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What Do You Know About Human Puppy Play?

by Steven Bristow, LCPC

Human puppy play is one of the fastest growing kinks out there. For some, it is their first foray into the world of fetishism or kink, while for others, it is a way of incorporating multiple aspects of their kink selves into one “pupsona”.

One of the reasons many people believe puppy play is growing so fast, is because it is not based on “old guard” or “leather protocol” as many other kinks are and have been. So for many, having open discussions on what puppy play means to them, what a relationship looks like, and how to pursue their kink, can be a huge relief in that they get to craft their own experience!

I probably have a discussion with other pups at least once a week about mental health. So far in my experience both as a clinician and as a human pup myself, I’ve found that many (if not most) pups use puppy play as a way to process, resolve, work through, or escape from difficult emotions. Many pups find that letting go, following instinct, and playing is a way for them to positively impact their lives.  Unfortunately, some of those who I have talked to often times won’t bring it up to their therapist.

When asking pups and handlers why that might be, many say that they think their therapist will think they’re “weird”, that the therapist wouldn’t “get it”.  Some worry that their therapist would lack a basic language or understanding of human puppy play. Some even fear that their therapist will think they are engaging in illegal activity like bestiality.

                In the upcoming October 19th KPACT event, Rena McDaniel and I (Thumper or Steven, whichever you feel more comfortable calling me) will help clinicians develop a basic understanding of puppy play and familiarize themselves with important terms and phrases.  We hope to talk about common language used in and around the community, discuss common misconceptions, and most importantly share how skills clinicians already have for things like relationship dynamics, setting boundaries, and safe-sex negotiations can easily be adapted and put to work in human puppy play. Who knows, you may even find you develop an interest in the adorable and playful world of pet play, specifically, human pup play!

We hope you will join us. Click here for more info about the presentation.

About Cindy Trawinski, Psy.D.

Cindy Trawinski, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, a Diplomate in Process-oriented Psychology (also known as Process Work) and a certified Imago Relationship Therapist. She is a founding partner of LifeWorks Psychotherapy Center and North Shore Psychotherapy Associates and has offices in Skokie, IL. Cindy is the former CEO of the Process Work Institute, in Portland, OR and a member of the International Association of Process-oriented Psychology (IAPOP), in Zurich, Switzerland. Cindy is a frequent speaker on topics including: Diversity and Multicultural Issues; Sex Positivity; Rank & Power; Therapist Bias; and Polyamory.

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