Month: July 2018

Lost!

Reading Time: < 1 minute

20180626_233254Well, our worst fears have been realized.  The collar is missing.  My pet was on an outing over the weekend with her new friends, had to remove the collar for some activity involving water, and it got misplaced.  I must stress that in my mind it’s not her fault, she expected it to be there when she went to put it back on, and it just wasn’t.  To her credit, she looked all over where she was, and even went back to the place where she’d been earlier in the day (not a small feat!) and looked for it diligently.  But as what happens in many cases, it was not to be found.  So its on to a new place, where I hope it has many interesting adventures.  Certainly something like this sucks, but we move on.

 

How far does control go?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I was having a conversation with my slave last weekend about rules and regulations regarding our relationship. Without getting into the gory details, she had a question about how outside relationships might impact the core relationship (myself and she). She recently met a couple and there was talk right off the bat about expanding their relationship to include her. Getting away from the whole “Isn’t it too soon” argument, it got me thinking about the tenets of control and how that works between us, and perhaps others as well.

This also touches on polyamorous relationships and how they all work. Granted polys are different, since you’re adding another personality into a relationship, so there’s a question of which relationship is the core one, or does this even touch on that at all. Usually, a poly begins when one person in a dual relationship wishes to branch out, or there’s an agreement between the two ‘core’ participants to add a third (or even a fourth, depending). There’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ poly relationship, considering that like BDSM, the participants determine how it works, and how it works for them. In the case of myself and my wife, we consider ourselves poly to a certain extent, except that together we’re fluid bonded, in other words, if one or the other has a submissive, there’s no sex between either of us and the outside partner. Early on in the conversations I’ve had with my slave, I told her that I wasn’t interested in sex with her, I was solely interested in participating in BDSM for the physical attributes. I know that sort of flies in the face of what many people consider to BE BDSM, but before the Internet at large got its mitts on what people see of it, that’s really for the most part what defined BDSM. Just remember, what you see on websites is there to generate money. Essentially, sex sells. Insex learned that early on, people were less likely to tune in (or pay) for the scenes that didn’t involve some form of sexual interaction. pd didn’t start Insex to showcase sex acts in the midst of his BDSM art. He added it a year or so down the road because he discovered pretty quickly that if he included sex in some form, he made more money. It was a financial decision, pure and simple.

As usual, I’m getting away from my topic here.

About 7 months ago, when my girl and I changed our dynamic 180 degrees, we didn’t have a lot of rules and regulations.  We’ve been working on adding them in as we go, since as with any relationship there are going to be growing pains, misunderstandings, discussions and certainly some things aren’t always going to work in practice that were understood and agreed upon on paper.  So it’s always a dynamic and fluid exercise, trying to get all the nuts fitting on the bolts, as it were.  One thing she said right off the bat was, she wasn’t sure if she was ever going to be poly, even though my wife and I are a committed couple, and my girl would be the third wheel as it were.  Though she was very adamant about her expectation that she would be my only submissive.  And that’s fine, I’ve tried the multiple submissive route before and it ended up being so much work and angst, I’m very against giving it another go.  Just too much work for very little payoff.

I’m still a bit off topic here I see.  The bottom line always is, how much control does one have over another?  It’s easy to state in a profile that you’re seeking out a relationship where all the power lies in one place and the other party in it is along for the ride.  Well, I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t work like that in the here and now of real life.  No one really likes owning a doormat.  Even eventually the doormat is going to get tired of it, because it’s patently boring.  Too, becoming the literal definition of a slave (being one for service and having no outside interests of your own, being ‘on’ 24/7 for your Owner etc.) sounds good in fiction, but in real life, it doesn’t work for very long.  People are dynamic, they require downtime and in theory a ‘slave’ doesn’t get that.

How much control really exists between my girl and myself?  Again without getting into the nitty-gritty of it all… she obeys me.  Not perfectly, but then again she’s new to her collar.  And she’s a good distance away.  So there are times I may want something done ‘now’, but it can’t be because of issues, responsibilities, outside commitments and so on.  I have to be flexible, even if I don’t want to be flexible at that particular point in time.  I also can’t punish for not obeying immediately because (duh), again life gets in the way.  Is she willfully disobedient?  No, she’s not.  She does her best to please me, which I appreciate immeasurably.  We’re not in a perfect relationship, but who really is?  She’s where she is, and I’m here.  We want to be together, but it’s going to have to wait.  I give orders on occasion, and usually she carries them out.  If not completely to my satisfaction, at least she tries.  And that, again, is way better than texting me hours later and saying “I couldn’t“, or worse yet, “I forgot“.

Control in many ways can be elusive.  But it’s definitely worth working towards.

What’s in a name? (with backstory)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

With the scene at large, many of us use names that aren’t our own.  I’m not talking about titles like Master, slave, Sir, Ma’am, Mistress and so on.  I’m referring to our other names, like the one I’ve been using since I first broke into the scene around 1982-83.

