In the Palm of Her Calloused Hand: Female Bodybuilders and Exhibitionism

Seeing Gillian Kovack wearing that dress in public would definitely make me stop dead in my tracks.

Seeing Gillian Kovack wearing that dress in public would definitely make me stop dead in my tracks.

When a female bodybuilder walks into a crowded shopping mall, how can you not stop whatever you’re doing and just stare at her?

After you pick your jaw up from the floor, you might need to sit down on a nearby bench to prevent your heart from going into overdrive. You wouldn’t want to die from cardiac arrest right then and there, huh?

Well, if a brief moment of regarding upon the stunning physique of a beautiful female bodybuilder happens to be your final life experience before the Almighty claims you, at least you died happy!

But consider this: The moment our hypothetical female bodybuilder walks into that public space, does she want people to notice her? Does she want people to freeze in place and do nothing but stare at her body? Does she want her muscles to be the center of attention?

Obviously, the answer more often than not is “no.” Female bodybuilders, like celebrities and other famous people, want to be able to enjoy their lives with a minimal amount of disruptions. She wants to be able to go to the movies without being harassed. She wants to be able to take her dog out for a walk without being the unintended cause of a fender bender caused by a negligent driver who was distracted by her and took his eyes off the road. She wants to be able to be in public without seeing people whisper to each other about her, gossip about her, or creepily fetishize her. These are all things non-bodybuilders and non-famous people take for granted.

Yet, it is interesting to wonder whether or not if, deep down inside, a female bodybuilder wants people to stare at her. Maybe not all the time, but at certain moments. If she’s going out to a popular nightclub and is wearing a sexy revealing dress, that’s certainly an example of her wanting people to notice her body. She obviously doesn’t want people to harass her, but perhaps she’d welcome a few conspicuous stares of admiration, awe, and lust.

On this blog there is an article discussing the fact that female bodybuilders are always nude in public, even when fully clothed. Please read that column before reading this one. To summarize, it discusses the idea that because large muscular women are rare in our society, she stands out like a sore thumb. So even if she has no intention of being seen or noticed in public, she can’t help but be seen and noticed in public. She can’t wear an oversized parka for the rest of her life. So she’s always nude (in a symbolic sense, of course) whether she wants to be or not.

This article is a sort of follow-up piece to the previous one. This time, we’re going to discuss the flip side of the coin. We now know a female bodybuilder will inevitably receive unwelcomed and unsolicited attention from complete strangers purely because of the shape of her body. Most of the time, our culture would interpret this as her being in a vulnerable position. Our society teaches us not to judge other people by their looks, but a female bodybuilder is constantly being judged by her looks.

In fact, if she’s a competitive bodybuilder (or physique/fitness/bikini competitor) she intentionally goes out of her way to be judged by her looks. Therefore, the other side of the issue is this: Instead of a female bodybuilder being in a position of vulnerability when she’s in public, is she instead in a position of immense and total power?

Sophie Arvebrink has a body that can cause time to stop.

Sophie Arvebrink has a body that can cause time to stop.

Her body can cause car accidents. Her body can make men (and women and children) stop dead in their tracks and lose all sense of appropriate social behavior. Her body can make guys shell out hundreds of their hard-earned dollars just for the opportunity to touch it. Her body can spark arguments over the Internet. Her body alone can provide her hundreds of thousands of social media followers. Her body can give her a stable career, money in her pocket, and adoration from fans across the globe.

That’s power. That is a tremendous amount of power. A muscular woman’s body is so powerful she can gain massive amounts of attention with little to no effort toward promoting herself. An anonymous woman with an affinity toward exercise and fitness could post a selfie taken in her wretched bathroom on Instagram, use the right hashtags, and find herself in front of thousands of eyeballs around the world within minutes. And she didn’t have to spend a single dime to gather that kind of international attention.

Wow. What a world we live in these days!

A woman with a muscular body has an asset (or several assets, if you get my meaning) that’s indispensable. Her body can be as financially lucrative as she wants it to be. If our hypothetical female bodybuilder wants to offer muscle worship sessions, she can easily earn $1,000 of tax-free income (yay for avoiding government regulations!) for one evening’s worth of work. If you take traveling expenses out of the equation, that’s a significant chunk of change.

But let’s talk about this from another angle. Does there exist deep within her psyche a hidden streak of exhibitionism? In case you need a refresher, exhibitionism is defined as:

  1. A perversion in which sexual gratification is obtained from the indecent exposure of one’s genitals (as to a stranger).
  2. The act or practice of behaving so as to attract attention to oneself.

Psychologically speaking, exhibitionism is when someone fetishizes the act of exposing himself or herself to the public. Streakers at professional sporting games or creepy people who flash their genitals to complete strangers are prime examples. Theoretically, one could also include people who like to send unsolicited “dick pics,” web cam performers, and Tumblr users who enjoy uploading their own amateurish porn. But in this context, we’re talking about exhibitionism in a more casual sense.

We’re dealing with definition #2 instead of definition #1. Deep down inside, are female bodybuilders inherently exhibitionistic? It’s an interesting question; one that doesn’t have a definitive answer but should be explored nevertheless.

There probably isn’t any concrete scientific research to back this up either way, but it seems like a small streak of exhibitionism is sort of inevitable when we’re dealing with female bodybuilders. As mentioned earlier, FBBs exist in a world that runs counter to what our society is currently teaching us not to do.

Remember those ads launched by Unilever (an Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company that specializes in creating food, beverage, cleaning agents, and personal care products) called The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty? The marketing campaign aimed to show what “real women” looked like, which was presumably supposed to provide a counterbalance to the countless Photoshopped supermodels we traditionally see in mainstream advertising. Despite its criticism, the ads were effective in changing the national conversation around beauty standards and how we should (or shouldn’t) judge women’s bodies.

This national and international movement to change people’s minds around beauty standards has caught fire in the past few decades. Anyone who values self-worth should applaud these developments. The creators of these marketing campaigns are right that the images of women (and men) you see in mass media do not accurately represent the entirety of womanhood. These images that are reinforced everywhere – movies, television, billboards, magazines, books, Internet ads, pornography, etc. – have the unfortunate symptom of creating self-esteem issues for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

Every body is beautiful. Especially the body of Coco Crush.

Every body is beautiful. Especially the body of Coco Crush.

But standing in stark contrast to this – but not in opposition to, it should be noted – is the industry of bodybuilding. We are taught to not judge women by their looks, but female bodybuilders are encouraging people (or more specifically, a panel of judges) to do exactly that. Competitive FBBs train, diet, and work for years and years on end for the purpose of gaining certain people’s approval. It’s a strange juxtaposition, but that’s the nature of the business.

So logically, it follows that female bodybuilders, to a certain extent, want to be noticed by people. She wants to be judged. She wants the public to observe her physicality. She wants all her hard work to be put on display and appreciated by others. A female bodybuilder doesn’t just sculpt her body for the sake of a few judges. She sculpts her body for a whole host of people to see: Fellow bodybuilders, customers, fans of the sport, the media, corporate sponsors, friends and family, and so on.

Lindsay Mulinazzi doesn’t bust her tail just for a small select number of people to see her fabulous figure. Rather, she wants as many people as possible to see the fruits of her innumerable hours of sweat and labor. Many FBBs proudly display their bodies on social media and other places on the web. Obviously, we are grateful for such presentations of their beautiful bodies. Debi Laszewski doesn’t hide her hard work. She makes damn sure we all know she’s a bodybuilder. Whether we’re disgusted by her or aroused by her, she doesn’t apologize for her muscles. Nor does she go out of her way to shield her muscles from public view.

Whether it’s a small child or a Catholic nun walking by her, it doesn’t matter. Debi will not hide who she is. She’s a muscular woman. Deal with it.

Yes, there definitely is an element of exhibitionism inherent in the sport of bodybuilding. Whether an FBB receives any sexual thrills from displaying her body is almost beside the point. She wouldn’t be doing what she’s doing unless she enjoys people noticing her work.

A classically trained pianist doesn’t practice for hours upon hours just to play their instrument in complete solitude. He or she wants to eventually play at Carnegie Hall. A painter doesn’t dedicate his or her life to creating gorgeous canvases just to allow their artwork to collect dust in their basements. They dream of having their work hung up in The Louvre. No little kid grows up dreaming of playing basketball in the driveway with their buddies. They aspire to make slam dunks in front of thousands of screaming fans in jam packed stadiums across the country.

