BDSM: What’s There To Love?

Time For Some Reflection

Normally my blogs are very informative.  Today, though, I want to give you a little bit of a more personal glimpse inside what makes me, me. What makes me tick and pulls me into this way of life.

Everyone in the lifestyle comes to it for their own reasons.

Whether they be sexual, emotional, psychological, or a combination of the three, they are all valid, but each expression also provides a different sense of fulfillment and liberation. For me, I find enjoyment in all three.

Sexual Liberation

funny bdsm image

Sexual liberation is extremely important to me – I am a sexual being and have been for quite some time.

All of the headspaces I have taken time to develop have some element of sexual expression weaved into their fabric.

Growing up in a very strict household meant that I was closeted: desires, thoughts, wants, needs were not met until I was able to leave those stifling confines and allow my wings to spread.

Exploring my sexuality was like a gateway to a world of possibility. It gave me the chance to learn more about what I needed in order to fill those wants and needs that I felt deep within me.

 

What Are You Looking For?

It helped me to realize that I needed structure – in sex, in relationships, in life, in everything. I needed someone to guide me as I often found and still find myself lacking in self-motivation, but have always been happiest and most successful when I had someone to please or make proud who was also worthy of those efforts.

Someone I could trust, someone who was intelligent, sexual, strong willed yet understanding. I needed a force that could match my own and not force me to yield for them out of fear, but make me want to yield to them because they deserved it.

I wanted and needed a Dominant. It was not until I had made my way to college that I really began to get to know myself. To put a name to what I was. What I am and have embraced in myself for over a decade now.

To my core, even though I love and enjoy topping on occasion, I am a submissive.

love handcuffs

What’s BDSM For Me?

BDSM is the way that I have been able to safely explore this part of me, without judgment, without fear, without unwanted and unexpected pain.

With consent being the most important tenet of this lifestyle, it makes coming to it with an open mind and a full heart much easier.

Seeing the potential that it could have in the right situation was more alluring to me than keeping myself completely guarded and off-bounds as I often had been – an over-exaggerated mechanism of self-protection.

Finding BDSM gave me the motivation to let myself open up and be willing to let others inside – once they passed the test, of course, as any valiant knight must, and earned the right to my submission.

This brings me to one of my most favorite aspects of BDSM; the one that really makes this lifestyle what it is.

The power exchange between submissive and Dominant.

For me, it is a struggle on all fronts.

Sexually

They need to show that they can match me – not necessarily in the most obvious of definitions – orgasm for orgasm – but more that they have the same hunger to explore, a thirst for something other, and can enjoy similar kinks that we can delve deeper into together.

Emotionally

They need to be able to be honest with themselves and with me. They need to be vulnerable and strong – to be able to withstand my worst days and also come to me and let me help heal their wounds when they need to be held up.

Psychologically

they need to be strong of mind and share the same morals and ethics.

They need to be cunning and challenge me intellectually, mentally, and be able to keep up with my rapidly moving mind. Without this foundation, my submission will not come.

There will always be a fight, something will always feel not quite right.

But when it is there – when a Dominant has all the important traits – it is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.

It took a great deal of trial and error to really know that I needed these things out of BDSM and out of whoever I took as a partner to stand by my side through this journey.

Failed attempts resulted in broken hearts, emotional pain, sadness, but most importantly, greater understanding of myself and the stripping away of fears I had learned over the years being compressed under someone else’s thumb and their definition of right, wrong, love, obedience, fragility.

bdsm chain

So what is it I love about BDSM? 

It is that it provides a space for this magical form of expression that gives a submissive permission to find strength in something that seems (but definitely is not) powerless, and the Dominant a chance to show why they are worthy of such wonderful fragility.

I have a tattoo on my thigh.

It is of a rope tied in a celtic knot and made to look like a skeleton key to signify an adage that strikes a chord deep within me – “that which binds me sets me free.”

Whether I find my freedom tied by rope, guided by rules, made to feel small in little space, blissed out in pain, or offering up myself and all I have in service, every form of binding gives me the chance to be free – to freely express my emotions, to be my most content liberated self.

To be a submissive who is in love with subservience and finding strength and purpose in giving myself heart, body and soul to fulfilling that purpose.

That is what I love about BDSM.

 

BDSM Collars: A Complete Guide

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bdsm collars: everything you ned to know

The topic of collaring comes up quite a bit in the online BDSM community and many people have different ideas and understandings of how collaring works and the importance behind it.

Some take it very lackadaisically while others may take it as seriously as an engagement or wedding.

If you have been in this community for a while, you have probably talked about collaring and maybe been collared yourself in the past!

If you are new, you might be wondering about what all the hubbub is about!

So, today I will be talking about collars – what different collars exist, when and how they are used, and of course why.

For some, this may be new information to take in.

For others, this may just be a brief refresher.

Regardless, I hope you find it helpful!

