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.

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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?