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Beginnings 4 - Sian's story

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Offline EllenShaw

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Beginnings 4 - Sian's story
« on: December 16, 2021, 09:50:08 AM »
If you’re just here to read stories about women beating each other up then, as they say before the sports results, look away now.

This is another of my character histories and I make no apologies for trying to make the characters in my stories at little less two dimensional by telling you who they are and how they came to be here. Sian has not featured too much in my stories so far but, as you will see, she is the common thread that ties us together. This is her story in her own words - enjoy.

Ever wondered how a gay farmer’s daughter from Northern Ireland ends up a single mother farming sheep on the edge of the Pennine Hills and a founder a private club for women to wrestle naked? Let me explain.

I was born in Derry in July 1964. The third and youngest daughter of dairy farmers. Our farm was far from the cities and the borders and the troubles. A pastoral and bucolic setting but hard graft. Farming was in the blood so, naturally, I was expected to become a farmer, or at least a farmer’s wife. But I was not quite what my parents expected.

As a teenager I began to realise that I wasn’t like others girls, and it wasn’t just because of my fiery red hair. Boys didn’t interest me, but girls did. Homosexuality was still a taboo subject in the 1970s, particularly in the remote farming communities of Northern Ireland. By the time I was eighteen I was acutely aware of my sexuality and embarrassed and frightened by it. Derry girls weren’t supposed to be gay. It was a sin. What would my parents think when they found out (which, of course, they would)? It would bring shame on the family.

I decided I would have to leave before anyone discovered my secret. I had no reason to stay anyway. My eldest sister Siobhan, would inherit the farm. My other sister, Mary, would marry the son of a neighbouring farmer. For me there was nothing unless I found an eligible farmer to marry.

Desperate to get away while keeping my parents’ goodwill I got a place at an agricultural college in the south of England on the pretext of studying sheep farming. It was about as far away from home as I could get without leaving the country. My parents seemed happy; I was diversifying. Sheep weren’t farmed around us but they were in other parts of Ulster. Maybe I’d marry a sheep farmer in County Down. Maybe I’d meet a nice English farmer at college. I didn’t have the heart to burst their bubble.

I wasn’t exactly a stunner as a teenager, despite my red hair and green eyes, but I wasn’t bad to look at either. When I went off to college, I was 5’ 5”, had shoulder length hair and a farm girl’s figure, probably 36b-27-38 - solid but shapely, not fat or butch. (These days I’ve filled out a bit, to 38c-30-42 and about 160lbs, but I am 56 and none of it’s flab).

College was an eye opener for me. I’d never been away from my family before and in 1983 the south of England was a lot more liberal than where I came from. Higher education catered for all types and most colleges had their own clubs and societies where like-minded students could get together. The college I was at even had its own gay society. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to attend one of their meetings but when I did, I was pleased to discover two girls from my course were already members.

The discovery of our shared sexuality broke the ice and the three of us became close friends. Through them I discovered that the nearby city had a thriving gay community and the girls took me to a couple of bars at its centre. The place I liked best went by the unlikely name of Gracelands and it became a regular haunt of ours.

One night, about 6 months after I started college, I went to Gracelands on my own and got chatting to a girl a few years older than me. Her name was Leah and she told me that she was a fitness instructor who ran aerobics and other workout classes at a couple of local gyms. Aerobics was still a new and exotic thing back then, Jane Fonda’s famous video had only been out for a year or so, so I was intrigued. She invited me to come to one of her classes. A few days later I did and found myself in a group of leotard clad women working up a sweat to disco music while my new friend shouted instructions, half of which I didn’t understand.

After the class Leah and I went to Gracelands for a drink. One thing led to another and I ended up back at her place. That night this 19-year-old ulster girl lost her virginity to her sex mad aerobics instructor and loved every second of it.

Lying in Leah’s bed the next morning I was struck by a poster sized picture hung on the back of her bedroom door. It showed a fit, tanned brunette with glowing skin wearing boots, silk boxer shorts, boxing gloves and nothing else. It took me a moment to realise who it was but when I did, I turned to the beauty next to me and said: “Is that you?”

“Oh yes!”, she replied. “I love to fight. And not just boxing, I wrestle too.”

“Show me!” I cried and seconds later we were wrestling naked on her bed. I’d wrestled many times with my sisters and school friends. That’s what first alerted me to the sense of arousal I felt from touching other women. With Leah it was electric. She was a much better fighter than me and quickly had me pinned and on the brink of orgasm.

“Wow!” I said. “Do you do this to all your girlfriends?”

By way of reply she slipped two fingers into my pussy and gave me a shuddering orgasm. When I had come down from the state of ecstasy she’d taken me to, she told me about the photo and the story behind it. It was taken in a club in Munich, Germany, a few years earlier. She had been an exchange student there when she was learning her craft. Apparently, the photo was taken seconds before she knocked out a German girl called Lena.

She regaled me with many stories of her fighting exploits, including a later period when she fought at another club in Vienna run by someone she called Harry. Finally, she revealed the fact that there was a private club at one of the gyms she gave classes at where women wrestled topless and, increasingly, naked. She asked if I’d be interested in joining in.

I replied I’d wrestle her anytime but it might be fun to wrestle others as well. A couple of weeks later I became a member of the Civilized Ladies Amateur Wrestling Society (CLAWS) and my life changed forever. Over the spring and summer of 1984 I went from 19-year-old Derry virgin to rampant lesbian naked wrestler and ferocious lover. I was in my element. I was in love with Leah and with wrestling. At her insistence I tried boxing but I didn’t enjoy it, it simply wasn’t tactile enough for me.

Wrestling at CLAWS was, of course, very different to having a quick fumble with your girlfriend on the bed. CLAWS had been started in 1978 and, when I joined, the club was run by gym owner and trainer Maggie Robertson and Jay Leonard (later to become Jay Marchant), one of the two remaining founding members. Fights were filmed and the videos sold so there was a chance to make money. There was a league, a ladder, with eight fighters vying for the top spot and moving up and down the ladder based on results. There were rules and a referee. We fought the best of five falls over a maximum of ten 3-minute rounds (most fights lasted six or seven rounds).

Originally the girls had worn bikinis and swimsuits. The club had become topless, almost by accident and sales of topless videos proved popular. The move to nude fighting began after Jay, the long-time champion, had lost her title and retired a year or so before I joined. A couple of the girls, Leah and Beth, started fighting naked. When I joined, I fought naked from day one and by the end of the year everyone had thrown their knickers away. Video sales improved again although censorship, particularly in the USA, made marketing harder.

My first fight was against Beth, a former gymnast. She was small but agile and ran rings around me, eventually beating me 3-1 in the sixth round. I may have lost that first fight but I was a quick learner. Three victories in my next three matches set me up for a shot at the club title and, at the end of the year, I became the first girl to defeat Clare and win the title.

Clare, a short buxom blonde with long straight hair, had joined the club the year before me. She took the title on the night I fought Beth and held it for the whole year. My victory over Clare was my first title win at CLAWS but it wouldn’t be my last. In almost four years at CLAWS my record was 15 wins, including 5 title wins, and 11 losses. Leah and I faced it other three times and, much to my surprise, I beat her twice.

All the girls at CLAWS were great opponents, irrespective of their sexual orientation. The straight girls like Clare, Cassy, Jane and Ellen were just as much fun to grapple with as those of a more fluid persuasion like Leah, Beth and Christine. My years at college were made all the more enjoyable by the prospect of regular tussles with the girls at Robertson’s gym. Leah also took me on a few trips to fight in London at a club run by a guy called Gerry. Unlike CLAWS, Gerry didn’t have a fixed venue and we went to different places (sometimes a gym, sometimes a pub) each time.

I graduated in 1986 and, with college over, I needed a job, ideally away from home. Surprisingly family came to the rescue. Aunt Maeve, my mother’s older sister had married a dour Englishman, considerably older than her, who farmed sheep in the hills near Manchester. Uncle John died in 1983, the same year that I started college, leaving the farm to Maeve. She was just 48 years old. After he died, she continued to run the farm with the help of a couple of farm hands who had worked for John all their lives and were themselves approaching retirement age.

