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Feral Attraction podcast ends as host faces multiple accusations of abuse

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (17 votes)

Feral Attraction has been a podcast dedicated to relationship styles, and giving furry fans advice on how to navigate them. The hosts have been Viro the Science Collie and Metriko the red panda. The first episode aired in January 2016, and seems to have ended as of December 2018, after Viro was confronted by a torrent of abuse allegations.

The accusations started with Koji, who had been in a relationship with Viro for five years. He described being steered into major financial debt, creating dependence, along with being emotionally and psychologically manipulated. Afterwards, several more furs came forward to say they'd also been abused by Viro during their younger days in the fandom, and how they'd been coerced:

Soon after these additional stories came out, Viro locked his own Twitter account from the public. The Feral Attraction episode feed was similarly restricted, changing its description to say that the podcast's site was for archival purposes only.

A misleading cause of hiatus

Equipvamp wrote about the podcast in June of 2018, giving an overview of the show. After it was published on Flayrah, however, comments soon came out with speculations that "relationship issues" between the two co-hosts had been causing a break in the show. At the time, there hadn't been a new episode for three months, since March of that year.

Viro responded quickly to the rumors to put out the fire, saying that there weren't any relationship troubles between him and his co-host, since they weren't romantically involved.

"I am not leaving Feral Attraction, and the show's hiatus has nothing to do with a breakup. Metriko and I were never romantically involved. Rather, Metriko chose to leave the show to make time to pursue personal projects, and I simply haven't had time to continue producing episodes while planning a move and completing a professional coaching certification program." [Link]

However, now that the abuse stories have been coming to light, his former podcast partner has also made a statement. Metriko discussed the concerning behavior he had witnessed, and how he had also been misled by Viro. In his full statement, he shows regret for not having acted on his concerns sooner.

"I will say that during my time spent with Koji and Viro, as well as my time doing the show, I observed a lot of behavior that I assumed to be part of a power dynamic that, clearly, was not. I was also misled to believe certain things that are, obviously, not true." [Link]

"The pressures of the show, in conjunction with a realization that I was being misled and gaslit, along with other behaviors by my cohost, caused me to leave last year. I have not spoken publicly about it due to the fact that I did not feel comfortable or safe doing so." [Link]

So despite Viro's claim that he and his co-host were not in a romantic relationship, Metriko's comments give some actual grounding to the rumors that their personal (or platonic) partnership had an issue that caused the break in broadcasts.

Fantasy fetishes or cruel reality?

With this in mind, Viro's F-List page looks like his alleged behavior in the real world may have extended into the character that he played online. His profile reflects using coercive means to assert authority over others, sexually and emotionally:

"Viro the Science Collie is a well-educated and intellectual Dominant who understands the slave heart: Submissives love finally feeling a sense of purpose. They live to serve. Their desires become unimportant. Their hopes and fears become meaningless. They know exactly what they have to do to be happy and to fulfill their purpose, which is to bring a superior male pleasure. Unlike life, submission is a game they can win. If that sounds like you, approach Viro and you may try to earn your way into his service.

Viro is polyamorous and tends to seek new connections with submissive boys who understand the value of good communication, total transparency, respect, and adherence to given protocol, all of which are very important to him. Speak with Viro in full sentences, and use proper punctuation. Demonstrate your care and attention to detail in your messages, or do not expect Viro to be interested.

Viro particularly enjoys mentoring and instructing younger males who crave submission and are looking for a reassuring source of constancy, authority, and emotional security in their lives. Viro's style of dominance is very mental. He does not rely on pain or corporeal punishment to achieve submission, but rather uses pain and physical restraint as a technique to focus attention and to create presence in the moment, if he uses these techniques at all. If you require whips and chains to excite you or to submit, Viro is likely to grow bored with you quickly. Viro enjoys being dominant and aggressive, but he loves to be affectionate and protective towards his submissives as well — think of Viro as an iron fist within a velvet glove (or fursuit paw)."

His list of favorite kinks are also quite wide, including: Younger characters, nonconsensual, adultery, and master/slave. He even created additional tags, which are marked by a target sign. One of these jumps out, and could be seen as evidence that Viro's intentions for Feral Attraction were merely a platform to fulfill his own personal fantasies. Mentoring/Teaching is listed at the very top of his favorite fetishes, and coupled with everything else, it paints a picture similar to the stories of those who interacted with him in the real world.

