The topic of collaring comes up quite a bit in the online BDSM community and many people have different ideas and understandings of how collaring works and the importance behind it.
Some take it very lackadaisically while others may take it as seriously as an engagement or wedding.
If you have been in this community for a while, you have probably talked about collaring and maybe been collared yourself in the past!
If you are new, you might be wondering about what all the hubbub is about!
So, today I will be talking about collars – what different collars exist, when and how they are used, and of course why.
For some, this may be new information to take in.
For others, this may just be a brief refresher.
Regardless, I hope you find it helpful!
Types of Collars
Collaring has a very rich and deep history, stemming all the way back to the leather community with regards to modern day BDSM, and even further back with regards to slave culture in general.
To many in a D/s relationship, the use of a collar is ceremonial and holds a great deal of significance and symbolism – showing the progression of a D/s relationship as time goes by and the bond between Dominant and submissive changes and grows.
To others, it may just be a tool to denote playtime.
Let’s start with the basics.
The Play Collar
A play collar is often also called a kitten collar and one you will often find associated with pet play, though that is not its only use.
It is considered to be a temporary and informal collar, often used in dungeons to show that the submissive wearing it belongs to a Dom for the duration of their scene, or is used in play that calls for a collar – pet play, slave and Master roleplay.
The point is, after the scene is done, the collar comes off.
It’s significance ends there.
Outside of the dungeon, it is usually put on at the beginning of play and removed at the end of the scene and aids in the submissive achieving a deeper and ore involved subspace.
They are usually made of leather or ribbon and can be easily fastened and unfastened.
A day collar is a discrete collar that is made to be worn so that the submissive can still wear a collar to signify their relationship status and possible ownership in public.
It is a safe and comfortable form of expression without being glaringly obvious.
Day collars tend to have a more secretive way of locking or just use a normal lobster clasp.
Some look like dainty, elegant necklaces while others might involve a small hidden lock or be made of sturdier hardware.
The main function is to be able to continue to wear a collar for the submissive and the Dominant to recognize while the rest of the world may not.
In some D/s expressions, though, especially in more strict Master and slave dynamics, if someone has received a full slave collar, it is never to be removed or replaced, even by a day collar for discretion.
Day collars can be made of just about anything
It is common to see ones maid of a light chain and incorporating the Ring of O in the design.
While this collar does not mean ownership of a submissive, it is still to be recognized and respected.
This collar is given to a submissive by a Dominant who acts as a Dominant in a protective role.
The Dominant is not to be considered their Master or owner, however it ensures that others know, while the submissive wears this collar, they are not to be approached without permission and will likely be properly vetted by the Dominant who holds the collar.
This dynamic is one where the Dominant is looking out for the submissive and would vet other doms before allowing pursuit of the submissive.
Collar of Consideration
This collar is given when a relationship moves into something more serious than just casual play.
It is akin to serious dating in the vanilla world.
It is usually leather and can be removed for public appearances but is otherwise always to be worn when in the presence of the Dominant.
In this stage, the Dom and the submissive are learning more about each other, delving more deeply into their D/s relationship and how they express themselves, learning what the other needs from them in order for them to fulfill their respective duties sufficiently.
Consideration can be revoked if rules are broken or if either party is not getting what is agreed upon from their relationship.
The Training Collar
Not to be confused with a training collar specifically used for pet play, this level is considered a step up and would be akin to a promise or engagement ring in the vanilla world.
At this point there is often a contract or agreement as to what is expected of both parties.
This is the time when the submissive is being trained to be of service to their Dominant, which in turn means more structure and responsibility in the relationship for all parties involved.
These collars will not be removed just from a simple misstep.
It may be a leather collar or a metal collar that can be removed, again, when necessary (showers, medical emergencies, certain social and public events, etc), but should always be worn in the presence of the Dominant.
This collar is used when both patties are ready to take their relationship to the final level.
It exemplifies complete commitment and ownership and submission in a D/s relationship and is akin to a wedding ring.
Often the couple will have a collaring ceremony during which the collar is given, placed, and a renewable contract is signed.
This is a metal collar that is never to be removed, save for in a medical emergency.
It shows that the submissive has given everything of themselves over to their Dominant and trusts them to guide them through life.
It also shows that the Dominant is there to guide them through life, to love and support them and their growth.
This does not mean there is no autonomy in the relationship.
It does mean, however, that the submissive is fully owned, happy and willing to serve, and that the Dominant has taken the responsibility of lifting you up through your service.
Collaring in Online Communities
With BDSM becoming more prevalent in mainstream communities, it is no wonder that there are now plenty of ways to meet Dominants and submissives online – whether in specific chat rooms or Reddits geared towards the topic of BDSM, image sites like Tumblr, roleplay sites like Elliquiy and F-List, or dating, meeting and community sites like Fetlife.
BDSM has extended its reach.
