Chris Mays
Professor Frank: English 111
11 May 2010

What is the Furry Fandom?

A History from Tales to Tails

You've seen them at football games leading fans in cheers for the team and watched them on Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. They've advertised your favorite breakfast cereals and even reminded us that "only you can prevent forest fires". At least in the past four decades, humanized animals have been the preferred way to convey important messages, entertain us, and even frighten us during holidays such as Halloween. But, during a Sci-fi convention in the early 80s, a new concept of viewing humanistic animals was about to spring forth; a concept so wild and amazing that it still stirs up shock and awe today.

This concept is known as the "Furry Fandom". It is a vast and intriguing subculture comprised of individuals from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe that are involved in the anthropomorphizing of animals. Unlike the attributes of someone who is a Trekkie who can only identify themselves with the characters from the Star Trek fictional universe, a person from the Furry Fandom, can identify themselves with numerous genres. From art, to music, to mascots, the individuals known as furries have been around since the mid-80s. However, the concept of the fandom itself is as old as the first fan-based conventions. From the pages of fiction to fantastic art displayed in comics and canvas, even to the wild and imaginative storytelling of those within the fandom, furries have had more of impact on the world then the average person may realize. But, why do people get involved in such antics? Do some of them actually believe they hold a connection to the animals they emulate? Well, hold on folks! Just like a confused dog, some of the details outlined here will make you head tilt and say, "Uhhhh..."

From Spock to Fox: the Origin of the Furry Fandom

According to Phyllis White of Flying Coyote Books in Yorktown, Virginia, fan based conventions got their start in the 1930s when the sci-fi genre of books from such writers as Isaac Asimov, John Campbell, and Hal Clement were coming into the public spotlight. Sci-fi conventions were considered to be the most popular during the time. Some other sources point to its conception to be around 1936-37 when a group of British sci-fi fans planed to organize a group to host others whom shared their similar interest. However, it was a group of fans from New York that gathered at the Philadelphia home of nuclear physicist Milton A. Rothman, an avid sci-fi fan himself, which would declare their gathering as the first "official" science fiction convention.

During the 1960s and 70s, sci-fi conventions began to grow in popularity around the world through the influences of such people as Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas. But, where sci-fi conventions have only been around for the last seven generations, anthropomorphic animals have stretched as far back to the Anubis gods of ancient Egypt. But, from what point did the Furry Fandom evolve? To whom does the credit go for setting in motion one the most bizarre and entertaining subcultures to date?

Many a person may chiefly take claim in stating they helped move the Furry Fandom forward into existence and each of them rightly so. One such popular influence was from Robert Crumb when from 1968-1972 he introduced his comic Fritz the Cat, the first adult funny-animal comic to gain a vast public attention. Even Disney's Robin Hood, produced in 1973, is listed by many associated within the Furry Fandom as a great influence to the subcultures conception. However, it was in 1976 when two comic book artists Reed Walker and Ken Fletcher got together to create an APA group called Vootie as a way to gather other like-minded artists who wanted to draw outside the regular mandated corporate norm. The most well-known of these Vootie titles would be Waller's Omaha, the Cat Dancer which chronicled the antics of an anthro-feline exotic dancer.

Another defining moment in the birth of the fandom came from artist Steve Gallacci when during Labor Day weekend in 1980 at NorEastCon II when he entered in a painting which depicted an anthro character in a high-tech military background into the cons art show. This effort to showcase more of a "furry theme" to the convention's art exhibit certainly did not go unnoticed and helped to attract more of an interest in Gallacci's idea for a comic series about genetically engineered intelligent animals fighting an interstellar war. This, of course, led to a common interest between the science fiction and anthro genres, spurring the creation of the "Gallacci Group". This group decidedly met at WorldCons and WesterCons, two of the largest and most popular sci-fi conventions, to discuss anthros within sci-fi, comics, and anima.

These fans would get together to critique one another's artwork, take part in art exchanges and commissions, and even just draw for one another. Eventually, in 1985, the Vootie group broke away from sci-fi conventions into another APA called Rowrbrazzle, operated by Fred Patten who is, also, credited as one of the fandom's founders. Through the combining of both "funny-animal" based groups, they were able to establish more "formal" furry parties. However in the year before, anthro artists Mark Merlino and Rod O'Riley set up a haven for gamers at his home which they called the Prancing Skilltaire. With discussions within the household ranging from everything about sci-fi, anima, and comics, it comes as no surprise that his house would soon become the site for the first "furry house parties".

