To judge from just a few comments I've read, some fans have begun to criticize Thunder's Arena for being too gay. Never mind that the Arena neither identifies itself as gay nor even touches on questions of nudity or sex wrestling in its product, still the question has been raised,
"Why can't a normal match between two in-shape guys be held without the gay theme? The grabbing of the crotch areas, wearing speedos instead of normal shorts, slapping and behaving weird? I like this site, but I just don't get the need for some of these other 'items' for entertainment." 
Perhaps this fan was unaware of WWE, and other reasonably well-known wrestling venues reputed to be hetero-friendly. What exactly is this guy (or gal) complaining about?

Responders to this comment have noted, correctly, that the described behaviors are fairly typical of college-age athletes, straight ones no less than gay and bisexual. And big guys, especially competition bodybuilders, often size each other up, assessing overall aesthetic appeal as well as size and definition. A straight promoter in the Midwest once told me that pro wrestlers frequently tease each other sexually in the locker rooms, well aware that when oiled-up beefcake models in skimpy trunks rub up against each other under bright lights, a certain "gay theme" is tacitly at play. They know this, even if not all fans are capable of wrapping their heads around the idea. Attraction to the sexual attributes of someone of the same sex is hardly the same thing as sexual desire for that person--straight women ogle and comment upon other women's bodies all the time, without wanting to bump beavers.

Perhaps, however, the commenter above would be happier if Thunder's wrestlers would throw in the occasional homophobic slur. I have heard the words "faggot" and "fairy" and "queer" thrown about in even expressly gay-targeted wrestling videos, but I can't recall ever hearing them spoken at Thunder's, even by wrestlers I figure to be straight. (I haven't seen everything, so perhaps I've missed some things.) But perhaps that's the problem. Perhaps Mister (or Miss) Normal would feel more comfortable if these guys were saying "no homo" every five minutes. ("No homo"? How 2009!) Homophobic slurs exist less to put down gays and homosexuality than to deflect suspicions that the speaker might be gay. The fear of being thought gay (whether one is or is not) strikes me as the heart of homophobia. Such a fear is the opposite of my notion of masculinity, by the way. Just my opinion, but it seems to me that the writer above, who likes watching a normal match between in-shape guys, might feel more at ease if only the Arena guys could assure him (assuming he's male) that he is not necessarily gay. But what kind of guy needs this kind of assurance?

I suspect this unease is increasing as homosexuality is talked about more. A few months ago I was blown away when Thunder's Arena wrestler Pee Wee matter-of-factly asked Big Sexy to put him in a bearhug, chest to chest, just for the pleasure of it, and Sexy complied without blinking an eye. Not even a smirk or a wisecrack. Sometime later, Mr Mike at Thunder's told me that this moment was entirely spontaneous, sincere, and unscripted.  I am touched when well-known wrestlers like Mike Bennett at ROH choose to identify themselves with the NOH8 Campaign or when TNA Impact! and WWE sponsor anti-bullying ads with GLAAD.  

However, several wrestlers featured in these pages--including one I have communicated with often on friendly terms--have requested that their names and images be removed from this site. I have complied with their wishes, without complaining or questioning their motives. One photographer noisily objected to my practice of giving photo credits as "worse" than simply stealing the shots and using them as if they were my own. I removed the offending pictures and credits. Such outbursts puzzle me: how could openly having gay fans whom one treats the same as "normal" fans possibly be a threat to one's ego or career? We, we gay, bi, and straight-edge kinksters, have come a long way, but we have far yet to go. 

Speaking of photos, I have not yet watched the match in the photos above, but I have watched the interview with Xavier (pictured at top), and I like the guy's attitude: "You're going to see a lot of this hard muscle spanking these motherfuckers right into the mat!" He's personable, attractively full of himself, and at ease in his (big, hairy, beautiful) body, and all that makes him three times as sexy as he'd be with just his good looks and thick body. I don't think he is gay, but it makes no difference to me whether he's gay or straight. My chances with him personally are nearly the same either way. But his hang-it-all bearing, uncomplicated by queasy self-doubts, is what makes him sexy and masculine, no matter whom he likes to put it to in bed.


  1. All you left out, Joe, to complete the picture of your point, was that awful phrase: Just sayin'.

    1. Ah, but with "Just sayin'," you can say ANYTHING you want! And it's not offensive anymore, just cute!

      ...Yeah, I hate that too.

  2. Joe, you make some excellent points and I couldn't agree more. As for that "fan" of Thunder's Arena, I'd be curious to know what he likes about their matches.

  3. I did hear in one of the earlier matches with Ajax and Angel that Angel used the word "faggot" when Ajax had asked him if he had seen his brother Batar.Ajax of course winds up beating the hell out of Angel basically because he called his brother that. I beileve it was Mats Rats One.


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