The internet has opened up whole new realms of possible questions related to the security clearance process – questions many of us who work in the industry thought we’d never have to answer. Changing societal norms absolutely affect the way the security clearance process operates. With social mores around sexual behavior rapidly changing, many have asked if having sexual behavior as a separate adjudicative guideline is necessary – aren’t those issues already covered by criminal conduct?

We’ve previously covered how sexual behavior that doesn’t necessarily result in a criminal conviction can still result in a security clearance denial. The reality is some behavior is simply inconsistent with the reliability and trustworthiness of working in a national security career. Others are still a bit more gray, and that includes some niche fetishes and interests like – furries.

What are furries?

Depending upon who you ask, the furry community consists of people who enjoy dressing up as anthromorphic or cartoon animals – or who just have a big interest in them. The cringe factor comes in for supposed sub-groups within these communities who enjoy *ahem* engaging in sexual activities in fursonas. Some members of the furry community push back that the sexual component is largely overplayed, and the broader community is much more focused on other aspects of furry fandom – like art, music, and movies related to anthromorphic animals.

Could a Furry Fetish Come Up in a Clearance

Security clearance applicants have posted on online discussion boards about whether or not their own furry fetishes could come up in the course of a security clearance background investigation. While sexual behavior is an adjudicative guideline, none of the questions on the 135-page security clearance application related to sexual behavior. The only way it would be likely to come up is through a more specific questionnaire which may be required by some intelligence agencies, through questioning in a polygraph, or if your online furry activities are tied to your name and could present themselves through a search of publicly available information on the internet.

If your furryies, fetishes, or interests – sexual or otherwise – are not a topic that could result in blackmail or cause you significant embarrassment, you likely have nothing to fear.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer