I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one in this city who kind of likes it when Bugs Bunny puts on a pencil skirt and outsmarts the bad guy with a wiggle of his cute bunny tail. Some of us may have even found our fingers wandering late at night to Porn Hub to furtively type “kitty girl.” I've never been much interested in animal role-play during sex, but there is something undeniably alluring to me about a cute girl wearing a fox tail butt plug.
Purring in the corners of the Internet is pet play, a variety of porn that features animal role-play. Local pornographer Denali Winter places it front and center on a new website, Pet Play Palace. The site showcases adult models of all shapes and sizes — dressed as animals doing sexy things. My personal favorite photo spread is of local porn and cosplay model Anna Cherry, dressed as a Playboy-style Easter bunny and inserting carrots into her orifices while lying on a bed covered in marijuana.
What is pet play exactly? According to Winter, it is a mixture of animal role-play and Dominant/submissive play, with various other fetishes occasionally mixed in. “Pet play means a lot of different things to different people,” Winter recently wrote in a Tumblr blog post. “Some people are into it for the aspect of being adored, being treasured and petted and comforted like a pet. Some feel good serving their partner/s like a loyal dog, horse, etc. Some people like the embarrassed feeling of following orders, eating off the floor, and being punished for disobedience.”
Winter hails from a tiny Alaskan town, where they grew up a young queer with big dreams (Winter, who is genderqueer, identifies by they/them pronouns). Winter's father owned a local pet store and valued buying local and treating its workers ethically. Now, Winter is carrying on the tradition of the family business in a unique way.
Winter discovered pet play long before moving to San Francisco. Through the kinky social networking site FetLife, Winter was able to connect with “the twelve other kinky people in my small town” along with people from around the world who also shared a love of purring during orgasm.
Winter thought of the idea for the site over three years ago when they noticed there was a lack of pet play content on the web. Three years came and went, and still no website popped up devoted to cute naked people wearing cat ears and collars. A small-town Alaskan no longer, Winter decided it was time to take things into their own hands and join the ranks of independent Bay Area queer pornographers. Pet Play Palace is the site Winter wishes they had found when they were first discovering pet play in their small town in Alaska.
“Be the porn you want to see in the world,” Winter says.
Pet Play Palace is in its infancy, but it is hoping to gain funding through the adult-only crowdfunding website OffBeatr. Just like Winter's father's pet store, Pet Play Palace has a staunch moral compass when it comes to its casting policies.
“I was turned away from tons of modeling opportunities,” Winter says via Skype while eating dinner out of a cat food bowl labeled “Princess.” “I've been told that I'm too fat or too alternative. … I don't want to ever do that to anyone.”
Though the website features predominantly slender white women, Winter insists that the site has an all-inclusive casting policy. Instead of appearances, the site focuses on the models' enthusiasm in portraying their particular fetishes. Winter is intent on casting lifestyle players who enjoy various forms of pet play in their personal lives.
Pet play can look as lighthearted and silly as a woman with her hair in cocker spaniel-esque pigtails, chewing on a squeaky toy. But pet play can be rough and sexy too. One year at Folsom Street Fair, I saw two muscular men in jock straps and elaborate leather dog masks growling and wrestling with each other on the street. I won't lie. It was hot. Poking around Winter's website had me re-evaluating whether or not I've always been into some aspects of animal role-play. I blame Bugs Bunny.