I want us to imagine a man called Tommy. Tommy considers himself to be an anti-contact homosexual. He finds other men attractive, he just doesn't believe that other men are smart enough to understand the full scope of consequences that could arise from sex, and he has doubts that other men can communicate well enough to show their interest. He can't read their minds, after all, which makes real consent pretty much impossible. So as much as Tommy is homosexual and finds his fellow males alluring, he resists their allure out of an over abundance of moral purity.
Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn't it?
I really hope so. Because I've seen some discourse lately where people are like Tommy when it comes to any form of sexual contact at all, but in particular, when it comes to zoosexuality. What makes this anti-contact discourse stand out is that it isn't just condemnation from nosy outsiders: what we're dealing with here is a case where the call is coming from inside the house.
I'd like to talk about the recent phenomenon known as the anti-contact zoo. That is, somebody who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to animals, but avows to forever resist the temptation of actually participating in sexual contact with animals.
I call this a "recent" phenomenon, and let me clarify why, because it is true that different versions of this have always existed: in the 1800s or in the 1980s, maybe someone was attracted to animals but worried it was a sin, or got told off by their human partner for it, and so they were "anti contact" in the sense that they don't make contact. What distinctly defines "the anti-contact zoo" today is that from the discourse I've seen, most who self identify as anti-contact zoo are anti-contact on the grounds that animals can't consent to humans. I have seen rare other instances where someone means something slightly different, usually that they are fine with contact in theory but just don't have a partner currently, so they haven't had the opportunity to "be a contact zoo," but that would be more of a "definition 2" for what anti-contact zoo means. "Definition 1," the *first* thing we mean when we say the term, would be finding animals sexually attractive but refraining from sexually interacting with them on moral grounds. And, to add this wedge into the mix as well, it should also be of note that I almost exclusively see "anti-contact zoo" as a self description used among teenagers; it seems to be something that the newcomers are doing, not the greymuzzles.
Simply the word choice of the term, "anti-contact," has generated some static in the zoo community. The term originates from MAPs, or, Minor Attracted Persons. A self-proclaimed anti-contact MAP is an adult who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to minors, but does not engage with them like that because of the harm that such a relationship between an adult and a minor could cause.
My own observation on that side of things, briefly, would be that for the MAP community, this kind of terminology makes complete sense for them to use. Immature members of *any* species come with a whole different set of considerations than mature members of that species, especially for a highly socially developed species like humans who, for better or worse, tend to put a lot of psychological and social stock into our sex lives. Minors are made off limits to adults for good reason. But, if someone's sexuality is that their attractions lie with minors all the same, there is no conversion therapy that's actually going to change the fact that that attraction exists for them. So within MAP discourse, it is generally regarded that accepting the attraction but also accepting the fact that contact would have too great a risk of being grossly inappropriate is a healthy, moral way to navigate that difficult situation. For MAP, saying you are "anti-contact" seems to make perfect sense.
However. Getting back to zoo. Oldguard zoophiles tend to have a couple of issues with the terminology of anti-contact being griped for usage within zoosexuality.
The first issue is association. "That word is for pedophiles, we want to distance ourselves from them as much as possible."
Personally, I don't really care about that argument. I do *get* it. There may be no group that is more greatly demonized in the eyes of the public than pedos, and we as zoos already feel like we have it bad enough without getting roped in with them too. But at the end of the day, I think we of all groups should know better than to give in to that kind of fear mongering. On the list of groups who should be enemies to zoos, I think "meat and dairy industry movers and shakers" should be number one with a bullet, and "MAPs who have enough self guidance to know they shouldn't act on that attraction" are maybe not baddies at all. I'm pals with at least a few who seem alright to hang out with.
But there is a second issue with the terminology of "anti-contact zoo" that I actually do think makes the term worthy of heavy skepticism. If not a problem with the origins of the wording, it's at least a problem with the tone that the words tend to be said with. And that is the implication that sexual contact between humans and non-human animals is inherently immoral. "Anti-contact zoo" often seems to be said not with a tone of "I choose not to have sex with animals personally," and more a tone of "sex with animals is wrong, therefore I don't." It's not said with a tone of "no contact for me, thanks," but rather, "I am against humans making contact."
