Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Boots, Blood, Ash, Puppies, and an East German Boarder Guard



CAPEX weekend highlight reel:

Friday, Sir and Hunter joined me and Ma’am and Poet and another friend at our Treehouse.  There was booze.  There was naked hot tub time.  There was sexy-fun-time for those who (unlike me) weren’t too tired out by bedtime.

Saturday morning – now there was sexy-fun-time for me.  I was pounced by the Alpha and reminded how a lycra blackout hood can help turn good sex into great sex!  Mmmmmmm… yum!

Ma’am cooked breakfast, and then we just lay about and napped.  Sir napped on the couch w/ Hunter and I cuddled-up together on the puppy pillows below him.  *wags*

Then we set off for Charlotte and CAPEX.  Girl Dale from the Atlanta Panthers did a really good class on erotic boot blacking… w/ some help from others – including PhantomBlue and Sir Loki – that was the entertaining part of the class.  The informative part was also quite good; Dale is very knowledgeable about leather history.

Dinner w/ the family was fun, and then it was off to the dungeon party.  My lovely Owner had plans to do another cutting on poet – and this time she wanted to rub cigar ash into the cuts to make them scar more.  So that meant the evening began w/ Sir and Poet smoking some cigars.  Hunter and I plopped down on the ground at their feet – which also helped b/c smoke rises and Wolfhounds HATE tobacco smoke.  But at some point, even sitting on the ground, the smell was starting to get to me, so I went inside.  I hung out w/ Stick and NCMaster for a bit… and eventually Ma’am and Poet came in and did their cutting scene.  It was impressive.  When she rubbed the ash into his wounds the blood pooled up nice and thick.  It was soooooo hot!

I found Hunter reduced to a jockstrap and putting on his puppy paws and pads, so after leading him into the play area on leash, I stripped to my underwear and pulled on my own paws and pads.  Meanwhile, Sir had tied Ma’am to one of our play stations and started to beat and flog her.  Both Hunter and I decided that we really wanted to watch this scene, so we crouched nearby.  And then Poet showed up… wearing his East German Major’s uniform.  Ohhhhhhhhhhhh my!  We crossed the floor to him and he pointed for us to sit at his feet – which we happily did.  We watched Ma’am’s scene w/ Poet occasionally petting us (wearing leather gloves – hot!).  Eventually the Kitten looked up from her scene and caught sight of Poet in uniform w/ two mostly naked puppy boys kneeling at each side of him, and she was, for a moment, very distracted from whatever it was that Sir was doing to her at that moment.

Next, Hunter and I romped for a bit while Poet topped Ma’am.  The Kitten was high from cutting him… then flying from bottoming to Loki... so then bottoming to Poet-in-uniform put her into orbit!

In addition to our scenes, there was other cool and unusual stuff as well: other floggings and some rope bondage, but also cross-dressing, and even food play w/ a pelted-with-biscuits scene (don’t ask).  I mention this b/c it underscores something Stick and I were talking about that evening (when we weren’t talking about Marvel comics and superhero movies): One of the cool things about CAPEX is the wide variety of fetishes, scenes, and play that goes on.  That’s the advantage in having a group that’s indiscriminately open to (pretty much) all comers.  There aren’t really a lot of other places I’ve played at where I’ve seen such a wide range of things going on from age play to blood to pups to cross-dressers to – well – biscuits…  It’s one of the things I do still really love about my home club.

I think after that, it was mostly hanging out… Sir got his boots blacked… and Poet got his boots blacked.  And I have to mention this b/c it was a little thing which made me very happy.  Around the boot black chair, the conversation turned to earning leathers – and someone made a wisecrack about those buy their own leathers should be called “Master Baiter b/c they do it by themselves.”  I was really pleased when Dale jumped in and corrected them: Most of the Old School gay leather men from the past bought their own leathers. Even Guy Baldwin has written about how he bought his own stuff back in the ‘60’s – including his own leather cap, which, he pointed out, wasn’t ever even called a “Master’s cap” back then.  Myth (as Dale said) busted!  I’m perfectly fine for those who want earn their leather from someone else – but I’m not okay w/ looking down on those who buy their own leather gear as being inauthentic or inferior or not “twue.”  Nonsense!

After the CAPEX party came the – well – after party, and the fun continued.  At one point I was in bed w/ Hunter on one side and Red on the other (my life… does not suck) while my Owner primal-kitten-pounced on Dale on the floor.  Finally, the cigarette smoke was too much for me and I had to retreat to our hotel room and went to bed… where I happily snuggled up w/ my two awesome pack-mates for the night.  *wags*

So there’s the highlight reel.  Hope you enjoyed reading about just a smidge as much as I enjoyed living it.  Go well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Puppy Triangle: Playfulness, Obedience, & Loyalty



Another fun Atlanta Dominion weekend – this one made all the better by having a pup mosh.  We had a great time w/ Soma and Ace acting as Handlers for myself, packmates Hunter and Bishop, and two other fun puppies (including a Pup Rex who was visiting us from way out West, and who, hopefully, I’ll be seeing again at the IML Woof Camp mosh – can’t wait).  Lots of fetch, lots of puppy wrestling, lots of biting and nipping, and I discovered that Bishop really does laugh like a hyena when he pups-out…  And my Fetishzone.net tail did great in the mosh – nice and snug, lots of wag, no slippage.  (This is the first time I’ve moshed w/ it since I up-sized to the bigger plug.)  *wags*

So… what I wanted to write about now was something like the “puppy triangle” of attributes.  I was thinking of this as the flip-side of “Handler triangle” stolen from Caesar Milan: Exercise, discipline, and affection.  That’s what the Handler offers his pup.  I think there’s a puppy complement: playfulness, obedience, and loyalty.

