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Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


After making various posts in GBS and PYF over the past few months, I've had quite a few people ask me to set up a proper Ask/Tell thread on this. Having got the okay from the mods, here we go!

So, where to begin? I'm Camrath, and up until about a year ago I used to be a furry. I'm nearly 34 now- I joined the fandom in 1999, about a week or so after my 18th birthday. So I spent basically the entirety of my adult life involved to a greater or lesser extent in this hosed up fandom, from what was very much its genesis as an organised scene in the UK up until its current colossal (and horrifying) state. Along the way I've had good times (some), bad times (many) and a lot of genuinely WTF moments that still make my mind boggle a bit.

What's my purpose in this thread? Well, there are several. First of all, simply to entertain. Secondly, to inform a bit- while a lot of the stories about the furry fandom have elements of truth to them, there's also a lot of myth and propaganda attached. And often the truth in itself is stranger than fiction. Thirdly (and this is something that I'll touch on more in a later section), it's somewhat therapeutic to me to pour out some of the bile that's built up in me over my entire adult life, and frankly it helps reinforce in my own mind that getting the hell away from it all finally was very much the right decision for me to make.

Before I begin properly, I'd like to make a few requests if I may.

1. Please take this thread in the spirit in which it's offered. Yes, the fandom is hosed up. Yes, I was part of it. I'm not here to defend it in any way, shape or form, but at the same point I will try and counter any false beliefs people have about it. I'd sooner people hate it for real reasons than just because of internet tribalism.

2. Please, no internet detectivery or contacting anyone involved. While I'm outside of the fandom now, I do still have friends who are involved and I don't want to see them hurt. I'll be using furry pseudonyms rather than RL names, but I will also be posting some pictures and if you recognise someone then for Christís sake don't start harassing them IRL about it.

3. Try and be constructive- I'd like to be able to share hosed up stories and laugh along with you all at the weird poo poo that I used to be involved in. Page after page of 'gently caress u furry human being' or whatever will only serve to shut down my interest in providing what should be some pretty funny, awful, messed up poo poo for you guys.

Those points aside, I intend to be as fully open as I possibly can be. If there's anything you want to know or are curious about, just ask- it's why this threadís here in the first place! If a question IS one I don't feel comfortable responding to, I'll simply say so and move on. So, with that said, let's get going. I'm going to start off by telling the story of my involvement with the fandom, before I get onto telling more general stories. If anyone does have anything specific to ask then please go right ahead and I'll answer as best as I can. Only things I won't touch are those which involve real life identities or anything that I consider privileged information, but don't be afraid to be curious. :)

1999 - Where it all began.

So, a bit of background. I was born and raised in London, England. Eldest child of an upper middle class family, educated at a traditional British Public School (meaning in fact private, selective and single-sex during my time there). Had a generally happy home life, despite being bullied quite a lot at school for being generally unfit, book-loving, nerdy and socially awkward- stereotypically goony and also furry, to be honest. Up until I was 17 and a half my biggest vice was spending hours down my local Games Workshop playing 40K. As I went to a single-sex school I literally did not know ANY girls or women socially, but I had a good crew of friends at least. The big moment of change came from a long line of coincidences that led to me one late march evening in 1999 sitting down and rewatching The Lion King. After it had finished I slunk up to my bedroom, dialled up the internet and looked for information on its sequel, which landed me on lionking.org and led to me discovering fanfiction and online role-play (using MUCKs, MUSHes and the like) in very short order. Thus the seed was sown. Oddly, this coincided perfectly with my late teenage growth-spurt and a general time of change in my life, so suddenly I shot up three inches, lost forty pounds in weight and sort of.. awoke socially. I guess this happens to everyone at some point, however I had the misfortune to have it happen mostly in the context of my burgeoning on-line life, in the absence of many peers or girls to be interacting with face-to-face. I spent most of that summer break roleplaying on The Lion King MUCK, chatting to GIRLS for the first time, falling in love over the internet with a girl from Canada and so on.
Come September, and I break my hand at my 18th birthday party in a drunken incident I still don't remember. Spent my actual birthday in surgery and was housebound for a fortnight.
This is where the whole rotten tale really gets going.

My parents were naturally worried about me- I was in pain, unable to use my left hand (which as a southpaw, really loving sucked!) and rather isolated. And so, one dinner time I mentioned that there was this new group forming called the 'London Furs', and I was considering going to their meetup that weekend to see what it was all about. My parents were going away that weekend, but before they left my father handed me £40 and ordered me to go along to this meeting, buy some drinks for people, make new friends and generally do something other than moping about in front of my computer typing away.

So, down I went to central London to a pub in Soho. Now, at this time I had led a very sheltered life indeed- I'd never met an openly gay person, nor indeed anyone involved in any form of alternative lifestyle or interest. So you can imagine what it was like walking in to the upstairs bar of a rather scary looking (at the time) metal/goth pub, to immediately see two guys about my age playing tonsil hockey in a corner. In those early days fursuits really weren't a thing in the UK- the costumers we did have primarily used face and bodypaint together with partial furry costume. And I'll admit, I was completely blown away. Here was this whole exciting world full of people who just didn't seem to give a gently caress; there was a guy made up as a gothic white tiger, and I'll admit that in my own repressed way I worshipped him a bit as a rebel, a hero, someone who was just the epitome of cool. Throughout my furry experience as a result of this I was fascinated by face or body painting rather than fursuiting as a costuming art, and very much made it my 'thing' later on. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

To be honest, that evening is all a bit of a blur, but to a teenager yearning to form his own identity, it hit me in some way that I couldn't comprehend. I felt like I belonged- everyone was so welcoming. There was no judgement (or at least, there appeared to be none- I'm sure that wasn't actually the case). I very rapidly found my dress, my attitude and behaviour changing over the tail end of 1999 until by the millennium eve I had formed pretty much into the style that I maintained for almost my entire adult life (and still do for the most part now). The pics below should help illustrate that.


Marcony, the white-tiger man mentioned above.


My first ever Londonfur meet. Yours truly is in the chinos and blue shirt, with the sling.


Second furmeet. Trench coat added, chinos still present. :P


My third furmeet. Black on black with black leather to cover was by now set in as my look- one that I'll admit I still favour even now.


My very first time facepainting, November 1999.

2000-2008 - The interim years.

Throughout the middle years of the noughties I was perhaps less involved than I had been in the scene, due to a variety of reasons. I suffered a severe head injury in Africa in early 2001, which for several years made me extremely emotionally unstable and unwell, so I had several major flare-ups of pointless drama that saw me 'leave the fandom FOREVER' (normally a period of about six months), coupled with going to university the other end of the country and so on. However, despite this I did attend several US conventions over that period (Anthrocon 2001, 02 and 03) and was involved in the London scene when I was both in the area and mentally capable of socialising. Frankly at that point the fandom in the UK was going through what even I, in all my non-self-aware furriness, could see was a bad patch. The group was thrown out of several London pubs for assorted reasons- underage drinkers, freaking out the rest of the clientele, just generally being too big. We ended up with a private space above a pub in Kentish Town for the London meets, and this is when I first really started to see the sexual side of the fandom. Given that I'm straight (though at the time I was questioning my sexuality a little, mostly due to loneliness) I never delved into this- the fandom may not be as overwhelmingly gay nowadays, but back then it seemed that heterosexuals were VERY much a minority. Out of a group of forty odd in about 02-04 there were also never more than five or six women active at any one time. Stick a load of socially awkward gay, bi and jailhouse gay guys in a private space together, add alcohol and you can imagine the shenanigans. Multiple times I bumped into people shagging into the toilets, guys would make out without a second thought and on at least two occasions I saw people openly getting handjobs in the main room, in full view of everyone. At the time, I'd swallowed the furry Kool-Aid so much that my main thoughts were 'wow, it's great that people feel safe and free enough in this group to be able to express their sexuality'- I was very scared of being thought judgemental or bigoted, even inside my own mind.

And I think, that's the big danger of furry right there, if I may digress a little. Most of its members are young, generally fairly socially isolated except within the scene. It's so easy to accept without question the apparent social mores of a group like that, and if it's your main source of social contact you end up very much internalising them, until seeing poo poo like I just described seems almost completely normal. In the end it feels like if you're offended by it then YOU'RE the one with the problem, not the guy with his dick out in public. Even inside your own head. And of course, these people are all friendly and welcoming and have been nothing but nice to you! They can't be bad people, or people who don't know how to act in public, can they? Yeah, if you're disgusted by what you see then you're literally Hitler, and should feel bad.

This period of lesser involvement with the scene lasted up until about 2007-8, and coincided with a particular nadir of the London scene- the meets would take place in a part-time strip club in central London in a non-air-conditioned basement, where the toilets would leak piss into the main bar. The stench down there was unbelievable, both from the aforementioned toilets and the collection of poorly washed, sweat drenched nerdlings gathered there together. I still refer to that place amongst my friends as 'the gas chamber'. Once the meets moved on from there with a change of management in the organisation, coupled with my moving back to London fulltime, my involvement level again increased, to its highest level yet.


Facepainting at a Londonfur meet, march 2000.


Other facepainters at a meet, summer 2000.


A truly bad picture of me, from late 2002- one of the worst parts of my life.

There are very, very few pictures that I have from between 2002 and 2009 or so- though I still very strongly considered myself a furry at the time I was absent or less involved from the physical social scene rather than the online one.

2009-2011 - The Bodypainting Years

As the noughties wound towards their end I found myself getting reinvolved with the furry scene. I was working long hours and thus had a lot of cash to throw around on random fun. I also had managed to get myself fit again after the embarrassing blob I'd become in my mid 20s- the picture above is nowhere near as bad as it got; at one point in 2005 I'd ballooned up to about 22 stone (north of 300lbs at 6'2"). With the combination of new found cash, improved self-confidence and a change of leadership within the London fandom I began to get properly involved again, attending regular meets and also considering attending conventions again. At this point fursuits had become extremely common in the UK, and the fandom had exploded- London meets were regularly up to a hundred odd attendees, there were regional meets throughout the country from Dorset to the north of Scotland, and several British furry conventions had started to operate. Disliking fursuits for several reasons, I made it my mission to 'bring bodypaint back', and starting at the Rather Brilliant Weekend (RBW) convention in 2009 I began to regularly don full body lion-patterned makeup for furry events. Obviously, this got a lot of comment- and even more attention. And being pretty lonely and frustrated with life at the time, I thrived on it all. Looking back now, it's fairly obvious that a lot of this attention was full-on inappropriate- on reflection I was groped, molested and otherwise bad-touched a great many times by a great many people, but somehow at the time I just didn't give a poo poo. Admittedly the fact that when I bodypainted I was also normally stoned, drunk and hopped up on E or Methylone (for raving purposes) probably had something to do with how tolerant I was, but I think on the whole it was the 'must be tolerant' mind-set I mentioned above that stopped me from reacting more negatively to it. Weirdest was at Confuzzled 2010, when some random dude came up to me when I was bodypainting and asked me to strike a pose.. Then licked my armpit and ran like gently caress away. Still have no idea who he was. This aside however, I'd found my 'thing' and made my mark on the scene- I became very well known in the UK at least.

