Weed will be legal July 1st next your for recreation all across Canada, and this terrifies me. What if the economy fails in Canada because people will no longer work and will be unmotivated degenerates sitting in front of their TV screens becoming living 10 pin bowling balls. Because I know very little about weed and what it does other then it's a very bad drug based on what an OPP constable told me in the DARE program in my old public school.
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Thanks for your letter. So, yes, Canada already has legalized medicinal marijuana, and it will be legal for recreational use on July 1, 2018. Marijuana has gotten a bad rap since the early 1900s, when Mexican immigrants started coming in droves to the United States to work, bringing with them "marihuana." (Pardon me for mostly talking about the USA here, but it is still relevant to Canada).
Now, America had a long history of growing hemp to make rope and textiles, but taking it orally was limited to medicinal uses, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, for such things as increasing appetite and libido. When immigration came in from the South, a backlash against Mexicans began, and marihuana use was said to make Mexicans violent and dangerous (just another expression of racism in America). By the 1930s, there were all kinds of crazy exaggerations about marijuana as epitomized in the hysterical 1936 movie Reefer Madness, which portrayed weed use as if it were a mixture of LSD and cocaine. By 1970, the passage of the Controlled Substance Act had classified weed (cannabis) as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had no medicinal value (incorrect) and making it a crime eligible for long prison sentences. Bad propaganda was also spread, saying that weed was a "gateway drug" that led to harder drugs like heroine and crack.
About two decades later, however, the medical community began to recognize that cannabinoids in the plant did have helpful properties, especially regarding pain management, treatment of glaucoma, and for increasing the appetite of people on chemotherapy, but also for epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer's. While cannabis remained federally illegal, several states (California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Arizona, and Alaska) passed their own legislation making medical marijuana use legal.
Recreational use has been approved in five U.S. states: Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and, this year, in California.
Neither the medicinal nor the recreational use of cannabis in these states has resulted in increased crime or any other serious legal or social problems. In the meantime, money from sales has benefited these states. Also, since it is now legal, there is no reason to fill prisons with people who have been caught with a few ounces of Mary Jane in their pockets, so this stands to help reduce prison crowding.
So, who is still against marijuana? Well, liquor and cigarette companies who stand to see a reduction in sales, pharmaceutical companies that will lose sales on their expensive medications for which weed is just as effective, and private prison corporations and their employees (this is more of an American thing than Canadian) that stand to lose money if they lose population. Finally, a lot of old school law enforcement people (like your constable) still believe the hype about marijuana.
As a drug, cannabis use is no worse than alcohol, which is legal, and no worse for your health than cigarettes and e-cigs, which are also legal. So, my Canadian furiend, you are not going to see your fellow countrymen and countrywomen become a bunch of "unmotivated degenerates."
That all said, Papabear is against heavy use of drugs and alcohol because they are, bottom line, not healthy for you. So, avoid them if you can, but there is nothing morally wrong or evil or mind-destroying about weed. Remember, all things in moderation.
Oh, and there is another problem with cannabis cultivation: pollution. In California, marijuana farms in the north overuse fertilizers and pesticides that are damaging water supplies and killing endangered animals such as fishers.
These are all things to bear in mind when it comes to the controversial production and use of Cannabis sativa.
Hope that calms your fears but also gives you something to think about.
Hello, Papa Bear.
Before I begin, I would like to give a trigger warning for anyone reading. I will be talking about depression, self-harm, and suicide.
I have been depressed for two to three years. Recently, I was placed in a mental hospital for attempting suicide. I still struggle with self-harm and self-loathing, however the happiness within the furry fandom relieves that somewhat.
What I wanted to talk about is in regards to my recovery plan. My doctor has assigned me a therapist and prescribed antidepressants, but they also tell me that I need to work on my social dynamic. One of the main reasons why I became suicidal was a lack of connection with other people. I was always a reserved and introverted person, keeping to myself and not often sharing my emotions. But when my depression lapsed, this turned into an unhealthy type of isolation. Instead of simply enjoying being alone, I ended up cutting off all contact with everyone in my life, including my family, because I did not want to be emotionally close to anyone (or physically for that matter). I realize now that this was incredibly detrimental.
However, now my doctor is saying that I need to let people into my life and start developing friendships again. This is the very last thing that I want. I'm sixteen years old and in high school, and I have never been able to relate to the other people my age. While I want to discuss philosophy, politics, and art, they only seem to be interested in clothing, popularity, drugs, and superficial relationships. In every conversation, I'm at least three topics behind everyone else. It feels like I'm surrounded by toddlers. I know not to expect to get along with everyone, but so far I've only met one other person my age that I can actually trust. And they live halfway across the world. Anyone else ended up leaving for somewhat ignorant reasons ("You're asexual? Isn't that one of those made-up things people use to get attention?"). I'm not exactly the nicest person in the universe, but I thought I would be able to have a meaningful friendship with more than just one person. It's discouraging.
I have also had several negative experiences in the past, which may be a contributing factor for why I am not interested in having any friendships. Possibly the worst was with someone whom I trusted enough to admit to them that I was depressed. When I explained my feelings to them, they reacted by calling me selfish and several other terms I would rather not list here. Needless to say, I was somewhat disappointed. They continued to harass me over text and in person for about a week after the fact. Later, they gave a sorry excuse for an apology ("I'm sorry, but you really ought to consider how you make other people feel when you say stuff like that"). I honestly did not care enough to get mad or upset, so I told them they were right. They think we're still friends. But I don't.
I've had many other experiences similar to this, not necessarily always related to depression. I've sort of lost the ability to trust other people. Don't get me wrong, I have tried again and again to open up to people, but it's only ever worked out positively once. I know not to expect perfect fantasy-style relationships, but everything I've been through so far has crossed the line for what I consider to be mature and acceptable behavior. My family is this way as well.
Maybe the problem is me. I can't really imagine how or why, but it's the only explanation I can think of at this point.
I would like your opinion on this situation. What should I do?
I'm not close with my family and I really don't want to make friends. But without some sort of way to get my feelings out, I fear I may fall back into unhealthy habits.
Any help is much appreciated.
Cobalt (age 16)
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You are experiencing the complications of what I call "Old Soul Syndrome." Whether or not you believe what I'm about to explain is up to you, but one old soul to another, I feel for you.
To believe in the old soul concept, you have to believe in reincarnation. An old soul is someone who has lived before--the more times you have lived, the older your soul. Older souls tend to be more serious, wiser, and more intelligent than younger souls because they have experienced more. This does not necessitate your remembering what happened to you in your earlier lives. Those experiences are ingrained in you, so even if you don't recall earlier lives they remain in your soul.
Young or new souls are still figuring out what is important in life. They tend to be still wide-eyed and bushy-tailed about it, overly impressed with the material and sensual and less so by the spiritual and intellectual. Thus, they appear to older souls as shallow and overly self-involved.
The good news is that old souls are less prone to making foolish mistakes about their lives; also, the wisdom they have, if shared with others, can be a positive force in society. Old souls tend to be more sensitive, more emotional, more empathic, more sympathetic, more creative, more willing to look at the big picture about life and existence.
The bad news is that there are many more new than old souls in the world, so it is harder to find people with whom you can relate, which can lead to social isolation. Depression is also possible--usually as a leftover from tragedies you experienced in previous lives, but also as a result of feeling disconnected from most of humanity. Again, you don't recall past hurts, but the emotional scars carry through to your current life and future lives.
Yes, you need to socialize, but you need to socialize with other old souls because those are people you can see eye-to-eye with. Here is an interesting site run by Lonewolf that might help you: https://lonerwolf.com/old-souls/. And there is also a Facebook group run by Lonewolf here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/imanoldsoul/.
Check them out and let me know if those sites help you. I have a feeling they might.
Good evening, Mister Papa Bear.
First of all... Thank you, thank you, thank you for running this site! It means a world to a bunch of people, not to mention that you're selflessly trying to help others... I love you, Papa Bear.
I'll ask straight away - why do people suffer, Papa Bear :'(? Why is there so MUCH sadness, guilt, resent and discrimination? I'm naturally a very happy, positive person and also very much empathetic and compassionate, so, why? I'm doing my best to make other people feel more welcome and comfortable but it doesn't seem to work, and it bothers me, I'm not going to lie. It makes ME feel guilty for not being able to help someone in need.
I firmly believe that there's someone out there for everyone and that life is truly a blessing and a gift, but many people seem to not share the same beliefs. Sometimes, I'm unsure. Why do so many people go through life alone... rejected, bullied and discriminated all due to appearance and social status? Depressed, anxious and mentally unwell?
I'm very physically attractive and overall kind and compassionate, so I'm showered with attention (both wanted and unwanted) on a daily basis, while others to through months and even years without any positive attention at all. Why???
There's this guy in class I really like... He's shy, anxious, quiet and depressed but is still an overall kind soul. I like shy guys but they don't seem to like me due to my extroversion. He's also a curry, which makes things a lot better. I want to talk to him and get to know him better, but he's too damaged to reciprocate. He's often bullied and ridiculed. Oh, how i wish to help him, but I can't. Why is he tortured? Why is anyone tortured? Not only him, I want to help a lot of other people feel better on a daily basis, regardless of age, appearance and social status. Everyone deserves to be happy, because people are beautiful. Even the nasty ones...
Why does my optimism fail? What am I doing wrong? I want to help them, but I can't help them all...
It makes me so, so sad, I cannot express my sadness through text or words...
You should understand what I'm saying... Help me, Papa Bear, so that I'm able to help others.
Call me naive, but this is what my heart desires.
What should I do :(?
Caramel (age 16)
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First of all, I am blushing. You're very kind.
Gosh, those are HUGE questions you are asking, the kinds of questions philosophers have been asking since ancient Greece or before. Why do people suffer? What can I do to help them? Why can't people get along?
Basically, three questions. I try to limit letters to one, but will do my best to concisely answer you.
#1 Why do people suffer? There are two fundamental reasons for this: either they bring it upon themselves, or fate deals them a bad hand. The first one is easier to address. Many people suffer because their priorities are incorrect. They think success is defined by fame and fortune, and when they cannot get these things, they feel miserable. The answer is simply to aim for goals that are more compassionate and less materialistic. But that's not really what you are asking. You're asking why do good people suffer? There are a couple explanations for that, too.
The first is that there is suffering so that people who are not suffering can learn compassion. For example, a family who has a child with a horrible disease that means they need constant care and medical treatment. You might think this is a terrible burden on the family. Well, it is very stressful and hard, yes, but it also teaches us to care for others not matter the cost. This is a valuable spiritual lesson, one that not only can help a family grow, but an entire community. How many times have you seen stories where a family is in desperate need because of a sick child, and they reach out to their community and a flood of help comes to their aid? Sometimes, remarkable things happen, such as perfect strangers donating an organ to save a life. Such challenges can show the true, deeper spirit of humanity. Thus, a profoundly ill or disabled child is not living a wasted life because they serve as a focal point for teaching all of us what real love is.
Another reason is that we live in an existence of black and white, yin and yang. You cannot have light without the darkness. You cannot understand love if there is no hate. You cannot appreciate joy if you have never known sorrow. Our life here on this tiny blue marble is a training ground of our souls. We are here to experience these things so that we may grow spiritually. This is something that would be impossible if we all lived in paradise and faced no challenges. We are here to learn.
Perhaps less dramatic, but no less significant, is your classmate, who is an example of the former reason for suffering. There could be many reasons why he is shy, depressed, anxious, ranging from medical and emotional reasons to his living situation at home. You don't know. So, here we have another test of your humanity. This brings us to....
#2 How can I help others who are suffering? An important lesson I've learned in life is that one can only do so much. Sometimes, it is difficult to see all the misery going on in the world and not be able to do anything about it. I've often come across people in my life who are just too far gone to help--or who flatly refuse my help. The key is not to feel guilty that you can't always help. You're only one furry. When it comes to someone like your classmate, I suggest the open-door approach. This is when you make yourself available and welcoming to him without forcing him to do anything. For example, organize a little furmeet or other fun activity and extend an invitation to him. Make it fun by inviting people with a nice card with a written message inside. Another possibility is a movie. One thing about movies is that you can socialize a little before the film, but during the movie everyone is quiet and this affords a little break for him from any anxiety of being with others. Make these small gatherings so that he is not overwhelmed. During these little get togethers, make sure that you and any others who attend are completely accepting of him, do not judge him, and, most importantly, don't make him feel like a charity case. Just be very informal, have small talk, talk about things you like. Do not try to "fix him."
And don't be disappointed if he refuses. But, keep extending invitations on occasion. Perhaps, one day, he will accept. If not, you did what you could.
#3 Why can't people get along? Much of this stems from our long evolutionary background. When things were much more wild, life was constant competition for things like food and mates and territory. Despite becoming "civilized," we haven't truly evolved, for the most part. (However, I am encouraged to see an increasing number of spiritually evolving people who truly understand what life is about). Hence, everyone is in competition, and everyone who seems different (or more successful) is seen as a potential threat. This is the very basis of capitalism, which is why capitalism is doomed to implode one day: it is an unevolved economic philosophy. As Mr. Big says in Zootopia, "My child, we may be evolved, but deep down we are still animals."
You are one of the good ones, Caramel. Never lose sight of your compassion, but be careful not to allow yourself to become overwhelmed or consumed by other people's misery (don't forget your own happiness!) There are over 7 billion people on Earth, and we, as individuals, can only do so much. But that's okay. Your mere presence in the world makes it a better place.
It seems we may be on the brink of nuclear war due to North Korea. What steps can I take in the event of a probable attack?
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I really don't think we are on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. Kim Jong-un plays these games all the time. He likes to be a big shot, but he knows if he actually launched a strike on the USA or other country (e.g. Japan) then he would be nuked out of existence. A lot of N. Korea's missile tests fail, too.
If you really feel like you might need to survive a nuclear holocaust (provided you are not incinerated or die of radiation poisoning), there are lots of books you can buy on the subject that would give you far more information than I can. Some people are building underground condos with lots of room to store supplies, but who would want to live in a hole in the ground for the rest of your life? If you lived far enough away from any radiation zones, the survival techniques would be the same as any other survivalist handbook: learn how to hunt, find water, live off the land, defend yourself against aggressive humans and wildlife. It's not a pretty picture.
Of course, civilization could end in other ways, such as chemical attacks, or attacks on the grid that would plunge America into the nineteenth century again. Or perhaps an asteroid could strike the planet--one big enough to destroy civilization but not all life. Again, in any of these cases, you want to learn about survival skills.
I personally am not going to worry about this. It is beyond my control, and so many things in the universe and the world are beyond my control that could kill us all that if I worry about them I would not be able to live my life. The Yellowstone supervolcano could blow up, we could be fried by a gamma-ray burst, the sun could explode, and on and on. Worrying about this stuff will paralyze you with fear.
The future is uncertain. If you always worry about the future, you won't be able to function in the present (likewise, if you live in the past, you won't enjoy the present--something I'm currently struggling with).
Live for now. Enjoy today. It is all you have for certain.
Dear Papa Bear,
I'm a 32/15 year old Lion by now (two fursonas, one is 15 and behaves like 6) and I suffer from some psychological/mental problems..
Some years ago I fulfilled my biggest childhood dream and imported an electric toy ride on quad to Germany. I ever wanted one as child, but parents said I was too big for it. Twenty years later I proved they are wrong.
The problem I have is I'm jealous of kids that get attention when riding their toys. When a child is driving his toy quad or other thing, people come and say nice things like "Hey, I'm sure you are going to be a famous racecar driver when you're grown up," or simply "You’re great at riding it" or similar things. And they come and take pictures because the kids are so cute, but there are NO pics with me. I wish I would get that kind of attention, too. I'm a big kid, but on me people are sometimes laughing, or children ask me if they can have a ride. They don't know toys like this in Germany, so it's a novelty seeing this and they want to try it. But why I should let them go? Nobody lets ME try his toy, then why should I? As soon as the kids go with it around, they come again and applaud. But when I ride I'm a "retarded." "Look, that one plays with children’s toys. He has to suffer from some mental issues." YEAH, I DO. It’s not only when I’m with my quad; I also collect and ride giant, inflatable toys. You may have heard or seen the wolves and huskies made by Puffypaws.
I wish I would be recognized as a great like upcoming quad champion by others like children do. I would also wear a race outfit even when it’s useless on a toy going only 7.5 miles. This is a video if you don’t know what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuKZRD891VQ.
Thank you for your help, Papabear, and dear regards,
Max (age 32, Germany)
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Papabear is sorry that there are adults out there making fun of you. And it is especially rude and hateful of them to make fun of you because you have some mental health issues. For them to do that shows them to be ugly people who lack compassion and sensitivity.