However, you may find in online D/s communities and relationships that you have a higher concentration of new entrants into the lifestyle, or those who are learned but toxic, and you may see a collar is quickly given and just as quickly removed.
The term given for this is the “Velcro Collar”.
It is meant to be a negative term and demeaning, though I believe it is also meant to increase awareness and understanding amongst those who engage in online D/s relationships that collaring is not something meant to be taken lightly; that D/s relationships require commitment, maturity and mutual respect.
Looking for a Collar?
They ship directly from the supplier, which keeps their price low, but be prepared to wait 1-3 weeks for your collar to arrive.
That being said, there are some great bargains to be had, and they have custom collars available as well!
Etsy is a great place in general to search for BDSM gear – though the price tag can be a bit steep as is expected with handmade custom niche items.
A quick search on Etsy can bring up a whole range of bespoke shops that can make you something unique, regardless of the level or type of collar.
The best ways to narrow your search are to know what you are looking for – type of collar, materials, etc. and have an idea of the money you want to spend.
Take a look around. You are bound to find something you will like!
Melted Kitten Creations
(Image credit: Melted Kitten Creations on Instagram)
This shop specializes in very intricate and ornate kitten play/pet play collars.
They are sturdy enough to withstand playtime and a bit of tugging, but not meant to be roughly handled as they are a little more delicate.
Depending on how stubborn the pet or how rigorous the training and play, they might not be for you.
(Image credit to Melted Kitten Creations on Instagram)
They have regular releases that are announced on Instagram and often open up custom slots for people to purchase.
They use Etsy as their selling platform.
The prices range from $40 USD and go up from there depending on the hardware used.
(On the left, DDLG Pacifier Charm Collar – $55 USD. On the right, Kitten Play Charm Collar – $55 USD. Image credit to Restrained Grace.)
Home of some of the most beautiful and elegant play and day collars I have seen, Restrained Grace’s designs are simple but beautiful, fulfilling both form and function.
They use leather, metal chain and pearls to create stunning collars that can be used in a variety of BDSM sub genres – including pet play, DDLG, and slave dynamics.
(Lockable Lavender Ring of O Pearl Day Collar – $110 USD. Image credit to Restrained Grace.)
The shop has both an Instagram and an online store front ( https://www.restrainedgrace.com/collections/new-1 ) that you can peruse and purchase from.
(Rose Gold Steel Infinity Slave Collar – $75 USD./Image credit to Restrained Grace.)
Their prices are pretty decent and tend to range from $30-$120 USD depending on the materials used.
They also have some promoters on Instagram that provide discount codes you can use to save some money on your purchase.
Over all – they offer a wide range of collars that span multiple levels of commitment and different types of play.
(SUB Black Leather Rhinestone Letter Collar – $19.95 USD. Image credit to sub-shop.com )
Sub-Shop is one of the most reliable one-stop bondage gear websites I have encountered.
Shipping times are impeccable and product quality has never let me down.
They have every manner of collar – rubber and PVC O-ring and D-ring collars, metal collars, corset posture collars, collars that are also gags, pet play collars and leash sets, slave collars – the only thing I haven’t seen is ribbon/kitten collars – but everything else seems to be accounted for.
Their prices are also very reasonable with a very wide range from $15 to $100 USD.
(Amazon.com – $157.00)
Generally speaking – you can find just about anything on Amazon.
A quick search for “bdsm collars” brought up several options – ranging from metal day collars like the one pictured above, to simpler leather or fake leather collars with O-rings, to collars with lettering and locks.
My advice when dealing with Amazon is always look at how many purchases have been made, the rating the item has receive and whether there are any reviews so you do not end up getting something you didn’t purchase.
Price ranges are the most dynamic on Amazon.
You could find something as cheap as a few dollars or as expensive as a couple hundred, depending on what you are looking for.
Again, however, there seems to be an underrepresentation of kitten play ribbon collars, so id this is what you are looking for, you are better off trying one of the other shops that offers this style of collar.
(Limited Edition Titanium Eternity Collar in Radiance Finish – $205 USD.Image credit to Eternity Collars)
Eternity Collars is an online shop that is well known amongst the veterans in the community.
They are the go-to source for eternity collars (aka full slave collars).
They have expanded their product style to include lockable leather collars and discreet day collars, as well.
The collars are finely wrought, with a simple, elegant design, and made from quality leathers and metal
The price tag is certainly more hefty – ranging from $60-$300 USD – but it is well worth it.
These collars are made for commitments that are not to be taken lightly.
Regardless of whether your relationship is in person or long distance and online – and regardless of the level of commitment or the type of play – there is a collar for you.
Not everyone’s relationship or their expression of it looks the same – it is important to recognize and know the difference between individuality and abuse.
Always remember that a collar is what you make it and keep in mind the weight of importance and respect behind the symbol.