The kink community regards a collar as a powerful symbol. There’s something of a shared respect for collars, even if the understanding of what it means may vary throughout different communities. A play collar can represent the bottom in a scene, while an ownership collar can symbolize a near absolute transfer of authority.
Today, I’d like to reflect on what collars mean to me. The collar I’ve worn. The happiness of a collaring ceremony and the grief of an uncollaring.
When I met Fit Miss, I was so excited that she found me appealing. She didn’t want what I wanted, but I was sure that was okay. Either I would become happy with what she could give me, or she would eventually become comfortable giving me what I needed.
I desired a Master and slave relationship, giving everything I had. I desired a level of micromanagement. Fit Miss desired something casual, less ownership based and service-focused. I thought that I could be happy with that. I thought that Fit Miss was the closest I could get to what I wanted.
In online forums, multiple people told me that I needed too much. I needed to lower my expectations. So I did.
That’s not to say that Fit Miss isn’t an amazing person and Dominant. She’s wonderful. We just want very different things. Fit Miss and I are incompatible as power dynamic partners. It’s inaccurate to say that she failed me or that I failed her. In fact, our relationship served us both for quite some time. It is not that I want more and she can’t give me that. I want things that she doesn’t desire. She is not inadequate by any measure. Instead, our desires aren’t aligned.
Nonetheless, with that in mind, I really pressed Fit Miss for a collar. Framing it as a symbol of mild commitment, I devalued it to her. I didn’t consider that what I wanted it to mean was absolute ownership. I wanted to give my all. Not just in word, but for a Master to enact their control over every level of my life.
I don’t know how I did it, because I truly don’t remember my thought process at the time, but my cognitive dissonance allowed me to accept what I portrayed to Fit Miss as a ‘going steady’ collar.
Fit Miss and I provided for each other for several wonderful months. We set protocols together, developed and achieved goals together, and I served her in the ways I could from a distance. We’ve seen each other in person for three amazing vacations, one which we are on right now. Our physical and romantic chemistry is palpable. Still, I feel sad when I think about it now.
Sad because I misrepresented what the collar meant to me.
Sad because I wanted it to mean something different.
Sad because I feel that I’ve hurt Fit Miss in this process.
When I met Dally and started spending time with him as a Dominant, I realized something. Not that Fit Miss was awful and that Dally was wonderful. Not that amazing cock made me want a cis man as a Master instead.
What I realized is how I fooled myself and this beautiful person into accepting much less than what I needed. I know every relationship, even power dynamics, involve compromise. I realized, though, that I didn’t need to compromise my desires nearly as much as I had. Even if Dally and I didn’t develop a power dynamic, I know that people like him existed.
Yes, one of the reasons that I asked to return Fit Miss’ collar is so that Dally can collar me one day. That’s true.
What’s also true is that, even if Dally wasn’t in the picture, I would want to return Fit Miss’ collar. If Dally decided to drop me tomorrow, I would still want to return it. I asked for it without respecting what it meant to me.
It needs to be returned.
The standard narrative that I have heard about uncollaring or returning a collar involves a conflict. A fight, then a forced removal. Someone takes off their collar in a fit of rage, returning it to their Dominant.
I don’t want this uncollaring to go that way. Fit Miss and I are partners. We have released each other of any power dynamic expectations, and declared that we are polyamorous partners who sometimes have kinky sex.
Some people might think an uncollaring is sad. And it is. Change is often sad.
However, I’m partnered with three amazing people. Very different people. One of those partners is the intelligent, witty, and beautiful Fit Miss. It’s not sad to declare that.
People might anticipate that we’d distance more from each other. That we’d promise to be ‘just friends,’ then avoid each other at events.
But I want this wonderful person in my life. Yes, I may not be in service to her anymore. But I love her. I want this uncollaring ceremony to be a celebration of everything we’ve provided for each other. A celebration of our egalitarian partnership. A celebration of the connections we have.
I’ve heard funerals described as a celebration of life. Why not an uncollaring ceremony be a celebration of what was, what is, and what will be?
Fit Miss and I try to be emotionally intelligent about all of our relationships. One aspect of that is recognizing one’s mistakes and working to fix them. We made our mistakes. Alignment on the meaning of this powerful symbol, this collar, wasn’t present. Here’s how we’re fixing it: We are, together, removing the collar. Filled with grief with what could have been, yet ultimately happy that we have such love and care in our lives.