Lean and Hungry
People said I was a lot of things as a teenager, but "catlike" was never one of them. Grown-ups I met immediately assumed I played football. I was big ("big-boned"), with wide shoulders and thick hard calves. But I was too clumsy for team sports, too clumsy to dance, though I loved (still do love) to thrash about on a dance floor, work up a sweat, get lost in the beat. I wrestled a few football players, high-school quarterbacks and tight ends, for fun at summer camp and later in dorm rooms--and in gym class.
I assume part of erotic attraction--to partners, to able adversaries--is the desire to pair up with somebody who reflects you back the way you wish you were. That's a broad category for me, but looking over these pages, I can spot trends same as you. Mostly I like big, thick guys the way I was in my youth, but handsomer, nobler, smarter, more talented, more comfortable in their bodies. But I also like guys with the lean and hungry look, slim guys but tough--vulnerable and sweet, okay, but nothing too androgynous, no Ziggy Stardust types. Whatever their size, I'm attracted to roughnecks. So my hat's off to Lucien, Kid Leopard, Wyld Child, Axel, Klown, El Ligero, and Owen Phoenix--the "catlike" wrestlers I never was.
Canadian wrestler Artemis Spencer, 24, 6', 175#, is about my size right now, ten pounds lighter, sure, but not the graceless lout I was in high school. He's the NWA Canadian Junior Heavyweight Champion. If I were a Hollywood casting director, I'd cast him as a bad guy in a spaghetti western, not the main bad guy, but one of the henchmen gunned down in Act Two ... or as the tortured, slightly mad artist in the East Village ... or as the Roman emperor's jaded catamite. But in my wrestling fantasies, he would be the guy I beat up. He's built to be kicked around. He can take it, and he can dish it out, too. I like to imagine me winning, though, wearing him down, till, gear sopping with sweat and every vein popping on his forehead, he submits to me. Perhaps I even kick him while he's down, thus incurring the wrath of his bigger, hunkier cousin or tag partner.
All photos by Mary Diaz.