Now, look. I don't know how many intact stud dogs you've play-wrestled around with. I don't know how much you know about how dog breeding generally works. I don't know how much you know about fitting round pegs into round holes. I don't know how bad your breath stinks if you find it inconceivable that a friendly dog would want to make out with you. But I would say that to a person of prudent intelligence and experience regarding dogs, there can be no doubt that sometimes Fido wants to smash and doesn't so much mind if what he grabs is another dog's butt or a human's hand or a big plush teddy bear.
No doubt, there are a wealth of unquestionably valid reasons why someone may find themselves not having sexual contact with animals. For one thing, maybe someone is just personally not interested in actually getting it on in the pasture right now and would more prefer to have this be a thing reserved for fantasy, porn, human roleplay, or even just a harbored acknowledgement that lions are sexy as fuck while not actually feeling a need to do anything at all with that acknowledgement beyond holding it; hey, fair enough. Hell, the fact that "anti-contact" is used predominantly among younger folks could lowkey be a signal that should be telling them, "bro maybe you and your other 14 year old zoo friends just aren't there yet, that's very normal, don't worry about it, nobody should be rushing you to label your sexuality as *anything* right now anyways." Another reason why someone may be totally in the right for not going after zoo contact is if the object of their zoo affections actually totally is incompatible with human sexual contact, like hummingbirds or betta fish. Even with dogs, just because dogs *can* be compatible with humans, doesn't mean *all* of them are for all activities, or that all of them will be interested in you. And again, it may even be the case that someone *wants* to be having contact but hasn't had the appropriate opportunity, such as a vet tech who finds handsome dogs flirting with them day in and day out, but is at work dang it.
I cannot stress enough that the point of all of this is not to police people's interests. If you feel that mares are hot, but also too hot for you to touch, that is unquestionably your right to feel that way. As we just covered, you could feel that way for a number or reasons, or just no reason at all other than a vague personal preference. I know that some, though I don't think all, also use "anti-contact zoo" as a bit of a smokescreen, so they can put a toe in the water as far as coming out, but not have to own anything of more consequence; hey, I'll grant that that's at least a marginally better smokescreen than acting like you're full-on anti-zoo like some closet zoophiles do.
But this does get to the point of why a lot of older zoos are cringing at this recent uptick in "anti-contact zoo" usage. The tone of it is disrespectful. It's disrespectful to "contact zoos" who are not doing a single thing wrong by the donkeys and cows in their life. And it's disrespectful towards adult animals, who fully deserve the autonomy to have some fun getting stimulated by their humans if that's what they like and the human is willing. This type of rhetoric is also dangerous: it's virtue signaling. It's voluntarily conceding ground to hate. It's condemning sexuality that does not deserve condemnation. And if you think that someone who wants to hunt active zoos, whether by legislation or by doxxing, doesn't also want to hunt any flavor of zoo "degenerates" they can get their teeth into, well, have fun when you're next and the defense of being anti-contact doesn't really mean much to people who just want their next target.
So, anyways. If you proclaim yourself to be an anti-contact zoo, that's why you might currently be feeling the cumulative gale force of greymuzzles sending long unimpressed sighs in your direction. "Anti-contact" rhetoric is not doing the favors for zoosexuality that you think it's doing: quite the opposite, it really undermines the solid footing of reasonability that we do have to say that a lot of our favorite mammals are capable of pleasure. It does sound like you're not doing anything wrong by your actions towards animals, so, two thumbs up there, at the end of the day that matters a lot more than what your Twitter bio says. My pitch to you would just be to consider if other language might be more appropriate, like "zoo asexual," or "zoo but single." Maybe even just owning "zoo," and if people want the details of your personal life, they can ask. But stay defiant: Don't conform your whole presentation of yourself to try to appease the haters who would hate a zeta either way.
Article written by Alissa Dogchurch (July 2023)
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