Nov 242009
 

Jared shares his stories of BDSM pride with us, as a kinky bi, poly switch and father

This week’s interview is with Jared, a very kinky, younger, bisexual, poly switch.  So what exactly does all of that mean?  On the vocab side it means that he loves BDSM and other kinks, can be attracted to people regardless of what is in their undies, has lovingly committed and open relationships with more than one partner, and can enjoy being both dominant and submissive when it comes to BDSM.  On a more meaningful level, it means that Jared shrugs off many of the categorical rules and limits that come with sexual labels.  And did I mention that he is a big BDSM community building activist?  Read on to learn more.

Please tell us, what is your kink?

I am a Bisexual, polyamorous switch. My play and kinks really run the gamut and vary from sadistic to sensual.  I enjoy Breath play, cross dressing, medical play, breast play, flogging, cutting, spanking and more. I tend to go wherever the energy takes me.

How common do you think your kink is?

I think the kinks are common, but the ability to be free flowing with the energy and the comfort to release to my DOM or sub side in any given situation is unique. I love being a switch. It used to be that a “switch” was looked down upon and seen as indecisive.

Starting about five years ago with this new, young fetish generation coming to the broader community we are now seeing a predominance of bi poly switchs of all orientations. This new generation is more open and willing to fearlessly explore all aspects of their sexuality. That being said, we tend to see “switches” that have a natural state of being dominant or submissive. In my daily life it is natural and comfortable for me to be a Master

Does your kink, or people who participate in it, have any catchy titles?

There are no hard and fast rules for titles. They are really qualifiers to represent what energy is predominantly taking place in a relationship. While I am a bi poly switch, I am also a Master to my slave and a Daddy to my girl.  Some people who more identify with their energy day to day may call themselves Master, DOM, Slave, submissive, boy, girl, little, etc.

How did you become interested in kink?

It was something that I always felt but did not know how to express as an adolescent. As I grew into my late teens I started to become more aware of what BDSM was all about. This was the mid 1980s in Atlantic City, NJ, and the only outlet to explore was to pick up a porn magazine.

After a couple futile and failed attempts at expressing my kinks with women I was dating, and then my first wife, I stopped expressing this part of me. In the early 90’s I moved to the Washington DC area where I saw a Pro Dom for the first time. After a few sessions she said, “You don’t belong here” and took me to my first Black Rose meeting. From that point there was no turning back. I tried going into the community as a sub, which did not work for me, so I tried being a bottom.  I was later approached from the perspective of learning how to top and I enjoyed that immensely. That was it; I realized I was a switch and despite several failed attempts to choose to live in one energy or another, I eventually realized I did not have to choose. To me this made sense because in my high school years I had already come to terms with my bi-sexuality. I now live my life predominantly in my Mater energy with wonderful forays into my submissive energy.

How did you come to start your own business in this area?

In 2003 I was working with the local organizing committee of the leather leadership conference that was coming to New Orleans in 2004. This was my first exposure to the political and activist side of the leather community. After experiencing this and going to other conferences, I spoke and met with several people who believed that until we started developing ourselves economically and as a community we would not be able to make headway politically and socially. When looking at the current state of what financially drove our community it was clear that it was broken down into three aspects. Pro Domination, BDSM organization, and small toy makers. The larger toy manufactures and retailers were typically not owned by someone who is actually living in, and part of, the leather community. There are some notable exceptions to that, such as Mr. S leather in San Francisco, to name just one. Money being made by people in the community was, and is, being sent outside the community to get our clothes, toys, accessories etc… and the small craftspeople were relegated to their own local community.  Unless they had a website, and could drive traffic to it, they still could not make a living or even a significant second income from that source.

With the BDSM organization that money was, and is, being used to perpetuate its existence, to provide a play space, educational facilities and centers for the local community. While this is valuable it does not provide tools for individuals to support fetish entrepuneurs. This, once again, limits any economic development in the community as a whole.

Why is this important? The only way to effect change politically in this county is through numbers of people and money.  Because of this catch 22, numbers of people are hard because we have not come along socially.  Maintaining confidentiality and secrecy about participation in the lifestyle is still an issue and concern for most people. So, the easiest path to develop would be economics, starting to make money for the people in the community, for the community, and through the community. That money can then be filtered back in to organizations like the NCSF and Woodhaul Freedom Foundation who are doing the front line work politically and in the legal system on behalf of the community. This added money ads more resources, thus starting to create an economic base from which political change can start to happen. Once progress has been made, and we are starting to feel more socially secure, then the numbers can happen. We can then really start to enjoy political social and legal freedom.

Since I realized this I would soap box on this issue as often as I could, so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and in Jan of 2008 I decided to create Fetish Alive: a new concept in consignment stores. This store would sell only items made by people in the fetish community or business owned and operated by people in the fetish community. This would give people around the country a physical outlet to get their products into people’s hands. Our consignors set their prices so that they can feel that they are making what their work is worth. We also offer education programs, and play parties as well as rental space for meetings and private parties. We do not have any membership fees and we do not charge a flat rate for our parties or class, we use a donation bucket and people contribute what they can afford. We believe strongly that money while being the fuel that drives the political change should not be a barrier between education and the community experience. While this has made things somewhat difficult in terms of keeping the doors open and may seem counterintuitive to economic development we have actually added new and active people to the community, which helps change the numbers in terms of the social movement. [Dr.Ruthie’s note: unfortunately Fetish Alive is no longer open]

We do not advertise in local media, our entire advertising budget is spent sponsoring local fetish events. This takes money from the members of the community but its goes right back in to the community. We do struggle month to month but since we have opened in Aug of 2008 we have been able to keep the store open, supporting any event organizers that have approached us as well as local fetish entrepunures.

This leads us to faze two of Fetish Alive. After talking to friends around the country and seeing things here in phoenix, it is clear members of the community are being lost to the Internet or lost altogether. While the current BDSM organizational structure has provided an amazing base that has helped the community social and political standing to this point it has also chased many people to the internet or out of the community altogether due to the internal political nonsense which people in general do not appreciate and will not deal with. We decided to bring the best of the BDSM organization, the community, education play experience to where people are, the Internet, without the negative trappings of a traditional BDSM organization. On June 27th In Second Life, a virtual reality platform, we have opened up a virtual version of Fetish Alive. We are breaking down the physical boarders of the community to broaden its base to a worldwide fetish population.

Some of what we are offering in Second Life on the Fetish Alive Island are:

-Fetish Classes from international presenters on various topics. Classes simulcast from Real Life to Second Life and visa versa

-Play Parties simulcast Real Life to Second Life and visa versa

-Over 20 specialty Fetish rooms for your pleasure

-A safe convenient place to experiment

-A place to interact with the local and international fetish community

-24/7 concierge service

-A free starter kit to make sure you have things you need

-A street exclusively devoted to kinky shopping for RL an in world products. *Members of Fetish Alive receive a 10% discount at select stores.

-Exclusive space for your local BDSM/Fetish organizations to join in and connect

-As Real Life Fetish Alive expands, our Second Life will mirror the new changes.

-Coming soon is a kink friendly coffee shop and live music, as well as library and media center.

– We will be broadcasting and are creating several fetish based radio shows and video productions

-A portion of all proceeds will go to several selected alternative lifestyle organizations and charities.

This gives us the opportunity to have numbers and economics at the same time. While there are other small fetish areas in Second Life there is nothing of this scope available anywhere. We believe that we can form a large membership base and by charging a nominal monthly membership fee be able to raise significant capital to not only support our business but to help develop new business and provide greater support to out existing fetish political and legal organizations. We also have an area where BDSM organizations can build replicas of their clubs host their own parties and meet perspective visitors and new members.

What are your favorite parts of your job?

