• Fur Affinity Forums are governed by Fur Affinity's Rules and Policies. Links and additional information can be accessed in the Site Information Forum.

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
Hello, everyone!
So right now, I am enrolled in this cultural anthropology course at the College of Charleston. As a part of this large project, I have to observe and interview any group in which I am unfamiliar with. I decided to take a look at the Furry Fandom, because while I have had encounters with furries before, I know next to nothing about you guys! I have been reading through the forums for a while, and I can say that I have learned a lot of interesting, insightful things about this community.
I have to "interview" several people as a part of this project. I decided to post questions here on the forums so that it would be easy to access, re-read, and so that anybody can answer if they want to. Of course, you do not have to answer all of these questions!
However, if anybody is interested in a live interview (either over the phone or via Zoom), that would be super great! I can ask these questions live and perhaps just have a more genuine, open discussion if anyone is willing.

Here are the questions:

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

I apologize if this post is too long or ignorant in any way! Anyone, please feel free to answer all or most of the questions, and feel free to ask for clarification! Thank you!
 

Jackpot Raccuki

Fucking Racon
I'll bite.

1: Sometime in like, 2016, give or take? I was still in school and I recall drawing some characters of mine. But no, I more or less saw other furries and eventually saw art, and fell down that rabbit hole.
2: I actually don't remember. I think it was just because I enjoyed the idea of trying to be more active with the community, and also because I ended up enjoying the usage of forums due to things like 4chan and steam forums. Granted, 4chan isn't really much of a forum but it's basically a discussion, sometimes...
3: Originally I made Jackpot (my sona) to be a furry character, hence his whole "demon" and "greed" stuff, but I kinda fell in love with him. I'll admit I do heavily relate to some raccoons at times, mostly with me eating a whole lot of junk food, but he's also half tanuki, which people won't see because similar and I don't think it's really obvious but nontheless, chose tanuki since it helped with his casino and greedy theme as tanukis are known for the "fortune". But otherwise he does have a cool and greedy aesthetic and in general, fits me a lot in some cases.
4: Depends on who others are, with people online? Eh, I just don't care since it's online, if I wanna be a "greedy ol' raccuki" then so be it. As for family? Eh, I never "came out" to them as a furry since I find it dumb, I do have a plushie of Jackpot but they think it's a character of mine from a game I'm working on so, I've actually just passed a nat 20 deception check.
5: Friends from over the globe to play games with. And memes, very important.
6: Sometimes I use my furry characters as an avatar on discord when I got a new commission, but otherwise I prefer to use my sona avatar online. I do not own a fursuit nor do I currently intend to own one. However I do have a 2ft plushie of him as previously mentioned.
7: N/A
8: Nope, and Corona sadly won't let me. I'm doubtful just due to the fact I'm not a very social guy in real life.
9: I believe some people need a lesson that the world doesn't revolve around them and to stop simping. But in general I'd believe there technically is a hierachy as far as I can tell, but some people view it differently. Some will believe say Commissioners are more important than artists, or vice versa. But I honestly don't care, but that might be due to my nature of not caring for celebrities both real life and popfurs (popular furry), I don't care how "at the top" some may think they are, but a lot need to curb their ego if you ask me.
10: I like fantasy and distancing myself as far from reality as possible, which is why despite telling people I like biology, coding and such; but then tell them I'm a furry who likes vore and medival fantasy, some may get confused since vore is FAR from being biologically possible in a lot of the cases, but I just like the escape from reality. Technically it could have some sexual nature to it, but like I said, I just enjoy fantasy a lot and escapism.
11: I mean, I guess? But it's not going to make me do anything in real life. But for sexuality, nah I've always been gay... Kinda. When I was younger I was more hetero, but that's just me being young and well, society being "gay bad, only men x women." but as I grew up, I stopped caring about what others thought.
12: Via any form of communication really, Forums, Discord, etc. I enjoy Roleplays but that somewhat recently died out for me, but been wanting to get back into it since I love storys a hell of a lot and enjoy making characters and developing them.
13: I've learnt to just ignore most of them since half of the time it's from people who don't have anything better to do, or rather trolls as commonly referred to as. If people have issues with differencing reality and imagination, that's on them. And whiles there are those kind of bad apples in the fandom, it's to be expected in ANY fandom and we as a community don't tolerate them, especially things like beastiality.


Furries are no different from Anime, Homestuck or any other fandom, but of course it's one of the largest one that gets seen a lot; and of course any thing that goes wrong with it say those bad apples, people will jump to conclusions.
 

Chomby

Monsters are hot. :)
I'm answering them. I'm typing a lot so I'm just talking a break. 4 more questions to go! I'll post my answers later today or tomorrow. lol
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
I don't identify as furry but want to answer anyway~

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

Most everyone I've come across with has been a furry online and in person. I learned about it (I think) around the age of 16 (prior 2010), but have been living amongst them without ever realizing. I played a game called Furcadia because I thought it was a game about using your imagination and RP. Then I asked an acquaintance I'd just made that day, about why almost everyone on there seemed to take being an animal so seriously. That's when they broke it to me that for some people it's not a game and more of a 'lifestyle'. I learned all kinds of things. Some more regrettable than others.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

2013? I wanted to try socializing and it was not an ideal time to try and be social. Now it totally is! It has a consistent amount of activity from a diverse net of users. Sure, there are cliques here and there, but they actually give the opportunity for you to find one. It isn't a dog-eat-dog system where if a mod doesn't like the look of your pfp, you get banned. Another reason why I joined was because of their main site. On other places like Deviantart, you can't post porn. Here you can. Even if it's human! 8)

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

Purely sentimental. I've tried other animals early on because I was learning to draw anthros in general, but settled on Tiger because it was my favorite form in Kung-Fu classes.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

Even though I'm not a furry, I still don't feel 100% comfortable explaining what sites I'm active on. Then again, I don't have any in-person friends to share anything with. Just talk to employers and customers.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

New connections and exposure. A place to chill and let my inner zoomies loose so I can calm down and focus on my projects again.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

Fursona is only involved in the story I've designed for her, and I can't even finish that. So... nothing, really.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

Don't own one.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

Nope. Never been to any kind of convention. :(

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

I can kind of see why some people would think that. For those that lack the skills, they're finally getting the opportunity to become something or see their ideas come to life. I know I feel that way any time I make progress with my own projects. I don't think there is a hierarchy in furry communities at all. It might seem like it on FA, since it's primarily for art and user-created content, but there are galleries of nothing but commissioned artwork that get popular simply because so many people find the character to be attractive.

Everyone has their own reason for getting into it. Everyone has their own definition on what a furry is.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

For me, as a human, I think it's as plain as 'I saw the cartoons do it'. I've never really been attracted to anything other than personality. I'm sure other people do find it physically attractive. I've had some tell me it's for aesthetic variety (compare humans with a different skintone to an anthro peacock or something).

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

No. It's affected my childhood because I learned a lot of words I wasn't prepared for (XD) but if anything I find it impossible to be attracted to them. I just see their noses and I want to boop them, or play with their cute little Dorito-smelling pawz.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

Art, stories and participating in the forums.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

People hated on Twilight but it clearly had enough fans to prevail. People hated on Fortnite but it's still successful and played by many successful streamers. A lot of people like to ride on the wave of hype and assume that one article about that one topic was right. Even though there's absolutely no cost in joining, no one feels the need to take the time to explore and develop an opinion on their own. They're allowed to do that, but take away the furry label and all you get are people. Lots of people do terrible/insane things every day. People will still participate in drinking regardless of how many drunk drivers take innocent lives.
 
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

I grew up watching a lot of cartoons and loved the anthro characters most. I knew about the fandom years ago, but I was originally under the impression you had to be a fursuiter or talented artist, so I didn't look into it much. Later on, I had a cartoon character-themed Twitter account and I'd see the FursuitFriday tag more and more often. I love the suits and they looked like they were having so much fun and they seemed really nice so I finally looked into it more. In April 2018 I "officially" joined.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

Apparently, I joined December 4, 2018.
At the time, I was used to this format of forum and didn't use much in the way of social media. I think the open-to-the-public forum is just easier to get involved. You don't have to know someone or know a link or get an invitation to join other platforms.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

Cartoon duck characters were always my favorite (Daffy, Donald, Plucky etc), so I knew I wanted to go with a duck, but I wanted something a little more unique and after an image search of different duck species, I knew red-breasted merganser was the one. I love how they look, but it wasn't until after I picked the species that I found out there was some personality overlap.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

I think I was a bit older than the average member when I joined and at my age, I'm not really concerned about other's approval of it. But I don't advertise it either. They know I have a specific character even if they don't know I would call myself a furry. A coworker once saw a picture of Marius and asked, "Is that your alter ego?" and I just replied, "Yeah, something like that".

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?


Friends. Introduction to art and music and games I probably would not have found otherwise. A lot of fun.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?


It's an online avatar but also a character for stories, art, and roleplay. I do not have a fursuit.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?


NA

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?


Not a convention, but a local meetup. It was a little awkward because I didn't know anyone but still a good time. Mostly a bunch of people hanging out, playing video games and eating.


9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?


I think there is some truth to it. The more participation and good content that gets created, the more name recognition there is. But that's not universal. There are plenty of outstanding artists that have yet to be discovered.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?


