Tony McGinn, known as ‘Tony Bark’ says he has been into animal role-play his entire life, and refers to himself as a ‘human pup’.
According to the Daily Mail, the 30-year-old, who was born originally born female, is supported by his husband and ‘handler’ Andrew who accompanies him to regular play dates with other role-players in their hometown of Los Angeles.”
Tony said: ‘To me a dog is everything pure in the world. Dogs experience the world through a lens of pure joy that I don’t think other animals have. A lot of little kids like to play like they’re a dog and most of them grow out of it. I just never grew out of that. And now in my adult life, in my relationships, it’s a way for me to feel vulnerable and exposed and close to my partner. It’s a very intimate thing. Imagine if the easiest way to delight your partner is you just throw a ball across the room. Relationships wouldn’t fail anymore if that’s all you had to do.”
His partner Andrew added: “I hang out and I provide him with lots of attention and tell him he is a good boy. That’s basically 90 percent of it. I think everyone should feel comfortable exploring the limits of their creativity and imagination and most of us have grown up in a culture that strongly discourages you from taking it too far. I appreciate that I am married to someone who encourages me to explore my imagination and my interests wherever they lead and I try to do the same.”
The gay couple who have known each since 2009 claim that their three real dogs are “bio dogs.” But that doesn’t mean Tony doesn’t think of himself as a ‘real dog’.
‘Pet play is anytime that a person takes on the role of an animal,’ he explained. ‘They emulate that animal either through their behaviour or their actions.
‘We engage in pet play actively a few times a month, and it’s often in a social setting such as a club or an event.
‘Some people wear costumes, some people try to get into the headspace of the animal and think as an animal would.’
They also reveal that Tony does all of these, donning a home-made dog ‘hood’ for his pet play meetings, as well as a sex-toy harness which he reverses and uses to hold a rubber silicone tail.
He maintains that his pastime remains an entirely innocent hobby. ‘For me it’s not sexual but it’s still a form of intimacy because it is a vulnerable place,’ he said. ‘It’s a bit of a power dynamic that puts Andrew in charge and I enjoy that.’
Andrew added: ‘We don’t make it sexual but I have nothing against those who do.’
Tony particularly enjoys playing fetch and tug of war with Andrew, who says he is happy to act as Tony’s handler.
‘In a practical sense all I really do is help fill out the fantasy by being the human,’ said Andrew. ‘In the same way a human looks after their pet to make sure that their pet doesn’t have a little too much fun and hurt themselves.
‘I bring water and just tell Tony when he needs to chill out.’
Watch the video below.