I have come a cross a question to which I can find no answer and was wondering if you can help me.
My wife recently returned from an overseas conference wearing an ankle bracelet on each leg. She is older and doesn’t usually wear much jewelry at all.
The conference was with about a number of other women and a few men and held in French Polynesia. The day after she arrived home the left bracelet was gone but the right one has remained and she never takes it off.
She claims there is nothing to it, but I wonder. Is there any sexual connotation to wearing an ankle bracelet?
Thanks for your help!
Many people use “body modification” as an outward expression of the inward self. Many others do it for “fashion”.
Examples of this is tattooing and piercing. In many cultures tattooing indicates a right of passage. In Samoa for example, young men are expected go get tattoos as a sign of their entry into adulthood. Tattoos are given by specialists using very crude tools, resulting in great pain for the wearer. For many in that culture tattooing continues throughout life often resulting in a “body suit”. These are highly prized and given great respect by those in the culture. Others use piercing as a sign of cultural significance and personal growth. Examples of this include piercings worn in the lips, noses, nipples and genitals.
In both these cases there is a level of ritual combined with the modification. Often this ritual is spiritual in nature and surrounded by great ceremony.
Other “sub-cultures” use piercing and tattooing as a symbol of their involvement in that sub-culture. One example of this is the SM community where piercings and jewellery are used as a symbol of bondage, submission, dominance and power.
Today, many people are also doing these things for fashion rather than ritual. I personally believe that errantly altering the body is a deeply personal thing and to do it simply for fashion greatly lessen the cultural significance imbued in the act. For this same reason, many cultures are insulted by the west’s fashion-attitude regarding these practices.
What does all this have to do with your wife’s jewellery?
Many people use jewellery as the same outward exploration of these cultures, and the beliefs they hold. In fact, many pieces of clothing mimic these same aspects without committing the wearer to them. Examples of this include leather clothing and boots, high-heels – especially those with straps that circle the ankles, corsetry, certain forms of underwear, collars, bracelets, toe rings, etc.
It’s very possible that your wife’s interest in the ankle jewellery is like this. Perhaps she’s enjoying the feeling of being “bound” by the chain around her ankle, or just that she thinks it makes her legs look good.
In any case, it doesn’t mean that she has been unfaithful to you, just that she’s exploring something in herself. I’ll bet that if you ask her about it, she’d be happy to explain it if she senses you’re really interested, and not ready to judge.