A year later…

It was a year ago that we stepped aside as International Master/slave 2014 titleholders and I brought the M/s 365 blog posts to an end. The experiment was over and I think we had covered a lot of ground of what it was like to live as a full-time relationship based on an erotic, spiritual exploration of an authority-surrender based relationship. When I find I am done with something, it’s very much “me” to drop the mic and go on to the next thing.

This past weekend, slave Angie and I were at the South Plains Leatherfest (SPLF) event where the contest is held, and where there are many classes on Leather, S/m and Master/slave subjects. (And a dungeon! But more about that in a moment…) We taught three classes. After one of those classes, a lovely couple came up to us and the woman looked very emotional and possibly upset. Come to find out, she’s been reading our 365 blog posts and has enjoyed them and written about them privately. We were both really surprised, honored and humbled that our words were still being read!

So hearing about this prompts me to talk a little bit about what we’ve been doing for the past year and where we’re going.. and will we start blogging again?

But first… the dungeon! Woohoo! After 3 consecutive years of attending SPLF  and doing all the things presenting and preparing or competing, we finally got to play at the pan-space at SPLF. It has been a long, long, LONG time since we played in public anywhere like that. It was a small, quiet, intimate, lovely flogging and tactile play thing – but very much fun.

So.. a year. The past twelve months have seen us go through some drop, do some reconnecting with each other and our bio-family and home, myself get back into some hobbies and personal projects that feed my artistic/creative heart, and seen us really focus inwards and small. We’re really looking at our local community, the people around us and the things we need to do to continue building on what we started. This coming weekend will be our first time being event producers, and there’s quite a bit of nerves, excitement, crazy face and a bit of that look you get when you’re about to go over the hill on the roller-coaster… here we goooooooooo!

The focus inward and on home and on the things that make us happy in small ways feels good. Our dynamic is strong. We’ve got a rhythm to things – it’s a small rhythm but it feels nice. This coming summer, we’re going to be doing a lot more motorcycle riding and reconnecting with ourselves and our love of travel just to explore and experience new places. It will be very nice.

We still are teaching. We taught a wonderful daylong intensive in Columbus on M/s dynamics and we’re repeating the same in Indianapolis in April. Doing teaching at regional/local events. And getting out a bit more locally so that we can meet new people and enjoy what feeds us within our communities. There is some change happening, some pruning of things that haven’t continued to grow… and that’s sad. Especially when it’s things we’ve put time and heart into and they seem to have moved on or moved away. All good things come to an end, or you cut away and prune to allow new growth, so they say… it’s still kind of painful. Grieving, I guess?

The direction and goal is inward and around us. Things need tending next to us and it’s time to take care of home and garden.

Will I/we keep blogging? I don’t know. I’m not sure what to write about. As I said before, when I say all the things I wanted to say, it’s hard to keep on writing about just stuff… ? So as topics occur to me or slave, perhaps. It’s kind of time to live life so we have new experiences and new lessons to learn and then share.

How To Train a Wild Slave and Master… I mean, Elephant!

The past almost four years were quite an adventure, but we’ve come to a point where I’m ready for us to take new steps, learn new things and deepen the experience of being Master and slave together. To deepen the surrender and authority.

One of the books that has been widely recommend to me, on the subject of mindfulness, is How to Train a Wild Elephant. The jist of the book is to deepen one’s mindfulness through a series of weekly exercises for one year.

But why mindfulness? Why am I focusing on this specific thing?

I believe that to live a life as Master and slave, Mindfulness and Intent are the two key elements that underlie almost everything that we do.

I have no doubt of slave Angie’s obedience and abilities. What I want to do is what a great many successful sports teams, successful leaders and successful individuals do… go back to Basic Training.

With four years of on-the-go, we’ve settled into patterns that work for that sort of living, but now we’re shifting into something a bit more quiet. And with that, to build a good step forward, going back to what underlies all that we do, focusing on it, exercising it, this will help make sure that the foundation has the support it needs.

