CW: Puppy Play
There was a really good discussion over on Fetchat the other week about pet play. One of the questions that came up was “what do you get out of pet play”. I discovered the role of puppy handler fairly recently, arising as it does from a specific relationship rather than an underlying need. So while I stand by my Twitter response of “puppy cute 🥺”, I thought it might be worth going a bit deeper into what I get out of it.
1) It’s flexible
Puppy play can involve elaborate outfits and carefully planned scenes. It can also be a headspace we can slip into simply by asking “Who’s a good puppy?!”. And for me it can be a nonsexual headspace. So it’s a form of intimacy I can still share with my boyfriend while hir sex drive and spoons are generally low.
2) It lends itself to genderfuckery
YES OF COURSE I HAD A TRANS ANGLE. My puppy doesn’t need a gender, the only label ze needs in that headspace is “puppy”. A playful bundle of love and playful silliness. It can be so freeing to purposefully set aside gender for a while and simply adore hir as my puppy. And that leads me neatly to my next point.
3) I love seeing my partner enjoy it
Watching him excitedly respond “Me! Me! Me!” when I ask “who’s a good puppy?” The affectionate licks and barks as I hold hir in my arms and fuss him. Feeling hir squirm in my lap as I pet hir, or curl up after a long day. It just makes my heart melt every time.
4) The dynamic
I love the caring dynamic I have with my puppy. And in many ways I feel like it mirrors the dynamic you have with a real pet. It’s this beautiful symbiosis, as I love and care for him, ze returns that in a different way. And it captures some part of that unconditional, uncomplicated love you have for a fur baby.
5) Things are simple.
A puppy doesn’t have to worry about money, or the pandemic, or politics. In this garbage fire we’re living in it’s so important to find that escapism. When I’m in that headspace it’s beautifully freeing, sharing that simple joy with my partner is something I treasure every time.