This is a guest post by  Mistress Steel. It was part of her Steel’s Chamber Scrolls which is now defunct. Shared with Permission.

The Training Collar represents the second collar exchanged between a Dominant and a submissive. For information regarding the first collar please refer to my article called the Collar of Consideration. The 'Training' collar is offered by the Dominant after they have engaged in a period of time where they have held extensive conversations with the submissive and explored characteristics, traits, interests, desires and lifestyles to see if they consider themselves to be a good match in enough areas to move into a relationship of deeper commitment. They will generally have engaged in many of the vanilla aspects of the relationship as well as commenced with some light sceneing to explore the beginning limits that the submissive may possess.

The traditional Training collar is often made of leather. It is generally very plain and may be either red or black. Many Dominants alternatively offer a training collar in chain. This is based on personal preference, requirements dictated by issue's in the submissive's life and other factors shared between the Dominant and the submissive. The acceptance of this collar by the submissive indicates that the submissive agrees to pursue a much deeper relationship with the Dominant which will involve or may, serious feelings, emotions, commitments, and responsibilities. It can be equated fairly well to an engagement ring. When a relationship reaches the stage where a Training Collar is offered it tells other Dominant's and submissives that the Dominant and submissive have grown much more serious and that they are actively bonding and attaching to each other with considerations of a potentially long-term full-time relationship. At this point, the actions of the submissive are reflected upon the Dominant and the submissive should become acutely aware that behaving in a manner becoming to the training of their Dominant is a reflection of their personal devotion and commitment to that Dominant.

When a Dominant reaches this stage with a submissive they will often move into areas of training and discipline which are much more severe and strict. The foundations of later interactions are often based on how well the Dominant and the submissive construct or shape their relationship at this stage. Both recognize that they are a reflection of each other or openly connected to each other and will actively work to make that representation solid and deep. Most Dominant's and submissives enter deeper emotional stages at this point and may begin to express true devotion, love, honor, and mutual respect. In many ways, this is where the relationship is truly tested physically, mentally and emotionally.

In many cases, the Dominant and submissive may consider or try living together actively. The exploration of in-scene elements will generally intensify as they get to know each other better and the depth of trust begins to grow. It is at this stage that adaptation problems generally occur the most. The newlywed stage is over and in many cases, people tend to express themselves in a more open fashion. It is at this point that many submissives find themselves 'acting-out' against their Dominant as they attempt to reconcile the internal conflicts of true commitment and submission. A Dominant in this stage can struggle with feelings of resentment, excessive responsibility and a reduction in personal freedom, primarily as it relates to the open exploration of other people. This is a natural shifting from non-commitment to commitment. Both will find that they may test their partner strenuously to see if their partner's commitment is solid and strong. There is always an element of fear in the creation of relationships and insecurities and doubts. Facing these and overcoming them is necessary before the Dominant and submissive can even consider taking their relationship the final steps toward a full collar, often identified as a 'Slave Collar'.

Each of the collars is generally presented during some type of formal ceremony. Often the 'Collar of Consideration' and the 'Training Collar' may be presented privately or during a small gathering of close friends. The actions of collaring are considered quite serious and most often great care is taken to make the moments memorable for both people. Many Dominant's and submissive's exchange vows or poems they have created during such ceremonial occasions.

Written by F.R.R. Mallory – also known as Mistress Steel. This article may be excerpted from  Extreme Space, The Domination and Submission Handbook Safe, Sane and Consensual, Dangerous Choices or other books by F.R.R. Mallory and shared here with her permission. Please click on the book title for information on how you can order a copy of these books and others by F.R.R. Mallory.