Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Unsuited
Russian
mudcub

I attended my first furry convention last weekend.

Let me tell you it.

The convention opened up on Thursday, so I took off from work to pick up my run package. Registration took over an hour because 1) it was staffed by nearsighted volunteers who thought they knew everything about computers, and 2) all the attendees wanted their photo badge taken in costume, which took a while. But it wasn't so bad standing waiting in line because it is really fun to see all the costumes and the mascots.

After registering, I found a seat and looked through the con brochure. Then I realized... there was nothing to do.

Sure, there were lectures on the dietary restrictions of wolves or Disney cartoons of the seventies, but I am only tangentally interested in those topics. It's like attending a leather event if you're not into BDSM. You can sit in a hot hotel conference room for an hour hearing about flogging techniques, but if you're not planning on hurting someone, what's the point?

I walked around for a while and looked at the art show. Some amazing fan art, some of it draw by actual Disney artists. I wanted to buy a few of the pieces. Some had so many bids they went to a later verbal auction. But all the art was of pictures of animals, and the theme got kind of old, like looking at rows and rows of landscapes.

I had been chatting for months online with a guy who was going to be there. I hoped to meet up with him. But online he was kind of weird: he kept asking if I smelled, and reminding me to shower before I came to the convention. Now, I know he had seen my S&M online profile where I talk about enjoying stink and sweat during sex... but the online chats were confusing me.

Then I went into the dealer's room and I understood. The dealer's room had dozens of tables full of people selling stuff: books, furry art, hats with ears on them. And the result of that many fanboys crowded into a small room raised a real big stink. The stench of body odor made my eyes water. Now, I love a real rank armpit in my face while getting a blowjob. But that's more wrestler post-workout stench, the smell of a construction worker after a hard day's work. This was more like the reek of the basement bedroom of an unemployed thirty-year old man playing 24 hour World of Warcraft marathons. Now I know why a potential furry sex partner would ask why if I showered regularly.

Everyone here looks like the "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpsons. That's not meant as an insult: I think heavy bearish pop-culture geeks are incredibly hawt. But I decided to warn my friend Clint away from ever attending a furry con, because he only likes muscular Hispanic rent boys. Not a lot of minorities at this event. I'd say the average age was 35, and 70% men, which surprised me. Way fewer children and teenagers than I expected as well, which was probably a good thing since the dealer's room was full of drawings of centaurs sporting large boners.

I could never get a grasp on my gaydar. Maybe because it's difficult to tell the sexual orientation of an eight foot yeti. There was gay themed art in the exhibition room, same-sex PDAs in the hallways, and I overheard conversations about fisting over dinner. One straight man was bemoaning so much gay culture at the con. He sounded like Joan Cusack in the movie In & Out, "Is EVERYBODY gay? Is this a Twlight Zone?"

A furry convention is primarily a social activity. And since I knew absolutely nobody, it was rather pathetic walking around by myself all night. I was dressed in theme: I accented my suit and tie from work with a furry and with bear ears and claw-foot bedroom slippers. I went up to a few people, and had a couple of nice conversations, but it was all small talk that went nowhere. I left Friday night, and seriously considered skipping the rest of the event and tossing away my $50 pre-registration fee. But I'm glad I went back Friday.

Friday night stared out quietly as well, since I sat alone in the main lobby looking at the guys in furry constumes. But I used the time wisely: my DSL has been down at home for the last 6 days, so I did an orgy of checking email and LiveJournal. I watched a movie called "Kabluey" that's about a guy getting a job handing out fliers dressed in a giant blue costume. I recommended it, but be warned that it's a funny movie about despair. You may not be in the mood for that. Finally, I emailed a nice guy on LJ named berin and asked him what I should do.

Berin wasn't at the convention since he lives on the east coast. But he emailed me back right away with a list of names of kinky folks he thought would be compatible with me. Wow! How cool... I really have to thank him for the effort. Initially, I blanched at the idea of trying to find someone in the huge mass of one thousand people,many dressed as animals. But I tried anyway. I got my courage up, and decided to approach the hottest looking men in the room and introduce myself so I could read the name on their little plastic badge.

Hooray! On the second try, I scored cyberbear. I followed him around all night like a puppy. Cyberbear might be the only person who can talk and think faster than me. With him filling the silence, I had a delightful time just nodding my head and agreeing with him. It helped that I find him attractive, so even if I wasn't listening, I could look at his ass. He is incredibly bearishly hot.

