Wearing Sir's Collar

Posted on December 16, 2010 under Reflections

Collared Medium

Over labor day weekend I got a package in the mail. A chain collar with an open padlock. So I did what any sane person would do, I locked it around my neck. Which lead to an interesting weekend at my parent's.

Sir and I had met at Mr. Atlantic Leather last winter, had kept in contact, and decided to try something out. He'd collar me for the weeks coming up to Mr. International Rubber as a sort of trial period. It's the first time either of us had been in any sort of D/s relationship, so we're playing it kind of loose. Which has worked out swimmingly.

Labor day weekend was interesting. Mom couldn't figure out why I'd want to wear such a bulky necklace. My sister picked up on it right away, “Who's got the key to that?” It's kind of hard to explain outside of a kink context, right?

But it got even more fun when my brother visited with his family for a weekend. I had my 6 year old niece sitting on my lap at a restauruant. Of course she needs something to occupy herself with, and oh look, a shiny right on Uncle Johnny's neck! She of course wanted me to take it off so she could play with it. I had to explain that Uncle Johnny doesn't like to take it off, because it represents a bond with a very special friend. Meanwhile my brother is snickering at me in the background...

So aside from that, wearing a collar also has all sorts of amusing practical concerns. I also happen to enjoy running outside regularly before weightlifting. Big heavy chain collar + running? I thought people could hear me rattling from a mile away. And of course the lock would swing up and hit me in the chin, or right along the collar bone. No good.

The first remedy? I tried a couple different types of tape. Painter's tape I'd sweat off right away. Masking tape would pull on my chest hair and then sweat away. Maybe if I was smarter I would've tried athletic tape, but I'm much too lazy to make a whole trip out to the store just for that. The final solution: I attached a rubber band to the lock, and then tied that to my chest with a shoelace. Which interestingly enough doesn't show through my shirt, and provides enough tension that the lock doesn't bounce around wildly.

So ya, all the practical concerns aside (airport security is fun too), it's been a great experience. The collar seems to change weight throughout the day, whenever I remember it's there it gets heavier and reminds me that Sir has taken ownership of me. It's comforting, and it's part of me for the foreseeable future. Now if only there were more time for flying out and cuddling (among other things...) with Sir.

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Why I'm Out

Posted on December 07, 2010 under Reflections

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.
--Audre Lorde

I've always liked that quote. Can't say I know a whole lot about it's context, but it's stuck with me for a while. (hey, I at least looked up who Audre Lorde is!)

There's this idea that hiding your sexuality, hiding who you are, can provide a shelter for you. If nobody knows what you really are, it can provide you some relief, to be able to pass as normal. And in some cases it may make sense to stay in the closet. A teenager dependant on her homophobic parents, for instance.

But that comes at a heavy cost. It's a huge facade to put up. It takes a tremendous amount of energy. You can't quite bury it, your guard has to always be up. And while you hope that it never crosses anyone else's mind, your sexuality and how to hide it is constantly at the forefront of your own thought process. It's no small burden.

Since I was in high school I've been out in as many places as I've been able to muster up the courage for. First my parents, then a close group of school friends. Finally the high school swim team (ya, that was an interesting practice...). And today, most of my family, my cow-orkers. I don't think I've been in the closet to someone I've considered a friend in more than 6 years.

The more we're visible, the more we're normalized, the more everyone is empowered to be who they are. The more other gays or kinks can be who they are. The more everyone can play with their own perceived gender boundaries.

Whenever possible I wear my gear right out to the bar (decency and weather permitting, of course). Maybe someone who thought they were a freak for wanting to wear that will see, and be empowered. It's this visibility that will really protect us.

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Finding the Community

Posted on December 03, 2010 under Reflections

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

So I actually knew that I was into bondage before I had made the realization that I was gay. I knew I liked to get tied. That escape artist at my brother's sibling weekend when I was 12? Had my mind reeling for days. Or those bondage games I'd play with a middle school friend. It certainly wasn't sexual at that point, mainly because I had no idea what sexual was for me, but I knew I was drawn to it.

The internet was a boon here as well. Being a young geek of course I researched the hell out of these weird interests. Jim Stewart's So I like to get tied up... so what?! was a big help. It was great to be able to verbalize, at least to myself, what this stuff was that was so exciting to me. To read someone else articulating their own similar interests was empowering, to say the least.

Not that I could ever say anything about any of this to anyone. I turned bright red when my friend left me tied up and her big brother found me. Or when I had myself tied up and it took me 10 minutes to answer my door from a “nap” when my mom had knocked. And there's really no good explanation for why you had a pile of belts under your pillow...

Then of course sophomore year of high school I came out. Found out who my real friends were. Went through two boyfriends in the span of 4 months. I'd show them pictures that excited me, but of course they wouldn't do those things to me. Tried once or twice in college, to the same effect. That was about the time that I swore off vanilla boyfriends. Four vanilla almost-boyfriends later I still couldn't get what I was looking for.

Finally I turned to some online personals on recon. Met up with a guy or two before one got me to go to an event with a group called the Chicago Rubbermen. He's since moved away, but we're still close friends, and he was the first person I got to play seriously with. Our interests overlapped fantastically. And not only that, he was my ambassador, he introduced me to all his friends and to the awesome rubber community here in Chicago. People I could be open about my perversions with.

This seems to be a recurring pattern: someone in the scene finds a new guy online, and brings him into the fold. Once your feet get wet, it's easy to find your own circle in the community. Once you know a few people at the events, it's easy to entrench yourself.

And maybe that's why events like Rubber Invasions are so fun. Dressing up, going out to the vanilla bars. Maybe you'll recruit someone? Maybe that cute across the bar will come over and ask about your outfit. And then you get another recruit to envelop into the fold, and then another angel gets its wings. Or flogger, or something.

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Tagged coming-out, community