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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.