Here is my situation:
I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 years now. I'm not furry, but my boyfriend is. I let him know its OK and I sometimes watch it with him and tell him which ones I like the most and so on. I’ve also said that if he wants we can buy some furry props if he wants to add it to out intimacy.
Recently, while coming back from a reunion, I noticed him speaking to someone on his phone and saw some furry stickers conveying some love gestures and I confronted him on who is this. He’s been texting with a furry artist and my boyfriend has been expressing in a horny way to him. He asked some commissions and I find that OK. My boyfriend has a fursona that someone made long ago, but what worries me a bit is that he asked for a drawing of the artist’s fursona, and his doing that, mixed with they’ve been chatting 2 weeks in a row, makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. He has not mentioned to this artist he has a couple, and [he sends] “good morning” and “good night” messages from my boyfriend’s side.
This artist lives in Brazil, and we live in Spain, so I'm not that “worried” about something happening. My boyfriend told me he is like that when acting like his fursona; that is only that. And since I don't know much about it, I don't have anywhere or anyone to ask about that, and I'm scared that this way of acting on furry sites/chats might lead to bigger troubles for our relationship.
Am I missing something he is looking for somewhere else? the question is (yeah, sorry for the long mail). Is it that normal? Having a different fursona not related to your actual self? Is it a big deal? I know since I'm not furry I might be blowing it out of proportion?
* * *
Thank you for your important letter. It addresses something about the furry community that really deserves much discussion. As someone who is a furry himself, active in the fandom for about 15 years, and who was furry long before that, sexuality and the fandom often comes up. I can write about this at length, and I do in my in-progress book about the fandom. It is a very complicated part of the fandom. But let's address a very specific part of furry and sexuality that involves your letter.
I have personally experienced many instances in which furries (by no means ALL furries, one should note) separate their furry sex life from their real lives in order to resolve any cognitive dissonance (psychologists call this "compartimentalization"), which means they may know something they are doing is wrong but if they separate that bad behavior into "another life" it makes them less uneasy and guilty. Now, having a fantasy sex life is a common thing among people in general. Indeed, it can be healthy in many ways, so I'm not just talking about fantasy sex. What's not okay, however, is justifying bad behavior by saying, in effect, "Oh, I'm a furry and we do that sort of thing so it's okay."
Um, no, not in all cases. Being a furry is not a Do-Whatever-You-Want-To-Do-Sexually Card.
When is this a problem? Well, for one thing, when you are in a relationship with someone and they are uncomfortable with what you are doing, that's when. So far, dear writer, you have been very understanding and patient with your boyfriend, which is very good of you, being a mundane and all. But this doesn't mean you are required to be okay with your boyfriend flirting (or having virtual sex) with strangers online or on the phone. (If he were not a furry and the guy on the other end of the phone wasn't, would you be asked to be okay with it? I think not.)
All relationships should have established ground rules of what is okay and what is not. This ranges from couples with very open relationships to those who are purely monogamous. Both extremes and everything in between are okay as long as both partners are cool with it.
Hon, if what your boyfriend is doing is making you uncomfortable, you have every right to object to it. His using the excuse that he is furry and that furries "do this" is not a valid argument because it completely disregards your feelings and is, therefore, disrespectful and hurtful to you.
Time for you two to sit down and discuss what is and is not okay when it comes to your sexuality. Before you do, make sure you know yourself what you are fine with and what you don't like. Remember, your feelings are valid and should be respected. His feelings are, too, but if the two do not mesh then you have some work to do on your relationship. You have a seven-year investment in this, and that is worth fighting for, so fight for it. Relationships take work, and this is one time where you'll need to do some fixing.
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.