Friday, December 16, 2016

#Gender, identity, misogyny and #masc in the Gay community...?

There's been quite a thread recently on several of the Social Media spaces I inhabit, talking about how there seems to be a growing soapbox backlash in the gay community against 'masculine' guys.

Now, complaining about this that could sound like a bunch of straight-acting guys bemoaning their loss of male-privilege - but I think there is something deeper and more important here about identity and just what the LGBT Community should be.

Some of the thread has been about enculturated misogyny: the lack of female voices being allowed to speak for the LGBT community as a whole, the number of 'male only' clubs and the lack of 'female-only' spaces, and the anti-female language that is prevalent amongst some of the community. And I think there really is a valid political point here. We do have a male-privileged society were the female and feminine voice has been historically silenced or pushed aside - and were unhelpfully binary hetero-normative ideas of gender see 'masculine' traits lauded, whilst 'feminine' traits are sidelined or belittled. As a community - and as individuals - we have been ostracised by that same patriarchal normativity, and so should fight it whenever and wherever we can. That includes in our Community spaces, and in our own behaviours and beliefs.

I think there is quite a lot of unaware misogyny in the gay community. We've all experienced those friends who grimace and mutter "ew: fish!" if a women enters their gay spaces, or who make disparaging remarks about women or fem guys - but equally, how often do we unthinkingly use words like 'slut', 'cunt', or 'pussy' in a derogatory or belittling way without thinking about how anti-women those words are, or how offensive they might be...? The words we use create the world we see after all.

If we really want to help change society for the good, then our LGBT events should involve and celebrate the whole of our community. As aware gay men we should be careful of unconsciously using our male privilege, and actively give space to our female, trans and feminine identifying colleagues. So that means stepping back to give other voices room to speak - and it also means that it is NOT OK to use sexist or belittling language, even as a joke - and that includes doing so unconsciously. It is only by actively ensuring that our Community spaces are inclusive and diverse that we can ever hope to fully become part of a rainbow choir for change

However. A rainbow community has to make space for every colour, and every identity expression. There can be no gaps.
There's been a thread on one of the gay fetish sites, were a member has been called out for being 'Masc' - and was specifically told that it was a bad thing to act male or masculine, because by being so he was actively hating anyone who isn't. The same idea is expressed in a video that's making the rounds that calls out 'masculine-acting' gay men for being misogynistic, and vilifies any guy who wants to have sex with men that are comfortable in their own masculinity as this is 'shaming non-cis feminine men'. Which is just so bizarrely headfucked!

By this thinking, it's OK and acceptable to be yourself if you are a fem-queen (which, for the record, IS totally ok) but it's not OK to be yourself if you happen to be a naturally masculine gay guy. This is such a misunderstanding of the Queer concept of performative gender identity! Gender identity in our culture may be something we express through our chosen actions and ways of expressing ourselves (so something we 'perform' rather than 'be'), but the core of what we are expressing is something that is a core part of our indentity - and therefore a core part of who we are (even if it is only subconsciously chosen). Expressing yourself as a fem or non-cis man is as much a 'performance' as expressing yourself as hetero-normative male - so how can one be 'OK' and the other not? Shaming someone for being and acting as they are is no different from fat-shaming a bearish guy, or telling every Lesbian that they have to wear dungarees - and how does that work in our 'rainbow collective'?!?

Sure, being a masculine gay guy isn't OK if you express it by acting like the worst misogynistic or queen-hating straight-guy you can think of - that's not being masculine, that's just being a dick. But how can me just being 'normal' (for me) be actively offensive? - unless we have somehow got to a flipped-over point where masculinity itself is vilified...

Shaming is shaming - and I don't care what it's over: fat, gym-bunny, fem or masc - if you're telling someone to feel shame for being who they are and how they are comfortable with being (as long as it's not being a dick) then YOU are being a dick. Plane and simple.

