March 21, 2013
I was just asked if I make a distinction between being property and a slave. Which meant I had to look at my initial reaction of, “no, duh!” and ask if that was really the truth.
I acknowledge the distinction that many people hold between O/p and M/s. I do not make a distinction in my life: I am his slave, I am his property. But while I don’t make an emotional distinction, I figured I should look at the intellectual distinctions.
Per dictionary.com (albeit, abridged, because I don’t care about “a slave ant” when I’m looking at the definition of slave):
- that which a person owns; the possession or possessions of a particular owner.
- goods, land, etc., considered as possessions.
- a piece of land or real estate.
- ownership; right of possession, enjoyment, or disposal of anything, especially of something tangible.
- something at the disposal of a person, a group of persons, or the community or public.
- a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another.
- a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person.
- a drudge.
Okay, so they’re both nouns…that’s a start, right? The main difference I see in these definitions is that “slave” specifies that we’re speaking about a person, whereas property TENDS to be used to describe inanimate objects. So then, is it merely a question of objectification?
Now, it’d be much more straightforward to answer a question such as this if we could depend on “the community™” to be clear on the precise definitions of words and labels they use before they use them. Alas, my intellectually snooty dream will never come true. A great many people make distinctions and choose to use O/p rather than M/s for a great many different reasons.
I had an ex that instituted the use of the terms “Owner” and “property” in a prior relationship because he didn’t feel worthy of the label “Master”. While he called me “slave” at times, I was never permitted to use the “M word” with him, because the level of responsibility that denoted was frightening to him. For my ex (and some others I’m sure), the very fact that “Owner” sounds so much less personal than “Master” allowed him to distance himself from some of the minute details of the relationship.
There are many people who use the terms “Owner” and “property” because they feel it distances their consensual authority transfer dynamic from the non-consensual chattel slavery of our nation’s history. While that need to distance doesn’t resonate with me (I feel that part of the reason “Master” and “slave” are evocative labels and job descriptions is because of ALL the connotations those words bring with them), I respect their choice to use them for that reason.
I also know plenty of people who use O/p and explain that it’s a more extreme dynamic than M/s due to the objectifying nature of the term “property.” They will say that beyond humanity, the owned is a possession of the owner like any other: car, book, home, property.
Because I like words, and like to use them “properly” (yes, it’s very elitist of me to proclaim that the proper use of a word stems entirely from how the dictionary chooses to define said word), I come back to the definitions. The big difference between “property” and “slave” is that we use “slave” to describe a person owned by another, and “property” to describe an object. The M/s that Master and I practice tends to be very objectifying, so it follows that to me, “property” isn’t at all dissonant with “slave”.
I am nothing but what he leads me to be, whether he leads me to be a footstool, a sex object, a workhorse, a robot, or an awesome human being. I am property and I am slave.
February 15, 2013
Disclaimer: I’m in the midst of crazy crunch time for Sin in the City right now, which means this is very stream-of-consciousness and needs much editing, I am sure. Take that for what it’s worth…—
We talk big talk in the leather community. We give great lip service to “walking our talk” and living in integrity. We say that we admire those who are brave enough to give us their unvarnished truth: direct, salient, concise…but how true is that?
I find myself wondering more and more in matters of our “community”, do we really mean that we admire those who speak their truth, regardless of whether it is our own truth? Or instead, do we mean: I admire your courage to speak your truth until it differs from mine, in which case I will deem you a jerk and a bully (or an asshole or unsafe or a predator or, or, or)?
For some reason, it brings to mind a situation I found myself in five years ago at a nationally attended leather event. Someone at the event had decided to do a cannibalism scene. Anyone there remembers who it was, many people who didn’t attend heard about it later, and I see no reason to identify the people involved for many reasons I won’t get into here. Now, I have a great deal of ethical issues with the way those specific people chose to indulge in their “fetish” of cannibalism (I use the quotation marks because I remain unconvinced that the fetish being indulged was anything beyond a fetish for freaking people out, but I said I wouldn’t get into that here, and so I’ll leave it at that), and what I heard about the nonconsensual involvement of outside parties in said “fetish” at other events. I had absolutely zero issue with the event in question shutting the scene down. What I did take issue with was the reaction I found from some of my friends.
I found myself in a long debate/argument with a friend where I defended a person’s right to indulge in a cannibalism scene so long as it didn’t affect others. How’s that for revealing something about myself? I can hear it now, whispers through the hallways of Leather High School: Jazz is pro cannibalism! Nah, not really. No desperate (or even slight) desire for Master to cut a chunk of fat or muscle off my body and eat it, pretty clear on that. I stood outside with this friend, and listened to him say that the person in question should be locked up in a rubber room; that he/she needed to have a 5150 called in, because he/she was obviously a danger to him/herself, and completely insane for engaging in this sort of play. It was a common response at the event, but I couldn’t agree with it.
My reaction to the situation is this: that sort of play should not be engaged in in public spaces or events without first seeking the permission of those in charge. It is disrespectful to sneak it in. A secondary reaction is this: if your scene is constructed entirely to freak other people out, perhaps you should look at what is missing within yourself that you’re so dependent on the reactions of others rather than engaged in the connection between you and your partner while you play. But here is the reaction that had a place in that conversation: there are millions—billions—of people worldwide who would say that my friend should be locked up in a rubber room for hitting women with a flogger or a singletail. There are millions—indeed, billions—of people the world over who would say all of us are insane freaks for any one of the many things we fetishize. It is a slippery slope for me to start pointing fingers at you because your kink is not my kink.
How does that relate to where I started?
Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone about how we judge each other in the kink community all the time. Now, as a disclaimer, it is fucking human to pass judgment—it’s natural—and that’s not ever going to stop. But I somehow always find myself expecting more from my “community” of outsiders. We are all sexual rebels/outsiders/persona non grata…and yet we treat each other that way as often as the vanilla world treats us that way. How disgusting and sad is that? In the conversation in question, I spoke with a woman in the midst of gender transition, who is finding herself abandoned by long term “friends” in this so-called community because of what she feels is most authentic for her life. She suffers the brunt of that to which I am speaking far more every day than I can claim in my 15+ years in the community combined. And yet, we all are damaged by it at some point in our experience.
Female bisexuality is trendy, especially in the leather/BDSM/fetish/kink communities. But try being a bisexual woman and hanging out in the women’s leather community with the lesbians. Deal with being told again and again that you are not relationship material simply because you possess the ability to fall in love with men AND women, and it’s presumed that you are only interested in women to turn those men on or to fill time until you find the right penis.
People in the community tell me all the time that I’m not living in an ethical or safe relationship because I don’t have a limits list or a safeword, or because I call myself a dirty worthless pigcunt hole or I say that I’m nothing but what Master leads me to be. It’s certainly not a relationship you want to put up as the poster child by which you explain kink to scared vanillas, I’ll give you that. But really? To constantly be called upon to defend my alternative sexual and relationship lifestyle to a group of people choosing to live alternative sexual and relationship lifestyles?
I once lived in a community where people not interested in Master / slave relationships would actively (and loudly) protest any sort of M/s educational efforts, claiming that they wouldn’t have that belief system forced on them (because apparently just having the class scheduled within the community was force). The reaction came from their perception that those interested in M/s thought they were better than those not interested in M/s and were going to try and take over the world. Not entirely unreasonable.
We ALL believe that our way is the best way. And it is. For US.
Why the fuck can’t we all take a chill pill and recognize that while your way might not be the best way for me, it’s still entirely valid for you? And what do I lose in respecting that your way is different from mine? If we’re not hopping into a relationship together, what does it matter if we differ in such vast ways?
And for goodness sakes, if you take the time out of your full and rich and busy life to read someone else’s journal writings, remember that you’re reading their journal, m’kay?
