Meet The Secret Group Of Men Who Roleplay As Dogs

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What Is Puppy Play? Meet The Secret Group Of Men Who Roleplay As Dogs
Entertainment And News

Daily human life can be super-hectic and stressful that by the end of the day all you want to do is escape. Some people escape by watching hours of Game of Thrones. Others get lost in the musical stylings of Beyoncé.

But for 10,000 people in England, it's putting on a mask, munching on doggy treats, and playing with squeaky toys. 

What is puppy play?

In a documentary called Secret Life Of The Human Pups, directed by Guy Simmonds, the U.K. Channel is showing viewers a peek into this secret group of roleplayers made up of mostly men "who are not content with just owning a canine but want to be one."

Simmonds came up with the idea after he stumbled upon photos of the human dogs on the internet. 

"On the surface, you’d think it was a few people dressing up as dogs behind closed doors," he said. "But the more we researched it, the more surprised I was to learn how large the community was in the U.K. They've got their own social networking sites, events, and competitions."

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If you want to find out more, don't stop reading just yet. Learn about puppy play, hear from a real-life "puppy," and try to understand the psychology behind this form of kink.

Contrary to what everyone may think, puppy play is neither a fetish nor a kink, although some members of the community may use it as such. According to one of the men featured in the documentary, a 32-year-old sound and lighting technician, "it’s just escapism to get away from everything that's run of the mill."

A human dog for ten years, Tom has also won Mr. Puppy U.K. as a dalmatian named Spot. It's how he also met his handler, Colin, whom he described as his "soulmate," although their relationship is strictly platonic. 

"I have slept on a cage along the way. Colin will be in the bed and I'll be on the floor," he said. 

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What is the psychology behind puppy play?

Although strange to the outside eye, psychotherapist Wendy Bristow says that it's not uncommon, especially for those who had experienced some form of childhood trauma

"I’ve not heard of this manifestation before, but people often try to get comfort in all manner of ways," she said. "This is a very specific form where, if they’re dressing up as dogs and being petted, it is interesting psychology: pets don't communicate, they're not expected to speak."

For these men, Bristow believes that puppy play is their form of escapism, a means of comfort. The outside world is hectic, stressful, and full of expectations.

As a puppy, these things don't exist. Only fun, love, and comfort.

RELATED: Puppies Love Baby Talk Even More Than Babies, Says Science

Caithlin Pena is a writer and editor for YourTango who enjoys books, movies, and music and writes fictional short stories as a hobby.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in May 2016 and was updated with the latest information.

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