I’m of the disposition to intentionally turn away from a tragic spectacle. I used to think that this was a sign of my moral superiority. Lately, though, I think it’s just another example of me having a weak stomach. Now, I adore some full contact combat with loads of suffering and humiliation. And I’m actually a major fan of the horror movie genre; the more psychologically twisted the better. But real life tragedy makes me queasy. I never gawk at the accordianed car on the side of the highway, for example. I just keep driving with my eyes forward.
The past 10 or 15 years of Tom Cruise’s public life has been a little like driving past the horrific car crash on the side of the highway. At some point I just started turning away. I stopped going to his movies. I turned the channel when he offered the worst acting performance of his career on Oprah’s couch. I just shook my head and tried not to watch when he tried to sell himself in a role of a postmodern critic of the biomedical model of treating postpartum depression. It all just makes me increasingly uncomfortable to watch.
I was way over Tom Cruise gossip years ago (*ahem**cough*Kyle Bradford*cough*cough*). If there was ever a character ripped from a Greek tragedy, I think it has to be a talented, handsome Hollywood hunk with a wrestling fetish, trapped behind layers of a secretive, sci-fi religious sect and a lifetime of personal and professional moves devoted obsessively to proving his heterosexual credibility. To quote the original Bard who said everything better than it’s ever been said since, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
But the newest “news” that Tom will be singing (!) in a big screen adaptation of the musical theater production Rock of Ages grabbed my attention despite myself. If it were just that he seems to writing a new tragic twist to his tragic life, presuming that he can both perform as a singer and appeal to the traditional musical theater audience, I’d probably just drive right by without a second glance. But I just had to take a second look when I read the EW coverage of the casting.
Furthering the frantic effort to legitimate his heterosexual credibility, the brief EW piece points out that in Rock of Ages, Tom will be receiving a (presumably heterosexual) lap dance. In what’s probably intended as further heterosexual legitimacy, EW also says that, in the role of womanizing rocker Stacee Jaxx, Tom will also be taking “more than one punch.”
I doubt I’ll ever see Rock of Ages once it’s produced and released, but Tom on the receiving end of a punch does something for me. I’ve imagined what a full contact homoerotic battle starring Tom might be like. The idea works for me, just like the gossip that he allegedly used to be into homoerotic wrestling for hire always did it for me.
I don’t wish Tom ill, at all. I’m typically a live-and-let-live sort of guy, without much energy to offer to discussions of how other people ought to be living their lives. But I do feel a strong sympathy for anyone out there engaged in herculean efforts to fit the heterosexual ideal of a hyper-masculine, misogynist alpha male when, in quiet moments in dark solitude, he’s really a homoerotic wrestling fetishist. It’s okay to get off on hot, hard, sweaty wrestling with another guy. It’s a beautiful thing to celebrate mutual physicality and sexuality. If there’s any one thing that this blog has been about for nearly two years, it’s been about sharing a positive perspective on homoeroticism and wrestling kink. If that’s new to you, whether you live in Iowa or Hollywood, whether you’re a working class stiff or a multi-millionaire celebrity with an army of publicists and attorneys, I hope you know that there are tons of happy, healthy, beautiful and sexy men (lots of whom read and comment on this very blog!) who are living proof that homoerotic wrestling kink can be a life-affirming, sex-positive part of your life.