Saturday, December 14, 2013

Placidity and Catharsis, Achieved At Last!

Hundreds more articles like this can be found
at the Kink Mentoring Archives… Spread the word!

even-tempered, calm, tranquil, equable, unexcitable, serene, mild, 'calm, cool, and collected', composed, self-possessed, poised, easygoing, levelheaded, steady, unruffled, unperturbed, phlegmatic, unflappable.

See also: Feeling Fuckin' MELLOW.

After posting my recent, ultra-deep article, I have been worried that folks are under the impression that I'm still dragging around a big old sack o' sadness.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  I'm glad to share the great news.

I have fully achieved catharsis, and it kicks ASS.

After writing the article (nearly three weeks ago), I read my own words, and cried.  After a while, I read the article again, and cried some more.  Cleansing, restorative, blessed release of old, old pains that have been burdening me. After 36 hours of repeating this process, I found that I was done.  I felt clear and complete.  I simply didn't have any more old baggage cluttering up my life any more.

Since then, I have slept like 2.7 babies (really cute ones), every single night. :->

I don't get frustrated like I used to.  Nothing tends to throw me for a loop.  I WANT to tell my friends that I have not yet achieved Nirvana (doesn't that take years of intensive training?), but I'm sure the hell feeling like I've matched up perfectly with Wikipedia's definition of the word.

This is awesome. I wish everybody in the world could feel this way. Peaceful, relaxed and accepting. This is the best that I ever felt in my entire life, and it NEVER STOPS.

So, I say to my brothers who have suffered under the burden of loss to AIDS in your lives:

It's time to deal with the pain, face up to it, and let it go, in whatever way that works best for you.  In my own case, I sought out a Cognitive Therapist. I didn't fight it, because I was R-E-A-D-Y.

The payoff is bliss. We deserve plenty of that, in what remains in our lives.

Review of HARNESS Party, December 13, 2013

Photos are by our local Tribe's superb Event Photographer, Scott Smith, unless otherwise noted:

Here is what I loved about last night's HARNESS party at Numbers:

It was surprisingly well-attended, given the time of year. One of the best turnouts ever. Word has really gotten around. I was thrilled to recognize nearly everyone there, and the new guys were clearly eager to figure-out what the warm, friendly tone and the unified and cohesive crowd were all about. By my guess, around 95% of the men there were members of FetishMenSanDiego. We deliver a VERY different vibe, every time.

HARNESS is always stunningly well-organized, in every detail. The CUB CLUB team was sharp, focused and utterly dedicated to providing an excellent evening for us all.  It showed. Ned Cato is the masterful impresario, working behind the scenes. He has the Big Picture in his mind, and he’s a superb team-builder. Matthew is CLEARLY in his element, making sure that every detail is just right… A teensy bit obsessive about attaining a perfect result, but that’s why we love him.

Brett and Brian redeem their raffle ticket with Ian and Daniel. 
There were plenty of great prizes, and the 
evening's event raised money for charity.

Ian is getting better and better at being the ringmaster for an evening of fun that conveys a quality of deeper meaning. All HARNESS parties are sociable, zero-attitude events, but Ian seems to have perfected the form. When he sang “I Want To Do Bad Things To You”, the crowd roared with approval at every chorus, and howled at the right spots. I was astonished to see so many men having arrived fully geared for the “RED AND BLACK MASQUERADE” theme of the evening.  I really think that it was the best theme so far.

The go-go dancers were attractive in a very masculine, friendly and hunky way. They boogeyed and shook for our entertainment, and hoped that fans in the crowd would tip them, to show appreciation.  I always make it a habit to do so - It’s such a pleasant form of affirmation, and it’s a great way to contribute to the local economy!

Ibi Pupp and Bobby worked hard to make the event a success. 
Expect to see these beautiful young men helping out 
at more events as time goes by.  
They are going to be helping out our brothers with 
San Diego Fetish Brotherhood a lot in 2014.

Ibi said "So much fun! So many familiar and new faces.

Found an awesome leather shirt from Eli Correa's stash *drools...

Was recruited by the fabulous MC and vocalist Ian Morton to help out as Ticket Boy. Glad to work alongside Bobby during the event. Cheers!!