Later that night, cyberbear invited me to a party that went horribly wrong. It was understood that the first two hours of the party would involve large stuffed furries trying to play "Wii Fit". Then, at 10 pm, the crowd would organically dissolve, the straight people would leave, and bears would get frisky. You had to check your clothes at the door and walk around in only underwear. Bears in their skivvies! A recipe for a great evening, right?

At 10:05 (I watched the clock), I made a move on cyberbear. Pass received and the ball is tossed back! We're rolling around on the bed when the party host growls we should go back to our own room. I should have taken the hint, but instead starting hitting on the party host's bear husband. He was distant, but didn't mind a backrub and friendly scritching to his thick thick THICK body hair. Why wear a furry costume when hot men like that one already have a sexy pelt of natural fur?

Suddenly, the host jerked his thumb to the door and ordered me, "get out". That scene would be repeated a second and third time that weekend, BTW... I guess I have bad ability at reading people. Maybe I went too far, or maybe the guy was being an asshole. I think he was jealous I was hitting on his boyfriend, or maybe I wasn't his type and he didn't like to watch me rolling around on his bed. I left the party with cyberbear, and I think the host couple had hot grudge sex with each other.

A friend described furries as having the social skills of a 12 year old. That's not fair... there were many intelligent and mature furries I met. But I also saw a lot of bad behavior: pissing in elevators, running into people, and loudmouthed jerks not using their "indoor voices" while trying to be funny by quoting Adult Swim cartoons. It was like hanging out at a Red Robin restaurant. There is a special brand of "furry drama" that I think occurs because a lot of these guys don't have good emotional skills. I think the bear hosts treated me that way.

Not to kiss and tell, but I had a very good time Friday night with cyberbear. I have been a little nervous about the upcoming International Bear Rendezvous, and was questioning if I still found bears sexually exciting even if it's just vanilla sex without any BDSM. The answer is not just yeah, but "Hell, yeah!"

I took Saturday off to watch the San Franciso fog win their rugby match. I wish I was out there playing with them, but I can't with my broken hand and plaster cast. Saturday involved beating up a friend at a 15 Association dungeon party, and then later getting beat up myself, but not in a very good way. Second fail of the weekend.

Sunday, I went back to the furry convention. I brought along "Pinky", a large pink elephant costume I was borrowing. I can't get into Pinky by myself. Even worse, I can't get *out* of Pinky by myself. Once I'm in it... I'm stuck for good. The suit was made by a man named "pouchhopper" in 2006 as bondage gear. Pouchhopper liked putting boys in inescapble restrictive furry suits, then watching them try to get out. Of couse, nipple clamps, a gag, cbt, and an electrical buttplug would have made the afternoon a lot more fun for me, but I didn't add those this time.

I was in the fursuit for the next 6 hours. Not that I had any choice... a nice guy laced me up like a corset, and tied a knot that needed a knife to cut me out. I was stuck in the suit until I had to beg and whine and get someone to free me! I was worried about having to piss while in the suit, and even considered wearing an adult diaper, but I needn't have bothered. I sweat so much, my kidneys basically shut down. Literally dripping sweat, which soaked into the fur all around me. It's pretty disgusting if you're not into it, and it's probably a cause of the "fanboy stank" I mentioned earlier.

You're not supposed to talk while in a fursuit. First of all, your voice is *really* muffled in the facemask, so there's no point in trying to have a conversation. But also, some guys get real religious about this - fursuiting is about performance and art... conveying emotion and communication without speech. Think of the antics of the mascot at a sporting event. You should be able to frolic, flirt, or flight with another furry without saying anything.

That's the problem with Pinky. Built for sensonry deprivation and BDSM torture, I could only see about a one foot circle in front of me. Other furries would hug me of want to play, and I had no idea they were there. Tons of people took my photo, and I couldn't even see the flash. Instead, I was this big dumb lumbering beast walking slowly through the convention.

And that was part of the magic. Some gay guys love "human dog play" where they get on all fours while their S&M Master treats them like a puppy: playing fetch, eating out of a bowl, getting their head scratched. They describe the delicious times they've achieved "puppy space"... a mindgame where they forget they are human, and literally bring out the animal side of themselves. I've been able to do this a few times, and yeah... it's fucking cool. No worries about money or my job, just the satisfaction of chewing a bone.

I found myself starting to walk differently in the Pinky suit. I could hang my head down, my trunk swaying from side to side. I think I really looked like an elephant, or at least Aloysius Snuffleupagus. One guy in the hallyway said I "wore the suit well," which was a nice compliment. But I was just exhausted from holding my head up trying to see out of the eyeslit, and 40 pounds of stuffing.

