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A babyfur is a member of the furry fandom who enjoys roleplaying younger characters. They may also be an Adult Baby and/or Diaper Lover (collectively known as AB/DLs), or is otherwise involved in Infantilism. There are many different types of furs in the babyfur community, each focusing on different aspects and roles. Like furry in general, babyfur culture involves a good amount of role-playing (either light or heavy), both online and in the real world.
The community has been growing more and more popular since the mid-to late 90's. While the community itself is still part of the furry fandom as a whole, it is large enough to present sufficient leaders, politics and drama to give the community a nearly independent feel to it.
Role playing babyfurs will most often take on the role of a furry character in his/her infancy or childhood. Common roleplaying themes include "cute" clothing (onesies, footy pajamas, overalls, diapers) and a child's environment such as a nursery or day care center, complete with cribs, high chairs and babyish decor. A few babyfurs lucky enough to afford the privacy and devotion will set up adult nurseries to role play as children in real life. A sexual subset of this type of roleplaying is known as ageplay.
There are a few sub-groups within the babyfur community which are often described with the following terminology :
- Babyfur : Used to describe the group as a whole, however, specifically it refers to someone who roleplays as younger characters—up to the human equivalent of toddler age. Baby paraphernalia is likely to be involved for this group and roleplay speech is often either in gibberish or very basic speech.
- Lilfur (littlefur, kidfur) : This is a person who roleplays as a child character. Characters identified as lilfurs tend to be between their toddler and teen ages. Diapers and other baby paraphernalia may or may not be involved. Role played speech is usually more refined at this point, but still somewhat juvenile.
- Diaperfur : This is a person who roleplays as an adult character who still either requires or chooses to wear diapers. Role played speech and actions are consistent with an adult. The person may also roleplay an adult character who has mentally regressed back to a younger state, but still has an adult physical form.
- Sissyfur : This is commonly misunderstood as a person who roleplays a male character, either adult or child, who is forced to dress and act as a young female character. Truthfully, a sissyfur is anyone, male or female, who enjoys regression, leaning toward a very feminized and docile or submissive look and attitude.
- Caregiver/Caretaker : As the name suggests these are the people who roleplay characters who give care, a 'mommy' or 'daddy' figure for other babyfurs.
Many people don't identify with one single group, but can change roles depending on the situation and who they are interacting with. It's also not uncommon for complex lineages (for example siblings, parents, etc.) to be set up among other babyfurs so that roles can be defined.
Definition of AB/DLs
These are general non-furry terms but are useful to understand in this context.
- Adult Baby (AB) : A person that enjoys regressing back to being a baby. Beyond regressing using physical or environmental changes (such as diapers, clothing, and settings), they also mentally regress, taking the mentality of a baby. These are the equivalent to 'babyfurs' or 'lilfurs' when crossed with furry. Teenagers who are Adult Babies will sometimes refer to themselves as Teen Babies (TBs).
- Diaper Lover (DL) : A person feels a strong desire to wear or use diapers, usually without physiological necessity. These people, unlike AB's, will usually not regress physically (adopting a baby form) or mentally. These tend to be the equivalent of 'diaperfurs' in the babyfur community. For some DLs, but not all of them, there is a fetish connection to the diapers. They will sometimes take the submissive role to a carer in sexual play, and the carer will take a dominant role.
- Infantilist : Essentially, infantilism regards any person who enjoys regressing to the mental age of an infant or toddler, and may or may not involve diapers and other baby paraphernalia.
Baby items (and why)
From the Adult Baby (AB) angle of AB/DL, regressing individuals prefer to behave and be treated as much like a baby or toddler as possible. To do so successfully achieves in many babyfurs a comforting, secure or blissful feeling. Various paraphernalia help to satisfy these preferences:
Many babyfurs enjoy wearing all sorts of clothing. Some say the cuter it looks, the better it is. Such articles of clothing include the following:
Plushies and toys
Just like clothing, interacting with plushies and toys is very contributive to the cub experience. Toys range in age from baby toys to toy cars and action figures. As long as cubs get to interact with one another though, toys are not always the focus in a roleplay.
A toddler's life is not complete without items such as cribs, walkers, strollers, high chairs, car seats/booster seats, pacifiers, baby bottles/sippy cups, talcum powder and bubble baths. Many babyfurs use these objects in online roleplay and would love to be able to use them in the real world.
As well as physical objects, some babyfurs find a keen interest in actions like blowing a raspberry, being held, or watching old television shows that are no longer available on TV. Many old children's shows such as 80's and early 90's cartoons on Nickelodeon were the same shows some babyfurs watched when they were little, and reminiscing about them leaves a nostalgic warmth.
