By Jamaal Avery, Segment Producer, Taboo USA

When Pony Play was brought to my attention for this segment I wasn’t quite sure what it was and what to expect. Once I saw pictures, I assumed this was just some kinky sexual activity. I had no knowledge of anything in the BDSM world and in fact I had to look up the definition of BDSM. Before meeting Persephone, I assumed she would be a handful being that she was a dominatrix and the trainer of her ponies. Upon meeting Persephone my view of her changed immediately, she welcomed us in her home and was very nice to us and even bragged to us about her herb garden.

Once Persephone fully explained and showed us what pony play was, I quickly realized that everything I thought this was going to be was actually not the case. While some people do engage in sexual acts during pony play, that is not a necessity. I learned that pony play is actually more of a role-play and that Persephone’s Pony Play was not sexual at all. Both Persephone and her pony Ivy both have committed boyfriends and they do not engage in any sexual acts outside of their relationships.

While some pony players play for the sexual stimulation they get from it, Mistress Persephone and Ivy Red do not do it for that reason at all. Mistress Persephone enjoys the power she has over a person and dominating them rather than “getting off on it.” Persephone’s pony does not play for any sexual reasons either, but likes to be dominated and be the center of attention which is why her costume is so detailed. The more intricate the costume, the better the experience they get out of it. The entire payoff for these ladies is for the pony to act like a real pony.

Our shoot was about three days long, and in those days I ended up being a part of that lifestyle—not to say I dressed up and participated, but just the impact of the people I met. Even though Persephone was the person I was filming, I mentally became a part of her world. When anyone would stare or say something under their breath, I found myself defending her and pony play. Being a non-fetish heterosexual African American male never in a million years would I think I would feel and care about someone like Persephone and pony play, but along the way she became my friend and I did for her what I would do for any my friends or family. In short, I learned acceptance. I walked away from this experience knowing 1.) There is nothing that can shock me. And 2.) It’s not what you do behind closed doors that shapes who you are.

Tune in to Taboo USA: Secret Passions tonight at 10P


  1. Mistress Persephone
    San Francisco, CA
    June 6, 2013, 1:10 pm


    It was my pleasure working with you and your fantastic crew. I’d gladly open my home to you all again, anytime. The last day of the shoot was bittersweet because I enjoyed my time with you all so much. Thank you for giving me a chance to possibly open up people’s minds through this program and for being so kind to me.

    I’m very touched by this!

    Your friend,

  2. Mia
    London, England
    June 18, 2013, 10:54 am

    Even the dogs look weirded out by all of this ‘pony play.’ why don’t we just call it for what it really is: “weirdness.”

  3. Ray
    United States
    July 7, 2013, 10:23 pm

    Why is it “weirdness.” Just because you don’t like it and it’s not mainstream doesn’t make it weird. I don’t find it a turn on but if it isn’t hurting anyone then I say enjoy. To each their own. Society really needs to be more accepting of the lifestyles of others.

  4. Beauty the Pony Boy
    United States
    December 13, 2013, 10:56 pm

    Mia? Normal is a relative and subjective concept. What is normal for one person is the height of “weirdness” for others.

    I enjoy pony play. I am a very fancy show pony, if I do say so myself. If you find it “weird” then by all means, don’t don any tack and don’t touch my reins. However, I’m very sure that there is something you like or that you do that I would find “weird.” The difference is, I celebrate diversity instead of mocking or deriding it.

    That is to say, if a horse may have an opinion.

  5. John
    February 12, 11:14 am

    Hi Pony Boy (I’m not sure of your real name so I’ll just call you Hal… I dont want to be rude but the practice of Pony Play is not healthy.I dont care if its called normal or weird. When you take your identity as a human-being and give it away to pursue “Pony Dreams” you are cutting yourself short. To be straight… You are not a pony Hal. If you look in the mirror and see a small horse then I am amazed that a horse can type. I’m venturing that you are a created human-being. Practice the art of living as you are created and let the farm animals be real farm animals. You are opening a door to confusion Hal. When confusion is practiced… your compass is broken.

  6. Levi
    Portland, Oregon
    March 22, 2:37 pm

    John. John, John, John. You’re missing the point. For me, it’s about being the center of attention completely, and though I DO get off on it? Doesn’t mean that that’s what everyone else is in it for. Don’t criticize Pony Boy’s method of living. [content removed for language] leave the kinks and fetishes to those of us who know what they actually are. Thank you, and goodbye.

  7. Naushad Ahmad
    March 25, 10:01 am

    why people are doing Pony play, what is the benefit of it.
    I think this is total useless thing, I think people are wasting the time and Energy and money also, if it is any use of this so, Please, Tell me about this, last night i was looking some shots of Pony Trainer on National Geography Channel and i was Shok, What is this why people are doing this.

