Master/slave Conference 2005
July 29-31st,
Washington, DC

For those wanting to learn about and discuss the most powerful, challenging and deeply satisfying connection, i.e., the Master/slave or Dominant/submissive relationship, the Master/slave Conference 2005 was the place to be. It occurred July 29-31st at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. As many as 170 people from across the United States and at least one from as far away as Australia were in attendance.

There were Master/slave and Dom/sub partners who have been together for 10 years or more. There were those in relationships that have endured 7, 5, 3 or less years and some for whom this realm is entirely new. There were Masters and slaves who described themselves as being “called” to Mastery or slavery. There were those who are fully committed. There were those just wondering how their fantasies might become real. They came to look, listen, learn, connect and consider the possibilities for their relationships, their Significant O/others, their lives together, their communities and themselves. And possibility was there in abundance.

The conference consisted of three days of 90 minute Workshops and Discussions revolving around the dynamics of Master/slave and/or Dominant/submissive relationships. The sessions were presented and moderated by some of the community’s most outstanding Masters and slaves: Master Taino, Viola Johnson, Master Alex Keppeler, SlaveMaster, Master Kurt and slave john, Master Z and slaveboy tony, Master Jim Glass and slave marsha, slavette, Master Jack M. and slave justin, Master Guardian, Master Tallen and slave Andrew among others.

Some of the workshop titles were: “Refining Fire: the Role of SM in M/s”, “Protocol: Different Views”, “The Heart of Master/slavery”, “The Blessings of Our Desires”, “Seven Secrets of a Successful M/s Relationship”, “Developing Functional Communication in our M/s Relationships”, “How slavery is all about obedience”, “Leather History: Show and Tell”, The Invisible Leash”, “Leather Families”, “Ownership as a Permanent Moral Responsibility”, “Building Trust”, “The Role of Service in D/s or M/s Relationships”, “The inner life of slaves”, “Beyond Sexual Orientation”, “Rebuilding Broken Trust”, “M/s Relationships: Shifting from Fantasy to Reality”, a “slave’s only session”, two panel sessions respectively named, “Ask the Masters: and “Ask the slaves”, “The care and feeding of the Master/slave”, and “Structuring a M/s Relationship”.

The first workshop this boy attended was “The Heart of Mastery/slavery” presented by slave david stein. It explored that which calls us to Mastery or slavery. It set the tone of mutual respect and appreciation for the contributions of all the presenters, the presence of participants and the investment they are making in themselves and their personal relationship potential.

“How slavery is All about Obedience” was a very powerful presentation and discussion. SlaveMaster spoke of the spiritual basis that motivates and stimulates slave heart and how to focus slave training and slave mind for maximum growth. This boy was impressed and inspired by both the Messenger and the message.

Many presentations were conducted by Masters and their actual slaves. Masters usually introduced an overview and major points of discussion that were followed by the slaves speaking about certain aspects or making subtle distinctions from their points of view. Most Masters and slaves based their presentations on their own journeys, their relationship experiences and their life together. Most qualified their comments and opinions by stating that these were based on their personal experience and what they have discovered works for them. And while it might be instructive or helpful to some, every Master or slave and every relationship is wonderfully unique. Participants were encouraged to listen, consider, share, learn, even challenge, and then assimilate – creating possibilities based on who they really are as people – and not imitating others. Most sessions were interspersed with lively, challenging, thoughtful, provocative, humorous and often very heartfelt comments or questions from the participants.

“The Inner Life of slaves” facilitated by Master Jack M’s slave justin was attended mostly by slaves. From slave perspective the roundtable looked at some aspects of slavery as they impact us mentally, emotionally and in other ways. Humility on one hand, pride of service on the other. Strong yet vulnerable. Being focused on Master while attentive to our own well-being and safety. Bearing witness to what often happens inside our slave selves. Just by being in their powerful presence and hearing the voices of real consensual slaves this slaveboy realized there is much common and sacred ground.

Before Friday night’s Opening Ceremony there was a social reception. The keynote address, powerfully & passionately delivered by Vi Johnson, challenged committed Master/slave relationships and the community to be proactive by contacting elected officials about state legislations that could nullify partnership agreements, civil unions and “contracts between strangers” i.e., persons not bound by “familial ties”. The speech challenged U/us to personally utilize available resources to create effective Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Trusts to legally protect O/our material assets and our cherished relationships.
And to act now.
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Saturday evening’s entertainment was a slave auction and the Northeast Master/slave 2005 Contest. This contest is for couples who self-identify as Master/slave regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The titles are the only “relationship based” leather titles in which contestants compete as a pair. The program was followed by a Kinky Party for socializing and dancing. Later on Saturday night, DC’s premier dungeon space, The Crucible, was the site of a pansexual play party to which there was a shuttle bus to transport attendees.

On Saturday this boy attended “Leather History: Show and Tell” where Viola Johnson introduced special guest, Mr. Vern Stewart, and saluted his outstanding contributions as photo documentarian of Leather History. And on Sunday morning, Ms. Johnson led a provocative, challenging and inspiring “slaves Only Session” which this boy also attended and participated in.

Following the last workshop on Sunday afternoon, Johnson conducted a plenary session where most presenters and perhaps 100 attendees participated in dialog that reviewed this year’s event, the host facility, and shared concerns and considerations for the next conference to be held in Washington, D.C. in July 2006. Afterward there was a wind-down party & BBQ at the DC Eagle.

There were no Black presenters at this event aside from Vi Johnson. There were (maybe) 7 black women and (counting myself) only 3 Black men - and 1 of those was a volunteer. This boy was disappointed by the notable absence of men of color. He is not aware of the facts or factors that may have determined the absence of Black male Master/slave or Dom/sub presenters or attendees. He believes however, that there are Black men in our community with a wealth of life and relationship experience; and with the courage, desire, creativity, and sincere interest in the possibilities of Master/slave or Dom/sub relationships. Their presence and unique contributions would have been warmly welcomed, embraced and respected at this worthwhile educational event.

This boy believes that most People of Color who did attend have returned to their communities and relationships newly inspired, empowered and confident in their ability to influence or motivate more People of Color to attend in the future. The unique and dynamic presence of more People of Color would not only make this Conference better, but would help create and sustain the quality relationships of which many of us only dare to dream.


boy Ross

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