Puppy play incident at Furry Weekend Atlanta – is that OK in public? (Part 2)
by Patch O'Furr
Continuing from part 1: Controversy erupted about a video from FWA that appeared to show sex in public, but it didn’t. It was puppy players wrestling (moshing). Pup play is an offshoot of the leather scene that overlaps with furry, but isn’t always welcome. The behavior at FWA was one issue – and then a separate, bigger debate came up about welcoming that interest at furry cons. Here’s a point/counterpoint about it.
nobody clutches their pearls harder than furries pretending to be shocked at pup play— Hashtag (@HashtagPurr) April 8, 2018
for the record, if you gonna grind on the floor, do it in your room. but fuck this puritanical crusade against the gear scene. sorry their version of the fandom isn’t walking stuffed animals, get over it— Hashtag (@HashtagPurr) April 8, 2018
I have some words to say to Furry and Pup Twitter over the FWA video. Not because I want attention but because I’ve been a furry since 2010 and a pup for 3 1/2 Years and these last few days have been rough for me.— 🏳️🌈David Popovich @VidCon🏳️🌈 (@Bookworm_Review) April 9, 2018
As for you furries... for a group that spent years trying to say “Blame the person not the fandom” you can at times be hypocritical about that. This was a bad situation but by individuals not a community. So why attack all of us leaves me tired.— 🏳️🌈David Popovich @VidCon🏳️🌈 (@Bookworm_Review) April 9, 2018
Click through above for more from Pup Matthias, a Dogpatch Press staffer who says “Pups are a spectrum of sexual and non sexual like furries, but they haven’t had people whitewash their history”.
He gave further explanation:
A pup hood is an extension for someone when they are in pup space. Some people misinterpret that you need a hood to be a pup, but you don’t. There is no “gear” requirement to show you’re a pup. What makes someone a pup is what they wish to express a “dog” behavior.
Some are playful. Others are service, as in serving the community by volunteering at events. Others are protectors and others are sexual. The problem I have with the “Pup Hoods in public fur con space” debate is that it’s misguided. If a person was in full fetish gear: hood, harness, jockstrap, butt plug tail, etc. there would be no debate. Most people have common sense for what is and isn’t right to wear at certain events and would call out something like that.
If the person was in hood and wearing a harness with no shirt, I wouldn’t have a problem with that because of the circles I’m in, but I can understand where people come from about kink and fetish. I would expect that at an event like Claw, or LA Hear, over a general furry space.
But just a pup hood alone? While properly dressed? Unless I’m missing details, or the pup in question was being a huge dick, I don’t see that as wrong. When we do that we’re just expressing ourselves in a non sexual way. When I see what’s been discussed on Twitter, I can’t really agree on what people are saying in context of just wearing a hood while being PG. The Pup community is sexual, but there’s a spectrum of people, some I know personally who aren’t. There’s more to the community than what people are saying. I feel the Pup community needs to step up to educate while recognizing the nuances.
I started a group chat with more opinions.
Puppy play in a hotel lobby? They were defensive that it was at 4 AM. It’s still a lobby.
I like pup masks, they look neat and I think can fit in with furry just fine. But I mean more like kink friendly design/fashion. That doesn’t condone this behavior, they should have done it in private.
I’m a pup and have been for 3 1/2 years. When I discovered it I saw a lot of crossover with furry and my interest with BDSM. I know puppy comes from a sexual background but being in the community I’ve seen that not all pups are sexual. There are some who do it just to role play no different from when furries fursuit. In fact I’ve had 2-3 different encounters with little kids while wearing my hood at public events and they were amazed to see me. But when it comes to criticism of Pups most of it comes not from outside, but from furries. And it’s funny because we have been yelled at by the old guard leather about how we don’t respect pups sexual humiliation origins. While furries say we’re too sexy. I even had one at a fur event yell at my face that I didn’t belong wearing my hood to a furry event. So there is some personal baggage when stuff like this happens.
Furry origins are dripping in sex and kink, I think it’s hypocritical to reject pups.
