Is the codification of the whole "bear" subculture thing a recent development? Went to a bear party last night. It''s scary how they all look exactly the same, it''s like goth kids. They seem pretty snooty sometimes too.
Oh, they do not all look alike. If you really went to a bear club you''d''ve seen cubs, chasers, chubs, BHM, BBM, muscle bears, otters, manatees, and dawgs.
recent? No. where the shit have you been? Subcultures and cliques have been doing this for...well, i''d venture since the invention of human culture. It was never about being some kind of individual, its about being part of that subculture.
I never understood why racial subcategories of bears never took on the appropriately-matched real-life bear signifier: polar bear (white men), black bear (black men), brown bear (Latino men).\
r2, i meant this specific subculture, you drooling moron
I thought that Latino "bears" were called "tigers". \
i don''t get into the zoology but I like hairy guys.
When did "bear" become a catch-all for fat, out of shape, old fags? %0D\
At one point, "bears" at least had facial hair, wore Levis and flannel shirts...kinda like a butch lesbian.
Seriously, when did the whole "bear" thing start? I think I remember them from the seventies, but were they around before that?
R11 that is normal in straight world. In gay world.....well, call it a label of desperate decoration.
All of my 3 exes have been bearish but not part of the bear culture. Just shlubby egghead types with beards and bellies. They found the real bear culture to be a bunch of cliquish dummies.%0D\
Mid-''80s. Though Les Wright, PhD would argue it wasn''t long after the expulsion from the Garden.
Bears are indeed very snooty to non-bears. It''s a self-defense thing. %0D\
I''ve told this tale before, but .... I was at a bar one night and make the mistake of smiling at a bear. The fat freak sneered and turned his back to me.%0D\
I was feeling good that night and was just being friendly. All I did was smile. I wasn''t hitting on him or even trying to talk to him.%0D\
There''s nothing about me that would turn someone off. I''m clean, presentable, friendly, reasonably attractive. But this guy decided to be a cunt and go all mean girl.
R17 - I agree. Being a "bear" is a total defense mechanism for fat people. \
True actual bears from other countries must be appalled when they come here and see these unshaven lard asses with attitudes. \
And I find all of these animal terms fucking ridiculous - otter, bear, cub. It just seems so Garanimalish.
"True actual bears from other countries must be appalled when they come here and see these unshaven lard asses with attitudes."\
OMG I fucking love this. "True actual bears from other countries..."?\
What the fuck?
[quote]manatee = corpulent, hairless.\
Oh, that sounds so nasty - and not in a good way.
Manatee is a cruel name coined by Andrew Holleran in one of his self-loathing books. He used the word to describe himself and other men like him and whined and whined about how nobody finds him attractive.
" It''s scary how they all look exactly the same"\
And no gay men in Chelsea or WeHo look like each other.
As a PROUD member of the bear community, I resent this culturally biased thread. If these insults were hurled at any other group it would be flat out racism.\
Your own internal homophobia is disgusting, OP.
30 posts and no mention of a latino husbear? I''m shocked, ladies.
Good Lord. MHB is a bear? I just don''t even want to think about that.
Weighed 248 this AM. All those consecutive days at the gym and rib eye dinners pay off, R31.
UGH, I might need to shirk myself off bears then if she is
omg kill it with fire.
MHB = PROOF that bears are nasty QUEENS
[quote]And I find all of these animal terms fucking ridiculous - otter, bear, cub. It just seems so Garanimalish.
That made me laugh.
Years ago, when I worked as a bartender, I got good and tired of the bears. The clones and the twinks may have been high maintenance, but they tipped and generally recognized they were in a business transaction.
The bears used the place for their monthly meetings, held beer busts, were the worst tippers and expected the most.
Men who bought drinks and never tipped actually approach and try to sell me raffle tickets for a stuffed bear or whatever. Fine, don't tip, but please don't expect me to support your organization.
The sad thing was there were always a couple of bears who knew how badly the other bears behaved and made a point of being extra friendly (not just "woofing"), overtipping, and just overcompensating by being extra nice guys.
