Author Michael Samadhi

Lifestyle dominant, sex blogger, sex educator, photographer, artist, pansexual, sapiosexual, polyamorist, pagan/Buddhist, former political activist, and community organizer. I tied up a girlfriend (consensually) the first time back in 1980, and it's been a hell of a ride ever since.

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It’s Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day.

If you’re not sure, or simply don’t know what that means, follow the (above) link to find out.

To do my part for the event, I’ll make a little announcement of my own.

I’m a Dominant/Master/Owner/Leatherman – take your pick among those titles, any will fit. Anyone who reads the blog even a little should have figured that out by now.

I am also pansexual. This you may not know about me.

The day is running out, so I’ll just leave it there for now…

National Coming Out Day is celebrated annually on October 11 to remember the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights. The goal of National Coming Out Day is to promote a world in which it is safe for LGBT people to be open and honest about their identities.

Jessica Stahl, Ph.D., guest contributor

Psychology Today

Playing at the Historic Hotel Julien Dubuque | Smutober Day 11

Smutober Day 11 – Hotel

BDSM in a Historic Hotel that was once co-owned by Al Capone

So Many Hotels

What’s better than a good BDSM scene at a fine hotel? Why of course a good BDSM scene at a fine historic hotel…

For some folks, a hotel’s historic status may not matter at all. For them, the primary criteria for lodging may be its value. They simply want the best bang for their buck (figuratively and literally.) Who can blame them? Money doesn’t grow on trees after all.

Others look for their choice of hotel based on location. That’s also something that really matters when traveling, whether for business or pleasure. It makes absolutely no sense to book a room far across town from the attractions you hope to visit, or the business meetings you must attend.

I also know folks who base their lodging preferences on amenities. They value neither cost, nor location, but instead prize all the different luxuries a fine hotel may offer. Perhaps they want a spa day at the hotel, fine dining attached to the facility, or just a quality business center and conference rooms.

I understand all of those perspectives. In fact, I’ve used most of the same criteria as appropriate. But when choosing a hotel for some BDSM fun, I look for something a little different.

Hotel BDSM

I’m a bit different from the crowd (like that’s a surprise for anyone who reads this blog!) Mom sometimes swore I was a contrarian, but I’ve always considered myself to be more of an eccentric than anything. I know I’m outside the norm, and I like it that way.

One of the first things I look for when I’m seeking lodgings is a hot-tub. If you’ve been reading along, that’s something I already discussed for Sinful Sunday back at the end of last month in a post called – Hot, wet, bubbles. When traveling, long days on the road tend to make a person, not only road weary, but also road sore. A good soak in a hot tub is the perfect prescription for shaking all those aches and pains right off.

I’d hope that the reasoning behind wanting a hot tub in my room for a personal play party is mostly self-evident. Hot tubs are great icebreakers, what better way to get a party started than with a quick strip ‘n’ dip? And, I can’t think of a better place to sit and watch another’s scene than from the hot tub, perhaps with a nice mixed drink or glass of wine.

Beyond that, I really look for atmosphere. Is it a room with a view? How will the room look in the pictures I inevitably want to take? Does the room provide reasonable privacy, so that an alarmed hotel staff doesn’t come crashing through my door because of another patron’s complaints?

And finally, there among the highest priorities, is it a historic hotel?

Elegant Accommodations. Exceptional Service.

Hotel Julien Dubuque is an elegant boutique hotel that marries modern amenities with historic charm in the heart of the Old Main District. Visit us for the ultimate in relaxation and sophistication.

Historic Hotel Julien Dubuque

I live in the MidWest of the United States, not necessarily an area known for its history. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, are we especially well known for quality hotels. We are farm country. The immigrants who populated our area are primarily Protestant Germanic and Scandinavian in heritage. For the most part, we are simple folk.

The City of Dubuque is a little bit older, with a different demographic than most of the state. Located on the Upper Mississippi River, it was one of the earliest cities in Iowa to be settled. It’s first permanent settler was Quebecois pioneer Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785. It was subsequently settled by poor Catholic Germans and Irish.

Dubuque has an interesting historic downtown that I enjoy exploring. It’s also the home to one of my favorite places to stay and play, the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque.

Hotel Julien Dubuque has the great atmosphere I desire. Local folklore states that mobster Al Capone used it, not only as a place of escape but was also one part-owner of the establishment. With that in mind, it’s not at all difficult to imagine yourself stepping into a scene from the roaring ’20’s in the beautifully restored main lobby.

Visit during the winter, and you’ll find the hot tub rooms on the east side of the hotel have exquisite lighting at sunrise. On a clear day, the glow from that light is absolutely awesome for photography.

