Abundant Michael: BDSM

Conscious relationships - how does a roadmap help?

I believing in bring more consciousness ( = awareness + choice) to all areas of my life. So being conscious in relating, whether with a partner or co-workers or friends make sense to me. While I can learn and grow from any relationship even one started by chance, I think I can get much more learning, growth, support, love and whatever other qualities and results I am looking for when I am conscious in my choices of who I relate with more, and who I chose deliberately to spend less time with or in some cases no further time at all.

 

Part of consciously relating is knowing what works for you in a particular kind of relationship role. I might have certain qualities and experience I am looking for in a lover, a different list for hiring an employee, another one in the kind of companies I want to work for and a forth list for what kind of friends I want to cultivate. I could even have a list for the qualities I want in my family relationships. After all I get to chose how much and what kind of time I spend with my blood family and if I want different qualities I can send (silent) blessings for them to change, for me to accept them as they are or for me to find a "family of choice" member that fits me better. No relationship has be "stuck as that is how it is and you can't chose differently". Sure every choice I make has consequences and when I am in my power I am responsible (= I get to chose how I respond) for my choices. There might be overlap between my lists based on important value that I personally hold such as in my case honesty, freedom and playfulness and sometimes it is good to have positive relationships that are total out of the list to spice things up!

 

This is an interesting article below on this topic which prompted me to write the above text. I have not read the book, so I won't comment on that and I have met Dr Wendy and she is talented.

 

What are your thoughts on conscious relating? And bonus question: how does it work for poly and BDSM relationships and scenes?

 

My book, Roadmap to Success with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard is available at Book Passage in Corte Madera www.BookPassage.com and on my website.  To order your signed copy, see www.MyTrueLovePath.com.  
 
Here's an excerpt from my chapter Roadmap to Relationship Success  Roadmap to Success Book Cover

"Dr. Wendy,

Why is it important to have a roadmap in order to have successful relationships?"

 

 

Our relationships with others are the cornerstones of our lives. They are the foundation that supports us as we grow. When we have a solid foundation, we can more easily thrive and prosper in every aspect of our lives. When our relationships are successful, they are our greatest source of pleasure and inspiration, and when they are unsuccessful, they can be our greatest source of pain and sorrow.  

 

 

Given the supreme importance of our relationships, it has always puzzled me that this part of our lives is generally left to chance. If we want to succeed in our careers, we expect to study and train for many years. If we want to learn how to play a musical instrument, or how to speak another language, we know we'll have to put in countless hours of study and practice. Yet, when it comes to relationships, especially romantic ones, most of us believe the fairytale that our true love will appear magically by chance, and then we'll live happily ever after.

 

 

Since most of us believe the myth that our relationships should just happen automatically, we also believe that there is no need for us to prepare, to learn skills or become educated about ourselves or relationships. Therefore, most people haven't learned how to develop a supportive relationship with themselves, or how to create successful relationships with others.

 

 

Unfortunately, the consequences of wandering around without a roadmap, training or education can be disastrous. Without a roadmap, we may become our own worst enemies, criticizing and sabotaging ourselves rather than supporting ourselves to be our best. Without a roadmap, we may be blinded by lust, and get involved with people who are not good matches for us. Without a roadmap, we may blame, judge and make assumptions about others, often becoming manipulative bullies or disempowered victims.

 

 

In the past decade, I've seen many singles who were frustrated and discouraged about dating, couples who bickered constantly, clients with long-term grudges and resentments towards family members, and those who felt mistreated at work and unable to communicate with bosses and co-workers. All of these relationships, whether at work or in our private lives, share common basics. They all thrive on respect, honest communication, trust and support, and they all suffer when these qualities are not present.

 

 

We start to learn about relationships before we can talk and patterns begin when we're young. When the people that we care about are supportive of our success, and trust and believe in us, we have the foundation we need to live successful lives. As children, we flourish when our relationships with our family are stable, supportive, and inspire our growth. As adults, we flourish when our romantic partnerships are stable, supportive and inspire our growth. When we have loving, supportive partners at home, we are better able to succeed in our careers and in every other area of our lives.

 

 

Most people claim that their romantic relationships are of utmost importance, yet they tend to pair up with romantic partners without gathering enough information to know if they are making good choices. Believing that relationships should just "happen," couples continue to just "happen" to get together and more often than not, they "happen" to not get along well enough to sustain a long-term commitment. Some stay unhappily together, but most separate and move on to the next partner without learning how to make a wiser, more conscious choice next time.

