The Fursuit of Happiness
The Further Confusion convention is a Neverland-like utopia for adults who don’t want to grow up—at least for one weekend.
By Harmon Leon

Numerous questions cross my mind while looking at the simulated dragon vagina. From under a blue cloth, the mad scientist behind this niche sex toy unveils Fem Dragon. “This is the prototype,” he states with a Scottish accent. He explains that Fem Dragon won’t be available until later this year. During product testing he says he discovered, “We made the hole too small!”

Impressed that one could create the scaly sexual reproductive organs of a mythical creature that breathes fire, I realize this is the first time I’ve ever looked directly at a man who has willingly fucked a simulated dragon vagina. In the furry community he’s a dragonkin—in a past life he lived as a dragon and still retains those memories. (Conveniently, dragonkin never show non-dragonkin their powers.) Naturally, dragon-related carnal relations would be second nature to this man.

Fem Dragon’s impresario is just one of the thousands of furries who have congregated at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose for the Further Confusion convention—the second largest furry gathering in the country (the world’s largest is in Pittsburgh). Furries are people who like anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities. Some suit up in elaborate animal costumes to create walking, talking animal/human hybrids, while others merely sport animal tails and ears.

The original furries were simply into the kind of animals you’d see in Warner Bros. cartoons. Then a furry dark side evolved. Alongside the wholesome furries who come to Further Confusion to learn such things as team mascot skills or how to draw rabbits, there is a niche group that likes to partake in sex while adorned in full furry regalia. Furverts are sexually turned on by the whole animal/human hybrid experience. These deviant troublemakers, who are also known as yiffs, give the other furries a bad rep. Think of them as the seedy anthropomorphic black sheep of the furry family.

Hollywood hasn’t helped. CSI had an episode called “Fur and Loathing” that followed a murder case linked to a furpile (furry orgy or yiffing).

On Entourage, Johnny Drama donned a pink bunny suit with a hole cut out for his privates so he could bone a furry in a squirrel costume who yelped woodland noises while in the throes of sex.

So now—or so I’ve been told—many furries feel as if they’ve been pushed to the back of the fantasy-role-playing bus because the world is only interested in the sexual aspect of their community. But I want to find out for myself. Throwing together a bunch of random leftover accessories from various Halloween costumes (pig mask, bear ears, furry vest), I’m going to infiltrate the world of furry fandom. If asked, I’m “ManBearPig” from South Park. I’ll go by the moniker “Zoran XT.”

The lobby of the Doubletree looks like the furry equivalent of the Star Wars bar (or a Hunter S. Thompson
acid trip).A sea of furries mingles as the hotel staff looks on with bemused expressions. Some furries are dragged around on leashes. Two coyotes teasingly simulate oral sex. A pair of wolves make out, then playfully communicate through mime.

“Welcome to the village—you’ve been hugged, tagged, and sent back to the community,” a wolf/human hybrid announces to a man in shorts, initiating him into the pack.

It’s like a creepy Halloween celebration or comic-book convention minus comics and booth babes. Not entirely devoid of hot female interaction—even though the convention is roughly 90 percent male—much flirting is involved when it comes to the busty female furries. The elevator opens. Three large female animal characters emerge: a big-breasted cat with pink hair, a curvy wolf draped in a tight dress, and a belly-dancing, yellow-haired giraffe. As they spill into the festivities, large IT guys sporting animal tails become very flirty with the busty female furries. Dungeons & Dragons–types amorously surround a corsetclad horse. These are the guys who got a “funny feeling” every time they saw Bugs Bunny wearing a dress, and took it to the next level.

“Thank goodness there are a lot of other freaks out there to join me!” exclaims a furry named Chad. “I get all giddy dressing up as a giant furry rat! We’re all ridiculous. I choose to put the pride aside, and simply party how I wish to.”

And it is fun. My pig mask lends the complete anonymity I need to schmooze at leisure.

“Where’s the dogs?” someone playfully jests as what appears to be the cast of Cats scampers by, speaking German. The felines pose for snapping cameras. “Here kitty, kitty, kitty!”

“We outgrew the Doubletree years ago,” a photographer shares, gleefully snapping away. “I came here in ’98, and
you could fit all the costume characters into one hotel room.”

The Fursuit of Happiness

“There are usually lots of wolves and foxes, some cats,” notes a large humanoid nursing a beer by the bar. “This year we have some horses and deer.” His excitement grows. “I even saw a Minotaur!” Though wearing human clothes, the large man has adopted a furry name that sounds like “Trendevar.”

“Why do you think people are so into anthropomorphic characters?”

“For ages, anthropomorphic animals were there to teach us lessons,” Trendevar reasons seriously. “Like Aesop’s fables. Kids learn because they can relate to the animal kingdom.”

“What kind of lessons?”

“Lessons about overcoming adversity and learning from our mistakes!”

I wonder to myself what lessons kids learn from a simulated dragon vagina.

Though a wolf and a lion grope each other and a group of guys grind on a rodeo dog, the furries are trying desperately to change their fur-suitbonking image. As stated on the Further Confusion website, Doubletree’s lobby must remain PG-13:
Groping, tongue battles, and nudity are not allowed. Collars and leashes may be worn discreetly, but blatant displays of bondage or BDSM in public may result in your badge being taken away. “Anatomically correct” costumes must be likewise clothed.

Apparently, “anatomically correct” mishaps have occurred in the past. But not all furries come to Further Confusion to bonk while wearing their costumes. “I don’t really go in for the fur-suit sex,” says Zuki, a large mythical beast with green eyes and fangs. “It’s way too uncomfortable in one of those costumes to have much fun, and you’ll only ruin an expensive piece of work!”

