Make no mistake, adulting is hard. It will probably be one of the hardest and never ending things you will ever undertake. Like Sisyphus, pushing that boulder up that hill until the end of days, one never seems to get ahead. Is it any wonder that sometimes we want to cast aside the burdens of adulting, just for a little while, and be something else?
If you have such thoughts, you certainly are not alone. Not by a long shot. But how does one go about achieving such a desirable state? Surely it isn’t possible. As it turns out, a number of people out there believe that they have found the answer–and it involves discovering their inner puppy.
Puppy play is a subset of kink that has exploded in popularity in recent years, and justifiably so. At first glance, the concept of dressing up as a dog and crawling around on the floor chasing after a ball might seem, well, a bit silly. But when we unpack the concept a bit, what puppy play offers is actually a great deal.
In puppy mode, you can go to a party and not have to make any awkward small talk with people you barely know. Imagine being the relaxed center of attention–after all, everyone wants to pet a good doggy. Imagine being able to bounce around, tongue out, tail wagging, getting lavished in belly scratches while not once ever thinking about your electrical bill. Imagine not having to engage with your constant inner monolog for a while. Suddenly, the appeal makes a bit more sense, am I right?
Not only does puppy play allow people to relax and shut up that constantly yammering brain for a while, it also gives an instant community. Dogs run in packs and the puppy community is incredibly friendly and welcoming. A temporary freedom from daily responsibilities, no painful small talk, and an instant warm welcoming family? Sign me up!
If you are curious how you go about getting started, a common first step is to find out what your inner puppy is. While you don’t have to be a specific type of dog, many people find that poodle headspace is significantly different than German shepherd headspace. People can feel quite strongly around the particular breed of dog that they identify with and it can define how they approach puppy play.
Even if you don’t happen to identify as any particular breed and just feel like a dog, there are numerous subgroups of pup play to choose from. Some are watchdogs, guard dogs, and therapy dogs; some are rambunctious and untrained puppies. Some puppies just want to play; some are looking for instruction from a master or mistress.
Whether you are a playful pup or a dog in search of strict training, there is a puppy style out there for you. You could be a D/s dog with impeccable behavior brought about by hours and hours of detailed drills with your handler or the entire way you approach pup play is just relaxing romping with your friends while getting pets. They are all valid ways to pup. You just need to figure out what works best for you and your particular desires.
Once you have figured out your specific puppy headspace, the next step is acquiring the proper gear. Well made puppy supplies do not come cheap, but there are creative workarounds to be had. Honestly part of the appeal is the ritual and craft in transforming yourself into another mindset. Us kinksters love ritual. We love the effort and time and energy it takes to do something properly. The snaps, the buckles, the zippers, the hoods and muzzles all serve to guide the transformation of mindset from human to puppy.
After you have identified your puppy style and gotten all of the supplies needed to change from overworked human to carefree doggy, there is only one thing left to do. Find a pack to play with! Luckily, puppy play is becoming widespread enough these days that it is not hard to find fellow puppies. Not only do most dungeons and events have a dedicated group of puppies, but there are now entire events devoted to letting pups get their tails out.
And hey, if you are a trendsetter and the first puppy at your local play space, the odds are good that you won’t be the only one for long. Once people see how much fun you are having, they will cross over to the ruff side and be wagging tails with you before you know it!
Rain DeGrey is an international educator and presenter who has lectured at Harvard and Northwestern. She regularly teaches classes on a wide variety of sexual and kink topics, writes a bi-monthly advice column, and blog. For more information, event listings and classes, check out her website raindegrey.com!