Perspectives of a Male Submissive
by bob harris

essays about being in a real-life SM relationship

TRIBUTE. On Friday, March 29, 2002, boy bob left our lives. Until their final minutes together, bob and the man he loved--his Master, friend, mentor, and life-partner Doug Harris--remained united in devotion and passion. Demonstrating the utmost gentleness with every kinky person who crossed his path, bob was a rare gem--the kind of submissive dominants dream of owning, the kind of man anyone would feel honored to know. Few people outside of his extended leather family and friends will ever understand what a pivotal role bob played in not only the astounding growth of the Atlanta SM Scene in the past decade, but in helping to make this local community a kinder, more sincere and caring place. God bless you, little brother. You and the words you shared with us will live on.

10/01: The Spark, Part II: The Common Thread

7/01: The Spark, Part I

5/01: As Reality Sets In

11/00: A Fragile Balance, II:
Too Much Of A Good Thing

10/00: A Fragile Balance, I:
Reality, Fantasy and SM

9/00: The Three R's of BDSM

8/00: Memories of Tony Deblase

7/00: The Other Side of Vulnerable

6/00: Fully Exposed, Totally Vulnerable
and Completely Turned On

5/00: Whose Way is Right?
(and who cares, anyway?)

4/00: OSHA and SM?

3/00: Others Do. Why Can't i?

2/00: It's About Pride

1/00: To Catch a Dom

11/99:To Sir Or Not to Sir
(that is the question)

10/99: A Boy

9/99: The Question We
All Must Face

8/99: Submissives Need to
Take a Stand on Abuse

7/99: Communication and
Surviving Everyday Life

October 2001

The Spark, Part II
The Common Thread

His heart began beating faster the closer he got. It had been so many years since he had last been here. So many more years before that since he had first taken these same steps. So much had changed. Both in him, and in this place.

For close to twenty years this place had been his home. The place he would come to be among those who were as much his family as any actual blood relative. Basically, he had not been much more than a newborn babe when he first arrived here. It was here, that he had learned essentially all he knew of life. Where he had grown, matured and finally, reluctantly, moved on from.

So very long ago it seemed, that he had first turned to face the alley. So very long ago that a gentle voice and caring eyes stripped away his fears and made him follow. He had been just twenty-two at the time. But that was long ago and much had changed.

He felt his heart racing as he reached the last corner and stopped briefly before making the turn. Closing his eyes he thought back to that first night. The darkness of the alley. The light of the small neon sign. The bikes, the bikers and the man, who for the next ten years of his life would be there to guide him, teach him, watch over him, care for him. The man whom he would come to trust totally, innately. To respect above all others, and revel in providing Him the best service he could. The man he would come to love deeper and more completely than any other. The man he would call Master.

A smile formed on his lips as he remembered how his Sir had surprised him for his thirtieth birthday. Giving him a gift that every boy dreams of and all the other boys had been envious of. That wonderful fantasy of being unexpectedly kidnapped, blindfolded, bound and whisked away to some unknown destination. There to be stripped down, and turned over to be used by any and all who cared to do so. To use him in any way, and as often as they desired. He remembered the panic he felt as he was dragged kicking into the bar, had his clothes ripped from his body and then suspended by the ropes binding his hands from a hook in one of the ceiling beams. And the relief when a gentle voice whispered in his ear happy birthday boy, enjoy yourself. I ll be right here with you the whole time .

He remembered also how it had been this home that gave him the strength and courage to go on when his Master, like so many others of the day, was called from this world much sooner than should have been. How the others of the community, his family, had encouraged him to remain, to continue growing, learning, not as a boy but as a maturing dominate on his own journey to becoming a Master.

Finally he turned the corner and stood once again facing the alley. He had expected it to have changed some, and perhaps in some ways even to be terribly different from the way he remembered it. He just never expected all of it to be so radically changed. Now, streetlights turned night to day. Valet parking replaced the line of bikes and young suburban couples filled the streets.

What had once been the dark, forboding side of town had been transformed into a trendy section of sports bars, designer shops and overpriced restaurants. But even with all the changes, he knew exactly which door he was looking for. The old door had been refurbished and actually looked quite good. Not at all like the old days. The small neon sign was now in fancy script and, to his worst fear, spelled out Sushi Bar .

Damn. Anything but a sushi bar he thought to himself. Man, how could they do that to the old place. Good gawd, I bet these walls wish they could just cave in.

Taking a last deep breath, he opened the door and stepped inside. No more dimly lit corners to hide in. No more clouds of cigar smoke filling the air and mixing with those wonderful scents of stale beer, leather and men.

Now it was all well lit to show off the highly varnished woods, polished steel fixtures and the multitude of potted plants. The tropical scented air freshener bellowed from the air vents. Although heavy, still could not totally overcome the smell of raw fish.

But there to one side was something familiar. Refinished, varnished and polished but still familiar. Nah, couldn t be.

He made his way over towards an empty stool. Well I ll be. They did at least leave a section of the old girl. Damn, sure looks nice all cleaned up. He sat down and gently ran his hand across the edge, savoring the feel of the touch. A flood of memories again filled his head. For a moment, he was transported back in time. Every detail of the sights, sounds and smells as clear as if it had been yesterday.

His attention was drawn back to reality as he heard an unfamiliar voice. Hi, can I get you something? He looked up to see the bartender standing in front of him. A young guy, early twenties, with the typical preppie waiter look of medium length hair, obviously styled, light blue button-down oxford shirt and khakis.

His reply was almost automatic ordering a cold draft. Sorry replied the boy, but all we have is bottled imports. Not like I guess it used to be in this old bar s hey-day . Caught off-guard by the boy s strange remark, he heard himself replying No, not at all then quickly added, I suppose . I m not familiar with any imports. Why don t you just bring me whatever kind you recommend.

In a flash the boy returned with a bottle and a frosted mug. It s the closest to a draft we have. The boy poured the beer into the mug and set it down taking care to turn the handle to where it was within easy reach. Hope you like it Sir.

Thanks, I m sure it will be fine. By the way, that was a curious statement you made about the bar s old days. Are you familiar with its history?

No, Sir, not really. I only know that the place had been a gay bar for a long time before the area became trendy. The place had been vacant for a while before the new owners took over so every thing was really dirty and falling apart. Including this old bar. But this one section still seemed good so the owners decided to keep it. As I started cleaning it I could see a lot of old stains, water rings and such, so I just imagined it must have had a lot of use. Almost hated to remove them. Had a lot of character. But as I started seeing how beautiful the wood was, I couldn t help but try and make it look it s best. For some reason it just seemed real important to me for the new owners to want to keep at least this one small piece of what used to be.