“The ones with stripes are more expensive because they need to be hand-sewn,” Trendevar interjects. Fur suits can range from $500 to $8,000, and it can take a craftsman up to 80 hours to construct a complex fur head. Some include movable animatronics. “The more elaborate costumes have fans built in.”

All attention turns to a dog in an intricate fur suit engineered to appear like it’s walking on all fours. Zoran XT follows the canine as it waddles toward an area with a large sign that reads, “Please only fur suits and helpers. No photos or video.”

“What goes on here?”

“This is the Headless Lounge,” announces the gatekeeper. “This is where people come to chill out and take their heads off ’cause it gets hot!”

Adjusting my pig mask, I enter the place others don’t get to see. In front of industrial-size fans, furries sit with their heads off, looking severely dehydrated. Near a rack for hanging large furry heads, sewing machines and glue are on hand for fur-suit emergency repairs.

A headless Clifford sits in stony silence—the complete opposite of his outer, hugely smiling shell.

“That’s certainly a big, red costume,” comments a heavyset girl brushing the yellow mane of a furry horse. Clifford remains silent.

Enter the popular kids. The busty female furry characters who’ve been turning men’s heads throughout the convention march in. Strutting their stuff, the sexy corset-wearing horse with huuuge tightly bound boobs removes her head. And … it’s a dude! The sexy coyote/Fembot also takes off her head. Another dude! More heads removed. More dudes. This is like some weird frickin’ furry Crying Game. It’s a whole flock of big-breasted guys—a tribe of men with tails, corsets, and fake J. Lo booties partaking in furry cross-dressing. Many issues are being explored here.

“I finally got the cleavage to work after much engineering,” the busty horse/dude—who towers around six two—says, pointing to his big breasts. “It’s a gel.”

“That’s sexy,” the busty coyote/dude replies. “I got this makeup in New Zealand.”

“Come here!” the busty horse/dude says to a guy bouncing on a coyote’s lap. He thrusts the guy’s head between his gel breasts. Other men come over for a feel.

This is like in World War II when a guy from the army troop would put on a dress for the talent show and the rest of the platoon would flirt with him.

“You do get groped!” the horse/dude confesses about furry crossdressing.

Lone Clifford suits up. He puts on his big red head. Once intact, Clifford suddenly comes to life. Clifford the Big Red Dog is now extremely animated. Following at his heel toward the lobby, we pass Tony the Tiger’s girlfriend (is she also a dude?) and members of the San Jose Fire Department (or fetish fantasy group?). Clifford is now dancing like crazy.

On day two, I am accompanied by an infiltrating partner-inanthropomorphic-crime. Going by the pseudonym “Fluffy,” she is also attired in random Halloween costume accessories, including a large bunny nose. Fluffy and I head toward the volunteer brain center coined the “Gofur Room.” As convention volunteers, we vow to do no volunteer duties whatsoever.

“You’re not ManBearPig from South Park, are you?” a volunteer dressed as Napoleon Dynamite asks upon our arrival.

“Affirmative!” I reply in robot voice, delighted at the recognition. Across the room a commotion occurs around one of the computers.

“Is that a zombie penis?” an intense chick in a black robe exclaims. Excited, she runs over to the monitor. “It is a zombie penis!” And then, “If you have sex with a zombie, would he always be hard because of rigor mortis?”

“Rigor mortis only lasts four hours,” the volunteer coordinator authoritatively pipes in without looking up from his computer.

“Where did you get that bunny nose?” the intense chick asks Fluffy. “I’m already getting my costume ready to debut next year. It’s based on a Second Life character.”

Next, we head over to the bustling vendor room and its array of furry related items: plush toys that might turn on those who first humped them as infants stand side-by-side with weapons—lots of them. Knives. Big fucking knives. Real knives, not pretend knives. Sharp.

“This is the sword-breaker,” the stringy-haired dealer says, holding a large knife that could easily sever an entire furry’s head. “Most furries like blades ’cause most furries are drawn with knives or guns in their hand.”

For the most part, the dealer tables are covered in furry artwork and comic books, with names such as N’Dar the Wolf.

A perky comic-book artist from Florida relates her furry fascination: “As a child, I thought I had invented it. Years later, my husband was on the Internet and said, ‘Look, other people are doing what you do.’ As a kid, I used to draw furry kid-type things, like going to school. When I was a teenager, I would have them doing teenage-type things, like going to
concerts. Now I draw things that my husband and I are into.” She smiles. I smile. We both look at a humanoid/zebra graphically giving a fully aroused humanoid/giraffe a hummer.

With that, the dealer room content gets darker as furnography is explored. Almost every table has an “Adults Only XXX” booklet on display. A lion bones a zebra in a display of interspecies gay animal sex. A humanoid/dalmatian clad in a fireman’s outfit sticks its ass out while humping a stripper pole. Inside, Post-it notes cover the penetration points (as if removed it would warp our minds). Like William Wegman gone horribly wrong, Big Boys Brandishing Boners (described as “erotic art”) has every animal species drawn with huge erections. “All I can say is that our fantasy is just that—a fantasy,” explains a furry who goes by “Fur.” “The probability that our fantasies will occur is infinitesimally small, so we compensate by over-representing sexuality in our media.”

I’m beginning to understand why the wholesome, fun-loving furries would rather the media not focus on such things as the Grapevine Uprock: Right across from a table of young girls sketching princesses and unicorns for the G-rated Baby Furs comic, I find myself slack-jawed, staring at a drawing of a unicorn being fisted by a humanized horse. In extreme close-up, the unicorn gets its salad tossed. Juices drip from the fuzzy horse lips. The spectacle wearing artist sits silently behind the table, furiously sketching more disturbing masterpieces. At what point do you cross the line?

