Balancing physical attraction with a personality and life goals can be difficult to define while dating and exploring romantic relationships. As the LGBTQ+ community continues to evolve (check KeYou for details), different body types and appearances are used between gay men to identify who and what they're specifically attracted to. While most of the labels are used with good humor, it's also enlightening to discern how your fellow gay guys view themselves and each other.
Gifted with the looks of a chunky hunk, gay bears are recognized mostly by their significant brawniness and how well they fill out a tight pair of Levis. But what does it truly take to be a gay bear? The answer lies in a mix of physical prowess, a special love of furriness, and an enigmatic charisma. Before diving in dating sites and apps let us refresh the basics.
Who are Gay Bears?
Gay bears will remind you of a grizzly yet cuddly bear. Their bodies run the gamut between muscular and chubby, and commonly covered in body/facial hair. They ultimately love to show off their girth with pride and enthusiasm.
A robust debate of whether it's the attitude or the looks that make the bear lingers in the gay scene. A gay bear's physicality is what makes them attractive on the outside, while their personalities vary as much as any other member of the gay community. Many are naturally reserved and looking for a good snuggle, while others are more extroverted and exude aggressiveness, especially in the bedroom. You might find that a gay bear's growl isn't worse than their bite unless that's a fun furry kink you enjoy dating.
Brief History of Gay Bears
Chunky hunks are more vogue than ever before. Like all pivotal movements in the LGBTQ+ community, gay bears initially began as a grassroots effort. As gay sexuality became more defined throughout the 20th Century, hairy gay bears became one of the first 'types' for guys to identify their attraction to fellow furry lovers and here are the most important facts of the community development:
- San Francisco acted as a beacon for the LGBTQ+ community in the early 1900s. Biker bars like the Tool Box in the 1960s helped gay men start to identify their love of other large-bodied furry men and dating soulmates.
- In 1976, a San Francisco man Charlie Brown placed an ad in a subculture magazine calling for gay bears to meet. This gave birth to "Girth and Mirth" groups that quickly sprouted around the U.S.
- The first photographic publication "Bear Magazine" launched by California-based partners Richard Bulger and Chris Nelson in 1987. It unabashedly displayed a wide range of gay bears' bodies to normalize and celebrate.
- Cartoonist Fran Frisch contributed artwork to gay magazines with bears wearing Bear Hug t-shirts. He became a co-founder of Bear Expo and International Bear Rendezvous in the early 1990s.
- "Bear Hug" subsequently sparked a movement with gay bear-oriented pubs, clubs, newsletters, dating venues and festivals launching around the world, and a pride flag that's shared proudly today.
Gay Bears Diversity and Classification
Though gay bears are a beloved body type in the LGBTQ+ world, gay bears also serve as an umbrella term. Beyond the general brawny appearance they're recognized for, there is a subculture of types that completes the "gay bear pack":
- Men who pursue gay bears, no matter their age or bulkiness, are known as Chasers.
- Muscle Bears are the most common gay bears. They're stacked with muscles and not afraid to show off their hard-earned athlete physique. These big daddies often love to be bareback.
- Chubs, on the other hand, are heavy-set guys who could be described as fat or even obese but do not necessarily self-identify as a gay bear.
- Polar Bears are older and wear their silver-streaked hair and grey beard with pride, while cubs are younger gay bears in their early twenties.
- Sugar Bears are more effeminate bears. Though they deserve equal love and attention, ultra-masculine bears will often shun them for acting too gentle or soft.
Celebrity gay bears include actors George Unda and Scotty Rage, and comedian Peter Bisuito. Heterosexual actors David Harbour and Tom Hardy are a scintillating source of eye-candy as well. With bears identified it’s time to go online as lots of dating apps and sites are waiting for you to explore extremely hairy dudes.
Gay Bears Dating Apps and Sites
While KeYou is just right for gay dating in general, finding a hot gay bear that's right for you online is very easy with dating apps and dating sites dedicated exclusively to this community. With flirtatious profiles and sizzling pics, you can optimize exactly what you're looking for down to the smallest detail and start dating your bear.
The hairier and bigger the better for members of BiggerCity. The site and app falls in line with typical dating sites to find matches and acts as a crowd-based site with chat rooms, messaging, and member-run blogs. With app free membership you can browse profiles among other features, while a monthly upgrade offers full access to the dating site gallery, posting your blog and searching the site "invisibly."
Whether you're looking for friendship, a tryst, or a long-term relationship, ManPlay offers a diverse variety of gay bears and other body types. Thousands of members are online at any given time, so there's always a possibility to hook up with someone through their fun and informative profiles. A free account will help you familiarize yourself with the dating website. Upgraded membership includes two different tiers of benefits such as an advanced search engine, profile access, and unlimited messaging.
If you want to find a gay bear, go to where they're hanging out. With GROWLr app, you can find them in your neck of the woods. The app's global community is 10 million strong, giving you plenty of suitors to hook-up within your city. The app is available with free and paid memberships. The App Store for iPhones ranks higher with reviews than Google Play based on a smoother interface, lack of ads, and overall user satisfaction.
KeYou available for both iOS and Android is yet another cool app to find your best gay bear. Intuitive interface, actively growing user base, enhanced security, and affordable subscription make KeYou your ideal companion to explore diverse and exciting world of hairy gay bears.
Best Bars to Meet Gay Bears
Aside of apps and sites there are plenty gay hotspots all over the country, there are safe and exciting places to hook up for a one night stand or to spark a relationship. Here are several short reviews of the best bars around the U.S. that are worth checking out and might inspire you to seek local gay bear bars:
- New York City never sleeps with one of the original gay bear bars Ty's, and Rockbar, which hosts regular gay bear nights every week and events every month.
- Want a hotel, bar, steam room, and sauna in one place with lots of hairy naked male lovers? The Gaythering in Miami hosts gay bear nights every Friday but invites all "gay woodland creatures" to attend. Cubs, jitters, otters old men are waiting for a totally novel game.
- JJ's Clubhouse and Bar in St. Louis is one of the largest gay bears in small-town America. It has a variety of hang-out options from pool and darts to country dancing.
- In San Francisco, the Lone Star Saloon's longstanding roots with bikers and bears date back to the 1990s. You can't get better than a "Bear Bar USA" calling card.