Tag Archives: furry culture

A Second Life

Furry life is real life, kinda.

Ever had a furry friend disappear? That doesn’t happen in real life.

It’s an important event when someone close to you, non-furry, dies. Friends and family gather and mourn and celebrate and reflect on the life of the person they’ve lost. If the deceased was young, people lament the life that will never be lived. If the deceased is old, people talk about the value and brevity of a full life.

Celebrating life and death is important, and it’s something that is often denied to the furry friends of the deceased. Let’s say that I, your humble furry author, slip on some ice on Harleyford Street’s sloping pavement and get struck by an aggressively-driven number 36 bus this Thursday morning. You, gentle furry reader, will probably find out about this over social media a few days later.

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A Furry Talk with a BDSM Interest Group

Guest post by George Squares. George is a speculative fiction writer with a background in biological science. He enjoys discussing and researching pop culture and fandom history.

I had never been to a BDSM club. Yet, I was invited to do a paid talk at one August 9, 2015 hosted at the non-profit gay social venue Impulse in Charlottesville, Virginia. The BDSM group who rents space at the club monthly is made up of queer and straight members, and they hire speakers to cover topics they might find interesting or pertinent. Quite a few of them were interested in furry.

My opportunity to speak came from a chain reaction that started New Year’s Eve 2014 at a board game party. During a Cards Against Humanity round, a particularly unpleasant guest (who was not invited again) started railing on furries in a half-hearted attempt at humor. Two of my friends joined in on the heckling, and I finally decided to tell them that they had the wrong idea.

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On Postfurry

I’m not really sure how I wound up getting involved with the postfurry community.  I mean, I can point to the moment that I found furry itself and how what went from a curious interest built into something decidedly more (a passion? an obsession?), but the same isn’t necessarily the case with postfurry.  If I start tracing the lines backwards, rather a lot of them converge on one critter in particular, Indi.

Indi (art by Cinna)
Indi (art by Cinna)

Indi has been a friend for quite a while now, actually.  Ve is most often seen around as a synthetic coyote-otter hybrid – a coyotter, or simply yotter – with glowy markings that range from cyan to blue to purple.  Indi, being synthetic, along with ver gender identity, is the source of ver pronouns, ve/ver/vis.

I think I’ve known ver for about two or three years and we’ve connected on a lot of different levels, from our shared interest in mead and other tasty drinks, to our paths along the road to genderqueer identities that share many similarities.  We’ve acted as part of a support network for each other with some frequency, and that, probably more than anything else, served as what passes for my entry point to postfurry.

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This One Time at FurCon…

How I Went From Ridiculing Furries to Cheering them On in Five Panels or Less

Guest post by Isaac. Isaac is that guy who is still pretty much a human, but definitely not Mundane.  He likes red pandas, chocolate, and improv.  You may have seen his apology post on Reddit, found him putzing around the FurNet IRC, or attempting to become America’s Next Top Popufur on Twitter as @isaacapologist.  He will be at Midwest Furfest, probably. Say hi.  Be gentle.


In many ways, I like to think that I ended up at a furry convention in the way that many furries end up at a furry convention:  alcohol, combined with an unhealthy sense of curiosity.  But the reality, I think, is even a bit more interesting than that, so I’d be happy to expand on the perfect storm of circumstances that led to my attendance at FurCon 2015, and subsequent headlong fall into the rabbit hole that is the Furry Fandom.

It’s December.  I’ve just recently moved to the Bay Area, to help out a friend with a new job working in the Silicon Valley.  He’s much the introverted type, I’m much more of the outgoing type, and he invites me to live out in CA for a few months to help him get acclimated and make some new friends.  As I’ve since discovered, neither of us is really good at ‘going out’ to make friends, we rather prefer to just organically meet people.  In practice, this works out about as well as you might imagine.

So, we are spending one of our many weekends in our living room, drinking wine, he playing video games on his computer, me watching Netflix, and I stumble upon the documentary about Bronies. I, being mildly intoxicated and fascinated with countercultures, decide to indulge in the Brony documentary.  I then decide to indulge in a second Brony documentary.  By this point, I am both fabulously drunk, and fabulously fascinated.  I have an inception-style we’ve-got-to-go-deeper moment:  If there are two documentaries about Bronies, there’s got to be one about furries.

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The Fandom and its Fursonas

Doug Fontaine is a writer, ployglot, and generally talkative otter. Read more at his SoFurry account.

This article will touch upon the reason having a fursona is so essential for many members of our community. Whether we have a spiritual or a more down-to-earth relationship between our normal and furry selves, the fandom accentuates what is otherwise a purely personal fantasy.

