Tag Archive for Growth

Southwest Master and slave Title Year Wrapup

Southwest Master and slave 2013

As we wrap up our year as your Southwest Master and slave we would like to take a few minutes to give you an idea of what we did to represent you.

First, from a numbers perspective we attended more than 20 weekend long events.  After Southwest Leather Conference 2013 we went to B.O.H.I.C.A. Weekend (Austin, TX), Sin in the City (Las Vegas, NV), South Plains Leather Fest (Dallas, TX), Alamo City Leather Fetish Ball (San Antonio, TX), Beyond Leather (Fort Lauderdale, FL), International Ms Leather (San Francisco, CA), Northwest Leather Celebration (San Jose, CA), Northern Exposure 4 (Anchorage, AK), SouthEast Leather Fest (Atlanta, GA), TES Fest (Piscataway, NJ), Thunder in the Mountains (Denver, CO), KINK Weekend OKC (Oklahoma City, OK), Women In Leather Fest (Dallas, TX), Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend (Indianapolis, IN), International Leather SIR Leather boy (Dallas, TX), Austin girls of Leather (AgoL) Leather History Panel (Austin, TX), Leather Bash home of International Mr and Ms Transgender (Atlanta, GA), Beyond Vanilla (Dallas, TX), Behind Closed Doors (Tucson, AZ), Colorado MAsT (Denver, CO), Oklahoma MAsT (Oklahoma City, OK), and Mr Austin Leather contest (Austin, TX).

In addition, during the weekends we were home we participated in our local area events including teaching at Voyagers and The Underground, monthly AgoL meetings, Austin Pride Parade, and various cigar socials. We often made time with our leather family during week nights to ensure we kept up those ties, after all a year is too long to be away from those we hold so dear. On a wider scale, we each continued to contribute to Leatherati.com and slave was elected Vice President for Women in Leather International.

In all, we spent 70 nights away from our warm bed in 10 different states. We taught 40+ hours of workshops to approximately 480 kinky people. We sat for countless hours offering one on one mentorship and encouragement to individuals and couples never turning down a request for our time. Every conference we attended got our full dedication and attention, we worked hard to remain available and approachable staying in the lobbies, classrooms, and social events until we finally happily fell into our hotel beds.

Personally, we experienced joy and growth throughout. We had some challenges and overcame them together. We shared moments of adventure and beauty that were magnificent.

We slept when we could…for Master that included late at night in an IHOP and on nearly every plane we were on.

We drank way too much port in Las Vegas, they were serving it in red solo cups and slave forgot it wasn’t wine.

A delightful taxi driver took us down the famous crooked street in San Francisco on the way to the brunch that was so good slave wept with joy.

In San Jose we happened upon an amazing gift shop attached to the Catholic Church and Master indulged his passion for all things Virgin of Guadalupe.We played Cards Against Humanities with our leather family and friends in the atrium of a hotel in Fort Lauderdale till we were all too exhausted to play.

In Alaska after winning the People’s Choice Award for 2012, slave delivered the keynote address for NE4. We drank glacier melt out of the side of a mountain outside Anchorage on the breath taking Turn Again Arm Highway. slave fed a reindeer dandelions while Master smiled with one of the biggest grins ever as he watched his slave squeal with glee.In Atlanta, we resisted the temptation of gas station fried chicken while succumbing to the allure and high school memories of MD 20/20 (well we succumbed to the temptation of buying MD anyway.  Upon recalling that the Mad Dog has a bite far more fearsome than its bark, we smartly poured it down the drain.)  Later we shared bad Margaritas on the patio in front of the hotel till 4 a.m. laughing as Master had his slave tell stories about cats in bags and dead horses and street fights.

In Dallas Master served as a judge for Great Plains Olympus while slave served as judge’s girl.

slave managed to not curse in writing with one exception in Tucson when she worked the word “poop” into an example and jotted it on the white board. People took pictures of it after class… Master was Soooooo proud of his slave that day.

Master surprised our friend Master Thompson by decking out in a full body bunny costume for Halloween. Master Thompson told Master he had a recurring hot fantasy about Master as a bunny. Basically making dreams come true is what we are all about… no matter how odd the dream.

There was molasses and misfortune. Enough said about that.

Basically we spent our title year working very hard and playing even harder. Along the way we met hundreds of amazing people, shared meals with many of them, found many close and lifelong friendships, connected with and learned from our elders across the country, and taught anyone who wanted to listen that they are the author of their own one true way. Though our classes covered various topics each of them contained the same message, Masters and slaves must trust their own path to be their best way. Master said many times, “Be committed to the people, not the fantasy” and “the quickest way to ruin a relationship is to try to make it look like someone else’s idea of M/s.”

As we head toward our competition at South Plains for International Master and slave 2014, our deepest hope is that we made you all proud and that we continue to serve the community we love so intensely.

The trouble with thank you lists is that invariably someone who is really important gets overlooked.  Inevitably those persons that don’t get mentioned are the very people who do the little things that deserve the most recognition.  They also tend to be the people who don’t do things for recognition or because they expect someone is watching; instead they are the people who do things simply because they see a need and recognize that they have the ability to help.

That said, we want to take a moment to thank some people who made several of those usually unsung contributions that helped not only make this year possible but also consistently inspired us to be the best people we could be.  Without further ado, we wish to thank in no particular order: Joseph, Judi, Elegant, Archer, Master Obsidian, slave namaste, Mr and Mrs Jeep, Goddess Indigo, Dr Clockwork, Senor Jaime, Master Ian, slave jerri, Wayne Brawner, Kathleen, Foxfinder, Sarha, Loren, Alex, The Thompson Family of OKC, Sir Gareth and slave toi, Master Tallen and slave George, and our children.

