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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                547
                Appropriately,  pain is the one word all athletes use in common.
             Training, like sex, can become an obsession. It feels so good it sometimes
             becomes compulsive-addictive. The body aches for a workout. The more
             miles a long-distance runner logs each day, the better his threshold of
             pain. No man races against any clock. All men race against themselves.
             The mind takes control of the body and the miles pile up. This run-
             ning analogy fits all sports as well as it explains much gay sex, which is
             the Greatest Sport, and why so many gay men ground their sexuality in
             endurance of SM, fistfucking, and marathon fuck sessions.
                This Sporting Life [1963], made at the same time as The Loneliness
             of the Long Distance Runner [1962], was the jock movie that took care of
             Richard Harris’ face. Sporting Life featured nude bathing and brawling
             similar to David Storey’s Broadway rugby drama The Changing Room
             [1972] where twenty men enter the set, strip, stretch, massage, horse
             around, head out to get bloodied up on the field, re-enter the locker room,
             doggedly strip off their muddy uniforms, shower, towel dry, and exit.
                Rugby has its own rituals of communal baths and bawdy ballads.
             The rugby player is more than just a member of the team. He’s part of
             a more latent than blatant global fraternity that emphasizes bonhomie
             and plenty of beer-guzzling off the field. Rival teams usually share the
             same locker rooms and dip in the same team bath tub, communally, after
             their afternoon tussle in the mud. Every match ends with the “Third
             Half,” a booze-up contest of bawdy ballads, where usually one or more
             players break into the traditional Zulu Dance, a tipsy male striptease.
             Admits Michael Smith who boosts US rugby out of Chicago, “I work in
             stockbroking because I have to live. But if I could, I’d spend all my life in
             rugby.”
                No wonder show biz types like to buy jock types. O’Neal has his
             fighter. Elton John has his football team. Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Peter
             Frampton, and Bill Graham recently bought up the Philadelphia fran-
             chise in the North American Soccer League.
                Burt Reynolds, sprung from a Cosmo centerfold, played football in
             college and starred in two movies since: The Longest Yard and Semi-Tough
             with the really tough Kris Kristofferson. Paul Newman’s passion for real-
             life race-car driving was featured in Winning. Peter Firth in Equus played
             a boy who loves horses so much he hates them, and tortures them and
             himself (with a bloody bit tied tight into his own teeth) until “cured” by
             an incredible shrinking shrink.
                They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? And with puritan good reason. Horses
             in films are always symbols of passion. Equestrians always gallop toward
             passionate disaster: Christopher Jones’ stallion forbode sexual danger
             every time he fucked Ryan’s Daughter, Sarah Miles [1970]; Brando’s Cap-

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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