Category Archives: Kink and BDSM

Commands

One of the topics that’s been discussed some lately is the fact that sometimes dominants give commands that don’t quite seem like commands.

aisha talked about commands that were almost couched as suggestions, as did faithful in her blog.

I suppose that must seem very odd to submissives, that we do that.  We can, so easily it seems, just give that command.

We can TELL you what to do.

So why don’t we just TELL you sometimes?

There’s often a reason, you know.

You could do your child’s math homework.  You know, at least one hopes you know, how to do fractions.  If you were looking to solve the problem of the answer to the equation of 2 2/3 times 3 and 3/8ths, you understand the process.

You find the common denominator and translate the equations into those common denominators, you multiply the numerators, then you simplify the result again.

It would probably take you less time than it takes your child as he struggles with the concepts and the math.

It would certainly be easier.  You could do that and then both of you could move on and do something else.

But, you’re saying, then he’d never learn how to do it himself.

Right.

He’d never learn how to do it himself.

Sometimes giving an order is sort of like giving someone the answer.  I want  you to start doing X or stop doing Y or change the way you do Z.

It’s simple, it’s direct, it gets to the answer quickly, and the answer is “right.”  You don’t have to make so much space in your brain for it, do you?

And it’s so much EASIER, isn’t it?

And, when it’s done, and you have the answer, what did you learn?

Sometimes that’s ok.  Sometimes you don’t NEED to learn anything.  Just fold my towels long ways first because that’s how I want them folded.  No need to justify it or explain it or learn anything other than, that’s how I want it done.

But sometimes, it’s not.

If you’re trying to teach something, it’s always more work.

But it’s kind of like that giving a man a fish versus teaching him how to fish thing.

If I always give you the answer, then it never takes up the space in your head.

And it’s one thing when it’s towels, because it’s pretty finite and concrete.  Even if you fold one of my towels wrong, nothing bad happens.  I might make you refold it, but the quality of our lives is not lessened.

If I give you nudge in the direction in which I want you to go, though, if I give you an idea of what I think the destination should be, but don’t lay out the specific path, it’s more likely you’ll learn something from it.

When the similar situation confronts you again, you know how to handle it, or at least have a better sense of how to handle it, because you have experience with it.

Sometimes, too, we don’t give orders because a smart dominant doesn’t give an order that a submissive can’t obey.

It’s both pointless and ineffective to tell someone they shouldn’t feel guilty, for instance.

I can command you not to, but what that is actually going to do, most likely, is double your guilt.  You’re still going to feel guilty about the initial thing, but you’re also going to feel guilty about feeling guilty because now you’re also disobeying.

Sometimes those suggested commands are like holding out your hand, offering a steadying presence, suggesting a path rather than directing one.

Sometimes it’s because we believe that you need to work through the problem yourself, not just be given the answer.

Quiet Saturday

I’ve not felt very well for a couple of days, a stomach thing that was minor but didn’t feel minor, but I’m feeling closer to myself now, though still not 100%.

I’ve had a quiet couple of days, not doing much, not going anywhere, other than slave drew and I going out today to the mall.  He wanted to look for something  and I went along.  I found a couple of things at good after-Christmas prices, so it was worthwhile.

We made a quick grocery run, too, and now we’re home until we head to see slave drew’s brother, his wife, and their two children tomorrow evening.  Then we have one more gathering

Other than that, I’ve spent the day at home, and I have no complaints about that, either.

It snowed last night, so I got up to a very pretty world, the kind with a couple of inches of very wet snow stuck to every horizontal surface, and some that aren’t so horizontal, either.

The dogs were delighted.  Snow must do something to the scents out there, because the dogs love little as much as fresh snow.  It’s not so cold as to be overly unpleasant, but cold enough that the snow’s not melted, so it’s still pretty.

It was funny to watch people out and about today.  I wore a turtleneck, a long-sleeve t-shirt and a zippered sweater over it, but no coat.

I hate coats.

I hate being cold, too, but I most of the time hate coats more, so I will nearly always just deal with being cold between car and building rather than have to wear a coat.  There’s one in the car if I break down, but I rarely do.

There were people out today in mukluks and parkas, hats and earmuffs.  It was about 34 degrees.

Mukluks.

Earmuffs.

Thirty-four degrees.

I went to college in upstate New York, and lived there for six years all told.

I used to walk regularly to jobs, to classes, from one bus stop to another and back again.

If you breathed through your mouth, your jaw ached because your fillings got so cold.

You didn’t go anywhere without coat and hat and gloves and boots and that includes to take out the garbage.

I remember sitting around in our apartment with friends.  The radiator in the living room worked so little that we kept our television on it.

What we routinely wore, in each other’s houses in winter, was long underwear, tops and bottoms, jeans, socks, shoes or slippers, a flannel shirt, a wool sweater and a down vest.

To see people in 34 degree temperatures dressed us as if they are delivering the serum to Nome always amuses me.

