Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Earning Leather

I had the realization recently, as I discussed things with my boy over dinner one night, that I'm not sure I will ever buy myself more leather.

Of the leather I own, I own boots and I own a vest. That is all. I do not even own a belt, because I wear rope as a belt - because rope is precious to me and I like to have it on hand at all times. I wear the rope knotted on my left side, so it also functions as a flag.

My vest is incredibly important to me. I wrote about my vest when I bought it.

My vest is a promise, to myself, that I will always strive to be better. My vest is my way of constantly checking that I am on the path I want to be on.

Every time I pull on my vest, I ask myself: am I working towards being the person I want to be? Am I working to be compassionate, generous, kind? Am I working to be thoughtful, courageous, a man of integrity?

If the answer is yes, I wear my vest with pride.

If the answer is no, I take my vest off and it stays off until the answer is yes.

So my vest has incredible meaning for me.

The discussion of chaps came up, and boy expressed a desire to see me in a pair of chaps - and I admitted, somewhat surprised at myself, that I don't think I will be buying myself any more leather.

Earning leather is a tricky thing. On one hand, I think it's a beautiful and incredibly meaningful tradition among Leather people. On the other hand, I can think of many reasons why someone may prefer to buy their own leather rather than earning it - hell, as I said, I bought my own vest, and that doesn't leave it with any less meaning. And of course there will be plenty of Leather people who don't feel their leather needs to have a purpose at all, and buy it just for the look, the smell, the sex appeal.

But for me?

For me, I don't think I'd be comfortable buying any more leather. Perhaps it's a product of my years as a martial artist - but I don't seek to raise my own level, as it were. To me that feels empty.

And for me, I do not have a mentor. Nor do I really have a Leather family - I have my boy and at present it's just the two of us. So there is no one to grant me leather, as it were. Perhaps one day I will be enough a part of the community that it could come from there, but I am not certain that will ever eventuate.

These two facts combine, and it leads to this: I doubt I will ever own any further leather than I already own.

What surprised me is that I'm actually 100% comfortable with this.

I have no desire to be some kind of God of Leather. If I have the respect of my boy and my peers, that is enough for me. If I feel safe and comfortable in the leather I own, that is enough for me.

My journey as a Leather Sir does not rely on me 'levelling up'. It relies on me simply being true to myself.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Coming to a Close

Apologies for the absence over the last few months - but life has just been... interesting, hectic, difficult. Aside from my family troubles I've had health troubles galore, and it just hasn't been a very productive time for me.

So the new year is coming up, and I must say it can't come too soon. This year has been a stressful one, to say the least.

This month marks two years since I officially collared my boy, and we are as happy as ever. Our fifth anniversary as a couple is coming up in February and I must say that my gratitude for my boy, our relationship, and the stability and love of it all knows no bounds. I am so happy to have him in my life.

So here's to the new year, and all the adventures, love, and shenanigans it may hold!

And hopefully I will be writing here more frequently again, as things are finally starting to settle for me. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family matters

I just got back from an interstate trip to my mother and sister's place to help sort through my father's things since he moved into a nursing home last month.

My father's currently in the ICU in Canberra. There's only a 50/50 chance he's coming back out again.

So I'm a little preoccupied right now. Sorry folks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Larry Townsend's "Leatherman's Handbook"

Hi blog! I haven't forgotten you. As I've mentioned in many previous entries, life's just been crazy. Anyway, here I am.

While I do have a lot I could talk about, it's all pretty much not-quite-formed in my head and there's a lot going on, so I thought I'd talk about my birthday, or more specifically, a birthday gift I received.

I received a copy of "Leatherman's Handbook" by Larry Townsend, the silver jubilee edition. Having now read through it like a starving person let loose on a buffet, I thought I'd blog a few of my thoughts.

The first thing I feel people should know about this book is that it isn't really a 'how to' book. I'm sure it was, back in the day, but if you're looking for instructions, this isn't the book to go to.

What this book is, is a beautiful snapshot of history and culture, wrapped up in memories that will get your cock hard.

I didn't really know what to expect from this book, I must admit. I knew that it was one of the first books of its kind and I knew that it was originally published in the early 70s, when things were very different both in Leather and for queers. Other than that, I didn't really know much about it, and I'm kind of glad of that because it means I had no expectations to either be met or let down.

It's such a rich book, with so much atmosphere. It makes me feel like a time traveller, catching glimmers of my past and my cultural history through the words on the page.

I didn't expect so much of the book to be true erotic stories of people's encounters, but I can't say that it was an unpleasant surprise. In a sense I feel like maybe it's better than a 'how to' book on that matter, because it shows you what a scene should feel like, shows you what can be accomplished in a Leather session, without getting bogged down in the details of how the mechanics should work.

What's really interesting in the book is reading the notes that the author has put in, 25 years later, about what's changed in comparison to what he had originally written. Some of these notes give a sense of scale to the book that it might not otherwise have.

While I did find some of the author's attitudes, especially towards women, queens, and nelly fags, a little bit offputting, I can chalk it up to a different culture and move on without it impacting my enjoyment of the book too much.

It's hard to write a review of this book, because it's such a personal book, if that makes sense. People will get out of it what they put into it. It's certainly, if nothing else, an incredibly important historical text for people like us. If you're a bit of a nerd like me, then it's an absolute must buy for your library. If you like hot Leather man porn, you could do a lot worse than having this on your bookshelf. If you're looking for a dry instruction manual on Leather culture and practises, however, this isn't it, and you should keep looking - perhaps consider the Leatherboy Handbook instead, which I'll write about sometime soon and you can compare.

An important piece of history that I get to keep close to me. I'm really, very glad I own this book.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bird Cage Chastity Updates

The majority of this blog's google hits are related to chastity, often specifically about the Bird Cage Chastity Device. So I thought I'd talk about it a bit.

Boy's had the bird cage for about six months now. He hasn't been wearing it that whole time, sorry to disappoint.

Some great things about the bird cage include:

* It's visual appeal. I can't stress enough how much I like the look of the bird cage, much more than ANY other chastity device I've ever seen. It's lovely to look at, both just because it is and also because it looks like a cage, which psychologically works really well.

* Comfort. In the short term (and generally in the long term, but more on that in a moment) boy says that it's very comfortable.

* Metal. It's made of metal, which I like best, certainly better than plastic or silicone. Sure it means boy can't go through airport security with it on, but seriously, he doesn't fly for his job so how often is this going to be a concern really?

* Price. The bird cage is the cheapest chastity option I've seen that fits our requirements, and so far it's the best. Sometimes things aren't better just because they cost more. In fact, the boy's CB6000 broke with less than a year's usage. The bird cage has had no such glitches.

* Pinching - or more specifically, a lack thereof. The boy's foreskin suffers no accidental pinching while he's wearing the bird cage, unlike the CB6000.

* It's much easier to get on than a lot of other chastity devices.

I'm sure there's more but that's all I can think of right now.

Some of the less great things about the bird cage:

* Abrasion. Some parts of the boy's genitals do get abraded and uncomfortable if he wears it for a few weeks. Silicone lube applied after every shower certainly slows this down, but doesn't stop it completely. This isn't necessarily a horrible thing about the bird cage - it's probably for the best to have a rest from chastity devices every few weeks anyway, so this forces that. On the down side, this forces that.

* Bulk. It is a little bulkier than most other chastity devices. I don't consider this a bad thing necessarily but apparently it does make the boy feel a little self conscious in some situations.

* A regular padlock doesn't sit quite right on it, the lock isn't thin enough or long enough or something, and so it tends to sit on its side. It still locks securely, there's no problem there, it just doesn't look asymmetrical. The lock that came WITH the cage sat just fine, but we have keyed alike locks for the cage and the boy's collar for ease of unlocking, and keeping only one key on the keyring.

So there you have it. It's an exceptionally good buy, especially for its price. I like it a lot better than some of the more expensive chastity devices. It does have its flaws, however. But don't let that stop you from buying one if you're considering it. It's one of the best purchases I've ever made.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Sorry for the neglect, blog. I've been really sick this last month, and there's been other stressors like moving my father into a nursing home (which seems to have gone smoothly, which is good). BDSM and Leather haven't been forefront in my mind recently - not that I haven't been thinking about them, because goodness knows I always do, but I've just had other things that require more focus, and Leather has been something in the back of my mind rather than the front.

I do have some things to blog about, which hopefully I'll get to soon. But mostly I just wanted to say hi, and life is mad right now, and we'll return you to your regularly scheduled program as soon as possible.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

High Protocol Leather Dinner

So the HP dinner happened a couple of days ago now, and only just now am I able to begin blogging about it, as I've been quite literally on my back doped up with painkillers since I got home from it. Apparently spending nearly 12 hours in "on" mode isn't so good for people with chronic illnesses, who knew? :P

I volunteered to help in the kitchen so I arrived in the morning. I spent the next four hours peeling and chopping vegetables which I imagine sounds very boring but honestly it was the best job I could have had. I got to be helpful and free up time for others to do more important activities without straining myself in any way. I enjoy chopping and peeling vegetables, as I find it very meditative, so I don't even feel like I was working that hard. It was a pleasure to be useful before the actual dinner, and it helped calm my nerves about it all - after all, I was helping, I was present, and I was focussed. What was there to be nervous about in such a state?

My boy came with me and did general dogsbody work through the day and evening - he helped out wherever he was required. Duties that he was involved in that day were so many - helping with the spit, helping with the potatoes, valet duties, drinks service, and probably more things behind the scenes that I did not see.

I had put the pressure on my boy a little before this event - I wanted him to make me proud. And that he did. By being flexible and ready to help wherever he was needed in whatever way was needed, he made himself available for service in a way that truly, truly did me proud. I am so honoured to be Daddy to such a dedicated and caring boy, who will put his hand up for whatever is needed.

At three, which was when the dominants were to be arriving (though many arrived early), I went and got dressed. Last year my boy organized for all my friends to put money in to get me a specially tailored suit, and we finally picked it up this past week. I combined that with the tailored shirt that I got with it, and my leather vest. I must have looked fabulous, everyone complimented me - though I wonder what it says about me that people sounded so surprised that I looked so good ;)

It was the perfect debut for my suit; as many of the people involved with the dinner had put in money for it, and it was such a special occasion for me. I felt proud and humbled at the same time by it all.

I went out the back so I could enter through the front door - my theory was that all the other dominants got to come through the front door, so I wanted to as well :) In the living room we dominants gathered and chatted and it was lovely. Drinks and nibbles were served by two wonderful submissives.

I was very quiet - not just at this point but through the whole night. It wasn't shyness for once; it was that I was genuinely enjoying just listening. People had wonderful stories and thoughts to share, and as I said at one point - I enjoy hearing about people's lives. I am only 25 and haven't had a life yet. :) It was then commented, "but look at how you're starting!", and I have to agree. To be present at such an event was glorious, and especially wonderful for me as the youngest person at the table.

When the time came, we were introduced to our servers for the evening - two servers to three dominants. I was served by the wonderful Taya and Ben, who were both charming and I felt very cared for by them.

We were then seated at the table and it felt like the night truly began. We talked and joked and shared stories and it was wonderful. The food was amazing, cooked by the wonderful Ms Lyn, and it was just sensational. The service was beautiful, despite the visible nerves all the submissives worked cleanly and quickly and I was never left wanting for anything. Maid Michelle made sure our drinks continued to flow with dedication.

As our meal finished, all the submissives gathered in the dining room and a cake was brought out and placed in front of Bella.

I don't know how comfortable people involved would be for me to describe what came next in detail, so I will refrain. However, I still want to express my feelings.

To watch Bella receive her Master's cover from such a respected and experienced person, surrounded by her Leather family and community, was such an honour, I can't even express it properly with only words. I teared up as I watched, rapt with joy. As I hugged her after I managed to choke out some words - "Thank you, for being you. I look up to you so much."

It's so true and so much bigger than those words could convey - but choked up with emotion it's often hard to get across meaning like that. Bella is such a role model for me, she is so kind, gentle and extremely skilled, and her dedication to Leather, service and kindness is beyond amazing. Should I be half the person she is as I grow, I will be a great person.

To share in such an event with her was such an honour, such a pleasure. To be present was, as its word implies, a gift.

After the ceremony we all shared in the cake and some more concrete gifts - as the dinner was "Christmas in July" themed, we had a kris kringle. Just to truly top off the night for me, my kris kringle gift was a beautiful clear paddle made by maid Michelle. This was such good luck for me for so many reasons - I have been wanting a paddle for some time, but unable to afford one. I also admire Michelle's work so much, but again, cash is rather tight at the moment, so being able to own a piece of Michelle's work makes me incredibly happy.

Not long after the kris kringle, sadly I had to leave as my body was starting to hurt in a very bad way and the tiredness that I'd been keeping at bay for a few hours crept up on me all at once. Boy drove me home and from there we went straight to bed, where I stayed until this morning, essentially.

I have so many feelings about the high protocol dinner - it was so wonderful, such a bright spot in my life, and something I already know I will look back on as I grow and always smile about.

One particular pleasure for me was being the youngest person at the table - by at least ten years, I believe. It was such an honour to be in the company of my elders and to listen to their thoughts and stories. Thank you all for being so amazing and being so kind.

The kindness of Leather folk is perhaps my favourite thing about them. I believe in kindness; I believe that it's a powerful thing and it's something I strive to be as much as I can (without hurting myself of course). Kindness is what bridges gaps between us all, regardless of age, gender, race, orientation, or anything else. The kindness that filled the gaps between us all at the dinner was palpable and beautiful.

Thank you to all those at the table, for your kindness and conversation and joy.

Thank you to all those who served, for your kindness and dedication and care.

(And thank you to the pup who sat in the corner, giving us all warmth and laughter... such a contribution can't be denied either, and was certainly a wonderful addition to the dinner.)

Thank you to the host, for your kindness and generosity.

Thank you to Bella, for everything you have done for the community and everything you are, and for letting us all be a part of such a special moment for you.

Thank you, Leather community, for allowing me such an experience so early in my life, one that I will treasure for the rest of it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Politeness towards submissives

Apparently I'm feeling a bit wordy today.

I was reading a post over on Fetlife about rituals and 'an average day in a D/s household' and things, and I had a few thoughts.

First of all, a lot of people say "well it's like any household" and I know where they're coming from, because I feel like that too, but we're not really. I remember this when I have vanilla folks come to stay, and they look a little awkward when I tell the boy to do something. Tell, not ask. People do pick up on little things like that.

But anyway, that got me thinking about something else. Politeness.

