Teaching is fantastically underrated and yet it never fails to give me a sense of accomplishment. One of my intrinsic core values is knowledge, (both sides, teaching and learning), hence, I am a long time advocate of sharing and exchanging knowledge. Secrets (around knowledge) do not intrigue me as I know we cannot know all, so telling all will only unveil more. It seems that as soon as I think I know everything, other aspects will develop. Hence, my unending quest for knowledge. Knowledge does not emerge in a vacuum however, it is developed over time and experience and with others. Today, I am going to speak to the power of knowledge, collaboration, and laboring on what you love.
I’ve been presenting on BDSM for almost 15 years and have some pretty wild stories to tell, but some of the most meaningful stories come from working with others. My primary and initial collaboration is with Cléo DuBois, assisting the Academy of SM-Arts as a long term instructor on kink and bdsm, with a particular focus on Sensual SM, D/s dynamics, Role Playing, and Feminization, (these are a few of my favorite things:). The gratitude I feel when working with the students and the amazing volunteers we have over the years is immeasurable. These weekend long Intensives are life changing experiences, no doubt about it. I learn something new every time. And being able to call Cléo a friend and colleague all these many years is a blessing and a terrific indicator of the power of collaboration.
I’m not so lucky in some ways, but when it comes to the gift of collaboration and sex positivity I’m super lucky! Over time and magical connections, I’ve also had the fortune of working with our one and only Urban Tantrika, Barbara Carellas, tossing ideas with the glorious Sex Positive Artist, (who dubbed me a Pleasure Artist), Ms Annie Sprinkle, feeling supported by the invincible Carol Queen, and having hilarious fun with the inimitable Alice from Alice In Bondageland. Of course, there have been so many others over the years, (apologies if not named here), and my deepest appreciation is with you all.
The amazing Jaeleen Bennis, my friend and colleague, (do you see a pattern here? lol), suggested we collaborate on a series of Master Classes for both Bondassage and Elysium. She and I have been in cohoots for over six years and it has always been pleasant and profitable, including our book baby. Of course, the Master Class collaborative work began months ago, and the manifestation of those efforts proved worthwhile. The class was a blast! Of all my work, besides clients, I really love working with colleagues, fellow professionals, you know, “sisters” in the work. We don’t need to discuss morality or other rhetorical games, we simply get to exchange that precious knowledge and sink into the comfort of each other for awhile, knowing that we can simply “be”.
It was a day long seminar, but it flew by in no time. First we started with protocol procedures…what can you do differently with each recipient of your touch? How do you decide? Since we are dealing with individuals and not cookies, we get to design our approaches according to needs and desires. Speaking of which, I rarely feel competitive as I think we all have somebody who will appreciate our artistry for our unique print upon it. That’s why having a template of Bondassage is so useful. Like Julie Andrews said “Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” Bondassage offers the discipline of the approach, the structure of the content, and then the practitioner gets to create her own scene. What glory!
As professionals, we get the chance to create the electrical energy rushes that exhilarate and liberate, and each of us brings our own special talents. The practitioners in this seminar (and all classes I have taught with them) had all kinds of wonderful tricks up their sleeves: nifty restraint, specialized body slides, edging techniques, fun toys and more esoteric wonders, we shared and played and laughed and worked. And back to Jaeleen, can I just say that some of her tips and tricks astound me? So simple, so practical, and yet in my 15 years, I’ve not thought of them. I use several regularly, just ask!
So, as we move into a day of tribute to “American’s Workers” , I’d like to express deep gratitude for my fellow practitioners in all fields of sexuality and of course the special clientele who help support our work. Thank you so much. Let’s keep up the work and understand our own value, even if society does not sometimes.
Happy Labor Day!