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Source: (consider it) Thread: T&T: The "Leather" Thing: Tentatively stepping out and posting...
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Well... the time has come. I think. Now that we have the New Board, I think I should post about this "leather-related approach to faith" (or "faith-related approach to leather" or both) I keep making oblique references to; and this is a good place for it. I think.

The problem is, I don't know if this should be here or in Small Fire or what. I could go about it in any number of ways as well. I could do the autobiographical approach (short or hideously long and involved), a specifically doctrinal approach, both, something else, etc. Very nervous, too, about laying all (well, most) of my cards on the table!

Help? Would people like to offer suggestions as to how to go about this?

One thing I don't want is to be flamed. Though admittedly here, I think many people have figured me out more or less, and very very few have really posted angry or upset reactions. I really do feel welcome here.

(And, erm, some of you may have no idea what I'm referring to...)

So I'm looking for suggestions and ideas about how to go about explaining myself... how to set up the discussion (I'm surely not the only one who thinks genuine spiritual value can come from this), etc. I know it can be a sensitive issue though. Ideally I'd rather hear comments or questions which are genuinely open to discussion rather than "Ew, how bizarre, I didn't know you were that kind of person," or such. I know I will probably seem like a very odd combination, if not self-contradiction, though I certainly don't see it that way.

Any thoughts?

Tentatively,

David

[ 10. March 2003, 01:08: Message edited by: Erin ]

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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*sigh*

just stop beating about the bush (puns intended) and say it.

and do it here, on the sex board, rather than small fire, cause you know it'll just get moved here anyway.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Well, I've given the basic data before -- I'm a sexually celibate (in my understanding -- goodness, I keep forgetting I can go into more detail -- OK, I don't get involved in genital penetration of any bodily orifice and I don't get into orgasm either) Christian leatherman. But that's a very shorthand way of summing up a lot of stuff... And some people may not have any idea what a leatherman is... I've often found that even in the gay community there can be confusion about this, much less outside of it. "Leather as a way of life" may or may not be comprehensible without some serious explanation, and more for the justification of it (theological and otherwise).

I want to explain this right. I don't want to scare my friends away...

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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Oh, good heavens, David - if we can handle Erin's orgasms ... we can deal with your explanation.

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Not

Ship's Quack
# 2166

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Chastmastr, I disagree with you about lots of things (like women's ordination) but I like you a lot. Your posts have never pissed me off even when I have polar opposite views because you always express yourself clearly and courteously and listen to what other people say. It seems to me that you are held in great affection on the ship.

Go for it. Say what you want to say; there's an appropriate place for it now. Some people may respond badly, but they'll be in a minority.

love, Carolyn

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Was CJ; now Not


Posts: 600 | From: the far, far West | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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*blush* Okay -- but how do I say it? Do I go, "Well, when I was young, blah blah, then when I got older, blah blah, and then I realised blah blah, and now I blah blah?" Do I say, "Well, here is what an average week is like for me -- the bits I don't talk about much here and make oblique references to"? Do I say, "Traditionally, the church has blah blah, and many people blah blah, but I think blah blah"? Or "In our society, blah blah, and this is blah blah"? Or something else, or a combination? Because any one of these could be terribly long...

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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how about "this is what i believe. this is why i believe it. this is what i do about it."

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Just say what you want to say. If people don't like it, screw 'em (that's always been my philosophy). If they get out of hand, one of the hosts or admins will deal with them.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Just say what you want to say. If people don't like it, screw 'em (that's always been my philosophy).

Erin - in light of your comments on the other thread, was that pun intended?


OK, CM. How does leather relate to faith?


Posts: 2199 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ham'n'Eggs

Ship's Pig
# 629

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You are loved and accepted by many (if not most) on the Ship.

You don't have to say anything that you don't want to. But what you do want to will be listened to with respect and affection by your friends.


Posts: 3103 | From: Genghis Khan's sleep depot | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Was replying to someone in a private message and decided this should just be posted...
----------
Actually my real reason for struggling with this is ... it's so hideously long and involved. And I don't have any real idea how much anyone can be expected to know about any of this. On the one hand I don't want to go on and on about something which turns out to be stuff half the people know, and on the other I don't want to give everyone the wrong idea by saying too little. Maybe I should try to sum things up as concisely as possible (which will take some thinking; I'm used to having those discussions within the gay leather community, and even then I have to explain things) and then see what questions naturally arise...

Still not used to making more than coy remarks here. I try to even keep my "Oooo, Sean Connery is cute!" comments to a minimum on the Ship.

And even in the gay leather community, I often have to explain things... not even the theological stuff --- just some aspects of the leather stuff -- to the leather people! (Abrupt memory of a children's TV show called The Letter People... "Come and meet the leather people...") I mean, if I just use the words I'm used to using... I'm even capable of weirding out people in the leather community just by taking it as seriously as I do. Case in point: If I say that I follow "Old Leather" traditions, I'll have to explain that it's not merely playing games with bondage and S/M and saying "Yes, Sir" -- that it's a real way of life on its own -- and more, that what most people call "Old Leather" really is pretty recent, spinning out of the late 1940s and 1950s -- and that the principles my own Master taught me and that I follow go back much further than that, being rooted in notions such as noblesse oblige -- Eeeeeeeee!! The parts that don't baffle people will scare them away, and the parts that don't scare them because I'm gay will scare them because I'm an extreme traditionalist...

Well, OK, I guess I'm just worried...

Maybe it's stage fright? I've also seen so many annoying trolls that I absolutely don't want to be like them, even by accident.

I really could use advice, people...
-------------
Of course, I'm also horribly professorial when I go on about a subject I know a lot about. And I mean that in the worst possible sense. I can natter on and on and on and alienate people...

HUGS

David
PS: Could use prayers here. I have some time to think about what I want to post anyway because I must get back to work now and won't be able to post more till late tonight.

(And, interestingly, this is because my local leather-related club is having its monthly "pants-on dinner" and then we're having "bar night," neither of which I've ever been to, and after The Relationship Which Finally Ended, in which I wasn't involved in any of my club activities -- not the leather club -- not the Master/slave discussion group -- not even the gay science fiction club, for that matter -- and darn it, I am getting out of the apartment and going out to be involved and meet people and not just be lonely and depressed at home. So tonight I am getting together with my foster uncle's partner and we are going to the dinner and bar night. It should be fun, and God knows I need that right now. Went to a dungeon party on Saturday, and the gay SF group got together and saw The Time Machine on Sunday, and it was wonderful to be involved in things again.)

There's so much of my life I've had to censor, and I hope I can explain/discuss/explore it without going too far...

Well, I guess this is a start. OK, one final blurb before I head back to work (gotten very little done today), just to make the basic minimum clear:

(1) I am a Christian, of the Anglican, catholic and orthodox end of the spectrum variety.
(2) I don't believe in sexual intercourse (i.e. genital penetration of any bodily orifice, and/or deliberate stimulation to orgasm) apart from male-female marriage, as permitted to Christians.
(3) I am a member of the gay community. Please note the way I put that; I don't define people (their minds, their hearts, etc.) in terms of gay, straight, bi, etc. as much as in terms of their biological gender, what they do with their genitals, and of what communities or subcultures or cultures they are a part of. But saying "I'm gay" is good shorthand which most people will understand. Mostly. If anyone's heard the term "gay tribe" it might be a helpful term.
(4) I am a member of the leather community. I pretty much take this further than many other people in the leather community do -- as a way of life, not just for play or fun. It's not just for "fetish" -- it's... well, like being part of a tribe. I'm in the part which is very old-fashioned and traditionalist. (Surprise to anyone who reads my other posts! ) And I go further than most who call themselves traditionalists -- which stretches back to something like the 1940s and 1950s at most, usually -- see above re "noblesse oblige."

(5) Just as a tribesman from a south seas island who converts to Christianity can be a proud member of his tribe and practice their traditions -- but avoids those things which are forbidden by his newfound faith -- so do I, in my tribes. And of course this means I get fewer "dates"... but c'est la vie... (as well, there are gay Christians who believe sex apart from male-female marriage is permitted. I don't. Which of course means I don't have a lot of common ground with the very people you'd think I'd have it with. I simply don't fit easily into any one category.)
(6) I look on hierarchy, obedience, etc. as very good things which I find spiritually helpful as a Christian. I look on a lot of the physical practices as helpful in other ways which may sometimes be erotic (as distinct from sexual), but not always, but are/can be sensual, invigorating, strengthening, etc.

And now I must go... more later after people respond!

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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CM, don't be worried about people's reactions to what you say. It would be a good thing, I know I personally have questions that I'd like explained. You can say what you want, what you feel, no one will flame you for that. The Ship is accepting of anyone, and since you are already very well accepted, there is nothing that you could say that would change this.

To all those who may wish to make some snide remark or whatnot, remember:

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when they are open.

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For God so loved the world She got involved


Posts: 3022 | From: The Wardroom | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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David, I to value you as a shipmate. I am with nicolemrw on this one in that I would appreciate you giving a clear and concise overview on your sexuality/leather/faith thing.

I say this because sometimes you post stuff I disagree with and sometimes you post stuff that I do not understand. I find myself not entering into discussion with you because I do not understand where you are coming from.

This saddens me because you are clearly intelligent and caring and sometimes even funny (though not often)

Please trust me (us?) enough to just take on board the information you give me without me judging you over it or forcing you to defend it every five minutes. This will allow me to get to know you better/see past this barrier of my ignorance.

We all think/feel/belief some pretty wierd shit on board and we still manage to get on, mostly.

P

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.


Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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Would it help if we question and challenge?

I still don't really understand what you mean about the old Leather thing. And could you explain why you apparently see Chastity as a virtue - does that mean you think sex is not OK? - but you don't have a problem with S&M. I mean, is it just a question of taste or is there some kind of philosophical basis to all this? You seem to be implying that there is, but I'm not very quick on the uptake so it might help if you could elaborate further. But please tell me I don't have to read de Sade.

If this is unhelpful, please ignore it.

--------------------
Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.


Posts: 8913 | From: Page 28 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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David, what is a "Leatherman"? At the moment I have a picture of a gay guy in leiderhosen. I don't think that is what you mean though.

So what is a "Leatherman", and are there "Leatherwomen" too?

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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I have just thought of a couple more questions.

Are "Leatherpeople" a sub-group of the gay and lesbian culture, or do you get straight leathers?

If leather isn't a sexual stimulant, then what is the attraction?

Hope that these questions give you a starting point.

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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David,

Your post made me cry ... Thank you for being brave enough to be so honest.

Echo bb's questions and add one - why the no sex thang?

Hugs

Nikki

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Astro
Shipmate
# 84

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David

Although I do not always agree with you on matters (e.g. Women Priests), I have always enjoyed your contributions they are most courteous and thoughtful and I hope than everyone will respond to you in the same way.

Even if you don't want to reveal personal things perhaps you could explain to us uninitiated ones what a Leatherman is.

Love

Astro

--------------------
if you look around the world today – whether you're an atheist or a believer – and think that the greatest problem facing us is other people's theologies, you are yourself part of the problem. - Andrew Brown (The Guardian)


Posts: 2723 | From: Chiltern Hills | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gill
Shipmate
# 102

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Hell, Honey - all I've read so far could equally be the Church of England!

Go on, define it a little. I expect we all have an idea what we THINK you mean.. but we'll never know if we're right or not - okay, answer some of our questions, there's your way in. First babybear's...

Then, is it not counted as sex if there's no orgasm? Is it 'an expression of love'? Or just fun?!

Do you feel that your leatherdom defines you as a person, the same way some gays might?

