When I was young, I wore a dog collar. A literal, actual dog collar of the kind you could buy from any old pet shop. Black leather, studded: the kind you’d use if you wanted your dog to look slightly menacing. I desperately wanted my boyfriend to clip a leash through the metal loops and pull my face onto his cock while I sucked him. But he never did.
As I got older, I stopped wearing dog collars. All my goth affectations got watered down until the only traces left were occasional strokes of heavy eyeliner and a spiderweb bracelet or two. Still no one had put me on a leash and choked me while I sucked their cock. Sad times.
When I first got into BDSM, I wondered if part of what drew me to it was the slightly gothy aesthetic. Let’s face it, you rarely find latex or PVC in colours outside the teenage goth spectrum. Then there are corsets, cuffs and collars: all in black, red or purple. Pressing my ‘horny goth’ buttons, with that added frisson of restrictive tightness.
Was I a goth because I was kinky, or did I become kinky because I missed being a goth?
Either way: I loved collars. LOVED them.
Then I grew up, and collars stopped being a sexy thing. I’d met too many people at munches or fetish parties who explained to me that collars were significant. They’re not just a play item or part of a costume: your collar must be placed delicately on your neck by a dominant that you are bonded to. You must perform the collaring ritual, devote yourself to Him, capitalise His pronouns to indicate respect and ensure that while you are collared you always always obey. Although I was fascinated by the idea of it, too many people implied that it was compulsory – the One True Way to do collars.
Yeah, I knew some proper dicks back then.
Thing is, I was fairly new to the kink scene – a BDSM baby. The first time I went to a fetish club I had to ask for help putting on my corset, for crying out loud. I was in no position to put my hand up and meekly ask if it was OK for me just to wear a collar because I thought it was hot.
I can’t remember the point at which I stopped wearing collars, or forgot to find them hot any more, but they gradually disappeared from my sex toy cupboard.
Then recently, a lovely PR person sent me some stuff, and the package that arrived contained a collar and leash. A really simple one. Neat and pretty, but sturdy enough to yank on. I opened the package with my other half, and while I was absorbed in imagining the possibilities of the other thing we’d been sent – a cool body-restraint thing that’s a cross between bondage equipment and lingerie – he picked up the collar and leash.
“This.” He ordered. “Put this on.”
“Really? A collar and leash?”
“I’m so… over that.”
My collar and leash phase began and ended in the mid-noughties. What passion I’d had for being dragged across a room and yanked face-forward onto a guy’s dick was definitely over: you could use other things for that these days. Belts, ties, ropes, fuck it – a coil of ethernet cable would do in a pinch. The collar itself felt absurdly formal and deliberate – like dressing in a tuxedo for a night at Pizza Express.
But I’d forgotten one important thing about formality: you don’t feel overdressed if someone’s dressing up with you. Just as I can slip on a dress and high heels for a blow-job in the living room, so I can also kneel down and let him fasten a collar round my throat – just a tiny bit too tight so I can feel it rubbing uncomfortably.
And funnily enough, the feelings of awkwardness go when I see the leash wrapped tight around his fist, yanking me towards him as he bends down to kiss me. The memories of people telling me ‘collars are symbolic and you have to do The Ritual’ fade rapidly when he’s staring at me with that face-fucking look, calling me a ‘good girl’ and getting hard at the thought of what he’s going to do next.
I forget that I’ve done more than him. I’ve had time to burn through the initial excitement that comes with discovering a new kink. It’s not just collars and leashes – there are myriad other things that he likes the sound of but which I too-often dismiss with a jaded sigh and an explanation of how I tried it once and it didn’t work for me.
Each kink and sex toy and activity comes with a certain amount of baggage: the stories about times I fucked it up, the occasions when I was told I wasn’t quite doing it right. Even the times when I did it with a wistful sadness, as the relationships I did it within spluttered their last and died. And while these kinks have their baggage, it’s easy to forget that the overriding kink I have has nothing to do with collars or leashes or corsets or cuffs: it’s all about enthusiasm.
It’s about looking into his eyes and seeing that filthy spark when he gets a new idea into his head. It’s about the sudden jolt in the pit of my stomach when I realise he’s eager to fuck me.
It’s no longer about the collar and leash: it’s about newness. My jaded memories are blown away by his innocent, playful glee, as he yanks on the chain and pulls me forward onto his cock.
If you want to buy the collar/leash or body harness thing I mention in this post, they’re from Bijoux Indiscrets. This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, and I don’t normally accept free samples of things – I made an exception in this case because I really like the person who does their PR, she’s lovely. I honestly have no idea how to do this full disclosure thing, but I reckon that should cover it.