A Rant on Being Self-Owned : Sometimes It’s Not Pretty

I don’t always feel this way but sometimes I do. Below is a rant from one day when being self-owned was really draining and hard for me. I suspect every unowned slaveheart has felt something similar at times. While I am very happy with my life over all, there are sometimes I need to rant. This was one of them:

I hate being selfowned and not having that additional strength of Master and knowing I’m doing what they desires really can make a difference in getting things done. Be it self care or motivation.

I miss that level of acceptance and trust. The hubby and I don’t have it because we aren’t power exchange. And if we were, odds are I’d be the top so to speak because I want more and am willing to take more risks to get it than he is. We have many shared wants but I’m willing to push and do scary things much faster than he is. Between that and either owning my own business or always doing high stress high decision jobs, maybe that’s why I need to surrender so much and so deeply.

Maybe someday I’ll find a Master who is willing and able to own me and has the time to make the sacrifices needed to take care of me and understand me and who will permit me to actually learn them and love them and care for them as well.

Devoting myself and my resources to someone else and having them to help me, honestly to decide for me when I’m hurting and such if I should push through or not would be so helpful to me. Because either way then I’m not second guessing my decision all day long. Because then I have the added standby and comfort that I’m doing what Master wants and if I end up broken they will help fix me. Right now if I decide wrong, no one will help fix me. The hubby might make suggestions but he won’t actually draw me a bath and put me in it  unless I remember to ask or make me eat or rub me down where I hurt. Master Koi would do all those things for me if I needed them. But now I’m the one in charge of me. Solely. And I don’t always have the energy for that level of self care.

I hate being self owned. I hate not having that back up of spoons from my Master that I can draw upon to obey. Because doing something for Master does give me extra spoons. Not a ton but enough that I can usually get it done. And if I’m told to self care, it reduces my guilt at not doing whatever it was I had to cancel so I was less likely to beat myself up. I hate being self owned.

Negotiations a Starting Point

I have been asked how to negotiate scenes and what I do to have the fun scenes I have.  Well I often have these with me at conferences.  And I don’t always use them but I figured I would share the xiaoyi-Scene Negotiation Starting Point List.

I have also gone through and added comments on it in Italics.  Usually, I start my negotiations simply with flirting and not being afraid to say “oh that sounds hot! Tell me more” and some of my best scenes we have touched on the points in this document yet I never pulled it out and made sure we hit each point.  Over the years, I have learned what to share and know where my limits are in scenes and have confidence in both calling red and yellow as well as making sure I play in spaces that my safewords, if used will be respected.  

I also tend to play harder at events like conferences than I do other places, except my home,  because at conferences I don’t have to drive anywhere after play so if I want to stay all floaty and not recenter and come to ground, I can.  I am not willing to risk others lives by driving while energy drunk from a great intense scene.  

xiaoyi’s – Scene Negotiations Starting point:

I flag orange and leather worship. This is seldom stated as I wear my hankies most of the time.  I self-identify as a protocol slaveheart and bootblack.

I love intense sensations pleasure and pain. My partners all seem to agree that I am a HEAVY masochist.

I prefer to give in the scene feedback but can and have used safewords and have no problem using the yellow/red system if that is preferred.  I tend to prefer words or feline noises myself. (a growl and a purr are both very good sounds meaning I am liking what you are doing.  I have no problems crying in a scene and do not think my tears are a reason to stop.  And if I call you “sadist” in scene, that is a big compliment on your skills. Having this knowledge of how I tend to respond is really useful to share.  I don’t do the “no, no, no” thing so had to find other ways of giving feedback and cat sounds started coming naturally and are pretty easy to understand IF your partner knows to expect them.  

  •         Words to avoid:  Worthless (this is big trigger words for me)
  •         Words I love: girl, slave, “will you take my pain?”, good girl
  •         No bio-penis penetration below my waist.  Manual manipulation is acceptable and preapproved toys or toys from my aftercare bag are acceptable.
  •         My bottoms of my feet and between my toes are off limits.
  •         I prefer warm over cold as cold will often reduce scene length (due to fibro cold is much more intense).
  •         There are two point in that “sweet spot” of the thigh and butt meeting that are fibro trigger points and create body-wide waves of pain that do reduce how long I can play)
  •         My last STD panel was run in Aug 2016 and I have a high risk strain of HVP.  All other tests results are clear. This gets updated every six month or so as I get tested.  It is best to be upfront about this and it can be really hot honestly.  After all a partner who respects you enough to share with you what risks they know you are taking is a partner who cares about you.  
  •         Marks are fine.  No permanent body modification at this time and I would like to avoid broken bones :>
  •         I do enjoy knives, single tails, bondage, pressure points, predicaments, biting, face slapping, canes, and so much more.
  •         Fire tends to make me giggle

You might have noticed that I mixed in what I like and what my limits are in the same list.  This is intentional on my part because it isn’t just a list of No’s this way but also covers some alternatives and suggestions to make sure that my partners stay engaged in the fun =, sexy hotness of what we are negotiating as well as being aware of my limits with them.  And for some partners, not all limits apply.

I have gone non-verbal before with intense scenes and well known and trusted partners.  If this happens I will hold up 7 fingers to let you know. I can still respond to yes or no questions but I respond much slower; please only ask one question at a time.

It turns out that tops really don’t like it if you suddenly go non-verbal to them and they don;t know you can do so.  It freaks them out a bit.  So after the first time this happened and I learned I COULD end up non-verbal, I warn all partners just in case.  

I see pain as a gift that some amazing people are able to bring and share with folks like me.  I will ask you about what sort of aftercare you need as a top. My drop is usually 3-4 days after a scene.  I do carry my own after care kit with blanket, chocolate and aftercare socks.  I often like being able to help clean up if I am coherent enough to do so.

Finding out what kind of aftercare your partner needs as a top or as a bottom is important.  For me I can be quite happy kneeling in a corner alone, facing a wall for my aftercare at times.  If my partner is expecting cuddles or needs cuddles, I need to know that as the bottom so that we don’t end the scene and I go to meditate while facing the wall and they need snuggles.  Or the reverse. I also sometimes schedule my aftercare with others because I might need a really intense cathartic beating yet the skilled person I trust to beat me through that place might not be someone I trust with the very vulnerable place I know such scenes place me in. In those cases, I will have someone I do trust on standby for my aftercare.  Or if the top is doing tastings and needs to get to the next person, aftercare can be done by others not involved in the tasting.  When I was attached to a big rope top, he would do 10-20 suspensions in a night and could not do the aftercare for each as he had a line.  However after the night was over, HE needed aftercare.  Know what you need and what you can and can’t or won’t do and negotiate that too.   

Please make sure I get returned to room # _____ if I cannot remember where I belong.  Thank you!!! Yes I list my room number here because I have gotten floaty enough that I needed a designated walker to help get me to my room and get the door open with the key.  I don’t play with people I don’t trust to take me to my room and tuck me in without violating any agreements we have made. I just don’t.  I recommend you don’t either.  

I hope that this list and it’s comments help you in your play and negotiations.  I don’t usually teach how I negotiate in any way but since I have been asked about it I decided I would share this.  Remember listen to your gut when deciding who to  play with.  Just because someone is a presenter or sexy as hell does not mean they are the right person for you to play with.  If your guts is squeamish, listen to it and get to know them better first.  Many of my “pick up” play partners and I have spent a few months or years getting to know via online and events before we play. Don’t feel a need to rush and if they are pressuring you to do something you are not comfortable with say NO and walk away.    

If you have certain kinks, like blood play, learn to know what your top should have in their kit and ask to see it before you play with them.  I have one person who was teaching a cutting class and I was the demo bottom and even though they went through the list of what they had and shared it with the class when it came time for me to get up there and be sliced open, I looked over their kit again to make sure everything I want my cutting tops to have was there and ready.  

I hope this facilitates you having hot kinky fun and if you have questions please reach out to me any ask.  I am always willing to field questions and try to give you answers.  

