Monday, July 28, 2014

Different Types of Collars and Their Meanings

What is collaring?
Collaring is the moment that shows that a sub has completed their training and their relationship with their Dom has been taken to a new level. If you can think of consideration and training collars as engagement rings, the ownership collar is similar to a wedding ring. Sometimes ceremonies are held by the Dom to celebrate this moment.

For more information on collaring ceremonies and examples of how to plan one, please click here.

Just as Doms earn a sub's submission through love and trust, a sub earns their collars through their hard work and devotion.

Types of collars:
  • Posture collars
  • Dog collars
  • Leather collars
  • Ribbon collars
  • Metal collars
  • Discreet/day collars
  • Bracelet or anklet collars
  • Rings
  • Branding, scarification, and tattoos

Collars and their meanings:
Different collars have different meanings. When you hear "collaring", you tend to think of the ownership (mentioned below) but there are other ties when collars may be worn:

Posture Collar - You've probably seen these collars in pictures, they tend to be fairly large and cover up most of the neck. They are worn to for fun, as a fashion statement, or a way to restrict neck movement and enhance posture.
Play collar - These collars are very commonly worn during scenes and tend to have no significant meaning behind them. Play collars are typically dog collars, leather collars, or ribbon collars.

Protection collar - This is when a Dom wants to show that a submissive is protected and is commonly used in dungeons or kinky house parties. This lets other Doms know that while this sub is not owned, they are not are free to touch or approach. These collars are typically dog collars or leather collars.
Consideration collar- This is one of the first steps in showing advancement in a D/s dynamic. It signifies that the submissive is being considered for a long term relationship or ownership, however, it is normally worn for an agreed on amount of time and can be revoked for any reason. These collars tend to be leather collars*.
Training collar - This type of collar shows that a submissive is currently being trained by a Dom. It gives a taste of the power that the Dom has over the sub. These collars tend to be leather collars*.

Ownership collar (also known as a formal collar or slave collar) - This is not to be taken lightly, it is the equivalent of giving/receiving a wedding ring and shows that the submissive is owned. An ownership collar is earned after a sub has completed their training or deemed worthy of being kept long term. This means it could be years before a sub receives an ownership collar. These collars can look like anything from a leather dog collar, to a metal collar (most commonly seen), to a symbolic piece of jewelry (a bracelet, anklet,  necklace, or ring). Some Doms even prefer to tattoo or brand their sub, this is more commonly done in the Master/slave dynamic and Gorean lifestyle. It’s completely up to the Dom and sub.

*If worn out public, these collars can be substituted with a day collar.

The meaning behind the collar should not be a game of guess work, especially ownership collars. If you have to ask yourself if the collar you're wearing signifies that you're owned, then it's probably not an ownership collar. When a Dom gives you a collar they will (or should) tell you the meaning behind it and discuss any questions you may have regarding it. As for the type of collar given, it's not the look of it that matters but the bond and meaning behind it.

Proper etiquette  and collars:
If you're a Dom and you see a sub with a collar, you should avoid trying to make advancements of any sort unless you've talked it out with their Dom. Some Doms even require that you speak to them before even approaching or conversing with their sub. Do not disrespect the relationship or the Dom's ownership.

If you're a sub and wearing a consideration, training, or ownership collar you should not take off your collar (assuming it's not locked or you have access to the key) without your Dom's permission. Taking it off during arguments is considered rude and disrespectful.
Where to buy collars?
Collars can be bought at local dungeons by vendors and crafters. You can also find those same people on Fetlife through meets, munches, and networking. However, you can buy collars online as well.
External links for more information on collaring:
Collars and Their Meanings
The Impact of Velcro Collars on the Symbolism by lunaKM
What It Means to be Collared by LadySneak
The Ring and the Collar by tequilarose


  1. You can also buy really nice, discreet day collars at Serenity in Chains.

    I find that a truly discreet day collar is really hard to find, and they have a really nice selection.

  2. I'm seeking a ddlg collar to wear in public. It has to be in purple or blue. This little will not wear pink.

    1. Try them: I have collar from this shop, they also do custom ones if you ask.

  3. I'm a sub my Dom is also a 70 year old man I call daddy. When he needs me I come. It is a great feeling being owned by such a powerful man. It is such a turn on when I kneel before him.

  4. I'm looking for somewhere in the UK where my sub can try on some collars in person. Any ideas?

  5. Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot.

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  7. I made my collars. Pretty happy with them

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  10. I got my formal collar from She hand makes her pieces and they are amazing :)

  11. But my question is who buys the training collar and what the difference between being training or owed?

    1. Christy,

      A collar should be purchased by the Dom and presented to their submissive. The collar is a symbol of commitment for both the Dom and the submissive, in much the same way a promise ring or wedding ring is for a vanilla couple. For the Dom, it symbolizes his commitment to training and ultimately, to the well-being and growth of his submissive. For the sub, it symbolizes her commitment to her Dom. In most D/s relationships that honor protocol, a collar is presented as part of a ceremony.

      The difference between being trained and being owned is subject to interpretation. But generally speaking, receiving ones formal collar is the culmination of training and symbolizes that the relationship is moving from training to the next step.


  12. Now is there any meanings with the collars when it comes to color? As you search through the Web you see much different opinions. I saw in one place that a consideration collar should be blue in color..??.. can anyone give some in site...

