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I'm on a mission…

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Dec 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

I’m a big believer in using mission statements to act as reminders of my guiding principles…so instead of new year’s resolutions for 2009, I’m doing a 2009 Expanded Mission Statement. Here’s mine:

My life revolves around a few certainties – work that I enjoy and believe adds value to the world at large, friends and partners that I love and trust, and service to the community at large in ways that bring people into a stronger, clearer understanding and love of themselves and each other. In order to have those things, I must invest my time judiciously on all of those areas of my life, not forgetting that investing time in my own internal work and my health & safety is the key to the fulfillment of my calling.

What does all that mean? It means that when I’m presented with an opportunity to do something, I will evaluate it against that statement – does it serve the world at large, or does it take away time that could be going towards that service? Will it allow me to maintain the relationships that I have with my friends and loved ones, or will it take time away from them? Will it prevent me from taking care of myself – whether that’s eating properly, getting adequate sleep, exercising, having my personal time, or even things like journaling and meditation that keep me centered? These are the areas of my life that are really important – and finding a balance between them all is absolutely integral to me walking my continuing path into the rest of my life.

I wish you all a joyful 2009, and I hope that, regardless of whether you set goals, make resolutions, or ignore the whole thing together, the coming year is one of positive growth and expanded love and joy for each and every one of you.

 
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First IMsL Fundraiser Scheduled!

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Dec 9, 2008 in Uncategorized

The following is the writeup for my first fundraiser, scheduled to be held at The Crucible in Washington, DC, on January 24th, 2009.

The 2009 International Ms Leather competition has a Washington DC local leatherwoman running for the title this year – Sarah Sloane, a regular presenter and attendee at both Black Rose and Crucible gatherings.  Sarah has been active in the BDSM / Leather communities for over ten years as a group member, mentor, volunteer, board member, educator, and activist; in 2008 she presented over 60 workshops to various groups and events around the country and overseas, and she also writes articles on sexuality and BDSM for various websites.  She hopes that as a representative of the women’s leather community, she can highlight the importance of a strong focus on education both individually and at events/organizations, and she would like to work towards promoting individual diversity within the community as the core means of community strength and growth.

In order to compete, Sarah needs our help.  There is no “travel fund” for people competing, so she is responsible for her own financial support.  She will be having a few fundraising activities at the club on BR Member’s Night, including a 50/50 raffle, bootblacks to take care of your leathers, and other fun ways to donate (and get a little something as a thank you!).  Please come out & support her, bring a few extra dollars to contribute to the cause, and have a fantastic night of social and play time!

Please let me know if you’d like to help, either with this fundraiser or any other fundraising for my title run.  You can email me directly at fortryll (at) gmail (dot) com, or leave a comment here!

 
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How to survive a kink event

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Dec 6, 2008 in Uncategorized

The new year is coming quickly, and for me, that means that I’m looking forward to all my favorite events in 2009.
From Chicago to Washington DC to NYC to San Francisco and beyond, there are at least three or four kink / sex positive events every weekend to choose from.  Running away from the “vanilla” world for a weekend to cavort and learn with a hotel full of kinky people is a delicious idea, but keep in mind that it’s not just a vacation – it’s an adventure in energy-, money-, and time-stretching that isn’t for the faint of heart!  Here are some of my own observations and rules that I use for event attending for your perusal; if you have more, I’d love to know about them, too, so I can wring even more enjoyment out of my weekends away!

1.  Acknowledge that you can’t do everything, and that you are under no obligation to make it to every class or special event you want to go to.  Give yourself permission to skip something – or a few somethings.

2.  Take time out for down time.  Afternoon or post-dinner naps are amazingly restorative, even if you just lay there watching the hotel TV like a zombie for an hour.  I personally recommend scheduling longer, and starting off with great sex prior to your nap, but your mileage may vary!

3.  Eat appropriate food.  Pop tarts and Cheez Doodles may not be the best options for breakfast and lunch, especially when you’re stressing your body out by staying away from home with 800 of your BFF’s and sleeping four hours a day while kissing everyone in the vicinity and trying to figure out whether that hot, sexy thang was just being nice or was really flirting with you and whether you should hit on them later at the party.

4.  Go away for a bit.  Whether it’s a movie on the TV in your hotel room, a walk through a nearby park, or soaking in a bath tub and reading a novel, some time where you’re awake and not immersed in kinky concepts can go a long way towards helping to not burn out.

5.  Take a sanity kit of toiletries & accessories.  Mine includes:

Earplugs to block external noises (like rowdy hotel hall wanderers, snoring roommates, and the construction across the street)

Health-supporting substances – zinc, multivitamins, vitamin c (bonus if it’s emergen-c packets), echinacea, arnica (for bruises), tylenol, tums, allergy meds, decongestants, sunblock (especially for events with large out-of-doors components).

Lube.  Even if you rarely need it.

Extra condoms.

A spare cell phone charger.

Extra hotel-sized bar of soap

Extra hotel-sized bottle of lotion

Business cards with at least your name & email address.  Give them out & skip the search for a pen in your pocket to write your info down on a scrap of paper which will accidentally end up in the trash, anyhow.

Teddy Bear (mine is named Stuart)

    6.  Remember to shower – not just for the joy of those around you, but for yours too.  An early shower can really help to enliven our senses & get us ready for the day, and a pre-play party shower makes sure we are nice and clean for all the potential play dates we hope to have!  Note – take it easy on the cologne / perfume / deodorant; there are a lot of people who are sensitive to scents, and your Eau de Domly Dom might actually end up losing you more dates than it gets you if it’s too strong!

    7.  Likewise, remember to wear a watch (especially at events where cell phones are verboten in the class / play space) and carry your schedule in your pocket.  That way, not only will you know where you want to be, you can help the less fortunate who always forget their schedules in their rooms (uh, that last part would be about me).

    8.  Help out if at all possible, especially if  you’re new to the event and/or don’t know many people.  Volunteering, even for only an hour or so, can give you an amazing opportunity to meet people that you might not otherwise meet, and you get not only the positive feeling of having helped out, you get known (even if only to a very few folks) as a cool person for doing so.

    9.  As soon as you get to the event venue (or even before, if possible), scope out the area for inexpensive food options.  A local deli might give you a far better quality meal than the hotel’s restaurant at 1/3 of the price (giving you even more money to use in the vending area, for instance); likewise, you may find that the continental breakfast downstairs from your room is the best deal for miles.  Finding out ahead of time means that you aren’t trying to make a decision at 8:30 AM when you’re exhausted and just want your coffee and bagel, dammit.

    10. Be a good citizen.  Don’t leave unmentionables or biohazard items sitting out where your roommates might step on them (ugh!); don’t ask for tons of extra towels from housecleaning and forget to leave a decent tip for their extra work; don’t be rude to the volunteers at the registration desk when a simple & polite request to speak to the staff person can get your issue settled quickly.  We may think nobody notices our behavior, but they do, and the worse it is, the more likely they are to talk about it.  I’d rather that folks talk about the hot scene I did last night, personally!

    11.  Remember – you’re there to enjoy yourself.  If you’re not having fun, if you’re not liking what you’re doing – politely bow out and just stop doing it.  Find something that pleases you, and do that instead.  An event weekend is too short to be doing things that we don’t want to do.  Follow your bliss…

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