If you’ve somehow never encountered an Internet meme before, you may be surprised to learn that the number 69 is often associated with sex (and, more specifically, a particular sex act).
This happens to be the 69th blog post published on Dhole Moments, since I started the blog in April 2020.
You could even go as far as to say it’s the 4/20 +69th post, for maximum meme potential.
However! I make a concerted effort to keep my blog safe-for-work, so if you’re worried about this post being flooded with furry porn (a.k.a. yiff art), or cropped yiff memes, or any other such lascivious nonsense, you won’t find any of that on this blog. (Sorry to disappoint.)
Instead, I’d like to take the opportunity to correct some public misconceptions about human sexuality, identity, and how these topics relate to the furry fandom.
Is Furry a Sex Thing?
I find it difficult to overstate how often people assume the “furry is a sex thing” premise. Especially on technical forums.
But let’s backtrack for a second. What isn’t a sex thing?
This turns out to be a difficult question to answer. Even Wikipedia’s somewhat concise list of paraphilias doesn’t leave a lot of topics off the table.
Are shoes a sex thing? Are cigarettes? Poetry?
Hell, one might be tempted to cry foul on the header image used in this blog post for including tentacles, hypnotic eyes, and footpaws in the same image. (Scandalous!) But if you look at the uncropped versions of these images, you’ll quickly realize they aren’t yiffy.
The more you read about this topic, the more you’ll realize this question is inert. Anything can be a sex thing. Humans are largely a sexual species, and sex is deeply ingrained in our culture (which can make life awkward for asexual people).
Instead, the question of whether or not the furry fandom is sexual becomes a bit of a Rorschach test for one’s cognitive biases.
If you’re chiefly concerned with public image–especially when fursuiting in public, where kids can see–you’re incentivized to double down on the fact that the furry fandom is no more inherently sexual than anything else can be. And this is true.
If you’re concerned with cultivating a sex-positive environment where people can live out their sexual fantasies in a safe, sane, and consensual manner, you’re incentivized to insist that furry is a sexual thing. “We have murrsuits for crying out loud! Stop kink-shaming! Down with puritan ideologies on sex!” And this is also true.
Humans are largely sexual, so any activity humans engage in will inevitably involve people sexualizing it. Even tupperware parties, for fuck’s sake! Anyone who believes there is a “Rule 34 of the Internet” tacitly acknowledges this fact, even if it’s inconvenient for a narrative they’re trying to spin.
So while this might be a meaningless question, one has to wonder…
Why Does Everyone Care So Much If Being a Furry (In Particular) Is Sexual or Not?
To understand what’s really happening here, you need to know a few things about the furry fandom.
- Approximately 80% of furries are LGBTQIA+ (source).
- Early anti-furry sentiments were motivated by queerphobia, especially on forums like Something Awful–and the influence of early hateful memes can still be seen to this day.
One of the Something Awful staff eventually acknowledged and apologized for this.
There was even a movement within the furry fandom history (the “Burned Furs“) that aimed to excise queerness and sex-positivity from the community. It’s no coincidence that a lot of the former Burned Furs joined with the alt-right movement within the furry fandom.
The alt-right is explicitly queerphobic; especially against trans people. But it’s not just queerphobic; it’s also an ableist and racist movement.
Regardless of sexual orientation, a lot of furries are neurodivergent, too.
Simply put: The reason that most people care whether or not furries are sexual is rooted in the propensity of anti-furry rhetoric in Internet culture, which was motivated at its inception by mostly queerphobia with a dash of ableism.
The notion that furries are “too sexual” originated as a dog-whistle for “too gay”, and caught on with people who didn’t know the hidden meaning of the idea. Now a lot of people repeat these ideas without intending or even knowing their roots, and many more have internalized shame about the whole situation.
Unfortunately, this even precipitates into the furry fandom itself, which leads to an unfortunate cyclical discourse that takes place largely on Furry Twitter.
Furry Isn’t a Sexuality. There is no F in LGBT!
If you publicly state “anti-furry rhetoric is largely queerphobic dog-whistles”, you will inevitably hear someone try to retort this way. So let’s be very clear about it.
Furry isn’t its own sexual identity, and I would never claim otherwise.
Unlike transgender people, furries do not experience anything like “species dysphoria” (although therians/otherkin do report experiencing this; don’t conflate the two).
What’s happening here is: Most furries (about 80% of us) have separate sexual/gender identities that deviate from the heteronormative. A lot of queerphobia is easier to sell when you convey it through dog-whistles. So that’s what bigots did.
Polite company that wouldn’t partake in queer-bashing is often willing to laugh at the notion of “Beat A Furry Day“.
Anyone who tries to twist this acknowledgement to mean something ridiculous like an LGBTF movement is either being irrational or a 4chan troll.
For related reasons, you shouldn’t ever feel the need to “come out” as a furry.
It’s okay to just really like Beastars, Zootopia, or even the Furry aspects of the Minecraft and Roblox communities. It doesn’t make you a sex-freak.
What’s the Take-Away?
It doesn’t really matter if the furry fandom has a sexual side to it. Everything does! The people who proclaim to care very much about this care for all the wrong reasons. Don’t be one of them.
And remember: Lewd furries aren’t furry trash; we’re yiff-raff!
Sex Isn’t Well-Defined Either
While we’re talking about sex, did you know that biological sex isn’t neatly divided into “male” and “female”? This isn’t an ideological position; it’s a scientific one. Just ask a biologist!
Trans and nonbinary people change gender (which is about your role within society) from what they were assigned at birth, but even sex itself isn’t so concrete.
The next time someone tries to appeal to “science” when talking about trans rights and then vomits up some unenlightened K-12 explanation of human reproduction and biological sex, remind them that science disagrees with their oversimplified and outdated mental model–and they might know this if they kept up with scientists.
Where Can I Learn More About the Sexual Side of the Furry Fandom?
Important: If you’re under the age of 18, you should stay out of adult spaces until you’re old enough to participate. No excuses.
If you’re looking for pornographic furry art (also called “yiff”), most furry art sites (FurryLife, FurAffinity, etc.) have adult content filters that you can turn off when you register an account.
If you’re looking for something more interactive, there’s a swath of furries that develop private VR experiences for 18+ audiences. One of the most well-funded Patreon artists makes adult furry games.
If you’re curious about why and how people express their sexuality when fursuiting (also called “murrsuiting”), there’s a subreddit for that.
It’s really not hard to find. This is one of the advantages of furry being a largely sex-positive community.
Furry YouTuber Ragehound even has a series about Furries After Dark if you want to learn more about these topics.
Finally, similar to how 69 is a meme number for sex, furries have an additional meme number (621) that comes from the name of an adult furry website (e621.net).
You now have enough knowledge to navigate the adult side of the fandom. Just don’t come crying to me when you develop the uncanny knack for recognizing which r/furry_irl posts are actually cropped yiff versus wholly worksafe art.
7 replies on “The Furry / Sexuality Blog Post”
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Very well written post.
However I would like to make the case that for a very large portion of the community, furry is an integral part of their personal and or sexual identity. This seems to be a greater phenomenon than is typically seen in other kink or social interest groups.
As furry becomes more mainstreem there’s an effort by practically everyone to explain it in terms others can easily relate to inorder to gain acceptance or promote exclusion.
The two most popular parallels drawn are “it’s just a hobby” or “it’s just a kink.” With perhaps the most widely accepted perception being that it’s a blend of both and how much depends on the individual.
Similar comparisons are routinely drawn between other fandoms, like Star Wars, pointing to the concept that if humans are a part of it, porn will exist of it. However, deep down, no one seems comfortable with this platitude that is often fed to news cameras and journalists. There is something critically different going on with many furries that is far less tangible.
