I’m engaging in some downtime where I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned from my own journey as a leatherman and from what I’ve observed in others. There’s one thing I keep coming back to when I think back to my times as a boy or with failed sub relationships I’ve had, and that it has to do with maintaining a certain degree of self-governance when entering a connection as a sub of any kind. Putting that kind of trust in others and allowing others to have the dominance over us requires us to give over our control – it does not however, mean giving up our means of maturity or social decorum. All too often I think it becomes very easy to forget this.
My periods as a collared boy were always very rewarding in various ways, particularly my three years as the boy of Sir Machias. During that time I had immense growth and felt a tremendous sense of fulfillment exploring my need to submit, as well as the incredible play dynamic we had. There were also a lot of unfortunate choices I made back then that sadly, I didn’t allow myself the capacity to truly see. It’s a very scary thing for me to allow myself to be vulnerable and relinquish control to somebody else, as that ultimately means they are going to see all my imperfections that my ego wants to conceal. However, as I have talked about in previous entries, that can also be immensely rewarding – being loved and nurtured for who you really are as opposed to the facade that I try to uphold. But I ultimately did it with this man, and it added a dimension to my life experience that I will forever cherish and attribute to immense growth. What caused problems during this time however, was that I made the mistake of letting go of personal responsibility along with the control. I had no ‘wisdom’ to differentiate between the two. I put quotes around the word because what I really mean to say was that I was unwilling to look at that part of how I conducted myself. It was easier to simply be childish and abandon personal responsibility, and it often took the form of lashing out in various tantrums or arguments. Ultimately it resulted in alienating my Sir and his family BIG time and causing all kinds of stress.
I talk a lot about this when I teach workshops. Too many times I see people engage in a fetish or kink and use it as an excuse for bad behavior toward others. It’s as though they give themselves permission to abandon the responsibility of being a full – fledged adult in order to experience a particular form of play. A prime example of this is with puppy play. One of the appeals of being a pup is you get to ‘lose’ yourself and immerse into a mindset that is very playful and in the now, with no concerns of the past or the future. Everything is very energetic and spur-of-the-moment with a focus on interaction with others to be scritched or petted affectionately. Unfortunately some take this to also mean absconding from behaving responsibly in public, particularly with strangers. People will use the excuse, “oh when I get into pup head space I have no knowledge of my human traits so I can’t help it if I wind up chewing on somebody’s shoes…” And we all know how well that goes over. Ultimately we do ourselves an incredible disservice by not being mindful of social etiquette while we explore various facets of kink and fetish. If we did, we would probably find a lot more celebration of our uniqueness as opposed to annoyance and judgement within the community.
Our journeys are all about growth and expansion and ultimately having a very strong sense of who we are. We need a certain amount of maturity and courage to immerse ourselves in our kinks and fetishes, and even moreso if it involves handing over trust and control to another. The real trick is to be able to do so while maintaining a grounded sense of personal responsibility. It can be a fine line and one that is very challenging to see when you are feeling vulnerable under the hands of a Dom. How do we be vigilant about this and prevent moments of stress or altercation? For one, I think we have to be mindful of the fact that we may not truly know how we’re going to be once we agree to allow ourselves to trust another and be vulnerable. It’s one thing to say, “yes stepping into this connection or agreement sounds very fulfilling and I’m going to be the best sub ever’, and then suddenly we are in it and we discover that all kinds of fears and anxieties come up that we didn’t predict. Maybe we get very caught up in the romance of the initial connection and are slightly blinded by what some call the ‘honeymoon phase’. It takes a great deal of wisdom to know ourselves when we take the risk to trust another, and part of that wisdom is embracing our imperfections that may lead to anxiety or stress. When we do this, we are better able to maintain our self-respect and in turn maintain personal accountability.
It’s of course very easy for me to say, “Oh I wish I knew now what I knew then” as it would have saved me a lot of heartache and shame in the way I conducted myself as a boy, but to do so doesn’t serve any positive purpose. Every time I explore a connection as a submissive, or take on a sub of my own, I gain further knowledge. Part of what I love about leather and kink is in the way it helps me grow as a person, even if the ride is an uncomfortable one. We sabotage ourselves if we ever think there is a point of ‘arrival’ in our journeys, and not a day goes by where I don’t embrace what I’ve learned as a result of personal mistakes I’ve made.
And that’s some of the best personal responsibility I can take as a human being and a leatherman 🙂