The furry scene has its elitists, and they run in packs.
In a recent interview, journalist Harmon Leon noted that wolf characters are the top-dog species among furries--people who enjoy (like, really enjoy) anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities. Enthusiasts of the subculture meet up at conventions around the U.S., where most wear animal ears, tails and masks. Others go full out and suit up in costumes that cover from head to toe.
Leon, who researched the community for an article, says that furries who portray wolves are at the "top of the chain," and tend to stick to their own kind in a pack-like manner. They may choose not to socialize with those dressed as other kinds of animals, proving that even in the furry community, you still have to deal with the popular kids.
And please, fangirls out there, don't attribute the wolves popularity to Twilight's pack of shirtless, barely-legal werewolf boys. Furries were rocking the look long before the vampire saga was a twinkle in author Stephanie Meyer's eye.
Over the last few years, the furry community has been linked with fetish sex, thanks to portrayals in TV plot lines and an infamous Vanity Fair article that detailed some furries' sexual proclivities.
The subculture started as innocently as any other fantasy-play community--like your kooky neighbor who goes to the Renaissance Fair each year, or 30-year old dudes who post live-action role play clips on YouTube. Some serious furries want to kick the fetish label that's been slapped on them, but it's hard when articles like Leon's own, published in Penthouse last year, detail some of the offerings at a furry convention. Simulated dragon vaginas, light bondage and groping don't exactly make for a squeaky clean image.
Don't expect to find any large-scale furry action in South Florida anytime soon. The closest we've gotten was a CSI: Miami episode that dealt with a murder at a furry convention. A search for 'furries' on Meetup.com returns only one result: The South Florida Whippet Meetup Group, a social hour for people who own actual dogs, not dress up as them. Might be better this way anyway--ever worn a bear costume in this humidity?
Hot furry action at the Further Confusion convention. Via Trevor Johns on Flickr.