Playfulness

Certainly it’s one of the first things people think of when they think of a puppy (either bio or human).  Pups are often curious, upbeat, silly, and game for an adventure.  In their Leatheratti article, Master Dan and Loki wrote about how Dan would always great his pup at the door w/ a big smile on his face – incapable of playing the role of “big, scary, serious leatherman.”  One of things pups do is lighten the mood and make their people smile.  I see our playful spirit, our inherent sense of silliness and humor, as something important (and sometimes needed) in the leather community.  Pups tend to take the piss out of a lot of Leather pretensions in (I think) a healthy way.  One of my favorite comments on pup play was a revelation someone expressed after Sir’s pup play class at CAPEX last year: “Oh, I get it! It’s about fun!”  As PupBoss Jyan recently wrote on the Sirius Pups blog: “Good humour in pup play simply means recognising the ridiculous - that a human is pretending to be a dog - and enjoying that incongruity, rather than being confused or repelled by it.”

I’ve always really loved this commercial, b/c to me it seems to capture so perfectly this sense of playfulness and lightness of spirit puppies bring to others:


Obedience

Obviously some pups are more obedient than others.  For some (especially the young ‘ens) their sense of playfulness can appear to overwhelm the obedience aspect – but I think something that really distinguishes puppy play (and separates us from furries and primals, our close cousins) is that pups do tend to like the D/s relationship dynamic.  Even when we get extra-silly and playful, we still want to be reminded that there is a Handler or Alpha in-charge.  But going along w/ that sense of playfulness, I’ve found (and I’m sure there are ample exceptions – notably the “slavepups”) that the D/s among pups tends to be very low protocol.  The oft repeated joke w/in our pack is something Sir once said: “I have very few protocols, but one of them is YOU DO WHAT THE FUCK I TELL YOU!”  Funny as it is, I think that seems to perfectly capture the loose, organic style of D/s among pups.  Where other leather folk based their D/s relations mostly on military etiquette, pups have a natural, organic approach based on what you see at the dog park.


 Looking at our pack, we sometimes refer to what we’ve come to call the “core pack” and the “extended pack” (or, I like, “expansion pack”).  The pup community in Atlanta has exploded in the last 2-3 years (as has seemed to be the national trend).  We’ve got new pups popping-up every month or two.  We have a lot of friends and playmates in the growing pup community that are, in a loose sense, part of our pack.  But then there are also basically six of us have some form of D/s relationship w/ our Alpha/Handler Loki – and most of us can be recognized by our matching pack vests and breed pins (although finding a hyena pin may be a bit difficult).  Now, I emphasize “some form” of D/s relationship b/c (and here’s my point – thanks for bearing w/ me) that relationship is very idiosyncratic and organic between Sir and each of the betas.  There’s Bishop, who calls Loki “Daddy” (which disturbs me almost as much as it does Loki – I’m a year and half older than Sir).  For me, when I petitioned Sir to join his pack, he, Ma’am and I had to talk kind of specifically about what that relationship would mean and what authority he had – b/c I’m submitting to two Dominants now.  For others in our pack, they have a much looser situation more like Mentor/mentee.  I think this is, again, one of those things that separates a puppy pack from a old school Leather House or Family.  There’s no specific (or elitist) process for “earning your way in” and, for that matter, being “in” means something different for each of us – each according to his or her wants and needs.

Loyalty

Canis lupus familiarisFamiliaris means “Family member.”  And did you know that Fido is Latin for “I am faithful”?  It’s related to “fidelity.”  In art, the dog is commonly a symbol of devotion and faithfulness.  Notice the little pooch in Jan Van Eyck’s famous 15th century wedding portrait?  That’s what he’s doing there.


One of my favorite characters from a Dungeons & Dragons campaign was a thri-kreen (mantas warrior) I played for about 5 years.


