Dreams Eventually End by Awakening to a New Day

my dream of beginning a new life in a new country with a new lover has come to an end. i woke to a new day released from the tight grip depression had on me.  i realize my life is not dark and repressive as i had built up in my period of sadness and self pity.

i actually like most things in my life even if some aspects need a healthy nipple tweaking and adjustment.  

So what turned my thinking and mood around?  First, a slight increase in the dose of an antidepressant medication. Second, a great therapist who referred me to a Codependence Anonymous group.  And third, meeting with a religious leader to discuss her views of aging, declining health, accumulating multiple illnesses, death, whether or not God exists, and the purpose of life.  i gained a new perspective, and felt that grip of depression loosening. 

i ended my long distance online fantasy relationship. And, i am working on regaining some power and a voice in my existing long term relationship. 

Dreams and fantasies are wonderful.  They add hope, excitement and vigor to life. But, W/we do eventually have to wake up and come back to reality.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon U/us to find O/our joy, O/our purpose, and O/our happiness. No one else can give them to U/us.

If Y/you find Y/yourself getting stuck, feeling increasingly sad, isolating yourself, or recognizing that Y/you are depressed, please seek help. Find a therapist to help Y/you identify and work on issues.  If Y/you need medication intervention see a psychiatrist as well.  Depression is a common form of mental illness. And it is highly treatable.  Get help if Y/you need it!

Thanks for reading,

boy stray

Domestic Abuse

Over the years i have heard time after time that BDSM is abusive to the submissive or bottom person in a D/s or M/s relationship. Most often it had to do with the sub’s position in play – usually that of the recipient of control in the form of bondage or of pain.  What the general public is not aware of is the basic tenet of BDSM – safe, sane, & consensual.  They don’t understand how or why a person would submit willingly to the infliction of pain, so of course they assume the submissive is being coerced or abused.  While this can and probably does happen at times in BDSM relationships, i believe it has more to do with the individual’s psychological make-up than the presence of the BDSM dynamic.

i thought tonight i would elucidate the problems of domestic abuse, so Y/you will have a greater understanding of the types of abuse and be able to identify abusive tactics employed by the perpetrators.

Generally, there are five categories of domestic abuse:

  • Physical 
  • Sexual 
  • Emotional 
  • Financial 
  • Identity

These categories are not exclusive meaning an abuser may utilize tactics from more than one category in order to maintain control over the victimized person.

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Physical violence or even the threat of violence is intended to enhance the power and control of the abuser over the partner.  Physical abuse can be defined as the threat of harm or any forceful physical behavior that intentionally or accidentally causes bodily harm or property destruction, including:

  1. Hitting, beating, choking, pushing, slapping, kicking, pulling hair, biting, punching, backhanding, arm twisting, shoving, kicking or burning.
  2. Threatening to use or using a weapon against the partner
  3. Punching walls or doors
  4. Stalking
  5. Denying or interfering with the partner meeting their basic physical needs (e.g. Eating and sleeping)
  6. Smashing, damaging, stealing, or selling the partner’s possessions 

Physical abuse also can be used against children, pets, and even the partner’s family & friends

***Recently i was told one should know their potential partner in BDSM well since most of the consensual activities could be considered felonies***

SEXUAL ABUSE 

Sexual abuse is any forced or coerced sexual activity or behavior motivated to build power and control over the partner.  It can also be any contact meant to demean or humiliate the partner and instill feelings of shame and vulnerability.

Examples are:

  1. Unwanted touching 
  2. Demeaning remarks
  3. Berating partner about sexual history 
  4. Forcing sex without consent 
  5. Rape
  6. Rape with an object 
  7. Refusing to comply with request for safe sex
  8. Coercing partner into sex with others
  9. Unwanted sadistic acts

Some forms of sexual abuse are crimes

EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE 

Emotional abuse is the use of words, voice, action, or lack of action meant to control, hurt or demean another person.  It typically includes ridicule, intimidation or coercion.

Behaviors include:

  1. Verbal threats
  2. Demeaning person in front of friends, family, or even strangers
  3. Constant criticism or humiliation yelling to intimidate 
  4. Obsessive jealousy 
  5. Being irresponsible with money
  6. Using insults, sarcasm or sneering 

Frequently the abuser is seeking to socially isolate the partner.  Behaviors used to socially isolate include:

  1. Blaming partner’s friends or family for their relationship problems
  2. Monitoring phone calls, mail, or visits 
  3. Demanding an account of daily activities
  4. Insulting, threatening or assaulting the partner’s friends or family to drive them away
  5. Stalking or using other means of surveillance 

FINANCIAL ABUSE

Financial abuse is the use or misuse of the partner’s financial or other monetary resources without the partner’s freely given consent.

Common examples include:

  1. Forbidding the partner to work
  2. Refusing to work yet contributing to expenses
  3. Controlling shared resources 
  4. Demanding partner account for all the money they spend
  5. Taking credit cards, money, or checkbook 
  6. Forging partner’s signature on financial documents

IDENTITY ABUSE 

Identity abuse is the use of personal characteristics to demean, manipulate and control the partner.  Some of these tactics overlap with other forms of abuse, particularly emotional abuse.  This category includes racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, beauty-ism, and homophobia.  Also the fear of being outed as a kinky person can be a form of identity abuse.

Examples are:

  1. Outing or threatening to out someone
  2. Asserting partner will never have another relationship because they are too ugly or too old
  3. Blaming the abuse on the person’s identity (gay, bisexual) or behavior (S&M)
  4. Exploiting partner’s internalized racism
  5. Ridiculing partner’s physical challenges 

 i am simply listing the characteristics of Abusive Men

  • Control – achieved through criticism, verbal abuse, financial control, isolation, cruelty 
  • Entitlement – belief in having special rights without responsibilities 
  • Selfishness & Self-centeredness – expectation of being center of attention, having needs anticipated
  • Superiority  – contempt for partner as stupid, unworthy or as house keeper 
  • Possessiveness  – seeing partner as property 
  • Confusing Love & Abuse – explains violence as expression of deep love
  • Manipulativeness – confusion, distortion, lies. Projects self as good, while portraying partner as crazy or abusive
  • Contradictory Statements & Behaviors – saying one thing and doing another
  • Externalization of Responsibility  – shifting blame for their actions to others, especially the partner 
  • Denial, Minimalization, & Victim Blaming – not acknowledging the seriousness of his behavior and its effects
  • Serial Battering – abusive in one relationship after another

Men can exhibit some or all of these characteristics and NEVER PHYSICALLY assault a partner


Some of this material was edited or summarized from Lundy Bancroft & Jay Silverman (2002).  The Batterer as Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Thanks for reading,

boy stray

Erotic Energy

This weekend i had a fantastical, spiritual, and energizing erotic experience.  

There is an organization that conducts workshops of all kinds that bring together men to connect, bond, nurture and support each other through getting in touch their erotic energy by experiencing the sacred touch of other men…not in an effort to be sexual and reach ejaculation, but rather to reach new heights with erotic touch without ejaculating.

After bonding on the first day, clothes were shed in groups of four in a slow nurturing ritual.  Each man was blindfolded when it was his turn to have the others remove his clothes.  It was done slowly with supportive intention where each man was accepted into a brotherhood where all are equal and not judged by age, race, body type, or by the size of their cock.  

Rhythmic breathing, dance, playfulness, and sharing our souls prepares us for the next step of our journey together.

We learned different ways of approaching and stimulating a cock. Our own and another man’s.  Each of us was the recipient of the sacred touch through massaging the entire body with intense concentration on the cock.  Then, i was honored to be invited into the sacred journey of other men by giving erotic touch to them.  It seemed spiritual, and a form of worshipping the male body, especially the phallus.  

There were cut dicks, uncut dicks, smaller & larger sized cocks.  Some got hard…really, really hard!  And others did not.  There were moans and groans of ecstasy; there was laughter; joyful noises, and yes, some tears and sobs due to the extremely emotional reconnection each man had with his erotic being.  

We learned new ways of self pleasuring, getting away from the rapid fist pump up and down to reach orgasm and cum as quickly as possible.  This was a Zen approach to masturbation.  Enjoying the ride without rushing to the destination.  

It was a powerful, transformative, sacred experience.

At the closing ceremony we were told of other workshop offerings.  i was extremely intrigued by one workshop in particular.  It is similar to this one, but incorporates BDSM dynamics including spanking, flogging and other impact play with massage worked into the weekend experience.  It is scheduled in another city at the end of April.  But, i already requested more information and raised the topic with my husband of me going to a “retreat” that is a continuation of this “mind, body, health and spiritual” weekend i just had.

i never offered that we were all naked nearly the entire weekend, or that we received AND gave sacred erotic touch.  It was my experience to have and to keep in my heart sharing it only with those i choose…and that is Y/you my wonderful readers!
Thank Y/you for going on this sacred journey with me.  And,
Thank Y/you for reading,

boy stray

Again the Phoenix Rises

Once again i call on my imagery of the Phoenix rising from the ashes to return me to life and to continuing to nurture my baby, this Blog.

Wednesday last week i developed a headache.  Kind of a run of the mill frontal aching in my head.  Thought nothing of it.  Thursday my headache remained but now it was severe.  It hurt so much i thought it was either a brain tumor or stroke about to happen.  It was so bad that narcotics couldn’t take the edge off the pain.  Friday it was better…milder but still present.

Just so happened that i had an already scheduled appointment with my primary doctor for that day.  I kind of nonchalantly mentioned my horrible headache i had experienced the day before.  He performed some basic neurological screening in his office to see if i had, or was having, a stroke.  He said, “have you ever noticed one pupil being larger than the other?”  when i said no, he asked me to go to the restroom and look in the mirror to check it myself.  Well, yes the left pupil WAS larger than the right.  my doctor said go straight to the hospital ER and not to drive myself, because “you might have a small bleed (in my head).”

i took Uber right over to the hospital.  When i told the ER clerk my doctor said i might have a bleed in my head, she moved me to the top of the list of patients waiting to be seen by a doctor.  I had a head CT Scan that was normal, but without any definitive diagnosis explaining my larger left pupil i needed to be admitted and would have to get an MRI/A of the head as well.