 

 

Can you imagine buying a car or house that you happened to stumble across and then expecting it to work well for you for many years? Of course not! We give a great deal of thought to the types of houses we want to live in and the type of cars we want to drive. In fact, most people spend much more time researching which car they should buy than consciously choosing which mate they should marry! Does that mean we care more about cars than relationships? No. It means that we've overlooked an essential component to loving successfully. We haven't realized that with the right roadmap, support and information, all our relationships could run as smoothly as any well-tuned luxury sports car. 

 
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter.  Have a wonderful autumn!  If you know anyone who may be interested in a complimentary consultation, please pass this along to them.  Thanks!  I welcome any feedback, wish you well, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!  
Much love and joy,
 
Dr. Wendy
 
Wendy Lyon, Ph.D., Psychology
Master Certified Relationship &
Life Coach
Workshop, Course and Retreat Facilitator
(415) 342-1300
DrWendy (at) MyTrueLovePath.com

Kink friendly events compared

Here is my take on various kink friendly events

 

All these events are ok to attend as a single and many singles do attend. There are lots of workshops and rituals you can attend either single or partnered at all of them. I would guess about 50% of attendees are single.

Here are some comparisons - I am interested in what others think too

Event Size When Cost Ages Kinks   Who Notes
DOWF 1000     20-80 BDSM, Poly, Trans, pagan - all kinks represented and respected Friendly, welcoming to newbies Greg  
DOSC 500     20-80 BDSM, Poly, Trans, pagan - all kinks represented and respected " Greg  
Beltane 400?     20-80 Pagan centered, sex positive with BDSM and poly on the side Friend, free form Cat and FSA  
Fires Venus 300     20-80 Ritual centered, tantric plus what you get at Beltane Structured groups make making friends easy Cat  
NFNC
Network for New Culture.
80 Weekend event during year. Summer Camps in July and August So including all meals, a weekend events are usually $50-$150 (sliding scale), a 10 day event is $500-$1000 (sliding scale), and for those who cannot afford even that, scholarships are usually generous and easily available. 20-80 Poly, sex positive Very supportive, expects you to grow and supports you when buttons are pushed Michael and Sarah

NFNC stands for the Network For a New Culture, a grassroots non-organization devoted to personal growth, social change, and intimate community  (www.nfnc.org).  New Culture hosts a variety of events, as well as creating an ongoing community of folks who value transparency, sex-positivity, personal choice and freedom, sustainability, intimacy, and more  (http://cfnc.us/newculture.html).    There is a strong sense of extended family, or “tribe”, among folks who have participated in New Culture events.  Strong friendship networks and intimate connections often form during events, and these connections are nurtured in a variety of ways so that they become part of a person’s everyday life.

 

The events are all-volunteer, and costs are kept as low as possible; while there are transformative workshops and powerful experiences at these events, they are meant to be part of a new way of living, loving and celebrating, not just isolated “escapes” from regular life. 

 

New Culture Summer Camp East will be July 8-17, 2011 (www.cfnc.us).

 

New Culture weekends occur frequently; here are the dates and locations of the ones that are already set for 2011:

 

January 7-9 in Arlington VA

February 25-27 in Plainfield MA

March 25-27 in Kinnelon NJ (near NYC)

 

There are a variety of other evening, day-long, and weekend New Culture events throughout the year.  We have an announcements list for these events that anyone interested in New Culture events can be added to; just send the request to info@cfnc.us.

 

There are many New Culture groups around the US and Canada, including Boston, Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Seattle, Eugene OR, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and San Diego.  Some of the major events are:

 

Spring Camp in Santa Cruz in April (4 days)

Summer Camp West in southern Oregon in August (10 days)  http://www.nfnc.org/sc/

Fall Camp near Seattle in September (8 days)

 

New kink event FetFest Sept 2011

New kinky event FetFest has just been announced for September 2011 at same location where Beltane is held. Th name is related to FetLife and there are lots of cool things to do and see there. The Primal Arts folks will be there, there is a Poly Village that Anita Wagner is coordinating and more kinky themes. They are shooting for 2000 attendees. Costs $99 for 3 days (Labor Day weekend) if you book soon. If you have wanted to experiment with kink in a free setting but never made it check this event out.
More at http://fetfest.com/

  • 1st Tier: First 500 Tickets: $99 (First come, first served)
  • 2nd Tier: Early Registration Tickets: $149 (January 11th - April 30th)
  • 3rd Tier: Regular Registration Tickets: $199 (May 1st - July 31st)
  • 4th Tier: Late Registration Tickets: $219 (August 1st - August 28th)

Spanking for Health, Healing and Happiness 12/1/10 - Wed Gathering in Rockville

This Wednesday Sandbox gathering we learn about Spanking for Health, Healing and Happiness with Steve Karuna Maitri and Rev. Fisher. Do you want create deep connection with others? Do you want to release blocked emotions and reduce stress? Would you like absolutely transcendent sex with playfulness and joy?


