Amazing Thursday Things – SELF & What is “Leather”?

Last weekend I had the rather unexpected opportunity to go to the Southeast Leather Fest in Atlanta, Georgia (actually in Decatur, but close enough).


Oh. My. God.


I learned so much! I learned I’m not as vanilla as I always assumed I was – but then, really, who is? I learned there are some things that are hot as FUCK to see, but that I’d never want to try. I learned there are some things I might want to try that never would have occurred to me…


The classes were fantastic, and completely justified my calling this a research trip. From “Strong, independent… submissive?”, where I got to sit in a room with a group of some of the most empowered women I’ve ever had the privilege to meet, who just happen to be submissives, to Master Dex’s Whip Intensive which I only went to the end of so I could see “Dancing With the Whip” which was so hot I might have left the room with some blisters, to “Pervatbales: BDSM on a Budget”, I learned things both practical and whimsical, and generally was engaged, amused and intrigued.


I got offers to play which, for some reason, stunned me. Really, really shocked me. I was told more than once (more than twice, even) that I’d be really fun to play with, and I swear to God my jaw is still dragging the floor at that one.


I went with the oh-so-fabulous Joey W. Hill – LOVE her!!!! – and had to laugh, like almost until I had to pee, when people asked which of us is the top. Apparently neither of us put off a particularly Dominant vibe. And then, when we explained we were there as friends, and it was more a research trip than anything else, the speculative looks started. And, like I said, the offers started, too. My favorite comment? As we were leaving a “Sir” said “There were straight girls here? How come no one told me there were straight girls here??”


I met some amazing people – Master Tom and his slave Linda, who is like a human Valium. Seriously. Every time I got within 5 feet of the woman I felt myself relax. And Master Tom? One of the kindest, most generous people I’ve met anywhere, ever, period. Then there was TenderDom, the wax play guru, and his “partner in crime” the Naughty Knitter. What a genuinely good man – “reformed rakes” usually are, though. His website was my primary source researching Velvet Memories (coming this summer from Liquid Silver Books and Violet Summers – a m/m wax play Scene from Velvet Ice story), and if wax play tweaks your radar even the tiniest bit, you absolutely MUST check out his work ( He’s an absolute artist. And another generous soul, who has not only dedicated himself to giving back to the community, but graciously took the time to talk with me, to share personal stories and to give me a “tour” of his portfolio, explaining the significance of many of his designs. When you check out his page be sure to play “where’s Waldo” and look for his initials – like any artist he signs his work!


“Accidental art” broke out everywhere – the performance art of whip dancing, TenderDom’s gorgeous creations, the intricate beauty of the rope-work Blaze did in his Bedroom Bondage for Dummies workshop – it seemed everywhere I looked I was seeing something beautiful, bizarre, haunting…


There was an amazing, fun, fantastic couple from one of the Carolina’s – I think North, but my brain was swelling with so much info I can’t say for sure – who I just plain got a crush on. Mr. Hot Southern Dom (I won’t use his name, since I didn’t ask ahead of time and don’t know how public they are), is one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met. His smile radiates pure joy (and enough naughtiness to make my little heart palpitate. Or maybe that was just my reaction to getting to repeatedly grope his sculpted, granite hard ebony chest. Yeah, it’s purple prose, but it fits. Whew! His submissive, a gorgeous blonde as fair as he is dark (and the contrast is breathtaking, Oh. My. God.), has that delightful smile with the little nose wrinkle, and just radiates warmth. The love between them was so tangible I felt like I could reach out and touch it.


And that was the case for many of the couples I met. Yeah there were intense scenes, and complicated, convoluted relationships, but God. I’ve never seen so much open, honest affection. And the relationships – for the most part, the ones I witnessed anyway – seemed so healthy. These are people who, because of the lifestyle they’ve chosen, have to be honest and transparent with each other in a way that I think many “vanilla” couples aren’t.


In one of my conversations with Master Tom, who took me under his wing when he saw me floundering a bit, I likened the D/s-Master/slave-whatever the hell you want to label it relationship to any healthy relationship. Some couples bowl. Some ballroom dance. Some practice the leather lifestyle. Any relationship needs the same things to stay healthy and fresh, and mystique and pre-conceived notions aside, at the core these are relationships. Some are romantic, some are partnerships between like-minded people who have mutual respect and interests, but all are just fundamentally relationships. Some are dysfunctional, I’m sure there were some there that were abusive (happily I didn’t witness anything like that; I DID note that there were a lot of people – primarily female submissives – who had come to a healthy D/s relationship after being in an abusive or exploitive “vanilla” relationship, which is heartbreaking because I just KNOW their submissive, giving spirits were being taken advantage of), but many – most that I experienced – were just flat out beautiful.





  1. I would just like to say that it was our pleasure to meet you this weekend. I hope that your enlightenment doesn’t lose it’s fire. Just ponder on the whip dancing, and all the other wonderful things you witnessed and participated in this weekend. Yes, I said participated, because your presence and your energy became a part of every activity you witnessed!

  2. You visited! 😀

    I have pondered little else for the last several days, and the idea that I contributed makes me happier than you could know.

    As for the whip dancing in particular, it is already working its way into a story that’s been simmering for a while, just waiting for the right element to set it off. I do believe linda’s beautiful demonstration might have struck the match!

    Hugs to you both!

  3. Completely jealous!! Not only were you with Joey, but you got to experience something incredibly life changing. Damn! [grin] I’ll be over here in the corner … pouting.

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