Sure is hot in here
April 3, 2004 10:42 PM   Subscribe

The Fursuit & Costume Archive has a most impressive collection of videos of people in animal costumes. Are you furry-curious?
posted by sciatica (21 comments total)

 
I won't bore you with the complete history of the furry culture, but needless to say it is relatively long, convoluted, and owes the penis-sheathed lion's share of its popularity to the Internet. It has gradually transformed over the years from a slight fixation with anthropomorphic characters to a lifestyle choice that involves donning elaborate costumes and awkwardly humping in convention center hotels. The bottom line is that furries would basically be nonexistent were it not for the Internet. They would be thousands - maybe tens of thousands - of healthy and relatively well adjusted people with maybe a slight fascination with Gadget from "Rescue Rangers. In other words they would be "Mundanes" as the furries call the rest of us with hilarious derision.

Unlike child molesters, furries aren't hurting anyone or anything beyond maybe their parent's dignity, so why should we care? Because, furries are perhaps the best example of the uniting power of the Internet gone wrong. Composed almost to a person of outsiders, nerds, and the generally disenfranchised, furries went from a sort of dorky support group to a hardcore, aggressive, and somewhat abrasive sexual identifier in a matter of a few years. IRC rooms, websites, and even the presence of furries in various more normal Internet locales have attracted those who have difficulty finding their place in this world. There can be no convincing argument made that their lifestyle is genetic, necessary, or anything but forced. They have latched onto the lifestyle purely out of desperation and a need for acceptance.
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:42 AM on April 4, 2004


I'm not sure what's worse — Furry culture, or the merciless derision thereof.
posted by Down10 at 1:39 AM on April 4, 2004


It is very easy to make fun of a group of people who wear fursuits, and easy to condemn all of them as perverts who get off of wearing said fursuits. However, this is honestly a small portion of the group who fit the description and profile of the "mundanes" stereotyping, which in its own right shows (in my opinion) that many people entering the social grace of a furry really are looking for acceptance in an open group.

It may be argued that this has happened before in history, especially in our lifetimes. Homosexuality (walking on eggshells here) quite probably got the same reaction in the 50s. Today it is a part of our society. The primary difference (which is limiting scope but I am writing to save time by proposing only two ideals) is that people do not become homosexual for acceptance, at least in the same way that the "furry revolution" has.

The understanding of a group or person that you have no connection to is never as honest or descriptive as the person living it for themselves. I admit I am neither homosexual or a furry, so your mileage may vary.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:53 AM on April 4, 2004


Linking to Something Awful when discussing furries isn't really very nice -- SA is arguably responsible for most of the mockery they encounter.

The ability of the Internet to bring people together like this is fascinating. Wherever people have something in common on the 'net, communities develop, and when communities develop odd things start to happen.

There can be no convincing argument made that their lifestyle is genetic, necessary, or anything but forced.

Oh, but that's the interesting part. As each day goes by, someone is seeing all that furry stuff and thinking "wow... this is what I've been looking for... this is who I am". People are being converted. I've seen it happen.

There is even a quasi-religious movement developing out of furryism -- the Otherkin -- that I've written about before [yes, that's a self-link in my first comment... but it's OK in comments, right?]. Otherkin basically take it one step further from dressing up in fursuits and actually believe they have the spirits of animals (among other things) living inside them.

The strangest part is, like furries, people are still joining the group. Maybe it started with Internet-produced weirdness, but people who hear about these things in the 'real world' often identify with them, and want to join. I think the whole going to penetrate the consciousness of the real world in a big way quite soon -- mark my words.
posted by reklaw at 3:12 AM on April 4, 2004


Phwoaaaarrr!
posted by Pericles at 4:28 AM on April 4, 2004


and actually believe they have the spirits of animals (among other things) living inside them.

That's the Reagan administration's fault for slashing mental health funding. In a decent society, schizophrenics who believed stuff like that would be locked up tight.

See, this is why I sometimes imagine how great it would be to live under a modern Josef Stalin, because he'd put a stop to bullshit like this.

Drew a man-wolf with a tremendous schlong? You'd get five years in a gulag. Humped a guy in a squirrel costume or a plush animal? You'd get 15 years in a gulag. Told strangers about your animist "religion" that makes you roger other pretend animals? You would just disappear one day and your family would be afraid to talk about your existence. That's how a decent society would work in regards to this type of illness.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:49 AM on April 4, 2004


Now you can go where people are one, now you can go where they get things done.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:33 AM on April 4, 2004


This [NSFW] sheds some interesting light on the furry mind.

I can't believe that that was my first comment.

Mayor Curley: The concept of decency is already schizophrenic enough. Is believing that you're truly a pony any freakier than having a personal relationship with a jewish space zombie?
posted by ulotrichous at 7:52 AM on April 4, 2004


I had found this through a search for Trigger Happy TV clips of those people in animal suits getting the stuffing beaten out of them.

I had no idea of the depth of this culture before, other than the derision previously seen on SA.

Metafilter: purely out of desperation and a need for acceptance.
posted by sciatica at 8:08 AM on April 4, 2004


furries are perhaps the best example of the uniting power of the Internet gone wrong

Why? What possible harm can they pose? I think they are beyond weird, but I also think much of what most other people believe is weird too, so what do I care that they want to play dress up? If it makes them happy and doesn't hurt anyone, bark and let bark.

What's great is how the internet informs us of the true depth and breadth of human bizarreness.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:30 AM on April 4, 2004


Glad to get this trivia item off my chest here: early on in first season of 'She Spies' (and I'm surprised it got a second season, though the lovely Natasha Henstridge is in it), an episode featured a furry party prominently.
posted by of strange foe at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2004


what Cunning said--let them do what they want--it's possibly one of the least harmful (and most cute-looking) fetishes around.
posted by amberglow at 10:10 AM on April 4, 2004


There can be no convincing argument made that their lifestyle is genetic, necessary, or anything but forced. They have latched onto the lifestyle purely out of desperation and a need for acceptance.

And? So? Why do you care? Or are RPG clubs the only truly valid thing to latch onto in a quest for acceptance? Is vanilla sex the only valid (i.e. "necessary") kind? If not, why not? Where do you draw the line, and why there?

(and what CunningLinguist said)

My take is that I can see what's appealing about people in big furry suits, it's like having a giant, animate stuffed toy to play with, that hugs you back. I don't really get the sexy aspect, but I can see what's appealing on an intellectual level. And as for the "Otherkin", well...what ulotrichous said, it's no weirder than any other religious belief.
posted by biscotti at 12:13 PM on April 4, 2004


Once, when I worked at a bookstore, I had to dress up as Papa Berenstain Bear for "Storytime.* I could probably use that experience to write some Penthouse Forum style shit for this binch.

* I insisted on being Papa, I told my co-worker he had to be Mama. I'm not some kinda drag queen for Pete's sake.
posted by jonmc at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2004


People have a right to do things like this with other consenting adults if it makes them happy. I would defend that right to the death.

However, I will also defend to the death my right to laugh at the self-important pronunciamentos, delusional personal narratives, and crusading self-righteousness of many members of the "furry community".

I'm not laughing at them because of their paraphilias--I'm laughing at them at the way they see their paraphilias as a Cause.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:52 PM on April 4, 2004


Damn straight.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:45 PM on April 4, 2004


Once, when I worked at a bookstore, I had to dress up as Papa Berenstain Bear for "Storytime.
It was one of those bookstores in Times Sq, right jon? And i guess "Storytime" is code for showtime? ; >
posted by amberglow at 3:11 PM on April 4, 2004


for posting that as your first link ulotrichous you are voted off the island.
posted by Keyser Soze at 6:21 PM on April 4, 2004


Once, when I worked at a bookstore, I had to dress up as Papa Berenstain Bear for "Storytime.*

Jonmc, I have very possibly been in the same suit (I mean the exact same one: there's surprisingly few of the buggers floating around, moving from bookstore to bookstore). Some brat tried to pull my arm/glove off.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:32 PM on April 4, 2004


Haven't you seen the Furry episode of CSI?
It all leads to getting killed out in the nevada desert!
posted by Iax at 12:33 PM on April 5, 2004


Furries are awesome. They serve a purpose.

They're a sort of barometer of geekiness. Any geek in the world can now say, at least i don't write fanfictions about children's animated TV shows, with animals, and include myself as a character.

Kind of a reality check, if you will.
posted by Miles Long at 12:41 PM on April 5, 2004


« Older Typophile   |   Orphans used for experimental HIV drug tests. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments