Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Otterly" Ridiculous

Okay, now and then I'm told by someone that I'm not a bear. Usually it's meant as some kind of compliment or a simple clarification. But I like being a bear.

Here's the deal: True, I am not a bear in the classic sense. The bear stereotype is a very big man, six feet two, say, built like a football player, with a big, big belly and a massive soup catcher that would put Santa Claus' beard to shame. It doesn't hurt if he has a big chest and a bass voice to match. He should be working-class, or at least look like he is. Middle-aged or on the cusp. The guys in the photo to the left won "bear" beauty contests or whatever they call them so I suppose they could be considered closer to the classic standard..

Now the bear community has expanded (to the dismay of some classic bears, I'm told, though I've never seen concrete evidence of this so far), and there are many different categories of bear. Younger bears are "bear cubs." Older bears are "daddy bears." Bears who aren't quite so large -- or fat, if we're to be blunt -- can be "otters," and even "wolves," if they're very slender.

I've lost quite a few pounds in the last few years, going on a self-improvement kick. I had my admirers when I was a larger (more bear-like?) man, but frankly I seem to do better today. So perhaps I'm not a bear, but an otter. I'll have to become really skinny before I'm a wolf, although friends tell me that's the correct classification already (and they don't mean bear classification). And I'm not "working class," as such, being a writer, although that's the class I was born into.

So sue me. I'm a "furry bear" (very hairy guy) par excellence, and I honestly don't know what else to call myself. My best friend took an objective look at me and said, "Bill, you're somewhere in the middle between otter and bear." Cool.

The bear community is fun and friendly, with no attitude. I've met some great bears and bear admirers online and elsewhere. It isn't about how young, pretty and slender you are, and a hairy body is considered an asset, not something those four "fabulous" Queer Guys would go "ewwww, yuchhh" about, recommending you get a body peel or something equally feminizing and idiotic. You can be a more mature person and not be ignored as you might be in a bar full of "fabulous" twenty-somethings (unless you wave around a few bucks or pick up everybody's bar tab and even then you'll probably go home alone).

In other words, bears are great.

Shit -- I'm a bear!



Bulletman said...

You're a wolf, not an otter. Not because you're so slim but because you stole a trick from me two weeks okay. I will do the same -- and reveal my true identity -- when you least expect it. Kisses!

Bill Samuels said...

Me? Steal a trick? Never! You must have been drunk!

I think I know who you are, Bulletman. You can try and steal a trick from me if you want but I warn you once I get my hands on a guy I stick like glue, LOL!

Henson Ray said...

Very entertaining dissection of the bear community. First time at your site and found it very interesting. My personal vision of a Bear is the guy on "Men in Trees" that fell in love with Anne Heche's best friend/agent. MMMEEEOOOWWW!!! And he's not the classic bear. But a bear nonetheless!

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comments, Henson. I'm going to have to check out this guy on Men in Trees! I've heard of the show but haven't seen it yet.

I think you've got an excellent and entertaining blog yourself that people should check out!

Best regards, Bill

Henson Ray said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog.

The guy has only been on "Men in Trees" once this season, but if you like Bears, there are always plenty on the show to choose from. Lots of other fun characters too...

Zathyn Priest said...

This is all new to me...I have to get out more!!


Bill Samuels said...

Hope you have a ball!