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[personal profile] eggwards
So I'm reading the posts made by several people on the new "Bear Magazine" kerfluffle (the whole "what is a bear?" thing with them siding that the fatter guys are ruining it for the musclebears) and thought I'd throw something out there.

First thing, Bear Magazine today says I'm a fat chub, and not a bear, despite my hairiness. Funny, 15 years ago the old magazine would say I was maybe just a little larger than the target for being one of their models. I'm probably just right for what used to be "American Grizzly."

I know that I resist the term "chub" when I self-identify. Just not a label I like for myself, despite being in a weight class that totally fits it. Just not my thing. As for being attracted to bears or chubs or whatever, a lot of times it depends on the person. I could say that I like cubs and like bears (my definition of them anyway) and I'm not as big on chasers or chubs, but it just depends. I can't say that I rule out someone just because of a label and I can't really blanket one group with a yes or no. It's better to be a case-by-case guy.

Here's the big thing, the kind of guys that the new Bear Magazine is trying to feature - most of them totally get my crank working. I like muscle and it's better with some hair too. Remember "Carl Hardwick" from Colt Studios? OMG! Love it. Know I can never get it, but still love it.

Frankly, my love of the "musclebear" type puts me in a bad position because these guys aren't very friendly to me. We have a group of them in Dallas that at best might say hello and ignore me, at worst, will sneer at me. Most of them date within their small gene pool, and I can only look. I don't get invited to their pool parties because I don't look like them and I don't do the drugs that many of them do.

Surprisingly, I go to the gym, somewhat regularly, but that doesn't get me anywhere.

(Side story - I loved the moment at TBRU last spring where one of the nicer ones was chatting with me in the lobby and totally did a head turn when MSNMark came in. He said, "Who is that?" I said, "Oh that's Mark." I could see that he wanted to go put the moves on Mark but I said to him, "You needn't bother because he's not into you." "Oh, what's he like?" "Oh, he likes guys like me." This threw him for a loop. I could see he was shocked. I even introduced him to Mark...and nothing, no chemistry there, but Mark had a twinkle in his eyes for me. I loved that moment so much!)

Let's face it, Bear Films and Cyberbears and other sites survive because they found a niche and they serve it, just like the original Bear Magazine did. The new Bear is just going over territory already covered by many others like 100% Beef, Raging Stallion, Colt, Hot House, Titan and many others. The buff, some chest-haired guy is accessible in many different places. I'm wondering how well the new Bear will do in the marketplace.

One thing that Bear shouldn't do is piss off the people who know the brand and possibly came out to it like I did. Bear Magazine for a lot of us was that "Ahh Ha" moment when we learned we could be gay and ourselves because there were others out there like us.

Lets face it, Bear Magazine, I am your target audience now, the guy who likes the musclebears for spank material but really isn't in their dating pool. Those who already look like your models can probably get your models in real life. those of us out on the edges of what you define as handsome, those of us on the outside looking in are the ones most likely to be your subscribers, looking for access. It's not good to alienate your audience.

Luckily access to BigMuscelbears is still free - thanks Bill and Andy!

(Oh, and I'm looking forward to bear night here in San Diego where I'm taking a small vacation. Lets see what bear group shows up!)
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-12-05 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
I have no problem with people having their own groups. It is human nature, and it's also human nature that makes us jealous when we are left out of a group that we want to be a part of, even when it may not be the best thing for us emotionally - or even healthy.

I admire those who make the effort to better themselves, but sometimes people better themselves in one way and never take care of other flaws. I do know that some people who I like for their impressive bodies are also people I'd never want to meet in real life because their attitude of personality would ruin the illusion.

I think there's a big pressure for us bigger guys to lose weight, doctors, the general population, etc. It is sad that what's supposed to be an accepting group of men with the idea of being against body "fascism" slowly becomes disapproving as well.

Lastly, the chub thing - a part of that is societal - that body image that is considered unhealty by most of our society. To be labeled that, or obese or just plain fat kind of hurts, even though it may be the truth. It feels like more of a weapon. It also has that chub-chaser connotation and I've had my issues with chasers, probably unfairly on my part, but it's my perception that makes the chub label unappealing to me.

Date: 2009-12-05 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] metacub.livejournal.com
Very well put... It's too bad that we just missed you guys in San Diego. Have a good time!

Date: 2009-12-09 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
Yes, sorry we missed both of you as well. Well, we'll be in the bay area sometime soon!

Date: 2009-12-06 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrdreamjeans.livejournal.com
The truest part of this post is when you said that you make your choices man by man, look at the people, who you are attracted to, as individuals. I am never going to be attracted to anyone just because they fit a pre-determined label. When the "bear" thing first came together, I thought oh good, I have a community. As the movement has matured, the splinters began to show and now the wounds are festering. I have no interest in identifying with a limiting label. I have very specific sexual types and tastes and even then I don't know if there will be chemistry unless I am looking the person in the eye and hear him speak.

Have a great time in San Diego! If you have the time, go to the zoo, Hotel Del Coronado, Old Town for Mexican food and to La Jolla to see the new stage musical "Bonnie & Clyde"! Let me know if Dan Cooney is in the cast:)

HUGS!

Date: 2009-12-09 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
Well, we saw a few things and spent some time with friends and now I want to go back! San Diego was great!

The bear thing was a great place to start, but I became quickly tired of the bear clubs and there craziness of the drama sometimes. I won't say I'm post-bear, but I don't always find the label sets expectation it promised. My Bear definition is completely subjective, but it's a good starting marker.

