I began dabbling in the furry fandom when I was 19, and in college (early 2014ish). I went to a small college, and I didn't know a whole lot of furries (though I did know a lot of bronies), so I hung around with other furries on the internet. I have never been to a convention, though I've always wanted to go, but didn't have the money, the opportunity, nor my parents's approval. I have never owned a fursuit (the closest thing to one I owned was a Kigurumi until I donated it due to my parents continuously mocking me over it). Then, I got a really nice engineering job in Jacksonville. I thought I was set, and could participate in conventions, meet actual furries in real life, not just behind a screen, maybe acquire a fursuit. But due to the sensitivity of the job, I had to undergo an extensive, and highly intrusive "background investigation" (i.e. list every social media post, alias or "identity" I have ever held, credit card history, list people I was close with, etc.). I panicked. I wasn't sure if my association with the furry fandom, let alone having a secret fursona, was going to be a liability, or even prevent me from holding the job. In a frenzy, I shut down every furry/fursona-related account I had and disappeared off the internet, I didn't even tell anyone why.
Many years have passed, and I managed to make normal friends IRL (still single though). And to this day, no one in my current circle of friends knows about my past furry life. Making it more complicated is the fact that most of the people I know have a very net-negative view of furries (one of them even jokes about how he used to bully furries on 4Chan). But that is a separate issue. I want to meet people who share my interest in furry stuff. And now that the social stigma around furries has (sort-of) lightened, and become more mainstream, I figured I want to get back into it.
Over the past few months, I started to contemplate jumping back in to the fandom, and find people who actually share my hobbies and enthusiasm, but it has been years. Everyone I knew before online has run off. Most of the furry groups in this state are now defunct, save for Megaplex and maybe Gainesville Furs. And most of the surviving groups seem to be geared towards much, much younger (just barely out of high-school) furries. I want to create a new local-ish group to meet, but I'm afraid no one in the fandom even knows me, and I have no clue what a good furry meet would even look like. Is there a way for me to start over, despite being out of it for so long and jumping in kind of late? Or has my time passed and I should just close the door?
Tactical Furball (age 27),
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Dear Tactical Furball,
The past is the past and is, often, best left there. My advice to you would be to start anew as if you had never before dabbled in the fandom. You don't have to change your fursona name if you don't want to, but just start creating accounts on various social media and gaming (if you like) sites, reintroduce yourself and have fun. If someone recognizes you from the past, simply explain what happened and that you are coming back to the fandom. Most furries will understand the circumstances that led to your earlier decision to leave and will be glad you returned.
As for furmeets and running them, they can be whatever you like them to be. I would suggest setting up a page on MeetUp.com and see if you can attract some interest there. Meetups can be anything from movie or game night at your place to bowling or bar meets (for the older furs), going to parks or beaches or the lake or camping. Whatever you wish.
If you like, I invite you to join my Facebook Greymuzzle group. Over 2,000 greymuzzles there, and I'm sure you'll meet some in your state if not more locally. (Remember to answer the questions to join or you won't be allowed into this closed group).
Finally, as for your coworkers and nonfurry friends, that goes on a case-by-case basis. You should know your friends well enough to figure out which ones are cool and which ones (like that guy who torments furries online--you should dump him) are not. Tell the ones who are cool and don't tell the ones who are butt munches.
I’ve heard of this term "species dysphoria." Is this a valid term? I sometimes feel like I’m just going crazy, but I still just don’t know what I am. There are days I feel like I am a human being, but there are days where I just don’t. It stresses me. I hope my best friend doesn’t judge me for it. I have a very good feeling he wouldn’t; he’s always a very open-minded person and a huge sweetheart. But I’m scared about the chance of him rejecting my possible identities. However, I do remember we talked about how there are so many things in this world we probably don’t know the truth to and probably never will, and he explain that he does believe that maybe it can be possible for someone to be some kind of therian deep within their being. So, I do know he’s a very open-minded person.
I am in my 20s now. I turned 20 recently. I feel like my body has been going through so many strange feelings. I always try not to think about the worst-case scenario, but it’s hard.
I just worry I’m going crazy. I want to talk to my therapist about it, but I’m worried she’ll misconstrue [this].
