OUTING – A Call for Best Practices and Solutions

We ended our last blog post by saying the community has become treacherous. Many are leaving precisely for this reason. Because they feel UNSAFE. The creation of SAFE SPACES counts and is directly connected to the enjoyment of the freedom to live your life in a manner of your own choosing.

CONSENT is also vital and important to the perpetuation of healthy communities – everyone can agree on this.

Individuals among us who violate this sacred standard of behavior, who engage in the practice of outing others, including on social media – essentially weaponizing social media, are vectors of significant harm to the community at large. By their actions, outing others in social media they are responsible for the creation of spaces that are inherently NOT SAFE. IT is fine to bring attention to issues in the community, yet it is NOT fine when that “attention” includes outing on social media or bullying.

“Cyberbullying can be as simple as continuing to send emails or text messages harassing someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender. It may also include public actions such as repeated threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech) or defamatory false accusations, ganging up on a victim by making the person the subject of ridicule in online forums, hacking into or vandalizing sites about a person, and posting false statements as fact aimed a discrediting or humiliating a targeted person. Cyberbullying could be limited to posting rumors about a person on the internet with the intention of bringing about hatred in others’ minds or convincing others to dislike or participate in online denigration of a target. [2]

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EVERYONE should feel safe. EVERYONE. Including those you do not like. Anyone who feels that safety is ONLY for those they consider to be worthy is part of the problem. Individuals who engage in online outing included.

By their actions they are also CONSENT VIOLATORS and ONLINE Bullies who embolden others to act in similar ways.  As an example, Since our original post we have received screen captures of further outing violations by those who are also TITLEHOLDERS. You can see these screen captures of outing by Moxie Minion- Northwest Bootblack 2018 here, slave Tabitha- International Ms Bootblack 2015 here, and also in a thread of Teagan- International Ms Bootblack 2018 here. We have only left the names visible of those who are out on their Profile or if the name is the same as their scene name. We have received other screen captures but it would be impossible to share those images without also outing those individuals.

Some of you, having observed this behavior have asked what you can do to protect yourself or others from being outed.  We do not believe that the responsibility of creating SAFE and CONSENSUAL spaces lies entirely with leadership, but that each person is personally responsible for proactively making decisions that contribute to their own safety as well as communicating with Leadership.

At the same time we also believe that that Leadership is responsible for …well…leading. The reality is that many leaders of conferences, groups, contests etc; are TOTALLY unaware of the forms that outing takes today. They are often so focused on prohibiting things like bringing cameras into the dungeon that they have a blindspot when it comes to how often online outing occurs

This current environment is RIFE and reactionary with accusations of a lack of safety without offering real plans to solve issues going forward. Being solution oriented we have come up with the following proposed solutions and ACTIONABLE guidelines. This is not exhaustive by any means yet we hope it is a step in the right direction to serve to protect and maintain the standard of consent within this Lifestyle while not preventing holding others accountable. These are SUGGESTIONS only.

Now before we begin let’s start with those who may have issues with what we propose:

“I’m an Activist, Influencer, Leader, Titleholder etc; – it is my JOB to speak out against injustice you just want to SILENCE me!”

Not at all. Feel free to say WHATEVER you WANT to say! In fact – you are totally free to NOT like whomever, for whatever reason. What you are NOT free to do is to weaponize social media in an attempt to harm said person or persons.

  • Do NOT Assume ANYONE is out.
  • In Lifestyle forums such as Fetlife use the persons scene name.
  • On mainstream forums be careful to ONLY use a scene name WITHOUT using vanilla or mainstream legal identifiers.
  • Avoid seeking out mainstream information in regard to individuals or contacting them on mainstream forums. WITHOUT their consent.
  • If using screen captures be careful to blur out vanilla or MAINSTREAM information including names.
  • Do not give out location information as this crosses a dangerous line – potentially exposing people to individuals prone to use violence as a communication device -many of whom may not even be part of any community.
  • Speak to your local community leaders to ensure those who violate known community rules are addressed. If someone has committed a CRIME report it to law enforcement or otherwise utilize the criminal JUSTICE system. That is why it exists.

WE believe in Reconciliation FIRST!

If you are a person who has engaged in this behavior:
  • Stop this behavior immediately. You can remove all traces of this behavior and STILL stand for what you believe in and speak about issues that are important to you.
  • Say “I’m Sorry” or post a public apology for your behavior. You did public harm and so your apology needs to be public as well – this goes a long way in healing.
  • Don’t tolerate or excuse this behavior in others. Tell your friends and associates that this behavior is damaging, may violate certain bullying laws and that you will not associate with it.
If you run a conference, group, club or event:
  • Create a very strong and clear zero tolerance policy statement AGAINST outing – including social media. Fetlife has a policy against doing this – your event, club or conference needs to have this in place as well – this is really the ONLY way to insure that you have a SAFE SPACE FOR YOUR ATTENDEES. 
  • Create a policy to ban people from your group, conference etc. if you have been provided evidence of online outing  – while it can be difficult to prove offline outing …with screen captures you can definitely prove outing on social media. 
  • Create a strong zero tolerance policy against outing for all of your presenters, teachers and speakers – anyone found to be engaging in outing behavior on social media will be banned from your event and will not be allowed to teach or speak at your event in the future. 
If you own a title:
  • Create a zero tolerance policy of ’NO OUTING’ for your title holders – if they have been found to engage in outing behavior online their title will be pulled and they are no longer welcome at your conference. 
  • Create a strong zero tolerance policy against outing for all of your judges – anyone found to be engaging in outing behavior on social media will be banned from your event and will not be allowed to judge, teach or speak at your event in the future. 
If you are a judge, presenter or are thinking about running for a title:
  • Ask conferences, producers, groups, and clubs directly to see written documentation that they have a zero tolerance policy specifically against online outing. 
  • If they do not have a policy in place – ASK THEM to put one in place immediately in writing for your OWN protection.
  • Refuse to attend, teach, run for a title in any event that refuses to have a clearly stated zero tolerance policy regarding all forms of outing behaviour. 
If you are an attendee, presenter, titleholder or judge:
  • Do NOT assume ANYONE is OUT! Even if they seem to be. They may be out to you, but not in general.
  • If you know of clubs, organizations, etc.. that don’t have a zero tolerance policy in place, use your influence to request that they do so immediately.
  • If they refuse to put a clear zero tolerance policy in place, use your influence to let others know that they do not have a policy in place and that attendees may be at risk by attending their event. 
  • Consider posting in the APPROPRIATE spaces a list of conferences, clubs, organizations that DO have a “No Outing” policy
  • Consider posting the following on your Fetlife profile if you have one “I do NOT Consent to having my Lifestyle persona, or scene name linked with my LEGAL (aka vanilla or mainstream) name, location or profile on any form of social media. Doing so is called “outing” and is a form of cyber bullying and a consent violation. “
  • Judges – specifically consider asking the following question of contestants; “Is there any reason to ever out someone – and to whom?” There is a world of difference in outing an abuser/assailant to law enforcement for JUSTICE and outing someone whose views or personality you don’t like for a VENDETTA

It is our sincere desire that these guidelines will assist you in taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for your OWN Safety.

