Added: Cami Roberts - Date: 01.12.2021 08:25 - Views: 26242 - Clicks: 3025
Only one study has been conducted on this phenomenon, and the present study sought to provide new knowledge about the meaning of this practice for participants. We conducted a qualitative analysis of data derived from 68 individual experience descriptions and 25 semi-structured interviews with puppies and handlers. The five themes include: 1 sexual pleasure; 2 relaxation, therapy, and escape from self; 3 adult play and vibrant physicality; 4 extending and expressing selfhood; and 5 relationships and community.
Clair, , for a community perspective on the origins of this activity. Clair, Wignall and McCormack reported on the first academic study focussed on pup play behavior. They presented the findings from a UK-based qualitative study focused on the narratives and meanings of puppy play.
They interviewed 30 participants either in person or via Skype. All participants were Caucasian cis-gendered gay or bisexual males between 18 and 35 years of age. This article provides a description of many key features of puppy play including information about routes into the practice, the role of sex, and hepace. This study provides a valuable foundation, but there remains a considerable gap in our understanding of this practice, particularly concerning the meaning of this experience, its psychological appeal, and the role of others in the form of relationships and community.
Wignall drew on the same UK-based dataset described above but explored the use of Twitter in pup community development. This article described the place of social media, particularly Twitter, in the creation and maintenance of the UK puppy play community. The article described the use of Twitter to share information often sexual about puppy play with participants employing pup pseudonyms within closed homogenous pup groups.
Twitter appeared to be the preferred form of social media among this sample, in large part because of existing use by pup play enthusiasts and the way that it could be incorporated into everyday use discretely using mobile technology. A notable aspect of this study was how important it was for participants to carefully negotiate privacy concerning their pup play activity. It was clear that there was a considerable tension here but a remaining perception among many that it was necessary to ensure that only fellow kink enthusiasts had access to information about their interest in puppy play.
Much of this is Web based, but there is also a relatively recent book written by a key figure in the puppy play community in the U. Clair This book provides a valuable additional insight into the origins and nature of puppy play. A primary motivation for people to engage in BDSM activity is sexual Wiseman, , but beyond this are a range of other non-sexual motivations ranging from BDSM as therapy e. Brinkmann, The present study provides new empirical evidence about the way that BDSM experience, specifically in this instance puppy play, may be driven as much by a desire for the perceived psychological benefits as for the pleasure of engaging in a novel sexual act.
It nonetheless provides a useful theory that at least in part helps explain the appeal of some BDSM experience. Baumeister , argued that the principal features of masochism pain, bondage and humiliation serve to facilitate an escape from the high-level features of human selfhood. Engaging in practices like masochism along with others like drug use and spirituality in this context provides some relief from the burdens of contemporary life.
There is little doubt that this theory resonates with empirical data from ethnographic studies e. Finally, in this review of BDSM literature, it is important to discuss the value that practitioners place upon relationships and community. Wignall and McCormack did not stress this aspect of puppy play in their study, but we will show in the present study that this is a vital aspect of the experience, as it is in BDSM practice more widely. Graham et al. They also highlight potential tensions within communities though acknowledging that much BDSM practice happens in private and outside formal community structures.
In the light of a lack of knowledge about puppy play, particularly concerning the reasons why people would engage in this behavior, this study has been deed to enable us to better understand the motivational appeal of the practice through a phenomenological analysis of the meaning of the experience of engaging in puppy play for participants.
Phenomenological methods are particularly appropriate to discern the meaning of a phenomenon for those who experience it, especially when little is known about the topic. There is no a single universal phenomenological method, and so, we have drawn upon the work of a of methodological theorists as above for this study.
The focus herein is on how language reveals different aspects of the lifeworld, the world as lived by participants, in relation to the topic, within particular cultural and historical limits Van Manen, a , b. This entails adopting a descriptive stance throughout the research process—from interviewing to analysis—in order to focus on how the phenomenon appears to the participants Langdridge, Sampling to both elements of the project involved the use of a project twitter , and by approaching pup organizations and community leaders directly to have a call for participants circulated on puppy play mailing lists, or community websites.
We focussed on Twitter in particular given research indicated this is a key means of communication in the puppy play community Wignall, In addition, we engaged in snowball sampling, asking those that we recruited to encourage others to participate, which worked well given the close-knit nature of the puppy play community. We also asked about variation in the community and used this information to inform whether our sample appeared to match the broader community that was being described.
