This article is part of the O&P Wiki.
The traditional collar is a neck band, normally in leather, metal
or rubber. Collars can vary widely - from the decorative to the purely
function and although often removable, some are a permanent fixture.
The wearing of a collar generally indicates that the wearer is a
submissive, and in O&P, that both the collar and
wearer are owned.
Collars were used as part of metal restraints in ancient times. (For example, the well-preserved iron coffle or "chain for six slaves" on display in the Manchester Museum from the 1st century BC.) However, iron collars were also used by the Romans to identify slaves and even give instructions for their return:
|I am Asellus, a slave of Praeiectus an official of the prefect of the grain harvest. I have gone outdoors, beyond the walls. Hold me fast, because I have run away. Return me to the barber's shop near the temple of Flora. (CIL 15.7172)|
Collars were also used in the 18th century to identify slaves in Britain (even though the legality of slavery on English soil, at least, was hotly disputed during this period), and to some extent in American plantation slavery.
It is likely that these historical precedents led to the association of slavery with collars in subcultures like Old Guard leather and in BDSM fiction, such as the Story of O and the Gor series.
Gay leathermen traditionally used a padlocked chain to collar their
slaves. A tradition
developed in some leather bars in the 1980s of wearing a collar with an
open padlock to
indicate that one was seeking a partner, and a closed padlock to
one was in a relationship. This symbolism became less common in the
1990s as even in gay
leather bars, many men began wearing collars for reasons of fashion
rather than to indicate a
relationship (or desire for a relationship). Also, many older leathermen
were quite offended
when younger men began flagging with unlocked collars. Traditionally,
the top owned the
collar and locked it on his slave. Slaves or potential slaves did not
A padlocked chain is the simplest type of collar. Collars made of solid metal can largely be divided into flat (a thick metal band) and Turian (circular in cross-section) styles. A wide variety of leather collars are available from BDSM retailers, including special purpose designs such as posture collars.
Many collars have
D-ring attachments so the neck can be either bound to another part of
the body, to a fixed object, or so the submissive can be led on a leash.
Slave and ownership collars
In O&P the wearing of a collar signifies that the wearer is a submissive, and almost always that they are in a relationship with a dominant: it can be used to represent the relationship in much the same way a wedding band does.
Some submissives wear a "symbolic collar", often a bracelet or ankle chain, which is more subdued than the traditional collar and can pass in vanilla situations. It is not uncommon for a submissive to have several collars for special occasions.
It is widely agreed that collars continue to be owned
by the dominant for the duration of the relationship, and should be
returned to them if it ends.
Other use of collars
Collars are also used in bondage and the effectiveness of using such an intimate restraint in a bondage scene should not be underestimated, as restraining the neck restrains the head, and the apparent seat of consciousness behind the eyes. As well as being very effective in holding the submissive immobile it also reinforces the subject's sense of helplessness and loss of control.
Collars are often used in role-playing games involving humiliation because they have connotations of control and pet-like or animalistic status, especially when worn with a leash. They may also be useful during play as a physical tethering restraint.
It is important to remember that the punk rock and goth scenes have also
adopted collars as a purely fashion item, so one cannot assume that all
people wearing collars are into D/s or BDSM.
This article is published under the terms of the GFDL. The contributors to this article were: Admin, Steve_Vakesh, Tanos, Yarakot
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