Remember that amazing collar I bought at Ren Fair yesterday? I wore it all day, all evening... I adore it. I'm wearing it now, as a matter of fact.

Anyway, last night I told C that I had something to give him before we went to sleep, so he made sure to remind me before we drifted off. I almost chickened out, because I was embarrassed, but I gathered my courage and slipped on my collar, heart shaped padlock and key in hand. It was dark, so I didn't feel as vulnerable :)

I placed the lock and key into his hand, and I made an impromptu little speech. For some quick background, C and I have both researched the BDSM culture to various extents, and while we are most definitely NOT a BDSM couple, there are aspects of the lifestyle and play that we really enjoy and incorporate into our own bedroom antics. I suppose that what we like might seem a bit freaky to some people, but we've talked about it and we both agree that the important thing is not what other people might think, but that it works for us. Most importantly, whatever we do is built on a foundation of trust, communication, and consensual agreement. We do not do anything that one or the other of us is not comfortable with or not ready for. This is also one of the basic tenets of BDSM. They use the acronym SSC- Safe, Sane, Consensual. The players must operate from a basis of trust, otherwise it can quickly devolve into abuse.

Another background tidbit that might be useful in understanding the subtleties of what I gave to C is that there are typically two types of people in the BDSM culture. A "dom" is the dominant one who takes control, and a "sub" is the submissive one who receives. Don't be deceived into thinking that the dom does all the work and the sub just sits there. It's a mutual experience of giving, as the sub gives control and permission to the dom, and the dom gives the experiences desired to the sub. It's a give-give relationship. Granted, it looks much different than your typical relationship, but to each their own, I guess. Anyway, when a relationship between a dom and a sub has been established, often the dom will "collar" their sub. The sub will wear a collar of the dom's choosing, with or without a lock, to show that they belong to a dom in general and that dom in particular. Some couples even have an official collaring ceremony which is, in effect, much like a marriage ceremony. (In case it's not obvious, I'm the "sub" in our play, and he's the "dom". Sub is a role that I naturally fall into and enjoy very much, and C is the same way with dom, so it works out well.)

With that knowledge, let us proceed into my gift to C. I placed the padlock and key that came with my collar in his hand, snuggled up to him, and said my piece. The gist of it (because I can't remember what I said verbatim) went like this...

"I know that we're not a BDSM couple, but we've both done research on it and know a lot about it. You know that the basic foundation for that is trust. Well, as the wedding is getting closer, I've been doing a lot of thinking... and I'll admit that I have been freaking out some. (murmur of agreement from C, lol) It would be kinda weird if I wasn't. But as we're getting closer and closer to the wedding, and as we've been going around, working towards getting a house, I just really wanted you to know that I trust you. That's what the lock and key are for. I trust you implicitly and completely, and this is a symbol of that. Not only do I trust who you are, that you are a good man, but I trust that any decisions you have to make will be the right ones for me and the kids. I'm looking forward to our future together, and I'm honored that you chose me as the person you want to spend the rest of your life with."

As I was talking, C began stroking my hair and kissing the top of my head. When I was done, he said, "That was very nice," and kissed me deeply. He snapped the lock onto my collar, kissed me again, and then, well, romance ensued.

His minimal response was belied by his tone of voice and his physical response to my words even as I was speaking. I can tell that it touched him deeply. I mean, I may as well have been holding up a blinking red sign that said, "I RESPECT YOU!" And if you've ever read or heard anything by Emerson Eggerichs, you'll know that respect feeds a man's innate need to be loved, just as love feeds that in a woman. Reciting poetry while tossing rose petals probably isn't going to do it for a guy. He needs to feel that he is respected. That's what will rev his engine and make him feel deeply cherished. I think that, last night, I made C feel that I deeply cherish him, and it meant a lot to him. "That was very nice" meant much more than the brevity of the words could convey. I know him well enough to know that. I don't know exactly what feelings it stirred in him, but I know it touched him pretty deeply.

I also hope that it allayed his fears of my up and leaving again. I truly damaged him and caused him unspeakable pain when I left the first time. I regret the pain I caused, though I don't regret leaving (we're so much better off after all these years of individual experiences and growth!). He basically gave up trying in relationships after that. It was a mix of  apathetic "eh, what's the point?" and fearful "I don't want to get hurt again, so if I don't care, then you can't hurt me". And it was me that shredded his heart and brought him to that point. We've talked about it. I've apologized for the pain I caused, but I have also explained that a.) I was trying to do the right thing, and doing the best I knew how, and b.) I feel that the time apart has made our relationship stronger, so I can't bring myself to regret having left.

He told me that he understood that I was trying to do the right thing by both of us, which is why he never hated me. He had/has a lot of deep, seething anger towards the situation, and towards the people in my life that influenced me to leave, but he never directed any of that at me. I'm glad. Sad that he has more ammo against Christians now, but glad that he understood that I was trying to be a good person.

Anyway, I guess I'm "collared" now lol. I wore it to bed, but he left the key on the desk so I could take it off this morning. I had been talking with him about what jewelry I would and wouldn't wear while in Id, and so he joked last night that he just might take the key and have me wear my collar for my whole visit up there! I laughed, but told him that it probably wouldn't go over so well when I went to church... ;) (Besides, I have to shower!)

Interestingly, he feels strongly about my leaving off my engagement ring. I didn't expect that when I asked how he would feel about it. Since he feels strongly about it, and it would bother him for me to remove it, I'll keep it on. But I think I'm going to put my foot down about the collar... no matter how much I love it. ^_^

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