Daddy has been listening through every single episode of the Erotica Awakening podcast so when he came to episode 482 where Dan & dawn interview kame bat, Dan’s prior slave, about her book, The Collar, there was no doubt I’d end up reading it.
Daddy and I have been fans of Dan and dawn for a few years now. We’ve gone to the Power Exchange Summit that they founded and ran for several years. I enjoyed their book Living M/s. So I was excited that someone that had served Dan and is part of their Leather family had also written a book.
I purchased the Kindle edition of The Collar which is just the text. The printed version of The Collar has space to respond to kame bat’s prompts so I’m unsure how much space is given for each section. However, I’m picky as heck and probably would have ignored all of that in favor of my own journal so I’m more than happy with the Kindle edition.
The Collar is broken up into several chapters including Journaling as a Tool in Service, Goals for Service and Growth, and then the nitty-gritty of how to create your own service journal. kame bat talks a little in the first section about why she began keeping a slave journal: her Master had commanded it and so she did. This is probably the most common reason many submissives and slaves keep journals. She goes on to explain that even though it was an order from her Master, it was a journal for her and her path so it needed to be functional for her. The Collar came out of that development of her own journal.
Journaling offers a marvelous opportunity to not just keep track of scheduling, to-do lists, and running commands, but also a place to reflect on our journey as s-types. In the chapter Goals For Service and Growth, kame bat provides a good number of thought-provoking questions that reflect on who you are, what kind of role you want (or have) in a dynamic, and what purpose journaling will bring to your life. I found that kame bat’s questions didn’t shy away from urging you to dig deep and really examine your internal workings.
She also provides a short section and reflective questions about your Dominant. Like the self-reflective questions, kame bat encourages you to be very specific with your answers. One very important question that stood out to me is “What are the most pressing questions (about the One-You-Serve) that you have at the moment? Are you lacking information needed to serve them better this day/week?”
I think us s-types sometimes forget that we’re allowed to ask questions of our D-types. That not knowing something doesn’t make us less of a slave or submissive. I appreciate that kame bat takes a minute to point out that, in the process of developing something to help us serve, we have to remind ourselves that we are human too and sometimes that means asking questions.
The Commands Section
The rest of The Collar centers around different methods of keeping a journal (paper, electronic, combination, etc) and then the sections that kame bat felt most commands could be sorted into. I’ve had a hard time thinking of other useful sections to add on since she covers such a wide range. She also gives a few suggestions on different ways to mark important commands and track which ones are in-progress or done.
I think these sections are also very useful to a new s-type or D-type that is working on creating protocols for a new dynamic or wanting to refine or add new ones in an established one. For example, kame bat’s first section is Honorifics and asks questions such as what will you call your D-type, what about in front of family/other vanillas, how about other D-types or s-types in your life? All of these things are important to explore and discuss in a dynamic.
Other sections range from rituals to sexual activity to technology usage to food and drink. Like the other chapters, each of these suggested sections come with a few questions to explore and answer. All of them are flexible and adaptable and, depending on how you set up your journal, would be very easy to modify as commands change or end over the years.
The Planner Section
I’m going to sum up the last few chapters as “the planner section” even though kame bat rolls everything up into one journal. I can easily see how these last couple of chapters would work well paired with the command sections in one notebook but I personally don’t work that way.
kame bat’s first chapter here is all about you and your goals. I love this. I love that she suggests keeping tracking of a bucket list, whether it’s a movie or event or a person to meet. She writes “it doesn’t really matter if it is a big or small experience. What you want is what you want. What you want is important.”
This is another moment in the book where I have to appreciate it being written by a slave. It’s very easy to get caught up in serving our D-types that we forget to do things for ourselves. A bucket list is a great way to remember that we need to do things for ourselves too.
The last few chapters are devoted to weekly/monthly/yearly planning and habit tracking. She also briefly touches on money ledgers and developing a contact page.
In the Kindle edition, kame bat also includes pictures of the planner sheets that are available in the paperback version.
I really enjoyed reading The Collar and got a lot of great notes out of it. I’m also glad I bought the Kindle version since I feel that everything in the book could be broken up into three separate notebooks. However, I’m a person who likes to keep things very separate and organized rather than all together in one piece. Part of this is because I like sharing with other s-types what my notebooks/planners look like and if I can keep some private stuff separate, I will.
Some of the prompts I plan on doing with Daddy as a way of refining the shape of our relationship because I think this book is good for both sides of the slash to read and think about.
If you’re interested in service journaling, butler books, or even the beginnings of a household manual, I’d recommend picking up The Collar and taking your time working through answering the questions and developing your practice. If you’re new to a dynamic, I think sitting down with your new partner and answering a few questions together is a good way of developing potential protocols and rituals. And even if you don’t have a partner, the exercises are great as thought experiments and helping you figure out what an ideal dynamic might look like to you.
I’ll definitely be recommending this book to others and have already added it to my own BDSM Booklist.
Let me know if you’ve read The Collar and what you’ve thought about it in the comments below!