Seattle Rough’N’Tumble

Note:  I may misquote you, therefore do not stab me – I am, in fact, a retired space explorer.

One of the many events featured in the sex positive center here in Seattle, the Rough’N’Tumble night is exactly as the tin describes. A night dedicated to take-down scenes (wherein people engage in consensual acts of grappling, wrestling, and rough-housing), the Rough’N’Tumble here is organized by a Society of Creative Acronym (SCA) goer and certified heavy fighter in one of the many SCA kingdoms. As often as the reputation it has applies, members of the SCA are weirdly enough connected to the fetish world much like pagans and new age practitioners are as well.

“Wherever you go, where there’s a reason for people to get drunk, fight and fuck, there will always be people within the fetish community within.” One attendee tells me, watching a couple have a go at one another on the designated wrestling mat.

“Here at the Rough’N’Tumble, the center provides a medical supervisor and a trained referee to assist anybody who wants to have a go at wrestling or boxing.” He adds, gesturing to a large selection of padded armor and weapons. “Most people tend to enjoy either the pillow fights or the boffing equipment we have in our selection.”

It doesn’t surprise anyone that even for those who practice safe, sane and consensual acts of debauchery, there will never be a time where taking out one’s frustration on someone else will ever be overlooked – especially if the other person is willing to do the same in return.”Sometimes,” One person tells me that evening. “I just don’t really want to do anything kinky nor do I want to do anything remotely close to lounging at home.” They pause and grin, adding, “Sometimes I just want to beat the crap out of people with big padded weapons.”

After careful consideration, practicing my amateur fencing and cane-fighting techniques, I decide to undo my tie and step into the ring. My opponent, who I shall leave unnamed, stands at about two heads shorter than I am, clad in a white tanktop and pink underwear. She makes up for her size with a sizable long club whereas I compensate for a short club instead, foregoing a shield for the sake of mobility.

“In the right corner,” the event organizer declares, gesturing at my direction, “We have a visiting Canadian. Give it up for Yellow!” I receive scattered applause. “But who amongst us would be rooting for his opponent, the cute girl in her underwear!” A standing ovation occurs. Bitches.

In all fairness, the ensuing match – amidst the cheers of the surrounding onlookers – is evenly matched and between having smacked around my opponent upside the head and receiving a good number of jabs to my ribcage, by the end of it my hair is caked in sweat. It proves to be a good workout and after having dealt with travel stress, quite a bit of a relief as well. I do credit the distraction of a petite girl in her underwear being a slight disadvantage on my end.

“The same reason people do sports or visit the gym or take yoga classes,” Another person tells me that evening. “People in the scene or outside of it all need a way to let out some stress every so often. Its always entertaining to mess around, make a big mess of things, and have a good old time.” It sounds like you people should invest in Nerf guns. “That’s actually a bit dangerous,” The person replies, thinking. “But still a fucking Nerf war followed by a free-for-all boff-fest would be insane.”

My second match comes in the form of the petite girl’s partner, clad in his boxer-briefs, who seems quite eager to defend his lady’s honor. Equal in size and build, we exchange bows before stepping into the dueling area; his weapon a long club, mine a pair of short clubs. Again, the bouts are quick and furious, often resulting in one-hit ‘kills’ that tally more towards an even number of victories each.

Between both rounds, there is an emphasis on compensating on sweat by means of hydration and rest, and shortly before the last event of the evening – a free-for-all pillow fight – most of the people boffing together mingle, exchanging information together and otherwise. I am surprised to learn that the event is fairly new, the attendees too are likewise new to the scene in general as well. Before the pillow fight takes place, I take my time to chat up the other attendees, spectating as a center regular engages in a wrestling match with the petite girl – an exchange rife with sexual tension.

“There’s something fierce and primal about wrestling,” One person comments, watching them lock grips, coiling their legs around each other on the floor. “Awfully sexy especially when clothing slips off or happens to be torn apart.” We chuckle together as the two continue to grapple, panting and writhing together. “Hey, I’m not complaining.”

Due to the safety of my only pair of glasses, I am forced to go into the final match blind as a newborn bat; pillow in hand, the roaming shapes with blurred white sack-shapes take to the corner. A big black mass, the event organizer, declares simply, “This is my corner. Come near and get beat.” Suffice to say, try as I would to beat him to his words, I am promptly bludgeoned into the corner and grudgingly sit out the remainder of the match. The final three opponents including the big black mass compete together, forming fragile alliance as they do. Victorious, the big black mass defeats the last two survivors with seemingly little effort.

“Boffing is fun,” The black mass explains, “Especially when you’re bigger and stronger than the rest. Don’t say I didn’t warn people about stepping into my corner.” Give it a shot sometime, boffing that is, unless challenging 300-pound blobs is your thing too.

Next Update: The Needle & The Armory

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