Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Shape of Wrestling

This pretty terrific match from a 3 June 2006 benefit show says it all, as far as I'm concerned. The opponents lock up collar and elbow, one pushing the other into the corner. Their bodies become entangled, but then, with a word from the ref, there's a clean break. Almost three minutes of scientific wrestling--arm work, side headlock, an arm-drag escape from an armbar--before either throws a punch or flies off the ropes. In time, one of them proves less committed to the rules of fair play, perhaps a little too interested in hurting somebody. Most of that becomes clear in the time they have together in the squared circle. One will win, honestly or not; the other will lose.

Fighting like this (or its convincing simulation) stirs up my juices. The wrestlers, Petey Williams (24 at the time, 5'7", 180#) and Josh Daniels (25 at the time, 5'9", 210#), have the bodies that come to mind whenever I think about pro wrestling: thick, sturdy, easy to roll, hard to knock off balance. But it's not the body shape that matters most to me--and this is the part of my kink that still astounds and puzzles me.

I'm a gay man with definite ideas about what I find attractive in other men. But wrestling--and wrestling knowhow--is the thing that charges my battery more than anything else: a fine nose, muscle, wit, everything else I like about people. If a man looks good but doesn't know how to wrestle, I can always try to imagine him with wrestling skills he lacks. If I can't imagine him wrestling, if it's simply not something I can picture in my head, no matter how good he looks, the deal is off, libido-wise.

Good wrestling, which I associate with pugnacity, athleticism, and drama, but which undoubtedly has other elements at work I can't yet name, works for me every time, be it two studs like Petey and Josh, two skinny twinks, two old fatsos, two little people, two giants, two women, Asians, Africans, hairy, smooth, jockstraps, Santa suits, apes, lizards, whatever. I think I associate wrestling with grit and liveliness, and associate grit and liveliness with erotism. I may not want to fuck everybody who wrestles. But I can't imagine wanting to fuck anybody I can't imagine in a wrestling match.

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