Maddie, consent, and throat-fucking

In the last episode of the Maddie saga the Wicked Headmaster character throat-fucked Maddie.

Oddly, that’s not a thing of mine, really. I do it if a submissive has told to me that that’s a turn-on for her. I don’t like to have to think of my cock as a choke hazard. 

Drop this, and it won’t break. Fact!

When I do want to deliver my best hard, fast and ruthless fuck, I prefer to be doing penis-in-vagina sex, because cunts are tough and evolved to take some fairly rough treatment. Much more so than the throat or the anus. I love having my cock sucked, and I’m charmed when a woman wants to show me clever things she can do. So I prefer having my cock sucked where my partner has some freedom of action. I also love anal sex, but there’s a definite limit to how rough you can be. 

So I didn’t want to write some throat-fucking erotica because that’s one of my key turn-ons. It came out of the characters. The Headmaster character was extremely turned on and wanted to come, quickly. That’s the reason that Maddie’s aware of, and she liked that sense of being used by him for his pleasure. 

I think that he also had a sense that Maddie would like that sensation of being helplessly taken. That’s already part of the vibe between them, so he stepped outside real-world bdsm rules but not the feelings and desires both characters have.

There’s a sense of care there, even when he’s apparently using her as a masturbation device. The way he pulls out after she gags and gives her time to catch her breath is a hint towards that. Though he doesn’t stop till a little bit after she gags, so she never has that unwelcome feeling that she’s in control.

So in their universe (which is absolutely not ours) he’s doing the right thing. There’s a kind of unspoken understanding between him and Maddie, and he keeps his end of the bargain.

I have a fairly 3-D sense of who Maddie is. She’s being very sexual and sexually driven, but she feels like a real person, to me. Partly because she’s based on real people, one in particular, who told me about acquiring an older Master when she was about Maddie’s age. (He wasn’t her Headmaster, though. No laws were broken, even in our world.) 

The headmaster at home, alone. relaxing In casual dress. Don’t panic!

The person who’s closer to a fantasy figure, I think, is her Headmaster, who has no doubts, is always sexy, and miraculously always knows just how cruel to be, in order to be kind.

Obviously, relying on “the vibe between us” wouldn’t be enough of a precaution, or enough consent, in the real world. I don’t think, in the real world, you get any points for introducing some new and challenging bdsm practice, and yelling, “Surprise!”

But fiction is a different thing. Characters can act on extreme emotional needs (as well as sexual needs) and we can enjoy their stories.

But we’re in our universe, which has all sorts of potential consequences, and they’re in their universe, which has fewer.

So long as we can tell their world from ours (and don’t do things like believing the Transformers movies are documentaries), I’m prepared, as Maddie’s narrator, to give them their heads and let them go where they like.

They just worry me sometimes, that’s all.

 

BTW: This post started as a response to a comment by Indigo Bird, here. Thanks for your comment! Indigo’s excellent blog on Art, Sexuality and Death, in later life, is here.

Defending the politics of bdsm 2: Bdsm and the state

The puritan feminist argument against bdsm includes the claim that bdsm works as part of the support for patriarchy, or male control of institutions and, of course, women.

Patriarchy in action? It doesn’t really look like it

The puritan case is partly based on the claim that bdsm is men dominating women. To make this claim you have to ignore the existence of lesbians and gays, and women dominants and male submissives. You also have to ignore the fact that we now know that the majority of both men and women involved in bdsm are switches, and will take either the dominant or submissive role according to mood and desire.

Some in the puritanical faction are aware of this, and try to wish it away by waving a sort of verbal wand at it: any “eroticising of power differences” supports patriarchy because, well, because.

One way of testing this is to look at what actually happens in most Western states.

We see that the institutions that do most to promote patriarchy and the subordination of women get encouragement from the state in every English-language-speaking country in the world, as well as most of the non-English-speaking Western states.