I feel solidarity with my female and non-cis gendered friends, but I am a mostly cis-identifying gay man. I like everyone - and enjoy partying with everyone from women to drag-queens to leathermen and muscle-marys - but what makes me gay is the fact that I am sexually attracted to men; and yes, that means cis men who are 'gifted' with the physical traits created by the testosterone that flows in their bodies (and their pheromones): tall, muscular, bearded, hairy, confident... (but also: caring, protective, intelligent, gentlemanly - and all the other positive 'masculine' traits we often forget)... That *doesn't* mean I think the often 'feminine' traits are somehow less important or meaningful (whether expressed by men or women) - it's just that those traits are not what gets me hard. Maybe some of that comes from a society-induced bias from my upbringing, or maybe some of it is biological and chemical - who knows? All I do know for sure is that it's how I'm sexually wired.

We all need safe spaces: spaces were we can be ourselves, and explore and celebrate our identities - and that includes our gender expressions. Sometimes those spaces might be 'safe' for us *All* to explore our non-heteronormative identity, but equally there also needs to be spaces were we express our gendered and sexualised identities too - and so there *should* be women only spaces, and likewise, there also needs to be men only spaces too. Some of those spaces can be political, some party spaces - and yes, some of them also need to be sexual spaces were we get to strip and express our deepest sexual selves and rutt like the animals we are.

My expressing my sexual and gender identity is not belittling you expressing yours. If you think it is, you need to look to yourself and your own issues.

I know my fetish is as much a performance of identity as dragging up, or gimping out. But expressing MY sexual identity is a core part of being who I am - and allowing each of us to be free to do so (without harm to others) without shame or criticism should be a fundamental part of what the LGBT community must stand for.

Monday, October 03, 2016

#RopePlay with the #Wolfpack

Just a few photos from one of my favourite experiences during the whole ManchesterLeathermen's Leather Weekend...

The London Wolfpack were up to lead a bondage workshop at Rob on the Sunday, but also gave several bondage demonstrations at some of the official events over the weekend - and I was extremely lucky to be asked to be 'victim' for the one they held on the canal cruise - and even happier when Sir said 'yes, pup, I will let another man tie you up. In public. Whilst 70 sexy, gearclad Men watch and take photos...'

Better photos will come, I'm sure, but meantime here's a few kindly shared by the superbly sexy Dash: rigger and all round stud... (and even one of my Man enjoying a little time with His helplessly restrained pup, as reward... ;) )



#brotherhood at the #ManchesterLeathermen #LeatherWeekend

Just back from a brilliant weekend up in Manchester for the Manchester Leathermen's Leather Weekend, with my Handler and our good friend the Dr Nigel.

What a grand bunch of Men the Manchester Leathermen are - and what an excellent example of how to run a community-focused, friendly and fully integrated club. Everyone was so welcoming of their visitors, and regularly seemed to go out of their way to make sure all the new faces were embraced and included. The range of events was nicely broad, from formal dinners and relaxed brunches, to leatherclad discos and a heaving night at Alert - and also made space for several fun offerings on the 'fringe' too - including a grand puppy romp at the Kennel Klub, and a brilliantly hands-on rope workshop run by The Wolfpack. 

Thank you Leather Daddy, Saxon, and all the crew: you showed us all how a Community really can work in a true spirit of brotherhood for the good of all, and STILL have tons of sexy fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

'I am the driver, he is the fuel'

'With my Master, I can release the beast inside of me - and being released, it is tamed'

This vintage film by Hardy Habberman (digitised by the Leather Archives and Museum) is a stunning visual and personal exploration of the power and meaning of Leathersex and BDSM. Behind the gear and the posturing, the egos and the fantasy, THIS is the true power and reality of BDSM can be...

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


I long for the perfect escape of rubber. 

The dark, enfolding embrace of that chemical latex skin - closer, tighter and more complete than any lover’s - as it coats and encases every muscle in overwhelming anonymity, and squeezes between each finger, toe, and crevice.

The rippling completeness of a sleepsac, expectant, waiting to welcome my willing flesh into its damp womb like folds - and the breath-squeezing compression as each zipper, buckle, and lace is sealed around my now grub-like body.

The self-erasing silence and blissful blindness of a close-fitting hood - the bitter-sweet swell of the gag, protest-muffling as it fills my mouth.

The hypnotic hiss-and-pop of breath through valves and hoses - and the groaning thought-dissolving pang of poppers in my nose and throat.

The floating stillness of waiting, suspended, for whatever my captor wishes of my transformed flesh and newly-surrender mind; no thought, no time, no will, no purpose - simply a rubber object, mindless, open, waiting, willing.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Sprawled on the floor at my Man's chair, freshly fucked and still cock-caged - hypnotically stroking the glossy perfection of my Man's new high shined Chippewa Patrol boots where He rests them on the rubber smoothness of my encased body...

My head is empty of everything - awash with the pleasure and Pride of having served Him and pleased Him: suffered and given my whole self to Him and the satisfaction of His needs - so focused on Him that I no longer have needs of my own. 

My body is slick with sweat under the rubber; my fuck-hole throbs and burns from His sustained attack, and my un-cum cock drips and aches within its plastic prison - and yet my body, mind and soul feels only the purest contentment. I am where I belong; I have served to the best of my abilities; I have pleased my Man. Everything else is unimportant; nothing else matters: my Man is content, and therefore, so am I.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Snug. (#LockedLife in #chastity)

So, I'm trying chastity for the second time.

The new cage is a rather snug fit. Purposefully so. I hope not impossibly so. 

It's a curious feeling to be encased and 'out of reach'. The enclosure is comforting in a way: almost like the feeling of having your cock held tightly - but as soon as you become aware of the pleasantness of that feeling you start to get aroused - and then the snugness goes from comfortable, to tight, to painful VERY quickly... 

Having the most sensitive part of yourself sealed within unyielding plastic does something interesting to your head - even when you know that you hold the key. For most guys, their cock - and especially it's sensitive head - are the at the core of their sexual identity; we hold it subconsciously at the center of our awareness, even when quiescent: aware of the feel of our clothes or underwear as it holds us snug, or brushes that sensitive skin when we move. A cage removes a great deal of that 'passing' contact and places your cock into a vacuum of sensation - and having that sensation removed leaves a strange hole in the center of your identity.

And yet, even without those sensations, you are still aware of your cock. A part of you knows (and sometimes feels, often painfully) that your cock is there, locked away, snug and inaccessible. That awareness - and the realisation of what it means - keeps one part of your mind constantly aware of the *fact* of your cock - which is a weird feeling, because you know that there is absolutely nothing that you can do with it - you can't even feel it or touch it: just the cool hard plastic or steel that surrounds and control you...

And every time the reality of your caged flesh enters your mind, a little pulse of arousal makes the cage tighten and pull - only reminding you all the more that this flesh is no longer free to act as it will - or you wish.

I can see this would get very frustrating after a while - but it is also pressing some serious submissive buttons. If I also knew that my Man held the only key......

I tried a metal cage a few months back - and managed to wear it for a day or two. It felt 'interesting', especially with the extra weight of the metal - but unfortunately the cage was a little oversized and created rather too much of an inappropriate bulge under my work-clothes; it also allowed for a little too much 'expansion' room, which in itself became too distracting. The final straw was when I slipped half out of the retaining rings whilst running, and nearly ripped a ball off...

I did get to wear the cage for a play visit with my Handler though. Now THAT was an interesting experience. The extra room meant that I maintained a frustratingly semi-hard arousal, but the rough inner of the cage kept pushing that over into discomfort - and genuine pain if/when my PA ring got pinched inside the pee-slot.

I am normally very focused on my Man and HIS cock whenever we play - and that focus has only become stronger over the years of my submission to Him. My own cock may be hard and dripping whilst I work His boats, bathe His cock with my tongue, or slip Him deep down into my throat and core - but my hands never really stray down to touch myself, and my attention is always purely on Him and HIS Pleasure, and never really my own. Afterall - HIS pleasure is *my* pleasure - and serving His needs and His COCK gives me a greater satisfaction than I could ever achieve through my own. I know that if He wishes His pup to cum when with Him, then it will be HIM who milks me and makes that happen, not me...

