Coming back to Earth

With our stepping aside as the current International Master/slave, the drop has been quite sudden and a little more steep than either of us thought. On top of that, my work has ratcheted up a few notches and let me know that the flexibility we’ve enjoyed with the title year is now over. THUD. Back to earth. Adulting sucks sometimes!

On top of that, a member of our leather family is ill and in the hospital after a suicide attempt. THUD THUD.

Add on top of that, we’ve had busy nights each night this week. Not a lot of connection time as I had hoped. THUD THUD THUD.

Add in some financial realities which have reared their heads, on top of the normal stress and it just makes for a “What the hell… can I go back to 2014!?!”

In all seriousness, this too shall pass. The Sun comes up tomorrow. We’ll get through it. We’ll move on. Some of these things, we saw on the horizon, and it’s just now that we can devote the full attention and energy to them.

This is the part of the whole deal that they can’t prepare you for. That sudden end of the year, that sudden drop, that the spotlight moves on (for better and for worse) and it’s now up to you to say “OK, what next?” and to take care of yourselves.

Of of the things that our title adventure has done has been to put us through reforging our relationship again. Toughen it up, hone the edges and show us just what we’re capable of. There’s a different feeling in us these days, a feeling of “fuck yea, we did it, we got this, we can get through just about anything” that comes with having done it. That’s the bonds of a long term relationship, the foundation and the bedrock that is solid and has gotten even more solid through these experiences. It’s those things that we’ll use as we adjust to the changes going forward.

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Ohana and Thank Yous – our Step-Aside Speech

Slave angie and I stepped aside this year at this past weekend’s South Plains Leatherfest. SPLF is the home of the International Master/slave contest. We’ve had a wonderful year, but it was time for our year to come to an end and new titleholders to be selected.

A quick explanation because I know that the terminology of leather/kink titles and title-holding can be a little odd to folks who don’t know about them. “Step down” or “Step aside” is what happens when the term of the title is complete. Most titles go for about a year. So when that year is up, the current titleholders step-aside or step-down and new titleholders are chosen, if there are contestants. Usually, the out-going titleholders are allowed to make a speech, to put an end-cap on their year, perhaps to share it and to let people know how they feel about the year.

We weren’t able to shoot video, although we’ll watch YouTube and Leatherati’s channel to see if they did. We were, however, allowed to make an audio recording, which we’re very happy to share here with you. This speech was somewhat planned, somewhat ad-lib, but very much from the heart about our “ohana”, our journey and discoveries.

We’re also happy to say that our successors are Master Kevin and slave feyrie from the Southeast region of the US. As I said to them – “Buckle up. It’s one helluva ride.” We both wish them well and hope they have as much fun in their coming year as we did this past year.

[M/s 365] The year is over!

A little over a year ago [1], we started a project to blog daily about our lives as a Master and slave, as well as our lives as the International Master/slave titleholders.

Today, that project and that year is over. Last night, a new couple was named International Master/slave 2015 and we have stepped aside. Tired, luggage duct-taped, wallet a little (a LOT) lighter, but we are so much richer for the experience.

We wanted to show the good, the bad, the ugly and the amazing in our dynamic and our year. It’s been a crazy, whirlwind year. We learned a lot about each other and the small, wonderful M/s community around us. In a few days, I’ll hopefully be able to post the video of our step-aside speech, depending on how it turned out.

I don’t know what our future project for this blog will be, but it will not be ending! We’re not going anywhere. Although we never got much traction on our “ask us anything” posts (are we that scary? 😀 ), we did hear from people that you do read us and you do like our posts. Thank you for sharing that, and for sharing our year with us. We’re thinking about doing some video blogs going forward, as that would be a medium that slave Angie would be good at, I think. I’ll continue to write, although without the pressure of trying to do something daily. THAT will be a relief!

Thank you. Thank you for your comments, for your words and just for reading and being here.

[1] According to the Internets, it has been 1 year and 6 days, or 371 days. 🙂

(Picture from: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=93446&picture=race-track )

[M/s 365] In sync

Packing has always been a stressful experience, or at least it was the first few times we did it together. Over the past year, we’ve come to be a well-oiled packing machine. A combination of using our favorite list service, Cozi (http://www.cozi.com) and just the experience and trust. I can pack in under an hour for a 5 day trip, and slave Angie has learned her rhythm and how to use the tools to not forget things. I’ve learned to trust her, that she will get it done, and she’s learned to accept and cope with my Aspie-OCD tendencies. The melt-downs now are very few and far between. We still forget something now and then, it wouldn’t be a trip without something being forgotten, but by and large, we are in sync and on the roll.

That whole experience is a microcosm for how M/s operates in the long term, I think. It is very rare for an M/s relationship to fire on all cylinders right off the bat. Sure, there’s the New Relationship Energy thing going, all is shiny, but eventually that new shine gets rubbed off and the learning and growing takes on a new direction. Now this is for keeps and I think it is here where couples learn the ins-and-outs and what is going to make them be in sync. It takes time, energy, communication and by that, I mean real communication – the soul searching within one’s self to know and acknowledge what is going on, then the sharing of that and listening, really listening to the other. Sure, Master commands, slave obeys, to do that effectively and positively requires real effort, finding the tools that work, finding the internal mechanisms that help get one through the rough times.

