Tag Archives: relationships

Editorial: On Friends

Have you ever tried to delineate your past into phases? And not necessarily based on school. I mean, school and work do tend to serve as markers for a lot of our perception of time, and it seems almost habitual that we use them to mark out the periods in our lives. When I grew up, you went to preschool to prepare for kindergarten, which prepared you for elementary school. Fifth grade prepared you for middle school, and eighth grade for high school. Naturally, your senior year of high school prepared you for college, which prepared you for work, which helped you towards retirement, which seemed to be the best bit of all. Four years old, five, eleven, fourteen, eighteen, twenty-two, sixty-five.

When I was growing up, it all seemed right and natural. Right up until half way through my fifth-grade year, when I had just turned eleven. My parents had divorced when I was very young, and I’d spent my years up until that point living primarily with my mom. It was decided, though, once I left elementary school, that I would go live with my dad. That threw a wrench into the idyllic progression of years: where my dad lived, elementary school was kindergarten through sixth grade, not fifth, and middle school was replaced with junior high school.

If I were feeling particularly cheeky, I could blame most of this article on the turmoil caused by early recognition that, in River Tam’s words, “day” is a vestigial mode of time measurement based on solar cycles, and really this was just all made up to make the paperwork easier. (I don’t, however, think that would give me a pass from the fact that I spent seven years in university, rather than four. That’s all on me.)

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Furry Research: This Is Why You’re Single

The International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP) have just published their report from their annual Anthrocon visit. You can see the full dataset and read Nuka’s write-up here.

It’s a real grab bag of information this year. The IARP have been around for nigh on ten years, and they have learned a lot about furry and furries. They have been able to build on that knowledge to explore some areas of the furry experience in detail, and this year’s Anthrocon study reflects that. They have looked at PCD (is it real?), the relationship between artists and furry consumers, therians, and other topics.

They have also looked at furry relationship status, and, yep… there are a lot of single guys out there.

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Finding a Relationship: An Evidence-Based Approach

Furries often prefer to date other furries.

There are a lot of good reasons for this. For starters, we’re pretty awesome. We also tend to feel that furry is a full and honest version of ourselves, something we love but can only express in appropriate spaces. Furry is something to edit out in restricted social settings (like work, or extended family), and something to enjoy when we are free to be ourselves. And it’s a lot easier to express furriness in the company of other furries.

This is great, however furries are thin on the ground. And while we tend to socialise online en masse, it’s not always easy to meet someone you might be interested in, and who might also be interested in you. It’s especially difficult if you’re a heterosexual man – the numbers are not on your side.

Fortunately, science is here to help. The February 2015 issue of Evidence-Based Medicine includes a long review of online dating, looking at data to support successful strategies. It’s comprehensive but enjoyable to read – in the acknowledgements they “thank the potential dates who turned down one of us repeatedly”—and it contains a lot of lessons that can be applied to the furry world. I have distilled those down here.

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How to Pick Up (Furry) Women

The number of straight (or bi) male furries far outweighs the number of straight (or bi) female furries. Around 1 in 5 furries are female, and some of those are gay or asexual. We looked at the numbers last year and estimated that about 16% of furries—1 in 6—are women who may be interested in a relationship with a guy. And many of those will already be in a relationship, or otherwise not available.

You can read how we reached that conclusion, along with some discussion in a previous article (which has my favourite title to date): It’s Raining Men. It shows how furry’s gender imbalance and sexual orientation demographics conspire to make it difficult for heterosexual guys to find a relationship with a fellow furry. (It’s even worse if you’re a furry lesbian.)

This article is a guide to how a heterosexual male can maximize his chances of finding a furry girlfriend; without being a stalker, without pulling any pick-up-artistry nonsense, and without being creepy or otherwise contributing to the problem that’s keeping women away from the furry community.

Continue reading How to Pick Up (Furry) Women

Dating and Relationships Inside the Fandom

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Love ◦ Sex ◦ Fur on October 5th, 2013.

I’m a very big proponent of the idea that, for the most part, furry is simply a small slice of society at large. We have our skews, of course – the gender skew (towards men), the age skew (towards the 15-25 year old age range), as well as some other, minor skews such as general technical aptitude, or even species selection toward canids – but for the most part, we do not think or act so differently from the “rest of the world” that we cannot interface with it. Our chosen home and family may be more comfortable for us, but we do not exist separate from everyone else.

It’s not surprising in the least, then, that dating and relationships do form a part of our membership with this subculture. We think about it, we write about it, we join websites, make websites, or write litanies against websites focused on dating, relationships and love. It’s part of life, and so it is also part of the fandom. Given the subtitle of “Love and Sex in the Furry Fandom,” it is also part of our repertoire of subjects to write about, and so I think it’s high time that we took a moment to explore dating and relationships inside furry.

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Love ◦ Sex ◦ Fur

Love ◦ Sex ◦ Fur is a new project by [adjective][species] to explore relationships, sexuality, and some of the finer points of personal interaction within the furry fandom. It is intended to be a safe space for authors to write about the ways in which these topics interact on social, cultural, and personal levels, helping us to leave no stone unturned in our explorations.

The intersection between our subculture, sexuality, and love is complex, and all the more interesting for that fact. A lot of what motivates us in life is the pursuit of happiness in all its varied forms, and the fact that we are so varied is what helps make all of this so interesting: things don’t always line up, or they line up beautifully, and the reasons for that are worth investigating.

Furry does not take place in a social vacuum, of course, but it does act as an attractor in a chaotic system: those of us who get close tend to stay close and find happiness within this system that is bound up in our happiness. We have a tendency to date within the fandom, to fall in love with other furries, and to enjoy our time together, always seeming to steer down the same path. It’s hardly a new phenomenon, either, but it’s still very pertinent.

These are the types of things that LSF will attempt to explore. The safe space bit of it helps to encourage authors to write what they want to write about with the understanding that that is what the site is all about. So, with that said, come and join us for exploration of the intersection of love, sex, and fur.

Check it out at http://lovesexfur.com!

On Polynormativity

Guest post by Forneus. Forneus is a man pretending to be a fish who is actually a cat.

It started, as these things do, with a realization about myself.

I realized that I had feelings for someone else. Not the sort of feelings that one would call “love”, for sure, but certainly the kind that are at least as strong as your average crush-that-warrants-more-exploring. Furthermore, I felt bad for having feelings for someone who wasn’t my boyfriend, and in that kind of emotional avalanche that only humans seem to be capable of performing, I felt bad about feeling bad about noticing someone else. Because hey, I know several people that have multiple romantic partners, and even more people somewhere along the axis of “I’m ‘attached to’ one person, but we’re open.”

“But wait!”, you say. “Why is this on [adjective][species]? What does this have to do with furries at all?” I’m glad that you asked. It turns out that furries, as a group, are incredibly polynormative.

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Relationships Within Furry

Last week I wrote about one of the great inequalities within furry, the gender imbalance. Furry, measured by self-reported gender or by biological sex, is around 80% male and 20% female.

I talked about how the community can be unwelcoming for women, and how the dearth of furry women has a negative effect on some heterosexual furry men. When it comes to furries available for heterosexual relationships, the guys outnumber the girls by around three to one. This is a problem for those heterosexual male furries who feel that their partner needs to be a furry too.

In my article, I assumed that a relationship is defined as something exclusively shared between two people. But it’s wrong to characterize furry relationships as an exercise in ‘coupling up’.

Many furry relationships are non-monogamous, non-exclusive and/or only involve more than two people. I don’t have any data to draw upon, but it’s possible that exclusive monogamous couples are in the minority. Furry relationships, in my experience, can cover a very wide range of potential arrangements.

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It’s Raining Men

It’s common for furries to look within the community for potential long-term partners. For many people who are serious about furry, like me and presumably many of the readers of this article, a potential partner is required to be furry.

It’s logical that furries will form relationships together, because furry is about identity. If your identity as a virtual animal-person is internally important, you’re going to want to share that with your partner and express that within your relationship. I can’t think of a better example than [adjective][species]’s own Makyo, who was married last week and posted a thoroughly charming picture of him and his partner in suit.

Furry is a very social group and it’s easy to meet new people, so there are a lot of opportunities for relationships. That is, unless you are heterosexual and male.

Continue reading It’s Raining Men