December 3rd, 2009

big boy

Bear Magazine hates you

While I was out in San Francisco I picked up the latest Bear magazine, which doesn’t have a lot of newsstand presence here in NYC.

It’s now glossy and full color. 76 pages runs you $8. It’s shrinkwrapped because it contains lots of hard dicks and even a few cocksucking shots.

Steven Wolfe is the editor-in-chief, and he poses for his editor’s column photo in the classic bar-cruising stance with his arms folded across his chest, his hands tucked under and pushing out his biceps to emphasize them. From his editorial on page 8:

How did “Bear” become synonymous with any old chubby homosexual? It was not always so. The defining days of the Bear Movement in the 1990s featured plenty of medium to large size men. XXXL was not presumed; it was the exception. The presumption of BEAR=FAT also does not reflect the reality of today’s Bear Movement – only an unfortunate gradual usurpation of the BEAR label over time in the Jungian gay collective unconscious.

However, we can’t kid ourselves any longer. The co-opting of the Bear identity is real....

Part of the cause of the lamentable pendulum swing from Bear to chub is the result of the content of our self-labeled media. Porn studios like Bear Films and CyberBears have spent years flooding the market with chub porn that seems to be allergic to Bears who are physically fit. If the medium is the message, this was a detour way off the scales.

We take a different point of view, and fortunately, the market recognizes that chubs have not completely absorbed Bears. We want Bear media to be prouder, and more masculine... in production choices for our porn lines Butch Bear®, BEAR® and Backroom Films®... we relentlessly deliver underrepresented Bear images of what we want to see: tight, hairy, thrusting meaty muscle instead of jiggly cottage cheese.

Perhaps Yoda said it best, “Size matters not.”... Like Yoda, we believe in aiming for better and not necessarily bigger. So help me Obi-Wan Jack Radcliffe and deliver fit-Bear DVDs, and BEAR® t-shirts and bumper stickers to all my Bear brothers this holiday season – and may the real Bear Force be with you always.

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the issue’s 76 pages:
Nude pictorial features (includes plug for one of their videos): 38 pages (50%)
Editorial: 19 pages (26%)
      1 pg cover
      1 pg table of contents + masthead
      1 pg editorial
      2 pgs short pieces (includes plug for their calendar)
      1 pg sex health article
      2 pgs music reviews
      1 pg book reviews
      2 pgs cartoons
      6 pgs erotic fiction w/ illustration
      1 pg event calendar
      1 pg back cover
Advertising: 17¼ pages (24%)
      10 pgs in-house ads for videos, anthologies, T-shirts, calendars, etc.
      2 pgs social websites
      1½ pgs leathershops
      1½ pgs other porn/video producers
      1 pg purported erection/load enhancement pills
      ¾ pg B&Bs
      ¼ pg bear events
      1/8 pg T-shirts

Thankfully, not all the models glower at the camera (one of my pet peeves), there are some smiles – mostly every single shot of coverman & centerfold Zeb Atlas.

Beard growth over ½" – one model
Beards over 1" – none of the models; three of the bear musicians under the music reviews
Full or long beards – none of the models; Elijah Black in the music reviews

Any semblance of a belly – none
Bears of color – none