The bear dating site I was working on wont be coming out. It was using a wordpress theme that I decided wouldn't be secure enough. With a site like that, private messages are pretty sensitive and wordpress is notorious for being vulnerable due to its popularity and bots scanning the wordpress sites right after zero-day exploits are released. And disabling private messages itself would remove a primary feature of a dating site.
In the meantime, I encourage you to use the Bear Map https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=12d8_PW02f5lzt6mI8rMKDq7OLFGGAUSm
. It has many bears to contact available by area already, and serves a similar purpose.
And the good news is that this frees up time for me to look into other things, like a voice chat service for bears, or perhaps a local area meetup site. BB mentioned the virtues of hearing voice in conversations recently. I can't commit to it yet, but I've been looking into it the past few days and the options are promising.
Right now I'm looking at the voice service frameworks Mattermost, Nextcloud Talk, and Matrix/Riot.im to serve as the backend, hosted on a VPS. It may be wiser and cheaper to just use Discord, though. Maybe just a meetup site by area would be even better? Let me know your thoughts below.