Jul 262014
 

submissive bdsm collar

His collar.   My collar.   Our collar.

o ring flourish
I don’t collect mementos. I don’t have folders of old love letters, boxes of souvenirs, or curios full of keepsakes.

I don’t like clutter in my physical environment and I don’t like clutter in my head. Keeping my surroundings simple is easy, but my brain is a different story — it’s a constant struggle to simplify, prioritize, and focus. Because there’s so much going on in my head about the present and the future, I don’t have the energy or the mental space to deal with junk from the past.

For that reason, I don’t want lots of tangible reminders of old thoughts and feelings, particularly not for those that aren’t worth remembering. Those sorts of mementos serve only to agitate mental and emotional detritus that settled long ago.

I don’t deny the existence of people, events, and times in my life, but I prefer to let those memories rest where they lie — I have no desire to disturb them.

I have a few mementos that evoke thoughts and feelings worth revisiting — among them, my father’s guitar, my grandmother’s cast iron skillet, and my well-worn canvas backpack. They’re only objects (of course), but they’re important to me for the memories they inspire, the people they call to mind, and the experiences that shaped me. They are well-kept and used often (when possible), not simply out of sentimentality, but also out of respect — for what they were, what they are, and what they’ve contributed to making me who I am.

bdsm submissive collar

I thought about throwing J’s collar away, but that felt disrespectful (to J? to us? to the collar? I’m not sure). Keeping it buried in a drawer somewhere didn’t feel right either — it felt too much like suspended animation, as if the collar (and I) would sit waiting for the return of its wearer. I don’t want to give it to J — it won’t be ‘his collar’ (nor will it be mine) after we split, when I am no longer his dominant and he is no longer my submissive.

Instead of any of those options, I’m repurposing J’s collar in a way that feels respectful and appropriately sentimental, but also in a way that recognizes the impending split and acknowledges that we’ll both be moving forward… separately.

…and also in a way that leaves room for the possibility of flights and happy visits.
…and also in a way that softly clings to the fantasy that somewhere down the road, we might find each other again.

o ring flourish
A reader comment on my past post made me feel a little defensive — I wondered if I was being silly in my want to hold onto J’s collar. Maybe my preoccupation with finding some way to repurpose it was (is) a distraction — a project on which to focus my energy to avoid feeling sad, angry, and helpless.

The latter is okay, but not the former. I’d like to think I’m not overly sentimental, especially about material things.

Your responses made me feel a bit better, (or at least not so silly in my sentimentality). Chaos wished she had kept the collar she made for her former boy, and Heather kept her collars against her former dominant’s wishes.

So now I’m curious about what others have done with collars after D/s relationship break ups… so tell me…

What have you done (or what would you do) with a collar from a dissolved D/s relationship?

† No, I don’t keep a shrine to J’s collar… I just thought it looked nice… all artsy and meaningful-like, right? Also, do you know how hard it is to photograph a collar without someone in it? It’s completely shapeless…
‡ Dissolved… and/or failed, broken, fizzled-out, dead, imploded, concluded, or otherwise ended.

  11 Responses to “our collar”

  1. My ex boy’s collar was leather and steel, engraved for him. When we weren’t together, it lived with him. I would have him wear it at his home even when I wasn’t there: he wasn’t allowed to take it off without permission.

    So when it ended, the collar was in his possession. The breakup was devastatingly painful for both of us. The collar was significant to us, but in the haze of horribleness, it was irrelevant. And when the dust settled some, I couldn’t have imagined driving a knife into his heart by asking for it back, or asking about it, or mentioning it at all. I’d have been stabbing myself in the heart to take it back also, the act of it compounding all the hurt that was already there.

    On the question of ownership, it was my collar: he wore *my collar*. Even when he asked to put it on or take it off, he referred to it as “your collar”, so in the symbolism of it and in the physical sense, the collar was always mine, as he was mine. But in the end, I’m glad that he has it (or perhaps he threw it away, I have no idea). I am a sentimental sort and I think having it in my possession would have been an awkward sadness for me.

    Ferns

    • but in the haze of horribleness, it was irrelevant.

      I guess I’m lucky in this regard — my haze isn’t so much horribleness as it is an emotionally exhausted acceptance than accompanies a chronic condition.

      I am a sentimental sort and I think having it in my possession would have been an awkward sadness for me.

      Exactly. I didn’t want him to have it (it’s mine, gosh darnit), but I couldn’t bear to keep it as it was. We’re changed, so it needs changed too. The symbolic object needed to change to reflect reality.

      Also, I hate reality.

      Thanks for your comments on this, Ferns. :)

  2. With my last break-up I asked my former Dom what he wanted done with the collar he got for me. I honestly wanted to keep it. I am not sure why though, as I am not a momento collector anymore. He asked me to mail it to him. Dropping that envelope into the mailbox finally made it real. I shed my first (and last) tears when it dropped out of my reach. But then, I felt better. It was really over. I have wondered whatever happened to it after, but… then again… I really don’t care. It was not meant to be around my throat. The one I have now suits me much more.

    • I honestly wanted to keep it. I am not sure why though as I am not a momento collector anymore.