I'm sure for some/many there is a sexual nature to it, but that's not universal either. I think it's part of human nature to anthropomorphize everything, but animals are just the easiest.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?


Not for me, personally.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?


Forum participation, gaming, a little roleplay, writing, and I share photos I take of birds.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

I think they are unfortunate, but I've never had any levied against me.
 

Punji

Vaskebjørn
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

"Officially" in 2013 or so. Had I known about the fandom overall prior I would have called myself one earlier than that. As for why, I just like anthros. I came to it after finding furry art and then the site which hosted it and it all spiralled from there.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

I guess you could say I joined in a practical capacity in 2020, though my first post here goes back to 2017. I started using this forum because I've had an account on the main site for many years prior. One day the main site wen down and I came here to find out why, and ended up sticking around. I mostly use the main site because a lot of the artists I enjoy post their content here.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

I don't really have a reason for my fursona being a raccoon. He just is and always has been. I don't really like raccoons all that much in comparison to other animals and I've only ever seen them a few times before in real life. He's a raccoon though, and I'm extremely comfortable with that and probably won't ever change it.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

I don't think I even am, after all this time. My family has no idea, nor do any of my "real life" friends. My online friends are all furries themselves, with the sole exception being my best friend of six or seven years who I "came out" to a handful of months ago and his brother, who's sort of a mutual friend.

Most people who aren't in on it don't understand the fandom and often have the wrong idea or a sharp bias against it, so I think it's better to just keep it to myself.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

Nothing quite so dramatic I think. It's given me a lot of fun and happiness over the many years I've been a part of it, and I've met lots of good new people.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

I view my fursona as an extension of myself. I don't own a fursuit, yet, but I'd like one. He is a part of myself and my personal identity, and I often spend time thinking about him and myself through him as a lens.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

As above, don't have one at this time. For what it's worth, I don't think I would wear it publicly. They are unworthy.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

I have not. Maybe someday.

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

I don't think this is true at all in terms of a literal hierarchy. I think it just becomes a celebrity status only recognized by those within the fandom. In this sense, they're often viewed much more favourably than they're really deserving of just as any other celebrity might be. I don't think this is any special phenomenon existing only within the furry fandom, personally.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

This question will obviously vary a lot depending on the person. For myself, I don't think there really is a "reason" why, beyond simply liking them.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

I don't mind answering this question, but I would prefer not to do so publicly. Please feel free to message me privately if my response particularly matters. I will happily answer in as great as detail as I can, if needed.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

I mostly participate in small social circles such as this forum. I also write short stories on the occasion as a hobby, though only some are actually "furry" works. Beyond this I mostly just consume and commission artwork.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

I don't think people really want to know the truth about furries. They just want a soft target to bully and feel superior to. If a person genuinely wanted to understand the fandom, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube alone outlining exactly this. One could simply ask just about any given furry, or view public sites such as this one for a better view of it.
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
I'll bite.

1: Sometime in like, 2016, give or take? I was still in school and I recall drawing some characters of mine. But no, I more or less saw other furries and eventually saw art, and fell down that rabbit hole.
2: I actually don't remember. I think it was just because I enjoyed the idea of trying to be more active with the community, and also because I ended up enjoying the usage of forums due to things like 4chan and steam forums. Granted, 4chan isn't really much of a forum but it's basically a discussion, sometimes...
3: Originally I made Jackpot (my sona) to be a furry character, hence his whole "demon" and "greed" stuff, but I kinda fell in love with him. I'll admit I do heavily relate to some raccoons at times, mostly with me eating a whole lot of junk food, but he's also half tanuki, which people won't see because similar and I don't think it's really obvious but nontheless, chose tanuki since it helped with his casino and greedy theme as tanukis are known for the "fortune". But otherwise he does have a cool and greedy aesthetic and in general, fits me a lot in some cases.
4: Depends on who others are, with people online? Eh, I just don't care since it's online, if I wanna be a "greedy ol' raccuki" then so be it. As for family? Eh, I never "came out" to them as a furry since I find it dumb, I do have a plushie of Jackpot but they think it's a character of mine from a game I'm working on so, I've actually just passed a nat 20 deception check.
5: Friends from over the globe to play games with. And memes, very important.
6: Sometimes I use my furry characters as an avatar on discord when I got a new commission, but otherwise I prefer to use my sona avatar online. I do not own a fursuit nor do I currently intend to own one. However I do have a 2ft plushie of him as previously mentioned.
7: N/A
8: Nope, and Corona sadly won't let me. I'm doubtful just due to the fact I'm not a very social guy in real life.
9: I believe some people need a lesson that the world doesn't revolve around them and to stop simping. But in general I'd believe there technically is a hierachy as far as I can tell, but some people view it differently. Some will believe say Commissioners are more important than artists, or vice versa. But I honestly don't care, but that might be due to my nature of not caring for celebrities both real life and popfurs (popular furry), I don't care how "at the top" some may think they are, but a lot need to curb their ego if you ask me.
10: I like fantasy and distancing myself as far from reality as possible, which is why despite telling people I like biology, coding and such; but then tell them I'm a furry who likes vore and medival fantasy, some may get confused since vore is FAR from being biologically possible in a lot of the cases, but I just like the escape from reality. Technically it could have some sexual nature to it, but like I said, I just enjoy fantasy a lot and escapism.
11: I mean, I guess? But it's not going to make me do anything in real life. But for sexuality, nah I've always been gay... Kinda. When I was younger I was more hetero, but that's just me being young and well, society being "gay bad, only men x women." but as I grew up, I stopped caring about what others thought.
12: Via any form of communication really, Forums, Discord, etc. I enjoy Roleplays but that somewhat recently died out for me, but been wanting to get back into it since I love storys a hell of a lot and enjoy making characters and developing them.
13: I've learnt to just ignore most of them since half of the time it's from people who don't have anything better to do, or rather trolls as commonly referred to as. If people have issues with differencing reality and imagination, that's on them. And whiles there are those kind of bad apples in the fandom, it's to be expected in ANY fandom and we as a community don't tolerate them, especially things like beastiality.


Furries are no different from Anime, Homestuck or any other fandom, but of course it's one of the largest one that gets seen a lot; and of course any thing that goes wrong with it say those bad apples, people will jump to conclusions.
Thank you for this in-depth reply! I like your low-key attitude towards "celebrities" and the status-quo!
I think that it's pretty cool how people create animal hybrids, such as your raccoon and tanuki, and make something aesthetically unique yet relatable in some way. I find this fandom to be incredibly creative in many aspects.
Since I did not really know anything previously, I had no idea that the furry community was referred to as a "fandom." But, this makes so much sense: there is a shared interest, yet there are so many different reasons for joining, means of participating, and how one views themselves and others in relation to the fandom.
I like your response to #10. Sometimes people have a hard time comprehending the possibility of having radically varying hobbies and identities (such as studying biology yet liking vore), but humans are just so complex! We all need some form of escape. While I am not a furry myself, I do escape by creating alternate personas and scenarios--that I keep to myself!
 

ben909

vaporeon
I will need time if i am going to try and answer this, although i don’t have the best answers to questions
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
I don't identify as furry but want to answer anyway~

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

Most everyone I've come across with has been a furry online and in person. I learned about it (I think) around the age of 16 (prior 2010), but have been living amongst them without ever realizing. I played a game called Furcadia because I thought it was a game about using your imagination and RP. Then I asked an acquaintance I'd just made that day, about why almost everyone on there seemed to take being an animal so seriously. That's when they broke it to me that for some people it's not a game and more of a 'lifestyle'. I learned all kinds of things. Some more regrettable than others.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

2013? I wanted to try socializing and it was not an ideal time to try and be social. Now it totally is! It has a consistent amount of activity from a diverse net of users. Sure, there are cliques here and there, but they actually give the opportunity for you to find one. It isn't a dog-eat-dog system where if a mod doesn't like the look of your pfp, you get banned. Another reason why I joined was because of their main site. On other places like Deviantart, you can't post porn. Here you can. Even if it's human! 8)

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

Purely sentimental. I've tried other animals early on because I was learning to draw anthros in general, but settled on Tiger because it was my favorite form in Kung-Fu classes.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

Even though I'm not a furry, I still don't feel 100% comfortable explaining what sites I'm active on. Then again, I don't have any in-person friends to share anything with. Just talk to employers and customers.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

New connections and exposure. A place to chill and let my inner zoomies loose so I can calm down and focus on my projects again.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

Fursona is only involved in the story I've designed for her, and I can't even finish that. So... nothing, really.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

Don't own one.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

Nope. Never been to any kind of convention. :(

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

I can kind of see why some people would think that. For those that lack the skills, they're finally getting the opportunity to become something or see their ideas come to life. I know I feel that way any time I make progress with my own projects. I don't think there is a hierarchy in furry communities at all. It might seem like it on FA, since it's primarily for art and user-created content, but there are galleries of nothing but commissioned artwork that get popular simply because so many people find the character to be attractive.

Everyone has their own reason for getting into it. Everyone has their own definition on what a furry is.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

For me, as a human, I think it's as plain as 'I saw the cartoons do it'. I've never really been attracted to anything other than personality. I'm sure other people do find it physically attractive. I've had some tell me it's for aesthetic variety (compare humans with a different skintone to an anthro peacock or something).