At that time, there was no Internet the way that we know and take for granted today.  The best there was at that time was a small cobbled together intranet of corporations and colleges, and fledgling companies with names like Compuserve, America Online, GEnie, Prodigy and so on.  In order to connect to these latter places, you had to have a physical piece of hardware called a ‘modem’, that hooked into your telephone line and the telephone dialed a number to connect.  It was a long, laborious process, but it worked.  Well most of the time.  Speeds were incredibly slow, but still, it worked.

Once you connected, like websites today, you had to create an account.  Account, password and then you were assigned a username.  Compuserve assigned numbers. (So far as I know they were the only system that used that method.)  Once you’d gotten past the sign up process, that username (or number) was the way that people identified you from then on.  Except in places like chat portals, where like today on IRC, you were able to choose a ‘handle’, a name that was unique to you and you could then interact somewhat anonymously.  Compuserve’s chat forum was called ‘CB’, a throwback to Citizen’s Band radio, which at the time was still being used in people’s vehicles as well as commercial trucking because cellphones (or car phones) by and large were nothing like they are today.

When I first located CB and signed up for it, I chose ‘Leathers’ as my handle, because someone else already had chosen ‘Leather’.  Even then I had a very prominent leather fetish, so for me it seemed appropriate.  Over the years I’ve owned several domain names with ‘leathers’ in the name (leathers.org, dungeonleathers.com, leatherspride.com) as well as being the one on Fetlife with that nickname, so for me it continues and will continue in the future.  By contrast, my wife has always used the handle/nickname ‘Christabel’, there are people that we’ve known in the scene for the last 25 years that still call her by that name, because really, that’s the name that they know her by.  (As an aside, when we were both on Compuserve in a certain forum, while she was eternally called Christabel, my nickname at the time was YM.  It doesn’t really fit nowadays as I’ve gotten considerably older….)

Nicknames by and large are something that we’ve come to know and expect in the BDSM scene, but it’s a double-edged sword.  When you use a nickname, there’s initially no baggage attached to it.  Essentially you’re creating a whole new person, because people who you meet aren’t aware of any history that you’ve had prior to creating the new persona.  So people can take advantage of that, like in the case of ‘Michael Makai’ for instance.  He’s someone who was in the news a couple of years ago, a respected and admired scene educator, but he had some outlandish ideas that for the most part should have stayed in the books he had written.  Instead he attempted to bring them out into reality and caused more than a few problems, for others as well as himself.

A story like that is always something I keep in the back of my mind when I talk to people in the scene.  Yes, many know me by my given name, but many others only know me by the name ‘Leathers’.  I try to make sure the knowledge they have of me is always truthful, accurate and doesn’t deviate from what my ‘vanilla’ friends know of me, but there’s always things that don’t translate, that you don’t want one or the other to know and so on.

Just have to keep your personas straight!

My two cents (fwiw)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

I follow a good amount of blogs here online.  Nowadays the vast majority are WordPress, but there are some independents, a few on LiveJournal (still) and others on an assortment of hosted sites.  On occasion, I run into a post that I feel I’d like to comment on, and I do.  More rarely, a comment becomes a full-blown entry on my own blog, as is the case here.  This is in response to a post made from someone who I follow, and respect.  Someone that has their head screwed on straight, at least in my opinion.


I’ve been in the scene for the last 35 plus years. Active, inactive, watching from the sidelines, participating in my own way, the whole nine yards. For the most part, I don’t foist my own opinions on ‘WIITWD [What It Is That We Do]’ because I don’t subscribe to the ‘One Twue Way‘ so many others seem to think is the hallmark of the acronym BDSM. I’ve so often said (I didn’t coin the phrase, someone else did, bless them!) BDSM is a vanilla relationship with more ‘bells and whistles’, and it is.

All the underpinnings of a vanilla relationship are there, we just add things on (like a sundae!) to make it better for us, to make it more interesting, to make it inherently OURS. But that doesn’t mean it’s BETTER than a vanilla relationship, very much not!  Just different. Many, many, MANY vanilla people have just as meaningful relationships without a whiff of anything that might be inherent in a BDSM one. And they don’t need it. They don’t have to understand it, it’s not required that they do. “Different strokes, for different folks”. That’s a good cardinal rule that many kinky people (or wannabes) don’t ever seem to get. Certainly not on Fet, where the K&P people (or the ones that are determined to get there) seem to think being kinky is a step up. Um, sorry, it’s not. It’s just a different interpretation of the same thing that people have been doing together for millennia. Romans did BDSM, so did Egyptians. The Mayans practiced it as probably did Neanderthals. Naturally, it wasn’t called BDSM back then, but it amounted to the same thing.