Diaper usage (and why)
Diapers are an item frequently used while "cubbing out". Like other aspects of babyfur, this can be done in the virtual world, the real world, or both. There are many babyfurs, however, that while they will wear diapers in online roles, do not in real life. Many babyfurs will wear diapers in real life for a feeling of security and comfort, but will not use them for their intended purpose. At the other end of the spectrum, there are some babyfurs that, either by choice or by necessity, wear and use diapers all the time.
Why babyfurs wear, and possibly use, diapers in the real world is varied. For some, they are forced to wear them because of a medical condition and have no choice in the matter. These people have often blended their real life situation with that of their furry persona. For others, it is a way they can regress into their furry persona's age. Some others see the diapers as a connection to their furry persona, paralleling a tail or fursuit in the general furry community.
The wearing (and especially the use) of diapers in the real world are at the heart of many issues that some members of the furry community in general have with the babyfurs. For example, it is not generally considered appropriate for a diaper user to soil themselves at a convention in the presence of other furry fans - or to put themselves in a situation where this is likely to happen — yet individuals have been known to do this, to the detriment of the group's reputation.
When cubbing out in both the real world and in online roleplaying, the level of connection to the role will vary between each player. Some babyfurs will become so involved and yearn for such an authentic childish mentality that they will use speech impediments and baby talk to communicate. Very few babyfurs make a habit out of using babytalk in the real world, similar to a gay lisp. Depending on the situation, a babyfur could even develop a habit of whining or crying to get what he/she wants from a caregiver or another roleplayer.
In light online role-playing, babyfurs may toddle, crawl and wag their tails playfully while the sounds of crinkling diapers abound. Pouncing, giggling, cuddling, snuggling and tummy rubbing ensue with the maximum possible level of cuteness.
Child-like behavior, baby animal sounds and an emphasis on cuteness can be found among some furry fans when among themselves, even those who don't call themselves babyfurs and who don't participate in other babyfur activities described here, such as diapers or baby clothing.
While most babyfurs are closely attached to the development of young humans, a different approach can be found in online role-play, where newborn zoomorphic and anthropomorphic characters often grow up at a similar pace as wild animals, doing without accessories such as diapers and learning to walk in a short time. This has the practical advantage of sooner getting into an age that allows interesting role-play even for non-babyfurs when playing a character since birth. As in nature, opinions on when a character can be considered adult vary greatly.
"Cubbing Out" is a general term used by the community to describe roleplaying as a babyfur character. This can either be roleplay in the virtual world or the real world. Usually it will involve one or more regressed characters or people interacting with each other or with a caregiver.
"Padding" and "Getting Padded" may also refer to cubbing, in particular regarding to being diapered.
The caregiver's role
Caregivers (or caretakers) are the "mommy" and "daddy" figures in the roleplay. For the most part, they interact with other babyfurs as a mother or father would with their child. This can include playing with, cleaning or disciplining the younger character.
Babyfurs at furry conventions
Just like furries in general, babyfurs go to conventions to spend time with friends and express their furriness. For many, that includes their babyfur aspects too. One may see many babyfurs dressed in juvenile clothing and with various paraphernalia because that is part of how they choose to express themselves. To some babyfurs, dressing in such a way is no different from other furries wearing ears, tails or fursuits.
At many conventions, hotel rooms are set up as gathering places for babyfurs to socialize privately, and many conventions now have unique babyfur rooms/parties available, instead of relying on the same people to run the same parties at every con. Two of the most notable are the Cubhouse, run by LilPup, as well as the Cub Hub, a new room run by any of its core members (FoxCub, Natasha Softpaw, and Scritchwuff, currently) who show up for a particular con.
History of the babyfur community
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- 1995 - Proxima Centauri opens The Nursery on FurryMUCK.
- 1995-01-13 - Proxima Centauri runs the first official "AB/DL Furry" convention gathering at ConFurence 6, though unsuccessful.
- 1995-08-04 - BitterGrey opens Understanding Infantilism, then known as BitterGrey's Den, a website for ABDLs and furries.
- 1996-09-09 - Proxima Centauri officially opens Nursery Tails.
- 1997 - Snuggems opens the FurryMUCK's DayKare and Bottoms-Up Diaper Company.
- 1998-01-15 - Snuggems runs The Nursery, the first successful convention gathering for babyfurs, at ConFurence 9. The Nursery has been held at 18 furry conventions.
- 1998-07 - Chipper and OshKoshFox create #babyfurs on YiffNet.
- 2000-05-20 - Kasi Frost and OshKoshFox create the Babyfurs mailing list on One Groups.
- 2000-05-18 - Ray_Ferret creates #littlepaws on YiffNet after heated disagreements on #babyfurs.
- 2000 -OzzyFox creates #nowhere_grotto on YiffNet as an alternative to #babyfurs and #littlepaws. The new channel grows to rival the size of #babyfurs, but falls before #babyfur is created in 2004.
