The BDSM collar is widely known but significantly less understood. It´s a symbolic necklace (or, more likely a choker) that represents the power dynamic in a BDSM relationship. The meaning behind the collar is different for different couples. For some, it is a symbol of their commitment to the BDSM lifestyle and as an indication of someone´s sub status in the BDSM community. For others, it signifies ownership and control.
The standard form is a black leather choker with an O or D shaped ring which allows you to attach a rope or some other restraint. These can even be replaced by day collars which are more discreet and usually made of gold or silver, thus allowing a sub to be collared 24/7 and removing the need to break the relationship.
The collar more generally represents the power exchange between a dom and his sub, and for this reason there is a very particular process involved. There are three main stages in this so-called collaring process:
Collar of Consideration
The easiest way to think about this first stage is to imagine this as a surface-level commitment, representing something quite similar to a promise ring. This first collar can be removed by the sub at any time, and is worn throughout the period of consideration.
The training collar is indicative of a relationship progressing past the period of consideration, and might be worn for up to one year thereafter. Think of this collar as the engagement ring in our analogy, since the sub can ask her dom to remove the collar at any time. She should know though, that if she does ask her dom to remove the collar, there may be some negative consequences for her or for the relationship.
Think of this stage as the wedding ring: The ultimate commitment to BDSM and a symbol of a dom´s established ownership. At this stage, the likelihood of being permitted to remove the collar is slim to none. The slave collar is considered to be a symbol of permanence unless, of course, you manage to really piss your dom off!
Other types of collar include play collars, which may be used for a single role play or a short-term play; posture collars, which can serve up training and discipline through restricted movement; and day collars, which serve as a daily reminder of a sub´s relationship status when they are out with their BDSM community.
Although not as underground and mysterious as it once was (no thanks to the fashion industry cashing in on the concept), it is worthwhile speaking to someone and doing your research. If you find yourself at an event and you ask politely, most people will be happy to tell you more or help you to understand. What you should remember though, is that these collars are highly personal and should never be touched without explicit permission. Respecting the BDSMcollar.shop is the first step towards earning it.