journal entries

Winter: Adventures in Titleholding

So … there’s a lot!

I thought we had a bit of a break from now until the new year, but there are actually many smaller events, and a few major conferences!

I’m looking forward to Leather Reign in Seattle. I’ve never been, but their programming is very focused on authority exchange relationship theory, and you know that’s my jam. I have kept watch of the presenter list and workshop descriptions the past few years, always thinking maybe I’d be able to get there, but haven’t made it happen. Well, jeez, what good is a leather title if it isn’t an excuse to attend all the things I’ve wanted to attend? Thrilled that we’re going this time.

We offered to facilitate a discussion on whiteness and racism in the leather community. We called it “Growing White Resilience,” without knowing that “white resilience” is (becoming?) a white nationalist phrase — so we’re working on a new title for that class. (If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!) Stepping into a title, I knew I wanted to offer some community work around racial justice and gender justice. I see a deep need for it, with many of the social politics that have come up (and even moreso, in the past year). Plus,  it’s especially relevant to this title, since it uses the words “master” and “slave” when they have a US historical context which is tied into systemic oppression (hah! Such a kind way to say mass murder & torture). How to be a better accomplice in dismantling the systems of racism? How to undo it in ourselves, perhaps first, and notice it, and be active? How to work with using words that are tied to a shameful history that has never really been acknowledged or even begun to repair? I don’t have any good answers, but I want to have the conversation. I’m in a process about it personally, and as a titleholder.

Oh, I didn’t know I was going to go into all that in this post. Well. It’s interesting, and it’s at the top of my mind all the time.

Point is, we’re leading that discussion. I’m excited that one of the things I feel capable of doing around racism is talking to other white people about the ways we are complicit and part of the racist systems we’ve inherited. We gotta take some responsibility to dismantle that shit — but until we have some strength, and we don’t just collapse about it, we can’t really get to work. Hence the idea of building our resilience. (Just need a new title.)

Second, in November, the boy & I are teaching at Dark Odyssey Surrender. We met at Dark Odyssey Summer Camp, so I have a particular soft spot for DO … plus, they put on one hell of a party. Their dungeons are fantastic! They have so much good equipment, so many good performers, such high quality presenters.

We haven’t heard officially what we’re teaching, though that should be announced any moment. I offered a new event, Daddy’s Bedtime Stories, where I’m inviting everyone to come in pajamas with stuffies and cocktails or hot tea or whatever, getting cuddly, and hearing a combination of classic picture books, adult picture books, and erotica stories. Not sure how that’ll go exactly — it’ll be my first time. I’ve been really enjoying buying some adult picture books, though, like Goodnight, iPad and Bi-Curious George.

The boy is offering his Power Cuddling class, which was a big hit at Summer Camp. It’s very professional! We also put forward the white fragility / strength facilitated discussion, and our signature authority exchange / power dynamics theory class Art of Ownership. But what we will actually teach is still TBD.

Hope to see you on the road at one of our adventures! We’ve still got a lot more travel coming up — and we’ll be running for the International title in March! It would mean a lot if y’all come out and support. It’s at South Plains Leather Fest in March, 2020, in Dallas. Plus, we’ll be stepping down (aka giving speeches) from this current title at next year’s Northwest Leather Celebration, April 30 – May 3 in Sacramento.

Between then & now, we’ll also be at West Coast Bound in Vancouver, BC; Ms SF Leather Contest in SF, Sin in the City in Las Vegas, and doing two different Year Wheel / solstice & equinox retreats on energy and BDSM through Body Trust.

It’s been a blast so far. God, I have so much to tell you all! Thanks for being in this adventure with me, I am very grateful for all the support.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert.

2 thoughts on “Winter: Adventures in Titleholding”

  1. Loren says:

    Accountability is always a good word. It’s not that as white people we need to get stronger or more resilient, we just need to learn to listen, sit in discomfort, and intentionally cultivate relationships and community with Black and POC people because otherwise it won’t happen and there will be no way for us to be accountable for anti-racist change.

    1. Sinclair Sexsmith says:

      Definitely. The “resilient” idea is about being better able to sit in discomfort — to be less fragile, to not collapse when conversations are hard. Basically to fight white fragility. Still working on that language; right now the title is “Unlearning White Fragility in Leather”

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