Session Wrestling

Session wrestling refers to wrestlers who are paid to wrestle a client in private. This does not only include wrestlers, but bodybuilders. Women are mostly involved in this practice. For the culture of bodybuilding, sessions have been around probably as long as the sport itself. It is difficult to pinpoint its origins, because mixed wrestling existed prior to session wrestling.Mixed wrestling should not be confused with session wrestling. Mixed wrestling involved competition between a male and female challenger. Session wrestling involves a athletic and muscular woman providing a fee for the service. Women could carter to males or females. This is a subculture of the female bodybuilding and physique sports. Even among fans and athletes it generates controversy.Detractors claim it gives a negative image to the sport. Supporters say it is harmless. It is more or less an open secret within the community. Little information or academic materials exist on the subject. Based on some accounts a picture can slowly be pieced together. There. It is an intersection or gender politics, human sexuality, and capitalist enterprise. are different reasons why men participate and why women engage in session wrestling.

    Men have other reasons for paying for sessions. Some love muscular women so much they would like to see one up close. It is rare that one can just find a muscular woman or female bodybuilder anywhere. Male clients get see their favorite athlete for autographs and chats. This may seem odd to some, but imagine if you could be around Tom Brady or Lebron James. For wrestling session fans that is the equivalent.

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 It seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Some men also enjoy the physical challenge. Normally, the muscular woman would be by comparison much stronger. The client would attempt to win, but may not succeed. It may seem strange that a man wants to wrestle a woman, but it is rooted to an earlier phase in life. Before puberty, boys and girls can compete equally on athletic terms. Once boys reach thirteen, they are too strong to play athletically with girls. There was that brief time in life when boys could arm wrestle girls, play basketball, soccer, wrestle ,and football with them. The average man could harm the  average woman in athletic contest such as wrestling due to the strength difference. That period of fun and play does not seem to be recaptured. It is however with a session wrestler. The strength difference is reversed and that period of life is recaptured. Men and women can play around on a physical level, just like when they were kids. Silly horse play can be done with no harm to the woman.Another reason that men pay for sessions is to fulfill a type of sexual fantasy. Even though sessions do this, they do not involve sex acts. A common misconception is that they do. The client wants not only to be wrestled, but feel the power of the woman’s body strength.

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This desire is clearly a fetish. These fetishes could be classified under two terms known as stentholagnia and cartolagnia. It is arousal from the display of strength or the display of muscle. Biceps are a mark of beauty and strength is an attractive attribute. Seeing as women at this level of physical fitness are rare, this becomes a cherished experience. These are just a few motivations for men paying for wrestling sessions. It is a common assumption that the other reasons men do this are related to trauma. It is believed that men do this because they were victims of child abuse or physical harm. The desire to be some what harmed by a stronger woman may be a way to work out a past issue. Certainly not all men who participate have this problem. A more accurate explanation could be that it a stress reliever. Men do have enormous pressure on them in their communities. It requires that you be a leader, a breadwinner, and be constantly diligent. When faced with a multitude of responsibilities, this can be overwhelming for some and they react in different ways. Session wrestling could be an outlet for some. This relieves pressure putting the individual in a subordinate position. For a moment there are no worries.

       The men who regularly engage in sessions come from various ethnic, religious, and class backgrounds. These men could be anything from lawyers, teachers, and other professions. The age range is vast. Men from ages 20 to 80 are the major demographic. The stereotypical image that is represented is that of the schmoe . This refers to fans of female bodybuilders who are considered deviant, socially awkward, or strange. Yet, not all men fit into this category. This is one of many misconceptions. Although the term schmoe has negative connotations, it is commonly used to refer to male fans of female bodybuilding. Some of the men who pay for sessions are actually involved in weight training themselves.

The common image of the schmoe. 

This should be no new revelation. Being surrounded by a gym culture would give some closer access to women of this type. Clients say their love of muscular women started in their early teens and grew. It could start even earlier with some event. Some session wrestling fans say reading comics, which regularly have women with muscular physiques started the spark. Other refer to a time in their adolescence when they first saw a muscular woman. This is not the only type of woman the men like. It appears their standards of beauty are numerous and more opened. Society promotes one version of beauty, when many versions exist.

This is what happens during a wrestling session. 

