The Complexities of Problematic Kinks – guest post by Maybelle Redmond
by Patch O'Furr
This extra long article is published whole instead of by parts to preserve context. Quoted people were anonymized to protect sensitive personal info. Their ID was provided privately so I could verify it. Thanks to Maybelle for submitting this. – Patch
Maybelle Redmond’s content warning and disclaimer about The Complexities of Problematic Kinks
Before we even begin to touch on these things, we must first and foremost consider the victims, and ardent defenders of the victims, who have been susceptible to abuse that problematic kinks tend to surround or be on the border of. If you are a victim of, are close to a victim of, or feel passionately for victims of abuse, you are the people being considered up front. While we will discuss some details of some problematic kinks, you are being warned in advance with the opportunity to skip or avoid the provided details, and you are perfectly justified to close this article and not consume what you may feel is a potential excuse for abuse. It’s valid to ignore details of why others consume and perform problematic kinks, for the sake of your psychological safety or if you feel that it could legitimize them. Don’t engage in something you feel uncomfortable with. It’s not fair that it can be difficult to avoid abusive triggers within a community you enjoy. Your needs need to come first in this discussion. One of these needs may be to shield yourself. If you wish to do that, please close the article now.
While attempting to Google exactly what is considered a problematic kink, a lot of its definition appears to be based in open-ended discourse. Nonetheless, a very common theme arises: a “problematic kink” can be defined as “a kink derived from some kind of abuse or potential abuse situation.” While feminist-detractors may tell you that the concept of problematic kinks simply means “every kink is problematic,” that’s absolutely not how it’s being used in common discourse. Multiple discussions regarding problematic kinks revolve around abuse and potential abuse situations, particularly these specific themes:
There are many more potentially abusive and problematic kink scenarios, such as authoritarian coercion and human trafficking, but this brief list tends to be the hot button issues when it comes to problematic kinks. For good reason– these tend to be the abuse issues that enter people’s lives most frequently.
Furries can have a tendency to come from some kind of coercive environment. Some were bullied at school. Some had paternal abuse, neglect, or zero paternal support in our lives. Some were just so socially awkward they had no choice but to evolve online due to rejection felt by society. Nonetheless, regardless of why we came here, we have the freedom to explore our fantasies and minds in amazingly constructive ways that most other humans never get to experience. But of course, because these problematic fantasies aren’t always just fantasies, and ambiguity can only be clearly seen in hindsight as crossing a line — we do need a means of protecting the victims of said abusive scenarios, for the sake of maintaining a sense of protection often sought as part of this fandom.
That’s because abusers exist here too. And abusers consume problematic kinks as well. We’ve seen high profile abusers over and over again, from the graymuzzle memory of William Shaw (aka “DiveFox”) being publicly condemned for his child chasing and grooming patterns on Judge Mathis, to Frank Gembeck‘s arrest and conviction over extreme child pornography and as recent as the revelations that Adam Wan (aka “Zaush”) is willing to accept the razor-thin legality of using legally-evasive photography of sexualized children as reference material. This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of abusers in this community. In fact, these are merely the abusers that have been proven to demonstrate some sort of abusive behavior. More lurk in the community because they are extremely effective at silencing their victims– one of which we’ll be naming later on. To reassure the reader, their abuse will neither be excused nor glorified in this article.
Thus, we will first discuss the positives of problematic kinks; from how they relate to healing abuse victims, to how they relate to sexuality with abuse aspects abstracted, outright removed or controlled. To separate the positive aspects from potentially abusive or murky situations which could also be positive, there will also be a discussion of gray areas in problematic kinks; discussing how they can sometimes both be a therapeutic tool, a justification of one’s abusive tendencies, or a means of reinforcing one’s victimization.
Then finally, we will also discuss the negatives of problematic kinks, from how they enable abusers to justify their behavior, to how they use the content produced for their kink as a means of potentially grooming new victims. We will also discuss what can be done to protect victims, safe play of these problematic kinks and consumption of the content, while simultaneously attempting to discourage the real-world abuse situations these problematic kinks revolve around.
First, though, we need some primer before we begin: a clarification of terminology.
When I say “kink,” and you hear me say “kink,” there might be some cross-talk occurring. Particularly in how this kink is assumed to be expressed.
Even when I abstractly say “kink,” you may or may not be interpreting the word “kink” to actually mean some form of pornography, namely animated or video content; artistic or photographic content; or written content. So, from here on out in this article, when I say “kink,” I want to make it clear that I’m referring specifically to the mental arousal which occurs, and not the expression of said arousal, such as performing intimate acts with a partner related to said kink, or even creating erotic content that induces arousal with this kink to share with others. When I wish to abstractly refer to the kink’s expression, such as in sexual acts and erotic content, I will use the word “expression” or refer to the type of expression explicitly, such as “literature” or “video content.”
Let’s now begin to explain why problematic kinks are actually much more complex than their abuse-triggering surface makes them appear, starting with the positives.
Positive Aspects of Problematic Kinks
Exploring as Therapy for Abuse and Trauma
The following section will discuss rape and potentially traumatizing revelations of what rape victims may experience in the aftermath. We will also be interviewing a rape survivor, who will be detailing potentially upsetting revelations as to how they cope with their trauma.
I mentioned earlier in this article that some victims will use the exploration of a problematic kink as a means of erasing or controlling said aspects of their victimization. An ex-partner of mine was raped by fellow furries. (Thankfully the abusers wound up serving jail-time for what they did– which can’t be said for most rape situations, sadly. It was relatively high profile in the community, to the point that one of the abusers is, for the most part, still ostracized from social interaction nowadays, with the occasional defender who props him up as having learned, despite him being observed to continue performing abusive behaviors.) Yet in the time I’ve known this ex-partner, I’ve observed something interesting: they have a kink for non-consensual fantasies.
They agreed to talk with me about why. Because they’re a relatively high-visibility member of the furry community, they chose to speak on condition of anonymity. This is also why I have not named their abusers in particular, regardless of the prison convictions they faced for doing this. Here’s the conversation:
Q: So you survived a pretty upsetting rape scenario a few years ago. And I know in my personal interactions with you, and seeing the way you describe your fantasies on social media, you likely still have non-consensual fantasies. Do these fantasies help you deal with your trauma in any way, and if so, how?
I’ve had an internal conversation about that with myself for several years, considering the irony of someone who had gone through all that suddenly turning around and finding sexual excitement in the concept. Ultimately, I can say it’s a contributing factor; I get to make the scenario mine, and I have control over it. It ends if I want it to, it goes as far as I want, and it even trivializes what happened to me in my mind. It makes the scenario hurt less in the present.
