The furries mobilize against a zoophilic influencer

Until the fall, hardly anyone knew the hypnotist Sappho. The furry YouTuber, a hypnotist in training, spent her time on VRChat, where she appeared as a bright purple lizard-like creature and offered virtual hypnosis to her peers.

[CW: zoophilia, animal abuse, and child grooming]

She posted the hour-long sessions to her over 600 YouTube subscribers and rarely received more than 1,000 views. But in September, when Sappho released a video called “Coming Out About Things,” that all changed.

The influencer appeared in lizard form to make a cheeky confession. She was a zoophile: a person sexually attracted to animals.

“There are minors completely convinced that they are sexually attracted To animals. They think it’s a legitimate sexuality. “

In the 36-minute clip, Sappho explained his attraction to German Shepherds and compared the zoophile struggle to the Stonewall movement. She then switched to an audio-only format to explain, with the help of another zoophile, why animals can consent to sex with humans. The video has since been viewed over 600,000 times.

Kyle, a 30-year-old hairy Californian who creates videos to combat predatory behavior in fandom communities, received Sappho’s confession from his supporters. (Grab withholds the last names of people in this article out of respect for their privacy.) Since then, he’s watched the growth of his online presence – and it horrified him.

Sappho, who until recently was part of the organization ZETA (Zoosexual Engagement for Tolerance and Acceptance), has for mission to legitimize zoophilia and bestiality. She has amassed around 5,600 subscribers on YouTube, along with thousands more on her (recently suspended) Twitter account. The furries claim that many of these followers are minors.

“There are minors who are completely convinced that they are sexually attracted to animals,” Kyle says. “They think it’s legitimate sexuality. That’s crazy.”

Kyle is one of many members of the furry fandom – an extremely online subculture that revolves around anthropomorphic animal identities called “fursonas” – concerned about Sappho. They fear Sappho has sinister intentions for the miners following her, a suspicion she denies.

“I’m not trying to tell people you should have relationships with animals,” Sappho says Grab. “When I talk to these kids, they already think they’re zoosexuals. “

Jenny Edwards, a Washington-based zoophilia expert, has seen a dramatic increase in zoophilia cases since the advent of the internet – although she notes that zoophiles have been around as long as the Bible, which contains rules against the internet. bestiality. “The internet offers perceived anonymity and gives zoophiles a sense of community,” she explains. “They meet, get into groups, and start to feel at ease.”

Furry already have trouble like that. We not support zoophiles. We to hate them.”

Furries, however, are uncomfortable with zoophiles, which they frequently ban from their online and IRL communities. “When zoophilic furries appear and claim to have sex with animals, it completely ruins our image,” says Rusty, a 24-year-old furry artist from Pennsylvania. “We are already struggling like this. We do not support them. We hate them.

During this time, zoophiles have built their own community. Members post under Twitter hashtags like #zoophilessontvalides and #zooprid, adorning their profiles with a ζ symbol to announce their zoosexuality. They use Twitter to network and promote websites, podcasts, and Songs devoted to zoophilia.

Sappho, who tells Grab she has not yet indulged in bestiality due to legal restrictions and not having “found the right partner”, uses Twitter to celebrate the pro-zoophile works of her young followers, which usually contain slogans “pride of the zoo” and Sappho’s fursona avatars. It’s a tradition borrowed from the furries, who often create works of art for older artists whom they find inspiring.

Sappho praised the tributes, which she frequently retweeted and praised. Kyle thinks his motives are bad. “I think that’s probably a way for her to find people that she can target,” he says. “Through the images, she knows exactly who to exploit. “

Intense devotion

The furry community believes Sappho is targeting children to fuel its following numbers and thinks young people wouldn’t experience bestiality if Sappho wasn’t around. “She tries to imprint her beliefs on impressionable children with that parental personality,” accuses Benji, a hairy 21-year-old student from the East Coast. “She uses it a lot to build her own platform.”

