This post may seem really elementary However, in light of some questions I have been fielding lately, I feel like sometimes it’s okay to start at square one and try to explain even the simple stuff. I guess I should also remind you all of my usual disclaimer: I am not saying my way is the only one or the best. I’m just sharing what I know. You may do things differently and that’s cool too.
Okay, so let’s talk about collars. They are different for different occasions. When I first started playing with one of my pets, he put my Goth Collar on as a Play Collar… and I didn’t have the heart to correct him because he looked so cute!
So first off, what do I mean by Goth Collar? Here’s an example:
This is not a good collar for play. There are several reasons for this:
1. It’s decorative. I got it at Petco when I was 14, before going to my first Goth Club. I think it was meant to make a pit bull look cool or something. It’s got chains on it that are NOT strong or meant to be pulled on. It’s just meant to look cool.
2. It could be dangerous. Those chains could potentially get caught on something during a scene and that could be very bad for your submissive.
3. It’s too thin to slip fingers under for some light chocking. The edges are able to cut into skin, and that is never good.
The point is, this is a Goth Dress Up Collar. When I want to put my fake dreadlocks in and don some cheap PVC dress and dance at a Goth Club, I wear this collar. It means nothing and has no connection at all to BDSM. I just thought it looked cool.
Now, what kind of collar could you use for play? I recommend a thick collar with rounded edges. It should be designed for BDSM and intended to withstand pulling and such. All rings or chains on it should be strong and intended to be used for scenes- not decoration. In essence, you want something functional. Here’s what I had made by my buddy who does Renaissance Festivals.
Now, you can find sites that do custom collars designed for BDSM all over the internet. I had this one made for my pet after we had been playing for a few months. Note it’s single D-ring, well-anchored to the collar and capable of being used to attach a leash or other bondage equipment. Also note the rounded edges that won’t dig into the skin or leave marks. This is what you want in a play collar.
However, what if you are in a 24/7 power exchange? What if you want to show that your pet belongs to you when they are not in the house playing scenes with you? Well, that is when you need something more subtle and elegant. Here’s a good example from Wyred Slave.
This is a simple braided steel collar with a locking mechanism in the back. It uses a small allen key to open it. This collar is not intended for play. It can not be attached to a leash or cuffs. It’s just for wearing in public, to denote ownership. It’s subtle enough that vanilla people will think it’s just a pretty piece of jewelry, and yet heavy and tight enough to remind a submissive who they belong to as they go to work or out and about.
So now comes the questions about what a collar means. I can not tell you that. It means what you make it mean. I have been part of some formal ceremonies where people were joined in some way and a collar was used to signify their joining or belonging. I have known couples who placed a lot of meaning on the gift of a collar. It can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.
For me, if I have played with a pet long enough that I think I will keep them for a significant length of time, I will have a collar made for them. I don’t always explain to them what it means to me. Sometimes I just tell them I needed a collar in their neck size for when we play. Sometimes I tell them it is meant to show that they are mine. But to me, it always means I have taken them seriously enough to collar them, and that means I will always consider them to be a “pet” of mine. If they ever were to need my help, I would give it. If they ever needed to talk, I would listen. If I have a collar made for a pet, it means I like them enough to consider them part of my life, no matter where I travel or how far away I will be at times.
Again, that’s just me. You will find your own meaning. There is no “right” way to feel about BDSM and the toys we use for it. Everyone has their own definitions and opinions, and that’s okay.
Anyway, the point is that collars are a lot of fun, but you should always make sure you choose the right one for the job.