~xiaoyi

Boundaries, Respect and Disappointing a Master I love.

immage courtesy of http://favim.com/

image courtesy of www.favim.com

 

Yesterday, I did challenging thing. I told a Master I love and adore “no”. As a slave, this is a very difficult thing for me to do.

We had been texting and flirting all day. A part of me was really hoping he would propose that we connect last night and move into play. I very very much wanted to.

After the work day was done, he asked if I would be attending an event at a friend’s house. It was not a kink or play event but many kinky people would be there, including, in all likelihood, an abusive ex.

He is often at things and when I know there is a chance I’m likely to have to deal with him, I can prepare myself and cope. I am one of the few who are actually open about his abuse and who approached girls he’s getting involved with and let them know what my experience was and who else they may want to vet him through. He’s a smart abuser and tends to list respectable people in the community that he has dated as his form of vetting himself. Seldom do the girls dare to ask those named people. I didn’t when it was my turn; they were too intimidating. That was a big mistake for me to make. So I try to be proactive in letting others he preys on be aware so that they can decide if they wish to take the risk. RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) is big for me.

So jerkface (the abuser) was likely to be there. I had in the past 24 hours already been through a few very challenging interactions with other people, that had tested my abilities to remain authentic and vulnerable. Since I didn’t have enough advance notice of the event to be able to put my armor back on for dealing with jerkface, I knew that if I attended there was a huge chance that I might end up having to deal with flashbacks or in a corner sobbing. I don’t really think either of those is much fun when unintended.

The Master I had been chatting with when I told him I wasn’t going to go because jerkface was likely to be there told me “he was sad that my fear of jerkface controls me more than he does” he added a pout to the end of that and it was likely him just continuing to try and flirt and be playful.

It hurt to read that. Even knowing it was likely just a joking way of playing with the play-only-M/s dynamic we have, it hurt. So I explained my reasoning and told him if he was willing to be there for me if I did end up flashing it crying I would go but I recognized that that was far beyond our play-only relationship.

He replied that I was right he didn’t want to be responsible for that. I knew he didn’t which is why I declined in the first place. It was not due to fear of jerkface controlling me, it was due to me having self-control and self-respect. I made the decision based on what was healthy for me and within the boundaries of the relationship the Master has told me he wants with me. I was enforcing HIS boundaries for me, as well as protecting myself, and I even asked him if he did want to increase his responsibility for the night in being willing to catch me if I was not emotionally in a place where I could be strong enough to fight any past issues that came up if jerkface was there. He said no.

Yet it still stings me that he turned it into a “who controls xiaoyi thing”.

That is where we play and I love feeling his control over me within that realm. I am a slave and I have learned very hard how precious a gift a Master’s control is. And that includes for things as short as getting a drink or for as long a lifetime.

I know how this Master sees the decision is outside of my control and I’m very saddened that he chose to view it in the light he did. I also know that for me, his reality does not match mine. Even knowing I did the right and correct thing though, I feel strongly that sense of sorrow in disappointing a Master who I love and respect and who does sometimes grant me the gift of control.

Three Things we say are HARD that don’t need to be

When I was a child, nothing was hard.  Everything I tried to do, I did.  I worked at it, I played at it but I didn’t understand the concept that something was hard or that I couldn’t do it. Now that I am an adult, I commonly hear people say a certain activity, a certain lifestyle or a certain way of being is hard. I have commonly even said it myself.  I have realized the reason it is hard now but wasn’t back then, is because is challenges me to change my psychological and physiological patterns (mental and body patterns).

In psychology, when you do something over and over again in your mind, it is called grooving.  Your brain actually creates a wrinkle of that pattern.  Your brain gets so use to doing something that one way, that it will automatically default to that method and will always want to keep doing things the same way.  

