Paws for Thought: How Does Pupspace Feel For Me?

A selfie of me, Morgan, a white nonbinary human with facial piercings, with a filter over it which gives me a little black nose, whiskers and glasses, to emulate puppy play and also as an excuse to make you look at my face.

I used to be sort of intimidated by the notion of puppy play. Like many people, when I first encountered it, I saw images of people in leather hoods, with their hands bound up in mitts to imitate paws, and I felt disconnected from the notion of being a pup. It didn’t help that so much of the imagery I saw only featured cis gay men, either – it seemed, from the outside, more like a leather community subsection than a kink in its own right.

Unbeknownst to me, though, I’d already been doing bits of puppy play in my everyday life. My friends loved to fuss my head and ask, “Who’s a good Morgan?” to witness my excited response, wherein I would flap my autistic little hands and proclaim, “I am! I’m a good Morgan!” I responded to my dominant partner at the time whistling to get my attention. I loved to follow orders (naturally) and to chew on things. I already was a pup – I just didn’t know it yet.

Being a puppy, for me, is akin to being in littlespace in that it’s very sensory-seeking and it feels very self-indulgent, but it’s a touch more primal. Little-Morgan will follow instructions because they want to be good, and because they don’t really have a reason not to, whereas Puppy-Morgan will follow instructions as a result of some instinctive drive to submit (and to obtain head pets). Little-Morgan will engage with sex stuff because a grown-up told them to and they’re an anxious-preoccupied people-pleaser, whereas Puppy-Morgan has the sex drive of, you know, an animal. (Incidentally, humping a wand vibrator is the number one way that I get myself off, and there is something deeply animalistic about humping things.) When I’m in pupspace, there is no logic or self-doubt or apprehension between myself and what I want. Pupspace is an unapologetically horny, impulsive, rowdy headspace for me.

With that said, though, it’s a bit trickier for me to access pupspace. That might be because it’s a little further removed from my ordinary headspace, or it might be as a result of some internalised shame – both because petplay is regarded as weird in a way that Daddy kinks, at the very least, are not, and because of the aforementioned disconnect I feel from other puppy players. I have no interest in dropping large sums of money on hoods and mitts (partly because they look like sensory hell for me) and I don’t feel connected to the cis gay male community, since I’m not cis, not male, and only “gay” in the nebulous, queer sense of the word. I still have a degree of Impostor Syndrome around my experiences of puppy play and pupspace, which is part of why I’m writing this – to reassure other puppy players that their way of engaging in puppy play “counts”, even if it doesn’t look like what other pups are doing.

There are a lot of ways I can pull myself into pupspace, especially with external help. I often have to ask permission to get onto the furniture, and having that permission denied and being forced to sit at my Daddy’s feet makes me feel very much like a pet, rather than a person. Head pets are always a good bet, too, but tummy rubs (on days that my eating disorder isn’t acting up too much) feel more pup-like to me and therefore more pupspace-inducing. Another great way to access and indulge in pupspace is through “training” – there are particular commands that Puppy-Morgan is learning, like “sit” and “paw”, and carrying those out successfully often earns me a puppy treat (note: in my case, these are usually things like Maltesers. Do not eat actual pet food, because it is bad for human tummies. Cadbury’s do some excellent, very dog-biscuit-esque treats called Joy Fills if you’re absolutely desperate for realism whilst you’re playing as a pup). I sometimes worry that maybe my need to induce pupspace, rather than falling into it naturally as I do with other headspaces, is a sign that I’m not really a pup, but logically, I think it’s obvious from my protective, playful nature and the joy that I access through pupspace that I was destined for puppy play. Plus, kinks don’t come with entry requirements! You don’t need gear to be a pup and you don’t need to play or feel any particular way. There are as many types of puppy players out there as there are actual breeds of dog, and you can play however you like as long as it’s consensual, risk-aware and fun.

(And, if you were wondering, I’m a miniature American Shepherd, and a damn cute one at that.)


This post is part of an ongoing project called the Headspace Miniseries, where I explore the different subtypes of subspace I experience. If you like this, share it around, look at my Patreon, and check out the other posts in the series – you know the drill!

Erotic Asphyxiation and Helplessness

When I saw that the current Kink of the Week prompt was erotic asphyxiation, my heart leapt. I made a note of it in the Google Doc I use to brainstorm ideas. It seemed like the perfect topic for me to write about, especially at this point in my life.

I’m doing a lot of grown-up things at the moment. I’ve just been accepted onto my Master’s course, for one thing, which feels huge and daunting and exciting all at once. Just over a week ago, I collected the key to my new flat and moved all my stuff into it. And, between the key-collection and the stuff-moving, I bought hosting for my blog, moved everything from my WordPress site to my own shiny new site, and spent multiple days stressing about the fact that I couldn’t get hyperlinks to show up in Merriweather because changing fonts in CSS is an absolute fucker. In so many ways, I’ve been an entire adult, doing adult things.

So, naturally, I’ve been even more inclined towards erotic asphyxiation than usual.

A huge number of my kinks are rooted in a desire to be helpless in a controlled setting. There’s two parts to the appeal of helplessness for me. The first is that, when I’m helpless, I’m also not responsible. Of course I don’t have to worry about my blog – I should be worrying about the fact that there’s no air reaching my lungs! I like the fogginess associated with erotic asphyxiation, even when there’s no oxygen deprivation happening. It’s a combination of subspace making me pliable and vacant, and survival instinct silencing all thoughts that aren’t related to getting some fucking air into my body. Sometimes, when my Daddy takes his hand off my throat, I’ll say, “I’m stupid,” to indicate that I’ve lost the capacity for rational thought in the most pleasant way possible.

The second lovely thing about being helpless is that, in this context, it’s finite. I’ve spent a lot of time recently feeling helpless and overwhelmed about “real life” – I couldn’t figure out how to solve the confusion over WiFi in my new flat, or how to make my Twitter widget display properly on my new site. That kind of helplessness is finite too, but it depends on me doing things to solve the problem at hand. By contrast, the helplessness I feel when someone’s hand wraps around my throat will end without me doing anything. I just have to lean into the sensations of fogginess and mild panic until I’m allowed to breathe again. It’s also a kind of helplessness that puts everything else into perspective, because even when it’s practised as safely as possible, erotic asphyxiation is a matter of life and death. I’m literally putting my life into someone else’s hands, along with my throat.

I specifically like hands around my throat because it makes me feel small, and trapped. There’s no way for me to wriggle out of it, unlike with smothering – my jaw hyperextends, so I can always manage to suck some air in through my mouth when someone’s trying to smother me, unless they’re using a pillow and are exceptionally thorough. When someone puts their hand on my throat, though, they don’t even need to try and blood-choke me or close off my air supply; I’ll just hold my breath in a Pavlovian display of obedience. Even when the asphyxiation itself isn’t rendering me helpless, my own desire to please rules my brain and my lungs.

Obviously, erotic asphyxiation is considered edge play because it’s super high-risk. Its edginess is part of its appeal to me, though, because letting somebody control my oxygen intake feels like the ultimate act of devotion. Staring vacantly into a partner’s face with black spots of oxygen deprivation floating in the edges of my vision makes me feel connected to them and possessed by them. Erotic asphyxiation is part of so many of my scenes with my Daddy, including rope ones and ones with fuckin’, because it’s shorthand for, “I trust you. Do what you will with me. My body and soul are yours.”

Even writing about the fuzziness I experience when engaging with breath play has relaxed me. Knowing that, no matter what’s stressing me out, I can get the sense choked out of me is deeply comforting, and the thought of it alone has cheered me up after a couple of very challenging weeks – so I’d like to thank Molly for the prompt, and encourage my readers to go and look at the other Kink of the Week posts inspired by it!

A red lipstick kiss mark, which contains a link to the Kink of the Week page, where you can find others' posts on erotic asphyxiation

Kinks I Don’t Have

Stock photo of a fluffy black-and-white feather against a blue background, a reference to tickling, one of the kinks I don't have, and also a nice complement to my blue-and-purple blog colour scheme.

Sometimes, my vanilla friends like to tease me about how kinky I am. I don’t mind it; I love feeling seen by them, and there’s never an edge of malice or shaming to it. But sometimes, I’ll express that something is a kink of mine, and they’ll respond, “What isn’t?”

Today, I am going to answer that question.

Specifically, I want to think about the reasons for me not finding a kink appealing. I can usually identify what’s hot about kinks I do have – pet play is primal and unrestrained; CG/l fulfills my need for approval and nurturing, whilst also feeling super taboo – but I think it’ll be just as telling to investigate what turns me off about kinks I personally don’t have. (Naturally, I’m going to try and be as neutral as possible and to avoid shaming people who do have these kinks, because most, if not all, kinks are harmless when played with ethically.)

1. Coprophilia, AKA scat, AKA poop

This one is firmly on my list of hard limits, rather than just a kink I’m not actively interested in. Partly, this is because of the health risks it poses, which sit firmly outside of my risk profile – but also, it just squicks me on an instinctive level that I can’t override. Once, when a friend confided in me that they had an interest in scat play and felt conflicted about it, I searched Tumblr for scat-related porn (back in the days when you could find porn on Tumblr). I grew to understand it in theory – the intense sensory experiences of smell and texture, the potential for erotic humiliation, the taboo of it – but I just couldn’t get past my own knee-jerk response, which was, I’ll admit, disgust. That doesn’t mean that I think the kink is disgusting, of course; most people poop, and I eroticise piss, which seems to be only one step away from scat. It’s just that my Caveman Brain is producing a disgust response, presumably because it has identified scat play as unsafe in some way, and I’m incapable of shutting that off.

2. Food play

Some of y’all might know that I’m recovering from an eating disorder. You might also know that recovering from mental illnesses does not stop me from enjoying related kinks, as is evident in the relationship between my blood kink and my occasional self-harm, so it’s probably not my eating disorder that prevents me from finding play with food sexy. Instead, I think it’s the sensory component. I’m autistic, and some sensory experiences are fucking awesome for me – like touching fluffy things, or sniffing a lemon-scented body wash – and some are hellish. Anything that could be described as “sticky” falls into the latter category, as do many forms of “wet”. I hate showering because I hate the sensation of being wet. I hate going out in the rain for the same reason, but I also hate to use an umbrella, because the fact that my legs are wet but my top half is not is even more distressing. The idea of being covered in food makes my autistic skin crawl a little bit, and even covering somebody else in foodstuffs would make me cringe.

3. Leather and latex

I’ve lumped these things into one because my lack of interest in them both comes from the same place. Firstly, there’s the autism component: squeaky, creaky noises go straight through me, and I know there’s a lot of potential for those noises to arise in latex and leather. Secondly, leather and latex garments require a lot of care to maintain. I can barely keep myself and my dildos clean, and I just don’t think I have it in me to polish latex or leather as frequently as is needed. I also imagine that trying to keep such expensive garments clean and intact would make me so anxious that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy wearing them, particularly since latex has a reputation for tearing. I can admire other people’s latex and leather outfits from afar, of course, because people always look hot as hell in them, but I don’t think I could ever become a latex or leather wearer.

4. Tickling

So I have this really odd thing where if you get close enough to me and wiggle your fingers as if you’re going to tickle me, I start laughing before you even make contact. But it’s not an excited laugh – it’s just some anticipatory reflex thing, because frankly, tickling annoys me. I’ll tickle other people if they’re really enthusiastic about it, but the sensation of tickling just isn’t an enjoyable one for me. Light tickling, like the kind you can achieve with feathers, gives me Bad Autism and makes my skin itch relentlessly. Harder tickling with fingers is a little painful and a little irksome. This doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t want to be made to laugh in kinkier contexts; my Daddy can often make me shriek with enjoyable giggles by grabbing my shoulders, shouting, “Earthquake!” and shaking me roughly. I like laughing during scenes, especially when a top is using my laughter as another way to control my body, but tickling is just never going to be a way to get me there. It’s not fun laughter so much as involuntary laughter, and I like to save my involuntary responses in scenes for things like gagging and squirming.


What I’m gathering from this is that a lot of the things that stand between myself and some common kinks are rooted in autistic sensory aversions – and that’s okay! Nobody ever has to justify, to themselves or other people, why they don’t have any particular kinks, but I felt like it would be as interesting an introspective exercise as considering why I do have particular kinks. Are there any common kinks that you just don’t gel with, and do you ever think about why? I always love to hear y’all’s thoughts in the comments!