A Female Muscle Fetish Isn’t as Complicated as You Might Think

The reason why Jill St. Laurent is gorgeous definitely isn't complicated.

The reason why Jill St. Laurent is gorgeous definitely isn’t complicated.

Sometimes in life, we tend to overthink things.

Nobody needs to spend twenty minutes thinking about which brand of hair coloring they need to buy. Or a whole hour organizing your wardrobe for the day. Or testing out twelve different fad diets only to discover that none of them actually work.

Overthinking things can be exhausting. It can waste your time, money, energy and faith in your own judgement. Don’t we all wish someone would have the good sense to knock us over the head and tell us this before it becomes a problematic obsession?

Yes, perhaps we do. But our tendency to overthink things can usually be remedied by following this general guideline: KISS.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

In other words, sometimes the simplest explanations are the best. Occam’s Razor, anyone?

The same could be said about female muscle fetishism. We all have our own explanations as to why and how we got into female muscle. Everyone has their unique personal story. And the truth is, anecdotes can be remarkably insightful in explaining so much about our lives. For some, it was a single magazine cover that did it. For others, it was following the career of one specific female bodybuilder. Maybe you caught a glimpse on television of a female bodybuilding competition back in the good old days of the 1980s. Regardless, everyone remembers the time they “discovered” this amazing world and had their eyes opened to an aesthetic that transcends “traditional” standards of female beauty.

There are psychologists, sex experts and ordinary people everywhere who try to “explain away” the larger meaning of these personal stories. Do they reflect hidden insecurity? Or do they reveal latent homosexuality? Are guys who are into “muscle chicks” self-hating men? Do they secretly wish to be physically dominated by their girlfriends? Are they sexual deviants who need counseling? Is this a sign of obsessive behavior that can eventually consume his entire life?

Yikes. That got out of hand in a hurry. Perhaps not all of these stereotypes immediately come to mind when you learn a guy really digs strong women. But certainly these thoughts cross your mind at some level. If it does, don’t worry. Here’s something that will bring ultimate clarity to this situation.

We’re overthinking things. Maybe, just maybe, female muscle fetishism isn’t that complicated. It’s just a simple form of lust that’s inherent in all of us (or, almost all of us).

Hm. An interesting thought. So a guy who drools over the Ms. Olympia contestants is no different than a middle school boy who drools over the girls in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues? Well, I’ll be darned!

Remember when Pamela Anderson was strutting her stuff on Baywatch? The 90s were a glorious time, indeed.

Remember when Pamela Anderson was strutting her stuff on Baywatch? The 90s were a glorious time, indeed.

Most of us guys know what we’re referring to. Face it. We all kept a hidden stash of dirty (or semi-dirty) magazines under our bed. Or old VHS tapes of cinematic sex scenes in the sock drawer. Or porn we printed off the computer when mom and dad were out of the house. Raise your hand if this described you when you were a lad of 14.

You can put your hands down now. Thank you for participating in this unscientific study.

Now turn the clock forward 10-25 years. You’re now a fully grown adult. You might be married, in a relationship, divorced, or single. It doesn’t matter. You’ve ditched the contraband magazines for more sophisticated resources. In the decades between your teen years and adulthood, you expanded your preferences to include beautiful women with more…bulk.

Yes, bulk. Adult women with more muscular development than the pop stars, movie starlets and celebrity socialites of yesteryear. Of course, you might still retain a faint nostalgic lust for these types of females, but you’ve moved on to bigger (emphasis on “bigger”) and better options. You prefer a brawnier look. You prefer fitness models, athletes and bodybuilders over silicone-enhanced Playboy bunnies, Photoshopped fashion models and Botox-injected Hollywood ingénues. So these new preferences can coexist with your old preferences. Expanding your horizons doesn’t mean shutting yourself off to the “old.” It means incorporating more things into the “new.”

So, with that in mind, what’s changed? Why is it considered socially normal for a teen boy with raging hormones to obsess over “mainstream” looking girls but it raises eyebrows when an adult man can’t stop fantasizing about being crushed between the legs of a female Olympic powerlifter?

Lust is, simply put, simple. Whatever floats your boat, right? Whether you’re into skinny women, rotund women, muscular women, skinny men, rotund men, muscular men, light skin, dark skin, tall, short, long hair, short hair, hairy legs, green eyes, tattoos, or whatever else you can think of, does it really matter? What does one’s preferences say about that person?

Uh, who knows and who cares?

But this is not meant to breed any kind of negativity. By and large, guys who dig muscular women are not a persecuted class by any stretch of the imagination. Not even close. That has never been a contention of myself or, to my knowledge, anyone else for that matter. But all the blatant misconceptions can get annoying after a while.

Taylor Smith is everything you could have asked for. EVERYTHING.

Taylor Smith is everything you could have asked for. EVERYTHING.

On a side note, if being annoyed is the worst thing any of us ever experience, then consider us to be lucky. Very lucky.

The real message is this: female muscle fetishism probably doesn’t have an explanation beyond simple carnal lust. The same lust we started to feel when we reached the age of puberty. Remember that adolescent madness we went through when those icky girls with cooties suddenly transformed into immaculate creatures of divine beauty? Yeah, of course you do. Remember when you first thought of female bodybuilders as gross, freaks of nature she-males who are disgusting to look at…but now you consider them to be Amazonian Goddesses of Higher Consciousness?

Same deal. We might be exaggerating a bit, but the basic idea should ring true. Human attraction isn’t that complicated. It’s what allows for human civilization to persist for generations upon generations. The “Circle of Life” stops the moment we find no reason to find a partner, copulate, reproduce and sow the seeds for the future of humanity. Lust is instrumental to the survival of our species. It can get us in trouble at times, but without it, none of us would be here today.

Some guys are into long legs. Other guys are into muscular legs. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Other gentlemen prefer blondes with bulging biceps and a six-pack abdomen. Some men want to watch the world burn. Other men fantasize about a Powerful Muscle Goddess lighting the torch.

All of this is to say that not everything in life has a clear and clean explanation. Not every sexual kink has to be picked apart and analyzed like the stock market. Sometimes, it is what it is. That sounds boring and un-academic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the most prudent answer.

Nobody is denying that it can seem a bit odd for a guy to obsess over muscular women. Men are, theoretically speaking, the stronger sex. This is a role that has given us (both fairly and unfairly and with mixed results) dominance in the social sphere over our female counterparts. Who would want to abdicate that kind of power by allowing (even in a playful context) a woman to take on the “stronger sex” role? Wouldn’t guys feel intimidated by being in the presence of a muscular woman? Would that challenge his manhood? Would she attempt to challenge his manhood? What happens if he “loses?” Would this change his very identity? Why risk it in the first place?

Strong yet sexy, sturdy but feminine, striking yet accessible. Rita Sargo is all that.

Strong yet sexy, sturdy but feminine, striking yet accessible. Rita Sargo is all that.

But these questions might be completely irrelevant. In fact, one could argue they are all tone deaf to the reality of things. Female muscle fetishism most likely has nothing to do with gender roles, gender identity, self-esteem or even sexual orientation. It’s just one particular tool he has in his toolshed of lust, right next to the “Shy Catholic School Girl” and “Sexy Older Librarian Wearing a Skimpy French Maid Outfit” fetishes.

On a side note, I don’t know what a “Toolshed of Lust” would look like, but I can imagine the possibilities.

On second thought, let’s not!

In conclusion, I’ve discovered an irony in this whole essay. I could have simplified my thesis by merely stating:

A female muscle fetish isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Well, that’s sort of the title of this blog article. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in our modern age of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and social media, it’s that our shrinking attention spans are making it so that all we have the time or the inclination to do is read the headline and be on our merry way. Nobody wants to read anymore. That takes effort that I could be using watching Netflix or ordering an overpriced caramel macchiato at the eight different Starbucks located across the street. But I digress, the actual point is that this whole 1,898 word (which, by the way, is an exact word count) essay isn’t really necessary to make my point.

Don’t overthink the concept of female muscle fetishism. You can, but you might be wasting your time. It’s not pointless or futile, but probably unnecessary. We do lots of things in life that are unnecessary. We put “lol” at the end of every text message despite the fact we didn’t actually laugh out loud. We say “just sayin’” after getting done saying something. Maybe overanalyzing certain sexual fetishes is a similar exercise in frivolity.

Some guys love muscle chicks. Why? They just do.

BAM.

Fetishism, Fandom and Fortunes: The Awkward Nature of Being a Female Bodybuilder

Chellss gives me the "feels."

Chellss gives me the “feels.”

It’s hard out there for a female bodybuilder.

There are, of course, the obvious reasons why. Her profession is being squeezed out of existence by The Powers That Be. Receiving weird looks from strangers. The pressures of working in a highly competitive field. The lifestyle. The dieting. The workouts. Financial troubles. How time consuming everything can be. There are more reasons, but one in particular stands out above the rest.

Being fetishized.

I’ve discussed at length the concept of female muscle fetishism from the perspective of a guy who has it. I’ve discussed what it feels like, misconceptions about it, why it’s not a bad thing and what lessons we can learn from it. But I am about to attempt to discuss this topic from a different perspective: That of a female bodybuilder.

Obviously I am not a female bodybuilder. I am not close friends with one nor do I regularly hang out with one. But, I’ve had enough conversations with real life female bodybuilders – through muscle worship sessions during the past three years – to be able to formulate at least a few half-way decent arguments on their behalf. I don’t claim to speak for any or all female bodybuilders, but perhaps I can attempt to step out of my own shoes and look at the world from their perspective momentarily.

I might fail miserably, but it’s worth a shot. So here we go.

Female muscle fetishism unfortunately opens the doors to a number of negative consequences. Female bodybuilders are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they can make quite a lot of money on the side by utilizing their assets for financial gain. On the other hand, having adoring fans always comes with backlash. Let’s look at the first point in further detail.

Laurie Steele has buns of steel. See what I did there?

Laurie Steele has buns of steel. See what I did there?

The lifestyle of being a female bodybuilder is difficult from a financial point of view. The costs of being a professional bodybuilder far outweigh whatever monetary rewards one gets in return. Competitions don’t usually garner enough money to live comfortably. Only the elite competitors are afforded the luxuries that come with being at the top. The rest, unfortunately, usually have to resort to working a second job (usually in personal training, modeling, consulting, and so on) just to make ends meet. It’s agonizing to not know where your next paycheck will come from.

So, a lot of female bodybuilders will turn to offering “sessions” as a way to supplement their income. Muscle worship, wrestling, BDSM and other erotically-charged services are what we’re talking about. One cannot deny that these sessions are erotic in nature. Even if no actual sex is involved – which is usually the case – eroticism is an integral part of what these sessions are all about.

Consequently, a lot of female bodybuilders are uncomfortable with this reality. Not everyone likes doing sessions, but they feel like they must in order to put food in the table. Sexuality is a very personal aspect to one’s life. So they have every reason to feel uneasy toward being an erotic provider. While it’s true that, technically speaking, nobody forces you to offer sessions to clients, it’s perfectly understandable why one wouldn’t be 100 percent comfortable with being involved in this underground business.

That being said, a session provider – whether you’re a bodybuilder, wrestler, athlete or someone whose physical attributes are in high demand – can make a significant amount of dough if she markets herself the right way. Let’s say you charge $350 per hour. If you see 10 clients over a period of two days, you can make around $3,500 for two days’ worth of work. If you subtract the cost of the airplane ticket you purchased to get to that city (around $600), booking the hotel room (an extra $200) and food expenses ($50, assuming you don’t bring your own food), you’re still making approximately $2,650 in a 48 hour period. Even if it’s less, let’s say $2,500 or as low as $1,700, that’s an average of $850-1,250 per day, or $106-156 per hour, from the basis of a traditional eight hour working day. And these are conservative estimates. Not every city stay will be that lucrative, but you can also expect certain visits to be more profitable than others.

Her name is "DD," but I cannot find out what her real name is. Can anybody help?

Her name is “DD,” but I cannot find out what her real name is. Can anybody help?

My math can be totally off, but you can clearly see why so many FBBs provide sessions on the side. Travelling across the country (and the world, if you’re in that much demand) and seeing clients for an hour or two at a time can be a real boost to your bank account.

The financial rewards she can gain increase if she develops a loyal clientele in certain cities. Especially if she has one or two clients who are really loyal and are not against spending upwards of $500 to $600 for an extravagant session. I personally don’t have that kind of expendable income, but there are people out there who do. And they can make an FBB a small fortune if they love seeing her that much.

