Black, white, shades of grey

This is NOT about the book.  Its about tonight’s munch, and an epiphany.  It was a nice day.  I had lunch with my biological family, then supper with my kinky family.

At the munch I had the opportunity to sit with three folk. One was very new and had questions.  I pulled out my soapbox, and started to pontificate, a word that may sadly fit me because I can be annoyingly pompous and dogmatic.  Here are some of the subjects  that came up:

Self Identity – When I start, I start from the beginning.  I think it is important to learn  for yourself how to say what you are, what your kink is, and not have someone force a label on you.  It was pointed out to me that there is a sex-positive, TNG side to this subject that discourages labels.  I disagree with this.  If you are lesbian, you want to let men know that hitting on you isn’t appreciated.  If you feel a deep need to submit to another, you need to be able to communicate this.

The key is that YOU decide how to label yourself, not someone else.  And yes, labels have a bad connotation.  But just because your local supermarket has a hundred kinds of boxes all marked cereal, doesn’t make the label bad.  A label is a starting point.  You have to read the description on each, and the ingredients.  When you self identify, you are using a label that helps others understand you.  Its up to them to get to know you, read your description, and come to know what that label means for you personally.

I want to devote more time in another blog to the dangers of moving into an overly generalized, feel good about sex, Utopian dream of making all sex positive by watering down strong opinions. I think there are dangers in depriving people of developing a strong self identity, of pushing away self-identities in the name of unity.  We need to protect and respect the right to project who and what is in the core of their being.  BDSM is less about what we do and more about who we are.  Its about BDSM pride. Pride in who we are.

Are you a Master – Are you a Master, I was asked.  I had to quote myself.    The only titles of value are those acquired thru recognition by others. One claims that title by exercising that recognition, not asserting it. ~Xtac quote  – I turned the question into a question.  There are some that call me a Master and some that do not.  What would you call me? I asked.  One of the three I was speaking with was a young lady and she nodded approvingly.  She commented on those Dominants who announce what they are, and immediately expect to be treated as a MasterShe liked my answer, and I was pleased she saw the difference.

The difference between a sub and a slave – Ah this old subject again, fraught with pitfalls and misunderstandings because we all have descriptions and self-identified special ingredients on our own personal labels. But I would not throw away the labels because they lead to endless discussion, I would keep them because they lead to endless discussion, refection, and self-discovery.

My way of saying this is to use a visual. Imagine a dial with settings from 1 to 100.  The first 99 are submissive.  100 is slave.  This is because a slave makes one choice, who to serve.  At least that’s the simple version.  We talked at length about TPE, and internalized enslavement.  About how you are what you are with or without a partner. How the one choice can be more complex.  About how IE brings on almost a Stockholm syndrome like relation.  The negative aspects of IE were observed of course, and my slave who had been quiet for most of this came to defend this deep and raw connection we share from TPE.  She held out her hands in high protocol fashion, waiting for me to recognize her desire to speak, and then she said effectively, that she experiences IE as a deepening awareness in her every action and thought of how it will please or not please me.  Yeah, she said that better than I did.  That’s the value of intelligent property.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful extension of my will to command.

Speaking in third person – We talked about how a Master rewires the brain.  That a Master makes a slave by creating a new mindset.  That many ideas have been tried and some have proven value.  It came up that I have my slave speak in third person, because it creates a mindset of being owned.  I wish now I had called her my canvas, as I so often do.  She is my great masterpiece, the thing upon which  I create a bond,  deep and terrible in its intensity and beauty.

Taking away my slave’s name – Then I mentioned that the first thing I do in training is take away the name. Its an old, tried and true method I endorse.  The idea is to break away from the old identity, and replace it with an object.  Now this conversation took an interesting turn. I think the gentleman across from me was repulsed by the plan to objectify my property.  That’s ok.  The way that BDSM works for one need not be the way it is for another.  But I pitched my point of view to bridge the gap, to show how it works for my slave and I.

It is true that the more I create a slave mindset, the more my slave feels a sense of who she was slipping away.  It can seem like a dark scary place where you are no longer sure of who you are or what you are.  I have personally faced such a place in a spiritual quest to give up all desire.  I found that the state of being desire free unsatisfying.  I prefer tantra meditation. rich in passion and compassion.  This is my happy place, my spiritual space.  Where I arrived, and where I am striving for my slave to arrive, is a zen like place.  It is my desire that in this place of nothingness, my slave is living not for the past or the future, but for the present, the here and the now.   I want her to live in a world without pressure, without decisions, feeling safe and comfortable in the ecstasy of those incredibly and unbearably beautiful moments of now, where the little things fill our hearts with joy.  Its a religious like destination and in fact, I am taking myself and my slave to spiritual place.  Its just that I do it with BDSM.