Then suddenly, the boy reached under the bar and pulled out a coiled object. He recognized it at once. A little more ragged after all these years but undeniable as to what it was having hung on a post by the register just in case of any trouble.

I found this down in the basement when we started cleaning up the place. It was in pretty bad shape but for fun I started treating it with some conditioner and it started coming back to life. Not sure why it was here unless the original bar had a western theme or something .

A slight smile was all he would allow himself. With penetrating eyes he had been watching the boy, observing, evaluating. He could see right through him into the depths of the boy s heart and soul. A skill finely tuned by many years of analyzing the hearts of other boys along the way.

He knew the boy was holding back. It was obvious from the way he had placed the beer mug, the care taken in restoring the bar and the gentle touch in holding the old bullwhip. But most of all one word had said it all. A word he had not used with any other of the customers.

What he saw in the boy s heart and felt in his soul, he could see in the boy s eyes. It was that same look his Master had seen in his. It was the same heart and soul that made his Master follow him that night out of the bar and into the alley. Stopping him in his tracks as he tried to run. That same curiosity. That same desire. That same need ----that same spark.

He took the whip from the boy s hands noticing just a slight trembling as he did. You ve done a great job with this boy. It flows smooth and soft. Like the new skin of a snake that s just shed it s old one.

Thank you Sir. Looking up he could see the pride in the boy s face.

I get the feeling though, boy , placing an obvious emphasis on the boy and pausing slightly to watch the reaction, that you know a little more than you have admitted about this place, the bar, the whip.

A sheepish grin and a downward glance gave the boy away. Yes Sir. I was curious so I did some research. I ve been hoping that maybe someday I would meet somebody who was here then and could teach me more about how it was, how it might possibly still be. I thought, was hoping, that maybe you were that person but was afraid to ask in case I was wrong Sir.

You re not wrong boy. This place and I go back a long way. I was probably around your age when I first found it myself. And I see in you what luckily someone saw in me.

So boy, the question is: are you ready to explore who you are, what you re made of and what you re capable of? Are you ready to find your limits, then give every ounce of energy you have to push beyond them? Are you ready to understand the joy, cherish the peace of mind, celebrate the pride in knowing you ve done your very best serving another willingly, lovingly, to the fullest extent of your capabilities? If you are boy, wait for me outside at the end of your shift and proudly follow behind me as I come by. I ll help you begin your journey just as I was helped that first night I came here so many years ago.

Summoning all the confidence and conviction he could the boy answered simply Yes, Sir, Thank You Sir .

Standing up he turned to leave and to hide from the boy the joy in his smile. As he began to walk towards the door, in a voice slightly more than a whisper the boy could just barely hear him say Good boy .

A short while later as the restaurant closed, he watched as the boy nervously emerged to stand and wait by the door. With approving eyes he watched the boy as he stood there erect, feet slightly apart, hands behind his back. Walking by he nodded. The boy fell into place slightly behind him following him into the night, completing the circle that had began so many years before.

copyright © October 2001 bob harris
No portion of this article may be reproduced
without the written permission of the author.

Send commentaries to Master Doug and bob harris

July 2001

The Spark

Imagine that you are a gay male in your early twenties. The year is 1961. Before the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” and the sexual revolution that was to follow.

It’s a Saturday night. You’re full of expectations but also extremely nervous. You have never tried this before but it is becoming more and more a major part of your fantasies. You’re not exactly sure what to expect. All of your friends have declined to join you in the adventure saying it’s not for them, too risky, too dangerous.

Where you are heading is just a little hole-in-the-wall place, down a small alley in a not so good section of town. As you reach the alley you look down into the darkness. A small neon light points the way, shedding just enough light to let you make out the row of motorcycles parked beneath it. Your instincts say turn and run. Your desires say go inside.

As you walk in the door you are immediately overcome with the smell of smoke, stale beer, leather and testosterone. Your heart beats faster. Your palms begin to sweat. Your instincts are still saying run. But those desires make you stay.

As your eyes adjust to the dim light, shapes begin to emerge. Shapes of men. Hard- looking men. Not the type you have been used to seeing in the other gay bars. Most are wearing the protective leathers of a biker, complete with their club colors on their backs.

As you look around, you notice that standing besides some of these men are younger looking guys. Instead of leather, they are clad simply in cut-offs or jocks. Most are wearing either a leather or chain collar held closed by a lock. Some are on a leash, the handle of which is being held by one of the men in leather.

With great relief, you realize that other than a few quick glances, your entrance has drawn very little attention. Taking a deep breath, you move slowly towards a secluded corner, away from much of the activity. A place from which to observe.

You watch as the men in leather engage in conversation, slowly sipping the beers sitting on the bar in front of them. But your attention is drawn to the boys in the collars. Standing quietly, their hands behind their backs, their heads slightly lowered. They move only to light a cigarette or cigar for the man they are beside or order them another beer as they take the last swallow from the one they have.

You see their stoic faces change ever so slightly with just the hint of a smile as they see the pleased look from the man they serve. You see how they beam with pride when the man playfully rubs their heads as he brags to the others how good his boy serves him. You watch as the other boys snap-to even more, hoping they too will be bragged on. It’s a subtle, playful yet serious competition to see who can be the fastest, most attentive and you sense the feeling of pride that will be awarded the winner.

You watch, not quite understanding exactly you are witnessing, but everything inside of you says you wish that it was you standing there. Lighting His cigarette, ordering His beer, smiling at His praise. The desire is strong, the need great. But as to how to get it, you have no clue.

Finally, needing something to drink yourself, but too scared to approach the bar, you slip quietly out the door into the alley, ready to head back to the safety of more familiar surroundings. Just as you begin to think you’re in the clear, made it out without being noticed, you hear a deep, strong voice behind you.

“Where ya going so fast boy? Hell boy, you just barely got here. Why ya leaving so soon?”

The voice stops you dead in your tracks. You feel like running but your feet refuse to move. Slowly you turn around. Standing there, silhouetted by the glow of neon, is the figure of every leatherboy’s fantasies. Tall, with wide shoulders and a muscular chest that angles down to a thin waist. His leather jacket and chaps hug every muscle. The strong features of his face are mostly hidden by the bill of his biker’s hat, revealed only by the glow of a draw on his cigar. Although your instincts now yell RUN, those desires turn the yells into whispers, barely loud enough to hear.

