ROH fans know 22-year-old Alex Payne, 5'10", 181#. He has the face of an angel, unspectacular muscle definition (always all right by me, often preferable, in fact), and a mean streak that plays well in a pro ring. On top of that, his nickname, Sugarfoot, reminds me of the sexual euphemisms in blues music--slang like "sugar bowl," "snake," "jelly roll," "fishin' pole," "my ding-a-ling," or "pigfoot." Sexual allusiveness in pro wrestling--particularly of the homoerotic variety--is, of course, what this blog is all about.
This blog is also all about me, me and my fixations. I'm not drumming up a cult of personality here--I barely have a personality, to speak of--so those of you who resent my "navel gazing" might want to stop reading and look at the pictures some more.
I'll try to keep this brief. A few photos of Payne (the ones posted here) caught my attention because they remind me of my youth--in particular, my first eroticized experience of wrestling. I don't like nostalgia--I'm basically a man who likes to look forward--though in recent years I've found myself looking backward a bit more than I think is healthy.
Anyway, Payne is the spitting image of Robin G., my best friend in seventh grade, when our fathers were both stationed at Yokota Air Force Base. Every week I went to Robin's house, where we lay on the floor of his bedroom, watching The Wild Wild West, Honey West, and Jonny Quest on TV, dubbed in Japanese. My guess is that the rhyming was unintentional. It was Robin who introduced me to all three shows, each in its own way contributing to the development of my erotic imagination--especially Robert Conrad's frequent shirtlessness in the first, often bound to a wall by some effete and overdressed arch-villain. (Robin looked, talked, and dressed a bit like Jonny Quest, as well.)
Once, after watching one of these shows, Robin and I started to tussle. We were on our feet, but then, with surprising agility, Robin swerved behind me, grabbed me around the waist, and dragged me to the floor. We wrestled, I don't remember all the details, but the upshot was I got on top of Robin in a schoolboy pin, my thighs straddling his lower stomach, my hands pinning his shoulders to the rug.
Like Payne, Robin had blond hair and alabaster skin. He reminded me of a child actor in Dutch or Norwegian movies, the badly dubbed sort that sometimes showed up at the base theater for Saturday morning matinees for us military brats. As we wrestled, our cotton T-shirts rode up our ribs, and sweat glued them to our skin.
Robin's chest and belly--pale as a Pre-Raphaelite knight's--quivered under mine, and I felt the tingle of erection in my corduroys. The tingle was happily greeted with the surge of Robin's boner welcoming mine. We lay there, without moving for several seconds, which stretch out in my imagination to minutes, staring into one another's eyes and panting. Our hearts banged in our chests.
You'll have to imagine the wild, T-shirt-ripping fuckfest that followed--because it was, is, and will forever remain entirely imaginary. I daydreamed about it. I'm pretty sure Robin daydreamed about it, too. For weeks afterward, Robin and I wrestled on his bedroom floor while, over our heads, "Race" Bannon battled crocodiles and Amazonian cannibals. We basically dry-humped, but we called it wrestling. At age 13 in the pre-Stonewall Sixties, we didn't know what else to call it.
Robin's father was eventually stationed elsewhere, and Robin's and my ritualized TV-watching came to an end. End of story ... with Robin. Obviously, much more has happened to me since then. What has happened to Robin, only God or Facebook knows.
Anyway, it was these pictures of wrestler Alex Payne that reminded me of this experience. No offense meant to Payne that he reminds me of a thirteen-year-old mod kid on a military base overseas. I promise to try not to associate him permanently with Robin in my mind. Payne has his own life, career, and personality, independent of my homoerotic memories. And it should be said that, in his own right, he's a pretty exciting wrestler and ring performer.