This morning the neurologist came in my room, looked at my eyes proclaimed it was a benign condition called Atonic Pupil.  Look it up, he said.  Furthermore, he explained that the left pupil was in fact NOT dilated but rather my right pupil was smaller than the left one.  Also, I had the MRI/A done just to make sure there weren’t any other problems or infections.  Forty five minutes of lying on a hard table, being slid into the machine and hearing all those loud sounds banging and knocking in the machine – and not being able to move at all.  The results were obtained four hours later and the results were negative for bleeding in the brain.  And apparently there were no other abnormalities such as infection or atrophy of the brain.  Good News!  So, i guess i “dodged another bullet” as they say.


my Phoenix continues to rise in the face of disease, debility, cancer, and a myriad of other diagnoses.  The Phoenix is my symbol of power in the face of hardship and adversity; it is a symbol of my resilience and perseverance; and my refusal to roll over and die, or tuck my tail and run.  i am assertive with my health issues.  i am my own best advocate navigating the frustrating maze of the healthcare system.  But most of all, i am a fighter.

Well, how does this story relate to me as a leatherboy and BDSM/Kink positive person?  First, i thought of my “toy” bags and the expression on my husband’s face when he opened the if i died.  Ugh!  Then, i thought, i will be dead…won’t matter to me at that point.  Second, i wondered how i could die never having fully lived the Kink lifestyle.  Third, i simply shrugged my shoulders and said, “what next?”  You see, i have had hiv 33 years, AIDS 27 years, had KS (AIDS cancer) 1990-1995, AIDS Pneumonia (PCP) 6 times, bacterial and viral pneumonia a couple times.  my CD4 count was 7 in 1995 so i became a hospice patient.  i got into a placebo based trial (against hospice rules) of a new class of hiv medications and received the real drug.  Two of my friends got placebo and died.  i survived and thrived.  Was thrown out of hospice for not dying.  Diabetes 1998; Anal dysplasia 1998; lipodystrophy and facial atrophy 1998; right breast lump w/biopsy & lumpectomy (benign) 2003; pinched nerve with foot drop on left 2008; Osteoarthritis 2009; Rheumatoid Arthritis 2010; Anal Cancer w/radiation and chemotherapy 2016; Cervical radiculopathy 2016.  And to be current on my list – Atonic pupil 2017.  That is why a Phoenix is at the top of my page!

Thanks for reading,
boy stray

New Year, new me?

As i wrote before last year was the beginning of my transition, or transformation into a more authentic me.  my coming out as a Leather BDSM submissive began in earnest around July 2016.  When i began to exit that final closet i reached out and made connections, met some people, started attending Leather BDSM functions and made friends…good friends.  But, as i bought my leather gear and toys, and updated my recon.com ad, i was faced with a final incongruity.  i realized that my age, physical ability and body do not match the Leather boy vision i hold in my mind’s eye.  i see me in my mind as younger, healthier, more agile, and having a nice body.  Every once in a while i catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or window reflection and i am snapped back to my reality.  But, i know that as time keeps rolling along and if i stay on the current trajectory i would probably end up an old obese man unable to walk much at all, and likely reliant on others for my care.  What kind of Leather sub would that be?

i am in physical therapy again for the fourth time.  This time i have a weak painful left ankle and balance problems.  i have been going just a couple weeks so far.  But, one thing i am told over and over by doctors and therapists is “you need to join a gym.”  i finally heard and internalized that suggestion.  i waited until New Years resolution gym ads started appearing in the mail, I toured two facilities and actually joined one yesterday.  Today my physical assessment was done, my measurements, weight, and body fat analysis was done, and most humiliating was having the front and side view pictures taken.  

For years i have lived with HIV and a metabolic condition called Lipodystrophy.  It leeches out the subcutaneous fat from the arms, legs, butt and face redistributing it to the abdomen, chest and back.  If you can envision a baking potato with tooth picks for arms and legs you can get a general idea, albeit more, much more pronounced than in reality.  Viewing my image frontally in a mirror i look normal.  Turned to the side i look nine months pregnant.  How i think i look is not true to reality.  i absolutely hate seeing myself in mirrors.  And you know, gyms have freaking mirrors everywhere.

So, i am an official member of a nice gym.  i have lots of work to do.  i must remain realistic.  i am not going to build up so much that i will resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger. That is NOT my goal.  my goal is to lose abdominal fat, add strength and definition to my chest, arms, back, butt, thighs and calves.  i need increased strength and flexibility in my joints, especially my left ankle to decrease pain and increase stability and balance.

Why am i telling you this?  i need a support network.  i need someone to journey with me down this path…to hold me accountable.  Will you be my sounding board?

Another thing I did today was to get Botox injections in my forehead, between my eyes, and the outer perimeter of my eyes.     Also, i had a few little bumps burned off my face that had become focal points each time i gazed in the mirror.

A new me is going to emerge slowly over the course of this year so that how i think i look in my mind will align finally with reality.  Wish me luck.

All this is contingent on that man in the White House not getting us nuked in the next six months!!

Thanks for reading,

boy stray