My interest in professional football has primarily centered on a three-way ring wrestling fantasy in which Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Clay Matthews beat the living shit out of each other (obviously including extensive double-teaming by Aaron and Jordy), until they’ve all been stripped out of their trunks and the winner gets a blow job from one loser while he racks the other across his gargantuan shoulders (yep, you can pretty much guess who’s who). Actually following a season has been outside of my frame of reference for well over a decade, and actually paying attention to draft day has frankly never been on my radar. But it was hard not to notice Michael Sam getting drafted by the Rams and sucking face with his boyfriend in celebration. The kiss seemed a tad forced and uncomfortably choreographed to me. Nevertheless, it was hot. For me. Others were clearly offended. There were apparently the predictable junior high level “ewwwwws” from the un-self-reflected narcissists privileged to remain far too long in angst-ridden adolescent ignorance and knee jerk self-defensiveness around their own secret same-sex fantasies. There was the wildly hypocritical “shield my baby’s eyes” indignation from the same mothers who blissfully see no irony in wanting more guns in their children’s schools while earnestly believing that witnessing g-rated affection between consenting adults will scar their offspring permanently. And there’s the “homosexual agendaists” who whip themselves in sackcloth because of the “politicization” of sport, and sports television, and masculinity itself. Whatever it means for football or football fans or sports television, the kerfuffle highlights the simple truth that persists regardless of where you stand: the personal is political. Oh, and two men kissing is sexy.
I’ve been getting more requests lately to collaborate on new wrestling fiction. Teaming up is one of my favorite genres in homoerotic wrestling, so this just seems to have all sorts of great potential.
I’ve been told by someone who should know that tag-team wrestling in the homoerotic genre is pretty difficult to manage. I don’t know if it’s coordinating schedules, having enough time to generate some entertaining chemistry, managing four bodies flying through the ring without any permanent damage… I could imagine any and all of these things could be obstacles to more tag-team homoerotic wrestling products.
And I suppose that some of the same potential pitfalls and obstacles to getting 4 hunks in the ring to tell one story may also have parallels in the work of co-authoring original fiction. Schedules, working chemistry, making sure no one gets a permanently injured ego… the give and take and intrinsic balance required to collaborate and co-author requires finesse. I firmly believe that not everyone can partner up with just anyone. And even when words get on the page, there’s that hard to define element of chemistry that just has to be there or else it isn’t… All the moving parts might work, but if partners just aren’t in sync, it may just fall flat.
But when it works, teaming up can open up a lot of possibilities that are closed to me when I’m devoted to my singles career (so to speak). Teaming up to take on a big, big project that would probably defeat either one of us alone is a good example. Wrapping our minds and creative juices around a complex, yet hot property to double-team it into groaning submission can be a sweet, sweet victory. Of course the opposite is true as well. When you partner up to tackle the behemoth project and find that both your asses are handed to you in defeat, it can be just that much more humiliating.
Fortunately, my experiences with tag-teaming on writing projects has been pretty fun and, I think, successful. I like to think that I carry my end of the work load and that I’m pretty easy to work with. And so far, the partners I’ve stepped into the imagined ring with have been delightful to team with. When a new collaborator pushes me in a new direction, introduces me to new characters, and brings their own arsenal of innovation and creativity to a project, well frankly, that’s hot. Watch for some of these projects to get polished off with a double-teaming three-count and published to the Sidelineland wrestling fiction site in the coming weeks.
Pyschology Today (via Towleroad, to me) has an interesting piece on the racial diversification of gay male porn over the past 3 to 5 years. Psychology Today is sort of like light beer… all packaging and marketing without much really satisfying inside. But I like the connections that the article draws between identifying what gay men find attractive and broader socio-demographic trends in racial politics.
As for me, I’m 100% in favor of more diversity. As a born-and-bred middle class suburban white boy, I was raised with deeply engrained, implicit lessons that chisel-chinned white boys are the physical ideal. Happily, just like other sexual tastes and attentions, I’ve since discovered that beautiful boys of all sorts of complexions offer treasures of objectified lusts.
I don’t really spend much of my time or money in the gay porn world, sans wrestling. It’s one long yawn for me. But even in the wrestling kink corner of homoerotica and porn, I think that we’re seeing more racial diversity and less a need to fetishize racial diversity, at the same time, which I think is a good combination.
Whereas it wasn’t long ago that products were prominently marketed that specifically catered to the tastes of those looking for cross-racial wrestling, these days when opponents reflect different racial-ethnic backgrounds, it most frequently goes uncommented on. In most cases, I think that’s progress. My homoerotic wrestler of the month, Bobby Horton, is a white guy who came into possession of that title on the merits of his smokin’ hot, edge-of-insanity dismantling of bodybeautiful muscle god, Tyrell Tomsen. I’m sure for many people still, a battle like that continues to be first and foremost a morality play in contemporary racial politics. And, true enough, the white boy delivers a beat down and humiliating defeat of the physically dominant black hunk, which stands in a long tradition of white fantasy about subduing and possessing the physical threat from men of color. But as far as I read the text (and I’ve been happy to read and reread that text over and over again to enjoy Bobby’s delightful performance) the story that’s primarily told is really about the battle between the beauty of brawn and the cunning of ring savvy. If anything, Tyrell plays the role of the refined, sculpted, entitled muscle god to Bobby’s crazy-ass, brutish, uncivilized short-cutter. I realize that this doesn’t eliminate the racial politics that play out in the homoerotic wrestling ring, but it screws with expectations and long-held prejudices enough to be at least resistant toward white privilege, if not entirely dismantling of it.
BG East has been promoting a lot of Latinos lately, and that’s 110% just fine with me. If white Eurocentric privilege managed to keep the likes of Rafe Sanchez (mmmm…. Rafe….), Rio Garza and Lobolito off of my shelf, my life would be much less entertaining.
Can-Am has been tossing the likes of Michael Vineland, Max Munoz, and yes, Rio Garza onto the mats, making their typically-happy-ending wrestling formula much more diverse than it may have been at one time.
Naked Kombat frequently puts up men of color, like recent battlers Jack Hammer, Derek Reynolds and Race Cooper. It’s not all one formula for fetishing the racial composition of the match, by any means. Depending on the fighters on any given day, Naked Kombat’s wrestlers of color end up battling each other or white guys, and they end up on top or on bottom with seemingly similar frequencies.
I’m intentionally taking a look at Thunder’s Arena with fresh eyes lately, particularly after reading the very enjoyable interview that Joe did with Mr. Mike and Ace Hanson at Ringside at Skull Island recently. Young stunner rookie AJ looks like another case in point of the expanding pool of skill and beauty to which homoerotically-inclined wrestling is turning.
More is better… variety is the spice of life… the pithy sayings go on and on to explain why it is that all of this is a very good thing. Still, I think we need to keep an eye on the way that racial politics play out even in (especially in) our erotic fantasies. I know, I know. It’s a buzz kill. But it also reveals something about what we believe down deep, how we live, and underneath any socialization or commitments to political correctness, how we picture ourselves in relation to racial difference. I like where things seem to be heading, and I think that we would all do well to remember where we’ve been, and the ways that racism have long played a major role in dominant homo-culture, much less hetero-culture, in the past forty years.