Reports of the death of this podcast are greatly exaggerated. Okay, maybe not greatly exaggerated, cuz it was touch-and-go for a bit there, but I digress. We’re back with Episode 2! While it’s not the content I expected to share, it’s the start of a conversation that’s necessary, all the same. This time, we discuss important safety considerations for pet play — ways to keep everyone healthy and sane while in headspace. At least, as sane as we can be.
What Headspace is and Why It’s Important
“What goes on inside those little critter brains of theirs?” Watching people engage in pet play — or doing it yourself — you might have noticed that pets think differently than their human counterparts. Their minds go elsewhere (into “headspace”, as we call it), and that means interaction, communication, and consent in headspace differ from their human-to-human equivalents.
This episode shares a recorded talk from the Tampa Bay Leather & Kink Social from 05 Jan 2019. (No, that’s not a typo; yes, this is long overdue; yes, I’m a slacker.) In this brief talk, I scamper through the highlights of healthy headspace — things critters (and the humans who love them) should keep in mind when preparing for, engaging in, and recovering from pet play. We discuss public moshes, private at-home play, and anything in-between, and the talk is species-inclusive, addressing how different critters have slightly different needs.
Regardless of the critter or the scene, healthy headspace revolves around care and compassion, so put on your empathy caps and join us as we sniff our way through the cares and cautions of the otherwise carefree part of pet play!
Because I gave this talk in an outdoor venue (the patio of a bar, no less), the audio quality doesn’t sound like a normal interview. When an audience member asks a question, the volume drops considerably. But don’t worry, I repeat every question to make sure you (and those at the bar) can hear. If you want to follow along more carefully or add to the discussion, you can view and comment on my notes from the talk.
I should also note that my thinking on some points has changed since I gave this talk. Most significantly, you’ll hear me claim in this recording that critters cannot negotiate once a scene begins. I no longer accept that claim and will re-visit that topic for further discussion in a future episode. (tl;dr: Critters can negotiate, but only to a point. Many pet-play enthusiasts should negotiate more than they typically do.)