Why are you so much more involved than others/ Do you take things seriously which they treat as a laugh?

Etc....

Love and hugs.

Gill xxx


Posts: 1828 | From: not drowning but waving... | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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ok, what i want to know is, (and i suspect i know the answer, after our debates on the gender of god, but i'd like it in your own words so i can disagree more comfortably ) is how your concept of the nature of god fits into this all.

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Some quick links for those who want to know more -- I will respond to everyone later but I am at work...

Please note that I don't necessarily agree with everything everyone says on these links either but it can give some more info. There are diverse opinions in the leather community even though we're all connected. (Like the Ship, I suppose!) (Gah, now In The Navy is in my head, all my own fault!)

Bless you all for your kind responses by the way. I was very nervous! *HUG*

An essay: Old Guard, New Guard, and Stand & Model

The Deviant's Dictionary: specifically on "leather" and related terms

What is SM?

Leather Leadership Conference (see links to various papers and essays)

Leather Cares.Com -- history and links -- and yes, we do have contests. Lots of them. Proud winner of 1st runner-up for Mr. Suncoast Eagle 2000.

Leatherweb.com

Profile of the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago

Good heavens, I didn't know till I did a search that there is a Leather radio station on the net.

A guide to leather London

Leatherpage.com

I hope this is a helpful start... be aware that of course most of these are adult links but NONE should link directly to anything graphic, at least till you click on a second link.

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
I would appreciate you giving a clear and concise overview on your sexuality/leather/faith thing.


Well, I hope this is a start!

... not funny often?

quote:
Originally posted by Qlib:
Would it help if we question and challenge?

Sure!
quote:
I still don't really understand what you mean about the old Leather thing.

I hope this is clearer now also? If not I can explain more.
quote:
And could you explain why you apparently see Chastity as a virtue - does that mean you think sex is not OK? - but you don't have a problem with S&M.

Well, I see Chastity as a virtue because I believe that's what our faith teaches and has taught from the beginning.
No, I think sex is wonderful -- but only permitted for Christians within male-female marriage.
As for consensual bondage and related things, no, I don't have a problem with them at all.
quote:
I mean, is it just a question of taste or is there some kind of philosophical basis to all this?

Yes, philosophical, definitely. In fact, some things I don't have much taste for, but which I think are morally OK, I want to learn more about in case I meet people who need that kind of thing from me.
quote:
But please tell me I don't have to read de Sade.


No fear -- I haven't read de Sade, but what I have heard doesn't sound very good to me. I may have misheard some things, but he was, for one thing, anti-church at least; for another, his fantasies (at least) were focused on non-consensual things. This is if I have heard right; I may be mistaken here.
quote:
Originally posted by babybear:
David, what is a "Leatherman"? At the moment I have a picture of a gay guy in leiderhosen. I don't think that is what you mean though.

No, not as such. I suppose somewhere there are... yes, just checked the Web. It's not porn, but if you want to see a gay lederhosen dance troupe, then here is one.

So, What is a Leatherman or woman? That link will take you to a pretty good explanation. Another essay (which won second place in the same contest -- aiee, more contests) is here, and the excerpt below answers your next question:

quote:
are there "Leatherwomen" too?

Of course, I'm being homo-male-centric. The milieu of lesbian leather is outside my experience, but I learned my first year as a sub that when you need to recharge your leather batteries, nothing works as well as the company of a leather dyke. The one who mentored me when I first joined an NLA chapter hardly ever wore leather, preferring a black shirt and blue jeans, yet she is one of the leatheriest leatherwomen I've ever met.

Leather isn't what she wears; it's who she is. I've also ignored the heterosexual side completely. One of my best high school friends and his wife spring to mind; he subs, she switches. They have both shared and divergent play interests, so they are also polyfidelious with two other couples. She's bi; he's the straightest straight boy I've ever met. He looks dang good in chaps and engineer boots though. Are they leatherpeople?
Both of these are on Jack Rinella's Leatherviews site, which has more essays and info than you can shake a flogger at! The best page for info is here.

quote:
Are "Leatherpeople" a sub-group of the gay and lesbian culture, or do you get straight leathers?


Yes, we do. But those are not the people I see as often, and there are differences between all the different types of leather people -- not to mention within the different gender communities -- FemDom, Gorean, and many others just in the male-female community.
quote:
If leather isn't a sexual stimulant, then what is the attraction?


Depends on the person, or even the person's mood at the time, really. For me I think there are erotic elements but those are sublimated; and of course one can be involved with different aspects at different times for different reasons.
quote:
Originally posted by Mrs Tubbs:
Your post made me cry ... Thank you for being brave enough to be so honest.

*HUG*
quote:
why the no sex thang?

'Cos it's what I believe doctrinally -- see above.
quote:
Originally posted by Astro:
perhaps you could explain to us uninitiated ones what a Leatherman is.


I hope the links are helpful?
quote:
Originally posted by Gill:
Then, is it not counted as sex if there's no orgasm? Is it 'an expression of love'? Or just fun?!


Well, I don't just avoid orgasm -- I also avoid genital penetration of any bodily orifice. It can be an expression of love -- or training -- or a method of achieving different (and helpful or even healing) states of mind -- or therapy -- or emotional bonding in general -- or other things -- or, indeed, just fun!
quote:
Do you feel that your leatherdom defines you as a person, the same way some gays might?

Well, I do see it as my calling in life; I suppose it might define me as a person in some ways, like being a citizen of a country or a member of a tribe.
quote:
Why are you so much more involved than others/ Do you take things seriously which they treat as a laugh?

Part of it is I have found it a very healing thing in my life -- helped me grow and mature and develop, in general, as a person -- to become civilised. The principles and traditions my own Master taught me have helped to really socialise me. I see it as something which can indeed be just for fun, but which is also one of very few windows in our place and time for very good things to come through -- even if most other people into are doing things I don't think we ought to as part of it. The hierarchy and obedience is a major part of it for me, at least as far as the more serious aspects are concerned. Fun with flogging, etc., is not the heart of it as such, though it can be part of it.

