For those in the know, I’ve been around. I started my kink journey on the West coast and the community, dedication, and peer pairing I received, even as a wee-little baby Domme were formidable for me. One of the first spaces I was allowed into, although I had no business there at the time, was MAsT in North Hollywood. And there through the Threshold Society I was able to attend events, dinners, munches, parties, and more as I researched for my degree.
I was in awe.
I didn’t know a lot about what they were doing but I knew I liked what they were doing.
My initial interest was piqued in the Master/slave scope because it was starkly opposed to everything I had known in my vanilla dating life. I wanted to know how it worked, what each party got out of it, if it was always considered “High protocol” and more. Unsurprisingly, continued exposure to these themes only made me want to learn more.
I came into kink with that as my ultimate goal. Yes, that’s how I used to phrase it.
“When I have a slave of my own, I will feel like my domination is complete,” was a sentence I shared often.
I look back at that previous version of myself and chuckle. It was limited albeit earnest, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to embark on a lifestyle of kink beyond “just in the bedroom”. I decided to start with my local, Washington, DC, Master/slave groups and events – home to a large scale, annual M/s event. That was in 2008. I went to my first Mid-Atlantic Master/slave Conference and immediately was acutely aware that the space I stood, was in a presumed advanced spectrum of the lifestyle.
I was a new lifestyle Femdom of only four years.
I understood why maybe I wasn’t being invited to room parties, wasn’t receiving warm greetings from those I attempted to interact with at the convention, and why I might not be privy to the hushed “inner-circle” conversations I would catch glimpses of.
I rationalized why every male dominant I encountered vocally assumed that I must be a submissive or slave; I was a woman and the reality was there weren’t many of us as dominants in that realm (at least not cis-het ones). I grinned and gritted my teeth when someone made a comment on Black women being able to learn a thing or two in those roles. I even laughed it off when a Master spent over 10 minutes debating with me over why my fashion statement necklace, was actually indeed a collar (it was not).
I did all that because I was new, and it made sense, kind of.
I didn’t blog about it at the time or know who to turn to and what did I know, I had only just arrived. I was being vetted in a way, no matter how poorly its execution. Then I went again, two years later and had an unremarkable yet similar experience. After that, I kind of wrote M/s and leather by association. Clearly, I didn’t have what it took to be a “Master” (as someone candidly shared that second attendance) and the M/s lifestyle wasn’t for me. Even if I so desperately desired for it to be.
But it’s 2023.
I’ve been in the community for almost 20 years. I’ve volunteered up and down both coasts. I’ve taught domestically and internationally. I’ve been active in many kink communities around the globe, from the floor of creation to long- stay transient. I transmuted my vanilla life to a fully 24/7 FLR lifestyle and I don’t have one, but now, TWO submissives in my Queendom. I haven’t just been around the block, I’ve created my own nearby town.
During the pandemic, I decided to dip my toe back into to the M/s world and stumbled upon MsC Worldwide, a fully virtual off-shoot of the in-person convention I had attended. This gave me renewed hope! It was clear the producers, staff, and volunteers of this new event were breathing new life into the M/s community, and accepting all in attendance for who they were full stop.
I started to joyfully anticipate rearranging my schedule to attend the in-person Mid-Atlantic one again, with my budding slave in tow. I even used the event as pre-cursor to boosting his High protocol skillset with weeks of hands-on training.
Surely, Mid-Atlantic MsC, the event that promises to be the “Premier Educational Event on M/s Relationships“, would have the priceless knowledge we were thirsty for. I was ready, I’d been preparing for this – I applied to present and was accepted. While I won’t get into the many missteps in that process, I was still excited. After all, my friends kept reminding me that despite the website still being from 2009, the organization was not, and had modernized under new direction and leadership. For me, the cherry on top was a lifestyle friend I deeply admire was running for MsC’s coveted Master/slave title with their Master.
Were stars were aligning?
I took the leap, a very financially costly leap, with no promised return.
“These are the elders of the community, and I think they will have something important to share. We’ll hear what M/s is really about,” I convinced my sub and myself in the short weeks leading up to being accepted to present.
I really did convince myself that this year, this time, it would be different.
- Did I experience repeated sexism over the weekend?
- Was I, and a room full of newbies witness to a racially insensitive Freudian slip with no apology?
- Were my eyes rolling out of my head when it was shared anyone wearing a necklace should be considered an s-type?
- Did D/s and kinky “play” on whole seem under attack at this M/s event?
- Was I feeling lucky I’d chosen not to stay in the hotel because it turned out to not be exclusive to MsC, as vanillas and children walked through common areas?
- And were we completely socially isolated due to no affiliation with a local M/s Chapter, or previous attendance?
You guessed it…yup*.
What I learned the hard way was…
No, Mid-Atlantic MsC was no different than the former years I had attended.
They had all the window dressings of “gratitude”, “inclusivity” and “allyship” but it was just that. I wasn’t aware of any queer specific social gathering, there were no POC mixers, not one Female Masters after-hours event, most references in workshops to anything M/s were under the notion that male=Master/female=slave, there were literally no “She/Her” pronoun badge stickers (lol) when we checked in, switch was certainly used as a taboo word more than once, and the hardworking volunteers and presenters were never even properly thanked, which may have trickled down to how much effort people wanted to freely give now and in the future – I know it did for me.
With that said, it is now, in the totality of being treated with disregard (as a person and presenter), the cliquey vibes not conducive to newcomers, and witnessing the chaos that was (hopefully) more growing pains and not blatant disorganization, that I feel comfortable saying that Mid-Atlantic MsC probably isn’t for me.
Let me be clear – this isn’t meant to be a dig or discourtesy to those who are a part of it, or hold it in high regard, this is just my opinion and observation. We can agree to disagree and I promise we’ll all sleep better that way.
As others have openly shared with me last week, I don’t fit into neat boxes that are easy to describe.
I am a Femdom and a Daddy.
I am POC and proud.
I am a believer that I can assume any role I choose.
I am fluid in my gender expression.
I am extroverted but value structured space for social introductions.
I am a truth speaker, even when the truth hurts.
And so, I get it now.
The third time isn’t always the charm.
Instead I was given a non-verbal gift through Mid-Atlantic MsC, an avouchment. That is the affirmation that M/s is about crafting your own unique path, that reflects who and what you are inside and out. For me, that means my distinctive path, and those who serve me, will not involve the Mid-Atlantic MsC. And for that, I am disappointed but optimistic l I will be able to refocus on a vision and an alliance more representative of me, my core beliefs, and the lifestyle I am building.
*I have reached out to the organization directly stating the very same concerns above with no response as 9/12/23.
*Update: I have received a reply thanking me for my input, nothing more, let’s hope something actually comes of it.