"Straight Bears" Bring Balance To A Metrosexualized WorldS

While we're all for the retirement of passe classifications - particularly of the manscaping persuasion — when we read about the lame "how to deal with gay people" Tumblr, the "straight bears" community start sounding better:

Says the Village's Voice's Joe Erbentraut,

Meet the straight bears. These men-like their gay counterparts-are the antithesis of the metrosexual stag hags, those heavily primped, buff straight guys who count gays among their most trusted wingmen. Straight bears are less concerned with designer labels and limiting their carbs than with comfy clothes and beer. And they love to hang with their gay-bear brothers. As Cohen told a British gay magazine, Attitude, "I enjoy being around gay people. I find I get on better with them than straight people."

Not to be confused with the metrognome, the straight bear is, apparently, just a burly hairy guy. Who also happens to love the adulation of the bear scene.

Apparently Kevin Smith is no stranger to the allure of a room of bear-lovers; his humiliating Southwest episode occurred when the straight director was returning from the 16th annual International Bear Rendezvous. Says a friend of Smith's, "He had his moment in the sun at IBR, standing in front of a room of men who want to fuck him."

And women, apparently, don't provide the same kind of reassurance to the bear-like man. One dude, who identifies as part of a straight bear social network, wrote the author that, "I have almost never found even a single woman-let alone women, plural-who find us appealing." (Or, y'know, maybe it's the hanging out in gay bar "bear blasts" that's confusing them.) That said, I know I and most of the women I know find it much more attractive when a guy has friendships across the spectrum. And certainly on the same day we've seen #howtodealwithgaypeople rise in popularity as a Twitter hashtag, reading about inclusive communities is heartening. That said, the article's interviewees seem slightly divided on whether it's common ground or exoticism that binds bears gay and straight. While the easy camaraderie of sports, beer and flannel is invoked, there's also this bit of inter-species analysis, confusingly voiced by a man named "Wolfe": "Straight bears are very curious and interested in the freedom that a gay bear has...there's an intrigue and a bit of envy there."

Move Over, Metrosexuals: Meet The Straight Bears [Village Voice]