How To Be a Babyfur

So, you’re a babyfur.

I know, I know: you’re not one of those babyfurs.

You probably like wearing diapers. You probably find that you can unwind and relax when you’re doing childish things. You have probably found that, as time has gone on, you’ve started incorporating “adult baby” elements into parts of your life—clothing, accoutrements, roleplay—to add to your enjoyment of diapers.

Or maybe you just find the art cute, and the characters easily relatable. Or maybe it’s more of a sex thing. Or maybe you like to watch cartoons and talk in baby talk. Or maybe, just maybe, you have a professional ‘adult’ who looks after you in a nursery once in a while.

In any event, you’re probably aware of how other furries react when they hear about babyfurs. They find babyfurs distasteful. And so you probably have a babyfur-only identity that is separate from your ‘normal’ furry identity. Or maybe you just keep it to yourself.

As a babyfur, you probably feel like you can’t be open and honest with your local furry group. I think there are more people in your situation than you realize.

I think that there are a lot of babyfurs in the furry community. I don’t know exactly how many, because no large survey has ever asked. But I think it’s a lot, perhaps comparable in size to the other large minorities we have within furry: the genderqueer, the zoophiles, and the women.

We here at [adjective][species] would like to hear from the babyfurs. We’ve created a short survey—which is anonymous and confidential—and we’d like you to respond. But more on that in a moment.

I have only anecdotal evidence that suggests, to me, that there are a lot of babyfurs out there:

  • Babyfur events, usually room parties, occur at every convention. Some of these are G-rated exercises in icecream and Power Rangers; some are explicitly sexual; many are a bit of both. These events occur despite being organized via word-of-mouth, and occur despite the perception that they are taboo within the wider furry community.
  • Real-world AB/DL (Adult Baby / Diaper Lover) events, which occur in some cities, are often full of furries.
  • Furries who are open about being a babyfur and are also socially presentable often find themselves approached—in private—by friends. These equally presentable friends are either curious about what baby-furriness entails, or they are already clandestine babyfurs.

I know that all this is true because I have spoken to lots of babyfurs.

I think that babyfurs are suffering from something that plagues many marginalized groups: that the most visible members are not the best ambassadors.

By way of explanation, consider the following thought experiment. For each of the minority groups I’m about to list, imagine a stereotypical member: (1) gay, (2) feminist, (3) Fox News viewer. (I have tried to select three categories with little overlap.)

Chances are that you thought of a pretty normal person for those groups of which you’re a member, and that you thought of a grotesque caricature for those groups you tend to avoid. This is a normal response for a couple of reasons:

  • Humans are naturally distrustful of the unknown. This instinct is the root cause of racism and homophobia, and it takes a bit of mental effort to overcome.
  • If you’re not a member of the minority in question, and nor is anyone in your social circles, you’re more likely to have been exposed to the extreme elements of the group; the bad ambassadors. So, outrageous pride costumes inform perspectives on gay people, feminists are seen as angry and intolerant, and Fox News viewers are mindless gun-toting yahoos.

This totally instinctual human reaction can be seen in attitudes towards gay marriage in the United States. If you don’t know someone gay, you are much less likely to support gay marriage.

From Slate (link): “Research shows that knowing a gay person makes you 65 percent more likely to support same-sex marriage, and having a conversation with that gay person about marriage raises the figure to 80 percent.”

(I should note that this pattern is certainly not restricted to the US, just that it’s a been political football, and the Americans love collecting polling data.)

There’s some science that suggests that babyfurs, like gay people (and like zoophiles), are more likely to generate a negative reaction. It’s a linguistic problem: the sexual practises of each of these groups is suggested in the group’s name.

A study published in 2011 sums up the issue in its title: Disgusting Smells Cause Decreased Liking of Gay Men (full text, pdf). In brief, the study showed that people felt less warmly towards gay men when they were in a smelly environment. The effect wasn’t seen towards other minority groups. Essentially, the smell of poo makes gay men seem kinda gross, because they engage in anal sex.

As the study author commented in Scientific American (link):

“I think what’s happening is that the social category of “gay men” (and to a lesser extent, gay women) is one that is defined by the sexual act… I tell my class to imagine if the first thing they learned about a person is that he or she frequently masturbated to pregnant women. The sexual disgust response would likely eclipse every other aspect of the person, such as their also being a fireman, a pharmacist, or Irish.”

 

The problem is similar for babyfurs: those people who don’t know any babyfurs aren’t easily able to create a mental image that goes much beyond the diaper, and the (imagined) smelly contents thereof. And so babyfurs tend to keep quiet about it, because they know to expect an initially negative reaction.

The urban myths that circulate about babyfurs always focus on disgusting behaviour. The stories are inevitably exaggerations, speculations, or outright false. Furry is not awash with people soiling themselves in public or leaving dirty diapers in convention hallways. There is a large minority of babyfurs (perhaps including you, dear reader), and they are being respectful of those around them, and keeping quiet.

This is the point in the article where I say that I am not a babyfur. It shouldn’t matter whether I am or not, but I know from experience that it does. My first article about zoophilia for [a][s] (I’ve written three) was criticized for being self-serving, that I was just trying to justify my own proclivities. I’m concerned that this article will lead people to draw a similar conclusion. There is nothing wrong with being a babyfur, and it’s a bit sad that I feel the need to distance myself personally, but unfortunately I think it’s the best (or least-worst) course of action.

Which brings me to my slightly hypocritical advice: I think you should tell furries that you are a babyfur. There are a few reasons:

  • For your non-babyfur friends, you’ll be a good example. You will be disproving the kneejerk babyfur stereotype simply by being yourself.
  • For your closeted babyfur friends—and you almost definitely have some—you’ll be a rolemodel.
  • For yourself, because you’ll be able to be open and honest with your friends. And that’s good for the soul.

I met a furry named Karis a few years ago, at a convention. He’s charismatic, well-liked, and a generally great guy. He’s one of those furries who seems to be forever surrounded by friends. And he’s a completely open babyfur.

His baby-furriness was gossiped about when he wasn’t present. People were surprised that he could possibly be a babyfur.

Karis was comfortable and happy to answer any questions. He directed people to his website, Karis’ Playground (http://www.karisplayground.com/), which features webcomics like World of Wetcraft. He changed the mind of a few people simply by being open, and I’m guessing that there were some closeted babyfurs present. I’m guessing that they felt a surge of joy at seeing Karis being treated respectfully.

And so I recommend that babyfurs be open, or at least relatively open, because I think that there are lots of you out there. You’ll have plenty of support.

I also hope that this article helps, because it’s never easy to hide a part of your personality. It’s mentally stressful, and it’s easy to start seeing yourself in the grotesque artchetype: it’s easy to be self-hating. It’s never healthy to deny a safe sexual urge: it can lead to stretches of self-hatred and denial, interspersed with bouts of sexual mania. (I’ve written about this before.) Far better, if you can, to accept yourself, respect yourself, and love yourself.

Starting next year, the Furrypoll will have a question asking “Are you a babyfur?”. In the meantime, we have a Babyfur minipoll, which is anonymous and will not be shared beyond  me, an (anonymous) babyfur helper, and Makyo. The responses will be used in future [a][s] articles. Please participate, and help us get an idea of what the babyfur community looks like. Alternatively you can email me directly at jm@furrynet.com, or just leave a comment below.

Please also share this article within babyfur circles. I’d like to hear from as many people as possible. It’s about time that babyfurs were recognized by the furry mainstream.

The [adjective][species] Babyfur minipoll

Edit: hundreds of babyfurs responded to the Babyfur minipoll in the weeks following publication of this article (many thanks). You can read a discussion of the results here, and we will be talking more about babyfurs on [a][s] in the future. The minipoll remains open.

About JM

JM is a horse-of-all-trades who was introduced to furry in his native Australia by the excellent group known collectively as the Perthfurs. JM now helps run [adjective][species] from London, where he is most commonly spotted holding a pint and talking nonsense.

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20 thoughts on “How To Be a Babyfur

  1. I don’t have a problem with Babyfurs, as long as they’re
    A)Not pedo’s,
    B)Don’t piss and crap themselves (or, if they’re into that, they keep it at home where it belongs and don’t do it in public) or
    C)age play around me. Really.I respect that it’s something people are into but when I get someone I’ve known for five years or so and consider a friend now all of a sudden talking to me like they’re five (even going so far as to ask me to rp change them) I find it more than a bit insulting. It’s not my thing, but I’m willing to live and let live, just don’t be disgusting around me or expect me to play along with the stuff you’re into if it’s not my thing.

    As far as revealing the babyfur thing…look, just be who and what you are and let people stare if they’re going to stare. Understand that a lot of people think it’s weird and don’t let the looks phase you..just don’t be surprised you get them, and don’t be surprised when some folks get angry, scared or creeped out.

    As long as -you- know you’re harmless, nothing anyone else says really matters.

    1. Hi CRA. Thanks for the comment.

      I think that your response is a succinct summation of the issues that any babyfur is going to have to manage. The three points you make reference well-known negative stereotypes about babyfurs, and I can’t help but think that you’d change your opinion if babyfurs were allowed to be a little more open in the furry mainstream.

      Looking at each, one by one:

      A) The age-play that some babyfurs engage in has nothing to do with paedophilia. Linking the two is wrong, just like linking homosexuality and paedophilia is wrong.

      B) I wonder if this is anything you’ve ever experienced or whether you’ve just heard the exaggerations and apocryphal tales. Stories like those are urban myths.

      C) Your friend is a great example of the bad ambassador. You have, or are very very likely to have, other friends who are babyfurs. You just don’t know about it, because they’re not telling you. These other friends know how to act – your aggressive ageplayer is the outlier. Don’t let his behaviour colour a whole group.

      It’s great that you premise your comment clarifying that you don’t have a problem with babyfurs. But your three points are all negative. If I were a (closeted) babyfur friend of yours, I think I’d walk away from your comment feeling unwelcome.

      1. Yeah, unfortunately with regards to the B) element, there is a ranty, furry comedian who thinks he’s kind of funny. He tells stories about the fandom, sometimes embellishing them to meet his comedic needs. One such story was about a used diaper in the elevator of a convention. He then went around, and used the same act. Add to that the effects of “Source Confusion” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_errors) and suddenly thousands of furs witnessed a dirty diaper in an elevator.

        It never happened. It was a made up story by a half wit comedian. It’s bullshit, and it’s hurt us babyfurs more than anything else, because people took action on it at other conventions, banning us.. or restricting us.. or just generally openly being hostile towards us.

        So thanks, un-funny comedian who has to make up stories that hurt people, and yet still gets invited and paid to attend conventions. Thanks a f**in lot.

          1. I know. It’s just he still tells that story, and he still doesn’t deny it, and the reality is that specific comedian is such an alcoholic that he is blackout drunk near 90% of the conventions. He probably hallucinated it.

      2. A) I know for a fact that ‘some’ folks in the community enjoy looking at/drawing underage (sometimes extremely so) figures engaged in intimate acts, and have even dealt with someone who had gone past looking at pictures.

        I’m not associating every babyfur with these kind of people, I realize that they are outliers…yet the furry fandom DOES have its share of zoo’s, just like the gay community does have its share of pedophiles, too. While I realize they don’t represent the community, the community (to them, at least) does offer a somewhat more ‘tolerant’ atmosphere than ‘normal’ society. Maybe if sites like Inkbunny weren’t as lenient towards the erotic cubfur/babyfur stuff, the community wouldn’t have to worry about the image.

        Much like the furry community (and whether you or I like it or not), the babyfur community is just going to have to realize that that association is ‘always’ going to be there.

        B) I’ve known babyfurs who have discussed this with me around because they actively participate in these kinds of acts. Again, I DO NOT CARE if you’re into that. Just don’t do it near me. Ok..let me elaborate. If your poo smells like roses and lavender and your pee smells like strawberry wine, I might chill with you, just make sure to sit on the plastic sheeting, ok? My main issue with it is the cleanliness factor and the smell, that’s all.

        C) ” If I were a (closeted) babyfur friend of yours, I think I’d walk away from your comment feeling unwelcome.”

        Actually, like I said, I’ve been really good friends with quite a few babyfurs for the entire time I’ve been in the fandom. I’ve rp’d with them, I’ve hung out with them and changed them irl (though they didn’t really need to be, I just wanted to see what it felt like). I’m more than willing to be accepting, I just have had enough weird/bad experiences to know that (like furries and like most stereotypes) there’s a grain of truth to the negative stuff people think about them.

        Does this mean I’m going to paint the entire group according to a few bad experiences? No. That would be stupid.

        1. Just a note on the pedophiles. As a babyfur, we have had a few of them. And we have turned every single one of them in ourselves. We self policed our community..

          When Mitch Biero was arrested for his tons of pics of children, the furry community’s first response was that there must have been an accident. When Frank Gembeck Jr had his 2 year old torture sex porn dvds , people tried to cover for HIM. THere is a fur who will go unnamed whose boyfriend and himself lured a child to their hotel room. And on and on and on.

          In _EVERY_ case I’ve found with Babyfurs, we’ve been the ones reporting it when they take their proclivities into the real world. And the fandom outside of us does NOT have that same record. The fandom outside of us continues to actually allow sex offenders on staff at conventions.

  2. “In any event, you’re probably aware of how other furries react when they hear about babyfurs. They find babyfurs distasteful.”
    Hmm this further proves my theory of the Fandom not being open minded.

    “There is nothing wrong with being a babyfur, and it’s a bit sad that I feel the need to distance myself personally, but unfortunately I think it’s the best (or least-worst) course of action.”
    This very much scares me. I have had some kinds of thought of something like that.. And sometimes I think and maybe yell out, does it matter that I am? It shouldn’t and society should know that.. I mean I find it sad that in safety, I would have to hide of my identity and maybe lie too (I my self isn’t really interested into babyfur, just making a point, for identity purposes I think.) in “order” to share this. Or that somehow (Worse) only those who DON’T have it can only share this.. It’s hell. I wonder a lot why people always have to say (I am not a “name”) as if it was bad to share speech from a person who does.. Of course, people who has that, does NOT ever change the facts of the article. I was thinking that if I had something society hated, and I say I was too, I would tell them that even if I am doing this for my self, it does NOT change the facts of it.
    Even if I was the only one who was into this and the rest of the world hated, I would share there is nothing wrong with it, even though I am only doing it for my self (If I was the only one), but all I’m doing is wanting to be accepted, for equality of my life like others, and that’s all.
    Sorry if you meant something else.
    Know what I mean?
    I want this to change too by the way.

    Anyway yeah, I hope “Babyfurs” get accepted too I guess. Don’t mind it, and it would be wrong if I did.

    1. I’m glad that there are people who think this way. Even if you’re not into something doesn’t meant that people who are are bad or should be maligned.
      Having said that, I think JM’s ‘distancing’ was well written and well argued, so as a babyfur myself I don’t feel slighted.

  3. I do have some feedback and criticisms for the post/article, however.
    My criticism is aimed at the article/post accompanying this survey, and not so much this survey itself.

    The article asked babyfurs to be proud of who they are, to love themselves and to engage in their sexual identity, because it is unhealthy to avoid these aspects of ourselves. And this is true, and it’s a positive theme I wholeheartedly agree with.
    But before we even reach this part of the article, we’ve already read about “fringe members” of the paraphilia who are to be denounced as an “inaccurate portrayal” of all babyfurs.

    These “fringe element” people clearly love themselves and participating in their paraphilia, and being a part of the babyfur/diaperfur community in general. Admittedly, some are overzealous to be certain, but publicly denouncing their behavior or policing their behavior, regardless of whether or not you agree with it, is wrong. They are obviously (To those of us within the community) not what defines our community, but they are still a part of it.

    I believe what the article post was likely trying to attack was the issue of engaging non-participants in a paraphilia in a non-consentual manner. And I TOTALLY agree that engaging others that would likely not consent to the paraphilia is wrong. But instead of flat-out saying so, the post instead sends it’s reader a mixed message.

    “I should love myself but not too much? I’m disgusting for having thoughts of public-play? I’m not a part of the community because you’re ashamed of me?”

    I happily admit to thoughts of public play (As if you haven’t seen my drawings), and even admit to engaging in public play a few times, but generally with willing participants, and never in a manner noticeable to those around me. These people, and myself included, are a part of the community. No diaperfur or babyfur gets to disassociate themselves from us just because of the nature of our paraphilia. If you believe that this sort of behavior is inappropriate, that is FINE. You likely aren’t alone. And you don’t have to engage in it. But I am not ashamed of this aspect of my sexuality. You are. and that is YOUR problem.

    This debate has occurred in the LGBTQ community as well. That the femme-party-gay fringe is an inaccurate representation of the gay-community. It’s not. Not really. They certainly exist, and they are gay, and they are part of the community. The gay people disassociating themselves from these “fringe elements” only wind up hurting their own cause, empowering the homophobes that denounce their behavior. If you love the LGBTQ community, love it as a whole.

    Likewise, If you love the babyfur and diaperfur communities, love it as a whole. Please, PLEASE don’t disassociate yourselves from an aspect of a community you’re ashamed of or disagree with, because when you do, you continually empower people that aren’t a part of the community, and give them power over you, your perception of yourself, and your sexual identity.

    TL;DR version

    Your article sends mixed messages by telling us to be open but to not be open.

    This debate is as old as time, and as I’ve said previously, occurs ALL THE TIME in the LGBTQ community, and even within the furry community (regarding the sfw/nsfw content).

    Be wholly supportive of your communities, whatever they may be. Don’t pick and choose.

    Thanks for reading this.

    -Sharky

    1. Hi Sharky. Thanks for your thoughtful and eloquent comment. You’ve raised a really important point.

      I think that you’ve got it completely right. As you say, there is nothing wrong with any sexual behaviour, as long as you’re not engaging unwilling non-participants. If you’re engaging in public play, then it’s important to be discreet.

      I like your comparison to the LGBT community as well. It’s one I intend to use in future articles.

      And I don’t think that the babyfur community has a problem with its public behaviour. I think that the stories that get told are mostly false, with perhaps the occasional exaggeration of a rare event. I think that the perception that babyfurs are distasteful is knee-jerk discrimination.

      I tried to find the section of my article that prompted your criticism without much luck. I never used the terms that you scare-quoted: “fringe members”, or “inaccurate portrayal”. I think – and please correct me if I have this wrong – that you’re referring to the following statement from my article:

      “I think that babyfurs are suffering from something that plagues many marginalized groups: that the most visible members are not the best ambassadors.”

      This is an arguable point, but it’s one I believe is correct. I don’t believe that it’s a problem unique to babyfurs. Many babyfurs I spoke with (and those who subsequently commented on the survey) have found the most overt babyfurs to be, well, pretty unpleasant.

      I don’t say, and I don’t mean to imply, that “the most visible members” are in any way less valid babyfurs, or not welcome in the community as a whole. I just mean to say that their visibility means that they tend to define the babyfur community, when this is not right: in reality, they are a minority. The babyfur mainstream is, for now, staying in the closet.

      Thanks again, and thanks for taking the time to complete the survey.

      1. Thank you for clarifying that for me. As for the scare-quotes, that was just a phrase I use to personally discuss issues such as these. It’s completely understandable that people in our community do not want to be represented by what others perceive to be lowest common denominator. I agree that being more public about our sexual inclinations, particularly with friends we’re close to, would likely erase some of the negative perceptions people have of our community. As I said before, I really enjoy the overall theme of this post. Thank you for writing about a subject most people consider too taboo to touch.

  4. When I was introduced to the fandom at 14, I also discovered the adult baby/diaper lover community almost entirely by accident. I tried my best to connect with people who had similar interests to mine because I wanted friends. Then I wanted a romantic relationship. Then I wanted to be part of the “babyfur” community in a large way — and yet I was perfectly comfortable being anonymous. When I went to conventions, not many knew that I identified with the “babyfur” label, but I never felt the need to shout it to the mountaintops. However, people who knew me for my interests began to view me as a devious character more than a person who just so happened to have “babyfur” interests.

