Starting yesterday, Tumblr began a campaign to identify and hide adult content, which they describe as “photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.”
Some users are angry about losing their easy access to free porn. I saw a petition circulating to keep the adult content active for artistic reasons. I decided to use this opportunity to, first of all, post some hot, hot wrestling images I’ve seen on Tumblr lately, and second, to write a couple articles about pro wrestling content and its relationship to pornography.
Tumblr has become a primary source of material for this blog. I’ve found a number of posters who upload just the imagery I’ve loved since I first got hard flipping through magazines at the drug store: dudes in pro gear, muscles, boots, bare chests and backs, faces contorted in suffering, hair-pulling, you get the picture.
And for me, I don’t need to see “real-life human genitals” or photos that “depict sex acts” to be satisfied. I will look at the adult stuff if it’s made available, but it’s really the wrestling that is my porn. This has enabled easy access to my version of adult content for my entire life, with it freely available and in plain sight in magazines, on television, and now on-line. It’s as if nobody else can tell that this is pornography (although they seem to notice that it’s seedy and inappropriate), so it has never been censored.
So this “Tumblr Take-Down,” as I’ve named it, will probably not impact me very much. The beauty of being turned on by content that most others see as non-sexual, non-homo-erotic, and non-pornographic, means that access to it is never restricted.
Most other people will see a wrestler, proudly on display in his trunks and boots, and consider it just an athlete in his sports uniform. It will not be flagged as inappropriate content. In my next article on the Tumblr Take-Down, I will dig deeper into where the line may be drawn between traditional wrestling that is acceptable Sports Entertainment and “sex acts.”
Pro wrestling has always hidden its homo-erotic content in plain sight. The S&M scenes, the bondage, near nudity, kinky costumes, and male-on-male touching are encoded as a sporting event gone slightly awry, or a competition, or as artistic expression. The sexiness is clothed in a manner that most people don’t even see it.
This photo of a wrestler performing in a one-strap singlet is a good example of the eroticism hidden before our very eyes. Most viewers will glance at him and quickly discard him as an object of sexual attraction. He is a bit pudgy and hairy, wearing a ridiculous pink singlet that resembles a woman’s bathing suit — not exactly the ideal specimen of masculine beauty, fitness, or elegance, and nothing needing to be censored as adult content.
But as a life-long wrestling addict, I am triggered by this sexy, beastly Heel and can’t take my eyes off him. His well-developed arms and hairy body are markers of manliness. His tight singlet boldly reveals every curve and bulge, hinting at his confidence. And the single strap makes him resemble a brutish Neanderthal, or maybe a classic 1960’s dickhead Heel. That pink leotard paired with white boots lends an air of sexual deviance and kinkiness. As boned up as he makes me feel, nobody identifies his photo as pornography.
Part of the reason pro wrestling is able to conceal the homo-erotic subject matter inherent in its performance is the make-up of its viewing audience. Straight young men watch pro wrestling — the sort of swaggering, tough, masculine Bros who would never give off a whiff of fairy dust.
And children watch pro wrestling, for heavens sake. So there cannot be queer, inappropriate, sexually suggestive antics happening in front of an audience of dudes and kids. This audience wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, watch gay porn, so the action in the ring cannot BE homo-erotic, right??
And with explicit, graphic pornography of all types now easily accessible online, the veiled references and subtle sexual innuendo found in the wrestling ring pale in comparison. The wrestlers would have to get a lot more graphic and nude before they could out-porn Pornhub.
So I’m feeling pretty confident that the Tumblr Take-Down that has so many porn-watchers in an uproar will have little effect on my access to great pro wrestling content. This is the advantage of being aroused by content that is apparently invisible to 99% of the audience.