FETISH SPOTLIGHT: FURRIES
Faux fur, big ears, cartoonish eyes—to some this might sound like the aisle of a toy store. But to others, it’s their community. And though you may not see them, there are plenty of furries out there.
Most people have at least heard of “furries”. As a subculture, it has earned a colorful reputation over the years. Perhaps you’re someone who only really knows about it from that one episode of CSI, but the truth is there’s a lot more to the furry community than meets the eye.
So let’s get into it.
WHAT IS IT?
First off, we have to preface: not all furries are furry fetishists. In fact, it’s only a small handful that are.
According to the community, a majority of its members are into it for “the fandom”. In other words, they simply enjoy the costumes, the art, and taking on a persona that’s different from who they are in everyday life. The furry subculture is hugely “misunderstood” by most of the mainstream public because of this.
But with that said, there definitely IS a fetishized side of it; so that’s mainly what we’re diving into today:
The furry fetish, in a nutshell, refers to having a sexual interest in anthropomorphic creatures. These are animals who have human-like qualities, features and behaviors. It’s NOT to be confused with pet/animal play or bestiality. It only involves humans role playing as animalesque personas. And it’s in these personas (better known as “fursonas”) that the imagery most people are familiar with comes into play.
Similar to role play, furries in general create their own character/fursona that they take on within the community. From the name and personality traits, to their aestheticand background, furries develop their own mythologies behind the characters. They sometimes bring them to life by dressing up in costume (AKA “fursuits”). Other times just keeping it to an online alter ego.
So for those who are into the furry fetish, it’s all of that plus regard for eroticized furry art, fiction and, in some instances, having sex in the actual outfits.
WHERE’D IT COME FROM?
The Internet has been a HUGE catalyst of connecting people and forming communities for people with furry interests. However, contrary to what you might assume, that’s not where it all began.
With so many people growing up on cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Disney’s Robin Hood (which certainly have their place on the timeline), the furry community at large is thought to have originally stemmed from both the “Renaissance Age of Animation” and boom of sci-fi fandoms throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. As time went on, furry-specific groups, zines and conventions were born and continued to grow…which obviously spawned the fetishized side of it along the way, too.
HOW POPULAR IS IT, REALLY?
Since not all furries go to conventions, it’s hard to track concrete numbers of how many people are into it. Although researchers have estimated there are at least a quarter of a million people in the United States that identify as furries; and as previously mentioned, only a small portion of that that are into the sexual side of it.
Spikes in its prevalence are also thought to have ties to the mainstream rise of “geek” culture, but it’s additionally interesting to note how popular the non-sexual side of furry culture has recently become among Gen Zs, all thanks to TikTok. Some furry influencers have amassed tens of thousands (and for some, more than 100,000) followers on the super popular short-form video app, which goes to show that the fandom-side of the community, at least, shows no signs of dying out anytime soon.
HOW IT HAPPENS
For many (though not all) furries, the costume is an important element. Some furries hand make costumes, while others commission certain furry-friendly designers. However, it’s within the furry fetish that the tricks and tools tend to get very specialized.
To go along with those who enjoy getting down in their suits, there’s a huge variety of animal/fantasy dildos on the market to match any kind of creature there is. And since we are talking about get-ups that can include claws, fur, feathers and more, sensation play can play a big role as well.
WITH ALL OF THAT SAID, IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE…
Sexual or not, many members of the furry community look to it as a way to escape from day-to-day life and forge friendships among a network that doesn’t judge them for having “unconventional” interests.
The same, of which, goes for a lot of other fetish circles, too.
So, as always, just know that having one doesn’t make you any lesser (or that different) from anyone else; and whether it means dressing up in chains, latex or even faux fur – have fun exploring whatever ways help you get down with your sexy self.
Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her alt-lifestyle blog MSFT Living and on Instagram!