I’m excited to get in on “No True Way” – the new bi-monthly prompt from Lilly’s blog. I had the distinct pleasure of working with her on the badge and banner as well as talking through the nuts and bolts of running a writing meme/prompt. I think her idea of dissecting and discussing the common BDSM tropes we see online is a brilliant contribution to the community and I’m genuinely thrilled to be involved.

Whether Worn Or Not The Collar Is Never Off

In a drawer, in the dresser across the room from where I’m sitting, there are two collars. Neither one has anything to do with the dynamic I’m currently the submissive in. They are vestiges of the past.

One is steel, one is leather. The first is just for play – even the roughest play – twenty inches of steel chain purchased on a whim in a hardware store. The second was a bit more intentional. It is buttery soft buffalo leather with an oversized silver ring; both substantial and dainty. It was mine for a time, when Ralph London and I tried on D/s and learned that it doesn’t fit, we don’t mesh that way, not in a 24/7 dynamic. Then, it was Loverboy’s. He wore it constantly for months, in his sleep, under “vanilla” clothes, to work. His favourite was to be pulled nearer by it, for a kiss or a whisper, or a slap. He left it behind when he left me behind.

This is the premier week of #NoTrueWay and the topic is “Whether worn or not, a collar is never off” – a statement I put out to folks on Twitter recently that got the #NTW ideas bubbling. The responses were fascinating and it got me thinking: A collar’s power is imbued, not inherent. They can mean nothing to some folks and be like a wedding ring to others, but essentially they are as personal, or rather the relationship to a collar, is as personal and specific as the dynamic itself.

Over the years I have seen many a “true” kink practitioner claim that without it, the dynamic is practically null and void, as if the presence of a talisman will make or break your connection. “But how will I know that they own me if I don’t have a pretty collar?!” is a sentiment I have seen echoed over and over. Others wear collars just because: because they like them, for fashion, in or outside of D/s dynamics. You don’t have to be a submissive to wear one, you don’t have to have an elaborate collaring ceremony, but it’s also okay to take comfort in a collar. Basically, your collar: your rules!

But if you do have one, and it is a part of your dynamic, is it still “on” metaphorically when you take the collar off literally? Again – I think it comes down to the individual.

The dynamic I’m currently submissive in is “collarless”. We have discussed it and we agree we’d each like a talisman of the other. Until then, is it any less committed or valid? Certainly not. In fact, not wearing a talisman of Him doesn’t hinder or impede my submission at all. Do I “feel” collared by him? Absolutely. Do I have a Pinterest board of collars that I covet? Yup.
But do I need a collar to make the choice to submit to him in my head and heart and body, everyday? No, certainly not.

For me, worn or not, a collar is more than an accessory, or even a symbol; it’s a state of mind. It can be a promise, a mark of ownership, or simply a piece of gear with no emotional value. How you wear your collar is up to you, as is how it feels when you take it off.

No True Way
Every Damn Day In June

Violet Fawkes

Violet Fawkes (she/her) is a freelance writer and sex blogger focusing on pleasure education, erotic fiction, and the intersection of identity, kink and mental health.