What Is Primal Play?

What Is Primal Play?

In a world of endless kinks and ways to perform sexual acts, you might be among some of the thousands of people confused about new kink names within the BDSM community.

Some of the names are more self-explanatory than others, such as role-play and objectification. 

Primal play, however, is one of those kinks that requires a bit more of an explanation.

As the keyword “primal” is synonymous with animals, the kink is often mistaken and misconstrued for pet-play, which is another kink in itself. Primal play is a kink in its own right, and the description of what the kink entails is fascinating. 

Here is everything you need to know about primal play! 

What Is Primal Play?

Primal play is a sexual kink that encourages the people involved to act in an animalistic, instinctive, and primitive way.

There are many ways for a couple or group of people to have primal play sexual relations, but the most common form of primal play is between predator and prey. 

It’s quite self-explanatory.

Let’s use an example of two people committing to primal play.

One person will play the predator, who is the dominant one of the pair, while the other plays the submissive prey.

The predator’s aim is to hunt down the prey, and the prey’s aim is to escape the predator before ultimately becoming submissive to their dominance. 

As the words “predator” and “prey” are typically used when referring to animals, this is the reason primal play is often misconstrued as pet play. However, unlike pet-play, primal play isn’t necessarily about role-playing as particular animals such as a cat and a mouse.

Instead, primal play encourages the people involved to get in touch with their primitive, primal instincts that every human has buried inside them due to social niceties and constraints. 

Primal play typically blends the worlds of fear and foreplay together.

To those who are a part of the primal play kink community, the fear involved in the primal play isn’t a non-consensual one. Instead, the idea of being “hunted” and having to “fight” for dominance can be arousing.

Not only this, but some would argue that primal play helps the people involved to relieve themselves from stress from the outside world, such as work-related stress. 

Primal Play VS Pet Play 

To get a better understanding of what primal play is, we’ve got to distinguish between primal play and pet play. 

Pet-play is one of the most commonly known kinks in the BDSM world. This kink effectively involves two or more people role-playing as certain animals.

Pet-play will often involve one person pretending to be a submissive animal, such as a dog, while the other will play the dominant role of a dog owner.

Other forms of pet play include both or all parties role-playing as dominant and submissive animals. 

Primal play, likewise, is a kink based on a dominant and submissive relationship through the roles of predator and prey. However, unlike pet play, primal play isn’t necessarily about pretending to be animals.

Sometimes, primals (the name for people who enjoy primal play) will role-play as animals, but that’s not always the case. In a lot of cases, primals will simply play a predatory human or human prey. 

Primal play is undoubtedly the rougher and more violent kink compared to pet play.

Of course, there are hundreds of ways to perform a sexual kink, but the most basic understanding of primal play is that it involves a physical fight of some sort. This can include biting, scratching, wrestling, growling, hissing, and more. 

So, to put it simply, the key difference between primal play and pet play is that while pet play is the act of pretending to be animals, primal play refers to animalistic behavior. Just because primals are acting in an animalistic way doesn’t mean they are necessarily role-playing as animals. 

What Is Primal Play?

The Roles Of Primal Play 

As with any kink, there are certain roles in primal play.

Each role is/should be established by the people involved through a consensual and open conversation wherein boundaries are discussed and accepted before the primal play begins. 

The roles of primal play will vary depending on the people involved, but here are the main key roles.

Primal Predator/Hunter

Primal predators (or hunters) play the dominant role in primal play. Their role is to “chase” or “hunt” their prey with the aim of overpowering and consuming them.

This can be achieved by fighting, wrestling, scratching, biting, growling, and more. This role isn’t just physical, as the primal predator will also have to explore the unfiltered and raw aspects of their psyche. 

Primal Prey

Primal prey is the submissive role in primal play.

Their role is to enjoy the chase with the ultimate aim of being devoured by the predator, but this doesn’t mean they can’t put up a good fight.

In some cases, the lines between predator and prey can be blurred before the prey becomes submissive. 

Primal Animal

This is an optional role within the primal play kink community.

Some couples or groups will blend primal play with pet-play by role-playing as certain animals depending on their submissive or dominant role. Examples of this include cat and dog, cat and mouse, human and pet, and more.

The act of role-playing becomes far more violent and fearful in primal play, which is enhanced by the acts of biting, growling, and scratching. 

What Is Primal Play?

Deciding The Roles 

Deciding who plays who in primal play is totally dependent on the individual’s boundaries, desires, and whatever they feel most comfortable doing.

It would be all too easy to suggest that the dominant person in a relationship (typically the most outgoing one) should take on the role of predator, but this isn’t always the case. 

Of course, a lot of primal play will reflect directly on the relationship between the people involved – such as the introvert will play the prey and the extrovert will play the predator. Switching roles can also help each person engage with another side of their psyche.

As long as boundaries are set in place and a conversation is held beforehand about safe words etc., there are no rules about who plays who in primal play. 

Primal play isn’t just about completing sexual desires. This is a unique kink that encourages individuals to seek the hidden primal instincts that society has buried deep inside us.

A lot of primals will argue that humans were never meant to adapt in the “polite” way that we have, and instead, it’s good for us to get in touch with our animalistic instincts as if we were cavemen. 

Not only is this considered arousing for some, but the act of primal play can be a wonderful exercise for the individual and the couple or group.

Primal play can be fun, dangerous, thrilling, and can teach us far more about ourselves than other kinks. It can also teach us about our likes and dislikes about humanity and our preferences in the bedroom. 

However, there are lots of risks to primal play.

Primals must be prepared to set boundaries, establish safe words, and commit to proper aftercare. Primal play is exhausting and can cause injury, which is why aftercare is so important.

Not only this, but aftercare helps to establish a safe space between the primals and can encourage a deeper connection between them. 


So, there you have it – everything you need to know about primal play!

Primal play can be an exciting and daring way to spice up the bedroom, as long as proper boundaries and rules are followed by the parties involved.

Not only is it thrilling, but primal play is an interesting technique to explore our primal and animalistic instincts.

Have fun!