Of course it's important to note that just because an individual lists such fantasies online doesn't mean they'll engage in them in the real world. This was covered extensively by the DogPatch Press article The Complexities of Problematic Kinks that covers the positive and negative aspects that having such "problematic kinks" can hold for those communities that engage in them.

Mentoring the world to one's own detriment

It's ironic that one of Viro's own stated goals for the podcast - education - is something that helps people confront their abusers. Because as more people learn about non-traditional relationship styles, and as society improves its understanding of different sexualities, stories of abuse will continue to crop up within communities. Not because these different styles are abusive by their own nature, but because people will stop keeping their desires a secret. The taboo aspects that hold their engagement in those fantasies will begin to fade. With the loss of taboo and secrecy, abusers won't be able to use shame, fear, and ostracism against their partners. They'll lose the leverage of blackmail to keep their victims' secrets in the closet.

Those who listened to this podcast were constantly encouraged to be better communicators. That a healthy and happy relationship, no matter its label, stems from that foundation. And it looks like the lessons have worked - though perhaps not in the way Viro originally intended. Hopefully as people are educated more, and as we progress as a society, abuse can be caught earlier. As the fears of being shunned are peeled away, eventually the number of incidents - and the stories that emerge from them - will also decline.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

Never having been in a full-on BDSM "lifestyle" relationship, merely having dabbled in it with online partners (and with even less IRL experience in that area) I know I probably can't have a complete view of the subject. But just reading that F-List description, I feel like I already know this guy. Because I've known people like him. And I've always felt like they completely miss the point of BDSM. Because that's not what it's about, not entirely at least. And call it a prejudice, because maybe it is, but I've always been especially suspicious of the ones who, like Viro here, are dismissive of those for whom "whips and chains" mainly are the point, especially when it's coupled with this aristocratic pretension that one has the right to demand such crass conformity of their "subject".

"Be exactly like this, or don't bother". Seriously, fuck ANYONE who thinks that way. It's like you want the other guy to be the only one giving up part of themselves, playing the role for you, and taking the risks that make BDSM scary and taboo in the first place. How many times has it been said that if anything, it's really the sub in control and having the most fun? There has to be at least some truth to it when the relationship isn't toxic because I've found myself feeling a bit guilty that I'm not giving more to my partner. And by giving more, I mean playing a kind of role they'd like, or trying to see if I can play a more sado-dominant type for them when they're into that.

The whole reason I've always been skeptical about the BDSM lifestyle and other alternative lifestyles is because for many, they seem to be about blurring very solid, well-established and easily justifiable lines; rationalizing a sick and dangerous need for very mundane reasons, instead of playing a freak of one kind or another out of a healthy fascination with things that are mysterious to us. We often have, at most, educated guesses as to the source of our kinks and the true nature of the scenes we explore. But then again, Viro's profile seems to suggest a guy who thinks he knows it all. I'm sure he could "mentor" me and "teach" me who I really am, but unfortunately, it's a lot of whips and chains what I'm into and that bores the fuck out of him.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

And then there's the aspect of do as I say and not as I do. For instance Viro's profile says:

Speak with Viro in full sentences, and use proper punctuation.

It should be noted that a comma technically shouldn't be used there.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (6 votes)

Yeah, but I mean damn near everyone makes that mistake sometimes. Of course damn near everyone doesn't try to "teach you the ways, young Jedi" if they can't use The Force, either. Guess that's a bad metaphor with one who is all force and no Jedi...

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

I honestly typically wouldn't care about the misplaced comma. Just, you know, in a sentence asking for proper punctuation...

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

It can be used, since they're independent clauses (you could use the phrases either side of the 'and' as standalone sentences). There is a special exception which means it potentially doesn't have to be used since the clauses are so closely-connected.

If it had been "use full sentences, and proper punctuation" then it would have been incorrect, since it has become a simple list. (But if you add another item, we have to get into the Oxford comma...)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

I think that's a pretty astute analysis of his apparent mindset.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (6 votes)

Did we just agree on something? Holy mother of... hold on gotta answer the door.