Really, sir, I swear, you don’t need earmuffs in your car.  Honest.

And if someone would like to explain the concept of sequined mukluks to me, I will listen and try and maintain a straight face, but seriously.  Sequined mukluks?  I think not.

We’ve spent our evening watching Project Runway and various British murder mysteries.  Our Christmas gift for us this year was a new television – nothing wild, I think it’s 32″, and it was a very good price – a $500 TV for $200.

The sound, however, was less than stunning, so when I noticed a sound bar that was regularly about $180 for $40, so we added that to the system, and I spent a few minutes last night setting it up, so we’ve been enjoying sound we can hear again.

I started writing a presentation for South Plains on the concept of transparency, specifically in M/s relationships.  It will require a lot more work, but it’s at least started, which makes me feel good.

I got the rest of the dividers I needed for my presentation binder, too, and set them up.  That makes me feel much more organized.

Eventually I’d like to move them all to Power Point presentations, too, but I haven’t gotten that far.  I’ve also spent a bit of time trying to go through my files on my computer and organizing them.  They’re not a terrible mess, but it’s hard to have 15 – really – years worth of files that have been on four or five computers, and have them all as tidy as one might like.

Over the spring, I’d like to get that done, get my files sorted, get the programs migrated to Power Point as well as the notes I already have.

I suppose that while I rarely make resolutions, I do like to have plans, and those are probably the same thing.  I’ll set up some other goals for myself over the next few weeks.

For the moment, my goal is an early bedtime.

If some of your goals are less than lofty, you have a better chance of meeting them.

Apocalypse How?

Ok, so it’s a cheap shot.  Neither slave drew nor I had to get up especially early this morning so we were lying in bed chatting.

I’d had an odd dream – I’ve had a string of them lately, nothing bad, just one of those odd ones, and I told him about it, and then commented that we were still here, so there was, at least thus far, no apocalypse, and I told him that the title of my blog yesterday was “Apocalypse Now?”

“And if I were a cattle rancher, it would have been Apocalypse Cow…”

“And if I were a pig farmer, it would have been Apocalypse Sow…”

“And if I were a boat builder, it would have been Apocalypse Prow…”

“If you were a chef, it would have been Apocalypse Chow…”

“And if I were a farmer, it would have been Apocalypse Plow…”

“And if I were a Quaker, it would have been Apocalypse Thow…”

“And if I were a handy man, it would have been Apocalypse How…”

“And if there really IS an apocalypse, and I can write a blog, I’ll call it Apocalypse – Ow!”

Ok, I’m done with bad Apocalypse Now references, and aren’t you glad?

So, the world didn’t end, unless it ends in the next hour, but even so, it’s already the day after on the west coast, and I’m pretty sure I’d have heard if the apocalypse started in L.A.

I have been wading through my inbox tonight, and have made some progress, but I still have lots to do.  I also finally looked at my calendar for 2013.

On a monthly basis, what I have in terms of kink-related events are:

First Friday Munch

First Saturday Munch

Third Saturday BDSM 101 Class

Third Sunday Special Interest Group Discussion

Third Thursday Titleholder Preparation Gatherings

Fouth Sunday Munch

Add in a Fringe Elements party about every six weeks, and two or three Board of Director meetings a month for the same thing.

And the MAsT Chapter meetings that I never seem to make.

Then there are the out-of-town events I have on my calendar, usually an event at least every other month, and local parties for one thing or another.

I could say no, I suppose.  That is, theoretically, possible.  But I never seem to.  I almost always say yes.

No wonder my calendar is a mess.

So, since the world hasn’t ended, I better get my act together, huh?  I need to update my online calendar – I use a paper calendar to lay things out, then I need to add them to my online calendar.

I need to answer a bunch of mail.

I need to update and add some events on Fetlife.

I have the domain http://www.msconstanceexplains.com, and I need to set this up there.

I need to do some long-term planning for my own Bluegrass Leather event in March, and for Great Lakes Leather Alliance in August, and some sort of personal goals for the upcoming year.

So, I can only end this blog in one way:

No Apocalypse?  Wow.

My Weekend – Part 3

It seems like the weekend is taking nearly as long to tell about as it took to live through it, doesn’t it?

So what happened next?

When last we saw our hero, she had just presented Leather and been presented her own pin.

I should mention, or perhaps I shouldn’t, that I actually spent the entire event in a pair of white Scottie slippers.  Fuzzy ones.

I also wore my Santa hat the entire time I presented Leather.

Along with the Scottie slippers.

It’s a really NICE Santa hat, if that makes a difference.

Anyway, once that was over, the event proper was kicked off.

And how did we do that, you might ask?

Let me set the scene.

The supporting players are Elf Devon and Panty Claus.

Elf Devon is an adorable boy, who was dressed in an elf’s vest, hat and ass-less undies.  His prop is a giant candy cane, the kind one would normally place in the ground outside along one’s pathway.

