Introduction to The Bear Sessions

Introduction to The Bear Sessions

A few months ago, I was asked by the artists of a photography project called The Bear Sessions to write an introduction to a collection of their images. Joel Benjamin and John O’Connell have been shooting bears everywhere — creating a series of ursomasculine images — and have started to release their work in several parts in magazine form. The first one, very nicely produced at 70 pages, just came out in time for TBRU.

Here is the front cover (looks like a fun time to me!):

The Bear Sessions cover
The Bear Sessions cover

And here is my introduction:

The Bear Sessions intro
The Bear Sessions intro
by Ron J. Suresha

Expressions of homomasculinity evolve over time, and we perceive these expressions differently over the course of our lives. How we view and exhibit our maleness varies also across oceans, continents, and political borders.

Ultimately, there is something about the mature adult male nude – even in its most modern pop-culture forms – that always hearkens back to classical images of powerful masculine deities, immortalized in statuary and other art.

Ever since the gay and bisexual men’s community called Bears emerged in the late 1980s, its definition by the photowork in Drummer, Bear, American Bear, 100% Beef, and similar magazines has helped to shake up stereotypes of queer masculinity, and to shape gay men’s culture into something broader, if you will, than it was during Stonewall.

In his 2005 Abu Ghraib oil paintings, Colombian artist Fernando Botero depicted the fully mature, bearded male nude as a bound, tortured captive in a terrifyingly vulnerable pose, thus utilizing the naked bearish male form to craft a heartrending political accusation against USA policy of prisoner abuse.

Although the images in The Bear Sessions are far less severe, critical, or figurative, they share with Botero’s art a classic style and subject that represents the big man as he is.

This portfolio features the best of The Bear Sessions to date. The crisp black and white images collected here present their subjects’ maleness up front and center, as a sexual, political, and social identity.

Testosterone rises like wisps of steam from the pages of The Bear Sessions. Whether the subject’s mood is raunchy, romantic, or reflective, there’s no mistaking the homoerotic energy of these fully adult men. These guys are Bears, and these photographs are their moments in our time.


Ron J. Suresha is author or editor of more than ten books, and a three-time Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His latest work, a coffeetable art book coedited with Scott McGillivray, FUR: THE LOVE OF MEN, received a 2012 Rainbow Book Award in nonfiction. Suresha abides in Western Connecticut with his husbear of 10 years. <>

Introduction © 2013 Ron J. Suresha.

You definitely should check out The Bear Sessions at their Facebook page. Better yet, order their Session 1 collection here. And please let them know how much you like the introduction!

Author: Ron Suresha

Ron Jackson Suresha is an editor, anthologist, and writer. He is considered an authority on emergent queer masculinities, in particular the subcultures of gay and bi male Bears and of male bisexuality. For Ron's service to the bear community, he was named "Bear of the Year" 2008. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Suresha attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, 1976-8), where he studied creative writing, and Vista College (Berkeley, Cal., 1989-92), where he studied American Sign Language. For more than two decades, he has worked as a freelance proofreader for trade book publishers such as Shambhala Publications. He was married in October 2004 to Rocco Russo. He is also a licensed Justice of the Peace in Connecticut, an ordained minister, ULC, and a member of the New London Green Party. Nonfiction works include Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions; Bi Men: Coming Out (coeditor, with Pete Chvany); Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (editor). His latest book is The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, jests, and donkey tales of the beloved Persian folk hero, published by Lethe Press. This page powered by the webseed content management system (cms) created by mike adams. viagra sales online canada Top what are typical symptoms? Depending on location, size and number of fibroids, they may cause heavy, prolonged menstrual periods and unusual monthly bleeding, sometimes with clots. Last reviewed september 2012 by andrea chisholm please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. viagra kaufen holland If the fibroids are located centrally in the uterus near the lining, they will stretch that lining not allowing it to heal. Last reviewed september 2012 by andrea chisholm please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. If you're at least 20 years old and have heavy periods associated with uterine fibroids, you may qualify for this oral investigational medication research study. Hysteroscopy with directed biopsy is particularly helpful in the diagnosis of small polyps within the uterine cavity. Com you won't have to type your email address and password. All rights reserved. Zada, gabriel zaks, camilo zarchy, thomas m. If you're at least 20 years old and have heavy periods associated with uterine fibroids, you may qualify for this oral investigational medication research study. Weed, susun, menopausal years (woodstock ny: ash tree publishing 1992) p12 copy 2001 sheila shea all rights reserved copy 2001 robin leebardt all rights reserved back home. 33bn in revenues reported in 2006 3d delayed enhancement mri aids in the detection of scar post catheter ablation eu mri directive undermined by new scientific evidence focused ultrasound relieves fibroid symptoms in women researchers use mri to predict recovery after spinal cord injury journal of ultrasound in medicine focuses on contrast-enhanced ultrasound mri-guided ultrasound surgery improves fibroid symptoms aium hosts third annual ultrasound practice forum i-flow, ge healthcare in pact for ultrasound study mri best at spotting ductal carcinoma in situ aua 2007: effect of transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy of the prostate on semen parameters launch of next generation magnetic resonance imaging (mri) breast biopsy device ultrasound contrast in the liver 'as good as ct' ultrasound and mri play key role in evaluating complications of pediatric renal transplantation contrast-enhanced mr spots contralateral breast cancer fluorescence diffuse optical tomography provides high contrast, 3-d look at breast cancer top imaging expert calls for eu to change mri law to avoid damaging uncertainty following slovakia's decision to go it alone 3d ultrasound scanner provides in-depth view of the brain merge healthcare introduces version 7. nbsp full story early humans anthropology cultures drought human evolution origin of life nbsp dating between modern humans and neandertals october 4, 2012 to discover why neandertals are most closely related to people outside africa, scientists have estimated the date when neandertals and modern europeans last shared ancestors. Q. nbsp particulate arterial embolization: a new treatment for uterine leiomyomata-related hemorrhage.