One of my ambitions this year is this website, where I hope to not only write about myself and my life but to explore the kinkdom and to delve into the wide and diverse realm; from the Pup Community and beyond!
On that note, as I begin my year as Mr Puppy UK, who better to talk to than the pup who’s huge paws I’m hoping to fill: Zentai Spot!
Piglet: Hello Spot! I am very excited to get the chance to chat with you. You were the UK’s very first Mr Puppy UK 2015 through 2016, the central focus of C4’s documentary and one of the principle faces of Pup Play across the world. How do you feel now that title has been passed over and your reign is over?
Spot: Now my reign has been passed over, I know that I already feel like I miss it. It was such a privilege to be the first Mr Puppy UK, and that I had a lot to do to get us as a community recognised in a safe and enjoyable way in the public. It hadn’t fully sunk in that my time was over until the formal hand-over at Pup-Out … I came away from there a little deflated and empty – I can’t quite explain why and it’s probably not an empty feeling I’ve got, but that’s the easiest way to put it into words. I know that I have passed on my title, nothing in me or my pup personality will change – I still intend to come to as many events as I can, I’ll still fight to try and get the community to work as one united front, and I will back you (as the current 2017 MrPUK title holder) in any way possible … You’re not getting rid of me that easily 😉
What were your favourite things you were able to do or accomplish as Mr Puppy UK?
My few most memorable experiences whilst holding the first ever MrPUK title was the C4 documentary, where I brought pup play into the living rooms of many households in the UK. The accomplishment of getting the 2 main players in the pup community who organise events to walk as one in London Pride – I know there was friction on the day, but all I wanted was one day where we became one and walked united, by all means organise the other events independently but just for the public front, let’s all be friends (even if it is through gritted teeth!). Antwerp was exciting and I was proud to represent the UK there and when I was being a pup I had so much fun meeting so many faces from different countries with the same interests.
Pup Play has exploded in popularity within the kink community, with fetish events making areas specifically for pups to play in; Recon hosted the first pup-centric event “Best in Show” during Full Fetish Week London and there are socials popping up all over the country. Why do you think Pup Play has skyrocketed the way it has in recent years?
In my simple opinion, the reason for pup play becoming very popular is simply that it’s a very in-expensive kink that anyone can try. It doesn’t require expensive leathers, or rubber to join in … as long as the mind is in the right place you need no gear to try pup-play. If you enjoy it then you needn’t buy expensive gear, as a collar and lead is readily available on the high-street. If you do then still have fun as a pup, there is a plethora of outlets that sell pup-play related gear and the choice is vast. This I think also help, since you can be as unique as you wish to be, and you are not limited in becoming the completely unique pup that you wish … there are rubber pups, lycra pups, jock-strap pups, nude pups to name a few. You can be any breed you like from collie dog to jack-russels through to Rottweiler’s, Labradors and Dalmatians … Males and Females, those yet un-decided through to those which are gay, straight or bisexual can be a pup … The pup you can become is as unique as you’re fingerprint!!!
You competed in Mr Puppy Europe 2016 and brought home the Bronze for the UK (good boy!). How did you find the European competition differ from our own?
The European competition was far more sexual than I had ever expected to be shown publicly. Yes I know there is this whole debate about “social not sexual” – but equally there are still certain things you expect to ‘stay at home’. We all know that many kinks have a degree of a sexual nature to it, and I know that I am a mainly social pup, however that doesn’t stop Spot from having a small bit of sexual enjoyment out of being a pup … it many only be as simple as my pup name being used at play sessions but I totally was not expecting to see what happened in Europe. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I was shocked (I have seen many things on twitter and various websites), but I was surprised to see how much further our European counterparts will take pup play when in a public setting. The competition had many similarities to our UK one, but due to the nature of the venue and event it was far more risqué. The other main difference was that the public had a very large proportion of the say in who one through a voting system. This works on a country by country basis, but in a European competition of Mr Puppy Europe, it gave me a distinct dis-advantage, mainly since many of my UK pup friends were not there to vote for me 🙁 *whimpers* … I know that this aspect has been reviewed for future years, and so will bring the competition into a much fairer standing and less reliant on a ‘popularity contest’.
The second Mr Puppy UK competition was bigger and more ambitious than the first, made in no small part by the hard work put in by you and the rest of the Mr Puppy UK team. What advice do you have for those going to compete for the 2018 title, both for the competition itself and if the win the title… and will you be competing yourself? (winky face)
For anyone looking to compete at the end of 2017 to look to hold the title in 2018. I simply say, go for it! Be brave and you will go far. The competition is a whole lot of fun, and you just be you’re pup self. It’s not about how much you spend on gear, it’s not about who can set up the most events in the future. It’s not about a popularity contest. The whole thing is about being you! Being true to yourself. All you need is confidence and fun. Be the pup you are, not what you think others want you to be. The competitors going for the 2017 title were all strong and were true to themselves, it was no easy task scoring as each of you were unique.
Now, will I compete for the 2018 title, I haven’t thought that through yet, I’ve only just passed the title – it’s not saying I won’t do it. I think it best to say watch this space, and ask me nearer the time!
Arguably the biggest impact you’ve had on the pup scene was the Channel 4 documentary “The Secret World of Human Puppies” in which you and other pups opened the door to the mainstream public to the very idea of pup play. Having viewed it, are you happy with the way the pup community was portrayed and what has been your experience with people’s reactions to it?