For an amusing comic strip about a gay werewolf who does take it for a laugh and a leatherman's reaction to it, here's another silly link for you. (I love Buster Wilde...)

quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
ok, what i want to know is ... how your concept of the nature of god fits into this all.

Oh my. Well, for starters, I see Him as the Creator and Master of... well, everything. I believe in the great chain of being, in one way or another, though there are many different expressions of this very traditional idea. For me, seeing God as the Ultimate Master, and myself as His doulos, or bondslave, informs my whole approach to my leather tribe, to Master/slave relationships, to hierarchy in general, etc.

Hugs to all -- I hope this explains things somewhat, as a start!

David

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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Thanks for your responses. I've worked my way through three or four links and found them helpful. [Tangent] Might have known the dreaded DSM-IV would rear its ugly head. Is there no escape? [/Tangent]

I think there's an element in all this of being true to yourself or, at least, knowing who you are, which is commendable. Call me old-fashioned but I'm ever so relieved to learn - if I understand correctly - that you aren't into being paraded round the streets in a collar and leash.

--------------------
Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.


Posts: 8913 | From: Page 28 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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So um. Where are the good pages with the pix of International Mr Leather/Ms Leather and the local comps? Purely for research purposes you understand.
Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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Coot, I am sure if you are really interested you could use a search engine. I think that if a link were given to that site it would break the "two click" rule.
(You would have to check with the TNT hosts, Louise and Ruth, for a hostly decision.)

I did use a search engine, and the inital flash movie made me decide that it wasn't suitable viewing for a bear, especially when there were bearcubs around. The site had a warning and very kindly re-directed me to Disney.

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
No fear -- I haven't read de Sade, but what I have heard doesn't sound very good to me. I may have misheard some things, but he was, for one thing, anti-church at least; for another, his fantasies (at least) were focused on non-consensual things. This is if I have heard right; I may be mistaken here.

( I really don't know what I'm doing getting into this )

CM - you are right on De Sade, as I have read some of his "work". What he describes sounds very different from what you talk about. He gets most of his kicks from Sadism - rape and abuse, usually non-consentual.

And he is very anti-church, because he is anti-authority, and the church is one representative of authority.

And don't read him - very very hard work.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.


Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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*&^%$ work firewall blocks leather sites which doesn't really help me here ...

Any chance of a PM with a numpty's guide?!

Tubbs

--------------------
"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nunc Dimittis
Seamstress of Sound
# 848

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This is very interesting, CM...

I think my sister and I play acted in this same way as kids: I was the slave, she the wicked queen... (The game was "Kings and Queens"; I was the good Queen's daughter, she died, the king married a witch before dying, then I was enslaved. During this enslavement, a cat would comfort me, before the prince came, killed the witch, married me, and the cycle began again. My sister who is younger than me played all roles except the princess...)

How interesting that I find corsets etc so, um, well... you can guess the rest!

Only I honestly can't see it as anything other than a sexual stimulant.


Posts: 9515 | From: Delta Quadrant | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Astro
Shipmate
# 84

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Thanks David I can see it is community that gives a sense of belonging and fun.

--------------------
if you look around the world today – whether you're an atheist or a believer – and think that the greatest problem facing us is other people's theologies, you are yourself part of the problem. - Andrew Brown (The Guardian)

Posts: 2723 | From: Chiltern Hills | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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Ah yes. Most sorry. I did try Google and didn't get anything other than text pages. Coff. Now I realise that I have the 'safe searching' option set.
Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Qlib:
that you aren't into being paraded round the streets in a collar and leash.

Well, no, not round the streets as such... though I suppose it depends on the streets. Technically I do wear a collar, almost all the time (I don't want the lock to rust when showering, for instance), albeit under my shirt (it's a chain-collar, with small padlock), and have done so pretty much since Feb 22, 1997, when I met my master. I even had it blessed by a priest (in Florida) who understood my point of view, and wear it as a sign of my obedience not only to my earthly master but also to Jesus as my Deep/Ultimate/Heavenly/Etc. Master. I haven't done the "leash" thing too much, but was very proud to show off said collar at the bar and other contexts when Master and I would go there.
quote:
Originally posted by El Cooto:
Where are the good pages with the pix of International Mr Leather/Ms Leather and the local comps?

Been answered, I see.
But I did find a page one can double-click through for International Mr. Leather through the years, since the main page might be too explicit (just being careful), and yes, the Ms. equivalent has a Flash movie I'd prefer they didn't. Flash is nice and all but I don't like having to wade through those things.
quote:
Originally posted by Mrs Tubbs:
Any chance of a PM with a numpty's guide?!


What's a numpty's guide? (Oh, silly me... aha, found a
definition for numpty now)
Well, what precise sorts of into would you like? There's a lot...
quote:
Originally posted by Nunc_Dimittis:
Only I honestly can't see it as anything other than a sexual stimulant.

Aha, but as a child you did not find it so, right?
quote:
Originally posted by Astro:
Thanks David I can see it is community that gives a sense of belonging and fun.

Well, that as well; but also more than that -- like being an ethnic group, only one you join.

Wow, no flames at all. God bless you. Was really worried for a long time how people would react!

HUGS

David

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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well as to that not being flamed yet.... (naw, you know i'm not gonna' flame)

but seriously. your call, chastmastr, you want debate on this thread, another thread, or should i pm you?

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Oh, I think discussion would be cool. I have ideas relating to this (such as, "How should we approach, as Christians who want to reach people for Christ, the various subcultures within our own society?") which are part and parcel of the whole thing for me. I honestly believe the way I approach same-sex intimacy (not even with the leather, in fact -- just cuddling, kissing, snuggling, etc.) could be an alternative to the generally accepted ways of approaching "gay" issues.

