Thursday Guest Blog – Amanda Porter

amandaMy Journey

My journey is timey wimey wibbly wobbly and never how I expected it to be.  I first came down to Florida in 2010 I was in a failing DS relationship, had two cats and I knew something must be out there for me. I have been reading all the basic books that a newb should be reading, you know like “screw the roses give me the thorns” but it never did seem like I fit into that mold.  I continued to explore and go to my first party. I was amazed that things like this excited down here because it sure wasn’t available back up in Maine! So I played in the shallow end of the kiddy pool, light play, observing, and trying things with my partners.  But it never was enough for me. I wanted something more than just playing. I wanted structure but not a DS relationship.  I kept trying things but it never seemed the right fit.

I began connecting with people who would become my dearest friends at local munches, coffee times and events. I was coming out of shell. Still very much a wallflower but at least I had one or two people who would support the wall with me for a while.  Then I began taking small chances, going to bigger events, working on removing myself from the background of life. It was not always easy for me.  I began to have a healthy life, changing how I viewed food and slowly but surely lost 65 lbs. I struggled accepting my new body, accepting that others enjoyed my body no matter what size it was. It was all very new to me.  And then I took a chance on an event called Florida Power Exchange.  It was the first major event that I wanted to go to. It was for me the most expensive event I had gone to at the time and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to go.  I was nervous but I took the chance and volunteered that way I felt that I was contributing and the need for me prevented me from sleeking back and taking my position on the wall. FPE was fun and I wanted to go the following year!

From the first FPE to my second FPE (year 3) I met wonderful people who showed me the pleasures of rope, flogging and more. These things were fun and exciting to try but I still felt something was missing.  FPE came again and I wanted to volunteer again but this time I was moved from the back of the event to the front. I was helping with registration. I was so nervous! I didn’t want to let anyone through that shouldn’t be and I wanted to do everything perfectly.  I talk a lot about FPE because here in the fourth year, I really found the path I was looking for.  I slipped into a class about how to create a leather household and what that really meant. My partner was highly interested in this concept and I went along with to support where I can. It was not until the cigar social that I connected with Bootblacking. I was captivated as I watched the energy and service exchanged between those two. I had never seen anything like that before.  I knew then I wanted to learn.

Bootblacking gave me my voice, it allowed me to give back to a community that means so much to me. It allowed me to connect with individuals on a level I never dreamed I would have. I know I am talking in vague statements about how I feel because taking the emotions I feel about Bootblacking is really hard to put on paper.  During the last two years I have connected with my Leather Family, found passions and kinks that I was scared to do, and found myself. And to me that is the most important part of this Journey. Yes I took a chance and entered a contest, Yes I have taught some classes and Yes I have begun teaching others how to Bootblack but finding myself in the process  is a gift that I am so grateful of receiving.  I hope this was a helpful glimpse to start your own journey with and feel free to reach out to me through social media. I would be more than happy to sit down and talk more In-depth.


  1. Melissa

    Thank you ! It has been amazing to watch you blossom

  2. jade

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I think a lot of us are looking for something lacking and find it in this community. I’m shy too, quiet, and have a hard time expressing how i feel at times, unless it is in writing. i was really lucky when karida heard that i was interested in bootblacking but had heard that my visual problems would prevent me from learning. It became something really special to my Master and i. The enjoyment, connectedness, and sensuality in this form of service is really something special. i’m so glad you found your special area to shine! 😀

    i hope anyone interested gets to view “High Shine,” (i believe) a documentary on boot blacking and women.

  3. Julie Schneider

    Thank you for the coaching you’ve been giving karina. You’ve been methodical with your planning for her sessions, and you’ve shown time and time again how much you care about helping her to reach her goals and about her as a person. You’ve also taken time outside of her sessions to talk with me about ways I can help her and support her, which you didn’t have to do. You are a great value to us and to the community. Keep up the good work!

    1. Shannon Waites (Post author)

      Thank you Julie! <3


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