When I write something and publish it publicly on my journal, or on Fetlife, I know that I take the risk of pissing people off with my opinions. Words have power, after all. And yet, when it happens, I’m always taken aback; some part of me figures that in my journal, people expect to read my opinions. If someone doesn’t like my opinions / reality / truth, then they are welcome to not read…or they are welcome to open a philosophical debate with me. I have no issue whatsoever with debating those things that I hold as truths for my life or those concepts I hold dearly to my heart…though as I really DO walk my talk, any challenger can expect a pretty solid and well-constructed argument. When I win such a debate, it does not make me a bully; it makes me someone arguing with the benefit of passionate conviction and many years of self-analysis in my tool belt. I like to debate, so it doesn’t bother me in the least to have someone challenge those central tenants in my life…it’s only a bother when they throw a temper tantrum about how much of a bully I am after they lose.
I like to be liked. One of my weaknesses as a human being, I know. I don’t like people to think poorly of me. My image of myself doesn’t include being a bully, so my first reaction when someone calls me one is to be hurt and feel defensive.
I am not alone in this. No one would seek out “community” if they preferred to be alone. No one would participate in “community” if they didn’t care what other people thought or felt about them. We all like to be liked.
Philosophical debate is much less destructive to “community” than are personal attacks. Just something to think about.
February 9, 2013
broken to hand
step down from pride
step away from ego
independence, step aside
follow, wherever he goes
and when he’s gone from sight
when he’s gone away
darkness extinguishes the light
she’s homeless, like a stray
whatever happened to the autonomous woman we used to know?
whatever happened to the strong, willful bitch?
what could have made her this pitiful creature before us now?
what could make her groan so and kitsch?
step down from pride
step away from ego
independence, step aside
follow, wherever he goes
people will talk, you know
people will whine, “it’s not right”
people will raise an eyebrow
people will tsk in fright
how can they take it so far?
how can he take her so low?
won’t that leave a terrible scar?
her identity suffers such a blow!
step down from pride
step away from ego
independence, step aside
follow, wherever he goes
they do not know our secret
they could not understand
they do not know how frequent
i beg to be broken to hand
i am nothing but what you lead me to be
i am nowhere but where you lead me to go
with me following you, we both get to see
the ultimate glory that lies far below
copyright © 2013 by slave Jazz
February 1, 2013
So Master and I were sitting here, going over the new workshops we’re offering for 2013, and he made a suggestion as to an idea…
ME: Yeah, but can we talk about that topic for 90 minutes, Master?
MASTER: Yes, of course we can talk about that topic for 90 minutes.
ME: You could talk about your bowel movements for 90 minutes, Master. What this slave meant to ask was: is there enough material in that topic to interest and educate people for 90 minutes?
February 1, 2013
It’s been quite a while since I’ve written in my journal here. Time is short these days, and Sin in the City is a full court press right now. It says something, then, that I’m writing right now. Time to get something off my chest.
This slave likes credit. A lot. There are plenty who proclaim they’d rather their service go unnoticed, they’d rather seamlessly blend into the background, be invisible, etc. That’s not me.
That said, I find myself getting credit all the time that I do not deserve. Whether in the SCA, or in the kink or leather community, I find that a great many people want to give me credit for some change they perceive in Master. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Oh Jazz, you’re SO good for him!”, “He’s such a different person with you!”, or “You’ve changed him so much for the better!”
I call bullshit.
Master is essentially the exact same person I fell in love with five years ago. Sure, we ALL evolve over time, and with/due to our partners, but he is—in essence—no different from having been with me. I fell in love with his courage, with his knowledge, with his Mastery, with his dominant energy, with his dry wit, with his call-it-like-he-sees-it approach, with his directness, with his direction, with his confidence, with his insecurities, with his humility…with a thousand different parts of him.
Here’s where the calling bullshit really comes in: I’ve finally realized what is going on. Why people say this so often.
Some of Master’s qualities make him intimidating to those who do not know him. Some of his qualities make him an abrasive personality to those who don’t understand him. There are plenty of people who (as we all do with each other), choose based on a public interaction with him that they don’t care to get to know him beyond their first impression. This is fine. People do it to each other every day. We all have to live with the fact that first impressions are often the only impressions people will retain of us. Great.
