Friday, 10 December 2010
It’s a strange little fetish. At least I find it so. When I first heard about it, I giggled. How could dressing up as a pony be erotic? Yet for the men and women involved, it is all consuming; a raison d’etre. And to the uninitiated I think that all fetishes are strange when they are confronted with what turns some folk on.
“Animal role-play may be either a non-sexual or an erotic sexual role-play (when it may also be called pet-play, pony-play, ponyism, kitten-play, or pup-play). In its erotic sexual role-play form, one or more of the participants takes on the role of a real or imaginary animal in character, including appropriate mannerisms and behaviour, and sometimes a partner will act as another animal, or, in a sexual context, may take the role of rider, trainer, or caretaker (or even breeding partner).
The principal theme of animal role-play is usually the voluntary transformation of a human being to animal status, and focus on the altered mind-space created. The most common examples are probably canids (pup, dog, wolf), felines (cat, kitten, lion) or equines (pony, horse). Animal role-play is also used in a BDSM context, where a person may be humiliated by being treated as an animal.
The origins of animal role-play and pet-play are probably various and diverse, again depending upon the participants involved. However, its origins are certainly influenced by costuming, fiction, myth and legend, role-play and psychodrama in their various aspects. The first commercial manifestation of this fetish was created by Simon Benson the founder of the Petgirls.com website.
Like much of erotic play and role-play, animal role-play in an erotic or relational context is entirely defined by the people involved and by their mood and interests at the time of play. It ranges from the simple imitation of a vocal whinnying of a horse to the barking, panting or playful nudging of a puppy, or playful behaviour of a kitten, to crawling around on all fours and being fed, or petted, by hand. (In the latter instance, its motives may be similar to those of age play, i.e. taking on a role that one feels spiritually appropriate or which allows for nurturing, and a change from usual roles in everyday life). To the greater extremes of dressing up as a pony in modified horse tack, masks, prosthetics and temporary bondage based body modification (such as binding the forearms to the upper arms and/or the calves to the thighs).
Public participation in human animal role-play is varied. A couple could inconspicuously role-play a silly but loving pet play scene in public, but it would look like one partner is merely stroking the other's neck innocently to the casual observer. In the case of many convention-going furries and some BDSM fetishists, one partner may wear a dog collar with a leash attached.
The reasons for playing such a character or animal can vary as much as the actual physical manifestations and intensity of the play. Some people enjoy being able to "cut loose" into a different, or more dynamic personality (e.g., Were-creatures or Catgirls; see other variations). In some cases, pet play is seen as a loving, quiet cuddling time where there is no need for verbalizations and the simple act of stroking, rubbing and holding the other partner is satisfying or reassuring in and of itself for those involved. For others, there may be a spiritual side to it. Some feel closer to their animal totem, while others may identify with something akin to a deeper side or part of their own psyche (see: Therianthropy). For still others, there is the experience of power exchange set up in a context or structure which they can accept. Clearly, again, it depends on the people involved and what they bring to it or take from it.
Pony-play is sometimes referred to as "The Aristotelian Perversion," in reference to legend that Aristotle had a penchant for being ridden like a horse. Ponies (people involved in pony-play) generally divide themselves to three groups although some will participate in two or perhaps all three:
Cart ponies: ponies who pull a sulky with their owner.
Riding ponies: ponies who are ridden, either on all fours or on two legs, with the "rider" on the shoulders of the "pony" (also known as Shoulder riding). Note that a human back is generally not strong enough to take the weight of another adult without risk of injury, so four-legged "riding" is generally symbolic, with the "rider" taking most of their weight on their own legs.
Show ponies: ponies who show off their dressage skills and often wear elaborate harnesses, plumes and so on.
It should be pointed out that each type of play can focus on a certain "strength" of an animal character. Pony play often involves the practice and training that a horse owner or trainer would put their horse through to learn how to walk, canter, etc., as modified for human limbs. Puppy play often can involve BDSM related discipline. Cow Play often involves fantasies of lactation and impregnation. The usual limits of safe, sane and consensual apply to role-play as much as any other activity between humans who accept and respect their partner's interests and limits. For most, this does not include bestiality.
One group, the LA Ponies and Critters Club, takes the community idea of BDSM animal role-play further by staging a mock foxhunt in local forested areas. These events bring together pony-players, puppy-players and their respective humans for a cooperative, community bonding activity. One of the canine players volunteers to be the “fox” and marks a trail in the forest. The other puppy-players form the pack of “hounds” that search out the fox and bark/howl to bring the pony-players and their “riders” to capture the “fox”.”
From Pony play 101.
“Trigger, The Human Equine is an interesting character. His dream is to live 24/7/365 as a horse and it looks as though that dream is coming true. To each his own. I do enjoy being human most of the time. It makes those trips into pony head space so much more special for me. Nothing is more boring to me than being hitched to a post and left to wait while my trainer is working with another pony. I don't resent it and I'm not jealous of the attention at all, it's just not very entertaining unless someone is grooming me, petting me, feeding me a treat or otherwise giving me something to focus on. I'm most likely to misbehave when I'm bored. Ponies are high-maintenance creatures! I can't imagine living 24/7 as a pony, but that's me.
Check out Equus Eroticus for further information and events.
I shall be cross posting this to Frequently Felt