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Credit to: Ryan Shea

If you think the title of this article is clickbait, you thought wrong.  Do I want you to leave reading this article thinking that the author is a cocky douchebag who thinks higher of himself than others?  Absolutely not.  For as long as I have written about the LGBT community, in particular the bear one that I am most associated with, the common theme throughout it is to tackle the insecurities each and everyone of us faces while in this world that we live in, and to live each day with the understanding that we are all equal and no one is better or lesser than us.

To write something like this with a point, you have to start somewhere to get to where you are now.  Growing up, I was never the skinny guy and was sometimes ridiculed for my weight as I tended to be huskier than most of the other kids in my grade.  Being gay wasn’t exactly helping the situation, which then made me feel even more isolated as I didn’t have anyone around me who looked like me or was going through what I was going through on both ends of the spectrum.

Got out of high school, went to college being an out and somewhat proud gay man.  I was still very overweight, and just coming into the whole process of dealing with the endless shade when it comes to online dating.  When I started with sites like Bear411 and Adam4Adam, 95 percent of the guys I would reach out to would not follow up.  Even worse, some would even block me after my initial contact.  i didn’t get it?  How rude can someone be to another person who is simply just saying “Hi”?

Credit to: Ryan Shea
Credit to: Ryan Shea. Yes, I’m aware of the smudged mirror!

As time went by, however, I worked on myself, lost some weight, gained a beard and noticed a complete 180 in the dating spectrum.  When I updated my photos and stats, many guys who would ignore me when I would message them originally would actually message me first.  It was a complete shake up that I myself wasn’t prepared for yet I enjoyed every minute of it.  It actually got me to a point where I was cocky and really thought that no one was out of my reach from a physical POV.  I didn’t think about the other aspects that makes up a man.

My cockiness bit me in the butt however, as over the past couple of years I have put the weight back on and am struggling to get rid of it again.  We all have our own weight problems, and food is and has been a big issue in me for years, yet even with the weight gain my dating life & gained perspective really hasn’t changed.  So what gives in that aspect?  The older I have gotten, the clearer my vision is when it comes to finding a partner, partners or even someone that you want to casually date.  In that vision, I got beyond the thoughts of how big their dick is or how good of a kisser they are and actually get to know the person beyond the aesthetic.  You would be surprised how many guys out there actually want to converse with a guy about real life things and not just about stats and unlocking their private photos.

It also helps when you come into any situation and show off your personality.  Yes, even you wallflowers can exude this in certain scenarios.  Something that a person, regardless of their physical prowess, can find very attractive is how confident someone portrays themselves. There are so many aspects to a person that if you walk into any scenario and showcase what makes you great, people will follow and want to know more.  I have friends who are in the best shape of their lives who say that they wish they had my type of confidence when it comes to putting yourself out there.  To me, it isn’t necessarily confidence, it is knowing who I am and getting to an age where I don’t worry too much about people judging me.  If you want something, whether it is a job, a person, or even a piece of cake, go for it.  It is your life, not theirs.

Credit to: Ryan Shea
Credit to: Ryan Shea

So when I say “I get more than you”, what is meant by that is I don’t let my weight or something that is perceived as a negative in society stop me from experiencing the most with a partner. The “you” in this situation is not one person, its the society that we’ve grown accustom to that breeds our insecurities to levels that we don’t deserve.  We shouldn’t use things that make us insecure, whether its weight, age, race, financial/HIV status, to deter us from really putting ourselves out there.  I have said this before and I will say it again- you make your own destiny and you shouldn’t have to rely on a group of people or even one person to shift that goal of yours in order to make them happy.  Make yourself happy.  Get yours.  It is as simple as that.