Panty Claus is one of the board members of Fringe Elements, Caile, who was wearing a cute little Santa-ish outfit, red and white with a hat, and a short skirt.

Her panties said HoHoHo, but I believe that was a comment on the holiday season rather than any kind of untoward description of her proclivities.

And you’d know what her panties said, too, if you’d looked on Fetlife.

I want you also to imagine a large man, a bear, a man who is nearly the SIZE of a bear to begin with.  He’s also sweet as a bear’s honey, but that’s beside the point.

Now, imagine this man, bigger than life as he is, in a leather jockstrap sort of thing, suspenders, boots, a red fuzzy cape and a white curly wig.

He had also chosen the politically incorrect title of Homo-Claus for himself.

Naturally.

The final element in the fringe-y mix is Gypsy, who is one of our local furries, who is the owner and usual inhabitant of a human-size pony costume.  Add to that costume reindeer antlers and some other fetching Christmas additions.

Apparently, I announced the opening before we were quite ready, requiring some improvisation.

The improvisation began with Elf Devon chasing Panty Claus around the dungeon, while the audience, myself included, ROARED.

It was hysterically funny.

Both of them had a certain manic quality to the scampering about, running around equipment, having to hang on to their hats in a literal sense,

We had fashioned Santa’s “sleigh” out of a rather impractical piece of dungeon furniture, a small spanking bench that is on wheels and moves pretty easily.

Imagine said LARGE man sitting on said smallish spanking bench, being pulled by said Gypsy pony.

Now this probably is working better in your imagination than it did at first in reality because, for reasons which I have yet to ascertain, no one thought that perhaps the large man should wait to board the small sleigh until AFTER the sleigh had negotiated the 90 degree turn in the hallway.

Really, it was also pretty funny to watch it, were you not supposed to be making this all work, to see the pony struggling to pull the sleigh which was fairly well-loaded, down a narrow passage.

What finally happened was that Ms Tammy dashed down the hallway and gave a giant PUSH to the sleigh, thus freeing it.

And then, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

Ok, a semi-miniature sleigh with a full-sized Santa, and one not-that-tiny reindeer because, let’s not forget, the “reindeer” was pulling the full-size Santa and Christmas miracles only go SO far.

It was, I swear, incredibly funny, as well you can imagine.

The rest of the evening was filled with conversation and laughter and screams – none that I personally caused, to clarify – and a generally good time had by all.  There were old friends there, and new ones, folks from near and far.

Photos were taken, toys and corsets were sold, sweets were bought and people were beaten.  Paddles were procured, ornaments were owned and and auction items were auctioned.

Finally, it got to be late, as it usually does.

At around 12:30am we drew for our two raffles, which were won by the same person, but that person had bought the most tickets for one, and earned the most for the other by buying a significant amount of merchandise from the vendors, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

We also closed down our silent auctions and collected for them.  We had passes for events donated, and some other items.  A few we’ll put up for the next event.

We end our parties at 2am, so about 1:30am the vendors started packing up, and we started tidying.  Some people stayed over for the Louisville Munch the next night, and the other festivities, some went back,

I walked back to my car, through the parking lot still in my fuzzy slippers.  I think it was 2:30am or so by then, maybe later.  I know that I grabbed something to eat on the way home – I’d eaten little other than a fast food burger about 5:00pm and was STARVING.

I got home, let dogs out, ate my tacos – what else is open at 3am, after all? – and when I finally got to bed it was so close to 4am as not to make much difference at all.

I slept in a bit in the morning, intending to assist in the 11am cleanup at the space, until I woke up screaming with a leg cramp.  I mentioned that before, I know.

Boy, did that suck!

And not in a good way at all.

I expect that tomorrow I’ll post a photo of our little troop of miscreants, but until then, use your imagination.

My Weekend – Part 2

So, when last I left, we were at the Bizarre Bazaar and the party was about to start.

Actually, before it started, I took the opportunity to have the fabulous Sir Markos take some photos of me with slave drew for our Christmas picture.

He did a wonderful job and we ended up with at least three contenders for the position.  I think it will end up being the one I posted last night, which I am referring to as “Peekaboo,” since I seem to be leaning to one side.

Later in the evening I had him take a few absolutely priceless photos with Elf Devon, one of which I posted here yesterday, too.

One of the things that has been important to me over the last few years is the bringing back of the tradition of earned Leather.  At the Great Lakes Leather Alliance weekend every year we give earned Leather during the brunch.

One of the things that matters to me about that tradition is that your Leather is earned, that it’s not just something you necessarily go buy, but something that you earn through your work in the community.

Traditionally, earned Leather can only be given by someone who has earned three pieces themselves.  It’s rather like being vested, in a manner of speaking.  You can’t give Leather until you have earned your own.

I’ve given Leather to ten people over the years.  One was, in retrospect, a mistake, but not of such magnitude that I would take it back.  I’ve given thought to it, but always decided against it.

