I have observed, over the years, a passive-aggressive tendency among perverts to denigrate one another’s choices within the Leather Lifestyle.
For me the MOST insidious behaviour is the posturing of some people who self-identify as slaves. They are the ones most often referring to themselves with the dubious title “True” slaves, and farting in the general direction of anyone who disagrees with their Fundamentalist Leatherview.
They love to make blanket judgments as to what a slave is, how a slave behaves, what a slave wears, how a slave walks, how a slave slaves.
Too often have I seen a person on a forum or mailing list hold forth about how “Only slaves can be truly collared.” Or nattering on about how “Submissives just don’t have the slave heart.” and of course Ye Hoary Olde “I started as a submissive but grew into slavery.”
As though being owned property is like getting to put on the Big Kid Underpants.
Dominants are guilty as well of laying on the funky-ass head-trips.“If you were a real slave, you would obey me!” straight to the head, regardless of whether or not you’ve even MET the person.
A recent discussion on FetLife, (a really cool website started up by some Canuck Perv named John Baku) raised my hackles. And not in a good way, you know I loves me some hackle raising shit, but this was decidedly NOT erotic.
On a forum (a forum FOR SUBMISSIVES, mind!) a person smarming over their collared slave status was disparaging those who wear collars simply because they like them as, obviously , not taking collars as seriously as those who would only wear them because they were owned.
They liken them to a wedding ring. And say that, like a wedding ring, they would never wear one if they weren’t married. Because it goes against tradition.
Uh…whose tradition, exactly? Wedding rings are a largely European custom. And fairly recent. And, until VERY recently, (historically speaking) men didn’t wear ‘em.
As far as touting collars as a “traditional symbol of ownership”, I call shenanigans again. Dogs do not wear collars because you are demonstrating your dominance. They wear them so that they can be actively controlled.
In SOME Leather traditions, a collar is a mark of inexperience or recalcitrance. The collared slave is a slave who needs the reminder that they ARE property.
A trusted slave, like a trusted horse, needs no physical reminder. Obedience is a given. The master knows they are in control.
TYPICALLY, in the United States, slaves were collared for shipment or punishment. Collars were not a day-to-day standard. There might be a “Dress collar” for fancy occasions, to display the wealth of the owner. “BLING! Look I am so fucking wealthy my horse has a gold-chased bridle, my dog has a diamond studded harness, and Mammy here has a dope-ass silver collar. Booya, motherfuckers! THAT is how I roll.”
So to blather about how Old School you are because you “hold collars to a higher regard” is simply a pile of smoking offal. Collars, like any symbol, only possess the magic with which we imbue them.
Didn’t we come to form a “Leather Community” because we had to do this thing, this love, this sex, this play, this lifestyle, OUR WAY? Since when do you get to smear your smug absolutism all over my fucking love life? All over my spiritual practice? How the HELL do you have the temerity to cast aspersions on my level of respect for a symbol because i do not regard it in precisely the same way that you do?
Well, I suppose they have the gall because they know that THEIR way is the “One True Way.”