It's time for prime time sports. Or rather, primal sport. Watch any nature show and you'll see what I'm talking about. Animals like to PLAY. Particularly when they're young. It teaches them flexibility, coordination, and how to read body language. They wrestle, rough-and-tumble, fake fight, distinguish power hierarchy, and most importantly, they BOND.
In this episode, we read a letter from a good ol' boy who wants nothing more than a sexy strong lady to throw him to the ground and pin him helpless. Then we decode the hidden messages and offer a variety of ways he can take the need to play into his real life.
Dear Sweet and Low,
I'm a fairly conservative middle-aged man. I've been married for 12 years, and I adore my wife. Our sex life has been good and fairly regular. We've had ups and downs, but in all, we have a satisfying relationship. There's something I've always wanted to try but don’t know how to go about it. I like watching mixed wrestling. The idea of a strong, athletic woman being able to throw me down and pin me to the ground is erotic. My wife knows about my fantasy, but we've never done anything about it. I don't bring it up, and she’s just fine ignoring it. As I've gotten older, my thoughts tend to stray to this fantasy more and more. I don't know what to make of it.
When I was eight-years-old, I couldn’t wait to watch wrestling on Saturday mornings. My child brain didn’t care that the stunts were pre-programmed and the storylines were nothing but an over-active soap opera. I loved it. I loved seeing the women in tight athletic wear being aggressive. Now that I’m older, the violence makes me feel bad. I was taught to protect women, children, and anyone in trouble. I would never hit a woman and don't want to see anyone seriously injured. I don't like pain and don't want to experience it. I've always had female friends and tend to get along with them. My wife goes to Pilates and is in shape, but I don't see her wanting to roll around, risking injury. She isn't the aggressive type. I don't wish to meet a random stranger and be pinned, nor do I want sex from anyone else. Although to be honest, if I ever need help reaching orgasm, my go-to fantasy is being overpowered and taken advantage of sexually by this dominant woman that doesn't care if I'm married, happy, or dying of cancer. She is the winner, and she takes her prize.
What does this mean and will it go away?
Hitting the Ropes
Dear Hitting the Ropes,
Everyone has a go-to fantasy; we’ll call it The Magic Button. For you it’s being physically overpowered and pinned down by an attractive woman until you are helpless. But why is this so hard to ask for? You would think having a long-term relationship where intimacy and physicality live hand-in-hand would be the perfect environment for sharing and exploration, but this is rarely the case!
You’re a good guy. You respect women. You want to be the strong, supportive anchor. You have built your relationship around the idea of this image. You have responsibilities, an appreciation for the athletic, and a part of you is defined by being the Top Dog, aka masculine, dominant, and the stable foundation for your fortress. If you’re asking your partner to see you in a different role, this threatens the image you have built. After spending a considerable amount of time and effort building such a fortress, it is natural to want to maintain and defend it.
To grasp the inner workings, we have to look at the mythology and possible misconceptions.
A man doesn’t want to appear weak in front of a female.
There is shame and guilt associated with violence toward women.
Women don’t like to be man-handled, treated with aggression, and fear being hurt.
Once disclosed, you fear that the relationship won’t go back to “normal.”
Let’s break it down. You’re a man—a middle-aged man. From the time you popped from the womb, you were told, “Be strong. Be tough. Don’t show weakness,” and you progressed through life with this belief system. You got a job, a wife, a house with a picket fence. You pay your taxes, save for retirement, go on vacations, and maybe produce a couple of rugrats. You did everything you were told to do. You go through the motions, find a little comfort, a little security; when you get bored, become overwhelmed, or don’t get to tend to your needs, you fantasize. It’s harmless. It’s a distraction. You are protective of these thoughts that give you pleasure because you share everything else. Then one day you realize you are not immortal. One day you will die. We tend to call this a mid-life crisis, but it’s really the point in which you have enough time and energy to consider all the things you would like to do and feel before they put you in the ground. The stressors and responsibilities of adulthood conflict with the need to be physical and playful. As a result, the desire for this kind of release grows.
