BDSM Basics: What is a Collar and What Does it Mean?

Different Kinds of Collar and Their Meanings


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A collar is well-known symbol within the BDSM community, but it seems that more and more often I’m seeing newcomers use the collar as simply another fetish accessory. They are unaware of the intense symbolism behind the collar, what it means, why it’s worn and why it shouldn’t be used as a prop.

For me, a collar is as significant as a wedding ring and although my collar is not locked I never remove it without permission from my Dom. Depending on the type of collar you have, what it’s made of and what the symbolism behind its gifting to you, you may wear it only during certain times or even have it replaced. Remember, that a collar’s meaning will be specific to only you and your partner. The rules you set in place for you will be unique to your relationship.

There are many different types of collars and you may choose to use many of them or only one of them.

Collar of Consideration: Usually given at the beginning of a potential new relationship for an agreed amount of time. At the end of that time, partners decide to either extend the time, take their relationship to the next level or move on from each other.

Collar of Training: This is usually the collar given after the Collar of Consideration. This collar represents that the relationship is evolving and is sometimes referred to as the “engagement ring” equivalent. The relationship is usually more serious and a contract is generally agreed upon before this collar is accepted.

Formal Collar or Collar of Ownership: Given as a sign of commitment to each other, similar to a wedding ring. This collar is the highest value and should be treated with respect and should not be given without serious thought. This collar is usually present in a collaring ceremony.

Collar of Protection: Given to a submissive when protection is needed due to a failed or abusive relationship or outside danger from another. The collar is noted with the Dominant’s initials and a small “p”. This collar allows the submissive safety. Usually this submissive is not approachable by another Dominant without the permission of the protecting Dominant.

Play Collar: Collar worn during a scene. This is usually a functional collar with a D-ring or other functional qualities.

Public Collar: Worn in a vanilla setting in place of other collar. This may not necessarily be an actual collar, but could be a piece of jewelry or other item of symbolism.

Slave Collar: This collar is usually a permanent collar given to a slave. These collars may never be removed or removed only by their Master.

 

No matter which collar you wear, remember what it represents and treat it with respect. Never neglect or dismiss your collar!

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