Today is audience participation day! I mean, every day is, that’s the nature of a blog. But for today’s post I have more questions than answers and I’m writing this to see if you have any thoughts to contribute to the brainstorm.
Beth has earned her collar and wears it with pride. Due to health concerns and other issues, however, she’s allowed to remove it of her own volition under certain conditions. Originally these conditions were limited to bathing and health concerns like overheating. Then, because I travel, I allowed her to swap between her day and night collars herself when I wasn’t home. Then other things crept in.
Now from time to time I find I have “a wild Beth” running around the house–and sometimes going out in public!–without her collar. It’s not a big thing to anybody but us, obviously, but today I realized that the number and frequency of the exceptions seemed to be eroding the rule almost entirely away.
Off and on throughout the day I’ve noodled away at the problem: It bothers me that she takes her collar off without thinking about it, and that this then leads to her not remembering to put it back on later. What I want out of this situation is to find Beth in her collar every time I walk in on her, unless conditions clearly press her into removing it. With me so far? That’s the goal: Beth in her collar.
Before we go anywhere: Yes, Beth and I have talked about this. I have a range of options at my disposal, from physically locking her into a collar to spanking her for collar infractions to digging into the underlying reasons for collar removal and trying to eliminate those reasons. But the very first advice I’d give myself or anyone is talk about it, and yes, we’re there. We’re on the same page. 🙂
So! Here are the constraints to the problem:
- I have ADHD and can’t be trusted to monitor her collar status like a hawk. It’s not that I don’t care or can’t be bothered. It’s that I’m literally not wired that way and we’ve learned the hard way that this is a setup for guaranteed failure. Some Doms love to micromanage, and for them this is a very easy solution to reach for: just require the sub to ask permission each and every time, and leave it up to the Dom to notice if the sub is collarless without having requested permission. There are lots of other ways to solve this problem, fortunately, but if you’re a classic Dom be aware that some classic strategies don’t work for us. Your feedback is still welcome; sometimes I can adapt classic strategies to fit our alternative D/s lifestyle. For example, rather than monitoring Beth constantly, I can get out ahead of the problem and rehearse and practice with her to reinforce the habit. This won’t catch collar infractions but it will help reduce them, and that’s really the goal here.
- Beth has unpredictable medical needs and she needs to be able to get out of the collar at any time whether I am present or not. If she’s overheating, for example, she needs that collar off quickly. A locking collar is not out of the question, mind you; I would just need to make sure she had access to the key. This doesn’t necessarily defeat the purpose of the locking collar, either: having to go to the trouble of accessing the key, especially if the key were in a box or a bottle labeled “Ask First”, that might provide the necessary check point.
- As a resource, I have a full leather workbench and have the access to change collar designs to match new strategies.
What are your thoughts? I may be overthinking this and it may just be as simple as lecturing her on her collar or reestablishing firmer (or even written) rules about collar wearing. Beth isn’t removing her collar to spite me or to thwart my authority or to express a desire to be uncollared, so I don’t think we need to explore psychological resistance to her submission or anything. If anything, she finds her collar reassuring and comforting, and she is often as surprised as me to discover her neck is bare.
I’ve given some deeper thought to the notion of having one set of collars she’s never allowed to remove herself, and putting them on her only when I’m willing to be fully present and accountable for providing immediate consent if she needs out of her collar. I could also then have a distinct and separate set of lower-protocol collars that she’s allowed to remove and replace on her own. Then if she has an appointment coming up where we know she’ll need to take her collar off and I won’t be around, I can pick a time earlier in the day and swap her out of her higher-protocol wear into her lower-protocol accessory.
Possibly I could look into finding collars that are more universal for her, like chains and necklaces that don’t contribute to overheating and maybe don’t need to be removed for medical appointments, etc.
And like I said, I could just be overthinking it. Maybe just tightening up the rules is all we need.
What do you think?
Update: A couple of great comments have come in about siting jewelry to alternate locations on the body like a bracelet or an anklet. Our answer to this is “very yes!” Beth currently wears a matching anklet and bracelet 24/7/365 except when she’s going in for an MRI. They match a collar that also locks in place, but the collar is also one of the biggest problems in terms of having to take it on/off due to sudden overheating concerns. We definitely agree with the bracelet/anklet idea but we’re focusing specifically on the collar because it’s special to us. Thanks!