- 2001-07 - LilPup runs the first CubHouse at Anthrocon.
- 2002-11-02 - TF Baxxter officially opens the Babyfur Community on LiveJournal.
- 2004-07 - Ludwig creates #babyfur as an alternative to #babyfurs, now on FurNet, to allow users to chat with fewer rules and regulations.
- 2004-09-13 - The Babyfurs mailing list, having moved to Yahoo! Groups, is deleted by Yahoo! and is revived as Babyfurs_part2.
- 2004-12-11 - Yahoo! again deletes the mailing list, and the group moves to "Babyfurs" on Smartgroups.
- 2006-11-30 - SmartGroups ceases service. Babyfurs mailing list ceases to exist after over six years. The Babyfur LJ community eventually replaces mailing lists as a central babyfur community center.
- 2009-02-14 #babyfur is removed from furnet for making fun of a recently dead furry.
- 2009-02-24 - Ludwig moves #babyfur to anthrochat after being banned from furnet along with the other owners of #babyfur
- 2009-06-21 - The Cub Hub comes to Twitter.
- 2009-07 - The Babyfur Group opens on Facebook.
- 2011-01-07 - Ludwig closes #babyfur permanently.
- 2011-04-18 - Fuzzy opens BabyFur.ME as a social network dedicated to the babyfur community.
- 2011-10-10 - Ludwig opens #bfd on AnthroChat
- 201x-xx-xx - "Babyfurs" opens up on Twitter, via Ruff Wolf
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The following babyfurs are among the most known and respected in the furry fandom, recognized here for their contributions and devotion to the babyfur community:
- BabyTiger has been a member of the babyfur community since 1998, A Canadian Babyfur who has a strong presence at the Canadian conventions such at furnal Equinox and FurFright, as well as organizing and hosting BabyFur gatherings. He works and helps out with newer babyfurs in the community.
- FoxCub founded the Cub Hub mixer parties held at furry cons, which have been well-received by the babyfur community and the furry community alike. He's organized numerous local babyfur parties in the Pittsburgh area, and has been directly involved with most of the babyfur parties held at furry cons for the past decade. Recently, he began building high-quality cribs, high chairs, and other AB furniture, providing samples of his work at babyfur room parties at Anthrocon.
- Karis owns and maintains Karis' Playground, featuring a large collection of babyfur and AB/DL comics by artists of all rank. Karis was the first person to make babyfur/diaper art available at furry conventions, thus pioneering the community known today as "Babyfurs."
- LilPup ran and managed the Babyfur Cubhouse at furry conventions for babyfurs to get together and have fun, before the Cub Hub and other babyfur parties gained prominence. Like Swift and Orca, LilPup works to improve the relationship between babyfurs and non-babyfurs at conventions and to help babyfurs maintain a positive reputation in the furry fandom.
- Orca is a former moderator for the Babyfurs mailing list. He maintains an external file archive for the mailing list as well as reporting links to articles relating to AB/DLs. Orca is the inventor of the "Orca Stack".
- Proxima Centauri runs Nursery Tails, one of the longest running AB Furry pages, dating back to 1997 (before the term "babyfur" had existed) and featuring thousands of babyfur art, fiction and multimedia files.
- Swift Fox has been a member of the babyfur community since its inception in the mid to late 90's. He writes babyfur fiction, was owner and moderator of several iterations of the Babyfurs mailing list.
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A few of the authors and artists in the babyfur community are:
- Marci McAdam is probably the most popular artist in the babyfur community. Although not a babyfur herself, her ability and open-mindedness make her one of the most recognizable and well loved artists in babyfur circles. It is often said that a fur isn't officially a babyfur until they have purchased a badge or commission from her. Marci's babyfur art is for sale at her husband's website, Karis' Playground - other art is located at Marci McAdam's Furries. Due to professional time constraints, Marci only takes a few fandom commissions at a time, mostly at conventions.
- BushyCat appears at several furry conventions and is well known for her humorous-yet-innocent take on babyfurs as well as other alternative genres of furry art. Some of her creations have more human-like qualities than other artists tend to portray in their characters.
- Jade Fox The majority of his work is based on his own or other babyfurs' characters. His drawings focus on the most treasured aspects of childhood and include innovative clothing design.
- Kelvin the Lion's works include the progressive webcomic Nivlek, about the "weird" adventures of Nivlek the snow leopard, who enjoys wearing diapers and eating.
- OzzyFox, a student of animation at the Art Institute of Houston, produces work that ranges from cuddly cute to controversial and mature.
- Cargo Weasel's art leans strongly toward the "DL" side of "AB/DL," showing off mature diaper-related concepts that fit with his coloring and shading style. His art was featured on a now-defunct mailing list, but can still be found on his website.
