Things are going well with boy c and he spent much of the weekend with Me, being very helpful and generally trying out life at the Stately Pleasure Domme's better home, garden, and dungeon. he has a good bit of experience and had expressed willingness to try a collar, so I made that happen and hugely enjoyed watching him run around the house, collared and naked, cleaning and doing projects. It just felt like he belonged, he sort of looks and acts the part in a way that matches the idealized movie in My head, the one where reality does not intrude. We had a lovely visit, and when we got an hour from the end, I had him sit and did a debriefing of the visit, giving him an opportunity to express his opinions and provide feedback. When I asked him how he had felt about being collared, he replied:
Well...I hate it.
This I was absolutely not expecting to hear. I have always before been able to spot when someone is not enjoying themselves or just humoring Me, but this time I hadn't gotten even a whiff of it. I learned he is a frighteningly good pretender. So he had to repeat himself several times before I realized he wasn't going to crack and smile and tell Me he was just shitting Me.
He really hated it.
The next thing that happened was equally shocking to Me: I started to cry. Just a few tears running down the cheeks, nothing cataclysmic, but I did tear up. I felt stunned and embarrassed and disappointed and frankly, like someone just took My candy away from Me. But I'm a responsible sort so I brushed it off, and promptly asked if he would like Me to remove the collar immediately, he said yes, done. Then I asked how he felt about being naked the whole time, he had hated that too, so I had him get dressed. No sense subjecting him to something that doesn't work. We then had a good talk about all the other facets of the weekend, and I learned everything else was successful for him, the artifacts of nakedness and collar were the only issues. In retrospect, I can see that going into the weekend, they simply did not carry for him the positive symbolism and resonance they carry for Me, we understand them very differently. We had a good talk about the importance of being honest, transparency, safewords, and all those topics. In the end all was well between us, and he wants to return this week, wants to continue "being helpful". he has surprisingly taken to referring to himself as "the property" and intends to take better care of it because that's what a Master requires.
We also negotiated that he will wear boxers next time, rather than be naked. he does like wearing less than Me, though he did allow as how he wished I were naked too. Cheeky bugger!
I was reminded -- after My head cleared -- that I was once playing with My switch friend A, who is a beautiful, classic, olive skinned, fuzzy Mediterreanan body type. I find him to be very sexy in a Roman slave boy kind of way and on a whim, during a break in a scene in which I was beating him, I put black eye liner and a little pouty colored lip gloss on him, because it really played up that sexy slave boy look I so enjoy. It was HOT for Me, he was really really hot like that. I was seriously debating skipping the rest of the scene I had planned and just ordering him take Me. But he safeworded almost immediately (and generously apologized later for doing so because he hadn't set that boundary in advance; he is always such a good sport). But he just couldn't go forward in the scene feeling so terribly feminized and humiliated in a bad way; he felt I must be mocking him. It was the only explanation that was apparent to him and it was very emotionally powerful, in a not-good way. I explained why I liked it and how hot it was for Me, but that message just couldn't get through the static in that moment of feeling bad. Maybe now a few years later we could negotiate a Roman slaveboy cos-play scene that includes the eyeliner, but at the time I knew I absolutely had to let it go. I understand what happened with boy c might be something similar. Perhaps in time, with more familiarity with the scene and its symbols, more extensive negotiation and trust, we can revisit a collar one day, but I know that day is far over the horizon.
I have learned that boy c may be inclined to leap before he looks, and I'm going to have to work harder at moderating his impulses (and My own wishful thinking) so we don't get so far out in front of the headlights again.