The Season

As the longest night of the year passes, I thought I’d acknowledge that I’ve been relatively MIA around here, particularly when it comes to updating neverland.  Just last month we experienced a big loss in the Bard household.  I haven’t posted about it because grief is a buzz kill, and I didn’t want any of you to get your buzz killed along with mine.  But as the year wraps up, I thought I’d explain my absence as far as saying that the end of this year seriously sucked.  In addition to not posting here regularly, I also dropped the ball on at least 2 homoerotic wrestling related projects I committed to.  Like I said, grief is a buzzkill, and I was struggling to get into it.

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Last year, this was on my wish list.

Happily, my buzz is returning.  Things left undone in the mean time include not sending my traditional Christmas wish list to Santa’s little elves to deliver goodies to share with you here.  You may remember it was precisely that Christmas wish list last year that Drake Marcos filled with some provocative pics and a particular taunt that came back to bite him in the butt this fall.  Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever have quite such a fantasy wish list filled as climbing into the ring and gloating in victory over a too-big-for-his-britches sexy jobber wasted at my feet.  Perhaps I should take a break from making wishes and just appreciate the good fortune last year’s list brought me.  Then again, I wouldn’t say no to any choice pics of beautiful wrestling muscles Santa’s little elves send my way.

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Ho-ho-ho!

Honestly, one of the things that’s been highlighted by my recent loss is the amazing community of support that this little blog has generated for me in the past 6 years.  As certain as I am to never, ever let Drake live down his stripped and strung up humiliation at the hands of a mere blogger, I’m just as definite about counting the Cheshire Cat among my friends that I can turn to for a word of consolation, or a distraction, or a kick in the ass, whatever the situation requires.  Several wrestlers and readers alike that I hear from regularly (not the charming “Hey dude, I’m going to fuck you up, so let’s wrestle” private messengers, but the others) reached out and offered thoughtful and compassionate words of support to me over the past several weeks.  I’m a little in awe and humbled to recognize just how much that’s meant to me, and amazed to think that a shared infatuation with the eroticism of wrestling is the common denominator that shaped those personal connections.

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Thunder’s Arena’s new Christmas Chaos 2014 release is threatening to get me right back in the mood. Damn, look at sexy as hell young Kris Kringle red-bearded beauty Frey!

For those of you in the middle of holiday celebrations, I add to my late-started wish list that you have a great time, surrounded by love and support and with at least one rip-and-strip wrestling match in store for you with a hardbodied fantasy man of your dreams.  For those of you not in the middle of holiday celebrations,well, hey… same for you, but with a bottle of baby oil thrown in for a little extra fun.  To those who have been inconvenienced because I’ve dropped the ball lately, my sincere apologies and genuine intention and expectation that I’ll be back at the work that I love the most (and pays me the least) in the coming weeks.  And finally, to anyone else in our community that’s finding this time of year particularly fucked up because of recent loss, I hear you.  I know what you mean. It’s going to be okay, but not before it keeps sucking some more.  So hang in there.

The point of the conversation

Austin Wolf generates so much heat!

I’m closing down the comments on my post last week concerning speculation regarding masculinity and femininity in homoerotic wrestling.  My sincere attempt to try to have a conversation about the role of masculinity in today’s homoerotic wrestling scene continued to veer into persistently vague yet increasingly personal attacks on last month’s homoerotic wrestler of the month, Austin Wolf.  A comment that came through for approval last night got catty with me, pointing out that I was missing the point of the conversation, since all I was talking about was Austin’s wrestling.  I was in the middle of composing a cuttingly clever and brutally insightful retort when it suddenly occurred to me that the commenter (who’s comment won’t be published because of the ensuing character attack on Austin as a person) was actually quite correct on his first point.  Sure, it was my conversation to start with, and it’s a conversation happening on my blog, but the conversation was decisively on a point that is implicitly and explicitly off topic around here.  I was missing “the point” that one or more commenters are uninterested in saying anything about Austin’s wrestling, but fixated on remarkably non-specific but vehement charges about his quality as a gay man and human being off camera.

… and as for his potential in homoerotic wrestling…

Yeah.  I don’t “get” that conversation at all, and more pertinently, that’s not a conversation for this blog. I’ve never talked with Austin, so I can’t verify whether he’s an upstanding sort of guy who’s just pissed somebody off, or if he’s a royal, screwed up dick.  But except for the generous gentlemen who have agreed to be interviewed for neverland, that’s pretty much the state of things with all the wrestlers I review and reflect on.  This conversation, the conversation that I’ll continue to initiate and be happy to respond to, is about homoerotic wrestling, the professional homoerotic wrestling industry, and what turns me on.  Austin’s wrestling turns me on, and I continue to think that he’s got a huge potential, proportional to his massive muscles, for more chart topping homoerotic wrestling.  The rest is for some other forum.

Austin takes the only beating that I care about: in a wrestling match.

I’m composing my post appointing Austin’s successor as HWOTM.  He didn’t appear in a November homoerotic wrestling release, so Austin isn’t eligible for a back-to-back repeat.  So I’m guessing I’ll have less to say about him in the coming days, and I guarantee you won’t be seeing any further comments charging him with unspecified failures to gay humankind.  But comments about his work on the mat or his potential in the business going forward will continue to be welcomed, because that’s what we talk about around here.  And if Austin wants to join the ranks of the friends of neverland by giving me an interview (pass along the hint, people!), we’ll enjoy chatting with him about his initial forays into homoerotic wrestling. Period.  Until then, let’s move on and get back to “the” conversation.

I hope to see those tree trunks wrapped around many, many more heads!

Man Enough

Our Google overlords bless us with a fickle blogger interface that frequently leaves me cursing.  Typically, I think, the frustration is almost entirely on my side of the computer screen. Occasionally, however, it seems to impact neverland readers.  One reader has repeatedly pointed out that the automatic program for verifying that people who attempt to comment are, indeed, human beings, can sometimes present such blurry and obscure text to try to decipher that it’s nearly impossible.  Sorry for that. I wish I had some control over those things.  I also recently discovered that someone attempted twice to post a comment on a recent session of gushing of mine over reigning (for one more day) homoerotic wrestler of the month, Austin Wolf.

Austin Wolf not masculine?

I approved the comment, after some pause, however I don’t see it anywhere on the blog itself.  It’s in my “approved comments” list, but doesn’t show up in any post I can find.  The pause came because I’ve been rejecting comments lately that seem to me to be bitchy criticisms of wrestlers’ bodies or personalities.  Too fat.  Too skinny.  Not butch enough.  I know that a lot of the homoerotic wrestlers I write about also read this blog, and I don’t want them reading that crap.  But I went ahead and approved this comment that referred to Austin as “sexy enough, if only he weren’t so femme in person…. He is not nearly as masculine as the image he is trying to portray,” the commenter reported.  There’s just so much there to think about.  Setting aside my first question, “when have you seen him in person?” and my second question, “isn’t every expression of masculinity (or femininity) an image, a mere portrayal, or as Judith Butler has called it, a “performance?”  Whatever.  So Austin isn’t as masculine in person as he seems to appear on camera.  I guess my real question is, so what?

Rusty Stevens: masculine enough for you?

Now I’m not trying to take this commenter to task.  At all, really.  I approved the post because it provoked me to think deeper about masculinity in homoerotic wrestling.  I mean, sure, hypermasculinity is a pretty well-worn trope on our scene, so I would be entirely unsurprised to discover that any number of the meanest, baddest, most dominatingly butch heels in homoerotic wrestling history are, in their personal lives, light in the loafers and sassy as blown glass.  I don’t care what they may get up to on their own time, I might say.  Just tell me that powerful story of domination and submission, power and suffering, agony and arousal that I love so much, and what do I care how far from the mark that wrestling persona is to how they act when their sipping apple martinis at the piano bar?

Xavier: Does body hair make the man?  Big muscles?  Facial hair?

