How furry is it?
The piece begins by introducing local furs Adam "Nicodemus" Riggs and "Tom Howling" Geller. Riggs shows off his latest fursuit (a raccoon), whilst Howling describes how he got into furry fandom when he started working in high-tech.
It is noted that adverts from the San Francisco Bay Area furries on the dating site Pounced.org outnumber those from any other location, and that Northern California is identified as a furry hotspot on the Internet Furry Proximity Locator. This is implied to be a reason for the high number of attendees at the area's Further Confusion convention.
The way in which people create their fursona is discussed, with Howling describing it as "reconciling the discrepancy between the animal self inside and the physical body they were born with." For most, a fursona will be an anthropomorphic animal, but for others not, such as the Bay-area electrical engineer referred to only as "Spike", who sees his inner self as a non-anthro Rottweiler.
A monthly meeting of furs, including IT manager Sage Mane, has a conspicuous absence of women. Female furry and aspiring koala fursuiter Morley John observes that "Furries aren't the most socially competent people".
Furry fandom's reputation as a fetish is raised, with reference to the image created by the Vanity Fair article, the Fur and Loathing episode of CSI, and MTV's Sex2K. These are refuted by Morley John, who says these representations are "unrealistic and blown out of proportion". Tom Howling admits to having had a lot of sex at private parties at furry conventions, while Adam Riggs emphasizes that public activities at conventions are kept PG, and fursuit-sex isn't very practical.
Howling further points out that fursuits are expensive, and most furries at conventions do not wear them.
The article concludes with the thought that what gives furry fandom its sense of community is the way in which people develop their characters over many years, and form relationships with other like-minded furries. The final word goes to Tom Howling, who says:
|Furries are shy people who normally sit in front of the computer playing World of Warcraft, and being a furry is a way to make friends.|