For so many of us, spanking can act as a direct gateway to our emotions, sexuality, happiness and well being. Yet this practice has gone unrecognized as the powerful healing modality that it truly is. Steve Karuna Maitri will show you the limitless possibilities that spanking offers for creating deep connection, understanding, emotional health and absolutely transcendent sex. Find out how this practice can help you release blocked emotions, reduce stress and foster a deep and balanced partnership between you and those you love while adding a healthy dose of joy and playfulness to your life.


Steve Karuna Maitri has been a Zen Buddhist practitioner and meditation teacher in the Washington, DC area for more than a decade. In his practice, he combines mindfulness meditation, deep listening, spanking and massage to help his clients transform their lives and move forward on the path towards being whole. He has worked with clients to relieve stress, release blocked emotions and transform negative behavior patterns. He also works with couples to understand how spanking can deepen and transform their loving relationships.


Rev. Fisher received her seminary and spiritual counseling training at The New Seminary Interfaith Minister Training Program, and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary of NYC where she was ordained in 2007. She is a Spiritual Counselor, Liturgical Singer, Reiki Master, Intuitive Empath, Energetic Healer, and a Sensual Shaman, utilizing sensual energy for the healing of geographic locations, people, and animals. She has been facilitating spiritual exploration for adults and children for over 20 years through her educational, meditation, and womens' spiritual support groups. As a sacred sexuality practitioner she is committed to helping expand people's awareness of the powerful therapeutic benefits and joys of spanking.

You can learn more at http://www.spankingforwellness.com

The workshop begins after dinner at 8pm.  I invite you to join us, though as always what ever choice you make you will be honored in.

Fun with Fireplay 10/13/10 - Wed Gathering in Rockville

This Wednesday Sandbox gathering we learn how to play with fire with Melanie. We will cover basic fireplay equipment (what it is, where to get it), basic safety practices (fire awareness, basic precautions, creating a safe setting for your scene, what will go wrong and what to do when it does), fireplay scene negotiation for tops and bottoms, basic fire wand techniques, fireplay "special effects" (using atomizers and flash cotton), erotic fireplay, fire cupping (if we can get cups), and fireplay aftercare. There will be a demo bottom and a chance for others to experience receiving fire.

 

Fire play is one form of what is termed edge play. It is also an advanced form of play. The term advanced is used here not necessarily to imply that one has to be in the lifestyle for a long time before attempting to do fire play, but rather that one should be mentored by one who is an experienced fire player instead of reading about it and trying learn it on one's own. Fire play is also a sensual play, meaning that it is more orientated toward sensual pleasure rather than toward pain.

 


Fire play is the only BDSM play form where there are always three living entities involved. Fire if left uncontrolled can , and will take on a life of its own so it should always be considered a living entity .The other two entities are the Dominant and the submissive. The Dominant fire player needs the ability to control all three at the same time to make a great and safe scene. From http://edmontonosociety.org/doc/fireplay.htm

 

The fire play begins after dinner at 8pm. I invite you to join us, though as always what ever choice you make you will be honored in.

 

After the event here is what Patti had to say (posted with her permission)

"last night at sandbox, i had the pleasure of being the demo receiver of fire from melanie the fire giver! it was a wonderful experience for me and i heard it was helpful to others present who had little or no understanding as to why anyone would want to play with fire! i wanted to share some of my experience with those who may have been afraid of the idea of fire play and missed out on a wonderful opportunity to be 'enlightened'.  :)

with lovely melanie as the presenter and fire giver, i knew i was in good hands. as mentioned, melanie attended
a two-day intensive workshop at pre-beltane on fire play. after completing the workshop, i was one of her first recipients. we played outside, which added much to the experience. i am most grateful for david's drumming,
both then and last night. drumming brings so much to creating atmosphere and for me an inner calm open to receiving. thank you, kindly dear david.