Jesus returned. He just wanted to bum some rolling papers off me though.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

Okay...f you too then?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

Thank you for posting about this, Sonious. I don't think I would have heard about it otherwise.

I want to apologize to anyone that was hurt by the article I wrote about Feral Attraction last year, or felt that I/this website is an unwelcome place for someone with your experiences. Here I'm addressing Koji, Mystery Paws, Harke, Glow Mew, Arisoth, and Frisky; anyone else hurt by this man; and anyone who has ever found themselves in similar situations. Viro is the one I primarily communicated with for the article, and I had absolutely no idea that this is why Metriko was less available. I'm glad the podcast is ending.

It just breaks my heart that Viro would not only speak with such a forked tongue, but wind that tongue into the ear of the audience of his relationship advice podcast, which, let's face it, has no small number of vulnerable, naive people. He spoke about financial abuse, he spoke about past consent not implying future consent, he spoke against doing everything he went and did to apparently many others. It wasn't groundbreaking new advice by any stretch of the imagination, but he knew what his actions were. He told everyone that if you do what he was doing, you're an abuser. It's horrifying.

I also want to say to Metriko, if you end up reading this, I'm saddened to hear that you knew to some degree that this behavior was going on, but chose to keep silent about it. It was probably not an easy decision, but doing so only helps the abuser, and I hope you will choose differently in the future. You could have tried to help someone, and you let that someone down.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

Did he approach you to do an article or were you doing an article and was only able to get him?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

I contacted them via two platforms and was primarily replied to by Viro. If I remember correctly, Metriko only contacted me once, to correct some small mistake in the info provided by Viro, and to expound on some interview-style questions I'd posed which I ultimately did not include in the final article.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (13 votes)

To anyone who feels I hurt them, I offer my sincere apology. It may mean little to anyone, but I cared deeply for the people I brought into my life, and attempted to act with good intentions towards them. I see now that the outcomes of some of my behaviors brought harm to people I loved and cherished, and that at times I acted selfishly, and I caused harm. I also caused embarrassment to the community that gave me an identity, and a voice, and a place to feel loved and accepted. Truly, I am mortified, and deeply, deeply sorry. It is with immense shame and regret that I am choosing to end my presence in the fandom, but that is the only right thing to do — I never meant to cause anyone harm, but that does not prevent harm from being done.

I will not get into the specifics of any allegations or even attempt to defend myself, for to do so would bring further harm and embarrassment to people who feel I hurt them, and frankly, I can't bring myself to do that. To anyone who feels there is something I could yet do to offer amends or heal pain, please get word to me, and I will do my best to make things right. If there is nothing, then I hope my shame and regret will suffice.

When I started Feral Attraction with Metriko and Koji, it was not because I thought I was an expert on relationships — far from it. I was a dumb kid who started off with no idea how to be gay and who had his first relationships in his early 20s and probably made every mistake you can make. I tried to do right by people, but clearly, often I failed, and again, I am sorry. I suffered immensely in my early relationships, and often felt like a victim too, of both my partners' hurtful actions and of my own ignorance. Through that ignorance, I created suffering, and this horrifies me, and haunts me.

I had hoped that people who listened to Feral Attraction might avoid some of my own mistakes, and avoid experiencing some of my pain, and avoid causing pain as I had. I was passionate about the podcast and truly tried to help everyone that I could. Out of respect for those who feel I hurt them, I will no longer do that, as I do not want to risk causing harm to anyone in the fandom ever again, even inadvertently. I will not set myself up as an authority figure or a paragon when I am as flawed a human being as any other.

I have tried to learn and grow from all of my mistakes, and I hope that I can make up for them by serving others in ways that are appropriate. I would appreciate respect for my own and my partners' privacy. Thank you.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (11 votes)

Viro, I just have one question for you. What is this "compassion" you/your podcast speaks of? I never listened to it, so I don't know if that's you or your former partner's word, but Equivamp's article mentions it several times and acknowledges that it's not quite the same thing as empathy. I'd like to know what the difference is. And yes, I've Googled it, but every page I find on the subject seems to say something different from the last and I just feel more confused. If you can't/won't answer, I'd deeply appreciate it if someone here could.

