You don’t need a D-type to wear a collar!
Click below to learn more about self-collaring from the amazing Evie Lupine!
You don’t need a D-type to wear a collar!
Click below to learn more about self-collaring from the amazing Evie Lupine!
“A collar is more sacred than a wedding ring.”
I have heard this sentence nearly as often as the one that says submission is a gift. I made my view clear in a previous article that submission is a trade of services and certainly not a gift. This time around we are going to discuss the statement above.
Let me get the hardest part (for you) out of the way first: I completely disagree with this statement and it makes my eye twitch when I hear it said (or see it written in a group).
I enjoy spending time in different online groups. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer in person socialization, but a global pandemic tends to change things. My problem with the groups is that even though our experiences and opinions vary widely, there are a few statements and/or beliefs that are pervasive. The statement about collars is one of those beliefs.
I am going to pause for a moment to discuss my own collar. I find that my viewpoints often confuse individuals.
The collar around my neck shows I belong to Master. It both marks me as his property and as his “little pain slut piggie.” It represents his protection and his love. It marks his right to discipline me as he sees fit.
But my collar cannot speak to you like it speaks to me. It does not regale you with the tales of me going nose to nose with Master as I learned how to submit. It does not tell you about the aches in my fingers from writing enough lines to fill a notebook. It does not tell you the number of tears that fell for me to understand that a submissive is as important as a Dominant. It will not tell you about the struggles I had and the patience that Master had to have to teach me about self-love and self-care.
I did not have a collar while I was under consideration. When he offered me His collar, He offered it permanently. I wear a day collar because He knew I needed to have something to ground me when I am gone long hours at work. I needed to feel the weight, and slight pressure, because it reminds me of his hand upon my neck. It gives me strength when I panic, joy when I am down, and peace when I am surrounded by chaos. And that collar has nothing on the strip of leather he wrapped around my neck the very first time.
When I refer to my collar, I am referring to a thick band of leather that has O-rings across its entirety. It is heavy and demanding. It allows Master to restrict me in any direction, in a variety of creative ways.
It is extremely hard to remove, emotionally. I am rarely allowed to wear it. It is used for formal events and parties, and only once or twice has it been worn at home. There is nothing more trance-like than the ritual of having it put on.
I cannot speak for anyone else, but the changing of my collars (from day to formal) always happens in proper dress. Master will always be in his leathers and kilt. I will always be kneeled, my eyes resting on his black, leather boots. Most often, I am half-dressed, or less. My back and neck lay bare to him. My hands are held in front of me, flat with palms up. His hand sits on the back of my neck, just letting me feel the warmth of his skin. It burns like fire. His body runs hot just as mine runs cold. Then the metal is unlocked, and he drops it carefully into my awaiting hands. He brings the leather into my sight and moves it to my neck. He pulls it tight enough to make me gasp, every time. He holds it tight, for just a moment, before buckling it at a more comfortable length. Then, he hooks two fingers into the O-ring in the front and drags my head up until I am staring him in the eye. It is the most difficult part. Looking him in the eye, in that headspace, is a battle every time. He is looking for something*. When he finds what he is looking for, however long it takes, he takes my chainmaille collar and slips it into his vest. With the ritual, I shed most of my normal anxiety and inhibitions. The leather allows me a freedom that is often elusive in my day-to-day routines.
*He told me once that he watches for the mindset change. He waits, patiently, for me to switch from everyday life to service*
Now that I have given you a glimpse into my mindset with Master’s collar(s), I want to redirect back to why I feel it is unfair to compare a collar to a ring.
I have been with my wife for 12 years now, and we have been married for seven of them. She is my rock. She has seen me at my worst (and my most naïve) and has helped me grow as a person. It is through her that I learned how to convey my affection and my love. I learned how to communicate calmly, how to redirect my anger in a fight, and how to logically face problems. I learned patience and understanding, I explored my sexuality, and I learned confidence in my actions. I learned how to navigate my own mental health and how to balance the quirks and mental health of another.
I remember how glued I was to the television on election night when the reality of marriage became possible. I remember the scream for joy, and the three days it took for my state to finalize the voting results. I even remember that marijuana was legalized in under 12 hours on the same night. I remember the excitement that I could give her the protections offered to only a spouse. I remember the relief when I could make her medical decisions when they found the cancer.
I remember every aspect of our time together, just as I remember every second of my rituals with Master.
But, neither one of these things are remotely alike.
To compare my wedding ring to my collar is detrimental to both of my relationships. Doing so undermines the lessons and growth that I have experienced with each.
My wedding ring symbolizes my dedication to us. It is the commitment of standing together, problem solving, supporting each other, allowing for growth, and learning to understand and co-exist. It is a representation of my love for her. It is a show of strength. It is also the recognition of why we are poly. That ring reminds us that we remain dedicated to each other but recognize that one person cannot fulfill all the needs of another. It is acceptance and support and the desire for the happiness of our partner.
Master tells me that “my collar is always on, even when it’s not.” If, for any reason it is removed (such as for medical reasons), it does not diminish my role as His sub nor my worth to him. The collar is for me.
I rarely wear my wedding ring. I had the weld break on one at work and nearly lost it, so for my own piece of mind, I keep it at home and wear it for special occasions. The lack of a ring on my finger does not diminish my role as her wife nor my worth to her.
The wearing of my ring and the wearing of my collar are two completely different mindsets.
Each represents two people, growing and learning together. I stand tall beside my wife, and I carry her when she cannot walk. Just as Master stands tall with me and carries me when I cannot walk.
My wife accepts me for all that I am. She willingly put her insecurities aside and let me find and build a bond with Master. She knows there are things she cannot provide me. Master allows me to explore the darkest aspects of myself. He does so with a calm and gentle demeanor. He listens without judgement and allows his inner Dragon (what I call his Sadistic side) to give me what I need with absolute trust.
“A collar is more sacred than a wedding ring.”
There is no comparison between a collar and a wedding. Just as there are shotgun marriages in the vanilla world, there are Velcro collars in the BDSM one.
The symbolism of each represents trust, understanding, commitment, and growth. Each, to me, have strong, permanent bonds.
Maybe I am unique. Maybe the wearing of both a ring and a collar from different individuals is the reason I cringe when I hear that statement. It often feels like I need to justify the importance of each relationship. That I cannot give the whole of my being to either because I have both.
To be honest, giving my whole being is the easy part. It is the vulnerability that I have struggled with the most.
Master has my mind, my body, and my spirit. My wife has my soul.
There is no comparing the two.
My name is Joji. I am 29 years old currently and I have been in and around the kink community about 15 years.I am a collared submissive to Magick42. I am also a Daddy to a wonderful babygirl, and have been for more than three years now and I find it very fulfilling. I am being mentored in and being taught electroplay. I am a masochist at heart and thoroughly love impact play, especially caning. I enjoy reading anything I can get my hands on and am a die hard Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan. I am also the secretary for a group in Idaho called Moscow S.P.A.R.K.E (Simply Providing Another Route to Kink Education). It is our mission to teach safe practices to those new to the community and give them a safe haven to ask questions and learn without judgement. We accept all kinks and all we ask in return is respect between all our members.
When we first started our M/S relationship, my Master and I felt that rules were enough to keep our dynamic strong. But over time, we have both found that it is the combination of rules and rituals that keep our relationship at its healthiest.
What is the difference between a rule and a ritual?
For example, no texting and driving is one of our rules, but not a ritual.
On the other hand, some of our rules are rituals. One of our rules is that I must wait for my Master in humble position when he gets home from work in the evening. This is a ritual that he and I have grown very fond of. It initiates my service immediately when he gets home from work, and brings us closer together after a long day.
Collaring rituals are also a rule in our home, and they happen every morning. When its time to collar me, I get into Nadu position, and present my two collars to my Master. He will point to the one he wants to put on me first and I will hand it to him. Then I hand him the other one. After I am fully collared, I must say some sort of mantra about my Master and/or our relationship. When I am finished, my Master will touch my face and then I am allowed to stand.
We love this ritual because it allows us to start the day on a positive note and allows me the time to express my love and gratefulness to my Master. It also reinforces our M/S dynamic daily. If we didn’t have this ritual, we might not take a moment every morning to be with each other.
