Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sale! Shop Small & Get 20% Off


Thank You.

Thank you for shopping at Self Serve and being part of our community.  We are so grateful for being a part of your life.  Thanks for trusting us with the tough relationship questions and taking a chance with that new technique, toy or book.  As long as you're learning and loving more, we're here for you.   Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

~ Molly, Matie, Alex & the Self Serve family
__

Enjoy the weekend more with 20% off all vibrators



Shop Small This Weekend

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. November 27, 2010 was the first ever Small Business Saturday. Shop local this weekend and support your favorite Albuquerque small businesses.

American Express wants to help you make a difference. Get a one-time $25 statement credit when you register an eligible American Express® Card and use that Card for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th. Registration is limited.

Don't forget to Like & Recommend us on Facebook!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: Master Monster

Identifying as a Master is inherently emotionally stunting. It can be very difficult to remain centered and balanced when those people around you and closest to you are telling you what a God you are, and a badass, and jumping to do your every bidding. And why should you strive for growth if you are surrounded by those whose very nature is to make you feel empowered and like every decision made is the unquestionable right one. It is hard not to start flashing your naked cooter to the press, or plan a 10 million dollar wedding when you have a world full of people whose only job is to say yes.


If the Master has a slave that consistently builds their ego, and is forbidden to say no in any way, this can literally create a monster, maybe not intentionally, but it does happen. This can happen when the replacing of insecurities with the feeling of empowerment is not achieved by anything that the Master is actively changing or doing. Instead it is created by the masking of those insecurities in a web of the slave’s responsibilities, as well as maintaining a false sense of intellectual and emotional superiority by limiting the information that the Master will allow to be given to them.


There are many, many, many, (did I say many) resources out there that talk endlessly about the unlimited power of the Master. They go on and on about the ability for the Master to rule and dominate and control. With extended scenes about how the Master takes that power, and molds it. These resources play on the Master’s insecurities and shortcomings while simultaneously giving them an out for any type of behavior because after all they are the Master.


Don’t have a job, don’t need one, it is the slave’s requirement to support the household. Want to put the slave in bondage that cuts off the circulation, sure, the Master doesn’t actually need skill, the slave just needs to tolerate what is being done to them and be grateful for it. Want to have unprotected sex with as many people as possible, it is the slave’s job to deal with the consequences, both emotional and physical, and be happy to do it, quietly, so as not to disturb the Masters sleep. Masters angry, it’s the slave’s job to take the brunt of that, in any situation, because slaves aren’t really people- they are owned objects, like punching bags, or toasters. Oh yea and how about how slaves are just people that need to be forced into the situation, after all, they don’t know their true potential until the Master makes then see it through questionably consensual beatings and sex. But in the end they will be sooo very grateful that you, the Master, showed them their true selves…..


Then at the very bottom, if it exists at all and in much smaller print, there is a very limited section on responsibility and accountability. Because you don’t want to get in the way of the fantasy to much, it will kill the boner.



I don’t mind ( well I do really) all of this out there, what I do mind more then anything is the type of real time people it creates. People that don’t have boundaries are insufferable, they are egomaniacs that we all have had to deal with that are not only dangerous (yes in real time) but also are very socially inappropriate. Having no boundaries creates a sense of entitlement, so basics like not touching others toys, not touching others subs, not intruding into a scene, and being sure not to monopolize the conversation as well as new people do not apply to them.


That is why boundaries are important, to everybody.


Being a Master doesn’t mean that that you are done growing or that you have achieved some pinnacle of enlightenment that allows you to always be right. It also doesn’t mean that your skills can’t be learned or improved upon.


I may not like it when I screw up and my slave calls me on it, but I do know that if she is saying it, I had better listen. For me, being a powerful Master isn’t about limiting what I hear or know, it is about admitting that I have a lot of room to grow, and that sometimes it is really important for me to hear the hard stuff. If I don’t allow this I will never get better, stronger or more skilled.


So I am putting out there a challenge to all Masters:


When was the last time your slave taught you something?

When was the last time you asked them to?




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

aelmailing@gmail.com

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

Felitfe.com

Group name:

New Mexico Fetlifers

Friday, November 18, 2011

The We-Vibe 3 Has Arrived!

The Most Popular Couples Sex Toy in the World



As thousands of women and couples know, there's a very popular vibrator that has completely revolutionized sex and vibrator design over the last few years.  What is so amazing about this little purple invention?

The We-Vibe 1, We-Vibe 2 and now, the We-Vibe 3 have been the holy grail of couples' sex toys for many.  The We-Vibe has been a best seller at Self Serve since it was invented.  It's a compact, little silicone vibrator.  It conveniently fits inside vaginally while hugging the clitoris at the same time.  The kicker?  It can be used during sex.  It hugs the woman's body while vaginal sex, digital play or toys can be enjoyed at the same time... hands free!  The Canadian couple who invented the We-Vibe is brilliant and rightfully has won awards for this tiny invention.

