So somebody wrote a blog post about our girlfriend, Amy. The post was a fantasy, largely imaginary but rooted in some real life events and portraying real people, all of whom I know.
One part of that story upset me very much. In it the protagonist removes Amy’s collar. I was honestly surprised at the sheer emotional depth of my response.
I am very aware that the author of the blog does not really understand D/s and I would like to think that they were unaware of the upset that writing would cause. Still it made me wonder, why did that image upset me so much.
Perhaps the best analogy I can use is to compare the collar to a wedding ring. Both are symbols of a relationship. Indeed reading about a burglary in which a widow has had her wedding ring taken from her fingers, the outrage we feel is not caused by the financial value of the theft but rather by the emotional pain caused. Similarly if in a story one character removed another’s wedding ring we, the readers, would take it to show that they did not respect that married relationship (as for instance if they were having an affair).
Our collars have another similarity to a wedding ring, in that removing them is significant. It is Perrin who determines when they are removed, whether in person or by giving explicit permission. A little thing, and yet a symbol of so much.
I think that is why I felt so hurt. I feel as though that relationship has been insulted. And as I wear a matching collar, it is a relationship that I have a share in, which makes it all the harder to read such a story.
While the offence caused was accidental, it certainly highlights how much symbols mean to me. Symbols give me a physical representation of something intangible, and a link to someone precious.