I tend to be rather Aristotelian in my philosophy, and Aristotle was very interested in the end, or goal, or purpose of things. He used the Greek word teleos. So I was interested in a recent post-and-response by Pup Boss Jyan and Gpup on The End Result of Pup Training and What I get from Human Puppy Play.
For myself as well, it’s not just one thing but a collection of things.
(1) Getting hard and getting my rocks off.
Probably at the lower end of the spectrum, for me, is the gear fetish and sex fetish aspect. I have some of that – I get turned on by sexy pups and sexy puppy gear. And during sex and a heavy S/m scene I do tend to get pretty non-verbal most of the time… if not outright pupping out! The sexual fetish is an aspect… but for me not a big one.
(2) Puppy Zen
Maybe more interesting to me is the “puppy Zen” headspace. I used to practice Zen meditation years ago… then I found myself better able to enter the “no mind” or “beginner mind” headspace through pup play than sitting meditation. (And it’s sexier.)
(3) Playful-submissive role
I’ve wrote before about the fact that I have problems w/ “submissive” as a label. I don’t think of myself as “submissive” in some generalize way – to any and all!? Really!? No. There are those I submit to. Sometimes in an ongoing relationship (i.e. Shadowkitten and Loki), but mostly just in the context of a scene. A good Top can put me in a submissive headspace for a scene… but if they expect me to continue to address them as Ma’am/Sir afterward and fetch shit for them, they may be disappointed. (A line from a CAPEX party many, many years ago: “I am not a service bottom; you can pour your own damn drink.” LOL) For years my Owner has told me, “You are not to lower your eyes to anybody but me.” (Now it’s “me and Loki.”)
The thing is, even when I am in a submissive role, I am NOT a protocol heavy “slave.” My Owner would not put up w/ a sub who needed to be micro-managed… and, as my Alpha Pup put it at SELF: “I have very few protocols, but one of them is you do what the fuck I tell you!” (And no, he wasn’t saying this to me but to guess-who.)
Part of the pup role for me is about being submissive and also playful, creative, loose, unstructured… I’ve always thought there’s a spectrum that roughly runs:
[structured] slave … boy … pup … brat [unstructured]
(4) Physical affection and emotional openness
This sort of overlaps w/ the sex/gear fetish thing… but for me, what I really enjoy isn’t even so much the “I’m hard and I want someone to fuck me” (although that can be good too) as just the physical intimacy and relaxed displays of affection. I’ve written recently about how I can tend toward the stoic side… but when I get around other pups I tend to get very open, very touchy and cuddly… This brings very welcome balance to my psyche. Usually, even other forms of BDSM don’t put me in this kind of “touchy-cuddly” headspace. Actually… I think they do, but not in the same degree I go there when I’m w/ the pups or in pup-mode.
Finally, one important thing that I (now) get out of pup play specifically is being part of a pack. Maybe others get this through their “leather family.” Shdwkitten and I, for years, were never part of anybody’s leather family in the strict sense. (We’ve joked that in the looser sense NCMaster’s leather family covers roughly all of the
Carolinas.) But this year, by becoming a part of Loki’s pack,
I really feel like I now have a couple of “brothers” that I feel very close to…
even though I don’t see them as much or have known them as long as some of my
While some people may form leather families or households, I think pups are even more geared towards forming “chosen family” bonds – the whole dog pack mentality. I have always kept a small but very tight group of close friends (most of us have known one-another for 24 years… since I was in the 8th grade)… so I think I’m very much wired this way.
So that is what I get out of puppy play. *wags*