Photography: Stephane Marcault

Meet DogBoiBailey

DogBoiBailey (He/Him/It) is a British pup living in Paris, France. He is an activist, an adult actor, and the current reigning Mister Puppy France for 2023. He is the founder and editor of the collaborative puppy project Pawzitive Influence which raises awareness on social issues and sexual health in the kink community. He is also the co-creator of  Fetish Against Fascism and the photo contest Dog Race France. In addition to his projects, Bailey writes for Recon, authoring articles: one on fascism and its link to fetish. His latest piece considers the topic of bridging the intergenerational divide among gay men. Good boys don’t stay silent! WINGS sat down with him to discuss his life as a pup and activist, his kinks and his projects.

Photography: Thomas Laconis

So tell me about yourself, your kink journey so far, how you came to discover your puppy side

I am Bailey, a 29 yo British doggy living in Paris for the last five years, I am the newly elected Mister Puppy France and I run various projects in my community. In my human life, I manage a small hotel, and I write and make films for adults. I’m also a published academic specializing in International Relations

I would say that my journey started younger than I realized myself! I’ve noticed the similarities to a pup/doggy in myself from a young age, even my friends and peers used to remark on my paws, in the playground my nickname was Meerkat – little did I know that I was a pup. This example is one of MANY examples of my pupside hiding in plain sight!

Then back in 2013 when I moved back to London from the small west Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, I went to my first Pride alone, I remember seeing some puppies rubbing up against some Leathermen in Soho, I remember being drawn to them, fixated on the masked boy on the leash, he looked so proud, free and, well, hot as fuck. Puppy Play wouldn’t enter my life again until many years later once I’d moved to Paris and opened my relationship. I found myself in Bailey and ever since then, I’ve not looked back. I’m lucky enough to not have to hide it from anyone in my life. My two mothers both accepted me as I am and even told me they saw what I felt in myself.

How has being a puppy impacted your life? How has it enabled you positively? What else has it helped you to discover about yourself besides kink?

Bailey has become a source of self-pride, positivity and productivity in my life. Sexually, it allowed me to feel more comfortable, confident and for once, wanted. It has helped me intellectually as well; with my articles and projects, I’ve seen how much positive change I can make in my community. The social and mental benefits are clear and have allowed me to calm myself and switch off in times of stress.

How do you see your puppy’s personality developing in the future?

In my ways, I see Bailey as fully formed and representative of who I am at this moment, I hope to continue my work beyond my title-year. Then after this year is up, I plan re-apply for jobs in sexual health and activism, take the gym more seriously, launch into porn more professionally and take up learning more bondage techniques.

Photography: Rémy Saudemont

Puppy life aside for a moment, let’s learn more about you:

As a Brit who’s built a life in France, How are finding life in Paris?

La vie est bonne ici. Life is good here. I’m very happy to find myself in Paris after years in London and Amsterdam. I am very settled after only a relatively short time, the French language presents no problem (despite my English accent). This year I will even apply for French nationality and I admit, weirdly, a certain part of this boy from Haringey, North London, will be proud to call himself French.

What brought you to France?

I came to France as I didn’t dig my life in The Netherlands (no offence Momo!). due to Brexit, I knew if I didn’t come now, I wouldn’t have the luxury of doing so later. Best decision I ever made.

Do you have any advice for Expat kinksters living in France? Or anywhere other than home, more generally?

Yes, I do; LEARN THE LANGUAGE. One of the main reasons I’ve managed to build a life here for myself and find my woofing tribe is because I learnt French (when I arrived huh, not at school). Communication and community go hand in hand and barking will only get you so far. Don’t be ashamed of your accent, for some it’s even a turn-on, for others it’s a sign of your courage. Otherwise, go to those events, start those smoking area conversations and make some amis, what have you got to lose?

I understand you are politically involved in some ways here, tell me about your projects.

As some know I have a background in political sciences in my hooman life, and although Bailey is a clumsy character at times, this puppy is very much politically conscious. In terms of my personal politique, as a descendant of holocaust survivors I believe it is my duty, to speak openly about the rise of fascism in our society and I do, loudly. Alongside others, I set up the activist group UFAF, and I authored an article for Recon looking at the links between (anti-)Fascism and Fetish (with a podcast episode too FYI). Otherwise, I have spoken out against rainbow-washing and in particular pink-washing in the past. As someone living with HIV, I see the fight against the virus to be also heavily shrouded in politics and it’s not something I shy away from in my activism.

