Friday, April 3, 2015

You Like Dick Girly???

His e-mail to me read:  "You like dick girly?"

I responded, “Who’s Dick Girly?”

This forty-six year old man and I seem to not share the belief that punctuation and manners are everything because, “You like dick girly?” was the first phrase he said to me.  I always wonder what makes people forget common courtesy, because I believe they would realize that’s not an appropriate introduction upon making someone’s acquaintance in public.

I've always been out about who I am and the lifestyles I enjoy but, the flip side of the coin is that it creates an influx of e-mail from people who have already objectified me without my consent.

Many of those who e-mail seem to believe I exist for their pleasure, no more or no less.  They also seem to feel I do not deserve polite conversation, due to the fact I am open about aspects of my sex life.

I’d like to answer his question of “Do I like dick?” here and now, in a way at least Dr. Theodore Seuss could appreciate.  

I do like them
in a house.
I do like them
with a mouse.
I do like them
here or there.
I do like them

I would like one
in a box.
I would like one
with a fox.

(And, I might even like two.)

While I might have many nicknames, “Girly” isn’t one of them.  And, I like dick.

But I like people more, and love dicks attached to men who know, care for, and respect me.

So, be more than a dick, and you might get more action for yours.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

This Is The Tale Of Me

Once upon a time, a twenty-five year old woman went to a leather night held at Adams Street, a gay bar in Akron, OH with her boyfriend (now partner) and two close friends, a gay male couple.

She had purchased her first handcuffs at the age of sixteen and had her senior pictures taken in a leather jacket and boots, so she knew who she was by this time and place.  She borrowed a leather vest to meet the basic dress code.  This young lady had prepped for this night as much as possible, by reading a dog-eared copy of The Leatherman’s Handbook she had scoured used book stores for years to find.  You might chuckle, but that’s the only resource she had heard of, and she didn’t want to fuck up if she had this opportunity.  Being in this environment, even as a minority, she saw a combination of camaraderie, fundraising, fetish sexuality, and openness which felt like home and there was no turning back or away. 

I bet you’re not surprised this is the tale of me.

My entire adult life I have existed fairly exclusively in a world of men; first as a truck driver then as a leather woman.  Looking back over the sixteen years I have spent in the leather community some things have changed, some have not.  One change which has been striking and sometimes disturbing is the vastly different outlook of the women younger to the scene and the sentiment of "no women" when there have always been a few women around.   

With this writing, I aim to create an insight and understanding as to why women of my tenure in the leather community are how we are.

After my first taste of the community on that first bar night, I began attending and supporting the back-patch club fundraising nights and leather nights in the gay bars in Northeast Ohio.   I listened much and spoke little.  I was always polite, respectful, and would engage with the people who were open and approached me.  I started to meet amazing men who became amazing friends.  And even though I was in the minority, the leather community felt like home.  Here, I could be the fullest aspect of myself, not having to hide anything, but certainly keeping things street-legal.

In the late 90’s-early 00’s, back pack clubs were thriving in the state; Trident Columbus/Cleveland/Toledo, The Iron Eagles, The Rangers, The Unicorns, N.A.I.L., The Crusaders, Steel Valley Leather were all hosting bar nights and had full club rosters.  I witnessed what an important role they served and after dedication and deliberation began inquiring about pledging for membership in the local club.  

2004- A Iron Eagles military bar night at the 540 Eagle, Canton, OH.

For two years I asked the man I knew best in the club about an application and sponsoring me.  Each time I was told something like, “Ummmmmm, I’m not sure.  You’re a woman.”  Michael was told he could get an application to pledge at anytime, but withheld.  In talking with other members of the club who had become friends they told me the club’s by-laws did not exclude women, or anyone for that matter based on race, sexuality, income, HIV status, or gender. I never ceased my support of the club and their bar nights, because I believed so strongly in what they were accomplishing and experienced this powerful feeling of home.  I still would ask for an application from time to time, and on one fine night I was given one. Two sponsors vouched for me.  I put my nose to the grindstone and even though I got my balls busted hard on a regular basis I earned full membership in either 2004 or 2005 in a six month period. 

The times I visited the heterosexual kink community, it didn’t have the same fire or focus. I felt more a stranger there than in the leather community.  I couldn’t find the openness, kinship, joy, spirit of activism, and social/fundraising focus I’d come to love. When I said hello to people passing in the halls, I was met with silence.  I was told people are hesitant around people they didn’t know.  BDSM play was all behind closed doors there, and you certainly have a cocktail while you were doing it.  And almost no one wore leather.  If they did it was a vest over a pair of dress pants or Dockers, and that esthetic didn’t get me hot. 

The leather nights at gay bars and back patch clubs were in only in-road I knew to the leather community.  In the Midwest, there is no women’s leather community.  It didn’t exist then and it doesn’t exist now.  There were no leather boy groups, no leather girl groups, no pup groups, no Master/slave groups, no fem-domme groups.  There were leather bars and leather clubs.  Leather was the only way available.  I had to try to make my way, or walk away from a community which was becoming my home.  

During these first years of going to leather bars, it eventually would come out in conversation I was a fairly skilled S&M top, and gay men began approaching me to play.  It was my policy, and still is, never to approach a man to play in a gay bar or at a leather event, as I assume he is usually gay and I always respect his sexual preference as I perceive it.  Because it was the desire of those men to play with me, the doors of the back room began opening, and I’d find myself in a least one hot scene each night I went out.  Sometimes, I would have a number of people waiting, and I’d play for hours as long as everyone’s energy (and the queue) was there. 

One of my most memorable early nights in the back room at the 540 Eagle here in Canton.  I’m playing with a handsome leather man and his partner is closely watching so he can learn to top his man.  We’re bathed in red light in the corner of the small, smoky, dark, back room.  A leather daddy is relaxing in a barber chair smoking a cigar while a boy worships his boots.  A vanilla business man is simultaneously riding someone’s tongue and sucking another man's cock.  Our scene is getting hotter; voyeurs are pleasuring themselves while watching, and both men strip down to leather pants.  Our heat is rising with the heat in the room.  No one can hear the music clearly but we can feel the bass.  Everyone is engaged in their own scene but contributing to a higher energy. My bottom’s partner is closer now. He’s eagerly watching my Vampire gloved fingers tease his boyfriend’s chest; my bottom’s head bowed, his chest heaving with excited breaths when he looks up feverishly and leans quickly in to kiss me.  I felt the same fire, met his tongue with mine, and lose ourselves in a kiss.  Within a minute, I feel another tongue seeking to connect and another pair of hands sliding around my corseted waist.  We were in that ruby corner for sometime and the night ended with a hearty thank you and an exchange of numbers.  Over a decade later, the handsome bottom and I are still close friends, and have been together in good times and bad.  

Me and a fore mentioned leatherboy in 2011.

I became enmeshed in the goings on in the batch patch world.  I went to every bar night, every meeting, every fundraiser, marched in Pride parades, traveled to support the endeavors of other clubs, held the office of secretary, worked security for Mr. Cleveland Leather, helped with every run show, worked hard, played harder and developed deep friendships with the men around me. 

For a long time the only leather I owned was boots, my back patch vest, and a leather halter.  I made it work.  But, I could pull up a bar stool any night in the old days at the 540 Eagle, get served, and share camaraderie all night long.  

But there are times, even to the this day, when I might be invited to an event to support or judge an event, and I am blatantly ignored by the bartender and denied service. 

Once at an All-Clubs bar night at the bar I first experienced leather culture, a kinky woman who came to support the event needed to use the restroom facility and wasn’t quite sure about what to do.  Those of familiar with this situation know the women’s room key is always lost or the women’s room is occupied by people fucking.  Sure enough, the women’s room key was nowhere to be found and by this time she was doing the dreaded dance.  I told her to follow me and we headed toward the men’s room.  I called discreetly in the door to make sure it was clear; the man at the urinal told me he’d be finished in a minute, came out and said, “Here you go, hon.”  We bustle in, she’s bursting… only to find the lone stall, door open, with four men in it, back patches blazing.  One turns around to look at us and then promptly turns back to the action.  He looked me in the eye, so I knew he saw us and waited for a time for them to kindly move the party (for just long enough for her to pee).  A minute passes when I calmly say to them, “Could she please use the stall for just a second?”  The man who made eye contact with me turns around long enough to growl, “Fuck you.”

