Reasons Why Turkish Oil Wrestlers are Hot in San Francisco!

Jen Welter-Çaylı
05 February, 2015

One particular sport has been getting some perhaps not so surprising attention these days in San Francisco. That sport is Turkish Oil Wrestling. And that attention is coming from the guys of San Francisco’s gay scene. And honestly, who can blame them?

What makes this sport so eye catching? Perhaps the ‘300’ style gladiator specimens wrestling for a start.

Add to that, the men are all wearing nothing but special leather britches known as ‘kispet’ and the appeal may start to grow.

Next, douse them head to toe in olive oil before the games can begin.. Yes, Please.

So, to review. Strapping young men. Check. Wearing only leather pants. Check. Greased head to toe. Check.

Referees then pair off two men who proceed to wrestle under the hot summer sun for 30 to 40 minutes grappling with each other, both attempting to gain control of the other by forcing their hand through the others kispet. Due to the oil this is much harder than it seems. A lot of awkward positioning and posturing ensue. Matches are also done to the pounding of the Ottoman drum. Oddly, ask a Turk about it and they are very blase about the whole thing, it’s their national sport, it’s just the way it has always been. But for the record, it is against the rules to grab the sensitive parts, or invade any “cavities” if you will, but if a wrestler loses his trunks on his own, he’s gotten himself disqualified. There is probably a fair amount of rooting among the bar crowd when a wrestler’s shorts start to ride low.

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Jen Welter-Çaylı

An American expat who has been living in Istanbul for the last 4 years. Interested in travel, exploring other cultures and eating great food along the way.

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