The Stigma and the Cyber Meetup

3379509

Meeting people these days has evolved dramatically in the last few decades with the rise of the internet.  Gone, or rather, rare are the days where people meet at a party, a bar, a blind date, you know physical human interaction.  Instead, there is a meetup site for anyone and everyone looking to date, meet new friends, find a booty call, and find a fight or wrestling match.  Yes, you heard me right, a man on man combative match.

It should come as no surprise in this day and age of social media that there would be meetup sites for guys, or gals, who are looking to find other people who share a common interest in combat sports.  Now, I don’t just mean sharing an interest in wrestling, boxing, mma, muay thai, martial arts etc. I mean actually meeting up and doing said style of combat, for real.

2014_Wrestling_894_Website

Wrestling and combat sports is a wonderfully layered culture.  On the surface we have the traditional sport taught in schools and clubs here in the U.S. and around the world.  The act of two men in tight spandex, briefs, denim, cloth, or nude (depending on your time period and location on the planet) practicing skill and strength to subdue his opponent in a manner which complies with the style he practices.  For many, the sport ends with high school, only a few go on to participate in college.  From there, the numbers dwindle even further as fewer move on to the professional level, competing in national and international tournaments  representing their respective countries.  Some clubs do exist for those who have aged past their college years, but for the most part the resources for an adult to wrestle with other adults is very, very limited.

Now this is not the same for other combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing, mma, and other traditional martial arts.  Those practices have gyms all over the country and the world despite the fact that many of those sports not being offered in many schools. These gyms encourage participation throughout a person’s lifetime, ages 8-80 or as long as you are in general good health.

fargo-combat-submission-wrestling-classes

I cannot vouch for the rest of the world, but here in the United States there seems to be a stigma that exists when it comes to wrestling, specifically freestyle, grecco-roman, and folkstyle wrestling.  As I mentioned above it is very difficult to find any sort of outlet that allows adults to practice these combat styles.  Yet, other forms of wrestling such as submission style wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Sambo, to name a few, are open to all ages with gyms across the country.  Why this fact is beyond my understanding.  We have fields and courts to play most any other kind of sport at public parks, gyms, and health clubs, but nothing to encourage the healthy activity of wrestling.  This is where we begin to see another layer of wrestling culture emerge.

The layer of wrestling culture I am referring to, which has risen, or rather, made itself more public in the past few decades, is  what is commonly referred to as the gay subculture of wrestling.  After all, wrestling is arguably the gayest sport when read on paper and watched on television.  However, I would argue that it is also the manliest of all sports.  I identify this layer as males, and some females, in their adulthood, who love the sport of wrestling (or any other combat sport for that matter) but are too ashamed to do it.  The reasons could be anything from “I don’t know how to wrestle” to “I am afraid of what people will think of me” to “wrestling makes me horny”.  Whatever the reason this layer of wrestling sub-cultural could more commonly be referred to as the “closeted wrestler”.

Wrestlers fight on the traditional soil ring. For almost 3000 years loincloth clad duels on mud have transfixed spectators across India. Yet wrestling in India is a sport in transition. In 2004 the Indian Fighters Federation tried to prohibit the practice of traditional mud wrestling, claiming that for India to compete at an international level fighters must train using mats. Whilst competing on mud can earn good money for a wrestler at events called dungals in India’s countryside, the techniques are starkly different. The Guru Hanuman Akhara, a wrestling school in Old Delhi, is the epicentre of this ancient wrestling tradition as it begins to enter the modern world. Now training fighters on both mats and mud the school has produced hundreds of champions at both domestic and international level. Established in 1925, making it the oldest in India, it was in 1955 that Vijay Pal, or Guru Hanuman as he later became known, took over the coaching. Born to a poor family in the desert state of Rajasthan he chose never to marry and instead dedicated his whole life to wrestling, becoming a legend, who created a model for modern Indian wrestling by combining traditional Indian wrestling called Kushti with international standards. His statue and mausoleum stands overlooking the outer courtyard of the school.

