A recurring theme here has been my perpetual self-reflection on what it is about homoerotic wrestling that speaks to me. A regular point of perseveration has been what makes a wrestling match particularly “homoerotic.” I can get off on mainstream straight pro wrestling probably almost as much as the next guy, but my bread and butter continues to be this particular industry marketed specifically to gay men. And I know that within this industry, there are straight wrestlers, and the erotic heat that emanates from a lot of matches is what I’m bringing to it as a viewer. And I’m okay with that, as long as the whole interaction effect isn’t cloaked in a closeted wink-wink, where the producer and we know that this is marketed with a gay eye in mind, but the whole thing is kept strictly on the straight side of the fence so that a fan can exercise plausible deniability if they’re caught with an incriminating browser history (“I was just checking out some underground pro, bro”). Yawn.
But it also isn’t just an issue of wrestlers pulling out their porn-ready cocks and wrestling hard and naked. Though there’s nothing wrong with that, as far as I’m concerned. In fact, I’m advocating for more straight forward naked wrestling, not just the last 2 minutes of a match before it devolves into out of control face sucking (not that I have any problem with that, either!). But what I key off of isn’t just the explicit homoeroticism of naked bodies, by any means. There’s this sweet spot right in the middle of straight-up pro with me supplying all of the erotic subtext, and hardcore porn with a clumsy grapple as appetizer.
It’s sexy because of intention and attention. Like when a wrestler acknowledges that his opponent looks hot. The phrase, “Nice ass,” or “sweet pecs,” is pure gold when it comes to dialing a match squarely into the territory that grabs me hard. Of course a “no-homo” disavowal will totally kill that buzz, but happily I see less and less of that in the wrestling I watch these days. They don’t have to get their dicks out. Just notice, appraise the obvious assets of an opponent, and you’ve drawn me into the match. I’m invested 10 times more if the wrestlers state the obvious fact that they are both gorgeous specimens. I never see this in straight-up pro (not that I watch it much anymore), and I think it’s an angle that’s probably even more disruptive of heteronormativity than even getting your gear ripped off. Guys look at guys. Guys appreciate guys. Guys can be turned on by getting their hands on guys. The eroticism peaks long before (and even in the absence of) any cum being added to the recipe.
I’ve mentioned before that I regularly push rewind around the time I get to more explicit sexual content at the end of harder-core matches. Like when I was following Naked Kombat, I would skim over the sex round to see if anyone comes close to Rusty Stevens’ perfect mix of corporal punishment, humiliation, and wrestling domination (naked pony rides, leg scissor armbars used like an accelerator pedal to taunt, tease, and torment a loser by commanding them to jack off just shy of orgasm again and again). The fucking itself, even the acrobatic, artistic fucking of professional porn stars who somehow are able to stretch and maneuver into positions that I’m pretty sure would dislocate multiple joints if I attempted them, comes across as downright pedestrian to me. The erotic heat is the sweat-inducing wrestling competition. It’s the suspense and the battle. It’s the passion to dominate knowing that the loser is going to get fucked, rather than the loser getting fucked, in and of itself.
So I love the story of a wrestler having to battle with his own lust to stay focused on beating his opponent. The erotic offense of one hunk destroying his opponent’s defenses with a nibble of the ear or a stroke of his hot body strikes me as the height of homoerotic. There’s a fantastic, frustrating, intensely provocative tease near the end of some matches where the lines between competition and giving in to total lust get so blurred that I can’t tell what’s an openly erotic trap and what’s just mutual submitting to the intimate passion of bodies grinding into bodies. So when one wrestler is ready to just get down to hooking up, and the other is just playing along long enough to snap shut a sleeper, or pound out a finishing OTK, or slip on a knee-breaking figure-4 leglock for the final, screaming, totally vulnerable submission, fuck that puts me over. Whipping out cocks and sucking and fucking at that point is totally vanilla, as far as I’m concerned. I’m pushing rewind to watch that look of shock wash across the loser’s face when he realizes his lust just walked him by the nose into becoming the property of his new master.
My tastes are broad and varied. I can get off on a wide spectrum of homoerotic content, from barely implied by the copyright holder to blistering hot fuck stakes consummated. But that sweet spot that I crave most in the middle of the normal distribution is unmistakable, and yet resists the easy out of sliding too quickly into hardcore porn. It’s an open nod to me, the audience, and an intentional grappling with the erotic potential between two smoking hot hunks hell bent on dominating one another. It’s a look, a groan, a nibble, a slap, a gasping grope, an unfocused reverie. It’s stating the obvious, that two barely clad studs pounding, grinding, and crushing into one another is potently intimate and powerfully arousing. Guys like guys. Wrestling ensues….