Who Is Bear?

"As I have mentioned, the Bear and I were introduced through Sam, perhaps as a means to get me off his (Sam's) back, but I suspect more as a goodwill gesture toward Bear, whom even Sam kissed up to.

"Our first encounter in the spring of 1979, was a trifle tense, predominantly due to Bear's surprising shyness, but also due to the fact that I was genuinely in awe of this one. This was not simply a fixation for Jewish patriarchs-this was Mr. Hollywood. But even more, this was a man who actually did impress me, with both his intelligence and suavity and his size, hirsuteness, daddy-hood. A hug from him was like the embrace of the entire Prussian army.

"For Bear it was a relief to take the passenger seat and pretend that he was mortal from time to time. Granted, he was still who he was, still paid all the bills, still received the curtsies and prostrations of the Streisands, the Beattys, the Nicholsons. Yet he was mine in bed.

"Bear and I, I should say, have remained friends. He became fascinated by my assorted spiritual quests, vicariously thrilled to see me grow and change. I believe he was, like my dad, envious of the freedom and the anonymity that I was still able to enjoy. Money, he always asserted, was not what life was about, and fame was hideous (he avoided it where possible)."

[From the autobiography of Gavin Dillard, the 1970s gay porn star.]