The documentary was very well done. The producers kept to their word on how it was going to be portrayed and for that I am very grateful. I know there were many topics they didn’t cover – the main one being the social/sexual aspect … believe me, they kept asking that question over and over again and I stuck to my answer “For me, my pup side is mainly social, but I know for other pups it has a sexual aspect” … but that never made it on air, simply because the producers didn’t want to cover that side. I feel that for a documentary shown on mainstream TV, not long after the 9pm watershed, they covered the pup-lifestyle very sensitively without mocking us. This was further helped when they did the ‘Gogglebox’ review, and the ‘viewers’ were surprised to start, but by the end were positively supporting us as a community, the comments they came out with were along the lines of ‘go on Spot, do it for Britian’ … Just think, that could have come out so much worse.
I also know that my ITV live TV appearance was controversial at that time in the morning, but I took the brave decision to show that I’m not a random ‘freak’ in a latex outfit hiding from the world … I took my hood off on live breakfast TV – that was a choice I had agreed to, I wanted to show that I am still a normal person under the gear. That was taken positively too 🙂
In the time following the TV, Magazines, Newspapers and Radio appearances’ I have had almost no direct negative come-back; in total from the public it was no more than a handful of messages – probably no more than a dozen … I know there were many comments in general, but if you look at the percentages of negatives to positives – then you could almost discount the bad comments as there were so few. … probably the most negativity came from within our community! That was purely down to the social/sexual debate, of which, once explained to those that it was not the producers intent to show the sexual aspect then nearly all understood and apologised 😉 *licks*
You have your owner Colin and you still have a close relationship with your ex. Has the thought of a puppy boyfriend or girlfriend crossed your mind?
Who knows what the future holds, I think and hope I’m in a lucky position. Time heals many things. I’m happy where I am currently in life, but I’m not ever going to say never ;). Who knows, one thing is certain though – Spot will never leave me, and so who-ever and when-ever life changes, they have to accept that Spot is me, and I am Spot!
You have a very deep connection to Spot and your pup persona, more so than any other pup I’ve met. Was there a moment that solidified this relationship you have to Spot being more than just a headspace you achieve and the gear you wear?
Spot has been a part of me for a very long time, and he has grown stronger inside of me. My biggest moments of realisation to my connection as Spot (although I knew was a strong bond for many years) was caught on film, mainly as it was the first proper time I had ever stopped and saw who I had become. At events, you change into gear and just play – you don’t ask yourself who or what you are – you just play as a pup and have fun. When doing the documentary I had to stop and think as Tom, but whilst in pup gear and so what came out from this was:
I am Spot, or is Spot me! That sounds strange to say. Like the moment of realisation that I had in the mirror when filming the documentary – who is Spot? Spot is me! How do I feel as Spot? Happy, but so sad at the same time! Why sad? Because I want to hug Spot, as he is such a lovable pup, I see the happiness Spot brings to others, I can see why everyone wants to hug Spot and is happy around Spot… but I (as Tom) can’t hug me (as Spot), all I can do is look at Spot in a mirror or in a picture … you can’t hug a mirror or a picture 🙁
Sorry, that’s very *sheds a tear of sadness* deep and philosophical. You other pups in the community get so much joy and courage from Spot – you can hug him and say thanks, you can give him head scratches and tummy rubs. Tom can’t do that to Spot since Spot is Tom and Tom is Spot. My hood is lifeless without me: an empty, sad, lifeless, quiet pup. When I turned that pup hood round to face me and all I saw were empty sad eye holes I realised that I need Spot and Spot needs me!
The day I did the mirror interview I spent over an hour in silence staring at myself, overjoyed at what I saw – Tom met Spot for the first time properly but was deeply saddened by not being able to hug physically – some of that made it to the documentary, and that was genuine from the heart talking. The part with my pup hood and looking into his eyes and saying Spot needs me and I need Spot was me talking from the heart – not because I’d been questioned 1000 times over … they were genuine comments.
There is so much that then cascaded around me in my head after those moments …. I broke down in floods of tears 3 days after the mirror interview, whilst I was watching a cartoon movie “The Snow Queen” due to a quote from it: “I sense a mirror, mirrors are quite a rarity these days. When you look into a mirror you believe you are seeing a perfect image of yourself. The moment you adjust the angle, even slightly perspective will change. That mirror reveals what your eyes cannot see. Hate and fear become exposed. Or perhaps kindness and warmth. ” – So meaningful to me!!!
After the pup hood filming, that same night I was a distraught wreck in the car on the way home! My pup-hood, lifeless in the back of the car, as if it was a dead puppy!!! The moment I got home, I *HAD* to take him out the box and keep Spot near by on-show, watching over me (or am I watching over Tom).
Sorry I ramble, but I had never realised how much and what Spot is to me and what I am to Spot. Words just don’t put into perspective how I feel about Spot, and how Spot feels about me. There is more of a bond there than I ever had thought or realised, and Tom can never leave Spot and Spot can never leave Tom – but they will never truly properly meet each other 🙁 *crys*.
Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to now you are free from the responsibilities of the title? Any future plans?
What to do now that the title has been passed on – nothing of Spot will change, I and still going to attend events and be there to support new-born pups, pups in crisis, pups who just need a friendly shoulder to cry on; I think part of that is with Spot being so distinctly recognisable.
I am not just going to draw a line under what I am and what I did for the community since my time as MrPUK, I will still continue being there – you’re not getting rid of me that easily – just look at 101 Dalmatians and what happened to Cruella-de-Ville!
Oh, and I guess I’ll also be there to support you as the MrPUK 2017 title holder. 😉 :-p *whistles innocently* *wags*
To be honest, I don’t think that I’m going to make any future plans, I’ll simply take each day as it comes and have fun!!! Life is far to short to be serious!
Thank you Spot for taking the time to chat with me and answer my questions!
– Huge thanks to Spot for participating in this interview and for use of the photographs. You can keep up with Spot on his Twitter page: @ZentaiSpot and his blog www.zentaispot.co.uk. –