Is Being A Bear More Desirable In Some Towns Than Others?

I’m the type of gay that doesn’t care for his body style and I am sure I am not alone.  So we try to change, become gym bunnies, eat better, wax, and get hair treatments.  I remember a time when I was down to a 30-inch waist and broad shoulders with a 46-inch chest.  I felt and looked great, or so people told me.  I’ve always been a big boy, so my family was shocked to see me fit and trim.  Their responses were, “are you okay?  are you healthy?  feeling well?”  Meanwhile, I was getting more attention from the guys that I found desirable: fit, buff, muscular, smooth men.  And in turn, that made me happy.

Responsibilities, lives, and schedules change and I am sure I can think of more excuses, but the weight and the waist increased to a current level I’m not happy about.  But maybe it’s okay. 

Is being a bear more desirable in some towns than others?

Things might be looking up with the tide turning to Bears being more accepted.  They even have a dedicated bear hotel wing and bear pool parties at Gay Days Orlando and their own weeks and weekends in places like Provincetown, Ogunquit, Guerneville, Fort Lauderdale and the list keeps growing.  Go to any bear site and you will see their yearly calendars are more full and planned out than any circuit boy’s annual list of functions.


One of my current conversations with a guy on, you know, one of those apps was a little eye opening.  Something he said made me relook at where I live and maybe what time we live in.  He said, “you’re so lucky, Bears run this town.”  I was a little shocked to hear this, but I wasn’t about to argue with this sexy young man.  He was speaking of Wilton Manors, FL., 2nd in the U.S. for its percentage of gay residents as a proportion of total population (about 14%).  I was thinking, sure, there are bear theme nights, and predominantly bear clientele in many of the bars, but running this town?  Well clearly he may have been a little skewed since he was talking to me, a bear, and he was attracted to bears, but he may have a point.  This is something I need to look into more.  Can a gay subsection run a town? Can a town have a predominantly type of gay man residing in it?  And could bears be taking over in some towns?

I recently read a commentary by Al Mackay of where he speaks of Cape Town, South Africa as becoming more bear-centric.  He writes …

This is the time for bears. Bears and wolves and otters and all the other animal-themed hair-based gay typologies that I’ve probably never heard of. And even though I’m surprised by how we got here, I am delighted to have arrived. I have always found body hair incredibly hot. Hairy legs and forearms will get any boy a second date. A hairy treasure trail down the stomach sets my heart aflutter, and a hairy chest has the power to make my face flush.

And now, with the unstoppable force of cultural trend, we’re delving ever deeper into the world of body hair. Man-scaping is no longer even a thing. It’s better now not to trim at all – to have thick, wild and luscious pubes, to relish hairy asses. (read full piece here)

He does raise the point of, is being a bearded man with an untrimmed body just a fad the gay community is going through?  Or is it the gay culture just finally burning its bra, fighting the stereotype that we all need to wax, live in the gym for 2 hours a day, 8 days a week, and look like Tom Daley. 

As for Bears running Wilton Manors, Cape Town, or any other town … is that possible?  My opinion is still not formulated.  Does your town have a more prominent type of gay man living in it?  Would it hurt or help a city to be known as a twink town, bears den, jockville, or circuit boy-city?

To go back to my original question, Is being a bear more desirable in some towns than others?  According to some it is, but according to others, like Al Mackay, it may just be a trend. 

What is your opinion?  Does your town have a predominant type of gay man?

Here’s a fun little video that shows that hair is more desirable in this steam room.



57 thoughts on “Is Being A Bear More Desirable In Some Towns Than Others?”

  1. You people are why our

    You people are why our community is so broken and we hate each other.


    If you don't accept all aspect of gay people, you don't have gay pride OR bear pride or whatever pride. You just have self pride.


  2. I live in Wilton Manors, and

    I live in Wilton Manors, and trust me, Bears do NOT run this town. What runs this town is gym rats, pretty boys, and guys with a LOT of money. 

    • If you live in Wilton you

      If you live in Wilton you must not go out on a Friday and see all the bears going to Growl Friday at Bills.  I live off the drive and on Friday nights cars are lined up on the side of the road to get in there.  Then its off to Ramrod, trust me I know.  Bears may not run Wilton but they have a bigger influence then pretty boys.  As for the gym rats most of them are bears….AKA Muscle Bears!!  As far as money most cars you see here are leased BMWs and the drivers go home to an apartment that they rarely own where they have a room mate.  

