I have a hard time having sympathy for furries. I feel less and less care when met with news of a furry experiencing financial problems, or worse. This is not without reason, however. I have suffered sexual abuse, less than a year ago. It has opened my eyes to how disgusting the fandom is, and how rare it is to find a furry that isn't a horrible, nearly irredeemable person.
I feel that most furries feed into the culture that caused my naivety back then, and helped a predator blend in within the fandom. The cuddliness of the fandom, I loathe it. Everyone gets in their beds with mere friends and rub on each other like partners. I feel that people like that, even those who do it in roleplay, assist predators. Their actions I feel contribute to creating naivety in minors by making relationship-tier affection something just "friendly". Don't even get me started on lewd interaction.
I have been attacked for bringing this up. Everyone is so okay with the fandom normalizing predatory behavior. Maybe I am wrong? I don't want to be okay with hearing that a furry is in pain because they are likely the type of furry I was referring to. Everyone is so okay with this. My question is, am I wrong for thinking this way? Am I a bad person? I recognize your lack of qualification for help with mental illnesses, and I am not coming here with them being fixed in mind, but having another opinion would be helpful.
Anonymous (age 15)
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The prevalence of sex in the fandom through art and social interactions is definitely a thing, and I understand your concerns. I am very sorry to hear that you were a victim of sexual abuse. There is never an excuse for that.
I would not condemn the fandom as a whole because of your bad experiences, however. I myself have had very positive experiences and have made many friends in the fandom. In my humble opinion, the fandom is what you make of it (which is true of anything). I am not blaming you for being a victim of sexual abuse (please don't think that), but I am saying that one must be careful about the company one keeps. If one marches into the fandom naively (as you might have) and unprepared for what one might find, then yes, you could find yourself among the wrong kind of furry. You are 15 years old and should not be seeking out X-rated stuff, whether that is furry or not. As you likely know, thousands of youngsters are victims of sexual abuse and predation OUTside the fandom. The internet can be a dangerous place, and one should be cautious at all times.
So, don't blame the fandom per se. You will find bad people everywhere, not just in the furry world. That said, you are certainly justified to be upset by what happened to you, and again, I am so sorry you went through that!
You don't mention your family, but I think this is something you should discuss with your parents. There are some sites online you can read up on internet safety, too, such as Internet Safety 101 at https://internetsafety101.org/internetpredators. And it's not just safety from sex predators, but also trolls and scammers who want to steal your money and your identity. So, watch out for people who beg for money (something you also indicated happened to you).
But getting back to the fandom. This is a topic I am discussing more fully in my book, but the reason the fandom can be a particularly tricky place is because it is a refuge for a lot of troubled people. Many young people struggling with sexual- and self-identity issues come to the fandom to seek some release and freedom and companionship. This can, at times, lead to misbehavior. Or, at least, what a lot of people would consider misbehavior. It is a highly complex issue because people are complex, and the fandom has grown to hundreds of thousands of furries all over the world. Learning to navigate such a huge social maze can be tricky. You need to become adept at reading clues that can signal if someone is lying to you. Here's a little tip sheet on that: https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/how-to-tell-if-someone-is-lying-to-you-online-or-in-a-text/news-story/f76033116da0964f2565d5a0d0180812.
All that being said, I will conclude here that if you, personally, do not feel safe interacting with members of the fandom, then by all means don't. The furry fandom is supposed to be a place of fun and fantasy, not terror and mistrust. Most people have a great time doing furry stuff, but if you have come to hate it, then there is certainly no law that says you have to be a furry. Your safety and happiness are more important than that. But, after reading what I have said, you want to try again, then feel free to do so carefully, and write me at any time.
Finally, if you haven't already sought help for sexual abuse, please consider talking to someone. There is a sexual abuse hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673).
Since I was about 7 years old, I've felt like I wasn't a girl. When I tried talking to my dad about it, he told me not to listen to how I feel. At first, I thought I wanted to be a boy, but 3 years ago I discovered the term non-binary and only came out about a month ago. I only told my mom and best friend, and while my best friend has been super supportive, my mom seems a bit uncomfortable. I told her she could continue to call me "she" and her "daughter" to make her more comfortable, but it doesn't feel right. I want her to call me "they," but I don't want her to feel weird. Me and her have always loved drag queens, and she has always told me if I ever turned out to be gay she would be supportive, so it confuses me a bit to know she's uncomfortable with me being non-binary. Do you have any idea why she might feel this way and what I could do to make her feel better?
