What Does Yiff Mean?
Yiff is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek term that typically refers to any sort of sexual content within the furry fandom. This could be furry porn or hentai, a pornographic furry movie or literally just a sexual interaction involving furries wether it be fans themselves or fictional characters. If you’re a member of the fandom then you probably heard the word, maybe in the context of yiff comics or yiffing, (basically furries sexting) before but you’d rarely hear it used by another furry to refer to furry porn. This is because it’s a term that isn’t taken very seriously by the fandom because of its questionable origin.
Where Does The Word Come From?
So, where does this strange word come from? Well, the actual etymology of the word derives from the onomatopoeic word yiff from a constructed language known as Foxish from the 1990 text-based RPG FurryMUCK. It was most often used to express some sort of joy whether it be a greeting of someone you are happy to see or just a general expression of happiness, it really depended on context. It was created by a player know by the username littlefox and it began to find itself being used in the context of sexual situations involving furries on the game.
The word was then introduced to a much larger audience in a 2003 episode of CSI: Fur and Loathing. We have addressed this episode in a previous blog post as many furries are likely familiar with this episode because of its depiction of all furries as perverted fetishists. From here the word yiff would become synonymous with furry porn and furry sex. This is why the word isn’t taken very seriously by the fandom because it further stigmatizes the furry community as creepy dudes who like to have sex in fursuits.
Image by British Board of Film Classification
Who Even Says Yiff?
Most furries don’t really use the word yiff as it shines a light on the fetishisation and sexualisation of the fandom, instead, most people refer to it as furry porn. This is why yiff is more often used by non-furries as means of demoralizing and insulting them with phrases like “yiff in hell”.
The term yiff however is embraced by some members of the community in a sub-community of yiffers (no, we did not just coin that, but this is how we’re going to refer to people who enjoy yiffing). A lot of these communities are virtual and involve activities such as sexual roleplaying or sharing furry porn. One of the most popular communities includes a Second Life community known as the International Yiff Centre which was running from 2008 up until its not so distant conclusion in 2021.
Second Life Avatars
Screenshot by secondlife.com
International Yiff Center
For those who don’t know, Second Life is less of a game and more of a social media platform or as wikipedia would put it: “an online multimedia platform”. It allows its users to create avatars and walk around as said avatars in a proximity chat where they can walk and talk to other users. It is called second life as it allows its users to essentially live out a second virtual life and this includes furries. There is already a furry community on second life but within that furry community is a yiffing community that allows its users to… well… yiff, but with the anonymity of second life.