Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a weekend.

Where to even begin?

I was doing demonstrations at the Kinky Fetish Demonstration stall at Sexpo all day on Friday and Saturday - I was supposed to go back on Sunday but I pulled a muscle and couldn't do so. It was fantastic - it was basically just like a long play party, I got to hang out with people I adore and do lots of fun things. It was just so much fun.

It made me realize that while I have very little showmanship, I do enjoy having people view my work and watch me do things. There's a line between "performance" and "demonstration" and I definitely fall on the demonstration side - but I still feel greatly energized by an audience and I enjoy having them there. A little nervous too, but in a good way - that kind of nervous you get when you know you're doing something awesome, and that people are enjoying you in return.

Sunday was Hooked Up, a hook suspension event. I was honoured to be a part of a spiritual pull, the ground for some energy work and the rigger for the rope suspension side of the pull. I rigged a lovely woman to a pulley system, and then our minotaur for the hour, with hooks through his back, pulled her up into the air. It was a very beautiful thing that I was just so pleased to be a part of.

Hook suspension events are the closest thing I have to a church, I think. The energy and the emotion that flies around at those things is so intense, it's incredible. I feel connected to everything and everyone at them, a truly spiritual experience just by sharing a space with so many brilliant people pushing themselves to the edge. Just wonderful.

I feel like I should have more to say about my weekend considering how intense and huge it was, but that's all the basics, and it's pretty difficult to put feelings into words when that's all they are and they're not anchored to much else. This weekend was fantastic, and it's everything I want and love my life to be.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Huge week/weekend

Busy time for me, these coming days!

I'm going to be doing demonstrations at Sexpo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday I'm also going to Hooked Up and helping with what is going to be a really amazing pull/suspension.

I'm sure I'll have things to report once it's all over, assuming I'm not dead from exhaustion :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leatherfolk are Awesome.

Not much has been happening, really, which is why the blog's been somewhat quiet. Last night the boy and I attended the monthly Melbourne Leather Dinner. It had a slightly different format to usual, with people socializing over food and then there was a short presentation from a Leatherboy about what being a Leatherboy means to him. It was a good change in format, and it was a good presentation with some good discussion. An excellent night.

I'm actually a very shy person, and so while I always spend a little while in any community feeling a little odd and like I don't belong, I feel that in the Leather community that's okay, and I'm allowed to be a little shy. People are kind and pleasant without expecting much of you in return, which makes it a very nice break from most social engagements where I'm conscious at all times of the need to keep a hold on my social skills and make use of them.

My favourite thing about this little community of people is that there is no strict "this is what Leather is and if you aren't that, you aren't Leather" attitude. Certainly the requirement for HILT (Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, and Trust) is there, but that's something I find easy to work with, since it's been instilled in me both from my family and my Sensei, and it's something I choose to cultivate in myself as well. But it was even stated explicitly last night that you can take and leave what does and doesn't work for you, and I appreciate that, because that is how I work. I'm not so much into blindly following dogma.

I don't wear my leather vest to MLD events, mostly because I feel like while that vest has tremendous meaning to me, that may or may not be acceptable to the others in the community there. Yet - now, I am feeling like perhaps it's okay, and maybe I'll wear my vest to MLD in future.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Just sent an email off to Princess, and for the first time I signed off as "Daddy" instead of writing my name.

I don't know (or really mind) if it means anything, and I don't know what in my head changed to make the switch, but I thought it was interesting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Common Flags & Why Hunter Green Is One Of Them

Flagging (that is, the hanky code) is alive and well amongst the queers in Melbourne, especially in the Leather scene. I can't comment on the gay Leather scene as I'm not welcome in most gay Leather spaces, being an intersex trans man.

But, even amongst the queer circles that I do move in, flagging is in no danger of dying out. While we may not need to worry about being covert about our desires so much any more, flagging is a uniquely queer way of talking about our sex and our desires. Even when it's not used as a way of cruising, flagging here is a signal of solidarity; a sign that says, "I'm queer and kinky, just like you".

