I wear a collar. I've worn a collar for 8 years. It's been a long time since I've had to ponder the initial steps into receiving a collar and to be honest, I'm glad. It's a lot easier once you have one to keep it than it is to get one to begin with. But a lot of you are asking me about collars right now that I've had to give it some serious thought so that I don't say something silly or lead you down a path of incorrect information. When do you know you are ready for a collar? What's the value in a collar really? And how can you get one?
What is a Collar?
So much to cover! First, a collar is a symbol of commitment to a Dominant. This commitment can be for a scene, a weekend, a contractual period of time or for a lifetime. But that's not the only thing a collar is! Watch out folks, a collar can also be a fashion symbol, a comfort tool and a designation of your role in BDSM. With all that said, a collar is a personal symbol and can mean anything you wish it to mean.
If that's the case, that a collar can mean anything we want it to mean, why are there so many people arguing over it online, from semantics to meaning to where to buy one and more? Well, because the leading definition is one of importance and value, much like a wedding ring might be valuable to those wearing it. Anytime someone contradicts the majority it leads to arguments and challenging people's opinions. And that brings on more arguments. That's not what I plan on doing here, by the way. I'm open to accepting everyone's viewpoints because they are all accurate.
Here are are a few more posts on collars you might find interesting:
- The Role of the Collar in a Long Distance Relationship by kallista
- What it Means to be Collared by LadySneak
- A Collar By Any Other Name by Rayne
- The Impact of Velcro Collars
- Basics on Collars - Video
What does it mean to you?
When you first learn about collars its a good idea to decide what they are going to mean to you. It's an important decision and one that you can make while still a single submissive. It's likely you have an opinion on what a wedding ring means before you get married, right? This is no different. Read about collars if you need to. Discuss them with other Dominants and submissives. Understand what their importance is for you - if there is one at all. This way you'll be one step ahead when you enter a relationship where one might be offered.
Once in a relationship, it is a good idea to ask them what a collar means to them. It would be confusing if they considered it a play tool and you consider it a lifetime commitment symbol. So get those straight up front. That way you aren't surprised if it comes out for playtime and he won't think you are all doe-eyed for some reason he can't comprehend.
Preparing for a Collar
Now that you both are on the same page and you believe a collar is a commitment then the relationship work can begin. I personally don't think a collar should be given at the start of a relationship, just like I wouldn't accept a promise ring or engagement ring from the onset. I do understand that there are dynamics that use tiered collaring systems such that you start in a novice collar, training collar or other consideration sorts of collar and progress through them as you grow in the relationship. I don't have any experience with the tiered collar system and can't speak personally about it.
I'm going to use the comparison again of being in a committed relationship and engagement seems the next step. How do you prepare yourself for that step and when do you know it's a good time? Well, knowing the person intimately, loving them feeling connected to them and invested in their lives is a good start. Do you bring out the best in each other? Can you see yourself with this person long term? Also, are you an open book? Can you share all of your intimate details, fantasies, and concerns with them without fear of judgment?
Knowing that your partner has your back and will be there through thick and thin is a good sign you are ready for a collar. A collar is a huge step, a milestone in your relationship and treating it as such can help you decide when is the best time to add it to the relationship.
Asking for a Collar
In some situations, it is appropriate for the submissive to ask the Dominant for a collar. When you know each other well enough and are on the same page as far as what a collar means you may learn that the Dominant would like the submissive to ask for or beg to be collared by them. In this situation, the submissive is exhibiting a driving need to be under this person's care and guidance, that they wish to live forever in their service.
Just like in the vanilla world where it's rarer for women to propose to men, asking for a collar is not the norm. If you are expected to ask for your collar, find the words from your heart. Make it a pure and genuine request. You can set it up like a proposal if you wish for some guidelines to help you. Declare your devotion, share a story of connection the two of you share and then come right out and ask.
Receiving a Collar
Receiving your collar is a special occasion for many submissives and slaves. For some, this time means a celebration of your relationship and the commitment that is about to happen. A formal collaring ceremony is what came about because of this need.
There are no right or wrong ways to be collared. They can be formal or informal. They can be private or in front of a group of your friends and “family”. For those of you who wish to plan a more formal celebration, there are things to consider.
I recommend you use a wedding as an example ceremony. After all, you are committing yourself to someone in a very special and often permanent way. Why not use an existing ceremony and customize it for your needs?
A collar is traditionally a leather strap with a D ring that fastens around the neck. But that isn't what all collars are. There are as many collar choices as there are relationships. What's special is that each collar is unique and special to the people that give and receive it. It does not have to be obvious and you don't have to wear it all the time if that's what works for you.
A few other examples of collar types:
- Stainless steel locking rings
- Necklaces of gold or silver
- Belly chains
- Rings or bracelets
- Braided leather chokers
- Tattoos or brands
A collar can be an important step in your D/s relationship and hopefully, I've helped you learn what you might expect from your own dynamic!