Hijinkx the Cataroo (13)
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First of all, your father's advice to not listen to how you feel is absolutely THE WORST advice he could possibly give you. So, do not listen to him on this point. As for your mother, at least she is trying to be sympathetic to you. I think she is uncomfortable about the non-binary term because she doesn't really understand what that is. She can comprehend homosexuality, but, let's face it, lately, there has been a lot of research and terms being flung around by the scientific and LGBTQI+ community that can be very confusing to most people. This page https://www.healthline.com/health/different-types-of-sexuality lists 46 terms that describe sexuality, gender, and orientation, for example, and there are actually even more than that.
What's going on here is that science, in recognizing that human sexuality and gender are very complex, is attempting to define all the various possibilities. Many people find this helpful because there is a sense of relief when one feels that one's personal feelings have been validated scientifically. But for those who are just plain-old heterosexual, white bread, and socially "normal," it can muddle the issue more than it clarifies it. I mean, throw around terms like cisgender, skoliosexual, demisexual, etc., and you are gonna get a blank stare. So many definitions can give one a headache and make one just want to tune it all out.
But just as this terminology can take some time and study to comprehend, so is your own sexuality coming into definition. At 13, you are still undergoing many changes, and you are still figuring things out. You are making a lot of progress and you definitely have resolved the fact that you don't feel like a girl even though that is what you are genetically. But now you are working toward what exactly that means and what variations of that apply to you, as well as how are you going to deal with it. This is an extremely personal voyage that only you can travel, although it helps when you have support from family and friends, people who can hold your hand.
What I am saying is this: Do not rush too quickly into defining yourself. You are only 13, and you are going to be developing physically, mentally, and emotionally for years to come still. And, just as you should not push yourself to the finish line too quickly (the finish line will just move farther ahead anyway), you should not push your parents too hard, either. Do not insist on them using the "they" pronoun yet. To them, you are their daughter, and that is a lot of responsibility in and of itself. Let them call you by whatever they are comfortable with. It is not an important issue right now. What is important is that you continue to explore your own feelings (and ignore parents who say ignore your feelings). This is not to say don't talk to your parents! TALK to them. But don't insist on anything. Just be honest about how you feel and don't put a label on it. Labels can be limiting anyway. If your mother can deal with this best by just thinking of you as being gay, then let her for now, even if she is not being accurate. If your father can't grasp your complex identity just yet, then let him just think of you as his daughter.
While this is all very much about you, it is also about your parents and their feelings. Try to be as sympathetic to what they are going through as you would like them to be about what you are going through. Do you understand? This is a process that will take many years. Do not expect instant results or instant sympathy and understanding. Take your time and be patient with them. And count yourself lucky that at least your parents are there for you, even though they are struggling to understand you.
And remember: we are more than just our sexuality and gender. We are complex beings of mind, spirit, and body. Your sexuality and gender are just one aspect of a complex human being--do not neglect the other aspects of yourself while you evolve as a person, and do not keep your parents from appreciating those other aspects as they strive to raise their child. Let them into your life without being insistent on what is just one part of you. Don't hide it, but don't bludgeon them with it, if you get my drift.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Big Bear Hugs,
Hey Papa Bear,
I would like to hear your opinion on what you think about furry porn. …But that question alone is only worth maybe a “it’s good” or “it’s bad” answer, so… The true question is, what do you think of the whole scope about furry porn, and how it affects artists, members of the fandom, etc etc.
To give you more to work with, ever since I was a wee little chap watching TV with my lower lip quivering, and my eyes gleamed when I saw Flamedramon for the first time, I knew what I was in for. That said… The porn is good and all, but I’m always very sad to see how it affects the fandom. This mix of popularity and sexuality seem to entice many people, artists and commissioners alike, into very deplorable habits of flaunting for instant gratification, of filling their galleries to the brim with art of very varied levels of quality involving their sonas into every possible existing sexual scenario on this planet, just for the sake of… Attention, right? Well, money too, in case of the artists. Is that really worth it in the long-term?
It always bums me out that this sexy animal guy I’m jerking off to is almost surely a total douchebag if I met him in person, which… From my own experience, is very often true (But I admit that that’s on ME because I’m a very judgmental idiot and I also have impossibly high standards for everything. I’m sure someone out there could get to know one of those people and find their life-long partner, and that’s perfectly okay.) Still, there are also exceptions. I’ve seen some artists who draw porn but they don’t let their egos get mixed up in it (as much), and I respect those way more because they’re just more human to me. And I’m glad because otherwise that would’ve probably made me a total hypocrite, grabbing my dick with one hand and pointing and judging people with the other…
... Anyway, now that I made my point of view awfully, almost tangibly clear, I would like to hear yours. Hopefully it’s different from mine because I’d like to learn something new from this.
I await curiously for your reply.
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Dear Uncle Tuper,
Sex and the fandom is a huge topic, and it is one I discuss in my book. It is difficult in a column to cover all the bases, but here's the gist of my take on furporn: Mundanes focus on this aspect on the fandom because they themselves do not have healthy attitudes about sex or they are incredibly inhibited about it (religious and other societal pressures cause this). They are uncomfortable with the idea of a fantasy-related fandom, and so, in seeking a way to reject it because it is "not normal," they zero in on what they feel is its unsavory aspect (furporn), and stereotype furries as sex addicts and zoophiles in order to reject and shame them.
Why, then, do furries get into the porn aspect? There are a lot of reasons, and none of them have to do with zoophilia. Furporn is just one form of many types of sexual fantasies that people have. You can go on the Internet and find all kinds of fantasy porn out there, some of it is much more strange than anthro sex. Okay, so, why specifically fantasies about anthros? Gosh, there is a laundry list. For one thing, various anatomical features of animals could turn people on, such as the soft fur of a feline or the genital girth of a horse or the fact that an elephant can play with you with its trunk. There are also fantasies such as vore, which has to do with the submission fantasy or even the fantasy of the return to the womb (very Freudian). There is, too, the animalistic nature of it all--wild and passionate sex without inhibition. Also, assuming a fursona in sexual roleplay is a form of self-defense against sexual shame ("It isn't ME doing this, it's my fursona.") Why so much furporn out there? Why do so many people commission artists to draw porn? Well, one reason might be that the fandom demographics skew toward the young range, and, let's face it, young people have "raging hormones" and tend to be horny. Hence, porn. If it weren't furporn, it would be something else X-rated (Star Wars porn, cartoon porn, whatev).
I have no problem with furporn (in fact, I'm a fan LOL). It is not inherently "bad" or "good." Sexual fantasies are only "bad" if they become addictions (i.e., you become so obsessed with porn that it interferes with your daily functions in the world) or if they become violent or hurtful to others in any way (i.e., acting out fantasies for any kind of non-consensual sex). Outside of these two conditions, furporn and sexual fantasies about furries can actually be a healthy and normal thing. Sexual fantasies can assist people in exploring their sexual identities, likes and dislikes, and add a bit of zing to a relationship you might already be in.
What mundanes need to get over is focusing on this one aspect of the fandom. The furry fandom offers a lot more than just some X-rated art. If you focus only on porn, you are missing out on a lot.
So, when it comes to you, personally, I would suggest you explore a bit further what exactly you like about Flamedramon, and this can teach you a bit about yourself. As for online relationships, you should always be cautious about these and make sure you don't let in a predator or other jerk. Such people eventually make themselves known, so you will figure out whether "sexy animal guy" is a jerk or not. If he is, dump him and move on. There are lots of furries out there who are very cool people.
Don't beat yourself up for having sexual feelings or that these feelings range into the world of fantasy. There is nothing wrong with you. Just remember to be kind to other people and avoid trolls along the way.
Hope that eases your mind.
I know you probably get this a lot from other furries in/out of the closet, but as a male just learning I am gay, how do I handle the fact I like guys in todays society? How do I deal with the whole "homosexuality is an abomination of God etc?" About a year ago I was baptized as christian, however not sure of my sexuality then. In case you have forgotten, my parents split and I am currently living with dad. I told him I was gay, he was just fine with it, even at one point in an effort to help me with my depression, he suggested getting a boyfriend. (all this was months before codvid-19.)
Mom however is a different story.
Long story short she is very family centered, raised as a Christian. I am pretty sure her opinion on LGBT stuff is she does not think highly of them. One time years ago when I was still questioning, after finding the local LGBT (am I badmouthing my mom as I type this? or is that just my OCD talking? Please answer as a sidenote.) Once I borrowed a book from the local LGBT center and forgot about it in the car. Mom found it and questioned me about it, clearly in a disapproving way. About a week later she told me to read something with her, and it was the bible verse "thou man who laid with a man has committed an abomination." Then she told me if I wanted to be with a guy she will not tolerate it.
