When we marry or commit our lives to one another, we can wear a ring on our finger to show that. But when we submit to another, there are few socially acceptable ways to demonstrate it publicly. Which is interesting since submission often has a physical component to it, whether it be a collar or a chastity device or what have you. But those components typically don’t leave the private realm. Regardless, I know I have often wanted to have some kind of way to show my status that could pass through Muggle life without creating too much of a ruffle.
Of course, there’s little way I can publicly communicate my chastity, though I feel about it much like someone feels about marriage. The device has a potent emotional weight for me. And sure, sometimes someone might see it through my clothes and I don’t go to extreme lengths to hide it, but that’s not like wearing a wedding ring. I got a triskal tattoo on my wrist which is kind of an inside nod to those who recognize what it means but I think of that as communicating what I am, not my status. The best way I’ve been able to make that statement in a way that feels authentic to me is a stainless steel locking cuff.
I got the first one about seven years ago from a site called House of Collars. It locks with a little headless screw that requires a hex key to get on and off and is hinged and cost $67 shipped. I so appreciate its rough and naked utilitarianism. I think it looks almost like jewelry but really, if you look hard enough, not since it’s got hinges and no visible means of closure. It’s heavy and, after all these years, had a nicely beaten up patina. It’s only drawback, really, is that the little screw has become loose and can work its way out after a few days (which is nothing some Loctite from the hardware store couldn’t fix). Its other issue is the hinges. They can tear at my skin and leave it open and raw. On the one hand, that kind of thing can be kind of hot, but on the other more practical hand, it’s also a pain. I wore it for over a week recently when we were away for the 4th and it left me with a nice little wound.
That got me thinking about a more civilized lockable cuff someone pointed me to in the post I wrote about the first one seven years ago. It’s from Träume aus Edelstahl in Germany (of course) and cost $185 shipped. It’s the first cuff’s spiritual opposite. It doesn’t have a sharp or uncivilized edge on it and is machined with exquisite skill. It locks with a hidden, internal screw mechanism and a special little tool with an oddly-shaped head. It came with just one special little tool with an oddly-shaped head, by the way. So best not to lose it. An extra one is $30.
They’re about the same thickness and weight. The older cuff is slightly taller than the new one, but they don’t feel that different on the wrist except for the missing sharp bits. The new cuff gleams while the older one is dulled by wear. While that dull patina kind of works for the tougher, more serious and less caring demeanor of it, I can’t imagine I’ll want the new cuff to end up that way. I’ll probably want to keep it polished and beautiful.
I thought I’d like the new one hands-down over the old, but in reality I can’t tell. Sure, I like not having a wound on my wrist, but I do appreciate the different vibe of the older cuff. It doesn’t fuck around or play hide and seek with its purpose. It looks like an implement of bondage. The new cuff is more demure. Deceptive. It wants to be be able to pass as something more than it is, and it does that beautifully. It’s very comfortable, very sleek, and very locked.
The difference between a wedding ring and one of these cuffs is that the wedding ring can come off. It’s a thing that represents a willing and equal partnership. But a thing that locks onto your body doesn’t. There is an inherent unequalness that resonates in the soul of a sub. Being able to put that condition on display is very satisfying, even if to the untrained Muggle eye it’s just another shiny bauble.