a person who likes anthropomorphic
That is the most reliable, generic, boring answer someone could possibly give you, and while it's essentially true, it's not very helpful.
So what are furries, really?
The reason it's hard to give a better definition is because there are so many people who call themselves furries, they're all into different things, and they don't all agree on what counts as a furry.
In a way, the word "furry" is a lot like the word "gamer".
There are lots of reasons people call themselves a gamer:
And there are lots of reasons people call themselves a furry:
In fact, just like gamers, not all furries get along with each other!
The difference between gamers and furries, though, is how well they're understood. Everyone knows what a "gamer" is, and most people know that not all gamers are the same.
Furries, however, are still sort of a mystery to a lot of people.
And just like when gaming was young...
...most of the news about furries focuses on bad things:
Even though these stories don't depict what most furries are like, nobody likes to be associated with bad things, so most furries don't bring it up.
After all, for most furries, being furry isn't a big deal - it's just one of many interests they might have!
But sometimes, furries come up in other discussions, and it's often awkward.
If you're here, it's probably because you've been a part of one of these conversations.
Maybe you're a furry looking for some way to explain yourself, or maybe you've never heard the word "furry" before, and you want to see what it's all about.
In order to take a better look at furries, we've gathered some data from Furry count furries around the world.
The data on this page is updated in real time, based on the results of our survey.
Important Reminder: The numbers reported here are only representative of a small fraction of the furry community. Furries with strong opinions and a high level of involvement within the community are more likely to participate in surveys, while "casual furries" are less likely to participate in surveys.
To put things in perspective, the largest furry-themed website on the internet is an art community called FurAffinity. At any given time, FurAffinity has anywhere from 5000-30000 registered users online, and FurAffinity administrators have reported that FurAffinity has as many as 1.6 million registered accounts.
Types of furries
There are many things that are not consistent across the furry community, but there are some things that most furries have in common. For instance:
- activity: fursona of surveyed furries have created a character for themselves.
- fantasy of surveyed furries enjoy the characters seen in fantasy games, movies, and books.
- activity: socialize of surveyed furries use the furry fandom as a place to socialize and meet new friends.
- Only Furry: talkative of surveyed furries like to talk openly about the furry community.
- Only otherkin of surveyed furries believe that they're animals on the inside.
- Only activity: owned fursuit of surveyed furries own a fursuit.
To get a more in-depth understanding of furries, let's take a look at some of the specific reasons people participate in the furry community.
Needless to say, these categories are not all-inclusive, and most furries can probably relate to more than one.
fantasy of surveyed furries say that they are specifically fond of the anthropomorphic characters and races found in fantasy games, books, and movies.
socializer of surveyed furries use the furry community as a place to meet new friends and socialize.
animal lover of surveyed furries say that they love animals, and enjoy looking at the animal artwork that furries produce.
escapist of surveyed furries say that they use the furry community as a method of escapism, to get away from worries and problems they have in the real world.
connoisseur of surveyed furries describe themselves as lovers of art in general, not just furry art.
reinventor of surveyed furries say that they use their character as a way to imagine a better, reinvented version of themselves.
actor of surveyed furries like to roleplay as their furry character(s), often in chat rooms or through writing.
fandom of surveyed furries say that they're fans of a specific franchise featuring talking animals.
fursuiter of surveyed furries are interested in fursuits: animal costumes designed to look like furry characters.
artist of surveyed furries like to draw, write, or create, and participate in the furry community through their art.
dealer of surveyed furries make money from their artwork, writing, or by selling other goods and services in the furry community.
spiritual of surveyed furries report feeling a strong spiritual connection to animals.
otherkin of surveyed furries identify as therians or otherkin: people who believe they are an animal "trapped" in a human body.
adult of surveyed furries say that they partake in adult activities within the furry community. This is often a point of controversy.
What do furries actually do?
This depends a lot on the type of furry you're talking about, but there are some answers that are common enough to talk about.
Of course, not all furries do all the things listed here.
If there's one thing you should learn from this website, it's that not all furries are the same. What one person enjoys, another person might find boring or weird.
Enjoy mainstream media featuring anthropomorphic characters
activity: mainstream media of surveyed furries enjoy mainstream media featuring talking animals or anthropomorphic fantasy races.
Many times, this is what gets people interested in the furry community in the first place.
There are lots of movies, TV shows, video games, and books that feature anthropomorphic animals, and enjoying those things is one of the most common behaviors that furries share.
Of course, it's completely possible to enjoy those things without being a furry!
After all, it's possible to enjoy Star Trek without calling yourself a "trekkie" - it's just a matter of how enthusiastically you love Star Trek.
Furries often start out as normal people who are just very big fans of animated shows and movies (Lion King, Zootopia, My Little Pony, etc.), video games with animal characters (Starfox, Sly Cooper, Sonic, etc.), or fantasy series with anthropomorphic races and characters. (Dungeons & Dragons, Redwall, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.)
Browse furry artwork and media made by other furries
activity: furry media of surveyed furries use websites like FurAffinity to browse furry artwork, writing, and other media.
Eventually, most furries realize that they're not alone: there is an entire community of people who love anthropomorphic characters just as much as they do, and even though they all come from different backgrounds and love different franchises, they all share something in common.
Once a person has discovered the furry community, the first thing they normally do is begin browsing the mountains of artwork, animation, and writing that are available online.
There are several websites dedicated to helping furries connect, talk about their interests, and share artwork/stories they've created. A few of the largest sites include:
- FurAffinity: The largest furry site on the internet, focused on sharing art and stories. FurAffinity allows some adult content, but only for registered adult users.
- /r/furry/: The "/r/furry/" community is part of reddit, a massive website where people can create community forums about any topic or hobby. The /r/furry/ subreddit does not allow adult content, but artistic nudity is sometimes allowed, for registered adult users.
- DeviantArt: This art-sharing website is not specifically for furries, but for artists in general. It does have a large furry presence, however, and many furry artists prefer DeviantArt over FurAffinity because of its cleaner reputation and strict policy against pornographic content.
Socialize with other furries
activity: socialize of surveyed furries use the furry community as a place to socialize and meet new friends.
Furries are, as a general rule of thumb, friendly and inviting - sometimes to a fault. Like every community, the furry community has its quirks and cliques, but most furries eventually start making friends and spending time with them online. This socialization usually comes in the form of chat rooms, online gaming, or voice hangouts.
Sometimes, furries will simply talk about their favorite furry characters, or about furry artwork/movies. But most of the time, the whole "furry" thing is just a springboard for bonding over other shared experiences. Furries come from all walks of life, but some of the most prevalent common interests include: gaming, geek culture, politics, and relationships.
Create a furry character for themselves
activity: fursona of surveyed furries have created a furry character for themselves.
Once a person has started to interact with the furry community, there is sort of an unwritten expectation that they will eventually make a character for themselves. This character - sometimes called a "fursona" - means different things to different people.
For most furries, their character is like an avatar. It's not really a representation of themselves, it's just a cool-looking character that serves as their "face" when they're hanging out with other furries.
For other furries, their character is just that: a character, like one you might find in books or movies. It doesn't actually represent them, but they use their character for acting or roleplaying with other furry characters. For these people, it's very common to have many characters, each with their own personality and story.
For some others, their character is something deeper: a representation of who they feel like on the inside, or someone they wish they could be. These people are not necessarily otherkin; they may simply be furries who enjoy the reinvention aspect of the community.
Roleplay as their character
activity: roleplay of surveyed furries have roleplayed as a furry character. This particular activity is often divisive among furries: some believe it is a core aspect of the community, while others find it cringe-inducing or annoying.
In some furry groups, it's common to spend a lot of time "in character" while chatting online. For these furries, every interaction and conversation is an opportunity to act out their character's behavior and explore their personality. This is especially popular among "actor" furries, who like to flesh out their character and the way they interact with the other characters around them.
In other furry groups, roleplay seen as cringe-inducing, and furries who roleplay are seen as detrimental to the furry community's public image. These furries often feel that roleplay suffers from two problems: it is often very juvenille, lacking any sort of real nuance or character development, and it often devolves into flirtation. When flirtatious roleplay happens, the stark contrast between the attractiveness of furry characters and their owners is often called out as a key cringe-inducing element.
Even among furries who do not roleplay, however, it is not uncommon to make quips and casual observations based on a person's character. There are many stereotypes in the furry community, and those stereotypes are a frequent topic of conversation. For instance, furries with fox characters are often seen as promiscuous, and when furries are discussing relationship problems, they might poke fun at someone for "dating a fox" in the first place.
Draw, write, or exercise their creativity
activity: art of surveyed furries have drawn furry artwork, written furry stories, or created other furry media.
Because furry characters exist only in fantasy, many furries pour an exhausting amount of effort into realizing their characters through art and writing. Not all furries have artistic talent, but because the community is very art-focused, furries are often encouraged to exercise their creativity.
Even furries who do not draw or write on a regular basis will often try their hand at art in order to design a character for themselves. Because the furry community is overwhelmingly inviting, art of any quality usually receives a positive reaction, and this positive reinforcement often encourages the artist to keep practicing.
Many furries enter the community with no artistic background, and eventually develop a modicum of talent and confidence that they can put to use elsewhere in their lives.
Commission custom artwork of their character
activity: commission of surveyed furries have purchased custom furry artwork, stories, or other media for themselves.
Whether a furry has artistic talent or not, they will often be impressed or inspired by the talent and style of artists around them. Eventually, many furries will pay another artist to draw or write about their character for them.
For many furries, seeing their character realized by someone else is much more exciting than drawing it themselves. This is especially true for actors and reinventors, as well as socializers who use their character's popularity to make new friends.
Other furries, particularly fandom and fantasy furries, will pay to have their characters drawn with popular characters from mainstream media, or as part of existing fantasy universes. For these furries, artwork is less about popularity and more about expression and storytelling.
Like most entertainment and luxury industries, the furry artwork industry is one where a small minority of users spends a disproportionately high amount of money. These furries often become popular simply because of the sheer volume or quality of art they've commissioned, as their characters become recognized as sort of a "furry celebrity." (occasionally called a "popufur")
Go to local hangouts with other furries
activity: local meetup of surveyed furries have gone to a small, local meetup with other furries.
Local meetups allow small groups of furries to meet up for group activities. Common activities include charity events, cookouts, camping, gaming, bowling, movies, or holiday parties. Meetup attendance varies tremendously - some meetups host just a handful of local furries, while others attract hundreds of furries.
Sometimes, furries are allowed and encouraged to wear their fursuits during these activities (if they own a fursuit - only about activity: owned fursuit of furries do). Other times, especially when meeting in a public, shared space that has not been reserved for the meetup, furries will be asked not to suit.
Local meets are usually hosted and managed by a local furry community, or by individual furries with wide social circles who are very active in their area.
Go to furry conventions
activity: convention of surveyed furries have gone to a furry convention.
Furry conventions are large gatherings of furries from all across the country - or even the world - who meet up for a few days to socialize, buy and sell furry artwork and merchandise, wear and watch fursuits, and - most importantly - meet friends that they've made through the furry community.
Furry conventions are especially important for socializers, who may only be able to see their online furry friends at conventions for a few days each year, and for fursuiters, who often spend a tremendous portion of the convention fursuiting and participating in fursuit-specific activities like fursuit games, fursuit talent/dance competitions, or fursuit panels.