Black, white, shades of grey –  And now at last we come to the subject in the title of this blog.  I saved this one for last, because it was an epiphany moment for me.  I learned something tonight from a newbie.  It’s one of the joys of life, to be open to these things.  To not be so full of ourselves that we dismiss others without really listening.

The gentleman across from me was searching.  Searching for a way to say who and what he was to others.  He was searching for his personal handle, his label.  I cautioned him that the scope of his project, to find himself, was broad.  He had a lifetime to figure it out. He wasn’t always comfortable with eye contact, and he professed an appeal in times when his life was out of control, to pass control to another, but then he also found sadistic pleasure in tweaking people who needed it.

He was particularly interested in what a switch was, and as we talked about what some people think a switch is, from this view point and that.  We turned to the fact that some people think that a switch is somehow less than a Dom or a Sub.  I observed how from my perspective where I NEED to be on top of a power exchange, and understood those that would serve me, I found it difficult to understand how a person could be both.  And then he said “It’s neither, it is its own thing.  A thing can be black or it can be white, but if a thing is grey  it is both black and white but also neither.  It is its own thing. “

From the mouths of babes!  It shocked me, as any epiphany does.  I have had long discussions on this subject with people with many years and decades of experience and never felt the clarity that I did in that simple statement.  This newbie was completely and utterly and unmistakably right.

That’s all folks!  If you read this far I guess you found my ramblings interesting.  I am pleased.  Its been a very long day  and yet another day of living with X comes to a close.  Its been a good day.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.





May the force be with you

I have often heard folks in the BDSM community offer a simple explanation for the difference between a sub and a slave: A slave makes one choice, who they will serve.   Well!  When you put it that way it seems pretty simple.

The problem is, when two people enter into an intense relationship, things are NEVER that simple.  If you knew my slave you’d understand!  Don’t get me wrong, I own my properties body and mind.  Her talent, intelligence, and time is a tool of my will.  But there is much more to a person than a body and mind.

In a workshop a few years back a person asked how they should intervene.  How they could help a friend in trouble.  A friend of theirs was a slave with a substantial amount of wealth and it was being recklessly spent and taken by their Mistress.  Money.  It’s not the mind or body of the slave but it is most certainly a means to self determination.  When a  Master controls the a slave’s access to money it influences almost everything they can do and say outside of the relationship.  Controlling access to money is a tool of abusers.

I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t discuss controlling your slave’s financial assets or that doing so makes you an abuser, I am just pointing out when you are entering into those initial discussion of a consensual power exchange that finances are an area worthy of treating as a discussion separate from the body and mind.  A second area if you will. Here is something interesting to consider.  Does your slave care more about turning over their body and mind, or a lifetime of financial progress?  What does that mean?  Shouldn’t your life be more important?  But then, if you give up a lifetime of financial gain, does that devalue the life?  Interesting stuff.  Discuss it.

I actually count four areas of discussion when entering into a CNC  (consensual non-consent) or TPE ( total power exchange).  The first was body and mind which is a simple, given understanding of total slavery.   The second was finances, the third is children.  When children come into the negotiations, and possibly a ex-significant-other who has a legal right to some of the children’s well being,  then this is an area of discussion too.  Not that a child is a possession of the slave and therefore by extension property of the property, but because a parent who is a slave is transferring all decision making authority to the Master or Mistress and this is therefore an area worthy of discussion.

And that brings us to the fourth area.  Maybe you are an atheist, or agnostic, Christian, spiritualist, wiccan, or are one with the force.  My point is that often our passion and beliefs are tied together in strong ways.  Being a Master or Mistress does not mean that you need to be the spiritual leader for your slave, or force being an atheist on them – though you could if consented to.  A persons soul is worthy of discussion.   If you desire to direct the soul of another to the truth as you believe, this is the fourth and final area worthy of discussion.

In one collaring ceremony I attended, the Master took possession of the slave – body, mind, and soul.  I cringed.  I do not believe in taking possession of souls, but I do believe myself extremely qualified to lead my slave and I towards enlightenment.  But that’s my person belief, and one my property entrusts into my care.  I don’t know if the Master in the collaring ceremony gave as much thought as I would give to a phrase like that.

So there you have it boys and girls.  Another shiny new blog in the can.  Hope you like it in the can!  Hmmm  porn humor!  Let’s end on a better note than that.  Here’s a little X quote to chew on.