Why Queer?

Recently I changed my profile on FetLife to state that my orientation is “Queer.” This does not actually reflect a change in who I like to have sex with or what turns me on.  It does reflect a growth in my understanding of myself and how I interact with the world around me. How I got to this place in my sexual identity is a bit of a journey and I would like to take a minute to share that.

My first romantic experiences were with my BFF in grade school. She and I were attached at the hip sort of friends. We fought like cats and dogs, we adventured out and around the little harbor town we lived in, and we stirred up way too much trouble.  I still remember the day, Valentine’s Day actually, that our parents were not paying enough attention to us in our opinions and we embarked on intentionally getting as drunk as we possibly could on the liquor in my Mom’s stash. This all ended with her attempting to walk/jog through the glass sliding door at my house, braking her nose, nearly bleeding out from the huge cuts she got, and having the doctor at the ER tell her mom that she almost died from alcohol poisoning. It was a crazy thing for kids to be doing but life was rough for each of us, our families were broken dysfunctional messes, and we were young and stupid. Aside from our wild times finding trouble, we also touched each other and kissed and cuddled.  All of that seemed natural. We loved each other in our own way and neither of us thought we were doing anything romantic, we were just playing.

Through my younger years, I often had a close friend who was a girl who I would kiss and fool around with but that was different than when I started having sex with guys. That is how I saw it, I was just doing what seemed reasonable with my friends who were girls and having actual ‘real’ sex with guys. I had no frame of reference. I had no internet to tell me what sex was.  I had no class in school that explained what sex between women looked like. I had no friends who identified as lesbian.  I had a few friends who quietly admitted they were gay but again, that sex seemed like ‘real’ sex to me because sex was defined by penises in my mind. I honestly never thought about what sex between two women would look like. It wasn’t a concept I had any framework for.

In my house growing up, being gay was described as a terrible horrible thing.  I had a Great Uncle who had lived in a closeted relationship with his ‘friend’ for 20+ years.  My family was embarrassed and spoke very rude things about him when he wasn’t around. They were not terribly kind even when he was in the room.  His partner was never at any family functions.  My grandmother spoke of him, her only brother, as though he was her dependent child whom she needed to protect from himself. When his partner died, my grandmother refused to allow my aging Great Uncle to attend his funeral because, “it wouldn’t look right.” My father constantly degraded what he called ‘the gays’ and would make terrible jokes about them.  When my older brother was arrested, multiple times, became addicted to drugs, failed and dropped out of high school, and ran away from home over and over again my father would always chase him down and try to get him out of trouble. Hiring lawyers and whatever it took to try to help him. 

Dad always said, “No matter what you do you are always my son.”  That all changed when my brother came home from running away and introduced my father to his lover, Cornelius. Once my brother said, “I’m gay,” Dad never treated him the same.  I remember my Dad saying, “He is so far gone that now he thinks he is gay, he is not my son that I raised anymore.” My understanding of what being gay meant was warped and negative.  I had no actual understanding, only fear and hate taught to me.

As an adult, I had lots of kids very young and became a very isolated radical believer in a conservative religion. For ten years I had no further opportunities to learn about sexuality.  I worked very hard to suppress any sexuality I had that might exist outside of the ‘marriage bed.’ In that bed, our particular version of faith taught anything was fair game.  It never occurred to me to have sexual anything with anyone, male or female or trans person or other, except for my God given loser of a husband. Even in that restricted sexual world I was kinky as hell and had no idea that is what I was.  I really thought all people had rough sex all the time. Choking, getting tied up, watersports, etc…all of that I assumed was normal and just not spoken about on Sunday morning.

When I finally got out of that marriage and came to the community, I really had no tools to define or understand myself with.  I explored swinging and anonymous internet hook ups, BDSM, and power exchange.  It was all a wild rush of freeing sexual experiences. Multiple men in my bed was wonderful and exciting and felt very liberating from the years of blindness induced by my own efforts to follow a faith. Eventually I also shared my body, my bed, my sexuality with a few women as well. Here and there, nothing romantic. Just part of the hedonistic joy I was finding in sex.

Then Master came into my life and we began our relationship together.  Very early in our friendship he had questioned me as to why I identified as heterosexual. We had long talks about it. I was convinced I was straight, mostly because I didn’t have any idea what else I would be. He asked me if I had ever had sex with a woman.  My honest answer was, “No, never.”  He looked at me sideways and asked about several experiences with women that he knew I had had. I said, again honestly, “Oh, that isn’t sex…there was no penetration.”  I thought he was going to fall out of his chair.  I really could not understand what was so funny. He talked with me for a long time about sex between women and asked basic questions I had never considered. Things like, “Well then, how do two women have sex?” and “What is sex?”

It wasn’t that I thought sex between women was bad or that sex between any types of people was bad.  I love sex!  All sex. I just had never stopped to think about the basics and I guess the community around me never thought to say, “Hey are you naïve beyond reason and we just don’t know it.”  Because really who would think a woman in her 30s in the kink community with all sorts of partners wouldn’t know what sex was. Looking back I find myself amazed at how naïve I really was. 

After those talks, I recognized that I had been having sex with men, women, and genderfluid folks for as long as I had been having sex. I realized that throughout my life I had often been assumed to be a lesbian. I could remember half a dozen women who had really gotten confused and pissed when I said I was straight after they had been involved in what they surely thought was courtship and some of them a sexual relationship with me.  I had been chided for being “a breeder” which I didn’t understand. I had held a couple of women in my arms as they cried about me not entering into a ‘relationship’ with them while I didn’t understand what was going on at all.

