The mundane requirements in my life have kept me from posting more regularly here lately. However, I’m happy to report I’ve still had time to enjoy watching homoerotic wrestling. I’ve recently fallen in lust with a classic batch of matches from almost twenty years ago packaged by BG East as Britbouts 1.
Back in antiquity, when I received my homoerotic wrestling products on VHS, I used to love the promotional trailers at the end of the DVDs, with snippets of other products to tempt and titillate. I remember seeing a promo for Britbouts 1 and particularly being attracted to the 45 seconds or so it provided of excerpts from Kid Vicious mat match with Ron Holloway. In fact, I got off more than once on just that glimpse of this match slipped in at the tail end of some other tape I owned. I clearly remember the look of rage and anguish mixed on the adorably babyfaced pretty boy Ron. I’m sure at some point it was on the top of my next-to-order list, but tide and time and the regular rush of enticing new BG East products made me forget to follow up on it. Happily, I’ve rectified that situation, and I’m even happier to report that the match is every bit as satisfying as I’d imagined it would be when all I had was that hot little teaser with that pumping synthesizer techno beat pounding the soundtrack to the trailer.
Ron Holloway turns my crank the instant he appears on screen, stretching out his super-lean, painfully pale, gorgeously proportioned young body. He’s achingly pretty, but not in the way that so many pretty boys in homoerotic wrestling since are pretty. He’s not pretty in a way that would make him a candidate for the cover of a fitness magazine. No, he’s pretty in the way that I’d develop a dizzying crush on a next door neighbor, or the bag boy at the grocery store, or some nerdy cutie a grade below me in school. He has a Supercuts ‘do and a disarming, bright white smile. His classic, stark white trunks and matching boots somehow make the pale expanse of his otherwise bare body seem that much more vulnerable. His silky smooth jaw and chest place him squarely in the developmental state when one reaches the age of majority, and yet the last volleys of puberty are yet to be fired. His long, skinny legs are lightly hairy in a natural yet self-conscious way. Some would bitch about him being too skinny, I’m sure, but he’s perfectly who he is in this moment in time: beautifully fit, still growing into his long limbs, high on testosterone and late adolescent invincibility, and sporting a fuckable zero-padding set of glutes squeezed supertight inside of what must be size XXS trunks.
Enter Kid Vicious. I’ve been crushing on KV from the moment I first discovered homoerotic wrestling. He looks so young in this match, and still he’s unmistakably all man in this boy-versus-man melodrama. His shaved head reveals the outline of his receding hairline. His chest displays the dark, closely cropped hair of a man who likes control, who maintains a regimented grooming routine and knows at any moment every detail of his body’s appearance, position, and tolerances. He’s lean like Ron, but with a handful more years of muscle maturity and growth. Every hot little detail on the babyface is just a little hotter, a little more developed, a little more fully realized on KV. Also super lean, KV’s pecs are just a little fuller. His shoulders are an inch or two broader. His long lean thighs are just that much thicker than the babyface’s, and like the babyface’s, they’re ungroomed, but just a little hairier on the more mature man. KV is squeezed into red and black zebra print square cuts and villainous black boots.
So this is clearly, from the outset a battle of bright-eyed, beautiful youthful innocence squaring off against jaded, contemptuous sadism. Or perhaps you might conceptualize this as seasoned maturity stepping back in time to kick the arrogant shit out of his young, dumb, and full of cum barely legal self. Ron is impetuous and irrationally confident as he snarls at the deadly dangerous man staring coldly back at him. This was apparently the first time BGE, including Kid Vicious, ventured across the pond, so ostensibly anything could happen here. When West meets Wester, it could totally be the case that the toughnik Scottish prettyboy has the goods to shock and awe the American who so obviously thinks he’s a total bad ass. If you knew nothing of the next 20 years of Kid Vicious’ BGE career, the morality tale being played out here could legitimately hinge on the notion that a Glasgow street punk could upend and completely dominate his upperclassman opponent, proving that KV’s curled lip and heel cred are nothing more than the paper thin boasting of a big fish from a little pond.
Once they start to tussle, however, you’d have to note every signal indicating that this is going to be boy bashing brutality. Kid Vicious takes control of my crushworthy bag boy. He uses each and every edge in size and strength to manhandle the kid, ripping Ron’s quivering shoulders out of joint in a surfboard, milking the fight out him with crushing body scissors clamped viciously around the Scot’s 28″ waist. Ron is so fucking pissed. All of that late pubescent testosterone is still convincing him that he’s more than up to the task of making the Yankee pay for this early humiliation. His bangs flop from side to side, his jaw gapes open, lips curling in that incredibly sexy rage/anguish that so enticed me from the trailer those years ago. Even when KV is totally owning him, the bitterness on the Scot’s face says clearly that he’s seeing revenge fantasies playing across the backs of his eyelids as his eyes are clenched tight in agony.
Ron’s no pushover, to say the least. He takes a cargo ship full of punishment and sucks on it like a lollipop. Moreover, he’s surprisingly patient for someone so young, biding his time and munching on the humiliation for the right moment to counter. Slipping free from a headlock, the Scot cranks the fuck out of a tit-for-tat hammerlock, threatening to rip Kid Vicious’ arms off at the shoulders. KV is more than a little shocked and super pissed off, suddenly playing catcher to this ridiculously babyfaced rook mounted across his back. That familiar sneer on KV’s lips suddenly disappears and then reappears on Ron’s face, as the stark reality comes into focus: Kid Vicious is getting owned by an actual kid.
Ron gets a couple of shocking submissions out of KV, which, in and of themselves, are worth the price of admission. But even sexier is the diabolical comeback KV makes, patiently starting up from the bottom of the hill after each humiliation, and steadily, surely, expertly climbing back to the summit. Regular readers know that my favorite hold is the OTK backbreaker, and featherweight Ron is like a baby in KV’s arms when the Yank scoops him up, holds him there like it’s nothing, and then pounds the kid’s lower spine across his thigh. Babyface Ron writhes and screams. The first cracks to his invincibility fable start to show. With one hand on a knee and the other pressing on the kid’s chin, KV pries his prey backward, promising to snap the little fucker’s back in half.
