Primal play: Animalistic desire

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No, it doesn’t mean you’re a praying mantis that eats its mate after sex. No, it doesn’t mean you’re a duck that subdues and forces itself on its mate. (Do a bit of research on ducks, they’re insanely wild!)

It does, however, make you act on your primal instinct. Your sex life becomes more animalistic than ever before. So, what is it exactly, and how do you do it? Let’s take a look!

What is primal play?

A primal fetish is a sex play in which partners act like animals during sex. Quite literally. Like most BDSM activities, it relies heavily on the role-playing, psychological side of our sexual preferences.

When we say act like animals, we mean that you should treat sex the way wolves and lions do. Most commonly, the foreplay into primal sex consists of partners acting like a predator and prey. The dominant partner takes control and captures their prey, while the sex itself is in the form of a take-down. It involves a lot of rituals, such as sniffing and growling. During sex, there’s a lot of biting, scratching, and hair-pulling.

Primal fetish is not your regular BDSM kink. There are no sex toys or latex costumes. Your toys are your nails, teeth, and skin. During the foreplay, it’s ideal to have a sub who’s not willing to let go immediately. Primal doms express their primal side the best when it’s a struggle to dominate and subdue their prey.

What are the roles?

As always, there are different roles in this type of sex play. Nothing can be just a one-way street in BDSM, can it? Obviously, since we’re talking about domination and submissiveness, partners assume roles that are polar opposites. In primal fetish, we call Doms predators and subs prey. Terminology is an important aspect of any BDSM fetish.

If it sounds like pet play to you, you are not that far off. Pet play can be involved here, but it’s much more about the emotion and roughness that happens during sex. Assuming a role of an actual animal is not what makes primal sex appealing. Obviously, if you incorporate pet play in it, you wouldn’t call your sub prey — you’d call them a pet.

That brings us to different names for these roles. Not everyone feels comfortable being called prey. Also, there are people who don’t want Schwarzenegger to call them “one ugly motherfucker.” Common names for predators are hunters and alphas. Meanwhile, many primal subs see themselves more as mates.

It’s not unusual for primal partners to find friends who are into the same sort of thing. They would meet occasionally and have orgies. Together, they call themselves a pack.

Types of primal play fetish

There are three common types of primal plays. To be fair, though, it would be more precise saying there are 2+1 types. Here they are.

Primal dom vs. Primal sub

This is the most popular variation, and it’s probably the best one. It consists of a sub and a Dom who take pleasure in playing different parts. Essentially, one likes to scratch, the other likes to be scratched. One gets off by hunting, the other one by being hunted.

However, the primal sub is not someone who just sits down and takes it. The foreplay here is all about the chase. The sub will not submit at once but will instigate a chase. They will force the Dom to work for their prize, eventually submitting to their dominance.

Primal dom vs. Primal dom

For many, this is a strange scenario to have, as neither partner feels like submitting to someone else. Basically, Dom vs. Dom is like one of those NatGeo documentaries. It starts off with one alpha challenging the other, usually by sniffing or biting their partner. Then, as any animal alphas, they will clash and start wrestling until one of them gains dominance.

This fight for power is not a one-off. The clashes continue to happen during foreplay and sex. The continuous switch of who’s in control makes the whole act electric and usually ends up in an exhilarating climax for all parties.

Plus one: Primal vs. Non-primal

This one is a bit strange because it involves a partner that’s not into primal play. This happens during vanilla sex when someone gets their primal side activated. Usually, it’s because of a scent they feel, or their partner unintentionally pulls their hair or spanks them a bit.

If you’re not into primal play, you need to let them know verbally they need to calm down. Being defensive will only make them more into it.

Is primal play dangerous?

As you’ve seen so far, primal play is not the most civil behavior out there. So, yes, it can be dangerous if you’re not careful enough. Some people can get carried away by the role-playing aspect a bit too much. Some movements will be more aggressive than you expect them to be.

It’s important that everything happens within the boundaries that everyone is comfortable with.

Beginner’s guide

Sounds interesting? You want to try it out? Well then, let’s talk about some basics.


As always, this is the most important thing. Your partner needs to be okay with it as much as you are. Don’t just do it out of the blue and wait for their reaction. You need to communicate what you want to go down and see if they will say yes.

Explore your boundaries

It’s important to have rules in any BDSM play, and the same goes here. You have to establish what’s fine and what’s not. When you draw the line, don’t go over it. Of course, the more you practice, the more you’ll push that line and explore your limits. But don’t do it without consulting your partner.

Safe words

As we have already established, primal play can be quite rough right from the get-go. And since it’s BDSM, you need to have rules. One such rule is having a safe word, especially if you’re just starting out.

You might be interested in the idea of primal sex, but once it starts, you may realize it’s not actually for you. If you’re a sub, and you’re trying to fight back, that’s only an invitation for rougher behavior. Having a safe word allows you to stop things from becoming too uncomfortable and scary.

Release your inner beast out

To spice things up, make sure that you also have the right accessory for your primal activity. Try to explore some online shops, and you might find butt tails that fit your animalistic side.

The whole point of primal fetish is to let go of your ordinary behavior and be as animalistic as possible. Just relax and go with the flow, don’t feel weird about it. Be as loud and fierce as you want. Walk on all fours, growl, pull your partner’s hair, bite them. Wake up that beast inside you and let it feast!