In 2010 and 2011, I gave Leather at the Louisville Munches, but wasn’t offered that option this year, so the ceremony was moved to the event itself.

Giving someone Leather also makes them a part of my Leather family, in a formal sort of way.  Or, as those members tend to joke – I think it’s a joke, anyway – one of Ms Constance’s bitches.

Because of that, it’s not a quick decision, or one I make lightly, although I do already know who will probably be given Leather next year, unless something happens between now and then to make me change my mind.

I look at who works in the community, first.  I pay attention to who devotes time and energy, at who volunteers, and maybe more importantly, at who doesn’t wait to be asked to volunteer.

I like to have two other people speak about the people to whom I give Leather, in addition to my speaking.  Sometimes I say more, sometimes I say less.  One thing I do, too, each time is pass the piece of Leather itself among the people there.  I like the concept of each of them adding a trace of themselves to the Leather.

One thing I do each time I give Leather is read the same thing.  Part of it is what is read at Great Lakes, too, a piece that was written by slave ziggy, from whom I have permission. slave ziggy and his Mistress, Suzan, share the titles of International Master and slave 2006.

The first part is a short paragraph I wrote.  The part that I read each time is this:

The Leather community is a tribe.  We come from many different perspectives and backgrounds, but we come together as a group to honor those among us who have, through their dedication to and work within that community, earned a piece of Leather.

As an elder in this tribe, I have the right and the privilege of presenting that earned Leather tonight.  You are our tribe, and you are, then, also our witnesses.  Because you are our witnesses, the Leather we will be presenting tonight is being passed among you.

This is the last time it will be appropriate for you to touch these pieces without the permission of the owners, but as part of the tribe, it is entirely appropriate for you to touch them now, to add a trace of yourself to the Leather.

At Great Lakes Leather weekend, we read these words before we present earned Leather.  They were written by slave ziggy.

“Beginning with a condensed version of what I understand to be a rudimentary history of Leathermen:

Servicemen in wartime had experienced the stress of war and the company of other servicemen for long periods. Upon returning, they sought each other out as a way to find support, to fit in, and to try to make sense of their shared experiences. The life they lived in the military was one of discipline and hard work. They often found it hard to assimilate back into a society that simply would not understand.

Those experiences did not translate into a new lifestyle, once outside the military structure. Tightly knit groups of men formed, and they developed a language and specific practices that only one who was “on the inside” or had been in military service would understand.

Most of these groups remained highly exclusive out of necessity. It was only through someone on the inside, that another was allowed access. There may have been hundreds-perhaps thousands-of these groups throughout the country. Each had their own twist on protocols and practices, yet many adhered to what had been taught to them in the military. Although there were varying degrees of discipline and order, a few concepts were consistent in each of these groups.

1. Honor: The way one interacts with others, maintaining a good name and reputation.

2. Integrity: The way in which one handles one’s affairs and one’s adherence to accepted ethical codes.

3. Trust: Due to the nature of their practices, both socially and sexually, trusting a fellow Leatherman was as important as the trust one had in another when in combat. Their lives and their practices depended on it.

4. Respect: In the military, these men developed a mutual respect not only for each other, but also for authority. Seniority in rank and experience took a front seat in combat, and in these groups.

5. Loyalty: As in the military, these men developed strong alliances to the groups they were involved in, sometimes to the point of exclusivity. Outsiders were outsiders. Anyone wanting in would have to gain admittance through an insider, who then became responsible for him. People who wanted in were subject to testing just as one is tested in the military through boot camp. If they didn’t cut it, they were pushed back out on the fringes of the group where they stayed.

As with the military, everything one has is EARNED. This is what formed the tradition of earning one’s Leathers. Regardless of where one ended up on the Dominant or submissive scale, nearly everyone started out at the bottom and earned their way up. I also suspect that a Dominant could take the fast track through earning His Leathers, but not the respect of His fellow Leathermen.

Now, folks profess their Mastery with words from a keyboard, or clothing from the local Leather shop. Sadly, it has lost its original meaning of longevity of service or knowledge. Thankfully, there are people who still value the idea of earning what you are given. There are people within the community that value this symbol and are working to bring the tradition back.”

This year, I gave two pieces of Leather, one to Cerrin, and one to Shane.  Normally, I end the ceremony in exactly the same way, too, though I made a slight change this year.

Once the other two people who speak for the one being presented Leather are done, I bring up the person who is to be given their Leather.  Usually they don’t know until the first time their name is used during the presentation.

I say the same words to them, normally, every time, though this year I did make some changes.  What I normally say at the end is this:

“By presenting you this piece of Leather, which you have earned through your service to this community, you become a formal part of my Leather family.  I know that you will make me proud by continuing to earn it.  Do you promise to continue working for others and for your community?  Will you continue to do something nice for someone else every single day of your life?”

Some of the Leather I have given over the years has been new, sometimes made specifically for the person, and some has been used.

