They are symbolic of a rich interior life
From the moment of my sexual awakening when I was young, I found the aesthetic of branding, piercing, tattoos, and more generally, body modification appealing and deeply erotic. My earliest sexual fantasies included being branded. As a young teen going through puberty, my thoughts wandered to me as a slave girl, wearing diaphanous silks, dressed in a feminine way, serving and being enslaved to a beautiful woman. Indeed, this was my aesthetic growing up: harem pants, bangles. It is a wonder that I survived an all-boys environment expressing myself in this way!
We all remember how intense desire is in our teen years, for all things, not just sexual. All feeling is heightened, everything is “now”. Desire for something can become existential in nature. I was utterly enthralled by the concept of kneeling in a certain way, legs open, back upright, hands on thighs, head tilted down, basking in the presence of a Goddess, a Mistress, a majestic and powerful woman who kept me as slave. I spent countless hours doodling a brand that I imagined was burnt into the flesh of my inner thigh. It was a letter, Corinthian in style, ornate, the symbol of which meant “slave”. I yearned to be tattooed and branded as a slave girl. Fantasy fiction accessible to me, such as John Norman’s Gor novels, while not literary by any stretch, never placed me in the role of hero, but always as the slave girl.
I would fantasise about being sold at market, about being owned, and how fulfilling that would be. I think for most people, the fantasy might stop there, stuck in the moment. In my case it does not, has not, never will. Why? Because making it real is possible. But for this to come about, one must step away from the fantasy and think of the reality. A slave must exist to create value, enormous value. A slave does not set the terms of reference, but instead seeks to provide service within the boundaries of the yoke. If the slave does not earn the yoke, then what good is it, how will it ever last?
Fantasy can be a motivator or the soft glow of light that shows the path through a dreamscape. I think of the metaphor of walking through a Mountain Valley in darkness, where the fantasy is the instinct which helps me find the path. The reality of being a slave girl, of kneeling before a Goddess, while exquisite in the moment, is just a flash in the pan. How can that moment of kneeling before Her be anything other than boring after 5 or 10 minutes? How can a slave and being a slave be something of value? Not just for the slave, but for both people?
The first time I was with Mistress feeling her power, I expressed a desire to be a toy. She had the sense to stop and ask me what I meant. She has the most powerful bullshit radar of anyone I think I have ever met. I didn’t want to be a toy, or ever be something that one can tire of or toss aside. I wish to be essential, cherished, needed. But the sense of belonging that is embodied in that concept is real. To be Hers, to be possessed by Her, utterly and completely owned, sure, that is wonderful, but it has to be deserved.
Toys are not challenging, and one can soon easily tire of a toy if it does not grow and constantly change and develop. And that is a goal, a very deep and fundamental goal. To evolve in a way that is worthy of Her. To demonstrate how I can respond and grow under Her watchful guidance and leadership, just as the plants in her garden respond to Her love and care. This is not giving up free will. This is its opposite. This is channelling and harvesting the awesome power of free will and bending it or allowing it to be bent to the will and desires of another. Service.
The fantasy may highlight the destination, but the journey itself is the purpose. This is what it means to deserve to be branded. To deserve to be owned. First comes having something to give. Second comes a love of giving. Third comes a deep desire to cultivate that giving so that it flows freely and constantly. One must challenge oneself to evolve and grow. Submission is not static, it is an ever-growing and all-conquering force. I love horses, I love their power, their musculature, their beauty, their innocence, their loyalty, but also their willingness to carry a loving owner to their very limit.
As I have gone through life, either consciously or subconsciously, I have found moments to submit to these ideals, even if I had nobody other than myself who could understand them. I love tongue piercings, but they would be impractical in my professional life. I love tattoos, and in truth, would cover my entire body with them, but that too, would be impractical. Restraint based on personal circumstances is always apt. But they become symbols of a deeper feeling.
My tattoo was given to me spiritually by my closest friend. She saw in my personality a particular animal and made it my familiar. I had it tattooed on my body, as I knew that it represented a part of me that never came out to play. Later, I was the man at a friend’s wedding, and during a lull in the preparations wandered out and had my belly button pierced. That night I met someone I very nearly married, and somehow meeting her became intertwined with the symbolism and permanence of a piercing. She was one of the only people that ever met my id, and the sex was great, but the rest was missing, and the relationship foundered over the absence of truth.
Later, my S.O., who is all about truth, gave me a wedding ring to insert into my navel piercing and replace that original ring. I have never taken it off. This symbol carries gut-wrenching power in my love for her, because she is a very vanilla person. She grounds me. And that is part of why I love her so much. It symbolises that my id can accept taming in the name of our relationship. The ring speaks of permanence. It also shows to me that my S.O. could accept a part of me that she knows is there at my core, but is one that remains unspoken of in our lives.
When other people in my life, family members and so on, have asked me why I have a navel ring, and in truth, in society we reserve belly button jewellery for slave girls, I have always answered that it is a political statement. And it is. I claim the belly for my inner slave girl just as any other person who eroticizes the belly button.
In the BDSM community the fact of collaring is a watershed moment. It also strikes me as one that must be earned. There are few things that I find more erotic than a collar and leash. And while it has been play, those few who have collared and leashed me in my life have taken my measure and won my soul. As Mistress explained to me recently after taking my belt and beating me with it, a collar can come in many forms. It can also be a belt or a piece of string. But it can also be body art, jewellery, and many other things.
All of these symbols are a desire for permanency. Even my emotional mind knows that permanency is earned not just given. Time must pass, effort must be expended, growth must happen, and trust, truth and honour must become the foundations of a greater life. I will earn the moments at your feet Mistress, because that captivating feeling of being ready, branded, and owned can only be the by-product of self-worth, growth, and development.
It’s not just you that is worth it, so too am I, and so too is everyone and everything that I love.