Anything worth having is worth waiting for. More importantly, it’s worth working both toward and to maintain. When something has value beyond simply its appearance, its meaning goes deep and we do those things we need to do to preserve that meaning and, hopefully, keep it true.

When it comes to receiving a collar, I feel this is particularly the case. When a collar is presented to a pup by their Handler or Trainer, Daddy or Sir, even their Alpha, it means and symbolizes something deep and powerful. It’s not just a pretty chain with a lock and tag. It’s a solid representation of commitment and a relationship that all involved value and take seriously.

There is no one absolutely right path in a healthy relationship for two (or more) people that can culminate in a collar being locked around a pup’s neck, although there are paths many consider ill-advised. There are as many right ones as there are people in these kinds of relationships, and it’s best left to those making the decisions to determine what works best for them.

When, recently, my Daddy locked his collar on me, it was after months of discussing and communicating, exploring and learning. Even though we’ve known each other for several years, this was a completely new and different aspect of what was between us. I knew him well as a person and as a friend, knew pretty much what to expect at that level. Taking it into the realm of a D/s relationship, though…well, that was a completely different ballgame, and those nuances and variations aren’t ones to be learned in day or a week or even a month, they took time.

More than time, they also took honest and open communication, both with one another and ourselves. Is this what we really want? What do we expect from one another and from our relationship? What do we bring to it, and what do we hope to gain and learn? What are the rules he might have for me as his pup. What limits go with it?

All this happened before I actually petitioned for Daddy’s collar. All these questions, and more besides, were asked and answered time and time again, not verbatim but with increased awareness and understanding. When I petitioned Daddy, when I told him I would be honored to wear his collar, I was comfortable in my mind and heart that I was ready. Comfortable in my trust that this is a good fit, Daddy to pup and pup to Daddy.

By petitioning, I was indicating to Daddy that I was ready to commit and dedicate myself to being his pup according to the understandings we had already set out. I knew and had learned enough that I was ready to put my trust in him more explicitly. I was telling Daddy that I had thought it through, discussed it with others whom it would directly affect, and that this was fine with all involved.

And by granting that petition, by saying he accepted me as his pup, Daddy was telling me the very same things.

Yet, even then, the questions didn’t end. Even while standing before me as I knelt, Daddy asked me many of those questions. And answered them for me as well. Only then did he place his collar around my neck and lock it.

That was how we did it. Others will do it differently, in ways that work for them. What’s important is that the process of learning and exploring is what determines the readiness. Being a switch myself, I appreciate the value of that period leading up to the petitioning. I appreciate that the act itself is how a pup communicates to me their readiness and willingness – and that my answer communicates the same from my side. Regardless, the moment and the act are a culmination of a growing process that really can’t be rushed.