There was a "fursuit lounge" that I was dying to see. It was only open to people wearing fursuits, so I didn't get to go in Thursday or Friday. I imagined dozens of friendly dogs and bears and dragons snuggling on top of each other in a big happy pile. Instead, I was disappointed. It should have been called the "unsuited lounge". It was the place furries would hang out their heads off, gulping water and fnally being able to talk.

There were huge industrial fans to cool you off. A clever fan "tree" allowed people to air out their hoods and paws and whatnot so they wouldn't mildew. I found some people who wanted to feed peanuts to the elephant, so I restocked my salt supply. I found a way to manoever a straw under the trunk, so I gulped down liquids. And then I took a half hour nap on the floor - wearing the fursuit was like really strenous exercise. I wonder if you could make a workout video based on all the fluids and weight I lost wearing Pinky.

I wanted to wear the Pinky suit twice as long - I had planned on 12 hours. But before dinner, I got hungry for something more than Powerbars and gatorade. I got a seamster (male seamstress?) to cut me out, and I drove home for some Italian food, which I ate voraciously. I came back dressed as a straight person, and was a little sad to be without Pinky for the rest of the con.

I had heard about a rubber party, so I was all over that. I brought a rubber sleepsack, and tried to get this sexy bearish welder guy to get in it, but no luck. The hotel suite was filled with rubber furries. Is that the right word? Animal costumes, but *not* furry. There was rubber dragon, an amzing fox, and a cat with inflatable tits. I decided to get in my own sleepsack and go as a big black slug.

I hopped around the party, trapped in my sleepsack, until one wonderful woman decided to tighten me up by wrapping my in a saran wrap. This landed me on the bed for the next hour. Various rubber animals came up and groped me, and I was in heaven. Then the woman, my new-bestest-friend-in-the-whole-world, got out the Hitachi Magic Wand. Oh, fuck! I think I love that thing as much as any horny housewife. I went, up and back, and up and frustratingly back, then up and over... and over and over...

There was a party again Monday night: the "dead dog" party, for those people staying in the hotel an extra day. I showed up early, so I was able to help with fetching ice and putting out snacks. Yeah, throwing a party is kind of like slave service, and you know I love that. I ended up later in a "fur pile", a group spilling off the couch all groping and rubbing each other. I was the only one not in costume, which was nice because I had opposable thumbs, which I put to good use.

I got a little *too* frisky with a rare white tiger. Who knew that those suits had secret openings? We started to play heavily, and we cleared the room as everyone went into the other area. Oops. I think that was my third sexual "faux paw" of the weekend. I committed a party foul, but the host wasn't permanently upset.

Please don't get the idea that my experience was all about sex. It wasn't - you can attend a furry convention and not even see another penis, much less one that wants to do things to you. I was just lucky, I guess.

I still haven't figured out furries, so I can't really say if I am one of them or not. They have their own vocabulary (yiffing, viffing, squicking, meh, murr, and were all terms I heard). I don't really get the vibe. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be sexual, or playful, or creative, or what. I think I'd have to attend a bunch more events to fully "get it". It's a brave new world.

First of all, only about 10% of the convention goers dress in costume. I think they finally took a photo with 500-600 of them. It's expensive to buy a costume, difficult to make, and the fursuits fall apart or are difficult to carry on board an airplane. So, a lot of people don't dress up. Some of the conventioneers even *dislike* fursuits, and are just there for the friendship, art, or to stand around and make fun.

I don't want to be one of the people standing around scoffing, and I hope my jokes in this LJ post don't hurt anyone's feelings. I remember going to a Star Trek convention, and seeing teenagers in the back of the room loudly insulting anyone dressed in a Star Fleet uniform. It's typical high school behavior... but dude! You're making fun of a sci-fi convention that YOU paid seventy bucks to get into. The men and women in costume are having a blast, and you're standing around trying to look cool. Note: you CAN'T look hip standing at the back of a conference room with all your male friends wearing sunglasses indoors that you think make you look cyberpunk. Assholes.

Instead, I want to emphasize that I had a blast. Being a large pink elephant for a day was very freeing. I met some wonderful people. I would love to buy or make a fursuit of my own and do this again. Yeah, in a second. It's such a friendly, playful, atmosphere. I've never heard so many people laughing and making jokes - it's almost like a comedy convention. Drama need not apply. Well, except for drama you bring with you.

I kept hearing the same joke over and over: "I must have drunk a lot last night, because I'm seeing pink elephants!" Everybody thought they were the first person to think of this. I love that about human beings... we are all the same even though we think we're different. If my friend wants, I'm thinking about changing the Pinky suit so the elephant's eyes are big Xs and he's carrying bottles of booze. That would REALLY make me popular at the next furry convention! {big grin}

I say I'm an atheist, but really I'm a humanist. I believe there is no god, but there are people and we should be good to each other. Seeing all those human beings jumping around and interacting was like going to church for me. It validates and reminds me to be part of the world, not above it and not apart from it. It's funny that it took some big animal costumes to make me really see the people inside.
 


Great post. I've never been to a furry convention in my life, and I doubt I ever will, but I enjoyed reading your experience and am glad you had an interesting time!

I <3 heavy bearish pop-culture geeks! Ya see tons of them at Magic:the Gathering Conventions, tourneys and prereleases :o)

I say I'm an atheist, but really I'm a humanist. I believe there is no god, but there are people and we should be good to each other. Seeing all those human beings jumping around and interacting was like going to church for me. It validates and reminds me to be part of the world, not above it and not apart from it. It's funny that it took some big animal costumes to make me really see the people inside.


The loveliest thing i've read in a while..thank you.


I was the only one not in costume, which was nice because I had opposable thumbs, which I put to good use.

This was so much fun to read about!

And I have to say all your writing/typing is mighty impressive for only seven digits!


i don't know which is more fun... being in costume and rubbing against others who aren't, or vice versa!

Thanks for telling us about this!

So, what are you going to dress as for the next furry convention? "Anthrocon" (www.anthrocon.org) is July 2-2 in Pittsburgh! {grin}

I think Nayland should go as a bunny...

I have to admit, it's always been easy for me to see furries as creepy. And yet... and yet... I know that I'm into things that many furries would find creepy.

I probably "know" - very superficially and only via online communities - the rubber fox and possibly the cat w/ inflated tits. Not sure about the dragon.
That's got to be one of the niche-y-est of niche fetishes! Speaking of which, have you seen Pretty Pervy and the outrageous inflatable rubber costumes they make? Hella expensive (since custom made and intricate), but amazing to see and some of them are actually very difficult to wear. I'm at work, so you'll have to google the company name for a link.

I certainly "get" rubber costumes - even funny animal ones - as costumes. I still don't "get" wanting to be a critter, which is pretty small-minded of me, but there it is.

Shit, now you've got me thinking about looking for convention pictures of the cat person...

YOU'RE AN ENABLER!

I think furries are creepy in the same way clowns are creepy. It's a bunch of hyperactive people having too much fun. At times, it feels like being swept into a parade when you're not sure what they're celebrating. My mom has a huge distaste for "manufactured fun", resulting in an intense dislike for new year's day celebrations.

I don't "get" the desire to be a rubber animal either, but I think that's because there is more than one answer to the question. I think some people just want to have hard animalistic sex without using human speech. Other people like bringing out a playful side of themselves more interested in shiny objects and squeeky toys than taxes and health problems. I have a friend with a huge need for "kawaii" cute things in his life, leading to being a forty year old man with a Hello Kitty collection.

For a while in my rubber sleesack, I was wearing a black rubber Anubis-shaped jackal gas mask from http://www.wildgaskmasks.com, and I looked and felt pretty cool. I could do it again.

Did you just objectively write about furries? That's amazing. I had such a blast reading this! Thank you.

Great blog. I'm glad you had fun. I look forward to going to one one day.

You'd make a great puppy!

^.^ great to hear you had fun getting your con cherry popped
but a lil bit of advice just relax and have fun
also "I'm not sure if it's supposed to be sexual, or playful, or creative, or what." why choose it is usually all that and more ;)
>HUGS

Wow again. All in all looks like you had a great weekend. Thanks for sharing.

Edited at 2009-01-27 10:51 pm (UTC)

Great post, though it sounds like it might have been more fun to read than to experience.

IBR is next month. I'll be there, as will most of my LJ Flist. Let's see if we can't show you a better time, hmmm?

(Deleted comment)
Being a fur, I am glad you had a great time. There are a lot of things that I dont expect you to get or understand about the furry world any time soon but I am happy that you are exploring it with a open mind. I have seen too many people ready to shoot down the style with out having any knowledge of what its like to be apart of it.

You are right that there are a lot in the fandom that really need to upgrade there social skills. Some of the things you mentioned are from those that are not furry but yet give the rest of use a bad name...In my honest opion....

Ah, p0lecat, I hope I kin roll around with ya sometime!

Thanks for posting this. I've been curious about it for a while.

Thanks for sharing this. I totally don't get furries, so this is an interesting insight.

?

Log in

No account? Create an account