Lastly, our intention is that this will be the LAST thing we have to share in regard to this particular issue and we can get back to writing about how YOU can create and sustain POWERFUL power exchange dynamics.

slave Namaste’s Keynote Beyond Leather

I’m very honored to be the Keynote speaker today –I’d like to Thank Sir Top and slave bonnie for asking me, and to Thank my Master for His permission. This may indeed be the briefest Keynote you have ever heard…LOL

A few weeks ago I was listening to a Jewish elder expound on how Lobsters grow. So for those of you who do not know – when it’s time for a Lobster it leave it’s shell it begins to feel uncomfortable. That discomfort signals the Lobster to grow another shell and shed the old one. As the elder was speaking he brought up the idea that when we as humans are in growth – we like the lobster experience that same discomfort how we RESPOND to the discomfort is what is different. Instead of beginning to grow a new shell and shed the old- we seek out various ways to keep ourselves comfortable in the old space.

We are the only living beings on the planet that do not naturally make space for our own growth.

Growth is challenging. It’s not pretty. It’s raw and tender by turns. It’s terrifying. And yet it is also inevitable. The only alternative to growth is death.

Every month many new people find these beloved shores and every month many of our elders and more seasoned members leave. Our community is in a state of extreme flux. However one thing that we do know is that this discomfort is a sign of growth and it is how we respond to this growth that truly matters.

One of our guiding ideas is to be all candles and no darkness (well maybe a bit of darkness….lol) In the exploration of this I invite you to begin to go one a journey into 7 Principles or candles which – when adopted by the Leather and BDSM communities – can help us to understand and co-exist. The thing about this is in order for these things to be EFFECTIVE they must be applied- not universally – but individually. See its easy to see what someone else should, or could do with these principles. It is much more challenging – but also much more EFFECTIVE to ask the question What does this mean for ME” and “Is there anything here for me” –

 

  1. The world is what you think it is – In Leather!

When I first heard someone tell a new leather person that they could define leather however they wanted to- I was offended – this was not the leather I was taught. This was not he Leather I had grown to love, respect and identify as. When I began to sit with this idea I realized that under it was a deep fear. A fear that the things that I held dear could in some way be diluted or diminished by what others did. I grew past that when I began to understand that it is EACH persons job to speak thier truth. Each elder, each seasoned leather veteran. Each person who represents a sub group, a title, a household – speaking their truth allows those who are new to our fair culture to find the notes that hold the most resonance. For some it’s low protocol for some high. For some it’s traditional and for others progressive. For some power exchange and others stand alone kink. The beauty of this lifestyle lies in the ability of each of us to create our world – or to find our home planet among a constellation of stars – each beautiful in it’s own right.

Our perception is both our observation and our interpretation of what we observe.

 

  1. There are no Limits- In Leather

Think about it. When this first began as a “community” it was hidden, secret, coded. Now kinky things are sold at the mall. High schoolers walk around with collars on and know all about kink (I should know I have raised a number of teens!). You can find books about power exchange right next to the Joy of Sex. No longer relegated to the darkness kink is found right up front at the Sunday matinee. While it is natural for our first inclination to be The Horror!! The Loss!!! When we really think of it – this is all pointing to one thing- there are no limits in Leather. If we as older Leather people can learn anything from TNG we can learn that Leather isn’t the scary specter it once was at least not to vanilla people. Which is a bit of a mind fuck – because rather than us being concerned about scaring the vanillas – it is we who are now being invited to shed our fear – in the form of shedding our limitations. Where have you been hiding? Where have you been afraid to express your truth even in your relationship? Where have you – even in this community – been living a lie? Releasing our limitations is first and foremost about letting go of the hold they have on us- so we can give our new kinklings permission to do the same.

 

  1. Energy Flows where Attention goes- In Leather

Our attention matters- because the things that we pay attention to the most receive that energy and GROW… they can flourish like a bountiful garden or they can swell with infection like a cancer. It all depends on what we are making the center of our attention. When I first came into the community – the center of our attention seemed to be hot sex, sizzling scenes, and finding out where we fit based upon our longings and desires. After all it took us so long and many of us fought so hard to get here. Many of us lost friends, family, church , jobs because of our proclivities – so when we FINALLY got here… our focus was firmly set on what we wanted. Well – the times as they say are a-changing. Now – as I said earlier – it is easy to find and express your kink. You needn’t get the buy in of others or even be a part of the “community” to proclaim your identity on social media, start a group on meet-up, or your very own wordpress website. Heck you can self publish your own manual of kink on Amazon even if you’ve NEVER played. This is a LOT of change in a very short period of time. And with this change comes chaos – and it’s that giant squeaky wheel that gets the oil of our attention and therefore our energy. Many munches are taking the form of a town hall meets PTA meeting. All of the energy is going to discussing, abuse, political activism, who’s oppressing whom, and the latest war of the groups. Now I’m not saying these things aren’t important. They are – however we would do well to take time to do a self check to see how much of your attention is going to the negative elements as opposed to the positive. Where is your attention? Believe that – it is also where your energy will go as well. If we spend all of our attention chasing the demons around every corner- it is any wonder we have so little energy left for a hot scene, cultivating meaningful relationships, or creating the resources that our community needs such as housing for our elderly.

 

  1. Now is the Moment of Power- in Leather!

I have spent a lot of time with leather elders, hearing their stories – enjoying the time getting rooted and grounded in our history. The thing is while yesterday holds many warm and fuzzy memories and while tomorrow holds a bright future it is NOW that holds the power. Now we are determining what traditions are precious enough for us to pass down. Now we are making tomorrows memories, now we are writing the book that will become a part of history. And that’s the paradox – in order to stay in the now you have to allow yourself the fluidity and power to have ALL of you present – NOW. What leather woman, man, beast or other are you NOW? That’s what counts. What kind of friend? Master? Slave? Dom? Sub? Leader, teacher? NOW matters. So often many of us are hyper focused on what we WANT our community to be- based on an ideal perfection that is simply impossible based upon the flawed and human beings that inhabit it. And yet- all I can do- and what I MUST do – what I hold the responsibility to do and what is the most beneficial thing to do is to be the BEST me that I can be – NOW.

 

  1. To love is to be Happy with.

I hear all the time from people that they Love Leather, they love the community, they love their Master, slave, leather family etc; And while I don’t disbelieve them – I do wonder if we understand that Love is about Happiness. Many of us grew up in families or cultures where love meant suffering. Love meant sacrifice. Love meant pain and hardship – and so the more we devote ourselves to something that causes us stress, pain, suffering and more the more we feel like this is an expression of love. But what if – we’re wrong? What is love really is about not how much obligation and sacrifice we can have but how HAPPY we are? What if as a slave my love for my Owner is known by how happy he makes me? What if I show my love for Leather by telling stores not of my suffering- but of my joy? Yes the community began in a somewhat hostile environment but we must begin to feed ourselves a different fuel if we have any hope of being healthy. Healed. Whole. That fuel is our Happiness.

 

  1. All power comes from within – in leather

There are two people who basically are the rulers of this community. I know – you’re a bad ass and no one rules you- but these two people are reall the puppet masters behind the scenes pulling all the strings. No – I’m not talking about “the man” – I’m talking about WE and They. We (LOL) have a tendency to think of what WE need to do and about what THEY need to stop doing. When we talk about what we all need to do we- each of us- automatically give the space of our power away and make ourselves unable to act. WE- as a community – don’t need to get rid of predators- because when we say “We” that makes it’s someone else’s responsibility. But if I say “I” then it’s MY responsibility. The same is true when we think of THEY. Don’t talk about how THEY are destroying the community – talk about the specific person that you saw do the destructive act- or better yet talk TO them. Don’t talk about how THEY are disrespectful or THEY have no relevance- talk about the person who disrespected YOU– or better yet talk to THEM. This is as they say “Grown folks” conversation. And it’s time for all of us to grow up by assuming our power and having some long overdue conversations.

 

  1. Effectiveness is the measure of truth- in Leather

Our community is growing. It’s changing – as are we all. We live in a time where our community is no longer within a 50 mile radius of our homes- but it is now global. And we’re still trying to figure it out. How do I form genuine connection? Who can I trust? Where do I fit? What method is the right one for me? Heck – what Identity is the right fit? This principle- that effectiveness is the measure of truth is one that is deeply embedded in my Masters Household. We live by it. Whenever we are doing something – be it business, child rearing, or our M/s – we ask the question periodically – but ESPECIALLY if we are considering if something needs to be changed- how effective is this? So the question is – how do we determine effectiveness? We look at a few key areas- Is it based in love or fear? Do we feel expansive or contracted by this? Is it growth or mere consumption? Does it elicit my power or invite victimization? All of which comes down to- does this benefit my evolution as a HUMAN? Yes- I know it’s easy to forget but before we were leather – we were human. We were flesh and blood, emotion and spirit with longings and desires. Our desire for connection is what brought us to this space. And whether we know it or not it is the longing for that –connection- that we all have in common or we would not be here. When I came to this principle I realized why t held such weight in our household- because indeed all the other principles can be summed up in this. The effectiveness of our actions to powerfully and profoundly connect us to ourselves, our Beloveds, our Humanity and to one another is the measure of our truth – In Leather.

 

Thank you

 

Civility for slaves pt 2 – Acknowledge your Master

My apologies  that this is a bit delayed- apparently a week goes past far quicker than I thought…LOL

So the second rule of civility is to Acknowledge others- especially Acknowledging our Owners.

So often as slaves we can be incredibly self referenced. Everything is all about us- and if you are involved in the greater Lifestyle community this is promoted as what M/s is all about – Master calls this “slave centric M/s” – where the needs of the slave is what the dynamic is all about.

If thats your thing dear heart I honor your path- but thats not the type of M/s that we practice – so you may desire to stop reading now.

Every action done in company, ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present. ~George Washington.

I’ve noticed in recent years the idea of the power slaves has often meant a slave who is down right rude or “in your face” when it comes to interaction. All grace and civility (if any) is reserved for his/her Master.

The thing about that in my estimation is that regarding people as worthy of respect is an inside job- often slaves who are seething with rage at the world- also have that same sort of resentment and anger towards their Owner – but they do not express it.

How much more helpful is it to make the Acknowledging of others a part of our behavior without feeling that it diminishes us in any way.

Acknowledging others importance, existence, feelings and thoughtful actions are all valid and wonderful aspects to cultivate. And cultivate is what is required in our 1st world country where we tend to take things for granted.

And that brings us back to our Owners.

Do you acknowledge all of the Dominance and Mastery you are honored to receive from your Owner? Do you consider your Owner’s feelings before you respond or react?

Giving honor to others is not something that they should have to EARN – respect is something we can freely give because respect only expands you- it can never diminish you. Even if the person you were giving greater honor to ends up behaving in a dishonorable manner- it does not in any way diminish the beauty of your giving them honor.

When we do not acknowledge others we wound them in 3 ways.

1- Inconvienance or indifference

2 – Denial of existence or loss of face

3 – Conflict with their own sense of appropriate conduct.

This is true of our Owners as well. When we do not acknowledge all they do, we put then in the unfortunate position of having to decide if thats something to correct us for or something that should be allowed to slide. We shame them or wound their pride. We say that we are indifferent to their humanity.  Furthermore if we treat others in this way – we make the statement to the word that THIS is the value system of our Owner.

While there has been much dialogue about if a slaves behavior represents his/her owner or not- it’s really very simple – most people will assume the slave is a reflection of her/his Owner.  Under this ideation – what is my behavior communicating about my Master?

Questions for consideration and reflection:

  • How can I give greater acknowledgement to my Owner?
  • What am I NOT acknowledging as I should?
  • Are there any people specifically that my Owner desires me to Acknowledge more that I’m not? (elder in the lifestyle, Senior Masters or Senior slaves?)
  • Has my distraction by things led to my lack of acknowledging of people?

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave Namaste

Keynote Address – BOLD 2014

I Am Doing a Great Work, I Cannot Come Down.

Good Evening.

It is good to be here with you tonight.

Here’s a question; What do an old testament architect, an airline captain and an erect penis have in common with each other?

At first glance not a whole lot, but I assure you that if you stay with me for a moment you will find that they are all related, very much so.

So let’s begin.

So it came to pass that…. As a storyteller, I believe that next to Once Upon a Time, So It Came to Pass is the best opening to a story in my opinion anyway..

And… So it came to pass that…

 In the sacred text we see that there is a man Nehemiah, an official in the Persian Court who is also cupbearer to the king – who in the course of time discovers that there is something terribly amiss and that is troubling him.

In fact this situation is troubling him SO much, that you can see it all over his face.

In the course of his duties in the palace he comes across the King… and the King seeing his countenance fallen like this asks what’s going on.

He says, in the ways of Kingly speech –

 Nehemiah…. why the face??? What’s going on here?

 Nehemiah replies to the King – the walls of my city are fallen and its gates have been burned with fire and the citizens thereof scattered to the four winds.

 The King replies – what would make you feel better? As they are friends, inasmuch as a King and a cup bearer can be said to be friends, the King wants to know what He can do to help with the situation that is troubling his friend – Nehemiah replies that he would feel better if the walls to the city of Jerusalem could be rebuilt and restored and that his kinsmen be gathered together again.

The King replies in the manner of Kings – Go… and see to this thing and report back to me.

So with the kings blessing and under that authority Nehemiah did travel with the appropriate papers and official seals and such and on his way to the jobsite he began to gather materials and workmen and shortly we find that he did indeed begin the project…. the work of rebuilding the walls.

And wouldn’t you know it – Right from the very beginning – work hadn’t even been started well yet…and there’s trouble on the horizon.

I won’t get too deep into the meat of this story just yet – I want you to pause right there, see this is an important part of the story – but lets pause for a moment, we will come back to Nehemiah a little later and see how he’s doing.

Instead I want you to come with me aboard Eastern Air Lines Flight 401.

Eastern Air Flight 401 was a Lockheed L-1011-1 Tri-Star jet; the jet is only 4 months old.

Its 11:42pm on December 29, 1972, and we are on a routine flight from New York to Miami.

From all indications this flight was indeed routine until about 11:32 p.m., when the flight began its approach into Miami International Airport.

There’s the usual scritchy airline captains voice coming over the intercom telling everyone that ‘we are going into final approach,’ giving the correct time and telling everyone the usual, how important it is to take your seats and fasten seat belts and all that kind of thing.

You know the drill; we’ve all been through it any number of times.

And as they settle into their approach to the Miami airport they lower the landing gears.

After lowering the gear, the first officer Stockstill noticed that the landing gear indicator, a green light identifying that the nose gear is properly locked in the “down” position, did not light up the way it was supposed to.

The captain, Mr. Loft, who was working the radio during this leg of the flight, told the tower in Miami that flight 401 would discontinue their approach to the Miami airport and they requested to enter a holding pattern.

The approach controller cleared the flight to climb to two thousand feet and then hold west over the Everglades.

This is routine – they then make an announcement to the folks in the cabin that they are in a holding pattern and the crew immediately begins working on fixing this problem

The cockpit crew removed the light assembly and the second officer Repo was dispatched into the avionics bay beneath the flight deck to check visually through a small viewing window to see if the gear was down.

Fifty seconds after reaching the assigned altitude of 2000 feet, the captain instructed first officer Stockstill to put the L-1011 on autopilot.  And then for the next eighty seconds, the plane maintained level flight.

Then, it dropped one hundred feet, (not a major deal) so now we are at 1900 feet…and then again flew level for two more minutes, after which it began a descent so gradual the crew could not perceive it. 

In the next seventy seconds, the plane lost an additional 250 feet and this was enough to trigger the altitude warning chime located under the engineer’s workstation. This puts us at around 1600 feet and the plane is still in a gradual descent….

Now if you’ve ever been walking onto a plane while the crew goes through the pre-flight check, they always check a multitude of these warning chimes, bells and whistles so to speak before they push back and go in flight. Sometimes you may hear this computerized voice say things like “Wind Shear!” “Wind Shear!” “Pull UP!” Pull UP!!” “Flaps! Flaps!” and other phrases and words designed to specifically alert the pilot that something is seriously amiss and needs to be corrected immediately.

Well, when the alarm went off this time, there was no indication that anyone heard it.

Why?

Because the person that is responsible for monitoring such things (the second officer Repo) is now in the avionics bay looking for the source of the problem of the light that malfunctioned.

As a result, the plane considered its gradual descent…and in another fifty seconds the plane was at half its assigned altitude. So we are at about 1000 feet and still descending….

As Stockstill started another turn, onto 180 degrees, he noticed the discrepancy. The following conversation was recovered from the flight voice recorder later:

Stockstill: We did something to the altitude.

Loft: What?

Stockstill: We’re still at 2,000 feet, right?

Loft: Hey—what’s happening here?

These guys are trained professionals; it probably occurred to them in an instant exactly what had happened.

The plane was now less than 1000 feet above the everglades, which were pitch black because well…they are the Everglades for goodness sakes, not a whole lot of ambient light pollution like there would be over a big city to indicate where the horizon is in relation to where YOU are in a big giant plane. And yes, they have that ‘horizon’ indicator that works; in fact they have a multitude of devices that can tell them at a glance exactly what’s happening.

But it was a perfect storm of simple errors, simple mistakes.

Any one of which would be a minor thing – not a big deal at all.

In the aggregate however – all of them happening at the most inopportune time…. you have a perfect storm of the worst thing that could happen.

Cumulatively – the effect was devastating to the pilots and to the unsuspecting people in the cabin behind them.

If you have the plane on autopilot and the people who are responsible for keeping the plane in the air are preoccupied with finding out about this light that isn’t working right, and the person who is supposed to be listening for the alarm is unfortunately nowhere around when the altitude alarm goes off, well…

If you know a little bit about planes, you know that when a plane turns, or banks – it can lose both airspeed and altitude rapidly unless the pilot gives the plane a little more gas – but they were in this gentle holding pattern (they thought) so no extraordinary flight maneuvers required, just a gentle turn and then its back onto the straightaway – a holding pattern is kind of an oval in shape, and its like an old fashioned racetrack…. straightaway, turn, straightaway…over and over again.

But in this case all of the mistakes added up to a really serious situation.

All of the possibilities collapsing down to a single moment in time of devastating certainty.

The plane has lost too much altitude and when they begin to go into this gentle turn at what they believe is 2000 feet above the inky surface of the Florida everglades, by this time they are probably a hundred or so feet above the surface…. and as a result the wing of the plane cuts into the surface of the Everglade swamp followed shortly by the fuselage and the rest of the plane at approximately 250 miles an hour, killing 101 of the 176 souls onboard.

This was discovered to be due to a burned-out light bulb. The landing gear could have been manually lowered either way. The pilots cycled the landing gear but still failed to get the confirmation light that they were looking for and as a result kept looking for the source of the problem, distracted from the much larger problem that was rapidly going to become part of their reality.

Their single minded focus on what seemed to be the most important thing at the time led to the first crash of a wide-body aircraft and at the time of this particular tragedy the second deadliest single-aircraft disaster in the U.S.

What Matters Most to you??

We’ve all done it.

Succumbed to the very human tendency to focus on the relatively insignificant at the expense of the profound.

It happens to all of us, not just airline pilots – it happens to everyone.

Sending a text when you need to be paying attention to the road.

Reaching over to get your phone, or your soft drink or whatever is really interesting on the seat of your vehicle traveling at speed down the highway.

It will only be a moment.

A quick second.

But that’s all it takes really, right?

Road conditions change, something happens that we weren’t expecting and then we are in a situation.

Focusing on the insignificant at the expense of the profound.

It’s relatively easy to get distracted by something that looks like it might be important

And hell, for all we know it seems like it might be something that really ‘needs doing’.  We are a nation of problem solvers; we pride ourselves on our ability to multitask, to juggle priorities, to come up with solutions….

But focusing on the insignificant at the expense of the profound can have disastrous consequences.

Now lets check in with Nehemiah at the job site.

Work is proceeding along, he’s got his men working, he’s got all of the necessary materials – the old burned stuff has been hauled away and the walls are going up!

Where there was nothing happening before – now there is the sound and activity, the hustle and bustle of new construction!

As Nehemiah continues to build, where there was rubble and in some places nothing at all – he attracts attention.

People who didn’t have an opinion one-way or the other prior to the construction – well…now they have an issue.

And like folk will do when there’s something new happening that they don’t understand and maybe don’t agree with…

Some will come and appear on the surface to support what you are doing – while at the same time undermining it under the banner of ‘I’m just trying to understand’.

And then some will want you to stop doing whatever you are doing, as in Nehemiah’s case, until they give you the authorization to proceed.

And for each of those – because the work that you do is so significant and necessary – it doesn’t really matter what the interruption is about, if you’re Nehemiah you do not have time to come down from building the wall!!!

That’s job ONE. Building that wall!

That’s why you asked the King and got His permission!

That’s why you gathered all these materials together!

