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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!)
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I know there’s been a lot said about Senator Larry Craig and his arrest and guilty plea to solicitation of sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Still, I thought I’d add a few points to the discussion:

I Am Not Gay: Its interesting language that Senator Craig uses in his press conference speech. He said “I’m not gay, I never have been gay.” He gets part of the Christian fundamentalist talk down, clearly making a statement that gays can change their stripes and become “normal people.” However, he uses the word “gay” which usually isn’t approved of in the social conservative movement. Just see the comments by Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Naugle stating that he can’t call them gay, because they can’t be happy in the homosexual lifestyle. It’s almost a red flag that Craig used the word “gay” in his denial, just like he seems to how signals that would make a trained police officer think there was a solicitation for sex.

Of course there is an irony that the conservative Mayor Naugle is leading a charge against restroom sex in Florida, but the two recent, notable arrests are both Republican lawmakers – one in Florida, even.

Entrapment: While most conservative talk show hosts and other Republican politicos have pretty much condemned Senator Craig for being a pervert, there’s a small minority who are trying to dismiss this as an entrapment scenario that was made to snare Republicans. Heck, he never whipped it out, did he?

While on the good side, I’m happy that they are talking about entrapment, which I don’t think is an effective way to get criminals and really is more an invasion of privacy, it’s being hailed in public with such looky-loo shows as NBC’s To Catch a Predator series. It’s interesting that the family values group touts these entrapment scenarios as being so good to keep these guys off the streets, and put them together with harsh fines, but the activity that they are meant to stop is never actually happened. It’s all about trying to make a crime about intent, which is close to thoughtcrime.

The entrapment issue also goes into the social and political right’s attempt to show themselves as victims. So put upon is the team that promotes themselves as the family values group, they feel that they are being targeted at all times. Here you have Tom Delay, not really defending Senator Craig on NBC’s Today Show yesterday, but trying to say that the media was just focusing on the poor, fallen Republicans and not the foibles of the other side of the aisle. Of course, the answers he gave were deflections of what Matt Lauer was asking. Still, the fact is, if you promote family values and fiscal responsibility, and you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you shouldn’t try to pretend that it’s being unfairly covered.

Of course there will be plenty of talk about the officer’s handling of the arrest, and if he acted appropriately when talking to Senator Craig, calling him a liar.

The Outing of Tearoom Sex: This has been hilarious. It’s fun to watch the media have to cover the ins and outs of sex in public bathrooms. They all look very uncomfortable. It reminds me of the Bobbit case where anchors has to start saying the word “penis.” Of course penis is all over TV now. We’ll have to see if toe tapping starts popping up in comedy shows.

Of course, the spotlight does create two problems. One is that we’ll have many more straight guys worrying that someone is going to solicit them in the bathroom now that they think they know the signals. The other is once again gays are being painted as all desiring restroom sex. You get an opinion from people that all gays are lewd and want to get it on in bathrooms, even if media types try to state that most out gays really don’t do this.

It’s All About Power: You see Republicans condemning Senator Craig stating that he pleaded guilty for a lewd act, but the talk is different for Republican David Vittner who was caught in a sex scandal for hiring call girls. Certainly part of it is the homosexual act vs. the more family-friend heterosexual cheating on your wife. It’s doubtful that trotting out your wife and saying that she and God forgives you will work for Senator Craig. Redemption seems to be a very fluid thing with Republicans who seem to be happy with Vittner, but already condemning and distancing themselves from Craig. Perhaps Craig in his speech didn’t ask for forgiveness as Vittner did.

What the Republicans are more worried about is that the Senator will cost them a Senate seat in 2008, and they would rather dump him now and get the Republican governor of Idaho to appoint a new Senator who can be a new incumbent in the next race. They don’t feel they can defend Senator Craig, and it seems like they may know there’s something more behind it, and want to get him off the stage.

Also there’s the desire for power that keeps a man like Craig living a secret life. He can’t be open as long as he still has to play the game, and vote on family values issues. They talk about how sad it is that he can’t be who he is, but I think of it as a trade off for the position he now holds, and what compromises he has to make to keep it.

Sexuality: When ever these scandals happen, I’m always amused how they always conclude that he’s gay since he was soliciting a man. Not that I’m trying to deflect from those of us who are gay just because I don’t want him to join the club, but he might be bisexual, or even straight. I guess I see that sexuality can be a little more fluid. Just because a guy is looking for anonymous sex with men, doesn’t necessarily make me think they are necessarily gay, but more opportunists. Really, it’s harder to get women to give you a free quickie blowjob in a random spot. Perhaps the guy does love his wife, but he likes variety, or he just isn’t getting his needs met. It’s easier to trace a transaction from a sex worker than just trying to get a little action in a cruise-y restroom, so when you see David Vittner getting in trouble for paying for his diaper fetish, you might choose to take your libido to a random spot.

Of course the Senator seems to have some other rumors following him and seems to talk about Bill Clinton as a “nasty, naughty boy” in a voice that sounds like Stewie from Family Guy, so in this case a spade may be a spade. It’s too bad he chose a life that keeps him in the closet, and unable to control himself.
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Since, with the Live Earth concerts starting tonight and going on through the day tomorrow (go Antarctica!), we're supposed to be thinking about the Earth or something. Some sort of of environmental happy-fest.

A few weeks back, Chris asked me if I wanted to go camping. Generally if I'm asked to go camping, the answer is definitely, no.

Sure, this was a gay campground, and there was the enticement of some other hot guys who would also be there, but dang it, camping is much more work, and much less entertaining than it's supposed to be.

My parents wanted to do the camping thing with the kids, and we probably did it twice. Dad bought a whole line of Coleman supplies, lanterns, stoves, coolers, porta-potties, sleeping bags etc. What he found out was having all that stuff was good, but you had to cart all that stuff out there, set it up, take it down, clean it up, then have somewhere to store it. My sister and I were to young to help much, and I remember being bored off my ass while we were at the lake. I'm sure parents hate bored children because they always want you to do something about it.

I was a cub scout. As a cub scout the farthest we ever went was sleeping outside in someone's backyard. While being in sleeping bags was somewhat annoying, their was the convenience of being able to head inside to go to the bathroom.

Eventually I started in the Boy Scouts and there were times the Scouts actually went out into the woods and camped, you know, the making fire with flint kind of stuff. Needless to say I didn't want to go. I liked my luxuries, and my TV (there was a reason I got a portable TV when I was in my teens) and the feeling of being in control...not somewhere where I couldn't easily get home, or call my folks. Yes, I was not the independent sort at that time.

Of course, my parents sent me to summer camp, twice. Camp had the slight advantage of having cabins and toilets, but still there was all that outdoorsy crap, and the forced fun, and the bad food. Camp is where I learned I wasn't very good at baseball, I could capsize a sailboat, and I enjoyed a good book over campfires.

My first camp was run by the YMCA, but the second one was run by the Methodist Church. Both were co-ed, but the church one was less segregated, with girls cabins near the boys. I tried to shower before all the other boys would get back, as i was embarrassed by my big body even then, and somewhere along the way there was a girl in our cabin when I was coming out of the shower. I was mortified. Apparently the word spread and I was then even more embarrassed, especially when I was given an end of camp award called "The Showering With Amy Ain't No Big Deal Award." Yes, i was quite the ladies man.

When I got into college there were a few opportunities to go camping with the fraternity...most of them involving pledging or toying with the pledges - something with current hazing laws can't be done now. The first time you don't have a lot of control, but you want to get in, so you'll give up some niceties and go out to a site you have no idea where it is.

Ahhn but I did. I remember the location of Hell Night was a big, big secret, and pledges always speculated and actives always tried to throw out false hints. Still, once I was blindfolded and placed in the car, I recognized the way we went heading out toward my parents house, and then further out to Huntsville, Texas and into the woods. I remember telling my pledgebrother where we were, and our pledge master getting angry with me for being "smart."

I remember one of the brothers making homemade napalm to get the fire going and nearly starting a forest fire. I also remember being very happy that it was over, and when it was over, it was really late and not worth it to actually stay there the rest of the night.

One year we did it right and stayed at a brother's parent's farm where we could, just like in cub scout days could go in to the house and use the toilet. That was also the year we had a pledge that had never been out of the city, and became really fascinated by seeing cows. We had to tell him that he couldn't ride them.

Really, that's about it. I really prefer to keep my exposure to the great outdoors short and to the point. I get sea sick for one, so my dad's purchase of a boat was also not very satisfactory with me barfing over the side. I like sleeping in a bed, and now I'm thinking the less time in a sleeping bag - even on the floor of someone I'm visiting.

Perhaps I might be lured to go to a cabin if there's some cute eye-candy, but I haven't really ever had the fantasy of sharing space in a tent, or sleeping bag. As much as people might want to do it in the sand on the beach, I think being on regular ground is just as dirty and gritty - and has bugs. This doesn't stir my romantic heart, or make me want to rut in the woods.

Yes, I'm picky, and pampered and a wuss. I want to keep the beautiful vistas, but I'd rather see them from my car or maybe a cruise ship. Let's keep the environment alive so we can stay out of it. It's probably for the best.
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I'm a little upset that I didn't get tickets to go see The Police in concert. Tickets went on sale this past Saturday and while I was at work, actually working, I forgot to log on and slog through the site to order tickets. There's also that thing about a concert in late June that kind of makes me forgetful about it on a day in March.

By the time I remember that they had gone on sale, it was Sunday morning and the first show was sold out. In a 20,000 seat arena. And they added a second show. And it had SOLD OUT as well! I was actually kind of stunned. I didn't think that the police were thought of so fondly, and I didn't think they'd get such a response since a). those who want to see Sting with a lute would be disappointed, and b). most people under 30 have never heard of the group since they broke up in 1986.