Integrating authority/surrender in everything we do is a matter of both being mindful and having intent. Mindful of who we are and what we’re doing – intent of keeping who we are in our minds and the intent that this be who we are, not what we do.

We started the first exercise this weekend, and it has been fun! I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but let’s just say that I’m very aware of what I’m doing when I’m doing the exercise. Shaving, for example, has become a study in “Carefully… carefully…”

What do you do to go back to the Basics?

[M/s 365] Why do this?

This past weekend, slave Angie and I had the pleasure of giving a 1 day “intensive” on M/s. It was six hours of an intimate group of couples and some unattached/unaccompanied joining us to discuss tools, techniques, mindset and approach to M/s and what they needed most to hear. It went wonderfully!

The reason for the repost is because I was asked both last week on Facebook, and in the class, why I/we do M/s. My answer hasn’t changed from what I said almost 18 months ago. If anything, I’m even more drawn to the edge and exploring where we can go.

Our Master/slave Journey

razor-and-pearlsWhy do I do this? I’ve always been attracted to the edge. I’m a firm believer that M/s *is* edge play. It’s on the fringe of relationship dynamics for sure. It explores places that are deeply intense, that are on the edge of what our kink/leather/BDSM world explores.

It’s that edge that calls to me. It’s that edge of exploring where we can go. It’s that edge of passion, of joy, of feeling the heartbeat of our relationship as surely as I feel her pulse when I touch her.

There are a hundred and one things that follow, but the first stirrings, the first calling, was that edge, just as surely as S/m called to me.

And what does that edge look like? It’s the authority, it’s the absolute decision that she made when she surrendered to me, and it’s the surrender and exercise of authority that we engage in each day.

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On Reconnection

The simplest of things – a long-used phrase, but said with passion; slowing down that evening ritual so that each word spoken, each position taken, each touch made becomes a moment of meditation; a drive to the grocery store where you all are in the car together, alone – these things can become moments of reconnection that end up meaning so much.

We teach about this in our classes on M/s and Life: That in the cycle and ebb-flows of Life, it is easy to lose track of each other. To get caught up in the day to day struggle. To simply collapse in front of Netflix, Facebook or World of Warcraft and “veg out.” To forget that NRE and drive that brought us together in the first place.

Taking time to reconnect can feel like an impossibility, but it doesn’t have to be a holiday weekend, it doesn’t have to be a big production. A simple coffee shared together, a moment where your mind, intent and mindfulness are focused on these moments, just being together, just remembering those things that may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

After three years of being road warriors, slave Angie and I have been doing exactly that. Reconnection. Remembering the sting of paddles, the sadistic lust, the moments of connection with rituals and a flow that feels more like “us” than it has in a long time. We have been taking trips up to a get-away in the woods of Wisconsin and it has been healing in so many ways.

We used those tools though – the simple reconnections – to keep us going through those three years, but this feels so good to be “us” again.

Check your assumptions about the slave or submissive you’re talking to

Oh look, a stump or soap box. Let me get on it for a minute…

This weekend, I saw a wonderful man Robbie Butler step up to the mic and say “Yes, I am a slave and yes, I can run for American Leather Man.”

I’ve seen slave Angie push against similar projections and assumptions … that slaves cannot stand up and be leaders. Especially in leadership positions where people think it only applies to Sirs, to Masters/Mistresses, to Dominants.

It’s a false assumption. I’ve seen strong, caring, wonderful slaves across the world take up leadership positions and “get shit done.”

Too often, I think we as a community shoot ourselves in the foot with these assumptions that a **RELATIONSHIP** role somehow applies across the community.

Respect of that role is one thing. I respect someone as a slave or collared boy/girl or submissive in respect of their relationship role. BUT then, I don’t assume that because they have given control or surrendered authority that they somehow make that the ONLY thing about them.

Next time you walk into a bar, dungeon, play event — check yourself as you talk to someone with a collar or obvious sign of a relationship status. Do you treat them different, make different assumptions? Yes? Then mentally take that collar off them and see them as the wonderful person that they are, fully capable of that leadership position that our community needs filled.