9 questions about furries you were too embarrassed to ask

Furries — people with an concern in anthropomorphize animals, like Sonic the Hedgehog or Pokémon — have come in for a lot of derision over the years from posters on sites like Something Awful and 4chan. Mainstream press accounts tend to portray furries as sexual fetishists united by a park interest in sex in animal costumes .
But survey evidence suggests a distribute of these stereotypes are wrong ( identical few furries think sex in animal costumes is a good theme, for exemplify ). here ‘s a brief guide to the furred community, which hopefully can clear up some of these misunderstandings .

1) So being a furry means you run around in a fur suit all the time, right?

anthrocon
Fur-suiting and the furred community tend to be conflated in the democratic press, but inquiry by the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, which studies the furred fandom, suggests fur-suiters are a minority of that community.

A 2007 survey found that merely 26.4 percentage of respondents at a furred convention reported owning a fur-suit and 30 percentage reported wearing one. A 2014 survey found that tails are the most normally owned fur-suit component, with 48.1 percentage of respondents at Furry Fiesta 2014 reporting owning a tail. only 13 percentage reported owning a broad suit, while 34.3 percentage reported wearing any dress or accessories associated with their furred persona or “ fursona ” ( more on that in a secant ) .

2) Is being a furry just a sexual fetish?

No, though, like with any early fan concern ( television games, comics, etc. ) there are sexual themes salute. While intimate bodily process with other furries ( known as “ yiffing, ” after the reasoned foxes make during sex ) is part of the subculture for some, others maintain a non-erotic interest in the submit .
Furries are typically subject to media portrayals that overemphasize the sexual expression of the fandom, such as this bit from 30 rock :

Furry Josh Strom explained to Boing Boing ‘s Lisa Katayama, “ We go to conventions to hang out with friends, possibly buy something like art or badges, go to a discussion panel or see a picture. Swinger parties and fetishes are there, but that ‘s not what the fandom is about. ” And the focus on arouse in fur suits is particularly wrongheaded. For one thing, merely a humble minority of furries own full fur suits. For another, as Plante points out, “ about all fur-suiters will make it explicitly clear that sex in a fur suit is completely undesirable ( not arousing, damaging to the suit, and not something they ’ ra concerned in doing ). ”
A survey at Furry Fiesta 2013 found that 96.3 percentage of male respondents and 78.3 percentage of female ones reported viewing furred pornography ( which, it should be noted, is a broad category and typically quite similar to regular pornography albeit with furred traits added ) ; men reported looking at furred pornography 41.5 times per calendar month on average, while women reported looking 10.5 times per month .
But they besides reported that most of their affair in the fandom was non-sexual. man reported spend 34 percentage of their on-line roleplaying time on sexual contented, and women reported spending lone 21.4 percentage. about one-half of male furries, and a large majority of women, reported that intimate content played little or no function in their introduction to the fandom :

3) So what is a furry, then?

In the broadest sense, a furred is person with an pastime in anthropomorphize animals — that is, animals who have been given human characteristics, like an ability to talk or walk on their hind leg .
That encompasses a wide spectrum, from people who are merely fans of television shows and video games featuring anthropomorphic animal characters ( like Sonic the Hedgehog or Pokémon ), to people who develop a highly specific furred character ( “ fursona ” ) they identify with, to “ otherkin “ who see themselves as not fully human on a apparitional or mental floor .
Dr. Courtney “ Nuka ” Plante, a social psychologist at the University of Waterloo and member of the Anthropomorphic Research Project team, analogizes furries to other winnow groups, like comic bible enthusiasts or Trekkers. “ It has its origins in the skill fiction fandom, ” he said. “ If you like comedian books with characters who are like animals, or artwork with humans with animal traits, those would be considered forms of furred artwork. ”

4) What is a fursona?

fursona
A fursona is a “ furry-themed embodiment “ which furries use “ to represent themselves when interacting with other members of the fandom, ” according to a late wallpaper by social psychologist Plante and boyfriend Anthropomorphic Research Project members Dr. Sharon Roberts, Dr. Stephen Reysen, and Dr. Kathy Gerbasi. “ closely every furred has a fursona, ” Plante said. “ It ‘s well into the high 90s — 97 or 98 percentage. ”
Crafting a fursona involves picking an animal — real or fabulous — to represent yourself as, or, less normally, designing a new fabulous animal for yourself. Fursonas typically have names and are much the inspiration for artwork or fiction, but the degree of investing in them can vary. “ For many it ‘s precisely a cutesy embodiment to represent yourself to people, ” Plante said. “ For others, it ‘s much more thick and meaningful. ”

5) Can I get a music break?

Of naturally ! In addition to ocular artists and fiction writers, many furries are accomplished musicians who create make with furred themes or otherwise blend their melodious interests into their fandom. here ‘s Bucktown Tiger, a furred pianist, performing a movement of Beethoven ‘s Moonlight Sonata at Anthrocon, the world ‘s largest furred convention held in Pittsburgh every class, in 2010 :

6) So being a furry isn’t really about sex. What do furry fans actually do, then?

You can divide furred sports fan activities into on-line fandom and furred conventions. In each encase, the doctrine of analogy to science fiction and comic book fandoms is strong. Fan art is an significant function of furred fandom, good as it is for amusing record fans. A 2012 deduction from the Anthropomorphic Research Project, looking at several surveys conducted on-line and in assorted conventions, found that the huge majority of the most popular furred sites are art-related. many of those sites — like FurAffinity and SoFurry — besides host furry-related fiction and music, and provide forums for fan discussion and community-building .
Conventions — which Plante says about half of furries attend on an annual or semiannual footing — create an in-real-life space for furries, many if not most of whom have met on-line, to hang out, and they besides provide a way to talk to artists who are popular within the fandom. This is like to how events like Comic Con let people talk to favorite movie directors and actors and comedian artists. “ It ‘s like sci-fi fandom, ” Plante said. “ If a sports fan is much more casual, it may be enough to buy the books and watch the movies. But for others, meeting JJ Abrams or meeting the voice actors from your favored show is very meaningful. ”
Like fans in early communities, furries often report being bullied or ostracized in the past. “ These conventions are the foremost places they could go to not be picked on for being into these comics or watching cartoons when they ‘re no longer a child, ” Plante said .

7) Are furries the same thing as bronies?

my little pony
No, but they ‘re not wholly disconnected either. “ Bronies ” refers entirely to fans of the indicate My Little Pony : friendship is Magic ; originally it lone referred to male fans but the definition has been broadened in practice. Bronies share one basic commonalty with furries : they ‘re matter to in anthropomorphize representations of animals. The 2012 surveil synthesis found that closely a quarter ( 23.5 percentage ) of furries identify as bronies. This was n’t the leave of a brony “ invasion ” of furrydom, the results suggest, but quite a development of matter to in the read by preexistent furries .
About half of furries consider bronies a subgroup of furrydom ; another 28 percentage say they ‘re related but not a subset, and 22 percentage say there ‘s no connection at all. There ‘s a hearty academic degree of hostility toward bronies among furries as a whole, with 38 percentage expressing negative views toward them compared to 36 percentage reporting plus feelings and 26 percentage report emotionlessness .
interestingly, there were very few demographic differences between the furred and brony fandoms. “ With only a few minor exceptions, ” the researchers conclude, “ furries and bronies are relatively identical from one another beyond the differences in the contented of their fandom. ”

8) What kind of people are furries?

fursuiter
Surveys suggest that furries are overwhelmingly male and flannel, are disproportionately likely to be gay, bismuth, or trans, and skew younger, with an average age in the mid-20s .
The 2012 survey synthesis estimated that 79.2 to 85.7 percentage of furries at conventions were male, as were 78.3 to 84.6 percentage of furries active on-line. A majority were atheist ( 44.36 percentage ) or agnostic ( 9.47 percentage ) ; 23.19 percentage identify as Christian, 3.94 percentage as Pagan, 1.91 percentage as Wiccan, and 13.72 percentage as “ other. ”
convention attendees were a morsel older ( 24 to 27.1 ) on average than on-line furries ( 23 to 25.6 ) but in both cases the group skews quite young. possibly reflecting that, only 3.8 percentage of furries have one or more children, according to survey testify. Furries do n’t make importantly more or less money than the general US public and tend to be significantly more left-leaning politically. And they ‘re much likelier than the public at bombastic to report a non-straight sexual orientation, with well under 30 percentage reporting exclusive heterosexuality :

A later study, conducted in early July 2014 at Anthrocon, found that about 90 percentage of respondents identified as white.

9) Do furries think they’re animals?

It ‘s complicated. About one in three furries report feeling not 100 percentage human. A belittled fraction ( 8 to 14 percentage ) report meaning this in a physical common sense, with many more stating they feel not fully homo mentally or spiritually. About 38 to 53 percentage report card a hope to be 0 percentage homo, if they could be .
Furries and other people who identify as non-human in some significant academic degree are known as “ otherkin. ” “ Therians ” are otherkin who identify with, in wholly or region, an actually existing species that live or have lived on Earth ( wolves are the most common ). Some reserve the term otherkin for those identifying as fabricated or fantastic creatures ( dragons, vampires, etc. ) while others use it as a catch-all term .
Some researchers have suggested that the universe of otherkin and therians suggest these people could have a “ Species Identity Disorder, ” modeled after “ Gender Identity Disorder, ” which is used by psychiatrists to classify trans people. ( many trans people argue that the classification of sex dysmorphia as a disorder is stigmatizing and counterproductive. ) Critics have responded by arguing that the doctrine of analogy obscures more than it enlightens .

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