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. 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 to 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. 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. All involve animal qualities taken on by a human. Some would even count the enactment or spiritual belief in therianthropy werewolves , werecats , etc. Peter Shaffer 's 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 musical Cats traces a tribe of urban cats, and in 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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?
A documentary film Pony Passion was produced by British pony play club De Ferre in showing their club's activities and the 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.
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. 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.
There are numerous groups across the world involved in puppy play,  with a number in the United States. In , Brue Pierce, one of the members of the SF K9 Unit along with assistance from several other members and volunteers, organized and produced the largest public pup and handler social event called "WoofCamp"  at the International Mr. Leather  weekend in Chicago, Illinois with Brue Pierce retiring the event in 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". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. See also: Therianthropy. See also: Play activity. A submissive male "puppy" using bondage restraints to restrict movement and eating from a dog bowl.
The cage in background and kneepads are for extended play. A pup with a neoprene dog hood at Sydney Mardi Gras. Masks and hoods are frequently used to help a person feel less human and more connected to their animal persona. Human sexuality portal. A romp on the wild side: erotic human animal roleplaying".
Berkeley: Cleis Press. Erotic target location errors: An underappreciated paraphilic dimension. Journal of Sex Research, 46, Archived from the original on Retrieved Archived from the original on July 14, Retrieved February 14, Archived from the original on 9 February Retrieved 24 September Archived from the original on 19 September Archived from the original on 26 August Puppy Play.
Archived from the original on 23 September Retrieved 28 September Archived from the original on 28 September SF K9 Unit. Retrieved November Woof Camp. Retrieved May