That night, lonely exhibitionists were given the chance to be lathered up in KY Jelly and slammed against the floor of an inflatable, lube-loaded pool. What did I win again… um prestige maybe?
A story for the grand-kids? I certainly didn’t get a trophy for my efforts.
That being typed, it was a stellar night. As I get older, dredging up more and more fodder for #ThrowbackThursdays, I find myself reflecting on lesson’s learned. Here’s some stuff I learned that night that’ll likely help you too.
1) Free Is A Price Too
That fated evening, a swelling number of Timberline staff and regulars were courting me into doing some real damage as one of Seattle’s first lube wrestling warriors.
Was I trading free drinks to “more seriously consider” their requests?
Ab-so-lutely. In fact, I milked it for all it’s worth.
I was being resourceful, resourcefulness is a virtue, and lord knows I was devout after years of poverty. But resourcefulness, like anything, has limitations.
A reckoning was coming for me that night. Free has a price, even among friends.
We all take mental notes on the actions of those around us and tally those results annually. You’ll be held accountable for what you’re doing and not doing, eventually, even if passive aggressively so. And those boys had me right where they wanted me; Drunk-ish and semi-hard, I mean semi-obligated (both).
2) Flattery Can Absolutely Rip Your Clothes Off
I’ve got issues with my body. It’s boring really, who doesn’t right?
Most of us are insecure about the creature we’re burdened with presenting daily to the world. As a male dancer who’s been asked at auditions to show some skin next to others more busty and bubble-butty, I have my own internal static on the matter.
Considering this, after hours of free drinks and relentless flattery by bar patrons and staff, I found myself taken to a back room to try on short shorts to wrestle in. Don’t underestimate the power of flattery.
It’s being used on you weekly (preferably daily right?).
3) Channeling Anger: One Fight is Every Fight
With no wrestling chops to speak or type of, I slid through 3 bouts of slippery body slamming, literally kicking ass at times, and made it into the finals.
I was a lost, broke, 20-something who could not catch a break, and I was angry about it (still am). I remember distinctly realizing this in the first bout and would not, also literally, take it lying down.
One fight is never truly one fight, but all fights in one, every time.
4) Mentors Are Key To Success
When my anger started to work against me, a lube guardian angel emerged from the dark crowd to provide some basic wrestling tips. Because of him, I glided through one of the stickier moments of my third bout.
5) Strategy Trumps Nerves Every Time
Booze begets anger, is channeled through strategy, and now the final challenge… beating a man with both brawn and beauty in a final bout (alliteration is a vice).
It all came down to me battling one of the hottest guys I had seen to date (think a tan strain of Jude Law that cross-pollinated with a stocky strain of Chris Hemsworth).
I had won nothing significant in my adult life at that point, or ever really touched such a hot guy in such an intimate way. I was the underdog in this final battle and, because of it, had a packed house of supporters cheering my name. I, as I do, got really nervous.
My guardian lube angel sized up the competition and said “He’s top heavy, so sweep the leg.” I was the gay Karate Kid, and it worked every… time. I was king of the world!
Ok, I was literally crowned the king of lube wrestling, but fine, I’ll take what I can get.
6) “It” Can Happen, When You Least Expect It
After a weekend getaway, I arrive home to an answering machine (yeah answering machine) stuffed with messages about my front page spread in the Gay News.
This equated to instant fame on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. As a performer and public relations consultant, with a strange pseudo celebrity origin story (article forthcoming), I am, whether I mean to or not, hungrily seeking validation for bothering to exist (most of us are honestly).
Well I got a slice of that life in this moment, and fought tooth and nail to avoid it. I did everything I could not to be a lube wrestling competitor.
And now it’s a little gem, glimmering within the folds of my overly caffeinated brain. Throw caution to the floor of your own inflatable, lube-loaded pool. See what happens next.
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