Are furries really having sex in animal suits?
Furries. A group that is often mocked, and rarely understood. There is a lot of misconceptions flying around about the furry community - and a tendency to typecast and stigmatized them as horny weirdos who like to have sex in animal suits.
The reality, however, is a lot more complex - and fun! - than that. In this article, we will go into detail about this colorful subculture, debunk some of the most common myths around it and dissect the relationship between furries and sexuality.
What does it mean to be a Furry?
In terms of strict definitions, one can think of furries as a Fandom. Complete with a community and customized slang. Just like other Fandoms, the basic idea behind it is a group of people who come together to share a common interest. They do this through art, - Fanfiction, Music, Fanart - regular meetings - conventions like Comicon are a great example - and some get around to cosplaying.
This is exactly how the furry community works, but instead of gathering around the shared passion for a specific pop culture phenomenon, furries have a common interest based on anthropomorphism, or the attribution of human features to animals.
Different people choose to express this interest in different ways, but one thing seems to be of great importance to the community: The creation of Fursona.
What is a Fursona? A furry Avatar
Much like creating a character to play an RPG, a fursona is an alter-ego created to express oneself within the fandom. Fursonas are very important to furries, as they are a result of deep self-reflection and can often represent an idealized version of someone.
It’s like thinking of your superhero identity: choosing which personality traits you want to express and how the fursona will express them. A fan picks an animal - which can be realistic or mythical - to represent them in the Fandom. Usually, Fursonas have their own names.
A lot of fans - much like cosplaying - have a lot of fun creating their own fursuits to bring their fursonas to life. These elaborate customs are a staple of the community and showcase a great degree of creativity and craftsmanship.
However, despite mainstream media showcasing fursuits whenever they mention furries, fursuits are not a requirement in the community. In fact, the majority of furries don’t own a complete suit. It’s more common for them to have separate accessories, such as tails, ears, and similar items.
For a portion of furries, not even accessories are required since their relationship with the fandom happens mostly online - through fiction writing, creating fan art, etc. Granted, like many Fandom communities, Furries are largely reliant on the Internet to gather together. However, Furries can also exist offline.
There are a number of forums and websites dedicated to furries, and they also are divided into subgroups. This vibrant online community is a place for people to share and express their interests, as well as role play as their fursonas.
But it’s a mistake to think furries are confined to the digital world. In fact, conventions are a huge part of how furries come together. It’s estimated half of the fandom attends them either once or twice every year, where they hang out, get to meet prominent artists within their community, buy merchandise and sometimes wear their fursonas - just like there are people cosplaying in comic conventions but it’s not everyone.
The Furry Community and Sexuality: Yiffing and beyond
Being a Furry is about a lot more than sex
One of the greatest myths surrounding furries is the idea the community is inherently sexual and basically a kink. Well, we’re here to clarify that's not at all the case.
Most of the interactions between furries have to do with expressing their creativity. For instance, a lot of furries claim to have no desire to have sex while in a fursuit. Why? Well, for a lot of them the thought is not only uncomfortable but potentially damaging to the custom!
That being said, an intersection between furries and sex does exist. Just like there’s erotic fanfiction/fanart in a lot of fandoms, it’s a niche part but it shouldn’t be a representation of everything the community is.
In fact, there is a specific name for sexual activity involving furries - “yiffing” - an allusion to the sound foxes make while copulating. And while there are reunions and parties specifically made for yiffing, the fandom seems to be a lot less sexual than the mainstream media claims it is.
Queerness and Furries
Another very interesting factor is the big representation queer folks have within the community. The majority of furries identify themselves as either gay or bisexual, and there are also a lot of them engaging in relationships with peers from the fandom.
This is fascinating data. Some psychologists believe this representation is rooted on the fact that for a lot of queer people sexuality and relationships had to be taken online - hence them finding each other in this community. Furthermore, the idea of creating an idealized persona who can be free to express themselves can be a healing tool for a lot of queer folks experiencing homophobia and isolation.
Sexual role-playing is a great success in many parts of the Internet. From online videogames to forums in different fandoms, enjoying sex through the lens of an imaginary character is something that is incredibly liberating and fulfilling for many people.
For a big portion of furries, these interactions happen mostly online. There are vibrant forums where fursonas can come together and have a good time. However, yiffing also happens in the real world - and some might be even willing to risk their fursuits and do it while in full character!
The key thing to understand is that sex for the furry community is mostly about having sex while being one’s fursona; an identity that allows for expression and freedom of an idealized version of oneself.
Furry Pornography and Erotica
One fundamental aspect of yiffing is how it is played out in fiction; while it is in pornography, fanart or fanfiction. There’s no shortage of specialized websites dedicated solely to this content. While pornography focuses mostly on live action of people doing it in their fursuits, drawings and written stories blur the lines even more between human and creature.
The recent rise in popularity of werewolf erotica in the mainstream seems to be influenced by these ideas. A lot of these stories feature scenes of werewolves doing it as wolves, which is something the furry community has pioneered.
Is it ok to be a Furry?
Common Misconceptions and Zoophilia
As it is sadly usual with kink, mainstream media often works as an eco-chamber of superficial ideas about furries. Recently, the community was targeted in the US by stories reporting children identifying themselves as animals and demanding litter boxes in schools.
Let’s underline that being a furry is neither a sexual orientation nor a gender identity. It’s a community of different people with a common interest, who come together to celebrate it.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the relationship between the furry community and zoophilia. One study published in 2008 reported that 17% of people of the community interviewed reported themselves as being zoophiles - meaning they felt sexual attraction to animals (which is a different thing from bestiality, the actual act of engaging in sexual acts with animals).
However, other studies have shown the percentage being around 1% or 2%.
This theme is controversial and there are a lot of representatives from the community who claim furries shouldn’t be linked to zoophilia and the community itself ostracizes openly zoophilic members. It’s hard to find a “truth” to this matter, but it seems fair to point out furries are a diverse community and they shouldn’t all be expected to be the same.
Furries and Kink
All in all, furries are a lot less sexual than one might think, but there is still plenty of space to play around and experiment with one’s sexuality while wearing fuzzy ears, tails, or even a full on fursuit.
In an environment of consensual sex between adults, mixing furries and kink can be a great outlet to explore oneself in a greatly creative way.
Whether you’re just curious about the community, an active member looking to express themselves through art, or someone who likes to get freaky as a fursona, there’s no doubt this group is one of the most fascinating and expressive ones the Internet has ever produced.
Have you ever dabbled in creating a fursona? What would it look like? We would love to know all about it, sound off in the comments below!