  3. Wow.. I had to stop reading

    Wow.. I had to stop reading after he referenced that porn star or whoever he is. The author here is faaaar too obsessed with his social status in gay society, as are all the people he references. Just live your life, be you, let yourself be attracted to whoever you find attractive without having to put a label on it. I swear, gay culture is probably the most judge mental and exclusive atmosphere I've ever witnessed (second to middle school girls, perhaps) and this guys obsession over which label is on top jut perpetuates that. Remember people, the gay community is a small sub-culture In the grand scheme of things. If you're going to base your value on your social status, at the very least try to have enough wherewithal to realize how small the group of people you're aiming to please is. Step it up and go mainstream, diva!

  4. The Bear Generation survived

    The Bear Generation survived and thrived in gay community in the face of AIDS and other calamities of living as a member of an oppressed gender and sexual minority. Bears are one component – the aging, maturing bi/gay/queer male community – of an expanding civil rights movement that has not always been inclusive while making its demands of being included themselves. I've examined some of these issues in my book, Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions, on topics such as "Ethnic Bears and Bears of Color."


    • Agreed. The term bears

      Agreed. The term bears fetishizes  hairy WHITE men, leaving not much for hairy larger men of color. Being a "cub" myself, I think the whole gay community would be better off if we obsessing over certain body types. Appreciate beautiful men in their many shapes, sizes, and body-hair types. Also, realize that there is much more beneath the surface. A clich'e to talk about "inner beauty", I realize, but the hyper-sexuality gets really old when you are looking for something real. 

  5. This is a kinda stupid

    This is a kinda stupid conversation. There are good looking bears, bad looking bears, etc etc. You can be a gym rat, but if your face really sucks (I mean when you can tell that the person is an annoying person), he wont get far away.

    Defining as otter, bear, etc. it s just a funny thing that you are taking too seriously.

  6. I live in Denver, Bears,

    I live in Denver, Bears, Jocks, and Cowboys are all very popular here, but there are as many different body types here as there are anywhere else. I like to think our area is more accepting of difference than many others  but there are going to always be people in any group who are going to be nasty and not accept the people who they think are different. If the people you hang with are toxic, get away from them. There are plenty bof places you can be accepted for who ever you are.

  7. With the popularity of Where

    With the popularity of Where The Bears Are, Bears have come into a new light.  Once thought of by some as a second -class gay men we have come into our own.  The guys (on Where The Bears Are) have taught to accept my beardom.  

  8. For me, my experience with

    For me, my experience with bears has been a double edged sword. The whole Bear culture began way before the young men's time today, and WAS actually a way for being accepted no matter who you are. Bears didn't care if you had a beard, body hair, weight, or could wear leather. They advertised themselves as the 'more accepting' group as opposed to the other stereotypes. Today, Bears can be just as BAD as the other stereotypes. They pick and choose who to talk to, who they're willing to be friends with, specific clothing to let their bear status be known, and even become exclusive of who they'll appear in pictures with. The problem is that Bear culture CONTINUES to fake the acceptance of everyone when really that limit ends with the last sub genre of their culture (Otters).

    I'm a 5'4 average looking latino guy, and I'm dating a man who's 6'5, hairy, bearded, and deep voiced. He rejects stereotypes, loves me for me, and respects anyone who respects him. When I went to gay night at Six Flags and held his hand, we were shot dirty looks from both 'twinks' AND Bears, because we were breaking some invisible list of rules that opposites can no longer attract. That, and that we had betrayed our own kind or something. My advice, if you want to find the kinder and more accepting bears, go older. Find men who were with the culture from the beginning. Roughly age 45-60. They're the ones who won't bitch if you're not 190+ pounds and don't have a Paul Bunyan gene inside you. Bears anywhere from 19-35 aren't afraid to exclude and be jerks. They've successfully entered the culture, and can do whatever they want since they've earned it. EVEN the ones who didn't even start as bears and had to purposefully "become" one to fit in (gaining weight intentionally, halting all means of shaving, switching clothing, switching friends, switching interests, etc.) and these are usually the ones who reference the fact they're bears the most.

