The Butchmann’s Experience

Rage.

Pure, red-hot, all-consuming rage.

My pulse is pounding in my ears. My heart is beating so hard, a brief thought that I might feel palpitations.

The rage is screaming down my nerves, down my spine. My jaw is locked. My eyes are narrowed. My breath is shallow.

Someone is whispering close to me to someone else, I think. SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! I WILL RIP YOUR FUCKING TONGUE OUT!

Someone, with a frame drum, raps out a sound over me. My body jerks in surprise. MOTHERFUCKER I WILL TEAR YOUR BALLS OFF AND SHOVE THAT DRUM UP YOUR ASS! I shake my head and grind out the words “No! Stop it!”

I am lying on a massage table, wrapped in saran wrap and a bit of duct tape and I am feeling murderous rage, the type of which I haven’t felt in decades.

But let’s take a step back… what am I doing, why am I mummified and why the hell am I ready to Hulk-out and go into berserker mode?

hulk

The Butchmann’s Experience is billed as:

… an experiential weekend offering opportunities for self-discovery. The event uses hands-on basic SM practices to explore awareness of internal direction, and it uses the practice of Master/slave dynamics to mindfully observe inner resources and qualities that are transferrable to our relationships in life.

The activities of flogging, ritual temporary piercing, mummification, and Responsibility-Obedience practice are further explored through in-depth discussions. The weekend environment is structured to encourage safely entering new experiences, with the Faculty members supporting each individual’s unique experience.

We’ve heard from many friends who went to it that it was “life-changing”, “amazing”, “I go back every chance I get” and a lot of other glowing reviews and stories. It seemed like an opportunity for slave Angie and I to have an experience and see what we could learn.

I did the research to know that there are several aspects of the Experience that might provide a lot of opportunities for us. Part of the experience is to explore M/s dynamics in a safe environment, under the watchful eye of the facilitators, in a very structured and protocol-heavy way… SHOULD you choose. Another part is to give and receive floggings, piercings and mummification… SHOULD you choose. Almost every aspect of this was optional – the water was put into the glass, but you had to make the choice to drink it.

So we arrived at the location in Cincinnati Ohio this past weekend. While Butchmann’s is based out of Phoenix, Arizona, they also do “On-the-Road” experiences in other locations. Some of the weekends are pansexual, some are men-only or women-only. For the weekend, the cost was not that prohibitive at all, though we did have to pay for our hotel, which was fully explained.

At the meet and greet, we saw that we knew over half of the attendees and half of the facilitators. It was comforting in some sense, but a bit intimidating, because if this experience lived up to its reputation, we would be experiencing and sharing in very vulnerable and intimate/deep ways. Not sexually, but far more personal and revealing of our hearts and souls than we were used to.

One of the things that happens is that couples have the opportunity to go through the weekend “together” or separate. The class is divided into “Masters” and “slaves.” I put that in quotes because those are the terms, but it is not an M/s relationship where we go home with someone else. This is not Master-swap or slave-trade reality TV. It’s simply a structured way that the participants explore concepts of service and M/s based activities. Primarily through heavy protocol based activities.

Slave Angie and I discussed our thoughts on the drive from Chicago to Cincinnati – a long 6 hours – and we both were aligned on how our best growth comes when we are out of our comfort zone, when we are challenged. So, I decided that she would be assigned to someone else and that I would be assigned a stranger. Tough! I’m not one to easily share or to easily receive service from others, so this would already be a push.

As well, I had decided to experience all aspects of the S/m – give and receive a flogging, give and receive a piercing, and go through the mummification. It was less about turning into a bottom and switching and more about understanding and experiencing the full range of activities.

I’m going to skip ahead, now that I’ve laid out the what’s and why’s. There is so much to process and think/write about from the weekend, that you would be reading a novel in one post. Let me instead go back to the mummification.

The weekend had been a very heavy set of experiences, and most of them were surprising to me, although they all had been positive and very enlightening. I ‘expected’ (hahaha!) that the mummification would be the same. I wasn’t scared or feeling claustrophobic, truth be told, I was more worried about slave Angie in that regards. But I saw she was under the expert care and she looked and “felt” OK, so I was OK as they wrapped my shoulders arms, chest and legs. With a bit of wiggle room in the fingers, and my head unwrapped and my feet unwrapped, I was laid back on on the massage table and a cloth laid over my eyes.

I closed my eyes and began to breathe in a meditative way… in through the nose, out through the mouth. Count the breaths to 10, let the thoughts slip away… and I felt it in my stomach. A warning flicker of energy. Breathe… breathe… breathe… a bolt of energy shoots up my spine. Rage… growing… what the fuck is? Why am I getting angry… and then it was just pure emotion.

