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Features Pleasure Products The Perks of Puppy Play Pet Play Can Be the Anecdote for Couples Looking for Extra Spice BY REBECCA WEINBERG, XR BRANDS R ole play is one of the best ways to reenergize your sex life. It gives us license to shed inhibitions and express who we truly are in the bedroom. And as many of us can attest, playing a char- acter that’s different from your everyday self can turn simple routine sex into a mind-blowing affair. But before you slip into someone else’s stilettos, have you ever thought about getting down on all fours instead? Puppy play is something most of us believe is for other people. Some may even think it’s quite strange. But ask any “trainer” or “pup” (yes, those are technical terms) and they’ll tell you it’s the ultimate role play experience. Pet play is more common than people real- ize and the more comfortable you are with this playful kink, the more your customers will be, too. There’s a wide world of play styles and accessories out there for eager pups and other pets, and XR Brands is one of retailers’ go-to sources for the very best gear. What is puppy play? Puppy play requires some- one to fill the role of trainer or handler and at least one other person as the puppy. Human pups take on dog-like charac- teristics, such as walking on all fours or playing fetch, and like regular role play, this gives participants permission (and makes it much easier) to lose their inhibitions. XR Brands fields all kinds of customer inquiry about some of the more unique items in our catalog and here are answers to three of the most common questions we get about puppy play and other kinds of pet play: 1) For some, pet play incorporates sexual elements and for others it does not; 2) Pet play is different than being a furry, which involves partici- pants usually wearing full-body animal suits; and 3) Pet play never involves actual animals. Is puppy play considered hardcore BDSM? That all depends on how you play. Some go for a tender, nurturing play style with lots of cuddles and praise. While this does utilize domi- nance and submis- sion, it does not incorporate the rougher elements of BDSM. Those that prefer puppy play with a heavy dose of sadomasochism may enjoy discipline devices like the Jolt Electro Puppy Trainer Shock Collar. BDSM gags can also be adapted for puppy play. Putting a puppy spin on the classic bar gag, the Hound Bone Gag Head Harness uses a silicone bone as the gagging device. The Pup Puppy Play Hood and Breathable Ball Gag is ideal for sensory deprivation. And the Muzzled Universal BDSM Hood with Removable Muzzle is a hood, eye cover, and gag set that adapts for puppy play with its optional mouthpiece. Why is puppy play appealing? Human pups are free from the confines of language and fo- cus on basic creature comforts — something many of us feel deprived of in our busy lives. This simplified existence fosters deeper levels of vulnerability and freedom than more typi- cal role plays and pets are happy, adored and carefree. They also live in the moment. Expressing only animal desires allows pups to get into a unique headspace similar to BDSM subspace. Being a trainer has its benefits, too. They enjoy the dominance and control they have over their pups and the unconditional love, loyalty and 74 XBIZ PREMIERE FEBRUARY 2017 companionship trainers receive in return can be incredibly rewarding. Is it difficult to get into the role of a puppy? Although imagination is the most important tool for puppy play, gear can really make the experience. If you’ve ever role-played, you know that put- ting on a wig or new article of clothing can help get you into character. The same is true for pet play. Accessories like hoods, mitts and collars can help prospective pups slide into the right head- space. Don’t forget tails, bones, or feeding dishes, too. The Strict Leather Premium Puppy Play Set perfectly transforms the wearer into a dog with its full headgear and mitts. To get into character from head to tail, the Pedigree Puppy Play Tail Plug is also a must. Are there other types of animal role play? Puppy play and pony play are two of the most common kinds of pet play, but it doesn't stop there. With animal role play, you can be anything you want; kitties and bunnies are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s plenty of gear on the market for these kinds of ani- mals, too, and we created the Tailz collection to give shoppers a variety of clever butt plugs equipped with cat, rabbit, fox and pony tails in different colors and fur textures. Some even vibrate for extra fun. Pet play can be the anecdote for couples searching for a little extra spice in their sex lives, though it may not be the first type of role play that comes to mind. Finding the right gear to set the mood can help shop- pers discover how pet play could become a regular part of their regular routines and can help make the experience feel playful in a whole new way. X