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So how DOES one escape the madness?
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Justin_Fox
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Posted: 7/3/2004 7:00:06 AM     Post subject: So how DOES one escape the madness?  

Hello all. Iíve been lurking here and at EAF for a while now. I am, while not anywhere near some of the worst examples, a pretty standard furry. The difference, I guess is, that reading these boards over the last few months have really opened my eyes to a lot of things, and a side of me is clawing at the walls, wanting to escape it.

And there in lies the problem. I canít leave. I know Iím not alone in this either. I know a few other friends who feel the same way, we openly discuss and mock the things we know are blatantly wrong with the fandom, but yet, are still here. I personally, have been in it since my early teen years. Then, it was my sole source of companionship and belonging during those rough years, and now, itís just too big a part of my life.

My main problem, I guess, is like many furs, I lack many social skills, more so then a lot of furs, I fear. There have been times in the fandom, where I just felt like I couldnít socialize with some people. I donno, itís not easy to describe. How does one, in his early twenties, pick up all those important social and life skills that they missed during all the important development stages? Without them, I just feel out of place trying to make friends with non-furs.

And that has lead to the further erosion of my life, I guess. Rejecting furry now, would mean throwing away 90% or so of my good friends. People Iíve met and grown close to under the warped social system of furry, with itís strange attitudes toward casual sex, and relationships in general.

I guess most people would just tell me to ďget helpĒ, and see a therapist. But I canít even imagine explaining to one all of these twisted nuances of the fandom. Itís quite clear that my attitude towards friendship and relationships now mesh very little with that of the real world, in a way, I doubt theyíd understand.

But stillÖ I want out of it. I want to live a normal life, able to make friends who arenít furs, and who I donít sleep with. I donít want my life centered around some of this twisted shit. I want to be able to feel good about myself and relate with people without having to be "scritchedĒ, ďhuggledĒ andĒyiffedĒ to give me a shallow sense of belonging and being loved. Where do I begin? How do I undo 10 or so years of developmental damage like this?

I say all this, and yet tomorrow, Iíll probably fall back to cuddling with a fur friend on Tapestries again, like an addiction. I know itís not normal, and it makes me a fucked up individual. But itís just too important to my sense of self worth and community.

Iím sorry if this turned into an LJ or something. I too hate it when people angst a lot, but thatís because they usually just want pity. I donít want pity, or re-assurance or anything like that. I just donít want to be a freak anymore. I know itís whatís right, even if it scares me.

Thanks for listening to my bitching. If anyone can throw some real advice my way, I wall take it to heart.
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Anonymous
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Posted: 7/3/2004 12:00:01 PM     Post subject:  

Hmmm, I doubt you lack the social skills though, since after all, you have made some friends within the furry fandom, but as to normal people, what I would posit is that you fell that you lack some connection with them.

Furry in this sense is not unique, itís simply a method of ďconnectingĒ with people.

Heavy Metal can serve in much the same way. Not too many people like it nowadays, so it generates the sense of a ďcommunityĒ, and if you like it, and someone else likes it, you have some kind of ďbondĒ, a connection which allows you to make the initial contacts.

What you should do is join clubs et al, find people with similir interests, get out of the house et al.

However, Iíd bet 12 guineas to none that this thread will be closed.

Terminus est, libra furorum domine!!!!?!!
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Genghis
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Posted: 7/3/2004 2:00:04 PM     Post subject:  

I suggest branching out in your hobbies. Hobbies are one of the best ways on the planet of meeting new people.

If you don't want to do anything too drastic, here's something to try: ditch the mucks, and find a TT gaming club. Preferably one that isn't full of 13 year olds. You're bound to meet someone there who does something else you're interested in, or mentions off hand about something they're doing that you might want to have a go at, or whatever.
Hang out with the metallers, and eventually you may wind up being dragged off to a club somewhere to get cunted off your face, and a good time will be had by all. Hell, even accompanying them to a bar and hanging out will help until you've got your confidence up.

There isn't really a quick fix, to be honest, but all I can say is that your best bet is to find someone with which you have some common ground outside the internet, and go socialise.
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Orca
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Posted: 7/3/2004 6:28:59 PM     Post subject:  

I can definitely understand where you're coming from. Once a furry, always a furry, right? That doesn't have to be.

I can tell you one thing. If you try to seperate yourself from your fandom, especially with the way it has become all-encompassing in your life, it cannot be a small step. You're either in or out, and trying to straddle halfway isn't going to do anything but frustrate you and the people that are your friends.

Try to tell them why you want to leave the fandom. Be as gentle with them as possible. But, if for only a short period of time, you are going to have to be seperated from them completely to give you time to change who you are, internally, and to develop a stable base from which to live your life. It will be lonely at first, trying to be independent, and some of your friends are probably going to get hurt in the process because you are rejecting in a sense the whole community that all of you share. But if you truly feel the way you say you do, it will be worth it in the end.

I'm sorry I can't do more for you. I'm just saying, it's all the way or not at all. You can't halfway do something like trying to leave a fandom, and there will be hurt feelings involved, no matter what you do. All you can do is hold your head up high and get it over with, and try to leave without being cruel.

Good luck with your life. I think we'll all be rooting for you. If you ever need someone to talk to, my screen name is KiraxMaxwell.


Orca
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Wayd Wolf
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Posted: 7/3/2004 8:07:24 PM     Post subject:  

Don't worry about "yiffing", "skritching", and so on. Be happy to have intimate contact, and concern yourself with doing a good job in bed when the time comes. That's normal. And if you think it not, consider how rarely people who are busy fucking ever kill anyone. Ever see someone busy killing people stop to give someone an orgasm?

What ISN'T normal is the never fulfilling crap like endless spooge pics that get ever stranger and more horrible signifying an escalating inability to relate to sexuality itself. Or the insane obsessions with doing anything but what the majority would consider normal in some bizarre quest to estrange yourself from society and reality itself so you can re-create yourself as a permanent victim and thus avoid any responsibility for yourself.

(Of course, fucking animals and fursuits and stuffed animals is not good either...)

If you try, you can cleave and still enjoy BITS of furry without being a furry. A fan of anthropomorphics, maybe a furry fan if you want to mince things, but not a furry. There's a difference. Even many very competent and sane furry fans still call themselves furries. Like Trek fans calling themselves Trekkies but not fitting ANY of the stereotypical deviant patterns.

Now, some people do look for endless shallow encounters to feel loved but that's not just furries, that's most of the human race. You may have missed the entirety of the 70s in America and western Europe if you don't think so.

Your biggest need for worry is if you're merely role playing and never actually bringing yourself to go through with the real thing, avoiding it in fear. If so, then you probably need to settle down with one person who you can be intimate with in reality and leave cyberspace behind as far as sex goes. Otherwise, enjoy the hedonism but fuck responsibly. It's like alcohol, really. Not for kids or the mentally incompetent, but safe enough for consenting adults in small controlled doses.

Note that has in the end very little to do with furry. If furries happen to be the kind that are hooking up with you, and you get along, so what? Some people hang and bang with bikers, some with stamp collectors. Worry more about contracting their OTHER maladies. The ones that push you ever farther from proper interaction with the mass world at large. Stay employed, talk normally and not like a loon in public, keep a connection with attraction to normal humans, keep interacting with others who don't share your interests and stay in touch with the ability to relate, that sort of thing.

You did mention this taking up much of your time. So too can collecting matchbox cars. Anything past the point of moderation can be bad. See what happens when you drink too much water or hold your breath too long. TOO MUCH is that point you feel the need to cut back, but that doesn't mean you need to eliminate it entirely unless you've decided you have no self-control and must disengage because avoidance is the only way to not do it too much. This is up to you. If you're a strong person, you can in the end find a way to enjoy those bits of what you like and cast off the parts that don't do a thing for you and keep everything in moderation.

Even cutting away from furry can go past moderation to the point you take it out on really nice people who care for you by no longer dealing with them, thus hurting them when they essentially weren't the problem and did nothing. Some who've "left" the fandom have done it very badly and ended up with no friends. Some of those outside the fandom can be just as bad. Some just as good. But just because they're furries doesn't mean you need to sever ties with them.

Think carefully before you do anything, and just learn to moderate everything. Try to find a pleasant suspension between extremes where you can take any given thing or leave it. Furry, or any other point of obsession you've gotten tangled in. Good luck.
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viron
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Posted: 7/4/2004 6:45:01 AM     Post subject: Re: So how DOES one escape the madness?  

But stillÖ I want out of it. I want to live a normal life, able to make friends who arenít furs, and who I donít sleep with. I donít want my life centered around some of this twisted shit. I want to be able to feel good about myself and relate with people without having to be "scritchedĒ, ďhuggledĒ andĒyiffedĒ to give me a shallow sense of belonging and being loved. Where do I begin?


Begin by telling your furry friends this exact stuff (I assume you must have one of those LJs since you mention it, so start there).. maybe less harsh though. You want to validate your existence in "less alternative" ways. You want to grow and mature, so say that to them. They'll understand.