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

No. It's affected my childhood because I learned a lot of words I wasn't prepared for (XD) but if anything I find it impossible to be attracted to them. I just see their noses and I want to boop them, or play with their cute little Dorito-smelling pawz.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

Art, stories and participating in the forums.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

People hated on Twilight but it clearly had enough fans to prevail. People hated on Fortnite but it's still successful and played by many successful streamers. A lot of people like to ride on the wave of hype and assume that one article about that one topic was right. Even though there's absolutely no cost in joining, no one feels the need to take the time to explore and develop an opinion on their own. They're allowed to do that, but take away the furry label and all you get are people. Lots of people do terrible/insane things every day. People will still participate in drinking regardless of how many drunk drivers take innocent lives.
Thank you for taking the time to reply! I briefly looked around on other platforms like Instagram and DeviantArt as you mentioned, but I found that Fur Affinity is definitely the place to go. There are so many different mediums to utilize on here, from forums to commissions to roleplaying to music making; I never knew of this website existed until this year!
Regarding your response to #9, I have certainly realized that "being a furry" it truly up to interpretation. There is no right way to participate or behave, because it is simply a fandom. From my perspective, this community is both personable and personalized.
It is true that hierarchies may not exist at all on Fur Affinity, I mean, popularity (usually) happens for a reason. Even if popularity happens arbitrarily, nobody is actually restricted on how they want to artistically express themselves here (as long as it follows the guidelines, of course)!
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

I grew up watching a lot of cartoons and loved the anthro characters most. I knew about the fandom years ago, but I was originally under the impression you had to be a fursuiter or talented artist, so I didn't look into it much. Later on, I had a cartoon character-themed Twitter account and I'd see the FursuitFriday tag more and more often. I love the suits and they looked like they were having so much fun and they seemed really nice so I finally looked into it more. In April 2018 I "officially" joined.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

Apparently, I joined December 4, 2018.
At the time, I was used to this format of forum and didn't use much in the way of social media. I think the open-to-the-public forum is just easier to get involved. You don't have to know someone or know a link or get an invitation to join other platforms.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

Cartoon duck characters were always my favorite (Daffy, Donald, Plucky etc), so I knew I wanted to go with a duck, but I wanted something a little more unique and after an image search of different duck species, I knew red-breasted merganser was the one. I love how they look, but it wasn't until after I picked the species that I found out there was some personality overlap.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

I think I was a bit older than the average member when I joined and at my age, I'm not really concerned about other's approval of it. But I don't advertise it either. They know I have a specific character even if they don't know I would call myself a furry. A coworker once saw a picture of Marius and asked, "Is that your alter ego?" and I just replied, "Yeah, something like that".

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

Friends. Introduction to art and music and games I probably would not have found otherwise. A lot of fun.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

It's an online avatar but also a character for stories, art, and roleplay. I do not have a fursuit.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

NA

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

Not a convention, but a local meetup. It was a little awkward because I didn't know anyone but still a good time. Mostly a bunch of people hanging out, playing video games and eating.


9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

I think there is some truth to it. The more participation and good content that gets created, the more name recognition there is. But that's not universal. There are plenty of outstanding artists that have yet to be discovered.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

I'm sure for some/many there is a sexual nature to it, but that's not universal either. I think it's part of human nature to anthropomorphize everything, but animals are just the easiest.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

Not for me, personally.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

Forum participation, gaming, a little roleplay, writing, and I share photos I take of birds.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

I think they are unfortunate, but I've never had any levied against me.
That's really interesting, the fact that you were drawn to duck cartoon characters! I have not seen many ducks in the fandom thus far. I have always found bird characters to be rather fun: my profile picture is a humanized Andean Cock-of-the-Rock bird that I used as a D&D character several years ago! It is definitely true that it is a part of human nature to anthropomorphize non-human organisms, or even fully humanize them, such as in my character's case. We feel more comfortable and familiar with human-like traits and expressions.
You stated that you were older than the average member when you joined. I am wondering what the average age of the fandom is? So far, I have seen members as young as 15 and as old as 35, but of course I have not checked everyone!
 

FayeBunny

Active Member
It's always nice to see someone with genuine curiosity rather than negativity towards furries.

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I really only became familiar with the term "furry" In high school, and it was only during my senior year, so 2017/18, that I began identifying with it. Nobody really introduced me to it, I just had way too much free time and the internet was a good way to spend it.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
It was sometime last year but I don't remember exactly when. This was pretty much just the most active place I could find, and I wanted to try to be more social.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
I just think I'm pretty similar to the idea most people have of how rabbits act. They're also just small and cute, and I'm pretty small, and people sometimes think I'm cute, so there's that too.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
It took a couple years of testing the waters once or twice every couple months for me to tell anyone. My close friends know, and my mom knows. So like 6 people, not including people I met after joining the fandom. Absolutely nobody was surprised. Pretty much just "Yeahhh, I kinda figured" I would tell my dad, but he definitely wouldn't understand it and wouldn't really want to learn, he's the kind of person who thinks he's right about everything even when he's clearly not right. But with people I meet now, it's not something I hide, but I only talk about it if the topic is brought up.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
I've made a few friends, I've gotten somewhat better at drawing, and I don't really feel like I'm going to be judged in places meant for furries.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
I don't own a fursuit, but that's only because they're expensive and I'm far too impatient with myself to make my own. My sona's design also isn't suited (hah) to a fursuit, so that's a thing too. She's too much on the human side of things, I guess. Although I've been thinking about making a version that would be compatible with a fursuit. Generally though, she's just who I am online, which is just me, but a humanoid rabbit instead of a boring ol' human.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
No real answer for this one. But, the majority of furries don't have fursuits, whether it's from lack of funds or just not wanting one.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
I haven't gone, but I want to. I was going to go to one with a friend last year, but uh, that didn't happen for obvious reasons.

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
I'd say there's a hierarchy of visibility, where fursuiters and visual artists are at the top, just because they're easier to see. Past that, I'm not really sure. I'm not very involved with the fandom so I don't really recognize many names or fursuits, I just watch a few furry youtubers and that's about it.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
Humans like to make things that aren't human, more human. A better answer is that for me regular humans are kinda boring. There's not a lot of differences in humans past facial features. Anthropomorphic animals have a lot more creative potential. Add even more fantasy into the mix with crazy colors, hybrid species, mythological creatures, the list goes on.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
Y'know how I said there's a lot more creative potential with anthros? Yeah, there's a lot more creative potential. I don't think it's affected my sexuality, I was straight before and I'm straight now. Although, I do know some people who aren't furries who only enjoy this part of the fandom.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?
I draw sometimes, but that's about the extent of my involvement. I actually don't roleplay at all, it's just uncomfortable for me. A lot of people seem to think all furries roleplay, but that's not the case. I mostly just lurk on the forums a couple times a week and once in a while I'll have something to say on a post, like right now.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
I've never been all that bothered by people's opinions of things they refuse to learn about. Kind of like, if they won't take the time to learn about the thing they're spewing nonsense about, then I'm not going to give them any of my time worrying about what they think. Most, if not all, misconceptions about furries would be laid to rest if people would just use some common sense. A lot of people seem to just enjoy hating things they aren't part of for no other reason than they aren't part of it.
 
That's really interesting, the fact that you were drawn to duck cartoon characters! I have not seen many ducks in the fandom thus far. I have always found bird characters to be rather fun: my profile picture is a humanized Andean Cock-of-the-Rock bird that I used as a D&D character several years ago! It is definitely true that it is a part of human nature to anthropomorphize non-human organisms, or even fully humanize them, such as in my character's case. We feel more comfortable and familiar with human-like traits and expressions.
You stated that you were older than the average member when you joined. I am wondering what the average age of the fandom is? So far, I have seen members as young as 15 and as old as 35, but of course I have not checked everyone!
I know of at least two dozen ducks of various species. We tend to flock together and use a lot of puns.
(Marius is also a furry-D&D character; a neutral good Druid.)

I would guess the average age is mid 20s, but I'm mid 40s.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
Hello there! Good luck with your project!
A bit about me in case of demographic needs: I'm 32, female, straight. Lives in the USA. Fox. Artist. Moderately cool.


1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I joined the collective fandom (here) July 2020. But I had been actively watching the forums since December 2019. I had been aware of the site many years prior but couldn't come up with a good name to join (which is why it still took me 6 months to join). But I've been aware of furries since that infamous CSI episode in 2003. Although, I have been drawn to anthropomorphic characters all my life. In kindergarten when my friends wanted to play house, I wanted to be the dog.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

July 2020. Google and algorithms, it popped up first. It seemed more robust and established.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

I chose a fox for a myriad of reasons. While I do identify with foxes, it is more like an idealistic goal. Honestly, I really wanted to be something fantastical, some sort of hybrid mythical magical thing. But the more I meditated on it, I realized “I'm just a fox.” I'm pretty ordinary. Maybe one day I'll become something more...

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
Some friends know, or they have guessed. I'm not overly open about it but aside from keeping a separate art portfolio, I don't go out of my way to hide it. Family have seen some of the character art I've done and have asked a few questions but I don't feel the need to sit them down and explain everything about what the fandom is. I just do my thing.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

Definitely new connections. I've made some friends just chatting on the forums here. I do feel a bit more confident in who I am. More of a “If you don't like me, you can leave” attitude. With my art, I've been learning a lot of techniques and my ability through practicing has improved greatly. And yeah, self-discovery. Ever since I was a young child, I have felt this yearning to be special. Now, here I am, able to present myself as a gorgeous, winged solar dragon, legendary around all universes, and I choose to be: “I'm just a fox.”

