July 18, 2013

This is a rant about being a furry that may not mean anything to you.

I got this book in the mail. It’s that Furoticon book I ordered like… years ago? At least 3 years ago. It’s really weird. Like… the cover is just… awful. As a non-artist that has put together acceptable cover art for physical books, it just looks cheap and self-publish-y. They even had this like… preview I got years ago, and it’s cover looks WAY better. Still not great, but way better. Why didn’t they use that one? I don’t even know. It’s also a porn novel with pictures, but none of the pictures are pornographic. I have no idea.

It’s an amazing thing, and I think it’s awesome. I think it’s awesome that someone wanted to make a porn book to tie in to a porn card game and wanted it to be so good that they were still working on it THREE YEARS LATER and they actually got it made and it’s actually here, in my paws. I think that’s amazing. I’m going to read it, and I have my doubts about the writing quality. I might be surprised, but either way, I love that this exists, and I’m sure I’ll have fun reading it.

What I don’t love is how serious it takes itself, by it’s very existence.

I heard that this furry porn card game was at Origins. Origins! Like, I’m not going to say that they can’t go to Origins, because that would be dumb. But they’re trying to run a business, and apparently a furry con was going on ACROSS TOWN. Where are you going to make the most sales, dudes? Where are people going to come to your tournaments? Seriously. Why would a normal, non-furry gamer care about a product where every card has furry porn art on it? I really don’t know.

But I feel like the reason they made that decision is because they’re taking themselves too seriously.

Like, okay, I will be the FIRST to extoll the benefits, virtues, and awesomeness of furry culture. It’s a fun, sex-positive, completely accepting atmosphere that honestly has a lot to do with why I’m a pretty good person in a pretty good place with a fucking awesome significant other. I still label myself a furry because it is a part of me, and I’m not about to run from it. I love every messed up, sick part of it, even if it’s not my thing. I love that there’s a place for it to exist, and I love that it tends to, on the whole, collect open-minded, fun-loving people I like being around.

But it’s really silly.

Like, if someone were to, for some reason, ask me my species, I would say I was a foxbunny. I am also prepared to explain that I am but 1/4th rabbit, and why that is, and that it only really shows in my ears and maybe my tail if you look hard enough. I can tell you who of my relatives are what species, and why.

That’s really silly. And I love it. But it’s silly. Like, if you were to follow up your question with “That’s weird. You’re a human.” I would agree. But it’s more fun to be a foxbunny. It’s more fun to be silly.

It’s fun to be a furry because you get to embrace silly, insane things, and it’s okay. You can let your imagination run wild, and come up with the most mundane or the most fucked up fantasies in the world, and other furries will just nod, and go “okay, sure,” and move on. I knew a furry whose fetish was removing someone’s still-beating heart and listening to it, pressed up against his ear. I knew a furry who would only have sex with balloons. Nobody batted an eye at this. They went, “Cool,” and went on as per normal. I love that. I love that acceptance. But you can’t say that those fetishes aren’t silly. You really can’t.

We all have that crazy, silly side. Furries just know how to let it out. The problem is, they then set that as the new baseline. This is the new serious. This is what to care about. When you do that, you’re totally out of sync with everything. And that creates issues. That creates what few problems people see with the furry community.

When you double down on something being serious that isn’t, trying to make it more important than it is, you build barriers. You shelter yourself. You’re doing the opposite of embracing that furry inside you: you’re denying who you are, and saying you have something to be embarrassed about. By fighting, oftentimes you are doing way more harm than good.

There are groups that need to fight. These are groups that had no choice in something that they are, and don’t deserve mistreatment. They have to fight because there is no other way. They have to in order to stop being stepped on, and get the rights they deserve. Hell, because the furry community is so awesome, many, many furs from these groups are a part of it. But we furries chose to be furries. (I suppose some otherkin types might consider it otherwise, but I feel most would agree with me if they’re being honest.) We may get made fun of from time to time, and that’s shitty, to be sure. Yes, it should be otherwise. But fuck, have some perspective. By elevating this to that level, you make yourself seem idiotic. It is clearly not a fight on the same level. It is dumb to have it that way.

You don’t get acceptance for things on this level from fighting with people. You get accepted by not having to guard yourself, because there’s no reason to. Someone says being a furry is fucked up? Some thing you like is weird and terrible? You shrug. You say, yeah, but it’s a lot of fun. You aren’t hurting anyone. You have nothing to hide. You’re someone having a good time with friends also having a good time. That confidence sends the right signal. Screaming does not. Hiding your passions and your fun under a barrel in your room also sends the wrong signal. Who gives a shit about what other people think, anyway? If you cared, why did you become a furry in the first place, you know? You’re a furry to chase your dreams and fantasies, to whatever extreme they might be. Who cares what others think?

They say that, after those horrible Fifty Shades books came out, sales on rope acceptable for bondage skyrocketed. Because suddenly, here was something mainstream, with BDSM (of the tame variety, from what I hear, to be fair), that showed it was okay to want to try that. Suddenly, it was more accepted, and not because a bunch of people went out of the streets with their slaves and yelled at people who looked at them funny. Here’s something that people actually saw, that treated it as no big deal, and suddenly it was. A choice, a fantasy, accepted because it has nothing to hide. It’s something your mom could read. I know my mom did. My mom read about the kind of weird stuff I do in my bedroom! Weird, but cool. Maybe that’s a bad example, but I feel like that’s what I’m talking about. It becomes “normal” because it’s treated that way. That’s all it takes. You fight for rights taken from you, legal, etc. You scream and rant about those. But being accepted, well, you just treat it as already that way, and thus, it eventually is.

I feel pushed out of the furry community nowadays. I don’t really want to be. But I don’t have the energy to take it seriously. I don’t have time to spend role-playing with awesome furs for hours every night anymore. And because I can’t really insert myself into that serious narrative any more, I feel like I’m pushed against. Maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe not. But it makes me sad, because I still love all that stuff that drew me in in the first place. I love it. But because I can’t treat it as the be-all-end-all of my existence, I feel like I’m out of the club. I find I know a lot of people who “used to be a furry” who probably got out for similar reasons, at least in some small part. I also know some furs that are in deep, and say things like they’re worried about having no non-furry friends, because they just have this feeling that they’re drinking the kool-aid, and becoming part of this overly serious world, and forgetting the fun that got them there in the first place. All that really sucks.

Furries, be your awesome selves. Seriously. Be as far from vanilla as you can be, and enjoy the shit out of it. But just realize that, when someone looks at what you’re doing, and calls it weird, or silly, accept it, at the same time as you accept that’s why it’s so great. Life is better when you don’t take yourself so seriously, because deep down, every person on the face of this earth is weird as fuck. That’s not the agreed on baseline, nor should it be, really, because if it was, it wouldn’t be so fun, would it? Have fun.

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