Concurrent with this, I ended up forming a band with several of my closest friends from within the fandom, making us the only fully furry rock band in the UK (at least at the time). We ended up putting out an EP in 2011 and playing gigs at cons, meets and also for the general public and developing a small but devoted fan base- especially at the convention in 2011 where we performed in costume. Our website is still up at https://www.donutsh.com with the EP available for free streaming if anyone is morbidly curious.

One additional facet of these years that I should mention is this. At a meet in October 2010 a certain young lady saw me bodypainting and got in touch with me, interested to try it at the upcoming RBW convention. The moment I saw who this person was and what they looked like, I said to my best mate 'holy poo poo.. this girl wants me to rub paint all over her.. I'm so in there!'. Of course, come the convention I found out she had a boyfriend and thus was such a gentleman to her, she was convinced I was gay.. Come Eurofurence in 2011 however, things had changed, she was single and we ended up hooking up during the convention. We're still together now, four years later (she's sitting across from me right now) and are incredibly happy together, our relationship having both survived and been strengthened by our joint exit from the fandom. And I'll admit, for all the harm and upset that my time in Furry bought me, ending up together with her makes it almost seem worth it.

Anyway, you're not here to listen to me being sappy, so I'll stick up some pictures and head on to the final chapter of my furry experience.


Bodypaint at a London Meet, 2010.


Badly posing with a bodypainted buddy at Confuzzled 2011 (note, was hosed out of my gourd at this point). Fedora is due to the con's theme of 'gangsters', not a fashion choice!


Fursuiters and myself outside St Paul's Cathedral, June 2010


My GF in bodypaint, Confuzzled 2012

2011-2014 - Leadership and Disillusionment

While I was at Eurofurence in 2011 I got the call. The Londonfurs Committee (the organising group for London Meets, the largest regular furmeets in the world) wanted me to join them. I'd already been helping out at both meets and conventions through leading the Fursuit parades through London and various other towns, as well as by working security for cons and meets (I worked in the security industry at the time, and still am a fully licenced bouncer and security officer). Now I was being thrown into the organisation for meets that regularly topped 150 attendees, with up to 400 at the semi-annual parties- numbers that even two years previously UK conventions had been struggling to attain. And this, I think, is when the truth about furry and furries started to finally dawn on me. At the same time I also found myself running meets in Birmingham every month as well, amidst a huge flurry of drama and angst from my other half's ex and friends (who used to nominally run things in that town).

I don't want to go into too much detail at this stage (as I don't want to use all my best stories in my OP!) but the poo poo that this bought me into contact with rapidly began to wear down my reserves of good humour, enthusiasm and strength. Between Nazi horsefuckers, the cripplingly autistic, sexual predators and all sorts of other drama-mongers I very rapidly began to burn out. Coupled with this, I started attending a therapist regularly in 2012 after a year in which I lost my job, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and I dealt with a pretty crippling addiction to synthetic cannabinoids. Through long hours of work with my therapist I started to realise that while initially the furry scene had helped me gain self-confidence and social capability, it was now holding me back badly- it was essentially a massively overextended form of adolescence. And with this rising realisation and growth of self-awareness, coupled with vast amounts of drama and idiocy laid bare in front me, I realised that I had to move away for my own good. J, my girlfriend, had already mentally checked out of the fandom in around 2012-13 which I guess helped provide support for the decision.

In the spring of 2014 it seemed like half my extended family and friends decided to get married at once, and the combination of stag-dos, weddings and organisation for the same kept me out of the scene for a good three months, enough time to get some perspective and consider it all from different angles combined with my therapy. I decided to give the fandom one last chance, as I was required to help host the 2014 summer party in central London. Furries did not disappoint- even before the venue opened I was dealing with whining, bitching, drama and unfounded complaints from multiple sources, so much so that at the end I declared my resignation from the organising committee and indeed the fandom itself.

It's odd really- I thought such a decision would be hard, as it meant basically bidding goodbye to the social scene I spent my entire adult life involved in. But when the time came, it w2as the easiest thing ever, and I still have no regrets and no desire to involve myself in it at all anymore. I went to a meet as a guest earlier this year, and I left after less than an hour. My parting words to J as we walked away that day- 'loving hell, it's a crowd of the stupid, the oversexed, the badly dressed and the unwashed. Why the gently caress did I ever feel part of this?'. And I think to be honest that's a fitting epitaph for it all.
One final load of pictures.


Fursuit walk group picture, summer 2012


Late summer 2013. I think the expression on my face sort of says what I was thinking and feeling about the fandom by this time.

Okay, that's my 'story' as such. Now over to you. I'm happy to answer questions on pretty much any topic related to furry, as best as I can. Have fun. :)

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Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Dienes posted:

Everyone seems to pick the same 3-4 canids and felines. What is the weirdest/oddest animal you saw someone dress up as?

There's a suit at american cons called 'The Cuddlefish', which is a cuttlefish. I think that's probably the most imaginative one I've ever seen.

Morshu posted:

What is the best time you had, and the most loving insane thing you saw

And if any furries are reading this what do you wanna tell them


Best time I had? Hard to say, but my top three are 1. Roadtripping to and from Magdeburg in a convoy of furries to get to Eurofurence in 2011, driving my convertible M3 with all of us radio'd up, racing down the autobahn at about 150mph. 2. The first time I bodypainted in public, for the RBW 2009 boat party (a rave on a boat going up and down the Thames) and 3. playing a Donutsh gig in costume at Confuzzled 2010.

Most insane? poo poo, it's almost hard to think of anything in particular. The armpit licking incident I mentioned above is probably the one which made me 'wtf' the hardest, but the thing is that you get completely blase about weird sights after a while.

And for any furries out there? Get out of it, seriously. Nobody is saying you can't enjoy anthro art. Hell, noone is saying you can't enjoy loving in a fursuit if that's your thing. But for heaven's sake, get out of this horrible, toxic scene- you're only doing yourself harm if you make it your main social group.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 15:58 on Jun 10, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Palace of Hate posted:

what is your spirit animal

I never was interested in so-called 'furry spirituality' but my 'fursona' (sort of my animal avatar/character I guess) was a Barbary lion.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Takoluka posted:

How in the world do people choose fursonas? Do they fill out an internet quiz, or, like, do they just arbitrarily decide based on their favorite anime DeviantArt pictures?

Varies from person to person, but the most common way is 'what's your favourite animal?'. ;p In my case, I used to joke that I went with a barbary lion (a now extinct-in-the-wild subspecies) because they're bigger and hairier than other lions and I'm bigger and hairier than most other people, and because lions have it all figured out- they spend 20 hours of the day asleep and the rest of the time they're either loving, getting bought food by the rest of the pride or fighting.


physeter posted:

Was it the toxic drama that drove you out? Or was it becoming more mature and disgusted with the entire furry concept?

Sort of both. I matured and started seeing the fandom for what it was- and pretty much simultaneously realised I had had no need for the pointless drama bullshit in my life, that I had no need to interact with people who were causing me hassle and that frankly I wasn't even getting any enjoyment from the scene anymore.

Paladinus posted:

Thanks for the thread OP.

As I understand, being a furry is a relatively expensive hobby even if it's just facepaint. Judging by the photos, 99% of furries are white blokes from well-off families. Were there ever people who spent their last pennies on tickets to a con or did the community care for them? Basically, what were socio-economic dynamics there?

Oh god yes. It's a standing joke in the fandom that people will go to a convention, spend hundreds on a fursuit and even more on getting shitfaced throughout it, then put up a gofundme or equivalent to pay for their bills. Bear in mind though that the socio-economic dynamics have changed a lot since I started. Back in the early days in the UK, it was almost entirely students and kids with a few weird-beard older types. But fifteen years on, a lot of those students are now in pretty high paid careers- obviously a huge amount of them work in IT, but there's also architects, teachers/professors, police officers and soldiers that I know of from the fandom. Plus legions of students still. To be honest, the furry demographic and the goon demographic tend to overlap /very/ strongly.


Daedleh posted:

Can you talk a little bit about the toxic drama? Nerd drama is always hilariously pathetic so it'll be interesting to see how much worse furries are.

For sure- though the problem here is figuring out exactly what example to use! If you want a recent (and hilarious) example then check out the #cubgate tag on Twitter- the practical upshot of this is that a member of staff for Eurofurence made comments about Babyfurs (adult-baby furries) which, coupled with EF's code of conduct stating that 'fetish wear is not permitted' led to a whole load of diaper-loving shitfreaks going mental and claiming they were being oppressed. It's one of those cases where you genuinely want to pack both sides of the argument into a concrete basement and throw a few hand grenades in.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Indolent Bastard posted:

How many Furries get off on "scaring the normals"? Getting all suited/painted up, heading out around town and then giving people attitude when they inevitably stare at them? Or are most furries giant wussies that would never court that kind of confrontation?

None, that I'm aware of (and I used to lead/organise the fursuit parades in London, with up to a hundred or so suiters). Everyone I know of and have encountered goes out with an attitude of wanting to entertain the public rather than scare them or freak them out. Given that the majority of the public who interact with the suiters are people who are curious, they do get a slightly biased impression of how well received they are though- I've followed behind the parade several times and noticed a lot more negative comments from members of the public at a distance than the ones up close.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


boneration posted:

The whole furry subculture seems repulsive and cringeworthy. I mean at its most benign it's about pretending to be an animal, and probably more often about wanting to gently caress animals. How could you be part of that and somehow turn off your natural human tendency towards disgust at yourself and those around you? What moment-to-moment cognitive tricks did you engage in so you could look at yourself in a mirror and not want to die? How could you surround yourself with the kind of people in your pictures and not constantly think "I am making an error. I should be somewhere else."

e: also have you ever seen the inside of a fursuit under a black light.

You're factually off base on a few different areas here, and your tone is needlessly aggressive- however. Firstly, it's neither about pretending to be an animal per-se, or about wanting to gently caress them (though there are zoophiles/petfuckers/animal rapists in furry, they're at most a small minority. And one that I'd happily see lined up and shot). It's more akin to say, cosplay or performance art for most participants. With a touch of escapism/roleplay/wish fulfillment attached. The sexual aspect is I think more a result of a shitload of poorly socialised or socially retarded nerds getting together in a judgement-free community, same as the anime or brony fandoms.

And yes, I have seen the inside of several suits under blacklight, and they looked like.. well.. fur under blacklight- though admittedly they belonged to either my gf or people who I know for a fact don't gently caress in them. Conversely, I have had to yell at people for bringing suits out in public with visibly matted or stained fur, or with plainly visible Strategically Place Holes (SPHs). I wouldn't want to get near enough to one of those to see what it might look like under UV.

Edit: To make it clear, I'm not defending the fandom or its members, but I'd also rather people hate it for real reasons rather than imagined or false ones.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 17:50 on Jun 10, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Obdicut posted:

I find this interesting because the facepaint stuff really doesn't bug me almost at all. I come from San Francisco, where seeing people dressed up freaky isn't weird our unusual at all. (Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are some of my favorite people). However, people in fursuits that cover up their face really make me angry/upset/scared. I think it's because it's a combination of thinking that they're sexually weird, combined with anonymous, that just seems threatening to me. Is there an actual difference between the people who just facepaint and those who use face-obscuring costumes? The former seems much more a "This is me with makeup" and the second "This is not me, I am someone else now", and that bothers me on a philosophical level as well.


