With so much opinion on the subject, and with variance of opinion, writing about this topic is akin to taking a political view. Let me preface that this is Wicked Daddy’s view and that if you wish to learn more of Rituals and Importance to others within BDSM that you research more for yourself. I am not a definitive resource for all things on this – I am only a resource for MY usage, regardless of how much experience I may or may not have.
The collar for myself is both a symbol of love as well as ownership. In many circles, there is very much pomp and circumstance around Collars. In more formal circles the collar definitively denotes that subs station to their master – being the position they have earned thus far. Simple collars denote lower station – more ornate (or in some cases simply more intense) collars denote high station – or even type of service. For many, there is even formal and informal collars depending upon the event (Yes – a formal wear collar for certain parties) or even the daily collar. The act of Collaring is the achievement of a milestone – something this Dom strongly believes in – as a good Dom or Daddy is ever challenging their subs to better themselves both in servitude as well as life itself. The “upgrade” in collar and the act of presenting should be acknowledgement of that next level. The act of downgrading a sub can also be a traumatic event if a sub has lost that favor and standing.
Collars have also been outlined as the equivalent of marriage in BDSM. I myself have attended numerous Collaring ceremonies in my life – and some have exceeded in grandeur over many of the most elaborate weddings I have ever attended. Like a marriage ceremony – these are an opportunity for friends and even family to come together and celebrate this bond between two (or even more) people. It’s a fascinating topic and worth your time researching if curious.
For myself – the symbolism and the physical existence of a collar around my subs necks serves us both. It exists as a continual reminder to her of her service and commitment to me, and for myself – it accommodates and helps facilitate training as well as, honestly, is the most attractive clothing my sub can ever wear for me. Only with occasional exceptions (such as bathing), are my subs ever without adornment around their neck. When a collar is not appropriate – choker necklaces are in play.
In some circles even the choker has significance down to color. There was a circle that used to exist with parties and meet and greets and the subs wearing black chokers were owned and the subs wearing white were looking for masters. I love seeing chokers worn in public. I, as well as a usual incorporation of instruction to my subs, make it a usual practice to talk to anyone wearing a choker. I usually comment on the choker and ask if it has any special significance. I encourage you the reader to make this a practice in your life. Both I as well as my former subs (whether accompanied by me or on their own) have made this a practice and all of us have made some wonderful friends this way as well have gotten some memorable reactions from people when asked such a knowing question.
For my subs – I give much attention to detail and to station. It is unique with each and every sub and depends upon who they are and what their needs of me are as well as their goals. As mentioned in previous posts – I spend much effort in getting to know a potential sub up front and understanding their needs and most of the time even incorporate the formality of custom rules and expectations in writing as a signed contract between us. (In time I will be sharing many elements of these contracts and documents in my writing for this blog). For many of these goal sheets and criteria – a definition of station as well as a label is given. Within slave training – a sub may start with a station of lower than even being recognized – especially if the circumstance of their need incorporates degradation. These subs may simply start out as a “Slut”, or even “Cum Bucket”. When degradation is not a subs need or not befitting of their own goals, a sub can start as a “Toy”, or “Trainee”, or even something as ambiguous as a Number. For Littles it is different. Only when a Little is a sexual Little as well as wanting formality and training would this be incorporated – and then a Little may start out as a “Brat” or “Baby” or (when degradation a need) – a “Bad Girl” whose goals should be ever leading towards being a “Good Girl” or “Daddy’s Girl”. Again – it is tailored to THAT specific subs needs and what resonates best (yet another reason for knowing your sub very well before starting).
The leash for a collar also carries significance for me and in many of my trainings of subs. A short leash is recognized by my subs as being more for command training – and it is well known when this Dom pulls out “the short leash” that my instruction will be quick and immediate action is required. The short command leash is almost always being held taught to their collar, and movement and action will always be led my myself. A longer leash or even a lengthy chain is known by my subs for “performance” or long movements. This may be as simple as my sub crawling on the floor in following master to performing exercises Master has prescribed for them and requires them to practice. The long leash training is almost never tugged at, but is very symbolic of being tethered to the Master.
For most bondage – the collar is always affixed somewhere. When not – a simple chain from the collar ring to nipple or vaginal clamps are commonly in use. For punishment or even waiting – affixing a short chain with connectors from a subs collar to a post or hook in the room is a common practice. This dom may lead a sub to a corner, tug down and require kneeling, and point the subs nose to a corner for her to wait there. Attaching a short chain between collar and a hook attached to my wall is a command of “Wait until Master is ready to use you”. As I have written before on reflex association – at times I employ that with leashed training as well, and the number of tugs on a leash will have significance. For a few prior subs who greatly enjoyed leash training – a model of a command being given verbally and the sub being granted time before performing what was commanded of them was in use. I would give the command and the sub had to wait until a short tug was done on the leash and then the sub was to do what was told of them. For subs who needed to process thoughts as they were not yet reflex, I find this training method to be highly useful as well as appreciated. Two tugs was stop and kneel, and most else was directional on where the leash was being drawn from. Down is lower yourself, up is raise yourself, etc.
There is one critical failing in collaring and training that breaks most of the rules. The question of how do you collar someone for training without them having earned a collar? The answer – a training collar. For my own training practice – I use posture collars for this, and in fact I exclusively use a wonderful training posture collar for the last 12 years. I was so happy for this product find that at the time I bought out the supplier and had a few dozen for personal use. You see, a posture collar is a high neck collar that serves many purposes. A high neck collar gets someone really used to having something snug around their neck (Besides the Doms hands of course) and a posture collar with a widows peak at the front has provided a ton of value in training. I train my subs to remember posture. I expect their chin up (level with the ground), eyes down, shoulders back, chest out, back arched. I expect this at all times (unless they are a Little of course, then it is situational). When I see a sub failing posture, a little tapping of a cane or a sting is used for reinforcement. The challenge though – especially for a new sub, is the natural inclination that one has to turn their head where they are looking. The problem in looking down and turning head downward is the failing to keep chin up. I have found this to be so troublesome in training that “Chin up, Eyes Down” would take up almost a third of corrections being delivered. Having a posture collar – especially one with a widows peak – has solved this beautifully. One simply cannot turn their head down without the peak poking into the chest plate. Now my sub can focus on “Eyes Down”. The Posture Training collars I had were also padded and incredibly soft inside despite the harder exterior that it was perfect to give to a sub in training and to be used to sleep in. So much was this particular collar in use in my training that I spent months tracking down the original manufacturer. They stopped making them quite some tome ago but I managed to negotiate production so that I could include it in the soon to open Wicked Daddy collection. (please check it out – will update link when we have it set up).
Special note on collars in general – when you first start using them and finding them – ensure that you get collars that don’t chafe or pinch if using for long term use.
May I ask that you share in replies how many collars you personally own? Even if none? I would like comments I can update this post with (if I am missing anything or if questions are looking to be answered).