Hello Papabear, I have a question for you.
So when I grow up, I want to be an artist. I really love making art, it helps me express myself in ways I cannot to otherwise. It also helps me make others happy, which is one of the things I very much love doing.
Now I’m sure you’re aware of the major differences between drawing on paper and drawing digitally. I want to try and transition more into digital art on my computer so I can not worry about eraser marks messing me up and being able to color better and what not. Plus, it’ll help with my future job as an artist.
I also love playing video games. I have a few consoles, namely Nintendo ones like the Switch, and I play some games on my computer too. Usually my parents let me play however long I want as long as I have schoolwork done and don’t have any chores. I also cannot be on electronics after 9:30 PM.
Recently my school has gone to full virtual, meaning me and my little sister are going to be stuck at home. I was hesitant about drawing for a while because I felt like I wasn’t good enough and I would just do some sketches in my sketch book once a month. I’ve gotten the confidence now to start drawing again and I want to go back to digital drawing to improve my skills, which I need my computer for. But my parents said that since me and my sister are going to be home all the time, we are only allowed 4 hours on our computers a day and no time extensions.
This puts a limit on how much I can practice my drawing. I want to be able to draw on the computer, but also do my games too in a single day without feeling like I have to do one or the other because of the time limit. And what confuses me the most is my parents still let me use the Switch and my other consoles as much as I want as long as I have schoolwork done and no chores.
So basically I want to have more time on the computer to draw, but I’m afraid they’ll get mad at me and think I want it just for my games. What do you think I should do?
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I think what your parents are trying to limit is you and your sister doing unproductive things online (or what they see as unproductive) such as playing games or chatting on social media. This is different from your working on your skills as an artist. My advice would be to talk to your parents to better define computer time. For example, doing school work on the computer is not something they would try to limit, I would think. Similarly, if you explain to them that art is something you are serious about and might even make a career of, and that learning to use a computer to create digital art is essential for a career in, say, graphic arts, then they should look to this time as being career-oriented.
So, when you talk to them about your art, don't describe it as being for fun and laughs but, rather, as a serious educational pursuit to develop a marketable skill set. Then, while agreeing to the time limit for games and social time on the computer, tell them you need a separate standard for computer time when it involves your education, whether that is for school or for developing your knowledge and ability to create art digitally. Oh, and it would help a lot if at least some of the art you are creating is not furry related. Work on stuff that could have commercial value, such as creating logos, drawing buildings, or portraits of people. These are all things that can help your furry art, so it's not wasted time by any means.
Hope that helps. Good luck!
How to know you are in your true sexuality, or in-denial, or obsessed about sexuality?
Good day, Papabear!
I apologize if this might seemed to be too ranty or seem immature. I ask for your patience if there are grammatical errors. English is only my second language. I hope expressing my secrets on this site will help me to connect. I've been keeping this secret for so long.
When I was a child, other kids labelled me as gay or bisexual because they said I was too nerdy, lanky, soft, and effeminate. They even said I act more delicate and sensitive than most of the other girls. Due to that, I felt like it became a "licensed" for other boys to dominate me. There was a time, someone humped; other times, they showed their dick print; and usually they are caressing me like I was a dainty little girl. I know this because they emulate a certain show where a girl is surrounded by boys, and they treat me like I was that girl. Also, when I was much younger, my brother, who is two years older than me, engaged me in gay sex. It so happened that he experienced the same thing with his male classmates and our much older cousin. My thoughts during that time are empty. I don't know what we are doing during that act. Did I like it? Am I in denial? Am I truly straight? I hate that experience.
I don't want to become someone's bitch. I don't want to be submissive. I hate they abused their power against me. If only I am not a weak, passive, and introverted, and trying to maintain the image of "be a good boy who hurts no one," I'll fight them off. The thought of someone who is much stronger, bigger, virile, and loud, dominating a weaker person feels so unpleasant. Yet, here I am in a rabbit hole of NSFW furry art, searching for furry porn that usually has themes of solo, muscled males, and then eventually to big dom/small sub.
