As IPC International Puppy 2013, I've traveled extensively advocating for pups, helping organize our community, and gaining visibility for pup play and kinksters everywhere. My diary is a summation of me and my experiences out and about with the hope that those who are pursuing their own kink interests will find some practical information they can interpret for use in their own communities.
7. Mistress Pixie Fyre: Barking Out! A Call for Puppy Awareness (HWC #1)
Hey Pups! This post marks the first in a series of guest contributions to the Diary.
Every pup and every handler has a story to tell. In 2013, IPC gave me a
chance to tell mine. Now, Big Bro Tripp is telling his. ITPC
celebrates pup-and-handler team dynamics, but handlers still seem to
miss out on some of the fun. My guest contributors span geography and
all aspects of puppy play; however, within the series, I am creating a
special collection called, "Handlers With Care." This month, my close
friend, and first-and-only domme, Portland's Pixie Fyre,
discusses a new dimension in pup safety called "Awareness." As pups, we
have been wise to organize inclusively from the start. By doing so, we
have avoided much of the controversy surrounding older organizations as
they struggle to adapt to an increasing diversity of gender identity
and sexual expression in leather, kink, fetish, and BDSM play. Pups are
still predominately gay men, but we also listen to other voices.
We do so because, mark my bark, someone "unexpected" will soon be
leading your local pack, planning your favorite festival, or joining our
Titleholder Family, and we pups will be there to embrace them. Pixie
is helping to lead the way by helping us to understand total safety and awareness, even while totally "pupping out!" You go, Mistress!
Out!A Call for Puppy Awareness
-Mistress Pixie Fyre
once told me "there is something magical about handling a human
puppy." I'll admit that at the time, I did what most people do who have
never seen Puppy Play: I laughed.I chalked
it up to a weird fetish until I encountered my first human pup. I was at a
friend's party.The “house puppy”
nuzzled his way to my feet, rubbed his hood against my boots and offered me his
ball as a present!In that instant, I
was hooked. I threw the ball for him to fetch, secretly passed him treats, and
offered cuddling and praise. The scritches, the barking, the nuzzles, and of
course, the tail were intoxicating. It was a playful scene, both fun and
erotic, thanks to that howling little bundle on the floor.
I sat and watched what turned out to be my first “puppy mosh,” I quickly
realized that the number of handlers was minute in comparison to the number of
pups.While some pups were content to
mosh and play in a “pack,” many were clearly seeking the attention of a
dominant partner, but being a handler means so much more than simply
dominating. It means more than just routine caring. It means protection. It
means identifying dangers that someone in “pupspace” may not see. It means
understanding your pup’s unique character, both physically and emotionally, and
responding to your pup’s communication and needs.
On Being a "Handler-Full," or: How Do I Train THAT?
a dominant, this begins with proper training.Many puppies thrive on training. Often, puppies need some form of
training to achieve pupspace initially. Once in pupspace, it becomes critical
for handlers to both engage and protect their pups - from injuries, dehydration,
and yes, predators. In most BDSM power relationships, a submissive has the
ability to verbalize needs.A pup in
headspace may not, amplifying the role of the handler in typical puppy dom/sub
too often, are introduced to puppy play in haphazard ways: they search the
internet for sporadic information, make online friends, and cruise personal ads
on multiple websites. This process of “trial and error” can be dangerous. With
no guidance or training, pups may find themselves in unsafe situations where
they can be hurt. It’s easy to glance over the all-too-familiar terms
describing the consequences: consent
violation,domestic violence, abuse, assault, and rape.But even in the most progressive kink and
fetish communities, it happens every day. Men and women
alike are beaten, molested, raped.Victims’ lives are routinely destroyed by these violent actions.Most in our community either know victims,
have been victimized, or both.These
crimes may be committed by strangers or trusted “friends.” For puppies, some
escape with a few bad memories, regarding it as a “learning experience.” For
others, it leaves emotional scarring that won’t ever be forgotten.This damage may require medical attention,
years of therapy, and may lead to further harm to oneself or others.For these individuals, pupspace and puppy
play will forever be altered, as will life itself.
exchange relationships, as expressed in BDSM, are both physical and mental, and always include the
expression “limits.”Some relationships
thrive on exploration and pushing limits, while others thrive on the security
of safety and behavioral protocol or other agreed-upon expectations. Across the
spectrum, a core foundation lies in the cultivation of mutual respect - respect
for each other and respect for oneself. Each party has right to demand safe,
clean and consensual play.This
translates into the ability to pause or end a scene or to speak up when a limit
When Pleasure Becomes Pain
as puppy play crosses lines of gender and sexuality, so does abuse and
violence.Men are raped, assaulted, and
have their consent violated.Men, often
young men, find themselves radically changing their life and values for a dominant
they barely know. Men serve Dominants in spite of devastating unhappiness
because that is what is expected of a 'good sub.' Men are victims just like
women. We see women in our communities forced into violent, abusive
relationships. We cry out for justice and seek to protect them. It is in our
nature to. Men are no different. And in the world of Puppy, men are even more
susceptible to predators, substance abuse and situations where they become victims.
have seen countless heartbreaking cases working over the past decade working
professionally as a Victim’s Advocate. Last year, I spent a great deal of time
with one young man who opened up about his reasons for refusing to explore
pupspace again. He confessed that after a year as a “stray,” he met a man at
local bar who offered to adopt him. After a night of drinks, this young man
went home with his new “Sir.” before That
night, he was forced into violent anal sex, bondage, and other abuse, leaving
this young man’s body covered in bruises and cuts – all from “play.” The pup
was then out to the street, broke and alone, forced to find a way home.Months later, while still under treatment for
the anal damage, he could not even think
of walking near the bar he had once enjoyed.Amid his story and his tears, I asked quietly to myself: “Why?”
amid the increasing popularity of puppy play, is so much of the dialogue
concerning safety focused primarily around moshing?Moshes are, indeed, notoriously dangerous – sometimes
more like a wrestling match than a dog park.It has become standard practice to have an EMT on the sidelines, and
wisely so.“Puppy First Aid” classes are
now being offered for the first time. Now, we as handlers must lead the charge
towards a broader definition of safety – one that goes beyond mere hurt paws.It is time we talk with and train pups to
understand sexual safety, sexual predator awareness, and most importantly, consent. We have the opportunity to
empower our beloved pups, in all their playfulness, to achieve an outward sense
of awareness that will enable them to truly play freely.Now, all of us, pups and handlers alike, must
instill the values of physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy kink sex in
our community.Given the independent nature of most pups and
the diversity inherent in puppy play, how might we come to agreement on a few
safety protocols?Finally, how do we
help packbrothers and sisters who have been sexually assaulted?
Awareness is fostered when we collaborate to create a culture of safety. Through
communication, training, information, and empowerment, Puppy Awareness means
affirming the right to safe play, becoming aware of risks, establishing consent
as fundamental, and helping each other.Puppy Awareness is puppy mindfulness.Together, we can teach each other how to
identify danger and to be aware of predators while taking new steps to protect
our own. We can train each other to gain a clear sense of the world around us
in the midst of, rather than in spite of, pupspace.In this way, Puppy Awareness is key to truly
“pupping out!”We need look no further
than the alertness, bravery, and devotion of our bio-dog companions to see this
do we work together to create a culture of Puppy
·Start talking!Talk, as a pack about safety: physical, emotional, and sexual.Experienced pups and alphas: teach how to
identify safe people and places in your local community.
·Remember: there is always
safety in numbers. Don’t travel alone. Travel as a pack, even if it’s a small
one.Public moshes are often great, safe
spaces, where we come together in numbers.
·Establish a “safe call” among your pack (a distinctive
pup sound that means “I need help”).Use
something high pitched and unique.Practice it together.Learn to
listen for it.If someone is hurt and
can’t make the call, do it for them.Run, don’t walk, when you hear it.
·Do not meet a new, unknown dominant alone.You might ask for references before hand
(this practice is known as “vetting” and is quite typical before bondage and
other kink/BDSM scenes).
·Always let someone know where you’re going, who your
with, and how to contact you.
·Submissives: teach the core principle of submission to
new pack members: submission is given,
never taken.Submissive pups should always clearly
state limits and establish safe calls before
·Remember that not all puppies are submissive!Be true to yourself.Don’t compromise!
·Most importantly, remember that, as a pup, you can always, under any circumstances, say
“No.”If you feel that something is
wrong, you have an obligation to.
·Start talking!Handlers often complain of feeling isolated, lacking venues that address
their needs.Make change.Talk, as handlers, with each other about
safety, about looking after pups, about protecting them.Talk to your pup and your pack about the
rights and responsibilities of being a pup.Puppy Awareness requires personal responsibility and common sense.
·Research and learn before you train or collar a
pup.Adopting a pup is unlike any other BDSM
differences.Make sure this is what you
want – that you have the desire, patience, and temperament to train, care for,
play with, and even love a pup.As with
bio-dogs, it’s a major commitment!
·Take your time.Each pup is unique and must be understood individually.Many handlers do not engage in sexual
activity during early training sessions.Some handlers do not engage in sexual activity at all.Your goals and
desires should be stated clearly and negotiated up front, before play.
·You must be able to control yourself before you can
expect to control a pup. Setting a good example is often the most powerful way
to lead.Strive to be a positive
influence in our community.
and trust.If you have skeletons in your
closet, you are not alone.Be up front
about them.Offer to provide references
and encourage community vetting.Ask
your pup similar questions and listen attentively.Openness allows for informed consent and creates an environment of sharing and
exploration.Do not lie.
and play: demonstrate respect and self-restraint by moving slowly and emphasizing
positive reinforcement as one would when training a bio-dog.Be mindful of your pup’s reactions and
respond to them.Remember that you have
entered into a power relationship with your pup. You are therefore more responsible for the
safety and well being of all participants in the scene. The pup will likely be
eager and excited, but you are the “adult in the room.”As a general rule, exercise caution.As you come to know your pup over time, play
may become more adventurous, but this usually occurs in gradual steps, taken
·Handlers have the extraordinary opportunity to make a
difference in any pup’s life.Whether in
a brief greeting, months of training, or a loving partnership, a Handler should
always strive to leave pups better off than they found them.
·Start talking!You have the opportunity address these issues more broadly at events, in
the media, and through policy.
·Most puppy competitions have bylaws disqualifying
convicted felons from competing.Similarly, convicted sex offenders or other abusers should also not be
permitted in puppy organizations.To
allow otherwise would be catastrophic to any public organization, likely
causing a public relations scandal and exodus in membership.
·If sex offenders are required by law to notify their
local communities of their status, they should also be truthful with pup-and-handler
organizations.Our organizations and
social clubs must be equally vigilant in doing background checks on leaders and
competition entrants.This information
is available as a matter of public record.Again, honesty and openness are key.Those who lead by example set a powerful standard as to the type of
community we want to be.
·Develop new safety resources that teach pups how to
research new handlers via background checks and community vetting and enter
into relationships carefully and patiently.
·Have an emergency policy: when a pup call in alarm, take
the matter seriously, address it honestly and promptly, and to communicate information.Thoughtful, clear policies can save lives. Take note: these issues are also a matter of public record.Withholding information may put individuals
you are responsible for at risk.Ignoring such information is not only unethical, it’s illegal.
Even With Squirrels Around, Just Remember This
importantly, as pack brothers and sisters, we can all commit to one, basic premise:
have a right to train, serve, play,
mosh, and otherwise fully explore themselves and their relationships with
others in a safe and accepting space.
recent growth, the puppy world is still an often-misunderstood
sub-community.With increased numbers
and exposure, the need for Puppy Awareness is growing as well. Watch out for
each other. Regardless of where we live, our sexual orientation, our gender
identities, our breed, color, fur or ownership status, we are one pack.We all need
a nuzzle now and then.Take care of
yourselves, be good to each other, and stand up for each other. Help make our community a better place and
show the world what it means to be a pack!
Fyre is a Professional Dominatrix in Portland, Oregon. She
is the Mistress of the House of Fyre and host of a popular monthly fetish event
in Portland featuring puppy play. She is an Ambassador for the PDX League of
Gentlemen, an active member of MAST and STEEP.
She is the proud owner of both a human pup, and a bio Husky. She is
Slavepup Axel’s Oregon handler and partner in fun.
Connect with Miss Pixie on Facebook
(Pixie Fyre), Fetlife (MsPixieFyre), and by
Calling All Handlers! Would
you like to author a post in the “Handlers With Care” series? Please email and 2-3 sentence proposal, short
biography of your experience with puppy play, and describe how getting your
message out fits in with the work that you do on behalf of pups. I’m excited to work with and learn from