Exploring the world of Puppy Play #BDSM

puppyplay1.jpgBy JamesMichael Nicols of The Huffington Post

“Puppy Play” is a subset of BDSM culture that involves a person or persons taking on the “primal” role and mentality of a canine and exploring nonhuman desires and headspace via that experience.

Those who belong to the Puppy Play community may express their interest in and/or relationship with the fetish in many different ways, including donning fetish gear and the establishment of alternative kinship systems called packs, which are modeled after wild dog or wolf packs.

“Alpha, Beta, Omega” is a new photography seriesby artist Zak Krevitt currently on display in Brooklyn that elevates and explores communities engaging in this practice, while bringing conversations about puppy play into the mainstream.
ZAK KREVITT
”I think that anytime you reject the status quo, that is [inherently] queer,” Krevitt told The Huffington Post. “In this case, [it is] a rejection of the the human and an adaptation of the primal. We’re not queering sexuality or gender per se, but we are queering one’s humanity, and that’s really an intriguing negotiation for me to dive into through the work. On a more literal note, the Puppy Play community is largely made up of LGBT folk. I think since we are more used to alternative sexuality, we are less bound by societal norms when it comes to exploration into kink and BDSM.”

The Huffington Post chatted with Krevitt this week to learn more about “Alpha, Beta, Omega,” his interest in Puppy Play fetish communities and why providing space for exploring this range of desire is important for queer people.
ZAK KREVITT AND THOMAS MCCARTY
The Huffington Post: How did this project come about?

Over the last year, I’ve been exploring my personal interests in Puppy Play the best way I know how ― through photography. It started when I crawled my way out of a panic attack by reverting to a primal headspace and playing fetch with my partner. After I calmed down, and came back into my human headspace, I immediately hopped onto google to see if this was a common practice. I was shocked and delighted to find that there was such a rich community surrounding this, the Puppy Play community.
ZAK KREVITT
I discovered a local group, NYC-PAH, who happened to be having their annual camping trip the next weekend. I signed up, heart racing, nervous, excited and confused. I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. I had never met these people and suddenly I was to spend 72 hours with them, naked in the woods. I crystallized this cacophony of emotion and information through photography. After that initial trip, I approached VICE with the idea of exploring this community in a positive light. They agreed, and helped me attend several conventions around the country where I made the majority of the work in “Alpha, Beta, Omega.”
ZAK KREVITT
Let’s say whoever is reading this knows nothing about the Puppy Play community ― can you offer some context and background about this subculture? Why do people do this?

Puppy Play, while born out of the Old Guard leather scene, has become its own community in recent years. It is focused around a primal headspace, often referred to as “Pup space,” that many find extremely comforting. This is the highly sought after mindset where you eschew your human condition and assume the simplified headspace of a dog or young puppy. Out of headspace, many pups choose to participate in the larger Puppy community, utilizing social media and IRL meet-ups to connect with each other, show off their gear, disseminate knowledge to newbies, and in some cases, form Packs. A Pack is a family unit, modeled after wild dog or wolf packs, tinted with a classic BDSM power exchange.
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