While I was going through the SFW pet play tag, I realise that it was all dedicated to littles and kittens and I thought to myself “😑😑😑”. So I decided to make a post about non-sexual and SFW activities you can do with your pup, wolf, fox, dog, etc. Please remember that even though canines are not as affectionate as kittens (although pups might be), they need attention as well.
[ *please remember to be respectful when going out in public, as some people might not be prepared to see whatever it is you’re going to do. Remember that, even though it’s SFW, pet play is still considered a kink, so keep it PG while in the park, the pool, around the neighborhood, etc. ]
– Beta Keiko
Before I write this, I firstly want to reassure everyone that this is not an article that informs the reader on how they should or should not be a submissive, boy or pup. Rather this article is drawn from my experiences and how I navigated between the different headspaces. It should be noted that no one person is the same, and has different experiences, some purely identify as pups while others as slaves, submissive, Handlers, Dominates, etc. And some are switches or have a combination which makes them that unique individual. Why go to so much trouble stating the obvious? Because in my experience you need to.
Why this subject, I get to that shortly… Firstly a bit about how I play, I identify as male, am gay, and part of my identity includes being a leather pup, sometimes a skin pup… Yet there are other sides of my kinky self, I love all forms of BDSM, I am a submissive, while very bratty and challenging to any Dom, many consider me an Alpha in my communities, yet I also identify as a boy. Why is this important, I am hopeful that this allow the reader to see where I draw my experiences from.
This subject was chosen for me, by a Dominant who while we were interacting was able to observe me fluidity switch between head-spaces, from pup, to boy, to puppy to brat and back again. Mostly my personas are submissive.
What is head-space or sub-space: the term headspace or one of its variations such as sub space, puppy space, drop and other such terms. What does this mean? Head space is generally considered to be an altered state of consciousness within BDSM play that is used to ‘lose yourself’ in a scene. It is described as a state of mind whereby the body’s endorphin’s, enkephalin’s and adrenaline take over the mind and produce a morphine like effect. It’s what takes over our mind when we engage in various activities, some considered risky sexual practices, or Animal play such as pup play (that may have nothing to do with a sexual act)
It varies between individuals, but head space is a period whereby there is an altered state of reality. Headspace is a period whereby the individual enters an altered psychological state that manifests itself into physical and emotional actions, images, feelings and thoughts that have been brought on by a dramatic increase in adrenaline and endorphin that will occur during a scene. It’s hard to explain without sounding odd – but let’s try…. To see full article BDSM Headspace
Above I mentioned pup space and puppy space, I define these two differently, one is almost the state that I am in mostly and that is like a pup headspace, that shares my thoughts with the happenings of the real world around me, and then there is puppy-space, now for me that can be either, headspace only, so being in the moment right now or sexual or both, depending on the environment or the scene.
Boy space for me is similar to what many in the Kink community refer to as sub-space. The boy is the one out of all my submissive spaces and will be happy partaking in the heavier BDSM activities.
The pup or puppy are much softer headspaces, and sometimes do not involve any BDSM activities except the D/s Dynamic component. There may not be any sexual acts that occur, and while this can be debated to the hill by both sides of the argument to what constitutes a sexual act, for now this is a debate that I will not engage in.
When in a scene that may cross over or evolve from pup to puppy to boy or even handler requires the learned ability to do this in a way that is fluid without causing undue stress on the mental capacity to cope with the various stimulation of the activity at present or damaging (hurting) the space that your currently in while traversing or transitioning to the next head-space and sometimes back again. At times this may be having both headspaces in the fore front at the same time, which takes a lot of energy, both mental and emotionally.
An example of this; if I Pup out as Scout and then Spanky pup comes to the fore front or even the boy. They each have their own unique persona and traits that can be identified as their own. They are different states of consciousness.