They’re not furry, just furry adjacent. There’s also an explicit fetish assumption with pups, whereas furry has minors that can participate safely.
Lots of cross over in the venn diagram. And you’re right, furry is an all ages thing. So no yiffing in the lobby. But I think it should be fine to don a pup hood with plain clothes, and romp around conspace. FE had a rule that any kink gear like hoods and harnesses could only be in the conspace after 9pm, I think thats a reasonable compromise.
This is a separate convo between “yiffing in the lobby” vs “pups place within furry.”
I’m open to learn about anything. I assumed pup hoods were just sexual. I also assumed BDSM is inherently sexual. I’m open to the idea that I’m wrong about this all, I don’t have a lot of experience with it.
If I had a pup hood it would def be more for fashion than sex. They look heckin neat IMO.
Pup hoods are anti-fashion IMO.
It makes me think of a few months ago when someone saw a puppy with his hood walking in the lobby, and everyone on Twitter, including me had an opinion.
I’m cool with harnesses and pup hoods worn around the con at all times. It was the inappropriate public dry humping that I didn’t like. I’d feel that way no matter what they were wearing, plain clothes, fursuits, or pup gear. It’s less about the gear and more about conducting ourselves decently and respectfully in public spaces. Those other people around them didn’t consent to being a part of sexual play as background onlookers. Touchy stuff like that needs to take place in private hotel rooms.
Pup play may originate with BDSM but the roleplay elements and escapism are very close to reasons why some furries fursuit. Pup hoods can be original works of art just like fursuit heads. As long as everyone is fully dressed without genitalia explicitly showing, and as long as they leave people alone who are uncomfortable (same with fursuiters needing to not force interaction), I’m cool with it.
I’m not into pup/pony play, but I would also argue that it’s kinda furry – RPing as an animal and all. That said, sometimes we do have to cool it for the sake of having an all ages con (or have more adults-only cons). Furries, the media, hotel staff, and even the family of furries benefit from having clear and simple rules on when/where you can wear obvious kink gear.
I think pups are fine in the fandom. I don’t even have much against the hoods being worn in public (sort of; wait for the chilluns to go to bed first). I think grinding in a public hotel lobby is the frustrating part.
It’s not about y’all tho. Forreal.— ♠️demigod💜 (@inkiiorchid) April 9, 2018
The furry con doesn’t have to cater to your fetish, they literally have BDSM cons for this stuff. This is so god damn selfish. Embrace public decency and stop dropping inappropriate public behaviors on others.
Get a grip.
Do better. https://t.co/V0b1xXOctQ
There is a good point that a furry con doesn’t have to cater to individual fetishes and that specific fetish events and conventions exist for the reason of fulfilling that role for people.
I gotta say though some pup hoods are lovely pieces of artwork that really show skill and craft.
Mulefoot Boar made these and I want one.
There’s no reason these can’t be considered art masks.
These are artistic too. All of this is just head wear, not much different than any other mask except for the prejudice/expectation of it being solely sexual.
After digesting this more, I know and understand that what the pups did is wrong, but it reads and feels like those talking about it are using to broadly talk about pups being bad in general. Let’s not forgot what happened when one person complained on Twitter during Arizona Fur Con just about seeing someone in a hood.
It feels hypocritical to see furries do that, but honestly furries have always had an issue with its “image”. It’s like a needy girl who needs total strangers to approve of her.
And the thing about the hoods being works of art can be true. It can also be hurtful to Pups in the community because we always have some who feel they need to get a hood just to be accepted, and you don’t need one to pup. It’s a state of mind. The hood is just fashion to either help get into that space or express yourself. It’s not required.
hi i'm old enough to remember when fursuits were considered fetish gear and lots of furries didn't want ppl wearing them on the floor at conventions. consider that acceptance of smth originally born of sexuality can lead to identity & culture beyond its birthplace— artdecade 🌹 (@artdecaderoo) April 8, 2018
People forget things like pet auctions existed in the fandom at one point and were major convention events.
