Not every gay teen yearns for fashion and popular culture. Some boys are pure country folk and like the feel of flannel and the smell of the farm. And they’re neither lithe nor muscle-bound but stocky boys, the ones who develop hairy chests, arms, and faces years earlier than their peers.
One such seventeen-year-old is Travis Ferrell, shy among most of the other kids at school, but proud of his West Virginia roots. He has not yet admitted his passion for handsome guys–and his idea of what handsome is and what handsome does is not much different from him. Soon he’ll learn that he’s not unique; gay culture has a name for young men like him.
Lambda Literary Award-winning author Jeff Mann has written a touching romance for the outsider in us all.
Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press • February 14, 2014
Following the runaway hit Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press audiobook of Jeff Mann’s acclaimed epic civil war novel, Purgatory, and the recent release of Jeff’s Lammy-winning book, A History of Barbed Wire, BBB is pleased to present its third audiobook: Bear Like Me is the very first bear novel, a funny furfest by Canadian author Jonathan Cohen.
Bear Like Me front cover
Fired from his job at Phag magazine, Peter Mallory has to find a way to make a living…and get revenge! When his best friend suggests writing a book about the bear community–and using his new ursine look to go undercover at Phag–Peter is soon letting his body hair grow and practising the fine art of flannel couture. When Peter’s sabotage campaign works only too well, he starts to run the risk of discovery. With an envious fellow bear set to unmask Peter as a fraud, and a relationship with an intriguing bear on the line, things are about to get very hairy!
Listen to a free sample of the BEAR LIKE ME audiobook and order!
Jeff Mann’s A History of Barbed Wire comes out as audiobook
October 8, 2013
Bear Bones Books is pleased to present its second audiobook, A History of Barbed Wire,the Lambda Literary Award-winning book by Jeff Mann:
A History of Barbed Wire, by Jeff Mann
Audiobook Edition Narrated by Sherman Koltz
In intense, lyrical language, Jeff Mann’s short stories give us an array of tormented characters: adulterous lovers, a kidnapper and his handsome victim, the sadistic ghost of a Confederate soldier, a yearning forestry student, an eager masochist, and a hairy biker. These tales explore the sex and psychology of BDSM and of bear culture, and most are set in Mann’s native Appalachia, an area often mythologized as a place where the wilderness within converges with the wilderness without.
A Lambda Literary Award winner for Best Gay Male Erotica!
Bear Bones Books, an imprint of Lethe Press, presents its 2013 catalog of books for gay and bisexual men of the Bear community, with 18 titles in print and eBook — plus much more, including cover and interior artwork, author profiles and photos, and complete publication and ordering specifications.
Bear Bones Books, an imprint of Lethe Press, presents its 2013 catalog of books for gay and bisexual men of the Bear community, with 18 titles in print plus much more, including cover and interior artwork, author profiles and photos, and complete specifications.
During the Civil War, two young soldiers on opposite sides find themselves drawn together. One is a war-weary scholarly Southerner who has seen too much bloodshed, especially the tortures inflicted upon the enemy by his vicious commanding officer, his uncle. The other is a Herculean Yankee captured by the rag-tag Confederate band and forced to become a martyr for all the sins of General Sheridan’s fires. When these two find themselves admiring more than each other’s spirit and demeanor, when passions erupt between captor and captive, will this new romance survive the arduous trek to Purgatory Mountain?
For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and your history with the leather community.
I am an artist, writer, photographer, and most importantly: a dreamer. I’m the author and Illustrator of Night Duty and other stories, published through Bear Bones Books, an imprint of Lethe Press. Unfortunately, my history with the leather community is limited. Sometimes I’m like the kid looking through the candy store window in that I can see all the delights but unable to go in and taste anything. So I do go to leather bars, but I’m more of an observer. I’ve always loved seeing men in their black leather. When I turned 30, my partner at the time gave me a beautiful pair of chaps, handmade by Frank Gohey of Male Hide Leather in Chicago. I was bartending at The Manhandler Saloon at the time and they went over really big. My ass never looked as good as when I wore them.
What or who got you started in the leather and fetish community and for how long?
What got me started in Leather was Tom of Finland, and the influence of his wonderful artwork. Those perfect, hung men in shiny black leather opened my eyes to the world of leather. As a teen, I’d see ads of his artwork in the back of Screw Magazine. I knew I was gay as a kid and those drawings excited me. When I came to Chicago in 1974, my first partner was a neighbor of Chuck Renslow and his then partner, Dom Orejudos, who was an artist who was better known as Etienne. (Another male erotic art luminary.) Etienne gave me a lot of great advice which I feel lucky to have gotten. Then I met Stan Black, who was a member of the Chicago Hell Fire Club. He was a great guy and really quite sweet. He was always teasing me about how great I’d look hog tied or being in his sling.
Well, that always scared me but I really liked him and he eventually talked me into it. He was able to get permission to let me visit their clubhouse and he got me into the sling and blindfolded me. I was shackled and he’d use different textures over my exposed skin. It was really something and I totally enjoyed it.
Which club or bar are you affiliated with?
I’m not affiliated with any club or bar. When I lived in Chicago, I’d go to the Gold Coast, which was on Clark Street. Also the original Touchés and the Readout. Now it’s the Eagle and Cell block.
Tell us about your charity involvement and goals.
The only charity organization I’m involved in is one called Save the Children, www.savethechildren.org/usa. They work to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need. Save the Children’s early childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition, and emergency response programs reached more than 140,000 children and families in the U.S. last year.
Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
I have to say that my partner, Matthew, is my muse. He is a big influence in my life. In my drawing style, I was influenced by Tom of Finland, Etienne, Rex, and believe it or not, Aubrey Beardsley. Writing style, there are too many to mention. A little bit here and a little bit there.
How long have you been writing and can you tell us which is your favorite book so far?
I was writing as a kid. In high school, I had a poem in the school yearbook. I have been seriously writing since 1994, when I had my first story published by Handjobs Magazine. I have many favorite books but Dracula, by Bram Stoker, has to be my all-time favorite. Right now I’m reading a lot of LGBT fiction.
Night Duty, by Nicolas Man, front cover
What would you say are the most important strengths to have as a kinky author?
Imagination, of course, good word selection, and a good sense of humor. You must have an open mind. Be confident with yourself and try and think outside the glory hole. You’ll never know who or what’s beyond, if you don’t take a peek.
What do you see for the future of books with the arrival of the Internet?
There will always be paper in one form or another but hardcover books will become like treasured relics. Even now first editions of classic literature can cost a fortune. More and more people are buying eBooks, which doesn’t rely on paper.
What advice can you give a writer who wants to pursue that career?
Write, write and write. After that re-write and re-write. To be a writer, you have to write. Write about anything and every day. As with anything, practice makes perfect.
Tell us what your favorite piece of leather is and why?
Chaps have to be my favorite piece of leather gear. They accentuate the crotch and ass and who doesn’t like looking at a man’s crotch or ass? And of course, the classic leather jacket. I still have my Schott’s Leather jacket I got from Male Hide Leathers in Chicago, centuries ago.
You have been doing a lot of book readings. Can you tell us about your favorite reading and explain why?
The last one I did has to be my favorite. I had the pleasure of doing a reading for the Front Range Bear’s book club in Denver. There were a small bunch of handsome bears there and they were very attentive. Let’s just say two of the bears made me feel very welcomed.
In your own words, can you tell us the difference between BDSM and Leather?
Both are a fetish. BDSM is about control. There is a lot of roleplaying: master/slave, dom/sub. Leather is a way of life and a certain form of dress or drag.
What are your favorite S&M activities?
The only one I can think of is: I like the feel of a man’s hand cupped at the back of my head as I suck his cock. Like he was forcing me to suck his big cock, holding me there — there’s something spiritual about that.
What’s your favorite drink? And if you could invent a cocktail for the leather community, what would you call it?
When I’m out drinking, I usually will have an Absolut and tonic. If I’m feeling festive, a Cosmo. When I’m home or out to dinner, I drink either Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
How about this: Armored Cow or a Dead Donkey? Both are military slang, one for canned milk, the other for canned ham. Leather to me is a form of armor and it is dead cow skin, right? And the donkey part can refer to a man that’s hung. I’d drink that for sure.