For instance, if you are right handed as a writer and somebody asks you to write the letter “A” on the whiteboard, you will without thinking pick up the marker with your right hand and do so.  Your physiological habit is there as well.  Again without thinking, your body will write the letter ”A”.  This has become so ingrained in your body after years of practice that you don’t have to think of drawing two angled lines and one across the center to create the letter.  And your writing will likely be fairly legible, especially if you compare it to your left hand’s attempt at the same thing.  And odds are if you try to write “A” with your left hand, you have to think about it more.  This is because you have build the pattern both physically and mentally over the years on how to write with your dominate hand.  

While you are writing the letter with your left hand and trying to figure it out, you will likely think to yourself, “Wow! This is hard!” Because you left hand hasn’t had the practice of writing even though just a minute ago doing the same task right handed was easy.  It is only by comparison that it is difficult and it is only difficult because we are not use to it yet.

There are three things that I commonly hear people say are hard that I think don’t deserve that reputation.  The first I hear regularly, “Poly is Hard”.   Poly isn’t hard!  It may require skills and “muscles” that you haven’t practiced with much yet.  As you practice them, it becomes natural and easy. I’m poly myself and have been in a healthy poly relationship for over 14 years now.  We have had other partners come in and out of our lives throughout that time and it hasn’t been hard because we are use to doing the work involved.  We are use to being open and honest about our feelings and our thoughts, working with our partners to learn how to communicate with each other and we are use to sitting down and looking at ourselves when we feel twinges of jealousy, anger or even joy to tear into the WHY we are feeling it and finding the source in our core beliefs that is or isn’t working that is helping us feel that emotion.  

The second thing I hear often is “BDSM/Kink/Leather is Hard.” Again it’s the same thing here.  I have been in the leather community for around six years now.  And during this time I practiced my BDSM/kink, as well as learned to respect where the cultures of BDSM, Kink and Leather come from.

During this time, I have learned to embrace a part of my psyche and myself that I had to keep hidden previously.  A part I hadn’t embraced and wasn’t honest with myself about prior.  I now openly acknowledge that I am pansexual.  For years because of my upbringing and my “life training” said “No! You are not interested in women, in any way shape or form, you are not interested in asexaul people. You are only interested in men.”  Because for my entire life I had been trained to think I could only be interested in men, it did take time and practice and being in places with people who were openly gay or pansexual fit me to be able to recognize and embrace that I am pansexual. Was it hard?  I don’t think so. It was new and it was different. And it took practice for me to be able to say it openly but I wouldn’t say it was hard.  

Third is perhaps the biggest one I have heard in all the communities I am in.  It saddens me greatly and breaks my heart each time I hear it.  “Loving is hard.”  

There are many ways to love someone. And some of the best advice I have ever heard is that when someone is saying “I just don’t love them any more. Our relationship is ok but I just don’t;t love them.  What should I do?” is, “Love them.” The answer being to turn love from an emotion into a verb.  When you are looking for love, when you are looking to feel that emotion, there are certain grooves in your brain that are engaged.  Grooves that were created while you are feeling it. Groove you can activate. If at the beginning of a relationship when you are feeling all that love, every friday you buy a flower for the person and leave it on their pillow, in your brain, there is now a groove that associates a flower on Friday with the feeling of that emotion.  So you don’t feel like you love them anymore?  Are you buying a flower each Friday?

I actually buy flowers for my husband and surprise him with them.  If I travel without him, I always make sure to have one for him when I see him again. Flowers are not a gender specific gift!

So to feel that feeling again, since you have that grooving already in your brain, use it! Go back to those actions, buy that flower every Friday and by doing the actions of love, you again start to feel love.  

Things are only hard when we let them be. Use what you know and learn what you don’t until that “hard” thing becomes as easy as writing with your dominate hand is to you now. Keep practicing and teaching your mind and body to do what you want it to with ease. And groove on!

 

And for those things we do enjoy keeping hard, keep them hard 😉

Easy or Right

Years ago my grandmother use to tell me “what’s right isn’t easy and what is easy is seldom right.”  I took this to heart early on in life until I was diagnosed with fibro.  Then I spent all my energies on figuring out how to cope with and control the condition as much as possible.  I used up all my “not easy” effort in that and became a bit lazy about my life.  Even in my relationships with others I got sloppy and was ok not giving them my all.  I had a perfect excuse you see. My body would not let me keep going like I use to.  While it is true I now have to figure out how to use what energy I have, that was not an excuse to start doing relationships as easy.