    1. i tend to use a stoplight as my basis. red is a no go, yellow is aproach slowly, and green is good to go. these are to be used with your own sub, so keep that in mind

  13. These things are mostly true. Though it is my belief that it is impossible to fully complete training, as there will always be more possibilities to explore should you set your mind to it. Some things may purposely not be explored at all, depending on the levels of comfort or preestablished barriers in a given relationship. But there is always room for improvement, even when you think everything seems perfect.

    This doesn't mean, of course, that you can never be satisfied either as a slave or a dominant. Rather the opposite: The union will be kept fresh and the making of love exciting as endless possibilities are explored, and the fruits of your labors... well, come to fruition in spectacular new ways. You don't need a collar to complete your training, but to indicate "Damned good enough, you're mine and I'm not letting you go now if you'll commit to my loving, protective arms"... in perhaps not as many words.

    However, this does give me some food for thought, as I have been debating whether to get my little one the dog collar or something more extravagant and metallic. I think the dog collar will convey just as much meaning, since neither of us are particularly materialist. She is not much of a masochist and retains this sort of innocence and conscientious nature you never really find anymore, and she is a whole lot like a puppy, really. Between kisses and clingy cuddles, she's ridiculously sweet and adorable and is somehow always pleasantly surprised by sexual advances despite my doing them more often than daily. The dog collar suits her personality much better -- even if she regularly enjoys wearing cat ears, heh.

    --Doktor K.

  14. I feel like it's important for all these online bloggers to inform newbies to the Sub/Dom & BDSM lifestyle that this 'information' isn't as much fact as it is a very personal & unique guide. What I mean by this is that while this interpretation of (in this situation) collars & the meanings behind them might be widely accepted by whatever group of peers or community this person comes from, it's not necessarily true or factual for all. 

    Many variables of Sub/Dom relationships & their dynamic are subjective & unique to not only each relationship but to each person.

    I enjoy that information about this wonderful lifestyle is becoming more commonplace but, unfortunately, so is misinformation. Which is not to say this blog contains false information! many may consider it a helpful & relatable guide in reference to their experiences. I was lucky enough to find reliable information about the enchanting world of BDSM & the many types of Sub/Dom relationships.

    There are far too many people claiming to be what they're not, ESPECIALLY, dominant males! The definition of a dominant deviates because, to some, there are strictly outlined rules & traits that define a dominant as well as traits & variables that are more guidelines than anything (depending on who you ask). Different people will tell you different things concerning what a 'true' Dom is or isn't. 

    The most important thing to remember (specifically for submissives) is to watch for fake dominants (male or female). I've come across WAY too many misogynistic, narcissistic, & abusive people who are all too eager to take advantage of young, naive submissives, new to these kinds of relationships. 

    Anyone can be an evil & manipulative person & submissives are especially vulnerable because of their...well...submissive nature. All the disgusting pigs with whom I've had the displeasure of encountering have been men that all left me with the same story to tell, a story that ends with them establishing themselves as an embarrassment to their gender. They contact me, compliment me crudely, immediately demand, not ask, DEMAND sex, nudes or something of equal personal value that no decent person should pressure you for right away. When I 'dare' to 'defy' them they tuck their miniature penises between their legs & lash out assuring me a 'real' submissive wouldn't refuse their Master. 

    Don't ever feel guilty if some idiot does that to you. The Sub/Dom relationship is an EQUAL partnership where (like any relationship) communication is key & just as you must earn your Dominant's love & respect, they in turn MUST earn your trust, respect, & (of course) submission. Submission is not a right just as love isn't, & what is submission in this instance but a pure & simple form of love?

    -Blair Doll

    1. That was so eloquently sentiments exactly. Everything is earned..and it's very beautiful when it is.

  15. That’s so true. It pisses me off that little boys give real men a bad reputation. They do not have the slightest clue that a sub has the true power & control in every situation. My wife is my queen, & that’s how deserving women should be treated. Subs have the right & power to say stop, no, & don’t at any point in time they do not feel completely safe & comfortable. If she is woman enough & good enough to “ALLOW” you to Dominate her, then you need to be man enough to respect her & not take her submission for granted.

  16. I loved reading this article but more especially the comments. As a sub I can relate to a lot of how the D/s relationship dynamic is usually misinterpreted, the prefix "sub" has so many Doms and surprisingly a lot of subs too that a sub is less than, they reason it into sub servient or subordinate yet submission is anything but, to truly submit your mind body and soul to your Dom takes a vulnerable strength that cannot be faked, the trust and respect that has been built into your core by your Dom puts you on a pedestal in His eyes and undoubtedly that is how you can kneel before your Master and still feel like His goddess

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  18. I can't help but to think that this blog is simply trying to strictly organize the BDSM community as many have tried to organize the Pagan community. Different rules apply for different communities, different states, even different countries.
    My thoughts. . .Pay attention to those you're in charge of and there'll be no problems, or stay close to those in care of you. Plus, unless you're deaf, or can't speak, you do have a voice, or use sign language...if not wear a sign.
    Just my thoughts. I'm not about to leave my subbie alone, but in one of those off the wall cases she tells them "Don't let the nail polish fool you", she would lay someone out flat.

  19. I'm new to Dom/Sub relationships. My little and I would love to do collaring. What kind of collars would be good to start with? In terms of our new relationship?

  20. Newbie here to D/s, im' a service sub in consideration. Glad to find this writing and especially agree with BLAIR DOLL'S comment- Many variables of Sub/Dom relationships & their dynamic are subjective & unique to not only each relationship but to each person.

  21. my sub cant wear collar due to phobia of things touching her neck, any suggestions