My happiest moment of the day? That would be getting my hot little hands on the Lost and Found list from Furry Weekend Atlanta 2010. Yes. Lost and Found list. Furry Weekend.
What is Furry Weekend? Well, I guess you're old enough to hear this, but you probably should sit down first. Furries are people who like--I mean, really really like--fursuit costumes. And by "really really like," I mean "sexually aroused by fursuits." I mean "like to wear a fursuit during sex." I mean "see Chip n' Dale at Disneyland and think, 'Oh yeah, I so want to hit that.'"*
The Furry Weekend Atlanta (FWA) site, understandably, describes this passion for the fursuit in more benign terms:
Furry Weekend intends to provide a place where fans of anthropomorphic animals can come together for fun, fellowship, and education.The church social-type language is intentional--part of a furry image overhaul. It seems that some of the randier furries gave all furries a bad rep after unflattering media coverage, like this seminal (though I am suddenly loathe to use that word) piece in Vanity Fair. This included the unsettling info that at furry conventions, some fursuits had strategically built-in flaps on the groinal areas for easy access to other furries' naughty bits. But according to the FWA site, furridom is just misunderstood:
Many of our fans are well educated, gainfully employed members of society who simply have a hobby. It's a hobby that's not different from Star Trek "trekkies," comic book fans, or those interested in reenacting past events like the Civil War or the medieval era.So relax, you big square, it's simply a hobby. It's just like going to a Star Trek convention, except that you might fuck people dressed in a big ol' bunny costume. The whole furry-as-nonsexual-woodland-creature image makeover would hold a bit more water if the convention holders didn't feel the need to provide these rules in the Attendee Code of Conduct:
We ask you to always wear at least a shirt, shorts, and shoes in public areas of the hotel. Body Painters should always keep a shirt handy in case they need to pass through the lobby or areas that the hotel's other guests might frequent. Additionally, if you are wearing body paint of any kind, please refrain from sitting on hotel furniture. Public exposure of genitalia, buttocks or (female) breasts is not permitted anywhere. "Anatomically correct" costumes must be likewise clothed.
Oh, come on, clearly this is different from a regular hobby. I seriously doubt that at Civil War conventions, they have to tell people to wear their damn clothes in the lobby. The Code of Conduct also mentions that alcohol is allowed which, I fear, would have the disconcerting effect of turning a sexually aroused person in a fursuit into a drunken sexually aroused person in a fursuit. (I do, however, love that the rule that "anatomically correct" costumes have to be clothed. Where, exactly, do you buy pants to cover up your fabric tiger penis? Though I guess if you know where to get an anatomically-correct tiger costume, it's probably not a problem.)
Anyway, this year's Furry Weekend was held at the Hilton in Atlanta this March. (Much to the surprise, I imagine, of the other guests who just happened to book a stay there that weekend). Included was a class on fursuit construction, a panel on "Why Anthromorphics?", and, oddly, "DJing 101." There were also sessions of the card game Furoticon, which combines D&D with furry fandom, thus making it the nerdiest game of all time.
Now, I am down with whatever people want to do sexually. It's all good, really. And I'm not trying to judge, even one could argue that I totally am judging. This particular fetish is fascinating to me because I so don't get it. Fursuits, to me, are the antithesis of sexy. I mean, the big cartoon head, the googley eyes--and surely they must smell horrendous. But again that's just me. If the idea of wearing a squirrel costume makes you hot, go to it man.
And if you happened to be at Furry Weekend Atlanta and left something behind, please check this list from the lost and found which includes:
• one white cat tail
• a fursuit eye
• a hacky sack
• a rat
• matted fur
• a bag of knobs
Meanwhile, I will remain fixated on the many questions this all brings up, including: Hmmm...a bag of knobs? How much matted fur was there to qualify as a lost and found item and not just something to clean up? And exactly how small a sub-culture is that of furries who also enjoy a fine game of hacky sack?
*In the interest of fairness, not all furries have erotic feelings about fursuits. Some are just way into them for (non-sexual) reasons of their own.