What is Postfurry?
That's a very good question! Ask N people who identify as postfurries, and you'll most likely get something like N2 answers, particularly if they're all in the room together to start discussing it.
A few things can be said for sure. The Postfurry community grew out of the larger Furry community, which itself generally defies any sort of generally-accepted concrete definitions. Still, Postfurry shares quite a few features in common with general furry interests, like the anthropomorphized-animal aesthetics, the heavy use of the internet, and a general liberal/queer leaning.
What Postfurry generally adds to the furry aesthetic is more of a focus on the futuristic, the transhuman, and the countercultural. Rather than using imagery of a standard anthropomorphic wolf or tiger, someone involved in Postfurry is more likely to present as a lava-lamp vixen, squid-otter hybrid, or sentient black hole.
Diverse Thoughts to Be Organized
A wonderful braindump from Kincaid, reading this might give a bit more of an idea what we're going for! We trust in Wiki Magic to refine these.
Elements of Postfurry
- fetish based on unreal things
- xenofetishism, fascination with alien beauty
- "making people nice"
- using BDSM and hypnosis to experiment with power dynamics, empathy, and trust
- basing scenes around narratives for sex instead of actual sex; expanding sexuality into the unreal
- the fetish of finding new things to fetishize
- umbrella term for all the kinks that can only take place in an imaginative world
- an exercise in making DIY, non-hierarchical pantheons
- an attempt at "daughter/son" religion instead of "father/mother" religion: spiritual entities that we create to be assistants in cosmological exploration, front-ends for the Divine, little gods for whose behavior we are solely responsible, not vice-versa
- playing with the erotic aspects of reality-bending
- fascination with liminal states
- extension of natural neuropsychological tendencies
- keeping of "headfriends" long into adulthood
- using furry metaphors to explore altered states
- using postfurry to interrogate the boundaries of "human" behavior and how real/necessary they really are
- sociological and psychological theories of play
- Furry Culture
- extending roleplaying tropes to real life
- bringing metafiction to furry roleplaying
- a refuge for sensitive, otherworldly, introverted nerds
- the notion that furry doesn't need to be realistic; the corollary that reality doesn't need to be realistic (i.e. our social and mental worlds are mostly abstract and arbitrary anyhow)
- merging furry with the world of theory -- taking things from literature and academic as inspiration for our perverted flights of fantasy
- an attempt to split the difference between the furry "fans" and the furry "lifestylers", taking the neo-pagan elan of the alt.lifestyle.furry folks and cutting its literal-minded tendencies with more critical and metaphorical ones
- discuss Daphny's remark about otherkin/trans narrative from this Kotaku article.
- going beyond "furry is a way of life" to "furry is a counterculture, with potential social significance, a preparation for a world of virtual identity, self-narrative, and constant immersion in non-material realities"
- first step is to answer the question of "Why furry?" not with some literal-minded justification (i.e. history, anatomy, pantheism), but with "For whatever reason we want"; the second step is to answer the same question with "Because it's a subculture where the answer is 'for whatever reason we want.'"; the third step is to ponder WHY furry is so good at accommodating "for whatever reason we want," and seeing just how far you can stretch those reasons beyond what was previously considered "furry" -- the same way other "post-" movements have taken genres apart and put them back together with new influences
- mention soulbonders and otherkin as part of the spectrum -- postfurs are somewhere between them and fans!
- extending queer identity theory to species and fantasy selves
- political culture of radical empaths and daydreamers
- self-referentiality and Hofstadter -- meta-reference opens the door to so many interesting things...
- furry lifestylers
- Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
- transhumanist sci-fi
- genderqueer movement
- literary theory
- semiotics and postmodernism
- inadvertently perverse action cartoons
- postmodern/eclectic/chaos magic
- guerrilla ontology
- Discordians and Subgenii
- BDSM culture
- beatniks and flower children
- Robert Anton Wilson's theory of "neophilia"
- "Religions of Paradox and Play" in Margot Alder's Drawing Down The Moon
Frequently-asked questions, with few answers
- Isn't postfurry basically just sci-fi furry fetish?
- Why is there so much freaking latex and plastic?
- Do you people know how pretentious you sound?
