Friday, July 1, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: Understanding 24/7 relationships Assumed roles vs. ARE roles

I remember a few yeas ago heard the argument that people cannot be 24/7 it just isn’t possible to maintain the M/s role on a continuous basis. I don’t remember what exactly the person reasoning was; I just remember that the comment has stuck with me for a long time.

So I was out by the barn the other day when I had an “ah ha “moment, and this is what I came to. We all have roles in our lives, for the purpose of this discussion I am only going to talk about two different types of roles, and how they apply to the 24/7 M/s dynamic, these roles I call “assumed” roles and “ARE” roles.

Assumed roles are roles that we pick up and put down, for example if a person is a supervisor at work they assume the role but do not assume the role once they are off that job. Or if a person is volunteering at a community function they assume the role of that position and then when the time is up they put it down again. For some people the BDSM, fetish, kink, and leather roles are assumed roles. They assume the role when time, energy, or an engaged partner permit. It doesn’t make their experiences less real or less valid. However, for many people their limiting factors have to take priority.

Then there are what I call the “ARE” roles. These are the roles that we don’t pick up and put down, they are the roles that are within us no matter where we are and what we are doing. For example, if someone is a spouse they are a spouse all the time, no matter if they are buying groceries or flirting with someone’s besides their spouse. If someone is a parent then they are a parent all the time, no matter if they are going to their job or organizing a play party. That is part of who they are.

There are some people who in their BDSM, leather, fetish, and kink lives have assumed that part of their lives as an ARE role. For them, it is so engrained in their everyday identity that picking it up and putting it down is not an option.

These are the 24/7’s. This is when the simple things that all of us do everyday are also about our alternative experience.

A meal isn’t just about a meal; it is about service, even if we are eating out. An honored request to bring me something is about attention and service and respect. Just because these things are not being done with my slave naked in chains doesn’t make it less of an M/s experience. Just because I am not dressed in my leathers doesn’t make my requests less important.

Just because my slave isn’t shaking in her boots in fear at the thunder of my voice doesn’t make her service less sincere.

Because these aren't roles we pick up and put down there isn’t a need to put all of our energy into a single experience. We don’t feel a need to make that one play party the perfect play party in the perfect clothes with the perfect protocol. Instead our M/s identities “ARE” about who we are and what we do.

My slave is bringing me tea right now, she is dressed in my shirt and her special slippers, and she rubbed my back and headed off to get breakfast ready. I am sitting here in my boxers typing away after having fed the horses and called to work. These everyday things are the fabric of our lives. So what is the M/s side to this? My slave knows I love tea when I write, and I am hungry after I feed the horses, and don’t even get me started on back rubbing… I love her in my shirts and special slippers.

Whether a person is able to do an assumed role or an “ARE” role, or if they are drawn to having an assumed role or an “ARE” role in the BDSM, fetish, leather, or kink lives it is important to remember that no role is better or more valid then the other. For some people there are just some roles that make more sense to pick up and put down, and for others it is about the everyday bits of our lives.

If you are interested in power munches, safe play parties, or hands on workshops n the Albuquerque area please contact the 20 year organization of AEL at:

If you are interested in an active online community please find:

Group name:

New Mexico Fetlifers

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