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

I do not own a fursuit, and even if I could get over the physical issues of one (the heat), I am definitely not confident enough to go to the grocery in one. I wish I was! It looks like so much fun.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

I've been in public when cosplaying with friends several times. I imagine it would be very similar. I'm always a bit nervous at first, but then I feel more confident with my friends. When people start asking us for pictures and complimenting how amazing we all look, I feel proud and happy. It becomes a tiny little rush to hold on to.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

No, I've never been to one. But after I joined the forums last year, I learned that I had missed a furry convention by about a week just up the road from me! Bummer!!

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

I think that any creative types that are able to make something into a reality is always admired in many other aspects of our world, not just the furry fandom. Because the fandom is so visually driven, it makes sense that people who are unable to bring their own visions to life would look to enlist the help of an artist. As with anything in our world, the more exposure one gets, the higher up the ladder they go. I've seen artists who, in my opinion, are so talented but really struggle because they have no social media and do not promote themselves. Conversely, I've seen artists with really quick, sketchy pieces be incredibly successful because they've got great charisma and are all over every social media possible.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

I've always been drawn to anthropomorphic characters since I can remember. Why be a human when you could be something more interesting? People are able to visually describe themselves, or their ideal selves, with a such a range. Disney's Robin Hood was a very good introductory example for a lot of us. And while Robin Hood was my first crush, the sexual aspect of this fandom is not an interest of mine.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

The sexual aspect is not something I partake in here. That being said, I've definitely come across some of those profile pictures that make me want to strike up a conversation.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

I talk on the forums and I enjoy seeing what others have to say about various topics, silly and serious. I do not roleplay, for some reason it has never been an interest of mine even though I love to write. And yes, I am an artist! Not a very established one, mind you, but I'm working on it (albeit slowly).

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
Ah, I think there are loads of misconceptions, both from the view of people outside the fandom and even from people within. I watched the 2016 documentary “Fursonas” and though I feel it is definitely biased, it really highlighted some issues. My main takeaway from the documentary is that even within a fandom made up of people who generally felt on the outs with 'regular' society, there will still be people who aren't allowed to play. And that made me sad.

As far as what people on the outside may see... people tend to have troubles with things they do not understand. And few may actually take the time to try and understand. The furry fandom has so many aspects that it's really easy to come across a single facet and say “oh, so all furries must enjoy ____!”

2020 really taught me acceptance and tolerance, and partially because of joining the Furaffinity forums here. I was able to read about people who live in oppressed countries who only have online to be free to explore who they are. The debates that take place here really is able to broaden one's thinking and made me able to see more sides to an argument.

If you have more questions or any of the above you would liked answered in more depth, feel free to PM me!
 

MaelstromEyre

Slippery When Wet
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I guess I officially joined it about 12 years ago, though I'd known about it many years before that. I was reluctant to affiliate myself with it because of the reputation it has as a sex fetish, and I thought that was ALL there was to the fandom. The first I'd heard about it was back in 1995, when a friend of mine mentioned "Omaha the Cat Dancer" and I went to DragonCon in Atlanta, GA where there was a bit of furry art. I didn't really get into the fandom until I joined the Second Life grid and realized I could have an animal avatar, and many other people there had them, too. It was like meeting the friends I'd always wanted to have as kids - who liked pretending to be talking animals.


2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
I joined the FA forums a few years ago, just as a way to communicate with others in the fandom. I just come here out of convenience.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
My fursona is an Akhlut, it's a creature from Inuit mythology that is a blend of orca and wolf. She started out as a brown wolf and gradually evolved to a creature that can shift from a mermaid-like wolf with a whale's tail, or an upright walking wolf.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
My entire furry existence is online, none of my family or friends know that I am a furry, though some of my clothing or art on my phone might give it away. I live in a conservative area where people like to come to conclusions based on very little information - like "I saw a show one time about how furries are people who dress up like animals to have sex, therefore I believe all furries do that."

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
It has been a creative outlet for me, a place where I can use my imagination again. Adulting tends to kill a lot of that, especially when you don't have people around you who have that interest and you have to internalize a lot of your ideas so other people don't think you're "weird" or "immature." I've been RPing in Second Life as my character for about 11 years, and I think that has helped me deal with things in my own life. I've made friends through RP that I have never met in RL, but there's this mutual appreciation for one another.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
Yes, although I'm not an artist, I like to get art of my 'sona and use it as my avatar, as well as going by my fursona's name on several forums, Discord, Twitter, Telegram, and Facebook.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
n/a, I don't own a fursuit

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
I have never been to a furry convention

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
I think there definitely is a sense that the good artists, suit-makers, or talented fursuiters get a lot of attention. Maybe the same can be said for some of the YouTubers. It can get to the point where they become known as Popufurs. Some handle it better than others. I've seen some who are still humble and gracious and appreciative of any compliments. Then, there are those who actually do think they are better than anyone else, and their "followers" feed it by having absolutely blind loyalty. It begins to resemble a high school cafeteria, where the popular kids have a gaggle of followers who agree with everything they do and say, no matter how horrible it is. Sometimes it gets to the point where they will actively bully anyone who calls out their chosen Popufur for less-desirable conduct.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
I think we see animals as representing parts of our own selves. There's a reason many cultures tell "life lesson" stories using animals as characters, rather than humans. Think of Aesop's fables, or many native American stories. Cultures and faiths may appoint animals as "guides" or "spirit animals" to people, to represent that person's characteristics.
Some people probably do compare it to a sexuality. . .to the point of exaggerating animal traits in a sexual way (think "hung like a horse"). It's not really my thing, but there are definitely people in the fandom who are VERY into sex, and compare being a furry to a sexual identity. You'll see a lot of posts from people asking how to "come out" as a furry to friends and family.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
It's not a fetish for me. Although I have had intimate RP scenes as part of my character's own story, sex is not a focus for me or my character. My own sexuality has not changed since being in the fandom.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?
I am mostly a RPer on the Second Life grid, I don't RP in other formats just because I don't have time to keep up with multiple storylines. I've written a few stories for my characters, and will commission others to do art of them. I don't participate in RL meetups, cons, or other social gatherings (didn't before COVID, either)
13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
The misconception is that furries are all about the same thing. We're not, it's still a diverse group. We come from many walks of life, many age groups and spiritual beliefs and political ideologies. We all have our own reasons for being in the fandom, and we all have different tastes when it comes to art styles, musical styles, outside hobbies. Some people really get into it - they truly identify as their fursona, it's their entire world, and that's fine. Others are more casual about it, and that's fine, too. The fandom is one of the most accepting, in general.
In some cases, the fandom has dug its own hole. It's become such a "safeplace" that some people come to the fandom to take part in things that just aren't socially acceptable at all - grooming and preying on minors, sexual harassment and stalking, any sort of non-consensual sexual acts with minors or animals, etc. And going off what I said before about the Popufurs, there are some people who are blindly loyal in these situations.
 

The_biscuits_532

Sneaky rainforest kitty
1)a) 2016
b) Skyrim fanart led me to the *ahem* nsfw side of the fandom. After around a year I ended up reading furry webcomics and I came to realise I appreciated the fandom for more than just nsfw reasons, and from then on I actually started considering myself a furry.
c) No

2)a) December 2020
b) No reason in particular. I just wanted to interact with more furries and the FA forums seemed obvious given I was already posting on FA. I'd talked most on reddit prior but /r/furry isn't great for discussion, given most posts are just art.

3)a) My primary fursona is a Eurasian Lynx. My stepmum used to compare me to our cat. My dad compared him to the Lynxes at the local zoo. And now here I am. Otherwise it's because all cats are baby. My other two are an Oncilla and a Brown Hyena. The species choice is more to do with character attributes than myself - I'm doing a literature degree and character design is something I've always found is underappreciated.
B) Kinda. I follow the lynx tag on Instagram. I identify with their solitary nature, the fact they prefer snow, and the usual cat behaviour.
C) As I said, yes.
D) Moreso cute. Cool is a little more difficult to get right. That being said my other two kinda lean that way.

4)A) I gradually started becoming more comfortable showing myself as a furry online around 2020, leading to my fursona's creation in September. I'm not comfortable IRL.
B) Only one friend and I haven't told them directly. I'm fairly certain they're also a Furry so that's why I was more comfortable with them.

5) I'd say self discovery. It's helped me with my sexuality and dysphoria, and helped me rediscover my childhood passion for art, that was thoroughly killed by my high school art teacher.

6) A) Yes. Unless the account is known to people IRL. On Instagram my pfp is a deepfried garfield screenshot.
B) No
C) None, really, although as a literature student I may end up adapting one of them for creative writing in the future.

7)a) No
B) I doubt I'd ever feel comfortable with going out in one in public. Those things are expensive and the reputation we have makes me uncomfortable.

9) I guess

10) I think it's probably for relatability, which does extend to nsfw reasons. Many people have more traditional "feral" characters which I don't mind in art or literature but I can't think of any situation in which I would prefer one myself.


