Understanding Alignment of Will

Today I was responding to a thread on Fetlife (Stop the presses…LOL)  discussing Passive and Active Mastery.

“As a type: I see Passive Mastery as the a style in which the Master is the Facilitator for the slaves development, service, and surrender etc; The dynamic is very slave focused.

As a stage: Passive Mastery also occurs frequently when a dynamic has been in place for a few years and the slave knows the required actions and behaviors to take and does so without involvement by the Master.

As a type: Active Mastery is a style in which the Master is Director of the slaves slaves development, service and surrender. The dynamic is very Master focused.

As a stage: Active Mastery occurs in the beginning of the dynamic when the Master is training the slave as to the appropriate behaviors and actions to take. It also occurs later on in the dynamic when the Master is teaching the slave a new skill, expressing His/or Her preceding Will, or life has offered something for which Passive Mastery is no longer effective.”

 

I look forward to writing more about Active and Passive Mastery later (It’s not a question of good or bad, just different styles and different stages). What really jumped out at me this morning was the idea of the “preceding” word.

Most who know us know that our dynamic is based upon what Master has coined as “Alignment of Will”. My will must align with His.  It is not good enough for me to merely obey, and to give the external “Yes Sir”. I must have the internal alignment – the internal “Yes Sir”- as well. The internal “Yes” can not be faked. It can not be “acted”-  it’s either there or not. And Masters can TELL when it’s not.  It’s why the slave can seem to be compliant and obedient and the Master still be irritated. It’s why outsiders shouldn’t judge and step into a persons relationship- because you really don’t know what He/She is trying to teach that slave or where they are going in their dynamic.

While we’ll be talking about the stages of the M/s dynamic more deeply in an upcoming class- I’m thinking a bit on how alignment of will and the “preceding word” work in our M/s dynamic.  Master is a very complex Man. He’s not a creature of Habit, unless He is. He doesn’t want anything the same way all the time – unless He does.  The worse thing possible for me to do would be to confuse learned obedience and resignation to a current directive with alignment of will. Why? Because then when He changes direction – I’ll struggle MORE because my will was not aligned in the first place.

The idea of the Preceding Word comes from a Sacred Text.

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Deut. 8:3

The idea being that the Divine allowed man to be hungry so that we would be given food from the Divine directly- growing to understand that it’s not really about the food- it’s about the word that is preceding.  It is only THAT which truly feeds.

You can have bread without the Preceding Word – but if you have the preceding word you will ALWAYS have bread.

In the same way you can have Obedience without Alignment of Will – but if you have Alignment of will you will always have Obedience as well.

Frequently it’s easy to confuse the two.  Alignment of Will and Obedience can look the same. In fact I’m not suggesting that the words themselves have completely different meaning. I see Alignment of Will as a way of going through the world and obedience is an action taken. HOWEVER, if the obedient action is not take from the place of alignment of will – when the Master changes direction the slave does not follow – she stumbles, sometimes she sits on the floor and has a tantrum.

Alignment of Will is ongoing- NOT situational.

That is often where the pedal meets the metal. With the Preceding Word.  This is where the slavery becomes active. This is why as a slave I can not rest on my laurels. This is why I am never “done” – this is why the journey IS the destination. It is mine to always be prepared and listening for the Preceding word that comes my Masters mouth. To never simply seek the bread (directive, protocol, or service)  that feeds me and my slavery TODAY but to stay actively connected to the SOURCE of  tangible expressions – which is HIM.

The Bread  without Him would eventually get dry, but He is water, alive and fresh and pure. May my ears always attend to His preceding word.

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

Deep Listening for Surrender

I love my meanderings because they often lead me to wonderful and diverse concepts.

Especially my meanderings into cultural distinction and diversity.

Recently I cam across the concept of “Dadirri”  – this is similar to what we call contemplation but MORE.

Within the indigenous peoples of Australia- Dadirri is how the young learn – not through the asking of questions – but through the practice of a deep listening. By watching, waiting – then acting.

When I consider this idea- I find a huge resonance for me as a slave- in part because listening as a skill set has become so precious and scarce.

Within the “lifestyle community” there is a lot more talking and action than there is stillness, watchfulness – listening.

It’s almost as if we have learned to fear silence.

This space shows up often within the realm of slavery – where the focus is often  far more on hugely vocal advocacy for self than on our listening to our inner longings and desires, waiting for the the answers to be offered to us knowing that we need not rush into something, rush into anything – but we can sit… in contemplation. Listening to the sounds of our hearts, paying attention to the longing of our souls, understanding the disappointments and pains that are echoing through our psyche rather than seeking a “quick fix”

When I ask myself how can I embody more Dadirri in my life and slavery- listening closely for my Masters voice and His non-verbal communication.

Never taking a moment, a whisper, and look for granted – but attuning the whole of my being to His essence and expression.

Opening to all that of Himself that He gives me with a look. Allowing my heart to melt as I spend my days in surrender to Him.

Being in wait – without hurry to move into the next thing. But in a calm present place of awareness, thankfulness and joy.

This moment is Sacred.

Dadirri means there is no rushing into the next thing. Where ever I am is exactly where I need to be. I don’t have a box to check off – a magical state  to attain.

No.

I need to be right where I am – because every step along this journey is valuable. Every step is both journey and destination.

I allow surrender to drag me under -not fighting the waves but yielding to them.

I listen – not only for content and information but for emotion and connection.

Life is present in the nuance of the conversation.

Conversation present in the breaths between the words.

I allow the silence and the cracking open to pull me deeper, to immerse me in the surrender to the now.

Timeless – I listen for eternity present in this instant.

I feel the fulness of being present in being His.

In submission and surrender to Him,

slave namaste

Devotion, Spirituality and slavery

I’ve been thinking lately about what I want to write.

Today it came to me.

I want my blog posts to focus on Spirituality and Surrender.

Master and I were having a conversation today and I shared with him.

I do not understand slavery without devotion.

Devotion has become a dirty word.

I realized that I stopped writing because I felt my voice wasn’t relevant anymore.

In today’s community where the only focus on slavery seems to be on negotiation, abuse, predators, sex and the like.

Where is the room for devotion, surrender, connecting to the desires that brought us here in the first place?

And when I deeply consider that  – what brought me here- was my Longing and Desire to surrender, to experience the Will of another actualized in my life and to live devoted to it.

What kept me here was my connection to Spirit.

I can not deny that slavery for me is a deeply Spiritual practice.

I am His devotee and His acolyte.

I am the Priestess and He is the God – or perhaps I become the layperson and He is my Priest.

I am wood consumed in His flames.

I am flame and He is oxygen.

The levels and variations of our entanglement know no limit.

And without my Spirituality- this would not be possible.

Not on this level.

It was my deep inner knowing that not only was I called to be *a* slave but that more specifically I was meant to belong to HIM that kept me when I was confused and things got sticky.

It is the spiritual connection that exceeds the physical and sexual (as delicious as those are).

Devotion.

Affection and dedication.

Not simply lust and obligation. But a spiritual SEEING and KNOWING. At times I feel the Divine loving me through Him and then again the Divine loves Him through me.

What a sacred charge.

What profound exchange.

More on this later…

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.

Scarcity, Dinosaurs and Why we shouldn’t be so butthurt

Master and I discuss abundance a great deal. As Abundance and Prosperity inspirers and practitioners – it’s a huge part of where we live and what we do.

But encouraging an Abundance mentality isn’t all about money as most think. When someone has a lack based word view those limiting beliefs infect many areas of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong- many of us have a lack-based mentality and with good reason- we’ve been hurt, or ill-treated. We’ve not had what we wanted, or even needed at one time. In other words- we experienced LACK and it informed on how we view the world and our place in it.  I don’t deny this- I’ve been there.   And while we may not be able to have control over what we did experience – we can choose whether we want to continue to internalize that experience as a way that we ARE moving forward.

I believe in our Lifestyle (and in this I am speaking both about the Leather branch and the BDSM branch) we have internalized a lack based worldview that is stunting our growth as a culture as well as individually.  This lack based worldview perceives division where there is none and competition around every corner. It sees the Lifestyle from a space of scarcity and persecution that perceives any action that is not all of us together as promoting defiance, isolation and exclusion.   This leads to a position of need to huddle and hide in caves in order to stay safe –and yes in some ways it does provide safety- but it does not allow for growth, expression, actualization and evolution. This is dangerous, just ask the dinosaurs…

Lack of evolution eventually creates extinction.

In the last few months I become more and more aware of this lack based mindset and the ways it is expressed within our alternative culture. I have also become aware of ways that it is propagated, the incorrect premises behind it and the imperative that we have to think again. To re-think how we are viewing the world and our place in it.  By no means do I believe I have all of the answers, or that this is a “new” thing just because I recently became aware of it.  More than anything else – this gives me an opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection with those who might find them helpful.

Distinction does not mean Division – one of the places that I see this scarcity mentality is in the belief that we have too many groups.  We hear this a great deal – that we should all be together and there should not be a need for any separation – in fact that by having differing groups that celebrate ones own sexual orientation, gender, power exchange identity etc; we are creating division.  I would like to suggest this is not true.  Giving each sub-set the space to celebrate their uniqueness among those that share that orientation and identity creates more Unity In a number of ways:

  1. You don’t have to hide or ignore certain elements in an attempt to not make others feels excluded.
  2.  You can actually enjoy when we all are together because it’s a choice.
  3. The challenges of your particular identity can be discussed, supported and even commiserated with without your needing to constantly offer disclaimers.

There is space for this and this is a natural part of what occurs as any group grows.  Differences happen.

We’ve always had X – why do we now need Z – We now have more than one contest that focuses on Power Exchange Relationship dynamics.  I can recall years ago some asking why we needed the LAHM and the Carter Johnson Library.  People ask we have so many projects right now focusing on History.  The short answer is Diversity is HEALTHY. And ensures the continuance of a thing. All we need to do is look at the Potato Famine to see the danger of a mono-culture.  We as an alternative culture are greatly influenced by the society in which we live. Often in unexamined and unconscious ways.

A monoculture within horticulture is a single crop or species cultivated over a number of years. Monoculture is dangerous because it weakens the strength not only of the species but of those that are dependent on the species. It makes that species incredibly vulnerable to opportunistic predators and diseases. Those dependent upon that species can be destroyed by one bad storm.

Within our Alternative culture this idea – of  one contest, one Library one of anything- while well meaning is a bit short sighted.  It presumes that the way something is -is the way it will always be. In mainstream society there are churches on every corner, there’s 2 star bucks on every block. There are multiple OPTIONS. This is good. This ensures that if something goes wrong with one- we don’t lose all. There is room and space for more than one of each thing with our culture- and you don’t have to ONLY support 1 thing.

Which leads to my next point

Competition is based on a lack mentality. We own our own business.  I have had a number of mentors over the years and one of the things that I’ve been taught is not to consider those doing the same thing as I am doing as my competitor. I found this very challenging initially – but upon reflection it makes sense.  When I really began to open myself up to this idea, what was dropped into my spirit was “instead of competitors consider them kin” There are many, many people in the world. Last I checked just on Feltife (and everyone is not on Fetlife) there are over 3 million people. 3 Million.  With more joining daily. It is impossible for any one person, group, organization to serve ALL of them.

There is no REAL competition in the lifestyle except for the competition each individual decides to create within their own mind.  In other words competition is a perception – not a reality.  This means that you can support more than one company. More than one group. There can be 5 groups meeting on the same night and people can choose to attend the one that has the most resonance. This doesn’t have to cause anyone to get offended or – as my children say – butthurt-  about it. Your group will undoubtedly attract those who have the most resonance with it-  and all will be well.  This also means- that if we get out of the competitive mindset we can cease feeling the need to validate whatever we’re doing by assassinating the character of others.  You don’t have to VALIDATE your desire to hang your shingle or do your thing – you can do it ethically, kindly, and in a spirit of unity instead of competition.

