At any BDSM munch or play party you’ll see at least a few people wearing collars around their necks. As well as looking deliciously kinky, these collars might also have a great deal of meaning for the people wearing them – something which can be surprising for vanilla people, who are most likely to see a collar as just a goth fashion accessory.

In the scene, collars are (usually) more than just a look. They serve a range of purposes, and are loaded with symbolism. Here are just some of the various meanings a collar might have.

A collar symbolizes your commitment and quite often your love and devotion to the Dominant. A collar for submissives is one of the most fundamental symbols of their relationship and one that is usually guarded and protected with their heart.There are no right or wrong ways to be collared. 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 many things to consider.

A BDSM collar is a piece of jewelry with a secret meaning. A collar for submissives is one of the most fundamental symbols of their relationship and one that is usually guarded and protected with their heart. There is a lot of information online about collars already but I thought I’d jump in with my own take on what everyone says and believes about collars. Traditionally it’s worn around the neck, although other types of jewelry are also possible.


The meaning of a collar is a hotly debated topic. For some couples, it is simply a sign of the BDSM relationship. Typically the submissive is the one who wears a collar. It’s called being “owned”. The collar is the most outward symbol that a submissive can wear that was given to them by their Dominant. This type of collar is often only worn at BDSM events to signify to other people that the submissive is not available for whatever without the Dominant’s permission.

The BDSM collar can also be like an engagement ring or wedding ring. It is usually the most important piece of jewelry worn on a daily basis. The commitment that they feel in the relationship makes it that important. Sometimes there is a collaring ceremony where the Dominant presents the collar to the submissive.

For others, it is a signal of sexy play time. The collar can be part of a kinky lingerie set. This type of collar is worn at home right before the fun begins.

Then, probably the most controversial meaning of a collar is it’s just a personal statement that you’re in the BDSM lifestyle and have no relationship connection at all.

There is no one correct way to feel about your collar.


A collar comes in as many physical forms as it does symbolisms.

A BDSM collar can be a basic leather band with a D-ring and worn during play or even BDSM events in the community. If you’re wearing the collar for more hours a piece of jewelry like a necklace or a specially made steel locking collar is more common.

Other styles of collar that are more permanent in nature are tattoos, brands, cuttings and piercings. There really is no rule for what one should look like as long as the people involved in the relationship agree with what it means to them.


No matter what type of relationship you have now, at one point you might have had a leather collar with a D-ring or two that you wore during BDSM play. It’s quite common for anyone into BDSM to get one for all of the dark desires that get played out. Lifestyle submissives may have a collar worn during play also in addition to their permanent collar. I still wear mine during scenes as a signal in my brain that what goes on in scene stops when the collar comes off.



A day collar is a discreet collar that can be worn to work and other vanilla engagements without anyone asking awkward questions. A necklace or special ring are popular choices. Some people even have multiple styles to go with their wardrobe choices.



Most people in BDSM relationships consider a collar to mean that the person wearing it is off limits. Sometimes a submissive feels a desire to have the protection of not being contacted or approached by Dominants and so they seek someone that will afford them with protection of a collar. They still represent the Dominant while wearing it, but there’s no expectation of training or a long term commitment.

Collars are a beautiful symbol on what is a complex and powerful relationship. No matter what you choose to symbolize your commitment, a collar can broadcast it to the world, or be a discreet nod between just the two of you.