You try to speak but all that comes out is a stammering of “ I I,I,I,I,I,I,I,……”

“Didn’t think anyone noticed you did ya boy? Well, actually, you got quite a bit of notice, made a pretty big impression. Don’t feel bad though boy that you didn’t notice. You weren’t meant to.”

Walking towards you, in the glow from his cigar, you can begin to make out his eyes. There is a kindness, gentleness about them, very much at odds with the hardness of the rest of his features. You don’t know or understand why, but looking into his eyes you feel calmed, safe. With the final step that brings him straight in front of you find yourself automatically placing your hands behind your back, your head slightly lowering, your eyes down.

With a gentle touch, he raises your chin. As your eyes meet, the world you knew up till now disappears. Your fears and apprehensions suddenly fade. You see a new world in his eyes and you immediately know it is there, in that world, is where you want to be.

A slight smile is all that betrays his satisfaction. “I was fairly certain, watching you back in the bar, that you would have it. I’m generally not wrong about such things. Some of the other guys noticed it too. And sure enough, it’s there. The spark. I can see it in your eyes. Only someone very special has that spark. Only someone with that spark has what it takes to be a boy. That’s why I followed you out here.

“Something inside you brought you here tonight, helped you overcome your fear and walk through that door. You know this is what you want. The question is: are you ready to explore who you are, what you’re made of and what you’re capable of? Are you ready to find your limits, then give every ounce of energy you have to push beyond them? Are you ready to understand the joy, cherish the peace of mind, celebrate the pride in knowing you’ve done your very best serving another willingly, lovingly, to the fullest extent of your capabilities? If you are, then follow behind me boy, proudly, back into the bar and I’ll help you begin your journey.”

This time you answer in a voice that rings out with confidence and conviction, “Yes Sir, Thank You Sir”.

Turning so as not to let you see the joy in his smile, he begins to walk back towards the bar, and in a voice slightly more than a whisper, you hear him say “Good boy”.

Time was, that unless you showed what was referred to as “the spark”, you would not be permitted to find the secretive world of the Leatherman. You would not know you were being watched and evaluated until they were ready to let you know. Many came hoping to be chosen, most never were. Only those whose behavior showed respect, whose eyes possessed the fire of desire were even considered. Only those who were betrayed by their look of longing and hunge, surrounded with a determination inspired by need, would be given more than a fleeting glance and be invited in.

There are many still today who watch and evaluate from a distance, waiting for the glimpse of that same spark. There are still many today who will only invite those who possess that spark into their world. Would they find it in you? Would they see in you the respect and desire? The hunger, determination and need? Would they see the qualities they feel are necessary to separate those capable of continually providing a top level of service from those who will never understand the joy of putting another’s needs above your own? Will they see you as someone worthy of their time, effort, dedication and affection?

They will if your desire is strong enough--and if that spark, your essence, gives you away.

copyright © July 2001 bob harris
No portion of this article may be reproduced
without the written permission of the author.

Send commentaries to Master Doug and bob harris

May 2001

As Reality Sets In

A boy's ability to serve a Dominant comes from inside him. It is an innate desire and need to care for another. A desire that would be there whether or not he was involved in any form of D/s relationship. In its purist form, service is provided out of love. It is the joy of seeing and knowing the pleasure that one's service gives to the person being served which acts as both the reward and incentive.

If that innate desire is not there, if it is only with the hope of receiving sex or dungeon play that service is provided, as is often the case, then it won't be long before the service tapers off or stops completely, regardless of the amount of sex or play received. This is one of the first lessons i tell any new submissive.

However, there is also an innate desire within us that can only be satisfied in the dungeon. SM play can be as addictive as any drug. It is a driving force as basic and equally as strong, if not at times stronger, than any other of our needs. If that were not the case we would all be content to exist in the vanilla world. Once our SM need is discovered, once you have felt the total satisfaction, the extreme rejuvenation of both body and soul that only a session in the dungeon can provide, it is impossible to be satisfied living without it.

So how then does a boy balance the need to serve with the desire for SM play? Is it possible for the boy to remain happy, be fulfilled in a relationship when only one of those needs is being satisfied while the other goes unattended? Is he less of a boy, or of a submissive when the joy of providing service is no longer enough? How does he cope when day after day he strives to provide the best service he can in the hopes that his Dominant will reward him at some point with a trip to the dungeon, but after several months, that point has yet to arrive? How many times and how deeply within himself can he reach to find his inner strength that provides the energy he needs to keep pushing himself to do better, serve better, before there is no more reserve? What happens when the outside pressures and stress of everyday life become so demanding that both Dominant and submissive are too exhausted to provide the needed energy required to maintain a D/s relationship and seem to be slipping more and more into a relationship more vanilla than D/s?

I wish i knew the answers to these questions. I wish there was some magic formula or timeless words of wisdom that would make everything seem crystal clear so that the answers would be immediately evident. One of those situations where you knock yourself on the side of the head and exclaim "duh, why didn't i think of that?" I wish i knew because i've been struggling with these same questions myself for a while now.

The world of SM is full of paradoxes. We continually strive to come up with ways to explain to the outside world, and to ourselves, why it is that we get pleasure from pain. Why a submissive willing turns control of their well being over to another much less voluntarily place themselves into "slavery." How being physically punished is actually a reward. For me, it is this punishment/reward concept that is at once both one of the easier paradoxes to understand yet one of the hardest to keep balanced. So easily defined, yet so easily misunderstood and with great potential for causing problems in a relationship.

Too much emphasis on the role of SM in the relationship, trying to live the fantasy 24/7, is overly exhaustive to maintain, generally results in disappointment and can eventually destroy the relationship. On the other hand, too little involvement of SM, removing too many or too much of the fantasy elements, can be overly frustrating and equally as disappointing and destructive to the relationship.

The time Sir and i spend together in the dungeon is something very special. It is a time when we are completely focused on each other, providing a communication channel unlike no other. With our energies joined as one, directly linked, there is no interference to cause a miscommunication or misinterpretation. Outside pressures of our business, community politics, family (biological and leather), daily schedules and just life itself fade away and are, for a while at least, forgotten. It is a time when the spirit soars, the soul is cleansed, negativity banished and frustrations abandoned. It is sensual, sexual, total satisfaction. The ultimate fulfillment, perfectly refreshing and restoring. The game may be based in terms of punishment but the results and effects are definitely rewards. We exit revitalized, with renewed energy. Recharged to the point of overflowing.