Just pure anger and rage, formless, no focus as much as I tried. I must have twitched or shifted because one of those not doing the exercise came over and asked me if I wanted the cloth back over my eyes. I don’t remember what I said, but it felt like venom spitting out of my mouth.

It burned and flickered like a flame. The rage. All I could do was flex and strain. I managed to poke a couple of holes in the saran wrap. HA MOTHERFUCKERS! I OPENED IT UP! YOU CAN’T SEE ME OR KNOW HOW MUCH I WANT TO HIT SOMETHING, ANYTHING, SO GO HAVE YOUR FUCKING KUMBAYA TRIPS BECAUSE I AM DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS!

I remember arguing with myself WHY THE FUCK AM I LYING HERE?! JUST SIGNAL AND THEY’LL CUT ME OUT. FUCK THAT!!! I’M NOT A WEAKLING! I CAN SURVIVE THIS! I remember getting angry at slave Angie. I wanted to free myself, but because I was close to her, she’d probably hear it, feel that I was not in a good place and it would ruin her experience. And I was angry at that. Why should she come before me?!? What kind of an asshole am I to want to possibly ruin someone else’s experience?!?

And on and on the anger went. It was so unreasonable and a small part of me was just sitting there, observing.

Eventually, I managed to roll my head enough that the cloth came off. One of the facilitators came up and I manage to spit out “I am done.” the required three times. She cut the saran wrap up to my waist, looked at me and said “You can do the rest.”

AT LAST!!! HULK SMASH!!! I tore off the rest of the wrap, I attacked it, I shred it. Fuck this shit! Fuck this exercise! I fucking hate this! I was so angry that I was shaking and could barely stand, but I did because dammit, I was going to!

The odd thing was that almost as quick as the anger came, it left. I was there to help cut slave Angie open and greet her with a glad heart and smile. I joked and chatted with everyone during lunch and participated in the group talks after, but I was dreading the debriefing from the mummification. I was sure everyone else had a wonderful journey of exploration and here I was, going to be the downer of the party.

So everyone shared in the debrief, and slave Angie was in tears about her experience. So it came down to me and another person, who I knew had a great experience… so I told them.

And of course, the people around me had seen, felt and known about my rage, my anger and the energy I was apparently VERY obvious about! *sigh* Hulks apparently cannot hide. What was amazing was that not only did they accept my experience, they validated it as genuine, as “OK” and as perfectly acceptable as the happy-trails that others had felt. Even with the point that “I intend on never ever fucking doing that again!!!!”

I’m still not sure what the anger was about, where it came from or why. I know that when I was younger, that anger was a constant companion. I was always angry. It was quick and fiery. It was a source of strength and of focus and passion. I played angry, I fucked angry. It even used to be that in some S/m scenes, I would tap into that energy… so that it was like using high-octane additive to the energy of the scene. Hard to describe, but there it is.

I only know that this was an experience I do not regret… but do not want to feel that anger again. I’m sure I’ll get an idea of the “why”… or maybe I won’t. Maybe it was just provided to me and now I get to do “something” with it.

I will write more about the Butchmann’s experience and the lessons that I might have from it. I know some already, and I’m sure more are coming. But this… this was riding the lighting.

 

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When Real Life Happens

wefearchange

It’s been an interesting few months since we took a break from our travels and presenting, giving ourselves a much needed rest. A number of things have happened, we’ve had some interesting experiences with dealing with change, and we just had a really good MAsT meeting this past weekend where we talked about changes and how relationships go through times of evolution and change.

relationship-triangleI’ve seen a number of M/s relationships fail because they were set up with such a rigid structure and rigid expectations that when real life and change did happen, the relationship couldn’t absorb it. One of the things that I heard recently from someone was that you can measure relationships by where it falls in a spectrum on  a triangle like the one to the right here. Sexual/Romantic/Service. I found it a very useful way of looking at things. If the relationship is completely in, say, service and one of the people in the relationship starts to want to go into the Romantic or Sexual, that might mean a change that the relationship isn’t set up – a Master may want the rigidity of a Service-only, no-love, no-sex, and the slave is starting to want to date, or to open the relationship to the possibility of a sexual element.

This also is true for when changes happen to a relationship which require one or the other to step outside their roles and assume the responsibilities of the other. Like for me, doing the dishes, and house cleaning, and child care, while slave Angie was recovering from a procedure. I think having the flexibility to refocus our energies into the other areas, while keeping the protocols and dynamic in place, allows us to have M/s in times when one of those sides can’t be fully explored.

And let me tell you, I discovered new areas of things that I want a certain way now. *grin* The dishes get loaded now immediately, laundry is done in a certain schedule… the things I relearned having to do it myself.

