Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kama Sutra








How can an apparently simple, even naive kink like mine have so many corners and facets? I like pro wrestling and mat wrestling, dorm-room roughhouse and oil-pit battles, skinny guys, muscle jocks, doughy moonfaced plowboys, MMA cage fights ... and this sort of thing: flagrantly homoerotic frottage, arguably (for those who don't like it) more dry hump than sport. In BG East's just released Undagear 19, bleach-blond Rocco beats up and makes wild, rapturous love to plucky boy-next-door Jonah Richards. 

The difference between a fuck and a fight is a matter of degrees between the will to embrace and enjoy and the will to overpower and crush. Between the extremes of lovey-dovey cuddles and bloody massacre lies a vast middle ground occupied by pleasurable rites of pain and humiliation of varying intensity. We associate these rites with not only sadomasochism, popularly labeled as perverse, but also boys' rough and rowdy treatment of other boys, often assumed innocent, even healthy.

Rocco-vs-Richards offers the pleasure of watching two good-looking young men, fit but not spectacularly brawny, engaged in a battle that frequently drifts from domination to mutual fascination. Rocco is the seducer, often drawing Jonah in, tricking him to let down his guard, only to assert his control through some petty humiliation or pain. Jonah has dark hair and the prettier, more delicate build, the more trusting eyes. Rocco is a bottle blond, the archetype of phoniness and deception, and he has a tantalizing leer--complicated, skeptical, charged with intrigue. Once the action heats up, all Jonah wants to do is puppy-hump Rocco, but Rocco fights him off, not because he is not interested--that much is certain--but because he wants to draw the game out and because he wants to exert control over it. The balance between these two wrestlers is close to perfect--in strength and experience, and in attitude.

As you can see in the still photos, these wrestlers have no qualms about assuming positions that look like sex. (I hear that the ancient Greek word for wrestling was also a slang term for fucking.) In the Kama Sutra, the ancient Hindu text that names, lists, and describes the awe-inspiring variety of sexual positions, one position, the "Mallaka" (i.e. the "Wrestler"), instructs the passive partner (the "bottom") to lie face down, grab her (his) ankles, and pull them up behind. (This is regarded as one of the more difficult rear-entry positions to achieve--a bit like putting oneself in a Boston crab.) In one section of the text, the author Vatsyayana uses the image of fighting and wrestling to deduce that in coitus the sexual pleasure of men and women is identical:
Some say that when different persons are engaged in doing the same work, we find that they accomplish the same end or purpose: while, on the contrary, in the case of men and women [or let's say heels and babyfaces] we find that each of them accomplishes his or her own end separately, and this is inconsistent. But this is a mistake, for we find that sometimes two things are done at the same time, as in for instance the fighting of rams, both the rams receive the shock at the same time on their heads. Again, in throwing one wood apple against another, and also in a fight or struggle of wrestlers. If it be said that in these cases the things employed are of the same kind, it is answered that even in the case of men and women, the nature of the two persons is the same. And as the difference in their ways of working arises from the difference of their conformation only, it follows that men experience the same kind of pleasure that women do *. (emphases mine; The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, Empire Books, translator not credited)
Jonah and Rocco are also doing "two things ... at the same time" as they struggle and embrace. For me, the friction between these two "opposites" is what gives male-on-male sexual contact its special charge. I have never been much of a fan of gentle, easy sex and cuddling except as the exhausted aftermath of a long, hard, vigorous struggle. I would not want to suggest that all kinds of combat are inherently sexual, only that most of them are inherently sexual to me. I understand what advocates of the sport of wrestling "in its purity" mean when they say real wrestling has nothing to do with fucking. I don't agree. Desexualized, as it is in most WWE and other mainstream wrestling events, wrestling means nothing to me. It is hardly wrestling at all. (At its least sexual, it's just a form of clownery.) The sexuality does not have to be as overt as it is here in Undagear 19, but there has to be an erotic subtext to make me interested in it, even if that subtext is completely a product of my imagination.

It is wrestlers like Jonah Richards and Rocco (and others) who add "gay cred" to BG East's catalog and make explicit what is only teasingly implicit in the bulk of underground wrestling and, until very recently,  expressly rejected in the mainstream. However, a thorough investigation into the roots of the "authentic" sport would demonstrate, I think, that its associations with sex were more fundamental to its importance in ancient cultures (from Gilgamesh to Plato) than its associations with, say, military combat--I mean, really, what battle (outside a dorm room or bedroom) was ever decided by a wrestling match? Wrestling is and for ages has been the form of erotic contact preferred by men--and what's troublesome to us today is that perhaps the popularity of wrestling among boys and young men suggests that the divide between "gay" and "straight" is not as solid as we moderns like to believe.

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