So as a Christian, raised with Christian teachings by mom but an accepting dad of my homosexuality, what do I do? How do I accept myself as for who I am, and be happy going forward? Am I obligated to tell my mom? How do I deal with the fear from religion about being gay and it being morally wrong?
0.O *realizes the pandamic going around*
Nicholas (age 23)
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As you know, you're writing to a gay bear, so my answer to your questions is likely slanted. First and foremost is this: the only person who needs to accept you is you. The minute you define your value in life by other people's opinions of you, the minute you seek their approval, you will doom yourself to a life of misery and self-doubt. Whether those people are Christians, family, friends, your parents, coworkers, peers, whatever. It doesn't matter one whit what they think. Most of them are wrong, anyway, being misguided by a judgmental society.
As for Christianity.... In my experience, there are good Christians and bad ones. Good Christians accept and love you for who you are. They recognize that no one, including themselves, is perfect, and only God has the right to judge you. Bad Christians are the ones who use the Bible to defend their hate and prejudice. Stay away from them. The God in whom I personally believe is a loving God, not a God seeking to punish me or hurt me. I do not believe in Hell and eternal damnation. I do not believe that God just wants us to constantly grovel and worship Them. I think of it this way: If I were God and was all-powerful, omnipresent, omniscient.... why would I need to be worshipped by tiny little ant beings? I would not have such a pathetic ego that I would need to be constantly validated for something I already know I am. I would not get my jollies off of hurting people. I would want to be kind to them and try to help them. So if I, a tiny little human being, can feel this way, then God, who is infinitely superior to me in every way, must have all these loving, caring qualities to the infinity power.
So, why do Christians, the Church, parents, etc. try to shame you for being who you are? Simply put, it's a power thing. It is the pathetic desire to control you and your life, and also to make themselves feel holier than thou. Oh, they will SAY they are just trying to help you, but don't believe it. The truth is, by being gay and--God forbid--actually enjoying yourself, you will challenge their worldview, and that makes them uncomfortable because it is easier to just accept what you are told to do rather than to think for yourself.
Religious people who abuse and torment LGBTQIA people for something as unimportant as sexual orientation are doing the opposite of what religion should do, which is to love and help human beings. I could go on for pages and pages as to why the Church disapproves of gay people (most of it has to do with keeping people in line and perpetuating generations of tithing loyalists), but I think you get the point.
You are not your sexuality. That is just one aspect of a well-rounded person. Most people define who they are by what they do for a living and their families. You don't hear straight people introducing themselves like this: "Hi, I'm Bill! I'm a heterosexual architect and married man!" No. So, why should we define ourselves for being gay or bi or whatever? We mostly do this because it is not "the norm." Screw the norm. Norm is boring. Being normal is what has caused so much misery, war, and injustice for millennia.
Do not seek out to be normal. Be you. Be different. Contribute something unique to this world. The world needs unique people like you.
And remember, no matter what: God loves you.
Be a good person. If you do that, you are golden.
I've become a fan the furry fandom since 2015. One of the things that gets me a little 'excited' are anthro males, specifically dragons and canines. I thought that meant that I liked guys. I experimented with some males and while fun, I didn't feel anything. Could it be that I like furry guys instead of real ones?
Anonymous (age 25)
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Could you clarify what you mean by "I didn't feel anything"? Do you mean you didn't get sexually excited or that you didn't fall romantically in love?
Thanks, this will help with my reply.
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The first one
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I see. Well, a number of things could be going on: 1) you just weren't with the right guys; 2) you really aren't gay (or bi) but there is just something about anthros that turn you on; 3) you are gay or bi but you were so nervous when playing with those people that it prevented you from relaxing and enjoying it as much as you could have; 4) you are still discovering your sexual preferences and turn-ons, and this is just a stage in an ongoing process.
Any of those seem to hit the mark?
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Probably 2,3 and 4
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It can't be both 2 AND 3 LOL. Pick one.
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Okay, then two
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Okay, as long as you're being honest with yourself, good. Remember, sexuality is a spectrum. It is actually rare for someone to be 100% hetero or 100% homosexual. Most lie in between. For example, you might be, say, 10% interested in the male anatomy but 90% more into females.