11)a) I think it kinda is a fetish to an extent.
B) I'm like 90% sure I would be more straight without the fandom. I consider myself demisexual now, and I have met wayyyyy more demisexuals through here than anywhere else, which has helped me identify. I'm also of the opinion that Legosi, from Paru Itagaki's Beastars Manga (and associated anime) is demi representation, and I'd have never got into Beastars without the fandom.

12) Forums, Reddit, Amino, FurAffinity. I (attempt) to create art mostly. I might Rp in the future but at the moment it's not for me. I may also use my skills as a writer in the future.

13) As much as they sadden me I can absolutely see why they exist. The amount of fucking terrible fetish art I come across is sometimes nauseating - and I'd consider myself thick-skinned. I'm surprised sometimes I've lasted this long.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
So I created a lurker account in 2007, which one might argue is joining the community. However, I didn't start interacting with it until 2017 when I created a legitimate account. The difference being I decided to actually start drawing furry art after years of going "I should start." The motivation was based on some homebrew mead the brewer called "dirty wolf." I forgot the name and called it furry porn - much to the brewers dismay, as that's the new official name of it. Anyhow, we got talking and someone went "hey, you can draw, you could make bank drawing furry porn." Well, I can draw furry porn, not so much make money.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
After having an account for a while, I realized that interaction on FA is kind of hard. It's clunky and not for chatting. So I joined the forum with an intent of actually interacting with the community, not just having a secret furry account.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
For reasons I don't remember, I loved Bagheera in Jungle Book. He's a black panther, and have always loved them. So it seemed natural to choose. Then again, if asked everyone describes me as a cat and I'm a fan of going big and dramatic with costumes, so a critter well known for its abnormal coloring made sense.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

I don't really advertise it to folks who don't know me, but I have friends who know and honestly give me porn feedback. I also have friends who I haven't told, but at some point might realize I always play anthro DnD characters and will eventually put 2 and 2 together. Honestly, I don't expect to get disowned, I just try to minimize how much flak I get for it - they've all got enough to give me shit for, don't need help. That being said, telling others is only as big a deal as you make it out to be, it's more that amongst those that don't know it's just never really come up.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
Whether I'd have worked out I'm bi or not without the community I don't know. It definitely was rendered obvious by the community though, with it's general disregard for cis-het norms and overall acceptance of violating convention. I distinctly remember reading a wikipedia article or something that said "Fursonas are often allowed in non-heterosexual situations without having their orientation questioned" and it stuck with me.

The other half is it gives me is motivation to draw. Without it, I was only drawing infrequently. Now, particularly working from home, I find myself posting 1 - 2 times a week.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
I use a variant tweaked to match my DnD character, it's Bagheera but colored like my Fursona. The change to make it my DnD character was to add a skull painted on the face, as otherwise both characters are black and cat-like. Dramatically different builds though.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

I keep threatening I'm gonna buy one to my fiance. She just rolls her eyes.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

Not furry-dedicated, but furry adjacent. Honestly, a pink, blue and green wolf mascot uWuing down the hall is not the weirdest thing that happens at cons. Furries do not have a monopoly on behavior that would give the Pope a heart attack.

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

Hierarchy only exists if you think it does, I don't think there's a hierarchy in the sense of authority, or I at least don't give it weight. I'd be no more likely to listen to Zaush than a random person in cat ears to do something. That being said, there's a hierarchy in who folks want to see - no one is clambering to meet me at cons, but they'd be interested in Zaush. Though, there's nothing really odd about that - people want to meet content creators, regardless of fandom. Fursuits, about the only special considerations I give them is more room and pressing elevator buttons, 'cuz they can't see and the paws aren't dexterous.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

This question is honestly the core of the furry fandom. Why be furries? Why not something else? Well, Fursona's are most often idealized versions of one's self. If one is meek, the Fursona might be outgoing and charismatic. If one is out of shape, the Fursona might be fit. One likes to party, their Fursona might be at all the parties. It lets people live out fantasies they might otherwise never do in reality. But that could be done with any sort of stand in. The animals come in because the strengths and weaknesses of animals have always been a subject of characters throughout history. Lions represent courage, for example, or foxes are cunning. How many people have been described as "cunning like a fox." I even described myself as a human equivalent of a flashy big cat. So it's only natural that wanting to idealize oneself would flow into also matching an animal of some sort, particularly given just how much media has anthromorphized animals - Loony Tunes, Tony the Tiger, Animaniacs, Pokemon, Digimon, etc.

I don't think there's something inherently sexual to it by itself (Furries are not going out and banging sheep, by and large), it just flows from idealizing oneself, and well, sex is fun.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

As I mentioned above, it made me realize I was bi, or at least helped my figure it out. I wouldn't say it turned me bi, so much as made me comfortable with it. Somewhere on this forum I started a good discussion on this very topic, but I can't immediately find it. I'll link when I remember what to search. Anyway, the result of one study found that there is a general trend towards IDing as LGBT the longer one is in the fandom. Not sure if its an actual change, if folks simply become aware of the many shades of sexuality, or if it helps folks realize things about themselves. Likely a combination.

As far as the fetish question - I've heard people describe themselves as only attracted to anthro characters. There's also mega-threads where people proudly proclaim they will never put their characters in sexual situations. So is it a fetish for the community? Yes and no and maybe. For me, I don't really consider erotic furry art any more or less distinctly appealing than any other drawn art, so take as you will. Though I will say I find the furry art more interesting, but mostly because there's a lot more than can played with than distinctly human characters allow.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

Draw, forums, starting to attend the furry sections of cons. My main contribution is art though.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
I find ultimately the most of the furry hate is routed in Furries are... scary. Imagine a group that's open about what they like, revels in the weird, profane and off-color, and generally doesn't try to hurt others. To someone who's insecure about themselves, that's scary - people existing and enjoying their weirdness? They must be wrong, it can't be me.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Hello, everyone!
So right now, I am enrolled in this cultural anthropology course at the College of Charleston. As a part of this large project, I have to observe and interview any group in which I am unfamiliar with. I decided to take a look at the Furry Fandom, because while I have had encounters with furries before, I know next to nothing about you guys! I have been reading through the forums for a while, and I can say that I have learned a lot of interesting, insightful things about this community.
I have to "interview" several people as a part of this project. I decided to post questions here on the forums so that it would be easy to access, re-read, and so that anybody can answer if they want to. Of course, you do not have to answer all of these questions!
However, if anybody is interested in a live interview (either over the phone or via Zoom), that would be super great! I can ask these questions live and perhaps just have a more genuine, open discussion if anyone is willing.

Here are the questions:

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

I apologize if this post is too long or ignorant in any way! Anyone, please feel free to answer all or most of the questions, and feel free to ask for clarification! Thank you!

Sure, happy to chat anytime Feel free to follow-up with anything else if you'd like! <props his head in his paws and reads the questions>

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I've been a furry all my life really, but only really knew it as the term "furry" about a decade ago more or less.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
The friendly people and the sense of fun. Others get childish or internetty pretty quick, but here it's all welcoming and friendly and fun! <hugs to all>

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
I have a feline soul so being a cat was easy. Obviously I intimately identify with my animal on a spiritual level, and Mambi's personality is just mine with more fur.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
About the same time I "joined" the communit, but it's not like I signed a lease agreement or regestered with "fur international" or anything, those that knew me always knew I was feline...the rest just fit into play.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
Yes. :)

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
Mambi is me but as he's presented is my avatar. I don't own a fursuit but I own several ears/tails/fangs/collar, which is more my style of expression. I wear it anytime I want to feel like myself, as I feel like I'm taking OFF a costume, not putting one on. I feel more natural in the ears/etc than without.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
Not fursuit, but dressed in ears/tail/etc all the time!!! I felt fantastic, so free and playful and like myself again!!!

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
Not yet, but someday soon I hope!

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
No opinion on that at all, I deal with people as individuals.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
Everyone is different, so all of the above probably apply depending on who you ask. To me it's expression of the spirit coming across, and I don't see animals and humans as different. To many (me included) there is a sexual aspect, like anything people enjoy really, but it's not the primary motivation by a long shot. In the art it's pure expression and beauty, and in the fursona it's mental freedom to play and feel your inner animal come out as well.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
Yes, but again not the primary motivation. It only affected my sexuality in that it expanded it, allowing me the freedom to explore both my human carnal sides and my feline passionate sides as well, often at the same time.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?
I write stories (hell, that's too tame, I create worlds!!! <the cat laughs and swishes his tail> , I love interacting with fellow furs, chatting about everything, enjoying the art (a lot!) and generally enjoying the sense of fun and welcoming involved in the fandom. We tend to have very open-minded people in the fandom of varying sexuality and age is irrelevant as well. Overall, the community just draws you in with open arms, and the hugs are cuddly. <LOL>

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
I don't like them of course. Common sense applies, and nobody likes having lies spread about them. Kind of a silly question really. <giggle> I mean, imagine if every single bathrobe wearer over the age of 60 was assumed to be a dirty sexual predator for example. Asking how they'd feel would be redundant...of COURSE they'd hate it, right? So what other answer could anyone say other than some variation of "it bothers me" or "whatever, I don't care about idiots". <snicker>

On that topic though, the misconception that when we say it's not all a sexual kink we're assumed to be lying is very irritating usually to me personally. It's like a lot of people just say "I don't understand it, therefore it MUST be a sexual thing, the perverts!", why jump right onto sex as the reason??? Makes the person feel dirty about admitting something that may have nothing at all to do at all with sex, and the more they try to explain, the more it sounds like they're making excuses! AAUUGGHH!!