The other submission that stands out for me (as in, gets me off repeatedly) is Kid Vicious’ magnificent knee breaker. Babyface Ron has mounted a few shocking volleys of offense by this point, and you can see KV is fucking over this. He’s going to maim the kid. He rolls the babyface up, hooking Ron’s left leg and pinning the back of the Scot’s head against KV’s crotch. At first, Rob’s face screws up in pain and he bitches about his quivering hamstring getting stretched to the point of snapping. It looks vicious (appropriately enough). You know the babyface is about to submit, because he’s got nowhere to go and his opponent can wring cruel, bitter anguish out of him at will. But then KV pulls the kid’s captured leg to the left and positions Ron’s hyperextended knee right over KV’s own bent knee. And the genius of this moment comes into clear focus, as KV pulls that much harder on the Scot’s leg, hyperextending the knee sickeningly that much farther around his own. Babyface Ron SCREAMS in panic. He submits about 50 times in the space of 10 seconds, as KV simply soaks it in, smiling sadistically, living for this moment of owning this once-cocky kid in body and soul.
The last thing about his match that I have to mention isn’t a hold. It’s Ron, writhing on the mat after this knee breaker, whimpering like a sniveling bitch, “No more, no more, no more, no more,” in that thick, sexy Scottish accent. KV stands over him domineeringly, silently threatening, and the boy first announces “no more,” but when KV doesn’t appear about to back down, the boy starts begging, pleadingly, “NO MORE!” The hot little bag boy isn’t just done. He’s burnt to a crisp. That facade of invincibility he started with has shattered to the mat around him. His illusions of being “the man” are dashed upon the realization that next to Kid Vicious, he’s just a snot nosed little bitch. The chemistry has changed within him, from equal parts rage and anguish to overwhelming, sour bitterness with a dash of “one-day-I’ll-grow-up-and-then-you’ll-be-sorry.”
Of course, Kid Vicious has about 5 more minutes of corporal punishment and vile emotional abuse to inflict on the overdone flank steak at his feet. He mounts the kid, with the Scot lying totally vulnerable, flat on his back. KV stretches out on top of the rookie, pec to pec, crotch to crotch, maximal body contact. He pins Ron’s hands to the mat above his head and starts a 3 count to finish this little bitch. That persistent overdose of testosterone the late-pubescent kid is simmering in still convinces him to jerk a shoulder free, breaking the count. It’s not a real challenge to KV’s complete mastery of the moment. Just a bitter refusal to accept reality. So KV rolls the kid up, crotch pressed against the Scot’s face, grabs the babyface’s ankles and rips Ron’s legs open wide. Ron’s still just as bitter, just as adamantly wanting to deny the facts of the situation. But he’s good and throughly fucked right here, so KV gets his 3 count.
It’s a fucking shame that Ron Holloway appears to have been a one hit wonder, because he emotes like an Oscar winner. He’s lithe and lovely and fierce and fucked all bundled up into one incredibly tight, sexy little package. I’d love to have seen KV rip Ron’s white trunks off and ride that raw, muscled ass. I’d give a kidney to go back and time and convince KV right then to give the Scot’s ripped torso a tongue lashing from top to bottom. But alas, this is not an X-Fight.
As for Kid Vicious, I find it fascinating to watch him get his hands on a Brit for the first time. It’s little wonder he will return to the UK repeatedly in the years following this match to sink his teeth into more hot Brits. He clearly had a taste for this succulent delicacy from the first moment he laid eyes on Ron Holloway.
I think I may have become too serious in the past 41 days or so. Sure, I believe the very fabric of our fundamental social contract as a modern society is unraveling. And, yeah, I have to acknowledge that I’ve been feeling happy not to have children to worry about suffering in the coming new world disorder. But there’ve got to be some reasons to smile these days. As if reading the secret thoughts of my darkest hours, a long-standing, anonymous, yet dependable friend suddenly reached out and dropped a boatload of candid, behind-the-scenes photos smuggled off the sets of BG East, starring some of the most sensationally sexy wrestlers on the planet taking a little off the cuff joy in life.
OMI (Our Man Inside) has long been aware of my pleasure at seeing candid images of the heroes, villains, and whipping boys who star in the homoerotic wrestling fantasies that I enjoy so much. Far too easily, we who are fans can forget that there are actual people behind the made-for-pro wrestling characters and storylines that we tune in for. Too often, we take our prerogatives as consumers too literally. We collapse the people who put in the time to craft their bodies for wrestling sport entertainment into the products they star in. So we too often feel free to critique not just the products, but the people. We act as if it’s our right, from the anonymity of our side of the computer screen, to trash people based on our tastes and preferences in wrestling entertainment, dismissing the people themselves as worthless if we judge their wrestling products or performances to be uninspiring. I delete comments from the pages of this blog when I think they’ve stepped over that line, because that’s not what this blog is about. People can, and do, do that anywhere and everywhere else on the internet. This blog is about celebrating the industry, promoting the best of what I enjoy in homoerotic wrestling, and encouraging producers and wrestlers alike to continue to titillate and innovate for a homoerotic wrestling sensibility.
So I particularly enjoy these candid shots that give just a glimpse of the men behind the masks (whether literal or figurative). I know that there are some who would likely prefer not to see behind the curtain. I respect that. But these rare glimpses of these hot hunks’ humanity make me love this industry even more.
We don’t have to like them all. Fuck, that’s the whole point really. Some of the hottest wrestling happens when hunky characters who I despise lie, cheat, and steal their way into contention in the ring. The rules of polite (straight) society do not apply in the homoerotic wrestling universe in which these magnificent men show up and throw down, putting bodies and egos and sometimes even their asses on the line in these Greek melodramas that we enjoy so passionately. In that world, these men can fly. They can be broken to pieces and pick themselves right back up and battle on with nothing but sheer will stitching them together. In that world, they’re devious and diabolical. They’re naive and gullible. They’re virtuous to a fault and psychologically flawed to perfection. In that world, they may or may not even be aware that we are crushing on them, debating about them, pulling for or rooting against them. They are apart from us, operating by different rules, and the distance can make us imagine that our estimation of them, in this world, also need not abide by conventions of common decency.
