To those unfamiliar with the BDSM lifestyle, one of the most confusing aspects of a BDSM relationship is the idea of collaring. When someone not in the lifestyle sees a collared submissive, they assume it’s a matter of control. The most common idea is that the Master or Mistress is looking to display the sub in the way they would an animal: that they are preparing to walk them on a leash and that it is a complete display of how little respect they show for that person.
That is not accurate. In fact, it’s the opposite.
A collared submissive is not one that is controlled and disrespected. She one that is revered – highly, in fact.
A collar is much like it sounds, but the meaning is not as simple as it is often taken. The idea of a collar is similar to a wedding ring. It is simply meant to show that the submissive has submitted to a partner and now belongs to him. Not as a possession or as an object, as one might think. It is more in the fashion of belonging that is associated with weddings and marriage.
Collaring is not something every dom and sub participates in. It also is done differently by different people. There is no time limit for when a sub should be collared and there aren’t guidelines as to how it all plays. However, there are some ground rules that seem standard when looking at the situation.
For instance, a collar is worn by the submissive. It indicates full submission and the dominant party should not be collared. It is also something that the dominant owns and places on. That means if the partnership between the two has ended, the dom will take it off and keep it. A collar should not be removed by anyone else, including the sub. The people involved are to be treated with the same respect as a married couple and the actual collar isn’t to be played with either. Most importantly, a sub wearing a collar should not be approached by another person for sexual purposes. She has indicated her commitment and loyalty to her Master or Mistress and that should be respected.
There are many that opt to have a ceremony to celebrate the collaring and make it official. They will host those ceremonies and design them much like a person would their wedding. Obviously the plans and attireare different, but it is up to each individual how they would like the ceremony to go.
However, it is not a requirement to have a ceremony in order for the sub to be collared. It doesn’t make the process any less important or meaningful. It simply means that it was decided to not make a big event out of it.
The idea of being walked on a leash may come along with collaring at times, but it is not a prerequisite. There are plenty of doms that will collar a sub and never add a leash to it. However, those that do are not doing so to show disrespect or to parade their sub around. The entire idea of the collar and the leash is simply to show her devotion, loyalty and submission to the dom. It is a choice that the sub will make as well.
The hardest part for those outside the lifestyle is understanding. The sub has just as much power and control in the relationship as the dom – it is simply in a different form. Anything that he or she participates in, such as collaring, is from his or her own desire and agreement. She or he feels honored to wear his collar and doesn’t see it as being shamed in any way. The Collaring Ceremony is a symbol of love, respectful sexual submission, and a celebration of the special relationship and the love between the two of you.