- What were the DScream, Puzzlebox, and 12Fold?
- Do you know how clumsy and sentimental your work sounds?
- Yeah, of course we do. It's folk art.
- By calling it "postfurry" are you saying what you're doing should replace furry?
- Yikes, no.
- has roots in a phenomenon of fantasy-prone people continuing to have rich imagined internal lives well into adulthood
- perhaps also in the proposition that something in our culture is stimulating more of this imaginative "virtual" life
- in particular, the Internet has given these fantasy-prone adults a safe place to "come out" to each other
- inevitably, this has led to a desire to bring these fantasies -- and the joyful social connections made under the
- importance of joy and festivity to postfurry culture
- importance of paradox and "play" in the sociological sense, cf. Margot Adler
- a means of dealing with fissures in our neurology and identity that many of us have felt since we were young
- a "microgenre" or "microfetish" melding transhuman/cyberpunk attitudes about bodies, identity, virtuality, and personal freedom; high-tech fairytale aesthetics; transformation fetish; psychedelia; non-dualistic philosophies in queer theory; and the animation of our childhood nostalgia
- mental, narrative, and ritual transformation as a lifestyle, with animal people as the preferred front-end
- an aesthetic of alienness, a xenofetish, valuing the novel, paradoxical, complex, or liminal for its own sake -- loving things we have been told are on the outside
- a "transspecies" movement paralleling the "transgender" movement -- not in any way insisting we are *physiologically or genetically* non-human, but opening up a category of "socially non-human" -- taking on names, personas, and histories of our own creation and rejecting the self-serving ones that society hangs on us
- saying that one's narrative "reality" need be hooked to physical reality only to a certain degree -- so much of our social reality is based on fictions imposed by mass opinion to start with -- rejecting the idea that we are who our parents named us, defined by our jobs, given a loyalty and affiliation based on what nation and species we're born into, as if being human obliges us to any specific behavior, appearance, or propriety beyond basic kindness towards other humans
- inherently somewhat leftist, in that we believe in the improvability of human nature, a certain degree of cultural relativism (in that we love to play with hypothetical cultures), hive minds, and multiplicity of narratives and perspectives instead of one objective and unchanging historical truth, and some of us really really really like jargon associated with left-wing identity politics :)
- we're also keen on sex, pleasure, and harmless-but-transgressive behavior
- values emotional sincerity and openness; pursues pleasure out of a sincere belief that pleasure is a "useful" cognitive state -- bliss reduces the urge for conflict and hasty, survival-driven thinking in places where it's not productive -- we want to create safe spaces for Nice People to play very very perverted mindgames in safety
- we're very uptight about respecting "OOC" consent even as we play with it -- we play consent games because we're genuinely curious by the moral phenomena -- we play with ethics because it's a matter of huge interest to us
- cultivation of a Cosmic Trigger-style suite of persona modules, alternative reality filters, and other tools
- Further elaboration needed on
- magic and postmodern animism
- Why we do things like talk to our plushies and let them live vicariously through us
- gender fuckery
- (A way of taking the basic concepts of furrydom - adoption of alternate personae, casual roleplay, unfettered intimacy - and pushing it to the next phase; not abandoning but pushing the boundaries further)
- phenomenon of “imaginary friends” and imaginary worlds persisting among adults, normalizing
- themes of “making people nice” in our roleplay
- metaprogramming tools
- building empathetic communities
- fantasies of artificiality among the non-neurotypical
- playing mental, physical, and social control games in order to understand how they work, and soothe the parts of the human brain that is innately obsessed with them
- this is a game we play because we’re human -- it’s innately and immensely humanity-affirming to play these games -- but it’s also affirming that we’re not limited in our identity and behavior by our species and our assigned set of neurological urges
- a safe haven for people who aren’t neurotypical
- a sense of kink and fetish as tools, not as things that define us but as things we can define. Broadening of horizons, modular combining of tropes, rather than narrowing to more and more specific combinations.
- extension of animism into an emotional toolset for modern life: plush shamanism, warding behaviors, etc.
- expanding the “queer” concept into forms of perceived misembodiment or different embodiment beyond gender and sexuality, extending into species, history, name, metaphysics, reality level...
- [add more!]