Monday, April 25, 2011

Kinko De Mayo, Here I Come!

My second trip to Ohio this year takes me to Cleveland, where Ohio S.M.A.R.T. puts together a weekend fiesta full of great times, two nights of hot extreme dungeon play, shopping and mucho mucho more.

Yep, I'll be at Kinko De Mayo, taking place May 6-8, teaching two of my classes that address structures for SM relationships:

The Way of It: Establishing and Maintaining Protocol Within Relationships

The number one reason given for dissatisfaction in an ongoing formal SM relationship is not because the top can't tie a knot or the bottom.  It's lack of consistency. What's one tool in a top's mental toy bag to keep this from happening? Establishing and maintaining a protocol of behavior. I'll give an introduction -- and my personal views -- on issues of etiquette, protocol, and their place within personal relationships and our community.

Have a Cookie! Using Rewards in your SM Relationships

Establishing and enforcing a system of rewards and punishments can strengthen a relationship dynamic based in dominance and submission. Learn to identify methods of praising and rewarding each other that are personal and reinforce the values you have set for your relationships. Drawing from personal experience and longtime observations, I'll discuss the difference between rewards and praise, the importance of consistency and balance, and how to make a little go a long way.

This will be the last time I travel to the Midwest this year, but my summer appearances include some big conference events - Thunder in the Mountains, The Floating World, and the 40th anniversary of TESFest. I will have books available at all of these events, and I hope to see you there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I am deeply honored that the National Leather Association-International has given me two awards this year: one for writing and one for lifetime achievement.

My personal leather history is intertwined with the NLA's history.  I was part of the formative years of NLA in the late 80's and early 90's, as an at-large member. I helped to create the NLA Metro New York chapter. I attended Living in Leather conferences in Portland, Chicago, and Seattle, meeting hundreds of leatherfolk, many of whom remain good friends. In fact, I met my wife, Karen, at Living in Leather VII back in 1992.

It was NLA that dared to believe we could call ourselves a "community," 25 years ago. Today, we use the term as if we've always thought of all the myriad parts of our BDSM/kink/rubber/leather /fetish/whoozits groups as somehow connected. But it was NLA that gave us that truly radical notion - that the kinksters in Butte had something in common with the players in Raleigh, and with the clubs in New York City.

But Wait! There's More!

I'm thrilled to announce that my short story, "That's Harsh," available in the e-book edition of The Slave, has won the National Leather Association-International's John Preston Short Fiction Award of 2011.

This award means a lot to me. It's the first time any of my writings have won any award.  Further, that I won in the "John Preston" category is wonderful.  I consider John one of the writing mentors in my life.  At the time of his death, Preston was one of only a handful of writers who had made the literary jump from the genre of pornography into the literary field.  My only hardcover book, Looking For Mister Preston, brings together dozens of authors who were inspired by or encouraged by John to write. I was one of them. Here's an excerpt from my introduction to that (now out-of-print) book:

    How did he do it, I asked, how did he break out of the porn genre to become such a literary reader? ‘Just keep writing,’ he told me. 'If you’re good, editors will know. They’ll know you can deliver, and you’ll do whatever you want. And you’ll have readers who will read only your porn, and readers who will read only your mainstream stuff, and you’ll have the crossover readers who will buy anything with your name on it.”

 Those words, and his gentle smile, keep me writing to this day.

Happy Passover!

This is the week of Passover. Tonight, millions of Jews across the world are gathered at tables and telling the story of Exodus.
Many of you know that my wife and I wrote our ownhaggadah, the book used for the telling of the Passover story. Avadim Hayeinu, Once We Were Slaves, focuses elements of the traditional Passover story through the lens of the leather power dynamics in our community. After all, slavery, like sex, wasn’t invented in our generation. In fact, over 3,000 years of Jewish tradition requires all Jews to participate in an annual ritual to discuss slavery and freedom: Passover. For thousands of years, Jews have built upon the Exodus story, creating hundreds of thousands of variations of the ritual from many perspectives. Learn – or revisit – the Passover story from an S/M perspective, drawing on ancient tradition and building new rituals that speak to us today.
For those of you looking for a new way to look at Passover, or interested in rituals that reflect slavery, power, and freedom, please take a look at our haggadah. And drink a celebratory cup of wine!