Some of these could be separate threads, whether here or on Small Fire. There's a lot of stuff I've held off on saying much about because... well, I didn't know how to approach this without opening up a huge can of worms. It's not just about leather, same-gender issues, etc.

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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As a side note, I made it to the dinner but decided to hold off on bar night just to get enough sleep for work. I do wish these events wouldn't be held on week nights.

And today I go to an "immersion workshop" which will deal, at least somewhat, with spirituality. Will see if it provides extra insights!

I have lots of other stuff I can talk about, by the way, but am focused more on answering questions right now. Please feel free to ask anything you like!

Hugs to all -- will be back later -- the workshop goes from 9 AM till 10 PM so may be tomorrow for me!

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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After the strange goings on at the Freemasons and the Knights of St. Lazarus ceremonies (both groups accepted by the church), your lifestyle sounds perfectly normal by comparison, ChastMastr! How individuals prefer to group themselves into communities really is no business of the church anyway - they should accept people whoever they are and however they dress. After all, to the outsider, we 'normal' church people are pretty strange and indulge in some jolly strange behaviours (eating flesh and drinking blood )too.

I hope you and your group continue not to be persecuted. In a parallel universe, you might well be the norm......

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.


Posts: 34626 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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Thanks, ChastMastr, for all the links and explanations. Add me to the long list of those who have appreciated your contributions to the Ship and also your restraint and wisdom in letting us know that you were coming from a very different place without derailing the other topics.

I'm glad that there is finally an appropriate place for you to fully explain what you believe and educate those of us who are interested. I also admire your guts in doing this. Your honesty and acceptance of yourself and your willingness to try to find a way to live which incorporates this understanding with your belief in God seems to me to be a serious and genuine (if unorthodox) spiritual path.


Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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*blush*

Actually, we (both gay people and people into leather and related things) often have been persecuted, for a long time; it's only recently that society is relaxing some of its laws and such.

The all-day event was incredible.

Hmmm, no comments on the Buster Wilde comic strips mentioned above. (I wonder if a thread on gay/lesbian online comics would be appropriate on this board? I know of some quite good ones but have avoided posting them elsewhere due to possible content.)

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by 'Chorister:
How individuals prefer to group themselves into communities really is no business of the church anyway - they should accept people whoever they are and however they dress.

Actually, I think it is in a sense the business of the Church -- just not in the "ew! Let's stamp out those, sick, nasty people" way. More in the "here is a society and a subculture which needs the Gospel. How might we best approach them, in a way which will not frighten them off from hearing about Jesus, and allow them to retain the best elements in their culture?" way. (Which issue itself, in general, perhaps deserves another thread. I for one think we have benefited greatly from retaining, transforming, redeeming, baptising, etc. all sorts of pagan things from the past, from Christmas trees to St. Thomas Aquinas' learning from Aristotle. To a great extent, at least in our culture, I see the gay community (and leather also in its own way) as preserving male-male intimacy which used to be standard in traditional society in a very cold culture -- just often with actions (sex) I believe to be forbidden. There is an awful lot of surrogate fatherhood (not age-based -- a "daddy" may very well be younger than his "boy"), and learning to accept one's body as a good and glorious thing, in the leather community in particular. I don't believe in the sex part, but I don't see other groups doing this at all in western society.)

(Going to break this into paragraphs because it became one hugely long parenthetical paragraph!)

Meeting Master genuinely civilised me in a way I never was before. I don't know how I would have made it without his help. After I escaped my (fairly destructive, abusive and neglectful) parents, I always hoped and tried to find someone in the Church who would be like a big brother or surrogate father to me. Spent about ten years or so seeking and failing. Always loved, but never got enough, hugs.

It took a non-Christian man who was involved in (I believe) forbidden sexual intercourse with a startling number of other men to reach out to me and give me the love I sought but could not find -- without sex, which frankly astonished many of his friends -- that he would take on a slave/boy (Imprtant note: "boy" here is a term of rank and position, not of age; Master NEVER did anything with underage men!) without sex, and hold him, and love him, and teach him, and train him, and give him a caring family (of one, but still!) with family traditions, and help him with numerous health problems (I lost 75 pounds, though I have gained some back since his death; still 40 pounds lighter than before and working on getting the rest back off -- my ill-fated relationship with Aussie David did not help that), even specifically, though Master was not a Christian, to help me in my devotion to Jesus (!), etc. etc. -- and frankly take me on as an apprentice to pass on this way of helping men who never had the father they needed...

He gave a cup of water to a man dying of thirst when no one else would. I pray for him every day. I trust that Jesus has him in His care, and still look to Master's teachings as a basic guide for life.

(Hmm, that should give people something to talk about...)

Hugs all!

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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And lots to think about, too. The message that has been jumping out at me from my Lenten readings ("A Spirit for the Season" by Martin Smith) is that we are each a sort of microcosm of the world -- we have all the good and all the bad within us; but God loves us completely and unconditionally anyway. And the way to meet God is to look at ourselves honestly, accept what is there, and then let go of it, try to accept ourselves as fully and lovingly as God does. And when we can accept and love ourselves, then we will truly be able to accept and love our neighbors, because we will genuinely understand that there is no difference between us, we are all the same when considered in relation to God. I'm making a very clunky paraphrase of this, but I hope you get the idea.
I am a reluctant convert to Christianity (I have intellectual arguments with nearly all the dogma, starting with doubts about the divinity of Christ), but after 30 years of arguing with God, I have finally given in and said OK. Why He wants me in the Roman Catholic church, I have no idea.

I guess I'm saying all this, because I'm hearing something similar in your story. What you are doing doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but it seems to be where God wants you, and the evidence is the inner peace. (I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth).

As far as the Church and how people group themselves into communities, I find myself agreeing with both you and with Chorister. Figuring out how to be open to, reach out to, and simultaneously not label people in a "sub-group" of some sort is very tricky. Which is why I talked about needing to be able to see one another as truly neighbors just like ourself.

(And all of this is making me think of the thread about Notice Boards - in Hell? - where so many of us admitted to our knee-jerk prejudices! "Please spare me the Family Service." "Heaven forbid I find myself at the Praise Band service.") This "one in the Body of Christ" thing is awfully difficult in real life, isn't it.


Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by jlg:
I guess I'm saying all this, because I'm hearing something similar in your story. What you are doing doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but it seems to be where God wants you, and the evidence is the inner peace. (I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth).


*blush* *hug* Thank you!

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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sorry not to have posted anything here for awhile, chast... been dealing with a sick daughter (and a sick goldfish, which was almost more exhausting! ). but an interesting thing happened the other day when i was mulling this thread over... i suddenly came to the conclusion that for you your leather life fills most of the same function as for me my 12-step life. i suspect that we have a fair amount of similarities in our backgrounds, but for whatever reasons we found different ways to deal with the resultant chaos in our lives.


in any case as i hinted above, my main disagreement with you is in the heirarchical (sp wrong i know) nature of god, and our realationship to him. yet my acknowledgemnt of my powerlessness, and my acceptance that only god can "restore me to sanity" (step two), seem to be similar to your view of gods role....

i could expound on this, but not sure if it would be appropriate....

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Go for it! I do see leather as, at least partly and/or potentially, therapeutic.

HUGS!

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Responding to a PM which suggested I discuss this on the thread:

Do I see "the erotic and the fatherly" in conjunction, in this context, as causing difficulty? Well, no, not at all, though I have known some people who aren't as comfortable with "Daddy/boy" relationships (note once more that this has nothing to do with anyone underage) because of that. In many ways, the kind of paternal/filial intimacy can make up for a lack of paternal affection in earlier life; my own relationship with my own Master/Daddy certainly has.

I think this may involve a more fluid notion of "erotic" than some people are used to, admittedly. But not all intimacy is erotic, and perhaps as well we use the word "erotic" when we mean "deeply intimate." Or perhaps, when we are adults, any deep intimacy has a good chance of "spilling over" into the "erotic" to some degree. I don't know; but I have no problem with this, regardless...

(And I don't know a great deal about leather lesbians personally -- if they have a "Mommy/girl" parallel to the "Daddy/boy" paradigm, and if not, why not.)

Interestingly, I have read that even animals, when they become amorous, often exhibit similar behaviour (tones of "voice," body language, etc.) to the behaviour they showed as pups, kittens, etc. in some respects -- which doesn't surprise me, as I see most things as variations on a theme (the vulnerability/tenderness combination could apply both to childhood and to romantic situations -- and, I believe, in our relationship with God).

Hmmm. In fact, we do already have a notion of a relationship which can be expressed both as a parent/child and a romantic relationship -- that of Christians with God -- both adopted children of God and at the same time the Bride of Christ -- He is our Father (and Elder Brother in Jesus' case), and yet our Lover at the same time. Yet there is nothing incestuous or abusive about it... I certainly see leather and hierarchical relationships as a microcosm of that greater Relationship.

Food for thought!

David

(PS: Still getting well, so I'm going to blame any mild incoherence on getting over being sick!)

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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But a lot of real-life hierarchies aren't actually very nice. Real slave and master relationships, for example, are not remotely erotic, are they? Does that matter?

Is there a parallel with rape fantasy? You know, rape fantasies aren't really about rape because the fantasiser is actually in control. So is that a valid comparison with leather values, or would you find that insulting?

--------------------
Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.


Posts: 8913 | From: Page 28 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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qlib, thanks, thats something i'd been meaning to bring up myself... to expound a little, chastmastr, while i understand in some way whatthe heirachical thing, and the slave/master relationship is for you, what i've never been able to understand is your often-repeted belief that real slavery is acceptable. real slavery does not have the reciprocal respect that is supposed to apply in a, um... b&d type relationship. there are no "safewords" in real slavery. if your master had really and truly been your master, it would have been up to HIM weather or not there was sex, not you. so i can understand the lifestyle, but i have never been able to understand your attitude towards the real thing.

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Miss Poppy Dixon
Apprentice
# 2535

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Hello Chartmaster,

Thanks for the note. I just stopped by to say hi.

Speaking of leather, have you heard Pat Boone's CD "In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy"?

He's wearing leather on the cover and was admonished by TBN for it. Bad, Pat Boone. Bad.


Posts: 1 | From: hollywood | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Note: I am still ill today, though I have made it in to work (prayers would be appreciated) -- I want to reply as this deserves but will give, as a preface, a Quick Batch'O'Quotes from the other thread ("Submit" over on Kerygmania) to help show my views on the whole master/slave thing (in historical context, not solely with reference to contemporary, consensual, not-legally-enforced relationships, though I think the same basic principles apply):
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
... It did take me a long time to accept those passages {about submission and obedience}, and I struggled a lot with them, but they make more sense to me now. I realise this is certainly a rare position nowadays, but here I am.

I had the peculiar experience of taking a class in university once in which we read some of Milton's Paradise Lost. I was the only one (including the professor) who liked it -- everyone else thought the image of God and Eden and so on was horribly oppressive and nasty and tyrannical. I've always thought that part of the reason for our difference was that I had and have a very similar worldview to Milton's, though I am not a Puritan nor an Arian.

Mind you, believing in hierarchy doesn't necessarily mean one is good at obeying it ...



quote:
I wouldn't insult the slavery of the Old or New Testament eras by comparing it with the actions of modern corporations, which in my opinion are acting far worse overall. They show no sense of responsibility, no paternalism, no noblesse oblige or any of the other things which, while not always followed, perhaps not often followed well, were expected as the actions of moral masters (and kings and other authorities) over their slaves, serfs and subjects. Old slavery, whether one agrees with it or not, at least included rules and regulations for the proper treatment of slaves -- see even the Old Testament on the subject of how slaves could and could not be treated. There is even a verse giving rules for a ceremony to perform if a slave does not want to ever be freed by his owner and chooses to remain his slave permanently (he would put his ear against the doorframe and an awl driven through his ear (Deut. 15:17)). This isn't the same kind of master that, say, the Nike corporation acts like.

What is the evidence for "the early church did not believe in accepting the institution of slavery, but was undermining it to the best of its ability," for "the early church fought heroically, stubbornly and scandalously against the subjugation of women, in the only way it could - by giving them equality within the church," etc.? I have never heard proof of this. Paul even goes further than many people have since about women and their position in church. If the early church wanted to overturn societal norms further than they did, they had an ample opportunity -- they were willing to die for their faith as it was, be mistreated in general, they wrestled with whether to lay on Gentile believers all sorts of rules from Jewish tradition, and did not do so -- they could have, but they prayed about it and did not. If they really wanted to change that, since they were changing so many other things, why wait?



quote:
But it doesn't say "those in authority, it is your Christian duty to change the essential nature of the hierarchical relationship you are in"; it says, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church," and "Masters, remember that you too have a Master in Heaven."

quote:
As a side note, I'd say that accepting spousal (or even master-slave) abuse is not the same as submitting to authority. I think, in fact, that the loss of hierarchical traditions in our modern era is one of the causes of our being less able to make the distinction -- we have very little to compare it with in our own era.

(And in a similar way, actually, speaking as someone from the US where we don't have kings or lords as such, I think it makes it harder to understand God as "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" if we have no kings or lords to use for a reference point. "President of Presidents" just doesn't have the same connotations; after all, we didn't elect God Creator, Ruler and Owner of the Universe...)



quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
No, I have to disagree with that -- Jesus fulfilled the Law -- that is not the same thing. Paul also was one of the people who preached obedience to rulers, masters parents and husbands. The interpretation which wholly abolishes hierarchy seems like a very, very recent thing, historically, and I see no reason to think that everyone from the early Christians on down till the last few centuries just got it wholly wrong. To me, the notion of hierarchy seems to be one of the wise things people from the past, across cultures for that matter, have handed down to us.


More later when I get the chance. Hugs all!

... off to go see a presentation...

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
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# 28

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chast, dear, it's precisely because of those posts that i'm asking the question. if they answered what i want to know, i wouldn't have asked in the first place, now would i have?

feel better soon...

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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# 716

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Yes, but I figured people who hadn't seen them might want to know, and digging around might not be helpful -- plus it also tells me what to not repeat myself in saying.

1 hour left to get stuff done at work now (4 PM here) -- will try to reply when I can!

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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# 716

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Oh feh, not getting much done. Okay, might as well!

quote:
Originally posted by Qlib:
But a lot of real-life hierarchies aren't actually very nice.

True, but I would say that is not because of their intrinsic nature -- more the way that anything good can play out badly in our fallen world.
quote:
Real slave and master relationships, for example, are not remotely erotic, are they?

Actually, I do consider these relationships to be very real -- they are just consensual and not legally enforced.
But I am sure that through history, some have been, and some have not.
I should also mention that I'm using the word "erotic" here to cover a pretty wide range, as opposed to the word "sexual." To a great extent I consider (especially what with the whole Bridegroom/Bride thing with Christ and us) our relationship with God to be erotic as well as many other things. (I tend to think that we would call many things "erotic" right now, especially between the same sex, which previous periods would not, even if the same devotion and intense feelings of love and affection were involved; but that whole thing could be a thread in itself, 'where does "sexual" begin?')
quote:
Does that matter?


Maybe! Depends on the relationship, I'd say. For instance, in the one which just ended, part of our dilemma was that I didn't have the kind of erotic feelings for my much-beloved [I]doulos
that he had for me and wanted me to have for him. I could not create those feelings in myself, and while he enjoyed the more specifically paternal aspects of our relationship (I even read Narnia to him, which he'd never read before), he wanted me to feel more for him like a lover -- in his sense of that, anyway -- and could not accept that our relationship was not going to be like that. At present we are not even in touch, alas. And I am taking a break from practising mastery for a bit as the whole thing has got me a bit burnt out for a while -- playing and learning, more from the bottom side, though not at all seeking a replacement for my own master (who I believe is always with me anyway, and whose rules and principles I am committed to following for the rest of my life in any case, to the best of my ability).
quote:

Is there a parallel with rape fantasy? You know, rape fantasies aren't really about rape because the fantasiser is actually in control.


For some people, yes; for others, no. I am not looking for a fantasy as such, myself.

I think part of the attraction, for some, of the "non-consensual" fantasy (whether rape, or kidnapping, or whatever) is the notion of someone else showing interest in one -- without oneself being able to provoke that interest, or drive it away -- i.e., while not unconditional love per se, unconditional interest. Which I do think is a fallen and somewhat distorted notion of the unconditional love (with authority and control, as well) that good parents show small children, and that God has for us -- that the desire for nonconsensuality (in that sense, of capture and forcible domination) may be the only form the person can recognise of unconditional love. I think they are missing that unconditional love can be much more powerful than selfish desire. There are countless porn stories of the kidnapped victim being abducted and then taken control of one way or another, and most of the ones I have seen are generally written from the victim's point of view -- with the victim realising how much he wants it again at the end, etc.

When I saw the parallel between this sort of thing and some conversion stories, I was rather startled. I mean conversion stories -- even of St. Paul on the road to Damascus, in fact -- in which God takes control, even against the person's will, but the person realises that this is what they need, deep down inside. Perhaps some of the impetus for this is a desire, ultimately, for God (or someone) to take control? I certainly think so, but I believe in microcosm and macrocosm. -- That what they are saying, deep down inside, when they seek (either in fiction or in role-play of abduction or rape) is "Please. Someone. Be interested in me. Don't let me stop you. I don't want a kind of relationship where I can shut you out. Break down the door. Take me against my will. Don't let go of me no matter what I do. I don't want to have the power to say no because deep down inside I am afraid I will always push away someone who is interested in me, or cares about me..."

