Author Topic: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?  (Read 6091 times)

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Offline Ilkan

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From what I've heard/seen so far, most lifestylers experience a really strong connection to their fursona, and it seems like most lifestylers would gladly trade their body for the body of their 'sona, so why is it that it seems like otherkin furries are looked down on? Being otherkin doesn't seem like too much of a far cry from being a furry lifestyler. Just something I thought I would ask. The furry fandom makes it a point to be non-judgemental, so I just don't get why some furries are anti-otherkin.
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Offline Amarok

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 03:11:01 pm »
I think its the difference between wanting to be(pretending you are) and believing you are

Offline Magna

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 03:14:20 pm »
From what I understand on the issue, otherkin believe in some manner that they have the soul of whatever animal (or mythical creature, or fictitious being) they are represented by, through rebirth or some other manner. They could also feel like they are an actual wolf/dragon/whatever trapped in a human body. Some manner of spirituality is occasionally thrown into the mix, though meditation or totems or astral planes.

Furries pick their fusona. Lifestylers might want to be their fursona, but generally don't believe that they are actually a wolf/fox/dragon/whatever trapped in a human body. Their fursona is just how they like to portray themselves, either as they actually are or as a better, more ideal version.

As far as the judgement of otherkin go, most furries just play at being animals. They don't believe at all that you could actually be an animal trapped in a human form, and think the idea is crazy. If the idea is crazy, then the person believing it must be crazy, etc. They think otherkin might be taking the idea wayyy too far.

One thing to note is that otherkins (which can include mythical creatures, fictitious beings, aliens, etc) and therians  (which only include real-life currently existing or extinct earth animals) are completely separate from furries. They generally do not label themselves as "just" a furry. They have a real, spiritual connection with their own inner self. I've seen a few get really offended when they were told that they were just a furry.

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Offline Wereaibo

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 04:28:46 pm »
I've spent time in both communities. As far as I'm concerned if you identify with an animal to the point that it somehow impacts your daily life then there's really no difference between a Furry Lifestyler and an Otherkin. Many Furries do not choose their animal any more than therians do. They find themselves naturally drawn to their animal.

I have felt a connection to dogs my whole life. I strongly suspect I imprinted upon my parents' dog when I was a baby. It was never a choice. The emphasis on dreams, shifts, past lives and other mystical mumbo jumbo can easily trip you up. That whole mechanical beast thing I went through recently was  a result of my second guessing myself. It's easy to do. You have people saying you have to be this and this to be an otherkin/therian and you aren't if you're that or that. But in the end the only person who knows what lies in your heart and mind is you.

And you also have to keep in mind that many are attracted to the concept of otherkin due to special snowflake Syndrome. Being a mighty dragon or a magical elf makes them feel special. They want it to be an exclusive club that only the elite can get into. They'll spout off a lot if bullcrap about how they're real and others are just posers.  I've known people who identified as Furries that were as sincere about their other identitis as any serious otherkin. And I've known otherkin who were just as fake and shallow as many of them accuse Furries of being.

In the end you know more about how you tick than anyone else and it's not really a good idea to let others dictate to you how you view yourself. It's very easy to overthink things and confuse yourself. Especially if you listen to the ravings of  any power tripping half wit that happens to have internet access.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 04:31:24 pm by dogtheweredog »
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Offline bkatt500

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 06:34:54 pm »
I think the difference between therians and lifestylers boils down to the difference between people who believe in ghosts and those who don't.  If you read some of the signs of therian 'shifting', they are all easily relatable phenomenon and very vague, like snarling when angry or having a random craving for raw meat.  Therians/otherkin attribute these to spiritual phenomenon like having the spirit of an animal, having been an animal in a past life, etc instead of extreme emotional reactions or normal cravings.  They look at the same information and get a different answer than most people.
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Offline GrayWolf448

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 03:38:40 am »
there is no real definition for what it means to be a lifestyler but what i think determines it is if you let being a furry interfere with your day to day life you are a lifestyler.

therian pretty much believe that they have the sprite of an animal and some times believe they were that animal in a past life. wow didn't think of it before but there may actually be a scientific explanation for why people are therians. if you do believe in evolution then you would know that humans evolved from animals (monkies) and it is possible that they could still have a slight bit of DNA from back then causing them to act like animals and then believing that they have a soul of an animal.

and for the hatred for therians i guess it's the same with religion and all other beliefs. i can see religions and believing that you were an animal in the past life kinda weird but then again aren't we all weird?

Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 11:51:23 pm »
In the end you know more about how you tick than anyone else and it's not really a good idea to let others dictate to you how you view yourself. It's very easy to overthink things and confuse yourself. Especially if you listen to the ravings of  any power tripping half wit that happens to have internet access.

I agree with the sentiment above. But to answer your question...

In essence, an Otherkin in the strictest sense, IMO, is someone who believes they are spiritually connected to an animal of some kind. The animal can be living or extinct, or even mythological. The spiritual connection can be thought of as a channel--opening a soul vibration to let an animal in, I suppose. In this way, some Otherkin have spiritual experiences in which they become their inner animal--they can "shift" mentally, have "phantom limbs," etc. This can be a totem animal, which can appear in dreams or meditation, or it can be just who they are inside--they literally know they are a specific animal.

A furry lifestyler, IMO, is a furry that not only obsesses over furry, it's someone who takes furry to the next level--everything in their lives is furry centric. They may fursuit constantly, or have lots of furry artwork, or wear furry clothes on a regular basis. They have furry centric rooms, cars, license plates, dishes, you name it, it's furry.

There can be overlap between furry lifestylers and Otherkin, in that some furries have totem animals/spiritual connections with certain animals, and some Otherkin are also furries.

Long winded explanations aside...

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Offline Nagi

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 03:15:13 am »
I had alot more typed out but it was just too confusing.
So to put it basically
Otherkin believe to be a non-human species by past-life, wrong body, two or more souls, or brain development/wiring etc.and dont pick their animal. Furry lifestylers are humans that like anthros and want to be anthros(sometimes) and are part of the fandom, they act and pick their animal by will(not saying otherkin dont though). But its not uncommon for them to overlap.
Also like I stated above with the brain wiring otherkinism is not allways a spiritual thing I've met some otherkin who are athiests and dont believe in spiritual stuff at all, just thought I let you know.

Just my two cents^^

I was a furry lifestyler untill I found out about otherkin im an psychological polymorph and a possible spiritual feline and a furry hobbyist^^
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Offline sharpest-tooth

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 09:52:25 pm »
Everyone else already said it pretty much but I figured I'd add in my two cents. I identify as a wolf-dog therian. I believe that I have a spiritual connection to wolves and that I may have been a dog in a past life. I do things that canines do, mostly by accident, and I have a number of reasons why I do it, and why it feels more natural to me. Part of it is that I grew up with dogs and so I identified with canines more than people, but it doesn't impact my life very much. Sometimes I'll wish I had a dog body and could do dog things or express myself that way (like wag a tail or perk up my ears or whatever) but on the whole I recognize that I am human and that I just have some weird quirks.

Being a furry for me is the same but separate. It's more a hobby than anything, even though one kind of led into the other. I often wonder if there is really a huge difference (even though there is, at the bare bones of it, so to speak) because I see a lot of furs talk about phantom limbs or doing more animal things subconsciously, or having more spiritual feelings about their fursonas. But for me furry is different because most therians will say they are not furries. They don't wear suits or have fursonas or wear collars or go to cons, although some might because furry can be a good outlet for it.  I'm mostly into furry because I'm an artist and a fan of furry characters. I like having a wolf character to represent myself, and to be honest I wouldn't have found out I was a therian if it weren't for the furry community. So, like, a furry may be "furry" because they like the cartoons and the art and see it as a creative outlet or a way to have fun, but a therian has more of a connection to that part of them, in such a way that it is integral to them, spiritually. Not that a therian believes they are a green and orange sparkledog, but just that they may have a spiritual connection to canines or being canine, that a member of the furry fandom might not.

 All in all I see the two as connected, but not the same. If that makes any sense.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 09:54:51 pm by sharpest-tooth »

Offline Wereaibo

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 02:51:06 pm »
Another difference is most other kin don't accept a psychological explanation for their condition. For most if you don't have a spiritual or magical explanation for your condition then you are a poser.
Therians are better about this but even they can be a tad close minded.
My Furby fursona is more than just a character I play online. It's an intimate part of me complete with phantom body parts. I see it as a psychological condition brought about by the fact that collecting Furbys helped me through two of the darkest periods of my life. But I was told point blank by an admin on a therian board that I didn't belong there. So I dropped out of the therian and other kin communities for good.
The main difference between other kin the rians and furry lifestylers is there aren't a bunch of arbitrary elitist rules you have to follow to be a lifestyler. I've known lifestylers whose nonhuman identity was every bit as meaningful to them as any therian or other kin but they prefer the Furry label due to being burned by the otherkin or therian communities. And now you can count me among their ranks.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 02:53:02 pm by Tronic »
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Offline FurryGayBoy

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 06:46:08 am »
I don't want to offend anyone here, but in my personal opinion from my personal experiences with "otherkin/therians," stay away!  They are absolutely insane and you're better off distancing yourself.  I'm sure there are ones that are normal people, but not what I've seen.