The reason I ask is because I also recently had someone in my life (thankfully not romantically or sexually) who used that word a lot and was also pretty abusive and manipulative towards me and others in his own right. I'm going to have to stand against him and expose him at some point and the sooner the better. But to break the spell these kinds of people put over others, it seems like a lot of that is breaking down the way they abuse and confuse the meanings of words to abuse and confuse the people around them.

Before I can feel confident that I can really take this guy on, I have to make sense of everything that happened and why, because for others who have been mistreated by him, they need to be made to see the misapplication of his words and ideas. Compassion is probably the crux of the issue. He's obsessed with the word. It was his wifi password for fuck's sake.

It's also something he and a few of his followers told me I "have to" have, that compassionate is something that I "have to be"... Well, perhaps they were right about that. But they made me HATE that word. I have a feeling I no longer will if I learn its true meaning, from someone who won't abuse it as a means of abusing others.

Is that who you wish to be, Viro? Then show me. Show us. And if your apology is sincere, let that be your first and hopefully not last step towards redemption.

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Divorce yourself of the need for explanations for their bullshit. Its the minimal first step to getting out and getting yourself mentally back on keel.

When someone's actions do not match their words, they are telling you that their words are lies. Believe the ACTIONS, and stop listening to the lies. That is the only logic necessary, and often the only 'sense' you will get. Ever. And you don't owe ANYONE understanding if they're abusing you, even if you can't actually articulate what they're doing that's abusive. If it feels 'off' or wrong, it is, and abusers bank on you being confused enough not to react, or worse to let them keep doing what they want without you taking action (and leaving *does* count as action).

Just work on getting out of there. You can figure out what you want or need to believe later, when you have some space and you're no longer having to deal with the person. Especially someone who makes you hate something positive, like compassion! :(

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

You and koji were over the line towards me and it was hurtful. Koji said sorry and it was accepted. I bet some of the issues aren't just internal but involve what happens when people are working together or have status. Hearing from you on your own is nice and I wish you well.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (9 votes)

Amusing state of events. I'd say the worst 'sin' of Viro would be aiming for inexperienced partners, be it as an extention of the Feral Attraction ecosystem or as a fetish for training newcomers. In an explicitely BDSM relationship, abuse is consentual, not inherently wrong. Being challenged by a dominant figure, in a powerplay scenario, between 30-year-old poliamorous in the scene, is not alarming. He was going for the more inexperienced ones though.

Good article Sonious.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (6 votes)

I am not an expert in BDSM but it sounds to me like you really don't know what you are talking about. Abuse and manipulation are completely different things than being dominant in a relationship. It does not have to do with inexperienced partners. If he understands what is and isn't OK to do as a dominant in a relationship then it shouldn't matter if the partner is experienced or not. There are certain things that are unacceptable to do no matter what kind of relationship you are in.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (9 votes)

The phrase "The submissive has the power in a BDSM relationship" is a cliché, but for a reason. Anything you deem wrong in a relationship is someone else's fetish. Your boundaries are not everyone else's. Inexperience leads to non-informed consent.

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (8 votes)

It doesn't matter if one is inexperienced or not. Even if the sub was completely inexperienced and just going along with whatever was said or done, then the dominant should have seen there was a problem and stopped things. There is the phrase "safe, sane and consensual." Consent is extremely important but even in the best case scenario, it sounds like the safe and sane aspects were not given the necessary attention.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

Yup, we know you are a practitioner of it.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

OHNO...HIS DARKEST SECRET

Your rating: None

Wonder what yours is? Murrsuiting?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

You didn't even read what these people wrote.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (4 votes)

Yep

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (6 votes)

Read it now. They're valid personal opinions that don't invalidate other's personal take on BDSM, including POVs from jerks / egotistics.

'Submissive has the power' is a descriptive truth, not a prescriptive truth. As in, however dire the situation, the submissive can just walk out, decide whatever they want as individuals. Particularly true if we're talking about 24/7 BDSM instead of bondage meets. Wolf-Bone did learn that lesson earlier on.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

Someone: Hey this guy I was not in a relationship with in any way sexually assaulted me within moments of seeing me and excused it ebcause I'd consented to things in the past. i was a minor btw

You: (condescending) You just weren't a good experienced enough sub for this obviously challenging dom.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Relationships do not work that way, and it especially doesn't work that way when the relationship is abusive. If it was that simple then there wouldn't be any abusive relationships. For one reason or another people can't always just leave a relationship when it is bad, and a lot of times it is because the abusive partner has too much control over them for them to think of leaving. But this does not have anything to do with domination and submission. BDSM is all just play.

