Coverboy: Axel

International Puppy 2013

Photography by Julian Vankim
Published on July 19, 2013, 3:34pm | Comments

In puppy style, Axel just wants to play and have fun. The Portland, Ore.-born Richmond resident is three years into the ''puppy play'' fetish/kink scene, where enthusiasts mimic the actions and mannerisms of dogs. After being named International Puppy 2013 last November in Tampa, Axel spends a lot of time traveling and hosting demonstrations and fundraisers for the pup community or charitable organizations, whether for HIV/AIDS groups or dog-related humane societies. Describing himself as a ''complete omega bottom pup,'' Axel enjoys ''puppy moshes'' where the puppies, under the watchful eyes of their masters, frolic. But he also explains that puppy play serves as a form of meditation, where he can get into a specific ''head space'' and release the pressure and anxieties of life and just live in the moment. ''It's about freedom of expression,'' he explains. ''If it's not hurting anybody, what's the problem?''

Coverboy: Axel

Coverboy: Axel

(Photo by Julian Vankim)

What's on your nightstand?
My three squeaky toys and a lamp. Toys help dogs overcome anxiety, so I just keep them there.

What's in your nightstand drawer?
Socks and underwear.

Where do you keep the condoms and lube?
In my massive leather gear bag, with my bandanas, gags and other toys. That way I can take it all with me.

What are your television favorites?
RuPaul's Drag Race. I'm a Sharon Needles and Alaska Thunderfuck fan.

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?
Bugs Bunny. Slapstick violence. I pick up a lot of my puppy behavior from cartoons, like Scooby Doo and other dog characters.

Who's your greatest influence?
As a pup, it would be the dog I grew up with, Rocky, who was an Alaskan Eskimo. As a person, it would be a composer of some type, because I like to write music.

What type of music do you write?
I can write any type of music. I have an album coming out with Naxos in September. I'm trying to figure out a way to synchronize pup stuff and performance art, be the first pup performance artist.

Coverboy: Axel

Coverboy: Axel

(Photo by Julian Vankim)

What's your greatest fear?
Instinctively, being abandoned or being ignored.

Pick three people, living or dead, who you think would make the most fascinating dinner guests imaginable. And would you attend as a human or a pup?
I would definitely have to appear as a pup, if you want fascinating. RuPaul, Bach and Ellen Degeneres.

What would you serve?
I don't know what we'd serve, but we'd eat out of dog bowls.

How would you describe your dream guy?
My husband.

Define good in bed.
Open, honest and adventurous.

Who should star in a movie about your life?
Daniel Craig. He's intensely hot.

Who was your first celebrity crush?
Keanu Reeves from Point Break.

Who gets on your nerves?
People who aren't empathetic. People who have no sense of other people in the room.

If your home was burning, what's the first thing you'd grab while leaving?
My cat, Addie.

What's your biggest turn-on?
Naturally dominant men.

Coverboy: Axel

Coverboy: Axel

(Photo by Julian Vankim)

What's your biggest turn-off?
Artificially dominant men.

What's something you've always wanted to do but haven't yet tried?
I want to be hunted, out in the forest. Give some guy a paintball gun, and see if he can catch me.

What's something you've tried that you never want to do again?
Camping outside without a tent.

Boxers, briefs or other?
Yes, yes and yes.

With a tail?
That would have to be ''other."

Who's your favorite musical artist?
Scissor Sisters.

What's your favorite website?
Facebook. That's where all the pups are.

What's the most unusual place you've had sex?
On top of a rock in the ocean.

What position do you play in the big baseball game of life?
Either catcher or towel boy.

What's your favorite retail store?
Mr. S. It's a leather store in San Francisco, with high-quality stuff.

What's the most you'll spend on a haircut?

Coverboy: Alex

Coverboy: Alex

(Photo by Julian Vankim)

What about on shoes?
$500. Boots count.

What's your favorite food to splurge with?

What's your favorite season?
Fall, because of Halloween and the colors and the weather.

What kind of animal would you be?
Technically, I'm a retriever pup.

But if you couldn't be a puppy…?
Then I'd be an eagle. That's my spirit animal.

What kind of plant would you be?
An oak tree.

What kind of car would you be?
A Jeep.

What are you most grateful for?
The people in my life who love me.

What's something you want more of?
I'm happy, so that's tough. I don't.

State your life philosophy in 10 words or less.
Kink is my religion.

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