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Taking it back to the beginning #fursuitfriday

 Inside the misunderstood culture of furries

The furry group wants the world to know that sex is not central to their culture.

In fact, the majority of members of the furry community are miffed with how the media has represented them in general.

Most people believe that images of sexual fetishists frolicking at wild parties while donning furry costumes are unfair and untrue, according to experts.

For the uninitiated, we're referring to the furry fandom, an estimated hundreds of thousands-strong global group.

They include people of all ages, genders, CEOs, blue-collar professionals, singles, couples, parents, students, and sexual orientations; they all share a love of fictional animal characters with human characteristics.

How do they have a party? Everyone to his or her own. The variety of methods is wide-ranging.

Do you, for instance, have an unusually strong attraction to Bugs Bunny?

So, you might be a furry creature.

You might like to draw original animal characters that are like your "fursona," or alter ego or persona.

Once more, you could be a fuzzy.

What happens if you want to dress up as your favorite animal character?

It's possible that you're a furry.

Putting on a costume causes a fascinating transformation for many furries.

Take Joe Strike, a furry veteran. Strike goes from being a self-described "pretty mellow guy" to a character he refers to as Komos when he dons his reptilian costume.

Strike, the author of "Furry Nation," a book about the fandom, says, "I become very sinister — very forceful and intimidating." Being that other person, this mysterious and captivating character, is so much fun. It's a lot of fun to see some women really admire him.

The media's focus on the colorful furry costumes lends credence to the idea that furries are all about costumes. They aren't, however.

In point of fact, the co-founder of the initial furry convention does not even possess a costume.

Rod Stansfield, who goes by his pen name Rod O'Riley, says, "If you honestly believe that furry fandom is about costuming, then you've missed the point." He is probably better known in the community as Rod Stansfield. It's like saying "Star Trek" fandom is about wearing pointy ears when talking about furry fandom.

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