These men would put Lenda Murray and Halle Barry on the same level of being desirable. Even though in some societies a difference in opinion is promoted, there still is a desire to impose a level of conformity.  This is evident in beauty standards, particularly in western countries. Anyone who opposes the standard is considered peculiar or an outcast. The reason behind the secretive nature of the love of female muscle is ostracism. Men face negative criticism for this support of this type of aesthetic. That is why female muscle fans hide their support. Friends and family may not know about it. This is why it is difficult to determine just how many men engage in the practice.

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There is less data on women who seek to worship the body of the muscular female . Most academic writings  focus on session wrestling from a heterosexual male perspective. So in a sense, that aspect is unknown. Recent research seems to be focusing on women more.

       The women who do session wrestling are fascinating to elements of gender politics. Their reasons and motivations are different from than their male clients. The first reason is financial circumstances. Female bodybuilding has been struggling financially since the late 1990s. Women were paid less than their male counterparts. Faced with this dilemma, the women began to plan another way to increase income to compete and survive. Session wrestling was a way that some could get the money they needed. This was a way it seems of challenging the blatant sexism that exists in the bodybuilding and fitness community. Even  some figure, fitness, and physique competitors were doing session wrestling. These strength sport categories were more popular and were doing well financially, but women were still paid less. The fact was the revenue was there, but the corporate gatekeepers were not willing to pay women more. It seemed as if session wrestling allowed women to circumvent sexist discrimination in pay. Women could make more money with sessions than they could with the prize money of a contest. The feminist argument is that women are still subjugated in this scenario, because they are still dependent on man’s money.While it is true that it does still seem to place women in a subordinate position, they have monetary resources come directly to them. There are women who do session wrestling not out of necessity, but enjoyment. Some women gain a sense of empowerment that they have never experienced before. Women who develop this level of physical strength seem to gain a huge amount of confidence. Women for most of their lives are raised to have low self-esteem. Body image is an area in which females are taught to have the lowest self-esteem. Women by achieving athletic feats seem to gain a more positive attitude about their bodies. The sessions are a positive reinforcement  in a society and fitness industry that rejects the muscular woman. Besides that, the vast difference in strength gives women a new sense of power and control.

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It is rare that a woman could challenge a man on a physical level. This instance changes that and in a way there is a role reversal. The woman becomes dominant and the man submissive. Although these are dated gender role stereotypes, some women session wrestlers are thrilled by the fact they could overpower most men. When empowerment is discussed in a feminist context it refers to women’s advancement in education, public life, political rights, and other spheres of society. Here this is a literal empowerment of the body.The idea that woman equals weak is brushed away. This can be gratifying to some women. Another important aspect of this is an area of acceptance. Muscular women face negative criticism constantly. Female bodybuilders may not even have the support of their family or friends in their pursuits.Session wrestling provides some positive reinforcement. Not all women think that this is empowering and are judgmental of the practice. They hold that this is a negative image for the sport of female bodybuilding. Others make the outrageous exaggerations saying it is the equivalent to prostitution. This is not true, because its about wrestling. It cannot be ignored that there is some sexual element to it. The clients are not paying for sex, but to see a muscular woman in person. Women who look down on session wrestlers could be engaging in some subtle form of slut shaming. The reason this is interesting is that it demonstrates how women must navigate between worlds of traditional gender roles and unconventional ones. They must constantly defend their choices. Session wrestling provides an escape from hostility.

        Wrestling sessions can be classified into three major categories. The first would be fantasy. This involves the wrestler roleplaying  or acting out a particular scenario. These do have sexual overtones, but do not involve sex acts. It is unknown if it does for some. This should not be confused with the work of a dominatrix. Although some wrestling matches involve aspects of domination, this is not designed to be sadomasochistic.

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The second type of wrestling match is semi-competitive. The client makes some effort to resist, but has no desire to win. The interest of the client is to be put in numerous wrestling holds. This could include headscissors, camel clutch, body scissors, and headlocks. Wrestling moves are not the only act performed, but other feats of strength. Lift and carry, armwrestling, including overhead lifts are done. The point is for the wrestler to demonstrate their physical power. The tap out is still used to let the wrestler know that she is getting too rough.

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Competitive wrestling is when a match is done with maximum effort. Both opponents attempt to win. This requires large space, mats, and involves the Greco-Roman style of wrestling. This type is not usually done, because of the possibility of injury. Some women are too strong for the men they wrestle. The opposite end of that could be there are strong men who could possibly harm the woman. Normally, it is the woman who has the strength advantage in this situation, but guaranteeing the safety of the client is critical. These wrestling matches last about an hour or more. The fees vary depending on what type of wrestling category is done.