There are two reasons why I feel wrestling in particular doesn’t flourish beyond college.  The first, sadly, is money.  Wrestling is a fairly cheap sport to get involved with.  However, wrestling doesn’t have a “SuperBowl” or a “World Series” no popular professional league vying for that ultimate prize.  There are the national teams that compete on the international level, but you are more likely to see reruns of it in the wee hours of the morning on ESPN when they have stopped jerking off to football, basketball, and baseball.  Thanks to the internet we can see live matches on Youtube, Flo Wrestling, or other dedicated wrestling streaming sites, but the fact still remains that there is nothing, outside of the Olympics, that really draws in the crowds, the numbers, and ergo the corporate sponsors to make wrestling a commercially viable sport.  Wouldn’t it be nice to one day sit down with the family and see U.S.A battle another country on the mats while watching it on a prime time network?  Sadly, I don’t believe that will ever happen.

big-wrestling-hall-olymp-hotel (1)

The Second reason I feel wrestling fails to flourish after college is the stigma that exists over it.  The stigma that wrestling is only for young people.  You always see adults shooting hoops on the court, or tossing/kicking balls to each other.  So why not do some wrestling in the park or the gym?  I used to think it was a complete homophobic stigma, but now I believe it is just fear in general.  Too many adults are afraid to engage in that primal instinct to wrestle, box, or just rough house in general.  Somewhere along the way society has managed to disown the idea that combat sports and wrestling were for all ages.  Women’s wrestling and fighting, especially, has risen dramatically but they too share the same stigma in adult hood.  The stigma being that it is not ok for sane minded adults to partake in wrestling.

burly trucker bear hotel room wrestling pictures gallery

Now, coming back full circle, is why meetup sites are important.  They allow like minded individuals, who share this need to wrestle and fight as adults, to do so in their own privacy without shame from the rest of the world.  With meet up sites like the ones I am about to reveal to you you can meet up with guys, and gals, across the globe and do what ever you heart desires.  It might be a pro wrestling match, a submission wrestling match, erotic boxing, nude combat, anything!  The possibilities are endless.

If you have identified with what I have just written about.  If you are one of those people over the age of 18 who have no where to turn to indulge in your need to wrestle or fight then I would encourage you to pop on over to one of these sites.  Take a look around, who knows you might find someone within travelling distance that you could meet up with on a regular basis and partake in this most ancient of activities.  My point being is that you do not have to waste away with the day dreams of wanting to engage in man on man, man on woman, or woman on woman combat.  You can fulfill the dream!

Screenshot (1)

Meet Fighters (https://www.meetfighters.com/) – This website is by far my favorite to use.  The site for the most part is free to use and you can do a lot with a free membership.  The profile building options allow you to tell people exactly what you want either through preselected categories or through exposition in the provided text box.  There is an unlimited amount of time you can spend in the chat room and messaging other people is free as well.  In your profile you can keep members aware of your availability via a calendar, or start a lil blog.  A recommendation and past opponent system is also helpful when picking out potential opponents.  They do have a donation system that gives you extra perks but you can still use the full website without having to do so.  The site is really geared towards helping people meet and not worried about pocketing money.  The biggest perk of the website is that it removes inactive profiles.  If a profile lays dormant for 3 months it is suspended from the website until it is deleted or reactivated by the user.  This gives Meet Fighters a HUGE advantage over other websites.

Screenshot (2)

Global Fight (http://personals.globalfight.com) – Global Fight was my first meetup site that I joined, back when I was getting into combat sports.  Sadly it has only gone down hill since then.  From what I understand it merged with a struggling but superior website prior to my signing up, too bad they couldn’t have taken a few aspects with it as well.  This is the most well known of the meetup sites but it is losing its ground on popularity, if it hasn’t already to Meet Fighters.  The site does allow free memberships but the social interaction you are able to do with other free members is the equivalent of sending smoke signals.   The memberships are expensive too starting at $15 for one month.  The site is outdated and needs a major overhaul.  Also, it does not remove abandoned or dormant profiles.  Global Fight only seems to be focused on providing porn and pocketing the money you pay, except for the occasional cheap prize giveaway.  Honestly, I will not be renewing my membership once it expires.

Screenshot (4)

Real Jock (http://www.realjock.com/) – This was the second site I joined after Global Fight.  Unfortunately too, the site has started to go down hill.  This is less of a meetup site for combat enthusiasts and more for guys who are into fitness.  The site suffers the same problem as GF in that they do not remove inactive profiles, so be sure to look at when the person last logged in before you contact them.  Also, when looking at that statistic, on a profile, be aware they will not give you an exact day for last log in but instead tell you it was more than a week ago.  The site no longer has a chat room but it does have many forums to post in.  Everything is free on the website and there are some decent advice on working out, dieting, and meeting people.  I have only met a few people from the site but they were non wrestling related.

Screenshot (3)

Bear Hugger (http://www.bearhugger.net/) – As the name might imply, it is aimed at the guys into bear hugging in matches.  However, don’t let that or its amateurish looking website deter you.  I actually prefer this website over GF.  It is completely free to use and is actually pretty good.  Like the other sites it doesn’t remove abandoned profiles so watch for those last log in dates.  The site is a little too detailed for its own good, though.  Navigating the website can be a real pain at first because the webmasters clearly did not know what an edit button was.  A lot of the profile making options feel redundant and unnecessary which can lead to a messy profile.  There is no chat room but as I said everything, including the messaging option, is free.

There are a few other websites that I did not mention here but to be honest they are not worth your time.  They either do not have a good turnout rate or the website is total trash.  Stick to one of these four, check them out, and decide for yourself which to build a profile, or  join them all.  I still give my highest recommendation to Meet Fighters.

Well folks, I believe this is my longest and most in depth blog thus far.  So if you have any other questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to message me and I will do my best to elaborate.  Until next time, peace!

tumblr_nuuu8i81Ly1uxs0gjo1_1280

JOTD – “Gold” by Imagine Dragons

Hello everyone!  I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season.  I myself had a splendid time with family and friends here in Wisconsin.  Unfortunately my plans of returning back to Philly today were cancelled by Winter Storm Goliath, a very appropriate name.  Since I am stranded at my parents house and bored out of my mine, I will pump out a couple posts before the year’s end.

First up, this jam that I discovered a few months back that I have connected with quite fondly.  Its not the most recognizable as far as Imagine Dragon songs go, but it certainly is haunting and memorable.  Written in response to their sky rocket to fame and the price that comes along with it.  While I do not share their same story of success I do connect to this song on some level when it comes to fame.  Again, I am not a household name but for those people who follow the niche fetish wrestling market, you probably have come across a few of my videos.  It was a big change for me going from a country boy from Wisconsin to the big city of Philadelphia and having the occasional person recognize me in the street, the airport, and online.

I have had to make some sacrifices as far as what I post online and to who, as well as what I say about my personal life.  In the end, I still try, essentially, to be that same old me, the small town man from Wisconsin.

Kudos also to the director and lighting design of this video, it f**king rocks!   Hypnotizing!

The Art of the Title

Some of you may or may not know about my love of tv and movies.  Sure, I do love a good book, don’t get me wrong, but like any kind of art or storytelling, its best to enjoy a variety of it. One of my favorite bits of movie and tv is the title credits.  Whether it be at the beginning or the end there is something to be said for a good title sequence.

Titles have the important job of telling us who is in the production, from the cast to the crew.  For instance, the titles at the beginning of the movie should set the tone for what we are about to experience.  The  combination of visual imagery and music should never feel like a separate piece, foreign to the rest of the show.  Instead, it should feel like it fits in cohesively with the project and add a new element to the overall production.

The ending, should do the same thing but help us transition back to reality.  Sometimes the end credits show are a continuation of the movie itself, offering sneak peaks into the future of the story, sometimes a gag reel, and often times its connecting a character to the respective actor’s name.

I rather enjoy watching the intro to my favorite shows and movies, even if it is the only part I watch.  Television and movies over the past decade have started to stray away from these title sequences, which is a shame because sometimes the the title is better than the movie/show itself, though this is not the case in every production.  The shows that have strayed away from the title sequence have moved to a 10 second single title card which I feel is laziness on the part of the production.  Thank fully this is not the case for all shows, especially cable shows here in the USA.

Lost is the only time, that I can think of, where I felt a single title shot was appropriate for show.  In this case, anything more would have detracted from the mood of the show.

I could list a ton of examples of great tv and movie titles.  However I will just direct you to this site, “Art of the Title” (http://www.artofthetitle.com/). Here you can see great movie and tv show titles going back several decades complete with critiques and interviews with the people behind the creation.  It is an interesting website and worth your time if you are looking to kill some.

Do you guys have any favorite title sequences?

The End of a Late Night Era

Last week was the final episode of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 16 years after taking over the show from previous host Craig Kilborn, Jon Stewart stepped down to hand the show off to South African correspondent and comedian Trevor Noah.  Love him or hate him you cannot deny the cultural and media impact that Stewart’s tenure has had in the last 16 years.  The show has garnered numerous awards from institutions such as the Emmy, Peabody, TIME, Critic’s Choice, and even Grammy among others.  Book authors have seen a noticeable push in sales and other television shows have met their demise after being interviewed by Stewart.  It definitely won’t be the same without him, but it is not the only change in late night here in the US.

In May, TV legend David Letterman handed over his show to comedian Stephen Colbert after 41 years on television in various mediums.  Again, one of those love him or hate him personalities, David pushed the envelope of comedy on television in ways that had never been seen before and have been duplicated ever since.

