Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 801–811 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of a New Kink Activity: “Pup Play”

  • Liam WignallEmail author
  • Mark McCormack
Original Paper


This study presents the narratives and experiences of 30 gay and bisexual men who participate in a behavior known as “pup play.” Never empirically studied before, we use in-depth interviews and a modified form of grounded theory to describe the dynamics of pup play and develop a conceptual framework with which to understand it. We discuss the dynamics of pup play, demonstrating that it primarily consists of mimicking the behaviors and adopting the role of a dog. We show that the majority of participants use pup play for sexual satisfaction. It is also a form of relaxation, demonstrated primarily through the existence of a “headspace.” We classify pup play as a kink, and find no evidence for the framing of it as a form of zoophilia. We call for further research on pup play as a sexual kink and leisure activity from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives.


BDSM Kink Leisure Pup play Role-play 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Media and Cultural StudiesUniversity of SunderlandSunderlandUK
  2. 2.School of Applied Social SciencesDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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