It is through Merlino's influence which would lead up to the first ever furry convention. With both Merlino's and O'Riley's direction, the first anthro fan party was held at the WesterCon 38 in July 1985. This event proved to be so successful that it inspired more fan parties at other sci-fi conventions. It was in 1986 when the term "Furry" would first be seen as an identifier for the anthropomorphic community when WesterCon announced the first "official" furry party during that year's convention. Sci-fi conventions afterwards would adopt this same method by, also, publishing flyers for their furry parties by printing a furry pin-up on the front. This act soon led to the classification of attendees of these parties as the "Furry Fandom".

In May 1987, Marlino would establish San Jose's BayCon as the central hub for furry fans to meet. The turnout of furry fans to this and the following two BayCons was growing steadily. However, the "non-furry" patrons of the convention were anything but pleased with the amount of furs they saw at what they considered "their" convention and begin to grow increasingly hostile. One such disgruntled patron even went through the convention and defaced furry party flyers, crossing out the word "furry" and replacing with the word "skunkf*ckers".

So, through the trails and misadventures of the Furry Fandom's presence within the sci-fi community, Mark Merlino and Rod O'Riley got together in January 1989 to discuss ideas for starting their own convention, one completely centered on furries. The idea started small and with the help of a person called Dr. Pepper, a non-furry supportive of the group's progress, helped to coin the name of Merlino's and O'Riley's convention by giving a kindhearted jest: "Hey Mark, about that new convention you're thinking of, how about calling it 'Confurence'?"

Thus, from January 21-22, ConFurence 0 debut at the Holiday Inn Bristol Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. Its membership was at 90 with an attendance of 65. The convention hosted many furry artists from around the US, plus artist Steve Kerry from Australia. Art sold during the conventions auction totaled at over $1000. One such art piece sold during this auction was by the popular fantasy artist Susan Van Camp. The reason for the "0" was that Merlino and O'Riley both looked at this first convention as a dry run for the "real convention", ConFurence 1, which was to take place in 1990.

Humble beginnings for the Furry Fandom? Quite so. Over the next few months in 1989 and into the 90s, the fandom would sprout out into the dot-com era and onto the Net where the vast majority of its influence is felt today. Through the advent of the Internet, furry fans across the world are now able to connect and interact, share ideas, talk about their favorite artists, and plan events with furries in their local area or the vast number of conventions that has encompassed the world within the last 25 years making it one the largest fan based groups in the world. But, this influence is just only the beginning.

It's a Furry World: the Furry's Influence on Art

Furries, as it has been stated, hold interests in many genres ranging from sci-fi, fantasy, cartoons, comics, horror, mystery, even sociopolitical allegories. Given this fact, one could argue that the Furry Fandom is more inclusive then other fandoms such as Trekkies, Anime fans, or even Harley-Davidson motorcycle rallies. Furries break the mold as being more unique in that they really don't fit any set genre. They are a subculture all its own.

One the most intriguing and most popular aspects of the Furry Fandom are its artwork. No other fandom can boast the amount of character creations as furries. With now over thousands of people across the world identifying as furry, each with their own persona- or fursona as it is called within the fandomhaving their own furry character is almost an unwritten requirement. With each person backed behind the creation of their own fursona, the individual was the opportunity to create a world for their creation. They can involve their character within fantastic literary works of furry themed fiction or to have artwork drawn by the score of furry artists within the fandom.

Many artists that associate themselves within the fandom find it to be quite profitable not only financially, but also allowed to get their name out there as an artist. Of course, not all artists within the fandom started out drawing furries. Michele Light, one of the fandom's biggest names in art, states that she was introduced to anthropomorphic artwork by furry artist Terrie Smith. Light says that during the early 90s while she and Smith were working together at an animation studio on the short lived Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Animated Series, Smith showed her some of the artwork she had been doing for the fandom. Intrigued by this she decided to try drawing furry art for herself in late 1992.