My liking for anthros or kemono characters, beastmen & human girl pairings, obsessions about having a well-built muscle (and, embarrassingly, being well endowed), playing video games, and idling around the internet served as a gateway for NSFW stuff which started around 2014. It started at first in searching beastman and human girl pairings, until I went to gay content. (They are usually much well-drawn, and are much well-endowed and muscley.) At first, I was repulsed, yet I've observed why do I feel something in my groin? It seems I automatically to "self insert" my consciousness on them. It was like "how would I feel if I was them?" I strongly felt unpleasant whenever I view NSFW arts that have tags of rape, M/M or M/F sexual humiliation, gore. I keep searching them. I should separate the feelings from fantasy and reality. But, I can't stop that bad feeling and mental image to go away.
My thoughts told me that "you felt erection especially on M/M, so you must be gay. You felt your heart beat faster, and sudden heavy force in your stomach. That must be your arousal. You need to accept it by exposing yourself or else you are homophobic, and you are living a lie. You see that? the submissive male is you. It became my compulsion to masturbate on that stuff, yet I am so confused if I actually enjoy it or not. This became my midnight ritual: search for furry porn, then masturbate--almost everyday even now. I felt nervous if I don't flush the toilet three times and If I don't pour water around its rim, or else they might found out how disgusting I am. Since I am always sleeping past midnight, it affected my school performance noticeably from 3rd year high school, and it even affects my performance in college which is BSME (I know this course needs a lot of attention, yet I am distracted so I don't have stellar performance). What once have been a brilliant mind (as esteemed by my close friends, family, and self) to a severely crippled, distracted, weird mind (I don't opened this to any of them except for a very few because I know this is weird, in a negative way, cringy, and pathetic from outside view).
On June 2020, I opened this to my classmate who also happened to identify himself as gay. After I revealed this secret, I asked him if I was truly gay or something . He said I might have unconventional interest, but others have much weirder than that yet lead decent lives. He doesn't sense any kind of "gay energy" within me. He said I might be too obsessed and a perfectionist. I felt a short term of respite, but they are not completely gone. If I don't want to belong to any label, am I queer? What if I was just a male who happens to act softly? What if I was lying myself this whole time?
I felt usually in low energy. My brain seems to be foggy and full of random and intrusive thoughts (aside from above, there are thoughts showing me licking the feces on the road or on toilet. There are thoughts showing randomly while I'm doing everyday tasks where a dominating virile monster is on my back and trying to sexually subdue me). I don't enjoy these thoughts, but why I'm having erection?
Does this signify that I'm gay or bisexual in-denial? Was it due to my obsessiveness? I don't know. I just want to cleanse my mind. I just want to be free from these feelings. I can't afford therapy, because we are poor (You do not need to be obligated to help in financial matters). What I've read from psychological self-help books like "The body keeps the score" and a few others is that trauma from childhood manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Also, sharing secrets to others anonymously especially in safe places will help alleviate the distress even for a short time, and worry about the fear of being found out in person. I don't have to worry about someone who I share my secrets with, seeing me.
I know that you have your own problems. I am sorry if I did add some burden. I felt like managing this kind of page is mentally exhausting, but I am still sending you this.
Who knows? My confession might be one of the catalysts for healing.
Thank you so much for your time and understanding. I am grateful for your efforts.
Have a good day!
Anonymous (age 21, The Philippines)
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Thank you for writing such a deeply personal and important letter to me. And, yes, writing your thoughts and feelings down can be helpful. In fact, if you don't already do so, consider keeping a journal and writing your feelings and thoughts down every day. It can be very therapeutic.
There are a few things to address here, so bear with me (pardon the pun). First of all, it is entirely possible for a man to have "effeminate, girly" qualities and still be straight (just as you can have very masculine men who are gay--leathermen and bears). What we consider to be effeminate or masculine is not biological; it's purely cultural. In some old cultures, for example, women did the hunting and men weaved baskets and took care of the children. A little more recently, back in the early 20th century in America, at least, pink was a color that boys wore, and blue was for girls. It was only much later that there was a switch. Today, men enjoying "girl" things is sometimes called "metrosexual." Of course, the opposite can be true for women. They can enjoy "guy things" (like racing cars, engineering, boxing) and still be heterosexual. Culture can be a trap. Being kind and sensitive like you are isn't weak or girly, either. It takes more strength to love than it does to hate. And, if you feel physically weak, well, there's nothing that says you can't go to the gym and work out and still enjoy being sweet and gentle.
