These are my reflections on the Butchmanns tenets as I understand them, as well as my experience at the intensive along with Sir Magnum whom I shared this weekend and journey.
This Butchmanns All Male Experience led us through a few basic SM practices designed to provide an opportunity for self-exploration. By identifying who we are we can learn how to be authentic. Happiness comes from being/living who we truly are.
When we identify as Leatherman and incorporate leather into our life doesn’t that make us happier? I think the answer is yes, however there may be times we are not able to express our leather self. This weekend intensive used SM intentions and rituals to assist us to live our leather life more consistently.
A lengthy discussion about SM role definitions was followed by choosing, for the weekend, to act as a Master or slave, understanding that growth would occur no matter which was selected.
Master or slave is the person we believe our selves to be. Unlike Top/Bottom, as Butchmanns expresses it, this is the visual queue of being the flogger or floggee. Unlike the Dom/Sub, again as expressed by Butchmann, this is a time limited agreement between each other and the roles we will play.
The Master needs to be on a path to authenticity (learning who they are) so they can give clear direction to the slave and it (the slave) can trust that the Master knows what they are doing. The slave needs to be authentic in its obedience, completing all they are asked to do trusting the Master will not mislead them. All can be authentic here and now to the degree they are able here and now.
Each Master was assigned a slave and then collared it for the weekend. A protocol of commands and responses was used and it was the job of the Master to teach those protocols and the slave to follow them. Using the protocols simple tasks were asked of the slave; serve the Master’s meals, request permission for any activity be that eating or peeing; coming or going. This really gave us a view of leadership and obedience through the lens of Master/slave dynamics.
Flogging at the Experience was used with the intent to inspire the slave to obey, because let’s face it flogging is what it (the slave) wants. Through a discipline of providing the slave with this regularly it makes them want to serve and obey. Additionally, the flogger itself is the implement to intentionally transfer power from Master to slave through intense…directed…strikes.
More about not being able to express our authentic selves; we need to figure out how to do this while maintaining the integrity of our life. Maintaining authenticity is not interchangeable with maintaining integrity. If you are authentically a Leatherman and if exposing yourself at your job could impact your livelihood then you need to maintain the integrity of your livelihood thereby maintaining your authentic life.
However, opportunities where you are able to express you authenticity they must be taken. We performed a ritual to give up things in our lives that prevent us from being authentic. Things like, self-doubt (I am not good enough); fear of rejection and being alone (if they find out they’ll leave me). Each of these things was offered up with a ritual temporary piercing. The needles were each then removed with the intent to bring something into your life; the truth about myself and true service to others for example. For someone like me that has never been pierced this was an intense ritual releasing unexpected emotions.
Transformational mummification or as instructor Master Z called it ‘shake and bake’ was the next ritual. After a heart full discussion about the prior discussions, rituals and the impacts to each of us we literally wrapped it up in clear plastic wrap to contemplate what the hell just happened. Each of us was wrapped from shoulder to ankles, blindfolded and ear plugged. We needed to work through the anxiety of being forcibly confined and restrained with the only thing free being our mind. And using our mind alone to settle down and allow us an experience….whatever that would be.
Lastly, the greatest gift of this Experience was that all of this was done amongst brothers that were gay, straight and transgendered; TRULY AMAZING!
I would recommend the Butchmanns Experience to anyone seeking confirmation of the path they are on or direction on a path they want to create.
From Sir Magnum: I'll be coordinating to bringing a Butchmanns Experience to San Diego in early 2015. Stay tuned for further developments and announcements.