Monday, December 28, 2009

Building Family

As I've mentioned previously, I am New Leather and I am aware of this fact. Not only am I aware of it, but I see it as an opportunity.

This does NOT mean that I do not have a great deal of respect and fascination in Old Leather and its traditions and ways.

I've always believed that while we can learn from history's mistakes, we can also learn from its victories. History is neither good nor bad - we can use the information that now have, thanks to history, to build a better present and future. The AIDS crisis of the 70s and 80s has taught us that safer sex really is the best option, for example... but that doesn't mean that we all use condoms all the time. Sometimes, when we have examined the risks and made an informed decision, we do without condoms. We go bareback. And that's okay.

The problems that many perceive as "not taking traditions seriously" or "not caring about our history" is that many people don't examine history before doing things. They do not learn from the past's mistakes and victories. They think they have it figured out by themselves.

Now, sometimes this is true, and sometimes this attitude can build glorious new things. But this type of thinking is the type that leads to "condoms aren't necessary". Carelessness.

The other way can be awkward as well - thinking we MUST do things a certain way because of tradition does not work for everyone. These are the people who know they are both free of STDs and/or not at risk of pregnancy, and do not eroticize safer sex (as I do), but simply use a condom every time because that's what you do. It doesn't hurt anyone, but what if they might enjoy bareback sex? They might never know!

I like informed consent. I like it in all things - sexual, psychological, medical, everything.

I like it in history, too. I learn about our history, I learn about traditions, I learn about protocols and I learn as much as I can about the way people make things work... so that I can make an informed decision about whether that particular thing will work for me.

I am rambling, as I tend to do in this blog sometimes. I will come to the point.

In the last few years, I have been learning as much as I can about Leather and Leather families and households. Partially because I am a huge nerd and I enjoy learning about these things, partially because I have come to identify as a Leather man... but also partially because I feel that a Leather family, a connected tribe who interact with each other via not just talk and love and BDSM and/or sex, but also through protocols and hierarchies, is something that I am increasingly and unavoidably attracted to.

I feel drawn to build my own Leather family.

That is a bold admission. Many Leather families are not born or built, they are joined, or at best they grow slowly. This isn't mutually exclusive with what I am looking to do, it's just that I am being conscious, mindful of what I am slowly building. I am watering the seed in my soul and my life, so that it may grow.

The boy is firmly at my heels on this subject, he too feels the growing desire/need for family.

Now, here's the thing. The way most Leather families work, are built, etc... it's not that I think they're bad or anything, but as they stand, they don't work for me. I'm seeking something... different.

As I have mentioned before, much of who I am is influenced by martial arts. There is no reason that a family that I may be the head of (beneath the late "real" head, I'd say, which would be my Sensei) would not also be influenced by this. This isn't even that far away from the origins of Leather - much of its protocols and traditions are rooted in the military.

But I find myself flandering a little. Learning as much as possible, poaching from many traditions, families, cultures, ways... and incorporating it all into myself, who I am, what I seek, what I offer....

It's very complicated!

It also takes a very long time. This is something I've been thinking about for a year (at least) now, and I am not actually closer to it appearing yet. It is still gestating, a new form, a new life, a new chapter... laying dormant in my mind, waiting to be born.

It will happen. I am patient.

In the meantime, I know that one thing that absolutely WILL be passed to those involved with me is the way I learned how to kneel and bow. It's quite simple and not that different to how most people naturally do it, but it carries so much meaning for me that being able to pass that on is intensely powerful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shifting the Dynamic

I think I need to stop promising what I'm going to write about in my next post, because I'm clearly setting a precedent of not doing it. So, new year's resolution - never promise what my next post will be on my blog :)

After the collaring, my boy and I specifically decided not to set up any protocols right away because we were attending Lee Harrington's Rituals for D/s workshop a week or so later. We didn't want to set anything up just in case the workshop was life changing. No one wants to have to say "You know that thing I told you to do a week ago? Yeah don't do that anymore, do this." Not in such a small time frame.