But in this world, they’re guys like you and me. Well, guys who probably work out more, eat better, and, if they’re any good, train to wrestle beyond what 99% of fans ever do. But in my experience, they’re just guys, most of whom are charming and complex, a patchwork of pride and insecurity, just like all of us who are afflicted by this human condition.
And in these waning days of 2016, I could probably use with more glimpses of genuine humanity. I wish every one of these smiling studs success and good fortune in the coming year. I want them to know that they are appreciated, even beyond being adored by those of us who are fans. When they’ve peeled their bruised and battered bodies off the mats, when the cameras are off and the street clothes are on, when they clock into their day jobs where people don’t even know that they are phenomenally sexy fantasymen with superhuman strength and skill when they strip their hot bodies down to supertight trunks, I hope their lives are filled with happiness. They are beautiful and brave, powerful and provocative. They’re terrifying and titillating, inspiring and inciting. They turn us on and transport us to a world in which our fantasies of gorgeous gladiators locked in erotic combat play out, live action, before our very eyes.
Wrestlers, when you’ve had your spine snapped in an OTK backbreaker and punched in the testicles until you’re a screaming, writhing mess on the mat, after you’ve gotten us off with your beauty and your might, I hope the world is kind to you in the coming year. Thanks for smiling. ~Bard
Taking a brief break from the heavy diet of reviews I’ve been dishing out, today I’m lingering a bit on that supremely homoerotic wrestling hold, face-to-crotch headscissors.
I’m sure I’ve mused about this hold before, but I’m too lazy to look it up. So I’ll probably repeat myself when I say that my heart pumps harder in my chest when a straight forward pro wrestling story suddenly introduces face-to-crotch scissors. If you buy that all of pro wrestling can easily be read as an extended homoerotic innuendo, face-to-crotch sort of slaps down the implied erotic subtext and steps at least one toe over the line into straight up homoerotic text.
How wrestlers carry it off, of course, can significantly add to eroticism. I suppose it’s possible to snap your thighs around another man’s head with that up close look at your balls in his face and it be solely about punishment and wrestling victory. But I love watching a wrestler snap shut that bear trap and then enjoy it, openly, luxuriantly, expansively. When someone on the delivery side of this hold pumps his glutes and shoves his hips forward with a little enthusiasm, when he milks the moment with pulsing flexed muscles beating out a morse code of agony from the gasping grunts of his opponent, when he stares down his own hot body and smiles at the sight of his opponent owned and getting primed for sucking cock, when he closes his eyes and leans his head way, way back and that look of an impending orgasm washes across his face, there’s nothing coded about this. This is hot, homoerotic wrestling gold.
The catcher can certainly connect the dots as well. Regardless of who ends up on top after all is said and done, I love it when a captured hunk’s eyes roam hungrily up and down his captors body above him. He doesn’t need to, but if he stretches his hands up and strokes those crushing thighs, the rippling abs, stretching so far as to palm the bulging pecs of his tormentor, it conveys what I’m silently thinking deep inside at that moment. A smothered grappler doesn’t have to, but if he’s man enough to nuzzle the balls bearing down on his face, fuck, maybe even open wide and give the trickster’s treats a hearty lick, it just puts the exclamation point on what this hold conveys from the start: wrestling persistently implies homoerotic intimacy.
When the camera angles and storytelling are just right, face-to-crotch headscissors shine a spotlight on one man’s bulging package, bringing his entire, tasty physique into the mix, making even that swelling muscle of passion a part of the corporal domination of another man. For me, it isn’t even so much about the oral sexual implications, as much as it signals that every magnificent inch of a wrestler’s hot body is engaged in dominating his opponent. Hell, when wrestling companies choose to transition from explicit wrestling to explicit sex, I typically push rewind. Because what’s getting me off is the homoeroticism of the wrestling, not the wrestling as foreplay for sex.
I suppose it isn’t such a far distance between why I’m such a fan of face-to-crotch headscissors as I am a fanatic for my favorite pro wrestling hold, the over-the-knee backbreaker. Both draw my eye to one wrestler’s bulging package. Both center the frame on the outline of a bulging cock and the ballast of balls. Both seem ripe with the erotic potential marrying gay sensibilities and a pro wrestling kink. Both make my pulse pound in anticipation of what happens next to, or with, or on behalf of one wrestler’s swollen pipe.
I sometimes find it ironic that this blog attracts so many visitors thanks to the still frames I include, because it’s the story in and around any one captured slice of time in a wrestling match that tantalizes and titillates me. It’s not any one frozen image that becomes the perfect muse to my erotic imagination, but the drama played out in motion, the slow contraction of muscles, the arching agony in a lower back, the quivering pouch, the writhing feet futilely kicking the mat. I’ve lately talked in terms of “the moneyshot,” meaning that moment in a match at which point I’m likely to climax, but that moment is about the 1,600 seconds before that led up to that moment, the deepening jeopardy of one man, the swelling confidence of another, the bodies growing wet with sweat over time, the veins swelling and pumping harder with blood from the effort and the adrenaline of competition. I get off plenty to face-to-crotch headscissors, but I’m never just getting off to face-to-crotch headscissors.
If there is one valuable analog of face-to-crotch headscissors, I think its the comfort a wrestling company has with the homoerotic eye of their gay audience. In scanning for face-to-crotch headscissors images across several platforms for this post, I found them concentrated in just a couple producers’ catalogs. And I think they play a part in direct proportion to how explicitly companies market to those of us in the audience tuning in and ponying up because we are sexually turned on by wrestling. Of course, face-to-crotch headscissors aren’t the only way of crossing the line from homoerotic subtext to homoerotic text. Hell, they probably aren’t even the best way. But from a strictly correlational perspective, I think they show up in proportion to how much I (at least) perceive of a producer as appreciative of and comfortable with me, as a gay man, watching their wrestling products as a means of sexual gratification.