Maeve had always had a soft spot for me. I think she sensed that I was different. She was childless herself. When I was young, I never gave it any thought but years later Maeve confessed to me that both she and John were gay and their marriage had never been consummated.

After I graduated from college, I went to help her on the sheep farm. I enjoyed the life. It was hard but the scenery was breath taking and, despite the sense of remoteness, we were close to some large cities with thriving nightlife for a gay girl in her early twenties. Maeve would often give me Friday nights off and rarely seemed surprised when I didn’t return until Saturday afternoon.

The farm wasn’t huge and we struggled to get by but I realised it was crossed by a popular hiking trail and saw an opportunity. I persuaded Maeve to diversify. We had a small paddock that we turned into a camping field for the summer. It proved surprisingly successful.

All the time I was working for Maeve I continued to travel south every couple of months to fight at CLAWS. Some of the girls left and new ones joined. Christine was another redhead who started soon after me. She went on to have a long and successful career at CLAWS as well as a long relationship with Leah, which ended less successfully when Leah caught her two-timing.

Showmanship had entered the arena along with the nudity and girls would do things like enter the ring fully dressed and strip for the cameras before fighting. On one memorable evening when Christine was challenging Clare for the title, she even got Leah to film me shaving her pussy in the ring before the opening bell. The video was our best seller to date.

In the autumn of 1987 Leah received a challenge from a girl called Lesley. Lesley had tried out for CLAWS earlier that year but had lost out to Ellen. Now she wanted to box Leah. What was odd was that she wanted to do it at Harry’s club in Vienna. Leah persuaded me to go with her. It was my first trip abroad and we had a great time in Vienna, although we both lost our fights. Leah was knocked out in the 4th round of her fight with Lesley and I lost a single fall wrestling match to a local girl called Claudia.

On New Year’s Day 1988 Maeve announced that she was going to retire from farming at 53 and become an artist. With no children of her own to carry on the farm it would have to be sold. I thought to myself: ‘That’s it, I’ll have to go home and face the truth’. I was upset and eventually confessed to Maeve that I didn’t want to go home because I was gay.

“Yes, I know” She replied, “your body language screams it, you need to be more discreet.” I was shocked, I had no idea my sexuality was so obvious. She went on: “you’re also a good sheep farmer and there’s no one I’d rather have run this farm than you. You’re the closest thing to a daughter I’ll ever have. Let me think about it, I have an idea.”

In the end, to fund her retirement, Maeve sold some of the land to neighbouring farmers but then gave the rest of land and the farm itself to me – it’s been my home ever since.  In early 1988 I took over Maeve’s farm and she moved to a small cottage in county Cork where she lived out the rest of her life alone painting watercolours and selling them through a local gallery. She passed away in 2015 aged 81 and I miss her terribly.

Before she left, she reminded me: “You’re a farmer now Sian Ryan, you can’t just abandon your livestock for nights on the town whenever you feel like it.” Of course, she knew I wouldn’t, not for more than a day or two at most. And during the summer the sheep were out on the moor so it was only the chickens that needed regular attention.

After she left, the reduced land meant the farm was barely large enough to be viable and I expanded my tourist business. I started a B&B in the farm house itself, letting up to four of the five of the bedrooms to hikers. Some would say that’s a crazy thing for a young girl to do but for some reason it never occurred to me that a guest might try to rape me or worse and, so far, they never have.

By the time I took over the farm my relationship with Leah had long since run its course and we had both found new local companions but I still enjoyed fighting her and the other CLAWS girls. I even persuaded my latest local girlfriend, Mandy, to join the club. I’d had a run of defeats in recent meetings and needed a win to secure my place in the league. I hoped fighting Mandy would give me a much-needed victory.

Unfortunately, just as Mandy was due to have her debut fight with me, I got into a blazing row with Jay and Maggie and stormed out, never to return. The row was nothing to do with my fighting, it was over my camera work. I had filmed some of the fights at the last two sessions and, apparently, some of my shots were so intimate they didn’t pass the US censor and couldn’t be sold there. In fact, as a result, CLAWS was banned from selling any new material featuring naked fighters in the US for the next three years. Jay and Maggie were livid at the loss of a major market. I told them to fuck themselves. It wasn’t porn, it was just nude wrestling. We were doing it for fun. What did it matter who bought the videos? Sadly, they didn’t see it that way and asked me to leave.

