Pup Social 2.5 (September) Review
I’ve been putting off writing a review of the PS (Pup Social) for a whilst now, as I wanted to attend one through the entire weekend to get to grip with how the entire event plays out. Each PS weekend runs from Friday evening through to Sunday morning, and usually I’ve attended 3 of them but just on the Saturday only, but there is a lot to be gained by spending the entire weekend at the social.
The event was started by Bossbear and his pack, and in a venue ideal for the space required for pups to play. Boltz in Birmingham, has a large upstairs area, for which the PS team bought mats and pup play equipment to fill for each event. The matting is extremely good and soft, and there’s also a DJ for music, a large pup bed and a set of smaller individual pup beds (useful for tired old dogs like me). Theres overhead projector, DJ and lasers set up too, to recreate a night-club feel to the main pup room. Theres also a large playbox of toys (both used and new) that they have invested their own time and money in (even now accomodating 4 used trainers after feedback that that was my chew toy of choice!). It really is a great setup and one that the team should be very proud of,
They should be even prouder because for the 5 socials that have occurred so far this year, there has been no entry charge at all. For the venue to bear the cost of this, and for the organisers to self-fund the cost of all the equipment is no mean feat. Some fundraising initiatives took place at the latest event to attempt to refund some of the costs, the biggest of which appears to be the monthly van hire that is required to shift all of the equipment around for the weekend.
The event now has a solid set of pups and handlers that turn up each time to. The first main events really had around 20-30 people, but the event in September just had around 100 attending on the main Saturday daytime.
So, I arrived on Friday, with a friend and newbie to the pup-social, @powpup who I met when down at London fetish week. We stayed in the travel lodge, although the IBIS budget appears to be where the pups prefer to stay (admittedly its around the same cost) but the IBIS also allow the booking of the rooms to be to put together on the same floor, so all of the pups feel safe. The meet on the Friday night starts off in Eden, a bar that I absolutely love for the visits we’ve made several times for Midsbears or the new BFM night (review at a later date), and just their support of the gay community in Birmingham. There’s a main bar, a great outside area (with undercover smoking roof) and a newly refurbished function suite (with stage) in the back (with its own outside area). This month, the PS clashed with Midsbears so the group just met in the main bar and utilised the outside area, but it was great to see people arriving (not in pup gear) and to chat to them and get familiar with the organising team a little bit more. i think attending any kind of event can be slightly daunting for a new person getting into something, so the ability to just turn up to a normal bar and have a beer on a Friday night is a great way to settle in for what will be a good weekend. At around about 11, we then transferred over to the upstairs of Boltz for what was briefly called an “after dark” session. I’ll be honest, in that I wasn’t expecting this, but it did allow everyone to go and have some space of their own away from Eden to chill out a bit more. But i didnt ascertain if this would normally happen on the Friday, or if it was just because we didn’t have use of the function room.
We stayed chatting and socialising with the pups and organisers there till around 2am, but then decided it was worth getting back to the apartment for some shut-eye. Bossbear had asked if we wanted to attend a photoshoot the following day for some new events he was organising, which i was up for, but as it turned out, a late night got me totally shattered and I completely overslept missing breakfast and then had no idea where they were meeting (such a stupid dawg i am)
So we chilled out and then got ready for the PS main day which begins at 3pm in Boltz. We arrived about quarter past and the event was already busy, everyone milled around saying hi and getting their gear on (for those that have it, but by no means is ANY gear essential which is why I really like the laid back attitude of this event). There were a few complete newbies I spotted since the last PS and some regulars too. The team allows everyone to get there before having a pup-briefing at 4pm. The purpose of the briefing is to re-inforce the rules that the purpose of the event is social NOT sexual and to let everyone know any news of what’s happening about the future events. At this event, there was a presentation with some news about PS events at a new venue next year (where they normally hold Gearblast) that will be mixed (allowing non male people to attend – currently a policy of the Boltz club that stops attendance) and at some other events where there will be an “PS Ignite” attendance with the PS team there to organise a mini pup social within another event. This is happening at BFM in Birmingham and also at the Kinksters KINK event held near to us in Tranmere, so I’ll provide an update on how it differs after that on 30th October. The whole presentation is available from the website too, so that people who miss an event can attend.
Then, the floor is opened for pups to play, with music playing, toys strewn across the floor, and people being social. A small smoking area is available out on the roof, and the bar is available and open below in Boltz for refreshments. There’s also a free BBQ, yep, thats right FREE BBQ provided too so that pups and handlers dont get too hungry during their play and play continues till around 7pm with a large balloon drop happening (of 100’s of balloons) that most pups really enjoy – unless you are scaredy dog like me and don’t like balloons exploding! This month there were also some new Pupnosis sessions available for pups to try, however I believe the noise was a little prohibitive for some pups to get the full experience, but it shows that the team are trying and demoing new things, and when I’ve been there before there have been rope-tying demos for example.
Around 7.30, everyone got changed and headed out for something to eat at the Chinese restaurant. I believe this is because the Boltz venue is free until late evening, and then pups need to exit, and re-enter. Entry however is only £5 for the evening (discounted for pups), and again is called an “after dark” event, where the dress code is relaxed a little and pups can play a bit more. I know there has been some uncertainty in the past in what is allowed and not allowed but I’d say that sex should be kept downstairs in the Boltz playroom and darkroom areas whereas some bondage and spanking gets introduced in the upstairs section during the evening. Pups love getting tangled in rope, apparently 😉
The Chinese meal we all went for was great too. Although everyone is changed out of their pup gear, the number of people allows Bossbear to get the private eating suite at the restaurant and so for an “all-you-can-eat” £15 fee pups all get to have as many snacks as they want!
So in the evening, we got to pup out even more, taking the opportunity after the meal to get changed again back in pup gear ( a little more fetish for me in my rubber gear) and head back for drinks. Free shots were provided by the PS team in the upstairs area and the Boltz bar was available for other drinks required. The disco still plays on and I got to chase quite a few pups trainers and socks during the evening session.
We got back to the room around 2am and had only a few hours kip before we met for the breakfast meet up on the Sunday morning. All the pups gather in the Wetherspoons before they head home for breakfast. The food there for breakfast is particularly good and cheap and the group is able to grab a load of tables together to chat about the previous night and also discuss future meet ups. Again, this is great socially as it allows pups to organise their own meets, swap profile or contract details and then make their journey homewards on the Sunday.
In summary, I cant recommend the Pup Social enough. For pups or handlers wanting to explore, its a great venue with a great team providing a comfortable atmosphere and some great fun for everyone. I look forward to seeing how it evolves next month combining Mr Pup UK, and also how it evolves in its new premises next year.