Our ritual in the evening provides the same sort of built in moment with one another. It’s known and followed that before we do anything, we spend time with one another.
Both of these rituals are positive ways to begin and end the day. They also establish that we are most important to each other.
I am in no way saying that everyone must adopt these rituals. But I do think it’s a good idea to find rituals that work for you in your power exchange relationship(s). Rituals help keep the dynamic alive, and help deepen bonds between partners. It’s very easy to get so wrapped in life that we forget to spend time with another.
Rituals provide an easy way to make sure this doesn’t happen. They provide something both partners can look forward to and depend on. I feel so loved when my Master takes the time to collar me every morning, and when he takes the time to greet me in the evening.
There are many different types of rituals that one could implement. They can be simple or very elaborate. It all depends on what both parties can realistically stick to and make happen on a continual basis.
If you need help coming up with rituals, please feel free to leave a comment and I will be happy to help you brainstorm.
About the Author:
Slave Bunny, a 1950’s power slave, is involved in a wonderful and loving TPE 24/7 M/S relationship with her Master and husband. She is also the Creative Director of Kink Weekly.
She has dedicated her life to working on herself mentally, spiritually, and physically, and hopes to inspire others to do the same. Through teaching and mentoring, she hopes to help everyone in the Kink community as much as she can.
Feel free to add her on Fetlife (Slave_Bunny992) to see her upcoming workshops and classes.
During DomCon a few months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Restrained Grace creator Miss Annie (yes, it was annie interviewing Annie!). Read on to learn more about her creative and beautiful BDSM gear!
anniebear: Alright, Miss Annie, we’re here at DomCon and you’re exhibiting a booth this weekend for Restrained Grace?
anniebear: So that’s your sort of love child brand.
Annie: Yes, so I’ve been making jewelry for about 10 years and doing that professionally for 9. I’ve been wanting to make kink jewelry for a while, so I just started that in about October. It is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, so it’s definitely a passion project.
anniebear: So how long have you been kinky?
Annie: I’ve known that I am kinky for about 5 or 6 years, but I’ve only been in the community for about 10 months.
anniebear: Oh, so you’re fairly new then. What do you think?
Annie: I love it! The more people I meet the more I feel at home.
anniebear: That’s great, so you’ve managed to somehow merge a passion for jewelry making and now putting it together with something you’ve always known about yourself.
anniebear: Do you have any favorite pieces that you feature?
Annie: Let’s see, I mean my harnesses I’m really excited about, and I’ve just launched those on the website. I definitely like doing the one of a kind collars that I can use a lot of different colors and mix materials like some glitter vinyl that you don’t see a lot of, and go more modern and trendy and fun and colorful.
anniebear: Cool, so most of your things are for female, or female identifying?
Annie: Yes, that’s kind of how I started because that’s what I knew. I knew male lead and female submissive relationships, because I was pretty sheltered before I got into the community and now the more I make friends and meet people of different orientations and different lifestyles, it’s easier to want to work with them and design things for all different kinds of couples in different situations.\
anniebear: That sounds awesome! So you’re based down in San Diego?
Annie: I am.
anniebear: Is there a who’s who in San Diego?
Annie: Well, everybody knows Goddess Fae, and I think once I met her is when I kind of started meeting everybody because she knows everybody. She owns House of Black, she puts together this sub-community for people within the community so, I’ve met a lot of people just from knowing her, and I’ve made some of my closest friends in the last few months just from meeting her, so I think she’s probably one of the biggest.
anniebear: Do you identify as mostly submissive?
Annie: Yes, so I’ve always felt I was firmly submissive, and only recently have I started experimenting with switching a little bit, just topping. I’m very servicey, so I’ve started noticing that there is definitely an element of service in topping, especially people I’m close to. So certain people just sort of bring about that. For example I have a friend who is way more submissive than I even am, so it’s easy with her.
Sara: It definitely works out! I’m similar. I totally understand what you mean. It’s great topping and playing with friends. You don’t have to worry about saying the exact perfect thing because I do edit it and rearrange stuff if we get off track, for example and there is no awkwardness in that. So, just looking at your collection, I assume you really like pink.
