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Pippa the Ripper
Andy Parsons

‘Wrestling brought out a new side of me’: how one London student became fetish wrestler Pippa the Ripper

By Time Out London contributor

I first moved to London in 2004 to study psychology at UCL. I was skint, as most students are, but I had an adventurous streak, so when I saw an advert for girls in good shape with a sporty attitude, I applied. I had no idea if it would be dodgy or intimidating, but when I turned up, it was wonderful. The instructor was a lovely girl who’d travelled the world wrestling and come back to London to set up a business. She gave us basic training and showed us a few holds, and I instantly loved it.

I’d never wrestled before, but I’d done a couple of kickboxing classes and I had strong thighs from hockey and horse riding. You didn’t need to be really strong or skilled to make money – you just needed some knowledge of the moves. I got more experienced, and wrestling brought out a new side of me: playful, fun and a bit competitive.

Predominantly I wrestle men, but I have had couples who’ve wanted to book me because they’re both into it. Most of the time, clients want semi-competitive wrestling. That’s when you’re not really trying to win or cause pain, and if one person is a lot better, they hold back, to match the other person’s abilities.

Wrestling can be classed as a fetish. Some wrestlers are dominatrixes who offer wrestling as a form of domination, and some wrestlers from a sporty background find they enjoy the domination aspect. I love wrestling someone, overpowering them and restraining them with ropes – bondage wrestling is increasingly popular. Sometimes I tickle them when they’re tied up, but only if they want me to!

When I started, I mainly wore bikinis – you learn quickly which ones keep everything in. Some are useless: you wear them once then chuck them away, because you don’t want to be distracted by your bits falling out. Over the ten years I’ve been on the wrestling scene, what girls wear has become more varied. It’s whatever you’re comfortable in, like sports tops and hot pants. Occasionally customers request certain outfits, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be skimpy: they might like tights or traditional leotards.

Sometimes guys get erections, but if it’s not affecting the session, you carry on. Lots of guys like scissor holds, where you grip your opponent with your legs. Their head might be between your thighs, but it’s the nature of the sport – it doesn’t mean they’ll do anything inappropriate. Some holds do make you think: Blimey, that’s a funny position! But it’s innocent: people come because they want to wrestle. If they wanted to do inappropriate things, they’d book a prostitute.

Because it’s hands-on, there’s a fine line between groping and manoeuvring, but there are rules against inappropriate touching. Problems are rare: the wrestling community is respectful, and the clientele like women overpowering them so they’re often submissive. The chance of them trying to take advantage is low.

In the past I’ve done five or six sessions a week, but I don’t do many now. Five years ago I opened my own wrestling space in north London, The Submission Room. It’s a studio covered in judo mats that I rent to female wrestlers, who I match up with clients. There’s about a dozen of us and we charge upwards of £150 a session. I get a kick out of it when all the girls have bookings. I’m 31 now, and wrestling’s been such a big, important part of my life. I’d like to think I’ll still have a fun wrestle when I’m 45: it keeps you young!

Interview by Samantha Rea.

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