Oh man like (story time)
This is going to sound really funny but…
With no other explanation I’d long been attributing any desire for platonic physical contact to being a furry. Because everyone knows you can cuddle the hell out of a dog or a cat, but humans are not and never for that.
Literally like, I’d design these soft mammal-like personas/characters and when I needed to feel better I’d think about them receiving unrestrained friendly affection of some sort. Ingenious, my “aethersona”, would be held close by DTP (or sometimes the great Hfenix). Serval (human with serval features) would softly ‘headbutt’ his spouse like a cat. And so on.
Occasionally my furryness would spread to the realm of humans. Sometimes, I would just kind of simulate in my mind these interactions with fictional characters—like an insert fic, but with way more effort into accuracy first, good outcomes second. Just kinda talk to them about each others’ lives or whatever. Sometimes the interactions were more interesting than that. But of course sometimes when I couldn’t stop myself I’d just kinda
or, y’know… be a bit more positive if I wasn’t falling apart. Sometimes the “simulations” would be exactly as incoherent as this, but sometimes they’d make enough sense I could, without any shame, practically turn them into a comic replacing myself with another character who’d have similar reactions (or a song only about original characters, I did that once) and nobody would even realise this wasn’t just a cool insight into the characters but secretly a bizarrely complex and polished insert fic.
Outside of the “simulations”, short, concrete actions had already become kind of a mental shorthand for more abstract analyses of why I liked that character. Things that would take many words to say collapsed neatly into “*hugs character*”, “*fistbumps character*”, “*champions character*”, etc. I had a decent variety with them, but that’s not to say there wasn’t an emphasis on things like hugs because I was not always creative.
To get to the point…
In some ways I was so ashamed of all this.
I thought that if people “found out” I was so “physical” that they’d think I was some kind of freak. I thought if people saw me post, like, a ship art with Serval acting like a cat they might think it was some kind of weird fetish. (And not even like “oh god this is furry art“; I thought people would think just that a mostly-human being petted and stuff was in itself some way gross/sexual.) I thought if I wasn’t super careful with how I chose to draw CK/Ingenious being a fluffy puppy somebody was going to kinkshame me through the fuckign ground
Particularly, I thought that like, wanting to get all close against someone was some kind of transgression, if not absolutely sure it was okay. …I mean when I word it like that it sounds reasonable, you wouldn’t just do that :p, but I thought that the act of simply wanting to without permission to want to was wrong.
When it came to my “simulations”, I wasn’t really worried, because those often had some amount of creativity and effort, and (in coherent ones) I was pretty careful to avoid pissing the characters off.
But my more casual “metaphors” kinda made me think about things. Even as they were pretty typical harmless things for any fan on the internet to say, sometimes I just had to think generally about whether maybe I was too eager for affection and if that might be selfish or not.
I could come to peace with being enthusiastic about fictional characters, even if it was excessive, or made me a loser—I was an avid Undertale fan, so I was already a loser and well aware of the merits of loserdom.
But my doubts actually ran much deeper than embarrassment.
Sometimes I’d just kind of think about what kinds of things might happen if I met up with my internet friends in person, what cool group activities I could be a part of, or perhaps if I could come silently sit down next to them if I was sad. Really, really innocuous things. But I would get paranoid that even that was too much, because oh my god you’re assuming things about real people now? Stop. Just stop.
So I actually had (and still kinda have) some pretty bad issues with accepting that people being nice to me was “allowed” and that it was remotely okay to at all want that.
Purely emotionally speaking, I’ve had a lot of times where I started second-guessing if emotional needs really existed because it didn’t seem normal to have them. Like, nobody else had them, everybody else I knew without a blatant mental illness was fine all the time, so why the hell did I have them. Sure, children have them and will be pretty adversely affected if they aren’t met, but I‘m an adult now. Why am I not a “man” yet. When do I get my official Man™-brand top hat and get to throw away all these garbage “needs” and “feelings”.
Anyway… I thought that physical contact was for furries, but I found reassurance in the fact humans are already animals, so maybe it wasn’t so weird to love the shit out of dogs just because whenever a dog knew me it would pretty much run over and smack into me and not get unstuck for several minutes. Nothing in this world ever willingly threw so much love at me without any asking or proving.
(I love cats too but nobody around here has any)
Then this post appears and, ‘liberal’ use of the Liberal Word Shaker at the beginning aside, as well as the comment framing it ‘we’re literally monkeys‘ seems pretty weird to me but okay…
I didn’t know I needed it.
I’ll close by saying that all of this makes me think of a shitpost idea that drifted into my head one day but I never posted:
why is ‘do you need a hug‘ such an accepted insult. Maybe I do. Did you ever think of the strange notion that I’m human