journal entries

Six Months into the Title Year

I am in awe of how valuable this title has been — and it’s only been six months (!!) so far. Everybody said you’d grow, you’d change, you’d find new depths to your relationship, etc etc. I was certainly open to that idea, but I also know how much growth and work I’ve done, personally and in relationship, and didn’t have a lot of expectations.

But .. wow.

It has been a challenge and an honor to answer hard questions, show up for the community, and push ourselves with what kind of workshops we offer. It has strengthen our relationship through protocol, ritual, and connection.

After seeing some more title contests this last year than I ever have before (IMsL, IMsBB, Mr. SF, SF Bootblack, Ms SF, International M/s, Southeast Bootblack, Southeast M/s, and Northeast M/s), and talking to more titleholders about titles than I ever have before, I increasingly believe in the value of titles.

So, all that is to say:

Applications are open for Northwest Bootblack, Northwest Person of Leather, and Northwest Master/slave 2020 contests. get more info at

If you’re curious about these titles, I’m happy to talk about my experience with this title and what I know about the Northwest titles in general. I know the most about my title and the system it’s in, but I know more about the leather title system than I ever did before, and if you’re thinking about a different title, I’m still glad to share what I’ve learned. As I gather my thoughts about it all, and as folks ask me questions and I notice the trends, I’ll write about it more, too.

The more I know about it, the more I want good people in title vests.

And I’ll be honest: I want queer people in title vests. I want nonbinary people and trans people and gender outlaws and POC folks and people talking about neurodiversity and disability and access and self-care and alternative family structures and polyamory and asexuality. I want younger folks, sure, but I also want the elders who hold so much history and resilience, and the middle age folks who might be disillusioned with things and still believe.

I didn’t realize I’d get invested in this system, but I am. It’s valuable, not just for pageantry, but for history, leadership, mentoring, visibility.

So far, it’s been a hell of an adventure — and it’s only partly through. I feel so much gratitude to everyone who is supporting, helping, talking to me, sharing their journey along the way.

northwest leather applications open

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.

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