The Catholic and Baptist churches in particular, with their long-standing and still current opposition to having women in leadership roles, and opposition to women having control of their own bodies, particularly in relation to reproduction, get extensive funding from the state. That funding comes in the form of direct grants, in the form of tax-free status, in the form of (usually historical) gifts of land, and in the form of favored status when it comes to bidding to provide Government services. 

Church naming rights and livery; 100% tax-payer funding

Something that’s not understood by most people is that when Catholic spokespeople talk about providing hospitals the Catholic Church doesn’t provide those services with its own money. Those institutions are 100% funded from government health spending, even though they don’t offer all the services (eg abortion, and contraceptive information) that a publicly funded hospital should be offering.

In many countries the churches have special dispensation overriding laws relating to discriminating against people based on their religious belief or sexual orientation, particularly in employment. 

The point is that this is an example of how governments in the West endorse and support organisations that promote patriarchal power. That’s nothing like how governments treat bdsm, and people who take part in bdsm.

Bdsm erotica, the stories we tell and the media we tell them in, is banned in many jurisdictions. Bdsm clubs and premises are frequently raided. Consenting bdsm is still a crime in many countries, most notoriously the UK. People have gone to jail for practising consensual bdsm, and others have lost custody of their children. 

A bdsm master or mistress’s authority is never backed by the power of the state. I’m not arguing that it should be (of course it shouldn’t); I’m making the point that governments support and endorse institutions that help uphold male power and control, and they don’t support bdsm that way.

If bdsm really were a part of the ideological support for patriarchy, it’s puzzling that institutions upholding patriarchy, like police services and other law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, the mainstream media, the churches and so on, all seem to be unaware of the fact.

Instead bdsm practitioners, media and organisations (eg clubs) come under surveillance, police harassment, mainstream media shaming, and direct legal bans. 

Bdsm does not promote male dominance (generally, though a few Goreans and domestic-discipline Christians may), and it is certainly not an ally of patriarchy. We like our dominance consensual and our dominants to be sexy. 

Defending the politics of bdsm: power at the mercy of pleasure

Inequality in bdsm works very differently from the real power imbalances imposed by patriarchy. In bdsm, people choose their roles according to their own sexual desires, not their gender. A woman or man doing bdsm may choose a dominant or submissive role, or switch from one to the other, purely according to what pleases them. In bdsm “power” is erotic and fluid.

We are powerful guys, and we are Serious

The arbitrariness of “power” in bdsm contrasts with the seriousness with which power is held in patriarchy. By turning the symbols and even the idea of power into sexual playthings that may be taken seriously but may also be picked up, swapped or put down at whim, there’s a sense in which bdsm mocks and undermines real power.

Bdsm’s mild subversiveness is reinforced by the paradox of how power relationships work in bdsm.

The person who holds the outward signs of power, in bdsm, is not so powerful in reality.

The submissive holds the chain

A dominant may wear lots of black, carry a riding crop and snap out orders, but he or she is still subject to the submissive’s power. In the orders they give, the bonds they arrange and the services they demand, dominants must remain within a range defined and consented to by the submissive.

If the dominant goes far or repeatedly outside that circle of consent, the submissive is likely to end the dominant’s illusory power without notice.

People sometimes use the term “power exchange” to describe bdsm relationships, but not as much power really changes hands as may appear on the surface. Whether they are male or female, submissives retain more power than they and their dominants pretend.

Similarly, the economics of bdsm relationships differ from those of traditional marriage. In traditional relationships the person with the higher income holds more power, and that person is still likely to be a man. In bdsm the dominant partner is not necessarily a man, nor the person with the higher income. In bdsm, “power” is never what it seems on the surface. It does not follow gender. Nor does it follow money.

It follows desire. It follows love and lust.

Sexual authoritarians and bdsm: Consenting inequality

Much of the puritan feminist case against bdsm involves contempt for consent. People from that faction may recognise through gritted teeth that women may consent to taking part in bdsm, but that consent isn’t really either genuine or important. These women are doing something that that feminist faction disapproves of, and that is what counts. 

