Why wrestling porn fills an important sexual niche in our lives.

Why Wrestling Porn Fills an Important Sexual Niche in Our Lives

Why Wrestling Porn Fills an Important Sexual Niche in Our Lives

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Dec. 23 2015 12:39 PM

Why Wrestling Porn Fills an Important Sexual Niche in Our Lives

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An August 2015 gravy-wrestling match in Bacup, England.

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Ultimate Surrender, an 11-year-old sex-wrestling site owned by Kink.com, got a fascinating profile in Vocativ on Tuesday. In each video posted to the site, two women fight with a combination of traditional wrestling holds and sexual maneuvers. The winner gets to sexually dominate the loser in the fourth round of each match; writer Charlotte Shane calls it “UFC porn.”

The concept of wrestling-as-porn plays on both the traditional trappings of BDSM and the inherent eroticism of contact sports. There’s nipple torture, spanking, and exposed flesh, plus headlocks, bulging muscles, knee braces, and a bell for the victor. “The quickest way to win,” the Ultimate Surrender site advises, “is to make your opponent have a screaming orgasm totally against her will.” So, not so different from regular wrestling? Shane writes:

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That combat sports readily lend themselves to eroticization is hardly news. The Olympics of Greek antiquity prominently featured wrestling, boxing and pankration (a sort of latter day MMA). In a seeming nod to the audience’s sexual voyeurism, clothing was eventually done away with and experts have argued that the events were “all about watching naked men.”

Wrestling evokes such strong associations with actual sex that there’s even a third option between the sport in the Olympics and the stuff of subscription porn sites: wrestling in mud, jello, and lube. One of my first-ever trips to a lesbian bar was for jello-wrestling night at Washington, D.C.’s Phase 1, a beloved monthly event that sometimes seemed to keep the bar open on its own. San Francisco’s lube-coated version, Go Deep!, has been a popular nightlife sport for queer women for years. In a world where most porn—especially “lesbian” porn—features skinny, submissive, giggling women with long fake nails that would make plenty of actual lesbians wince in pain, there’s a hefty appetite for representation of women who do the manhandling in pursuit of their own pleasure and domination. And sex wrestling is a nice counterpoint to classic BDSM porn, which often casts a clear dom or top opposite a sub or bottom. The sight of two highly athletic individuals using considerable strength to struggle for “top” billing is both erotic and an impressive physical spectacle—like football, or women’s rugby. 

Ultimate Surrender director Ariel X tells Vocativ that the site’s matches aren’t “a couple of porn girls flailing around on a mat pretending.” Straight-up wrestling is just as central to the site’s raison d’être as the sex acts; there are training regimens, stringent rules, scoring charts, and player stats. Given the high public-health standards of the porn industry, the floor is probably cleaner than the average gym mat, too. All that's missing are the singlets.