  9. remember when gay guys were

    remember when gay guys were fun and uncomplicated?………………………me neither but, i've heard tales of such.


  10. The biggest thing for me was
    The biggest thing for me was loving myself. I went from fatty to skinny anorexic type. Finally for years falling at toned and yet meaty. I get so confused how we as a whole gay community strive to be accepted. I’m like ok a lil progress on the outside and now here we are labeling among ourselves. Each to their own I suppose. I had a friend of mine once call me a otter. I was like nope just me. If you love yourself and your happy find someone who’ve you got some common grounds. Go for it. To me if he’s fuzzy Frank, strapping daddy war buck, toned Timmy or tubby Tom doesn’t matter. Sexy is within.

  11. Forget about the bear

    Forget about the bear conversation, what's up with cheesy and crappy gay cinema like this awful video clip attached in the article. When will the gay community reveal it's artistic talent that so many have shown in so many other ways, through quality cinema and a good comedy? "B" movie gay cinema continued…

    • Let’s not label anything “USA

      Let's not label anything "USA shit", please! This is a land of freedom for all and a place of opportunity also for all , specially  if you are making your living here. What is happening is that as things open more and more towards acceptance o gay folk in general, taste and attraction is showing its variety even among us, and that's ok,  as long we do not act like jerks towards someone who is different and that don't fit our sexual expectations. There is someone out there that likes any and other types of guys.


  12. Being a half white-half Asian
    Being a half white-half Asian guy, I’ve always wondered if there was a place where my kind is more accepted. I though maybe LA, but boy am I wrong. Anyone know a place where white guys like Asians?

  13. I feel that bears are very

    I feel that bears are very accepting…….of other bears. From the bars to the personals section, it becomes pretty apparent that "like attracts like." But what makes this type of narcissism any different from the type exhibited by the gym bunnies who rejected them? I have a lot of folks in the bear community whom I consider to be my friends, but none of them think of me as a potential boyfriend because I am of average height and weight, have little body hair and an average size beard. Every gay man wants to feel on some level that his peers find him pleasing and attractive – bears are especially tuned into this fact, which was the basis for starting a community of bears to offer support and encouragement. But somewhere along the line, fetishism creeped in, and with it a cloaked prejudice. Half my bear buds don't even seem to realize the segregation they are engaging in – even on an average weekend night at the bar or those bar events dubbed "bear nights." I am sure this  will be met with a lot of resistance and denial, still the truth needs to be said. The socio-anthropological phenomenon of the oppressed becoming the oppressor is nothing new. But let's just not talk the game of inclusion, but live it. Otherwise, the rainbow flag is a fraud.

    • None of us know for sure

      None of us know for sure where our preferences started in the very beginning. I love hairy guys, but if a guy is not completely hairy I can also appreciate a guy who has a smooth chest but still has hairy legs. Bearded guys without any hair below their faces do not do it for me. I've seen guy in my gym who are covered by a very slight fur on their legs and arms, and that is a turn on. In the eighties there was a short and muscular bear star that I saw in gay magazines, and then I met him in the street and at a bath house,and all he loved was smooth and slim tall guys. In his pictures and movies he was always seeing with someone of that type.  

    • The rainbow flag is a fraud

      The rainbow flag is a fraud and always has been, except perhaps for brief periods where strong oppression catalyzed a common purpose. As gayness becomes more accepted by society, the fellow-feeling amongst gays that was brought about by oppression will become even less. The virtue of being very accepting of diversity is an individual accomplishment. It has yet to be embodied by any group of people on a consistent basis.

      • No argument there, Darrin –

        No argument there, Darrin – but to the gay community at large, I say "that's a cop-out." Just because an ideal or manner of thinking/behaving isn't prevalent among the larger population, doesn't mean we should not be ACTIVELY STRIVING to make the diversity/inclusion a reality. I need remind you that we have seen what was once staunchly-held attitudes become more acceptable, and even embraced by society.

        There may be a thin line between "preference" and "exclusion", but the line is there for anyone with insight and courage enough to see it. It's 2014 for crying out loud – the LGBT community has won the hard-fought battle for marriage equality in most states, but socially the scene resembles the 50's in terms of the segregationist nature of our interactions? That is not, and should not be acceptable if we are truly the bellwethers of acceptance and solidarity instead of part-time hypocrites.

