Even if you consider yourself a little kinky, you might be surprised by one fetish: pet play. Pet play can range from playful to extreme BDSM. This fetish isn’t for every kinkster, but if you want to set your humanity aside (or train an animal to be his best), keep reading to find out what animal roleplay is about.
Pet play is a specific type of roleplay where a person acts and usually dresses like a specific animal. It’s common for the submissive to roleplay an animal and wear the accouterments that go with it while the dominant is the owner or trainer. Animal roleplaying is typically done within an erotic power exchange relationship. You might enjoy some of the accessories and tools for animal play when you’re going solo, but it’s easier if you have someone who acts as trainer or owner.
Similarly, if you’re dominant, a submissive helps you fulfill your desire to “own” your pet, and you can guide them how you see fit.
TYPES OF PET PLAY
The main types of pet play include:
- Pony play
- Kitten play
- Puppy play
You’ll find the most information and products available to these specific types of animal roleplay. Each comes with some general personality expectations. Ponies (known as ponygirls or ponyboys) love showing off and are highly trained, puppies are playful and can learn simple tricks, and kittens are affectionate and often sleepy.
However, there are other types of pet play too (wolf, fox, rabbit and even pig accessories exist), that you can try and find accessories for. You may just have to be a bit more creative to make it work.
Each type of pet play comes with specific expectations. For example, you might expect a puppy or kitten to be loving and cuddly but also playful — and potentially naughty at times! Pony play incorporates more elements of manual labor and sometimes a horse’s lack of peripheral vision, which is aided by accessories.
ACCESSORIES FOR ANIMAL ROLEPLAY
We’ve mentioned accessories for pet play, but what exactly does that mean? Many people who engage in pet play use costumes and accessories, which help them get into and stay in their roles. These items may also serve to keep someone in bondage, and this may be directly inspired by items that keep animals in bondage.
Some items that are common across the various forms of pet play include collars, tails (often butt plugs with appropriate animal tails attached), and ears. Protective wrist guards and kneepads can be worn by any animal who is walking on all fours.
Although these items might be common to multiple types of petplay, you would pick out items specifically for the type of pet. Puppies, kittens, and ponies all have different ears and tails, for example. Another difference is that gear for kitten play tends to favor a soft and feminine aesthetic (imagine laces, bows, and the color pink) while puppy and pony play exhibit a more typical BDSM appearance with leather pieces.
Puppy and pony play also have some specific accessories. There are generally fewer items for kitten play. Mittens/paws are one option, and metal claws sit on fingers of mischievous kittens.
Puppy play might include:
- Bits — gags that you bite down on
- Cones – like the medical cones pets wear after surgery
- Masks or hoods – shaped like a dogs head
- Harnesses – to go around the chest
- Mitts and boots – shaped like paws
- Muzzles – to cover the mouth
- Bodysuits – usually latex and patterned like a dog
- Cock sheaths – like a hollow dildo shaped like a dog’s penis that fits over a human’s genitals
The last piece of gear on this list is related to a toy that’s particularly unique to puppy play: dog dildos. However, dog dildos are also used by furries, and there isn’t necessarily overlap between these two kinks.
Pony play can involve:
- Tongue ties – keep the tongue tied below the bit
- Tongue ports – worn behind the bit to hold the tongue down; cause drooling
- Bits – a bar that is placed in the ponies mouth to control it.
- Bridles – the straps worn around the muzzle/face and head
- Saddles – for sitting on the pony
- Blinders – block peripheral vision
- Polos/wraps – like legwarmers for horse ankles
- Hooves – boots or gloves in hoof shapes
- Hobbles – cuffs worn above the hooves to prevent mobility
- Martingales – a strap worn between bridle and harness
As you can see, the list of possible gear (also known as tack) for pony play is quite extensive and can be rather expensive, and unlike other types of pet play, all of it is based on actual horse gear.
But no matter what type of pet play you’re into, you get to choose the level of bondage with which you are comfortable. If a puppy wears a full bodysuit with a harness on top of it, he’s pretty well bound. A hobbled horse is far more restricted than a kitten who only wears ears, a tail, and a collar.
Any of these things can be combined with regular cuffs and specialty items such as shoe locks, which are ankle cuffs that keep a person locked in high heels. Extreme bondage isn’t a necessity with petplay, though. It’s just something that some people enjoy.
A few more props lend to suspension of reality during pet play: a pony’s jockey might use crops, whips, and spurs to train a pony or you might walk your puppy on a leash. Food and water dishes are common for puppies and kittens. A crate is a perfect place for your pet to calm down and learn a lesson while some pets enjoy having their own bed or tent. You can find appropriate toys for your pet, and they don’t even need to be BDSM accessories; a trip to the actual pet store can be quite rewarding.
PET PLAY BEHAVIOR DURING SCENES
Animal roleplay combines training, bonding and sometimes manual labor. The specific scene and type of pet play dictate behavior. Purring, meowing, barking, biting, scratching are all behaviors that a pet might exhibit. Kittens might drink milk from a bowl, curl up next to their owner’s feet and groom themselves. Puppies may fetch or walk on a leash. An owner might keep a pet bound or in a cage while engaging in acts of sex and discipline.
Pony play is usually the most involved, and ponies fall into specific categories:
- Cart ponies pull carts or other devices to transport people or goods. Cart ponies show off at kinky events. A team of ponies may even be hooked up to a larger cart.
- Riding ponies carry a person on their back, perhaps with a saddle. The pony must move with enough grace and balance to keep their rider seated.
- Show ponies wear elaborate costumes and may be trained for to perform gaits (walk, trot, canter, and gallop), jumping, and dressage, just like actual horses. Dressage ponies focus specifically on the latter type of training.
- Bondage ponies are tied into positions such as the hogtie but do not do tricks.
- Breeding ponies must have sex with each other during a scene. This may involve a strap-on and horse dildo.
- Work horses may be expected to carry a person. These ponies are especially athletic.
- Pleasure ponies engage in sex with owners. Different types of ponies may also be pleasure ponies.
- Service pups perform chores.
Petting, cleaning, and brushing are all types of grooming that can happen during a scene. Grooming a pony is more involved than a puppy or kitty, but you can bond with any pet by grooming them.
Pony grooming specifically calls for tying your pony and flicking a stiff brush across your pony’s body. Move on to a softer brush with smooth constant pressure. Gently brush the pony’s mane/hair to avoid damaging it. The tail receives similar treatment. Note that butt plug tails may pop out if you brush vigorously.
Wiping down a pony with a soft towel is a great way to begin or end a scene.
TRAINING A PET
So you’ve got your gear and tools of torture. What next? You train.
Training is about teaching your pet what you expect when you say a certain command. You might train your dog to sit, stay, rollover, or fetch. The same goes for animal roleplay; although, your human pet understands more nuance.
Examples of training can include walking on a leash (leading), sitting in a pose, walking in a certain manner, tying (where your pony remains tied while you work on him), housebreaking, and doing chores. You’ll find examples of common commands for kittens (sit pretty, paws up, expose, belly up, knead, crawl, hunt, groom, etc.) puppies (present, kneel, all fours, away, down, mount, kennel, snuggle, stand, stay, up, watch) and ponies (whoa, walk, trot, gallop, canter, back, easy, stand, wait, etc) on websites dedicated to pet play. Ponies can also respond to sounds such as clucking or kissing to move faster.
You give your first command, allow your pet to do what he thinks you mean. Then, correct his posture or behavior, so it meets your expectations. Some instructions require more practice than others.
The owner must teach each of these activities to be completed to the trainer’s expectations for the pet to receive a reward. The more specific your commands, the easier it will be for your pet to understand them, learn them, and repeat them.
REWARD AND PUNISHMENT
A good pet earns treats (sex and affection may be considered such a treat), while a bad one receives punishments. Caging or confinement is one method of training and discipline that we’ve already touched on. You can purchase cages large enough for a person, but you must take care to keep safety in mind. Bondage or confinement in small spaces, especially for long periods of time, can lead to cramps or injuries (nerve, joint, and tendon damage, among other potential risks) as well as emotional trauma.
Done right, a pet can be confined to a crate overnight, but the pet must alert the trainer if they need to use the bathroom or if there is a cause for concern.
Although you might focus on punishment as a negative, it’s actually the positive reinforcement and feeling of being cared for that attracts many people to play the role of the pet. Being a pet is one way to let go of everyday stress and responsibility. However, discipline and training can also incorporate humiliation and degradation, both of which are kinks for some people.
Training pets and teaching them tricks helps reinforce the role. For example, you might train your kitten to eat from a dish. Remember to keep safety in mind and only feed your kitten human food as pet food is not safe for human ingestion. Tuna, milk, and soup are great for eating from bowls, and you can use cereal as kibble or small crackers as treats.
However, just like real pets, it’s love and affection that a pet desires more as reward for a good deed. Sexual favors also serve as a reward during pet play. Pets who are especially well-behaved or attractive are perfect for showing off at parties or clubs (another trainer can test a dog’s skills or ponies might compete, for example). Although, you should be careful about public exhibition which might make strangers uncomfortable or even be against the law.
If you’re attracted to the idea of pet play, a BDSM contract might be up your alley. It outlines expectations, safe words and other concerns, ensuring that both you and your partner are on the same page regardless of who plays the pet.
FINDING YOUR PARTNER
Of course, you need a partner to create a contract together. Finding a partner for pet play may be easier than you think, however. You can put ads on Craigslist, log on to social networks such as Tumblr or post on FetLife and other adult/sex websites to find partners who are interested in pet play. Finding someone who is interested in the same sort of pet play might be more of a challenge, though.
Pet play is just one of many erotic role-playing options. Many couples enjoy the power exchange and structure of these relationships and the addition of props and gear that enhance the scene.