It was so much fun to be in an outrageous Rap CD and a live comedy show!
by Patch O'Furr
You never know what Halloween will bring in San Francisco. You can tour an Erotic Haunted House based on “Dante’s Inferno”, at a landmark castle (used as a BDSM porn studio), full of circus performers ready to give an amazing show. That’s Hell In The Armory. It’s the only place around that has great job opportunities for evil masturbating clowns. I guess it’s a living in a dog-eat-dog economy, where workplaces are literally Hell.
It’s part of San Francisco’s lively scene of subcultural circus theater, avant-cabaret, and burlesque, that crosses over with comedy and music. If you’re bold enough to get a taste – soon you might be throwing your own ingredients into this strange, sexy mix of alternative media and shows.
That’s how I ended up in this rap video, wearing bling and drinking from the potty like a happy puppy dog. There’s no excuse, it just tasted so refreshing… Mmm! Here’s the story of MC Crumbsnatcher and his Nerdcore comedy rap with furries. (The naughty potty part is at 3:09). NSFW:
Now I’m inside the CD. Thanks, Crumby for this super classy opportunity.
If that wasn’t scandalous enough, then I was invited to be on stage at a comedy talk show called “Live Sex”, with a “costume play” theme. I told everyone that I don’t “represent the fandom”… only myself, and any friends fearless enough to be freaky too.
Family friendliness is important sometimes. I GET IT. But in my opinion, the limit-pushing, freedom-raising value of WTF shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s why this subculture exists on it’s own terms. Each side deserves it’s own time and place.
The “Live Sex” show was the place. If it makes you leap to conclusions, don’t… when I went, there was no mass hysteria, zombies didn’t burst from their graves, and furries didn’t get blamed for everything from Locust Plagues to huffing Febreze. (The worst things I spread are lint and fleas.)
About San Francisco’s Live Sex show:
Part talk show, part comedy show and part sex ed class, Live Sex throws together sex and relationship experts and hilarious comedians to explore both the sensual and the comical. Every third Friday at San Francisco’s PianoFight, Bay Area stand-up comedian Luna Malbroux hosts a rotating roster of in-the-know sexperts who’ll chat about everything from relationships to sexual politics to the dirty deed itself. Scheduled guests include Cuddle Therapy founder Travis Sigley, SF Weekly Reader’s Poll’s “2014 Best Comedian” Andrew Holmgren and rising stand-up star Trevor Joyner. Debaucherously funny, every fierce and frank Live Sex show is unscripted, playful and, of course, sexy.
Here’s something that furries might love: The first show featured Travis Sigley, founder of Cuddle Therapy, a non-sexual healing activity. (NY Daily News: “Meet the professional cuddler who gets paid to snuggle up to strangers.“)
Luna, the host, braved San Francisco’s Furry Underground to find a guest for the “Costume Play” edition. Of course, Frolic furry dance is the place to go. Drawn by sparkles and rainbows, soon she was treating me to cocktails while we discussed why furries are sensitive about media.
TV exploitation shows make negativity towards furries. When they try to do casting, they may have shallow questions and little to no personal investment. They may just want to trick people into doing outrageous things they can exploit. (See my interview with a casting agent from MTV.)
After getting to know Luna and her show, I decided they were on the sincere subcultural level with friends like MC Crumbsnatcher – more “community theater” than “the media”. (Besides, Luna is a social worker and on the board of nonprofits to help the community.) She told me “It’s a concern of mine that it would feel exploitative.” It’s the kind of thing where if you join, your image is more on your own terms.
A furry con media guy gave good advice to watch out for recorded clips with potential to go viral. He said that you couldn’t guess if it would be friendly without a script. I requested no recording, and in a spirit of open cooperation, Luna sent these topics to prepare before we went on stage:
1. What exactly is a furry, in your opinion?
2. What do you feel are some common misconceptions.
3. How did you discover you were into being one?
4. Where do furries convene in the Bay? What happens there?
5. What do you think it is that furries understand that other people don’t?/ How do you feel costuming enhances or affects your sense of sexuality?
6. Is it expensive? How do you clean the suit?
7. How did you pick your name and animal?
There will be two other comedians having a casual panel discussion about ‘costume play’ in general. I don’t want the show to be ‘all about furries’ or to have people who don’t know anything about it, focusing on that. Also we tend to have some interactive element to the show- like a cuddle therapist leading the audience in an exercise.
It led to me to hug people in the audience when I ran out on stage. When I had the mike, I said that furries wanted to be considered a hobby for art, performing, and writing. I said that you should never assume that furry a fetish – some members are asexual – just something that CAN overlap with it.
It was a great experience, but not for the shy. The comedians were very engaging, and did a little teasing, so it needed some quick replies. I played along:
It felt good to reward people’s curiosity, because I don’t think the show would have been half as good without an actual furry in it. I actually offered the opportunity to any taker, and it was left to me. No desperation.
There was some drama about it. But in my opinion, making fun of yourself and sharing personal experience doesn’t necessarily need permission from others who don’t put anything into a show. And if you dislike the media, Be The Media.
I suspect that nobody is more sensitive about their own behavior than other furries are. It’s a paradox to the way acceptance brings freedom of expression, which can get really freaky. It’s kind of complicated when boundaries are blurred here on purpose: Like species, and personal space. (“Hugs are the handshake of furries”.) It makes me feel an underlying purpose of making light of social roles.
In my opinion, Furry can even go as far as an absurdist countercultural statement against uptightness and repression. Naive or not, I’d call it outsider art, or the art of bad taste like John Waters does.
Why not own that and have fun with it? Be fabulous and freaky… keep in mind, how since the 1960’s, free expression of sex (and even porn) was part of positive liberation. I think every time you see someone having fun and not being harmed, it opens up narrow-minded attitudes a little.
The show got great comments and everyone seemed to have major fun. Thanks, Luna and crew, for inviting furries to mix their scene with yours!
UPDATE: A great show review from Courting Comedy.
Patch O’Furr was an adorably bashful, unassuming critter. Spoke with a syrupy, “heavens to murgatroyd” drawl. They defanged prejudices or assumptions about the Furry community, and was cautious to not speak for the entirety of his tribe. A sweetness emerged from surprising innocuousness, that regardless of perception or fluffy, punny, double entendres, Patch is purely an enthusiast. “I’m like a million other nerds out there, mine is just a little different,” he confessed. Additionally, they admitted to Disney’s Robin Hood being a gateway, and that their suit is functional art, worn in homage to its creator. It was insightful to see, with levity firmly intact, dignity and vulnerability with a traditionally private individual*. I credit Live Sex’s host for the open, fun hospitality that encouraged the dynamic and revelatory revelry.
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