I must be honest I only found out about you today, but seeing some of the things fellow furries have asked you and seeing your responses, I immediately have huge respect for you and I'd like to say that I appreciate what you are doing. (especially to the recent suicide note, I am extremely sorry for the experience you had to go through Jean, I am here for you if you need any help because I'm also from South Africa :3)
In South Africa, the furry population isn't the largest so I personally have only chatted to furries over the internet and not in person.. Anyways I was wondering a couple of things about the furry fandom you can clear up for me.
1. I know usually the adult or "yiff" part of the furry fandom is frowned upon, but is it "wrong" to enjoy those kind of things within moderation of course?
2. I know that most furries are simply into artwork, but being a furry can entail (excuse the pun_ many different things depending on the person. I believe that my fursona is something which I want to be in real life if possible, and that I kinda am a furry "trapped" inside a human body if that makes sense. I'm wondering if that is common in the fandom or is it "strange". What does being a furry mean to you?
I am still relatively new to the fandom and I am still discovering myself in life, and well.. I'd like to know some more information if possible. Again thanks so much for all of the time, effort and work you have put into helping furries like myself, I appreciate you so much
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I’ve been getting more and more letters like yours asking about the nature of furry, what it entails, and on and on. It makes me realize more how I have to get my tail moving on the book I am writing about the fandom (it’s coming!)
I could go on and on about how the fandom got where it is today and what it means to be furry these days, but that’s what the book’s about! It’s also a guide to the fandom (everything from how to run a furry business to how to perform in a fursuit and more). For now, let’s just focus on your two questions.
1. Whether or not “yiff” is frowned upon depends entirely on whom you ask. Some furries have no problem with it, and others feel offended by it. The fact is that it is part of the fandom and not going anywhere. The whole idea of anthros and furries evolved in the 1980s when certain artists and writers decided that what was then “funny animals” cartoons should have a more adult spin. This gave us everything from “Omaha the Cat Dancer” to “Associated Student Bodies” to the more in-your-face furporn you often see online. The difference between something like Omaha and the gratuitous sex in, say, an issue of Genus, is that the former include sex as part of the story while the latter is basically just a bunch of sexy images to get someone aroused. Is it “wrong” to be aroused by such things. Of course not. Sexuality is a part of human nature. Everyone has sexual fantasies of one sort or another, and if you get excited by an anthro character in the buff, that’s fine. As you say, if it’s in moderation, it’s okay. You only get into problems when sex becomes an addiction that interferes with the rest of your life, a topic I’ve written about before in this column.
2. Quite a few furries, including yours truly, feel like we don’t really belong in human bodies. At one end of this spectrum are therians (people who transform physically or spiritually into other animals—e.g. werewolves) and otherkin (people who feel they are elves, dragons, and other creatures considered by most humans as mythological or simply not human) to the other end of the spectrum where people just long to be other animals but know they (currently) are human. I’m more on the spiritual side of this in that I feel that the grizzly bear is the most prominent of my spiritual guides on my Medicine Wheel.
Furries are a diverse group. Some are artists, some are gamers, some are fursuiters, some are writers, some are more into the spiritual side of it. It has become a very complex group of people. The neat thing is that you can make of furry what you want. Remember: do not let anyone try to tell you “a furry is this and a furry is not that.” Don’t worry about defining it. Just be it.
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.