Let me start off by saying this weighs heavily on me, and has for a time.
When I was 17 I came out as gay, and through the next couple of years after growing up with my sexuality I started leaning more towards bi, with a strong preference for men.
In 2012 I met my current girlfriend, we met on pounced and had the best conversations. We were, and still are, best friends. But the problem is me still struggling with my sexuality. I guess the way to explain it is I have a strong sexual/romantic attraction to men, while its mostly a romantic attraction to women.
So now my sex life has dwindled to nothing, and I find myself resenting even getting into this relationship in the first place. Which is completely unfair to my mate, but I stay with her either out of being scared of being alone or for the fact I cling to some small hope I can fix it/change myself.
It's worth putting in that we have an open relationship, but when I brought up that I would like to start seeing guys she shot the idea down saying that it was selfish of me to want to date men while our sex life together is near dead. And I completely agree with her that it was selfish for me to consider it. But I might need the help of a little blue pill with her, or even men for that matter, due to my problems.
I'm sorry for spilling that on you and I'm not even sure how to formulate a question out of this, except what do you think I should do? She is a dear and beloved friend, but the problem is that she feels more like a friend than a mate. And that's my fault, since the sex died with my arrousal issues, I put her in the friend category
Kreed (age 29)
* * *
News flash: if she is telling you that you can't see people then you are not in an open relationship. Not sure what her definition of "open relationship" is, but that ain't it. Therefore, you are in a monogamous relationship with a woman and you are not sexually attracted to women, only romantically so. The second thing you have incorrect is that you need "fixing." There is nothing wrong with you and you don't need to fix anything. You are sexually attracted to men and that is how you are. VERY unlikely that will change at the age of 29 and beyond. Finally, you are guilting yourself into staying in this relationship because you don't want to hurt her feelings. Wrong again. You are doing your friend a disservice by giving her false hope that you can force yourself to have sex with her, perhaps even resorting to pills. At the same time, this is causing resentment to build inside you. The longer you keep it inside, the more likely it is that it will explode in a hurtful way to both of you. Not healthy.
It is NOT your fault that you don't want sex with her. What IS your fault is that you are continuing to lead her on in a relationship that is almost certainly going to end in disappointment for you both.
This is a wake-up call for you, Kreed. Take out the garbage that is this guilt of yours and show her that you respect her and care enough about her enough to tell her the truth that a romantic relationship that includes sex is off the table. What you need to do is recognize that this can be a wonderful friendship, but that it ends there. This is not a bad thing. Great friendships are to be cherished, but the longer you string her along, the more resentment will build, and the more likely it is you won't even be friends anymore, and you don't want to lose that, do you?
Tell her the truth of how you feel and do whatever you can to preserve your friendship. Now would be a good time.
The other day, I had a rare day out into the capital with one of my friends and I managed to meet up with a few of hers. One of them took me by surprise as he was an older guy, mid-40’s as a guess, with a nice round tummy. And, I do certainly have a thing for older, round-tummied men.
Once the day out had ended and I was back home, I wrote him a message asking if, because he was single, if he’d ever consider having a male companion. He told me he was cool with me being gay and liked me as a friend, but was only really interested in women. It’s a bit of a blow to discover this is a straight-crush, but that’s besides the point. Even if it never goes romantic, he still seems like he’ll be a great friend to me.
The point is that he’s a smoker. He told me he only does about 3 a day, so it could be a lot worse. But, regardless, smoke is still smoke. I’ve had a highly adverse attitude to smoking for as long as I can remember, partially because of how it’s a key sign of falling for peer pressure, partially because of all the health-risks it imposes (I do actually wander if I have some milder form of asthma, given how easily I get out of breath when I attempt to run or jog, but I’ve never been diagnosed or anything. I also can’t help but think that it can’t taste all that good to kiss someone who smokes. Perhaps that’s something that could be resolved with a good tooth-brushing, but if it tastes as bad as it smells, I’m not all too sure.
All that being said, I did still fancy this guy, despite knowing he smoked. He was friendly and charming and, in my eyes at least, a very good looking fellow. So, I do question if smoking should be something I put to one side when looking for guys. Therefore, I ask, what should I do if I come across another man I fancy and they also turn out to be a smoker? Do I favour my metaphorical heart, or the one that pumps blood around my body? Or, maybe something in-between?
I guess this is the curse of being attracted to rounder guys. They might be better for rubbing and snuggling up against, but they’re rarely the result of a healthy lifestyle.
