Tag Archive for Travel

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.

You know you are a title holder when…

You realize you slept through take-off on a flight.

You used your title vest as a blanket during a flight.

You have to check you Google calendar to see when you will be home again.

Your travel requires a spreadsheet.

You forget which class you are teaching until you arrive at a conference and check the schedule.

Your bank has stopped questioning out-of-town charges.

You don’t fully unpack your bags, you just pull out the dirty laundry and dry cleaning.

Eating out is no longer fun, just part of staying fed.

Google maps knows you are always looking for the Starbucks nearest your current location.

You spend more time with your friends who live across town while you are out of town at the same conferences.

Your own bed feels ‘weird’ and hotel beds are comfy.

You begin to sympathize with rock stars who trash hotel rooms because you too get a little stir crazy.

You find yourself explaining fairly often that no, not all Texans put fried eggs on things, ride horses, or wear spurs to work.

You realize that you wouldn’t trade a second of waiting for a connecting flight, drinking bad hotel coffee, or dressing out of a suit case because you passionately love what you are doing.

Most importantly… you have the privilege and honor of teaching folks all over about what you hold most dear.

 

On Joy, Lies, and Inkless Tattoos

I am a terrible liar. When I try, I always get this red cheeked goofy expression on my face and stammer and pretty much give up.  I can play poker ok. I can tell a white lie to spare someone’s feelings by giving a compliment that is based in truth.  I can cover my internal emotional responses when in a professional situation. Generally, I am a functional liar in all the ways that are socially expected of humans but when it comes to just flat out lying, I suck.

For example, there was this wonderful scene Master and I had where he did a cutting on my back of geometric shapes on my shoulder blades. A day or so after the scene, I forgot all about the cutting and wore a tank top.  My teenage son walked into the kitchen and said, “What’s that on your back?”  He was about 18 but Master had determined that we did not speak openly about our sexual habits so I knew I was caught in a moment requiring a lie. I stammered, “It is an inkless tattoo.”

I thought that I had done very well indeed coming up with a sort of true vanilla-ish reply until my son responded with, “Who did it?” He, being the curious type, wanted to know where such a thing as an inkless tattoo parlor was so it seemed to him a fair question.  At that point I panicked, unable to come up with a follow up to the half truth, pointed and Master and said, “He did.” Master then had to come up with suitable deflections as I had just completely thrown him under the bus.

Today at work this problem arose once again but for a little different reason.  First it should be noted that Master and I are traveling a good bit during the next several months.  Taking a little extra time off of work is part and parcel of attending and presenting at various conferences across the country. In my office, there is a calendar on my wall that shows what I am up to at work and when I am out on leave.  There are three days this week marked with ‘on leave’ because Master is taking us to attend Northwest Leather Celebration in San Jose, CA. I have been giddy with excitement as I cross off days till we head out on our adventure.

My coworkers, being curious sorts, often ask me where I am going or why I am taking leave. I have no good vanilla explanations for traveling all over and when I return to work, I rarely have clear tales of my vacation time to share.  This frustrates them but I am able to come up with inkless tattoo level responses and manage to be friendly without being direct.

Today one of my coworkers asked me, “When are you leaving on your big trip?”  I was caught off guard and said, “Which one?”  She looked at me as though I was crazy and said, “Alaska, of course.”  Well at that point I was in a socially awkward bind because I clearly was planning another trip aside from the fabulous adventure that is going to Alaska.  The idea that I hadn’t mentioned a whole other trip just weeks before leaving for Alaska clearly upset her. I managed to say, “Oh…uhm… we are going to San Jose this weekend, I wasn’t sure which one you meant.”

This is when the conversation got really hard. She looked at me and in an instant I knew that she was not questioning why I would go to San Jose or why I was going to Alaska.  She was simply jealous that I was going anywhere at all.  It was no longer the kinky part of my travel that was a social problem to be covered up, it was the embarrassment of riches in getting to travel so much that was lighting up the angry fold between her eyebrows.

How could I lie away my joy?  How could I make up a tale to allay the fact that I was living a life filled with happy adventures with a husband that, strange to the vanilla world, I always spoke highly of?  How could I apologize that my life is one I adore while 99% of the people I work with wander through a life they feel saddled by, doing work they don’t find fulfillment in, and living with long since estranged partners that they feel obligated to stay with? As I mentioned, I am a terrible liar and faced with this level of social awkward I did the best I could do and simply said, “I am really looking forward to it,” and walked away.

There is no way to justify when you are unacceptably happy to those around you.  BDSM and M/s are not proselytizing religions. I am not called by a higher power to lead them to the ‘truth’ of better living through authenticity or submission. There is nothing I can do to make that real and possible for them because I have no way of knowing if it would even give them joy.  All I could do is walk away and continue to be happy. Though I felt bad that she was jealous, what I felt afterward was not guilt but appreciation for all that my Master has provided for me.  He works diligently to find ways to give me pleasure, joy, and fulfillment of all that my heart desires before I even am aware I desire it. No amount of service or surrender seems worthy of all he does for me.  I wish with all my heart that the grumpy coworkers around me could feel joyful too.

On the Road Again

Most of my life, I have moved often and with rabid excitement. As a child, my family moved every few years.  I would be so excited about seeing the new place we were going to move, meeting new people, figuring out what was good and what was cool, and tasting all the fruits it had to offer.  Once I got married and began venturing out in the world as an adult, I continued to move with ever more frequency.  I lived up North, down South, and even in the middle.  I traded freezing cold snow storms for blazing sun then back to snow angels without a second thought.  I bounced about learning all the ways people were the same and ways they were different. I often have described myself as a gypsy at heart.

In 2004, I moved to Texas. Since that time I have lived in the same neighborhood.  I moved from an apartment to a rental house and then from the rental to my own house. In case you had not noticed, it has been 8 whole years.  I have never been in one town or state that long before.  I find myself rather dazed and confused by the notion that I have evidently settled down.  I traded my gypsy caravan for a farm house.  Planted roots and grown.

Most of the time, this seems to suit me well.  Prior to moving here, I would grow tired of my surroundings, get itchy for the change and bustle of a move.  I would feel as though I needed to move to simply feel normal.  Now I don’t feel that way.  I love so much being in my Master’s house, watching my children grow, and building friendships that are much deeper than any I’ve ever had before. I am happy, content, and vibrantly fulfilled…except for…that damn road.

The road on occasion calls to me.  I long to see places I have never been. Explore new terrain, new faces, and new cultures.  I love the whoosh of trees whizzing by on a long highway.  I adore sitting with my face plastered to an airplane’s window as I fly over unknown territory.  Over a year ago I noticed that when I had time to daydream, I would daydream about “What would I do if I won millions of dollars in the lottery?”  Always my fantasy would turn to travel.

I know it is cheesy to evoke the words of Willie Nelson to set the tone for a piece of writing. It seems sort of lame in a way.  Drawing on the poetic and campy beloved song “On the Road Again” sounds trite. Simple and to the point Willie gives his song images and feelings we all can connect with.  Friends, gypsies, music, and love-good stuff really. Going places that we have never been, there is an allure in that.  For me, it is a lusty allure.

Master is a watchful sort.  He doesn’t jump on an idea without letting it simmer.  He listened to my rambling and chattering and over time seemed to come to a conclusion. His girl needed a little road time. We had presented here and there over the years at local kinky events.  He wanted to focus more energy on teaching and presenting.  He saw things in the leather community that he respected and wanted to support. And there was that girl of his daydreaming about being on the road again.

Ultimately after much thought and consultation with fabulous mentors, he decided we would run for our regional M/s title in 2013. He set me to the task of submitting proposals outside of our Austin area. Sure enough, invitations began to come in. We traveled to Phoenix, AZ and presented at the Southwest Leather Conference in January. Oh how I pasted myself to the airplane window!  During the whole weekend, I drank in the views, people, sounds, and teaching. We attended South Plains Leather Fest in Dallas and while closer to home, I still felt that passion for adventure aroused.

In the coming months we are scheduled to present at Tribal Fire in Oklahoma, Northern Exposure in Alaska, and Great Lakes Leather Alliance in Indianapolis. We are also attending Northwest Leather Fest in San Jose and the Master slave Conference in Washington DC. I am buzzing with anticipation. Traveling is like a fetish for me, I am giddy just thinking about it. Teaching and learning from all the wonderful and varied folks we will meet is joyful.  Seeing the places they play, live, and work will be exhilarating. I am so excited. On the road again, making music with my friends.  For me, at Master’s side, nothing could be a better life.

Thank you to Master for seeing in me my heart’s desire and finding space in his life goals to bring them to reality.