One thing that I tell people who have looked in on my blogs, my profile on Fet, and other places where I encounter them is, you have to find how you fit into the whole scheme of things.  There aren’t any shortcuts.  You need to read, discuss, talk to people, find your own niche and how you interpret the whole scene.  You can look at ready-made sites like BondageLife, Insex, Kink.com, House Of Gord and think “wow, I want to do that!”  Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s all fantasy.  Someone had their own version of how they believed BDSM to be and created a fantasy world out of it.  They’re using models (and paying them, which is a very important distinction) and not actually living what you’re seeing.  The videos you’re watching aren’t live action, they’re edited. (The only partial exception to this rule would be the old ‘Live Feeds’ that Insex did way back when they first started out..)  What you’re viewing has been made over the course of many hours, in some instances days, many takes and lots of editing on their computer to make a polished final product.  Life is a LOT more messy than all that.  Relationships aren’t made in a studio, they’re crafted in real life, with real people.  People that have emotions, outside problems brought into the relationship that have to be dealt with, hammered out, cried over and yes even argued and shouted over.  Submissives aren’t doormats.  Dominants aren’t infallible.  Mistakes happen all the time, and they have to be discussed, understood, and life will go on.  Sometimes there might be an instance where something unforgiveable happens.  It does.  It’s called LIFE for a reason.

Lifestyle people tend to be very judgmental.  Having been in the scene as long as I’ve been, I have to sometimes take a step back and evaluate what I’m seeing on various websites, or communities that I’m involved with, even to the point of holding my tongue before commenting on what I’ve observed, read and so on.  Others don’t bother with those niceities.  They shoot from the hip and damn the consequences.  Not always the best way to build a community, but then again many of them aren’t here to build, they’re here to criticize, and that’s about it.  YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) is often being replaced with NMK (Not My Kink) or even worse YKINOK (Your Kink Is Not Ok) as if they had the corner on what’s right, what’s wrong and even what’s acceptable.

I have my own way of interpreting the scene at large and my own kink in particular.  It’s MINE. Let me say that again.  It’s mine.  I’ve spent years, nigh decades thinking about it, working on it and practicing it with a variety of people, submissives, dominants and even aquaintances.  Does it always work?  No, that’s why it’s always changing.  Is it for you?  Possibly, but it also isn’t a shortcut to happiness for you.  There’s no one true (or right) way to do all of this.  You have to do your own research, testing, interacting and critiquing to see what works for you.  There are no shortcuts.  I’m sorry, I really am, there just aren’t.  You can’t pick up a whip and become ‘Master(Mistress) So-and-So’ in a day.  If anyone tells you that you can, they’re lying their ass off, or trying to sell you something.

One final note and then I’m off.  There was one part of the above referenced post that I disagreed with.  But hear me out please.  The blogger I referenced named an author who goes by the pen name of Michael Makai.  I’ve heard of him, he’s written more than a few books on BDSM, but they’re not ‘how-to’ books, they’re fantasies.  The main reason I’m very wary about this fellow is that a few years ago he was not only arrested but convicted of several unsavory charges that would normally make most people blanch.  My point here is that ‘Warrior Princesses’ (as well as other characters) aside, the ideas that this person fervently believes in, as well as preaches (non-consensual practices, underage involvement and a host of other questionable ideas) in many ways taints what he espouses.  I’m not saying dismiss it completely, but be aware of what someone thinks elsewhere before you go for some part of it that you agree with, or fantasize about.  That’s all.  I know this part is going to cause some people’s toes to curl, (and worse) but I felt it needed to be said.  Fair warning, fwiw.  I’m certainly open to discussion.  If you want to flame, well, that’s your issue.

 

Order, order!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

facebookbackground_origI’m having a love-hate relationship with a BDSM vendor.  And I should have known better than to order from her, but after supporting her Kickstarter campaign (and getting stiffed) I really and truly STILL wanted the items that she had wanted funding for, and wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  So essentially, this angst was brought upon myself and admittedly, I have no one else to blame (except for her, who should know better) but yours truly.

After repeatedly contacting her over the many months and being either ignored or shined on (she would respond after a few days to my email with a cryptic “It’s in the mail, or it’s being shipped tomorrow.”) She’d again go silent and I’d wait for a package that would never arrive.  Some people got their product, others, like me got nothing.  It was only after some sleuthing that I was able to find her vendor website and what did I discover?  She was selling the remaining stock of product from her campaign on the website when she couldn’t even bother to supply her backers with what they had been promised.

Figuring at this point it was unlikely that I was going to be getting the product through Kickstarter, I did something that was probably pretty stupid.  I placed an order through her company for the product I was supposed to have gotten before and waited.  A week after placing the order I received an email saying that they’d been shipped.  No tracking number, no information as to how they might be coming, just that, a shipping notification.  And they never arrived.  Starting to sound familiar?  A few days later, I sent her an email, detailing that she’d giving me little information and I required more, like a tracking #, or some knowledge of HOW it was shipped, so I could at least track it.  I might as well have been shouting down a well.  No reply.  I tried again a couple of days ago.  Lo and behold, she responded a couple of hours later with a cryptic (and familiar) reply. “They’ll be shipped out tomorrow.” is all it said.  Seriously?  I thought it was shipped 2 weeks ago!  I really want to give her a piece of my mind, but I still want the product, before I have to contact my credit card company to sic them on her ass….at least this time I used credit instead of something else, so that I had a reputable company to do my dirty work for me, if she was going to be a pill again.

Honestly, I don’t understand how she manages to stay in business if this is the way she conducts hers.