Wednesday, August 31, 2005

As if you really needed a reason...

to come see us at the Folsom Street Fair this year. What, you do? You mean the fact that we will be there with lots of rope, half naked hotties and a suspension frame is not enough? What? You want more?

Ok then, how about this. We just secured the coolest give away ever. Now I won’t say anymore, save that they are wearable and really sexy. You need to come to Folsom to get one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

That’s it, I’m writing a diet book

Why? Well aside from the fact that like everyone has one out it is looks like a great way to make a pile of cash, I just got back from getting the results of my recent physical. In addition to my doc being amazed at me dropping all the weight (like 60 pounds in 18 months) he was delighted to inform me that all my tests came back perfect. No make that better than perfect, in his own words, “you sir are in amazing shape, whatever you are doing. Keep doing it!”

Now that made me laugh, who knew that being a kinkster would be so healthy? I mean ok, so yeah so I have made some major lifestyle changes in order to get to this place, but still losing a couple pounds is one thing. Having a medical professional tell you that you are healthier than men half your age? Well that, dear readers is fucking priceless.

And when then ask me how I did it, I can point them to my newly published book, “The Twisted Monk’s Guide to a Better You”

The informative chapters would include:
“There is no such thing as drinking too much San Pellegrino water”
“Atomic Fucking, who needs this pilates crap?!”
“Choosing the right lawn gnome for every sexual situation”
“If you tie them up, they will cum”
“Two Words, Frilly Panties”
“Devoting your life to being the person you desire to be, not the one you are told to be”

Ask for it at your local book sellers today! and watch them stare are you like you are a idiot

Monday, August 29, 2005

So the big Wetspot in Paradise event is coming up this weekend. This will be a large gathering of kinky folks out at a lush wodded retreat. Folks come from near and far for this event, we have more than a few friends flying in from out of town to attend. Tambo and I were discussing a couple possible play opportunities for the long weekend. Opportunities for us to play together as a couple as well as individually with other people. Now after almost a decade of being poly you might assume that we do not have to negotiate such things as much as we once did. Yes, the conversations have gotten eaiser with time, however we still have them.

I thought perhaps I might share our “rules” for negotiating play with non partners.

1)The first, last and most important conversation must be between us.
Poly mantra #1, Communicate, communicate, communicate. You hear this a lot, but it is key to any relationship, non monogamous or not.

2) Assume NOTHING.
Ask the tough questions and don’t assume that your partner somehow knows your limits. Is the play to be non-sexual? Good, then what do you define, exactly, to be sex? Penetration? Direct genital contact? Indirect contact? Will they leave marks? Etc. So maybe you do not need to go into a play by play of the scene, but grey areas will lead to problems. Also, know that this will change over time. What was a limit today might be a non issue tomorrow.

3) While it may be helpful to be part of the negotiation, you cannot negotiate FOR your partner.
Yes, there are those D/s relationships where this is a pre-agreed tenent of the relationship. However for the other 99.9% of us, this applies. You cannot control the actions of your partner, rather you must trust them to respect your agreed upon limits. They may also have limits of their own that have nothing to do with what you have negotiated, but are personal to them that they must negotiate for themselves.

4) If possible, agree to meet the other party first.
Putting a face to a name greatly reduces those fears and issues often surrounding an “unknown” partner.

5) It’s ok to have a “moment” over this.
Nobody said that this was going to be easy. However if you can, wait till the play is over, aftercare is given, and you have had a chance to cool down before addressing the matter. Being angry is ok, trying to address the matter when angry will get you nowhere. Fall back to the “wait 24 hours” mantra and then talk. You will both get a lot more out of the discussion.

6) Repeat # 1

Friday, August 26, 2005

OK, I just got some really bad news today and I must share it.

Remember that wonderful farm we stayed at after Shibaricon? Remember how I told you about Echo and her homemade ice cream and how wonderful she was to two show weary strangers? Well I just got word that she was struck by a car while jogging. Echo was training for the NYC marathon and was hit by a car and seriously injured. She is badly hurt and is lucky to be alive right now. She is now facing a long, 4 month or more, hospital stay.

I must say that when I read the original message my heart sank; I have only known Echo for a few months but in that time I found her to be a vibrant, brave and amazing woman. One of those people you don't ever forget the first time you met them.

