Lopori

Close, but no cigar

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Picture a human, with it’s upright torso and S shaped back and long legs, flat face and sticky out nose. Picture a fox, an altogether different creature, a long slim muzzle, pointy ears, quadrupedal stance, digitigrade legs.


If a human happened to be a fox therian, the body they desired would be so extremelly different from their human body, they can’t train themselves to do tasks like a fox could, move like a fox could, atleast with much realism. Foxness is unattainable and this person knows this. They can try to replicate it to lessen a phantom shift but over all, it would look a bit silly. Any dysphoric feelings over their lack of foxness will be quite intense, I’d imagine. I mean, a human and a fox? The anatomical differences are endless.


Now, picture a non-human ape. Sorta semi upright, with hands and thumbs and round humanlike ears, longer versions of human arms, plantigrade feet, a sort of cross between a flat face and a muzzle. Relatable behaviour, sharing almost all of the same genetics, intelligent, blah de blah.


The ape therian has a bit of a conundrum, as a human they are already an ape with all the features of the rest of the apes but with those human specifics traits as well. Like chimpanzees have things that only chimpanzees have. If you were to turn a human into a chimpanzee anatomically what would you need to change? Well, do some magic with the limbs, mess with the face a bit, stick some fur on and voila you have chimp. Such tiny tiny tweaks make virtually no difference, but a huge difference. The human could train themself to move more ape-like by doing yoga or some sort of climbing training. But that’s only if you really really work at it for ages amd become pro, and even then it’s not quite there. The fox is like “well a fox is so far removed I will never be like a fox” the ape is like “it’s too close, I’m already practically there.” And it’s a tease. Good news! You’re an ape, just a HUMAN one, enjoy your crappified version of ape anatomy lawl. Learning of a new similarity is a relief, noticing a difference is frustrating was one thing I learned early on when I’d discovered my theriotype nearly 7 years ago. I hated any reminder that we are fundamentally different, often glossing over such "unimportant" details and outright hiding them from myself.


At the zoo I do watch the bonobos and sometimes I might get a bit of a phantom or some other shift. It will be something in my shoulders, my mouth, my teeth, my hands, my toes. Something in the mind, things I want to do, things I want to eat, ways I want to socialise. But those tiny differences means one is dangerous and kept behind glass, that one can’t bend their legs in funny directions and one can, one has dainty little square hands and the other has long strong elegant looking things. Practically the same, yet so different that our paths can never cross properly. They are a distorted funhouse mirror reflection.


That, for me atleast, is the shitty bit of being an ape therian, how much of a TEASE it is. Atleast with my mermaid kintype I kinda know where I stand and how stupidly farfetched it is.

Updated February 8th, 2016 at 11:41 PM by Lopori

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  1. Wilhelm's Avatar
    That was a very interesting read. I somehow always assumed that ape therians would generally feel much more comfortable with their "human form" because of all these similarities as you've described, so this was pretty surprising to me.
  2. Kisota's Avatar
    Awesome little piece of writing!

    It's something I've thought about before. Most of the time in kind of an envious way. But I'm sure it's one of those "grass is always greener" situations.

    I mean, having no internet is better than knowing there IS internet and having connection issues, so I suppose this is kind of like that!

    but having ways to imitate moving like your theriotype must be nice at times. Since the spine-to-head attachment is totally different in a quadrupedal animal, even being on all fours isn't even close for us, haha.
  3. Lopori's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm
    That was a very interesting read. I somehow always assumed that ape therians would generally feel much more comfortable with their "human form" because of all these similarities as you've described, so this was pretty surprising to me.
    I am speaking only for myself with the blog post, but the other apes I know have some cracking dysphorias. The arms are a biggy from what I've witnessed and experienced.
    Maybe it is easier for me than someone else, but someone else probably has it easier than me in some ways, I suppose it's different for everyone. This is just something I often have on my mind, rather than me saying THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF THE MATTER YOU PRIVILEGED LITTLE DOG SHITS.
  4. Lopori's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kisota
    Awesome little piece of writing!

    It's something I've thought about before. Most of the time in kind of an envious way. But I'm sure it's one of those "grass is always greener" situations.

