Pro wrestling is able to easily stir up passion in it’s audience by establishing boundaries, and then crossing the boundaries. For example, rules forbid foreign objects, fighting outside the ropes, or two-against-one attacks. These boundaries give a Heel everything he needs to establish his evil nature.
When these rules are broken, when boundaries are crossed (which happens at least five to twenty times in each match), the fans become hysterical with anger. They are outraged when the Heel deliberately ignores the law (which is the very fabric of our society.) We’re all taught the concepts of Right and Wrong at a very early age — to fight fair, to be a Good Sport, to treat others as you would be treated. When the Heel pulls down his trunks and takes a big piss on these concepts, it’s like he’s pissing on society, on our folks who taught us these principles, and on those of us who play by the rules.
One boundary that probably isn’t in the wrestling rule-book, but is a rule of polite society, is to keep your hand out of your pants. When a boy is seen reaching down there, he is scolded or slapped, to teach him this important taboo. It is WRONG to touch yourself (at least when other people can see — so if you have to do that, do it in private.)
Once a boundary is in place, you can bet some pro wrestler will kick it down. Some wrestlers blatantly and deliberately stick their hand down where the sun don’t shine. This is a very intimate act, a position normally assumed when a man is alone and bored. You can’t clearly see his hand, so you don’t know exactly what he’s doing down there. The act of wrestling is already an intimate, sexually-charged act — so reaching down there just adds to the eroticism.
You don’t need a degree in Marketing to know that SEX SELLS. It is not a coincidence that the best-looking wrestlers are often the most loved or hated wrestlers. We pay attention to whoever we want to be with, so the more a wrestler can arouse the fans, the more popular and successful he will be.
Sure, people tune in to watch pro wrestling for the drama and humor, the cool moves and tricky holds, the presentation of Good vs. Evil. But everyone knows the primary reason guys will tune in week after week for any show — because it’s “Hot.” Reaching into the intimate zones of the body can bump up the sexuality and eroticism of the wrestler performing this forbidden action.
Wrestling trunks are unusually revealing clothing for a man. Very few sports outside of swimming or diving use gear that displays this much skin. (And some swimmers are now wearing body suits that look like SCUBA gear.) Obviously wrestling trunks are designed so we never forget that the man in the ring is, in fact, definitely a MAN.
A wrestler can draw even more attention to his masculinity, to his sexual potency, by reaching in the trunks, or pulling them down slightly, to tease the viewer and place emphasis on what is inside the trunks.
Some wrestlers cheat by hiding a “Foreign Object” in their trunks (the only hiding place they really have.) They may hide a spike, or piece of chain, or brass knuckles, to be pulled out later in the match and used as a weapon.
They’re seen slipping a hand down under the spandex (where it doesn’t belong), fishing around under their nutsack to locate the object. This creates tension in the minds of the viewers, waiting to see what he pulls out.
We see him reach down between his legs and pull out a hard object such as a spike. Next he repeatedly jabs or strikes his victim with it — punishing and eventually subduing the other man with what came from the crotch area. Keeping the “foreign” object in his bulge area sexualizes the object and the actions performed with it.
Crossing into the Forbidden Zone is even more sexually charged when performed by another person — the opposing wrestler or, in this case, the ref. Now instead of an intimate act, the trunk reach becomes an act of violation and penetration — a rape.
Society has taught us that reaching into our own pants is a misdemeanor — punishable with a slap on the wrist. However, venturing onto another dude’s private property is considered a third-degree Felony by society– far more outrageous and disgusting than touching yourself. “Keep your hands to yourself” is one of the first, and most sacred boundaries we learn. Sticking your hand down someone else’s pants is considered unsanitary at best, and sexually deviant at worst.
You can count on pro wrestling to challenge our assumptions, cross our boundaries, and push our envelopes. If you tell a wrestler: “You are going too far!” — he will push even further, and I love that.
Really the trunks are just a piece of fabric — not a sacred and forbidden domain. Wrestlers teach us to be more comfortable with our sexuality, to not be ashamed of our manliness, to get to know all areas of our bodies, to not be constrained by so many boundaries.