raider in canada:
portrait of sean martin

a documentary by Randy A. Riddle


Chute Dogging:
Wrestlin' Around

Chute Dogging: A Fun Bit of Wrestling

Chute Dogging, also known as "Steer Wrestling", is a common rodeo event where the contestants, both men and women, must wrestle a 600 to 800 pound steer to the ground in the least time possible. The animal's nose must cross a line ten feet from the chute before the contestant can "dog" the steer to protect the animal and the contestant. The steer is wrestled to the ground by turning its head back towards its shoulder; when the steer is lying on its side with all four feet pointing in the same direction, the judge drips a flag to stop the timers.

Taking a look at a number of Doc and Raider cartoons, one notices that the guys are very physical with each other -- Sean doesn't just show them in quiet moments, one character with his hand on the shoulder of the other, he also explores more overt displays of physicality. Doc and Raider are seen roughhousing in the hay in an old barn, working out at the gym; they wrestle and even box.

Sean Martin, slugger extrodinaire, in 3D, and his roughhousing creations having a roll in the hay (in 2D)
(c) 1995, Randy A. Riddle and (c) Sean Martin

This trait of the characters reflects something of Sean's own interests -- he himself is turned on by fighting. But Sean is quick to point out that this type of scene isn't for everyone, requiring two partners who implicitly trust each other. It can often take the form of the same type of roughhousing that we do as kids or even something as serious as a friendly boxing match.

Doc and Raider work things out
(c) copyright Sean Martin

Doc and Raider may arm-wrestle to see who cleans out the litter box and it's that sense of humor that marks Sean's own approach to fighting and wrestling. He sees it as something fun and mutual between two guys -- certainly the antithesis of domestic violence that is brought on by unfocused rage and anger, something that is wild, uncontrolled, and meant to do real damage.

I asked Sean about his decision to write his unusual fetish into Doc and Raider. "I thought if I was going to put myself on the line," he said, referring to some of the other very personal issues dealt with in the cartoon, "I might was well put everything out there." Sean's exploration of the scene in the cartoon has created its share of controversy with some readers failing to see it as something other than domestic violence.

unpublished cartoon, circa 1995
(c) Sean Martin

Even many people in the Leather/SM subculture shy away from acknowledging fighting or brawling as one of the many fetishes that individuals explore -- it doesn't fit into the typical exclusively "Top/bottom" roles seen in SM, but requires the same type of safety precautions, mutual trust, and dedication seen in SM. Sean entered a Mr. Drummer contest in Toronto and surprised everyone with his staged fantasy of a good-natured fight.

Sean displays his favorite t-shirt, produced from a scan of a book cover from his favorite Western novels that inspired the names for Doc and Raider
(c) Randy A. Riddle

However, individuals who have a fetish for roughhousing, wrestling, martial arts, or boxing form a remarkably large, devoted group all over the world that operate under the radar screen of mainstream Gay culture. Several contact lists, personal services, and even businesses that offer video or printed erotica exist that cater to these devotees -- GWA is probably the oldest and most well-known.  Sean's first published cartoons, in fact, were for one such publication.  Bat' Lin' Brothers was, in some respects, a "trial run" of characters that would eventually become Doc and Raider.

View "The Bat'Lin' Brothers:  Fists N' Philosophy"
circa 1982 or '83
part one
part two
part three

I asked Sean during the interview what the "turn-on" is about erotic fighting or roughhousing. He tried his best to explain it, but could only laugh and say, "It just is" just as a loud clap of thunder broke the silence of the living room where we were conducting the interview. We both laughed -- that moment seemed to sum it up best., 3.15.99