By Recon member Pupperoo in response to the article 'Is Puppy Play for Me?'
I am a very open-minded person and have tried various fetishes, so it was to no surprise that pup play got my attention. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions floating around about what pup play is. I will try and correct them to give you a better understanding of what it's about. Firstly, I will get into the fun, positive part of it and then into the darker, more negative side.
Pup play is about escaping real life. Like how some people do meditation, yoga, sports or other things to distract themselves from the normal daily stresses. You don't need to be a specific type, build or age to enjoy it, nor do you need any specific gear. It is a mindset - called pup space - that you get into; having gear simply helps you to get into the mindset more easily. Most importantly, it is about acceptance and not being judgemental of others. It has nothing to do with acting like bios – the name for real dogs in real life - or being treated like one (in S&M).
Pup play is very flexible due to the most important part of it - there are no rules! It is a completely separate fetish to Master & slave, Dom & sub, BDSM and all the other fetishes that exist. You don't need to be into any other fetish or mix it with another fetish to be into it, and therefore you don't need any specific gear. You can do it in t-shirt and shorts if you want to. In the summer, I personally prefer camo. Sometimes a collar and/or leash can be worn too, to add to the experience and help you acquire the head space.
Pup play as standard does not involve sex or anything sexually related. You do not have to have sex in this fetish, nor do the constraints or rules that apply to other fetishes apply to pup play. Because of this it is cross sexuality, meaning that anyone from any sexuality can partake in it and play together. There are mixed events and events that cater for specific sexualities. It therefore caters to the wide variety of sexualities, like pan-sexual and demi-sexual - which is part of the asexual spectrum. These sexualities are not driven by visual attraction or the idea of having sex.
Now because most people already have a fetish when they go into pup play, they might decide to mix them. Hence why you see so many pups in rubber, leather or neoprene. They can also mix it with BDSM, but under no circumstances is this a requirement. When mixed with BDSM, there might also be sex involved, but again this is down to the pup and the dynamics of the situation.
Now to general behaviour. Pups are fun, playful and attention seeking, they love cuddles and fuss when they are in the pup space and just want to be treated kindly and with love. Outside of pup space, when with other pups, they mix their language with woofs and arooo's but still act like normal people. Sometimes in pup friendly places in public they might even wear their hoods (puppy masks). Otherwise, most pups I know are professional and intelligent people who have deep and intellectual conversations.
In pup space, there is no verbal communication and therefore both the pup and handler or owner need to know what to look out for to know what the pup wants or needs. This is done by gestures and sounds, and this is where pup training comes in. New, stray pups can learn from other pups or they can be trained by a handler or owner, who in turn will have been taught by those more experienced.
Roles in pup play can be compared to roles in normal sex life: Alpha = active (dominant), Beta = versatile (switch) and Omega = passive (submissive). An owner can be a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner – someone in a relationship or marriage with the pup - while a handler is a temporary owner, usually someone outside of such relationships. The only rule that exists for handlers is that they must obey the rules that the owner sets. For example, no sex is involved if the couple (owner and pup), are monogamous in their human life.
Generally, sex is not included as standard in pup play because serious puppers find it to be a distraction that causes them to come out of pup space. This also allows for pup play with other pups without the need to be physically attracted to them, like in normal life. You don't need to have a type, unless you intend to meet (as pup) an owner or handler with the intention of starting a relationship with them, that might include sex.
When pups play in groups, they tend to chase after bottles, tennis balls or anything that they can find to amuse themselves. Generally, they are very energetic and just the sight of their play makes you want to join in - who doesn't like to play with puppies, after all? This is usually where owners and handlers come from; they don't associate with the pup side as such, but rather keep their own individuality in their own fetish, then mix that into playing with pups.
Now the dark side of pup play. Because there is no judgment, only acceptance, some individuals who get into pup play, like in any walk of life, may have some mental health issues. Whether they suffer from depression or anxiety, it doesn't matter in pup play, as you're not seen as a human, so your human problems do not become part of your pup personality. Sadly, though, some pups can't completely let go of their human behaviour and can make their problems other pups or people's problems too. Unfortunately, this also makes some pups easy targets for others who go out of their way to cause stress to them or be nasty. Up to the point where those pups or people might consider things such as harming themselves. This is in no way directly related to pup play, though, as you find vindictive hellhounds, who prey on the vulnerable, in all walks of life. I'm sure we all can relate to this in some form or another.
I hope you enjoyed and have a better understanding of pup play now, mostly it's an innocent, wonderful, fun experience that everyone enjoys. Puppies just want to be loved, get lots of attention and be playful. To be unconditionally accepted by everyone. There is no right or wrong way, pup play is different for each person, it all comes down to the dynamics and what you want to get out of the experience.
Written by a pup Happy barks everyone !!!
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