Thank you for sharing that video with Papabear. I loved watching it, and it is so clear that you love riding your electric quad. I think it’s wonderful that you found something from which you get so much enjoyment. And it’s fine that you also enjoy big, inflatable toys.
I want to reassure you, Max, that you are NOT alone in being an adult who likes children’s toys. In fact, take a look at this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-maypole/these-grownups-are-making_b_6179084.html. It is about adults who are actually earning a living by playing with children’s toys. So don’t feel bad about that. In fact, maybe you could follow the example of some of the people on the websites in that article and start your own YouTube channel? Hey, it’s worth a shot!
Other points I need to make: 1) If a child asks you if he can ride your quad, be a nice guy and let them. Just because someone else won’t let you ride their toy does not mean that you can’t be an unselfish person and share your toys. Be nice. 2) I know it hurts when people call you names and say you can’t do things. Don’t listen to them. As long as you are not hurting other people, you should do what you love to do. Enjoy your toys! 3) Being jealous of other kids because they are getting attention and you are not really only hurts yourself. Instead of being jealous, how about being a mentor to these kids? Being encouraging and helpful to others is a lot more satisfying than being selfish and jealous. Give it a try.
To summarize: Don’t let other people take away your joy, and don’t let other people define what you should do with your spare time. Having a hobby that you enjoy is a wonderful thing. Enjoy it for your own happiness! And don’t be jealous of other people’s happiness. Be happy for them.
Dear Papa Bear,
How do I correctly explain to my parents about different genders and sexualities? And how guys don’t look bad in femme clothing? Why I'm asking this is because ever since I came out as both a furry and gender-neutral, I've been the joke of the whole family. I tried to explain other things as such and.... Well, I think you can guess what happened. Not good. Any advice?
Echo (age 18, Ohio)
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Very good question! Clothing is a cultural construct. What is acceptable in one culture, is frowned upon in another. You’re from the American Midwest, a very conservative area of the country that tends to shun men who aren’t walking around looking like lumberjacks or football players. If you lived in, say, New York or San Francisco, you might be able to express yourself a bit more freely.
Other cultures throughout history have had no problem with a man wearing what would be considered, in your area and time, rather girly. For example, wearing a sarong in Sri Lanka looks fine. Wearing a kilt in Scotland? Perfectly acceptable (and, actually, I see a lot of American men wearing them and they are popular among a lot of furries). In the nineteenth century, Albanian men were considered very swanky in a skirt.
Modern-day European society is a lot more relaxed when it comes to men’s dress as well. They kinda invented the entire metrosexual look, I believe, of men being allowed to be more feminine in their attire.
You might say to your family, “Why’s it okay for a woman to dress in jeans and a flannel shirt, but it’s not okay for me to dress more pretty? Not too long ago, it was considered scandalous for a woman to wear pants—absolutely shocking. Yet, now it’s okay. Why can’t the reverse be true?”
For centuries, women were basically imprisoned by socially enforced dress codes. They were made to wear, for example, extremely tight corsets that would cause them to faint and were actually quite damaging to their internal organs over time. In the same way, men are imprisoned by boring clothes, too. How did they get so boring? If you ever watch a meeting of Congress or a corporate board, they all have the uniform: blue or grey or black suit, dress shirt and shoes, tie. It’s designed to make people conform. Now, you take a company like Google or these other companies and look how they dress and are allowed to wear their hair. Some companies have become savvy to the fact that allowing people to be themselves inspires creativity and productivity. Tell your family, hey, I’m a creative and liberated person who is not a slave to a boring Midwest culture. I’m just expressing my freedom as an American! (grins)
It’s not just dress that restricts men in our society. Although we’ve loosened up a bit in our culture, many men (heterosexual men, I may add) still feel very restricted in how they can express themselves because they are repeatedly told it isn’t macho enough. This Huffington Post article nicely sums up what men would like to do if they felt free to (the saddest one is that many feel they are looked down upon if they play with and show close affection to their children).
In summation, your family is unwittingly being a slave to culture. They are not only restricting you, but they are restricting themselves.
When people are uncomfortable with something that is not the norm, making fun of it is a typical reaction. So, another thing you can say: “I realize you are making fun of me because I make you uncomfortable and you want me to be just like you, but I’m not going to let it bother me because I’d rather be me than something I’m not and live a lie. I am who I am. Oh, and just because someone dresses like a masculine, conservative man, doesn’t mean they are one.” (I always like this link).