But there’s something extremely dangerous about any kind of politics or “analysis” that ignores or disparages consent.

Caring about consent, rigorously enforcing it in law, and so on, is something that keeps people, especially women, safe in sex.

That includes consent to inequality. To take a non-bdsm example, when a man and woman are sitting side-by-side, maybe looking at a park, or the sea, or whatever, the man might put an arm over a woman’s shoulder and draw her to him. They sit a little closer as lovers, side-by-side.

His action emphasised their physical inequality. Being larger (probably), he can put an arm over her shoulder without discomfort, which she may not be able to do with him.

He can pull her mass towards him with relatively little effort, while she might need to haul quite hard to get him to move closer.

But assuming they’re both feeling loving and affectionate, that action will make them both feel loved, loving and comfortable, although it is founded in sexual inequality.

Consenting inequality is common, and it’s a different thing from inequality that reduces people’s choices and is imposed on them without their consent.

To conflate the two kinds of inequality, ignoring agreement, pleasure and affection, shows little concern for human emotions or human rights.

It’s also true that inequality in bdsm is different from most forms of inequality, but that will be for future posts.

(I’ve got my girl with me, and I’m not doing much writing at the moment. Sorry.) 

 

Sexual authoritarians and bdsm 2: The false consciousness argument

There is a more complex case against bdsm than conservative authoritarians have ever argued, promoted by the feminist faction that allied itself with conservative authoritarians on erotic words and images, and bdsm.

Anti-bdsm feminists often speak as if there is a feminist position on bdsm and theirs is it, but this has never been the case. There are feminists on both sides of the debate.

This anti-bdsm case rests on the assumption is that bdsm is inherently an expression of patriarchy, of male dominance, so woman only have bdsm desires if their sexuality is distorted by patriarchy. Women who engage in bdsm have simply internalised patriarchal values, even if they delude themselves by thinking they are feminist.

By this theory they may think that they consent to bdsm activity, but this consent is not “real”.

This is because the power imbalance between men and women in our culture is so great and pervasive that women who consent to bdsm have been coerced into doing so by cultural factors beyond their control. This argument is also made of all women who consent to heterosexual intercourse, but that version of the argument is less often made within the hearing of allies on the religious right.

This readiness to diminish and dismiss the moral and political significance of women’s choices and consents is commonly justified by the claim that women who have and (what’s worse) act on bdsm desires are victims of “false consciousness”.

False consciousness is a term derived from Marxist theory, to mean the tendency of oppressed people to accept the ideology of their oppressors and therefore to fail to perceive that they are oppressed. The term was used to explain the awkward fact that in developed countries working people on low incomes tend not to support Marxist political parties or campaigns.

False consciousness can refer to something real. It may be useful to use the term in relation to African American slaves who had accepted the idea that slavery was a just institution. But the term is best used humbly and tentatively.

For example, the reluctance of working people to support Marxism might be a sign of false consciousness, but it might derive from realistic evaluation of what happened in the countries where Marxists got into power. In practice “false consciousness” is a rhetorical device for dismissing the views of the people on whose behalf one claims to speak, because if those people were allowed to speak or vote or act on their own behalf they would say and choose the wrong things.

In this perspective only some choices arise from false consciousness. Consenting to heterosexual intercourse, taking part in the writing or filming of pornography, or engaging in bdsm: these things can be ascribed to false consciousness. Engaging in non-penetrative lesbian sex, going to an anti-pornography rally, or taking part in hours of doctrinal discussion may not.

Moreover only some women are subject to false consciousness. Others are immune. Anti-bdsm feminists are confident enough in the authenticity of their own consciousnesses to make their own sexual decisions and to feel qualified to force sexual decisions (for example on the availability and therefore use of pornography) onto other women.

Feminist women who suffer from bdsm’s false consciousness are, surely, fortunate that other feminist women know better and are prepared to edit their sexual desires for them.