Light lists her two major areas of influence being the Japanese style of animation and the early to mid-20th century pin up artists like Gil Elvgren and George Petty. She says, "I love the challenge of creating the pin up poses that suggest much more than they show, and the anime influence definitely shows in my anatomy. Especially the eyes!" And "challenge" has become the seemingly prevalent mantra for the furry artist. With more and more people classifying themselves as furry and creating their own fursonas, artists have a full list of people to line up for art from them, creating artistic identities for the everyday fur's creation.

To say the least, everyfur- yes they call themselves that, too- within the Furry Fandom is artistic in some respects for that all within the fandom have created a character, given it a life, an identity, and a face that can be recognized by other furs within the fandom. With the help of such furry networking sites such as Fur Affinity and Furry 4 Life, it has never been easier for the greatest artists in the Furry Fandom down to the everyday fur to get connected, chat, discuss artwork, the fandom, and, oh, of course request art commissions. The fandom has truly brought forth great talent that will remain and continue to not only influence the world. Just as Michele Light so keenly states in her e-mail signature: Forever drawing!

Vanity Wasn't Fair

In March 2001, Vanity Fair sent out their latest magazine to every grocery store, gas station, and newspaper stand across the U.S. On this issue's front cover is the tantalizing actress Julianne Moore, her eyes not the only thing which pierce out at you from the magazine. But, it's not Vanity Fair's article about her role in Hannibal which make furries still today hate the magazine company. Look above Moore's bust line and to the right of the cover to the tag line that haunts the fandom to this day: HEY, THAT STUFFED CHIMPMUNK IS TURING ME ON! INSIDE THE BIZARRE SEX-FETISH WORLD OF "PLUSHIES" AND "FURRIES".

George Gurley, on call as Vanity Fair's reporter in the world of fur, spent his late November weekend in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights where they host one of the fandom's largest conventions, Midwest FurFest. What he presents to readers is a seemingly one-sided, biased view of what the furry fandom is. Sadly, those few individuals that consented to sitting down to an interview with Gurley would soon find their words manipulated into projecting a seamier view of the subculture they loved. However, there were still a few interviewees, as far as the general consensus within the furry fandom is concerned, that could have done well in keeping their "muzzles" shut.

When one finally flips through the barrage of ads and pin-ups that litter the magazine, the first thing you see in Gurley's article is the picture of a man in a Dalmatian-type costume clutching onto a giant stuffed bear with a swarm of other plush animals around him. Yes, it's nothing short of disturbing. Line after line of Gurley's telling of the fandom spotlights it as a sexual fetish reserved for individuals with a less than pure affinity for animals. Thus, after the casual reader is through with the article, it wouldn't be hard for them to make the assumption that this is a social group of freaks and sexual deviants. Pull out the shotgun and lock away the family pet! The furries have invaded!

However, Gurley's article isn't the only form of media that has turned heads and caused for an unwelcoming spotlight to be shined upon the furry community. In 2003, the popular television crime drama, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, aired an episode that centering on the death of a man in a raccoon suit and the subsequent convention, PAFCON, he was attending in Las Vegas. The convention, itself, is a work of the show writers' imaginations; PAF being an acronym for "Plushies, Anthropomorphics, and Furries". In the episode, detectives are thrown into a world unlike that of which they'd ever care to imagine. In order to solve the case of this dead fur, they must investigate other patrons of the furry convention, eventually leading them to discover more of the convention's sexual nature.

And the list of negative press goes on. From shows such as MTV's Sex2K, Eountrage, and even The Tyra Banks Show, it has been made a point by most in the entertainment industry and within the media to portray the furry fandom as a society of rejects. But, a few good spirited people within the media have examined furries in a more unbiased setting. Melissa Meinzer of the Pittsburgh City Paper stated when she attended Anthrocon- the east coast's largest furry convention- back in 2006 that "despite their wild image from Vanity Fair, MTV, and CSI, furry conventions aren't about kinky sex between weirdos gussied up in foxy costumes and that conference attendees were "not having sex more than the rest of us".

Oh! And if you still have reservations about letting Fido out of his cage and out into the world, understand this, the vast population of those involved within the furry fandom is against the practice of bestiality and those that wish to partake in such acts. The fandom is about art and the free expression being involved within a community of others that share similar interests. But, it may take a bit more convincing. Maybe a trip to the doctor's office can clear things up.

What's Up, Doc?

