Diane Baumer – The Collar

The package was waiting for me when I got home from work late one Wednesday evening, a smallish, brown box with chicken scratch for a return address and bound with what must have been a roll of packing tape. Taking the box and a pair of scissors, I sat on the floor in front of the TV and began the delicate operation of opening what I believed to be the most important gift I would ever receive in my adult life. Cutting carefully through the tape at the corners, a thousand thoughts ran through my head: What if it doesn’t fit? What if He doesn’t like the way it looks? Will I get a lot of questions about it? How will I answer them? What, in heaven’s name, will I tell my mother?

Catherine Opie "Tyler" 2007 ©Catherine Opie, Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

It was nestled securely in shredded newspaper. A singular piece of honed steel, fashioned into a circular form, cut and polished, hinged in the center, and secured by a tiny, hidden screw. I ran my finger along the cool metal. A rough, slightly etched imperfection interrupted the smooth surface. I smiled. It was a reminder that it was made by skilled hands, especially for me. My collar. Or, more accurately, His collar. A symbol of my total commitment to Him. But it was more than that. This solid piece of steel and the covenant I would take when it was locked around my neck would transform my life in ways I couldn’t yet imagine. The day I accepted His collar, I would finally become His, happily owned and ready to serve him to the best of my ability, and always available for His use and pleasure. In return, He would accept my care and protection as His pledge to me, and provide guidance and control in all things. I had reached that place where my heart and soul finally felt content; being owned would bring me a freedom I had never before known.

I was just about to take the final step that would remove both free will and choice from my day-to-day life and yet bring peace and harmony back into it. I was looking down the path toward becoming a consensual slave. And, as I was to quickly discover, the journey was only just beginning.

Why would I choose to forfeit the rights I’ve gained as a woman in this society to serve a man? Pleasing and serving others is a natural part of my make-up, but the decision to surrender completely to another human being involves a great deal more. Surrendering to Sir has affected every part of my life. I wear His collar 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, obey Him unconditionally, wake to thoughts of Him, and go to bed at night planning my next day around His desires. He controls when I wake and when I sleep, when I write and when we communicate. And in the bedroom, He makes all the decisions and directs all of our play. Everything I do, I do with His pleasure in mind, and we remain as close as the phone wherever I go.

I enjoy giving up control to Sir. We have developed a very close, emotionally and physically intimate relationship based on mutual trust and care. He knows me inside and out, the good and the bad, and yet He still accepts me completely. Kneeling before Him, dressed in the black bra, garter belt, and hose He likes, with my eyes lowered and hands placed, as ordered, on my thighs, I am His. And just as He might care for a cherished pet, or a precious and valuable jewel, so He cares for me.


Sir planned our entire ceremony; He asked for my input, but the only thing I requested was that we keep it intimate, just between the two of us, and He honored that. Although our time together that day began as any other, there was a heightened tension in the air. It was my last chance to back out, and my first true opportunity to show Him how serious I was about devoting myself to Him. As we moved through the day, He kept me close, constantly testing my obedience and willingness to serve, and reminding me of the importance of trusting and relying on Him and of turning to Him in times of need.

The actual collaring ceremony took place in my bedroom, late in the afternoon, after much anticipation on my part. I was nude, and restrained lightly with rope to the bed’s four posts. The light was low in the room, and He lit a candle, for atmosphere, I thought, until He brought it to the bed and held it, at an angle, dangerously close to my breasts. In the space of a few seconds, my heart began to race, my breath became shallow, and my stomach started to churn; I knew immediately He was going to pour hot wax on me and just the thought of that terrified me. But He moved calmly and skillfully, starting with my hands, dripping red wax into my upturned palms and then up and down my arms. His voice carried a firm but gentle rhythm to it as He asked:

“Do you voluntarily commit the use of your hands and arms to serve and please me, and to always improve yourself?”

We were sealing our commitment. The hot wax in my hands and on my arms quickly began to cool and harden as it brought to mind the massages I gave Him, the tea and toast I brought Him as He worked, and the workouts I did 3 times a week at the gym.

“I do, Sir.”

He moved quickly over my naked body, repeating the same words, at my feet and legs, my torso, my breasts, my genitals, even my forehead.

“Do you voluntarily commit the use of your mind to serve and please me, and to always improve yourself?”

