I don't think of myself as a gear fetishist. Sweaty used gear does nothing for me. Zero. Which is fine. That way there's more for the rest of you to split among yourselves. I have nothing against the kink. It's just not one of mine. Trust me, I have plenty enough. But if Mike Bennett tossed me a pair of his skintight trunks after a match, sure, I'd be happy to have them as a souvenir, but--and already I can picture the true-blue fetishists cringing--I would wash them.
Some men prefer singlets. Some men, Speedos. Some men jockstraps or nothing at all. I like all of that. Gear is what you and your body are capable of pulling off. A slender wrestler and a bodybuilder have different assets, and the same type of gear is unlikely to flatter both. I quote novelist Alison Lurie in her 1981 book The Language of Clothes:
In language we distinguish between someone who speaks a sentence well--clearly, and with confidence and dignity--and someone who speaks it badly. In dress too, manner is as important as matter.
But, for me, the golden rule is "the simpler the better." Basic black, or shocking pink, or pure white, or canary yellow. Brown's sexy too. My preference in wrestling attire is for simplicity. For instance, I have seldom seen gear more provocative, for me personally, than an unstudied pair of white cotton briefs. I also like shirtless guys in jeans, or low-hanging cargo shorts. The more affected and complicated the gear, or the more it appears that it has been engineered expressly to look "sexy" or "tough," or the more carefully "thought out" its effects are, the less likely I'll be interested. I prefer wrestlers to look like they didn't set out to wrestle. It's just something that happened, unplanned. They wrestle in what they already had on--or, anyway, some of what they had on.
There are exceptions. The sheer red trunks Cameron Mathews wears in BG East's Babyface Brawl 1 are calculatedly provocative, and brilliant as fuck. Making an ostentatious show of one's masculinity can be fun. Black leather, jungle loincloths, Merry Men in tights--these work for me, too. I want to see arms, back, shoulders, nipples, belly buttons, treasure trails, muscular thighs. I want to see the shape of the ass ... ass cheeks exposed, a definite plus. The shape of the cock and balls pressed into the fabric over the crotch, in cameo relief. I want to see hairy armpits. With apologies to masked wrestlers, I want to see faces. With apologies to boot fetishists, I prefer bare feet.
But take this, for instance:
No. No way. I can't say whether it's the otherworldly asymmetry or the total disrespect for the natural splendor of the male body that bothers me more. And how is a guy supposed to wrestle, seriously wrestle, in a getup like this? If you like it, again it's fine by me. Different strokes, okay. But never in a million years should you wear something like this to my wrestling fantasy.
Now here, a whole 'nother story:
Now you are talking my language: manner and matter.