Maybe...

I know who I am. I am a human. I am a Caucasian male with a lanky physique and some kind of mental disability. I've known who I am for years now, and I have never, ever, been compelled to call myself an animal.
I've read a lot of autobiographies from furries. And I've read the experiences other furries have written about here. They all include a sentence: "I am a wolf...", "I am a fox...", "I am a dragon-tiger hybrid...", "I am a purple hippo with the head of a penguin wearing a mohawk and the legs of a lion..." (not all of these are real-life examples, mind you) There is no "I am a human..." There has not been a furry who has declared that he or she is, really, a normal human being.
They also usually include a reference to their favorite TV show or movie, saying how they loved the characters or fantasized being with them. As if they had no real-world friends they enjoyed being with, or just didn't identify enough with.
In hindsight, I suppose, things could have been different for me. I was the same kind of kid back then, the detached, dissociatative kid on the playground. I never joined the other kids in their games. Being with other people bored me; they always had their own plans, their own desires, and for me to sidle up to them and ask them to play with me would make me their prisoner, their victim, forced to follow their rules and their games. And I was never charismatic or smooth-talking enough for anyone else to follow me.
So I spent those recesses alone in the shade, playing with the rocks and thinking. Thinking about my TV shows, about life, about what I would do if things were different. Or maybe I'd scrape the bark off the twigs nearby to get to that smooth wood underneath. Maybe I'd try scraping the nearby rocks on the pavement, trying to see if I could leave a mark. Or I'd stare at the sky and relax until the whistle was blown and the kids lined up to be herded inside. I was always the last to join them.
There's one thing I've noticed about the furry fandom: a huge number of them are geeks. Glasses, awkwardness, role-playing, video games, toothy smile, the whole nine yards. I had the glasses. I had the awkwardness. I had the video games. And when I smiled during the middle school years, I had the toothy smile. But no role-playing. The closest I ever came to that was playing with my sister and her stuffed animals, but we stopped playing together around middle school age. Anthropomorphs just didn't capture my fancy. It probably would have stayed that way, if not for one inconvenient thing.
There is one part of the furry fandom that almost universally gets denied by its members, but which everyone else familiar with it takes for granted: the sex. Everyone knows furries just don't find normal humans to be erotic: anytime they write erotic literature or draw erotic art, there are always anthros involved; if there are any humans, they're just moments away from becoming an anthro. Maybe this is just because any literature or art they make contains furries, whether or not it is erotic, and there's absolutely no reason anyone releasing standard human **** would say he or she was a furry. What all furries revile, however, is someone whose entire furriness is based on sex and eroticism.
Back before I knew anything about what was right in the world and what was weird, I noticed that, while I was in the bathroom and thinking to myself, my penis would sometimes stiffen up and interrupt my thoughts. It would stay stiff for perhaps a minute, before sinking and shrinking back to its place. At first, I thought it was pretty random in nature, but by the time I was 7, it had happened enough times to me that I found the pattern: every time I thought of a scene from a movie, a scene that involved some character getting turned into an animal, then my penis would stiffen. I couldn't explain why, of course; the total randomness with which the events concurred defied any attempt at reason. I simply resigned myself to playing games with my penis, seeing how many times I could stiffen and unstiffen it in a row. There was no desire back then, no overwhelming urges, absolutely nothing bearing the slightest sexual craving.
This is, perhaps, a good time to mention something else: I hated makeup. I hated hairy chests. I hated tattoos. It was the smell, perhaps, of the makeup and the hairy chests. Or maybe makeup and tattoos, in my mind, marred the body. I was very defensive about my body. Every time the family went to a sports game, I would actively resist getting my hand stamped by those people at the door. When my sister once got a henna design printed on her hand after going to some cultural fair, I couldn't bear to even look at her, for fear of seeing that horrid artificial scar.
And then... puberty came. It was a slow, very slow process. It took months to get through. It started very small. I started taking longer looks at myself in the mirror, flaring my nostrils or pushing my cheeks out. I started sneaking just a little bit of that white toothpaste foam into my upper lip, just before it started looking like makeup and I would wipe it off in disgust. I started sneaking the movies with transformation scenes in them down to the TV in the basement, and watching them over and over again in fascination.
And then that night when I couldn't sleep. I had gone to bed early, and everyone else was downstairs, watching TV. Lying there in my bed, an urge rose up within me. I can't describe how powerful this was; it was as if my heart had swelled up and locked up all the sane thoughts in my head, and was pushing upon me some huge, unbelievable desire: to act like a cat. It burned within me for some time, and finally I reasoned that, since everyone downstairs was watching TV, and it was nowhere near the half-hour or hour mark, then I could go ahead and do whatever I wanted in my room, alone and quietly.
So I got out of bed. I got on all fours. I sniffed the ground and purred. I scratched my ears. I began taking off my clothes. I batted the small, round toys that were lying on the floor. I could imagine the whiskers and the tail growing out of me. All this lasted for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, when my brain finally managed to wrestle me away from this desire, and I slowly, almost shakily, redressed myself and crept back into bed.
All this had begun to disturb me, but I was uncertain how to bring it up, talking with my parents. I didn't really want to ever speak of it, the way it had begun to horrify me. I had no idea what to call this behavior, or these strange desires. I decided, eventually, when I was alone on the computer, I would search for something about them.
I finally did it a couple of nights after that first night. All the time I had been imagining these things, I had given absolutely no thought to my penis. It had stiffened so many times from these thoughts, I didn't give a thought to how it did so. What did concern me, however, was the sticky stuff that appeared on my bed. As soon as I felt it, all my attention went away from role-play to the strange stuff on my bed. I wiped it up with some toilet paper and went back to sleep. I didn't have any more fantasies for a few days afterward, but soon enough, they came back to me and I kept going.
Yes, like every pubescent male I looked up **** on the Internet. I didn't really know what **** was, except that it had something to do with naked women. Of course, I wasn't looking at pictures of naked women; I was looking at pictures of fully-clothed guys, or sometimes fully-clothed gals, halfway into being an animal. At first, I went away from the sites saying "No one under 18 can enter", but eventually, I just ignored them. I never really got too deep into wondering what these places were or who was putting up the art until a couple years later, when my pleasures had been curbed enough to start paying attention.
Yes, the only reason I got into the fandom was because of sex. But getting out is so much harder than getting in. As the years went by, and my desires went down and down until they became more or more a voluntary thing, I would start telling myself to stop visiting these strange places, and start frequenting other sites. And yet I would still keep visiting those sites, even the ones that didn't have a scrap of **** on them. And I continued looking up information on furries, and what all the media said about them, and about the stories and experiences furries had.
And there's one question that I can never answer for myself: am I really a furry? If I was just some normal guy who got turned on by naked women, would I still be coming to these sites? I don't have a fursona, and I don't really want to role-play online. And yet no matter how hard I promise myself, I still come here, unable to stay away. And sometimes, I even get that desire to have a fursuit, and to wear it. But how much of this is just some extension of my sexual desires, and how much of it is honest-to-God furriness?
I wish to God someone would have written about my same experiences, someone who wishes they both were a furry and not a furry. I wish I knew who I really am, so I could finally stop worrying about it. God, I just wish sex wasn't a big deal. To furries, to myself, or to the normal people.

chalkdust chalkdust
18-21, M
1 Response Feb 11, 2009

Although I am a furry, I have never said, "I am a dragon." I can see that I have no scales and no wings. My fursona is mostly a way to portray myself in stories and comics, most of which revolve around real life or video games. As for the sex part... I cannot help you. I have never had sex, and I'm attracted to armor, not fur.