“The question is what’s sick, what’s wrong, and what’s the limit?” AstroCat says. “The anthro-thing makes people uncomfortable because we’re all taught from an early age that doing it like they do it on the Discovery Channel is something that Grandma wouldn’t approve of.”

“Drippy dragon is our most popular dildo,” a Scottish man informs Fluffy. “It ejaculates a plastic polymer.”

“Do you wear them?” a confused Fluffy asks. “Are they meant for men or women?”

“Are you a member of the media?” the dealer-room supervisor suddenly inquires.

Flat denial.

“You will have to leave the dealer’s room,” she says.

We’re escorted out, but the supervisor follows us. Like Jason in Friday the 13th, she keeps popping up, always three steps behind us. It’s a little freaky. We try to ditch her, quickly passing a group of chubby guys petting a dog (I’ve never seen so many people with dogs in a hotel before) while fat men stand by the Guest Services area and look on. German shepherds on leashes pass furries on leashes. A costumed Doberman pets a real Doberman. In this Island of Dr. Moreau world, will someone get drunk and end up sleeping with a pooch like the ugly girl at the end of a party? Sure, it’s funny when Johnny Drama bones a furry, but the least weird thing would be a heterosexual man having sex with a woman in an animal outfit. Throwing real animals into the mix is far more twisted.

Saturday night, hotel rooms are bustling with a cavalcade of furry theme parties. A female unicorn (or so I think) grabs her wolf-companion’s ass. “Why don’t we have thumpty thumpty in Ron’s room?” the unicorn entices. She plants a kiss with her unicorn snout.

Like an eight-year-old girl’s dream bedroom, a Care Bear party is happening on the second floor. This party is for furries really into Care Bears.

“What’s your furry scene like?” I ask a Care Bear by the door.

“It’s a lot of drama,” he replies.

Suspicion. An emaciated girl in her mid-twenties wearing Care Bear pajamas, tightly hugging a teddy bear, throws out furry code words and carefully looks us up and down.

“So how long have you been a furry?” she snaps.

“I’m kind of new.” Pause. “Maybe you can show me the ropes?” Flattery. “You got the best-decorated room in the whole hotel!”

Clutching her pink teddy bear, she turns to Fluffy for cross-examination: “Do you go to the Million Bunny March?”

Pause. “Not this year.” Pause. “But I want to go!”

Whispering. Tension. More teddybear-clutching.

“Look at what they’re wearing!” I hear Care Bear woman say to the others. “They’re asking the wrong questions.” Tighter clutching of her teddy bear. Then: “Are you press?”

“No!”

“You need a different badge.”

“Bye bye!” says a wee munchkin of a Care Bear man. “We’re going to make sure you can’t drink anywhere on this floor!”

Those motherfuckers! If there were ever a group in the world that shouldn’t be judgmental, I think it should be the ones clutching the Care Bears. We freaked out the freaky people by being normal.

The furries crave mainstream social acceptance of their freaky passion, but get pissed off like angry children when others find only the sexual aspect interesting. Their anger seems to be coming from a very dark, unhappy place where reverting to the comforts of childhood has become their passion. But why must they persecute my people?

| | More

  • Todd

    Excellent story. It gave a fair and balanced view of the furry community.
    Keep up the good stuff.

  • Foxtrack

    Good stuff, but yeah, you have to understand that furry fandom has been assaulted by so many in such negative ways by so many people and groups due to MTV, Vanity Faire and the like. Media is seen as the enemy because media looks for ways to expose all the sex and dirty stuff because that is what sells, and it makes the fandom look bad. Plenty of those in the fandom have been outcasted, litterly disowned by family, physically assaulted to the point of sever injuries, made fun of and picked on causing their self esteem to take a dive, and generally disliked with looks of perversion and hate.

    If the media actually focused on what the furry fandom was all about in a regular way without the sex and fetishes and such, the media would find us very boring and not news worthy. One example of fair, unbiased, truthful reporting on furry conventions and furries that attend was done by the Hartford Advocate with their article called “Hell Hath No Furries”. I would suggest reading through not just the article but also the comments. The website can be found here at http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=3873 . Most furries are ok with some media, but others don’t want to risk being seen or exposed and their lives ruined because of media sensationalism making everything being about sex when honestly, it is not the focus nor anywhere near the focus of the fandom.

  • cha cha

    Overall, a very good article. On one point though, you might wish to take your own lesson… “The furries crave mainstream social acceptance of their freaky passion, but get pissed off like angry children when others find only the sexual aspect interesting.” …There. Now seriously, if the outside world is fixated on “only the sexual aspect”, then who really are the freaks?
    This is your answer, practically in your own words above. “Furry” is a broad range of interests, and as you said above, the sexual aspect is only a very small part, and is also a part of many other passions and pastimes too.
    But if an advanced alien race lands on the planet bearing volumes of wisdom to share, and the first-or-only thing people ask is how they have sex, chances are the aliens are going to conclude that the onlookers aren’t worthy, and the planet will be at a great loss for their simple minded foolishness.
    Ergo, the furry crowd has been burned before by the tunnel-vision of some onlookers and media, and while you explore a wide range of happenings at a convention, you admit this aspect is possibly the most fascinating one… to onlookers. As long as that view persists, chances are that nothing will change, and the furry crowd will remain suspicious of those trying to stereotype them, for ratings or exploitation, when their goal is completely different… just to exist, and have a good time in their fandom, like others do in theirs, whether it’s Trekkers, Potter fans, Anime fans, coin collectors, etc.

  • http://greenreaper.co.uk/ GreenReaper

    “Cha cha” has a good point. Like people who just go to the zoo in the hopes that they’ll see animals mating, going to a con to look for sexual overtones is kinda creepy. We don’t like gawkers, so those who provide coverage to encourage it – and make a quick buck off doing so – are unloved.