Given that literal children are often involved in the fandom as well, and all of a sudden it takes on a whole new level of annoyance...now we get looks like we feel like we should register with child services for no reason at all, just because it's the only way to make some other people reassured that we're not going to be perverts!!!

Misconceptions about anything can be harmful...but then that's presumably why you're asking questions, right? <smile>
 

Zhalo

Rez the Wolfdog
Two parts because of character limit.

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

I joined when I was a senior in high school right before the end of 2017. Originally a friend who had just become a furry caused me to look into it. This was around the same time when I would say I was getting to really know myself. I had just started to accept my sexuality. I think having grown up most of my life in Upstate South Carolina that finding that there was a community who was so accepting of people regardless of their orientation, beliefs, or social anxiety was pretty comforting for me at the time.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

I joined the forums not that long after I became a furry mostly it gave me something to do.

I prefer forums over most newer types of social media. I like being able to have time to write in long form and think about answers to questions. I like the equality that fourms have, no one has more of an ability to have their threads or replays seen than anyone else.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic

I don't really think there was that much thought I put into it, I remember being stuck between being a husky or a wolf, so that's how I came up with wolfdog. The name one day I just thought up and knew that was what I wanted to be called. There is no real significance to the name Rez except the significance that I have given it. I like the aesthetic of wolves, there is a certain romanticization to wolves and their packs that I find appealing. My house is decorated with a lot of wolf themed posters and knickknacks, not exclusively though.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

A good bit, when I first became a furry I was extremely scared of anyone else finding out. Once I graduated from high school I started to become more comfortable. Some friends found out by accident most of them didn't care, the ones that did were assholes anyway. now most of my friends know. My family knows too because they see it when they visit my house. It is not really like coming out as gay or anything like that.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

The main thing I get from the fandom is friends and a support network. Most furries are very altruistic when it comes to their friends, a good example somewhat recently that I can think of is there was a guy in my furmeet, that cooked meals for anyone that wanted or needed it last Thanksgiving and delivered it to them. Many furries have suffered with a mental health issue at some point, the fandom helps a lot of people cope with those issues.

I used to be extremely socially anxious, the first furmeet I went to I sat in the corner for a good bit because I didn't know anyone and there was a lot going on for me. Eventually a girl saw me being really nervous and sitting there and came up and started a conversation with me. She helped me get over the social anxiety I was having at the time and by the end of the meet I had gotten to know three people who I messaged later that night, at the time that was a lot for me. She drew my fursona too that week without expecting anything in return.

My social anxiety has almost completely gone away since then. The fandom provided a place where I felt safe to push myself to socialize when I was feeling anxious.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

Most furries will go by their fursona when they are in company exclusively of furries. I am the same way, I only tell furries that I know well my real name. Rez is an expression of my ideal self, a person to strife to be. Hence why I will speak it the first person when talking about Rez.

I have two fursuits, neither of them are my fursona. They are more of a character to me. The first one is a pink lynx. He is regal, very cute, and innocent. The other is a realistic Hyena; she is dominant and lewd.
 

Zhalo

Rez the Wolfdog
Second part

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

I have to a LGBT+ pride festival. I was a bit nervous at first, but there was a good sized group of other suiters there so that helps. People loved the suits there. It was a good bit of fun, you pretty much make yourself the center of attention when you suit in public though. So after a while I put it up so I could walk around the festival without getting stopped for pictures.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

I have been to four. Largest one being FWA , the smallest being FAU. There are panels and events organized by the convention. There is almost always a dance competition, a fursuit parade, and a con photo that is taken at some point. There is also a rave/dance every night. People will host panels. There is a dealers den too where artists, writers, and other kinds of craftspeople will sell stuff.

The first convention for me was FAU, I did not have a fursuit then and there were about 500ish people there. I mainly just went to the events, panels, and dances. I wandered around a bit in the lobby that was about it.

The second convention I went to was the first year of ASE. I had a fursuit by then, and wore it a good bit. I did that con differently, I spent a good time trying to talk to different people and getting to know them.I met some guys and I went to their room and we just drank and chilled for a good bit. I still spent most of my time at con events.

The third con I went to, also the largest was FWA. There were 5645 people there. So far this is my favorite con. I also made the mistake of rooming with 8 people at once, but the room was cheap. FWA had a free arcade there that was a lot of fun. I went to a bunch of room parties and hooked up with people. I remember me and some friends went to the lobby one night and you aren't supposed to just have alcohol on the con floor, so we just put a bunch of jager and red bull in coffee cups and walked around with that. There was a diner near the con we went and ate at about one in the morning. I will never forget they had karaoke and there was this one drunk furry who decided to sing despacito, but he didn't know spanish. It was an interesting rendition to say the least. (Not putting him down or anything it was just the funniest shit.)

The fourth con was the second ASE, it was about a fifth the size of FWA. Nothing too memorable happened at that con, I went to some room parties, and walked around the lobby a lot.

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

There is a bit, If someone is popular they have sway over the people who look up to them or like them. That is just how it is, I don't think it is more so with furries. Most just want to be treated like anyone else, some have egos and want special treatment. It is not really an issue I don't think.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

I think all three, many furries will actually stereotype you based on your fursona. the most notorious stereotype I can think of is that foxes are gay bottoms, another one is Huskies are social. There is some amount of truth to the stereotypes, in a way that is kind of fun. I think most people find anthropomorphic characters easier to relate to in general, because of that people can relate sexually as well.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

The fandom does not have to have a sexual aspect for someone, for me it does though.

Earlier I said I became furry when I was first realizing my sexuality. part of the reason I was drawn was the openness towards sexuality. Many people will have their sexuality in their twitter or telegram bio. It can be hard to know if someone is gay with non furries that was especially true before dating apps. Most of the time you don't make a default assumption that someone is straight like you might with non-furries, so if you are wanting to hook up with someone it can be much easier. I can go up to someone at a con start talking to them then be flirtatious with them and there is a good chance they will be open to it.

Furries tend to be open to less vanilla things and certain fetishes are more common due to having an affinity towards anthropomorphic animals. Personally, I find fur sexually appealing. I am into BDSM. I find collars, leashes, and shock collars "fun" to use on other people. I will do sexual things with people in my Hyena suit and I enjoy it if they are in a suit too. I have met many furries who are into those things as well. There are people who take things too far and are far too public with sexual things, but they are the minority. Most furries are more respectful towards others.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

I don't do anything creative myself. I talk on these forums and some other chats. I also host a party organizing chat with about 35 people in it. Sans rona I went to meets and cons.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

Some people will always be negative towards things they don't understand or find unappealing. I think a lot of the misconceptions come from how varied and vast the fandom is. Some people are casually into furry stuff. Then there are people who base their entire life around being a furry. People will look at the extreme and take that away, make news stories, and perpetuate those examples because it is more interesting.

Most of my life is pretty normal, I like skateboarding, video games, and mountain biking. I study computer science at college currently and just happen to be a furry too.

If you want to interview me live I would be open to it.

This also might be of interest:
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?

"Officially" in 2013 or so. Had I known about the fandom overall prior I would have called myself one earlier than that. As for why, I just like anthros. I came to it after finding furry art and then the site which hosted it and it all spiralled from there.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

I guess you could say I joined in a practical capacity in 2020, though my first post here goes back to 2017. I started using this forum because I've had an account on the main site for many years prior. One day the main site wen down and I came here to find out why, and ended up sticking around. I mostly use the main site because a lot of the artists I enjoy post their content here.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?

I don't really have a reason for my fursona being a raccoon. He just is and always has been. I don't really like raccoons all that much in comparison to other animals and I've only ever seen them a few times before in real life. He's a raccoon though, and I'm extremely comfortable with that and probably won't ever change it.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?

I don't think I even am, after all this time. My family has no idea, nor do any of my "real life" friends. My online friends are all furries themselves, with the sole exception being my best friend of six or seven years who I "came out" to a handful of months ago and his brother, who's sort of a mutual friend.

Most people who aren't in on it don't understand the fandom and often have the wrong idea or a sharp bias against it, so I think it's better to just keep it to myself.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?

Nothing quite so dramatic I think. It's given me a lot of fun and happiness over the many years I've been a part of it, and I've met lots of good new people.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?

I view my fursona as an extension of myself. I don't own a fursuit, yet, but I'd like one. He is a part of myself and my personal identity, and I often spend time thinking about him and myself through him as a lens.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?

As above, don't have one at this time. For what it's worth, I don't think I would wear it publicly. They are unworthy.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?

I have not. Maybe someday.

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?

I don't think this is true at all in terms of a literal hierarchy. I think it just becomes a celebrity status only recognized by those within the fandom. In this sense, they're often viewed much more favourably than they're really deserving of just as any other celebrity might be. I don't think this is any special phenomenon existing only within the furry fandom, personally.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?

This question will obviously vary a lot depending on the person. For myself, I don't think there really is a "reason" why, beyond simply liking them.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?