It is my hope that we can truly begin to enjoy the abundance and diversity within this culture- thereby growing and thriving – both as a community and as individuals.

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

Masters – What’s in Your Discard Pile?

Masters – as we approach the end of another year, I find myself focusing more and more on the notion of ‘out with the old, in with the new’.  Many of us have been through some ‘Interesting Times’ this year.  The end of the year is a time when we are reminded of the constancy of change and of what is truly important in our lives. As the final days of 2013 approach, what is changing within you? More importantly, what do you need to get rid of?

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Nearly every functional system has built within it a way to discard that which no longer serves.  A card game, our bodily systems, an household, an automobile, a corporation – all get rid of the things that once used, no longer serve the system in a contributory fashion and therefore must be discarded.  As you approach the end of this year, what do you have in your life and relationship right now that you have been holding onto that you now realize should be discarded or thrown away?

Why put things on the Discard Pile? Basically whatever the thing is – whether its a belief or conviction, a bad memory, a job you despise or even a particular person – if the energy of that thing irritates you, drains you or makes you feel bad or is just a sluggish lump in your world that you keep working around because you feel you need it but have forgotten exactly why… throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on.  Perhaps its time for you to finally move out from under the corporate umbrella and start that business you’ve been thinking about doing forever – time to put that job on the discard pile.  Old books you have no intention of reading, tools you no longer use, sporting equipment you no longer feel enthusiastic over…whatever it is, if it no longer serves your system or fits within your vision, you need to get it out of your circle.

How Getting Rid of Stuff Makes you a Better Master

You cannot put more into a cup that is already full. When you ‘clear the decks’ so to speak, you make room in your experience for the new, for Whatever is Next – you may not know exactly what the next thing is, but its almost a certainty that you will not move confidently toward it if your arms are still metaphorically full of That Which No Longer Serves You.  Most importantly, your Dominance and Mastery requires energy – lots of it. Holding on to things, whether they are outmoded ideas, ideologies, people, relationships or physical items requires an expenditure of your energy in one form or another.  Getting rid of energy drains leaves MORE energy for you to use toward the things that really matter. In these final days of 2013 – take a look around,  get rid of some stuff – let it pass from your hands into the waiting arms of someone that will see the value in it and has been waiting, hoping and praying for something just like THAT to show up. What are you putting on the discard pile this year? Share it below!!!!

Rule well.

Master Obsidian

Judgment and Power Exchange

This is a full body of work I’m doing – but I wanted to write this here – predominantly because Judgement is such a huge issue. And mostly because most of us just throw our hands in the air and say “Well everyone Judges!!” even though we know inside we shouldn’t, it feels like something we’re helpless to fix.

It feels like something that makes you or me a bad person.

Which is how most things on judging handle it. In judging your judgement.

Seems a bit circular don’t you think?

I’m not here to judge your judging. I’m here to offer an alternative. One that I hope will aid in the building and sustaining of your dynamic.

Practicing judgement can be one of the most dangerous and deadly actions we can do to relationships.

Why?

When we judge ourselves- we cease to accept ourselves. Acceptance is more important to mental and emotional health than self esteem.  Acceptance is the most precious gift you can give to your precious self. And yet so often we judge our most authentic expressions of self. The facets of ourselves that do not go along with the status quo. Those parts that are the minority and therefore more marginalized. Those parts that make us profoundly unique – we judge. .

When we judge our Masters we cease to accept Them. We deny them Autonomy and Agency. We become condescending and paternalistic, or judge and jury usually without many facts. We consider ourselves wise, cautious,  or  “taking a stand” as we judge those who we have entrusted with Authority and Power over us.

Here’s the thing. We don’t HAVE to judge. Not ourselves. Not our Masters.