Likewise, a female bodybuilder doesn’t endure the daily grind of being a bodybuilder just to wear baggy clothing all day and be anti-social. She craves the attention. She feeds off of the jealousy, lust, and admiration her body instigates. Her body is a catalyst for sparking strong societal reactions – both negative and positive – whether she intends it to or not. And this isn’t necessarily an intentional choice; it’s an inevitable outcome.

Karen Zaremba is a woman who inspired me to start this blog four years ago. I highly doubt it was ever Miss Zaremba’s intention to motivate a random guy like me to launch a website dedicated to talking about female muscle. But whether she knows it or not (I highly doubt Karen even knows this website exists), she did indeed inspire that kind of action. She never asked me to do this. She’s never spoken with me or communicated with me in any way. All she did was display her gorgeous body on the Internet. And the rest is history.

However, I do wonder if FBBs care about the ramifications of their bodies being displayed in public. I wonder how often Pamela Anderson (who will be 50 next year!) ever thinks about the hundreds of thousands of adolescent boys and young men (and older men) over the years who have masturbated while thinking about her. Think about how many millions of self-induced orgasms Miss Anderson has encouraged throughout the past few decades. Count me in as someone who has contributed to this phenomenon.

Does Pamela Anderson get an erotic thrill knowing she solicits this kind of reaction out of people? Or for that matter, any high profile female celebrity who puts herself out there? It’s an interesting question. Female bodybuilders should be included in this conversation as well. But, to add fuel to the fire, unlike most mainstream female celebrities, the reactions elicited from an FBB’s body can be polarizing. To be fair, every celebrity is going to have their fair share of critics, but without a doubt muscular women will have much more.

They may not have the sheer volume of passionate vitriol thrown their way, but within mainstream culture muscular women are polarizing. To add an additional layer to this conversation, not only are muscular women primed to be noticed by the public, they also frequently spark debate, arguments, and raging fits of jealousy. I wonder how a lot of FBBs feel about that.

A lineup of gorgeous ladies at the 2015 Arnold Classic Australia.

A lineup of gorgeous ladies at the 2015 Arnold Classic Australia.

When a female athlete decides to pursue the life of a bodybuilder, she’s making a bold choice. She isn’t just signing herself up for radically changing her exercise, diet, and sleep habits. She’s agreeing to put up with everything we just talked about: people will react to her with admiration, repulsion, respect, jealousy, fascination, lust, perplexity, confusion, cognitive dissonance, irrationality, etc. One cannot avoid this; it’s deeply embedded within the reality of being a female bodybuilder.

Thus, is it fair to say that some FBBs enjoy doing this to people? Do they welcome the “haters” just as much as they appreciate their adoring fans? Do they relish the fact there are guys and gals around her who are envious of her and wish for nothing but her downfall? Do they secretly get a thrill from knowing there are large numbers of men scattered around the world who masturbate to photos of them on the Internet? They obviously know this happens, but do they delight in all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly?

The answers to these questions differ from FBB to FBB, of course. But even to the slightest degree, I’m sure every single muscular woman has a streak of exhibitionism residing inside her. There may not be a sexual component to this. Maybe she just loves the attention. It feeds her ego. It makes her feel empowered and emboldened. She loves the compliments. She loves seeing the looks on the faces of jealous girlfriends who cannot stop their boyfriends from staring at her. It’s just another day at the office.

The power a female bodybuilder has over the people around her cannot be underestimated. She holds more influence over people’s thoughts and feelings than she probably realizes. But undoubtedly there are plenty of FBBs who fully understand this power. And they stop at nothing to capitalize on it. These are the FBBs who are financially successful. They are the real winners, whether they formally compete or not.

Cindy Phillips is making many bold statements with her muscular body.

Cindy Phillips is making many bold statements with her muscular body.

So when a muscular woman goes to the gym and pumps iron, she’s not just making herself physically stronger. She’s also making her entire presence stronger. Her grip on other people’s minds becomes stronger and stronger with every muscle fiber growing in size. When she walks into a room, she has everyone inside it in the palm of her calloused hand. She controls how they think, what they think about, and even how they choose to behave.

Will the guy lifting next to her be able to concentrate on his workout…or will he be distracted and accidentally drop a dumbbell on his foot? When she goes out to eat at a fancy restaurant, will an infatuated waiter bump into an unsuspecting patron and drop $250 worth of steak and lobster on the floor? When she goes home and makes love to her husband, will a Peeping Tom neighbor try to sneak a peek through the semi-closed blinds?

That type of power isn’t given. It’s earned. Earned with blood, sweat, and tears. If power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, female bodybuilders must be constantly turned on every single moment of their waking lives.

Whoa. Now there’s a thought! No matter how many blog posts I write about female bodybuilders, I will always find more material to talk about. That’s another indication of the power they have over people like me.

And you know what? I’m not complaining one bit!

In closing, female bodybuilders may or may not be exhibitionistic. It’s impossible to assess who has that fetish and who doesn’t. But that’s not nearly as important as recognizing that FBBs are always being watched. And the people doing the watching often times cannot control their behavior, no matter how rational or sexually mature they think they are. When she’s being watched, she’s not in a position of vulnerability. She’s in a prime position of power. If that turns her on, so be it. If it doesn’t, I understand why. But no matter who we’re dealing with, even the most sexually prudent female bodybuilder must receive some kind of thrill from knowing she’s at the center of attention every damn time she’s in public.

Even if she doesn’t, we can all sleep well at night knowing there are millions of people on planet Earth who get a thrill from seeing her. That I can guarantee!

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Faster, Female Bodybuilder! Grow! Grow!

An example of FMG art, via David C. Matthews.

An example of FMG art, via David C. Matthews.

Female Muscle Growth (FMG) stories are a staple of online female muscle fandom. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend some quality leisure time reading stories about big and buff female characters doing what big and buff female characters do?

Well, what exactly do big and buff female fictional characters do? Whatever the author wishes, of course! Bashing in the skulls of dastardly villains, taking on a horde of flesh-eating zombies singlehandedly, warding off an alien invasion, or befriending a small and nerdy male protagonist (usually to the erotic benefit of said male protagonist) are all par for the course. Naturally, this genre of fiction appeals to a wide number of female muscle fans out there in the wider world.

Therefore, one would expect that yours truly, Ryan Takahashi, would be an avid fan of FMG stories. And do you know what? I’m……………..not.

Wait, what?

That’s right. As shocking as this might sound, FMG stories don’t really appeal to me. This sounds especially odd since I’ve published lots of female muscle-themed fictional stories on my blog. Doesn’t it make logical sense that Mr. Takahashi would also be a passionate supporter of FMG tales?

Well, not really. I’ve tried to read some FMG stories posted on popular female muscle websites, but they don’t allure me as much as you’d think. I’m not in any way shape or form judging these writers, editors, and contributors in a negative fashion. It’s not the quality of the writing, plotlines or narrative structures that I find unappealing. Rather, it’s the general concept of FMG that turns me off.

Like always, I shall explain what I mean in further detail.

Before you dust off the pitchforks and torches (as well as the tar and feathers), let me provide a little background on the genre of FMG so you can be assured I’m not speaking out of ignorance.

Female Muscle Growth is a subgenre of erotic fiction that features a female protagonist – although the character could be the antagonist – who starts off as a normal-sized young woman but eventually finds herself transformed into a beautiful, sexy and hyper-muscular She-Hulk of epic proportions. Usually this transformation happens for reasons such as a scientific experiment, a magical spell is cast upon her, special DNA is injected into her bloodstream, a supernatural talisman, side effects from a new brand of medication, a potion created by a sorcerer, latent superpowers that she just discovers, and so on.

The specific reason why our modest heroine is transformed into a Super Muscle Goddess changes, but the general idea remains the same. It isn’t because she’s a pro bodybuilder who built her muscles naturally by eating right, working out like a mad woman, strategically using steroids/human growth hormones, and resting in proper increments. That sort of transformation takes months and years, not mere seconds. It’s not magical; it’s scientific.

She-Hulk!

She-Hulk!