But even that isn’t really where I settled with this comment about the purported incongruity between Austin’s presentation of masculinity on and off camera.  No, I found myself challenged by the idea of masculinity itself.  We’re clearly not in a post-gender age, of course, but as for me (and I’ll speak solely for myself here), I’m not sure I’ve got the clearest hold on what comprises the polar opposites of masculinity and femininity as far as homoerotic wrestling goes.  I know of big, burly muscle bear-looking bruisers who snarl and spit and I think, hot damn, that’s one hot bit of masculine hunkiness!  But if the same burly bear wears a pink cardi and giggles like a girl when Glee comes on, I’m still fully prepared to objectify him as a no-holds-barred object of my lust.

Lon Dumont: Smooth as a baby’s bottom and over-the-top masculine in the ring.

And there are relatively petite, smooth, boyishly beautiful wrestlers who wink and grin, and when slam an opponent into the turnbuckle or bash him across his knee in an over the knee backbreaker, I think, hot damn, that’s one hot bit of masculine hunkiness!  Deep bass Boston voices.  High pitched Southern accents.   Pretty in pink.  Dangerous in black.  Go-go-boy.  Construction worker.  Limp wrist.  Football fan.  Facial hair.  Man-scaped.  Do they have a cock and tell me a hot, hot wrestling story?  I’m in.

Damien Rush was quoted recently as saying, “Let me smother you with all my masculine hair!”

So if Austin Wolf cracks an opponent’s spine over his knee, claws his crotch mercilessly, then schoolboy pins the punk with his big, gorgeous cock slapping the loser’s cheeks back and forth, and then gets up, showers off with 5 different skin care products and quotes Bette Davis movies over cosmos with all the rest of the girls… well, fuck.  It just occurred to me that I think that’s even HOTTER!

Tell me again how I’m not masculine enough for you, bitch!

Homoerotic wrestling likely reifies stereotypes of masculinity (and, by default, femininity) in many, many ways.  But I think, and I hope, that it blurs some of the old standby stereotypes as well.  I like the idea that the same mass of 6’4″ sculpted muscle can threaten to rip an opponent’s head off in a camel clutch and the next day sing along with show tunes in the car as he goes antiquing with his gurl-friends. I harbor a deep seated and not at all sublimated sexual fantasy of the rise of the muscle sculpted sissies who may be as pretty as a prima donna, but will fuck you up in a heartbeat in the ring.  Maybe I’m too old.  Or too young.  Or just don’t have the good taste to want to cling to the sharp, clean lines of gender stereotypes any longer.  But even if Austin Wolf were a flaming queen, he’d drain me dry time and time again as long as he racks another wasted loser across those mile wide shoulders of his.  Hell, I’d pay a premium, in fact!

Ask Hoop right about  now if Austin is masculine enough for him.

Homoerotic Wrestler of the Month

I think it’s entirely possible that we’re living in a new Golden Age of homoerotic wrestling.  Just saying that will likely fan flames, but hear me out.  The crop of last month’s new releases to pick nominees for homoerotic wrestler of the month is exhaustingly extensive, AND BG East did not release a new catalog.  I’m sure wrestling producers might have a different impression of what it means for us to have so many exciting options (over-saturated market?  I hope not).  But for fans, I have to think we’ll look back on seasons like this and marvel at the scope and depth of homoerotic wrestling being produced right now.  For example, take a gander at new face and gorgeously hairy legged Geo, always erotically supercharged Brendan Cage, and ripped to shreds Bradon Charron putting their muscles on the mats for Thunder’s Arena’s 2012 edition of Halloween Havoc.  Consider Thunder’s fratboy-gone-wild Dominic and muscle giant Austin Wolf making muscles quiver in Mat Rats 25.  Pendulously power-packed Hooper is eye-catching as ever in both Mat Rats 26 and 27.  I’m just now introducing myself to new kids on the block, Muscle DominationWrestling, but already they grabbed my attention with a wildly sexy three-way battle between big, hunky farmboy Tony Law, increasingly ripped trust fund baby, Damien Rush, and nasty new handsome heel Henry Sandow for Superhero Contest Interrupted.  Eastern European niche fantasyman, Steel Muscle God, turned the lights out for The Wimpy Boy (who is, frankly, a guilty pleasure of mine) for their bearhugs and headscissors features.  Over at Can-Am, always dangerous Jobe Zander digs deep to punish achingly fresh Bobby Blake in Decrotchery 4.  Tyler St. James and Travis Wild are nothing but a brilliantly cast catch-weight pairing for Pro Sex Fight 10 (I’m thinking more catch-weight fuck-stakes could scratch a major itch for me).  Despite going heavy on the sex and light on the combat, I have to acknowledge JetSet Men’s “parody” of The Ultimate Fighter that they call The Ultimate Top, including two nominees for HWOTM: a potential nominee for sexiest legs on the planet, Logan Vaughn, and ass-pounding heel Tristan Baldwin aka Aryx Quinn. And finally Rock Hard Wrestling has a crop of nominees that rock me, including goldenboy turning nasty, Austin Cooper, barely legal mouthful of beef Brodie Fisher, British muscle beauty Will Stanley and teen heart throb Jason Kane for Tag Team Torture, as well as Brit pounder Will Stanley yet again getting Brutalized by both expert tormentor Ethan Andrews and his heel apprentice Aaron Travers.

What a field!  The breadth and depth here is stunning.  From hard hitting, hardcore porn to the homage to muscle worship fratboy fun and games, there’s a custom gem to suit so many varied kinks!  Picking just one homoerotic wrestler of the month from this crop is essentially comparing apples to oranges to dildos.  On the dildo side of things, let me just say that someone needs to sequester Logan Vaughn in a wrestling ring with a serious pro coach and turn those wad-blowing quads into the lethal weapons they’re meant to be.  But the pitifully shortchanged combat in Ultimate Top just can’t make even a Greek God like Logan actually come out on top as HWOTM.  After painstakingly eliminating one worthy nominee after another, I’m left with a fantasy beast who’s been a recurring superstar in my erotic wrestling dreams over the past couple of months…

… Thunder’s Arena’s Austin Wolf.
“They’re up here, man!”

Speaking of itch-scratching, I honestly didn’t even know I had an empty space inside just waiting to be filled by a gorgeously muscled, 6’4″ 235 pounder with an aversion to a razor. An in case that metaphor was too subtle, let me just reiterate that Austin Wolf is welcome to fill one specific empty space inside of me any day!  In his pre-match confessional for Mat Rats 25, Austin says that he’s a football jock who decided to moonlight for Thunder’s sort of as a lark, coming down to Florida “to kick a little ass.”  When rosy-cheeked fratboy Dominic tries to demonstrate the muscle mass that he predicts will make big, big, big Austin suffer, Austin lifts his arm, flexes his bicep, and points out where the quality beef is hanging: “They’re up here, man,” he taunts “little” D.

Let me repeat, big, big, BIG Austin Wolf!

In my blow by blow review of Austin’s first match, I spent a lot of time marveling at the “unexpected guest” that showed up in a big way in Hooper’s trunks.  And who could blame the kid!? My pants grow uncomfortably tight just thinking about getting my back cracked across massive Austin’s thigh, looking up at that incredibly handsome, rugged face and knowing that I am entirely at this muscle god’s mercy. However, as if to point out that it’s not just his lucky, lucky opponents who are swinging pipe, there’s delightful movement in big Austin’s trunks, particularly evident when Scrappy-Doo locks on an improbable rear bearhug and lifts the powerhouse off his feet.  Those trunks did not start out that full, my friends!

Wake up and smell the muscle!

Austin is perfect pitch in Mat Rats 25 for where my mind wanders the moment I see him on camera.  His voice is about an octave and a half deeper than his fratboy stud opponent.  I’d love to offer my services to manscape every inch of Austin’s fanstasyman body, but there’s no way that I could do better than the clearly loving hand keeping this lightly hairy muscle monster so perfectly trim and coiffed.  And if anyone has a moral imperative to flex and pose his crazy-intimidating giant muscle physique as a devastating offensive tool to strike terror into the heart of an opponent, it’s Austin Wolf.  In my currently running fondest dream, I’m waking up, drowsy and a little woozy, from being sleepered to the edged of consciousness, only to find myself locked in a crotch-to-face headscissors looking up at the massive mountain in Austin’s trunks in the foreground, his fur-coated six-pack and pecs a little farther away, and the huge peaks of his biceps on the horizon, looming over me like a terrible, thrilling, unstoppable disciplining god.

