‘Everything is bigger and better in Texas’…or so the saying goes. And whilst enjoying a road trip to Dallas with my collared slave last year, I discovered once and for all that this wasn’t just cowboy based bravado. I will have to trouble you with words like ‘gas’ and ‘store’ and throw in the odd ‘jerky’ to enlighten you though. Still with me?

Pulling off the highway, and there it was – mirage-like against the crisp hills and the hazy horizon, a truly hallowed ground in the Lone Star State in the form of Buc-ee’s. Now it’s not exactly the height of glamour but as far as petrol stations/convenience stores go, it offered up more on-the-road delights than I’d ever imagined. Perhaps this explains why such a pedestrian necessity has attained cult status in some parts of the US.

Inside lay entire walls of sticky delectations in lurid colours, Funions (they do exist), candied jalepenos, huge glass counters covering smoked meats in infinite flavours, tie-died beaver emblazoned everything and more BBQ paraphernalia than my smokiest dreams could have conjured. It felt more like a Texan themed amusement park to me. And if you’re ever in the market for a bag of Beaver Nuggets (who isn’t?) well you’re certainly in the right place.

It was hidden amongst all the MSG-laden delights that I spotted the ultimate treasure – an A-shaped branding iron. So in the spirit of all things brand new, I thought my 2017 prized acquisition deserved showcasing, and some kind of thoughtful comment to justify such a dubious segue.

In the shiny season of ‘out with the old and in with the new’, it’s nice to reflect on the subject of ownership and commitment too. Whether you’re a slave who has stuck loyally with your Mistress from time immemorial, or a sluttier specimen who has twisted its way through every newcomer on the scene, I’m sure you must have considered yourself, however fleetingly as ‘property.’

So if you could, would you proudly wear the ownership mark of your Mistress FOREVER?

Branding is just one form of ritualistic BDSM marking. It involves a hot iron being pressed into the flesh to cause a burn and leave a permanent scar. The resulting scar will take the shape of the brand. I can almost hear the sizzle and smell the…jerky smoking as I write. It is not for the fickle or the faint-hearted though and I’m certainly not condoning amateur attempts. It needs to be done by a professional and aftercare is all-important to prevent infection.

Flames aside, the symbol of your slavery can also be etched, inked, carved, or pierced into your quivering flesh and indeed soul. And in the absence of the physical it can just as easily be mental….or can it? A visible display of submissive status, and all this entails is the very point of the matter to some. In my mind though, the psychological scar is just as all-consuming albeit less obvious. Maybe mental branding might define my 2018. It might be easier to hide but will need just as much skill and perhaps even more aftercare.

Wherever you wear the mark of your Mistress (or indeed Master) it should be seen as the ultimate prize for giving yourself, a celebration of your surrender, of trust and experience, of risks and of rewards. It should really be gifted or given rather than the irreversible answer or response to a collared request.

My beautiful brand is far too good for any lowly slave, but leaving my Mistress mark appeals to me greatly. It’s the ultimate antidote to our disposable, quick-fix inclinations as a society and signifies a much deeper level of servitude in a world which can often emphasise the superficial.

Should you ever find yourself cruising on a Texas highway though, then I really do recommend getting your gas, and your arse to Buc-ee’s for some instant gratification you’ll never regret. And when you pass the branding aisle, please do think of me.