Saturday, September 22, 2012

Interview with Michael Tattersall, Part II (re-post)

Photo by Fernando Farfan, 2012

Well, Mr. Tattersall must have liked the look of my new blog, because he very kindly answered the remainder of the questions I sent him:

Ottawa is a very conservative city on the outside.  Is there a large fetish/kink community here that lies under the surface?

The size of the population that is into "exploring" sexual desire is probably 90%.  

Culturally, women in North America tend to be in denial/disgust regarding bodily functions, sensuality and sexual desire.  This we can blame on the puritanical and joy-killing aspects of religion in the North American experience.  I could teach a class on that, so let's just leave it at "We are doomed to suffer that vagaries of the fundamentalist, evangelical, protestant culture that seeps across the border, into the bedroom, and destroys lives."  The tension between wanting to explore, and the feelings of disgust and revulsion, is what created the porn industry as a massive sector of the economy.

Men, on the other hand, generally do not find their bodies repulsive.  Bodily functions are natural, normal, and part of living.  So is the body, in all shapes, sizes, conditions, colours, textures, scents and emotions.  

Photo by Fernando Farfan, 2012

Testosterone is the "sex hormone" and, since men tend to have higher levels of testosterone, we are more horny on average.  In Het circles, women drive sex, but men drive the porn industry.  In Gay circles, men drive sex, and the porn industry is an outgrowth of the repression of our sexuality, culturally.

Where am I going with this?  Just a short side-track.  I promise.  

In our society, governed strongly by the bastardisation of Joy, men who enjoy sex are demonised, and men who enjoy sex are relegated to looking for it in back alleys, street corners, and mall bathrooms.  And everywhere else they can find it.  Those who enjoy a healthy sex life and have nothing to hide, do not tend to haunt those places.  Men who need to hide their proclivities from society DO haunt those places... and deny it.  They also do not tend to have a lot of healthy sexual activity with their supposed "sanctioned by society" wives, girlfriends.  They and their not-so-sexually-satisfied-and-very-repressed wives and girlfriends drive the hatred and demonisation of men (and women) who enjoy a healthy sex life.  Look at that whole Rush/Republican nastiness.  They are either repulsed by the notion of body function and desire, or jealous of those who get to enjoy bodily function and desire.  The result is homophobia, transphobia, pornophobia, sexophobia, life-ophobia and more.  

They kill Joy.

Leather Kink, Leather Lifestyle and Leather Culture, and Leather my opinion we need to first define what each segment is, and there will be very little agreement on what anyone comes up with.  Kink spices up your sex life.  Fetish changes it.  Then you have Lifestyle, but not necessarily Community.  Community is a bond between individuals.

Now kink and fetish are used interchangeably.  Technically, a fetish is when you cannot have sex without partaking of the activity or using the object.  99% of the time I only reach orgasm when topping. Topping is my fetish according to the book.  Leather is something different, in that regard.  It hits my soul, deeper than sex.  Is that Lifestyle?  Kink is fun.  Kink is exciting.  Kink does not even have to be sexual, in essence, even though the scene may be sexual/sexualized.

It is a slippery slope to place all of these into a hierarchy of inclusion/exclusion in the community, or Community.

Photo by Fernando Farfan, 2012

As human beings, we tend toward the pigeonholing of people, defining ourselves through comparisons, seeking ways to show superiority, or "better than" compartmentalizing.  Those who tend to seek boxes to put people into are often those whose self-identity is weaker, or under revision, or their self-perception is not one of liking themselves.  This allows their egos to direct the things they do, to amass social standing.  Social standing is the hierarchy, or ladder, with certain people or groups of people "higher" or "lower" than others.  That is not Community.

Community is acceptance of self, of other, and working toward common goals - one of which is often acceptance by those "outside" the Community.

What is Technokink?  Is it just for fetishists?

Technokink was the "Theme" for the 19th Annual Mr. Leather Title competition event in Ottawa.  This year we are celebrating twenty years of the Title's history.

The Competition, and most like it,  is a Gay Men's Leather Community Title, but that is expanding.  In Ottawa, we now have Contestants who can be Gay or Str8, as long as they are willing to represent the interests of the Community.  "Gay/Gay-Friendly" is the term, if I remember the details correctly.  Any man may run.  

The Competition Event is open to the public.  All people are welcome to join us in our "Gay/Gay-Friendly" or "Gay-Positive" environment.  It is a celebration of what it means to be part of the Community.  You don't have to be in Leather, or into any fetish, or any kink; we hope you are accepting that others are, and we hope that you are accepting that others may be.  It is all about consent (even though the fantasy is often portrayed as a coerced scenario).

How do leather/fetish events here in Ottawa compare to similar events elsewhere?

Ottawa is lucky.  Through hard work, an extremely dedicated group of men and women have forged one of North America's strongest events.  MLO is Canada's largest-attended Leather Title Event, and possibly the third-largest-attended Title event in North America.  We are hoping to break the 700-attendees mark this year, for the Show.  We were well over 600 for the Competition last November.

Other events around North America tend to be smaller affairs, local bar groups and leather groups enjoying successes of one kind or another, or not.  Ottawa has a lot of competitions for a population this size.  We draw our "Community" from Quebec City to Windsor, Temiskaming to the other side of the Border.  Inside this, we are a small dedicated group of Community Active people.  Ottawa used to have Ms. Leather Ottawa, and still may again in the near future.  We have Mr. and Ms. National Capital Leather Pride.  We have Mr. Ottawa Bear (usually).  We have Mr. and Ms. Central Canada Olympus Leather (hopefully).  That is a pan-sexual Leather Title Event, that suffers what most of the Competitions do in North America (but that is a story for another question).  There are also the Drag Competitions in the Community.  There is a lot of cross-over involvement between Community and Community.  We support Community as a whole.  That is what makes Ottawa internationally renowned in Leather, unlike some other places.

There is a very hot photo of you on your Facebook profile where you are holding a serious looking flogger. Would you describe yourself as a leather daddy or a dom?

How I describe myself has little bearing on how others view me.  I am a man.  I am a Leatherman.  To some I am Daddy.  To some I am Sir.  To some I am an arrogant ass whose head is forever expanding outward, making it difficult to get through the doorway.  I am dominant in personality, and intimidating, and perfect fodder for fantasies of many kinds.  I am a Dom.  I do some professional work.  That leads some people to possibly label me a sex trade worker.  I am an educator in gender issues, gender identity issues, gender preference issues, kink issues, kink identity issues, kink preference issues, fetish issues, fetish identity issues, fetish preference issues.  I am me.  Others may label me as they see fit.  In a scene, I am Dominant unless I choose to submit.  Those are the rules.

Photo by Fernando Farfan, 2012

Do you play with men or with women?  Or both?

Yes.  <wink>  Play is inherently sexual, inherently erotic, inherently arousing in so many ways.  It does not mean it is sex.

What qualities do you look for in a play partner?

Integrity.  From that spout flows all else.

What are some of your favourite types of scenes?

My three favourites are 'the three "f"s' of flogging, fisting, and fucking.  Pretty much in that order.  Expand outward, and you get percussion play of all kinds, ass play of all kinds, and sex of all kinds.  Expand outward, and I guess I am a kinky bastard.  

Do you think that this type of kink is generally misunderstood by the general public?

Hello!  Why do you have this Blog?  <wink>  For my impressions of the general public,  Political Science 101 is a whole other class to take.

And, finally, would you mind being my go-to info source for a project of mine that is currently in the initial planning stages?  It will involve lots of dom/sub play between at least two men, possibly more :)

I am honoured to be asked.  Thank you.

Photo by Fernando Farfan, 2012


Since I wrote out these questions, I have completed the rough draft of my m/m/m bdsm novel and am currently heavily into revisions.  Mr. Tattersall has very generously assisted me with some questions I had concerning certain protocols.  His insight and experience has proven invaluable to this project.

~ Liz

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