You might have seen people at Pride who wear dog masks and wondered what it was about. Well, these guys share what they love about puppy play.
So what are puppies and handlers?
According to the MyUmbrella charity, the Puppy / Handler identify falls under the Fetish / Political umbrella. They say, “In puppy play, or dog play, one of the participants acts out canine mannerisms and behaviours, which is sometimes associated with leather culture”.
UPDATE: It should be noted that pups and their handlers span all sexualities and genders.
One user of Reddit asked the AskGayMen subreddit, what the appeal of Pup play and here are some of the best responses.
First off, Bufferrodentfl0 made three points. The first was that pup/handler play was all about headspace and escapism. They wrote,
“A lot of pups use the time spent as a “pup” as a form of escapism. Its time where they don’t have to think about responsibilities and where they can just focus on being in scene.”
Secondly they wrote that the appeal could be about Primal Sexual Urges, adding,
“Roleplaying as a pup isn’t always necessarily being submissive, and that its more about finding the idea of primal sexual urges attractive, since to a canine, sex is just sex, its just a a biological component”
The final point made was the community aspect of the puppy world. There is a huge community of pups and handlers all over the world. They even have their own flag, websites and pride events.
kinkygayturtle added that the short answer to why he loved puppy play was all about the “Cuddles, Attention and Playing”. He added,
“I just get snuggled and pet and praised and called cute for doing absolutely nothing!
“I balance a ball on my nose and get given lots of treats!
“The handlers around me all cuddle me and give me head scratches!”
SchwerelosKTZ added that Puppy play offered “more of an escape” and that play was “calming”
” I can let go of my stress and just play, nap, do dumb dog stuff. In that way, it’s not always sexual, and I’m not always commanded to enter it. Sometimes, much like many people do with little-space, I slip into it here and there when I’m stressed or anxious. It’s calming.”
nixxxxxxx suggested that for many it could be about therapy and growth, writing
“You have to shed stress/distractions and look inside to see what’s holding you back from loving yourself. It’s all about reaching this moment of acceptance and joy that’s really quite beautiful.
“It’s like faking it til you make it, because you take that emotional momentum back with you into human life.”
It seems that while there may be a sexual element to the puppy/handler relationship it isn’t necessarily the engine that drives the community. Bufferrodentfl0 added,
“it’s not just about sex (in fact for some it’s not about sex at all), it’s about the animalistic headspace”.