Having my cock locked should have meant that it became 'irrelevant' during our meeting, but the cage played a strange game with my head: emphasising my sex to myself, even whilst it removed my ability to do anything about it. The sensation of the metal pressing and restricting the soft flesh was also a constant distraction - even whilst the painful pull on my balls would force any full hardness to subside. That strange dichotomy between awareness and frustration really pressed some serious buttons in my submissive head...

Getting fucked whilst caged was the ultimate experience of submission: HIS cock become the only one in the room, and my hole the sole focus of my sexuality. EVRYTHING became contracted to the feel of Him inside me, and the perfect thrust and swell of Him taking His pleasure from my body and core. The tightness of the cage and the pulling pain it created in my balls kept me from getting hard, and also seemed to keep my sensitive hole from becoming over-excited - which meant that my Man was able to fuck me much longer and harder than He has before - right to the very edge of cumming inside of me.

Or maybe it was simply the deep submission that being caged instilled in me: my cock, my pleasure - none of it was of importance: only HIS pleasure mattered, and my body was there simply to experience whatever HE wished or hungered to do to it. Pleasure or pain - either was irrelevant: they were simply sensations to be experienced in the echo and shadow of His pleasure and His gift.

It was a feeling I've come close to, but never fully experienced - and it created the perfect wave of submissive joy through my whole being.

It was the most intense feeling then when Master finally unlocked me and let me get hard: all my denied focus suddenly rushing to the feel of my hyper-sensitive head within the hard, slick grip of His gloved and lubed hand. I was suddenly so horny and desperate that I think I actually cried. That cum: with Him still inside me, Hand stroking and pumping streaked fountains of pup-juice from my arching body - well, it was one of the best I have had in a very long time.

I wonder when I might be allowed to cum again...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

'Pups are people too' - aftermath of the #HumanPups

It was a rather anxious and worried pup that sat on the sofa with my partner last night, waiting for 'The secret life of human pups' to start on Channel 4 - and with one eye on the twitter #HumanPups feed. Would the film be the 'heartwarming examination of the scene' that the Director had promised? What parts of my interview would the Director have chosen - and how would we all come across on screen? How would the community react - and what would the rest of the world make of our 'coming-out'...?!

I am so relieved to see that, in general, the response has been very positive. Sure, there's been a fair share of 'WTF?' from the general public on twitter - and even a few 'you should be shot!' haters - but they were far outweighed by the 'fair enough', and 'each to their own' responses that I would expect from a country who loves and embraces eccentricity. There's even been some very insightful reporting in the more 'quality' newspapers like The Guardian and even the Telegraph

So much of the film was focused around Spot. I am amazed at how brave he was in baring his soul quite so deeply - and how sensitive and heart-rending Guy's editorial was in showing the real person behind the latex mask. Rachel came across as a true brick, and a genuine friend - but it would have been nice to see a little of the softer side that I am sure is there in Colin. I fully understand Colin not wanting to air his feelings about the dynamic with Rachel, but Spot's head-hanging reaction to His 'I'm not discussing this on camera' was genuinely heart-rending. It made me feel so incredibly lucky that my own partner and Handler are such good friends with absolutely no jealousy between them...

It was a shame that Spot didn't win the Mr Puppy Europe competition; we all love you anyway, you sweet and adorable pup!

There has been some interesting debate in the community around the regular insistence, particularly from Kye of PuppyPride that puppy play is 'Absolutely NOT sexual' - and that the film focused entirely on male pups (many of whom were straight). I think that was a very considered chosen angle, aimed at softening the blow for a viewing public who were already in a high state of shock and confusion from the very concept that some people like to dress-up and act like pups... focusing on the sexual and gay BDSM-scene aspects would have risked turning the film into a 'kinky perverts' sort of expose, and so I feel that Guys choice to focus on the man inside the suit was a good choice.