This is an important distinction: In the present. I’ll never forget the pain I went through, I’ll never forget the breakdowns I’d have for years to come remembering it. But it no longer hurts me now like it did back then, and that’s to my benefit.
Q: It sounds like this means of sexual exploration has been useful to you in moving on from the trauma of what you experienced. Am I reading that right?
I believe so. While it was never my intention, it was obvious to me upon reflection that it helps with a couple of different issues. Non-consensual sexual fantasies arise from the need for control, or sometimes, a surrender of it. To have one’s urgency taken away, their control suspended, allows a person to escape their anxieties. It’s a big part of why submission is a huge kink for people who are consistently busy or stressed, especially those who are involved in a lot of management and decision making. With role playing a rape victim, there’s even this underlying feeling of being so desired that consent is no longer a factor. On the opposite end, domination and role-playing the rapist is about having control and losing one’s self to urges, and working out the stress of one’s lack of control.
Q: You mentioned roleplay right there specifically. Does this also extend into consuming other kinds of erotic content of the variety, such as visual or written pornography of these kinds? And do these mediums additionally have the same sort of therapeutic effect, or do they tend to trigger your past experiences?
There’s no trigger. I dealt with that trauma rather effectively, to where simulated versions of it (specifically in fictional media with the intent of drama) don’t quite affect me on that level. My enjoyment and use of it as a coping mechanism, as well as sexual fulfillment, most certainly extends to Pornography of that nature in all it’s different means of consumption. It’s not just fantasy, it’s not just role-playing, but it’s also videos and stories. But the fact that they are simulated is the most important part, because I know that, deep inside, nobody is being legitimately hurt. That when I close the story, those “people” cease to exist; that when a video is done playing, the people within will be okay, even if there’s a power dynamic that is almost violently one-sided… because there’s a mutual consent, and a need that’s being met by both people involved. One that I’ve tried to meet several times with real life partners, regularly on the submissive end.
I want to put focus on one thing in particular with this interview: the rape survivor, here, is attempting to take back control. And in the end, enacting these scenarios, for various reasons, empowers them to move on from their intensely traumatic event. This is not the way all rape victims heal, nor should it be a process forced upon them, for not everyone can process their trauma in this fashion. And yet, for some people, roleplaying or even consuming “consensual non-consent” productions of this kind of media is a therapeutic tool.
This is just one experience, however. I wanted to make sure that this was shared among many victims. And it turns out, it is. My psychologist chose to anonymously comment on this article in the interest of protecting my personal identity. Here’s what they had to say:
I have worked with a number of individuals who participated in kink role-play that others may have considered problematic, such as acting out rape fantasies or race play. In the cases I encountered, each patient had played the role of victim in these scenarios. These individuals also reported a history of trauma directly related to their particular kink, and expressed a belief that these role-plays could act as healthy re-enactments, almost like do-overs of the original traumatic experiences – the main difference being that in these role-plays, they ultimately had control (i.e. safeword) and were consenting, rather than experiencing yet another trauma. In this way, the acting out of these so-called problematic kinks may work in a similar manner to exposure treatment for PTSD such as EMDR, where the patient is asked to repeatedly describe the traumatic event while watching a rhythmic movement, the idea being that the formerly traumatizing data is being re-associated on a physiological and neurological level with a neutral stimulus and state. Perhaps with these type of kinks, the trauma can be re-aligned with a pleasurable stimulus and positive state of interpersonal connection and energy exchange. Of course, this type of play, like most any intimate activity, comes with its risks as one navigates the sometimes treacherous waters of the psyche. Vulnerability, shame, arousal and intense emotionality can all arise during these encounters. After care, as always, can be an important step to help contain and resolves feelings of chaos or liability. And the dynamic between those involved most certainly needs to be underpinned by honest communication and genuine regard.
At the very core of many of these personal abuse scenarios– particularly rape, incest, and pedophilia– is a feeling of a loss of control. When an incest victim is sexually abused by a sibling, parent or relative, they have lost control, because the abuser in the scenario has taken it away from them by coercing them into a sexual situation they did not want. The same goes for rape and child molestation. While the article cited in the introduction seems to get the concept of problematic kinks incorrect, it is correct regarding power dynamics: coercive sex is a power dynamic, of which the abuser takes away power from the victim or abuses their power over the victim for their own sexual gratification.
What kink does in this scenario is provide that sense of control that was taken away. And naturally, because you have control over the scenario, you can do things to the scenario which will help heal or erase your memories by rewriting the traumatic memory with controlled fantasy and a partner you strongly trust. If replaying a rape scenario triggers a fierce memory in your mind, you can stop the scenario at any time and request after-care. If you experienced intense shame from the feeling that, for some reason, your body enjoyed the rape– and this is a significant, unspoken sense of shame in some rape victims— you can rewrite that feeling of shame in a much more controlled, structured environment, exploring what made it pleasing to you and erasing what made it unsatisfying at best and horrifically traumatizing at worst.
This ultimately rewrites the experience in your mind, little by little, scene by scene. While the survivor will never forget what happened to them, consistently replaying the scenario in a controlled environment in such a way that the negatives of their victimization are erased, while the extremely rare positives remain, is an incredibly therapeutic exercise. The result is a relative emotional rewrite of an overwhelming feeling of being a victim, taking back control from the abuser and placing it in the survivor’s hands as a tool of healing.
And… unfortunately, that’s the only thing that’s really explicitly positive. The rest of the reasons one might be interested in these kinks pretty much fall into two categories: gray-areas (meaning they have the potential to enable abuse or rewrite abuse, depending on how they’re used) and negatives (meaning they merely enable or perpetuate abuse, no matter how they’re used). Nonetheless it was important we put the victims first in this discussion, and additionally, that we put their tool of healing out on the table for everyone to see. But as you’ll soon understand in these following paragraphs, even though these tools can be used for the victim to heal, they can also be taken advantage of to either put an abuse victim deeper into their victimized state of mind or justify one’s abusive behavior.
Let’s explore the gray areas.
Gray Areas of Problematic Kinks
Because problematic kinks primarily touch on abusive scenarios, it can be incredibly difficult to decouple the abusive nature from the kink, if not impossible. Even with creating a “perfect world,” as it were, there is still a strong connection of abuse to the kink, even if it’s turned up on its head by turning it positive and non-abusive because of its nature in the real world.
