Speaker 1:Do you think that … currently at the moment, it’s almost like the Tupperware dil lema of human pup play, in that there’s lots of pups, but not enough handlers.
Speaker 1:What would you tell a pup to look for in a handler?
Liliane:Well, you want someone who is looking for your best interests. So, that means that they are watching for you. That they are watching, as I said to you earlier, that okay, you’ve been fully immersed in gear for the last few hours and I see that your body is covered in a layer of sweat now, and that you need to cool down. Because when the animals get so fully in head space, they’re now aware of what, physically they need. It’s full immersion. So, you want somebody who really is observant. And you want somebody who truly cares for your human animal and your human; because the two parts exist.
And, if you’re going to fully lose yourself in head space and feel safe doing that, there’s such a vulnerability that can come with that. So, finding a handler is not just a physical component of, “Will I be physically safe with them? Will they physically watch out for my best interest?” But, there’s also an emotional component. And this is a lot of what I hear from and Tyke hears from, these little puppies that put their heart on the line and then all of a sudden their handler stops calling them or whatever. So, there’s very much a physical component and then an emotional component on being safe as a puppy.
Speaker 1:’Cause a pup’s for life.
Liliane:Right. It very much is. And then, after that, it’s do you have the same dynamic? Do you want the same things; because, the pup may simply want to stay at home and be a pup and play with their squeaky toys and do that. Or, they may be a pup who wants to mush and go to as many parties as possible. And if the two are not compatible, it’s not going to work. So, I really think before you become fully immersed in this relationship, that you really in a way, interview each other to make sure that you are compatible. That, if you’re going to start this and you’re really serious about wanting your number one handler and your number one puppy, that you really take the time to find out is this … Are we compatible? Is this going to work?
Speaker 1:And I think a lot of people will rush into this in a sense of, “Well, I have to have …”
Speaker 1:And they may not make the best decisions because they’re so keen to accept that connection and that loving that they may be stepping over gold to pick up coal.
The pup community has almost exponentially exploded.
Liliane:Yes it has.
Speaker 1:It’s huge. And, in many ways some people will say that’s great. Other people will say that that’s concerning.
Speaker 1:Where do you see that the pup community is headed?
Liliane:Well, I think what’s so profoundly interesting about it, is it … We talk a lot about the origins being in the leather community. But then, this arm reached and the furry community and the leather puppies began to notice each other and be drawn. And then there are other subsets and other communities. And so in my opinion, I don’t think you can say well pup play is just exclusive to us and you guys can’t join in. But I go back to having common sense safety. That applies to which ever individuals from whichever community are getting together. There is still a foundation of this is how we do things safely.
And then it doesn’t matter what you look like, what you wear, what is fun for you, what isn’t fun for you. There’s all of these different flavours and varieties of pup play. But, there is a foundation of this is now it’s done safely. And that in a way, the same messages need to be grandfathered over, so that when people see individuals doing something that’s not safe, they don’t just say, “Well, it’s nothing to do with me.” That they feel that it’s their responsibility to communicate and say, “We don’t do choke collars in this space, and let me tell you why. Thank you for coming, we really are appreciative that you want to come and join in, however, let me tell you what our safety is.” And, I believe that it’s the responsibility of everyone who’s been in this community, who knows what this is, to step forward and politely say, “We don’t do that. And this is why we don’t do it.”
Speaker 1:Absolutely. And I think this is where grounding … A lot of people would say that there’s the importance of the BDSM community and in many ways it’s that war of safety that’s being passed on, so it’s important element.
Liliane:And also consent. And so I think what else is really important is that when the pup , the trainer, the handler, the person they’re going to be engaging with, what human puppy they’re going to be engaging with for that day, that they really really figure out where their personal boundaries and limitations are before they hit a brick wall them, literally when they’re fully engaged in pup space. And then there’s a fallout from that. So, communication as humans is vital, absolutely vital that human puppies also learn to speak up and say, “Well, actually I don’t feel comfortable with that, so that’s really a limit for me.”
As a handler, as a trainer, it’s really important to hear what that is. You can try to sense it, you can try to feel it out, you can try to guess it. But, there’s also a responsibility for the puppy to say, “This is uncomfortable for me, or physically I can’t do this.” Or, whatever that is.
Speaker 1:And, it’s within acting circles, but we also try to engage people in the idea of transaction. That, the idea on stage is you have something that you can give to somebody and they can give it back to you. And in many ways, discussing the transaction before the play is important, because that gives you a context to work from.