Using this same reasoning, it could be possible that sexual preference might have a human v animal factor as well. Pardon me while I become fascinated with a question that never really occurred to me before. I mean, yes, I have known about zoophiles, but I always thought a zoophile was a zoophile and not that it could be part of a spectrum that involves anthro characters. In other words, just as there is a Kinsey Scale that puts hetero/homosexuality on a sliding scale, perhaps there is a scale for preference for human/animal attraction. Thus, furries into anthros are somewhere in the middle of the scale. Likewise, it could be possible you are attracted to anthros sexually but not so much to humans.
It becomes more complicated, too, because one would not keep the Kinsey Scale and (let's call it the Furry Scale) separate, but, instead, you would combine the two, creating a scale involving four factors: hetero, homo, animal, human, and any percentage combination of the four factors.
This is all speculative, but you would be an example, then, of someone could be 60% hetero and 70% animal sexuality, or they could be 80% homo and 10% animal sexuality (meaning 20% hetero-leaning and 90% human-leaning).
It's all part and parcel with the truism that human sexuality is very complicated.
But now you see, too, the problem with overthinking things. Bottom line that I have for you is this: Don't worry about it. Like what you like; don't like what you don't like. You are what you are, and your sexuality is what it is. Remember, as long as you aren't hurting anybody, you should do whatever you like and don't try to label yourself or make your round peg fit in a square hole.
Hope that helps a bit.
I'm having a mental crisis over some thoughts after I've seen some NSFW [not safe for work] art in the furry fandom. I'm also suffering from OCD, but to be fair this would be kind of awkward if I brought this question to my counselor, so I'm trusting you fully with this question. Does it count as zoophilia/bestiality if I like to see two anthro characters with feral genitalia or two feral (more animalistic like walking on fours) characters that speak/have human characteristics have sex?
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People outside the fandom often misconstrue our fascination with animals and anthros as a form of bestiality. It isn't. If you go out and have sex with actual animals, that is bestiality. The phenomenon of furporn is a more complex psychological issue than that, and it is something I will address in detail in my book.
There is a difference between fantasy and reality. Sexual fantasy is something that pretty much everyone indulges in, but just because they do does not mean they actually want their fantasies to come true. Sex, as they say, is 90% in the brain and only 10% physical. When we are engaged in coitus, as Sheldon Cooper would call it, most of us go inside ourselves into another world that gets our hormones pumping and promotes a climax.
Furry pornography is very much a fantasy. This is why you see such extremes in it, with hyper-large anatomical parts, oceans of ejaculate, impossible positions, outrageous scenarios, and so on. No one actually believes any of it will happen in real life; it is just a mental stimulus.
Another theory I have about furry sex is that it is a distancing tool. That is, many people feel senses of guilt about their sexual desires because of society's disapproval, so we cloak our sexuality in the form of anthro characters to shelter us from this kind of guilt. It is the same reason why people like zombie movies, which allows you to mentally imagine and "act out" (such as in video games) violent tendencies, but it's okay because these are the "undead" and therefore you are not doing anything immoral.
Furporn is a fantasy tool that helps people work through their sexual tensions, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, and so on. But that's just one explanation.
Another possible explanation for furporn is that it is a way of connecting with our more animalistic, sexual side. By casting away our human shell and becoming anthro animals, we allow ourselves to engage more freely in uninhibited sex. No longer chained to human society by a physical form, we connect more with the passion of sex.
So, no, your viewing furporn--even the more feral types--does not mean you're into bestiality/zoophilia. It is just you exercising your sexual imagination.
As a East Coast fur, it’s hard to meet up in real life with the other furs out there. I currently am unable to drive a car though I am able to take public transportation. I always wish to got out and see or even experience a Furry convention in my state or any state close by ( Connecticut) but, my main fear is my parents. How do I explain to them about myself and my place in the fandom? I’m mainly into expansion and inflation, and I was also caught a few times by my folks during my sessions with an air pump. When the time comes, how will I be able to explain this to them?
Hailfanghoofington (age 22)
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As you helpfully noted in the form, you are 22 years of age. As such, you are an adult and have absolutely no obligation to tell your parents the details about your sexual preference or your hobbies if you choose not to. I honestly don't know why I keep getting questions like this from adults who write to me. I mean, your parents don't tell you about what they like to do in bed and what their turn-ons are, do they? (Lordy, I hope not!) So, why should you have to tell them you are into inflation fantasies? Answer: you don't.
It's great to have open and honest discussions with your parents about your life, but there are some things that it is fine to keep private, and at the top of that list is details about your sex life. Now, it sounds as though you might still be living with your parents and, therefore, you might have the impression that living under their roof obligates you to fully disclosing everything about your life. Not true. What you should be doing is being supportive of them, perhaps pay them rent for the room, help with chores, and move out as soon as possible. You're 22. You need to set out on your own unless there is some medical or financial reason why you can't at this time.