Next topic: rape. If you are sexually molested (this doesn't have to involve penetration but can include things like inappropriate touching, shaming, groping, or even teasing you by displaying their own sex organs, etc.) by family members, classmates, or whoever and forced to have sex against your will, that's rape. Rape is often not a sexual act but, rather, an act of assault. "Butch" guys who are insecure in their masculinity will often go after someone who seems weak to them and assault them physically and sexually to "prove" they are strong (in reality, it does the opposite). To do so is meant to humiliate the victim, not to prove that he or she is gay. If you are a victim of such an assault, the thing to do is report it to the authorities. You don't say whether you did that or not, but I hope you did. I'm not sure by reading your letter whether or not the thing with your brother was consensual. It sounds like he initiated it and you just went along with it, probably because you felt pressured to. Again, because you are a sweet, sensitive person, others perceived you as being weak and took advantage of you. That in itself does not mean you are gay. Homosexuality, bisexuality, and other orientations are biological. However, being assaulted can certainly turn you away from the gender that abused you. This is a topic that has filled many books, so I don't have room for it in this column, but there are many aftereffects of rape, and one of these can be questioning your sexual orientation (as you wisely noted).
What do you do now? First, you need to try to recover from the sexual molestations you have suffered. This article summarizes the many things you can do, including everything from seeking professional counseling to simply treating yourself with kindness. In addition, you need to focus on accepting yourself for who you are without regard to society's definitions of who you should be as a young man. The cultural standards of human society are oppressive, limiting, and imprisoning. Liberate yourself by defining who you are and what your own moral compass tells you to do, and fuck society. Human society is a mess, so why would you wish to emulate it? That is one reason why we have furries--most of whom reject human society to celebrate their own individuality.
Bottom line is this: you shouldn't care if you are gay, bi, straight, or whatever else you might be. The sooner you stop obsessing about your sexual orientation the happier you will be. Look, I am a gay bear, but I don't go around wearing my orientation on my sleeve. I don't walk up to people at a party and say, "Hi! I'm Kevin and I'm gay!" Do you see people at parties saying, "Hi! I'm Bob and I'm a heterosexual"? Similarly, you should not define yourself by who attracts you physically. I bet you are a lot of other things besides what makes your penis hard. I, for one, would like to know what your hobbies and interests are, your likes and dislikes. THAT is what makes you an interesting person, not what type of porn you look at online.
Your obsession with this, as you note, is affecting your life at school and at home. Obsessions and addictions of any sort are unhealthy. It would not hurt you, I daresay, to get some therapy if you can (I know money is an issue), hopefully from a professional who is not a homophobe and is nonjudgmental. So, don't go to a church counselor. I've talked with some others in the Philippines and have heard it is a rather macho culture, so you might need to shop around a bit to find a good counselor who isn't trying to make you a cultural conformist so that you become "normal" by their standards.
So, to answer your initial question, yes, you are definitely obsessed with your sexuality, and this is because of two things: 1) your rape experience, and 2) your struggle to be accepted for yourself. These are things that are not solved overnight but, rather, you need to work on over time. You also ask if you are in denial. No, I don't think you're in self-denial; I just think you haven't figured yourself out yet. You have been addressing the issue head-on, so that's a good thing. You should continue to actively explore your sexuality. At 21 years old, you're right in that time of life when many people are still working on their sexual orientation. Heck, I didn't really figure out mine until I was 40, so everyone is different. Don't compare yourself to other people's standards or timelines. Work at your own pace. Finally, how do you know "you are in your true sexuality?" as you put it. Well, not with porn. You will know for sure when you find someone you love and wish to be with and with whom you have a good sexual relationship, whether that person is gay, straight, trans, male, female, or whatever. Fall in love with the person, not their genitals. Sexuality is not, ironically, just about sex. It is about the kind of person you are attracted to, who they are on the inside. Sexuality is largely in the mind.
Human sexuality is extremely complicated. Most people, studies show, are not 100% gay or 100% straight but, rather, somewhere in between on the spectrum. Don't worry about it. And don't let society and those around you define who you are. Sexuality is just one small piece of the full human being that you are. Explore your life. Explore the world. It is an amazing place to learn about once you finish cleaning up in the bathroom. Things will eventually fall into place for you if you let things flow organically, naturally.
I hope that makes sense to you. Feel free to write again if you have more questions.
I guess I should start at the beginning. I had a friend, I’m not sure I should say his name. Let’s call him Ron. Ron and I were inseparable. I mean, we were only friends online, but we were closer than anyone. Almost like twins.
Ron and I talked all the time, but of course we both had our own lives, so it was normal that he and I didn’t talk for a few days. He had his own friends, and I had mine as well. But we were always there for each other. Best friends.
I noticed that after some time had passed, years I mean, that he started talking to me less and less. Even though I’d message or call him. He’d start to leave me on “read” or even just flat out send me to voice mail. Which didn’t bug me at first. He was probably just busy. Then I noticed it happening more and more. And I saw that even when he was online he still wouldn’t reach out to me. That started to get to me a bit. He started commissioning art that both of us had planned to get together with others. Ideas that I shared with him and we both promised to get.
Over time, I asked him what was going on. Did I say something? Did I do something? And he just flat out said “our friendship has run its course.” That hurt me so hard. Someone I had considered family to me, would just turn their back on me like that. And without a word.
Years later. I have a best friend now, we can call him Jude. Jude and I are the same way Ron and I were. Closer than anyone ever. Actually, we went to high school together. We have known each other for 11 years or so, but only have considered each other best friends for about 5-6 years probably. It feels like forever though. I love this guy to death, and I’d risk my life for him. And he feels the same way, I know it. Mostly because he told me so.
But . . . well again he has his own friends. And sometimes he will be with them instead of me. And...I really hate to say it, I feel paranoid. Almost like he will see a better friend in them instead of me, and leave me for them. Just like Ron did. He’s gotten so close with others. Even artwork with them and it scares me. Wow, typing this out, I feel disgusted with myself. And he’s noticed this. He does say it does bug him that I get like this. I tell him I’m fine but he says he doesn’t believe me when I say that.
Jude guarantees me that we are best friends until the literal end. And that he would never think about turning his back on me as Ron did. But I still get really scared.
No friendship should be like this. How can I even call this a friendship with how selfish I act like this? Am I just a terrible friend to him? I know it’s completely unfair.
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This is a good example of my belief that online relationships aren't the same as in-person friendships. Real friendships require a commitment and dedication beyond typing or video chat. They take some sacrifice along with the rewards. When there is no real-life contact with a friend, when you don't go through troubles and tribulations together as well as good times, then no strong connection will form. Oh, sure, you can have friendly chats and if you share hobbies and philosophies you can feel as if there is a strong bond there, but, just like the internet, it's only virtual. "Plans" to meet sound nice, but then reality gets in the way (money, work, school, pandemics) and that "someday we will meet" gets pushed farther and farther into the future until it never happens.
Your friendship with Ron was only virtual. Eventually, he got tired of it and turned his attention to friends he could actually see and do things with in person (my theory). So, he became bored and moved on, tired of waiting for you. Jude, on the other paw, is a friend with whom you have a shared past in high school. This is a totally different ball of wax. It is much more real. It is therefore not the same as your friendship with Ron. You should not compare apples and oranges, Tieg. And you should not allow one bad experience with one person poison your friendship with Jude. If you do, you will find yourself creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, you will become so paranoid that Jude will dump you that he will feel you don't trust him and he will dump you.
Get over Ron. Jude is not comparable. Commit to this relationship; trust Jude, and don't act like Jude is Ron. If you do, you will poison what you have.
You are not a terrible friend. You're allowing fear to control you. The absolute worst thing you can do to yourself is allow fear to rule your behavior. A common human foible. Forget about Ron. Live for today. Today is all you have. Ron is the past; Jude is the future. Enjoy your friendship with Jude and trust him to be there for you. And stop torturing yourself. What happened to you is totally understandable, but now is the time to learn and grow from the experience and don't obsess over it.
Have a good holiday and a blessed New Year.
Hi Papa Bear.
Even though I'm 30 I'm a bedwetter and have been off and on my whole life even diapered a lot from age 8 up. I think its what lead me to becoming a babyfur. My thing is I don't know how to go about talking about the issue and its connection with others that I love.
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What have you done so far to address your bedwetting?
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So I have done several things over the last few months, actually. I've went to the doctor and got a referral for the urologist. Saw them, got a CT scan done both with and without contrast and ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder; went in for surgery for a cystoscopy, and everything came back negative.
Being a furry/babyfur I think is a trigger from my past, and I wanted your opinion, if you don't mind. From age 7 or 8 and all the way up, I've been in and out of diapers my whole life. I suffered from encopresis (bowel loss) when I was 7 till around age 9, then bedwetting from there on. I was constantly spanked and given enemas and eventually put back into diapers at age 8. Seems more like a punishment than helping control the problem.
But I wanted your opinion/advice about this sort of thing. Do you think that it's the past that possibly triggered my babyfur side of me to manifest, and also like when I get with someone how to bring this situation up?
Thanks fur the help.
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If the bed wetting isn't caused by a medical problem, then it likely is caused by an emotional or mental issue. Did you have a traumatic childhood?
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As to what I explained before in combination with this, I was in fact sexually assaulted by my cousin at age 11. I don't know if you want me to go into details with it or not, but I was also sexually assaulted by an older guy in March of 2011.
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Thank you for that honest response. Now we get to the nitty-gritty of the matter. You see, bedwetting can be an expression of the trauma of having been raped as a child or even as a teen. By extension, your babyfur urges are right up the same alley. You see, when you were traumatized by being raped, you not only were physically assaulted but you were psychologically and emotionally assaulted. Your attackers robbed you of your innocence and, indeed, your childhood. To compensate, some people such as yourself try to revert to a childhood or even infant state in an attempt to reclaim the innocence they have lost.
Here is a link to a very informative PDF that is all about how childhood rape can affect people well into adulthood.
I would suggest that you seek counsel from a professional who specializes in helping rape victims. Once your psychological issues are resolved, this should go a long way toward mitigating or even completely resolving your bedwetting problem.
As for personal relationships, I would recommend you try and figure out the bedwetting first and then worry about relationships later. Sometimes, of course, serendipity plays an unexpected card and you just fall into a relationship. Should this happen while you are still seeing a counselor, explain what is going on with you openly and honestly, but only when you feel ready to do so and only if you are in a serious relationship (i.e., e.g., it's not something I would mention on a first or second date).
IHey! I'm back and with a question, does it matter if i have for instance: a non- binary sona, or a trans one? - even tho I'm cisgender, does it change anything, i wanna stay christian, but its just a fursona! right? ?? (no offense to anyone lgbtq, i support you.)
Lacra (age 11)
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Fursonas are a way of expressing yourself and/or experimenting with different identities. Sometimes, fursonas express who we would like to be in an ideal world; sometimes, they express who we really are but are afraid to be or are too shy to express; sometimes, they are a way to experiment with other identities of all types. I've known furries who are male but their fursona is female (and vice versa), and furries who are straight might explore being bi or gay in their fursona.
Fursonas are just playful ways to experiment and explore and rejoice in being you or to take a break from being you. Oh, and you can be Christian no matter what your gender or sexuality, so don't worry about that. Anyone who says you can't has not listened to what Jesus really said.
Create a fursona who is whatever you like them to be. That's the fun of being in this fandom. And while you do that, your fursona might surprise you and teach you things about yourself you didn't know or want to admit.
Be what you wanna be, dear. And have fun with it!
I have been having on-again-off-again thoughts on completely leaving the furry fandom for a couple of weeks recently.