I think that it is possible to have a relationship that fully engages on one side, and as long as both parties are open to moving to other points of the triangle, or as long as that’s made clear up front – yes, we can consider going into other elements, or no, it has to firmly stay here, because that is all both of us want or agree to. I personally find it hard not to incorporate all aspects into a Master/Companion-slave relationship, but I definitely would be able to limit it to one or two aspects for a shorter term, or focused relationship, like I’ve had with some explorations of people being in short-term service to me.

And yes, there is a reason why sex is at the top… I may be almost fifty, but I’m still a dirty man…

[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] On being out

You might have noticed that Facebook has looked a little different lately. That different look has affected slave Angie and I personally. What am I talking about? People who had creative names to keep themselves somewhat anonymous suddenly are using their real names, and there’s a reason why.

Facebook’s “Name policy” is being used by people with agendas against the LGBTQ communities and kink communities to force folks either further underground (by leaving Facebook) or to use their real names. They do this by reporting the profile as a “fake name” and Facebook pretty much automatically shuts the profile down. Even people with real names are being forced to present IDs to Facebook to keep their names. This has also affected indigenous names, people who might be subject to stalking and/or abusive behavior, trans folks and even drag queens. There was a public brouhaha with a few drag queens and Facebook late last year, where Facebook apologized and said they would “improve” the process.

If by improve, they meant “get more efficient at removal” then they’ve lived up to it, because I’m seeing an increase in the tempo of name changes and profile losses. Most recently, “Bootblack Marta”, a woman known as that — that is her authentic identity, was offline for almost a month, and took some serious heavy lifting from media and folks (including the drag queens in the original issue back in October) before her name was restored. It looks like that whoever or whomever is doing the reporting has moved into the leather and kink world. They do this by going to the friends lists of people, reporting them, then going to their friends lists, reporting them, and so on.

With the changes going on around me, with people in my close friends lists, I decided to grab the bull by the horns. Slave Angie and I changed our Facebook profiles to our real names. With our title year, and with our active profile in the kink community, we are already practically out. We’ve taken steps to limit ourselves from intrusive family, but for the rest of the world, it doesn’t get much more open unless we made videos and were on TV.

And then, this morning, a friend request came in from a co-worker. *sigh* I knew the day would come, but there was a mixture of fear, apprehension and resignation. At least the person who has friended me is somewhat open-minded, but I know that eventually, that might not happen. I declined the invite, because I’m not going to mix work with my personal life.

I’m willing to stand up and say “I’m not ashamed of who I am, not one little bit” and to say that my personal life is my own, but I will admit that I have fears and worries. So much responsibility for our family rides on my shoulders, and this is not a choice made lightly… but I can’t live in fear. I can’t live hiding. I will stand up, even with knocking knees, because that is what is right. It’s my personal life, not my professional life, and I will fight for that right to be who I am.

[M/s 365] A cruel Master with a sense of humor…

I posted this to Facebook earlier today, but wanted to share it here… because us Masters really do have a sense of humor. [1]

A conversation I just had with slave Angie:

Me (reading Google weather): “Right now, it’s negative 13. Today, the high is 1. Tomorrow, the high is negative 6, Thurs, the high is negative 10…”

Angie: (eyes widen and she shivers)

Me: “Oh… wait, let me change that to Fahrenheit…”

We are definitely looking forward to Spring, and now I think slave Angie is looking forward to it just a bit more…

[1] Sick and twisted, or cruel, as it may be…

(Image from: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=2225&picture=wooden-thermometer )

[M/s 365] Sometimes Master needs Aspie self-care

A lot of times, I get told that I don’t act like I am on the autistic spectrum.  That’s good, because then I nailed the social interaction. What they don’t see is that I also have to take time off to decompress. After a particularly emotional, difficult moment last night, and a touch of home-sickness, the picture summarizes how I feel this morning. So I’m quietly sitting next to a sleeping slave Angie and letting my bucket empty.

[M/s 365] The Road Ahead

light-at-end-of-tunnel

Regarding yesterday’s quote…

I have been giving a lot of thought to what we want to do when our title year is over. I’m not one to stay at rest long, unless it is my holiday hibernation. Always into something. I think I am intimidated about coming back to the Great Lakes region and getting involved in helping to support and grow the Power Dynamic community. Community building is hard and vulnerable and it definitely pushes me outside of my comfort zone.

And, I think I am getting over my reluctance to open up and allow myself to feel power dynamic energy with more than just one person at a time in my life. Primarily in allowing people to be of service to me or us when asked. This has been a difficult thing in the past – and I understand now the “why” – my Aspie. This past year, I’ve come to begin to embrace it and understand it, how it might work.

When I spoke with slave Angie about her fears, she spoke more about her own personal fear of the sudden drop of activity and possible boredom. I get that. That’s why we’re making plans to still be active and traveling, as well as staying involved in our local and regional community. And hopefully travel a bit around the country and world. We have South Africa’s leather community to visit, going back to the UK, visiting Ireland and Canada, and hopefully Hawaii.