For my friends who are interested in leather history and protocols, I recommend the latest episode of the NoSafeWord show. Their topic is Old Guard vs. New Guard, and its discussed by two, young puppy-boys who have experience in both settings. It's very good. The only thing I dislike is the use of "Old Guard" - I'd rather say "Traditional" Leather, meaning that type of style that developed among guy men in late '60s and '70s, whereas "THE Old Guard" refers to specific (and mostly mythical) group of men from the '50s and '60s. But, that aside, I think this is a great conversation about the traditional vs. modern leather scene. The big difference being whether or not you're allowed to smile in photographs...
The conversation on Old vs. New leather starts about halfway through the episode , if you want to skip to it.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Time again this year, as I have traditionally done each year, for my Frolicon post. I always have to, first, re-state that this is always our favorite con of the year! There’s just nothing else like Frolicon!
Thursday was my 9th wedding anniversary with my lovely Owner, Shdwkitten! She was already down in Atlanta w/ her boyfriend, Poet, a day ahead of me. So Thursday I joined them, with my omega pup, Cuddles, in tow. After the omega and I got checked in, the four of us hung out in Ma’am and Poet’s room – and started drinking… and playing with squeaky toys! *wags*
The four of us went down to a party in the Presidential Suit and hung out w/ a couple of old friends… and I gave away my squeaky ball to an adorable, little bio-doggie someone had brought to the party.
Hunter, our Alpha-pup, arrived Friday morning, joining me and Cuddles in our room. Also, our pack-mate Loki was in-town, so he and his brother, Nitro, joined us at Frolicon for the day. We all went out for breakfast: Alpha, beta, omega, Loki, Nitro, my Owner, and her boyfriend. It was a fun time. I love this new hotel location; so many food options w/in walking distance (and a liquor store right across the street).
We returned to the hotel about 11:00, and I went up to our room to change and prep for my 1:00 Pup Play 101 class… and got a frantic call telling me, “You class is RIGHT NOW!” So Cuddles and I grabbed shit and rushed downstairs. Apparently they changed the class time (but didn’t update the website), so I arrived about 20 minutes late to my own class. I felt bad about that – but there was a large turn-out, and somehow I managed to cover almost everything in my outline in just an hour. And I had Cuddles and Hunter in pup mode while I talked, and they were great! And Hunter only knocked one person out of his chair (Nitro) and only injured himself a little. So, despite the late/frantic start it was good class.
After that, we changed into gear/costumes so we could do family photos in the dungeon. I got into my new latex Dainese suit. They always take good photos at Frolicon – the shitty part is that it takes like 6 months before you get your photos (if ever). Still, it’s a tradition…
I soon had to change out of my latex skin because we were hosting a puppy mosh at 4:00. So it was out of latex and into spandex. The mosh was fucking pawesome! We had 11 or 12 pups and one kitty cat. It was very high energy. Every time it started to collapse into a cuddle pile some pup would rush and pounce, and it would explode into activity again. It really was one of the most fun moshes I’ve ever been in! Hunter, in particular, was in perfect Hunter-like form. By the end of the mosh all the Handlers (except Loki) were scared of him. He was a terror! LOL. I really can’t overstate how fun this mosh was.
After the mosh, I grabbed food with my packmates before we went to the swimming pool to meet up with friends and fellow pups. The pool was fun – but cold, so we didn’t stay in it long. (Atlanta was unseasonably chilly.)
Friday night arrived and that meant more alcohol and room parties! Cuddles got into his sexy Robin costume and I got my Nightwing on (didn’t realize the Bat-Dance party was Saturday night), and we each grabbed a bottle of rum-and-coke, and, along w/ our Alpha, we headed down to the Ren fair party first and then up to the jocks’ “frat party.” There was a bed w/ restraints at the frat party, so Alpha chained me down and teased me for an hour. He’s had me locked in chastity for almost a year, and at this point it’d been 12 days since the last time he allowed me to cum, so I was very horny. Alpha edged me for about an hour, and also invited others at the party to touch, pet, and stroke me. (There’s something very hot about being tied down, helpless, in a room full of strangers and hearing the words, “You can touch him if you’d like.”) At one time I had four different people touching me. It was so wonderful! Woof! And so it was a very horny Nightwing that Hunter led back to his hotel room… and locked back into chastity. :o
We had to get up painfully early for the Puppy Olympics at 10 am. I got into my sexy rubber gear for the dog show. The Olympics we great – especially considering this was our first time doing this. It came about because last year our friend Gator had a laugh playing w/ my pack when we stopped by his booth in the vendor’s room, and he was inspired to put this together for the pup community. We had 11 pups compete in the contest. Everybody got an engraved doggie bowl to take home. I won first place in the appearance and trick category and my pug, Cuddles, won second place in agility course. Congrats to the fantastic Archon who won first place! The obstacles Gator had built were really cool. The whole thing was lots of fun. *wags*
After that, I walked over to the mall for sandwiches w/ Poet, Kitten, and my two packmates. We returned to the con hotel and wandered. I was stopped a few times so people could get pictures of/with the pretty rubber pup.