In your opinion, Does Politics have a place in Kink? If so, how? If not, what can we do to make our experiences in the scene happier and healthier?

For me, it’s not a question if it does or not. In my eyes, being kinky while occupying public space is political in itself. In terms of it having a ‘place’, I always say, if we can hold fetish elections, run campaigns and talk at length about how much we love latex and what it has done for us as kinksters, then why can’t we sometimes also talk about important community issues, politics very much included. Efforts to depoliticalize our scene are shameful in my opinion and should be likened to spitting in the faces of our elders who came before us. Do you think those leather-clad men marching proudly down Folsom in Regan’s America or Old Compton in Thatcher’s Britain were ‘nonpolitical’?! no, well me neither! We owe it to them to continue the fight, on the street and yes, at the ballot box.

Thank you for sharing this with us about your HIV status. Do you have any advice or general thoughts / shared experiences which you would tell a newly diagnosed individual?

So one of the things I always start by asking people who disclose a positive status to me is, how are you? I ask how they are dealing with their diagnosis. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable, angry, unsure or upset, but these feelings do and will pass. I, like millions of others with an undetectable viral load, life is relatively normal. For those in developed nations, we know it’s not the death sentence as it once was, but the main problem we face is stigma, internal and external. For the former, I tell you: remember always that the H is HIV is for Human and we are not less of one because we live with it.

Photography: Pup Snap Photography

What can we do as a community to fight hatred? And create more love?

Refuse to hate. I take the example of the 2016 terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida; at the time, I was hurt and angry but I took a step back. I told myself, that I categorically refuse to let one man’s homophobia and internal hatred become my Islamophobia and external hatred. It’s cliché, but no one is born hateful, it is learnt… and can be unlearnt if the motivation and support are present. We must speak loudly up when others outside our LGBTQIA+ community are attacked, mocked or scapegoated by those in the media or power. I’m talking about Muslims, Jews, people of colour, immigrants, and the differently-abled: we are all human and worthy of value and protection. I regard solidarity as a verb.

This is all too true, I also feel we have so much we can learn from our elders. through wisdom, life experiences, pain and sorrow, heartbreak, love, you name it. In your opinion, if we could each just do one simple thing to make our community more connected across generations, what would you say we ought to do?

Firstly, I would recommend reading my article on the subject, it’s a very nuanced piece which requires attention. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be that we need to reframe the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ paradigm within the intergenerational divide and understand that we all have experiences, stories and lived realities to share that are valid and worthy of being aired and respected in their own right. Listen to our elders, they might not be around for much longer. when the lessons are lost, we are more lost as a community.

How do you see the future of kink and our community developing? In good ways? In bad ways?

I think the use of social media and its link to our community is a double-edged sword, on one hand, it provides a visible outlet to express ourselves but there is a risk of detracting and detaching us from reality and the essence of our kinky lives: real-life experience and interaction. I also see the encroachment of capitalism on our scene as increasingly problematic.  On a more positive note, our events, like Darklands this year, are becoming more known, better organized, well attended and more ambitious than ever. What a time to be a kinky woofing raver!

Is there anything you would like to see more of, or done better in our community in the future?

For me, something that I still see as stagnant or lacking progress is a real discussion in the community of our real (sometimes uncomfortable or unhealthy) sex lives. Intervention is enacted once it’s often too late or has become extreme, until we can talk openly and without shame, we can’t begin to support and experience freer and happier sex lives. If I have to start this conversation, I will but I hope others will add their voices and experiences. The only sound of shame is that of silence.

Thank you for sitting down with us today, it’s been so great to talk with you. Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share with us?

Being Bailey has taught me that life can change in weird and wonderful ways. Look after yourself and those in your tribe, bark as loud as you need to, stand up for what you believe in, and be sure to find out who you are then live your life with purpose, pride and pawzitivity.

You can follow Bailey and his projects on Instagram @dogboibailey @pawzitive.influence @kinky.france and @kinkykeywordz