 Now, the old AD&D 2nd-edition Thri-kreen handbook is now online at http://danaki.net/downloads/PDF/Darksun%20-%20The%20Thri-Kreen%20of%20Athas.pdf
At some point I was re-reading it, and it occurred to me that  you can read the section on “The Law of the Clutch” (p.12-13) and swap “pup” for “thri-kreen,” and swap “pack” for “clutch,” and it really works. See:

“Belonging to a pack determines the pup’s place in the
universe, and gives the pup a set of parameters within
which he or she must operate. The requirements of a pack
transcend alignment. Pup might be good or evil, lawful or
chaotic, but the pup still behaves the same way toward
pack and packmates. Regardless of the pup’s true alignment,
behavior toward pack and packmates is essentially lawful
good…”

 People are often surprised to hear that I’ve been close w/ my circle of best friends for over 20 years now… but to me it’s unthinkable that it would be otherwise.  I guess, like other canines, once I bond w/ someone, I tend to stay pretty glued to them.  I would walk through fire for those guys.  But to my Owner, above all, I will be her loyal hound until the day I die… and if I can find a way back to her after that, I will.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Going to IML... and still Thinking about Leather Titles



Chicago!  Chicago!  I bought plane tickets.  The flight is booked.  There’s no turning back.  I’ll be joining Loki and Nitro at International Mr. Leather (IML) in Chicago in a couple of months.  I’m really stoked.  The biggest thing I’m stoked about is, of course, the big Woof Camp mosh.  Last year it was over 110 pups and 60 Handlers.  Wow…  I can not wait.  In truth, I’m really going to Woof Camp, and IML is secondary to that.

Of course, beyond the mosh, I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and pups and (I hope) making new friends, but I’m not so much interested in the actual IML title contest.  In fact, I won’t be surprised if Sir and I skip the contest proceedings.  Generally, I don’t have any real interest in these leather title things.  I’ve been to SELF three or four times, but we always skip the contest show.  I’ve written before about my outlook on these title contests – which is why if you looked at the 2014 NCLC judges you may have been surprised to see who was there.  (Well, I told them, “If you’ve got the balls to ask me, I’m not going to say no.”  LOL.  But seriously, I’d like to see more puppies judging leather contests... and I'm about to explain why...)

A few weeks ago, I was in a conversation about title contests w/ some friends, and one of them characterized my position as thinking the contests were “stupid.”  That’s not exactly right.  I think if I were going to use a single word it might be “pretentious.”  Or maybe “misleading” would be even better.  Many people seem to take these titles so seriously and seem to think that those who hold them represent our community leadership.  Sooooo not true.  Who, seriously, would use an event structured on a beauty pageant to choose their leadership?  As one friend of mine often said, he never wanted to run for a title b/c he could get a lot more done w/o one.  The leaders (those getting things done) are usually not the titleholders (there are, of course, exceptions) any more than Ms. North Carolina is the Governor.  (Although in our case, she'd probably do a better job.)

As I understand it, these things began originally as the leather bar equivalent of a drag show – meant for entertainment – and they served the purpose of selecting the centerfolds for Drummer Magazine.  At beast, you get an entertaining show and a pretty face to go out and be a community ambassador – a la Ms. America.

On that level, I don’t think they are “stupid.”  But it’s just an entertainment on basically the same level of a burlesque show or a beauty pageant… or a dog show!  I have even come to really like the idea of the puppy titles.  (Not saying I’d ever run for one… but I won’t say “never.”  Just: “very unlikely.”)  But basically, w/ the pup titles, we’re talking about a dog show – w/ human dogs!  How cool is that, right?  And being pups, naturally we’re going to keep it silly and fun – as it should be.

Or we’re not.

And here’s the damn problem.  When the two “competing” International Puppy titles started up a couple f years back, it (apparently) turned into this big, stupid battle.  Now, fortunately, I believe the battle was actually only ever among a very small group of pups and Handlers (mostly those involved in the production of the two events, I suspect), and the bulk of our community didn’t care.  I like to say: We pups are so cool that one international titleholder isn’t enough for us.  LOL.  But the fact that some people were responding to this “split in the pup community” as if it were anything remotely worth taking seriously just shows how divisive and corrupting these tiles have the potential to become once anyone starts to regard them as anything more serious than they really are.

Here’s my analogy: the difference between a good contest and a bad one is the difference between America’s Next Top Model and Ru Paul’s Drag Race.  Okay, so I haven’t seen either show – ever – but from what I understand, America’s Next Top Model plays it straight (no pun intended) and takes itself all serious (which is absurd) where everything on Ru Paul’s Drag Race is (as it should be) tongue-in-cheek and done w/ a wink and quotation marks.

That’s why I want to see more puppies on the judges’ panels.  And furries.  (But of course, furries ruin everything…)  I know a lot of the oh-so-serious, stick-up-their-butt, high-and-mighty Leather w/ a capitol-L folk look down on us (puppies and furries… and age players and drag queens), but I think they often need us for a reality check – to remind them that this thing we do, we do for FUN.  And, frankly, sex – especially kinky sex – is always silly and fun and goofy when you think about it.  It’s about inclusiveness, but it’s also about keeping it real, and grounded, and reminding us all not to take ourselves too seriously.  (And sometimes the best sound you’ll hear in the dungeon isn’t an orgasmic moan but a loving, silly pup’s squeaky toy.)

Do we need these titles? I don’t know that we need them, but maybe as an excuse to get us all together at a big convention it doesn’t hurt… and I am really, really excited about IML/Woof Camp.  I guess my thing is that I just see the titles contest as an excuse for the gathering and not the reason.  Your thoughts?