Given the relationship human pup play has to BDSM, anyone can be forgiven for assuming that "control" of pup behaviour rests with the Master, or Mistress. For most human pups, influence and regulation of a pups behaviour is often done by their Owner Trainer. It remains true though that every human pup, without exception, can and should develop self regulation - that is self control - it's an attribute and virtue every pup should strive for.
Self control means the process and effect of how a human pup exerts control over his or her own responses, so a pup can pursue goals and live up to standards. All that a human pup does, all thoughts, emotions, impulses and behaviour is affected by their self control. It's about being in charge of your body, mind, and the way you act. A pup should acknowledge and recognise they need to have self control to get the outcomes they want in human pup play.
It also means resisting temptation, and facing oneself to do what one doesn't want to do. And last, but not least, self control means controlling your impulses so you behave in a moral fashion. This last point is important, as training to be a human pup can seem to ask you to abandon your human morality, as explained in First Collar Interaction and then Second Collar Interaction. You are not compelled to abandon being a good person or to be harmful. If anything, you are actively encouraged to communicate better, as First and then Second Collar Communication explains. Often the commitment between Trainer and Pup is ratified with an understanding of your rights as a pup as well. And a Trainer and Owner usually wishes for a pup to embrace values. We at Sirius Pup try to follow these ones.
Self Control is at the heart of many BDSM experiences, but it's central to pup play. As a human pup you are constantly responding to both internal and external stimuli. Your mind is usually thinking, your body usually receiving signals, better described as input, from outside. Your body also responds to more than the external world, it reacts to your thoughts and feelings that you generate internally within you. Self control is absolutely necessary every moment to simply not respond to everything you are experiencing. You don't react to every single input and thought and feeling. BDSM quite often highlights the essence of this self control, by pushing your mind and body to extremes you notice you are focused on a limited few things.
Human pup play doesn't require that your mind and body be extremely stimulated to learn the value of self control. Yet a human pup does need to exercise just as much self discipline and self control as a slave being flogged and tortured. For a pup must direct her or his mind and avoid wandering off into ordinary human thought. A pup must try and change their emotional responses away from how they usually feel, whilst simultaneously restraining themselves from carrying out negative or harmful impulses and desires. All of this is the work of training the Mind, and Body, and altering Behaviour. All needing self control.
For a human pup to improve their self control, it helps for the Trainer to be attentive to the pups goals. With knowledge of what outcomes in pup play a person is seeking, an Owner and Trainer helps monitor and supervise a pup to work towards their goals. On their own, a pup can use a journal to monitor their progress. With perseverance, a human pup improves their self control as they resist distractions and focus on their goals.
However, anyone's self control is a limited resource. When you focus on controlling and regulating your self, it does temporarily deplete your reserve of willpower and energy. You become less able to perform another act of self control or use willpower immediately. If you are coping with deadlines or stress, you are less likely to be able to exercise self control on a whole host of other outcomes. You might choose not to regulate your eating as well, you might become grumpy and irritable as you fail to control your behaviour.
Attention is the key to keeping self control. Just as attending to and monitoring your efforts at goals in pup play helps improve your self control, paying attention to the stress you are under as a whole and at individual moments helps you control your self better.
When a human pup ceases to attend to their own behaviour, self control usually fails. The ease of just being in the moment, and acting spontaneously might not seem to go hand in hand with self discipline. Many people purposefully seek human pup play as as fetish so they can "let go" and act without thinking of the consequences. They imagine they can be animals and not need self control. Clearly they haven't spent enough time with animals. Canines can and do learn self control and regulation. Most dogs can learn to sit, knowing that doing so and waiting, their food dish will soon be full. And no wolf can hunt successfully without self discipline to stalk prey. You can and should have letting go and self control.
Human pup play often works better when training and learning has occurred, so that a human pup can play and yet still exercise self restraint in behaviours that reinforce their performance of human pup play rather than detract from it.
A Sirius Pup focuses on body and behaviour, as well as the mind, to strengthen their self control. That work is to help a Sirius Pup remain in pup headspace better. And by understanding how and why human pup play works, a Sirius Pup can better accomplish their goals, rather than simply fulfil perhaps not understood tasks. Learning good and effective human pup play behaviours, a Sirius Pup eventually does them automatically during pup play, thus not taxing their reserve of self control. They can allow their willpower to be available to protect themselves from harm as their dormant human self can act with will if needed to do so.
Self control is about looking after your self.