This post has nothing to do with cupcakes. I just enjoy the taste of soft, warm, confectionaries melting in my mouth. Shall we save that for another post? I think so.
Collars and collaring seem to be a rather controversial topic in the BDSM community. I believe the reason is so many people have a different conception on what a collar is, what it symbolizes and the love and commitment behind it.
What is a collar?
It can be made leather, chain, steel or even a tight-fitting necklace (in a vanilla setting) that is worn around a subs neck. Simply what it is, a collar.
What does a collar symbolize?
Ok, this is where shit gets crazy, people start throwing ball gags and voices get elevated. Maybe I am being a tad dramatic. People have a different ideas and conceptions about almost everything in life, am I right? Of course, people will have different ideas on the symbolism of a collar.
- Fashion Statement- This seemed to be more fitting in the late 90’s early 2000s but some people today still choose to wear a collar as a form of fashion. This tends to be very controversial in the BDSM community, because most kinksters, myself included view it as a much more sacred item.
- Sex/Bondage/Sensation- Some people where a collar during sex, to achieve the feeling of being owned without actually being owned. Other people enjoy the physical sensation a collar gives their skin. Bondage and restraints can also be fastened to a collar. These collars can be used for short term play with temporary partners. Let’s not forget play collars for those that enjoy puppy and kitten play. Sometimes subs wear collars with degrading words, during play sessions because they enjoy being objectified and degraded. Sensation/bondage/sex collars are not to be confused with collars representing commitment.
- Training– It is worn when the submissive is transitioning into their current Ds relationship. It is a piece worn during training sessions and often times in kinky settings. Some Dominant partners may require the potential submissive to wear a consideration collar prior to moving into the training phase.
- Ownership- A permanent collar symbolizes that you and your partner are in a committed relationship. It tells other single Dominants the submissive is unavailable. To many people in the kinky community a permanent collar is just as symbolic as a wedding ring or engagement ring. It is rarely removed, and it is subtle so it can be worn in day-to-day life. It is common when kinky couples get married, the proposing partner presents a ring, collar and possibly anklet or bracelet. Those three items in combination reminds the submissive wife/husband they are owned, loved and protected in every aspect of their lives.
Before you accept a collar
Before accepting or giving a collar to someone, know what your partners idea of a collar is. Your opinion may be very different than theirs. Ask them what a collar represents to them and ask what they expect of you. You may not want to provide the level of commitment accompanied with that person’s expectations; or you may have a grander vision of what a collar is than they do. This will avoid long term hurt and confusion.
Don’t rush the process
I think most people in the kink community would agree, a collar is something that should be treasured. You can earn a collar by obeying and pleasing your Dominant or completing their training process. A Dominant can earn the acceptance of the submissive by providing a stable and loving emotional and mental space for them to flourish. There is no set amount of time in which a collar should be given or taken
When I was married, the collar and bracelet/anklet aspect of our marriage was more important to me than a ring. Those items symbolized the ownership of my soul, the control of my body and the protection and value of my life. Who needs a ring when you can have all of that? Those ideas are not to be taken lightly.
It is also not to be given without great consideration, patience, understanding, acceptance and love. If you are not ready to fully commit all of those things, I would highly advise against offering a collar of any kind. Even a training or consideration collar means that one day you would like to be in a more permanent place with your partner. I think it goes without saying, submissive folks tend to be sensitive by nature and great emotional pain can come with a lightly given collar.
Questions to ask yourself before accepting a collar
- Can I see myself with this person long term
- Am I going to be able to accept their rules and constructive guidance
- Do I feel safe, cared for and valued
- Do I accept them for their flaws and quirks
- Do I trust them
- Am I being nurtured to grow
- Do they respect me and my submission
- Do I want to be with or think of anyone else the same way I do them (unless polygamy is a pre-discussed avenue)
- Am I willing to learn and grow into what pleases them (within consensual and appropriate boundaries)
- Can I accept being punished in a way I don’t “like” or that is not pleasurable
- Can I accept doing things that please them but not necessarily me (consensually)
- Do I love them
Questions to ask yourself before giving a collar
- Do I see myself with this person long term
- Do I want the responisbility associated with caring for a sub long term
- Am I in the proper mental and emotional state to be in a relationship with power play- myself being in charge of the relationship
- Is this more than sex infused with passion and power
- Will I be able to help this person become the best version of themselves
- Am I accepting this relationship selflessly
- Will I be able to discipline and correct unwanted potentially harmful behaviors from a place of love not anger
- Am I able to create a mentally safe space for my person to thrive
- Do I have the patience to deal with a needy submissive
- Do I understand the mechanics and chemistry that make my partner who they ar
- Do I want anyone other than them (unless polygamy is something you both are into)
- Do I trust them
- Do I love them
I am a person that spends much time in my head, for valid reasons. The more I analyze a situation, the better prepared I am to proceed. Before I gave or accepted a collar, I would ask myself the questions I have listed above.
Your list may be more thorough than the one I provided, which is great. Know yourself, know your needs and make sure you get them. If I could not answer yes to all of those questions and more, than I would not proceed with giving or accepting a collar. It doesn’t mean that you can’t revisit it in the future. It just means you need more time to explore life, love, kink and intimacy with your partner.
The L word and relationships
Relationships are complicated because we as humans are complicated. People ask me all the time to write about my experiences with love. I avoid those subjects because of my own complexity and lack of success. I could definitely write a what NOT to do, who not to date and where not to meet people. However, I don’t think that would be as contusive.
But one thing I do know a lot about is rushing into things, being impatient and making emotionally charge choices, that being said, my advice to you is to take it slow and know what you are getting into. Ask your partner questions and self-reflect. Remember to most people in the kinky community as collar is almost like a wedding ring, if not, at least a symbol of serious commitment. Don’t accept a wedding ring because of a banging orgasm and a little subspace. Use your brain not your vagina to make the appropriate decision.