Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ILSb-ICBB Reflections

Well, I can say that I am now done with the ILSb contest for 2012. After a rush getting back and heading straight into work, I've now had some time to process and reflect on an amazing weekend. I met many amazing (and a few not so amazing) people. Although I didn't win the title, I accomplished my goal of representing our region well and letting the world know that Utah has some kinky fuckers who can run with the best. Overall impressions from the Judges were very positive and they were impressed with boy darin and I's poise and what we've done for the community. I don't feel like I've done a lot, but after my speeches and the contest, many a person came up to thank me for my honesty and genuineness I displayed.

More than anything, I come back feeling a new passion to get this community going. I have come back with several workshop ideas which I will be putting together in the coming weeks. Many of the ideas I have are to get our community talking and thinking about the roles that we play and challenge. I definitely challenged a lot of traditions this weekend. Additionally, I am dedicated to helping get future contestants ready for this competition and there are going to be some big announcements in the future along those lines. I will be looking for a SIR boy and Community Bootblack to represent our State at the regional contest next year so if you even think you might be interested, please let me know. I can tell you it changed my life and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

So anyway, its time to start getting back into the vanilla world for a bit. I had a lot of fun, but it was intense and sometimes it's nice to just be not kinky. I'm sure that will only last a couple days until I get my sleep caught up on. I will post more about the classes I am working on later so keep an eye on the site.

Until Next time, Brother's Always,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fuzzy Wuzzy is now a Was-ie

Well, as the boy is packing up all of the luggage, I thought I'd take a few moments to reflect on this weekend and the year. It's been a roller coaster for sure, its had a jerky start, some ups and downs, times I felt like cry/throwing up, and sad that it's over. Most of all, I feel such a sense of pride for what I have been able to do over the last year. This title has allowed boy darin and I to springboard so many new projects to grow our community. I can't even begin to name the countless people who have come up to us to thank us for being outward role models in our community. Its a little strange, because to me, I have just been myself. This community is one I am very passionate about and its been very therapeutic for me. I'm excited to keep this momentum moving forward as boy darin and I look to launch Four Corners of Leather and the Kink Scouts. We also have plans to help grow the Rocky Mountain Region by beginning a feeder contest into the RMLSb/Cbb competition.

Now for the thank yous, I will try to get all of you, but honestly so many of you have touched my life this last year that I don't know that I can remember you all. First, and foremost thank you to my sash brothers Jareth and boy darin. You two have been amazing pillars of support for me and really have made this title year fun. Second, thanks to Brian Conway for your support in getting this inaugural year up and going. Next to our newest members of the RMLSb/Cbb Family, SIR Kell, boy adam, and Puppy Q, I have to thank you for having the courage to compete. It takes a strong leather heart to represent our community and you guys have an amazing year ahead of you. Please don't hesitate to rely on us for support because you will have times this year where you feel a little lost. That's ok and we are here for you. Next, thank you to our Denver leather family. You guys have been amazing. I can't begin to thank you for how welcoming and supportive you all have been. Levi, Jim, Nate, puppy, Scott, Glenn, Marty, Liz, Rich, JD, Dayton, Jason, Kelly, and countless others who I am just too overwhelmed to remember, thank you, thank you. And finally, our boys and men back home. WaMboL and the boys at TryAngles, you have been amazing to us and we are so excited to be able to come home to celebrate with you all. Thanks to Gene who has been so gracious to welcome us into his bar with a love and trust that has helped us to blossom. You are a true pillar in our community and one that often goes un appreciated. There are so many countless others who I know I am forgetting, but know that you have helped to make me the LeatherMan that I am today.

As we finish packing up, I look forward to the contest in San Francisco in just a few days and although nervous, feel the strength and love that you all have given me. I feel in a way I have accomplished my goal of representing the Rocky Mountain Region, and letting the world know that we have a strong and vibrant leather community and are a force to be reckoned with. Know, that even though you may not be able to travel with us to the competition, you burn brightly in my leather heart and I feel your strength. Thank you again and don't fret, you are not all finished with me yet. I have MUCH more to give back to such a wonderful family.

Brothers ALWAYS,

Knotty Sir

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Igniting the fire within

I've had a bit of an emotional day today. Its been a roller coaster for sure. I thought I'd put something out on Facebook, but when I started writing it started to flow, so I've moved to a blog so I don't bore those on Facebook with short attention spans.

