Two Ways to Finding Y/your Authentic Self 

Becoming authentic is an individual mission, since each person has their own way of being human, and consequently what is authentic will be different for each individual. Furthermore, personal authenticity is highly contextual, and depends on various social, political, religious and cultural characteristics. But the unique nature of each individual is best seen not in who he is, but in who he becomes, and becoming authentic is a continuous process, not an event. It involves not just knowing oneself, but also recognizing others and the mutual influence between individuals. If the quest for personal authenticity is just for self-fulfillment, then it is individualistic and ego-based; but if it is accompanied with the awareness of others and the wider world, then it can be a worthwhile goal.     From Philosophy Now

Have you ever pondered, “who am I/i really?”  “Who is M/my authentic self?”

Well, i have many times over the years.  It seems as we grow and change, our relationships evolve or end, we move, and find new careers and new lovers, our authentic self changes too.  Authenticity seems to be a hard and never ending quest because people are continually evolving, growing and changing.

Finding Y/your authentic self is about being honest with Y/yourself, being self aware, being humble, and listening to feedback from others without getting hurt or defensive, and then internalizing the feedback that resonates with Y/you.  Those of Y/you who do seek a more authentic self will likely become a happier, and more creative person.  Also, some psychologists say authenticity can lead to improved coping strategies, a stronger sense of self worth, more self confidence, and a higher likelihood of following through on goals.

Don Miguel Ruiz writes in his book The Four Agreements that “our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”

As soon as i read that statement i immediately thought about those of U/us living or attempting to live O/our authentic selves, what W/we really are – or are into (KINK or BDSM).  W/we in the Leather BDSM community reportedly have healthier relationships because of the degree to which we have open, honest communication between the people involved prior to establishing a formal relationship or agreeing to a play session.  For there to be open and honest communication Y/you hopefully have done some sort of personal inventory of Y/your life identifying Y/your wants, needs, desires, likes, preferences, and goals, as well as those things Y/you want to avoid, not experience or exclude from Y/your life.

In order for Y/you to begin identifying and understanding Y/your most significant personal values, i have included the list and exercises below:

Step 1: What I/i Value Most…

From this list of values (both work and personal), select the ten that are most important to Y/you – as guides for how to behave or as components of a valued way of life.  Feel free to add any values of Y/your own to the list.

Achievement                                                                Friendships                           Physical challenge

Advancement and promotion                                  Growth                                   Pleasure

Adventure                                                                     Having a family                  Power and authority

Affection (love and caring)                                       Helping other people         Privacy

Arts                                                                                Helping society                   Public service

Challenging problems                                               Honesty                                Purity

Change and variety                                                   Independence                    Quality of what I take part in

Close relationships                                                   Influencing others             Quality relationships

Community                                                                Inner harmony                  Recognition (respect from others, status)

Competence                                                               Integrity                             Religion

Competition                                                              Intellectual status             Reputation

Cooperation                                                              Involvement                     Responsibility and accountability

Country                                                                     Job tranquility                  Security

Creativity                                                                 Knowledge                         Self-Respect

Decisiveness                                                            Leadership                         Serenity

Democracy                                                              Location                              Sophistication

Ecological awareness                                           Loyalty                                 Stability

Economic security                                                Market position                 Status

Effectiveness                                                         Meaningful work              Supervising others

Efficiency                                                              Merit                                    Time freedom

Ethical practice                                                    Money                                 Truth

Excellence                                                             Nature                                 Wealth

Excitement                                                           being around people who
are open and honest        Wisdom 

Fame                                                                       Order (tranquility,

stability, conformity)             Work under pressure 

Fast living                                                            Personal development                                                     Work with others

Financial gain                     

Freedom                                                                                                                                                            Working alone

Step 2: Elimination

Now that Y/you have identified ten, imagine that Y/you are only permitted to have five values. Which five would Y/you give up? Cross them off.

Now imagine that Y/you are only permitted four. Which would Y/you give up? Cross it off.

Now cross off another, to bring Y/your list down to three.

And another, to bring Y/your list down to two.

Finally cross off one of Y/your two values. Which is the one item on the lst that Y/you care most about?

Another way of identifying Y/your authentic self, is to ask Y/yourself the following five questions:

  1. When Y/you were little, what did Y/you want to be when Y/you grew up?   W/we all had dreams when W/we were little, but people get sidetracked from T/their dreams by status, money, responsibility and life.  Picture Y/yourself in Y/your childhood dream.  Do Y/you see that smile and positive energy?  That could be Y/your life.
  2. What makes Y/you laugh?  Laugh at what Y/you find funny.  Who cares if the person next to Y/you is laughing.  Laughing feels good, makes U/us happier people and sets U/us free to enjoy the life W/we are living.  Laughter is a powerful tool that can change Y/your mood and perception of what is happening in the moment.  Enjoy the smile and the feeling of happiness rising inside of Y/you.
  3. What clothes do Y/you feel comfortable in?  This is a serious question.  It doesn’t matter if Y/you like dressing in suits every day or prefer cotton shirts and no shoes, wear what makes Y/you feel comfortable.  i am not suggesting Y/you run naked through the streets or Y/your office, but clothes are a way of expressing Y/yourself and what Y/you wear should be comfortable and should reflect the true Y/you.
  4. What activities do Y/you enjoy?  Discovering these activities will help guide Y/you towards a place where Y/you want to spend time.  By finding and immersing Y/yourself in this place, Y/you will feel happier and more energized.  Ultimately Y/you may find that Y/you want to work in that place, or at least create the possibility to spend more time there.
  5. Who can Y/you be Y/yourself around?  W/we are social creatures by nature, so it is important to spend time with people who make U/us feel good and accept U/us for who W/we really are.  When W/we are with people who do not judge U/us but accept U/us, then W/we are able to express O/our authentic self.

Once Y/you discover Y/your authentic self, Y/you can start to make changes in Y/your life that allow Y/you to be this person.  It is time to face those fears and start Y/your journey toward being Y/your authentic self.  Y/you will be astounded by how Y/your life can become fuller, richer, and happier.                   (Edited from http://www.mindbodygreen.com)

i have changed over the years but one thing has remained a constant even though for years it was a closeted self, so i can’t claim to have been living my authentic self.  That is my love and affinity and passion for the Leather BDSM/KINK community.  In my closet Days my fantasy men were leather clad masculine Doms.  i enjoyed it when a partner was more aggressive, rough, or Dominant.  i was really turned on by the slaps to the ass some men would deliver.  i knew who my authentic self was i was just not able to let him out at the time for various reasons.

my responses to the questions above:

i like men in leather and uniforms; i feel comfortable in Levi’s, boots, leather; i enjoy and feel more comfortable in masculine atmospheres like Leather bars and Leather BDSM gatherings and events; i like BDSM & Kink & Fetish activities; and i can most be myself – my real, authentic self around other Leather BDSM Men/boys.

Back to “Normal”

i wrote months ago about an awkward situation with my vanilla husband related to my association with the Leather community and a particular Leather Master.

It was a long, long period of estrangement and hurt feelings because of a misunderstanding and jumping to conclusions on his part. Very slowly and with tiny baby steps he worked his way back from near divorce to practically being back to normal  – or at least the way it was before my misdirected text message. He is still trying to understand my attraction to or seemingly sudden affinity for Leather and BDSM.  But, that is something he still has to work through. His passive aggressive comments haven’t had any effect on me, which is different for our relationship. i use to easily bend to his will.