The BDSM scene has had an insight into this with the idea of that being in an “head space” is imperative to a scene. What being in a head space entails is an altered psychological state which is induced by adrenaline and endorphin spikes that often occur during a scene. Often the scene manifests into specific actions, feelings and thought processes which may or may not normally exist outside that scene. The practice often prepares the body for the activity that is occurring, or about to occur depending on the scene. The ‘head space’ is a crucial aspect to the enjoyment of a scene and immersing one’s self into the activity taking place. This is known as being “in the zone” or being in the “in the moment”. Surely such an ideology can transcend into sexual practices? If each individual has a different head space that they use when they experience sex, it can lead to them experiencing a different type of sex. If we consider it, this would explain the idea of emotional sex, passionate sex, lustful sex, primal sex and the variety of different activities that occur. It could also explain the idea of masturbatory regret. For example, masturbatory regret is the idea that an individual feels shame and embarrassment at the type of sexual stimulation that they were using in the quest to achieve sexual climax. In BDSM and fetishes head space is something that can occur with any of the individuals within a specific scene. Head space is often labelled by their role in the scene. For example, subspace, top space, Dom space, pony space and puppy space.
After many discussion with various community members, I have coined the idea of a headspace cycle. The cycle is to assist in illustrating how entering into headspace for a play scene or event may look like. Of course this is on my experiences, and may differ from person to person, as many things do in this community and a person’s psyche.
The human psyche is the mind or soul. It is the centre of an individual’s emotions, thought and behaviour. The psyche controls the individual’s response to his environment. The etymology of the word refers to the animating spirit of the individual.
According to McLeod; Sigmund Freud defined the human psyche as consisting of the id, ego and superego. According to Freud, these three aspects of the psyche developed at different stages of maturity. The id is impulsive and demands immediate satisfaction, while the ego helps to mediate its demands with the real world. The super ego incorporates the values and norms of the world around the individual.
Carl Jung further refined the description of the psyche to include a collective unconsciousness. He saw the psyche as existing since birth. Jung taught that the psyche was not just the result of one’s environment. He spoke of the self as the whole of the psyche, the persona as the part of the psyche that developed for personal convenience, and the shadow as carrying the things an individual was unwilling to admit about himself.
Cognitive psychology, which gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, after Freud and Jung, prefers the word mind to psyche. It teaches that the way to understand behaviour is to understand the workings of the brain in processing information. Cognitive psychology remains the most popular school of thought as of 2014.
According to Freud’s model of the psyche, “the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories…”
Therefore Headspace would certainly be a part of Freud’s id, the original thought of the headspace cycle was, Engaging persona – entering head space – deep headspace – returning to real life (RL) – Drop. As like any idea, with thought, guidance and discussion I further developed the model to create a more in-depth cycle as illustrated below.
Engaging Persona – In my experience as I enter a play scene, a mosh, much or a kinky environment or event that will cause a response, thus allowing me to engage one of my personas, similar to when I am about to start work in the Kitchen, It could be argued that we all have a professional persona, therefore I have a chef persona. When attending an event such as a MOSH normally Pup Scout is engaged and commences entering into headspace. This does not mean that half way through the event or even the scene that Spanky wont want to be engaged, commencing the cycle of engaging a different persona and entering into headspace.
Entering Headspace – This is where you generally considered to be entering into an altered state of consciousness, this would be the beginning, the triggers that make you tick and start to prepare for the scene or event ahead.
In Headspace – You have gone past the triggers of engaging the desired headspace or persona and are now in what many refer to as the zone, sub / dom space or puppy space. This is when the characteristics of the persona start to come to the for front and you engaging your desires the primitive and instinctual part of your altered state of consciousness.
Deep Headspace – This is different for each individual, however here I generally feel there are different levels if this altered state of consciousness, similar to that of sleep patterns, you have different levels so the deeper you go the higher the level of headspace, making it more difficult to return to RL in a shorter period. Another analogy of this is the higher the high so the more naturally occurring chemicals which are exhibited the bigger the potential drop can be, this is both for sub and Dom.
Coming Out of Headspace: Returning to Real Life (RL) – This is the stage when play or the scene or event is coming to an end, and you commence the transition back to RL. At this stage after care may also be provided, and should be where ever required. This stage of the cycle may be long or short it depends on the individual, their experience and how deep they were in headspace. There are various methods different people use to return to RL thinking. Keep in mind that after care may be required after this stage, as some people may continue to ride the wave of the the high experienced from the activity whilst in the zone or headspace. I have know both Dom’s and subs to ride this wave for up to 3 days.