We sought to ensure maximum variation in participant demographics and experience in line with the phenomenological method Langdridge, That is, we continued to recruit to the project until two criteria were fulfilled 1 that we included participants that represented most variation in demographics and experience in the community and 2 until we felt that no additional information was being generated in the interviews about the experience, similar to the notion of saturation in grounded theory Dworkin, Ultimately, this was achieved in part though there remained limitations that we could not overcome with the sample in terms of the first criteria that are discussed in the limitations section below.
A total of 68 individual participants provided descriptions of a puppy play experience via the online survey see Table 1 for demographic characteristics. These descriptions ranged in length from just a few sentences to 3 full s of text. Most consisted of two or three paragraphs of description, which is in line with research using this method Van Manen, a , b. Eleven of these participants also took part in the interviews.
The mean age of participants is 32 years, with a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 62 years. Forty-four were European and 21 North American. The length of time spent engaging in puppy play, knowledge, and experience varied from less than 1 year to more than 10 years. Of those that responded, 54 identify as a puppy and 7 as a handler or daddy. A series of 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted, either in person or via Skype by the second author see Table 2 for demographic characteristics.
Interviews lasted 72 min on average and ranged in length from 37 to min. Only one interview was 37 min long, with the majority an hour or more in length producing consistently strong data. The mean age of participants is 34 years, with a minimum of 19 years and a maximum of 62 years. All are white. Data were collected in two formats: 1 through the collection of written concrete s of the experience of a puppy play session lived experience descriptions: Van Manen, a , b and 2 semi-structured interviews.
These two methods are relatively common in psychological phenomenological methodology see, for example, Langdridge, ; Van Manen, a , b. The combination of the two methods allows for a rich focus on the nature of the lived experience of participating in puppy play such that we are able to discern the thematic structure of the phenomenon. The written descriptions provide detailed s of a specific experience, with the interviews providing the opportunity to explore aspects of the experience further.
The interviews also resulted in material that moves beyond an of a specific experience to include reflection. This is excluded in some phenomenological studies focused exclusively on discernment of the essential structure of a phenomenon, but we included this material here as it provides considerable depth and richness to understanding the nature of this practice.
Participants were invited to provide a written concrete description of a recent puppy play session via an online survey instrument. This survey collected demographic and puppy play participation information and included psychometric tests that are not reported here. We included a section asking participants to write about a recent experience of engaging in puppy play that they could recall well. They were instructed to include as much detail about it as they could remember and what happened from their perspective.
They were able to write into an open text box or a document instead. At the end of the online survey, participants were asked to indicate whether they were willing to participate in an interview or not and this served as one route to recruitment to interview. The interview content was informed by informal fieldwork deed to familiarize the authors with the puppy play experience and community, and the literature on puppy play and BDSM more broadly.
The second author, an anthropologist, attended various fetish fairs and puppy play events, as well as observing and participating in online pup or kink community forums e. The information gained through this process helped to structure the interview component of the study and also act to build trust and facilitate access to the community.
The second author is an experienced interviewer but was further trained in phenomenological interviewing by the first author, who is an acknowledged expert on the method. His status as a white queer man matched the demographics of most participants and likely helped him gain access to the community. Critical to this phenomenological study was the collection of rich and detailed descriptions of concrete experiences of puppy play.
Our analysis focused on the lived experience of engaging in puppy play descriptions of concrete examples and what meaning these experiences had for the participant. Material that did not focus on the meaning of the experience, and particularly the motivation to participate or appeal of the practice, such as discussion about naming conventions, was excluded from this study.
This is of course imperfect, but the aim is to approach the experience in a descriptive stance in which all theory is suspended in the first instance. Only when this initial descriptive phase has been completed through the process of thematic coding of the text is it acceptable to then reflect on how the phenomenon relates to theory. The process of analysis involves coding the text into units of meaning, marking up the text accordingly on an individual description or interview basis. Notes are made alongside this coding about possible themes, the underlying meaning of each coded unit.
Coding then occurs across the dataset with a thematic coding table developed. The aim is to determine the structures of meaning Van Manen, a , b through this thematic coding process. Key to this is movement between part and whole or the particular and universal as part of the hermeneutic circle of analysis.
An initial analysis was completed by the first author and then checked against the data by the second author. Queries and questions were raised and discussed over a period of 1 month which included a two-day intensive analysis workshop with the iterative analysis ongoing until both authors were in agreement on the final analysis. In the that follow, we focus on five themes that represent the meaning of, motivations for, and perceived psychological effects of puppy play among participants.Master and pet relationship
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The Psychology of Puppy Play: A Phenomenological Investigation