To add the cherry on top, I enjoyed one of the best bonding/flogging moments with Papa Tony. He puts the red and blush where they're supposed to go"

Photo by Keith Johnson. That's Ei on the right, 
and his boy Keith on the left, with Ms. Sanctuary Leather 2013 Shae in the middle.

Mr. San Diego Leather 2013 Eli brought a table-full of donated fetish-gear to sell, raising $350 for Wish Linda's "Leather Cares Help Fund" charity.  I bought a bunch of stuff, and so did others.

The DJ was spinning very appropriate and effective music for the crowd, the space and the circumstances.  Just enough of a mix of dark, industrial, and yet nicely danceable. It’s nice to see kinky men dancing, when they simply can’t resist.  I wish the same DJ had been on duty a week earlier!

THIS is how you win several raffle prizes: Have arms like an orangutan! 
That's Ibi Pupp, selling a fingertip-to-fingertip length of tickets 
for ten dollars to Papa Tony, while slave bob looks on - bob PAID for the tickets, 
so he gets to share the meals at Carnita's Snack Shack and Wang's North Park...
 That seems fair somehow!

The HARNESS party has been designed as a monthly, gay leathermen's Social Ball. Our community has needed one for decades, and it arrived in nearly perfect form. It has only gotten better as the years have gone by. The men who showed up were diverse, super-friendly, and tended to hug a lot, as they swarmed here and there, mixing and socializing.

I hope everybody got laid a LOT last night. Based upon observed behavior, it looked pretty likely!

Update from Ian, after the event:

Thanks so much for all who joined and made this event a success! Matthew Walker and Ned Cato Jr of Cub Club SD, Brent Englehart, Bobby Jamal Shoals, and Ibi Pupp for being my sexy Jell-O shot and Raffle salesmen, DJ Marcel Hetu for spinning the tunes and Daniel Blair and the Dangilo the Uberglitterati sexy dancers for turning up the heat!

Eli Correa, Keith Johnson and Truly Shae brought Fetish Finds back and I know some of ya'll got some sexy gear! Please remember Wang's North Park, Diversionary Theatre and Carnitas Snack Shack who came through with donated items for the raffle. Through your support, we raised $200.00 which will assist in bring education top the community through the UC San Diego AIDS Research Institute. Last, but not least, FMen SanDiego - Thanks for the great review, Papa Tony and for all the Fetishmen San Diego friends that came out to support this effort - much love to you all!

Update from Ian, just before the event:

Excited for tonight! JELL-O Shots are made, raffle prizes collected from Dave & Buster's, Hillcrest Ace Hardware, Carnita's Snack Shack, Chili's Grill & Bar and Wang's North Park. Sensual ambient music mix from Delerium, Enigma and Massive Attack ready to go. Come by between 8-9:30 for a sexy lounge atmosphere that will transition into a pulsating dance party with DJ Marcel Hetu! Raffle drawing at 11:00 p.m. sharp!
Music video for inspiration

Pre-Event Publicity:

Every 2nd Friday,Cub Club and Numb3rs Nightclub will present HARNESS, a NEW monthly Leather/Gear event...You are always welcome to come out as you are, but LEATHER GEAR is encouraged, the least you can do is THROW ON A HARNESS!

Come one, come all, Fetish friends. Ian Morton will be hosting December 13th's HARNESS at NUM3ERS Nightclub and would love to see you there! Each guest host has an opportunity to bring his or her flavor to the night, and I would love to create a sensual playground of Fetish Fantasy. Vampires, jocks, club kids, gods & goddesses, fashionistas, Victorians , faeries, Wicca – come celebrate your imagination as we celebrate a “different” sort of holiday season MASKED BALL at the Red & Black Masquerade. While you groove to ambient, sexual and tribal beats, know that proceeds for items such as raffle tickets and holiday themed Jello shots (with AND without alcohol) will go toward HIV/AIDS research at UC San Diego AIDS Research Institute More details will follow….


With a rotating roster of kick-ass DJs and leatheratti hosts, we are sure entice the fuck out of you. This month DJ MARCEL.... who will be spinning DARK Dirty House sounds to promote close DANCING and CRUISING. HIS LAST SET AT HARNESS WAS....wait for it.....LEGENDARY.


