Handler David |||

The Three-Collar System is an approach to collaring that I’ve come to prefer as I’ve explored the concept of collaring and how I like to view and think about the D/s dynamics in my life. While relatively simple, I appreciate that The Three-Collar System has a lightweight (yet helpful) structure and includes visual representations of the progression of a dynamic. In this post, I’ll explain The Three Collar System and explore my thoughts on the system as I’ve applied it.

What Is Collaring?

Collaring as it relates to the worlds of kink and BDSM is an act in which a Dominant and a submissive formalize their dynamic (typically using an artifact like a collar as the symbol of this formalized dynamic). While collaring isn’t specific to pet play, collaring has been present in the context of BDSM since at least the 1950s (if not longer; the history is fuzzy in this regard) in dynamics such as Master-slave.

Why Is Collaring Important?

While the specific significance of collaring varies between different people and dynamics, the symbolism of the collar tends to be a common theme that makes collaring important. Specifically, the collar represents the dynamic between Dominant and submissive and the commitment associated with that dynamic. Secondarily, for those outside the dynamic, the collar symbolizes a sense of ownership, which is important in particular in social or dungeon-like settings.

The Three-Collar System Explained

In The Three-Collar System, three distinct collars are used to signify the different stages of a dynamic between a Dominant and a submissive and the progression therein. With this system, the Dominant provides and owns each collar (rather than the submissive owning the collar) and the submissive is expected to wear the collar matching the stage corresponding with the current state of dynamic. Provided this, the following sub-sections are structured in the context of the collar associated with each stage.

The Collar of Consideration

The Collar of Consideration, typically blue leather in appearance, symbolizes the beginning of a D/s dynamic and a mutual interest in the pursuit of the relationship. While a submissive wears the Collar of Consideration, either party may terminate the dynamic at any time with minimal impact should they determine that the dynamic does not function as intended or satisfy the needs of the Dominant and/or the submissive. This stage can alternatively be described as a trial period” for the dynamic. During this period, it is expected that the Dominant and the submissive will discuss the dynamic on a deeper level, identify the intended length of the trial period,” and, upon the end of the period, determine whether to proceed to the next stage of the dynamic.

The Training Collar

Should the Dominant and the submissive wish to proceed beyond the Collar of Consideration and continue the progression of the dynamic, the Dominant will provide the submissive a Training Collar. This collar, traditionally red or black leather in appearance, signifies the continued formalization of the dynamic and the Dominant will begin incorporating more strict training and discipline into the dynamic.

The Formal Collar

Finally, should the submissive receive both a Collar of Consideration and a Training Collar and the Dominant and the submissive wish to continue to deepen the dynamic, the Dominant will provide the submissive a Formal Collar. This collar signifies a sense of deep devotion, respect, and consideration between the Dominant and the submissive and is typically a black leather adorned with brass or silver embellishments, custom designed and made for or by the Dominant.

Why Use This System?

While there are plenty of other collaring systems, I personally like The Three-Collar System for its simplicity and the symbolism of the different collars. I think it’s a great system for those newer to kink as well as seasoned kinksters with plenty of flexibility to tweak and adjust if desired.

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