Here’s where I come in.
My public interactions with people are different than are Master’s. We’re different people with different modes of interaction, after all. While Master appeals to a certain subset of individuals, I often appeal to a different subset. It is those individuals who tend to say these things. They make a different (more positive) initial judgment of me, and then are willing to examine Master more closely. Sometimes, they revise their judgments of him based solely on interaction with me. Sometimes, they revise their opinions of him after giving him a chance (based on interactions with me), and actually getting to know him.
Like I said, I like credit. But it’s sadly misplaced in these cases.
I fell in love with him for reasons. I am owned by him for many reasons. No one can truly change another person anyhow. If my personality softens his image up to the point where people set aside their snap judgments and form an opinion based on personal knowledge of Master, great. I still don’t deserve credit for changing that which I did not change.
What changed, was an individual being willing to examine him more closely. To have a real conversation or interaction. I promise, he’s still the same.
Like I said, this happens in a couple of different social circles in which we participate. It is not directed at any one person, nor is it unique to Master and I as a couple, I see other people getting this as well. I come from hippie-dippie self-improvement land, so when I have a negative judgment of someone, I do my best to question myself as to its origination. Is it based on something the person said, in a generalized manner, which brushed me the wrong way? Is it based on the attitude I perceive from her/him? Is it based on something he/she did that I feel wronged by somehow? Did I clarify the comments or actions by which I am offended? Do I actually have knowledge of this person?
We as human beings have a hard time recognizing that we make snap judgments. We’re indoctrinated from a young age not to judge a book from its cover after all, right? It hurts our egos to admit that we are shallow enough to have done such a thing (yes, I said shallow, and we ALL are), so we just don’t admit it. Ego doesn’t like to be struck down, she’s a bitch like that. It’s much easier, for example, to say “wow, I wasn’t wrong about Konraad, he was a dick…and now he’s not, he’s been so changed by Jazz!” There, now we’ve acknowledged that Konraad is not what we thought he was, without conceding that we may have been wrong. There’s now an excuse for our difference in perception!
This is written in a lecturey tone…I can feel that. It is not intended to be a lecture, rather me using my journal for me: a space to spill something out so that I can get back to my duties and be focused in his service.
With that, I’ll sign off for now.
January 29, 2013
For those of you who have asked for the text of my speech from Saturday night’s contest, I’ve done my best to write it out below. Please forgive any typos, as I am still in Arizona with a friend in the hospital and have no access to a computer. If you’re waiting for something from me about Sin in the City, ditto. Phone only makes this difficult.
I am a leather woman, owned by a leather man. And while I recognize and appreciate that this is an M/s–rather than leather–title, this slave is a leather slave.
That means that a sizable portion of my service to Master takes shape outside the confines of his home and within the community we love. Master and I see it as a duty to lend our energy, enthusiasm, and education to our tribe.
What do I have to share? The unique perspective of one who has bridged the age gap between “TNGers” and “the scene” since before there was a TNG. Fifteen years ago in Portland and San Francisco, I had to bridge something if I was going to be a part of the community at age 18.
I have a distinct intellectual approach to slavery. A dear friend recently asked for clarification after hearing me call slavery both my vocation…and a job description. She said it certainly couldn’t be both, unable to rationalize the dissonance between such a romanticized concept and one so routine. I looked at her and smiled. “Priesthood is a calling, is it not? And priest, a job description as well?”
I often declare slavery is a need for me; that if it wasn’t, I’d be doing anything but. A dramatic piece of rhetoric; and yet, entirely true. Master/slave relationships are a beautiful, hot, fantastical ideal…and filled with thousands of micro moments of tedious, mundane, and soul-stretching hard work. There are plenty of times I wish I could walk a simpler path. But I cannot live any other way and be me.
My place is wherever he puts me. I am nothing but what he leads me to be.
And he leads me to share that with our community.
