I went for a walk with my mother and the dog when two young guys on a tandem bike rode by. "Evening, ladies," one of them said jauntily. "I like your collar."
"He likes your collar," my mom said with a laugh. "Your collar!"
Her teasing was nothing new to me; I'd worn them on occasion even before I got into kink, and so by now I'd just learned to roll with it. "You done yet?" I asked.
"Why do you wear a collar? Is it an S&M thing?"
"Because I want to," I said without missing a beat.
I want to say that I'm just that smooth, that I can think on my feet when faced with an awkward situation. The truth is, I'd been mentally rehearsing for exactly this kind of scenario for some time. I've decided that my stock response to the question of why I wear my collar is, "Because I want to." It isn't lying - I certainly want to wear it, and love wearing it - but it's vague enough that I don't need to divulge more about my sex life than I'm comfortable with. Really, Mom's the only one who's asked me (though a handful of others have made cracks about it).
I feel somewhat hypocritical because I'm out to my parents about being queer. I had a girlfriend in high school; my parents were all aflutter over both of us when we went to prom, so I know they don't have problem with that. I think that part of it has to do simply with not being comfortable sharing details of my sex life with my parents. They undoubtedly know that I have sex with Master, and I've discussed birth control with them, but it was only in abstractions. I'm not one of those women who gossips with her mother about how great her lover is in bed.
An argument against that is that BDSM is more than just sex for me. Master and I live it 24/7; the collar is just one part of it. To say that coming out as queer to my parents was sharing my sex life is only telling half the picture; my pansexuality colors my entire worldview. Can the same be said of kink?
On a slightly related note, I suspect my brother is also into kink. I also suspect he suspects I'm into kink. And I suspect he suspects I suspect he's into kink. It's all very strange.