I was sort of in your position too - except i was nowhere near hardcore furry fan, just a standard cartoon fan. i made a majority of my friends in furry but I wasn't really interested in all this hardcore 'animal' shit they were. But I was very shy and furries were the friendliest and closest thing to an organized fandom of cartoons before the internet went commercial. But furry grew and perverted itself far beyond my tolerance. Besides, the fandom's art and comics has been getting worse in my personal opinion so there's no reason to stick around.

You've GOT to replace it, there's a lot less success in just leaving cold turkey. Find something that gives you that same feeling that furry did but just.. not furry. Something more socially accepted as normal, since that is important to you. So my advice is make it your number one goal to find some other passion/hobby before brashly rushing off into non-furryland and telling every furry to bugger off.

Make your intentions clear, I had a few people misunderstand me and ran off immediately after I said some things about leaving furry... including a lady who was taking fancy to me. I guess if you like someone and they suddenly do something like that, you'd get disillusioned. All in the very distant past though. Er, other than a scant few, most every other furry friend who listened to everything I had to say usually understood very quickly and remain friends. You say bad mojo similar to that is something you want to avoid, so definitely try your best - as you can see, it can hurt you so just be careful handling your words. Yeah, I hate lots of stuff about the fandom and the way it gets more horrid each day but I can't sit here in good conscience and say they are all bad people.
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Dogthing
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Posted: 7/4/2004 3:32:53 PM     Post subject:  

to get cunted off your face


cunted what

As for the rest of Genghis' post, I'm going to have to agree. Hobbies are a great way to make a few fast friends, and to acclimate yourself to a more normal social atmosphere.

My personal advice is this: worry about nothing, socially. Once you have a goal in mind (in this case, getting out of furry and leading a comfortable twenty-something life), just stop worrying about this person or that person or this group of people, and just kinda coast towards that goal. Develop a "alright whatever cool" attitude to everything in your furry community.

That's right, casual indifference is the name of the game, and it's your ticket out of furry. Whenever they have events, you "don't feel like it". Whenever they have something to say about anything, you say "okay cool". This is going to help you drift away from that scene as you simultaneously get caught up in another, making new, exciting friends (that you don't fuck) and doing things that you enjoy.

I'd suggest focusing on something outdoors that you always liked to do. Having a few outdoor-type buddies to go hiking or biking or whatever with is really refreshing sometimes, when you just need to get out of the house.

Your sense of self-worth and community will increase tenfold when you're actually a part of many, healthy, normal communities. Life may seem more challenging this way, but it's that much more rewarding.

Good luck duder. 8)
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Amadeus
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Posted: 7/4/2004 3:51:46 PM     Post subject:  

Hrm.

I myself am wondering... Why I did ever come into the fandom in the first place. I suppose it was a while back, in middle school when I surfed the internet frequently and came onto many different things, some of which being hentai, some being "Furrotica" or perhaps a more fitting term.

To tell the truth, I'm not sure why I liked the furry pictures more. My eyes saw things, and my brain probably registered 'cock' and the like (I'm bisexual, male preference.)... maybe it's because it was strange to me, new. Something I'd never seen before.

Although furries aren't so strange anymore, I still find myself looking at explicit pictures of them. Although, I still look at 'the real stuff', so that just confuses me a little more. I do, however, have no thoughts towards ever wearing a fursuit, much less going to a convention or screaming on forums about how people hate furries for pathetic, invalid reasons probably created in a mere second by an angry brain.

But why do I still do it? I guess it's really stuck on me, I suppose. But I can't just dismiss it without a second thought... I've MUCKed quite a bit, but recently, I've lost interest. I find it harder to be pleased by furry art, but there's just something that tugs me towards it.

I've never believe I was a certain animal deep inside, because, to be truthful, I was never sure what I was to begin with. As stated by many people, I believe I picked a raccoon as my avatar because I found them quite adorable.

I'm just not sure...

Oh yeah, I'm new. XD;;
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Rusty
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Posted: 7/4/2004 6:41:35 PM     Post subject:  

I have any theory on the issue and given my feelings towards the fandom and other related isses I think it may help to explain a lot.

I didn't 'grow up with the internet and fandom' like some of you guys have but I'm pretty sure I have simular feelings towards it. I really never particularily got into the fandom in terms of mucks or that sort of thing but I do know people into that, so I am familiar with the scritches and hugs and such.

The two statements you made:


Itís quite clear that my attitude towards friendship and relationships now mesh very little with that of the real world, in a way, I doubt theyíd understand.



How does one, in his early twenties, pick up all those important social and life skills that they missed during all the important development stages?


unfortunatly sums up what in my opinion is going to be an increasing problem now that the 'net has been mainstream long enough that we are seeing people in their late teens-early 20's that basically grew up on it are having.

That's not to say that the net is a bad thing, it can be a source of information of all sorts and can be a source of comfort but I don't think it works too well as a lifestyle.

Getting back to why I can understand what you're going through, I to have gotten into this sort of thing although not furry specifically but simualr enough stuff that I can understand.

I think what's happening is that you're starting to realise that the furry lifestyle just doesen't work and having pretty much all of your socialising being of the IRC and MUCK type (or whereever it is that you are socialising online) just isn't the same as having friends in the real world and doing things with them. I think it could also be that you're starting to outgrow the fandom and want to move onto other things; sort of the kind of thing where the scritching and hugging is a part of a life and way of thinking that you're starting to see as your past life and you want to move onto the next phase in your life.

I can also understand how addivtive it can be and how it's one of those things where one day you finally say 'that's it, I'm posting my goodbye message today and I'm going cold turkey' only to end up 'back' within a month or two.

My advice is, if you are ready to leave then discuss it with your friends in the fandom, tell them how you feel. Hopefully they'll unstand. Don't quite cold turkey as often that simply doesen't work. Keep in mind that you don't need to say goodbye forever and never come back. It's just fine to do as a hobby as long as you enjoy doing it. I think the issue here is more disenchantment with it being nearly a lifestyle and substutude for having friendships in the real world. I think once you find a way to turn it arround and make it a hobby where you have some friends but the real world is where 90% of your friends are and 'the action' is then I think you'll be a lot happier.

If nothing else remember one thing; by asking for help and admitting there is a problem, you've taken a very important first step in the process of healing and recovering.
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Tailgunner
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Posted: 7/5/2004 5:23:09 AM     Post subject:  

My suggestion:

For a good dose of chlorine for the mind, go to Furryfans.com

Be sure to view many of the videos he is hosting.

I began to feel my mind decending for a little while, then I came accross that site, and now I feel lifted.
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Genghis
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Posted: 7/5/2004 1:43:15 PM     Post subject:  

cunted what


See also plastered, guttered, wasted, and a million other euphemisms.
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Dogthing
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Posted: 7/5/2004 3:29:51 PM     Post subject:  

cunted what


See also plastered, guttered, wasted, and a million other euphemisms.


Oh, drunk. Okay.
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*morningstar
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Posted: 7/5/2004 6:56:43 PM     Post subject:  

I think I'm having the opposite problem, getting sucked into it and not by choice. I've been doing more furry or anthro or whatever in the hell you want to call it art lately, and it's been attracting unwanted attention. Speicifially people I don't even know IMing me out of the blue and asking me to draw spooge pics for them. I want to continue drawing what I do, but I don't want to be associated with the giant clusterfuck that is furry. It brings so much bad connotation with it and I completely understand wanting to get out of it.

The hobby suggestion that's been brought up is really good. A nice, clean breath of air. Your friends should understand that, if they are indeed your friends.
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mouse
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Posted: 7/6/2004 4:57:21 AM     Post subject:  

cunted what


See also plastered, guttered, wasted, and a million other euphemisms.


Now thats its been brought up, I don't recognize that term either, but must have psychically picked up what you meant when I read it, or something. :)


Yeah, next to hobbies, bars are a very good place. There is a bunch of guys I am friends with that I only see at this bar I go to. I don't like to get 'wasted' per se...rather, I only drink till just before (or, occassionaly at ) where im slurring my speech and stumbling, then I just stay at that threshold till everything closes at 4. Seeing as how I weigh in at a hefty 130 pounds, that means like, 1-2 drinks an hour :)


I want to continue drawing what I do, but I don't want to be associated with the giant clusterfuck that is furry.


Not to be an asshole, but I would just tell you - grow a spine. If there is something you want to do and you stop doing it just because of an anonymous opinion that apperently doesn't even apply to you, you going to have to reinvent yourself every week, no matter what you do ...Fuck what other people think. Anyone could insult you for anything you do, or even don't do.
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viron
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Posted: 7/6/2004 7:10:02 AM     Post subject:  

I want to continue drawing what I do, but I don't want to be associated with the giant clusterfuck that is furry.