  • Henry Thiel

    Repeating what GreenReaper and Cha Cha have said, going to a furry con LOOKING for the sexual aspects is creepy – and reporters are generally, as a rule, not welcome at furry conventions because of the type of behavior you have shown here. At cons I have been on staff for, we have had to remove reporters claiming to be doing a college documentary several times – at the last one, two groups of reporters from the same company had to by removed by hotel security for harassing our attendees.

    I understand that Penthouse Magazine is what it is, but there was a better way to approach the subject matter while still staying within the boundaries of what your magazine covers.

  • http://www.myspace.com/neko_slave99 Baracudaboy

    God, I am glad the smart educated furries got to the post first.
    Its really good to see people in my fandom who aren’t just streaming shit from their mouths about fursecution.

    Of course we’re going to be looked at oddly, just like goths, and punks, and potter heads, and trekkers, but it is totally unfair to be in the limelight all the time for suspected sexual deviency when we are all just trying to go about living our lives, having out hobbies, just like any other nerdy fandom.

  • JohnDoe

    You ever think that maybe people that make these costumes for a living might be able to sue you for posting pictures of their products without their permission, if they don’t know that you’re in the press, and worse of all, that you do not openly say so?

    A friend I know makes some of these costumes and dreams of doing it for a living. Said person is in the fandom for the fun and (NON-SEXUAL) fantasy of it, and found it very hurtful that their costume was pictured in the same article as references to bestiality. I request that you double-check your sources, and post an apology to any that you may have offended, unintentional or otherwise.

    Or, y’know, the less likely but just as respectable option to one of your profession, you could castrate yourself with a pickax and die bleeding in a gutter for hobos to rape your eyesockets. I’d prefer the apology, though; nobody deserves an eyesocket-ful of hobo-penis, not even you.

  • Sighruss

    I would like to agree with Henry Thiel, it is slightly creepy and that is why in a nutshell We seem closed or even Hostile towards reporters and the Press in General. However Comments like the one JohnDoe Have posted are Really not appropriate. You are doing your job after all. Even though this is not the most balanced article i have read it is a damnsite better than many others. Also please recognise that individuals are very recognisable from their costumes , so it would be polite to ask for their permission before you post pictures of them.

    Yours Sincerely

    Sighruss

  • antaresia

    “The furries crave mainstream social acceptance of their freaky passion, but get pissed off like angry children when others find only the sexual aspect interesting. Their anger seems to be coming from a very dark, unhappy place where reverting to the comforts of childhood has become their passion. But why must they persecute my people?”

    Well lets examine that. Why, do you think, would you think furries get “pissed off like angry childern”? In your next sentence, you accuse their anger coming from a dark and unhappy place, them assume furry is synonymous with childhood comforts, you call it a “freaky passion”. You admit you only find it interesting for it’s sexual aspects. Understand, this is the attitude the press brings. It is wrong, and only does harm. You hype it up to create interest in your article. The press are welcome at cons, that’s why there are press badges; if you’re sneaking around, bypassing that OF COURSE furrires aren’t going to want to talk to you! Who would trust you?! Your article was hyped up and inaccurate, I’ve been to cons and they aren’t as over-the-top sexual as you paint them to be.

  • Jeff

    Speaking as an observer with firsthand experience, I have to say that this article actually does a very good job of portraying the seedy underbelly of the furry fandom. It’s a fandom with relatively innocuous roots whose purpose has been horribly perverted over the years, thanks in large part to the vast and anonymous expanses of the internet.

    Finding fellow deviants or social misfits (furry or not) is altogether too easy on the internet. It just so happens that furry is the perfect conduit for such hook-ups as it adds a layer of abstraction to certain tendencies someone might otherwise be ashamed of. After all, it is easier to rationalize obscure or wretched fetishes when “it’s just a cartoon” and doesn’t even feature members of your own species. Of course, it can easily become more than “just a cartoon” when you gather enough people with the same mindset in one spot. Over time it will become exponentially worse. Dark, abhorrent fantasies can become acceptable to a group practically overnight… but this is a step beyond even that. The sexual aspect of furry has gone beyond simple acceptance and now dominates the fandom outright. It attracts the most new converts and is undeniably the focus of conventions, regardless of whatever veneer con organizers try to apply.

    The fact that furry apologists have already swarmed the comments section is essentially par for the course. It’s not just about sex or cartoons to some of these people. The most vocal members of the fandom, the ones who self-identify as furries, need the fandom to have a clean image to justify their heavy involvement in it. When your entire social and support network is built around something, you are going to take any perceived assault or slight against it very personally. JohnDoe, for example, appears to be HEAVILY invested.

    It’s unfortunate and a bit unsettling for those of us who prefer not to invest so much time into fantasy… but it is what it is.

  • julie

    If you go to a furry con looking for sexual deviancy, you’ll find it, but that doesn’t mean its representative of the nature of the fandom. The author of this piece has taken some liberties on p.d.o.a. (public displays of affection), painting a picture as though people in and our of suits are groping openly in every convention hallway. I’ve been going to cons for 6 years and, well, people in suit can’t “make out”, so they don’t. In general any ‘nerdy’ subculture involves shy people, and if I’ve noticed any trend amongst furries over the past dozen conventions I’ve been to, its that for the most part people are reserved and respectful to one another. You see a lot of friendly hugging, and a lot of affection between friends, but the funny thing is its often difficult to tell who is a couple and who is not, because you never see very many people groping or kissing in public. Are *some* people at cons to hook up and have sex in fursuits? Sure. People use furry to express their own sexual fetishes, so if they are a furry AND into a, b, or c, they’re going to prefer to get off inside the fandom than outside. But for the most part people go to cons to see their friends, draw pictures, get drunk and dance around in an animal costume because its fun. We’re really not all a bunch of mouth-breathing masturbators, I swear!

