August 3rd Meeting Topic Starter: Sacred Trust: Responsibilities of the Master and the slave

The dictionary gives us several definitions of responsibility that all can be relative to the power exchange dynamic. It is defined as “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.: It uses as synonyms “authority, control, power, leadership.” In this sense Masters have a level of responsibility, indeed, a duty to deal with those in their charge. It is not simply power or authority, but one must lead. One must use the power and control over that other to guide and inform, to teach and train, and to craft an environment wherein the other can thrive and learn and grow.

Another definition of responsibility is “the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.” We like to say that ultimately the Master is responsible for everything within the relationship. The buck stops with the Owner and everything done by the property reflects upon the Owner. To an extent this is true because the Master sets guidelines and enforces them. The Master crafts an environment. Yet slaves must also have a measure of responsibility. They must be made accountable for there actions or inaction. While they may enjoy taking to the credit for a job well done, they must also be able to take the blame when they fall short. They must be responsible for their compliance or lack thereof.

A third definition of responsibility is “the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.” Yes, a Master must be a decision maker, possessing the ability to act without consensus, and to do so decisively. On the other hand, a slave must be capable of acting in the best interests of the Master without having to ask permission or consult on every single detail. A slave should be able to act in a manner that brings benefit and positive result for the Master, just as the Master sets up a situation to allow the slave to complete missions and add positively to the household.

How do you feel about the matter? Do you agree or disagree? Join us in this discussion!

The discussion takes place at the LGBT Center at 208 West 13th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, from 2 – 5 pm. The cost is only $4 for members, $5 for members of reciprocal groups and $8 for others.

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July 13th meeting topic starter:What do you want from your M/s relationship?

What do you want from your M/s relationship?

A simple question like what do you want in a relationship can be difficult to answer. But what do you want from your M/s relationship can be even more daunting. I was once challenged to write the answer that question. The curser continued to blink waiting for me to start typing something, mocking me. one would think that answers would roll of the tongue, from the top side control, obedience and service. So too from the bottom side control, accountability and service might be said. But these answers can be equated to the answers given to the question at beauty pageants, what is the one thing society need most?

The answer, world peace of course.

A M/s relationships is not the same as a marriage but buzz words like love, honor and obey can sound like the same words used in answering the question of what you want from your M/s relationship? Although this is answering some of the questions it’s not really answering the deeper question. We need to scratch the surface to get to the deeper meaning of what we really want. Before we approach this kind of dynamic it’s important to be able to explain the meaning of the words we are saying we want. Masters need to be challenged to explain what is meant by control? Likewise slaves they need to have an understanding of what they mean by accountability.

So what do you want from your M/s relationship? If you’re single do you figure it out what you want before you enter into one? If you’re already coupled and want to move in that direction, how do you approach it to figure it out?

And then the real work begins maintaining it.

Join us July 13th The LGBTQ Center
208 West 13th Street, New York, NY between 7th and 8th Aves.
(See the bulletin board for the room number)

Cost: $4 MAsT: Metro NY members, $5 reciprocal organizations, $8 all others

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June 1, 2014 meeting topic starter: Reconciling M/s Structure to Acccomodate Change

When most of us enter into a power exchange structure, we generally have specific ideas of what it is that we want and need, what protocols we want established and what direction the relationship is to take. But no matter how much we may outline and whatever contingency plans we may prepare to effect, there are always invariables.

Things change. People become older and may not be able to do the things they once did as Masters or as slaves. Illness or disability can set in which can change the ability of a Master or slave to do what they once did within the relationship. The household structure can change. There could be new additions. Someone may leave the household or be dismissed. There could be a change in the biological family with the addition of children, through birth, or the acquisition of a household member with familial obligations or through the illness of a family member.

With this in mind, how to we accommodate change? How do we deal with the addition of new members of the household? How do we handle it when someone leaves the household? Is it different if they leave on their own than when they are dismissed? What is done by and for the remaining household members? How does the Master handle it when their slave is no longer in the household? What do we do when someone can no longer handle responsibilities to the degree they once did? How do we deal with the addition of vanilla family members or their issues? How do we handle the aging of a Master or of a slave? How do we go about accommodating change in such a way to maintain the stability and viability of the hierarchical relationship(s)?