Annie: I do like pink. I’m getting a lot of people asking for really pale pink, because you get a lot of baby pink.
anniebear: Yeah, and rose gold is really popular right now.
Annie: I’m a stickler about my colors going with the hardware really well. So, I work with a company in Canada that makes all of my strapping just for me.
anniebear: That’s amazing! Wonderful. I didn’t know that existed. (laughs)
Annie: Yeah, I’m really really a stickler about it. It needs to look really good against rose gold.
anniebear: That’s really fun. Have you ever had any ideas that maybe turned out to be misses?
Annie: For sure. I mean at the beginning it was a lot of trial and error because I’m pretty much self taught. I haven’t taken any classes as far as leather working goes. I pretty much just Google things and figure it out. Trial and error. Even the cuffs I’m wearing right now you can see the edges are unfinished because it was one of the first pairs I made. So it’s one of those things I’m like “that doesn’t look so great.” What can I do to improve that?” So, as I’ve grown, even the last few months, I’ve figured out more ways to make the pieces entirely more finished and more sturdy.
anniebear: Cool, so you also have a co-creator, Tara?
Annie: Yeah, Tara is my best friend of 20 years. She’s my business partner and we have a vanilla jewelry line that we’ve had for many years. She herself, is not in the community, she just doesn’t identify with anything kinky.
anniebear: She’s a vanilla!
Annie: I don’t want to call her that. She says, “I’m not THAT vanilla!”
anniebear: I think if you mean it in a derogatory way, then that’s different. She’s non-kinky.
Annie: She’ll joke about it every once in a while, like, “I’m kinkier than you think, I just don’t talk about it like you do.” But yeah she’s all in, super supportive of me and the community and she’s ecstatic to meet all of my friends and learn about the way everyone uses and wears the things that we make so that she can help design, and so she does a lot of the hand stamping and metal smithing for the jewelry side of things.
anniebear: That’s amazing. You kind of got her on board with the whole idea?
Annie: I’ve been talking about it for probably a couple years and we were debating the best way to go about it because our brand is distinctly vanilla and we wouldn’t want to alienate our customers.
anniebear: So you keep them separate.
Annie: Yes, we keep the brands separate. Although I do let people know. I made Restrained Grace a social media account, like hey we also make nerdy stuff over here. I just, at this point, we haven’t advertised Restrained Grace too much.
anniebear: You wouldn’t necessarily want to have it on that website because people get uncomfortable (laughs)
Annie: Yes and you know my personal social media, I’m tied to both brands, and I’m out in every sense, personally. So I’ll mention both brands on my personal social media.
anniebear: that’s amazing! So I imagine your family must be pretty cool or accepting?
Annie: For the most part. My immediate family they know. I’ve always been kind of a black sheep. So my mom was just like, as long as you’re happy. I mean, I definitely had to have a conversation with my mom and explain to her that it’s not all whips and chains.
anniebear: There’s also this (Restrained Grace).
Annie: Yes, there’s also pretty girly things and wonderful communication levels and relationships and there are so many benefits to it.
anniebear: I love that. It’s really really great when that happens because it’s rare, I think that someone should be so completely out in their life and not have too much backlash or anything.
Annie: Right, I was able to actually come out as bisexual, poly, and kinky.
anniebear: All at the same time?
Annie: All at the same time, within a month or two. It’s been wonderful. I think I’ve just managed to surround myself with people who are supportive.
anniebear: You have your network there. Has your website ever received any…I know it’s relatively new, but has it ever received any criticism or backlash from anyone?
Annie: I actually have one random person who anonymously likes to send me…
anniebear: Hate mail?
Annie: Kind of. It’s very obvious, it’s very trolly, it’s very nasty, so I’m just like, I’m not going to give them any power over me.
anniebear: Sounds like they have too much time on their hands.
Annie: Yeah, they have nothing better to do than to worry about how happy I am, so.. (laughs)
anniebear: You’re like my life’s great, so I don’t know what you’re worried about!
Annie: My life is amazing!
anniebear: On a personal note, it sounds like your life has exponentially improved since coming out and getting involved more in the lifestyle.
Annie: Yes, the more involved in the lifestyle I get, the more people I meet, the more I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. I was previously married and my whole relationship was vanilla and entirely unhappy. Getting to learn more about who I am and why I am what I am, and meet other people who are on the same journey and help them explore and connect with them, it’s incredible. And also sex. (laughs)
anniebear: That doesn’t suck either. (laughs)
Annie: Yeah our lives don’t suck.
anniebear: Have you ever been to any other big conventions like DomCon before?
Annie: This is my first big convention. This is actually my first, besides socials and a couple play parties, this is my actual first big thing.
anniebear: That’s wonderful. What do you think so far?
Annie: I love it. Just the broad variety of people and everyone’s different kinks and how everyone here is just accepting and excited. I’ve even met some totally new people who are just so beyond overwhelmed. They’re just like, “I’m taking business cards and I don’t know what half of this is for but I want to figure it out!” and I say “I’m here to answer questions if you like, and I’m new and I’m here to learn too!”
anniebear: There’s definitely that intimidation factor when you first get into the lifestyle.
Annie: It makes me want to do a blog post about how it’s really not as scary as you think and just talk about my experiences, like coming out into the community and being so timid and thinking it was going to be this big scary thing and instead meeting amazing people who are just all about finding their own happiness and giving pleasure and receiving pleasure, like this wonderful hedonistic group of people who are all just want to hang out and be happy. And it’s an incredible thing and doesn’t happen in the vanilla world very often, I don’t think.
anniebear: I would completely agree. The relationships formed in this lifestyle have been so much more meaningful in a way. So being new to the lifestyle, how did you kind of begin your journey?
Annie: Well, I had obviously read some filthy romance novels and things like that, like got the idea of who I was. I’d spend a lot of time on Tumblr, looking at…
anniebear: Dirty pictures! (laughs)
Annie: (laughs) Yes, dirty pictures! And there’re some bloggers on there that are, you know, male dominant/female submission and that really spoke to me, so I would read about their actual lifestyle. They would post anecdotal stories about their lives and I was like, this is for me. So when I decided to really get going in my business that’s the direction I took it in because that’s all I knew. And I’m the kind of person that I don’t want to bank off of someone else’s lifestyle if I don’t understand it properly. So, it’s not so much that I started it in an effort to be exclusive, or exclusionary, but that I wanted to know what I was doing and make things that were going to serve the purpose they were intended for for people. So the more people I meet the more my horizons are broadened I’m learning how other people would use things so I’m able to make things for Pro Doms, for female doms, male subs, gay men, all my friends are across the board.
anniebear: Did you end up going to an event in San Diego as an introduction into the lifestyle?
Annie: Yes, so I was dating a man who took me to a social, it was a really small social and the first couple times we went, we didn’t really get very social. And then I ended up going to another one alone and I had met a handful of people so I thought worst case scenario, just cling to somebody. And that was what started expanding my world because I wasn’t there with someone who was demanding my attention, I went alone, and made the rounds and made friends and started going to more things that way.
anniebear: Everyone is a lot nicer than you think they would be too, huh? (laughs)
Annie: Yeah, it’s very easy to be intimidated by the idea of what you think it’s going to be like, and be standoffish. And it’s one of the things I was talking about with friends earlier, it’s easy to feel like the community is cliquish because everyone forms such tight bonds to all the things we do together, like everything we do is intimate even if you’re only witnessing someone else do something, you feel like an interesting connection with them afterwards. So an outsider looking in at a social, where all these people know each other, is going to feel very intimidated. But there’re always people on the peripheral who know newbies are there, and want to welcome them to the community.
anniebear: Anything else new on the horizon for you?
Annie: I am working on adding a line of leather slappers, more sex toys, and things like that.
anniebear: How fun!
Annie: I’m also working on custom rope that will match my leather gear. I’m working on adding and expanding my line with other local crafters in San Diego, I’ve created a Fetlife group for local kinky crafters.
anniebear: Calling all crafters! (all laugh)
Annie: Yes! So we can all meet up and get together and work together and learn from each other. I’d like to be able to offer more hand made things that are outside of my wheel house. But the same quality and that work with my product line. I’m adding a whole line of more unisex and masculine designs. I’m really excited to get to work with my male sub friends on that.
anniebear: It’s good to have direct source information.
