ToyTorture.com has always been sort of a reflection of my own play style and my own desires manifested in toys. As authentic and honest reviews at that approach might create the flaw of it is that I am missing out on entire categories of toys. Sometimes I get asked about these categories over and over. Chastity is one of them, collars is another. Since a collar is the strongest bondage device out there yet I am not really into them I decided at the end of the Heavy Bondage Special to give a short overview of the collars out there. Especially in the paragraph about the symbolism of collars I am making a lot of generalizations. Please do not feel offended if your individual perception is different but celebrate it as the diversity that is the heart of our community. After that I briefly talk about the different materials collars can be made out of. The last and main part of this article are showing different kinds of collars. I sorted the collars into two categories: The first are decorative collars which primarily serve a symbolic purpose and through their designed are not primarily designed to be integrated into play. The latter category are functional collars which are made to be played with.
The Symbolism of Collars
Collars have a strong symbolic meaning in the BDSM community. They are a sign that a person belongs to someone. It is common for top who wants to establish a deeper and long-term orientated relationship with a bottom to put a collar around his neck to show him and the world that the sub belongs to him and is no longer free. This act is called “collaring”. Being collard usually implies a interdependent relationship: The top promises to give the sub something usually guidance, protection and play in exchange for the subs devotion, obedience, trust and loyalty. Due to the powerful contract which a collar symbolizes it is a very special piece of gear which is treated unlike any other. Usually only the top is allowed to put it on and take it off, most of the time also only the top may touch it. Touching the collar of a sub without asking the top for permission is considered highly offensive and even hostile by some people. In some high protocol situations it is even forbidden to talk to a collard sub because you are violating the property of another top. Also in a high protocol environment it is not uncommon for subs to walk around with a collar around his neck but with an open lock. This is a signal that he is open for a top to collar him. Closing the lock just for fun or laughs again is offensive because the sub probably hopes to get at least some of the affection listed above from the persons who closed the lock.
Collars can be made of nearly every fetish material out there. Most common are leather collars. Because the material is skin friendly and to a certain degree can absorb sweat it is best for long term wear. Rubber and neoprene lack this quality so wearing it for extended periods of time can lead to skin irritation, especially when wearing a collar out of stiff industrial rubber without deburred edges on bare skin. The last common material to mention here is metal. I have seen collars being made out of all different kinds of metal. However I would recommend only ones being made out of stainless steel or aluminum because even when exposed to sweat they do not rust. Other metals like cooper or steel oxidizes. Because a collar through constant movement experiences some physical stress corrosion prevention applied to steel like chrome or zinc wears off and the collar can rust again. Of cause noble metals like gold or platinum do not rust but you have to be quite the posh kinkster to afford such a collar. Metal collars come in form of chain, chainmail, rings or steel cable. When it comes to chain you can choose between welded and forged chain. Welded chain industrial made and thus cheaper and has a deburred weldseam. Depending on the quality the deburration is not as good as it should be so there is a potential for scratches when wearing a collar. So before wearing it check the seams of there are not rough edges.
More uncommon materials I have seen collars made out of are braided rope, jeans cloth, bike chain and tires.
Probably the most common form of the collars and thus comes in various styles (p.e. from Mr S or Regulation). All have in common that they are closed by a pad lock which is mostly worn up front. The most common pattern is the anchor chain which is made out of round links which either come in long or short versions and in various thicknesses. Even when using a small pad lock the link size is usually so large that this kind of collar can’t be worn discreetly under a shirt. Depending on the personal style the chain can be worn longer or tight around the neck. The advantage of this chain is that you can easily attach things to the collar using pad locks or carabiners. Depending on the pad lock quality you can grab and pull the sub on this collar.
Chainmail is a material where small metal rings are linked together to form a mesh-like surfaces. Collars out of this material are lighter and smaller and thus more discreet than chains. Of cause they are also more fragile and should not be pulled on. A nifty feature of the Mr S Aluminum ones is that they come in different colors so you can use them a bit as a hanky. If you can a bit more weighted feeling try out the stainless steel one.
