Pet Play; A Beginners Guide to BDSM safety
A lot of people practice pet play here. While it’s not often a publically spoken of topic around the forums, namely due to a bad history of events, the fact that these sorts of events are still occurring shows that there’s a clear lack of clear information of what this sort of play can consist of, the risks, and in some cases even the very nature of what pet play is. While the site itself does not officially relate to, endorse, or promote this sort of play with any of the files here, the naturally curious may encounter files from elsewhere that do. And while it is your own choice and responsibility if you are to listen to these files, listening to them with a clear understanding and knowledge of what to expect, and how to keep yourself safe in this sort of play can help keep such unfortunate incidents to a minimum.
Pet play basics – What is pet play?
Pet play is a relationship between 2 or more people, where one takes the role of an “Owner”, and the other as a “Pet”. It can be anything from simple casual playing, or it can move into more of a serious dynamic. This is a form of power play seen within some practices of BDSM.
BDSM is a range of roleplaying practices and lifestyles, generally sexual in nature but not exclusively so, consisting of a few parts. These relationships can be both online and offline in nature.
The acronym BDSM can actually split into 3 areas. B&D, D&S, And S&M
B&D Stands for Bondage and Discipline, D&S is Domination and Submission, and S&M stands for Sadism & Masochism.
Pet play therefore is a practice that stems from the D&S range of activities, with the Owner taking the “Dominant” role in the relationship, and the Pet taking the Submissive role.
Pets Vs Slaves
While a lot of people may consider the two roles to be similar since they both cover the “Submissive” role, there are some clear differences in the sort of roles the submissive will have. A “Pet” Is treated as you would expect a pet to be treated and behave, a more caring dynamic than a Slave, where the primary expectation is “You do as you are told”, and are generally treated with less regard, more akin to an object or tool, than you would with a pet.
The main way to consider it is this. A Pet is able to have opinions and desires for themselves. A slave does not. A pet will run to your heel because it’s excited. A slave will run to your heel because it knows it’s place.
Safe Sane & Consensual
Despite the fact I just said a slave has no opinions or desires for themselves, this does not mean that the Owner has just taken free reign for themselves. BDSM relies on a core principle in order to keep both parties involved from trouble.
Both partners, before any play occurs, should have a form of discussion beforehand in order to cover some basic points. These are generally to cover things like personal Limits (Both hard and soft limits) Wants out of the relationships, expectations for the play involved, and safewords in case of any problems occurring. These pre-talks before play allow for the play to follow the considered BDSM creed.
Safe – The participants are expected to keep the play safe for both parties. This role is obviously more important for the Dominant in the relationship, given they are generally the ones in most control. This is less of a problem for online play as there’s less risk involved than physical play, but nonetheless are expected.
Sane – Both parties are expected to care for the others mental as well as physical needs, this is to prevent occurrences where the sub may have a breakdown if play becomes to stressful on their mind-set. Aftercare in all play, and at regular points if in a longer term dynamic, should be so that both sides can evaluate the play, address any concerns, and ensure that both parties are in a healthy mind-set after play ceases.
Consensual – All play and plans should be agreed upon. Even with play involving consensual non-consent, there is still a clear agreement of what is and isn’t allowed to happen, and that any calls of a Safeword are upheld and addressed. Both parties should be well informed and be able to call off play at ANY point if Limits are broken.
Hard vs Soft Limits
A hard limit is something that under no circumstances should be attempted by either party. These are the “Definitely never going to happen” category and the dominant should be respectful of such.
A Soft limit is something where, under most circumstances isn’t desired, but may be attempted if the subject is in a mindset willing to try them, with extra care expected by the dominant to ensure the play doesn’t push too far and result in any freakouts.
This is where someone calling a safeword is most common if something attempted becomes too uncomfortable.
A safeword is a word, phrase, or signal, which something is wrong for some reason, and the Dominant needs to stop for their own wellbeing. This is more often common in S&M and B&D, but can be used for any play if something is wrong. The dominant should ALWAYS respect a safeword, and try and address the problem if possible, before continuing after the sub has given an ok. Safewords can be any word, phrase, gesture, or sign, agreed upon before play starts, that wouldn’t naturally come up during play. This means that a safeword shouldn’t necessarily be “No” “Stop” “Don’t”. As those can be used to express desire for more, or as a natural reaction to an aspect to the play.
As such an obscure word such as “Banana” or “Bathmat” is used, in order to be unmistakable during play. In instances where talking isn’t possible, (For example if the person is gagged or, more likely in this context, in trance) Something like humming an instantly recognisable tune such as a national anthem or recognisable jingle is an effective way to get around this limitation should that be imposed on the subject during play.
Regardless if it’s sexual, non sexual, physical or online. BDSM can have strains on all involved, and what happens after play is just as, or even more important than what happens during. Subs and doms can experience “Drop” Where after a particularly intense session when the adrenaline, endorphins, and serotonin that was generated from the play, start to drop, and the subject (And in some cases the dominant, though this is less common) can suffer emotional and physical stresses during the drop until they are at a stable level.
Symptoms of which are similar to depression, and can include, but are not limited to:
· Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
· Fatigue and decreased energy
· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
· Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
· Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
· Irritability, restlessness
· Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
· Overeating or appetite loss
· Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
· Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
· Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Knowing and realising this can happen, the dominant should be there for the sub in order to care and address these issues. If you’re experiencing sub drop, know you’re not alone in these symptoms and they are common. Aftercare can help keep these to a minimum. After play, the dominant should be able to take on a caring role in order to address any problems, help relax the sub after an intense session, and be able to provide support to keep them feeling safe within the relationship. A little while after play, time should be given to reflect on and address any problems that occurred during the session, in order to prevent them from occurring in later play.
These safeties are there for everyone involved in any BDSM practices. Both pets, slaves, and even the dominants themselves.
· Pet play is a part of BDSM. Regardless if it’s MLP Pony pets.
· Slaves and Pets have distinct differences and expectations
· BDSM Play should keep to the creed of staying : Safe Sane and Consensual
· A safeword should always be agreed upon before play, and if the safeword is used, Stop and address the problem first before continuing.
· Hard limits should never be crossed and soft limits should be handled with care.
· Aftercare is essential
· Sub/Top Drop can happen and should be kept vigilant for to prevent.
BDSM & Hypnosis
BDSM does cross over into a lot of hypnosis scenes. Many people who are interested in hypnosis may fantasise about the idea of being hypnotised to lose control, be brainwashed or otherwise be manipulated for fun. But BDSM with Hypnosis can cross into some very risky territories if both parties involved aren't practising within a safe environment. BDSM already has it’s own rules regarding safety, and using hypnosis with another person does not remove those rules. Pet play with hypnosis is still BDSM. Hypnosis involving another person controlling or dominating you, is BDSM. That does not mean the play is going to be inherently dangerous, directly harmful, sexual, or strict. But understanding these fundamentals about BDSM safety can apply to all aspects of hypnosis.
Applying the same rules to BDSM as hypnosis is more simple than you think, and apply to both parties:
Understand and explain your limits and expectations beforehand.
. You are able to stop play/trance at any time if a limit is breached.
. You reserve the right to say no, or call a safeword if something is pushing a limit.
. Aftercare is expected, to review problems and address any mental strains of the subject.
. If you are expecting something and getting something else. Review it with the hypnotist.
Through many BDSM and hypnosis circles, the term “Predator” is used for those that exploit weaknesses in a sub for their own gain, will manipulate and go against the subs wishes for their own.
In physical play, this would be the equivalent of rape. Where a dominant has a submissive and isn’t respecting a safeword being used, it becomes abuse. Even in consensual non-consent situations, there is still an expectation of care from the dominant, being able to judge the responses from a subject and act accordingly. If these responses are ignored, or used against them, this becomes abuse. A predator can use any sorts of techniques in order to manipulate the subject. Including, but not limited to;
Emotional abuse – A dominant manipulating emotional states in order to get the sub to break and give in regardless of the sub's needs.
Trigger abuse – Continually using a trigger or an effect in order to force control from the sub.
Safety avoidance – Avoiding any calls to stop play, address issues, or otherwise tend to the needs of a sub.
Gaslighting – Psychologically manipulating the subject in order to doubt their own memories/beliefs/sanity, or adjusting events to favour the abuser. This includes memory alteration without prior consent with hypnosis.
Where the general rules apply for one off play, if moving into a long term D/s partnership here’s some tips for both in order to keep play safe for all.
· Are you both aware of what your roles and expectations in the relationship are.
· Do you feel happy and safe with the relationship both during and after a play session has finished.
· Have regular reviews for both parties. Are things going as expected? Is there problems to fix?
· Your owner is also not a mind reader. If something makes you uncomfortable TELL YOUR DOMINANT. Address the problems together so you can continue happier than stay uncomfortable. Your owner should take attention to the problem as their role is to still care for you.
· You always have the right to refuse if a limit is being broken. If your owner is not respecting this, ignoring safewords and warnings. STOP IMMEDIATELY. They either do not understand basic safe play procedures and they should be informed of such, or They are a predator and should be avoided at all costs.
· If practicing pet play with hypnosis make sure you trust the hypnotist / file. If there is something in a trance or a session that you do not like, you can always reject an abusive suggestion and call a safeword.
· Your pet or slave is still a person and still has both emotional and psychological needs
· If using hypnosis on a subject either from an induction you use, or from effects from other files. Be aware you are still manipulating a person’s mind and should take care with how suggestions are worded, the repercussions of such suggestions both in the immediate and afterwards.
· Set exit triggers.
· SET EXIT TRIGGERS
· If a subject is showing resistance, DO NOT TRY FORCING ANYTHING WITH MORE HYPNOSIS – Address the issues directly. Force will not work and will backfire.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Should you choose to, or already do practice any form of Pet play, you know now the basics of how to keep yourself safe and protected from the risks involved with any sort of BDSM play. While pet play doesn’t have to involve any of the sides related to B&D and S&M, there are still guidelines to ensure even the tamest of play stays healthy for all.
And always remember the golden rule of any BDSM related activities.
SAFE. SANE. CONSENSUAL.
For further reading on safer practices, I would suggest the BDSM Wiki at www.bdsmwiki.info Which was also the source for the list of Sub Drop symptoms. (Naturally the content may be NSFW, so do take care.)