That’s why you were able to recruit all these men to help with the construction!

You have to realize that in order for the wall to get built, you cannot come down…to chat! 

YOU HAVE WORK TO DO.

Your work is important,

Your work is necessary

Your work is vital

Your work is no accident.

So the naysayers and the ‘well, why don’t you just stop until we can UNDERSTAND just what’s going on around here’ people would come to the jobsite and they wanted to talk.  They would invite him to meetings constantly, they would say why don’t you take a moment from what you are doing and come and talk with us about this project?

And Nehemiah’s reply was…Um NO.  Can’t do it.

I have work to do here.

In fact, I am doing a GREAT work, and no…I cannot come down.

And sometimes – Your answer must be similar – what he actually said to them was ‘if I come down from the wall to talk with you, how is the work going to get done?

If I stop what I’m doing to come down from the wall and talk to YOU…HOW is the WORK going to get DONE????

So – No, thank you.

I am doing a great work – I cannot come down.

As I understand it – (and because I took the time to read the trifold, lol) The purposes and origins of MDHL are three fold:

To develop a sense of community, to foster a sense of ethics, transparency and accountability among those that identify as MDHL-fs, and to better understand and define the dynamic, sharing mutual experiences…..

I believe that when you desire to develop a sense of community among Dominant men and submissive/slave women to address concerns that are specific to their lifestyle dynamic – there will be some…. that do not understand you.

Or that will want you to stop building…until they can get a grip on you

Or who will just hate on you for even trying.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down

When you endeavor to foster a sense of ethics, transparency and accountability among those who identify as MDHL-fs.  –

You will be opposed by those that are for whatever their reasons might be – challenged by those notions, of ethics, of transparency and of accountability.

You see, there were a number of people in power in the neighborhood of Nehemiah’s job site back in the day and one of the first issues that happened was that the landscape literally began changing around them.  They could no longer operate in ways that they had become accustomed.

In their cases they had been running up prices in the local real estate market and were doing a host of unethical things to the populace, but the re-building of the walls began to draw attention to other things that were not exactly as they should have been.

So change began to happen.

And they didn’t appreciate it, not one bit.

The work that was going on re-defined what it meant to be a part of that community, illuminating some things that needed changing…. and the same thing is happening today around us.

Don’t be surprised when Haters begin Hating – as the eminent theologian K. Williams wryly observed; Hater’s will in fact Hate – because you see that the role of Hater is not only a lifestyle, but an identity as well.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down.

And Thirdly, I read that one of the things that you purpose to do is to work to better understand and define the dynamic we engage in through careful and thoughtful reflection and sharing of mutual experiences.

You have committed yourself onto a path to engage and to educate.

The BOLD implications of such an endeavor will open you up to criticism but more importantly in order to reach those that need to hear this message you must be vulnerable.

And yes I am BOLD enough to use the word BOLD in describing the BOLD nature of such an endeavor. (lol)

It can be tough to be vulnerable.  –  I recently wrote a piece on our mainstream website, richardandnamaste.com called ‘living my life as a dick’ that goes straight to the heart of that matter. My namaste actually wrote a piece about living her life as a clitoris which was amazing and wonderful in its own right and inspired me to write my article in response – check it out when you have a moment, she’s truly wonderful.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down.

As a storyteller, I realized very early in my life that all of the most important lessons we learn in this life are carried to our hearts and minds through the vehicle of story.

I believe that you cannot really, truly know a person until you know their story…

That is why vulnerability is so important.

You see, you cannot engage in thoughtful reflection and sharing of mutual experiences if you are not willing to be honest about who you are and what your experiences have been.

If you putter around not sharing the essential you with the men around you, not sharing the essential you with the women around you, you are doing what the well-meaning crew of Eastern Airlines flight 401 was doing.

What a dear friend and colleague of mine used to call, ‘majoring in the minors’.

You will be focusing intently on the burned out light bulb of insignificance…while the plane full of people that ONLY you can reach hurtle toward their doom as the inky blackness of their own personal Everglades hurtles up to meet them.

The passengers of flight 401 didn’t know what hit them.

And the people on YOUR watch won’t know either…. If you aren’t focused on the WORK.

the WORK that you are uniquely qualified and charged to accomplish.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down.

 So…..What if I did decide to go through my life as a Dick for just 24 hours.

  • To be the embodiment of masculinity, virile and potent
  • While simultaneously being vulnerable and tender.
  • As actualized masculine essence – Enthusiastically and vigorously inserting myself directly into situations that feel good to me, that bring me pleasure.
  • While at the same time avoiding or literally not responding at all to that which is not good to me or for me…I instinctually avoid those situations that are tense, are upstream or not pleasurable
  • Instead, I dive deeply into wondrous and mysterious places and situations again and again enthusiastically and passionately..
  • I find to my amazement that what was previously closed to me is now open, expectant and waiting for my arrival – everything is prepared for my ease and comfort, no detail has been neglected
  • I also move with ease through a world that receives me openly, deliciously and responds to my every movement with waves of acceptance and reflects my pleasure back to me multiplied and expansive.
  • When I am exactly where I should be, where I need to be, where I want to be – I feel invincible and magnificent. Nothing comes close to how wonderful I feel
  • In truth, I belong right here, right now – the situations and circumstances in which I find myself are literally tailor made for me – the most comfortable and delicious fit imaginable and I notice how exciting that is to me.
  • You see, I am committed to only taking inspired action – and enthusiastically rising to the occasion at the right time!
  • Additionally…I also effortlessly let things that no longer serve me pass right through me, I don’t hold onto things past their time.
  • I am so in love with my Purpose and I look forward expectantly to each opportunity to actualize my Purpose in this time and space.
  • Fully inhabiting this space, being the penis with all the potentiality of that energy and the intensity of this experience….is a Good Thing.  Seriously

If every man was truly and authentically a Dick..I mean, in the ways that I’ve just described, I believe that the world would be a much better off as a result.

So my advice to you is – Be A Dick. You owe it to yourself.

Be vulnerable.

Be strong.

Be about the work that you were purposed to do, that you NEED to do.

And take pleasure in doing so.

I am doing a Great Work…

I cannot come down.

Thank you.

To the Masters On Intimate Apparel….

Underwear, sleepwear…intimate apparel. I want to talk to the Masters about lingerie in general. An unscientific survey of Masters and slaves, Dominants and sub missives has uncovered an interesting trend….many female sub missives and slaves came into the relationship enjoying the wearing a lot of various pieces of lingerie.

Many female slaves and submissive report that their masters or mistresses typically get rid of most if not all of their lacy, frilly, sheer bits of intimate apparel. The story is pretty much the same all over – “He/She prefers that I be naked as often as possible. “Master considers the unadorned female form the most beautiful and it doesn’t require anything artificial like colorful wispy lingerie to make me even more beautiful.”.. lather, rinse repeat.. What happened???

These are awesome sentiments – in fact, I’ve said a variant of the same for years. Honestly, I didn’t see the point of intimate apparel – it was a translucent, diaphanous barrier of sorts and frankly I don’t like barriers of any kind between me and my namaste.

So there.

Confident in my anti-lingerie smugness, I concentrated on procuring delicious outfits for namaste to wear at events and in the dungeon and basically forgot about intimate apparel.  If my namaste is in her collar and a pair of heels, why that’s all that she needs, period. You can’t improve on perfection, I’d say to myself looking at her.

So what caused me to re-think my position on lingerie?

Well, when I apply a tiny bit of critical thinking to this, there are some gaps in this philosophy. To wit; while I realize that as King, it is good, right and proper for her to be attired (or not) as it pleases me, denying myself the pleasures of lingerie is just that, a denial. Lets take this example and try it on in other spheres of life;

Can you imagine; “Steak is delicious by itself, why do you need to add bleu cheese crumbles, or pour sizzling butter in the bottom of the plate, in fact why add any salt, pepper, garlic or spices at all? Phooey! Steak – medium rare. That’s all you really need.”

Or: I love my house, its beautiful just like it is!!! Why paint the walls, work on landscaping or hang pictures? Its just wonderful as it is, without all that claptrap and adornment.

Or: I love my vehicle!!! As long as its getting me from here to there safely, who cares about waxing, vacuuming, polishing or tuneups? Air freshener indeed! Balderdash! Poppycock! Its just a $%&)@ _____, not a fancy carriage, jeez! Its perfect just the way it is.

You get the point…

…Good, Better, Best

I consider myself as well as others on Our side of the slash as Royalty as well as aspiring Renaissance Men and Women. We consider it a challenge to derive the maximum amount of pleasure out of any field of endeavor we choose to pursue. So we DO want the tastiest food possible, given our palate and pocket – the most beautiful surroundings, the nicest conveyance… as it pleases us.

To go beyond our personal tastes and start thinking about what others might be thinking of us and modifying our tastes accordingly is the worst sort of hell. Unthinkable.

Differing tastes abound and what is aesthetically pleasing to one person will be rubbish to another. Developing a palate – that is being able to distinguish for oneself  between good, better and best according to your own internal guidance system is essential in my estimation to your personal evolution toward being the best version of yourself imaginable.

Good, better best on one hand…… Some vs none on the other hand.  

It is the stuff of Kings and Queens to be able to enjoy a wide variety of pleasures. When I think on myself kindly I should like to believe that I am constantly evolving and my slave as well. She is my will actualized in the world and a wonderful partner on this journey – our Great Adventure together.

Therefore it is very easy for me to come to a new conclusion regarding lingerie – to be able to look at it anew and to say regarding intimate apparel in particular that I look forward to relishing the experience of enjoying my namaste both clothed and not, and when it suits me I shall also enjoy un-wrapping her like a beautifully wrapped present.

Setting Intention

Just like the perfect appetizer enhances the meal that you know is to come, and a hint of your scent in an article of clothing can bring her comfort and pleasure when you are traveling away from home, the wearing of intimate apparel contributes to the mood, it helps set the stage and may even surprise you. Im a very visual person and Im also tactile as well – so something sensuous and silky wrapped around my namaste in jewel tones impacts my senses on a number of different levels. The obverse being that I deprive myself of the intensity of this experience if I insist that she just wears a big cotton t-shirt instead.

FEH.  I don’t like being deprived.

It is my wish that every Master, Mistress and Dominant reside in a garden of earthly delights, each according to your own vision of what you find personally delightful. Engage all of your senses – live the lush, juicy and delicious life of your dreams!!! O King, O Queen – stop depriving Your Royal Self!!! Adorn your property in some intimate apparel – treat yourself to some added deliciousness!!!

Rule Well,
Master Obsidian

Vetting 101

My namaste and I run a couple of groups that require Vetting in order to attend an event or join a group. Periodically it comes to our attention that some people are offended by Vetting, don’t know what Vetting is or WHY we would want to vet. Some assume erroneously that Vetting is akin to “clique-ish” behavior and discrimination. Others don’t know how to Vet someone or how to craft a good letter of reference when asked to provide Vetting information. This post is meant to hopefully shed a bit of light on the practice of Vetting, encourage others to use it, and offer some tips on both asking for a reference and providing one.

What is Vetting:

To vet was originally a horse-racing term, referring to the requirement that a horse be checked for health and soundness by a veterinarian before being allowed to race. Thus, it has taken the general meaning “to check”.

In short vetting is the process of doing a background check for the purpose of determining suitability for a position, membership in a group, etc;

Why Vet:

In the oldern days (heh!) vetting was done in our lifestyle mostly because engaging with the wrong person could mean harm in a number of forms – social alienation, losing one’s employment from being outed or even death. While vetting in general has become less common in our observation – we believe it is a practice that DEFINITELY needs to be brought back – especially because of the openness and inclusiveness of our community at this time. Anyone can walk into one of our munches, go to a party, even start a group. Because our community is expanding so rapidly, making blanket assumptions concerning the intentions of every person interested in attending events or group meetings can be problematic. Taking the time to Vet is a way of reducing the stress associated with inviting individuals that are unknown to your event or meeting, a way to make sure this person has suitable references, is actually a responsible member of our community and give you as much information as possible to make a good decision. Vetting is important for you no matter if you run a group, organize parties or are a bottom or a Top.

How to Vet:

There are many contexts for Vetting. Here are a few.

If you need a reference – if you are the individual being vetted be sure to provide those asking with appropriate references, consider asking your reference(s) to send an email or contact the organization or individual you are being vetted by. The communication should come directly from the person vetting you to the person requesting the reference.  A random person who saw you at a munch can not vet you. Anyone you are considering using as a reference should actually know you – this means they know your real name, and have had personal experience with you – such as dinner, coffee, phone conversations etc; . In other words you are known to this person in a real time, actual context.

If you are providing a reference – Feel free to say “No” if you are asked and feel uncomfortable with providing a reference. If you do not know someone well, would not be comfortable with them in your home, or have reservations – indicate those to the person requesting the vetting. Make a distinction between your personal experience with the person and what you have “heard” concerning their reputation. Ask what they are being vetted for. For instance  you may feel comfortable vetting someone for inclusion to a group, but not feel okay vetting them as far as their being a good Top or Dominant. If you feel you cannot vet a person – tell them and explain why. This is not being “mean” or “rude”, often new people do not understand vetting and they would be better served by having the explanation (that I do not yet know you well enough to recommend you as an X) than by your saying “yes” and providing a hesitant or incomplete reference.

If you are requesting a reference on someone else – Be clear in what you are asking for. Provide as much context as you can concerning why you want information without going into a long story. Are you considering someone for membership in a group? A potential play partner? A potential Master, Dominant, submissive, Mistress or Top? Context is important. For instance there are those I would gladly vet as a skillful top that I would not feel comfortable vetting as a potential Master. There are submissives I’d vet favorably as far as inclusion to a munch but would not consider vetting as a play partner.

Questions to answer or ask depending on context:

Here are some questions to be used in the vetting process. Feel free to use them as is or to use them as a springboard to your own questions.

