When receiving someone’s collar is a possibility, it can be an intimidating sensation to know if you are ready to accept it or not. For many, the weight of the decision is like accepting a marriage proposal and should take just as much thought and preparation. So today, let’s tackle the important points about collars and if you are prepared for what a collar may mean for you and your relationship.

What is a Collar?

First, a collar is a symbol of commitment to a Dominant. This commitment can be for a scene, a weekend, a contractual period of time or for a lifetime. But that's not the only thing a collar is! Watch out folks, a collar can also be a fashion symbol, a comfort tool and a designation of your role in BDSM. With all that said, a collar is a personal symbol and can mean anything you wish it to mean.

If that's the case, that a collar can mean anything we want it to mean, why are there so many people arguing over it online, from semantics to meaning to where to buy one and more? Well, because the leading definition is one of importance and value, much like a wedding ring might be valuable to those wearing it. Anytime someone contradicts the majority it leads to arguments and challenging people's opinions. And that brings on more arguments. That's not what I plan on doing here, by the way. I'm open to accepting everyone's viewpoints because they are all accurate.

Here are a few more posts on collars you might find interesting:

What does a collar mean to you?

When you first learn about collars it’s a good idea to decide what they are going to mean to you. It's an important decision and one that you can make while still a single submissive. It's likely you have an opinion on what a wedding ring means before you get married, right? This is no different. Read about collars from a variety of sources if you need to. Discuss them with other Dominants and submissives. Understand what their importance is for you - if there is one at all. This way you'll be one step ahead when you enter a relationship where one might be offered.

Read More: What it Means to be Collared by LadySneak

Once in a relationship, it is a good idea to ask them what a collar means to them. It would be confusing if they considered it a play tool and you consider it a lifetime commitment symbol. So get that straight up front. That way you aren't surprised if it comes out for playtime and he won't think you are all doe-eyed for some reason he can't comprehend.

Preparing for a Collar

Once in a relationship, and are on the same page then the relationship work can begin. I personally don't think a collar should be given at the start of a relationship, just like I wouldn't accept a promise ring or engagement ring from the onset. I do understand that there are dynamics that use tiered collaring systems such that you start in a novice collar, training collar or another consideration sort of collar and progress through them as you grow in the relationship. I don't have any experience with the tiered collar system and can't speak personally about it. It sounds lovely and practical for types of D/s dynamics that might be looking for a heavy protocol relationship.

I'm going to use the comparison again of being in a committed relationship and marriage seems like the next logical step. How do you prepare yourself for that step and when do you know it's a good time? Well, knowing the person intimately, loving them feeling connected to them and invested in their life is a good start. Do you bring out the best in each other? Can you see yourself with this person long term? Also, are you an open book? Can you share all of your intimate details, fantasies, and concerns with them without fear of judgment? Are you committed to working hard to make it work?

Knowing that your partner has your back and will be there through thick and thin is a good sign you are ready for a collar. A collar is a huge step, a milestone in your relationship and treating it as such can help you decide when is the best time to add it to the relationship.

How Do You Know You’re Ready?

Once you’ve got answers to the questions about if you’re committed to your relationship and your partner is too, you can really nail down if you’re ready for the weight of a collar. It can be a weight. This isn’t asking if your Dominant is ready, or if the relationship is at that point, I’m asking you, right now, if YOU are ready for what a collar entails.

As submissives, our core drive is to submit, to surrender in some way. In a relationship we build that submission into service to the Dominant in ways that benefit you both. In a collar, you may be asked just how far are you willing to go. You’ll be committing, with some permanence, to the Dominant you currently submit to. If you do not feel completely compelled to do as they say, if you feel yourself questioning them or challenging them, you may not be ready for a collar with this person.

I encourage all submissives, when they reach this point in their relationship, to really give it some thought, to spend some time looking inward and see if wearing a collar is in hope of fixing something (it won’t) or making you feel more secure in the relationship (it shouldn’t). You can’t fix a relationship with a collar and you should already feel secure before you accept one.

Asking for a Collar

In some situations, it is appropriate for the submissive to ask the Dominant for a collar. When you know each other well enough and are on the same page as far as what a collar means you may learn that the Dominant would like the submissive to ask or beg to be collared by them. In this situation, the submissive is exhibiting a driving need to be under this person's care and guidance, that they wish to live forever in their service.

Just like in the vanilla world where it's rarer for women to propose to men, asking for a collar is not the norm. If you are expected to ask for your collar, find the words from your heart. Make it a pure and genuine request. You can set it up like a proposal if you wish for some guidelines to help you. Declare your devotion, share a story of the unique connection the two of you share and then come right out and ask.

Receiving a Collar

Receiving your collar is a special occasion for many submissives and slaves. For some, this time means a celebration of your relationship and the commitment that is about to happen. A formal collaring ceremony is what came about because of this need.

There are no right or wrong ways to be collared. KnyghtMare preferred to have me kneel and to put the collar on. That was it. If you want a ceremony, they can be formal or informal. They can be private or in front of a group of your friends and “family”. For those of you who wish to plan a more formal celebration, there are things to consider.

I recommend you use a wedding as an example ceremony. After all, you are committing yourself to someone in a very special and often permanent way. Why not use an existing ceremony and customize it for your needs? You can use any parts of it that you would like, scale it up or down as to how formal you want to get.

Read More: How to Plan a Formal Collaring Ceremony

Acceptable Hardware

A collar is traditionally a leather strap with a D ring that fastens around the neck. But that isn't what all collars are. There are as many collar choices as there are relationships. What's special is that each collar is unique and special to the people that give and receive it. It does not have to be obvious and you don't have to wear it all the time if that's what works for you.

A few other examples of collar types:

  • Stainless steel locking rings
  • Necklaces of gold or silver
  • Belly chains
  • Piercings
  • Rings or bracelets
  • Braided leather chokers
  • Tattoos or brands

A collar can be an important step in your D/s relationship and hopefully, I've helped you learn what you might expect from your own dynamic!