The following is a Facebook post i read yesterday on the group BDSM info written by Bear Dallas. It is copied here with permission of the writer. It was minimally edited.
Something I posted on another BDSM site that others in the group might find helpful……I offer to you this piece of trivia to remind those of us that tend to have forgotten what the collars encompass and to educate those that feel they know what it means to collar a submissive. A collar not only joins the submissive to the Dominant but, also the Dominant to the submissive. These are the ways that the various collars were menat to be used. Unfortunatley, as it has been brought up several times, the dawn of the internet has brought on what I call “cyber-collars”. It is my opinion that cyber collars are made of pixel dust, of fantasy and illusion. Those using and exchanging these imaginary collars seem to appear and disappear like shadows in the mist lacking the substance and reality of the true meanings of these collars within the Lifestyle. If you are a new Dominant or submissive, please remember that the internet is a tool that augments and gives you access to the real world. If you wish to remain in cyberland, that is clearly your choice but please do so with respect to the real world you try to mimic.
COLLAR OF PROTECTION: This collar is used to give a submissive PROTECTION from any threat be it online or off. The Dom who gives this collar is NOT in control of this submissive. The submissive does NOT belong to the Dom. The Dom is there only to protect and help the submissive get thru a “hard time”, thru instruction, listening, etc, allowing the submissive the time to find where they want to go next, to heal from wounds they may have, and feel safe and comfortable doing it. This collar is NOT permanent, usually worn till the submissive feels comfortable out on their own.
TRAINING COLLAR: This collar is worn during the training period. It can be given by a potential permanent Dom or by a Dom for training purposes only. This collar usually is set in a time limit during negotations. Many believe that emotions should not enter when a training collar is worn. That it interupts the training process, but realistically how can they not enter in some way.
COLLAR OF CONSIDERATION: This collar is worn when a Dom and sub are seriously talking and involved. It shows others that they are serious. It also gives the two involved less interuptions from others so they can get to know one another. It can be set on a time period so that if it isn’t working out one or the other may leave the relationship without bad feelings and feel comfortable doing so, or it may lead to a more formal collar.
FORMAL COLLAR: This collar is worn to show that a submissive has totally given himself to a Dom. The sub is His and not to touched. This collar is meant to be worn forever – very much as binding as a wedding ring and it is only to be taken off by the Dom.
A collar symbolizes the bond between a Dominant and a submissive. It’s a way of showing devotion to your partner and a level of commitment. It’s a symbol of honor, respect, and trust.
To the submissive, a collar means that the Dom has become the center of their world, the very air they breathe. They find protection, comfort, love, and guidance from their Dom and in return they surrender all and strive to please their Dom. THIS SHOULD NOT BE SOMETHING THAT IS TAKEN LIGHTLY!!
A collar should not be rushed into or forced upon someone. It should be something that both individuals desire and agree upon. Before collaring takes place, the individuals should have an extremely strong bond with each other. This can occur only after alot of time is spent with one another talking, learning, sharing, and growing….together!
No matter what collar a submissive may wear it should be respected at all times.
Collars should not be removed by a submissive, one should ask to be released if needed. Do not enter into removal of a collar lightly. Give it time. Use every way possible to re-connect with the Dom. Remember you took the time to get to know this Dom and gave yourself to him, be patient because sometimes life gets in the way of life.
“Velcro collar” is an increasingly common term used derisively. The old guard is very protocol oriented and stressed serious lifestyle involvement because of safety issues. More recently, however, email, Internet chat rooms and instant messaging services have allowed the curious to participate in casual (and often anonymous) D/s relationships online. The “velcro” reference indicates the tendency for online Dominants and submissives to have new online collaring ceremonies frequently and without regard for existing relationships which end as easily as logging off.