the Blog Chain

Wearing Your BDSM Collar At Family Gatherings – A Holiday Navigation Guide.

Wearing a BDSM collar to family gatherings over the holidays can be an anxious event. But it doesn’t have to be with a little preparation and story telling!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on email
Share on print

The holiday season is seen at large as a time of joy and family gathering. People get together for family dinners, gift giving, and the drinking of eggnog. However, the holidays aren’t this simple for many of us, especially those that have taken the plunge and committed to a full time BDSM collar.

So, how do you prepare for the inevitable curiosity about your collar from family and friends over the Holidays, some of whom may be staunch in their disapproval?

It’s actually pretty simple, read on and I’ll walk you through the process.

Family gatherings can be anxious, but they don’t have to be.

I remember my first holiday season when I was collared. What normally was a time I looked forward to, seeing extended family and catching up on what cousin so-and-so had done now, transformed into an anxiety riddled event. My brain kept chanting ‘what if they ask? What if they ask? What if they ask?’, and I had no idea what I would say. Should I tell the truth and be damned the consequences? Should I outright lie? Should I make up some fantastic story, like the plot of a bad romance novel? –cough50shadescough-.

It was rather awful. I basically hid in the corner the whole time. People thought I was sick!

And… No. One. Asked.

Not a single person.

NOW… I was in my goth phase, which helped. My family had already gotten used to the constant black-on-black and weird, macabre jewelry choices. So I suppose my new collar was just a bit of background noise that they had already learned to tune out.

It also helps that I have an incredibly loving and accepting family. I am very lucky in that, so even if someone had asked that Christmas and I had blundered into word-vomit territory, spilling the entire story in all it’s vanilla horror inducing, thoughts of domestic violence, call the cops reaction… the worst I would have really gotten was ‘the look’ (you know, that side-eyed glance of disapproval that leaves you feeling the need to explain everything you’ve ever done in your entire life and all the reasons for it), and an ‘are you sure that’s what you want?’

Not to mention, my mother is a nurse (and now also designs jewelry for Serenity in Chains). She’s seen everything. Nothing surprises her.

Like I said, I’m lucky.

But many aren’t, and families are always evolving and changing. Not to mention it’s not just YOUR family you have to contend with. What about your Dom/Daddy/Master’s family?

Prepare for questions ahead of the gathering.

The first thing I’ve learned in my collared journey is that you need to prepare for questions ahead of time. You need a good story to tell, and deciding what that story will be is essential to being able to field the inevitable questions, calmly.

This usually starts with sitting down with your Dom and talking things out. Here are a couple of things you identify before crafting your collar story.

    • Who is likely to ask questions? Identifying the likely ‘troublemakers’ will help you fashion your story with a bit of tailoring that breaks their curiosity, turning them to safer topics or targets.
    • Do you need to adapt what you say for curious kids? You don’t want to talk over them, and while you will need to adjust your story to PG 13, you want it to jive with what you tell others.
    • Will you tell the truth, a fun (but fake) story, or a mixture of the two? Some families would be ok with hearing the truth (like mine), but some families require that you spin a tail to suit their expectations and yes, prejudices. Sometimes, you can get away with mixing the two.
    • Coordinate your collar with your wardrobe. A lot of times, choosing clothes the compliment your collar will hide it in plain sight, avoiding the questions all together. So pick your clothes wisely.

Identifying the Troublemakers

Take a few minutes to think about who will ask questions. Will it be Uncle Joe who likes to get into everyone’s business and use it for the rumor mill? Will it be little cousin Sally who is just curious about everything (she’s going to be president you know).

Identifying the most likely people to ask questions will help you decide how to best handle the situation before it happens. Can you just tell uncle Joe that it’s a piece you found in your jewelry box from year ago, and then ask if he’s quit smoking?

How about telling Sally that it’s a necklace that your significant other gave you to show they love you, and then asking how she’s doing in school?

Or will you need an elaborate story for your mother, who knows you too well to not see the fib?

Do you need a PG13 version?

Most families have kids hidden somewhere at their family gatherings, and kids are curious. They also tend to smell bullshit a mile away. If they are teens, it’s about 1 million times worse than even Uncle Joe.

With that in mind, decide if you need a PG13 version of whatever you are going to say. Make sure that you give enough information to state their curiosity, and have something ready to turn their attention elsewhere.

Keep in mind while crafting your PG13 version, that it should coincide with your ‘For Adults’ story. You don’t want them to contradict each other, and raise eyebrows. That would lead to more questions, and no one needs that.

What story will you actually tell?

As I’ve said before, some families can actually handle the truth. Mine knows exactly what I’m up to with Serenity in Chains, and they are totally cool with it. As a matter of fact, I have several family members that wear pieces that I have designed, including collars. They might not wear them for their intended meaning, but they know that others do. My mom also designs pieces for Serenity in Chains. If you can get more accepting than that, I’d like to see it.

If your family is super open minded and accepting, you might choose to give them the low-down on your collar. Telling them the truth might lead to some questions, but in the case that’s ok. It’s the perfect opportunity to educate them about the lifestyle, what it’s NOT, and make the world just a little more understanding.

You may want to skip the finer details. Grandma Maggie doesn’t need to know that he used it with a leash to tie you to the bed last night…

If telling the truth is NOT an option for you, craft a story that will dampen curiosity. It doesn’t have to be a long story (we aren’t writing a novel), but it does need to be plausible and relatable. Keep it simple, but understandable. “We found it online and (your S/O) bought it as an early holiday gift!” usually works. If it’s a chunkier collar, you could spin a tail about alt fashion or metal allergies.

Whatever story you come up with, make sure you can stick to it.

You may also opt to blend fiction and truth. Cherry pick true details and spin them into your tale. Talk about it representing a symbol of your commitment to each other, because you aren’t ready for a ring or anything like that yet. Again, keep it simple and something you can stick to, so you don’t get caught out in your tale.

Coordinate with your collar.

I’ve written on the topic of coordinating your wardrobe with your collar on this blog post, and this one about Fall Wardrobes. Making sure your clothes compliment your collar goes a LONG way to avoiding unwanted questions. Making sure the styles match, and the colors don’t clash help you collar to hide in plain sight, turning it from a symbol of something ‘taboo’ to a simple accessory in the eyes of others.

Don’t wear neon colors with gold. Don’t wear frills with a leather collar. And if you love Black and Silver (a classic combo), but want to hide your collar you might need to opt for a high neckline to cover your collar or a shrug with some color that draws the eye away.

Being prepared makes you prepared for anything.

Wearing your collar around family can be anxiety inducing, but it really doesn’t have to be. With a little preparation, you will find that you can handle any situation and question that might arise. Knowing how to handle otherwise uncomfortable probes into your collar will make your entire holiday experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. So before your big family event, take a little time to get your story down so you can breeze through to the food coma with no one the wiser.

Looking For The Perfect Collar For Family Gatherings?

Check out these fan favorite collars.

Become a VIP and save 20% off your first order!

Plus exclusive access to VIP secret sales, sneak peaks, and more...

By providing your information, your agree to receive marketing emails from Serenity in Chains.