I wasn’t trying to be mean.  I wasn’t trying to be stupid. I just had no idea what they saw in me or what they wanted from me. I was dense. Well, better put, I was ignorant.

After Master helped me understand what I had been doing my whole life, I started to identify my orientation as ‘bisexual.’ During the past year though I began to feel that wasn’t really right either.  Last year at WIL-Fest I had some amazing energy exchanges with women.  I once again found myself learning what ought to have been obvious to me but simply wasn’t…I was attracted to people.  Not genders.  I was attracted to their energy, how they felt to me, how my body and mind and spirit responded to them.  Gender was completely not a factor for me in who and what turned me on…it is the way they ‘feel.’

Energy and energy-sex are things I have little ability to describe.  After a year of exploring energy-sex and entering into a relationship with someone who really engages in energy as sexuality I finally realized that is what does it for me. I am neither bi nor het, I am something else. Queer fits how my sex orients.

Master was reluctant to allow me to identify as queer for several reasons.  First and foremost, he is a words man.  Words have power and he was not comfortable with the word ‘queer’ because it is a relatively new term and not clearly defined.  Some people see ‘queer’ as a community affiliation, some see it as meaning ‘confused’, some see it as being attracted to all types of people. He wasn’t sure it would be clear.  He felt ‘bisexual’ indicated logically that I am sexually attracted to both women and men.  Clear and clean.

He also was not comfortable with the notion that I might be viewed as taking on some sort of trendy identity that the Queer community would not welcome me to share. He has great respect for the GLBTQ community and would not want to seem to be usurping a word or term that many before us had worked so hard to empower.

That was until we sat on the patio this past weekend at Southeast LeatherFest and engaged in hours of conversations about gender, orientation, and identity. We talked with our friends about my desire to identify myself as queer.  Some said no, that I wasn’t queer because ‘queer’ means “Queer as folk” and “you with him looking like a het couple just isn’t queer to me.” 

Back and forth the conversation went until our friend Master Ian finally said, “Would you have sex with a woman?” “Yes” “A man?” “Yes” “A trans man?” “Yes” “A gender fluid person?” “Yes.”  Master Ian turned to Master and said, “That isn’t a binary…it isn’t one of two choices…she isn’t Bisexual.” Master nodded and smiled.  He recognized that he learned an important lesson about gender and orientation identities and about shaking away all those old enculturated biases we don’t even know we have. 

The lens we each see the world through is never as clear and crisp as we imagine.  Master is always willing and open to learning when he has a perspective that he hasn’t recognized as bias. His leadership over my life is fueled by his own growth and self-exploration.  He is an amazing man. After that conversation he agreed that yes I am queer and I feel happy and centered in my sexuality in a way I never have before. Making that change on my FetLife profile is trivial compared to the journey I took to get there.

I am a slave and I am queer. I am so thankful that I have a life that encourages me to learn and grow.

On Complaining About Others

Recently I have gotten a hint of the stress that negative comments can cause. Don’t misunderstand, I am not complaining that I am personally over wrought or stressed out. I am a pretty solid, steady person as it relates to dealing with conflict or ‘drama’. I have been in the BDSM community long enough to have learned not to put value or energy into it for it does you little benefit personally and very rarely helps anyone else.

That said, I do find myself a bit sad that I read many negative and judgmental online posts directed toward folks in the community who work hard at serving others. Event producers, group leaders, and title holders seem to be ‘fair game’ of a sort. I am not sure why that is so rarely challenged. I suspect most of the folks these types of threads are complaining about or tearing down are simply busy, used to it, and possibly choose not to feed the threads.

Maybe next time you find yourself thinking negative things about one of these types of folks, try contacting them. Talking to them. Expressing your concerns directly. Making a place in someone’s life by showing them respect is the best way to have them listen to and respect your criticism. Posting online is likely not how you would like a conversation to begin about what you may or may not be doing wrong in your life.

Publicly announcing you don’t approve of someone who has never specifically sought your endorsement does nothing to build anyone and possibly does damage to you, them, and worst of all, to some new person who sees your post and fears that they too will someday have to stand up to someone like you if they try to start a group or run for a title or whatever they might have had the potential to do.

If you aren’t someone who is likely to make negative comments or post essays about things you don’t like, if instead you also read these types of posts and think it makes you a little sad too, then take a moment to post a compliment. This does not need to be a confrontation or argument, simply let the folks you support know you are there for them. If feeding the thread doesn’t feel helpful, then try sending someone a kind note, drop them a smile via text, or whatever feels right.

I know folks have the right to complain, I respect that, but if we want to take the time to really help one another improve let’s do it in the right way.

Just my thoughts.

Dirty Sex

Recently as we sat visiting with some dear friends on their patio, Master and I were talking about sex.  This is not rare for us; we tend to be very comfortable talking about our sexuality and our experiences including the good, the bad, and the messy. This particular conversation turned toward female ejaculation. I suggested that while anatomy and such all likely impact why some women squirt and some don’t, I also felt like part of the cause for non-squirting could be attributed to a woman feeling self-conscious during sex.

As we grow up, women tend to be made very aware of their hygiene and physical appearance.  This is perhaps not universally true in all cultures, but it does seem to be fairly standard issue in the United States.  Think of all the warnings about, “Be sure you always have clean underwear on in case you get into an accident.” Consider that smelling like a human being is considered poor form and so deodorant companies make millions from selling us things to keep us smelling less like humans and more like flowers. Being clean and presentable are part and parcel of most girl’s upbringing, certain they were part of mine.