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Wrestlers will either travel internationally to meet with clients or operate within a certain region. Sessions are booked from various websites and through personal correspondence through e-mail. Appointment dates are scheduled and there are agreed locations for the session. The locations of matches are either hotels or motels. For competitive matches it would require a larger space or a type of gymnasium. There is another element to sessions besides wrestling.

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Muscle worship is sometimes done during these wrestling sessions. The client will admire the body of the wrestler by either rubbing and touching their well developed muscles. The client wants to look and admire the wrestlers body. It is true that this has a sexual aspect, but does not involve an act. It exposes an interesting element of human sexual behavior. Various attributes can induce arousal. This appeals to people of different sexual orientations. Mostly heterosexual males engage in session wrestling, but it is not impossible that men of other sexual orientations also participate. There is less data on women who seek wrestling sessions. Male bodybuilders also engage in session wrestling mostly for women. This is also an unexplored topic. Some women do not do session wrestling out of monetary gain, but the fun of it. This is a psychological surge of well being to some wrestlers. Another dynamic that is reveal is that power can be sexy. It was once said that women are only attracted to strong men. One should wonder why men should not be attracted to strong women. This should not seem anomalous. Man’s love of the physically powerful woman could be linked back to an ancient time.

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Before the rise of monotheistic religion and civilization humankind worshiped nature in the form of the mother goddess. Nature was both beautiful, powerful, and the giver of life. There was a respect for women as givers of life. Although there was a division of labor in hunter gather societies that respect was maintained. With the rise of agriculture this changed and women were reduced to a subordinate role. This act of muscle worship seems like an attempt to rediscover that majestic power of the mother goddess. However, this is a speculative explanation.

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A more clear and simple hypothesis is that men just love the aesthetic. Many fans describe the muscular woman’s body as a work of art.

       This practice is an example of how capitalist enterprise can be used, when financial resources are lacking. Supplement companies, bodybuilding federations, and magazines do not support female bodybuilders. The women then go into business for themselves. Besides regular sessions, athletes produce websites, dvds, and printed material. Pay sites generate much income and web traffic. There could possibly be more men who like this, but an aggregate would be difficult to calculate. These websites feature mixed wrestling videos. These are usually scripted, but sometimes feature competitive matches. The lugubrious element is that the women make more from this than from winning a contest. Seeing as this is so profitable, it is strange that the fitness industry does not get involved. The trepidation from a marketing aspect is that promoting this seems too subcultural and sleazy. The fact is to an extent sex does sell and the fitness industry does use this concept. Saying session wrestling is wrong or inappropriate seems to be an extreme exaggeration.

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Websites like Utopia Entertainment videos produce mixed wrestling matches. Visitors can buy videos and watch free .clips.http://www.utopiaentertainment.com/

Session wrestling can be view just like any other business. There are consumers and producers. The commodity is their body and athletic talent. The revenue goes to posing suits, supplements, and the cost of competing. Being a female bodybuilder is expensive and the fitness industry simply does not pay them enough. They found a model that solves this problem. People with limited options usually find creative solutions. The women realized there was a demand for this and provided a service.

        Session wrestling has been part of the female bodybuilding subculture. A faction claim it is a negative characteristic, because of how it depicts the image of the sport.Supporters claim it is not as horrible as detractors state. The truth is session wrestling does not harm the sport. It is so secretive that it would not have an impact. As long as it is not doing damage to people,no one has a right to be judgmental about the practice. This does allow women to advance themselves financially in a sport that has abandoned them. There are claims that female bodybuilding is dying, but it seems session wrestling has become a lifeline. The multitude of online traffic proves that there are a large portion of female muscle fans. The fitness industry could care less about this demographic, which proves they are not interested in their female athletes. This is probably for the better, because the women seized the opportunity. A problem does arise from this. This does border on a level of sexual objectification, so much so that a woman doing this could be dehumanized. Love it or hate it, session wrestling is here to stay. It is a tight rope between controversy, sexual politics, and women navigating and responding to a male dominated fitness industry.

Further Reading

Sohn, Amy. “Squeeze Play.” Http://nymag.com/. N.p., 6 June 2014. Web. 7 July 2015.

Bunsell,Tanya. Strong and Hard Women An Ethnography Of Female Bodybuilding.

