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Vacation beginning Leather Reign – Orcas – DC (Raven and Joshua) – the death of Jen’s dad

We decided to take a vacation. This is our first vacation, actually. We presented at Leather Reign in Seattle, spent a week on Orcas Island (about an hour north of Seattle, then an hour’s ride on a ferry boat. We came in to Seattle a day early so we could go down to Pike’s Place Market to do some photography. Here’s my version of an open fruit and vegetable stand.

c 18 pikes place market

Inside the Market, lower level, we found an arts/crafts store that had some very nice blown glass. One piece in particular caught our eyes. It was an a bright red apple, and the “stem” was a green snake. I asked the store clerk if I could set up my tripod and actually take my time with the shot. She said, “Yes,” and about half an hour later I had a few good images. This is among my favorite.

c 19 red glass apple snake

I really like Leather Reign (Master Duane and slave kelly). They put on a top conference that attracts some spectacular people. I enjoyed the time I had to sit down with Allena Gabosh and to catch-up with Alpha (Mac). Allena is the Executive Director of “The Center for Sex Positive Education,” also known as “The Wet Spot.” I’ve known her for a long time. Alpha, you may recall from earlier blogs, was the person who first got me started with kink photography back in 2002.

Far and away, the highlight of this period was our time on Orcas. We’d left the conference with enough time to drive up to Anacortes and catch the last ferry over to the island. I love this ride: super romantic, even though they reduced the sizes of the ferries a few years ago and these are more utilitarian and have fewer services. The ride takes about an hour and stops at Lopez and Shaw before docking at Orcas.

c 20 island ferry   c 21 coffee in ferry   c 22 happy jen

Orcas always has been special for me. Margo (my first wife) and I spent about two years working out the qualifications for the place we wanted to raise our children, and in those two years physically visited five cities. Orcas was the hands-down winner:

  • More than two hours from a major airport

  • Accessible to a city we would like

  • Has a “mountain” smell and feel

  • Has an exceptional school system (One standard deviation above the state average on the ACE exams in a state that was one standard deviation above the national averages on the ACE exam. When I was working for the National Institute of Justice studying crime in American schools, I had access to the National Bureau of Education Statistics and had my friend in that office run that analysis.)

c 23 orcas island hotel

Anyway, we landed at the doc, looking directly at the picturesque Orcas Hotel and turned left, heading almost to Eastsound but turning left one road past the turn into town. Margo had suggested this place: we wanted to be on the water. I wanted to be isolated. We got both. We were in a lovely cabin in the Beach Haven Resort without Internet or cell phone signal. No distractions! We could walk along the beach or take walks in the woods.

We drove in town to have dinner with Margo. I always have dinner with Margo when I come back to the island. I’d brought Karen here years ago; can’t even remember anymore.

The next day, when we went into Eastsound to look at the lovely stores, my Internet signal returned and I realized that I had missed a call from my brother (8 years my junior, he lives in Santa Cruz, CA). William reported that Robin thought that Father had suffered a stroke. He and Angela (my sister, 12 years younger than I) were flying out to Santa Fe.

Next, they arrived out there about the time that the lab and physician reports came in that they could find nothing wrong.

So Jen and I spent a lovely week hiking up to the lookout on top of Mt. Constitution in Moran State Park (the largest State Park in Washington) and photographing and reading.

c 24 winter leaf on twig

We ate in lovely restaurants that brought back all kinds of personal memories (Margo and I moved here in 1987 and I left on New Years Eve of that year to join Renee in D.C.).

The Orcas Island part of the trip came to an end. We were very sorry to leave: this island remains my ideal home. We took the ferry back to Anacortes, over to Mt Vernon and then south on Interstate 5. We had a flight to catch. We flew directly from Seattle to DC to take a weekend intensive that Raven (Kaldera) and Joshua (Tenpenny) were putting on at Castle Griffin (Master Griffin and slave ann).

c 25 raven and joshua

We were home on Monday, Thanksgiving was Thursday, and Jen’s dad died on Friday.

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Lupercalia

What a fun event! When I arrived in Edmonton, it was 25-degrees below zero. Very low humidity, so any wind gives a stinging sensation. To my total surprise, when we got out of the car in the hotel’s parking lot, the garage was about 70-degrees! I asked about that and learned that they have to keep the garages heated or they’ll have too much trouble with cars being too cold to start. Wow!

I’ve wanted to present here for some time; it’s Western Canada’s largest BDSM conference. I was something of a special guest, I suppose. They certainly took good care of me and I felt right at home.

