Monday, 2 January 2012

Kitti Collared

Happy New Year! 

As the holidays draw to a close, so the return to university looms - and the return of my status as being in a long-distance relationship. My boyfriend and I spend term time a four-hour train journey apart, and sometimes that can be tough. Due to a pretty poor internet connection and download allowance at his end, we've spent the past few months relying upon phone calls - but now all that has (potentially) changed. We can now use Skype and, as I suggested a while ago, Second Life, to communicate and spend a little virtual time together. Icarian's induction into SL is a subject for another post, and will be appearing shortly, but today I want to address another issue that has been bothering me for a while, but which has been brought up again by him. 

Icarian and I spent the best part of an afternoon kitting him out for SL - new shape, skin, hair, normal clothing, and then a fantasy outfit and a sci-fi outfit, so he can join in the various little role-playing scenarios I have been involved with, or set out on his own, should he choose. I have been harbouring items for him in my inventory whenever I have seen them, so promptly logged into my account to send them over to his. Whilst doing so, I showed him a couple of my outfits, and we talked about the nature of the sci-fi sims I was also sending him landmarks for. As the discussion continued, he asked me "So, is the collar Kitti wears a slave collar?"

"a real collar", or so it claims, found at

Well, I had to laugh. Like I said, this is an issue I have been considering talking about before, and have kind of shied away from because...well. It's a difficult topic, and I could probably write about it forever. As Sian Pearl has written very recently over at her blog, "Parthenoid", slavery forms a whole sub-culture within SL - so much so that a viewer has been designed and built to allow for the deprivation of certain virtual senses  and operation of animation overrides (the infamous "Restrained Love" Viewer, which I believe was previously known as the "Restrained Life" Viewer). What Sian also brings up is how everything within SL slavery is consentual, though she writes about it far better than I could, so I'll leave it up to her. 

There are several different ways in which the topic of slavery pops up in SL, and you may recall my anecdote about my first day in SL, when slavers tried to pick me up in the Necronom VI bar. I have also written a role-playing in which Kitti was being persuaded to sign herself over to what was essentially a sex-slave agency. I have met several avatars on sci-fi sims that claim to have a history as a slave, and they have invariably risen up, killed their masters, and are now amongst the dregs of the sci-fi world. In my understanding of sci-fi, however, unless you are a Jedi, everyone is amongst the space dregs. 

But I have never thought of Kitti's collar as a slave collar. Kitti certainly does not behave as a slave in SL, and I personally find the idea of belonging to someone in such a fashion, in the real world, never mind the virtual, absolutely abhorrent. It is not, one might say, my cup of tea. Kitti's role-play back story does not involve any slavery, and when the rather seductive agency worker tried to recruit her, she did not jump to take the position, if you will excuse that rather hideous pun. 

So why does Kitti wear a collar? Or, rather, why do I dress Kitti in a collar? 

To start with, Kitti's collars are absolutely nothing like the one in the picture above. They are not scripted to do anything but glow sometimes, and even then, I have complete control over that glow. They do not feature  hooks for the attachment of chains or ropes or anything like that. They are purely aesthetic - radical necklaces, if you like,

Kitti Collared
or a choker, only without the rubies or diamonds or pearls or whatever else women wrap around their throats. Is it the lack of jewels that thus makes them obscene? 

I am aware that such is a rather dull answer, but it is the truth - and it makes me wonder. Do other people in SL see Kitti in these collars and think that she is a slave? Do they think she wants to be enslaved? A quick conversation with me would kill any ideas of that nature, and in role-play scenarios, Kitti has a little bit of a reputation for being somewhat unruly and taking the piss out of her superior officers when they show arrogance or chauvinism. She is not a collared pussycat. - But I cannot pounce on everyone I walk passed and announce my intentions. I would appear to be protesting "too much", and that wouldn't go down so well, either.

But awareness of this view has imposed limits on what I am comfortable with Kitti wearing. Whilst the collars above fall into my comfort zone (just about), this one I have more trouble with:

It is the socket at the back that bothers me. It is the post-"The Matrix" version of a hook, and I guess I don't like the idea of being fastened to anything. I also don't want to be a cyborg.. Kitti does own a couple of plug-suits, but I shy away from dressing her in them, unless I can cover the plug sockets up as I have done above (see those two white stripes in the middle of her back?). You ain't uploading any data into me, thank you very much! I don't want to be a slave, to a human or a computer.

Is it possible for the collar to be a symbol of freedom, as well as of oppression? Kitti can wear a collar because she is free to do so, should she choose. She is not bound to wear one. She can take it off (or rather, I can take it off her) whenever she pleases. And yet my own hesitation suggests that somehow, the symbol doesn't quite fit. The freedom isn't quite there. The symbol isn't recognised.

And is it ethical for Kitti to wear a collar? When there is so much of this culture, within the real world, is it right for me to casually slap on what is, at least originally, a representation of ownership, suffering, and deprived free-will?

Will I continue to wear my collars, and not succumb to slavery? You ought to know me well enough by now to know the answer to that. But I cannot say that I will not continue to feel a bit awkward about it. 

Though, I have no doubt that my mother (hi mum!) will make some comment here about other things in these outfits that I ought to feel awkward about :P


  1. Hi Daughter.....I was actually sitting here reading and wishing that my damn medication would kick in a little more and I could have some hope of a body that would look halfway decent in most or your SL NER!

    Collars don't have to symbolise slavery....they could just be a symbol of your erotic nature perhaps...a hint at what lies beneath the rather straight-laced exterior...or perhaps that is going beyond the realms of an acceptable mother/daughter

    Love you

  2. I wish -I- had to body to wear some of Kitti's And lol mother :P that is not at all what I was going for! Like I said, they are purely aesthetic! Don't project your fantasies onto me, lol.


All questions, comments and feedback are welcome. Thank you.