Leather and protocol – not what you think

cairn-60006_640This is not the same leather protocol post you might see elsewhere.

Last night, I saw what I consider the foundation of leather and protocol on display. A bunch of us who care deeply about something came together to work hard and do something about it. Sure, we had big letter types and small letter types there, but everyone sweated the same, worked hard the same and worked together the same. Someone needed help, others chipped in. There was good natured joking, a bit of teasing but we were together.

Protocol is contextual and about the rules of interaction for a given situation. Leather is a specific tilt to our kink, one that includes leather (and levi’s – ty to bensonboy for that great post on that subject), leathersex and TRIBE – people who gather close to protect and help.

The protocol last night was “pitch in and get it done. Fuck the letter types, if you have strong back and willing arms, you’re in.” Perfect.

The leather last night was a group coming together to do something that needed done, small, but not caring how little we were because the shared space is big. Perfect.

That’s all the leather and protocol definitions and examples I need in order to know I’m on the path I need to be on.

Love in M/s – the glue that binds us in the hard times

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” – John F. Kennedy

A subject that has come up recently prompted a lot of subsequent discussion between my slave and I, a hallmark of a good subject. It centered around the concept of emotion and “love” in the Master/slave relationship – does it enhance or hinder the relationship. As these things are wont to do, the subject wandered far and wide and became very challenging for me especially, to be able to phrase what have become key concepts in our (my girl and I) journey along this path. I find myself with a desire to write down some things, more as a touchstone for myself – something that I can look back on, continue to refine and explore and define as I and we journey along.

Our M/s is not a space or role that we switch into. Our M/s is as much a part of who we are together as our gender is. At the same time, our M/s dynamic isn’t centered around addressing a specific “need”, rather it is a calling and we find that call and answer within each other. Woven into that fabric is also the concept of two people who have chosen to live their lives together in all ways – family-wise, financial, goals, outlooks and romantically/intimately. We’ve taken these threads over the years and created a quilt that reflects who we are … but it is a never ending weaving. Sometimes threads come undone, sometimes whole panels come out and we look at them and see where we are at and decide if they go back in or not.

The other side of weaving this together is that objectifying her is extremely easy when we never come out of that place to being with. It’s rare that I can’t look at her and see the slave at the same time I see a vibrant human being that I’m in love with. I have no problem being cruel to her in the ways we want – that involve our S/m – nor do I have a problem giving her an order to do something that she clearly doesn’t like, doesn’t want to do, throws up the pouts and grumblings in the most respectful and quiet (but clearly visible to someone who’s live with someone else this long) and that doesn’t affect me. I love this woman, but if she’s unhappy because I told her to get downstairs and do XYZ, that’s the way it is. Her “ya ya” of being of service, of being taken in hand and of being dominated is fulfilled (and we’ll get to the equitable stuff in a moment).

We do not have an easy life and our M/s dynamic reflects that as well as influenced by that. We have a great many kids (and now grandkids) with various issues and responsibilities that with that. My slave suffers from lupus and it does affect at times how she can serve and what she can do. Its one of those diseases where things can go downhill really fast; there is a constant reminder of just how fragile and mortal we all are. We have all of the things that real life brings to us and, these days, those stresses can be huge. We also live in the closet in some sense – the more we bring ourselves out to the public, the more there is a chance we could find ourselves in the news as the next “freaks” to lose our kids. The real world is always present.

pacific-ocean-172370_640We also have dealt with ebbs and flows in our activities and active attention to the M/s dynamic, as well as our S/m play. There have been long periods of inactivity, a lot of that has to do with my own interests and how my Aspergers plays out with laser focus on one thing – all the time. These ebbs and flows were a first very difficult for us to get through, but we did and this is where the “love” and our M/s being woven throughout our lives came into play.

For me, even during those ebbs, I never lost faith in our dynamic, nor did I stop seeing my girl as my slave. She never stopped seeing me as her Master. What had to develop was the faith and trust that after the ebbs would come the flows. Spring and Summer always follow Fall and Winter and so it is with us. Our M/s dynamic isn’t just based on S/m or power dynamic, but also include the love and “in love” feelings we have for each other that nurture us through the ebbs and difficult times. It’s the glue that holds the various bits together and adds to the faith.

That ties into another concept that we have… that life isn’t easy, it’s hard. Life isn’t about all ups, rather life is about many struggles and the few successes and high points are to be cherished, remembered and added to our foundation so that when we hit the hard times, we have that to nurture us.

We both read Vi Johnson’s book “To Love To Obey To Serve” and we both read a very similar theme from her words – that consensual slavery is not easy, it’s not about always being “fun”, it will be a struggle and it’s nowhere near fair or equal — but it can be EQUITABLE. That’s a phrase I use a lot with her – equitable. She does have to live up to a lot of expectations with regards to her conduct and service. She does have to suffer when I don’t give her the S/m’s for a period of time because I’ve gone off on another tangent that’s taken my focus. It does suck.

The thing that helps us both get thru these times is faith and “love” and the understanding that this isn’t all about “wee fun” but it is – for us – about being true to who we are. At the end of the day, she serves me to make my life more comfortable and to be of use to me. I take care of her, I provide for her and even though I may not address her “wants” in the manner of which she would prefer, she has learned through that faith and love to be patient, that all in good time she will be equitably rewarded for her service.

The suckage does extend to the top side as well, in different ways. Consider that being her Master has meant that I take on a lot of responsibilities that probably in a vanilla relationship, I might not have done so. Her well being and the well being of her family has become my job. Taking care of her with her lupus is my job, and I have to watch a woman struggle with just the day to day jobs of taking care of normal things, much less engage in serious M/s dynamic that I might prefer. No, it’s not fair that I have to work long hours to take care of these things, then come home to have to do additional work because her illness robs her of her strength and the kids sap up so much of our time, but that’s just the way life is. It’s not fair and I have the faith and love that at the end of the day, I’ll be rewarded equitably for owning her and taking care of my responsibilities.

So at the end of the day, “love” and being “in love” hasn’t been a detriment to our M/s dynamic, rather it has provided the “glue” that helps us to keep our scaffolding of what’s important together. Our M/s dynamic isn’t centered around one thing, it’s all encompassing, woven into our lives and held together by respect, love and wanting the same things out of life. It doesn’t stop me from seeing the slave in this woman, it doesn’t keep me from being able to discipline or have the equanimity of dealing with M/s issues that need to be dealt with. it has taken time and a lot of communication and a great deal of understanding that life isn’t going to be easy, that our M/s lives together aren’t going to be easy, but we get thru them together with that love as a binding force.

(Edit a couple of years later) – If you read Guy Baldwin’s “Slavecraft”, he uses the word ‘affection’ and ‘respect’ and the anonymous slave also uses the phrase ‘love’. We’re not the only ones, and that makes me happy to know.