After my last post on value which was about ownership and the transaction where my Master 'bought' me, someone emailed me to enquire about further ways ownership can be demonstrated and felt by the two people concerned.
It really is a very personal thing. What means ownership to me might not be the same as what it might mean to someone else, but I'll share my thoughts with you.
I suppose the very first thing that said to me I was owned by my Master was when he first put a collar around my neck that was especially for me and had not been worn by other 'play partners'. My Master, Grimly, makes a lot of our equipment and I hadn't known he had made me it. It was a total surprise.
We were at a fetish club in Edinburgh and we were sat talking when he suddenly pulled something out of a bag (unseen by me) and pulled me towards him and put it around my neck. The collar is black leather, my exact size and fastens with a locking buckle so there is no overlay. It also has an 'o ring' and later he added a tag with my slave register number on one of our anniversaries of having met.
For me, it said he was serious about being my Dom and that he wanted me to belong to him. Maybe, a bit like the first romantic gift a boyfriend buys, only, different in so many ways. The moment was very special to me since it was the collar he had made just for me and that he wanted just me.
Given the style of that particular collar, it is one that is used only in the house either during play or sometimes for sleeping. It's too 'obvious' to wear in any sort of non-kink environment.
After we had been together a while I asked him to collar more permanently. I more or less actually proposed! On one knee and all that, after a very intense session. The answer I got was that he would think about it! He did think about it, and shopped around and bought me an eternity collar. I wear it all the time apart from when he requires me to wear something else.
For a while, I thought people would notice that they would say something but generally, they don't. The feeling of the eternity collar round my neck and knowing I can't remove it tells me I'm owned and his more than really anything else.
Though, there are other things that can be done, if a collar is not appropriate. Perhaps you might want to wear other jewelry, such as an 'o' ring or some sort of anklet or bracelet. There are many items of jewelry out there that are innocent enough unless you're 'in the know'. One jeweler, I like in particular is Richard Larsen.
Another route to go down is body modification. When I was with my ex-partner he'd encouraged me to get my nipples pierced. Unfortunately for me, I had healing issues on both occasions and my body rejected the piercings. However, the whole experience of being pierced, of knowing I was doing something so sexual for him and so symbolic was such a turn on and very exhilarating. My tip here is going to a piercer that is recommended by other kinksters. The first one I used was in the seaside town I used to live in and the second in a studio that dealt primarily with goths and I had only one or two personal recommendations of the place. It's such a serious thing to make sure you go somewhere that will look after you and give you the right advice.
After I'd been with Grimly a while we discussed me getting a tattoo. Some people go with designs such as the slave register barcode, or something along the lines of 'property of' and their Master's name, or a BDSM logo. Grimly and I decided on two Chinese symbols on my back, one of these is the symbol for love and the other is for slave. It feels so amazing when we're cuddling and he strokes over them, it sends ripples all down my spine. Tattoos are so addictive since a lot of folks find the feeling intense and quite pleasurable. I am happy with mine because it is enough to say what it needs to.
For me, ownership needs to feel permanent, but also part of a loving and happy relationship. The things that symbolize ownership to me are things I can't get rid of too easily since the collar needs a special allen key that he keeps to remove it and my tattoo, of course, would need to be removed surgically. Both of these mean as much to me as my engagement ring.
I think my advise though is try to be sure before taking any of these steps and perhaps a collar of consideration, such as my leather one which locks with a padlock, or an item of jewellery is a good first step when a relationship is new, and, anything you do to your body that is permanent try and agree something that you would be happy with still being there if the relationship where to end and you couldn't afford/deal with the removal procedures.
There are some steps of total ownership that scare but also arouse me too, that thankfully (for me) aren't the route my dom is wanting to take me down at this time.
For example, I read a blog the other day by Married Man's fucktoy which tells the tale of when toy's Dom shaved her hair off and how she came to terms with that. It is such a submissive act for a woman, accepting that a Dom can do that. I think I would struggle to accept it, at least at the moment. I totally applaud toy for being able to go through that with such grace, whereas I would shout and scream and probably throw things at my Dom if he were to try and do that to me. Oh and I know he would love to!
It comes down to communication as well and about being ready for an extra level of commitment and submission. My dom knows I'd be unhappy if he wanted me to go through that and so doesn't ask. Maybe there will be a day when he thinks I am ready for that and I'll do it....
maybe after the wedding!