When it’s possible and appropriate to do so, I like giving Leather that belonged to others.  This year I gave an apron, which was made specifically for Cerrin, and a vest, which I actually bought at the silent auction at the International Transgender Leather Person contest in Atlanta.  The organizers, Wayne Brawner and his slave, Keith, had donated the vest, and the fact that it carried some of those Leather men, too, is appealing to me.

Once I’d finished the Leather presentation, I realized that all but three of the people I have ever given Leather to were there, so I asked all of them to join me.  In addition, I had slave drew join me, because he is clearly part of my family, and Ms Tammy.  I was involved in presenting Ms Tammy her first piece of Leather, too, and she is also family.

Interestingly, and meaningfully, the person who presented me my first piece of Leather on behalf of the community, back in 2003, was also there, and I asked him to join us, too.  Master David presented me my Master’s cover shortly before we headed off to Dallas to compete for the International Master and slave title, saying, “We wouldn’t send you to Dallas bare-headed.”

The final part of the presentation was for me.

Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt is a fixture in the Leather community.  You can read about her here.

If you go to events much, you’ll notice lots of people wearing small brass pins that say, “Mama’s XXXXX.”  There are something over 1600 members of Mama’s Family.  Often at events, there will be a moment when they do a photo shoot of Mama’s Family attendees.

One of the primary requirements for being part of Mama’s Family is working for the community and for charity both.  When I was at an event in Lexington a month or two ago, Mama approached me to ask me to be part of her family.  She also asked Ms Tammy, too.

You have to choose your name, of course.  I suggested Mama’s Bear Hunter to Ms Tammy, since she is so fond of bears, and I’d settled on Mama’s Party Dominatrix, since that’s what I’ve called myself for years at GLLA.  Ms Tammy had been pinned by Mama at a recent Lexington event which I didn’t make, and Mama had given her my pin.

Ms Tammy spoke briefly about what being part of Mama’s Family meant, and then she pinned me, which Mama always does right over your heart, allowing you to place it on your leather where you’d like.

In vest protocol, your club pins, the things that show your affiliations and your memberships, go on the left, the same side as your heart.  The pins for places you’ve been, your “run pins,” go on the right.  Traditionally club colors or leather patches go on the back.

It was meaningful to me to have all those people there, and I’m glad I was given the pin in front of my community.

So, yet again, my family grows.

So now we’re about half way through Friday night.  I haven’t even TALKED about the appearance of Santa on his sleigh pulled by Gypsy, the red-nosed rein… pony?

More to come tomorrow.

My Weekend – Part 1

So, I finally have time to talk about my very very busy weekend.

We have been preparing for our party for a month, at least.  It’s actually probably more work than one might think.  We don’t just decide to throw a party and then in a sort of 1930 Hollywood movie, the production number all comes together.

Can’t you see it?

The starlet rips off her square-shouldered pinafore and clunky-heeled shoes to reveal a patent bra top, super short skirt and thigh-high boots.

The hero’s bow tie morphs into a collar, and his clipboard into a paddle.

Their best friends – you know, the chubby, funny ones, the ones who would be played by Melissa McCarthy and Jack Black, would start wheeling out furniture, while singing something about Sweet Dreams or something.  I’m seeing Melissa in a latex nun costume and Jack in a leather hood and body suit.

The montage lasts about three minutes, and at the end, the dank barn is transformed into a techno play space, the cast is transformed into a crowd of well-dressed and well-behaved partiers, there is music and laughter and the movie ends with a kiss and a swat and a fade to black…

No, alas, it doesn’t work that way.

We have to plan it.  We have to have a location.  Musty barns don’t work.

We’ve been lucky to find a contact with a guy who owns a warehouse space he rents out to alternative groups, like swingers and rave groups, etc.  The first party we did there was a little more structured, and now that he’s used to us, that he knows how we work and that we do know what we’re doing, and he’s been really generous.

So, we have to find a location, and negotiate the date and the details.

Then we also have to find the furniture.  At this point we don’t have our own furniture, though we’ll probably start building some pieces.

I’m lucky to have a good relationship with a former leader of a group that has since disbanded and he’s been very generous in loaning us equipment.

But that also means we have to transport it, there and back.  I have to make arrangements with him, and the owner of the space, for time to set it up and break it down.

Then we have to figure out where things go, and put items together.

There’s also supplies – equipment cleaning supplies, waivers, soda and ice and paper goods and table covers and decorations and signage and silent auction sheets.  We use pens and tape and staples and scissors and the other kinds of office supplies you might need.

There’s a program to be written, particularly this time, because I was giving earned Leather, which I will also be talking back, if not tonight, then in the next day or two.

There were vendors to contact and confirm.  There was the setting up of the vendor area, seeing who is going to vend and where we will put them and do we have enough tables and chairs and the other things they’ll need.

There’s publicity – announcing events, talking them up, designing and creating flyers.

Then there’s the volunteers.  We have to have people to set up and take down the dungeon, people to man the door with waivers, checking ID.

