Last week’s issue I wrote about collars and collaring. Types of collars, materials and representations. Once a couple has journeyed down the path of collaring with the end result of the Official Collar, many consider holding a Collaring Ceremony. If you think of the ceremony as being parallel with the vanilla wedding ceremony you can see that it should hold a high level of respect.
A Collaring Ceremony is as unique as the couple involved.
For the purposes of this article I will be writing under the assumption of people using a more traditional collar that goes around the neck. There are other ways that people “collar” their s-type and feel free to substitute those in your mind as you read this if you prefer. For those that don’t know other ways to collar, it could be a tattoo, a branding, another type of jewelry, etc.
Just like a wedding can be a quick trip to the courthouse, add a few signatures and you’re done – a collaring ceremony can also be casual and simple. Keep in mind there is no legality involved with a collaring, therefore, you don’t need a judge or witnesses. It can be as simple as giving a gift. The D-type presenting the collar to their s-type and putting it on them. Done. Simple.
On the other end of the spectrum it can be as elaborate as the wedding that includes a full orchestra and dove release!
The ceremony can be more traditional which may include guidelines for attire, D and s-type attendants, the progression of the ceremony, as well as what’s included. Even though an officiant isn’t required – you may still have someone in that type of position to help guide the ceremony. There can be formal vows, a Ceremony of Roses, submissive/slave trials, etc.
The ceremony of roses is a more old school, traditional part of the ceremony which includes a partially open white and fully opened red rose – the red rose from the D-type and the white rose from the s-type. Each person’s finger is pricked by the thorns and drops of blood are allowed to fall upon the white rose. This represents the bond between the two. There may also be a chain involved that is wrapped around the wrists of both parties. Some people go the extra step of suturing themselves together along, say, the forearm.
Some ceremonies will include trials for the s-type to prove their submission and dedication. This can include going through a series of impact via hand, whip, or other implements. The trials may be administered by the D-type of others who have been chosen to do so. I have also seen the trial consist of the D-type asking the s-type to prove their submission by undergoing one of their harder limits.
The couple may do this privately, with only a few witnesses, or 200 guests – it’s all up to them!
So as you can see, a formal collaring is something not to be taken lightly. It is our equivalent to getting married in the vanilla world. However, the ceremony can be as little or as elaborate as you wish. Bottom line is that it should have special meaning to those involved and something they can remember as a special day.
Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.