A pup’s response to the lobby incident at FWA – Guest post from Jones.

by Patch O'Furr

Following Part 1 and Part 2 here’s one more take. (Sorry if it’s beating a dead horse, or pup, but it has to post week-of). Thanks to Jones for submitting. Good boy!

Many puppy players ARE furries. @Pup_Leo: “mixing my pup gear with my fursona”

Hello. I’m Devin Jones, your friendly local furry hermit. I’ve been in the fandom for 16 years, both active and periphery, and I’ve been a pup for seven years. This recent incident at FWA has called me to bring my expertise in both spaces to bear on making a decision on how I, personally, should react and handle the overlap between the pup and furry communities.

I am not under the impression that ‘furry’ is a fetish. Perhaps, for some, that’s the definition of ‘furry’. A kink for anthropomorphic animals of various species, some of them paradoxically not having fur. But I, myself, find that shallow. Furry is more than just wanting to get schtupped by werewolves or wanting to tie the fox-boy down. Furry is a culture all its own. A culture made of artists and aficionados, of kinksters and prudes, of artisans and consumers and people of an age range that is staggering in its broad reach. To claim that furry is merely a fetish is myopic. It does no one any good to cheapen it in such a way. It’s like saying that footwear is merely a fetish.

I don’t shy away from or attempt to whitewash the sexual side of the fandom. It isn’t something that can be ignored. The ‘AD culture’ is just as much a part of it as the fluffier side. Both parts make up the whole, with much overlap in between. The sexual side of the fandom is broad in spectrum, ranging from vanilla, everyday sex to ‘shocking’ fetishes with a touch of weird. It has hooks in everything from BDSM to weight gain. Pup play is not exempt from this broad outreach of interests.

Pups are some of the best people I have come across in my long tenure in the BDSM community. Most are innocuous, friendly and eager to please to a fault like the animals they wish to emulate. They are a good lot, overall, and one that I happily throw my hat in with. There is no shame in being a pup. In my experience, it’s a good way of letting the stress of the world leave you. You are a dog. You don’t have to worry about taxes, money, your job or everyday life. You are there to be A Good Boy. Nothing more, nothing less. Pup mentality asks only for a simple existence as a being. It asks you to be happy in what you are. Be that a service dog or a, well, “service” dog, if you get my meaning, or simply a companion.

Hoods are a mark of honor for most pups. A way of becoming the mask, much like fursuits, hoods can be anything from a simple cover for the face that emulates a dog’s in shape, all the way to a head-encompassing leather or rubber fixture that removes all semblance of being a human being. Some eschew hoods for personal reasons, be that cost efficiency or simple dislike of being confined in one.

What happened at FWA, while it was late at night, was more than a faux pas in the pup community. Regardless of excuse, it endangers the reputation of the pup community and by proxy, the furry community. Open, public play is not an act that is acceptable under all but the most explicit circumstances. There is a difference between a pup meet or a demo at a BDSM gathering, and a true public space like the lobby of a hotel. Random passersby did not consent to being shown this fetish act. This should be clear. Condemnation of TEKpup and Murrlin is the only course of action that is morally acceptable. There is no question in my mind that, had this happened at a public munch or a BDSM con, that the two would be ejected and blacklisted from area meetups.

Forcing someone to witness a sexual act is inherently a transgression on that person of a sexual nature. BDSM, pup play included, is about consent of all involved parties. There’s no argument to be had here.

The periphery question of pup hood being ‘allowed’ in con spaces is one with no clear answer. My heart tells me that pup play, while not always sexual, is a fetish. It has not had the PR and precedent that fursuiting has had to give it an innocuous feeling. This recent incident does not help it in that matter. My opinion is simple; Pup hoods and harnesses are fetish gear, and it’s up to the con to decide if fetish gear is acceptable in public spaces.

Thank you for indulging the ramblings of a hermit.

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