In my absence Jay stepped into the ring against Mandy and I’m pleased to say my girl gave her a damn good beating.

Back home on the farm I was still keen to fight. I was already on the lookout for more local opponents such as Mandy. I started going to pro wrestling events, which at that time were still popular in the working men’s clubs, and watched the girl wrestlers in action. Eventually I plucked up the courage to talk to one or two of them after their matches and that’s how I got to know Evie.

Evie wasn’t gay, far from it, but she was a fighter. She admitted that the pro-style stuff was largely acting and the results were often rigged but she also said there were some serious rivalries and not every fight was faked.  She also told me how she had spent a few summers in Spain working at a bar that held women’s wrestling matches, more catfights than pro stuff, and that she’d fought a lot there. It turned out that she was involved in the apartment wrestling scene, travelling around the country to fight other girls in private settings, and also had some local contacts who were keen to start a club in the city. She asked if I’d like to join them? Well, I was definitely up for that.

Evie and I found a venue, a small private room attached to a boxing club in the east of the city. We arranged with the owner to hire it four times a year and the Naked Bitches Fighting Club was born. From the outset the NBFC was all about the joy of fighting other women naked. 8-12 women getting together every few months, taking their clothes off and wrestling each other. Initially we didn’t even consider filming the fights (we do now but they’re not on general sale). Opponents were selected by a draw and there would be no leagues or champions. Our fights had no rounds and were either single fall or best of five.

We had our first meeting a week later. That’s when I discovered that Mandy would was no push over, she beat me easily. Over the next few months three of the CLAWS girls, all from the midlands or the north, followed me to the NBFC. First Sylvia, then Mandy and finally Jane. After Jane left CLAWS reverted to primarily topless matches and has remained that way ever since while at the NBFC the clothes remain firmly off.

A month after the first NBFC meeting I did something really stupid but something I would willingly do again for the joy it subsequently gave me. I slept with a man (my one and only ‘hetro’ experience) and somehow managed to get pregnant. Needless to say, being as naive as I was, I didn’t find out for three months and during that time I’d fought Jane at the second NBFC meeting.

At the third NBFC meeting I was 5 months gone and could only referee the action, naked with a protruding pregnant belly. A few weeks later, back on the farm, my guardian angel walked in off the moor in the form of a rather sad young lady still searching for her place in the world. Unbeknown to both of us, she’d just found it.

When Terri first arrived at the farm, I had no idea she was either a fighter or bi-sexual. Nothing about her behaviour gave any clues beyond the fact that she seemed to be a misfit, confused and unsure where she was headed. I was lonely and I felt sorry for her. I invited her to stay and I’m damned glad I did.

When Shannon arrived on a wintery night in early 1989 it was Terri who delivered her. The midwife couldn’t get through the blizzard. And it was Terri who helped me through those difficult first few months as a single mother. It was Harry who first alerted me to Terri’s fighting prowess. She had fought for his club in Vienna the year before, often taking on the same girls that Leah and I had fought there on our visit just a few months before that. I was excited to learn that Terri and I had a secret common interest. She was excited to learn about the NBFC and was keen to get involved.

When the initial effects of childbirth had worn off, I returned to the NBFC, taking Terri and baby Shannon with me. Terri proved to be an excellent and popular fighter in the three years she spent with us.

In early 1992 Evie persuaded a friend of hers, Jan, to join us. Evie explained that she had met Jan in Spain at the club where she fought. Jan was a fighter and had been married to the club’s owner, who died in a motorcycle accident. Jan and I hit it off immediately. Not only did we have a similar fighting style but we were also both single mothers with young daughters. I invited Jan and her daughter Paige, to stay at the farm when she visited the NBFC and, for the next few years, they were regular visitors.

In the summer of 1992, almost four years after she’d first arrived, expecting to stay just a few days, Terri decided to move on. I knew I couldn’t hold her forever and I encouraged her to pursue her dreams and make something of her life. I didn’t see her again for 10 years, although she wrote to me from the various places where she was living. When she returned, she had a young son and called herself by a new name, “Tee”.

