Foundations in Mastery by Catherine Gross

30 03 2009

Ok, I am fresh back from my weekend seminar with Catherine Gross (check out last week’s post for some info on it). I have to say that it was one of the most unique experiences I have had while I have been in the Lifestyle. This was tremendous opportunity to be at the debut of a her latest Lifestyle development class.

I suppose that right now it is best to say a little about Catherine so you can understand why I would spend my weekend on an untested class. First, I should say that the class was the only thing that was untested. Catherine has tested the theory that she discussed by living it for most of her adult life. She is a PCC lifecoach (on of only 2000 in the country). She has been a BDSM educator for longer than I have been in the lifestyle. She co-produces the South-East Leatherfest. And frankly, she runs one hell of a House.

The weekend started out with a great deal of self evaluation, and self analysis. She taught that you need a solid, self-aware foundation before you can begin to develop your skills as a top. I spent a lot of time thinking about answers. There were piles and piles of forms. Each lesson built on the others (for a complete lesson plan look here). That basically made up the first two days.

The third day was different. We spent time reviewing our own creations. We dissected our protocols, analyzing them according to a system that she showed us. This made each and every one of the 30 tops in the room think about what we were doing and why we were doing it. I can frankly say that I walked away with a much larger toolbox that what I came in with.

Now, I could give you the details about the seminar. But I am not. There are two more events on the schedule. One in Georgia, one in Arizona. If you are serious about improving your skills as a top, and I don’t mean better beating, but becoming a better person, then you really should go to this class. Frankly I do not know of anything else like it. PERIOD.

Lady Catherine, if you do happen to read this, Thank you.

MV






Organizational Resources

27 03 2009

I am taking a page from Master and passing along some of the resources I use to help.

Part of my service to Sir is as an administrative assistant so to speak.  I schedule appointments on his calendar, set up reminder notices for these appointments.  Look up information on various topics and sometimes type up my findings.   I create spreadsheets for his budget and I created a presentation on how to set up a bar.

Two of the resources I have been using have been really helpful to me.

One of them is google calendar.  I really like using this feature on google as you can have multiple calendars.  I currently have a calendars set up for the kids, for Master, for Master when he travels, and for me.  I can see daily when I there is something anyone has to do and what time I need to be there.  One of  features that I really enjoy about google calendar is that it can send you a reminder to either your phone (via text) or your email.  You can have the notice remind you minutes to hours in advance of your appointment.   You can also tell it how many time to send you a reminder.  You can have the reminder not only go to you but to others as well.  So if I create an appointment for Master the reminder notice will go to me and to him.

Another resource that I am coming to really like is Remember the Milk .  I have found that this program is a great addition to using Google calender.  Remember the Milk is a program that allows you to add daily tasks for yourself.  Master asks me to add items for him to follow up on that the calendar would not be useful for.  This program also sends reminders to your whatever service you specify.  You can specify the date and time for your task reminders here as well.

Something else Master and i put together very early on that I have found very useful as an organizational tool is something called the Butler’s Book.  I’ll see if I can find a link to show.  This book is very indepth.  It has in it Masters clothes, food preferences, drink preferences, allergies, health information, travel information, toiletry preferences, music interests, bdsm interests, etc.  I thoroughly recommend this to starting M/s and D/s couples.  Keeps all useful information handy.





Foundations in Mastery

25 03 2009

This weekend I am heading to an interesting event. Catherine Gross, a highly respected Lifestyler, Mistress and educator, is debuting her new Foundations in Mastery class. I have sent my girl to her Servants Retreat (I) back in January, and it was very much appreciated by her. I sent esclave to the class mainly because Catherine has been a big influence in my style of dominance plus I have heard so many great things about the class from those that I knew that attended it. I am looking forward to participating in the class this weekend and benefiting from the Dominant’s version. Frankly, some of the best times I have had have been in a group of Dominants who have left their egos at the door.