The afternoon brought my Pup 201 class, which Hunter helped me with. I like the material we cover in this class, but it was a little rocky b/c only two of the people in there had been in the 101 class, so… And we somehow sacred away two “vanilla” couples. I call them “vanilla” b/c I’m not sure they were in the right con… I don’t know… Hunter said something about pouncing his Handler and having sexy-fun time, and something caused the four of them to look scandalized and walk out. Maybe they were homophobic or just prudish, I don’t know…
Ma’am didn’t make it to the 201 class b/c she was getting the make-up done for her Famine costume. She looked amazing! Actually ALL of my Owner’s outfits looked great. Every time I saw her she had changed into a different costume, and every time she was beautiful! She is a stunner, and I am a lucky wolfhound! *wags*
The 201 class was the last of my pack’s obligations, so I finally felt “off duty.” We did some wandering w/ my Alpha keeping me on-leash. I was still in full rubber, and a couple of more people asked for photos.
We went to the petting zoo – which we ended up having to jump in and help with, back “on duty.” We helped them move in floor mats, we provided treats and water, Hunter acted as Handler making sure the human-animals stayed hydrated and helping facilitate interaction between the human-animals and people. Cuddles and I were there in pup-mode, along w/ a couple of other dogs, some cats, a donkey, and a lizard. It was fun.
After the zoo, I went up to the room to peel out of my latex. I went and found my Owner, and then she, Poet, the pug, and I went to the lip-synch contest. That was so much fun! Next year Hunter and I are going to do it and already know what song we are doing. This is exactly why Frolicon is our favorite con. It’s got a dungeon, it’s got theme parties, it’s got a burlesque show every night, it’s got other silly (adult) shows like stand-up comedy, stage magic and live music, it’s got great classes (kink and non-kink), it’s got a round-the-clock gaming room, the vendors' room has a guy selling comic books right next to a guy selling floggers, there’s cos-play, and it attracts a super-diverse crowed… It’s just the best!
So, after the lip-synch contest, Cuddles and I were going to go to the Bat-Dance party. We had just changed into out Nightwing and Robin costumes – but then Hunter comes into the room and announces that we are going to the American Horror Story party in the jocks’ room instead. Yes, Sir! So we changed clothes. I pulled on my rubber skin w/ the green racing stripes and a leather gimp hood… and Hunter got into my old PVC body suit and my rubber gasmask. Woof! I mean WOOF! Super-sexy Alpha-pup. Our pug pulled on his blue zentai… and Hunter leashed us and took us downstairs. This time it was the omega’s turn to be on the bed. We held him down and teased him and invited a couple of other people to join us. It was fun and sexy! I kept one paw petting Cuddles and one paw petting Hunter. Officially: The stupidest thing I’ve ever done is to not lend that PVC suit (which is a little small for me – I’m 6’3” and I think Hunter is 6’) to Hunter years ago. I haven’t worn it in 2 or 3 years; it’s been sitting in my closet. What the fuck was I thinking!? He was hot as fuck! Woof! Between Hunter in that and Cuddles in his zentai, I was horny as all get-out. And still locked back into chastity and not allowed to cum… :o
Aw, well. That night was a fine ending to a great con. The event was great, the hotel was great, the puppy track was a success, I loved spending time w/ friends – new and old – and most of all being w/ my wonderful family and pack who I love.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Recently, I was at a kink community dinner party w/ my omega, Cuddles. Nothing formal, just a bunch of kinky friends and chosen family having a pot-luck, but before we started, our host explained the protocol would be for Doms to get their food first (either get it themselves or send their slaves to fix them a plate) and then the subs could get their food. And then, our host turned to me and said, “You can… go whenever.”
I was actually confused for a moment. Being a sub, I was already taking it for granted that I’d go as part of the second wave, after the Doms all had their food on their plates. Then, in a second, my brain caught up. Oh, I have a collar. But I’m here w/ Cuddles and he’s wearing my collar. So, they think maybe I’m a switch, and I’m his Dom…?