* * *
Since this fellow is straight then there is no issue about kissing, and since he only smokes three fags a day, I'm sure you can hang out once in a while and avoid the smoke. Put that one aside.
Yes, smoking is a bad habit and I, too, avoid smokers. My parents were horrible smokers. I would come home from school and there would be fog banks of smoke in the house and the walls turned yellow with tar. I am convinced, too, that this was the source of all the earaches and infections I got as a child, which eventually led to a burst abscess in my ear and partial deafness. I despise smoking, especially cigarettes. I do admit, though, that I love the smell of a good pipe. It's weird that I find pipes sexy and attractive, but cigarettes make me retch. And it's not just the mouth of the smoker that is affected. Most smokers' clothes also smell of smoke, as do their homes. So, yeah, blech.
I wouldn't necessarily call smoking a moral failure, however. My mother started smoking after she gave birth to my sister and gained weight. This was back in 1962, and her doctor recommended she take up smoking to lose weight. There are still people today who smoke as a way to keep from eating too much. Also, cigarette companies fill the tobacco with nicotine to deliberately get people addicted, so there's that. As for older guys with tummies being unhealthy.... Hehe, well, when you get a bit older and your metabolism slows down it becomes more and more difficult to keep yourself thin. Back when I was in my twenties I could eat about anything and my weight was 140 lbs (63 kg). Today, I give a sideways glance at a brownie and gain three pounds. It is even harder for women than men to lose weight because of their physiology being designed to maintain fat to sustain producing children. Another thing, too, can be medications. My fiance is overweight because the medications he takes for various problems stemming from his military service cause him to gain and maintain pounds. There are a number of drugs out there that do this, and you can't do much about it if you have to take the medicine to survive. So lets' not be too judgmental, shall we?
As for falling in love with a chubby smoker.... Fall in love with the person, not the appearance, when it comes to weight. Habits are a different matter. Sometimes, if you fall in love with someone who, say, smokes, you can convince them to stop and help them to do so. (BTW, furs, vaping is bad for you, too; don't be fooled.)
Same with more difficult things such as alcohol and illicit drugs. It can be a tough row to hoe, though, and you really have to love them deeply to commit to that kind of stress. If you are just meeting someone like that for the first time it might be best to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Take it on a case-by-case basis. There is no catch-all answer that applies to everyone.
Dear Papa Bear,
Hello! My name is Coffee, and I am in my first relationship. I don't really know if it is a very official relationship. It was a bit sudden. It started when in a discord vc we got married as a joke and it was all fun and stuff. The day after he asked me if I would like to go on a date and date him. I had never really dated anyone before, I mean you could count kindergarten dates but I don't, and so I was pretty stunned that this would happen. He's a nice guy and he cares about me, but I don't know. I'm not sure if I like him as much or in the same way he likes me. The guy, let's call him Jake, I think likes me quite a bit. The problem is we live quite far apart. We have 13 hours between us, and so it can be a bit difficult keeping up with each other. This is not to say we haven't tried like working it out I guess, we had our date (we went on a movie night) and are planning to go on another one. However I don't whether this is fair for him, or I guess myself. He deserves being with someone that cares about him as much as he cares about them, and I guess I do too, which I think is a bit selfish. I'm not sure what to do. I kind of want to break up with him because I'm not as into the relationship as I would want to be, but I really don't know how to go about it. Do I vc him? Text him? I feel like it would be best to do it over vc but I don't know if I'm up to it. If I was given more time with him to really get to know him maybe I'd like him more but IDK. I apologize for this brain dump, I realize it might be all over the place but that's just how my mind is working through this problem right now.
Coffee (age 17)
I submitted a question about my relationship situation around a week ago and I wanted to remind you of it. I also wanted to tell you of some recent developments! I got some advice from a friend of mine that the next time my boyfriend (?) (I forgot what I called him in the last letter so I'll call him Wolfie) and I had a date that I should see how I feel after the date and break it to him. I'm grateful for her advice, and I trusted that she had my best intentions in mind. We have been friends for a couple of years now and we've helped each other through some hard times. Well, Wolfie and I were having a doodling date that night, so I made myself some coffee and put a little liquid courage in it before heading up and getting on VC. 40 minutes into the date he started kinda asking questions, and I told him how I felt. It might have been the extra ingredient in my coffee or my guilt but what I had struggled to tell him in previous conversations just spilled out. He understood where I was coming from and, albeit close to tears, told me that it was alright and that he would be willing to wait for as long as I needed. I thought, and still think, that Wolfie has a heart of gold and everything and that he loves me, but I guess this is the same problem as the one you discussed in your latest "He Wants to Hear I Love You Back" letter, but in the opposite person's view. I haven't felt a spark and we haven't spent much time together, and so I'm really not sure how to go about this. I've only ever had 2 crushes in my life, both of which were because the guy was extremely cute/handsome and neither of which were romantic. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I explained to Wolfie that I felt guilty in keeping him from finding someone who loved him like he loves me, but he insisted that he could be patient.
I hadn't really thought about it, but this new development has kinda made me question my romantic orientation. Am I demi? Am I aro? I've tried to read up on the romantic spectrum, and a lot of the aromantic stuff says that aromantics don't have an instinctual want for a romantic relationship, so I don't think I'm aro because I still feel the need to be held and still have some want for a relationship maybe way down the line. But at the same time, I'm not sure if I'm demi simply because my thoughts around relationships always were centered around the question of sexuality, and not so much romanticism.
I hope that this information will maybe help you keep a clearer picture of my situation.
* * *
You're overthinking this with regard to your sexual/romantic orientation. The reason you're having a hard time connecting romantically to Wolfie/Jake is simple: distance. You are 13 hours apart, right? Your relationship is mostly via the phone and the computer. This is a fairly new development in human relationships, so there is still much debate on social media and among sociologists and psychologists as to how feasible and practical LDRs really are. If you want Papabear's opinion, a relationship with little or no physical contact is lacking an essential ingredient that will leave both parties wanting. They simply are not satisfying.
Is it possible that, in the future, the two of you will be living in close proximity? If not, my opinion is that you are better off just being friends and that, in addition, this has no relevance to your romantic orientation. That is something you can only figure out when you've had a couple relationships of a physical nature (not meaning sex necessarily, but human beings need touch, hugs, kisses). If you do plan on living near each other or even with each other at some point, then have patience until that comes along and perhaps don't break it off just yet. Young people are always in such a hurry to make decisions about their lives that really should not be rushed into. You have time.
Hope this helps.
Hello Papa Bear,
My name is Kreed and I'm a 29 year old husky living in southern Louisiana. I've been in the fandom since pre-teens and have pretty much grown up with it and love it more than anything.
Now my problem is, I'm going to be turning 30 in October. I'm no longer going to be known as a young fur but a grey-muzzle now, ironically my beard is infact greying. My only problem is that the vast majority of the fandom are younger furs, and want nothing to do with an "oldie" like me, trust me I've tried befriending some.
So my question is if there's still a place for a greymuzzle like me in this fandom full of younger furs? Or should I hang up my sona and say thanks for the good run?
Borks and wags,
* * *
OMG yes! There is a place for you in the fandom and always will be! Are you on Facebook? If so, please join the Greymuzzle group there that I administer. We are 1,686 members and growing, with furries aged 30 to 74 (and no age limit on the higher end, of course).
In this bear's opinion, greymuzzles are hardcore furries. Yes, the majority of furries are in their teens and twenties, but many of those furries drop out of the fandom when they "get too old for childish stuff" and mutate into mundanes (how sad). Hardcore furries are furries for life with no limit because they are furries in their hearts and the only way one can change that is through invasive surgery ;-3
Do not hang up your fursona. Don't make me come over there and spank you, bad boy. Stay furry!
I just wanted to talk a bit about some things that have been bothering me (mostly relates to the furry fandom, I promise). Anyway, I've been a part of the furry fandom for technically 10 years ever since I discovered what fursonas were back in early high school (though my childhood love of anthro animals in Disney and WB cartoons actually predates my discovery of the fandom).
Anyway, for a while I grew interested in the artwork of certain furry artists on deviantART. Sure, the furry art was enjoyable but over time, I discovered the site known as FurAffinity. I lurked on there for quite a few years (still on there) but since I was a teenager, I was quite paranoid and anxious about it because I usually enjoyed the more...expansive furry art. It's kind of embarrassing but inflation and weight gain art was and is still very appealing to me but even though I very much favorite family friendly furry art and those artists I like too, it's been part of the reason I'm unsure of how to actually try and show my parents the tame (family friendly) side of the fandom so they don't get weirded out by the whole fandom and tell me not to do it even though I want to be a part of the community more, genuinely make friends and go to furcons/furmeets.
