MEMBER OPINION: PupBentley Responds to Pup Article
07 November 2017
Recon member PupBentley shares his thoughts on the recent article: 'What Pup Play is Truly About' (Changed to 'What Pup Play Means to Me')
I got around to reading the opinion piece about puppy play by another Recon member. Being excited as a pup, I started reading it and it wasn't long before this excitement went away... While I share some of the views expressed, I wanted to share my own view.
Let's talk about the history of pup-play. We find our roots in dog-play. An old form of pet-play and often used as punishment back in the day. However, this also had some eager players, which are still around. From here pup-play has evolved into a lighter version of this. More playful, easier to get into and much more loving. This doesn't mean the 'old' community wasn't loving. I know and really like some old dogs!
The previous article highlighted the social part of our community. But: yes, there is a sexual part of our community and no you shouldn't forget these guys. They make up a big part of our community. I know the UK community has had a lot of trouble with this discussion, whether you are sexual or social. And guess what? It doesn't matter. You are all part of the community.
The past year, I've been allowed to carry the title of Mr Puppy Netherlands. I've been to a lot of pup meets in this year, both sexual and social. I see no difference in pups, they all enjoy what they do, they have fun, and yes, some have sex. We are men in the prime of our lives, after all.
Our community is young, it has a low threshold. Gear isn't important, I think we can all agree on that. However, to most pups their collars are there most important piece of gear.
Regarding roles in our community, as far as pup-roles go, I mainly see the following four: Alpha is the dominant pup of a pack. He takes precedence and trains pups by instruction of the human. Also, responsible for pack wellbeing. Beta can take on many forms, from submissive to a more dominant pup. First in command in the pack after the Alpha. Gamma is usually the more submissive pup but isn't submissive enough to be an omega. Omega is at the bottom of the pack and usually the most submissive one in the pack.
A human thrown into the mix will always end up as the dominant. Human roles can be divided into four main groups. The Owner, Handler, Trainer and Sitter. The Owner has ownership of the pup and is usually the partner of the pup. The Handler handles the pup and quite often mixes this with the Trainer. The Trainer is the one doing the actual training in commands. The Sitter is someone you let take the pup to events or outings who just watches the pup for you and corrects when necessary.
Regarding mental health issues in the community, as everywhere in life, some pups do have a mental health problem. And yes, some take this with them into their pup space, but this shouldn't be an issue. The safe space the community offers is for some the only place they can talk about this. Mental health has a bigger stigma then HIV. I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) myself and in being able to share this in the community, I managed to make massive strides in my recovery. Pup-play saved my life because I could share it in the community.
Pups with mental health issues are at a higher risk to predators, but we know they are there, usually even who they are. Maybe we should work on getting them out of the community.
Over my year I have seen many European communities, separate and as a whole on major events. but sadly, I have never seen one as divided as the UK community, where some feel they must chose a side. Sexual or social. This really saddens me, every other community in Europe accepts pups for who they are. I am both, sexual and social. As are many pups I know. All should be accepted. We are one community, not two.
Bentley, Mister Puppy Netherlands 2017
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