One of the things I have been most annoyed with from the few furries I've actually had to talk to or listen to was the whining about being oppressed and likening that oppression to that of gays or black people or transvestites or whatever. What percentage of furries really feel like they're expressing an innate part of their nature in a similar way to those other groups (the comparison with black people is always bad, but whatever) and how many recognize it's just a kind of fetish/cosplay thing and not deserving of protection in the same way?

You raise some really interesting points here. First off, face and bodypainting has only ever been a minority thing (at least since the very early days of the fandom over here- not sure about in the states, but I only know of one american bodypainter). Reasons for this should be fairly obvious- a lot of furries are either too skinny, too fat or too unkempt to be able to pull it off without looking ridiculous, at least in public. In the UK I know of less than ten people who facepaint, and literally aside from myself and my girlfriend I know of one other guy who does the full body paint (the white tiger guy in my OP- he's a lovely guy). Hell, the last time I bodypainted was in 2012, though I think that in part was down to my own disengagement with the fandom as much as anything else. Wearing a fursuit is very different- to the general public, someone in good shape wearing bodypaint looks weird but like.. in a good way? It's sexy but not creepy, if you want to get down to brass tacks. Whereas fursuits look like giant cuddly toys and in general go for 'cute' rather than 'sexy' (which is ironic given the amount of people inside the fandom who are huge fetishists for them). I mean, I've always been a 'look but don't touch' guy, and been pretty strict about it- when you're wearing paint you need to be careful like that, or else it'll get smudged off on people/clothes and the like. Whereas fursuiters tend to be a lot more tactile (whether that's a good or bad thing is open for debate). I do own a suit that my gf made for me back in 2013 (literally wore it four times before we left the fandom), and while I think it looks pretty awesome, suiting is very much NOT for me as a passtime. It's unbelievably stifling in those heads, visibility is awful and I have /never/ been so sweaty before or since.

And as I'm sure a query is incoming on that, this is the suit here:


Toony styled gnoll/hyena.

With regards furries claiming oppression ('fursecution' is the term that is used), yeah, it happens. It's always loving embarrassing, and it's almost always either the younger, newer types or the completely hopeless shut-in retards that whine about it. Self-awareness is not a big thing amongst those demographics. I'd like to think that most of the people I knew personally would recognise that it's not worthy of legal protection in any way more than any other hobby, but to be honest I never really asked about that. It's just not a conversation I'd want to have and end up being disappointed in people.

Bean posted:

I've always wondered if there were people who enjoyed furrydom but otherwise lead normal lives. You always hear about out and out weirdos, I'm wondering about Ted, who showers, dresses normal and holds down a job and then maybe takes in a convention a few times a year.

That is by far the majority. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a lot of furries are now past the student stage of their lives and have built professional careers for themselves. You don't tend to notice them so much because they're simply not as noticeable.


Fathis Munk posted:

Very nice OP, a pretty interesting read. Also :


:frogon:

Yeah. The director of 'MI:3', the furry security agency (god, typing those words made me flinch) is an out-and-proud horsefucker. Deets here: http://furry-fandom-jerks.tumblr.com/post/100827040884/i-would-have-never-have-noticed-the-significance . And I have it on very good authority from multiple sources that there's a clique of other german and english zoophiles at the highest levels of the european fandom, including convention executives, high level community organisers and other significant positions. It's my dream to one day be able to engineer a bust and get the whole loving lot sent to jail.


Mirrors posted:

You mention that now the scene is by and large mostly homosexual, is there just a lot of overlap with the gay community or are they more jailhouse gay types who have lowered their standards because there's no women around?

In the earlier days, I think things tended more towards the latter. Now however, the fandom has grown so large (probably in the tens of thousands in the UK alone) that it's become a /lot/ more mainstream in that respect.


Serperoth posted:

You mentioned a difference between folks who just dig the art/porn (I presume a lot of it is porn?), and the people who are in "the scene". Do you know any numbers about that? For every person that would be part of "the scene", how many people are detached from it, but still enjoy the aspects of it that you mentioned?

Yes, there's a lot of porn. Though also a lot of clean art too. And some genuinely talented artists, to give them their due. I'm afraid though I don't have numbers that I could fall back on. I generally assume that there's at least five people who just peruse FA or Weasyl or whatever for every person who's active in the community IRL.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


boneration posted:

Hmm, so in your opinion the sexual grotesquerie isn't strictly related to being a furry. The fact that you've had to reject multiple people for obviously hosed-in fursuits makes me wonder how accurate your explanation the role of sexuality among furries is though.

You use the word fandom here, and I've seen it used to refer to furries, as in "the furry fandom". Is that a term you would use? Anime fandom consists of fans of anime shows and brony fandom consists of fans of MLP. Star Trek fandom is obviously based around Star Trek. What's the furry equivalent of anime or MLP or Star Trek, as in, what specific cultural art drives the furry fandom? Or is the furry fandom fully self-perpetuating and without an outside source?

Well, you can take my word for it or not- it's no skin off my nose. However, the number of 'obviously hosed in fursuits' that I've encountered is a very, VERY small percentage of the whole. Now, this doesn't mean that many of the other suits haven't been used for sexytimes, but when I was in a position where it mattered to me, I took the view that if it's clean and I can't tell with a practiced eye then nobody else would be able to either.

And yeah, 'the furry fandom' is the name for the whole shebang that's used internally. It sprung initially out of sci-fi fandom in the 80s, and in general refers to being a fan of anthropomorphic animals in art, film, literature etc. So it draws from a great many different sources, as well as keeping itself afloat on its own material. Same as 'sci-fi fandom' as opposed to 'star trek fandom', if you get my drift? And I'll admit, I personally view bronies as basically a spin-off fandom from furry. There's a huge amount of crossover, and I guess you could say that MLP is to furry as Star Trek is to sci-fi; a part of the whole.

blarzgh posted:

1. Do furries tend to hide their hobby from their employer/family/anyone else? Has the level of secrecy changed over the years?

2. If you could grab a young person who was about to buy their first fake tail or whatever by the shoulders and shake them and tell them something, what would it be?

1. Depends on the furry. I never used to bring it up, but would be happy to talk about it if someone showed an interest. And as mentioned in the OP, my family never had a problem with it and in fact facilitated my getting involved at first. It really does depend on the individual- for example I have one friend who is a professor of equine science, and naturally keeps his RL and furry life VERY compartmentalised. Whereas I know other people who are overly open about it and tell /everyone/ (these people are generally younger and stupider).

2. 'Think seriously about what the hell you're doing, and don't get yourself trapped. It'd suck to find yourself in your thirties and realise how much time you wasted. Ask me how I know.'. In fact, after the last big furry thread here I had a goon contact me about wanting to get involved in the furry scene. I warned him off as best I could, but I gather he still went to a London meet. No idea if he stuck around the fandom though.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Samfucius posted:

First of all, you looked a lot better with a shaved head than that horrible haircut from your first meet or your long hair.

Second, how creepy were guys to the odd hetero female that showed up? You said there was a lot of homosexuality but I have to wonder (as other people have) if that had more to do with availability. I'd assume girls were treated at least as weirdly as they are in other nerd fandoms, if not more so.

Damned straight. Though I don't go full buzz-cut anymore, the long haired look didn't suit me well.

And yeah, it's as bad as you think. Possibly worse. J has a great many stories about being inappropriately approached, blatantly hit on, in one case full-on stalked around a convention by a creepy German photographer. Plus people grabbing butt or boobs when in suit as well.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Everblight posted:

I can't get over that you keep talking about "the leadership" or "committee"... I can't wrap my head around this. There is no "leadership" of 'Trekkies' or 'Gay People', there's no group that claims ownership of a fandom that way.

It honestly sounds really cultish, like, 'if you want to be in the fur community, you will abide by our bylaws, attend and fundraise for the events we have decided'... can you imagine that for, say, Transformers enthusiasts?

Who elected "the leadership"? How did they ascend to power? What were the mythical "committees" main role?

I should probably clarify terms. When I refer to 'the committee' I'm solely referring to the members of Londonfurs ltd, the organisation which runs the meets and events in London. Basically, back in about 2008 as I already mentioned the meets were in a very bad place due to no clear leadership, what leadership we did have being completely incompetent (aside from being gross and weird- the dude negotiating with venues was known for his vinyl frog costume and scat fetish) and the meets in general becoming too large to proceed as they had previously, with a sort of ad-hoc arrangement. The Londonfurs committee was set up to introduce proper organisation and management, and is really what the meets needed to take them to the next level. It enabled us to negotiate professionally with venues (with whom the LFMs somehow still enjoy a really good reputation, or at least did when I was last involved), arrange things like public liability insurance and so on. Basically what you need when a group moves from being 'a few friends meeting in a pub' to 'holy poo poo, we need a large dedicated venue'. The initial committee was formed simply by people stepping up and presenting it as a fait accompli, and people have come and gone since. New members are chosen by the existing commttee from the community as a whole- when I started there were five of us, it's now I believe expanded further. Several people who I mentored or nominated have since stepped up to the organisation. Inevitably there ended up being some division between the members responsible for negotiation, web stuff, financials and so on and those of us who took a more hands-on community leadership role. In my case I was very much on the leadership side of things- I was nominated due to my managing the fursuit parades (no easy task, taking up to a hundred people in costumes with almost no vision on a parade through crowded city streets, across bridges etc) and setting up the protocols for guiding and managing it all.

Aside from that and the backroom stuff, the point of the Londonfurs committee was to have people on the ground to help greet newbies and get them settled in, have a visible presence for people to come to with problems and just generally facilitate people having a good time. It was bloody thankless work, literally- and you had a shitload of entitled cunts coming to you with every petty problem, issue and drama that they could think of. Sort of expecting you to be at the same time a teacher, policeman, paramedic and relationship councellor.


Crazyeyes posted:

Your face/body paint skills look like they got pretty good. Have you ever considered doing a little side business doing something with that?

From the picture of your girlfriend in costume it appears like it was a hybrid using both lots of paint as well as pieces of a suit. Is that a particularly common occurrence? Or is it more full suits, which I imagine would be exhausting.

For these cons, assuming they are similar to other conventions that can go several days, do people bring multiple suits and change as the hours/days go on? Are there panels at these conventions (if so what kind of topics are highlighted/discussed) or are they more just meets and hangouts?

Cool thread btw.

We've kicked around the idea of doing costume parties and the like for kids. We both still have some talent in the makeup area, my other half makes costume and the like and I teach sword fighting on the side, so we've been toying with the idea of combining all of these things as well for stag and hen do's, poo poo like that. We're sort of busy on other projects atm though.

As far as I'm aware, J is the only person who ever did that specific form of costume- her fursona was a chinese crested sparkledog (hence the rainbows), which are a hairless breed; hence the fursuit head and painted body. Generally it's either fullsuits or partials. Occasionally zentai-based costumes, which we used at several cons where makeup wasn't permitted on the dance floors.