The rooms are generously sized. And, there are enough luggage carts that managing to keep one in the room overnight, (for my favorite nefarious use as a rolling bondage platform,) happens without raising an eyebrow from staff. For a small play party with friends, it’s just perfect.

I’m told there’s a nice spa there too. I wouldn’t know. There’s never been time for anything but relaxing in the hot tub, photography, and hot BDSM play…

This old “Julien Hotel” survived a fire, hosted famous guests such as Abraham Lincoln, “Buffalo Bill,” Cody and Mark Twain, gained notoriety thanks to Al Capone…

Hotel Julien – Reviewed for Kinksters

Since this post is turning into a bit of a BDSM travelogue review, I should mention that the Hotel Julien Dubuque is not a 5-star hotel.

It’s probably more like 3 1/2 stars. By Midwestern standards it’s nice, but it’s not an absolutely top of the line sort of venue.

It’s located in a conservative town (even by normal bible-belt standards) of just over 50,000 souls, not exactly a normal vacation destination for the kinky crowd, even by Midwest standards.

The hotel’s service is nice, but not truly exceptional. Staff is friendly, but not as crisp and neat as might be found in larger cities at the nicer hotels.

Food is typical Midwestern fare for the most part. It’s not that I’m terribly adventurous in my culinary pursuits anyway, so it’s a decent fit for me. If I suggested a good steak, would it surprise you?

With its conservative bent and the town’s relative size, Dubuque is not exactly a hotbed of BDSM activity. While I know a good handful of dedicated kinksters from that area, it’s been hard for the region to sustain a solid BDSM group.

Historically, the Dubuque-Platteville-Galena D/s, M/s, & Power Exchange Discussion group has remained relatively small for a variety of reasons beyond population size. Many from the area prefer to play 90 miles away in the Quad Cities, where a pair of more sizeable groups currently exists.

None of the issues found in the local scene matter at all if you take your own party to the hotel. That’s what I’ve always done. And, it’s worked very well for me. I’ve never had an outrageously loud play party at the Hotel Julien Dubuque. But, the venue has hosted some fairly serious play.

My friend Alpha cut the clothes off of a bound Serafina’s there one night, we used a gag to make sure she didn’t scream. No one went out of our way to get loud and invite attention to ourselves. But, the scene did include spanking and flogging, and there were no calls or knocks on the door from staff or management.

The Hotel Julien Dubuque is perhaps a little pricey for what you get. I’ve only visited out of season on a weeknight. Call me a frugal dom, but, I also find that a less populated hotel is preferable for kinky fuckery. When I priced it for a 4th of July weekend romp, the peak holiday rate was beyond my somewhat limited means.

I’d rather have a $400 pair of matched floggers than a night’s stay in Dubuque.

The Hotel Julien became known as one of the finest hotels in the Midwest and hosted many grand banquets and famous guests. But of all the personages said to have stayed in the Hotel Julien, none has aroused more curiosity and speculation than the notorious Chicago gangster AI Capone. Local lore alleges that when things got “hot” in Chicago. Capone would travel with his entourage to Dubuque, hiding out in the Hotel Julien. He reportedly made use of a nearby underground garage to hide his cars and further conceal his presence in Dubuque. Some say he even owned the hotel at one point.

All the images in the post are from the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque. Models are Serafina and my friend Alpha, who’s doing his famous clothes cutoff scene.

A Naked Michael | Wicked Wednesday | Smutober

 

So You Want to See Michael Naked?

Well, for Smutober and Wicked Wednesday, here goes…

Naked – The Prompt

Today’s Smutober prompt is -naked-.

That should be an easy topic, right? For a man who literally has thousands of photos from the past few years on his hard drive, there has to be more than a few quality nudes, right?

Well, perhaps there are naked pictures of others. Not so much for me. The closest thing to a good nude of me was posted for a Sinful Sunday back in August – I was supposed to LOWER the towel?

Nearly all of the photos taken with my Nikon cameras are in action shots. I don’t do “posing”. I document scenes as they happen. While I enjoy watching a good scene, photographing one is even more fun. The pictures taken of me are the same, they are the result of my play, not of any posing or planning.

And, to be honest, I’m not partial to getting naked myself for scene play. Yes, I often have a submissive disrobe for me at the start of a scene, unless I’m planning to cut off her clothes. But my clothes usually stay on.

That’s at least partially a “power thing”. When a submissive is naked before me, and I remain clothed, it works to establish/reinforce the power exchange. I also tend to wear clothes that reinforce the power exchange. Dressing in all black, a suit and tie, in military fatigues, or perhaps in leathers, helps to establish an immediate command presence.

It’s also a “sex thing”. Just because I play with a submissive doesn’t mean I’ll also want/expect intercourse. In fact, that’s not likely to happen at all unless we are in a serious relationship. I’m complex that way. Without a serious relationship, I’m quite satisfied to keep my cock in my pants.