Popular forums for finding FMG stories include Diana the Valkyrie’s Library of Amazon growth stories, Forum Saradas, and various DeviantArt pages. There are of course individual blogs, websites, and Tumblr sites also dedicated to publishing or sharing FMG content. There might be printed books and e-books that follow the FMG formula, but I haven’t done enough research to point you in any specific direction. Without question, all the FMG fiction you want is just a simple Google search away. Isn’t the Internet a swell place?

As mentioned previously, many times these stories also feature a male protagonist who is usually meek, nerdy, socially awkward, and not very popular with the ladies (of any size). Just like a lot of us! I don’t want to paint all of us with a broad brush, but it’s probably not a stretch of the imagination to say that many of us aren’t what one would consider a modern day Casanova. Yes, I know many of you readers are happily married or are in a stable relationship, but that certainly isn’t every single one of you. I can speak for myself when I say my personal history with women isn’t full of proud successes!

So these stories are a perfect avenue for less-than triumphant guys (some would call them beta males, but that’s a whole other story) to live vicariously through these fictional characters. Even guys who are popular with the ladies occasionally want to fantasize about being with a big and buff female companion…if even for a few moments.

FMG stories are usually accompanied by either illustrations of these ladies (often times in the style of Japanese hentai) or images of real women enhanced generously by Adobe PhotoShop. Or there may not be any images at all. Not everyone is an artist or a PhotoShop wizard. Also, not everyone is unethical enough to steal images produced by another artist or wealthy enough to pay a professional artist to sketch illustrations for them.

That being said, why am I not a big fan of this genre of fiction? Well, there are a few reasons. The first is that I prefer muscular women who earn their muscles through hard work and dedication rather than through supernatural means. In all the fiction I’ve written featuring a female muscle protagonist, all of them are professional or semi-professional bodybuilders who became big and strong the old fashioned way. This better reflects the type of characters I find most appealing.

My love for muscular women isn’t just defined by the fact they have large muscles. I love big muscles just as much as any other female muscle fan, but I also love the context behind their fabulous muscles. I love that they had to earn every single muscle fiber they have on their beautiful bodies. I love knowing they’ve had to make difficult sacrifices in order to get that big (no FBB spends all her free time watching TV, drinking beer, and eating pizza). I appreciate their willingness to restructure their lives around building up the muscle mass they need to compete at the highest level. I love their vulnerability, toughness, emotional fortitude, discipline, and supreme confidence.

In other words, I love strong women because of what it takes for them to become strong women.

FMG stories aren’t my cup of tea because these characters don’t earn their muscles. Their muscles are given to them with little to no effort on their part. A magic potion, one individual super strength vitamin pill, a single injection of experimental DNA and things like that are cheap ways to gain unreal muscle growth. But Rene Campbell, for example, is different. She makes sacrifices. She’s costed herself a stable love life in order to pursue bodybuilding. She gets looks of disgust from people all the time because she can’t simply turn off her muscularity like a light switch. Her muscles are with her 24/7/365. They are a part of her identity. They are embedded within who she is as a human being.

A fan-created FMG interpretation of popular anime character Sakura Haruno.

A fan-created FMG interpretation of popular anime character Sakura Haruno.

As fantasy fiction, FMG stories do what they’re supposed to do. They provide quick titillation and entertainment for legions of female muscle enthusiasts. Fantastic! I have no quarrel with that. It’s just not for me. That’s it. I’m not judging the genre, insulting those who love the genre, or calling for the genre to adapt to my specific tastes. My opinion doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this world. Even if it did, I wouldn’t alter the genre in any way. People love it, so they should be allowed to enjoy it. Sound fair?

It’s just not my cut of steak. That’s all there is to it.

Another reason why I don’t particular dig this genre is that the “beta male” stereotype annoys me. I understand not every single FMG story features this archetype, but many do. Look, I am in no way a “man’s man” or anything like that, but the perception that all guys who dig muscular women are somehow emasculated man-children who fetishize being in a hapless subordinate position to powerful women gets a bit tiring after a while.

One other reason is that at the end of the day, I find realism to be much more appealing than fantasy. I realize that all fiction is unreal, but what I mean is “realistic.” Effective erotic fiction should, in my opinion, reflect a certain degree of plausible realism. That isn’t to say that the sci-fi and fantasy genres can’t be erotically appealing. It’s just that on a personal level, I tend to prefer realistic situations that closely mirror real life.

This preference isn’t for everybody, nor should it be. I’m not judging people who don’t share my views. It’s totally fine to disagree with me. This is just how I assess what excites me.

This is why I find the vast majority of mainstream porn to be boring, stupid, and uninteresting. I don’t want to sit down and watch 30 minutes of two plastic surgery-enhanced doofuses have passionless sex all while hurling fake screams and moans in between painfully written dialogue. Wait, there’s actual dialogue in porn? Yeah, I guess there is. If you care about that sort of thing.

The kinds of porn that I do find fun to watch is when I can identity (or come close to identifying) the people involved. The “plotline” in most porn is so unimaginative it’s become an ongoing joke. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl take off their clothes. Boy and girl then have sex. And more sex. Then from different positions. Then a second boy or girl enters the room. Then the pizza delivery guy knocks on the door. Then mommy or daddy unexpectedly arrives home early, carrying with them the usual assortment of whips, handcuffs, dildos, vibrators, rope, and bottles of lube.

Yuck. We all know how it goes.

In similar fashion, FMG stories tend to (although not all of it is like this, to be completely fair) follow the same general outline. The names, faces, and specific situations may change, but not too much. We are introduced to a girl who is shy and weak. Then she miraculously becomes muscle-bound. Then she meets a boy. Then…well, the rest is up to whoever is writing the story.

A more pen-and-paper version of FMG art, via Diana Valkyrie.

A more pen-and-paper version of FMG art, via Diana Valkyrie.

I suppose I shouldn’t slam this too much. Lots of guys (and gals) in this world love FMG, so who am I to spoil the party?

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Perhaps a better approach to this subject is to explain not why I don’t like FMG stories, but why other forms of female muscle fiction appeal to me more. I love browsing through photos of fitness models, female bodybuilders, and other kinds of muscular women. Cartoon drawings of such women don’t entice to me as much. I have nothing but respect for these artists (as the tiresome cliché goes, I can barely draw a stick figure!), however I much prefer the real thing. Just spend a few moments and take a look at Minna Pajulahti’s Instagram account. Oh boy. That’ll get your blood boiling!

Want some examples of female muscle fiction that I happen to enjoy? Read “Chemical Pink” by Katie Arnoldi (who herself is a former bodybuilder) and “Devil and Disciple – The Temptation” by L. J. K. Cross (a.k.a. Lisa Cross, the famed British female bodybuilder). These two novels are fantastic reads. Go check them out if you can! It’s easy to order them on Amazon.com if you have a few extra bucks lying around.

Here is how I will tie this all in together. If you haven’t started preparing the tar and feathers and searching for a railroad track to parade me on, go ahead and do so. I’ll wait. In the meantime, what I’ll say is this:

I love muscular women for many reasons. The main one is aesthetic. I REALLY love how they look. On this point, we should all be in universal agreement. Muscular women are Goddesses on Earth and should be treated as such. There’s a darn good reason why many of us fantasize about worshipping their muscles as if they were deities in the flesh. That’s because in our fantasy worlds, they ARE deities in the flesh. And they have a lot of muscular flesh on their gorgeous bodies, ready for us to touch – if they let us, of course.

The other reason why I love muscular women is because they’re beautiful in ways that they have to earn. Nobody gave them their muscles. They didn’t sign their names on the dotted line and a FedEx delivery guy simply drove their pre-packaged muscles to their homes and dropped them off on the front porch. You can’t buy big muscles at Target. You don’t sign any contracts. You don’t sit around and wait for someone or something to hand them to you.

You have to earn it. Every single day of your life.

And that’s exactly what female bodybuilders do. They earn their muscles. Since we love looking at their muscles, logically speaking they also earn their beauty. Unlike the beautiful Abercrombie & Fitch models you see on wall-sized advertisements, many female bodybuilders (although not all) are not born conventionally beautiful. We often get jealous of professional models because they make a living – although recent news stories have reported that there is copious abuse within the industry, which unfortunately shouldn’t surprise any of us – thanks to their natural God-given looks. In a way, that kind of jealousy is understandable.

But not so with female bodybuilders. Their beautiful muscular bodies were not given to them from birth. Good genetics did not automatically grant them their six-pack abs, bulging biceps, broad shoulders, thick thighs, rounded calves, and toned butt. They had to sacrifice blood, sweat, and tears to get those assets. While we may harbor some level of envy toward women who can bench press more than us, at the end of the day she busted her tail year-in and year-out to be able to do those lifts. If we put in the same amount of hard work, so can the rest of us. It’s that simple.

Personally, I'd rather look at photos of real life female bodybuilders like Minna Pajulahti.

Personally, I’d rather look at photos of real life female bodybuilders like Minna Pajulahti.

Getting to the top of Mount Everest isn’t nearly as impressive as putting in the work, strategic planning, and preparation necessary to be able to climb Mount Everest in the first place. The journey is just as compelling as the end goal. In this respect, I love female bodybuilders because of the arduous journey they’re on. We can appreciate the final product, but we can also appreciate the road they had to travel to achieve that final product.

At the heart of FMG fiction is cutting through that long and windy road and getting from Point A to Point B in a matter of seconds. That’s not intriguing to me; not because a particular FMG story isn’t well written or well-conceived, but rather because it eliminates the very core reason why I love muscular women in the first place. They earned their muscles through strenuous hard labor, not a magic pill concocted by a mad scientist.

I want female bodybuilders to grow and grow just like the next guy. But I want the journey to take as long as it needs to. Give me a photo of a young fitness Instagram model over a hyper-muscular ‘roided up cartoon character any day. But if that’s your thing, go for it! I encourage people to express their female muscle fandom in any way they choose (as long as it’s legal and consensual, of course).

But alas, I digress. If FMG stories are what rock your socks, I am in no position of authority to say it shouldn’t. By all means, read, write, and draw all the FMG art your heart desires! Do whatever makes you happy, I say. This is not a condemnation of FMG, people who like FMG, or people who create FMG. This is just my humble take on the genre. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts and reactions in the comments below or by sending me an e-mail at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com. I may even write a follow-up post sharing what you write (or rant) to me.

In the meantime, I swear I can smell the tar boiling in the cauldron…

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Kudos goes out to David C. Matthews for being a supremely talented female muscle artist. Please check out his comic series Tetsuko if you haven’t already! The FMG drawing of popular anime character Sakura Haruno is created by Pegius. The illustration of She-Hulk is done by Michele Frigo.

The Bigger the Clit, the Happier We All Are (NSFW)

Angela Salvagno sharing with the world her stretched out labia.

Angela Salvagno sharing with the world her stretched out labia.

By far, the most erotic part of a female bodybuilder’s body is her clitoris. Some FBBs – Denise Masino, Angela Salvagno, Amber DeLuca, and Brandi Mae Akers being a few examples – are famous for their enormous feminine endowments (Rikochan also deserves recognition, even though she’s not an FBB). On behalf of fans of these women all over the world, I can say with great certainty that we deeply appreciate their collective willingness to share this tantalizingly intimate part of their bodies.

No female bodybuilder is ever under any obligation to share her body with the world. No woman is, for that matter. But those who consensually choose to release photos and videos revealing the impressive nub of meat protruding between their legs are a blessed bunch of women. We thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts!

Without a doubt, men – whether they already like muscular women or not – are fascinated with a female bodybuilder’s genitalia. What does it look like? Is it different than “normal” women’s genitals? Are all their clits huge? What makes their clits so big? Do their clits become more sensitive? Is it really a penis? Do taking steroids make female bodybuilders become men (or take on overtly masculine qualities)? Do female bodybuilders experience better orgasms? Why can’t I stop fantasizing about giving a strong muscular woman a spine tingling orgasm?

Inquiring minds need to know!

Alright, everyone. Let’s slow down for a moment and take some time to dive into this topic.

There are thousands of different genres of pornography out there. Some range from the benign to the bizarre to the freaky to the unethical. And everything in between. Porn is a fascinating topic of discussion, one that we’ll never stop talking about. That being said, out of the countless genres and subgenres (and sub-sub genres) of porn available on the open market, one in particular that is worth mentioning is female muscle fetishism.

Porn featuring female bodybuilders can be just as boring, bland, and tacky as any other kind of porn you’ll stumble across. Some is disgusting, some is legitimately erotic, but a lot of it is crude and unintelligent. But if there’s anything that excites a female muscle fan like nothing else can, it’s close up shots of an FBB’s clitoris. Big, swollen, excited, and juicy, we cannot get enough of it.

Denise Masino is legendary for what exists between her strong legs.

Denise Masino is legendary for what exists between her strong legs.

So much so, we keep returning to the kinds of photos and videos that give us what we crave: Big clits. I can say with complete confidence that the bigger the clit, the happier we all are.

Now, before I jump off the deep end of the swimming pool, let’s explore why this is important. I’ve written in previous blog articles why men are fascinated with a female bodybuilder’s genitalia. In this column, I’m going to talk about why it’s empowering for a female bodybuilder to have large genitalia, and why it’s important for the men (and women) who like them to recognize this.

From what I can gather from researching this topic, having a large clitoris doesn’t necessarily provide a woman any further sexual advantages (in regards to her own pleasure) compared to women with normal sized clitorises. There could possibly be some scientific evidence suggesting that women with large clitoral endowments experience sexual pleasure differently, but such research has yet to be conducted to my knowledge. Suffice to say, in terms of physical biology, I cannot say with complete confidence that a large clitoris is objectively significant in any way.

However, having a large clit carries very real symbolic significance. Without getting into too much physiological detail – from which I will admit I am far from being an educated expert! – here is what we know: The female clitoris is homologous to the male penis. In biological terms, this refers to two physical characteristics that are “similar in position, structure, and evolutionary origin but not necessarily in function.”

If what separates a male and female is based purely on chromosomes – XX for females and XY for males – then we can conclude that we were all born genderless but during our development in utero, at some point changes occur which lead to the differences we see after birth. So while the clitoris and the penis are structurally similar, they are nevertheless two distinct parts of the human body. And, they should be treated as such.

Amber DeLuca looking as gorgeous as ever.

Amber DeLuca looking as gorgeous as ever.

It is often pointed out (by sexologists, feminists, and anyone who’s interested in human sexuality) that the clitoris is unique in that it’s the only organ of the human body that exists purely for the purpose of providing sexual pleasure. It may also be more sensitive than the penis, which perhaps gives women more heightened delight from direct stimulation. I’m not a woman, so I can’t verify that claim. But let’s assume this is more or less the truth.

In the process of reproduction, it is often assumed that the penis and the vagina are two sides of the same coin. The man releases sperm from his penis into the woman’s vagina, which carries the sperm through her uterus and eventually to her ovaries, and blah, blah, blah. In a way, the penis and the vagina mostly act as the passageways through which a newborn human being is produced. Boring stuff, right?

Yes. However, things get more exciting once we add the element of sensual pleasure to the mix. Traditionally, we think of human orgasms as being produced by the penis and the vagina. But that doesn’t paint a complete picture. The clitoris is intricately tied to the vagina. Some researchers argue that there is no such thing as a vaginal orgasm, that all female orgasms are clitoral orgasms. The clitoris is far larger than what we see on the surface. The vast majority of it exists inside a woman’s body, not outside of it.

So we really need to think of female pleasure in terms of the clitoris, not the vagina. Fine. Now what? Why is this important?

Culturally speaking, acknowledging that the clitoris is how a woman really achieves orgasm tears down the notion that female sexuality is inherently passive. For thousands of years, we’ve treated male sexuality as a given. Female sexuality, on the other hand, has unfortunately been pushed aside for far too long. During the act of sex, we mechanically think of the penis as the instigator. It is doing the stimulating. It is initiating the reproductive process. Without the penis, sex wouldn’t exist.

Along that same wavelength, the vagina is often thought of as a passive participant. It is the vagina that is penetrated. It is the vagina that is being stimulated. It is the vagina that is part of the reproductive process, not the organ that is activating this process. Without the penis, the vagina is worthless.

This mindset is obviously wrong. Women are completely capable of pleasing themselves without a male companion. But what makes the existence of the clitoris so incredible is that it exemplifies this point thanks to its physical structure.

A strong beautiful black woman named Desiree Ellis. Slaaaaayyyyy!

A strong beautiful black woman named Desiree Ellis. Slaaaaayyyyy!

The penis is an outward organ that is plain for the eye to see. The vagina, however, exists internally and is not easily visible. For the vast majority of women, their genitalia looks like a simple slit that runs down between their legs. That’s it. Schoolchildren often say that boys have a penis and girls have nothing down there. That’s obviously wrong, but that line of thinking makes sense when you think of genitalia purely in observable terms. The penis is easy to observe. The vagina is not.

So once these schoolchildren grow up into adulthood, they have ingrained into their brains the belief that the vagina is subordinate to the penis in terms of providing both partners mutual sexual pleasure. They might intellectually understand that this is a bunch of BS, but cultural teachings can be difficult to fully scrub. An adult man looks at his penis and sees a tool for giving and receiving pleasure. An adult woman looks down between her legs and sees…nothing.

But not so with certain female bodybuilders. Angela Salvagno looks down between her legs and sees…a lot. Oh boy, does she see a lot! Big meaty labia, a thick clitoral hood, and of course, an enormous clitoris itself. For most women, their genitals are mostly hidden inside their bodies, as if it’s almost ashamed to come out into the light. Miss Salvagno, on the other hand, can proudly display her genitalia because of how large, open, and easy it is to see.

That’s the difference. Female bodybuilders with enhanced genitalia prove the point that a woman’s sexual organs don’t have to be small, timid, and passively hidden from sight. Rather, her labia, clit, and vagina can be just as plain to see as a man’s penis and scrotum. She can “let it all hang out” just as a man can. If any of you do a Google search of Angela Salvagno or Denise Masino, you will be fortunate to see just how enthusiastic they are about showing off their goods to the public!

On a symbolic level, having large genitalia empowers you. Men with big penises are considered manlier and more sexually powerful than men with smaller endowments. But does the same standard exist for women? Not really, but female bodybuilders can alter those perceptions. A strong muscular woman with large genitalia shatters the perception that female sexuality must be passive and subordinate to male sexuality. The image of a beautiful and buff FBB with a gigantic clitoris communicates independence, sexual vitality, and female empowerment. I realize the concept of “empowerment” has become an annoying cliché in recent years, but bear with me for a moment. When I see a female bodybuilder with big genitals, I see a woman who is unquestionably and unapologetically in charge of her own sexuality. She controls the terms of her pleasure. She controls her body. She controls how she lives her life. This is incredible. This is important for all of us to see.

Kathy Connors soaking up the sun.

Kathy Connors soaking up the sun.

A large clitoris may not necessarily give a woman more pleasure, but it definitely creates the illusion that she is certainly more than capable of experiencing pleasure for her own sake. She can actively stimulate her clit to orgasm, just as a man can masturbate his penis to orgasm. Women can also pleasure themselves with dildos and vibrators, but those are still phallic-like tools that merely replace a human penis with an artificial mechanical substitute.

But a large clit changes the game. She can pinch, rub, and squeeze her clit toward a satisfying climax anytime she wants to. She doesn’t need a man, a woman, or a phallic proxy to assist her. She doesn’t need to be penetrated in order to experience pleasure (on a side note, doesn’t the word “penetrate” carry with it subtle undertones of violence and invasion?). She can provide herself external stimulation that further reinforces the idea that she is an autonomous sexual creature who is abundantly capable of experiencing as much sensual delights as her male counterparts.

A female bodybuilder who proudly shows off her enormous genitals creates a whole new paradigm in the world of human sexuality. No longer are women second-class sexual citizens. No longer are they defined by what they don’t have, but rather by what they do have.

Come to think of it, that’s the crux of the matter! Going back to the schoolyard illustration, little boys are fully aware of what they have between their legs. Girls are less certain. Therefore, society is taught to view boys by the anatomy they possess and girls by the anatomy they don’t possess. When an obstetrician delivers a newborn baby, they check to see if it has a penis or not, as opposed to if it has a vagina or not. What a funny world we live in.

As male-centric as our society may be (and still is), we’re slowly but surely starting to recognize the fact that women have sexualities of their own that should be celebrated, taught to our children, and acknowledged as factual reality. Women don’t possess nothing down there. They possess quite a lot! Most of it may be hidden, but all you have to do is conduct a Google search for pictures of nude female bodybuilders and you’ll get a good idea of what a woman actually has going on down there.

When women are empowered to embrace their own sexuality, everyone benefits. Women benefit, men benefit, society benefits. It’s a win-win-win proposition. Female bodybuilders play an integral role in punctuating the point that women can be physically strong as well as sexually potent. Of course, much of this is more symbolic than anything else, but that’s beside the point. Female bodybuilders are not an ideal toward which all women should strive, but rather a pronounced example of what women can become. A big clit doesn’t actually signify enriched sexual power; instead it proves the point with the force of a sledgehammer that women can be independent sexual agents who are fully capable of experiencing sensual pleasure without the need for outside assistance.

If she wants a man to help her achieve orgasm, great! If she wants a fellow woman to assist her, that’s also great. If she wants to act all by herself and assert her own libidinous sovereignty, that’s obviously quite great.

Oh baby. Brandi Mae Akers.

Oh baby. Brandi Mae Akers.

Women are immeasurably important to our world. But it’s a tragic reality that the world is not entirely safe or welcoming to them. There are hostile forces working against women all across the globe that will take generations to stamp out (if it can be defeated at all, which is debatable). However, even if it has a miniscule impact on a few people’s biases, a female bodybuilder’s large clitoris can change people’s hearts and minds forever. Maybe not in an immediate and tangible way, but in a more figurative and representational way.

It may not be much, but whatever you can get is gravy on top. It continuously breaks my heart to read about the plight of women and girls around the world. But judging from WordPress’s analytics, I know for a fact that my blog is read by people who live in countries that are openly hostile toward women (both culturally and politically). This humble article may not achieve much, but at least I hope I can get the ball rolling in a more positive direction.

Here is my expression of gratitude to women with big clits who are proud to show them off:

Thank you! Thank you for titillating us, teasing us, arousing us, and captivating us. Thank you for sharing an intimate part of your body that you have absolutely zero obligation to show off. Nobody forces you to share this private part of your life…you choose to do it voluntarily. Your reasons for doing so may be because of exhibitionism, smart business acumen, or for purely financial gain; but an unintended benefit of doing so is that you’ve opened the doors for women everywhere to freely express their sexuality and for men to witness this first-hand. We all benefit. No matter who we are, where we live, or what we believe. You may not realize this, but you’re doing a tremendous amount of good.

You may not see any tangible benefits right away but rest assured, they will crop up sooner rather than later. Hopefully, much sooner than any of us would think. Women and girls have a long way to go in terms of living in a more just society, but as far as I’m concerned, you’re playing your part – no matter how infinitesimal it may seem – toward cultivating this ideal world.

Thank you!

The Benevolent Voyeur and the Female Bodybuilder – Part Two

Rebekah Kresila looking like a well-trained athlete.

Rebekah Kresila looking like a well-trained athlete.

The following morning before breakfast, Rebecca found herself staring long and hard at the $500 lying on her coffee table. It’s as if the smug stare of Benjamin Franklin were directed toward her, with Old Ben warning her not to go through with this madness.

A voice on the television informs her that the captured aid worker was in fact executed by ISIS in the most brutal fashion imaginable. Thankfully, the network spares its viewers the gruesome details, but the general idea remains loud and clear. We live in an unforgiving world. Sometimes, we cannot let reason or logic dictate our actions. This isn’t the way Rebecca wants the world to work, but she accepts this is the way it is regardless of her feelings.

The hour-long jog on the treadmill goes by so slowly Rebecca could have sworn it took two hours. But indeed, only 60 minutes pass before she finds herself taking a short shower with Katy Perry music blasting in the background. Thank God for Katy. We may live in a world with sexually deviant stalkers and international terrorists, but at least a quick listening to “Firework” can be enough to lift your weary spirits.

Thursday is arm day, which is a day no serious weightlifter would ever skip. In fact, it seems like most people only work out their arms and nothing else. Rebecca knows better than that. As a professional female bodybuilder who one day hopes to achieve elite-level status, she must be diligent and strategic while at the gym. Today is no exception.

“Nice arms, little lady!” Rebecca doesn’t need to turn around to know whose voice this gratuitous compliment comes from. It’s Gregory, a somewhat dirty old man who frequents the gym during the early hours of the morning. Rebecca characterizes him as “somewhat” because for an older gentleman (he appears to be in his mid to late 60s), he’s actually pretty handsome. But not movie star handsome. Let’s not get too carried away.

