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Most pups attend pup events, kink clubs or social gatherings to escape the hardships of their every day life. Whether a pup is new to the community or a regular attendee at an event, an event is a place where a pup can meet other like minded individuals and offers a chance to play and explore their pup persona and head space. It doesn’t really matter if you attend as a regular, or it’s your first time, for some pups being at a pup event can cause anxiety, fear or distress. That’s why it’s important to really pay attention when other individuals are in your presence. Some pups may sit on there own during an event, as they are uncomfortable, have anxiety or have social interaction issues. If you see these types of pups about, spare a moment to go over and welcome them. It does no harm to you and in doing so, you may create a wonderful experience for them or calm their nerves. Sometimes it’s nice just to have someone listen to you or show an interest. If however, they don’t want your company or ask you to leave, then please remember to be respectful and don’t be defensive about it.

Some pups may have social difficulties in interaction, in self awareness or in knowing how to respect others. In most cases, this is not with malicious or bad intentions. Sometimes, it can be because the pup is enjoying themselves, letting lose, acting care free or attempting to explore their sexuality. Some individuals may even act without thinking their actions through. These things may happen, but it’s important to try and learn how to be self aware and have an understanding and respectfulness towards others. Being self-aware is knowing who we are and understanding why we think, feel and behave in the way we do. It’s about considering your actions and realising when you are overstepping the line and going too far.

Consent is a concern that I want to address. Even if a pup decides to kiss you, it doesn’t imply he/she wants to take things further with you. It’s your job to ask whether it’s okay or the pup feels comfortable to take things further. Even if a pup is submissive and shares his/her sexual interests with you, it doesn’t imply he/she wants to do those interests with you. So again, always be considerate and acknowledge the pups feelings. If someone doesn’t understand, just give a little patience and try to your best to help. Sometimes we need things explained to us better. If you are one of those who do decide to act on your own initiatives, then making sexual advances on a pup may lead them to say no or pull away. That’s your cue to stop!

Remember: No means no.

The above line applies to a handler, owner or someone without a role in the community. Whether you own a pup or not, if someone doesn’t want to play or moves away, that’s a good indication not to push the issue further. Relationships can be intimate, but they do not enable the rights of full control or give the right to abuse an individual. Never expect. I’m not in control of one’s actions and I’m not here to embarrass anyone either, I am simply trying to raise awareness and share my views or experiences. What about if a pup decides to play with you and then decides they’re not bothered anymore or want to stop? Stop. Consent can be revoked at any moment. If you are the pup who wants to stop, it’s important to clearly communicate and tell your partner you aren’t comfortable anymore. Rejection for some people, is difficult to encounter and also it can be a little hurtful to some. It can even knock your confidence away. However, it’s better to respect someone’s decision to withdraw, than to force someone out of their comfort zone. Think about how you’d feel if the boot was on the other foot.

Remember: You are in control of your own actions and you have to live with your own decisions.

Consent can also be an issue in regards to people with disabilities and disorders. A prime example is a pup I know who suffers from Asperger Syndrome (commonly known as Asperger’s). He’s a nice pup, don’t get me wrong, but I really had to express my feelings with him and make him aware that he couldn’t just make sexual advances on me or grope me, without my consent. He got a little bit annoyed with himself, mainly because he couldn’t understand the situation at hand, but I didn’t want him to feel bad or punish himself, especially when I was aware that due to his disorder. He hadn’t thought about his actions. I encouraged him not to be hard on himself and remained patient with him. Again, I told him I wasn’t upset or angry, but that he just needed to be aware of how I felt and the importance of consent. I gave him a rule: Always ask before you touch someone. If they say no, it means no. He told me that he understood, which I believed. People who suffer from Asperger’s can understand rules and conform to them, they may not know why the rule is in place, but the very fact that someone can still respect and take note of what they have been educated, is enough. I know he will ask in future. I can’t personally say I know a great deal of information on Asperger Syndrome and sexual behaviour as not a lot of research has been done in regards to the matter, but it’s important to make someone aware if you believe they are in the wrong and challenge the behaviour. I respect there are individuals with learning difficulties and that some may not fully understand how to act in social circumstances, but even someone with a disability has the ability to process that no means no. The same implies to those without a disability. It does not give you the rights or permission to take advantage of an individual or prey on those who may be vulnerable, no means no.

During events, you may encounter many pups that have disabilities. For some pups, having a disability took a great courage to attend the event in the first place. Even to this day a lot of disabled pups are still at home, locked away and scared to attend an event fearing that they will be viewed differently or frowned upon. I’ve spoke to a few pups who have told me that being disabled made them feel insecure, unwanted, shy to talk to people and that they had struggled to come to terms with trusting other individuals. Just listening to pups tell me their concerns and how difficult things have been for them, is horrible. It almost makes me feel angered that they feel forced to stay in solitary confinement or that they feel alienated. No one should have to feel that way, no one. The pup community should welcome all pups, regardless of sex, gender, race or disability. Those individuals have the same rights to be at a pup event as you and should be treated with the same amount of respect.

Those who do attend events, generally form a bond or attachment to one specific individual, simply because they struggle to socialise in large groups and may need safeguarding. If you are at an event and someone with a disability opens up to you, don’t be alarmed if they follow you around, it simply means nothing more than they trust you. You may not even be aware that another pup is disabled as some disabilities are not visible to the eye. You should never assume that someone has a disability either, unless they chose to disclose such information to you. If the pup does feel comfortable to do so, it may have took a lot of courage and shouldn’t be frowned upon or dismissed. That should be a chance for you to show them that they belong and that no matter how difficult it is for them, they are accepted. Some may never really know how to explain to you or be able to open up to others. That is something that you also have to respect.

You may even encounter a person with more than one disability. The most important thing you can do in any case is take the time to listen to them and communicate as efficiently as needed, even if in the extreme chances you require assistance from a third party. If you don’t understand, never get aggressive or angry. It’s not that person’s fault that they are unable to communicate with you the way you expect them to. Respect is everything and goes a long way. Another thing that you may come across are pups with visual problems. This can be quite a scary ordeal for them and especially concerning bright lights. I spoke to one pup who told me that he can easily become confused and feel sick. So, again, if you see someone who looks in distress or confusion, then please, try to ensure them that they are in no harm or danger and try and calm down the person if they are panicking. Remember to speak calmly and clear to them.

During my time at pup events, I’ve also come across a number of pups who think it’s acceptable to pull out my butt plug tail. Some have even pushed it further up my anus. This for me is not acceptable or fair. I can only imagine that I’m not the only pup who has faced this issue at events. I don’t really bottom, so it takes me a good time to relax and to even wear the tail to begin with. When a tail is in you for so long, the lube can dry inside you. The anus is a sensitive place and shoving an object up it can cause tears, bleeding and piles (hemorrhoids) – especially from straining or pressure. It can also cause discomfort. I myself have suffered from anal bleeding when removing my tail, due to the actions of other pups. So, please be aware of this if you see anyone trying to do it, or if you plan to do it to someone else, raise awareness. You can tell the difference between a show tail and a butt plug, most show tails are tied around the waist, a plugged tail is further down. So, next time you plan to pull on someones tail or push it up them, you may want to re-think. I really wanted to put this in the same category as above, because again I feel it relates to consent. Pushing something inside someone is something you should be given consent for and something you should ask a person if they are going to enjoy it or if they feel comfortable for you to play with their tail. Most pups will probably say no to this, especially if it’s unexpected.

I want to reflect back on self awareness for a moment, especially when it comes back to relationships. Relationships can be healthy and some can be turmoil. Having self awareness reduces conflicts and helps you to decide what works for you and what does not. A common relationship in the community is friendship. For starters, you are all at an event for the same thing. To share your interest and desire in pup play. Friends are good, but it’s also important to be aware of your social network and try and avoid being ‘cliquey’ with people to the extent that you won’t communicate or accept others in to your social gathering. It’s also not a good sign if you and your peers feel the constant desire to bully or put down other people. You have to really ask yourself if that’s right for you and what you are gaining from it. Peer pressure exists within cliques and that again is something that you have to consider if you want to be a part of. You can stand around and target others for their differences, or you can actually be aware of your surrounding and welcome others. Yes, you aren’t always going to get along with certain individuals and that’s fine, it’s impossible to get on with everyone. Even I have people I don’t see eye to eye with, but for me, it’s vitally important to just show kindness and even to be friendly to those individuals. Why you ask? Because life’s too short to go around hating everyone. You’d be surprised by some of the benefits you could gain by being nice to some one. The next time you’re in need of help, they may rush to help you. Not hating others gives you freedom and ability to live care free. By removing the desire and power to diminish others, you allow yourself to move forward and this encourages positive thinking.

Bullying is also a topic that I wanted to pick up on. You might think that being a pup means everyone who’s a pup is friendly and playful. Sadly that’s not always the case, especially online where a lot more communication takes place. I’ve come across pups on social media websites who think it’s okay to target someone on how there looks, in particular I recall one referring to someone as fat and ugly. I took it upon myself to point out that what they were doing wasn’t right, but the pup then proceeded to become violent and threatened me for becoming involved. I did not respond or give them the satisfaction of making me feel bad as well. I simply ignored them. No matter what happens in any argument or situation, under no circumstances should you bully someone one back or stoop to their level. You are better than that, so always be the bigger pup. Emotionally abuse is very hurtful, it may not be physical, but it’s still illegal and it is still damaging to the person it is aimed at. In fact, it can encourage insecurity and anxiety. It can leave a person doubting themselves and questioning if there is something wrong with them. They also may believe what you tell them. So, telling someone they are ugly, may leave that person feeling ugly. No one has the right to do make a person feel this way.

Bullies often try and pick on the people they feel they have power over, they prey on vulnerability. Don’t let them win. I know we’re not all strong minded and I know many of you feel you are vulnerable, but you have to really stop and question why people bully in the first place. Surprisingly, a lot of these people have their own insecurities and issues going on and are may be acting out in a cry for help, some simply want attention and in some cases some people may develop a form of jealousy. What ever the reasons or implications, it doesn’t mean you should enable or allow others to pull you down. Emotional abuse is another form of bullying, which or think bad about you. If you are in a position where you feel you are unable to cope or deal with issues concerning bullying, don’t be scared to tell someone. Don’t feel silly about doing so either. Never compromise. You are just as important as everyone else.

I can’t really say that I’ve encountered much bullying at events, but I have encountered bitchy comments and certain people giving dirty looks to others. That’s not friendly or acceptable and it’s a shame that individuals have to act out like that. I’m an Alpha pup, which is probably why self awareness and bullying is such a heartfelt subject and something I really wanted to talk about. I’d even go as far as to say that I haven’t wrote enough on the subject. When I was a child, I went through a severe amount of bullying and also suffered a lot of anxiety and depression. I’m now in a place where I feel at peace with myself, a place I am able to share my experiences and support others emotionally. I guess this is why I have compassion and empathy for other people, ‘experiences’. Making a difference to others, is everything to me. It’s something I was passionate about, a long time before I took on the role of an Alpha. If you see someone getting bullied or pulled down, don’t sit back and watch it. Stop it in it’s tracks, even if it means confronting the bully hands on and telling them their actions are wrong. Bullying should never be tolerated whether it’s online or in person, but most importantly should never occur at a social event.

That was my article on a few of the things to consider when attending events. Hopefully I included things that you may not have even considered or picked up on. Overall, it’s little things like these subjects that truly can make a difference to your overall experiences and can also prevent awkward moments or accidents occurring. I just want to end this on a positive note and say that there are a large number of Alpha pups out there doing a great job to support, encourage and influence the pup community. That to me is not only overwhelming, but also encouraging and inspiring. Role models are important within the community, especially for those who do need people to look up to for support and encouragement. So, as a fellow Alpha, I just wanted to thank those pups for doing an amazing job of making a difference to many pup’s lives. I also want to thank the pups who aren’t Alpha’s, but still try their best to support others. That is simply wonderful.