Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Arts

I should have loved Black Swan. But it was a near miss for me. Perhaps if there were an equally explicit sex scene between Vincent Cassel and Benjamin Millepied as there was between the two female leads, it would have put me over the edge.

The Hollywood story is that Millepied, who played the principal male dancer in the movie and also choreographed the movie, is now Natalie Portman's baby daddy and owner of the pedigree of straight privilege: her fiance. Whatever. Just let me get another look at that man's incredibly muscled ass in tights again!

Baby daddy also has an artistic tummy tat on that smokin' hot dancer's body. Seriously now, Vincent Cassel wrestling Benjamin to the studio floor, blowing him until he pops, and then flipping him over to his stomach to plow those big, screen-worthy glutes... surely that would be an Oscar winning flick.

While the movie left me disappointed, I'm now a little obsessed with Benjamin in tights. It brings to mind the intuitive connection between homoerotic wrestling and dancers. As my mind's eye muses over an image of heel daddy Vincent tossing Benjamin into a wrestling ring and making that fine body suffer in a merciless boston crab, I'm reminded that this wouldn't be the first classically trained dancer to have his body on the line in a wrestling ring.

The description for X-Fights 3 match between Kid Leopard and Joey Smit sets the scenario this way:
Joey says he's a professional ballet dancer and experienced sex-fighter. Let's see, who else is a professional dancer? Uh huh, the lightweight X-fights champ himself, KL, jazz and flamenco specialist. "A ballet boy? Sounds like a pussy to me.", KL scoffs.

KL was a classically trained dancer. It makes me wonder how much this fact has shaped my own wrestling fetish tastes, since it's BG East's brand of homoerotic wrestling that feeds my hunger most satisfyingly. The fact that the Boss himself was a dancer has got to lend some quality to the shape of the homoerotic wrestling history crafted by KL through producing BG East. 

Like dance itself, homoerotic wrestling is really about story telling. Both arts build characters and craft plots primarily from the physical forms of the principals. Both are grueling athletic feats of strength and endurance. Both wrestling and dance combine physical mastery and artistic performance to transform a stage/a ring into a boundless reality all its own, with rules and morals that often run counter to the standards of more pedestrian settings.

I haven't sorted through all the strings that connect my current infatuation with dancer Benjamin Millepied with my wrestling kink ala dancer Kid Leopard, but I'm convinced that there's at least one direct line connecting the two.


  1. Damn, Bard! You are on and poppin' in your last few posts, as are your posters (SubmissionMaster and Topher, LOVE! your respective takes on the allure of vulnerability/losing and the ability of pro wrestling to provide an opportunity for the workers and, by extension, the viewers to be "their authentic selves" by exploring and exploiting the "mirages" of real life).

    But here's where I get depressing as all hell... A couple of days ago I commented on the "evolution" of gay wrestling from underground to integrating aspects, even participants, from the larger culture. It's in the transformation of the stories gay pro wrestling tells. My example was based on Jimmy Royce, a hunky blond in blatantly homoerotic (if not literally pornographic) wrestling matches in revealing trunks, doused in oil. Because I used the word "evolution," I think I may have come off as suggesting gay wrestling is better as it exists now. After all, that's what evolution generally is: natural selection, better adapted organisms thriving while lesser ones fade away. That wasn't my intent.

    To put it bluntly, gay wrestling isn't as good as it was even five years ago. The power of gay wrestling is the elements, images and themes that uniquely appeal to us. If it was just "wrestling," one would simply stick to televised pro wrestling, which is cheap and easy to find and comes into our homes for free (well, as part of an overall cable package). If that wasn't enough, one might then expand to include the indy scene, which is also cheap and easy to find. If an attraction to pro wrestling was simply a matter of finding an appealing physical image, even the WWE has that. Bodybuilders in brief gear, experienced vets, prettyboys, lithe twinks, hell... even burly leathermen in harnesses exist on that level.

    Gay wrestling fans still turn to turn to gay wrestling video companies, often at the premium of paying 50 bucks a pop (more than any WWE PPV), spend thousands of dollars on one name who particularly excites him. You summed it up better than I can by noting that the allure of wrestling is in the storytelling, the combination of the physical (as external image and implied inner ability) and the artistic to create a reality all its own. It works precisely because that created reality includes aspects that DON'T already exist in the available culture.

    The match you referenced in this post, the dancer as wrestler who wrestles in a dancer's belt and enters the ring warming up by running through dancer's positions and moves is another casualty of the "evolution" of gay wrestling, along with oil wrestling and the iconography of the "suffering hunk". A good story is nothing more than the exploration of a set of givens the viewer understands. Those three things are provocative because at their core people relate to those as all valid premises for a wrestling match, reasons in themselves to invest the money to watch. The first two don't exist at all in the so-called "tradition" wrestling context, and the third doesn't really, either: the suffering "hunk" isn't so much a type itself as a mere negligible subset of the general jobber archetype. As such, once advocates of the "traditional" wrestling culture became more pronounced in gay wrestling, all of those incompatible elements subsided.

  2. Thanks, JoshH!

    I certainly picked up on your suggestion that gay wrestling has lost something valuable in its "evolution" over time. In the scope of all things, though, I wonder if the evolution of gay wrestling may be more cyclical than linear, as with so much of social phenomena. That is, whether from a sense of nostalgia and kinks-lost from the likes of you and me, or from a re-inventing "old" into vintage and hip, or even from just a rediscovering by new generations of kinksters of themes and devices from an earlier era... I wonder if we may still see some of what was old be new again, so to speak.

    We've also shared enough comments that it probably shouldn't be surprising that I tend to feel a little more upbeat than you about the state of the homoerotic wrestling business today. I still find new and novel things constantly in new release that grab my attention, turn me on, and delightfully entertain me. That said, I'm entirely open to your suggestion that the mainstreaming of gay wrestling or, perhaps more precisely, the alternative-culture-streaming of straight up pro wrestling has had a strong influence on what we see in our homoerotic wrestling fare these days. I'm even open to the suggestion that that influence may not always be entirely good, provocative, or authentically "gay."

    As always, I fall back on the cliche that as long as there's a diversity of new releases that effectively match the diversity of tastes and kinks among us, I'm entirely okay with there being some stuff out there that just doesn't grab me. I suppose the truest sign of any drift of "the industry" from the audience will be in how we spend (or don't) our dollars.

    Thanks for provoking, as always, JoshH.



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