By the rules we established in defining the workings or our relationship, it is the withholding of play that constitutes punishment. It is therefore very difficult for me not to equate lack of play with some inadequacy in the service i provide, no matter how many times i am told otherwise. Told that it is a matter of uncontrollable circumstances, not disappointment or dissatisfaction, that is the cause. Although i know in my mind, on an intellectual level, that this is the case, convincing my heart, on an emotional level, is what becomes so terribly difficult.

So why is it, if i actually believe that service is truly its own reward and should be provided simply for the pleasure derived from it without emphasis, expectation or desire for play, that i still place such a strong connection between the two? Why do i find myself slipping in the performance and providing of service as times in the dungeon become fewer, further apart and shorter in duration? Is this not a matter of taking my own advice? Intellectually, yes. Emotionally, no. The reason being that there is an additional factor associated with service, which comes into effect here.

In order to provide your highest level of service, you must be whole. No part of your being can be missing. You must be satisfied on every other level of existence, happy with who you are, the person you are. You need to posses a strong, positive self-image and feeling of self-worth, but still maintain a level of humility to prevent arrogance and provide the incentive to strive ever harder to reach your full potential. Lately, i do not feel whole. A part of me is being left unfulfilled, and a hunger unsatisfied. That is very difficult to admit, harder to accept.

There was a time before my need for SM surfaced or developed, that i was satisfied with a vanilla life. I provided to those i had relationships with, much of the same service i provide in my relationship today. It provided similar pleasure and satisfaction, even though at the time, i wasn't aware of what i was doing or had put a name to it. i do not want or intend to go back.

But i have no intention of giving up either. Because although the struggle to maintain headspace is frustrating, downright infuriating at times, a major factor in my assessment of the degree and quality of service i am providing, in the overall view of things its a minor point. Our relationship is built on so much more than that.

We are more than Master/slave. We are also partners, in business and in life. We are, as most members of long-term Master/slave relationships, and despite what fantasy tries to portray as being alien to such relationships, lovers. We are each other's support. We share each other's energies, hopes, dreams, successes, failures, joys and sorrows. For above all else we are each other's best friend.

Any SM or D/s relationship requires an extremely strong foundation built on a high degree of mutual trust, mutual respect and open and honest communication. Much more so than in any vanilla relationship. It is this foundation, more than anything else, which sets relationships in our world apart from relationships in the vanilla world. For no matter how hidden, or out of commission, it may seem to be at any one point in time, there always exists that power exchange. Of one giving and one taking, the responsibility of caring for and protecting both body and soul.

So maybe everything isn't perfect. What relationship ever is all the time? Yes, there are times when the stress level is higher than it need be, arguments a bit more heated, words said in anger or frustration that both know are not really true or meant but hurt just the same. What relationship at some point doesn't experience those things as well?

But as long as that foundation remains strong, one thing is for sure. Like everything else in life, this too shall pass. That is a confidence i cannot honestly say i've ever had in any other relationship. i'm not willing to give that up.

There will come a time when the dungeon will be filled once again with the sounds of our enjoyment. When going to bed will mean more than it is time to get a couple hours sleep before facing another long day. Damn, i hope it comes soon!

copyright © May 2001 bob harris
No portion of this article may be reproduced
without the written permission of the author.

Send commentaries to Master Doug and bob harris

November 2000

A Fragile Balance, Part II: Too Much Of A Good Thing

Do you remember when you first started looking for the lifestyle? What was it that first piqued your interest in BDSM? What were you looking for or expecting to find? What did you think living the lifestyle would be like? What features did your image of the "perfect" Dominant include? How many of those initial drives and images centered solely around the idea of hot, wild, kinky sex? How often did you fantasize about getting abducted, stripped, blindfolded, strapped in a sling and left there to be used for whatever by whomever? How often do you still have that fantasy? i know i still do. Often.

Let's face it. Most of us are first drawn to the Scene by our sexual fantasies. Chances are your first introduction to BDSM was a fantasy story, book, or scene in a porno flick. You probably found yourself getting really turned on as you envisioned yourself as the one being restrained, out of control, and turned into a sex toy. Your excitement grew as the typical dialogue about subs being worthless and just being big sex pigs began. It continued to increase as the dialogue was punctuated with an occasional "suck this!" or "take that, you asshole" and peaked as the references were made about turning someone into a slave, locked up, naked, and constantly ready for "use."

Most likely, those initial images and turn-ons included little, if any, pain--perhaps some light nipple play, CBT or a few slaps on the ass. Getting smacked with a flogger, cane or single-tail is usually not something we start out dreaming about. Neither is anything about wanting or having the desire and need to serve--other than sexually, of course, which, since you really ARE a big pig, is not exactly a sacrifice.

Unfortunately, when your first exposure to the world of BDSM comes in the form of a one-handed reading story, an erotic novel or a movie, you get a distorted image of what this lifestyle--and especially relationships within the lifestyle--are about. Real life in the BDSM world is nothing like a story from Drummer magazine and it does not follow the plot of Story of O, either. Very few Masters could ever live up to the ideal of Mr. Benson, and there is a lot more involved in being successful than just putting on leather and having sex.

And then there is the Internet. Talk about presenting a twisted image! It's unbelievable what comes out of some chat rooms and email list groups. How many times have you heard someone talk about being in a chat room full of clueless wannabe's? Pretending to be lifestyle experts. they spread all kinds of erroneous information, much of which could be dangerous if actually followed. If you want to find some really bizarre fantasies and misconceptions, spend a little time checking out some the listings for Scene-related e-mail list groups. i find amazing the number of people willing to believe that even the most horrifying images are true and who are actually out looking for it.

Intrigued by its name, I decided to temporarily monitor a listgroup devoted to the discussion of extreme slave torture. Much of it was downright scary. There were "slaves" advertising their desire to serve a "master" who treated them brutally. There were "masters" trolling for "slaves" who would accept that they were worthless and would serve anyone in any way, even accepting mutilation if the "master" so desired. The "slaves" often discussed their desire to be kept permanently locked away in a cage; their only purpose in life would be to be available so the "master" could inflict extreme and brutal "punishment" whenever he felt the need to tear into (or tear up - literally) some worthless creature.

Apparently, much of what transpired on that particular list was an extreme form of role-play. At least i hope so. How else can you explain someone writing about being kept in a small room, with no electricity or furniture, barely big enough to turn around in?

One person claimed to be the slave of a husband and wife doctor team whose goal was to disfigure every portion of this person's body. Fortunately, it didn't take long--even for those who adamantly insisted that their desires for brutalization were totally valid--to question the reality of this particular account. The question that brought them up short was: if this slave really did live in such conditions, and had indeed had several fingers either surgically altered or removed as claimed, how then was he able to gain access to a computer, much less the Internet, and send a perfectly typed e-mail to the list?