Overall, though, for an "accepting" community I found them cliquish and not interested in meeting or socializing with anyone who wasn't just like them...which was sad, because I though the whole point of the bear thing was to recognize that gay men were diverse.
No, no, no!%0D\
otter = thin, hairless to lighly-furred%0D\
wolf = thin, hairy
I had no idea I was a wolf.
you bitches don''t start up that ridiculous intercene otter v. wolf warfare. \
It has marred way too many Sundays at The Eagle, and I won''t allow it here on DL.
r30, it''s Blatino husbear
[quote]It has marred way too many Sundays at The Eagle, and I won''t allow it here on DL.\
Oh great--DL has its own Dowager Empress.
That guy at 0.55 in r20''s link looked way outta place, strange he was even let in.
r17, you''re judging the entire community based on one rude person''s psychology. Have you ever found a community/group where every single person is mentally sound and well-mannered?
All guys have hair on their body. In America BEAR means fat.
[quote] polar bear (white men)%0D\
Polar bears are grey or white haired bears, R3. Older bears. Daddy bears. It does not signify a white bear. Most of bear culture is pretty white to begin with.%0D\
Black bear does refer to a bear of African descent, and Brown bear refers to Latinos. I''ve heard of Asian bears being referred to as Panda bears, but I''ve never actually seen an Asian bear.%0D\
I learned all this in Ptown during bear week several years ago.%0D\
Also, I don''t think all bears look alike. There is a stereotypical "look" to guys who identify strongly with the bear identity and are active in the bear scene, but bears as a physical type (naturally hairy and usually with more than 8% body fat) really run the gamut. Bear culture, though, tends to be a bit cliquish and monolithic.
Physically bearish, but not really into the whole culture
[italic]All guys have hair on their body.[/italic]%0D\
Thanks for the hot tip, Charles Darwin. %0D\
"Bear" refers to men who have visible, usually copious amounts of body hair on their legs, arms and torso. It most often refers to men who are physically larger than the average, especially the gay male average. It may apply to men who are stocky, muscular, "beefy", "fit-fat" or just overweight, to varying degrees.
Fat guys with no hair refer to themselves as bears too because "bear" deems it acceptable to be fat, just like fat guys will call themselves "football player build" in a hookup ad.
The whole plethora of names for different classes of bear is part of the ridiculousness of the whole scene to me. It''s like lesbians with all their stupid labels. It''s hilarious seeing lesbians lately discovering "femme"-ness, etc.
We have our own flag too. It''s a rainbow of hair color tones with a bear paw on it. The Bi flag is tri-coloured and goes from pink to white.
[quote]It has marred way too many Sundays at The Eagle, and I won''t allow it here on DL.\
Eagle? Honey, they don''t allow vaginas in the Eagle. Or in your case, vagine''s.
Who do you think you''re kidding, David? And how''s that writing thing working?
"I''ve never actually seen an Asian bear."%0D\
I think they''re endangered.%0D
My earliest recollections of "bear" (early 1980s) the reference was more often to a hairy man than to the R20 image (and thicker.) %0D\
[quote]For all the bulk and hair, I find them rather sexless.%0D\
There''s something to that, but I think it applies equally if not more to the Leather set -- who invest so much in uniforms and subcultural mores and arcana that the sex/sexy part falls to the wayside.
"bears as a physical type (naturally hairy and usually with more than 8% body fat)"%0D\
8% body fat is very low. That''d be a pretty slim person.
R 36 nailed it Exactly
Bitch, please. Leather is just drag with sweat and chains.
"fit-fat"? You have got to be kidding! Is this McDonalds new marketing campaign term for Obese? \
It is truly amazing how people find new ways to delude themselves.
I prefer old bears too, r56, but I avoid them because I''m afraid they''d die on me. I know anyone can die, but how do you deal with the anxiety of your lover potentially losing their faculties or dying in their sleep?
R57 is new here.%0D\
"Fit-fat" is an old DLism describing muscular men with body fat.
Bears = fat, hairy Heathers
someone should do another fit-fat photo thread
We call them "pandas," R 51.
