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Understanding gay "Bear" culture

So I'm listening to Frank DeCaro on OutQ radio a few days ago (probably my first mistake) and he's interviewing some of the actors from "BearCity 2".

He starts interviewing Richard Riehle and talks about him like he's some kind of sex god/daddy bear icon. I've never heard of the guy, so when I get home I look him up on the net expecting some kind of cross between Sean Connery and George Clooney.

Instead, I find some fat, bald old guy who looks like he would smell.

Meanwhile, I find out the repulsive, fat, bald old queen that is Frank deCaro, thinks he can pull taint because he is a "bear", since apparently the definition of bear is old, out-of-shape, and hairy, not necessarily masculine. If you're young and all the above - you're a cub.

Richard Riehl is at link. Seriously, are there really gay men out there slapping their hams while fantasizing about this guy?

Anyway, Grandpa Walton was much hotter.

by Anonymousreply 10512/03/2012

I prefer these guys-

by Anonymousreply 107/21/2012

Well if you go to any bear bar, you'll see the guy at OPs link and many more like that.

R1's link is the pron version of a bear of which you will never see any in real life.

Been to plenty of bear events and those gals love to eat. These are the people who will need to buy two seats when they check in on a Southwest flight. I'm normal weight, but i feel thin and invisible at bear parties. It's like being Marilyn Munster.

by Anonymousreply 207/21/2012

The older one's are polar bears.

by Anonymousreply 307/21/2012

Seems like every fat ass today declares himself a "bear". Sometimes I want to argue with them and say no your just a fat ass but I'm not that mean.

by Anonymousreply 407/21/2012

A lot of people consider fat guys to be bears. I always thought it had to do with body hair.

by Anonymousreply 507/21/2012

Gee op let me guess. Early 20's thin uses a flat iron. Man life is going to kick you in the ass if you make it 20 more years.

by Anonymousreply 707/21/2012

That's because obese gays figured out that if they grow some facial hair on their mugs, they can call themselves "bears." Then, voila, a niche community they can plug into, make friends, get laid. While staying obese.

This is what Ptown put out as a promo for Bear Week -- in other words, this is what Ptown sells as the 'hotter" men of Bear Week. It goes downhill from there.

by Anonymousreply 807/21/2012

R8, you are why we hate you.

by Anonymousreply 907/21/2012

Some of these guys are definitely chubbers.

by Anonymousreply 1007/22/2012

Right on, r6. That is what I want.

by Anonymousreply 1107/22/2012

Bear = fat + let themselves go.

by Anonymousreply 1207/22/2012

It happens, r12. Am only about 20 lbs overweight, recently became single, and am not into the morbidly obese guys, but at age 50, the handsome guys at r1's link are way out of my league. Am definitely going to check out the bear scene!

by Anonymousreply 1307/22/2012

I thought obese men without that much hair were considered "walruses"....

by Anonymousreply 1407/22/2012

I love bear gatherings. It's the only place where other men openly display lustful glances in my direction. I generally get ignored otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 1507/22/2012

And most gay fat guys aka bears are so queeny!

by Anonymousreply 1607/22/2012

I'll have to respectfully disagree with R6....I find that "bears" have huge body image issues for the most part. I find a lot of bears get insecure when they see someone hairy, but in fairly good shape.

I think they like to just associate with people as fat or fatter than they are. Like surrounding yourself with uglier girls, then you'll always be the pretty one.

by Anonymousreply 1707/22/2012

God, who the hell gives a shit?

OP, why the fuck do you care if a bunch of fat guys get together and fuck each other? Be happy they're getting laid.

I'm assuming you don't.

by Anonymousreply 1807/22/2012

Up until the mid 80s bear meant beefy.

A bear was muscle and fat. Just like a real bear. Muscle chest and arms but a gut.