I am sure this is not always the case, but pretty sure it applies to some of us, anyway. It certainly did to me! But the problem is -- I have seen this myself (even to some extent with my ex-doulos) -- that when the person insists on having things on those terms, or on role-playing having things on those terms, it really can be shutting people out on that deep level. I think they do need to understand that they have to at least unlock the door of their hearts before someone can come in. Maybe God can break it down in a way which won't damage them, but I certainly don't think I can. My own master was asked from time to time to force someone to change and he always refused -- they had to actively let him help them. And I believe in doing this the same way. So I think that this desire may indeed show a need -- but it does not guarantee that it can be fulfilled. In some ways, demanding that it be fulfilled on those terms may make it impossible -- it's one thing to say "please break down the door" and another to keep holding it shut rather than try to help the master (or even, perhaps, God) break it down.

Mind you, consciously role-playing something non-consensual, in which it really is consensual, is different than this kind of relationship. (Which is perhaps one reason in the leather/BDSM community we often use "safewords," such as "yellow" or "red," to signify that the bottom is not doing well with or enjoying things -- so that they have the freedom to say "no" without meaning "no" -- but all of this is established beforehand -- communication in matters such as this is absolutely essential.

By the way, "the bottom is in control" may apply to some (not all) SM play, and some relationships, but it is not the way the kind of "Old Leather" relationship works, at least in the traditions I come from. If I were in control -- though I did give it freely and consensually to my own master, and he always respected my limits -- then I could not have learned and grown the way I did under his authority.

quote:
So is that a valid comparison with leather values, or would you find that insulting?

No, not insulting at all; as for "leather values" it perhaps depends on who you talk to. For me -- for play, it can be comparable; for the way of life, no. It is a matter of (perhaps paradoxically?) freely giving control to someone -- but also giving it for real -- which is neither role-playing nor nonconsensuality.
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
what i've never been able to understand is your often-repeted belief that real slavery is acceptable.

Well -- actually given my quotes of my posts above I'm not sure what's left for me to say, but I'll try... and as I say also, I do consider it real -- just not legally enforced. (If people can be "really" married or partnered to one another without the law's recognition of those relationships, I think these can be "real" as well.)
quote:
real slavery does not have the reciprocal respect that is supposed to apply in a, um... b&d type relationship.

Well, it depends on the era, I think. Certainly there have been (see above) rules, both legal and moral, in various societies at various times, including much of the Christian era. There is a difference between outranking someone, and regarding them as trash or subhuman. (Which is part of the reason I regard the racially-based slavery and the way it was handled in recent centuries as something like a distortion, perversion, or heresy of the genuinely good principles of hierarchy.) As I have said elsewhere, I have no problem whatsoever with monarchy or other forms of hierarchy, which makes me politically heretical here in the US. (And in disagreement with many Brits, I know! ) But I will say that even many aristocrats through the ages were constrained very much, while they did have power over others, by their own obedience to those above them; to some people nowadays, perhaps to most people, such a life -- not only having others to command, but having to "bend the knee" and swear fealty to others -- would seem uncomfortably close to slavery.

In a certain sense I see the kind of consensual hierarchy I practise as one of the only pinholes or chinks through which the (getting melodramatic here) light of hierarchy/chain of being/etc. can still shine through today, though often blocked out by the whole set of principles the modern world is (I think) based on.

I used to be very much into medieval/Renaissance fairs, though I do still enjoy them. After I met Master we went to one, and I realised it all seemed, while still nice, much less real to me -- because I had, even in the modern world, the real thing. I really had a "feudal lord" to whom I owed fealty. I really had, at last, someone to look up to to guide me. And someone, an earthly touchstone, to help me model the very Christian (in my belief, anyway) principle of obedience, even in small things. As I say above in the Giant Set Of Quotes, I think it is very hard to understand Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords if we have no experience of kings or lords on an earthly level -- here in the US, the president (no matter how good he is) just isn't the same for us. (We didn't elect God Creator and Ruler of all that is...)

quote:
if your master had really and truly been your master, it would have been up to HIM weather or not there was sex, not you.

Well, actually, one could then argue that if a master in ancient Israel were "really and truly" a master to his slaves, then he could do anything to them as well -- yet there are very specific rules in the Old Testament about what one could and could not do to slaves, rules to appeal to if a master overstepped proper boundaries. And other societies have had different rules, some good, some bad. But I do not think the abuse of some (including the US in the 1800s, alas!) abolishes the proper use by others, any more than the horrid abuses by the selfish, absolutist French aristocrats in the 18th century means that Alfred the Great, or King David in the Old Testament for that matter, were intrinsically wrong to act as kings over their people.

Important disclaimer: I do think we have had some terrible abuses of all of these principles, in recent centuries in particular; so perhaps it is right, in this time and place, that hierarchy go on in a purely consensual form. I don't know what the world may be like a hundred or a thousand years from now, whether the old hierarchies will come back then or not, but I think we do have a need for it -- and for some of us who see that need in ourselves can get great good out of it in the forms we have available to us.

In an amusing, ironic twist, by the by, Master was always much more a fan of the American Republic than I was, and often referred to Thomas Jefferson as "Old T.J." Because of this I have more interest in that than I might, in fact -- and is probably part of the reason I am happily employed where I am (Federal service). I may not believe the American Revolution was the right thing to do, but I do accept the government we have (if England hadn't recognised it as valid I may not have, but it did so I do), believe in supporting it, and in fact have actually defended it (as such, not any given action per se) in argument with people who are much more in favour of that revolution than me.

Well, I hope this is helpful. Perhaps also in getting into some of the theology involved for me, not only "the kinky stuff."

Hugs all! Please keep discussing; I haven't written stuff like this in ages...

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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