it was very relaxing, even while pushing boundaries. the warmth of being under a flame as she blows it across my
exposed, slightly chilled skin is a highly sensual and even at times erotic experience. the instrument used in fire play is called a torch. for reasons which need no explanation, i prefer to call it a firewand. the times when she literally runs the firewand across my back, then runs her hand lightly along the same path right after feels delicious, kind of like a
light massage with heat. mostly it was just a moving sensation of warmth and a caress spreading out all over my body. sometimes she would run over a ticklish spot and i would shiver. less frequently, i would feel the heat in a sharp but brief moment, not too startling; kind of like the snap of a rubber band. right after refueling with the alcohol, when she was dragging the wand across my skin i could feel simultaneously the cooling wetness of the alcohol and the warmth of the hungry flame licking it up! ooooooo...yummy shivers!
 
lying on my belly, i cannot see the fire. because i trust her it is actually easier for me to receive not seeing. once i turn over and can see the fire, it is definitely pushing boundaries for me, as i watch the wand, engulfed in flame coming up close to my breasts. sometimes i had to close my eyes and say to myself, "ah...yes, i do trust melanie" or hum, "yes, melanie loves me", especially when she introduced me to flash cotton. although so named, it is not
actually cotton, but nitrocellulose, the ingredient used in flash paper for theatrical effects. she pulled it apart into light wispy pieces and spread it across my tummy, just below my breasts. yeah, it was pretty theatrical!  *BIG* rubber band snap!!  campfire on patti! wow!

initially when asked about intensity of impact, wincing at the thought i opted for none. however, in a brief demonstration
of what she meant, she tapped the wand across my buttocks in a light spanking motion...i found myself moaning....more please. now that really surprised me! what's that all about? hm, not telling! melanie gently brought me down from my journey with what her instructor called the 'excedrin treatment', where she warmed up her hands by holding the flame in her outstretched palm, closed them to snuff it out and then transferred the warmth to my face and forehead. yummy
warmth, gentle touch, lovely closing with a loving hug. in aftercare, sitting wrapped up in melanie's signature polar bear blanket and sipping water i was told that i was glowing. indeed!  thank you sweet, beautiful melanie! thank you also to michael/michelle and to sandbox!

glowing hugz,

patti

CBT 9/22/10 - Wed Gathering in Rockville

This Wednesday Sandbox gathering we learn about CBT - "cock and ball torture", or maybe for you "cock and ball teasing" or "cock and ball tickling". It all depends on how far to your edge you want to go. As always it needs to be Safe, Sane and Consensual. We want every one to go home with the same number of healthy parts that they arrived with! Some of the fun may be in mind play and role play. An active imagination is always good for BDSM play!


Photo from CBT: Cock-and Ball Torture in a Nutshell by Lolita Wolf Why do CBT? The penis is very sensitive so you can get a lot of effect from (relatively) gentle bondage and discipline. The testicles are often left out of play, so new sensations can be experienced when the balls come into play. Teabagging (ball sucking) vs cocksucking come to mind. To many people the balls are a sacred or taboo area, so teasing them can bring up all kinds of interesting reactions. Some in the BDSM community speculate that torturing a man's genitals is directly related to sexual control issues while others argue that torturing a male's sex organs addresses the ego. I would imagine that each man has his own reason for desiring this type of torture. In some earlier cultures, a man's testicles were held as being very sacred and, in some instances, oaths were given while holding a man's testicles in the hand. And, in some countries, squeezing a man's testicles could lead to the perpetrator losing their hand. Fortunately that is not the case here!

 

What toys might be used for CBT? The hands, nails, lips and teeth are good places to start providing sensation. Silk, fur and leather may feel good to rub with. Rope or rubber to tie and constrict might be what you are into. Cock rings of rubber or metal or chastity devices turn some on. Dress up your cock and balls with a stocking. Or maybe a good squeeze is what is required in a perspex vice... Clothes pins cause intense sensations. Perhaps you want to shave the hair off for more tactile sensation. Heat and ice give their own set of sensations. We will leave fire out of the mix for this evening (but watch out for a fire play session in October...) and of course we just did a hot wax play Sandbox last month. So it will be heating pads and ice if you like temperature play on you manhood.

 

You don't have to come with a partner for this event and if you are female and want to pack your own cock and balls to be played with that is cool too. Or just come along  to watch and learn. If you want to be a demo bottom for this event email me off list.

 

More info on CBT at
http://www.malesubmission.com/faq/cbt.htm

 

The playshop begins after dinner at 8pm.  I invite you to join us, though as always what ever choice you make you will be honored in.

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