I've been doing a lot of reflection lately in prep for the ILSb competition and thinking about what being a person of leather means. I got my speech written and have hashed out the fantasy scene and one thing keeps coming to mind when I've been doing this: Self and selflessness.

I know, I know that's two things, but here me out. If you look at Old Guard tradition, a leather person started with their boots. They were the foundation of a person. You could tell what one thought of him or herself by the way they treated their boots. If they were worn and ill taken care of, the person wearing them often thought little of themselves and wasn't one to take care of their personal well being. Inversely, a person with new boots, new laces and fresh out of the box can also convey that they are trendy. Eventually that person might get tired of them and move on to something new. They are stiff and clumsy and their wearer feels out of place as they adjust to the factory built boot. Now, a leatherman, has boots that are somewhere in between, they take care to break in new boots, to mold them into what they want them to be. They condition them and take the time to make them their own. They take the care to ensure that they will last them as long as possible and knows that sometimes a scuff or broken lace might come along, but has the tools to buff them out to their glory. The leatherman is proud of their boots and therefor proud of themselves. They stand confident ready  to face challenges and of course fun.

In my own journey, I have learned to let myself be who I am meant to be. Like a new pair of boots, it took some time for me to get to know myself. I had to find the weak spots and condition them to help me be at my best. It's an ongoing journey. Yes, I've had fun playing and experimenting with the kink, but underneath it all, I have learned to accept myself for who I am. I haven't tried to mold myself to my boots, but rather have worked with them to find the happy medium and help strengthen my own life. There has been a tremendous amount of self discovery and for me, that's what it's about.

But I've also learned that in order to learn about myself, I've had to be self-less in my journey. Being a good person of leather means sharing what we have learned and helping provide the tools for others to find their way. Any boot black can tell you how to black and condition a pair of boots, but it takes getting in there and using their experiences to help you learn how to do it yourself. Yes, you're going to mess up, but leather is about picking yourself up and pressing on. You know that in the leather community you can find direction in the selflessness of others to bring out who you are.

Several months ago, boy darin and I met a young man interested in leather and being a slave. Something in me felt the need to be selfless to bring this kid onto the path of finding himself. He is a recovering drug addict and had some problems in the gay community that really messed his life up. But he started to change. He saw that with darin and myself, he didn't need to be high to enjoy activities. We are able to get him thinking about that leather culture and what it means to "Be leather". We lit a spark that I feel is only starting to blossom. This boy moved off to another part of the country where he further explored his leather side. Unfortunately he learned a hard lesson about full-time leather and people who claim to be someone they are not. I feel honored that in his moment of darkness, boy darin and I were who he turned to. Even though I have a little bit of a pit in my stomach wondering if he fell off the wagon and needed money for something other than getting back home, I am hopeful that he has remained drug free and can look back at this experience both as learning what isn't a real leatherman, and what selflessness can do for one's self. I feel in my heart that he knows now a better sense of what it means to have a leather family and knowing that they can be with you for the hot kink as well as the heartbreaking dark times.

As I move forward in the competition and down my own leather path, I feel very good about who I am and where I've come from as a leather person. I am also eager to be able to offer up my own experiences to newer leather folk to help give them tools to mold their boots and person to become the person they were meant to be.

I sit here watching the news about the fires here in utah, the fires in colorado and various goings on in the world and feel a sense of pride having seen my extended leather family reach out to one another, sometimes to brothers they have never met, to provide selfless help and hospitality in some very bleak situations. I am so proud to be able to call this community my own and know that even when things seem darkest, I cary that spark in my heart that can find a way to grow into the fiery beauty this community can be.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Far too long

OK so it's been far too long since I've had time to sit down and put together a blog post. So much has happened this year. So aside from a nervous breakdown brought on by stress from work, It's been a pretty good spring. boy darin and I had the opportunity the beginning of this month to take a trip to Las Vegas to attend Smokeout 2012. Finally got to meet some friends we have been chatting with for ages. It's so nice to be able to meet someone in person that you've gotten to know online. Smokeout was a great event to do so. Was able to meet up with a couple of our Southwest counterparts SIR George and boy bamm bamm. What a pair those two are. I really enjoyed getting to know them a little and it made me feel so much more at ease about competing in San Francisco later this summer. It's so cool to see what a family we all have become.