There is another way FBBs exploit their bodies for financial gain: Porn. Whether we’re talking about erotic photography, webcam shows or good old fashioned snuff films, we all know what we’re dealing with here. Further detail isn’t really necessary, but suffice to say, pornography is another viable way female bodybuilders can earn a steady income.

When a female bodybuilder chooses (and I cannot emphasize the word choose enough!) to do sessions, porn, or both, there’s no doubt that taking advantage of her erotic appeal is an undeniably important part of the business. There’s absolutely no obligation to do so of course, but the allure certainly is there for the taking. These financial opportunities are rooted in basic capitalistic principles, but this whole “off-the-books” business boils down to this essential ingredient: fetishism.

To review our terms for a moment, a “fetish” is “an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression.” To put it in proper context, it’s when guys and gals receive a strong sexual response to a female bodybuilder’s muscles. It’s no different than any other type of erotic fixation. But this discussion boils down to one very difficult question to answer:

Can you separate female muscle fandom from sexual fetishism?

Or, in other words, is it possible for female muscle fandom to be completely asexual? Certainly sports unto itself isn’t sexual. The ancient Greeks may have conducted their games in the nude, but that mostly was done because clothing can be a hindrance to an athlete’s performance. Today, we have top-of-the-line sports gear that makes that problem irrelevant. Wearing an Under Armor workout shirt almost feels like a second skin. But…we’re getting slightly off topic. Is it possible for our fascination with female muscle to be purely nonsexual? That’s a thought-provoking issue to chew on.

A statuesque Marina Lopez looking triumphant.

A statuesque Marina Lopez looking triumphant.

As discussed before, the sport of female bodybuilding has been sexualized to the point that the erotic aspect of it is probably more financially lucrative than the competitive side of it. To be fair, almost all female sports are sexualized, but that’s a whole other story. What makes bodybuilding (not just female bodybuilding, but male as well) special is the very fact that aesthetic appeal is so foundational to the sport itself. Nobody cares if you have a finely chiseled body if you can hit 40 home runs, rush for 1,500 yards or consistently hit clutch 3-pointers when it matters. Most of these athletes have fantastic looking bodies as it is, but their looks aren’t why they’re valuable. Their value is determined by their on-the-field production. For bodybuilders, their looks are all that matters.

It’s hard out there for a female bodybuilder, indeed. If it truly is impossible – or at the very least, highly difficult – to separate the sport from its erotic undertones, what do you do if you’re uncomfortable with expressing your sexuality so openly? If I were a female bodybuilder, I would have to be very comfortable with my sexuality, or else I would have to be forced to find a new day job. There’s no debate that eroticism, fetishism and the like are deeply embedded within the sport. But is that the way it has to be? Are there alternatives? Can female bodybuilding be genuinely asexual in nature?

To be honest, it can. But it won’t be easy. But that begs a further question: Why does it matter?

Or better yet: Is sexuality inherently a bad thing?

The fetish of female muscle is obviously a taboo subject. Heck, generally speaking the subject of sexuality as a whole is taboo. But from the perspective of a guy who’s attracted to strong women, it’s an especially weird topic of discussion. That’s why this often goes unspoken. From the perspective of a female bodybuilder, things are also probably pretty weird. But “weirdness” is not necessarily an indication of something being wrong. It could be an indication of something that we need to talk about more often.

But, stepping back into an FBB’s shoes for a moment, it’s perfectly understandable why the sport will always be in a tumultuous state. Incorporating sexuality into the industry keeps the ship afloat, but it can also degrade the sport into exploitative territory. Once you start to go down that path, how can you maintain a consistent level of respectability? There’s nothing wrong with sexuality, but must FBBs be reduced down to mere sex objects who exist solely to satisfy our base desires? The answer is an emphatic “no!”

Perhaps we can have it both ways. We can embrace the erotic nature of the sport without degrading the humanity of the participants. That sounds awesome in theory, but theory has a funny way of not always becoming standard practice.

This is an issue that FBBs and fans of FBBs will always wrestle with. I do not believe that sexualizing someone automatically degrades them. But I also believe it can if we allow it to happen. A female bodybuilder is caught in a perpetual cycle of disorder. Their sex appeal can make them superstars in the eyes of their adoring fans, but it also comes with negative consequences that are almost unavoidable.

So, is it fair to say that this is a “problem” every female muscle fan should be aware of? Well, yes and no. One should always be aware of the potential consequences of one’s actions. However, is it really fair to say that this is a problem to begin with? Is it inherently ruinous for sexuality to be so deeply engrained in the sport of female bodybuilding? Does the almost inseparable eroticism associated with the sport do a disservice to its competitors?

Don't get naughty around Wendy McMaster. She might spank you!

Don’t get naughty around Wendy McMaster. She might spank you!

A positive first step is to think of these issues as not being “problems,” but rather things to consider. There is probably no perfect answer. It truly is hard for female bodybuilders and athletes to exist in a business that nearly works against them if they try to downplay their sexuality. As fans, we can hold both sports-related and erotic interests in these women without being degrading to them or to ourselves. But that fine line between appreciation and objectification can be hard to distinguish.

Being fetishized can be a strange thing. Having a fetish can also be strange. If we both admit what we know to be true in our hearts, do we really need to exist with all this pent-up tension? Sometimes the best solution to our problems isn’t to come to a mutual answer, but to a level of mutual understanding. Let’s seek to understand where we all stand and carry on from there, okay?

A Semiotic Study of a Muscular Woman’s Body

Asian Muscle Goddess Penpraghai Tiangngok.

Asian Muscle Goddess Penpraghai Tiangngok.

“Semiotics” is the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior. A more comprehensive definition is “a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics.”

Huh?

Let’s dispense with the complicated academic language. “Semiotics” is a fancy way of figuring out what signs and symbols mean and why they mean it. And by “signs,” we’re not just talking about STOP signs or “Do Not Walk on the Grass” signs. The most basic and obvious form of symbols is your basic alphabet. When put together, letters of the alphabet can form words. And words have meaning (or as Led Zeppelin would like to point out, sometimes words have two meanings).

But let’s look at a few less obvious but common signs and symbols. When someone raises their middle finger at you, that usually means they’re expressing displeasure toward you at that particular moment. When someone is wearing the jersey of their favorite sports team, they’re saying – even without using any words – that they love their team and are not ashamed to show it. When someone wears a tattoo featuring the Nazi swastika, that’s a pretty good indication you probably don’t want to interact with this person at any level.

Signs and symbols are the basic ways people communicate. Speaking, writing and nonverbal indicating (such as pointing, nodding your head or clapping your hands) are only one form of communication. But there are numerous other ways people can express ideas. For example:

  • Hand gestures
  • Hair style
  • Clothing
  • Tattoos
  • Decorations inside and outside your home
  • Piercings
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Artwork
  • Dance
  • Body language
  • Jewelry
  • Make-up
  • Bumper stickers
  • Facebook profile picture
  • Flags
  • Job title
  • Dietary choices
  • Choice of spouse or significant other
  • Pets
  • Music
  • Choice of what city/neighborhood/region you live
  • Choice of when to use certain languages (English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, Arabic, etc.)
  • Religious insignias (cross in Christianity, Star of David in Judaism, bindi in Hinduism, etc.)
  • Hashtags
  • Nicknames
  • Colors
  • Volume (of words, actions, and so on)
  • Word choices
  • Transportation choices
  • Body art
  • Facial expressions

The list goes on. Flags can be an expression of nationalistic pride. Religious-themed clothing or jewelry can signify adherence to a certain faith. Dietary choices communicates to the world messages like how you view your own health, opinions on environmental stewardship and social responsibility. In fact, here’s an old joke. How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you over and over again!

I’m not anti-vegan, but you get the idea. Being a vegan isn’t just a set of eating choices. It’s a statement on your views pertaining to health, animal rights, the environment, urbanization, human rights, sustainability, ethics, and so forth. Can it get annoying? Perhaps, but it gets annoying because from a semiotic perspective, they’re trying to tell you much more than the mere fact they prefer not to eat animal-based products.

All of this brings us to the focal point of this post: A muscular woman’s body. I’ve covered the topic of muscular women and semiotics in previous blog articles, but I’d love to explore this in further detail.

In bed with Ashley Starr.

In bed with Ashley Starr.

A muscular woman; whether she’s a professional or amateur bodybuilder, personal trainer, athlete, or noncompetitive gym rat; makes a lot of statements even without saying a single word. And not just statements, but definitive statements. I once had a college professor who told our class that “you can never not communicate.” Everything you do, whether you intend to or not, is a form of communication.

To help us understand what this means, imagine this scenario: You’re walking down a crowded street. You’re minding your own business. It’s a perfectly sunny Saturday afternoon. Clear skies, tourists and pedestrians out everywhere. All of a sudden, you see walking down the sidewalk a beautiful muscular woman. She’s making no attempts to hide her muscularity by wearing sleeveless shirt and yoga pants. She casually strolls by you. You stop and stare, but she keeps on moving at her own pace. She’s minding her own business. Most important, she doesn’t utter a single word to you. Nada. Nothing. Although she doesn’t verbally speak to you, she’s told you a whole encyclopedia’s worth of material…whether you realize it or not.

When I talk about a muscular woman’s body, I’m not referring to her hairstyle, choice of clothing, tattoos, piercings or anything like that. I’m only talking about her flesh and blood body. By themselves, her muscles are a symbol. They carry with it meaning beyond her physiological composition. So what we’re talking about isn’t a muscular woman’s entire appearance, just her muscles. Everything else is very interesting unto itself, but let’s keep it simple for the sake of this discussion.

Let’s look at some of the messages inherent in a muscular woman’s body:

1. Social defiance

Perhaps most jarring, social defiance is the loudest message being communicated by a woman’s muscles.

If we presume that society traditionally equates femininity with weakness, a muscular woman shatters those stereotypes with a sledgehammer. Female frailty is an ancient and overused theme that goes back centuries, crossing almost all cultures and continuing to persist even to the present day. Outside of a few fringe cultures that treat women as equals (or superiors) to men, for the most part human civilization has associated femininity with feebleness, softness and fragility.

Muscular women defy all that. They defy the notion that women are the weaker sex. They defy the assumption of female frailty as inevitable. They defy traditional standards of beauty. They challenge us to accept that muscles on a woman can be sexy. They refuse to be put into a box.

Unlike political beliefs, religious beliefs or any other kind of ideological system, a woman’s choice to develop muscle is obvious for all to see. There’s an old saying about how some people “wear their opinions on their sleeve,” which is to say they don’t just have opinions; they shove it in your face and persistently let the entire world know about it. However, that can get exhausting. No matter how passionate you are about something, even at the most superficial level it takes a small conversation with someone to know about it. But that’s not true with a muscular woman. Her decision to bulk up her body can’t be hidden. You can’t wear baggy clothes forever.

A woman’s decision to bulk up flies in the face of our conventional expectations of beautiful women having to be slender and curvy. Big muscles are supposed to be reserved for guys. Big muscles on a woman, on the other hand, aren’t what any of us expect to see. So when we do see it, we instantly realize what she’s doing. She’s creating her own standards of beauty. She’s redefining what it means to be attractive. She’s defying other people’s expectations and setting her own.

2. Self-respect

Anyone, whether male or female, who can boast having a fit, muscular body might as well carry around a sign that says in big bold letters “I Take Care of Myself.” Generally speaking, you don’t look that way unless you make a conscious decision to do so. You don’t become muscular by accident. It’s a choice you make to sculpt your body to fit a certain aesthetic.

Becoming “buff” isn’t just about lifting weights. It requires watching your diet. So no excessive sugary sweets, rich coffee drinks or deep fried foods. You have to make sacrifices most of us in the general public (me included!) wouldn’t want to make. While it’s true that excessive exercise and extreme dieting can be unhealthy if taken too far, generally speaking men and women who “look good” take specific measures to look that way.

Self-respect means believing in your own potential. It means setting goals and having an actionable plan to achieve those goals. Goal-oriented people tend to achieve more in life than people who wander around aimlessly. A female bodybuilder, for example, wants to be a winner. Professional (and dedicated amateur) athletes all want to be winners. You don’t get to that level unless you sincerely believe you can do it.