While she’s in the process of frantically looking for her keys to leave before she urinated herself, two twinks enter the bathroom and one says, “Hey doll… what’s the deal, you guys need to use the bathroom?”  The kinky woman bolts, and I tell the young men what transpired, to which the reply, “That’s muthafuckin bullshit!” Then my extreme amusement, they begin wetting down paper towels, wadding them up, and copiously pelting and chiding the men monopolizing the stall.  Their next round was on me. 

There was always an undercurrent of “knowing your place” as a woman, especially from the more “traditional” members of the club.  A leather man who took care of business and was outspoken and forthright was a natural dominant, a leader.  As an outspoken, dominant, forthright, leather woman, I had to learn to communicate very carefully as the first place some would want to cast me into was the bitch box.  It seemed with these men as long as women were working their asses off, being the bitch, and not questioning anything, everything was cool.  If you stepped out of “their” bounds, things could get pretty uncool very quickly.  If you were submissive women, things were typically easier. 

At times, I would hear racist remarks, which shocked me the first time I heard them from a gay man.   I didn’t understand how someone who had been widely discriminated against could do it to another.  I’d always call hate speech on the carpet.  

Melvin and I. - 2005

Even outside of the leather world, gay men and I would mutually gravitate and find kinship.  I was an attendee of Pagan Spirit Gathering for many moons, where there was always a loud and proud Rainbow Camp each year.  I came to know many of the men from the camp, and they came to me when their request to have kinky classes taught at the event and on the official schedule was denied. 

The men asked if I would be open to teaching covert classes on S&M at their camp.  I said, “Absolutely.  Let me know when.”  It wasn’t all work and no play though, no sir.  One late night, an impromptu contest occurred when a jar of Nutella and my bared breasts were used as an impetus to create an impromptu contest demonstrating oral skills between gay men and straight men at a Bacchanal.  Gay men won.  Some fine leathermen and leather allies came out of that camp; men I am proud to call family.  You know who you are. 
Once Michael was asked to create a Halloween ad for the bar night.  Some “traditional” members thought it appeared slightly feminine and much consternation ensued.  After one “Christmas In July” fundraiser in which drag queens had invited to help perform, they were told they could not enter leather space because of their feminine appearance.  Can you guess who they came to?  Me.  They knew I had earned the ability to be in the space and knew I cared about others and would help if I could.  When I tried to sort it out amicably between the bar owner and the guests, I was told, “There’s no way they are coming up here, even if they were invited to help.”  The more free thinking members; we were super tight due in part to their balanced views and the fact they didn’t get my gender color their view of me.  

Offensive Halloween advertisement.

By this point in 2006, it had been eight years in which my personal and social life was almost solely in the world of leather men.  I never went to straight bars, because my brothers weren’t comfortable in them.  My family wanted to be with me and I with them.

I was at a leather event in Akron, OH when my brother, Mike Gallagher, mentioned I should run for a women’s leather title.  I said, “I didn’t know they had those for women!”  I had attended Mr. Akron Leather and Mr. Cleveland Leather many times, but only knew of two other women connected to the entire leather scene in Northeast Ohio.  I learned shortly thereafter women’s leather contests had been happening for many years, but they were far removed from my scope of being.  I had no idea there were numbers of leather women, because in Ohio at that time I was one of three.

2005- Mike & Mike on the patio of the Leather Stallion Saloon.

After a bit of healthy convincing from him, I competed for a leather title in Columbus late July of that year, and then planned for the regional contest a month later.  Leather men were by my side the whole way.  

I went to the regional contest, won, and became Ms. Great Lakes Leather Pride. One of the highlights after winning was being sandwiched between Larry Golubski and Mark Frazier, with Mark saying, "I had no idea pink leather could be so hot!"   

And, the leather world opened up much, much, larger. 

The first event we were invited to was a Leather Ball weekend.  It was held by Steel Valley Leather and was held at the fabulous Club Maxx and a cut-stone manor with an outdoor play space overlooking the Ohio River.  My first scene was a flogging scene with an OG leather transman.  He’s not had top surgery but was secure enough in himself to remove his shirt to better enjoy the sensations.  Before long a friend of his, a gay man is eagerly sucking on his nipples from the front of the cross while his boy worshipped his boots.  It was a hot scene and a large number of gay men there thought so to.  The line of men wanting to play took my three and a half hours to work through.  