Nobody had questioned the sanity of this person. When he claimed to be thankful for the privilege of being subjected to such conditions, no one raised an eyebrow. In fact, there were some who praised the correspondent as the ultimate slave, even expressing jealousy that someone was lucky enough to be the source of so much pleasure for the owners. No, the only thing they found unrealistic was that a mutilated slave would have access to, and be physically able to use, a computer.

That was just too much for me! i stopped reading after that.

Then there's the story a friend related about wandering into a chat room where four female cyber-subs were discussing the thrill of being cyber-singletailed? Each one expounded on their ability to absorb a heavy cyber-blow Each were convinced they knew exactly what it would be like to feel the real thing. After a few minutes of cyber-eavesdropping, my friend broke in and asked if any of them had in fact, actually ever seen, much less felt, a real singletail. All four admitted that they had not, but were still convinced that they had a total awareness of the actual feel. Sure they do.

Imagine their surprise if they should ever walk into a real-world dungeon and present themselves as experienced in various forms of play, including singletails!? They would find someone who took them at their word and, at some point during real-play, would actually use a singletail on them. Wonder if they would still believe they have an accurate grasp of the real-sting of a real singeltail?

Granted, these last two instances are a bit extreme. Still, i find them fascinating. They are completely at odds with what most of us, i hope, would agree to be reality, yet they are at once both humorous in their excesses and tragically sad in perpetuating foolish myths about our lifestyle. It's no wonder then that much subtler misconceptions about our lifestyle continue to persist and, in many cases, shape our communities.

i often wonder how many inexperienced submissives have been injured because they were unaware of the hidden dangers inherent in many of the forms of SM play? How many ran from the Scene after hooking up with a "dominant" whose only "training" was reading fantasy stories and decided that tying up and beating someone could be a real turn-on? How many submissives have become trapped in abusive relationships because both they and their dominant actually believe the "submissive is shit" concept? Considering how many newcomers continue to fall into those traps, it is very fortunate that there are not a lot more cases of serious injuries or abuse.

It is equally frustrating for a knowledgeable sub to find nothing but dom wannabe's out there--the kind who either have no clue that being a dom requires more than being a sexual top dressed in leather, or who believe that being a dom means they have a license to abuse.

When you see how often lifestyle relationships are portrayed as void of any caring or emotional bond, it's easy to understand how many in our communities do not understand that D/s relationships, including Master/slave relationships, are based as much on love as they are on any other characteristic associated with such arrangements?

On the Dom side, there are other frustrations. Encountering an endless stream of subs who think they are supposed to act like children, who constantly have to be told what to do and how to do it, and who provide service only if it means getting sex in return, has driven many good Dominants out of the lifestyle. They grew tired of looking for submissives whose need to serve was at least as strong as the desire to be "done." They became disillusioned with submissives who entered the lifestyle as a means of escape from the pressures of life, believing that it was a Dominant's responsibility to totally provide everything for the sub. They are fed-up with subs who, when the Dom starts to "cruelly demand" that they contribute to the household or care for themselves, go off crying about being abused.

Fantasy, when used consciously as fantasy, can greatly increase the enjoyment on both sides of the Dom/sub fence. When fantasy is used as a model for real life, though, it can only be destructive. The sub faces inevitable disappointment, which may cause them to give up entirely or to feel that they must "settle" for whatever is available. They will never be truly happy. Something will always be missing for them, unless they finally realize that what they are looking for simply does not exist.

We can only hope that the cyber-dom wannabe's quickly find a clue as to what "safe, sane, consensual" stands for, and that they take the time to learn what the lifestyle is about before they seriously hurt someone.

Otherwise, we can only hope, that unable to find real life people who are as willfully ignorant as they are, they will return to the cyber-world, harming only their computer keyboard while cyber-beating their cyber-subs in the cyber-fantasy-scene where they belong.

copyright © November 2000 bob harris
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without the written permission of the author.

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October 2000

A Fragile Balance: Reality, Fantasy and SM

There was no mistaking how proud the Mistress was of Her new slave. How pleased She was with the progress he was making in realizing the full extent of his submissive nature. After a slightly rocky start, including a brief separation, the relationship was beginning to blossom. The Mistress, a veteran of several slave training relationships with boys of various experience levels, could not contain the smile on Her face or the glow in Her eyes when presenting him. She literally beamed, much like a mother would when the child who had to struggle the hardest to succeed graduates at the top of the class.

Only a brief conversation is needed to realize how deeply caring, devoted and dedicated this Mistress/Teacher is with Her slaves/students. How patient. Willing to give them the room needed to make mistakes and the time to learn from them. Yet all the while, a high level of expectation is maintained in the learning and performance of the proper behaviors and the duties of service that She requires. The look on Her face was immediate evidence of how well She felt this young slave was meeting those expectations.

The boy, several years his Mistress' junior, had been in the lifestyle for less than a year. A growing awareness of the curiosities which he first discovered a couple years back, and the increasing desire to experience the kink he was now coming to realize as being within him, had led to his recent divorce. A strong need had developed making him want to fully explore, at last, the lifestyle that had until now, been unobtainable. He needed to know if his desire to serve was real. If it was innate, undeniable, essential to his achieving a complete personal happiness and satisfaction.

He came knowing little of what would be fully expected of him, but eager to learn, and to please. Familiar with only the very basics--the popular notions of the dynamics involved in D/s situations--his preconceived expectations of the requirements essential in determining a submissive's quality of service far exceeded what any Dominant would realistically demand. Unable to understand the difference between fact and fiction, these expectations would ultimately defeat him.

Six months later, the Mistress would be just as incapable of masking Her emotional disappointment and sense of inadequacy in having failed him in his education of the lifestyle. Honoring his request to be released from his collar had produced a hauntingly visible sadness in Her expression. Painfully evident was the sorrow of having to let go. Letting him follow his decision to end the relationship derived from feeling incapable of meeting his own pre-set, completely unrealistic perceptions of what being a slave entailed. It was a decision he made by, and for, himself without giving Her the opportunity to be part of the decision process.

A similar situation surrounded the boy's leaving the first time. The Mistress felt then that in time, he would return, for She could recognize how much a part of him submission had become. And She was there for him, willing and eager to continue his education, hopeful that he had discovered, or would be more willing to listen and accept, the difference between popular fantasy and hard reality.