What does it all mean? You crave balance. Excitement. Twelve years is a wonderful accomplishment. If you met in your mid-twenties, chances are you were too busy with school, work, and building a secure lifestyle to let your fantasies take precedence. Those fantasies weren't related to the woman you loved. Then you grew up and got comfortable. Maybe the kids are older; you have more free time. Your career is less of a goal than it was, and the stress of proving yourself a good provider is present but not all-consuming. It is normal to avoid rocking the boat. You don't want to risk the rejection from someone who knows you, lives with you, and makes an effort to sexually relate to you. The idea of a loved one thinking you're weird for liking what you like is less than favorable. That's a long time to know someone but not know them.
Where did it come from? You said this is what you liked in childhood. As a kid, you had stress, but you had help, and you were not yet the alpha of your pack. You didn’t have the constant challenges of being the man all the time. Most of the time, this feeling of purpose is necessary for a guy. You want to feel needed and appreciated for what you contribute, but that kind of non-stop pressure creates an imbalance.
Think of it like doing a bicep curl. Getting a massive pump and huge guns is the goal. You want those gains so you up your proteins and hit the gym. But you don’t have a program. You don’t have a trainer. You are working those biceps every chance you get. You should be getting swole, but instead you’re losing strength, and the fatigue is real. You can demand all you want out of those muscles, but too much and they will eventually snap like kindling. The same thing is happening with your mental and emotional muscles.
As a man gets into his late-thirties/mid-forties, he experiences a gradual dip in testosterone. His bright-hot aggression becomes tempered, and let’s face it, this makes him able to perceive and conceive of other scenarios where power exchange means more than who is winning and who is losing.
You think you need to feel like this (i.e. swole dude), but you’re really needing to feel like something else (i.e. fun-loving puppy). It’s hard to justify when you have so many responsibilities, so you wrap it in sexuality because you’re a dude, and that is what the majority of men do.
Body talk: The spoken language makes up roughly 6% of communication. Grappling, feeling muscles shift, being close enough to smell the sweat and the pheromones therein, hearing the grunts and groans of exertion, this is the will at play, speaking the primal language when we don’t have the words to fill in the gaps. Since the physical is a big proponent, we can use it to our advantage.
Human nature: Wrestling exists in every culture, including the one leg of yoga (asana) that means bending into pretzel shapes. Grappling is the foundation of mixed martial arts. Oxytocin is released after ten minutes of skin-on-skin contact. This is the love drug, the chemical that helps us feel attached and bonded. Women release it when breast-feeding. Men release it when competing in sports and working as a team. Those male bromance weekends? They are necessary for oxytocin.
Females and violence: Do all females shy away from violence? Not necessarily. If your woman has been manhandled in a way that was not erotic, this can set a stage for past trauma to rear its insidious head. Is this bad? No way. You are her warrior-lover-partner. Who better to divulge this trauma to, be present with it, and replace that experience? A man that would never intentionally hurt her, that's who. It is more damaging to treat trauma with kid-gloves and avoid it. Letting trauma live in cellular memory does nasty things, and she gets to live a life free of that kind of inherent fear. That’s why talking about it in a loving way is not only necessary but an on-going practice. If she hasn’t had such an experience but is accustomed to being physical in exercise, she is primed to play.
Where to go from here? Chances are, this desire won’t go away. You must decide how important this is to you. Is it going to be something you regret not doing? Are you going to let it build into resentment and secrecy? I don’t know about you, but the idea of hiding my needs until I am filled with regret does not sound like a life fully lived. If this sounds like I'm saying you should spill the beans about every little fantasy going through your mind, NO. No, don't do that. It's too overwhelming. You don't have to tell her anything about the inner workings. You want her to ask YOU. So start off watching videos of kittens and puppies playing. I'm not kidding. Setting the mental stage is vital. This kind of imagery accesses our childhood memories of fun tussling, and the innocence of the animals reminds us our child-self didn't vanish. It just grew into a larger shell. You also want to attach a positive feeling with one that is slightly scary. Once you're giggling together, tell her you want to play together. Here are a couple suggestions on how that might look:
The pinning contest. This is gentle wrestling with body weight and balance. On a matted floor, start off on your knees and gently try to push each other off balance without using any “moves” you may have seen on TV. Emphasis on gentle and FUN. The object is to get your partner’s shoulders pinned to the mat for 3 seconds. If you outweigh your partner, you will start off with your shoulders on the mat and the object is see if your partner can keep you pinned for 3 seconds. You can keep score, but there is no winner or loser. This is not a competition; it is a chance to interact with the BODY, yours and your partner’s. At any point it stops being fun, take a break. Hold each other. Tickle. Kiss. Play. Above all, PLAY.