I first met Echo when we were planning the great Shibaricon road trip. When the call went out that we were driving cross country and needed places to crash, she was the first to volunteer. I asked her why she offered Griffin and I lodging and her response was simple, I only want to say thank you. And she did just that. She was gracious, funny, and feed both our tired bodies and souls with all manner of home cooking.

Since then we have stayed in contact, exchanging emails and even discussing her coming out to Seattle to attend the recent Abbey party. She wanted to go eat seafood on the pier and ride around the city in the sidecar. I wanted to introduce her to all my friends so they could put a face to “that really cool girl from Wisconsin” I kept telling them about. Sadly that never happened and now, I am just thankful that she is alive and on the mend.

I know she is reading this in her hospital bed right now so please join me in sending her you heart’s wishes for a speedy recovery, but let me do more than that.

Echo, you get better and I promise to bring you out for your own “welcome home” party here in Seattle.

Rest now and get better, the world needs you.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The countdown begins...

Only a moment here before I dash off to meet Dancer for dinner. As of today we have less than 30 days till the Folsom Street Fair.

Please stand by while the Monk freaks out.

This is going to be *quite* a month, dear readers, stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Another Satisfied Customer!

Snagged from Goose and Gander's blog, click on that might cute bottom to read more.

Thanks kids, enjoy your new rope!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Out of the Closet, and Into the Fire

A disturbing note from the inbox:
Dear Monk,

I’m an avid reader of your blog and hope you can help me. A bit of background first, I’m 28 and like you I too come from a conservative, religious background. I’m also married, 5 years next November. My wife and I are starting to take our first baby steps into the whole kink and poly world. So far everything has been going pretty good. We have had some “moments” as you put it, but it seems to be working for us. That is until this morning.

I got an e-mail from my father. Someone “pointed out” my profile on NAME OF ALT DATING SITE REMOVED (I have a personals add up looking for partners and I list that I AM married and that my wife knows) and let’s just say that he fucking freaked out! Now my dad and I are not the closest, but we have up to this point been on pretty good terms. Not any more! He went off! He is now demanding that if I ever wish to speak with him again that I must remove my profile and “make amends for my wicked ways”. WTF?!

I’m so pissed of right now I could scream! I mean this guy is no saint! Let me tell you, this guy has some serious skeletons in his closet. And to make matters worse, he has taken it upon himself to “inform” the rest of my adult family about my “deviant ways”.

What should I do? You talk about your family in your blog and about The Mom, so your family must know about your life, right? How did you do it? Any advice you can give me here would be really helpful.

Pulling my hair out in frustration,

Ouch… Ok Reed, wow this is a rough one on many fronts. First off, my condolences, right now you are probably getting slammed from all sides and are feeling pretty shitty about life. Take heart, you are not the first and sadly not the last person who has gone trough this sort of thing. Yes, my family knows about my lifestyle. No, not all of them approve. While I’m no expert on dealing with “coming out” to one’s family, I can offer you these guidelines that worked for me when dealing with mine.

1) If at all possible, ALWAYS wait 24 hours before responding to e-mails / calls.
We live in a digital age and e-mail is the communication tool of choice for most people. However we all have seen, first hand probably, how easy it is to say things in e-mail that we would never dare say face to face. Do not make this mistake and respond in anger. Yes, you are hurt and you want to fight back. But now is not the time or place. Give yourself a chance to calm down, collect your thoughts then respond. Do not say something that you will regret if this gets out of hand and is taken to court (yes I have seen this happen before).

2) Take the moral high ground.
Last time I checked, sadism between consenting adults was legal. So if you are not involving minors, animals or those who are unable to consent to such activates you are doing nothing wrong and they should mind their own damn business.

3) Stick to the matter at hand.
If we have learned anything from Jerry Springer, it is that families never fight fair. A family member, someone you have known your entire life, will say things in anger that, if said to an acquaintance, would get them slapped with a lawsuit. However, families think that this is ok for some reason. Yes, you probably know where every skeleton is hidden in every one of their closets and yes it might really feel good to share that with the rest of the world and put them on the defensive for a change. Do not fall into this trap. Keep the conversation on the topic at hand.

4) Time is your best ally
Nobody can stay mad forever. It requires far too much energy and is ultimately fatal to the person carrying around all that toxic anger. Give them time to process this new information and come to grips with it. Right now they probably think you are a charter member of the “Ted Bundy Fan Club” and are watching you, expecting you to falter. Anything you do (gain weight / lose weight/ lose your dog/ split up/ whatever) is because of your “deviant lifestyle”. Don’t give them the chance. Play safe, sane and consensual, get involved in your local SM community, donate to charity, and be the best damn kinkster you can be.

