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I have been corresponding with a DOMAI member. Of course I am corresponding with lots and lots of those, but Mike M here made some observations that I found illuminating in understanding DOMAI and its relationship to the culture around us.

(Note: Mike's letters are exceedingly complimentary, but if that was the important thing here, I'd just stick them in a Testimonial box on the side and be done with it. so please follow the logic as we go through it.)

First, Mike wrote:

There are thousands, perhaps millions, of us who have waited for most of our lives for what you have started. Raised on Playboy, yet knowing there was more to life than makeup, mansions and stuffed hens. (That's too harsh on Hefner. No question, he did a whole lot to make female nudity acceptable -- then, it seems to me, he lost it somewhere? Where?) ...Seeing early on the difference between some of the models of Playboy and Penthouse and the rest of them, the most naturally beautiful ones; seeing Perfect 10 and knowing it has it "almost" right, but with (what?) something missing; being members of Mystique, then watching them go the stuffed route; and then, finally, at long, long last finding DOMAI.

I, we, just love what you have done, and are doing. And cannot possibly express it better than you do. It's about Beauty and how Women are in so many ways it's ultimate expression. But, for sure, REAL women are Beauty's greatest mystery and it's most profound satisfaction. Ahhh... DOMAI.. and your offspring... and let's not forget your predecessors in in all recorded time and in all cultures.

We really do owe you. And, I predict, you will in centuries coming, be remembered [I'm not kidding], among that short list, but long line, of artists who understood. When they'll be saying, "Bob? Larry? who the hell where they?"

Now I said to Mike: "Actually, if you think you could articulate more what is the difference between DOMAI and Mystique or Playboy, I'd be very interested in getting and publishing it, because the difference is not that damn obvious to most people, and sometimes not even to me."

Mike and I did not get too dang far trying to define what DOMAI has that the other guys don't, because that led into such things as "what is beauty?", and those are very, very metaphysical discussions indeed.

So I thanked Mike for his ruminations, and then suggested that perhaps it would be easier to discuss what the others have that DOMAI don't. To my joy, Mike took the bait and hit jackpot. (This is mix-a-metaphor week, if you didn't know.) To wit:

That's a question I can't pass up. And, like I said I'm a Mystique lifetime member, and have bought my share of Playboy's, including Newsstand Specials and videos, belonged to the site at one time. And I don't regret it, and no sour grapes here. It's just that it's about time you arrived!

But, actually, this answer is on the one hand easier to explain. What does a dose of Appalachian Mountain Moonshine have that a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet v.1978 doesn't? Easy: a stronger jolt of alcohol. And if we're into jolting, go for the moonshine.

Make a slide show of any DOMAI series, and then make one of pictures from Playboy or Penthouse or Mystique. Then make a sticky note saying "sex", and one saying "Life", and ask yourself to which slide show you want to apply which sticky note...

Moonshine is a fix, and so would the Cabernet be if you guzzled a couple bottles quickly. But Cabernet is, ahh... DOMAI.

Does the teenager go for the Cabernet? No, of course not. He ain't got it figured out yet.

But if our teenager is a very lucky fellow, he'll find someone who introduces him to the glorious intricacies of fine wine and great music. Then, he'll never, ever go back. That's what DOMAI does that Mystique and Playboy don't.

Will the Cabernet ever outsell the moonshine, or bathtub gin, or Colt 45? Alas, no. Will the Cabernet endure for centuries after some new Jolt chemical has come along? Yes. Playboy is almost dead now, and Mystique is committing suicide.

I sure don't mean to lecture you, Master. You have said, and I hope it is true, that you are making a comfortable living with DOMAI. Be well, my friend, and know that you are serving Beauty, and Wisdom and, yes, Love of Life. Not many of us can make a living doing that.

Please, just continue to astonish us with, like hearing a musical masterpiece for the first time, finding these wonderful women and fabulous photographers to remind us what life is all about.

OK, I'm deruminated for tonight.

- Mike M.

There you have it. I wouldn't have come up with that myself, if for no other reason that I don't drink (I don't like the taste (nor the effect)). But I think it is an apt analogy. I guess the whole thing is about subtlety. Refinement. You can put a hint of wine or alcohol in a sauce to enhance it. But if you drown the sauce in alcohol, you are no longer dining, you are boozing. And that is an entirely different pursuit.

Eolake Stobblehouse

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