CSI "Fur and Loathing" episode

How accurate is the episode's portrayal of furries?

As may be expected, things were "sexed up" for television. At a typical furry convention only about 5% of those in attendance wear full costumes (fursuits), although many others will wear accessories such as ears, tails, etc. Fursuits are very expensive, starting at about $800 for an "off the rack" mascot-type costume, with some custom-built suits costing thousands of dollars. Many fans make their own, at a cost of hundreds of hours of labor, as well as hundreds of dollars in materials.

With that kind of investment, dedicated costumers aren't willing to wreck their fursuits by attempting to have sex in them. In fact, wearing a fursuit is damned uncomfortable. There is a real danger of heat exhaustion and dehydration from staying in suit too long, or performing strenuous activity. While it's fun being in public, enjoying people's reactions and compliments about your costume, after a while it's a blessed relief to get out of sight and take off your costume head. Conventions have "headless lounges," well-stocked with water, Gatorade and industrial-strength air-movers, where fursuiters can cool off and relax.

Although many fursuiters enjoy being "skritched," many others would prefer not to be touched by people they don't know. The general rule is "ask first." CSI's depiction of an orgiastic "yiffing party" is complete fiction. CSI's production team received some technical assistance for the convention scenes from a professional costumer who is also a furry fan, but the director reportedly would not allow changes to the "private party" scene.

The CSI episode's plot was based on a film called Plushies and Furries by gay filmmaker Rick Castro, which first aired on MTV in 2002. Castro deceived many furries and convention organizers in the making of this pseudo-documentary; scenes were contrived and staged to suit Castro's view of the world, falsely portraying furry fandom as being entirely fetish-based instead of as a fandom that has attracted a few fetishists. Participants in the film have been vilified and all but ostracized from furry fandom. As far as I can determine, the only people responsible for open "furpile parties" are Castro and his associates, trying to catch some fresh meat for a sequel, or the pornographers running sites like fursuitsex.com looking to make a quick buck.

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