Clothing can be a form of expression, but also of deception. It is very shallow, indeed, to judge someone by their appearance alone. Tell your family they might try to not judge that ol’ book by its cover (cliché though that is). You would actually be less of a man if you allowed others to influence how you look.
Hope that helps. Proud of you for being you!
P.S. Note to furries: wearing your tail or ears in public because you like to? Pawsome.
Hi. I'm Liberty.
Or, as my fursona, Desmond the kangaroo. I have just recently discovered the furry universe, and I am happy to be a member. But, I am having some problems. You see, I want to be a boy. I'm afraid to tell my parents. I said I want to change my clothes, and cut my hair, but it still doesn't give me legal privileges that boys have. Boy takes his shirt off, nothing happens. Girl takes her shirt off, she gets arrested for public nudity. I just can't tell my parents. Please help. Oh and by the way, my state info has no relevance. It doesn't matter.
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To be clear, do you mean you wish to act like a boy (no shirt, doing boy things) or that you actually wish to have a gender reassignment (sex change)? It's important to be clear here.
* * *
I want to act like a boy. I don't want a gender change. I want to be seen as a boy.
* * *
Okay, Liberty, I see.
A lot of girls your age like to behave and dress more like boys. It’s called—at least it used to be called—being a tomboy. It’s perfectly fine for you to cut your hair short, play baseball, enjoy working on cars in the garage and doing other stuff that is considered the domain of boys.
If the only thing that is bugging you otherwise is the fact that it is not considered okay in “proper society” for a girl to take off her shirt and walk around in public that way (even if her breasts have not yet developed) then that is just part of our culture. Every culture has its constraints. Taking it a step further, Papabear can’t take off all his clothes and walk around in the shopping mall. Why? Well, because a lot of people just don’t want to see a naked bear!
This is called “being considerate of other people’s feelings.”
Now, there are places in the world where you can walk around without a shirt. For example, there are places called “nudist colonies,” even in America, where people go about their daily lives without clothing. This is not considered a sexual thing by any means; it is simply a lifestyle. Nudists, as they are called, feel that going naked is natural (which, frankly, it is), comfortable, and enjoyable. There are other places where this is done, too, such as at nude or “clothing optional” beaches, both in the U.S. and in places such as Europe. Europeans, by the way, are much more comfortable with nudity than Americans are. It has a lot to do with the Puritan heritage of Americans that has an influence on us to this day.
When you say “I want to be seen as a boy,” then, you just mean you want to be treated the same way that boys are treated. Being only 10 years old, you might not be aware that a LOT of progress has actually been made in America over the years in this area. Did you know, for example, that women were not allowed to vote until 1920? Women in American society were denied a lot of rights, and when they married they pretty much forfeited all their rights to money and property. Women were not allowed to work, in many cases, except in a few limited careers, such as teachers or nuns or seamstresses. They were basically told to stay at home and raise the children. They were also not allowed to wear pants (you had to wear a dress all the time) and you had to be very modest in your dress (even showing a bare ankle was considered scandalous in the nineteenth century).
In the late 1960s and 1970s, there was something called the Women’s Liberation Movement. Women lobbied for the right to work, they protested restrictive clothing (there was a whole movement to burn bras), they won the important victory of Roe v. Wade in which the U.S. Supreme Court said abortion was legal (in the first trimester), and they strove to pass an Equal Rights Amendment (still not there yet) and equal pay for equal work.
There is still work to be done, but progress is being made. Perhaps you could be part of that progress one day :-)
Now, let’s get back to being topless. You say that your location is not relevant. Guess what? You’re wrong. Utah, Tennessee, and Indiana are the only three states in the U.S. that have laws on the books that explicitly forbid women to go topless. You live in Texas, so, guess what? No written law says you can’t go topless in the state. Now, what’s important, though, is that counties and municipalities can pass local ordinances forbidding toplessness (some people consider such local laws to be unconstitutional). So, one thing you could do is find out what county you’re in and see whether there is a local ordinance that says a 10-year-old girl can’t take her shirt off in public (this is the part where you start doing research and educating yourself about the law).