 

Three years ago I realized I had been doing this and I starting changing things. Unfortunately it wasn’t always well received as I am not the only person who becomes comfortable in “easy” relationships.  As I began to seek deeper connections and deeper meanings which bring a great deal of joy to my life, my friends weren’t always up to it.  I lost several relationships I treasured during this explosive time of growth and I miss those people greatly.  My life was enriched by having them in it.  Now, three years later, I look at the people who are still in my life and the new ones that have come in and I realize I did do the right thing. I am now surrounded by people who care for me and I care for them in a deep almost not able to be understood manner.  And I love it.

 

So I am going to keep focusing on doing right instead of easy and keep keeping on.  
Down side of easy – depression and risk of self-harming

Up side of right connections and invites.  Better healthy even now.  Spoon allotment.  And if you’re aren’t familiar with the spoon theory, Google it. It can help you understand what is like for those of us who love with chronic pain conditions at least a little bit.

No more easy for me. I do what’s right.

Sacrifices?

Sacrifices.  People like to talk about the sacrifices of Master/slave relationships all the time.  The things they have sacrificed to be a Master or a slave.  They like to talk about what it is they have given up in choosing to walk this path.  Here is a list of a few of the things I have given up.  Let’s see how they compare with yours?

 

  • Inauthenticity – I no longer go around trying to pretend to be someone I am not

 

  • Stress over am I acceptable? – I am me as I am and that is good enough

 

  • Fear of being outed – not everyone can give this one up. I am blessed enough to be my own boss, not have children and having a partner who accepts that I am out so that perhaps one day others can be as well without the risk of losing so much of what they love.  

 

  • Over compensating – I no longer have to be uber control bitch externally because I desire and walk a surrendered path

 

  • Unhappiness – I no longer fight who and what I am and instead live in harmony with my own desires to serve and surrender and with my own soul

 

  • Bigotry – yes, because I can now be myself I have been able to stop hating others for being different as well.

 

  • Dependency – when I was still unsure I was really a slave I was dependant on others to tell me yes I was and that I was doing it right.  I don’t need that now.  

 

  • Consistency – I never have to know what will happen from day to day anymore

 

  • Impatience – ok I am still working on giving this one up
  • Time – it now takes as long as it takes for so many many things in my life. Those things that are worthwhile are seldom quick and those that are quick are seldom worthwhile.  So I go for quality over speed these days.  My surrender taught me that.

 

  • Terminology – I use to have a few words that meant exactly what  I knew they meant and that was that. I knew it all.  Now I have learned that every word has at least two meanings, a personal meaning for each person and a dictionary definition which might not overlap much at all,  and I must ask people to define what they mean if i am going to have a conversation with them.  

That is a few of the sacrifices I have made in my life to walk the path of a slave within consensual BSDM and PE communities.  When I look at my sacrifices, I feel very good about them. Some people choose to look at what they have given up and look at all the things they enjoyed they cannot do now. When looked at that way, much of the joy of authentic living can be lost. So when I look for what I’ve lost by living my life as a slave, I look for the things I don’t miss and the things that give me joy. Which do you look at?

Refusing to Deserve

Please try this experiment fit me: instead of deserving nice things, indulge in them. 

One of the challenges I have seen many face in this life is entitlement.  For slaves entitlement is “extremely unbecoming” because it is a sign of ego and often seen as a lack of will alignment.  For Masters and Dominates, it is often unattractive because it is seen as demanding respect instead of earning it.  For others it can simply be an unattractive trap.  

Deserving something means that somehow it has been earned.  Through actions or efforts the “reward” has been earned.  We teach this to our children rather early in life through grades in school and even through bribes of “clean your room and you will earn a cookie”.  