At 22, you should also be able to make trips on your own, even if that means taking public transportation to do so. I encourage you to get out of the house and live your life.
You may remember me emailing you a few months back about this same issue. I guess I've come back to ask for a little more guidance.
I've been struggling with my fetish for about a year now, and it's gotten worse as of late. I've seemingly got rid of my will to stop looking at it, but I feel I need to stop. It consumes my thoughts almost everyday, popping up when I take a math test. Showing up when I'm with my friends. Everyday when I come home, I almost immediately try to look at images of my fetish. It's like clockwork, and it has spiraled into an addiction.
I know that this is something that I can't control, and it may never go away. I fear it's ingrained in me. But, I just feel like I need to get a hold on it and try to maybe phase it out. I just don't know how. Cold Turkey is almost impossible. I've only succeeded for a long period of time once. Every other try just feels shallow and I know I'm going to fail. I'm running out of options. This fetish has consumed me since I was in elementary school, and now I just want it out of my life.
If you can offer any help, I would be happy to hear it.
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I was considering suggesting aversion therapy for you, but then I read an interesting article about sexual fetishes in Psychology Today in which the author of the article said that there really is no cure for a sexual fetish and that, indeed, as long as the fetish isn't harmful (e.g., some kind of violent fetish) we shouldn't treat it as a problem to be "cured" at all. Sexuality is a very diverse preference, and there is such a variety of different things (objects, behaviors, sensations) that turn on certain people that is practically impossible to categorize them all.
The fetish really isn't the problem. The problem might be your being obsessed with it to the point of it interfering with your life. This is like, say, gambling. If you go to a casino every once in a while because you enjoy playing craps or blackjack and you lose a few bucks now and then, it's not really a problem. But, if you become a gambling addict and lose your savings, your job, and your family, then that is a problem.
Here is what I would suggest you do, then. Do not try to eliminate your preference from your life. It is okay to enjoy chubby people. That is nothing to be ashamed of. However, try to gradually lessen the amount of time you spend looking at it and thinking about it so you can concentrate on school and daily life. (One reason you find yourself so focused on sex is because, let's face it, you're 16 and your hormones are raging, which is perfectly normal).
Okay, so how do you lessen the time you think about it? When people go on a diet, one way to make it more tolerable is to occasionally allow yourself a treat. For example, my husband and I are on a low-carb diet now, but once a week we treat ourselves to some carbs, such as pasta at an Italian restaurant. Then you don't feel so deprived. You can do something similar with your chub lust. Schedule times to focus just on your interest. Start with twice a day: once in the morning (common to have morning wood, especially when you are young) spend 10-15 minutes looking at chub porn, and then do so again in the evening for the same amount of time. When you feel that is working for you, reduce this to once a day, then once every two days, then once every three days. Eventually, get yourself down to once or twice a week. This way, you don't feel deprived and can get some release. It is important to schedule these sessions at definite times of the day. Adhering to a schedule will help form a habit, and habits are easier to stick with.
Now, during all those other times when you are not jacking to your favorite images, you need to stay focused on the task at hand, whether that is school, or chores, or socializing with friends. To do this, remove distractions. A BIG one is probably your phone or the Internet on your computer. Keep away from these things while you study for a test and even when going out with friends (I know, people these days hang with friends and look at their phones, but I have always felt this was rude). Pay attention to the people you are with (teachers, colleagues, family) and not the phone. Here is a helpful article on improving your ability to concentrate.
In summary: Don't feel ashamed about your sexual interests. There is nothing wrong with you. However, take steps to reduce the amount of time you think about your sexuality by setting up a schedule that gradually reduces your time on this behavior, while not eliminating it entirely, and work on increasing your ability to concentrate on other important aspects of your life. You don't have to ban this sexual interest. It is just part of who you are. You just have to keep it from playing such a dominant role in your life.
I feel like I've really needed to get this off my chest with somebody not close to me, but also semi-anonymously. I guess I'll just get the main thing mentioned and out of the way first. I have an attraction to kids, but I've never offended and would do my utmost best to maintain that. I guess I'm what you call a gold-star pedophile. I just feel so terrible for having this attraction, even if I've never offended. I want to be a good person; the best I could be, but this part of me feels like deep down I'm evil or corrupted. I wish I didn't feel this way, but I can't change it; I've already tried. It makes me hate myself.
