Animal roleplay is a form of roleplay where at least one participant plays the part of an 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.
Usually sexual roleplaying involving Owner/Puppy, Owner/Kitty, Owner/Pet etc. The main stipulation is that one person is either an “owner” or playing the “owner” of the other person, or the submissive person is a “pet” or playing the “pet” of the dominant. Both people involved are ALWAYS adults and ALWAYS human.
Pet play is one of the most unique, one of the least known and in my opinion one of the most fun and entertaining sub-cultures in the BDSM, D/s and “kink” lifestyle. Now, I write this from the perspective of a submissive female, so please keep in mind that it can be changed around to any form you want.
Pet play involves one or more people acting as an animal with typically the submissive being the animal and the Dominant being the “Owner” and/or “Trainer.” I have heard of the Dominant being the animal and Dominating his/her submissive that way, such as holding the submissive down with a bite on the neck, but I am unfamiliar with this.
What animals are common for submissives to be? Most commonly you will see ponies, puppies and pigs. I myself have been a kitty and as of this writing am a puppy. Less frequently I have also seen bunnies, cows and once a seal, though I have no experience with these animals.
For me, one of the biggest reasons I enjoy pet play, aside from it simply being fun, is that it reinforces the Owner/owned relationship. Non-human pets are owned and completely dependent on their owner. They get fed when the owner decides and only then. Their toys and medical care is wholly dependent upon the owner remembering and doing. In a 24/7 D/s relationship this is often times also true. The slave is fed after their Owner has eaten. They wear what their Owner wishes, sleeps when and where their Owner tells them, and follows the rules their Owner dictates. So it is with non-human pets. The only difference is that your non-human pets didn’t consent. You choose them and bring them home upon your own whim. With D/s pet play, the submissive consents to be the property of their Owner. For me, being an animal, being “less than human” reinforces my Dom’s Domination of me. He is a Man and wholly human. I am a pup. His pup.
How is the animal chosen?
There are typically three ways.
One way is the submissive acting upon his/her instincts to which animal they most identify with. If the submissive is loyal and playful perhaps they lean towards puppy. If they enjoy being led around and high protocol training perhaps it would be pony.
One other common way for the animal to be chosen is for the Dominant to choose for the submissive. If S/He prefers a puppy to a kitty, the submissive will be molded into a puppy. As another example if the Dom is a farmer who enjoys breastfeeding from His submissive, perhaps He would like her to be a cow.
The submissive can also switch animals from time to time if their pet play is temporary, if they simply enjoy experimentation or if they do not identify with one particular animal.
Why pet play?
One large reason many D/s couples go into pet play is for the humiliation and dependence aspect. Restricting a submissive’s movement and vocalizations forces them to be that much more dependent on their Dom. Also, not being allowed on furniture or having to use a litter box instead of a toilet can be very humiliating for some.
Another is because it is simply fun. It is a great psychological and emotional release to be able to come home and let loose the restrictions of humanity and what humans are “supposed to be like.” It is just plain fun to bat around a cat toy or play tricks and get treat rewards. It could also be described as a “de-stressing” process from the rigors of daily life, especially if the participants work outside the home.
It can help with submission, as taking away some parts of the submissive’s humanity can help take away their sense of equality. It can help the submissive orient their mind to their Dom being their focus in life.
Pet play could also be used as punishment. If the submissive misbehaves badly it could be punishment to be put out in the pig stalls with the pigs for a period of time, or whatever animal is available, and made to act like that animal as the punishment.
How does one engage in pet play?
Restrict movement via bondage.
Restrict verbal communication, perhaps to only certain words or animal sounds such as “woof!” or “mew!” or more child-like words such as “up!” or “potty!”.
Training exercises such as tricks for puppies, walking on leads and leashes or for ponies pulling a cart/plow.
Eating and drinking out of bowls without the use of hands and/or silverware.
Learning to use a litter box instead of a toilet, or even going outside.
Playing with toys, such as batting toys for kitties or tug-of-war toys for puppies.
Begging in the manner of the animal you identify with, such as a puppy whining.
Not being allowed on furniture without permission.
Also, safety is incredibly important!
So please keep these things in mind, and also any others that fit your lifestyle:
When it comes to eating actual animal food, while it is okay for perhaps a short scene, it is not safe to do so on a regular basis. Humans have different nutritional needs than animals do, and it is incredibly important to get your nutritional needs met. There are many ways to simulate animal food and treats such as mashing up meatloaf with ketchup, using stews or even baking treats in the shapes of bones and such. However, for any long term play, Eukanuba, Purina and any other brand of animal food you use, are for canines and felines, not humans.
If you choose to use training and/or shock collars, please, PLEASE read the instructions! On a personal level I am not into electric play, but it is out there. So please, be careful and safe.
If you put your pup slave into a kennel, please keep in mind that they are very cramped. You do not want your pup slave to be damaged from being in that position for long periods of time.
If the submissive has had their ability to move and speak restricted it is incredibly important that some form of communication is available to them so that they may communicate if something has happened and/or gone wrong, both physically and emotionally.
Also, in my opinion having a human pet can add some responsibility to the Dom because when some of the submissive’s humanity is taken away and especially if their communication is restricted, the Dominant must that much more aware of the submissive’s frame of mind.
So that’s a very basic overview of pet play. It can get a lot more specific if one looks at each relationship and the animal(s) involved. A note though; pet play sometimes can be sexual, and sometimes can be completely non-sexual. It, as with everything else, simply depends on the couple involved. Please keep in mind that I am in no way speaking of bestiality. This is two or more human beings acting and role playing within the confines of their negotiated relationship.
Most importantly: Have fun and ask questions if you need or want to!!
In my opinion, pet play can deepen submission, but only if it’s right for you.