward with not only our life together (much more on that later), as well as our lifestyle goals and what we wish to become as Leather People.
Sadly, we’ve decided we need to focus those efforts outside of our province – don’t get me wrong, we love our little community here, however it seems to be the same old at almost every event we go to, some are better than others, and I do understand that at public events we are kneecapped with what we can do based on public decency laws etc. It does also seem like most use their bdsm knowledge and reputations more as social currency and less as something for enjoyment and satisfaction. I refuse to be a part of that line of thinking.
It seems as though a lot (not all) scenes at events are “beats” AKA -I’ll just hit you with shit until you safe-word on me, or my appendages get tired. I know there are private events out there that are sex-positive, full of Leather, sex, Violence and could show us we are not alone, and maybe teach us a few things in the process. As of yet we haven’t managed to get an invite to any of these events, and even if we did, our distance from the bigger city makes attendance difficult at best.
So for me, what do I want to learn, experience and indulge in?
- CuckQueaning, with a focus on degradation and humiliation. Both Dot and I find this is something we want to experience together, although we do want another s-type to join our house, a casual partner willing to be our cuckcake would alsofit nicely and feed my desire to experience a healthy (and longer lasting) poly dynamic.
- Cigar Play/Service. Years ago I was a budding cigar aficionado. I enjoyed the learning process, and preparation to enjoy a good Cigar and Scotch, Combine that with play and I’m all in.
- Fear Play/Mindfucks – Something we already dabble in, I like crawling around inside the dark spaces in someones head and see what shakes loose, tears and screaming are hot as fuck. As long as I can put them back together after.
- Bootblacking and bootplay/worship – My little fae is a bootblack and thus far we have used it mostly for leather care with very little play involved – she wishes to pursue this and get back to where she was with bootblacking previously, and if we can incorporate play with that, even better.
These are just a few things I/we want to learn, see, experience and watch. Many of these types of play are found in bigger cities in Canada, so that is where we will go. The Leather Community in our province does have some of this knowledge, and as I said we’d love to pick their brains, however that would require travel and a time cost we may not be able to commit to easily.
Just a few thoughts, and perhaps making some of my goals more of a reality by putting them in words.
It’s been a draining couple of weeks for me mentally, our usual august long weekend Kinky camping weekend has come and gone (more on that in it’s own post). I’m back at the gym 4 days a week and ramping up the intensity, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking regarding my/our Leather/S&M journey.
The province we’re in has a very small bdsm community on a whole, and an infinitesimally smaller Leather community – Two of the more prominent Leatherfolk are very very busy, between organizing events in the other city and travelling to present/visit their tribe. We’d love to get to know them, and pick their brains, but finding time is hard to do.
The reason I have been thinking about things lately actually stems from Fall From Grace (the kinky camping weekend). We were introduced to a lovely Leatherwoman from Edmonton, who knows some really cool shit. I actually discovered something I didn’t know I had an interest in at all thanks to her…. Fire. Spinning and Poi, there is a HUGE disconnect betwe en seeing it in a You Tube video, and seeing it live, hearing the whoosh, feeling the heat, it was mesmerizing to me.
Truth be told it was a lightbulb moment for me.
Lately I have been working heavily on myself, and self improvement, that other area’s have suffered. I have become complacent in my play. This is not to say I don’t enjoy it, not at all, I wish we had more time to play more often, however that’s another post for another day.
Watching Q with her fire poi, and other assorted things she was engaged in over the weekend showed me a wider world of play that one doesn’t see often, So, when we got home from the weekend I looked up other Leatherfolk on fetlife I was already aware of, and followed them.
I notice a LARGE difference between the people I follow now and the folks from the other city…. maybe I’m just reading into things because “shiny and new people”, then again. I must admit, as satisfying as beating the hell out of someone is, I itch to be more creative in my play.
Now I know this won’t happen overnight, and Much learning about different techniques needs to take place. I also feel a little lost in terms of people…. Some things have happened in the last little while that have changed my perceptions of a lot of people, and I know from here on out nothing is going to be the same. My little fae and I have plans and goals, we wish to move forward, grow, and meet different people – the trick appears to be that we may have to look outside our province to grow as we want.
Just a few thoughts, jumbled as they may be.
Recently I was thinking about some things in relation to the lifestyle and how things differ from vanilla dating, which of course led me to thinking about certain things that seem to be headed the way of the vanilla. One in particular stood out to me, and I think I’m going to take a moment and dive into it a little further.
Why is it, when you hear Masters talk about the old days a large portion of that was slaves/submissives approaching the Master to petition service, and yet today that seems almost nonexistent?
Don’t get me wrong I understand that evolution will happen, but extinction of a practice that makes so much sense in the last years seems odd to me. Especially in a Power Exchange context.
I suppose the technosexual era we appear to be living in is at least partially to blame. Look at vanilla dating, more and more websites are the way to go to find a potential partner. Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, even Adult Friend Finder; Swipe, click and cycle through multiple potential dates in seconds. Aesthetics and shallow “about me’s” are the signposts people use to streamline and (in my opinion) cheapen the getting know you process.
I am starting to see this more and more in the Power Exchange circles as well, I see and hear multiple cries of “fake dom!”, “pseudo-sub!”, etc. So my question is this: Why, in something as important as finding a permanent D-type, are submissives complacent in actively “shopping” themselves around?
Think of finding a potential Master like applying for a job, you find a company you want to work for, so you do your research, tailor your resume, approach the company with your resume, and then (hopefully) Have an interview to assess compatibility, both for you as a perspective employee, and they, as a potential employer.
This is the essence of the petition – Lets use myself as an example. I am a Master (in that I own a slave), Very well versed in rough body play, mind fucks, and have a disciplinarian approach to power exchange. I own a slave already who has multiple years in the lifestyle, is more than adept at domestic duties, all forms of service, and boot blacking. All of these things are discernible from our profiles on Fetlife and WordPress blogs. So, you see something that you wish to learn, be a part of, or are interested for other reasons. Do you have an inventory of BDSM and life related skills? Yes? Good!
At this point it’s on you to make you intentions known that you wish to petition, generally with goals for the relationship in mind. I can offer x,y,z skills to the house/relationship in turn for learning x,y,z skills from you. Sex? negotiated. S&M play? negotiated. S-type Role? Negotiated. Have what amounts to an interview to assess compatibility on both sides of the equation, and then the consideration phase could begin.
Now I know right now, out there someone, or multiple someones, are reading this and thinking “What the fuck? that’s too much work! You’re a self important douchecanoe.” So I ask you this simple question – Do you value yourself, your skills, and want what you have to offer be the focus of a relationship, rather than having (or being) arm candy and a quick rough fuck? (which are completely fucking awesome too, if that’s the basis of the arrangement). I hear so many people bitching and pissing and moaning that they have more to offer a partner than just nice tits, or a big cock. Well petitioning can PROVE it. Prove you wish to learn, improve, and work on goals as part of a relationship.
In the process some very hot S&M, Sex, and general debauchery is bound to happen. It’s not always the job of the D-type to find you, be proactive and go find what YOU want, because you know better than anyone else what you have to offer and what you want out of a potential Master. If you wait for them to find you, you’re liable to have a string of ill fitting D-types (read: Fake), or be able to weed them out before wasting your time, and vice-versa.
Just some thoughts.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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 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.
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.
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.