I mentioned that Sir taught a great class on Puppy Play at SITS. He started out by talking about different kinds of puppies. It was very interesting to me as a long-time pup who has had little contact w/ other pups b/c it really helped me see how there are lots of other ways of doing pup play than what I do. It certainly gave me a lot to think about…
Sir identified four types of pups… and he conveniently had examples of 3 of the 4 romping on the mats at his feet. :)
- The “innate pup” (that would be me) is one for whom being a pup is a (basically) constant state… like being a slave, or being a Christian, or being gay, or being a African-American. It’s a part of who we are and how we interact w/ the world. When I do pup play (get down on all fours), it’s a matter of letting the hound that’s always under my skin come forward and psychologically take over for a while.
- The “play pup” (that would be Tebow) is one who enjoys pupping-out as a kind of fetish play… like w/ bondage, gear fetish, boot-blacking, or interrogation play. It’s essentially a fetishized role-playing game. I think for the play pup it’s primarily an opportunity to let-lose, be goofy and uninhibited, and… well, playful.
- The “furry pup” (our Pepper) is one that I don’t know much about. I learned some more about furries talking w/ Pepper at SITS (while looking at porn on his phone). For instance, I thought that furries were all about the costumes. I had no idea that there were non-costumed furries! I’m still learning about this furry thing… but one difference that Sir hit upon in his class is that apparently furries don’t have the D/s dynamic that leather-pups emphasize (the Handler/pup dynamic). Maybe that’s why the furry pups I know are the most unruly. Ever heard the expression, “He listens like a brick”? Yeah… when it comes to some of the furry pups I know, I think goldfish are more trainable.
- We don’t have a “cur” in our pack. The cur is really an odd-ball that maybe doesn’t even fir in as pup-play strictly speaking. Curs are submissives who enjoy being humiliated by being “forced” by a Dominant to behave like a “less than human” animal. “Get down on all fours and crawl, bitch!” Personally I consider this more humiliation play than pup play… but I’m NOT saying, “If you’re a cur then you’re doing it wrong.” What works for you, works for you… I just find it to be a very different play and a very different headspace from what we do.
Let me note (as Sir did) that these distinctions are continuous, not discrete. Tebow is mostly a play pup but w/ a dash of the innate pup in him. Pepper is a furry, but interested in exploring the leather-pup (D/s) side…
I saw these differences really come out in the mosh pit we had at SITS. We had six of us in there, including three furries. I was glad that we had Sir’s class first, b/c his typology gave me a good tool for understanding the dynamics of what was happening.
Coming from the perspective of an innate pup, I expected that for others, the mosh pit would be a way to sink deeply into the canine headspace (pup-space). When I pup-out… I let go of my human thoughts. As I sink deeper, the verbal part of my brain shuts down (or grows a lot quieter); it becomes hard to verbalize or even understand sentences w/o focusing on them. I visualize myself as a large, lanky, shaggy dog. I’ve never used bondage mitts b/c when I sink into my headspace, I forget that I have hands – I “see” paws. This visualization, for me, can become so complete that one time I had the unpleasant experience of trotting past a full-length mirror. Expecting to look over and see a wolfhound reflected there, I was genuinely surprised and unpleasantly shocked to see an awkward-looking human crawling by. It snapped me right out of my headspace!
What I was surprised to find was that most of the pups in the mosh where playing, being mischievous, and chasing balls around… but w/o getting much into what I think of as pup-space. When I pup-out… I want to be a dog as much as I can. I want the humans to treat me just like they would treat a big, shaggy canine in the room w/ then. But some of the pups, I found, talked throughout the mosh – never giving-up their words – and their actions (while playful and puppy-like) were more methodical than my brain gets when I play. (Including sneaking away and sitting at the dinner tables w/ the humans. LOL)
Of course there’s a whole other aspect to this when we bring in different breeds (which Sir also touched on in his class). I’m fascinated by evolutionary psychology… and naturally a sight hound will have a different psychology from a sled dog, or a shepherd, or a retriever, etc. Wolfhounds are easy-going, highly loyal, laid-back but very protective, and we respond easily to those we see as our pack leaders. Beagles are… different.
But… I could do a whole other post about dog breeds… Another time.