I think this can also be said of boys and their upbringing, yet I honestly think it is to a lesser degree.  Boys know that getting dirty outside and playing with frogs is allowed now and again.  Men are reared to understand that while there is certainly a time and a place for being gentlemanly and looking dapper, there are also many times and places where men are allowed and even expected to get grubby.  I personally know that a sweaty man is often deeply appealing and very masculine. Think of the greasy auto mechanic or the blacksmith swinging his hefty hammer with sweat pouring off of his hard muscles. These images engender sexual stirrings in many a heart.

Women tend to not have these same freedoms. The wild woman spirit often longs to be out and muck about in the woods, yet this is frowned upon and we are discouraged from being wanton and muddy. Women are expected to trim, pluck, shave, scrub, peel, clip, curl, tuck, lift, squeeze, poke, and iron out all manner of parts of their body in order to achieve being beautiful or feminine. I remember my mother telling me, “It hurts to be beautiful.” She was not making a social commentary on how difficult it must be to bear the burden of beauty but instead teaching me that my role as a woman would require me to suffer pain in order to be desirable.

Womankind often carries this need to be kempt and lovely and so many women find themselves continuing to carry these fears into their love life. Women with these fears of being messy or unclean often shy away from many types of sexual play.  I have had many conversations with women about their avoidance of anal sex because there might be poop involved and how they are too scared to really cum during sex because they might pee by mistake.

There was a pamphlet I got at my OB/GYN’s office about “Urinary Incontinence and Sexual Dysfunction.” In the pamphlet, it described how many women lose the ability to orgasm because they are so ashamed that they squirt when they cum.  The point of the pamphlet was to encourage women to seek help for this via surgical intervention to resolve this debilitating problem. While I agree, not having orgasms would be debilitating I do not think peeing when you cum is anything to be upset about.

I also remember reading several passages in various pregnancy and birthing books that discuss how to bear down when pushing a baby out.  These each carefully instruct mothers to be to not concern themselves with the possibility of having a bowel movement during this process because the staff would be understanding and would whisk any poo away quickly. Many years ago it was standard practice to give a woman in early labor an enema, in part, to avoid having her resist pushing due to her fear of pooping. Good gracious!  Seriously, there you are in the throes of labor about to crown this seemingly impossibly large baby head through your vagina and you are worried about shitting?? Seriously?  Yet, this is a real concern that women have struggled with enough to make it part of labor instruction manuals.

Let it go girls!  Let yourself be free enough of this fear of being dirty to at least enjoy wild dirty sex. I don’t profess to avoid personal hygiene, far from it. The first things I do every morning are shower, shave, brush my teeth, put on deodorant, and fix my hair. I am all for being lovely and clean.  I feel best when I am clean as I begin my day.  When it comes to sex though, I am unrestrained.

Farting because I cum really hard does not freak me out. Squirting is all good, the larger the spot on the sheets the hotter the cumming was. Whether or not the squirt is made up of pee or some other liquid is not important at all. Even if it is 100% pissing while I cum, still all good with me. I have even on occasion said in a breathless husky post coitus whisper to Sir, “I think maybe I pooped, can you check?” Thus far he has always been able to report that I had not actually pooped to my relief but even had he come back with a different report, I would not change the way I abandon self-awareness. Sex for me is about being raw and undone. There is nothing withheld from Master. Sweat, tears, piss, shit, blood, and snot all spring forth without restraint.

As we sat and talked about sex and the issuing forth of various bodily fluids (I know, our conversations are so genteel aren’t they?) something occurred to me.  I was not always like this sexually.  I have always been wild in bed.  Even as a teenager I was a cat in heat whenever I had the chance but I was not always without self awareness during intercourse.

I thought about when did that change and as with so many things in my life I realized it was Master’s doing.  I remember that the very first time we had penetrative vaginal sex I was on my period. Master and I were very new and dating and he had suggested that he was planning on fucking that night. I became really nervous and finally after much prodding as to why I was upset, I admitted that I was having my period and I was scared to have sex because it might upset him.  I remember him laughing and saying, “Even better!”  I was really upset then and started crying and explaining to him that he didn’t understand because he was a man and girls are taught that periods are very dirty and I pretty much had a little emotional meltdown.  Once he saw that for me this was really a problem he stopped chuckling, looked me in the eyes, and explained slowly and sincerely that period or no he wanted me.  Period blood was a part of me and my womanhood and he wanted all of me.  Needless to say, we had some hot fucking in pretty short order.

Master spent many an hour expressing in clear and direct ways that every part of me was acceptable to him, desired by him, and owned by him.  Finding out that his pleasure was secured best through my willingness to be exposed and vulnerable to him in all ways was the key to finding myself completely unaware of my fears about my body during sex.  I never think about my body as unattractive or dirty when he is fucking me.  Now I feel only lusty sexy open desire to be consumed in his lust.  Perhaps that is unseemly in some way, but it is not unseemly to him and he is all that matters in my sexual world.

Are You Ready Boots? Start Walking!

When I was a little kid I owned four pairs of shoes.  The first pair was the sneakers that I wore all day every day.  I would wear them to school where I would play in the playground (assuming of course that I wasn’t in trouble for failing to follow some arbitrary rule that I didn’t create). My sneakers were not just for walking.  They were also excellent brakes when I rode my bicycle, rain boots when I splashed in puddles, hiking boots when I went to the woods that I was most definitely not supposed to play in, and so on.  Their many uses were endless. My second pair of childhood shoes was the worn out version of the first pair, kept in case I needed to “get dirty.”

