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Sit… Stay… What is Pet Play?

Sit… Stay… What is Pet Play?

Do you know your puppies from your ponies? What in the world is Pet Play and what’s the appeal?

Read on to learn about human pets and their handlers, as well as how you can include it in your kink scene.

You might remember the Channel 4 documentary, ‘The Secret Life of Human Pups‘, and can’t forget a man dressed a dog, and doing his best to perform tricks like he’s at Crufts in a dog show full of kinksters.

Pet Play 101

In the simplest terms, pet play is a kind of roleplay where an individual dresses up as an animal and lives out their fantasy of being a playful pet. The most common types are puppies, kittens and ponies. Puppies tend to be more boisterous and affectionate, kittens can be bratty or cuddly, while ponies tend to focus on obedience and training. This isn’t set in stone, however! It overlaps with Domination/submission, but is often more affectionate than archetypal D/s relationships.

Similar to having a primal kink, pet play creates a space where you can explore an instinctive, emotional space. It allows ‘pets’ to get into a headspace where they can lose their everyday self. This can be an escape from daily stresses, or a method of shedding their inhibitions to embrace their submissive side.

Some Key Pet Play Terms

PetA submissive who takes on the persona of a pet
HandlerThe Dominant, acts as the pet’s owner. May be affectionate.
TrainerSimilar to a Handler but do not ‘own’ the pet, instead focusing on training
Master/MistresssA traditional Dom(me) that uses pet play to humiliate or degrade their sub
CollarA piece of symbolic jewellery to indicate the pet has an owner. These can have significant emotional connections just like wedding bands.
Stray/Uncollared/FeralA pet that doesn’t have a Handler/Master
PackA group of pet players, generally puppies
Alpha/Beta/OmegaThe pack order amongst subs. Alphas are dominant over Betas and Omegas, but submissive to their handler.
MoshPet players social event, similar to a Munch

How Do You Get Into It?

The simplest step is to get down on all fours and play! Sure, as an adult you might feel silly crawling around on all fours but embrace it. You don’t need a handler or a master, all you need is a desire to wag that proverbial tail.

There’s all kinds of gear you can start with before requiring investing in Dalmatian print latex bodysuit. If you already enjoy a D/s dynamic, a collar or leash is a soft entry point as they’re already a staple of many BDSM boxes. Now you just need one that’s animal themed.

If you’re including a partner then the standard BDSM best practices apply. Discuss your hard and soft limits, and establish a safeword. If you’re playing with a muzzle or gag it’s important to agree on a non-verbal signal, such as waving a bone themed hankie.

Everyone’s pet play experience is unique so you should ensure all participants know what activities are involved and what they hope to get out of it. For example, if you don’t have a humiliation kink, you would not appreciate being ordered to beg for treats or use a litter box. Pet training (and subsequent punishments) appeal to masochistic subs but they may not gain anything from being pampered and groomed. You can have sex with your partner during pet play, or you might prefer to precede sex with pets and cuddles.

Quick Fire Questions

Do you have to dress up? Are all participants dressed up?

Generally it’s only the sub/pet who ‘dresses up’. How much they dress up is down to the individual. One person might be happy with just a collar and a fluffy tail, others will prefer the full hood and mitts get up.

Is it only puppies, kittens and ponies? What about other animals?

These are the most common types of pets, however, a pet could be any kind of animal. We’ve previously gone into some of the most popular pet play roles but you could easily be a pig, cow/bull, bunny, or fox.

Does it last the whole session?

That’s entirely up to you! Some people live in their pet roles 24/7 like a Master/slave relationship, while the vast majority slip into their collar when the mood hits.

Is it the same as being a furry?

Not exactly, though there is an obvious crossover. Being a furry and having a fursona could be thought of as ‘the next level up’ from pet play. It requires more commitment, however, the significant difference is that furries are anthropomorphic, i.e. have a human personality, the difference between Tony the Tiger and an actual tiger.

Is it always sexual?

Oddly enough no. Sometimes it can be SFW and an individual can enjoy pretending to be their animal of choice. In some circles it’s called “pet regression”. Unlike pet play it is a form of coping mechanism to escape daily stresses, anxiety, or emotional trauma. In this way it’s not dissimilar to “age regression“.

And, no, it is NOT about wanting to shag animals.

How do I find other pets and handlers?

Thanks to the internet it’s easier than ever to find likeminded people. Websites like Puppy and Handler UK and pupspace are a great place to start, but you can also look into fetish social media sites like FetLife, or kink-orientated dating services like Find yourself a munch and put yourself out there!

So, are you tempted to get in touch with your inner animal? We’d love to hear your pet play stories. As always we’ll be in the comments if you’ve got any questions x

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