Not to be an asshole, but I would just tell you - grow a spine. If there is something you want to do and you stop doing it just because of an anonymous opinion that apperently doesn't even apply to you, you going to have to reinvent yourself every week, no matter what you do ...Fuck what other people think. Anyone could insult you for anything you do, or even don't do.


I agree in a way, but I can understand that for artists it is a different feeling. I don't know for sure but you aren't an artist, right mouse? Okay, so you might not understand how annoying it is to deal with that problem nor you might not understand how their creativity might get affected.

I know lots of artists, they complain at me all the time about furries. None of them have stopped drawing for being afraid of furry association, but I have seen them first hand get so annoyed furries with no real solution to avoiding said annoyance that they'd just crumble in frustration. . . but i have not come across anyone who stopped drawing because they were too afraid to be labelled a furry. Sure, that is a -concern- but it is almost always just an annoyance in comparison to the sheer trouble of the fandom's antics on their mental states. I believe there is definitely something much deeper to the furry artist who stops drawing because of furry fandom. It's not as cut and dry simple as "grow a spine". There are creative blocks there that happen to them.

My advice to those artists is to just become your own furry spam filter. No matter what kind of furry events happen to you, just totally ignore it all and cut it out of your inbox and journals and forums and everything.... and only focus on non-furry things and people while still drawing your animal cartoons.
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mouse
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Posted: 7/6/2004 7:38:23 AM     Post subject:  

No, Im not an artist, and youre right, it wouldn't affect me as much - if it weren't for the fact that what I said extends way beyond anything with just 'artists and furry fandom'

I've had people jump on my case because the music I listen to , the way I dress, cars I like, that I didnt give a shit about some football game last night...anything. it doesn't happen all the time, far from it, but I don't go out of my way to be different. I would say in most ways I'm very average, but Im just me and I don't go home and worry about it. I don't even waste my time on any of that shit.

Artists like to think of themselves as being in a very differnt position - but in the big picture, they arn't at all (Not in my opinion, anyway).

something much deeper to the furry artist who stops drawing because of furry fandom. It's not as cut and dry simple as "grow a spine". There are creative blocks there that happen to them.


Im sure there is, and who knows what it is, but in all reality it actually isn't the furries fault, regardless of how obnoxious they might be. In most cases, I see people responding to outside, often uninformed opinions, which they then proceed to worry incessantly about. Is furry fandom fucked up? sure. Does anyone out in the real world give a fuck? (those that are even aware of it..) Absolutely, positively NOT.

Im not about to make a mountain out of the mole-hill that furry fandom actually is.
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viron
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Posted: 7/6/2004 11:01:36 AM     Post subject:  

something much deeper to the furry artist who stops drawing because of furry fandom. It's not as cut and dry simple as "grow a spine". There are creative blocks there that happen to them.

Im sure there is, and who knows what it is, but in all reality it actually isn't the furries fault, regardless of how obnoxious they might be. In most cases, I see people responding to outside, often uninformed opinions, which they then proceed to worry incessantly about. Is furry fandom fucked up? sure. Does anyone out in the real world give a fuck? (those that are even aware of it..) Absolutely, positively NOT.

Im not about to make a mountain out of the mole-hill that furry fandom actually is.


I read this one disgruntled former furry artist's website that had some seriously long complaints about why the furry fandom messed with his art and plans. But he says "I can ignore it fine, I can do something else to get around this, but it's still annoying as all hell to have to in the first place" and that's what I'm getting at - complaints really are just that, complaints.

IOW i'm saying I would give artists more credit than simple cowering from furry fandom. I think for the most part they already understand what you are saying, but bitching is simply easy to do. Especially if you are just reading this forum's bitching.

Lots of artists dramaqueen themselves with that particular complaint you mention because it's convenient. In actuality, any artist block was probably set on by something greater than they let on. Sure, furry might CONTRIBUTE to the tension but it's usually never a direct cause of a total breakdown or stoppage of someone's art.

I've seen artists slow down due to furry, I've seen them reconsider their careers, seen some get totally lost for ages, all sorts of counter-productive things set on by furry reasons. Mostly they look for ways around the furry problem if they could or just realize they should simply ignore it if they are still set on still being artists. Those who really stop had some other serious problems that I'm sure had nothing to do with furry.

The furry problem is a huge deal if you spent all your time in furry and are looking for a way out. I view it as the same problem as the fur who started this thread. He's looking for an escape from furry social life. He'll find one, but in the meantime this is a major deal because he doesn't know any better, so he'll complain about furry a great deal for a long while. However, the MEAT of this matter is he's trying to find a more mature, responsible, and realistic way to live - that as an issue has almost nothing to do with furry, it just so happens furry is the particular vice he's escaping.

Same thing with furry artists, the real reason(s) they stumble usually is something more basic or deep than something as frivolous as furry fandom, but furry is easy to point a finger at.. especially if you were suckered into it in the first place. I do know that reading artists bitch about why furry hurt their art is only just complaints and nothing more.

My old roommate had a hell of a time trying to figure these kinds of things out and what to do with his art life after dropping furry. Being in the fandom for a while without realizing how fucked up it is kinda ruins your frame of reference.
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/6/2004 2:50:14 PM     Post subject: Re: So how DOES one escape the madness?  

There's a lot of good advice in this thread. Rather than trying to internalize all points and build on them, I'll just give you my two cents and relate my story, where applicable, of breaking from "being a furry."

And there in lies the problem. I canít leave. I know Iím not alone in this either. I know a few other friends who feel the same way, we openly discuss and mock the things we know are blatantly wrong with the fandom, but yet, are still here. I personally, have been in it since my early teen years. Then, it was my sole source of companionship and belonging during those rough years, and now, itís just too big a part of my life.

My main problem, I guess, is like many furs, I lack many social skills, more so then a lot of furs, I fear. There have been times in the fandom, where I just felt like I couldnít socialize with some people. I donno, itís not easy to describe. How does one, in his early twenties, pick up all those important social and life skills that they missed during all the important development stages? Without them, I just feel out of place trying to make friends with non-furs.

As others have said, obviously you don't lack social skills.. you just haven't applied them as much outside of furry circles. Furry is probably hard to break, in part, because it's your comfort zone. This is probably true for a lot of furries. Within furry circles, you don't necessarily have to learn to relate to other people on their level. You have a ready-made common bond.... animal stuff. While this gives one a nice warm-fuzzy when it comes to socializing, it's the one thing really lacking from most initial social interaction. Coming together to socialize about furry stuff means you don't have to find out what another person is into unless you want to beyond furry. You don't have to really find out what they do for a living, what they like to do for fun, etc.

In some ways, socializing outside of furry is a matter of "just do it." You really have to just make the decision to put yourself out there and make the effort. That being said in simplistic terms, the effort can be another story. That will take practice. It's like diving off of the deep end for the first time when learning to swim. Making the effort to go to the end of the board and jump can take a lot of work. Once you jump, however, falling into the pool becomes the easy part. You need to recognize that it will take some work on your part to develop outside of your comfort zone, but, if it's what you want, then you just have to go for it.

And that has lead to the further erosion of my life, I guess. Rejecting furry now, would mean throwing away 90% or so of my good friends. People Iíve met and grown close to under the warped social system of furry, with itís strange attitudes toward casual sex, and relationships in general.

I once lost my apartment to a fire that consumed the one next to mine. At the time it occurred, it wasn't easy. I didn't break into tears and think, "Oh my god... my entire life was in there." I just rolled up my sleeves and got to sifting through the debris. I wound up throwing away about 2/3 of my stuff. In the end, it turned out to be a very liberating experience. There were so many things I had held onto, simply because they were familiar.. but did nothing more than take up space in my closets. It's good to learn to recognize when you no longer have an attachment to something... and to learn to let go of those things.

Friends are not possessions, of course, but people change. Sometimes, people grow beyond their circle of friends, while their friends may not. If you find you just don't have anything in common with them outside of furry... well... maybe you've just changed. This doesn't mean you're better and they're immature.. or that you're a traitor and they haven't lost their way like you....... it just means something has changed. The fact that you use words like "warped" and "strange" demonstrate something has probably changed in your psyche, and furry just doesn't provide you with what you want out of life now. You don't have to denounce your friends... no use burning bridges. But, you need to recognize when to let things go. If your only link to a person is something you don't enjoy anymore, you can always try and connect on a different level. If your friends can't relate to you outside of furry stuff, though, maybe it's just time to move on. You don't have to say "You suck, you furry freak!" But, you can simply suggest you just don't want to do the furry thing anymore. You can tell them if they ever want to go on a hike or bike ride... and not talk about Animaniacs during the trip.. give you a call.

At some point, however, your desire to break from furry stuff will have to be made known. It's better to do it tactfully, but there's no getting around some hurt feelings that may occur.

But stillÖ I want out of it. I want to live a normal life, able to make friends who arenít furs, and who I donít sleep with.