I do not think this is an inherently bad system. It can create a sense of entitlement though.  A sense of if I reach X goal I deserve Y reward.  

Often when dealing with the change from a scarcity model of existence to an abundance model, we see entitlement and deserve show up a lot.  I work 60+ hours a week, so I deserve a BMW.  I study harder than someone else so I deserve an A.    Unfortunately when you deserve something, a lot of the joy that can be found it in disappears.  Instead of feeling delight to get to try something, you simply feel justified in having it.  

I ate all my peas so I deserve a piece of cake.  Try it some time.  Then on a scale of one to ten document how much you enjoyed eating that piece of cake.  Then at a different time, decide to indulge in a piece of cake and document on the same 1-10 scale how much you enjoyed it.  If possible even use the exact same cake.  The results may surprise you.  

The words we use change our thoughts and our realities. If I deserve something, I take some of it for granted because I earned it.  It is my reward.  When I indulge in something.  I choose to truly experience it.  Just stop for a moment and write a list of the things you might choose to indulge in.  A hot bubble bath, a rich taste of coffee, smooth chocolate, silken sheets, the list can go on.  In our culture indulgences are treats, wonderful things to be savored, experienced and delighted in.  Even trying to make a list of indulgences gets our minds thinking differently.  

I have made a huge decision.  I no longer deserve anything.  This helps me with reducing the frustration if I do not get something, which also lowers my blood pressure and helps my health.  I am trying to no longer compete with others for rewards and instead focus on my values and dreams.  However, I do indulge in many things.  I indulge in a cup of coffee with a good friend, a delicious chocolate, a massage and even a tv show shared with someone.  All of these things I had or did before I decided to focus on indulging in things but I did not value them as much as I do now. Simply changing how I think about such things has changed how I experience them.  I also now indulge in the relationships i have which allows me to enjoy them more thoroughly and be grateful for them more deeply.

It is through a use of word changes and other psychological techniques that victim advocates and therapists help change “victims” into “survivors”  this, for me, have become the next step in going from surviving to thriving.  Now, I am learning how to become a “thrivor” and I am loving it.  What will you decide to indulge in and be grateful for rather than “deserve” and “have a right to”?  I now indulge in contact and control from a Master when one choose to give it.  As a slave I do not deserve a Masters control but now and then one will give me some.  Because it is an indulgence for me, it is always a treat.  Recently, I had one Master make a small simple request from me as a slave.  The joy and delight brought to me by being able to fulfill that request was huge for me because it was indulging in the Master’s control.  And I loved every minute of it.  It ended up in my gratitude log as well because I did enjoy it so much.  I am a slave but I do not deserve a Master controlling me or making requests/requirements of me.  I am a slave and I do indulge in a Master’s control when I am given the chance.  I suspect it could work for a Master as well.  I am a Master, I do not deserve surrender/submission from slaves/subs. I am a Master and I indulge in the surrender/submission of slaves/subs.  Please try it out and see what happens. I hope it will change your world for the better just as it has mine.  

What is communication and transparency?

What communication and transparency means to me.

 

All too often in the M/s community I hear “communication is the key to successful relationships” or “transparency is the key” I have seldom heard the follows up question for these statements though. “What does communication/transparency mean to you?”

So I’m order to try and get the ball rolling on going to give my thoughts on definitions of these two concepts without reaching for a dictionary.

 

Communication: the exchange on concepts and ideas with a goal of mutual understanding.

Notice I said mutual; that means both people or all people even are trying to both understand the others and be understood. This is how I define communication within a relationship. How to communicate is a different topic entirely that there are hundreds of books and classes on. I suggest you explore with your partner(s) to figure out which styles and communication tools work best for you when and that you agree to try and use them. By my definition communication cannot happen if someone is talking at another/others, but only if they are talking with the other(s). In my marriage we have been together long enough we have our own shorthand forms of communication we use that are streamlined versions of one’s we have tried in full length most of the time or shortened versions work but even after 14 years,sometimes we have to go back and review the full lengthy process. We even have to use a talking stick or feather as a tool to be able to achieve that mutual understanding at times. There are tons of communication tools, active listening, NVC, reflecting, writing, and even transparency. Learn what works for who you are communicating with and use it.

