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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Hi, Dan: I am a homosexual young adult seeking advice about kitten play. I find it very intriguing, and I’m wondering where to start. It’s a turn-on when someone calls me kitten, but I’m not sure how to express my kink or desire for kink play to the person or persons I am into. Any advice would be appreciated.

Constructive Advice Thoughtfully Sought

Hi, CATS: I am a homosexual not-so-young adult without much advice to offer where kitten play is concerned. I’ve encountered plenty of gay puppies in the wild—at various leather/fetish events—but I’ve seen only one fetish kitty in my lifetime, and she was a queen. (A female cat is called a queen; a male cat is called a tom; and a group of cats is called a glare. #TheMoreYouKnow!)

But Amp Somers, who hosts the kink-friendly sex-ed show Watts the Safeword, assures me that gay kitties are definitely a thing.

“Kitten play is a subcategory of the ‘animal role-play’ or ‘pet play’ kink,” said Somers. “It is a form of domination and submission in which someone gets into the head space of an animal they are role-playing and takes on its characteristics—be it with gear (masks, tails, collars) or by acting out the mannerisms of their animal. Most importantly, and this goes for all proper pet players, there are no actual animals involved in this play.”

Puppy play is the most common form of pet play—by far—and it’s very popular among younger gay kinksters. (Please don’t confuse gay pups or kitties with gay bears or otters. The former is about role-play and fetish; the latter is about body type, affirmation and community.) But what accounts for the popularity of pet play among younger kinksters?

“This sort of play allows someone to get into kink easily with or without a partner, and in a playful manner,” said Somers. “Pet play allows players to get their feet wet in the BDSM world without having to visit a dark dungeon, get tied up or engage in anything a newer kinkster might find intimidating. It’s a great entry-level kink.”

As for expressing your kink, CATS, that’s something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

“I imagine CATS already has an image of what kitten play looks like to them, and I bet it differs from what I might imagine my own pet play would look like or even from what readers imagine a kitten player to look like,” said Somers. “Is CATS a domesticated lazy kitten who lies in the sun? A curious, well-trained, docile cat responsive to cuddles and treats? Or are they a rambunctious, bratty, independent stray?”

To find your way into the kink scene, Somers recommends getting online.

“That’s how I first found pet play,” he said. “Sites like kitten-play.com offer in-depth written pieces by players, links to resources, and forums where people like CATS can educate themselves. Other sites like FetLife or Facebook provide more private groups to ‘meet’ others, ask more in depth questions, find local get-togethers, and make friends to socialize with. Or if they prefer video content, YouTube has a number of creators (like ‘Scream Kiwi’) who talk about their kinks in a fun, educational and personal way. And once CATS feels comfortable in their own identity and has defined what they want out of this play, they will be able to really communicate to their partner(s) what they’re into and what they want out of kitten play.”

Check out Amp Somers’ show—Watts the Safeword—at youtube.com/WattsTheSafeword, and follow him on Twitter @Pup_Amp.


I’m a gay male, and one of my good friends has put me in a strange position. The friend has been married to his husband for 15 years, and they are allowed to “play.” I have no desire to be in an open relationship, and I don’t think my boyfriend does, either.

I occasionally go over to this friend’s house right after work to buy weed, and he’s always alone when I come by. He joked about answering the door naked and then did it. (He told me he was going to, but I honestly didn’t think he would do it.) I was extremely uncomfortable, and he knew it. The last time I went over, he was naked again—and this time, he jerked off to completion in front of me. He asked me to join in, and I told him I couldn’t, because I hadn’t discussed anything like this with my boyfriend.

I’m supposed to go over again tomorrow, and he asked me to come by early, because his husband would be getting home from work early that day. This leads me to believe that the husband would not be OK with this. I haven’t said anything to his husband or my boyfriend, because I don’t want this to become a huge mess, and I hoped my palpable discomfort would put an end to it.

Any thoughts on how I should handle this nicely to make it stop without hurting his feelings?

Undressed Naked Friend Really Is Engineering Needless Drama

Your “good friend” is an asshole, UNFRIEND. He’s violating a whole bunch of social norms—chiefly the don’t-jerk-off-to-completion-in-front-of-other-people-without-their-enthusiastic-consent norm (aka the Louis C.K. Career in Comedy Memorial Norm)—and relying on your adherence to other social norms (avoid being rude; defuse don’t confront; spare others’ feelings) to get away with violating you as well. This asshole is sexually harassing you, and you haven’t told him to stop in unambiguous language.