But even if a muscular woman doesn’t compete at any level, she still has self-respect. Perhaps her goals are different. She wants to look fantastic. She wants to inspire others. She wants to prove to herself that she can do whatever she wants. Regardless, the common denominator is that she has her goals set high and will never back down from reaching her full potential. This determination is obvious just from looking at her hard-earned physique. You don’t have to ask her about it. You can see it right in front of you.

3. A desire to shatter social stereotypes

Directly related to point #1, a muscular woman’s body can be an indication that she wants to shatter the stereotypes we have about strength and gender identity. The most obvious example is the idea of female weakness/male superiority. But, if you add elements of race, height, sex appeal and fashion choices into the mix, things can get very complicated.

For example, if a muscular woman chooses to wear baggy jeans and a fur coat everywhere – even if it’s not particularly cold – that’s probably an indication she doesn’t want the public to notice her muscularity. If, on the other hand, she chooses to wear yoga pants and a skimpy top that generously shows off her arms and torso, she definitely wants people to notice her. Not bother or harass her, but see her. Whether she’s motivated by narcissism or personal comfort is impossible to tell. What is obvious is that she’s okay with people seeing her hard work on full display.

In addition to social defiance, a muscular woman who chooses to show off her body is also maybe trying to change the way people view women as a whole. Not just muscular women, but every woman on planet Earth. She wants people to no longer believe women are destined for weakness. She wants people to be convinced that men don’t have a monopoly on strength. Maybe she wants society to redefine what it means to be “beautiful,” “feminine,” and “desirable.” Instead of telling people that “strong is beautiful,” she decides instead to put her money where her mouth is and let the entire world know that she’s a muscular woman who believes she’s just as beautiful as the women you see on the cover of magazines.

Julie Bonnett looking as lovely as ever.

Julie Bonnett looking as lovely as ever.

Stereotypes are commonly accepted boxes we use to put people into. Not all stereotypes are malicious. Some are quite flattering (all Asians are good at math, anyone?). But some are hurtful. For example:

Muscular women are gross. Women shouldn’t look like that! Big muscles makes her look like a man! Men will never find that attractive. She needs to stop bulking up or else she might actually become a man!

All these stereotypes are complete B.S. We female muscle fans know it. But not everyone shares our perspective. Muscular women know this as well, probably better than us. This is why her biceps aren’t just an indication that she works out. They’re a metaphorical hammer of Thor intended to smash into a million pieces every one of these sophomoric beliefs.

4. A redefinition of sexuality

For many of us, the first thing that catches our attention when it comes to sex appeal is a person’s physical appearance. Their face, body, the way they walk, etc. What really catches our attention is anything out of the norm. A stunningly gorgeous face or a killer pair of legs, for example, stand out because of their uniqueness in addition to their obvious aesthetic appeal.

A muscular woman’s sexuality also stands out. Because so much of sex appeal is based on looks, a muscular woman’s intentional transformation of her physical appearance makes this discussion almost inevitable. How can she not be making a statement about her sexuality?

As mentioned before, not everyone who appears “sexy” is intentionally trying to look sexy. But if you have natural good looks, no matter what you do (outside of covering your entire body with a sheet) you’re going to communicate desirability. Or, perhaps, how we as a society defines “desirable.”

Consider this: How many people in our world consider muscles on a woman to be sexy? A number of us, obviously. But certainly not everyone. A woman who chooses to sculpt large muscles on her body cannot help but make a statement about what limits we should or should not put on female attractiveness. She’s saying (implicitly or explicitly, it doesn’t really matter) muscles on a woman can be sexy. She’s saying guys who find her attractive are right to do so. She isn’t necessarily saying that people who find her unattractive solely because of her muscles are wrong, but they shouldn’t discount the opinions of others who do.

Muscles challenge our preconceived thoughts about female sexuality. It shows they can be both strong and beautiful, muscular and feminine, unconventional and desirable, empowered and nonthreatening. They’re not trying to shatter how we view female sexuality. They’re trying to expand how we think about female sexuality (and male sexuality, for that matter). They’re not trying to destroy the box. They’re trying to make the box bigger.

Why must we limit how we define “beautiful?” It makes no sense.

5. Unconventionality

This is probably the broadest point of all, but a muscular woman’s body communicates that she’s an unconventional person. Unconventionality comes in many forms. We’ve already discussed a few of these aspects above. But generally speaking, muscles on a woman’s body tell us many things such as:

“I’m the most competitive person you’ll ever meet.”

“I may not look traditionally beautiful, but I am.”

“I’m stronger than most women around here.”

“I will fight back if provoked, unlike others.”

“You can doubt me all you want, but I’ll prove you wrong every single time.”

“My life is different than the rest. But it’s the life I choose to live.”

“I don’t eat the same foods you do, nor eat at the same times you do.”

“I’m a professional athlete. I don’t spend 8 hours behind a desk every day.”

“I truly don’t care what other people think.”

“I love being different.”

“I will prove that muscles on a woman can be sexy. See? Look at me!”

How can a muscular woman not be unconventional? Anyone who consciously defies social norms is intentionally going against tradition. She may not abhor tradition or wish to knock it down with a wrecking ball, but she’s definitely a daisy growing in a field of red roses.

It’s hard not to return back to the point of female frailty. Everything revolves around this paradigm. A muscular woman is so fascinating precisely because she forces us to rethink our preconceived notions about the fundamental differences between men and women. Everything we thought we knew about the world may be wrong. They may be right, but every once in a while we encounter situations that challenge us to open our minds to new hypotheses.

Check out the colorful bikini being rocked by Maria Rita Penteado. Very cute!

Check out the colorful bikini being rocked by Maria Rita Penteado. Very cute!

The unconventional challenge us not to alter our conventions, but question why we have conventions in the first place.

Strong women raise these questions. It is now up to us to try to answer them.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that muscular women are a fascinating topic to talk about. Whether you love them, hate them, or aren’t quite sure what to feel, you cannot help but have an opinion about them – even if you’ve never actually met one in the flesh. These snap judgements are at the heart of this semiotic analysis of a muscular woman’s body.

Fairly or unfairly, every one of us communicates something every single moment of our lives. Intention has nothing to do with it. We see signs and messages everywhere we go. Messages telling us what to think, what to believe, how to feel, how to behave, how to interact with others, and so on. Our world is full of these symbols. Most of us are not aware of them, myself included. But the more alert we are to them, the better we can understand our world.

What interests me on a personal level is talking about how mesmerizing muscular women are. They’re captivating for reasons that go beyond their beauty. When we look at the symbols inherent in her physique, we start to better understand things like sexism, misogyny, human sexuality, relationships, biology, social prejudice, social defiance, the business of advertising, marketing strategies, double standards, beauty, aesthetics, power dynamics, expectations, gender roles, stereotypes, femininity, masculinity, world history, politics, money, human communication, cognitive development, and much more. The list can go on forever. When we really think about female bodybuilding, female athletes and the presence of muscles on a female body, almost every problem we face in the 21st century starts to become clearer. Think about how fundamentally different our society would be if women were just as biologically strong as men. Think hard about that. It’s enough to blow your mind, isn’t it?

The badass that is Suzy Kellner.

The badass that is Suzy Kellner.

Semiotics is all about being aware of what we’re being taught, how we’re being taught, and how we can teach others. Communication is the building block of human civilization. Cities, nations, communities and families would not exist without communication. So the better we understand how we communicate; both verbally and nonverbally, both intentionally and unintentionally, both implicitly and explicitly; the better people we’ll be.

Sound like a big task? It should because it is. Muscular women are creatures who blow my mind. I can’t stop thinking about them on both a primal and intellectual level. They demand closer inspection. They demand our attention. They demand our respect. They demand us to understand them better. Let’s hope that comprehending them on a semiotic level is a productive first step.

Bridgette – A Star is Born (part four)

A very pumped up Theresa Ivancik.

A very pumped up Theresa Ivancik.

At exactly 5:58 p.m., Sean is waiting outside the Downtown Convention Center. His sweaty palm grips his phone like a slugger clutching a bat. He has a text message ready for Bridgette. All he needs to do is press “send” and the message will be sent to her.

Well, what exactly is he waiting for?

He looks at his phone. 5:59. One more minute.

His pre-written message says “Hi Bridgette! It’s Sean. I’m waiting outside the Convention Center. I’m here!” Simple enough. Sean knows Bridgette has his number in her phone already, but he figured identifying himself wouldn’t hurt. He glances at his phone again. It’s now 6:00. Okay, time to send off this puppy…

Then his phone buzzes. He answers it. It’s her.

“Hi Sean! Are you outside?”

“Yes, I am. I was about to send you a text letting you know where I am, but you beat me to the punch. I’m here!” It’s a bit chilly, but not unbearable. He’d rather be inside though, in the presence of the most gorgeous muscle lady in the known Universe.

“Awesome! I’ll let you in through the back door. It’s on the west side of the building. There’s a sign that says ‘Talent Entrance,’ or something like that. Do you know what I’m talking about?” Sean scoots himself to the west side of the Downtown Convention Center and indeed sees a brass sign above a bamboo wooden door that says “Talent Entrance.” He sees a homeless guy sleeping next to it with an empty bottle of Hennessy and a used marijuana joint. He tells Bridgette that he’s right at the entrance.

“Great! I’ll be down in a minute or two!” She hangs up on him. He waits for her to open the door. He wishes she’d come sooner because the stench of the homeless man is starting to give him a massive headache. Soon enough, the bamboo doors open and he marvels at the woman standing inside it. Bridgette. The Blonde Muscle Goddess. Dressed in jeans and a revealing lavender tank top, all her muscles look primed and pumped. She is a spectacle to behold.

“Sean! Come in. Hurry. The show starts in an hour but I have tons of press interviews to do. Do you know TMZ is here?” Bridgette ushers him inside a dazzling maze of humanity. The smell of spray tan permeates his senses. Everywhere, around every corner and every hallway, he sees what seems like hundreds of fit and muscular men and women of all shapes and sizes. Buff dudes with biceps as large as basketballs. Women with thighs that could crush a watermelon. Men and women with bodies like Greek Gods and Goddesses. They could bend steel, push a truck up a mountain and rip a phone book in half if they wanted to. Sean couldn’t take in what he was seeing with his own eyes. Bridgette was holding his hand and running toward somewhere, darting between oiled up musclemen and musclewomen. He hardly had time to catch his breath.

Eventually, they arrive at her dressing room. As the “Marquee Guest Poser,” Bridgette is entitled to a dressing room all to herself. Small and cramped, it does the job. Mirrors on three of the four sides, the room is both very hot (from all the lights) and smelly. He doubts anyone has cleaned this tiny room in years. He would usually be disgusted by all this, but the room had a very distinct musky “Bridgette” smell that he found so incredibly intoxicating.

“Sorry for rushing you over here. You probably saw all the camera people and photographers out there. If any of them saw you with me, they might start to suspect that you’re the star of that infamous video of mine,” Bridgette says.

“Hey, no problem. I understand. Thank you for respecting my privacy,” he says. “You look amazing as always, Bridgette.” She leans over and kisses him deeply. It steals his breath. When their lips depart, she reaches down and feels his arousal. Sean blushes at his instantaneous hardness.

“I can tell that you think I’m amazing. Look at you! Already hard. Naughty boy.” Bridgette turns from him and applies ruby red lipstick on her gorgeous luscious lips. Sean exhales and sits down on the nearest available chair. He listens outside and hears two male bodybuilders arguing over who has better calves. He also hears a female sports reporter interviewing one of the female figure competitors. Regardless of the pandemonium happening beyond these walls, he could only think about the gorgeous woman standing before him.

“I can be a naughty boy, yes.”

“Well, we’ll have more time to explore that later. For now, I got to get ready. Can you please hand me my mascara?” She points to a small black tube lying next to him. He hands it to her. She begins to apply the mascara onto her eyebrows when all of a sudden a quiet voice comes out of the PA system.

“Miss Beaulieu, you’re needed in the Media Room in five minutes. Thank you.”

Bridgette presses a red button on the wall. “Gotcha. Thanks.”

“It looks as though I have to do some media sessions with these reporters. Lots of them will be asking about our video. Right afterward I have to get back stage and get ready for my performance. I’m opening the show, if you can believe that.” Bridgette stands up and takes off her tank top. Wearing no bra, he could see every mound of muscle on her broad back. He looks at her tiny breasts and the incredibly long and thick nipples protruding out of them. She smiles at him.

“Like what you see, Sean?” She teases him by pinching her nipples and licking her lips.

“Nah, I’ve seen better.”

Bridgette laughs and playfully punches him in the arm. Though she didn’t mean any harm by it, her brute strength is hard to control. Her light tap on his bicep is enough to leave a stinging pain. He doesn’t mind.

I imagine Bridgette's lips would look as luscious as these.

I imagine Bridgette’s lips would look as luscious as these.

“You mean little boy! God, I should punish you for being so mean. Perhaps later, no?” She removes her jeans and slips off her tennis shoes. Her massive quads are enough to make his heart pump a little faster. She unzips her bag and takes out an absolutely stunning lily white cocktail dress. She shows it to him.

“Tell me honestly. Should I go with underwear or without?”

“Oh, without underwear. No doubt about it. That would be supremely hot. Go for it, Bridgette dear.” His eyes still have not left her legs. Long and abundant, he could only imagine having them wrapped around his neck and being helplessly at her mercy. He wanted to be helpless. He wanted her to control him.

“Okay, you got it. Naughty it is.” Bridgette slips off her panties and reveals her plump, jaw-dropping clitoris. Almost three inches long, he remembers his reaction the first time he saw it. But nothing could ever prepare him for seeing it again up-close-and-personal.

Bridgette puts on the white dress. It generously shows off every inch of her powerful figure. Very little is left to the imagination. That’s the way she likes it.

“Alright, I got to go. Oh, I almost forgot!” She reaches into her bag and takes out a nametag. She gives it to him and Sean pins it to his shirt. The nametag identifies his name and says he’s a “VIP.”

“A VIP? What privileges does this entail?”

“You get to sit in the first five rows of the Convention Hall. And you get a free drink at the bar! My treat.” She puts on a pair of sexy 4-inch black stiletto heels. The sparkly tip shines a light that could probably be seen from a hundred miles.

“Gotta go. See you after the show! Text me to let me know where you are,” she says. “As you can tell, there are several thousand people here and it can be easy to lose each other.” They kiss and she leaves the dressing room. Sean sits around for a while, all alone, and ponders how he ever got to be so damn lucky.

45 minutes later Sean is sitting in the front row of a jam-packed Convention Hall. Thousands of people, many of them bodybuilders, many of them not, have found their way to their respective seats. He opens his program and discovers Bridgette isn’t actually performing first, but somewhere in the middle of the evening’s festivities. Disappointed, Sean could do nothing but sit back and watch the endless stream of competitors roll on.

Male fitness. Female fitness. Male physique. Female physique. Junior competitors. High school competitors. Female figure. Female bikini.

Nothing but faceless people, of all shapes and sizes, standing around trying to get noticed. A lot of the competitors were quite remarkable, but Sean knows Bridgette knocks them all down a notch. Her flawless balance of beauty, traditional femininity, and pure muscularity is unparalleled. No one compares to her. None of the female competitors are nearly as radiant and charismatic as her. None.

An hour in. Sean yawns. Then, the MC makes an important announcement:

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are now in for a treat. She is a nationally-known competitive female bodybuilder. A world class athlete. In 2006 she won her first contest at the Tampa Classic. She followed that up in 2008 by finishing in the top five at her first shot at the Bay Area Cup. Between 2010 and 2015 she has been a top 50-ranked female competitor. Her sights are now set on the Ms. Olympia. Recently, she has gained viral fame for her ventures in the world of adult entertainment.”

An awkward murmur rises from the crowd. Sean blushes. Are they harshly judging her? Are they labeling her a “whore?” He hopes nobody thinks of Bridgette like that.

“Now, please sit back, relax and give it up for…BRIDGETTE BEAULIEU!”

The catty chatter ends and raucous applause begins. Lights go down. The people become quiet. A lump of nervousness sits high in Sean’s throat. It’s about to begin.

Spotlight on Bridgette. She stands there with her head down. Then, the first few beats of “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry blare across the PA speakers. Bridgette’s head whips up and she surveys the crowd. She strikes a sexy Beyoncé-like pose, her hips bouncing upward like a marionette puppet. As Katy begins to sing, Bridgette twirls, bends, leaps and dances her way toward further stardom. As graceful as a ballerina and as sexy as a Las Vegas showgirl, Bridgette moves with the fluidity of a professional dancer in the body of a powerful bodybuilder. Nobody in the room could blink.

Sean could not look away as Bridgette dances to her heart’s delight. His heart skips a beat after she completes a seemingly endless series of Fouettés without stopping. Her 1080 degree spin in the air brings down the house. As Katy wraps up the song, it’s no mystery why Bridgette became an overnight sensation. She knows how to captivate an audience like no other performer in history.

The lights go down. Blackout. The lights come back up. There she is. Bridgette takes a step forward and bows. Then, bedlam. Total bedlam. Everyone in the audience expresses their unanimous approval by giving her an enthusiastic standing ovation. Including Sean. Hoots, hollers, endless applause and shouts of admiration fill the room. Bridgette takes it all in and waves to her adoring fans. She struts off the stage with her captivated audience begging for more. But, like an expert tease, she denies them any further engagement.

Holland Canter showing off her impressive biceps. Can I touch?

Holland Canter showing off her impressive biceps. Can I touch?

The rest of the evening went downhill from there. Sean reluctantly watched group after group of male and female bodybuilders stand up on stage, pose for what seemed like forever, and walk off looking smug and annoyingly arrogant. This went on for what felt like a week. While many of the competitors looked great (a few of the female contestants made his heart flutter), none of them could compare with Bridgette. None. This assessment made him yearn to be with her even more. Sean could do nothing but look at his phone and count down the minutes until he could see her again.

Throughout his entire life, Sean never felt comfortable in large crowds. He isn’t claustrophobic, but he prefers more intimate settings versus public spaces. The smell of spray tan, sweat and cheap whiskey didn’t help, though.

As if the show wasn’t bad enough, the party afterward was far worse. Within minutes of the competition coming to an end (and the winners being called back on stage for group photos), almost everyone in attendance shifted away from the auditorium and crammed themselves in a (relatively) small ballroom across the hotel lobby. The massive number of people, combined with terribly loud music, assaulted Sean’s senses. It was nearing 10 p.m. and Sean already wanted some alone time with Bridgette. He wanted to compliment her on her crowd-pleasing stage performance. He wanted to hold her, kiss her and find an excuse to make love to her. He wanted her so badly he could scream.

He stood at one corner of the ballroom, next to the drink bar, and watched Bridgette from a distance. There she is, talking, laughing and networking with bodybuilding celebrities, media types and corporate sponsors. Everyone seems enthralled with her. Hardly anybody cared to speak to any of the actual winners from the evening’s competition.

Minutes pass by. Sean continues to sip on his vodka and tonic while he watches countless people dance, mingle and flirt the night away. The irony being, of course, even though Sean is surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of people, he feels lonely. All he wants is to be with Bridgette. Is that too much to ask?

“Fuck this,” Sean mutters under his breath. He sees out of the corner of his eye a large screen door leading to a balcony outside. He decides to check it out so he could get some fresh air.

Meanwhile, Bridgette pauses from some innocuous conversation she’s having with a horde of bodybuilding fans to watch Sean leave the room. She thinks of an excuse to leave this discussion circle so she could go talk to him. She intuitively senses his loneliness. As she struggles to navigate through the crowd, Sean steps outside onto the long balcony and sighs with relief.

Finally, he could breathe. If he had to endure one more minute of that hot, smelly, mayhem-filled room, he might pass out and need CPR to be resuscitated. The cool evening air is refreshing. The long outside balcony offers him a little peace and quiet from the sea of humanity congregating inside. He could finally be alone for a few moments.

He doesn’t expect Bridgette to come out and visit him. She’s too busy schmoozing with the movers and shakers of the bodybuilding industry. She’s preoccupied with enjoying her newfound celebrity status. She needs to build her brand and do whatever she can to become the international superstar she deserves to be.

Moments pass, and a few other people start to wander outside as well. Drinks in hand, one guy (who looks to be a professional bodybuilder himself) is talking to someone on his cell phone. An older lady, who clearly is not a bodybuilder, has a martini in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. They pay no attention to Sean. He prefers it stays that way. Eventually, both of them leave and Sean is left alone once again. He has only himself and his thoughts. He takes out his phone and checks the time. 10:45 p.m. The night is still young. Anything can happen.

Indeed, something does happen. A familiar voice, one that Sean has grown accustomed to, breaks the silence.

“Hey there, stranger. Not a big fan of crowds?”

Sean turns around and knows exactly who it is. It’s Bridgette. Also with a drink in hand (from the looks of it, a Long Island Ice Tea would be his guess), she looks as radiant as ever. Sweaty and still looking gorgeous, Sean notices some of her makeup has smeared across her flawless face. He doesn’t mind. The image of Bridgette looking a little rough around the edges starts to turn him on.

Who's in the mood for a gin and tonic?

Who’s in the mood for a gin and tonic?

“You’re here. With me. Shouldn’t you be with your adoring fans?” Bridgette and Sean share a brief kiss. He quickly looks around to see if anyone is watching them. She doesn’t seem as concerned.

“I need to take a break from those people. You can only hang out with egocentric bodybuilders and media vultures for only so long,” Bridgette says. “I want to keep my sanity, if you get my drift.”

“Yeah, I understand. Totally. I don’t like crowds of people. It makes me uncomfortable. But you seem to enjoy it,” Sean replies.

“To tell you the truth, I actually do like it. I love working a crowd. I love entertaining them. Enthralling them. I love it when people watch me. I guess I’m a voyeur’s dream come true.” She takes a sip of her cocktail and leans over the cedar wood railing of the balcony. Sean peers out into the city landscape and takes in how beautiful Seattle looks at night.

“Says the porn star. Didn’t you once have sex with some random Asian dude on camera?” Sean teases. Bridgette throws back her head and laughs.

“Yes, I believe I actually once did that! And, correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t that video go viral overnight and put me on the international porn map?”

“More like mainstream map. Everyone across the world knows who you are now. You’re practically a household name. That is, households who are comfortable talking about porn.” A cool breeze flows by, lifting Bridgette’s impeccable blonde hair over her shoulders. It wasn’t chilly outside, but both Bridgette and Sean could feel that wind pick up.

“God, that was so risky. You could’ve been anyone. Thank God you were as sweet and kind as I thought you would be.” Bridgette leans over and kisses Sean again. This time, they hold their lips together for a longer time than usual, wanting to savor this beautiful moment for as long as possible. By now, they don’t care if anyone catches them being intimate together. They want to share this kiss as if it were the last kiss they would ever experience together.

Susanna Tirpak is the perfect combination of beauty, femininity and muscularity. Agreed?

Susanna Tirpak is the perfect combination of beauty, femininity and muscularity. Agreed?

“Thank you, Bridgette. Thank you. I’m glad you’re equally sweet and kind. You’re not just a pretty face with big muscles. You’re so much more than that.” Bridgette puts down her drink and takes one step closer to him. He could feel the heat of her body emanating out of every pore. She touches his face and rubs her strong thighs against his.

“I know I’m much more than that. But you’re right. I’m a risk-taker. I love being naughty. I love doing things impulsively. I suppose you could call it a weakness of mine.” Sean feels her biceps while looking into her pretty blue eyes. She smiles, blushing at the sincerity of his gentle touch.

“A weakness? I was under the impression there wasn’t a single weak part about you.”

“You’re way to flattering of me, Sean! I can be very impulsive at times.” Going in for the kill, Sean leans forward and whispers into Bridgette’s ear.

“Are you feeling impulsive right now?” He slaps her on the butt, causing her to gasp audibly. Feeling defensive at first at his sudden spanking of her, Bridgette then realizes what just happened. He wants to fuck her. Right here. Right now.

“Hell yes, I feel impulsive right now, you dirty boy. Come here!” Forsaking all of her inhibitions, she grabs Sean’s head and kisses him again, biting his lower lip in the process. She didn’t break the skin, but she’s damn close. Sean eyes a small glass table sitting off to the side. He clutches her hips and guides her toward it. She gets the idea. Bridgette lifts her dress up and exposes her bare feminine parts to him. She then sits on top of the table and spreads her legs as wide as she could without ripping her expensive dress. Sean unzips his pants and pulls out his penis. It’s already engorged and ready for her.

They share a brief moment of eye contact, but immediately decide to cut to the chase. Sean reaches down and feels her dripping wet vagina. He pinches her long, thick clitoris, which makes her throw her head back and moan out loud. After kissing her neck and breasts, Sean positions his penis at her moist entrance and enters her without hesitation. They both groan loudly at their intimate joining.

“I want it like this, Sean. This is how I want it. Now fuck me until I beg you to stop!” Bridgette commands. She wraps her long, powerful legs around Sean’s waist, which only allows him to penetrate her deeper. What thrills them both is the knowledge that at any moment, someone could walk in on them. Someone could also spot them from the ground or witness them in action from a nearby building. Out in the open, for the entire world to watch, Bridgette and Sean make love with an urgency neither one of them could explain.

Sean pumps into her as she unbuttons his shirt and kisses his chest. He tries to wrap his arms around her, but Bridgette’s thick torso makes that almost impossible. He’s surprised she hasn’t busted out of her dress yet. How the dress’s fabric could contain her muscular body is a complete mystery to him.

“I’ve wanted to do this, to be with you like this, for a long time, Bridgette baby. Ever since that beautiful night, darling,” Sean quietly says. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a small crowd gather around the balcony entrance. Eight or nine people. Bridgette notices a couple of people on the ground stop what they’re doing and look up to see them. One woman even pulls out her phone and starts recording them in action. Being an irresponsible voyeur, Bridgette doesn’t care they’re drawing an impromptu audience. In fact, she welcomes it. Sean isn’t quite so sure. He wants to make love to her without stopping. If complete strangers are there to witness it, so be it.

Sweat dripping down their faces, Sean slides in and out of her rhythmically. Bridgette deep kisses him and tightens her legs around him. Sean feels his back crack. A flash of someone’s camera phone goes off. But this only empowers them to make love more furious than ever before. Bridgette gasps as Sean’s manhood penetrates her as deep as it can go. She can sense that he’s close to the edge. She squeezes her vagina around him out of sheer selfishness of wanting to milk as much pleasure out of him as possible.

Sean pumps once more into Bridgette, whispering something inaudible in her ear. He can’t remember what he said to her. She couldn’t quite understand what it was either. But that one last thrust into her body makes him come hard. He empties himself into her recklessly with a curiously voyeuristic audience watching them. Bridgette releases her vagina around his manhood, which leads to her coming as well.

Their heavy breathing intensifies as Sean and Bridgette’s orgasmic waves come to a slow end. Still as hard as a rock inside her, they share a long, passionate kiss, much to the pleasure of the people around them. Applause and shouts of encouragement pour from all directions. But the two lovers couldn’t hear them. They only cared for each other. This moment belongs to them, nobody else.

Eventually, the crowd scatters away. Sean pulls out of Bridgette and zips his pants back up. Bridgette scoots off the table and wipes dirt off her dress. A professional photographer, who happened to capture some video of their coupling, asks for permission to publish this footage on his website. Bridgette and Sean unconditionally say “yes.” To hell with what the world thinks. Bridgette and Sean are the Universe’s newest power couple…and they want everyone to know it.

“I’ll see you later, in my room,” Bridgette says.

“Yes. Later. I’ll be waiting for you outside your hotel. Take as long as you like, darling,” Sean says.

They share one last kiss. Bridgette saunters back indoors to the rowdy party. Sean remains on the balcony, staring at her walk away, without a care in the world.

A Discussion on the Sexualization of Female Athletes

Brandi Mae Akers wearing a sexy see-through dress.

Brandi Mae Akers wearing a sexy see-through dress.

It should be no mystery that female athletes face a glaring double standard in our society. They are, both implicitly and explicitly, expected to flaunt their sexuality in ways their male counterparts are not. Outside of Ronda Rousey, how many mainstream female athletes are celebrated purely for being a fantastic athlete – as opposed to being a fantastically good looking athlete?

The topic of the sexualization of female athletes has been discussed ad nauseam. This article will not dissect this idea is great detail. Rather, we will explore this from a slightly different angle.

Those who critique the overly sexual nature of media representation of female athletes usually argue that they shouldn’t be sexualized at all. If male athletes aren’t sexualized, neither should female athletes. That argument sounds fair. It’s better to hold no standards versus double standards. Fair treatment means equal treatment.

But, as an enthusiast of female bodybuilders and female athletes in general, I’m slightly uncomfortable with that. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but there’s a fine line between sexualizing someone and demeaning them. I wholeheartedly agree that you should never belittle or dehumanize someone for any reason whatsoever. That’s not in question. What is in question is whether or not sexualizing someone automatically dehumanizes them. It’s a tough one to wrestle with for sure.

I totally get the argument that people are not just sex objects. We are independent agents of thoughts and emotions with basic needs just like anybody else. Every soul is valuable. Every person has purpose. Everyone is important. Whether you believe in the Divine or not, I hope we can all agree that every human being on planet Earth has value. That includes people we love, hate or are indifferent toward.

That being said, is sexualizing someone an intrinsic act of dehumanizing them? I would say if we treat people purely as a means to an end, then the answer is unequivocally “yes.” If we treat someone solely as a sex object whose only purpose is to give you sexual pleasure, then that makes you a terrible person. Even the relationship between a prostitute and a “john” should come with a certain level of mutual respect. Sex, in this case, may be a business transaction, but that doesn’t excuse you from treating the provider of sex like garbage.

I love female bodybuilders. Many of you who read my blog do as well. The reason why I constantly wrestle with this issue is because I definitely sexualize FBBs. I am very much sexually attracted to muscular women. There’s no ambiguity here. It’s really, when we boil things down to its barest essentials, the primary reason why I love them. It’s not the only reason why I’m a fan of female bodybuilding, but it’s undeniably important. If I told you sexual attraction had nothing to do with my fandom of female bodybuilders, I’d be a liar with my trousers definitely set on fire.

Isn't Lindsey Vonn cold? She's so smoking hot, I highly doubt it.

Isn’t Lindsey Vonn cold? She’s so smoking hot, I highly doubt it.

But, deep down inside, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that. I can sexualize someone and still deeply respect them. I’ve met many women in my life whom I found to be very physically attractive. But I try, although not always successfully, to treat them like human beings first. I’m not a perfect person, but I’m trying my best here.

One argument I could make is that sexualizing female athletes is almost inevitable. When a woman trains for a sport, she’s going to sculpt her physical body into a shape that many of us will find attractive. Muscle definition, curves in all the right places, flawless body development, impeccable silhouettes, etc. And as they say, we’re only human, right? Can you blame someone for finding Alina Popa, who is an indisputable world-class athlete in her own right, so very sexy? If finding Ms. Popa sexually attractive is a crime, then put me in handcuffs, lock me in a padded jail cell and throw away the key for eternity. But, to reiterate my point, I don’t believe my opinion of Ms. Popa’s sexiness is somehow disrespectful to her. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her, both as a woman and as a cream-of-the-crop athletic competitor. But her physical attractiveness is without a doubt a main component of my fandom of her.

It’s a confusing dynamic to deal with, indeed!

In other words, how can I possibly separate sports fandom and sexuality when it comes to female athletes? It’s almost impossible to do so. That being said, that’s no excuse to treat a professional woman basketball player like a junior high school cheerleader or unashamedly flirt with a female Olympic athlete minutes after she’s won a gold medal. Speaking of which, if I have to listen to one more clueless TV reporter ask a female Olympian how she balances being an elite athlete with motherhood, I’m going to rip my hair out. But that’s a whole other issue.

I think the best way handle this whole issue is to have the “yes, and” attitude. For example, you can say this:

“Yes, I find female athletes to be sexually attractive, but I also respect their impressive achievements which can only be accomplished through hard work, diligent preparation and heart.”

It may not sound like poetry, but the sentiment should be clear. You can both celebrate the achievements of female athletes and find them beautiful at the same time. You can enjoy watching female sports on TV or in person and not have to compartmentalize your physical attraction to them simultaneously. Life doesn’t have to be an “either, or” proposition. You can hold two different attitudes at the same time without them being contradictory.

Please don’t misinterpret me. I understand the trepidation about accepting female athletes as sex objects. I get it that once you start to go down a dark path, it can lead you to directions you never originally intended to go. If we start to view them in such a way, will we eventually expect them to pose for magazine photos as a condition of playing the sport? Will we require uniforms of basketball or softball players to be more “revealing” or “sexy” in order to attract the male demographic? Will we start to lose respect for them as athletes because we treat them like sex objects first and athletes second?

These are all valid concerns. I wouldn’t want my favorite FBBs to feel pressured to sexualize themselves out of fear of being ostracized from the business. It is a business, after all. If my favorite FBBs chose to never wear makeup in public and forsake any attempts to appear traditionally feminine, then good for them. I would support them every step of the way. One hundred percent. I want my favorite female bodybuilders to be as free as they want to do whatever they want whenever they want.

Do they want to pose naked for a risqué photoshoot? Good for them. If, on the other hand, a particular female bodybuilder chooses to never ever pose naked under any circumstances, as much as we’d all be disappointed with this decision, I strongly believe she has every right to do that. Freedom means having the opportunity to choose what you want and do not want to do. Her body is her most valuable asset. If she wants to show it off for all the world to see, more power to her. If she wants to remain modest and desexualized in the public’s eye, even more power to her.

The badass that is Ronda Rousey, perhaps the most popular female athlete on the planet right now.

The badass that is Ronda Rousey, perhaps the most popular female athlete on the planet right now.

But this is less about how an FBB (or any kind of female athlete) chooses to conduct herself and more about how we as fans choose to view them. How a female bodybuilder lives her life is nobody’s business but her own. But how we fans choose to live out our fandom is our business.

In short, perhaps the Buddhist “middle way” is the best solution. Don’t go to the extremes. You can both find a female athlete or bodybuilder physically attractive while at the same time respecting them as a person and as an athlete. One can hold both attitudes simultaneously without any hint of contradiction or hypocrisy. In other words, don’t take any side as far as it will go. You don’t have to view every female athlete as either a Playboy bunny or a monastic nun. The “Madonna-whore complex” is an old archetype that’s getting worn out.

The main concept to keep in mind is simple. Channel your inner Aretha Franklin and remember to always R-E-S-P-E-C-T people. I understand it’s unfair how female athletes are put into restrictive sexually-centric boxes without their consent. I understand male athletes, by and large, are not held to similar standards. That’s the very definition of unfair. I also get that no female athlete or bodybuilder should ever be forced to flaunt their sexuality unwillingly. Their main concern should be to play/compete in their sport and nothing else. That is all fine with me.

But as fans of these women, our perceptions don’t have to fit into any particular box. To add to this discussion, bodybuilding is a unique sport. Unlike baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, track and field, soccer, and so forth, winners of bodybuilding contests are judged by their appearances. The nature of the sport is conducive to judging excellence based on aesthetic. So, it’s considered “okay” for choosing your favorite bodybuilding athletes (male or female) purely based on their looks. After all, the sport is called “body”-building for a reason.

Nobody cares how attractive or unattractive a quarterback is. If you can throw for 4,000 yards, 25+ touchdowns and lead your team to the playoffs season after season, teams will pay you a lot of money to play for them. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, are judged by how their bodies look. So judging a female (or male) bodybuilder on their looks isn’t a terrible thing. Following that train of thought, it’s perfectly okay to be erotically turned on by a female bodybuilder’s body. It goes with the territory! An FBB is trying to sculpt her body to fit a desired aesthetic. If you find that particular aesthetic to be pleasing to the eye, what’s the harm?

As mentioned before, it’s sort of inevitable for male and female bodybuilders to be sexualized in the eyes of their fans. Maybe not all of their fans, but surely the ones who would normally be attracted to them regardless if they were a bodybuilder or not. The human body is a beautiful thing. Bodybuilders strive to mold theirs to perfection. If we happen to get aroused by the finished product, so be it.

Misty May-Treanor demonstrating why a lot of guys really don't mind watching Olympic beach volleyball.

Misty May-Treanor demonstrating why a lot of guys really don’t mind watching Olympic beach volleyball.

One could argue that sexuality is embedded within the sport of bodybuilding. It’s not the entirety of the sport, but one cannot deny its underlying presence. Men and women are hardwired to find certain genders, body types and people sexually attractive. I realize asexuality is a real thing, but for the sake of argument let’s assume most of us are born this way. Bodybuilding, by its very nature, seeks to elevate the human form to its highest possible peak. If muscular development is considered a proper barometer of beauty, then bodybuilders are closer to the pinnacle than us “mere mortals.” It logically follows that fans of bodybuilding would unavoidably become sexually attracted to these amazing athletes.

There are certainly women and men who love male bodybuilders. There are definitely men and women who love female bodybuilders. And guess what? That’s perfectly okay! I see nothing wrong with any of this.

Like any form of attraction, anything can be taken too far. This should be obvious to anyone. To treat a female athlete as nothing more than eye candy is an awful choice to make. She’s much more than something pretty for you to look at. She’s an accomplished competitor who deserves respect for her accomplishments and sincere admiration from her fans. I love female bodybuilders just as much as anyone else, but I always try to keep at the forefront of my mind that they’ve achieved things I could never dream of doing.

Think about what a typical woman bodybuilder has to go through every single day of her life:

  • Sacrificing her time
  • Sacrificing her energy
  • Maintaining a strict diet
  • Strenuous weightlifting regiments
  • Various non-weightlifting exercises
  • Following a strict schedule
  • Pressure from friends and family to not pursue bodybuilding
  • Stress from training and competing
  • Persistent insecurity
  • An emotionally draining lifestyle
  • Blatant misogyny
  • Sexism within the sport of bodybuilding itself
  • Worrying about unusual changes to the body
  • Unintended side effects from taking drugs and hormones
  • Paying for food, supplements and other sport-related paraphernalia
  • Travel costs
  • Injuries
  • Rude comments from people in public, over social media or elsewhere
  • Other unpleasant experiences that often go unseen

That’s quite a lot! The struggle is real, indeed. If this doesn’t instill in you more respect for women bodybuilders, then I have no idea what will. When you keep things like this in perspective, you start to realize how insanely disrespectful it is to treat female bodybuilders and athletes as mere sex objects who only exists for your own enjoyment.

I have no idea how to pronounce Zsuzsanna Toldi, but I do know that she's extremely attractive.

I have no idea how to pronounce Zsuzsanna Toldi, but I do know that she’s extremely attractive.

But alas, I highly doubt the majority of FBB enthusiasts feel this way. Most of us know FBBs and female athletes are people, not products. But, as said before, everything must come in moderation. Don’t think of strong women as sexual commodities, but don’t be afraid to celebrate their sex appeal at the same time.

In conclusion, how are we to handle the issue of our society’s sexualization of female athletes? The most rational answer might be this: There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging, celebrating and enjoying a female athlete’s sex appeal. However, there is something wrong with making that the sole focus of her identity. Whether we’re talking about Lindsey Vonn, Misty May-Treanor, Cat Zingano or Brandi Mae Akers, always keep in mind that they’re athletes who happen to be physically beautiful, not beautiful people who just happen to be athletes. That distinction might help clear up any possible sexist attitudes toward these remarkable women.

Understandably, there are many female athletes who are uncomfortable being viewed in a sexual nature, regardless of the respectful intent demonstrated by the admiring party. I get that. I’m not going to dismiss that attitude as being “overly sensitive” or “puritanical.” No one should ever be pressured to be comfortable with their sexuality or how other people feel about their sexuality. That’s not the point here. The point is that as fans, we have a responsibility to recognize the humanity in the strong beautiful women we love so dearly.

A very pretty Jennie Finch.

A very pretty Jennie Finch.

This topic can be a touchy one. I will admit that I do not have all the answers. I could be wrong about a point or two or three. The best rule of thumb is to look at this issue from all perspectives and try your best to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if every time you stepped up to the plate, onto a basketball court or in front of a bodybuilding stage, thousands of people started thinking of you not as a hardworking and passionate athlete, but instead a nameless Barbie doll with muscles? That sounds like a pretty condescending way to be treated.

Be kind. Be respectful. Don’t be a jerk. Always remember that regardless of who we are, whether we’re a world class female bodybuilder or an unapologetic fan of female bodybuilders, we’re all people trying to coexist on this beautiful, confusing and interconnected planet. In many regards, recognizing this basic fact could eliminate the vast majority of the problems we face every day.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your opinions. Feel free to share them in the comment section below or send me an e-mail at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Just so you know, I write out my e-mail address that way to avoid my inbox being inundated with gratuitous spam. But I never consider any of you readers to be spam! I welcome feedback of all kind just as long as it’s productive, informative and respectful. So have at it!

My Top 10 Favorite Female Bodybuilders

The future of the sport of bodybuilding: Shannon Courtney.

The future of the sport of bodybuilding: Shannon Courtney.

Since the subject of female bodybuilders is of keen interest of this blog, I figure it’s about time I created a list of my favorite FBBs and why I like them.

After all, isn’t it conventional wisdom that “top 10 lists” are prime ways to score high clicks and search engine optimization strength?

Of course, these rankings are purely unscientific and bear no resemblance to actual truth. It’s not like I’ve seen photos of every single female bodybuilder on the planet and can rank them with the knowledge of a seasoned connoisseur. Even if I did, I still couldn’t give you specific quantifiable criteria as to why I chose to rank a certain lady over another.

When coming up with my list, I sincerely struggled. I wanted to mention at least 20 or 30 of these women, but I had to only narrow it down to my top 10 because…well, because I said so. I make the rules, so I should follow them, am I right?

I’ve also discovered that my top 10 list of favorite female bodybuilders changes as I discover new ones. One woman in particular, who’s listed as number five, is one I’ve discovered fairly recently, perhaps in the past six or seven months. Naturally, she had to boot someone off, which is no slight to that unfortunate soul. It’s not about you. It’s about her. Yes, I’ll stick to that excuse for now.

Enough of that. Let’s get to the good stuff. So, without further ado, here is a list of my top ten favorite female bodybuilders, starting with the bottom and going up.

Love those abs on Karen Zaremba!

Love those abs on Karen Zaremba!

10. Karen Zaremba

Karen Zaremba holds a special place in my heart. She was one of the first muscle women who caught my eye when I first discovered my attraction to female bodybuilders.

Though more of a figure competitor than a hardcore bodybuilder, Karen is the full package: Beautiful, toned muscles and alluringly sexy. What more could you ask for?

Ms. Zaremba is the kind of woman who can steal your breath away in a heartbeat. She could also stop your heart from beating as well. If she’s wearing baggy clothes, she might not appear to be that big, but when she’s wearing something skimpier there’s no doubt she can turn heads left and right.

I think I first stumbled across Karen sometime early in my college years. I could not believe my eyes when I first saw photos of this amazing woman. How could a 40-something mother of multiple children look THAT AMAZING? What makes her even more incredible is that she doesn’t depend on extensive cosmetic surgeries or caking on layers of makeup to look beautiful.

She’s a natural beauty, no doubt about it.

My guess is she’s either fully or partially retired from bodybuilding. Nevertheless Ms. Zaremba will always be one of my favorites. She deserves a “Favorite Female Bodybuilder Emeritus” trophy. She’s the elder stateswoman you know isn’t “active” any more but deserves an honorable mention. You never forget (one of) your first(s), am I right?

May I touch Debi Laszewski's arms?

May I touch Debi Laszewski’s arms?

9. Debi Laszewski

As a bona fide bodybuilding superstar, Debi Laszewski is one of the most well-known stars in the sport today. Ms. Laszewski’s incredible muscularity is only matched by her physical beauty and charming personality. She’s incredibly motivated to be the best in the business and you can certainly see her drive and determination come out in her interviews. If you want somebody to be the ambassador of the sport to the general public, Debi is more than fit for the job.

Of course, I’ve never met her (or any of these women, for that matter), but she seems to be very genuine, down-to-earth, and more interested in lifting other people up rather than tearing them down. In a cutthroat business like competitive athletics, I’d guess that sort of attitude isn’t as common as it should. For me, personality matters.

So does her body. Her body is incredible. Her blonde locks of hair combined with her bulky frame make her seem superhuman. How can one person be that beautiful? How can one person be that perfect? This almost makes me question why Debi is number nine of my rankings and not down further. I may have to adjust this list somewhere down the road.

Who can resist the rich Italian looks of Deidre Pagnanelli?

Who can resist the rich Italian looks of Deidre Pagnanelli?

8. Deidre Pagnanelli

If you don’t know who Deidre Pagnanelli is, stop whatever you’re doing immediately and do a Google search of her as soon as possible. Deidre’s greatest asset – and she has a long list of them – is without a doubt her beauty. Ms. Pagnanelli is a classic beauty of the vintage Hollywood variety.

Part Sophia Loren and part Monica Bellucci, she’s comparable with those legendary Italian beauties on every level: femininity, pure beauty, gracefulness, mysteriousness, sensuality, and on and on and on.

And know what? She’s in her 40s and is a mother of four kids. Yes, you heard that right. This is no joke. She is a middle aged woman with four children who have emerged from her body. Now, there’s a certain popular acronym that’s used to describe women like this, but I refuse to use it. That would be disrespectful to her. It’s vulgar, partially sexist and cheapens who she is. Deidre Pagnanelli is more than just a woman who looks incredible at this stage of her life. She’s a personal trainer, motivator and athlete who should be treated like a Goddess.

She is someone who stops you dead in your tracks. She’s the type who can redefine how you feel about muscular women. To be fair, she’s not as muscular as a pro-level bodybuilder, but her physique should not disappoint anyone. She shatters all stereotypes about muscular women being gross. She commands the room. Once you learn who she is, there’s no way you can get her out of your mind.

I remember when I first came across Ms. Pagnanelli on the Internet. My pulse raced. My eyes were as big as dinner plates. My jaw probably fell to the floor. I could not believe she was real. Is she an actual person or a comic book hero created by a female muscle-loving illustrator?

Nope. She’s real. Very real. And we should all be thankful for that.

How did I not realize Emery Miller's beauty right off the bat?

How did I not realize Emery Miller’s beauty right off the bat?

7. Emery Miller

There are some women in this world whose beauty doesn’t hit you right away. You need to let them grow on you. Emery Miller is one of those women.

I didn’t fall in love with her right off the bat. It took me a while to warm up to her. But once I did, I never looked back. When I first came across her, I figured she was just another cute blonde FBB. But after watching interviews of her and some of her more “adult entertainment” oriented videos, my thinking about her changed. She became a joyfully sexy woman with a level of sexual intelligence that is so extraordinarily appealing.

Emery’s beauty is more on par with the “girl next door” category. She’s pretty, but not too pretty. She’s that really cute girl you knew in high school whom you ignored but years later you regretted it once you realized how awesome she is. That’s Emery Miller. You kick yourself for not realizing how amazing of a woman she is until it finally hits you over the head like a frying pan.

She’s also a very intelligent woman. Underneath her sexy smile lies someone with an equally sexy brain. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I do. There are certain people you meet you who know are special even though you can’t exactly describe why. Emery Miller wouldn’t have made this list a year ago, but she certain does now. I sure am glad I finally saw the light.

The unbelievably sexy Angela Salvagno.

The unbelievably sexy Angela Salvagno.

6. Angela Salvagno

Out of every pore of her body, Angela Salvagno drips with sexiness. She’s a little rough around the edges but possesses a level of sensual intrigue that leaves you wanting more. And without a doubt, I want more!

Other than her rich Mediterranean looks, Ms. Salvagno is striking for one other reason: her beautiful genitalia. Large clitoris, luscious labia and a pretty pink vagina that seems oh so ready for loving, Ms. Salvagno is a wonder of Mother Nature between her strong legs. Many of you may think it’s rather strange for me to remember her for her genitalia, but that’s just the kind of guy I am.

I discovered Angie through her work in porn. She’s not afraid to masturbate for the camera, that’s for damn sure. She’s proud of her body, isn’t ashamed of a single inch of it, and doesn’t need permission to please herself to her heart’s delight. There’s a lot to like about that kind of attitude. She doesn’t have the salient beauty of Deidre Pagnanelli or the insane muscular development of Debi Laszewski, but she doesn’t have to in order for me to notice her. She oozes with sex. It radiates out of every square centimeter of her being. You can practically feel the heat rising from her body when she performs for the camera. It’s tangible. It’s palpable. It’s very, very erotic.

In addition, Ms. Salvagno also has a little bite to her. She isn’t a “Miss Nice Girl” by any stretch of the imagination. Whether she’s wearing an eye-popping BDSM outfit or wrestling a hapless opponent into total submission, Angie can kick your ass if you’re not careful. There’s something undeniably sexy about that. To be truthful, every single woman on this list could probably manhandle you if you push them to their limits, but Angie is someone you genuinely don’t want to mess with. She’s not dangerous, but she can be if you want her to be.