5) It is not your job to convert them.
Being kinky is not a religion. You are not bound by any commandment to convert anyone to your chosen lifestyle. Just as you cannot make someone love you, you also cannot make someone be open minded or accepting of alternate cultures. Yes, you should answer their questions openly and honestly. Yes, if they ask, you should point out some good resources for learning more. I would recommend “When someone you love is kinky” But if they cannot see beyond their own prejudices and fears to see the person, not the activities you choose to participate in. Well then the fault is theirs not yours and in the end they will have to answer to whatever god they choose to pray to.

In the end, well in the end it is going to suck to be you for a while. You might even consider packing it all in, hiding your leather and trying to repress what you have discovered about yourself in your foray into kink. This never works. Like Pandora opening the box, you can never put it back into the box. Repressing who you are, while it may temporarily placate your accusers, will ultimately do more damage than good.

If in the end, they come around then rejoice in this. If they don’t, then mourn the loss of that relationship and move on. There is a reason why many of us in the SM world have a “leather family”, but that is a post for another day.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Some days I think I am the luckiest bastard on earth

Amazing date on Thursday with Tambo, out till 4 am with Dancer on Friday. Two hopping parties to attend tonight. A first time suspension scene tonight (perhaps) and a date to try thrash a sweetie on Monday. (If that is not cool enough, she brings me lunch then lets me tie her up!)

Wow, who did I blow in a previous life to get this lucky?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Behold, the pornographic lawn gnome

Do you think the guys at Ikea (where we found it) had any clue that they would be making such a pervertable gnome? Oh the ring on his hat is a lenght I spliced, if you have ever watched "the coneheads" on SNL you know what that is.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Too much to do today and no motivation to do any of it.

The good news is that I have a smokin hot date with Tambo tonight. Just her, about 1500 feet of black rope, some new rattan canes and the box of evil pointy things....w00t!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

5 Things Every Boy Should Have in His Wardrobe
(if he wants to be popular with the opposite sex)

1)A well worn, but no shabby, pair of Levi’s 501 blue jeans that fit snug.
Yes, if you must succumb to the lure of the “Kinkster’s Uniform” at the very least make damn sure you look good in it.

2)A conservative gray or blue suit.
Black will also work here, but be sure to spent a little money here and get something well tailored to fit you. Pick something timeless, a solid standby that is not prone to the whims of fashion. This will come in handy when you need to meet her parents for the first time or that big job interview.
3)An Expensive pair of black wingtips.
Again, timeless. Spend the extra cash and they will last forever.
4)A black button down dress shirt
Quite possibly the most versatile item in a well dressed boy’s wardrobe. Akin to a woman’s “little black dress”, wear it with those jeans for that semi casual first date or under the suit for that “Formal, but not my father” look.

5)A utlikilt.
Trust me on this one.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Artistic expression

Art and artistic expression have always played a role in my life. I have my mom to thank for that, since I was a little kid I was always creating something. Even when we were dirt poor, she made me homemade play dough as a kid. Over the years I have dabbled in lots of mediums and had some successes (as well as some failures too). Now, I used to fret about not focusing on one medium and mastering it. I used to think that if I had chosen one medium, say photography, at a young age and stuck with it that today I would be a master. Yeah, and if I had saved only %5 of the money I have made since I was 16, I’d be rich too.

I think I will forever be a “student of everything and a master of nothing”. Always trying to learn more, to expand my view of the world. Now since I figure I have at least 30 maybe 40 more years on the planet, here are three forms of artistic expression that I would like to study before I die.

1) Learn to play the guitar.
Having spent most of my life living with a musician has been a wonderful treat. There is nothing quite like the sound of a cello played in the next room on a lazy Sunday afternoon. When we first started dating I dabbled a bit in trying to learn how to play the upright bass, I could follow instruction and memorized where and how to place my fingers, but I did not understand the flow and tone of music. I could not “feel” the instrument. Someday I’ll have the patience and focus required to learn this.
2) Study Architecture
Yes, I think this is an art form and the one I know the least about. However I am fascinated by it. I really love those buildings that use non-traditional components, like residential homes made of steel or the green roof movement.
3) Learn to Sculpt.
I think this will be my next endeavor. I love to work with my hands and am drawn to the idea of touchable sculpture. There is something really powerful about the idea of capturing the perfect curve of a lover’s hip or the shape of her spine and immortalizing it in stone, forever.

