Something I’ve thought about before is the notion that there is a difference between those who engage in puppy play and those who are a human-pup. The one is an activity that someone might engage in from time to time; the other is a part of one’s identity that one never completely stops being. Corresponding to this distinction, in broad categories (and I got these from Loki) there are “play-pups” (boys who sometimes engage in puppy play) and “innate-pups” (those who are always “pup” to some degree).
When I first got into puppy play (going on 8 years now), it started as an activity I sometimes did… like doing a flogging scene, or a needles scene, or interrogation play (which, at that time, is actually what I was best known for). But… over the course of our first year together, Shdwkitten and I came to increasingly define ourselves as Owner and pet. Those roles seemed to fit our dynamic better than Master/slave or anything else.
Over the years that followed, I continued to really enjoy puppy play – especially at large events like Frolicon where Ma’am could lead me about on-leash and I’d get lots of pets and scratches. That was always a huge blast for me! Gradually, over those years, being a pup was becoming more and more of my identity. About 5 years ago, NCMaster gave us a large dog kennel that one of his former subs used to sleep in, and Ma’am started having me sleep in it now and then. Eventually she got me a new, larger kennel and I stated sleeping in the cage every night. (The older kennel has since been passed-on to our wolf-dog, Thunder.)
Somewhere in all of this, I began to think of myself as “Pup” Emrys. Being a puppy became increasingly part of my identity… like being white, male, a Southerner, an artist, a college graduate… It wasn’t so much an activity I did, as who I was… even when I wasn’t on all fours barking.
While this change in who I am grew steadily over the course of 2007-2011, it really came to fruition last year. I started interacting w/ other pups, joined Loki’s pack, and I started doing more reading and writing about pup play (started this blog and started following various puppy play blogs). I certainly can’t see 2012 as any radical departure in who I am – rather it was much more like the culmination of several years of exploring this side of myself which has always been there.
Still… the “change” (gradual and predictable though it may have been) hasn’t been completely w/o some issues. It’s rather unexpectedly threw Ma’am and I back to square-one in some respects in regards to how we play together. I hadn’t really grasped that until recently when she told me: “I used to know who to play w/ you in pup-mode, and I knew how to play w/ you out of pup-mode… but now I’m not sure what to do w/ you.” That’s been on my mind since she said it. I can see where she’s coming from. For Ma’am, puppy play has always been (a) non-sexual, and (b) not an S/m scene. For her, puppy play was about treating me just like she treats the bio-dogs: playing fetch, giving scritches, walking me on-leash. But for me, my headspace between puppy and masochist and sex is very continuous – coming out of the same place that is simultaneously very primal and very submissive. I can move very fluidly from S/m to pup-play to sex (and love to do so)… but for Ma’am those are very different scenes.
But we’re working on figuring things out. Last week we had one night that went really well! Ma’am let me put on my gear and puppy hood (which she doesn’t like very much – masks tend to creep her out), pup-out for about 40 minutes… and then she let me play w/ myself and cum. (She pulled my hood off first, but I still wasn’t too much out of pup mode.) I think it’s a bit of a (re)discovery process for both of us, maybe.
* * *
In other news… Very exciting weekend ahead:
Friday, my lovely Owner is taking her hound out to see the Blind Boys of Alabama in concert.
Saturday, Ma’am and I will spend w/ her boyfriend in SC… no doubt drinking ourselves silly.
Sunday is the all-male Dominion party w/ the pack. *Woof! Woof!*
Monday (MLK Day) I’m going to see the remarkable Maya Angelou speak on “Remembering our Heroes and She-roes.”