  • Ranjan

    You go to this event and lie to several people, by your own admission (they ask you if you’re press, and you say you aren’t, even though you are).

    Then they treat you badly when they figure out you’re lying to them.

    Then you whine “Why do they persecute me for being normal? Waaaaah!”

    They were persecuting you for lying to them. You could have gotten a press badge, identified yourself as who you really are & not concealed your reasons for talking to people, and still seen and heard much of the same stuff. If you’re going to lie to people, expect them to be rude back and don’t criticize them for it.

    Or were you not aware that lying is rude?

  • Anonymous

    Once again a swing and a miss. Well played, media. Well played.

  • Todd

    I believe the ending part about being persecuted was intended as ironic. The meaning of ironic is: a difference between the intended meaning and real “actual” perceived meaning.

  • WheelieMachine

    First of all, with regards to the people who are surprised that Penthouse would go to a furry con to assuage curiosities about the sexual aspect of the fandom, do you people even know what Penthouse is? Here’s a hint: It ain’t Ladies’ Home Journal, it ain’t Time, and it sure as hell ain’t Highlights. Penthouse is a magazine about, wait for it, SEX. Do you think they’re going to do an article on how to make a fursuit, or how to speak enough Japanese to watch an untranslated anime in its entirety? Don’t act so surprised.

    Second of all, of course they’re lying about being press. Do you know how much info people who identify themselves as press get at cons? Zero. They get nothing, if they even get through the doors. If they identify themselves as press, this article doesn’t exist, and I don’t think Penthouse really wanted to take the time to research an article they couldn’t write.

    I’ve seen the fandom from both sides. Make all the excuses you want, but it’s as much about sex as it is about anything else.

  • Todd

    Well spoken WheelieMachine.

    Say as much as you want but there IS a sex aspect to furries. You can deny it but it IS there. It’s like
    saying there isn’t a booth babe aspect to Comicon or funny hat aspect to Popes.

  • Ozzy

    I’d just like to say that had you gone through the correct channels with your investigation you may not have come up against the same levels of hostilities you were confronted with while sneakng around. I understand that the “darker side” as you put it is a sensetive area and personally not one I like to associate with but it is there none the less.

    My main concern, as John Doe pointed out is that you have actually commited an act of copyright infringement by publishing the used photographs on the website here and indeed with any of the ones within your magazine. Photography at most conventions is allowed under the agreement that it WLL NOT be used for advertisement or redistribution for profit. Furthermore as the most visible members of the community Fursuiters are easily recognisable from their personal costumes and their use in this context, wether the owner has been interviewed or not, brings their reputations into disrepute. I would advise that you seek permission from the owners of those featured or withdraw them before any can make the decision to take legal action.

  • http://www.myspace.com/aidenharris Aiden Raccoon

    HAHA.. “Are you press?” We can smell press and non-furries before they even walk in the door. We easily know who is really interested in the sex stuff and who is just asking questions. There’s plenty of info you gotta know before setting foot inside a convention. In general, there aren’t too many people who really care if press is there so long as the wrong questions aren’t being asked.

  • Todd

    BOO HOO! “Wrong questions are being asked!” What are you a fucking Freemason? Are Furies the Illuminati secret society!?
    Are you the Bindelberg Group praying to the owl god Mulock at Bohemian Grove!!? You’re a bunch of people in fucking animal costumes. Don’t take yourselves too seriously dog-head man.

  • Pingback: Harmon Leon - The Infiltrator – Infiltrating The World of Furries - True/Slant

  • Tantroo_McNally

    The reason furries are angry with the perverted press is because the press is the cause of the perversion. Because all these ‘freaks’ have been highlighted, it’s free advertisement for more freaks. Then with more freaks, comes more press interested in freaks. The press is a virus, and STD, which propagates the conditions for the stories it feeds off of.

    John Stewart called this the Crank Cycle. Look it up.

  • Wanderer

    No, you freaked out the freaky people by acting like incompetent investigative reporters. Let’s take it from the top, shall we?

    “Affirmative”: News flash: ManBearPig moans, he doesn’t talk. Either talk so people can understand you or don’t act surprised when you get looked at funny for sounding like a Dalek. If you don’t know anything about your species, people will notice.

    The Dildo Questions: The red flag went up here. “Do you wear them?” It’s a dildo, not a strap-on. “Are they meant for men or women?” Oh, THATS going to set off alarms. That’s a “pardon me while I take notes for my article” question, because it will result in either a lengthy explanation of what a dildo is for (giving you a “perverts” hook) or a specification (which will give you either a “perverts” or a “gay sex” hook). (The latter is most common, since if you don’t know what a dildo is for, you really don’t need to know.)

    And finally:

    “What’s your furry scene like?”: What is this, Reefer Madness? “What’s your ‘scene’ like?” is one of those questions that makes people think of their parents rifling through their dresser drawers in hopes of finding something to yell at them about. It makes you sound like a 1950′s parent trying to be “cool” as you interrogate your son with the long hair.

    (The last was a nifty shibboleth… the BILLION Bunny March is part of Burning Man. I’m not telling you where you messed up there, though… that exercise is left for the reader.)

    So, to recap: You acted like a reporter infiltrating the convention (which you were), and got treated like a reporter infiltrating the convention (which you were). But if furries have a problem with you LYING to them, suddenly they’re “like angry children”.

    Mister, we’re not the ones throwing a tantrum because we didn’t get away with lying to an entire convention in search of something scandalous. We’re not the ones who tried to sneak into a room party like two drunken frat boys. And we’re definitely not the ones who went around giggling like Beavis and Butthead whenever we asked a question about sex.

    You want “angry children”? How about you and “Fluffy” go stand in the corner with a mirror?