Then it collapsed into a mess of flab.

by Anonymousreply 1907/22/2012

What I don't understand is the new trend on this retro sailor look that is going on with gay men on tumblr..with the beard,pipe..anchor tatoos

by Anonymousreply 2007/22/2012

Cunt @ r4: "your" is the possessive. "You're" is the contraction if "you are". As in, you're an asshole!

by Anonymousreply 2107/22/2012

Don't they smell bad? I imagine the oder of stale garlic and fried chicken mixed with musty sweat. Ewww

by Anonymousreply 2207/22/2012

I think it's sweet that they have a community which allows them to feel sexy. If you're not fat and hairy, why do you care? Just want to rain on someone's parade, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 2307/22/2012

Queerty had a bunch of photos from Ptown Bear week. Looks good to me.

by Anonymousreply 2407/22/2012

Some don't look quite as bear like as you'd expect.

by Anonymousreply 2507/22/2012

Bears or just hairy?

by Anonymousreply 2607/22/2012

R21 = Size 42 inch waist.

by Anonymousreply 2707/22/2012

R27 = hasn't seen a cock, including his own, in years.

by Anonymousreply 2807/22/2012

r18 and r23 get it. What is the point of being judgmental and bitchy about other peoples' lives? It's just people finding like minded friends and sex partners and it doesn't affect you at all.

Leaving aside the tiresome arguments about body size, I think a lot of younger gay guys are starting to embrace the central tenet of bear-dom which is a little more freedom about body hair. I've been to gay bars a couple times this summer and have been pleasantly surprised to see a lot of hot young guys showing off furry chests and stomachs, untrimmed pits, etc.

While I'm not really a niche community type, I fit the general profile of bear- late 30s, bald, hairy body, small beer gut - and I can assure you that I do not smell bad when I mix in public, nor do most of the bears I've ever met.

by Anonymousreply 2907/22/2012

Richard Riehle, from OP's link, is one of the hat sisters. I love them.

by Anonymousreply 3007/22/2012

Thank You, R1

by Anonymousreply 3107/22/2012

re R30: Riehle played one of them in a movie, but the real Hat Sisters are John Michael and Tim.

by Anonymousreply 3207/22/2012

Ask Joe Jervis.

The bears I remember from the 70s were always taking about Beverly Sills instead of how to fix a broken jeep.

by Anonymousreply 3307/22/2012

If they want to let themselves go and be slovenly and obese, more power to them. For me, however, they aren't attractive in the slightest. Bear Week in Provincetown is like being in a candy store but 95% of the candy has salt in it.

by Anonymousreply 3407/22/2012

Salty and sweet is the perfect combination, R34.

by Anonymousreply 3507/22/2012

You just know R34 was pushing up his glasses as he typed that.

by Anonymousreply 3607/22/2012

[quote]pushing up his glasses as he typed that.

...should be the new "Dialing the Phone With A Pencil."

by Anonymousreply 3707/23/2012

Richard Riehle also played Tom in Office Space. (The pissed off guy who got laid off and tried to kill himself with carbon monoxiding himself in his car. )

by Anonymousreply 3807/23/2012

Bear "culture" is as clique laden and exclusionary as the other segments of the gay community. If you don't fit perfectly into one of their cutesy little animal labels, you can forget socializing with them. Just more division and exclusion within the "community".

by Anonymousreply 3907/23/2012

the younger hipper generation of gays is really into facial hair and "butchness" which makes them sort of beary, but then they're also into old school disco and house, and gender fuck and seem to be more style conscious than the classic stubbornly fashion ignorant bear. also they're not genrally super chubby. I think the style is hot as fuck (see r1s link) but i dont know what the ter, is for this little genre of sexiness. what do they call themselves? are they bears?

by Anonymousreply 4007/23/2012

[quote]Bear "culture" is as clique laden and exclusionary as the other segments of the gay community. If you don't fit perfectly into one of their cutesy little animal labels, you can forget socializing with them. Just more division and exclusion within the "community".

Precisely!

I have found men who identify with the bear subculture to be quite snooty and exclusive. They won't speak to non-bears and won't hesitate to tell you how unattractive you are to them. Like that's important.

I was in a bar one night, feeling good and happy. I made the horrible social faux pas of smiling at a rather cute bear. He SNEERED at me and turned his back.

