Machismo Porn

Yesterday’s article describing an Anderson Brothers bout discussed the treatment of masculinity as a fetish –the presentation of Manly Men as objects of sexual desire in the wrestling magazines of the 1970’s and 80’s.  Big hairy males were posed for our consideration, something to stare at and drool over.

For example, here we see the “Mercenaries” standing in close physical contact wearing matching tights.  Their chest hair is exposed, their goatees closely trimmed.  We are meant to understand two things: #1, that these are MEN, and #2, that they want us to take a good look at them, their bodies and faces.

Traditionally, society has encouraged us to gaze at the female form in pictures, advertising, movies, etc.  It was an expectation for women to pose provocatively, and for men to gawk at them — to drink in their poses and then buy whatever they were selling.  An exception has traditionally been granted for male models who are also permitted to pose before our male gaze — skinny, shredded, pretty twinks with no body hair, no body fat — basically male versions of the female esthetic.

Where wrestling magazines broke new ground was in the graphic presentation of the exposed masculine form.  Big John Studd is a classic example — he stands boldly shirtless, looking us in the eye and inviting us to check out his splendid Manliness.  We are encouraged to feast our eyes on his big hairy chest, that tangle of hair leading down to his bulging trunks.  UNFFFF!   Who knew a Manly Man could also be beautiful?

The classic pro wrestling magazines presented the male wrestler (particularly the Heel) as massive and rough, with a thick beard, hairy chest, big flexed muscles, and a pissed off, aggressive look on his face.  In this photo, Mr. Studd even balls up his fists as if he wants to punch somebody.

I am coining the term “Machismo Porn” to describe these classic images of the ideal Macho Man — the brute as eye candy, the caveman as centerfold.  Here we have raw masculinity posed and presented for our visual delight, the big, bad Real Man just oozing with aggression and testosterone, being packaged and sold as an object of desire, something the reader ought to be gazing at and thinking about.  Wrestling magazines conditioned the readers to look at, and lust after, brutes.

When multiple big hairy wrestlers were posed together in a group, the implied sexual appeal was further heightened.  Look at these tough hombres, staring right at us while willingly showing us their chests.

Cowboys are the traditional icon of masculine independence and gumption in America, so dressing in cowboy hats and leather boots sends the message they they are bona fide Real Men.  However, the fact that the cowboy persona was (at the time these photos were taken) being co-opted by the gay community as a homo-sexual symbol also lends a homo-erotic flavor to their group pose.

It is also common in Machismo Porn to feature the Manly Men in physical contact — posed in a Public Display of Affection.

You won’t see them groping each other — that would be too gay — but you will see their arms interlinked as in this photo.  The implication is that Real Men don’t need women to look at nor to touch.  Masculinity can find satisfaction in corresponding masculinity — total fulfillment from the homo-social relationship with no females anywhere in sight in these photo spreads.

In the past year or two, I have noticed Machismo Porn making a come-back in the wrestling ring — big, aggressive, hairy brutes being presented as dominant and sexy in the classic Old-School style.  We are seeing more long beards, tattoos, and bulky physiques now proudly exposed — their “Carpets of Virility” on display — rather than covered under layers of spandex.

Similar to old-timey brawlers like Ole and Gene Anderson, they aren’t pretty and they have no desire to be — they embrace their machismo and embody the traditional masculine traits of aggression, toughness, and strength.  And as the viewers of them, we are encouraged to Hero Worship them, fear their roughness a bit, and if we are in the mood, lust after their strength and power.

Seeing these “roughnecks” return to the wrestling ring affirms to the viewer that Manhood has not been totally defeated — not all men have been castrated by Feminism yet.  Masculinity is not an anachronism as I had suggested in my article titled “Where Have all the Roughnecks Gone?

Except for his brief stint as “Jean Paul Levesque” (the fussy, prancing muscle-snob), Triple H has avoided the popular appeal of metro-sexuality and the widespread feminization of males.  He embraces his masculine traits by being powerful, thick, brutal, and economically successful.  He is one example of a pro wrestler who has consistently peddled his Machismo Porn to appeal to the male audience and advance his career.

Another example is a new personality on NXT known as Bull Dempsey.  He is furry, aggressive, and often posed with a thick chain around his neck. He wears a little black singlet in the ring which can barely contain his massive bulk.  Have you seen this beast?  Maybe I will feature one of his matches on here soon.  Here is how one blogger described the appeal:

Bull Dempsey is a monster.  I like everything about him: the simple ring attire, the old school attitude, the whole package is just perfect.

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One Response to Machismo Porn

  1. MikeBruisr says:

    I agree, AND this plays off nicely from some of the overly groomed pretty boys, or the douche bag schtick, n’ roids that plays out in indy feds, lets not forget UK bruisers like Dave Mastiff, and Joe Coffey.