This time, She again feels that at some point, he will once more return. But, this time, She cannot be sure that She will be willing to accept him back. She has gone through the pain of separation with him twice, and does not feel a willingness or desire to risk a third time. She is deeply hurt, plus frustrated and disappointed by the growing number of failed attempts being experienced not only by Herself, but by Her friends and other Dominants She knows. At this point, She is not even certain that She is willing to try any such training arrangements at all, with anybody, no matter how promising they seem. The disappointments and emotional let-downs are getting harder and harder for Her to process and put behind.

More and more i hear experienced Dominants questioning their capability and willingness to take on the teaching and training of a new submissive. One reason being that many are beginning to question their ability to distinguish submissives who are truly interested in learning, driven by their recognition of their very strong inner desire to serve, from those who are interested only in learning enough to appear serious and well trained as a means of merely finding an occasional play partner.

While this is a problem that seems to be becoming more and more prevalent, it usually appears quickly before a great deal of energy or effort has been spent. By itself, it's not a major concern: if they've been around long enough, most experienced Dominants are, to some degree, accustomed to it. But, when considered along with some of the other growing concerns and frustrations, it can become the deciding factor.

However, something that appears to be increasingly taking its toll is the confusion between the 'fantasy" and the "reality" of what being involved in BDSM in general--and particularly in any of the various forms of a D/s relationship--entails. This lifestyle, probably more so than any other, is built around fantasy. No matter what the relationship is, from a weekend collaring, to a 24/7 lifetime Master/slave contract agreement, both the mix of, and balance between, fantasy and reality play a critical role. Too much of one or too little of the other can quickly spell disaster. Likewise, not knowing one from the other can lead to any number of insurmountable problems.

So many of those entering the lifestyle today are like the boy in my example. They come with little or no knowledge beyond their perceptions, often derived solely from reading erotic stories. They come believing these stories to be accurate, at least in the descriptions of the characteristics defining Dominants and submissives; they believe that these stories portray realistic situations depicting how a Dominant and submissive really interact. Depending on what they have read, their perceptions, when compared to real relationship situations, can be overly romantic or gruesome, portraying an image of D/s relationships as being overly brutal. That some actually come looking for the brutality, especially submissives, is frightening.

As unfortunate as these fantasy vs. reality problems are, for many, the blurring of these two concepts enhances the enjoyment of the lifestyle and far outweighs any problems. For them, without the fantasy, there is no SM. Some fantasy exists in just about, if not every, aspect of the lifestyle. From the roles of Dominance and submission, the making and observance of protocols, much of what surrounds dungeon play including many of the instruments used, right up to many of the provisions found in typical Master/slave contracts, really heavily on the mixture of what is real and unreal. At times the blend is so complete that it's difficult to know for sure: "is it real or is it Memorex?"

For the next couple of months, i will attempt to sort out some of the more persistent misconceptions, explaining how they differ from what one commonly finds to be the reality and pointing out typical problems which arise when one believes in the misconceptions. On the other hand, i will also attempt to show how much incorporating some of the fantasy into day-to-day life can enhance the D/s aspects of a relationship.

By the way, curious as to what exactly caused the problem for the boy in this month's example? The story is based on an actual situation where the male slave in the relationship could not get past his misconception that once you accept a position as a slave, and in order to completely fulfill the definition of the "perfect slave", all natural hormonal and emotional responses are somehow supposed to automatically be totally eliminated or at least totally suppressed. That he had not been able to do so (who can? Better yet, who would want to and who would want somebody like that?), and concerned that he never would be able, made him decide that he was not worthy of being a slave.

Reassurances from his Mistress that such requirements were not realistic, not expected and most of all, not wanted, went unheeded. Although very much satisfied with every other aspect of the relationship, this one concern was enough to destroy his confidence in himself as a slave, leading to his decision to request being released.

And no, i did not embellish the description of the Mistress. She is very much a caring, loving woman, and at this point, very much questioning Her desire to take on another full time submissive. If so, what a great loss it would be to our community. Unfortunately, this is not isolated case and our community can hardly afford to lose any more of its teachers. Especially ones as caring as this one.

copyright © October 2000 bob harris
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without the written permission of the author.

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September 2000

The Three R's of BDSM

Granted, "making intelligent decisions" is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks for a list of what the Government does on a day-to-day basis. Still, i'd really like to know what idiotic reasoning was used in deciding to make a holiday to mark the end of the summer season, and then do it under the guise of setting a day to honor the American worker? It's bad enough that it won't be long before the weather turns crappy, the trees lose their leaves making them all look dead, and most outdoor activities become a test of our endurance to the cold. Is an end of summer "holiday" any way to honor the workforce? Sure doesn't sound like a day to celebrate to me!

As a child, i didn't particularly like Labor Day either. It was just a reminder that school was about to start back up. It's not as bad for kids now that schools have begun reopening in August instead of September. It still marks the end of summer, but they have already been back in school for a couple weeks, so now it's the first day off from another year of "Three R's"; Reading, ''Riting & 'Rithmatic.

Judging from what i see lately, a good number of the boys, as well as the boi boys, and girls, in our community, could stand a review of the Three R's as well. The Three R's of submission that is! A lot of Dominants could stand a brush-up as well.

What are the Three R's?

Responsibility, Responsibility, Responsibility

Okay, so i made that up. Actually it should be the "Four R's" to include Respect as well.

But for now I'm going to talk about responsibility. It seems that the concept that a person is responsible for his/her own actions has all but vanished. Accepting the responsibility for ensuring that commitments made are actually honored has been changing to accepting responsibility--if and when it is not inconvenient to do so.

For example, as a member of any type group--be it a single family unit, or an international community--there is an inherent responsibility not to act in such a way as to disrupt or dishonor that group or its members. Not only has that responsibility been forgotten, it appears that it has been replaced with a responsibility to purposely try to tear things apart. We're seeing more and more of that within our Community lately.

It would be easy just to ignore the problem, to write it off by saying that our Community is simply reflecting what is happening in society in general. Maybe we should be grateful that, for once, we have a problem that is not ours alone. Another easy out is to feel that any attempt to correct the situation would be futile. After all, despite many efforts, society has been unable to slow down, much less stop or reverse the trend of personal irresponsibility, right?

But, as with so many other aspects of everyday life--such as trust, honor and respect--personal responsibility and being accountable for your own actions (or lack thereof), takes on a heightened importance in the context of the BDSM culture. The concepts has even greater significance in the context of submission.

Consider how important it is for a submissive to be able to completely and unquestionably trust a Dominant. One must trust that they possess the necessary technical skills and also the personal attributes which show them to be a person of honor who inspires respect. This high degree of trust is essential for a submissive to give himself to the Dominant freely and willingly. Very few situations in everyday life require that level of trust.

Certainly, one of the fundamental elements of such a trust is knowing that the Dominant fully accepts his or her responsibility to develop basic skills before using any implement in a play scene. Dominants much accept their responsibility in ensuring that the scene does not result in the submissive being pushed to a limit beyond their actual capabilities; that they do not inflict serious injury or abuse, mentally or physically.

Likewise, one of the fundamental elements considered by a Dominant in accepting an offer of submission is whether the submissive accepts his or her responsibility to be honest when describing their experience level, personal limits, "hot-buttons" and any other factors that could even remotely affect the scene.

It is the responsibility of submissives to let the Dominant know if they are beginning to feel uneasy about a given situation or feel that they may be getting pushed too far, too fast. It is their responsibility to express those feelings to the Dominant BEFORE the they are pushed to a level beyond their capacity to deal. Once that happens it may be too late to go back and fix it; the damage may already have been done.

It is also their responsibility to inform the Dominant of any areas of play which they definitely do not wish to explore for whatever reason-- whether it's because of an association with a traumatic event earlier in life, a type of play they are not familiar with or don't understand well enough to try yet, or simply because they tried it in the past and just didn't like it.

Here are four crucial questions to think about.

1. How are Dominants to know they have crossed a line the submissive did not want--or wasn't prepared--to cross if the submissive did not tell them such a line exists?

2. Is the Dominant or the submissive to blame if such a line is crossed and the submissive somehow harmed?

3. Who is at fault if a submissive has been subjected to a level of pain they are incapable of tolerating, perhaps to a level where the high from play is replaced with the horror of torture when they didn't ask for a time-out or give any other indication that all was not well until they were already freaking out?

4. Should Dominants feel responsibile if the play goes bad and the submissive claims harm, even though the Doms did their best to behave honorably: for example, pausing several times to check on the submissive's mental state and ability to continue, and getting repeated assurances from the submissive that he or she desired to continue?

A Dominant who fully understands and accepts the responsibility of protecting the submissive--and takes it seriously--is probably going to feel some degree of responsibility if the submissive experiences even the least bit of displeasure, no matter the circumstances, and no matter how careful they tried to be to make sure it didn't happen.

But, in my opinion, unless a Dominant deliberately ignores signs of trouble, or by action or deed prevents the submissive from signaling a problem, it is unfair to assign blame to the Dominant. When a problem arises because the submissive failed to be honest about his or her limits or pretended that things were fine when they weren't, the blame for any harm done lies solely with the submissive. By choosing to say nothing, failing to be fully honest, purposely omitting or giving misleading information, the submissive passively instigates his or her own abuse and must accept the brunt of the responsibility for the harmful results.

As far as i am concerned, this hold true in any situation involving a Dominant/submissive interaction-- what that's a single play session, a training or mentoring relationship, or a committed relationship. The Scene has long since progressed beyond the dangerous and misguided notion that submissives have no right to voice concerns or request limits. We are not mindless toys, with such low self-esteem that we feel all we are good for is to be used for whatever by whomever. Any dominant (little d on purpose) or submissive, who actually stills believes those things needs to stop and take the time to learn what this is really about before somebody gets seriously hurt.

What can the Community as a whole do? For one thing, we can stop jumping to the conclusion that the Dominant is always wrong and the submissive always right when a submissive claims to have been either misused or abused. We can stop listening to those who jump in and out of relationships, going from Dominant to Dominant, each time blaming the breakup on the Dominant's inability to understand or treat them properly. We can stop listening to the vicious lies and rumors such submissives often spread in order to cover up their own inadequacy and their failure to provide the level of service and commitment they had promised. I think we need to check out both sides of every story before labeling someone as unsafe or abusive. The abuse may have actually been engineered by the submissive!

The submissives of the community can help by trying to educate those in our ranks, and especially those entering the lifestyle, that we do have a responsibility to take care of ourselves. We also have a responsibility to take care of each other and to help people out of truly abusive situations, stressing that abuse is not something they deserve and that they do not exist for the sole purpose of receiving "punishment". We need to point out the difference between fact and fantasy when we see obvious misinformation being spread in chat rooms and egroups.

Most of all, submissives must realize that knowledgeable, trustworthy Dominants are NOT going to think less of you for being honest with them about your limitations. In fact, they will think more highly of you, especially if you fully explain the reasons behind the limits and keep an open mind to the possibility that some day, under the right circumstances, you might be willing to try and overcome them. Nobody wants a toy that is already broken or in constant need of repair. (And, by the way, it is your responsibility to make sure that you aren't one of the broken ones!)

I guess this mean we have a lot of work to do. Which brings me back to the Labor Day theme. I forgot to mention that the main reason i don't like Labor Day is that from now until Memorial Day wearing white is totally unfashionable. According to the protocols that Sir follows, boys are only permitted to wear white T-shirts, no colors, especially not black which is what Dominants wear: just white. So from now until Memorial Day, i have to keep an eye out for the fashion police.

Oh well! Another responsibility!

copyright © September 2000 bob harris
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without the written permission of the author.

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August 2000

Memories of Tony DeBlase

Part I: Requiem for a Lost Friend

"On July 21, 2000, between 2:30 and 2:45 PM, Anthony F. DeBlase, a.k.a. Fledermaus passed peacefully away in Portland Oregon."

And so it was, in emails world wide, that the Leather/SM Community received the news that one of our most beloved members had been taken from us. A collective sadness quickly fell as our entire community mourned his death. There are only a very few among us whose passing would elicit a similar response. And none equal to that caused by the simple announcement about Tony.

There is hardly a Leatherperson who has not benefited from his the contributions of Tony DeBlase, whether through his extensive educational articles and SM fiction, published in nearly every magazine dealing with the Leather lifestyle; his days as publisher and editor of such landmark publications as Drummer and Mach; as the creator of the journals DungeonMaster and Sandmutopia Guardian; four editions of the Leather History Timeline; the founding and operation of Sandmutopia University; his years on the Executive Council of Living in Leather (LIL), and as a founding member and executive on the Board of Directors for the Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M;); his series of SM how-to videos; or the countless seminars/demos/workshops he presented.

His best-known contribution, which will forever endear Tony to the hearts of Leatherpeople worldwide as his creation of the symbol of our lifestyle, the Leather Pride Flag.

But Tony was so much more than just an icon. A true sadist, you could not help but notice the gleam in his eye, the mischievous smile on his lips, when the prospect of having a new victim to "torture" presented itself. An expert in a number of fetish play areas, highly respected as a Master in the handling of whips and the art of bandage, he was also well known as one of the most proficient, creative and exhaustive administrators of CBT which made him sought after by hordes of boys at every event he attended. And of course, being quite aware of his obligations as a teacher, not to mention his own insatiable desire for fresh play toys, very rarely did he turn down a boy's request that Tony use his body to practice and/or further enhance his skills in whatever play area he desired. It was the proverbial "tough job" that somebody needed to suffer through and get done. Luckily, Tony enjoyed the challenge and was willing to do whatever was required to get it done and then some. Poor boys didn't know what they were letting themselves in for. Give Tony an open invitation and chances were he was, very happily, going to take it.

But the boys could not have been in more capable, caring or gentle hands. Push it to the limit and beyond, Tony would, but always with a very sensitive eye to the boys' well-being and tolerance levels. No boy was ever in any danger of being pushed too far or too fast no matter how much they insisted that they were willing to do "whatever you want, Sir". On the other hand, no boy ever left disappointed. Tony had the ability to make each boy feel special, to reach a new level of confidence in himself as a submissive, no matter how routine or light the session had actually been. That's a skill only the most experienced and caring Dominants posses.

Whether through his SM activism, his writing, or his dominance, no one in the modern history of our culture has touched us as Tony did. To those who knew him, he exemplified the integrity, honor and trustworthiness that are the traditional hallmarks of a Leatherperson. Tony truly loved the lifestyle. It was evident in every aspect of his work for the Community and in every aspect of his play. No one has done more for our Community, worked more tirelessly, or striven harder to preserve our traditions and heritage than Tony DeBlase.

Part II: A boy's Memory

Sir and i were in Ft. Lauderdale as part of the faculty for Dungeon 301. The event was held at a motel that had two floors that were in a U shape around an inner courtyard. A section of the rooms on the ground floor had been set up as dungeon rooms to be used both as classrooms for the how-to seminars on various types of play; and at night, after the class sessions were done, as play spaces for any attendees who wanted to use them.

Sir waited until fairly late on Saturday night, when most of the others had finished playing and were heading back to their room, before instructing me to get the box we had brought containing supplies for a temporary piercing scene. The room He wanted to use contained a medical exam table. The walls were covered with black plastic and white Christmas lights, creating the impression that one was standing outdoors under starry skies. I put on one of the CD's we like to use; Sir strapped a blindfold in place, laid me down on the table, and began inserting the needles.

Sir had just about all the needles He planned on using inserted when a good friend of ours, Bear Man, peeked in. Bear Man is the organizer of the Dungeon series and was making a last check of the rooms for the night to lock up those that were no longer being used. He came in just long enough to see what we were doing and for Sir to describe what He had in mind once the needles were in.

A few minutes later, Bear Man came back. i could not make out what Sir and Bear Man were saying because they were speaking very softly across the room, but i did recognize Bear Man's voice. Being blindfolded, i couldn't see that someone else was also present and i didn't hear a third voice, yet i sensed that someone else was in the room. For some mysterious reason, i felt that it was Tony DeBlase. At the time, Sir and i did not know Tony that well. We had been introduced through a mutual friend a couple years prior, and had talked briefly on a few occasions. Even so, it was not a surprise when Sir came over to tell me that Tony had asked to stay and watch for a while.

Sir continued with the piercings and then laced them with string to give them a little extra pull. He then fashioned a codpiece by sewing a piece of fur to my skin. I felt Him place something on top of the fur but from the weight and feel, couldn't figure out what it was. I heard Him talking softly to Tony, then He came back to tell me that the object was a knife i had given Him, and that if i felt ready, He wanted to do a cutting. He also asked if i would be alright to have Tony present when He did it.

We had been discussing doing a cutting for over a year. When we first got together, i had told Sir that it was one of the few play areas that i was not interested in. But i had become interested after seeing a cutting demonstration that Pat Califia had presented. I was excited at the thought of finally trying it and both thrilled and honored that Tony would be there. i admired and highly respected Tony not only for all he had done for the lifestyle, but also as someone who i felt exemplified and defined what being a Leatherman meant and what the Leather Lifestyle was supposed to be about.

A few months prior to that evening, Sir given me the honor of having His last name, Harris. The cutting Sir did that night were the letters b and h which he placed on my lower abdomen. I cannot describe the feeling that came over me when i realized that He was now marking me permanently with my new initials.

Through it all i could feel Tony there with us, feel the strength and the calming force of the energy he was sending us. This sacred act took place in the presence of the man who gave us the symbol of our culture, the Leather Pride Flag; a man who was at the forefront in urging us to preserve our history and traditions. Tony instinctively and generously warmed and comforted me by being fully aware and deeply appreciative of the importance of what was taking place.

There have only been two instances in the dungeon when i have been brought to tears. The first time was out of disappointment. It was during one of my very first flogging scenes with my first lover. I had to ask him to stop after only a few strokes and began to cry, disappointed in myself that i had let him down in not being able to last longer, in not providing him the full enjoyment he should have had.

The second time was that night, and this time they were tears of joy. For on that night i received the highest of honors: Sir marked me with the symbol of my identity in this lifestyle. The feelings and emotions of that night will live with me forever.

Although we were more acquaintances than friends of Tony's before that night, a deeper friendship quickly developed after the cutting. By being there, and witnessing the act, Tony had become a part of the experience. It still brings tears to my eyes when i think back on the beauty of what we had shared and the bond that was forged that night between Tony, Sir and myself. And although i deeply regret that we will not have the opportunity for our friendship with Tony to continue to grow, the memory of that night, of how it touched and changed us, will be with me forever.

copyright © August 2000 bob harris
No portion of this article may be reproduced
without the written permission of the author.

Send commentaries to Master Doug and bob harris


boy bob harris died on March 29, 2002. For the last seven years of his life, he was in a lifestyle Master/slave relationship with Doug Harris, who owns and operates The Sanctuary of a Dark Angel in Atlanta, Georgia. In my opinion, the Sanctuary is the U.S.'s friendliest (and sexiest!!) pansexual SM space for serious players, thanks to the loving hearts and hard work of bob and his Master. The club regularly hosts private parties, workshops, demos, fund-raisers, and other leather community events. More than a play space, for many the Sanctuary is a second home. --Gloria




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