The pet play lifestyle is full of so many voices that make it unique and vibrant. To showcase this, every month we will be shining the spotlight on a particular human animal or Handler in our community. Let's hear what makes every pet player special!
And we couldn't be more proud of our very first feature, a truly special pup whose dedication to service and community outreach is making serious waves in the pet play, leather, and queer circles...
Pup Star Orion!
Pup Star Orion (he/his/him) is a trans genderfluid service orient leather bull terrier pup - and the current LA Pup 2020!
Originally born in Santa Ana, El Salvador then raised in East Hollywood, Orion has made it his mission to cultivate education in the BDSM community that is racially informed and based on uplifting queer and disabled kinksters.
He is the Social Outreach Coordinator and a leadership board member of Obsidian LA, an education and kink group centering QTIPOC players, as well as an associate member of Onyx Southwest.
He is a boot loving, cigar ash swallowing, switch with passion for power exchange and public play.
How did you get into pet play?
I grew up very close to my family dogs. It's almost surprising that I spent so many years saying that I was not interested in pet play, but about four years ago, I dated a Dominant at the same time that my disability began to really affect my mobility. My Dominant at the time made a joke that if I was having trouble walking to the point of spending my days on all fours anyway, I might as well be a dog. Something about that just clicked. From there, pet play became my release for all of the stress that came with watching my health decline. It was the perfect way to navigate spaces with a barrier, in this case my former Handler, because people don't pet dogs without asking. This created a very simple way to express physical limitations without making of the conversation directly about disability when I wasn't at a level of comfort with that topic yet.
What are your favorite toys and treats?
My favorite treats are probably a combination of cinnamon Scooby snacks and beef jerky because I really love sweet and savory combinations. Besides that, I also really love firm seedless green grapes, those circus animal cookies with the sprinkles, cheese ritz cracker sandwiches, dried mango, peanut butter filled pretzels, and of course cock!
I also love really anything that someone makes for me themselves. I feel like as a puppy I can really taste the love cooked into whatever a Dominant is feeding me to reward either acts of service or just for being a cute pup.
What advice do you have for pet players who might feel marginalized in the broader pet play community?
I wanna first acknowledge that entering pet play publicly was very difficult for me as a queer trans person of color and as a disabled person. I want to validate that exclusion still happens, unfortunately. I feel a lot of us have a habit of saying anybody can be a pup, but we don't always extend a paw to those who don't easily find ways into public pet spaces.
I think part of being in a community means seeing those people who are excluded or less visible and try to find ways to include them. Ask them what they need from us as a broader community to be comfortable and feel uplifted and seen. With that acknowledged, I want to tell anybody who feels like they aren't seeing a spot for them at the table that they don't have to ever wait for that spot to open up. There is always space at any time to make their own damn table!
That's what I did, and so many people that I work closely with did it before the greater community would even give us the time of day. You don't have to wait around for everyone else and when the broader community finally sees you, you get to then actively choose whether that is even what you want. There is no real way to do a pet play and that also means there isn't technically a need to find yourself in that mainstream pet space. I still don't feel like that is the position for me personally and I have no issue with that. I don't think it is something that I actually want. Part of me running for a title was to prove that I could take a title home to marginalized spaces as opposed to assimilating myself into broader spaces.
What advice do you have for pet players looking to deepen their headspace during scenes?
I would ultimately suggest that they take risks - to be mindful and safe as they take risks, but to take them! And to follow their animal instincts. For me, I found my deeper space when I let go of my insecurity around what I looked like and just flowed with where my wild heart wanted to go. For me that was water ! So I started taking a lot of baths, going to the beach, and to puppy pool parties where I could just splash and be sloppy because that's what my puppy heart wanted.
What do you love most about pet play?
There are a few things that I would consider my favorite aspects of pet play. Part of that would be finding other pets that belong to marginalized identities and creating community with them - I would name this my most rewarding endeavor. I also love how in touch with my body pet play allowed me to be, especially since I started at a time when I felt like I would never connect with my body again. I love the freedom and space to explore aspects of myself that I'm not sure I would've ever known to this degree, or at all, without pet play. I feel pet play also gave me a greater connection to my submission and my identity as a masochist. Lastly, I really love fucking up ball pits!
Follow Orion at @pup.star.orion on Instagram to keep up with his journey and community work!