“Thank you, Gregory. What are you working on today?” Rebecca takes a generous swig from her water bottle. The contents are room temperature, which annoy her to no end.

“Oh, shoulders and back. Whatever I feel like doing,” he says. “When is your next competition? Didn’t you last do some a couple of months ago?” Gregory’s silver hair looks as stiff as roadkill. Does his sweat ever mix with the oil he puts in it? Rebecca apparently has time to ponder these things. She takes a look at Gregory’s biceps and notices a significant amount of size growth. She won’t say anything about that to him, however. There’s no need to feed his already oversized ego.

“Yes, I did a competition last March. It was down in San Diego,” Rebecca replies. “The next one is in Houston in eight weeks. I’m hoping to place in the top five this time around.”

Gregory looks up and down at Rebecca’s body, which sends a shiver down her spine. He doesn’t do it in a creepy kind of way, but she is a little bit “on the edge” right now for obvious reasons.

“I have no doubt you’ll place in the top five. Maybe you’ll win it all!” He laughs. She laughs too, forcing every fiber of her body to play along until she can find an excuse to exit this conversation. Thankfully, a gorgeous 40-something blonde woman walks by wearing a skimpy white athletic bra and short shorts that leave little to the imagination. Expectedly, this steals Gregory’s attention. Using Miss Blondie’s presence as an excuse to leave, Rebecca quickly makes a beeline for the free weights room and enters unnoticed.

Conveniently for her, the gym is within walking distance of her condo, as it is for hundreds of others for that matter. The early mornings are usually not too crowded, but by 8:00 a.m. the masses of people start to show up in droves. Rebecca senses now is the time when these folks might start to arrive. She grabs a pair of 65 pound dumbbells and cranks out 12 repetitions of bicep curls. This impresses all the men who are working out near her. They don’t say anything, but she knows exactly what they’re all thinking:

Not bad for a tiny Asian girl!

Rebecca estimates the gym’s clientele consists of 70 percent men and 30 percent women. The guys range from out of shape couch surfers to young men who aspire to become professional bodybuilders like her. But she doesn’t go to the gym to pick up guys. She goes to get to work. And that’s what she always does.

Of the women, there are only three regulars who are as muscular as her. There’s Candace, a 20-something black girl who’s competed before and is actively working on landing her IFBB card. Then there’s Michaela, a 19-year-old track and field athlete with a lean muscular body and breasts even smaller than hers. Rebecca used to be enormously insecure about her flat chest. Today, she’s accepted this fact and has moved on with her life.

Finally, there’s Joyce. Oh, Joyce. Rebecca suspects she’s a lesbian, but a short haircut, tattoos, and a pierced nose doesn’t necessarily mean she’s into chicks. Rebecca is definitely not one to stereotype like that. Joyce can talk your ear off if you let her. She always has something to complain about, whether it’s her flailing personal training business or her mother who’s wondering when she’s finally going to get married. Joyce is probably in her early 40s, so it’s not like she doesn’t have time to find a significant other. But by now maybe it’s a foregone conclusion that she’s not into men.

Or maybe she is. Rebecca doesn’t care either way.

Today, none of these ladies are at the gym. None of the talkative guys who endlessly flirt with her are here either. So perhaps Rebecca will be able to lift in peace and quiet.

“I’m almost done. Just a few more sets,” Rebecca tells herself.

Before leaving the gym, Rebecca sometimes visits the smoothie bar and orders something to help her recover from her workout. Today is one of those days. After finishing her workout and taking a nice long shower, Rebecca dresses and approaches the bar. This morning, a cute guy named Dale is holding down the fort. She and Dale have some history together. A few years ago at a Christmas party they met each other through a mutual friend. They both got really drunk and started to make out. One thing led to another, and before the night was out they returned to Dale’s apartment and almost had sex. They were about to do the deed until Dale, who was more drunk than Rebecca, accidentally hits his head against a wooden cabinet and suffers a bad laceration on his forehead.

Rebecca dutifully ordered a cab and took him to the hospital. They ended up not having sex that evening. That’s probably a good thing in retrospect. Dale is a good guy, but his frat boy days haven’t totally left him yet. He’s nearly 30 but still thinks he’s a freshman in college. Rebecca tends to not gravitate toward men like that.

“What’s up Dale?” Rebecca smiles and takes out her phone to check her e-mail. No messages.

“Hey, girl, hey! Looking good. Oh, not much,” Dale says. “My dog puked all over my bed this morning. That was fun. What about you?”

Learning about Dale’s dog barfing up his breakfast was not the type of news she was in the mood to hear. But that’s Dale for you, ladies and gentlemen.

“Not much. Same old, same old. That’s what happens to people our age. We fall into ruts. I’ll have a strawberry banana smoothie with two scoops of protein powder and half a scoop of energy. I’m going to need it today.” Out of the corner of her eye she sees Gregory hitting on Miss Blondie. This brings a smirk to her face.

A fine pair of legs on Sandy Vu.

A fine pair of legs on Sandy Vu.

“Coming right up!” Dale quickly goes to work. If there’s one thing he does exceptionally well, it’s make delicious smoothies just as you ordered it. So bravo to him for that.

Twenty minutes later, Rebecca almost finishes the smoothie as she parks her car at the physical therapy clinic. She slurps down the rest and tosses the plastic cup into a garbage can. A small army of flies circle around the opening. It looks like it hasn’t been attended to in years. Disgusting.

The work day begins as usual. Only three clients today. None of them noteworthy to mention. In the back office there are several computers that therapists and freelance employees can use. Her usual computer at the back of the room appears to be taken, as someone’s backpack and fleece pullover is lying on top of the chair.

Who could this possibly be? Everyone knows this computer is always reserved for Rebecca Tanaka…

“I’m sorry. Is this your computer? I didn’t know these were assigned to anyone in particular,” an unfamiliar voice says from behind Rebecca’s back. She immediately turns around to see who it is. Standing before her is someone she’s never seen before at the clinic. It’s a devilishly handsome Asian guy with a charming smile and a fit athletic body. Rebecca’s eyes widen as she loses herself in this man’s beautiful aura. She finally composes herself and extends her hand toward him.

“Oh, I didn’t see you there. I’m Rebecca. Pleased to meet you.” They shake hands. His firm grip sends a jolt of electricity through her system. There is something about the way he touches her that Rebecca knows is different from anyone else she’s ever met.

“Hi. I’m Brad. I’m new here. Today is my first day on the job,” he says. Rebecca continues to get lost in his eyes. “I’m the new sports athletic trainer. I had no idea this was your computer.”

“Oh, no. These computers aren’t assigned. I just usually choose this one by default. But I can use the one next to yours.” Rebecca puts her backpack in front of the computer next to Brad’s. He smiles at her again, which sends another jolt of energy through her body. God, what is happening to her?

“Great. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes on my first day at the job, you know what I mean?”

“I definitely know what you mean!” Wow, is that the best she can come up with? Rebecca turns on the computer and sits down. She admires Brad’s impressive biceps and forearms, which is significant considering she’s seen hundreds of big and buff dudes in her life. “Sports athletic trainer, you say? Julie did say she wants the clinic to go further into that direction.”

“Yeah, I guess most of your clients are elderly people and folks recovering from surgery, right? It’s about time we get some new blood in here. High school and college athletics are becoming a bigger and bigger deal, so it makes sense that she would want to adapt to the times,” he says. Right now, Rebecca is hanging onto every word he speaks. Her eyes move from his arms to his chest, legs, and angular face.

“Where were you before coming here?” Rebecca asks.

“I worked with minor league baseball players down in the Phoenix area,” Brad says. “I just moved up here a few months ago. I couldn’t stand the heat anymore and wanted to go somewhere cooler.”

Before Rebecca could say something, Julie pops her head into the room.

“Rebecca! I’m glad you and Brad are getting acquainted. But Sam is here for his 12:30 appointment.” Well, shit. Time to go to work. Rebecca stands up, gives up on checking her work e-mail, and grins at Brad.

“It’s nice talking to you, Brad. I have to get to work. I’ll see you around,” Rebecca says. She stands up, accidentally places her foot underneath a power cord, and trips as she attempts to take a step forward.

