Updated: Oct 9, 2019
I have seen many with collars and many without. There are different reasons for collars, each person could have one for a different reason. For many, the collar stands for a commitment between a d-type and an s-type. For this reason, I caution against getting a collar until you know for sure what you are getting into and the person you will be doing it with. I have seen many online jump at the chance to get a collar and a handler/alpha/sir/master, just so they can say they have one. If you are given a collar, make sure to communicate with the other person to make sure you know what it is to stand for. If it works for you, then go with it. Just remember to keep it SSC - Safe, Sane, and Consensual. For many, the collar is just a symbol of the commitment they have with another person. With it being just a symbol, that symbol can be anything from a necklace, bracelet, ring, anklet, etc. As long as all involved agree that is what the item is to stand for.
When looking to pick out a collar, there are some things to take into consideration so that the collar will fit the needs of the d and s-types.
Height - a wide or tall collar may not fit the needs of it restricts movement. A skinny or short collar allows for more movement of the neck.
Bondage points - usually with O or D rings. How many bondage points will you need with the collar?
Different fasteners - buckle, velcro, bows, D rings. Each type may fit your needs differently.
Locking buckles - if a lock is involved, make sure there are extra keys available in case of lost key or emergency.
Neck size - always measure your neck size before ordering a collar to ensure you order the correct size.
Colors - could use the hanky code, which has colors representing different kinks, fetishes you might be into. Can also just go with your favorite color.
Materials - leather, neoprene, faux fur, faux leather, suede, felt. Different materials may be used for different collar purposes or just a choice of favorite material.
Cleaning - know how to clean properly, especially if there will be bodily fluids involved.
Kit - kits will often have some of the common accessories associated with collars such as a leash, bondage restraints, etc.
If you choose to use the hanky code, make sure to research and get knowledge in what the colors stand for. You don't want to go out claiming a kink if it is something you are not into. Using the hanky code is not required as part of picking a collar.
Types of Collars
Collar of consideration - worn during the consideration phase of D/S relationships. Think of this as a promise ring. When in consideration, a D-type and S-type are discussing creating a relationship. This is when they will communicate the hard, soft limits and expectations of the relationship.
Training collar - Similar to having an engagement ring. This is the next step in a D/S relationship. This is when training will commence between the D-type and S-type. What this training will be depends on what is discussed during the consideration phase. This could be obedience type training or kink training. The exact type of training needed will be discussed by the D-type and S-type.
Protection collars - this is worn by an S-type when they are under the protection of a D-type. This is not the same as ownership. While under the protection of a D-type, the S-type will represent the person who gave them the collar. This type of collar will help keep unwanted attention away from an S-type as usually those wearing a collar should not be approached without permission or at least politely asking.
Play collars - worn just for play sessions. These are usually seen as a bondage collar made of leather with O or D rings to attach restraints. They can come in a wide variety of colors, materials, etc. Pick the one that best fits your needs.
Day collars - a collar that can be worn in the “vanilla” world without anybody knowing that it is a collar. This could be a ring, necklace, bracelet, or anything those involved choose it to be. It might look like a regular necklace to the outside world, but a collar to the D-type and S-type involved.
Permanent collars - the final and most permanent collar. This is equal to a wedding ring as the final stage in collars. Will sometimes have a lock, with the D-type having the key. A lock is an important symbol with collars as it symbolizes ownership, something more permanent.
As always, need to express how important safety is. With collars, there are a few things to watch out for where safety is concerned.
Watch breathing, circulation, and swallowing. None of these should be restricted to the point of discomfort. If they are restricted, keep an eye on them and communicate if it is acceptable discomfort.
Watch for allergies. Most people have allergies of some kind. Make sure there are no allergies with the materials of the collar. Allergic reactions could lead to health problems and could put the whole situation off.
Watch for sharp edges on any metal, leather, or material you are using. These could end up scratching or cutting someone. If you find one, either fix it or get a new collar that does not have these imperfections.
Make sure you have extra keys if there is a lock involved. The D-type should have the main key with extra keys in an emergency kit for when a session needs to end before it is finished.
Make sure to set up a safe word, phrase, or action before starting any kind of session. This will allow either party to end a session, make it progress, or have it plateau. I use the stop light system. Green means go more, Yellow means to slow down, and red means to stop. If speaking is restricted for whatever reason, I use a double tap system. If the S-type wants to stop, he taps twice.
If using a leash, make sure to watch how hard or sharp you pull on the leash. Pulling too hard or sharp could cause unintentional injury.