The Wrestling Party
"When does desire turn into exploitation?" Bett Williams asks, reflecting on a relationship she had with a seventeen-year-old girl when she was thirty. This is the question that hums beneath "The Wrestling Party," whether Bett is exploring the youth-worshiping tendencies of a riot grrrl music -festival or telling the tale of a disabled boy's passion for Tara Lapinsky or giving advice to "stalker chicks." Bett's life becomes unhinged in an attempt to finally get it right when she has a crush on Anikka, a nightclub regular with a Swiss/German accent who is sexually submissive (as in "TheVillage Voice" personals-submissive). Bett's crush lands her half naked and covered in oil while wrestling a dozen women in her garage. Still unable to win over Anikka, she enlists the help of David, an obnoxious Scottish writer who assists in bringing the relationship with Anikka to its hilarious and startling finale.
"The Wrestling Party" is a raucous mixture of cultural criticism, erotic tell-all, and in-the-field journalism that reads like a novel you can't put down. In an era marked by social isolation and paint-by-numbers politics, Bett's stories offer us a glimpse of who we are beyond the constraints of cool correctness. Like wrestling, conflict in Bett's -nimble hands is transformed into beauty and violence, into something altogether more complicated and tender.
Bett Williams is the author of "Girl Walking Backwards." Her writing has appeared in "Out" and extensively on LesbiaNation.com.