Nigel & Maxx holding down the fort at the 2006 Great Lakes Olympus Leather Ball Weekend.

Michael and I traveled to Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, Steubenville, Parkersburg, Charlestown, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Louisville; sometimes alone, sometimes with brothers.  I first met some of the finest people in my life at that time, which has been the blessing of this hard journey. 

My focus for the title year was to travel within the region, supporting events/fundraisers by selling whatever was for sale out of my cleavage (because it always paid off for the charity) and connecting with the leatherfolk (usually leathermen) in the new town of the weekend. 

As a queer identified (not gay) regional title-holder the only place I could compete internationally was IMsL.  In the time leading up to the event, I was looking forward to being around other leatherwomen as it was going to be a wholly new experience, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime as it takes a huge travel allotment to budget a trip to San Francisco from the Midwest.  My excitement was short lived.  In the first day of the event, I had repeated comments made to me like, “Oh, you’re the one who’s in with the leather men.”  One judge who was lesbian wouldn’t even speak to me.  Judgment statements were made to me about everything from the fact I was sharing a room with three men, that I had men in my fantasy, to my perceived sexuality; the fact I was not a lesbian and came from the men’s community did not bode well for me.  Here I was, surrounded by individuals who were self-identified leather women, and I was more of a stranger among them than among leather men. 

IMsL- 2007 Playing with the boys after it was all said and done.  Photo by Rich Stadtmiller.

  In 2008, we were in Louisville, KY at a gay bar supporting a Red Party event which was an HIV/AIDS fundraiser organized by a group of leathermen.  The work was winding down when Donald Palmore looked at me and said, “Up for an adventure?” Well, of course I was!  Within fifteen minutes, he’s explained his desire for me to be one of the women to “pop the cherry” of the bar Boots who has never allowed women admittance and while we’ve been talking has amassed a group of family and friends to stand together to help do the deed.  We (attired properly) traveled to Boots, and went in with him in the lead.  To the doorman Donald said, “We’d all, all of us, like to come in.  If not, let us know and we can go.” Donald and his boy Chris, Rick Mora, Russ Coulter, boy Doug, and Michael escorted Ms. Tammy and I in, pretty as you please.  Later that night, the bartender told me it was one of the best times he’s ever seen go down in that bar.  Each time I’ve returned, I’m warmly met with, “Ooohhh girl, you’re back!  Are you here to do it up?!?!  I remember last time you were spanking boys on the bar and it was hot!"

Some of the infamous "Boots night" crew.


To be continued...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Truth, Justice, & The Oral Pleasure Way

I know the moral of the story usually comes at the end, but in the current spirit of instant gratification, I won’t make you wait.

Always be open to honest and frank conversations with loved ones.  If you’re not, you’ll never fully realize potential for what you could experience and share. 

It was a Saturday on a cold weekend in January.  I was sharing time with my lover and we were talking about relationships: hopes, past disappointments, random thoughts, and other related topics.  When he muses, “You know, you’re really good...” 

I cock my head to the left quizzically and reply, “At what?” 

He smiles and says, “Oral sex.  Deep throat.  Did you ever talk to anyone about that? You’re really amazing.”

Fellatio and irrumatio* has always been a major part of our sex life; I love giving him that pleasure, and he loves it.  It’s a rare occasion when he lies back to only receive gracefully.  More often than not, he’s moaning, occasionally cursing, spitting in my mouth, fucking my face, and exploring new ways and positions to experience every bit of my mouth and throat. 

And, I love it. 

My dominant nature has not magically changed overnight; I’m still me in all the ways you have experienced.  This is perhaps an aspect you just didn’t consider.

The conversation continued.  Our mutual affirmation of shared pleasure of his cock in my mouth was the catalyst for explorations we couldn’t have imagined.  

This past December, I asked him if he would be open to recording me going down on him.  I wanted to see what we looked like from a different perspective.  It was only the second time I had been captured in moments of sexual intimacy on film, and it was hyper erotic to experience the sights and sounds from his perspective.  We viewed it after our encounter had concluded, both aroused at watching.

