I would like, if I may, to introduce you to a fascinating, unusual, and curious topic worth dipping your nose into pet play.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are no longer human. You might have the sensitive nose of a dog, or a fox, or the sharp hearing of a lynx. Perhaps you are an affable, easy-going piglet, or a pony nosing at someone’s pockets for sugar lumps and apples. Or imagine that you are the owner of such an animal, the adored master or mistress who is the source of sugar lumps, apples, and also gives firm and consistent discipline.
Pet play is a form of erotic role-play, in which one or more of the participants takes on the role of a real or imaginary animal, including appropriate mannerisms, and behaviour of that animal. Other participants in the role-play may take on the roles of other animals, or of the owner, trainer, rider, or caretaker of the animal(s).
Typically, the submissive party takes on the animal role. It is, however, also possible for the dominant party to take on the animal role, and dominate his or her submissive(s) that way — for example, holding the submissive down with a bite on the neck. Equally, a normally meek and timid person may “transform” into a werewolf or wicked catgirl, and take the upper hand.
People engage in pet play for many reasons, ranging from the humiliation aspect of reducing or transforming a human being to animal status, or the loss of inhibitions associated with that animal nature, to taking on a role which allows for nurturing and a change from the usual roles in everyday life. In some cases, pet play is simply seen as a loving, quiet, cuddling time where there is no need for verbalisations, and the simple act of stroking, rubbing, and holding the other person is satisfying or reassuring in and of itself for those involved.
The most common animals for submissives to identify as are ponies (horses), puppies (dogs, or wolves), pigs, and kittens (cats, or lions, etc.). Other animals such as bunnies (rabbits) and cows are less common. More fantastical critters, such as mermaids or catgirls, are also less common.
Ponyplay often involves the practice and training that a horse owner or trainer would put their horse through. Ponies are usually trained in dressage, to pull a light cart or sulky, or as riding ponies, to carry their owners on their shoulders or back. Do be aware that the human back is not strong enough to take the weight of an adult, so riding on the back of a pony who is on all fours is largely symbolic, with the rider actually taking most of his or her own weight.
Puppy play may involve the sorts of training and interaction that a human would have with a biological canine, including obedience training, going for walks and playing games such as ‘fetch’. It often also includes tradition BDSM elements of discipline and punishment. Playing the role of a puppy means giving complete and unconditional love and obedience, in return for the protection and loyalty that a dog can expect from his master.
Kitten play is similar to puppy play, with the main differences being the differences between how a human owner would interact with a pet cat and with a pet dog. A cat might not play fetch, or walk on a leash (although with time, and patience, you can teach them to do both those things), but you wouldn’t hesitate to clean a cat’s ears or face, or feed her, or give her freshwater. In return, she trusts you completely; she knows you’ll take care of her. She requires firm discipline, too — after all, you’re the adult in the situation, and you know what’s best for her. She’s cuddly and playful, but fickle, and sometimes inclined to hide under the bed for no apparent reason.
Pet play scenes often include some or all of the following activities:
- Drinking and eating from a pet bowl
- Crawling on all fours, often required to be naked
- Wearing a collar, often with spikes or bells
- Taking commands from your master /owner/trainer
- Sleeping in a pet bed or on the floor
- Going for walks on a leash
- Being required to use a litter box, or go outside
- Being punished for not following commands
- Being taken to other animal play events and participating for prizes
- Dressing as the animal, with ears and a tail
- Like much of erotic play and role-play, animal role-play in an erotic or relationship-based context is entirely defined by the people involved and by their mood and interests at the time of play. It can be an extremely rewarding experience for both pet and owner.
The Importance of Touch in animal play
The relationship between owner and pet is one of trust and loyalty, and it is important to build that trust and loyalty right from the start. One of the most important ways to do this is through touch: petting and grooming your pet.
Petting simply means to caress or stroke your pet. Ruffling your pet’s fur, or scratching under her chin, or stroking her belly — all these things are petting. Most animals like to be petted, and as your pet grows more comfortable around you and her trust in you increases, she will be more relaxed about allowing you to touch her. However, it is very important when petting a new or scared pet, or petting an animal who has just been sleeping and may be disoriented, to go slowly.
Let the animal sniff you before you pet her, so she can become comfortable with you. Extend a hand or finger, and allow your pet to touch her nose to your finger(s); in the case of ponies and cows, it is wisest to extend your entire hand, held flat, either palm up or palm down. If your pet shows no interest in your hand or stares at it suspiciously, reconsider your intention to pet her; it may be better to try some other time. However, if the animal sniffs your fingers and then rubs her chin or the side of her face against your hand, lips gently at your hand, or brushes her body against you, chances are she is open to being petted.
Different animals like to be touched in different ways, but generally this is a safe way to begin. Pet the animal’s head lightly with your fingers. Focus on the middle of the forehead and just up into the hairline, and the side of the head just behind the ears. Use the pads of your fingers, and apply gentle pressure. While most pets like scratching, it’s not a good idea to try it if you’re not familiar with the animal. You might scratch too hard, or too fast. Some animals will get fussy if you scratch them in a way they’re not used to. It’s very hard, however, to go wrong with petting with your fingers.
Rub the palm of your hand from the back of the head down the neck and along the back, all the way to the tail bone, then begin again. Apply gentle pressure, and make it one smooth, slow motion. Don’t touch the tail, or move your hand along to the side. If the animal likes what you are doing, she will show some physical signs of enjoyment, most likely arching against your hand or leaning against you.
While some pets thoroughly enjoy being petted under the chin, many will get fussy if strangers try. Similarly, while many animals enjoy having their chests, breasts, and nipples petted, they may become extremely fussy if a stranger tries it, or if they are not in the mood. Pets do vary widely in how much they’ll let you pet, fondle, hold, or touch them. It is possible to extend this, but it takes patience, gradually increasing the length of petting sessions over several days or weeks. It is important to stop petting your animal when you choose to before the animals becomes tired of it; a pet who is always left wanting just a bit more attention will increasingly seek you out and will tolerate more and longer petting sessions.
If you have a pet who doesn’t like to be petted or doesn’t like a particular part of her body to be petted, you could try to win her over with rewards. Food rewards such as chocolate, sliced mango, or smoked fish sometimes work, but it is best to determine on an individual basis what the best reward/treat is for your pet. Some pets will respond to verbal approval alone, while others require more material motivation. Before your pet displays any sign of irritable behavior at your petting of her, offer her a special tidbit of food, or alternative treat. Pet her lightly for a short time, while offering her treats. She’ll come to associate being stroked with more pleasant things. Stop petting before you see the signs of irritation; if you keep petting until the animal reacts badly, you’ve defeated the purpose. Each time you work with your pet, try to pet her for slightly longer periods using the treats.
Part of the joy of owning a human pet is taking advantage of the combination of animal sensuality and human intelligence and physiognomy. Female pets are, like female humans, more or less constantly in heat and receptive to sexual overtures. Male pets, like tomcats and male humans, are randy a lot of the time, and perfectly prepared to become randy at a moment’s notice much of the rest of it.
However, the same caveats apply to sexual and erotic petting or your animal as to any other sort. Allow her to get used to you, and relax; it is usually a good idea to start with non-sexual petting and move to sexual petting once your pet has shown her desire to be touched, by rubbing her face or body against you. Every pet is different, and it is up to the individual to move cautiously, and discover how best to engage with his pet.
Do note that kittens and ferrets will tend to scratch and bite during sex unless pinned with a bite or a firm grip on the back of the neck. This scratching and biting is not intended to be combative, in most cases; it is merely the animal’s reaction to extreme stimulation. Puppies, ponies, and other animals do not tend towards similar behaviors, although they can become quite vocal at times.
Stroking or caressing your pet is an important first step in building her confidence and trust in you. Once your pet will happily and willingly allow you to touch her, you can begin to introduce grooming.
Grooming is very important, for several reasons. First, grooming keeps your pet healthy and reduces shedding. Pets should be brushed and bathed regularly, to keep their skin and hair healthy and shiny, and keep them smelling fresh and clean. Cows accustomed to it will need to be milked daily, or their swollen udders may cause them some pain. Second, grooming your pet allows you to examine them closely for any injuries, inexplicable lumps, fleas or parasites, and so forth. Most pets will not volunteer to see a vet, and it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that if a visit to the vet is required, you know about it. Thirdly, grooming your pet allows you to spend quality time bonding with them. It is an intimate time, but also a relaxing one for both of you, with no real demands made on either of you.
You wouldn’t hesitate to clean a cat’s ears or face, to feed a horse a piece of apple or carrot from your hand, to bathe your dog, and then brush his coat until it shone. These things communicate in meaningful ways the trust between an animal and a human. A pet depends on their owner for food, water, safety, health, and for every aspect of their well-being, and in return gives their complete trust and faith to their owner.
Try setting aside a few minutes every day, either in the morning or the evening, to groom and pet your animal. While brushing or combing, talk to her about your day. Try using a drybrush for the less furry parts of your pet’s body, and a comb or soft bristled brush for her hair. If you always do this at much the same time, in the same place, your pet will take comfort in the regimen — and so will you.
Incorporate teeth cleaning, ear cleaning, and/or nail trimming into your routine. Trimming your pet’s claws or hoofs every few weeks is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health and protects her, you, your family and visitors, as well as the furniture. If you aren’t able to trim all 10 nails at once, don’t worry; few pets will be patient for more than a few minutes, so take what you can get, praise your pet for cooperating, then be on the lookout for the next opportunity to cut the remaining nails. Massage is also a wonderful way to connect with your pet, and it will not only improve your werecat’s health, but it will also relax you, too.
Keeping a pet is a big commitment, requiring not only attention and discipline from you, but also affection, patience, and time. Grooming and caressing your pet are essential to building the bond of loyalty and trust between pet and owner. The more time you spend with your pet, simply relaxing and enjoying one another’s company, the more rewarding you will find the experience.
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