Another almost back to normal relationship is with the Person i called my Mentor, Protector, and Guardian even though He never verbalized that He was taking on any of those roles with me.  W/we too had a misunderstanding months ago. i pleaded and begged Him not to turn His back on me.  i apologized profusely even though i think what i did was not any kind of direct offense to Him or disobeying orders. However, it did involve not telling Him that i was taking a six week class on exploring submission.  And as fate sometimes has it, He visited the instructor the first night of class and saw me waiting for it to begin. He was cold, aloof, and wouldn’t respond to texts after that night.

Anyway, i eventually gave up trying to reestablish a relationship with Him.  Then, after i attempted to start a BDSM mentoring group  – not too successfully  – i reached out to Him for help. W/we talked through text many times with me trying to describe my vision for the group and listening to His suggestions.  W/we then came to an agreement to work together to try to generate interest and build a group. Even with Sir’s guidance the group didn’t take off.  Guess there isn’t as much need for mentoring in the gay BDSM community as i thought or else i just didn’t get the word out enough.

Now when i see Sir out He always asks for a hug.  Recently i attended a class He taught on Hot Wax play.  i had taken the class before but wanted to continue to solidify the relationship between U/us, to support Him in His class, and to meet a newbie guy i had met on FetLife. 

So, if you allow enough time to pass sometimes with love or a strong desire to reestablish a relationship with a lover, spouse, or BDSM M/mentor it can be done.  But, in these to instances i believe my spouse and i had a strong love connection beforehand. With Sir there was deep respect, and an instance where He was critically needed and valued, and i showed perseverance in trying to reestablish O/our previous sense of comfortability. And eventually He responded favorably. 

Wishing Y/you peace, love, and little drama in Y/your relationships. 

Thanks for reading, 

boy stray 

Will, Won’t or Maybe Mondays

Today i will just talk about humiliation as a part of a D/s interaction or relationships.  Twice, well, maybe more than that, i have put my safety in jeopardy by getting into the vehicle of an unknown Dom.  But, the topic is about humiliation…both of those encounters began with my public humiliation.  The first one i experienced was with a Brazilian Dom i met on a hookup site.  He was a young, good looking, uncut, married (to a woman) Dom so i felt i could trust Him to be discreet.

On the day of our first meeting He ordered me to wear a tank top tee shirt, extremely short shorts, and no underwear.  Also i was to tie a white ribbon around my balls and to let the end of the ribbon to hang out the bottom of my shorts.  Well, the shorts i had were very short workout shorts and i always wore a jock with them.  The jock greatly enhanced and displayed my bulge through the leg openings.  This was the strategic marketing of my availability at the gay gym.  

If that weren’t enough humiliation, the true test of my submissiveness for Him was that i was to drive to a certain coffee shop about six miles from my house, and i was to stand out front with my head bowed waiting for him to arrive.  i must have stood there ten to fifteen minutes before He arrived.  He then ordered me to keep my head down and not to look at Him.  W/we walked into the coffee shop and sat at a table.  He ordered me to move closer, He reached over and took hold of the white ribbon tugging on it a couple times.  He bought U/us coffee and we left.  i assumed i would follow Him to His house, but He insisted i get into his car.  Briefly i thought about my safety but my dick was making decisions for me at this point.

i got into the passenger seat still averting my eyes and W/we drove off.  W/we drove a short distance, then He ordered me to put a blindfold on, which i did..  Later i learned He didn’t want me to know where W/we were going or His address.  He ordered me down in the seat so neighbors wouldn’t see as He drove into the garage.  i followed Him into His house.  Again, i thought He could kill me and no one would have a clue about my whereabouts.  But i still went in.  

i allowed myself to be cuffed behind my back after undressing.  

Previously online He told me about a smegma fixation He has.  He asked if i preferred clean or with “cheese”.  i said clean.  However, when He wanted a blow job all i could think about was smegma – even though He was clean.  So, i began gagging and choking with the thought of unclean dick in my mouth.  He said, “you are a lousy cocksucker, I’ll have to train you to be better at it.”  The rest of the scenario i will not discuss simply because it was uneventful and safe.  He took me back to my car and i never saw Him again.  i chose not to do that again with Him!

The second encounter with public humiliation was eerily similar – can Doms not come up with an original idea for public humiliation?

In NO WAY am i encouraging you to submit to public humiliation or putting yourself in the kind of dangerous situations i describe in my post.  

How many mistakes did i make during that scenario?

Always put Y/your safety first.

Humiliation can be public or private.  But it must be consensual!

Although i was embarrassed each time i submitted to public humiliation, i felt i was displaying my commitment to submission for everyone to see.

Now that i am more knowledgeable about BDSM, safety, and the practice of safe, sane and consensual kink, i am less likely to consent to public humiliation, and definitely will not get in a car that can be driven anywhere potentially putting me in danger.

Be safe!

Thanks for reading,

boy stray

Have you ever consented to public humiliation?  If so, i would love to hear your story.  Share with me in comments ot PM me.  Thanks

Dungeon Party or Sex Party

Y/you may remember that i mentioned i was going to my first Dungeon Party.  Well it happened last night.  

i was excited but trying to not have too many unreasonable expectations.  i tried to be ok with playing or not playing…whatever happened would be okay.  i got dressed in my usual leather…boots, belt, vest, wrist band, 501 Levi jeans, and my hunter green bandana – right, back jeans pocket.   The look is complete!  Fresh haircut so i looked good and ready for my debut into the world of Dungeon Parties.

Since my club was co-sponsoring i got there early to help set up the bar and patio area.  An assortment of men started arriving 30-40 minutes before opening time.  But, where were the handsome, masculine Doms?  But, it did look like it would be a good turnout. 

i was excited to watch the Men arrive in all manner of dress and undress.  Since most of them were only wearing jocks, harnesses and boots it was hard to tell the Doms from the subs…or as i found out later, it was hard to tell the tops from the bottoms.  No flags because no back pockets.   Wrist and arm bands seemed only for decoration. Who were the Doms?  Where were the Doms?

i stayed on the patio area for a couple hours before i built up my confidence and courage to make a foray into the “dungeon”.  All i saw was plain ole sex.  Sucking, fucking, rimming. Where was the BDSM? Was a Dungeon party simply a sex party? Of course i watched a while taking in all the images.  But it didn’t really turn me on.  i was mostly frustrated.

Surprisingly most of the Men there were my age plus or minus 10 years.  The exception was a handsome, young sub that took his clothes off and got up in a sling.  Quickly he was surrounded by a sea of horny guys wanting to have their turn with him. There were erections that never went down — umm, chemically induced?  Nothing wrong with that, but a constant erection for hours is interesting to see and watch. Envious?  Maybe i was?  Yup, i was!

When i came out from my excursion there was a boy bound to the cross. The Dom was using a cigar to stimulate the sub’s nipples, his chest and abdomen. Then he began tapping the boy’s balls with a paddle alternating the intensity with each tap.  After a while the boy was turned around, re-bound to the cross and the flogging and spanking began. Very exciting to watch but felt a bit envious of the boy. Shoulda been me!

Later i learned that was one of two Demos.  The second demo was a really intense flogging and paddling scene. The sub stripped down to his jock and boots and was flogged and paddled for what seemed like a very long time.  In fact i got tired and decided to go home.  It was only 11:15 pm.  As i walked toward my car i could still hear that sub’s moans of pain & pleasure.

The next day i asked if all the Dungeon Parties at this venue were like this one.  The answer was yes, “they are mostly about the sex.”  “There are a lot of guys who come just for the sex.  That’s they’re thing.  They’re not into the BDSM at all.”

Sad.  Disappointed.  Where were the “real” Leather BDSM lifestyle Men/boys?

The search continues…

Shame on Y/you!

When i was a little boy, probably four or five years old, i was playing “doctor” with a boy who lived next door.  Don’t even know how i knew about surgery but we were pretending the zipper in our pants was an incision and cotton balls should be stuffed into the opening.  We were so naive that we were doing it in my front yard.  

Who knew at five years old that playing with the neighbor boy’s penis was wrong?  My mother saw what was going on and beat the shit out of me saying, “don’t you ever let me catch you doing that again!”  She didn’t realize that i focused on the word “catch” and carried that thought, fear and judgment most of the rest of my life.  She taught me to be ashamed of my body, my desires, my playfulness, and taught me that i shouldn’t get caught doing it.  

She didn’t catch me ever again.  But she did instill shame…a feeling i have lived with and worked on in therapy for years.  i was so suppressed sexually that i went underground to the places that most people classify as seedy, trashy, and maybe even disgusting.  i sought out sex anywhere and everywhere it could be found.  Adult bookstores were my go to places.  Loved glory hole action.  But it’s not the kind of thing you proudly proclaim to your friends – I sucked off five guys last night at the peep show.  

Also there were treks to the wooded area of the large city park where men who wanted a quickie  with another man would meander for hours cruising the bushes.  There were days when i would be pulled to go to the Public Library where the second floor bathroom was usually active.  Or the bathroom in the Humanities building at the university could be another option.  All this covert and shaming sexual activity came together over time making me label myself as a sex addict – medicating myself with dick to overcome sadness, low self esteem, depression, loneliness.  Who knows if it is a true addiction, but my sexual activities led to enormous feelings of shame and guilt, that in turn had to be medicated with even more dick.

i only got off that viscous merry-go-round when i got really sick.  But, the shame continued until recently, when i realized i was no longer full of shame for having been a bookstore queen.  How did that happen?  It just did!  i suppose with age came self forgiveness.  But, oh those years of angst and depression…what a waste of time.

Now as i work to come out as a Leatherboy i am having some feelings of fear, embarrassment, apprehension, and self doubt.  i don’t want to be labeled, judged, or pigeon-holed as a freak because i am drawn to intense sensation play, impact play, power exchange, submission and other forms of BDSM and Kink.  i want to be accepted for every bit of who I am including the kinky parts.

i feel like that five year old boy again afraid of being caught doing what arouses intense pleasure in me.  But, this time i am not afraid of getting a spanking; i relish the idea.  My fear now is a fear of being ostracized, separated from the people in my life that i love the most.

i have a question for you, my readers:  how do Y/you or did Y/you work through feelings of fear, apprehension, embarrassment and self doubt as Y/you explored Y/your proclivities for BDSM/Kink?  Have Y/you come out to friends or family, or do Y/you keep this part of Y/your true nature hidden from all but other Kinksters?
Thank you for reading,

boy stray

Come Out, come out, Wherever Y/you Are!

Happy Gay Pride, Fort Lauderdale.

Today was Gay Pride here in the city by the sea.  And a beautiful day it was.  Sunny, warm, a nice breeze and just an estimated 40,000 people celebrating on the beach together.  Perfect day.  Tons of hot men…and women, if you swing that way.

But ya know what?  i was perhaps the only one wearing a leather oriented tee shirt.  Plus i wore a leather wrist band, right side, of course.

Where, oh where, have all the Leathermen gone?  You weren’t out in numbers.  You weren’t out as small cohesive clusters as United Leathermen.  Oh, i saw a few guys in harnesses.  Were they “into” leather, or was it simply a fashion accessory to go with their Speedo swimsuits and big bulges?

There were big, burley, hairy dudes, average hairless dudes, and many twinks twerking.  Lots of ink on hot bodies.  But, several bars actually ran out of liquor mid afternoon.  Now, that’s got to be a first.  How’s a gay person supposed to party with NO booze?  Well, there was that continual wafting of smoke from joints to keep the buzz going.

We danced and danced amid a huge crowd on the dance floor erected on the sand.  All manner of humanity, together, moving to the music.

One performer was Ty Herndon, a country star from years ago.  He had a public fall from grace, but picked himself up, pulled his jeans up, put on his “cowboy” boots and came out as a “proud, gay man!”  Handsome and masculine.  Great voice.  He was so close i could have licked the sand off his boots.  But, i maintained my composure (and avoided a stalking charge) by just lusting from afar, and taking a hell of a lot of photos.

But, back to my Leather comrades…where the hell were you?  Didn’t want to get sand in Y/your boots?

Ok, so maybe Y/you were there, but not in leather.  It was a hot day.  But why no tee shirts saying, “Top” “bottom” “Daddy” “boy” “Sir” “Bear” “cub” “Ramrod” (oh, that’s right, i wore that shirt), “Leatherwerks “?

i felt so Leather lonely today.  

But, there’s always Stonewall Pride held in June in the east coast gay Mecca of Wilton Manors.  There will be a parade with a marching contingent from the Gay Leather community.  An abundance of harnesses, arm bands, Leather vests and belts and boots. Waves of Leather Pride flags bellowing in the wind.  Lots of hot sweaty skin showing.  501 jeans, shorts and some kilts.  Makes me swoon just visualizing that scene…

The thousands of people lining Wilton Drive will scream and cheer in solidarity with the Leathermen and leatherboys as they march by.  Then, many spectators will whisper, “I don’t get that whole thing…”  But why is it imperative that they get it, or understand us?  They should just accept us for who W/we are and what W/we do, and love U/us for O/our uniqueness.  i don’t understand Transgender men and women, but i see their beauty, their uniqueness, and i identify with their struggle for acceptance for who they are.  i struggle for acceptance of my leather identity even within the walls of my own home.

Be Proud!  Be Out!  Be Seen in Y/your Leather.  Raise Awareness, and Celebrate!

See Y/you in June 2017 – Wilton Manors, Florida?  I’ll be there. Will Y/you?
Thank Y/you for reading,

boy stray

24/7 or Just for Play

Initially i wanted a full time, 24/7 Dom/sub relationship.  i wanted to “live” the Lifestyle.  Still do!  But kinda giving up on that…seems like it’s just a pipe dream at this point.  my former Mentor asked me a couple times if i was interested in living it or just in it for the play.  i enthusiastically said live it.  But, now i guess i would have to say play.

In the couples years i have been working at it, i haven’t even played, let alone developed a Lifestyle or relationship.  But as an homage to my affinity for Leather i wear a leather strap around my wrist and always wear my wide leather belt no matter what else i may be wearing or where i am going.

How do Y/you all make it look so easy and natural?  What is the best part of living the Lifestyle?  How am I gonna get me some of that Lifestyle??

i ask that tongue in cheek.

i know how, and i am working on it.  It’s just harder and taking longer than i expected.

Tonight i reached out to an established, well known and well liked member of the gay Leather BDSM community.  i asked if He would consider having coffee with me.  Not to hookup or play.  i am definitely not his type of boy.  And He already has His boy.  my goal would be just to get to know him better and have him get to know me.  That way perhaps He could become a friend and support for me.  Also i thought maybe He would feel comfortable sponsoring me or recommending someone who could sponsor me for the local club for Sirs and boys.  

The club had a play and demo weekend at a gay campground last weekend. i had hoped to go but couldn’t.  There is another in April, and i have decided i am going!  It has become goal and “bucket list” item for me.  Recently i was asked what was on my bucket list.  i said nothing because i believed i had been everywhere i wanted to go and seen everything i had wanted to see.  But, now i decided to rethink that.  Some things on my list involve BDSM, LEATHER, PLAY, and others are trips, cruises, events, as well as beginning yoga classes and getting & giving tantric massages.  

Another goal for 2017 is the start of a part time play relationship.  Any other ideas for what i can add to my bucket list?

Wish me luck.

Thanks for reading,

boy stray