And as for cons, it depends on how many suits a person has to bring! J had three suits with her the last time we went to a furry con (one of which was a 'secret' one, which the community at large didn't know was her), but a lot of people only have the one. You don't wear the suits constantly- you'd loving /die/ if you did! And yeah, there's a lot of panels on all sorts of topics. I ran a panel on swordfighting at the last con I was at (in spite of the german horsefucker in charge of security trying to screw it over) which was very well received.. there's panels on art, writing, animal and furry related topics, generally there's a motorfurs meet where everyone shows off their cars.. there's also a lot of hanging out and partying involved too of course!

I should differentiate here between 'meets' and 'cons'. Meets are regular city or area based events, non-residential and normally a single day, in a venue such as a pub or bar. Cons are longer, in hotels.

Vic posted:

This being such a big part of your adult life, why do you describe yourself as bitter and angry while you obviously enjoyed the whole thing for the majority of it, and even found a girlfriend via the fandom?

Are you a furry if you don't attend awkward cons, but still like bodypaint or the idea of anthropomorphic animals?

Because I am both of those things. I'm bitter at the years I wasted spinning my wheels in my own personal and social development. I'm angry at every single pet-rapist, every moaning autist who wasted my time, every foul-smelling sex-pest that I had to handle. I'm trying to keep things light-hearted for the most part, because frankly otherwise I'd be spewing mostly incoherent bile onto the screen.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Everblight posted:

BIG Request: This podcast episode on LARPing is loving terrifying and I identify a lot of commonalities with your experiences. If you have 45 minutes or so, could you give it a listen and see if it's as bone-chilling to you as it was to me?

I am in fact also a LARPer, though I get the impression that it's a much less loaded term over here than it is stateside. And there are some commonalities between the two communities- frankly I think it's a nerd/geekdom thing. I'll give it a listen tomorrow and get back to you. :)

Zemyla posted:

You talk about furry fandom being social interaction on easy mode for ostracized nerds. If you saw someone in their mid-to-late teens who reminded you of yourself back then, where would you tell them to turn to instead of the furry fandom?

Now that's the $64.000 question, really. Honestly, I don't know. I'd recommend getting into a sport- by which I mean playing, rather than watching. Or starting a band/making music. Hell, try LARPing if you need your nerd escapism fix. Or trying out a whole load of hobbies. More than anything, I'd advise not making the mistake I and so many others have made- of letting the fandom become very much your main social outlet.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Vic posted:

I understand that, but apart from your personal stagnation you said all that was a small percentage of the whole thing.

I'm curious about the disconnect between what you describe and what you say about it in retrospect (i.e. people lined up at wall and shot, autism hate, sex pests).

Thanks for the thread BTW.

I think the apparent disconnect is in part because when talking about the past, I'm describing it as I saw it at the time, rather than the rather different view I have on it now. I'm not sure though- perhaps this is a case where my tone isn't coming across as well as intended. Once again the curse of communicating through text rather than speech strikes. As I said, I've also been trying to keep things as light as possible for my own sake as much as anything else- there's a lot of deep negative emotion that I associate with my time in the fandom, that I don't want to dredge up all at once as opposed to parcelling it out. In addition, nobody has actually hit on any topics that are, you could say, hot button issues for me.

Edit: J has just pointed out to me that I should probably clarify my position, as you mentioned 'autism hate'. Autism in the furry community is rife; I'd say a majority of members are on the spectrum somewhere. However, and this is something common to SA and other nerdy communities (or at least, which used to be), it's also majority self-diagnosed, and used as a catch-all excuse for bad behaviour. That's what I've been railing against in particular, and I think I should state that clearly. Oddly, one of the most autistic of all the furries I know is one of the few people I give something of a pass to. He's a dude who wears a revolting fat-suit with a realistic wolf head, who's completely and totally ignorant of social mores but also does generally try his best. He just gets things.. wrong. One time he turned up at a meet in full blackface and nearly caused a riot. However on talking to him later it turned out that he'd heard people used makeup to hide any pink bits when using 'own-eyes' fursuit heads like his, and he'd just got a bit carried away.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 21:48 on Jun 10, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


syscall girl posted:

Yeah, I'm not experienced but LARPing and renfaire does seem to have a better ratio of women to men. And less pedophilia.

Or just play sports, go to the bar/pub and meet normal women.

So, a question: did you meet many MLP fans/bronies or anyone who tried to build a life out of their love of webcomics like homestuck. Just curious how much crossover there is.

It seems like a lot of furriners base or source their obsessions to Talespin or Rescue Rangers, did you see anything like that?

I honestly have no idea what Homestuck is- it's something I've only ever heard mentioned on SA. Could be it's a thing amongst furries, but if so it's likely just because of demographic crossover. I do know several people (my housemate included, though he's only ever been on the periphery of the fandom) who got involved through Talespin though.

Anecdotally, the big things that bought people in over here are The Lion King, Disney's Robin Hood, Watership Down and the Animals Of Farthing Wood.

And yeah, LARP gender-ratios are a hell of a lot better over here. I think a recent survey had about a 60/40 male/female split. The best part of LARP though? When you go home from a field, that's where you leave the character and the fantasy behind. It doesn't stick with you through normal life like being involved with furry does.


Vic posted:

That self-hate stems from you being in the fandom, or the fact that you're talking about it in a place where this is ridiculed?

What would be a hot button issue?

The former. Believe me, there's nothing that goons could say about the fandom (or at least, nothing TRUE that they could say) to ridicule it that I've not already said myself, probably multiple times. The fandom and my time in it DID do some good things for me, and as you mentioned previously, I did genuinely take a lot of pleasure from it at that time. But over the course of several years of therapy I've analysed over and over the things I've experienced, seen, been involved in and now many once happy memories instead cause a deep upwelling of sadness and anger inside me. Because I now know the harm that my involvement was inflicting on me as a person. And frankly, the amount of poo poo I let slide because 'hey, we're all furries! We shouldn't judge anyone!'.

As for particular hot-button things.. at this stage I'd reallyrather not say. If anyone does ask questions that hit on them I'll deal with them as they come, but I don't want to open that door prematurely. I hope you understand.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 22:09 on Jun 10, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Paladinus posted:

I looks like you're still friends with some people in the community. Do they ever try to pull you back?

My inner circle as it were all pretty much share my disillusionment and largely disengaged with me. I do have less close friends still in the community who have tried to talk me into coming along to various events, but I've made myself pretty clear on the topic and to give them credit, they've largely respected my wishes. I'm still very happy to meet with friends who are also furries, however I don't want to do it in a furry context. If that makes sense?

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Sorry for going quiet- stepped away for dinner and am now phone posting, so will be a bit brief.

If you don't mind I won't really touch the more in-depth stuff till I'm at a proper keyboard and not half-watching telly, except to say that yes, there's a lot of negativity that I am still addressing in the course of my therapy (it's an ongoing process rather than one which has been completed). Beyond that, I'll talk more later on this topic.


pulp rag posted:

Popping in from the AUG thread that spawned this thread to once again give congrats on getting out of that whole mess. You sound like you're much better off now than you say you used to be.

You said you know about some furry artists. If you know, did the majority of the talented ones fall into doing it because of the fandom throwing money at anyone talented catering to their thing, or did most of them do furry art because they just wanted to do furry art and got good at it? I mainly ask this because the Making Comics thread (or the Weird Fanart thread, I can't remember) had a small discussion on this, and it'd be cool to get an insider word on the situation.

Thanks for the kind words (and to everyone else who has offered them). With regards the art and artists, it's a tricky one. I do think a lot of them started drawing or what have you out of a desire to do furry art and improves, but there are also quite a few who are traditionally/formally educated in technique. Oddly, I never really got to know any particularly amazing artists that closely, though I've had a long acquaintance with several people from both sides of the spectrum you suggested.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Okay, back now.

Vic, I'm afraid I honestly don't understand what you're trying to ask or what sort of response you're trying to get from me. I don't think that you're trolling me or anything, and I'm not offended- I'm just not sure what your question exactly is or how to answer it.

Jyrraeth posted:

I found with the furries I knew (lots of overlap with anime/video game nerds) that they all had really bad volume control on their voices. Was that ever a thing for you? Sometimes I'd have to go take a break from them and rest my ears because they'd switch from real quiet to loud so often.

Very, very true. Hell, I'm guilty of this myself- my voice carries exceptionally well, and I'm also somewhat deaf due to too much shooting without adequate ear-pro.

The noise of a pub full of furries is absolutely loving deafening though, even through the constant buzz of tinnitus.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Vic posted:

No that's alright I know I'm asking really personal questions. You're really honest about the whole thing so I'm digging. No offense.

It relates to your comment about how close these communities overlap. Every single thing you so far said could apply to any aspect of what Iīd consider a "nerd" in a slightly pejorative sense. People obsessing about toys, shows, games meant for much younger people.
It's completely okay to pretend you're a wolf if you're a kid, but starts to get weird when you should get kinda tired of those and seek more interesting stuff. That's why people frown on manchildren in general.

And according to your take on furries, there are actual horsefuckers but otherwise it's manchildren pretending they're lions or wolves or whatever.

So how's this different enough from being an ex cosplayer, or anime nerd, or other stuff that you'd generally kinda leave behind in your 30s as "being active member of"? Why the pain and anger? Unless that's unrelated.

Okay, I think I understand a little better what you're getting at now.

I think where the mutual misunderstanding is coming from is that you're viewing the fandom very much as 'just a hobby', like the other obsessions you mention in your first paragraph. And to be fair, I'm sure it is just that for some people, and nothing that you've said isn't also true. In my own circumstances though, it was very nearly my only social outlet for literally my entire adult life. From naive teenager to frankly cynical thirty something, it's where probably 95% of my face to face socialising took place. Something that previously I very much built my identity around.

Let me put it another way (which is going to be incredibly hyperbolic, but work with me here). Say you grew up in Germany in the 1930s. You take part in all the proper youth activities, join the Nazi party, defend your 'crowd' in word and deed, try and refute all those horrible rumours that the outsiders are spreading about racism and murder and all the rest. Because as far as you're concerned you don't see it, it's not part of your experience and it's not something you're involved in. A combination of ignorance and I guess wilful blindness. And then suddenly you come to a realisation that actually, in many ways it IS as bad as the outsiders have been saying. That horrible poo poo /has/ been done and supported by people who are all members of the same group as you, that profess to share the same values as you and that consider you one of their own. The scales fall from your eyes, and all that's left from something that was central to your identity, that you've spent your entire life participating from, that you've suffered for, worked for, fought for.. all of a sudden you realise you were wrong all along. That you managed to delude yourself into not seeing the bad, only the good. Now change racism and murder for animal molestation and bullying, for elitism and debasement.

Imagine how angry you'd feel- at yourself, for being so deluded, so unaware. At the other people in the group, people who you liked, trusted, had social relations with, for at best acquiescing with and at worst actively encouraging and participating in the worst excesses of it all. And how much it would hurt, realising that something you HAD built your entire adult self around was finally revealed to you to be toxic, shameful, a repulsive lie in a smiling mask. And that in order to help yourself you'd have to sever ties with what for the most part IS your entire social world. That's where the pain and anger comes from.

Again, I apologise for the hugely melodramatic way of describing it, and the :godwin:, but it's the best analogy I can think of at 2 in the morning on a thursday.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


The Door Frame posted:

I don't want to put words in Cam's mouth, but it seems like the bad feelings really came from how bad the bad people were, how well he treated their badness because of their shared interests, and his role facilitating their behavior in organizing events. Or at least that's how I read it
I think a good majority of people here have an analogous experience to delving too deep into a fandom and seeing the darker side of the people that you are associating yourself with, but I doubt that many people have had leadership roles in those fandoms and or have spent more than a decade in them.

What are you going to do with your furry stuff now? Also, what is the overlap between furry and LARP communities? In America at least, the LARP people seem to the worst of the MMORPG crowd mixed with Renfaire and D&D washouts, how did you get into that scene?

Dude, you can put words in my mouth any time. Because you just said in two lines what took me multiple loving paragraphs and a godwin to try and get across.

With regards my furry stuff, how do you mean? Aside from the hyena suit, which lives in J's office together with her suits and stuff, I don't really have that much costume gear except for a few ratty old tails, an airbrush and a load of bodypaints. Most of those have been repurposed for LARP costume at one time or another.

Furry/LARP overlap? It exists, but not to the extant that you'd imagine. Over here LARPers tend towards being somewhat older than furries- I know multiple second-generation LARPers. Also, it's far more of a hobby rather than an alternative lifestyle; most though by no means all LARPers I know are heterosexual, live pretty normal if somewhat geeky lives, are just regular guys who like to get together in a field four or more times a year, drink mead, talk in silly accents and beat each other up with rubber weapons. LARP is something you /do/, rather than something you /are/, in other words. I got into it initially through simple curiousity. I played a lot of D&D at university and several of my friends were active in the Lorien Trust, the biggest and (I believe) longest running system over here. My housemate (who at the time lived in Belgium) was also involved in running systems out there and his stories really got me intrigued. So once I finally got my driving licence, we ended up checking out the LT back in 2006, had an amazing time and have stuck around there since.

LARP isn't perfect. There are still weirdos, creeps and idiots. However the percentages are much lower, closer to normal life. And there's the added bonus that if someone is being a twat, you can hit them with a sword until they go away.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


The Door Frame posted:

Oh, it's cool that you found the chill nerds, and a way to hit the bad ones haha. My school's LARP club was made of such obnoxious nerds that it killed my interest, but I may look at what's going on in my college's group, since I have been looking for a less expensive nerd scene than MTG and a more social one than LoL.

As far as the furry stuff goes, my friends who do cons, meets, and tourneys all have a bunch of momentos from each one, be it gencon dice from each year they visited or a nazgul wine holder or whatever little things caught their eye at the time. Or were you not as big on that stuff?

I'll admit to never having investigated the US LARP scene- or indeed the club LARP scene in general; most of my experience is either with fest-LARPs (several thousand participants over a long weekend) or small-medium high roleplay events (up to about 30-40 players), But hey, give it a go- there's nothing to lose other than time. :)

I've never been one to collect random baubles. I bought a stack of art and porn at my first Anthrocon back in 2001, but aside from that I tended to be restrained at cons. Most of my money went on booze, to be honest. ;p

DeliciousPatriotism posted:

Good lord you've had some awful luck, but it almost kinda seems like it came with the cliques/time you got into the community. I was officially guilty by 2004 (High School, West Coast US) but despite some close calls my friends are at large socially capable, intelligent and are some of the best dressed people I know. They're also fuctionally hipsters. Though it may help that I've been "in" and "out" of being an "active furry" many times since then, each cycle filtered out people or groups I wouldn't mesh with. I love my weird fandoms, this just being one of them, but nowadays I have zero tolerance for offensively awful (or legitimately harmful) strange.

I feel that somewhere around the mid 2000s new entrants were from the livejournal/online galleries side of things and it became less directed, every con I got to the scene is less overwhelmingly gay, younger, smarter and hipper than their older peers. Though this is a "community" defined largely by hundreds on hundreds of cliques, many of which mesh poorly together (sometimes because they are flat-out awful) so it's hard to say from the high defensive walls against randos that make for my social networks in furry. The Muck/Magazine/VCL era pre-Deviantart/Furaffinity/livejournal/twitter seemed to be so much more closeted, almost by design. The people that were exposed to furry seemed to be shut ins mostly and seemed to be introduced to it in ways that necessitated certain ways of behavior. Now with the way the internet is people are taking way broader interpretations, and the whole community seems to be getting less closeted than it used to be (BUT IT WILL ALWAYS BE SIGNIFICANTLY CLOSETED)

-> Ok questions

The friends that you still hang out with now: what are they like, what particular qualities kept them close to you? People that you were close to before but stopped communicating with entirely: what was missing in them that caused you to drift away?

Bonus: Did you ever meet Korrok and have you heard of her? If so, is she still batshit insane/do you have any stories? (I've hung with UK furs while visiting the Isles, mostly Scottish ones. It was chiefly unpleasant.)

... also still tripping on the whole bodypaint thing being at large in the UK. That's such a rare and minuscule clique in the US I never realized it was so significant in other places. The "closest" thing to it is the vinyl crowd I guess but I can't handle that poo poo.

You raise some interesting points here about furry demographics- and how different they seem to be on the west coast rather than our rain sodden island here. When I first joined the fandom and for several years after it was overwhelmingly, indeed almost entirely formed of goths, metalheads and punks- you can tell from the early pictures in my OP. I really can't think of any hipster-ish furries that were on my radar, but I've always been fascinated by social demographics in general. Would love to chat more about this off-forum or in PM. :)

Anyway, for your questions- The friends I'm still close to are people who I became socially involved with outside of the furry context for various reasons. My closest buddy (we've been on multiple holidays together, driven across america twice, see each other multiple times a week, played in a band and recorded a record together, etc etc) I met at a furmeet back in 2003 and we ended up bonding over a cheeky Nandos and our mutual love of old Dr Who. :p The ones I don't talk to anymore I don't simply because they never made the effort to pursue social contact after I left the scene. Which is sad, but then again I only ever saw them at meets, so it's to be expected.

I don't know Korrok myself, though J has a conbadge that she drew. I actually lived in scotland for about five years for university, in Aberdeen- but the only furries I really knew there were a collection of awesome goths who lived down the road from me and a few people on the periphery of the fandom.

As for the bodypaint thing- we painters really were a minority; I'm not active in the fandom anymore, so I can't speak for the present day but certainly there haven't been more than about 5 or so active bodypainters in the UK for at least a decade. There is an american dude who paints- and who I had a friendly rivalry with (We both had lion fursonas, we both were very into fitness and training but he was a full-on bodybuilder and blew me out of the water, both physically and in terms of his painting talents) but beyond that I really don't know.

Morshu posted:

OP, would you say your experiences were more relative to the groups you were with, or the fandom as a whole? I'm not gunna lie, I know a bunch of furries and most of them (just most, not all :v:) just seem like nerds with a weird but harmless hobby. I'm sure there are plenty of nazi horsefucker types out there but I'd at least hope that around most of em that poo poo would get you crucified.

I think it was more a result of my position within the scene as a community organiser/leader. The vast majority of furries may be annoying, unwashed or unsightly or whatever, but are generally just harmless nerds. However when you're in a position of responsibility you end up seeing behind the curtain. Every grudge, every bit of drama, every idiotic bit of behaviour in the London scene ended up crossing my metaphorical desk. And given my somewhat higher profile I also came in for a lot of flak from all sorts of angles as I was by far the most visible and active member of the leadership during my tenure. Added to that the fact that I don't suffer fools gladly and am not shy about making my opinions known, and you can start to perhaps get a picture of where all the frustration and anger came from. Certainly, it's only after I ended up on the London committee that things truly went sour for me.


Hedrigall posted:

This thread is fascinating.

I know dozens of furries and none of them are the con-going, fursuit-wearing kind. Just regular people who like the art/porn, and generally watch too many cartoons. When you divorce it from the ridiculous "community" poo poo it's no worse than most other fetishes.


I seriously thought you were saying JJ Abrams is a horsefucker for a second.

As I said earlier, I'd theorize that there are maybe 5 or so people like you describe for every person involved in the scene IRL.

And yeah, I saw that myself. ;p If it's any help, it's pronounced 'MI Catface'. I'll post more about that whole shitshow in a little bit, actually.


Tracula posted:

I know quite a few furries as well and even some that do go to cons. They're mostly fine people and if I ever do have arguments or disagreemnts with them the whole furry thing is pretty well never a factor except one time when one of them tried to tell me fursecution was real but whatever. With furries it's like any subculture/hobby/etc where the loudest and most assholish people end up representing them unfortunately.

Truth.


iGestalt posted:

Very interesting thread - thank you for posting it.

There was a Furry that I knew online via common interest (Raiding in an MMORPG) that had some very interesting behaviour - he tended to wear his sexuality and fetishes as badges of honour, wanting to talk to anyone about it. Is this a common thing within the fandom? I have seen similar behaviour by other people who identified themselves as Furries, but I didn't really interact with them as much as him.

I assume this is coming from social inability/inexperience and disinhibited behaivour due to social reinforcements of it being acceptable (by a minority) in the community?

Yeah, this is very much a thing- it's one of the furry behaviours that pisses me off the most tbh. I mean, I'm a tolerant guy. I don't care what you get up to in private, so long as no person or animal gets hurt and everything is consensual. But I do NOT want to know that you get off on making GBS threads yourself in fursuit, or being pissed on, or that you jerk off about the idea of eating and digesting other furries or whatever. I don't want you to loving tell me about it, I don't want to see conbadges or artwork worn openly depicting it, and if you're wearing diapers without a medical reason then I don't want your skanky rear end within ten feet of me. If you gently caress in fursuit, then at least make sure to properly wash and groom it so nobody could tell- and ideally, have one bodysuit for public and one for private. As I said before, I've had to yell at people for wearing matted sex-suits in public, for wearing conbadges depicting baby characters with filled diapers, for so much other poo poo that just revolts me.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 11:11 on Jun 11, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


iGestalt posted:

Wow. So much.. lack of common sense and self-awareness, I suppose? I'd be really interested to see how they came to the conclusion that it'd be a good idea to do that.

Yup. Throw in an element of the autistic spectrum too. I honestly can't get into that headspace to be honest.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Serperoth posted:

Is there much crossover between furries and fetishes like that? I can't imagine every single person is into crazy stuff and the like, but it seems that there's more visibility of furries who are also into vile stuff rather than uh, non-furries who are into vile stuff?

That's an interesting question, and I don't have a solid answer. I think in part it's that within the furry fandom people are a /lot/ more open (too loving open IMO) about what they're into kinkwise, due to the whole 'judgement free' thing that I railed against earlier. After all, I'm sure the majority of people are more kinky than they let on publicly. But at the same point the fandom does seem to attract people with extreme fetishes too- again because of the perceived lack of judgement for them.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Vic posted:


I mean yeah, godwinning all over the place freund, but assuming that was supposed to illustrate your emotional state, let me rehash same thing for the 88th time:


I see what you did there. :p

quote:

That's way too much selfhatin' for something that stemmed from things out of your direct control. Everyone needs to belong somewhere and if you had to dance with the wolves, welp thats just how it was. My point is that you're doing yourself no favors being bitter and takes you away from being just a normal dude. Relax, you clawed yourself out of that hole. And no you weren't participating in a genocide shut up. You probably realize all that but w/e. The armchair therapy's over, sry 'bout that.

Back to questions: Are you two on the same level when it comes to it as a hobby?

I get what you're saying, but at the same point I've struggled enough with the therapeutic process with a very well qualified guy I've seen three times a week for several years and have built up a massively trustful relationship with. I'm afraid that 'random dude on the internet' just doesn't work for that manner of thinking and self-reflection for me. And yes, I realise all that- I was using a hyperbolic analogy to try and get my point across. Anyway, let's draw a line under all that.

With regards your question, if you mean myself and J then she started to check out mentally and emotionally before I did. She was only involved in the scene for three or four years, and the drama got to her before it got to me (partially just general furry poo poo, partially down to a particularly hosed up ex of hers who couldn't handle her moving on from him and turned almost all her friends against her). I stuck around longer partly out of a sense of duty and loyalty, partly because I wasn't so affected by that particular dramatic bullshit and partly because it was all I really knew at that point. Nowadays she's more.. I guess over it than I am? In that she doesn't feel /anything/ about the whole fandom, whereas I'm still obviously carrying a lot of negative emotion about it.

We both enjoy laughing at the latest furry bullshit now that we're not affected by it, but that's about it really.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Paladinus posted:

OP, how young were the youngest furries in your time? I assume minors are not allowed at conventions without an adult , but you mentioned underage drinking at meetups. Did people try to be mindful of literal children who came with their parents to look at cute animal mascots? Did this ever even happen when people wandered into a furry convention by mistake?

Bah, should have refreshed before replying.

When I first started in the fandom it was much smaller and more ad-hoc; it really was just 'group of people meeting in this pub at this time' with no structure or organisation needed. Back then, the limiting factor was 'can you get into a pub without being turned away at the door'. I think there was a 15 year old at my very first meet, but I'm not certain. Once things got more organised with the LFM committee etc a hard lower limit of 16 was bought in, raised to 18 for the big parties (16 is the age of consent over here, 18 the age to get served in pubs). We did occasionally get people trying to sneak in underage, but they were normally caught and banned for it. Cons in Europe almost universally are 18+ for a huge laundry list of reasons.

The londonfur meets have a private venue in the centre of London, well away from the main tourist track (it's in the business district, hence why we were able to hash out a good deal for exclusive use at weekends), so we didn't really get random kids or families coming up to the meet proper. On the fursuit walk, the code of conduct explicitly stated that you were representing the fandom, that you had to behave decently. And while I've heard of problems with furries either interacting with kids inappropriately or at least being perceived to do so at the smaller regional meets, I don't remember it ever being an issue that I was aware of in London.

Convention hotels are generally either fully booked out or have large areas of the hotel that are closed to the public so it's not something that really comes up.

Tracula posted:

One thing I've noticed from some of my friends is what I'd call 'fetish creep'. Initially animal people screwin' is enough but then that gets boring so they have to move on to vore, inflation, etc. Then that gets tiresome and eventually you end up at hyper centaur bondage transformation porn and go figure a fair amount of them too are disinterested in RL sex since they basically screwed themselves up so bad that nothing real can live up to this fantasy they've managed to concoct in their head. I also used to know a fur who's main fetish was making GBS threads himself and he literally thought it was a way of life and got angry any time he was questioned but eh, could do a A/T thread on that guy alone :v:


I think there's a lot of truth to that. And yeah, people with the most disgusting fetishes can get hilariously defensive about them when pressed.

Frankly I'm amazed after so long in the scene that I never really picked up any twisted kinks. Then again I never investigated the sexual side of things, as being both heterosexual and also /extremely/ shy around women in the earlier days it really just wasn't something on my radar.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 12:44 on Jun 11, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Vic posted:

Do you feel like people in fursuits shouldn't be running out in the open or promoting this in a kid friendly way?

I'm getting really uncomfortable when I see those pics of furries letting kids pet them etc, because even though the person in the suit might not be a pedo, the kids might think this is a-okay and actual pedos might take advantage of this.

Is there a sense of responsibility or recognition of this in that community?

No, I don't feel that way at all.

I can totally understand where the concern originates, but at the same time I think it's a grotesque overreaction. There have been several people sent down for paedophilia from the UK community (including one guy who was quite a good friend of mine), though none for anything actually related to furry. And nobody at all knew until the news broke.

The sad fact is that there will always be people out there who will want to do children harm, and there always have been, but I'm far less concerned about someone in a giant plush dog suit or whatever (which let's face it, stands out) in a public area with many people around interacting with a kid than a teacher, police officer, judge, politician, celebrity or other figure of authority having access to children in private. Anyone who was found out to be a paedophile or other sex-offender was automatically lifetime banned from the London meets, and there is a certain element of intelligence sharing that goes on between the fandom's various organisers (which in itself is something I'll touch on later) resulting in bans being echoed across the conventions and major organised meets. We've also never been shy to get the police involved when needed- several sexually predatory types have been removed by the cops, and there was a rape scandal shortly before I joined the committee (which turned out to be entirely false). The dude involved was taken from a meet in handcuffs.

I'll admit that I wish the fandom in general also took such a hard line on animal rapists too, but as I mentioned earlier in europe at least the higher echeclons are loving lousy with people who molest pets and livestock, so you can imagine the lack of interest there.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Morshu posted:

Are you comfortable sharing any offsite contact info? I wouldn't mind talking to you about some of this poo poo and sharing some stuff I've seen, but I'm cheap and don't have plat for PMs :v:

Skype is Camrath.Kizuka. I generally prefer facebook to communicate over, but I'm sure you'll understand why I'm not going to share that here. Failing that, camrath at gmail dot com also works.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


blarzgh posted:

Here is the impression I get from your(Camrath's) descriptions: Something that makes any hobby or group bad is when it efforts to isolate its members from the rest of society, to arrest them mentally, developmentally, socially and emotionally, in order to protect its ranks from their own shortcomings and predilections.

And it just so happens that the Furry Fandom has built much of its foundation on this sort of Compound Mentality.

Is that accurate?

Spot on, pretty much.

physeter posted:

At this point do you wish a non-furry had just started kinkshaming the hell out of you to snap you out of it? Or would that have been a complete waste of time?

In my case, a complete waste of time as it's never been a sexual kink for me.


Vic posted:

This is not about furries meeting publicly. I'm talking specifically about the act of adults in fursuitsplaying with kids. On the surface this might be innocuous, but kids might be thus susceptible to trusting a big fuzzy wolfdog not triggering the stranger danger alarm.

It's different from other "fandoms" because you're incognito in a suit that is a magnet for the kids. A giant plush toy. If this is common enough and openly accepted it's a perfect tool for an aspiring pedo.

No fingerprints and the identikit depicts a yellow lab.

e: not saying furries=pedos

To be honest, I think you're reaching a bit here. From good intentions, but still.


Rollofthedice and Rhymenoserous, your questions will need a big answer, so I'll hit those up in my next post. :)

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Rollofthedice posted:

If you feel comfortable with replying: do you (or did you) have friends that had some really weird poo poo happen to them at cons or due to furries? I mean, other than the inevitable groping and stalkings.

Depends how you define 'weird poo poo'. At EF 2011 J was continually stalked by some creepy german photographer dude. I was actually on the security team at that time, and while she was busy trying to flee him (and eventually grabbed literally the gayest dude I know to pretend to be her boyfriend to put him off) I was stuck with all of these self-important german security volunteers in a meeting where they were earnestly stating that we needed metal detectors/x-ray machines and screening and.. yeah. There's a lot of weird poo poo that I've heard of happening but wasn't directly involved in- orgies, bizarre fetish parties and the like. But all the really extreme poo poo happens behind closed doors (and believe me, it DOES happen) and on invite only. J received multiple invites to what the implication suggests would be fursuited orgies. Oh, and one guy was caught in the art show at Confuzzled a couple of years ago openly having a wank.

Edwolf, the mega-autist dude I mentioned earlier who turned up in blackface followed a female acquaintance around a con a few years ago singing a song to her that he'd made up, about how she was a car and he wanted to drive her hard. It had an entire verse about her tits (which were admittedly colossal).

Oh, and a few years ago a couple of young furries from the north of england murdered the parents of one of them, or tried to at least. It made the news across the country, but I don't really know many details or any of the people involved.

quote:

Have you met any "famous" artists within the furry community?

Depends on how you define 'famous'. I used to know Kenket (half of Blotch, probably the best furry art team out there) pretty well, and had her stay at my house a couple of times. But then she went a bit crazy and seemed convinced I wanted to kill her, to the stage of trying to warn a former girlfriend away from me- I honestly have no idea why. I held her no ill will, and in fact own a few of her original painted peices. I used to be active in the Lion King fandom and roleplay scene with Tani da Real (back when she went by 'The Real Vitani', a character from Lion King 2), but I don't remember interacting with her much. And Zeriera (famously completely loving mental furry artist and dramabomb) used to have a biiiiig crush on me back in 99 when we were still teenagers, again through the Lion King fandom.

quote:

Is any of the drama that furries sling ever justified? I've seen everything from 'waaah fursecution!!!' to accusations of sexual assault and bestiality (the latter occasionally and horrifyingly corroborated), and I question whether it's even possible to separate facts from fiction when the gossip is so constant and ingrained.

Some is, some isn't. To be honest, one of things that disgusts me the most (and was one of the strongest impetuses for me leaving) is how little drama IS attached to bestiality. As I've mentioned before, there are zoophiles in some of the highest echelons of furry society and it's very much an open secret. Likewise, I found out several people that I knew well and classed as friends had.. less than innocent reasons for owning dogs. I very swiftly cut them out of my life even before I disengaged from the fandom as a whole. There are often accusations of sexual assault, but furries being furries this only ever seems to come out in the aftermath through the form of rumour or innuendo. Whenever it was bought to our attention we would immediately escalate it to the police- our roles as community organisers do NOT involve policing the fandom or being judge and jury. I don't know of any conclusively proven cases, at least in the UK community- though I do know of several which turned out to be false accusations.

quote:

How different are furry interactions online and in person? Have you known people with a laundry list of horrifying fetishes on their FurAffinity account or whatever, but seem like cool dudes in person, or vice versa?

Online, most furries are always semi-roleplaying. I used to spend a lot of time on furnet IRC back in the day, and people would basically chat about poo poo, but as their fursonas. It's quite hard to describe. You'd get lots of *Yiffyfox buries PurpleStormDragon28 in his big floofy tail* and poo poo like that. As for people with laundry lists of horrifying poo poo.. well, I've seen my housemate's list of online fetishes, for example. They're loving terrifying, but IRL he's almost completely asexual. A lot of the truly weird and grody stuff that you'll see furries fetishising in art and roleplay is stuff which just isn't physically possible in the real world. Which is something I do take some comfort from.

quote:

Where do you think the trademark sexual tolerance of furries came from?

