Friday, January 10, 2014

The Leather/Rubber Pup Phenomenon

Anyone who's been reading this blog or keeping up with me on Facebook (a daunting task) or who has read my novel, Beyond The Edge, knows that I am utterly fascinated by the emerging leather/rubber pup phenomena in the gay fetish community.

Pup Rolph by Daniel Paulin
I first encountered the concept of pup play/pup identification when I encountered Pup Rolph at the Ottawa Capital Pride Parade in 2011. That story can be found here.

Then I was lucky enough to interview him for the blog here, Part I, and here, Part II.

Ever since, I have been absolutely charmed by this particular fetish/lifestyle/identity. I'm gathering a veritable cornucopia of Pup friends on Facebook, who share their enjoyment of this particular pastime and give me a great window into this fascinating phenomenon.

Pup play is exploding within the gay male leather community at the moment. Events such as CLAW (the Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) and IML (International Mister Leather in Chicago) clearly demonstrate this. No doubt due to the internet and the ease of finding information and gear to express a previously hidden activity/fetish, and the ability to connect with like-minded individuals in your area or beyond, pup play is gaining awareness and respect throughout the leather/rubber/fetish community.

Ottawa now has its very own Pup Night at Centretown Pub every month. And this is the second year in a row that a Pup has been elected Mister Leather Ottawa. 

I've been asked a couple of times to provide a definition/explanation of pup-hood to friends on Facebook and this is what I've said:

All of the leather/rubber pups I've met are intelligent, compassionate, well spoken men who like to express those qualities considered specifically canine - loyalty, friendship, affection, love, playfulness, protectiveness). They often enjoy enhancing their pup identity through the use of specialized gear (pup hoods, tails etc.) and rituals (pup training, pup moshing, etc.). These rituals may or may not include sexual components. Many 'pups' are happy to simply embody a pleasing pup headspace for a time, in order to escape the stresses of daily life and return to a more primal existence.

I was also lucky enough to have my photo and book links displayed at the Sirius Pup Website. Jyan Craig Delimotte gave me an entire page to show off my knowledge and my naughty books ;) here.

I'm sure my more vanilla friends on Facebook are puzzled by my attraction to and love for these men. All I can say is, I've always loved dogs, I've always loved men, and these are seriously some of the most friendly, affectionate, intuitive and sweet men I've ever met.


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