Photographer Joe Oppedisano simply connects all the dots between wrestling/fighting and homoerotic kink. In addition to some sweet, tasty pics (look under photos/artistic/Knockout), you can also appreciate a “making of” the Knockout photo shoot, via Greenwood Cooper and downloadable via Queer Channels On Demand (QUOD), if you live somewhere quite a ways east of where I live. I can’t attest to the reliability of QUOD, so this isn’t me telling you lucky, lucky boys in the UK to unload some pounds with them (you probably know better than I do). I am, however, quite certain that Joe’s eye peering through the viewer of his camera is seeing exactly what I’m seeing.
The intensity and intimacy of combat is erotic. Period. Straighten it up all you want, but I just can’t bring myself to believe that the homoerotic kink is a late-comer to male combat sports. Joe’s art may shorten the distance between HBO pay per view fights and Naked Kombat, but I refuse to accept that anyone alive today suddenly invented the notion that hot, hard, sweaty men pounding, squeezing, and climbing on top of each other until one of them is flat on his back and begging for mercy is sexy. As. Hell.
Full contact, I’m on the record, is not as arousing and engaging as wrestling for my tastes. It’s not that the moment a big, blond hunk’s eyes roll into the top of his head, as the tatted bad ass cracks his shin across the side of his face, doesn’t make my blood pump in all the right places. It’s just over so quickly. I need a little time to savor it, to milk the moment (so to speak), to be moved by the suspense of pressure and leverage and endurance and domination. When one hunk can turn the lights out on the other in a split second, I have to worry that it’ll all be over and done with way, way too soon.
QUOD tells me that I live in the wrong part of the world to check out Knockout. This is just one more reason I need to move to the UK (along with Russell Tovey, the real Being Human, Ashley Ryder and Grapple 101).