When a Fringe Sport Meets Fringe Groups

Within a 10-foot pit filled with gelatin that barely covers the ankles, a large man with a leather mask is attempting to get on top of a woman in a black bikini. But he soon is flipped amid the green goo.  Soft green jelly goes flying in all directions.

The event’s host, who wanted to be identified only as Y.S., had anticipated the problem: He covered the floor, couches and the lights with plastic sheets an hour before the match started.

Each burst of goop brings bursts of cheers from the crowd at Impact, a bar in downtown Manhattan, which includes a young woman in a tight corset with fishnet stockings and a man clad entirely in black latex. Not far from the jelly fight center and close to the bar, a man whose whole body is wrapped in a worn carpet is lying on the floor. A woman who just got a drink at the counter steps on the man with her sharp heels, but no harm done. This is what he is looking for today.

It’s definitely not the “Jell-O wrestling” that gained fame as female v. female entertainment for men, or a fraternity or sorority fundraiser. The fetish community in New York City has brought what was already a fringe sport deep into the fringe community. What used to be a sexist sideshow has become a level playing field in the fetish world.

“There’s absolutely no prejudice in the scene,”  says Vy Marr, a 22-year-old Barnard drop-out and now a freelance copy editor. “You can do whatever you want.”  Marr just came into “the scene” six months ago to become a mistress. “So liberating.”

“Over the years, people are getting more into it,” says Sandy Kaye, who sells the gelatin through his Classic Food Specialties Baking Mix’s Inc., in Florida.

Kaye says his product isn’t the edible kind. (Many refer to it as Jello-O, but that is actually Kraft Foods’ famous brand for its gelatin.) Kaye has been selling the nontoxic gel for 16 years and says orders have been increasing all over the country.

Y.S., who coaches wrestling in his everyday life, organized the first gelatin wrestle for New York’s fetish crowd last August, and after an enthusiastic response was soon asked to hold another.

Little-M, in black leather tights, oversees the event at the Impact and says gelatin wrestling was a hit, no matter what a fetishist’s particular turn-on was. “Last time it was hysterical, funny, playful,” she says. “People were just being silly in the camaraderie.”

These events don’t happen just in New York City. Another second-time fetishist gelatin wrestle is to be held in Phoenix  this June by Arizona Power Exchange, which providing BDSM education and social opportunities. “I had a LOT of E-mails on this,” according to a description posted by the event organizer.

Gelatin wrestling differs from ordinary bondage and discipline or sadism and masochism activity.  “It’s not like most BDSM  things or fetish things which have necessary protocol where there’s a dominant-submissive dynamic,” Y.S. says. “I think it’s one of the simplest things, just to play.”

But apparently it is more than just fun when the sport comes under the context of fetish.

Last year, Y.S. says, a couple in which the wife was always sexually dominant and the husband submissive tumbled into the wrestling pit. “For that three minutes in the ring, they were equal,” Y.S. says.

The event also brings together the various minority groups in the “kinky” world  — as opposed to the “vanilla world.”

Mitch Slider, 43, a taekwondo instructor in vanilla life (that isn’t his real name), says he wasn’t into the BDSM scene but got into the gelatin world because he was into kinky wrestling with scantily dressed women, preferably in front of a crowd. This seemed like a viable option.

“You don’t often find someone with exactly those interests,” he says. “You compromise, you negotiate, and try to have a good time with everybody.”

At Impact, after five matches there is a break. When it’s time to resume, the M.C. hypes the atmosphere by blasting “Welcome to the Jungle” over the loudspeaker. Spectators get more excited and eventually the roar of cheers surpasses the loud music.

Inside the ring, the wrestlers work each other over and whip the crowd into a frenzy. It’s about players flirting with the audience by stripping off opponents’ already skimpy clothes. Or about two women kissing when the judge has made decision who’s won.

Mike B., the MC and co-organizer, beams.

“How can you not have a great time with this?” he says.