Help talk:Beginner's Guide to Furry

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Generic Welcome Message Number Three[edit]

Welcome...I think...if I'm doing this right. I dunno. I've never really edited a Wiki page before, save for minor edits or vandalism removal in the main Wikipedia.'re we doing? We're making a beginner's guide for new furs here. Something to help recently "whelped" furs with all the questions that all of us older furs had when we first started. (Now I'm making myself sound like a greymuzzle). Basically, I want this to be a concentrated source of information that all new furs can read through. Like...the definition of scritch? I didn't know that at first. How do I act at a con? How do I request a commission? How do I pick a fursona? What's Tapestries? All of that kinda stuff should be answered here.

I want this to be the work of a community because that's the furry fandom's best aspect: we may fight, hackles may get raised, and there may be some blood, but we're probably one of the more closeknit fandoms in the world. Community really makes this fandom what it is, and I want this to be a visible effort of those of us who have been in the "game" for a long time to reach out our paws to those of us who are just getting their fur.

How this'll work at first: It'll work like any Wiki page. Edit what you want. Add new topics (though try to discuss them here before adding them. Some aspects of the fandom are already well covered elsewhere). Once this page reads like a full guide (like I could give this to a new fur, and they'll be pretty well learned after finishing it), it'll be copied to a uneditable location, like on another website. This'll still be editable, of course, and as major changes are made to this, they'll be made to the "main" guide as well.

As I said, anyone is free to edit, add, and delete, though I'd like that major changes be discussed here first. I came up with the idea, but I want this to be a cooperative work of all of us.

You might notice that the page itself is kinda blank. As I said...I'm new to this wiki thing, so if one of you more wiki-capable want to get us started? *nudgenudgewinkwink* -- Bloodfyr 07:36, 13 Dec 2005 (UTC)

For further background information, see these three posts on the openpaws LiveJournal community. --GreenReaper(talk) 08:15, 13 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Planning Suggestions[edit]

OK, figure someone has to start doing something sooner or later, and heck, I've got some free time. I'm not a wiki person either, so I'm just going to try to kick off a few discussions here.

Something to consider right off the bat, what kind of scope are we looking for here? From the above we have "they'll be pretty well learned after finishing it" - perhaps something more solid than that would be helpful for planning? To cover everything in a guide of this nature is a bad idea, key to remember here is it's a "beginner's" guide - too much information will swamp and overload the new furs, they'll be lost and not take much in from it. On the other paw, too little information and the guide's failed at doing its job.

Format's also something to consider, especially since it's planned to exist outside WikiFur at a later date. Ideally, a good guide will stand alone, but also offers suggestions of further reading for more information. Format's somewhat linked to size, in terms of how many pages and how they can be interconnected. On a wiki for example, there's a higher level of interlinking between pages than most webpages.

Also, I'd like to make a suggestion on the overall structure of the guide. How does it sound to have it laid out in some sort of sequential order? Can't think of a good way to explain, so I'll throw up an example (section titles are just made up to demonstrate the idea).

  1. "What is furry?"
  2. "Your fursona"
  3. "How to meet some other furs"
  4. "Attending a furmeet"
  5. "Your first con"

The idea of this being that a new fur could move through the guide in order as it were. You don't discover furry one day and end up at a con the next, and sections like cons and meets would probably be re-read at a later date when the time comes around. Anyhow, just a suggestion, but I thought maybe we could throw up a 'proper' list like the example above here, and as people think of new section ideas, have them edited into the list in the appropriate place, then we can debate which should be included in the guide.

Well, that should hopefully get the ball rolling. Now discuss!

-- Ikkarub 00:15, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to emphasize that not every furry has a fursona. -- Siege 01:01, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion, to clarify, those weren't meant as suggested topics, but just as an example to demonstrate a possible ordering for topics, if you see what I mean? -- Ikkarub 02:18, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Name one. --Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 03:59, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
What, a furry without a fursona (aka, a character which represents them)? How about me. Siege used to be a separate character, but these days, the character is pretty much just me being me online. The species as presented is without definite form, and keeps changing, even if it's not human. -- Siege 09:25, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
For someone who cares enough about proper character description, you sure have a lousy character. Of course, on the other hand, it does give you a chance to work your thesaurus. Quit making the rest of us look bad. Grr, or something. I suck. --Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 09:33, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I have plenty of characters for role-playing. And in any case, what other people see is how they'll judge you, so it helps to make a good impression. -- Siege 09:48, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Clarification of various jargon might be a logical idea. After all, I learned most of my jargon through experimentation...led to experiences I'd prefer to forget. No one died, and the runaway memes are under control, but...Compiling a jargon glossary might be a good idea.
--Soran Argo 19:08, 23 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Important Concern[edit]

Being how I am the negativity around here and in Openpaws (because every set of cute things needs it's own version of Grumpy Bear), you probably won't take this seriously. Well, please do.

