PUPPY PLAY 101
An in-depth beginners guide
“Who’s a good boy?”
Yes, you’ve guessed it. We’re gonna be talking about the fetish that is on everyone’s furry lips: Puppy Play. Puppy Play was most likely my gateway fetish. It opened my eyes to all kinds of play and has conditioned me to get pretty much turned on by two simple words: “Here, boy”.
In lack of a better term, Puppy Play is a sort of role-play in the area of BDSM (Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), and Sadism and Masochism (SM)) – although it doesn’t necessarily have to include these elements.
This is also where the term ‘role-play’ falls through. The connotation implies that one is ‘pretending’ to be something, where in reality it’s a very strong urge and inclination to a behavior, an attitude and actual being. You are not ‘playing’ submissive or dominant. You are those things. When people indeed are playing/pretending to be it, it can be a very cringeworthy experience.
The same thing accounts for pups in Puppy Play. The adopted behavior from our canine counterparts gives us a range of qualities that can be embedded in the play.
So what are those qualities exactly? Depending on what specific dog you have in mind, there most likely will be a whole list of qualities ranging from ‘playful’ to ‘brutal’ or ‘cuddly’ to ‘aggressive’ – and all of them, not very surprisingly, have their place in fetish play.
GEAR, TOYS, HOODS & HEADSPACE
The clear giveaway that someone is a puppy is obviously the hood. It’s a familiar story that I seem to have heard from many novice kinksters: that it is through the hood that most guys get into the so-called puppy headspace. This is often described as the hood serving to invoke the feeling of freedom to let go of your inhibitions and just enjoy yourself. There are many different types of hoods made of various materials and with different looks, and it’s a very personal and very precious item to any puppy. The most popular types of materials and styles are rubber, neoprene and sportswear due to their flexibility, as running around on all fours demands some agility. Then, of course, there’s the tail, which practically is a butt plug with a tail extension that gives you the ability to wag (a whole new set of sensation in- and around your ass). Together with the hood, the optical transformation is complete!
Another very significant item is the collar. The variety of which and their potential importance in terms of symbolism of ownership could make grounds for a whole article in itself. But as an introduction it’s just an amazing way to learn how to let go of your self-control, and lay it in the hands (and leash) of someone else. It also allows the puppy to be pulled and held close. I personally find it superhot to be tugged down to suck dick and not be able to move my head away before I’m allowed to…
So how do you know what gear (or toy) is right for you, then? It’s pretty simple: anything that gets you in puppy headspace. You can do chew toys, play fetch, drink out of a bowl, play in ball pits and with other pups – or you can be completely naked without a hood at home and still be in puppy headspace. At the end of the day, the kick is all in our heads, not hoods.
PACK MENTALITY: ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA, OMEGA
One of the very unique aspects about Puppy Play is the occurence of pack mentality; a sort of loyal bond across a number of pups and/or their owners (see below). As in any other pack of animals, there is a hierachy where physical or behavioural dominance is applied. It goes Alpha ⇒ Beta ⇒ Gamma ⇒ Omega.
Basically going from ’predominantly top’ to ’predominantly bottom’, which is most likely a coarse simplification. These are very technical terms for a behaviour that you adapt to instinctively, maybe even without being aware of it.
OWNER, TRAINER OR HANDLER?
Admittedly, there’s an underrepresentation of information regarding the counter-part to a pup, which is a shame, because they contribute with a very vital aspect of the Puppy Play; the caretaking (in a very broad sense). A pup without any sort of caretaker is a stray – nothing wrong with that at all, but it’s just a very rewarding experience for both parties to establish a connection and almost unspoken understanding of each other’s wants and needs (which I’d say is pretty universal).
These caretakers are called owners, trainers and handlers. Now, these are as much intertwining categories as they are separate functions. The owner (or boss) owns the pup. The trainer teaches the pup obedience, signs and signals to strengthen the understanding and relationship between the two, whereas a handler can simply be a person that accompanies a pup. Very often, obviously, one person is all of these things.
A real-life example: a couple of years ago I went to a Darklands party as a pup. My owner was dragging me around in a leash, but needed to go get drinks, and therefore asked a friend to take over the leash (and care for me) until he got back. That friend agreed and was then my handler for that period of time.
Right, so if you’re with me this far, I’m guessing that you by now understand there’s much more to Puppy Play than just running around and barking on all fours. That being said, you don’t need to know or understand anything I’ve written so far to be able to try out Puppy Play. These are all just learnings and observations I have made by allowing myself to let go and have fun with more experienced people – in and outside of packs. This is equally valid for those who are curious to try out being an owner/trainer/handler. Don’t be afraid to ask – it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.
Check out the entire range of puppy play toys on Misterb.com