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The Road to Now: Heart and Mind


I hope that your Thanksgiving was about family and celebration. When my adventures in kink started, I thought that S/M practices and community would be the key to fixing my whole life.  Not quite. Along the way I did find my life partner and my chosen family, for which I am deeply grateful.  But, as a survivor of serious abuse, I had work to do; work, not play.

Co-author of Consensual Sadomasochism with Sybil Holiday, William Henkin wrote a monthly Janus column, “Ask The Therapist.”  Someone had attended a program he led about Abuse Survivors and wanted to know the difference between “therapeutic” and “psychotherapy.” Henkin’s answers led me to get the psychotherapy I needed as survivor of long term abuse.  My 2 cents?  If you want to see a therapist, use the services of a Kink Aware Professional so your kink does not get viewed as part of your issues.

Diversity is AmericanAlong the road of my “leather journey,” I noticed that many therapists were in the Scene, not my therapist, of course, but community members who were out about their professions.  Guy Baldwin was one of them.

I took this picture of him at the second March on Washington in 1987.  He’s the one in the middle.

We really met as presenters at Thunder in the Mountains, Denver’s Leather Conference. His demo was awesome.

Slowly whipping his “boy”:  his timing was exquisite:  a dance of anticipation and delivery so that the energy the Master sends is fully received by his subject and ripples back to the Master.

Soon after I discovered that Guy also was a psychotherapist working with erotic minorities. Shedding light on Dark Eros, his book  “Ties that Bind,” accomplishes its “mission to illuminate the path towards self-awareness via responsible and thoughtful explorations of SM/fetish erotic style.”

Dossie Easton and I go way back!  Surely you would have found  “the Topping and the bottoming books” when you took your first steps into the scene.  Her collaboration with Janet Hardy also gave us “The Ethical Slut,” a guide to navigating the tumultuous waters of polyamory and open relationships. I am happy to see the huge success of that book!  Dossie is a psychotherapist member of my ritual tribe as well.

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L to R: Master Skip, Cléo, slave Rick

I don’t do Master/slave 24/7 relationships.  Master Skip does.  He heads, in his words, “ a family of spiritually grounded leatherfolk in the City of  Angels where he is a practicing director and certified grief recovery counselor …He is an out and proud leatherman with a strong spiritual approach to M/s dynamics. His slave Rick is a licensed psychotherapist.  So you may think, what is it about the study of the psyche, our soul mind and spirit and BDSM? To me it makes sense: excavation of traumas, healing and integration.  Living our lives to the fullest.

Kink aware therapists know that BDSM is not therapy; their knowledge of power dynamics, difference between abuse and consensual intensity and dark eros are valuable tools for us kinksters.  The NCSF website hosts Kink Aware Professionals (thanks to another dear friend, Race Bannon).

Speaking of the body mind spirit that connects us all, I remember going to APEX with Fakir many years ago to share our “Spirit + Flesh” ritual.  We set our archetypal altar, taught piercing safety and created a powerful ritual. At Southwest Leather Conference It  became “The Dance of Souls,” an important part of their tradition.

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Winter envelopes us … I am preparing for our Spirit + Flesh community rite this coming Saturday in San Francisco with grateful reflection so I can set clear intentions for the return of the light along my path to Now.

In kink with heart,

Cléo Dubois

Already on your path? I coach couples in the privacy of my dungeon and offer Erotic Dominance Intensives to those eager to dive into this erotic pool.  Curious or confused about kink, let’s Skype about it. First, visit my website, they contain lots of information and video clips!

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Marvelous!

    November 30, 2013

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