Collars: Why They Matter and How to Pick the Perfect One
BDSM

Collars: Why They Matter and How to Pick the Perfect One

By Emmeline Peaches, 27.05.2021

*Please note; names have been changed for anonymity.

Lacey* remembers her first collar well. 

“For as long as I can remember I’ve loved the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp. Seeing how Lady and the rest of the characters reacted to her collar, it really fascinated me, even as a kid.” Like many individuals, Lacey found that her future sexual interests started as a curiosity in her younger years, and then grew into a sexual fascination over time. 

“I looked everywhere for the right collar but, well, there’s an etiquette to getting a collar. You’re not really supposed to get one for yourself. It has to be earned. So I just sort of pined for ages. Besides, none of the collars I saw looked remotely like the one Lady wore. I sort of gave up”. 

Then, as Lacey tells us, one day “I came home and my Dom had prepared a whole scene – candles, music, spaghetti. The whole thing. He had me kneel down and picked up a box on the side. My heart leapt. Inside was my collar. Down to the very last detail. It was so perfect, I couldn’t believe it. I’ll never forget the feeling as he slipped it onto the skin of my neck and tightly secured it in place”.

Lacey is an unashamed enthusiast of Puppy Play and now wears her collar every day. “It’s just part of me. Y’know? I feel naked without my collar”. 

Why Collars Matter

Collars are an incredibly diverse piece of sexual iconography. To some, a collar might just be a complimentary accessory for a sex session but, for some, they are a way of life. 

Typically part of BDSM culture, a collar can signify ownership but also speaks of deeper relationships. “To me a collar is about trust and intimacy”, Lacey describes, “My Owner custom ordered my collar on Etsy. Every detail was made to his specifications and are unique to me. No one else will ever have the collar I do, and so it feels as unique and thoughtful as our relationship”. 

Lacey follows traditional collar use – in which a collar must be given to a Submissive by their Dominant and is worn 24/7. Lacey’s collar is a visual display of her ownership as well as representing trust, love, affection, and the deep consideration that exists between her and her Dom. 

Meanwhile, Claire* sees collars very differently. “I’ve got a few collars that I like to wear. Some I got from Etsy (because they were cute) but most are from online retailers and local stores. It’s just really fun to be able to play around with different looks. I can be as obvious or as subtle as I want. Besides, I love the way that having something tight on my neck feels”.

Claire is a recreational collar wearer. For her collars are sex accessories as opposed to a representation of ownership or a specific item. Collars are no less important for her but the choice and meaning behind them is different. 

What Collars Mean to You

As Lacey and Claire demonstrate, collars don’t have to have a meaning that’s set in stone. Collars can be used as part of a BDSM relationship, a sexy power play, a practical restraint item, a confidence booster, a statement, or any mixture of these. 

The most important thing about a collar is what it means to you and how you choose to personally use it. 

That being said, there are many different collars around and knowing your options can help figure out if collars are for you. 

Types of Collar

Typically, collars can be categorized in the following ways:

Day Collars: These are collars that can be worn as part of your everyday wardrobe. Typically such collars are designed to be comfortable, understated, and suited for prolonged use. Some such collars will be made from chain links, plain metal bands, or gentle fabric. They are more akin to chokers in some ways and allow those in a BDSM agreement to keep their connection even when not together. 

Play Collars: These collars are used for sexual play and are typically sturdier and more practical. They might have hooks or rings and are durable. For individuals who want a collar that allows for firm tugs and prolonged romps a play collar is a necessity.

Training Collars: These collars are less common and are used for things such as posture training, certain positions, or a specific training need in a BDSM relationship. These collars vary greatly depending on what those in the relationship desire. 

How to Pick the Perfect Collar

Considering what type of collar you would like to try is the first step in finding the perfect collar. Some people would prefer to start gently by having a very discreet day collar, whereas others will leap straight in with play collars. 

Generally, you will want to consider the following things:

Fit: Collars come in different sizes and you’ll want one with a perfect fit. Measure your neck size and select a collar that matches.

Material: Leather is nice but will sweat. Silver blends in better with day collars but might not hold up if you use a gentle day collar for a play session. PVC or latex might cause allergies in some people. 

All of this needs to be considered and tested in advance before you leap in and make a collar purchase. 

Adjustability: Consider if you want a collar that will be a fixed measurement or if you’d like to adjust it depending on your mood or play style. Choice in freedom around the neck is important, especially for some sex positions.

Style: The biggest choice you will need to consider is style and what you personally like. The collar Lacey adores might hold little to no appeal to you and wasn’t remotely interesting for Claire. “I like thrills,” Claire explained, “I’m not one for the conventional dog collar”.

So, with all this in mind, what type of collar suits your fancy? Whatever you crave, consider if you want to be the one making the purchase or if having your Dom offer it to you is an important part of the process. 

As we’re sure you can tell, there’s a lot to collars when it comes to ritual and etiquette but, hopefully, this article gives you a good starting point to consider your true desires.

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