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Hall of Fame, Hall of Mirrors


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Just back from two awesome days in NYC with One Taste folks. Introducing them to BDSM and healing rituals certainly was an honor.  Now home, I am one of twelve to be inducted into the Society of Janus’ Hall of Fame tonite at its 40th anniversary year ; most of us are friends in the Scene.  Janus was my gateway into Leather, I met mentors and friends there.  What a group of friends we have become, honored together.

Cleo and Sybil

With Sybil Holiday

Sybil Holiday, who wrote “Consensual Sadomasochism” with William Henkin, and I were roommates before we were kinky!  Cultural Anthropologist Gayle Rubin (second from left in the photo below) was just in town for LDG.  We were in the Outcasts together a long time ago, while, in my opinion,  Race Bannon (second from the right, next to me) has picked up Leatherfolk author and dear friend Mark Thompson’s baton at the Advocate, at BAR.  We are well served by his keen wit and unerring fairness.

"Folsom Forever" Director & Cast at Frameline

“Folsom Forever” Director & Cast at Frameline

I know I have blogged about Jim Ward, Fakir’s longtime friend and fellow body piercing pioneer, with whom he did the Sundance ritual for “Dances Sacred and Profane,” Jay Wiseman, who continues to represent our lifestyle in court as an expert witness and wrote “SM101” and my friend Michael Rosen who documented our community with his beautiful B&W photographs in 3 outstanding volumes will also be honored by SOJ.  I’m really looking forward to seeing dear friend Master Bert again. He edited my docu-film “The Pain Game” so well, it won an award for its accurate and real depiction of BDSM erotic power exchange play.

We learn, then we teach.  Whether we write, make videos, present at conferences, or lead workshops, each of us has informed our contributions from our own journeys in kink so others can benefit from our experience and expertise.  Now that BDSM has entered the mainstream, I feel that our work’s importance is ever more valuable in forwarding self-growth and intimacy in our chaotic, often touchless world.

Photo by Larry Colen

Photo by Larry Colen

In playing with power, control and surrender, we can venture down our inner hall of mirrors and bring the dark to light on the erotic path, consensually, sometimes even with laughter.  We can act like a petulant teenager, rebel under the firm hand of our stern “Daddy” until we have had enough.  We can let ourselves surrender as tight ropes bite into our flesh and our inhibitions loosen.  We can lose ourselves as we worship our beloved Dominant.

As much as I treasure my private “bottom” side, I fully embrace my “Top” persona.  I love to be the Boss,  the Teacher, the Queen, the Disciplinarian, and really have it my way. In fact, few of us truly occupy only one place on the BDSM continuum. Versatility has much to offer, if we dare.

Although the right attire certainly does help, it’s about who emerges when we explore our sexual realities that really matters: healing, empowering, freeing, loving, enlivening, tightening our human connections and bringing us pleasure.

Looking into the mirror of our fantasies, we see our many reflections of “Different Loving.”  They may hold the key to healing old wounds and surprise us with a deeply intimate connection.  Let us not be alarmed when the unexpected occurs…it’s definitely “another opportunity to grow!”

In Kink with Heart,

Cléo Dubois

The Erotic Dominance Intensive Weekend for Men: Tops & Switches Eve Minax and I offer November 22-23 is less than 4 weeks away!  Click here to be one of the 8!  Prefer private instruction? Visit http://www.cleodubois.com for confidential consultations, intimate initiations and guided play for couples.

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