Besides, Spot was chosen to feature because of him being the current Mr Puppy UK - as such, it was only fair that he get to express what pup-play means for *him*. I think there was still enough reference to the fact that other pups have a strong fetish background in the 'chorus' parts, and there was also lots of more sexualised play shown in the shots of play at Mr Pup Europe to show that pup play can be a broad and inclusive community.

A shout out also must go Andy and the PupSocial. Andy came across as such a deeply kind and caring guy (just as I personally know Him to be from the interactions I've ad with Him) - the *perfect* Handler for his love and concern for the pups under His care and protection. The shots of his Pup Social, and how much *fun* it looks goes to show why it's the biggest puppy event in the country.

As to myself - I'm fairly happy with how my own contribution was presented. It was embarrassing enough to see my hooded head come up on screen, but I must admit to a total 'oh fuck! that's me outed then...!' moment when Guy included the full-body/tattoo-sleeve shots of me at the piano...

I think Handler was relatively happy too. He was busy at home with His partner, so we couldn't get to watch it together. We did chat afterwards though and He said He was very proud of His pup being on screen. And I guess, that's all that really matters.

Most of all, I'd like to say a 'Thank you!' to Guy and the production crew at Fire Cracker Films. I know there were a few issues that meant you were unable to present exactly the film that you had planned, but I still think you created the genuinely heart warming film that was your original intent. Thank you - I think you did our little community proud.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#HumanPups: 'we're just the same as any person on the high street'

In advance of tonight's Channel 4 Firecracker films documentary, Nell Frizzell from The Guardian spoke to KazPup, ZentaiSpot and myself about all things Puppy-play and headspace.

Nell was very sympathetic to the idea of anthro-play (we shared a giggle about both galloping around the garden as kids, pretending to be horses and wolves...!), and was very interested in the therapeutic element of puppy play as letting go of the rational self to embrace a more primal self - we even talked about the Jungian concepts of the transformational power of the mask, and embracing the archetypal idea of  the Dog as protector and 'faithful companion'.

I think Nell wrote a rather interesting and insightful little piece - one which I hope will reflect the healthy diversity of the scene. If you wish, you can read it online here:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

#Headsup! '#HumanPups' documentary, Channel 4, Wednesday 25th May at 10pm

A few months ago, I was contacted by Guy from Firecracker Films, asking if I'd like to take part in a new documentary film he was making about the puppy play community.

I'm glad to say that the film is now completed, and will shortly be broadcast on the UK's Channel Four on the 25th May at 10pm; with luck, it will then also be available on their catch-up services for those not in the UK to be able to view.

I've not seen the film yet, but if you'd like to see the short trailer, it's available now on YouTube:

Guy had hoped that I'd be able to be one of the main 'characters', and talk from the perspective of a long-term pup - unfortunately, my employers were concerned that my being involved might bring them into 'disrepute', and so we had to keep my contribution shorter and more anonymous than we'd hoped. I think we still managed to make some informative and insightful comments...

Watch, enjoy - and let me know what you think!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Playtime at #Osterfest 2016: flogging at Qualgeist

Sir and I had lots of fun at the various Puppy events at this years Ostefest - but it wasn't all just puppy-dog tails and chew-toys...

One of the best nights out was at Qualgeist - a great bondage club run by a cooperative out in Mehringdamm. Like many places in Berlin, the club was tucked in the ground floor of an old apartment building, four or five courtyards back from the main road. It is small, but it was one of the best equipped clubs I have ever visited: with multiple cages, bondage chairs and beds, slings, a St Andrews Cross and a fantastic hoist set up within the main room - with a 15 foot high ceiling...! 

They don't believe in cramming in the punters either, so there was lots of room to play without being bumped or stood on (or a getting hit by a stray flogger). It does mean that they aren't the easiest club to get into, however: get there early because once they're full, the doors close and you have to wait until someone leaves. We avoided the main party night, but we still ended up queuing in the cold for a good hour before we got in; not that I really minded though: I had my Man to keep me warm after all...

Once we had got in and stripped out of our boilersuits, Sir clipped His lead to my collar and led me around the club to explore what was on offer. There were several pups about (all on 2 legs), and lots of guys trying out the equipment; we also caught up with a couple of nice UK skin guys who we've met at several events before, and got to watch them doing a little trampling demonstration.