Join us on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 2 pm at Joria Studios at 260 West 36th Street, 3rd floor, NYC between 7th and 8th Aves when we discuss these issues. Please note the location change.
The price is $4 for members, $5 for members of reciprocal groups and $8 for all others

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May 4th, 2014 Meeting Topic Starter

Service: Fantasy vs. Reality

One of the first things we think about when we mention a Master/slave relationship is service. There are many views on service but how do we distinguish fantasy from reality? Many of us have read books like “The Marketplace” series and look at those views of service. Others recall the “Sleeping Beauty” trilogy and let that inform their ideas of service. Some watch “Upstairs Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey” as ideals of service. Others watch “The Flower drum Song” or “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Still others look at the military model of “Honor, Duty, Service” as a guide. And a few read stories of harems or watch “I Dream of Jeannie”.

The dictionary defines service as “an act of helpful activity; help; aid”. But is it more than that? It seems so when we look at the emphasis on service in the Master/slave community. We may hear a person say “I am a service slave or submissive”. We have heard Owners and potential Owners speak of the need of good service. So then we must ask the following questions:
• What are some of the fantasies that some have about service?
• When someone says they are “service oriented” or “service slaves”, what does that mean?
• Does a person have to be doing what is requested of their Owner to be considered as performing service?
• If slaves do something solely because of the enjoyment that they get out of it, is it service?
• Is the intent behind the service more important than the service itself?
• What does service mean to you as an Owner or as one who serves?
• Can Owners perform service also? If so, then how?
• Is it the special things like tea service or chauffeuring or preparing gourmet meals or is it the more mundane like cleaning the bathroom and doing the laundry?
• Can sex be a service?
• What are some of the misconceptions that people have about service?
• What is the reality about service within a power exchange dynamic?
• Is there any one model of service that encompasses all that is necessary within the Master/slave dynamic?
• How do the aforementioned models (Victorian, military, Middle Ages, etc.) work in real life?
• What are the requirements of service in your household?
• Are they formal or informal?
• Were there any preconceived notions that had to be corrected on either side of the slash and how was that done?

Join us at Purple Passion/DV8, the LGBT Center, 208 West 13th Street, NYC between 7th and 8th Aves., from 2 – 5 pm.
The price is $4 for members, $5 for members of reciprocal groups and $8 for all others.

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Sunday, April 6th meeting: “The Gift of Mastery…”

The gift of mastery and what masters get out of it, are masters vulnerable. And how are masters mindful in their position?

Often times we hear of “the gift of submission” . But when we think of Mastery is it a gift? Can anyone be a Master if they simply put their minds to it?

Many of us think of Mastery in terms of Total Power Exchange, i.e., one person has final say in all matters and there is no debate. How does one come to this point? Is this a selfish viewpoint? Are people who seek Mastery narcissists, control freaks or egomaniacal bullies hell bent upon imposing their will upon another?

What does one get out of being a Master? After all you are not only in charge but responsible, not just for what you say or do, but also for what the other people in your charge say and do. How is such responsibility beneficial and/or rewarding?
Doesn’t this responsibility make one vulnerable? After all, the people in your charge have relinquished their will and are acting on your instructions. Isn’t that a burden when things don’t go quite as expected? Doesn’t that leave one open for second guessing or vulnerable to criticism? And since none of us is perfect, what happens when a mistake is made? How can that affect the view of a slave (sub) toward the Owner?

The dictionary defines “mindfulness” as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” or “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”. How does this apply to Mastery? In what ways can one be “mindful” as an Owner?

Join us for this discussion.

The LGBTQ Center
208 West 13th Street, New York, NY between 7th and 8th Aves.
(See the bulletin board for the room number)

Cost: $4 MAsT: Metro NY members, $5 reciprocal organizations, $8 all others

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March 2, 2014 meeting: Jealousy and Envy in M/s: How to Navigate the Waters

The following is a topic teaser, a bid to provoke some thought ahead of our March 2, 2014 meeting.

According to www.diffen.com, “The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is an emotion related to coveting what someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else.”

According to www.vocabulary.com, “Envy requires two parties, like you and that neighbor, when you want her new car and you wish you were the one riding around with the top down. You feel envy when you want something someone else has”, whereas “Jealousy requires three parties, like you, your neighbor, and your husband, when not only do you wish you had that cool car, but you’re worried your husband is going to ride off into the sunset in it without you. Jealousy is exciting because it shows up in lovers’ triangles and Shakespeare’s plays.”

With these definitions in mind let us ask ourselves these questions:

Are jealousy and envy ever positive attributes?
Are they rooted in insecurity or are they simply human nature?
Is it proper for an Owner or Master to foment feelings of jealousy or envy in their charge?
Do these feelings help or hinder a power exchange dynamic? Explain.
Are these feelings inevitable and simply something to be managed or can they be eliminated?
Is the impetus on the Owner to discourage such feelings or is it something the slave must find within them to alleviate?
Can these feelings be used in a way that can strengthen and refine a relationship?
Are these feelings exacerbated in a poly setting or are they independent of any particular power exchange dynamic?
Can these attributes be manifested by Owners/Masters, etc, and if so, what does it say about them?
If it is the Master who presents in this way what can be done to mitigate those feelings by either party involved?
If you are a slave/submissive, how do you handle it when it appears someone is approaching your Owner/Master? If an Owner/Master, how do you deal with the approach of someone outside of your relationship in order to prevent feelings of jealousy?
As an Owner/Master, how do you deal with someone who seems to be coveting your property or approaching them with a desire to woo them away? How does the object of such attention deal with it?

This promises to be an interesting discussion! Join us!

We meet at the LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St., NYC btwn 7th & 8th
Time: 2pm – 5pm Cost: $4 Members, $5 Reciprocal, $8 Others

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Feb. 2, 2014: Toni Solenne: “Backwards by Design:Household Structure and Purpose”

This Sunday, February 2, 2014, MAsT Metro NY is privileged to present “Backwards by Design: Household Structure and Purpose” with Toni Solenne.

Toni Solenne, Ed. D. is an author, accomplished speaker, spiritual leader, counselor and Leatherwoman. She is the Mid-Atlantic Leatherwoman 2012 and the current co-director of MAsT Allentown and past co-director of MAsT Laurel Women. She has penned a series of erotic and title based short stories and is currently working on a Special Project for The Carter-Johnson Leather Library writing about her experiences as Mid-Atlantic Leatherwoman 2012 and collating the results of 30 Leatherwoman roundtable discussions during her 25 city tour to be published this year. She lives the leather lifestyle 24/7 as the Head of her Household consisting of one female submissive/partner, one female slave, and two submissive women in service part-time.

This thread is a topic starter for this interesting discussion.

In real time Power Exchange relationships and households structure can be the glue that attracts and holds the entire thing together. How does that happen? Must the structure be in place before creating a household, or must the structure be determined by the type of people within it? Is there a template that forms a basic structure that can be tweaked for individual nuances or should it be constructed on a case base case basis, based upon the individuals involved and the needs and wants of the Head of Household?
Like any relationship, power exchange relationships are a combination of structure and chemistry. The difference is often its hierarchical nature and the vision of the household’s creator. With that in mind we could ask if developing a structure should be an organic thing, incorporating the connection and interaction of the parties involved, or should the structure exist before that, with an idea toward finding those who most adequately and successfully fit into the Head of Household’s vision and goals.

Like seemingly everything else in our community, there are varying opinions on what constitutes structure and how rigid it should be. There are some with very strict guidelines that are meticulously enforced and others that seem to be more organic with little obvious structure. But is that the reality of it or simply the way it appears from the outside looking in?

Keeping in line with the title of Toni Solenne’s discussion, it would seem that the design of one’s household should not only have structure but purpose. Should one have a goal or aim in mind when forming a household and should that goal inform the structure? Should the structure of the household be a means to an end?

