This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Ask Michael Anything

Life’s interesting, no doubt about that.  I had a fascinating conversation the other night about the local BDSM scene and “leadership”.  Apparently some consider me a leader despite the fact that I’ve resisted every attempt that’s been made to recruit me to run for the board of local BDSM groups.

Really?

Seriously?

Fuck!

I’m not really one for seeking the spotlight.  I’m not big on committees either.  And,to be honest,  the only true leadership style I know is simply leading by example.

Maybe it’s because I don’t seek the spotlight.  I’m not a strutting peacock looking for attention.  Nor am I looking to execute 6 scenes in two nights with five different ladies at some event.  I’m interested in quality over quantity, and I hope that shows.

I’m told all the time that people look at what Serafina and I share, the way we behave and act towards each other, and they want something similar for themselves.  I’m also aware that few people are as prolific at posting their own photos at FetLife.

From my viewpoint then, my so called “leadership” is simply a result of having a solid relationship with my slave, as well as my prolific photo postings.  Being a sex blogger doesn’t hurt either I suppose.  Like my writing, or not, it’s certainly out there for folks to see.  So I’m visible, I’m out there, I have solid relationships, for those reasons I’m taken for a community leader.

Being a very visible personality in the local community, a so called “leader”, means that I get a lot of different requests and questions.

To be very honesty, it’s probably true that Serafina gets even more communication than I do, but her’s tend to be more personal in nature.  For whatever reason, I think it’s because she comports herself with quiet dignity, there are more than a few submissives who’ve had Serafina as their first friend in the lifestyle.

Some of the questions I get are pretty routine, things like asking how to find others in the area into BDSM, what events are the best to attend, how to learn to be a dominant, etc.  Some are a little more interesting.

I’d like to share the more interesting questions I receive, as well as my responses.  I’d like to share them for posterity, as well as to act as a potential resource for people who may have similar questions themselves.

Ask Michael Anything – Questions from the Community

I do need some advice and am running into dead ends. Due partially to stress and long term ankle trauma I believe have caused me to have a slight shingle outbreak. It was caught early and I am on a high dose of oral medication. My question if you can help me at all is when your one is under the weather should they play lightly or if at all? I have a scene with a reputable guy from dsm planned for mim[ 2. Mischief in May] and needing to know if I am going to have to back out. I only have a small patch on my stomach. My research says that it can vary in duration and the dr says its mostyly only contagious if the sores are touched. Any help or places you can direct to me I would be so grateful to you.

michael-samadhi-003To be honest, it’s a wait and see proposition in my opinion.

If the shingles outbreak is gone, you are good to play.

But, if you still have an active outbreak of shingles, I would think that playing wouldn’t be a great idea.

The other alternative is to keep the area covered at all times in the dungeon, were you to play.

Transmission of the shingles virus is generally through touch, but, BDSM activities often happen in dungeons where lots of people are in close proximity. And “touch” is a relative thing in BDSM, a flogger touching the skin there, when whipped around, could spread contagious material far and wide.

And here’s a bit more food for thought . . .

The people you are most dangerous to if contagious are people with a compromised immune system. I can guarantee you that there will be people attending the event who have HIV / AIDS.

While a case of the shingles erupting for you or I isn’t the end of the world, a nuisance mostly, a person with AIDS who has never had the chicken pox could get very very sick from being exposed to shingles.

Generally, I look to the CDC for basic info on contagious disease.  Here’s what that site says about transmission . . .

Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, the virus that causes shingles, the varicella zoster virus, can be spread from a person with active shingles to another person who has never had chickenpox. In such cases, the person exposed to the virus might develop chickenpox, but they would not develop shingles.
The virus is spread through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters caused by shingles.
A person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. A person is not infectious before the blisters appear. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious.
Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox and the risk of a person with shingles spreading the virus is low if the rash is covered.

If you have shingles:
Keep the rash covered.
Avoid touching or scratching the rash.
Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of varicella zoster virus.

Until your rash has developed crusts, avoid contact with:
pregnant women who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine;
premature or low birth weight infants; and
people with weakened immune systems, such as people receiving immunosuppressive medications or undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, and people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

While not totally comprehensive, I think that pretty well covers the question about shingles and play parties.

If you would like to ask Michael (or Serafina) just about anything, submit your question using the contact form provided on the site’s navigation bar.

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