There are people to monitor the dungeon, to clean up the space during and after, to man the t-shirt and raffle items, and then there’s the bake sale.  We do a bake sale at the event and that means getting people who donated baked goods.

So, there are weeks of planning before the actual event.

We started the setup on Thursday, and it went much better than the first time, mostly because we knew where things would go better this time.  We were even able to get the vendor areas set up and arranged, so that was helpful.

It took us about two hours all told.  I stopped on the way home to get some of the things we’d talked about needing.  I had already started a long list of things to take and remember and do and grab.

On Friday, I got my stuff together and headed out.  We spent a couple hours getting set up finalized, getting vendors set up and in place, and making sure everything was in place.

Then we opened doors and waited for the folks.

We had a great time.  We had about 115 people, and while more is always better,, we were very happy with the turnout and with the event in general.

We’d planned to start the program at 8:15 or so, but it got pushed back considerably.  People had trouble finding the location, which is pleasantly hidden away.  We had people from Cincinnati, from Indianapolis, vendors from as far away as Texas.

We were delighted to have a corset vendor, Steel Bones, who flew in from Texas with 700 pounds of inventory.  I know she flew home with considerably less, and a lot of people got corsets and other pieces.

We had Leather Thorn, who makes the more gorgeous tooled leather paddles.  Many of them are that lovely shade of caramel that you associate with saddle leather.  His work is genuinely some of the most beautiful I’ve seen.

We had Michwitch, who make wooden paddles, chain mail, and had a lot of ornaments, too.  I actually meant to get back and look at the ornaments, but I never quite made it.

We had Abraided, who makes drumsticks, floggers, whips and restraints.  He’s a local vendor, and my basement dweller.

We had Mr Malaprop, who came down from Columbus and makes lovely wooden paddles and some other interesting things, like Scrabble magnets that spell out the kind of things you might expect they would spell out.

We had Sir Markos Photography, who always does a wonderful job.  He took pictures with our own Santa, Josh, and company, Elf Devon and Panty Claus.  I got pictures taken with slave drew for Christmas and also some very funny ones with Elf Devon.  I’ll add them at the end.

Then there was a Leather presentation, which I think I’ll talk about tomorrow.  This is already long, and I’m only half way through Friday night.  There’s still the other half and the Louisville Munch and the Naughty or Nice event at the local men’s bar, Boots.

More to come.  The photos below are me and slave drew, and me and an unidentified but clearly naughty elf!

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Saturday Night

So, I really thought I’d get a post done today.

First I woke up with a screaming leg cramp.  Ick.

Then I sort of dragged around until slave drew and I went and had some lunch.

Then we came home and took a three hour nap.

Then it was time to dress and go to the munch.

Then it was time to go to the gay Leather bar for their event.

And now it’s 11:30 and I am beyond tired.

I’ll have a real post soon.  After I sleep.

A Reader Question

At least, I think it’s a reader, if not, I don’t know how he’d have found me.  Even if he’s not, it’s a sort of universal question.

He said that he’d been in contact lately with a slave, and now he was interested in being more involved in the community.  I am paraphrasing, since I don’t have permission to quote him, but that’s the gist of it.

First, I think that it’s a good and genuinely important thing to have some contact with the community.  I know that the life I live is not for everyone, or even for many, but you can have some involvement without being totally immersed.

I want to say, too, that I think that online communities do count, even if they’re different than face-to-face.

I think that communities do a couple of things for us.

I think it matters enormously to have people with whom you can be yourself.  People around whom you can, as aisha mentioned in one of her posts, sit at her Sir’s feet and no one thought anything of it.

There is something intrinsically and incredibly valuable about people who see you for what you are, and take you to their heart knowing it.

Another thing that I think is hard to overvalue is the role that communities play in grounding us.

If you live as a slave, with that part of you hidden, when something feels wrong, there’s no one with whom you can gauge your situation.

If you go to your sister and try to explain that your husband beats you, and he controls your money, and your choices, he tells you what you can and can’t do, but none of THAT is the problem, you’re worried that his interest in a new slave means he’s not going to want YOU anymore…

Well, I would guess that once you get out that part about beating you, your sister is going to be calling in the troops to get you out of this awful situation.  She’s not going to hear that no, no, no, THAT you like, it’s this other thing…

If, on the other hand, you were to tell me that, I would ask you why you felt that, if he’d given you reason to be concerned, and maybe make some suggestions on how to deal with that topic.

It’s also important in a community wherein members can pride themselves on being controlling assholes that you can tell the good kind of asshole from the bad kind, and that’s where community comes in.

So, that’s why I think community is important.

How do you find it?

Finding it online is often the easiest place to start.

There is much I despise about Fetlife.  Much.

The search function is ridiculous, unworkable and useless, and I see much that makes me believe it will, in time, become the same useless sort of cesspool that bondage.com and alt.com and collarme.com have all become, but for the moment, it’s what we have.

