[M/s 365] Are you listening?

listening-earFollowing along the lines of things I’ve read by Race Bannon and Patrick Mulcahey [1] on their blogs and speeches about education, I’ve been doing some personal evaluation on how I teach and more importantly, how I listen to people in a one on one environment – whether at a kink event, whether it’s my slave talking to me, or just someone on the street. Do I listen to listen, do I listen to answer, am I being empathetic in my listening?

I’ve been asked to give a presentation on one of my favorite subjects – Slave Positions. It’s a fun class. I teach it as a very interactive class, getting people to do the positions, to participate, to share the energy, if they’re willing. I find myself exhausted, yet incredibly turned on, after teaching this class, because when it flows well, there are human beings positioning themselves and feeling GOOD about it. They’re learning in a fun environment, we’re sharing some positive energy and exchanging knowledge and ideas.

I look back and the most positive learning experiences I had were either one on one, or when I was actively doing, alongside friends or in an encouraging environment.

I find that those experiences reflect that there was a give and take of energy, of information – and that those mentors or teachers listened to me as much as I listened to them.

I’m going to be listening during our two classes this weekend, not just to the questions, but to the energy and to the needs of the folks who have paid good money to come and attend, and have also chosen to give something very precious – their time. I think if I listen actively, if I listen to hear their emotions, their needs, their desires… it might make for a better experience.

I think this understanding will extend to all things, including my M/s relationship.

[1] Race Bannon’s writings about kink education on his blog bannon.com – How I Learned to Smoke a Cigar, BDSM Education Gone Too Far, Educational Efforts Backfiring, Erotically Over Educated. Patrick Mulcahey’s speech at 2012 Leather Reign: Keynote Speech.

[2] Empathetic listening – http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article40.htm (and especially this article “Listening First Aid” from the main page: http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/listening_skills.htm)

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Master Michael S

International Master 2014. Member of: Chicago Leather Club, Chicago Leathermen Group, MAsT: Greater Chicago. Longtime leatherman. One of the Four Horsemen.

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