Natural Bears Classification System


The Natural Bears Classification System (NBCS), also called the ‘bear code,’ is a set of symbols using letters, numbers and other characters commonly found on modern, Western computer keyboards, and used for the self-identification of those who self-identify as ‘bears’ in the sense of a mature gay or bisexual man with facial or substantial body hair.

These codes are used in email, Usenet, and Internet forum postings to identify the physical type and preferences of the poster.

A posting to the Usenet newsgroup in 1991 re-produced the NBCS version 1.9, though the document originated before that date (1989), according to its author. This classification scheme was created by Bob Donahue and Jeff Stoner, and was based on the way in which star and galaxy classification systems used characteristics of an object to derive a classifying identifier. This classification scheme has an almost identical syntactic structure to the ‘Geek Code,’ which was introduced in 1993, though the meanings of the symbols are different. The format includes physical traits such as ‘B’ for beard density/length, ‘f’ for body hair (or ‘fur’), ‘t’ for height (or ‘tallness’), and ‘w’ for weight. It also includes personality traits such as ‘d’ for ‘the daddy factor’ and sexual preferences such as ‘k'” for ‘the kinky factor.’

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