I don't mind answering this question, but I would prefer not to do so publicly. Please feel free to message me privately if my response particularly matters. I will happily answer in as great as detail as I can, if needed.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?

I mostly participate in small social circles such as this forum. I also write short stories on the occasion as a hobby, though only some are actually "furry" works. Beyond this I mostly just consume and commission artwork.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?

I don't think people really want to know the truth about furries. They just want a soft target to bully and feel superior to. If a person genuinely wanted to understand the fandom, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube alone outlining exactly this. One could simply ask just about any given furry, or view public sites such as this one for a better view of it.
Thank you for the great response! It is a shame that you have to hide this part of yourself from so many people, but you are right, so many people harbor these biases and misconceptions in order to feel "superior" and comfortable with themselves and what they know to be "normal." That is why I was particularly excited about this project, because the aim was to "make the strange familiar," as my professor put it. I have seen many furries in real life but never had the chance to actually talk (but I am not too social to begin with). I am happy that I had the chance to see what you all had to say and discover this website--all it takes is an open-mind!
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
It's always nice to see someone with genuine curiosity rather than negativity towards furries.

1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I really only became familiar with the term "furry" In high school, and it was only during my senior year, so 2017/18, that I began identifying with it. Nobody really introduced me to it, I just had way too much free time and the internet was a good way to spend it.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
It was sometime last year but I don't remember exactly when. This was pretty much just the most active place I could find, and I wanted to try to be more social.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
I just think I'm pretty similar to the idea most people have of how rabbits act. They're also just small and cute, and I'm pretty small, and people sometimes think I'm cute, so there's that too.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
It took a couple years of testing the waters once or twice every couple months for me to tell anyone. My close friends know, and my mom knows. So like 6 people, not including people I met after joining the fandom. Absolutely nobody was surprised. Pretty much just "Yeahhh, I kinda figured" I would tell my dad, but he definitely wouldn't understand it and wouldn't really want to learn, he's the kind of person who thinks he's right about everything even when he's clearly not right. But with people I meet now, it's not something I hide, but I only talk about it if the topic is brought up.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
I've made a few friends, I've gotten somewhat better at drawing, and I don't really feel like I'm going to be judged in places meant for furries.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
I don't own a fursuit, but that's only because they're expensive and I'm far too impatient with myself to make my own. My sona's design also isn't suited (hah) to a fursuit, so that's a thing too. She's too much on the human side of things, I guess. Although I've been thinking about making a version that would be compatible with a fursuit. Generally though, she's just who I am online, which is just me, but a humanoid rabbit instead of a boring ol' human.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
No real answer for this one. But, the majority of furries don't have fursuits, whether it's from lack of funds or just not wanting one.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
I haven't gone, but I want to. I was going to go to one with a friend last year, but uh, that didn't happen for obvious reasons.

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
I'd say there's a hierarchy of visibility, where fursuiters and visual artists are at the top, just because they're easier to see. Past that, I'm not really sure. I'm not very involved with the fandom so I don't really recognize many names or fursuits, I just watch a few furry youtubers and that's about it.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
Humans like to make things that aren't human, more human. A better answer is that for me regular humans are kinda boring. There's not a lot of differences in humans past facial features. Anthropomorphic animals have a lot more creative potential. Add even more fantasy into the mix with crazy colors, hybrid species, mythological creatures, the list goes on.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
Y'know how I said there's a lot more creative potential with anthros? Yeah, there's a lot more creative potential. I don't think it's affected my sexuality, I was straight before and I'm straight now. Although, I do know some people who aren't furries who only enjoy this part of the fandom.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?
I draw sometimes, but that's about the extent of my involvement. I actually don't roleplay at all, it's just uncomfortable for me. A lot of people seem to think all furries roleplay, but that's not the case. I mostly just lurk on the forums a couple times a week and once in a while I'll have something to say on a post, like right now.

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
I've never been all that bothered by people's opinions of things they refuse to learn about. Kind of like, if they won't take the time to learn about the thing they're spewing nonsense about, then I'm not going to give them any of my time worrying about what they think. Most, if not all, misconceptions about furries would be laid to rest if people would just use some common sense. A lot of people seem to just enjoy hating things they aren't part of for no other reason than they aren't part of it.
Thank you for responding! I love rabbits, and I even own a little Netherland dwarf! I am kind of small too, but I am certainly skittish like a rabbit!
Regarding #10, I have found it rather interesting how furries may use neon colors and hybrid species, it's very unique! Though, I wonder what would make someone prefer to use "crazy colors" over natural colors? In other words, I wonder why people choose certain color pallets over others? Also, is it that dragons, birds, and other reptile characters are also referred to as "furries?" Is there any difference in that regard?
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
Hello there! Good luck with your project!
A bit about me in case of demographic needs: I'm 32, female, straight. Lives in the USA. Fox. Artist. Moderately cool.


1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I joined the collective fandom (here) July 2020. But I had been actively watching the forums since December 2019. I had been aware of the site many years prior but couldn't come up with a good name to join (which is why it still took me 6 months to join). But I've been aware of furries since that infamous CSI episode in 2003. Although, I have been drawn to anthropomorphic characters all my life. In kindergarten when my friends wanted to play house, I wanted to be the dog.

2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?

July 2020. Google and algorithms, it popped up first. It seemed more robust and established.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
I chose a fox for a myriad of reasons. While I do identify with foxes, it is more like an idealistic goal. Honestly, I really wanted to be something fantastical, some sort of hybrid mythical magical thing. But the more I meditated on it, I realized “I'm just a fox.” I'm pretty ordinary. Maybe one day I'll become something more...

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
Some friends know, or they have guessed. I'm not overly open about it but aside from keeping a separate art portfolio, I don't go out of my way to hide it. Family have seen some of the character art I've done and have asked a few questions but I don't feel the need to sit them down and explain everything about what the fandom is. I just do my thing.

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
Definitely new connections. I've made some friends just chatting on the forums here. I do feel a bit more confident in who I am. More of a “If you don't like me, you can leave” attitude. With my art, I've been learning a lot of techniques and my ability through practicing has improved greatly. And yeah, self-discovery. Ever since I was a young child, I have felt this yearning to be special. Now, here I am, able to present myself as a gorgeous, winged solar dragon, legendary around all universes, and I choose to be: “I'm just a fox.”

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
I do not own a fursuit, and even if I could get over the physical issues of one (the heat), I am definitely not confident enough to go to the grocery in one. I wish I was! It looks like so much fun.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
I've been in public when cosplaying with friends several times. I imagine it would be very similar. I'm always a bit nervous at first, but then I feel more confident with my friends. When people start asking us for pictures and complimenting how amazing we all look, I feel proud and happy. It becomes a tiny little rush to hold on to.

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
No, I've never been to one. But after I joined the forums last year, I learned that I had missed a furry convention by about a week just up the road from me! Bummer!!

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
I think that any creative types that are able to make something into a reality is always admired in many other aspects of our world, not just the furry fandom. Because the fandom is so visually driven, it makes sense that people who are unable to bring their own visions to life would look to enlist the help of an artist. As with anything in our world, the more exposure one gets, the higher up the ladder they go. I've seen artists who, in my opinion, are so talented but really struggle because they have no social media and do not promote themselves. Conversely, I've seen artists with really quick, sketchy pieces be incredibly successful because they've got great charisma and are all over every social media possible.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
I've always been drawn to anthropomorphic characters since I can remember. Why be a human when you could be something more interesting? People are able to visually describe themselves, or their ideal selves, with a such a range. Disney's Robin Hood was a very good introductory example for a lot of us. And while Robin Hood was my first crush, the sexual aspect of this fandom is not an interest of mine.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
The sexual aspect is not something I partake in here. That being said, I've definitely come across some of those profile pictures that make me want to strike up a conversation.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?
I talk on the forums and I enjoy seeing what others have to say about various topics, silly and serious. I do not roleplay, for some reason it has never been an interest of mine even though I love to write. And yes, I am an artist! Not a very established one, mind you, but I'm working on it (albeit slowly).

13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
Ah, I think there are loads of misconceptions, both from the view of people outside the fandom and even from people within. I watched the 2016 documentary “Fursonas” and though I feel it is definitely biased, it really highlighted some issues. My main takeaway from the documentary is that even within a fandom made up of people who generally felt on the outs with 'regular' society, there will still be people who aren't allowed to play. And that made me sad.

As far as what people on the outside may see... people tend to have troubles with things they do not understand. And few may actually take the time to try and understand. The furry fandom has so many aspects that it's really easy to come across a single facet and say “oh, so all furries must enjoy ____!”

2020 really taught me acceptance and tolerance, and partially because of joining the Furaffinity forums here. I was able to read about people who live in oppressed countries who only have online to be free to explore who they are. The debates that take place here really is able to broaden one's thinking and made me able to see more sides to an argument.