Walk with caution when playing out problematic kinks in the following manners. Make absolutely sure that there aren’t any abuse triggers that occur. And if there are unknown abuse triggers– and this does happen– make sure you’re aware and have negotiated some kind of safeword beforehand.
What we will be discussing in this section involves arousal toward abusive situations. If as a victim this thought disturbs you– and there are many reasons for it to do so– I would strongly suggest you skip this section in its entirety. You may ultimately find solace in having your negative experiences justified as negative, but if you don’t even wish to read the details of what makes them negative due to potential triggering, I would recommend you close the article now and perhaps let a close friend summarize the article for you.
Indulgence in Fantasies of a Non-Abusive World
This section will be discussing problematic kinks as they relate to fantasies of what a non-abusive world might look like. To the victim, this may appear as a tacit justification of their abuse, creating and potentially perpetuating a fantasy world which does not align with the reality of their victimization as well as the victimization of others.
As a word of warning: some hypothetical scenarios will be thrown out which, in a non-fantasy world, are absurd at best or supportive of abusive dynamics at worst. This dysphoria between fantasy and reality, interestingly, is what tends to fuel the kink for some, typically because a horrific characteristic of humanity has been instead twisted and contained to mutate it into a positive environment. Experiencing this knee-jerk feeling of disgust is absolutely okay– you should feel as though these questions are morally bankrupt as they apply to reality. But nonetheless, in this context, this kink can be seen as a corruption kink: instead of turning something from good to evil, you’re corrupting something from evil to good. In a sense, some practitioners of problematic kinks are actually erasing the abusive nature of these coercive power dynamics through the way they choose to express them.
So let’s break down some potential scenarios of this kind of kink exploration:
- What if consent wasn’t necessary and everyone enjoyed the casualness of sex with strangers?
- What if incest wasn’t an explicitly abusive dynamic by parents, siblings or relatives, but rather a consensual, careful application of love for the family?
- What if instead of taking advantage of animals for their inability to communicate consent, not only could they talk, but also explicitly agree to having sex with you?
- Perhaps most triggering of these kinds of abuse-erasure fantasies, what if children– sexually developed or otherwise– were allowed to not only engage other children and adults in sexual fantasies, but were empowered by strong consent education and a social expectation of their individual personhood to do so?
Every single one of these scenarios, when applied to the real world, is intensely dangerous. If we forewent consent, rape would be rampant. If we allowed incest without any repercussions whatsoever, the dark side of society would go so far as to start treating their children as sex slaves. If we allowed bestiality to flourish, animals of all sorts would be treated like unwitting sex workers, rounded up like some sort of sexual cattle for consumers to peruse. And finally, giving children the power of consent does not take into account their sense of naivete as they grow, which leads them to potential abuse situations. If children are already being preyed upon because of their sexual naivete, why on earth should they be given the power of sexual consent?
But as much disgust as these kinky questions rightfully inspire in us when applied to reality, some performers of these problematic kinks fantasize about the world in a way where its abuses frankly just don’t exist. They fantasize about an ideal utopia where the horrors of these problematic kinks are entirely erased, leaving nothing but a fascinating and pleasurable contradiction: the fantasy– loving and consensual and non-abusive– simply just does not match the reality, which is rife for abusive situations.
Indulging in kinks this way is shared by victims and kinksters alike. Many people indulge in these problematic fantasies simply for the fact of trying to craft a world in their mind where these horrors don’t exist, erasing the existential anxiety the utterly frightening reality presents. Whether or not they are a victim of the subject, it creates a kind of escape from the oppressive horrors of the world, a satisfying situation where a taboo scenario is removed of its highly toxic actions, creating a safe environment of exploration in an otherwise impossible world.
And yet this isn’t entirely positive– in the other direction, what this erasure can do is fundamentally different from the way victims erase their trauma. Erasing the reality of the situation in a kink may very well also be because either the top or bottom may be wishing to find a means of justifying this fantasy as a kind of reality for their future abuses, either as an active or passive participant in said abuses.
Now, this in particular simply relates to fantasy in general– there are vast reasons for us to indulge in any kind of fantasy. And for the most part, this erasure of the victim’s reality can be ultimately positive, turning something wicked into something consensual. But what this has the potential to do is to continue to trivialize the victim’s trauma, reinforcing to them that their trauma is worth trivializing. Trivializing their own trauma is a serious problem in abuse victims. “But he didn’t hit me.” “I was scared to say no, so it wasn’t rape.” “Even though I was underage, I still agreed to do it.” Take caution if you wish to indulge in this fashion– not everyone trivializes things in the same way as the rape victim we interviewed earlier.
Indulgence in Unique Power Dynamics
We will use this section to discuss the power dynamics these problematic kinks present, which involves indulging in parts of the realities which lead to abusive situations in the real world. We will also be explaining the trivialization of abuse as it relates to these dynamics.
As sex is inherently a power dynamic of sorts, sexual scenarios evolve out into this kind of arena. Boss and subordinate. Cop and citizen. Predator and prey. To touch on our problematic kinks: rapist and victim. Father and daughter. Unthinking beast and human. Adult and child.
The common BDSM fantasy power dynamic of “master and slave” comes to mind here. In reality, it is very unlikely you would enjoy being someone’s slave. As humans, for the most part, we want a sense of independence. We want to be able to choose whether or not we do something: whether or not we wish to have this partner or that partner, whether we want to have this job or that job, whether we want to do this or that. In a master and slave relationship, looking to the past, more often than not it was outright human abuse. Yes, stories arose of “positive” slave owners, but nonetheless, they still ultimately controlled the lives of the people they owned. They were just nice. Dogs have the same amount of freedom that slaves did to nice slave owners– which is to say not much at all.
Similar to indulging in abuse-erasure fantasies, what occurs here is an abstraction of the abusive dynamics into a power structure. Instead of living the horror that would be an only daughter living with her abusive, incestuous single father, partners indulging in this sort of power dynamic can use the metaphors of what that abusive power dynamic truly means. For the scenario just mentioned: the daughter is unable to escape her father, for he is her father, making her a kind of “slave” in the end.
The ability to fantasize about a given scenario allows you to cherry-pick the individual pieces of what you wish to play out. And, ultimately, what these power dynamics reduce to– no matter if they’re problematic or just plain kinky– are varying levels of lost control.
Your boss is coercing you into sex or you’re fired. You lost control. The cop will frame you for a horrible crime if you don’t strip down for them. You lost control. You’re being blackmailed into sex. You lost control.
