Within the gay community, there are numerous labels that are closely related to Bear culture, including cubs, otters, ewoks and wolves. All are associated with a particular rugged kind of masculinity, thus eschewing the stereotype of an effeminate gay man. There is some degree of overlap between different categorisations and there is no universal agreement over what exactly constitutes a Bear or any of the other associated labels. Generally, however, a Bear is perceived to be a large, hairy man, although distinctions are made between different kinds of Bear, whilst cubs, otters, ewoks and wolves are defined in relation to this.

Thus, a cub is considered to be a younger Bear. They have similar physical attributes of a Bear, but are somewhat smaller and may have less hair. In terms of their behaviour and attitude they tend to take on the passive role within a relationship and so it is not unusual to see them paired with Bears.

An otter is used to describe a Bear who is less hefty and although he may sometimes have less hair than an actual Bear, the chances are he may be just as hairy. They can be any age and they can be just as dominant as Bears. An ewok is a Bear of short stature and, again, the term applies to men of any age.

A wolf refers to a gay man who is a slimmer version of a Bear and he is noticeably more aggressive, as he is sexually assertive and prefers to take on a dominant role within a relationship.

Chubs and chasers are also an offshoot of Bear culture. Some chubs and chasers associate with Bear culture whilst others do not, as they belong to a distinct subculture. A chub is a man considered to be overweight or obese, whilst a chaser is someone who is attracted to this kind of physique. Obviously, Bears tend to be quite hefty, which is why some chubs may consider themselves to be Bears, but not all do.

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