ISSUE_02: A Locked Collar - Ownership or Aesthetics?
23 September 2019
There's a hot guy standing in a bar. You choose to approach and when he turns around you see that he's wearing a locked chain collar. What do you do? Compliment him on his hot necklace, grab the chain and initiate a tongue wrestle or respectfully greet the submissive and ask for his key holder?
My name is spot, Alpha slave in the House of Master Vince and I'm here to talk about the symbolism of wearing a locked collar within the BDSM and fetish community.
You might have stumbled across my Instagram, @Alpha_slave_spot, a profile where I'm inviting you into my day to day BDSM and fetish life. Yes, I do have content removed on a regular basis, but I'm a sucker for edge play, can't help it. Every now and then I preach about certain topics held close to me. Like the collar for instance, one of the most confusing pieces of gear these days. Is a locked collar the symbol of ownership or could it just be an accessory? Bite the gag and hold on tight cause I'm about to whip my truth right into you.
NB: The House I serve is old school with a lot of protocols in place. Some regulate written text, such as upper-case lettering when referring to Dominants, lower case to submissives and slash ("/") used for mixed groups.
"A slave is owned, a submissive is not"
To U/us a locked collar is the ultimate symbol of ownership and mutual commitment between a Dominant and a submissive, very much like a wedding ring. Collars are locked in place in a ceremonial manner, making every obedient nerve shiver when I'm ordered to kneel and with a click of a lock, I shift head space completely.
However, this is not the case for everyone. In my world every human being is free to wear whatever they f***ing want, but when it comes to the world of BDSM and fetish, I'm no God. This community isn't my creation and it sure wasn't put together in 6 days. This world you enter freely and here the collar has a strong meaning founded many years ago. Even though the beliefs may differ slightly, most practitioners agree that the collar is worn by submissives. Just like the hanky codes, the collar is a way for us to communicate. Worn to signal your status as an available submissive or locked in place by a Dominant to signal that you're owned or claimed. Today some rebellious kinksters challenge this by fetishizing the collar, locked or not. Is it what you need to complete your outfit and to get that kinky look? Think twice. What do you want to signal? Are you perhaps misguided or is this your God damn right?
Every time a collared person tells me they don't have a key holder, I can't help but getting sad. Why aren't we talking the same language when meeting in same tiny subculture? I've been there too though. Nine years ago, my fiancé and I were dragged down to SLM Stockholm for the first time. That night I saw a collared person drinking beer from a bowl off the floor. It was pure magic and soon thereafter my first collar was bought. I didn't want to take it off. But the more I went back to SLM the more I realised I was sending out signals I wasn't aware of. I had no Master, not even a Dominant. What I had was a poor partner trying to satisfy my dirty needs as best as he could. But instead of being judged I was kindly taught basic collar etiquettes.
Eventually I met my Master and things got more serious for this Swedish switch. I'm now an owned slave but also an owned Dominant. How do you collar that? After years of training Master provided me with a heavy chain to wear whenever I practice Dominance. W/we call it the "Alpha collar" and it is the one I wear in the photo. This is the only collar I'm allowed to put on myself and the missing lock is symbolising the small bit of freedom I get to enjoy. This beauty might be my favourite, but please don't let Master in on that.
A collar can be charged with whatever Y/you agree upon, but please stay within the frames of BDSM. No matter whether you're a fashionista, a ground-breaking millennial or simply misguided, hear me out. You can choose to wear a collar, but you can't choose to erase the meaning of it. There's a long line of history to be respected here and I think that's something everyone who chooses to wear a collar needs to be mindful of.
New to BDSM? Welcome on board! You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Take baby steps and ask a lot of questions. That's what baby spot did back at SLM. The community is as diverse as the people in it but there wouldn't be a community if it wasn't for our predecessors' hard work, like the old guard, Stonewall etc. Back in the 80s a whole generation of mentors were wiped out and the community suffered a great loss, but today we've got internet and Recon to keep us together and informed. Knowledge is however a shared responsibility. It's the role of the more experienced to pass it on and it's the newbies responsibility to seek it.
Alright, that was me ranting on a full spread, pages wide open like a regular at Lab. Hope it was as good for you as it was for me. Thank you for reading and reflecting, truly. Now go out there and show your true collars!
This article can be found in Recon ISSUE_02, along with other articles, photography and artwork focused on fetish and kink. Available in fetish locations around the world now and online soon.