Or they may wish to tell them to take a running jump.

(To be continued)

Sexual authoritarians and bdsm 1

When people discriminate against people who take part in bdsm, or support the harassment of bdsm clubs, publications and so on, by police and other authorities, they usually believe that they are reasonable people acting virtuously. People ply themselves with reasons when they treat other people badly.

If you enjoy bdsm, Robin Morgan, feminist-except-for-women-who-make-choices-she-disapproves-of, says you’re a traitor to all women.

Harassment and discrimination happen because of political, religious, ideological and other frameworks that define certain people as outsiders, generate dislike for them and provide reasons for messing with them as individuals and suppressing their meeting places, books, videos and so on. Discrimination is hardly ever mindless, though it can appear so. Nor is it “natural”.

People make up reasons for hatred, and those reasons are generally rationalisations, intellectualized and argued, to keep the emotional dislike behind them out of sight.

But discrimination against and harassment of bdsm people comes from other, more emotional partskinds of thinking.

Conservative authoritarianism

One framework that drives legal and other activities directed against bdsm people can be called conservative authoritarianism, which is often religious in inspiration. The conservative authoritarian case against bdsm consists essentially of the premises that deviant sex is evil and that bdsm is deviant sex.

Bdsm is therefore, syllogistically, evil. If more arguments were needed, then there are the considerations that bdsm looks strange, often involves non-procreative sex, may involve people who are not married to each other, or are people of the same gender, and so on.

What’s more, bdsm is part of a category that includes oral sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, bdsm, fetishism, paedophilia, window-peeping and flashing, Satanism, group sex, polygamy and many other things. Tolerating any one of them will only encourage the others.

The Reverend James Dobson strongly supports the beating and whipping of terrified, non-consenting children, but if an adult spanks another adult for pleasure, that is, of course, the devil’s work

The distaste felt by conservative authoritarians for bdsm isn’t so different from their distaste for homosexuality, oral sex, and so on.

The impulse that drove a Massachusetts police officer to force his way into a private party in 2000 and arrest a woman who was spanking another woman with a wooden spoon is the same as the impulse that in 2004 led a Virginia policeman to arrest a 21-year old woman for getting oral sex from her boyfriend (the penalty for oral sex in Virginia is up to five years’ imprisonment), and in 2006 led Republican Ralph Davenport to put up a bill to prohibit the sale of vibrators in South Carolina.

No-one who promotes such laws, and no police officer who selectively upholds them, can possibly believe that these laws prevent any harm or protect any person. The laws simply reflect the reality that other people’s sexual expression can rouse emotions in some other people that can range from discomfort to terror, from dislike to hate.

Hail, pretty horrors, hail! Halloween and bdsm

I was never a fan of Halloween. Until this year. 

The first thing is that Halloween, in its current form, is pretty much an American thing. The country I come from isn’t very culturally similar to America, and people there just didn’t want it. Like a lot of non-Americans I first really became aware of it through the Halloween sequence in Spielberg’s film, ET.

So it’s something about kids dressing up in marketing outfits for various US franchises, and going door-to-door begging for sugar. So, I thought, it’s tacky and a bit greedy, And the voices of my parents, sounding in the back of my brain, told me that this was a dumb, kind of ugly festival. 

I had another objection. Halloween is probably (not certainly, but probably) the Celtic festival of Samhain, which took place at the same time in the year, and had a theme of death and the lost souls of the dead. In taking it over, Christians gave it a Christian veneer. In this case, it was a night of licence, for indulging the wicked flesh, before everybody goes to church in the morning and people are then supposed to reject the flesh and the devil, and return to Christian asceticism, anti-sex, anti-this world doctrines.

The “trick or treat” thing is focussed on mischief, rewards and punishments. So it turns to bdsm very easily

That idea, the wickedness of the human body and the natural world, is one of the things I most dislike about Christianity.   

