Weâ€™ve all encountered him at one point or another. A big, swaggering no-neck as full of himself as he is protein shakes and Creatine.
He could be a construction worker, drill sergeant, police officer, lunkhead gym teacher, or gym rat fixture.
Heâ€™s vain, ego-driven, loud, devoid of a selfless thought in his head and prone to flaunting his body -- all attributes that should make him a complete turn-off. Yet, on some primal level, he arouses us against all reason. While we may hate ourselves for it, that distinct urge to put him over a chair and jack hammer away at his adamantine loins gets the better of us.
Champion bodybuilder Brad Hollibaugh is that guy. At least onscreen. In real life heâ€™s a recognizable name on the bodybuilding circuit, holder of countless titles, a former college wrestler, a father and grandfather, as well as a soft-spoken gentlemen who just happens to be built like Hercules.
Thanks to the cottage industry of self-produced Muscle Worship DVDs, heâ€™s become a bona fide sex symbol, not quite Porn Star, not quite performance artist. His persona comes straight out of Archie Comics and mail order Charles Atlas ads: the dreaded Muscle Bully played to the hilt. Via his web cam and DVDs, we get to experience this unique specieâ€™s daily life, be it measuring his massive biceps, showering languidly, singing his own praises, or admiring himself in front of his mirror, mirror on the wall.
Of course Mr. Hollibaughâ€™s confirming what we've always suspected: the Muscle Monster is a skilled cock tease who just loves to be admired and really doesnâ€™t care whoâ€™s doing the eyeballing as long as he's the center of attention. Hollibaugh actually gets the irony heâ€™s playing at and what makes his act all the more glorious to behold is his genuine wide-eyed rollicking in his own astoundingly pneumatic bod. Few men can claim to inspire such a collective case of blue balls as this man does.
A glimpse at the titles of his DVDs could be mistaken for entries on the XXX shelf of any red light district DVD retailer: The Interrogation, Giant, Mismatch Massacre, Supercharged, Trophy Room, and Muscle Tussle. Herein Brad intimidates various younger men -- most of whom look like blond high school wrestlers in need of a good throw-down to keep them in line -- by manhandling the hell out of them. Theyâ€™re bear-hugged, bench pressed, lifted up over his head, head locked, pinned and verbally bulldozed into submission. Ultimate Power Challenge has him taking on three smaller bodybuilders as they arm wrestle, body slam and play tug of war, Brad emerging victorious and merciless.
There's enough friction and straining to rival the most HGH-fueled WWF bout. If the camera isnâ€™t lingering over his every curve and bulge, itâ€™s positioned Russ Meyer-style from two feet off the ground so he looms mountainously over everything, the frame and his briefs giving their all to contain him.
It all hearkens back to the heyday of the Athletic Model Guild and physique loops with their ambiguous sexual connotations. An apparent put-on, be it artistic or athletic, veils the naughty motivation beneath. Posing straps or a demure sock over the cock stood in for full frontal nudity, while dual showboating and macho roughhousing predated penetration and the money shot. It's the game of bait-and-switch porn had to play; sex was only hinted at, never actually fulfilled.
In a lesser manâ€™s hands, this would be tedious and vacuous. Hollibaugh has the charisma, humor and clever sense of self-parody to pull it off. All skull-shaven, smooth and voluptuous, he looks like nothing so much as a massive engorged dick that threatens to Hulk out and rampage wildly if it isnâ€™t stroked to roaring, gushing climax.
Admittedly Hollibaugh and his ilk arenâ€™t every manâ€™s type. Bodybuilding, like gay culture itself, can legitimately be called a subculture, one with its own lingo and standard of beauty that donâ€™t necessarily translate across all borders. Many consider Hollibaugh just too damn big, inhumanly so, a veritable freak of nature. Still, there are beautiful freaks, those whose physical uncanniness entrenches their beauty and sets them apart from the conventional.
In the end Hollibaugh is a divisive figure in the bodybuilder realm. Aside from high school locker rooms, few settings are as casually likely to trade in the â€œfâ€ and â€œhâ€ words as that arena. Atypically gay-friendly, heâ€™s happy to play to a loyal gay fan base and enjoys the attention. A crowd favorite at the pump-and-grind Bodybuilder Jams held at L.A.'s Faultline Bar, he clearly gets off on the adulation, his body oiled to a sheen like a greased pig, clasping hands of the audience coveting his every rippling undulation. If you're one of the lucky few, you end up with your head gripped in the vice-like crook of his bicep or shoved into his chasmic cleavage.
When you're one of the biggest men in all creation, you can brazenly shake your ass and parade around with dollar bills shoved into your G-string without having to answer to the dumbbell-clutchers of the world who find such a thing ever so distasteful.
Itâ€™s not exactly news to us that thereâ€™s a pipeline between the bodybuilder rounds and gay porn that runs both ways. It's doubtful one arena could survive without the other. Consider that former Mr. America Chris Duffy was headlining in gay porn at the time he held the title.
You canâ€™t fault Hollibaugh for being big and bold enough to straddle both worlds like the Colossus of Rhodes. Whoâ€™s really going to tell this mammoth to his face that he canâ€™t have his cake and eat it too?