    Therein lies the problem. You can be open about being a babyfur or any kind of -fur, but naturally, the more you’re open about it, the likelihood that you’ll be known for your intimate interests increases. I’m not saying, “Stay in the closet and hide your fetish,” but I think people should focus on developing relationships based on the strength of their character and personality more than the fetish. You can be open enough to connect with other furries with similar interests, but by publicly identifying yourself as a “babyfur” as your primary objective — for instance — will devalue your personal identity to a sexual characteristic. Whether the general, mainstream perception is good or bad, you’re limiting yourself and potentially the fandom at large.

    In years past, I’ve been very vocal about the “fringe element.” My views have changed over the years.

    In life, there will always be people who push the envelope to intensify their satisfaction, sexual and non-sexual. We cannot rule over those people unless they completely and wholly infringe on our personal space. If a babyfur dumps a dirty diaper in a hallway at a convention hotel, that’s not a personal, intrinsic harm. It’s not sanitary and it’s definitely not a smart thing to do, but it happens — and we can’t control that nor shoul we try.

    We can’t judge people harshly without harshly judging ourselves. The more time we spend denouncing other people for their behavior and practices, the more we marginalize the fandom we all belong to; our hypocrisy diminishes credibility in mainstream culture and counterculture. At the same time, you don’t have to embrace what you personally find objectionable. Embrace the concepts and principles that bring us together.

    The article is a great read and I encourage people to comment on it. Very enlightening!

    1. Except that thing about a babyfur dumping a dirty diaper in the hallway (or elevator, or pool.. I’ve heard stories of all three), as far as I can tell, has NEVER HAPPENED. Nobody has ever seen it , really. When the initial thing happened at FWA, we (a lot of us babyfurs) , investigated it. We took it from two angles. First, people who were babyfurs who messed diapers really didn’t attend FWA that year. We were kind of an insular, small group, and we knew who was there. We all hung out together for most the convention. We all had “drop points” as it were, and double bagged our “items” and took them out in runs to the dumpster behind the hotel ourselves. Dirty diapers never left rooms after being removed unless they were going to the trash.

      The second focus was on people who claimed to see it. We talked to many people, but well over half admitted that they just were trusting “2” the Ranting gryphon. Of the remainder, all of them told us about a dirty diaper, but none of them had the same story. Some had it smeared on the wall, some had it in an elevator, some had it outside a door, some had it in the middle of the floor. One or two even had it on convention space. We chalked that up to memory error. Finally, we asked the convention. The convention at the time was very young, and was worried about its image. It was getting DAILY (if not hourly) feedback to the state of the convention and the guests. There were no reports of dirty adult diapers anywhere, and we DID have most the hotel. There were reports of other things, too, that would suggest if there WAS a dirty diaper in the hallway, we definitely would have been confronted about it.

      So, in the end, all those dirty diapers in hallway stories? All came from this one. And this one is unsourced, unprovable , and was only reliably witnessed by one person who had to have security follow him around to make sure he didn’t get so drunk that he passed out and needed EMS.

      1. That’s why I said “if.” It’s a hypothetical, and I always treated it as such because there’s no evidence to show otherwise.

    2. Hi Lion, thanks for the interesting comment and the kind words.

      It’s a pity that many babyfurs cannot be open without their baby-furry-ness defining their personal identity. I think that this is something that will change as more babyfurs become more open.

      I think what you’re talking about is an example of the story from my Scientific American quote. Attitudes will change—just like they have for many gay people—as the babyfurs become more visible as a large part of the furry community. I understand that there is some personal cost in being more open, but it’s going to help the other babyfurs around you. The more of you there are, the less you will individually stand out.

      Interestingly, it seems that a couple of large regional furry groups have already crossed this line. A few people commenting on the survey have noted that babyfurs are mainstream in their area—people can wear diapers much like someone else might wear a collar—and that nobody makes a big deal of it. It’d be nice to think that furry as a whole is heading in that direction.

  5. Its great hearing an interest in the babyfurs. Based off what I saw on this artical you have a good understanding of this side of the community. To better understand us cubs, as us about what drew it to this. Some of us have some interesting stories

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