The We-Vibe 2 was even made stronger than the first model, with more pulsations and power, and they're rechargeable and waterproof to boot.  And now they've improved upon the design yet again.

The We-Vibe 3 is even stronger, charges in a discreet case, and is remote-controlled!  No more reaching down between you and your partner to change the setting.  Now there's a whole opportunity for naughty trust games or daring to wear the vibe under clothing in public.  (Beware of overly excited, jumpy friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas this year).

How to Use the We-Vibe 3

The We-Vibe is designed so that a woman can insert the smaller side of the vibe inside vaginally, the other side hugs the clitoris, and she could have sex while keeping the vibrator inside.  The male partner can go in and out vaginally while the toy stays in place, and he feels a tighter sensation and vibration with each movement.

Keep in mind, this particular usage is not for everyone.  While it can be worn during sex, that usage isn't fool-proof or the perfect fit for all users.  If you want to use it with a guy, but he's a bit too well-endowed for you, this toy could make sex painful.  If a guy's already big for you, increasing a sense of fullness is not the way to go.

The good news is that it's a perfect solo toy for many women.  The little insertable side that hugs the g-spot is just enough for a little internal sensation for some.  And squeezing the c-shaped toy together, you can stimulate the g-spot and your clitoris at the same time.  The new We-Vibe 3 has 40% more power, too.  If you've used the previous models and want to take it up a notch, you won't be disappointed.

Want another off-label use?  Try lubricating the We-Vibe 3, cupping the c-shaped vibe in your palm,  and adding the vibration to a hand job or blow job.  With a gentle squeeze you can increase tightness around your guy, and the lubricated silicone is utterly smooth.

Learn more about the We-Vibe 2...

Learn more about the We-Vibe 3...

Leather Bear Tails: AEL Kinkskills ends its third year

A few weeks back was the year end wrap up for AEL Kinkskills. It ends our third year. It has been this amazing experience and I feel rather selfish because a lot of times I feel I do this more for my own learning more than anything! I am so grateful for the three host houses and the teachers that donate their time and effort and energy. Without these volunteers the project would not be dead in the water.


We started the year in January with Tantra and BDSM. The teacher and host house really set the mood, the energy crackled with sexual tension! I love doing tantra with my lovely slave as a way to connect and expand our sexual power, but learning how to translate those feelings for use in the scene expanded our experience of the techniques!


The next workshop in March was auto bondage. I know that this is a very sticky subject because of the inherent danger. The teacher actually received some angry emails about teaching the subject. I thought a lot about this, whether to have it taught or not, and what it boiled down to was a few things. One the teacher was someone who I had wanted to teach for a while; he is a talented teacher and connects with people very well. And two it is because of the danger that the subject needs to be bought out into the light. People tie themselves up whether or not it is discussed, so let’s talk about it, and what it takes to do it with safety as the prime concern. The host house was very cozy and intimate, giving a feeling of safety, and when I learned how to tie up my own hands and feet I was flying high for days!


May brought the one on one flogging intensives. We had three teachers, we offered one on one instruction of 20 minutes apiece, and a teacher in the common area to help with peoples questions. The host house was amazing! It was open and provided separate space for people to be able to concentrate and focus! Many people came into the workshop wanting to learn how to do florentine, which is a double handed technique, but did not know how to flog with both hands separately. So the teaching was about running through the basics with both hands, teaching confidence, working with coordination, breaking the patterns that people get stuck in, and having a ton of fun. I was also able to give tips on a bottom moving into a dominate space, and my favorite, slowly and rhythmically flogging with the tops eyes closed so that they can get a different sense of their own body. There was so much laughter, and my slave watched and served me so very well!


July was cock and ball torture. Wow, that was interesting. As a lesbian I don’t have an interest really, but both teachers were extremely knowledgeable. They went over anatomy, and then they talked through and demonstrated from simple and inexpensive to complex things to be able to do. I found myself drawn into the subject, asking questions, and egging on the presenters. I had a blast and the food made for the event was amazing, so when everyone else was in the workshop I got to eat!! In the end everyone walked away with a free clothes pin zipper!!!



In September we did make your own toy. I was so hopeful for the new teacher and he went way beyond my expectations! The toy was his own design, a dragons tongue. He owns a local business making leather goods, and his ability to relate to the students made the class a powerful great time! Everyone walked away with a brand new toy. I really wanted to do this workshop, but I was so exhausted from coming off of work that I just sat to the side and watched and enjoyed people laughing.