As our anonymous survivor commented, they enjoy getting the control back from their trauma in the form of having the ability to stop the roleplay at any time. Here, there is a desire for a loss of control on the part of the submissive, and a desire for the dominant to take that control from the submissive. As much it would pain the victim of an abuse scenario being fantasized about, all the concepts of abuse and threats of violence from someone you have no control over? Frankly, they’re just window dressing in these kinds of sexual scenarios. While most folks just enjoy calling someone “daddy” and don’t go further than that, some folks like the aspects of realism as it relates to these dynamics, and sort of flirt with the idea of sprinkling in a little abuse here and there– an alcoholic father here, a groping palm there, and pretty soon you have yourself a rather lewd and kinky fantasy.
But the central theme here, just as above, is a trivialization of victimization. Our anonymous survivor even said themselves, one reason they like to indulge in the scenarios which are similar to their trauma is to trivialize what the trauma was. And this trivialization, as we touched on earlier, is a double-edged sword. It is extremely important that this double edge is taken into account when playing out kinks or consuming media for this reason.
Indulgence in the Taboo
As this section discusses taboos, it will evaluate both positive and negative uses of such indulgences. Naturally, this will touch on abusive topics which may trigger the victim frequently.
Another way of looking at the kinks detailed earlier is the sense of these ideas being taboo. It’s never really socially explained why you shouldn’t have sex with your family members (despite the problems we’ve presented numerous times already), you’re just not supposed to. It’s forbidden. Don’t do it. No explanation necessary. It’s “gross,” as it were. Taboo kinks specifically touch on the social boundaries of which we’re not allowed to cross. The dictionary defines a “taboo” as the following:
A social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.
Of course, taboo kinks are taboo for some reason or another. Nonetheless, for many folks, indulgence in this mere idea of doing something you’re not supposed to is surprisingly satisfying to some people. That carnal sensation of breaking the rules, of getting away with something you’re not allowed to, despite what sort of consequences may occur.
The problem here isn’t necessarily that the social expectations are being breached to indulge in the kink. Rather, what makes this a gray area is that indulgence in the taboo could mean multiple things. So if one wishes to indulge in the taboo, it’s entirely contextual to ask why one wishes to do so:
- From the submissive perspective, do you wish to indulge in an incestuous fantasy for the feeling of lost power, or is there an unaddressed sense of having been taken advantage of you may be reliving? From the dominant perspective, do you wish to indulge in an incestuous fantasy for the power dynamics it presents, or do you wish to indulge in taking advantage of a family member?
- From the submissive perspective, do you wish to indulge in a bestiality fantasy for the loss of control being taken advantage of by an animal represents, or are you wishing to indulge in the fantasy due to a sense of wanting to take advantage of an aroused animal? From the dominant perspective (typically either someone controlling the animal or the animal itself), do you wish to play out the degradation fantasy this entails, or do you too also potentially wish to abuse an animal’s instincts merely for masturbatory purposes?
Of course, the trivialization of abuse in this scenario is rather clear at this point– most of these reasons for indulgence come down to some means of trivialization. But notice how there’s a potential for both abuse victims as well as potential abusers to have pitfalls here. Because these taboos still fall into abusive power dynamics, which is ultimately what makes them problematic, there’s not really any way to decouple their taboo nature from society, not to mention why they’re taboo in the first place. Typically these kinks are illegal to factually perform in the real world because they’re so abusive.
This concludes the gray areas. Be warned. In the next section, there be dragons. I would advise you that if you haven’t come to terms with your trauma and abuse, turn back now.
Negatives of Problematic Kinks
If you’ve gotten this far without getting horrified, I’m delighted. If you’ve simply scrolled down here to provide yourself “more ammo” as it were, I would like to kindly ask you to close this article and rethink what you’re doing. More likely than not, if you came to this section without the intent of understanding the positives or gray areas, you’re likely perpetuating a kind of verbal abuse that can harm victims: kink shaming. This has been happening frequently, and was the entire point of me writing up this article. So if you sincerely don’t wish to do this, you need to scroll right back up to the beginning right this instant to understand why this is harmful.
But regardless of why you’re here, we’re now going to discuss some of the disgusting, downright horrifying aspects of these kinks that more often than not perpetuate abusive dynamics. Buckle up and bring a torch, we’re about to venture into the darkness– starting with the hot-button topic that brought out all this discussion to begin with: cub porn.
Perpetuating and Normalizing Child Sexual Abuse via Media
I’m going to be curt here: this section in particular discusses, sometimes in detail, child sexual abuse. Prepare yourself.
I want to make something extremely clear: I’m making a distinction between roleplay and media as it relates to ageplay and what’s colloquially known as “cub art.” Roleplay is typically between two adults playing out some kind of fantasy. And as we’ve discussed above, perhaps it could be indulging in abusive dynamics, or perhaps it could be simply attempts on the adults’ parts to heal. When it comes to child sexual abuse situations (typically shortened to CSA), media is the ultimate negative. Not the gray area that roleplay represents. But because of the concepts mentioned above, in tandem with its potential for perpetuating abuse, not only does its content need to be contained, but its consumers policed as well. And the problem is that, for the most part, it’s just not fully contained, nor are its potential abusers policed properly. Cub art, in the furry community, ultimately has too much freedom to spread with the potential to simultaneously enable the abusers that come with the content as well as the potential victims hiding in the shadows.
Though before we get into the nitty-gritty of why cub porn perpetuates and normalizes child sexual abuse, we need to address one very, very important aspect: what about the people who are into cub porn for the innocent reasons we discussed before this section? Namely, what about the people who simply appreciate it for its perceived cuteness, for its consensual and overall non-abusive visuals? It may surprise you to understand that, for the most part, people who are into cub porn aren’t always into it for its coercive and abusive dynamics. Some simply like loli and shota, for example, for how adorable the participants appear, regardless of whether or not they’re children in the end. As discussed above, for some consumers of this kind of media, the fact that they’re ultimately children is effectively erased in their mind, making this more of a gray area than anything.
And what about the victims of CSA? Shouldn’t they have some kind of outlet to heal themselves from their abuse in forms other than roleplay? If consuming erotic rape media is helpful to the rape victim we interviewed above, wouldn’t it then follow that a CSA victim would potentially enjoy placing themselves in the same sort of scenario through fictional (and I want to heavily stress here: fictional) media sometimes?
And finally, what of children who grew up healthy and sexual? We define “healthy” in this context as understanding consent issues in a thorough fashion. (This does not mean they can legally consent, which is an extremely important distinction to make in these discussions.) We typically refuse to acknowledge that these situations happen– such as children exploring safely with other children– and thus perhaps they wish to replay some kind of fantasy from those days, wanting to remember fondly on those early days of exploration. This is of course not to say that abuse can’t happen in child-to-child dynamics– they do. Young teenagers sometimes rape younger children.
