Yesterday I was very saddened by some news that a dear friend – who I consider to be a very honorable Canadian leatherman – shared with me. After much consideration and trial, he had to de-collar one of his four boys and release him at the boy’s request. The boy was not getting along with one of his brothers. They had apparently tried repeatedly to have some resolve in the situation, get to the source…but ultimately, the boy was simply unhappy with the presence of his brother in the family.To say that it was an emotional day would be an understatement.
I have been unable to stop thinking about the news since it happened. You see, I have a confession to make. I am a very territorial person, and when this Sir was describing to me his boy’s behavior, there was a lot I was able to identify with. With the boy, that is. In my leather journey, I have always been someone who finds something incredibly sacred in the connections I make with others, be it a play partner, a confidant, or a member of my leather family. Yes, I may be quite public in a lot of my interactions…certainly anyone who knows me knows I can be a shameless flirt at times…big shocker I know. But even in all that, there are a select few that I truly allow into my space…into that mental place where I can put all facades aside, be vulnerable and HUMAN, and open up my heart knowing that the person I’ve entrusted it to will nurture it and protect it with honor and grace. It is these bonds that give us the immense fulfillment we experience as leathermen or kink folk. That “protective love” that I speak of in my earlier post.
So when an outside force comes along that I perceive to be “infiltrating” that sacred space, trying to “take” something from it, and threatening my safe feeling of “home”, I react very defensively. Sometimes even destructively. The behavior is not unlike a scorpion that will readily sting when it is backed into a corner. And sometimes the stinging results in hurting the ones I love and cherish.
I am at a time in my life where I feel a deep sanctity in my leather connections. The challenges I have faced the past couple of years could not have been conquered had it not been for the immense strength, guidance, and love I received from the individuals that have come into my leather path. The times where I may feel anguish, I know I can always turn to my brother, my submissives, the members of my extended family or my Sir, and be given exactly what I need to continue. They are the ones that feed my soul. They are my home.
Unfortunately, the scorpion in me has also made its appearance recently in numerous circumstances. My Sir has been considering another potential newcomer to the family, just as the dealings of the previous one had been healed. My brother has a new boy that has altered the landscape of my relationship with him. Even my relationship with the community has altered as I discover certain individuals I thought were trustworthy prove me otherwise in their actions. The feeling of not being secure is very real, and it brings out a very knee-jerk reaction of fight or flight.No one wants to feel left behind. In fact, my Sir will often ask if my “tail is raised”. It’s not something I’m proud of…but it is something I feel on a very deep level. I have wondered if perhaps the de-collared boy from yesterday was feeling the same thing.
It’s a curious dynamic we face in leather. We put so much emphasis on inclusion and brotherhood and a feeling of unity, that sometimes I think we forget that our connections to one another are still sacred and not meant to be intruded upon by others. At least not without an invitation. Yes we may see a very dynamic couple or family or individual that has a certain spirit or charisma that we crave and want a part of…they may even be very public in their exchange. It doesn’t mean we’re entitled to come in and take a piece of it for ourselves. One might consider that trespassing. As an example I can remember once being hit up by a member of the community that wanted to propose a play scene where he was co-topped by my Sir and myself. He was attracted to both of us, and wanted to see our dynamic in action. Certainly the proposal was flattering, made with the best of intentions, and in the right circumstance could have been an amazingly hot time. But, I did also feel a kind of violation from the proposal, because I feel that what I share in play with my Sir is a very private, very special thing…and to share it openly in this only dilutes it and takes away from what I hold sacred. It wasn’t something I felt this person was entitled to take part in. It didn’t help that the gentleman never actually asked if we would be interested in engaging in this. Rather, he aggressively informed us that that was what he wanted. Big difference. Needless to say, the scorpion stung again.
So as I sit here pondering the sadness of yesterday’s de-collaring, and the boy’s character trait that led to it, I am left wondering: at what point does the scorpion in me stop feeling so scared? Is this ultimately what happens when his tail keeps stinging out of protection? When can I feel safe in allowing others in, and trusting that the sanctity of my leather bonds will remain unscathed? We all have our major life lessons…this continues to be mine.
And the hardest part of this lesson is in what makes the scorpion unique..he also has the ability to sting himself.