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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Oct. 6th: What are Some Ways to Reinforce Your Power Dynamic?

Our next discussion topic:

What are Some Ways to Reinforce Your Power Dynamic?

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Sunday Oct. 6th
LGBT Center
208 West 13th St. (7-8 Ave.) NYC
$4 members, $5 reciprocal and $8 others

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Sept. 8th MAsT Presentation: Darrell BlackandBlue on long term M/s relationships

Darrell’s talk hopes to unearth answers on the place of polyamory and same-sex marriage in a long term Master-slave, Dom/sub relationships. Is there support and relevance for these relationships in a politically correct world?

Darrell BlackandBlue has been active in the New York Leather scene since 1990. He has been a member of GMSMA and has been co-founder or founding member of some of the New York area’s most influential leatherclubs including Brothers In Leather and Masters & slaves Together, NY. He was a Secretary for the NY Panthers Leatherclub. He was an on-air host of WBAI-NY’s OutFM and was a co-president of the station’s Local Area Board. He has served as an editor on the magazine Black Leather in Color and worked in various capacities for New York’s all-club fetish charity, Leather Pride Night. In addition to producing leather-themed play parties, Darrell is building a network of interconnected web-based businesses to serve the leather and gay communities.

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

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Our Sunday, August 4th Meeting: Discussion: What Calls us to the M/s Lifestyle and How do We Make it Work?

Topic Starter, with the disclaimer that these are my thoughts and in no way
represent MAsT: Metro NY or any of its members and is solely to begin discussion
both here online and in the actual meeting:

There is something inside all of us that seeks to make sense of the world and to
find a productive place within it.

For some of us this begins with the attraction to structure and belonging to
something greater than ourselves alone.

Joining this with the desire for service, whether it be the responsibilities
inherent in leadership or the fulfillment found in obedience and surrender to a
worthy cause…where does this lead?

It certainly might attract us to a military setting, or a monastery, or any
other group with a hierarchy and defined responsibilities in service to a common
goal.

But the call to Mastery and slavery is the call to a much more personal agenda.
There may be more specific things we want to accomplish that require more
targeted goals.

A Master may have a vision for a Household and a desire to see it come to
fruition while taking full responsibility for everything and everyone contained
in it.

A slave may search for the Household that most closely resembles what they deem
an important undertaking. One that will be so fulfilling that they can summon up
the courage to obey and to surrender their will in service to.

When this all comes together, however unlikely, it is a wonderful thing. But
without the greater structure of the military or monastery there is a greater
chance of such a Household teetering and falling.

That is why an organization such as MAsT is so important. To find there are
others out there like us. A place we can come together to discuss the joys and
challenges of the M/s lifestyle. A safe environment where we have the
opportunity for peer-to-peer support.

i look forward to discussing what brought us here, and how we are trying to make
it work.

james

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

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Discussion: July 14th: Mentoring: Is it Productive, and Who Does It?

This month’s topic concerns mentoring. What is it? Is it necessary? Who are these mentors? Is this just more mumbo jumbo designed to take advantage of newcomers?

Sunday, July 14, 2013 · 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
LGBT Center
208 West 13th St. (7-8 Ave.)
Cost: $4 members, $5 reciprocal and $8 others

While this group is for those in, or interested in being in, a Master/slave or Owner/property dynamic, you do not have to be currently in a relationship. There is also no pressure to speak.

Please join us as we discuss this important and popular topic.

We have a general circle, then after an intermission we reform into separate Master and slave circles for peer-to-peer support. Please sit with whichever group you most identify with.

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