“I was wondering…” I began nervously, trying to control my voice in order to appear more relaxed than I actually was. “How would you feel about me having, you know, a thing. Of yours. That I could wear around my neck during scenes or when I’m in service to you?” I couldn’t yet bring myself to voice what I was really asking – ‘how would you feel about me wearing your collar?’ – so I hoped that I’d be understood.

Collars are incredibly important signifiers in the kink world, and they’re ones that mean a lot to me. If I give you a collar or want to wear one of yours, they mean something more than just putting a thing around my neck during a scene. They mean that hey, you’re not just a person I do things with. They mean that I’m making a serious commitment to you. They mean that I love you to such a high degree. They mean I am yours.

Wearing a specific person’s collar is grounding to me. It’s comforting, it’s something that makes me feel strong and capable and inspires me to get up and get things done for them. I feel proud that they want to mark me as theirs, it makes me feel connected to them when my brain isn’t behaving or we’re going through a rough spot or it’s been a while since I’ve seen them. They help me feel loved or cared for, important and valued. And they symbolize how damn important the giver is to me.

I own several collars for various purposes; collars that I wear for anybody, collars that go on anybody, some person-specific collars, and I have gifted or help facilitate the purchase of many more; though I have never collared anyone. I have been collared twice, counting the one I wear now, and it isn’t something I would do with just any person who I behave in a submissive manner toward; it means something much more intense than that to me.

Sometimes I don’t want to wear a dominant’s collar 24/7 for all sorts of reasons, but I still want one of theirs for when I’m with them because while we’re not at a collaring stage, they are significant in my life that I want to give them this. What can I say – emotions are complicated.

Part One: My First

I’m not someone who submits easily, despite the fact that I crave it. I used to think that submission would never be something that I’d be capable of accepting in any sort of serious, genuine way.

And then I met Edd.

Edd was a title holder and my first exposure to that kind of kink. He would do the circuit and while he didn’t personally care for Old Guard protocol, he trained me in them, expecting me to eventually accompany him to title events.

A lot of what I learned through him has become deeply ingrained in how I view my place as a submissive and how I show service on a day-to-day basis, and a lot more of it I disregarded as not being for me, or at least for me right then.

Closeup of Taylor grinning sleepily into the camera. They're wearing a tshirt and a thick chain collar around their neck and glasses with large lensesI thrived on how formalized the training was as well as the structure of how our protocol, rules, and dynamic was formed. I loved how that felt, and how well it worked with my mental health and learning style.

I fell in love with him, with kink, with submission.

One day he took me to the hardware store to the aisle with the chain. I knew what was coming even though I can’t remember if it was something we had discussed. He picked out the chain he liked, we measured, and went home.

I couldn’t wait at all, but he made me.

A few days later I was called into the bedroom and instructed to kneel at his feet. We exchanged words and promises in a very formal manner, and then he presented me with my first collar.

We both cried.

About eight months later, I made the decision to return his collar and end the relationship. Giving it back hurt so much; while I knew our relationship wasn’t sustainable, I felt as though I had failed. Not the romantic relationship but the kink one; I failed as his boy, I failed in my duties to him. While I knew this was false, I couldn’t stop myself from believing it for a long time. It sits in my closet now, in the back where I won’t stumble across it accidentally. I’ve never known what to do with it – it doesn’t feel right to throw it away, but it’s also entirely inappropriate for me to wear it again. So for now I keep it as a symbol of what we had and how I grew because of it.

Part Two: My Dominant

Taylor stands in front of a clear shower curtain. Their hair is freshly cut and hanging perfectly straight over their left eye. They're wearing glasses, a black mesh tank top, and their collar, and they have a serious expression on their faceI made my dominant get me a collar about two years ago (wow time flies), which I love to no end. The process of getting that specific collar was important; I knew what I wanted it to look like and the collar itself was something I had been requesting. At that point in time, my dominant didn’t really care about them, but after discussing it a bunch, he agreed that he was happy getting one for me (now he loves it and is very glad that I have it). We spent weeks looking for the perfect one, picking it out like we would a wedding ring because that’s essentially what it is for us. And while we didn’t exchange any vows or promises when he gave it to me, it was understood what we were saying to each other.

I made a commitment to him that day, one that I had made in a less formal way hundreds of times over. A commitment to be his, to show up for him, to love him, and to always try to make things easier for him. And by giving me the collar, he promised me the same.

Our kink dynamic is basically non-existent anymore, but I still wear his collar and I still honour that commitment. I am his no matter what; no matter distance, time between visits, infrequency of playing, it doesn’t matter. We love and belong to each other despite that.

Yes, that commitment is there with or without the collar. But it serves as a nice physical reminder of him that I really value (especially since we’re long distance); something I can touch and fiddle with when I need to feel close to him. On his end, seeing me in it when I send him a photo adds an element of “this is for you” that he wouldn’t get otherwise and this helps him feel like he’s with me, too.

My collar is beautiful and brings me joy every time I see it, I love how it helps me feel connected to him, I love how strong and proud I feel wearing it, and I love how people know when looking at me in it that I belong to him.

Part Three: Or Maybe Not

I had prepared myself for all possible replies, but I was expecting pleasure, possibly surprise, even if the answer was no. I was anxious due to the vulnerability of the question, but I knew it was time for me to stop thinking it and actually ask.

“I was wondering…” I began nervously, trying to control my voice in order to appear more relaxed than I actually was. “How would you feel about me having, you know, a thing. Of yours. That I could wear around my neck during scenes or when I’m in service to you?” I couldn’t yet bring myself to voice what I was really asking – ‘how would you feel about me wearing your collar?’ – so I hoped that I’d be understood.

There was silence on the other end of the line for longer than I wanted and then the slow reply came. “Hmm. I’ll have to give that some thought. I’m not sure if that’s something I want.”

I’ll be honest, this kind of knocked the wind out of my sails. I’m glad that he was honest with me and upfront about where he’s at with our relationship, but…I felt sad anyway. I tried to downplay the seriousness of my question (who knows how well that worked), backtracking madly. He is someone who I know likes collars and wants to have a collared submissive, therefore I felt as though his apprehension or hesitancy wasn’t about the collar itself, it was about me. He wasn’t sure if I was a good fit for that. I felt deflated. I felt more certain in that moment than ever before that he and I have very different types of feelings toward each other and that I just have to suck that up if I want to stay with him, which I very much do.

Because my feelings toward him didn’t change due to his…rejection? uncertainty? I still want to make him happy, still want to serve him, still want to do all that I can for him. But now I feel less certain where I stand, like my place in his life isn’t as clear-cut as I thought. I felt insecure.

And that’s…okay. It is what it is, in any case. Being a part of his life is more than worth navigating this feeling of defeat, and I’m certain that I’ll get over it soon enough. Relationships are hard, and this is far from the first one where I’ve experienced a mismatch in emotions. As long as I continue to feel wanted, valued, and as if I’m getting back what I need, I’ll be okay knowing that I want something he doesn’t.

A couple days later, he comes back and tells me that he’d be into putting a collar and leash on me every now and again for a scene.

I wonder absently if he’s missed the point or if he thinks this is a middle-ground. I agree that it sounds fun, I let the conversation move on. I know that we’ll need to talk about this again soon if I expect to be able to feel more at-ease.

Emotions are hard.


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