         New York:Routledge,2013.

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Session Wrestling

19 thoughts on “Session Wrestling

  1. turner says:

    As far as I can understand from the post the principal point that differs female bodybuilders charging their clients hourly fees for private sessions to traditional prostitutes doing the same things is that bodybuilders under any circumstances don’t have sexual intercourses with their clients during those sessions.
    However,it is not obvious that some bodybuilders would refuse to have sexual activities for extra money.On the other hand, this fact that a traditional prostitute is not necessarily asked for having sexual intercourses during appointments doesn’t result in her being thought of as anybody other than she really is.I am at pains to realize the logic.

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    1. It’s not hard to figure out if you know what prostitution is. It can be defined as “the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.” There for without the sex act it would not be prostitution. Sessions do not involve sex acts, but wrestling. This world of double standards attempts to frame it as such. If we went by that logic, then merely taking a woman out on a date is like prostitution. The man pays for the dinner and after a certain number of dates the relationship could become physically intimate. Calling session wrestling that just reveals subtle sexism. Male bodybuilders also do sessions for their female fans, but rarely are they criticized. I take a neutral stance on the practice, but to say the women are akin to prostitutes is misogynist.

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  2. turner says:

    The first sentence of my last comment here should have been organized like this:”…the principal point that distinguishs female bodybuilders charging their clients hourly fees for private sessions from traditional prostitutes…”
    I apologize for being inaccurate.
    Now I would like to put some words on the subject of our discussion.
    To me,the presence of two different opproachs to the problem of female bodybuilding in whole accounts for a lot of fuss we have had over athlets participating in private sessions.
    According to the one,fans of female bodybuilding are attracted to the sport by virtue of its competitive make up.Fans enjoy atmosphere of competitions.They are fascinated by aesthetics and perfection of a muscular body etc.Another conception supposes that it’s an erotic component that makes the fans be interested in athlets.In other words they are driven by their sthenolagnia if I am allowed to put it like this.
    In this regard,some people to whom bodybuilding in whole and private sessions in particular are about sport believe female bodybuilders making money through private sessions shouldn’t be frowned upon and criticized because these sessions have nothing to do with sex.So,it’s formaly correct to say that associating athletes in concern with prostitutes is baseless.
    However,there are other people who are in opposition to the mentioned above notion.Strongly doubting that so called sessions are so innocent, they sarcasticly say:”Doesn’t this readiness of an athlete to privately have a wrestling match with strangers signpost his readiness to go further?”To these people claiming that private sessions have nothind to do with sexual gratifications is pushing it a little.
    In fact,there are two opposite attitudes towards the issue.
    While a general feeling concerning the situation is that everybody believes in what he wants to believe,these mutual accusations of doubl standards make it look both laughable and profoundly upsetting at the same time as well.Rersonally,I am always a bit disheartened as and when I hear all this.It looks like as if everything boils down to how much well skilled a barrister is to successfully influence the jury’s choice of one verdict over another.
    More particularly, one sentence of your post called “Session Wrestling”,namely “Others make the outrangeous exaggerations saying it is the equivalent to prostitution”doesn’t make your position neutral.I’m afraid.
    In conclusion,it begs to be cited someone putting it like this:” As long as there are some men who are so stupid that are ready to pay their money for having possibilities to have wrestling matchs with female athlets or worship their muscles,in that case why on earth the athletes should lose their opportunities to make extra money.”
    Thank you.

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    1. Clearly you do not know what neutral means. I neither advocate nor reject the practice. I was stating a perspective that is a baseless accusation. Calling the women who wrestle prostitutes just represents some subtle sexism. Then again, I do not disparage women who do sex work. If that is their choice, that’s no one’s business. The fact is there is a double standard, because men do this as well yet are never criticized. Women are always under some form of double standard in accordance with gender norms. Women’s motivations for doing sessions is not for the exploitation of men, Corporate gatekeepers refuse to promote their sport and do want women being a part of the industry . Women decided to counter the lack of sponsors, endorsements, and media coverage by going into business for themselves. Not doing so would result in many competitors not be active at all. The men who pay for this are a demographic base that keep the sport thriving. Before the internet, there were only a few magazines that featured muscular women. Fans would be frustrated, because it was so rare. Now it simple to find athlete websites and photography sites. You may think this is exploitation of the consumer, but in a sense that is the nature of the capitalist economic system. The producers have advantage over consumers. When ever you go to the store and buy something in sense you are being exploited. Most of the means of production are in private ownership, so the majority is exploited by the upper class. These women are not exploiting people as much as the IFBB. or the Weider Corporation. These businesses and organizations make huge profits, but pay their female athletes a minimal salary. Muscle worship can be an element of session wrestling, but they are not the same thing. Some men and women genuinely want to test their physical skills against one another. Yet, we cannot ignore the sexual aspect of the sport. After all it is women posing around in their bikinis and men will react to that. There is no shame in that; for it is human nature.

