Oct 24, 2011

San Francisco Wrap-Up: Ultimate Surrender at Kink.com

Well, my lovelies, I have returned from the Wild West. I wouldn’t call myself a changed woman, necessarily, but I have seen things that I will never forget, learned a lot, and eaten one hell of a delicious burrito.

On Friday evening, October 21, I hied myself with all haste to the San Francisco Armory with a dear friend who is far less involved in the porn scene than myself, to witness the spectacular spectacle of Ultimate Surrender, Kink.com’s live telecast nude wrestling/domination/sex show. I’d read about Ultimate Surrender before, in several places ranging from Tracy Clark-Flory’s offering in Salon to interviews with some of the adult stars who double a wrestlers for Kink.com, and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. It seemed bound to be enjoyable—I’ve always had a fondness for the staging and pageantry of WWE-style scripted wrestling, and with naked people and sex as part of the show… the fun would be doubled or perhaps trebled. But then again, this was live, unscripted, and featuring women forcibly shoving their fingers into each other’s vaginas and holding each other down to lick their clits. On the one hand, it could be fun—the competitors jus ttrying very hard to have sex with each other… first! But on the other hand, it could be kind of like watching… well… sexual violence as carnival fun. I was nervous, to say the least.

The match I saw was Ultimate Surrender’s first-ever tag team match, featuring 4 featherweight fighters. These women were all under 105 lbs. I found this in itself promising, not because it’s more fun to watch small people beat each other up, necessarily, but because I myself weigh in far short of 105 lbs, and people are forever telling me that I’m “so cute” because of my size. Personally, I think of myself as more of the “fearsome warrioress” type than the “awww, she’s so cute” type, so I was edified and feeling kind of validated that people my size would get to show their toughness to a live studio audience, and the entire world via the internet.

And then things got real. Really awesome. There are, I won’t deny it, many ways in which what I saw was hella un-PC, and in which it certainly brings up  legitimate questions about women’s bodies as commodities. The fighters earned points for face or neck licking and kissing, breast fondling, face sitting, breast smothering, pussy licking, fingering (external), and fingering (internal). Control was rewarded. Submission penalized. It was rough. It was straight-up violent. And sex was the ultimate goal. You don’t have to squint very hard to read a whole lot of patriarchal control and gender issues into it.

But you know what else? It was fun. Everyone in the room—audience, referees, and fighters—was having a blast. Team Yellow (Gia DiMarco and Lyla………) were grinning practically the entire time, even when getting smashed into the floor by their opponents, Team Blue (Emma Haize and Selena……..). Team Yellow were both long, lithe, and lean… and so wiry that Team Blue could scarcely pry them off each other’s backs. But Team Blue had Emma Haize. And Emma Haize is a CHAMP, people. This small but fierce powerhouse fought like a compact cannonball with a grim determination on her face that was kind of awesome. And yes, they were naked—they started out with bikinis but went immediately for the straps and stripped each other quickly—but it was refereshing to see women in a sexual context get to be strong, too. The beauty of the scene wasn’t just in watching Emma ride Gia’s face (although that was pretty nice), it was also in watching their grappling and straining. Whatever it was the Greeks saw long ago in naked male wrestling, it was legit. And boobs can only make things better.

And furthermore, this being Kink.com and people who opt to work for them being generally of the rough-and-tumble kinky sort, the women seemed to really enjoy being held down, dominated, and fucked by the other team. Orgasms put several brief stops to the fighting, and even though they struggled to keep their legs tightly closed, when they were forced open by the other team, most of the women didn’t object too strongly. The exception here may have been Selena…….. She seemed a little less than enthralled by the whole thing, and there were several times when her face contorted in a pained grimace that made me feel like a sexual predator for watching. But she fought hard, and appeared sometimes to be having a blast. Just not the entire time.

Team Blue eeked out a victory in a final round so intense that the crowd was left in a hysterical frenzy (by the by, this event is BYOB, a fact I wish I had known before I’d gone in totally sober, but those around me with beer and wine were having a fantastic time). After a short break during which the winners and losers negotiated the terms of the losers’ punishment, all four women came back out onto the mat with two of Kink.com’s most hardcore and seasoned fighters, Isis….. and ……., and gangbanged the two losers to great effect. Emma looked exhausted after having almost single-handedly won the match, but she destroyed any elasticity that may have remained in her opponents’ holes with almost as much relish as they received her tough love. Isis and …. Took turns fisting both Team Yellow members and parading them around the mat for the audience’s enjoyment, and it being International Fisting Day, the crowd went wild. In retrospect, I’m not sure the crowd or the fisters knew that it was International Fisting Day, but it was appropriate nonetheless. Both the losers ended their sessions with gushing, squirting orgasms and exhausted grins—in Ultimate Surrender, everybody wins.

When I walked out of the Armory later that evening, I had to admit to myself that despite any earlier reservations, I had just had an entirely enjoyable time, and so did everyone around me. I felt a bit strange, though—hadn’t I just witnessed a spectacle of sexual violence that might send all the wrong messages? But then I thought about Mel Brooks’s response to a reporter who asked him if mocking Hitler was really a good thing to do, given the seriousness of his crimes. I don’t remember his exact words and I don’t feel like looking them up, but Mel responded with something along the lines that it is the most serious crimes and the most terrible realities that need to be made fun of the most. If Hitler were alive to see himself being mocked in a musical comedy on Broadway and then in Hollywood, the laughter of the audience would have hurt him. Our serious, solemn, respectful discussion of his abominable crimes might have only pleased him. And so, in a way, while sexual violence is a horror that I can in no way condone or promote, I think that in a lot of ways things like Ultimate Surrender might be throwing that seriousness, that awfulness, into the light of the high-def cameras, making some fun of it, and ultimately letting women (who are all too often the victims of sexual violence) play with it in a safe and professional environment that the rest of us can watch and appreciate. Nobody here was being taken advantage of or harmed. Nobody was being victimized. Everybody was smiling, laughing, cheering, and enjoying sexuality with a  generous dollop of violence that we had consented to, and really, how much better does it get? That’s freedom right there. On International Fisting Day.

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