I think it's interesting to watch tops/doms interacting with their bottoms/subs with a view to politeness. Some people are rough and harsh, some people are polite but firm. I think it's interesting that everyone has a different style (and good too, how boring would it be if we were all the same).

I tend to be quite polite towards my submissives. I don't feel like I am much of the time, but when I compare my behaviour to other people it's clear that I am.

Even the order-giving protocol between the boy and I show this. When I want the boy to do something and it's a direct order, I precede it with the words "would you kindly...". This is partially because I am an enormous nerd (it's a BioShock reference), but it also serves a couple of other purposes. For example, it's something I can say when in vanilla company and it comes across as a polite request rather than an order, and I do believe in being somewhat discreet in certain types of company. Secondly, it's polite and kind and gentle, and these are things that I like to consider myself, as a dominant and as a person.

When I am in D/s atmospheres (that is, ones where there is an unspoken atmosphere of all dominants having a slightly higher standing that all submissives... it's very hard to explain, but it's Advanced D/s(tm) so I think it's more of a "you know it when you see it" thing rather than something that can be shown specifically), it's in my nature to be extremely polite to submissives. Probably even more polite than I am to other dominants.

I'm not sure exactly why this is, though I have a few theories.

One theory is that in these types of contexts, submissives often *are* performing service, whether it be specifically towards me or more towards everyone - and even if they're not, it often still has an atmosphere of being *prepared* to serve. I think that service is a valuable thing and I want to show my gratitude towards submissives who serve.

Another is that if there is a palatable power imbalance, I want the submissives to know that I respect them and their personhood, regardless of power imbalances. One way I do this is with politeness.

And I think really that's what politeness is about. It's about respecting people's personhood. That's one of the biggest reasons that I believe in politeness - not just in a D/s context, but in general.

An interesting experience I had was when a submissive that belonged to a friend of mine was at dinner with my family. Their dominant was not present, and they were helping out with setting the table and things. I handed them something and asked them to put it on the table, and after they did so they came back and asked what I had said after I had asked that, because they didn't quite hear me. I shrugged and said that I had simply said "please". They were a little surprised and we had a joke together about the fact they're not accustomed to hearing "please" aimed at them.

It's something I have learned about my natural dominating style. I like to say "please" and "thank you". It doesn't make me less in control and it doesn't make my orders not orders. It's just something that I enjoy. It's a way that I can show my gratitude towards submissives who serve me.

As my Leather family and household will grow, I can see that this will become something that I will continue to do. Even should I own a slave/pet/etc, I will still say "please" and "thank you" to them, even when it accompanies orders. It's something I enjoy. It's my little way of saying "thank you for serving me" every time I give an order.

More Perfume Business

So I wanted to talk a bit more about the High Protocol dinner that's happening in a few days. But I can't think of anything to say other than ohmygodohmygodohmygod. I'm a little nervous, though the nerves are starting to settle as we get closer and closer to the day (which is unusual, nerves usually get worse the closer you get, but hey, I'm not complaining).

I don't want to just not write anything though, because I've been a bit slack with this blog recently due to aforementioned family drama occupying most of my mental energy. But I love this blog. Sooo... screw you, family drama. I'm going to write about stuff.

I noticed recently that my post on marking territory with perfume was linked elsewhere on the intertubes, and I realize that I wrote in that that I would keep you updated, so I thought I might do that.

I haven't done anything on that front yet because I still haven't found the scent I want. Admittedly recently I haven't been looking very hard, but still.

I still plan to buy a scent to mark the boy with, once I find the right one. At the moment I am thinking I will investigate the Demeter Fragrance Library, as I've owned scents by them before and enjoyed their scent very much. I know everyone recommends BPAL for perfumes, but honestly I've yet to smell a BPAL scent that I actually enjoy.

I've been a little tempted by ZOMG Smells as I've smelled a couple of their scents, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money on buying a shit tonne of samples just to find the right one.

Demeter, though, I know I can buy locally, which means I can go in and sniff all the bottles like the crazed scent freak I am. Plus I can take the boy with me and make sure that whatever I pick isn't something he completely despises.

So that's about where that is. It's still on the table, but nothing new has happened, because I'm a lazy fuck.

And if you think it's weird that a masculine man might be into perfume, particularly into putting perfume on another man... then I suggest you need to wonder why straight men like it when women wear it. :P

Saturday, July 2, 2011

High Protocol Dinner

So I'm not sure if I even actually wrote about this - a quick browse over the last few entries didn't show it, and an anonymouse's comment on my last entry also implies that I didn't - but the local Leather community is having a high protocol dinner on July 17th.

The subject came up at MLD a few months ago while we were discussing protocols and whether that was something we wanted to explore further as a community. Everyone was very excited by the idea of a high protocol event, and a dinner was an obvious choice. So we picked a date and a host volunteered and we started organizing.

So, a high protocol dinner. What it is varies on its atmosphere. The question "is it a Leather thing" came up, and well, no, not exactly. It will be in this case because it is for us. Because we're coming at it from a position of, we enjoy Leather and high protocol, and we want a place to explore that.

But high protocol dinners are fairly common in the BDSM world, and in the vanilla world too. In the vanilla world they're for rich business men and special occasions like anniversaries, but sometimes your average person takes part too because they're fun.

In the BDSM world - and in the Leather world - it's a bit different. You're not hiring caterers and waiters, for example. That's what submissives are for. :) And there is a more... richly sexual tinge to the atmosphere. Not necessarily sexual as in, people fuck - in fact they usually don't - but sexual as in everyone is raw beneath their manners and aroused by the formality of it all.

So for our Leather dinner, we'll have 12 dominants seated at the dining table. We'll have many submissives running about behind the scenes - in the kitchen, in the parking lot (boy is going to be a valet for the first part of the evening), things like that.

The point is for us to enjoy our dominant or submissive positions as a sort of roleplay for several hours. The submissives will be serving, and the dominants will be served.

High protocol means just that - it's a very strict code of behaviour for the evening, where everyone (including dominants) have certain rules they have to obey, certain expectations about their appearance, and certain ways they have to behave.

We've all been given a manual to read up on before the day, it's around 20 pages long and includes slave positions, serving instructions, and rituals for the day.

One of the interesting things about this dinner in particular is that pre-existing couples will be split for the event. It's an opportunity to (as subs) show our excellence in service and (as doms) to receive service gratefully from someone different, who we cannot take for granted.

Another thing about this dinner is that there will be a Leather ceremony performed directly after dinner. I will write more about that after it has happened, because I'm enjoying my own private little joys about it until then. :)

So - a formal dinner, where the submissives serve the dominants and everyone is expected to be on their best behaviour, with many rituals in place. That's what this dinner is. A place for us to indulge in a bit of a fantasy for a while. :)

Personally I'm very nervous about the dinner; I come from a lower class background and still am not well acquainted with even the middle classes, let alone the upper classes, so a lot of the manners expected of me will be things I have little practise in. But I will do my best, and I'm sure it will be an excellent experience.

I'm sure I'll ramble more about the dinner sometime soon - probably after the rehearsal on Sunday.

I hope that's clear - I'm a bit muddle headed at the moment!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Busy busy busy

Oh boy blog, where to even start.

There's a lot going on with me. Stuff is very complex and I'm very busy at the moment, and unfortunately my disability has decided to be a pain in the ass at the same time.