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Americentrism

Americentrism is the tendency of some Americans to assume that the American point of view is the dominant one. Expressions of Americentrism in furry are almost always benign, but they are everywhere.

America is a big place and if you live in the US—more so than just about anywhere else (save perhaps North Korea)—it’s sometimes easy to forget that the rest of the world exists. Americentric comments probably go unnoticed by most Americans, but for the rest of us, they are a constant reminder that Americans can appear self-obsessed or (at worst) ignorant.

Americentrism usually manifests as a subtle slip of language. The effect is similar to language that reinforces social norms, for example when someone assumes that a doctor is male, using “he” by default. One mistake doesn’t do any real harm, but if you’re female and exposed to this assumption over and over again, it can have a cumulative effect.

I have a couple of examples from my American cohorts here at [adjective][species] coming up, but first let’s take a look at a recent example by one of the giants of the furry community.

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No Beale Street, Nor Second Avenue North

(I promise— it takes a while but this column eventually gets furry.)

About a month prior to this article’s release I suffered some serious heart troubles. Little permanent damage was done, and the timely high-tech treatment I received was so successful that I actually feel better now than I have for years. It wasn’t nearly as a big a deal as it sounds when spelled out here. But, I have to admit, such a life-event can get a man to thinking. Another major life event is also looming up close for me— in roughly twelve weeks I’ll retire at last from my much-disliked factory job and be able to write or do whatever else I please full-time. I’ve worked very hard for this for a very long time, and saved money when it would’ve been much easier to spend it. In fact, I’ve been counting down the weeks for almost two years. Between the two, well, for the last few days I’ve been downright philosophical.

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Leadership, Morality and Humanity

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but in Real Life most of the furry fandom—for now, at least—lives in human bodies. We were all born with them, every last one of us. Some may claim souls of more diverse origin, but the flesh and blood nature of their humanity is beyond question. So, when I state that all of us are human and share common hard-wired human traits and frailties I hope people won’t throw too many stones.

For we are human, you know. Thoroughly, depressingly, and very completely so. We see the world through human eyes, hear with human ears, and process these inputs through a nervous system that, though we rarely consider the matter, was shaped solely by evolutionary forces and therefore is brimming with billions of years worth of illogical prejudices and mistaken priorities. Surviving long enough to produce successful offspring is the only thing that matters to Mr. Darwin. Not, for example, having the ability to apply dispassionate and objective logic to all situations. Yes, we’re the best-thinking creatures we yet know of. Yet at heart we’re still just another breed of animal, not immaterial shining globes of energy free from worldly distractions like hemorrhoids and noisy neighbors with ill-mannered children. Not only are we animals, we’re animals equipped with powerful drives and blind instincts, beasts who snarl and fight and sometimes even murder each other for reasons that an immaterial energy sphere would find totally incomprehensible. We’re demonstrably territorial, extraordinarily sexual, protective of our offspring and…

…we live in a social structure that requires a leader in order to function properly.

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Furry Mythology

One day, a fox and a cat were walking through a field. The cat seemed unusually distracted, however, despite the fox’s animated conversation. While the fox surely noticed, she did her best to try and draw the cat out through sheer ebullience. It had worked in the past, why not now?

 

“What’s bothering you?” the fox asked, relenting.

 

“Oh, it’s nothing,” said the cat.

 

“Come on, if it was nothing, you wouldn’t be such a sourpuss, now, would you?” the fox joked.

 

The cat was unamused. “It’s…really nothing. I can’t say. It’s a secret.”

 

“That’s three things. Is it nothing, can you not say, or is it a secret?”

 

The cat blushed in his ears, “It’s a secret.”

 

“Can you tell me?” asked the fox.

 

“No, then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore!” frumped the cat.

 

The fox and the cat walked on in silence for a bit. The secret was clearly bothering the cat, but the fox couldn’t think of how to help.

 

“I know,” said the fox, brightening up. “You can tell your secret to my tail. Not even I know what my tail thinks. You can get it off your chest, and no one need actually learn your secret.

 

The cat thought for a moment, and then nodded, “Okay, but put your paws over your ears!”

 

The fox put her paws over her ears and stood still, admiring the scenery, while the cat put his muzzle in the dense fur of the fox’s tail and whispered his secret, weaving it through the fur. The fox heard nothing but the rustle of pawpads in fur, the cat felt immensely better getting whatever it was off his chest that he needed to, and the tail, to this day, has never let slip the cat’s secret. That is why it is said that a good way to feel better is to weave your secrets through a fox’s tail: they will surely be kept safe with not even the fox knowing them.

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