Shadow's Essays

"Words are loaded pistols."Jean Paul Sartre ~ "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Anais Nin

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Location: San Jose, Ca, United States

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Sexiest Man In The Room

#43. The Sexiest Man In The Room.
Essays on a life of P.E.

January 9th, 2012 by shadow

i need to serve God...
my Owner is my God, the morning sun and the evening moon, the center of my Universe.
i have always sought the strongest, hardest, most unmalleable man in the room to serve, to learn with, to play with.
Someone i can look up to, cannot manipulate, who is smarter in enough areas of O/our lives that it is WORTH it to me to follow His lead rather than my own way.
Someone who knows better than me in a few things.
Yes, i come with things i am not am amateur about. i am an English major/writer who can put anyone else under the table with a typewriter (keyboard). i am a great organizer, good at teaching, a professional urban wildlife expert, well educated in kinky toys and how to use them (2.5 years in Leather Masters was the graduate course after 10 years teaching/stunt cunting in the scene), and i can sew and knit, paint and draw, decorate and garden, and i am well trained in living with and advocating for special needs kids.
That doesn't mean that i don't want someone in my life who can run O/our lives, make the right decisions on the big things, and let me FOLLOW.
The man i found, i look up to, respect, and see as that center for my life.
He wants to do this, and is more than capable of handling it.
But His humility is part of what i find so attractive.
My Master - a man that can drop a fleeing problem without a second thought, a man that needs to bow to *no one*- shows the deferential respect and humility to several in the scene.
No one asked Him to, and He chose those people based on their seniority to Him, their experience, their history with me, and their *deserving* of His respect just because *they are who they are*.

It is not easy to explain, but, like the phrase famously used by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), "we know it when we see it".

i remember my first role model in slavery, Jeff Tucker, a man who's humility and sincerity to this day astonish me from time to time.
He wanted to learn, to be of service, and to grow. He is still a friend i keep in touch with to this day, and someone i will always respect because of his attitude about himself and his own importance. He never felt that he *knew* anything well enough to be that role model. He wal *always learning* and always an apprentice.

i doubt i could EVER be that humble and respectful. i work on it a lot , but i just doubt i have that consistent ability.
i have seen it in myself from time to time, most often once i have spent some time in subspace and with Owner.

i know some great Doms that don't necessarily exhude humility- but they don't take themselves seriously either, and i am endeared to them for their ability to laugh at themselves, to laugh with others at their foibles, to appreciate the tenuous line between "Dominant" and "Twue Domly Lord Of the Universe". They might have skills that would make the entire east coast step back and bow, but they would never claim to have them. Others would have to do that. In a way, it reflects the Old Guard ideal that no one was a "Master" of any skill set until others acknowledged that and bestowed the title.

i know, and have served folks that i could come to and express my devotion and how i SEE them, and they accepted those accolades with respect and kindness. i have been in service to people who *expected* me to see them as smarter, or faster, or more of a 'master' of some technique or tool or toy, and i fulfilled my duties and got out as fast as allowable because it was hard not to just laugh at them.
Pomposity always brings out the "needle" in my energy-- i gotta needle them about it, dig just a little and see how thick their skin is. Hot air and all that. i am drawn to ego in need of a pin prick like flies to meat in summer.
Yeah, that is not very slavish, not very polite, and not very nice. i admit it, it is a character flaw of mine.
Part of my education in the scene has been to sublimate that reaction to the point where the obnoxious amongst us don't ever see it, and no one realizes that behind the mask of polite, respectful me is a little voice, holding it's belly and rolling on the floor laughing so hard i can feel the snot starting to drip from my sinus's.
Some nights i don't get too good a grip on it and then all hell might break lose. Sir "H" (who has the best grip on His humility of any man i ever met!) says that "the safety comes off" when that happens.

The reverse of that is something that i am drawn to- the humble dominant, the man who really IS capable of RAMBO tactics, can handle me with 1 hand tied behind His back, and yet, when given a compliment, cannot just smile and accept the warm. The man that is uncomfortable when i tell Him how strong He is, how much His style arouses me, how damned HOT He looks.
The men in my world that do not see themselves in that light, that become uncomfortable with the spotlight- they draw me with their tact and their humility. They leave me breathless with their lack of ego, their soft approach to the world, their patience and their quiet.
Quiet men doing incredible things, easily at home with owning me even as they ask someone to show them something, teach them something, share with them along this road. Often, the men i want to be Owned by have been the quiet ones that would rather sit and listen than blow their own horn. There is usually much more to learn at their feet than with anyone else in the room. My leather family head, Viper, is just one of those men. He does not see His work and craft as more than 'what He does", yet the respect He garners nationwide is obvious and exciting.

i remember 4 years ago at Thunder in the Mountains i went to a class with a guy from LA who was teaching theory on finding a mate in the scene. He stood up at the podium, all pretty and young and dressed "just right" and started his lecture about how he had been in the scene 2 years, already owned 3 different collared slaves, and was completely at home telling us his secrets to finding mates. He started off by telling folks that they should create false bios on collar me to learn what the people they were trying to attract often got as mail (i.e. if you are a sub, write a dom bio and read the mail that comes in). The room was pretty appalled by then, and when his next 5 min continued to spout self aggrandizing bullshit, several of us walked out. It was not just a disaster, but the beginning of the 'buffoon' label that haunts this guy to this very day. He had come in as a competent artistic bondage guy- but everyone who watched his scenes could SEE how he was worried about the bondage. about the way HE looked, about the *beauty* of the art- and didn't care one whit for the bottoms he put up, nor give aftercare to them when they were down- he was too busy with his adoring audience. The man could not find 'humility' with a dictionary already highlighted for him. He made all the classic mistakes 'newbs' and 'twe doms' make. They are so full of themselves they cannot wait to show everyone how they know everything.

i remember the first essay - a simple history of the munch actually- that i wrote in kink space. i had been around over a year, came in as a writer and researcher, and with Miss Vicky i wanted to start some 'documentation' on where this stuff came from. i had been floundering and always asking people about how things started (this was before Leather Archives had taken off or a dozen other reputable and mostly reliable sites), and felt i had done a nice job. Nothing fancy. i posted it on my own home page back on AOL, and was really proud of it.
i was shocked and dismayed when one of the leaders in the SF scene at that time trashed me totally on a public chat list for being 'assumptive' and writing without having paid my dues in the scene. There were a LOT of folks who felt that way, and over the years i have run afoul of that belief more than once. A part of me feels they are completely right. The BDSM scene is a closed community with a lot of broken screens and a few wide open windows, where the older guard (there are several kinds, and layers, and disciplines) do not always appreciate the young up starts who show up and just 'make it up on their own' without paying due deference to the folks that are teaching them.
There is at least one 'dominant' who teaches- poorly and dangerously- who had been in public about 6 months when he asked a scene veteran to show him how to do needles one night. The following month he proceeded to teach classes. The scene veteran was shocked that he was telling others how to do this, using their name as his 'mentor' when they had done no such thing, and spent months dealing with mail from people who had played with or done classes with the new needle king because the king used that veteran's name repeatedly and they felt that *that* alone was a good enough reason to trust the person.
It got messy.
i don't bring these things up to dredge old issues- they are examples of the ways we can accidentally put our foot in it, taking our ego and letting it drive the car. And, with the combination of anonymity and fluid movement of folks in and out of the scene, there is never a dearth of examples.

It is, however, also a very touchy thing within scene politics and *protocols*. In some groups, the slaves not only show deference and respect to *every top*, but the idea that any of them would ever question that is not even considered. In other circles, the pompous domly one that shows up expecting the idea automatically is laughed out of the room (or at least sniggered at from the group at the buffet table).

Hence my sudden adoration with my Owner all over again. i try to explain to Him how *i* see Him, and He begs off. i make some statement about His strength (which every slave should see in their Owner at some level) and He asks me to stop. i try to describe to Him the man i personally know in His personality, in His actions, in the way He THINKS about Ownership, control, play & me. He becomes uncomfortable with that. As He would if anyone said such a thing. Other men He works with look up to Him and respect Him, rely on Him and expect Him to protect those in His charge, yet He has no ego. Puffery does not become Him. " Needing others to show Him 'respect' is not something He asks for, nor wants.
A lady on line posted "In my opinion, humility is incredibly important in any individual - especially a Master", and i felt the pull of total agreement.
My Owner is a natural with a whip, but He has said that it will be years of constant use before He will allow the idea that He has 'mastered' it to be voiced. i love that. His abilities with a gun however, come from 30 years of use- He was a Master of that item before He ever found me. He is in awe of the men and women that have those whip skills and share them with Him, and enjoys their company as He grows. But He will never lose the humility of His soul, which is, actually, much more attractive than anything else a person can bring into the room.
i envy that, and keep working on it.

Copyright shadow, January 9th, 2012
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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Being afraid of yourself

#42. Slave Diaries- Being afraid of yourself.
Introspection and the good path.

Essays on a life of P.E.
Jan. 7th, 2012
By shadow

Funny how you sing along to something for decades and then one day the lyrics really SINK IN...
i have been having some conversations with folks who are just 1-2 years into WIITWD, and for the SMART ones, they are questioning themselves, what they thought before they arrived here, what they think they might want.
The Sadists spend time questioning just WHERE they will stop- if given complete control over someone, what will be the place where that darkness will recede and the men or woman they thought they were will emerge- be it a single scene, or a lifetime of play.
i have watched this over and over and over again in my oh so short time in the scene, people who have fantasies in their head, misery in their lives, marriages that are dead things they maintain like watering withered plants, who find a munch, or a chat group, who write me or join Fetlife or come to an event and stand at the edges...
Hungry for the banquet in front of them, unable to comprehend that this is REAL and not just their own personal wank world, that it's NOT just fiction for movies and people who write books and don't really believe...
it exists.
They come, they want to know about it ALL right now, and they start to play, and meet, and talk and learn and buy toys and make things and get to have those extraordinary orgasms from the sheer THRILL of it all.
For the sadists, they get hard (wet- take your pick here) when they grab that slave by the hair, pull out a knife, or sink their teeth in.
They get excited just HANDLING the damned rope in their homes, and spend their free moments daily considering what they want to do next, who they want to play with, how to get out of the house, where they will dump the kids for the weekend, how to make enough cash to pay for the toy.
They want to do it all, and every day their fantasies get a little more..... dark.
More deep. More bloody.
As time goes by, they find themselves afraid to play- afraid of what they are becoming. They wanted to throw that flogger over and over and more than once had to apologize to someone because they never heard the yellow, never noticed the tears, deliberately let one more blow land before backing off.
They feel horribly guilty about that- they are turning into monsters, they are unable to fuck like nice people anymore, they don't WANT that stupid marriage they are in, they want to run riot and let it all out of the cage, stop listening to the saner voice in their head, quit paying attention to the screams and just bathe in the blood and the pain and the horror.
They are suddenly afraid of themselves.

The situation is different if you are in the public scene- here, we have classes that offer insight, books you can read freely that will give you perspective, discussion groups to make friends and forge the bonds so that you know you are NOT some animal, and this is not some horrible disease we have.
In vanilla life, you can often tell who IS someone who found their sadism outside of community, and once they saw their own beast ran screaming back into their closet, slammed the door and now sees all kink as dangerous perversions.
They are the religious zealots, the political hacks, the 'one true way' believers.

Here in the scene, we all go through those times when we need to look inside and often wonder if what we see is real- and if the future we extrapolate from our current play thoughts is one of terror and pain, where we will end up as victims of our unleashed passions.
We won't of course. We will get over the alienation we find inside us upon meeting these sexual feelings that no one ever told us about. We will find out psychological keys and make sense out of the threads we read that strike a chord in our hearts. We find partners that give us safe harbor to explore what we NEED to do while being safe and honest with us so we never feel we are taking advantage of another person.
We find those magical bubbles of intense human bonding that no one ever told us about- the intimacy of the dance.
We have fallen through the Looking glass ( a phrase i used at my first South Bay Discussion Group in 2000 to describe how i personally felt about suddenly finding this whole community), and we are seeing that we will NOT be swept away in the flood of strange tears with wild beasts. We understand the path, and we can plot the next move of the chess pieces in our heart.
Most of us never find that one partner (or that one poly family) with the right balance for our needs, the right balance of gifts they bring and offerings from us they will accept. For *most* of the people in BDSM, they will consider themselves blessed if they find happiness in stretches of 1 to 2 years between periods of being alone again.
Some will come into this scene and find the language that defines their fantasies, and leave again to meet their play partners back in vanilla lands- sometimes without ever letting on to those others what they really harbor behind their eyes.
Some will come here, find their kinks, and then feel sated and need to move on to other things that are their new 'hearts desire'.
Some come here and realize that what they had in their head was MORE than want they wanted, and to live it out in the flesh is not as good, not as fun, not as fulfilling.
For a small few of us, we will come through the mirror and instantly, irrevocably feel "home", knowing that we might well not find a lover forever, but we have crossed our own personal Rubicon and can never go back to living in a world where the ideas of power exchange are considered dangerous, where impact play is shunned, where people fear to talk about their feelings and it is considered *smart* and *safe* to hide what is in one's heart.

i find that stupid in the extreme. The isolation in vanilla life of living inside your own head and never truly trusting those around you with EVERYTHING is now, 14 years later, impossible for me to imagine. The idea of manipulating your partner by with holding what you want, misrepresenting things based on your own assumptions about what your partner MIGHT be thinking just appalls me.

So here you are, standing in the window of the candy store, hunger gnawing in your head, and yet the fear of what you might become, what you might DO given half a chance, makes you nervous, and worried that this is the wrong path.

My own thoughts on this are: So long as you are worried, so long as you are concerned, you are fine. It's the one's that DON'T care about their partners, that DO want to play in secret, alone in the dark with their demons and a partner in chains, that worry me.
When you find yourself in the bubble, SHARING that power with another, feeling with them, breathing with them, FEEDING off them because they want this as much as you do, fight it as hard, and live waiting for the next scene- that's the best of all.

Which brings me back to the music playing inside my head. The time between finding out that you belong here, and the moment you have the partner that lets you fly.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Waiting (copyright TP&H, From "Hard Promises" 1981 LINK CLICK HERE)

Oh baby don't it feel like heaven right now
Don't it feel like somethin' from a dream
Yeah I've never known nothing quite like this
Don't it feel like tonight might never be again
We know better than to try and pretend
Baby no one could have ever told me 'bout this

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Well Yeah I might have chased a couple of women around
All it ever got me was down
Then there were those that made me feel good
But never as good as I feel right now
Baby you're the only one that's ever known how
To make me wanna live like I wanna live now

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Don't let it kill you baby, don't let it get to you
Don't let 'em kill you baby, don't let 'em get to you
I'll be your breathin' heart, I'll be your cryin' fool
Don't let this go to far, don't let it get to you

Copyright shadow, January 7th, 2012

All rights reserved. Please write for permission to repost. All reposts must be complete with copyright and contact info.