Hello pups (and others)!
This week’s blog is about puppy play gear. It can be daunting for newcomers to the pup scene to think about costume, so here are my tips on what to think about.
Do I have to dress a certain way?
Short answer: no (unless you’re off to a club with a dress code).
One of the things that initially stopped me from trying puppy play was the idea that I needed to dress a certain way to do it. I’d seen lots of pictures online with people dressed up in fabulous ways, and I thought: how can I join in if I don’t have a costume? How can I be a pup without a hood or a tail?
If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Happily, however, there is no specific way to do puppy play. You can be a pup encased head-to-toe in rubber, or wearing nothing but a chastity belt and a pair of flip flops.What makes you a pup is in your heart. If you love pretending to be a pup, you’re a pup.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Likewise, if you meet someone who wears different things to you to do puppy play, don’t look down on them. Kink-shaming is uncool, and hurts everyone - especially when members of the kink and role-play community do it to each other.
So why bother to get dressed up?
Costume can be a great way to help you get into role, to access your puppy persona, and to help you reach headspace. For some players, how their gear feels physically, and how it makes them feel emotionally, can be strong enough to elicit headspace by itself.
Tip: once you have pup gear, think about how you put it on. Does someone help you? Do you prefer to get dressed privately? How you get dressed in your pup gear can have as much impact on your experience as a pup as the design of the gear itself.
What could I wear?
A big part of puppy gear is about adapting our human features to those of dogs. This isn’t a prescriptive guide - nor is it sponsored! - just some thoughts to get you going. With all gear, choose things that feel comfortable for you to wear - emotionally and physically. Don’t force yourself to wear gear that doesn’t feel right for you or your puppy persona.
Puppy hoods are empowering. We associate so much meaning with our faces that changing the face to that of your puppy persona is a liberating experience. Happily, the growth of interest in puppy play has led to a big increase in the range of hoods available, and pretty much every breed of dog and taste in design can be catered to. Popular mask-makers include WruffStuff, who make a huge selection of printed neoprene hoods, and Mr S. Leather, whose designs feature swappable muzzles.
Tails are another fun way to make your body more dog-shaped. There are two main types: wearables and insertables. Wearable tails typically attach to a belt and sit where the bio-dog’s tail does. They can be worn comfortably, are easy to move about with, and are easy to take off if needs be. Their design can range from a simple rubber tail to massive furry tails.
Insertable tails are based on buttplugs and insert into the anus or vagina. Popular designs include simple plugs with soft tails, and silicone or rubber plugs with stiffer, weighted tails that assist in wagging. Insertable tails are great for kinkier play, but less so if versimilitude is your thing. They do not sit where dog tails do, and can impede movement as a pup. Also be aware that venue dress codes often do not allow insertable tails. As with any insertable toy, if using a plug tail, take things slowly, use plenty of lube, and have a plan in case of ‘accidents.’ Also - speaking from experience here - you may want to invest in a harness to keep everything in place while you’re rolling around on the floor.
Tip: never pull on someone’s tail at a puppy event. It’s extremely poor form, especially if it’s inserted.
Body suits can be a great way to change your appearance, whilst giving you some protection during your puppy shenanigans. If you’re a particular breed, you could use a body suit to reflect your puppy persona’s coat. Perhaps you want to be petted, but don’t like people touching your skin. Or maybe you just like the feel and look of being covered in Lycra. It’s your puppy play, after all.
Collars, leashes, and harnesses, are popular additions. It’s pretty easy to find these items online and in fetish shops, and there are so many types, designs, styles, and materials, that it’s hard to know where to start. As with any fetish gear, it’s best to see items in person before you buy, to check that they will fit you comfortably and that they won’t fall apart after one use. Even if discomfort is your thing, you still need to make sure you can use your gear safely.
Tip: for verisimilitude, head to your local pet shop for a collar and leash. They’re much cheaper than the same things bought from fetish suppliers, and are built for sustained heavy use. Find out your neck size before you go in to cut down on those funny looks.
Protective gear. PPE? Really? Absolutely. Protection for your hands and knees is really useful, even if your puppy persona prefers to be as naked as possible! Humans aren’t designed to move on hands and knees for long periods of time, and a scraped knee or scuffed knuckles can really put a dampener on your fun.
Knee pads. I’d recommend looking for painters’ knee pads. These are designed with a flat surface to allow people to move around on their knees for a long time, and provide good protection from hard surfaces. By contrast, sports knee pads are typically designed to protect the knee from sudden impact with the ground: they’re often uncomfortable for sustained use.
If you find knee pads uncomfortable, knee support sleeves can provide a good amount of protection without too much discomfort. There’s some pretty stylish designs out there, so it’s worth having a look!
Hand protection depends on what you’ll be using your hands for. If you’re on all fours most of the time, find something with decent knuckle protection. Puppy play fist mitts do well here. If you might need your hands for other things, I swear by a good set of fingerless cycling gloves.
That’s it for today. This has scratched the surface of puppy play gear and costume. There’s so much that could be talked about, so I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. What’s your favourite bit of gear? Do you have a maker that you think everyone should know? Let us know in the comments section down below.
Take care, and play safe!