For a munch or group: Can this person be trusted not to out others? Can they be trusted to keep confidences and obey rules? Are they new to the community or the Lifestyle? Have they been moderated, refused entry, asked to leave or had membership revoked to any groups according to your knowledge? Are they peacable or are they known to cause drama, dissension or confusion? Do you think that this person would be a good fit for the subject matter of the group that they are trying to join? Do you have any reservations that werent asked about? Can you provide reasons why they SHOULD be included in our group or event?

For a party/Play partner: Have you observed this person scening directly? Can this person be trusted to understand and honor what it means to Consent (this applies to Tops and bottoms), Has this person ever been accused of violating consent?  Has this person ever accused others of violating consent? Is this person (Top) a skillful player? Can this bottom be trusted to advocate for his/her self, use safe words if necessary and contact a DM or Host  if something goes awry with their scene? Any previous history you feel we should know about? Any reservations?

For a potential Power Exchange Relationship or Poly Dynamic: Have you observed this person or been involved with this person in a Power Exchange context? Does this person have experience as ____(insert position in P/E relationship or Polyamory)? How much? Has this person ever been accused of being abusive? Has there been any drama in association with this person and P/E  or Poly Relationships? Do you feel this person understands P/e or Poly? Were their previous relationships ended amicably? Based on what you know, what is this person looking for in a Poly or P/E relationship?

For a potential Leadership Position:  Does this person have leadership experience? What kind of experience? How long has this person been an active member of the Community? Do you consider this person fair? Just? Unbiased? Do you believe this person excercises good judgement? What is this persons reputation? Any known accusations of abuse? Do you have any reservations? If so what are they?

Final Notes: 

As a person requesting vetting it is ESSENTIAL to the success of the vetting process that you  realize the final decision is up to YOU. While reviewing the information you receive during the vetting process – use your intuition, common sense, and take into consideration the source of your information. Depending on the context it may be prudent to receive a number of letters of reference and/or to have conversations with more than only one person. Know what information you REALLY want, what’s important to you and ASK additional or followup questions if you feel you need them. Trust your gut!

If you’re the person providing vetting the most important thing is for your statements to be honest, forthright and based upon YOUR personal experience. If you feel you must interject second hand information make sure the person you’re providing such information to KNOWS that it is secondhand. If you do not feel comfortable vetting someone – DON’T.

If you are being vetted, be honest about your history, experiences and desires. Know that half-truths and omission about these things or being less than forthright will not be viewed favorably – however admitting mistakes, that you have a lack of knowledge or experience is no crime – you’re human, still growing and allowed to make mistakes as you grow.

It is our sincere hope that the practice of vetting continues to be an asset to our community, contributing to our meetings, groups and events becoming safer and more enjoyable for everyone!

In Leather,

Master Obsidian & slave namaste

 

Ask Master Obsidian and slave namaste – Masochistic Mojo back?

Q: Not too long ago I ended my relationship with my Dominant. While making that decision had been  emotionally devastating for me,  I know without a doubt that it was the right decision for me. I’m also poly and  have a Daddy. While I was collared, I did not do any sort of play with him. Now we would like to start exploring. The problem, however, is that  I have lost any and all desire for impact play of any kind. And that really upsets me because it was something I used to love. I thought at first that I just needed some time, and that my desire for play would start to come back. But, instead of getting better, my aversion to impact play is getting worse to the point that I don’t even want to see it or be around it. And, I’ve noticed that my pain tolerance is getting worse and not better.  I’ve been told that I need to heal and that in time the desire for impact play will return, but I’ve also had some  tell me that I need to get back up on the horse, so to speak, and work through the fear and discomfort.

 I just don’t know which way to go. Any advice? ~ s. in DC

A: Picture a series of boxcars on a train track – one is labeled ‘desire to be hurt’ and the others are labeled ‘dominance’, ‘relationship’, ‘love’, ‘submission’ – for some of us – our trains can run quite happily with just the ‘desire for pain’ car present – that desire to feel pain or eroticize the pain response is both fuel for the journey and the REASON for the journey simultaneously. We can enjoy sceneing with different people for example, because our pleasure response is embedded within our experience, and isn’t necessarily part of a relationship with the person holding the handle of the paddle, whip or flogger.  For others, the ‘erotic pain’ car needs to be joined with one or more of the others in order for the train to move in a productive direction.  For example Pain + Relationship + Dominance = Pleasure. A person that needs this arrangement will enjoy being Dominated and the experience of pain, but may not have the slightest enjoyment from experiencing pain for its own sake. What about people that dont have a strong erotic response to pain at all – can they still enjoy BDSM?  We believe that even if the end result isn’t pleasurable in an erotic sense, the experience of surrender can be a wonderful one for the recipient – for example if the person on the receiving end of the sensation doesnt typically eroticise pain, but considers the experience of submitting to the Dominant will of another as a place of deep surrender – their train may be organized as Dominance+Pain+Surrender = Fulfillment.

It sounds like your ‘train’ cars have been rearranged somewhat by your previous relationships – in your current relationship you seem to be receiving a lot of support and nurturing, but you mentioned that spanking, impact play and pain haven’t typically been associated with that relationship – as a result the difficulty you are experiencing is understandable. Because you have had such a deep and lengthy relationship with impact play and pain, the notion that you may need to ‘start over’ with this current relationship may feel counter intuitive.  However our sense is that the experiences you had with impact play and with pain were very closely aligned with the dynamic connection in the previous relationship.

If you are to experience impact play as a positive there are two very different (in fact some might say opposite) processes that need attending to. One is disconnecting impact play as a negative. Often our brains will form connections without our conscious knowing it. In the scene we tend to think that “negative” connections only come through being abused or traumatized. In truth we’re making connections between things – both positive and negative all the time. You want to begin to form connections that add impact play back to pleasure. Things like beginning with some very light impact play once you’re in a state of heightened sexual arousal. Using an implement that was not used on you in your previous relationship. Changing the location, position, and circumstances under which it is used.These are all external things. Internally working on letting go of the disappointment, pain, and anger caused by the end of that previous relationship can also help to heal the riff between these parts of yourself.

The second is to work on the type of connection you had when you found impact play good. What was going on? Were you being actively Dominated in ways you found pleasurable? Did you feel a sense of submission and/or surrender within yourself – in addition to a feeling of trust towards your Partner?  Working on the formation of new mental pathways and as a result new expectations based upon the relationship you have right now, instead of the relationship you had in the past can breathe new life into you experience.  You may find that there are certain things that are not easily transferable out side of certain types of Power exchange. If you know you’ve done the internal self work and the external attempts at creating new experiences and you’re STILL not connecting – consider that your need for this one type of play may have changed and that too is OKAY. We learn and grow in our journey in this Lifestyle and part of that is accepting not only who we are- but who we are becoming.

In Leather,

Master Obsidian and slave namaste

 

Have a question you’d like for Master Obsidian and slave namaste to answer? Ask it here! – All questions are made anonymous unless you request that we keep you information intact.

 

 

Ask Master Obsidian and slave namaste – Mastery Switch

Q: I have been in a M/s relationship for a few months. Recently, My Master and I have had some communication issues. He thinks that to be a Master, he has to be sadistic and “on 24/7”. I have tried to explain to him that being a Master is a mindset and it isn’t an on/off switch. He thinks he is not a good Master. Do you have any suggestions on how I can talk to him?

