Sure, there’s plenty of muscle-bound eye candy in the bear community, but of anyone on the LGBT spectrum, perhaps bears are our best role models for embracing body image (and body hair). I am right now knee deep in Provincetown for Bear Week doing a few stand-up shows. My philosophy is, when in Rome, eat like a bear. Stop worrying about carbs and get yourself to the Portuguese Bakery or Spiritus Pizza on Commercial Street.
“Girl Splash” is the end of July in P-Town. Here’s what else every lesbian can learn from a bear.
Expand Your Vocab. Sure, labels are limiting, but sometimes that’s half of the fun. Did you know that even within the Bear community, there are many different animals in zoo? Learn the difference between an Otter, a Wolf, a Cub, and a Polar Bear. You wouldn’t want someone to confuse you as a Stone Butch if you’re a card-carrying Pillow Princess.
Avoid the Tea Dance. This isn’t the place for a lesbian to stop in for a quick drink unless you’re quite literally in the mood for Sex on the Beach. I learned the hard way that the Tea Dance isn’t a place for porcelain saucers and crumpets. I know I said, When in Rome, but know your boundaries.
Go Camping. Hotels book up months in advance and staying on the Commercial Street strip in Provincetown might prove to be too much excitement for an entire week. The Dunes Edge campground is just far enough from the action but still close enough to get around by bicycle. After a long day of observing bears in their natural habitat, come back to the campground for much needed downtime. Bug spray is a natural aphrodisiac and no one cares (especially bears) that you didn’t shave.
Hibernating Is Encouraged. Perhaps the best thing about P-Town is that you can cram in a fun day of events and still manage to get a full night’s rest. The town shuts down at 1 a.m. Since most lesbian couples are in bed by midnight, this place just might make you feel like a real party animal for staying up that extra hour.
See a Show. Speaking of events, there are so many options for entertainment that that a week might not be enough time to fill your dance card. You can’t walk even one block on Commercial Street without being handed a show flyer. The town has all of the entertainment options – drag queens, karaoke, live music, and comedy. Plenty of female performers play Bear Week so be sure to catch people like Kate Clinton at the Crown and Anchor or Kristen Becker at The Post Office Cabaret.