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Animal roleplay is a form of roleplay where at least one participant plays the part of a non-human animal. As with most forms of roleplay, its uses include play and psychodrama.
Animal roleplay may also be found in BDSM contexts, where an individual may take part in a dominant/submissive relationship by being treated as an animal. The activity is often referred to as petplay. However, not all types of animal roleplay within BDSM are petplay and not all petplay in BDSM involves roleplaying as an animal; some can be referred to as primal play and is not related or accepted by the furry fandom.
The origins of animal roleplay and petplay are probably various and diverse, again depending upon the participants involved. However, its origins are certainly influenced by costuming, fiction, myth and legend, roleplay and psychodrama in their various aspects. Some of the earliest published images of animal play (especially pony play) are to be found in the work of John Willie, primarily in Bizarre magazine published from 1946 to 1959.
Some of the equipment that can be used in animal roleplay include leash, chain, bit gag, neck collar, bondage harness, catsuit, bodystocking, butt plug, muzzle, ballet boots, etc.
Non-sexual animal roleplay was a common and integral part of ritual in many tribal cultures both in recent and likely prehistoric times, where a member (or members) of the tribe would take the role physically and often spiritually of an animal that was either revered or hunted. Examples of the former include many of the American Indian tribes and Arctic native peoples. Examples of the latter are evidenced by cave paintings. In 1911, Julia Tuell photographed the last Animal Dance ("Massaum") performed by the Northern Cheyenne of Montana.
It is also sometimes used in education, especially physical education, as a way to encourage people to exercise the body in unusual ways, by mimicking various animals.
Some superheroes, heroines, and villains also feature elements related to pet play; such as DC Comics's Wildcat, Catwoman, the Penguin and Vixen, Marvel's Tigra, Man-Wolf and Black Cat, or even Nastassja Kinski's Irena Gallier in the 1982 film Cat People (a remake of the 1942 Simone Simon film), and Miss Kitty from the Brendan Fraser movie Monkeybone . All involve animal qualities taken on by a human. Some would even count the enactment or spiritual belief in therianthropy (werewolves, werecats, etc.) as falling under human animal roleplay or transformation play as well.
Peter Shaffer's 1973 play Equus tells the story of a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses, but this appears closer to zoophilia than pet play. Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 musical Cats traces a tribe of urban cats, and in 2007 War Horse used full size puppets to play horses on stage.
Like much of erotic play and roleplay, animal roleplay in an erotic or relational context is entirely defined by the people involved and by their mood and interests at the time of play. It ranges from the simple imitation of a vocal "whinnying" of a horse to the barking, panting or playful nudging of a puppy, or playful behaviour of a kitten, to crawling around on all fours and being fed, or petted, by hand. To the greater extremes of dressing up as a pony in modified horse tack, masks, prosthetics and temporary bondage based body modification (such as binding the forearms to the upperarms and/or the calves to the thighs).
Public participation in human animal roleplay is varied. A couple could inconspicuously role-play a pet play scene in public, which would look to the casual observer like one partner is merely stroking the other's neck. In the case of some BDSM fetishists, one partner may wear a dog collar with a leash attached.
The reasons for playing such a character or animal can vary as much as the physical manifestations and intensity of the play. Some people enjoy being able to "cut loose" into a different, or more dynamic personality (see other variations). In some cases, pet play is seen as a loving, quiet cuddling time where there is no need for verbalizations and the simple act of stroking, rubbing and holding the other partner is satisfying or reassuring in and of itself for those involved. For others, there may be a spiritual side to it. Some feel closer to their animal totem, while others may identify with something akin to a deeper side or part of their own psyche (known as therianthropy). For still others, there is the experience of power exchange setup in a context or structure which they can accept.
Some cases could be considered a type of animal transformation fantasy. They can have strong elements of exhibitionism, be totally enjoyed in the privacy of the home, or lie somewhere between either boundary. While not widespread, erotic human-animal roleplay is still enjoyed by a sizable number of people. However, it is still primarily identified with BDSM practice. Though commonly misinterpreted as being associated with furry or other alternative lifestyle activities, that is generally not the case though some instances may exist.
For most participants, it has no connection whatsoever with bestiality, which is controversial and would usually be considered edgeplay in BDSM circles.
Autozoophilia is sexual arousal that depends on acting out or imagining one's self as an animal. Paraphilic interests that involve being in another form have been referred to as erotic target location errors (ETLEs), and autozoophilia would represent an autoerotic form of zoophilia.Autozoophilia is mostly practised by wearing an animal costume, such as a latex mask, mascot costume or fursuit.
Each type of play can focus on a certain "strength" of an animal character. Pony play often involves the practice and training that a horse owner or trainer would put their horse through to learn how to walk, canter, etc., as modified for human limbs. Puppy and kitten play often can involve BDSM related discipline. Cow Play often involves fantasies of lactation and impregnation. The usual limits of safe, sane and consensual apply to roleplay as much as any other activity between humans who accept and respect their partner's interests and limits. For most, this does not include bestiality.
Note: Just because one partner is playing the "pet" does not necessarily make them the passive or submissive play partner in the scene.
Some people believe that they have certain animal 'instincts' and through animal roleplay can let them out. This is especially true in the BDSM communities, where some people 'live' as their chosen animal 24/7.[ citation needed ] This type of mentality goes beyond roleplay and becomes a full lifestyle for the parties involved. There are also 'hybrids'. These are humans who live part-time as one type of animal, and part-time as another. This is usually determined by the situation.
In the BDSM scene, people engage in animal roleplay to build stronger emotional connections. People develop deep emotional connections with their pets. Petplay, especially pup and kitten play seeks to create the same deep emotional connection between the owner/master and submissive/pet. The dom may demand unconditional love and obedience, but they may also train their pet to be more emotionally perceptive and empathic. This helps the sub feel safe and secure in the relationship.
Pony play is where at least one of the participants dresses to resemble and assumes the mannerisms and character of an equine animal. People involved in pony-play ("ponies") generally divide themselves to three groups [ unreliable source? ] although some will participate in more than one category:
A documentary film Pony Passion was produced by British pony play club De Ferre in 2003 showing their club's activities and the 2005 documentary film, Born in a Barn, depicted the lives of several pony-play enthusiasts.
Pony play is sometimes referred to as "The Aristotelian Perversion", in reference to an apocryphal story where the philosopher Aristotle was persuaded to let a woman named Phyllis ride him like a horse, in promised exchange for sexual favors: an episode depicted in various woodcuts and other works of art. [ unreliable source? ]
In puppy play, or pup play, at least one of the participants acts out canine mannerisms and behaviors, which is sometimes associated with leather culture. If there is a dominant role it can be taken by a "handler", "trainer", "master", or in the case of someone who also identifies as a pup, an "alpha". Not all "pups" or "dogs" are "alpha", some consider themselves "beta" or "omega", and as in the canine world hierarchy, "beta" can refer to someone who has both dominant and submissive or service oriented tendencies depending on the situation where "omega" generally indicates a more submissive, passive, service oriented and playful nature. Unlike other forms of animal roleplay, it is not uncommon for two or more pups to play together as equals, possibly fight for dominance, or play where one is clearly the "alpha".
Puppy play is often about being playful, mischievous, cheeky and instinctive.Many human puppies like to simplify their desires and motivations as they embrace the side of themselves that acts solely on instinct. A great deal of animal role play occurs socially. A group of like-minded pet-players will gather at events specifically organised for social pet play. At pup play events, for example, which occur all over the world, human puppies will act like bio puppies, relaxing, playing fetch, and interacting with human handlers.
In relation to other BDSM play, a "puppy" who is "unowned" or "uncollared" can be referred to as a "stray". Many pups use a headspace when getting into a roleplay scenario known as "pup space" which allows them to take on their puppy persona more easily.[ clarification needed ][ citation needed ] Other elements rooted in BDSM play involve bondage and restriction with collars, leashes, kneepads (for knee protection), harnesses, rubber suits, hoods (not needed but sometimes helps to assist with headspace and self identity) and mitts (for hand protection as well as finger usage restriction). Both sexual and non-sexual services are options that occur in the scene and should be discussed by the participants (pup / handler, beta / alpha, etc.) ahead of time so expectations are not misinterpreted. "Training" may take place in order to teach commands or tricks if both participants desire such interactions.
Groups involved in puppy play include Pup Pride Australia, which since 2015 has participated in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Grasand has featured in an Australian TV documentary aired by the Special Broadcasting Service.
In kitten play, a person dresses to resemble and assumes the mannerisms and character of a kitten or cat, a characteristic of which is that it keeps some independence and, as part of the fantasy, might retaliate against the partner trying to tame/train them. Some might be trained to do tricks such as bring toys back, to beg, or go on walks. Like in puppy play, a "kitten" or "cat" that is unowned or uncollared may be called a "stray".
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BDSM is a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other related interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves to be practising BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture often is said to depend on self-identification and shared experience.
Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone to acts with another person in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons. Sexual activity usually results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle. Sexual activity may also include conduct and activities which are intended to arouse the sexual interest of another or enhance the sex life of another, such as strategies to find or attract partners, or personal interactions between individuals. Sexual activity may follow sexual arousal.
Bondage, in the BDSM subculture, is the practice of consensually tying, binding, or restraining a partner for erotic, aesthetic, or somatosensory stimulation. A partner may be physically restrained in a variety of ways, including the use of rope, cuffs, bondage tape, or self-adhering bandage.
Sexual roleplay is roleplay that has a strong erotic element. It may involve two or more people who act out roles in order to bring to life a sexual fantasy and may be a form of foreplay and be sexually arousing. Many people regard sexual roleplay as a means of overcoming sexual inhibitions. It may take place in the real world, or via an internet forum, chat-room, video-game, or email—allowing for physically or virtually impossible erotic interests to be enacted.
Ageplay or age play is a form of roleplaying in which an individual acts or treats another as if they were a different age. Ageplay is roleplaying between adults, and involves consent from all parties. Ageplay is not necessarily sexual. Portraying any age can be the goal of ageplay, from babies to a child to the elderly. Usually this involves someone pretending to be younger than they actually are, but more rarely can involve assuming an older role.
In BDSM, servitude refers to performing personal tasks for their dominant partner, as part of their submissive role in a BDSM relationship.
Weaning is the process of gradually introducing an infant human or another mammal to what will be its adult diet while withdrawing the supply of its mother's milk.
Female submission or femsub is an activity or relationship in which a woman consents to submit to the direction of a sexual partner or allows her body to be used sexually by or for the sexual pleasure of her partner. The expression is often associated with BDSM, when the woman voluntarily and consensually submits to such activity. Submission usually involves a degree of trust by the woman in her partner. The dominant partner is usually a man, but can also be another woman, or there can be multiple dominant partners simultaneously. The submissive woman may derive sexual pleasure or emotional gratification from relinquishing control to a trusted dominant partner.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to BDSM:
Erotic sexual denial is the practice of refraining from sexual experiences in order to increase erotic arousal and/or tension. The prohibited experience can be narrowly or broadly defined and banned for a specific or indeterminate length of time depending on the practitioner. The experience withheld can be any favored or desired sexual activities, such as specific acts or positions, provided it is something the practitioner wants. Erotic sexual denial is commonly used as sex play between intimate partners, but it can also be indulged in as an individual practice.
This glossary of BDSM terms defines terms commonly used in the BDSM community.
Dominance and submission is a set of behaviours, customs, and rituals involving the submission of one person to another in an erotic episode or lifestyle. It is a subset of BDSM. This form of sexual contact and pleasure has been shown to please a minority of people.
Erotic hypnosis is the practice of hypnosis for sexual purposes, outside of a therapeutic context. Some erotic hypnosis is practiced in the context of BDSM relationships and communities. In addition, for some people hypnosis is inherently erotic, making it an example of a sexual fetish or paraphilia.
Erotic humiliation is consensual psychological humiliation performed in order to produce erotic excitement or sexual arousal. This can be for either the person(s) being humiliated and demeaned or the person(s) humiliating, or both. It is sometimes performed before spectators, including pornography and webcam viewers. It may be part of BDSM and other sexual roleplay, or accompanied by the sexual stimulation of the genitals of one or both parties in the activity.
Erotic sensation play is a class of activities meant to impart physical sensations upon a partner, as opposed to mental forms of erotic play such as power exchange or sexual roleplaying.
Littlest Pet Shop is a toy franchise and cartoon series owned by Hasbro. The original toy series was produced by Kenner in the early 1990s. An animated television series was made in 1995 by Sunbow Productions and Jean Chalopin Creativite et Developpement, based on the franchise.
Animal Ark is a children's book series written by a collection of authors under the direction of Ben M. Baglio using the pseudonym Lucy Daniels starting in 1994. They have now been published in the USA under the name Ben M. Baglio as a pseudonym for the authors who write the books. Each author is named with a 'Special Thanks' on the copyright page. The age the books are aimed at is usually agreed as 8 plus.
In BDSM, Master/slave, M/s or sexual slavery is a relationship in which one individual serves another in a consensual authority-exchange structured relationship. Unlike Dominant/submissive structures found in BDSM in which love is often the core value, service and obedience are often the core values in Master/slave structures. The participants may be of any gender or sexual orientation. The relationship uses the term "slave" because of the association of the term with ownership rights of a master to their slave's body, as property or chattel. While male "masters" will usually be referred to as "Master", whether or not female Masters are referred to as "Master" or "Mistress" may depend upon whether they identify as following the leather subculture or BDSM path, or simply preference.
Zoophilia is a paraphilia involving a sexual fixation on non-human animals. Bestiality is cross-species sexual activity between humans and non-human animals. The terms are often used interchangeably, but some researchers make a distinction between the attraction (zoophilia) and the act (bestiality).
This is an index of BDSM articles. BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves as practicing BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience. Interest in BDSM can range from one-time experimentation to a lifestyle.