  14. I’m not sure I would qualify

    I'm not sure I would qualify as a bear. I'm 52 with little manscaping, so I'm no twink and my doctor reminds me I am not a gym bunny. A young twink next door shamelessly flirts with me, but the bottom line (no pun intended), I know he loves being in my living room, at my dining room table, at museums with me, and at a Starbucks, but I know he does not want to be in my bed, and where it would screw up both his world and mine, I don't want him there either. In a few years he will not be as young as he is now, and age will impact his body, but he has a friend who will assure him, he'll be fine. 

  15. Gay people are varied in

    Gay people are varied in appearance and behaviour but there is this expectation that each gay person can be stereotyped into a neat category.

    More focus on bears, I think is a positive step in the right direction.  It recognises that there are gay people out there that do not fit into the categories of "slim", "twinky" "hairless", "defined", "effeminate", "fag hag's bff" but they are being loved and accepted for who they are and not being expected to change to fit into them to retain their "gay card".


  16. I feel bears are more

    I feel bears are more accepting, the gym bunnies, or six packs are prudes. Going to a bear pool party is fun everyone doesn't walk around like a roaster trying to put their shoulders back and their chest out. It's more like they want to have fun. They take you for who you are. To often the gay community feels worse than my days in middle school. 

  17. Out everything affecting the

    Out everything affecting the gay community, this is the most productive thing the writer could think of to write about?  Really?  And we wonder why the gay community is so divided. lol. Lord. 

  18. I’m a big ol’ bear bottom and

    I'm a big ol' bear bottom and I've hated it for most of my life. At 6'4", it's hard to find tops that aren't intimidated. And the hair…not a fan on me. I try to keep pretty hairless, but no one is gonna mistake me for anything but a man, hahaha. And another guy's hair feels awesome on bare skin –woof!

    I guess I'm more comfortable now being a bear than when I was in my 20s (late 40s now), but it is amazing how many guys wanna be my "son". If I was a top, I'd have it made in this town, hahaha (Vancouver).

  19. wow, you all take it so

    wow, you all take it so seriously that you don't even notice it's funny, funny, funny, not serious at all

  20. Wow. This is all so amazing

    Wow. This is all so amazing shallow!

    Body type is really completely irrelevant. You cannot tell a book by its cover, you have to delve into it, get to know it, read it and experience it.

  21. Bears are great and my choice

    Bears are great and my choice, but many will go the other way and like smooth guys. No one can control what someone else likes. Otherwise, the world would be a bring place.


  22. Here in OKC, the Bears may
    Here in OKC, the Bears may not run this town but we are by far the most social around. We have monthly pool parties and a weekly happy hour, even a weekend hosted by MCA and a Kink weekend. The twigs do drag and that’s about it.

  23. I’m a dancer in NYC…. the
    I’m a dancer in NYC…. the exotic type 😉 and I don’t trim my chest/armpits/etc. And I find that I get much more business than the hairless beach boy bodied dancers. I definitely think that hair is becoming more accepted and even desired over the waxed mannequin look. I say amen to more diverse groups of our community coming together and appreciating the various aspects of being a gay man.

  24. Well, I noticed when I lived

    Well, I noticed when I lived in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philly and Indianapolis, a hairy chubbier guy didn't have any problems with have a social or sexual life and were often the "preferred pick". But, when I moved home to Orlando it was the same ol' same ol' – The Orlando "gay scene" can be rough for the up-and-comer When you've spent the better part of your life here, you just eat the rude ones alive. I think for the most part, people are so sick and dating fish (you know who you are). Personally, I don't care how nice your body, smile, eyes are or how big your dick is. If you're wearing daisy dukes and got your shirt tied up in a knot, you can keep walking bbgirl. Ain't no grown man got time for that (unless ofc, it's #sidebitchsunday). Luckily, you can keep creeping craigslist.

    You may be pretty, but like someone else said… you lack everything else that makes everyone unique. Live your life however you want tho, I don't hate.

  25. Noodles and Beef created a

    Noodles and Beef created a nice evolving matrix to tell you what specific gay clique you belong to and where you are most desirable.

    ​But if you want to live where the Bears run things IMHO it appears to be Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Berlin, Madrid and possibly Minneapolis/St. Paul, Columbus and St. Louis. 

  26. Bears don’t run any town.


    Bears don't run any town. Bears may run Wilton Manors- a hamlet populated by primarily older gays- but that's a small town and Bears are always more accepted where the crowd is less young and attractive. As long as there are still separate bear events within larger gay events- read, they are not wanted at the larger younger attractive party- they cannot be considered on the rise.


    • Well Josh, I think you may be

      Well Josh, I think you may be a little jealous that hairy men are more in demand. I've lived in Ft Lauderdale and now Chicago. When I moved to Chicago, I realized that there are many 20 and 30-somethings  interested in Bear men of all ages. Fortunately, your "larger younger attractive party" is becoming less attractive because you may think you're pretty on the outside, but you really offer no substance.

  27. Nothing is sexier than a

    Nothing is sexier than a hairy man.  Hairy chests and backs are a major turn on. Also men with beards and facial hair are more appealing.  It is time advertisers are aware of this.  Enough of the young smooth less guys that are always used in ads.  Most guys that claim they don't like a hairy guy are usually lying.  The first thing they do when they see a hairy chest is to rub it.  As a hairy man myself I can vouch for this!  Granted we all have our types and likes but I don't think anybody should ever put down somebody else because they like one type of man over another.  The same is true for guys that are shallow about dick size, but that is another story.  So us hairy men have to stick together and damn the others that don't like us!

    • For me it has always been

      For me it has always been that the hair in a man's legs going up to the crotch from down the legs makes me more excited and turned on.I feel all of that when I see a dressed guy with hairy arms and hair peeping out in the opening of his shirt by his neck. If the guy has a muscular body and a cute face and a manly square jaw line, that is a complete turn on. I actually just described my partner of 26 years.

  28. It’s a natural result an the
    It’s a natural result an the “original” liberated gay generation, those who came out in the 70’s through 80’s getting older, wiser, and living longer healthier lives than our predecessors.
    I came out in ’75 and the whole gay-gym, beefcake trend was just starting. Most gay models were not gym buff, they were skinny boys or working-man muscled, but not “cut, ripped, eight-pack” guys. But that started to change when we began to see ourselves as worthy of PRIDE.
    Then AIDS hit, and many of our brightest, prettiest, most talented were cut down in their prime, thus stealing from the following gay generation those who would have been the bears and daddies for that generation.
    We’ve now passed that time and gay men are living into their 40’s and beyond, and doing so as healthy, well adjusted, mature and loving Bears. I thank God our numbrrs are once againg increasing and our community is seeing the benefits of an older, wiser, loving and mentoring generation.

  29. I live in Nashville,

    I live in Nashville, Tennessee. Our city is full of Bears. I go to a bar called "Stirrup". Its filled with Bears and Daddy's who want to pick up twinks. There's also another club called "Play", it's loaded with Bears. They are everywhere; even I'm considered a "baby Bear" as I've been called. 

  30. Just hang out down South for

    Just hang out down South for a bit. Carolinas, Georgia, Tennesse….those guys have never SEEN the inside of a gym, or heard of this culinary specialty, called a SALAD !  Fat fat fat. grrrrrrrr goes the daddy bear to his chubby cub.

  31. I have always like a “Man”

    I have always like a "Man" with natural body hair! I find it very sexy. like the model DW Chase, he's stunning! and loads of others like him. if you happen to be looking, Im in Indiana and Im a sexy single bear! we need some bear hunters out here!

  32. After recent travels to Texas

    After recent travels to Texas (Austin) and other destinations on the east coast, I would say that certain cities most definitely are more accepting of/open to furry bear-or-hair type guys.

    Worth noting, though, I hail from LA, the land of the ugliest hot guys you'll ever meet (Yes personality counts for something).

  33. Bears (like myself) can be

    Bears (like myself) can be awesome guys! We can shave off our body hair (as I do often) but we can't grow personalities. Some of these "muscle heads" I've chatted with are great on the eyes but have the smarts and personalities of a Kardashian! And not the famous ones either!!! 


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