[M/s 365] Shared knowledge from Master Stephen

spine-of-old-booksWhen we’re starting out on the path of Mastery, it can feel overwhelming to contemplate what exactly that means. I remember thinking about how amazing my mentors were, and how completely inept and newbie-like I was. Talk about feeling like the proverbial “plastic flogger male het dominant.” It took me a long time to feel like I could contemplate walking this path in a safe way both for me and whoever might want to be in service to me.

Some are lucky to have access to wonderful mentors and a supportive community, but many who hear about M/s (either from erotica or that wonderful online service FetLife *cough*) don’t — and that’s what this post is about — sharing knowledge to those who might not have options.

I suppose this whole blog counts as my sharing of knowledge and experience. That’s what I meant it for. I also like sharing bits and wisdom where I find it, which leads us to Master Stephen.

Master Stephen hails from Indiana and is the Great Lakes Master 2005 titleholder. He’s a wonderful educator, a whip-smart man and also shares a love of geekery – anyone who can follow my obsession with the original version of Dungeons & Dragons as written in 1974 deserves that label.

Master Stephen has written a wonderful post on Fetlife called “Collected Bits of Learned Mistakes re: Mastery” – but as he puts it: “…although it’s usually called “Wisdom”. But as the most efficient path to wisdom comes from mistakes, I’ll just call it as it is. ;-)”

Master Stephen explains – “… I do distinguish between “dominance” and “mastery”. For the purposes of this post, please think of “Dominance” as about forcing your will on someone else (<— i.e. “play-time”), and “Mastery” as taking responsibility for a submissive’s decisions, well-being, attitude, etc. You can practice both simultaneously, but they are far, FAR, from the same thing. This post is much more geared towards Mastery. Please take any advice you see in that light.”

This is one of those posts that I have revisited a time or two in the past couple of months, musing about bits like the above. If you are called to the path of Mastery, I highly encourage you to read it. And share it.

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[M/s 365] A new dinner protocol

So… picture this. Adult kids and young grandkids are circling the table, running around, “Gramma this!” and “Papa that!” and just general ruckus and finally, Papa had to bear roar and get them all to sit down. Paper plates of spaghetti and a special dessert treat. Milk, cider and water. It was just one of those quick dinners because exhausted grandparents.

So we’re eating, and I’m mildly amused by how the plates were tossed on the table, thinking about a wonderful high protocol dinner we attended recently and how wonderful it was. Everything went off so smoothly and in order. Nary a major glitch or faux pas.

So then one of the grandkids chirps up and starts talking about how we’re doing “fancy dinner” right now (because to an 8 year old and 4 year old, any dinner at the table is now considered “fancy dinner”… especially when wearing dress up clothes.)

I look at angie.

Me: So I missed the high protocol that needs to happen at fancy dinner! Where are the servants? The white tablecloth? The place settings?

Angie: This is kids protocol.

Me: Ah, where the plates are tossed at you and chaos reigns.

So there you have it… for your next high protocol dinner, use kids protocol and sling those paper plates!

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[M/s 365] A day to batten down the hatches

It’s been a particularly rough week. We have our Denver trip coming up in a few days, and because we needed the Friday to travel/rest/present, I am working 11 hour days to leave early on Thursday and take Friday off. Neither one of us are sleeping well, probably because of stresses surrounding the trip. This is our first time of being the presenters for an entire weekend of classes. We’re going to try some new things and we’re trying to prepare. On top of the usual busy week of shlepping grandkids to appointments. We’re also invited to a private event, of which angie had some stresses and worries about – the situation and event is a new thing for us. Did I mention we’re not sleeping well? The more tired I get, the more the bad aspects of my Aspergers slip in, and today was one of those days to batten down the hatches, because I was on a roll to break something. Anything.

scream-satyr

Our methods of getting through these is somewhat based on protocol, somewhat a flexible response strategy. Angie knows that if I’m just in that much of an unreasonable mood, she is allowed to request to take her leave and go to default, while that request is a big flashing red neon sign to me to get my shit together and take care of myself. The flexible response part is that she can usually come at things from a different angle and we get through the rough spot in fairly good order.

So a lunchtime conversation went VERY awry. Fortunately, my Universal Translator – aka slave – patiently rode out the storm, as best she could and I have spent the afternoon in as much solitude as I can. I don’t like these moods, especially when we’re trying to prepare for something wonderful, and yet we’re so tired and stressed, it becomes hard to remember what we’re doing any why. Thankfully, the way the weekend is laid out, we’ll have Friday to recharge a bit. Get a bit of steam built up so we can do what we need to do and have some fun doing it.

[M/s 365] The hardest responsibility…

I’ve written a lot about being a Master with Aspergers, both here in this blog and in books and articles. Most of what I write is to be uplifting and supportive – to let other Masters with Aspergers know that it can be done. Over the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve had to face one of the harder jobs and issues that a Master with Aspergers faces – dealing with emotions and human nature and the mysteries that are presented and the challenges I’ve had to face because of my wiring. And it’s that struggle I want to write about today.

We’re going through a period where we’re coming down from a period of a lot of external activity – travel, presenting, all the things that keep us busy but unfortunately also keep us away from really having to rest, collect ourselves and get into a groove where we are connecting with each other across all the levels that are important to us. We’ve been doing some naval gazing when we’ve had some down time and introspection, but on a more intimate or S/m level, not much time. What happens in these disconnect times is that issues that were easy to deal with before can be tougher to deal with. Especially when we’re busy, I go into a “just the facts” mode. Or I get focused on the tasks at hand. Noticing the emotions and the cues is not intuitive. So I may not pick up on things right away, in time to address them before they become tarballs.