Yes, there are still many bears who are exclusively attracted to one type or another, like muscle-bears only going for other muscle-bears. Almost all men, gay or straight, are like this anyway. But overall, bears are friendlier than non-bears. You could definitely notice the difference during Bear Week in P-town. The place was significantly friendlier and less bitchy.
Yeah, R56--the crix-belly is especially attractive.
I love that R56 is ''happily partnered for 17 years'', yet posts all kinds of naked pics of himself online. Nothing like an old whore who thinks it''s 1974 all over again.
R59 The term muscular with body fat is an oxymoron. (technically Olympic athletes have body fat too)\
Fit Fat is a head game, it is a dangerous head game, like a drug user saying he is not an addict, because he doesn''t do it every 3rd Tuesday that has no even numbers in the date. \
Play the head game if you don''t have the self control to actually lose the weight, but your health knows better and you know better too.
r66, how would *you* describe/explain a muscular guy who has slightly gone to seed? Where you can see all the spectacular muscles and the little layer of good livin'' on top of them?
I love the way powerlifters look, but I''d never be in a relationship with one because they all seem to die young from enlarged hearts.
[quote]Fit Fat is a head game, it is a dangerous head game%0D\
Not at all. R67 described it perfectly. These are not men who are obese or unhealthy. Many are ex athletes. They have a lot of muscle but they don''t have the unhealthy 4% body fat that body builders strive for so you can''t see the muscle definition as well. They have a healthy amount of fat on their bodies. In fact muscle bears are much healthier than the average roided out gym rat.
if by all looking alike, you mean that they are all hairy men with facial hair, then perhaps you might consider that smooth men without facial hair bear a complementary similarity.
"Bear culture, though, tends to be a bit cliquish and monolithic."\
Much like other gay subcultures.
I can''t bear this thread a second longer. Ha,ha!
R51 wins W&W.
Is R66 comparing a guy who is in decent shape but carries 10-20 extra pounds (which is roughly what "fit-fat" refers to)...to a drug addict?\
My mother has been kinda flabby since her 30s, and is now 84 and in pretty good health. I have never witnessed her performing anything that remotely resembles formal exercise ever in her life. Naturally, she has never set foot in a gym. %0D\
Gay gym-queens and fitness Nazis are delusional if they think that being a bit overweight is some kind of death sentence.
No, he doesn''t, R73. What is up with all these horrible W&W posts lately?%0D\
There is no way that R56''s guy is 47, as he claims. I''d say he''s not a day younger than 55.
The vast majority of men who call themselves "bears" are not a bit overweight, they are morbidly obese. A bit overweight is 5lbs.
Medically, the term clinically obese refers to anyone who is 30 lbs over their "height/weight" range limit.\
I would take a guess and say that over 60% of the bear community fit this description.
I have a friend that went bear. Now he won''t hang out with us anymore. If it''s not a bear thing, he won''t go.
Everything is a clique. Even the "outsiders" are a clique. I have lived in several different cities and have traveled all over the world and I have yet to meet someone who was completely original and unique. It''s ALL been done before.
"Medically, the term clinically obese refers to anyone who is 30 lbs over their "height/weight" range limit.\
I would take a guess and say that over 60% of the bear community fit this description."\
99% is techincally over 60%
R81, your logic is flawed. Or you don''t know the definition of clique.%0D\
Just because its all been done before and it is difficult/unlikely/impossible to be completely original or unique -- that doesn''t mean that every person is a member of a clique.%0D\
"Outsiders" or "loners" are by definition not "joiners" and therefore not members of cliques. Even most "normal" people may have a circle of friends and follow certain conventions without being members of cliques.%0D\
Bears, on the other hand, seem more likely to be members of cliques (in my very limited experience).
The bottom line is these are the men who were naturally good-looking and in-shape when they were younger and being ***GAY*** made them the very definition of trendy. %0D\
Now they are fat fucks in their forties and fifties so rather than being realistic about life, they are creating "trendy" names for themselves.%0D\
The recent issue of Out Magazine features a photo of 4 gay bears, at least 2 of them fit the above description perfectly.