The unfortunate situation is that, for the most part(?) The consumers of cub porn are innocent. Without the context of the positives and gray-areas mentioned above, this seems absurd and down-right abusive to even state that people who enjoy this content are anything but innocent. But the truth of the matter is that a good majority of the cub community doesn’t want abusers. In fact, did you know that in the cub community there’s been significant push-back toward abusers who exist within their community for a rather long time? I interviewed a major player in the cub community who’s been around a while– you could essentially call them a graymuzzle. On condition of anonymity, they chose to speak to me. Here’s our interview:
Q: So you’ve been involved with major parts of the cub art community for a long time now. This kind of artwork in particular of course has the potential to draw in abusers of all kinds. But I know too that the cub community wants it to be some sort of safe-haven. Can you tell me some of the struggles that arise from trying to keep out abuse?
It tends to mostly come in the form of forum moderation; strong guidelines about content and conversation topics. One thing I’ve noticed dealing with the handful of genuinely abusive people is that sooner or later they tend to out themselves in the hopes of finding more like-minded individuals. When that happens, if it’s discovered, they get shown the door. Zero tolerance for felonious behavior or conversation is pretty typical.
Of course, it can sometimes get a little muddy because a lot of cub art forums and chat groups are also very roleplay heavy, so sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference. While the vast majority of people in the groups that I manage or participate in tend to place themselves in the cub position, there’s always those who want to be the ‘adult’ or ‘older cub’. But even that isn’t indicative of one’s predilections; usually they’re just there because they like looking at cute things.
Q: Right, because there could be a multitude of other reasons to take on that role that aren’t inherently abusive. Does this sort of “hunting” as I suppose you could characterize it come in the form of trying to find other abusive individuals, does it tend to come in the form of fishing for potential victims such as users on the forums who may be misrepresenting their age, or does it come in other forms entirely?
Yeah. They want to roleplay parent, babysitter, whatever, with the understanding that the person on the other side of that screen is also a real adult with adult judgement.
Every forum I’ve ever seen or been a part of, had very strict rules that members be over the age of 18. And not just ‘oh, well, we say it for the look of things’. Every time, if there was any sort of suggestion that a member might be actually underaged, they were k-lined with extreme prejudice. And this was something that was not only policed by moderators; large chunks of the community were also on the lookout, and would be VERY quick to flag them. But this is the risk of adult-oriented internet forums on the whole, really, and anybody who’s run an adult site of any size or form has had to deal with these, along with the users who zeroed in on them.
So I guess it’s a mix. But the handful of times I’ve seen any sort of predatory behavior in public, it’s been fishing for like-minded individuals.
Q: That’s really fascinating. So not only is there a policing aspect to the leadership of the community, but also a sort of self-policing aspect too, wherein members of the community are on the lookout for abusers to oust as well?
Absolutely. Certain people like to poo-poo the idea of a ‘safe space’, but that’s exactly what these are. Predators and minors are both basically threats to the safety of these communities and disrupt the vibe.
But this is the leadership perspective. On the ground, things might look different. So what about the consumers of this content that I was discussing, the innocent ones who simply wish to consume it for, as our interviewee put, “looking at cute content,” as much as the reader may find this kind of content the absolute opposite of cute? I eventually came across someone who rather publicly proclaimed on an After Dark account that they were into cub porn and ageplay.
But before I show you the interview, I need to mention: I went into this interview wary. The entire time I was writing this article, in my head, I could find nothing but negatives about cub porn in general. Ageplay as a kink was totally fine– that’s just a kink. But cub porn? I simply just couldn’t see positives. I just didn’t understand why.
I had been objective about all the other kink expressions prior to this, but for some reason, I simply couldn’t be objective about this in particular. I had an opinion that, no matter how I tried to shape it in my head? I could not be objective. I had nothing but negative things to say– this contrasts greatly from what I eventually wrote down for all this so far, of course. With that in mind, I actually wanted to seek out someone who was into it in some way or another, just to understand: why would someone enjoy something that’s particularly related to such an abusive dynamic?
And again before I show you this interview, you’ll notice that pretty much everyone here is anonymous to protect them. This isn’t to shield people from illegal activity. Rather, this is to shield victims and potential victims. This sort of topic has resulted in so much hateful vitriol that I simply don’t want these people who’ve come forward and trusted me with their stories to receive harassment for coming forward.
So, with that, this interviewee likes cub porn. I asked them why:
Q: What draws you into cub art in general? Is it the taboo nature of it all? Is it the potential for inversion of an abusive dynamic into something affectionate and consensual? Or is it something else entirely?
I’d say it’s a combination of “the potential for inversion of an abusive dynamic into something affectionate and consensual,” and the generally child-like innocence of furry children.
Q: Yeah, understandable, there’s something wholesomely appealing about that sort of innocence. I’m assuming, too, that you probably roleplay these scenarios too, correct? And I know from experience, every ageplayer has their range— that is, there is an age range which they will play, in which going any lower than the lower limit is just not permitted period. This can frankly go all over the place, from refusing to go younger than a mid-teen to even permitting toddlers and infancy. Do you have any particular opinions about specific age ranges? And do you feel there is a certain age you would refuse to play as a child in the dynamic?
I do indeed roleplay some of these scenarios.
My general age range is from six to nine, but it can go higher or lower.
I personally prefer to not go higher than 22 or so, or lower than four, but I am open to most age ranges.
Q: So that comment actually brings up an interesting question. I have never heard ageplay being used in the context of playing of age individuals, even though it completely makes sense. May I ask how old you are?
I’m 25 in real life, soon to be 26, and I reserve my older self for playing certain scenarios where an adult is necessary.
Q: As do I! Sometimes I play the two side-by-side, as a parent/daughter combo. So would you say your childhood was positive, or negative? Age regression is an incredibly useful tool in psychology, and I was wondering if it was here for you too?
I’d say my childhood was fairly positive, with some splashes of negativity here and there, as is the case for many people.
I like to use age regression to relive the days of youthful innocence and occasional youthful naughtiness.
Q: Yeah, I assumed as much! I didn’t want to be too leading, though. So I want to talk about a darker aspect of cub art with you. Not necessarily the rare nonconsensual stuff that does come out, but rather its usage. I’m not being accusatory here, and I cast no judgment if you’re unaware of this, as you seem to prefer a much more positive perspective of the kink, but how do you feel about the potential of cub porn being used to groom potential child sexual abuse victims?