The only reason you’ve given him for not whipping it out yourself is that you haven’t “discussed anything like this with (your) boyfriend.” He has self-servingly interpreted your reason for not joining in like this: “He wants to, and maybe he will after he has a ‘discussion’ with his boyfriend.” I’m sorry, UNFRIEND, but you’re going to have to be blunt: “You have to knock this shit off. It’s disrespectful; it’s nonconsensual; and it’s pissing me off.” Don’t worry about hurting his feelings—he obviously doesn’t care about your feelings—and find a new weed dealer.


I have a follow-up question on your advice for JACKS, the gay manager who ran into an employee at a JO party. Alison “Ask a Manager” Green told him he couldn’t go to these parties anymore. A distinction was made between sexual-situation encounters between bosses and those they manage in “private clubs” (the JO club) or at “public events” (Folsom Street Fair). My question is about Grindr/Scruff/Growlr/etc. Are these more like “private clubs” or “public events”?

In part, my question stems from being a professor and having seen students and colleagues on these apps. I feel like I should not be reading the profiles of students in my department (who are mostly graduate students). I am also troubled by my colleagues appearing on these apps—from the perspective that this seems to be a sexually oriented space, and there is the power differential between faculty and students.

Basics Of Sexual Spaces

Dating apps are the new gay bars—more than 75 percent of same-sex couples met online—so telling gay bosses or college profs they can’t go on dating apps because their gay male students or underlings might be on them means condemning gay bosses and profs to celibacy. Bosses and profs shouldn’t flirt with their students and underlings, of course, and it might be a good idea to block ’em when you spot ’em—so you won’t be tempted by their profiles/torsos, and they won’t be tempted by yours—but gay bosses and profs are free to look for dick on dating apps.

On the Lovecast, where do kinks come from? Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the science of desire: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

Published in Savage Love

Dear Mexican: I’m a half-Mexican, more American than Mexicant (although to Cockasians, I’m sure I’m just another brown spot on their white carpet). I don’t speak Espanole nor do I care to, not because I’m ashamed, but I just don’t feel the need. If I lived in another county, I would need to, but I live in white-washed Southern California, and 80 percent of my interactions are English transactions.

In the small percentage of meetings with fellow Mexis, when I confess that I don’t know Spanish, I get the frustrated angry jeers and, in one occasion, ridiculed. I’m insulted that just because my TACO skills are less than theirs, I have to be shafted. Here’s the thing: Is it REALLY a big deal that I don’t know Spanish? Why can’t I just be left alone and not have to explain my reasons and FUCK! It’s just like my veganism explanation: I’m a Mexican vegan, and I don’t speak Spanish, and I am PROUD.

No Speaky Spanisho

Dear Pocho: While hard stats on how many half-Mexis speak Spanish are duro to come by, the U.S. Census’ 2011 American Community Survey offers a bit of a clue. It shows that about 20 percent of people of the 2.8 million people who speak Spanish at home, but don’t consider themselves Latinos, can trace their heritage to a Spanish-speaking country. And given that 26 percent of non-Latinos who do habla live in a household that has one Latino member, and 30 percent of such Spanish speakers are married to a Latina/o, we can surmise (with a lot of mezcal, and birria to soak up that statistical cruda) that halfers retain their Spanish about as well as the Mexican government retains narcos.

That said, who cares? If people make fun of you for speaking bad Spanish, let them; then congratulate them for being as bigoted as you.

I play in a fantasy football league with 11 other beaners. Most of them are pretty cool, but one of them is a total pendejo. When his team was mamando verga last year, he basically gave up and refused to set his roster. Then, when several of us called him out on it, he told us to go fuck ourselves.

Normally, the commish would ban an owner like this from partaking in future league activities, but ours is a puto. Instead of removing the owner from the league or handing down any sort of discipline, he told us, “He was a cool guy,” and, “We would like him if we only gave him a chance.” Well, we let the pendejo play in the league again this year, and it was a big mistake—can you believe the pendejo did it again? To make matters worse, we told him several times to set his lineup before the games even started. I would ask our commish to do something about this, but, like I explained earlier, he is a puto. He’s also gone MIA since trade-raping a chunti for the second-best quarterback in the league.

I could go on and on about the problems with the league and our useless commish, but I’ll cut to the chase: Why are so many Mexicans putos and pendejos?

The Prickly Pear

Dear Gabacho: Between all the talk about putos, male rape, pubic hair and mamando verga, methinks you meant to sign up for Grindr, not fantasy football. Then again, with its obsession over Packers, sweaty men and asses, looks like you found the perfect home for your fantasies—¡Que chulo!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican