As a teen, Wolfboy rubbed himself against his tall, brown teddy bear, but after years of friction the teddy's crotch somehow tore open. That's the first time Wolfboy penetrated his stuffed animal, and entered the world of plushophilia.
Plushophiles have a true affinity for their Poly-fil-stuffed toys. They'll hug their plushies while masturbating or rub against the hairy hide until they achieve "plushgasm." One plushophile claims that he can come just by looking at a creature or sniffing its scent.
A FAQ on the Net provides instructions on modifying the soft toys to help achieve a more lifelike feeling. To create a space simply open a seam -- what's called a "strategically-placed hole" (SPH). Girls, too, can have plush sex by equipping their plush pals with a "strategically-placed appendage" (SPA).
However, if you're poking your plushie, chances are the critter will be splattered with spooge. This mars the fur, so it is important to regularly comb and clean your stuffie. The FAQ recommends you use Bubble Gund, a plush cleaner. Or purchase two of the same so you can love them without any inhibitions.
Plushfolk with a fetish for fur attend conFurences where they don "fursuits" -- full-body costumes resembling their favorite plushies. A fursuiter enjoys feeling like a living plushie.
There are plushophiles who involve their human partners while humping their plush. LionLarry, for instance, says he enjoys the "plushie sandwich" -- when two people cuddle or make love with the same plushie simultaneously. He and his lover also frolic in their "pile-o-plush."
A large number of plushophiles can be found in Plushiedom -- a cyberspace community. The Godfather of Plush -- Animale -- formed the first online group in 1993.
"Back then, the Net was edgy and filled with more raw sex than today. I had been boinking my dolphins for years and felt alone. I decided no more loneliness. I did some research and called stuffed animal vendors around the country, where I learned the industry term was "plush" to differentiate our fabric stuffed animals from taxidermy. I formed PLUSH [and] coined the terms 'plushie' and 'plushophile,'" recalls this plushie, who has a deep love for sea mammals.
Plush lovers agree that it isn't easy being a plushisexual -- a person whose primary sexual preference is for stuffed animals. Plush bashers, sometimes referred to as plushophobes, accuse them of being "children's toy fuckers" who want to molest children, puppies, and kittens. But this isn't true.
"Whether we like it or not, people associate plushophilia with other things," attests Damian -- the long-eared bunny. "Maybe this is why I often avoid humans in my sexual life ... they complicate and dirty what should be a pure, natural, beautiful physical act. More and more of us are forced to turn inwards."
Meanwhile, some stuffies say that it's difficult to have a relationship with a "non-plushophile." Feelings of jealously ultimately creep in. Lovers find themselves asking, "Why are you cuddling Meeko (the raccoon in Disney's Pocahontas and the most universally popular critter in Plushiedom) instead of me?"
Babs, for instance, lost his girlfriend after he started sleeping with his bunny.
"At first, when we started seeing each other, she was okay with the bunny -- we even included him in our lovemaking. But as time went on, I think she could tell that I really loved my bunny more than her. She just stopped coming over to see me. One thing's for sure, I would rather be alone than have a mate who was not a plushophile."
Maryam Henein, a Montreal native, recently quit her job at NBC in Los Angeles to live the life of a starving freelancer. Her work has appeared in Detour, LA Times, and The Hollywood Reporter. She's exploring Plush love with Pooky (Garfield's teddy bear) while her boyfriend is out of town.