I believe it is of grave importance to include some of the more "anti-fur"ish statements that have been made. It would be in our best interests if any new furs read this to know certain things. Especially those concerning illegal sex acts. I am mainly speaking of writers like nothingkat. They bring about certain issues in the fandom that need to be looked at. Whilist they don't do it in the nicest way possible and are often rude and abrasive, they do make a point. Like NK's Confession on Suicide In The Fandom or 2's Rant on Yiffing. Even going as far as to include Something Awful's What Is A Furry? poster, or the Burned Furs Manifesto. When you look between the lines, these insulting commentaries about the fandom show exactly how not to act.

I know most of you are going to read this and tell me to @#$% off. Well, you do that. But people who get into the fandom need to know that there are things to do and also some things not to do. At least take the time to consider it.
--Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 01:00, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)

I'd have to agree that this subject is important to include. Furs have a significant bad reputation (I'll avoid dragging myself into debates on whether this is deserved or not), and it'd be irresponsible not to at least warn potential new furs what they're getting themselves into. Of course, anything from Something Awful or the Burned Furs should be prefaced with some kind of warning about where it's coming from, less it's mistaken to be a neutral observation. -- Ikkarub 02:13, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
That's not what I meant. I mean that instead of being all flowers and sunshine, the guide should lay down some important concepts. Like, for example, in 2's Rant on Yiffing, he talks about some guy just came up to him and was all "Hey, wanna yiff?" See, that's something that should be covered in the guide. We should'nt say it the way 2 says it, with the profanity and insults, but we should say something. I believe we gotta let people coming into the fandom this isn't a fetish party. They shouldn't be here if they just wanna get laid. I don't want to break my foot off in someones ass. --Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 04:18, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I don't know . . . there are some people on Tapestries who might want you to break your foot off in their ass . . .
More generally: for some people, the fandom is a fetish party, or at least a place where they feel welcome to act out their fetishes with other willing partners. Some people do come to the furry fandom primarily for TinySex. We have many fan sites and roleplaying areas (and whole MUCKs) dedicated to such. Is it a "core" part of "furry"? Maybe not, but they're about as core as some other significant parts (e.g. puppeteering).
Should we be promoting these things? No, just as we shouldn't be saying they're bad, either. Should we note that they exist and that some take part in them while others dislike them? Most assuredly - that's informative without being judgemental. Perhaps advice such as "In general, it's not accepted to go up to people and ask them to yiff you, because chances are they won't like it" is a good idea, but it should be accompanied by "if you want that sort of thing, go to appropriate place X, Y or Z".
Remember, telling people not to do X is a great way to get a certain proportion of these people to do it, especially if they hadn't heard about it to begin with (and as the Burned Furs learnt, it's rather hard to tell someone not to do something unless you also tell them about it, which can then lead to people thinking that's all the fandom is about, which is exactly the opposite result to that intended! :-). --GreenReaper(talk) 06:15, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
When you look between the lines, these insulting commentaries about the fandom show exactly how not to act.
I would say that they show exactly how other people think we should act if we want to fit in with them. This is quite a different thing - on the one hand you have an absolute moral standard, on the other you have a personal choice. And absolute moral standards make me itch. ;-)
Ultimately, a large part of the reason some people like being part of this fandom is that they don't necessarily have to go along with what other people think they should do/be. Sometimes for a person to be truly happy it is necessary to be nonconformant with the wishes or expectations of others, because they may not mesh with your own wishes. People have been more or less blatent about this depending on the period and situation, but it's tended to settle out to something like "if it's not hurting another member of the fandom, and I don't have to deal with it because it doesn't affect my own enjoyment, then I don't really care all that much, even if I wouldn't be into it myself."
Of course, the trouble comes when some people's enjoyment depends on what "outsiders" think of the furry fandom in general, or of parts of it in particular. I personally would find it hard to care less about what Something Awful's general population thought of the furry fandom. I know this is not true of everyone, but I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this position either. --GreenReaper(talk) 06:15, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Excuse me for getting on my moral high horse here, but fetishes are one things. Fandoms are another. People who get off on robots don't go to the forum and start posting their Bass on Roll hentai. If people come into the fandom thinking it's for sex, then that sets the wrong mindset for what the fandom truely is. Now, that being said, before I got into the fandom I was a member of a chatroom called #hentai that was made up of BAG forum members. It was there that Megaman porn was not only posted, but furry porn as well. Porn of any kind, really. Anyway, it was a private X rated area. As far as the fandom goes, I'm cool with that! I don't go into #maleyiff, I don't cruise Fchan, and I'm not a Taps member. But it doesn't stay there; it overflows, due to this "Furry is about sex!" mindset, into other places where it doesn't belong. At first, I just ignored it. I didn't mind, unless there wasn't a NSFW tag (and that happened less often than you would think). But then it just got rediculas. I was trying to have a conversation with people in a chatroom that invited people of all ages and they're posting porn, having sex, everything except talk about the chat topic. (Room name witheld). So, hey, I know a lot of people in the fandom like furry porn. Hell, Sibe is one of my better friends in the fandom. I personally know two furry porn artists in my town. I've had sex with other furs. I'm not saying it's bad at all. But when you start over stepping boundaries that shouldn't be crossed, internet or other wise, it causes problems.
Also, there are some groups in the fandom who are seen as worse than others, even among the sexual furs. (pedofurs, babyfurs, zoophiles, etc.) As far as they go... hey, what you do is your business. I may not agree, but I can't stop you either. But keep that shit private. Seriously. Or at least as private as you can get it. Cause that shit looks bad on the rest of us, INCLUDING the ones who like yiff. --Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 06:19, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Again, you're using opinion as an absolute moral judgement - "over-stepping boundaries that shouldn't be crossed". Says who? You? You can see where this ends up - people disagree about such things. :-) The best you can really say and be truthful while speaking in third-person is "some people think this is bad, and some do not, and that's where we stand." And then you end up having people make their own mind from the sources given, which to me is better than telling them something that others definitely don't agree with, one way or another.
A thing to consider: If enough people in the furry fandom think that furry is about sex, at least partially, doesn't that make it true? Perhaps you would seek to change that by convincing people that they should act differently, but that seems more suitable for a personal article - which are welcome on WikiFur, by the way, and which could well be linked into the beginner's guide (say, "Skunk's Guide to Not Making Furry Look Bad To Mundanes"). But it should be clearly marked as personal opinon, because frankly, that's what it is. I would treat Manawolf's "One Woman and her Dog" (if such an article existed) in the same manner - one person's opinion, which is a source for consideration by readers. --GreenReaper(talk) 06:37, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Well, I was basing it really on basic general public rules. What you can't do in Central Park you shouldn't be able to do in the fandom, either. Private, though, who cares? As per your consideration, if enough people in the furry fandom think furry is about sex and that makes it true? Ya know, I don't know of another group of people who like anthropomorphic animals. I'd really hate to be forced out of the fandom. I'm sure there are others who agree. That's why my solution works as compared to the other two options. Instead of all or nothing, half and half. I would love for people to act differently, but I don't want them giving up what they like. Just changing where they discuss it at. I'm sure when you, or anyone else, looks at me they see just another troll trying to "fursecute" the fandom. But that's not true at all. I just want the fandom, as a whole, to be more open to people of all ages and customs, and not just those looking for a quick screw. --Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 07:02, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I think you've both hit upon the key point here, the matter or where such activity goes on. Ultimately, it's down to each individual site/chat/muck what their standards are, as only they have the power to enforce them there.
GreenReaper brought up the "if it's not hurting another member of the fandom..." bit, and is it not fair to say that, for lack of a better term, 'indecent exposure' is hurting? There's a contraversal line somewhere around here as to where freedom of speech ends, but generally the consensus of whatever particular forum holds.
For the guide, how does it sound to outline that the new fur should consider what's appropriate for that particular enviroment, checking the posted rules if they exist, and follow some basic etiquette so as not to offend people, and particularly note to consider that there's people who will be offended by public displays of such content. (for an Internet definition of public, I think it's safe to say that anything with a 'clean' warning page before someone can get to the smut is private, and talking to anyone you don't know outside of such a place (for example, instant messaging) should be treated as public).
At the end of the day, we can't force anyone to obey any set of standards, but we can encourage them to be considerate of people who might end up reading what they type, and act accordingly. -- Ikkarub 18:40, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
That's pretty much as far as we can get NPOV, I believe. --Skunklogo.gif(U)(T)(C) 23:42, 15 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Sounds good. Context is key. The important thing is to understand first where you are and go from there. --GreenReaper(talk) 02:40, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)


