Handled With Love: Puppy Play 101

As I was walking my dog today I realized why observing him brought me so much joy.

Dogs are carefree, adventurous, curious, and high-spirited. They are, in every sense of the word, boundless, and they live their life in the moment and to the fullest.

Yet, although dogs may also enjoy independent exploration of the world they also happen to be loving, dedicated, and sweetly submissive. Who wouldn’t want to bring at least some of these traits into their sub/dom dynamic?

What Is Puppy Play?

To give a short synopsis of a rather extensive sub-division of kink, puppy play is a form of fetish in which users get pleasure from either enacting the role of a dog (usually a ‘puppy’ mentality) or through being the owner/handler/trainer of such an individual.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of roleplay involved in the puppy play fetish, especially for the submissive, who will either take on a partial or total animal persona that they act out in the framework of the scene/play session that they’re part of.

The Appeal

Puppy play may sound bizarre at first but the premise is very much like that of any other sub/dom dynamic.

For the person taking on the role of the puppy there is a certain appeal that comes with the release of responsibility that we are faced with on a day-to-day basis. Many of these people also feel that dogs have the positive attributes mentioned above and being able to embody them is an empowering act.

Puppy play may sound bizarre at first but the premise is very much like that of any other sub/dom dynamicClick To Tweet

Dogs, unlike slaves or adult babies, also have their own sense of independence which is always accessible when desired. Where a slave might be reprimanded for being a bit too playful or defiant, it’s almost a given with a pup. Where an adult baby or toddler may feel like being disobedient or a bit aloof, it is out of character for their role, dogs can sometimes be a bit quirky in their behaviour.

As such, the puppy play community sometimes consider themselves as having a rather liberating sub/dom dynamic, and this can have a large appeal to anyone who doesn’t count themselves as a complete sub.

Pup Fashion

In addition to having a fun dynamic, puppy play also has a playful sense of fashion which can almost be described as part-kink, part-furry.

Leather is highly featured in the puppy play community, fuelled in part by the strong link between the puppy play community and the Gay kink community (making for one badass combination). This striking look involves harnesses, collars, and leads but also paw pads and shoulder pads to facilitate practical pup-like movement.

For vegetarian and vegan pups there are also leather alternatives, vinyl, and PVC to create a similar aesthetic, so no one gets to miss out on the kinkier aspects of puppy play fashion.

But, in addition to this more conventional kink attire, pups also get to wear puppy hoods should they choose – headwear made to look like a dog. These hoods can be partial (perhaps just ears and a muzzle) or full but the selection of the right hood can be an incredibly thrilling part of the process.

There are all types of hoods out there too – from cutesy, sweet puppy hoods with floppy ears and a playfully lopping tongue right through to hardcore leather hoods with a fierce snarl and a metal spiked mohawk. Once in the hood users can experience sensory deprivation but also, in many cases, a sense of immersion which helps them get into the puppy mindset and enhances the incredible sense of release that puppy play provides.

Oh, and collars too. Not unique to puppy play but highly significant. I’m sure you can figure out why.

Outsider Perspectives

For those who like playing the pup, the puppy play movement may seem like a natural (and exciting) progression of their sexual, or relationship dynamics, but there are, of course, concerns out there from those who just don’t ‘get it’.

As with adult babies and paedophilia, some people may hear ‘puppy play’ and make the knee jerk reaction that such people are into bestiality or so-called zoophilia.

This, as you can imagine, is entirely incorrect.

People in to puppy play don’t have an attraction to dogs. Rather, they want to either embody (or be dominant over someone who embodies) the positive traits that humans project onto dogs which they find attractive or appealing.

Puppy play enthusiasts understand that they are not dogs and that humans can never truly embody the actions nor mentality of dogs, but sometimes playing the role of a dog is just…well…fun.

Chances are anyone who loves puppy play also counts themselves as a dog lover and would never wish to see any distress or abuse imposed upon them, which would include sexual acts attempted with them. As a pup myself I can vouch for the fact that just the thought of such an act of abuse is incredibly distressing.

Besides, in a world where bunny girls and feline femmes are seen as the height of female sexual attraction then what’s wrong with pupping it up from time to time?

The Takeaway

Puppy play is complex, diverse, offers a range of consent and play options, and allows people to explore some of the best traits of man’s best friend. What’s not to love about that?

Puppy play is complex, diverse, offers a range of consent and play optionsClick To Tweet

The fact that puppy play comes with its own unique fashion options is also a huge appeal and the fact that some of it can be purchased at your local pet shop is a massive bonus (or, should that be bone-us?)

So, if you’re looking for a BDSM sub-movement and feel like you want to embrace your inner canine then why not dip your toes into the puppy play movement from time to time? No doubt you’ll be welcomed with excited barks and wagging tails.

Written by Emmeline Peaches

An adult product reviewer. Passionate about providing the honest reviews for a wide range of products. Check out her website, or follow her on twitter.