I can not create a minute, even the minutes of my life belong to a higher force. The only thing I truly own, are my choices. ~Xtac quote

Uncommon Currency

If you are just looking for what uncommon currency is, skip to the second half of this piece.  Tonight, I start with a quote

“It takes more strength to be a slave than a Master. You may disagree but it is the slave who demonstrates strength and courage with their commitment to an uncommon currency; the currency of trust, honesty, and love” ~Xtac quote

I’ve been sucked into the debate, does the slave really have all the control.  Let’s not go there.  Its kind of a chicken or egg came first thing.  This quote is not about that debate, its about strength, not control.  Its about the uncommon currency that makes equitable, our peculiar lifestyle.

I’ll avoid saying lifestyle choice, because for some of us power exchange might as well be the air we breath.  I’ve sometimes referred to my lifestyle as an “orientation”.  For those of us that need this and are an empty vessel without it, “orientation” feels so much more correct than just a “choice”.  But I digress.

To those outside the window looking in, they see a person giving up all that are and have for another.  In a very real sense, a Master receives tangible benefits that those looking on can readily see.  It is the peculiar nature of some things, like love, that only those in it can see the value that exists between them.   But these things we exchange are very real to us, a palpable thing that touches us deep inside.

And how could it be any other way?  A slave will make of themselves a possession. Their body, mind and will becomes an extension of the will of the Master or Mistress they serve.  My slave may not even say “My Master” for she can not even own that.  There is no boundary, no privacy, no buffer, no space, in which to retreat.  It’s a raw, open connection so deep as to be scary.  Some slaves face a moment of fear, a sense that their identity is slipping away.  With management, it becomes a zen thing, living in the moment, alive with the joy of the interaction that is now.

This is why I say that being a slave takes more strength.  It is the commitment to pursue the incredibly big things in small moments that takes your breath away.  It is the faith that when we are human and those moments seem infinitely far away, that the person you trust and have entrusted with all that you are will find the way to bring you back to your happy place.

Absolutes are concepts for fools and I don’t believe that I am such a fool as to believe that one statement about the nature of a thing can capture all people or all things.  But in a general way though this quote is true and there are moments when you see and recognize that truth in beautiful epiphany.

Now..  let us dive deeper into uncommon currency itself.. what it means.  I think you can get a better sense of where I am headed with this term, in my My core values and beliefs piece, but in a nutshell.

What I am saying is that a Master and slave relationship is both unequal AND equitable.  A Master has all possessions and power and yet the relationship is equal in terms of what is exchanged because of our values..what we place value on.. our currency of exchange.  If we think of an exchange in nilla terms, the M/s relation is NOT equitable.  But because we crave either to dominate or be dominated, our personal values make it equitable.

And here is a thing..because uncommon currency is so very personal, you can’t judge another, even if you are kinky.  You need to understand that only two people in a relationship, can understand themselves if the currency of exchange, that which they desire most, is being met.  Yes, we are a breed apart, but I think a better breed because we have vast diversity, deep thinking about what that means, and respect for personal values that goes much farther in its way of looking at things.

So my friends, acquaintances, and playmates past and future, let us raise a toast and warm our hearts for those that go into that place with no road map, presenting all that they are as a canvas on which a Master may create a masterpiece.   It takes strength to place such trust in another and to hold fast to the uncommon currency that comes of it.

My smoking jacket & pipe

I am the Master of my property.  This is a TPE or CNC relationship.  A long time ago, I started to be amused when my slave’s behavior needed correction but that’s a blog for another time.  On this particular day, while she was working she checked in as ordered.  I announced I was thinking of going to a movie this evening.

There is a line of thinking that a slave is not a slave unless they do the things they are told but don’t like, as well as the things they do like, AND that you should test this once in a while. She was thinking that the movie might also include dinner too that evening, but I had decided that the movie would no longer please me.

Now in a vanilla relation, you would talk first, see how the other feels about this offer being taken back off the table.  That’s not how we work.  Our priorities go like this:

  1. Slave’s needs
  2. Master’s needs
  3. Master’s wants
  4. Slave’s wants

It’s not that I don’t consider her wants, I just won’t do it if it conflicts with what I want. By days end, I just wasn’t feeling like going out anymore.  Events had made me more inclined for some Chinese food and a cultured evening in with my smoking jacket and my pipe.. yes I’m kidding but more on that later in this blog.

So after she had a shower and had dressed in something appealing to me, I announced that I had changed my mind and it would please me if she ordered Chinese, spicy for me, and ran out to get it. That matter was taken care of and she came back presently with the little containers of take out which she dutifully transferred to real china and served in the appropriate manner based on her protocols.. meaning she held the food for me in structured way, while waiting patiently for me to take it from her.

Since my change in plans had gone so smoothly, with absolutely no sign of regret or resistance I felt compelled to test her further that evening.  As she stood there holding the food I took my time to acknowledge her presence and when I did, rather than take the food, I looked straight into her eyes.    They were sparkling and a broad grin broke out on her face.  The bitch not only saw I was provoking her, she was looking forward to what sadistic test I might torment her with next.  This canvas on which I do my great creation of slave thought process has come so very far!

