“I hope I never get a boyfriend,” I said to my horrified mother one day in a car ride when I was a teenager. When she caught me in bed with a girl a year later, she joked that this is what I’d meant. It wasn’t. What I had meant all those years ago wouldn’t dawn on me until I was twenty-six.
Against the onslaught of heteronormativity and enforced monogamy, pups fight just by existing. So many pups/Handlers are LGBT, and so many pups/Handlers are poly. A lot of them aren’t, but they’re steadfast allies. This subculture of rebellion ended up being a springboard for me.
Amongst the masses of singlets, neoprene hoods, volleyball kneepads, squeaky toys, and warm hands offering scritches, I discovered something about myself. A Sir is what I want. Pup brothers and pup sisters are what I want. The sick Sadomasochist in me wants another sick Sadomasochist. I love those dynamics as they are, and I don’t want romance attached. I want there to be love… But I don’t want it to be romantic love.
A human pony showers with me before we head to a dungeon play party; he washes my hair and my body. “Sorry if I’m being too much like a boyfriend,” he says. “It’s fine, I don’t draw much of a line between partners and friends,” I say. A dawning realization.
Years of being told that I can only be happy if I’m in love. I can’t grow up to be the crazy cat lady. Movies end with the couple walking off into the sunset, and that’s what I need to strive for. Years of feeling broken because I just can’t… And yet… I’ve grown up to have an amazing network of supportive friends. I’ve grown up to find the deepest fulfilment in kink relationships. Happiness to me is truly a warm puppy, and that’s an amazing thing. Being aromantic is amazing, not tragic. I love you all (platonically), and if I could thank each and every one of you for being your fantastic non-normative selves and giving me what I always should have known– I would.