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There is, indeed, such a thing as species dysphoria (called Species Identity Disorder among mental health professionals), the feeling that you are inhabiting a body that is the wrong species. Are you familiar with otherkin? Otherkin are those who feel, for one reason or another, they are not human. This can mean they feel "other" in a spiritual/psychological sense or that they are actually, physically different but are concealing their true form under a human guise. I have met otherkin who believe they are from another world that faced some kind of cataclysm and they had to come here and take human shape in order to survive. Others believe they come from another dimension or that they are of an angelic or demonic origin. Some of these otherkin are in an animal form, some are more like a species of elf or other humanoid (but not human) race.
Species dysphoria is comparable in some ways to sex dysphoria (often incorrectly, in my opinion, called Gender Identity Disorder since "gender" just refers to social standards of what is "male" and "female" while "sex" is biological) in that both involve feeling that your physical form does not match who you truly are. It is interesting that psychologists are coming to accept sexual dysphoria as a real thing, but species dysphoria is regarded as a type of mental illness. But I have to ask, if one can feel that they are, say, a woman in a male body, why can't one feel as though they are, again as an example, a lion or a dragon in a human body? (Unfortunately, while surgery can replace male parts with something simulating female anatomy, the same is not true for turning someone into another animal--just don't watch the horror movie Tusk.)
In "Furries from A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism)" by Kathleen Gerbasi et al, published in the journal Society and Animals (August 2008), the authors surveyed over 200 furries at a convention and found that nearly half (46%) had, to a lesser or greater extent, some feeling that they were not entirely human. This coincides fairly well with my experience with furries in that about half of them feel they are furry while the other half are hobbyists and are just doing this for fun (in the same way as a Trekkie might dress up as a Vulcan at a Star Trek convention but never considers themselves to be an actual Vulcan).
So why do many furries feel this way? There are a couple of possibilities, and I will just touch on them here (this could be a book, seriously). One possibility is social. Many furries feel rejected by (or reject) humanity and their own humanness, which leaves them feeling disconnected to the extent that they literally do not wish to be human. When one feels this way intensely and long enough, it can become ingrained in your very being. Another possibility depends on whether or not you feel reincarnation is possible and, perhaps, furries with species dysphoria are recalling former lives as some type of animal (or even alien species). The third possibility has to do with empathy: a deep connection with another animal, one so intense that it begins to fill one's own being. This is kind of how I feel about bears. I feel very connected to these beautiful and majestic animals, almost feeling like they are a part of me.
Or, we could just be crazy.
But I don't think it's that last one. The definition of "crazy" to me means that our perception does not match reality. But if the reality is that we are deeply connected to another species, are we truly crazy? No. No, I don't believe that. Also, if we are really crazy, it would make it impossible to function in this world.
This all keys into a core belief of mine: we are not our bodies. Even many "mainstream" humans believe this. They believe we are our "soul." But our soul or spirit or essence or ego is not the same thing as our flesh. Our flesh is just something we use to travel around in this reality. The spirit that is within us is connected to all spirit that inhabits this universe. Truly, we should not limit ourselves to thinking that we are just Homo sapiens. That is just a species. You know what I think? I think many furries (and others who don't know about furries or are connected in other ways) have freed themselves of the constraints of species and open themselves up to an interconnectedness with all creatures and spirits.
Don't let it "stress" you if sometimes you don't "feel human." That's just you reaching outside of your physical limitations. That's just you stretching your spirit and embracing the life that is all around you. Just like a man who refuses to let society say they can't wear a dress or makeup if they choose to, you are rejecting having others impose upon you their standards of what you should look and feel like.
Bottom line: you are not crazy. You're merely struggling with trying to live up to the limitations imposed upon you by our neurotic society that insists on making everyone look and act like we are all the same.
But we are not all the same, are we? Instead of fretting about it, embrace it, explore this otherness you are feeling. You can still do that and function within our lame society. You can attend class or go to work with your human persona firmly in place, but when you have a quiet moment to yourself, you can explore outside your physical self and the rigid standards of humanity. What's cool is that you have an entire furry community that you can talk to about it and who won't call you crazy because we sympathize and empathize with you.
Hope that makes you feel better.
Hi, I really need help. At school I’m constantly bullied for being a furry, it has be happening for 4 months. A whole sixth-grade class will bully me when they leave the cafeteria. They supervisors helped on the 3rd month, but they still bully me. Whenever they walk past my lunch table I always get quiet and fell very uncomfortable. It has also been making extremely emotional lately. Do you have any advice?