MALE GOGO DANCER BOOT CAMP AUDITIONS: If YOU or someone you know has a hot face, owns their body, and can dance: SIGN THEM UP! At the next Harness, the PACK will be auditioning MEN of all sorts (Average Joes, Bears, Cubs, Daddies, Sirs, Muscle, Otters, Silver Foxes, Pups, scuffy, Fetish, Military, Athletes, BEEFY etc) We are looking for some guys to help round out our crew. We are looking for a few good MEN who are the life of the party, can hold their own on the dancefloor, don't mind dressing like Sex, have team mentality, and that can dance like a muthafucker. We will be rotating auditioners throughout the night: to help fill our roster for our 2013 Events; that include but are not limited to the following Club Nights: Harness, Belt, Glitter Cub Disko, Geek Week, Heroes Vs. Villians, BrassRail's Manic Monday, RudeBoy,WTF, CubClub's THE PACK and LLBear. Wear shoes/boots you can move in, and briefs/gear that pushes the line but won't get you arrested. (There will be a small changing area for auditioners who don't underdress: CubClub and Numbers will not be held resposible for lost items: so bring a watchful friend or leave the good shit at home) REMEMBER: this is CUBCLUB, we DONT care about a few extra pounds, and Shaving/manscaping is discouraged. Contact Cub Club SD( if you have any other questions...
STRAP UP. BUCKLE UP...and come take a ride.

HARNESS every 2nd Friday of the month at NUMB3RS.

COVER $8 DOLLARS...(don't want to SHOOT YOUR WHOLE WAD? CUM EARLY and BRING A CANNED FOOD ITEM OR WRAPPED TOY and a enjoy $5 cover for the first HOUR we are open)

CubClub's THE PACK

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eric Swenson's Story

Note from Tony:  I received this series of messages from my dear friend Eric, who has been in my life since around 1978.  I asked him if I could post his comments as an Addendum to my recent article, and he said yes.

Tony, I wanted tell you how much I admire what you wrote, and also wanted to help you inform others what we went through during those dark days.  Younger people can only learn by what we teach them!

You inspired me!  We have been working through all of those ghosts!!

Thank you, Papa Tony, for your heart-felt blog and art about memories of decades of change, and of sorrow...

"One of my best works from 1981,
just before my best friend became catastrophically ill. 

He died 2-1/2 weeks after the first symptom.
I couldn't touch him or come near as he lay dying,
because nobody knew what was causing it.
I cried in the doorway for hours, yearning to hold him.
He died alone, begging to be comforted and held."

If one has never experienced that, let these words inform the new and younger men, and remind the older men in our tribe.  Brotherhood will be so much more complete.  These words (yours, above) brought back memories of so many of my experiences during those years.  You are such a special man to this community and to me (as a friend for 34 years!).  What's past is past, but the reality of those times is often all too forgotten, or even known, by many today.  Straight culture has begun to accept us--and it didn't happen overnight!  The older of us all know how well we fought for equality and acceptance, and mourned an unbelievable number of friends over a ten year period 30 years ago.  How did we find the courage to keep going in those dark days?!

My lover Paul and I participated in the LA Gay Pride parade in the early '80's, when a professional photographer from the crowd was taking portraits of us together embracing and showing our love.  We discovered it was for Newsweek and their famous "Gay" Issue!  We both had security clearances and couldn't sign the releases because we would have lost our jobs.

As an added insult to the 'self-esteem injury' of being citizen outcasts, HIV was thrust upon us.  Men started dying in huge numbers and, early on, no one knew why.  While we cared for and buried friends/loved ones, we all worried that we'd be next.  Culture blamed gay men for AIDS.  I just finished my 30th year of volunteering as a control in hospital studies related to AIDS research.  I was dedicated to this and took a personal stand to find the cure, or at least helpful meds.  I took days off work to do this.  And, sadly, most of the friends I joined the study with died.  Papa Tony, you are so right, it wasn't easy that we had to survive that..., and the unresolved rage, survivor's guilt and grief was a bonus, so to speak.

Recently on an Atlantis cruise, a performer asked the younger men to introduce themselves during the week to older men and thank them for their contributions to life as it is today.  I met several younger men, and I was quite surprised and felt honored.  I will never forget our lives then and the sorrow of losing so much of our community.  The complete joy for an older man/warrier is that I will never forget the recent beautiful acts of heart-felt brotherhood and acknowledgement by younger men--A true bonding experience.  As you said, we're "ready to love and be loved."  We've earned it more than anyone could know.

