Most furries I’ve run across, though, characterize it as non-sexual or at least not primarily sexual. (Obviously there’s plenty of cartoon animal porn that shows at least some of them are into it sexually, but that’s supposedly not true of all of them.)
I dunno. There’s some people I’ve met that just strike me as people looking for a subculture to fit into. And all the furries I’ve run into (thankfully, online rather than in real life) struck me that way, hardcore. I really think a big part of it is just looking for a group to be part of.
There is a Furry scene in the film The Shining, which came out in 1980, so clearly there was furry fetishism going on back then. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the scene where a man is being blown by another man wearing an animal costume.
There’s a popular dA clone out there that came up when dA banned the man smut. The problem was the furries were outnumbering the human smut fans, so any new furry porn had to be submitted to the ‘extras’ section and a filter came up for already existing works.
The wank exploded. There’s nothing like watching dejected, angry furries yelling about how racist people are.
In the book, the context for the scene was a costume party. Everyone was dressed up, and not as animals. The man in the dog suit was in an abusive relationship with the man on the bed, and was told to wear the dog suit as part of an attempt to publically humiliate him in front of the other guests by treating him like a dog. IIRC, the plan backfired when the guy in the dog suit snapped and murdered his partner. While the scene was clearly sexual, the impetus came from a particularly cruel sadistic streak in the dominant partner, and not from any specific interest in anthropomorphic sex. It’s possible that Stephen King was aware of furry fetishists when he wrote the scene, and drew on that knowledge, but based on the novel, the connection seems very tenuous, at best. It’s much more of a bondage/dominance thing gotten way out of hand.
A lot of cosplayers are mentally unstable as well. That was the biggest reason why I stopped cosplaying at cons and stay away from the fandom as much as possible. Some people will think that they “own” a character because they were the first ones to dress up as them so they will rag on anyone else who “dares” to dress up as that individuals. They will rush to do unheard of characters and will actually get mad if another person comes out with their character first. Imagine the ugliness of two rival girls showing up at prom in the same dress and multiply that times 1000000. There were people who were making death threats and once a convention was almost shut down by the police because some disgruntled cosplayers made a bomb threat on their cosplay “enemies.”
With furries (and to clarify, I mean furry furries. People who, if you asked them to describe themselves, would first furry in the top 5 and are active members of the online community, not people like Mr Jackboots, who strikes me as very mentally stable), you get a lot of the same people who are attracted to cosplay - social outcasts, mentally unstable individuals, people looking to fit in. However, with furries, you also get people like Otherkin. Otherkin are individuals who believe that they have animal (or vampire, fae, angelic, etc) spirits or even are these creatures. You do occasionally come across people who believe that they are anime/video game characters, but these are extremely rare. Despite all my years at cons and active participation in the online/real life cosplay community, I have never meet one of these “otakukin” as they are called, just read about accounts with them online. However, I have met a lot of these furries who believe that they are “otherkin.”
In other words, while some cosplayers identifiy with one character enough to consider themselves that character, there are few who do it to the level that I have observed in the furry community. While I’ve seen plenty of cosplayers who say “I am THE Sailor Moon,” I’ve not personally come across one that believes she (or he) actually is. On the other hand, I have met furries who believe that they are not human or identify very strongly with whatever animal they dress up as to the point where they take on that animal’s characteristics. Not all furries are otherkin and not all otherkin are furries, but there is some overlap between the two, just as there is some overlap with cosplay. For a lot of these people, it is a form of escapism.
[thread=369086]Ex-furry, checking in.[/thread] Kimera is a little out of date on that count. As I’ve said, I’m better now.
Simultaneously one of the best and worst things about furrydom is that it’s a tremendously contributive culture. Almost everyone makes… something. Usually it’s art, but there are pretty sizable contingents for fiction, music, or costumes. And there are a couple guys doing… ehr… sculpture.
One of the things involved here is that I’m pretty sure it’s not really about the art/writing/music/whatever. It’s just a way of making connections and trying to earn some respect from the group. “I’m an artist, you’re an artist, and we’re all OK. Let’s trade sketches or something!” There’s a certain element of the polite fiction involved; even if someone is horribly lame, you’re not supposed to point that out. You just smile and nod, find something about it to encourage, because talking about it breaks the illusion.
A lot of the points other people have made tie into this. Furry is a bit of a retreat from reality, and it’s one that can easily grow to fill all the gaps in life. No matter how fucked-up you are, furry will accept you; you can even be popular, even be one of the cool kids, or at least think you are. Poking at it and exposing reality pulls that fiction away, and that can be a tremendously painful thing. It’s easier to fight back at something outside, where you can see it as hostile and alien, than inside, where you have to deal with yourself.