Recently I received a new email from a submissive asking my advice on some issues, and one of them was regarding pet play. It appears that more and more people are becoming fond of pet play in BDSM, so therefore I have decided to talk a little about it, as my guess is that many are not really aware of what a pet girl really is. Even worse, they are not really aware of the fire they are dealing with and how they should keep the scene strictly as casual play and nothing more. As I have explained in one of my previous posts, there are different levels (types) of submission and one of them is the pet. I know and I realize that most people out there who have a genuine interest in pet play do not really mean 'pet' as a level of submission but only as a temporary status of their partner. Nevertheless, it might be useful (mostly to submissives) to gain the knowledge of what a pet slave is and actually what the dangers are in any dehumanization activities. Yes, pet play is part of a bigger group of “kink” that is called dehumanization and is as shocking as it sounds.
As you can guess from the term, and to put it in simple words, dehumanization in BDSM is a practice in which a person is trying to make another person feel less human or non-human. What you can actually find on Wiki is the following “dehumanization (pony or animal play) or objectification (forniphilia, becoming an ‘inanimate object’ such as a foot stool)” and I would say here that objectification is also part of the bigger group of dehumanization.
At this point I would like to explain something that appears to be very commonly misunderstood. It is not a collar that indicates a submissive as a pet. Outside the BDSM community many people associate collars with pets and they believe that a collar is humiliating or the way to dehumanize a submissive. The truth is that a collar in BDSM has a symbolic value which is completely different, as it is indicating commitment, dedication and ownership. I would dare say it is the wedding ring of our community because as an idea they both have the same symbolism.
With the help of the porn industry, more and more people get to identify that pet play submission is an activity during which the bottom will have a collar around her neck and a leash, but it is not just that! A pet submissive – for as long as she is into this role – has no human identity but only the one of the animal she pretends to be. She has to stop thinking in a human way, act in a human way and turn herself into an animal that follows her Master's orders, and that means the scene might never become sexual at all. The same goes with objectification, where the submissive is just an object and nothing more than that. Of course, sexual play might come into a scene during which the submissive has no will at all, or even if she has, there is no way to express it clearly (pet) or not at all (object).
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The danger of such play is that mentally a submissive might go very deep inside, and at some point find it hard to get back to her real personality. Are you surprised? Don’t be. Human behavior is a combination of patterns, habits and limits (a psychologist would explain that a lot better). From our early years we are “trained” to behave in the way that is commonly accepted as proper by society in general. We learn to avoid doing things in public that we would love (or need) to do just because we know that socially they are not accepted and are therefore seen as wrong, much in the same way a person may start acting in different ways if they are placed in a different environment. Many say (as I do): “One of the major factors in successfully training and keeping a slave is to be consistent in everything you do, say and act”. Why? Because this is the way that will help your submissive/slave grow the patterns and habits that will turn her behavior into what you anticipate as accepted and proper according to your desires.
I do not believe that anyone really dreams to dehumanize his/her partner to such a level of course, but on the other hand the knowledge of what we are dealing with can’t harm anyone. Remember one thing: the more we repeat something, the deeper we form a pattern of behavior. Pet play is sexy (even objectification sometimes), but you need to learn how to deal with it, how to bring your submissive back to her human side and how to remind her that whatever she does, it is only a temporary scene that, even if she loves it, she may not go deeper into it. If my words surprise you then you have never met a submissive who really loved to be a pet and treated as such. If you are a submissive, you might have felt such a strong desire even if you have never dared to admit it. In any case, a pet girl is something very cute and sexy, but at the same time it can be dangerous.
To answer the question that I place as the subject of this post, pet play is a casual temporary game in comparison to a pet slave that is a constant (or less temporary) status of a slave girl.
By Master P