Is Weight the Reason Why the Bear Community is So Split Up?

The advancements the bear community has made over the years in terms of visibility, both in the gay and straight world, are profound given how we had been treated like outcasts up until recently. Mainstream media has now moved to cover us in many different facets on television, music, and the movies and the terminology and lingo we have developed are now used across previous boundaries. Another advancement has been that our themed events seem to grow larger in size with each passing year, allowing for more to experience it all in a grander capacity. 

The increasing number of bears in the community has also developed a sort of "line in the sand" when it comes to the dare I say issue of weight in our community.  This line and subsequent division are aspects that are very visible in the bear communities of many cities, an issue that is hard to turn a blind eye to.

Although a topic that has been muffled over the years, the division has become more pronounced as I navigate social gatherings, outlets, and more in New York City and beyond.  A certain incident comes to mind that occurred a couple of years ago.  Two different major bear events were happening on the same night, one in midtown New York City and the other all the way in the Financial District.  I chose to attend the one downtown, which catered more towards a mixed group of stereotypical "bear" types, including husky, otter, muscle, and more.  The following week, when I looked at pics of the other event and its attendees, it seemed to have been very muscle heavy as I had a hard time finding anyone who didn't have a six pack or an Adonis-like figure.

There's nothing wrong with either side.  We should embrace our bodies regardless of who we are no matter what, but it's very noticeable how weight plays into causing a separation in the bear community, just as race and many other factors.  Do we tend to gravitate toward men who look just like us, or does fear drive one's ability to chat with someone who doesn't look like them?

A little while ago me and a former FWB (friend with benefits) talked about weight and bears and stigmas. He was in pretty good shape yet had a thing for huskier type of dudes (me).  He mentioned that admitting something like this, being attracted to bigger men, was "coming out of the closet for a second time," as it comes with predictable judgment from men who look like him, the fit guys.  Is the fear of the unknown from the people you surround yourself with the reason why seclusion and self-doubt happens in the first place?

When I attend events that showcase all different types of bears, I embrace it.  Hopefully events like these happen all over the country, however in Manhattan and other major cities that I have visited it is somewhat minimal.  I asked my friends what their thoughts are on this, and the answers were quite colorful, both in agreement and disagreement.

"It's been this way. And they do mingle. Some people have their cliques. Other have no hang-ups. Just depends who you’re with but it's everywhere."

"It's interesting you say that. I tend to like bears, but if I go to some kind of bear event I go in expecting that the bears will tend to gravitate towards each other and gloss over me. Not a judgment or complaint or anything, I just always chalked it up to everyone having a type that they like. But it didn't occur to me that they were subcategorizing among themselves."

"I mean, is it THAT strange that a subculture built on body type would then break off into other subcategories? Though I sometimes bemoan the lack of a large gay population here, it forces us to befriend and accept gays of all body types."

"Pretty much it's just comes down to sexual attraction. Guys go to bars to hook up, or at least window shop, as well as to hang out with their friends, many of whom they have previously hooked up with, let's be honest... The "clone" attraction (like attracted to like) is nothing new in the gay community."

"I have a very diverse group of friends with different body types. At events we hang out, I like people based on their personality and are they fun, do I enjoy their company? Never once was it "oh they have muscles", or "oh that belly is huge." I think that when you let down those walls or barriers, that's when you can appreciate people for who they are, and yer quality of life will be enriched for it, that's when you will feel sense of community."

So, what does this break down to exactly when it comes to weight?  Is it a "clique" thing?  Is it really based on sexual attraction?  Or is it something else that divides us when we really should be united in all fronts?  What are your thoughts?

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Why You Should Date a Dude with a Belly

As the gay community continues to become bigger and bigger, so does some of our waistlines. Many of us (myself included) enjoy having a belly for several different reasons that go beyond us shading the f**k out of guys with six packs (this has nothing to do with you, so go back to slurping down your "brotein" shake during your fifth hour at the gym, muscle studs). 

Something that has really taken shape (no pun intended) since the millennium is how the bear community has sort of become the normal body type that is not only liked... but desired. Bear comes in many different forms, however this one deals strictly for guys with size. The ones who have that extra spare tire when you need it. The guys who actually want to go to dinner and not complain about having to work out afterwards.

I'm sure there are many of you out there who have thought about dating a husky dude: why not, we are awesome! So in case any of you are teeter-tottering on enjoying a fistful of tater tots with a sexy, thick guy and need a couple of reasons to push you over that judgmental edge... fear not, because we got five of them!

Check out the five reasons why you should date a dude with size:

  1. We keep you warm all year round. Why cuddle up to a skeleton singing "Kitty Girl" when you can snuggle up next to a big, beefy bear whose body temperature will insulate your body in the coldest of months? Yas, please.
  2. Dinner is always a fun experience. It's going to be an appetizer-entree-dessert kind of situation no matter what kind of bone you shake at us (tee hee).
  3. We can be your bodyguard in case s**t goes down at a gay bar. Trying to cut in line for that half-priced martini, missy? I think not!
  4. Many of us put that extra effort in the bedroom. Eating isn't always for the dinner table, if you get my gist.
  5. We are freaking adorable, cute, sexy and amazing. Just look at us!

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject. Also, don't be offended by anything in this article. It's for fun. I'm enjoying my burrito as I'm typing this, you should be experiencing the same joy as well. Fin. 

Also- totally me in both photos. Anyone interested please inquire within. 

Nyle DiMarco Hugs The Wrong Kind of Bear But It's OK

Dear Mr. Nyle DiMarco

Greetings! My name is Ryan Shea and I have been a fan of yours ever since you first appeared on the CW reality competition series America's Next Top Model.

Just like ANTM's host Tyra Banks, I also thought you were "fine as hell" and really rooted for you from beginning to end and was elated that you won. I was just as thrilled when you decided to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, where you won that too. So awesome.

You've also been a fantastic advocate for the deaf community and have championed a lot of causes for not only you but millions of hearing impaired people around the world which makes you that much more incredible. 

But Nyle, there's a bit of a problem. I was perusing your Twitter account the other day (for fun) and noticed that you were hugging an absolutely adorable stuffed bear for a shoot you are doing with Buzzfeed (big fan of that website of course). You even gave the bear a huge kiss which made the 4 second video that much cuter.

As sweet as that was, I have to say that you are in the right area when it comes to hugging bears, but it would be better if you actually found a real one to hug... and I don't mean the actual animal.

For that, I am offering up my huggable bear services to you given that I am, according to society and that ex twink that I dated who said I ate too much... a bear. Here are three great reasons why hugging bears (real ones once again, not animals), are great:

  • We provide a lot of warmth due to our fur and husky type figures.
  • This is great for the colder months when a basic jacket just won't do.
  • We are primarily adorable and that's why men flock to us.
  • Those reasons are good enough.

So Nyle, if you are ever in need of a real bear to hug, hit me up. Maybe I can even buy you a piece of pizza afterwards and we can discuss how awesome Britney Spears is (I hope you are a fan). I look forward to your reply.



This was created by one of our contributing writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other contributing writers when it comes to this subject. Also... this is meant to be simply humor. I do not expect Nyle to ever get back to me on this... for real. It's meant to be a silly joke, and I hope you all got a good laugh at it! Happy Pride. 

Woof, Grr and Stuff: 5 Bear Celebrities That we Are Totally Crushing On

Bear culture has come a long way since the new millennium, as we have pushed our way into the mainstream in music, movies, television and more.  Because of that, an appreciation for our variety of figures (muscular, beefy, husky, otter, etc) has become a lot more noticeable both in and out of entertainment.  

Several male stars, gay straight and in between, have found a good amount of success not only with their talent but also with their bear-related looks that has definitely caught the eye of all types of people who enjoy the furrier kinds of guys that roam our earth.  So if you are a bear aficionados like myself, then this piece truly is for you.

Here are five bear celebrities that you'll definitely want to cozy up with when the weather gets super cold.  Grr and stuff.

John Gemberling: Actor and Comedian



Mike Flanagan: Chart-topping Jazz Artist



Kevin James- Actor and Comedian



Tonight, Me vs. Jimmy in an epic battle... Love him. @fallontonight @jimmyfallon

A post shared by Kevin James (@officialkevinjames) on


Kevin Owens: WWE Wrestler



Beautiful Picture Is So Good @karinaleilasteen @fightowensfight #Kevinowens

A post shared by Kevin Steen (@fightowensfight) on


Chris Pratt: Actor



You got a big mouth. #farmlife #fishing #bass

A post shared by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on




Get Your Fur Game Ready: What are the 10 Best Bear Bars in the World?

The bear community has come a very long way since the new millennium in terms of visibility and acceptance, not only from other gay men, but from society overall.  Where bears used to be the outcasts due to their body types not fitting the eight pack norm has now done a complete 180 and several bars that cater to our furry friends are performing on the same level (if not greater) than the ones where twinks and muscular men inhabit.

These bars have become a watering hole of sorts for bears and bear aficionados to get together and enjoy each other's company while drinking some beers and either dancing the night away and or engaging in activities that are a bit more debaucherous than that.

After doing some major "fur" related research, we have found the most common answers to the question "where are the best bear bars in the world?"  The locations cover the globe from the states to Paris, London and more.

Check out the list of the ten best bear bars in the world, in no particular order. 

Did your favorite make the cut?  Let us know! 



Duke of Wellington (London, England)

Spacious, gay-friendly corner pub with busy downstairs bar, music videos and quieter upstairs area.



Pantibar (Dublin)

Fun joint that bills itself as a homo activity centre with entertainment every night of the week.



Lone Star Saloon (San Francisco, California)

Gay bar & local hangout with a pool table, patio & events like Sunday afternoon beer parties.



Diesel (Seattle, Washington)

Comfortable gay bar with a short menu of pub grub, a long daily happy hour & a pool table.



Le Bear's Den (Paris, France)

"Amazing place, if you are up to a beer (or a bear), this is the place."



Woodshed Bar (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Unpretentious gay leather bar offering daily drink specials, diverse theme nights & a patio.



Rockbar (New York City, New York)

There's an anything-goes vibe at this well-worn haunt, where weekends attract a lively crowd.



Eagle, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)

Long-standing gay hot spot caters to a leather-wearing crowd, with cheap beer nights & DJs.



Le Stud (Montreal, Canada)

Dark gay bar with a casual vibe offering weekly events such as pool tournaments & house-music DJ's.


JJ's Clubhouse (St. Louis, Missouri)

Easygoing gay bar offering entertainment such as DJs & karaoke nights, plus billiards & darts.



The Iron Bear (Austin, Texas)

Lively LGBT-friendly hangout offering DJ parties, pool, karaoke & daily happy hour.

This list was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.