Annie: Yes because honestly, I make stuff that I would wear, so in not knowing any male submissives or masculine submissives, I feel like it would kind of be a shot in the dark trying to make for them, and I want to make things that are different than what’s already out there. Having resources and people who give me their opinions about a design with me is, it’s huge.
Make sure to check out Miss Annie’s full line of BDSM jewelry and accessories at Restrained Grace!
Collars. In our DomConLA presentation, “Old Guard vs. New Guard,” we all agreed that, with the fashionistas’ adoption of the collar as a style, the meaning of the BDSM collar has been diluted. Or has it?
Maybe it has lost its meaning to the outside world – wearing a slave collar will not shock the world anymore — yet the most important aspect of the collar still remains. And that is, “What does the collar mean to a given individual?” Herein lies the BDSM riddle of the Sphinx – an unsolvable question since the collar has different meanings to so many people. This can lead to total confusion. So, in the words of Tony Soprano, “let’s unconfuse you.”
From the Dom/me’s point of view, there is little unanimity in the collar’s significance. There are Doms who give out collars like they are M&Ms. (S&Ms?). On the other extreme, there are those Doms who treat collaring as to be of such transcendent magnitude that they might give out very few in the course of a lifetime. There are those who wait one minute to collar, those who wait one month and those who wait one year. There are some who collar one submissive, while others want multiple subs and collar many. I personally think one should take a cautious tact and treat collaring seriously. But, this is just my opinion. There is no standard for a collar.
I have interviewed many submissives – and the results are just as varied as for the Dom/mes. Some subs will accept a collar rather easily; the first Dom to claim them runs off with the prize. There are others who treat being collared much like getting married and will not accept a collar until a long “BDSM courtship” has been consummated. I have seen both ways succeed and fail. Besides, defining “success” and “failure” in a BDSM union is a tough call. Is three years in a Master/slave relationship a failure or a success? Personally, I would call it a success. Others, rightly so, would term it a failure. Which leads us back to my earlier promise of “unconfusing you.”
I have seen many people hurt when their view of collaring is not on the same page as their partner’s. The most typical problem scenario is the submissive who thinks of collaring as a deep, marriage-like, commitment, who is collared by a Dom/me who thinks of it as being like a club pickup. Or, vice-versa. Both are prescriptions for disaster.
Ultimately, the question must be, “What does a collar signify for you?” This seemingly insignificant query might be the most important you can ask. After all, we can’t standardize the collar’s meaning – no matter how many articles I and my kinkweekly.com colleagues write. Rather than tilt against windmills and try to create a “universal collar protocol,” we should advise people to seek out people with similar views on collaring. Use this as one of your major criteria – rather than overlook it as most people do. Deeply probe the other person’s feeling regarding his/her views on the subject. A submissive who thinks collaring is similar to marriage should seek out a Dom/me who treats it with the same degree of commitment. A Dom/me who takes collaring lightly should seek out a submissive who sees it in a comparable way.
Ultimately, there is no way to predict whether a D/s relationship will work or not. In my current BDSM relationship, my Millennial, New Guard submissive has no innate grasp of what a collar signifies. Thus, I have maintained her as a non-collared submissive and it has worked out for years. In the end, not expecting her to deeply understand what the significance of a collar means to me is one of the great strengths of our relationship. It would be an act, as I see it, of Dom-phoniness to give her a collar which means nothing to her.
Ultimately, if and when you do give or accept a collar, it should have a similar significance to both partners. If you can at least get this aspect right, it will give your union solidity, for as long as it does last.
You might have caught my two part, true telling of my surprise birthday party in the erotica section a few weeks ago. While the entire party was wonderful with all of my friends in attendance, the huge surprises around every corner, and also Sprinkles cupcakes (!), by far the best and biggest surprise of all was my partner Dexx presenting me with a collar of consideration. If you’re not familiar with what some consider the protocol and process on the path to collaring, our contributor Baadmaster wrote an excellent series of articles on the subject with more details. But, receiving my consideration collar was the greatest gift Dexx could have ever given me. It’s a slim, silver, brush metal design with a screw in lock. I barely even notice it anymore as it has quickly become a part of me. Not only does the collar honor me, it also shows the world that I have an owner. It is my “kinky engagement ring” if you will.