Scott Smith was there (I’d worked with him back in 2006 when we made a string of DVDs, one of which featured Scott doing suspension bondage) as well as 4-5 other presenters I knew fairly well. I had a booth in vending and sold a great number of books. In the case of this conference, they’d paid airfare.

c 03 scott smith

I met a couple up there and spent a fair amount of time with them. Their names are Nikita and Ursula. My immediate “take” was that Nikita knows a lot about a lot and we jabbered away for a long time. I hope we’re able to see them again; I seldom meet people with whom I’m so comfortable.

One of the highlights of THIS trip — and why I’m mentioning it in this post — is that when I went up to my hotel room that night to watch TV, I discovered “curling.”

I had only a distant recollection of my father mentioning seeing curling when he was touring Thule AFB in Greenland. They had a curling court set up on base. I remember him saying that it involved sliding a large stone down a marked pathway on ice. As I watched, I became captivated and ended up watching curling matches until about 2am. As it happened, there was a curling competition going on in Edmonton over this same weekend!

It’s funny that I watch curling in my room at night when such fun things were going on in the dungeon. Nikita and Ursula asked how I spent my evening and I raved and raved about watching curling.

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Houston Fetish Flea

I don’t want to write blogs only about all the conferences we attend, however, this one was particularly fun because of our “Playing Hard with a Lady” presentation.

Some background.

I’ve known the event producer for a number of years. I’ve presented at Providence Fetish Flea twice. Although she owns the Fetish Flea productions, she lets Sir Percy handle that one.

Anyway, when we arrived in Houston and were speaking with her about the presentation, she said that here could be no nudity, per the hotel rules.

“No nudity?” I asked

“Right”

“But this is a class that teaches how to play with a pussy. How do we do this without nudity? Jen doesn’t even own any underwear!”

Well, Jen thought about it for a while and then took the car out and bought some men’s boxer shorts. We then cut the seam open so she was reasonably visible. Rather than have the participants sit, we had them crowd around her and placed a watch-guard at the door. It was a lot of fun when she squirted and the crowd took a unified step back to avoid the splash. Towards the middle of the presentation we just took the men’s boxers all the way off. She squirted and squirted and squirted. Audience loved it.

What an experience!

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GLLA – Jen finds her home in Leather

c 02 glla

 

I’d presented here in 2008 and had a blast and was very much looking forward to being there again. Very warm and welcoming group: lots of friends that I’ve been seeing on the lecture circuit for the last three years.

We presented a class on protocols (one that conferences often ask for) and one on “Structuring the Structured Relationship.” The classes were well attended and Jen was a big hit.

We didn’t get a table in vending, but we were in the hallway in the lounge area, so the exposure was great. We pretty well covered our costs, so long as I pretend the books were at zero cost. (My publisher charges me as though I were a bookstore: 50% off cover price.)

This was Jen’s first conference and first real look into my world. Sure, she was aware of my previous books and my relationship with my Mistress and slave, but this was her first step into the bigger world. She walked away from GLLA realizing that she belonged in the world of Leather and began her journey down that path. She has referred to this experience as a “coming home” sensation and that she can now behave with her high moral standards and be accepted and welcomed.

We’d love to come back. Great vibes and Sir G takes great care of me.

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Becoming a Presenter

My first presentation “gig” was at Steven Segal’s request: Florida Fetish Flea. This was a small mostly-gay event in St. Petersburg, FL. It took place in a gay sanctuary—a hotel that surrounded a courtyard by its three wings: the other side of the courtyard was blocked by retail stores catering to gays. And, there was a theater for cross-dressers to perform burlesque. Karen’s parents drove over from Cape Canaveral—Judd and Kathy. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Insatiable Amazon (at 6’2” and then spike heels) was also a conference presenter (and friend) came over and spent time with us. It was absolutely magical. I presented on protocols and on M/s relations. These would be my primary presentations for nearly two years.

Master Taino gave me my first big break, letting me present at the Master/slave Conference in 2006. I’d been attending for a few years (since M/sC #2, in fact) but this was my first presentation at an “A-List” conference. I sold books and taught. This was a model that worked for me.

NOTE: From 2007-2013 Master Taino used me as the event photographer. While I enjoyed doing this, the hassle of bringing all that equipment with me to a conference was more than I was interested in. I judged in 2014, but did not return to MsC in 2015 or 2016. 

photo 33 msc flags

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