    I mean, having no internet is better than knowing there IS internet and having connection issues, so I suppose this is kind of like that!

    but having ways to imitate moving like your theriotype must be nice at times. Since the spine-to-head attachment is totally different in a quadrupedal animal, even being on all fours isn't even close for us, haha.
    Thanks.

    And yeah the internet thing is a pretty good concise way of putting it actually. More-so than my flowery ramlbing.

    And that is true, though non-human apes do have the quadruped neck other things are indeed easier to imitate (the neck thing though is bloody annoying omg, on arm stilts I kinda have to look at the floor).Climbing can be done, atleast with the hands. And some social gestures and stuff can be replicated during a shift yet go under the radar. And some eating mannerisms I find myself doing are a bit uncouth but they aren't like inhuman or anything to the untrained eye. My mum used to tell me off for eating "like a cave man" whatever that means haha.
    I guess it's just the whole close but no cigar thing again with the "easier" stuff, I've still only got diall up apeternet. :P To use your analogy.
  5. Coyote Jones's Avatar
    Thank you for helping to wake my brain up with this intelligent, thoughtful piece of writing. (I'm groggy today, and it doesn't help that I'm browsing Facebook.)

    I hope this isn't too far off, but the sentiments in your blog entry remind me a lot of the feelings I have around neurotypical people, people who aren't on the autism spectrum. Maybe it's not the best analogy, and my apologies if this response frustrates you because I don't quite get it. Not quite "getting" it is a symptom of the condition. At times, I feel almost human, but there's also an animal in my psyche and besides that, the "human" bits of my brain are wired differently. I can practice and practice by socializing lots and almost passing as a normal person, and sometimes I do, but I never feel like I'm a perfect fit for the role. I used to joke about being some kind of mutant. Which I am, genetically, I suppose.

    The more you learn and observe, the more you fit in, the harder it is to fit in. The incongruities keep adding up, the little details that don't quite fit. It doesn't necessarily get better; it might even get worse. I've thought I was doing well only to get a glimpse of insight into a neurotypical brain and to realize how "off" I must seem to them, like someone who's badly aping humanity (no pun intended). It's strange to see this creature that is you and yet isn't. Look at what I could be... and yet that's not true, not materially, and it sucks and it's not fair.

    But on the flip side, it can be neat to relate to more than one form of body or mind, and when you're in sync with that which you aren't but almost are, it can be really rewarding. Almost like being an anthropologist, maybe, a translator, caught between two worlds and sometimes connecting well with your chosen ethnicity (in human terms; I'm not implying that therianthropy is 'chosen'), the tribe or culture that has always felt like home.

    You're right that canine phantom shifts don't often make much sense with a human body. I get phantom shifts of the actual animal -- a tail; paws; a muzzle -- but I never feel like an anthropomorphic werewolf. The bodies are too different. I don't even dream of myself as an anthro wolf or coywolf. I'd say that ignorance is bliss, but in dreams I've run and leapt and explored various landscapes in a realistic canine body, not in some hideous in-between form, and of course I wish I could take that form at will, or even resemble it more. That said, it can't be at all the same experience as basically having that body, almost, but with lots of little but important differences that will always make you feel kind of like an impostor.

    I hope this makes sense. I'm groggy, and I just wrote what came to mind.
  6. Kerguelen's Avatar
    The more you learn and observe, the more you fit in, the harder it is to fit in. The incongruities keep adding up, the little details that don't quite fit. It doesn't necessarily get better; it might even get worse. I've thought I was doing well only to get a glimpse of insight into a neurotypical brain and to realize how "off" I must seem to them.
    I relate so HARD to this statement, oh my damn.
  7. Lopori's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote Jones
    words.
    omg all this all of this so hard.
    Even though I've said before I don't consider myself "autistic" I'm not really NT either so I'm still out of sync with people. And I was a bit weird when I was a kid. I'm kind of a screw up in sub-clinical levels.
    And yeah what you described is just so much like the ape therian thing, you took my original point and elaborated on it in the detail I couldn't quite pull off myself. You're really good with words.