And, yes, it does still work as a cruising device and conversation starter as well - heck, I started talking to Princess when I first noticed her flagging hunter green on her right (looking for daddy).

Now, the problem with flagging is that it's not always obvious whether someone is flagging or whether they're just wearing something they like, fashion wise, so I'm limiting this discussion generally to kink and queer spaces, where flagging generally is flagging. As much as I enjoy having a quiet chuckle when I see alt kids wearing their bandannas and wondering if they know what they're saying about themselves, I'm smart enough not to actually assume they're flagging.

The most common form of flagging I see around me is the leather wrist strap form; simply denoting whether someone is a top or a bottom. Ear piercings are also very common, but are usually a joint flagging-and-fashion sort of decision. Keys on the right or left are common in Leather circles, but not in generic queer circles.

When you get to actual hankies, that's where things get interesting. I've been watching the people around me and looking for their hankies since... well, since I found out about the hanky code when I was about sixteen, really. And I've definitely noticed that some flags are more common than others.

There are three colours that I see at least once a month, flagged on either side:

Black (heavy S&M) is by far the most popular. In Leather circles, usually means "heavy pain". In generic queer circles, usually means "into pain", or as a general kinky signifier.

Red (fisting) is another that I see everywhere, probably more common in generic queer circles than Leather circles though.

And the final one is one I want to talk about a little more in this entry: hunter green, meaning either "daddy" on the left or "looking for daddy" on the right.

I see hunter green everywhere in kink and queer circles. And I have a theory on why it's so popular.

Hunter green (and its lesser known sister, mint green, meaning "mummy/looking for mummy") isn't signifying an act, like most of the hanky code. Hunter green is signifying a desire for a certain type of relationship. Hunter green is signalling a part of your identity, a type of dynamic you enjoy and are seeking.

Hunter green is looking for something more than just kinky sex.

And I think that's why it's so common. It's not just laying some sex act out and saying that you want to do it. "Daddy" and "boy" or "girl" have so many meanings, so many different ways to do it... hunter green is saying "let's talk, let's get to know each other".

While there are other flags looking for types of people (all types of people, everything from bears to sailors to musclemen to drag queens), none of those have the same feel of looking for a certain dynamic. The only thing that could come close would be silver lame, which is about being/wanting to fuck celebrities.

I think it would be excellent if we had flags for other types of dynamics too, and I believe some folk have tried to start them (though I can't think of any examples off the top of my head) but nothing has caught on.

Another interesting thing about flagging is that there are a few differences between Leather culture and queer culture.

I see a lot more (almost all in fact) people flagging as a switch in queer circles, where in Leather people either flag what they're looking for right then, their general orientation, or the role they're playing at the time (that is, a Leather switch might still flag left or right if they're with their top or bottom).

The number of flags is also interesting. In queer circles, the more the merrier. Princess blogs over at flagging opinicus rampant, where their tagline is "there's no such thing as over-flagging", and that's a pretty common idea amongst queers. Flag everything, flag everything you are and everything you desire.

In Leather? God, no. Such a faux pas, you have no idea. Flagging more than two hankies at once is Just Not Done in Leather. You keep it simple, you keep it important.

Personally? I admit to being slightly more towards the Leather attitude in this. I don't mind what others do, but I will never flag more than two, and I do always feel a little bit funny when I see people flagging with more than two. I guess I feel a bit like it's a quality over quantity issue. I may blog more about this in the future sometime.

[Edit] If you like, come join us on twitter to talk about flags & the hanky code. Hashtag, #hankycode.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Communication Comes In Little Bits Too

Tonight as I put the boy to bed, he asked me, "How is this living together thing working out for you?"

It caught me a little off guard, and I answered honestly that it's going really well, and that even though there are a couple of problems, they're not relationship problems, and they'll ease and sort themselves out fairly easily and soon, I think.

Boy often has to be coaxed into communicating, so I was very, very pleased to have him initiate something like this.

It also reminded me that the little strokes of communication are just as important as the big ones. I hadn't given much thought to the question until the boy asked it.