During the last weekend of June 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania would, again, play host to the largest furry convention on the East Coast: Anthrocon. It was during this year's convention that Dr. Samuel Conway, Chairman of Anthrocon, Inc., allowed for a team of researchers to conducted an unbiased anonymous survey as to the nature of the Furry Fandom and why people would identify themselves as furry. Over the course of the convention, many patrons- both furry and non-furry alike participated within the study, showing a surprised interest in being involved.

The team of researchers included many professors and graduate students within the field of psychology. Even Dr. Conway gave assistance to the research and is great respects a noted chemist in fields such as pharmaceutical and biomedical himself. Main areas of research steams greatly from George Gurley's article stating that many furs were predominantly male; liked cartoons as children; enjoyed science fiction; were homosexual; wore glasses and had beards (male furries only); worked as scientists or in computer-related fields; and most commonly selected wolves and foxes as their totem animals.

In the teams' research, they set about disproving many of these claims based on the data collected from the conventions participants. With regards to all the research conducted, just their findings along from the percentage of person's sexual orientation proved significant. At least more than 40% of males surveyed identified themselves as heterosexual, close to 70% as bisexual, and around 50% as homosexual. These numbers show an even steady comparison and disprove claims that furries are mainly homosexual. Also, further research was conducted to show if there were any personally disorders that are unique in numbers say against those of the average college student. However, the analyzed data shows that furries have no more problems with things such as relationship problems, anxiety, attention span, or the unusual daydreams about life than that of the non-furry college student; percentages between the two showed minimal differences.

Another team of researchers from the University of Alaska, headed up by Dr. Tim Lower, is currently conducting a new survey on the Furry Fandom. His team's research will focus mainly on the aspects of the influence individuals within the furry subculture have on each other with respects to social networking. They hope that by collecting enough data from furries will help lay down a broad conclusions that can be used to for further studies later on in the future.

Thanks to the selfless acts from scientists, professors, and students in the field of psychology shifting tirelessly through tons of data and research focused upon the unbiased analysis of the Furry Fandom, it can be confirmed that those who wish to classify themselves as furry are no more unique than that of everyone else in the world. Well, maybe perhaps furries are still more creative. Physiological disorder among furries: DISPROVEN. Thanks, doc!

Furry Reflections

In 2007, Anthrocon's Guest of Honor was Mark Evanier, a noted comic book artist whose affiliation with the comic book series Pogo found him within the conventions guest list. In an interview with ComicMix.com, Evanier described his time around the attendees at Anthrocon as having the most benevolent and friendly atmosphere. They were really nice people to be around". He, also, went on to state that:

Long ago, I came to the mindset that there are some things in this world that I just don't get thrilled by that delight other people, and that's alright. There's nothing wrong with that. Not everything in the world has to cater to my tastes. Just most things. I don't understand why people do a lot of things in this world. I don't understand why people get tattooed or jump out of airplanes or ride roller coasters or eat coleslaw or vote for George Bush. There are a lot of things that I cannot imagine myself ever doing, but some of these things, aside from voting for George Bush, do not harm me in any way. There's nothing wrong with someone else eating coleslaw just as long as they don't get anywhere near my area code.

So, according to Mark Evanier, he saw no reason to be judgmental of the Furry Fandom. What he said he witnessed were people coming together from all walks of life and that all of those he engaged within the convention truly made him feel welcomed and happy.

On the last day of Anthrocon, Evanier made this final statement to those furs in attendance during the closing ceremonies: "The one thing that I don't like about this convention, about Furries, is how defensive they are. People keep coming up to me and asking if I think they're weird and if they make me uncomfortable. The answer is 'No'. But being asked that makes me uncomfortable. There's nothing wrong with you people other than the fact that folks whose opinions you shouldn't care about have somehow made you think that you have to be under the fence about what you love to do".

It is this "fitting in" that has caused so many within the Furry Fandom to question their belonging within "regular" society. But, the individualism generated by the fandom is extensive. One fur explains the fandom as such: "The Furry Fandom is like pizza: we all love it but you can have it any way -- and everyone likes different toppings!"

While others within the fandom view it as a chance to break free from the theoretical chains that society places on those who as far as they're concerned should grow up. But furries in their own right are more grown up then we can imagine. They discovered a key to life that many of us of so long forgotten. They remembered and retained some of their youthful creativity.