Fast forward to January, it’s after midnight.  The Saturday referred to earlier has become Super Bowl Sunday.  We’re cuddled up on the couch finishing a horror movie.  My eyes are heavy lidded, I’ve become tired and ready for sweet slumber.  I can’t remember exactly how the chain of events happened, but suddenly we’re no longer sleepy and he’s seeking out his digital camera.  We recorded one episode of heated oral sex, then another, and another.  He and I both knew what we loved, but we had not realized we both wanted this savagery.  We would film, and then watch it, and become aroused again.  You get the picture.  We decided at 4:00 AM we should probably rehydrate and get some sleep.
He and I awoke, about noon when his big black cat decided food and attention was much more important than our slumber.  Even before coffee, we began plotting the potential course of oral adventures for the day. 

Starting at 1:00PM, we recorded a multitude of oral sex exploits taking two small breaks to shower and eat.  We began doing the things we do often as parts of our regular sex life.  We’d play hard orally, watch what he had recorded; I’d end up dripping, him still rock hard and both ready to fuck.  As the time passed, our explorations went to a deep and very new place after he dipped into his toy drawer to pull out a large ring gag.  It’s hard to imagine becoming even more aroused, but we were.  It was the best Super Bowl Sunday ever.  At 10:00PM, desires were still high, but we stopped to cuddle on the couch and surf Netflix for another horror movie.  We missed the game entirely.

If new explorations, experiencing each other and kinky toys in a new ways, and the sheer carnal depravity of what we were doing wasn’t thrilling enough, what put this over the top for me was the major level of intimacy, which came from so many levels of trust.

While we’re both kinky, I’m more dominant and he’s more submissive, our relationship is not one based in D/s.  But as our play continued on into the weeks ahead, I was in the ring gag, then the ring gag and handcuffs, progressing all the way to major bondage.  One fine night, I found myself helpless in a leather posture collar and fish hook gag, secured to the basement support pole with my hands cuffed behind my back and a heavy length of chain wound twice around my neck.  

(I’ll give you a moment to clean up the cup of coffee you just now dropped or to bring your jaw back to its normal position.  Yes, uber domly me, bound, cuffed, and being brutally throat fucked, at times my oxygen supply cut off to the point of darkness rapidly encroaching on my vision.  And, I loved every second of it.)

We’ve been exploring this way since that time, at times we capture the encounter on digital, other times not.  Sometimes, we enjoy the moment and let it live in memory alone.  I often joke and tell him he gives multitasking filmmaker Robert Rodriguez a run for his money.  I’m not sure if I could simultaneously be slam fucking someone, while I screw their throat with a dildo, and film it all for pleasure.  He’s talented, that’s all I can say.

During play and between periods of gasping for breath before his cock was shoved deeper into my open throat, I, at times, have brief moments of cognitive thought. 

“I’m dominant.  What does this mean?”

“How will this effect our relationship?”

“I don’t like putting people in elaborate bondage.  Isn’t it strange I’m enjoying being in it?”

“I’m dominant, but I’m glad I’m sitting on concrete or the carpet would be soaked.”

“What would people think of me if they knew?  I don’t care.  Fuck.  I can’t breathe.  I might lose consciousness soon, but I don’t really care.  But I’m craving his thick cock back in my throat, right now.”

We’ve been with each other in many new ways since then, and up until now, our exploits had been primarily kept within the family.  When Micheal watched them he said, “Those are fucking hot.  I’d say they’re better than most of the porn I’ve seen.  I think you could sell them; they are that damn hot.”

The next time my lover and I were together I shared with him Michael had viewed the movies and told him what he said.  And, another conversation was launched.

We discussed all the things, good and bad, which could come from opening up these recordings to the public.  We both recognized the implications, and agreed what was most important was doing this for our mutual pleasure.  We agreed that if either of us wanted to remove the clips from a hosting site, we would, with no hard feelings to the other.  

So we set about the process of determining what we might want to share.  Then editing, which took longer than initially expected; as we’d edit, then watch, and get excited, then…

During that time we investigated a host and began filing the appropriate paperwork and being granted approval to upload some of our most private moments to Clips 4 Sale.  It was a Saturday night, late in the evening, when we double checked how we each felt and our first videos were uploaded and able to be viewed by people other than us.  I was working the PC; excited and hesitant, blushing visibly, giggling, but highly aroused.  Checking the heat radiating from my cheeks with his hands, he quietly smiled at my reactions.