I wasn't coming on to him or even trying to speak to him. I just smiled. But because I'm thin, clean-shaven, and cute I apparently deserved to be treated badly.

by Anonymousreply 4107/23/2012

I'm not a bear, but I have several bear friends and I've never encountered anything like what R39 and R41 claim.

Yes, it's subculture with a lot of made-up rules and they all look and dress alike. But they, in general, are FAR more welcoming than traditional gaggles of gays.

I'm guessing R39 and R41 have other issues they aren't sharing here, i.e., "I'm thin, clean-shaven, and cute"

by Anonymousreply 4207/23/2012

The thing I like about bears and their attitude is that, as men of certain age, they have reframed their aging and fetishized it. All of a sudden, the masculine effects of aging, like weight gain, being hairy, letting it all hang out, are positives. They have become sexual attractive.

Imagine if straight men could do this with women, so that older, heavier women were desired. the world would be a much happier place.

I love that gay men can do this. For all the talk of elder-gays on DL, here is an example of elder-gays who are still having sex, still desirable, still living life.

by Anonymousreply 4307/23/2012

[quote]Understanding gay "Bear" culture

The bear part I'm not bothered by; it's the "culture" part that is off-putting, just as it is with "leather culture," etc.

Do what you want, move in the orbit of like-minded people if you like, but when your "culture" has more arcane rules than a ladies' sewing circle, it just seems silly at best.

by Anonymousreply 4407/23/2012

My issue, R42, is with gay people who treat OTHER gay people badly for no good reason. We all know this snooty behavior exists and we've all experienced it. My point is that bears are no better in this respect than the bitchiest, queeniest queen or the A&F-clad gym Adonis.

I know that some people like to claim that bears are more accepting and nicer and so on. But it simply isn't true. At least not in my experience.

by Anonymousreply 4507/23/2012

You're welcome r31.

by Anonymousreply 4607/23/2012

"Like" R43

by Anonymousreply 4707/23/2012

Young hipsters with facial hair are NOT bears, even if they're gay guys.

They're hipsters.

by Anonymousreply 4807/23/2012

the thing is r40, that the younger generation doesn't seem to be replenishing the bear culture., because hipster culture allready provides them with a sense of community and self respect. Sad to say i think the old notion of bear cultures may be on its way out

by Anonymousreply 4907/23/2012

r49: the whole thing about bear culture is aging. It's being a man. Sure, there are younger guys who identify with the culture, but I really think it's about remaining sexual as you grow older. And I'm all for that!

by Anonymousreply 5007/23/2012

Finding Richard Riehle hot or not has nothing to do with bear culture.

Just like finding Gale Harrold hot or not has nothing to do with.... well whatever subculture or mainstream it is is that would find guys like Gale Harrold, in the general sense hot.

Not all guys who like twinks are going to like Joe Jonas.

Not all guys who like older Waspy jock dudes are guying to like Mitt Romney.

Not all guys who like black dudes are going to like, well, you fill int he blank.

I'm a bear loving bear and this Riehle guy does nothing for me and has nothing to do with defining bear culture for everyone.

Mainstream sex symbols also have lots of mainstream people who are not into them; and, frankly, I wouldn't call Riehle a sex symbol in the bear community, but even if he were, that has nothing to do with what being a bear is about anymore than wanting to fuck Tom Cruise has to do with what being a vanilla slave to pop trends.

by Anonymousreply 5107/26/2012

Of course there are snobs in any subcommunity.

by Anonymousreply 5207/26/2012

I watched this doc recently and found the interviewees to be a bunch of douches. And I wondered afterward if that was the point.

So many guys want to be bears now that it has come to include anyone with a gut.

I don't mind a chunky guy if he has other good qualities. But I'd never consider someone heavily into that assless chaps 'n chains Halloween shit.

They are so fascist about body type, they have become their own chubby version of the excluding gay cliques they rebelled against.

The word 'masculine' kept coming up. You wish you buncha bearded ladies.

by Anonymousreply 5407/28/2012

I love people like R41.

