Jeffrey Carl Faden (jeffreyatw) wrote,
Jeffrey Carl Faden

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 - 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
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