My Collars

byTara_Neale©

My neck is bare this morning. It is the first time in over a year. But it won't be for long. I ordered my new collar yesterday. According to the email, it has shipped already. It is similar to the one that he gave me. Except that these words are all my own. They have true meaning for me. Because you see my collar has never been just for show. Collars mean something to me. Something sacred. Something powerful. When I came to this lifestyle, I boasted that I had worn two wedding rings but I would wear only one collar. I have worn five...and none.

From the time of ancient Greece and Rome, slaves wore collars. Sometimes huge metal things that weighed them down as they worked. That shouted their status to the world. That reminded them they had no future. Others were more fortunate. Like me, their collars were simple, common, everyday pieces of jewelry. In the case of a favored concubine, her collar might have been valuable, perhaps more so than her mistress's even. But whether it was a steel shackle that weighed you down or precious gems, it meant the same thing. You were not free. Someone owned you.

When I began reading erotica about BDSM two years, I had a fascination with collars. The stories of collaring ceremonies fueled the flames of my romantic imagination. The master pledging to protect and cherish his submissive. Accepting all that she was and promising to look after her. The submissive placing her trust fully and completely in someone else, knowing that he will look after her. Because she was his...his property.

That was how my first Dom saw it. His. Simple as. He had a set of those beautifully simple, medieval steel shackles...wrists and ankles even the girdle for about your waist. I loved them. The cold and heavy weights when we played. But of course it was the collar that he wanted around my neck. He got it too. We were playing in his attic dungeon and he had gotten me easily into the others. He picks up the collar and toys with it. My heart starts to pound but I don't speak up. He bent and kissed me, breathed the single word...Mine. And locked the collar about my neck. It was the beginning of the end for us. Because when a collar does not mean the same thing to two people, it will only cause more trouble than it is worth.

Afterwards, I felt almost violated about the way that he had done it. Without permission, without negotiation, and ultimately without true meaning. My mentor tried to reason with me that I had an idealized view of collars. Of the lifestyle. Of love. Hell, of life. He tried very hard to get me to bend on this one. Once when my Daddy was not available, he entrusted me to my mentor's care. The man always tried to push limits...even hard ones. He crafted this noose of rope and insisted that if I wanted my flogging I had to wear it. He asked at the end how it felt having something around my neck. I said that I did not even notice it. It was true.

I once got me and my sister into big trouble over my stubbornness. We were supposed to be serving as rope bunnies and service subs for an event. But it turned out to be way more than that. Way more than we bargained for. I knew we were in trouble when they demanded that we wear 'slave' collars. I flat out refused. I boasted that it was a hard limit...that my neck was sacred for my future master. The words 'hard limit' made them angry but won the argument. Of course that was only the beginning of the trouble that night. I was once again left with my shattered illusions but as always that which does not kill only makes me stronger. And some days I could kick Hercules's ass.

Not long after that, with my new found strength and center, I was enjoying a day out at the beach with my children. We had gone souvenir shopping when I saw it...a leather and shell strap. Everything that symbolized my commitment to this journey and my goddess. All natural. Simple. Understated. It was perfection. It cost me a quid...one pound. But it meant the world to me. I wore it for nine months. I swore it would only come off when I found 'the one.' By the time that I met him, the leather had been washed so much, shrunk to the point that I could not slip the loop back over the knot that held it in place. The only way it would come off was to cut it off. I still have it in a drawer.

Then there was him. I honestly thought he was the one. We spent weeks talking. We were and still are great friends. But most importantly I thought, no, I 'knew' that a collar meant the same thing to both of us. This was it...the one 'true' collar that I would wear for the rest of our lives. And like the one I cut off, it was simple. Dogtags just like the military wear. Indestructible like our bond. Or so I thought. About three months later we had a fight. We broke up even. But I could not take my collar off. Something stopped me. I had made a commitment for life...and I intended to keep it. I went back to him. Then I learned the hardest lesson of all. Like my first Dom, my collar meant very different things to us.

When I took that collar off, my neck felt so bare that I went to the market the very next day and bought not one but two new collars. One was another shell one, but it was too flashy. Not my style. The other was the ying/yang symbol upon another simple leather cord. I liked that one. The only problem was that it broke when my daughter and I were play in the park yesterday. My neck was bare once more. I got on my smart phone and pulled up a shopping app. Within two minutes I had purchased another...physically just the same as the ones he gave me. Heck, I think it might even be the same company. But this time, this message is different.

You see the hard lesson I have learned is that my mentor was right...I do idealize collars. The truth is that collars have always been about ownership. Not love. Not commitment. Ownership. A physical mark that says to the world this is someone else's property. Simple as.

Of course, the romantic in me argues still that if something is yours then you take care of it, treat it with respect. Goodness knows as a child of the South, I am familiar enough with the ideals of 'benevolent paternalism' that was used to justify slavery before the Civil War. But the other truth is that is not the case. Slave owners did not think of the well-being of the slaves. They thought of profit. They thought of making more money for themselves. Simple as.

And doms/masters are not thinking about protecting and cherishing what is theirs. They are thinking...I own this. It is mine. To do with as I choose. To hurt. To use. Mine...mine...mine. Like the litany of a two year old with new toys on Christmas morning. Simple as.

So despite my idealistic boasts, I have worn five collars during this journey. Five collars belonging to three different men...none of whom meant the same to them that it did to me. That does not mean that those collars, those experiences are without meaning. They are not. Each was a lesson learned. Each was a symbol of a journey. My journey.

Might I one day kneel before another man? Might I even wear another's collar? I don't know. But I am old enough and wise enough to know the truth in another saying...never say never.

What I do know is that when my new collar comes, I will slip the ying/yang symbol between those dogtags. And when I put this one around my neck, medical emergencies are the only thing getting it off. Because any dom/master or just plain old man in my life needs to know from now on there are always limits to my submission. And those words summarize them...to thine own self be true.

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byTara_Neale© 8 comments/ 8472 views/ 3 favorites

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