Collars. The word alone holds meaning for nearly everyone in the BDSM lifestyle.

As with all things kink, there are no real standards when it comes to collars. Collars are different for everyone. They're common in D/s relationships. They're used in BDSM scenes. They're symbols with different meanings to different people. Everyone has their own preferences, needs, and thoughts when it comes to collars.

Don't get me wrong. There are some protocols and commonalities regarding collars. Here we'll take a look at what collars mean and how they're used. Perhaps you'll choose one for yourself, if you're so inclined.

The Protocols and Rules of Collars

Collars are given by a Dominant and earned by a submissive. What it takes to earn a collar is completely subjective and specific to every Dominant. They aren't just toys. They're definitely more than fashion accessories (although they can be beautiful). Most kinksters would agree that a collar is a pretty serious thing and the removal of a collar shouldn't be made as an idle threat. At the same time, the promise of a collar isn't something to be made lightly.

What Do Collars Do?

Collars have many functions.

  • They symbolized a D/s partnership and a commitment between a Dominant and a submissive.
  • Collars are used in BDSM scenes or simply in BDSM spaces to denote a person's role.
  • Collars are worn to show ownership or protection.
  • Play collars come out when it's time to get kinky. Many are leather. Leashes and leads may also be used.
  • Some use collars of consideration in new relationships. In this case, a collar implies protection and temporary ownership while both the Dominant and submissive figure out if they want something more serious and permanent.

As with nearly everything in the BDSM community, everyone uses and views collars differently. There's no one type of collar to have or one way to use it.

Different Types of Collars

For many people, multiple types of collars are needed.

Everyday collars are made to look like jewelry or could be actual jewelry that acts as a collar. You'll see these used by people who want to blend in with their vanilla surroundings. Wearing a thick leather strap around your throat might turn you on, but it will also raise eyebrows and uncomfortable questions at the office or when you pick up the kids from school.

Formal, permanent collars often have locking mechanisms with keys only the Dominant will have. They may be obvious to anyone who knows about collars and kink or they might blend in as “unique” jewelry.

Play collars tend to come out during a hot and heavy scene at home or at the local club. Mine is leather, and I only wear it when things are about to get really kinky. Leashes and leads may or may not be used with this type of collar.

Liberator LeatherWorks offers a wide range of strong, sexy, hand-crafted collars. Check them out here.

Wearing a Collar Isn't Always the Same as Being Collared

For those of us who live and love the BDSM lifestyle in as many ways as we can on a daily basis, all collars are important regardless of their function, but not all collars are created equal. Being collared by a Dominant isn't the same as pulling out a play collar just before getting tied up and spanked or whatever else might happen in a scene.

Collaring a submissive, whether done in a formal ceremony with as much sincerity as any wedding or as an acknowledgement of a potential, new, or committed relationship is a serious step for many kinksters. For many submissives, it's a great source of pride to be officially collared by their Dominant and they consider it an honor as well as a responsibility. While a Dominant must continually earn the consent and trust of their submissive, a submissive who believes in the importance of being collared will work to earn the right to keep their collar. When a Dominant removes a collar, it signals the end of the relationship.

As you make your way through a kinky life, collars will come to mean different things to you at different times. From play collars that mean all your sexual needs are about to be fulfilled to formal collars that symbolize a deep commitment to your partner, you can find a collar to fit your life, your relationship, and your needs.

This post is brought to you by our partner, Liberator.

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