  • Babs

    Okay first off, I’d like to say that I am the “emaciated Care Bear toting 20-something” you mentioned in your article. On that, fuck you.

    Second, that conversation was a complete fabrication. When I asked you if you were press, you lied and said you were volunteers. I’d seen you around the hotel, harrassing some of my friends. I knew damn well what you were up to. Second, those weren’t volunteer badges at all. Not sure where you got blank conbadges from, but nice try.

    Finally, these people are my friends, and furry cons and parties like this are places for people to unwind and cut loose. We don’t need meddling assholes like you running around loose and ruining things by making people feel 2 inches tall.

    Had you been more professional and mature about the whole matter, people would have been more accommodating. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

    Grow up.

  • Reality Check

    Hey Penthouse, how about crashing an anime con next? There’s porno galore there, much of which make furries look downright tame in comparison. Of course, that’s because most if not all of the popular fetishes within furry media are all derivative of the tentacle rape, hermaphroddite/dickgirl, snuff and gore fetishes heavily steeped in Japanese doujinshi (that’s amateur publications, or fanzines for the non Japanophiles that read this).

    If parents knew how much porn makes the rounds in manga/anime circles, they’d think twice about exposing their kids to Pokemon, or whatever the game du jour tie in anime of the month is. The guy who drew the artwork for their latest Pokemon Pearl collection might have been drawing preteen schoolgirl tentacle rape strips before moving up to a real contracted position. You just never know.

    That said, yeah, a portion of furry fandom is about sex. What con or fandom isn’t? Have any of you ever gone to DragonCon, ComiCon, or what have you? The masquerade costumes there are barely below an R rating. For example:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3105/2829444367_29aeae3a09.jpg?v=0

    Of course, if more furries looked/dressed like THIS, I’m sure it wouldn’t be considered as much of a freakshow.

    And there are a lot of vehamently anti-sex furries out there too, they’re the ones who are always ignored by these sort of reports, because they aren’t “OMGWTFBBQ” enough for this modern day world of talk show shock TV. You never hear about them because they aren’t the ones you seek out, in order to satisfy your need for validation, for whatever kinks you may hold dear yourselves.

    And them’s the facts, Jack.

  • http://penthouselingerie.com/home.php Which Pet Are You?

    The funniest part about this article is the targeted ad for Penthouse lingerie in the sidebar that asks “Which Pet Are You?”

    Otherwise, Penthouse pretty much fails here.

  • Todd

    Hilarious. All the pissed off Furry comments seem to cement the premise of the story:

    “The furries crave mainstream social acceptance of their freaky passion, but get pissed off like angry children when others find only the sexual aspect interesting.”

  • Chewie

    am i the only one who finds it ironic that a pornographic website/magazine is condemning a group of people for liking pornography.

    You can condemn the people seeking illegal activities in the fandom. fine but condemning a bunch of adults for enjoying adult themed material just seems silly to me.

    shouldnt good housekeeping be having this opinion instead of Penthouse?

    Im a furvert and proud. I Condone any sexual activities consenting adults want to partake in without breaking laws or harming others. Including the purchase of pornography and sex toys, and even group sex etc. sad a pornographic magazine cant say the same.

  • doodlewolfdude

    well the article was well written and seemed to contain a bit of a mixture of both sides of the story so good in content. my only problem is that the reporter lied and sneaked around like some sort of spy. if you are going to try to report the whole story then either learn how to better conceal yourself amongst your quarry or let your intentions be full known and we will in most cases be happy to help.

  • http://youtube.com/askmagus Magus Cheetahfur

    Hey.

    I agree with most of what you have said.

    SOME furries are REALLY REALLY weird, even for most furries =^_^=

    However most of them are very good people, yes they like odd things but they probally wouldnt hurt a fly.

    To me, as long as someone is not doing anything illegal, and not forcing it upon others, its ok with me.

    If you need help infiltrating let me know… =^_^=

  • Ilani

    “Hilarious. All the pissed off Furry comments seem to cement the premise of the story:

    “The furries crave mainstream social acceptance of their freaky passion, but get pissed off like angry children when others find only the sexual aspect interesting.””

    Todd, first off, that is because not all furries are in furry for sexual reasons and those are the ones who are becoming a bit jaded. Sex doesn’t have anything to do with furry for some of us out there and it gets a bit old always being pegged as a pervert when we just want to sell our artwork. For example, I’m asexual (no attraction to men or women), so sex and furry don’t mix with me. In fact, sex and anything don’t mix. I also agree with what another poster above said. Since media has been creating articles about furry, and very oftentimes exaggerating the stories for better ratings, it does indeed lead more crazy nuts into furry thinking it is nothing but a sexual fetish.

    On the other hand, I do agree with the statement you had quoted to some degree. For those furries who do have a sexual side in the fandom, I have seen that behavior. Maybe they just want their actual conversations with the media and information they give the media to be accurate in the article and words not shifted around to make them sound weirder than furry already is. Maybe that is why they are getting “pissed off like angry children.”

    And yes, this is PENTHOUSE magazine. It is going to be focused on sex and the furries shouldn’t be surprised about that. However, I do not think they are. I think they are angry that the members of the press were being douches while trying to unethically squeeze information from them, and in turn, insulting those people in the article. If they are press, they should (legally) just say so. There are many furs who would be willing to speak to them. Unfortunately, it’s probably the furries who shouldn’t be talking to the press anyways. The ones who get all excited to see a press camera or a reporter seem to be those type who are going to give furry a worse name than it already has by acting like a complete moron on camera or saying something off the wall so they get some “TV time.”

    Either way, this wasn’t the worst article I have yet to read about furry. It’s not good, either, but given that it is from Penthouse, it’s better than I imagined it would be.

