Click on each thumbnail to see the many Master/slave community members who signed the flag!
Background – there is a flag that has been used to represent the Master/slave community. First presented to the world by Master Tallen back in 2005, it has been adopted around the world as an easy to recognize symbol of the M/s relationship dynamic and the M/s family’s contributions to the greater kink/alternative sexuality community.
When slave Angie and I became International Master/slave in 2014, we had an idea of what we wanted to do. We wanted to travel as much as we could, visit as many MAsT (Masters And slaves Together) chapter and and Power Dynamics groups as we could; go to as many events that featured tracks and classes on the Master/slave dynamic, meet and get to know as many Masters and slaves across the world as we could! Tall order, considering when there are over one hundred MAsT chapters alone, and the identification of “Master” and “slave” is as broadly used online as you can imagine.
A lot of previous titleholders have told us that sometimes the purpose and meaning of the title-year finds a person in unexpected ways, and that was very true for us. We were attending IMsL (International Ms. Leather) in April of 2014, when we were asked by a very sexy leatherman from South Africa, Jaco Lourens, to sign a flag. Jaco is Mr. South Africa Leatherman 2009/2010. He was touring the States and had brought a Leather Pride flag with him for everyone to sign and then take it back to South Africa to share the US leather community with his home country.
What a wonderful idea! It was then that we decided to do something similar – we would get a Master/slave flag and have everyone that we meet sign it. We would show it where ever we went, so that folks in the Master/slave community would be able to see that they weren’t alone.
There’s a reason that we felt that “we’re not alone” vibe so strongly. Back in the mid-2000s, as slave Angie and I struggled with our path and growth as Master and slave, we looked around for “people like us.” Other Masters and slaves who had similar beliefs and approaches. Surprisingly, we weren’t finding too many of them. Not at the munches or the various discussion groups. There were a few who identified as one way or the other, but their form of M/s seemed to focus solely on sexual and S/m than what we were looking at – service and a “higher calling” as we felt it. There wasn’t a MAsT chapter in Chicago that was open to straight couples; the only Chicago chapter, at the time, was for gay men only. We eventually found our M/s tribe, but we never forgot the feeling of being alone – and we never wanted anyone else to have that feeling.
So, we ordered the flag (actually, 2 of them) from Lifestyle Sewing. I told Nancy that her flag was going across the world, and fortunately we received it in time for it to come with us across the ocean, as we traveled to meet up with the UK Master/slave community – visiting the first European MAsT chapter – MAsT: Plymouth. They were so excited to be signing the flag, we even got a paw print of their chapter mascot, the completely adorable grey-hound, Treacle.
That flag became our constant companion for the remainder of our title year. We took it across the US – California, Arizona, Texas, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan… more than 10 states all told. We also took it around the world, as it came with us to the UK and then on across the world to Australia, where MAsT chapters and Master/slave folks from Sydney and Melbourne signed it. Events like Great Lakes Leather Alliance, Master/slave Conference, American Brotherhood Weekend, Southwest Leather Conference and South Plains Leatherfest. MAsT chapters and kink events, we shared the M/s community with people through the flag and they signed it. Virtually every inch of the face of the flag has a signature and message on it.
The thing we took away from our experience with the flag, as well as from our title year, is that there is a very vibrant, but still small Master/slave community. Now, we’re donating the flag to the Leather Archives & Museum, so that they may display it and have it available for the M/s community of the future – so that they too can see that they are not alone, that there are “people like us.”
And pictures of us with the flag from our title year.
Presenting the flag to Master Rick Storer at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago.