Discover Puppy Play in Antwerp

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Discover Puppy Play in Antwerp

On the Antwerp Pride Village, central site of the weekend festivities and arrival point of the Parade, visitors will be able to meet dozens of various associations. The fetish sphere will be well represented since all community associations will be welcomed under the We Are One banner of Darklands in collaboration with We Are Fetish, Gael’s label. Besides that, Spit It Out has agreed to partner with Pup Mike and his Puppy Play Info Point.

On the Antwerp Pride Village, central site of the weekend festivities and arrival point of the Parade, visitors will be able to meet dozens of various associations. The fetish sphere will be well represented since all community associations will be welcomed under the We Are One banner of Darklands in collaboration with We Are Fetish, Gael’s label. Besides that, Spit It Out has agreed to partner with Pup Mike and his Puppy Play Info Point.

Just because he's completed his year as Mr Puppy Boots doesn't mean Pup Mike isn't continuing his fight for Puppy Play recognition. On social networks, sometimes also in the media, it’s implied that this discipline is a deviance. “There is a persistent presence of hate towards puppy play, largely due to widespread misunderstandings. To combat this, I firmly believe that education is the key.”, he said. For him, a better and safer world for everyone can only be achieved through knowledge and empathy.

It's in this context that Mike and his boyfriend Djurre came up with the idea for the Puppy Play Info Point at the Antwerp Pride Village because many people are unfamiliar with what puppy play actually is. “At the Puppy Play Info Point, you'll find not only information but also gear to try, a photo area, and some of the puppy's favorite toys. It's all about having lots of fun while we're dedicated to explaining and discussing this wonderful lifestyle.”, Mike explains.

In search of well-being

Based on his own experience as a young Romanian expatriate in Belgium and that of a few friends with various profiles, he has written a guide to Puppy Play which will be available in Antwerp (and for download online) in EnglishDutch and French. “I’m actively engaged in various initiatives, such as a Fetish Talk-show, writing newspaper articles, and conducting workshops and masterclasses.” For him, who is a psychologist by training, this is part of his permanent approach to educating society. This brochure becomes an additional communication channel.

For Mike as for some peers, the discovery of Puppy Play had a liberating effect. He mentions it in his writings. What was good for him might be good for others who don't know yet. “Puppy play can bring various benefits to one's well-being and fulfillment. For those who engage in this lifestyle, it often provides a sense of freedom and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Embracing the role of a puppy can offer a form of therapeutic release, as individuals can temporarily let go of their human responsibilities and immerse themselves in a carefree, playful mindset.

Mike also wants to talk about the connections that the practice can create, in particular thanks to the packs. “Puppy Play can foster a strong sense of community and belonging. Participants often form close bonds with like-minded individuals, creating a supportive network that embraces diversity and promotes self-expression without judgment. Furthermore, this form of role-playing can be empowering and confidence-boosting, as it encourages individuals to explore and accept their desires and identities. It allows people to discover more about themselves and embrace their unique interests, leading to a deeper sense of self-awareness and acceptance.” Among the puppies, probably even more than in the other fetish scenes, the social mix is great with all the gender identities and sexual orientations represented. Better than that, they blend together in perfect harmony.

Puppy Play is for everyone

The hood which anonymizes the individual undoubtedly has something to do with it. “It plays a significant role in fostering the open and diverse nature of the pups community. The hood serves as a symbolic representation of the puppy persona and acts as a powerful tool for participants to embrace their playful and uninhibited side.”, Mike said. “Wearing a puppy hood allows individuals to shed their human identities temporarily and fully immerse themselves in their puppy role. This freedom from societal expectations or judgments enables people to explore their desires and interests more openly, leading to a more inclusive and accepting environment within the community. Wearing the hood, all pups are on an equal playing field, promoting a strong sense of camaraderie and fostering diverse connections. At the same time, there are puppies which find the hood optional, and can enter pup-space without it.

To meet Mike and his community, but also to discover Puppy Play through practice or to obtain the brochure he has published, the appointment is set for these Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the cockrillkaai in Antwerp. There is also plenty of info on the pupmike.com site.

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