While in RL mode, you may still have parts of your persona out, this is an individual trait, for me a part of my puppy-ish ways or bratty side is always on display… If you experience a wave of these wonderful emotions then you need to understand that this is natural, but aftercare must be considered as essential to the planning of any event or activity.
Drop – (sometimes called sub drop, Dom drop and “The Mondays”) is an experience with similar characteristics of depression that occurs after an intense SM scene. It is caused by adrenaline and endorphin crashes after the adrenaline and endorphin spikes that may occur during a scene. Drops may occur straight after the scene or even hours or a couple of days latter, also event drops occur as we generally use a lot of energy whist at a kinky event – see link for full article: BDSM WIKI – DROP
Reflection: This may not always occur, but many of us do reflect on the event or scene that we have just endured, as it may be gentle or a little rough to extreme. This reflection is normal, as it helps with growth and development and enables us to create better connections with either our Dominate or submissive.
Multiple Headspaces: If indeed that there is a headspace cycle, as described above each different headspace would also have its own beginning and end, with potential overlaps. Visualising this is complex as this experience would be as individual and unique for each person or even each activity. Meaning if someone was able to traverse through various headspaces (keeping in mind that some kinky people may only have one space) they may be indifferent stages of the cycle, they may not even complete the cycle and stay in a suspend state of that headspace while they experience the other. An example is if I am in puppy headspace and I move into another form of heavier activity such as impact play with maybe the combination of restraints and rope, the pup may transition to the boy space while at the same time transverse with the sexualised side. Therefore while the pup may still be somewhat engaged he moves to the back while the boy who is now more engaged moves to the for-front.
The further issue with this is returning back to real life as the scene or event finishes all headspaces return back to their real life state. Then we have the drops so the pup for me is known to drop much faster then the boy, so while the boy may still be riding the wave from the scene the pup may not be travelling so well, and drop from the experience.
The Effects of slipping between Headspaces:
As I have not been able to find much written about slipping between Headspaces in BDSM, this is purely based on my own experiences.
Traversing between different personas and headspaces, I have experienced this several times during an event or a scene. What I have experienced when traversing through headspaces is that I tend to drop at different times, with the various personas. I can say for sure it is a roller coaster ride, the best way to describe it is one half wants to curl up and have cuddles or feel shitty, the other side is riding a high of what just occurred. This then causes the side on the down to want to re-engagement the activity to get another experience, commencing the cycle from the start, or not completing the cycle… causing for further overlapping. A state of confusion may occur, where you question why you feeling down and at the same time so great, causing what many refer to as a mind fuck.
You may even question your own abilities or identity. Without clarity it may prevent future engagement with the personas and finding it more difficult to drop into headspace, meaning you may not be able to play. This may also put strain on the D/s if not communicated and discussed.
Open Communication is key to any successful D/s relationship.
The issue I found when I tried reengage the cycle again to try and get a lift on the persona that is having the drop, this is not only is this both time consuming, and in our current lifestyles we are generally all time poor, but it also takes a lot of energy, commitment by both the Dominant and the submissive. I also ignore why I was feeling low and not allow the time needed to readjust.
This can certainly take its impact on the various sub spaces, as it is my belief you need to complete the cycle and have the required aftercare and allow yourself to return to RL sate. If you are playing with one dominate, it can also have a burden impact on them as you will be consuming more of the energies required for such a extension of the session, and the additional aftercare that is now required. Remember we are time poor and this needs to always be factored in.
A negative consequence on the Dominant preventing them from providing their own care as they are more concerned with the submissive who is experiencing a potential high and drop at the same time, whilst reflecting and having to return to RL.
If your playing with more then one dominate, you may be able to have additional play, but be aware of your state of mind, as this has the potential to have an impact on the scene or the aftercare. There are many times that unless the Dominates and part of a leather family structure, communication may be missed or avoided by the submissive, not allowing for proper required aftercare.
The energies required to slip between headspaces are on multiple levels, and this is what forms the required connections and bonds between Dominate and submissive, The Dominate needs to watch these and react when occurs especially if they are controlling the play, and allow the submissive enough time to transact with the correct headspace required.
It needs to be noted that these energies are emotional, physical and physiological. This what allows us to play how we choose. Thus; allowing for these very strong connections and bonds that we form. The impacts of traversing through headspaces may cause burn out. Or have personas that may be gentler to become easily hurt, by a mistake that the play went more extreme and not allowing the submissive to navigate the various headspaces, especially if they are already in a deep state of altered consciousness. Being in the incorrect headspace for the required scene would also be damaging for the submissive. This is more likely to happen with those who slip between headspaces during one session.
I found that when slipping between various headspaces takes longer to digest what has occurred this can have potential negative impacts on my real life as I will require a longer period to return to my real life state as I may still be reflecting whilst attempting to do my job or worst still ignore the emotional state that tends to go hand in hand with a sub-drop. I must be careful not to allow or to prevent the correct after care being provided which has the ability to damage the connection and the bond required in a D/s relationship.
Finally this brings me personal responsibility. While we all play using the golden rules of BDSM – Safe Sane and Consensual (SSC) or RACK – Risk Aware Consensual Kink I feel it is also the personal responsibly of both the submissive and the Dominant to ensure that not only the engagement of the activity is safe and active consent provided but the correct after care is provided, so when I play or attend an event I prefer to practice PRICK – Personal Responsibility Informed Consensual Kink. This ensures that when traversing through headspaces I can communicate my needs to the Dominate and we can both take personal responsibility for our actions to ensure we are both safe.
McLeod, S. A. (2016). Id, Ego and Superego. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/psyche.html
Headspace Cycle Illustration designed by – Pup Zeke
How to cite this article:
Bullivant, S. B. (2017). The effects of slipping between headspace’s. Retrieved from https://leatherpup.me/2017/07/26/the-effects-of-slipping-between-headspaces/
Lust – Chastity
A pup desires attention, has a lust for contact, and sometimes an insatiable craving for snuggles. However, some of the pups I have met are among the most chaste in existence.
Gluttony – Temperance
Take a bag of cookies to a pack of pups, shout treats, and try to get out alive. I wouldn’t say pups have an excessive desire for treats, they simply like to overindulge given the opportunity. But place a treat on a pup’s muzzle, make it a trick, tell them to wait, and they show a temperance and self-control beyond human levels.
Greed – Charity
Whenever you spot a pup’s blanket fort, you see its den. The place where a pup can hide its treasure. This is where a pup hoards its (stolen) treats, toys and undies, claiming all for its little kingdom. But lure a pup out, snuggle it, play with it, and it will share generously. And, if you’re lucky, it might even sacrifice a place in the fort, along with the hoard.
Sloth – Diligence
Now be fair, what is better than a puppy nap? A pup has many friends, but Sloth has a special place. A nap for the entire day. This isn’t to say a pup is lazy as such, it merely has a smart time management scheme. Don’t waste energy when unnecessary. And, if you’re out of luck, a pup will wake up before you do and zealously be your alarm.
Wrath – Patience
Ever invoked the wrath of a pup? No? Then you never tried to take away its treats. Though harmless, a pup’s growl can be… vexing. However, if you treat a pup right, and care for it, it will show you a harmony and forgiveness many could learn from.
Envy – Kindness
Here’s a survival tip: if you find yourself with a pack of pups, don’t try to only give one of them attention. You’ll end up with a bunch of jealous pups all claiming, even more, attention. But let’s be fair, what is better than the love and trust without prejudice only a pup offers?
Pride – Humility
It’s no secret that pups can be vain. They’ll do their best to show off their looks and what they can do, and on occasion are known to admire the mirror puppy. But if you manage to train your puppy well, and create that harmony, you’ll have its respect and it will do everything to make you happy.
Original Source: Pup Saber
As I have already blogged about this please follow the link to my Tumblr Blog…
Hood shaming is Wrong and not what our communities are about… Any shaming is against the basic principals of the leather community.
