I was wondering if you can help me with something. You see, my first experience with the furry fandom was when I was 13 years old or so. But the thing is, I got exposed to the NSFW side of the fandom and became addicted to it for a few years now. I had the idea to join in the fandom and try to stay on the clean side. Unfortunately, it was not the case as still have the addiction. Sometimes I even have had thoughts on wanting revenge on those who make this kind of art material and how a lot of furries don't keep this kind of stuff private on facebook and twitter that makes it really easy for kids to view it. I only just want to be a good person a lay my demons to rest. Also, if I do actually want to be in this fandom, I might be afraid because of being viewed as immature or as some kind of degenerate and whatever terms and labels people have been throwing around, I know some people say furry is also just a label.
* * *
Thank you for your letter, which allows Papabear to address some interesting subjects. You sound as if you have a lot of guilt over being sexually stimulated by furporn. First of all, as a teenager it is completely natural that your libido would be on overdrive. Sex is pretty much on the brain of all young men (and women) because that's when you are the healthiest and most fertile. It's a Mother Nature thing. Most people become very stimulated by "normal" pornography on the Internet. In fact, porn sites are the most accessed of any type of website on the Web. (Interestingly, the Bible Belt states have the highest rate of porn access in the United States). Is furporn worse or more "degenerate" than any other type of pornography? No, no it is not. Do furries look at a lot of porn? Yes, many do--some more than others, of course. Is furry all about porn? Certainly not. Furporn is just one small aspect of a very interesting and diverse fandom; however, to deny that it is also a fascination for many furries would be tantamount to sticking one's head in the sand.
Why do some furries look at or create furporn? Are they secretly zoophiles? No. I have a number of theories on this matter about which I am writing more in-depth in my upcoming book. One theory is that fursonas create a mask over our sexual proclivities--a buffer, if you will, protecting us from our culture-promoted embarrassment and anxieties over being sexual animals. It is the same reason, for example, why I, as Grubbs Grizzly, felt much more comfortable performing on stage in fursuit than I ever would have as myself: you feel less vulnerable, more protected against criticism or guilt.
Another theory is that furporn allows us to be more free in expressing our animalistic sexual desires. In furporn, no one worries about protection, for example, and there is a sense of liberation in letting it, shall we say, all hang out. It also relieves anxiety over being homosexual ("It's not me doing this, it's my fursona") or having a fetish of some kind. The factor that furries do not exist in real-life places furporn high on the "this is just totally fantasy" list, making it feel safer because one knows that having sex with a dragon or anthro wolf is never going to happen in real life, so there, again, is the relief from anxiety and anticipation.
Seeking "revenge" on furporn artists will not help you, as you likely know. First of all, there's no way you will get rid of furporn, no matter what you do. It's here to stay. Secondly, furporn didn't create sexual desires in you; you already had those and porn just provides you with an outlet. Thirdly, don't feel guilty about it. Human sexuality is extremely diverse, and it can be imaginative and highly creative in a good way (the only bad kinds of sexuality involve anything in which sex is forced against someone's will--rape, sex with children, for example). When sex is consensual and done safely, it is actually a healthy practice that fosters social bonds and even love.
Finally, if looking at furporn made you a reject in the fandom, then yours truly would be a reject, too. I don't think I am, so you should be cool.
Re-examine why you have these feelings of guilt and shame. Is it because YOU think furry sexuality is bad, or is because you feel society thinks it is bad and will reject you?
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.