It started when I was just a kid at school and a little after sex ed. At first, it was normal, since while I was imagining kids, they were my age. Then I started imagining younger and I really liked that. I was a dumb kid and didn't know better or that it was wrong, but luckily never did anything with anybody. After I learned it was wrong, it seemed to stop for a little. I found furry porn and was satisfied with adult characters. Then I was looking into size difference stuff, and then stumbled upon some explicit cub art. Just like when I was a kid, I really liked it, but this time I knew it was wrong. The temptation was too much though and so I kept looking at more. I figured it wouldn't be too bad, since it was only fictional images and animations.
After a little while, I found out that where I live, even fictional stuff is illegal, so I tried to stop. I searched up different things, like maybe it's some form of OCD, maybe it's some extreme form of porn addiction, that kinda stuff. I tried to stop looking at any and all porn for as long as I could to "reset" the sexual part of my brain as I read somewhere online. Even so, I kept imagining stuff. I tried to imagine adults, but it was difficult for me to get off to that, so I imagined kids. After a while I gave up and went back to looking at fictional stuff and simply disagree with the law, since it's a victimless crime with nobody being hurt. Every now and then I still try to stop though.
I really don't want to admit this, but I should get this off my chest... After some time, I then started looking at 3D stuff of fictional humans, then I stumbled upon real stuff. I feel absolutely terrible for it, and only a monster could have enjoyed that. It makes me feel like I'm a broken, corrupted person or monster who simply shouldn't exist. I then stopped looking at it and tried my very best to stop being into this stuff, even fictional stuff. On the slightly bright side, I've avoided real stuff since. I don't want to be a bad person, but only a bad person could be into that. Even somebody as wonderfully kind as you probably wouldn't even accept me after admitting that. I just wish I could stop being into it.
I want to reach out for help to stop the interest, but I'm too scared to get it. I'm afraid that if I go get help for this, I'll be put on some sort of list, which may as well ruin what life I have. It'd be near impossible to get jobs, and finding a place to live would be just as hard. I don't want that, but I don't want to be bad. This whole letter is probably pointless, and you probably won't be able to help, or won't want to help. Still, some part of me hopes you might have at least something to say that may help even a tiny bit. And if not, at least I've gotten all this off my chest...
A terrified and self-hating dragon (age 23, Australia)
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You are very brave to reach out like this. I congratulate you on a couple of things: 1) recognizing you have a problem; 2) not acting out physically on your desire to have sexual relations with children; and 3) trying to do something about it. There is help for people like you.
For the sake of my readers, we'll need to clarify some things about pedophilia.
Pedophilia is defined as a strong sexual attraction for children who are prepubescent (younger than 13, in most cases). The pedophile, furthermore, should be at least 16 years old and five or more years older than the person to whom they are attracted. To be considered to have pedophilic disorder one must either act on this desire by sexually molesting a child or become so obsessed with doing so (without actually doing so) that the desire is disruptive to your normal, day-to-day functioning (i.e., e.g., you are having trouble focusing on work, school, or family because you are so preoccupied). If neither of these is true, you are considered to have a pedophilic orientation, but not a pedophilic disorder. It is estimated that about 2-3% of the U.S. population have this paraphilia, the vast majority of whom are male (a tiny fraction of a percent are female).
So, why is pedophilia wrong? Obviously, one reason would be because it is illegal here in the United States and most countries, although one could note that some countries allow men to marry prepubescent girls, and, interestingly, only ten U.S. states legally forbid marriage to girls under the age of 18 (and there are states that allow girls to marry as young as 14). Marriage to very young women was fairly common some time ago in the United States. The reason why it has become illegal here and elsewhere is that marriage to underage girls is tantamount to child slavery. The much older husband, by marrying such a young bride, obtains total control of her life and basically has a free servant. Furthermore, prepubescent children are not sexually mature and therefore are not willingly consenting to sex, which makes it rape. So, you have two crimes here: slavery and rape. The same is true if it involves a homosexual relationship with a boy.