November 28, 2012
would you believe
if i told you i miss you
it wouldn’t be fair anyway
you’ve moved on to a
than my arms could ever be
and I’m happy for you
but I miss you.
i’ll miss your fragrance ever after
your silky hair in my face
and on my thighs
i miss the cadence of your laughter
the curve of your flesh
the twinkle in your eyes
i miss you.
i miss your lips
the way you listen
the way you speak
i miss your hips
your hand in mine
the softness of your cheek
copyright © 2012 by jazz
November 26, 2012
So, right before we left for Thailand, Master and I traveled up to Seattle to attend and present at Leather Reign (an absolutely AWESOME event, for those of you who have yet to experience it). We attended last year and had so much fun we didn’t hesitate to agree to present this year even though it meant exactly one day home before a two week trip out of the country.
At Leather Reign, I presented How to Punish Your Master, and Master and I presented Transformational Terror and Sacrificial Suffering and The Journey to Nothing: Using Humiliation, Degradation and Objectification to Strengthen Your M/s Relationship. Anyhow, post Leather Reign, while we were in Thailand, I received this letter in my inbox here on Fetlife from someone who attended The Journey to Nothing workshop (re-posted with permission, of course):
I have so much to thank you for after being at Leather Reign this year and much to ask you but will take care of that in another message. just wanted to tell you that you gave Sir and I the best laugh we have had in a long time.
Sir and I were fucking last night and he said, in a very playful way “who’s a dirty whore?” Sorry hun, but I screamed out the first thing that came to mind I screamed “Jazz is Sir” (well, you did just tell us you were at LR). We laughed so hard, we had to take a break for at least 10 min. I think that is going to have to be my standard answer to that question from here on out!
Hope you had a good flight and are having a great time in Thailand.
October 29, 2012
When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife (Prince Philip).
I am neither a new car nor a new wife, though I’m closer to the first noun than the second, I suppose. And yet, Master consistently opens doors for me. Front doors. Car doors. Doors at restaurants and hotels and businesses. In fact, I am not permitted to open doors for myself without a go-ahead from Master if he is present.
The door opening thing is a protocol he has set. One which many choose to interpret as “traditional manners,” and one which pleases Master on the surface level because he was raised with such traditional manners. But far more than that, he enjoys the protocol because of the effect on his slave.
NOTE: The word protocol gets thrown around a huge amount in the M/s and D/s relationship circles. Let us remember that “protocol” and “ritual” are not interchangeable. What makes this particular happening a protocol is that it is intended to communicate a hierarchy, both to Master and his slave, but also to those witnessing the acts themselves.
So, back to the subject at hand. What is there for Master to enjoy in this protocol, in terms of the effect upon his slave? Well, you see, while I was raised with manners, I was not raised with such traditional manners. I was raised in a community where it was surely considered polite to open the door for a companion if you got to it first, or hold the door for someone who was coming in after you or had his/her hands full…regardless of gender.
I was raised in a world where a man opening the door because he was a man was often scorned and taken as an insult by many women. These women, who fought for recognition that their pussies didn’t inhibit them from doing or accomplishing “anything” (which we know is a fallacy, but it’s a great near-true ideal), who didn’t want anyone to assume a need for assistance or perceive any frailty, are the women who raised me. So I am quite confident in my ability to open a door, thankyouverymuch. In fact, I am quite confident in my ability to open a door for anyone else, including Master.
Which is why this protocol reminds me of the hierarchy between us.
There are two factors at work there, actually. The first, as just explained, we’ll call “the feminist factor”. The second, I might term “the servant factor.” Growing up as I did, when I fell into a service relationship, it made sense to me to open the door for the person to whom I was in service, regardless of respective genders. I made a great effort for this act to always be seamless: gliding gracefully from my spot walking to the left and just slightly behind said dominant individual to the door a few steps before him/her, opening the door and falling in line again behind as he/she crossed the threshold. It wasn’t something I ever received any instruction regarding, it just naturally occurred to me as part of the “job”.
This means, that in Master removing my right to open doors for myself in his presence without permission, it’s fucking with two of my natural assumptions. Fucking with my natural assumptions means that I’m there and present in the moment, not falling into habit. And it means that I am reminded that I am his property, that he makes the rules, that I’m not the boss of me.
