Today I met a Furry, what now?

20 03 2011

Today you met your first furry, and want to know what it’s all about, so the first thing you do is ask a friend, who claims to know, but doesn’t know that much more than you do.

He says “It’s some weird sexual fetish, I know cause I saw something on TV about it”.

For some, that’s enough info, and they go through life thinking that’s what it’s all about… except it’s about 90% wrong.

Now some Furries would write an encyclopedia on the subject, but I know darn well that if this post dribbles on too long that most, if not all of you will tune out, so lets get straight to the short and curlies.

A Furry is someone who “describes themselves as an animal” in much the same way that someone else might describe themselves as “Christian” or a “Footy Fan”.

Why do they do that?

Well everyone has different reasons, but a few include “Because I feel it’s my spirit animal” or “I’m a big fan of cartoon animals” or even “My mates all do it, so I thought I’d try it out too”.

Now a lot of Furries are highly creative, they can draw, paint, sew, design, write and are also often good with computers, in fact some people have said that if it wasn’t for the furries, half the internet wouldn’t work, I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s a fun rumour.

So, you’ll see Furry artwork, Hear Furry Music, and once in a while see Furries dressed in costumes which they very often make themselves after months of hard work, think of the work that goes into something like quilting and you’ll have the basic idea of the kind of effort involved, more on this later.

You may have probably seen a furry on Twitter or Facebook, and here’s an interesting thing, Spammers almost never use a Furry avatar, so if you see a person with a Furry avatar who wants to follow you, then it’s most likely a genuine person who reads your stuff and likes you.

But the sex? What about that?

Bear (see what I did there?) in mind that Furries are quite often teenagers, so there are a lot of hormones swirling around, so yes, sex is going to be added to the mix, but the sex would be there whatever people chose to do, Whether that’s being in a band, playing golf, surfing, flower arranging, fighting fires… you get the picture… It’s just that somehow people got the idea that Furries have more sex than anyone else, you know, like with the Swedes, Yah?

But Furries generally are more laid back (see what I did there?) about sex than most people seem to be, we’re simply not bothered about people who are gay or whatever, if nobody is being hurt, then it’s fine.

You heard something about Plushies?

Oh that’s ok, People confuse Furries with Plushies all the time, Plushies are people who… have a thing for toy animals, now some Plushies ARE Furries, just like some Builders are Smokers. I’m a Furry, and the idea that someone can get randy over a plush Lion King leaves me scratching my head, but nobody is being hurt, so meh.

Furries can, and have sometimes tried to have sex in their costumes, but many don’t want to, because… as I said earlier, a costume represents months of work, these are not some cheap off-the-shelf item, they are designed for one person to wear… much like an elaborate costume might be made for an actor in a play or a movie… they generally won’t fit other people, unlike a sports mascot costume which could be warn by quite a few people and is designed for rough and tumble.

People can spend $2000 or upwards on a costume, so the idea of rolling around, scuffing it on the carpet and getting it really dirty is about as appealing as swallowing a hair ball, and remember that these costumes can get really hot, so sex, although possible (if the owner really wanted to try) is probably not going to be too comfortable.

If two furries want to have sex with each other, it’s probably best to go into a very dark room together and use the theatre of the mind, their own imagination, as most of us do anyway.

If you meet a Furry, my advice would be to sit down with them, pour a drink, and tell them that you’ve heard a little bit about Furries but you’re not sure what it’s about, and do try to ask the odd awkward question… Furries usually don’t mind, and will generally open up about things.

What have I learnt about being Furry?

Well as a White, Aussie Male, I had no idea what racism felt like, I had some idea because I was bullied at school for years, but racism was something else.

When I was on Second Life, which is a kind of Social Network in a 3D environment, there were certain hate groups which I was exposed to, now these guys had basically decided Furries were “Bad” and were going to destroy their way of life in some manner or other, They were really just a bunch of trolls.

My Avatar in Second Life, was a Wolf (of course), a Furry who walked on two legs.

The hatred which came from these guys, hurt, but also gave me valuable information on what it must be like to be someone with a different coloured skin, who goes through this kind of thing, in real life, everyday.