  • Todd

    So basically all the claims you made (sexual and non-sexual furries) are also stated in the article. I really don’t see your point in bitching about it.

    Pissed off angry children.

    Also complaints of going to a furry convention and trying to be someone you are not. Isn’t that exactly what furries do while taking on a persona and being in costume?

  • Lironess

    The most interesting thing to me is that this article, and most others, focus on 1% of furry fandom. Only 20% of furs use full suits. These suits are very expensive to buy and to maintain. They are also very very hot. So the number of furs willing to chance ruining a good suit or making themselves get heatstroke is very small.

    99% of furry is not newsworthy. We get together, talk, eat snacks, sometimes drink, and most of us draw. Sometimes we hug each other, big deal. It is very sad that in order to sell magazines you feel that you have to focus on 1% of fandom…

    If you want to read a more accurate representation of furry fandom or many other fanish groups, check out “Who are You People” by Shari Caudron.

  • Xenoredd

    In my personal opinion, there is always a sex side to any fandom no matter where you look. A prime example is the internet rule, Rule 34: if it exists, there is porn of it.

    Think of all the Harry Potter fanfiction, WoW porn and manga doujinshi’s. All of those are pretty much the equivalent of ‘yiff’, and sometimes so much worse. However, because furries themselves go out there and start the arguments and – as said within the article – crave to be recognized as normal, they instantly become the opposite because everyone gets curious about why they’re weird. If everyone just ignored it like most fandoms do, there would probably be no issue whatsoever.

    Unfortunately, furries are never going to get out of the shadow of their pornographic ways. And even more unfortunately, it’s their own fault for it, because most furries are arrogant and stupid.

  • mericus

    From what I have read here and the above article by a scandal seeking liar and fabricator of what people did not say (do you also work for ACORN and the APOLLO Alliance or TIDES and SEIU?), I see all the people that at are Fursuiters as well as myself since I was there, need to bring a class action suit against the sex promotion magazine “Penthouse” for libel and malicious slander as well as copyright infringement and probably several other violations of the United States of the America copyright law, Civil Law, and Criminal law Jurisprudence; let alone of the promoters and staff of the 2009 FurCon Convention. This is done by ‘investigative journalists’ meant to undermine and brand all Furries as ‘freaks’ and ‘sexual perverts’. In my case I never saw anyone matching this costumed bear-pig man at the Con this last January. If I find you are from Penthouse intent upon only further scarring the community I am an artist for, I will will kick your ass! I think the top balcony around the Fursuit Lounge (next to the Piano) is a good place to start, I am a tad taller than 6’2 also, add only two inches, but to coin the phrase used by my Sensei, “I don’t think it is going to work out for you!”
    So in my better normal self, perhaps the best way to ‘hurt’ you is with your wallet, how about the proceeds of a lifetime by all the artists damaged by this article set at 10,000,000 each and the about 5,000,000 for each Fursuiter times the number of attendees, then for malicious slander as well by the non suit Furries, of which I myeslf am a member of set at 1,000,000 dollars as separate lawsuits in a class action versus the periodical Penthouse?

  • Todd

    I agree Xenoredd. You just have to read the comments on this page to see how arrogant and stupid some could be
    by, say, dressing as a Care Bear. Also, a large amount devoid of a sense of humor about themselves. Strange. Very serious this furry world must be.

  • mericus

    to Todd: I find it amazing how arrogant you are hiding behind your computer’s monitor. You have revealed your need to show your hostility and disgust to people that enjoy a good time at a convention with people of like interests instead, what does this say about you?
    What is revealed is your prejudice and intolerance of those that do not fit into your opinion of acceptable behavior. Your ignorance is showing, you’ve gone out the front door with your zipper down in allegory. Until you can come to peace with yourself you will never find happiness, you need to let other people have their own space and stop judging people to impossible standards of acceptable approval.
    Alternately you can just stay stupid and prejudiced and find out what happens in real life to this kind of intolerance. For instance as an experiment, go out to the unlit parts of town and see what happens when you tell a gang member he or she is stupid and arrogant, let me know how it turns out.

  • Duamutef

    “Also complaints of going to a furry convention and trying to be someone you are not. Isn’t that exactly what furries do while taking on a persona and being in costume?”

    Exactly that is the point. Most of us furries feel, that we are what we pretend to be. By wearing a fursuit or role-playing we reflect our real character.
    It is furthermore our every days life, where we have to “put on a mask” to not being harassed for what we are.
    As long as society is ruled by homophobia and other kinds of intolerance furries will be looked at as freaks.

    I don’t claim acceptance for furries. I claim a general change of the society away from intolerance and inacceptance for a better future.

    This is what the fandom initially was intended for. Fighting intolerance. You will barely find a furry harassing other people for their sexual orientation.

    There is really positive thing that was pointed out by the article and is mostly ignored here.
    The article points out that the participants at this convention had FUN. And if life isn’t about having fun..
    well then I don’t know why humans should live any longer.

    And I think it is way better when people have the possibility to live out their desires in “moderate” ways than sealing these desires under society’s pressure until they form a wicked mind that may act out causing severely harm.

    “Unfortunately, furries are never going to get out of the shadow of their pornographic ways. And even more unfortunately, it’s their own fault for it, because most furries are arrogant and stupid.”

    I see no comment here where a furry tires to deny the pornographic side of furriness.
    Furries are aware of what they and their fandom are and it is a sign of firmness of character, not of arrogance, that they don’t deny it, but try to put it in a neutral light.

    Oh, and who could be more arrogant than a person who calls other people stupid?

    A annotation to the comment of JohnDoe. I guess his statement was of satiric nature, exaggerating the image that media has of us furries to show its rediciulousness.

