Who They Are
Furries are the sort of people who dress up in outfits that simultaneously signal their own individualism and their belonging in a large community of people. This is recognized to be wildly different from people who wear the jerseys of their favorite football team. They often create their own custom outfits, and that makes them weirder than normal people, who are known for stripping down to a Speedo in the dead of winter and painting their bodies green and gold.
Why They Are Furries
In my opinion, it’s very telling that most furries are men. In my experience, I’ve noticed that men are more likely than women to join groups which involve some sort of role play or vicarious identity, whether it’s Dungeons and Dragons or hosting a fantasy football league. Sure, women will join sororities in droves, but that’s different. A sorority involves incorporating an abstract identity. Role playing, however, encourages users to create specific identities and then interact with the world through those identities.
In general, men are discouraged from self-expression. They are coached to hide their emotions and only display a certain small section of themselves to their friends. Women, on the other hand, are encouraged to express themselves, and it’s well known they do so with abandon. We even go to the bathroom in groups so we can have special talks without men listening in.
I’m not saying women aren’t into the furry fandom or other role-playing hobbies. I’m just saying that stuff like this attracts a disproportionate number of men because it provides something they have a much harder time getting than women: self-expression. In this fandom, they are still constrained by normal social rules. They still need to act like men (furries really aren’t as socially inept as they are commonly portrayed). But—and this is critical—they are encouraged to show everyone their true selves. Furries create fursonas that best represent who they really are, and they can change it any time they want.
In fact, this self-expression is so important that stereotypes have developed about certain types of animals. The list of stereotypes is pretty short, so it’s not a fully developed language like flowers were back in the Victorian era, but it’s getting there.
Curly tail = Bottom (This person is usually penetrated during sex)
Cat = Flirty slut
Fox = Clever slut
Dragon = Crazy. Probably greedy.
Dog = Friendly, social, loyal
Wolf = alpha, loner
Husky = strong, hardworker
Prey animal (deer, rabbit) = submissive, shy
Horse = big dick. Often a top (penetrates partners during sex)
Obviously, not everyone uses these stereotypes when they decide on a fursona. Everyone chooses their fursona because it represents who they really are on the inside, and their reasons are as individual as the person creating them.
Then they make custom costumes (or just get some artwork, if they don’t have the money for a fursuit), and they show the world who they feel they really are.
It’s kind of beautiful.
Their Sex Lives
Furries are notorious for their kinky sex. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised more people don’t join because of the highly sexualized reputation, but then again, most people are working with the idea that heterosexual monogamy is normal.
Furries aren’t working with that assumption. They’re aware they aren’t mainstream, and they happily discard the mainstream idea that sex must be heterosexual and monogamous.
Because they discard the mainstream narrative of sex, they are forced to discard many of the taboos. They must speak openly with each other, and this openness is shocking to outside viewers, many of whom might never have had a frank discussion of sexual activity with their partner in their entire lives.
To see what I mean, here’s a flow chart for consensual heteronormative adults:
Simple, right? And yet about a third of the internet involves trying to make it all the way from the top to the bottom. It’s almost as if talking openly would solve a lot of problems, but that isn’t how heteronormative people like to roll. Apparently, it’s actually pretty common for normal people not to talk about their sex lives. I’ve been informed they often don’t even share their intimate fantasies with their sexual partners.
Anyway, here’s a flowchart for consensual furry adults:
Good luck getting through that with some vague flirting. You’re going to need to talk bluntly and openly, or nobody’s going anywhere.
So basically what I’m saying is: furries are probably having the same amount of sex as the rest of the population. Outsiders only hear about it because the nature of the sex requires open discussion. To normal people, sexual topics are better left in silence.
And to me, that’s weird.