My third pair of shoes was invariably some random child dress shoe whose wearing involved an event that required me to sit still and be quiet. As sitting still and being quiet were the two most impossible tasks for my childhood self to tackle, I knew that if I was wearing dress shoes I would be miserable and uncomfortable.  My fourth pair of shoes was the cleats that I wore when I played soccer. Given that I enjoyed playing soccer only marginally more than I enjoyed sitting still and being quiet, I hardly enjoyed wearing cleats.

Recently, I have started going to the gym to exercise.  While I suppose that I should be gleaning some great insight about the importance of fitness and health to one’s mood, the biggest thing I have learned whilst at the gym is that Fox News is just as annoying without any sound as it is with sound.  As I generally avoid watching Fox News with or without sound, I had never considered the over/under of how annoying Fox News is while muted versus with the sound on. It turns out that reading the crazy is just as frightening as listening to it.  The only bonus of muted Fox News is that occasionally the closed captioning doesn’t exactly match what is spoken.  For instance yesterday there was a big hue and cry about whether President Obama committed “tree son” because of his declaration that he supported gay marriage. I’m not sure what “tree son” is exactly, but I suspect the folks that oppose gay marriage are against it (which makes me for it, though again I don’t know what it is and indeed it may be a wholly bad idea).  I suspect that they were debating the merits of whether the President committed treason, while just as asinine as “tree son,” it is a smidge more congruent with their perverse view of the world.  Again, there was no sound for me to compare to the closed captioning, so I’m speculating here.

But I digress.  As I have started going to the gym, I discovered that I did not own a pair of shoes appropriate for working out in.  This surprised me because as I have grown older my collection of shoes has expanded geometrically.  Off the top of my head, my shoe count includes the following: two pairs of fetish boots, cowboy boots, work boots, rubber boots, leather casual/going out shoes, two pairs of casual work shoes, five pairs of Converse in various colors, two pairs of dress shoes, a wingtips, swimming shoes, shower shoes, pool shoes, and probably two or three other pairs of shoes designated for some activity that I’ve never actively engaged in.

How on earth did I go from really only needing one pair of shoes to having so many?  While I am sure that some of that change can be attributed to growing up.  In some ways I still feel the dread I felt as a child while wearing dress shoes because wearing dress shoes often involves activities I would rather avoid like court appearances, job interviews, or funerals.  Still I have grown and recognize their importance and the fact that these events require a slightly different pair of shoes than the shoes I might wear while puttering around the house or attending a leather conference.

Some of the shoes I own simply puzzle me. Like my swimming shoes.  I don’t go snorkeling or scuba diving, so I don’t own any fins.  As nearly as I can tell, swimming doesn’t actually require wearing any shoes. Yet somehow I have come into possession of shoes that I would only wear while trying to avoid the rocks and beer can detritus that one finds at the lake.   I also own shower shoes that I wear to the pool.  Again, you don’t need shoes to swim yet I own two pairs dedicated to that activity – an activity that I rarely engage in.

I also own a pair of rubber boots that I can wear if I have to walk in the mud. I walk in the mud even less often than I go swimming, so their utility is minimal and my ownership of them slightly more mystifying.

Thinking about all of my various shoes, I realized that taken together they tell a story of about me. Or at least they tell a big part of it. Together my shoes represent all of the things that I do and all of the things that I am.  My life, like my shoe collection, is composed of various parts that serve different functions. My shoes tell my story and I realized that if you wanted to know who I am you wouldn’t need to walk a mile in my shoes, you’d need to walk several miles in all of them.

Why I Love Teaching About M/s

I was asked today, “Are you not allowed to…?”  The question was about something small, I don’t really remember what it was that the person was asking if I was ‘allowed’ to do but when the question was asked I felt several emotions at once.  I was surprised by my emotional response.  At the time, the question was answered in a fashion as the conversation went on its merry way without any notice of my emotional response. No big deal but I find myself thinking about it again.

What emotions did I have? Well, first I guess it was defensive.  Not personally, but defensive of my Master.  I felt as though I did not want him or his way of managing my life to be seen as wrong or bad.  There was nothing in the way or words of the question that should have caused this emotion, but there it was anyway.  Why?

I also felt a bit embarrassed.  Not shameful, but more like when someone asks you a specific question about how you like to have sex. The blushing sort of “that is personal” kind of embarrassed feeling. Again, why?

The last emotion was confusion.  I didn’t know for sure how to even answer the question.  Was I ‘allowed’ or ‘not allowed’?  The short answer I gave was, “Well it isn’t that I am not allowed but sort of.”  That was pretty well a non-answer but that’s what I had at the time. Yet again, why?

Why did the question elicit defensiveness, embarrassment, and confusion? As I think about it, the answer seems simple but meaningful to me.  I couldn’t answer because there is not a paradigm in my world of ‘allowed’ or ‘not allowed.’ The meaning to me was in why the emotions I felt were there at all.  I realized there is a history in my baggage compartment associated with what M/s ‘ought’ ‘should’ or ‘is’ supposed to be.

The baggage that actually generated the fuel for those emotions include the following ideas: Masters are assholes that demand their rules be followed. Slaves are under a burden of rules and protocols. Master’s rules must be followed or to the curb with the slave. Slaves are without rational logical personal decision making skills. Masters are jerks and slaves are weak.

“Really, personal baggage, does that make any sense?” I ask myself.  Is that all still stored up in my attic somewhere?  Wow, I thought I had long ago tossed those notions out.  But there they were, lurking.

There was a time years ago before I was owned by Master when I was in the BDSM community but not in an M/s dynamic.  I knew people who used the terms ‘Master’ and ‘slave’ but did not understand what that meant.  After a little while I thought I came to an understanding of M/s because I had talked with some people about it, read a few things, and been to a few events.  I thought that pretty much Masters were assholes and slaves were doormats.  I didn’t know a damn thing but that is ok.  It takes time to learn about new things in life.  Growing up in kink is natural and we all had to do it sometime. I learned more, I listened more, and I opened my heart and mind to the people I met.

