Animal play is a special type of role play where one or more participants take on the role of an animal. Animal play is commonly seen in BDSM contexts. Typically the submissive “animal” partner is humiliated or dominated by their dominant master, but sometimes the “animal” will take on the more dominant role.
Animal play is sometimes called animal role-play or pet play.
More About Animal Play
Like other role-playing activities, the extent of animal play depends on the preferences of the participants. Entry-level animal play may involve imitating the sounds of animals, crawling about on all fours, being hand-fed or petted, or wearing a collar. In more extreme cases, a human pet may wear masks or prosthetics or undergo bondage-based body modifications to more closely resemble the animal. Masters might restrict their pet’s movements by keeping them in a cage or off the furniture or force them to use a litter box rather than a human toilet.
There are also specific activities involved with particular types of animal play. During pony play, for example, a master will train his “pony” to walk and canter. During puppy or kitty play, masters may expect love and obedience while interacting with their pets. Sometimes puppy play may involve two “pups” fighting for dominance.
Animal play allows participants to break free of their human existence and take on another personality. Some enjoy the sensory pleasures of animal play, such as being petted or held, while others feel a spiritual connection to the animal persona they take on. Others enjoy the power exchange that occurs during animal play and the way that this reinforces the dominant and submissive roles in a BDSM relationship.
Many people enjoy animal play without connecting it to bestiality, while others feel animal play is an acceptable way to live out their erotic human-animal fantasies. People who become aroused when acting or imagining themselves as an animal are known as autozoophiles.
Some members of the BDSM community enjoy animal play so much that they live as their chosen animal all the time. This practice goes beyond role-playing and becomes a lifestyle choice.