As fetishes go, dressing up in the kind of attire you’ll find in a sports shop has much to recommend it. Those strange, clingy tracksuits, pub trainers, tacky branded tops, white socks (de rigueur), rugby kit – and add to the basket the almighty jock-strap if you must.They’re suggestive of some degree of health activity, which can serve to power-up its practitioners to vigorous sex, but that’s hardly the point – which is, that such clothing inevitably connotes the people who wear it in real life and think it looks good.
It might sound slightly pretentious at this point to use the word ‘common’. But that’s the gist. There is that lingering, irrational notion engrained in South Africa’s traditionally sports orientated psyche that the rugby guy is better in bed than his nerdy friends. Possibly there might once have been something in this, back in the days when South Africans were almost as good at sex as they were at rugby, but these days? Still the notion holds. You doubt that? Think of it this way: Which random stranger would you rather go down on: the lusty lad in the Springbok shirt, with all his spunk and vim, or your trainee bank manager?
It is partly to do with the desire for masculinity, some, erm, sectors of the demographic seeming more uncomplicatedly in tune with every masculine stereotype with which they’ve ever been presented. Remember the changing rooms, for instance, when the nice middle class boys cowered and struggled into their (grey) socks while the rougher lads held riotous sway in the showers, comparing todgers, presumably, discussing their ‘chicks’ and dropping the soap, and when the wrong side of the tracks seemed to be the in place to be if you wanted sex?
But now – call it psychic revenge – we can dress just like them and pretend. Need one say more?
The engagement with levels of status has also traditionally been part of the hidden gay lifestyle. The old boy prowling for after-hours trade might well flinch were his catch of the night to reply to his coded enquiry in tones as far back in his throat as his own.
If, on the other hand, if he appeared to be a rugby player without actually being one, then homosexuality could be experienced as a series of isolated occurrences, discretely veiled and deniable, lying beyond the scope of the identity publicly upheld within a narrow social orbit. This, of course, is to stereotype and to generalize crudely, but if you doubt the lingering presence of sporting attitudes and sporting aspirations, not to mention stereotypes, try hitting the nearest gay bar and open your ears to the fake accents there. Gay identities remain very strongly marked by stereotyping views of class and sport, of which rugby in South Africa seem to be no 1.
The practical impact of the rugby player fetish? It can be fun, and healthy, to dress deliberately like a butch rugby player, to engage with one’s lingering inhibitions, to hold the whole sporting homophobia system up to bedroom mockery, and enjoy the way such violation of strraight sporting attitudes might feel rather naughty. Mother wouldn’t approve.
And on a yet more practical level – The plastic fibres those fake tracksuits are made from feel particularly slinky and sleazy, and cheap, and electrostatically clingy – when you sweat and the fabric gets damp. Watch out for nipple-rub. You’ll notice as well that they don’t soak up semen as quickly as natural fibres, but that’s kind of fun too.
Snail trails ahoy!