I’ll be honest about this one.
I honestly believe the potential is there, especially with certain pieces and images for pieces and images to be used in this manner.
I do find it abominably disgusting and offensive to the artists of the drawings, but I have not seen or heard of any examples of this happening.
The interview actually kept going, but… it fell apart. Not because I got angry. Not because of some flying emotions going back and forth between me and the interviewee, but… his last comment caused a light bulb to go off in my head: “I have not seen or heard of any examples of this happening.”
Where did I first hear about cub porn? It led me back to a site long before FurAffinity was even a twinkle in Jheryn’s eye. It led me back to my early days in the fandom, when I was young and fresh and had quite literally just attended my first furry conference– the final ConFurence, the ConFurence which the Jimmy Kimmel show decided to crash, since, well, I’m sure we were right down the street from their studios in Burbank.
This question and response made me realize: oh my god, I heard about cub porn years before I turned 18. This led me back to the sexual encounters I had when I was underage, when I was desperately trying to seek out some kind of confirmation that I wasn’t just some ugly kid, that I was deserving of intimacy, that the isolation I experienced from my peers was something I could grow out of, despite the fact that just two years prior I had finally gotten out of eight years of social abuse from my peers at school, but still just couldn’t connect with others for intimate purposes. For the sake of not allowing potential low-key predators to take advantage of these mindsets, I will not go into more details as to what led to my abuse.
That’s when I met someone. Someone who, in private messages after the conference, told me that the man who would eventually be an accomplice to a very vivid abuse event in my life was simply not interested in young girls like I was at the time.
“But that won’t stop me. ;)” he told me over chat. At the time, these words sounded inviting and freeing. Like someone finally saw me, and wanted to be intimate with me. Now these words are forever seared into my mind.
Remember when I said this earlier?
In fact, these are merely the abusers that have been proven to demonstrate some sort of abusive behavior.
I want you to understand something about this. If you don’t have evidence, you cannot, cannot just arbitrarily call someone out based on some sort of hearsay. However, the nature of these situations is that, every so often, an abuser knows how to hide their trail of evidence, and the result is victim-blaming from the community, for there’s no evidence to prove their case. This is how abusers win. This is why victims like myself rarely come out about their abuse.
In fact, this lack of evidence on my part? This lack of evidence on my part is what caused 16 years of questioning myself, 16 years of going absolutely insane trying to deal with my abuses, 16 years of on-and-off suicide attempts over the feeling that this man had turned me, too, into a perpetrator of abuse, particularly fueled by the intense and ignorant condemnation of ageplay and cub porn as kinks. All because I was convinced that what we were doing was not only consensual but also completely okay. This is why women tell you: believe rape victims. If someone comes out as a victim, they’re more often than not coming out about actual abuse. Rarely do false victims come out maliciously against someone– though it does happen.
But I want to reiterate: rarely. People perpetuating false rape accusations are just as abusive as the fantasy rapists they create in their heads to blame and shame some arbitrary victim. Like child abusers, they take advantage of a specific kind of darkness. Namely, the darkness of evidence presented from an abusive situation. Both child molesters and false rape accusers take advantage of the darkness presented by evidence being mostly concentrated in the victim, creating a he-said-she-said scenario. Both abusers take advantage of the scenario in different ways– the child abuser takes advantage of a culture who refuses to acknowledge victimization and educate its children in sexual conduct; the false rape accuser takes advantage of a culture who always believes the victim. When someone comes out as a rape victim, it’s extremely important that you default to believing them, but do proceed with reservation. How and why they come out about their victimization is contextual. Don’t attempt to disprove their accusations, but speak to them like a trauma victim. Because if they are a victim, that’s how they’ll act. I would encourage you to read up on how to speak to a trauma victim.
With that in mind, the reason I’m coming out about my abuse and am going to name my abuser is because of that evidence situation. You may not believe that I have evidence. You may not believe that I can prove my case– and frankly I really can’t, due to all the time that’s passed. But I am now speaking up as a victim, and as someone who also knows other victims of my abuser, and also knows in full detail a series of abuses this man perpetuated in this community and others, under the primary cover of selective victimization.
He has a reputation in Southern California for his propensity for youth– to the point that he apparently moved out of the state. He also had his own trophy page on a site called Perverted Justice. While my abuse was more psychologically coercive rather than physically coercive– a particular favorite of abusers like mine since it helps them not only reduce potential feelings of guilt for their abuse, but additionally creates a victim-guilt scenario that prevents repercussions– my abuser has, in fact, raped other girls like me. And may I mention? The rape victim I interviewed above? They have an entirely different set of abusers than I do, who were also furries. This problem is pervasive in our community, and I can say has been definitively for well over 15 years. We are, in effect, carrying the burden of our paternal society, who experience the same abusive tendencies for the same reasons.
His name is Damien Cole. Southern California graymuzzles will fill in the blanks for you. He has a reputation. Allegedly, he’s still here in the furry community, according to folks I’ve been talking to in the wake of finally unveiling the intense guilt I felt about engaging him to begin with. I told myself it was my fault, over and over again, for 16 years after all this happened. And may I remind you, 16 years was longer than I was even old at the time. And it took me interviewing someone for this article to finally, finally come to terms with my abuse, 16 years later.
If you’ve never heard of cub porn being used to help groom a child into sexual abuse? You do now. I was publishing cub porn stories well before I was legally allowed to consent. It felt bizarrely normal to me, in hindsight. Way too normal, to the point that I just didn’t see how the content was considered abusive period, because hey, I was a sexually active child who had sex with adults, and it seemed fine at the time, surely it’s merely the prudish nature of society and not an abusive dynamic? That’s what I had been taught, after all, by the only person who feigned teaching me anything about sex: a pedophile.
I had absolutely zero context of how those dynamics could be abusive at the time, due to the clever deception by my abusers. It was not until I was well into my 20s before I realized how abusive those dynamics truly were. And it took even longer for me to realize that what I was doing was actually reinforcing my abuse in the way I was playing. This only came to light when I met my kinky mother, who over the span of a year since I met her at Biggest Little FurCon, has been helping me evict my abusive programming from my head. That problematic dynamic that we share is what healed me from my abuse, and gave me the confidence to come forward today, after all these years, about what happened.
While Damien was by no means Patient Zero of my abuses– the Internet helped groom me in ways I am absolutely not comfortable detailing here– he did help fully reinforce in me that all of this was okay, that it was normal, and that all those folks who don’t like us for what we do? Well… they’re just prudes who don’t understand our “special love.”