You all polite and open doors for her. While every night I put that blanket on the floor for her (Ludacris).
These observations were ones that came pretty immediately upon Master first instating the protocol 3.5+ years ago. But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered another affect.
You could call it objectification, I suppose. What I realized last night, when Master walked around the car to the driver’s side to open the door for me parked atop a parking garage overlooking the Strip, was that it made me feel like precious and cherished cargo. It made me feel like a pet, like property that he was looking out for.
Perhaps this epiphany comes as a natural by-product of the third person speech Master has been exploring having me use as of late (yes, I’m sure that some have noticed that I’m not using it here, in this writing, and that is because he’s concerned with inhibiting my quite distinctive voice in the written form). Perhaps all of this referring to myself as “this slave” and “it,” has been the impetus for a change in my worldview and my outlook.
Heh. Who the fuck am I kidding? I know there has been a change. I see myself really starting to think of myself as his property rather than as his human partner who has committed herself to life as his slave. For many, that may seem a worthless distinction, but for this slave, one who has lived a life of pride in its independence, self-sovereignty, and the dignity of its feminist-given choice to be a slave, that distinction is no small thing. I find myself struggling as I write this to use the first person, just as I struggle in the office or in front of vanilla friends now. I struggle, because I’m starting to think of myself as his object—or as a part of him—rather than a separate individual living in devotion to him.
This starts to touch upon hairy territory. I grow close to subjects that people will feel the need to rail against, proclaiming the danger of an “s-type” losing sense of self and individuality. There are those that will read this and use words like “abuse” or “unhealthy” to describe that of which I speak. Frankly, that doesn’t concern me much, as I’ve long turned my nose up at the members of our “community” who feel the need to judge and police the actions of their “brothers and sisters.” And yet…
This shit is indeed heavy. These thoughts bring about Ego struggles and stubbornness and fear. Ego will survive, of course, it always does, by nature and by definition. But Ego fears this abrogation of self. Ego fears lack of recognition as an individual. Ego fears extinction, even if that fear is an impossible reality.
And Ego’s fear has always meant before that Master is in for some temper tantrums, some acting out on the part of his slave. How strange it is to sit here in this moment and recognize, then, that I have no perceived need to struggle against this shift in awareness? It doesn’t feel dangerous right now, which is extremely curious to me as an academic self-analysis queen. It should feel dangerous, right? When I examine it objectively, it makes sense that it would, that I would rail against it as I have done in the past, only more extremely, as this is obviously a more extreme attack on Ego.
But it doesn’t. It feels instead like a quiet triumph. Like I am excited at the development and where it could lead.
A new progression.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push (Ludwig Wittgenstein).
October 24, 2012
Sin in the City and Master Trish present:
Join the ever elegant and captivating Master Trish, Ms. SouthWest Olympus Leather 2012, on Friday, March 1st, 2013 in the hospitality suite at Sin in the City after the evening’s Opening Ceremonies for a luxurious and exciting time!
Attendees from all aspects of the Leather, BDSM and Fetish community are welcome to join us as we socialize, share the appreciation of a fine cigar and a grand port wine while raising money for the new Southwest Olympus Leather Titleholders’ Travel Fund.
Keeping in the spirit of Monte Carlo, high leather, fetish or hot damn sexy wear is strongly encouraged for the evening, so dress to impress (or even to digress!).
Above all, arrive prepared to enjoy the evening, the company, and have a smokin’ good time. This is your time to mix and mingle among the event’s VIP’s and Presenters.
This is a free event; however your Sin in the City event badge will be required to gain entrance to the event. There will be a cash bar & a variety of cigars for purchase.
RSVP for the social and see who else will be there!
- To REGISTER
- To BOOK A HOTEL ROOM
- To RSVP
- To join the Sin in the City Group on Fetlife!
- To VOLUNTEER, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To SPONSOR, email: email@example.com
- To VEND, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To ENTER AS A SOUTHWEST OLYMPUS CONTESTANT
Please feel free to cross-post to any mailing lists or groups you like