The collar I wear is made of hemp. It’s one piece of rope connected to itself via an equilateral long splice, and where each of the three ends meet, it’s reinforced with a palm and needle whipping. Mistress has made each iteration around my neck, sometimes hours of me kneeling and thinking as she worked. It needs to be replaced now and then—about every year—and it must be destroyed to be removed—cut off. A small, stainless steel shackle connects an o-ring, and that, at least, transfers between every iteration.
But, yes, as time goes on, the collar absorbs a lot. Drops of my sweat from the service I provide, stray drops of my blood and tears from the beatings I take. And more. (Realistically, mostly skin oils.)
Now, hemp constricts when wet. When the collar first goes on, it gets a little tight when I shower or such, but I don’t really notice. As I wear it, though, as it absorbs everything, it has more moisture in it all the time, and when it’s almost time for a new one, taking a shower feels like being choked.
This is the reward for putting in the time, sweat, blood, and tears: the collar gets tighter and tighter.
The more I give, the more air it takes, the more I get to feel it.
I believe that the collar belongs to Mistress. While I sometimes call it my collar for clarity, truly, I think it’s hers. Here’s why.
I believe that, in terms of consensual power dynamics, we met as equals. She wasn’t my Mistress and I wasn’t her slave, for real, until we both agreed. That part was a two way street.
Now, however, it’s a one way street. She can dissolve our contract. She can remove the collar. I cannot. No safewords, no limits, no rights, no way out.
Because that’s a one way street, I think the collar—a symbol of that agreement—belongs solely to her.
But, I have to wonder, is some part of it mine, too? It’s custom made around my neck, lives there, absorbs parts of me with time, and must be destroyed to be taken off of me, after all.
There is, I think, something about it that’s mine: the privilege of wearing it. That can be taken away—like everything else I have, a privilege, not a right—but it isn’t given out of sheer generosity, either. It’s something I’ve earned.
If for no other reason, I believe it’s earned because owning a person comes with responsibility, just like owning any asset comes with responsibility. Mistress owns the home we live in—and if the air conditioning suddenly goes out, if the house gets damaged in any way, if it experiences any wear and tear, that’s her problem, and it happens at her expense, one way or another.
The same for me. If I’m sick or injured or aging, she has to make the big decisions, probably take care of me herself, deal with my loss of ability, pay the medical bills (all the money is ultimately hers), etc. I come with risks beyond my control. I have to deal with what happens to me, too—I’m not inanimate, but. And I take on risk by being a slave, too—but I will provide care at her command, for her convenience, out of obedience, not ownership.
Now, she can release me, washing her hands of those problems, just like she can sell the house if it needs too many repairs, but then she’s short a slave, and everything she’s put into me. It’s unlikely she gets money out of it, and slaves are more work to reinvest in than houses.
I take on more risk than she does, by nature of not being able to cut my losses and dissolve the situation in case of problems, even if ultimately, all assets and liabilities are hers, in a way. And I have my own reasons for taking that on, but they’re not really the main point here. She takes on risk, too.
So, ownership has to be worth the risk.
This means I must prove that I am a worthy, animate asset, that I am doing what I can to reduce my risks and increase my value. I must have something to offer that makes me worth the risk of owning me, of putting a collar around my neck to signify that.
If for no other reason, I believe the collar is earned because, one way or another, I proved that value. She made sure of that before she made it around my neck.
So, back to the question: is some part of the collar mine, too, if I earned the privilege of wearing it?
Perhaps. But it’s not debt free. To keep that privilege, I must continue to earn it, every day. I didn’t really just earn it once.
Here’s a thought: maybe I’ve only finished earning it when it’s removed.
In my mind, my slavery operates on a lien against my honor. Since our contract isn’t legally binding, what protects it—especially that no way out part for me—is integrity. My debt is lifelong obedience. I cannot leave with my honor or integrity, unless I obeyed until one of us died or she released me, paying that debt. If I don’t give her that, I lose my honor.
Thus, I can’t have completely proven myself, finished earning the collar, until that point. And at that point, I get ownership of myself back—the right to self collar, if you will (thought I might very well be dead).
But that’s more the metaphorical collar, ownership. What about the physical collar, which doesn’t last as long?
Perhaps I’ve earned each of those when they were removed and destroyed, then, when I had put in enough of the blood, sweat, and tears that it became dizzyingly, euphorically tight.
I think the physical collar represents the dynamic in more ways than one. Where else would you first look to see the Owner’s will and preference represented? Subtle, flashy, practical, dainty, colorful, plain, leather, rope, locking, clasped, belled, tagged—collars come in all variations, and each tells a story.
The collar I wear is, as mentioned, made by Mistress, out of rope. Rope is a big thing of hers. And that she makes it herself renders it an always handy example of her craftsmanship. Incidentally, so am I. A living example of her will, preferences, training.
To those who know what a collar means, it’s clear, like our protocol, but it’s tame (and comfortable) enough for 24/7 wear. It must be, since, like the dynamic it represents, it’s on 24/7.
It’s also practical. Mistress likes to remind me that the weakest part of the collar’s setup is my throat. It can support far more than my body weight at its own weakest point. (And, I’m not an actual house cat who might get out and up a tree—that’s not a huge safety issue). It stands up easily to her grabbing and tugging, incorporating it into artistic rope ties, and leashing me every night.
I do think about it frequently last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Every night, I see to my last tasks, turning down the bedroom, then strip out of my uniform, wash up, and get in position for 9:45 Inspection.
I remove everything except the collar (and my wedding ring). Really, my whole uniform—I wear the exact same thing every day—is a display of Mistress’ preference. But at night, as required, it all comes off, leaving only the symbols that bind me to her. The collar, I note mentally, almost every time I strip entirely, is the one item I can’t remove. I eye my pager—a symbol and logistic of me being at her beck and call—but it’s not quite the same, and it comes off from where I keep it clipped to my leggings during the day, setting it nearby for the night. I leave the wedding ring, but I often take it off out of caution when I do dishes or such, tuck it into the clip of my pager and set them both nearby.
And after Inspection is done, her looking me over and telling me how my evening tasks— like cleaning up after dinner at 6—went (adequately, 99% of the time), I get into Leashing Position, which is my General Kneeling Position, except with a double check my head and hair are out of the way, the collar o-ring is in front, and with the matching leash draped across my upturned palms on my thighs.
She leashes me for the night, and I curl up in my spot on the floor at the foot of the bed, see to a few final tasks, and go to sleep. All night, I feel the slight tug of the heavy clip of the leash, occasionally tangle my torso in the rope, or, more frequently, take it with me in my sleep when I roll over, hear the jingling of the metal bits near my throat, or the carabiner that connects the handle to a turnbuckle on the underside of the bed rattling around. At 8:10, I’ll page her or wake her and we’ll repeat the night’s ritual for unleashing. (Inspection, too, repeats, at 10:30, dressed in my uniform, for morning tasks, like cleaning up after brunch, served at 9:30.)
So, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night—the leash, the collar, the symbol and the feeling of ownership.
It’s a readily accessible feeling, really—there in what I do—a full time job of service, being the housewife—and what I don’t do, like speak if not spoken to.
But, if I ever need more, another reminder, reassurance, symbol—of what I am, what I do, what I’m for, what I’ve earned—it’s right there, around my neck.
A little tighter every day.