Nicolas Mann, author of Night Duty
Tell us about your latest book, Night Duty and Other Stories.
Night Duty is a compilation of some of my favorite stories and illustrations I did for Handjobs Magazine over the course of 20 years. Some of the stories were rewritten and there are a few that were never published. Some of the tales are autobiographical — embellished, of course — and others are just fantasy.
If I visited Rudolph, Wisconsin, what 5 things would you show me, without either of us getting arrested, and why?
I’d start by showing you my office, that wouldn’t get us into much trouble. It’s where I think, draw, and write. Don’t mind the stains on the carpet. <g> The barn, I love barns in general and The Hayloft, now here we might run into trouble for sure. A hayloft is probably where I lost my virginity. <g>. The Grotto Shrine and Wonder Cave; it’s a man-made holy place that draws in some tourists. It’s really quite cool. The Rudolph Cheese Factory: you can’t come to Rudolph without seeing the Cheese factory. It probably brings in more tourists then the Grotto. Finally, I’d take you out to our Woods. It’s a magical, secret place where I go to dream. I go out there at least once a week.
Can you tell us a fantasy that you still want to live out?
I have so many and my desires change from day to day. I have been sexual since I was a kid and have done a lot, but here is still so much I would like to try sexually.
One fantasy that comes to mind is: being in some place where no one knows me and I’m free to be as much of a pig as I want to. There’s no one there to tell me that I’m too fat or too ugly, too young or too old. Of course being at the center of a group of 3-H men would work too: Hot, Hunky, and Hung.
In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the leather community of South Africa?
I wish I could thank the South African Leather community in person. I hope to visit South Africa someday soon.
There was tons of fun to be had (I swear, I’m doing my best to avoid puns here) between the daily afternoon tea dance at The Boatslip – themes and dress codes included singlets, sarongs, and solid gold – Ptown editions of international bear/alternative parties like Bob Mould & Richard Morel’s Blowoff, Fag Bash, and the UK’s Horse Meat Disco, engagements by author Armistead Maupin and musician Matt Alber, screenings of the Provincetown-set film BearCity 2 and readings of its new spinoff book, BearCity: The Novel, a mass wedding, a bear market for ursine-themed everything and webisode series Where The Bears Are swag, a nightly migration to pizza joint Spiritus for last call pizza and cruising, and much more. Plus all sorts of celeb-bear-ties were in town, like Andrew Sullivan and his actor hubby Aaron Tone, and hairy cosplayer, [BearDonna].
BearCity reading at Bowersock Art Gallery during Ptown Bear Week
Echo mag: BearCity novel “well-written, often amusing”
BearCity: The Novel
by Lawrence Ferber
(Based on the screenplay co-written with Doug Langway)
(Bear Bones/Lethe, June 2013, $15 softcover, also in e-book)
Tyler is an athletic young man who is coming out of his second “closet.” Already out as gay, he is now ready to admit to his friends that his attraction is to older, hairy, beefy guys, not the hairless circuit boys most of his friends drool over. His twinky best friend, Simon, doesn’t understand that attraction, but helps him navigate the wilds of the “bear scene” in NYC, where Tyler meets and falls in instant lust with Roger, a self-assured, uber-popular “muscle bear” from whom he seems to be getting mixed signals. We also become aware of mini-dramas going on in the same scene, such as a longtime couple wondering if they need to “open” their relationship to keep it strong, and a 300+lb big bear with his Latino “chaser” boyfriend who opposes his partner’s plan to get weight-loss surgery. All this takes place over a special “Bear City” weekend being hosted by a NYC bar.
Having previously seen – more than once – the 2010 comedy film on which this novelization is based, I had doubts that the book would be of much interest to me. For one thing, the action is definitely character-driven, rather than following some kind of logical plot, and it’s not easy to keep all of the different, diverse individuals straight (so to speak) when only meeting them on a printed page rather than portrayed by an actor. To my surprise, the writer does a good job of pacing the story so that it can be understood, and including sixteen stills (including some “behind the scenes”) photos from the film. Light erotic content is not out of place in this well-written, often amusing story, and it’s overall a positive message about a growing minority within the gay community. Four stars out of five.
Bear Bones Books proudly presents its newest title, BearCity: The Novel, based on the breakout hit feature-length romantic comedy film.