But first a story. A few months back Master and I were hosting an event for a group of people in a subculture that we are not a part of. We had put in place a “do not” that from our perspective made good sense and from the perspective of this group – would limit their expression and adversely impact their fun. One of the leaders contacted me and said “Instead of a no – perhaps you can ask how this can happen”  – This made me stop and think. I had made a judgement, based upon my information and instead of staying curious, asking more questions,  and understanding there may be more to this than I realized – I said no.

I ASSUMED instead of asking.

How does this apply to Power Exchange dynamics?

When we stop asking questions – we start killing our dynamic.

When Judging increases – Love decreases. 

Even if your Power exchange dynamic does not include being “in love” – the love that is needful for the dynamic to exist and fulfill – love of the dynamic, love of your identity in it etc; whatever type of love is there- it decreases under the judgement.

Many of us wonder what to do in place of judging – after all you’re not an automaton and you experience things. If you’re not going to judge what can you do?

Not judging do not mean NOT SEEING.

We have other options and specifically as a slave interacting with her Master – these other options become extremely important.

  • Observe – An observation is a statement of fact, of what is so. An observation uses neutral language to avoid the pejorative, and to refrain giving it any meaning. It says nothing about whether you and/or your action are effective or ineffective; good or bad; right or wrong.
  • Assess – An assessment goes further. It does assess whether your action is effective, or ineffective, in reaching the desired goal. Yet an assessment also refrains from moral judgement. It also avoids good or bad, right and wrong.
  • Judge – A judgment goes on to add meaning; good or bad, right or wrong. Yet different things have different meanings for different people.

As you can see above- we have two other options – two important options that actually build the dynamic instead of tearing it down. You can  observe and you can assess. Both of these put you and your Owner on the same team, whereas judgement places your Owner UNDER your judgement and places you OVER Him/Her as the morality,good,bad police.

This change done repeatedly eventually erodes at the Power Exchange Dynamic.

How do we get out of Judgement? Curiosity and Appreciation. 

Curiosity says I’m interested in you. It provides space around  the issue – this interjection of space allows for more than simple right and wrong. It allows for the dynamic expression of who the Master is.  Curiosity is the door to Acceptance.

Appreciation- Appreciation is about expressing Value to your Owner for who He/She is and what He/She does. This keeps your from going too far on the Judgement train where you end up making value judgements to the negative. It very difficult to Judge and appreciate – although you can observe and assess and still appreciate.

There is a lot to this and this is by no means exhaustive. It’s a just snippet from something I’m working on.

 

 

Of sexual orientation, being feminine, and a Leather slave

I writing about this because it’s been something I’ve had some thoughts around for a good long while now. I make no claims that these things are well organized – in fact they may not be – but they are a reflection of the connective ways that my mind works and some troubling trends I’m noticing in our Beloved Confederacy.

Before I get too far afield here- and get potentially kicked in the face by all the knee jerky responses – I realize that some people come into this and simply have never really had an opportunity to develop the self acceptance that will allow for the expression of their core sexual identity and or orientation. For these people this is where they can truly be who they are.  I’m not speaking about those people.

 

When I first came into the Lifestyle I came in through the “branch” of BDSM – not Leather. Coming through this branch I felt very comfortable being feminine and even saw that it was appreciated and embraced. i met many other feminine slaves who loved being women, sensual and feminine.

 

When I began to identify as Leather – one of the first things I noticed was that in the spheres that I had closest access too – I didn’t see many women like me. I didn’t meet many women who were predominantly hetero-sexual (or flexible) who identified as Leather, slave and as Feminine. In fact in recent years I’ve noticed a somewhat troubling trend in that I observe women coming into leather as feminine and gradually over time becoming bois and asexual – at least in their projected persona.

Something else that I’ve noticed is Het men and women who have been in the lifestyle for long periods of time suddenly changing their sexual orientation within typically 1-2 years of identifying as Leather.  I have a few ideas concerning why this is occurring outside of the reason above.