The maker of my collar is Eternity Collars. I find this specific collar company special because for them a collar is akin to an engagement ring. Should Dexx and I be in a vanilla relationship, this collar is equivalent to any rock on my finger. Sharing a 24/7 collar is a momentous occasion and it can be difficult to find just the right piece to work with your lifestyle. It needs to be subtle enough as to be worn at work or around family members. It needs to be durable as to stand the test of time, to be worn in the shower, pool, or ocean as well as during scenes in play. It also needs to be stylish and versatile for the fashionista in me! I have a scrawny little bird neck. Most collars are enormous on me and flop around. Eternity offers custom sizing to accommodate anyone. I personally feel if you’re giving a collar to someone to wear around their neck, 24/7, for potentially the rest of their lives, it might be a good idea to at least get a measurement.
I wear my collar with pride and honor. I often receive compliments and people ask where I got it from. I was recently at a dungeon and someone asked if it was Eternity. They said a prior Dominant of theirs had gifted them with a pair of cuffs from the same maker and that she too had loved them. It’s definitely a universal sign of thought and devotion as much as any engagement ring.
So what does a collar mean to you? Do you prefer something else besides a collar or maybe you opt for a tattoo? Let us know in the comments!
Owned slave or latest Hot Topic fashion? Hard to tell these days.
Let’s start with the basics. What can a collar be made out of? The answer is, just about anything. Steel, leather and rope are probably the most popular. However, keep in mind a “collar” isn’t necessarily something that must be worn around the neck. It may be a bracelet, ring, piercing, tattoo, etc. Basically anything that represents the relationship dynamic. Keep in mind also that a single s-type may wear a collar just to indicate that they are an s-type.
This brings us to what kind of collars you may wear or see others wear. There are pet collars that are usually used for those in a pet/trainer or owner dynamic or for those that normally identify in different roles but have a pet collar for when they specifically do pet play.
There is a play collar which is typically worn by the s-type in a scene with a play partner if their dynamic doesn’t go any farther than play. A play collar can also be used when the relationship is new and people are still in the get-to-know-you stage. They maybe don’t have an established dynamic but are enjoying play together or perhaps use it at events to show that they are in some kind of a relationship.
A type of collar that you don’t see as often, but is possible, is the collar of protection. When a D-type has committed to protecting an s-type in the community, the s-type may wear something that indicates that you need to go thru another individual (the D-type protecting them) before pursuing the s-type.
Now for the collars that begin to take a D/s relationship to the next level.
The Consideration Collar has traditionally been the step taken after the initial get-to-know-ya stage. The people involved have spent a little time together and have gotten to the point that they have decided to make more of a commitment. Think of this as going from dating casually to becoming a committed couple if you think of it in vanilla terms. The D-type is “considering” the s-type and the s-type is “under consideration” of the D-type. Now, keep in mind either person can leave the relationship at any time, so really they are both “considering” each other. However, the traditional way of thinking helps to maintain the D/s aspect. This time period is typically used for the couple to get to know each other further, go through negotiations for play and for the relationship, as well as continue to evaluate if this is the right person for them.
After this period is traditionally when the Training Collar is given. This would be somewhat parallel to getting engaged in vanilla terms. This is a big step and indicates that this relationship is getting very serious. During this stage the s-type is usually pretty aware of the expectations of the D-type, however, during this time the protocol and expectations may be strengthened or taken to a higher level. This is a good time for both parties to make sure this is something they want long term.
The final collar is the Official Collar, or Formal Collar, or Slave Collar. This can be equated with a vanilla marriage (the wedding ring). This represents a long term commitment for both parties in their D/s dynamic. It could be a D/s relationship or M/s relationship – that depends on the people involved. Many people will hold a collaring ceremony to bestow the official collar in front of their loved ones. The ceremony is the vanilla equivalent of a wedding and can range from very casual to quite elaborate.
