Condition Vs. Monsters is the title to this years annual furry convention in London, Ontario, Canada. If you have never heard of a furry or if you have only heard about the fringe that news media/television tends to portray, you need to open your eyes to a fun group of people. A furry convention is like spending the weekend with life-sized, living, plushy toys.
There are the typical events at a furry con that happen elsewhere including panels, food, parties, artists, exhibitors, games, and other events but they often have a fun, furry twist. Full fur suits are not required for attendance and participation at a furry event and, in fact, only about 20% of all furries have a full fur suit. Many will wear ears and a tail and others are completely street “normal” but are still furries at heart for the love of the anthropomorphic art, culture, and people.
Wearing a full fur suit shows an extreme dedication to the fandom/culture, especially in the summer, much like the dedication of a Civil War Reenactor wearing a wool military uniform in the hot sun… Well, it would if the Civil War Reenactor also added a few inches of padding everywhere, including their face and had to view the world through tunnels with covers over them.
At Condition Vs. Monsters, they make special considerations for the furries in full fur suits, providing them with a “Headless Lounge.” This is a private room where they can go that has several fans blowing and stands where they can hang their head. It lets them breath fresh air for a bit before going back out into public.
Furries in full fur suits generally have been in the fandom for years before they get their fur suit. This is certainly not for lacking the desire to own a fur suit, but rather that it usually takes years for the furry to learn to craft their own or to save up the money to have one made for them. Exceptions to that would be folks who have already been making costumes or folks who are too wealthy to care, but those are few and far between.
During the time they are saving up for their fur suit or learning to create their own, they will also be developing their furry persona, known as their fursona. Much like in a role playing game, they will assume their fursona when they are in the full fur suit. Many if not most furries are also gamers of one sort or another, and may assume their character in their favorite table top role playing game, such as Pathfinder, or video game. Table top fantasy role playing games are particularly well suited to the furry culture as they allow the furry to work on their fursona in a creative, group environment.
Many furries will also spend years working on the design of their costumes. This is as important to them because the fur suit is truly a work of love for the fursona that they have spent years nurturing in their imagination. They invest a lot of time comparing different ear sizes and shapes, types of eye covers, the colors, materials, and patterns of the fur. Most furries spend more time researching and planning their fur suit than the average person puts into what they are going to have tattooed permanently on their body. They will even pay artists to create drawings of their fursona to aid in their process. While many people have woken up from a drunken weekend with at tattoo, to wake up in a fur suit is only likely to happen to Drew Carey.
Speaking of Drew Carey, CSI, as well as other television shows and most press coverage, it is nonsense and offensive to the furry community. On the Drew Carey show, Drew dated a woman who would only have intercourse with him when they were both in full fur suits. You would expect nonsense from Drew Carey but “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is, sadly thought of as credible by some. Having spoken with one of the actresses in the “Fur and Loathing” episode, she was oddly surprised that they would take offense at the portrayal of the furry community.
While it is true that sexuality is a part of life in the furry community (and humans in general) and there is furry oriented erotica – furotica – intercourse in a fur suit is no more common than intercourse in full football or hockey gear (including masks, helmets, padding, skates, cleats, and tossing on a few inches of padding) or a knight in full armor as portrayed in Excaliber. Furry folk put too much time, thought, money, and love into their fur suits to ruin it just to attempt to have really uncomfortable intercourse.
Furries often have to be led by the hand, have doors held, and be told that the door is open so they don’t run into the glass. Having had the opportunity to wear a furry’s head, from the personal experience, it is like looking through cardboard tubes with several inches of foam rubber packed around them and a piece of cloth, glass, or other material over the end so, at best, you have blurred tunnel vision. Lets face it folks, for human beings, there’s nothing like the skin on skin experience.
As for drama at Condition Vs. Monsters, the only resemblance to the CSI style drama would be a furry playing dead after losing their seat in the Musical Chairs competition. Drama happens, then a chair is removed and the music starts again.