On Ownership and Collars

Owners and slaves sometimes have difficulties with misconceptions and assumptions from people outside of the relationship. Frequently, these result from preconceived notions about collars and a slave’s place in general.

This is not about “room”, “house”, or “play slaves” who often exist to serve everyone and anyone. It is about the slaves in TPE relationships who answer to a single person. Usually. There are some couples or poly groups who enjoy joint ownership. Regardless, the dynamic is always in place.

Traditionally, slaves wear collars. However, not everyone adheres to tradition. Some reasons for this are:

  • Avoidance of those who feel a collar signifies an open invitation to attempt conquest of either owner or slave. If your attentions were wanted, you’d be invited or approached.
  • Avoiding association with those who display collars to prevent undesirable attention, but are not actually owned. This has led to an environment, especially online, where collars are perceived as nothing more than a gauntlet. From the owned who have to deal with this to the ones who insist on doing it: Find an honest way to separate the chaff.
  • Avoiding visual association with the “musical collar” set.
  • An owner’s preference that the slave not wear a collar.
  • Issues which prevent wearing a collar such as skin reactions to various materials or not wanting to call attention to private matters which may adversely affect other relationships — family, work, children, community, church, etc.
  • A preference for an alternative indicator such as jewellery or even a tattoo or piercing.
  • In terms of online:
    • “Brackets break IRC”.
    • Preference for an indicator other than {}|[], such as initials; relationship flags; a vhost; or some other indicator.
    • An owner’s preference that the slave wear a physical collar.

When a slave who does not wear a collar tells you they are owned, it is not acceptable to:

  • Challenge the statement as if the only way to denote ownership online is with {}|[] tags or offline with a neck decoration.
  • Tell the slave to tell their owner to “correct” the situation. It’s about the owner’s preference, not yours.
  • Speak down to the slave as though they are subhuman or undeserving of respect: They are not your slave, you do not decide their place.
  • Demand respect of the slave or attempt to dictate the slave’s behaviour toward their owner, you, or anyone. Again, not your slave.
  • Assume the slave is usable by whomever, whenever, or however without invitation: Different protocols and relationship boundaries exist. Some owners don’t share their property at all or without explicit permission. Trying to use without permission may lead to explosive results from the owner, the slave, or both.

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