Our shared look was an unspoken affirmation enough.  We’re officially pornographers now.
Sometimes I am still in awe of our bravery, and/or audacity.

I still giggle about it, and wonder how all of this will be received by people who know me. 
A few friends with inquisitive souls helped me gauge potential reactions.  I sent them sent a still from one of the recordings to see how or if their perception of me had changed based on the fairly graphic image.  The intimates, who know me well, know well I am not caged by traditional methods, but I wanted to get a feel to see if people would judge me harshly for being a dominant engaging in what most would view as “submissive” sex acts.
Leatherman Randy Carmenaty said, “My perception of you has always been someone secure and confident in herself.  You exert it … instructions aren't required.”  A close friend who has known me for a long time said, “It invokes the thoughts of a woman who is definitely the dominant type. Yes, she is currently sucking cock, but that doesn't mean that she is weak or submissive, to me this just instills the thoughts that the woman has a side of her that knows it's not all about her.”

A Columbus-based kinky man noted, “The photo.. alluring yet classy, and definitely something truly intimate for the imagination!! Made - me- purr! I really love it showing you in, from my perspective, predatory mode!  Another said, “You’re a woman who loves giving and receiving affection; you’re a woman who isn't afraid of anything.”

New England leatherman Boss said, “Between two people that know and care for each other it is one of the most powerful ways to connect ( entering another person) as far as my reaction to you in that picture. I'd have to say I think it's hot and totally fine that Tops get to bottom with the correct person and does not in any way make them less of a top but actually a better top - works for me!”

“I don't think that it changes my perception of you at all. I still think that it shows a wildly erotic and enticing woman who is in charge of what she is doing” is how experienced leatherwoman, Paula Smith commented.  A trusted friend, Chuck from Chicago offered this insight, “For me, this provides a new way of seeing you both as a Dom, and as a giving human creature of delight.”
Through much of these deliberations, I have been filled with a feeling somewhere between trepidation and excitement to think of others having a direct view into our sex life.  I wondered if these revelations would negatively affect my reputation as a leatherwoman.  As I mused more internally and we discussed externally, I believed it would be entirely liberating to be so extremely candid sexually. 
The majority of the time I exist in a world of gay men, where women’s sexuality can be extremely marginalized.  Comments like, “Just one woman in the group changes the dynamic.” and “A woman’s energy affects everything!!” reiterate the notion women should diminish themselves so they don’t make waves. 
In a community where natural, honest, sexuality is revered, at times I’ve not been my own fullest sexual self, so the crowd around me would not be more “affected”.  Life’s too short to be any less than what we are.

So, this is me. 

I’m sure this is a “me-you-didn’t-know-about”, and neither did I until recently.  But, I’ve always been a bit of an unintentional sexual terrorist and an explorer, and that is one thing which has not changed. 
Ansel Adams has been quoted as saying, “In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”

Keep exploring, explorers.  Or, by definition alone we cease to exist. 

(*Irrumatio- the act of thrusting of the penis into, in this case, the mouth or throat.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Body Image: Beauty In Diversity

Diversity is one of the things which first struck me in my early days of going to leather bars. 

I remember being able to stand in one place and with one sweeping glance gaze upon: old and young, twink and bear, model handsome and average Joe, drag queens and uber macho, and everyone in between.  When I witnessed everyone comfortable in their second skins, to me they were all beautiful, because they were being their truest self.  And, in coming up on sixteen years in leather bars, it’s still one of the things I enjoy the most: diverse beauty. 

As a minority in the leather scene, I’ve never been able to blend.  I’m a nearly six feet tall woman, large, thick, and curvy, chock full of T&A, and overtly feminine.  I own pink leather and I wear open toed heels (with toenails painted, of course) to tantalize those into feet.  I love boots, and they are de rigueur in our scene, but most don’t go with what I enjoy wearing.  Those close to me know I have fantasies about blending and being one of the anonymous guys, but I don’t see that ever happening.  One late night out, long, long ago, a group of leathermen tried to teach me how to walk like a man.  In heels, slightly cocktailed, and with hips like mine it was an amusing but not successful lesson. 

I’ve been the “odd man out” my entire life.  On the first day of kindergarten, I was the freak who could read who was also tallest person in class.  In third grade, I was the size of a small woman (without the breasts, those didn’t start to appear until my junior year) and had a large overbite.  There was no way I could hide and was teased daily.  Even when I was little, I was never little.  I was never at odds with myself; I was just me.  I was teased though daily, for one thing or another, in school until my senior year.

I didn’t experience body Nazis in the leather community until I encountered and became deeply involved with the contest circuit.  When I competed regionally many moons ago, one of the newbie Ms. contestants essentially voiced she had this in the bag because she was a size six. 

She didn’t. (She did flatten the tires on my car though.)

There was a pretty notorious and well discussed example of this which happened in Cleveland a few years back.  A good man, who had shed much of his weight and been in the community for quite sometime, stepped up to compete.  During the contest, he was publically criticized by one of the judges for the appearance of excess skin and that he should “do something about that before he considers competing again.” 

Is this what our community wants to foster?

All of us have different esthetics we find pleasing, and that’s human nature. For me, as a judge, personality, integrity, passion, dedication, and experience trump the cut-out coverboy look anytime.  Most times, I’m in the minority, as the overall voting will go to the hot piece of ass which might or might not have been coached to say all the right things over the man who has served his community and lived and loved in his own leathers.

Years ago, I was angrily confronted by a man in a leather bar who had himself fired up about me from listening to gossip.  The opening gem, and the only thing he could think of was to tell me to “get my fat ass out of the bar.”  Quite ironically, this loud slave was short, bald, not conventionally handsome, and quite round himself.

If he’s reading, I’d like him to know many have worshiped my fat ass.

As an adult and dominant, I’ve enjoyed being a formidable woman, as do my paramours.  I have large frame; shoulders of a line backer, a large hip to waist ratio, and a crazy long inseam, all these qualities can be frustrating to clothe, but still I liked myself and my body.  Those who know me well, know I don’t eat excessively or unhealthy; the statue of people in my bloodline for the most part tend to be large and statuesque.  I am not diabetic and my cholesterol levels are perfect.  A few years ago, the familial high blood pressure trait kicked in almost overnight.  With treatment it’s not high, and has been dropping as I’ve been in the gym. 

Over the past year, I’ve lost over eighty pounds, and have been in the gym on the average of at least four days a week.  My body is changing weekly.

 (Photo taken last IML.  I've changed a bit since then.)

You might think it’s an oxymoron to read I’ve always felt happy with myself but now I’m in the working out.  The gyms I had experienced had been very pretentious.  Many of the women in expensive work out wear, while I was in a baggy t-shirt and well, you get the picture.  One weekend last April, I went to the gym with Michael and really enjoyed myself.  I signed up for a membership that very day.  At that time I was approaching forty, and reasoned, “why not be the best forty I can be?”  Going to the gym for two hours, has become my “me time” where I can listen to my music and focus on being in my body.  I will say there have been incredible changes in both mind and body.

Currently, I’m a woman’s size 16/18, and it’s not my goal to ever become small, only to be more healthy, more powerful, and the best me I can be.

Next time you go out in leather, I’d like for you to do something, if you would.  Instead of just cruising for your type, look around and find one thing you find beautiful in every leatherperson you see: man and woman, old and young, twink and bear, model handsome and average Joe, drag queens and uber macho, and everyone in between. 

Recognize and support beauty in diversity, because it’s one of the gifts of our community we really shouldn’t waste.  The Tom of Finland ideal does not exist, or it would have been photographed, not drawn.  

(Originally published on Leatherati: )

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Drop the Strap-On (And Back Away From the Silicone Chock Full Of Misogyny)

I wonder at times if I am the only one who feels this way. 

Take a look at current kink networking sites, or many Tumblr feeds about dominant woman and that’s the majority of what you see, women naked or wearing fetish attire with strap-on dildos receiving the predominant focus in the photo.  Most of them overly huge and impractical for penetration with most, which makes me chuckle the same as I do when I see a single man driving aggressively in a chromed-out Hummer or pick-up truck with vanity plates.  Overcompensate much?

The bigger the cock, the more uber of a dominant you must be; well, maybe if you also believe “the higher the hair, the closer to God”.

I’m not here to say what you’re doing is wrong if you enjoy strap-on play. 

If this is your kink, giving or receiving, do your thing.  These are my only my opinions and I own them. I get off on respectful discussion though, so thank you in advance if you want to indulge me. 

For many years, in inquiries from or early discussions with male submissives they are often under the impression dominant woman only have sex with a dildo strapped on.  I blame porn.  I find that many in the modern age of kink receive early exposure to porn and due to fears about being “out” exist on a daily diet of it for years.  (Which also leads to non-consensual objectification; don’t get me started on that.)   I wonder why these gents believe I wouldn’t give pleasure and receive pleasure with my own woman’s body.  To them I oft reply, “I have a perfectly good pussy.  Why wouldn’t I use it?”

By the same token, if you are a man who enjoys prostate stimulation, go for it.  While I don’t have penis envy, a prostate gland would be something fun to have. 
Strap-ons are a common theme in fetish porn; “dominant” women pose and peacock about while wearing them.  A woman using a dildo on a man is often marketed as “sissification”.  (Does enjoying anal stimulation make you automatically a sissy?  Many men I know would certainly beg to differ.)  During penetration she always growls degrading phrases to the “bitch” receiving.  Degradation is another theme popular in both vanilla and kinky pornography.  (And, again if consensual degradation is your thing, do it.  I enjoy elements of it myself.)  While my knowledge of porn is my no means wildly expansive, women receiving many different forms of humiliation are rampantly available, but I’ve never seen a woman wearing a strap-on dildo in a place of humiliation.  

Consider if you would, these things in regard to the use of strap-ons, D/s, and gender stereotypes: 

Top:  You’re playing into the misogynistic notion you need a penis/phallus to be dominant. 

Bottom:  You’re perpetrating the antiquated stereotype if you enjoy being penetrated you are weak and that being penetrated is an act of humiliation which makes you the “bitch”. 

I purchased my first harness just a few years back, to pleasure a lover and I was happy to accommodate him and his desires.  The thought of using the strap-on never evoked feelings of dominance because of that one item alone.  Being dominant doesn’t forfeit me the right or the ability to be a considerate lover and at heart I will always be a lover.  If we can please each other with toys and dildos, I am all for it.  Kinky sex is the shit. 

D/s and S&M arouse me intensely. When I am engaging in BDSM play with someone I am intimately and emotionally involved with, sex is how I usually want to wrap it up.  Consider it my aftercare. 

I love being fucked.  And gasp… I even have “vanilla sex” and make love.  After we’ve shared pleasure I will want to be close, quiet, and touching you gently, laughing at the process of deciding what we’re hungry for now, or deciding to go again.  Those truths don’t make me less of a dominant; they make me true to myself. 

Some know I have had sexual relationships with men who self-identify as gay.  When most hear that they will jump to the conclusion I was fucking them with a strap-on dildo while the fact of the matter is I have never used a strap-on dildo to penetrate a gay man.  I imagine you can figure out the sexual logistics from there. 

I have spent so much time in my life fighting to exist as a woman in a man’s world, I feel strongly about forfeiting the overtly feminine aspects of myself. 

I was a little girl who loved visiting my father’s garage with two gas pumps out front, who became a high school student with an aptitude for art who was the only girl placed in the welding shop to learn a new skill to create with metal.  I was the young woman who became a truck driver at twenty-one, who wore make-up daily and constantly had to watch her ass because everyone else was.  I fought off two attempted rapes.  I grew into the woman who earned a Master’s cover in the leather community at the age of thirty-seven (while owning pink leather and wearing open-toed shoes and lipstick in the leather bar) which wasn’t easy.  

In closing I want to reiterate I’m not here to invalidate anyone’s fetish or desires, or to start a ban on strap-ons.  Nor, do I regret my purchase of one, but I do believe much of the imagery and fantasy built around them does perpetrate stereotypes many of us work hard to overcome. 
Moral of my story:  I haven’t worked this hard in my life to fight gender stereotypes and live a life true to myself to not enjoy my own body.  

And, Prince didn’t write the song “Pussy Control” for nothin’.

As always, thanks for reading.