The thing is that I had gone through a very traumatic experience back in primary school where I was made fun of a lot but even worse, people made fun of my weight behind my back. It shattered my worldview and made me anxious, upset and scared people may have secretly hated me for so long and just were pretending to like me and I would have no idea who actually did it. It deeply affected me right into high school to the point where I was lonely, severely depressed and suicidal but even though I don't want to die now, I just want friends who understand me (I have friends but I barely see them and none of them are furries). That horrible experience still affects me to this day. I still am afraid of what people think of me and I have social anxiety at times and it's for that reason why I'm not sure about going to a furry convention because of all the squeakers and mutes that I'd feel unable to talk to and I'd feel intimidated too.
My parents (they're separated) do love me and are not religious because they thought we would be effectively brainwashed with hateful propaganda. The reason I stopped being a Christian years ago was because of the conservative bigots over the years who hate the LGBT+ community (I'm bisexual). It's just I never told them about the furry fandom except for this one time by PC froze up, my mum walked in and violated my privacy by going into my FurAffinity faves that I was browsing on which was both mortifying and infurating. She said it was disturbing (her words) and even though I empathized with her feelings, I've always by instinct minimized/muted my browser whenever I go out of my room because the thought of people looking into my...interests only makes me immensely uncomfortable because I fear being judged by my family when I already have a mild learning disability (Aspergers) and I already have a hard time dealing with loneliness and my frustrations with my own family after we split apart. They don't judge my disability and they are supporting me on that so that's good.
I don't want to keep hiding this fandom from them anymore. It keeps eating away at me and makes me feel worse about myself. I obviously feel uncomfortable showing the suggestive kink art but I'd rather show the family friendly works so they can at least understand (I hope).
Though all in all, what I'm trying to ask is is it wrong liking that artwork (even the family stuff), let alone being a furry?
I just want to know because this has been bothering me for a long time and I would love to get an answer as soon as you can.
Sincerely, Sam the dog (age 23, Australia)
* * *
You should know that in the furry world you are in good company. There is a plethora (love saying that word: plethora! PLEH-THOO-RAAH LOL) of furries who really like big furries, inflation, or both. Heck, there is a Facebook group that is not at all ashamed to call the group Fat Furry Fans, and there is a group of over 700 members called Inflatable Furries/Scalies. As a FurAffinity and deviantArt member who collects such art, you must surely be aware that these are popular subcultures within the subculture of furries in general, yes? So, while your experience within the mundane world involving shaming because of your weight is indeed harsh, I firmly believe you will be much more accepted at furry conventions and other social gatherings than you are in the mundane world.
Addressing the whole parent thing: While it is important for a parent to have an interest in their kids' lives and behaviors, and they should try to protect them from harm, it is intrusive to spy on sexual behavior--at least, legal sexual behavior. Everyone has private sexual habits that are not for everyone's eyes, and sneaking onto your computer to check out what you like in porn is a violation of your privacy and trust. Many parents think that trust is a one-way street, but it should be both ways: you should trust your parents and they should trust you. You don't sneak onto their computers and they shouldn't sneak onto yours. That said, having a secretive behavior is not cool, either.
This is, admittedly, a tricky thing in families. You want to be open and have good communication, but on the other paw, you have a right to some privacy. I'm sure Mom and Dad have some sexual proclivities they are not anxious to tell you about, too. Parents, under the law, have certain rights and responsibilities, including providing you with food, clothing, and a secure environment. However, you are now 23, which is legal age, so they have absolutely NO business butting into your business. Just because you have Asperger's is no excuse to treat you like a child, either.
It should be noted here, though, that online sexual behavior between minors or between a minor and an adult is illegal, both federally and in most states in the United States. You, of course, are from Australia, where it is also illegal, and a penalty of up to two years in prison is possible there. Because of these laws--which are pervasive internationally--it can be dangerous for you to explore sexuality online. This, sorry to say, is particularly true with furry sites because a huge part of the demographic is under 18 years of age. The part where you have to be careful is with any art or real-life photos that show minors (some furries into the babyfur scene have discovered that, sad to say), all of which can be classified as child pornography. Also, doing sexual RP online with someone who is a minor can be construed as breaking the law. This is particularly difficult in the furry world because there are people online who are under 18 who pose as adults when they RP or share art. You must be very very very cautious.