Real Naked

Being naked to me isn’t really about taking my clothes off. I’ve gotten naked in front of a group without hesitation. I’ve played in front of an audience so many times now it’s become a thrill. I put on a good show, clothes on or off.

But to me being naked has nothing to do with nudity. Feeling naked is when I bare my soul. When I talk about my inner fantasies, personal demons, ambitions, faults, and insecurities. Those are the things that make me feel naked.

I can cover my body with clothes and symbols of power. But, there’s no covering up that inner core of who you have been, and what you are now. I played football and other competitive sports back when I was in school, physical pain doesn’t daunt me too much. But, risking the emotional pain of having that inner core doubted or rejected, that can mean real pain.

That’s the part of myself I protect, my psyche. That’s the part of me I hold within a shell, not my body. Question my intent, my truthfulness, or my integrity, and it hurts beyond words. I know I’m human, an imperfect man, but when my faults are brought into the light, I will likely just want to recede into the shadows.

Naked Insecurities

Let me say up front that dominants are no different than any other human, we have our share of frailties and insecurities. I think some dominants hide their own insecurities behind a domineering mask. Perhaps I might go so far as to say that’s the mask many dominants wear.

That’s not at all who I am. I will win respect with my integrity and intelligence, my knowledge and skills. If we were graded in life like we were in schools, I’d like to think those are subjects where I’d get high marks. Hell, I know those are areas I’d ace…

Yet, I remain insecure. The smallest things, inconsequential things can throw me for a loop with no warning. Something like 90% – 95% of the time I’m just fine. Then I have “one of those days”.

And when I have those kinds of days, I feel even more deficient. After all, I don’t style myself as a dominant, I see myself as being on the path of Mastery. From myself, I expect more.

Naked Depression

Since I’m baring my soul, I cannot deny that I’m also fighting long-term depression.

It goes back quite a spell, at least 10 years. I am still capable of fun and of passion, the smiles in the images shown here on my blog are sincere and real.

For the most part though, I just don’t show or talk about the bad days.

My depression has worsened in the last few years, there’s been an increase in anxiety as well. Pursuing polyamory, in addition to living a D/s and/or M/s lifestyle, has made navigating the waters of life rather hazardous. I wish it were otherwise, but it’s certainly become true.

I left politics so I could be free to be myself, to live my lifestyle without fear or shame. I was tired of feeling like I was living in hiding. When my Mom passed away in 2011, I felt I’d truly be free to live without shame. (I was “out” to my Mother about BDSM, but she vocally disapproved of my lifestyle.)

Since then, however, my depression has worsened. It’s as bad as anytime outside of working my last year in politics – at the same time as my Mother’s health became precarious. It’s been tough.

They say depression hurts, and it’s literally true. My arthritis, the diabetic neuropathy in my lower legs, none of it hurts as much when I’m feeling better mentally. When I’m depressed, it feels like I’m facing a hill I could never climb, just to get out of my chair. Sometimes thinking even hurts.

Michael Naked

So, dear reader, there you have it. I stand naked before you. Not literally, but perhaps at the same time, far more naked than if I had shot a nude picture just for this post.

While I style myself as being on the road to Mastery, I have struggles just like most other folks. I have insecurities and my share of anxieties. My depression has worsened. All those years in politics took a toll on my physical health. I’m not always the man I want to be.

At the same time, I can also guarantee you that every day I work to learn and to grow. Despite my difficulties, I’d like to think I’m still on the correct path, it just gets a little faint sometimes…

Be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked!

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Saul Bass | Even if nobody cares…

Even if nobody cares… | A Saul Bass (1920-1996) quotation

I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares. Saul Bass

This quote serves a personal reminder.
I have to create for myself, to craft my words and images as art for their own sake.
Even if nobody cares…

Michael Samadhi, your humble narrator – at work on my first blog – circa 2007

A Recipe for Success? | Quotes for Smutober Day 8

Is There Some Kind of Recipe for Happiness, Success, Etc.?

Lots of other folks have asked the same questions…

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.

Carl Jung

Just knowing you don’t have the answers is a recipe for humility, openness, acceptance, forgiveness, and an eagerness to learn – and those are all good things.

Dick Van Dyke

There is no recipe to be a great teacher, that’s what is unique about them.

Robert Sternberg

Vengeance is the act of turning anger in on yourself. On the surface it may be directed at someone else, but it is a surefire recipe for arresting emotional recovery.

Jane Goldman

Trying to design the perfect plan is the perfect recipe for disappointment.

Patrick Lencioni

You can’t live someone else’s expectations in life. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Bear Grylls

You don’t run 26 miles at five minutes a mile on good looks and a secret recipe.

Frank Shorter

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