Regular Guy

I used to be all up on GQ models and fitness models-cum-trainers.  I've been lucky enough to hook up with a few of these, back in my day, which (I can't lie to you guys) was a while ago.  And (again, I can't lie to you) I was slightly disappointed every time.  It was fun, sure.  But there was just something too tidy and meticulous about them, even the gym bunnies with hard round muscle.  I was afraid I might muss them up, and I got the feeling that they were worried about the same thing.  Right now, though, I have a thing for regular guys--not the Pat Sajak boy next door--but regular guys who are tough, who like to mix it up a little, who share some or all of my kinks.

Let me go on record (again) in saying that, though I can certainly understand their appeal, I think much too much has been made of abs for the past twenty years.  A six-pack catches my eye, to be sure, but by itself it doesn't mean all that much to me.  In fact, the more the abs draw attention to themselves, the less erotic desire they generate (in me), the more morbid curiosity.  Give me a regular-looking guy, in fairly decent (but not obsessively good) shape who likes to roughhouse.  That's what I'm really into, at this moment.  That and thick, hairy thighs and broad shoulders.  (Not so much hairy shoulders, though.)

My tastes change fairly regularly.  My tastes are fickle.  Few guys who attracted me ten years would still attract me, and today I'm attracted to men who would have never caught my eye back then.  Earlier this evening, I was talking with a friend--let's call him "Anonymous" (he'd appreciate that)--who said he's attracted to the total package--face and body, cheekbones and pecs.  He wants a look at what's under the shirt or the deal is off.  I am perhaps more "generous," his word not mine, but then it's a cheap sort of generosity that comes only at an age (mine) when heads no longer turn when one enters the room.  Gay men of a certain age and limited means can develop sympathy for the others in the bar who will probably be going home alone.  (Too bad sympathy never translates to attraction.  Life is cruel that way.)  Beggars can't be choosers, so goes the cruel saying of old (of the old), but this beggar has always been picky and still is.  Anonymous says his tastes are outside the mainstream.  Well, then, so are mine.  Obviously.

I've had this conversation twice, with two different people, in the past three days.  So I take it as fate that I write about the "regular guy" tonight.  The first conversation was with wrestling photographer Blake Arledge, during which chat we spoke of our mutual admiration for a young local wrestler named "GQ" Derek Ryze, Revolution Wrestling Association's cruiserweight champ.  The guy's nice looking, in an ordinary street-tough way, and he's fit and agile in the ring.  He's got the right attitude to be a fighter, but, no, I can't see him showing up on the cover of Men's Fitness in the next 12 months.  Still, there's something to be said for pugnacity ... and being game.  Ryze is a hot number, by virtue of features that can only partly be caught on film.  That conversation led Arledge to send me some of his photos of Ryze, 25, 5'6", 160#, six of which I'm posting below.

Twenty years ago, my thing was height.  My first loves were 6'3" and 6'2", respectively.  Height imprinted on the part of my brain that registers sexual desire.  I found it hard to imagine falling for a guy shorter than I am, certainly never someone under 5'10".  Nowadays, 5'6" is not a turnoff for me.  In fact, I'm inclined to see tall guys (who still work for me, mind you) as rather too docile and languorous, like giraffes.   I now kinda like a stud who's feisty and portable, who can be stashed in the overhead bin when I travel, so to speak, and then pulled out when I'm ready for some hot, sweaty sex'n'rasslin.  I exaggerate a bit for effect--I am not into children, and, when we start talking about under five feet, well, let's just say it's got to be just the right midget to catch my eye.

As I told Anonymous tonight, my first thought as I check a guy out is "Do I wanna wrestle that?"  It's been the crucial question with me for the past few decades.  What that means usually cannot be pinned down to just particular measurable features.  Height, weight, cheekbones, nose, shoulders, dick, thighs, calves.  It's an overall impression.  Would this guy be fun to collide with?  I have always been attracted to men I could imagine as adversaries (not the perfect formula for LTRs).  It's the energy the guy radiates.  Hard to reduce that to items on a checklist.  Not all regular guys, but increasingly more regular guys with decent enough bodies fit the bill for me these days.


  1. "As I told Anonymous tonight, my first thought as I check a guy out is "Do I wanna wrestle that?" It's been the crucial question with me for the past few decades. What that means usually cannot be pinned down to just particular measurable features."

    So was the "cannot be pinned down..." intended as a pun, or was it purely (or even puerile) a subliminal submission? :)

  2. Part of the fun of pro wrestling, especially gay pro wrestling, is all about the inclusion of those "too pretty for wrestling" types. I get the appeal of regular guys--men who are attractive and fit but not overwhelmingly so to the point that it distracts, especially when they clearly love wrestling and it shows in their performances (which isn't always the case). I also get the potential irritation of some 20 y.o. stud with a body that's chiseled and buffed into a high-gloss shine, especially when he performs like he has no idea what he's doing and it shows (which it often doesn't, at least once in a while).

    But pro wrestling, when it's at its best, brings in those range of body types, looks and ages and plays off all of the reactions they provoke. You can have that "regular joe" who looks like he'd be a good tussle and stand up after it's over and pat you on the back and shake your hand, who is anything but "nice" in action. You can have that muscleboy who looks like a haughty, sneering, dismissive ass hat who wouldn't give you the time of day, who's friendly and approachable, smiling at the camera and posing, not in a "you wish you looked like this" sort of way, but with an "I've hit the gym hard/I hope you like me" overtone. And above all, you can mix those two guys and watch/enjoy the conflict play out in ways you expect or, better yet, didn't but enjoyed even more. That young stud can be a prick who deserves to get his ass kicked. That older guy can be a vibrant, astonishingly talented wrestler who rightfully proves he's "still got it" and more. Or you can even have the young stud who is nice and doesn't deserved to be pummeled and humiliated, and the older "regular joe" who's a dick who gleefully takes it too far. And more, yet more...

    I guess it boils down not to just the performers and the performances, but where the viewer is coming from, as life often does. If you look at some 20 y.o. (aspiring) underwear model and his body makes you feel less comfortable about your own, then you probably won't enjoy him, winning or losing, even if he objectively delivers the most dazzling performance.

    I think it's the same sex side of gay identity. Because we're attracted to other guys, it's almost impossible not to reflect on how well we embody those same qualities. Straighties don't have that; they've got a built in barrier that lets even the schlumpiest schlub flip through the latest Victoria Secrets catalog and think, "Yeah, I'd tap that," without irony. I mean, even Jabba the Hut got to have Princess Leia chained to his side, and they weren't even the same species.

    Personally, I like the at a distance aspect of gay wrestling. I look at a Rio Garza or a Troy Baker or a Brad Rochelle and I enjoy what they are for what they do on tape. I also look at a Shane McCall or Doug Warren, and I can enjoy what they do, too, in part precisely because they are distinct from those inevitably temporary 20 something studs who don't necessarily wrestle for fun. Maybe it's because I don't actually particularly enjoy the experience of wrestling myself. I tried it for a minute back in the day, but I've yet to find a single wrestler who isn't really just really all about his own enjoyment (but that's a whole other essay, lol).


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