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The Bear Necessities

If you go down to the woods today, you better know what it takes to charm the bears. Bears have become one of the fastest growing gay subcultures globally, and whether you are amused by parts of gay subculture being referred to by animal names or not, it’s a thing and it’s here to stay.

Let’s say that you find yourself having some traits often described as “bearish”, like a stocky build, hairy body, beard and rugged good looks, and you are looking for a bear partner to hibernate with for the winter months, you might be wondering what it takes to be a quintessential bear and how to attract a suitable mate. Clue: It’s not always just about your honey pot.

Growl Damnit!

One of the most recognizable traits of a bear is very often a cloud of rugged manliness that surrounds them. These are usually your “man’s man” and are often either very butch and sporty or geeky and quiet but are very seldom accused of being effeminate. This is not an absolute as I have met my fair share of glitter bears, but certainly, testosterone is a requirement in the majority of bear interactions.

Dress for Success

While you may think that the carpet of fur that coats your body is all you need to survive in the bear world, you may be mistaken to find that there are several looks that are easily identifiable in the bear community and may just help you to draw some attention to yourself. The first would be kilts. No, I’m not joking. Kilts are extremely popular among bears and have become a large part of bear culture. Camo prints and leather are also often linked to bears, so perhaps a camo harness is what you need to set the right tone.

Calm down, Goldilocks

The most important advice you can be given regarding the bear community is to relax. There are no hard and fast rules. As big and burly as these men are, most of them have a heart of gold, a relaxed attitude around sex, don’t give a damn what you look like and will adopt almost anyone into their circle. There is a big heart that beats in the bear community and you can consider yourself lucky to get to know some of these guys. So, go out there. Be yourself. And have fun. Oh…and take snacks…just in case.

Craig Stadler is a contributing writer for the Anova Health Institute and these are his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.

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