Sir took us both upstairs so that I could get into pup-mode. We found a great space with a huge padded bondage bed in it where a couple of fully suited and helmeted bikers were tying another biker down: it made for the most amazing and sexy demonstration - especially when the biker-Dom finally climbed on top of His helpless buddy and slowly humped him into a muffled orgasm - lidded heads pressed close together to see their faces through the fogged-up visors...

We padded around for a while - the pup hooded and on all fours. There was plenty to see, from guys getting mercilessly tortured in the bondage chair, or slowly mummified in layers of rubber tape, to beautiful displays of rope-containment and slow fisting in the slings.

We gave a little to the action too - with my Man letting me drive Him to knee-buckling pleasure, licking and sucking Him with all the training and talent I could raise...

Finally, Sir led me back to the main room where He'd spotted a nice St. Andrews Cross; there He had me strip my semi-transparent rubber surf-suit to expose my bare back, and cuffed my hands up onto the wood. The air felt cold against my skin after the wet warmth of the rubber - but Sir had plans to warm me up by breaking in the new heavy leather flogger He had bought at Boxer when I bought my hood...

Damn, but the heavy leather felt good. Sir started slowly - whispering the tongues across my back and shoulders - getting the feel for the balance and swing of the new flogger, and carefully watching His dog's reactions. He needn't have worried: there was no biting or cutting from the soft leather, just a blissful shudder as the solid weight caressed my skin. Slowly, Sir stepped back: giving Himself more room to swing the flogger and test its weight - each blow subtly rising in power and weight, slowly teasing me with heightened awareness. We started to gather a small crowd of appreciative watchers, and so I leaned outwards, hung my head, and spread my back wider: opening my body in sacrifice to my Man; I heard Him growl in appreciation - and felt the buzz and flow of power ramp up between us as His blows ramped up harder, faster - and the hard concussive power of His will spread warm pain across my skin and deep into my muscles.  

Flogging is an immensely sensual  experience to watch: the arc and fall of the whip, the whistle and thud of leather upon flesh, the drifting smell of warm leather and sweat, the breathless grunt of the Master's swing and the bitten-gasps of pain from the sub.. It looks so impressive - but nothing can compare with how it feels.

It's not about the pain. Not really. The pain of each blow is intense, but curiously fleeting - a sudden, heavy touch across the skin, and then gone. Each blow feels like a crushing hug, focused into a split second of sensation; there is an intensity to that feeling: a connection between you both that is all the more powerful for it's brevity. But, each blow builds upon the last - a lingering, stinging, kiss that slowly warms the flesh, shudders through the muscles, eats down into your heart and your soul. The longer and harder those blows rain upon you, the deeper you are forced into yourself - and the more open you feel. Your body aches, your skin burns - and yet you find yourself leaning outward: spreading your shoulders, rounding your back - begging for more with your aching flesh. Each blow becomes a step closer to an unseen but ultimate goal: complete surrender and total communion with the Man behind the flogger - the God who blesses you with the transforming power of His pain...

And then it is over - and He steps close to you. Your shuddering body feels the HEAT of Him radiating into you. He touches you, strokes a hand across you - breathes upon you; every cell and fibre of your being is sensitised, humming, open, raw - you FEEL Him more intently, more intensely than you could ever imagine possible. Your body trembles, your mind reels within a warm sea of surrender - and then He finally enfolds you in His arms: pours all the energy that you have surrendered to Him back into you - ninefold, a hundredfold - radiating from Him and into you, and reflected back from the shuddering core of yourself back to Him. Those moments feel as though you have both stripped bare your souls - climbed out of your skins and connected on a level beyond the organic.

It's the most amazing feeling I have ever felt.

Sir took us for a drink, and then another little tour of the play space; when we came back, we noticed that the Hoist arrangement was free - and I totally begged to be allowed to give it a try...!

The flogging on the Cross was amazing - but I think the experience of the entire weekend had to be then: winched up into the roof high above Sir's head: suspended by my booted ankles and spinning free in empty space - seeing my body gravity-stretched and turning in the mirrors that surrounded the room, the lights dancing over my inked and sweat-shined flesh - looking down at a circle of men far below who had gathered to watch as Sir lowered me slightly, then tied and restrained my hands to bolts in the floor so that my body was stretched tawt: racked in space as He slowly flogged me back into spinning submission, sweat dripping from me, each drop rainbow bright in the lights as it fell to pool upon the floor beneath me... and then, finally lowering me enough so that my head was the right height for Him to take my throat and release the tensions He had built through the night - gently pushing me forward and back, my helpless body and hungry throat swinging onto Him and off, without any effort on His part....

Oh yes - that was an experience that will burn in my memory for a very very long time. 

#Puppy-play at #Osterfest Berlin - the Video!

I posted last week about the grand fun we had at the various puppy play events organised for the BLF Osterfest weekend - well Ron Berlin has made a film of the walking tour the puppy group made to the Tiergarten, so now you can watch all the fun for yourself:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Puppy play at #Osterfest 2016

Sir took His pup to Berlin again this Easter, to join in with BLF's perverted Osterfest celebrations in Schoenberg.

As we've done before, Sir booked us into the magnificent ArtHotel Connection, at the heart of everything on the Fuggestrasse. Not only that, but He had reserved us the very special 'Room 69' - which is in fact a self contained suite, with it's own, very well appointed, play room...

Osterfest tends to be a lot quieter than Folsom Europe. We had a nicely select contingent of guys from the US (and even a few antipodeans) but most of those attending were European and home-German - which made for a comfortably 'local' feel to the parties and socialising. There was still enough queuing to keep everyone happy though.

Truth is, we didn't attend too many of the big parties - it would have been a bit churlish not to make use of such an amazingly outfitted playroom of our own, after all... It was also shockingly convenient for a lovely little Italian taverna across the road called La Lucia - it only had just eight tables, but their menu was true homemade Italian, with beautifully simple pasta and sauces freshly made each day; unsurprisingly, we ended up eating supper there almost every day. Followed by Ben and Jerry's from our own freezer back in our room....

We did attend several of the pup events, however.

It is amazing how popular and public puppy play has become. Ten years ago, there were just a few of us, sidelined in clubs and play spaces and generally viewed as just a little bit 'weird'. Now every event has at least one specialised puppy party, packed with pups happily howling, bounding, tumbling and playing for all they are worth - and all kitted out in beautifully designed harnesses, hoods, mitts and tails from every Fetish retailer.

We missed the special shopping event at Osterfest, but the Puppy play party at Sheune on the Saturday night was incredible fun. The space had been nicely kitted out with play mats and a puppy Kennel-corner - and a *ton* of squeakers and chew toys. There was a range of pups there, with lots of rubber and Mr.S muzzles on display; quite a few were uncollared or with pup friends, but there was also a few Handlers around to keep an eye on puppy safety and obedience (including having to calm a few pups that got a little too boisterous in their play, and one whose horny humping became a bit of an unasked for imposition...)

Sir was very popular, of course - and very attentive to both His own pup, and the health and happiness of everyone there. He was also helped a lot by a really sweet and very focused young Handler who was there with several of his own pups (including pup-sitting a really sweet pup from the U.S.) - and who really knew how to give a good head rub.

This pup had a fantastic time just making new puppy-friends and sharing chew-toys - but I did also get a lovely nice time sprawled on the floor and snuggled in Sir's lap just watching all the younger pups cavort. It was also a great opportunity to wear my lovely new leather pup-hood from Boxer (although, being new and a little bit tight, it did cause me a few problems and rubbed a sore spot on my nose by end of the evening...)

By far, the most fun was caused by Sir and His 'stealth' laser pointer: which he kept scanning across the floor and onto random boots, tails and crotches - usually with several pups bounding and pouncing double-pawed onto anything that it touched - and causing total chaos and hilarity!

