Janner's Guide to Enjoying Furmeets
I’ve been on the UKFur boards for 18 months now and it seems that every couple of months drama and gossip and downright un-needed negativity flare up. So I’m here posting this to give everyone some advice which is available elsewhere but maybe not in one place.
Now let me start off by saying that the term meet is extremely broad and can take in a small meet of four or five people, to an organised party of 100-odd furs. Each type of meeting will have different rules. It may have official posted rules that people expected to abide by, or it may have no official rules, only what the group feel is socially acceptable at the time.
So my first piece of advice to enjoying your meet is to fit in; don’t expect because last week you met up with four guys who were crazy and bouncy, that the next big organised event will have 50 furs who all want to climb the walls. Take some time to understand what the meet is about and if it’s not for you, that’s fine, there’s plenty other events which will more suit you. A good way to judge the calibre of a meet is through meet reports and photos of previous ones. However when reading reports a certain amount of reading between the lines and large pinches of salt are often required, as I will explain later on.
My next piece of advice is to have common sense. This doesn’t mean that you need to be stuck up and boring. You must however remember that some meets are very large with attendees numbers close to three-figures. With that many people all together you’ve got a melting pot - not everyone will have the same character, not everyone will like the same things and not everyone is friends with everyone else. Therefore you shouldn’t expect everyone to be your best friend. Although there are going to be loads of people to meet and many new friends to make and maybe old friends to catch up with, don’t be upset when someone doesn’t make a fuss over you.
Thirdly, stay safe. Tied in to the last point, you may well be amongst strangers in a furmeet. Just because someone is a fur it doesn’t automatically make them an angel. If you don’t know someone it is generally a bad idea to expect them to have anything but pure intentions all the time. Treat anyone you know as a stranger, don’t go home with someone you don’t know alone, don’t get yourself so drunk that you have no inhibitions when around strangers, don’t accept drinks from strangers, don’t trust strangers with your possessions or yourself.
Incidents at meets
As with any large gathering of people, there are often times when things happen which aren’t too great. If you should be involved with something unfortunate then it is best to get it sorted there and then. Now again each meet will be different as will each incident, Sometimes you need to speak to an organiser to see if anything can be done, sometimes you’ll be able to sort it out yourself but it would be frugal to speak to an organiser so that they are aware of the situation and can make steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Other times it’s sad to say nothing can be done. These incidents are rare and made even more rare by taking the advice above.
There are often reports on UKFur and people’s blogs of incidents at meets. Having read a lot of these reports I have to say you need to take a lot of what you read with a pinch of salt. A lot of comments made are hearsay and so reading between the lines to see the facts is prudent. You will also find that in a meet the rare incidents are focussed on more than the good times. This is human nature (or at least British attitude) but you will often find in these same reports a lot of people say they had no idea that it happened. The reason for this is because incidents really are isolated and involve very few people. They are not the norm and there are hundreds of furs who will tell you they have been to x amounts of meets and never had a problem, mainly because they’ve acted with at least a minimal amount of common sense.
In a similar vein, if an incident is brought up on a forum or a blog, if you weren’t involved please don’t add to rumours or say what you think happened because if you weren’t there you don’t know. This is how these isolated incidents become big news and it tars what is otherwise a successful meet.
I think that about says it all. I might edit it if I think of owt else.