Sunday, March 20, 2016

Collaring

Good morning, readers! It's warming up here and spring is coming, which leaves me hopeful and grateful. I love the new beginning spring has to offer, longer days, and warmer weather, and all the possibilities that lie ahead. 

Also, many thanks to those of you have supported me in my writing endeavors. Things are going so well, and I have to say that writing these books and sharing them with all of you is a dream come true. So, thank you.

Today I'd like to discuss a topic that I've intentionally avoided discussing in detail for some time: collars.

Why have I avoided this discussion? My blog tends to draw a lot of DD-based readers and collaring is a controversial subject among the DD-crew.

Now, why do I distinguish between DD-based and D/s based? For our purposes here, I make the distinction because those who have a DD flavor in their dynamic tend to favor a rules-based rather than roles-based dynamic. So, yes, the submissive partner may earn a spanking for speeding, but kneeling, or collaring, or submissive exercises for the purpose of increasing submission do not appeal. 

Now, in no way do I want to promote the belief that there are very distinct differences between DD and D/s. I don't believe there are. I think that many who are drawn to a rules-based (or DD) dynamic find that many aspects of D/s appeal to them, and it's not at all uncommon for a couple who begins to incorporate DD into their relationship to realize that they do very much enjoy a bit more than having rules and one partner in authority over the other. Those who incorporate boot camp, for example, may find that they are really looking for more than rules or distinct roles of authority. If boot camp appeals to a DD-couple, it could very well be because they find they want to explore a bit more.

Over the years, as I've made casual reference to my collar, I have to confess I've not received one single negative comment or e-mail, as I anticipated I would. In fact, it's been quite the opposite. Many of you have written to me asking about my collar – what it looks like, where I got it, why I wear it, what it signifies, and how you can get something similar yourself. So I think it's time I address this topic in a way that will reach a broader audience. If you are one that has a strong belief against collaring, you're certainly welcome to share your opinion in the comment section. I only ask, as always, that you be respectful to both me and Jason, and my readers.

So today I'm going to explore this topic first by explaining what I've observed regarding how people feel about collars and why. Then I will share our story, and for those who are interested, I'll share some advice on how to find something that may fit your needs.

When we were beginning, I socialized with quite a few DD-couples, and there were vehement comments made against collaring. I've read comments made by some couples referencing collaring as “degrading, demeaning, and disgusting.” At the time, I wasn't even collared, but found the very strong comments against collaring somewhat shocking. So, I did a bit of probing, as I was quite drawn to the idea of Jason collaring me. And I discovered that there were several basic reasons that people were so strongly against collaring.

First, they viewed a collar something akin to ownership, and stated things like, “I am a free human being and not owned by my husband. It's repulsive to think of myself as a possession.”

Some said that collaring was reserved for animals, and degrading for a human being, because “we are not animals and should not be treated as such.”

Now, I actually don't disagree with either of those opinions. I do believe that they don't apply to collaring in the traditional D/s sense of the word, though.

Certainly we are free human beings. Freedom and consensuality should be at the very base of any healthy D/s dynamic. That said, those of us who are drawn to submission...most especially those who are drawn to deep submission...actually find that relinquishing control brings us freedom. I certainly believe this. If you're a regular reader here, you know that I've relinquished control to Jason in pretty much every area of my life and I love it. I do this freely, unreservedly, not without conscious thought, but after much contemplation and discussion. I trust Jason with my life, and I trust him to guide me in the ways he finds best. We're talking about a man who cares for my wellbeing above his own, who knows every inch of me, from my deepest fears to my my precious hopes and dreams, who knows my weaknesses and strengths, and applies leadership and structure to my life with the express intent of helping me overcome my weaknesses and cultivate my strengths. We firmly believe that when we took our marital vows we united. “And the two shall become one.”

So why would placing a physical symbol of my obedience to him around my neck detract from my freedom? Simply put, it doesn't.

When I say that I belong to him, I don't mean he owns me in the sense of a master owning a slave – and I'm referring to the traditional master and slave terms, not the nuanced differences within D/s. I am not his property. I am a free human being. Jason and I both believe that consensual D/s should honor the human dignity of both partners. When I say I belong to him...when I say “I am his,” I simply mean I am his most precious girl. When I rest in the knowledge that I am his, it's an acceptance of the knowledge that he is my caretaker, my protector, my dragon slayer, and I his “little one.”


Now, the comparison to a collared submissive to an animal is simply false logic, known in philosophical terms as a logical fallacy. A logical fallacy is a flawed argument often perpetuated by arguments that begin, “Because A is so, B necessarily follows.” For example, “Dogs eat out of a bowl. I eat out of a bowl. Therefore, I am a dog.” I once saw a marketing fallacy: “Refined sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet.” The implied conclusion there is, “Therefore, refined sugar is an essential component of a healthy diet.” This is a flawed argument.

