September 23, 2013

After Dark, And A Sense Of Belonging

A thing I have started doing is following After Dark accounts on twitter. This has mostly gained me access to a lot of tweets full of pornography, random horny musings and cravings, and pictures of the genitals of people I vaguely know from the internet.

I’m pretty okay with this. I don’t really need to see said pictures of people’s equipment, though I’m glad they’re proud of it and will gladly cheer them on in their endeavors to use it, and most of the porn really isn’t my thing, though quite nice, for what it is. But I mostly haven’t undone this thing I’ve done and gotten it out of my feed because, oddly, it really makes me feel connected to something I kinda felt like I lost.

I talked awhile ago about how I kinda feel like I’m not part of the furry community any more, and it kinda bums me out. It does, too. It’s a weird thing. But a lot of that furry camaraderie is coming back to me as I read these accounts from furs I kinda know in passing and am now learning tons of super-detailed risque info about. It just kinda affirms me. It makes me feel like part of the group again.

Outside of furry culture (which I was really tempted just to call human culture but goddamn that kinda makes me feel a little insane to say, so I’ll write it out the long way (even though, in my heart, that’s probably what I would call it, I am that crazy, oh no)) things are just so goddamn taboo. It’s kinda unhealthy and stupid, seriously. Like, I showed a video to a class today where a middle-aged lady cracks jokes about how insane sex research has been in the past, and everyone was SUPER uncomfortable. It wasn’t that graphic. No naughty language was used. It was just kinda the idea that someone might think and study things like how different the semen of young men smells to that of old men. That’s just weird, right? But it’s one of those things, in a weird moment, you might wonder, and these scientists just fucking WENT for it, and that’s awesome and funny. We laugh because it’s weird, but we get uncomfortable because it reminds us of the things we wonder about, and we think about, and we want to try but never do. It reminds us of things we are supposed to be embarrassed about. And at the same time, these people just out there tweeting their most fucked up fantasies and talking to others about how to make them weirder or hotter or just flirting with them. They don’t care. They crave what they crave and they celebrate it. That just seems way healthier to me in general. A world in which I can tell my mother “Mom, I need this expensive surgery so I can have tons of hot sloppy sex with the guy I’m in love with without sobbing constantly” is a way better world than the one where I had to try to express that without breaking these taboos, and having the whole talk go badly. A world in which I didn’t nearly have a panic attack wondering if I should share experiences with my ex-girlfriend to make a point to my students because that would mark me as gay or bi seems way better. It’s way better to just be honest with these wants, isn’t it? Furries think so. I’m one of them. It’s super-refreshing to be, at least a little, indulged in that general mentality around me again very blatantly. (I mean, most of my good friends share this view, though they probably wouldn’t explain it this way, but instead in a much less dumb way. This is one of many reasons why I love them.)

It’s also just really refreshing to see someone’s personality on their sleeve like that. When you know someone’s desires, it’s really easy to get a good mental picture of them and know if they’re someone you want to deal with. People’s priorities are outlined or hinted at, seriously, by what they crave. I always felt like I had no problem judging people online, something people always thought was weird and hard to do, and I’ve since realized it’s because I was mostly involved with furs, who just put this stuff out there, and we could part ways amicably, most of the time, before any sort of issue erupted because we just knew. We knew what was up.

But mostly I guess it’s kinda one of those “relive your glory days” things, as lame as that sounds. I love love love love love where my life is now, but it’s very different than the polyamorous life of exploration I used to lead. It was honestly pretty fun, as far as things go. Every day lead to new potential partners and new potential experiences and things to enjoy, which I never would have even imagined without all that. Many of those partners are some of my best friends now. And since I basically figured out what I wanted out of romance and love (which is what I have now, minus some stupid intimacy issues on my part that will get dealt with eventually) and I stopped doing all that, I do have a little bit of loss, as you do with any freedom, even if given up willingly in exchange for something worth so fucking much more. It’s still opportunity gone. It’s sad to close a door, even one that needs to be closed. But seeing these other furs still in that phase, and exploring and loving and doing without restraint to figure it all out (or maybe they have figured it all out, and that’s what they need in life, that’s cool too) is just… it’s awesome. I’m happy for them. I love rooting for them from the sidelines, because I know how well it can all work out, and I want it to work out as well for them as it did for me. It’s the same kinda feeling I get when I see a student really start to click with writing and dive in and really enjoy it. It’s just so awesome! I mean, I’m not going to interfere or anything in anyone’s journey. I’ll help if asked. But it’s just nice to know that some things still work in the world, and that your joys, and the ways you found them, are shared by more. That the things you value are kinda universally good. I dunno, maybe getting enjoyment out of seeing that sort of thing happen makes me old. I’m probably old now. Oh well.

Anyway, I’ll probably keep these accounts on there, and slowly add new ones I find interesting, because of these things. Sure, it now makes checking my phone at work REALLY AWKWARD or whatever, but it’s nice. It’s really nice. Maybe I’m odd for seeing it that way, but fuck, that’s how I see it. No reason to be ashamed.

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