I wouldn't ussually call myself outgoing. I would consider myself more shy and others say I lack confidence. The past year and a half, I have had alot of trouble and moments where I would over think about day to day things in life. College life espially put a downer on me. I slipped on my grades and was extremely afraid to work in groups and alone. My only thoughts was that I needed confort with someone physically or verbally. I felt isolated by my social anxeity.
In the meantime, I noticed just the last 3 years, I've slowly started finding men to be attractive. I was confident i was straight , but noticed that some guys are just to put it frankly, pretty hot. This hasn't factored anything with my inconfidence and anxeity, but I did find it slightly akward to discuss with others for awhile, with the exception of one or two good friends.
The moment of my life changed when my friend returned from his trip to Chicago. He had been on an adventure himself, and discovered human-pups. I found it so intriging and cute. He had learned the ways of a handlerer and we discussed many things about puppy culture. One day he said, "James, I'm going to event called Geared and there's pups there. are you interested?" I actually agreed as I was interested just to put myself out there just to do something new in life. It helped that I had slowy eased my way into some tiny lgbt events too and made a couple frineds there aswell.
The days came up to Geared Ireland's event. I went to a sale that they advertised that morning to get cheap, 2nd-hand outfits to fit in. Geared isn't a Pup event, but I was told a few would be there, so the sale was just more general leather. I purchased myself gloves, leather trousers, and a lovely studded, red collar. The folks and John the shopkeeper were very friendly there and happy to see that young people are able to express themselves.
The clock ticked as nerviously but excitlyed waited for the event to start. My friend and I had a quick meet up with the pups. We arrived at their apartment. I was quite unconfotable at first. I wasn't sure if this night was going to be good. I nerviously hugged and shuck hands with the vanilla dressed pups (pre-pups? i don't know what to call them) and didn't say much as my friend did all the talking.
We all headed down to the venue after a few minutes, we changed into our gear and that's when I felt it. I was so confortable that everyone around me had no care in the world. I saw the adorable pups in their hoods and harnesses casually standing around with their drinks. we chatted for abit and even invited to give a few a "scritch" on the head. That alone made me feel welcomed as a person to express my emotion on to another person or pup in this case.
I had a great time chatting to some other lads there, but I loved just having pup company. I got so confortable, I knew I had to put on my collar now and feel like them. Some of us got really drunk and an amazing time. I had so much confidence, I even kissed a couple people there. That moment inpacted for a few reasons. 1: first time I kissed a guy, 2: first time I did something with confidence and no second thought. I would be too afraid to approach a woman the same way. 3: I realised i kissed more guys in one night than i kissed girls ever(more of a funny one.)
All of this interecting with new people and exploring my own self had really helped alot of my social anxiety. I'd say it made me 95% better. To have so much of me change in one night will always be my greatest achviement to self-reflection and mental health. I stopped worrying, and just loved the pups and how it can release so much stress playing as one. The next day, I gave myself the puppy name Brass. It makes me feel sturdy and strong. (also it fits a nice orange motive to suit my outfit....when i get an orange outfit).
I really want to thank and make a shoutout to PupHero, PupRory, KipKap, PupAstra and to the other lovely pups I've spoken to on the PupsOfIreland Telegram chat. I hope to see you all again fairly soon! Thank you so much for reading