Offline Alsek

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 06:32:58 pm »
I don't want to offend anyone here, but in my personal opinion from my personal experiences with "otherkin/therians," stay away!  They are absolutely insane and you're better off distancing yourself.  I'm sure there are ones that are normal people, but not what I've seen.


Staff Note:  This really isn't an appropriate way to be talking about other groups on this forum.  It's okay to say that you have had bad experiences personally in the past if it's on topic.  But advocating people avoid all of them is too much.

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Offline WereCat

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2014, 12:02:17 pm »
I don't want to offend anyone here, but in my personal opinion from my personal experiences with "otherkin/therians," stay away!  They are absolutely insane and you're better off distancing yourself.  I'm sure there are ones that are normal people, but not what I've seen.

Can't say I know what your experiences are, but the therians/otherkin that I've known have been pretty decent, friendly people.  Maybe you just got unlucky?  At any rate, just because you've had some bad experiences really doesn't mean every single one should be shunned/avoided at all costs, or whatever.
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Offline Kahlayna

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 01:16:40 am »
I'd just like to say, as well as the spiritual explanations, there are also psychological and neurological, and combinations of them as well.
Oh, and @FurryGayBoy, you may have had bad experiences with therianthropes/Otherkin, but please try and remember that pretty much any, if not all, subcultures have the minority that gives the majority a bad name, so please try not to draw conclusions of the whole from a small sample?  It would be like taking a glass of water from the ocean and saying "My glass has no fish in it; the entire ocean must, therefore, also have no fish in it." :)

Offline Cirrus

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 03:48:00 pm »
Be open-minded, but never so open-minded that your brain falls out, you can't use critical thinking, or you don't have opinions of your own. Disliking something or believing it to be untrue never prevented anyone from living their life.

To people who aren't spiritual, the whole idea of otherkin is just unrealistic. To people who are, they may have their reasons for believing that something like a dragon being incarnated as a human isn't possible. Even when it comes to personal beliefs a degree of caution is needed, because some things are honestly spiritual and others are part of a sickness.

Many spiritual communities have the concept of something they call Unverified Personal Gnosis for dealing with the more unusual personal beliefs, especially those not shared by others or that contradict with more traditional sources of information. They want to be able to find out what's truly spiritual and what's just someone listening a little too much to the voices in their heads, that source of mostly-random noise and subconscious chatter that everyone has. The problem being, if you treat every whim as a message from the beyond and follow it to extremes you'll literally be in a fantasy world and may be putting yourself (or others) in danger.

One woman on a forum mentioned on a topic about interpreting messages from the beyond how, during a very sick period, she became convinced that the fetus of her dead child was telling her to harm herself in ritual repentance. While that's a very dark and extreme example, the fact holds that people can be seeing spiritual things and messages from the beyond that aren't real because they're sick. One woman might talk to her dead child, another might have been told by angels that he's actually a dragon. If these people are otherwise doing okay and these things happen, there's a different way to approach it and try to come to a conclusion about what to believe.

That's the gist of people's caution when it comes to these kinds of beliefs on a spiritual level. On a psychological one, it can be difficult to distinguish between something like maladaptive daydreaming, mental illness, or other problems and someone who is healthy but has an unusual identity or interpretation. The issue with people who gained an otherkin identity because of those reasons is that they tend not to be able to face that, and in my experience they tend to just be difficult to be around in general. You get all kinds of teenagers and even adults with anger issues towards humans and stuff like that, even when it's spiritual.

Oftentimes people who are on the mild end of a seriousness spectrum don't want to be mistaken for those on the extreme end, when extremes tend to stand out and be seen as "too weird".
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 03:53:08 pm by Cirrus »

Offline Aliikaiokai

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Re: How big of a difference is there between lifestylers and otherkin?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2014, 12:52:23 pm »
the biggest difference between lifestylers and otherkin is that even though many of us would trade our bodies, we still know that we are humans; we are aware that our fursonas are nothing more than fantasy