I may be making too much of this statement, but ths "and who I don't sleep with" part raises a bit of an alarm. Even as you make friends outside of furrydom, you'll be carrying with you attitudes that you have developed about how to cultivate and maintain friendships. Whatever the friendship/casual sex link is in your present relationships may cast a shadow over your future behaviors. If you find that you cannot maintain a friendship without casual sex, this may be something to see a therapist about... all furryness aside. Nothing big.. just a little bit of a heads-up.

I donít want my life centered around some of this twisted shit. I want to be able to feel good about myself and relate with people without having to be "scritchedĒ, ďhuggledĒ andĒyiffedĒ to give me a shallow sense of belonging and being loved. Where do I begin? How do I undo 10 or so years of developmental damage like this?

Begin within. Your furry circles obviously provide you with the sense of belonging, being loved, and validation you desire. It sounds like you, as with many furs, may be using these shallow relationships as a substitute for a solid sense of self-worth. The scritches and yiffs provide you with a sense of worth that you do not necessarily hold yourself. Could it be that you cling to these relationships because you fear the trials that you will face in developing your own self-esteem?

My brother is much like this. He can never be on his own. He constantly seeks out the companionship of other people... even if they treat him like dirt. He's never really developed a harmonious relationship with himself.

I say all this, and yet tomorrow, Iíll probably fall back to cuddling with a fur friend on Tapestries again, like an addiction. I know itís not normal, and it makes me a fucked up individual. But itís just too important to my sense of self worth and community.

Basically, it is an addiction. Furry friends and MUCKing provide you with affection, attention, validation, and interaction without much of the effort people typically expend on obtaining such things. That's part of the lure of furry circles... you get social contact and even sex without really having to expend the effort you would with many social situations. With so many desires so easily gratified, it's not surprising it can become like an addiction.

One thing you're going to have to do to break the cycle is, as others have said, find new behaviors to replace the ones you want to change. Giving up MUCKing and such isn't going to be easy. I know. I had to beat chat addiction.. specifically furry MUCKing. It's going to have to be an all-or-nothing deal. If you try to MUCK a little, you'll fall back into your patterns... and continue to beat yourself up for it.

Here are some things to help break the habits:

1) Evaluate what you really want out of life. Do you want your social circle to consist largely out of people you may have never even met, engaging in virtual behaviors, staying up later than you probably should, and basing your sense of self-worth on how other people view you based sometimes on how readily you'll give them a yiff? Or, do you want to feel self-fulfilled.. to know you can reach your goals... to know you work to develop a strong body and mind.... to know you have a lot of potential and can live up to it? Do you want true friends who value you for you as a person, not simply as a sex partner... who like your diverse interests, rather than focusing on your limited common interests? Do you want a social circle that will build you up, or tear you down... merely giving the illusion of building you up?

2) Be prepared for "cravings." Ask a lot of people online, and they'll agree that chat IS an addiction.. like gambling... even if modern medicine has yet to acknowledge it as such. It's probably an endorphin thing. I dunno. Even if it doesn't have biochemical effects, the fact is the behaviors you're engaging in give you certain rewards. You're going to have to endure a period where you will have to learn to live without them. It won't be easy. It's doable, though.

3) Recognize where your behaviors are unhealthy. One of my problems was I stayed up far too late, as I frequently didn't get online until about 10 PM. Then, I'd stay up until 2 AM and crawl into bed, telling myself how stupid I was because I had to get up at 7 AM to go to work. Obviously, this was a bad pattern. There are also less tangible problems. If your social circle is based largely around furries, how well do you really know your friends? How well do you relate to them outside of furry? If you announced to them that you weren't into furry anymore, would they turn on you, or would they want to do other things not related to furrydom? What if you told them you were trying to give up casual sex? Would they dump you? If so, what kind of friends are they? Recognize where you have gained true friends, and where you simply have people that occupy the same space as you because they get what they want from you. Don't let yourself be a tool.

4) Don't belittle yourself for having this problem. A lot of people do. Not all of them ever come to realize it. Fewer, still, elect to do anything about it. Also, don't beat yourself up for falling off the wagon. Just get up and hop back on.

Here are a few suggestions for replacing your existing behaviors and combating the cravings.

1) Enjoy the value of sleep. You went to bed at a reasonable hour (you don't have to turn in at 9... if you're staying up until 2 or 3 AM, even 12 is earlier). You got that much more sleep, and feel that much better in the morning. Doesn't it feel great? Don't you feel good about yourself for doing something healthy? (If you have a weight problem, better sleep patterns can help you shed pounds. Skimping on sleep forces your body to crave more calories to keep it going because it isn't getting an energy recharge from sleep... it also screws up digestion and can make you pack on pounds).

2) Get reacquainted with a couple of old friends.. books and TV. If you're like I was, you multitask while MUCKing. I'd have the TV on.. and even when I rented movies, I was online. As a result, I've played some movies 5 or 6 times over, and never really seen them. There's something to be said for the value of being able to veg-out with a new movie or TV show... catch up on Futurama or Lupin III. Rent Calendar Girls. Light a few candles, turn on some music, and lose yourself in a first-rate novel... or second-rate... just catch up on stuff you meant to read, but never got to it because you squandered your time MUCKing. Comic books don't count. :)

3) Find new hobbies. What are some things you've wanted to do, but just never bothered to do them because you were too interested in cuddlepiles or yiffing? Get some of the How to Draw Anime books. Learn kanji. Tweak your web design skills. Learn to cook southwestern style. You'll probably need to look into solitary and group activities. You'll need something to do with your time when you're alone.... like drawing (diverge from furry... better yet, diverge from cartoons/comics.. take up sumi-e or something), bonsai, cooking, etc. You might also need to find activities that get you out and about new people. Take martial arts, or join a bicycling club. Take continuing education courses. They're often pretty cheap. I took an intro to Japanese course recently that was $60 for 10 weeks... that's $6 per class for 3-hour classes. They're also open to folks of all ages. My class had high-school students on up to 80-year olds. I'd be wary of the bar scene. If you have an addictive personality, you probably want to watch yourself around booze.

Iím sorry if this turned into an LJ or something. I too hate it when people angst a lot, but thatís because they usually just want pity. I donít want pity, or re-assurance or anything like that. I just donít want to be a freak anymore. I know itís whatís right, even if it scares me.

Thanks for listening to my bitching. If anyone can throw some real advice my way, I wall take it to heart.

One thing with breaking the news to your friends.... don't get preachy. Don't tell them you "know it's what's right." That might make them think you're telling them what they're doing is wrong. IMO, if they really press you for why you want to break away from furry, just tell them that you've simply changed, and are no longer into it like you used to be. If you decide to turn down a friend's advances for casual sex... don't tell them it's because you're trying to be a better person or something. Let them know it's not that you reject them as a person, but that you just don't like what you feel you're doing to yourself... that you want to be friends with them, but for more than just each other's bodies.

You have to understand, however, that some of your friends may turn on you. No matter how polite you try and be about it, some of them may see it as a rejection of everything your association with them has meant so far. These are not true friends. Your true friends will accept your desire to change, even if it might be a little hard for them.. because they want what you feel is best for you. If someone says you're not "one of them" any more, and rejects you for your desire to go after more in life than MUCKing and yiffs, then they were never a true friend to begin with, and you're better off without them. (Gawd, I sound like my mother.)

At any rate, congratulations for recognizing that you may be keeping yourself in unhealthy patterns. It will take effort to break the cycle you're in, but it is definitely doable. There are support groups online if you might need to discuss your habits outside of the context of furrydom. Look up "internet addiction." It's kind of a paradox.. having internet addiction forums online... but, it gives you a place to voice your thoughts with other people who may have similar experiences.. often with their loved ones spending all of theirm time on Everquest or something.

Let us know how things progress, and feel free to ask any other questions.
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*morningstar
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Posted: 7/7/2004 3:31:59 AM     Post subject:  

Damn, that was a really good post, a lot of very, very good advice. Really, you'll get out of it, you just have to find a hobby or something to replace it. It can be really, really hard to get out of it. But you can do it if you try. :)

The artist thing is more frustrating than anything else, because it's a stink that follows you everywhere. I'll never stop doing what I want, a lot do use it as an excuse. For a long time didn't do anything outside of the range of human, but now I've stopped giving a damn and I've been doing what I want. For the most part, people have been very supportive and great, and I'm even having a poster printed for a friend. What makes you not want to have anything to do with it is having to deal with people ALL THE TIME that want this and this and this and it has this many penises and they're all this big and so on. It's not enough to make anyone stop doing it, but it's enough to make you not want to be associated with it.
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mouse
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Posted: 7/7/2004 7:23:16 AM     Post subject:  

I read this one disgruntled former furry artist's website that had some seriously long complaints about why the furry fandom messed with his art and plans. But he says "I can ignore it fine, I can do something else to get around this, but it's still annoying as all hell to have to in the first place" and that's what I'm getting at - complaints really are just that, complaints.


Maybe certain people in the industry know what furry is about. Right or wrong, why bring it up to them? I get the feeling that a lot of furries get the idea in thier heads that if they don't mention the fact that they are involved in 'furry fandom' they are hiding something or being forced to conceal a part of thier identity. And thats not true at all. I'll go back to what I mentioned a few weeks ago - it's not that it's a secret or should be a secret, it's that it's completely irrelevant to a professional career (any career, or your life in general). I find it funny that the people that have or had it made are the first ones to quit, worrying about thier reputations - when these are the people who have the least to worry about. As a respected and/or professional artist, you can be as batshit as you want, you will almost always have work, thats a fact.

IOW i'm saying I would give artists more credit than simple cowering from furry fandom. I think for the most part they already understand what you are saying, but bitching is simply easy to do. Especially if you are just reading this forum's bitching.


Im not saying people are cowering (in most cases), they are just worrying about shit that doesnt matter. To me, the guy broadcasting far and wide that they are 'furry and proud' is just stupid as the guy insisting they are in no way, shape, or form involved in anything 'furry'. Its ridiculous. Yes, at times, discretion is required. But if you are good at what you do and are a stable individual ...what, honestly, do you have to worry about?

A secondary part of what is going on here is unrealistic expectations (IMO). A lot of comic/cartoon style artists are just waiting to get thier big break getting thier comics published thru Slave Labor Graphics or some other indy comic publisher or get thier dream animation job at Disney...well, comics are a severely shrinking market far as I can tell (outside GN's and Hollywood), and as for animation...hell, they farm that shit out to S. Korea or Vietnam nowadays.

If you are doing art as a career, seems you will most likely be designing product labels/art/mascots and arranging the fonts on KyoceraMita boxes.

I've seen artists slow down due to furry, I've seen them reconsider their careers, seen some get totally lost for ages, all sorts of counter-productive things set on by furry reasons.


See above...and you are correct, its a lot of personal issues as well. But blaming furry fandom, I don't think is going to get anyone anywhere.

The furry problem is a huge deal if you spent all your time in furry and are looking for a way out. I view it as the same problem as the fur who started this thread. He's looking for an escape from furry social life.


Almost as a joke , but still - all the college-age males I know (myself VERY included) are LOOKING FOR CASUAL SEX. It seems what he is doing, is definately not my scene - but he should count his blessings, if thats what he's into.

However, the MEAT of this matter is he's trying to find a more mature, responsible, and realistic way to live - that as an issue has almost nothing to do with furry, it just so happens furry is the particular vice he's escaping.


This sort of thing, is when I tend to take a huge step back from all of this and say - what exactly is a more responsible, realistic way to live? Many of the guys I know are growing up, getting 'married', getting 'careers', and can't do shit anymore... its just the way things go, but still that really sucks too. Is a 9-to-5 grind, wife, kids, suburban home, and minivans all there is to life? Even though I might want some of those things someday, I'd really like to hope not. (what you have outside of that is hobbies, whatever they might be)

My old roommate had a hell of a time trying to figure these kinds of things out and what to do with his art life after dropping furry. Being in the fandom for a while without realizing how fucked up it is kinda ruins your frame of reference.


All I'm really trying to say here is, no one is forced into furry fandom, take what you want, leave the rest. If you get sick of it, leave. If not, stay...no one really cares either way - if they do care, it's most likely because you made it an issue yourself, or they are messed up themselves, or just fucking with you. I just don't feel these ideas are that far fetched. My opinion is my own, but I don't see why I would be a singular or special case here. I like to imagine that I have a pretty realistic view of the world around me...
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Anonymous
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Posted: 7/7/2004 9:02:35 AM     Post subject: Re: So how DOES one escape the madness?  


Giving up MUCKing and such isn't going to be easy. I know. I had to beat chat addiction.. specifically furry MUCKing. It's going to have to be an all-or-nothing deal. If you try to MUCK a little, you'll fall back into your patterns... and continue to beat yourself up for it.


I would have thought though that some kind of planned withdrawal might be a better idea?

From what Iíve read, the idea of going completely cold turkey and never drinking/mucking/doing addictive things again from ďthis point onĒ can work for some, provided they have IRON WILL (+2 on will saves)

However, we are mostly but weak fleshy sacks of ambulatory water and various minerals.

It might make more sense to make a tactical retreat.

After all, if you withdraw without covering it, you may completely collapse and be defeated (i.e. relapse)

For example, many drug treatment and alcoholic treatments try to successively lower the doses they take.

Thus, you might get a timer and carefully work out how much time you spend on muck and try to get it down, always coming off when the timer goes off.

You could try spending sayÖ 10 minutes less the first few days, 15 the next et al.

Of course that requires some willpower too, but perhaps it has more chance of success (and lessening a relapse, since the addiction is partially satisfied) than merely not doing it at all.

After all, As I understand addictions create certain behavioural impulses and can actually physically alter our brains slightly, and such things cannot be given up easily or taken lightly.
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/7/2004 2:27:10 PM     Post subject:  

Most of what I've seen regarding drug and alcohol addictions is cold turkey, too. It's not like you plan on getting only a little drunk, or a little stoned for a few weeks, and then just tipsy.. and then just buzzed.. and then quit. Cutting back works fine with something like sweets, but cyber-addiction is more similar to gambling addiction than a fondness for Payday bars. As Barney Fife would say, "You've go to nip it in the bud." With a lot of people, it takes more of an act of an iron will to regulate their use of something than to simply not have the temptation around. Going back to sweets, some people can keep small chocolates around, having 1 or 2 squares to have a taste, and quit. Many people, however, find it better to not have sweets anywhere in the house, lest that 1 or 2 squares turn into 1 or 2 bars. My personal approach to sweets is to not keep them on hand, and allow myself one day (Saturday) to have anything I want... usually indulging in something like a slice of TGI Friday's vanilla bean cheesecake or something.

You do run a risk of relapse quitting cold turkey, but that's one reason you have to replace the behavior with something else. It takes just about as much willpower to log off after 20-30 minutes as it does to not log on at all... maybe even more so. Lead me not into temptation.. I can find it for myself, y'know. And you have the added complications of trying to explain to all of the folks familiar with you why you're leaving earlier than normal, and then having to fight their urges for you to stay.

Of course, the best thing is to do whatever works best for you. If you can set a timer and then honor your committment to log off when it goes off, then great. If you can't, however, it's best to avoid the temptation completely.

One of the things I did to help avoid temptation was what I called "blind passwording." I explained to the few folks I thought deserved an explanation that I was going on hiatus from MUCKing. Once I said my goodbyes, I basically rendered my characters inaccessable by going into Word, closing my eyes, and typing a string of random characters. Then, by hitting CTRL+SHIFT+BACKSPACE, I highlighted the sequence and hit CTRL+X to cut it. I went through the "change password" sequences on the MUCKs I was on and pasted this string of characters as the new password. Since it would show up as **********, I couldn't pick out the characters.

This may sound like overkill compared to @toading, but since some MUCKs only allowed one account per email address, locking the character made it harder to get a new character and fall back into old patterns. Sure, this is probably extreme to most folks, but I was dealing with an addiction here, and had to cut off what pathways to feeding that addiction I could.

Another thing you can do aside from quitting cold turkey is just cut back on where you MUCK or do other chat. A charred quadruple-amputee could get laid on Tapestries, so that'd definitely be one MUCK to cut out of your visitation rounds. If you must get a MUCKing fix, stick to small ones like FluffMUCK (at least, it was small when I was on) where you can do a little socializing, but you're not in an environment where you're getting constantly hit on for a yiff. IRC isn't bad, but it's still pretty easy to stay on too long there.

David wrote:
After all, As I understand addictions create certain behavioural impulses and can actually physically alter our brains slightly, and such things cannot be given up easily or taken lightly.

They say it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit. Some people might try quitting MUCKing cold turkey for a month (if you are friends with an admin, you might explain your desires to them and have them help out by suspending your account). After a month has passed, and you've established new behaviors in the interim, you can see if you even want to go back to MUCKing. If you do, you might be less inclined to abuse it, since you've established new behaviors in that time frame that it often takes to break habits and form new ones.
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viron
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Posted: 7/7/2004 8:05:14 PM     Post subject:  

mouse, i believe you are overanalyzing what i say. i haven't mentioned anything about careers or anything like that. Basically just read morningstar's reply and that is a perfect example of what i am talking about. furry for artists is annoying and it's easy to complain about. that's it. and i'm emphasizing that, at least from what i observe from artists, it -probably- shouldn't be taken as much more than simple bitching and dramaqueenery. even if they aren't super talented and are pro, they will still continue to create art and have a type of 'success' no matter what. doesn't have to be fame, comics, or money, as long as they continue to create and eventually get satisfaction out of it. that goes for ANYthing.

i think if you were involved with it very deeply at one point then leave, it certainly has a bad mental effect. If they haven't discovered they can ignore the furry fandom, they will eventually, especially artists. Most artists don't want to give up creating. Leaving behind something that was important to you at some point in time is always going to meet some bad vibes. Therefore I always give bitching artists the benefit of the doubt. I've watched them work through it before.

otherwise i have no disagreements with anything else you are saying.
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SLaitila
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Posted: 7/8/2004 1:12:28 PM     Post subject:  

This is how I did it:

1. Get a nwe hobby, for example I started to play music more actively than I had done before (for abt 8 years) - basically from jamming to composing.l
2. Become a egocentric asshole. This'll help you in eradicating contacts from the furry fandom.
3. Get friends who share your new interest and who don't give a flying fuck about furry.
4. Download/buy real porn. Watching silicone pumped bimbos getting it on is far more constructive than looking at poorly drawn and bland quasi-bestiality, which furry art is. Most of the clean art is, plain shit. It's no defense to say that just the clean art interests one. Art gallery visits will prove the statement right.
5. Fuck the muck. Go to a rock concert, that's more of an adventure than any kind of roleplay.
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/8/2004 3:28:00 PM     Post subject:  

Asian porn works really well... not the spoogey porn... the simple nudie, Playboy-type stuff. The posing is often more natural and seems more like "capturing the moment" than a fakey setting and forced posing. J-List has a lot of photo art books..... not to mention good-sized thumbnails you can just save. :D

That's one thing I never quite fathomed, but took full advantage of when I was younger. At 17, I couldn't buy Playboy, but I could go the art section of Waldenbooks and buy all of the Boris Vallejo and "art reference" books I wanted. As a result, I think I developed more of an affinity for artful nudes rather than your standard Penthouse fare.

Not that I don't have a copy of Gonzo Geishas on DVD.

If you really have to get your ink-and-paint fix for a while, try softcore hentai like Endless Serenade. :wink:

If you want to really cut yourself off, toss all of your furry files into the recycle bin and in one bold move, hit "Empty Recycle Bin." Yeah, it's a big step, and it kinda stings when you think about all of the files you just wiped and the years it took to amass those files.... but the purging is... hmm... how about liberating.

If you're nervous about buying/renting porn, just remember the best advice to ever come out of The Man Show:

Act like you own the place, and you may be buying it.... but they're the ones selling it. :twisted:
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Mitch
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Posted: 7/8/2004 5:21:13 PM     Post subject:  

Just tell all your friends in the fandom you've joined this great new forum full of friendly folk who're offering you helpful advice, and that it's called "Crush Yiff Destroy". Oh, and be sure to let us know what their reaction was.
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Genghis
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Posted: 7/8/2004 6:08:43 PM     Post subject:  

Oh, and be sure to let us know what their reaction was.

Preferably in the form of logs if they're particularly humourous.
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/8/2004 9:46:49 PM     Post subject:  

Or tell them you're joining the church of SomethingAwful.com after looking at godhatesfurries.com.

Speaking of GHF, I poked around there and found some truly amusing pictures.

You know how a milk jug will get turgid if you leave it out long enough, and the milk starts to outgas? This kind of reminds me of that.

You march yourself right upstairs, missy, and clean your face. You're a McDonald... not a whore.

Kudos on a pretty spiffy centaur costume... BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LEARN WHAT A SHIRT IS!!!

It's raining men.. nice socks, buddy.

Which is hairier.. hi s suit, or his legs?

Believe it or not, someone actually managed to capture the vapid gaze Gene Catlowe always has on his face. I guess all that was needed was a full frontal lobotomy.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Jerry Garcia

"So.. So I says to her.. I says, 'Why the long face?' A-An she says, 'Why the huge ass?'"

Much to the chagrin of the other health-minded fruit bats, this is the very reason most fruits are forbidden on the Atkins diet.

And these are the fruits forbidden by the Get-a-Clue Diet.

I think that's Mr. Sulu under there.

Louie XIV in his early years was far too awkward to actually dare to ask the girls to dance with him at the royal galas. Hence his initial title as "The Grapey Wallflower."

Amidts an overabundance of wolves, lions, and foxes, it was actually a creative move to do a costume based on a preserved pig fetus.

Coming soon.. the off-Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Weber's "FATS."

Believe it or not, this... chick (?) just decided to see what all of the buzz was about. She snagged some costume ears from the hotel gift shop, ran upstairs, painted her face, threw some clothes on over her thermal underwear, and snuck in. Little did she know she was destined to win BEST IN SHOW.

Actually, no, Ms. Kittylady, I haven't seen The Crying Game. Why do you ask?

AND NOW...... FOR THE ULTIMATE.......THE VISION OF FURRY NOW AND FOREVER!
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MagKnightX
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Posted: 7/9/2004 2:42:19 AM     Post subject:  

... That last picture made my penis retreat into my body, and now it won't come out again...

...but thanks for using Turgid in your post. Every time you do that, the Turgid fairys forever shrivel a furry's cock... although they ARE most of the way there already...
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/9/2004 2:00:03 PM     Post subject:  

That last one made me think of Julian Sands' (featured in Warlock and, IMO, the fellow that should have been cast as Lestat) retarded brother had been beaten with an ugly stick and then dipped in fairy dust. Judging by his face, his character is a tiger-striped, shriveled-up scrotum.
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Paul
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Posted: 7/9/2004 7:08:11 PM     Post subject:  


I entertained thoughts of visiting a furry con to look for comic books, but that does it. I'm not setting foot anywhere near where any of those... things... are. They're scary, I tell you!
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Quantum Coyote
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Joined: 12 May 2004
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Posted: 7/11/2004 1:44:27 PM     Post subject:  

ZenZhu writ:

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Jerry Garcia
http://godhatesfurries.com/viewimage.php?id=46



Um, did you know that (at least not all that long ago) there was an actual Chia Garcia pet that would grow a nice green beard? Well if you did then YOU BE DISSIN HARD BRO!



*Fans of 'Yoink of the Yukon' UNITE!*
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Mitch
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Posted: 7/13/2004 8:03:50 PM     Post subject:  


I entertained thoughts of visiting a furry con to look for comic books, but that does it. I'm not setting foot anywhere near where any of those... things... are. They're scary, I tell you!

You could always print this out and take it along:
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Justin_Fox
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Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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Posted: 7/21/2004 10:43:45 AM     Post subject:  

Hey guys!

My apologies for taking so long to reply. A lot of shit has been going on here, and I really wanted to reply personally to a lot of this. Thank you all so much for all of the great advice. It all has been on my mind a lot lately.

First of all, I realize that I canít blame all of my general fucked-up-ness on Furry. A lot of my issues have to do with my own sexual deviance and other issues, furry just provided a controlled environment for it to grow.

Iím not sure how clear I made all of this, but my primary problem is how the furry way of live has warped my general perception of a lot of things, such as the aforementioned attitudes toward casual sex and all. But more severely, I have a tendency to look for more sexual meaning in all kinds of friendships. I donít know how to word this really. Basically, what I mean, is with furries, I have a very good idea that someone I meet might be very open to more physical contact, something that I wonít get from just anyone I meet around school. Likewise, I have been known to read way too much into simple, innocent things non-furs I know say to me, as if looking to interpret it in a ďcloserĒ way. Maybe I do need professional help for that.

But I donít know, Iíve looked in the local gay community, and I feel just as distant toward people I try to meet there due to lack of common interest. I have tried several clubs on campus and such, but people I talk to there, I justÖ feel unable to become friends with. Primarily because I donít want to talk about myself and my life, since that would require explaining furry to them, or talking about things that normal people would roll their eyes at. Maybe in that way moving away from furry would help, as in I would have less to be ashamed of when talking about myself.

Itís not that I totally hate furry and want to part of it. I enjoy it. I even enjoy all the weird sex stuff that I end up regretting later on when I get hurt by it. I just know that itís not good for me, that the way it restricts my social development outside of the fandom will hurt me, in many more professional ways once I get out of school.

Trying to ease away from the fandom is hard, at least right now. I live in a student apartment full of other furs, and due to housing contracts Iím stuck here for another year. (Itís not quite ASB, at least, well yet). Because my roommates are kind of batshit insane, I fear bringing any non furs, such as people I work with in school groups, over, and would certainly feel the same about any non-fur friends Iíd make.

I guess right now, first thing I can do is to try to branch out into other interests. Give the clubs on campus another try. Sadly my recent fury binge has left me way behind in a lot of my other interests, even Anime. Although I guess going to anime fans isnít the best idea, considering that particular fandom seems to be rapidly going the same direction as furry.

Iíll be sure to write again later, and keep everyone updated. After reading all this again, I need some time to think. Thank you all once again.
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/21/2004 4:41:02 PM     Post subject:  

Iím not sure how clear I made all of this, but my primary problem is how the furry way of live has warped my general perception of a lot of things, such as the aforementioned attitudes toward casual sex and all. But more severely, I have a tendency to look for more sexual meaning in all kinds of friendships. I donít know how to word this really. Basically, what I mean, is with furries, I have a very good idea that someone I meet might be very open to more physical contact, something that I wonít get from just anyone I meet around school. Likewise, I have been known to read way too much into simple, innocent things non-furs I know say to me, as if looking to interpret it in a ďcloserĒ way. Maybe I do need professional help for that.

