Adult comics and furry
Today's guest post in comic format by Nero O'Reilly. Nero lives, loves, and works in Seattle, WA with his two cats and one cute partner. He is a web dev by day, freelance illustrator by night, and a comics-maker at all hours. More work can be found at his portfolio site and his currently running webcomic at http://www.carnivorepla.net/
Enjoying the Problematic
Recently, on [a][s], I wrote about the ways in which one may interact with furry in different ways, and how these little trends with in the larger trend of furry (such as the micro/macro communities, etc.) lead to a more durable fandom overall. I stick by these words, too. As is often mentioned by countless members of our subculture, I think that the furry fandom itself gains much of its strength from the fact that it lacks a central canon. As a result, we find it easy to create our own microcosms within the microcosm of furry, and these may often flourish, sometimes despite the problems inherent in their existence.
It's often my habit to talk about taking a step back and looking at something from an outside point of view, and that's no different here. I want to take a step back and look at some of the problematic aspects of sexuality within the fandom. That the fandom intersects with sexuality in many ways is hardly surprising anymore, but the intersection between sexuality and problematic content is something that is occurs on a very fundamental level within society, and so it's worth taking a look at the ways in which furry sexuality can be problematic.
Dating and Relationships Inside the Fandom
I'm a very big proponent of the idea that, for the most part, furry is simply a small slice of society at large. We have our skews, of course - the gender skew (towards men), the age skew (towards the 15-25 year old age range), as well as some other, minor skews such as general technical aptitude, or even species selection toward canids - but for the most part, we do not think or act so differently from the "rest of the world" that we cannot interface with it. Our chosen home and family may be more comfortable for us, but we do not exist separate from everyone else.
It's not surprising in the least, then, that dating and relationships do form a part of our membership with this subculture. We think about it, we write about it, we join websites, make websites, or write litanies against websites focused on dating, relationships and love. It's part of life, and so it is also part of the fandom. Given the subtitle of "Love and Sex in the Furry Fandom," it is also part of our repertoire of subjects to write about, and so I think it's high time that we took a moment to explore dating and relationships inside furry.
Guest Post: Excuse me, I only talk to REAL dogs
"Welcome to the Internet. Where the men are men, the women are men, and —"
Let's Talk About Sex
I spend a lot of time burying myself in the fandom, reveling in the connections we build and giving back in the best ways I can manage. I'm not a good artist (just trust me on this - it's best for everyone if I don't draw), and my music career stalled after I graduated college: I've not yet found the means to jump-start it. When it comes to fiction, I'm afraid I have more ideas than I have motivation. It's not a good combo, really, as I wind up with (quite literally) notebooks full of ideas with all of two stories to show for it. I have a doofy time-travel story that somehow managed to involve choir music, sigh, and a short piece of erotic fiction that involves two foxes and some milkshakes.
I'm not an excellent writer. My prose is loose, and the fact that keeping it that way is the only way I can manage to get anything done does not speak well for improvement down the road. I can pull a mean metonymy, I'm average at alliteration, and if I squint for a while, I'm sure I can squeeze out a metaphor, but I have no formal training in writing beyond the minimum required to graduate high school, and whatever it took to get my music degree.
What I do have going for me, however, is words. I've got a lot of words.
So: lets sit down and have a little chat about sex. Or - wait, cancel that. Let's have a grand discussion about it
A version of this article originally appeared on [adjective][species] in December, 2011. It has been updated and edited to better fit LSF.
I spent a night a while back cooking dinner for my fiancé (now husband), who was sick with the flu and a sinus infection. Though I was either cooking or working, we had a few moments of banality together, talking about work or taking NyQuil for the night. Eventually, I sent him to bed before he could start another TV show; I was feeling jealous that I was working so much and he had taken the day off. We said our goodnights and our I-love-yous, and he left to go lay down. As he did so, I was immediately struck by how weird the whole evening was to me, then fascinated that such would be the case. The whole night was totally mundane, as are so many others, but it took place in person: something relatively unique to me and seemingly uncommon in the circles in which I hang out in the fandom. Even all of my relationships that weren't strictly based online still had some interaction in that arena, and I think there are a few good reasons for this.
Furry is really important to me. Like, really, really important. I've thoroughly entrenched myself in the fandom, have lived it for more than a decade, and relish every moment of my interactions with it. That's the whole reason I started these projects, really: the act of writing helps me understand what this is and why it's important to me, and the act of sharing what I write is one way that I feel I can give back to the community that has meant so much to me. I've written about a lot, lately, and I feel that my topics have been fairly diverse, but not without their common threads. Of course, there's the difference between how we feel and how we act, and the importance of a character separate from our selves, but what I think is the most important attribute of our fandom is the way we interact and the relationships we form with each other in the context of furry. There is a reason that the most-used tag on [a][s] is the "social interaction" tag. Second to that is, of course, "Internet", and the obvious combination of the two leads us to online relationships - that is, dating - which play an outsized role in our community.
The Importance of Role-Play - Part 2
Previously on Love ◦ Sex ◦ Fur...
Okay, so we're hardly a television series here. Last time I wrote, though, I spent nearly two thousand words on just how interesting I think sexual role-play is. Once I started nearing the end of the article, though, I noticed that I really sort of forgot to include more than a few token references to just how role-playing fits in with relationships. Sometimes, my writing suffers from the fact that I get so easily focused on a smaller aspect of a larger issue, and it's hard to step back far enough to see things from a broader point of view without losing the train of thought. Also, given that I finished the article literally fifteen minutes before it was supposed to go live due to a ridiculous power outage, I figured it'd probably be best to leave things as they were and instead dub that article Part 1 and save Part 2, this article, for an exploration of how TinySex and role-play in general fit into relationships, both romantic and otherwise.
The Importance of Role-Play - Part 1
Sexual maturation is a process that, I would argue, lasts easily ten years, if not more. Sure, the body may be just about done with the surge of hormones after a few short years, and you probably stop growing (and start shrinking) at around eighteen to twenty years old, but the process of maturation is far more than physical. Even if it were to take an additional year to digest each year of puberty's changes, a generous estimate, that still only gets you to about twenty. In my case, I would say that it took another five years to fully grow into myself as a sexual person; that is, as someone who was not only capable of having sex, but someone who was capable of sexual interaction, in all the ways that implies, with others around me.
Honestly, I matured as a sexual being primarily online, and it was through text and within the context of furry that I experienced many of my most formative sexual experiences. Role-play, TinySex, cybering, type-fucking, co-authoring erotica - whatever you want to call it, the sharing of sexual acts and ideas across distances and through text does play quite a role within the furry fandom. And, for better or for worse, I think I'm hardly alone in the style of my coming-of-age.
Fantasy and Frameworks
Fantasy, notably sexual fantasy, plays a vital role for us as we grow into sexual people. There's a lot to be said about Just how formative fantasies can be, as well. Even though one's first sexual experience no doubt plays a large role in one's life, the fantasies that lead up to that and the way they change afterward (and are refined throughout life, of course) figure prominently in making us who we are.
However, fantasies do not occur in a vacuum. After all, they certainly wouldn't change all that much after a sexual encounter of any importance; the first being a notable example, but any particularly delightful (or particularly awful) encounter can change the way we fantasize. So it really isn't any surprise, if our fantasies don't exist in a vacuum, that if we structure our life around acertain set of ideas, a certain framework, that our fantasies will have something of that structure as well, and there's really no better example of such a framework for a website devoted to talking about love and sex in the furry fandom than the furry fandom itself.
Love ◦ Sex ◦ Fur is a new project by [adjective][species] to explore relationships, sexuality, and some of the finer points of personal interaction within the furry fandom. It is intended to be a safe space for authors to write about the ways in which these topics interact on social, cultural, and personal levels, helping us to leave no stone unturned in our explorations.
The intersection between our subculture, sexuality, and love is complex, and all the more interesting for that fact. A lot of what motivates us in life is the pursuit of happiness in all its varied forms, and the fact that we are so varied is what helps make all of this so interesting: things don't always line up, or they line up beautifully, and the reasons for that are worth investigating.
Furry does not take place in a social vacuum, of course, but it does act as an attractor in a chaotic system: those of us who get close tend to stay close and find happiness within this system that is bound up in our happiness. We have a tendency to date within the fandom, to fall in love with other furries, and to enjoy our time together, always seeming to steer down the same path. It's hardly a new phenomenon, either, but it's still very pertinent.
These are the types of things that LSF will attempt to explore. The safe space bit of it helps to encourage authors to write what they want to write about with the understanding that that is what the site is all about. So, with that said, come and join us for exploration of the intersection of love, sex, and fur.