Wrestling Artistry

An interesting blog that I recently discovered and began following is called Mitchmen, the Blog.  The owner of that site is a talented artist himself (here is one of his sexy pencil sketches titled “Athlete Restrained” from his online gallery)

On his blog, he regularly posts and discusses photos, pop art, cartoon drawings, comic book covers, etc. that depict themes of male dominance, muscles, bondage, spanking, and sometimes wrestling.


I noticed some intersection between his tastes and my own, especially when it comes to the wrestling.   So I reached out to him to propose a collaboration.

The Mitchmen blogger is not only an artist, but also an art critic, with an eye for dissecting an image and explaining the subtle cues and stylistic choices that make the image appealing.  So I sent him some photos from old pro wrestling magazines from the 1970s and 80’s (one of my own obsessions I need to confess) and asked him to critique them.  Below are his responses, but first he shared some background about his wrestling tastes…

As you might expect, my early interest in wrestling was triggered by teenage, erotic attraction to men fighting in close physical contact with hardly any clothes on.

I’m not overly keen on biff-bash violence and running around, but I enjoyed the submission-inducing sequences very much.  They involved much more skin to skin contact and were usually carefully constructed and prolonged, creating a profound sense of domination.  They often culminated in forced, unnatural, sexy poses for the dominated man as he slid towards submission/surrender.”

Most recently, however I have found that the ‘stills’ imagery flowing from modern erotic wrestling sites to be incredibly sexy and my passion has been rekindled!

The quality of the images is excellent in comparison to Pro action shots and they don’t usually feature big trunks, knee bandages, or other exotic impedimenta, which have always been passion-killers for me. It’s what I’ve been looking for all my life!”

Now on to the artist’s critiques of two pro wrestling magazine photos I had sent him to review which he very generously took the time to comment on…

“The upwards-looking, ringside viewpoint here (not possible in the ‘mat’ contests of erotic studios of course) is intrinsically intimate.  It also amplifies the distortion of the trapped man’s body, capturing a nice curving torso line that wraps around his opponents thigh and also showing some nice fleshy, muscle bunching on the inside.

A visual fetishistic/S&M flavour comes from his torso being forcibly opened up, defenceless, towards the spectators and although we can’t see any trunk detail there’s a sense of erotic expectancy down there…”

“… A second visual line runs up his free arm and through his shoulders connecting both participant’s faces.

His grimace of pain is actually the most prominent part of the image (erotic in itself) and the eye is naturally drawn along that line up to his opponents face behind him.   

That man’s gritty, determined expression and tensed up shoulders create a genuine sense of extreme, crushing leverage being applied to the victim…”

“… The outstretched arm is also creating an impression of him balancing, of this being a critical moment between survival or defeat.

His firmly braced leg suggests heroic resistance, but his free hand simultaneously seems to reach for help. A strong man succumbing.”

“This picture is quite different and projects a moment of psychological dominance as the underdog kneels submissively before his opponent.

He’s looking upwards expectantly as though he’s already been thoroughly out-fought and is resigned to receiving the ‘coup de grace’. His blond hair, usually symbolic of ‘goodness’, is disheveled and wild, reflecting the punishment he has taken.  His opponent seems to dance before him, flaunting his dominance without fear of reprisal…”


“… The erotic tension is given fetishistic overtones by the studded belt he has produced.

It’s not clear if he intends to bind his opponent with it, collar him or just strike him, to inflict humiliation or pain, all tantalisingly erotic options for various tastes.”

“… The belt’s illegal introduction labels him with a ruthless mentality, and cruel one, since his prospective victim’s near-nakedness suddenly projects defenceless and he’s in a poor state to defend himself.

This image freezes that moment, that black predicament, allowing us to enjoy it and even imagine it developing further, in a universe where ‘goodness’ doesn’t always prevail over an oppressor.”




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