For furries who are particularly active in the adult side of the fandom, or for furries who have formed long-distance relationships through the furry community, conventions are also an opportunity to engage physically with other furries. Because these windows of opportunity are so short and sparse, many furries (con reason: sex) list sex as one of the reasons they attend furry conventions, leading many to believe that furry conventions are sex-centric events.
In reality, only con main reason: sex of surveyed furries say that sex is one of the main reasons they attend furry conventions, and only con main reason: casual sex attend furry conventions specifically looking for casual sex.
Some of the most common reason furries attend furry conventions include:
- con reason: meet existing friends: To meet existing friends
- con reason: make new friends: To make new friends
- con reason: watch fursuits: To watch fursuiters
- con reason: room parties: To attend small room parties
- con reason: buy: To buy furry art and merchandise
Fursuits are one of the first things people think of when they think about furries, despite the fact that only activity: worn fursuit of surveyed furries have worn a fursuit, and only activity: owned fursuit actually own one.
The fursuiting community is almost as diverse as the furry community itself, and people fursuit for many reasons:
To feel more comfortable expressing themselves
fursuit score: comfort
To socialize with other fursuiters and furries
fursuit score: socialize
To escape from the worries of the world and have fun
fursuit score: escape
To make people happy by acting cute or funny
fursuit score: perform
To feel more like their characters
fursuit score: character
They like wearing costumes and masks in general
fursuit score: costume
They like giving hugs to make people feel good
fursuit score: hugs
fursuit score: adult
To show appreciation for a specific franchise
fursuit score: franchise
Sell art, writing, games, or other merchandise / services
activity: paid of surveyed furries make money by selling their furry artwork, stories, or other goods and services.
Like any other community, there are many ways for savvy artists, writers, animators, and other creative enterpreneurs to profit from the furry community. Some of these profiteers are furries doing services for other furries, while others are talented outsiders looking at ways to engage the relatively-untapped market.
Some of the most common revenue streams in the furry community include:
- Custom art/writing commissions: Furries will often pay artists and writers to create custom art/literature about their character. Over time, many artists have transitioned away from this model to the YCH model, described below.
- "Your Character Here" (YCH) auctions: Rather than creating custom artwork from scratch, some artists will sketch out a scene or picture that they want to draw, then allow furries to bid to have their characters used in the final picture. While some furries dislike the lack of control offered by YCH auctions, others appreciate that the artists have a stronger creative say in the final piece.
- Paywalled content: Once an artist has amassed a sizeable following, they may begin to paywall some of their content, requiring viewers to pay a monthly fee (often using a service like Patreon) in order to view it. This model is especially popular among adult artists, who will commonly post censored, clothed, or low-resolution versions of their art in a free gallery, then offer their supporters high-resolution, uncensored versions.
- Donations / soft paywalls: Some artists choose not to hide their content behind a paywall, instead relying on the generosity of their audience to keep them afloat. The rise of Patreon as a crowdfunding service has a played an important role in this business model, as it effectively allows an artist/creator to create whatever they like, and allows their audience to support them on a regular, predictable basis, so long as the artist keeps producing content they enjoy. Some artists will also offer special perks to people who support them, like the ability to vote on upcoming projects, or sneak previews of things they're working on.
activity: viewed adult content of surveyed furries look at adult furry content.
Sex is a very divisive subject, for furries. Some furries (sex: yes) believe that the fandom is primarily about sex, while others (sex: no) believe that sex has no place in the fandom.
The vast majority (sex: can be) of furries, however, believe that the community is not inherently about sex, but that sex can be brought into it.
Sure enough, most of the community (activity: viewed adult content) has intentionally viewed adult furry content. It's hard to determine how this number compares to the general public's rate of pornography consumption, but it's safe to say that most furries enjoy furry pornography, just as most non-furries enjoy regular pornography.
Because this is a big topic in the furry community, we've given it its own section, below.
Is it a sex thing?
sex: no of surveyed furries
No, but it can be.
sex: can be of surveyed furries
sex: yes of surveyed furries
Sex is often a point of controversy and disagreement, for furries. Generally speaking, though, the furry community has a little bit more to do with sex than most furries like to admit, but much less than outsiders often believe.
Most people enjoy sex. And because people are creative and experimental, they will occasionally try to mix up sex with their other hobbies.
If you were to round up a bunch of non-furry people, and they were completely honest with you, you might hear things like:
Furries are sometimes the same way. It's not that the furry community is about sex, but we do sometimes drag sex into it.
But there's a little bit more to it than just that.
There are a few characteristics of the furry community that all come together to make furries just a little bit more sex-oriented than the general population:
Furries aren't mainstream, so the community attracts explorers and outcasts.
The furry community is still sort of a "hidden" culture, and because of that, most furries are the type of people who are different, adventurous, and exploratory enough to find it, in the first place.
Oftentimes, people who are adventurous enough to try out the furry community are also very adventurous and exploratory when it comes to sex.
Furries are often open-minded about tricky subjects.
Like any group of misfits, the furry community is very slow to judge people for being open and honest. Everyone in the furry community is there because they enjoy something weird, and that same open-mindedness and acceptance is shown to people who start opening up about sex.
Human creativity often results in porn, and furries are usually creative.
Give a caveman a log and a knife, and he will eventually carve a fertility idol. Give a Greek artist paint, and she will eventually paint Aphrodite. Give an Indian sculptor stone, and he will eventually carve the Khajuraho Monuments.
The furry community is a very creative community - it has a very high concentration of artists, writers, and animators. Even furries who are not artists themselves are usually part of the community because they enjoy something that other artists make: art, books, movies, TV shows, or video games.
Creative minds like to explore all aspects of humanity: adventure, drama, comedy, and sex - often through pornographic art.
Adolescent males are a large part of the furry demographic.
Many furries come from environments where sex is taboo, and stumble across the furry community just as they are beginning to explore their sexuality.
When they discover an environment where their exploration of sexuality is not only allowed, but encouraged and reciprocated, it tends to result in an explosive surge of interest.
When all of these factors combine, you end up with a community that may not be about sex, but is very sex-positive.
Most furries view sex as something healthy, fun, and natural, and have very little shame drawing it, looking at it, and talking about it openly.
There are many misconceptions about sex in the furry community.
When people try to guess what furry sexuality is about, they often imagine one of three things: bizarre fursuit parties, leashes and collars, or zoophilia.
In reality, only about like: murrsuits of surveyed furries like the idea of having sex in fursuits, like: puppy play are interested in "pet play", and only like: zoo of surveyed furries have any attraction to animals.
The thing that most furries are interested in is pornographic artwork (like: art) or literature (like: literature) featuring anthropomorphic characters.
Occasionally, these characters resemble cartoon characters from popular movies or TV shows. Other times, they depict characters from video games or fantasy worlds. Most of the time, however, the characters seen in furry pornography are original creations - characters made by furries.
Like the furry community as a whole, furry pornography is something people enjoy for many different reasons:
It often portrays a progressive, sex-positive philosophy
adult content: sex positive
It features characters that are more exotic and interesting than humans
adult content: exotic
It feels more expressive, genuine, and "real" than commercial porn
adult content: expressive
It helps them explore fetishes that are impossible or dangerous in real life
adult content: impossibility
It shares common ground with other, non-furry fetishes, like pet play or zoophilia
adult content: fursuits
Among furries who enjoy furry pornography, furry porn: enjoy or okay say they don't need furry pornography: it's just something they enjoy in addition to normal pornography.
Beyond pornographic art, there are a few other adult outlets that furries sometimes enjoy:
like: erp of surveyed furries
Furry Sex Toys
like: sex toys of surveyed furries
like: murrsuits of surveyed furries
Many people enjoy sex without letting it define who they are. In the same way, sex is not a defining characteristic of the furry community: it's just something that many furries enjoy in the background.