I'm behind in emails something shocking, I'm stressed and busy and blaahhh.

I want to update you on something but I'm honestly not sure what to write about. At the moment a lot of my mental energy is dealing with my vanilla family (specifically my father and his dementia) and when I do have moments to spare to think about kink and sex I just find myself a little overwhelmed with desire but completely lacking energy. It's a rough place to be in.

The rehearsal for the high protocol dinner is this sunday, so that will be interesting to go along to. And hopefully it will ease many of my nerves about the whole affair.

I've got pretty high expectations of my boy for this dinner. I don't normally have high expectations (in fact I'm often rather lenient) so it will be interesting to see how he responds to the added pressure.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The line between play and life.

Today I was thinking that what I really want right now is a friend or two (or a few) who I can have come over, have tea or dinner or something, and just chat and hang about, and have my boy serve us all.

The thing is that this is surprisingly hard to figure out.

For example, said friends need to be comfortable accepting service in what is clearly a D/s way, HOWEVER, I don't want them thinking that the boy is public property and can be bossed around by anyone. I need the friends to respect him more as a waiter than as a submissive, I suppose.

But I do want it to have that D/s flavour, which means they can't be totally vanilla or kinky-but-vanilla-in-friendship-with-me.

So I'm thinking. About all the bits and bobs of this - not just who I could invite to such a thing, but also what little things I need to organize before I could do it anyway, like training the boy in certain ways and buying a few bits and pieces that I don't currently own. Also I want to organize a couple of outfits for the boy, because clothes make the man as they say. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick sexual/lifestyle frustration stream of consciousness post...

I adore my boy and everything he is and everything we have. Our dynamic is very much about support and service and thriving without struggle.

But sometimes… okay, lots of the time… I crave owning someone who has a desire to be pushed, phyiscally. Someone for whom physicality is a huge part of D/s. Someone who would enjoy things like hard bondage, long term bondage, uncomfortable bondage… things like not being allowed on furniture and sleeping full time in a cage (and someone for whom that was a real option, because as much as the boy wouldn’t mind that, it would conflict with his health and his job)… someone who would enjoy being pushed, enjoy the struggle, enjoy battling their inner selves out on the physical plane.

One day, I’m sure I’ll find them…

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hooked Up #6

Hooked Up was yesterday. My friends and I repeated our performance from last time, with big energy work and big awesomeness. I'll post pictures from it when I have them, because I am absolutely certain there will be some great ones.

It was a lovely few hours, I always feel amazing at hook events. They're like church for me. A lot of people coming together and FEELING things together, pushing themselves, caring for each other, loving... our little corner was full of people hugging, not just hello and goodbye but hugs because we wanted to, because we were a part of something and wanted to feel it physically, feel each other's touch and skin to ground us and remind us why we were there.

It was so much. It was so wonderful.

I was going to write more about it but I've just started remembering it all and it's savouring away in my mind. Perhaps I'll come back and write more about it some other time, when it's a little further away and easier to use actual words to think about the experience.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stuff and Things

There's a lot of heavy, heavy things going on with my blood family at the moment and I'm a bit (lol understatement) stressed out.

I don't really know why I'm writing this here, I suppose it's a heads up in case my updating continues to be a bit odd over the coming weeks.

I'm hoping to combat my stress with more play and fun than usual though so hopefully I'll have a lot to write about, even if it won't be very deep. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Receiving Service with a Smile

Service is a big part of the relationship between the boy and me. I feel valued when boy performs service for me, and boy feels valued when he can provide me with service. It's a good arrangement.

However there are snags. I am disabled, and I have trouble accepting service for things I am unable to do myself. Much of the housework, for example, is something that the boy enjoys to do as service to me - but I struggle with that, because he is doing it because he has to, not because he wants to. This is of course the reason why I hired a cleaner a while back. She comes twice a month and does all the big cleaning like scrubbing the showers and mopping the floors. Her, I am paying money and so there is a clear exchange going on that makes it okay for me to accept.

But it's always been a struggle with the boy. Even though I know he enjoys serving me, I am always worried that he will resent me for "not pulling my weight".

Anyway, recently I've been finding it easier to accept things like housework as service. I'm not sure what's changed, but it's good.

The thing that makes service special is when it is received in a meaningful way. One of the struggles with how I feel about housework as service is that despite all my above-mentioned issues, I have always *wanted* to appreciate housework service in the same way that I appreciate the other ways boy serves me.

So, I am changing in the best possible way. I am finding it easier and easier to receive service with a smile.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

100th Post!

So this is my 100th post to this blog!

I feel like I should do something important, like make a special post or run a contest or something, but honestly I can't think of anything. So I suppose I'll just talk about my life in Leather and where I'm at at the moment. That's still a pretty decent thing to do for my 100th post, I think.

So let's talk about the boy, first. Boy and I are doing very well. Our fifth anniversary is coming up in a bit over six months and I'm already freaking out about it a little - this is the longest and most successful relationship I've ever had (admittedly not that big of a deal at my young age of 25), and it shows no signs of cracking or going downhill any time soon. We suit each other very well and are very compatible both now and in the long term. Things are really good between us.

My own journey is plodding along very nicely. I am a slow sort of person by nature, I like to think about things a lot and move slowly, and I am moving perfectly well at my own pace. I am valuing the journey very much.

I am well connected in my community to many friends and acquaintances that enrich my life and make being a part of the community as important to my Leather life as my inclination to D/s. Even though I'm very shy and I'm still struggling with that (and probably will for some time yet), I have only ever been welcomed and treated with love and care.

I am passively in the market for a slave, but I am not looking very hard yet. I am still sorting out some details in my life before I worry about actively looking.

Despite recent challenges, my life is going extremely well and I feel that Leather enriches my life and fulfils me in a very important way.

So that's my 100th post. Life is good. I am happy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Leather Beginnings

Boy does not really identify as a Leather boy. He identifies as a boy, and as *my* boy specifically, but Leather is more something that *I* am, and he just sits on the outside of.

Recently he has been considering taking the step over the line from "not Leather" to "Leather". Of course it is mostly an identity thing, but for him it also encompasses some other aspects, such as rituals and expectations and protocols and things.

We have been talking about it. It's my belief that he is ready to start the journey but fear is stopping him. I know the boy well, so I am happy to wait a little while to let the fear wash over him before we try dissolving it.

There is time. Life is not a race.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oh, the last few weeks.

Where to even begin.

The unfortunate thing is that I'm unable to go into too many details.

The short version:

* Boy, of course, with his broken arm.
* Boy had some other health issues and we've been spending a lot of time at the doctor (he is doing fine at the moment).
* A dear friend is going through a rough patch and has moved in with us for a little while.

And there's probably more that I've forgotten. Hence the radio silence, you see!

The unfortunate side effect is that I've been missing the scene terribly. Boy and I still have our daily rituals but even some of those fell aside while he has been sick.

It's been... rough.

At any rate I am starting to turn back into a human, I am off to a fetish event tomorrow to get back into the swing of things. Boy and I have been talking a lot and things are moving. Huzzuh! And thus, this blog will not continue to be so empty :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A lot's been going on.

Life's been getting in the way of me posting here. Sadly not all of it is good either.

I don't particularly feel like sharing much, but suffice to say I haven't had a lot of spare time and I'm worn out. I will blog again soon, hopefully. I do have a lot to talk about. <3

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I haven't forgotten you, blog!

Boy broke his arm, and I've been run off my feet looking after him for the last couple of weeks. Hence the radio silence.

Yesterday I ran a rope workshop for beginners, it was okay. I'm out of practise at teaching, so it'll take a bit before I get back into the swing of it, I think. Folks who came seemed to enjoy themselves, though - I've gotten some lovely feedback.

I'm still absolutely knackered, so I'll just leave it there for now - hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow to write a proper entry.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Busy busy busy

It's been a busy week or so! I've barely had time to think let alone blog, and boy do I have a lot of thoughts that I'll slowly let trickle out of my brain in the coming weeks.

Stuff that's happened in the last week or so:

* Two play parties, Chains Feat. Newbie Night and Provocation.

* The 1st Melbourne Fetish Awards.

* Melbourne Leather Dinner.

* First meeting of a local alternative pornography production team.

* Big Talks with the boy.

and probably more.

So I have a lot going on, but I've been faaarrrrr too fucked to write about it. But I'll start doing that soon. :)

In the meantime, my 100th post is coming up soon and I feel like I should do something special, but I have no idea what. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Toy!

The boy's chastity device arrived today! World record speed delivery from extreme restraints. I must say that I really enjoy their service and products. Even when posting to Australia things arrive quickly.

I opened it up and had a look. It's VERY shiny. I like it a lot.

I left it out on the table for when boy got home.

He came home and I made a big deal of showing it to him. Also, I told him that he wasn't allowed to touch it.

So I left it there, occasionally stroking it. I enjoy this form of torment. This thing that the boy wants so badly is right there in front of him, but he's not allowed to have it. To make it worse, it's something most people would run away from. I laughed and told him how lucky he is, that the device isn't on him, that he's allowed to have as many orgasms as he wants at the moment... because I'm so nice, you see, that's why the chastity device is just sitting there, not being on him.

There's a few aspects to this. One, of course, the boy is very much into chastity. But the more important thing is that the bird cage is a new toy, and whenever anyone gets a new toy they want to play with it. Having it just sit there, completely within reach but forbidden, is pretty much torture for the boy. But it's fun for me!

I was going to let him try it on before bed, but only if he wanted it badly enough. After the world's WORST begging, I decided that he really doesn't want it that badly. So he's gone to bed without touching it.

I'll be taking it into my room tonight, just to make sure he doesn't get any funny ideas about touching it tomorrow morning. :P

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bird Cage Chastity Device

So my plans for my anniversary gift for the boy fell through, so I moved on to another plan. A couple of days ago I ordered him a bird cage chastity device, from extreme restraints.

We already own a cb6000, but it's too small for him, and it pinches his foreskin badly. I knew this was going to happen when he bought it, and I told him so, but he insisted it would be okay. :P Let it be a lesson: Daddy is always right.

But, this time *I* am the buyer, not the boy, so I got to actually do measurements and figure things out, and I'm pretty confident that it will actually be comfortable for him to wear.

Also, the bird cage design is the only chastity device I've seen of which I actually enjoy its aesthetic appeal. Most chastity devices I find very boring to look at at best, and ugly at worst. The bird cage is attractive to look at, which is a huge plus in my book.

I find it funny that the boy is generally seen to be fairly light in regards to kink, because he is not into pain. He is into sensation and service and chastity and orgasm denial and tickling. All completely common kinks, but for some reason it gives the impression that he's not 'serious' about kink.

Don't get me wrong, I tease him about being a pansy all the time, but I think people forget that pansies are beautiful, delicate flowers that give us pleasure to have and look at.

But anyway, I think a lot of people think of us as a vanilla couple first, because they know I am soft on him in many ways - and sure, I am, in many ways, but not in all ways. I push him in many areas, I challenge him and yes, I do mean things to him. Just because they are not traditionally sadistic things doesn't make them any less awesomely mean.

Example. When I reach towards his mid section he automatically startles and tries to deflect, because surprise!tickles are a frequent occurrence. Mind fucks become easy, all I have to do is rest my hand over his ribs gently and not tickle him, it freaks him out.

Chastity, too, is an interesting one. People are all "oh yeah, chastity, whatever", but when I tell people that boy went an entire year without an orgasm their eyes go wide and it's like they've suddenly realized that you can be hardcore at anything.

You can be hardcore at anything.

But more importantly, why the fuck does it matter?

Don't get me wrong, I'm an edge player, and I love it. But I don't like that people think 'soft' fetishes somehow make people less serious players. It doesn't.

Anyway, little tangent there, sorry.

Back onto chastity. I didn't know I was into chastity until I agreed to help the boy explore his chastity fetish. And then VWHOOMP. New fetish alert. Now, I'm probably as into it as he is.

And I like it for practical reasons as well as sexy ones. Chastity is something I can do that doesn't wear me out. Chastity is something I can do even when I'm going through asexual phases. Chastity makes me feel even more secure in our relationship.

Chastity is pretty awesome. I can't wait to get the new cage onto the boy and start threatening to throw away the key, heh. (I've promised that I won't lock him up permanently... while we're in our twenties. I'll think about it again maybe when we're in our fifties. ;))

UPDATE 25/8/2011: I've written an update on the bird cage chastity device, and its pros and cons. You can find that post here: http://diaryofaleatherman.blogspot.com/2011/08/bird-cage-chastity-updates.html

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Enormous Sunday!

Less philosophizing, more about real life, yes?

So on Sunday I had a couple of awesome photographers come around and a bunch of models, and we set to work pulling together something of a portfolio of my ropework for my up and coming website. We did some portrait shots before we got started (and thus before I got all redfaced and sweaty) and then I set about tying folks up.

I tied up I think about seven people that day, and was thoroughly exhausted after it all. I was frustrated we didn't have the time and/or energy to keep going, actually, I had so many great ideas.

But, there will be more, which is great. Because if nothing else I need more male models (I only got around to tying up one of the two men who came around for photos).

What does make me happy is the wide variety of women I tied up, all their different body shapes and styles and personalities. I get tired of a lot of bondage photos all featuring very similar bodies and types of women. Rope is fun for everyone, and everyone should feel represented. (So on that note, if you're an awesome freak and want to get tied up and have pictures taken, contact me :P).

One thing that was interesting and fun is that tying for photos is so completely different to tying for sensation or tying for suspension. You have to be a lot more aware of loose ends and symmetry and all sorts of things. It's a really fun challenge.

A lovely woman has offered me a space with a suspension point to use for more photo shenanigans, so there will definitely be another photo day. And that makes me hella happy, because spending all day playing with rope is pretty ace.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Community vs The Personal

Here in Melbourne, we are trying to pull together a cohesive Leather community. Something that has come up and we are presently discussing is protocols - should we have community wide protocols and if so, what should they be. (Because honestly the Old Guard sort of things don't suit any of us around here.)

Opinions are flying all over the place and I find myself wondering: is the time of community-wide protocols a thing of the past?

We are trying to build a system, and that's a hard thing to do. It's even harder when you're trying to build a system that may override other people's systems that they currently have in place and do not want to part with. We are all coming to the table with our own protocols, our own ways of doing things. ANY system that we install in regards to protocol is going to step on someone's personal protocols. ANY system.

In other countries where the current system has grown out of the old system, it's a little easier. It's already there, just adjusting every so often. But there has been a hole in Melbourne in regards to Leather for some years, so any old system that existed here has fallen through the cracks, and we are left to start again.

Starting again can be a good thing. But... again, I find myself back to this question: has the moment passed? Because we have no foundation to build on, will we ever find ourselves in a position where we can build a system without ruining the personal systems of others?

As our society becomes more and more individualistic, and Leather does as well, is there even a place for community-wide protocols in our world now?

This is a vibrant and tumultuous time for the Melbourne Leather community. It will be interesting not only to watch events unfold, but to be a part of them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


With some little rules the boy has, I don't feel like punishing every single time he breaks them would be productive. So we have a three strike system, for things like being in bed on time or starting to eat before I do.

He had his three strikes with the bed time rule recently, so he got ten strikes with the cane.

Normally I am against using play equipment for punishment within D/s relationships - after all, that stuff is the stuff we use for fun, it shouldn't be used as punishment, or it confuses everyone and can lead to breaking rules just for punishing.

But the thing is, that the boy is not a pain slut, and the boy does not like the cane already. So I don't feel that it's confusing to use the cane to punish him.

I tell you what though, it's hard to punish sometimes. Every stroke of the cane felt like I was thwacking my own heart. I am terribly soft hearted about the boy, I love him dearly and I don't like seeing him in pain or punished. Especially because he works so very hard to be the best boy he can be. So punishments for him end up being tests of my endurance as much as his.

Afterwards we had a cuddle and he sniffled that he doesn't like being punished, which REALLY DID NOT HELP MY BLEEDING HEART. But I then felt better we he continued, "made me hard though". :P

Saturday, February 19, 2011


In stark contrast to my recent entry, I've been shaking my head a little (in the good way!) at BDSM clubs and the BDSM scene.

You see, a lot of people think BDSM clubs are scary, intimidating places. I suppose there's good reason for that - I mean people do go there to get beaten up or to beat up others, and that's pretty intense for our lizard brains to handle, even if it is something we're interested in ourselves.

But you see... perverts are all huge nerds.

This is true. Absolute truth. Trufax.

We laugh and heckle each other's beatings with cries of "sorry, I didn't see that, could you do that again?". We do tickle torture scenes. We have people come in costumes that would be just as much at home at a geek convention (last month's Kinky best dressed prize went to a dark stormtrooper).

And, like I took part in last night, we occasionally spend an hour squealing memes at each other across the club.

Nothing quite like a bunch of perverts in a hardcore serious business BDSM club reciting lines from Charlie the Unicorn loudly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Burden of Leather

Last night's Melbourne Leather Dinner was very good, lots of good discussion.

There was some heavy discussion, particularly about HIV and the current soaring rates among young women, and about how my age group was not alive during the AIDS crisis and did not go through the heart wrenching days of funeral after funeral while the world just shrugged and was glad your people were dying. We talked about how the drag queens and the Leather community were the ones to look after those with HIV and AIDS, nursing them and caring for them when no one else would - about how that sort of thing was the burden of Leather. Caring for our people and looking out for them, even when it's hard, especially when it's hard, is the burden of Leather.

A lot of the discussion was about how we don't want to push that burden onto people much anymore, as we want to bring new blood into Leather and we want to show people that it's here without scaring them off.

I was thinking about many of the young people I know, myself and my friends, and my friends of friends.

We weren't there for the AIDS crisis, but a lot of us know what it did, know what it meant. A lot of us are heavily invested in our history, we research our past and we listen to those that came before us. Yes, there are certainly (probably a majority of) young people who don't give a toss about the past, and those are the ones at the most risk. But there are a lot of us who are serious about remembering the mistakes of the past, and not repeating them. There are those of us who also turn our attention to the problems of today, without losing sight of what came before.

But I guess I want to reassure you, if you're older, that there are young people who care, we exist.

There are young people who don't mind the burden.

I am quite lucky (or perhaps just discerning) in that most of my friends are actively involved in caring for one another and trying to improve the world. We do everything we can.

Some things me and my young folk have been doing over the last year or two:

* Easing homelessness where we can by setting up new sharehouses and giving folks a couch or a spare room when they have nowhere to go.
* Setting up new social groups so people feel less isolated.
* Lobbying for changes in legislation.
* Helping each other move house, often out of toxic situations.
* Gentle, loving care to victims of hate crimes.
* Slowly reconfiguring what consent means and what we can do to make consent more meaningful and cut down on sexual assault and harassment.
* Choosing careers in nursing and aged care so that we can look after our own when no one else wants to.
* Choosing careers in law and medicine so that there are people with power who are sympathetic to our needs.
* Organized fundraisers for a variety of causes, all causes that no "respectable" organization wants to touch.

These are a small example of the things young people today are doing. All of these examples are coming from people I know, not just people I've heard about.

I know that the majority of young people aren't like this. Sure.

But I just want to promise you that there are young people who are willing, able, prepared to, and are already carrying the burden.

I just want to promise and reassure you that I, as a young person, am willing, able, prepared to, and am already carrying the burden. I have no plans to stop any time soon, and I doubt those I know do either. One day I won't be a young person anymore, but I'll still be happy to carry the burden.

We are your next generation, and we know that. There are those of us who are willing to not only live up to what you've left before us, but we will strive to improve the world even further.

Friday, February 11, 2011

MAsT and Communities and Events

MAsT is coming to Melbourne! I am so dreadfully excited. I've often read about MAsT on Fetlife and was rather sad there wasn't a Melbourne chapter. Fortunately, Master Joe and kim will be setting up one here, after coming back from their trip to the USA and chatting with the MAsT people.

I'm really pleased about this news. There's some discussion on Fetlife about whether this is something that Melbourne needs... really now, I don't think needs are what we should always look at when it comes to communities. We should look at wants. We should look at "what can we do to make it better"s. And I think that MAsT will be an asset to our community.

There seems to be a scarcity model of thinking by a lot of kinksters in Melbourne - we can't have too many events, or no one will go to any. We can't have too many groups, because there will be too much cross pollination. But I think that's ridiculous. I'm very much an abundance-model thinker, and I think that if you build it, they will come. So what if there's some overlap of memberships? That doesn't stop different groups performing their different duties, just with the same people.

We now have a club event on every weekend of every month in Melbourne. The scene is not dying. It is thriving. The only way I can think to make it better at this point is that if more clubs start up, they should have a focus - ie, women only events, young people's events, rubber events, etc.

Who knows, maybe I'll even start up that transgender/genderqueer/intersex BDSM night again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've been thinking about covers a lot over the last few months. Even more so now that they've been buzzing about as both a topic and in a material sense in my local scene. First a few basics so you know what I'm talking about when I get to my actual thoughts.

A cover, in Leather, refers to a head covering, usually a cap. In some circles cover seems synonymous with a Muir cap, but it can really be any type of cap or hat I imagine. I can't see why not.

Muir caps are the type used as Master covers, or Master caps. What this means is that when a Master is granted the right to use that title by their community, a muir cap is usually the style presented.

So about that - cover ceremonies. It doesn't appear to be that common anymore (that I can see, at least around here) for Masters to have cover ceremonies, or even for Masters to not take on that title until their community gives it to them.

In theory, "Master" is a title that either a) your slave calls you and no one else does, or b) you are given the right to use by your community, for great service to the community and for being a good example (and are presented with a Master's cap, at a cover ceremony... you see how this all fits together?). In practise, it seems to be a lot more loosely wound than that - and that's probably a good thing.