If you have more questions or any of the above you would liked answered in more depth, feel free to PM me!
Thank you! I am having a lot of fun with this project. I appreciate the demographic information, it seems like a majority of furries live in the United States but I have seen several from Europe (e.g., Germany and Britain) and South America.
I think you mentioned something highly important--"the fandom is so visually driven," and "People are able to visually describe themselves, or their ideal selves, with a such a range." This is a key aspect of the fandom that I have learned through my observations. I knew art and commissions were popular, but since I have never really delved deep into this community, I had never realized how creative, intricate, and expressive everyone's characters are. No furry is exactly alike, and they can be used in stories and roleplays in so many different ways!
I have heard about the "Fursonas" documentary and perhaps I should check that out, but I know it did get mixed reviews. It is always more efficient to actually just talk to furries and do some research, which is evidently really accessible!
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Thank you! I am having a lot of fun with this project. I appreciate the demographic information, it seems like a majority of furries live in the United States but I have seen several from Europe (e.g., Germany and Britain) and South America.

Mine was Canadian FYI.
 

FayeBunny

Active Member
Thank you for responding! I love rabbits, and I even own a little Netherland dwarf! I am kind of small too, but I am certainly skittish like a rabbit!
Regarding #10, I have found it rather interesting how furries may use neon colors and hybrid species, it's very unique! Though, I wonder what would make someone prefer to use "crazy colors" over natural colors? In other words, I wonder why people choose certain color pallets over others? Also, is it that dragons, birds, and other reptile characters are also referred to as "furries?" Is there any difference in that regard?
Aw, I'm sure your rabbit is adorable! ^u^ As for colors, there's a lot of reasons people choose certain palettes. I chose a more natural palette just because I felt like it fit and looked better. But, someone might want a dream like character, so they might use pastels, or maybe they want a gothic character and use something darker and maybe more monochrome, maybe they want their sona or character to look like their favorite dessert so they choose colors based on that, maybe their favorite color is just green, or purple, or yellow, so they use that. Basically, there's not only one answer I can give for that.

Another thing that I'm not sure has been mentioned yet is that people don't always design their own fursona or characters, sometimes they commission someone else to make a design for them, or buy what's called an "adopt" which is a design that's already made. Adopts are sometimes frowned upon by some people for various reasons, but that's a whole other can of worms. Then there's bases, which are line art made for people to use to make their own designs, and they usually have a set of rules determined by the base artist. Some furries don't have a fursona at all, some have more than one, some just have characters that are different from a fursona. Sometimes people redesign things once or multiple times, or completely scrap the design and make a new one. The types of designs vary a lot, too. Some people prefer plantigrade legs, which are more human like, some prefer digitigrade, which are more animal like, some like more cartoony designs, some more realistic, and the degree of "humanness" varies, too. For my sona, she's mostly human, aside from the obviously rabbit-like head and being covered in fur. She has hands rather than paws, a very human body shape, she has hair on her head like a human would, she wears clothes, etc.. Ah, I'm sort of answering a lot of questions that weren't even asked in the first place. whoops ^^'

Scalies is the most common other than just furries, I think, and is for things with scales, but I've also heard featheries for things with feathers. It really just depends on personal preference as far as I know. Personally I find it easier to just use furry for everything, but some people prefer to differentiate them.
 

Okapij Johnstonio

Active Member
1) When did you join the Furry Fandom, and why? Did anyone introduce you to the fandom?
I guess I officially joined it about 12 years ago, though I'd known about it many years before that. I was reluctant to affiliate myself with it because of the reputation it has as a sex fetish, and I thought that was ALL there was to the fandom. The first I'd heard about it was back in 1995, when a friend of mine mentioned "Omaha the Cat Dancer" and I went to DragonCon in Atlanta, GA where there was a bit of furry art. I didn't really get into the fandom until I joined the Second Life grid and realized I could have an animal avatar, and many other people there had them, too. It was like meeting the friends I'd always wanted to have as kids - who liked pretending to be talking animals.


2) When and why did you join the Fur Affinity Forums? What draws you to this website over other platforms?
I joined the FA forums a few years ago, just as a way to communicate with others in the fandom. I just come here out of convenience.

3) Why did you choose your specific animal(s) to represent your fursona(s)? Do you identify with the animal? Is it based upon a real pet you have or had? Is it just for a "cool" or "cute" aesthetic?
My fursona is an Akhlut, it's a creature from Inuit mythology that is a blend of orca and wolf. She started out as a brown wolf and gradually evolved to a creature that can shift from a mermaid-like wolf with a whale's tail, or an upright walking wolf.

4) How long did it take for you to feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself to others? Does your friends or family know that you are a part of the furry fandom?
My entire furry existence is online, none of my family or friends know that I am a furry, though some of my clothing or art on my phone might give it away. I live in a conservative area where people like to come to conclusions based on very little information - like "I saw a show one time about how furries are people who dress up like animals to have sex, therefore I believe all furries do that."

5) What has the furry fandom offered you? Self-discovery? Confidence? New connections?
It has been a creative outlet for me, a place where I can use my imagination again. Adulting tends to kill a lot of that, especially when you don't have people around you who have that interest and you have to internalize a lot of your ideas so other people don't think you're "weird" or "immature." I've been RPing in Second Life as my character for about 11 years, and I think that has helped me deal with things in my own life. I've made friends through RP that I have never met in RL, but there's this mutual appreciation for one another.

6) Do you only use your fursona as an online avatar? Do you own a fursuit? In other words, in what aspects of life is your fursona involved in?
Yes, although I'm not an artist, I like to get art of my 'sona and use it as my avatar, as well as going by my fursona's name on several forums, Discord, Twitter, Telegram, and Facebook.

7) If you have a fursuit, have you ever gone out in public wearing it? How did this make you feel?
n/a, I don't own a fursuit

8) Have you ever gone to a furry convention? What was the experience like?
I have never been to a furry convention

9) There was one thread I had found discussing the possible hierarchy within the furry community, where fursuiters and good artists seem to be the most "admired" or "at the top." How true is this statement? Do you feel as if there is a hierarchy within the fandom?
I think there definitely is a sense that the good artists, suit-makers, or talented fursuiters get a lot of attention. Maybe the same can be said for some of the YouTubers. It can get to the point where they become known as Popufurs. Some handle it better than others. I've seen some who are still humble and gracious and appreciative of any compliments. Then, there are those who actually do think they are better than anyone else, and their "followers" feed it by having absolutely blind loyalty. It begins to resemble a high school cafeteria, where the popular kids have a gaggle of followers who agree with everything they do and say, no matter how horrible it is. Sometimes it gets to the point where they will actively bully anyone who calls out their chosen Popufur for less-desirable conduct.

10) What is the reasoning behind anthropomorphizing the animals? Is it for aesthetic? It it easier to relate to? Is there some sort of sexual nature to it?
I think we see animals as representing parts of our own selves. There's a reason many cultures tell "life lesson" stories using animals as characters, rather than humans. Think of Aesop's fables, or many native American stories. Cultures and faiths may appoint animals as "guides" or "spirit animals" to people, to represent that person's characteristics.
Some people probably do compare it to a sexuality. . .to the point of exaggerating animal traits in a sexual way (think "hung like a horse"). It's not really my thing, but there are definitely people in the fandom who are VERY into sex, and compare being a furry to a sexual identity. You'll see a lot of posts from people asking how to "come out" as a furry to friends and family.

11) (This question is intimate, so feel free to skip it over) For you, do anthropomorphic animals serve as some sort of fetish? Has the fandom affected your sexuality in any way?
It's not a fetish for me. Although I have had intimate RP scenes as part of my character's own story, sex is not a focus for me or my character. My own sexuality has not changed since being in the fandom.

12) How do you take part in the community? Do you just talk on the forums? Do you roleplay or tell stories with your characters? Are you an artist? Do you craft fursuits?
I am mostly a RPer on the Second Life grid, I don't RP in other formats just because I don't have time to keep up with multiple storylines. I've written a few stories for my characters, and will commission others to do art of them. I don't participate in RL meetups, cons, or other social gatherings (didn't before COVID, either)
13) There are many misconceptions about this fandom. How do you feel about these misconceptions (that you are aware of)?
The misconception is that furries are all about the same thing. We're not, it's still a diverse group. We come from many walks of life, many age groups and spiritual beliefs and political ideologies. We all have our own reasons for being in the fandom, and we all have different tastes when it comes to art styles, musical styles, outside hobbies. Some people really get into it - they truly identify as their fursona, it's their entire world, and that's fine. Others are more casual about it, and that's fine, too. The fandom is one of the most accepting, in general.
In some cases, the fandom has dug its own hole. It's become such a "safeplace" that some people come to the fandom to take part in things that just aren't socially acceptable at all - grooming and preying on minors, sexual harassment and stalking, any sort of non-consensual sexual acts with minors or animals, etc. And going off what I said before about the Popufurs, there are some people who are blindly loyal in these situations.
Thank you so much for your response! All the way back in 1995? I do not know too much about the history of the fandom but I believe at least the term "furry fandom" goes back into the 1980s? But then again, as you mention on #10, humans have always utilized animals to tell moral tales, stories about themselves and others, or to attribute them to Gods or spirits.
I like how you used the term "Popufurs," I have heard others use that or a similar term as well. I was interested in seeing if there was any slang, terminology, and whatnot that is specific to the furry community. I have seen that sometimes furries may refer to each other as "furs," if that is correct.
I have found this fandom to be very accepting of people from all walks of life. I think most fandoms do end up "digging their own hole" as you said, not just the furry fandom. The Internet itself has become such a "safeplace" for people in general.

Also, Second Life sounds really interesting. I have never used it (nor heard of it), but I have tried VRChat, if that is anyhow similar!
 
Top