“Sure hairyness can be ugly sometimes, but so can smoothness.”

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  1. I’m a member of the gay bear community myself. Bear vs Otter has more to do with body weight than the amount of hair on it. I appreciate both types.

    • That’s really interesting, I knew about “bears” but hadn’t heard of “otters.”

      The REALLY funny part is that both animals have been the source of nicknames I’ve used for my husband over the years we’ve been together. When we were really young I referred to him as Otter because he described himself as resourceful. Over time that shifted to Bear, although I can’t tell you exactly where that originated anymore. These days it’s more than just a nickname – it’s the name I use with him most often in public and at home, as if it were his first name, and he’s embraced it as part of his personality. Last year he got a tattoo of a bear paw on his calf, outlined in binary code (because the other part of his personality is pure geek).

      On top of this, he identifies as bisexual so the alternate meaning of Bear is not lost on us, and I’m pretty sure that at 6’2″ and 270lbs, he would likely qualify as a Bear by that definition too. He just recently took a job that has him in San Francisco most of the time (we’re Ohioans) and we were laughing about the attention he would get walking through the Castro district with his bear paw tattoo and multiple ear piercings, wearing the “Got Pride?” shirt he got from my university gay-straight alliance group. :)

  2. Is there a nickname for gay men who like bare chests, or is that not considered a special category?
    ive seen the term ‘smooth chested’. other than ‘twink’ which means a smoothchested man BUT also a slim man, i cant think other terms.

    I wonder how much influence gay male subcultures have had in the fashionability of bare chests.

    perhaps another source for this change in the 80s was the popularity of bodybuilders like arnie. it is easier to show muscle definition if smooth chested

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