 

A: As we read this question the following quote came to mind:

To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. – George Leonard

Mastery can be an exciting and terrifying word – it is a heady, almost intoxicating experience when one realizes that another person is willing to give themselves over to you in totality. At some point the thought will arise – “what am I supposed to do with this person??” At the root, we want to do not only a ‘good job’ in our Mastery, we want to be the Best Master In the Universe.  This is a paradox – it is both an impossibility and the most wonderful opportunity imaginable at the same time.  It is impossible to do perfectly – your acceptance and desire for our Mastery, while pleasurable and fantastic, did not automatically imbue us with the power-ups of Invincibility, Infallibility and Omniscience.  It is an act of trust – and that makes it the wonderful opportunity.  We learn by doing – and by making mistakes as well.  Mastery is about learning, about growth – about holding oneself to  the ideal that doing one’s best and expecting the best of the person in our charge is a worthwhile pursuit. But it is a pursuit – we will constantly grow and develop throughout the duration of our relationship.  Masters need to avail themselves of the thoughts and philosophies of others of like mind in the relentless pursuit of bringing excellence to their own lives.  At the same time we need to temper our enthusiasm with the very real need to be gentle with ourselves while we learn and grow. Of the two, the second is by far the most difficult and the area that most Masters tend to neglect the most.  Finally, the Master must recognize that the needle of their internal compass must always seek the true North of personal fulfillment and internal actualization.  By this we mean that the pursuit of Mastery must satisfy something inside the Master, must bring a sense of personal pleasure, fulfillment or satisfy an internal desire.

All of this is outside of the realm of your control as the slave. So what CAN you do? Communicate, communicate, communicate! Communicate with your Master your need for His expression of Mastery whatever that looks like – then ask questions about what expressions of Mastery feel good. Insert other terms beyond “Mastery” – using other words can help us think of things differently – Try direction, guidance, vision, mission etc; to put terms around the ideas your seeking to convey. Ask your Owner what “must do’s” He feels like He has to perform. Sometimes simply discussing these can illuminate the ways that we are allowing our own expectations to stand in the way (for instance Sadism is NOT a necessary facet of Mastery. There are many Masters who are not sadistic).  This may sound too simple – but also consider doing some research on what the term “Master” means in a mainstream context. Words are containers for meaning. Sometimes we can have tons of “add-ons” that we’ve gleaned from the community as “This is what I MUST do” only to find out they mean comparatively little as far as the definition of such things. Ultimately we each get involved in this seeking pleasure and fulfillment – coming back to those feelings in this exploration is a good litmus test for making sure we’re aligned.

In Leather,

Master Obsidian and slave namaste

Have a question you’d like for Master Obsidian and slave namaste to answer? Ask it here! – All questions are made anonymous unless you request that we keep your information intact.

Ask Master Obsidian and slave namaste – dominant Submissive?

Q: How does one train a submissive with a dominant personality?

 

A: Within this context- it is our belief that having a dominant personality or submissive personality does not intrinsically create resistance to training. Say we have two people that are different in a lot of ways,  but one has a submissive personality and the other has a dominant personality.  Fundamentally however, they are identical in both their willingness to surrender their will to the will of another and in the exercise of obedience to the directives of another person.  Moreover, they are both fulfilled on a deep level by the action of being subject to the will of another.  My prediction is that both will be excellent slaves. Obedience is different than orientation – at the root of it, training a submissive with a dominant personality is no different than training someone with a submissive personality.

To use another example – if the same two people were in a program to become licensed electricians, their ability to do the work of an excellent electrician would actually be in direct proportion to their willingness and ability to absorb the information and to put that information into practice in a knowledgeable and practical way.  The only way basic personality would enter into the picture would be if one or the other person was basically unwilling to do the work, which would have an adverse impact on their ultimate ability to be licensed.  In this example both people would be terrible electricians, irrespective of the personalities they brought with them into the classroom. It should be said here that dominance and submission as personality types should not negatively inform on submission as a relationship orientation – provided the submissive understands that a “dominant personality” is no excuse for disrespect, defiance, or disobedience. To use yet another example- even the most Dominant of individuals knows to say “yes Sir, No Sir” when pulled over by a police officer – normally in a humble and docile manner. All of which is to say that we all as adults have an intrinsic awareness that there are times when it is appropriate to express certain personality traits, and there are times when it is NOT appropriate. Let the submissive know those appropriate and inappropriate times in your dynamic and that will hopefully make the training a bit easier.

In Leather,

Master Obsidian and slave namaste

Have a question you’d like for Master Obsidian and slave namaste to answer? Ask it here! – All questions are made anonymous unless you request that we keep you information intact.

 

 

Ask Master Obsidian and slave namaste – Damaging Kink?

Q: My deepest kink is very strong and feels like it wants to take over my life. However, I am afraid that it would damage the other facets of my person. It plays deeply needing to feel “good enough” in daily life and the opposite in my kink. How do I resolve this type of issue? How do I look at myself and not feel that I am damaged?

 

A: Without knowing what your kink is, and just from reading your post – it seems like it might be related to humiliation or degradation of some variety. First let’s create a shared language of understanding. We do not consider sexual orientation (Lesbian. Gay, Trans etc;) or Relationship orientation (Master, Dominant, submissive, slave etc;) as kinks. We define kinks as those things we enjoy doing  that inform on our sexual expression and experience. Having definitions out of the way – we can look at kinks as facets of our Shadow seeking expression,  facets of our Divinity (or Demons even) that want to show up or just kinky ish we like to do. Regardless of how we see it – the Self Acceptance portion IS indeed the biggest thing. By learning to “play” with those areas we consider dark, damaged, broken, and even negative – we are offered an opportunity to explore the parts of us that are hidden and to bring those things into Love. We learn self acceptance by the act of accepting those very parts of us that feel so challenging to accept. We learn to see our own Divinity by Honoring those facets of our make up that we have been taught are less than Divine. We often say that when love increases, judgement decreases. The parts of ourselves that we don’t consider worthy of love we sit in judgement of and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our lack of loving creates turmoil.

Feeling a strong yearning to express your kink is not a problem – unless it negatively impacts your life (causing you to behave compulsively and in ways that are dangerous and nonconsensual).  You don’t have to worry about this taking OVER you, because this is You (or a part of you anyway). If you have not begun exploring this facet of yourself – you may want to find someone trust worthy and take it for a test drive. See how you feel during and after (remember drop can take up to 72 hours to show up). Learn to celebrate that part of yourself!  Even if the exercise of that deepest kink doesn’t feel good physically or even emotionally, there is a part of us that derives pleasure from the experience of exploring that side of ourselves. Also realize that the ability to not only acknowledge our Shadow but to embrace it is a HUGE act of strength. As opposed to seeing yourself as damaged- recognize that you’re actually doing some of the most profound of healing work – that which is the healing of our relationship with Self.  Creative tension is a part of life – in the totality of what it means to be you – you come face to face with your own magnificence.

In Leather,

~Master Obsidian and slave namaste

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