So, yes, acceptance is something all humans want, furries not being excluded. Still, most furries will keep that identity to themselves and you may go about your life knowing one personally yet never knowing what it is that makes them unique. In the end, a furry is nothing more than a person who has a beautifully fantastic and active imagination. A person, for maybe just a moment, enjoys the act of portraying attributes of their favorite animal, if only for a short while.

Furry Glossary

Let's talk furry! Every subculture across the world has in some form of lingo and way of describing things that set them apart from others and give cause for quizzical looks and stares. The Furry Fandom truly fits quite well into this category. The following list of words and definitions are ones that are common among the fandom.

A

Ack: (v.) A sound or gesture of mild fear or disgust at something.

Anthro: 1. (n.) An anthropomorphic creature.
2. (adj.) Short for anthropomorphic.

Anthropomorphic: (adj.) 1. Of or having to do with anthropomorphics. 2. Showing traits or behaviors of anthropomorphics.

Anthropomorphics: (n.) The study of human traits conveyed upon animal or otherwise alien beings. Anthropomorphics often deal with physical cross-mutations of animals and humans as well.

Anyfur: (n.) Substitution for anyone.

B

Burned Fur: (adj.) 1. A defunct movement whose stated purpose was to "clean up" the fandom by eliminating those they perceived to be sexual deviants and "perverts". (n.)
2. An affiliate who has a reputation for being excessively judgemental.

C

Con: (cont.) Contraction for the word Convention.

Confurt: (v.) To bring an outsider into the fandom.

Confuzzle: (v.) To confuse; to be confused.

Convention: (n.) A large gathering of people at a hotel or convention center with a predestinated theme such as science fiction, role-playing, or anthropomorphics.

Cuddle: (v.) An action which involves hugging another, though is more involved. It is usually longer and more intimate than a casual hug.

Cuddlick: (v.) A cuddle involving a lick to the recipient in addition. Contraction of cuddle and lick.

D

Digitigrades: (adj.) 1. An animal or being that walks primarily on the front 'digits' of one's feet or paws.
Term used to describe the 'backwards-jointed' leg of most mammalian animals. In truth, the plantigrade legs of most animals are jointed much the same as the digitigrades in the legs of humans, with different length and size proportions in the leg bones.

E

Eek 1. (n.) A sincere but humorous cat with very poor luck who managed to get his own cartoon series.
v.) A sound or gesture of mild fear or disgust at something. Eep: (v.) See Ack or Eek.

Explicit: (adj.) Describes one who has a formal affiliation with the fandom.

Everyfur: (n.) Substitution for everyone.

F

Fandom: (n.) A term for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that describes the members of that group.

Fan-fic: (n.) Furry-related writing produced by insiders, for insiders.

Fan-pic: (n.) Artwork produced from within the furry fandom. (Note: Unlike most fandoms, furry fandom largely produces its own artwork from within the fandom itself.)

Fan-zine: (n.) A magazine or comic book written with deliberate furry content.

Fur: (n.) One who takes part in spiritual therianthropy, anthropomorphics, or the furry fandom. Also a character in an RP situation that exhibits anthropomorphic characteristics.

Furmeet: (n.) A local gathering of fans, less formal and organized than a con.

Furridom: (n.) Furry (anthropomorphic) fandom. Possibly a contraction of "Furry Fandom".

Furry: 1. (adj.) To be heavily covered with fur, a natural fuzzy substance known to grow on animals for warmth and protection.
2. (adj.) Of or having to do with anthropomorphics, especially furridom.
3. (n.) One who partakes in the anthropomorphic or furry fandom.
4. (n.) A character of anthropomorphic stories, legend, or fact.

Furson: (n.) Replacement for the word Person.

Furotica: (n.) Anthro-art that includes an element of sexuality. (q.v. yiff, spooge)

Furpile: (n.) Gathering of fully costumed participants who roll around on the floor with each other, skritching and licking one another. Note: The Furry equivalent of a mundane "Cuddle Party".

Fursona: (n.) 1. An animal/anthro character as an alter-ego 2.
Animal/anthro character with which a strong identification is made.
3. An on-line role-play character.

