Whenever I think that the rabbit hole of the Internet comes to a close, I stumble upon something so bizarre that it not only shatters my mind, but also leaves everything in it to be suspect.
For instance, I recently learnt that furries, the sexual deviants who dress up as animals and pork each other for fun, are just the tip of the carnal fetish iceberg. They have distant cousins named "looners" who hump inflatable pool toys until, presumably, their genitals flare up and rash.
My discovery of this strange sub-cult began when I innocently favorited a photo of an inflatable horse toy on a popular art website. I simply thought it looked hilarious and judging by the user's other pics, it didn't seem like anything "alt" was going on.
But that all changed when I got a message from the photographer featuring a link to the blog Hollow Paws, which had a discrete sentence in the upper right hand corner that made it all clear:
A website for furries who love inflatable critters.
I thought it must have been some kind of mistake, but was curious as hell, so I asked the blogger what people exactly did with the inflatables featured in such articles as "A Toy So Big It's Otterly Unbelievable!" and "Pounce, Splash, Squeak!"
Moments later I received an answer: "...Sometimes they hump them. :)" Horrified, yet intrigued, I began to uncover a secret world of anonymous patrons who do everything from wear full motocross gear and aggressively hump vinyl Shamu pool rafts until they explode, to fabricators who design prosthetic vaginas for plastic dolphins.
Because I can't even fathom the mindset of someone who would reveal online: "Since I was a young child, it was my dream to have an inflatable dolphin with a sph (strategically placed hole)," I asked a triple board-certified psychiatrist named Dr. Soroya Bacchus about what was going on in these peoples' heads.
"When I heard about this fetish, they didn't seem too different from the people who have intercourse with blow-up dolls. They both suffer from a sexual function disorder that is categorized in the realm of paraphilia -- meaning a love of some object, whether it's an inanimate one or a non-consenting partner. The basic component is arousal, so sometimes there might be actual ejaculation on the toys, but oftentimes in cases of paraphilia it happens afterwards during masturbation. These kinds of disorders tend to feed on themselves. They can start off as a shoe fetish and then adapt to include underwear as well."
Within the "looner" community, members splinter into either being a "popper" (someone who loves to destroy his unique love object) or a "non-popper" who would rather die than see his toy damaged in any way.
It's also swiftly apparent that the two detest one another, since countless Yahoo! Groups have explicit notices about which cause they're devoted to -- often using extreme language to attack. But then again there's nothing subtle about a 7-foot dragon in the yogic position of cow pose and about to get fucked.