God help us all if you ever make her angry!

It must be the eyes of Lindsay Mulinazzi that's so hypnotic.

It must be the eyes of Lindsay Mulinazzi that’s so hypnotic.

5. Lindsay Mulinazzi

It must be her green eyes. That has to be it. They’re so captivating. I swear her eyes could hypnotize me and force me to jump off a bridge. I’d be in a trance so powerful I’d empty my bank account in an instant if called upon to do so by her. And you know what? I probably wouldn’t complain too much. I’d accept it as the cost of admiring Lindsay Mulinazzi’s immaculate body.

But not just her body, but her entire self. Everything about Ms. Mulinazzi intrigues me.

Lindsay Mulinazzi has an air of mystery about her. She has so much going in below the surface that none of us will ever know about. Is she sweet or sexy? Is she naughty or nice? Is she a Good Girl or a Bad Girl? She’s probably all of those things. All at once. Yeah…she’s that multifaceted.

Ms. Mulinazzi’s looks are exotic. She’s the type of woman a sophisticated gentleman would appreciate. She’s like a glass of Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France served with filet mignon, grilled asparagus, pâté de foie gras and rich buttery mashed potatoes (that bottle of wine, apparently, is one of the most expensive in the world). She’s a treasure. She’s for sophisticated tastes only. I realize it’s rather odd to think of a female bodybuilder as being “high class,” but Lindsay fits the description perfectly. Savor her like she deserves to be savored. I can guarantee you would not be disappointed.

Denise Masino = SEX

Denise Masino = SEX

4. Denise Masino

For a woman with a gorgeous face, mouthwatering figure and fun, sexy personality, Denise Masino is most famous for another one of her assets.

Her world famous clitoris.

It looks like a pastrami sandwich. Maybe not the most refined analogy, but anyone who’s seen it would have to admit it’s not a terrible comparison. Think it’s strange for us to be so fixated on someone’s genitalia? It is, but rest assured what’s situated between her legs isn’t the only thing I love about her.

Like other women on this list, Denise Masino is an exceptionally intelligent woman whose business savvy is second to none in the industry. She understands her appeal and isn’t afraid to take advantage of it for her own benefit (and ours!). Her large clitoris isn’t a point of embarrassment. It empowers her to make her irresistible to adoring fans worldwide. She’s sexy and she knows how to market herself. She may not be a mainstream Hollywood celebrity, but among female muscle fans across the universe, Ms. Masino is as big as Marilyn Monroe ever was.

She embraces her sexuality in ways many of her peers do not. True, many FBBs will star in sexy videos from time to time, but Denise seems to thoroughly enjoy it. Many female athletes struggle with balancing being an athlete and a (often times reluctant) sex symbol. Denise, however, appears to have embraced her role as a sexually-charged woman who has no problem being both physically powerful and erotic at the same time.

I could go on for days praising Ms. Masino, but I will leave you with one thought: When you first think of Denise, her muscles aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. You think about her beautiful clit, her gorgeous face, smarts, sexiness and shrewdness first. Her muscles, while undoubtedly attractive in their own right, seem to be almost an afterthought. This demonstrates the depth of her appeal. Denise is a one-of-a-kind. There may never be another one like her. For that, we must treasure her while we can.

Lisa Cross, a.k.a. "The British Bombshell."

Lisa Cross, a.k.a. “The British Bombshell.”

3. Lisa Cross

World class female bodybuilder. Author. Part-time dominatrix. International superstar. Perhaps one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

Who could I possibly be describing? Lisa Cross, of course.

Ms. Cross, a.k.a. “The British Bombshell,” captivates your attention. That’s what really sticks with you when you first come across her. Your attention immediately goes to her and no one else. She looks dangerous. She looks intriguing. She’s unique from other female bodybuilders. There’s something about her that sets her apart from her fellow muscle sisters. Once you’re introduced to Lisa, you keep wanting more and more.

Lisa has almost the perfect combination of size, beauty, intelligence, femininity and mysteriousness. She’s exactly what you’d expect a female bodybuilder to be like, yet she’s always surprising you in one way or another.

For example, have you ever read her book Devil and Disciple: The Temptation? I have. While it has a few flaws you often see in new authors, overall it’s a strong book with a compelling story, well-crafted characters and intelligent poetic prose. As far as I can tell, she wrote the book all by herself. Her editor, of course, obviously had his or her input during the creative process, but fitting in writing a book (without a ghost writer) with an already jammed pack schedule of being a professional bodybuilder is nothing short of impressive. How many athletes could say they’ve written such a piece of art?

Lisa Cross is one of my favorites because you keep wanting more from her. She makes you pay attention to her. Not because she forces herself upon you, but because you can’t help but keep on coming back. She’s enthralling because she’s so multifaceted. She’s a beautiful and intelligent woman who’s overcome a lot of obstacles to get to be where she’s at right now. Her success wasn’t handed to her. She earned it with her hard work, dedication and relentless spirit. And she finds time to be creative, personable, confidently sexy and a much-needed ambassador of the sport to the general public.

Hats off to you, Ms. Cross!

Don't cross Victoria Dominguez. You'll regret it!

Don’t cross Victoria Dominguez. You’ll regret it!

2. Victoria Dominguez

Haters gonna hate. She might not be on everyone’s top 10 list (or even top 50 list), but I don’t care. I genuinely don’t care what anybody else says. Victoria Dominguez is one of the sexiest women in the known universe.

She might not have a traditionally beautiful face, but that doesn’t matter to me. Vicky has plenty of attitude, erotic appeal, confidence, intrigue and curves in places most women don’t have curves to make up for it. Know what? I actually think her face is quite beautiful. Don’t agree with me? I really don’t care.

Vicky’s strength as a female bodybuilder is her raw sexual power. Her alter ego, Mistress Treasure, is a true dominatrix in every sense of the word. She’s a scary lady to be around when she’s in her full “Mistress” mode. Don’t ever cross her. EVER.

More than any other FBB out there, Vicky has a level of confidence in herself that borders on cocky. But the truth is, when you’re as ripped and gorgeous as her, you have every right to be as arrogant as you want. She expects cleanliness, respect and adherence to her rules when she’s meeting with her session clients. And do you know what? She deserves every ounce of respect and reverence possible from them. They are the weaker sex, after all.

Ms. Dominguez doesn’t appeal to everyone. But that’s perfectly okay. I love Vicky because she is a powerful, authoritative woman who isn’t afraid to kick your ass if you get out of line. Her intimidating presence, combined with muscular definition that I could explore for days, makes her peerless. She has curves on top of curves embedded within more curves. She’s a beautiful black woman who’s exotic, unapologetically rough and flaunts her sexual prowess whether you like it or not.

Whew. What’s not to like about that? But sadly, not everyone is willing to jump on the Victoria Dominguez bandwagon. For those of you who think her facial features are off-putting or that her persona is too abrasive for your tastes, all I got to say is that haters gonna hate!

Alina Popa is number one! She's number one! She's number one! Whoooooo!!!!

Alina Popa is number one! She’s number one! She’s number one! Whoooooo!!!!

1. Alina Popa

Oh, Alina. You know how to charm a man like me.

Some guys really love a woman with an accent. If you do, then Alina Popa is the lady for you.

Ranking at number one, Alina Popa boasts the impeccable combination of brawn and beauty. Born and raised in Romania, Ms. Popa currently lives in the United States. Those of us in America who love muscular women couldn’t be happier. Welcome to the U.S. of A, Alina!

Alina’s charms come in many forms. First, she seems like a very sweet and kind-hearted person. It’s hard to argue with that, right? Second, she had to overcome her family’s disapproval of her dreams of pursuing bodybuilding. Apparently her mother wanted a “normal” looking daughter instead of what Alina chose to become. Fortunately, she’s warmed up to Alina’s bodybuilding career and right now is her most passionate cheerleader.

Perhaps more than any other female bodybuilder on the planet, Alina strikes the perfect balance between superhuman muscularity and undeniable femininity. If you’ve ever seen her interviewed, she’s very fun, outgoing, irresistibly sexy and unquestionably feminine. She’s unintimidating. She isn’t the type who will try to emasculate you or show off her impressive strength out of sheer narcissism.

Alina Popa may not be my hands-down favorite FBB, but after careful thought, I really have no reason not to put her as number one on my list. If I created a checklist of every quality I value in an FBB, she would score high marks on every single one of them. That counts for something. Alina is like that world class athlete who may not be your personal favorite, but you cannot deny their greatness. They’re the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) while the rest are mere mortals.

I’m also glad Alina hasn’t gotten breast implants yet (as far as I know). Her natural look makes her all the more incredible. She’s like a comic book hero…except she’s real. I don’t know her personally, but she seems to be as authentic of a person as you’ll ever meet. Celebrity status has a way of destroying that facet of your personality. From what I can tell, being an internationally renowned state-of-the-art female bodybuilder has not diminished that part of her one bit.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:

I can’t list everybody, but here are five more FBBs who deserve Honorable Mentions.

Shannon Courtney – A newcomer on the world stage, Shannon is a rising star in the bodybuilding industry. She’s young, gorgeous, unbelievably muscular (especially for someone her age) and belongs to the millennial generation – who, for better or for worse, is the future of our world. How lucky we are if Miss Courtney is the future of the sport.

Lynn McCrossin – a.k.a “PecPanther,” Ms. McCrossin’s pecs are not her only noteworthy asset. She’s a bona fide muscular porn star who definitely isn’t afraid to strut her stuff in front of the camera. Lynn may call herself a panther instead of a cougar, but after watching enough of her videos you should get the idea about what she’s into.

Dena Westerfield – Perhaps the poster child for the “natural” look, Dr. Dena Westerfield is legendary for, among other things, her flat chest. She’s as beautiful as she is smart, but her choice to flaunt her body – despite her nonexistent breasts – turns me on like nothing else. Dena is a gem.

Krissy Chin – Finally, an Asian lady! Miss Chin’s petite Asian figure makes her tight muscular body all the more alluring. How can you not want to cuddle up with her on a cold winter evening and stroke her six pack abs over a mug of hot chocolate? She has the figure of a fitness competitor more than a bodybuilder, but that doesn’t matter. Krissy is as cute as a button but feisty if she has to be.

Yvette Bova – If there’s anyone who deserves the “Porn Star” label in all capital letters, Yvette would get that distinct honor. Probably the most sexually dynamic woman on this list, Yvette isn’t for all tastes. But if you really love her, you know why. She brings “sexual liberation” to a whole new level. Yvette doesn’t lack confidence or sexual experience. That combination is dangerous to guys like me!

Ethereal Beauty: A Rational Explanation to Why Female Bodybuilders Seem Otherworldly

Andrea Giacomi showing off her gorgeous legs.

Andrea Giacomi showing off her gorgeous legs.

Anybody who has ever been in the presence of a muscular woman, either in an intimate or public setting, knows the ethereal feeling that inevitably summons inside you.

They’re otherworldly. They’re angelic. They’re supernatural spiritual beings who defy conventional description. When you see (or have the privilege of physically touching) a muscular woman with your very own eyes, you know this experience is vastly different than being in the presence of any other attractive human being.

This feeling isn’t limited to being physically present with a female bodybuilder, athlete or fitness enthusiast. Looking at pictures of them, watching their videos, or reading about them can also conjure up this reaction. But it’s most pronounced when you get to witness up-close-and-personal a muscular woman in the flesh.

What kind of “reaction” are we talking about exactly? Consider the following:

You’re minding your own business one fine day. It’s a warm spring Saturday afternoon and you’re outside running some casual errands. Shopping for dinner, buying a birthday present for your mother, or just going out for some good old fashioned exercise; it doesn’t matter why you’re out and about.

You’re walking down a busy street. Thousands of people are milling around, minding their own business. It’s a sea of humanity. Cars, pedestrians, people taking public transportation…there are men, women and children everywhere. You’re instantly reminded of how large this world can be. Thousands of souls, each with their own personal lives and unique histories.

As you turn the corner to head to your favorite retail store, something catches your eye. You see the figure of a person walking straight toward you. It must be at least 30 yards away. Despite being surrounded by countless bodies, all milling about their own business, this one particular figure catches your eye. You take a closer look and you see why.

It’s a woman. A beautiful woman. But not just any other type of beautiful woman. She’s special. What’s remarkable about her appearance isn’t her gorgeous face, flawless hair, powerful feminine charms, impeccable fashion choices or her graceful gait. It’s something else entirely.

Her muscles.

You can clearly see her muscles as she walks closer and closer to you. Broad shoulders, bulky chest, pumped biceps, a ripped six pack abdomen, long tree trunk legs and a rounded butt that nearly makes you pass out unconscious, you know right off the bat that she has to be a competitive bodybuilder. There’s no way someone who casually goes to the gym and lifts could look that incredible. She’s a one in a million and everybody surrounding her knows it.

She walks right past you without taking a single moment to acknowledge your existence. You turn your head to follow her and you run right into a telephone pole. Normally you’d feel foolish to make such a gaffe in public, but you’re so captivated by this woman that none of that matters. You get up off the ground and follow her. You don’t know where she’s going, but you know you have to follow her. You completely forget where you’re supposed to be going. Your plans have just changed. For the better.

You’d follow her to the ends of the earth. You want to know more about her. You want to learn about her life’s story. Why did she become a bodybuilder? What’s the lifestyle like? How many trophies has she won in her career? Is she dating anyone? Is she married? Does she have kids? Or, is she not into guys and prefers girls? Just show strong is she? Can she lift me? Can she push a truck with her bare hands? Can she knock me out cold with only one swift punch to the face?

Do we have any shot at being together?

You wake up and realize how ridiculous all of this sounds. She’s a complete stranger. She doesn’t know you. You don’t know her. She barely even saw you walk past her. She has bigger and better things to do right now. What are the odds that she’d even take two seconds out of her day to say “hi” to you, let alone spend the rest of her life with you? The self-embarrassment you feel from this delusional fantasy is enough to make you blush beet red.

But you can’t stop thinking about her. Even hours, days, weeks and months later, you still think about that brief moment when time seemed to stop and nothing else mattered but her. Only her. Your world became just about her. Are you crazy? How could someone whom you only saw (not touched, spoke to, or got to know) cast such a commanding spell over you? She almost doesn’t seem real. It’s as though she were just a figment of your imagination. A complete fantasy. A lovely daydream. A passing hallucination that’s here one moment and gone the next.

You know she’s real and your heart can’t stop beating to her drum. You sincerely believe she can’t be human. She has to be a creature from outer space. Or a robot created by a team of scientists who love the sport of female bodybuilding. Or an angel from God sent down to Earth to do His bidding.

Whoever she is, you can’t get her out of your mind. Not that you want to, though.

Even if you’ve never actually encountered a situation like that before, hopefully the general idea comes across. When you see, meet, or come in close proximity to a muscular woman, for many of us the experience borders on something mystical. Not to get too “woo-woo” or anything, but the point is that you know intuitively that meeting a beautiful muscular woman is a radically different experience than meeting any other kind of person.

This isn’t necessarily the case with all beautiful women. How many of us casually meet a beautiful person (regardless of your gender or sexual orientation) and come away thinking, “Wow! She’s smoking hot!” This person could be a man or woman, it doesn’t matter. Their good looks make you want to look at them and appreciate them. But that’s normally where it ends. You acknowledge their beauty, maybe think about what they’d look like naked or how they’d behave in the bedroom, and swiftly move on with your life. You may or may not even remember seeing them an hour later.

A rising star, Sophie Arvebrink.

A rising star, Sophie Arvebrink.

But a muscular woman is different. You can’t get those images out of your head no matter how hard you try. The shape of their bodies. The way they carry themselves. The potency of their physical prowess. You know they’re special, even if you can’t articulate why. You know being graced by her presence is something you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

It might be this way after you meet a female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session. You might get this reaction after attending a bodybuilding competition. Or going to the gym and seeing a woman lifting heavy weights. Or after watching a TV special about female bodybuilding or seeing a photograph of one in a magazine or sports website. Regardless of how you come across this particular female, you treat her with a level of awe and wonderment almost exclusively reserved for a deity.

Why is this exactly? Is there a logical explanation for this illogical reaction? What makes this particular type of human being feel so metaphysically different in such a real and tangible way? There may be a rational explanation.

1. Muscular women almost seem non-human

Even seeing it doesn’t make it real. She can’t be real. There’s no way in your mind that a muscular woman can possibly be human. Women, especially, are not supposed to be that big and bulky. They’re supposed to be small, frail and weak. Yes, these are pretty sexist attitudes, but stereotypes exist for a reason (even if those reasons are atrocious).

Guys can get that big because they have loads of testosterone. Women have some, but not nearly enough to get that muscular. Nature isn’t supposed to allow female bodybuilders to exist.

So when you meet a woman who defies all these conventional descriptions, your mind can’t properly process it. Women aren’t supposed to look like that! She’s not supposed to have more muscle mass than a man! Women are the weaker sex, right? How can this be?

This is why, in a strange way, muscular women seem almost non-human, as if they’re fictional cartoon characters or superheroes from a Hollywood blockbuster. Cyborgs from The Terminator movies can be big and buff because…well…they’re robots designed to look like that! They can go against social norms because they’re a product of science fiction storytelling.

Muscular women are human, of course. Which is why they seem so darn supernatural. You can see her muscles, but can you actually believe they’re actually there? You know she’s not an intergalactic space alien fashioned by someone’s active imagination. She’s a real human being just like anybody else. She’s no different from a so-called “normal” looking woman…only a lot stronger and with a lot more meat on her body.

The beautiful face of Ginger Martin.

The beautiful face of Ginger Martin.

This cognitive dissonance created by seeing a muscular woman explains why we (subconsciously) treat them like divine beings instead of people. Women aren’t intended to look like that, we might say. So when a woman does indeed look like that, there must be some divine explanation at play here. This is why whenever we’re caught staring mindlessly at a human female with muscles larger than most males who regularly lift at the gym, we treat this experience with celestial reverence.

Psychologically, we’re not capable of completely fathoming these contradictions. This explains why the mere presence of an FBB in the same room as you makes you act irrationally. Your eyes see it, but your mind cannot comprehend it.

2. When you’re in the presence of a muscular woman, you know you’re in the presence of Greatness

Relating to the previous point, in order for a woman to achieve such a high level of muscularity, you know she must make an inordinate amount of sacrifices to earn that physique. But it’s more than just sacrifices that make her great. It’s the results. And her results turn her into a superstar.

We feel awestruck by people whom we perceive to be Great. Not just good, but Great. It’s the same feeling you might have if you ever meet a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a Hall of Fame baseball player or an author whose writings have literally changed your life for the better. Meeting them is akin to meeting an illustrious spiritual leader. They’re Greatness in the flesh.

Just like being able to meet Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali, it’s intoxicating to be in the presence of people who have achieved legendary status. You admire their accomplishments. You understand that what they did is so difficult that they have to be “made of stuff” that nobody else has. Greatness is a status reserved for only a select few.

G.O.A.T. Greatest of All Time.

A muscular woman is just like that. Because it’s so exceedingly difficult for a woman to achieve a high level of muscle mass, you know she had to go through extraordinary measures to get it. She had to be Great. Bodybuilding has to become her life, not just a passive hobby. Greatness is enthralling. It’s compelling. It’s majestic to witness.

3. Many muscular women are also celebrities

While not nearly enough of them are famous, there are a significant number of muscular women who have earned mainstream fame. Recently, athletes like Ronda Rousey and Venus and Serena Williams are nationally recognized for both their athletic achievements and their muscled physiques. While not bodybuilders, nevertheless these are women whom even casual sports fans should recognize.

There are some bodybuilders, like Bev Francis and Rachel McLish, who were (somewhat) household names at one point a few decades ago. Iris Kyle and Alina Popa may not be “true” celebrities, but if you pay close enough attention you definitely will know who they are.

Which brings up the obvious point: the celebrity status of muscular women is really just confined to those of us who love them. Ms. Popa, Ms. Kyle, and others like Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia and Debi Laszewski may not be famous to the general populace, but they’re famous to people like us. We consider them celebrities. And just like how millions of teenage girls’ hearts flutter when they see members of One Direction live and in-person, we also have to fight against the urge to faint to the ground whenever we’re in the same vicinity of our favorite muscular ladies.

Dominique Furuta showing off her swag.

Dominique Furuta showing off her swag.

Their celebrity status adds a level of intrigue to them. Society, going back several centuries, has always deified celebrities. Celebrity worship is not a recent phenomenon. Medieval lords, members of royalty and charismatic social and religious leaders would be on the cover of People magazine if such a publication existed generations ago. We may not necessarily elevate celebrities like that in our own personal lives, but the intrigue stays the same. Are they like us? What do they do in their spare time? How can I be as awesome as them?

Some people adore pop singers. Others prefer movie stars. Lots of little kids look up to star football or basketball players. We, on the other hand, idolize female bodybuilders.

4. Generally speaking, muscular women are a rare type in our society

Whenever a commodity is rare, it becomes more valued. Call it the “Scarcity Principle.” Call it the dynamics of Supply and Demand. Whatever the explanation is, we all know that muscular women are prized because (unfortunately for the rest of us) there aren’t too many of them.

It’s sad, but a fact of life. Muscular women are rare. If half of all the women we encounter in our lives were as buff and beautiful as Lindsey Mulinazzi, we would all be remarkably happy campers. But alas, that is not the case. Ho hum.

Thus, because of the scarcity of muscular women in our everyday lives, whenever we do encounter one, our reactions proceed accordingly. We get shortness of breath. Our heartbeat increases. We can’t move, talk, or act normally. We treasure these once-in-a-lifetime experiences because, for all we know, they might actually be once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Muscular women don’t just fall from the sky or grow on trees. They’re a rare breed. So we must treat them with veneration whenever we’re privileged to meet one.

5. More often than not, muscular women have that “It Factor”

You sort of have to be a little “off your rocker” to become a professional bodybuilder. Male or female, it doesn’t matter. Being a bodybuilder is a really weird thing to do. The diet, the workout schedule, the time, the sacrifices, the bizarre changes it brings to your body…all of it is exceptionally odd.

That being said, any woman who dedicates her life to developing such great levels of muscle mass has to have the “It Factor.” Simply put, the “It Factor” is when someone has a certain air or quality to them that’s dynamic yet unexplainable. Whether it’s charisma or having certain skills/abilities, the “It Factor” isn’t a label one can give one’s self. Only other people can hand that out.

The angelic Mavi Gioia.

The angelic Mavi Gioia.

It’s pretty fair to say that many FBBs have this “It Factor.” When they walk into a room, everybody becomes still and falls silent. All eyes become glued to her instantaneously. When she walks into a gym and starts to workout, nobody dares get in her way or asks her “how many sets do you have left?” You’d be a foolish mortal to do that. A commoner. A peasant. You let her control the room because she’s earned the right to control it.

A female bodybuilder, especially in the eyes of a female muscle fan, can essentially do whatever she wants and get away with it. This explains why some men will pay hundreds of their hard-earned dollars to participate in a muscle worship or BDSM session with her. It’s a lot of money, but it’s worth every penny.

Why, exactly? Simple. She’s got “It.”

6. Muscular women are beautiful in ways that cannot be put into words

Lastly, muscular women are beautiful in ways that none of us can describe. For all the reasons stated previously, their Ethereal Beauty goes beyond the physical. A blind person who can only feel a muscular woman’s body would know that what he or she is experiencing is unique. Even hearing someone describe a female bodybuilder being able to leg press 1,000 pounds is enough to make your pulse race and a chill run down your spine.

Their beauty is otherworldly because our worldview tends to be quite limited in terms of female beauty. Strict beauty standards leave very little room for body types that are brawny. Hopefully this will change, but in the meantime we’ll just have to accept that our points of view are not shared by a majority of us.

In short, we cannot help but feel the way we feel about female bodybuilders. It’s instinctive. It’s a gut reaction that we cannot control nor do we desire to control. While there might be a completely rational explanation to why we become so irrational in our female muscle fandom, hardly anyone will ever complain about being introduced to this world. Loving muscular women isn’t something to be looked down upon. It’s something we should celebrate and embrace.

Women of all shapes, sizes and colors are beautiful. But muscular women are beautiful in a distinctive kind of way. We may not be able to describe how, but we know. We know our devotion to them may not make sense, but it feels so right. Our reactions to them may be irrational, but there’s a perfectly reasonable method to our madness.

Divine. Otherworldly. Angelic. Goddess. Heavenly. Celestial. Perfection. Beautiful.

Different words, but the same meaning. It all means the same thing.