However, I’m not a switch, Dom, or Top. I’m a beta pup!
“Puppies fuck up everything.” That’s the running joke Justin St. Clair (author of Bark!) started, by which he points out how most of the usual M/s and Leather rules get thrown right out the window as soon as pups arrive on the scene. It’s true. Most everything that is a given in M/s-Leather world is all screwed around in the pup community.
I think for most of the community, the easiest protocol to understand is: if a boy has a collar on then he is owned by someone. He is property. However, most puppies regard a dog collar (and sometimes the dog tag as well) as part of their gear. It’s something that helps w/ headspace. Many “stray” pups who are un-owned wear collars, and some pups wear “pack collars” even if they don’t have an Owner.
One convention that is somewhat common in the pup community – although hardly universal – is that a collar w/ a lock signifies ownership. Personally, I really like this approach. In my pack, two of the six puppies wear locked collars, me and Loki, and we are also the only two who are owned property. The collar Cuddles wears was a gift from me to him, beta to omega, but it’s not a “collar of ownership” like I wear or like Loki’s locked chain. It's more like a collar of protection and mentoring. I consider him my omega, but I don’t consider Cuddles my property. I don’t own him… I just surpass him in the pack order and have a very close beta-omega relationship w/ him.
omega pup Cuddles, beta pup Emrys, and Alpha pup Hunter
Which brings us to the whole Alpha/beta/omega thing. Typically, this is how modern pups sort themselves out. Traditionally puppy play began in gay leather bars and clubs as a way to punish and humble boys. So the boys were submissive bottoms, presumably owned and collared by a Daddy or Master, and puppy play was an activity they were “forced” to engage in. In this traditional leather model, the relationship dynamic fit w/in the usual definitions of M/s or D/s… and some pups still fit this mold. (We call them “curs” or “slave-pups”… and I tend to find them more common in the hetro-FemDomme community than among gay pups.) However, the majority of modern puppies sort themselves out by Alpha, beta, and omega and doesn’t really fit w/in this traditional M/s or D/s mold… and part of the issue is that, while M/s and D/s exist as diametric poles, Alpha/beta/omega exist as points long the same continuum.
I used to define Alpha pups as pups who are Dominants/Sadists/Tops. In the course of the last year, now having the irrepressible HunterGreenee as my Alpha, I’ve come to re-think this. Today, I think of Alpha more as pack leader. So f you ask me if a lone pup who is a Sadistic Top is an Alpha… my answer would, now, tend to be, no. Because now I see this title as more of a relationship thing, so I think you kind of have to have beta pups under you to be an Alpha. In much the same way that (e.g.) you can’t call yourself an Owner if you don’t have property you own, right?
So, Alpha is the dog in charge of the pack, the leader, the one who makes the decisions and issues the marching orders. And, yes, he’s probably also a Dom and a Sadist – but that’s not, I would argue, the defining trait of an Alpha.
Hunter being all in charge
A beta, like me, is often involved in training and caring for the omega and then may also offer advice to the Alpha. Sometimes betas step-in for Alpha and then sometimes betas haul the luggage up to the hotel room along w/ the omega.
Some define omega as the most submissive of the pack… but I see it just as often as the one who is low-pup-on-totem-pole more by virtue of being youngest, newest, or most inexperienced. I like to explain my relationship w/ my omega as being like big brother/little brother or mentor/mentee. We’re both submissive. Neither of us is a D-type, but I’m the more mature dog, the more experienced, and higher up in the pack order.
My FetLife profile makes it clear enough. It says:
owned and collared by shdwkitten
submissive of HunterGreenee
“Protecting” Cuddles is a pretty accurate translation, in my mind, of the beta’s role towards his omega. (I also offered Cuddles, as an option, “mentoring” – he chose “protecting.”) I am looking out for him. I do appreciate it, as a courtesy, when people ask me, “May I?” before they do this or that or whatever to him… but I don’t require that or get bent out of shape if I don’t get asked. (As long as they ask him!) Likewise Cuddles doesn’t need my permission before he plays w/ someone or hooks-up w/ someone. That’s all him. I offer advice, I try to steer him in a positive direction and foster his growth, and I do look out for his safety… but he’s not my property, I’m not his Owner, and we’re both subs (although I’m a much better behaved submissive than he is - pugs are brats!)… and, at least in bed, he’s actually more of a Top than I am. (Thank goodness b/c my pug is hung!)