They tried to promote Furries as sexual deviants, child eaters, people who got on the bus without paying their fares but failed miserably.

Second Life had, and probably still has, a strong Australian community, who saw through the situation rapidly.

Because I was so well-known in Second Life (mainly via ABC Island) the Aussies simply thought Furry = Wolfie.

Therefore almost all the Aussies accepted Furries, and many became Furries themselves.

I had done something positive and was very pleased with Myself, but was also very proud of the Aussie community, and felt that if this issue could be overcome so quickly in a simulation, then racism in the real world, could end, and it could happen fairly soon too.

To wrap up, we’re harmless… a little geeky at worst, and we like to gather in groups at times to get to know each other better. We’re a highly creative and generally welcoming mob who don’t have hang ups about race or sex or sexuality… but we are people and sometimes we gripe about something.

As each Furry brings something new to the table, don’t just take my word for it, ask for other opinions and try to find out what’s going on yourself.





14 responses

21 03 2011

Hmmm, you have given me something to think about with my identification with dragons….
I shouldn’t be, but I’m astounded about what happened on Second Life. Haters really are the weirdest people of all.

21 03 2011
Wolfie Rankin

That’s how people become furries, Dragons are a division of the culture, generally known as “Scalies”.

3 04 2011
Andrew McCloud

Hey, saw your article on FNN and thought I’d tell you it was fantastic. I run a fandom-based panel called “The Great Debate: Defining Furry” and am always trying to find new ways to help our fellow furries understand what the fandom is about, and how best to integrate themselves with the rest of society. You’ve written something quite grand here that I will be recommending for many furries I know who have RL issues with friends or family to come in and read this so they can understand just how silly they are when they jump to conclusions so fast. ^.^

3 04 2011
Wolfie Rankin

Thankyou very much 🙂

5 04 2011

So being after your said “Randy,” I pretty much had to re-read the rest cause I was laughing so hard. Being an american and hearing that word outside of Austin Powers, its totally hilarious. Thank you for using the word in a great way!

5 04 2011

Fantastic article! This really clears things up.

3 05 2011

i disagree with so much of what you said. to define the furry fandom you only have to look at the history. as i understand it the furry fandom was a branch off of the funny animal fandom. the reason why they split off is the belief that anthropomorphics could be used to tell adult stories. so right from the beginning the sexual end of it was there even though it was not limited to it like it seems to be today.
if you look at the top 50 most popular artists on furaffinity (as independently ranked here ) only cerberus, who comes in at 45, does not draw any soft core or hard core furry porn. this shows us that the majority of what people seem to be interested in is some form of porn. even much of the non adult artwork in the fandom is nothing more thinly disguised cheesecake.

i am not going to pass any judgement one way or the other on whats out there but i think the furry fandom needs to be honest when describing itself to the public.

3 05 2011
Wolfie Rankin

I think your opinion is valid, mainly because it is so difficult to define what the fandom is, and it is a very complex one, and means many different things to different people. However I disagree about the sex, I didn’t join the fandom as a sexual thing, and it’s fair to say many others didn’t either… Though I never really complained, and I think many of the others didn’t either. We tend to be more open about sexual things… While there were folks out there who got upset about Janet Jackson flashing a tit on television, I think most of us would have needed a heck of a lot more to have been offended. Bits don’t offend me, but guns do, I hate violence.

23 11 2011
Yonaka no Ashi

This is probably one of the best discriptions of Furry i have found. You dont suger coat it like most try to you just told the straght facts.

23 11 2011
Yonaka no Ashi

This also helped me exsplain to my friends that dont understand what Furry is.

29 03 2013
Wolfie Rankin

Pleased to be of help 🙂

14 07 2012
voiced otter

I just actually saw on on G+ for the first time.
I’m kinda glad to see these kinda posts.
I’m an Otter Furry myself, also from NZ.

29 03 2013
Wolfie Rankin

I’m from Oz, Just across the pond, though I’d hate to swim it 🙂

29 03 2013

Reblogged this on ausoep's Blog.

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