  8. slavepony
    April 4, 4:42 pm

    If your into BDSM then you know that its not all about sex it has a lot of compounds involved. Each individual is different some of us prefer to serve and some prefer to be served.I could be wrong but it sounds like any other relationship. Till this idea was introduced into your head. Try to understand my point of view as I am yours.

  9. Allen
    May 6, 9:08 am

    The first time I heard of this years ago I thought it was pretty wierd. Wierd enough to make a gonzo journalist look twice. But like the author said in so many words, we all have our thing.
    Maybe some folks were horses in a prior life.

  10. Fatima Imran
    May 13, 2:19 pm

    God has created us human but I think people are sick and way more interested in acting like animals.

  11. Reva
    June 8, 7:22 pm

    I saw this episode today itself and i was totally amazed . It is actually very difficult for me to understand the mind set of the people involved in such practice.
    I am an artist. I do painting and i am sort of thinking to work on this concept. I basically need help on a few queries.
    First is that has any body been forced to perform a pony? I mean does everybody involve in this because of their own interest?
    And secondly is it important for all the ponies to get dressed according to their roles? Cant they perform in their regular appearances?
    Please if anybody can help me by mailing me the details about the mind sets, the conclusions, the technicalities, and everything else which would help me understand or study this practice thoroughly. I would be grateful. :)
    My email id is –

  12. rrinlv
    Las Vegas NV
    June 22, 12:13 pm

    I think that a person should be allowed to act anyway that they want to when it comes to private personal practice. It isn’t contagious. If a person likes the control and is willing to participate, why should we judge them. We all have fantasies which could be considered strange or weird, some people have the nerve to act them out. Whats the harm.

  13. slavecur
    June 22, 2:23 pm

    your highness mistress persephone this dog worship ur photo evryday u r my goddess

  14. Tom
    June 27, 8:35 pm

    Really? People from India are disparaging the ponies? The land where women are burned for dowries and children are sold? The land of pariahs and sacred cows? Really? I think this is relatively a lot less harmful. Westerners probably think that the Juggernaut was a strange concept. Or that a book could be a prophet. Just as variety and difference make India a fantastic country, so with other cultures and subcultures. And subsubcultures. It doesn’t do anything for me, but live and let live!

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  16. Fletcher
    July 22, 2:36 pm

    Look at it this way… if everyone everywhere adhered to the idea that they should never engage in something fun and imaginative for the sake of being what they see in the mirror there would be a very limited entertainment industry to speak of. There would never have been the Muppets, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica, Charmed, Sabrina, Teletubbies, Sesame Street, Electric Company, Transformers, Batman, Spider-Man, Avengers, Iron Man, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Indiana Jones, Wizard of Oz, Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, WWII movies, westerns, or even dramas such as Mask, Man Without a Face, or Gone with the Wind. There’d be no Santa Claus, trick or treating, no Mardi Gras parades, or colorful characters for kids parties. Or, for those wanting to wave a bible, there’d be no passion plays because everyone would look in the mirror and think, “Oh, it’s not proper that I dress up and play Jesus or a Roman soldier or such.” The only visual entertainment would basically be reality TV.. and so much of that is actually staged that it’s still not people being “who they are in the mirror.” The world would just be soccer mommies and businessmen doped up on Xanax to numb themselves from their dreary lives.

    As for a waste of time and money, I hope those that cite those reasons don’t read for leisure, golf, fish, hunt, play sports, go out to dinner, go to movies, attend sporting events, or do anything other than working, sleeping, and eating very basic meals. Anything done for leisure is “a waste of time and money.”

    As for performing in their “normal appearances,” would you want to see a production of “Julius Caesar” with everyone dressed in their pajamas? Would you prefer that the pope do mass in jeans and a T-shirt? Would you let your kids sit on some drunk guy’s lap if he wasn’t dressed like Santa Claus? Would you want your lawyer showing up for a hearing in their bathrobe? There are certain uniforms, outfits, and even costumes people don to be in a certain mindset for a role they play be it for fun or for their profession. This is really no different.

    I don’t partake of this myself, but I know people who do. It’s really no different than enjoying crafting, costuming and acting. Sure, it might raise an eyebrow or two because much of the costuming involves vinyl or leather, but it doesn’t really hurt anyone or anything so long as everyone is consenting. And to address that question above, the only reason anyone would be “forced” to be a pony is because they want to be forced to do so – which is still consenting because they enjoy being bossed around. Ironically – many people who enjoy that are actually the bosses of many things that enjoy the role-reversal as a release from the stress of the demands placed on them in daily life. Otherwise, no.. no one is holding someone at gunpoint and saying, “You vill dress up as ze pony!” like some Nazi stereotype.

    It may not fit “the norm,” but normal is really only a setting on a dryer. It’s not hurting anyone… and if it harm none, do as you will.