But it’s been steadily losing its religious roots, both Celtic (believe me, ancient pagans mostly get a good press, but they really don’t deserve it) and Christian, and it’s steadily evolved into something much nicer.

Basically these days it’s a festival of geek, a cos-play extravaganza. And there are no threatened “tricks”. The slight blackmail element of the old festival has faded away.

So I got visited by a great horde of seven-year-old girls, a couple of moms standing a  carefully calculated distance away. They were all dressed as princesses, mostly Disney princesses but a few fairy princesses too, a sort of ballerina, and a couple of girls in home-made Wonder Women costumes. (So Yay to their moms!) They were far too charming to lecture about this dumb festival. I didn’t have anything prepared, so I gave them dried raisins and apricots, and chocolate.

So the transaction wasn’t, “Trick or treat”. It was, “don’t we look amazing? We dressed up for you adults, so pay us in sugar!”

The Halloween-bdsm links haven’t escaped the cartoonists

Later I went shopping for bread and milk and such, and there were Goth girls everywhere, and real estate saleswomen, shop assistants and a woman I always notice in the chemist all dressed up, as Goth girls and other fantasy costumes. Anything that brings out women in velvet corsets, black lippy and choker collars is ok with me. Plus there were witches, Wonder Women and an amazing Cat Girl or two.

Next year I’ll be in it. I’m going to find me a blind harpist, and dress as a bard, we’ll go door-to-door singing Welsh Death Ballads until they give us marijuana and ask us to go away. You have to be polite to a bard. We can immortalise you in poetry, and its up to us whether you look good or stupid.

Anyway, Halloween! Not Christian, not Pagan: it’s a festival of slightly kinky cosplay!

What giving a collar means to me

I’m going to collar a girl in a few weeks’ time.

Squee!

Er, in a manly, dommy, voice, of course. Ahem.

There are a few minor issues that have to be dealt with first, like her giving me enthusiastic consent. Which is half-given, but I consider that it’s still subject to conditions at present. But once those trifling formalities are over, she shall be given and wear my collar. 

So what does that collar mean, when I give it to this very specific person? 

Commitment and love

A standard slave collar. Note that the designer provided rings for three leashes! The Bible says you can’t serve two Masters. Obviously,  three’s all right though

The first thing it means is that I love her and I trust, to the state of knowledge, that she loves me. And I commit to her. I’m no longer looking. And whether she likes it or not, I consider it my duty, as a dom with a collared sub, to look after her, and to work to achieve her safety and happiness. She affirms the equivalent. We are a dominant and a submissive, and each of us is focussed on the other.

This is simple enough, and it’s the reciprocal aspect of a collar, the part that means roughly the same to the dominant and the submissive. 

Submission

The second thing it means is that she’s my submissive. But that status, “my collared submissive”, can mean a range of things, on a continuum. 

At one end of that scale it would mean she would address me as Master, and have to obey any command I give her, concerning any aspect of her life. I would have an absolute right to discipline her, for my pleasure or because she has displeased me. (The three things that I’m most likely to punish memorably for are self-destructive behaviour, which can include inaction, disobedience and disrespect other than playful cheekiness.

In that version of submission, she is my property. An owned girl. 

At the other end of the continuum, it means she retains her own decision-making, independent of me for most of her life, but she is submissive to me in and around the bedroom. Her submission is sexual, and not anything else. 

The rhetoric of lovers

These two styles aren’t in practice so different. There are some practical differences, but in reality the major difference is the intensity of the rhetoric.

All lovers use rhetoric when they speak to each other. Two people, having just fucked, may look each other in the eye and swear that they will love the other forever, till the day they die.

There are some tacky slave collars out there. This one could actually be worse than jazz…

In reality they may part within the year, because one of them eats mandarins in bed and the other wants to listen to jazz on the radio when they wake up in the morning.

Jazz would be a deal-breaker for me, by the way. I’d never swear undying love to someone who listened to jazz in the bedroom. Once I discovered that horrible jazz thing, it’d be a one-off, a one-night stand. Um, all right, this might be a digression. 

But the fact that they parted doesn’t mean they were insincere when they swore undying love. And if you understood the rhetoric, it doesn’t even make what they said untrue. They were looking for words to express how enchanted and wonderful they felt, and they used those words.

The literal meaning of their words wasn’t the point; the meaning was the emotion they expressed.

Bdsm lovers’ rhetoric

So I might say to a submissive, “I own you; you are my property, to do with as I choose.” And she might say, “Oh god yes, I am yours, Master.” Then we sign a contract to that effect.

But if she feels bad in the relationship, and she no longer loves and respects me, she doesn’t really transgress that agreement if she leaves.

I could take her to Court, showing the contract in which she agreed that she was my property and my slave. “Look!” I’d say, “it’s signed in blood!” And the Court would laugh its fool ass off at me. A bdsm slave contract is worth the the paper it’s written on, in reality. Less, actually, because that sheet of paper’s got words scribbled all over it. 

So in a sense, the rhetoric of ownership, of a collared submissive, really means: “I feel this passionate urge to be your dominant, to take and enjoy your submission, and I feel it very intensely. And I want to go on feeling it intensely, with you.”

It’s emotionally real. It’s never practically or legally real; a submissive cannot really give up direction and control over her life, except voluntarily while she wants to.

Love, again

The day collar. Something that can be worn in public, with some discretion. I’ll be looking for something on these lines…

So to me, the collar mainly represents loving commitment between a dominant and submissive. Beyond that it means a subtly moving bdsm commitment, with boundaries that extend and recede from day to day and moment to moment, under which the submissive commits to a presumption towards submission when the dominant evokes the bdsm or D/s part of the relationship. 

That means, if I say, “girl, take your clothes off and kneel”, I expect to get obedience.

But if I said, “you will tell your mother about us, so she understands that you are my submissive, and that if she has any requests of you she must direct them through me,” I expect to get, at least, discussion. Or a flat, “fuck off”. 

So I see the gift and acceptance of the collar not as an end-point but at a stage in a process. A declaration of love and commitment, and presumption towards submission when I flash out my dominant side: those are good starting points.  

The collar is the outward sign of the commitment that allows us to find the right level of bdsm for us, and work our ways to the sweet level that best suits us both. 

Porn-sharing anecdote: Beware of the knife

I was once moving into a bdsm relationship with a girl who’d always been vanilla. I was in the process of perverting her. Mostly that consisted of my tying her up and spanking her, followed by fucking. We were almost vanilla, by most bdsm people’s standards. I didn’t care. I liked her, and I was perfectly happy to keep things at levels she was comfortable with. 

But as Doms do, and as I think even vanilla girls stepping slightly off the straight and narrow expect, I pushed carefully and not too insistently against those limits. I found some things.

For example, she was interested in being watched by another girl while she was being punished and fucked, and in being tied up and having to watch while I fucked the other girl. One of the reasons I thought I was probably right in reading that from her is that although those things are fine and fun to me, they aren’t central in my own dreams, fantasies and desires.

So my picking it up wasn’t just wishful thinking. 

But I only “knew” those desires of hers because when I had her tied up, and sometimes when we were fucking, I’d tell her stories. The stories were on various themes. But stories on those lines got particularly excited physical responses from her. She never said anything.

I thought it was too early to put her on the spot, and anyway I didn’t have another girl all lined up and ready to drop by into a threesome at the drop of a hat. It could be done but it’d take organising, and I couldn’t do that until she’d indicated she was okay with that. Even I wasn’t dumb enough to spring a Surprise! Threesome!! on her.

But I lent her a book of bdsm porn, and recommended Chapter 9. There was, I remembered, a hot scene with a man and two girls doing the kind of threesome she seemed to be comfortable with.

The heroine spent most of the scene tied and helpless while the other girl was free, and dominant to her. but it was emotionally safe for her: both girls fucked the hero and watched the other girl fucking the hero, but  they weren’t in the bed together at any time. So there was a kind of very close girl-on-girl emotional intimacy, but no actual girl-on-girel cunnilingus or fingering. 

Anyway, a couple of days later I asked her if she’d read it, and she said she had. But she wasn’t at all happy. I asked her what was wrong. 

“I didn’t know you were into knives. I mean, that’s not…”

“What? Knives? There’s no knives in that.”

“There is.”

“Bullshit. There can’t be.”

She passed me the book and I checked it. I must have read that section 50 times at least. And sure enough, there’s a bit where the other girl got the heroine’s attention by holding a knife to her throat.

I just hadn’t ever noticed.

The thing is, I hate knives and blades. It’s to do with a childhood accident; sharps give me the chills, and not the good kind. I’d always read that scene for pleasure, so I’d always just skipped the knife bit without it registering on me at all.

I think in sex men only see what we like, so that we like what we see. That’s me, for sure. 

So that’s a small warning, on using media to make explicit what you want, or to encourage your partner to be explicit about what they want. You see a bit of film, or text, and you think it’s saying something sexy and charming. but there may be a knife in there. The other person doesn’t know what you want them to notice and what to ignore. Keep your eyes open.

Postscript:

The relationship didn’t suffer much damage. My failure to notice the knife was weird but obviously real. So we had fun, and lots of hot sex. 

The threesome didn’t happen, though. 

What it means, to wear a bdsm collar

What does a bdsm collar mean? Generally, the best idea is to ask the person wearing it, and the person who gave it. They can tell you what that collar means. But only that one.

I met her once. In fact, I’ve had the honor, though not the pleasure, of having been turned down by her. Bother. Very nice person, though, and every bit as pretty as the photo suggests. At the time neither of us had any idea how iconic this photo was going to become.

Their meaning won’t be the same as someone else’s. For example, if I see a woman wearing a collar in the local supermarket, I can’t guess what it means. She might be proclaiming that she’s a wild spirit and a bit arty, or she might be a Goth, buying bread, milks and eggs on her way to sack Rome.

She might be involved in bdsm, and wearing it for bdsm reasons. Even then, I can’t know what it means. She might be wearing it to express her membership of the world of bdsm. No one collared her: she bought it and put it on herself.

It doesn’t even mean she’s submissive, necessarily. Plenty of women switches and doms also wear collars for that reason.

(Guys are much, much less likely to wear a collar in public. So I’m writing “she” and “women” for this part.)

It might mean she’s submissive, and the collar helps her to feel submissive, and there’s a small sexual charge from expressing this part of her sexuality out in the open. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she has a master/mistress or a dom.

Again, she’s just quietly expressing her identity, to those who are able to read it.   

And then we have bdsm collars as most people think of them. A couple decided that they fit together well as dominant and submissive, and the dominant offers the submissive a collar. He or she accepts it, and so he or she become a “collared sub”.

Generally, if you make one image in a post black and white, you’re obliged to make the others black and white too. But I like the “just been paddled” blush on her bottom too much to fade it completely.

Even then, their understanding of what it means will be different from another dominant and submissive’s understanding.

It may mean something like, “I am my Master’s/Mistress’s property, in the same way that s/he owns his/her table and chair. My sole purpose, in every moment and aspect of my life, is to obey and please my Owner.”

Or it may mean something like: “I love it when s/he ties me up and spanks me when we’re fucking.”

I looked up “what bdsm collars mean”, and found a hell of a lot of wild claims, generalisations and pure fantasy on this topic.

The only generalisation that I think is true is that it represents some sort of bond and commitment between the couple. Accepting and wearing a collar has powerful emotional significance.

But the reality is: you ascribe the meaning to a bdsm collar. When a collar is given and accepted between a dominant-and-submissive couple, there are no terms and conditions that automatically come with it. You set those for yourself, in negotiation with the person offering or considering accepting the collar, of course.

Next!

I’ll write about what collars mean to me.