I was born in 1989. I was part of the lucky generation that was able to enjoy relatively inexpensive, private internet access from a young age, before we were saddled with the digital burdens that Gen-Z face.
Some of the first material I accessed was queer, kinky porn. I laughed aloud while listening to Tina Horn and Chingy discuss their own experiences in the awesome podcast Why Are People Into That?!, as it brought back lots of memories of my first experiences of porn!
I accessed a wide variety of helpful material relating to my nascent lesbian sexuality and joined communities on websites like Livejournal. This allowed me to meet lesbians from around the globe, and I’ll forever be thankful for that. At the same time I started to look at blogs and forums relating to BDSM. As an adult, I believe that children should not be accessing adult forums, but when I was young I found reading them both profoundly erotic and also heartening.
By the age of 14, I was very vocally both a lesbian and a feminist at home and at school. Although I had a kind, fun and switched-on group of friends, I was alone in my sexuality at least. Neither civil partnerships nor same sex marriages were legal in the UK at the time, and I couldn’t relate to many of the relationship and life-goals of my peers.
The internet was my window into another world of possibilities. Reading about the history of “Boston marriage” traditions in the lesbian community, and about collaring ceremonies in the leather community gave me faith that I would find a way of living that was right for me. These ceremonies seemed meaningful, offering a sense of security and a framework for togetherness that benefited both sides of the partnership.
I was sure that one day I would have my own collar; and I recently stumbled upon an old poem that I wrote about collars on my Livejournal. Don’t worry, it’s not something that I ever intend to share! I spent a long time on American websites advertising expensive steels collars, all with inscriptions and complex locks. As much as I loved dreaming about them, I was never quite sure how I would manage wearing something like that full time.
I first met Cadi, my Mistress & my Mama, when we were both seventeen. Not long after we started courting, we went together to our local Pride and we saw a whole table of collars. I remember pointing out to her that I liked the ones with combination locks; I recently saw something similar being sold by Trussed ,and felt a pang of nostalgia.
So what happened then? Life, really. We both went to university, got jobs, made friends, and bought our first home. We continued to develop and expand our BDSM practice, but it never felt like the right time to buy me a collar. We could have bought a cheaper one to practice and play with, but that never felt right for us either.
Equal marriage was eventually rolled out in the UK, and we decided that perhaps marriage was right for us. We both enjoyed feeling our high femme fantasies and writing our own vows with an emphasis on joy and equality. My dad read Having A Coke With You by Frank O’Hara. It was lovely.
Privately, Cadi and I talked about my wedding ring being like a small day collar, and I chose to take her surname as a subtle sign of my submission. I liked subverting these patriarchal traditions in a way that felt both meaningful and naughty.
On a seemingly random day when Mistress was working away from home, she messaged me and asked what type of collar I was into. I had no idea that she was thinking of buying me one and immediately I was both full of excitement and incredibly turned on.
Even though I love the look of intricate, heavy collars, the one I was drawn to is a thin, simple collar from The Leather Laboratory. You can read more about the collar itself in my Mistress’s blog here. When I sent her the link, it turned out that she’d also been looking at the same one!
It arrived pretty fast, in a beautiful box that I couldn’t wait to rip into. It was torture to wait until her work trip had ended to wear it. There was no collaring ceremony; just her putting it around my neck in the dark.
It’s been a year or so since we got it, and I’ve worn it so much that the leather is now super soft and creamy. I wear it a lot when we fuck, but I also wear it for many different reasons. I wear it at BDSM events, partly to identify myself as the bottom (I’m taller, wider and more extroverted than Cadi, which seems to mislead people!) and partly to signify that I love being part of the BDSM community. I wear it when I’m sad and sick and I need to feel scooped-up and cared for. I wear it when we would love to play, but we also have to clean the house. Mistress often texts me when she’s working away to request that I wear it, which makes us feel connected.
Having my collar makes me feel more focused on my submission. To borrow a phrase from St Augustine, it feels like “outward sign of inward grace.” Something has changed within me because of my submission, and my collar is the external sign of it. It has also allowed my Mistress and I have to have (even more) discussions about the way that we’d like to develop our practice.
I bought myself a second collar in Pleasure Chest while on holiday in New York. It was made by Kookie. It was a bit of a spontaneous, frivolous purchase. I bought her because she’s so pink and I liked the bigger O-ring. It’s nice to have options.
The next collar I’d like to obtain (and I’m scheduling this post to go out the day before my birthday so Cadi there’s still time…) is this “sub in training” one from The Leather Lab. I see my training as a lifelong process, and I think meditating on this can only be a good thing! I might be 11 years in, but I always have so much to learn!