Not to sound corny but I love the smile on someone’s face when they pick up a toy try it and love it. I love that my store is filled with things that make people happy. Our parties are edgy yet casual and fun.  Additionally the thought process and creativity of the work that goes into trying something new and that we feel is important is a beautiful thing.

What are somethings you really wish more people knew about your kinks?

That it is natural, fun, exciting, and allows me a deep level of connectivity, no matter where I go or whom I am with.

How do you incorporate your kinks into your sexual experiences?

My kink is a part of every relationship and every sexual encounter. The energy and power exchange is the key component in all my relationship. I would not go into a relationship without the ability to have those exchanges.

Is there anything you have to be particularly careful about with this kink? If so, how do you handle it?

Yes, on the emotional level is where most of the dangers are. Having a partner willing and open to allowing the bisexual, polygamous, and switch activities’ energy to be fulfilled is very hard to find and maintain. It takes a tremendous amount of trust and personal security to be in a relationship were aspects of it may not be able to be filled by that primary person. The dangers are in getting through the emotional mind fields as partners and that going bad or the relationship ending.

These energys and sharing them makes the relationship naturally very intense and connective. The dangers lay in whether the relationship goes bad and that there is a larger emotional reaction because of the intensity of the dynamic.

Socially people lose their jobs, families, friends and reputations. There are still many cases where during a divorce, when one spouse was found to be a member of the fetish community, where that individual has not kept custody of their children.

While living out in the community I had a school counselor where my 7-year-old son is in school threatened to call CPS because of the type of business that I own. This did not happen, but this is the cloud that we live under.

How do people react when you share your kink with them, if anyone knows?

I do not hide who I am or what I do, but I also do not make general proclamations to people I come in contact with. I have not had a specific discussion with my parents as to my lifestyle, but I know they have visited my website and that my father has googled my name. My activities are known to them. Prior to opening the store, I was working as a medical assistant for a very conservative doctors’ group. I have never discussed my activities with them. When I would take time off to go present at a BDSM event I would tell them I was going to a conference. I left that office to open the store,; the staff knew the name of my store and have all visited the website, and despite that a couple of months ago I was asked to come back part-time while another medical assistant was on maternity leave. They still do ask me about my activities, and I do not volunteer information, which creates a happy work environment. But if asked a direct question I would answer them honestly about who I am and what I do.

How do you go about finding partners that share your interest?

I have found most of my partners through BDSM organizations and their activities such as munches, coffees and play parties. Now I don’t search so much as I simply remain open to connecting with people that come along.

Can you recommend any resources for people who want to learn more or might even share your kink?

There are no books on Switching yet but my girl, Angel, and I are in the process of writing one.  The best books on the core of what we do are The Topping book and The Bottoming books by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton available at www.greenerypress.com. There are many books on kink and fetish you can find at any bookstore. As online resources go, there are not many reliable ones. Fetlife is a newer and good social site where one can gain information from others experiences.

Anything else you would like to add?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 18 plus years in this community. I am a better person for having come to this lifestyle. I am fortunate to be someone who gets to not only be my kink and live it every day. It has given me the opportunity to create a business and a life for myself and be able to use that to help others grow and do the same.

In every defense in every attack on what we do and who we are in our kinky lifestyle it never fails they bring up the children. They want to protect the children. Well so do I! I have a 7 year old son and I have no idea what he is going to grow up to be, but what I do know is that he is a white male and there is not much disadvantage to that. What I do know is that his mother and him identify as Christians, which there is no disadvantage to that. If my son grows up gay, that community has done amazing work bringing themselves along social, politically and legally, not much disadvantage to that either. But if genetics means anything, and I believe it does, there is a good chance my son is going to grow up kinky.  If he does, I want there to be no disadvantage to that.

I am a better person for having embraced my sexuality and kinks. It takes a ceaseless, fearless inward search and inventory of one’s self to move past the social conditioning we in the Western world are exposed to and live as we choose to experience the world, its people and our own lives.

Jared, thank you for sharing your passions with us, political, kinky, and familial.  I look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood and at area events!

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