Anyway, I know that's a little disjointed, but honestly I don't feel I'm any authority on the subject so I don't want to get into details because I don't really know any.

As I was saying, I've been thinking about covers a lot over the past few months. I've been thinking about them and thinking about my vest. I bought my vest myself, as a symbol of who I am and who I can become. It was deliberately something I wanted to come into my care to me from me, an act of autonomy and responsibility towards what it represents.

I do not feel the same about covers. I doubt I will ever buy my own Muir cap.

Call me a little old fashioned perhaps, but there's something about what a Master's cover can mean when it is gifted by one's peers, that is lacking should one buy it oneself. There is some connection to the rich history of Leather in that idea, and while I am generally against meritocracies for the overall population, in subcultures like Leather I think they can be valuable things.

I want to know, deep in my soul, that if I ever wear a Master's cap, it is because I am worthy, and am accepted as such.

It is very connected to the reasons why I felt I needed to design myself a coming of age rite in my adult years. I want to know that I have what it takes. I want to know that I can be the best I can be. I want to know that I deserve every moment of my various enlightenments and achievements.

A little wanky? Sure. But why shouldn't Leather be a little wanky, if it gets us hot? That's why we're here, isn't it? And I find deep, great joy in being a little wanky and taking some things just that little bit too seriously.

I do hope to one day be worthy of a cover ceremony - but I am not in any hurry. I have plenty of time to work slowly and carefully at who I am, to slowly grow into the person who may be given such a gift.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Anniversaries & Sex & Tumblrs

Yesterday was my fourth anniversary with the boy, which makes this officially the longest relationship either of us has had. Probably doesn't sound like that long, but I am only 25 and boy is only 26, so the ratio of relationship to life lived is pretty good, I think. :)

I have pretty poor luck with anniversaries; it started with my first relationship, where my first anniversary ever was spent in tears as my boyfriend dumped me on that day (poor timing on his part, much?). Since then all kinds of disasters have occurred on anniversaries. But I keep celebrating them stubbornly.

Yesterday wasn't much of an exception; first I forgot my ID, which you kind of need in casinos. Then later in the evening, we got evacuated from Crown cinemas and didn't get to see our trashy gay ass film because there was flood damage!! Flash floods in Melbourne were determined to make a farce of our anniversary. But that's okay. Farces do tend to be funny after all :)

The two really good bits of our anniversary was first, the sushi train we went to (which has now lead to boy calling me Sushi Cat, because I am blue (true) and fat (true) and defy physics (less true). Secondly, the great sex we had before bed. Which was good, because we haven't had a lot of time or energy for sex recently. Something we should probably both work on.

Sex is a tricky issue - in the last few years I've been discovering that I can feel completely fulfilled without sex. Which is actually kind of a problem because it lowers the priority of sex in my life, and that's not what I want to happen. But, I have plans in place for improving my sex drive and finding the time to spend plenty of sexytime with the boy in the coming months.

Finally, just a quick note about tumblr (a service that really needs to buy a vowel) - I've started a tumblr to act as a sort of portfolio for my ropework. If you're interested it's over here: ropebyerinkyan.tumblr.com/

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Makes A Good Follower?

Another blog post inspired by a conversation with the boy.

There's a lot of literature out there about leadership and how to be a good leader; but frustratingly for the boy, there is not much (if anything) out there about how to be a good follower. Most good stuff out there on being a good follower is actually already about BDSM; there is a large and wordy focus on submissives in BDSM and Leather (and Gor, and FemDom, and all those other related subcultures) about what it means to be submissive and what it means to be a good submissive.

But in broader strokes, what makes a good follower? Well as a leadery sort of person, here are some of my thoughts:

* Observation and attention.

* Listening skills. Being a good listener is vital to following instructions and interpreting them correctly. Being a good listener is not just hearing the words; but also taking the time to register them and all the circumstances surrounding them. To think about what is heard as much as hearing it.

* Good feedback skills. The ability to acknowledge instructions or criticism in a meaningful way, and make it clear to the leader that they were heard. Nothing worse than a snipped "yep" in response to an instruction, and nothing worse than "it's fine" in response to "what do you think of...".

* There's a phrase we have in Leather, "anticipatory service". It means knowing what your top wants before they know they want it. It's getting their favourite drink into their hand and lighting their cigarette without them even noticing that you're there, let alone asking for anything. While I don't think anticipatory service (or any related vanilla concept) is *necessary* for being a good follower, it sure is impressive.

* Being able to work without micro management. Not that micromanagement is a bad thing, but I think being able to work well without it makes an excellent follower.

* Going above and beyond the call of duty, without treading into territory that isn't theirs to tread into.

* Enthusiasm.

* Being able to be honest about their skills and competence. I would rather someone tell me they are unable to do something, or even do something well, than to attempt and fail with no communication on the issue. Likewise, they need to know themselves well enough to know this sort of thing in the first place.

* Good self-knowledge and self-awareness, though honestly I think those are the sorts of things that are good for everyone to have.

* Being observant and attentive! (Yes I know I'm repeating myself, but I think these two things are the most important things, in my humble opinion.)

I'm sure there's plenty more and this is probably something I will revisit at some point, but that's all I got for now. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Do I Bring to the Table?

Boy recently wrote a very good blog entry about what he brings to the relationship. It was spawned due to a discussion that we were having about leadership and followership and what is valuable in a follower, and that sort of thing.

So I thought I'd do a companion post, and have a think about what I can (and do) offer those in my care. What do I bring to the relationship as a dominant?

(A quick note - this is not the time for humility, that would defeat the purpose of this exercise, so please bear with me as I put on my arrogance hat for a few minutes.)

* I'm very laid back and very flexible. This can be a flaw in a dominant, admittedly, but it can also be a strength. I am good at working with what I am given. I am good at adjusting things when they could be improved.

* I'm a very good cook and I enjoy cooking for people. It is one of my favourite ways to nurture and comfort people.

* I'm very good at organizing if given the chance, and given control of someone's schedule I will make them so damn efficient (and still include time for rest and recreation) they won't know what hit them. Similarly, I can organize for any fantasy someone wants to live out. I know how to translate fantasy to reality.

* I have a wide array of BDSM skills, some of which I am considered an expert in.

* I am a nerd for psychology and self development and thus am an excellent life coach. I am very good at coaxing introspection rather than projecting.

* I have good connections and basis in the BDSM and Leather communities (as well as the queer community and trans community(ies)). I love my communities and consider them an important part of my life; and thus try to contribute to them as much as I can. Involvement with me is almost automatically involvement in my communities.

* I'm a very caring and determined person; and thus, when I decide that I am in on something, when I make a promise, when I decide to invest my attention in a person or activity, I do it with my entire being.

* I am not judgemental; pretty much about anything. I find it very easy to accept things and move on if they are not to my taste or desire.

* I constantly strive to be a better person, to improve myself.

That's all I can think of at the moment. But it's a good start and a good exercise to do.

I wrote this entry over a couple of days, so I've pretty much run out of steam at this point. But this is an interesting idea and one I feel pretty confident that I will revisit in future posts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Manual Creation

I haven't had a lot to say the last little while, as you may have noticed. But I did recently buy a book, and it occurred to me that I could blog about that.

I might review a few books in future; I buy a lot of books. I enjoy owning books (and the sorts of books I want to read I can't find in the library anyway), I enjoy being able to lend books to friends, and I enjoy reading books. I dream of having a little library of alt sex books to be able to lend to friends as I feel so inclined. Non-fiction is where my interests lie at present, and probably will for a while to come. Fiction doesn't really hold my interest these days.

Anyway, onto the book.

Manual Creation: Defining the Structure of an M/s Household is a book by Machele Kindle, aka Master Fire. It looks at M/s household manuals, yes, but also contracts and to a lesser degree, protocols and rituals. Its form is very similar to that of a educational textbook, with each chapter beginning with theory, followed by an exercise, and completed with an example.

The first thing I noticed about the book is that it is very casual in tone, which is fantastic because the subject matter could easily be boring and difficult to read. Machele's authorial tone is light hearted and friendly, which makes the book easy reading. It very much feels like having a conversation.

There is a heavy emphasis on introspection, which I thought was wonderful. Rather than trying to tell you how to do things, the author gently coaxes you into finding out how you want to do things yourself. This is excellent teaching and guidance.

Some parts of the book I found repetitive, but your mileage may vary on that one. It may be that what I find repetitive, you find simply a reinforcement.

My one big problem with the book is that while Machele never hides the fact her spirituality is an important part of this lifestyle for her, she was clearly trying to write this book for the everyperson... and fails, a little, there, as I felt that the constant discussion of spiritual matters made me feel a bit like I was being preached at. But, I am also a spiritual person, albeit differently from the author, and honestly I can only imagine how infuriating an atheist might find some parts of this book. The spiritual aspects - particularly the author's spiritual aspects - need to be cut down a little in this book for it to be easier for people to consume, I feel.

Normally I buy my books from The Book Depository, as their prices are good and they have free delivery worldwide (which is a big deal, when you live in Australia). However, I couldn't find the book there, so I had to order it from Amazon.com, which once you include shipping, doubled the price for me.

I do feel that it's a good book, and one I'm happy to have on my bookshelf... but I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend it to others to buy. To borrow? Absolutely. It is definitely worth a read if you are in or are considering M/s relationships. Perhaps if you live in the USA and getting it isn't much of a hassle, then it's probably worth the investment. But for those of us for whom shipping costs are a problem, I wouldn't encourage people to rush to get it. Focus on other books in a similar vein first.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bad Puppy

Something I've discovered in the last few days...

You know that "ahhh!" Bad Dog noise you make when you catch your dog doing something naughty? Then the dog gets that guilty expression and seems to shrink in size?

Mine works on people. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New little rituals.

Okay, one new little ritual. I recently introduced a new rule/protocol for the boy. Whenever we eat together now, whether it's at home or not, he's not allowed to start eating until I either:

* Pick up my utensil with the intent to eat.
* Pick up the food with the intent to eat.
* Tell him he can start.

I never used to be into this type of protocol, but all of a sudden, I'm all about it. Isn't it funny how tastes change over time. A bit like food really. I hated avocado once, too, but recently I eat it on everything.

This habit of things shifting as our tastes change is very healthy, I feel. Relationships should be fun and improve the happiness of the people in them.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A quick guide to flagging.

This blog gets a lot of search hits for things like "hanky code" and "flagging hunter green" and things like that, so for those of you stumbling across this in your search for flagging information, here is a short, quick guide to flagging.

First, a disclaimer, flagging does change from region to region and subculture to subculture (flagging in queer circles is different from flagging in Leather circles, and that's different from flagging in mainstream gay circles, etc). So just be careful of that. My knowledge is all from Australian flagging, and the closest thing we have to global Leather flagging (thanks to the internet!).

Flagging can be done with hankies (or bandannas), keys, chains, leather straps, cuffs, or ribbons. You can also use other things, of course, but the chances of it being recognized as a flag is lower than it is for these items.

To flag as a top, the item goes on your left. To flag as a bottom, the item goes on your right. To flag as a switch, the item goes in the middle.

There's also the issue of flagging via your neck - in some cases, this simply means switch, but in other cases it means hardcore. You can still flag left or right if you tie a hanky around your neck - the knot goes on the side that you're flagging. In short, be cautious when flagging with your neck.

Some other notes about flagging, before we get to colours:

If you're flagging with keys, some people take keys out to mean "available" and keys tucked into your pocket to mean "unavailable".

You can also flag switch by wearing two of whatever, one on each side. This is most commonly seen with cuffs or leather straps.

Be aware of the culture you're flagging in. You can probably flag whatever and however you like at a queer event, but if you're going to a Leather event make sure your hankies are clean and ironed, and that you're not flagging too many (maximum of two).

Now, about colours.

There are a million lists on the internet about hanky code colours (here are a couple: [link one] and [link two]) so I'm not going to list them all.

Now, some are more common than others. By all means flag whatever you like, but be aware that if it's an obscure one, then people may not know what you're flagging. Not everyone has the entire list memorized, for good reason :) Also the need to know the whole list is unnecessary; you generally only have to know the ones you're into.

Now let's talk about where to get items to flag with.

Most of the things I mentioned are easy to get (like ribbons and chains) or you already have (like your keys). Actual hankies, well, you can get them wherever you like too. I can't speak for other countries but here in Australia there's a certain type of bandanna that is the most common form of colour hanky flagging.

You can get bandannas specifically for flagging from most Leather & BDSM stores here in Australia. Here in Melbourne, mine came from Mannhaus, and I have also seen them at Eagle Leather and Lucrezia De Sade.

On a final note, I've already mentioned different cultures around flagging. Again, I can't speak for anywhere but here, but in the Leather culture here, it is common for hankies to be earned like leathers. They are often given as a gift for actually doing the thing that it flags, and doing it well. Your mileage may vary.

So that's that - I know that's a lot of information, but no one can claim that my introductions aren't thorough. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011! I have really good feelings about this year, I think it's going to be a good one.

My new years resolution is to stress less. The last - well, the last four or five years have been pretty stressful for me, so this year I'm focussing on caring for myself, having fun, and generally improving my health via stress relief (after all, stress is one of the big killers).

I used to be very against new years resolutions, saying that people shouldn't only want to change once a year, and blah blah, you've heard all those arguments before I'm sure. But then I came to realize that a) new years resolutions are a ritual, and rituals are important, b) resolving to change something at new years doesn't mean you won't also change things at other points in the year and c) why not resolve to change something you want to change at new years?


Boy completed his year of orgasm denial, and we slipped away a minute or two after midnight for his release. It was apparently worth the wait. :)

The adventure of orgasm denial and chastity was not one I expected. I had no interest in it at first, but it was a big kink of the boy's, so I indulged. Starting out slow, I soon came to learn that I'm actually quite into it. The year of orgasm denial showed me that this is now my kink, as well.

Last night I read through the entirety of my blog, and I realized that I wanted to update you all on the situation discussed in this entry.

The person we helped remove from a toxic situation? Is now not only in a happy, healthy position themselves, but is now set up to begin actively contributing to the community. Without going into detail, I can honestly say they're going to be tremendous help to the community and give a lot to us as a whole. I am so very, very pleased. About all of that.

And finally for this first entry of the new year, on January 1 I received a well written, polite, and charming message in my fetlife inbox from someone seeking to be the best slave they can be. What an amazing start to the new year.

Happy new years, everyone. I hope 2011 shapes up to be your best yet. :)