      I’m not either. Really, I’m not. I hate “stuff.” But still, this was/is important to me, and I can’t quite articulate why. Sometimes we want things that go against what we know of ourselves, right? I hope so…

      . Dropping that envelope into the mailbox finally made it real. I shed my first (and last) tears when it dropped out of my reach. But then, I felt better.

      Ugh. That sounds so cold and lonely. I’m sorry you had to do it, but so glad that it marked a change in your thinking. Sometimes it’s best to know that things are really, truly over.

      It was not meant to be around my throat. The one I have now suits me much more.

      I love this. :) Thank you for reminding me that what is meant to be… will be. :)

  3. Having never been collared before, it’s hard to know exactly how I would feel about it after a breakup, but I could imagine it going one of two ways.

    If it ended well, which the vast majority of my relationships do, (I.E.: we are still on friendly terms) I would want to keep the collar. Not so much as a keepsake from the relationship, but as a reminder to me of who I was, at that time. I find it helpful, every now and again, to revisit times when there was a great deal of change and growth in my life and as this would have been my first collar, a good ending would have made it significant for me. It would be a symbol of my “Coming of age”, so to speak, in the world of D/s. I could even see repurposing it in a respectful way that would keep me in mind of a very special time.

    On the other hand, in the rare event of a bad ending, I would probably feel differently. The collar, as a symbol of control, would no longer have meaning to me and I would have to desire to be reminded of the pain. She would be welcome to do with it as she pleased. If she didn’t want it back, or I was left in possession of it, the representation of control now broken would either be discarded, or end up as a parrot chew toy.

    • but as a reminder to me of who I was, at that time. I find it helpful, every now and again, to revisit times when there was a great deal of change and growth in my life and as this would have been my first collar, a good ending would have made it significant for me.

      Yes to this! I’m happy with who I am at the present moment. I’ve done my best, stayed true to myself, and I’ve been thoughtful and kind to those in my orbit. Despite an unhappy ending, it was a very happy story. :)

      On the other hand, in the rare event of a bad ending, I would probably feel differently

      Ha! Yes to this too. I’m a scorched earth sort of girl. If it isn’t good… burn it down to the ground and start fresh.

      Thankfully, this thing we had leaves me something to grow from, to build on, and to be proud of. I’m a better person for it, and for that, I’m very glad.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this, Stephen. :)

  4. When my previous owner released me last year, She allowed me to keep my collar. my new owner was relaxed about me using it although we have discussed about getting a new one. I have no hang-ups nor does my previous or current owner about its usage. I guess there are more pressing matters of kink to ponder than a physical collar. Symbolism has its place but it’s not a universe.

    • my new owner was relaxed about me using it

      She is a calm, cool, and confident one, then? :) She’s a better domme than I — I’d ask you stick it in a styrofoam cup and top it off with gasoline. Napalm is messy, but tremendously effective. :) (Also, I’m a jealous woman — not proud of that, but it’s the way it is).

      I guess there are more pressing matters of kink to ponder than a physical collar.

      I do not have more pressing matters of kink. I’m stuck wondering if I’ll ever have sex that good, ever again. :(

      Symbolism has its place but it’s not a universe.

      Agreed. For now, I need it. It’s comforting and gives me a little bit of happiness to focus on.

  5. In my only bdsm-relationship where there was a collar involved, we actually used her own collar, one she’d gotten for herself. And that was fine, we both knew we wouldn’t be a good match so getting her a collar(my collar) would have felt like going through the motions. But we didn’t end up using her collar much either. I suppose I’m possessive in that I really need my better halves to wear a collar that is MINE. I’m claiming them(or as much as they freely offer of themselves) and so the collar has to be mine to mean anything.

    No, I don’t think I could bear to leave my collar with the person I’d gifted it to. I think it’d be something too laden with meaning and symbolism for me to give it up or throw it away. I’d probably place it in my box of precious things, where I keep all sorts of keepsakes and mementos – I’m sentimental like that. To throw away a collar -something I would only offer in a very serious kind of relationship, the kind that cuts deep both ways – would be like throwing away the person and the meaning they’d had in my life along with all the growth inspired in me.

    I would keep my collar, place it neatly away with other important things and move on.

    • we both knew we wouldn’t be a good match so getting her a collar(my collar) would have felt like going through the motions.

      I get that. I’m not a big fan of inauthenticity. I’d rather function in the here and now than play pretend with what might have been.

      To throw away a collar -something I would only offer in a very serious kind of relationship, the kind that cuts deep both ways – would be like throwing away the person and the meaning they’d had in my life along with all the growth inspired in me.

      While I didn’t intend to offer him “my collar” (I got it because I thought I hot man in a collar would be sexy… and yes… it was), it’s what happened. He wore it before I ever owned it, and perhaps before I even owned him. In that way, I love that our collar was accidental and totally organic. It was a beautifully happy accident.

      Thanks for your comment, Keekeli. :)

  6. I had a breakup with a Domme a couple of years ago. I ended up keeping the collar. I never wear it, but it is now found a permanent home in a antique treasure chest that I keep my mementos and sentimental things in I feel like it is kind of a waste because it is such a beautiful collar, but I could never bring myself to wear it ago.

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