Being inquisitively minded and all like I am, I often think about why things are as they are. I wonder about the origins of customs and question why, in a lot of cases, we simply do things because ‘they’ve always been done that way’ even though it may not be the most economical or efficient way to complete the task. Everything from why we eat cereal for breakfast instead of for other meals to why all the offices are in the centre of town and all the houses are out in the suburbs and everyone spends great deals of time and money travelling to and from work (yes, I have too much time to think in my 3hr daily commutes…)
It’s only natural, therefore, that I think about the usual suspects of an M/s relationship – collars and beatings. Why do they appear so frequently when not everyone is into pain (both giving and receiving) and collars aren’t really practical in the 21st century?
I talked a little bit about this in my previous post, but pretty much, beatings and collars are tools to separate the mundane from the M/s. In consensual slavery you really have to do something that is so removed from ‘normal’ behaviour in order to shake people into their roles, or the feeling that you are “master and slave” will never evolve. The taboo factor of beating and restraining someone (in our culture) also comes into play and helps a possibly ‘normal’ relationship between two people morph into something ‘unnatural’.
I think most people in M/s relationships spend a lot of time proving that they’re not simply boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife etc., but something else. The only way that you can do this tends to be through doing things that ‘normal’ couples don’t do i.e. play even if you don’t perhaps enjoy the things per se.
If you have the perfect mix of sadist and masochist, you get the bonus of both enjoying the play. If you have an interest in bondage, great you can enjoy the restraint side of things. But there are people in M/s relationships who don’t enjoy any of that and I feel do it simply because that’s what always has been done/what everyone else does/is expected/is the only thing they can do to reinforce the roles of master and slave.
There are, of course, some ‘perfect slaves’ who don’t need anything to be reminded of their role and everything is rosy, but for the 99.99% of slaves who need a bit of help in this area, collars and beatings can be handy.
Along with the need to reinforce roles, there are also some more tangible reasons why collars and beatings are the tools of choice.
Historically collars were used because they are highly visible and difficult to remove. You can put a wrist or an ankle restraint on someone, but they can be more easily hidden and are easier to remove because the person wearing them can see them. Generally speaking something around your neck also doesn’t get as much in the way as a restraint on another appendage (although among those who wear them this may be debatable…lol)
From a power and ownership perspective, giving your property tangible marks like a collar or bruises/marks is like writing your name on something to signify that it’s yours. Marking people also sets them apart from other folk (linking back to the making the relationship ‘abnormal’ idea) which is why prisoners used to be tattooed or branded, adulterors got the scarlet ‘A’ and limbs were hacked off enemies. It’s can also be bit of a ‘I wuz here’ thing that humans have done for ever and a day.
So pretty much, collars and beatings are tools. They don’t make you a slave, but help reinforce the role you have chosen.