The stuff that Viro did has nothing to do with choosing inexperienced partners. As the more experienced person in a relationship he should be the one who knows what is and isn't OK, and it is clear that he did a lot of things that weren't OK in any kind of relationship, not even in BDSM. Stuff like financial abuse and emotional manipulation fall way outside of just being dominant. Even a person who is the submissive in a relationship can be abusive in these ways. You really shouldn't defend that sort of stuff.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Amusing isn't quite the word I'd use about this.

When discussing this situation of power play, I suggested implementing a universal and publicly known safe phrase so that outsiders can more easily identify when something is power play or actual abuse.

Clearly a system of checks and balances are needed, as it seems some dominates are taking advantage of the ambiguity to be actually abusive toward their lovers.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Even with safewords the situation can be fraught with social repercussions. In a recent NSFW episode of Radiolab ("In the No, Part 3"), part of a series about consent - well, you can listen to it (from 16:43 to 19:46) - or skim the transcript posted there, where it begins "So like I was at a play party last weekend".

Regardless, from the sound of what happened between Viro and Koji, it went way, way beyond communication issues. Koji thought he was consenting to some kinds of power play, sure, but ended up being manipulated on a much larger scale, with lasting repercussions he didn't consent to. As for Viro's apology to Koji, assuming Koji's remarks are true, I wonder if Koji will get any financial restitution from his former partner.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

If you ask me as a sub, him wanting to use your funds for his expenses is a dead giveaway. Nothing more easily identifiable than that. Giving your cash away / spending on him is a proactive action against your best interest. The biggest red flag you can get.

If Viro had a business idea that was viable he would have been able to get a credit loan. But heteronormal relationships also have this 'giving money away' thing and even glamourize it as chivalry. And some males fetishize about this kind of leeching as well. Go figure.

The checks and balances are, no one is anyone else's ATM.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

if varYouAskedMe then{
printComment()
}

Sorry, I didn't hear you, because varYouAskedMe was false :)

Factiousness aside, the story here to me is more about these accusations have come out about individual who has openly expressed being an experienced power-player that says that they are an expert in relationships. Having so many relationships burn out in this way means that they are not an expert and didn't practice the things the preached.

It'd be like having a podcast about cooking and then finding out one of the hosts went to the hospital multiple times to have their stomach pumped that month after eating their own cooking.

That more than anything is why it ending is for the best.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Agreed

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

I'm not going to pile on Viro since I don't have the facts to do so and I don't necessarily trust the posts by those who were supposedly involved with him. Ex's often don't have the best things to say. That said, if you're going to involve somebody in BDSM play who's inexperienced when you are experienced, you need to be very careful and take things slowly because those new to it often have a very unrealistic view of how things work. Finances should absolutely be outside the power transfer that goes on. gifts are one thing, but both parties should be supporting themselves and interests.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Koji's ass-covering accusations at his former partner are covering up the truth. He was complicit for years. This went on for 5 years and only came out when money issues got bad. Where was he until then? He was complicit in helping Viro with his prey. When Koji says "Viro uses emotional abuse to condition his partners into being terrified of making him upset. When he got his partners too drunk, I was the one who had to take care of them while he did nothing", he is leaving out his more than passive part - he was playing the "good cop" to enable it.

This happened because two people, not one were responsible. It's so convenient that he's now getting credit but he deserves none. Koji is almost as big a piece of shit as Viro.

Your rating: None

Happy Valentines Day to you (person who is most certainly not Viro, yet somehow claims they know what happened in this relationship behind closed doors).

Your rating: None

I see 7 names up there

Your rating: None

Okay, so when I read "complicate" originally I read it as Viro going "Koji was in the relationship with me consensually, and I didn't nothing wrong, so he's lying".

No that you are implying that you are one of the 7 names up there, you're basically claiming that Koji was abusing others or being silent in those?

Koji claimed the absence of action of Metriko.

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from CheektRoowaga, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing