Pup Mufasa:I’m Pup Mufasa, and I’m from North Texas. I live in Farmers Branch, Texas. I’ve been in the pup community since 1984, long before people really knew what puppies were, and it was a welcoming, and home, refreshing experience in the last few years, when I’ve seen more and more puppies coming out. My first partner, back in 1984, put a collar on me, put a tail in me, and back then, it wasn’t as polite as what we have today. It was made of wood. He carved it.
Speaker 2:Oh, wow.
Pup Mufasa:But he put me in the cage with our dog, and his name was Mufasa. At that time, my name was Pup King, and Mufasa died in my arms, a few years later, and … I believe he passed me his soul, because even my partner noticed a difference. He was a husky.
Speaker 2:Do you see yourself as a husky?
Pup Mufasa:I do.
Speaker 2:Okay, what are the traits of the husky that you think you sort of had passed to you?
Pup Mufasa:I was never a pulling dog, never an overly muscular dog. I didn’t pull things around. I didn’t …
Children were not interesting to me. Now, I watch out for children. I will actually corral them, when they need to be corralled. I take care of them. When you see huskies with small children, they’re very protective, you know? So I’m very protective of small children, small pups, younger, even puppies in our community.
Speaker 2:What was the pup community like back in the ’80s?
Pup Mufasa:There wasn’t much. I had one puppy friend, that he kind of discovered it a while after I did. You know, there weren’t a lot of us around. We were very few and far in between, and most of the pups that were from that time were actually Dogs, you know? They were slaves, or less than slaves. I was never treated that way. I was always treated as a pup. I was never … I would get into head space and play ball.
Speaker 2:So you were more of a cherished pet rather than a subordinate slave?
Speaker 2:Okay. Was there much of a scene? You said that there was only one or two local pups, but was that more because people couldn’t contact each other?
Pup Mufasa:Communication was a big challenge back then. Remember, early ’80s, there wasn’t a lot of computer communication yet, and things weren’t as public as they are now. We didn’t have the chat boards, and the Facebook, and you know, you name the kinky magazine and so forth, so things like Recon were not existent yet, or at least, I hadn’t heard of them. I was living in [Charleston 00:03:42], Texas at the time, so it was a very small community in North Texas. It’s even smaller than the community I live in now, and it was not a safe place either. You know, it was not gay safe.
I think the gay community, in their coming around and coming out in the United States, has helped to propagate a lot of the king community.
Speaker 2:Certainly with the increase, and the openness of, say gay marriage, and the removal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, that there’s been a lot more openness within the community. Do you think that’s contributed towards the rise of non-traditional fetishes?
Pup Mufasa:Yes, I do. I honestly believe that, yes.
Speaker 2:Okay. What’s the pup scene like in Texas?
Pup Mufasa:Depending on the area of Texas … I’m friends with all of the communities in Texas. I love all my puppy brothers. Everybody knows who I am, right? I love to go and play in Dallas, when we gather to mosh there, there’s two different moshes. I’ve been welcomed as a leader in that community.
I’m also in the Austin community. I’m welcomed as a leader there. In fact, I’m actually frequently asked when I’m going to come visit again. I don’t have as much time as I would like to have, to spend with my friends in Austin. And Houston. Houston is just … It’s just a fun place to be, you know? The pup community in Houston, thanks to a few special pups in that area, has really become a resounding, fun place to be a pup.
Speaker 2:Okay. So each of these cities, I certainly know that Austin is very pup-friendly. Is it the same in Dallas and Houston?
Pup Mufasa:Houston has … There’s a little bit of their thing going on in Houston. Dallas has gone through some growth, and then some pullback, but the growth is happening again, and I’m very happy to see it. I’m very happy to be part of it.
Speaker 2:Okay. What else would you attribute the increase in popularity of human pup play to?
Pup Mufasa:Knowledge. Knowledge is probably … In anything, the ability to learn is the key in which things expand. If nobody ever hears about it, nobody’s ever going to experience it, right? Seeing it, and then having somebody spend the time to explain it, and [inaudible 00:06:38] Dallas has actually invited me to be part of the discussion panel. I’ve also done it for the Lone Star Boys of Leather. They actually saw me go into full head space. It’s not some place that I would normally go, publicly, because you see Mufasa.
Speaker 2:Yeah. What’s head space like for you?
Pup Mufasa:Cathartic. When I go completely … When I let myself go completely into head space, I lose time. Time disappears, and I’ve been told that watching me, they see a big, proud husky, you know? I’m kind of a snot. Typical husky, you know? I’ll talk to you. Talk back. Yell at you. I’m a noisy dog.
Speaker 2:When you’re making noises and talking to people, are you using sort of English formed words, or more growls, and barks, and-
Pup Mufasa:Growls and barks, and the one videotape, I’ve had … The one time a friend videotaped it, I cried, because I heard Mufasa.
Speaker 2:When you say you heard Mufasa, are you talking about the pup that has passed on, or-
Speaker 2:… More of the spirit of him, or her, in you now?
Pup Mufasa:Probably a little bit of both.
Speaker 2:Okay. Would you say that there seems to be a bit of a divide, between pup play being a more social thing, versus it being more sexualized? Where would you fit in within that spectrum?