It is not very often that I get the opportunity to do a pup introduction, as our community grows and more and more Pups and Handlers are writing about their Pawsome experiences, adventures and just being a pup. In my wisdom I have decided to base my first pup introduction on Tycho Pup… Currently heading up VIC-PAH and has an awesome blog. Which is full of facts, fun and information and provides his own experiences on Human Pup Play.
Tycho Pup is a 29 year old New Zealander that lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is a professional Game Designer by day and an avid pup at night. Tycho is a head pup from the team of the local VIC-PAH group and is striving to help advocate and educate others about kinks, fetishes but primarily pup play.
I have had the pleasure in meeting Tycho, and Moshing with him at a few of the VIC-PAH events in Melbourne Australia.
Tycho has created a wonderful resource for the community, below is a small extract from Tycho’s work that he has done to help educate people entering the exciting world of pup play. See Web Resource pupplay.info
Reading through the articles,and all the work that has been put into this really extensive and great resource that is continues to grow which is already amazing resource for our community. The advantages of such a blog is that it is up to date and looks at the changing face of the community and provides a neat perspective of such changes.
Here is a small extract from the page:
King: Personal answers into the how and why of pup play, might hinder others more than they help. All personal journeys are just that, “personal”, they are a formula made up of a lifetime of positive and negative experiences. Trying to reduce that to the simplistic “I get this out of being a pup” is akin to not reading a novel but knowing in the end ‘the hero died cos he was greedy”..
Always Remember, it’s Your Fetish
The beauty of pet play lies both in the customization as well as personalization of the experience. There is no how-to guide or manual besides the unrestricted imagination of the puppy, as it should be. The input of the Master facilitates this imaginative setting and allows for the puppy to express the underlying primitive nature of him/herself that only further rewards the Master with unconditional love and stability. In exchange for the foundation the Master provides, the puppy relinquishes an agreed upon amount of control and freedom in order to foster this relationship and environment. Besides these basic premises to puppy play, there is no constraints or limitations that should ever exist. Can a puppy wear a diaper? Should there be a sexual relationship between Master and puppy? Does a puppy have to be limited in clothing to experience a full “mindset” experience? Do I need a Master to be a puppy?
No limitation can ever be put on your fetish and imagination. Your comfort is a gauge of both your expectations as well as an internal subconscious signal about how you can best create a pleasing mindset for yourself. By putting limits on a fetish, you put restrictions on your experience and serve the design of another, which never should be the case. In a group context, the above declarations remain the same. No one can judge you, nor should they. The strong Alpha human puppy stands by any puppy that both respects himself and others as well as creates his own experience in a play environment. The Beta follows likewise. As does the Omega. Never concede the right to create your own experience. It’s your fetish, no amount of time or knowledge can erase that fact.
Many woofs and wags,
I encourage you all to have a look at: Pupplay.info
Pup Tycho briefly said the reason he created the page was to “my only reason is to inspire and help others as I wish I could get when I was new into the scene”
This in itself so an amazing characteristic of a Tycho and how he has developed in a leader in our community…
I look forward to hopefully interview Tycho Pup next time I ma in Melbourne…
Happy paws and keep your tails wagging
There has been much talk about the recent UK documentary about the secret life of the human pup. Whist this is currently only available in the UK, RECON has put out a short clip, with some pup play occurring in downtown Sydney. The clip demonstrates that the pup life is emerging and is not as secret as the documentary suggests. Once I am able to view the documentary I will be doing a review…
Here is a pix of me at last years Queensland Pride Fair day, the acceptance of the the kink lifestyle has certainly assisted in pups of all walks of life being able to express their pup side and lifestyles not just behind closed doors, but also in the public arena.
Many of the pups in Brisbane entered the dog show at Pride… It is truly a liberating experience.
A big thank you to Kobi Cooke for making this possible….
I know it is customary to add sources and references at the end of a piece of writing, however I would encourage you guys to read the above links first before continuing onto reading the following article: Corporal Punishment / BDSM Lifestyle and Pup Play.
“Inflicting a graduating amount of pain, in order to maintain discipline or authority in a relation, or in a BDSM role playing scenario.”
A deliberate act of inflicting pain to a subject, for a perceived transgression of the rules. In sexual terms, it is used during various role playing activities associated with the BDSM community. However, it can take ‘milder forms’ in normal sexual situations, such as in the spanking of a buttocks.
All forms of punishment are basically corporal punishment, where the infraction may determine the amount of pain administered.
It is also a form of establishing one’s authority over another, such as in s/m culture, or BandD role playing.
As old as history, where society has ‘punished’ members of its society for rules infractions. It has ranged from caning (still practiced in some countries, such as Singapore)
Ancient Sparta was considered to have an extreme use of ‘corporal punishment’ which was used for toughening and strengthening. Rome would use ‘flogging’ as a form of public punishment. In addition it was limited to 40 lashes, actually 39 so as to insure not breaking the law.
Medieval Europe saw an increase in Corporal Punishment, especially in schools, due to the influence of the Church and it’s concept of the human body. This included the ‘religious’ practice of ‘self flagellation’ during one’s solitary prayers.
Some believed it was to help drive out the evil spirits, others thought it was to accept punishment for one’s mortal sins. It is rumored to still be a part of some obscure secular believers rituals.
It was also commonly used by the British Navy and Army in colonial times, for those who breached rules of conduct. Generally such punishments were supervised by medical personnel. They would stop such ‘flogging’ if the offender was incapable of receiving the full scope of punishment.
It has been used in some form or another, to enforce discipline in schools, and though mostly no longer allowed, some States in the USA still use ‘paddling’ as a form of punishment in its schools.
In some areas, corporal punishment was outlawed for girls, while still being allowed for males. In other regions, administration of corporal punishment is considered ‘abuse of a minor’ no matter the level of pain being inflicted.
In 1784, Poland was the first to ban spanking or corporal punishment in schools. The United States refused to sign the United Nations charter of the ‘Rights of Children’ (in 2004) because of the provision banning parents from ‘using excessive discipline’ though it didn’t specifically mention Corporal Punishment.
History (Legend): Noted German psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing claimed that there was a link between a child who experienced corporal punishment at home, later sadist and masochist behavior in their adult life., though Sigmund Freud disputed that correlation.
Can take various forms. It can be as mild as a few brief whacks across the bare buttocks of a partner, or can be more intensive, where a great deal of pain is inflicted.
It can include the use of various implements, like whips, paddles, hair brushes, and other firm objects. It can also cause damage if applied to more sensitive parts of the body. Usually such measures are applied to the more fleshy body parts, such as the buttocks.
The most used are the open ended palm of a hand, or a paddle.
Some BDSM role playing involved the ‘bottom’ deliberately creating a situation for the ‘top’ that various forms of ‘corporal punishment’ are administered. This can include whipping, paddling, and such.
During ‘impact play’ or other associated BDSM activities, corporal punishment takes on many forms. It can include any means of inflicting pain on a ‘submissive/bottom’. It is usually instigated by the ‘bottom/submissive’.
Being bound is not a requirement, though is generally accepted as being part of the whole ‘game’. Care has to be used, when using Corporal Punishment techniques, in order to avoid possible permanent injury to the ‘bottom’.
During any BDSM role playing, the USE OF A SAFEWORD will end the administration of the punishment.
In many instances various apparatuses are used, where the ‘bottom’ is forced to lay across or bent over, so that the ‘top’ can administer the punishment with an assorted variety of tools. The ‘bottom’ can be bound as well to these apparatuses, such as a ‘X’ type cross, trestle, bench, or other similar items.
Spanking or Paddling are more traditional during ‘age play’ scenes, and can be very painful. Flagellation is generally not involved in such scenes, but is left to the more ‘extreme’ role playing scenarios.
Most forms of Corporal Punishment are directed towards the buttocks, the back, the back of the upper legs, and the soles of the feet. Other body areas are far more riskier, in that very serious injury can be inflicted without being noticed.
There is also the ‘humiliation’ factor to be taken into account in this type of fetishism. While hitting the soles of one’s feet isn’t necessarily considered ‘humiliating’ it is extremely painful and the effects (pain) can last for lengthy periods of time.
The force of the blow can be a factor, but generally is administered in a less intense manner, but can be repeated over a lengthy time frame, increasing the sensitivity of the area being struck, thus increasing the pain being administered.
Noteworthy: In some countries, Corporal Punishment of Children is considered a form of abuse, though not some of the more ‘western’ countries (notably the United States, that defends the rights of parents to discipline their children as they see fit.). Most psychiatric experts note that such ‘punishment’ does not produce long term benefits, but actually the opposite effect. They claim it leads to more aggression from grown children who were subjected to regular corporal punishment.
Reference: Gay Demon – Source of above article: GAY-DEMON The above definitions, practice and history is not my work, the original article can be found at the link provided above.
If a submissive is to be disciplined, should they be caned, whipped, beaten? Is utilising some form of corporal punishment effective in modifying behavior or counterproductive?
It depends – of course – but my position is corporal punishment can be effective as long as the dominant is skilled, experienced, and mature. In regards to pup play I personally feel that for many submissive pups positive reinforcement is more likely to work then corporal punishment. The pup mentality generally wants to please their Handler or Alpha then disappoint. In saying that sometimes pups do need a firm hand. Once again I would say this would be open to the discussion between the parties involved.
Why would a submissive sound off on the topic? Because it’s been brought up repeatedly with in various internet circles, including Fetlife. I have seen many post on this topic with strong views that you should never strike a pup. Mostly, those arguing against the idea, use more emotion and second-hand anecdotes than informed reason and logic to make their points. Basically it comes down to common sense and what has been communicated in that particular arrangement.
When Sir strikes me for being bad, I know it is justified and deserved and I have protocoles in place including a punishment register that enables me to reflect on my behaviour, what I did wrong and how I was punished.
Below are well-reasoned arguments for a hostile audience who’ll probably never read a single word.
Qualifications are tedious but seem unavoidable given the subject.
Polthus explains that, “Punishment is an aspect of Lifestyle BDSM relationships that saliently sets them apart from conventional ones. Anyone who’s suffered through a lengthy drive in silence can attest to the fact that punishments exist in conventional relationships. However, behavior is coded in faux-egalitarianism and therefore erratic and often arbitrary. In contrast, those living in a lifestyle BDSM relationship usually have an explicit binary of power and specific rules which, if broken, lead to a submissive being punished. Yes, some lifestyle D/s relationships have looser strictures than others, and there are thousands of different dynamics, but some reduction is required to have a discussion.”
Back to the issue: to strike a submissive as a form of punishment or not.
Common arguments against corporal punishment tend to run as follows: a beating rewards a masochist; it doesn’t matter if the attention is negative because it’s still attention; a dominant might abuse their power and harm the submissive; mixing ‘fun’ activities with genuine punishment leads to confusion and resentment; or ‘funishments’ lead to bratty or SAMmy (Smart Ass Masochist) behavior.
I’ll address the ‘against arguments’ later, but for now here’s my working axiom for understanding why corporal punishment is effective:
If you catch someone indulging in one cigar, how might you teach them a lesson? A common approach is to have them smoke five in a row. The same logic applies to eating cotton candy, riding a carousel, or damn near any other combination of verb and noun. In regards to corporal punishment, a logical disconnect seems to occur because the same tools/toys used for pleasure are being utilised to punish. Furthermore, tools such as the crop, or paddle have connotations that tend to evoke emotional responses as opposed to rational ones. Yet as I just demonstrated, pretty much ‘anything’ can be a source of discomfort.
A skilled dominant can make a punishment beating an experience that even an avowed masochist will avoid by using a combination of psychology, preparation, setting, and relentless repetition. Essentially, it’s the same cocktail used to launch a sub into space – except in reverse. The experience becomes one full of unpleasant and painful sensations that are as inescapable because the dominant makes them so.
Safe Words – Please see Polthus view on Safe Words [ safe words here.] Whilst I agree with the uses and setting up safe words, the link shows another view that always should be considered. As I have previously mentioned in other blog posts, I would assume that your play partner would be familiar with the practice of SSC, and would also practice RACK or PRICK or both.
This post IS NOT a ‘how to’ guide, I won’t provide an example of a punishment session. However, agree or disagree with my position, anyone who’s experienced in BDSM can understand the concept above. And for fucks sake – if you’re just getting your toes wet with kinky sex and lifestyle dynamics, please find an experienced mentor before you hurt yourself or someone else.
That said, here’s a brief response to the arguments against corporal punishment in lifestyle BDSM relationships:
“A masochist is being rewarded” – If we’re talking about someone ‘hard core,’ someone who derives sexual pleasure and catharsis from raw pain no matter who’s causing it and why, then yes, an extreme masochist would be rewarded. But we’re not talking about the fringe extremes here are we? And even if we were, the statement above leaves out a key component of psychology- the submissive desire to please their dominant.
Because if the person being punished is a submissive masochist, the event occurring means their dominant is so displeased with their behavior that they’ve set aside a portion of the day to address it means they fucked up badly. This knowledge can be part of what’s used to keep a submissive from deriving pleasure when being punished. Additionally, a dominant who knows what they’re doing has a pocketful of tactics to keep a sub from floating away on endorphins or escaping into their own mind.
Understanding the psychology of punishment and how it’s enacted, destroys the idea of ‘funishments’ and concerns over confusion. And, look, if you cannot differentiate between the ways ‘fun beatings’ and ‘punishment’ are very different beasts, then you probably shouldn’t be dispensing corporal punishment as serious aspect of your relationship.
I will add that displeasure or not pleasing your dominant, for both many submissive’s and pups is more than enough to realise they have fucked up, and should be used to ensure they understand the difference between a pleasurable beating and one that is meant for punishment.
As for dominants being abusive, that’s a completely separate issue. Why? Because they have the same tools and power to be abusive whenever they damn well please. And the tools themselves are just as much of a strawman as the nature of the relationship. Since when have abusive rageoholics required rules and rituals to oppress others? An abusive dominant that lacks self-control is dangerous to their submissive – full stop. The fact they have or have not incorporated beating someone as punishment is beside the point.
More often than mot, people tend to believe the knowledge they receive first without question. It’s human nature to do so. However, far be it from me to prescribe whether rational adults should or should not do something behind closed doors.
But if you want to know whether corporal punishment can be an effective means of correction, my answer is yes. Generally speaking the Dominants that I play with or train under are very experienced, they tend to know what makes me tick and I respect the Dominant that is training me. Those are three significant reasons I’m quite keen to avoid punishment.
Let’s be clear, knowing someone has the power to whip my ass until they decide I’ve had enough is arousing. However, I have ZERO desire to get a lesson beat into me. If you cannot grasp the seduction of giving up power and the appeal of the ‘unfairness’ in a D/s relationship, then either a D/s is not for your or you have just commenced your journey.
For those that are commencing their journeys will need to understand the seduction of giving up power and placing your trust into the hands of your dominant who will in-turn be a protector of that trust. And just as Polthus explains the appeal of the unfairness in a D/s relationship goes to the heart of the TPE.
Most of the above texted I have not edited and left as is, as I agree with it, I wish to thank Polthus who has expressed the desire for their writings to be shared. And I encourage you to read their post in it entirety.
What has this all got to do with pup play?
Just like every D/s dynamic where there is a perceived power exchange, power imbalance or however you wish to describe it, pup play can very well fall into this category. And whether your a pup, and Alpha or Handler, etc. in the pup community you need to be aware, and be able to communicate your desires, and needs.
It must be noted the pup is not the only one that has the needs and desires that are needing to be meant, whilst many appear to forget the Handlers in much of their writings. The Handlers or the Dominants of the dynamic are equally as important as the pup.
As the community grows and people bring in their own interpretations of pup play, and include other kinks such as corporal punishment, we need to be open about this without discouraging others ideas. I will be discussing such ideas and cross overs in my next blog post. The take home message is just because it something you do not believe in dose not make it wrong, pup play can take many forms and have many interpretations
Once again it is a lifestyle that you make and how you explore it, this is entirely up to you, just remember communicate, negotiate and stay safe. Unfortunately there are the existence of the Creepy Dom. Whilst 99% of the Dom’s I have can in contact with have been absolutely awesome, there are some that you stay away from, and that inculdes anyone willing to take away your rights before you are ready to give them up.