In November a few weeks ago was mummification. I was really interested in this, I had only seen it done once and didn’t really know anything about it. When the teacher came in and the supplies were right there, I took my turn wrapping up my slave and LOVED IT! Next payday I have wrap on the list of HAVE TO BUY! It is not only inexpensive, but it is intense and there are so many options with it! It was such a wonderful thing to be able to try it in front of the watchful eye of someone who really knows what they are doing. To be able to ask questions and feel it before we invested in the materials. My mind is whirling with possibilities!



I am so excited for January 2012, I have been planning and plotting, and already have the year ready to go. Just too wet your appetite January kicks off with canes and caning!




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


Aelmailing@gmail.com



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

Fertlife.com

Group name:

New Mexico Fetlifers

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tampon Danger!





Seriously, Kotex tampons in NM (and several other states) are being recalled due to a bacterial infection in the products.  Parent company Kimberly-Clark states:


The tampons were manufactured with a raw material contaminated with a bacterium, Enterobacter sakazakii, which may cause health risks, including vaginal infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), pelvic inflammatory disease or infections that can be life-threatening.  Women with serious existing illnesses, cancer or immune-compromised conditions, such as HIV, are at increased risk.  

This is not a joke.  Check any Kotex tampons you own and see the list of recalled boxes online.  Please share this recall with all the women you know.

In "honor" of this recall, we put the amazing Diva Cup on sale until November 25th!  Read more about the Diva Cup below...

Tampons aren't safe, even when there's no recall


Writer Alicia Preston interviewed Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr.: Director of Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Immunology at Tisch Hospital, New York University Medical Center. He is an expert on the dangers of tampons. He has appeared on shows such as 20/20 and Oprah.


He explains the risks of pollution, dioxin and other unexamined chemicals most likely in tampons today.  It is typically safer for women to use tampons that are 100% organic cotton to avoid most toxins.  What really irks me about the recent Kotex tampon recall is that these were specifically marketed as their "natural" line.  So much for trying to buy safer products.  Dr. Tierno pointed out even if most toxins are no longer used in manufacturing, there has been no independent study of the safety of tampons... ever.


The FDA explains that toxins may be in low amounts in current manufacturing, but a woman's long term exposure over 20 or 30 years of tampon use has never been studied.


What if there were no risk of carcinogens or Toxic Shock Syndrome?!


One way to avoid the risks associated with tampons all together is to make the switch to reusable pads or a menstrual cup.  While the comfort with reusable options will vary for every woman,  you might find you get over washing a pad or Diva Cup if you don't have to worry about toxins and TSS.


There is a learning curve to inserting and removing menstrual cups, but many women are excited to transition to the Diva Cup.  Many women find that after switching to a menstrual cup their cramps are reduced, length of period is reduced and they sure save lots of money when they don't have to buy disposable goods every month.  It's also greener and creating less waste!


Read more about menstrual cups and reusable pads at GladRags.com
Learn more in our Diva Cup web tutorial.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sexual Mission Statement

Knowing what you want is the first step to getting what you want, says the first chapter of Jaclyn Friedman’s book, What You Really Really Want. Finally we have a smart girl’s guide to dismantling shame and reversing sex-negativity in our contemporary culture. Feeling good about our bodies, owning our desires, and asking for what we want is a life long project for most women and men. As an avid journaler, I am really excited about this book. Friedman offers personal anecdote, writing prompts for reflection, and a Cosmo style quiz in the introduction to see if this book is for you. I particularly like the writing prompt to write your own Sexual Mission Statement:

Make a sexual mission statement. This should be a paragraph expressing what you believe about sexuality. Be sure to answer the following questions: what do you have the right to, sexually? What are your responsibilities when it comes to sex? What about your partners' rights and responsibilities? What's the most important thing you seek from sexual exploration or expression? What do you never want to seek from sexuality? What does no one have the right to do when it comes to sex? (50)

Post yours in the comments below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: The vacuum of problems

Masters may not vacuum, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have problems
There is a lot of social pressure to be perfect. Not just having the right look, the right degree, or the right job, but also the right partner, the right dynamic, and the right amount of public recognition. These types of pressures occur no matter what the social group. In lesbian circles, there is generally a tendency towards social and economic class-ism with an emphasis on gender expression appropriate partners. If you as a couple don’t fit in that social group there will be no question in your mind that it is time to move on. If you meet one of the requirements but not the other, then you may be accepted, but not all the way, and probably because someone else in the group wants to fuck you. … Ahhh... Social circles.


BDSM and leather are not free from these concepts of perfection. In some ways we tend to put each other under a weird microscope. I think that some of it is the normal social ideas of “where does someone fit in with who is around them” and “where am I in my leather and BDSM journey and were “should” I be”, and I think that some of it is based in the good old fashioned need to feel better about ourselves.


What this does though, is create a strange veil of secrecy, for Masters in particularly.

