Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Preparing for my Journey to the Frozen North

Posted: February 15, 2017 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Events, Life Log

10:30am Wednesday
15th of February in the year of 2017

With the lovers’ holiday passed, I turn my attention to preparations for my valiant trek to the frozen north. Not since my travels to Anchorage for Northern Exposure have I faced such daunting latitudes. Yet even then, I availed myself of modern air travel, which I have shunned for this journey in favor of my trusty motored carriage.

Leaving the comforts of my home in Denver is never an occasion to be taken lightly. My other recent ventures to the territories of Las Vegas and New York were great successes. Yet, I must not be over confident. There are many dangers on the Northern Biway, not least of which are people who voted for Trump and are still proud of that.

I will have to keep my wits about me. (more…)

Over this last weekend, I had the opportunity to address the Rocky Mountain Rebellion Convention in Salt Lake City. The theme of the event was “Rebelling Against Shame”. Below is the content of that speech, as well as some additional information.

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[Full Text of Speech]

I joined the kink community on July 16, 2006. In the years since, I have lost track of the many parties, classes and social events that I have attended, but I do know that this is my 26th conference. In that time, many dates stand out, but few more than an evening in November of 2013 when I received a call telling me that a friend in the community had committed suicide.

Across the US, in any given year, 1 in 4 adults will struggle with a mental health problem, but because of stigma, lack of availability, and other factors, only a small percentage will seek help. The good news is research tells us that the prevalence of these issues in the kink community are lower than the general public. However, when people in the kink community do face a mental health challenge, they are far less likely to seek help, largely because they do not believe that their lifestyle will be understood or respected.

In culturally isolated communities like ours, SHAME LITERALLY TAKES LIVES.

That’s why I wear a pin on my vest for suicide awareness and prevention. It’s why our organization in Colorado is working with the NCSF and supporting their Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) list, and it’s why I have spent a huge amount of my time for the last year working to train individuals within the community to recognize the signs of a mental health problem or crisis and offer appropriate assistance. Because in a community like ours, no one should ever have to make or receive that phone call.

The National Behavioral Healthcare Council has set the goal of reaching one million people trained in Mental Health First Aid by the year 2020. I am personally working to see that at least one thousand of those are people within the kink community.

You can help by going to MentalHealthFirstAid.org and finding a class near you. If there isn’t a class near you, CALL ME and I will come and facilitate one.

For everyone who has been lost and for everyone who can still be helped, please do your part.

Thank you.

~~~

National Mental Health First Aid
Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
MHFA Colorado

The other States in the Rocky Mountain region (Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) currently do not have a dedicated site for information on local classes. If you live in those states, or any other in the country, you can visit the national website so search for a class near you.

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I am a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. I am authorized to provide this training anywhere in the United States. If you would like to organize a MHFA training for your area, please feel free to contact me.

XCBDSM@gmail.com

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Thank you to all who approached me after the speech offering resources, connections and assistance. I hope to be in contact with you all soon. If you don’t hear from me, please reach out to me.

Shame Takes Lives

Posted: August 25, 2016 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Advice, Events, Learn Something, Life Log, Philosophy

That’s the title of the speech I will be giving at Rocky Mountain Rebellion this Saturday in Salt Lake City.

When I read that the theme of the event was “Rebelling Against Shame”, I realized there was only one topic I could possibly discuss.

I will post the full text of the speech the morning after. For now, here’s a short teaser.

~~~

In any given year, 1 in 4 adults in the US struggle with a mental health problem and only a small percentage of them will seek help. The good news is research tells us the frequency of these issues are lower within the kink community, but it also tells us that people who do experience problems are less likely to seek help, primarily because they fear their lifestyle will not be understood or respected.

In culturally isolated communities like ours, Shame literally takes lives.

~~~

Look for the full text of the speech Sunday morning, right here.

The Error of Silence

Posted: June 2, 2016 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Advice, Learn Something, Life Log

For-your-own-good-1024x1024 (1)For those of us to the left of the slash (dominant, top, etc), we often make decisions for the good of our partners without telling them. Even with the best of intentions, these decisions often have the opposite effect if we fail to communicate.  (more…)

Travel Update

Posted: February 13, 2016 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Events, Life Log

I haven’t posted updates in a while, but due to a change in job (yeah, I have a “normal” job), I will be travelling to teach again this year. Here’s some of the dates we have so far:

Feb 28 – March 7: ROME, ITALY!!!! That’s right, I am teaching internationally for the first time this year. March 4-6 I will be teaching four classes at the Rome BDSM Conference. It will be a new experience, since I will be teaching with a translator, but it should be a great time. I’ll be meeting up with a partner of mine who lives in Copenhagen (Denmark) and spending a few days messing around southern Europe before we hit the conference. It should be a blast.

April 8-10: Denver, CO. It’s my home town, but still. Colorado Leather Fest is that weekend. In addition to being there as a representative of ColoradoCAL, I will also be teaching a couple of classes.

April 28 – May 1: Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I will be teaching a couple classes in addition to being the Dungeon Monitor Coordinator for Beyond Leather.

July 7-10: Albany, NY. Weekend of Wickedness. This should be a fun one. It’s out in the wilderness and secluded so the whole event is clothing optional.

 

So that’s what I have on the horizon. If anyone else wants me, I have a very flexible schedule and low demands. Check out my class list here.

Categorizing Human Relationships

Posted: December 29, 2015 by Isaac Cross in Life Log, Resources

I am working on a project to try and come up with (either by finding it or creating it) a system for categorizing human relationships in a purely descriptive sense.

Previous attempts to classify or categorize human relationships have mostly focused on the personality of the individual, rather than the objective, observable details that make one relationship different from another. (See Bowlby 1969 & 1973, Ainsworth et al. 1978, Bretherton & Waters 1985, Hazan & Shaver 1987). However, some have attempted to address these more descriptive differences. (See Kelley et al. 1983, Hendrick & Hendrick 1986) But those focused solely on romantic or sexual relationships.

One of the best attempts on the subject that I have found is Kayser, Schwinger, & Cohen (1984) which examined loving relationships, friendships, and work relationships separately.

Foa and Foa’s “Resource Theory” developed in the early 1990’s has a lot of promise, and I may start there. (The theory is that we fundamentally exchange 6 types of resources: love, status, service, information, goods, money. These types of resources vary by the degree of their concreteness/abstractness and by the degree of their unversalisticness/particularlisticness. If a type of resource is universalistic, it means that it maintains the same value regardless who the giver is. Likewise, it is considered as particularlistic if its value depends on who gave the resource.)

Many of these relationship models fail to consider a broader view of relationships. While the discussion of the exchange of status and service in the context of a romantic relationship can be easily tweaked to address D/s dynamics, but the question of an open vs closed relationship is somewhat more difficult to address, especially when love is considered a resource/commodotiy, and therefore is finite or zero-sum like goods or money.

Previous research aside, I am bouncing back and forth between how an categorization system should be approached. Should it be taxonomic (like how we organize species of lifeforms) or should it be more like computer specs, with each feature being independent of each other one?

I would be curious to know if any readers have ideas? Either for places to go for research or an idea for how to approach the problem? I’ll probably be working on this for a while.

I have been working on this collection of ideas for many years, tweaking and drawing from various sources, trying to come up with a compact set of statements that accurately describes my approach to BDSM (and most of the rest of my life, as well). Over the next few months, I hope to write in more detail about what each of these things means to me and how they are applied in my life. It is always a work in progress, I evolve and adapt my views constantly. These tenants are goals which I strive for in pursuit, not of unattainable perfection, but of excellence.

Core Beliefs

  • Participants in BDSM have a responsibility to honor the work of those who have journeyed before us while also choosing a path that is right for ourselves
  • Consent is the critical foundation of all participation in BDSM and power exchange.
  • Consent is dependent on honesty, integrity, knowledge, and experience.
  • Consent requires emotional maturity and mental stability.
  • Power exchange dynamics, friendship, BDSM play, and sexuality are distinct bonds. While they can be interwoven, a fulfilling connection between individuals can include any combination thereof.
  • Real power exchange relationships must be based in reality, and not fantasy or works of fiction.
  • A person deserves dedication, devotion and loyalty from those they associate with.
  • The expectation of obedience requires consistent, thoughtful, intelligent, and empathetic command.
  • Authority is drawn, initially, from the consent of the servant but must be sustained by the character of those they serve.
  • A person should strive to be ever-worthy of their partners and never allow commitment to excuse complacency.

Guiding Principles

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Honor

Principle: I will conduct myself at all times and in all situations with honesty, fairness and consistency.

Integrity

Principle: I will strive to live as a whole and integrated person, free of duplicity, and comfortable in my own skin.

Authenticity

Principle: I will represent myself truthfully at all times.

  • I will be truthful regarding my origin and background.
  • I will be truthful regarding the source of my knowledge or ideas.
  • I will be truthful in the portrayal of my personality and desires.
  • I will be truthful with my affection and devotion.
  • I will be truthful regarding my plans and goals.

Loyalty

Principle: I will act with loyalty to the community and individuals that I associate with.

  • I will guard carefully the privileged knowledge that others may choose to share with me and keep such information in the strictest confidence.
  • I will treat others with respect and dignity, even when they are not present
  • I will encourage others to bring complaints or concerns to the attention of the offending individual, organization, or other proper authority, and will not entertain their complaints or gossip myself except to offer support, advice, or guidance, if requested.
  • I will make others aware of any individual who openly expresses hostility or animosity towards them.

Growth

Principle: I will always endeavor to improve myself and my abilities.

  • I will watch for and actively pursue opportunities to develop new or existing skills, both within kink and outside of it.
  • I will seek the council of others when faced with personal dilemmas or challenges.
  • I will honestly and accurately assess my own weaknesses and work to reduce or eliminate them.
  • I will approach failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Discipline

Principle: I will not allow my ability to maintain self-control to be impaired.

  • I will not allow sudden emotions to dictate my actions or choices.
  • I will monitor myself for destructive behavior which is habitual or impulsive in nature and will take steps to correct it.
  • Use of mind-altering substances will not be permitted to interfere with my health, my responsibilities, or my ability to adhere to these principles.

Education

Principle: I will willingly share my skills, knowledge, and experience with others.

Service

Principle: Regardless of my role in my relationships, my community, or my society, I will pursue a path of service.

Significant influences for this writing include Master Jack McGeorge, Master Skip Chasey, and Master Obsidian.