I’ve been part of the furry community for about six years and got to know a couple good friends. I appreciated all of the good aspects the fandom has to offer during this time. However, I feel like my interests are changing as I get older, and I find myself enjoying it less and less. My trust issues started deteriorating even more because of these thoughts. I don’t want to cause any hard feelings with those friends in this fandom if I do decide to leave.
When we’re young, we think that things can last forever ... but they don’t. I know that life changes, people change, and everything changes overtime. It can be hard to accept at times, but moving on from something you no longer enjoy can be for the better.
I also am aware of the negative stigma around furries, and I stay away from all of the toxic parts of the community as much as possible. I haven’t really told people in real life about my furry-ism out of extreme fear that I might lose friends. It leads me to have serious social anxiety and me always feeling very reserved around others.
Nowadays, I honestly don’t know if I should stay in a fandom like this for the rest of my life. I’ve been part of it for so long that I don’t know how to quit. Sometimes I keep asking myself: “Do I really want to dedicate my time and energy into this any longer? Is it time to move on?”
So I ask you, Papabear: If I ever want to leave the furry community and move on with my life, how should I properly do so?
Anonymous (age 21)
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There are a few ways in which the furry fandom is unique from other fandoms, and the whole "I'm leaving the fandom" thing is one of them. You never hear someone say, "I'm leaving the Whovians" or "I'm formally announcing I'm no longer a Trekker," but when it comes to furries somehow it's a big, drama-inducing deal.
So let me set your mind at ease. If you don't want to do furry stuff anymore, just stop doing it. It's only a big deal if you make it a big deal. It's not like you're leaving the mob and we're going to track you down and make you sleep with the fishes. It's just a fandom, okay?
Look, in my opinion, there are two types of people in the fandom: 1) people who call themselves furry because being furry is a part of them; it's who they are, and they can't "stop" being furry any more than you can "stop" being a Homo sapiens. It's in your genes. 2) people who got into the fandom kind of as a hobby and because it was a way to socialize with fun and crazy people, but they don't have truly fuzzy hearts. Some of them, frankly, just got into it for the porn; some got into it for the gaming; some liked the fursuits. But then they "grow up" and decide that the fandom is just childish and they have lost interest. This typically happens to hobbyists when they reach their twenties, or finish college, get a job etc. Sounds to me like you are in this second type.
I'm not trying to shame you, not at all. You're just not a dyed-in-the-wool furry. You had some fun with it, made some friends, all good. Now you're done with it (or soon will be) and ready to be an "adult" (whatever the heck that means). So, as to your question on how one gracefully bows out, well, first of all, don't make a scene. Don't make a huge dramatic announcement on the social sites that "I'm leaving the fandom." That just comes off as vain and needy. Secondly, this doesn't mean you have to lose your furry friends. I would contact all the friends with whom you have close ties and say, "Hey, I've kind of lost interest in doing furry stuff and won't be active in the fandom anymore, but I'm grateful to have you as a friend and I hope we can continue to be friends...." Make sure they have your contact information and you can talk to them on Messenger or the phone or whatever. You can then be a "furry friend" who hangs with furries but really is not one himself. This is totally doable and can be rewarding. My late husband fell into this category. My fursuit maker, Beastcub, is not a furry but simply a person who enjoys making fursuits.
So, that's how you do it. Don't be dramatic. Keep the friends you want to keep. Move on with your life, and may it be a happy one.
I recently made my own fursuit, and hey! It's not too bad! But ... where can I fursuit? I fursuited on Halloween, and it was fun. Everyone liked it! Yay! I had some other ideas. are these good?
1: Wearing it whenever we have a yard sale
2: Bday parties
3: Making funny YouTube videos
4: To friend group's Christmas parties
5: To the city park
6: On a walk.
Those are just my ideas, but I really need your advice!