To be taken seriously as a Master that has control of their slave, a Master may sometimes feel that they can’t really discuss the things that happen in their household. Being open about difficulties that they are having with obedience, compliance, and the training of the slave may make the Master feel like they would be viewed as incompetent or unskilled or maybe not a Master at all.


I am not saying go and talk to that weird looking lady at the bus about your household problems, or talk to anyone who will listen at the local munch that you just met, what I am saying is that problems are something that are universal, and they don’t well in a vacuum.


When I have learned about the problems that other Masters have had in their relationships I find that I relax a little. It helps me to relate to them better, and I feel that the problems that I have had and will continue to have in my leather journey aren’t just mine.


Some of the things that I have learned about other couples that have really helped me have been:

Three high powered couples whose slaves have threatened to and almost walked

One couple who the slave could not be in the house doing housework, even though it is what the Master required

One couple where the Master gave the slave over to another Master to train because everything that they tried had failed

And one couple where the slave was cheating on the Master with another Master, then when caught refused to stop seeing that other Master.


Perhaps it is because problems are the great equalizer that makes them difficult to discuss in real time. The Master and slave dynamic in many ways is viewed as very simple and one sided. Master says, slave does, life goes on. But the reality is that all consensual relationships come with problems, even Master and slave ones.


Imagine what we could learn from each other if we could drop the facade and actually look at the realities that come with complex and there dimensional relationships.


Being in a Master and slave relationship makes my life full and powerful, but that does not mean that we don’t argue, that she doesn’t have her own ideas, and that I don’t have my own problems with obedience and training. It doesn’t meant that I am less of a Master or that she is less of a slave, it does mean however, that as real people we deal with real issues that our titles don’t solve.


Just to put it out there if anyone has the magic recipe for making dusting happen and stay happening, I am all ears….



If you are interested in power munches, play parties, of hand on workshops in the Albuquerque area please contact the 20 year organization of AEL at:
If you are interested in an active online community please find:
Fetlife.com
Group name:
New Mexico Fetlifers

Friday, November 4, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: A Masters connection to Power

Lately I have been on this kick about the Masters personal connection to power. Initially when the words came out of my mouth, it was a huge catharsis for me. All of the sudden I understood myself much more than I ever had in the past. But I also gained a bare bones understanding of Masters that I completely disagree with. I still disagree with them, but instead of shaking my head in complete disgust, or getting defensive because of the underlying push to be more “like them” I can say to myself --- Ohh, that is why they do that. And more importantly, that is why I don’t. Just recently, I began to understand that this concept actually overlaps all things, and I started looking at it from an emotional point of view.



In actuality we see a person’s connection to their own power played out all of the time. If a person wants to be the smartest person in the room instead of just sitting back and listening they will degrade or make fun of others to try to make themselves look better. The person that wants to feel better about their body, so they get with a partner that they can feel superior to, or the person that wants to be more eloquent so they will make fun of their partner to get them to stop talking.



These personal dynamics don’t stop just because we enter into Master and slave relationships.



For some Masters to connect with their sense of power they feel a need to get involved with someone that they feel is lesser then them. For other Masters it doesn’t matter if the slave has skills or abilities that they don’t because the Master connects with their sense of power by destroying the confidence of the slave to do those things. I have seen Masters who correct their slave’s grammar incorrectly. Masters who stop their slaves from talking by calling them outright wrong on even the smallest of things that quite frankly don’t have a right or wrong. Masters who enforce eating and exercise guidelines on slaves to create not only a definitive overall body and mind weakness, but also to reinforce the insecurities that the slaves feel about their own bodies. I have heard of Masters who ridicule and demean the slave’s orgasms, to create a sense of failure over their own sexual responses. Masters whose only communication to their slave is punishment based.



Now.

In my mind I can say, ok, there, take a deep breath and remember that this is about the Masters connection to their personal power. That these things, another deep breath here, are not things that I connect with, or understand, but (breathe, breathe), that make perfect sense to that Master.



Then I pause and say, just because you have a personal connection to power in a certain act and just because you have someone willing to go along with that act does not mean that the Master should do it or that it is healthy to do.



So here is my connection to power. I love having a slave that is a powerful person in her own right. I get a contact high off of her successes, and I get a deep down tingle when I see her lead and watch her grow.



I love owning her because she is a tornado of power, she is worth owning, and doesn’t bend to my will because she has none of her own. She bends to my will because even though she has all of this power, she chooses to. Although she is in many ways smarter than I am, a more balanced leader then I am, and more knowledgeable about sex and body image then I will ever be, she bends herself to me. I am honored to own a woman so strong, so powerful, so intelligent, and such a force of nature. I connect with my sense of power because she connects with hers.


I can’t imagine it any other way.



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

aelmailing@gmail.com

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

Fetlife.com

Group name:

New Mexico Fetlifers