Close up of shirtless man facing forward on the sand.

Gay wolves are defined by their chiseled bodies, unyielding masculinity, and ravenous sexuality. 

There’s a reason wolves are considered apex predators, but in the gay animal kingdom, they only prey on the consensual hearts that lust after them. Roam the Queerty jungle to discover what makes gay wolves emblems of shameless manhood and desire. 

What is a gay wolf?

Shirtless black gay man with abs laying on the bed with his arms behind his head.

A gay wolf is a tribe deviation from the popular gay bear subculture. They share common denominators, such as a rugged physique and hairiness.

But while bears have larger body types, wolves align with their namesake in lean strength. They possess an athletic demeanor reminiscent of jocks and maintain a more toned physique rather than bulking up like pumped-up gym rats. 

Body hair is less of a proud distinguishing feature, but a gay wolf doesn’t shy away from it. It’s part of their manliness, and they always have some type of facial hair.

A handsome man with a beard wearing a suit.

Beyond physical attributes, this tribe is uniquely distinguished by their personality, specifically their confidence and sensuality. They embody the spirit of a man who fearlessly pursues what he desires, akin to the iconic James Bond, but in this case, he goes by the name of Wolf, Gay Wolf!

The history of wolves in gay culture

paintings of animals wearing human clothes including a boar, a bear, a giraffe, and an otter

Similar to otters, wolves originated from the subculture of bears, which was dubbed in the late 1970s. The mammalian identification of gay men began with an Advocate article written by George Mazze aptly titled, “Whose Who at the Zoo.”

The author only managed to get one categorization to stick, and the gays took the cultural reins from there.

How do you become a gay wolf?

Although gays are free to identify with the subculture that brings them the most sense of belonging, the term “wolf” materializes more as a compliment than a defined community. You’ll find gay wolves roaming similar grounds as their kindred spirits, such as bears, otters, and other leather and kink spaces.

While it’s less common for individuals to self-identify as gay wolves, being called one is considered quite the praise. Wolves are charismatic creatures of the night with a presence that seldom goes unnoticed. Just like James Bond’s objective good looks, a wolf’s magnetic energy lies not only in immaculate bone structure but also in their essence – because confidence is universally sexy, regardless of the tribe one belongs to.

Notable gay wolves in pop culture

We can’t say for sure that these gay celebs identify as gay wolves, but they certainly serve the vibes:

Cheyenne Jackson struts some gay wolf attire

Russel Tovey *with a beard* might as well be howling at the full moon

Fashion model Jon Kortajarena shows us the tribe in its natural lighting

Howl for a good time

An athletic man wearing gym clothes, looking to the side, and wiping sweat from his forehead.

Being a gay wolve is as much an attitude as a physical state of being. Often, this means the tribe can be a projection of how we perceive someone since it’s hard to know a person’s true essence until you get to know them.

Probably the sexiest aspect of wolves is their ability to vocalize what they like and want, a habit anyone could benefit from (obviously with respect).

Do you know what’s better than a full moon? Subscribing to the Queerty newsletter for the full scoop on gay culture and the confident gay men leading it.

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