Ozzy the Party Parrot (age 13)
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Congrats on making your first fursuit! Is it a parrot like your fursona? Neat :-) Let's start with a look at places NOT to wear a fursuit, first. Because your face and identity are concealed, the first thing to remember is not to go traipsing into a bank or government facility because you'll be tackled by security guards! It is also not advisable to wander into a place of business with your head covered without the business owner's permission for pretty much the same reason (this is why you might see furries wearing ears and tails but not a head at a store). Now, if you inform a business owner ahead of time, and they say okay, that's fine. Public parks can be hit or miss. For example, the San Diego Furries meet and fursuit at places like Balboa Park with no problem, but I have a furiend up in the Bay Area who once got approached by police for suiting in a park there because someone reported a suspicious person. So, when it comes to parks, do a little research up front or go with a group of furries who have organized an event. I would check ahead, too, before suiting at fairs and festivals to make sure the organizers knew I was going to be there (e.g., I've been thinking of fursuiting at the Palm Springs Street Fair, but I would check with them before I did so). Wearing what is essentially a mask in public has a history of issues related to what's going on in our society. For example, the rise of terrorism has made authorities very suspicious of people concealing their faces in public places; on the other hand, with COVID around everyone has to wear a mask. Wutcha gonna do? It's confusing. So, rule of thumb: always plan ahead and make sure it's okay before you fursuit in a public place or business.
Let's move on to ideas for good places to fursuit. Besides furcons and meets, going to related activities is a great alternative. For example, a lot of furries suit at Renaissance Faires. Comic book conventions are also a sweet place, as are related cons like anything related to anime, sci-fi, and fantasy. Wearing your fursuit on Halloween is also perfect (as you found out). Of course, anything to do with fursuiting on your own property or in the homes of friends and family is absolutely fine, so that covers your ideas about yard sales, birthday parties, and Christmas parties, as well as doing anything online like making YouTube videos. Taking a "walk" in fursuit kind of depends, as noted above, as to where you are walking. If you walk around your own neighborhood, that's probably fine, and I have never heard of anyfur getting in trouble for doing that.
Thanks for your question! Happy Fursuiting!
It’s me again; hope you’re doing well. As of now I am a senior in high school, and after I graduate I’m moving from New Jersey to North Carolina for college. Now I do love NC. In fact I’m here right now as school is remote and I can still attend online. My parents are retiring in a beautiful home at St. James Plantation and have made many friends there which I get on with. I love the little town of Southport that’s nearby, and the cute little beaches and local restaurants and stores all about. I’m also quite looking forward to college, as I’ve visited several campuses already, and though I know I may still be virtual, I’m excited for the opportunity to grow and learn more about myself. My boyfriend is even going to be moving down here from Illinois too, and although we’ll still be a few hours away, it’s better than being states apart. All things considered, things are going good for the most part.
However, I can’t shake that feeling of sadness when I think of living here. I’ve lived in New Jersey all my life. It’s where I spent my childhood years and has shaped me so far as the person I am now. I love the pretty forests and rolling hills, I love the winding roads through the countryside, I love how the towns have such a rustic, nostalgic feel, and the comfort I experience from knowing them so well. I love the friends and memories I’ve made there, and I’m glad I had the childhood I did. I know I’m going to have to leave a lot of that and more behind, and I’m not sure how to cope with it. I’m not deeply depressed mind you, but the last time I moved was when I was 9, and it was only 45 minutes away. With how long you’ve been around, I think it’s safe to assumed you’ve moved at least a few times, as I know it’s a common experience. What should I do to help accept and (try to) heal these emotions?
Galaxy (age 17)
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Nice to hear from you again and thanks for the update. To answer your question, what you are experiencing is simply nostalgia for the past. Yes, I have moved a LOT. I was born in Boston and have moved nine times, living in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and California. So, I know something about moving.
The bad thing about moving a lot is that you never have a town or city you really feel is your home town. If someone asks me my home town, I say where I am now, and if they say, "No, where did you grow up?" I say "all over" because no place feels like home to me.
My first word of advice: Count yourself lucky that you grew up in a very stable environment, and the result is you will always feel like New Jersey is your true home. That's nice. That's really really nice. As you get a bit older, you will appreciate that more. And that treasure trove of memories of the two homes you lived in, your family, friends, schools, that is always a part of you, and that is beautiful because it sounds like you had a very good childhood (message to Galaxy's parents: Good job, you two!).