I took the food and motioned for her to join me.  We then went through our little “dining protocol” .  This is a matter in which she receives permission to start eating in such a way that is so subtle that I can and often do torture her with it in public.  Partly for the psychological sadism of denying her permission to start, and partly for the amusement that we are doing this BDSM thing in plain sight of folks who have no clue as to the drama going one before them.

Afterward, satisfied and pleased beyond words with my canvas, my property,  I settled in for a cultured evening with my smoking jacket and pipe.  Or at least my version of it.  She lay down with her head in my lap to read yet another chapter of the book we are sharing, while I got out the Xbox controller and listened with deep interest as I occupied a small part of my attention on some mindless fun.  It is strange how these little moments, like that brief sparkle in her eye, or the simple joy of a book shared, bring such deep joy.  Time for a quote:

It is strange to a Nilla, that in bondage, a slave finds freedom. But in keeping boundaries, these same people create a prison from which their hearts are never truly free. This is a sadness that pains and frustrates me. I wish they could see, what I see. ~Xtac quote






A new beginning

I’ve started blogs before.  MySpace, FaceBook, Blogger, GooglePlus.  They gain popularity, then fade or your words get lost in the clutter, sniping, and struggle to create and hold an audience.  These mediums all seems so transient, feeding a need for constant stimulation.  It’s the same old stuff, regurgitated over and over, always in new ways.  Its the constant search to be new, read, hot.  Its about feeding the stream.

I sometimes find it hollow, the craving for the latest, newest version of old words, old thoughts. A brilliant turn of words should be timeless. Some might be horrified by comments on old posts.  I disagree. We can’t always be brilliant, but in the course of steady production we often do manage to find a better way to touch what we already know, with words. A great thought should be worth “liking”, or commenting on, no matter how old, or so I reason. Ying and Yang, past and present.  Life’s like that, so let’s do this!

Like any writer, I would like to write something that lasts.  So very little does.  Being somewhat humble (can you say that and still be?), I don’t suppose I have anything to pen that is so brilliant that it will stand the test of time.  Yet again I bow to the irresistible force of now, this time determined to make it work.

My intention here is to scribble thoughts.  Some will have value.. ha!  ALL will have value, though often the value of a thing is in the fact it was a complete failure, a flag of caution to others to not go there.  What I don’t want to do is invest any concern in this.  If it stays or goes, is read or not, shouldn’t matter. My thought is to make a public diary, a stream of observations as they come to me, and not put any ego into its success.. ( ha! – speaking of ideas doomed to failure).  But seriously, if you follow and read long enough, you will find i have no emotions invested in the success of this venture.  Its about sharing, in the hope of better lives for us all.  Certainly that will be true for those close to me, who I can influence more effectively.

As I write this, I am still customizing my page so, I am not starting with the important stuff.. who I am, what I am, how life with X works.  I need time to customize my page, put up some warnings, get my colors appropriately dark, you know, stuff that matches the public perception of who and what a BDSM Master is.   Yeah, I threw down the “M” word, and yes to at least a few people, this is who I am.  Time for an “X” quote, something that you will see a lot of, if you follow me here.

The only titles of value are those acquired thru recognition by others. One claims that title by exercising that recognition, not asserting it. ~Xtac quote

What does that mean?  What is the significance?  Stick around, I’ll get to that in later blogs.

Initially, I wanted my WordPress domain to be xtac, but someone took that in 2006, which today would be ten years ago.  I wonder if it was me?  Could be.  Could be that I linked the xtac.WordPress domain to one of the many blogs or email addresses I’ve had over the years.  That’s just one more reason to not invest in an outcome to this project.  Since I can’t recall what I did then, I chose “Living with X”.  Many just call me “X” or “MasterX”.  Since my thoughts, and therefore my blog will certainly be largely about me and my property, and because I think the name has a nice, fireside chat feel to it, I said what the hell and ran with it.  It feels right.

I chose a chalkboard or blackboard theme to start with.  Maybe it will change later, but this too, feels right.  I lead a support group of Dominants, I give workshops, and am never so pleased as when I have the opportunity to school.. so yeah, the blackboard theme works.

I wasn’t sure what WordPress blog category this fit in.  I chose lifestyles.  I hope no one looking for travel blogs stumbles on this blog.  I used to say that you don’t have a right to “not be offended”.  I am not so sure about that anymore.  Ah well, that’s the danger (and amusement) in giving eight billion people the freedom to express their thoughts and then making it massively public.   Isn’t the internet wonderful?