In other words, you're drawn to furries because they're easy. Okay, I was being glib there... but, in a way, that does kind of sound like the situation. It sounds like, to you, furries are "safe" because there is the general attitude of total acceptance. Of course, acceptance isn't bad. We could all stand to exercise a little more of it. But, furries take it to the extreme.

So, walking into a room full of furries, there isn't as much pressure as there is going into a room full of non-furries, because there aren't as many social hoops to jump through. With furries, you could gain instant fame and acceptance by wearing a shirt that says something "witty" (I use that term loosely in this case) like "I draw skunk porn." The fact that you ALL have the common interest of furry provides you with a large comfort zone, I would guess.

With non-furries, you may or may not have common interests. That's where developing social skills comes in. The social skills we gain as we grow allow us to reach out to people we don't know and may not share much in common with and, first, learn about them, and then search for those common threads. My grandfather is an excellent example of this. He naturally finds some way to relate to almost everyone he meets. I have inherited this to a lesser extent. For example, on an airline flight once, I was seated next to a rather chatty fellow. Here we are, two perfect strangers forced to sit together for an hour, and he wants to talk. He starts going on about aircraft because a) we're in one and b) he's into vintage aircraft. Okay.. I don't know a hell of a lot about aircraft, let alone vintage aircraft. BUT... my grandfather was a Flying Tiger during WWII. So, there's at least a shred of something to build on. I'd wager you can take any 2 people and they can relate to each other in some way, even if remotely. Of course, that's part of the premise of Buddhism... all living things share the common bonds of we live, we suffer, we die, and we're here. From the Buddhist standpoint, those are pretty big things to have in common and are, thus, why we should be kind to everything we share those commonalities with.

Forgive me if I go too far out on a limb here, but I'm just going on what you've conveyed... or, at least, what I've interepreted out of your messages. Anyway, this "safe zone" you have with furries sounds like it doesn't just stop at providing much easier social interaction than normal, but it goes so far as to make you feel secure in the idea that you could get some action if you wanted to. As I said above, it almost sounds like you could say you like furries because they're easy.

With non-furries, not only do you have the challenge of getting to know them, but, even if looking for casual sex (which, of course, millions of people do every night.. not just furries), there are the typical social hoops of conversation, seeing if you like them.. if they like you, and seeing if you have some "chemistry." And even if there is something there, it's still pretty unknown as to whether or not you'll get a piece of ass that night. Something could spoil the mood, or they could decide they have to work tomorrow, or they drank too much and fell asleep halfway through taking their pants off.

Okay, I'm going to be blunt here. I may be waaaaay off with what I'm going to say, but this is really how I'm perciving your situation and outlook from your messages. It sounds to me like you're having a hard time thinking with anything other than your dick. Let's revisit part of your message, which I quoted above:

But more severely, I have a tendency to look for more sexual meaning in all kinds of friendships. I donít know how to word this really. Basically, what I mean, is with furries, I have a very good idea that someone I meet might be very open to more physical contact, something that I wonít get from just anyone I meet around school.

Again, I may be out in left field, here, but what your wording suggests to me is that one of the main reason you take an interest in someone, furry or not, is to find out if you can get a lay out of them. It sounds like you view people more as a piece of meat you can hump and less as actual people, with thoughts and feelings and interests other than giving you an orgasm. This suggests a rather abysmal lack of respect for the people you meet as fellow human beings. If you go into most social interaction with the focus being whether or not you're going to get laid, you're naturally going to have a pretty crappy social life. You may get laid a fair bit, but the relationships you forge for that are very shallow. Ever notice how some guys may sleep with a different woman every night, yet their lives are actually pretty sad and lonely?

If I'm correct in any way with this assessment, you need to stop thinking with your crotch and start getting to know people as people. Try getting to know them as friends... hell.... try making friends with people you wouldn't fuck.

Likewise, I have been known to read way too much into simple, innocent things non-furs I know say to me, as if looking to interpret it in a ďcloserĒ way. Maybe I do need professional help for that.

I re-quoted this part because, in playing armchair psychologist, this statement suggests what may drive your fixation on sex at the expense of solid friendships, respect for others, and even self-respect. What this seems to say between the lines is that basically you crave validation and acceptance. Maybe you never had much affection or contact, and now have a hard time just being friends with people in a casual way because the affection of hugs, skritches, and sex give you a physical sense that you are loved and cared for. This isn't too uncommon. A lot of people use sex to provide a sense of being loved and cared for, when what they need is emotional affection, not physical. And I don't mean a boyfriend or girlfriend or such. The emotional affection people crave can be as simple as what they get out of having a really good friend. Of course, if you screw most of your friends, the sex creates a social dynamic that can cause problems later, especially if you try and foster relationships that don't focus on sex.

A lot of what I've said may sound really harsh. But, if any of it has sounded like it's accurate, don't feel too bad. These are problems many people have... especially college kids. With college, you have moved away from the support structure of your family that you enjoyed for the past 18 or so years. Whatever your home life was like, good or bad, it was, at least, a sense of structure and belonging. When kids go off to college, they're not just on their own physically, but, really, emontionally, too. For many, it's the first time they've really had to be by themselves. As many adapt to their new life, they learn to be by themselves. They learn to provide their structure and validation from within. As a child who was alone much of my life, this wasn't as big a transition for myself. I still had trouble, and went home more frequently than I would have liked in hindsight (would have preferred to have formed the friendships and "hung with my buds" on the weekend more as I did in my last year).

But, for many more kids, they fill this void with partying, drinking, and sleeping around. So, you're not alone. In fact, I'd say you're not too different from most of your non-furry fellow students. The biggest difference is simply you have a "safe zone" with furry, whereas the rest of the kids have to go out and mingle before taking someone to their dorm room.

Of course, since many of the college kids are new to sex.. though they may not admit it... it's like a new toy. It's not uncommon to go nuts with it when you first learn how fun it is.

Anyway, so there's that part. You do sound awfully fixated on sex, and that might need counseling, even if you weren't furry, since it sounds like it gets in the way of you trying to form genuine friendships that don't revolve around sex.

But I donít know, Iíve looked in the local gay community, and I feel just as distant toward people I try to meet there due to lack of common interest. I have tried several clubs on campus and such, but people I talk to there, I justÖ feel unable to become friends with. Primarily because I donít want to talk about myself and my life, since that would require explaining furry to them, or talking about things that normal people would roll their eyes at.


Time to go back into harsh mode. Guess what... most of the people you're going to meet in life are going to be "normal" people. You know what separates the "weird" people from the "normal" people.... the "normal" people aren't as up-front about their own weirdness.

Seriously, this isn't a question of them being more "normal" than you, or you more "unusual" or "unique" than them. Everyone on the freaking planet is weird in some way. Take a person that just looooooooooves golf. To non-golfers, his dedication to his hobby may be pretty weird. Maybe the guy next to you on the bus is a Civil War reinactor.. would you know it if he wasn't in costume, though? Next time you're at a Chinese restaurant, look way across to the other side. See the older fellow there in the blue shirt? You never know if he may be into having his wife wear stiletto-heeled, thigh-high boots and making him polish them with his tongue. Ever notice how, when they catch someone that committed a really brutal crime, the neighbors comment on how quiet he was. How's that for "normal?" The nice fellow next door liked to eat people's hearts and hump their lungs.

Every single person you see has something they like a bit more than your average Joe. Furry, video games, anime, golf, football, baseball, Italian cooking, Precious Moments figurines, Jeebus, camping, fishing, cats, their shi-tzus, their grandchildren.... everyone..... everyone has something they like that would make people roll their eyes if they started really going off about it. Granted, football fever is a lot more socially accepted than a penchant for Doug Winger pictures.... but, really, a fursuiter isn't THAT much different from a guy that goes to a Rams game in 20-degree weather wearing nothing but blue and yellow body paint and a thong.

Here's a little hint when it comes to talking about things people would roll their eyes at..... don't. Or, at least, don't to excess. Here's another hint... furry is what you like.. not what you are. You don't have to tell everyone you meet that you're into it. If someone asks what you do for fun, you might say "I like to draw cartoons. My favorite subject matter is animals." and then move onto your non-furry interests. You don't have to go into detail about drawing big-breasted foxtaur herms, or what conventions you go to, or whatever. Don't assault people with details they don't need or don't care about. The same goes for anything anyone enjoys. Especially when first meeting people, you don't HAVE to spill out your life story or history with furrydom.

For example, I like Asian cooking. If someone asked what I do for fun, I might say "I like Asian cooking, Aikido, learning Japanese, hiking, and a few other things." I wouldn't launch into a monologue about how I prefer one brand of mirin over another, or how Sho Chiku Bai sake is crap compared to Gekkikan or something. They don't need to know that crap. Now, if someone said something like "Really? I've dabbled in Asian cooking. What sake do you use?" I would tell them Gekkikan and maybe leave it at that. Give them what they want to know.. not what they don't want to know.