BearCity follows the funny, romantic, and often dramatic adventures of a tight-knit pack of bears, cubs, and friends in New York City as they gear up for a big party weekend.
A hirsute Sex and the City set in the City’s gay men’s “Bear” scene, the BearCity story brings together these men, their friends, tricks, and lovers, and a cast of colorful, hirsute characters. They experience comical mishaps, lusty and romantic encounters, and a staggering variety of male body types.
Using satire and humor, BearCity, the novel explores these men’s self-image issues, as well as poking fun at aspects of urban gay and bisexual male lifestyles, all while celebrating the worldwide community of homomasculine men who call themselves Bears.
BearCity also features 16 b/w photo images chosen by the author and director from the hi-res digital film, as well as a dozen behind-the-scenes photos taken by Lawrence Ferber.
Lawrence Ferber, author of BearCity: The Novel (left) Doug Langway, director of BearCity
About the authors:
Lawrence Ferber is a freelance travel/entertainment journalist and filmmaker who has written for National Geographic Traveler, Passport Magazine, Instinct, LA Frontiers, NYC Next, The Advocate, Entertainment Weekly, Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, Time Out NY, Genre, Out, HX, In Magazine, Philadelphia Gay News. He is co-writer / co-creator of the 2010 gay romantic comedy, BearCity, for which he and Doug Langway won Outfest’s Outstanding Screenwriting Award. He lives in New York City. Doug Langway cowrote and directed the award-winning feature-length films, BearCity & BearCity 2. Both Larry and Doug live in New York City.
BearCity: The Novel
Novelization by Lawrence Ferber, based upon the screenplay by Doug Langway & Lawrence Ferber
Coined by Richard Bulger and his partner Chris Nelson, the term “Bear” was popularized when the two founded Bear Magazine in 1987. Although the term was already widely used in LGBT community, Bulger and Nelson’s publication brought the term and the lifestyle to the mainstream. Now, 26 years later, the bear lifestyle has generated apps, websites, magazines, and books devoted to hairy, husky, strong men and those who love them.
You may already be deeply entrenched in the bear community and think that there’s nothing new you can glean about the lifestyle, yourself, or, if you’re a bear chaser, your prey. However, there’s still much that you can learn about the bear lifestyle, and reading erotic novels on the subject can make you a master on the topic. Erotic novels about the bear community can teach you a lot about the lifestyle and how to incorporate certain aspects of the lifestyle in your relationship.
Story Time Equals Couple Quality Time
Reading erotic stories with your mate allows you and your partner the opportunity to discuss and share naughty tales without having to contrive these stories on your own. Choose a certain paragraph or section in the book that relates to you and your mate as a bear couple and read the part out aloud to your partner. This creates gives you the chance to connect as a couple and share your own fantasies as erotic storytelling produces an excellent avenue for sharing. Additionally, these tales provide you and your partner with an outlet for fantasies and an opportunity for sexual dialogue, which is an intrinsic part of a relationship.
Erotic Bear Novels Offer up Some Tantalizing Ideas
Let’s face it—relationships can be a drag and a bit boring at times, so couples need something to spice things up a bit. Why most relationships fail is due to monotony in the shack. Enter erotic tales about bears. Oftentimes, couples are aware that their relationships are lacking in the sex department; however, they don’t know where to begin. Erotic stories open your mind to sexual fantasies and ushers in new ideas that you can experiment with and implement in real life. In addition to an erotic novel or anthology of bearotic stories, you and your mate can intensify the sexual components of your relationship by adding men’s sex toys into the mix. Combining erotic book storytelling with a sexual device can increase your desire not only to have more sex, but engage in different types of sex.
Sharing Erotic Stories Can Inspire Sexual Role Playing
Reading erotic stories centered on your relationship and the homomasculine community of man-lovers can generate ideas for different roles you and your partner can use in the boudoir. Although you and/or your mate may have sexual hang-ups or view role-playing as a trite, unnecessary act, acting out a scene or scenario from a bear novel can be more exciting and passionate than you or your partner could ever imagine. Use the story as a script, choose which characters to play, and, most importantly, enjoy yourselves and your intimacy as a couple.