Talking Queer Furry Porn, Growing Fandoms, and Activism in Erotica with SerialDad

[CW: This interview contains NSFW, sexually explicit artwork.]

If you’ve been following the blog for a while now then you have likely already surmised that I’m a pretty big furry fan, or more specifically: I fucking LOVE queer furry porn. Lucky for me, the furry art scene is BURSTING with queer furry art and sex comics. In fact, I’m pretty confident in saying that in terms of sheer volume alone the furry scene seems to have more queer and trans positive sexual content than any other art genre out there.

But, like, why? Why is it that the furry community seems to be such a huge conduit for expressions of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity? I dunno.

Last month I had the pleasure of speaking with SalKitten about their thoughts, but this isn’t a topic that a single conversation can adequately explore. More diverse voices are needed!

So, for this month I decided to reach out to SerialDad, aka Benjamin, whose vibrant work I recently discovered and totally fell in love with. Not only was he pumped to talk with me for the piece but he also provided some incredibly striking and hot af art to include in the interview post! Added bonus: he’s Canadian, just like me!

Here’s what we got to talking about:

 

What initially drew you to the furry/anthro community and what do you enjoy about making furry art?

Ben: I think anthro art in general drew me to the furry community. And maybe a touch of poverty. I’ve been drawing anthros since I was maybe 10, although I usually would stick to feral work and character designing. Every now and again I’d draw an anthro wolf or neopet, but I didn’t put much effort into honing my skills.

Then, less than a year ago, I was stuck in a situation where I couldn’t get on government assistance and, being disabled IRL, I either had to return to sex work or find a way to make real money off my art. I’m very happy with my decision. I had wanted to get into furry art but being poor gave me that extra push.

Most of my work now is commissioned based, and I’d say I enjoy making people happy! I draw a lot of pieces for couples, and it means a lot to me when they message me later to tell me how much their partner loved my piece. I feel like I’m a part in something very intimate, without it being uncomfortable.

I also love this community I’ve found and become a part of, how open and welcoming it can be. And truly, furries are just fun to draw!

 

As a queer individual yourself, how big of a role, if any, does your identity play in the art that you create?

Ben: Honestly, I’ve never really thought much about it. I’ve been out as queer for ten years now, and it’s become such a deep part of my life that I actually don’t think about my own queerness much. I find myself thinking a lot more about gender and transness, and how it relates to my life and my relationship.

But if I had to pick one answer, I’d say that it’s more my sexuality as a whole that impacts my art – and that means what I find attractive, and my own history with trauma. It affects the work I take on and the work I refuse, and the subject matter I choose for my “Your Character Here” work.

It also affects the language I use to describe my work – I try to stay away from language that could be viewed as fetishistic, to limit the amount of fetishistic work I get.

 

The furry community generally seems to attract a fandom of very diverse sexualities as well as gender identities and expressions. Why do you think that is?

Ben: Like any fandom, the furry community is just a community of nerds!… to paint it broadly. The furry community is known for being extremely open and accepting (and at times, a little too accepting, looking at you centrist furs) and that’s quite enticing to a lot of folks. I’m lucky enough to live in a large city surrounded by many queer and trans friends, but not everyone has that privilege.

A lot of furries are queer teens and young people in parts of the world where being bi, gay, trans, etc. isn’t quite ‘fashionable’ yet. Furry is a wonderful escape from real life and a great way to express parts of yourself you’re not quite comfortable with expressing outward in your every day.

 

Your own art, especially the NSFW content, depicts quite the range of affirming, queer positive sex as well. What sort of content do you particularly enjoy illustrating?

Ben: Haha, oh gosh. I like drawing a lot of ‘gross’ stuff. Not quite extreme fetishes but, I love making art that is focused on expression, cumshots, sizeplay (I’m 4’10” myself so I find it pretty hot!), vore. For different reasons, but those are all super fun. But I do wish I got more pinups, and please, for the love of god, more trans characters!

I almost never get to work with trans characters and it’s a bummer. When I have the time to draw personal art, I jump at the chance to draw my non-cishet characters…not that any of them are cishet.

 

You also seem very outspoken on social media in challenging issues of white supremacism, ableism, queerphobia, and “alt furs” within the community. Do you feel that your artwork plays any sort of role in your activism as well?

Ben: I feel like my activism is very separate from my art, in a way at least. I don’t take on themes that go against my morals – but I do have to make money. If I wasn’t so outspoken on my twitter, I don’t think many folks would know about my political alignment. At this point, probably lot of people who work with me still don’t know, or don’t care. I only recently started being so open about my politics!

For a while I actually avoided it, thinking it would alienate my fanbase. But I got to a point where I said, fuck it. I’d rather be struggling than set aside my morals. And it’s something I would suggest other artists entering the fandom do as well, because instead of alienating my fanbase, it gained me a lot more respect than I had originally. I don’t regret it for a second.

As for my activism in relation to my art in the future, I do have a comic in the works, that is going to be very focused on addressing trauma, queerphobia, vigilantism and ableism. Not so much white supremacy, because I find race-coding furry characters can go bad fast, unless they’re fursonas belonging to POC. Hate to shamelessly plug my Patreon here, but it will be available there first, at https://www.patreon.com/serialdad.

 

What are some ways that you feel furrys can work together to ensure that harmful ideologies such as white supremacy, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry, don’t continue to seep into the community?

Ben: Push those out who can’t be reformed. I’ve been in communities IRL where similar problems exist, and it’s not that easy of a solution because there’s always more communities for folks to go to, people move, meet new people. But not so much with furry. Although there’s obviously cliques and pockets, the majority of the furry fandom exists online and its reach is broad. There’s nowhere to escape to. We need to hold people accountable if they’re not willing to change, and make it impossible for them to get enjoyment out of this fandom.

We also, as leftist folks, need to learn to shut up and listen to POC and trans (especially trans feminine) people when they speak. There’s a lot of talking over in the fandom and pointless callouts. Callout culture is such a powerful tool when used correctly, but it often isn’t. I’m not saying we need to ‘come together’ – there’s a lot of furries I don’t necessarily align with, although we might be on the same team. Just be aware of your accusations, words and actions and how they may harm people.

We’re living in a time where some of the fandom’s most popular artists are black, brown, queer, and/or trans, and we need to do everything in our power to uplift and support them and their voices.

 

For more awesome artwork, check out SerialDad’s Fur Affinity account. Be sure to also follow Ben on Twitter and support him over on Patreon.

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