I updated this Article to be more resourceful – I explain a little about Collars in general, how they are used, why they are used and also my personal experience with the concept and how I use them.
But in general, there is no real protocol, no real rules, and no way how ‘everybody does it’ – so take the things I explain here as inspiration and suggestions.
I also explain in the end why collars can be very important – if you choose to use them that way.
What is a Collar?
In the most basic form a BDSM collar is usually a necklace out of leather or metal with an O-Ring in it.
They are used as status symbols and meaningful jewelry like chockers and earrings – their power comes from psychology and the meaning the parties invest in them. That’s why it can be a big deal like a marriage proposal or commitment.
Collars are often a status symbol in relationships or on Events.
Why the collar? – Why not anything else?
Good question – I personally think it is because there is precedent in slavery and it gives a wide range of possibilities without taking a lot of mobility away. Handcuffs or chains can be very restricting which is nice for play but not ideal for a normal working day.
It is also totally normal that we see people with necklaces and depending on the options you chose, you will be able to let your submissive wear it all the time without getting everybody suspicious.
It can be emotionally very powerful to have a reminder of your Dominant all day around your neck.
But there are other options if you are not interested in a collar – I have a whole section on that at the end of this article.
What kind of materials are used for collars?
Materials can vary in a wide range and are not set in stone.
The ‘default’ is either leather (as you see in the picture above) or stainless steel. But I also did see collars in Gold, Silver, Bronze/Messing, Silk, and other fabrics.
Often but not always the material signifies some sort of symbol like how long the Submissive is in Service or what status she has in a relationship.
Some submissives, however, own their own collar just to show they are submissive when they visit play parties.
How to get collard?
There is no real protocol on this – if you want one you can just get one in the next online store from the Internet. That said I like to list some things I heard or experienced myself and found interesting.
Asking for a collar
There are some Regions in the USA & Europe where it is common that the Submissive has to ask for her collar. In these circles, it is seen as part of a ritual and the submissive has to demonstrate that she wants to lose her freedom to the Dominant.
Often this involves the Dominant not giving a collar to a submissive until she asks a different number of times and/or there are some pre-requisite to earning the collar. In these Cases, the Dominant in question gives certain Tasks or Rules the submissive has to follow for a set amount of time.
A collar Trial is like an introduction and in 2 cases I know of a semi-public event.
In the Trial the Submissives have to accomplish multiple tasks successfully and at the end, they are ‘allowed’ to wear a collar.
I know of one group that did this on a monthly basis and the winner got the right to be the Primary Submissive for the following month (with certain perks) and obligations for the group.
One of the most common things I believe is the Collar ceremony. It gives the decision gravity and can be a nice and special occasion especially for stable relationships. A lot of couples take this as a more important date then their wedding day and use it to celebrate their kinky side.
I personally did experience some collar ceremonies myself and had the fortune to plan some myself. They are very special occasions and can be a highpoint of the relationship.
Different types of collars
This is my own way to differentiate the collars that different people are using – As there are no real rules around collaring these definitions are for understanding purposes only and you can not assume if somebody uses a similar name they mean the exact same thing!
Most Important information: Not every collar means the same!
The definition is always up for the parties involved. Only they can tell you what a collar in question means! If you find yourself on a play party or munch don’t assume you know anything about a collar or the relationship!
A lot of people and a lot of submissives are having different collars because of different purposes.
But to explain what collaring means to me personally and to bring some structure into it I need to make clear what types of collars there are and how they are different.
A Collar that is worn for the purpose of play, to signify a submissive status and to facilitate play like keeping a submissive on a leash.
These Collars are usually very prominent and visible. Most of the time they are either black leather or steel. They are just worn for the evening or the scene and to have fun with them for play.
A Collar that is worn to show a submissive status, like the play collar more to symbolize the submissive status. A lot of dominants give these out after a couple of weeks/months of training as a symbol of trust or to show their affection.
These are collars that you normally can wear anytime, I’m not demeaning their use or symbolism and I used them often with play partners. [NG] for instance had her own Play Collar which she had to wear when she was with us. I also often suggest to newer submissives to get something that reminds them of their submissive status in their daily life. They don’t have the meaning and purpose of a “real” Collar, but they are still a nice aspect in play.
Usually made from something temporary like leather or a cheap metal, It can be just for home or also worn outside. It signifies something for both parties about their relationship. It is like a kinky version of a friendship sign. Training Collars are for the time a Submissive is Trained and when she learns how to behave and to react.
It is also for the time she and her Dominant is getting to know each other in every way.
Most of them are made from high-quality metal, they are often engraved and wearable at all times.
These Collars are for Submissives that are really dedicated and invested a lot of time in their submission.
Almost always there is a relationship that goes along with them and they have a deep meaning for the parties involved.
My own experiences with Collars
I personally don’t like quick things and with collars, it is the same way. If you expect a Collar after I played with someone 2-3 times I have to disappoint you for quite a while.
I consider a “Training Collar” after around 6 Months and the submissive has to be dedicated and willing to work on herself and our relationship.
A Training Collar is nothing my submissive wears permanently but for the time around at home. It’s a promise of openness and honesty. It signifies that my submissive understands her obligations, her place in the world with me and the basic definition of what I call a relationship. Its a promise of her to care for me and a promise on my side to guide and protect her.
It comes with the promise that I will be always there to help even after the relationship ends in most cases.
Don’t let the description fool you – this is a big honor (in my personal opinion) and there is a ceremony involved giving this collar. I don’t give them out like “tic tac’s” and the occasions are very special and rare.
Submissives that have that collar can call me in the middle of the night and I answer, they can stand before my door and get a place to sleep and a warm meal, there is very little they can not demand within reason.
A Training Collar also requires a bare minimum of Sexual & BDSM knowledge and that the submissive goes to her absolute limits with me. She has to show that she is willing to go against her fears and against her own interest in play.
Collaring someone with a Training Collar is a big deal for me – it means I trust that Submissive, I can be myself around her, I can and even feel obligated to share my inner-thinking and the private part of my life with her as long as she is in my service and often beyond that.
It is somebody I can share my feelings with and maybe I don’t ‘love’ that person like my wife, but I always have deep and fundamental admiration and respect for her.
In some strange way, it is my way of showing that there is an understanding that I trust her so much that I open up in a way she can harm & hurt me. If I collar somebody I am not guarded anymore and I show my feelings.
All this comes obviously also with a lot of responsibility for the Submissive.
My view on Eternity Collars
Made from high-quality metal, engraved, wearable at all times. It symbolizes unity and my deepest trust in that person.
Such a submissive has fully understood what I expect from her in play and life, she embraces her submission and our relationship as part of her way to happiness. She has understood and shown over time that she can be trusted beyond all doubt and is invested in the well being of the people around herself and me.
Earning an Eternity Collar with me has no time limit, if it costs some years that’s totally fine with me and it should be fine with her. It is something very special that evolves out of our relationship and I only do it with very important people in my life.
How am I using Collars?
It is not always a Collar that I use.
With [C] for instance, it was first a necklace and today, of course, it is her wedding ring. It has the time of our wedding day engraved (in a special format) and is the symbol of our unity. That said my beloved [C] has also other accessories that are linked to her submission and devotion to our relationship.
As of this writing, our Submissive has also a Trainings Collar that she earned over the last year. It symbolizes her service for us when she is at home or on Events. It means a big deal to us and to her that she is allowed to wear it and we all enjoy that she does.
I actually collared only 3 Submissives in my life with a meaningful collar and in retrospect, I am very conservative and meaningful in that regard.
Getting a collar is also only half of the equation, I make a big point these days of keeping it – that means that submissives can lose it if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Expectations are not just for fun but for reaching them.
One day in the future we hope that our Submissive will earn a version that she can wear when she is with friends or on her job. And maybe we are all so lucky that we feel a permanent collar is a good way to symbolize our growing relationship.
I also want to mention three other Submissives I had:
Let´s start with [JP] that got a Training Collar from me – a fact I feel very problematic about in today’s time. On one side I was sure I wanted to open up and make a promise at that time and I will stand by it even if it is overshadowed of her behavior – on the other side I don’t know if I should regret doing it…
In any way, I feel very fortunate that I discharged her from my services before we moved on.
Although never officially collared I would have done it in a heartbeat at the time if I already had understood the concept.
Submissive [MR] did teach me so much about women and in a way love at a time I understood nothing compared to today and she didn’t even do that on purpose… I’m not sure she would have accepted it but she did fulfill my personal requirements for the time we played together.
Submissive [SD] was and still is such a great friend and she had definitely deserved to be Collared.
Her insight in her mind and also the revelations I had with her are Priceless and I do think she would have accepted it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Collaring a Submissive
What is the formal process for collaring a submissive?
There is no worldwide accepted Protocol. That said, most people that invest in the mental idea get a lot out of some kind of test and private ceremony.
What does a collar mean to you?
To me personally, a collar means that the submissive is bound into service to me as her Dominant and that I am bound to use, train and protect the Submissive.
Are there unobtrusive/discrete jewelry options?
Yes, there are – some Submissives are unable to wear a prominent looking collar in public, so there are discrete options like detailed or delicate jewelry. There are also totally different ways to represent the same meaning of a collar. A ring, a special chain around the ankle or something similar is possible – just play with your imagination and you will see it is easy to find little alternatives.
Does a Submissive have to ask for a collar?
As I stated numerous times in this Article there are no general rules about collars so my advice for this is to tell your Dominant why and how you would like to get your collar. It can be a good idea to exchange ideas, make a plan and then work on it for your relationship.