Breaking the furry law
by Patch O'Furr
Are there laws about this hobby? There’s the cardinal rule of fursuiting: Don’t take the head off in public. “Don’t break the magic!”
The Magic makes eyes go wide- “AHH!! A 6-foot fox person!” (Or, as I answered a comment asking “Why go public suiting?” … There’s the AHH!! reaction on the street, vs. “There goes suiter #732,” at a con where furries just perform to each other. I kid- if you love it too, you know it’s fun.)
At a street fair, without a fursuit lounge, “The Magic” is made to be broken. Crowds swarm at you in killer heat with no privacy anywhere. So you duck into a corner, take off the head, and become the Invisible Man. When the head goes back on, it flips a switch like bringing Frankenstein’s monster to life.
I think I broke some magic this week by raising another scary boogeyman… the PORN topic. More about that in a minute… First, another thought about creating and breaking.
I read an excellent article. It clarified important stuff not always understood by artists about computer based creating. Computer use can split into two paradigms: text based coding and “hacking”, vs. a “WYSIWYG” interface and analog input (a mouse or drawing tablet). Here’s an easy analogy-
Anyone who has used Microsoft Word knows the scenario: after applying several layers of formatting, the document’s behaviour seems to become erratic: remove a carriage return, and the whole layout of a subsequent paragraph might break. This is because the underlying structure of the rich text document remains opaque to the user.
Underneath “furry subculture” is very loosely coded understanding: we’re not into that… It’s just “crazy Uncle Frank that the kids aren’t allowed to talk to” (to quote Uncle Kage.)
This week, sharing many blog articles seemed to slightly spike new watchers on my FurAffinity account. There were 9 on one day. (Thanks for looking!) I posted about the first Journal of Porn Studies. 5 watches were immediately taken off, and 4 stayed. Not a big deal, but worth a comment!*
Why’d I start the topic? Drawn furry porn seems to offer a unique form of raw erotic expression. Call it a small ecosystem direct from producer to consumer, apart from corporations, and even budgets and regulations. I thought it might lead to some sort of researcher’s insight.
Next I posted the interview with Dr. Tibbals. Did the interview confirm any fears? She didn’t raise any specific “meaty” research to discuss… but I suspect it led to a hint of what Dr. Tibbals called: “Our general social-sexual repression.”
I can only guess about the watcher behavior… but was it mature? I didn’t show adult content, it was for adult discussion. The stuff exists, and it’s 2 clicks away for anyone. It doesn’t go away by covering your eyes, and peeping between your fingers when nobody’s looking. 😉 As a wise blogger said, “For anti-porn… the internet was the Chicxulub Asteroid.”
It makes me ask: who should speak about it? If we don’t, is it better to have rumor, stereotype and taboo?
I support healthy human imagination and freedoms, to an extreme point. Living in San Francisco, down the block from a “kink” industry headquarters, I enjoy knowing friendly humans who are both furries or friendly to them, and sex industry workers. They would probably say “Crazy Uncle Frank? You have no idea who I am…” (Would anybody like to hear from them?)
Or should I obey a law, and leave a strict line between private stuff, and stuff that’s safe for families at a street fair? (I’ve already had other thorny problems about what to share as “news”…)
Could such a line preserve The Magic? Like you HAVE to take your head off while fursuiting in a crowd that has no refuge… if public life is a street fair, and privacy is scarce, you can’t pretend a line is a shield. Sometimes rules are made to be broken.
When you’re a grown-up, you can have a sex life, AND be responsible without being inappropriate. Let that be the ideal for any speaker on the topic.
* EDIT: Fur Affinity watchers were removed due to a completely separate issue of bots.