In gay culture, a bear is a larger and often hairier man who projects an image of rugged masculinity. However, in San Francisco during the s, any hairy man of whatever shape was referred to as a 'bear' until the term was appropriated by larger men, and other words had to be used to describe hairy other-shaped men such as otter slim , cub young bear on the way , or wolf hairy, medium build. The word manatee describes a big, hairless man, i. The term bear was popularized by Richard Bulger, who, along with his then partner Chris Nelson — , founded Bear Magazine in
Catching a Bear
Many men who do not have one or all of these characteristics define themselves as bears, making the term a very loose one. A chaser is generally an average-weight male who is attracted to stocky, chubby, fat or obese males. However, some of the latter also consider themselves as a chaser since it is quite common for either a stocky, chubby, fat or obese male to be attracted to the same. A man who is hairy, but is not large or stocky - typically thinner, or with lean muscle. Also typically identified by an energetically playful and flirtatious manner. Slimmer version of a Bear with little pockets of fat like love handles or a tiny gut, but not as lean as a Wolf. A younger or younger looking version of a Bear, typically but not always with a smaller frame.
Bear (gay slang)
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John Hollywood writes about pop culture with a psychological twist; his articles are practical in nature with a "how-to" approach. Gay men often use descriptive terms to identify and label other men within the wider gay community. But many gay men often wonder what these terms actually mean.