Skyla (age 11)
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I won't ask how the entire school discovered you are a furry. They know, so now you need to deal with that. You have done the right thing by telling the school about the bullying (and I hope you have also told your parents). Keeping adults informed of what is going on is important. You should also keep track of bullying that happens to you, either by writing it down (include people's names when you know them) or taking pictures of video with your phone (if you have one). If you are being bullied online or on your phone, block all bullies. Do not interact with them; do not reply to them. Just block them. Bullies thrive on knowing they are bothering you, and they slink away like wounded weasels when they know they can't affect you.
This brings us to the most important way to fight bullying. It's not fighting, of course (if you are being physically threatened, report it immediately to the school, your family, and even police). No, the way to fight bullies is to show that what they do doesn't bother you. By this, I don't mean doing what you described where you "get quiet and feel very uncomfortable." That is exactly the kind of reaction bullies like because they know they are getting to you. Bullies do what they do because they can only feel better about themselves by putting other people down and making them feel bad. Groups of bullies (like that 6th grade class) bully a kid that they feel is weak; groups do this as a way to bond socially with each other (they have something in common in that they make fun of a kid they all think is below them). This is wrong, but this is how a lot of immature people behave.
If you feel confident about yourself and who you are, then bullies can't affect you. For this to work, you have to be comfortable with being a furry. Since you are just 11 years old, I have to guess that you are a furry because you simply enjoy cartoon and animated animals and like the idea of pretending to be like one of these characters, right? There is nothing wrong with that. Liking anthropomorphic (humanlike animal) characters is something that millions of children and adults enjoy. That's why animated movies like Sing, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and Zootopia are so popular, as well as cartoons like Sonic the Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and PAW Patrol and book characters like Winnie-the-Pooh and the heroes in the Redwall stories. There are a lot of reasons why people of all ages like stories featuring animals who talk and act like people, but it would take too long to describe them here in this column, so let's just acknowledge that millions of people read and watch such stories.
If kids at your school ask you why you are a furry, just say, "Well, I just like cartoons and movies and stuff (like the ones I mentioned), like a lot of people do. I even bet you like them, too, right?" Ask them to mention some shows they like, and I bet at least some of them have furry characters in them. And if they ask if you pretend to be a character like that, just say that this isn't weird either. People dress up as monsters for Halloween or Marvel and DC Comics heroes at Comicon. People also like to play video games in which they pretend to be comic book heroes or even (shocking!) furry characters like Sonic, Angry Birds, Spyro the Dragon, Starfox, or Crash Bandicoot. Ask them if they have ever played one of these, and if they have, well, they have enjoyed a furry game!
Once you see that you have nothing to be ashamed about, then their teasing will be senseless and have no power over you. Now, I realize that part of the problem, too, is that you want to be accepted by your schoolmates and not mocked by them, right? Everyone wants to be accepted. But you should only want to be accepted by people who are dope. If you talk to people, you will get to know who is awesome and who isn't. Bullies are phony, and you don't want them as friends. If bullies tease you, my reply is always, "Wow, that would really hurt my feelings if I cared about your opinion or who you are." See, you have to take away their power. You do that by not caring who they are or what their opinions are. People who are mean just to hurt people are not worth your time.
To summarize, this is how to deal with this problem:
One last thing, if the bullying gets really bad, call the Stop Bullying Now Hotline at 800-273-8255.
Remember, the special people in the world are not normal. Dare to be weird!
Do you know any sources on where to find furries near San Antonio, Texas?
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Easily done. You know, there is the Alamo City Furry Invasion, right? Go here https://www.furryinvasion.org/ to learn about this con. Going to a local con is a great way to meet people. Also, there is the Mission City Hero Fest coming up December 11! It is for both furries and anime fans. Go here https://furdar.org/group/90-san-antonio-furry-connexion to register while there's time!
Next, go to San Antonio Furry Connexion hosted at Furdar at https://furdar.org/group/90-san-antonio-furry-connexion. That site will give you information on local furry events. Next, broaden your scope to encompass Texas and you will find some more furcons to attend, such as Texas Furry Fiesta in Dallas as well as the Arlington and Plano Fur Meets. There is also a Houston Furry Meetup group at https://www.meetup.com/houtxfurries/. I'm not sure how mobile you are, but it doesn't hurt to connect to other furry groups in your state to make connections.
Sad to say there WAS a Texas Furries group from about 2012 to 2017, but it closed its doors for some reason.
Furdar.org is a great way to find what out things going on in your area, furrywise. As well, you can create an account on Furmap.net, which shows you locations of registered users. I just went on there and found 7 furries in San Antonio.