This is a hard one to pin down (hurhur). If I had to pick an answer out of a hat, I'd go with how the fandom developed in the very earliest days from a mostly gay group of sci-fi fans and proto-furries in the 1980s- the early furry conventions underwent a lot of drama as they basically became gay hookup parties (even more so than nowadays). Obviously when all of this was going down I was busy learning toilet training and how to count and write, on the other side of the atlantic, so I don't have any real perspective or insight into the early history beyond what one can find online.

quote:

Have you ever had direct experiences with the weirder furries, i.e. the zoophiles and cubs and diaperfurs? What were they like?

It depends how you define 'direct experiences'. I've known people from all of those subsections, some of them fairly well (though at the time I knew them well I didn't know about those aspects of their personality). Generally, if someone isn't wearing outward signs of their super-weird kink and doesn't talk about it, you'd not really be aware of it. We had problems at one point with some revolting individual leaving filled diapers in the toilets at our meet venue, and it always made me furious when known zoophiles would turn up with their dogs at meets- on some of them you could plainly see that the animals were just plain /off/ around people, but it was always impossible to do anything about it. I've said it before and I'll say it again- nothing would make me happier than a massive police bust at a furry convention resulting in the whole rotten lot of dogfuckers being dragged away to prison and their poor animals rehomed with people who aren't monstrous abusers.

quote:

edit: just one more i swear: Would anybody at a furcon/parade/etc. get the cops called on them, or do something that really should've?

Not sure really what you're asking here. It's never happened that I'm aware of. I've interacted with the police in an official capacity when leading the walks many a time, and relations have always been cordial- they're generally curious about us, but relax when it's explained that it's an apolitical group of hobbyists.

Edit: Vic, I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Obdicut here. Your scenario really doesn't make much sense, even to someone who doesn't know how fursuit interactions with the public are managed.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 15:30 on Jun 11, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


iGestalt posted:

I've seen this a few times. I believe there is an attraction to the concept of 'kinky sex' (to a potential extreme) rather than actually becoming involved in it, or acting it out.

I've often thought that there were two kind of Furries. The kind that keeps it to themselves as a hobby or lifestyle. Then there is the kind that wears it on their wrist, throwing their sexuality and kinks around. Would you agree with this kind of duality within the fandom? I suppose the latter could be their trying to find an identity, and being swept up by the community as a whole and thus never being able to personally develop it themselves.

Yeah, you're pretty much on the money there, in every aspect.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Rollofthedice posted:

'Wow, you're a pretty cool dude Mr. Lion-Zebra-Bobcat!', little Timmy says. The animal homunculus stares, styrofoam grin never faltering, fabric eyes never blinking, before slipping little Timmy his business card:

Sparklefucks McGee
Professional Pedophile
1-800-SEX-OFDR

Thanks. That cracked me up. :D

quote:

Holy poo poo!
"You know, the usual, backroom orgies and public masturbation, ho hum. oh and murder"

The reason I don't include more stuff on this is that really, it's two hosed up people who happen to be members of the greater community rather than anything inherently furry. I don't know any of the people involved, and it wasn't actually related to furry beyond the two perps being involved in the scene.

quote:

See, that's the really interesting stuff, the baffling poo poo that can't really explained other than maybe some sort of facet of a mental illness. Do you think the fame got to her head?
(oh and that armpit-licking guy probably totally jacked off to armpits. you prob. already know that though)

Honestly, I don't know. I'd had clashes with a friend of hers in the past (physically and emotionally abusive ex boyfriend of my at-the-time fiancee), but no idea how that spiralled into her thinking I was out to get her. In fact I didn't know until after that there was any connection there at all. It's a weird one, but she always was a bit 'off''. Insanely talented (seriously, her art is incredible, even if you're not a furry) but somewhat high-strung I guess.

And yeah, I figured that out about Mr Licker. :P


quote:

Do you think that having such weird online fetishes precludes them from meaningful relationships 'in the flesh'?

I don't really know. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say there's probably something in their background that is responsible for both the fetishes and the lack of meaningful RL relationships. Two sides of the same coin.


quote:

Also, have you ever met any furries that keep their interactions with the community forcefully PG due to weird personal issues? 'Christian furries' and all that? I've poked around a few furry forums/communities that kept themselves tame on purpose, just to see the flipside of the weirdo coin, and the politeness often seemed unsettling, like there was something lurking underneath the surface. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.

Not directly. When I first joined the fandom the 'Burned Furs' were a thing, which was a mostly american sub-movement to try and get the fandom back to more PG rated matters. There was a lot of drama surrounding them, but I wasn't involved or really aware of it except in the abstract. As for Christian Furs, I've never really encountered anything like that- but then again as a filthy agnostic godless european, I'd find ANY group of devout christians to be weird and uncomfortable, whether they were furries or not.


quote:

That is horrible beyond qualifiers. You did yourself a service getting away from a community like that. You probably don't have anything concrete to give to the authorities re:dogfucking, but if on the off-chance you do you should try giving animal organizations/cops a call.

Believe me, the moment I had any solid proof I'd be calling up every agency I can think of, up to and including Interpol. Part of me hopes and prays for a doxxing or equivalent to happen on one of these individuals that will blow the whole rotten thing open, but I fear that's likely to remain a dream.

quote:

Yeah, it was a reach. Just thought maybe I could dig up some weird story about drugs or furries flashing random bystanders or w/e.

Drugs are a thing, but as mentioned above most furries keep it fairly on the DL, I know I had multiple places mapped out around our meet venues and walk routes where I could slope off for a quick joint when the idiocy got too much.


Everblight posted:

Did you ever encounter, or even hear of, someone who was a furry professionally? As in, they worked at a theme park or kid's pizzeria or sports area as a mascot/animal? Or any profession where their primary role was to be a man in a suit of another creature?

One of J's former friends used to work as a reindeer for Drayton Manor's (a small midlands theme park) christmas show, but beyond that no.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


I literally just saw this a minute or two ago. It basically looks like 'Furry, the movie'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nP9hU8eUfE

I'd be surprised if there isn't already hardcore porn of it being drawn. :/

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Rollofthedice posted:

The weirdest furry fetishes to me aren't the really disgusting ones like vore, or micro fursonas getting shoved into other fursonas' urethras (:10bux: you just crossed your legs right now), but the ones that seem... creepy in their innocuousness, if that makes any sense. Like being blown up into a balloon, or having your shoes tied together.


Knowing furries, you might want to reconsider that use of the present participle.

I've heard of inflation fetishes before (and seen pictures of several inflatable suits before), but I've never heard of having your shoes tied together being a thing.

Oh, on the subject of weird fetishes, there was one guy that J knew from before we were together who provided her with enormous amounts of free socks, on the understanding that she would give them back to him once she'd worn them. He was apparently a nice guy towards her, and perhaps lacking my own long and ugly experience with the fandom she genuinely did think it was a totally innocent offer/arrangement.

Chard posted:

Just wanted to say thanks for making this thread, it's been fascinating and informative. I remember reading some of your stories from around the time that chlorine incident happened, glad you stuck around.


:stare: Yeah, that's... explicit. Actually made me think of a question to ask, too. You've mentioned that your point of entry into the fandom was The Lion King, what are some other pieces of media that people you've known have pointed to as their introduction? I imagine the Disney Robin Hood movie was one for many, it's definitely been joked about on SA before.

Yeah, Robin Hood's a big one. Also Watership Down, Animals Of Farthing Wood, Balto, Jungle Book.. pretty much any big media 'thing' with sentient animal characters results in some people heading towards the fandom.

In my own case I'll add that I'd been thinking about, writing about and playing games about anthropomorphic characters literally as long as I can remember- I have some old school books from when I was six containing short stories I wrote about anthropomorphic hedgehogs fighting a war against foxes. ;p

Edit: Balto isn't Disney! It's a Don Bluth movie iirc.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 16:38 on Jun 11, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Rollofthedice posted:

I've done a lot of atrocity tourism in my late teenage years, and believe me you do not want to check out the niche furry art sites, particularly the sites that sprung up after FA started banning the pedo poo poo. Not even on a dare.

I sincerely hope she did not return them.


Hmmm.... maybe you and the Ulillillia guy could have a chat.

I believe she sent some back before we knew each other. The moment I found out about it (very early in our relationship) I explained what it was probably all about and put the kybosh on it. She still likes the guy and talks kindly of him, but I'm afraid I'll always consider him a skeevy lying creep for pulling that poo poo.

And I have no desire to chat to Ullillia in any way shape or form, thankyouverymuch. :P


DeliciousPatriotism posted:


The scotland crowd I was exposed to were very goth or very high end creative or very sexually repressed. A couple of them I miss from the time I spent in Glasgow (I spent a month living at Korrok's house, THAT is an epic weave) but for the most part I recall being very "eh" about the crowd. But I was never much of a goth, was more of a band nerd.


I lived a few doors down from Nullmouse, Draconis and Kytherean, did you know any of them? I also spent a lot of time playing D&D with Fionacat, who was always nice to me but I later discovered is a seriously weird individual.

quote:

You're talking about Kiowa. That dude is not only a HUGELY BUFF guy, but a vegetarian and former super shut in nerd. He doesn't do the bodypaint poo poo super often anymore, but he's one of the few people that can rep it because he's actually super buff. I used to hang with him with some frequency, he lives in Utah and used to visit people in the house I lived in when I was going to college in Boulder, Colorado. He does the casual sex circuit but it seems less and less these days, I get the impression he has his self confidence now and has nothing to prove lol.

Kiwa! That's it! We only chatted a few times on FA, but he seemed cool and pretty nice. And I do really admire the costume he pulled off, even if he made me jealous. I used to be trim and reasonably built, but certainly not body-builder buff like he is.

quote:

Holy poo poo organizers for cons and events. I can't imagine dealing with everyone and I figure that the reason most con organizers suck and throw really unpleasant lifestyler events (though, that's changing stateside) is because you have to be ONE OF THEM to be willing to deal with it. There's a big shift in the US where newer cons are becoming all about parties and less about the marketplace, fursuit parade and being gross in public. Biggest Little Fur Con (Reno,) Elliotts Gathering (Florida and Las Vegas,) Rainfurrest (Seattle,) Midwest Furfest (Chicago) and the almighty Further Confusion (San Jose) all have serious reputations as party cons and have formed this... rift between people who con to party and the people who con to be as weird as they can get away with.

Having become completely disgusted with the way cons are run in the UK and Europe (I have/had personal beef with the organisers of Confuzzled and in particular the Nazi Horsefucker head of security for them and EF) I've not really been aware of this trend. To be honest, the last con I enjoyed without reservation was EF2011, for a whole list of reasons. CF2012 was dreadful but for RL related reasons and CF2013 I spent in an almost constant state of anxiety due to being harassed and stalked everywhere I went by the Nazi Horsefucker and his goons. However, that aside the part of cons I enjoyed most was basically getting shitfaced, people-watching and attending the raves. I went to MFF '07, but to be honest really wasn't impressed- though I mostly went there to meet with someone I had a crush on at the time. Ah, internet relationships...


ShadowCatboy posted:

On the other hand there's something to be said of self-aware furries who can laugh at how horrible the fetishy community can be. For example. (NWS/NMS)

Furry Force is hilarious, but it's not made by furries.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Chaps, can I make the suggestion that those who want to discuss specifically furry topics amongst themselves take it to pm or IMs? It's not that it's not interesting (to me at least it is), but it does have the effect of driving away people from the thread who don't share that interest. This isn't meant to be a furry chat thread, and the chances are that should it become so then bans and probations would soon follow- that's how this has gone down before.

If my read is wrong, feel free to correct me but given I am NOT a furry anymore I really don't want to be responsible for the next furry holocaust kicking off in this thread.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Rollofthedice posted:

Alrighty.

Have you ever listened to The F Plus, Camrath?

Since you said you weren't ever really interested in the sexual side of furries, did furries often try talking to you about their fetishes, and did you have to brush them off often?

How old does a furry get? Particularly, what's the oldest age of a furry you've met?

How do furries treat women? You've mentioned groping and stalking and stuff, so there's definitely some weird stuff going on on that front. How many furries have weird mental attitudes about women? How do they justify themselves when they're being super creepy?

I've never listened to that, no- though again it's something I've heard a lot about and probably should!

Yeah, I've had to tell many a person to gently caress off and not go on about their particular kink. I used to be a lot more tolerant of such the bags when I was younger (the whole 'don't judge' thing) but by the end of my time I'd get very blunt about not being interested.

Oldest furry? Well I knew several who must be in their fifties, possibly even into sixties by now. Certainly, bald spots and grey hair are much more commonly seen these days than they were when I started out.

And wow, furries and women is a big can of worms. I know for a fact that J has been harrassed, chatted up intensely, full on stalked, touched inappropriately and at one point possibly roofied (thankfully she had a good friend look after her and rescue her; this was before we got together). A lot of other women have reported similar, and I've often had to warn males to stop creeping girls out in various ways. The reaction is almost always the same- shocked protestations of innocence. Now, given the number of furs on the autistic spectrum or with other social issues it's possible that they were genuinely unaware of what they were doing or how they came across. However the cynic in me says that it's far too convenient an excuse and that frankly nobody could be /that/ loving dumb and unaware.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


PurePerfection posted:

I'd also be interested in knowing how women, minorities, and other participants who deviate from the white/male/middle-class norm are perceived and treated within the furry community compared to other fandoms dominated by the same demographic.

Some subcultures embrace socially unsuccessful males but have some very vocal bad eggs who are openly hostile to women who intrude upon the realm that they consider a refuge from the rest of society. Do members of the furry community view deviations from the norm in that way?

If a happy, popular individual with a fulfilling social life outside of the fandom tries to participate, what is the reaction like?

To be honest there's not so much a hostility towards women as more a large number of participants being creepy fucks as described above- it's not a hatred but more a desperate misplaced longing for female attention. And this also has an effect on female furries as well- often girls getting into the scene have the same issues as the guys, in particular low self esteem and self image. All the attention that is suddenly lavished on them (for good or bad reasons) can sometimes be deeply problematic in its results. In the London scene one particularly unpleasant woman (fat, ugly, deceitful, bullying and cruel. She was also responsible for several proven-false rape claims) ended up becoming a sort of 'queen bee' surrounded by fawning supporters who bullied and mistreat people on her whim. She ended up getting permabanned from meets and did a runner owing a /lot/ of people money for uncompleted commissions and unbelievably badly made fursuits.

Sorry, I digressed a little there. :p Oddly, one of the good things about furry (at least in the UK) is a total lack of any racial tensions or problems. I knew black furs, Asian furs, oriental furs and pretty much every variation on racial identity or skin-tone you'd find in a city like London, and I never once saw or heard of any form of racial harassment.

And as for the hypothetical popular, socially apt individual joining the fandom? Well, part of me says that such a person wouldn't be drawn to it in the first place, but that's perhaps overly bitchy! They'd probably find themselves rising quite quickly in it, but also burning out once they saw the negative sides to it.

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Rollofthedice posted:

I highly recommend it, though starting with the furry episodes is sorta jumping straight into the podcast's deep end when it comes to disgusting hilarity.

Do you know if they got into the fandom the same way the younger kids did; i.e. by The Lion King, etc? Or was it some crazy Tijuana Bible shenanigans? I am prepared to be disappointed.


Why do women stay in the fandom if they're treated so badly? How do they deal with all that poo poo?

edit: I also echo PurePerfection's questions about minorities. How do white furries treat black furries, or transgendered furries? Is race a topic that's even brought up often in the context of furries?

I understand that a lot of furries have either gotten jobs or are in the 'impoverished student' phase of their lives. I wonder how many furries are particularly rich or poor.

I'll admit to not being sure what bought many of the older furs into the scene- I'd guess the answer is very much varied from person to person.

Why do women stay in the fandom? Well, at the risk of sounding sexist I think J came in for even more attention than most because she's genuinely real-world good looking (not just 'furry-hot') and is a very friendly person who will talk to anyone. She stuck around because she loved the activity of fursuiting and had a lot of good friends in the fandom.

I also mentioned in the previous post that there are quite a few furry women who seem to thrive on the attention and create little crowds of hangers-on that follow them around, back them up and bolster their egos. Obviously, that's not all women that get involved, but there's a significant minority. Others? Some stick around because they do art or make fursuits and it's a rich market to tap, others.. hell, I don't really know. I don't actually have a huge number of female furry friends tbh.

I've touched on race in my previous post, but as for transgender etc furs.. Well, my bestest buddy (met through furry, played in a band together, have travelled all over the place together, spend more time with her than anyone other than J) is a transwoman, so I'll get her verdict on that- oddly the transfur experience is something we've not really discussed in 12 years of close friendship. Will get back to you on that.

Edit: Changed around this post a bit. I was phoneposting while playing Witcher 3, and my sentences ended up meandering and being less than clear. Apologies!

Camrath fucked around with this message at 21:45 on Jun 11, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Obdicut posted:


I think this speaks to why it was, in retrospect, damaging and harmful for the OP, or at least limiting and time-wasting. It's a clique, going by clique rules, and the 'social' skills you learn in the clique don't really transfer over. It's got it's in-group socialization and it's explicitly not about learning to get along in the way non-cliquey social groups do.

I'd not looked at it specifically in those terms before, but again, what you're saying makes sense. I have an inbuilt loathing of cliquishness and exclusion, and as I became more involved in it at a higher level this added to my disgust at the entire fandom as a whole.

Edit: Heading out now for dinner and an early night. Don't burn the thread down while I'm gone, plz? ;)

Camrath fucked around with this message at 22:15 on Jun 11, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


And I'm up again.

First off.. Vic, I'm afraid you sound completely and totally batshit insane now. I've tried to engage with you and be polite, but I'm afraid now I have to conclude you're either mental or trying to troll. Can I ask all the other posters here just to not bother engaging with the guy? I don't know what his angle is, but it's getting too weird for my blood.

Now, other stuff raised.

Tracula: I was at the EF where Bitter Lake was premiered. We had to wait more than an hour for the show to start; it was hot and smelly and generally uncomfortable. And then the movie started and it got even more uncomfortable. I lasted about three minutes before saying 'gently caress this' quite loudly and walking out. It really is painfully bad, isn't it? I've never actually seen it all the way through.

Tsurupettan, thanks for your input on furry art and the like. I'll admit, I've never been massively close to any artists (aside from the whole Kenket/Blotch thing I described earlier) and I'm genuinely shocked at how much money is actually in it. Though I guess I shouldn't be. One thing I will say is this though. J makes costume and props etc for her business- things like kigus, plush toys and the like at first. She started off marketing to the furry community, but soon discovered that furries are unbelievably annoying to sell to- between being slow on payment, dickering constantly about price, expecting deep discounts, asking for incredibly fussy changes to be made too late on. Nowadays she sells to LARPers and genuinely seems to enjoy her work, as well as making a /shitload/ more cash from it.

Edit: A quote directly from J: 'They pay you a pittance for your time, and expect seven-star service.'

Ashgrommies: I never played furcadia, second life or any of those style of games- though J actually got into the fandom through Second Life, pretty much (her fursona was based on a second life character). My crack for the longest time was MU* games- and I use the word 'crack' advisedly. I had a horrible addiction to them lasting from 99 up until 2010, when I suddenly realised that I was spending more time worrying about fictional characters and their relationships than for example, getting myself a girlfriend IRL. Coupled with a realisation about how utterly broken most of the people playing on those games were. To be honest, it was kind of a forerunner of my realisations about the Furry fandom.

Camrath fucked around with this message at 11:57 on Jun 12, 2015

Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


MaliciousOnion posted:

What did your friends and family think of your participation in furry culture, if they knew at all?

My family were pretty much 100% supportive. My mum actually helped make my first tail. One time in 2000 a couple of furry friends met up with me (one of which would become my fiancee three and a half years later) and we decided to go and see the Lion King stage show down in town. We all got painted up like lions- with my folks both helping and taking pictures- then went down into town, got tickets and went to see the show, while wearing our paint. I actually got to chat to the guy who played Simba as they told the cast about us. We practiced roaring at each other. My folks thought it was wonderful and adorable.

As for my friends, there was never any arguments or falling outs or anything, but my non-furry friends sort of faded out of my circle. Admittedly, this was also when we were all leaving school and going to uni/gap years, so I sort of ascribed it to that. Now I think about it, the furry thing might have been a factor that went unmentioned, but eh.

quote:

Did you have any falling out when you decided to call it quits?

Not directly, though I stopped communicating with a /lot/ of my friends simply because I only did so in the context of furmeets or furry social media spaces. I took the view that if anyone tried to keep in touch, I'd look at it on a case-by-case basis but most just didn't bother. Screw 'em.

quote:

How do you feel about The Lion King now?

The same rueful way that one thinks of your first proper love affair. Nostalgic love mixed with sadness. If that's too melodramatic, I don't really feel anything about it at all most of the time as it doesn't feature in my thoughts.

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Camrath
Mar 19, 2004

The UKMT Fudge Baron


Manic Mailman posted:

Seems you joined the Something Awful forums while you were not really apart of the scene, would you have joined the forums if you were still really into it despite goon constant furry bashing and yiff noises at the time?

Interesting question. I'd not really thought about it from that angle. I'd say that I was at the right level of disenchantment with the fandom, and actually joining SA helped prolong that, up until I started having a good time with the furry scene again. But I did still identify as a furry when pressed in those days. Frankly I just didn't post very much for a very long time.

I actually only found SA because of furry in the first place. I found out about this ALOTD: http://www.somethingawful.com/awful-links/awful-link-1415. The gentleman or lady in question (I never did find out if they were trans or literally just mental) was well known in the Londonfurs community, and was so utterly and completely mad, and obviously so, that I didn't feel it was right for him to be bullied. I went in to defend him, but then he announced by email to the entire Londonfur community that he made a habit of fingering his cat. I obviously stopped fighting his corner at that, but I'd started regularly reading the frontpage and glancing over the forums and decided to stick around.

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