Maybe the uber-rich are the kinkiest people of all.  Finding a glorious obsession with dog collars in the most unlikely place—a vanilla temple to Femdom.


Leeds Castle in Kent is one of the most glorious castles and country estates in England.  It is also home to the most important collection of dog collars in the world.

I am going to admit to taking a little poetic license here, and to playing a wee bit loose with the facts, though I am not wilfully trying to get anything wrong.

It is an enormous estate in the Southeast region of England, in Kent.  There are lakes, formal gardens, a maze, a sort of lazy river, and some pretty incredible collections of plants.  The last owner of the castle was an American-born heiress to an Anglo-American family.  During her life, she dedicated herself to the restoration of the Castle and grounds, and in death established a trust to guarantee its upkeep in perpetuity.  She was a striking woman, tall and slim, and very elegant, and had two very attractive daughters and another attractive son.  She also married four times.

I note this last fact because I am getting bombarded with comments on Medium for an article that I wrote about patriarchy—also published on this site—and I can’t get over how every single man that has engaged with me on that post just somehow can’t shake loose a chauvinist bias in their writing, no matter how “woke” they try to be.  It is uncanny.  But here is a woman who proved that she didn’t need a man to protect her, nor did she need a man to keep her company if he didn’t amuse her, and so, here she was, dictating life on her own terms.  And it made me think that so much of the argument on that other strip forgets the fact that if a woman is truly independent, has no financial fear, then how she reacts to life and a purported need for protection is altered.  I’d love if you read that and weighed in.

And I equate this kind of freedom, this absence of fear, with female power…and I find that there is nothing more seductive than a woman who has the power and will to control her own life.  And strangely, or not, it is just that kind of woman that I find myself attracted to, wanting to help, wanting to support, wanting to serve.  Lady Baillie, as she was known, a force to be reckoned with…and the whole house and grounds exude her power and strength even today.  Her taste, her image, her choices all utterly and irrevocably shaped the place that is viewable to the public today.

And if you are a foot fetishist, you will admire the extensive collection of her shoes that are displayed in her boudoir, just outside a bathroom that is beyond the living rooms of most homes, and to a decorative excellence that just make you want to take your clothes off and jump in the tub.  There were more oohs and aaahs coming from that bathroom than anywhere else on the entire estate.

But it was not just Lady Baillie who gives Leeds Castle this Big Lady Energy.  There were other very important women in history who owned this property…and I found that kind of unusual, also in that so did many kings…but for some reason, Leeds Castle kept reverting to female ownership.

Queen Eleanor of Castile owned the castle from 1278-1290.  Yes, it is that old.  She bought it.  King Edward I inherited it.  But after King Edward married French princess Margaret to improve relations with France, he gave it to her as part of her “dower”, making it her property even in the event of his death.  She owned it from 1299-1318.  Later, Queen Isabella owned the castle from 1327 to 1358.  And for some reason, this castle was consistently gifted to the Queen whenever it reverted back to a King…Queen Anne (1377-1395) and again Lady Joan de Mohun (1394 to 1403)…Queen Joan of Navarre (1403 to 1422)…Queen Catherine de Valois (1422-1437).  I can’t think of any other situation in history where an estate has been so bound up with female ownership.  You probably would not be surprised to learn that I could feel that energy in the place.  It probably helps that almost every portrait in it is of an important woman in history.  But the energy is there.

I was already feeling kind of alive with female energy before we set foot on the grounds, but by the time we had finished walking through the castle and were once again back in the grounds, I was positively buzzing.  My skin was tingling.  We kept walking around to experience the formal gardens and the other joys of the site, and then wow, my favourite exhibit of all—the world largest selection of dog collars!

Now, I didn’t know ahead of time that there would be such an exhibit.  But I guess you can imagine what it was like for someone already buzzing with Femdom energy suddenly finding himself in two large rooms filled with the most beautiful collars I have ever seen—every one of which I would have been delighted to have around my neck. And, well, there are few things that have as powerful an effect on me as the sight of a collar that is not already around a neck–especially mine, but two rooms full?! [I have posted about a love of collar and leash here and also a very lighthearted but true account of taking the secrets of dog trainers and applying it to men in relationships–a book I reviewed here].

I was also intrigued that it was one of the Lady’s husbands who started this faintly obsessive collection…and I just wonder, how does a wealthy, but somewhat kept man, develop an obsession for dog collars when married to an even more powerful, more wealthy woman?  I wonder.

The collars were beautifully displayed, beautifully lit, and were in exquisite taste.  My favourites were the solid hammered metal bands, usually of highly polished brass, that had no hinge at all, they were just bent open once, then locked shut forever with a locking clasp.  Divine.  And interestingly, they were often engraved with the owner’s name rather than the pet’s name.  And you know what?  There is a lot of room for kinky misinterpretation with that!

Another thing that struck me was just how wide and substantial they were.  You know those African women who wear the incredible long stretching gold necklaces?  Well, they were halfway to that.  It was elegant, and should I ever be fortunate enough to be well and truly collared, I can feel a collar like that with Mistress’s name already around my neck.

So, if you are ready for some powerful female juju and an incredible set of gardens, museum, and lovely day out, head on over to Leeds Castle in Kent.  

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