An interesting sidebar question is why is it illegal to view child pornography? Well, if it is child porn with real girls and boys, clearly that is a form of child slavery and prostitution. But what about simple illustrations? This is a tricky one. U.S. law (Coroners and Justice Act 2009, sections 62-68) defines illustrations and animation as child porn if they are explicitly sexual, focus on genitalia, and/or are aimed at provoking arousal in the viewer. The PROTECT Act of 2003 broadened this definition into more non-sexual images but only if those images were more photo-realistic. It is important to note that these laws are focused against people who make and/or distribute such images and animation rather than those who possess it because in the case of the former it is easier to show that harm was intended toward a child while in the case of the latter it is difficult to show any actual harm was intended. Even so, there have been cases of people being arrested for possessing child porn on their computers (e.g. R. C. Fox https://dogpatch.press/2017/10/23/r-c-fox-arrested/). So, consider this a warning to furries into cub porn.
What causes this paraphilia? Psychologists don't know, though there are theories about the pedophile either being sexually abused or observing inappropriate behavior in the household. There are theories, too, that there is a genetic component. None of these hypotheses have been demonstrated scientifically. I also have a theory that it has something to do with an attraction to innocence and purity that, ironically, stirs sexual urges. There is no connection to OCD, however, as you theorized.
Whatever the cause, pedophiles can receive treatment. I want to note here, too, that when you seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist that you are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality (that was a concern of yours, so please don't worry about that). To find help, you can start with Pedo.Help, which offers a log of good information, including links to organizations across the world. In Australia, where you are, there is Phoenix House, so I would look there, too. You will not be put on "some list." This is not a sexual offender registry. You've gone this far trying to do the right thing, so the next step is finding a qualified therapist.
Proud of you. Keep going. Good luck!
I have an interest in furry bellies and growling stomachs, whether they be male or female. I think this started when I was young, when I watched The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. When Pooh’s tummy rumbled, I was allured by how round and fluffy it was and the sound it made. I was also enamored by the likes of Baloo and Little John. Now, this interest has evolved into a fetish. I still watch cartoons, and I find it satisfying whenever a character’s stomach growled. I used to look at furry belly art and fat furry art on DeviantArt, Twitter, and FurAffinity. I was even interested in drawing my own chubby characters. I even participated in a couple of furry belly role plays. Then one day, my parents caught me in the middle of an RP on an Amino devoted to furry bellies. They were disturbed by the content of that Amino. I argued that it wasn’t anything like boobies or genitalia, but they weren’t having any of it. In an effort to persuade them, I eventually showed them some of what I’ve been looking at. I have been looking at fat furries along the lines of the following pictures (Prepare for a long list):
By the way, I am not gay. I am a straight Christian. My parents already told me about masterbation. I know that there is such a thing as too fat. I try to avoid fat furry pictures with explicit content. Anyway, in my personal opinion, I see nothing wrong with the above pictures (although the nose bleed in the 5th picture might show otherwise). However, my parents still weren’t happy about me looking at furry bellies even after I showed them some pictures!
I think that furry belly and fat furry art falls into a grey area between the light side of the furry fandom and the dark side. I still want to draw/look at those chubby characters, but I’m worried that I might wander into the dark side, and therefore make my parents mad. My question for you has many forms, but I can choose only one. Are furry bellies SFW?
Anonymous (Age 17)
P.S.: I also have Asperger's.
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If by NSFW you mean Not Safe for Work, I would say that browsing any furry art while at work is not really acceptable to your boss(es). People have frequently asked me about whether looking at furry stuff at work is okay, and my answer is this: If you are at work, you should be working and not surfing the Web for personal reasons. Simple, yes?
As for your belly interests, there is nothing wrong with liking big bellies. As you likely know, there are all kinds of sexual preferences in the world. People often label them as "fetishes" because humans like to use disparaging terms for anything they don't consider "normal." This then makes the person who has a "fetish" feel bad about themselves, which then leads to neuroses, guilt, self-hatred, and even psychosis.
The truth is that Mother Nature likes variety, and that is why not everyone likes straight sex with stereotypically attractive people doing things only in the missionary position for the purpose of procreation. According the online magazine Healthline,
“Sexual fantasy is highly varied across the spectrum, so fetishes might simply be one element of our diversity in terms of sexual interest and arousal,” Jessica O'Reilly, Ph.D., a sexuality counselor since 2001, told Healthline. “That means we'll have different tastes just like we do in food.”
My advice: do not feel guilty about liking bellies. As long as you are not hurting anyone, enjoy whatever you like. If your parents don't approve, that's their problem. I know, I know, we all want our parents' approval, but it is exactly that need for their approval that drives many people crazy in life. Respect your parents; they have experience and knowledge you don't have yet, but don't be afraid to form your own opinions and beliefs.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.