It’s becoming clear to me that I’ve been blessed with some pretty incredible mentors, teachers, and other cohorts in my time in the sex industry. I’m sure that this is in no small part because much of my current work is quite focussed on BDSM, which thrives on peer education, and where the quality of the information and tutelage you receive does really determine the quality of your play / execution. I’m currently reading John D. Weal’s The Leatherman’s Protocol Handbook, and as someone who’s lived through about half a century of leather culture, he’s got a damned good grasp on the value of passing the right information in the right way. This is basically what I’ve been receiving since I began my BDSM practice, and I’m beginning to realise how very cushy I’ve had it, in both commercial and private play.
Recently I was taken on as an apprentice by Mistress Electra Amore, whose reputation precedes her, but please feel free to check her credentials. At Barbara Carrellas’ Urban Tantra training in 2011, I ended up ditching my cabin and spending my nights talking shit by the fire in the main hall with her and Lady Ambrosia. At the time I didn’t really have much sense of the calibre of women I was surrounded by. But as I’ve seen them in their contexts since then, I cannot believe my good fortune in being at the right place at the right time. The first professional BDSM session I ever witnessed was in Ambrosia’s dungeon, and that set the bar pretty high for what I expect from myself as a professional player. The first person who ever tied me up was Phillip Gordon, and the first to suspend me was Erin Kyan (via another keen rigger who had commissioned Erin for an intensive lesson). I couldn’t have asked for better guides into restraint. And now, as I begin the first assignments in Mz Electra’s kink curriculum and realising how very thorough and heartfelt and engaged this experience is going to be, I’m feeling pretty honoured to have such incredible guides into this realm. Never have I felt so empowered and worthy in my work. Enough, now, to call it a ‘career’.
The Leather tradition emphasizes homage to those players of the past and an acknowledgement that each person you connect with in the Leatherworld becomes a part of your identity as a player. If these folks are my foundation, I feel like I’m going to stand on some pretty solid ground by the time I’m able to pass my knowledge on to others. And for that I am most grateful.