One other late night show worth mentioning is the lesser known Craig Ferguson who left the Late late show back in December to make way for his replacement James Corden.  Craig was very unique among the late night hosts not only because of his accent, but for the style of his show.  I can’t think of anyone else who could do puppets, a talking/gay/skeleton robot, a fake horse, and some of the weirder crazier interviews I can remember.

I speak to all of this because these three were a big part in my growing up. David Letterman was the very first person I can remember watching when I was able to stay awake past the nightly news.  My parents were Jay Leno fans, and rightfully so tried to steer me into his fan base. However their efforts were for naught.  David had a comedic wit and edginess that appealed to me more than the play-it-by the books safety net that became Jay Leno’s routine.  Whether it was his no prep interviews, the crazy cast of characters among his crew and neighboring business owners, the oddball segments with the audience or even the stupid pet and human tricks and the occasional dropping stuff off of the roof and into the streets of New York City, I was always entertained. I loved watching him so much that I used any excuse to stay up past bedtime to watch Letterman.  Even though college Letterman was a good excuse to take a break from studying. In recent years Letterman was not always my go to source for late night entertainment but he was always there to put a smile on my face when i needed it.

The Daily Show I discovered when I was in middle school, shortly after Jon Stewart took the reigns.  My golfing buddies (yes I golfed in middle school) and I were watching tv and turned it on.  Needless to say I was instantly hooked.  I had always taken the news for granted and here was this guy making fun of the news in a way that I hadn’t seen before.  At this time my family and I did not have cable so the only time I was able to see the The Daily Show was at a friend’s house.  In college the show became more relevant to me as my views on the world began to open up.  Despite the show leaning more the political left it did teach me one important lesson.  The lesson, as Stewart addressed in his farewell speech, is bullshit is everywhere.

Now despite the fact that The Daily Show is touted as a fake news show, I do fall into the trend of most Millennials in that I do get most of my news from shows like The Daily Show.  Is it my only news source? No. However, the show has opened up my eyes about where I do get my news information.  Leading me to seek out non biased news outlets and to seek out whether the latest spam news email merits and truthful value.

The last talent I would like to reference is Craig Ferguson.  I didn’t discover Ferguson’s charm until 4 years ago.  A few Youtube suggestions pointed me into his general direction, and oh boy did those suggestions make me laugh.  I loved his spontaneous humor, and his laid back demeanor.  As I mentioned earlier he employed the use of puppets, skits, no in house band, a gay skeleton robot, and a horse for a lot of his skits.  His brand of humor is not something that I believe Americans are used to which is why I believe not many people checked him out.  My friends and I who were fans of the show have a merry time watching clips and spouting one liners that had us laughing out loud.  I urge you to seek out some his clips, they are worth a good healthy laugh. Interestingly enough Craig, like Jon Stewart, also took the reigns of his show from comedian Craig Kilborn.  While Ferguson may not have broke any new ground in comedy and late night he still managed to garner a loyal following, a Peabody Award, and give American audiences a refreshingly different if not always successful worldly view of comedy.

Now I know that this article has nothing to do with wrestling or combat sports.  However, the name of this blog is “Singlets and STUFF” so this would relate to the “stuff” portion of the blog.  I wanted to give you a glimpse into some of my favorites in entertainment.  Most of you know who these men are and the legacies they are leaving behind. But for those of you who don’t know about these 3 great comedic hosts I hope that this article will compel you to seek out some clips online and maybe enjoy, as I have, the great comedy that they have left us.

Movie Review: SOUTHPAW

Hello to you, my avid fans.  Today, I will be doing my first review of a movie.   The movie in question is Southpaw the latest film from director Antoine Fuqua (Training DayShooter) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forrest Whitaker, and Rachel McAdams.  It is a boxing movie about a lightweight champion at the top of his game who, after a tragic event, spirals downward hitting absolute rock bottom, and must battle his way back to the top.  If this sounds like a movie you have seen before…well…it is…unfortunately.

southpaw

I went into this movie with low expectations after watching the trailer.  Not only that but I haven’t really been a fan of the director’s past work.  Training Day and King Arthur are about the only movies in the man’s resume that I enjoyed watching on some level.  He seems to be one of these directors that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, playing it safe and banking on what has already been proven to work, and it shows here in this movie.