Now you are in North Carolina, and it appears you like that, which is super duper! You have a whole world to explore, new friends to meet, new experiences to take in, new things to learn. The thing about growing older is you have two choices in this regard: you can stay in your little home town all your life, grow old and die there; or you can go out into the world and have new experiences and meet new people, which will open your eyes a lot to different points of view and make you smarter, to boot. There is nothing wrong about being a homey all your life, but it has the very real danger of making one too colloquial and too set in their ways. My mother used to tell a story about her first time in Abilene, Texas, to meet my father's family. Now, my mom had already traveled quite a bit at this point, including Europe. She asked a few of the Abilene residents if they had traveled, too, and they replied invariably, "Why travel when we have everything we need here?" Well, sure, you have food and home and church and friends all there, but you don't know anything about people who are different from you, and that can make you very narrow-minded and inflexible to change, and this is not healthy. (And no, watching TV is not just as good as traveling). Do you know what stays in one place all its life? A vegetable. Animals move. Be an animal.
Cherish your past memories; stay in touch with the friends you can (most people lose touch, but that is up to you and them; you still have the memories); remember the lessons learned and use them as information that can help you with the new challenges you face today. Someday, you will leave North Carolina (but probably come back to see your parents) to get a job or marry or just explore, and then you can look back at North Carolina and your college days and appreciate and learn from them as well.
The solution to your problem is attitude. Do not look at your yearning for Jersey as something that has to be healed or accept. No. The fact you feel that way indicates you had a great past and you should always love it. You don't have to fix that because there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing to "heal" from. You're not wounded. You're fine.
Go out and explore life! Yay for you! Time to get excited about the future and all it holds!
I just wanted to ask about furry cons, even though covid-19 is currently happening right now, I'm still really curious about it and haven't gotten many answers. Like are most conventions only 18+ to go to? Are there furry events in shops around (like cafes stores etc.)? And also advice on what's best to do at cons, like best travel and hotels if covid ends. I wanna be prepared.
Cookie (age 13)
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Dear Cookie (love that name),
That's a great question, thanks for asking. When COVID-19 eases up (and it will; they already have two very promising vaccines in the test stage, as well as treatments being developed), furcons should make a comeback in 2021 and 2022. What a joyous occasion that will be! I'm registered to attend Biggest Little Furcon in Reno, and it's been delayed a couple times and is now hopefully going to occur in June, so here's hoping.
Most furcons with which I am familiar are kid-friendly. While, yes, there is adult art in the artists' den and in the marketplace, these things are restricted to those 18 and older, and you will not be allowed inside those areas, so you can enjoy the rest of the marketplace and art shows without worry. Everything else at furcons--events, parades, forums--are G-rated. Occasionally, there will be a forum that is for adults, but those will be clearly marked on a program and, of course, someone your age would not be allowed inside the lecture room in those cases.
Some cons also have tracks specifically designed for youth (e.g. Furry Migration), and all furcons have rules laid out on their websites about minors. These usually involve the fact that you need permission from a parent or legal guardian to attend, pay for the registration, and pay for the room.
Most furcons are held at hotels and convention centers, but some have different settings, such as campgrounds. If you are looking for small events (you mention meeting at a coffee shop) then what you want is called a "furmeet." These are small parties or activities organized by a local furry group. They plan things like house parties, bowling events, going to movies or parks, and so on. You might try Meetup to see if there is a regular furmeet near you, or search on social sites to find local furry groups.
Because cons are held in cities all over the world, I can't really advise you on what travel and hotel options are best without knowing where you intend to go. I would advise that you check out the website of the con you wish to attend, see if they have a youth track, and contact the person in charge of events to ask about best things to do there. I would, if I were your age, attend forums to learn more about the fandom, visit the marketplace, visit the artists' den, show your parents around so they can see that furry is a lot of fun. And try to meet people and make furiends.
If you have more specific questions, feel free to write again.
Welcome to the fandom!
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).
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.