I think we've established some fairly good guidelines with respect to issues of consideration for the rules of a forum and for the feelings of others, at least. Having created and edited a number of wiki articles here to date (anonymously, most of them improved with a little help from others), I would love to assist in creating this article. At what point will we be ready to begin? I also wish to offer that I have already written something which could be included in this project, which basically amounts to a set of rules of good netiquette for email/message boards and chatrooms geared toward furries and based on my own early experiences.

Do it! Do it now! :-)
Start whenever you want and however you like. The mere fact of your doing so will encourage others to contribute. --GreenReaper(talk) 04:28, 19 Dec 2005 (UTC)

I completely forgot about this thing...[edit]

Wow. So all that's been going on in my life, I COMPLETELY forgot about this thing. Okay...Let's see. Do I have the time to revamp? I'm unemployed, so I've got plenty of time! :P Check. I spend most of my day in between job applications especially bored. So do I have the motivation? Check. I'm also trying to get more involved in this fandom I hatelove so much. So more motivation? Check. Okay.

Let's get started...

...after I sleep some.

--Bloodfyr 09:56, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


This isn't an article... should it be in someone's user space? Perhaps in the Forums or in Help: space? -- Sine 06:58, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Mmm. We don't really have a comfortable place for collaboratively written advice, do we? --GreenReaper(talk) 07:41, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
How 'bout making a category, "How To" and put related articles, such as How to make a Fursuit (or whatever) in it? Equivamp 15:25, 9 June 2011 (EDT)