Wednesday, February 8

Contestants

Phoenix and lucky

Phoenix entered the BDSM and fetish lifestyle in 2016. Being newly single, he started venturing into online dating apps wherein a pattern emerged – the people he was interested in all shared one common denominator – they were all kinky and/or Alt-Life. With a head full of google-defined acronyms and definitions to words he had never heard before, he began his education by attending all munches and classes he could get his hands on. It was at the local dungeon parties where he was awestruck by the powerful truth and primal connection of the play scenes he would witness – so much so he would oftentimes have tears streaming down his face at the pure honesty and surrender. This was something he never realized he was lacking or even seeking in his life till he found the community. A level of purity, honesty and beauty through authenticity – a manifestation of one’s truest self represented and tangibly shared with another person. It hit him like a freight train.

Afterwards, he dove head first into learning and connecting with others as much as possible. Believing himself dominant but still not knowing what that truly meant, he developed a complex, centering on Imposter Syndrome when he saw how other Doms in the community carried themselves. He felt himself set apart from the ways their dominance was expressed, and he couldn’t seem to find his place in this new and exciting world. Thinking himself false, Phoenix lost his way in the community by forcing himself to be something he wasn’t. He couldn’t stop comparing himself to these pillars that he saw to be the perfect “Dom”.

His partner at the time was a well known demo-bottom for class instructors and community figureheads. In comparing himself to these knowledgeable people his self-confidence suffered; the complex grew larger and heavier. Self-intimidation and self-criticism held him back from his own metamorphosis until finally, in 2018, he was able to participate in his first fun scene.

Gone were the expectations he had manifested for himself of what should and shouldn’t be. He finally let it all go and cast aside the imposter’s skin – amazingly and ground-breakingly, he found himself just having fun. Up until this point, he felt he had to check off boxes he couldn’t even grasp on how to be a Dom or a Master or an “X-Y-Z”. He learned through this evolution that the only way to live and thrive is to do so authentically, for himself – for his own wants and needs. He was finally able to take off the iron mask of expectation he had placed upon himself.

In 2020 Phoenix met his slave, lucky. At the time, he didn’t identify as a Master but he felt that he had finally found his Safe Place in her. He now knows that the reason he never identified with the Doms in his community was because his Dominance was reserved for a private place – a secret garden – where his truest primal self could be seen and allowed to prowl free. He couldn’t exhibit this dominance in public because like his slave, he needed a safe harbor, an anchor. In lucky, Phoenix has found something that before remained chained up and caged deep inside – the willing Master and Owner, the Daddy and protector. So begins the next life cycle of the Phoenix, ascending from the ashes to unfurl his wings with his precious little tamed fox under his wing.

lucky’s exposure to alternative lifestyles began as a young child with both of her parents living non-monogamously and her father being a member of a MC that practiced Leather for philosophy as their lifestyle. From an early age, her concept of the word “Service” was engrained to mean community, chosen-family, discipline, integrity, education and advocating for oneself and others. When lucky began her journey into Kink she already had a notion of what it meant to care for and nurture someone with these established foundations.

Entering the scene with a background of unresolved trauma, she had a need to convince those around her of her quality. Be the best – always blamelessly perfect in all things. She felt she had to meet the expectations of perfection since she couldn’t trust that someone else would accept her for anything less, yet she craved connection and power exchange. For a time, she would fill this trust-void in a caretaker Mommy/lb dynamic. Although, she knew something was still building pressure and needing release; there was still something missing within her dynamic as the Top. Little did she know, she was trying to prove her quality to herself and not those around her. An anxious little fox chasing its own tail.

Her journey would drastically change course after completing the Austin Submissives Mentor Program (ASMP). As lucky would tell it, this program would fundamentally alter and color how she viewed herself, and those she submitted to. She would stop relentlessly demanding self-perfection at every turn and realize that her true value is determined by her own self-worth – not by external factors. Additionally, it would show her what a Safe Place could actually look like within submission – she would indeed need such a place before she could ever submit and surrender the way she needed to. Power exchange became something essential that she greatly desired. It would be this experience that opened her heart to the possibilities.

In 2020 lucky met her Master, Phoenix. At this time, she didn’t identify as a submissive or a slave at her core (outside of a playscene). After nearly a year together she felt that she had finally found her Safe Place in him. Before, Kink was something she publicly did – not something that she was. It was something she’d been chasing and been educating herself and others about. It wasn’t until she’d found her safe harbor, her true companion – a person she could truly trust who wouldn’t disappoint her as all others had that she was able to let go of perfection and just be. Just be a silly and carefree little with her Daddy. She could finally have fun being the primal and loving service-focused submissive she always knew she was. The little fox had finally found peace, and instead of chasing her own tail endlessly, she climbed upon a phoenix’s back.

a_mara and Tinker

As a bisexual woman of Leather and slave, eldest and only daughter, amara’s country up bringing has lead her to experience many different roles in her life. As a submissive lesbian princess pup, a first generation immigrant Asian city girl, eldest daughter, Tinker had struggled to find a place where she felt she fit. As Owner and pup, a_mara and Tinker make a pretty good match if they do say so themselves.

Complementing each other in many areas of their lives where they can, they strive to bring the best out of each other. The universe thought it best to pair them together for the next leg of their adventure, despite the fact they come from different backgrounds, experiences, generations and cultural history. Opposites attract.

After approximately six years of occasional speed bumps, growing pains, and a stint in a long distance relationship, they feel they have acquired enough knowledge to understand that they have not and will not know everything that there is to know about anything. But learning as much as there is to experience will be an interesting challenge. Also puppy is alfa. They have a heart of service. With the mentality of trying to strive in everything they do for the sake of each other, for their polycule and for their community. And lastly, that education is supremely important; whether it societal accepted academia or a more personal truth of the lifestyle.

a_mara earnestly started her journey in Leather and the kink community in the early 2000’s, serving as a volunteer then becoming a member of staff Sanctuary for Lifestyle Arts. She is a graduate of the Dallas Submissive Mentors Program in 2012, a member of National Leather Alliance-Dallas, a member of The STAFF (coffee house) at South Plains Leatherfest, and a volunteer at Beyond Vanilla on several different occasions. a_mara has taught classes in Texas and Oklahoma, and is currently a member of leadership of the DFW Fourth Friday Munch.

Tinker did briefly dip her toes into the proverbial creek in 2009 where she had first caught sight of the rare and beautiful creature called a_mara. Unbeknownst to the pup, she had caught a scent that would lead her down paths she did not understand she could traipse before. Though her journey did not actually start until early 2016, she is a graduated the Dallas Submissive Mentors Program in 2017. Tinker has been only in the Lifestyle for the last six years, but she threw herself headlong into volunteering at many Kink and Leather events such as Beyond Vanilla and South Plains Leatherfest, teaching classes on pup topics, participated in Pup contests, and is currently an essential member of the DFW Fourth Friday Munch. When not being of service, a_mara and Tinker enjoy working on bettering their leather craft, learning new information and working on honing those skills as well as cuddling as much as they can. Together they began exploring paths they had not considered, to their mutual growth and joy.

Under the mentorship of Ms Boots, a_mara was challenged to take her place in the Leather community, to mentor and help others in their journey; a challenge that Tinker has accepted as well. Over time, “Learn One – Teach One” has become their guiding words.

Trix and Sox

Trix (they/them) is a Gender Queer omnisexual that has been involved in the BDSM lifestyle for fifteen years. They lead and teach locally in their kink group called LOTUS and has created an annual BDSM/Leather conference called Vision which is the first of its kind in the area. Trix has taught at events such as Beyond Vanilla, Leather Bar Night, and LOTUS group. They have been a volunteer at PACE (pride event), Trans Advocates in Louisiana, and various other pride groups. There is a special place in their heart for educating the vanillas, LGBTQ advocacy, BIPOC inclusivity, and they are especially passionate about kink centric education. Trix is living with Fibrosing Mediastinitus which causes chronic fatigue. This limitation has led them to embrace the reality that anyone can be in a power exchange or kink relationship and that disability is not a limiting factor, but a challenge to be embraced

Sox (he/him) is a poly pansexual who has been in the community for around 4 years and has been collared to Trix for 3 years. He is a quiet submissive who is eager to help and loves to learn. His neurodiversity is a challenge that he has embraced and worked hard to learn how to serve his master well. In his service to Trix, he has had many volunteer opportunities with SPLF, Beyond Vanilla and Vision. With Vision, Sox serves as the Security Team Lead. He has, along with LOTUS group, raised money for Point of Pride, the Trevor Project and GLAAD. He favors the sensational side of play and his goal is to test everything he can. He has flourished since taking on his collar and has become an invaluable member of Trix’s home. In his everyday life, he does woodworking and is learning leatherwork from Trix