When is being a “bear” a style and political statement, and when is it just an excuse for eating too many pies?
A rhetorical question perhaps, but personal taste, desire and human sexuality is so self-evidently complex and ambiguous that it can be quite confusing – one man’s bear is another man’s overweight uncle.
It is, of course, impossible to predict or even understand what attracts one person to another - often you see couples that are quite similar to each other (like-attracts-like) or that are completely poles apart (opposites attract). Some people go for personality, and some go for beauty over brains.
The big muscles and masculine persona traditionally associated with bears can often be a way of acting-out against all of those insecurities that many gay men have had to grapple with when growing up or trying to avoid the bullies at school. However, if you’re of a slimmer build, or a bit more androgynous in your sexuality, then the hyper-masculine role-play of bears can in itself be a bit intimidating.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter what you go for, what turns you on or turns you off. You’ve got to find what’s right for you. If that means taming a few bears in the process then it’s worth a try.