Throughout the 90s the NBFC continue to meet every three months or so and our reputation as a discrete private club grew among the female fighting community. New members joined our original small group and, although a few gave up or took time out as they grew older and started families, many of the original gang still remain.

One newcomer who had a big impact in the 90s was Mitzi. An occasional pro wrestler and model Mitzi was a wildcat, a ferocious fighter who remained unbeaten for many years. Her niece, Kelly, also came to fight with us occasionally before moving south and joining CLAWS where she has been very successful.

As well as our regular ‘members’ we had many visitors. Jan’s friend Peggy from California, one or two of Harry’s girls from Vienna, an Irish girl called Lesley and a few refugees from CLAWS and Gerry’s ventures to name but a few. Leah, who remained at CLAWS until injury forced her to retire in 2002, was a regular visitor throughout the 90. I still hope to entice her back into the ring one day but she’s just turned 61 and hasn’t fought in nearly 20 years so I guess that’s wishful thinking.

Between us we also fostered a new generation of fighters. In 2007 I had a proud mum moment when my lovely Shannon turned 18 and joined the NBFC and a few years later an event prouder, while at the same time sad, moment when Shannon bested me in the ring for the first time. Over the years Shannon has been joined by Jane’s daughter Jasmine, Jan’s Paige and Evie’s twins, Helen and Carole – all of whom became regulars at the NBFC when they were old enough and bought some of the friends along as well. Although we’ve never set any age limits (other than a minimum age of 18) for our members, it’s nice to have young blood coming into the game.

The NBFC had always been a private affair. A venue where ladies who were so inclined could get naked and fight each other. We had no aspirations to make money but we did have costs to cover. It was Jan who finally persuaded us to let the cameras in back in 2003.

I was never keen, my experience at CLAWS had put me off, but Jan convinced us that her friend Jill, who was already doing the filming at CLAWS, would do all the filming and it would remain private and anonymous. She also suggested we use a distributor to sell our videos, it would mean less money but a lot less work. Harry was an obvious choice. He already sold his own videos worldwide and could guarantee our little club remained secret. Other than the English voices on our films there was nothing to say who we were or where we were. That suited us and Jan was right, Jill had a very sensitive approach and produced excellent videos for us.

I continued to farm until the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001 when my stock had to be destroyed. The government paid me compensation but I had lost heart in farming and I ended up selling off and renting out most of my land to other farms. These days I keep five acres with a few sheep, chickens and goats, more pets than livestock, and Shannon and I have our horses. With no livestock to speak of many of the barns and out buildings on the farm were redundant.

Ever resourceful, I set about using my compensation to convert the large stone barn that formed the centre piece of the farm into a venue for parties and events, more “people farming” as Terri liked to call it. An architect friend of Jane’s husband helped me with the design, we kept the space very simple and bright but with the ability to break it up in different ways. The architect and his interior designer wife showed me how to use things like straw bales to build partitions and give the place a rustic feel. Their sound absorbing qualities also make the place popular with musicians and, along with the inevitable private parties and wedding receptions, we’ve had some great concerts and a few recording sessions in the barn.

It’s been a successful business investment but the time the barn really came into its own was when the NBFC found itself homeless. In 2009 the back room of the gym we’d called home for over 20 years was sold for redevelopment and suddenly we needed a new venue. Until we found one (which took a look longer than we expected) the barn became our meeting place. I was able to acquire the ring from our old venue, a fifteen-foot square ring that stood two feet off the floor and fitted snugly in the barn but it suited us fine.

I had intended it to be a temporary arrangement but it was six years before the NBFC found another suitable venue in the city and, even today, we have occasional meets here. (The ring is stored in another barn and takes us a day or two to set up so we don’t get it out that often.) There have been some memorable sessions in the barn, not least when Mitzi took on Ellen in probably the most brutal match I ever witnessed. As I write this, we’re getting the ring out again, ready for a visit from our friends in the south. I’m excited!

Sian Ryan – September 2020
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 09:51:55 AM by EllenShaw »