Considering some of the freaky stuff I've read/heard about in SW fandom (Jabba / Han Solo rape slash...I kid you not) most fandoms have me saying "Okay, and you're into fucking what?"
That's a very good point, and one that brings me to something I meant to say here:
Jay O'Lantern wrote:
Where did you acquire that information? What sources? There is far more to furry fandom than sexuality. In fact, being a furry is easy; all you have to do is express an interest in anthropomorphic animals or animals with human sentience. For example; Mickey mouse, Bugs Bunny, Sonic the Hedgehog.
What popularized the idea of furries and sex has much to do with a particular episode of CSI called "Fur and Loathing in Las Vegas". Like all such shows, things like that need to be taken with a huge grain of salt. They're not out for truth, they're out for ratings and controversy.
While it's nice (and sort of true) to pin the blame for this on media who spin it for sensationalism, I feel there's a lot of self-reflection the fandom needs to do about not only how it's presenting itself but what it actually does. Go to any furry art site, turn any filters off, and look at the uploads. It's full
of porn and nudity. I don't know how accurate it is to paint fandom as sexual, but given the content, we're kind of asking for it; while it's not the full story, it's not wrong, either.
The furry fandom is like the slashfic, Kirk/Spock seedy underbelly of the Trek fandom, but without the normalizing influence of a vanilla mainstream media product as its tentpole. We're the only self-generating fandom built around an idea rather than a product or media empire that I'm aware of, making little difference between user content and
"official" product. That has it positives and it's negatives, but one of the big negatives is really freaky art. As a result, we have the odd situation of the "Jabba/Han" slash equivalent being just as mainstream an legitimate as the clean stuff.
Now, is that bad? My hard drive is hardly a posterchild for the It's Not a Sexual Fetish Honest camp anyway, so I'm in no position to judge, but given not just what's presented but what we actually put on the Internet...I'm not so ready anymore to leap to defend the fandom as a monolithic entity to those who look at it and are squicked out. I actually called into Anthropodcast
last week about this very subject, and brought up some of my observations form the TrekBBS; the new show isn't up yet however, so no idea if they used my voicemail or not.
Jay O'Lantern wrote:
Bestiality? In what way? We're animals ourselves. We're a part of the species homo sapiens and are simply bipedal primates. What you're thinking of is an attraction to feral animals. Keep in mind, that (and I've said this before) we're on a Star Trek board where people have expressed interest in having sex with green skinned Orions, Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, Trills, Andorians, and all manner of species. It has been said that "yes, but these are people in makeup", and so I say anthropomorphic animals are merely people in fur/feathers/scales. The sentience is there, unlike in bestiality where the animals is feral and non-sentient/self aware.
The self-aware part is important to note, but--and again, I hate to say this--bestiality does happen, albeit not at a *too* much higher rate than the general population, if the discussions about this on the FurAffinity forums are to be believed. I spent the last several minutes digging unsuccessfully through the FA forums to try to find a post where one guy talked about notcing a percentage if folks who come to conventions bringing their pets with them, and that those pets are almost always "unaltered," shall we say. As he put it, "you don't have to be a neurosurgeon to figure out what's going on here."
On the flip side, (and, again, I wish I could locate this post and link to it), it was brough up there that most furries really seem to have a thing for "kyewt" ears and tails, rather than animals for real, as we all grew up watching tlaking cartoon animals as kids and probably imprinted on them to some extent. (I think that's true in my case, at any rate.)