Map Shows SF is a Hotbed of One Kinky-Creepy-Cute Subculture — The Bold Italic — San Francisco

It’s probably no surprise that the Bay Area, proudly home to every kink, fetish, and subculture imaginable, also boasts one of the country’s densest concentrations of furries. How do we know? Because a Good Samaritan on Reddit combed data on 7,500 furries worldwide to create a heat map of their locations.

For those not in the know, furries are adults who dress in animal costumes and give themselves anthropomorphized “fursonas.” Although sex isn’t always involved, there’s a whole genre of furry porn called “yiff,” as well as plenty of invite-only parties devoted to fursuit sex.

In San Francisco, the Stud bar on 9th and Harrison hosts a monthly furry-themed party called Frolic — which, judging from the photos, is equal parts adorable and unnerving. There’s also a Bay Area furries mailing list; a furries Facebook group with 381 members; a furries Meetup with 897 members; and furry conventions, including one in San Jose in January that flooded the city’s downtown with 3,000 costumed partiers.

According to WikiFur, the Bay Area could very well have the world’s largest population of furries per square mile, which may be due to the intersection of furries and Silicon Valley during the Internet’s ascension in the ’90s. That intersection may also explain the overlap between furries and gamers (last year Frolic was the official afterparty of Gaymer X, the queer video game convention).

Like any community, furries band together. Many of the posts on a Bay Area furry LiveJournal (remember LJ?) are housing ads, including a 2010 call for roommates to share a 3BR apartment in Santa Clara (“there are about 400 dragon statues within the apartment in curios”). Another post, from 2011, sought people to join regular animal-drawing excursions at SF Zoo.

The heat map of furry locations shows vibrant communities across Europe, especially in Germany, while stateside New York, the Pacific Northwest, and Florida compete with the Bay for furry domination. A question worthy of academic analysis: How has SF’s astronomical rents affected the furry community? I bet it’s not easy storing those suits in a studio apartment.

[h/t CityLab; image courtesy of ThinkStock]

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