If this sort of thing appeals to you, Catherine’s Foundations in Mastery class will be coming to Atlanta, GA (August 7-9th, well really close to Atlanta anyway) and to Maricopa, AZ (October 9-11th). Last I heard, there was one slot open for this weekend, but that slot is probably gone by now.

I will report back on my expierence this weekend, but I am also interested in hearing from those of you who have attended her classes in the past. You know where to put your words, in the comments.

MV

(As an aside, I found her website to be very well put together, and easy to navigate so I wanted to say kudos on the design)






Green Sex Toys?

23 03 2009

I subscribe to Playboy, and while I like the photos, I enjoy reading the Playboy Advisor column most of all (followed closely by the jokes page). This month someone asked about green sex toys. In the past, I wrote about vegan sex aids (remember Vegan Condoms? anyone?), so I thought you guys might like to hear about the green options

Our first choice (and most popular according to Google) is Earth Erotics. They have a lot of different green sex toys. From oils to lubes to bedsheets, I think you will find what you are looking for here. They even have a green, recycled, rubber whip. Hehe

“We founded Earth Erotics as an effort to provide a secure and comfortable space for health conscious and environmentally conscious shoppers to find an array of non-toxic erotics, organic cotton bed and bath, and earthy bedroom ambience. We consider Earth Erotics the natural food store of adult boutiques. That is because we are not a mega-store, we are a small, grass roots boutique committed to the strictest standards of quality and care for your health and pleasure. We will make the best effort to inform you about what you are buying. We are committed to customer service and encourage open dialogue about toxins and the environment.”

Next up to bat, Babeland.com. Ok, I couldn’t find anything green here. Maybe they have a rechargeable vibrator? That would certainly be green. But they don’t make finding the stuff easy. They do have a variety of toys and even some articles on the finer points on sex (how to give a blowjob for example). so it is still worth a trip, just not for the greenies.

Finally they suggest VibratorShopping.com. This looks like a much better place to shop. It has both green and non green lines of toys. (The green stuff can be found here).

VibratorShopping.com has announced a company-wide “Commitment to Green” initiative. Recycling, water filtration, solar energy, energy efficient lighting are all ways of reducing our carbon footprint.
As a leader in the online adult novelty industry we now look ahead to the years to come. We understand the importance of being environmentally conscious and the responsibility we have, as one of the largest online novelty distributors.

Finally Discovery.com has a very good, very deep Green sex article. I really recomend checking this one out. There is a whole lot of information here.

Do you have any experience with Green sex toys? If so, let us know in the comments.

MV






A Formal Dinner Service

22 03 2009

This past January I got a chance to serve a formal dinner to Sir.

This I must say is becoming a passion of mine.  There are some many intricate parts to serving a formal dinner.  It is nothing like what I serve to my children.  When I serve my children it is usually with me standing at the stove and them coming with their plates for me to put food on it.  Sort of like an assembly line..LOL

This service for Sir was nothing like that.    Setting up and serving a formal dinner has been really fascinating for me.  I have been learning how to set a table .  I also learned napkin folding, which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and actually it was a lot of fun.  My very first napkin fold was the diamond fold that I folded with a cheap napkin I got from work.   I am going to try and paste a picture of the table setting here.  Hopefully it will work.  In a previous post I wrote a review about a book I read that dealt with dinner service.  I encourage anyone to read it as another resource to learning formal dinner service.  I also joined a website that talks specifically about formal dinner service from a D/s aspect.

Part of the dinner service was planning the menu from start to finish.  The dinner was planned based on my knowing what Sir would and would not like.  I had to choose a menu that would take into account his allergies as well.  This was really nerve wracking to me as I saw this as a test of how well I had gotten to know Master.   So I spent quite a bit of time looking for dishes that would be tasty and not too extensive as Master did not want me to spend too much time cooking due to plans he had later in the evening.  The menu I came up with was called a taste of NY.  NY is Master’s favorite place to visit when he comes to see me.  I thought it would please him, it did 🙂

As I am a visual learner actually having to see the dinner, the presentation, the setting of the table, and performing the acts was a good learning experience for me.  There were somethings I did right and others I can improve on.

As Master and i enjoy protocals serving him dinner formally was a treat for both of us.  I look forward to doing it again.

dinner





BDSM 101: Collaring and Collaring Ceremonies

18 03 2009

I posted a few weeks ago about the ceremony that my esclave and I went through that formally acknowledged our relationship. In the lifestyle we call this a collaring ceremony. The collar is a physical representation of the spiritual bond between a Dominant and his submissive. A collaring ceremony is akin to a wedding in the non-kink world, and is where a Dominant claims the submissive partner and presents the collar.

Collars take many forms. They may be physical or only symbolic. A leather collar is just as good as one crafted from the finest precious metals. What is important is the relationship that they symbolize. A Dominant commits to protect, nurture and, perhaps most importantly from a lifestyle perspective, control their partner in a considered, respectful manner. While romantic love is often found in the relationship, it is not a requirement to be collared. Love, though, is a requirement I believe, for a healthy relationship to develop.

Typically, a Dominant will pick the collar out for her submissive. She may involve him in the process, but normally the decision is all hers. A physical collar may be a simple chain with a padlock, a dog collar bought at the local pet store, or even a piece of costume jewelry bought at the mall. Depending on the relationship, and their needs, a collar may lock, but it is almost equally likely that it will not. In my case, I commissioned a collar from a website (BondageCollars.com) that is designed to be non-removable (is secured with a hex-screw), but still looks like normal jewelry.

Then we come to the Collaring Ceremony. The ceremony may be intimate, just between the Master and slave involved, or it may be a large event with friends and family invited. If they are in an online only relationship, it may be a simple phone call, or online chat where descriptive chat is typed out. In any event, no matter where the event is held, or who attends, it should be seen as a somber event with bit of significance in our lifestyle, as a wedding is in the vanilla world.

A ceremony can be lead by a third party, as many I have attended have been. A community leader or respected friends conducts the ceremony and requests statements from both parties stating their commitments. In the case of my ceremony, I lead the ceremony, and had my esclave make her own statements.

In both cases, the normal course of events is to get those who are present to pledge their support of their relationship and to support the couple in the future. I can state from witnessing several and having my own, that a collaring is often a moving experience and can bring many there to tears.

I hope that you find these links to Collaring ceremonies useful, and I hope that you find your own way to make yours meaningful.

Ceremony of the Roses.
Gorean Ceremony.
Sample Collaring Ceremony.

Let me know what you think of this, well you know where, in the comments.

MV






Review: the ENSO by Orpheus

16 03 2009

Life has conspired to prevent me from writing this review, but I feel that I owe this author a fair hearing on my blog (and perhaps a bit of publicity would not hurt either).

Orpheus Black is a Dominant from the LA (California) area, known for exciting scenes and creative fireplay. He has been a presenter at BlackBEAT in years past and did a facinating demo blowing fire across his demo bottom.

His first book, the ENSO, describes his philosophy on the Lifestyle and focuses on educating submissives on how to best process their submission. Often times a new submissive is conflicted in her desire to serve and the script that runs through her head. This book seems to be designed to help her process her duties and cope with the dichotomy that is our Lifestyle and the rest of the world.

His perspective is distinctly Japanese in origin, and focuses on a balance approach. One difference between this work and others I have encountered is the use of the parallel between a samurai warrior and a modern submissive as the framework for most of the books discussions. He talks about the roll of the sub as a Priest, a Warrior, and a Poet. It is an interesting read, and may prove very useful for the novice submissive.

For me though, the best part were his D/s Parables that you find toward the end of the book. These 10 stories I found to be very educational, and at night, I sometimes read these to my girl.

I have to say that my one complaint about the book is the price. At $25 $20 for a 75 page book, I would expect it to be leather bound or something. Being a paperback, I would expect it to be in the $8 or $10 price range. Still, if you can get over the price, I do think it would be an excellent addition to your house’s library.

You can find the ENSO for purchase online here.

Have you read the ENSO? if so, let me know in the comments.

MV









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