Check it out!
Finally, there is another option for you: sometimes, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. So, why not start your own San Antonio Furmeet! Start by going to the resources I mention above and then announce your intention to start your local meet. Register an account at Meetup, or create groups on your favorite social media outlets.
Hey there, Papabear!!
I think this might be the third time I've written to you. I was able to follow your past advice, and it turned out really well!
On to the question.
Thanks to you, I was able to tell my parents about my interest in the furry fandom, and they are accepting of me! They just see it as a hobby, and are going to help me make a fursuit! But there are a few things.
I don't know if I should tell them about the sexual side of the fandom. I mean, almost all fandoms can get sexual, but the furry fandom is known exclusively for it.
And second, how do I tell them about me wanting to go to a furcon? There's one coming up in 2022, but it's really close to my sister's birthday, and I feel like they'll say no.
Normally, I would be fine with that, but the con coming up is the only one in my state scheduled next year.
What do you think I should do?
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Dear Candy Bear,
I'm glad to hear that your parents are being pretty supportive of your furriness.
When it comes to sex in the fandom, you should certainly know that the furry fandom was designed for adults, not 13-year-olds such as yourself. Neverthless, many young kids are attracted to the fandom because it is fun and creative and playful and they like the idea of pretending to be an anthro animal.
The way to avoid any upset on your parents' part when it comes to adult imagery is to make certain you are 100% transparent with them. That is, you don't hide anything you do online or on your phone. Indeed, you should encourage their supervision of your activities. It is not just the fandom that has X-rated stuff. It is all over the internet.
Do your parents monitor what you do online now? They should, but whether they do or not, you should have a sit-down discussion with them about online porn, trolling, and child predators. Have an honest discussion about this. They will likely feel you are very mature and smart for doing so. What you say is, basically, this: "Mom, Dad, we all know there is a lot of bad stuff online. Some of it is pretty scary. I want us to talk about it and I want you to help me stay safe online, including in chat rooms and stuff. There is a lot of porn out there and also I have heard there are adults and mean kids who like to bully you and even threaten you. I want to talk to you about how I can keep safe online and still have fun talking to friends and doing my hobbies and doing stuff for school."
I think they will be proud of you for opening such a dialog. In the meantime, keep away from furporn. That means, for example, stay away from websites like FurAffinity, which is filled with X-rated art. Maybe stick with furry chat groups on, say, Facebook, which has strict policies against sexual imagery and harrassment.
When it comes to cons for someone your age, of course it is best to have your parents there with you. That said, I'd like to suggest you try a virtual furcon first. There are many of them, especially since the onset of COVID. One going on right now is Furality, which uses VRchat. Oh, and you might want to sign up for VRchat anyway. It's cool. Here is a list of online furcons you can check out: https://en.wikifur.com/wiki/List_of_online_furry_conventions. The beauty of that is that you don't have to travel!
Now, to participate in a con (online or not), you'll need to register, so you will likely need your parents' help with money (cons are anywhere from $30 and up) and also get them to sign a consent form, probably, because you are a minor. Hopefully, they will do that, and, again, encourage them to watch over you. A virtual con is much cheaper than a real-world con because there are no hotel or food or travel expenses. It's a nice introduction to furcons. Eventually, though, you will want to go to a real, brick-and-mortar furcon, but let's leave that alone for this coming year and address it in 2023.
Oh, and have fun at your sister's birthday. Cherish these times with your family. Sisters and brothers are great. I love my sister so much, and I hope you do, too!
Okay I would like to ask you if I ever want to start a furcon at other countries. I am seeking profits and the furcon is a non-profitable furcon. What are your best advices? I found you through a YouTube video by "Scar The Furry."
Vinny (age 19, Malaysia)
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Founding and running a furry convention is a highly complex and work-intensive endeavor. (And THAT is likely the understatement of the decade for this column). I don't recommend you pursue it unless you have a LOT of help from people, especially people who have helped to run a convention in the past. Also, don't expect to make money running a furcon. You will be lucky if you break even. Establishing and running a furcon is a labor of love, not a way to make a living (although some companies like Corgi Events LLC are trying to do that). Many furcons declare themselves nonprofit organizations by contributing some or all of their profits to a charity. This has the advantage of making the furcon tax-free (at least, in the U.S.A. it does; I have no clue how this works in other countries).