Sorry, I mentioned the hoods being works of art because they have gotten the bulk of the stigma recently. I know pup is a state of mind, but without the hoods the “romping” would have been attributed to drunk furries, rather than blamed on “BDSM Pups are being publicly kinky in our Furry Fandom”.
That is true, and seeing them as art is an important thing. I’m just bringing up something I’ve seen way too much on the pup side. Hoods can actually be a sore topic for pups, depending.
Sort of like how some people feel like they aren’t real furries without suits?
I feel the gear is fine as long as there is no nudity involved, especially in open con spaces.
It’s the same language and the same issues. Being noticed, being accepted, and seeing which ones are popular and wanting to be like them.
I see some of the people saying pup hoods should be banned are also people that think murrsuits are terrible and should also be banned. Not sure if that stems from personal issues about sex or what, but I feel that as long as things are kept strictly G rated in areas that are not designated for more adult things, it’s fine. Use common sense and better judgement. Drunk people will do dumb things, but judging an entire subculture within a subculture because of the actions of a couple drunks is kinda unfair IMO.
Like artdecade says in that tweet, fursuits were also considered fetish gear. They still are in many circles. It’s not the fursuit or the pup hood that made those two dry hump in a public area. Banning the gear is not going to stop that behavior.
Also: collars/leashes. Most places, that would automatically be considered a sex thing. Some furries just wear that stuff as a fashion item.
I wore a collar in public years ago, and it was just shrugged off as a ‘goth thing’. It wasn’t at all, but hey, worked in my favor.
I think we need to recognize that the behavior was the problem not what they were wearing. It would be equally wrong no matter what they were wearing- plain clothes, fursuit, or pup. It's less about the gear more about conducting ourselves respectfully in public spaces. pic.twitter.com/W7C8sghQp6— Deo (@DeoTasDevil) April 9, 2018
I understand there is a lot to learn about and I feel the fandom still has an image issue it needs to both grow from and loosen up in other areas.
I will say that we do a lot of nonfurry stuff at furry cons that furries are interested in. Ham radio, aerospace meetups – heck, most gaming isn’t furry. So to me, saying that pup stuff is BDSM and not furry doesn’t quite wash, even if you ignore the overlap in categorization.
At the same time I dont think gimp suits should be allowed and I’m iffy about the full body latex zentai suits I’ve seen run around.
Good point on the furry adjacent hobbies and interests that carry over to be shared a cons between furry fans.
Are cons about Anthropomorphic Media, or are they about Furry Fandom? Are they about the art movement, or upon the culture? I’ve always seen conventions to be like a county fair, where a community or set of communities come together to do trade/business, show off their best works, enter into contests, and socialize. So I guess I’m in the latter of this.
A lot less grey area here. I know the discussion for sex positivity in the fandom is all but won.
I know two people who classify themselves as asexual and would like to Disney-ify cons. One proudly kinkshames because she finds it all disgusting and feels like cons are no place for it. The other literally says that everything should be held to a “rated E” standard, and feels like the whole of the con space should be FOR KIDS. The people I’m introducing are the only sex-negative people I know personally.
Some people legit want to give the fandom a bubble bath, and purify it by their own arbitrary sense of shame, and they are NOT silent about this and take incidents like the video to churn up weaponized outrage at kinks and fetishes, and shape the fandom to their will. They’re not very good at it. The ones I know and quietly dislike intensely, but they stand in the way of a sex-positive fandom as I’d like to see it, and I’m sure they’re not alone. They do it under the guise of asexuality too, which just gives aces a bad name.
They’re more or less just disgusted by sex and live in an imaginary Disney land. They don’t have the means to effect that change and I’m glad they don’t.
Closing – a little teaser of news.
I hope you enjoyed this chat that covered a LOT of ground beyond drama about one video. On the other paw, when Anthro Northwest had their first convention in late 2017, there was a lot of controversy about their family-friendly rules that were attacked with assumptions about religious motivation behind the scenes. Personally, I was never doubtful that furry should have a place for a family-friendly con. Fandom is growing and there’s a lot of room for different flavors and approaches. That makes me mention that there’s serious talk of starting an adult-specific furry convention for 2020.
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