Fursuit: (n.) A full animal/anthro character costume. Usually covered with faux fur (hence the term), but not always. Note: The use of real fur, unless of vintage origin, is considered bad form.

Furvert: (n.) 1. Sexual attraction to mascots in non-Furry contexts
2. Sexual deviant whose indiscretions cause the fandom public-relations problems
3. A mild insult used among fandom insiders.

G

Graymuzzle: (n.) An older furry fan. Note: Sometimes the cut-off age for this classification is considered to be 30.

H

Huggle: (cont.) 1. Cross between the words "hug" and "snuggle". It is basically a stylized way of hugging someone.
(v.) 2. The act of huggling someone.

Hyooman: (n.) Dismissive term for "human".

I

Implicit: (adj.) A non-fan who shares considerable commonality of interests with the fandom. The nonaffiliation most often is due to the fact that the implicit furry is not yet aware of the existence of the fandom.

L

Lifestyler: (n.) 1. Fandom affiliate whose interest extends to the creation of Furry art forms. (Obsolete)
2. One whose involvement in the fandom borders on the obsessive/compulsive.

M

Mate: (n.) 1. An intimate partner that one may or may not be committed to, often a replacement for the terms boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. Often a very general, loosely translated term; it may have many meanings. (v.)
2. The act of sharing anal or vaginal intercourse with a lover, usually a very intimate affair.

Morph: (n.) See: anthro

Mundane: (n.) A fandom outsider. Note: also used as a modifier, as in "in my mundane life..." A term freely borrowed from the UNIX Hacker sub-culture.

Murr: (adj.) Term indicating pleased in on-line communications. Anglicized form of fox vocalization meaning the same thing.

Muzzle: (n.) The nose and mouth area of most mammals, usually an area the projects forward from the head.

N

Newbie: (n.) If you need to know what one is, you probably are one.

Nofur: (n.) Uncommon replacement of the phrase "no one".

Nuzzle: (v.) The act of rubbing another using one‟s nose or snout, usually given to a part of the head such as a cheek or muzzle.

Nuzzlick: (v.) A more involved nuzzle which includes a lick as part of the action. Contraction of nuzzle and lick.

P

Plantigrade: (adj.) 1. An animal or being that walks primarily on the heel or ball of a complex foot or paw, as in humans.
2. Term used to describe the human leg and lower body structure, which is much unlike the plantigrade design of most other mammals. Though humans may walk in a digitigrades fashion, it is most common and natural for them to walk on their heels.

Pounce: (v.) To jump on or at another, especially if by surprise.

S

Scritch: (v.) A gentle scratching of oneself or another, commonly a form of affection.

Skunk-f*cker: (n.)1. A Furry. A highly uncomplimentary term usually used by insiders of rival fandoms. Major offenders: Anime fans. Rarely used by the outsiders of other fandoms.
2. A zoophile.

Snuggle: (v.) The act of hugging someone closely, often involving intimate contact with the other party.

Snugglick: (v.) An action involving a snuggle with the addition of a lick. Contraction of snuggle and lick.

Somefur: (n.) Replacement term for someone.

Subfurtion: (n.) 1. Deliberate misrepresentation of the interests and/or membership of the fandom to further a hidden agenda.
2. Deliberate misrepresentation to damage reputation of the fandom.

U

Unguligrade: (adj.) An animal or being that walks primarily on a solid or unified foot or paw, usually having a hoof or cloven hoof as in horses and deer. The Latin for the term comes literally from walking on fingernails.

Y

Yelp: (n.) A cry of distress, pain or anguish, usually connected to canines.

Yerf: (v.) A soft onimatapeatical sound usually made by vulpines or lupines.

Yiff: 1. (n.) Yiff is said, in furry legend, to be the sound an excited fox makes, especially when mating with a fine vixen. Thus, yiff has drawn many sexual connotations in the furry world. Yiff can be the act of sex, sex itself, or simply an expression or exclamation as in "Yiff!"
2. (v.) The act of yiffing, mating, lovemaking, etc. Also, to make the sound "yiff" as an onomatopoeia.

Yiffy: (adj.) Yiffy has many meanings as a word-modifier in the furry language. Being based on the above term "yiff", yiffy also has many sexual overtones. Yiffy may mean sexy, attractive, horny or excited, and can often also be used to mean something is great, interesting, or acceptable.

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