Did you ever watch a wrestling match where one opponent is wearing the traditional trunks and boots, while the other is fully dressed? Did you notice that the clothed wrestler dominated most of the match? This type of match references the phenomenon of “Clothed Male, Nude Male” or CMNM, a turn-on for many guys.
A basic definition of CMNM is: “an erotic encounter – either privately or in social situations — where one or more males remains clothed and one or more males is nude.” Applied to pro wrestling, the “nude” male isn’t totally exposed — he’ll just be more nekkid than his opponent.
CMNM is a common fetish, even among straight men — just search for “CMNM” and you’ll see how many guys out there are into this scene.
The appeal and excitement of CMNM, like any other Bondage play, lies in the loss of power by the (nude) victim, and the assumption of power by the dominant (clothed) male. The sexual appetites of many men are tied to power imbalances — gaining or losing the upper hand is a turn-on for most dudes. That’s just how we’re wired.
CMNM makes the power imbalance visually explicit (and therefore very exciting). The Clothed Male gets to cover his body with fabric, so he has all the power. His clothing is a shield, protecting his naked flesh from the elements and from our judgmental eyes. He “wears the pants” in the CMNM relationship. In CMNM pornography, a Clothed Male can do whatever he wants to a Nude Male, groping, pinching, fondling, etc. He is the Master.
The Naked Male is helpless and exposed. His flesh appears unprotected. His bare skin is susceptible to cold and rain, potential damage from sharp objects, and our visual inspection. The Naked Male has no power, and in CMNM pornography, he is often objectified and humiliated.
In pro wrestling, the Clothed Wrestler will frequently place a boot on the Naked Wrestler to make the image of domination even more explicit — as if the contrast between the clothed body and naked body wasn’t explicit enough already.
The Naked Wrestler willingly submits, not even trying to push that boot off his body. This demonstrates the complicity of the “victim” in a bondage situation. He actually enjoys the loss of power and will do nothing to stop it.
Many young men play around with nudity as a way to bond homosocially with one another. They may go skinny dipping or hot tubbing (just with the boys), or “de-pants” each other, or walk around naked in the locker room or hotel room, or play Strip Poker, or go streaking or mooning.
Part of the appeal of CMNM pornography (and of pro wrestling) is the desire to return to those playful days of youthful male bonding, when a party wasn’t a party until one of the guys was partially or totally nude. Grown men are now holding “CMNM parties”, where a few of the guests just walk around naked, without sex taking place.
Another aspect of CMNM pornography is that, in most cases, there is a relationship between the participants. There is a back story, a plausible reason why one is naked and the other fully clothed. CMNM is not meant to be a chance encounter — a streaker appearing and running away. Likewise in pro wrestling, when CMNM scenes occur, the wrestlers have a history, maybe they were former partners or are engaged in a bitter feud.