Sappho fills his young followers with love, support and affection. She even practically serenaded them at night via Twitter Spaces with headlines like “Sleeping Bedtime Story with Momma Sappho” Where “Mom Sappho Lullaby at Bedtime. “Kyle worries her motherly image is a smokescreen.

“The furry community has a large number of disenfranchised individuals who don’t have the best personal lives,” he says. “If she comes across as nurturing and empathetic, she can easily manipulate their confidence.”

Could minors be manipulated into believing that they are zoophiles? Edwards says it’s likely: Bestiality is extremely rare, but vulnerable teens with little knowledge or exposure to sex could easily mistake healthy curiosity for bestiality.

“It was as if she was targeting a younger audience. And I was that public. “

The most pressing issue, in his eyes, is the significant link between pedophilia and bestiality. “There seems to be a hidden group of animal sex abusers who are truly child predators,” she says. Edwards’ research found that nearly a third of bestiality arrests involved the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. “There are a high number of people who have a sexual interest in animals and children. “

Against this background, the intense devotion of Sappho’s teenage fanbase is disturbing. Countless zoophile profiles, tweets, and fan art – of minors who claim to be as young as 13 in their Twitter biographies – credit Sappho with “inspiration” for their bestiality. Many call Sappho “Mum” and some seem to have signed up. self-harm in his name. She was recently charged with child grooming.

Rusty spied on Sappho’s interactive Twitter spaces with minors. Although he says they weren’t overtly sexual, he found Sappho’s idolatry disturbing, especially given the number of teenagers who called Sappho their mother. “She has a fetish for being called mom,” he said. “She encourages the kids to call her that.”

A former follower, a 14-year-old Californian named Hermosa, recounts Grab that she and her friends, aged nine and over, joined Sappho’s Twitter spaces in an attempt to leak information. But they soon found themselves charmed by Sappho, who convinced them that they too were zoophiles. But after about five weeks, Hermosa says, she changed her mind.

“It all turned against her when she spoke to us and preached about protecting the children in the community,” she says. “I felt like she was targeting a younger audience. And I was that audience.

Another follower, Jake, 15, says he felt Sappho helped him feel comfortable with his bestiality. “The fact that she trusted her made me feel normal, says UK-based Jake, who discovered bestiality at the age of 12. Given the recent internet response to Sappho, he says he’s reconsidered his position, calling himself a recovering zoophile in his Twitter bio. “I’m getting to the point where I don’t try to be a zoophile anymore,” he says, “because we’re wrong. “

When Grab approached Sappho about the allegations regarding his behavior, she claimed she was trying to help. “People are outraged because they say I promote bestiality – these are largely the same arguments used against the gay rights movement,” says Sappho, who is suspicious of where she lives. but reveal to Grab that she is a 21 year old veteran named Valérie working in IT. “It’s really important that young people have the resources they need and a community where they can feel comfortable.

When asked if people 18 and over NSFW Twitter Account she created last week, where she openly posts furry porn and ‘mommy kink’ graphic content, was a fitting resource for the minors following him, Sappho shrugs. “I don’t think I’m personally responsible for this,” she said.

Sappho adds that her supporters calling her mom were a reflection of her nurturing nature, although she admitted she was “attracted to certain minors 16 and over.”

“I thought there was no way she could be grooming children, but then she said she was attracted for them.”

After her Grab interview, Sappho tried to preempt his admission, creating a Twitter thread on their MAP status (minor attracted person). It was apparently the last straw: both Sappho and ZETA’s accounts were suspended. The confession horrified Jake. “I thought there was no way for her to prepare kids, but then she said she was attracted to them,” he says. “I’m not a big fan of this.”

But the furries aren’t ready to celebrate just yet. “We might have won the battle, but we sure didn’t win the war,” says Rusty. He’s worried about Sappho’s latest venture: an invitation-only group on the Mastodon platform that encourages teens to qualify as AAM (Adult Attracted Underage). Some of the remaining Sappho fans have added this acronym or the phrase “MAP friendly” to their Twitter profiles.

“These kids are in so much danger,” said Rusty, “and they need help.”

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