Time and experience led me to come to a place where I know that Masters and slaves all are different. Maybe some M/s couples are like that stereotype but all the folks I know in M/s now are certainly deeper, more vibrant, and wonderful than those first silly assumptions falsely led me to believe. Now I know that I am a slave and not at all a doormat.  I know Master is a loving, generous, intelligent, and encouraging man who has dedicated his life to protecting and fostering me into my best potential. Now I see the beauty and wonders of living my life as an authentic and fulfilled woman who has chosen to enter into a 24/7 commitment to serving his will above all else.

So back to the question that raised internal hackles. Why? Why is because I forget that to other people my choice of lifestyle does seem like an ‘allowed to’ vs ‘not allowed to’ continuum.  Internally, there is no ‘allowed’ or not, there is only this is the way it is because he says it is the best way.  I forget that the external expression of rules and protocols does look a little like I saw it when I was a new person in the lifestyle.

I have benefited from the time others further along the path took to teach me.  I will always be grateful to those folks and the hours they spent talking with me. Without them, I might never have arrived at this place in life. This is the reason I enjoy teaching and presenting about M/s so much.  I want to give my time, my energy, my love to those who have questions.

Death Do Us Part and Green Checks

A few years before he and I met, Master’s mother had a terrible car accident and was paralyzed from the chest down.  Because of this, she used an electric wheelchair to stubbornly barrel through her life doing just exactly what she wanted to do. Master got his dominance and intensity from her. They were peas in a pod though neither of them saw it that way. Mom had chickens, love birds, and yippy dogs because she wanted to. She had a huge garden with prize winning flowers and exotic plants surrounding her home. It did not matter to her that she could not do much of the tending to any these; she just found ways to organize her health care workers into an army of animal wranglers and unintentional gardeners. She lived on her own terms.

The physical condition of someone with her injuries tends to cause a mudslide of other health issues.  She was no exception to this. Over the last year, her various infections, pressure wounds, and cardiac problems began to drag her into a slow downward spiral. Master and I visited her often, he called nearly every day to check on her, and several times we went to stand vigil at the ICU when she seemed to be about to pass way.

Watching her decline and knowing she would not live long weighed on Master all the time. He had a hard time focusing on things and became a bit forgetful. He lost his centered calm way of approaching situations at work.  He found himself unsure of how to handle his mother’s medical situation and somehow that left him unsure about life in general. Mastery was not at the top of the list of things that had his attention. Things slipped away. Rituals stopped. Play became less frequent. His thoughts turned increasingly inward as her condition worsened.

A few weeks ago, mom died. She went out kicking and screaming because despite the long decline she had been in and various advices that she consider hospice, she still insisted that she would get better.  The night before she passed her and Master had an argument because he wanted to talk to her about dying, she was having none of it. “You just want to get rid of me,” she said. “No, no of course not Mom, I’m just trying to talk to you about what is really going on,” he tried to assure her.  A plan was made for Master and I to go the next morning very early and meet with her, her primary care doctor, and her care team to get a group understanding of what was happening.

That morning we arrived before her doctor and while we waited with her for him to arrive, she suffered a ruptured aneurism. She thrashed about in pain for a few minutes, she and Master both equally confused and overwhelmed; the nurses and I understanding what was happening but with no way of comforting either of them. When the doctor walked in a few minutes later, he said she would pass within 24 hours. She never spoke again and died in less than 3 hours.

The last thing she said to Master was, “I just want you to know, this (the pain she was feeling) has never happened before, this is new.”  The reason she said this was because of their disagreements about her not telling Master the whole truth about her medical situation.  He had always been so frustrated when he would eventually find out she had been keeping something from him. Imagine the two most domly Doms you know each trying to run the other’s life, that was how they locked heads over her illnesses; each wanting to maintain control, each wanting to help the other with their burden, each fiery in their determination to be right.

In the end, neither of them felt in control. It was a very dark day. In the hours, days, and weeks since Master has struggled with feeling out of control of things.  Her animals all needed homes, her funeral had to be arranged, her accounts and assets needed to be accounted for.  What to do with her things? How to deal with her collection of dozens of ceramic statues of chickens? Each thing piling onto his shoulders and pressing him down. Sadness at her loss. Fear of doing something wrong. Wanting to honor her. All of it in a tumble has fallen hard on him.

And there I am. How does the slave find center in the Master’s storm?  How does a servant support the Master when things are so grim? Months of distraction take a toll on a relationship and in a Master/slave relationship this effect is intensified. Last weekend Master and I attended South Plains Leather Fest.  We had planned the trip prior to Mom passing and Master decided he wanted to go to take a break from all the hassles of managing her estate. We both hoped the weekend away would allow us time to focus on our dynamic. That did not really happen. Instead, Master did have the chance to spend time being more social.  Spending time with our leather family and visiting with old and new friends in the community was great. We both had a good time but still, there I was a slave at a loss for direction.

All weekend Master would turn to me and ask questions like, “where are we going next?” and, “where do you want to eat?” He planned a scene but got tired and instead we fucked and fell asleep. There was neither Mastery nor joy in him. Both left me exhausted. I had spent the prior months quietly humming in the back ground supporting him. I took leave to visit his mom, washed her face with warm water when she was feeling down, cleaned her bottom and dressed her wounds. I cleaned his home, folded his underwear, cooked his food, sucked his cock, tried to smile and bring him laughter when he was down, lifted him in every way I knew.