“Whoa there!” Brad saves Rebecca from falling by clutching her in his strong arms. The warm touch of his body against her body provides some dampness to form between her legs. It’s not too often that Rebecca becomes sexually aroused at work (actually, she’s never felt sexually aroused at work), so this is a new experience for her. Also, it’s humiliating to be tripping over herself the moment she encounters a good looking guy.

“Thanks. I can be a klutz at times,” she says. Rebecca regains her composure and exits the room without further antics one would usually find in a low-grade romantic comedy. Brad smirks to himself and makes a mental note to remember Rebecca’s name and face. He too is smitten with her.

Rebecca wasn’t able to see Brad for the rest of the day. Her three clients decide to take up entirely too much time (it’s not her problem, though. They’re willingly paying for her time) and their appointments were lined up one after another. By the time she clocked out for the day, Brad had already gone home. Oh well. There will be a next time, Rebecca supposes.

Typical agility drills done by sports athletic trainers.

Typical agility drills done by sports athletic trainers.

After picking up a tub of fresh quinoa and sundried tomato salad from a deli across the street, Rebecca returns home. She makes small talk with Craig and checks her mail. Thankfully, no perverted letters from nutty voyeurs. Rebecca enters her condo unit and decides to take a shower before eating dinner. She usually showers right before going to bed, but her three clients gave her a workout more than she gave them a workout. The daily grind needs to be washed off before her evening could commence.

Self-conscious about preying eyes, Rebecca closes the blinds on all her windows. You never know these days, she thinks to herself. Rebecca strips naked and takes a moment to look at herself in a long full-body mirror. Despite her natural beauty and impressive muscle mass, Rebecca is still insecure about her looks. She looks at her flat chest as a major flaw. She hates her short stumpy legs. She loves the muscle definition on her legs, but she wishes they could be longer. Her short stature combined with her wide muscular frame makes her look like a Hobbit bodybuilder.

Rebecca also hates her eyes. As a full-blooded Japanese woman, her eyes are as narrow and slanted as a cartoon character. Kids used to make fun of her growing up. Deep down inside, she still feels like adult women judge her because of her strong Asian facial features. She knows that’s ridiculous because most people in the Pacific Northwest are more open-minded than that, but those scarring childhood memories don’t ever go away. They’re a part of her psyche for eternity.

Another remarkable feature of her body is her astonishingly large clitoris. Rebecca takes a modest amount of anabolic steroids to help her gain muscle mass, but nothing too extreme. Nevertheless, the additional growth hormones circulating through her system made a certain part of her body grow larger than normal. Even when she isn’t aroused, the thick head of her clit sticks out between her legs like a really tiny penis.

When she is aroused (and when she’s lucky enough for a guy to be willing to give her oral sex), her clitoris can grow to an eye-popping size. Long and thick, she once measured it with an old plastic ruler. Rebecca did a double take when she saw how long it is. Two and a half inches when she’s fully aroused. Only an inch and a quarter when she’s not aroused.

Is that normal? She has doubts about that.

Every time Rebecca goes to the beach and wears a bikini, she uses a piece of scotch tape to hide her clit from public view. It’s embarrassing, but it’s what she has to do to feel like a normal woman. “Real” women don’t have large bulges in their panties. All she wants to do is to not feel like a freak.

Upon finishing her inspection of her body, Rebecca likes what she sees overall and goes on to take her shower. Fifteen minutes later she walks out to the living room still naked and drying her hair with a towel. She turns on the television to see what’s on. Some murder mystery show. The victim died by a sledgehammer being pounded repeatedly into the side of his skull. What an unpleasant way to go. Why do people watch violent shit like this?

She turns off the TV and plops down on her bed. For some unexplained reason, Brad’s handsome face and impressive biceps flash into her mind. Her heart flutters. The dampness returns between her legs. Rebecca thinks now is the appropriate time to masturbate, an activity she hasn’t done as much lately as she’d like.

Lee Jin Won in top competitive shape.

Lee Jin Won in top competitive shape.

Rebecca turns off all the lights and takes out her trusty dildo from the bedside nightstand. She dabs a small amount of lubrication on the tip and spreads it all over the shaft. A typical 7 inch long white dildo, she’s had this since college and uses it as her default masturbation toy. She also has a vibrator, but she doesn’t like the annoying humming sound. It gets her out of the mood and ruins her mindset. Rebecca needs everything to be perfect in order for her to optimally get off.

Taking in a deep breath, Rebecca closes her eyes and spreads her legs out wide. She leans back against her pillow and exhales. She playfully taps the dildo against her enlarged clitoris and moans at the sensations this gives her. Rebecca suspects that when her clit began to grow it also started to become more sensitive. She could be wrong about this observation, though. But the added pleasure it’s given her is something she can’t argue about.

Inch by inch, she inserts the dildo inside her moist vagina. She strokes it in and out at a leisurely pace, not wanting to rush anything. It’s been four days since she last had an orgasm, so she wants this to be a good one. Rebecca makes sure the dildo touches every square centimeter of her wet and sensitive passageway, including her g-spot. More moans escape from her throat.

If only “Jones” were able to see this! He’d go crazy and would probably give her $2,000 instead.

The thought of Jones watching her temporarily takes her mind off of pleasing herself, so she immediately refocuses on Brad. Rebecca imagines the dildo being Brad’s erection invading her, exploring her, pleasing her. With her free hand, she pinches her dark brown nipples. Both are sticking straight up into the air. This inspires her to increase her tempo. Faster and faster she stimulates herself. Her legs tense up. She lifts her back up off the bedsheets. Her head almost bangs against the bedframe.

She’s close, and she knows it.

Suddenly, the explicit visual image of Brad kissing her just as he comes inside her unexpectedly flashes into her head. This is enough to set her off.

“Oooooooohhhhh! YES!!!”

Rebecca comes and squirts a small amount of creamy white fluid onto the bed. The walls of her vagina contract wildly, as if this is the first orgasm she’s ever experienced in her life. This is not true, of course, but this is a testament to how strong of a spell Brad has cast over her imagination. Out of breath, Rebecca opens her eyes and enjoys the smaller vaginal contractions that follow the more intense ones. Finally, her orgasm ends and she is left lying on the bed drenched in her own sweat.

Fuck. She might have to take another shower!

She sits up and notices the wet spot between her legs on the bedsheets. Fuck! She’s been able to ejaculate for years now, but she can usually control it by not excessively rubbing her g-spot. She must have gotten carried away this time. Rebecca goes to the bathroom, cleans up the mess with a paper towel, and pees in the toilet. Looking at herself in the still-fogged up mirror, she smiles and says to her reflection:

“Damn. That was a good one!”

Friday is the next day. It is uneventful and boring, just like every other Friday at the office. It is a rest day, so she spent the morning talking to her photographer about finalizing the details of their shoot tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, which is fantastic news.

As it turns out, Brad will work primarily in the field and away from the office. At a weekly team meeting – who holds staff meetings on Fridays? – Julie informs the group that Brad will travel to high schools and college campuses to work with athletes to help them improve their speed, strength, quickness, burst, coordination, and overall athleticism. Rebecca is disappointed to hear this news, but she is still glad he’s part of the staff.

Later that evening Rebecca goes out for cocktails with her two best friends, Lauren and Desiree. These three have known each other since middle school and they remarkably still keep in touch. Wisely, Rebecca makes no mention of “Jones” but did glowingly rave about her new cute coworker.

“Girl! Are you going to pursue anything with him?” Desiree asks.

“Before she can answer that, she needs to know if he’s single. Is he available?” Lauren chimes in.

Rebecca downs her whiskey on the rocks and coughs. Lauren and Desiree always elect to drink “girly” drinks with too much sugar and fruit. Rebecca considers herself to be more hardcore and goes for the hard stuff. Her two friends cannot figure out why she’d intentionally drink that shit.

“I think he’s single, and I’m definitely going to make a move if the opportunity presents itself,” Rebecca assures them. “It’s been forever since I’ve last dated.”

Three and a half years to be exact. Both Lauren and Desiree know this.

Finally, Saturday morning arrives. Rebecca gets up at 6:00 a.m. – an hour earlier than she usually does – and eats a larger than normal breakfast. She cooks herself a veggie omelet made with egg whites, low fat cheese, peas, broccoli, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, asparagus, and avocado. This is served with a bowl of Greek yogurt with granola and peach slices. She drinks way too much coffee before brushing her teeth (in order to make her pearly whites as white as possible) and heading to the gym.

