Cruising for bears
Barry Lowe will embark on tours with plenty of bear company in coming months – and he’s rather excited.
“Does this mean you’re now officially a bear?” Brett asked.
I’m afraid I was a trifle sarcastic in my response. “You don’t have to sit an exam. And it doesn’t come with a piece of paper like your birth certificate.”
Brett was still confused. “But how can you go on a bear cruise then? Won’t they ask for ID?”
I sighed. Brett was so into labels, and I don’t mean designer. He can only make sense of the world if everything is labeled and in its appropriate box. His, in some cases. That attitude has caused him a lot of problems at parties when he insists people label themselves via their sexual predisposition or their job or their hobbies. Without that information, Brett is all at sea socially.
“People will think you’re fat and hairy?”
I laughed. I’m past caring what people think of me. Almost true – there’s always exceptions to every resolution.
“Anyone can go on these tours, you don’t have to be bear, you just have to be comfortable with beary men. You’re not there to fuck ʼem. Although, in your case, I’m sure you could have your fair share if you wanted them.”
The conversation with Brett came about because Wally and I have booked for a Food and Wine Cruise in August with a contingent of bear-like persons. It’s four nights of no attitude non-judgmental mingling (or not) with like-minded men although, alas, the group will be merely part of the passenger list. That should scare the regulars. We’re not large enough – as in numbers – to take over an entire ship – yet! It’s an opportunity to make new friends, meet new lovers perhaps. Who knows?
Wally and I have never been cruising before – not that sort of cruising anyway. The only cruising I’ve done with bears was at the Beresford back in the days before the Flinstones were even married. I managed to be on the receiving end of some men with rather large hairy bellies and rather larger, harder pricks. Just as some of them turned out to be just that – pricks – some of them were genuinely nice guys. Especially Leather Jim with whom Wally and I shared a brief but incandescent fuck buddy relationship. It ended when he went back to London.
The bear label is something not all men are comfortable with. But it’s just a label. It’s shorthand for a sub-culture.
But I don’t care about such semantic niceties. I’m off to Moreton Island on a cruise ship in August, while closer to Mardi Gras, Wazza and I, who are rather shy than sociable, are headed to the Hunter Valley wine region to visit a stinky cheese shop and partake of alcoholic beverages on a bear tour as part of Bear Essentials 17 a few days before the Mardi Gras Parade.
They have another tour the following day, this time to the Blue Mountains and the Jenolan Caves. As the inestimable Glynis Johns sings: ‘Maybe next year’.
I learned of these and other social events via the Harbour City Bears.
So, let me just get the condoms and the lube, and I’ll see you at the Overseas Terminal.
Search ‘Bear Group Cruise’ on Facebook, and see ‘Bear Essentials 17 – Tours 2013’ on planetdwellers.com.au. For more on Bear Essentials 17, visit bearessentials.com.au.