Friday, October 17, 2008

Narrative Structure in Wrestling Kink

I have no idea what I’m doing, but recently I’ve undertaken two projects involving my lifelong obsession with the eroticism of wrestling—of all kinds: catch-as-catch-can, freestyle, submission, oil, even (for me, anyway) women’s—with the pointed exception of the WWE, whose roster of citrus-colored Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons has no allure for me.

The first of these is a new blog—Ringside at Skull Island: Hardboiled Wrestling Kink—an attempt to blend my passions for wrestling and hardboiled detective stories. (I have long been of the opinion that KISS ME DEADLY would be vastly improved with a wrestling scene involving Ralph Meeker and some strapping Sunset Blvd. gunsel.)

The second of these, which I’ve been pursuing a bit longer, is a running wrestling adventure fantasy a fellow fan in Sonoma, California, and I have been cowriting in alternating episodes—a tale of a young straight dude trying to get to his girlfriend’s cabin in the low Sierras, despite being madly pursued by an effete yet straight-identified LA executive who moonlights as a serial killer—not much of a plot, really, but periodically hotted up with highly improbable (and extremely brutal) wrestling matches between the main characters (the waiting girlfriend has yet to show her face—nor, apparently, does she have a name).

What I have discovered so far is rather interesting, though not particularly surprising, still worth summarizing here:

The eroto-wrestling fantasy, like softcore and hardcore porn, requires little plot and less characterization.

Excessive physical detail and personality traits have, in fact, a negative effect on the fantasy’s hotness. Interior monologue has a tendency to bring the fantasy to a shrieking halt.

Even elaborate detailing of physical traits (beyond simple and highly conventional signifiers like “hairy” or “swimmer’s build” or “young”) detract from the allure—slowing down the action and interfering with the readers’ ability to cast favorite movie stars and athletes or nostalgically recollected boyhood heroes.

Minimal dialogue should take the form of barked-out challenges, insults, and humiliating concessions.

Usually the participants are straight—or straight-identified (an altogether different thing)—or pre-gay (not yet sexually active or socialized as “gay”).

Fucking (actual fucking) is relatively rare, almost always deemed unnecessary—like icing on a pound cake. If it occurs at all, it occurs as mutual masturbation among straight buddies, all innocence, or, more perversely, in elaborate rape fantasies involving bondage and discipline or (in our story, anyway) virtual necrophilia (don’t ask).

Unsurprisingly, the focus should be on strong action verbs, and subjectless sentences (“Slams my face to his knee”), which provide no mediation to the hot, strenuous, and intense rolling, slugging, sweating, heaving, grinding, gouging, etc.

The hottest wrestling scenes tend to occur outside the ring and off the mats—outdoor and swimming-pool battles are particularly popular.

One sees this tendency in pro wrestling, as well, since one longstanding device for upping a match’s excitement is to have the opponents tough it out outside the ring ropes, away from the meddling interference of a ref and official rules.

A true sign of the fetish nature of my obsession with wrestling is that it is not limited to participants I would otherwise find physically attractive. Lady wrestlers, midgets, animals, children, the elderly, and cartoons—if engaged in sufficiently solemn rough-housing, all are a turn-on.

I recall my earliest sex fantasies as a child involved Mighty Mouse kicking feline butt—then Johnny Weismuller’s doughy but curiously hot Tarzan—giant crocodile wrestling was a special delight (note to Dr Freud).

Both the 1933 and 2005 versions of King Kong have fight scenes between Kong and dinosaurs that I find sexy.

Even Borat’s famous nude wrestling match with his hugely overweight producer does the trick.

And can I be alone in the world in being turned on by the cripple fight between Timmy and Jimmy on Season 5 of South Park?

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