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The bear code was created in 1991 by Bob Donahue and Jeff Stoner as a means of identifying physicalities amonf 'bears', (gay men with a typically hairy, working class image).

The bear code is comprised of 15 segments, each identifying a charactertistic.

It is not necessary to have a "grade" for each of these traits! For each there is a "neutral" value, which basically describes someone who is "average" or "unknown" within that trait. These "neutral" values are given below, but would not be reported --- treat them as either"default" or "assumed".

punctuation the punctuation below applies to variables and classifications of the below code types.
  V for variables, where the trait is not very firm, or which may change with time or individual interaction. (for example, a person, or bear, who does not like to be touched in most cases can have some guys which makes him crave cuddling and contact. Their grouping (G) factor would be 'GV'.)
  ? for traits where there is no real hard data available to quantify the rating. (For example, if someone isn't sure of their groping (G) factor, the code would be 'G?'.)
    : for traits which are observed but uncertain. (for example, if a guy appears to be fairly hairy/furry (F), but he's wearing long sleeves, so it can not be confirmed, his furry (F) trait would be 'F+:')
    ! for cases where the trait is as close to 'perfect model' as possible. (for example, a guy with a phenomenally long, thick, bushy beard (B) would have a beard (B) classification of 'B9!')
    ( ) used to indicate ranges or changes based on situation. (for example, some people vary in kinkiness (K) from day to day, dependant on mood. in this case, someone who's typically kinky (K) but can go to extreme kinkiness at times would be classified as 'K(++)'.
    / used to denote a range with number classifications in cases where the beard (B) varies.
B The "B" is meant to denote 'bear', but the classifications are used to characterize "beard type" which combines a
bear's beard's length, thickness, and overall "keptness". Occasionally people may fall between two classes,
and then the end result is left up to the person classifying, or one may use a hybrid designation
(for example: B7/4) for those who vary across time (in the given range they spend more time near the
first number). The classifications arenumbered from 0 to 9 and defined in the following way:
  0 Little or no beard. Sparse.
  1 (VERY slight beard) This is the kind of beard that people havewho want to have a beard, but can't grow one. Or someone who is contantly at the 1-week phase.
    2 (Slight beard) A beard kept VERY short at all times, or thinned out.
    3 (Thin beard) A beard in all respects but kept thin and short.
    4 (Mostly full) A beard that is full except for a few noticable bald spots, or kept trimmed.
    5 (Full beard) A full beard not generally trimmed, though not generally bushy. May have a few bald spots on inspection. Usually full and roundish beards fall into this category.
    6 (Very full) A full beard, not trimmed. May be slightly bushy but very full. Thick, full beards (moreso than B5's) are B6's. B6's beards also generally are higher up on the cheeks than B5's.
    7 (Longish/bushy beards) A full beard or slightly thin beardwith longish fur. This beard is not trimmed and does come away from the chin.
    8 (Very Long Beards) These beards are usually very bushy and haven't seen clippers for a very long time.
    9 (Belt-buckle-grazing long beards) The prototype is ZZ Top.
F "The FUR factor". Some bears are particularly hairy about the rest of their bodies, others INCREDIBLY furry, yet others though rightfully bears, have little or no fur on their chests, arms, legs, back, butt, etc. So, one of the following may be added to better describe a bear's fur:
  F++ WAY above average fur
  F+ above average fur
  F furry in a bearish sense
    (none) "neutral", avg. fur from a sample population of both bears and non-bears
    F- below average fur
    F-- WAY below average fur, no hair/smooth
T "The TALLNESS factor". This helps describe the bear's height.
  T++ a very tall bear ("how's the weather up there?")
  T+ taller than average
  T tall, but not very tall
    (none) average height
    T- shorter than average
    T-- very small stature
W "The WEIGHT factor". This helps to establish the roundness or "fluffiness" of the bear.