  • Xiongmao Simba

    I agree with a lot of what has been said in defense of the Furry Community. I wholly agree with Reality Check who said about Anime Cons and how they are worse porn-wise than the Furry Fandom.
    I’ve seen videos on YouTube of “Yaoi Fanservice” providers. People, mostly males, who make out and practically have sex right in the open in front of all and sundry, just so fangrils/boys can get a kick out of seeing their favourite characters get together.
    Perhaps PENTHOUSE could send reporters off to a few of the upcoming Anime Cons to have a look at what goes on there, then post an article.
    I for one would be interested in what such an article would contain.
    Though because the attendees are dressed as humans and not animals, the article would be less derogatory or offensive.

  • Fursonality

    It’s kind of sexy when Anime characters get together. It’s a different story when animal mascot characters get together.
    Crazy comments on this page.

  • Grape Ape

    I guess an example of how freaky furries can get is to read any comment above.
    Slander against people in animal costumes!??!!!

  • Brongaar

    Oh.. that last question was a ‘Trick question’ to throw off folks… But the furries are a fairly tight knit group, open enrollment though as long an open mind is maintained…

    Fair for the magazine, though,

  • Some Furry Bastich

    Seems a lot less biased than most articles on the fandom, of course, I can understand why some people could get pissed at the part at the end, but they need to relax. Furries getting weird looks is all too common, and to not expect a bias from people who aren’t (or are new) in the fandom is kinda silly. Definitely an interesting article, even if it focuses heavily on the sexual aspects of the fandom, which is really something to expect from a pornographic magazine.

  • j.a

    granted its not the most biased article on the fandom but it still irks me that the majority of it is emphasised on the sexual aspect of the fandom..granted their are furries who are solely in for the sex and that but youll find that in any form of culture nowadays, like trekkies, s&m placs, goths…anything really when you think about it…and yet people only seem to pay attention to when furries do it…why?…what is so different about us from say trekkies…they dress up as aliens, have entire launguages devoted to it, culture, and even towns in the states where its the only law there, and dont tell me you think they dont have sex in their suits and that…and yet were the ones getting the bad press?

    ive being to a few cons, mainly in europe, and most of my friends have covered the state side ones, and weve barely seen anything openly sexual amonsgt the majority of con-goers…their not all groping, and making out and humping in dark corners…most are just there for the same reasons people go to cosplay, or anime cons…not so they can frollock in public.

    and i happen to agree alot with many of the top comments, especially foxtracks, in the fact many furries are being ersecuted because of their interest in the fandom, mainly because of the press making them appear to be nothing more thn sex craved freaks…you dont hear any reports of peoplr beating up anyone dressed in leather and with hooks on their body, or dressed up like a orion slave girl or cortana…if you really want to make a formed and unbiased articule actually study the other fandoms and then you can judge us…and also be open about it…dont sneak into them and try to twist what goes on there…otherwise you wont be tolerated because..well..why should you judge us when we dont know you?

  • Pingback: Infiltrating The World of Furries At The Annual FurCon Convention - Harmon Leon - The Infiltrator - True/Slant

  • Bloodfoot

    Pretty funny article! And a good lesson to the furries; Stop being so guilty and shadowy about what you’re about because not only will people not get it, but they’ll infiltrate your conventions and write as negative a review about the experience as possible after getting kicked out of it! Awesome!

  • Aurastar Taijiya

    At least they didn’t try to tell people that all furries yiff in fursuits, etc..
    All it is is liking Mickey Mouse’s kin. What’s wrong with that?

  • Billcosiroth

    Grade A reporting much lulz where made here

  • http://twitter.com/Yresim Yresim Demus

    Because, in the past, media reporting has been extremely one-sided. Media will go to the furry conventions, take hundreds of interviews, and only publish the ones that make us look bad. This leads to a lot of suspicion directed at the press, particularly when the press doesn’t get media badges. I thought you treated us pretty fairly in this article, at least for an outsider who doesn’t understand. Although starting off with the vagina thing was probably not the most reasonable thing, it does make sense coming from Penthouse. I’m actually surprised you didn’t focus MORE on the sexual aspects, considering where you’re coming from.nnThe only thing I would say is that you have completely wrong wrong is the connection to real animals. The majority of those dogs at the conventions are service animals, who are let out of their normal attire for the convention (it is hot, and making a dog wear clothes in those conditions borders on cruelty). Plus, the fursuiters can be confusing for the dog, and allowing him to explore them can help with that confusion. Most furries do like animals, but there’s a big difference between liking animals and wanting to have sex with animals. Even those who like sexual anthropomorphic art are generally turned off by anything depicting a real animal in that situation.nnTo say that it doesn’t happen would be lying. But it is rare (something like 2%), which is actually LOWER than it is in the mainstream population (Kinsey reported it as 3.6% and 8% for women and men, respectively). And the people who do it are rejected by the majority of furries, just as they are by mainstream society. That limit you were talking about? Bestiality is past it.

  • Penthouse on Twitter
  • Penthouse on Facebook
  • Penthouse RSS Feed
  • Penthouse in Your Email
  • Recent Pics

    AZBlonde and Chloe Lynn Penthouse Babe of the Day
    Emily Addison Penthouse Babe of the Day
    Stella Styles Penthouse Babe of the Day

    Recent Videos

    Penthouse Magazine Germany Venus & Felix Special Party
    The Penthouse Club Auckland VIP Grand Opening
    Penthouse Magazine Germany Pre-Cover Release Party
    The Penthouse Club Kharkov Grand Opening
    Penthouse Magazine Germany May 2013 Cover Release Party
    Penthouse TV Presents: Georgia Jones
    Penthouse Magazine Portugal, The Making of December 2012
    Tasha Reign Promo for Penthouse TV Canada

    Features

    Categories

    /div>