[quote]They won't speak to non-bears and won't hesitate to tell you how unattractive you are to them. Like that's important.

[quote]I was in a bar one night, feeling good and happy. I made the horrible social faux pas of smiling at a rather cute bear. He SNEERED at me and turned his back.

[quote]I wasn't coming on to him or even trying to speak to him. I just smiled. But because I'm thin, clean-shaven, and cute I apparently deserved to be treated badly.

Boo hoo. Your tired old ass got rejected. I'm sure it's not the first time, gramps.

R54 sounds more like your speed. Perhaps the two of you could meet over Metamucil shots and bemoan how no one wants to sleep with either of you, and how it's all the fault of bears.

by Anonymousreply 5507/28/2012

I don't want to sleep with bears. They are lazy in bed and mostly bottoms (Bear411 is nothing but chubs looking for daddy). And I don't feel safe trading bodily fluids with someone who says, "Use me as your pigboy". Ew, petri dish anyone? They don't know their HIV status because only skinny little fags get that, right?

It's no surprise someone whose body is out of control has no knowledge of how it works ("tested negative in January..." wtf??).

by Anonymousreply 5607/28/2012

I know one who used to do porn and considers himself a bear icon. I'm sure some fans would agree but it seems to be his only source of confidence. His real name is Frank

by Anonymousreply 5707/28/2012

AR57, are you talking about Mr. Martini, a/k/a Jack Radcliffe?

by Anonymousreply 5807/29/2012

[quote]The thing I like about bears and their attitude is that, as men of certain age, they have reframed their aging and fetishized it. All of a sudden, the masculine effects of aging, like weight gain, being hairy, letting it all hang out, are positives. They have become sexual attractive.

Having been in Weight Watchers with Frank DeCaro, I can tell you that he tried for a long time to lose the weight. Don't know when he gave into his inner bear, but he did struggle.

by Anonymousreply 5907/29/2012

[quote]Up until the mid 80s bear meant beefy. A bear was muscle and fat. Just like a real bear. Muscle chest and arms but a gut. Then it collapsed into a mess of flab.

That's exactly what I remember. There was even a club called "Girth & Mirth" for chubbies and chasers. It was very different than the bears back then.

by Anonymousreply 6007/30/2012

R39 here. Actually I'm 47, slightly overweight (5'11, 185), not in great shape, but not disgusting. I generally go to the bear bars because they typically cater to my age group. I'm a little hairy, casual but modest in dress, and generally on the shy side, having come out of a 13 year relationship a bit over a year ago. I moved to a new city, and primarily trying to make some friends, though dating isn't out of the question. I'm not into the twink scene, so most bars are not my thing. I'm just sick of attitude everywhere I turn. So yeah, I can attest to the snobbish attitude I see. If you're not the embodiment of the bear ideal, just forget meeting anybody even on a friendly level.

by Anonymousreply 6107/30/2012

Not in shape = grossly obese.

by Anonymousreply 6207/30/2012

It's sad that the Bear community has become stratified, with youngish muscle bears at the top of the totem pole, and older, fatter guys being ignored just like they would be in the non-bear gay community.

by Anonymousreply 6307/30/2012

Is a non hairy bear a walrus and a younger one a seal, with a very 'bulky' one a sea-cow?

by Anonymousreply 6407/30/2012

What do you expect from people you meet at bars? It's the gay equivalent of a high school cafeteria.

by Anonymousreply 6507/30/2012

Oh.

You know him too, R58.

I don't know him well. Was my assessment right?

He's a nice enough guy when you can get him away from talking about his porn past. And I think he's pretty hot. But very insecure ,thinks he can only attract big fat guys when there are many thin guys who would grab their ankles for him in a second.

by Anonymousreply 6607/30/2012

[quote]with a very 'bulky' one a sea-cow?

That would be a sea lion.

by Anonymousreply 6707/30/2012

[quote]Know your pinnipeds, people.