So probably a close second as my favorite wrestling hold is face-to-crotch headscissors, because when they’re done wrong, they can reveal a whole host of troubled self-hatred bubbling beneath a veneer of nohomo bravado, but when they’re done right, I feel respected as a gay wrestling fan, drawn into the intimacy of homoerotic combat, and turned on hard.
Having recently moved, I’m getting accustomed to a lot of new things. The weatherman keeps reporting on “thund-uh-stoams.” There are apparently 100 ticks for every human being in the region. And it’s fucking hot.
That last part makes me rethink my decision to ignore places with swimming pools in my housing search when I moved here a month and a half ago. I’ve always thought of pools as a pain in the ass. And, honestly, this climate calls for outdoor pools no more than about 25% of the year, so it seemed like a waste. But damn. It’s fucking hot.
I’m sure I’ve posted here about my ambivalence about the swimming pool genre in homoerotic wrestling, but I’m too lazy right now to look it up for you (did I mention how hot it is?). So let me just reiterate. On the con side, pool wrestling too often submerges more than half of the available eye candy. Upper bodies are privileged as the only thing we can see most of the time (and neglecting attention to hot legs is another, more global complaint I make often). There’s probably about 80% of wrestling holds that just don’t translate to a pool. A Boston crab would likely lead to manslaughter charges.
But on the other end of the ambivalent spectrum, I love wet muscles. On that point, sweat, shower scenes, and oil wrestling tweak the same kink in me that pool wrestling does. There’s also something inherently playful about pool wrestling. Watching homoerotic wrestlers do it, it certainly appears to take many of them back to the same days of juvenile, carefree summers getting yelled at for horsing around in and around the pool, playfully bullying chums by seeing who can dunk the other, games of chicken, perched on top of each others’ shoulders and seeing who can topple whom.
While I couldn’t stand an exclusive diet of homoerotic wrestling in the pool, like fresh corn on the cob and the sweetest of watermelons, it’s a seasonal treat that can work for me. Though I have to say I prefer it to conclude with bronzed bodies baking in the sun, making out naked poolside.
Every so often I find myself in a conversation with another wrestling fan about what makes homoerotic wrestling “gay.” I’m not in the camp that would argue that all wrestling is particularly homoerotic. I’ve seen some wrestling that I would classify as thoroughly and tragically straight. An occasional wrestling match explicitly marketed toward us gay fans of wrestling will even strike me as not gay in the least. Which, of course, raises this persistent and recurring question of what makes some wrestling “gay.” I’ve said in the past that I think it’s the queer eye watching a match that ultimately qualifies (or disqualifies) a wrestling match as homoerotic. Thus, a wrestling match doesn’t have to climax in fellatio or anal penetration for me to find it outstandingly homoerotic. For that matter, I’ve enjoyed watching two wrestlers who I’m pretty damn sure are, on their own time, straight as rulers, engage in entirely non-explicit, classic pro wrestling, and peg my homoerotic meter hard. Then, of course, there’s the distinction between a wrestling match that’s explicitly gay as opposed to a wrestling match that’s homoerotic.
There are a lot of moving parts to deconstructing what makes a particular wrestling match gay (or straight, for that matter). But I recently found myself arguing that one component that transforms wrestling into homoeroticism (and not just being gay), is that iconic barometer of male erotic attention: the erection. I’ll add it to my swelling collection of homoerotic wrestling if I get hard watching it. Even faster, I’ll drop it in the “homoerotic” side of the equation the moment I see one of the wrestlers sprout wood.
I’ve had a few conversations with experienced, gay professional wrestlers from BG East about the topic of erections in the ring (or on the mats). Clearly, the heat of competition, the conspicuousness of a camera crew, or perhaps the camera itself can be a cold shower to gay wrestlers who happily report getting hugely turned on by wrestling on their own time, but don’t quickly rise to the occasion when the cameras are rolling. But thankfully, the pro wrestling erection is not all that hard to find at all, and I send up a little cheer and prayer of gratitude to the homoerotic gods every time I spot one.
I’m definitely not a size queen, but it is true that more massively endowed members are more readily spotted, particularly when the trunks are still on. And I really love what a big, growing, stretching, swelling cock looks like straining at the seams of beautifully snug wrestling gear. It’s often (not always) value added for me when a raging erection is openly acknowledged and a full-on plot device in a wrestling match. That said, there’s something poignantly, intensely erotic about the unmentioned special guest that shows up unannounced, obviously born of an unspoken, deep down, honest to the wrestling gods erotic enthusiasm for muscle pounding wrestling.
So, sure, I could conceive of wrestling that’s gay and yet not all that homoerotic (though just knowing that wrestlers are gay likely tips the scales on my side of the screen). And I treasure many wrestling matches between ostensibly straight wrestlers who, nevertheless, crank my erotic fantasies with both (all four) hands hard. But a surefire element that never fails to make me claim a wrestling match as my kind is a hard, bulging, visibly swelling erection (preferably two or more) that stands as a living, weeping embodiment of what has made wrestling an erotic obsession of mine all my life: it’s a fucking fantastic turn on.
A few months ago, I sent an email to Bard asking if perhaps he would like to be interviewed for his website. To see if we could get a deeper glimpse into the man who has provided us with such great blogging material since 2009. A way for him to express himself in an entirely new way – where perhaps he is not totally in control. An innocuous request, which I thought might pique Bard’s interest. It did. – AH.
AH: You have been blogging since 2009, and you’re still going strong. Congratulations! What do you think has been the secret to your success and longevity?
Bard: Thanks, AH. My focus and productivity with Neverland has waxed and waned in the nearly 6 years I’ve been blogging. I think the biggest factor in my longevity is that this is a labor of love. Homoerotic wrestling is honestly something I enjoy immensely. I’m thinking about and talking about it a lot, so putting some of those thoughts into print for the blog doesn’t feel exactly like work. I also think that I’ve kept churning out posts by switching things up every so often. From my “what turned me gay” series to “name that ass” games and wrestler interviews, I’ve tried to keep things fresh and fun for me. Hopefully that comes across to readers, and hopefully it’s fun for them, as well.
AH: You keeping your blog fresh and fun definitely comes across to me, and I hope to all your other readers as well. I have especially enjoyed when you have had polls included in your posts. Do you have a favorite recurring post that you’ve enjoyed the most?
Bard: I’m glad it’s stayed fresh for readers. Particularly early on, I really didn’t know who my audience was, and even still, I’m not always sure how my stuff is received. So it’s nice to hear when it’s clicking for folks. One of the series that I think I enjoyed more than anyone else did was the “Guess that…” games. It started with “Guess that Ass,” but there were also some “Guess that Tat” and “Guess that Cock” episodes. I love puzzles, so putting those together was probably way more fun for me than for readers. I think my other favorite recurring series was the “What Turned Me Gay” sequence I did in the first couple of years of blogging. It was autobiographical and an honest examination of what I’ve found erotic over the years, with a heavy hit of social commentary and sarcasm. If I had to sum up my blog in one sentence,that would probably be the sentence.
AH: When you are watching a match that you plan on reviewing, what is the process that you go through?
Bard: Well, first of all, I grab the lube. But, that’s probably not what you meant. I sit down with my iPad in front of me and push play. I typically watch for purely descriptive stuff to start with. What are they wearing? What’s the setting? Then I spend some time listening closely. Regular readers know what a sucker I am for compelling dialogue in the ring, so I listen for the story that the wrestlers tell when they first encounter each other. Are they appreciating each other’s physiques? Are they trash talking? How do they make sense of this familiar moment when two ripped hunks climb into a ring and throw everything they’ve got at beating and dominating one another? What’s in it for them: ego strokes, erotic attraction, an honest lust for competition? I try to take notes on the the highlights of the action, particularly the parts that impress or surprise me. But, sooner or later, inevitably, I put the iPad down and pull out that lube. It’s an extremely rare homoerotic wrestling match that doesn’t make me need to get off if I spend enough time watching it.
AH: I think I need to be invited to a viewing party at Bard’s house! I’ll bring the lube! I tend to look over pictures and see if there are moves that grab my attention. Gear is definitely a big plus in my book, too. I go back and forth on the dialogue; sometimes I think it enhances a match, sometimes I think it hinders it. Is there one type of match that is your “default” for watching, or does it depend on the mood? Seems like you’re big into the muscle worshiping and eroticism of matches more than the moves/wrestlers themselves
Bard: Fascinating that your impression is that I’m less into the moves and wrestlers and more into eroticism! I wouldn’t necessarily have said that. For example, I’m like a dog with a bone when it comes to an OTK backbreaker, or to a hot wrestler getting trapped in the ropes. A flying dropkick, relatively rare in homoerotic wrestling circles, is a sensational turn on for me. My moods swing me toward ring matches more often that mat matches, so the ring would probably be a “default” setting for me. My moods also tilt me toward matches with some back and forth momentum and at least a pretense of competitiveness about it. So, while I occasionally get a hankering for a sweet, crushing, humiliating squash, a competitive match would be my default setting for what I’m typically looking for. All that said, I get bored pretty fast on a complete diet of relatively straightforward, G-rated wrestling with no explicit and very little implicit erotic content. I can tune into mainstream pro for that. So even if it doesn’t have nudity or making out or fuck stakes involved, I’m very partial to wrestling that gives at least a nod to the homoerotic sensibilities of our audience.
AH: Perhaps my impression was on purpose, Bard….to get a rise out of you! You’ll never know! My go-to move for any match is any variation on the sleeper. Pass the lube if that occurs. You mentioned mainstream pro wrestling; to the best of my knowledge, you’ve never mentioned any pro wrestlers/pro wrestling on your blog. Is that again because of your audience, or is it because like you say in the about me portion of your blog, “devoted to contemplating in excruciating detail the world of homoerotic wrestling”?
Bard: You provocateur! I heartily approve. Early on in my blogging I talked about my complicated relationship with mainstream pro wrestling. I’ve posted about my major, youthful crush on muscle hunk Billy Jack Haynes in my “What Turned Me Gay” series. And I think I have some early posts about the classic vintage Brit pro Keith Hawarth. And, hell, the banner for Neverland is the fantasyman himself, Tommy Zenk. But I grew disenchanted with watching contemporary mainstream pro over a decade ago when it kept striking me as blatantly homophobic. Throughout most of my blogging, I’ve enjoyed reading other bloggers who keep their eyes on straight up pro, like Beefcake’s of Wrestling, Ringside at Skull Island and Inner Jobber. But I find wrestling explicitly for gay eyes to be just as entertaining, more titillating, and much less of a moral dilemma to enjoy, so I spend most of my viewing and blogging time on the more gay-forward homoerotic wrestling companies.
AH: I’m sorry. Obviously I didn’t do my research. Since you mentioned other bloggers there have many multiple blogs and bloggers on the subject of homoerotic and underground wrestling pop up in the ensuing years since 2009. How do you feel about that?
Bard: Hell, I forget half of what I’ve written, so I certainly don’t expect anyone else to have my entire 6 years of blogging memorized. I think it’s fabulous that there are a number of homoerotic wrestling blogs. The old Rants, Roids & Wrestling blog was just shutting down as I was starting up. I loved the artwork and storytelling there. Joe started Ringside at Skull Island about 6 months before my blog, and I’ve always enjoyed Joe’s take on the scene. And of course Wrestling Arsenal is a classic that’s been around forever and has a fantastic, unique voice and angle all his own. There have been times when I’ve been just about to post something when I discover someone else (usually Joe) has already reviewed it, said it, asked it. But honestly, I think it’s fantastic that there are several voices out there, a lot of different perspectives and tastes reflecting much more of the diversity of homoerotic wrestling than any one of us could by ourselves.
AH: What do you think of wrestlers having more of a Social Media presence than ever before?
Bard: I think it’s the future of entertainment of any kind, including the homoerotic wrestling business. Pro wrestling is as much driven by personality as it is by athleticism or hot bodies. We have more access to interact with and know about the people in our lives, and social media has given us the opportunity to build the illusion that public personalities are “people in our lives.” So, anonymous guys with hot bodies showing up in a ring, wrestling with more or less skill, and then disappearing from view is much less compelling these days than wrestlers turning us on in action and then populating our Twitter and Facebook feeds with photos and attitude and the illusion that their professional character is part of our social network. Wrestlers like Ty Alexander, Kayden Keller, Ethan Andrews and Cameron Matthews have done great work at the sell in and out of the ring. I know fans enjoy seeing them in social media, and I strongly suspect that those who exploit that fan experience beyond the confines of a particular wrestling product will only literally sell more products. And have you seen the number of photos that Ty posts of his ass!? Fuck, that guy is working it with a vengeance!
AH: True. There have been plenty of wrestlers, through all of the homoerotic sites that have been “one and done” – they have the great bodies, but if the personality is not there or they don’t sell for the camera and draw the audience in, they are not featured again. It does give us a kind of “behind the scenes” look at some wrestlers. However, don’t you also think that there could also be some fatigue with specific wrestlers who appear over and over again combined with their increasing online presence?
Bard: My thinking has evolved on that question over my time blogging. Early on, I was pretty harsh on wrestlers who seemed to show up everywhere at the same time. I took some swipes at Cameron Matthews and Rio Garza a few years ago when both of them were showing up in simultaneous new releases across two, sometimes three different companies, sometimes even wrestling the same opponents across promotions. I still think that repackaging the same match-ups across promotions is bad for consumers, and my hunch is that there’s probably some corporate intrigue about the choice of a producer to tape and release copycat matches at the same time. Like, what’s the wisdom of releasing at the same time Rio and Jobe wrestling each other in the ring in two different matches? But I think instant downloads and social media are sensitizing us to a faster pace of information and exposure to wrestlers. And, frankly, I’ve simply found myself charmed and titillated by popular wrestlers like Cameron, Jonny, Drake and Ethan inhabiting multiple platforms, giving us long-form text, photos, and videos alongside of snapshot status updates to construct 3-dimensional characters in and out of the ring. Getting more access to these sensational wrestling characters has actually increased my anticipation and excitement for their new releases. There may be fan-fatigue for some wrestling consumers, but these days I see multi-platform promotion for wrestlers to be compelling. Now if we could just get Drake to update his fucking blog [laughing].
AH: Haha, there you go bashing Drake again. Can’t you leave the poor guy alone? Are you trying to get fans to sympathize with poor Drake? I didn’t want to name names earlier (cough Austin/Frey cough) about showing up across different companies and multiple matches a month, but hey, he must be doing something right in the eyes of the people producing and shelling out the products. And he is not the only one. It does seem to make it harder for a rookie to get noticed and make a lasting impression, although I have to say that 2015 was a particularly strong year for them (at least for me.) with Chet, Biff, Van Skyler, etc.
Bard: I do like the increased social media presence of some of the wrestlers you mentioned, although like new releases, they are updated rather infrequently. I think that actually works in their favor, as it keeps the audience salivating until there is a new post, a new video, new pictures.
AH: Since we’re talking about wrestlers populating social media, what are your thoughts on all the bloggers talking about homoerotic wrestling
Bard: Oh, can’t forget Austin Cooper! His heel work at BG East in particular is crazy good. But regarding other bloggers, I have tons of respect and take a lot of enjoyment in all of them. There was a period where I was diligently reading everybody and intentionally cross promoting other blogs, but I just ran out of time to stay on top of that. I still visit Beefcakes of Wrestling several times a week to check the mainstream pros I ought to be looking up on Youtube. I check in on Ringside frequently, now that Joe’s back at it again, particularly for a glimpse at some of the promotions that I don’t really follow. Alex is always sensational, and his work at The Cave is a great mix of sensational writing and inspiring reviews. I think each of the bloggers with an eye on homoerotic wrestling have unique perspectives, different things that draw their attention or spark their interest. And that’s what I like about blogging as a format. It lets us step inside someone else’s head for a moment and recognize the arousing and provocative things that we may not see on our own.
AH: Seems like each blog has a corner of the homoerotic wrestling scene all to themselves. I love it when multiple bloggers discuss and dissect the same match as it leads to differing views and makes me want to watch the match again trying to hopefully see it through a new lens. Before finding all of these blogs, I never thought that all of these posts would be so arousing!! I just thought the videos and pictures would turn me on. Glad to be proven wrong. So you have your avatar on your blog that shows off that chest and gives a glimpse of your abs. You’ve let your audience into your mind – but you have left the rest of your body and self, vague. Is that intentional on your part?
Bard: When I started blogging, I didn’t have a clear picture of exactly what I wanted the blog to be. But I did feel committed to make it relatively confessional as a gay man strongly turned on by wrestling. With an interest in a frank discussion of eroticism, I decided that I’d feel freer to be blunt and honest about my sexual turn-ons if I were relatively anonymous otherwise. One of the greatest things about blogging has been hearing from guys who say, “I’ve had the same experiences, but thought I must be the only one!” But I don’t know if I’d ever have had the balls to dig down to those moments of homoerotic confessional truth, to talk about some of those things that many of us experience but may seldom discuss with friends and family that don’t get it, if I thought that my mom or my boss might stumble across my words. These days, I think of that avatar I use like a wrestling mask in the pro ring. There’s something that it hides, but there’s something that it frees to be seen, to be more open and passionately me as well. And, quite honestly, over time I’ve discovered that there are some relatively unhinged people in the webosphere who take all of this way, way too seriously, who I really wouldn’t want to know me in any more detail than what I share on the blog.
AH: Very well said. I was quite late to the game in finding homoerotic wrestling sites and blogs dedicated to it. But once I did, I had that “Aha” moment, where I was like I am not the only one who likes this stuff! And we thank you for digging down deep, through your anonymity, to bring us your fresh take on these subjects that so strongly turn you on. I hope this interview does not provoke any unhinged people out there to search either of us out.
Bard: Some guys are extremely… passionate… about their opinions about homoerotic wrestling. It’s a fine line between passionate/playful and unhinged, but there is a line, I think.
AH:Rock Hard dabbled in luche style masks I believe once in their history (although it was obvious who the combatants were) and BG East has had masked wrestlers as well. Do you ever watch lucha wrestling videos on youtbube or know that history, or were you just using the wrestling mask as a metaphor to prove your point?
Bard: I am familiar with lucha wrestling and some of the standard parts of the lucha mystique as it relates to masks and unmasking. Mostly, I was speaking metaphorically, though.
AH: So, 2016 is a momentous year. We have a Presidential election as well as the Olympics. Who would you put on the Mount Rushmore of homoerotic wrestling?
Bard: Yowza, that’s a challenging question. Coincidentally I traveled to Mr. Rushmore just last summer. I found it oddly underwhelming. But if I were to select 4 faces to get carved into stone as pivotal people in homoerotic history, I’d definitely start with Kid Leopard. I think BG East has been uniquely shaped by his vision and commitment to homoerotic wrestling, and I think BG East has, in turn, uniquely shaped the entire industry. Honestly, I think if anyone else’s face was carved next to him, Kid Leopard’s visage would pummel him. Who else is as iconic? Maybe Ron Sexton of Can-Am. I have no idea what he looks like, though, so I’m not sure if anyone would recognize him. But I think of him as, perhaps more than anyone else, bringing together the two worlds of wrestling and porn in ways that completely laid the groundwork for the likes of Naked Kombat. If pressed, I think perhaps a third face to carve into the Mr. Rushmore of homoerotic wrestling might be Steve Sterling. Bodybuilders in homoerotic wrestling are a mainstay these days, but I think of Steve as one of the first, if not the first, legitimate, incredibly muscled, competition bodybuilders to bring serious, aesthetic, massive physiques into the homoerotic wrestling fan’s immediate gaze. As for a fourth “founding father,” I’m sort of stumped. I think I’ll put Scott Williams’ face in that final spot. Not because he fundamentally shaped the industry at all. Just because I think he’s fucking handsome as hell, and I’d pay the price of admission to get to see that sensational jawline literally carved in stone.
AH: Shit, I am getting into my car and driving directly to your Mt Rushmore of homoerotic wrestling! Where do you think this art form goes from here? There has definitely been an evolution, one you know better than me, about homoerotic wrestling. Now, you don’t need to wait a period of time for that “package” to arrive in the mail – you can instantly stream/download a match from just about any wrestler, any promotion, at any moment (and get a shock when you get your credit card statement too). Mr. Firestorm has dabbled in newer matches (with the google-glasses bird’s eye view, and his choose your own adventure style match against your personal friend Drake); do you think that is the way to go – where it seems the audience has more of a say in what goes on in matches, or should we leave it to the people behind the scenes who have crafted gold into our memories for so long
Bard: I think there’s value added in both consumer directed products as well as the fare that established wrestling producers know how to put together so well. The custom and fan-choice matches scratch that great, postmodern itch of breaking down some of the barriers between viewers and the action, which I think is sensational. It’s also why I love behind the scenes glimpses and the online presence of some homoerotic wrestling personalities these days. It pokes holes in that wall that divides the passive viewing fan from the extremely active, intense, visceral nature of wrestling. However, 9 times out of 10, I’d let Kid Leopard pick a sexy hot pairing for a sweaty, high flying, low down ring match drama and be confident I’d be 100% entertained. I love the unexpected. I love to be surprised and shocked by how a match turns or by the depths to which wrestlers will go to dominate. So I certainly wouldn’t want everything to be a Chinese menu of homoerotic wrestling choices. Some producers have a fantastic eye and taste for this that takes me places I’d never know that I need to go.
AH: Once again Bard, fantastic analysis; That’s the great thing about this subject and others like it – it’s so open for discussion and debate. Do you have any last rumblings and grumblings you’d like to share that perhaps you haven’t yet voiced in your blog yet?
Bard: I think the only other thing I’d pontificate about today is one that many readers have heard before from me and from others. I regularly get comments to my blog with pointed, often personal, frequently crass criticisms of wrestlers. Most often the ones that really trigger me are the personal attacks on wrestlers’ bodies, like someone is too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too whatever and so somehow deserves disrespect. On the one hand, I’m at the front of the line when it comes to loving and leaning into the fantasy of professional wrestling. When wrestlers belittle each other and heap trash talking contempt upon one another’s physiques and appearance, I can understand why fans would turn to social media and comment logs to participate in the same sort of posturing. However, as many can probably attest to, I do my best to censor those types of comments out of the comment pages on my blog. I know this pisses some readers off. But I just have to say, again here today, that this practice of trashing wrestlers with personal attacks feels a lot like me inviting a whole bunch of friends over, and having one of the guests in my own home trashing and attacking another of my guests. I know you’ve got your opinions, and I know many of you aren’t shy about expressing the highly critical ones. But no. Not in my house. Not aimed at my friends.
Because that’s what’s happened as I’ve been blogging over the years. I’ve had the great privilege of meeting many of the wrestlers who I’m completely infatuated with. And it’s a mind fuck to actually sit down and talk with a stud puppy who, perhaps just the day before, I was pounding out a screaming climax to while watching him wrestle on my screen. And while I have zero problem getting off again and again to the wrestling work of these hunks I’ve got to meet in person, I just can’t behave as if these wrestlers are somehow not real people who deserve common human decency and respect. A few of them I’m particularly privileged to count among my friends, and I take that seriously. So not liking a match they’re in, or offering the critique about something they wear, or what you wish they’d done to a particular opponent is fantastic by me. But body shaming them, or calling them losers, or questioning their intelligence, or assessing them as worthless is crossing a line.
So, like I said, readers have heard this from me before, but in closing, I’d just say it again. Keep it classy. This little corner of the world inhabited by gay guys with a particular thing for getting off on wrestling is probably bigger than most of us might have originally thought it was, but we shouldn’t take for granted the balls it takes for wrestlers to strip down, gear up, and put their bodies on the line for this community of ours. I know for a fact that there are homoerotic wrestlers who have been shamed and punished when they’ve had friends, family or coworkers discover they’ve wrestled for a gay audience. That’s shitty. But the last thing they should also face is that very audience shaming or harassing them out of petty cattiness.
