Monday, October 15, 2012

Winning the Hard Way

Jake Jenkins is stunning to watch use those muscles to choke out Eli Black
Sometimes I think of myself as a homoerotic wrestling kink therapist.  I often hear from wrestling fans who have questions and problems they want solved with regard to homoerotic wrestling.  "Tell BG East to..." or "Why does Rock Hard Wrestling always...?" And not uncommonly, I get messages from readers who tell me that they "just need to vent."  For example, a reader and homoerotic wrestling fan recently "vented" to me in an email regarding a recurring frustration.  Like me, he's a major Jake Jenkins fan. And like me, he enjoys watching Jake kick ass.  So when he sees a lot of JJ's new releases in which the stud puppy clearly gets squashed, he's irritated.  This reader knows my recurring answer to these types of questions: tastes vary.  Some of us likely get more kink for the buck to see a hot muscle kid like JJ dominated, while others of us get a harder push over the edge by watching handsome Jake on the conquering in of the equation.  But this reader still questions what makes those on "the other side" tick, and what makes them want to see more and more of JJ getting owned.

Jake goes down in a puddle of sweat beneath a victorious Kid Karisma
This exchange brought to mind a similar brief correspondence I had with a reader several months ago, who asked me to exercise influence over Steel Muscle God to convince him to tape some wrestling action in which the godly one gets dominated.  This is hardly the first time someone has vastly overestimated my influence. And it's actually not the first time I've heard this particular plea.  Personally, I LOVE watching SMG totally use an opponent, particularly one of those hot muscleboys he's pummeled lately.  There's an absolutely intoxicating scene in SMG's recent release of a ring "bout" in which he repeatedly sleepers a hot, hard hunk.  He puts the fiesty stud out flat on this stomach, and I'm 110% on board with the sell that this is an actual choke out.  The hunk goes limp like a noodle.  And when SMG shakes and shoves him and rolls him over, the hottie looks absolutely out cold.  SMG prods and pokes the unresisting hunk, standing over top of him and flexing his guns, leering down into his slack face, until finally after a half a minute or so, the vulnerable hunk of meat comes to.  Fuck me there something so erotic about that little exchange!

Steel Muscle God wreaks divine justice all over another hot muscle buddy
But ripping myself back to my topic for today.  Some readers have repeatedly complained that SMG "always wins."  Why doesn't he star in a muscleboy-in-trouble-scenario for those desperately waiting for him to stroke that g-spot where many fans get topped off by the powerful muscle stud shocked, laid out and humiliated?  For the record, SMG has said that he does have a wrestling match in which he "loses," but I haven't actually seen it (I think you have to buy it separately from the membership site, and I'm too frugal).  But the issue seems to be repeated from many of my kink therapy clients: "my getting off on a homoerotic wrestling match requires that my primary object of lust win (or lose)."

Brad Rochelle wrote the book in making a muscleboy loser epically homoerotic.
And both of these conversations call to mind still another set of exchanges I've had with a long-time commentator and avid student of homoerotic wrestling who more than once has chided me that I'm too focused on who wins and who loses.  What tweaks the subconscious wrestling kink, he argues, is almost entirely unrelated to specifically whose shoulders are pinned to the mat or which hunk sobs, "I give!"  The passion play that homoerotic wrestling presents us is about themes broader than the specific "winner" or "loser," like broken egos, revenge on bullies, the battle of might versus right, or our personal secret longings to be dominated or to dominate.  And, this commentator has also argued, it's about much more specific elements than the literal "win" as well, such as the particular sell of suffering, how persuasively we're sucked into longing to see someone punished, the precise angle at which a wrestler's lower back is pried backward in a Boston crab that convinces us he's hurting while simultaneously displaying is gorgeous body and bulging package so tantalizingly.  There's definitely the school of thought that literal "winning" and "losing" is almost entirely beside the point.

Brad Rochelle also looks GORGEOUS milking victory out of Patrick Donovan's withering body!
I've pushed back against that hard line.  I think the drama of coming out on top is very central to what strokes my homoerotic wrestling kink.  The notion of two powerful men, both fully expecting to be top-stud as they climb into the ring is precisely the tension that thrills me.  One of them will end up defeated, knocked down a peg, put in his place, while the other will stride out of the ring victorious, top dog, in control.  Turn this into a non-competitive, everybody wins, nobody loses, passionless dance of pretty bodies, and I might as well be watching a yoga class, which even when the bodies are smoking hot, it'll never do for me what a hot wrestling match does.

Pectacular Patrick Donovan also looks dizzyingly hot slapping down a humiliating victory all over Z-Man's  beautifully vulnerable muscle-bod.
And then there's one last mental association I'm having with all of this talk of winners and losers. At the BGE Headquarters discussion group, someone who has frequently commented on this blog wrote a seemingly straightforward opinion, suggesting that he'd prefer the initial photo galleries in the membership site of BGE not "give away" which wrestler wins and which one loses.  He suggested that he'd prefer to maintain the suspense, particularly for those matches that he's planning on purchasing.  Give him enough time to get the new release shipped to him before revealing who ends up top dog.

Z-Man can also delight in victory as he rips apart loser muscle boy Brody Hancock
Personally, I think this sounds entirely reasonable and well-reasoned.  However, another commentator left a bizarrely mismatched diatribe mocking anyone who could "believe these matches aren't fake." This commentator prejudices his own oddly aggressive response by tying them to appalling politics, but my point is actually not his apparent political self-hatred.  My point is really that he misses the point entirely.  The point is not how choreographed wrestling-for-pay may be in any given example.  The question of wanting to milk the suspense of not knowing who wins is wholly unrelated to whether the wrestlers or promoters are staging the matches as melodramas rather than as Olympic sport.  It seems to me that the investment many of us have in winners or losers in homoerotic wrestling is entirely about how wrestling speaks directly to our erotic fantasies, not some "objective" evaluation of who, in a fair fight, would kick whose ass.

Babyface Brody Hancock also make victory look so, so sexual when he puts magically nippled muscle hunk Cody Nelson on his back for good.
Suspense, anticipation, the establishment of tension in the plot, the development of compelling characters who establish motivation and commit to their particular roles... these are essential elements of satisfying homoerotic wrestling as far as I'm concerned.  However much a pretense it appears in any given match, the context of combat is a core component of what turns me on and tops me off as a homoerotic wrestling fan.  It isn't so much who would win in an actual barroom brawl (not at all, really), but who tells a provocative story about passion and heat, power and strength, skill and strategy, muscle and beauty, and, without a doubt, winning and losing.

Sweat soaked and savoring victory, Cody Nelson titillates musclebully fans when he crushes handsome, lanky, lovely Christian Taylor aka Chris Cox.
So why do some JJ fans never seem to get tired of seeing him humiliated and defeated?  Why are others desperate to watch him use those gorgeous muscles of his to pick apart and make another hunk his bitch?  How are some fans filled up on a steady diet of SteelMuscleGod owning one opponent after another, while others are insanely aching to see SMG crushed and dominated?  I think this state of affairs is simply the landscape in which we live as homoerotic wrestling fans.  Our fantasies vary, even as we share a common passion for the eroticism of wrestling drama. It seems clear to me that winning and losing is far from beside the point, and who wins and who loses is directly and intimately tied to what strokes many of us hardest.  It's not that we're naively buying into the competitive pretense of wrestling-for-pay. I for one love watching Olympic wrestling, but the hottest amateur match is only a fraction as sexy as even the average homoerotic wrestling product as far as I'm concerned.  Explicitly homoerotic wrestling is much bigger than the raw rules and tests of strength and skill of amateurs, and more importantly, the point is entirely different.  The point of amateur wrestling is entirely winning and losing.  But the point of homoerotic wrestling is to get you and me off, and while it's not the whole story, the drama of winning and losing is one of the elements that makes wrestling the kink that defines me (and many of you!).

For my tastes, Christian never looked hotter than when he brutalized his lover and rumored-to-be tag team partner Skip Vance, tying together homo, erotic, and wrestling in as beautiful a bow as any victory ever has!

5 comments:

  1. I'm on the side where I find it very erotic when a hot guy gets squashed, but just a hot guy beating someone up doesn't do much for me. (Unless the guy he's beating up is hot, but that kind of just turns it into the first thing I said.) But I can't really add much to the whole conversation, because I don't KNOW why. (And anyway there are exceptions--there are ALWAYS exceptions.) I can understand the other side though, and I'm always happy to "share" tastes when it comes to give-and-take matches. And after all, even with different tastes we're all watching wrestling. And fortunately the companies approach it from multiple directions; I mean, with a title like "Hunkbash" people like me are happy, and know what we're getting.

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  2. I broke this up into two posts because I write too damn much. But, since it's on point based on considering what you wrote, perhaps it's worth it...

    OK, I feel you on "two powerful men, both expecting to be top stud" battling it out to discover the answer. The thing is, not all wrestling matches begin with both wrestlers on equal footing. The most recent example, and perhaps one that inspired this post is BGE's Jobberpalooza 12, The Works: Jake Jenkins vs. Jonny Firestorm. As anyone can tell from the match description, Jonny makes utter mincemeat of Jake. And not just utter mincemeat, but, more accurately, Jonny makes Jake into mincemeat, then chops him up again, then steals a steamroller, rides it over Jake, backs up, pauses, spins his wheels, then finally walks off. If it was as simple as win/lose, the only conclusion would be Jonny is simply a much better wrestler than Jake.

    But when one looks at the details--Jonny's been BGE's top heel for the last five years when it comes to devious plotting and planning in the ring; Kid Leopard was there pre-match as the boss stoking Jonny up, even promising him a bonus if he could virtually cripple the guy for KL's own amusement and financial gain; Jake meanwhile is merely an incredibly talented newbie with no idea the level of malicious scheming he's stepping into--the answer to the question "Who's better" changes dramatically. I'd argue the answer very may well be that Jake is presented as actually the better wrestler, certainly technically (a position that's actually enhanced by "real life," since we all know Jake is literally a trained mma fighter while Jonny isn't), but that Jonny is far craftier, dirtier, and, as the post-match gratuitous pizza assault indicates, far, far fucking meaner...

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  3. ...You rightfully evoked Brad Rochelle as having written the book on making the "muscleboy loser" an epic gay wrestling trope. His early matches defined what I'm talking about. Rookie Brad Rochelle vs. deeply established vet Psycho Capone (deeply because not only did he have BGE cred of mauling muscle, but had a well-known career on the indy circuit--his gimmick was he could give a shit about winning but just loved hurting people--and even a few WWF matches): Psycho comes out, with the belt, mocks Brad for wrestling in "skimpy underwear" and how beneath him he is, only to bitch and moan, resort to every classic heel trick in the book each time Brad gets an advantage (grabbing the ropes to force the break, yanking his trunks to gain leverage, etc). Then, when he's worn Brad down, he proceeds to gloat and mug and deliver soliloquies to the camera about how great he is like what's happening is simply because he out classed the guy. Brad vs. Mikey Vee: Brad surges, on the verge of taking the match, having also won the mid-match armwrestling challenge, until Mikey cheats, choking him with wrist tape, tying him in the ropes, sadistically cranking holds long after Brad has conceded the fall to wear him down. Brad vs. Dom Zaccarro: Dom simply struts into the arena, slaps the fuck out of Brad outside the ring, works him over on the floor to take two submissions before the match even begins, and then throws massively overwhelmed Brad into the ring and works him through the course of the "real" match until Brad's a quivering mass of jellied muscles.

    The point is, Brad never stepped into a ring and got straight up creamed (tho I'd have loved it if he had, if you know what I mean--insert appropriate internet age acronym indicating a heightened degree of amusement manifesting in physically falling to the floor here). He was always portrayed as exceptionally good only to fall prey to those who didn't face him fairly. I think that's the ultimate allure of the hot jobber: he seems at a glance to be untouchable, and the action, the role reversal, the opportunity to witness that untouchable god suffering, selling, as the "victim," makes him accessible. It humanizes him.

    And that's much of the fun of gay pro wrestling: it isn't so much that the better man (in terms of conditioning, training, and, especially, personality and character) always comes out on top, but that the lesser man does and usually gets away with it. I love it because, yes, it's fucking hot to see a hot body twisted into positions he could never do on a bodybuilding stage (the positions Brad used to make!), or his handsome face contorted in some grimace no photographer would ever shoot for a magazine, but also because, sociologically it expands our concept of what a "real man" is. Dominance, aggression, will to win--yeah we get that every time the WWE appears on TV, every time a new big-budget movie hits the cineplex. But endurance, determination, the ability to bear unjust punishment and keep coming back even when the risk of worse seems likely, that's rare. That's noble. That's ours. I think the Inner Jobber blog summarizes it perfectly: "Because vulnerability is sexy." Truth.

    Now the real question for me personally is, do I believe all that, or am I just a hypocrite rationalizing my own erotic attraction to exceptionally well built men? One wonders.

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  4. I'm glad I can really enjoy the variety BGE and others offer. I can enjoy Jonny's squashing of Jake as much as the competitiveness between Ben Monaco and Austin Cooper. Or the Big N Beefy matches as much as anything with Christian and Skip.

    And as you mention, suspense for me is just another element of wrestling that I like to experience. That makes me realize why I do enjoy Rock Hard so much, even when they don't really go as deep into the homoerotic side of wrestling, and I think that is because suspense its usually part of their formula. As aI said on the post of the BGE Yahoo Group, I know that sometimes you know what you are getting, as Stay Puft says, just from the title. But for the rest of the matches I literally have to close my hands and put my hand on the screen to avoid killing that feeling. I just hope they can pull some type of mechanism where you can see spoiler images only after clicking in some kind of alert, so both sides can be happy.

    For a moment a tough I was alone on that one, but now I feel better. You do have some therapist skills!

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  5. Awesome headscissors in the bottom photo

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