Austin muscles Dominic into position.

Spoiler alert for those who care, Austin gives up multiple, wailing submissions to a half a dozen different holds that the acne-faced D-bomb applies to his long, powerful body before all is said and done.  That deep, bass rumble jumping up an octave in panicked submission is, undeniably, highly erotic for my tastes.  The fact that a physical specimen like Austin can sell anguish and fear does nothing but make me that much more infatuated.  However, I have to say it’s Austin on top that transports me, and it’s Austin on top that cinched his scissorhold on the title this month.  In particular, Austin is unflinching in riding D’s barely clad bubble butt like a capital “P” Porn Star.  The stills that I include in this post likely oversell the eroticism, but not by too terribly much.  It doesn’t take me a lot of imaginative license at all to picture Austin’s muscled ass flexing rhythmically as he fills a particular empty space that Dominic opens up for him deep inside those sweet, pale cheeks of his.

Austin could rip D’s head off without even trying!

Somebody thought that it would be a good idea to have ruddy-cheeked Dominic teach big, bruiser Austin “a lesson,” and I’m sure that there’s a big audience for that angle.  As for me, even with Austin selling like a high-class pro, there’s a suspension of disbelief that’s a fraction too fantastical for me to entirely buy, because any moment at which Austin seriously puts his hands on this kid, it’s clear he could rip his head off without breaking a sweat.  The initial collar-and-elbow, for example, doesn’t cut it, because D just doesn’t pull off the appearance that he isn’t utterly outmatched, even though Austin refrains from tossing the kid through the wall.  But when Austin’s on top, with his meat pressing down into Dominic’s ample ass crack, with Austin’s tree trunks planted firmly around the kid’s hips and D’s face almost disappearing underneath just one of the giant’s HUGE hands threatening to rip his skull off his neck, Austin owns me as completely as he does little D.

Dominic’s vulnerable back needs a fresh, damp, sticky coat of Wolf juice!

I’ve harassed Thunder in the past for sticking so fervently to the rowdy frathouse schtick that they leave behind a gay wrestling kinkster like me in service to, I presume, a more closeted gay wrestling kinkster who’d be too freaked out by something more explicitly erotic.  Thunder’s knows my thoughts on the matter, and Mr. Mike knows that there’s a level of appreciation I can’t reach for quite a bit of their catalog that appears pointed at an audience other than me.  But Austin Wolf growling, sweating, and flexing his bazookas as he stares down at little D’s back with his powertool poised in the fuck-the-loser position is a beautiful example of homoerotic wrestling that does not require (or even warrant) a literal fuck-finisher to communicate something intoxicating to me.  Some chaw spitting closet-case probably looks at Mat Rats 25, curls his upper lip, and through his rotting teeth spits out the words, “Aw, fuck, that’s so gay.”  And in this rarest of cases, I completely and enthusiastically agree with the inbred self-hater.

Crane your neck upward and gaze at towering HWOTM, Austin Wolf!

That’s not to say, however, that I wouldn’t blow a gasket to see smokin’ hot Austin Wolf’s exquisite proportions in a wrestling ring.  I’d give my firstborn to see him tied in the ropes, his trunks peeled off his mile-long body, and his raw meat punished viciously in the hands of the sort of competition that he’s almost certainly not going to face at Thunder’s Arena.  But this brown-eyed powerhouse ripped from Greek mythology stares unflinchingly at me and my unapologetically gay wrestling fetish, pumps his fantasy physique, and demonstrates that even with just 2 matches under his belt, he’s ready to be a crowd pleaser.  Step back, all you other contenders, because a man this big needs room to strut to the front of the line and take a seat on the throne as my reigning homoerotic wrestler of the month!