The Scissors Collar

Three scissor collars: (left to right) Vicky Pratt collared in Mutant X, Jennifer O'Dell collared in "The Lost World," and an unknown bondage model collared on The Archives BBS website. No, I don't know why they call it that, but they've got some cool storyline bondage videos.

copyright 2005 by Pat Powers

The scissors collar is one of the most visually powerful bondage props going, and what's more, it isn't necessarily associated with sexual bondage among mainstream audiences.

It's a natural for dramatic scenes because it's so powerful visually. The damsel's tender, vulnerable, exposed neck contrasts powerfully with the hard metallic surface of the collar. It's about as powerful an image of tender human flesh exposed to harsh mechanical power as you can get. It's especially evident in the image of Jennifer O'Dell in "The Lost World," with her neck thrown back to reveal the broad plates of metal pressing against it. But all three damsels show considerable discomfort while in their scissors collars, and it's easy to believe that they didn't have to work very hard at acting unhappy with all that harsh metal around their necks.

Both "Lost World" and "MutantX" did a nice job of morphing the scissors collar to fit their respective needs. The wooden handle and dull metal of the Lost World scissors collar has the look of a pre-Industrial Revolution farm instrument, working well with Lost World's generally retro look. MutantX's scissors collar is a vaguely futuristic device with poles and springs holding it in place. But it's still a scissors collar, and has the same power to make Pratt look thoroughly distressed.

Lost World was by far the better scene of the two, with Pratt in her leather bikini and her hands bound behind her back. It's a well-lit, well-photographed scene, and O'Dell does a great job of maximizing the dramatic impact of the collar. Some frames of the episode could easily pass for a still from an early sexual bondage video, although all the scenes fit readily into the family action adventure series mold. That's flying under the radar like an ace!

Pratt's scene was dramatic, but its drama was undercut by harsh, contrasty lighting that made it difficult to clearly see how Pratt was secured. Also, Pratt's hands and feet were not secured at all, despite the fact that her MutantX superpower involves being able to hit and kick people a lot. Pratt did a great job of acting distressed, and the villainous gloating was nicely done as well, but the scissors collar looked a little Rube Goldberg-ish and vaguely flimsy compared to the Lost World collar and the one on the bondage model. (It should be noted that the bondage model's collar is actually part of a metallic yoke that also restrains her hands).

The Lost World scene aired in January 2001, the Mutant X scene aired in spring 2002, so television is picking up on the dramatic potential of scissors collars at a pace that can best be described as "sedate." Who knows what the future may bring? But it is worth noting that the two series that have adapted this relatively rare device are two of the more successful syndicated TV shows, and that syndicated shows tend to be where all the groundbreaking inventiveness tends to happen. (Note: both shows have since been cancelled. Whoops!)

Finally, boys and girls, don't try this at home. Necks are very fragile, vulnerable things, and enclosing them in something as unyeilding as metal attached to a handle that may get caught up in or jammed against just about anything is not a good idea. In fact, it's a downright bad idea, the sort of idea you wind up explaining first to doctors and then the cops while they look at you in disbelief.