Know your Sirenia, gurl.

by Anonymousreply 6807/30/2012

Frank Martini AKA Jack Radcliffe was indeed super hot in his porn days and he still looks like a very attractive daddy type. However, he was always a very lacklustre performer who didn't seem to be all that much into having sex with his on-screen partners.

by Anonymousreply 6907/30/2012

R69 and R66, he's a big ol' bottom.

by Anonymousreply 7007/30/2012

[quote] Frank Martini AKA Jack Radcliffe was indeed super hot in his porn days and he still looks like a very attractive daddy type. However, he was always a very lacklustre performer who didn't seem to be all that much into having sex with his on-screen partners.

i.e. he never got hard enough.

I can't blame him for that. Doing porn isn't for everyone.

by Anonymousreply 7107/30/2012

I am in a Daddy/Son relationship with a bear daddy only I am on top alot and I fuck dad and spank him sometimes too especially when we go to his hunting camp. I don't want a bunch of pierced and tattooed jerk offs around my own age.

by Anonymousreply 7208/06/2012

OK, I have a question, would Cal Ripken be considered a "bear"?

by Anonymousreply 7308/06/2012

Imagine a built, hairy burly guy who can hold you in his arms and take your ear in his mouth and whisper to you that you're everything he's always wanted and he's not going to let you out of bed for days.

If that doesn't appeals to you, you aren't into bears. And you don't have to understand it. Just like those who are into bears don't have to understand your culture, mainstream or otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 7411/26/2012

I only go for bears and the occasional cub

by Anonymousreply 7511/26/2012

[all posts by right wing shit-stain # a removed.]

by Anonymousreply 7611/26/2012

R65, and meeting the gays online only procures the most enlightened of company? Surely you jest?

by Anonymousreply 7711/26/2012

I like beefy bears or wolves, but obese or very overweight bears not so much. Still, I'd rather have a guy with meat on his bones than a skinny twink anyday. But that's about what's my type, not some indictment on any other type. Indeed, I have a slimmer athletic build and smoother body. Consequently going to bear bars is torture. They're only into each other. Never met a bear at a bear bar. Usually meet them at mixed bars because, duh, why would a bear cruise for my type at a bear bar?

by Anonymousreply 7811/26/2012

Andrew Sullivan's husband is in "BearCity 2."

by Anonymousreply 8011/26/2012

Not sure where the whole idea of Bear/Leatherqueen/Musclefag = "masculine" comes from...these bitches are some of the nelliest,cattiest most neurotic queens around.

by Anonymousreply 8111/26/2012

muscle boy bear with extra hairy crack needs to be fucked call me

by Anonymousreply 8211/26/2012

R81, I think it's because physically it's almost the antithesis of what a woman would look like. You and I know better, but on the surface, in photos etc, it's all testosterone.

The upside is that it negates those antiquated theories about androgynous men

by Anonymousreply 8311/26/2012

After college I worked in a leather-ish bar for a couple of years. Sorry to say the worst customers were the bears. Twice a month we'd have a beer bust, and they'd turn out for the cheap tap beer and free food. There was just an entitlement attitude, like they'd been treated like shit and it was now their turn to dish it out. And the worst tippers in the world.

I ended up thinking "I don't want to get older like that" -- not fat or hairy, necessarily (some of my favorite customers weren't lookers), just not pushy and cheap. At least once a month they'd have a 50/50 raffle for something like a giant teddy bear and I'd get cajoled into buying tickets. Finally I just said no.

The only good thing was that the beer bust was 9 pm to 12 midnight. At 12 they'd all disappear. Not one of them would stick around and pay for a drink.

Old, young, fat, thin, masculine, feminine: I didn't care as long as someone was a good customer (and it was a leather bar - standards were pretty low). These guys were just assholes.

by Anonymousreply 8411/26/2012

I remember this hottie while he lived in Philly, WHEW, sex-on-a-stick

by Anonymousreply 8511/26/2012

Yet another thread where the OP has already made up his mind about whatever the topic and then asks "What do you all think?" as if he is still forming an opinion. And y'all fall for it every time.