The fundamental reason why women are restricted from taking their tops off is that men find this to be sexual and provocative. Now, your being a 10-year-old would, I should think, make this not important because you are not sexually mature yet and anyone finding you going topless to be sexy would be a pervert. Sadly, the rule tends to be applied to both adult women and to children, however.
There is a growing movement among women in this country to reverse this. Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Chelsea Handler have said that there is a double standard in which men can go without shirts but women can’t and they are protesting this attitude. (You might have also missed the debate about public breastfeeding of children, which is now allowed).
Attitudes are changing, Liberty. Here’s a helpful link for you about going topless: http://gotopless.org/topless-laws. If you live in Austin, Texas, you’re very much in luck as they allow toplessness in that city. As I said, check out your local laws to be sure.
Of course, there is one more factor: your parents, which might be what you meant in the first place! Even if all the laws and society said it was okay for you to go topless, if your parents disapprove, then there's not much you can do until you leave the house and live by your own rules. You might show them what I've written here and see if that changes their minds, but, let's face it, it probably wouldn't. Therefore, I would just stick with being a tomboy and not worry about the shirt thing. Family and society are just weird, and often wrong (some guys should never be seen outside in swim trunks, but they do it anyway).
Papabear feels Americans are way too insecure about nudity and too prudish about it. At least we’re moving in the right direction.
Thanks for the great advice for that previous question, I feel a little better about it now and will do my best to follow it and get rid of my hate. Now I'll ask you about the touchier subject that is not really related to the issue just discussed (although possibly a tiny bit, but nothing to do with hate).
So, a few years ago after I first learnt of being a therian and 'awakened', I had begun to feel a much stronger connection towards canines (being a wolf therian) and even other animals in general that aren't human. And then I started to see dogs differently, getting various lustful and romantic emotions until for a time I was much more interested in canines than humans, I even had a massive crush on a relative's dog (but didn't do much other than let her lick my face as much as she wanted). It elevated though when I begun to feel lustful towards one of my own dogs (I had two) and well, this is hard to admit, but I ended up rubbing her and performing oral on her, and letting her lick me in return (I think I was 16 or 15 at the time). I very stupidly told some 'friends' when we were all sharing secrets and then they spread it around the school, which I then had to cover up as a false rumour that they made up (in order to protect myself since such a thing is illegal in my country, Australia (I hope my parents never read this, they might recognise the story about the 'rumour')).
Sometime after that I also learnt that I am bi, and then I got a boyfriend, causing things to simmer down a bit (although I still did get turned on by dogs). After about a year I broke up with my boyfriend since it was a long distance thing and we had never physically been together. I was really upset at the time, I felt bad for breaking up with him, but I knew it had to be done since it wasn't working for me. Over time I got better and things gradually relaxed as I adjusted to not having any mates. However, not long ago I have begun to feel much more strongly towards non-human animals again, but this time I seem to be turned on by any large mammal, male or female, as long as it isn't a human. I mean, whenever I go to places and see a large mammal, I always try to get a look at (from a distance, no actual contact) whether they're male or female as long as I can do it unnoticed.
Now we have a new dog at our house (since my previous two died) that is male and I ended up getting a crush on him. I always cuddle with him when I can, and it feels amazing when he licks my lips (like the best thing I've ever felt), I am also eager in waiting for whenever he may get an erection. I also strip nude when I'm home alone and let him lick me, but I don't force him to do anything, if he isn't interested I accept it. So um, I guess I'm wondering about whether I should let this continue or not?
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Hi, Fellow Furry,
I wrote an article about zoophilia a while back. Take a look here http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/papabear-chimes-in-on-a-touchy-topic-zoophilia and see what you think. Then get back to me.
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I have read that article before, and I guess it isn't morality that's the issue, since I have already accepted it as all right, provided neither me nor any animals are harmed. However, my issue here is what to do about it, since I'm beginning to fall hopelessly in love with my dog. I do feel kind of restricted, especially because of my parents and the law. I don't think I could explain it to my parents, since there was one time when I tried to approach the subject very neutrally with my aunt (who is more open and progressive than my parents) and even she said that it was disgusting and wrong.... I mean, I'm essentially closeted all over again, this being my fifth and worst time closeted. First it was therian, then furry, then being bi, then being brony, and now it's being zoosexual/zoophilic....
So the questions here are, should I actually view my new dog as my mate? And is there any way for me to loosen up a bit around anybody?
(I also wouldn't mind you putting this on your column if you deem it worthy, since I would like to contribute to helping other zoophiles/zoosexuals in a similar position, as long as you use the previous pseudonym that I used)
Agitated and Confused Therian (age 18)
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Hi, again, Agitated,
While I understand, intellectually, zoophilia and sexual attractions of this sort, I think you need to recognize that dog (and other animal) behavior and psychology is very different from those of human beings. Most people, when they find a loving mate, have someone with whom they share many commonalities: interests in work, hobbies, spiritual and religious issues, sharing a life. While you can have sex with a canine, and even have a loving relationship of sorts, it is not the same as having one with a human being; you can never have a well-rounded matehood with a dog, in my opinion.
I caution you not to anthropomorphize your dog. He is not human, and not just in the physical sense. He will likely see you as the alpha male, a leader of a very small pack, and he will be very loyal and true, but still, it is not the same. He will not share your intellect, and his behavior will always be that of a dog. Also, add to this that your pet will have a very abbreviated life in comparison to your own, which is hard enough when one considers a dog a pet, but much much harder if you consider the dog a mate. You are in for some heavy emotional pain in a few years.
But I will not tell you what to do here. This is your life, and I have no right to judge you. I can tell you that I, personally, would never consider a creature of another species as a mate, but that’s me, not you. My psyche is not the same as yours.
I can tell you, of course, that if you go around telling people that the dog is your mate you are going to be severely ostracized by friends, family, and society as a whole. That is a fact that you are well aware of. Therefore, it is in your best interest not to publicize this, the alternative being to live a hermit’s life far away from other people.
Papabear fears that this is one area that he has little personal experience in, and I don’t think I can give you the best advice on what to do. I would recommend a few websites for you to check out and that you try to connect to other zoophiles who can probably give you better input. Here are two sites: https://www.zoophilia.net/ and http://www.zoophile.net/.
I’ll invite my readers to chime in, as well, so follow this column and see if some people contribute comments.
Hugs. Wishing you luck.
I am a submissive baby wolf puppy girl and love dressing in skirts and dresses, however, public outings are almost never an option as I wear diapers due to nerve damage. How can I become braver if I am so shy?
Sawina Swiftpaw (age 23)
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This question is relevant to both those like you who wear diapers out of medical necessity and those who do it because they like to (ABDL or Adult Baby Diaper Lovers).
I admit I’m not an ABDL person, nor do I know anyone with incontinence problems, so I did a little Internet searching and found this article by Adrian Surley. She suggests a couple of things:
Surley is an ADBL, and she notes that people really don’t act rudely, unless you’re also someone who wears baby clothes in public. THAT does draw attention.
Read Surley’s article and see if that helps. No pun intended, but take baby steps. Start with shorter times in public places and, as you get more comfortable, increase the amount of time you spend with others.
I’m sorry about your nerve damage. Having a medical condition is nothing to be ashamed of. If, for some reason, you do get asked (most likely if a small child sees the diaper somehow; kids don’t realize the questions they ask are sometimes inappropriate; they just ask because they want to know) just explain that you have to because of the nerve damage. Be frank. It’ll be okay.
I am only new to the furry fandom and I want to know if there's a meaning behind the “nose boop.”
Thanks for your time.
Meep Out *waves bye-bye*
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The nose boop is not really just a furry thing; it is a cute sign of affection used by all sorts of people. Perhaps used more by furries (it’s fun to boop a fursuit nose!), but not at all unique to us.
You could probably research it on the Internet and come up with all sorts of theories as to how this phenomenon originated. I’m not really sure. Since the 2007 movie Superbad and this scene
it has become even more popular in our culture.
Culturally and sociologically speaking, any personal gesture that intrudes upon the area of a person’s face is a sign of affection and love. That’s why the kiss involves people’s lips and why Eskimos rub noses. Other than invading the genitalia, the face is a person’s most private area. So, a nose boop is a sign of affection. In my opinion, it’s a surrogate gesture for a kiss—what you do when you really like someone but are too shy or unsure of yourself to actually kiss them.
So, anyway, the origins are rather murky, but it’s such a cute and endearing gesture it doesn’t really matter. The meaning of it is an affectionate one. So boop someone you like today!
Thanks for the fun question!
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