Anyway, I officially step back off my soap box and thank you, AH, for turning the tables on me and interviewing me for a change. It was a fascinating experience to be on the other side of the questions!
AH: No, thank you very much, Bard. The honor was all mine, and thank you for agreeing to do this!
My tradition for many years was to publish some original wrestling fiction here at neverland to ring in a happy New Year. Now, most of the wrestling fiction I’ve written has starred known homoerotic wrestlers, celebrities, male models, etc., but for my New Year’s canon I always indulged in writing myself into the narratives. Making quick work of one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’m posting a new homoerotic wrestling scenario here over the next few days in serial format. While everyone involved in this narrative is a real life hunk, let me just clarify that this is a work of fiction. Fans of any of these fine men, cut me a break. It’s all imagination and fun (for me). If your homoerotic wrestling imagination makes you picture this scenario completely differently, don’t send me your hate mail, just sit your ass down and write (and share!) your own original wrestling fiction! And most importantly, have a happy New Year, wrestling fans!
To be honest, no one was more surprised by the outcome of my wrestling match with Drake Marcos than I was. Well, Drake was obviously shocked senseless to find himself on the bitter end of an ass whooping by a mere blogger. But with precious little wrestling experience, I fully expected a homoerotic wrestling pro like Drake to take me to school. The handsome industry insider was famously tutored in the harshest realities of hardcore, low down, balls out grappling by none other than The Boss of BG East himself. Drake wears his spine tingling apprenticeship at the hands of nasty, nefarious, notorious classic heel Kid Leopard like a badge of honor. Seriously, he can’t shut up about being the protege and heir apparent to the living legend. He had me pretty well convinced that I was essentially climbing into the BG East ring with Kid Leopard himself, and as a long-time fan, I’m not ashamed to admit I was entirely intimidated and, perhaps, just a little terrified.
I’ve documented that match elsewhere, so I won’t rehash too many of the glorious details. Well, I can’t help myself but savor at least some of the details again here. Suffice it to say that the first two thirds of that late night session in the BG East ring presented me one of the steepest learning curves of my life. Full disclosure, the Cheshire Cat (as I’m fond of calling him) is significantly younger than I am. He’s also taller. And, as I mentioned, he’s more experienced. So it should be little wonder I was out-hustled and punished hard by Drake as the night wore on. Not that I wanted to be anywhere else in the world than stroking his sensational thighs as they crushed my body. He’s long and lean, but the kid’s got incredibly strong (and sexy) legs. True enough, I was choking on the pain, but reaching around and grabbing that meaty ass, staring down that shit eating grin permanently stretched across his handsome face, I was hardly disappointed with my pro wrestling ring initiation thus far.
The lid was completely blown off, however, when I managed to muscle my way free from yet another bear trap. In an upper body comparison, I’ve got the Cheshire Cat beat bad. So although it took some work, I finally broke free and slipped behind the young pro. I may not have had any significant pro wrestling experience, but when it comes to being intimately familiar with the size and scope of the BG East catalog, I’m fucking world class! I’d studied every Drake Marcos match publicly available. I watched this cocky kid going down in flames time after time, and one thing that even a casual homoerotic wrestling scout will tell you is that Drake Marcos gets off on getting choked. Slipping my big bicep across his throat, I tightened up slowly. And right then and there, I was convinced that this whole match had just taken a 180 degree turn. I knew I had the cocky pro all buttoned up the moment I saw his cock crawling up his lower abdomen, stretching the pouch of those tasty, tight pink briefs.
Once I knew just where to apply pressure, I played the Cheshire Cat like strumming a guitar. I felt the heat pulsing off of his body, straining underneath me. He was hating it. And he was loving it. He tried to pry arm away from his throat. Not that I couldn’t easily thwart him, but I swear I could feel it in the way his body sagged against me that despite himself, he didn’t want to be free. He wanted to be in my control. He wanted to get dragged to the edge of consciousness. There were spurts of reluctant fight writhing in my arms, but the writing was on the wall. Drake Marcos was all mine.
Again, the photographic evidence of the fun to be had with a barely conscious, completely crushed homoerotic pro wrestler at your mercy is available elsewhere. Hung like dirty laundry from the ring ropes and turnbuckles, I snapped pics with my phone to savor later, and to document for the homoerotic wrestling world the precipitous fall of a rising pro wrestler. Dragging his hot, sweaty body to the middle of the ring, I claimed one last trophy: a close up photo of those pink briefs ripped off his sexy body and shoved down his throat.
Again, no one should be surprised that after everything was said and done, Drake’s bruised ego desperately tried to spin his humiliating defeat. Online, he claimed my pics were photoshopped. One minute, he was trying to convince his astonished army of fans that this crowing blogger had chloroformed him. The next minute, he was arguing that his split personality betrayed him, and all my pictures were nothing more than evidence that he wasn’t in his right mind around the time he was getting tossed around and tapped out.
I admit it. Watching Drake wriggle and writhe on the line was irresistible. I didn’t need to poke him. It wasn’t necessary for me to rub it in, publicly humiliating him in front of all his wrestler buddies and adoring fans on social media. I didn’t have to have such fun at the Cheshire Cat’s expense. It was just such a fucking pleasure.
Fast forward about a year. I was actually starting to feel sorry for Drake just a little, watching him struggle to come up with some new excuse for how his sweet ass got owned by a blogger. But the biggest surprise of all was getting that email from Kid Leopard, the Boss himself, inviting me to take my infatuation with all things homoerotic wrestling to a whole new level. My besting of his protege clearly hadn’t gone unnoticed. My raging crush on yet another BG East hunk, Trey Dixon, also had not escaped the Boss’ attention. So the Boss had an offer he knew I would be completely incapable of refusing: be a “celebrity” guest referee in a no holds barred ring match between Drake and Trey.