Few words pair up as sweetly in my ears as "teen" and "bodybuilder." The rational, moral part of my brain recoils at the thought of me getting all hot and bothered over anyone under twenty bench-pressing his own weight. But there it is. The rational, moral part can account for only so much of my brain's total activity. The words "teen bodybuilder" affect me on a primal level of need, desire, and passion the same way that Land's End can sometimes sell me a shirt by calling it "lime breeze" instead of "light green." The words work a synesthetic magic on me, so that just those fifteen letters on a page evoke the smell of mustard and raw onion on a boy's breath, and the must of a high-school locker room, and the oily hormonal dewiness of an adolescent forehead. So when Rock Hard Wrestling announces a new match with two new talents, one of whom is described as a "teen bodybuilder," Rock Hard knows that it has my attention.
The youth in question is Lucas Payne, 5'10", 170#, and the man he's facing, Austin Cooper, 5'9", 165#, is no slouch either. In fact, if I may be so indelicate as to mention it, Cooper's gently receding hairline, in combination with his full lips and solid steel biceps, has a similar effect on me as "teen bodybuilder," such is my sensitivity to semes, both verbal and nonverbal. They work like triggers on me. Say or write the right words--or mash up two or more visual signifiers of masculinity and power--and a shudder passes through the length of my body. The righteous tell me I should be able to control such feelings, but let the righteous try teaching an English class when the jock in the front row stretches his arms up and yawns, exposing honey-colored flesh and a dark treasure trail between his polo shirt and the silver button cinching his Levi's. Walk in my shoes, ye righteous, and soon you'll be whistling yon different tune.
The match itself is a gem. Cooper, in red trunks, seems to enjoy working over Payne, in brown trunks, nearly as much as we would hope he would. And Payne, as his name suggests, expresses his agony beautifully. Lucas Payne not only takes a good deal of licking but also delivers some back in Austin Cooper's direction. Of course, the two have to check their poses in the mirror before the match can start. And, of course, the punk has to talk some shit, accusing Cooper of simply copying his poses. Cooper tells him they both have muscles, so what? and the point is that his look better on him than Payne's do on Payne. Ouch! Payne then expresses some curiosity about what "skills" come along with these mounds of muscle--and by "skills" is meant fighting skills--and, thus, as you knew it would, the rumble begins. Happily the prologue is brief and unlabored--RHW knows we've seen this little skit a thousand times already, so just a bare hint is all we need to cue our ... creative juices. No point in dragging it out like it's Talia Shire's wedding in The Godfather.
The fighting is perhaps a little too choreographed--sometimes I get the sense the men are checking out cue cards to the right of the camera--but it does the trick. A regular visitor's recent comment to a post earlier this week reminds me that guys like these do not always share my kinks about combat sport and body contact. They gamely act them out for me, for pay. And as much as I would like Cooper and Payne to affirm that fighting is as huge an erotic turn-on for them as it is for me, I have to recognize that, no, it probably is not--for them it is just another away to sell their muscles--and though they know the bump of their two bodies gives somebody out there in Television Land a perverse thrill, it's just one more spot they have to hit for the camera in an elaborate dance routine. They keep things moving at a nice clip and grunt and groan like they're supposed to. Perhaps in time they will learn that a glimmer of sadism or lust in the eyes is what really puts the action over, not precision or pacing.
But let's not complain. I love the bounce of Payne's pecs as he stomps on Cooper's back. I love the ways their heads crowd each other when they lock up, collar and elbow, and I love the smack of solid flesh on solid flesh. I love the way Cooper's upper lip rides up his teeth when he's stretching Payne out. I love the shots of Payne's round butt cheeks while he's face down to the mat getting the living daylights kicked out of him. And if I ever get tired of hearing a jock say, "How do you like that?" as he gives a rival a good drubbing, I will know it is probably time to close this blog and start writing about something else for a while. And if there's a sunset as lovely as the sight of the perspiration gathering on Lucas Payne's tightly knit back muscles, graced with a perfectly centered round tattoo, I have never seen it, and I cannot believe it exists--we all take our "wonders of nature" where we can find them, and, folks, between the ring ropes is where I prefer to take mine. You can keep the sunset.