Love is love
“Love is love” is a wildly successful slogan for LGBTIQ rights.
As I get older, I seem to tear up more easily when I see sweet images. Young couples in love with so much hope and promise. Their love isn’t queer love, or unnatural love or gay love. It is simply love.
Who cares what they do in bed, they love each other!
Looking at these pups would tell you that really love is love. Just two guys, dressed up for some silly fun.
I his article, Alex Cheves, aka @BeastlyPup, sets out 7 compelling reasons that being a pup is a great way to start in the kink scene.
It is important to remember that yes, it is a kink.
A sexuality is a deep sexual preference for people of one sex over another. It is fundamental to sexual and emotional fulfilment. Whether you think you are “born straight” or “develop into a straight person” (personally I think it is a combination), it isn’t something you wake up and decide to be one day. You can’t purchase the gear and “become straight”.
A fetish or a kink is deliberately chosen and developed over time by repeated exposure to the fetish object during sexual arousal. It is a conditioned response. Different kinks live in “scenes”. They provide entry pathways to people who are “new to kink”. They even advertise to attract new members toward the kink.
I visited Alex’s Tumblr account with the intention of taking a screenshot. It would have taken me an hour to cleanse. So here is a description of the first few items:
- Q: Are you single? A: Yes
- Closeup animated GIF of a man fellating another man
- Artistic shot of a topless man
- Paragraph “go out into the world and fuck it up…” etc
- Fisting poem
- “I want someone to play with my butt. Is that bad?”
- Graphic animated GIF of a man being fisted by another man. They are both wearing leather harnesses.
The point here isn’t that “love is love”. Alex lives his private sexuality out in public, and shows no evidence of love. He demonstrates dominance and submission. The recruitment article linked above (‘7 reasons‘) is light hearted and welcoming, talking about the value of community, introducing the coded language of the culture. It stresses there is no pressure to have sex but describes the sex as the best you’ll ever have. He doesn’t say “I had wonderful sex with Steve”. He talks about his de-identified handler, about alphas and betas, fuckers and fuckees. The reality of the pup kink, and all kinks, are that they are inherently a dominant/submissive relationship.
There is a fucker and a fuckee.
Through the medium of pups and “approachable” kink, we are being groomed to accept more sinister relationships.
Pups are accepted and promoted in Pride marches. Their cute little paws-up stance makes them seem harmless and playful.
In 2016, the Pups were the subject of a sympathetic Channel 4 program in the UK. The guardian ran with the headline “The men who live as dogs: ‘We’re just the same as any person on the high street’“. Note: the men who live as dogs. Men.
And of course there’s a marketplace of props for that.
As recruiters for kink, for domination and submission, Pups are winners. They groom us to accept unequal relationships in our lives.
If it is normal to be masked, bound, gagged and fucked in the name of love, then it is normal to release all power in the name of love. Alex notes in his article that some subs even release control of their finances to a dom.
If it is normal to role play in the name of love, then it is normal to pretend to love. It is normal to fake it.
To role play a pup, you release your critical faculties and become the dog. Your concerns are not safety, they are nosing around crotches and trying not to piss one anyone’s leg.
When you uncritically accept that “love is love”, you justify any behaviour that is called love.
What else is love?
Domestic abuse is love
Love is a strong emotion. It leads us into situations where we can be hurt, and that can cause us to hurt others. Listen to tales of domestic abuse, the reasons for being drawn in, the reasons for staying in these situations. Listen to the words of the abusers.
He’s a lovely guy. He does it because he loves me. You loved that dog more than me (that’s why I had to kill it). I love you so much, I can’t let you go. I’ll kill myself if you leave me.
I stayed because I loved him. I stayed because of the children.
Did she accept that love was a hierarchy? A power relationship, where there is a dominant and a submissive? Did she accept that there is a fucker and a fuckee?
She she role-play her marriage? Was it enough to pretend to be happy, to see his domination as care, as manly, as sexy, as safety until it became unsafe.
Pups are not to blame for domestic abuse. They groom us to accept an abusive dynamic. Their fundamental message is to make us think twice before questioning when we see a power imbalance. We feel that it is a bit off, leather masks and harnesses, but we are told it is harmless and fun. We are told not to look at the piss-play, the “full time doms” who control their sub’s finances, and the “hurts so good” anal raping.
Maybe that’s just how their relationship works. Maybe they have a secret kink relationship. She might be happy begging for money to buy groceries. It’s not my business to ask. As long as they are in love.
Maybe they are having a rough patch. Maybe love will return.
The fundamental message of kink is to accept power imbalance, to not question when you see abuse occurring. To not kink-shame when you see someone being abused.
“Ms Baxter’s husband, ex-Warriors player Rowan Baxter, died on the footpath near the car with self-inflicted stab wounds after allegedly dousing his family in petrol.“
As I get older, these sadder images tear me up too. I am not yet ready to accept that all forms of love are simply love.