Bottom line: 1) According to your letter, your parents sound pretty cool for the most part; strike up an honest conversation with them about your interest in furries. Tell them you appreciate their interest in your life and their desire to keep you safe, but do insist that you deserve a little privacy when it comes to sex just as you respect their privacy on such matters; 2) keep your regular furry behavior and your sexual interests separate--at least, while you still live with your family; if you save art, keep it on an external drive that you keep in a safe place or in the cloud or somewhere where it is not readily available to someone without a password. You can fave art on your FurAffinity page and keep it from prying eyes by logging out of FA when you go offline and then using your password to get back in. Never share your password with anyone, obviously, even people you think you can trust; 3) and once you have your G furry life separated from your adult furry life, open up more about your furriness to your parents, with an emphasis that there is a HUGE difference between being a furry and one's sex life and that the two are not bound together in the furry community (i.e., furry isn't about sex; it is about furry fun is all). Finally, you're 23. Time to move out of your parents' house and start your own life. You can do it. Mild Asperger's should not hinder you.
It is okay for you to be furry. It is okay to have sexual desires. It is okay if those sexual desires are "unconventional" as long as you are not hurting people (e.g., rape is not okay, child molestation is not okay, but you are not engaging in either of those, so you're cool).
Hope that helps.
Big Bear Hugs,
It’s been quite a while since I wrote my first letter, and I never properly thanked you what you’d written me. So, Thank you very much! Your kind words helped me decide to really buckle down. In the year to come, I have chosen to focus my career and school involvement on film. I’m truly excited to see what the future holds for me.
This letter is also focused on the future, or rather, my future with someone. At the start of this year I met a fantastic guy at a furry con. Something struck me about him and inspired me to reach out to him after the convention. The two of us have been talking with each other daily since then, and have met up several times at conventions through the year. On a deeper level we’ve both helped each other through difficult times this past year, the loss of his father, and the animosity I perceived from certain friends. Even more recently we spent a fantastic weekend together; exploring towns, attending a furry pool party, and more.
During that weekend I asked him what he would call us. He expressed that he felt we were very close friends, and followed by asking me if what I felt for him was love.
While holding him in my arms, I told him yes.
It takes me a while to fall in love, He told me the same about himself. He comes from a very strict background and opening up is hard for him. But he wants to open up to me, and he even gave me tips on how to help him with it.
I know that I love him, and knows it too. At every turn he has shown me that it’s okay, and that he truly appreciates my affection. But, he also expressed that he has yet to feel a spark, and seems to genuinely want to.
I want this to be his decision, I don’t want to convince him. I guess my question is,
Is it okay to want things?
At the close of my last relationship, I asked myself the same question. I keep getting close to why I feel it’s not okay for me to want things; I fear that my selfishness will hurt someone. That if it’s meant to be it will be, and if it’s not…. It still hurts.
I wanted this to be a shorter or a simpler problem than last time.… Anything you think may help will always be appreciated.
* * *
Glad to hear that you have some exciting things going on in your life.
Is it okay to want things? Yes and no. On one paw, everyone has wants and desires in life, and feeling guilty about that because you somehow feel selfish or unworthy is something that many misguided people endure.
Let's rephrase your question: Are you worthy of love and happiness? Absolutely, you are. It is not selfish to want to be happy and to have people in our lives to love.
Where we get into problems is when we have clingy, needy, codependent love. Love can be demanding and selfish and one-way. These are unhealthy expressions of love that are often born of low self-esteem and usually end up destroying relationships.
In your case, no, I don't think you are being selfish, clingy, or unreasonable. You are approaching this with caution and creating communication with your love interest that is open and honest. Wonderful! Great job!
The question now becomes: Will he love you back? There's no way I can answer for him, of course. Clearly, he has affection for you, so that is a solid start. Also, the best and most dependable love relationships begin with good friendships. Blessed are they who find love with their best friends!
My advice to you in this case is just take it slowly. Keep the communication open; keep doing things with him and share good times. Don't push him or nag him to answer the question, "Do you love me back?" For some reason, he might not be ready for that just yet, but that doesn't mean he won't ever be.
This will sound very open-ended and inconclusive, but just enjoy what you have now and see where it goes. Live in the moment. It's fine to let him know what you are feeling, but don't press him. When the moment is right and he decides, he will tell you.
Love is a marathon, not a sprint.
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