Date: 2009-12-06 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shake-it-up.livejournal.com
Those people who ignore you and are on drugs aren't really worth hanging around with, anyway. I am not sure if you mean the steroids or the party drugs, but they don't make for very good company.

I can't comment on Bear Mag, since I haven't seen the new incarnation (I know that [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbelly is doing stuff for them, though, and that's good news). But the Carl Hardwick look is a bit much for me.

I did love your story about TBRU and MSNMARK. The guy shouldn't have assumed that everyone would fall all over him. (Though you did say he was one of the nicer ones.)

As for Bigmusclebears, if I sort by most recent sign-ups and then weight or chest size, the current members seem pretty slight. I do like hefty, but healthy.

Date: 2009-12-09 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
I love Fuzzbelly's work, and I have no problem with his getting his work out. Maybe he'll draw some less fit guys for them!

Charlie is a decent guy,I just think many of the more muscular guys think that others like them are attracted to same. Luckily it's not always true!

Generally it's roids, but there's plenty of others. I guess if you'll do roids, you'll do anything for some of them.

There's definitely something called too slight in my book...but how to express where the line is drawn, well that's difficult.

Date: 2009-12-06 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scotbear.livejournal.com
I have mixed feelings about this discussion. I'm old enough to have been in on the bear movement when it and Bear Magazine were getting started. The models (like the iconic Jack Radcliff) were originally hairy and a bit overweight. I like to think of it as a bit soft around the middle. It was more about the hair and the non-twinkness than anything else. There weren't any models who's waists were bigger than their chests in the early years. Over the years, it has grown into something that's all about weight and poundage. It has more in common with Mirth and Girth and many guys who call themselves bears are completely hairless. This isn't what it started out to be, and as a smaller guy I'm frequently frustrated at being on the outside because I'm "not big enough". I've been told so to my face many times. I do NOT like the term "chaser", which sounds somehow desperate and needy. I'm frustrated that some people think you have to be morbidly obese to be welcomed and to fit in.
On the other hand, I don't find the weightlifter musclebears currently offered up by the mag attractive either. No cuddle value in all that rock hard muscle. On top of it, I've met a few of the models in person, and the mag's photos are so heavily touched up that the guys are barely recognizable as what they really look like. Clint Taylor, for instance, is a handsome bear, but he does NOT have a sixpack or washboard abs. But he does in the magazine. I once overheard some guys at a BearFilms event telling him he wasn't big enough to call himself a bear. And if you're reading this, Clint. I love you just the way you are!! WOOF!

Date: 2009-12-09 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's tough - I know what "Bear" means to me, but it's different for others, fine. They own the mag, so they can do what they want, but the attitude they have is certainly turning me off.

Yeah, the "Chaser" tag can be just as bad as anything else because a stereotype is made. I know another guy, one I'd never label a chaser always seems to feel bad about that label, probably like I dislike "chub".

Clint, I don't think reads this, but he's hot just as he is.

Date: 2009-12-07 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] latincub.livejournal.com
VERY well said! You said what alot of us feel.

Date: 2009-12-09 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
Thanks man!

Room for everybody

Date: 2009-12-08 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mikezillion.livejournal.com

Thanks for that nicely written essay. It's a good reminder that a lot of the porn out there is about fantasy caricatures, not real people. And I do include my own company, CyberBears (http://www.cyberbears.com), in that mix.

We aim to show a wide variety of men playing together, and we try to match men up who have different body types, shapes, and colors, but also have a genuine interest in each other. And yes, it has proven to be a successful formula for our target audience. I think part of that success comes from how our focus on contrasting types playing together leaves room in the mix for the viewer's own fantasies. But there will always be an element of projection in how viewers interact with our products.

Even when a porn company tries to limit its scope, whether it's through strict selection or post-processing, there's always a lot of variation that comes to the surface. I tend to think those attempts to narrow the focus makes viewers more aware of the differences among the models rather than on the iconic image in their fantasies. Good thing there are lots of options out there!

Re: Room for everybody

Date: 2009-12-09 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
Well, porn is about fantasy, that's true, but fantasy can come in many packages. Strangely I like the packages the new Bear features, but that's a personal preference, and frankly I liked the variety of men the old Bear had just as much. Still, as they say in the airline biz, we know you have a choice in providers - I'd just like to find a provider that doesn't demean customers, personally.

I do think Cyberbears does just fine, and I wish you much success. Every company is welcome to market the way they see fit, but I think the new Bear is backing themselves into a corner. How many men can actually live up to their standards. Will they all need photoshopping? Fantasy and perfection, sure obtainable? No.

Best to you!

What about American Bear?

Date: 2010-01-12 06:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Don't forget them! I have been removed from the community so long I don't even know if American Bear is around anymore, I suspect not. But, in terms of sentimentality and, to a small degree, vanity, I have always preferred American Bear to Bear Magazine.

P.s., just found your blog so I'm reading through old articles.

Re: What about American Bear?

Date: 2010-01-13 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eggwards.livejournal.com
Hmm, perhaps because you were an American Bear Model you are biased? I don't know why I didn't get more Am. Bear magazines. They had good guys. i guess that the place I usually bought my porn just had Bear and not American Bear, or at least not often.

I don't post as much as i used to!

Sorry

Date: 2010-01-12 07:04 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The anonymous post was me. Didn't know I needed to log in.

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