If you don’t have an account, you should.  It’s free, and easy, and has rendered much of what we used in the past, including those sites I just mentioned, outdated.

Create your account and give a little information about yourself, because people will look.

For the love of all that’s holy, please don’t whine about how you hate to write about yourself, tell us how unfathomably complicated you are, or how totally bad ass you are.

Do not claim to have been a Master or a slave for 15 years when your age is under 40.

Do not put up a picture of your cock or your pussy as your profile picture.

Trust me.  We will just laugh at you if you do these things.

Then you should put your city name in the search box and that will give you a very good idea of what I mean by useless.  However, it’s what we have.

Then look at groups.  Look at groups in your area, and read about some of them.  Join a few that seem active and of general interest.

Observe at first.  It’s fine to introduce yourself, but it’s usually better to see what the lay of the land is before claiming your own little half acre of it.

Notice the events that are near you, too.  See who is organizing them.  See who’s going.

Then send a a note, a brief and polite one, asking if they mind if you send them a friend request.

Once you’ve acquired a few friends, you’ll get an idea for what’s going on around your area.

When you’ve done that, then the next step is to actually go out.

Munches are usually a good place to start.  They might be called Meet and Greets, or Sloshes, too.

If you worry that you won’t know anyone, you might be surprised.  You’ll likely recognize some of the people from your area.  Make sure you introduce yourself to a couple of them.

Pay attention to how people behave, because every group is different.  Watch how people behave.  Emulate their behavior.  Chat with people.  Everyone was new once, and most of us remember that.

And then keep coming back.  You’ll begin to recognize people, and more importantly, they’ll begin to recognize you.

It won’t happen over night, and you may discover it’s not really your thing.

Even if you do, it’s nice to keep a hand in, to at least be someone that is known, and known of.

If you decide then that it’s really not for you, it will be an informed choice.

And really, seriously, honestly, Fetlife, could you NOT make a search function that actually works?

When I want to find someone by name, don’t you think it might be most helpful if first you showed me results in my friends list, then results that are geographically close to me, then results with whom I share group memberships, and THEN start on the people in Queensland?

And would it REALLY be that hard to let me search through my friends by letters of the alphabet, not by page numbers, many of which I can’t bypass without putting a number in the url?

Couldn’t I just pick everyone whose user name starts with P?

It would be nice, too, to be able to personalize your feed in the way that Facebook allows because, you know, I may not mind you in my friend list, but if you’re going to “love” every single dirty picture, and post dozens of “great pic,” “LOL,” and “me too” posts, can’t I just opt out of their feed?

Oh, wait, I’m writing another post, aren’t I?

Kink First – My First Munch

I bet you thought I’d forgotten this thread, huh?

Nah, I just got caught up with the holiday and the dining room renovation, and all that kind of distractions.

So, anyway, the first munch I ever went to was in Lexington, Kentucky.  It would have been the summer, probably June or July, of 1997.

I don’t know that it was called a munch, I honestly don’t remember.

I had ended my previous relationship and now had the ability to do what I wanted and I wanted to find a community of some kind.

The munch was held at a horrible Ryan’s Steak House, and a couple named Denise and Jeff were running it at the time.

There weren’t a lot of people there, maybe 20 or so.  I guess I knew a couple of people already from online.  I don’t remember being nervous about going in, but surely I was, at least a little.

I actually went to Lexington munches regularly for a number of years, probably for six or eight years I hardly missed any munches there.

I saw the munch there through multiple hosts, some good, some not so bad, one downright damaging.

I moved to Indianapolis in January of 1998 for a job.  I’d started the munches in Louisville just a few months before, but Indy wasn’t that far, two hours away, I came down for every munch for the year I lived out of town.

I also took over the Indianapolis munch for the year I was there.  The people who’d run it before were about to shut it down, and I wrote and asked them to give it to me instead, which they did.

I went back to the Indy munch periodically over the years, though it finally ceased to operate about two years ago.

I’ve been to munches in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and Bloomington, Indiana.

I may well have been to other munches that I have forgotten over the years.

So maybe this should really be called Munches I Have Known.

I’ve known a lot of munches.  Some were more welcoming, some were less.  Some lasted, some disappeared after a few months.

And in the end, they all had value because they all gave the community a place to gather, and a group of like-minded people to gather with.

And wherever they were, that’s the important thing.

An Embarrassment of Riches

So, we had the Special Interest Group this afternoon.  This is our sort of annual business meeting.

In November, we talk about potential changes for the next year and set our topics.

In December, we have a fun topic, but this time we’re going to do a Kinky Gift Exchange.

It’s a game you may well have played at an office party or family gathering.  You bring a wrapped present, in this case something under $10.  If there are 20 people there, you write the numbers one through 20 on pieces of paper, and each person chooses a number.

The person who draws number 1 picks a package and opens it.  Person 2 then has a choice to take the item that Person 1 has, or open a different package.

