While the Furry fandom can be a wonderful place and a force for good in the world, the topics that tend to circulate on Furry Twitter are somewhat seasonal: They repeat every so often–usually sparked by someone saying or doing something shitty–and never actually lead to a productive result.
Let’s look at a few of these reoccurring topics and suggest actual solutions, rather than reactionary hot takes that only add fuel to an already out-of-control fire.
Safe Spaces for Underage Furries
Once upon a time, there was a movement called Burned Furs: A right-wing puritanical effort to rid the early furry fandom of its adult side. If you take the time to read about these clowns, you’ll hear a lot of the same arguments that alt-right trolls make today, except now they use the word “degenerate” to describe anything vaguely LGBTQ+.
As a result, most adult furries are generally wary of the creation of a “safe space” for strictly-SFW furry content, because it always gets co-opted by homophobes and the “sex is evil” variety of bigot. There’s also the concern that if you put all of the minors in one place, it will inevitably become a flytrap for creeps looking for their next victim.
There absolutely should be room for furries–of any age (asexual folks are valid too)–that only serves work-safe (i.e. non-sexualized) content. However, these spaces should be curated by people with a generally sex-positive mindset.
Why Should Sex-Positive Adults Moderate Non-Sexualized Spaces?
Let’s learn from history, please, so as to not repeat its follies.
If the horror known as conversion therapy has proven nothing else, it’s that telling LGBTQ+ kids that sex is evil is only going to lead to misery and suicide.
(No, I’m not pulling punches on this one. Religious nuts just love to drive queer people to suicide, and only 20% to 25% of furries are heterosexual.)
Nature abhors a vacuum. If you don’t step in, someone else will. If someone else is incentivized to do so, they probably won’t have the kids’ best interests in mind. Neither anti-sex puritans nor would-be sexual predators should be given access, let alone influence.
Neither should right-wing extremists, such as “alt-furry” (a movement of imbeciles who follow someone’s fursona named “Foxler”–literally “Fox Hitler”–yet try to insist they aren’t Nazis; yeah right).
What Should Be Done?
First, accept that a lot of furries are underage and shouldn’t be exposed to adult content–even if for no other reason than legal risk. (If anyone objects to that, you should feel very concerned about being alone with them.) Furthermore, there are some adults that don’t want to be exposed to NSFW content either.
Being sex-positive isn’t the same thing as being horny. Sex-positivity requires an understanding and respect for consent and boundaries. If someone doesn’t want to see your lewd art or photos, don’t go out of your way to make sure they see it (i.e. sending it to them directly).
Have an After Dark social media account for 18+ users? Block minors that try to follow you (and consider making your account private then screening your follow requests to filter out minors).
However, I don’t think we necessarily need a separate “label” for SFW furry content. Labels make you more susceptible to being coopted by perverse motives.
Worksafe furry groups on Signal/WhatsApp/Telegram/Discord/etc. are all valid.
If you’re underage and yearn for a SFW space for your furry fandom participation, talking to Moms of Furries is probably the best way to get started. Unlike random furries, their entire schtick is “make the fandom easier for parents to understand, and safer for their kids to play in”.
The threat model is complicated, the lines are blurred, and there’s a lot of shades of gray, but ultimately just letting people have worksafe spaces in the fandom is a good thing.
Just don’t let anyone try to convince the folks in those spaces that people who do enjoy the adult side of the fandom are bad and deserve to be shunned. That’s the anti-sex puritan bullshit I’ve talked about.
Murrsuits / Pup Hoods / etc.
Like clockwork, a pocket of furries (usually the same agitators mentioned in the previous section) will surface with some sort of hatred/shaming towards murrsuits, pup hoods, and other harmless sources of fun and self-expression.
(A murrsuit, by the way, is a fursuit that’s specifically intended for use in sexual encounters, and usually has extra zippers for the wearer’s privates.)
The exact nature of their outrage changes with the season. Some folks (like the dumb narcissistic troll who once created a database of murrsuit owners) make unsubstantiated claims about health/cleanliness with sexual fluids and murrsuits.
Others are lazy, and make general hand-wavy statements that strike a moral chord with most people, but don’t actually make sense when you think about them for very long. Their structure looks like this:
- If some people have sex in their fursuits, then fursuits are sex toys.
- You shouldn’t have sex toys around kids!
This is a lazy attempt to manipulate the listener, for two reasons:
- If some people have sex in their fursuits, that doesn’t actually make fursuits sex toys– and even if it somehow did, it still doesn’t make it so for people who don’t have sex in their fursuits.
- Lots of people have sex while wearing clothing. Wouldn’t the same logic applied to fursuits apply here too? And if so, are you arguing for everyone being nudists around children? I sure fucking hope not.
Similar arguments are often raised about pup hoods, because of their apparent BDSM/kink connotations.
If they’re being worn in a non-lewd, tasteful manner (i.e. nobody’s genitals are being exposed, there’s no visible “bondage”, etc.), there’s nothing special about the anti-pup hood arguments. Same shit, different day.
What Should Be Done?
Simple: People really need to get over their fear of sex.
When you see someone trying to shame another adult for having a sexuality, tell them to fuck off and leave the other person alone.
People with healthy sex lives don’t owe you anything, except a baseline for hygiene that literally every murrsuiter I know already exceeds without ever having to be told. There’s no action item here.
They aren’t welcome; get the fuck out! I don’t care how their victims are classified: You aren’t allowed to be a part of our fandom if you perpetrate or support sexual abuse.
Underage, non-human, whatever. Leave.
Sexual abuse isn’t actually part of the Discourse we’re examining. Call those fuckers out and don’t let them back in. You’re doing good work by cleaning house.
Sometimes, you’ll come across a furry who decries the fact that their sexual abuser friends got “cancelled” by “cancel culture” and “social justice warriors”. These putzes ought to be loaded into a rocket and fired into the sun too.
Also: Kero the Wolf is guilty and people who still believe his innocence, or attempt to downplay the severity of his heinous acts, are doing a disservice to the entire fandom. (Or they’re also animal abusers, in which case, they can get yeeted too.)
There is a very stark difference between babyfurs (people who mix AB/DL with furry) and pedophiles.
The former is a harmless kink that involves adults roleplaying.
The latter is a sexual disorder that leads to the victimization of children.
Whenever babyfurs come up in the Furry Twitter Discourse, what’s really happening is the anti-sex crowd is trying to hope you won’t realize these are two very different ideas, and that your well-deserved disgust for one will automatically translate into hatred for the other.
Don’t be fooled.
(Hey, it’s not my thing either, but if it’s safe and between consenting adults, who the fuck are either of us to judge?)
Feral Art and Characters
Some artists have feral art styles (i.e. standing on four legs rather than two; no thumbs).
Feral characters with human sentience are still furry, even if you can superficially relate feral furry art to the kind of content that animal abusers might seek.
As always, there’s a reasonable litmus test available for judging this kind of content:
Before I started this blog, I used to write articles on Medium. My most popular one tackled the topic of “popufurs” directly. Go read it.
If you’ve read this far, consider yourself fully briefed on the recurring topics in Furry Twitter discourse.
If another topic starts rearing its head often enough, I’ll either update this page or write a sequel article to cover the new badness.
This post first appeared on Dhole Moments - Software, Security, Cryptography, And The Furry Fandom, please read the originial post: here