[M/s 365] Phoenix / Southwest Leather Conference Travelogue

It’s been awhile since we were on the road, but Southwest Leather Conference was just held this past weekend and both slave Angie and I attended. It was a nice kick in the rear to get us to shake off the holiday/recovery rust and get back on the road. It’s the beginning of our final sprint as International Master/slave 2014, with traveling to Phoenix, the Mr. Chicago Leather weekend, our two weeks in Australia, a final regional event at Bluegrass Leather in Louisville and then… we finally return to Dallas with duct-taped luggage and many stories to tell.

This conference bills itself as the “woo conference”, as in woo-woo spiritual practices and beliefs. A great many of the classes are about spiritual and S/m practices, or spiritual and M/s – D/s relationships. There are a number of spiritual events, drum circles and a “Dance of Souls” which involves the participants being pierced with hooks or wire w/bells and dancing in primitive rituals with drumming. Pretty intense stuff! Along with all that, SWLC holds a Master/slave title contest and a Bootblack title contest. These feed into International level contests.

A year ago, I had some pretty amazing and intense experiences at SWLC. My history with spiritual is a mixed bag, one mainly of “unbelief” of specific things, but a willingness to accept that I simply don’t know what lies beyond death and the unseen. Although I don’t necessarily subscribe to a belief of afterlife/reincarnation, I also don’t discount it. Last year, I had several experiences that led to me to ask a lot of questions, and then let those questions rest for awhile. This year has been too intense already with the titleholding and travel.

Slave angie was asked to participate as a judge for the M/s contest. For those of you unfamiliar with how “leather title contests” work, you basically agree to “compete” to become representatives of what the title stands for. For the Master/slave titles, our job is to teach about M/s, be sources of information, to represent our dynamic. It’s not about being the “twue M/s” as much as it is about being authentic M/s. To “compete” for the M/s title, you attend an event with a contest, such as SWLC, you participate in an interview where you are asked (grilled) about your dynamic, you demonstrate you can present by teaching a short class, you get up on stage in front of the attendees and give a two minute speech and then answer a “pop question”, usually either a silly or serious nature.

So with slave Angie busy, I presented on Slave Positions, with the help of boy Nick and Irish Girl. I love teaching this class, as it gives someone the ability to put their power dynamic into a real physical expression, and we get to explore how anyone, no matter if you bend like Gumby or not, anyone can feel sexy and demonstrate their obedience and surrender. It’s such a wonderful class. Along with slave Angie, we also presented on Spirituality in M/s – a facilitated discussion where participants get to share how their spirituality manifests itself in their power dynamic. With crayons. It’s so much fun!

Between angie’s responsibilities and my presenting, we didn’t have a lot of time to do much else, although we did make it to Pappadeaux in Phoenix. Wonderful food! We’ve been hearing about it from friends and decided to check it out. Highly recommend the Phoenix location, the service was top notch and the food was very delicious!

The weekend closed with the Dance of Souls. All weekend, slave Angie had felt very tired and judging is a serious business to her, so she was very focused on that job. I had felt like an anchor all weekend. A shoulder here and there to people who needed to share about hard things. An anchor to angie. And yet, my erotic energy was extremely high. I felt like I was floating on a sexual cloud all weekend. So the Dance of Souls, we decided to witness and not dance, but during the event, I ended up “drumming” on angie’s body with rough body play. Slapping, punching, rhythmic patting, the drums would get so loud that my bones and heart were almost in rhythm. I haven’t heard drums like this since listening to the Kodo at the old Chicago Shriners theater.

The weekend was also filled with being at the contest evening events and congratulating the new Southwest Master/slave couple from Denver Colorado – Sir Gareth and toi, and the new SW Bootblack Shelly. We got to hang out with wonderful Masters/slaves and leather men and women. Wonderful conversations, cigars, it was just a wonderful weekend. And the weather… Phoenix was a lovely change to the 70s and sunshine from the single digits and snow of Chicago.

We flew home on Monday, the only hiccup was a very long and lengthy search of my carry-on, due to some police-grade heavy-duty handcuffs that I had won in the silent auction. I think the poor older gentleman searching my luggage was more discomfited by the floggers and cuffs and slave Angie giggles than myself.

Next up, Mr Chicago Leather weekend, then we head to Australia!

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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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