And I am not naing htem.
"And I am not naing htem."\
Well, OK, darlin''!
SO, what''s the difference between a bear and a hairy mary? Is there one?
I once had a bear (25, looked 45) telling me about some all-bear camping vacation he took with several dozen Ursine-Americans.\
There was a hot tub at the lodge, and every night they''d squeeze as many of themselves into it as possible, a phenomenon he called "Bear Soup."
fuck, if you go back to the 70s, before the craze of smooth feminized male beauty crept in, a lot of what men and women found desirable in men was more akin to the contemporary bear than the contemporary twink.\
Obesity is not healthy, but not all bears are obese, some are in excellent shape. If you disagree with that than that disagreement is merely semantic, and, if, as is your wont, they are not called bears, handsome hairy masculine guys still rock.\
This, of course, is not to encourage any kind of clique or to say that men who are smooth and or feminine and or in the blush of youth can''t be desirable.
Please, Ernest Borgnine is the textbook definition of a bear and he''s pushing 100.
And the memory of his cock still makes me shudder, R91!
I like to hang out with Bears mostly because they''re friendlier, not because I''m exclusively attracted to hairy men. Plus they don''t judge me harshly or give me the evil eye because I''m fat, like ALL other gay men do. And I''m not exaggerating in the slightest by saying ALL. Young, fit, white, gay men are the shallowest humans on the planet. In the eyes of most bears I''m not even that fat, just about average. %0D\
That makes me feel good. So that''s enough for me to stick with the bears.
IMHO bears/beefy/fit-guys are the most beautiful men in the world.
[quote]I have lived in several different cities and have traveled all over the world and I have yet to meet someone who was completely original and unique.\
I have this intuitive feeling R81 that anyone original and unique would give you a wide berth.
LOL 81, that's true to a point!%0D
I love hot stocky bears myselof. IMO they can be the hottest most naturally masculine gay men (but I don't fetishize them, and can date a more slender guy) Just like in ANY subculture, there are fetishists and people who try WAY to hard to be macho or "bear-like". When I think "lumberjack" or REAL football or rugby players, many of them fall into the category of "bear". That's just their natural body type. %0D
What's funny is that stereotypial queens are usually smallish and insecure about that and bears are largish and insecure about that. All of it is a re-projection of the fact that society does not want gay men (or any minorites for that matter) to be truly comfotable in their own skin. Thus you have these endless LAM arguments about what it "means" to be a bear or a whatever. WHO THE FUCK CARES. Truly comfortable people fuck whomever turns them on and don't look around for approval or feel the need to go on and on about what they DON'T like. Queer men need to stop categorizing themselves by the purely visual and maybe we'd get somewhere.%0D
One interesting thing though- bears tnd to be more likely to partner up and are less bickering and prone to breaking up over bullshit than MOST club queens. Not sure if that's nec the best thing, but it's definite thing I noticed andwas actually shocked by since the stereotype of bears is that they are polyamorous piggish sluts. perhaps becasuse some bears are too lazy to break-up? lol duhknow. Then again, bears tend to be more politically conservative and disdainful of naturally feminine men. It's all so stupid and petty.
Bear type here, and sadly the whole bear scene is very tiring. Lots of guys look similar, true, just like any other subculture. I guess my gripe is that about 5 years ago, "bear" became a catch-all for any fat guy - from butch truly masculine guys to the nelliest of queens. Just like queens with little tweety-bird and a superman logo tattoos refers to himself as "tatted up", it is a misrepresentation of the origin of the phrase. %0D\
Hey! I go for big hairy guys! You can fuck your own pussy as far as I care
This what a bear [italic]should[/italic] look like:
[quote]I have a friend that went bear. Now he won''t hang out with us anymore. If it''s not a bear thing, he won''t go.%0D\
It can be rather like the cult of AA, a not-so-secret society where everyone is either inside or outside a circle. Differing body types or tastes in body types have much less to do with it than whether someone wants to enlist in the program and follow The True Path.
Like the critters in George Orwell''s Animal Farm, all bears are equal but some bears are more equal than others. It used to be that all bears were equally accepted, then muscle bears came along and all of a sudden they became Alpha Bears. Now local bars advertise "bear night" with photos of twinks who let their chest hairs grow, UGH!
MHB we''ve seen your sorry skinny ass and your snaggy face, don''t forget, we have SEEN it. So your pretending to be something you''re not (again) and taking a stance in that pose in order to be provocative, is not only not, it''s pathetic.
Bears, wolves, manatees and otter... oh, my!
Asian and African men don''t tend to be particularly hairy-bodied, but they certainly can be bearish. The current Dalai Lama is definitely a panda. Dr. David Suzuki and the later Toshiro Mifune also strike me that way.
R103, gay bars won''t get any customers if they advertise a bunch of flat, sloppy men in the local bar rags. You show a hot muscle boy with a little hair on his chest and the chubbys will show up anyway.
"then muscle bears came along and all of a sudden they became Alpha Bears"\
As it should be.
Over the past 15 years, morbidly obese gay men discovered they didn''t have to live sexless lives: they just had to grow beards and waddle their unkempt XXXXL asses into the bear scene. \
Given this, it is natural that men who were fit/hairy would need to do some self-selection.
The clones who survived the 70s and 80s are all bears now, still all looking the same - I''m one myself !
The clones who survived the 70s all died of old age by now. That was 40 years ago.\
R109 has a point. Bear is really a soft term for fat.
"It used to be that all bears were equally accepted..." \
No. It never used to be that way.
I don't understand the whole animal name thing. It's so clinical. They're objectifying themselves deliberately, and it's terrifying.
Ha! MHB is a bear! Right. She looks more like one of those Chinese hairless cats.
What the hell is David Suzuki doing on a DL bear thread?
I'd been attending "bear" events and fucking fat hairy men since the early 90s when I first came out.
I still like the look, but I've grown beyond tired of the bear scene over the past few years. Probably because I stopped enjoying bars and sex with strangers.
The Bear subculture is just like any other gay sub group, insular, cliquish and often very impressed with itself.
[quote]I'd been attending "bear" events and fucking fat hairy men since the early 90s when I first came out.
I guess all those people are elderbears at this point?
R117 The ones that are still alive.
Bears usually hate women!
Andrew Sullivan wrote that because bears are indistinguishable in mannerism and appearance from straight men, that makes them a threat to the hetero-orthodoxy.
John Goodman is a bear.
Ok....I define myself as a bear. I'm not obese, but I AM "sturdy" "beefy" or whatever euphemism you wish to use. I have natural musculature because---hold on to your pearls, Nelly---I do physical labor to earn a living ( and make damn good money, so there neener neener neener!)
Now, living what most of you sneeringly refer to as "flyover country", I haven't been exposed to a lot of club queens, gym fags, or what have you. Most of the gay men in my neck of the woods--and I mean woods in the literal sense--are what most of you would refer to as bears.
Does geographical isolation from so—called gay "meccas" have something to do with such branding? Seriously---is it a “culture” thing? I don’t own a caftan or a Peggy Lee CD so I’m just wondering.
"Most of the gay men in my neck of the woods... are what most of you would refer to as bears"
Married guys in Flyover, IA- on the downlow? They always hate "sissies".
To me, this is perfection, but would these guys be considered bears?
Bears are nasty (physically and behaviorally) little bitches.
I was really obese for a while and have lost 80 pounds. My therapist was trying to convince me when I was fat that there were always bears. I wasn't attracted to that type though. Just because you're fat enough doesn't mean you're interested in bear culture or that type.
I hate when fat guys turn me down.
I hate when fat guys slap my face
I need some hairy bear hole to munch on.
I need some hairy bear to fuck me
I needs to do sum huntin.
For as much as their subculture is supposed to be about "average Joe drinking a sixpack," bears are some of the cattiest, biggest-chip-on-their-shoulder queens I come across.
What to do when you come face to face with a massive 300 pound bear....