Going furnatical - taking your furriness too far
For most of us, the furry fandom is something of a passtime. Sometimes, there might be some form of spiritual connection. But sometimes you can take it too far.
This was first brought to my attention by Ironwolf85, who chatted to me on FA, after reading some of the early chapters from my current book project, The Chained Wolf Presents: The History of Humanity – A Somewhat Mildly Amusing Guide to a Now Extinct Species – a full draft of which has been finished (quick plug there).
He sent me a message in which he included the following passage:
The furries you see in the furry community are usually just humans in a different skin, they press their desires, wants, and needs into the artistic creation because they feel the furry can do what they cannot. It is not so much that they are animals with human intelligence as humans in an animal’s skin.
"They do this because many see animals as free of the worries of daily life, never having to go through the routine or put on the facade that people do to hide their inner self. As society becomes more advanced, people need an outlet - the furry community will expand. I believe I just psychoanalysed the majority of the furry community...
Ironwolf85 referred to these members of the fandom as "Furnatics". His fursona is actually a persona of a human in a lab-coat and a white mask with only eye slits.
Now, I myself consider my fursona to be mainly a character. He is a character, or rather the main one, in which I use for my furry writings. However, I admit there may be is some kind of connection spiritually between me and wolves. There must be some reason why I decided to go with a wolf as my fursona and not some other kind of animal.
This is probably true with most members of the fandom. There is an animal that you really like, so you take it as your fursona. It could be a pet, it could be an animal you have some sort of academic interest in, or it could a mixture of lots of different creatures mixed up to create your own unique fursona.
Then there is how you express your enjoyment of the fandom and your fursona. You can do drawings of it, write stories featuring your character or maybe go to the length of making a fursuit (I just have a tail sadly).
Some however, do take their furriness to a whole other level. There are the lifestylers, some of whom have spiritual beliefs with their animal and have a totem; some members of the fandom may also be weres and otherkin, there are also groups like the free paws, who are furries who go barefoot because their fursonas do not wear shoes. These members of the fandom could be argued to be furnatical.
I suppose the problem is that there is always the chance of taking the furry aspect of your life too far. You have to remember that you are a human, no matter what you do. No matter how realistic your fursuit is, how closely you live with your animal you choose to adopt as your fursona, or whether you go to the lengths of deciding not wearing shoes, you cannot change your DNA (at least not yet). You are a human, whether you like it or not.
However, like all of these things, you have to remember that it is possible that your not connected with you are fursona enough. There are people who decide to suddenly change their fursona for some reason, no mentioning any bosses – I mean names. Why they decide to do this is their own prerogative, but I think that if you find an animal which you like and you stick with that as your fursona, than that is good for you.
There are also times in which it is good to get closer to the spirit of the creature that you have chosen. For example, if your fursona is say a gryphon and you do stand-up comedy, it would probably be much better and more believable to do your performance in a gryphon fursuit.
Actually, while I am on the subject, I've decided on something. From now on, I'm spelling the "Gryphon" in 2, The Ranting Gryphon as "Griffin", just to annoy him that little bit more. Not that reads this stuff as far as I know, but for me it makes things easier. I recently read The Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd and I came across a brilliant "word" to describe 2, because he does seem to be in a permanent state of cranleigh, which is defined as, "A mood of irrational irritation with everyone and everything."
What sort of spelling is "Gryphon" anyway? I think that when Lewis Carroll popularised that spelling in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, he was thinking that if someone ever invented a board game during his life time which involved putting tiles with letters on them and scoring points depending on the usage in the English language, he would clean it up. "Gryphon" is 16 points in Scrabble, "Griffin" is 14. By the way, does anyone else think that the reason why Americans spell words like realise with a "Z" is so that they can find more ways of getting those 10 points?
Sorry, I'm drifting from the point - and that point is of course to realise (with an "S") where real life ends, fantasy begins and to avoid furnaticism. Yes, we all have your connections with our fursonas. I have connections with my fursona. He is essentially based on me. He shares most of the aspects of my personality, while also having his own fictional elements with his own fictional universe.
However, one must not get carried up in too much. I for example, do not go around howling whenever there is a full moon and while my fursona is bare pawed, I enjoy wearing slippers. However, if you are going to pick a fursona, it is good to get under the fur of the character. Develop it over time, but realise it is just a character – a fictional being. Yes, draw it, write about it, make a fursuit and wear it (something I’d like to do), but remember, as with everything there are limits. Do not go too far, but also make the effort with it.
One last thing, does anyone know a furgonomics expert who could design a pair of shoes for a wolf?