I then decided to take a look on the secondary market, and there were all of the tickets. Ticket speculation is just as big of a market as PS3 resales were - for about a week. Something tells me that if you can get tickets to shows easily, you could make a good living on the resales of those tickets.

I didn't need good seats, I just wanted to be there, but when the furthest seat in the arena was now going for twice the original $50 selling price, I decided that this was a concert event I was just going to have to miss. It's sad in a way, but then again I have seen The Police before. It was my first concert, and the first one that my parents let me got into Houston for. that was the 1984 Synchronicity tour and it was at the Summit - now Lakewood Church. Sting wore the big red, yellow and blue outfit from the Synchronicity II video. Ahh, those were the days.

I really have better things to spend my money on, but it would have been fun to see the same group...several years older. perhaps they will come again. Heck, the Stones still tour.

Personally, I'm looking forward to more new acts, like seeing the Scissor Sisters next week!

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Otherwise, my friend Jerry ([livejournal.com profile] goofycubb) sent me some questions to answer...

1. Do you miss Houston? Me? :) LOL

I'm finding hard to believe that it's been almost a year since I was last in Houston. My parents worry about me!
I don't miss the city so much, but there are a few places - namely Beck's Prime and James Coney Island. I also miss the ripcord and wish I could move all of those places up here. I also miss driving on Memorial Drive. As for you, I really wish you were here to watch the Amazing Race with! Or just to hang with. Those were good times. When are you coming to visit us? :-)

2. Will you ever go clean shaven again?

Well, most people who know me these days have never seen me clean shaven. I think the last time was 1994, and i have no plans to do it again.

3. What is the strangest thing that someone has said while you are in bed making whoopee?

Generally I'm the one who comes up with the bad puns and such! I guess it was the mutually crazy conversation about Bears releasing genetically enhanced pheromones on a dance floor, triggered by thumping dance music. It was at TBRU, and the sound created for this - "Paaaft!" -became a catchphrase for the weekend.

Let's just say that mixing the two of us in bed was not only fun, but also a lesson in non-sequitur thinking.

4. What is under your bed?

Occasionally Joey, but otherwise it's the surge protector outlet strip that powers the CPAP.

5. Did your mom ever catch you masturbating?

Thankfully no, thanks to a lock on the door, but occasionally she did try to open the lock with a coat-hanger. This would normally be when she was mad at me for something. I'm not so sure what she would have done if she caught me with a Muscle and Fitness magazine in one hand...
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Chris told me a little detail tonight that made me blush a little bit. don't worry, the set up takes forever, because I'm telling this tale. Of course, the story will be even more embarrassing, and will probably give people some bad images of me, but heck, I'm game.

As we've gone on a few years, I find myself less and less able to conjure up sufficient imagery in my head to fantasize about. I'm blaming it on the increasingly easy to get material available to get off to. I, as many gay boys did, had to think of someone when masturbating, or we looked at the underwear section of the Sears catalog. Later I was able to get, and hide some Muscle and Fitness magazines, which gave me my interest in the musclebound set. In college I found Advocate Men, Colt Studio, and eventually Bear Magazine. These served me well, in my young, closeted life.

Then finally, we got the internet, and I no longer ever had to imagine up some image of a hot guy - pictures, many of them, were available night and day. there were many different types, and multiple sites as well. Everything was right at your fingertips. It's the continuing dumbing down of America, I suppose, but I'm not complaining.

So this brings me to the fact that I like laptop computers, because you can drag them to the bed. Yep, Where I once would be jostling a magazine with one hand, I now balance a laptop. One day I need to find a more hands-free operating device, as it ruins rhythm while you're scrolling or trying to change pictures.

Now since I've moved in with Chris, on a few occasions I've used his laptop for this purpose. This is mainly because my laptop is old, it doesn't keep a charge, and Chris' laptop has the bigger screen. Still, for those looking for a laptop for this use, wireless internet is very much your friend.

So I guess I have a habit of just closing the laptop when it's usefulness is over, without actually closing the websites I was visiting. Really, I guess I sort of forget about it, and with Chris, it's not like I'd be trying to hide the sites I was going to, as if my parents were around.

Well, normally that laptop stays in the den, just off the bedroom, but the other day, I noticed it was gone. Chris told me that he took it to work, and I thought nothing of it at the time. Tonight Chris tells me about opening it up at work and having to quickly close it because I had forgotten to clear the screen of the hot guys I was looking at the last time I opened it.

Consider me embarrassed. Not necessarily surprised, just embarrassed as I can imagine Chris seeing some big, likely undressed musclebear staring at him when he opened the laptop's lid. He told me that he quickly closed the lid and had to take it off to another area to close the browser windows.

He asked me why I had four or five windows open, with different content on each. I simply replied, "I was Multi-Tasking".

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