So your partner just told you they're interested in puppy play.
...Wait. Now what??
Step one: Talk to your partner! Here are some suggestions of how to talk about puppy play and negotiate a scene.
What does puppy play look like to them? Have they had experience with this type of play before? If so, what did they enjoy? What would they like to do differently?
If your partner is also completely new to puppy play, ask them where they saw it or heard about it. What do they imagine it to be like? What about being a pup is appealing to them?
What would they like to wear when doing petplay? Do they own any petplay gear? Are they interested in purchasing any? What about harnesses? What about masks? Would they like to pick out a collar and maybe a leash, or do they like the idea of you (their owner, perhaps) deciding for them?
A tail? A muzzle? Paws? Knee pads? And on that note, will they be on all fours? Or walking on two legs, but at your side?
Will they still be able to use human words? Or only make dog sounds? Would they play as if they still understand human words, even if they are only able to bark in response?
Would they like to play at home? In public? At a play space, dungeon, or bar? Are they okay with other people touching them? What about other human pups?
Is this going to be a sexual type of play? If not, what body parts and types of touching are off limits? If so, what type of sexy stuff are they okay with while they are in pup mode? What sort of barriers, toys, and sensations do they prefer?
If the pup disobeys, how will they be punished? With words (no, bad dog, etc)? With commands (go to your corner, lie down, do 10 push-ups, etc)? With physical punishment (spanking, swat on the nose, spray bottle, etc)?
And if they're obedient and well behaved, how will they be rewarded? Words, treats, physical contact (scritches, tummy rubs, spankings, etc), sexual contact?
Treats? Treats! What are good treats? I recommend things that are not messy, come in bite-sized pieces, and are easy to carry around. Cereal pieces, small cheese crackers, bits of jerky, and fruit gummies are fantastic. Does the pup have any allergies? Best to ask them now, before they're in a pup headspace and might be unable to use their best judgment!
Oh yeah. Headspace. That magical thing that happens when the human brain steps back and the animal brain takes over. It doesn't always happen, and it can happen in varying degrees. But if a person goes deep into a pup headspace, it can be difficult for them to voice their concerns and limits. Decide together on a way that the pup can communicate when something is wrong, or when they are done and ready to come back to the people world. One thing that I suggest to people as a safe word is "doing something that the animal wouldn't do." Like standing up, if they are a four-legged pup. Or using people words, if they're a non-verbal pet. Or crossing their arms/paws. Or crossing their fingers.
There are SO many ways to play! Talking about it ahead of time will help you to start on the same page, but try to stay open minded about other ideas that may come up as you play together.
You never know until you try!
Love and scritches,