When I was thinking about the topic for this week’s KOTW, I admit to resisting this one a bit. The fact that it had been requested by three different people made it an obvious choice, as did knowing the popularity of it in the kink scene, and after having posted a topic that was quite a bit more “fringe” the week before, well, I figured something a little less esoteric might be in order.
So why my own resistance to it?
I’ve talked about collars and their symbolism before. I wore an “everyday” collar during the time that The Ex and I were attempting full-time D/s, a simple, beaded choker that we’d purchased together at a mall store. Nothing expensive or especially ornate, just something that I could wear every day – but it made me happy and always aware of that bond between us when we were apart. We had also had a “play” collar, even when we were just doing bedroom BDSM. It was a special part of the ritual of going from our regular husb/wife, lovers, partners roles into D/s space. When he told me to go to the bedroom and “prepare myself,” or when we were getting ready to scene or go to a kink event, my play collar was part of those preparations. I loved the feel of his hands buckling it around my neck, the smell of the leather, the feel of it snug around my throat. I was never allowed to remove it, either, only he was, and sometimes he would allow or make me wear it all the way home from a play party, and even to sleep in it. Just reading about Anna Sky’s similar ritual when she and her husband are going to play made me ache for it and miss it all over again, just as acutely as I had after he and I split up. To me, being “collared” meant something very real and tangible, and signified something between us that was both intensely private and yet, also, something to wear with pride.
It’s hard to be a submissive that loves rituals to a Top who does not care much about them. I have even tried to create that ritual in small ways myself, making my own collar (my “chain”) and wearing it when I was with W. I guess I had hoped that he would see how much it meant to me and start telling me to wear it, but that never happened, so although I still wear it occasionally, it doesn’t have the power that a true collar would have. It just looks kind of cool. ;-) But the fact of the matter is, sometimes it makes me more depressed than not having one at all. So the topic of collars – in the context of a symbol and my own relationship – makes me a little sad, to be honest.
Sometimes I wish I could just let go of the desire for ritual and symbolism. W has helped to assuage those needs in small ways that feel natural to him, and they help and give me great pleasure, but I know that my own need for it sometimes makes him sad, too, because he can no more make himself feel the need for it than I can not feel it. So, we muddle through, each of us doing the best we can, and coming to a place somewhere in the middle of both our needs.
On the other hand (and on a less personal note) having someone put a collar on for play is always a turn on, symbolism (or lack there-of) aside. Quixotically, rather than the contented and almost prideful feelings that wearing a collar as a symbol of ownership evokes, a collar during play means the exact opposite. I can be yanked around by it, tied to the floor like a dog with it, chained to a post. It can be part of bondage, and very much plays into the “subjugated” headspace. It also means ownership, but in a much more visceral and objectifying way. I am chattel, I am an owned body, I am not my own while the collar is on. I also like the thrill of having it tight around my throat – like a corset it is perpetual breath play, restricting and confining me even if the Top has not laid a hand on me.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever wear a “real” collar again, and what that would mean. Until then, I suppose I will have to settle for those occasional playtimes when someone decides to use one in play. It’s not a bad compromise. ;-)