The workshop was wonderful, and while it wasn't particularly life changing it did give me a few things to think about. If nothing else it reminded me of some very basic, very important things, for example, it is better to have ten rules implemented and enforced than four hundred rules that even the Dominant forgets about.

So far, we don't have any rituals or protocol that have been specifically introduced since the collaring. We have a few little rituals that are very casual and not formal - but these rituals have been there for a long time and have more to do with them growing organically rather than being implemented.

For example, the boy always asks me before he comes. I didn't ask him to start doing that, he started doing it of his own accord - and it has now become such a ritual that if he comes without asking or comes before I say he can, he gets in trouble. (Not the kind of trouble that involves punishment, but I feel pretty confident in saying that if I tell him he's a bad boy, he'll feel bad enough from that alone.) Although I admit we have both been so busy the last couple of months I did give him permission a while ago that he could come whenever he likes when we're apart.

To get off subject here a little and talk about that for a moment, orgasm control is one of my boy's biggest kinks. So I imagine he misses being told he can't come on his own, and I'll be revoking that privilege at some point in the near future. I know he gets very wriggly and happy when my words control whether or not he comes, and I imagine a lack of that is probably a little boring for him.

That's a hard thing to deal with, as a Sir. As much as I am in control, sometimes life gets in the way of what we love to do, as I'm sure you know. Parents, kids, work, school, moving house, all kinds of things. For us, recently my life has been very stressful as I'm reorganizing my living arrangements, and I had some interstate visitors, and I've been quite sick... anyway, the point is, life gets in the way sometimes, and sometimes you need to dial D/s back a bit. And that's hard for me, not just because I love the control (don't get me wrong, I do) but because the boy loves the control, and I love the boy. I want him to feel that his needs are being met in this relationship, I want him to be having a good time, I want him to be happy.

A happy boy makes for a happier dynamic. So it's very hard for me to dial down things I know make my boy happy, no matter how necessary that dialing down is.

D/s is a feedback loop. We both need to be getting what we need out of the relationship for it to work. If my dominance is making him feel happy and at peace, then he is getting what he needs out of it to be a good boy, and when he is a good boy and serves me well, I feel happy and at peace. It's a big circle of goodness.

Anyway, to get back onto the initial subject of rituals, one thing that I have implemented is a bed time.

See, the boy has a habit of bumming around on the computer until it's quite late. This is not very useful for someone who works fulltime. He frequently does not get enough sleep and is often complaining about being tired, even on the weekends, because he does not care for his sleep schedule. Left to his own devices, he used to only sleep six hours a night! For my boy, this is not enough (of course how much sleep is good for us varies from person to person). The boy needs at least eight hours sleep every night for him not to be always tired.

So I implemented a bed time. I asked him what time he has to get up in the morning, and then I counted back. I seem to recall that ideally he'd be going to bed at 10:30 (I think that was because it would give him a half hour either of extra sleep, or a half hour of between-waking-and-sleeping time so he still got a full eight hours), however I realized quickly that would be impractical for him. So I set his bedtime for 11pm. He has to be IN BED and trying to sleep by 11, every work night. He can't start getting ready for bed at eleven. He has to be in bed by then.

The boy does not have insomnia, or any other sleep problems. He is just lazy about caring for his sleep. He gets into bed and falls right to sleep - which has been a source of mild, amused annoyance for me as I do suffer from insomnia and have to struggle constantly to keep my sleeping schedule functional.

Anyway, I am getting off topic again (clearly I am feeling wordy today, perhaps to make up for all the blog entries I've missed making over the last few weeks).

The last couple of nights, the boy has been half an hour later for bed time on one night, and five minutes later for bed time on another. Now here's where us D-types sometimes get stuck - what do I do about that?

It's easy to say "punish him!", but what does that mean? Punishment is a very tricky subject in D/s relationships. In scenes, punishment can be for fun or not, it doesn't matter. But in D/s... 'funishment' (that is, play that is presented as punishment) is not going to discourage an action.

But my boy is a pansy (this is not an insult, it simply means he is a beautiful, delicate flower). Pain (sudden or sharp) would certainly be a punishment, but does the punishment fit the crime? Is being late to bed really worth a beating, or ten strokes of the cane?

I don't think so.

So coming up with a punishment that fits the crime can be difficult. It has to be something not too bad, because he didn't disobey too badly (and there was no intent to disobey, which is important). It has to fit the person in question, and can be neither too lenient nor too strict.

It also has to not have associations set up elsewhere. My first thought was to make him spend his lost time (35 minutes) sorting rice grains, until I remembered that he uses a similar exercise to practice focus and meditation. I do not want him to consider focus and meditation a punishment! And I do not want him to think that his punishment is fun, either!

So, I thought about withdrawing affection and touch for 35 minutes. Certainly quite mean to my boy, who is very touch-focussed, but tolerable. However, how do you implement that? I considered corner time, however I quickly realized that being near him and not letting him touch me is something we do in play. It is a way I can tease him - so it immediately becomes a bad punishment, because it is something we do for fun.

But I followed the train of thought over to the cage. As you know, the boy loves the cage. He loves sleeping in it, he loves being it.

Suddenly I had a thought.

If I remove all the blankets and cushions from the cage, it becomes just that little bit uncomfortable. If I do not let the boy have any stimulation while he is in there, it also becomes that little bit more uncomfortable.

To put the boy in the cage in that way, for 35 minutes, one of two things will happen:

1) He will get bored. If this is the case, I think it's a suitable punishment.

2) He will go to sleep. If this is the case, he will be catching up on the sleep he was otherwise missing out on.

A win-win situation! Both of these options are a good consequence for missing bedtime.

So that is how this particular dominant goes about selecting a punishment. As you can see, it's a lot harder than most submissives think. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm a consumer whore!

Fetlife always has wonderful giveaways around Christmastime, and this year is no exception :)

http://fetlife.com/sit_on_santas_lap

Personally I'm hoping Santa brings me a fucking machine.

Next post: my inner beast and how stifled it's been for the last three years.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Collaring

On December 6, I officially collared my boy.

We've been D/s for a long time, so not much has changed... but the little that has means a lot to me, and will make me feel more secure and comfortable in our relationship.

We had a very casual ceremony at one of the local kink events, with many of our friends to witness it. It was a little awkward at first, I told the story of how we met and why we decided to change from vanilla boyfriends to Daddy and boy, and that we didn't plan the ceremony at all.

Oh, we spent hours talking and planning and thinking out the ceremony... but in the end, we decided that we have planned little else in our relationship, perhaps it would be best if we just improvised our ceremony as well.

We exchanged some words, talked about what this meant for us, and then I collared him. Honestly it was a little awkward and might have been better if we had planned it, but several of our friends were quite teary-eyed afterwards so it couldn't have been as bad as I had thought :)

My boy and I hugged and our friends applauded. Then my "best man" (a dear friend of mine whose job it was to hold the collar until I needed it and make sure I couldn't run away, as I am a bit of a commitment-phobe) bought me drink, and then we all stayed to play and have a good night out.

I played with the boy a couple of times, nothing too different or anything - I am saving rituals for a later point, which I am sure I will write about then - however he did start crying as I was flogging him, and he took a little while to recover from it. He's not very good at accessing his own emotions but I suspect he touched briefly up against a level of subspace that he is not familiar with.

It was good crying, though, and the fact that he did not safeword and it was my decision to stop and care for him bodes well for our future relationship.

It was a very small affair, and I can't say that I feel that different afterwards, or even that our relationship is any different now, but that is hardly the point. The point is that there is no wiggle room in this relationship any more. We are Daddy and boy, that is who we are, and we never have to stumble over our words when people ask, ever again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Almost Collaring

In a few hours, I will be officially collaring my boy. I am very excited and nervous. I will write about it probably tomorrow. :)