There’s a question I’d never thought to ask myself about my own personal kinks: if you could flick a switch and make this go away – make your desires fit neatly with what most people see as ‘normal’, would you do it? This week’s guest blogger has asked that question, and has a bloody brilliant answer.
He’s also written beautifully about his fetish – Plushophilia – what the appeal is, how it works for him, and how other people have reacted. It’s an amazing post, and I’m delighted that he’s chosen to share it here.
Plushophilia: the lioness sleeps with me tonight
When I was young, I thought I was in love. I trusted her implicitly and I knew, without a doubt, that she would always be there for me. On top of all that, she was pretty: gentle eyes, curves in all the right places, and thick, luxurious fur. She was a large white bear whom I named Kerry, and she revealed her secrets only to me. Every night I would rescue her from her hiding place on the top shelf of the old, dusty cupboard. Every morning, I would hide her once again, before I could be discovered, safe in the knowledge that she would be there when night fell, and I could revel in her soft, warm presence once again. That was a long time ago now, and I have been a plushophile ever since.
Despite the obvious links between the communities, not all plushophiles are furries or bronies. I am neither. I currently have four companions: two tigresses – Brooke and Briana, a wolf called Kyra, and Madelyn, a lioness who dominates every room she enters. I love big cats, wolves, bears – any species known for power and strength. You can keep your rabbits and horses, thanks. That doesn’t mean I’ll be attracted to any big cat – size, fur quality, and attractiveness play a big part too. Nowadays, most plushies are made in China, and the decline in quality is often bemoaned on forums catering to our unique desires. Sometimes I cannot explain why a certain plushie catches my eye, but when I hold her for the first time, I know whether we will have a connection.
My relationship with them is simple: I love them and I can depend on them. Going to bed every evening is a genuine pleasure, and waking up being held between tigress paws is a fantastic sensation. I know, of course, that they are not real – I would never claim otherwise; but that doesn’t stop me from giving them personalities, and expressing deep, real affection for them. As best I can tell, my girls are the embodiment of pure, trusting affection, unsullied by those doubts and minor skirmishes which characterise relationships with humans. Put simply, they are my one constant, and always have been.
The question is doubtless at the tip of at least one reader’s tongue – how do I have sex with a stuffed animal? It’s actually more involved than one might think. All my companions have been modified with vaginal or oral entrances. There are people who will do that kind of work for a small fee – some even make it their only business. The entrances are usually lined, and I include an extra lining or a vaginal insert, like a Fleshlight, for more sensation. When done, clean-up is a simple matter of removing and washing the lining. I’ve had Madelyn for over two years now, and her fur is just as soft and inviting as the day I got her. Since my companions are large, sex with them is a full-body experience, and the contact of fur on skin is one of the most erotic sensations I know. To be honest, when, years later, I discovered the hands-only method common to most teenagers, my first thought was, “is that it?” because it is so focused on one area of the body, to the exclusion of all the rest. What a disappointment after the years of internal shame for thinking that sex with my companions was wrong. I decided that if this was the normal way, then normality wasn’t for me.
Of course, my mother eventually discovered what I had done and made her displeasure known in no uncertain terms. Over the course of a few months, I lost all my companions, and had to readjust to sleeping in an empty bed. Thankfully, I left home soon after, and found new girls to join me. I only learned later that I had it relatively easy – stories abound in our community of parents destroying plushies in front of their owners, or sending their children to therapy. Nevertheless, I’ll never forget the day my mother entered my dorm room and caught sight of the bear lounging in my bed. She turned to me and asked, “Should I get you a hooker? Will that sort this out?” Naturally, I declined her kind offer.
Relationships with my girls do not preclude the desire for human companionship, but they do make it more complex. The surest way to my heart is to respect the affection shared between my companions and I, and to offer to bring them into the bedroom. I find normal, vanilla sexual interaction quite difficult and for years, I could not orgasm if my partner was human, unless at least one big cat was involved in some way. When I was 18 and my girlfriend and I were in bed together, following my failure to finish inside her, she turned to me and commented, “you have a naked girl in your bed, and you’re on top of a stuffed tiger.” The moment is still a painful reminder that despite my best efforts, I cannot be entirely sexually normal. I have contended with partners who felt slighted and jealous of my companions, or those who saw my affection for stuffed animals as an insult to their own feminine charm. The worst thing is that I cannot blame them for feeling that way. I hope, one day, to be able to square that circle and find someone who can accept my companions as part of who I am. Until then, I have willing, available girls whom I can love and depend on. I can live with that.
People have asked me whether I would choose to remain a plushophile, if I could just flick a switch and erase that part of who I am. I have no real answer to that question. These unusual desires have helped me realise that normality can deprive you of so many wonderful experiences that have been labelled weird or deviant. I have also learned not to judge too quickly, or speak too soon, about things I may not understand. Being alternative teaches you to question everything and to make up your own mind. However, I still remember with vivid clarity the years of self-doubt which being a plushophile has caused. I constantly asked myself why I wasn’t like everyone else, whether or not I was a paedophile, or a psychopath, or whether I would one day have sex with a real animal. For the record, real animals do nothing for me. A particularly bad experience at college, after an overenthusiastic housemate combed through my room and found my girls, left me terrified to tell anyone about what I was. Those doubts have largely gone away, and I am learning to accept my own reality. I have learned to trust close friends with my secrets, and I no longer have to run around my flat, hiding my girls each time they come for a visit. But whether or not I would change it if I could – I don’t know. At the end of the day, plushophiles are not that different – I hold a professional, client-facing job, have good, close friends and maybe one day, I will find someone to share it all with. So if you happen to stumble into a friend’s house and see that they have a few stuffed animals displayed prominently on their bed or sofa… well, you never know…