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  3. Swimmer says:

    This article on session wrestling is one of the most thoughtful and complete discussions I have read online todate. Well done fem-muscle and thank you. I hope you continue to write on this topic and edit/expand on this article.

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  4. Jimmy says:

    I understand that in most all sessions with a dominatrix the Domina allow the man to relieve himself at the end of the session.
    Is this common as well with session wrestling and even the fact that both the female and the client are fully clothed , no nudity? This is a serious question.
    Thank you

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    1. Session wrestling is more about women physically competing with men. Some women have wrestled topless, but i’m sure about being fully nude. It could of course happen. The relieving a man at the end of the session may not be common either. The goal mostly is either to have the woman physically over power the man. Fantasy matches seem to be part of a more sexual territory compared to competitive or semi-competitive matches. My answers may not be complete, because this is an relatively unknown topic and so few academic sources exist. The dominatrix wants to subjugate or induce pain on a man. The session wrestler does not want to inflict pain. These women are very strong and most of the men they meet in sessions they could hurt badly. That’s way most prefer semi-competitive matches, because it reduces the possibility of the client or wrestler getting an injury.

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  5. I have engaged in sessions for many years. It is the transfer of control to the woman that is crucial. My body becomes her toy to twist and play with as SHE desires. She can further project her dominance by refusing to release a hold of pin even after I submit. Pain is a part of it it to whatever level the client desires. Although I know an experienced session provided will not injure me, a good one can make me fear her. The fear is the fun type like the type of fear when riding a roller coaster. The fact the a woman can totally emasculate me physically and mentally by trash talking and taunting is a major turn on. It also enables me to satisfy my fetish for certain parts of her body. I’m not sure why, but I love a woman’s muscular calf. The figure four headscissors aher that calf is jammed under my chin is like heaven. In the end, i would much prefer to experience it than to try and analyze it

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  6. I absolutely love being physically dominated by a superior female wrestler. She does not have to be a bodybuilder, but she must know how to wrestle. I want her to put me in a variety of painful holds and tight pins. The more techniques she uses, the better as it demonstrates her superiority.

    I like her to play the role of a dominate “bitch.” She need not accept a submission until she wants to as she is totally in charge. She might release the hold and then immediately reapply it if switch to another hold. I love all holds and pins especially the figure four headscissors. I have a thing about women’s calves and having my head crushed between her thigh and her calf is awesome

    She should taunt and trash talk throughout the session. She not only physically overwhelms me, but humiliates me as well. The crueler and more sadistic, (within reason of course) she is, the better. The transfer of power turns me on

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  7. Könn says:

    Hey, one question. Would you still pursue bodybuilding if no one, absolutely no one find big muscles sexually appealing or inteesting in anyway?

    How much is sexual attractiveness or sexuality in general part of the interest in becoming a bodybuilder?

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    1. Well, women do not do this for the sake of being attractive to men. So, I think they would participate in the sport doubtless of what people think. I’m really not sure how much sexuality or attraction is part of bodybuilding, but there are a good portion of men who like the athletic figure on women.

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      1. Madman says:

        Session wrestling is all about the woman forcibly taking control of the man. It is the dominance, rather than the muscularity of the women that excites most of their clients. Most clients are somewhat masochistic and want to experience a level of pain. Humiliation is also a major factor and a woman that can taunt and trashtalk her victim is more exciting. A woman need not be a bodybuilder to force submissions with scissors or bjj holds. Being beaten by a fit, but not overly muscular woman can be more exciting and humiliating than losing to a woman who can merely overpower him and doesn’t need much technique

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    2. It is not necessary to be a bodybuilder to be a good session wrestler. Skill at wrestling and attitude are most important. Many of the top session providers are more like fitness models than bodybuilders. Any fit woman can force a submission if she applies a tough hold properly

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