The thread should read "I hate fat gay men and I don't care who knows it."

by Anonymousreply 8611/26/2012

R84, I have a friend who is a lifetime gay bar bartender. He says bears and lesbians are tied in the worst-tippers department.

by Anonymousreply 8711/28/2012

Lot of bears in Toronto.

by Anonymousreply 8811/28/2012

My doctor told me I needed to loose weight or I could end up with diabetes or a heart problem. Gurl, I told that bitch he was suppressing my culture and threatening me.

by Anonymousreply 8911/28/2012

[quote]I have a friend who is a lifetime gay bar bartender. He says bears and lesbians are tied in the worst-tippers department.

When I tended bar, women weren't the greatest tippers ... often a group would come in, they'd order four or five drinks, and leave a dollar. But they were also low-maintenance.

Bears and beer busts, on the other hand, require constant running around, refilling cups, usually without even a thank you. And if there were free hot dogs or something... ugh. Cheap bear stampede.

by Anonymousreply 9011/29/2012

Where The Bears Are

by Anonymousreply 9112/01/2012

I always though Jack Radcliffe was the ultimate bear but in videos he always looked kind of bored and uneasy.I really thought Mac was an awesome example of a bear but then I saw a video he did where he whipped a guy with a riding crop till he was literally bleeding!That freaked me the fuck out and I can't see him now without thinking of it.

by Anonymousreply 9212/02/2012

[quote].I really thought Mac was an awesome example of a bear but then I saw a video he did where he whipped a guy with a riding crop till he was literally bleeding!

a muscle bear friend of mine formerly of SF claimed he was stalked by Mac. He said he was a sick fuck.

by Anonymousreply 9312/02/2012

I believe it R93 in the video I saw he dry fucked a guy and got turned on when the guy started bleeding from his ass!

by Anonymousreply 9412/02/2012

Funniest show on the web!

"Where the Bears Are"

by Anonymousreply 9512/02/2012

I love that show R95 there are several pics online of the "hot" bear online completely naked,is he a porn star?

by Anonymousreply 9612/02/2012

The uniform facial hair of stache & beard tend to make bears look alike.

by Anonymousreply 9712/02/2012

I'm a bear. My pussy stinks.

by Anonymousreply 9812/02/2012

No, r98, your bear stinks.

by Anonymousreply 9912/02/2012

Gee, more bigotry from gay men. Didn't you guys get enough of this in high school, when you picked on the fat kids to deflect attention away from the fact you were closeted? Time to grow up, children.

by Anonymousreply 10012/02/2012

R84...yes, I'm sure it had nothing to do with how you treated them. Straight homophobes say the same things about gay customers.

by Anonymousreply 10112/02/2012

Bigotry from gay men, r100? Please prove you are no fat no fem and straight acting before posting to this thread.

by Anonymousreply 10212/02/2012

[quote]yes, I'm sure it had nothing to do with how you treated them. Straight homophobes say the same things about gay customers.

Oh, eat me, r101. I knew you'd be along at some point. "Straight homophobes" my douchebag.

Trust me, this wasn't a stuck-up bar; it was a place with a wide variety of customers, all of whom were treated well. And I'm actually attracted to a lot of bearish characteristics (stocky guys, beards), but the bear community as a whole, in that place, at that time, was an unpleasant bunch of people.

by Anonymousreply 10312/02/2012

Which studios make good Bear porn that isn't freaky fetish shit or full of hairy chubbies calling themselves Bears?

by Anonymousreply 10412/03/2012

Well, r104, that's an extremely loaded question: hairy chubbies by definition absolutely ARE bears, whether you like it or not. In fact in the bear community it would be offensive for you to pose that question that way: part of the whole point of being a bear is that you're rejecting the usual dominant gay culture's deinfitions of what beong attractive is (i.e. smooth, thin, professional).

It sounds like what you're really asking for is, which studios make good MUSCLE BEAR porn, which is a different thing. And even though you're pretty much a cunt and an asshole, I'll give you the answer nonetheless: Butch Bear Studios.

by Anonymousreply 10512/03/2012
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