What do you think?

Sir Guy
MAsT Metro NY facilitator

We meet at the LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St., NYC btwn 7th & 8th Aves
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Cost: $4 Members, $5 Reciprocal, $8 Others

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January 12, 2014 Discussion: Giving and Accepting Service

The following is a topic starter for the next meeting of MAsT Metro New York on Sunday, January 12, 2014, our first meeting of the New Year. The subject matter, Giving and Accepting Service, is a poignant one.

It seems like a simple concept but is it really that simple?

One would think that there would be no problem for one on the Upper Case side of the slash in accepting service, but is that true? Can there be cultural issues, societal issues, gender issues that we have all had ingrained within us since youth that could make one skeptical or uncomfortable about accepting service? Could they also fear that the service may not be up to par? Conversely, could they also fear being too critical? After all, someone is rendering you service… is it fair to critique it or complain about it? How does one determine if their requirements for service are reasonable? How big a part should service play in a power exchange dynamic? How does one request service in a manner likely to gain compliance?

How about the ones on the lower case side of the slash? Can they face the same cultural, societal and gender issues? What is their motivation in rendering service? Is their focus on the person for whom the service is rendered or is it more for their own satisfaction? What do they get from serving another? Should service be spontaneous or requested? Do they require feedback? How does one react when the feedback is negative? What could encourage greater service? Should they be concerned about who gets credit for service they perform (Owner or themselves)? Should service be expected and who determines what that service is to be?

Let’s ponder these thoughts as we approach our meeting date and reply if unable to make this discussion.

We meet at the LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St., NYC btwn 7th & 8th
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Cost: $4 Members, $5 Reciprocal, $8 Others

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Sunday Dec. 1st at MAsT: Metro NY: Our Annual Open House/Social!

Please join us as we celebrate 12 years as a chapter of MAsT International!

This is a great way to meet members and get an idea of what the group is about in a social setting. There is no meeting or group discussion, just a lot of nice folks with a common interest.

You do not have to be in a relationship to attend, and there is no charge. If you can bring a potluck dish, or even a bottle of soda, that would be appreciated.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 01, 2013 · 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

LGBT Center

208 West 13th St. (7-8 Ave.) NYC

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Sunday Nov. 3 Masters And slaves Together: Metro NY Discussion: Love, Sex and M/s

The following is a topic starter by me and is an attempt to generate interest and comments before and during our next meeting. It in no way represents MAsT: Metro NY or any of its members.

i think we can all agree having a Master/slave relationship takes a lot of trust and a lot of work. Not many are long lasting despite our best intentions and fervent wishes.

Therefore, when we decide to complicate them further by putting sex into the mix, we are making success even more difficult. Impossible? Of course not. There are people who make this work very well. Then there are some who posit that sex is just another service, like cleaning the oven and will try to keep emotions at bay.

We are all human and prey to that most human of emotions, love. Can a slave who is treated well by their Master, who adores their Master for the person They are and the actions They take be blamed for falling in love with the Master and the person? Or the Master who just never imagined having their heartstrings pulled by Their always pleasing, surrendered and obedient slave be at fault for loving them on all levels?

Certainly not. The question becomes, where do we go from here? Can the M/s dynamic be maintained? This is so different from people who were already in love and introduced M/s after. There the dynamic could be implemented slowly, as it fit the people involved. When love comes after, questions arise for the Master like, can i still punish someone i love? Or for the slave, there can be the danger of becoming too familiar in interactions with the Master. And will jealousies now arise?

So let’s discuss if love, sex and M/s can exist in a relationship without weakening either the authority of the Master or the obedience of the slave. Let’s even consider how this could make for a deeper and more fulfilling relationship for all.

As part of our November meeting we will be hearing from the candidates for board positions for 2014. Elections will be held during our December social. Please let them know we appreciate their commitment to keep this chapter growing!

james

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Sunday Nov. 3rd
LGBT Center
208 West 13th St. (7-8 Ave.) NYC
$4 members, $5 reciprocal and $8 others

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