Your Kink Life Is Yours to Define

I’m Alexander Cheves, a writer, author, and sex educator. My nickname is Beastly. I give adult advice on this blog — no question is off-limits. To ask me something, email AskBeastly@gmail.com or send a message via the Ask Beastly contact form.

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I would like to know if you have any writing or if you could write about Puppy Play. I’m very curious about that fetish, but honestly I don’t know where to start. What are the practices? How to find or be able to start In the role? Many doubts… can you help me?

Hi future pup,

I have to clarify for the folks reading this who might not know what “puppy play” is: this is a “scene” (a micro-culture, effectively) in kink/BDSM in which people bark, move around on their hands and knees, and sometimes have sex — sometimes kinky sex (involving bondage, gear, and so on) — in the “pup” role. A human pup is a cute, playful submissive who acts like a dog and is cared for and loved by a dominant “handler” or “owner.” No actual canines are involved.

It may seem important to you right now that you “start” correctly, but by asking the question and showing interest, you’ve already started. There is no gateway, no rite of passage, to pup play or to any fetish scene or practice. There is no standard version of puppy play — no set practices, no essential gear, no prerequisites. You do what you want.

Many people ask me questions like this, and these questions show a widespread misconception about what exactly kink is. Kink and fetish scenes are not official, universal cultures. There are no standard practices, no script you must perform. You create the role and write the script. No one can tell you your version of pup play is wrong. (Well, they can, but their opinion is irrelevant to your life.)

Kink is something you invent anew every time you do it. Most kinky people adhere to preset scenes and practices — to long-practiced bondage methods or to the pageantry and ritual of leather culture — but doing so is not required. There is no kink police to tell someone that their arousal to flowerpots doesn’t belong in kink (it certainly counts as a fetish). They could gather a bunch of horny flowerpot lovers together and decide they’re “potters” and enjoy “pot play,” and their kink scene would be just as authentic as the one enjoyed by people who wear dog-like hoods and bark on all fours.

Objectively speaking, “pot play” is just as arbitrary and absurd as any other scene in kink, pup play included. But life is arbitrary and absurd, and our sex lives and interests certainly are; sometimes the most ridiculous things we do as living creatures are the hottest. Fisting is completely illogical — in fact, it is very dangerous to stick your hand or arm up someone’s rectum — but evidence suggests we’ve been fisting for thousands of years, and while I can’t really explain it or why it works, it is so beautiful that I consider it a quasi-religious, out-of-body experience.

You don’t have to look hard on the internet to find what others think puppy play is. Generally speaking, you act like a dog, sometimes in gear, sometimes in a sexual capacity, around other pups or with pup “handlers” — the dominant playmates in this scene. But that’s just the basic, common version. Some pups interpret the scene as something very different. Even within connected communities, there are great differences between practitioners. Your version of pup may be very different from someone else’s version and all versions are valid.

Getting started is easy. Find someone you have sexual chemistry with, communicate your interest in your version of pup play, and see if they’re game to try it. That’s all you have to do.

I’ve written about puppy play on this blog and here and here in The Advocate. Read away.

Love, Beastly 

I read your article in the Advocate about tickling, it’s many methods tools and formats. Could spanking, if not severe, be a form of tickling? Doesn’t this type of palpation like tickling sensitize?

Howdy,

Sure, spanking can tickle. Pretty much anything can tickle if someone is sensitive enough. There will never be an exhaustive list of ticklish things. I knew a guy who went into fits of laughter when a nipple clamp was placed on the skin of his kneecap.

Generally speaking, spanking falls under “corporal punishment,” which, as the name suggests, includes fetish acts that hurt the body. Corporal punishment includes paddling, flogging, whipping, slapping, and so on. I can’t say for certain that kinky people into corporal punishments consider tickling on the list, but — as I told the person above — you never have to care what anyone else thinks. If you like tickling and your sub laughs from getting spanked, tickle-spank them to your heart’s content (consensually).

Love, Beastly 

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