Shannon Jenkins, Associate Writer
Little is private when it comes to Robear Chinosi’s private life. At least, that will be the case once all the episodes of NY INK air on TLC. In its second season, the show focuses on the love lives of its cast members who work at the Soho tattoo parlor, the Wooster St. Social Club, where Robear serves as manager. Fenuxe spoke with the hunky Brooklyn native about his love for fashion and tattoos. Of course, we asked him about his feelings on love as well. Below you’ll find a few highlights from our chat with Robear.Fenuxe: What do you love about fashion?
Robear: My style is kind of eclectic. I tend to mix vintage with new. I can go from high end to thrift store. So I mix it up. I really love textiles in fabrics. I actually do some fashion styling and interior design when I’m not managing the tattoo shop. Those are my two other passions in life. I’m very exciting about upcoming Fashion Week in New York City in February. It’s very inspirational to see all those designers.
Fenuxe: What do you love about tattoos?
Robear: They’re a permanent adornment of fine art on your body. I use my body as a canvas to decorate. I only get tattooed when I’m inspired or motivated or something moves me. I don’t get a tattoo just to get a tattoo. Tattoos represent a timeline of milestones in my life when things were good, bad or different. I marked my body according to how I was feeling at the time. I can look at my arms, my back, my chest, my belly, my legs and take myself back to the place where I was emotionally, mentally and physically at the tattoo shop getting it done.
Fenuxe: How’s the whole dating thing going for you?
Robear: I’m a single gay guy living in New York. I work 12-14 hours a day at the tattoo shop, and I also go to school at night. I never really made time for love or a social life. It was always very secondary to me. Dating in general is very hard. I live in the best city in the whole world but I think it’s either feast or famine.
Fenuxe: On a first date, what turns you off?
Robear: When men talk too much about their ex-boyfriends or how bitter they are. It’s a rough scene. Long-term relationships in the gay and straight worlds are hard to find regardless. It turns me off if they talk about an ex-boyfriend because that usually is an indicator they’re not over them; so how could you possibly want to start something new? Or if they talk too much about themselves or what they have or what they do or how much money they make. Things like that do not impress me. Also if the guy is overly aggressive. I’m in my thirties, and I’m not out there to hook up or have one-night stands. So if the guy is talking really fresh it could be a turn off. I’d rather have substance. Hooking up is empty.
Fenuxe: What do you find romantic?
Robear: I’m a low-key kind of guy. I’m not really into the clubs and bars anymore. Romance to me can be as simple as cooking each other dinner, hanging out, cuddling on the couch watching a movie. I don’t have to be in a fancy restaurant. I don’t have to be on a horse carriage ride in Manhattan. It’s just the small things.
Fenuxe: Do you believe in love?
Robear: I consider love a luxury. It’s not necessarily a necessity because I’m a whole person without something else. Ideally I’d like to be with someone to complement me and vice versa. If it happens, it happens. If not I’ll just go along with my career and my philanthropy and my education. I see a lot of people in relationships because there’s a sense of familiarity and they’re comfortable with each other and there are financial bonds. I look at those relationships—and it’s not that they’re loveless but that passion has faded and I never want to be in that because I’m the type of person who needs stimulation constantly. I’d rather be single and focus on my career than be with the wrong person.
Fenuxe: What do you look for in a guy?
Robear: I just need him to make me laugh. I love a guy who has a sense of humor because I’m usually the funny one. If you can make me laugh that’s a major turn on to me.
Robear: I don’t necessarily even have a specific type when it comes to men. I’ve been attracted to the twink guy or muscle guy the bear guy. I think I really connect more with a more rugged, masculine average kind of joe. I’ve pointed out guys and my friends are like “really? You think he’s cute?” What I think is cute or what I’m attracted to I don’t necessarily care what anyone else thinks. When I was younger I was in love with Antonio Sabato Jr. and I convinced myself—let’s remember this was when I was a teenager—that this was the guy for me. He has to look like this. And then I grew up and I was like “get real! How could you ever have thought that.” That would be an extra bonus if he was gorgeous but that’s not a necessity. Looks are absolutely secondary and I mean that with all my heart. Looks fade and what you need is good conversation, chemistry and that spark to be together. So that’s what I’m looking for.