Pup Mufasa:With me? Pup is more of a social thing. I don’t think I’m very interested in sex when I’m in pup mode, right? I think if the right circumstances came about, I might, but I know that once I’m in pup mode, even when I’m in half head space, it’s not about sex. It’s about play. it’s about herding, you know? Huskies are famous for being able to herd anything. We used them on the farm, in Central Wisconsin, to herd cattle, right? I had 38 sled dogs, you know? We trained sled dogs on the farm, and we had great snow in Central Wisconsin. I grew up in beautiful snow, and those dogs could pull, and do anything. You’d put a team of 20 dogs on a hay waggon, and they could pull the hay waggon as well as a tractor could.
Speaker 2:What does pup play give to you?
Pup Mufasa:Peace. I have some things from my history, that I can’t put away, and they’re always there in my mind, and they go away when I go into pup play.
Speaker 2:Do you think, is it that pup play distracts you from that, or does pup play enable you to sort of process it, in one way or another?
Pup Mufasa:I think it more puts it … I flip gears, and those thoughts get just put in a box for a while.
Speaker 2:What challenges do you think the pup play community has, currently?
Pup Mufasa:Education. Too many people trying to teach too many different styles. There’s no consistency with the education programme. You have the ones trying to teach heavy kink play with it, to the pups that have the lightweight play. The ones that aren’t really in head space, like I get, but they get something out of playing as a puppy, right? They all have different levels, and our education, we have far too many times our education has gone awry, and they don’t get what they really need, is how to be safe.
My biggest concern, with new pups, is the first thing I teach them is how to take care of their body. You see, I have my pads on, my paws, you know? It’s all about keeping your hands safe. These are, you know … It’s keeping your hands and your knees safe, making sure your body’s going to be in good shape.
Speaker 2:Yep. What are your thoughts … Sometimes you see a lot of people posting photos in shopping malls, or in places like that. Do you feel that there’s a role for that, within the fetish community?
Pup Mufasa:I think with today’s world, trying to hide fetishes is foolish. I am one of those people that I’ve taken my picture in a mall. I’ve taken my picture on an aeroplane. In fact, I had the stewardess on an aeroplane, or steward, whatever … Flight attendant, take my picture on an aeroplane, and I’ve posted it on Facebook, you know? She loved it, right? There are people that get freaked out about it, and we have a problem in our society where people want to control other people. You know what? If it doesn’t hurt you, leave it be.
Speaker 2:So what do you think events like CLAW contribute to the community, from a pup perspective?
Pup Mufasa:Well, CLAW allows puppies from all around the country to get together, and learn from each other. They also allow us to see other gear that’s out there, protective gear, right? And they allow us to play, you know? Pup moshes are fun. I just attended a pup mosh on my floor in the hotel, and while I didn’t get down and mosh with the pups, I did what an alpha does. I watched, I saw that the room they were in was far too warm, bought a big fan, put it on, started to cool them down, insisted they get some water, right? I did what an alpha puppy’s supposed to do, protect the pups.
Pup Mufasa:You know? We need good alphas, much like you. We need good alpha pups, that will not take just their fun time, right? But also take their job serious as a community leader, and provide for the other pups, safety. We have to be their safety net. They’re not going to learn it on their own. One of them will do that for another set of pups, someplace down the line.
Speaker 2:Do you think there’s supports out there, to help people learn these skills?
Pup Mufasa:I do. The internet is a great resource. You, yourself, post a lot of good resource videos, so I get a lot of those. I don’t have this facility. I’m very happy to take part in this today.
Speaker 2:Yeah, that’s fantastic, and it’s very appreciated, because it’s always good to get different perspectives. I think, you know, we could talk about it for hours, but we’d better let you go, get on to your evening, but where would you see the pup community in the next five years?
Pup Mufasa:I can see it pull back, right? The lightweight players are going to find it less interesting. We’re going to see a change in clothing, right? The pup community’s going to fall back some. We may lose some players, but I think that now that we’ve actually gotten to the point where we have a live community, and we have a strong build of good alphas out there, who are really starting to become leaders, and putting themselves out there, I think the pup community is going to be stronger after five years, and we’re going to have a more … I see some better things happening for us.
Things like IPC and IPTC joining up together, and becoming one, big contest, that told me that the community is starting to pull together, not push apart, right? That’s what we need. We need the community to pull together, so I think five years down the road, we’re going to pull together a lot better.
Speaker 2:I hope so, too. If somebody wants to contact you, what’s the easiest way for them to find you?
Pup Mufasa:Find me on Facebook, Mufasa Apa.
Speaker 2:How is that spelled?
Pup Mufasa:M-U-F-A-S-A A-P-A.
Speaker 2:Fantastic, and you’re happy to … If people contact you, hit you up, you’re happy to let them in?
Pup Mufasa:I’ll chat at any time. If you need me to come and teach a class, I’m more than willing to show up. I have good materials I bring with me. I have a PowerPoint, that you know. I’m in business in the real world, so I sat down, put together some real world tools to teach.
Speaker 2:That’s fantastic. Well thank you very much.
Pup Mufasa:Thank you.