Monday, August 15, 2005

About last night…

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a huge industrial warehouse filled with over a hundred of the sexiest, kinkiest people you have ever seen. Now add music, entertainment, wine and a wicked suspension frame and you have an intoxicating mix of energy. The Abbey was hopping with it. Filled to the brim with friends, supporters, customers and loves, the place was electric with energy.

This was our first ever party at the Abbey, our home where we make all the rope we sell. Now when Tambo and I throw a party, we never do it small. That’s why we usually only host one a year, but in the past 2 years, with the maddening pace of the company, we have not been able to host one. So we decided that in honor of the 2 year anniversary of my very first batch of rope, and in close conjunction to my birthday, we set out to throw not just a party, but an event.

And I think we did just that.

I have too many people to thank for making this happen. So huge thanks must be given first and foremost to Tambo; since day one she has been my biggest supporter and without her the party would not have happened. She, with the help of Nerdy and Galahad assembled an amazing array of food and drink for the event. Nerdy also gets extra thanks for her tireless work cleaning, prepping and keeping us all sane as we got ready for the event. Thanks to Matisse for all the publicity and support. Thanks to all the volunteers for helping make it all come together.

Thank you to House of Gord for the great demos. Thank you to for the fucking machine demos. Oh and if you liked the bondage rig, lighting and sound system, you really should contact Justin Rodda and have him do your next event.

And in the end, thank you to everyone who came.

Of an evening filled with memorable moments, I think the coolest one of all would have to be when Tambo finally arrived. After spending the day sweating the details and making sure everything was perfect, she dashed home to change. Arriving well after 10pm, she walked in dressed to kill. I met her at the door and we walked, arm and arm, down the long hall that leads to the Abbey. Turning the corner we were met by a throng of guests who all seemed to turn at once and stare in awe.

Yeah, I think we pulled off a good party.

It must have been sometime after 4 when we said goodbye to the last guests. Even exhausted and bleary eyed we were already talking about what we will add next year.

postscript: We still have that huge dreamcatcher/suspenion rig hanging in the shop. Interested parties should contact me with bribes of food and moral turpitude.

Friday, August 12, 2005

What have I been up to?

Well first off this has been the best birthday EVER! I don’t think I have ever laughed, cried, or felt as loved as I do right now. More on that later.

Here is a photo of a little something I have been working on for an upcoming event.

What is it? Two words, human chandelier.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

So today is my birthday.

That’s right, today I turn 35. While I’ll admit that there are a few more gray hairs in my beard than this time last year, life in general has never been better. I'm healthy, I'm surrounded by some of the best friends a guy could ask for, I have two of the most amazing lovers on earth, and I have a job that I love.

So that is why I want to give YOU a birthday present. Here is the deal, every order over $50 that comes in before 11:59 pm (pacific time) today (August 10th 2005) gets a cool birthday gift from me at no extra charge.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bad, bad Monk

I have way too much to finish this week and I’m really not getting most of it done. Blame the heat, but let me tell you when it is 95+ in the Abbey the last thing in the world you want to do is bring 50 gallons of water to a rolling boil.

Yep, time to work naked.

Of course there is an upside, of all the things going on this week several of them are really cool surprises that I can’t wait to share with you all. Till then patience, dear reader.

Now it did not help that yesterday, as soon as I walked into the shop, I grabbed Nerdy and drug her out for pancakes and a trip to the uber cool record store near the Abbey. If you are going to be hot and uncomfortable, might as well have good tunes to make the day move faster.

Here is what were jamming to yesterday:

White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan. Hearing “My Doorbell” on the way into the shop was the main motivator for the morning’s detour anyways.
They Might Be Giants, A Users Guide to. Nerdy’s pick. She knows all the words to the song about “James K Polk” but never heard of “Bird House In Your Soul”. Strange Girl.
The Pouges, Best of. Damn, there is nothing quite like angry, drunken Irish music to get you moving… or into a bar fight.
Garden State, Soundtrack. Another one from Nerdy, but I’m thinking I’m going to steal this one. I know a certain girl who might enjoy this come Thursday night.

Honorable mention:
NiN, With Teeth. This was the album we listened to on the road trip out to Shibaricon in Chicago. It has become out unofficial theme album.

