I believe my first notion that there was such a thing like “puppy play” or anything remotely resembling it actually came from reading Stephen King’s The Shining. Probably more people have seen the Kubrik movie than read the book, and this subplot was only hinted at in the film when Wendy is running through the hotel and witnesses a ghostly homosexual encounter in one of the rooms.
It’s just a remaining snippet of a subplot from Stephen King’s book, in which a party guest in a dog costume has a homosexual relationship with one of the hotel’s former owners, Harry Derwent.
Chad Helder summarized it thus:
“In the book, the man in the tuxedo is revealed to be Derwent, the corrupt playboy, jet-set owner of the hotel. According to one of the ghost-guests, Derwent is bisexual, and he has a fling with Roger in Cuba. Now, Roger is desperate to continue the love affair while Derwent is finished with Roger. As a way to torment and humiliate his former lover, Derwent asks Roger to dress as a dog for the masquerade ball, and the entire evening Derwent forces him to perform degrading tricks while everyone laughs at him, including pouring a very phallic bottle of foaming champagne all over Roger's dog mask.” -- http://unspeakablehorror.com/journal/2006/10/28/the-shinings-dogman.html
In Roger’s next appearance in the book he traps Danny in a hall and (w/ explicit Big Bad Wolf references) threatens: 'I'm going to eat you up, little boy. And I think I'll start with your plump little cock.'
In Roger’s final appearance in the book he’s giving Derwent a blowjob and makes a another fairytale reference (I’ll huff… and I’ll puff… and I’ll blow…)
It’s creepy, unsettling stuff. I can’t recall when exactly I first read The Shining but I think I was in high school… or maybe even Jr. High… Funny enough, though, I do remember one thing clearly: Being so turned-on by the dog-suit humiliation scene that, well, I did what teenage boys do when reading a book in bed at night gets them really turned-on. The humiliation, dehumanization, and submission in the scene were quite hot to me even then. The idea of being at a party and being on all fours, led on a leash, and treated like a dog… Yummy!
(You might be kinky if… you ever jerked-off to Stephen King’s Shining)
I can add that I was also quite into werewolves when I was a teenager and certainly found the notion of that primal release/transformation very sexy on some level.
I never thought much about (or knew anything about) puppy play for years after that (although I always remembered how hot that scene was). I think my first real idea that there was this specific fetish “puppy play” came a year or so after I got involved in the BDSM scene. This was pre-Fetlife (almost pre-internet!), so it took longer to discover these things. As a comic book geek and budding pervert, I discovered (and fell in love w/) the work of Michael Manning… who I got to meet at Fantasm in 2003 or 04. But before that I discovered his comics – which are super-super-HOT! And one of the hottest things he drew were these amazing images of (often androgynous) rubber/PVC pups.
I can't find any of his puppy drawings online to share, but here's a nice kitty he drew:
And, well, I just really like this:
Those puppy drawings by Manning and The Shinning planted the idea of pup play/fetish in my mind… and in 2005 I first got to try it out. Now, it’s kind of funny, b/c right from the beginning my actual experience of pup play was very different from what you might expect from those fantasies. For one, humiliation (which played such a big part in the King novel and often depicted in Manning's comics) was never any part of my puppy headspace. There’s no humiliation for me in being forced to act like a dog. Rather it feels like a release of fun, wild energy… and the relaxation of being totally in the Now. The humiliation still isn’t at all a part of my pup play… although I do certainly get into the submission aspect (especially when my Alpha Pup is blighting me; then I get all kinds of weak-in-the-knees subby-space). For another thing, unlike the Manning drawing (which are super-super-HOT) gear/fetish-wear never played a big part in my puppy play… until pretty recently maybe. Finally, contrary to both King and Manning, sex wasn’t really a part of my puppy headspace… again, until recently maybe.