- Not to be confused with the well-known soft drink.
Dr. Pepper was the self-avowed non-furry author of an article entitled Furry Fandom Observed. This article circulated as a text file on BBS's on the U.S. West Coast in the late 1980's and was the author's version of how to define furry fandom. The file was seen by many to be biased, making broad statements about the psychology and sexuality of furry fans, and it sparked quite a bit of controversy in the furry community. The file was the subject of an editorial in Watts Martin's first issue of FurBytes in March 1990.
Furry Fandom Observed (credited to Dr. Pepper)
This is an attempt to concisely explain furrydom to the curious. I am not myself a member of this group, this is what I have been told, have heard and read, or just observed in action. This is by no means complete but it is a start towards understanding.
- In the simplest terms furry fandom is the admiration of creatures that have both human and animal traits. Since such do not actually exist, this is considered a subgenre of science fiction/fantasy fandom.
- One aspect of this is simply liking so called "funny animal" cartoons and comics, such as Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, et al. Such creatures are not conceived with much logic, and it is their human references that are important, the animal shape is more for humor than anything else.
- Then there is the envy of certain traits observed in animals. Such traits include speed, strength, grace, beauty, cunning and of course possession of fur. Most of the animals people are attracted to are mammals, hence the term "furry," but nothing is excluded.
- This leads to the desire to put oneself in the animal's place so as to be able to really experience what it is like to be so gifted.
- But most people want to have this experience with human type sapience. This leads to the postulation of various kinds of creatures.
- Real animals that somehow can think and talk. A lot of folklore and mythology is mined for source material for these. Of more recent vintage is the idea of using biological or digital technology to augment ordinary creatures.
- Sapient analogs of certain animals. These include parallel evolution on other worlds, human genetic intervention, and additional evolution, say due to massive radiation.
- Gene spliced creatures made to order. These can range from customized humans to totally new beings made with the desired combination of traits.
- Furry fans like to read and write stories involving any of those creatures, admire and create art featuring them, and play games that include them. This includes playacting, such as answering the phone with a "meow."
- But some people are more than just furry FANS. These people are simply called FURRIES.
- Furries are those who get into the concept so much that they deliberately develop alternate personas that actually have those animal traits. Each persona takes on a life of its own in a sort of controlled schizophrenia such as ventriloquists and fantasy gamers practice.
- Furries have many different ways to relate to their furry personas. Some think of them as totally different beings who happen to live inside them. Others see them as simply minor varients of themselves. And still others see them as vehicles for normally suppressed aspects of their own personalities.
- The most interesting way of viewing a persona, though, is to see it as some sort of mystical entity that can confer benefits which are represented by the animal shape. Some relate this to a witch's familiar or to the spirit guardian of the Plains Indians. This can be taken literally, that is with actual belief in such entities, or in a Jungian fashion, that the animal shape is a symbolic key to unlock unconscious abilities.
- Fine. So what do furries do with their personas? They communicate through them. The definition of the persona determines how the furry will express themself. This can be quite different from how the actual person does it. This may facilitate communication under circumstances in which the person would normally feel inhibited.
- In fact it has been claimed that, despite the impression one might get about the persona as "putting on a mask," the use of the persona actually enables a person to be more genuinely themselves. That's because the persona has more freedom, not being subject to the stifling layers that social convention puts on us mere humans.
- Long as we're getting free of social conventions, we might as well get to sex. Most furries are interested in the concept of sex between themselves as themselves, or themselves as their personas, with other such creatures. This differs from simple bestiality in that the partner is another mature sapient. So regardless of the species difference, it remains full participation sex between two people.
- Dear me, did I say two? Two is another social convention. A lot (most?) furries like group sex.
- In fact, social conventions seem to go down like dominos once one gets started. That may be why so many (most?) furries are bi.
- Let us now pause while the straight and monogamous folks come out from wherever they just dived into for cover.
- Ok, didn't mean to chase anyone off. The point is that wherever may be on the spectrum, from full fledged furriness to just a reader of "Panda Khan," there is a place in furrydom for you.
[end of file]
- The Dr. Pepper File - Usenet article with the FurByte editorial and comments from an unknown Usenet poster