Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Mutual Adoption of friends as siblings

I have just added the following new section to my Furry Subculture page:

"The phenomenon I am about to describe isn't limited to furry social groups. Sometimes a pair of close friends will adopt each other as siblings. So, one person may adopt another as their brother or sister, and then refer to them as such. The closeness that causes furries to do this can be either physical affection or an intellectual attachment to the other person. Some people do this more than others and have a large string of people they call bro or sis.

Because furry is a highly affectionate subculture, people who trust or are otherwise comfortable with each other can develop more intimate closeness with each other, despite there being no sexual relations. I have found that when people start assuming that a pair of friends are going out, even if they themselves have no intention of doing so, is when they are most likely to adopt each other as sibling and sibling, by mutual consent. This has a few affects:
  1. It gives definition to a relationship that would otherwise be mistaken for a sexual one by others</p>
  2. It lends itself to curbing more sexual behavior between the people, so, mutual adoption can be done in times when two people are close and trusting enough to form sexual relations, but do not actually want to do so. Adopting each other as siblings then puts up a mental barrier and changes the internal bonding of the relationship</p>
  3. It can be done between friends as a way formalizing and declaring a friendship</p>

It lends an overall positive atmosphere to social groups, and reduces social pressure as people are more inclined to be nice to each other.
If we look at it as a form of ritual, the same as declaring support for a football team, then once you have made that declaration you come to take it more seriously. Likewise, when a pair of friends mutually declare each other siblings then it has the same affect, and the friendship becomes potentially more solid by the way of an informal social commitment."

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*grins* What you've just described is apparently a common practice among kids in Hong Kong, probably due to a cultural history of mutual sibling adoption, passed down to schoolkids via Chinese fantasy books ;)
In Chinese there are dictionary words that literally mean "older/younger brother/sister by mutual adoption".

Pity English is such a lacking language in situations like this. I keep having to explain why I have so many siblings to English speakers, whereas with Chinese speakers I can just say that so-and-so is my käi go or käi tze

Wow I didn't know that, that's cool! And... damn English!

That's very interesting (most things Chinese always are), I didn't know that either, I guess that modern offspring law make it an even more attractive practice, what with not having any natural siblings and all.

That may or may not apply. I have no idea if it's common in China, just in Hong Kong, and the 1 child policy is not applicable in Hong Kong.

Interesting, not something I knew much about.

I've added a disclaimer to the new text, as several people have responded in a similar way! Thanks for saying :-)

That's just presented a possible solution to a very painful problem of mine.

That's how it was for me too.

most incidents of this i know are between non-furrs.

although your description meets how i generally see it :) i must ask others how they view their 'adoptions'

I've added a disclaimer to the new text, as several people have responded in a similar way! Thanks for saying :-)

Further comments on this text can be found in the LondonFurs community here:

I'm not a fur, but I know what you're talking about, and it's a lot of fun! So it's interesting to see something written on it. It'd be *more* interesting to know about the history of this kind of thing, but I don't know how one would research that.

Also...I don't know that it really stops people from beginning a sexual relationship. It has for me in some cases, but, I used to be considered my current boyfriend's "little sister," and the only way it effected us becoming sexual with one another is that, once we did, we made a lot of bad incest jokes. :) Oh, and some people who got confused and thought we were literally brother & sister got even more confused. :)

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