Full Nelson

I always regretted not going into professional wrestling.

When I was a little boy, professional wrestling fascinated me. My parents never watched it, thought it was dumb, and would always change the channel when it was on. But sometimes, late at night after they and my sister had gone to bed, I would find a broadcast after the news, turn the sound down, and watch, completely fascinated. It–and boxing–were some of the few sports where male bodies weren’t completely clothed or padded up; so wrestling was one of the few places my nascent sexuality could satisfy its curiosity about the male body. Muscles, even when I was young, were an obsession; although body building wasn’t taken particularly seriously either and was seen as either ‘gay’ or the province of narcissists. It wasn’t until much later that male bodies were seen as things that could be sculpted into things of beauty in the gym, through diet and exercise; I joked the other day to one of my younger co-workers (oh, please, they’re all younger) that “nowadays with straight boys caring about their bodies and how they look, it’s made things so much more difficult. Back in the 1980’s and 90’s, you could tell someone was gay because they had a great body.”

Of course, part of the gay male body fetishizing was in part a reaction to HIV/AIDS and wasting syndrome; the idea that a worked out, muscular body meant you were healthy. Obviously, that wasn’t necessarily the case; but it was also a way to feel better about yourself, try to make yourself feel positive about yourself in a society and culture where being gay was still a taboo. (While we’ve made a great amount of progress since then, we haven’t come far enough.)

But professional wrestling was kind of like porn for me; when cable television began to get going in the 1980’s I always loved watching Georgia Championship Wrestling on Saturday and Sunday afternoons–Brad Armstrong was a particular favorite of mine, as were the Von Erich brothers–and I kind of wished, fantasized sometimes, that I could become a professional wrestler. I had no idea how one did that; and in those pre-Internet days, it wasn’t exactly easy to find out about training schools and so forth. I also wasn’t built big enough to be a professional wrestler, but it remained a fantasy of mine, and its homoeroticism became a fetish for me; it would be years before I realized that I was not the only gay men with a fetish for wrestling of all kinds, not just the professional kind.

I discovered gay wrestling videos in the early 1990’s, in the days when you had to send away for catalogues and the only way to hook up with other guys into wrestling was to join a list (the name of which I cannot remember) that was mailed out and updated periodically; you either called people or you wrote them letters and corresponded with them. How quaint, right? I met some guys who were into wrestling that way; but these were guys who’d actually wrestled collegiate/Olympic style in high school or college. I hadn’t–while I enjoyed going to wrestling meets as a teenager to see those great, hard-muscles bodies in those lycra, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination singlets, I was always terrified in high school that someone might figure out that I was actually gay and I didn’t trust myself to come in that close of contact with another boy and not get an erection. (Of course, I laugh at that fear now; with all the pictures of high school and collegiate wrestlers during matches with erections. But it was a definite fear when I was a teen…) So, without any actual training in collegiate-style wrestling I was never much of a match; and it really wasn’t any fun for either of us.

My first BGEast wrestling tape I ever owned was from the Fantasymen series; Fantasymen 5, to be exact: Jose v. Gino Ponti; Cruze v. Jake Tucker; Psycho Capone v. Jay Austin; and Psycho Capone v. Pete Reynolds. This was everything I’d been looking for for erotic stimulation–wrestling, and guys with amazing bodies. (My only complaint about professional wrestling back in the day was that the bodies weren’t all fantastic; I was a bit of a body fascist when it came to my fantasies, even though I wasn’t in my day-to-day life, when it came to hook-ups and so forth.) All of the matches were great, but for some reason the Cruze-Jake Tucker match hit all of my buttons. They both had great bodies, they both were wearing skimpy gear, and they were both incredibly handsome in the face. Tucker was playing up the cowboy angle, and his accented drawl and perfectly round ass…yeah, perfect: definitely fantasy men.

I recently rented the match again on the BGEast Arena; I hadn’t seen it in years–the videotape having since gone the way of the LP and the 45 record. It still holds up; there is chemistry between the two of a sort, and it’s still stimulating.

Standards of male beauty, at least for gay men, have remained static for some time; with slight variations–hairy vs not hairy, twink vs lean vs more thickly muscled–and the relationship to my own body has also varied. I am naturally very hairy, and always have been. My chest and abdomen are covered in hair, as are my legs and my butt, and as I’ve gotten older it’s started sprouting on my back and shoulders. Back in the day I used to shave it all off; again, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped. Every once in a while I’ll trim my torso hair down, to get an idea of my level of fitness; thick pelts tend to hide the muscles, so I will trim so I can see if my abs are still there or if I need to focus on diet/cardio some more.

Trimmed:

cropped-cagethunderportrait.jpg

Not so trimmed:

0402_lg

Right now, I’m in need of trimming, which I will do later today to assess where I am at physically.

As I became more familiar with BGEast and its wrestlers, and as the Internet made it more possible and easier to connect with other guys into wrestling, I began to slowly dip into the world of private pro wrestling. I wasn’t in a position to travel much, and so it wasn’t easy to actually meet up with guys I’d talk to on-line…there are still guys on-line I’ve been talking to for years that I’ve never met and wrestled. But I also assumed that I had aged out of any chance to wrestle for BGEast. As my books began to get published and I started doing book tours–on a small scale–I was able to meet guys who were also into wrestling and have some matches. But I was still a novice, not only to wrestling but to connecting with guys on-line. My personals ads on wrestling websites never seemed to get me many matches–but I also didn’t have a space to wrestle in New Orleans at home, either.

And when I started chatting with Kid Leopard on-line after Hurricane Katrina–which was one of those life-altering events; when you lose almost everything you realize how tenuous and short life is, and why not try for things you want to do? One thing led to another, and in the spring of 2006 I flew to Fort Lauderdale to tape my first match for BGEast.

So my dream of being a professional wrestler, which had combined with the fantasy of taping for BGEast, was about to come true.

 

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