I like dressing up as a bear during sex

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I like dressing up as a bear during sex is the title of a piece published in The Times' sex advice column Body & Soul on 8 December 2007.[1]

The piece consisted of the response of two people to the question of a self-professed "furry" recently arrived from America: should he reveal his interest in having sex in costume with his new girlfriend?

The quotation of the question was not entirely accurate - while it stated that the fan had come from New York and liked Yogi Bear, Times personnel later admitted that the individual's original location and chosen outfit had been changed to protect their identity.[2] No notice of this change was given in the piece.

Contents

[edit] Opinions

The two responses were made by:

  • Dr. Thomas Stuttaford, a medical columnist for The Times and former Conservative MP who has written books on topics from general medical advice to the leather fetish, and "spent many years working in a genitourinary clinic", and
  • Suzi Godson, author of sexual advice manuals The Sex Book and The Body Bible.

[edit] Dr. Stuttaford

Dr. Stuttaford's opinion was highly critical. He stated that it was "most unlikely" that the questioner's girlfriend would wish to "spend her Saturday nights sweltering in a bear suit" or "take part in the sex games enjoyed by your furry friends", referring to scritching and furpiles as examples of sexual behaviour. Yiffing was brought up, and he asserted that "in the list of weird fetishes, furry behaviour is in the championship – if not the premier – league." According to him, the questioner should "not be surprised" if his girlfriend left after finding out about his fetish.

Dr. Stuttaford continued with an equally long section on the definition of fetishes, describing a laundry list of loosely related paraphilias. He went on to describe an "anthropomorphic delusion" in which a senior executive had become "convinced he was a dog", and a situation where deranged men at a psychiatric unit barked at a butcher's truck upon its arrival, closing with statement that such delusions "can usually be treated", and that fetishes "may be moderated by psychotherapy combined with medication" if necessary.

Stuttaford has since mentioned furries a second time in an article referring again to sexual activity whilst in fursuit.

[edit] Suzi Godson

Suzi also indicated that it would be "naive to unload your furry little secret and expect your girlfriend to react sympathetically." Her advice was to find a furry fan who had already developed similar interests instead.

Unlike Dr. Stuttaford, Suzi refrained from overly critical language regarding the furry fetish itself, focussing instead on its likely reception within British culture. She suggested that the British preferred more "restrained" fetishes (such as BDSM), unlike the "flamboyant joviality of dressing up as teddy bears and making out like rabbits," and noted that while costumed performers were popular, "an erotic interest" in Children in Need spokestoy Pudsey Bear" was "not in our cultural script."

Suzi also took care to redefine furry as a fan activity as well as a fetish, noting the objection of some fans and fursuiters to characterization of their interest as a fetish (though she did also mention the presence of fursuitsex.com). She made reference to several concrete elements of furry culture, including a video by Zig Zag fursuit performer Kathris Hali, the ukFur forums, and the regular LondonFur Meet.

[edit] Response

Furry fans blasted Dr. Stuttaford's commentary as "a useless essay on fetishism," with claims of stereotyping and suggestions that he had "seen CSI and that's all he [needed] to know to be an expert". In contrast, Suzi's answer was deemed both "full of sense", "useful", and "much more well-informed and honest." She was also praised for "actually [doing] research instead of copy-pasting from Vanity Fair." [2][3]

Coyoty also suggested that the questioner was "having you on and not a real furry," as a real furry fans would be more likely to have a commissioned fursuit of their own character rather than one of Yogi Bear.

[edit] References

  1. I like dressing up as a bear during sex - The Times, Body & Soul (8 December 2007)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Two UK sex columnists give their advice to a US fur - GreenReaper,   furrymedia (9 December 2007)
  3. Times Online 'sex experts' advise US expatriate - GreenReaper et. al., ukFur boards (9 December 2007)
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