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When I first started dating my boyfriend, he told me he was a "furry." I didn't have any idea what he meant, so he explained to me that he really wanted a costume that was basically paws, a tail, and maybe some other catlike features, and he wanted to have sex while wearing this costume.

I'm not a furry, but I would like to surprise him and try this out. I figured finding a costume on-line would be easy, but so far all I can find are the type that look like high school mascots. I shudder at the thought of pulling out my local yellow pages and trying to describe this to every person that does costume design in town. ("And you're going to do what with this costume?") Is there a place where other furries go to get their costumes on-line? --Wannabe Furry in Colorado

First things first: There are people reading this who think not only that I made up your letter, WFIC, but that I made up the very concept of a furry fetish. Not true. Furries are for real. Sometimes called plushophiles, furries are men and women who are turned on by the idea of having sex with stuffed animals or having sex while wearing fur suits that make them look like stuffed animals. They've been written up in Vanity Fair and dissected on MTV, and a furry fetish party was recently used as a plot device on a crappy TV show (NBC's She Spies).

Why are some people turned on by stuffed animals? While you can never know for sure why odd things turn some people on, I do have a theory. Furries emerged in the late 1990s, right when the first generation of children whose entire lives were dominated by Disney products and imagery came of age. After being exposed to images of cuddly, safe, saucer-eyed, anthropomorphized animals throughout their childhoods, these same kids had sex presented to them as something deadly and dangerous during puberty. The abstinence "educators" and AIDS "awareness" campaigns they were subjected to exaggerated the actual risks of HIV transmission, pregnancy, and death. Is it any wonder that a tiny percentage of this Disney/abstinence generation came to fetishize the safe and cuddly stuffed animals of their childhood?

OK, on to WFIC's question. I wouldn't recommend surprising your boyfriend with a fur suit. If he's been fantasizing about this for a long time, then without a doubt he has a very specific suit in mind. It would be better to surprise him with the news that you want to make his fantasies come true rather than to surprise him with an expensive purchase that might be the wrong style, color, hair length, or breed.

So where do you two go on-line to get a fur suit? For help with that question, I turned to a bigwig in the furry scene. He didn't want me to use his name in the column, so we'll just call him Tiger. He suggests you check out a Web site called FurBid (www.furbid.ws), an eBay for furries. Twenty fur suits were being auctioned at FurBid when I visited. While most were cat suits--tigers, panthers, leopards--they all appeared to be bulky, mascot-style models. If your boyfriend doesn't like what's for sale at FurBid, Tiger recommended you do some searching on the Web.

"If he goes to google.com and searches on 'fursuit' or 'fursuit sex,' he'll find thousands of furries," said Tiger. "It isn't too hard to find someone out there who is talented in the art of making fur suits designed for sex, and they could get one made to their own specifications."

Of course, you could just ask a local costume designer to whip something up. You don't have to tell the shop or the designer that your boyfriend wants a cat suit because he's a furry; just tell them that your boyfriend wants to be a really sexy cat for Halloween. After the designer builds your boyfriend a sexy cat outfit, you can take scissors, needle, and thread and transform your boyfriend's "Halloween" costume into his very own, very special, soon-to-be-come-stained crotchless fur suit.

I'm 19 years old, and for a while I was looking at disgusting stuff on-line to see if I blanched at it. Here's the prob: Dad recently found a bestiality flick on my computer. I told him I was just testing myself, but he doesn't seem to believe me. I was actually disgusted by the images. How can I convince my dad that I'm not some deviant?

--One Horrified Shamed Hacker in Trouble

Your dad's probably desperate to believe you, but you can't expect him to take your denials at face value. Why not? Because you would deny being into bestiality even if you were. Sorry, OHSHIT, but it's going to take a long time to convince your dad that you're not into dogs or goats or horses or Ann Coulter or whatever other animals were featured in the porn he found on your computer. Don't ever download animal porn again, don't ever get a dog, and don't ever visit a farm, and your dad will eventually accept your denials...in 10 or 20 years.

I'm a white 31-year-old man in Ohio planning a move to Washington, D.C. I have a desire to make love to large and/or mature black ladies for pay. I give good full body massage, I love and am good at eating pussy, and I enjoy giving and receiving golden showers. Are there any escort services in the D.C. area that would allow me to specialize in large and/or mature black women? I realize that my preferences may seem unusual, but it won't take much reflection to see that there may be a demand for what I have to offer.

--Wannabe Ho

Let me see if I follow you, WH: You want large and/or mature black women in the Washington, D.C., area to pay you for the honor of fulfilling your fantasies? That's not gonna happen. The only way you will ever find a black woman willing to indulge your rent-boy fantasy is to pay a professional to pretend she's paying you.

In your column of September 29, 2000, you were vindicated when Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche broke up as you'd predicted earlier. I am actually writing to point out another prediction contained in that column: "No one takes heterosexuals who get married during the infatuation stage seriously. Will anyone be shocked when Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie go boom?" Less than two years later, boom.

You get a lot of shit from your readers, Dan, but to the doubters I would like to say this: Dan Savage, revealer of things to come! Listen when he speaks!

--Frank in Dreamy Ottawa

Thanks, FIDO.

Let us now pause to contemplate the mistakes made by Anne and Ellen and Billy Bob and Angelina so that we might learn from them: Whether you're gay or straight, necking in front of the President of the United States during the infatuation stage, getting someone's name tattooed on your ass or arm during the infatuation stage, and blathering on and on to Oprah during the infatuation stage does not prove that your love is real and deep and everlasting. What it proves is that you are shallow and stupid and soon to be single.

Tighty whities contest update: The polls have closed and the winner has been chosen--but it might not be the candidate you think it is. Next week in Savage Love, the TW contest winner is unmasked!

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