During the weekend, things were amplified because of the lack of other distractions and on the ride home I was exhausted. I don’t mean exhausted physically, I mean exhausted in my emotional life. I felt sucked dry like there was nothing left in me to give. As we drove home, Master seemed to notice me for the first time that day.  He said, “What are you thinking about?”  Part of our dynamic is that I am to always be transparent and always answer honestly and completely any question he asks. I knew my thoughts were on this sucked dry feeling and that Master had enough stress on him, so instead of answering fully I said, “Nothing good.  You aren’t in the mood for a deep conversation.”  He answered, “Oh yes well I have been kind of talking about fluff,” and was distracted and began chit chatting about not much again. I was glad to have averted him and we drove another several minutes.  Then he looked over at me again seeming to ‘see’ me and said, “But no really, what are you thinking?”  A second time I answered without really answering and he nodded and began talking about wanting coffee or some such.  After a few more minutes he turned again to me and said, “Wait, I really want to know.  What are you thinking?”  At this third inquiry, I answered that I was thinking that I was drained emotionally and feeling down but that I didn’t think he was up for talking about that.  He assured me that he was ready to listen and so I explained how things had been for me.

I told him about the drift that had happened over the preceding months during his mother’s decline.  I was not angry, wasn’t upset, or really any emotion; I was simply exhausted. I understood that all of his behavior was reasonable given the circumstance but that I had arrived at that emotional point where there felt like there was no more within to put out. Power exchange 101 it would seem but without anything flowing in eventually I had nothing left to give out. I felt empty. Master listened, really listened, and in some odd way seemed I like a man awaking from a long dream. He was surprised because he truly had not been aware of how drained he felt also.  He thanked me for talking to him about it and said he would ponder how to ‘fix’ things.

The next afternoon, we went to a bank to handle some account stuff for Mom’s accounts. As we sat there, the bank associate asked what type of checks we would want.  I asked what types they had and she showed me a book filled with colorful check styles. Wheee!  I love pretty things and so it was fun to flip through.  Master had been sort of distracted, leaving me to do most of the talking as had become his normal custom of late. I started to pick something I found pretty and he turned and said, “We will get the green checks.”    Boring checks that had nothing pretty about them were not making me happy so I pouted and turned to him with a look of confusion. He said to the bank lady and to me, looking me in the eye in a direct sure way that I had not seen in months, “We will get the green checks.”

I knew the sound of my Master’s voice.  It had been quieted by the storm but now I heard it.  There was no grand repair plan.  No apologies needed.  No dramatic flourish.  Simply by turning his focus back to his authority, he had infused my soul with a rush of fresh energy. As we drove away from the bank we both felt the energy flowing. Unstopping the dam was so quick and the center of my world was righted.  Since that moment, there have been no more wishy-washy decisions, no more distracted, confused times.  There has still been stress and sadness, but Master has his feet again and I am filled to overflowing with a sense of purpose.

People often fear failure so much that they bring failure to life. Instead of fear or failure, Master embraced his own humanity.  He accepted that yes he had lost his focus and nothing about that meant he was a ‘bad Master’ or ‘a failure’.  What death had parted, Master’s hand rejoined.

Life and Time

This week I will have another birthday. Click off another year of living. I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.  In my professional life I have worked with death and dying a good bit. In my personal life, I have buried several cousins, all of my grandparents, my mother, and my father. Life is always shorter than we imagine it will be and I keep this consciously in mind every day. I make choices based on this reality.  This is in many ways the greatest gift that working with grief has given me, the power to live with that knowledge. I do not see it as morbid and it does not depress me, but it does change me.

This week is I will have another birthday, my 40th to be precise.  That sounds old to my mind. I count the years that have gone by since high school and am amazed to note that it has been 23 years. That is more years than I was old when I graduated. I can remember talking with friends about “the year 2000” and how old we would be by then. It seemed a million years away.

This week my youngest daughter had her last elementary school musical. In preparation for the musical we had to make a trip to the store to get her ‘girl clothes.’ Tomboy that she has always been, she had nothing that would suit the dress requirements. I discovered that she no longer can shop in the girl’s section. Her body has started to change, she is filling out, and she has gotten so tall. Now she has to wear clothes from the junior’s section. She fussed about not wanting a dress, then fell in love with a cute little pair of boots and transformed into a teeny little pre-teen clamoring for very girly things.

This week my middle daughter got her hair cut and figured out how to make her eyes even more stunning with makeup than I had ever thought they could be. During the fore mentioned shopping trip, she found a great little shirt she wanted to try on.  It was low cut and form fitted around woman sized breasts. I told her it wouldn’t fit and she bet me it would. It did fit. She has suddenly got woman sized breast.

This week my oldest daughter put on her formal concert gown for band and magically transformed into a beautiful woman.  Stunning. Simply stunning. Hips, boobs, hair a model would kill for. She has a woman’s face now. Her cheeks are narrow, her chin delicate.

I held my Master’s hand tightly during the musical. Sitting on the cafeteria benches at the same elementary that my older daughters went to.  Listening to the same songs they sang during their own fifth grade performances. Tears came to my eyes and I gripped tighter.  I could see in my mind’s eye my 50th birthday year. All of them grown. All of them outside of my grasp. Beyond my womb, my embrace, my home. Off into their lives. I clung to his hand knowing his hand would still be there holding mine in that not so distant future.

I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.

11-11-11

This afternoon I got sucked in to the TV in the break room showing The View. They had Glynis McCants as a guest on the show. She is a self proclaimed expert in numerology and recent author of a book, “Love by the Numbers.” She was lauding the import of tomorrow’s date, 11/11/11.  Apparently, according to her 11 is a very powerful number which indicates opportunity to enter a new direction in life. She noted that the ‘11’ “looks like a door.” This made me wonder if in Roman numeral numerology the “XI” was taken to be a barn door or some such.

I must admit I am not a numerology follower, but it did sort of peak my interest in the notion of numbers.  The lady on the show explained how to sort out what ‘number’ you are.  According to her, my Master and I both are life path 1 sorts.  This is supposed to make us both natural leaders. This seems sort of a pain in the ass as it relates to our Master and slave lifestyle.  After all, if we are both trying to lead this could be an issue. The good news here is that the descriptions I found of a One Type are like fortune cookies in that you can read into them pretty much anything you want. This allows that as a One I can still follow but will tend to be a leader to some.

Well, life path aside tomorrow is a big day. Apparently according to the Spirit Voyage blog, it is the COSMIC PORTAL TRANSIT DATE. Wow, that does sound pretty much like a big deal. The date aligns the universe somehow to allow us each a chance to change our destiny, our direction in life, or make leaps in personal growth. Fancy.

To me, this is really no different than any other day. Each day we are given we can choose how to spend it. Every day is filled with choices, opportunities, free will, and growth. Instead of hoping the numbers on a calendar will alter my life course, I have decided to live each day to the fullest. Sliding into my Master’s bed at night I hope I am always exhausted and pleased with how I spent my day. My mom used to say, “Fair trade.” I tried to find her reference source but had no luck.  I know she had a plaque on her wall in her kitchen that had a poem about hoping each day was a fair trade. The idea was that we only have a limited number of days to spend, we exchange that limited resource for whatever it is we do during that particular 24 hours, and the goal is to make sure each day was a fair trade. I summarize that as when the time comes that I lay dying, would I trade one more day for whatever I just spent today doing?

Just some food for thought as you embark on your own 11/11/11. Make it, and every other day, a fair trade.

Forgetting Where You Are

I am prone to forgetting many things I wish I remembered. I figure I am not alone in this. For me, it is not just frustrating but also interesting. How are things I remember different from the things I forget? What makes my little head cling to one thing while it tosses away something else like so much trash?

I remember the first time I kissed a boy. I remember the first time I had sex. I remember the first time I shaved my head. Is it that I remember these things because they were firsts? I don’t think that is it, at least not all of it. Consider that I don’t remember the first time I gave head.  Don’t remember the first time I rode a horse.  First might be some but is not all of the equation my head uses.

What about special? Is it that something is special and so I remember it? I still don’t think that is it. For example, I cannot remember one of my children’s birthday to save my life. I’ve actually had to sneak off to the file cabinet a few times and sneak a peek at her birth certificate to confirm. I remember the delivery, the process long and drawn out. I remember her smiles and her temper tantrums. I remember her big giant head that flopped about like a broken doll. I remember her, the essence of her, but her birth date…not so much. The other kids, no problem. I can rattle off their birthdays with ease. That one kid is also very special to me, but the date slips through my mental fingers.

I doubt I will ever understand how my brain picks things to keep and things to discard. The thing that I find really fascinating about remembering is when I know that some important bits of information are in there, upstairs in my gray squish, but they are not where they might be most handy. Left and right used to be like that all the time. Being dyslexic nothing is as annoying for me as having a teacher tell me for the thousandth time that a lower case letter D faces left and a lower case B faces right. Good fucking luck when you can’t remember which way is left. The weird thing about it was that I have a freckle on my right hand which a teacher once told me to look at to remember left from right. I did this check most of my life, physically turning over my right hand and looking at the freckle, but I always looked at my right hand first.  Somewhere in my brain was the knowledge of which hand was my right but without the act of looking at it, I couldn’t guess. Very weird.

Forgetting where I am at a given moment is sort of like that for me. There is an element of knowing but forgetting at the same time. I find myself at work doing a little goofy tap dance to cheer a co-worker forgetting entirely that I am at work and likely as not this is considered unprofessional. One morning, I came into my office and on my desk was a framed photo taken by one of my co-workers in which I have a sock on each hand. In the picture I am clearly having a little conversation with Mr. Sock and Mrs. Sock. The photo was a candid shot taken during a staff meeting. I forgot I was at work I suppose. Someone handed me two socks, and that was enough to make me lose all sense of formality. I was just being myself.

I have been in a graduate class and answered a legal ethics question posed by my professor with great clarity and confidence. When the professor asked me for my source, I just a clearly and confidently stated I had seen it on Law and Order. Needless to say, that was not what the professor considered a reliable source though we all got a good laugh out of it. I forgot I was in graduate school for a moment. I was just me.

When my Master and I attended a leather gathering not so long ago, a question was raised in the discussion about how important suffering was to the journey of a slave.  I raised my hand and answered that I didn’t think that suffering was a good plan for anyone since avoiding suffering is generally much more fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. I knew that all of the answers given before mine were in favor of suffering as a tool for growth. I knew I was the fish swimming the wrong way. Maybe I forgot my role as slave. Maybe I shouldn’t have disagreed with the flow of the conversation.  Perhaps I again forgot where I was and just continued being myself. My Master had raised his hand at the same time and when he responded after me his comment was nearly identical to mine. He felt just I did and we were fishes swimming together.

In the end, I think this sort of forgetting is my favorite.  Finding that I am always just regular old me is pretty nice. I am glad that I am forgetful enough of the expectations of the world around me to allow myself to blindly walk through my days just as I am. Sure, it gets you the occasional stare, or photo in your office, but it is worth it. The only cure I can think of is to be a ‘me’ that I am unashamed of so that every time I forget where I am, I am always right where I should be. Forgetting where you are is not a problem if you never forget who you are.