Monday, November 1, 2010
¿Quien Es Muy Homo?
The other day I was pursuing one of my sick and shameful kinks, visiting one of those online discussion groups where straight people debate pressing issues such as How gay is pro wrestling? Is wrestling more gay than mixed martial arts? Why are there so many gay guys getting into wrestling these days? For different reasons, of course, these questions are my questions, too. I would like to know which pro wrestlers take it up the ass too, less to shake my head and decry what the world is coming to, and more to add a little realism to my fantasies.
One young woman, a fan of WWE, made what I considered an observation worth considering. Pro wrestling, she said, was significantly less "gay" than so-called "real" wrestling. Sure, pro wrestling offers more gaily colored costumes and more overt references to the sexuality of the participants. Sure, as a rule, pro wrestlers are more likely to wear tight and skimpy gear than wrestlers at a college tourney. But, then, now that pro wrestling has moved more towards aerial acrobatics, lengthy monologues at the microphone, punching as opposed to gripping, and spectacular bloodletting (all things I can enjoy, by the way ... well, maybe not so much the monologues), straight fans are less likely to find themselves forced to watch one well-muscled young man mounting and riding another well-muscled young man.
Furthermore, the overt sex talk in pro wrestling seems mainly to affirm the heterosexuality of the proceedings we are watching--sort of like billing Katharine Ross above the title in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. An obscure reference, I know, but the obligatory girl in buddy films, whose sole narrative function was to make the buddies look less like fuck buddies, was the predecessor of some of the highly sex conscious yet sex-averse trends we see in pro wrestling. (My theory, by the way, is that "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" was engineered only to increase Ms. Ross's screen time, an attempt to justify the coequal billing with Newman and Redford.)
I have said pretty much the same thing before--that pro wrestling, especially in the big promotions, offers few (and far between) pleasures for the gay voyeur--apart from gym-toned bodies (no small thing, I admit). Such was not always the case, as attested by the black-and-white pictures festooning this blog page. There was a time when pro wrestling showcased a large number of "real" wrestlers and "real" wrestling holds that risked lengthy contact of skin on skin, the effect sometime heightened with the shimmer of sweat.
Submission wrestling--even MMA--features tighter grips, chest to chest, belly to belly, crotch to crotch, and a struggle for dominance very nearly as primal as a hot fuck. Two regular-looking pals stripping off their shirts (and often more) to wrestle on the big rug in the den, feeling each others' hearts pound against each other, pack more erotic punch than a 250-pound peroxide blond in metallic spandex, holding a mike and challenging an offstage nemesis to a fight to be fought a month from now on pay-per-view.
My friend Bard rightly observes here and elsewhere that our best bet for what we at this site crave is BG East and similar promotions, even ones that provide hardly any credible wrestling but at the very least do not pinch on the homoeroticism. For me, personally, a well-fought match is sexy on its own, but I can't say I would ever be disappointed if the contestants finished the match with a kiss and a poke on camera and "collapse the metaphor" implicit in my fetish--that wrestling is awfully like fucking--particularly hard testosterone-driven hot fuck-you-like-an-animal sex. The most exciting products by these companies offer us both great grappling and hot, steamy lovemaking (Gazebo Grapplers 11, High Stakes Wrestling 3, and about every other match on Naked Kombat, for just three examples).
I don't think anybody misses the connection between wrestling and fucking. Just watch YouTube and listen to the anxious and nearly hysterical panic of onlookers, including the guy behind the camera, when Karl and Eric get frisky and start wrestling in the backyard, and Karl schoolboy pins Eric. Yeah, it does look like they're fucking, doesn't it? What mystifies me is why, for some of us, wrestling is nearly (or, in my case, entirely) an essential factor in sexual arousal.
It seems to me that the fear that wrestling is somewhat (however vaguely) "gay" reveals a lot about the psyche of a section of the straight American public, male and female (though decidedly mostly male). It's an association that emerged with the advent of gay liberation and the greater openness of homosexual men.
Tellingly, the sport's obsession with masculinity is largely what gives it away--virtually the polar opposite of what the telltale signs were in the 1950s, that is, appreciation for the arts and fashion.
Until recently the only men I found who shared my kink were in the closet, for whom wrestling was not just the metaphor of their desire but also its "beard."
I take it as a hopeful sign--with the rise of bear culture and rekindled interest in S&M in other branches of gay America (and, I assume, elsewhere)--that wrestling (as well as mixed martial arts) is becoming more openly embraced by gays--but it is a factor that frightens many in mainstream culture, including promoters of pro wrestling, and I suspect that changes in pro wrestling over the past three decades reflect less simply the changing tastes of the public than, more complexly, its continued uneasy obsession with sexuality and the male body--and the troubling primordial link between aggression and sex.