 

Transparency is harder for me to define. I know some things it is not. It is not an excuse to say mean things to hurt the other person/people involved. It is not an excuse to talk at someone. But what is it? I use to think it was sharing all your thoughts with another person but since my thoughts are often best demonstrated by Anderson Cooper’s schizophrenia exercise  ( https://youtu.be/yL9UJVtgPZY ) that doesn’t really work for me either.

 

Maybe transparency just means being as honest with your partner(s) as you are with yourself. I think you have to be careful though to keep it about you and not about other people, especially other people in a polycue. There has to be a certain level of trust that personal details shared with a partner in transparency or in any relationship won’t be taken to the other people involved before you can tell them yourself. I guess in poly transparency is honesty and trust combined. That might be why it’s so hard to do and why it can be even harder in poly groups. Trusting one person with yourself is hard enough. Having to trust even more than one at the same time can be insane especially early into a relationship where there isn’t a history of trust built yet.  

Love Language Mismatch

In a previous relationship, when I was dating a poly Master, I faced this challenge. I love the Master deeply and passionately and I wanted to get to know him more.  However, there is a hiccup.  He and his current slave both speak the same love language, not surprising since they have made it 8 years together. My husband and I speak the same love language as well.  The challenge is I do not speak the love language that is primary to this Master and I cannot accept love expressed in his language hardly at all.  

Words of affirmation is his primary love language (or one of them).  I grew up where words were used as weapons and tools to hurt me.  The phrase “I love you” was commonly followed by the word “but” and a long list of how I was a failure or otherwise set with conditions. It taught me that love is always conditional.  This is something I have spent years working on unlearning.   I have spent a month and a half trying to learn how to speak  and type my love for him in ways he can hear it.  

My primary love language for giving and receiving is acts of service.   For me a text asking how i am doing form out of the blue is a sign of love. It is someone taking time out of their day to check on me and to give me the service of caring.  For me one of the best ways I can receive love from a master is by them showing, by their involvement in my life, in giving me things to do and acts to practice or actions to take with them around or not because for me those are acts of service to me and the relationship that tell me I am important and loved.  

I know having a slave practice positions at home alone doesn’t actually do anything for the master. There is no direct reward for a slave saying her mantra all alone in the dark at home.  But there is reward to me because the fact that my Master gave me that mantra to use is a gift of them service to me.  and I hear “I love you” each time I use it.  

The main challenge I am faced was how do I tell my Master this? How do I explain to them that the words of affirmation that they use to try to show me their love and affection for me might not work and I don’t feel loved but rather I feel threatened when they rave and extensively praise me about something good I have done. I know it is meant as praise and endorsement of me and meant to build me up but that isn’t what is happens usually.

I am actually feeling great amounts of anxiety when I am given big praise.  In small amounts I can accept it and interalize it but in large amounts, I freak out.  How do I tell a Master that how they are managing me isn’t working for me, without telling them what to do?  I don’t want to top from the bottom.  I don’t want to be in charge but I also want to let them know what they are doing isn’t producing the results they want and be able to tell them that I am no feeling their love because I don’t speak that love language dialect yet.  

I am learning how to give love in that language but I don’t know how to accept it in that language and honestly, I don’t think I will ever be completely able to.  The trauma from my past was that damaging to me.  So what do I do?  How can I talk them and discuss with them how we can work together to build a functioning relationship in which we both can hear the other say “I love you” and both tell the other “I love you”?

My emotional piggy bank is not full.  It makes my service and surrender that much harder because I do not have that full bank to work with through tough times.  I think Masters may have a similar problems offering control if I, or their slave/ am not telling them i love you in ways they can hear.  

While the relationship that first started this post over a year ago has ended, I would love to hear suggestions and advise from anyone who has worked through something like this with any of their partners.  With the number of people I love in my life, I am certain I will continue to run into challenges like these and am always looking for ways to improve them and myself by learning how to bridge the differences in love language communication.  Please, if you know how to translate between love languages and have done so successfully with a partner, let me know how you did so.  

