Love and Leather

The Art of Ownership – Master Rook and slave rook

“I’m yours.” “You’re mine.” Ownership has a powerful pull for some of us. Many desire to fully possess someone, or give ourselves over to another—maybe for one scene, maybe for absolutely everything. How does one have personal agency and explore owner/property dynamics? How can we reconcile the reality of non-consensual slavery with our fantasies? How can we queer the prevalent images of kinky authority exchange relationships? Is it even possible to play without limits? And here’s the big question: What is it about this that gets you hot? Explore the full spectrum of owner/property fantasies, from scene-only dirty talk to collared pups to 24/7 Master/slave relationships, and find a style that works for you!

Doctor D/s – Master Rook and slave rook

Though there are countless hurdles in D/s, we’ve found 12 tools can address many of them. These include skills and theories for things like: evolving and enforcing protocol, what to do when one of you is not able to be as strong in the role as you may wish, barriers to more sex or kink play, navigating the distractions of work/kids/life demands, and more. Come with your puzzles and see which of our troubleshooting tips fit.

M/s and Monogamish – Master Rook and slave rook

M/s in a monogamous framework has unique challenges and opportunities. It is easy for couples to get into the habit of leaning on each other for everything, and it can be even more intense when the couple is M/s. Living together can be tricky; even the slaviest of us can feel resentment after changing the cat box for the hundredth time. Can one person meet all the needs of the other? (Spoiler alert: they can’t.) Longer term relationships can struggle with a difference in sex drives, and that can cause mis-matched needs. We’ll brainstorm ways to keep things fresh and exciting when you’re fucking (just one person) forever.

Trauma Informed Kink:  An Introduction – Katie & Ray

BDSM play flirts with danger; traumatic arousal is an inherent risk. The body’s natural response to danger is to become aroused and prepared to fight back, flee, or freeze. When people feel safe, the dangerous element of kinky play is highly erotic and exciting. But when people have a history of trauma, or when they have not negotiated in a trauma-informed way, play can go bad.

 This class will provide attendees with a foundational understanding of how trauma works in the brain, body, and teach first aid for traumatic responses during play. It will introduce ways of recognizing traumatic arousal in partners during play, and teach skills that can help ground and diffuse traumatic arousal when it does occur in scene. Ways to negotiate all kinds of play in a sexy but trauma-informed way will be explored.

Trauma Informed Power Exchange: How to transform landmines into fireworks – Katie & Ray

Power exchange relationships access the deep emotional patterns which are shaped by our earliest relationships. These attachment relationships frame the ways in which we experience desire and need as well as how we show and feel love.

 In this class we will talk about the Psychology and Neuroscience of Attachment. We will explore varied styles of attachment and how they manifest in power exchange relationships. Finally, we will give you the tools to understand your own attachment style and that of your partner(s) in order to make your M/s/D/s relationship more risk aware, creating the opportunity for hotter play and greater emotional intimacy.

Raze the Earth & Salt the Land: Communication Styles for the Incendiary – Goddess Indigo

Living an Authority Transfer Dynamics 24/7 can involve unusual challenges on how to communicate when the discussion develops an emotional charge. Is it possible to have clear communication where all parties feel heard and recognized when authority imbalance is involved? Should one “step out of the dynamic” in order to fully express themselves? Join Goddess Indigo as we discuss multiple communication, de-escalation and repair techniques that are useful in creating a safe and effective space for resolving difficult situations. 

The Flawed Master and the Imperfect Slave: Elevating Your Dynamic Through Vulnerability – Goddess Indigo

We speak about wanting and needing transparency in order to succeed in our dynamic.  As Masters, we feel driven to be omnipotent, omniscient, and all-powerful. As slaves, we want epitomize perfection in all things.  The idea of making mistakes, being flawed, imperfect in any way is anathema. We don’t wish to show our “ugly parts.” How can we truly have an authority-transfer environment when we don’t entrust all of ourselves to our partner (or show them who we truly are)? How long can we pretend to be “perfect?” How does serve an “imperfect” and “flawed” Master? How do you serve from a place of disappointment? How does a Master lead from a place of disappointment?

Becoming a fully-faceted self-actualized individual requires having integrity.  Integrity is defined as “knowing and accepting one’s self.” To the extent we hide who we are, we cripple our own capacity to become wholly immersed in our dynamic. “Acceptance” is a two-way street. And, it begins by having the courage to be seen. (No admission after class begins)

Self-ish Submission: Why your Needs Should Be Nourished – Mollena

As submissives and slaves, we often approach our relationships from the viewpoint that the ultimate goal is to meet the needs of our partners, and in that way, have our own needs met. While this seems a lofty goal, fully abandoning one’s own needs and wants may not bring the blissful surrender you seek. Sometimes? We need more. Feedback, affection, focus, attention. In power exchange relationships (Hey, they’re called ”exchange” for a reason!) there needs to be an ebb and flow, a give and take that fulfills all parties involved. Knowing what you need, what it takes to achieve your needs, and expressing them clearly can help you be present and fulfilled in your relationships.

We will discuss ways to handle questions such as determining:

-How do I know what I want?
-What would happen if I have my needs met?
-What would happen if I do not have my needs met?
-When does serving another become compromising myself?
-How do I know when I’ve gone too far?

This discussion will revolve around assessing, categorizing prioritizing and supporting your needs and your wants, and discovering what you are…or are not…willing to do to have these met.

Beautiful Intention, Gracious Focus: Bringing Service to Life – Mollena

Many people aspire to or consider themselves to be “Service Oriented.” But if you ask them what being “In Service” means, you may be in for a rather unfocused response. Ask them precisely what services they bring to the table and often the intention becomes even foggier and more diffuse. On the other side, it is a rare dominant or top who knows what it means to graciously accept service, and exactly what in their life requires the dedication and focus that a submissive or slave can bring to the equation. One of the most basic aspects of service, being reactive to the physical and emotional cues that are an integral part of dominant and submissive relationships, is something often overlooked.

This class will involve exploring exercises in service, attentiveness and non-verbal communication. How clear a communicator are you? How gracefully can you provide service? How artfully can you accept service? You may well be surprised, you definitely will step outside of your accustomed roles, and you most certainly will have an opportunity to reconsider exactly what active service means to you. We’ll look at the poise and beauty of the most simple d/s interaction, and see how even a glass of water can be an emotional journey.

Ties That Bind: Using protocols to strengthen/enhance your relationship – Dr. Bob

This class is suitable for those new to our culture. 

How much better would your relationship be if the Leader clearly communicated their version of a “perfect life” so you knew what you needed to do?  How much better would your relationship be if the follower knew what to follow?

Protocols are an outgrowth of your values.  Some “standard responses” are tried-and-true, some you’ll have to create to suit your own relationship.  You can create protocols that support your own version of a magical world and you can create protocols that solve challenges. For example, you can create a protocol that addresses “getting back into Master or slave headspace after a long day at work.”  Protocols can also be used to help stabilize relationships that are being pulled back to the land of vanillas.  

We’ll discuss practical protocols: attendees will have the opportunity to ask for help designing protocols to fit their particular needs. (NOTE: attendees may wish to take notes.) 

Our Book Supporting this Presentation: Master/slave Mastery—Protocols: Focusing the intent of your relationship (Red Eight Ball Press, 2016)

Anticipatory Service: The Automatic Response – Lady Catherine

How does one teach Anticipatory Service? How many years in service does it take to be able to be competent in this area? We will address these questions and the following: a) habitual patterns; b) teaching obedience; c) repetition and simplistic orders; d) managing your tasks for your house; e) What happens when you have anticipated well and feel as if you are simply doing the work without getting the dominance?; f) self satisfaction vs. needing a pay off; and g) realism vs. fantasy. We’ll also cover how one begins to piece together the ability to anticipate service needs.