"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:
- It gives definition to a relationship that would otherwise be mistaken for a sexual one by others</p>
- 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>
- 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."