The other fantastic puppy event of the weekend was an organised Puppy walk to the Tiergarten. Sir and I have never done a public walk before, and where quite amazed to find thirty pups and Handlers all gathered at the cafe ready for the walk - and munching down on the specially baked (and very delicious) bone-shaped Berliner Brud whilst they waited for the start. All its all of the pups arrived fully geared, hooded, muzzled and mitted, but I stayed in leathers and collar because my hood made my nose sore.

Sir really loved the new scarf I'd knitted for Him though - in the official LeatherPride colours...

The walk to the Tiergarten was hilarious fun. We walked in a big group, with most of the pups leashed (although walking on two-legs of course, given the distance); we all found plenty opportunities to cause chaos and fun though: barking at passing busses and taxis and bikes - with everyone stopping to gape and take photos. In the park, the pups were sent off in a hunting pack to sniff out a pile of presents that had had been left for them amongst the bushes. There were many big carrier bags filled with booty, but I was in my big boots and not so quick as my younger competitors, so this pup could only find one of the smaller bags; I trotted back with my find proudly held in my mouth - only to have Sir loudly announce that I'd missed the prizes and brought back someone else's poop-bag! He was fibbing of course, but it did have everyone fall about laughing. I was much better at bringing back something nicer the next time all the same...

At the park we were also joined by a nice woman and her female pup, and a guy dressed as a rabbit! Needless to say, I think he might have regretted his decision after he was chased and piled on for tickles by a whole pack of barking, giggling pups shouting "we're hunting the wabbit!"

I also got to meet a really sweet (*fit*!) pup called TiBo, who got really cold in his rubber on the walk back, and borrowed my jacket - and let me me try on his lovely Expectations muzzle in exchange. I've tried most of the different muzzles available, and I must say, this one was such a nice fit with plenty of personality but also really good mouth access that it is now on my list for purchasing as soon as I can save enough puppy-pennies to afford it...

A video of the full festivities can be found on YouTube - courtesy of Ron Berlin.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

National puppy day!

Well, it would be churlish not to post something on our national day, wouldn't it! 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Da capa: return to the beginning

I'm not sure if you've heard of the semicolon project: survivors of depression and suicide have adopted the ; as a symbol - reflecting its grammatical use when an author could use a full stop, and finish their sentence (and its story),  but instead chooses to use a semicolon and then to continue to explore their theme a little longer. That idea has a lot of resonance for those who have faced the black lure of suicide, but who have chosen to come back from the brink and reaffirm their struggle to overcome and endure.

I've been to some very dark places over the last few years; there's been a few times where I wasn't sure I would ever see light and colour - or feel *anything* - again. But, so far, I've always had the love and unquestioning support of my Geoff, my Handler, my close friends and family - and that has always been just enough to see me through to the other side.

I wanted a reminder to myself that no matter how dark it gets, I have faced and overcome darker. I also wanted to incorporate the healing power of music (time at the piano always seems to take me out of myself so I can find balance and healing) - and so I came up with a symbolic combination of the semicolon and the musical symbol for da capa: 'return to the beginning before finishing'. Last week, my lovely friend and beautiful tattoo artist, Jo Harrison, then very kindly worked it for me around my ring finger - and added the eternity symbol to remind me that life is a continuous and endless cyclical process. 

I've had lots of ink, but this really hurt like hell - but it was a good hurt: the kind of hurt that brands an idea and a pledge into your soul: NEVER give up hope. 

Of all my ink, I think this one will be my favourite for a long time - it certainly is the most meaningful.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Wild God

Be the dog: let the Wild God in - remind yourself that we are all beast at heart, and healed by the Hand and Voice of that Wild Truth within us: We are all One.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.

He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.

You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.

The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside.

The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.

‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.

When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see
The strange guest at your table.

The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest
In your voicebox. You cough.

Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.
Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.

You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old
And where your passion went.

The wild god reaches into a bag
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.

The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.

The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.

In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring
With laughter and madness and pain.

In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

Listen to them:

The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.

(Words: Tom Hirons. Image: Janne Pitkanen)

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