OK, back to work. Stay tuned cool stuff awaits….

Monday, August 08, 2005

Poke, Poke

So last night I had the pleasure of sticking needles into the skin of my dearest Tambo.

While not the first time for me with needles, as you may recall I have been on the receiving end of them before, this was my very first time sticking them into someone. Let me tell you, both Tambo and I were nervous. This was something that we both agreed that we wanted to try, together. After hearing about the experiences from others, and me, Tambo was curious to try it for herself but only if it were at my hand. Dancer patiently and calmly helped my setup, showed me the process, put in the first needle to gauge her reaction and then helped steady my nervous hand when it came time for me to press the sharpen end against the pale skin of my dearest love.

Now there are two things here that just amaze me about being kinky.

First would be the fact that someone handed down his or her knowledge to me. While there are lots of reference books and information available for budding kinksters, the preferred method of learning is still hands on, mentor to student. This passing of knowledge is a huge part of the SM culture. Every time I teach someone a wrist tie, I’m reminded of who first taught it to me. One day, with lots of practice, I will help steady someone’s hand while they do their first play piercing and fondly remember the one who first taught me.

The second thing?

I cannot put into words really that moment when I, needle in gloved hand, looked down at my love and she smiled up at me. No smiled would be too mild a word, she beamed at me and when I asked her if she was ready she responded with a nervous giggle nodded her head. That moment of trust and connection took me back. We were teenagers again, in those nervous moments before we first made love. Unsure just what would happen next or how the other would respond, sacred, but we knew that we would do this for the very first time, together.

She was the first woman I ever made love to. She was the first woman I ever tied up, first woman I ever flogged, my first suspension, my first inverted suspension now my first needle victim. Who knows whom I may pierce in the future, but she will always be my first.

Friday, August 05, 2005

It's just too damn hot to write today.

It must be like 100 here in the Abbey today. I swear if it gets any hotter we will all start working naked.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Night Ride

It was near midnight when I pulled away from Dancer’s studio. I did not want to leave the comfort of her body so soon, but the pull of sleep was too great for both of us. Waving as I left her, I mounted my motorcycle and slid into the warm, dark night. Now most days when you ride a motorcycle in a major metropolitan city like Seattle you are spending all your attention trying to keep one step ahead of some idiot in a minivan who for whatever reason have decided that today they want to try and kill you. Thankfully that was not the case tonight. Tonight was one of those wonderful, and rare, nights when I owned the road. The day’s warmth still clung to the earth, but the cool night breeze blew past my face as I roared down the road. The world is a simple place at night no cars, no distractions, no deadlines, no death marches just the machine and me.

Normally I wear a full-face helmet, but on these rare nights I opt for my open face, police style helmet. The thick hide of my leathers keep my body warm, but my cheeks feel the night chill. Speeding along a deserted expressway, the yellow glare of the streetlamps dance across the polished nose of the sidecar and I feel… I feel uniquely alive. Separate from the world around me yet part of it all the same. I’m aware of every bump and twist in the road, with no car frame to surround me I can see and feel the night all around me. My hands and feet operate the machine instinctively. I don’t bother looking at the gauges; I can hear and feel the rhythm of the engine though my body, it tells me what I must do next.

The best part?

When the roads are not filled with other cars and the night is still, you can smell the whole world. The ride home is filled with the smells. Like a hound, I raise my head and inhale it all in. Warm fresh bread as I pass the bakery. Turn the corner and it is the unmistakable malty sweet smell of brewing beer from the nearby brewery and eventually and, as I near my home, the familiar salty brine of the ocean.

Once I turn off the main drag onto my quiet residential street I pull over and slip my helmet off. Cruising along slowly, I savor the night as it blows through my hair and sends chills down my spine. It may only be for a block, but for that short, sweet block I am the only soul on earth and the night, it belongs to me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Back in the game,

Site's back up, webstore's back up, even fixed a bug or two. (Thanks Tambo, you rule)

Damn August is going to be a great month... more on that later.

Monday, August 01, 2005 site down

The company where we host our site was hacked this weekend. All the data on our server was lost! Now the good news is that we never keep customer records on this server so all your orders/credit card numbers/e-mail addresses are safe and sound.

The bad news is that we now have to re-build the entire fucking site. Thankfully we have backups, now it is just a matter of plugging everything back in.

*sigh* is it just me or was July a total bitch of a month for you too?