These days I see more and more people bestowing collars more casually. It’s one thing if they are simply play collars, however, in my opinion any collar more than that should really be considered with a serious look at commitment, trust, and mutual respect with a partner that you have gotten to know for a decent amount of time.
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.
Part I of this article is an overview of the traditional collaring practices in the BDSM lifestyle.
Part II will be addressed to newbie subs who are uncollared.
Part III will be BaadMaster’s “Seven Levels of Collaring” – a unique and modern take on how to integrate old guard traditions with new era needs.
PART I – THE COLLAR
One of the most enduring traditions in the world of BDSM is that of the “formal — or slave — collar.” It is the spiritual descendent of the old Roman slave collar, the one that was welded shut around the slave’s neck. (I am Spartacus!) Although there were many variations on this theme over the years, collaring one’s slave was codified by the legendary Old Guard Leather Societies years ago. The Old Guard custom (rapidly disappearing in our short attention span world) called for a series of three distinct collars, all of different materials – the “Collar of Consideration,” the “Training Collar” and, ultimately, the “Slave Collar.”
The Old Guard Leather Societies treated the last of these collars – the “formal or slave collar” — as similar in both spirit and commitment to a vanilla marriage. (As this predated gay marriages, and the Leathermen were primarily gay, it fulfilled a very practical need in this community.) And although it lacked the enforcement of law, “collared couples” were respected in the leather community in the same way as married couples were respected in the vanilla world.
One of the big criticisms of “Fifty Shades” (there I go again!) is that, in the movie, Christian proposed a slave contract and did not even mention collaring. Surely, at the very least, a “collar of consideration” would have been proposed simultaneously to the slave contract. Kink Weekly is here to correct this oversight. Obviously, in our fast paced world, most couples skip the first two stages and proceed to the formal slave collar. (Honestly, I did too!) But for historical correctness, let’s discuss the three stages of collaring as set down by the Leather Societies. (If Kink Weekly doesn’t honor traditions, who will?)
The first collar in this series is called the ‘Collar of Consideration’ which is given at the start of a potential relationship. Although usually made of leather, it is like an engagement ring — if at any time the relationship is unsatisfactory to either side, the collar is returned to the Dominant with no further obligations on either party’s part.
The ‘Training Collar’ is the second stage. Again, this collar will be one that the Dominant chooses; it is usually made of base metal and is a bit more elegant than the consideration collar. It represents a “graduation” of sorts; with the presentation of the Training Collar, the Dominant will move into areas of training and discipline which are much more demanding, severe and strict.
If this second stage works out, then it is time for the actual collaring with the ‘Slave Collar.’ This is the actual collar – it is this stage that is generally assumed when someone says they are “collared.” This represents true commitment between the Dominant and his submissive. In the tradition of the old guard, this collar is to be treated with the same respect that marriage is treated in the vanilla world. Indeed, it is rather common to have simultaneous collaring and wedding ceremonies.
Of the three collars, typically the slave collar is made of gold or silver and can be quite beautiful. The design can be unique to satisfy the Dominant’s taste; most times – as it usually worn 24/7 – it can be locked or even welded for permanence. With the recent popularity of BDSM, the variety of collars is impressive and the ideal collar is relatively easy to find – especially those that can pass in the vanilla world. (Note: the collar should always be purchased by the Dominant and always remains His/Her’s property. It is returned to the Dominant at the end of the relationship – no matter when the relationship ends.)
As it is the analogue of the vanilla marriage, this collaring is often done at a party/celebration, in front of invited guests, with vows exchanged or a slave contract signed. Depending on the nature of the relationship, there can be permanent markings done — such as tattoos, piercings, brandings, cuttings etc. The markings can be done in a scene – and if the couple happens to enjoy public scening, this is an awesome sight to behold. Other traditions can come into play here – the presentation of a gift made by the submissive (typically a flogger) to the Dominant is one European ritual that comes to mind.
Make no mistake about it, this old guard, traditional collaring ceremony is intended – unless otherwise negotiated – to signify a lifelong partnership. If you are invited to one, think of it as you would a wedding. Arrive with an attitude of wanting to have fun but keep a proper respect and decorum.
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.