Packing used to be chaotic, stressful, lots of expectations and energy spent on things that just didn’t work. But, that was part of the journey and learning experience. So too, the M/s dynamic. And just as we didn’t stop traveling, so too we don’t give up on our dynamic. The tough times are when it’s really worth it, the growth is possible and obstacle is just that… something to be overcome.

One of my personal dangers and struggles with being in sync is complacency. I get comfortable, I get locked into a particular thing (hello Elder Scrolls Online, or Skyrim, or Dungeins & Dragons, or stock car racing, or … ) and I will assume that the “in sync” is going OK. But like any other skill, practice makes perfect, and practice and exercise need to happen. Those skills we learn in being in sync, that energy and emotion where we have that connection and we “feel and do” without even being conscious we’re doing it, that all needs practice and not setting aside. I’ve learned that to my chagrin a few times in the past. So I know it is there and when slave Angie raises the “I’m missing you, Master” flag, I’ve learned to recognize it.

There is no other feeling like being in sync though. When the two move as one, when it is so effortless and we work together as a well-oiled machine. It just feeds my ya-ya on how I always pictured an erotic M/s relationship should be.

[M/s 365] One journey ends, another begins.

splf2015

In about 36 hours, we’ll be taking our final flight as the current International Master/slave to return back home to South Plains Leatherfest and our step-aside. An extremely bittersweet moment. We’ve mostly kept it together, mainly by being busy (hair-on-fire busy, actually) but like any other journey, time and the travels come to the end of the journey. (PS. If you’re going to be there, please come say “HI” please!)

We started out just under four years ago and the people we are today are not the people who nervously decided to send in an application to a brand new state contest. We will be learning lessons from this journey for years to come, as we move on to new things. We are starting to think about all that though. On our way back home from Louisville this past weekend, we were remembering some really funny moments from our year, and the good moments.

We both agree that the best part of this whole journey has been to share and learn from so many people across the world. Talk about privileged! To have had the chance to meet wonderful people and learn a little bit about them, about their hopes and interests and dreams and questions. When else would we have had this chance to be so blessed and to have found a vibrant, passionate community like the Master/slave community?

We’re going to have more to say when we get past this weekend, but in the meantime, I wanted to share bits of the “The Road Goes Ever On” from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. About ourselves and the couple who will be on the road next come this Saturday evening…

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!

Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.

(from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkein)

long-way

[M/s 365] 50 Shades of Reality – the results

With the popularity and discussion about 50 Shades of Grey, with the movie being out for awhile now, I thought I would repost this review of the three books… or at least my conclusions of trying to compare “reality” of M/s, D/s to what was written in the books.

Our Master/slave Journey

50ShadesofGreyCoverArtBack in August, I decided to read the trilogy “50 Shades of Grey.” The purpose of the reading was to learn the language, concepts and situations portrayed. Ultimately, by knowing those, I could speak to what was similar and different between the relationship portrayed by the novels and our own M/s relationship. It would make for a better conversation and perhaps I would find something to appreciate in the books. I have to admit that I went into this with some pretty big assumptions and bias. A vast majority of my friends in the M/s and leather community did not like the books. I had read very bad reviews and seen funny videos. Despite that, I went into the books with a “just the facts, ma’am” attitude.

After reading all three books, yes I read all three, I have the following results. I should warn you, there are spoilers in…

View original post 1,192 more words

[M/s 365] Feeling it

We finished our last event as the current International Master/slave titleholders in Louisville this weekend, having a wonderful time in Louisville at the Bluegrass Leather Pride weekend. Bittersweet and actually a little rocky – slave Angie wasn’t feeling well and I was just “off” in how I felt like our classes flowed. Folks seemed to like them, and learn from them, but you know how it feels when you’re not hitting the notes or doing the things that you expect to be doing? It was one of those.

Thinking on that reminds me that sometimes we’re not feeling our roles, we’re not feeling particularly Masterful or slavey-like. Feeling sick, life has us down, or we’re just tired, or for whatever reason. This is the point where a segment of the kink community says “well, go ahead and put that on the shelf, go back to being ‘real’ and when you’re ready, pick it back up again.”

And for many folks, that works. That approach is valid for people who need to have D/s and M/s be something that is a scene, or a thing that is an assumed role.

I used to be like that, but I’ve changed and slave Angie has changed and now — well, it’s like from the Velveteen Rabbit, when Skin Horse explains the change:

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Our hair has been loved off, and we’re probably a bit shabby with the new relationship energy worn off, and time has whacked our joints a bit… but even with the energy being off, even when we couldn’t visit the dungeon because it wasn’t a good day, we’re still who we are, we still process those feelings and those moments and yet we are still Master and slave. That bond, that surety of who we are grounds us, and we know that we’ve become and there is no going back. Once that door has been opened, and those changes have happened, well, we can’t put it down. And I wouldn’t want to.

It was scary and the hugeness of this whole thing still leaves me in awe, although now it’s not so scary. Rather, it’s the comfort and security and knowledge that despite how we’re feeling it, we are who we are.