We don’t see Star Trek fans lobbying for acceptance in pride parades or seeking inclusion the way other groups do among the LGBTQIA identity movement. Many members who identity as the above are often down right offended that furries try to even draw such comparisons. After all being furry is ‘just a hobby or choice’ and furries are not rejected or oppressed. I fully understand why members of the LGBTQIA community wish to keep fettishes seperate from personal or sexual identity. Even banning them from pride events altogether.
I will agree that for a portion of furries, it is indeed just a kink or a hobby. Many members anchor on this even if it’s not entirely true for them because it’s an explanation that most commonly satisfies the audience. There is a hidden danger in propagting and anchoring on this half truth.
What makes this such an uncomfortable topic for most is the preverbial pink elephant in the room. It is obvious that for many of it’s members furry is an unexplainably integral to their sexual and interpersonal identities.
The vast majority of furries, if they are willing to speak candidly, will relate they knew they were furry earily in their childhood development. Long before they ever found the internet or knew what it was. This is eerily similar to the sentiments of those identifying as gay, bi or even transgender. The fact that so many furries share that same story to me is very peculiar. Most are self aware, recognize that it’s ‘weird’ and relate to hiding it much of their adult lives.
Although most don’t have species dysmorphia or sexual attraction to actual animals there is tramendous fear that society will see them as such. It is not uncommon to see hatred directed towards furries due to these misconceptions. Most do not get sexual gratification from the act of wearing a costume. Most are also “in the closet” even with their closest friends and family members about something that is an enormous part of their identity.
One of the most difficult things about understanding the furry phenomenon, is both it’s scale and the fact that most furries don’t understand it well themselves. The fact that it is now the topic of academic studies funded by the National Science Foundation implies that furry is indeed more than just a fettish or hobby.
Many will tell you that furry is just as much a part of their sexuality as being gay or straight. Often more so. Furries tend to only date, and marry, other furries. The data shows that among furries, the sex of their partner doesn’t carry the same significance as non- furries. The lines between gay and straight are very blurred. Even those who identify as 100% straight, often end up having some type of intimate attraction or sexual experience with a member of the same sex after becoming socially active in the furry community.
The incidence of asexuality among furries is an order if magnitude greater than the general population. What’s the deal with people “comming out” as furries wrapping it up in emotions and inner personal conflict that uncannily resembles the inner personal struggles of the LGBTQIA members?
What the heck is going on here? I thought it was just a kink or a hobby?
As a furry myself I have spent a great deal if time talking to my peers trying to understand where we all came from. Broadly most furries seem to fall into three categories:
1) Those who knew they had an affinity for furry earily in their childhood development.
2) Those who discovered it in adolescence, often through the pornography, and it became integrated into their sexual development.
3) Those who discovered it much later in life and we’re drawn to it’s social attributes.
How these categories bled togeather is very individual. It is also worth noting that how furries form relationships with eachother tends to be different from the general population. Anxious and avoidant attachment styles often predominate. The innerpersonal struggles tend to share a great deal of overlap with LGBTQIA and it should be no surprise that many of it’s members find the furry community to be nurturing and supportive of them.
One of the things that makes the furry fandom so unique that it is far more personal, intigrative, and interconnected than most other communities.
This is an incredibly complex topic. So much so that the scientific community so far has still really missed the mark by trying to fit it into their understanding of paraphilias, hobbies or body dysmorphias.
What furry is to an individual varies greatly depending on the person. But a large percentage will tell you that they “identify” as a furry. That their sexuality is neither gay nor straight but instead “furry.”
As our understanding increases and we continue adding the string of letters to “LGB,” in the back of my mind I ask myself: For some does an ‘F’ have a place there as well?
I want to emphasize that for the fast majority of furries, it is a much greater part of their sexuality, individuality and personal identity that one would expect to find in a kink or hobby. This goes well beyond a few individuals desires to be “a special snowflake.” I understand why many of those who identify as LGBTQIA would not want to be aligned furries or other fettish oriented subcultures. It can indeed be damaging to gaining acceptance. I mearly want there to be some awareness that furry may be different, and pushing them back into the closet may be just as damaging as it has been for other members of marginalized communities.
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