And like I mentioned, the Internet had primed me well before I ran into Damien. This isn’t just a cub porn issue. There is a sincere reason that child porn is relegated to absolute darkness with intense social and legal repercussions. There is a sincere reason going to prison for child abuse offenses is more often than not a social death sentence. It belongs there for its potential to perpetuate child abuse and normalize it as a kind of “love.”
I can tell you from experience, it is by no means “love,” as much as pedophiles use this argument to convince you to be on their side. They cite examples like myself about how these relationships are actually consensual. When Damien and his partner at the time– an individual distinct from the scout I mentioned earlier, who “wasn’t interested”– had their way with me, the way I was used had very clear masturbatory elements to it. My body was merely a fleshlight for their desires, my mind able to be manipulated and cajoled in such a way that they wouldn’t have to physically coerce me like they did their other victims.
This content is absolutely deserving of the scarlet letter it has received from society, due to its extremely high frequency for child abuse. Whereas cub porn can effectively downplay the abusive dynamics due to it being a fantasy, typically coercing an actual child into these kinds of scenarios for pornographic purposes explicitly takes advantage of the child. With cub porn, there’s technically no victim– until that picture is used to groom a victim like myself.
And that priming of a naive child just trying to explore an aspect of life that absolutely no one in this country wanted to teach me– not my mother, not my father, not my friends, not my peers, and certainly not my educators– eventually led me to one abusive situation after another from being banished by the culture. I was essentially abused by a variety of people in my life for six or seven years after this interaction with this infamous pedophile. I was a stray lamb who was shunned by the flock for years and years of my upbringing, only to eventually stumble across a wolf in the forest who, due to my naivete and isolation, seemed quite friendly. Then after the wolf was done playing with my mind (read: I turned 18), the damage was done, and the feeling of no one wanting me around once more took hold, it put me right back where I started: abused and alone.
This is how the interview wound up ending. I want to note: while I mentioned I was “kind of upset”? I was actually hysterically crying in my office, to the point that my head was throbbing and I had to take a full sedative that I use for anxiety attacks like this, where I normally only take half:
Q: So the reason I bring this up is because it actually does happen as it relates to actual child pornorgaphy. If you read a few paragraphs in on page 108, it cites a study regarding this as early as 1990, and also demonstrates why actually artistic content could potentially be more potent for this sort of abuse than other such things. Having been groomed for this before, and recalling details of my abuse, you may be too young to remember this site, but one of my abusers introduced me to a site called [redacted]. I’m… actually kind of upset that I recall this fact now, but it’s not your fault. I knew I was groomed, but now I know why I was having such a difficult time reasoning with it, because I was additionally groomed with the artwork. Guh. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to ruin your kink or anything, I’m just being honest here.
Ah, I understand.
I admit, [redacted] might be before my time as a Furry, and I have never heard of that site until just now.
While I’m not surprised that it has happened, I believe it’s an unavoidable notion that an artist’s work can be misappropriated in this manner.
I’m sorry that this happened to you, and I’m also sorry if this is bringing up bad memories of your past.
Q: It’s not so bad? I’ve gotten enough therapy over it that it’s not a big deal. And yeah, ultimately, it is unavoidable. Even with as relegated to the darkness as child pornography is, dedicated abusers will hunt it down and weaponize it. So I’m very torn on what to do. Because on the one hand, it’s really useful as a kink device, providing a sense of reliving youth and whatnot, even through the projection of artwork. And yet on the other hand, it can be used as a grooming device. So I’m very torn on what to do about it.
I understand that it is a tough choice on how to handle this type of artwork.
However, I believe that if you are viewing and/or enjoying it on your own terms by yourself or with consenting friends or partners, then nothing bad should come of it.
Q: Sure, I agree.
And I believe this is implied, but these “friends” I mentioned are adults of age.
If that “friend” is underage, then there is a problem.
Note how even in the wake of my discovery, I’m frequently downplaying my victimization? “It’s not a big deal”? Losing 16 years of my life to depression and self-hatred isn’t a big deal? Re-reading this in hindsight of everything, with a clearer head… it’s really impressive how a victim mentality is pervasive in everything you do when you have it.
The conclusion that I ultimately came to in this research– culling from my own abusive experiences, having it come to light that this content was used to groom me in both artwork and writing (no, writing is not safer than artwork, do not believe that fallacy), and interviewing people from all parts of this kind of community– is that, as it exists right now, cub porn has too much freedom in our community. This is why I’ve ultimately declared this situation primarily negative. Walled gardens like InkBunny, with as much of a reputation they tend to receive for essentially being “the cub porn site,” are absolutely the means by which this kink can be created and consumed safely, because the people of the ageplay and cub art community are extremely aware of the kinds of abuse that can persist in their community. And as we demonstrated, there’s active policing in their community for evicting those abusers. Damien Cole was one of those abusers who’s been evicted numerous times from their communities.
This can’t be said of sites like E621, which is simply moderated for their community aspects. They don’t take this abuse dynamic into account when allowing cub porn. I’m unsure if the furry image board lulz.net even outright bans cub art, but due to its propensity for perpetuating abuse in general– and a cub thread that’s currently on the front page– I really doubt it. F-Chan, however, does refuse to permit cub art on even its /ah (alt-hard) board.
The ultimate thing is that people really, really need to be educated on cub porn’s ability to perpetuate abuse in children. Even though the community was split at the time– and because of my grooming, I was not on the administration’s side regarding this issue– I would have to ultimately agree with FurAffinity banning cub porn outright to some degree. While we’ve layed out it’s not the best method, it is an important step in the right direction. As a general furry art community, they need the resources to patrol the whole community, and as a result, can’t dedicate resources to policing something that requires the extremely precise lighting of experienced individuals to patrol properly.
What we need to do for this particular expression of this problematic kink is reduce it to a darkness of people who are extremely experienced with these abusive dynamics. Thus, if we leave this situation up to the cub community at large, I have full confidence that they’ll continue to patrol their community for the abusers which intoxicate their environment. But as it exists right now? Cub porn is much too free in this community. And that freedom allows people like Damien to prey on young children, to feed them little bits and pieces of data that remind them that either their ongoing abuse or their future abuse is absolutely normal.
You may be asking yourself: if this content in particular has been weaponized to victimize me, why am I not arguing for its outright banishment? Because it has its utility to assist victims like myself, even if I realized what happened to me was wrong and stopped consuming it for those reasons. Not to mention, regardless of how not-innocent the reality of the kink is, a good majority of the artists and consumers of this content are innocent in one way or another. Rarely, cub artists get caught either referencing actual child porn or even outright tracing child porn, but it does happen, and as our cub community interviewee said, when this is discovered, they are immediately shown the door.
This is what makes Adam Wan’s situation so incredibly troublesome– were he a more active member of the cub art community, it’s very likely that he would have been shown the door for his behavior with using sexualized “safe-for-work” photos of children, because as we demonstrated, that kind of behavior is a major threat to the cub community. If you recall how my abuser has been skirting the law for a significant time, it may send chills down your spine to understand that Adam Wan was accused of coercive sex with a woman a long time ago, thanks to the whole “YiffyLeaks” hooplah. It is not cited here to protect Adam Wan’s victim. Needless to say, FurAffinity leadership was pretty dismissive, saying that naming her abuser would “start drama,” essentially.
If we leave the management of cub art up to the cub art community, rather than allowing it to flourish merely because “it’s just another kink,” we can protect our vulnerable budding cubs from these vicious predators that exist all throughout the community, all the way from leadership (the accomplice I mentioned helped start CaliFur, not to mention the prior abuse-accepting behavior of leadership mentioned in the citation above) to artists (Adam Wan and Frank Gembeck) to its general members (William Shaw).
The truth of the matter is cub art is not just another kink. Ageplay is, certainly, with regards to its roleplay, but cub art in particular is a very special case. It is fraught with abuse merely by its media’s existence in combination with the lack of sexual education our society provides its children. This is not a characteristic shared by other problematic kinks.
But another truth to the matter is that just merely hiding this content in the darkness won’t fully protect children, either. A much larger fight– namely, educating children about sex when they’re old enough to understand– needs to be performed. As furries, we’re a small enough community that we can do this with the children we’re raising here. Nonetheless, if a refusal to sexually educate me coupled with an intense desire to learn about sex is what led to my abuse, with as intelligent as I am, then certainly there are other children out there who are potential victims for this sort of behavior. Please educate your children regarding sexual conduct. Please don’t fear the “awkwardness” of the conversation. What you teach your children about sex today could very well save them pain, anguish and even suicide if they make a mistake in trusting someone who takes advantage of their ignorance later on in life.
Frankly, though? This content in particular, because of its ability to be used as an abuse tool– unlike rape and bestiality, which merely trivialize the abuse dynamics, making them more a gray area that potentially lead to abuse– is really the only thing explicitly negative about these expressions of these kinks, because the content has the capability of being used to tell children that it’s perfectly okay for them to engage in sexual relations with an adult who’s likely well aware of their ignorance toward sexual power dynamics.
Arguably one could make the same kind of argument for incestuous artwork, but really only if it involves children. While there’s certainly a potential abuse dynamic for incestuous artwork, if the content explicitly depicts adults, there isn’t that potential for projection on the child’s part to see themselves in the content. If the content contains children, however, it needs to be relegated to the darkness. I would essentially argue that for all other types of content, some kind of opt-in barrier should be implemented to prevent retriggering of abuses by victims known or unknown.
Cub art should not have this opt-in barrier– it absolutely needs to be controlled, maintained and policed by its own community in particular due to its propensity for attracting abusive individuals to the kink. It cannot be publicly accessible. And since incestuous artwork has a tendency to sometimes pair hand-in-hand with cub artwork, the same rules should apply when children are involved.
We’ve ultimately broken down what makes these kinks appealing– from the positives of victimization rewriting in the mind to the strange gray-areas that make the abusive control dynamics not only appealing but additionally potentially fueling further abuses. We also broke down what can be done with regards to detecting potential abuses in either yourself or within your partner– namely in how one plays out these kinks. We ultimately concluded with the hot-button issue of cub porn, putting into great detail how the various players of the community function, how its consumers are for the most part innocents, and additionally how its abusers are both rare and evicted from those communities in general for their predilections for predatory behavior.
With the exception of outright rape, which can be applied to any scenario, people need to be educated in particular with regards to how consent works– especially from an early age. As much as parts of our community wishes it were true, animals can not consent to sex. Body language, as much as it may appear as consent, is not explicit consent from an animal, making any act of bestiality regardless of body-language a technical act of rape. It is additionally not consent from a person.
And believe me, while I didn’t reach out to any zoophiles for this article in particular, I have spoken to zoophiles who for example have horse ranches. They’ve told me how explicitly sexual their animals can be. Nonetheless, because animals can’t communicate with us verbally– and I know how much some zoophiles will get upset with this comment– they cannot consent. And if they cannot consent, like children technically can’t due to their lack of education on the matter, then what they’re doing is explicitly nonconsensual.
One may potentially be able to argue that maybe bestiality content like writing and artwork has the same kind of negativity associated with cub art, but this sort of falls apart when one understands that the grooming process for children involves psychologically manipulating them with that content. The same can’t really be said of animals, meaning all the influence for playing out these abusive dynamics lies entirely within the potential abuser who may find themselves inspired by the victimless fantasy.
This lack of consent education is what fuels many of these coercive scenarios: incest, bestiality and CSA victims alike. With consent education regarding sexual encounters, many potential victims can be given tools to identify predatory behavior and avoid it where they can. Of course, this is not the only stop-gap measure– because of the simultaneous utility of cub porn, for example, as a grooming tool for CSA as well as a victim’s healing tool, it absolutely needs to be policed in a community that understands it best. Perhaps this would be useful, for example, for other types of content of this variety, such as rape, incest and bestiality, since they trivialize the abusive nature of the kinks they represent.
Either way, a walled garden approach to problematic kinks is a step in the right direction. It allows for safe discussions of these kinks in environments policed by personalities who know it best– so long as those policing the communities aren’t abusers themselves. It also allows the people who enjoy these kinks to indulge in safe ways, to communicate and discuss with others what makes their problematic kinks so enjoyable.
The ultimate issue is a need for education within our community to properly understand just what drives people to do what they do, and what drives people to enjoy the things they do as well. Some folks just simply enjoy the controlled fantasy of being abused temporarily. But some folks live it and can’t escape that reality.
And then there are the people we’re all trying to evict in this article: the abusers. Hopefully I’ve given you the tools you need to help us all effectively remove them from our community.
Maybelle Redmond has been in the furry community for somewhere between 15 and 20 years. She speaks primarily from the perspective of having experienced child sexual abuse within the furry community.
 https://www.google.com/search?q=problematic+kinks Note how the absolute majority of a simple search for “problematic kinks” primarily brings up discussions of whether they’re good or bad, rather than a definition.
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