Why Do Some Kinky People Wear Collars?

BDSM gentle femdom collar
Photo by Gareth Willey from Pexels Locked in love!

In the BDSM/Kink community, collars function as both accessories and statements of intent. If you’ve ever watched any BDSM porn, you’ve likely seen “slaves” in collars. And if you go to any kink events or hang out with kinky people, you will definitely see some people in collars.

But why they are wearing collars depends on the individual people and their relationships.

In kink, a collar functions as a symbol of ownership. Almost always, it is a submissive who wears a collar—not a dominant. (There’s probably an exception there somewhere, but I can’t think of one? If you can, let me know!)

It can function similarly to a ring. Some people even have “collaring ceremonies,” to make their power dynamic and their relationship a committed one.  If someone wears his or her collar every day, the general public might not even notice since there are collars specifically designed to be discreet and not obviously look like something connected to BDSM.

Some people feel they need to be in a relationship with someone for enough time for them to “earn” their collar, so this can be a kind of positive reinforcement for submissives. If you meet someone and they say they are “collared by Mistress X,” you can probably assume they are in a D/s relationship in which Mistress X is in charge. Some people might even use “training collars,” and transition to a different collar as a dynamic progresses.

But lots of people in kink take collars less seriously. You will find people who collar themselves and say that they own themselves, which is an empowering statement!

I’m not sure how much of that is a deeply held belief or someone who just wants to wear a collar.:) Because some people can fetishize a collar itself, even if it doesn’t “belong” to another person. They might just like the way it feels around their neck, or it might put them in the mood to feel submissive, or they might just like the look. There are some very pretty collars!

And then you will usually see most people in kink using collars in that in between space. The submissive doesn’t wear the collar all the time because maybe it’s too obvious or maybe the people in the dynamic don’t have a 24/7 kind of relationship. A lot of couples will save collars for playtime and use them as a form of protocol for getting ready for a scene. It helps get both the dominant and the submissive in the right headspace to play, and they can also just be quite sexy!

All collars are not created equal. There are some that are very functional and can be used for hard play. There are some that lock and only the dominant has the key. Some are meant to be uncomfortable or restrictive. Others are soft and only use buckles, so the submissive can take the collar on or off himself. And some are almost purely decorative, much like a choker.

And, of course, a collar doesn’t have be a collar! And by that I mean that there are other things people can wear on their bodies that denote ownership or physically embody the connection between people. My partner has two bracelets and a locket with our pictures in that he periodically wears, especially at kink events.

I don’t own any collars FOR myself, although I have played in one or two before. I have gifted my submissive several collars. My favorite, and I think his, is soft pink and black leather and matches my cuff set. I also have a soft pink and black leather leash for it.  

Another collar was purely for fun and had my name on it. He wore it to a kink event so everyone knew he was mine. And then I think a third had the word BRAT written on it—because I thought it was funny.

This is actually my favorite place to buy cuffs and collars. I get no money for this endorsement. I just really like this vendor. 🙂

For me, collars are a fun accessory for playtime. I do actually like the idea of what they convey, but I prefer a subtle accessory that can more easily pass for vanilla—especially on a man.

Probably the thing I like most about a collar is that I can attach it to a short leash. 😉

2 thoughts on “Why Do Some Kinky People Wear Collars?

  1. Most people fail to appreciate the power of symbolism. Symbols are used everywhere to send both subtle and not-so-subtle messages, many of them subliminal. They’re used in advertising, the corporate world, education, religion and other aspects of our society.

    I’ve always tried not to offend innocent bystanders with public D/s play or by drawing unnecessary attention to my kinks or my submissive. At the same time, I’ve had “her” wear a collar that send a pretty clear message of her belonging to me.

    Thank you for the link to the Von Bondage site. I often forget that Etsy has such a wide variety of sources for kinky things!

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