Bengalo:Well, I am Pup Tiger. Otherwise, known as Bengelo, as a Furry. I’m from Los Angeles.
Speaker 2:Have you originally come from the Fur community?
Bengalo:Yes, I did. Yeah. Well you know, I’ve been a, I guess closet Furry since the 90’s. And I guess I recently just came out as gay and Furry at the same time, just about four years ago.
Speaker 2:Wow. And dare I say, underneath the hood, you are a bit furry as well?
Bengalo:Yes, that’s true.
Speaker 2:So, what’s the connection for you, between human pup play, and the Furry fandom?
Bengalo:The connection? I just continue to see a lot of parallels in both of them. I find them both very compatible. I was really introduced to pup play through furry, going to Cons? For the last four years, you know, pups would just be there. And at first, I don’t remember what I thought at first, but I saw them, and maybe just thought they were just furries with rubber costumes, I guess. Yeah, began befriend more and more, well, you know meet them through friends of friends, and they become my friends. Yeah, that’s kind of just came to know about the whole pup thing.
Speaker 2:I would imagine you have a fursona.
Speaker 2:How different is your fursona from your pup persona?
Bengalo:You know, it’s hard to say. I guess it would be very different. My fursona really is kind of just a tiger version of me. Well, you know, it’s sort of caricaturic sort of things. I’m sort of an angry dude, and you know, so my fursona is kind of a bit more on the cantankerous side, I guess. But you know, pup to me is kind of even like an escape from that even. Really, when I’m on a mat at a mosh, I kind of just channel my sister’s dogs, really.
Speaker 2:What particular breed were they?
Bengalo:They were Boxers.
Speaker 2:OK. Do you see yourself as a Boxer, or another breed?
Bengalo:Well, I guess I’m sort of going with Doberman, as far as a breed. Yeah, I don’t identify as a Boxer, but they are my favourite dog.
Speaker 2:OK. Are there particular dog traits that you feel that you carry?
Bengalo:I think the sort of clumsy curiosity sort of thing that dogs have, I think. That’s really what I channel most.
Speaker 2:OK. Now, you would certainly appear to have a passion for rubber?
Speaker 2:And it was fun to be able to play with you guys in rubber at the pool. So, is it your sort of fabric of choice?
Bengalo:Well, I guess it’s somewhat new to me. I mean, all of this is new to me, really. I only tried rubber I guess since I’ve met Bouncer, which is only like four months ago or five months ago. And I found that I really liked it. I thought it would be incompatible with my hairy body. But I do really like it. Otherwise, I’ve worn leather quite a lot.
Speaker 2:Okay. So, it’s interesting that you mentioned that you only came out as gay and a furry at the same time.
Speaker 2:So, I’m interested to know was the pup aspect of your life, was that present before you came out as gay?
Bengalo:Pup in specific? Well, you know, I guess before I was gay, I would sort of mosh With my sister’s dogs. We would be left alone, you know, my sister would go to work when I was visiting, and I would just kind of sit with them, and climb over each other, and stare out the window with them, and really just act like a dog with them. That was very, very fun.
Speaker 2:I think there’s a lot to be learned. You could learn so much by human pup play by observation and participation with bio-pups.
Speaker 2:So, what would you say drives your passion within human pup play?
Bengalo:I guess really the escapism and I guess gear and sexuality really.
Speaker 2:Okay. But, what does the gear enable you to do that you couldn’t do without it?
Bengalo:It sort of hides my face, and knowing that people can’t exactly recognise me, puts me in that mode of, “I could be a little bit more free.”
Speaker 2:Okay. A lot of people say that human pup play gives them freedom.
Speaker 2:What would be holding you back?
Bengalo:Oh, standard inhibitions. What will people think of me? Well you know, that sort of thing is disappearing more and more. The anonymity of the hood enabled me to get into it more easily, I guess.
Speaker 2:Okay. I think that’s common for a lot of people. A lot of people won’t go into animal role play for fear.
Speaker 2:What would you say to somebody who was in that situation. That were fearful about trying this, but when they know in their hearts, that’s really what they want to have a go at?
Bengalo:Well yeah. I mean, in my own coming out story, I agonised with myself a long time of like, it’s sort of like this life changing defining moment where, you just have to cross a threshold. You know, had I worked to well up all of my feelings and just throw yourself over. Really, that’s what it amounts to do. You have to just swallow everything and just take a step.
Speaker 2:And, it’s not like you have to buy banner advertising, right? You don’t have to put up posters besides the highway. There are ways of managing your own levels of, “Outness”, I suppose.
Speaker 2:What’s worked for you?
Bengalo:Well yeah. I certainly live a dual life, I guess. I’m in a professional tech field and stuff like that. Those people there are certainly not aware of this. Yeah, it is sort of a struggle to sort of manage that. I mean certainly, all of my gay friends I see at bars and stuff, I tell them. I guess the first year, I was afraid to tell them out of fear of what they’d think but, you know, it is just a part of who I am and you know, if they don’t like everything who I am, then why would I want to hang around them. Having a professional job of straight people though, it’s a little tougher. I haven’t really figured that one out yet.
Speaker 2:Well you know, the hood can come off apparently. Though this weekend, I think you’ve enjoyed the hooded experience.
Speaker 2:So, we’re at CLAW 2016. What’s been a highlight for you here, at this event?
Bengalo:Well, meeting lots of people that I’ve met through Facebook and stuff. I’ve only known them as just connections and pictures. It’s kind of crazy to see everybody in real life. Sort of the same thing as all the FurryCons I’ve gone to. The connections online were a big part of it. Yeah, and it’s kind of amazing to see how friendly everybody is here. There is a real strong sense of community. Kind of moreso than I’ve seen at FurryCons.
Speaker 2:Okay. If you had somebody that came to you and wasn’t sure where to start as a human pup, what would you recommend for them?
Bengalo:It’s hard. It’s different for everybody, really. I would recommend finding a nearby event and observing. And just keep putting yourself around it, to kind of warm yourself up to it. At least, that’s what I did.
Eventually, you just decide to take baby steps closer and closer.
Speaker 2:Okay. If somebody wanted to contact you, what would be the easiest way for them to do that?
Bengalo:Facebook and Twitter. I guess on Facebook, I’m known as BengaloTiger and on Twitter, it’s @Bengal0.
Speaker 2:So, Bengal0 on Twitter. Okay, that’s good. Any closing comments that you would like to share with the community who’s enjoying these videos?
Bengalo:Well yeah. I guess, if you’re watching this and you’re just kind of learning about stuff, I mean, don’t be afraid to keep taking steps to check it out. It only is amazing and it just keeps getting better.
Speaker 2:Fantastic. Thank you very much for your time.