The moral of this is that we are all in this together.  Schooling-- teaching and learning!
As I learned in the seagoing Navy, our 'chain' is only as safe as the strength of its weakest link.

Fondly, my dear friend...
Eric Swenson

Tony, more thoughts...,

Not only was I a leatherman in early days, but I was President of SAGA Ski Club in 1983, an all-sports organization the likes of which had never been seen before in SD.  Our mission was to present gay men (and some women members) as wholesome, everyday, and upright people in the broader Hillcrest community.  We provided comraderie, fun, and an example to the straight community.  We had 300 members that met monthly at Mr. Dillon's before it was Rich's.  We sponsored trips of all varieties, including skiing, hiking, camping and cultural. We won first place in the Gay Softball League that year.  Our yearly black-tie, sit-down Christmas party and stage show in the Cafe del Rey Moro Ballroom in Balboa Park is, to this day, fondly remembered.  (I donated a DVD of highlights of ten years of shows to the Gay Archives.)  We took smaller versions of the show on the road and performed in many bars during that time to raise money for AIDS research.  As president of SAGA, I attended meetings of most of the other clubs in our gay community as outreach and support, hoping to achieve a community cohesiveness.  I helped others get San Francisco SAGA underway, and marched as a leather man in the SF Pride Parade several years, supporting gay state politician Carole Migden.  I couldn't march in San Diego because of my security clearance, but still wanted to do my part.

All of this was pioneering stuff, and I'm sure ground breaking, when one stops to think about the gay community and organizations that operate successfully and openly today.

May the memory of all our friends and fellow leaders lost over the years never fade...  During those years, I made a list of names of friends among us who "fell" during our "battles."  Many of them often alone, embarrassed, in pain, and outcast.  Winning the fight against AIDS and for human diginity didn't happen overnight and never easily.  I review my list at times to keep my focus on what we have at hand and are still working for, and to recognize THEIR accomplishments.  All of these men, pioneers in their own ways, contributed to make OUR community what it is today...

Eric Swenson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review of My Newest Whip

This is an Advanced Level toy, used only with heavy players who crave extreme stimulation:

Three-foot length (best for indoor, close-up work), Timber Brown and a Light Brown 
along with the full wrist strap, loop end and chevron pattern

I can honestly say that the new, brown whip is my favorite single-tail EVER (even better than "Emily"), and it's probably the twelfth singletail that I have owned in my life.

The weighting, craftsmanship, balance, length and "whippiness" inherent in its manufacture when it arrived are all delightful.   I have acquired whips that have cost considerably more, but none were better.

I BELIEVE that the cost was around $175 Canadian.  I'm not sure, because I have a policy of having each submissive pay for his own whip, when he's ready for it.  From a health standpoint, it's best to use one whip per submissive.

I am planning to use this whip to train other Tops in the various throws and techniques.

Here was the original description, after it was made:

This is a custom singletail whip made to exact specifications as requested by the client.

Weight: #12 Lead Shot loaded - 14.4 oz, 408g

Length: 36 inches

Colors: Timber Brown and Light Brown - Chevron Pattern -16 plait tapered to 4 plait

Loop End

Full wrist Strap (six strands)

This 36 inch single tail whip is all #1 whip grade Kangaroo Hide. Each strand is hand cut and beveled. This whip sports a several layer braided kangaroo hide leather core.

This single tail snakewhip is accurate for indoor or outdoor use and practice. This single tail whip also has a loop end that makes it easy to replace or switch crackers.

This single tail snakewhip flows very nicely and is easy to throw and crack!

This whip is one of a kind!

It was handcrafted by Carol, who says:

My website has been sorted out now. The menu tab offers custom whip and flogger options so that specialty items can be custom-ordered through it. I also post the few in-stock items that I have available on the site. I also offer custom bullwhips on my “vanilla” site

I will have a vendors booth at the Vancouver Westcoast Bound the weekend of Feb 7th. I am also looking at Lupercalia the following weekend in Edmonton Alberta.

I can also be contacted on Fetlife as SilkenRaven.