There are many different ways to think about collaring, the meaning varying depending on the time involved.
Long-term collaring is a form of consensual ownership, signifying the depth and durability of a kinky relationship. Since a sub only has one neck, this tends to imply a degree of exclusivity.
The collar can also offer a sense of reassurance, something to physically touch to allay anxiety when a couple are apart. Or a reminder to behave as its tightness presses against the throat. Or like Tolkien’s ring, it might embolden its bearer, granting super-powers of self-esteem and confidence.
Short-term collaring has a different meaning. Here the collar is worn as an aide, to help its wearer adopt a different persona. They might be a authoritative, no-nonsense professional during the working week, but want to spend the weekend as a sex slave. Here the collar signifies that whilst it being worn, the wearer intends to submit entirely to their partner’s whims.
It doesn’t even need to be a collar. It could be a gag or bridle, like the slaves in The Girl in the Mirror. Dressing up can also achieve the same purpose, which is why many adults like dressing up in school uniforms. They are effectively saying: for as long as I wear this, treat me accordingly.
And there is session collaring, where the collar is used as a prop during play. For instance, it might be worn secretly beneath clothing as a couple goes out for dinner. Or displayed in plain sight brazenly.
Perhaps with a cord tied to the front, dangling down between her breasts, right down between her lips, then up between her bottom cheeks, and up her back to be tied to the rear of her collar. Throughout the evening her partner might reach forward to stroke her neck discreetly, and tug the cord whenever her attention seems to wander.
There are many ways to play with collaring, because collars can be as unique as the one that wears it.