Stylewise somewhere between a chain pattern and chainmail this collar was originally designed to restrain dogs. So this collar is popular by dog players especially of wild ones. When pulling onto this collar please be careful because serious injuries can be the result.
Another discreet option is the cable lock collar from Recon. The collar itself is made out of coated steel but since there are no moving links the coating will probably will not rub off keeping the cable from rusting. The two endings are made out of stainless steel with colored rubber accents so again you can show your favorite kink. Unlike the chainmail collar this one is also closed with a lock which has a great psychologically effect. The lock and the collar are small and discreet enough to be worn under a dress shirt during work yet to frail to be pulled on.
If a closed look is too much of a statement or you don’t like the idea of metal around your neck (after all a collar is all about the headspace), Mr S came up with a rope collar. It is made out of black braided rope and closed with a leather strap and a non-locking roller buckle. If you ask the guys at Mr S nicely the can probably make you this collar also in other colors
This is basically an ergonomically shaped ring of steel around the sub’s neck. It is nearly seamless and rather sleek so it can be worn under a business shirt without showing off or attracting attention. Since it is made out of stainless steel it will not rust.
I am not sure if to put jougs into this category or the play category because wearing them for an extended period of time is definitely a punishment! Jougs or iron collars are made out of piece of steel, sometimes lined with leather for additional comfort. They are closed by padlocks, integrated locks or screws. Sometimes they come with d-rings welded onto them for added play possibilities. Sometimes following antic models they already have cuffs for the hands attached or even also feet welded with chains onto them. Another version are double rigid irons for the neck and the wrists for real stress bondage.
The most sever iron collars I know off are made by Parus in Munich. I already wrote a Christmas gift tip about them last year. They are really well made, almost seamless with the integrated lock and so heavy that with some models I would like to recommend consulting your doctor about disc problems before putting them on!
Regardless of what kind of iron collar you are getting when shopping for a joug please watch for deburred edges otherwise severe abrasions can happen!
Another quite common type of collars (p.e. from Mr S or Regulation). They basically are like a cuff style restraint just larger to fit around the neck. So very often you can get matching collars to your existing restraint set. Being made for play they come with d-rings to attach the sub to thing or restraint to the neck. Depending on the individual style some are locking which adds a sense of bondage. A pro tip: If you want to fetter a large boot, p.e. an MX boot, and your restraint set’s ankle cuffs are too small try out a collar. Most of the time they are large enough and will serve you well as a boot restraint.
A posture collar (look at Mr S or Regulation) is a more intense form of the bondage collar. It is quite wide and usually padded, sometimes it also has an anatomically formed chin rest. The effect of this design is that tilting of the head and nodding is getting extremely difficult locking the head in one place. Usually such a collar will also have d-rings and there are locking versions out there.
More a breathplay toy than just a simple collar please use this one with caution! This collar is basically a latigo leather belt that is closed by a rolling buckle tightly around the neck. On the other side of the belt is a small metal loop with a roller feature through which the belt exits. In that end a d-ring is added onto which a leash can be attached. If you pull on the leash the collar will tighten and chock the person wearing it.
Shock collars were originally designed to train dogs. Onto a nylon collar a remote controllable box with two electrode pins is attached. Usually this kind of collars come with different intensity settings. I implore you to take advantage of these different settings and don’t start out too high! The shock boxes are designed to train even dogs which have thick fur and skin. On human skin they can leave burn marks or even damage the nerve system! There are fetish versions out there which are not so powerful but being a power bottom and pain pig myself I can see the temptations of “the real deal” especially when it comes to dog play. Yet still please be careful. Not sexual kink is worth losing your health permanently.
Wrist to neck Restraint
Not really just a collar but the leather version of an iron collar with attached restraints. It is a leather lined locking collar onto which two locking wrist restraints are riveted. These rivets allow for some movement around its axis but otherwise the head has to go where the hand wants to be. Especially with added bondage mitts this will leave the sub quite helpless.
Especially with the raise of pup and dog play in the last couple of years collar accessories have gained popularity. Most commonly dog tags are used either in their original purpose to mark the dog and write his name on it. But I have also seen a bouquet of different colored tags as hankies. Of cause a dog needs guidance and sometimes restraining so leather leashes become quite popular.