Liliane:It does and it also gives you an absolute freedom because when you find out where your limitations are. When you’ve said this is where I’m comfortable, this is where I’m not comfortable, this is where I’m open to exploring. When all of that is out the way, and you all understand that, then you can dive in and fully be completely present and fully communicate with each other. And I often describe it as a dance. So, there’s a movement and there’s a response to that movement. There’s a push and there’s a pull. And because of all the little details, the nitty grittys out of the way, you’re fully able to move and respond and dance and play off each other.
Gosh, we’ve been talking for a little bit, haven’t we.
There’s so much fascinating stuff though, it’s always lovely to have these sort of open conversations.
Liliane:And to discover that on opposite sides of the world, you actually feel very similarly about it.
Liliane:Right, it’s really kinda neat.
Speaker 1:So, to wrap it up. Where do you see pup play in the next 10 years?
Liliane:Oh, that’s such an interesting question about where pup play is evolving. It feels like such a movement, you know? Because it’s drawing so many young individuals, right? So, here we have this giant global pack, with these scrappy little puppies that don’t know any of these rules on what safe, sane and consensual are and we’re teaching them and there’s a certain amount of patience that’s involved in our part, and there’s a responsibility that’s involved in, not discouraging them when they do something that steps out of line or is dangerous through naivety or what ever, but we much like you would with bio pups, is educate. And, so that is our responsibility of individuals have been in this community a long time. That we’re going to have more and more of these human pups coming from all of these different communities with all of these different sets of ideas and ways of doing things, some of which is amazing and opens up our mind to things that we’ve never even thought of.
And I think it’s really important that we’re open to that. And I think it’s important that we allow it to keep growing. At the same time, we are still educating.
Speaker 1:Absolutely, and the House of Hunt has been known for their education, whether that be directly or indirectly through your performance. If people were interested in learning more about the House of Hunt, where would be a good place for them to go?
Liliane:They can go directly to our website, which is www.thehouseofhunt.com, and also, we have a fairly prolific presence on social media. We have Facebook, of which I’m fairly connected to and a lot of pups will reach out to. But, myself and Tyke, so we have The House of Hunt on Facebook, and also Liliane Hunt and Tyke Hunt on Facebook as well. We don’t always have time to respond to every single message that comes to us, but we try to put forward information about, really the positivity of pup play. And that if it’s not a positive experience for you, if something isn’t positive, then you need to question why is that the case.
So, really a lot of the time we spend helping these young individuals feel the confidence to say, “I don’t feel comfortable in this.” Or, “I really want to do this and I’m just going to have the courage to step forward and do this.” A lot of people have said to us that we have given them a lot of courage and because we are so public, and because my connection with Tyke and Tyke’s connection to me is very much one of respect and love and people see that and I think for some individuals, that’s, wow, I can have that. And that is a goal that’s attainable, and it’s out there. And, so we try to encourage that as much as possible. And also, that there really shouldn’t be any shame attached to it, like being really proud of who you are and being proud of expressing that, and not letting other people’s negativity affect you.
And so much of what serious pups does, very much we at the House of Hunt love, we very much love. We see you out there engaging with society and connecting with people as human pups who’ve never seen them before, but they’re gonna go home and have this amazing positive experience about it. And that very much mirrors the work that we do here as well. We really try, when we’re meeting the general public at large, to give them a really positive experience about what this is.
And the one really good example I can give you was at San Francisco pride parade. There I am, with my whole giant entourage, and this little boy of about five years old in the crowd shouts, “Tyke puppy.” And so, we discovered that Tyke has this following of every age demographic, including kids. So, one of the things that became really important to us was that our public persona is very family friendly and we’re very engaged with whatever age demographic we come across and we make sure that what we do in the general public is appropriate to every single person that sees us. It’s very much about play, it’s very much about art, very much about creativity.
And then, if we’re doing a show that is a night time performance at an adult sort of venue, then our stuff is more edgy. But we always try to make sure that what we’re doing is fully able to connect and full appropriate for the audience that we have. Because we think pup play and animal role play can be enjoyed by everyone. There is not this limit on it that says you can only do pup play when you’re 21 and older. It’s preposterous, because I was doing animal role play and dressing up and being these different characters when I was a kid. And for children, it’s so normal, it’s what they do. So, it’s really really fun to be able to see that response with kids and the parades and stuff that we do.
Speaker 1:That’s amazing. Thank you so much for your time and we adore what you do.
Liliane:Right back at you Sirius pups, we love you too.
Speaker 1:Thank you.