If he takes one of the previously opened gifts, then the person whose gift has been “stolen,” can choose to steal a gift from anyone save the person who has stolen the gift from then, or opening a package.

And so on, to the end.  It’s a game in which later number are really better than earlier, but it can be quite amusing when you have a few gifts that everyone wants, or something that one or two people REALLY want.

So, we’ll do that next month, then start the whole thing again in January.

It was a smallish group, probably because next week is the holiday and lots of people will take off this week to visit family, or the holiday festivities are just beginning.  aisha, one of my favorite people, was there, and Cerrin and Charles and jacki and Cuffs and Joy and Fred and Sarah and Caile and some other folks as well.

Usually we have some social time but this is the one time in the year when we have business, so I was doing almost all of the talking.

We talked about maintaining D/s dynamics, the first time we’ve talked about that, and while it had value I need to tweak it.  It had little for single people, or people who were kind of new to it, it’s hard to maintain what you don’t have or are still growing.

I got, I think, the biggest laugh when I said that my concern with slave drew being the one to pull the plug because, knowing him, he’d say, “She’s probably going to die anyway, and look at all the electricity she’s using!”

While yanking the plug.

I believe aisha nearly choked on that one.

As I’ve said a lot of times before, we have an embarrassment of riches in terms of community in this area.  We have more things to do than you can do, sometimes in a literal sense and always in the sense of having enough energy/time/money to do them all.

It’s not egotism to say that the kink community in Louisville most certainly and even, to some extent, bears much of my mark.  I mean, I founded the munch which really kind of founded the community as a whole.  I came in early on the wave from the Internet that brought in so many people, and I was always able to ride the storm, to continue the metaphor, even when it was stormy seas.

In any case, I have genuinely never seen “competing” groups as being competing, not really.  We have a newish Club FEM group – it’s been around a couple years, maybe a bit more, but I think with some fits and starts, we formed a MAsT chapter here in the last year, we have another new group that’s recently formed.

We have a lot of meetings and groups and opportunities and most of them are lead or headed by different people.  There is some crossover, certainly, and I am involved in many things, but not all.  I never felt that we should look at it as a pie that could only be cut into so many pieces, but more like an ocean in that, you could never take out enough to fill one thing to empty it.

For most people it isn’t a choice of either/or, it’s a choice of this or nothing.

When Paradox was still around and active and the two groups were very friendly, it became obvious that it was not a case of people having to choose, because people didn’t have to.

We were very careful, all of us, not to schedule things against each other and we often collaborated on events or attended each others’ gatherings.

And yet, not a lot of people attended both.

Some did.  I went to most things, or at least went to nearly everything at least occasionally, from Louisville Munches to Paradox to Lexington to Elizabethtown to Indianapolis to Bloomington.

I was probably the only one who attended all those things, but there was some crossover, always.

But not as much as you would think.

It became clear that people got different things from different groups.  There was no reason to feel other groups were a threat.

I am in the top percentage in terms of how much your kink absorbs your life in a sort of non-personal sense.  I spend what is probably an inordinate amount of time thinking about power exchange and kinky relationships and the dynamics of this lifestyle.  I socialize extensively with people who are also kinky and hardly with anyone who doesn’t at least know I am.

I go to probably a half dozen events a year, every year, and that’s not counting a run to Lexington or Cincinnati or Indianapolis for a contest or a meeting or party.  Almost all traveling I do has some kink dimension to it.

And all of that is an incredibly long-winded way of saying, I wonder if more people would be like me if they had the options we have, and the freedom that I’ve been lucky enough to have in terms of other commitments and opportunities.

I know I’m a bit of an anomaly, in that in some ways I am very public, but still very private in others.

If you’ve been invited to my house, then you’re on a short list.  If you have my cell number, it’s a bigger list, but you probably have it for a reason, not just because you HAVE it.

But I am clearly unusually public in how I live my life and my sexual and relationship choices.

Are there people out there who think, “Wow, I’d do that, too, if I could, if that much was available, or if I had time or energy or money.”

Or do most people think, “My kink is private and I don’t need my social life to center around it, or my whole life, for that matter…”

As often happens, this is not the blog I started to write.  I even had to change the title, I was going to call it “The Fallacy of Time,” and talk about how time fools us.

I had a long list of things that I would have time to do this weekend and guess what, it’s 10pm on Sunday night and I did not do many of those things.

I did some, but not a lot.  Some were bigger tasks, like getting the dining room together, figuring where things will go, where will they fit, how will they fit, trying to group like things together, that’s more time consuming than one would think.

I’m close to having dishes put away, but there’s still the living room to empty from the rest of the dining room, chairs, etc.

There are a couple of pictures to hang, a shelf and a panel to install.

Then I have to empty the kitchen of the things that go into the living room that have been there because the dining room had to be emptied and so on and so forth.

So, now I’ve not done something else while I wrote more about not having time to do all I wanted.

I think there’s a pattern there.