[M/s 365] Our 4 “How Do I” of M/s and leather

While we’re talking about “How do I…” type questions, another question we get asked is “How do I find leather” or “How do I become leather” or even “How can you make leather work in M/s”?

It’s a hard question to answer for two reasons. The first is that I firmly believe that each person’s journey in life is unique, and finding/becoming leather is going to be unique. Just like spiritual beliefs, there is no “one size fits all” and there are no “Ye Olde Guarde” rules/regulations that you have to follow 1-2-3 to get a piece of “earned leather” and BING you’re leather. At the end of it all, each person’s definition is going to be different. Our’s is different than many others in the straight community, and that’s OK. It’s a reflection of the journey of  how we learned our own way. The second reason is that just as leather is unique, an M/s relationship is unique. There may be common starting points (do you participate in a relationship based on authority transfer, for example), but it’s a unique chemical combination.

At NWLC this weekend, slave angie and I taught a class about our leather influences and archetypes, what had made us leather, and we had a lot of discussion from the class of their archetypes and influences. At the end of the class, I put up one slide of the points that we both had taken in our journey, together, as a Master/slave, to live leather. I wanted to share those here, now that we’ve given the class.

  1. Get involved in leather community. Volunteer. Support. Show interest in the community, not entitlement/replacement. You are there to be a part of the leather community, and that takes time.
  2. When doing #1 – remember to sit down, shut the fuck up and listen. Earn your way. You are no owed a seat at the table. You are welcome, but through your actions.
  3. Walk to the beat of your different drummer. Learn your local/regional/club traditions. Honor them, don’t be beholden to them. Use what works. Throw out the rest. Invent your own.
  4. Don’t rewrite history. Don’t accept rewritten history. Go out and learn leather history. Then, make your own by living Life.

 

[M/s 365] How do I…

I lurk quite a few of the M/s groups on various online sites, most especially KinkyNet.. err… Fetlife. Something I see quite often is a question of someone asking “help us make a tradition/ritual/protocol/punishment.” A fairly typical response is “do it yourself! We can’t tell you what to do within your own relationship!” That’s a valid response… except when it isn’t.

For a great many people who have been online for more than a couple of years, these sorts of questions become a blur and the same question over and over. It makes sense too, why someone wouldn’t want to repeat the same thing, over and over, especially when sometimes it feels like the person asking is looking for masturbation material, or is looking for an easy/simple answer…

… except when they’re not.

I tend to not answer those questions so much myself, but I’m thinking that I could do a better job of sharing what I’ve learned, much like those folks who took the time to answer my annoying questions.

I know that at one time, I had those same questions, and maybe I asked that same question a time or two, if not online, perhaps at a munch or MAsT meeting or something similar. I was lucky in that I found a group of folks willing to answer some of those questions, if not by direct answer, then by example.

That’s something that is missing from a lot of the online interactions – the example showing. When we go to events, we are seeing folks who have their “A game” on and in full blast. Those are fun to watch, and I know I learned some things, but it was in getting to know people, seeing them in day to day settings or being invited to dinners, to private gatherings, or just hanging out with them that I would learn far more.

It was also that they encouraged me, rather than with a “I don’t have time, go learn it yourself, I can’t tell you what to do in your relationship” response, which I don’t think ends up being very useful. What I can do is encourage someone new to do the things I was encouraged to do:
– think about what I wanted and what was within bounds of the relationship. Look for examples that appeal to me, what gets my dick hard, what turns my head, what grabs my attention… and what did I like from that?
– what feeds my soul and heart? If I want to work on a tradition, what are examples from the community that work for me? What don’t I like?
– If I’ve never seen anything before, or I’m in an area where nobody has tried it, or nobody like me is around, then close my eyes and imagine it. What does it look like?
– Try it! Assuming that I’m not doing anything out of bounds, and everyone’s consented/informed, nothing ventured is nothing gained.
– When in doubt, keep it simple. My collaring/recollaring of slave angie… less than 5 minutes. Most of the words off the cuff or short bullets that I knew I wanted to say and I just let myself speak to my heart. Besides, if you keep it simple the first time, and you like it, then at the 1 year, or next anniversary, you can improve on it.

Most importantly, and I do see this a lot and I think it’s a great answer … is to tell people to seek out others like them. There are over 100 MAsT chapters in the US, some cities have two or more chapters. There are munches, events. For the folks outside of those areas, that’s a tough one. There are webinars, online hangouts that broaden up with video and hopefully for someone seriously interested enough, they’ll consider making the investment to go to a regional event. For Master/slave, there are 5 in the US. And it is an investment, but one that will pay off dividends in being around like-minded people, who can help, who can make those personal connections.

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[M/s 365] Remember the old TV “trailers”…

… stay tuned? Same M/s channel? Well, that’s us.

After 2 days of cleaning up of a flooded basement…

… power went out this morning as we’re packing for Northwest Leather Conference.

But… we made it. Just finished having fun at the pre-event Meet/Greet at Renegades here in San Jose. Tomorrow and the weekend will be a blast of seeing our M/s family.

So stay tuned… more to come from being at NWLC.

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[M/s 365] Calmer waters

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Master and I love to use water and ocean metaphors when we are talking about our M/s flow together or when we describe how we make it through tough times. My love of the ocean and all in it makes that easy. My favorite trip we’ve taken together so far has been to Maine to take the charter on the waters to see the whales. We had gotten lucky that day to have seen an amazing number of right whales as well as a real live bait ball on the surface, I still close my eyes and dream of that trip when i need to find peace inside during tough times or just to center. The past two weeks i have dreamt of that trip a lot.

The past few days Master has posted about the flooding that we have experienced in our basement. Even pushed to exhaustion and a driveway filled with loss we somehow know we will come through. We are coming down to the wire before boarding another flight tomorrow for Northwest Leather Celebration of what needs to get done and what we are capable of getting done. We’re certainly ready for calmer waters. Still through it all i can’t help feeling the blessing of having each other in our place.

[M/s 365] Mother Nature – Ultimate Sadist

For the past umptiumth events and trips, we’ve been taking our swim suits and the joke has been that we always pack the suits, but we never end up getting to swim.

Be careful what you wish for or joke about… because Mother Nature, being the sadist she is… is always watching…

 SAMSUNG  SAMSUNG

Last night, the Chicagoland area had crazy storms and in some places (according to the Chicago Weather Center), they received 76% of what they normally get in rain for May. In 4 hours.

So about 9pm, I start smelling this strange smell and go downstairs and the basement is filling up rapidly. By about midnight, we knew we had lost the basement in terms of trying to keep the water down. Master Peter and slave evangeline loaned us a pump and by 1am, we had 3 pumps going and that was enough to keep the water at about 6 inches.

Slave angie and I pulled together, got things rolling and as of right now, only 1 pump is needed to keep the water at bay.

Slave angie knows how to handle a Master who is coffee-fueled, Dr. Pepper-fueled, sleep deprived for 36 hours…  I quote: “Very, very, very, very carefully… ”

In all seriousness, we are doing OK, but these are the times we just pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, stick the basic protocols and get shit done.

And Mother Nature… that is NOT the pool we were looking to swim in, next time, let’s just skip that option, OK?