Another person I want to note is the writer, Kurt Sutter.  You probably haven’t heard of this guy unless you watch television.  This is Kurt’s first foray into movies.  His television credits are for writing, producing, directing, and acting several episodes of The ShieldSons of Anarchy, and the upcoming period drama The Bastard Executioner.  Both Sutter and Fuqua mesh well here in this movie because, well they both exhibit the same style and tone as showcased in all of their previous work.  While I have only seen a handful of episodes of The Shield and Sons of Anarchy, I hear how good the two shows are so I am disappointed that Sutter’s supposed skill doesn’t show up in the script. Perhaps he should stick to television.

southpaw-jake-gyllenhaal-50-cent

If you haven’t guessed by this point I wasn’t at all thrilled with this movie.  Southpaw suffers mainly because of the writing and directing.  The movie feels like the studio threw money at these guys and said “make a boxing movie.”  Well, that’s exactly what they did.  They took everything that works well for a boxing movie and said “you’re welcome.” There in lies the problem. The movie is a tired retread of the same boxing formula and nothing new is brought to the table.

The performances are good, don’t get me wrong, but even their acting can’t pull this movie higher than what the movie has set out to be.

2397E99F00000578-0-image-13_1417569817063

I had several issues with the movie, I won’t go into too much detail but just for safety sake there may be minor *SPOILERS* up ahead.

In the movie Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Billy, suffers a terrible tragedy and ends up losing all of his money, but it’s never quite explained how much time has passed or where all of the money is going.  Its only implied that he is living a lavish lifestyle and in a month or so and he is already broke.  Also, the police work following the tragedy is cliched and very groan worth, bad police work which leads to a “revenge” fight in the climax of the film.  From here Billy makes all the wrong choices and loses custody of his daughter, the loss of his boxing license, his house, processions, and his promoter.  In other words, he hits rock bottom.

gyllen-s-gonna-knock-you-out-with-these-teeth-splintering-southpaw-stills-469456

We are then given the “hero must find a down and out trainer to build him back up.” Forest Whitaker is the trainer in question. However, he doesn’t train pro fighters, for reasons unkown, but for reasons unexplained he breaks this rule and ends up training him up to his comeback fight. During this time too we are introduced to a minor character, plot line, and subsequent off screen death that is supposed to bring more emotion to the already tragedy stricken plot.  The problem is the character is on screen for so little time and so poorly built that I didn’t really feel anything for the character.  Honestly, the movie would not have been affected if said character/plot was dropped. It only leads to a half assed speech and motivation for Billy and his trainer.

Also the entire movie’s timeline is not specifically stated but probably happens in a time frame of 6 months, maybe 8, but it’s definitely no where near a full year.   I have a problem with this because I feel like there is no way in hell that everything in this movie would happen in that short amount of time.  I am all for suspension of disbelief in movies, but this movie tries so much to root itself in reality that the viewer isn’t really allowed to suspend disbelief in the plot. There are other story threads and character development that make no sense as well, but that is probably best argued for another time.

At the end of the day, i give the move 2 out of 5 stars Knockouts.  The acting and fight choreography was good, and Jake Gylenhaal is very hot without his shirt. If you are a die hard boxing movie fan you will enjoy the film.  Me, on the other hand, I was hoping for something more.

P.S. I would like to formally ask Hollywood to create a boxing and/or mma movie where the characters aren’t stereotypical, incoherent, sub-par educated, d-bags…PLEASE!

JOTD: Cassidy Haley, “This Time”

Today’s Jam of the Day I stumbled upon while looking for examples of “fight photography and art” and google brought this video to my attention.  Now the concept of an underground fight club or a fight contest between two men is nothing new.  In fact it seems like they are a dime a dozen these days.  However, this may be the most homoerotic video I have ever seen.  Take a look.

Now, I am not quite sure what is up with the avant garde looking crowd, but the action in the ring is a lil more than suggestive.  Dare I say this is the first “fight club” type video to feature the fighters kissing?  The two men certainly hit the spot for fighter physiques and the fight choreography is above par.  Also it really helped to have then men in tight trunks, another thing you don’t see a lot of in the mainstream.  Overall, this video definitely peeked the gay side of me and I am more curious now about the thought process behind this video and the artist Cassidy Haley.  What do you guys think?  Can anyone give me other examples of fight club themed music videos?

Its Been a Long Time Coming

Holy Crap peoples! February!? Its July now!!!  I know its been a long hiatus from this blog but I feel like writing this weekend so stay tuned.

Coming up…the most homoerotic music video I have seen since…well…ever!  After that my thoughts on David Letterman and his final show (I know 2 months after the fact).  What I have been doing this summer and what I plan to do.

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

Singlets and Stuff

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

Drake Marcos: The Cheshire Cat of Homoerotic Wrestling

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

CameronWrestler.com

Underground Wrestling

Monaco Off the Mats

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

neverland

imagine that

Ringside at Skull Island

Ethan Axel Andrews blogs about himself as well as the world of modelling, wrestling, combat sports, current events, news, and pop culture.

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,360 other followers