The Separation of Art and Reality
The anthro community is filled with a vast amount of artists, personalities, and sonas; and sometimes while we are going about our business the line between fiction and reality can become blurred. What brought this to mind is that recently a friend of mine mentioned receiving an ERP (erotic roleplay) request after posting an image online. Now, while this friend is prominently a NSFW artist, and the person who contacted him was kind enough to ask about role-playing, I realized this is not the first time an artist has mentioned this in conversation. I remember hearing stories of how some artists had been essentially sexually harassed just because they draw and post NSFW content. Recalling posts like they “must love being sexual” or “are advocating for a sexual interaction for themselves” just because of the art they create.
With that being said, I think it’s safe to say that there should be an understanding of separation between art and artist within the Anthro community. While I’m not saying every single artist out there has no correlation between what they draw and how they are as a person, I believe it’s common that most have other reasons for creating the art that you see in your feed. Quite a few of the artists I know have explained to me that they do not derive any kind of arousal from their own art. To them it’s their craft or job and they’re creating NSFW content because it’s practice for the commissions they get, it’s a commission itself, or they’re just trying to better their art and anatomy.
I’d like to bring forth the definition of an association fallacy as posted on psychology.wikia.org: “An association fallacy is a type of logical fallacy which asserts that qualities of one are inherently qualities of another, merely by association. The two types are sometimes referred to as ‘guilt by association’ and ‘honor by association.’ Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and are often based in an appeal to emotion”. I believe this concept perfectly illustrates what happens in situations like this, people base something on their own viewpoint, belief, or observations and force them onto others.
To give an example, a good friend of mine who has been featured in several articles, @YurusaArt, recently received an ERP request. Fortunately, the person who messaged him was kind enough to ask before posting anything roleplay related, but I wanted to know how he felt about the request. This was his response:
“I don't particularly receive these requests too often but I definitely do get them! It depends on the interaction between me and the individual, though it usually worries me at first just because when you do get those bad interactions it tends to stick with you. Like when people just kinda start RPing or getting too personal without discussing it with me first if I'm okay with it.”
I then asked him how he wished interactions like these would go to which he replied:
“I just hope they come out and say if RPing is what they want to do. Not because I'm against talking to people but just because it saves us both time! I don't want others to stop asking people if they want to RP, just cause it is a fair part of the community, it's more so a fault on my part for not just stating that I don't RP on my profiles.”
I asked another prominently NSFW artist, @Rachsburrow, how he felt about this topic as well and here’s what he had to say:
“[ERP/RP requests] can be comical and annoying at the same time to be honest. Most of these people have little idea what personal space is and that kinda freaks me out.”
I also asked him how he wished these interactions would go:
“I honestly wish people would stop doing this, cause when people actually want to DM an artist, it makes the artist a little leary about having their DMs open. Like me for example, I've debated closing my DMs cause of it, but it's also how I do business. So, tough choice, ya know?!”
As for personal experience, I recently received my first ever ERP request and the person immediately went into RP style posts. It took me about half a day to realize what was going on because I was relatively uncomfortable with the situation and unsure of how to properly respond to someone wanting to “pet me on the head” out of nowhere. I can say, at least for me personally, that the whole ordeal was rather strange. It just felt random and pretty intimidating; like I had no idea what to do, but I was stuck there wondering how to respond to a very peculiar set of posts. It ended rather abruptly with us just ghosting each other, without me ever engaging in the roleplay.
In reality, sexualising an artist (or anyone for that matter) because their work is NSFW in nature is forcing a likely unwanted perspective on them. As a community, we should all take a moment to remember that the artists that create for us are human beings behind the screen, and likely do not want to be seen simply as the art they create. So before you try to hop into an artists DMs with a story of your fetishes, think about how you’d feel if a stranger walked up to you on the street and started listing their pent up desires off to you. I know I’d feel pretty disturbed.
Now that my first article is behind me I'd like to introduce myself! I’m Bad_Tanuki, or more commonly: just Tanuki or Eric. I’m 23 and my sona is a Tanuki (obviously) named Ailick. I would in no way say I’m an “expert writer” but I’m not clueless either. I studied debate for two and a half years and spent around 5 years writing a fantasy book.
I dabble in drawing, and have been for several months now, but I’m still a beginner. While I used to write a lot more a few years ago, I’d say my style was more suited for novels than articles; so please bear with me if my articles aren't as well written as Mariah’s in the beginning. Think of this as me dipping my toes in the pool and seeing if I can continue doing this. If this does relatively well, I would like to continue writing for AnthroBrand to help ease some of the pressure on Mariah and get myself more integrated into the community. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding, I hope to contribute more and bring a new, enjoyable perspective.