Next time someone new asks you about your interests, and you feel compelled to tell them about furry... stop for a moment and put yourself in their shoes. If they're not a furry, do you think they really want to know about it? Do they need to know? Like I said, furry is what you do.. not what you are. Even for a furry lifestyler, furrydom is really just all about trappings. It's not who they are, if they'd stop and think about it. And even if it permeated everything they do... say they saw only movies about animals, went camping a lot in fursuits, and horded furry spooge art.. you can still put a "normal" spin on it. If asked about their hobbies, they could simply say they like movies, camping, and art.

There's also a good rule of thumb for ANYONE that can help with however much furry permeates your life. Many people by a simple golden rule of conversation that dictates there are 3 topics you never approach.... sex, politics, and religion. So, if you like pretending you're a cheetah getting reamed by a zebra as you jack off with a Thor dildo, vote green party because you wuv da fuzzy animals, and you're Wiccan to get in touch with your furry side...... guess what... those fall under sex, politics and religion. Just keep that under your hat.

That's another area furries fall short in social skills.... they cannot keep their damn mouth shut. They can't stop for a moment and say "you know, maybe this fellow DOESN'T want to know what I do in my private moments."

The bottom line here is that social interaction is a two-way street. You not only have to be a good talker, but a good listener. I would guess that you can't find much that interests you about other people because you're not making the effort to get to know them. If you're having to reveal the details of your furry interests, you're probably talking too much, and not letting them talk enough. You're giving too many details about yourself, talking far too much about yourself, and not displaying an interest in them. If they don't think you're really interested in them, they're not going to want to continue conversing, let alone trying to foster a friendship. You know what they say... to have a friend, you have to be a friend.

Here's another bit of harsh reality... you're becoming an adult. You're going to have to learn to deal with others as adults. Most adults don't read comic books. It doesn't matter if it's furry or not.... most people as they grow are going to find an adult that reads comics, watches anime, and collects toys/plushies to be abnormal. You don't have to give up your interests.. heck no. But you don't have to talk about them, either. As an example, I watch some anime, read Ai Yori Aoshi, play Playstation games like Tenchu and Onimusha, and have a collection of gashapon figures that consist mostly of "half-naked kimono babes," as I call them. But.. guess what.. I never mention those in covnersation. I'm not ashamed of them or anything, but I am cognizant of the fact that most people here in the U.S. would not find it normal for an adult male to watch cartoons and have toys on his computer desk. But, if someone is wanting to learn about me, that is not anything that's pertinent at that point in time. That may come up someday if we become friends, but there's certainly no push to divulge that. Another good example is that no one in my office knows I'm Buddhist. Some may have deduced that from the fact that I have a Siddhartha statue and a picture of the Dalai Lama in my office, but I have not directly stated such to anyone. I'm not trying to hide it... I just don't find it necessary information for them. Likewise, your furry interests, no matter how big they seem to you, are not something people need to know about you.. let alone care about.

Maybe in that way moving away from furry would help, as in I would have less to be ashamed of when talking about myself.

I'd wager you have issues other than furrydom that make you feel ashamed of yourself. A lot of it probably has to do with furry apparently being a big outlet for sex for you. No offense, but you probably have more serious issues than lusting after Fox McCloud.

Itís not that I totally hate furry and want to part of it. I enjoy it.

Nothing wrong with that.. and it's not something you have to hide. It's not something you have to wave like a banner, though.

I even enjoy all the weird sex stuff that I end up regretting later on when I get hurt by it. I just know that itís not good for me, that the way it restricts my social development outside of the fandom will hurt me, in many more professional ways once I get out of school.

There's another bit with stuff written between the lines. If you enjoy the "weird" sex stuff, but regret it later on, obviously you have attitudes and issues that are unhealthy. Kinky sex stuff is just that... kinky sex stuff. It's not necessarily bad in the right context. A couple could have a BDSM thing going on within the confines of a loving, nurting relationship. Likewise, two people could engage in BDSM sessions together, but are simply using each other for sex. This may make them feel guilty about what they're doing to themselves and the other person. Another example is someone waking off to porn/cybersex. There's nothing wrong with porn (assuming we're not talking about child porn, nonconscentual images, etc.). Even cybersex is just an outlet. But, if you stay up until 3AM yiffing, and then hit your snooze bar so much that you show up 4 hours late for work because you were up so late.. yeah.. you have a problem. It's not the porn and cybersex that are bad, it's your use and attitudes of it.

Sex.. even "weird sex stuff" is a good thing. But, if misused through lack of respect for yourself or your partners, or done in discord with any of your ethics (i.e., cheating on a spouse/partner), or in a way you know is simply unhealthy, it can present problems. It's like anything.. used responsibly, it's great. If it's abused, it's a problem. Sex isn't bad..... poor attitudes and misuse of sex are.

I'm not sure how furrydom will affect you professionally, unless you're looking to be a Baptist minister or a cartoonist for WB. I'm assuming you mean the lack of social skills might hamper your business relations and all.

As I said, you're becoming an adult. There may come a time when you have to pick and choose what is important to you. Which is more important... staying up late screwing the guy down the hall or yiffing... or getting a good night's rest before a big test? There are only 24 hours in a day. You have to select what you're going to do with them. Do you hang out on FurryMUCK fishing for a buttfuck, or do you do your calculus homework?

Trying to ease away from the fandom is hard, at least right now. I live in a student apartment full of other furs, and due to housing contracts Iím stuck here for another year. (Itís not quite ASB, at least, well yet). Because my roommates are kind of batshit insane, I fear bringing any non furs, such as people I work with in school groups, over, and would certainly feel the same about any non-fur friends Iíd make.

So, don't bring them over.. go to their dorm or apartment, or go meet at a pizza parlor.

I guess right now, first thing I can do is to try to branch out into other interests. Give the clubs on campus another try. Sadly my recent fury binge has left me way behind in a lot of my other interests, even Anime. Although I guess going to anime fans isnít the best idea, considering that particular fandom seems to be rapidly going the same direction as furry.

Getting harsh here again... have you ever tried, y'know... more "grown up" hobbies? Bowling? Karate? Fencing? Horseback riding? Birdwatching? Is there something you're interested in that doesn't involve cartoons?????? Is there at least something you might like to try? Take a short course in something like bonsai or underwater basket weaving. Try something that you're curious about, but that is totally new and foreign and doesn't involve imaginary people or critters. You sound like you're stuck in a rut, and really need to break into fresh territory. That's one of the things that makes otaku, furries, and Trekkies so sad and subject to derision are the ones that cannot take an interest in anything that does not involve their particular fixation. Going back to the thing about not being able to discuss yourself without discussing furry.... you are simply going to have to choose to break out of the mold you've cast yourself in. It's not a matter of furry being so ingrained in you that you can't separate it out.... it's a matter of you being unwilling to separate it out yourself.

Iíll be sure to write again later, and keep everyone updated. After reading all this again, I need some time to think. Thank you all once again.

Good luck. You might look into counseling services offered wherever you are going to school. They may not be much, but, while you're a student, they are likely to be either cheap or free. It'd be a start. Ultimately, though, I think a lot is going to ride on you deciding what you want to do, and then having the guts to do it. It sounds like you have issues going far beyond furrydom. It won't be easy to beat them... but you can do it.

On a final note, I'm going to suggest something. Now, I'm not trying to convert you here... Buddhists don't try to convert like Christains sometimes do. But.. I want to mention that you might find value in meditation. It doesn't have to be "Buddhist meditation." Really, it's just sitting quietly. In Buddhism, there is the concept of the "monkey mind." Our minds are our own worst enemies.... constantly chattering away like a monkey... leaping from thought to thought like a monkey would tree to tree. We get scatterbrained and unfocused. We seek to distract ourselves from the noise in our heads. One way we try and quiet the monkey is with diversions like drugs, sex, and booze.

In Soto Zen Buddhism, there is what is called shikantaza or "just sitting." You sit and focus on your breathing. The idea is to tame the monkey (not spank it :D). Teach your mind to learn how to be still in a quiet setting. As you train the mind in this context, it learns to be still in the face of chaos. As the mind is trained, things like unhealthy attitudes, self-recrimination, and such often lessen. Your mind learns to enjoy being quiet.... rather than thinking back to events in your past that leave painful memories or make you feel bad about yourself.

You might try looking at some books on the topic. Go get a foofy coffee drink at Borders and sit down in the Eastern Philosophy section. There are plenty of books that give a good general overview of Buddhist meditation. Another good book is "How to Appreciate your Life" by Taizan Maezumi Roshi.

Even sitting quietly for 5 minutes each day.. just counting your breaths.. letting your mind still like water in a pond.. can have measurable effects. And don't expect to be able to sit thoughtlessly at first. And don't feel bad when you can't. Don't judge your success or failure at meditating... just sit. That's all.

Might be worth a shot.
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