Leatherfest VIII

logo design by Peter P
logo design by Peter P

March 8-10: LeatherFest VIII raised nearly $2,000 in proceeds split between Auntie Helenís and Read/San Diego with about 900 people in attendance. Co-Directors: Diane K - Ladee and Mark O'Keefe. Workshop Coordinator: Madoc Pope

Workshops Presented Included:
Flogging, Piercing, SM & Safer SEx, Masters' and slaves' roundtables, Terror, Shadow Play, Advanced Players, Minorities and SM, Role Playing, Emotional Safety, inexpensive Dungeon, SM TV, Psychology in SM, Watersports, Beginning and Advanced Rope Bondage, Whipping, Mummification and Waxing.

This was also the 2nd year for SM University.

LeatherFest VIII was nominated for a Pantheon of Leather VII Community Service Award

From Leatherweb at http://www.leatherweb.com/sdlf96.htm
NOTES on the Lifestyle... San Diego LeatherFest '96

The whole idea of networking is a modern version of "The Old Boy Network:. It's not such a bad thing when it comes to any minority society such as Masters and slaves. It's one of the ways we meet. It's a way for us to protect our interests and find like minded souls to share concerns.

Most importantly we soon discover that we all face many of the same trials, loses and complications. It's comforting to share with those who've been there - who understand right where we're at - expecially when we're about to give up wondering if it's even possible. And most importantly, it's great to share the good stuff - when we find what we want and need - and it's working. It's great to meet our contemporaries!

Since space is limited here I've decided to share my notes with you from LeatherFest VIII in San Diego earlier this year. It's a smorgasbord of ideas, comments and testimonials from four of the sessions which relate closest to our lifestyles. The Master's Roundtable, The slaves Roundtable; The Minorities in SM Roundtable, and the Psychology of SM Roundtable. I also attended the subsequent lecture;/demo meetings of O.C.L.A. (Orange County Leather Assembly - S.CA) titled "Role Playing' & 'Relationships'.

RANDOM COMMENTS: Question to a Master with two slaves: "What's the biggest problem you have with your slaves?" Answer: "Finding them (Matt Masterson)..

There's a difference between 'Head Space' and "identity".
The key is to relax into the role. Take facets, characteristics and bring them to the fore. When you are 'being' the character, you are role-playing. When you find the character in your person, it's an identity. It's "Conditional' vs 'Owned" slave.

S/M is Theater: Theater of life - Theater of self
You can't put a black or green hanky together; or two red hankies and expect bliss. It' takes a scene, a scenario - It takes communication with yourself and with each other.

On Biological Families & People we care about. The family wants to feel this is the Best partner. At the same time the family knows enough not to want to know (more, sic. SM).

Slaves Roundtable: Guy Baldwin, Wade Brown, #3 slave pete & Tom Swift

SLAVES ROUNDTABLE: When your primary identy is as a slave, it's not easy; there's no place to hide. It takes courage and bravery.
Down time: You turn the volume up and down, but not off.
To be a man (mature) means to be self defining. Be the best at all of it. A Master might say, "you will serve whoever and whatever touches you as if it IS your Master. Only we can share the place in our hearts (slave)
*Obedience is a meditation art-form... and a path to an altered state* Love your slavery. Trust your Master.

The slave must know that the Master is vulnerable too...
*Communicate It!*
*Secrets contaminate the commitment.*
Do your work on yourself.
Slavery can be completely erotic.
Most Masters don't have a clue what makes a slave tick.
You are a slave with or without the Master.
But the slave's need is to be 'yours - to belong'.
The ultimate erotic... erotic is the 'heat wave'.
MOOD: Deal with it! Service comes #1.
The journey is the reward. There is a transparency.
RE: slave/Master: Building the Spirit: Non Degradation
Empowering slaves to be slaves - to be all that they can be.
NOTE: In society, lack of respect breeds violence.

Master's Roundtable: Mike McDade, Darnell Bates,Lee Lambert, Bill Litts & Matt Masterson

MASTER'S ROUNDTABLE...All panelists were in 24-7 relationships.
180 shades of gray

What is a MASTER? The one who gets it the way he wants it... No rules except mine.
In a 24-7, the Dominant is completely responsible for the submissive.
Owner of a valuable piece of property - like a fine race car.
There was a whole lot of talk about money... all the way from live at home dependent to bringing in the proceeds from a career.
Either way, provisions must be made for the slave should the Master become incapacitated.
How do you become a Master? Many ways: Akward at first...
Recruited (originally as a Top slave. Former slave is another way.
Mentorship/internship. Make the decision. New norms
Fear of Risk/Loss; or, not pushing for enough.
Suggest that you do this immediately.
You can go so far... discuss/negotiate; the, if you don't like the rules, you can leave. Re-connection in the dungeon...
Head Trip is possible w/o physical SM
Pain/enforcement ONLY for a purpose (If pain is wanted, deny the pain.) "I like to hear him scream and whimper" (Darnell)

ROLE OF OWNERSHIP - What distinguishes a Master:
Valuable, cherished piece of property
Borrow/lease/rent; return in good condition.
Why would I want to own anything that is valu-LESS?
EQUAL in IQ (A slave can make decisions).
Owning one you love is more difficult...
Kid I never had. Teach/Mentor. Happpy & Fruitful life
Responsibilities: Care & feeding. Watch level of submission; checking 2-C if OK. Constant tinkering. Trust, safety.
BE THE BEST: Serve the world with talents you have.
Making life decisions.

It's a legitimate lifestyle!

WE risk who and what we are. Extreme social acceptance.
LEGAL: Adult can NOT give informed consent???
ENDINGS: They don't all click! When your needs are not being met; therefore not slave material (for me).
State rules. If it's not fun, do something else.
General Orders, 1st year; then contract.
Mantra: "Sir, more than anything else, I desire to serve", et al. I consider it an honor, forever. Tender and loving...
"Thank you for owning me, SIR!" slaves need is 2-B yours.
MASTER: Demand RESPECT - daddy is love.
It's careless if you don't go all the way.

LOVE: Different love - not necessarily romantic love.
Relate to the SM. not SM to LOVE.
You don't have to love a slave; but you have to have respect.
Do you have the key for that lock? Ownership is ownership...
I want someone who wants to be MY slave! The sun rises and sets on you ass. Why would you give your life to someone you don't love?
"I never met a bottom I didn't need to discipline once." Pat Califa - author
Do poorly 'til you do well.' CLAIM IT!!!
"A small success is bigger than a great failure."

The Masters talk'd about slaves (Property/Ownership)
The slaves talk'd about relationship (belonging).

Minorities & SM: Elisco Martinez, Jeff Barrett, Darnell Bates, Elaine McMullen, & Gwen Snyder - Ms NLA: Stacy (National Leather Association).

Elaine, "Orientation by Gay men".
Exciting, Interesting. No Inhibitions; Comfortable
"Wearing it so well..." Concept, mystique, attractions
Healing, sexy, stimulating, provoking.
On being Black and then SM: "My struggle has been your struggle; My fight will be your fight"
Dominator common of oppression
Some pain. Why can't we have fun?

SM female as minority - Experiment and rejection.
Professional Dom Network... I want to be part of society.

Leather SM is scary White people's stuff; but, we're here and we're accepted!

Educate yourself... We cannot survive un-united...
On People of Color Cover Models: "It doesn't sell my mags...."

I'm not here to fulfill whatever's oppressed in you.

I'm ok with a brother but not ready for a White (SM Partner).
Black boy/White Master - It collapsed.
We'll make our own support system.
The door is open, so walk through.
There are no perpetrators in SM
Speak out in your own community.
If you don't have anything good to say, shut off.
They look at us as a violent people. (SM People)
Is this what you want? If your needs are not being met, then you're not living.
Oppression and repression are different issues
Are you more concerned about being a slave than being MY slave/
Weak vs strong Masters
Gorgeous People of Color... ... ... Send in your pictures!!!
Stand up and be counted
Power of racial exchange...
Judgement: We bring all our prejudices with us
We're minoritized in non visible ways - invisible minorities
INTERVIEW: Listen, We may be coming from a different place.

Psychology of SM: Rhea Grei, Gobi Tako & Guy Baldwin

Strip away veneer... "Everybody is kinky to some degree..."
Find a slight area and embellish (amplify/art - it.)
Everything has it's own limits - like a sound.

How sex works when you get real honest
We MAY have a genetic predisposition to pain in sexual pleasure.
SM in this culture is religion in another.

SM Get high for pleasure and self fulfillment.
TORTURE is NOT SM, necessairly.

SM RItual: What gets people high in a scene

Mechanics: Pace, intensity, delivery = hypnotic affect.
It's not what you do, it's HOW you do it.
Create a sense of drama
50% of us are recovering Catholics or Episcopals
SLOW EVERYTHING DOWN, altering time, senses, conditioning.
Connect the cues to invite stimulation.
Play the same music each time to connect sonic, movement, cues. Cue language - advisorial cues. How do you FEEL?

Analysis is paralysis. Do it now and talk about it later...

When in doubt, get out.