Join an MMA gym together! I mean, duh. The aspect of hurting your lover can be stifling. Don’t let it kill your mojo. Learn from a pro in a setting created with discipline and love of the craft. You are safe, she is safe, and you have the experience of being around people who started off as newbies, just like you. But be careful! She may love it so much she wants to kick your ass all the time.
Hire a professional… wrestler, that is…ideally, with your partner’s consent and involvement. Set up a private session with a woman who knows what she is doing. There is every chance your partner won’t be into it. She doesn’t want to rock the boat any more than you do, but if she is interested in understanding your fantasy from a safe distance, you can research this together. There are long-running websites with databases of trained and semi-trained wrestlers that cater to this niche. Do your research and be patient! Make sure you are clear and upfront about what you want to experience. Strength and ability is wonderful, but there’s no substitute for personality. You want to find someone who is safe, respected, respectful, and understands what you’re asking. This may manifest into an adventure, or you may realize the fantasy is enough.
IMPORTANT: Regardless if you play separately or together, feedback is essential. An open line of communication and the willingness to share what feelings and memories arise is pivotal for success. If you’re not engaged in active listening, now is the time to learn.
I'll reiterate: BE PATIENT. If you haven't played in a long time, this is a gradual process. You must get used to the idea and warm up in stages. Like diving, you don't start from the highest board. It's two feet, then 6, then 10, and so on. Be gentle until she tells you to be more rough. She will teach you how she likes to be wrestled.
To wrap it all into a bikini-studded bow, wanting to be dominated means you are secure, confident in your masculinity, and desire a closeness that brings out your strengths and weaknesses. As we say in jiu-jitsu, we use our opponents’ strengths against them. But in many ways, wrestling is not so much about learning someone else as it is learning about the self. I love to wrestle. I wrestled my cousins as a kid, I wrestled hundreds of men for my career, and I wrestle my man when I’m feeling like a dose of Beast Mode can smooth out the rough edges. It is less about pleasing him and more about pleasing myself, which happens to please him in the process. I get a boost of testosterone, my sex-drive loves it, and it is a welcome respite from “normal” foreplay. I love gentle, but I am active. I am creative, but sometimes words don’t cut it. This doesn’t automatically lead to sex, but it does let me feel my body and his with a different perspective, reminding us both we are physical, we are alive, and we are happiest when we play. We get bumps, bruises--the last time we rolled, I pulled a muscle in my neck because I didn't warm up properly--but so freakin' what? Every time we wrestle, I trust him more. Every time I open the door to play, I trust myself more. If you think compound interest is the deal of the century, this is like investing in a mental paradise that doesn't require 10-30 years to see substantial dividends.
The fear of rejection may never go away, but there’s nothing like saying, “Fuck it.” You may have a lot to lose, but when you compare it to what you may gain, it becomes a no-brainer. There is no guarantee you will find what you want, but you may find exactly what you need. Regardless of the outcome, you will know yourself in a way that ties the past to the present, and undoubtedly flavors the future.
BOOK REVIEW TIME. Although I have years of decoding under my belt, I'm ravenous when it comes to reading what others are discovering in their own lives, practices, and careers. Understanding sexuality has come a long way, but we're just skimming the surface. The only way to know for yourself is to read, ask questions, and do your homework. Yeah, homework. The best homework EVER.
Check out Your Brain on Sex: How Smarter Sex Can Change Your Life. I LOVE this book. Referred to me by a buddy who is an amazing sex therapist, it digs deep into fantasy and what drives our desires. From patients of psychotherapist Stanley Siegel, this book offers a male and female perspective. The female just so happens to be his daughter. How cool is that?!
If you like this content, please share it, subscribe, but above all, comment and question. Always. Never stop questioning what you hear. We are seekers. Dear Sweet & Low's mission is to provide a ray of sunshine to anyone who has been told they were wrong, bad, evil, strange, or sick because of what they like. We provide a space to share with those who will not judge them. If you have a fantasy you would like decoded, email us. Until later, much Love, Peace & Pickles on the mat.
If you're looking for even more information about wrestling fantasies, check out the Wrestling episode of our YouTube series Decoding the Fantasy.
PS Does anyone watch GLOW? I've seen the adverts on Netflix but am on the fence about adding another series to the list. Let me know if you love/hate it.