A lot of the questions I've received since being featured on Recon share a common theme. Judging by the response, it seems there are plenty of newcomers to kink who have heard of pup stuff, but didn't know exactly what was involved. People wanted to know how to get involved in the scene and what gear they'd need.
The pup scene offers a lot to beginners in kink. It can be a mix of different gear fetishes, it can be an experience in light BDSM, and with a handler it can be an early introduction to master/slave dynamics. Almost uniquely however, I feel the scene's biggest strength is the importance it places on accessibility and acceptance.
Since I wrote the PUPFAQ [Editor – see link below] last year some of the messages I've received convey a sense of anxiety about not fitting in with kink communities or better established scenes. If you look at closed interest communities or dress code specific memberships like BLUF, you'll see a strong, social community with regular events and meet-ups. For some it may seem hard to get into because of the cost of gear or difficulties fitting in. None of this is meant to say that one is inherently better than the other, but I feel that the community's relaxed and welcoming approach to newcomers is a big part of what makes the pup scene special.
Keeping an open and friendly attitude is important, as the light hearted way our community treats kink allows people to explore more than they might otherwise. Handlers play a large role when it comes to chatting with new pups on the side-lines and showing them the ropes, but the pups are equally as friendly, inquisitive, and playful. The option to take off your mask in the rest periods allows some of the anonymity to drop, meaning new folks can open up a bit more.
There are no hard and fast rules for how the scene operates. By and large we aren't a closed society with memberships or secret handshakes. You don't need any gear to get into the swing of it, just an attitude to give things a try. Just remember to keep it fun and keep it friendly!
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