Sep 022012

Day 3 of the Master-Slave Conference, 2012, was been great. I’ve had the chance to meet so many people I’ve only read or heard about: Guy Baldwin, Laura Antoniou, Vi Johnson, Raven Kaldera, Master Skip Chasey, the list goes on.

I’m in the land of the black t-shirts again. The fashion mavericks wear navy blue or charcoal grey t-shirts. This isn’t a cruisy kind of event. Everybody seems to be in relationships already or just too busy to flirt. Another thing I didn’t expect is that there is almost no panel events for how-to instruction. It’s all discussion groups about M/s. I’m also surprised at just how friendly people are, mostly Americans.

Definitely the high point has been seeing the Carter/Johnson Leather Library (or at least 70 per cent of it) on exhibit. “Mama” Vi Johnson took me by the hand and showed me around. I’ve seen and touched (through white gloves) copies of London Life, John Willie’s Bizarre, and Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Then there are German collections of erotic art (which I can’t read), and a century worth of books, magazines, newspapers, posters, movies and videos. Pics to come. Ms. Johnson was most inspirational in talking about the importance of saving our leather/kink/altsex/whatever from landfills and incinerators.

My presentation on Sunday afternoon went quite well. I was revising up to the last minute, and developed my initiation-ritual theory a bit more. One thing I’ve come to realize about the Master-slave subset of BDSM, is that they put a lot of emphasis on the relational and service aspects, and the sadism and masochism is secondary, and sometimes entirely absent. Fortunately, the Munby-Cullwick relationship is strongly service-oriented, with no overt sadomasochism (whether Cullwick was masochistic is a topic for another post). I managed to make the transition between the suffering-sensibility theme of abolitionist media and the service theme of the Munby-Cullwick relationship. The only real flaw was that I ended the presentation before even an hour, and the presentation was for 90 minutes. I filled in the time with Q&A and a guided tour of some of the images I collected.

No recording of the presentation. The event organizers made the privacy policy pretty clear, and while I could have asked for an exception, and possibly put up a sign warning people, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

I’ve also had some productive meetings towards a project I will reveal at a later date, once everything is locked in.

I should also put out thanks to the people who’ve helped me along the way, including the board at Master Taino’s Training Academy, and David Stein.

More pics and event notes to follow.

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