As hot wax dripped on my forehead, He covered my eyes to protect them, and I thought about His question. I was already striving, through a playful imagination and a constant sharing of my thoughts and ideas, to be as dutiful and pleasing a submissive as I could. I thought I could build on this as we progressed in our relationship. I hesitated only at the vow to improve myself; I’d had a long history of depression, and the “old” me wondered if I’d be able to make the necessary changes within myself to succeed with Sir. Our time together had brought me out from under the dark, heavy cloud I was living; I knew He wanted me to focus on improving my life and that He wanted me, as I did, to be happy, so I took a leap of faith.

“I absolutely do, Sir.”

He smiled. I love it when He smiles. He’s a beautiful man. Not robustly handsome like a model might be – although I do think He is physically attractive and quite charming – but He radiates joy and compassion and love. Even when He’s somber, which is seldom, His countenance is calm and loving. He released me from the bonds that held me at my wrists and ankles and motioned for me to kneel in the center of the bed. Lifting the collar gently from the soft bed of newspaper in the box’s center, He asked me one last time if I was ready to be His, and willing to wear His collar 24/7. I was, happily. He placed it around my neck, securing it with the tiny screw, and kissed me. I was no longer free. I was His property. And I was happier than I had ever been in my life.

Once collared, I felt much freer to explore ideas and activities that I never would have thought to investigate before. Some were just “kinky;” others were bordering on taboo in many circles. But I began looking at things, not in terms of how acceptable they are in society, but, rather, only in terms of what pleased my Sir and how they would affect my private relationship with Him. And I learned that, without the prejudice and bias of society to worry about, there was a lot of world to explore, unabashedly.

One of the ways we enjoyed our new relationship was in the form of human pet play. There are a variety of forms of this somewhat unusual fetish, which may involve either non-sexual or erotic sexual role-play. After some discussion, we decided to try it on a limited basis to see how it went, and reassess afterward. We experimented with various forms of this – my eating and drinking from a bowl, wearing a typical canvas dog collar in addition to my permanent metal one, remaining on all fours at all times, and remaining in a cage during set times of the day when He was occupied with work-related tasks, where He could see and watch over me. I loved His attention.

Another activity that Sir introduced me to that I never thought I would be enjoy was shibari, or Japanese rope bondage. I was, once again, surprised. He does love to work with ropes, binding my hands and feet, my legs, my hips, or my breasts with intricately woven knots and beautifully laid lengths of cord. It is an intensely intimate and often arousing process, as His hands quickly move over every exposed part of my body, lingering, teasing, as He draws the ropes through an especially elaborate knot. The carefully placed cable is snug against my skin, soft and supple but like a closely woven cocoon. Alternately, my flesh tingles and tightens, the ropes never too taut to leave a mark, never too loose for much movement or to allow an escape. Being tightly bound allows me to relax, to temporarily put all thoughts and feelings aside, and to focus solely on sensation. It gives me a sense of utter safety, security, and calm. And the designs He uses as He binds and wraps and ties make even this aging, misshapen body seem beautiful and a delight to behold.

For someone who believes in the equality of partners, a wife who sleeps chained to the bedpost at night is the victim of abuse. To the staunch feminist, the girlfriend who is devoted to serving and pleasing her boyfriend may seem pathetic and feeble. The consensual slave, though, is none of those things. She is strong, may be very independent in nature, and has a mind of her own. And although she has chosen to give up control to the man in her life, she is by no means lacking freedom. The concept of consensual slavery does, without a doubt, require one to reevaluate beliefs about the nature of man and woman, as well as those about freedom.

The consensual slave may be the college girl who lives down the street, her tenured English professor, the demure housewife who keeps to herself, or the high-powered executive in a global corporation. What links these very different individuals together is their deep, inherent need and desire to serve and please another, and to receive His guidance and control in return. Once the outer persona is stripped away—once she is naked and humbled before her Master—she is free to follow her innermost nature, to let go of her inhibitions and control, and to intimately connect with the One who completes her. Nothing precludes the assertive, company president from being a dutiful slave to her Master, anymore than the shy, reclusive housewife or stay-at-home mother. At her Master’s feet, the slave gradually blossoms, discovering her true self, and takes that knowledge and the confidence it brings back into the workplace and out into the world with her.

Throughout this exciting and ever-changing journey, two things have remained constant: Sir’s steady, caring presence, and my utter devotion to Him.

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