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Lighting the Dark


What a year this has been for all of us!

Politics aside, I have never felt more confident that I am on my true path than I do now.

Tibetan Bowl

Power is everywhere, abuse of power as well as consensual exchanges of power. I chose the latter long ago as ……surprise…. I was raised in a traditional family where abuse and alt -right ideologies ruled!  Secretly devouring André Gide and Jean Paul Sartre, I escaped to the US. In California, I discovered my sexuality, embraced  BDSM, made it my work and lifestyle.  Along the way I took my place in the arms and spirituality of my husband and chosen family/tribe. Leathermen, hot leather dykes and kinky lesbians, scene pioneers, bi-folks, wiccans, radical faeries all helped  form my identity. 

When we allow the truth of who we are to steer our path, obstacles eventually  disappear and clarity fills us with ever-renewable and sustainable energy. My work with BDSM and body rituals has always been about energy, prana, intimate connections. Of course my life partner is Fakir and he is a very good teacher. I am not surprised that what he dared explore alone or with very few in the 60s has become a vibrant subculture, not only in the US but also Europe, South America and beyond.  Amongst what he and I have in common is our respect for the intense body practices that lead to personal transformations and spiritual empowerment.

Fakir in Finnish Film “Body of God”

Rites of sensory deprivation, bondage, intense sensation with focused intent have a long tradition in shamanic cultures. Despite all the work done by so many, BDSM still has a bad reputation. On and off for ten years now, I have been working with folks who are not kink-identified. Hired to bring rites of personal transformation to some of One Taste’s students, I was asked to leave the floggers and needles at home. Just this last workshop, several women thanked me for guiding them gently through this territory they had thought was so scary and dark.

Symbolic Rebirthing

I am grateful that One Taste supports what I do, which allows many to see kink in a softer light, sexy and healing.  As I told them, the tools and toys are the supporting cast for the power of ritual. It’s the skill behind the toys, the consent and trust, focus and intention we experience when we exchange energy that opens the door to deep connection and love.  Such a loving moment happened last Friday on the One Taste land in Mendocino as a circle of nearly 60 people I had met that afternoon stood silently, holding hands, present, open under the softness of the afternoon sun. Pure beauty. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it!

I still offer classes on BDSM skills within the wide world of kinky play…bondage, flogging, piercing…guiding and mentoring erotic explorers. After all, love takes many forms; as Oakland’s own Rod McKuen used to say, ‘it matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love…it matters that you love.”

In kink and leather pride, with heart,  

Cléo Dubois

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Congratulations Cleo! Well said.

    November 4, 2017

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