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Collaring

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Collaring, in BDSM, is a formal ceremony that establishes an ownership relationship. A submissive or slave is collared by their master or mistress[bdsmwiki] making them officially theirs. This is done by ceremonially putting a collar around the sub's neck.

When a person is collared, it means their owner has exclusive say over them. A collared person is generally not available for play with other people, except by explicit permission (or command) from their owner.

Collaring sometimes takes the form of an elaborate ceremony, with friends and spectators from the BDSM community present to witness and celebrate the two, much like in a marriage ceremony. Before the collaring ceremony, sometimes a contract is formally signed by both parties that determines the details of their relationship.[1]



In a leather/BDSM context, a collar is a device of any material worn by a person around the neck to indicate their submissive or slave status in a relationship. A person wearing a collar to symbolize their relationship with another is said to be collared. Some people conduct formal "collaring ceremonies," which are regarded as effectively solemnizing their relationship in a similar way as a marriage ceremony and the collar having similar significance as a wedding ring.

Construction and Appearance

The most common material for a collar is leather, and many people use actual dog collars with a buckle[wp]. Other materials include rubber, PVC, and metal (typically stainless steel; however, a few sources offer precious metal versions). Many collars are constructed with several different materials, and may also be decorated in various ways. Collars often feature buckles[wp], straps and hooks[wp], padlocks[wipi] and other attachments.

Social significance

Collars have varying degrees of significance for people in the leather community. A person wearing a collar may wish by doing so to make it known that they are submissive. Wearing a collar may similarly be a signal to others that the submissive is "owned" by or is in a relationship with a dominant, and that the wearer has been formally collared. It may also be a potently tangible symbol of the relationship itself or of the ownership the submissive is held in. A lockable collar may further symbolize a transfer of power from the submissive to the dominant holding the key.

Some submissives do not wear their collars all the time. They are becoming more common as a fashion accessory, but not sufficiently so that they would go unnoticed, particularly if worn by men. Many choose to wear a collar only when in private with their partners, or with other members of the leather community.

Collars can be made from lighter materials such as cotton, or heavier materials such as leather. Steel collars are also worn by some and lockable (metal) necklaces[wp] are also regarded as a form of collar. A very few even choose to wear permanently locking collars (these click into place and have no unlocking key), that cannot be removed except by cutting the steel.

As BDSM practices are moving from the old guard leather community into middle class society, the role of the collar has also changed. Increasingly couples who also practice 24/7 dominance and submission relationships adopt collars that can be mistaken as ordinary chokers or jewelry necklaces and can be worn discreetly in public. Such items are often referred to as everyday collars in BDSM parlance. Further evolution of this migration has had groups which actively practice BDSM in a relationship but where roles are switched or not as clear as in a traditional D/s relationship. The practice of joint collaring has emerged, where both wear a collar to show their devotion to the other one and to their lifestyle. Generally the collars look alike and/or are inscribed with vows to each other, and in this instance their significance may be similar to that of a wedding ring.

The practice of using three stages of collaring is informally followed by some in the BDSM community. The three collars come from the traditions of the three rings of a formal relationship; the Promise ring, the Betrothal ring, and the Wedding ring.

Under this system, the Collar of Consideration is the first and roughly analogous to a pre-engagement or Promise ring. Much like the rings of past civilizations and customs, this collar can be of any substance, but always something of significance to both parties. Much like the Class ring it holds a special place in the owners heart, one that they entrust to the beloved. Sometime in the late mid to late 80's it became custom for some, for this collar to be blue of some sort; ribbon, leather, a gem, a token, etc. The color blue signifies a fresh start and or a new beginning. Much like the Promise ring of days gone by this collar signifies that the couple has entered a dating period in which they want to learn about each other. This collar could be removed at any time by the submissive or dominant with hopefully no ill will and the relationship thereby ended.

The Training Collar is roughly analogous to an engagement ring or Betrothal ring and indicates a deepening, committed relationship in which the submissive is being prepared (trained) by the dominant to serve to the standards the dominant wishes. Again, the submissive may ask to be released but the break is considered more serious and painful for both parties.

Finally, the Formal Collar is analogous to a Wedding band and at this point the submissive is considered the property of and owned by the dominant. Among some in the leather community this is considered permanent with no chance to end unless the submissive was released by the dominant for some exceptional reason. Simple failure of service is not adequate since that indicates a failure on the part of the dominant as well as the slave. As with engagement and wedding rings there are traditions with collars in regard to the materials and colors that are appropriate to each type, usually becoming more elaborate.

House collars are also used in clubs, homes and in organizations that provide social spaces to protect a submissive. House collars show that the submissive is under the guidance of the house and is not to be approached. This is often used with an inexperienced submissive who are not ready to make their own choices yet and need time to learn.

Velcro collar is an increasingly common term, used derisively. The old guard leather community was very protocol oriented and stressed serious lifestyle involvement because of safety issues. More recently, however, email, Internet chat rooms and instant messaging services allowed the curious to participate in casual (and often anonymous) D/s relationships online. The velcro reference indicates the tendency for online dominants and submissives to have new online collaring ceremonies frequently and without regard for existing relationships which end as easily as not logging in.

Collar etiquette

In some social groups, one is expected to follow certain rules regarding a collared person. A person should ask if he or she wants to be collared. The collar itself is often owned and affixed by the dominant and treated as a symbol of the highest respect.[2]

Quotes

What is the formal process for collaring a submissive?

Quote: «If by "collaring" you mean the event when a submissive becomes submissive to that specific dominant in a D/s relationship I haven't heard of any commonly accepted formal process.

