Thursday, August 5, 2010

My wedding ring

I want to share some history about my wedding ring, and its significance in 1L and SL. I'm sure it hasn't escaped most of my partners' attention that the hand gripping their hair or spanking their ass has a gold ring on the significant finger.

As a character for RP, Kandr's state of matrimony is usually in the background. I'm not in SL for dating, romance, or a girlfriend, but neither do I want to foreground a sense that Kandr is cheating. I'm partnered to my wife's avatar, and I wear my SL wedding ring whenever possible. (It's not possible in some inhuman forms.)

I'm not the RP characters I play as Kandr. In RP, Kandr has much darker tastes, and he's much more casual about sex and relationships. Kandr and I share some personality traits and some physical features. (We don’t share *that* exact feature, in case you're wondering.) Some emotions can be very real, but the contexts are usually pretend.

A few years ago I learned more about polyamory. My wife and I have an open marriage online, so in the language of poly, she is my primary. I found that too mundane, so I say "my beloved primary", or just "my beloved." In 1L conversations, I sometimes stumble on the words "my wife", since I'm used to typing "my beloved" when I talk about her in SL.

Before we were formally engaged, my beloved and I decided we wanted custom wedding rings. We worked with a jeweler we admired. We had intended for hers to have diamonds, and for mine to just have starbursts cut into the gold, in the same constellation configuration. The jeweler misunderstood us, and crafted two identical rings, both with diamonds. Over the years, we've sometimes worn one another's ring, so it's not clear anymore which is which. I properly proposed using one of the rings. ("Properly" includes down on one knee, in my book.) At our wedding, we made our self-written vows with both rings.

Sometime after we were married, I bought my beloved a bedroom collar. It's a gorgeous masterwork of black leather, purple rabbit fur, and stainless steel hardware. I was very new to D/s at the time (i.e., clueless). I was fortunate that the store I patronized had such quality bondage gear, and that I was bold enough to ask the cute, emo clerk for her recommendation. (She explained that she had a similar collar in her bedroom. Is anyone surprised that I remember that?) There were matching cuffs for ankles and wrists, and I splurged on the whole set. Altogether, it was a landmark day for the junior Dom I was back then. I made my beloved work to find/earn each cuff, and finally the collar. That became one of her favorite memories.

Much later, we wanted my beloved in an everyday collar: something she could wear in mixed company, that silently symbolized our private deviance. After some discussion and shopping, we selected a beautiful gold rope necklace, on which I hung her wedding ring. The canted wedding ring evokes a leashing ring. It looks amazing on her: the synergy of the meanings is profound.

In SL, my beloved is my partner, my first girl, and my first Pick. Not long after I closed her everyday collar around her throat, I wanted it in SL, too. I secretly worked with an SL jeweler to reproduce the necklace and ring, and then surprised her with it. The jeweler also gave me a copy of the ring by itself. Since our 1L rings are identical, the SL ring matches my 1L ring. So I started wearing my wedding ring in SL.

Symbols can be powerful, especially when imbued with sincerity. For me, a collar includes certain promises, including the promise to take care of the bottom. A wedding ring is not a collar, although some of the promises are similar. A collar that includes a wedding ring is a powerful amalgam of meanings.

It's interesting that we call them "wedding rings", since they symbolize the marriage and commitment, not just the event. It would be a mistake for someone to assume much about my relationship with my beloved primary, without knowing us better. I wear my SL wedding ring whenever possible, to minimize such assumptions. Most people understand how the game of hearts and genitals is played in SL, but a prim reminder helps others and me. My beloved will always be first in my life and my heart.

In short, my SL wedding ring has symbolic resonance to my 1L ring and my beloved's everyday collar. It reminds me that nothing in SL will ever matter as much as honoring the trust, admiration, and wellness of the smart, passionate, sensual woman who gets the best of me. I love you, my beloved primary.

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