I've attended cons and volunteered at them, but I have never tackled the administrative side of a con. Here is a link with some advice from someone who knows more about such things. There are a lot of good insights on that web page to give you a pretty well-rounded idea of all the work that is involved. This is from an American perspective, though, and you will need to check laws and regulations in (in your case) Malaysia.
I was barked at on my way home from school, and was handed a homophobic note in my locker. I don't know how to handle this. I know I'm not supposed to come to you about this. I just need some advice. I'm sorry.
Alice (age 13)
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There is no reason why you can't come to Papabear for this question. I'm happy to help.
I'm assuming "barked at" means that your fellow students know you are a furry, as well as gay. I'm sorry you're having to go through this, but it is quite common when one is at school. I, too, was often mocked and even beaten up at school for being different. Here is my advice to you:
First of all, make sure adults know what is happening. Show the note to your parents and also to the school administration. You might not know who put the note there (bullies are notorious cowards), but just making adults aware of what is going on will help to put them on the lookout for future incidents. This is not being a tattle tale. It's being smart.
Second, keep records of EVERY case of bullying, taunting, and any other abuse. That means, keep copies of anything written (on paper, in text, etc.). You can also record video chats, although it's a little more complicated. Here is a video on how to record vidchats on your Android, and if you have an iPhone, it's a bit easier to do this. If you are being bullied face to face, you can simply use video record on your mobile device. Keep a journal about any incidents, too, and record times and dates and describe the people involved if you don't know their names.
If you feel in any way physically threatened at school, again, tell the school administrators. When you are not on school grounds, it might be a good idea to carry pepper spray with you. Do you walk in a safe area? Make sure you don't walk alone in dark or remote areas. You might also consider taking self-defense classes.
[Note: I've gotten some feedback on Facebook about my advice on telling school admins about the bullying. While I say you should still do this, it is true that some schools are not responsive to bullying claims. In such cases, that is when you need parents as allies. One psychologist, Dorothy Espelage, a Ph.D. Professor of Childhood Development, said this: "If a parent has repeatedly gone to the school about their child, his or her child being bullied and they feel that the school is not being responsive, I often say these are your choices. When I talk to parents, I say, "Can you get your child out of the school?" If you can get your child out of the school, do that because we know that in some cases just moving the child away from a non-responsive, unsupportive administration may actually reduce the bullying. In many cases that's not an option, right. It just would be too much disruption for a family to move so I then say, "You know, have you thought about seeking legal counsel because increasingly schools will respond to a lawyer calling versus a parent that has repeatedly called. If they don't want to go that route, then reach out to some professionals in your area and try to put pressure on the school administrators and go to the school board and have a conversation about how it is that the administration has been non-responsive. What we don't want to do is the parents sit back and wait for the school to respond because they will not. The schools are failing miserably in responding to bullying incidents in our schools, and parents have to be proactive, and so please think about removing your child, seeking legal counsel, or going to the school board to hold that administrator accountable."]
I don't mean to scare you by the above; I'm just covering all the bases. Judging by your email, it hasn't gotten dangerous yet. You are just facing some moron cowards who are making fun of you to feel better about themselves, which is, of course, pathetic. You should keep that in mind: What they are doing is juvenile, cowardly, and a poor reflection on their character. It is NOT evidence that YOU are in any way a bad person. You are growing up in a world that hates people who are different, whether that is because of race, income, sexual orientation, or being a furry.
Alice, I know you feel bad and maybe embarrassed by what happened, but it should actually make you feel special. It is not the ordinary and accepted people on this planet who are special, it is the weird people who challenge social conventions that make the world wonderful. People like you.
Do not feel alone. You are not alone because you have an entire furry community who is like you and who are there to be your friends. You also have a huge LGBTQI community. Don't worry about getting approval from derps and twits like the ones who left you that note or barked at you. They're losers. They are the sort of people who make this world a crappy place. Why would you want their approval? You shouldn't.
You're a special person because you are unique and willing to find out who you really are as a person rather than trying to be like everyone else. The fact that you are an individual and not a conformist is what irritates boring people like those who have mocked you.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Do you think it makes a person happier if they just accept something they don't want to accept? Like, a group having a huge flaw such as bias, but the person doesn't want to accept it because they're afraid it'll ruin their perception of the group and make them hate it (because maybe the group saved their life).
Like, maybe this person is in a fandom and they LOVE this fandom. It makes them happy and they have a lot of good memories of it, but like any fandom, it has flaws. Like, maybe the fandom has a toxicity problem, and to this person the thought of the community that makes them happy being one with a toxicity problem is revolting to them and they deny it.
And this person is me. Honestly, it's bugging me right now. I know that the furry fandom is what you make of it, but I feel like I need to be aware of its issues and use that to be a better furry and a better person. I don't think I'm being clear about what I'm trying to ask, and I'm sorry for that.
I just hope you at least get what I'm trying to say.
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If you refuse to participate in any kind of group that has problems in it (e.g., drama, jerks, bad people) then you will never ever join any group (including the human race). I hear complaints all the time about the "toxicity" of the furry fandom. I've been in the fandom for many many years, and I have no problem with it and find the vast majority of furries to be great people. You only get sucked into the "toxicity" if you allow yourself to be and if you hang out with bad furs. Like arsenic in a cup of tea, it only takes a drop to make the entire drink deadly. This is what often happens with furry meetup groups. Many of them are great, but some get taken over by awful people who ruin everyone's fun. This can be a big bummer when that local furmeet group is the one close to you. What I tell furries who have this problem is that they should have a bit of chutzpah and organize their own meetup group. Have meets at local parks, bowling alleys, farmers' markets, whatev, and just have fun with it. When you're in charge, you have the power to tell problem-makers to exit the doggie door and don't come back.
When it comes to the entire fandom and the criticism it has received, there are two things to say about that: The first is that media are finally starting to understand that furry is not a bad thing and, in fact, can do a lot of good. We give to charities, and furcons boost local economies, and no, it is not a big orgy and a sex cult. Sheesh. The bad attention that continues has to do with the fact that today's news (at least in the U.S., but other countries too) is all about sensationalism to gain viewers. Of the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of furries out there, I've seen maybe 4 or 5 stories that were legitimate horrible crimes committed by furries or that involved furries in some way. That's actually a lot less than the general population, but when a "journalist" notes that a furry was involved, everyone suddenly gasps and says, "Furries are evil!"
You say you love the fandom. Great! If you are enjoying the fandom, then continue to do so, and don't worry about a few bad eggs. But, if it really does bother you that much, then do something about it by being a GOOD furry and setting an example to the world that furries are pawsome!
Hi, Papa Bear,
I'm having a little bit of a, I guess you could call it a "furry crisis?" I've started reading Beastars (and I've been a furry way before that, so that's not the problem), and I've noticed I'm attracted to anthropomorphic characters. Yes, I've played furry dating sims before out of boredom or curiosity and grew fond of characters or even attracted to them.
I feel like I'm rambling. Sorry for my bad wording -- I'll just cut to the chase. I'm attracted to anthros on occasion, and I'm wondering if that's the same as bestiality or zoophilia. I don't look at real animals and feel sexually attracted to them, just for reference, and I find people who are pretty disgusting.
I'm just kind of all confused about this and it's causing me some pretty bad stress, even though it isn't a bad idea. What've been your experiences with this sorta situation?
Margo the Skunk
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*Ahem* I think you will find that a majority of furries (not all) are attracted to anthros and that is a big reason we are furries. Like you, it does not mean we are into zoophilia and it is not bestiality. What it means is that we find the combination of human and animal characteristics attractive. Biologically speaking, the human attributes (such as human penises, women's breasts, the buttocks, etc.) still send a signal to our brains that this is something sexually stimulating, but, at the same time, we find physical characteristics such as fur, a fuzzy tail, a snout, claws and fangs, also very attractive.
In my humble opinion, though, it is not just these physical characteristics that we like but also the symbolism of animalistic sex and unrestrained gratification. You see, in Anglo society, anyway (not as much in the more liberated European society) and perhaps in Asian and Hispanic cultures, there is a lot of pressure to be sexually restrained and suppressed. This is especially true if you are not cis or straight, but it also applies to regular ol' hetero libidos in action. Anthro imagery represents sexual freedom in a lot of ways. For example, anthros often don't wear clothing (heck, even in cartoons for kids, they often go without pants), which is very liberating. They can also represent animalistic craving, the urge to mate and to do so with wild abandon. It's about breaking the chains that society places on sexual behavior.
Many people--mundanes especially--confuse furry attraction with zoophilia because they don't understand furries and leap to the wrong conclusions, as you have done here, I'm afraid. To be clear, I am only addressing the sexual aspect of furry here, since that was your question, but that is not the core of being furry. It is just one aspect of it.
I hope that answers your question. Don't get psyched out about your attractions. They don't make you a bad person and they certainly don't make you a zoophile.
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