 

The Five Love Languages is a book written by Gary Chapman to help people understand each other and their relationships better.  I highly recommend reading it if you aren’t familiar with it.  

A Brief Update on my October

In the past two weekends, I have had a ton of fun in my bootblacking world.  First was attending Behind Closed Doors 9, a fun event in Tucson.  We probably had a half dozen bootblacks on site and there was some lovely leather.  One gentleman knows how to flirt with this bootblack as he came into the bootblack area to see if I might have time for his knee-high two tone fluevogs.  Jako, my hubby, laughs at how fast I can get set up when sexiness like that shows up and I will admit I wasted no time in getting my hands, tongue and face on those lovely boots and their charming and sadistic owner.  Part of me paid attention to what it was he did to be engaged as the bootblack ”bottom”.  I want to start discussions and classes on “better bootblacking for all, how to interact while in the stand a guide for those who love bootblacks”, or something along those lines.  

I also got to work the stands Saturday some and enjoyed watching both Paradox and boi Bear work the stands too.  I love the diversity within the bootblack community on how we all do the “same” basic thing, yet each of us have our own personal preferences and flairs on how we do them.  I also attended the bootblacking 101 class Saturday Morning.  When I walked in, I was asked “what are you doing here?  You don’t need this.” I politely disagreed and pointed out that we can all always learn from each other and it never, never hurts to review the basics again.  I did learn a couple new things and including two new uses for Hubbards; a scented rag for aftercare/comfort and for shining bald heads.  

 

I was able to meet the Goddess Sadie Hawkins in the hall as I was rooming across from her and her slave saw the bootblack patch and let her know there was one right across the hall and she needed her lovely leather skirt done.  I think the different people I get to meet really is one of the best perks of being a bootblack, at least for me.  

 

I also did do a leather worship scene in the dungeon that rolled into another scene.  This is something I really enjoy getting to do.  Bootblacking is HOT and SEXY and KINKY and can be incorporated into other scenes from predicament bootblacking to many other options.  I love getting to get my shine on in the dungeon and having people realize just how hot and sexy it can indeed be.  It can also be hot, sexy and kinky in the stands, depending on where the stands are set up and the rules of that event.  

 

The following weekend, I was back home and teaching a bootblack/leather care class at Voodoo Leatherworks before our Leather Night at the Dungeon. We had a very small class, which was wonderful for me.  I got to help each student with the projects and questions they had with them, from helping with restoring an old dried out saddle, to a brand new person who knew nothing yet about leather care and people in-between.  It is always fulfilling to me when I get to meet someone where they are on their path and help them figure out how to move forward.  

A quick change of clothes had me ready for the dungeon time and one of the perks about blacking at home is that there are relationships that have been cultivated for years with negotiations done so that all we need to do to step things up a notch is a quick confirmation that there has not been changes in the rules.  Primal Bootblacking Leather-worship is too a thing and I have the bitemarks and claw marks to prove it!  

 

This next weekend, I will attend my first Drummer contest with the Rocky Mountain Drummer Contest. It will be a weekend of many emotions as there is the joyous time of contests and the fun that goes with that, and there is also the memorial and celebration of life for Rich Doctor this weekend.  For those who never met him, he was an amazing man and the sudden loss of him hit many.  My love goes out to all who have been touched by this loss, especially Brian.  He was a pillar in this community long before I found Leather.  He has been an inspiration for me and I will continue to work on internalizing some of the lessons he taught me simply by living his values.  

This year has passed so quickly.  It is hard to internalize that it has been nine months since I competed and won the honor of being the Southwest Bootblack 2016.  I cannot tell you how much joy I have found in serving the community as a titleholder.  So many happy memories and experiences have flowed out this year and I have gotten to learn so much.  To each of you who have offered me your love, support or time, THANK YOU!!! I look forward to seeing many of you at Southwest this next year.  

~xiaoyi