Types of Collars

bdsm collar types

Collaring has a very rich and deep history, stemming all the way back to the leather community with regards to modern day BDSM, and even further back with regards to slave culture in general.

To many in a D/s relationship, the use of a collar is ceremonial and holds a great deal of significance and symbolism – showing the progression of a D/s relationship as time goes by and the bond between Dominant and submissive changes and grows.

To others, it may just be a tool to denote playtime.

Let’s start with the basics.

The Play Collar

A play collar is often also called a kitten collar and one you will often find associated with pet play, though that is not its only use.

It is considered to be a temporary and informal collar, often used in dungeons to show that the submissive wearing it belongs to a Dom for the duration of their scene, or is used in play that calls for a collar – pet play, slave and Master roleplay.

The point is, after the scene is done, the collar comes off.

It’s significance ends there.

Outside of the dungeon, it is usually put on at the beginning of play and removed at the end of the scene and aids in the submissive achieving a deeper and ore involved subspace.

They are usually made of leather or ribbon and can be easily fastened and unfastened.

Day Collar

day collar

A day collar is a discrete collar that is made to be worn so that the submissive can still wear a collar to signify their relationship status and possible ownership in public.

It is a safe and comfortable form of expression without being glaringly obvious.

Day collars tend to have a more secretive way of locking or just use a normal lobster clasp.

Some look like dainty, elegant necklaces while others might involve a small hidden lock or be made of sturdier hardware.

The main function is to be able to continue to wear a collar for the submissive and the Dominant to recognize while the rest of the world may not.

In some D/s expressions, though, especially in more strict Master and slave dynamics, if someone has received a full slave collar, it is never to be removed or replaced, even by a day collar for discretion.

Day collars can be made of just about anything

It is common to see ones maid of a light chain and incorporating the Ring of O in the design.

Protection Collar

While this collar does not mean ownership of a submissive, it is still to be recognized and respected.

This collar is given to a submissive by a Dominant who acts as a Dominant in a protective role.

The Dominant is not to be considered their Master or owner, however it ensures that others know, while the submissive wears this collar, they are not to be approached without permission and will likely be properly vetted by the Dominant who holds the collar.

This dynamic is one where the Dominant is looking out for the submissive and would vet other doms before allowing pursuit of the submissive.

Collar of Consideration

This collar is given when a relationship moves into something more serious than just casual play.

It is akin to serious dating in the vanilla world.

It is usually leather and can be removed for public appearances but is otherwise always to be worn when in the presence of the Dominant.

In this stage, the Dom and the submissive are learning more about each other, delving more deeply into their D/s relationship and how they express themselves, learning what the other needs from them in order for them to fulfill their respective duties sufficiently.

Consideration can be revoked if rules are broken or if either party is not getting what is agreed upon from their relationship.

The Training Collar

Not to be confused with a training collar specifically used for pet play, this level is considered a step up and would be akin to a promise or engagement ring in the vanilla world.

At this point there is often a contract or agreement as to what is expected of both parties.

This is the time when the submissive is being trained to be of service to their Dominant, which in turn means more structure and responsibility in the relationship for all parties involved.

These collars will not be removed just from a simple misstep.

It may be a leather collar or a metal collar that can be removed, again, when necessary (showers, medical emergencies, certain social and public events, etc), but should always be worn in the presence of the Dominant.

 

Slave/Formal Collar

slave formal collar

This collar is used when both patties are ready to take their relationship to the final level.

It exemplifies complete commitment and ownership and submission in a D/s relationship and is akin to a wedding ring.

Often the couple will have a collaring ceremony during which the collar is given, placed, and a renewable contract is signed.

This is a metal collar that is never to be removed, save for in a medical emergency.

It shows that the submissive has given everything of themselves over to their Dominant and trusts them to guide them through life.

It also shows that the Dominant is there to guide them through life, to love and support them and their growth.

This does not mean there is no autonomy in the relationship.

It does mean, however, that the submissive is fully owned, happy and willing to serve, and that the Dominant has taken the responsibility of lifting you up through your service.

 

Collaring in Online Communities

bdsm collar

With BDSM becoming more prevalent in mainstream communities, it is no wonder that there are now plenty of ways to meet Dominants and submissives online – whether in specific chat rooms or Reddits geared towards the topic of BDSM, image sites like Tumblr, roleplay sites like Elliquiy and F-List, or dating, meeting and community sites like Fetlife.

BDSM has extended its reach.

However, you may find in online D/s communities and relationships that you have a higher concentration of new entrants into the lifestyle, or those who are learned but toxic, and you may see a collar is quickly given and just as quickly removed.

The term given for this is the “Velcro Collar”.

It is meant to be a negative term and demeaning, though I believe it is also meant to increase awareness and understanding amongst those who engage in online D/s relationships that collaring is not something meant to be taken lightly; that D/s relationships require commitment, maturity and mutual respect.

 

Looking for a Collar?

BDSM Collar Shop

A relative newcomer on the scene, this collar shop has a pretty good selection of BDSM Collars, nipple clamps, and BDSM restraints (check them out here)

They ship directly from the supplier, which keeps their price low, but be prepared to wait 1-3 weeks for your collar to arrive.

That being said, there are some great bargains to be had, and they have custom collars available as well!

Etsy

Etsy is a great place in general to search for BDSM gear – though the price tag can be a bit steep as is expected with handmade custom niche items.

A quick search on Etsy can bring up a whole range of bespoke shops that can make you something unique, regardless of the level or type of collar.

The best ways to narrow your search are to know what you are looking for – type of collar, materials, etc. and have an idea of the money you want to spend.

Take a look around. You are bound to find something you will like!

 

Melted Kitten Creations

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(Image credit: Melted Kitten Creations on Instagram)

This shop specializes in very intricate and ornate kitten play/pet play collars.

They are sturdy enough to withstand playtime and a bit of tugging, but not meant to be roughly handled as they are a little more delicate.

Depending on how stubborn the pet or how rigorous the training and play, they might not be for you.

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(Image credit to Melted Kitten Creations on Instagram)

They have regular releases that are announced on Instagram and often open up custom slots for people to purchase.

They use Etsy as their selling platform.

The prices range from $40 USD and go up from there depending on the hardware used.

 

Restrained Grace

restrained-grace

restrained-grace-collar-2

(On the left, DDLG Pacifier Charm Collar – $55 USD. On the right, Kitten Play Charm Collar – $55 USD. Image credit to Restrained Grace.)

Home of some of the most beautiful and elegant play and day collars I have seen, Restrained Grace’s designs are simple but beautiful, fulfilling both form and function.

They use leather, metal chain and pearls to create stunning collars that can be used in a variety of BDSM sub genres – including pet play, DDLG, and slave dynamics.

lockable-lavender-day-collar

(Lockable Lavender Ring of O Pearl Day Collar – $110 USD. Image credit to Restrained Grace.)

The shop has both an Instagram and an online store front ( https://www.restrainedgrace.com/collections/new-1 ) that you can peruse and purchase from.

rose-gold-steel-infinity-slave-collar

(Rose Gold Steel Infinity Slave Collar – $75 USD./Image credit to Restrained Grace.)

Their prices are pretty decent and tend to range from $30-$120 USD depending on the materials used.

They also have some promoters on Instagram that provide discount codes you can use to save some money on your purchase.

Over all – they offer a wide range of collars that span multiple levels of commitment and different types of play.

 

Sub-Shop

sub-shop-collar

(SUB Black Leather Rhinestone Letter Collar – $19.95 USD. Image credit to sub-shop.com )

Sub-Shop is one of the most reliable one-stop bondage gear websites I have encountered.

Shipping times are impeccable and product quality has never let me down.

They have every manner of collar – rubber and PVC O-ring and D-ring collars, metal collars, corset posture collars, collars that are also gags, pet play collars and leash sets, slave collars – the only thing I haven’t seen is ribbon/kitten collars – but everything else seems to be accounted for.

Their prices are also very reasonable with a very wide range from $15 to $100 USD.

 

Amazon

amazon-locking-submissive-collar

(Amazon.com – $157.00)

Generally speaking – you can find just about anything on Amazon.

A quick search for “bdsm collars” brought up several options – ranging from metal day collars like the one pictured above, to simpler leather or fake leather collars with O-rings, to collars with lettering and locks.

My advice when dealing with Amazon is always look at how many purchases have been made, the rating the item has receive and whether there are any reviews so you do not end up getting something you didn’t purchase.

Price ranges are the most dynamic on Amazon.

You could find something as cheap as a few dollars or as expensive as a couple hundred, depending on what you are looking for.

Again, however, there seems to be an underrepresentation of kitten play ribbon collars, so id this is what you are looking for, you are better off trying one of the other shops that offers this style of collar.

 

Eternity Collars

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(Limited Edition Titanium Eternity Collar in Radiance Finish – $205 USD.Image credit to Eternity Collars)

Eternity Collars is an online shop that is well known amongst the veterans in the community.

They are the go-to source for eternity collars (aka full slave collars).

They have expanded their product style to include lockable leather collars and discreet day collars, as well.

The collars are finely wrought, with a simple, elegant design, and made from quality leathers and metal

The price tag is certainly more hefty – ranging from $60-$300 USD – but it is well worth it.

These collars are made for commitments that are not to be taken lightly.

In Conclusion…

Regardless of whether your relationship is in person or long distance and online – and regardless of the level of commitment or the type of play – there is a collar for you.

Not everyone’s relationship or their expression of it looks the same – it is important to recognize and know the difference between individuality and abuse.

Always remember that a collar is what you make it and keep in mind the weight of importance and respect behind the symbol.