Wednesday 18 July 2012

Blow Your Mind: Canine Head-Space

 The following is cross-posted. It was an article I wrote for the Fetlife Puppy Play group.

There are a few questions that come up when people, especially new comers, talk about Puppy Play. I am talking about the ones regarding head-space. What is head-space? No no, that the area your head occupies, but your mind. Where is it at when you are in puppy mode? What is head-space exactly? Is head-space needed during play? How do I "get into it"?

These are all very good questions and ones worthy of knowing. First, what is it? Well, to get to that, let's recap over what puppy play is, by definition (keep in mind the definition isn't ALL what puppy play is, but the basis). Puppy play is a type of role play with an emphasis on the altered mind space and canine status. Hear that; altered mind space? These means that the mind morphs. It becomes, in this case, less human. Your mind starts to become more canine.  Have you ever had such a fantastic day that you feel like you are the king or queen of any and all, and can nothing can ruin your day, when you can tackle anything that comes your way? What about that time playing a Mario Cart and how eager and into it you are, that you feel you are right there, as you lift off the seat and gear towards the left, hoping and praying it will help your cart turn? How about alcohol? Being drunk and having a grand time is a substance induced altered state of mind. Adrenaline is a good example too (and in some cases the exact chemical responsible for altered states of mind during play). Those are types of head space. There are tons of states for everyone, especially in the world of BDSM. Ever heard of sub-space? Same thing, just a little different of a world. There are different states of mind, but since this is about puppy play, that is what we are focusing on. Head-space is the altered state of mind, when one leaves what they were behind and chooses to enter a new realm of thinking. In this case, that realm happens to be canine. It becomes deeply personal, like you are not role playing as a dog, but like you have become the dog.

Have you ever heard of sub-frenzy and sub-drop? No? Well visit the article Saba wrote called Sub-Drop and Puppy Play. In my experience I have found that human-canines are very, VERY susceptible to these phenomenons.I am sure all sorts of subs, slave and you name it can fall influence to sub-drop and sub-frenzy, but it almost seems inherent for puppies. Maybe is it due to the style and type of play and head-space? After all, bio-pups love to play and never can get enough.

Is head-space needed for puppy play? Well, I am sure it is absolutely NEEDED, but it certainly does help. A lot in fact. Have you ever tried to do something, but weren't in the mood, what ever it may have been? I believe these situations to be akin. You can play without head-space but it may be harder and no where near as fun.

How does one get into this altered state of mind? Triggers. One of the best ways is using triggers. For some it can be having a tail plug in. Most often it is a collar. Some puppies are a separate dog collar they use for play time and when it is place around their neck and they hear the click of the buckle... BOOM! Instant head-space. What your trigger is, you will just have to find out. One big fantasy for some puppy players, and one that is indeed reachable, is being conditioned. When they hear or see something they are trained to take on as a trigger, such as a word, or a dog whistle or something, anything, they dissolve their human side and become canine-like. Condition, maybe even broken down to the point when this signal what ever it may be, turns them. Some puppies it comes naturally too. It is easy for them to slip in and out (sometimes out is just as hard as going in, sometimes even harder) of the puppy head-space. Some have done it already for year without even knowing what puppy play is. Playing dog in the school yard at lunchtime in elementary school. I even knew an autistic kid or two who's way of coping and letting stress go was to get under the table and start barking and acting like a puppy. Getting in the right head-space is harder for some than others but, like everything, can become easier with practice. Some people really enjoy being forced into the mind-space. In fact, some people can't get into it unless they are forced to. When they do however, they are usually very deep in it.

It even can be possible that one wont remember something or anything at all when in deep head-space. Why is that? I believe it is because it wasn't the human mind that experienced it, it was the canine part that did, so maybe the canine mind-space can remember it, who knows. Am I saying that an altered mind is equivalent to another personality? Well, I suppose that could be the case, but a think it not what most us us think of when we hear that. I wouldn't think it harmful or distressing. Sure it might make you have some questions, but that what this group is here for! I definitely would not go as far as calling it split personalities, because it isn't really split. It is just altered. Thte definition of "altered" is "to make change, modify by will". To modify or change, something has to be there already. You are still you, just... different.

Are their different type a canine specific head-space? Of course. I am sure head-space varies from person to person in all aspects. There are two most common types of canine head-space. That of "dog" and that of "pup". Your "dog" head-space is usually achieved by old, bigger males. They have  the mentality and mannerisms of your bigger species of canine. Usually not as playful as puppies and tend to be a bit headstrong. Most of the time, are take on the alpha status. The most common head-space, that of the "puppy", tends to be very playful, loving and affectionate. They like to have someone to look up to, and very susceptible to sub-frenzy and drop.

Is partial head-space possible? Of course! A full, deep head-space is where your reality has be completely engulfed by canine status. You no longer think like a human, only like a dog, or at least what the human mind is capable of knowing what a dog thinks like. A partial head-space is where one can still perceive things as a human would. You can still... well, think. If you find yourself thinking "is that a ball? I should get the ball, dogs like balls", then your probably in partial head-space. This is the part that gets hard to explain. I am not saying dogs don't think, because they do. They just don't articulate or reason it like a human would. Reasoning? Did I really just mention that? Yes, I did. A dog's thoughts may not always be rational. Sometimes they may even be instinctual. Most often, a person stays in a partial head-space while in public. It is somewhat even recommended to do so. Why? Well, there are a few things one should be aware of in public. To play devil's advocate though, that is what handlers and training is for. Sometimes people just can't get into a full head-space unless certain conditions are right. That is fully acceptable and again, can be worked on with practice.

There you have mind-space. I hope the article has helped and encouraged you to think about your altered state of mind. If you have any questions, BRING 'EM! I am sure there is more out there.

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