  1. One reason this may occur is because “true” Leather has been subtly defined by some as Gay Leather – many people who are heterosexual see the best way to be leather, the ONLY “real” way to be leather of any worth is to be GLBT.
  2. Others feel that the best way to be an ally to their GLBT brothers and sisters is beginning to identify as GLBT.  (Although even being bi is no longer enough for women. Bi sexual women are feeling more and more the push to orient as queer as being the more PC thing to do to “reject the oppression of the gender binary” )

While I’m speaking in generalities here – I know that there are more than a few who have found themselves in those groups.

But I want to speak more specifically to being a feminine Leather woman.  Specifically a Leather slave who is also a woman. A very feminine woman. And while I suppose that being a het oriented feminine Leather slave is a bit of a niche- it’s one that I see a number of women walking into and a number of bois and/or de-feminized women walking out of.

I’m sure at this point some will point to Leather girls- and say “what about the Leather girls, they’re feminine” to which I would say – what does it mean when the only option for being feminine, s-type and Leather is to be a girl? All Leather women who are s-types aren’t girls. When we pretend as if they all “could” be, or it’s all the same thing – we dilute and diminish the potency and actualization of that identity.

 

There are traits that are part of being a feminine slave. The way I walk, the way I dress, the facets and aspect of my being that are a delight and of value to my Owner. The places in my self that I cultivate. These all have to do with my being feminine.

I have no desire to diminish or deny these things. Nor do I believe that being Leather requires such.

 

My accentuating and celebrating these facets of who I am is in no way to diminish those who are not as I am. I celebrate any and everyone that has found the joy of self acceptance regardless of what it looks like. This is frankly not about anyone else- it’s about my ability to self express what is true and reflective of me.

 

I have spoken to many feminine slaves who do not identify as Leather – not because they do not feel an affinity for it- but because they do not want to have to masculinize or asexualize themselves. Usually they feel that to even ask the question would cause them  public ridicule.  While I am not the ONLY feminine Leather (mostly het) slave- I will say that we are becoming a rare breed. More and more I see hetero female slaves gaining their Leather “wings” by denouncing their being feminine.

 

I want to encourage those women that you can be Feminine and be Leather. They are NOT mutually exclusive. Being a Feminine Leather slave is a valid identity.

Self Identity is the most important thing. For me that means my identity is about my understanding of and authenticity to my SELF – it’s not about being worried about how others perceive me, accept me, or how they decide I should be.

Sometimes I think that we need to be careful regardless of how we orient and what identity we choose- that we are choosing our identity and orientation based upon our fulfillment and our joy and pleasure- not our pain and fear of non-acceptance.

For instance:

There is a difference between being understated when I go into a Gay Leather Bar as a point of respect and consideration – and detaching myself from my femininity within my Leather identity so that I can be considered “real” by others.

There is a difference in feeling like being a boi, girl, poodle etc; is a reflection of my most authentic self – and choosing those identities because they give me a place to hide my insecurities and self rejection. Am I being true to myself by masculinizing my appearance or am I perhaps coving up my lack of body acceptance with clothing that allows me to hide? Only each person can truly know.

I suppose ultimately the questions we all have to ask are:  Am I using my involvement in this lifestyle as a crutch for all of the myriad of pain, dysfunction and  self loathing I feel – or is this truly the place where I am able to be MOST me.

Is this where I show myself truly or is this the most ideal of masquerades where I’m able to constantly change masks.

 

Food for thought.

 

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

Posted with Permission and Direction of Master Obsidian

A Message to S-Types – What you REALLY need to know

Okay – So I’m writing this because- well frankly because over the years I’ve heard all the community party lines and dogma and it seems to leave a lot out.

As a slave (who used to identify as a submissive) I was new at one time (yes really!!) and when I came into the lifestyle I was all wide doe eyes, excitement and healthy dose of New York caution.

I was told things by people who had been around for a long time. Things that sounded okay I guess but when I activated my spidey sense (AKA critical thinking) I quickly realized that in an effort to make the lifestyle seem a “safe place to explore” – people were saying things that could make me check my natural adult common sense at the door.

Here’s a “things you need to know” guide. A real one. I warn you – it may disillusion you or make this seem a bit more scary. If it does – good – I’ve done my job.

More here