Thank you so much for joining me, Keith W. We know each from various places: PFLAG, Pride, Pokemon Go… and now I’m going to ask you about Puppy Play.
Z: Why do you like puppy play?
I like pup play because…well…for the same reason anyone has a fetish: it gratifies them in some form or another. In my case, this fetish is not a sexual one, though for many pups it can be. For me, it provides me a mental release, helping me escape the worries of my human life. It’s also a very unique way to convey affection. Dogs in general are playful creatures known for loyalty, affection, and unconditional love. The same is said for those that engage in pup play. It allows a person to show and receive affection in a highly tactile manner, which in my case involves lots of cuddles, belly rubs, and treats! Plus pup play helps me burn off a lot of my hyperactive energy, leaving me focused, relaxed, and ready to take on my day to day life.
I also love the social aspect. It’s so fun to meet new pups and mosh (play with them), from batting around balls and messing with squeaky toys to play fighting and cuddling.
Z: What do you do at Puppy play parties (Puppy Parties? Not sure the name used)?
Pup events, often called moshes, tend to offer many different ways for pups to enjoy themselves. They allow pups and handlers to meet, socialize, network, play, and even explore their other kinks! The main feature of moshes is obviously moshing. There will be one or more designated areas where pups can get into headspace and play. This usually involves lots of squeakies and other dog toys to enjoy, and even pass around or fetch with fellow pups and handlers. If you get tired or group play isn’t your cup of tea, you can always sit back and observe, or converse with others at the event. Based on the nature of the venue the event is held at, it is possible to have lots of other activities available, too! I’ve been to pup events where I’ve enjoyed such activities as drinking with friends, drag shows, rope bondage, whipping and flogging, candle wax play, knife play, electro play, and dancing, just to name a few!
Z: And what does a handler do for you?
As with many aspects of the kink, a handler’s role can vary from pup to pup. For me, the handler is a source of guidance, satisfaction, and affection. I enjoy following a handler or Sir’s orders and being rewarded with verbal praise, physical touch, treats, or any combination. To me, a good handler can recognize the goal I want to accomplish, in this case being a cute ball of energy and love, and use his authority to guide me to that goal in a way that satisfies us both, generally by giving orders for me to fulfill like doing tricks or simple actions, and rewarding me when I complete them. On a much broader focus, it is a Sir’s/Handler’s job to help a pup or sub grow in their kink experience and their overall character as a human being to make the sub/pup a better version of themselves. This idea is the foundation that the BDSM community was founded on in America’s post war era, when soldiers returning from overseas missed the chain of command that they had in the military and sought a way to fill that desire, and it still applies today.
Z: Any advice you’d give someone who is interested in puppy play?
As with any kink, my top two suggestions for anyone interested in pup play, be it as a pup, a handler, or any other aspect, are research and networking. As far as research, there are many online sources designed to educate on all things pup play from history to common practices. When someone asks me for a starting point, I will usually suggest a YouTube channel called Watts the Safeword, which has videos dedicated to pup play intro, standard practices, and Q&A as well as information on lots of other kinks! If you’re still wanting to learn more, the best thing to do is find a pup to talk to! Now remember, consent is key. Every pup has different levels of comfort zones. Some like me are an open book while others prefer to keep certain parts or even everything private and personal. Now if you’re like me and live in a rural or small town area, it can be tough to find pups to network with as the kink community as a whole is spread out, making it seem like finding a needle in a haystack. But again there are many online resources! For gay men, there is an app called Recon that functions similar to Grindr and caters to those that are interested in kink. There’s also Fetlife, which is open to everyone of all genders and orientations. And one of my favorite tools to keep in touch with pups is a messenger app called Telegram, which hosts all kinds of chat rooms for pups in many regions across the country. There are even websites that catalogue all the different groups to help you find one that’s local! And of course one of the best ways to meet pups is to go where they go: bars and events! Most leather and kink bars are very pup friendly, providing a safe place for pups to meet, play, and network. My first exposure to pup play was actually a random visit to The Woodshed/Shed Leather in Charlotte, where I met a pup named Loki and had a chance to ask questions. And it’s also very good to look around on social media for pup and kink events happening near you! You may be surprised at what you could find happening in your own town!
Z.: Anything you wish you knew before you started.
There are three things I wish I had known when I first started. The first is that there is no one correct way to do it. When you think of it, dogs (or as we call them bio pups) come in all shapes, sizes, and demeanors. So do humans. Therefore, why wouldn’t we expect the same from a pup? Some love playing in big groups of other pups, while others may prefer one on one time with a handler. Some are very vocal with barking, howling, and so on while others are more in tune with body language. Some enjoy following commands and being praised while others like be disobedient and feral, often because they prefer to not having to answer to someone unless want to or because they enjoy being punished or forced to submit by force, or any number of motives. The only real way to do pup play wrong is if you don’t follow the BDSM mindset of “safe, sane, and consensual”. In other words, regardless if you’re a pup or a handler, don’t be a jerk. The other thing I wish I had internalized initially is that you don’t need to have pup gear to be a pup. While they can certainly help you get in pup headspace, as they do for me, they are not required to do so. Not everyone can afford a hoods, tails, collars, and toys. Others can’t keep them around due to living situations. You can strip away all the gear but at the very core, a pup is still a pup at heart. That being said, if you are going to be engaging in pup play, I highly recommend investing in a simple set of soft knee pads and some padded exercise gloves. You don’t need anything fancy but they’ll really save you from your knees and knuckles killing you after a long session being on your hands and knees.
Z.: Anything else you want readers to understand about puppy play?
If there’s one thing I want others to know about pups, it’s this: DRESSING UP AND MOSHING DO NOT EQUATE TO CONSENT!!! Do NOT grab a pup by any part of their body or gear unless you were given consent. Do NOT pull on their tail. Do NOT think you can give them orders or even pet/touch them without consent. Pup play isn’t exclusive to those who identify as sub, as there are many dom pups and I myself identify as a switch. But even beyond the bdsm aspect, it’s a matter of common decency. Would you want some random stranger to tug your hair, pull you around by your clothes, or tell you to do what they say with no context? Well there’s no shame if that’s your kink, but for many people the answer would be no. So treat pups the way you’d want to be treated. Also, I don’t care if it’s a public space or not, but ask permission before taking pics of a pup. Screw public domain. Some pups have to work up a lot of courage to go out and be social. They may not want people outside of club walls or event boundaries to know what they do. So respect their privacy. Also on a lighter note, if you are engaging in pup play (known by some as pupping out), stay hydrated. You are moving your body in ways most human bodies don’t normally do, and you do it quite a bit even in short sessions. It’s very easy to overheat, especially if you are wearing a lot of gear. So make sure you pace yourself and drink water before you get sick! Trust me, it’s not fun.
Z: Thank you so much! Is there anything you’d like to add Keith W.?
Oh and one last thing! If you like the idea of pup play but you aren’t sure pups are your thing, don’t worry! Pup play is a segment of a broader fetish called pet play! There’s kitty play, pony play, wolf play, and much more! If you can dream it, you can be it!
Hugs and snugs Pup Munchy
Always seek your own truth.
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