I recently was sent a face book post by one of the organizers of International LeatherSir/Leatherboy, and Community boot black competition which has caused me to reflect on how I see Leather, Mastery and my journey and anyone who gets me thinking a as someone to be thanked . To be honest his post has only reaffirmed my beliefs.
I have the following philosophies.
I was drawn to this way of life by those Masters and Sirs, out in public who have taken their time to learn their skills, practiced their skills, and share their skills. They have learned under their mentors, and some have learned as boys or slaves to their Sir’s or Master’s.
For me Eastern Canada and International LeatherSir/boy is for those who march to a different drummer, those who are into BDSM and those who seek information on how to play better and safer. I also thought it was a community that recognizes the people who have made a difference in their communities, and earned respect in their communities?
When someone comes to me in a bar and introduces themselves I usually introduce myself as Chuck, to a very bewildered look and sometimes disappointment on their faces, and the follow-up question “but aren’t you Master Chuck” my reply is usually “until such time as I have done something to earn your respect Chuck or Sir is fine”. 80+% of the time they say that they have been observing me, some for years and finally got up the nerve to introduce themselves and some even say “may I call you Master Chuck”.
I agree with Mark about the number of covers that are being worn at events, I “grew up” watching porn movies seeing “Masters” tied up and fucked with Masters covers on, many coming into our community are not aware of our traditions, and I don’t think its fair to expect them to be born with this knowledge. The same applies to those who were collars.
Like Mark I will approach those in covers as well as those in collars if they appear to be alone, and introduce myself with language based on what they are displaying and ask them about their covers or collars and their journey. In my opinion any Master who is asked a respectful question and is offended, should do some soul-searching.
Like Mark says many see it as a fashion statement. I can understand, that he does not want to wear his cover in public and that is his choice. I have chosen a different approach.
I wear my cover with pride but not in myself but in what I believe in. I have observed others with covers, who have no self-respect or self-control, and have not yet mastered their own life and expect to “Master” others.
Mark is bang on regarding Master’s demanding respect due to their covers.
I was at a Master/slave round table at a one of the prominent leather events in the US. The Masters were asked for our opinions on a particular topic, a Master would stand state his ideas the sit down and the slave on his right side was bypassed. When it came my turn I signaled to my slave on my left (this was intentional due to my hearing loss) to speak once he very eloquently vocalized all my thoughts much better than I ever could in english ,I got up and stated to the odd gasp in the room that my slave had very eloquently verbalized my will and I have nothing more to add. My point here is that as a Master I do not request respect until I show respect. In this cased to my slaves many talents. Many of the ” masters” present did not speak with me for the rest of the weekend, but several also approached me complimented me on my approach and wanted to get to know me more.
I do think Mark has missed the point on ” Should there be a sense of entitlement and recognition of your title outside your household?” I guess we see a household in a different way. I went to ILSB expecting to be with my Leather Brothers and Sisters. To be welcomed into the International Family or Leathermen and Leatherwomen. For me that was exactly what happened, especially with the other contestants, who chose to recognize me with the silver whip award for my approach to them and Leather
If those who are covered Masters, covered Sirs, collared boys, or slaves, those who have earned their covers and the respect of their individual communities, and those who have built up their Leather families of well-trained respectful Leathermen cannot wear their covers out in “Leather Public” spaces such as ILSB/ICBB then where else can they????? No wonder so many of us have chosen to go underground. For me that is the real danger here. We have lost too many knowledgeable people to AIDS, and way too many more to protocol or lack of.
Once again I have always marched to my own drummer, and I for one will not go underground. Too many Masters and Sirs have done this with a loss to all of us. No I do not have a sense of entitlement, but I do feel that only by Masters, Sirs and our subs being openly public or at least Leather public, will others see what we have and choose to follow if they like what they see. Our numbers are in decline maybe its time to be more public.
Here is Mark’s post in its entirety.
“I seldom post anything to face book but wanted to share my observations about what I have been seeing with increased frequency. Maybe you have also noticed this trend.
Over the past month I have attended a few events and noticed with shock at all the “Master Cover’s” gets worn.
I found myself asking why. Have I slept through a renaissance or has the cover become the new fashion statement of our community? Are most people wearing one as a sense of validation of oneself? Is this a continuation of names and titles that are listed after an email posting response? (I mean oftentimes there are more positions and titles listed after ones name than words in the original email) Have people forgotten the history of covers? Do people think that everybody who has been in the community for 6 months deserves one?
Since I have a problem with people demanding respect and people who want and need self-validation, I popped a couple of Aleve to reduce the headache from contemplating the above then decided it was time to do some research and homework about why this was happening.
Over the course of these events, every time a “Master” introduced themselves to me, I ask whose Master are you. Most of them were dumbfounded by the question, stared at me with contempt, or looked at me like Bambi in headlights. How dare I ask that question of a Master!
So couldnt respond to that question or the question of who gave them their cover. Over the course of those events, I have found fewer and fewer people approaching me and even more scurrying off like a cock roach when I approached them.
Being the shy introvert that I am, I have decided that I am going to continue to ask that question at every opportunity I get.
If you are a Master of your household then say so. There is no need to be embarrassed of the structure you built at home. Should there be a sense of entitlement and recognition of your title outside your household?
I found it equally questionable for these titles when people are introduced on stage. Afterally, how many of these people who attend these event know you well enough to refer to you by your title. In my opinion, you cannot outreach to the community with the intimidation of a title.
Do you think a Master deserve respect from others because the title was self bestowed title upon oneself?
I guess I am having problem digesting the fact that just because a Master may have been given a title by friends, family, their tight knit community, or themself, that they now have the right to dictate what others may or may not call them.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are individuals in our community which I will refer to by their preferred titles but those are based upon respect as a result of long term relationships.
Am I am exaggerating the issue? Is this only happening at the events that only I attend?
Maybe the explanation is that people are getting geared up for Halloween and making a pre-hallow fashion and mindset statement . Scary thought —- Uh!!!!!!!!
Just asking for you to share your thoughts with somebody who was covered 20+ years ago and still prefers to be called Mark”
and my email to Mark
I want to thank you for you post on face book. I note that you were requesting our thoughts on your post as I do not have a face book account my thought are being sent by email.
Although I agree with some of your point you can see by my blog, I do not agree with your approach. Attached is a copy of my on line blog which can be found at http://masterchuck.ca/blog/2011/10/21/post-by-mark-frazier-organizer-of-ilsb-a-double-edged-sword/
A proud Leatherman
Master Chuck, Eastern Canada LeatherSir 2011