In the past, these would lead to epic meltdowns. Now, not so much, because slave angie is much better about communicating when she sees it happening. And I’ve learned some of the cues I need to be aware of. The centering from the other night is one of those cues. A discussion that angie and I had last night about an upcoming private event this weekend is another cue. She’s learned to say “I’m feeling XYZ” in ways that I get are facts. Although, it’s still difficult not to feel that combination of “oh shit, epic meltdown on the way” and guilt over the situation at hand. I like harmony in my home and family – and when one person isn’t in a good place, that gets my attention and I always am challenging myself to learn how to do it better. Not realistic, I can’t be responsible for everything, but it’s my nature to want to learn and be a better person.

It takes a lot of work on both our parts to overcome some of the obstacles of being an Aspie. Of her having to communicate in a way that she can get her point across, but not necessarily in a way that feels natural to her, but will make sense to me. So that I’m focusing on the facts of what she is saying, and not on the emotional verbiage which is natural for an NT to communicate with. And for me to recognize the emotions and have a good plan and strategy for those situations, to read it, understand the emotions and … even harder… have a plan that works with those emotions to get to the place I would like her to be. Not work in a bad or manipulative way, but to understand the best approach to take care of the issue, to deal with the situation and address what is going on. Not everything can be dealt with as facts. Dammit.

This will never come easy to me, but it’s worth it in the end.

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[M/s 365] While the slave’s away – again

An unexpected glitch to the weekend. It is American Brotherhood Weekend here in Chicago – where many leather folks come into town. Slave angie was honored to be asked to be a judge for the contest. The plans were set that we were to have a wonderful weekend with our leather family…

… except that one of our granddaughters that we help with has a very nasty cold. Rather than have her around other kids and family… I’m the Grandpa in charge – alone – today and tomorrow to see if she recovers. So… remember how I’ve mentioned before that Real Life is the Master of us all? Well, here ya go. So, I’m home watching creepy horror shows and missing everyone. But, in service to a bigger whole… my family both bio and chosen.

So we’ll see if something “M/s’y” happens tomorrow.

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[M/s 365] On having “the tiniest iota of doubt”

There are times when I will sit on an idea for a little while and chew on it until I realize what I need to say. Lately, this has been happening a lot as I read things on the web, twitter, or hear conversations between friends or at events, especially in regards to the skills and characteristics of what we’ll call the D-side or M-side.

To whit, this brief Twitter exchange with Michael Makai, author of a book entitled “Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook” and a new book “The Warrior Princess Submissive”

To which I responded:

Unfortunately, the exchange ended there. Now this is not to call out Michael specifically, as I’m uncertain of the context of the quote and if there is more about a “doubting Dominant” elsewhere in his book, but the quote raised my red flag on what I perceive as the Myth of the Perfect Dom/Master. I also understand the art of romantic language and erotica that hypes the stereotypes and fantasies of the uber-powerful Master or Mistress who sweeps into the room, his/her very gaze commanding all submissive types to want to drop to their knees…

This is where I insert my Kyle(from South Park) quote: “Really? Really? REALLY?”

KyleSouthPark

In the 50 Shades of Reality, aka Real Life that we live in, we’re human. We’re imperfect. I think a dangerous belief for someone who is coming into her or his power is to have this idea that they cannot make a mistake, they cannot have a doubt, or even several doubts and that they have to meet some level of perfection in order to attract a slave or submissive.

I remember having those thoughts back when I first started, that I was somehow supposed to jump into the relationship as the model of perfection, all decisions will be without mistake, and I would stride forth like the Dominant-Of-All. It really was confusing and difficult. It was even harder when the submissives I met had those same expectations – that if I made a mistake, that if I decided to reverse a decision, if I even communicated doubt to a submissive or slave,  it was somehow a marker of my ineptitude as a Dominant or Master.

I learned, the hard way, that these expectations were silly. And, for me, if a submissive or slave hinged her submission and/or surrender to a belief that I had to be God-like or perfect in every way, then we’re probably not suitable for a relationship. I find that to be unrealistic and unsustainable. What I have found to be respected and work with most submissives/slaves that I know is honesty, transparency and accountability. Having these values allows for me to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to have doubts without “being eaten alive.”

If I had any advice for a new Dominant/Master who read that above quote from the book, it would be this:

“Don’t worry about being perfect. Work on always being honest with yourself and your partner, being transparent as much as works for you and your relationship to make it successful, and being accountable for your actions.”

And for gods sake, avoid cannibalistic submissives/slave who eat Dominants. That’s some serious edge play that even I am not into…

[M/s 365] When the slave’s away….

SAMSUNG… the Master wonder’s how the hell he’ll make the coffee. Is it one sugar or two…
SAMSUNG… the Master will luxuriate in having the covers and half the bed back… or maybe not…
SAMSUNG … the Master will enjoy the finest of cooking, prepared by himself…
 … he will be prepared for the finest of entertainments …SAMSUNG
SAMSUNG … and the Master will have time to indulge in the most refined of hobbies …
 SAMSUNGOr something like that.

In reality, I’m going to have a relatively quiet of reading (to catch up on my backlog which is at about 20 books right now. I’ll be spending time with my granddaughter, and yes, I will be brewing some beer using the Mr. Beer kit. Winter Ale!

It’s taking advantage of times like these to have a relaxing moment, focused on just being in the moment and feeling at ease. And looking forward to when my slave is back home.