Last weekend we also were able to help out with the Rocky Mountain Olympus Leather competition. We had a lot of fun at that event as well, though I can't say it was a direct result of the event. Our producer Brian and Community Boot Black title holder came over from Denver and we got to spend some good time with them getting to know them better and figuring out a direction for us for the summer. Also was able to meet Mr Colorado Leather and he is a HOOT. Can't wait to see them all again in a few weeks when we go to Denver for a fundraising event and then off to IML later in the month.

Our little Leather Club has also taken off. We have our official logo and patch and our bar night was just named the second most popular bar event in the state by the local Q Salt Lake. We are so amazed at the support we have gotten and look forward to making this thing take off. boy darin and I are already talking about a Mr. Utah Leather competition and getting an event up and going for the Utah leather community. things are so exciting.

So needless to say, I have been very busy but am going to really make an effort to put some good information up and rebuild the following this blog once had. There is so much to look forward to this summer, and I am eager to be able to share that all with you. Until next time, take things easy.

Brothers Always,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rest in Peace Old vs new

After a Spirited town hall meeting today on, I feel the need to post a few of my thoughts.

There has been a lot of discussion about a book entitled the "Leatherman's Handbook" by John Weal. Now, I don't endorse or condone this book by any means. I have read it so I feel I can accurately comment on it and be able to defend my positions in relation to the material.

When I first got into the leather scene 7 years ago after meeting my current partner, boy darin, I really had no clue where to turn to find information about leather. I had those general misconceptions that the BDSM lifestyle was about pain and torture. Being a young man of the technological age, I turned to the internet to find resources to help me learn. Again and again books popped up in searches with titles with buzzwords like "Handbook" and "Protocols". To someone new coming into the community it really sets a standard of a set of rules to be followed in play and relationships. Little did I know that was FAR from the case.

As I learned more, I learned that there really wasn't a handbook or protocols that had to be followed. Then came along this idea of Old Guard versus new Guard which again lead me to question my authenticity as a Leatherman. I don't consider myself a Dom or a sub but more as a switch. I feel it is important in my own personal life that I have an understanding of the experiences in play that both a D/s go through to better control my play scenes. As I learned more about this OG/NG I felt that I couldn't be respected in a Dom scene as I was still a newbie and never had an official "Master" to teach me the ropes. Once again, I have learned that its not required to be "trained" to be a good player and positive role model in the community.

Which brings me to my beliefs today. Yes, I am still young and new in the community, but it's my generation that will be carrying on the history and representation of who we are as Leather Folk. I want to put the Handbook/Protocol and Old Guard/New Guard bullshit to rest. It may have had a place in history but I feel we have evolved more than that and need to leave it in the past. As with any history lesson, it's important to learn from it and I don't want to try and discount it in any way because that would be foolish. What I am saying is that there is a new generation of leather folk looking for resources to learn and feel welcomed and safe. We need to be there as representatives of our community to help them explore leathersex and kink play.

It's my responsibility as a title holder to help this new generation learn that being a title holder is not about how good you look in leather but how you feel in it and exude that confidence in your day to day activities. I think that if we continue to argue over which way is the right or wrong way to be a leather person, we are going to do our community more harm than good. If we can't be there for this newer generation to support them and help them feel welcome, they will find the information elsewhere and it may not be the right information they need.

I really want to thank for the town hall discussion as I think there was some great information provided in there. There were some great comments from both experienced and inexperienced members of our community and I think those involved walked away with a better understanding of what it means to be part of this community. I just hope we can keep up this momentum of discussion and help our community to thrive.

Here is the link for those who missed the discussion: Leatherati Town Hall

Brothers Always

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Belated Birthday wishes

Well another birthday has passed and I'm no longer in my 20s. Guess in gay years that makes me an old queen lol. Nah, I actually am feeling the best I ever have. Despite a slipped disc in my back on tuesday that's put me down for 2 whole days. I am actually really looking forward to being in my 30s and this year in particular. ILSb has started moving ahead and a judging panel has been selected. I'm excited to focus on getting things going and its neat to see all the support boy darin and I are getting.

Anyway, working on a few projects right now. I will get you all details as things firm up. Well off to get some things ready for work, but wanted to drop by and let you all know I am still here. I really will be better about keeping things regular on this blog.