I’ve been desperate for an article on pony play for ages – it’s fascinating and cool and all the things that get me excited. The trappings seem satisfying and kinky, the role-play seems difficult yet deliciously immersive.
So I’m delighted to welcome Simon Christopher, who’s kindly offered to write about his love of pony play. He’s currently directing Black Beauty in Irons, a fetish adaptation of Black Beauty, which will be shown in late March – early April 2016. If you’re interested in going to see it, you can get in touch on Facebook. Check out the links at the end of the post for more pony play info, and I hope you enjoy this guest blog as much as I did! Thank you to others who responded to my shout out for pony play blogs too – I’ll have more in the new year!
An intro to ponyplay
I’ve identified as a pony since I was young. I’m an animal role-play researcher and activist, and I’m currently directing a ponyplay adaptation of Black Beauty, looking at the difficulty of truly realising your fantasies and coming out. I also marched as a pony in Pride 2015.
Because ponyplay touches on so many fetishes – bondage, dressing up, D/s, S/m – it was an incredibly erotic discovery for my younger self. But for me now, ponyplay is about closeness and comfort, and the relationship I have with my handler. It isn’t about having an orgasm.
Without my handler I’d never have been able to negotiate the crowds at Pride. We met at a ponyplay camp she runs in Norfolk and she’s now a close friend. Being able to trust your play partners is vital in ponyplay; without trust it can be risky. For example, a common activity as a pony is to pull carts complete with a driver and reins. Carts are heavy and reins difficult to respond to, but together with an understanding between handler and pony, the sensation of being used is breathtaking.
Ponyplay allows you to act the way you long to be in real life – even if you don’t realise it. Through ponyplay I’ve learnt that deep down I want to be strong, obedient, graceful and submissive. I want to be curious and innocent and naïve. When I’m a pony I’m always thinking: How would a horse react? I take how horses behave, sound, think and feel and put that knowledge In place of my own. I stop caring about what others think of me. And yet my pony is very competitive: I want to be the most pony-like pony, the fastest, the most obedient. One of my favourite possessions is a rosette I won at my first pony event for winning a cart race.
It came at the end of a three-hour stint pulling a cart around a chilly warehouse. It was the first time I’d met other animal roleplayers, and the first time I was used as a pony. As soon as the bit gag was strapped into my mouth I devoted myself to being a horse wholly and truly. There – I told myself – you’re a horse now. How do horses behave? I was so focussed on the question I went straight into headspace. I found fun in small things: chewing on my bit, tossing my head, shifting my weight, snorting, stamping and whickering. I gave up my ability to comprehend human language and time. Words became unintelligible. Three hours felt like thirty minutes. Suddenly after years of fantasising I felt accepted. The freedom to be you feels joyous.
Until I marched in Pride I’d never felt that it represented my identity. I’d only seen its excesses: the bingeing and commercialism. Pride 2015 changed that. We were in a section organised by Puppy Pride – a social network for animal roleplayers. Surrounded by puppies, ponies and their handlers, and cheered on by thousands of people, I had a taste of the world as I’d always desired it. We weren’t just people raising awareness of alternative sexual identities. We were being ourselves.
I wore a lifelike mask made by a friend and mentor in the pony scene. It’s extremely realistic, and forces you to adapt your senses to it. You can’t see straight ahead, for example, but have to look through one eye hole or the other. You rely on your hearing more. When you speak you can barely be heard. And because I was concentrating on overcoming these restrictions, and maintaining my pony form – knees high, chest out, tossing the head – I went into an extremely powerful headspace.
When I started ponyplay I worried about not having a hugely ornate and expensive costume. Some people gravitate towards the dressing up, but not having a colour-coordinated, all-in-one latex masterpiece doesn’t mean you can’t be a pony. For me, horses are essentially naked; their ‘clothes’ are items of control. I work with that, and can get into ponyspace simply by putting on a bitgag. My headspace is strengthened with other props: a simple chest harness; a collar; sports bandages for colour. A tail from the USA, which I crafted a harness for. But I could be a perfectly happy pony with just a bit gag and someone to lead me around.
Most people watching me trot past had probably never dreamed that ponyplay could be a thing, but noone I saw shied away, or mocked or laughed at us. Everyone wanted a picture of the ponies, and I was glad to oblige. When my handler led me to meet a girl in the crowd, I played the shy pony, before whickering and putting my head forward to be stroked. I hope she remembers that moment. It makes me hopeful that one day – a normal day – I can walk in pony gear down Oxford Street and be entirely accepted.
Pride was incredible, but over in three hours. And there are many more hours in a year.
A few useful links if you’re interested in finding out more:
Fetlife (there are lots of ponyplay groups on here)
Cpony – includes info on ponyplay as well as resources and links to buy tack + other equipmentBLACK BEAUTY IN IRONS AT THEATRE UTOPIAIs it ever possible to truly realise your fantasies?Posteroticism is presenting its provocative new play Black Beauty in Irons at Croydon’s Theatre Utopia. A razor-sharp journey into love, pride and kink, Black Beauty in Irons confronts what happens when the lines between fantasy and reality blur.When Bravo unexpectedly reveals Aidan’s best kept secret they embark on an exploration of her deepest desires. With new friendships forming fast, he has to accept the animalistic part of her she craves to release or risk losing her.But what if he’s in over his head?Can the gap between who you are and how the world sees you ever be bridged?Black Beauty in Irons matters because there are people everywhere who can’t be open about their lifestyles. We think it’s time for change. Our work is about overcoming taboos, stereotypes and misunderstandings: it’s about giving people in niche subcultures a chance to speak about their lives freely and fairly. We want to open minds, and keep them open.Posteroticism is a collective of artists who lead a variety of ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Our artistic goal is to create a theatre in which anything that people can do can be done onstage to express the truth of the human condition. In so doing, we create work about what it’s like to be different, to be individual and to be proud of who we are.Venue: Theatre Utopia, 1 Matthew’s Yard, Croydon, CR0 1FFDates: 29th Sept-01st Oct: 7.30pm 02nd Oct: 3pm MatineeTickets: £10, £8 concessionsTickets are available at: https://www.ticketsource.co.
uk/TheatreUtopiaRecommended age limit: 16+