Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

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.

Reckless Abandon

Posted: November 18, 2015 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Learn Something, Life Log, Philosophy, Technique

Last night, I saw a couple play in the dungeon.

A play-by-play of the scene would fail to portray it as remarkable, as none of the individual actions were unique. 

But the total was so much more than its parts.

Underneath the actions themselves was a current of energy and purpose that I can only describe as reckless abandon. (more…)

What Is My Orientation? I Don’t Even Know Anymore

Posted: August 6, 2015 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Life Log

So, earlier today, TheFerrett posted this commentary (you need a Fetlife account to read it) on the cultural trend of straight-identified men interacting with other men sexually while continuing to insist that they are straight.

For those of you who have followed my writing or spent time talking to me about my journey, you may know that I have grappled with the question of my own orientation and identity a number of times over the last several years.

In December of 2011, I wrote a post called What Makes You Bi?. This was one of the first times that I openly acknowledged that I wasn’t 100% sure that the identity of “straight” was completely accurate for me. (more…)