- Familliar is a regular at Guppy's Bluefurry oekaki board. Familiar regularly draws pictures of both his own character creations as well as that of his commissioners in his own charmingly creative and endearing way.
- Aramitz's artwork focuses almost exclusively on the "DL" side of commissions for the babyfur community. His style features bold, thick inking lines set against cell-shaded coloring. Aramitz maintains galleries at all major furry art websites.
- TaviMunk is a traditional and digital artist whose work is intended to reflect the joys and fun of childhood and babyhood, using bright colors and warm, innocent expressions and actions. Tavi keeps his art at a G-PG level, and takes commissions.
- Kalida produces a great deal of babyfur artwork, much of it commissioned.
Art about babyfurs
- West Corner Of the Park's coverage has been generally negative, although they did make an exception for the Pink Panzer.
- CS Fox, also known as Kit Fox and Cyprus Sygial, is possibly the best known babyfur writer in the community. His works are the biggest features in the stories section at Nursery Tails, and since his submissions to Proxima's site he has gone on to host his own website showing off babyfur fiction of his own and by newer babyfur writers. The latest rendition of CS Fox's site, Fox Tales Times, is being completed as this article is written. Its biggest feature is CS Fox's renowned AB/DL RPGM2K-based game, Weston Academy. The website also sports plenty of comics and art related to the RPG.
- Firemane's fiction is prominently featured on CS Fox's fiction page.
- Fieval Mouse's work is still favored by many furs. His stories are roughly 5 years old and are found on Proxima's Nursery Tails, featuring illustrations by Doodles.
- Athalon is another notable furry writer who has written the lightly famous The Milkshake Club.
Babyfurs and pedophilia
Like other furry fans, babyfurs often exhibit sexual attraction to anthropomorphic animals by participating in TinySex. But because this usually involves adult players roleplaying sexual situations involving prepubescent characters, the question of whether babyfurs are pedophiles often arises.
Babyfurs generally assert that roleplaying as underage characters doesn't imply sexual attraction to such characters. For example, some roleplay as young furries due to a longing to be young again, and have no sexual element to their roleplay.
Of those that do participate in sexual activity, some are interested in (for example) the fantasy of submission to an adult figure. Those who have TinySex with other babyfurs sometimes argue that if there is no adult character involved, the activity is not pedophilia. Others may stress that since characters portrayed are not human, it is not meaningfully pedophilia. Outsiders often disagree, since the activity still involves actual adults taking an interest in prepubertal persons depicted in sexual situations.
This debate applies equally to visual and written depictions of babyfurs in sexual relations, and disagreements are often intense, between those with concerns about pedophilia, those who feel babyfur is distinct from pedophilia (because of players' identification with characters or the species of those characters), and those who don't care who enjoys it just as long as they're not forced to see it.
Within the psychological community there is a clear distinction that has been made between AB/DLs and pedophiles. Including from wikipedia Sexologist Gloria Brame whom states that "...infantilists who recognize and accept their sexuality - and its possible roots in infantile trauma - tend to be acutely protective of real children."
Babyfurs vs. non-babyfurs
The concept of babyfurs is quite contentious with some members of the fandom. Some furries and non-furries who have identified themselves as babyfurs or were identified by others as being babyfurs may have acted inappropriately at conventions in the past. Such contentious behavior has allegedly included wearing diapers in public without using proper hygiene and trying to push uninterested people into babyfur roleplay, including sexual roleplay. These behaviors are frowned upon by the babyfur community in general, and such incidents, if perpetrated by babyfurs, are done by a small number of babyfurs within a larger babyfur community. The community in general adopted guidelines of conduct for how to act in public after a rash of such alleged incidents at conventions in an effort to police themselves.
Furries who dislike babyfurs may do so for a variety of common points, including:
- Grossed out by the concept of diaper lovers (or, in the aforementioned cases, by the smell)
- Concern that some babyfurs may be pedophiles
- Previous negative experiences with those who identify themselves as babyfurs or were identified by others as being babyfurs.
- Fear that babyfur behavior will be associated as a characteristic of the general fandom, especially in the media
While there is some conflict between babyfurs and the general fandom, such conflicts should not be overstated. The majority of babyfurs and non-babyfurs coexist quite well because the majority of babyfurs do not engage in the more extreme behaviors mentioned here.
- Babyfurs Public Behavior Guidelines (v1.2a) official homepage
- Understanding Infantilism official homepage
- AltBabyfur mailing list
- Anthrochat #babyfur.me (PG13 rating)
- Furnet #babyfurs (PG13 rating)
- Furnet #diaperfurs (Unrated)
- Anthrochat #bfd (Unrated)
- Anthrochat #ballpit (Unrated)
- Diaperchat #fur (Unrated)
- BabyFur.ME official social network homepage