I completely understand why 44% of you selected wrestling hunk Jake Jenkins as the homoerotic wrestler who best embodies the spirit of Odysseus. He was the runaway winner in the field of 6 nominees (7, really, since SP put in a write-in vote for Wade Cutler). Reigning homoerotic wrestler of the month Rex Braddock, looking an awful lot like Steeve Reeves from his sword and sandal film days, had support early in the voting. But tough young Jake came from behind to spank Rex's bubble butt handily, garnering 2 votes to his 1 when all was said and done.
When Jake hit the scene as the very definition of Rock Hard Wrestling, I had a hit from the chatter that we were falling into two categories: Jake Jenkins fanatics vs Austin Cooper fanatics. There's not a thing wrong with blond bombshell Austin, mind you, but I was instantly in the Jake camp. He's clearly a well-trained athlete, including bringing solid amateur wrestling skills with him to the ring. Kid Karisma probably put it best, dubbing Jake a "fucking monkey" for his ability to climb and jump, swing from the ropes and leap through the air inside the ring. Needless to say, he's also hot as hell. And he's quickly developed great instincts for selling a story, conquering more than his fair share of bigger opponents and also suffering like someone with intimate knowledge of what it feels like to get owned.
More to the point of Jake-as-Odysseus, he can totally work for me as a Greek hero, fearlessly facing the wrath of the gods determined to break him in body and spirit. His hot muscled body trapped, squeezed, and tied up helplessly by one sadistic opponent after another (particularly in his BGE work) makes it no stretch at all to think of him as the pawn of Olympus, battered, beaten, crushed and humiliated, but never completely broken.
There's a virtuous "everyman" quality about Odysseus that Jake just barely qualifies for in my book. If Odysseus didn't have a little god-spunk in his own genetic recipe, Jake might look just too tasty for the role. But Jake works an awfully compelling mixture of both cocky self-confidence and intoxicating vulnerability at the same time. Through sheer grit, he can endure apparently endless suffering to overcome the odds and bring a relative giant to his knees. In expert hands, though, he can also get chipped away, his iron clad core of muscle and fortitude that much more luscious as he goes down time after time to the dark powers of domination and injustice.
Odysseus brushes against complete destruction over and over again. He's a mere mortal (a hot, macho, battle-sculpted mortal, of course), so against the divine interference of gods and demigods, he's tricked and toppled repeatedly. He's helpless and hopeless, if not for divine intervention that allows him to fight another day. And when it comes to Jake, there are few wrestlers currently in the business who I'd rather see soaked in hard-working sweat, tied up bare assed and in agony like a pretzel, refusing to submit despite facing absolutely zero chance of extricating himself from his tragic circumstances.
BG East Arena has preview pics of Jake in a Wet and Wild match, soaked in see-through speedos, on the edge of getting drowned by Poseidon/Christian Taylor. There are some homoerotic wrestlers that I love watching in a squash (either end of the stick), but Jake, like Odysseus, is most entertaining and lovely when he's working, working hard, struggling, fighting, battling with every awesome muscle and acrobatic ability, straining to keep me entirely wrapped up in the suspense.
And speaking of suspense, thanks for your words of encouragement and support in my own epic journey to get home. Happily, I finally made it!