Our community has at its core a few principles, one of which is that we don't kink-shame. We don't tell other people that their kink is wrong or right, or that how they practice it is right or wrong. But that doesn't mean that how someone else's practices their kink doesn't have an emotional impact or effect, and for me, this is felt most strongly in the area of collaring.
When I was in my late twenties, I dated a woman who was allergic to pets. Having furry pets, this was an issue. If she wanted to stay over at my apartment, she had to take medication. One day she casually mentioned that if we became serious, I would need to need to get rid of my pets. The relationship didn't last much longer.
My pets don't have a real choice in the matter of who owned them, but in return, I always tr to do my best in ensuring their health, safety, and happiness. I could not give my pets away unless I had absolutely no choice. My pets give me joy, and in return, I pledge to care for them.
With human beings, things become more complicated. A submissive partner has a choice in choosing to submit to me. Moreover, there are more opportunities for problems to arise between us. But once a collar goes on, the relationship shifts. It becomes sacred. My commitment to any submissive partner is substantive, but the symbolism of the collar changes things.
I'm 38 years old and I've never been married. I've only proposed to one woman, the same woman I gave a collar to. That relationship didn't last, but it was years before either the ring or collar came out. I take both commitments seriously and don't enter into these relationships easily.
So when I see someone posting a personals ad on Monday and then on Friday saying that they're Owned, Collared or a Slave to someone, I find it shocking. How can someone else take what is a sacred relationship and enter into it easily?
Are they casual about a relationship that I considered sacred? Do they think that these relationships are a form of role play? Are they people who enter into deep relationships easily? Maybe they've been married a dozen times? Or are they just incredibly lucky, and after four days know that they've met the partner of their dreams?
I can't say. I don't know. And in our live-and-let-live culture, it's not my place to make a determination on how real someone else's power exchange relationship is. The kink in the way that works for them.
But it makes me question them, their decisions and their level of seriousness and intimacy. I will respect their dynamic as stated, but I find it difficult to believe that one can pledge their entire unquestioning self to another after only a few days. And I question what kind of person would accept such a commitment from another.
... As for me, I do hope one day to collar someone else. But it won't be for a long time... and that's okay.