Monday, October 25, 2010

Change and Growth

A large part of my cessation in writing my column had to do with the personal changes I was undergoing during the Winter of 2009. Change, as I have written often, is the only constant that we experience. Life is a process, a journey, a never-ending experiment. As comfortable as it my feel, the status quo remains with us for too short a time.

It would be nice, no doubt, if change could always be planned for, anticipated, even scheduled. To be pro-active in regard to change would be ideal. Alas, as Shakespeare would say, that is rarely the case. Instead we are often (almost always?) playing catch up in some kind of reactionary fiasco.

The simple fact is that publishing has been hard-hit ever since the first Macs and PCs invaded the world of the printed word, an invasion only made more difficult by the advent of the Internet. Since then we have ebooks, print-on-demand, audio books, and all sorts of blogs, tweets, feeds that only compound the choices, lower the bar to entrance and encourage a free (as in no cost) Free Press.

But I know, as my friend of many years ago said, “A kick in the ass isn’t always in the wrong direction.” It felt right to run for public office and it still seems right to have made that decision. Doing so, of course, only made writing that much more difficult, as my time was increasingly limited and so the column entered Limbo.

Since you’re reading this blog you know that it has been resurrected, though to put it in more correct terms, it has been re-incarnated, since it is now a blog and no longer an emailed newsletter.

That is change for you. New forms supersede old practices. And so I’m proud to say that my book, Becoming a Slave, is now available at as a Kindle Book. In the next few weeks it will also be back in print as a Print on Demand book. This merely proves, of course, that old dogs such as me can learn new tricks.

The learning is a curve and isn’t done all at once or easily. Still learn we must if we are to continue to thrive. New technologies, new fetishes, new circumstances, new partners, new desires, etc. are all part of the forces that drive us to change. That they “force us to change” might even be a better description.

In nearly 30 years of kink I have seen lots of changes and when folks ask me about them I am often at a loss of words to name them all. My early days in “Leather” were practically void of the word protocol. I didn’t know any master and slave couples. Contests were strictly composed of gay men. There was little or no cutting or branding. Fisting was a relatively new craze and few people wore rubber. There was no latex to speak of at all.

Gay groups operated nearly oblivious of pan-sexual events and the number of kink-friendly books on the subject was probably less than ten. The only two I remember were Townsend’s Leatherman’s Handbook and Baldwin’s Ties that Bind.
 Seen in that perspective, it’s a good thing that times have changed, isn’t it? Whether you nodded yes or no to that question makes no difference, as life will change whether you like it or not.

 Have a great week. Jack

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back In Action

 It’s not as if I haven’t been writing, but it’s true that I haven’t been writing my weekly column. So to begin anew, so to speak, I want to thank the many readers who have asked “Where’s your column?” and to answer that question by writing “It’s here at”

My column’s lapse was due in part to the time constraints of running for public office and then a deep involvement in my latest writing project -- a novel. I’m sure you’ll all hear more about that later, but for now let’s just say that the first draft is done and it’s my editor’s turn to work on it.

The past year and a half have been full of changes and I think that most of them have been for the better. First off, let me assure you that my slave Patrick and I are as well as always and little has changed in that regard, unless getting better qualifies as change. My Iowan slave applicant Craig has become a long distance slave and my former master Lynn has moved in with Patrick and me, which means that I have another official “partnership” to add to my first. For those of you who are wondering, I will note that it is not a master/slave relationship.

For some happy and unknown reason cruising has increased almost exponentially in our household.  I’m sure there’s material for a future post or two in that sentence.

And lastly, most noteworthy is that I have finally entered the world of print-on-demand and ebooks, so you can look forward to Becoming a Slave to return the world of retail sales and the publication of More from the Master, a collection of essays akin to The Master’s Manual. I’ll post the URLs as soon as they become available. Even electronic publishing, it seems, takes time.

 For now though, tell your friends that I’m back online and ask them to go to http://leathermusings.blogspot,com/ in order to sign up to follow my weekly rants, raves, and reports.

 Have a great week, Jack