Yes / Um, Not So Much
Inveterate list maker that I am, I am at least realistically modest about the significance of the lists I make. We each have our own tastes, and I have no delusions of being a taste-maker or trendsetter, neither of which is a goal I shoot for anyway. What's more, my tastes routinely change, as I have admitted again and again in these pages. What tickles my fancy today is not usually the same fancy tickler of a year ago, or even a month or two ago. There are a few constants--which I call "personal classics"--such as my abiding idolatry of Kevin Von Erich, Paul Perris, the side headlock, and armbar--but for the most part I don't crave the same style of wrestling every day any more than I crave steak and potatoes three meals a day every day. Also, there are always exceptions, even to the items I list below. What is my compulsion to make lists of this sort? I don't know. Ask Freud. As I see it, list-making is my version of doing crosswords or knitting scarves. It occupies my idle time. It also gives me an inventory of my passions and aversions, and in that way it helps me understand my fascination with wrestling a bit better, which is a goal I do shoot for in this blog.
Corner beat-downs, because something in me likes to see one roughneck trap another roughneck in the corner and give him a bruising. The appeal is basically the crush of male bodies against each other and the intense focus of the manhandler's attention on the man being ruinously manhandled. The corner ten-count has the added appeal of elevating the dominant wrestler so that his cock is about level with the victim's mouth.
UM, NOT SO MUCH
Moonsaults, because if I want to see high-flying I'll watch Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan. I actually love acrobats and acrobatics quite a lot. They're what I like most in circuses, and anytime a Chinese acrobatic troup is in town, I try to get tickets. But in wrestling, not so much. I think my problem is that the high-flying stuff, as visually impressive as it can be, cannot match the appeal of close physical contact in grappling, which, in my mind, it only serves to interrupt.
Hair-yanking, because when I was an adolescent, a yank to the hair signaled the start of a good-time fight with me and my mates (no, I'm not just being Britentious here--I've always liked the word "mate" to describe a "pal," my favorite of the American synonyms). I also like the "cat fight" aspect of hair-pulling. On this point, the lady wrestlers outshine the guy wrestlers--that, and boot stomps to the pussy, to which (I'm sorry, gentlemen) stomps to the cock can only palely compare as theatre.
UM, NOT SO MUCH
Nipple-twisting, because it doesn't do a thing for me. God bless you, though, if it works for you. Me, not so much. Like sex while showering, it's one of those things that "on paper" would appear to slow-lick my balls all night, but that in reality never work for me. It just looks funny to me, like the twister is trying to adjust the twistee's volume or something. Also (true personal trauma) when I had to twist a guy's nipples in a play* once (always selective in the roles I accept), I did it wrong, and the director had to take me aside for remedial instruction. I felt humiliated that I could not properly twist a tit.
Sweat, because it's slick and shiny and because by the time you're covered in it your heart is banging against your rib cage like a rabid ape and every nerve ending feels like it has a light sunburn. It adds highlights to the curves of the body. It makes the body into a kitschy object of art, like a glazed figurine.
UM, NOT SO MUCH
Blood, because it masks the flesh rather than enhances it, because if I'm squeamish about piercings and flu shots I'm sure as hell not going to warm up to blading.
(To be continued ...)
* In 1987 I acted in two plays in rotation, The Normal Heart and As Is, fundraisers for AIDS charities. My work got my picture in the local newspaper and, a week later, a pink slip from the university where I was then employed without tenure. Adding to the mess, my costar (and friend) in As Is, a dance instructor and member of the city's ballet company, died about a month later of complications related to AIDS. Not one of my good years, not one of humankind's good years either.