I've been in D/s relationships twice (as a submissive). In both cases it took a lot of time spent together and a lot of talks during which we talked over a lot - our likes and dislikes, hard and soft limits, common rules, interests and hobbies outside of the BDSM, work and normal life - pretty much about everything, and in the end when I was sure about those guys I in both cases simply asked those guys to be my dominants.

There wasn't any kind of a formal ritual or something if you mean that. But if both parties enjoy that kind of stuff you can come up with your own scenario or theatrical scene. The most important would be that you are both ok with this process.» - quora.com[3]

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[ext].

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.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.

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.
- Daddy's Doll[5]
The Collaring Ceremony

First it is interesting to state that some claim the word 'collar' doesn't exist in that way in the gorean language. You find it in the book "Slave Girl of Gor" and "Captive of Gor".

"'Kneel to be collared,' he said.
'Bring the collar,' said Thander of Ti to one of his men.
'I have found a slave who pleases me,' he said. 'I am collaring her.'
He cared not for the politics of cities, nor did he fear the wrath of states. He was a warrior.
He stepped behind the girl and, in the manner of Ti and certain other cities, thrust down her head and held ready the opened collar.
'Submit,' he said.
'I submit myself, totally, Master,' she said.
Roughly he shut the collar, enclosing her lovely throat in the obdurate band of slave steel. He then, with his foot, spurned her to the floor." Slave Girl of Gor, p. 423
Mostly it just named the 'band of slave steel'. But well the gorean word is pronounced and spelled in the way "ko-lar". Luther wrote in his scrolls that the gorean words "kajira" (slave girl) and "kan-lara" seem to indicate a preference for the sound of "k" in those words.
In the gorean world in Second Life[wp] it is pretty usual to say 'collar' and I did rarely experienced the Use of the word 'ko-lar'.

"'Ko - lar,' shea said, indicating her collar. 'It is the same word in English,' I cried. She did not understand my outburst. Gorean, as I would learn, is rich in words borrowed from Earth Languages; how rich it is I am not a skilled enough philologist to conjecture. It may well be that almost all Gorean expressions may be traced to one or another Earth language. Yet, the language is fluid, rich and expressive. Borrowed expressions, as in linguistic borrowing generally, take on the coloration of the borrowing language; in time the borrowings become naturalized, so to speak, being fully incorporated into the borrowing language; at this point they are, for all practical purposes, words within the borrowing language. How many, in English, for example, think of expressions such as 'automobile,' 'corral,' and 'lariat' as being foreign words?
'Collar!' I said. Eta frowned. 'Ko - lar,' she repeated, again indicating the neck band of steel fashioned on her throat. 'Ko - lar,' I said, carefully following her pronunciation. Eta accepted this." - Slave Girl of Gor p. 80/1
As you can see in the quote above this would be a short version of a collaring. You also find much longer and formal ceremonies. In the case of the Barbarian Elinor who was collared by the Warrior Rask of Treve it is of particular interest that this girl is cleaned, perfumed and prepared for the event, presented as fitting for such before her master. Also the girl is again spurned at the end. I won't quote that one her – have a look in Captive of Gor, p. 282-284 if you like to read more about this procedure.

Instead of this I think the collaring by Tarl Cabot in the 10th book of Norman (Tribesmen of Gor, p. 359-360) is pretty good to show how it can be performed.
This part may be performed even if the slave has not been re-branded, as in the case where a slave is purchased by a new Master or otherwise change hands. And once more I have to remark, that I saw a lot of slaves been branded after the collaring not the other way around on Gor in Second Life. Also some of them aren't branded at all.

Have a look on the following lines:

"Assume the posture of female submission," I told her. She did so, kneeling back on her heels, her arms extended, wrists crossed, her head between them, down. She was weeping.

The command on the most collars is named "submit"

"Repeat after me," he tells her. "I, once (her name) of (her home city or town, or of Earth)..."
She repeats this.
"...herewith submit myself, completely and totally, in all things..."
She repeats this.
"...to him who is known as (his name) of (his city)..."
She repeats this.
"...his girl, his slave, an article of his property, his to do with as he pleases."
She repeats this.
At this point he produces the collar. If it is engraved with his name or an inscription, he would let her read them or reads it to her, making sure that she understands what it says and means. Then he places it about her neck and snaps it shut with a click.
"I am yours, Master," he says.
"I am yours, Master," she repeats.
Now it is the time typically any Free in attendance would congratulate the Master on his new slave. When this is done, the new Master will usually ask the slave the following three questions:
"Who were you?" he asks.
She tells him her former name.
"What are you?" he asks.
"I am your slave, Master," she says.
"What is your name?" he asks.
"Whatever Master wishes," she answers.
If it will please the Master he will in this moment bestow upon the girl her new slave-name, which can be taken from her or changed at any time, according to his whim.
"You are (new slave-name)," he tells her.
"Yes, Master. I am (new slave-name)," she says.
This is all about it...hm...I would say "Yes, my Master..." fits better. *winks*

Ah... before I forget about it, of course a submit to a Mistress would be performed in the same way and also with a kajirus (male slave).
- GOR-SL[6]

References

  1. Spanking Art Wiki: Collaring
  2. Leatherpedia: Collaring
  3. What is the formal process for collaring a submissive?, quora.com on March 3, 2018
  4. 4.0 4.1 If worn out public, these collars can be substituted with a day collar.
  5. In Daddy's Arms: Different Types of Collars and Their Meanings, Daddy's Doll on July 28, 2014
  6. Gorean Ceremonies Part VI - "Collaring"

See also

External links


This article based on an article Collaring (11 February 2010) from the free Encyklopedia Spanking Art Wiki. The Spanking Art Wiki article is publised under GNU-License for free Documentation. In Spanking Art Wiki is a List of Authors available those who worked on the text before being incorporated in WikiMANNia.