Simply partaking in an act typically associated with animals does not therefore make me equal to the animal. Such comparisons are based on faulty logic. Why are animals collared? It's typically for safety reasons. If an animal gets lost, they can be identified with their collar. They're also used so the owner can affix a leash for safety purposes. Jason does not have my name and address on my collar in case I get lost; nor does he snap a leash on me when we go for a walk (yes, people do use leashes with collars in certain kinky settings, but...well, to each his own.)

Why, then, do I wear a collar? Recently, I was asked this question, in reference to how my collar compares to my wedding band. My simple answer was, “My wedding band signifies my commitment to him. My collar signifies my obedience to him.” And there's really not a hell of a lot more to it than that.

When I first learned of collars, I was immediately drawn to the concept. I wanted that special physical reminder of being Jason's. I wanted the reminder of my obedience to him. But his initial reaction was an adamant, “No.” I don't really remember now why he was against them, but I suspect it had something to do with the reasons I listed above. In any event, how Jason came around as sort of interesting. I was chatting with a friend of mine who is a submissive and I explained to her that he didn't want to collar me. She was collared. At the time, she would occasionally chat with him. (I'm not in touch with her anymore...C and S if you are reading this, I miss you dearly!). I have no idea what she said to him, but I do know that as we discussed the idea, Jason's feelings against collaring began to change. I didn't bring it up much. But after a few months, he said he wanted to get one for me.

I was ecstatic. We began to research. I didn't want one that was an obvious collar, but wanted one that was discreet. And I found exactly what I was looking at, a custom-made locking collar from Danielle atSkyewire designs on Etsy.  Mine is the sterling silver day collar, and the lock is permanent. In April, it will be two years since Jason collared me, and this collar still looks like new. In two years, I have never removed it. It came with a polishing cloth and a few replacement latches but I rarely need to polish it, and have never had to use the latch (even when traveling. We were worried about TSA on a recent flight but the collar was not an issue at all). Because it's locking, and a potential danger in a medical emergency, I keep a very small pair of wire cutters in my handbag. It sounds serious, but...well, it is.

It is my opinion that collaring should not be taken lightly. A collar is not an accessory but a very real symbol of very real devotion. Things changed when Jason collared me. It was a fairly long process, as the locking mechanism took a while to get just right, and I knelt in front of him when he did it. When he was done...the look in his eyes was one I will never forget. He was dead serious. A friend asked me later what he looked like after he collared me and I told her, “He looked at me as if he were starving and he wanted to devour me.” The description I explained above...how I'm his very special girl? The moment that collar was secured and he looked in my eyes, I knew it. Knew down to the tips of my toes, deep down in my bones I knew that this man would lay down his life for me if necessary. That there is no one he is more devoted to, and that my obedience to him is not a joke or a game, but of paramount importance. I knew then, and every day since the day that he collared me, that every single part of who I am matters to him. It is why I answer to him in every way, why he leads me daily and instructs my every movement. It's because I am his, and his alone.

So many submissives have written to me desiring a physical manifestation of their Dominant's devotion to them. A collar is not for everyone, and it's not the only physical reminder of obedience or devotion. For a while, I simply had a charm on my bracelet Jason had given me, and he would insist on snapping my bracelet on every day. Some have anklets or rings, tattoes or bracelets.

I hope those of you interested in this have found my sharing here helpful. Please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Again, I ask that if anyone wishes to express a contrary opinion to what I've expressed here, that they do so respectfully.

15 comments:

  1. I don't wear a collar but I certainly do not judge those who do. I think of it as just another submissive exercise that works for some people but not for others.

    You mentioned kneeling. I get naked and kneel before my husband almost every day. While on my knees, I often give him a blow job as an act of submission. Some people might judge my submissive exercise as "degrading" but it really works for me.

    P.S. I love how you call Jason your dragon slayer. I might have to steal that one ;)

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    1. I completely agree that submission exercises have their place, and I am very familiar with the ones you've mentioned. ;) But yes, each couple needs to find what works for them. I think in a consensual relationship built on mutual respect, there is no place for anything "degrading," and we should always be slow to judge.

      And I love that you like "dragon slayer." Steal away! hahaha

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  2. Jgirl, another enlightened post. I just gained a whole education about D/s and DD, the controversial nature of collaring in the public arena, and the compelling nature collaring offers many of us. Thank you so much for giving me this helpful information.

    Thank you for sharing with us the progression of acceptance and timing for when collaring worked for your relationship. You speak profoundly to the interplay between desire for this kind of relationship, the symbols that allow us to live holistically in this, and the ability to live out our commitments such as obedience in day to day ways. Like most of your posts, I will need to re-read this one in order to absorb all that you have offered us here. Thank you.

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    1. Jo, as always, I'm thankful for your praise and your kind words and encouragement. I'm so glad you found my exploration of this topic beneficial and I always enjoy hearing from you!

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  3. Great post. I think it is lovely.I suppose I think of my wedding ring as my everything to him. I love wearing bracelets and hubby often buys me new ones and each one is a symbol to us. I think most couples have something, even if it is not so "out" as a locked collar.
    love Jan, xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Jan. I was afraid I'd get a lot more flack than I have (just had to delete one comment) so I really appreciate the support. I do agree that many couples have something symbolic like this, and for many the wedding band is the most symbolic! I do love my wedding band as well, for similar reasons.

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  4. Having been introduced to spanking the fairer sex before it became known as domestic discipline, I suspect BDSM-like components in traditional relationships are largely a protest to the feminist-inspired anti-spanking movement.

    Also, much like good-girls with tattoos, these accoutrements and rituals seem to be largely a generational fad that, most likely, will fade as spanking once again becomes more acceptable.

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    1. Perhaps, but whether or not collaring is a "fad" doesn't detract from the very real meaning for some of us.

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    2. Although short-lived when compared to trends, fads are not necessarily bad. These symbolic gestures define a generation. As such, they are one of the glues that holds a society together.

      Quite likely collars are a fashion statement signaling a reversal in the interaction of men and women.

      Before the 1960s, one could tell what was going on in a couple's life by how they moved on the dance floor. More sensitive eyes might even discern which teenage couple was having sex by how intimately they held each other.

      Then, in 1959, along came Chubby Checker with a dance known as the twist. Although the twist was a fad, the distance it represented between men and women on the dance floor embodied the way men and women interacted with each other for generations to come.

      Now, the trend is reversing. Raised in an increasingly dysfunctional society where divorce and single parenting were the norm, the younger generations are willing to reinvent more traditional relationship. That's why JG's statement about "more boyfriends spanking girlfriends now than there ever...before" is so important.

      Increased acceptance of spanking represents the trend. Collars are merely an obvious manifestation of that shift in thinking. In time, as men and women become more involved with each other, collars will become unnecessary.

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    3. Yes, I see what you mean. You have more experience with observing the change in trends, as well as societal acceptance of certain behaviors than I do. So I can't really comment on what is becoming more acceptable or not. I'm not really sure spanking *is* becoming more acceptable, but I can tell you that, as a romance writer, I do think we're heading in that direction. Sure, there are some misrepresentations with writing, but the widespread fictional acceptance of the entire gamut of power exchange (from the mildest of erotic spanking to the heavier discipinary spanking) may indicate a wider acceptance of spanking in relationships in general.

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  5. Dear J Girl:

    Another excellent post!! Historically, my thoughts toward collaring have been rather adverse, equating it to slavery etc. However, my viewpoint has changed due to the images your words depict. I have always felt that sub girls were basically fragile and deserved and needed the utmost in loving care and consideration. Collaring seemed to run afoul of that notion as it would impede the basic freedoms to which all of us are entitled. However with your ability to paint pictures from words; I can see how it can be both loving and beneficial.

    Thanks

    Rick

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    1. Thanks, Rick! I'm glad you were able to have a bit of a perspective change by reading about my own experiences and explanation. I was hesitant in sharing about this because I know traditional many have such strong reactions against it, but so many women have written to me desiring a collar, that I thought it was worth doing some exploration of the topic. Thank you for having an open mind and seeing another point of view! And I also appreciate your praise of my writing. THank you!!

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  6. For what it is worth, I am a "sub girl". I desired and entered into a D/s DD relationship because of my strength and my freedom to choose not my fragility. Early on when I proposed this kind of relationship to my husband the request was denied because of my fragility. As my strength has developed, I have more to offer and D/s and DD have become more of a reality in my life. But every day I am aware how strong psychologically and physically you have to be in order to be a healthy contributing partner to this kind of dynamic. Collars are about choice and a way to belong, feel connected when one is a part from another, and have a tangible way to remind oneself and their partner of commitments such as obediance. I think many of the arguements in support of spanking can apply to the stigma that can accompany collars.

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    1. Beautifully put, Jo. And I think your assertion that the arguments that can support spanking can also apply to collaring is excellent. I agree with you. I completely agree that submission takes great strength, and that a physical reminder or connection can help motivate and encourage the submissive. I certainly reach for it far more often when Jason isn't here than when he is.

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  7. JGirl, such a good post. I love seeing how you and he worked up to a collar. We are in a DD relationship but it has elements of D/s and quite frankly I enjoy that. It has meaning to me. Perhaps someday we will be closer to a deeper submission from me and a larger dominance from him. At that point I can see me loving a collar.

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