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24 February 2005 @ 06:42 pm
Time to laugh.  
This is me thinking too much about the Internet. Ha ha, it should be taken lightly, it's the Internet. But seriously, here's a letter I sent to my Human Sexuality professor about my observations of sexual stuff on the Internet. Read it, discuss. You know the drill.

Hi Veronica,

I'm the guy who asked in class today about furries, and whether they can classify as paraphilias or other types of disorders...

Basically, I'm a big geek. I'm online more often than I'm offline. I'm not a furry, I don't find that sort of activity stimulating or anything of the sort, but in the chat rooms and other online communities where I hang out, I've got a lot of friends with interests such as "furdom" and other related topics.

What's really interested me is Internet fandom altogether - people are interested in Japanese animation, American anthopomorphic cartoon characters, and other things like these - so much that it's not only a hobby in their life but it's also a sexual interest since it's so encompassing. From my experience, people who grow up watching anime or other cartoons end up sexualizing them through classical conditioning, just as anyone else would sexualize any of their other obsessions.

But then it leads me to worry about attachments to reality and the whole sort - a lot of this is specific to the Internet - in fact, a lot of furries that I know simply "became" furries to be able to fit in on a clique on the Internet. They'd have their name, followed by "_Wolf" or something similar as a nickname, adopt an online "avatar" of an anthropomorphic animal... they'd draw furry pornography, roleplay sex with other furries online, and then, as you've read, even attend conventions with people wearing complete fursuits, and even engage in intercourse in these suits.

The same goes for people who are interested in anime - generally, people find anime characters attractive due to simplified or idealized features. To me, that's akin to how people find porn stars attractive, even though they've got uncommon proportions or bodily surgery or other modification that makes them look surreal.

Back to why I'm concerned...

One of the most popular sites on the Internet for those interested in anime is the site www.4chan.org - there are also sites similar to these for furries. 4chan is basically an image board, where people post pictures on different interest forums. It's mostly sexual. They include "hentai," portrayals of intercourse, "yuri/yaoi", portrayals of lesbian or gay sex respectively, and then there are assorted boards...

...and then there's "futanari," portrayals of women with male genitalia, "lolicon," short for "lolita complex," where there are cartoon portrayals of underage characters, "guro," portrayals of sexualized extreme violence, such as internal mutilation and otherwise death...

Although everyone is entitled to their own interests, my only concern is where these more exotic interests overlap with real-life paraphilias and problems such as sexual abuse. People talk about these things in big, open communities, and for many, it's not too weird. For the majority, it certainly is not looked down upon. And I know that a lot of people do try to enact these things in real life. There are people that wear masks and other sorts of costumes or bodily modifications that make them look more like anime characters, or furries, or something of the like. I'm just worried that people I know will turn out to partake in these sorts of things, and I feel inclined to stop them or at least make it known that these sorts of fantasies cannot be done in real life.

I thought I'd just share my own ideas and observations with you as I believe this is an important topic as technology becomes more prominent and accessible. I do hear cases from time to time of things such as furdom going out of hand and turning into zoophilia, or interest in lolicon turning into child molestation. Places such as 4chan might just be breeding grounds for this sort of material, and especially after hearing your lecture, I'm simply worried about my friends.

Jeffrey Faden
 
 
 
嘉慧: hmm?chiahui on February 25th, 2005 03:07 am (UTC)
interesting. i wonder what she'd say in reply to your email.
CreativEcstasycreativecstasy on February 25th, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)
i think she was annoyed that you kept asking questions. not that you shouldn't ask questions, but i'm usually good at reading body language. interesting email.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on February 25th, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed that too. :P
rtf on February 25th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
I don't even quite know what you're saying. It seems to be something like "people really love fantasy. This is odd/disturbing."

To further generalize, and analogize, it sounds as if you would tell a child, "You cannot make up your own fun. It is not part of the real world." Or is it different, because these are adults and the activity is largely sexual?
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on February 25th, 2005 04:50 am (UTC)
I think I mentioned that I'm "worried" too early into the email. It's the second to last paragraph ("Although...") where I really got into what I meant by that. Besides that I really just described a bit about Internet subcultures...
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on February 25th, 2005 04:51 am (UTC)
...or maybe just the LAST paragraph, where I really briefly get into specifics... zoophilia and child molestation. Meh, perhaps I should have talked a bit more about that before I said I'm "worried."
Andyddrmallrat on February 25th, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
agreed
Andyddrmallrat on February 25th, 2005 06:49 am (UTC)
Human sexuality professors name is Veronica....
Ok, call me stereotypically male, but is she hot? I just find the name Veronica to be a safe bet that the person is hot.

Anyway, as far as the paper goes, besides the scattered point in the beginning and the end, it was kinda thought provoking. I mean I generally find people that are really obsessed with the stuff (that take it beyond a casual interest) pretty "creepy". I wonder if theres a reason I feel that.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on February 25th, 2005 09:21 am (UTC)
She's in her early forties, but I guess she looks good.
Johnl33tsysadmin on February 25th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
teacher has a question
WTF is a furry?

You went through mentioning and explaining several other sexual fetishes and disorders, but failed to adequately describe what is otherwise known to the rest of us. Next time, include some links and mention goatse.cx for extra additional trolling points.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on February 25th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: teacher has a question
What?

You don't know what a furry is? Or am I missing some sort of joke?