  W++ a very round, very big bear
  W+ a big boned bear
    W a bear with a tummy / 'bear gut bear'
    (none) average weight for body build
    W- a thin bear (aka 'otter')
    W-- a bony bear
C "The CUB factor". Cubs are younger bears, but for purposes of this classification, this helps establish the role of younger looking bears.
  C++ a 'daddy's boy'
  C+ a definite cub
    C cub tendancies
    (none) not 'cubbish'
    C- looks like a cub but isn't
D The "DADDY" factor. Daddies are 'top' / 'dominant' bears. This helps establish their role.
  D++ severe daddy. (Even monarchs would call him Sir.)
  D+ definite daddy
    D daddy tendancies
    (none) not a daddy
    D- looks like a daddy, but isn't.
    CD a cub with "daddy tendancies", or a "grown up cub" if you prefer.
    DC a daddy with cub-like tendancies
    DC- more daddy than cub
    D+C very daddyish with some cub tendancies
G The "GROPE" factor. This is a classification to determine how much one likes to be touched, groped, cuddled, etc.
  G++ Very physically affectionate.
  G+ Physically affectionate most of the time.
    G Generally outgoing with affection, a little more reserved about the time and place.
    (none) Average physical affection.
    G- Generally does not like physical affection.
    G-- Do not touch.
K The "KINKY" factor, used to identify the flexibility and interest into the more obscure sexual acts...
  K++ Will do anything from mild to obscene (and possibly illegal.)
  K+ Kinky and openminded, but picks and chooses by preference.
  K Open to some kink.
    (none) Kink neutral.
    K- Not very kinky. Has absolute dislikes.
    K-- Totally vanilla.
S The "SEX" or "SLUT" factor. This factor helps to identify the person's range between monogamy and polygamy.
  S++ Strictly polygamous. Open relationships only.
  S+ Will form relationships, but they are open.
  S Will form relationships, with the occassional fun on the side.
    (none) Relationship neutral.
    S- Relationship/Monogamous preferred.
    S-- Strictly monogamous. No outside relationships.
M The "MUSCLE" factor. This factor helps determine the musculature of the subject.
  M++ Looks like a professional body builder. Spends more time at the gym than anything.
  M+ Definitely works out, well toned and muscular.
    M Some definition.
    (none) Muscle neutral.
E The "ENDOWMENT" factor. To help establish the size of the ....ummm..... equipment. (What can I say, some people have their priorities.)
  E++ gets complete respect, even from straight men. (is that a paper towel tube in his trousers?)
  E+ gets attention / a bit bulgy
  E noteworthy
    (none) average / neutral
    E- a bit less than average (some guys specifically seek this out!)
    E-- not well endowed (some guys like this- nothing to be ashamed of.)
H The "BEHR" factor, which is a bear without a beard who is still a bear. You might also see this classified with a parenthisized number with the "B" classification to give an idea of what the person might look like with a beard.
  H+ definite bear material, moustache but no beard.
  H moustache but no beard
    H- no beard or moustache (very rare in the 'bear community'.)
R The "RUGGED" factor. This identifies the roughness/gruffness of the individual.
P The "Peculiar" factor. A single letter classification to identify peculiarities in behaviour.
  P Some idiocyncracies, no judgement made regarding if they are good or bad.
Q The "Queen" factor. A single letter classification to identify bears who look rugged and manly, but who have openly and outwardly 'queeny' traits, (such as their voice,) which go beyond the standard of a 'bear'.
  Q Some outwardly queen-like traits.

So, with that, my bear code would be: B0 F-- G- K+ S-- E+ H- R- P

It's important to note that while "B" is usually always the first code used, there is no standard of order.

A couple of other examples:
B5 F T W(+) DC GV S+ M+ R has a full beard, and is furry, has a bit of a tummy which sometimes can be a bit rounder, is a daddy with cub features, the physical affection (groping) varies depending on situation/person, is kinky neutral (since K does not appear,) prefers open relationships, is well toned and muscular, average endowment (no E present), and is slightly outdoorsy/rugged.
B3/5 C++ T- G++ E+ H+ a beard ranging from thin to full, very cubbish, a bit short in height, likes physical contact, well endowed, and very hairy.



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