Leg day. Oh, fun.

Saturday mornings at the gym is the best time to go because hardly anyone is there. But Rebecca is there. Gregory and Michaela are also there. Gregory might be flirting with Michaela by the TRX machine. Gross.

Several squats, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, snatch and power cleans, and miles running on the treadmill later, Rebecca showers in the locker room but struggles to walk around. She always wants to get an arduous workout in before a major photoshoot. It makes her feel more sexy and alive when she’s so exhausted her body is running on pure adrenaline. She skips the smoothie bar (and having to deal with Dale, who seems to work here every single day) and instead drinks a bottled protein shake. It’s not the same, but it’ll do for today.

The drive to Alki Beach Park from Bellevue only takes 35 minutes, which is pretty damn good, even for a sleepy weekend. Rebecca receives a text from Garrett, her photographer, saying he’s running a few minutes late. This doesn’t surprise her one bit. He’s always late. Rebecca’s Asian heritage doesn’t allow her to be late for anything. There’s one perk of having slanted eyes.

Garrett has been Rebecca’s primary photographer for a solid decade. They work perfectly together. He’s an artsy type who also knows how to shoot commercial shots. He’s also very gay, so she has no worries of him coming on to her. That’s been an issue with past photographers. But no longer.

It’s a gorgeous morning in Seattle. Not a cloud in the sky, but there’s a cool breeze to keep her from getting too overheated. The beach is thinly crowded, populated with a few joggers and little kids making sandcastles. Wearing gray sweatpants and a tank top, Rebecca notices she’s already receiving unwarranted stares from random strangers. A group of bros smoking weed by the public bathroom stalls makes comments about her “wicked shoulders and savage biceps.” Rebecca doesn’t even give them a courtesy smile. Those fuckers don’t deserve it.

Alki Beach on a beautiful summer evening.

Alki Beach on a beautiful summer evening.

Rebecca arrives at the agreed upon meeting area and waits. She sits on a park bench and checks her phone for messages. Nothing. She looks around to take in the sights and smells of springtime transitioning into summer. This is her favorite time of the year. It’s not too hot, but the chilly dewy elements of spring are long gone. Out of the corner of her eye she sees a middle-aged white man wearing a suit and tie sitting down on a bench about 400 feet away from her.

“That’s an unusual thing to wear to the beach,” Rebecca says aloud.

He’s looking out into Puget Sound with a pair of professional-grade binoculars. The man has dark hair with streaks of silver on the sides. His black suit is complemented perfectly with a bright red tie. Rebecca even notices the impeccable shine on his Italian loafers. They look damn expensive. They probably are damn expensive.

For whatever odd reason, Rebecca notices him out of the 40 or 50 other people within view. She doesn’t know why, but all her life she’s had a well-developed sixth sense about certain situations. Every so often, she’ll fixate on something or someone for reasons she can’t explain. Intuition is a strange thing, indeed. The man isn’t doing anything inappropriate or suspicious; the only noteworthy thing about him is his out-of-place suave attire.

“Rebecca! Hi!” Rebecca jumps out of her seat when a familiar but sharp voice calls out her name. She turns around and sees Garrett, dressed like a 1970s Greenwich Village hipster, jogging toward her with an expensive Nikon camera around his neck and a backpack full of photography equipment slung over his shoulder.

“Hello Garrett!” They hug. Garrett playfully rubs her muscular back and whistles.

“Holy fucking shit, Becky. You’re getting bigger and bigger every single fucking time I see you, I swear to God,” Garrett exclaims. “Holy fuck, you’re gorgeous.”

“Thanks,” Rebecca says, blushing a bit. “I do what I can to add quality content to your portfolio.”

Garrett laughs heartily and checks the settings on his camera. Rebecca self-consciously removes her tank top, sweatpants, and sandals and stuffs them inside her tote bag. As always, a hidden strip of tape conceals the bulge between her legs. The brand new bikini she ordered earlier in the week hadn’t arrived yet (the distributor says it’s stuck in Cleveland of all places), so she had to pull out an old frilly Navy blue bikini from her closet instead. Oh well. Life goes on.

“Motherfucker, stop looking like that, girl!” Garrett says. “Well, are you ready?”

Rebecca looks around and already sees a small gathering of onlookers watching them. Some are pointing at Rebecca and presumably commenting on her muscles. She overhears a little girl ask her mother if “that girl is a boy or a girl.” Gee whiz, kid. You just answered your own fucking question!

No matter how long she’s been a competitive bodybuilder, Rebecca has never gotten used to unsolicited stares from strangers and rude remarks from the peanut gallery. But that’s the life she’s chosen to lead. If they can’t handle the sight of a beautiful muscular Asian woman flaunting her stuff at a public beach, they can take their opinion and shove it up their ass.

“I’m ready,” Rebecca says. “Let’s do this.”

Facing the Facts: Why a Female Bodybuilder’s Face Still Matters to Me

My eyes cannot help but fixate on Erin Stern's gorgeous face.

My eyes cannot help but fixate on Erin Stern’s gorgeous face.

When you first look upon a photo of a muscular woman, what do your eyes initially fixate on?

For me, if we’re talking about a full-body shot, or a near full-body shot, my eyes immediately focus on her face. This sounds odd considering my natural inclination is being a “leg” guy, but my brain involuntarily tells me to look at this (hypothetical) woman’s face first before anything else.

Before her legs, before her butt, before her hips, before her arms, before her torso, before any of that. Her face is what matters first to me, for whatever reason. Not necessarily the most, but certainly first. This is not the only thing I look at (obviously!), but old habits are hard to break. In fact, natural habits can tell us a lot about our deeply ingrained opinions, biases, and desires.

Even if she’s wearing a sexy G-string bikini. Even if she’s wearing nothing at all. No matter what pose she strikes or what she’s doing in the photo itself. My eyes will almost always go to her face before anything else. Why is that?

When I see a beautiful non-muscular woman walk down the street or step into an elevator with me, my eyes first go to her lower half: her legs, hips, and butt. I try to do this as inconspicuously as possible, as most of us are experts at doing. We’re all horny creeps to some extent; however some of us are better at hiding it than others. Or some of us are less ashamed about it than others.

But when we’re talking about a muscular woman, my eyes don’t look down, but instead look up. I want to see her face. Her eyes, her cheeks, her lips, her bone structure, her smile. Once again, why is that? The information I want to gather is plain and simple: Is she pretty?

A nice full-body shot of Larissa Reis.

A nice full-body shot of Larissa Reis.

If we’re talking about Larissa Reis or Shannon Courtney, the answer is undoubtedly “yes.” If we’re talking about Jennifer Kennedy or Kathy Connors, the answer ranges from “uh, not really” to “I love them…but unfortunately no.” I adore and respect both Jennifer and Kathy very much, so this is not meant to be an insult to them or their beautiful bodies. This is just articulating what many of us are thinking but are too polite to say out loud.

But the question “Is she pretty” is one that is packed with a whole ton of meaning. Why should this matter? Does this make me a hypocrite?

No matter how many essays I write explaining my position that muscles make women more beautiful, for whatever nonsensical reason my eyes still immediately search her face instead of laser-focusing on her hard-earned muscles. When I’m doing a Google or Bing search – and yes, I actually use both with great frequency – of various female bodybuilders, I still gravitate toward their faces first even though I know for a fact the muscles on their bodies are their claim to fame.

What a strange and unusual thing, indeed. What can be derived from this? Are there any lessons or nuggets of truth to be ascertained from this? Possibly. Let’s look at four of them.

1. Beauty still matters

For all the talk about “body image” and that “real women have curves,” at the end of the day the content of her face still matters a great deal. This might not be true for you, but it’s obviously true for me. Theoretically, I know from a cerebral point of view that I’m attracted to female bodybuilders because their remarkable muscle mass provides an aesthetic that I find particularly pleasing. However, my brain still insists on checking out her face first.

A female bodybuilder can control what her muscles look like. Heck, they dedicate their lives toward doing just that. All that blood, sweat, tears, and protein shakes go toward sculpting the most beautiful muscles possible. However, she cannot reasonable control her face. Cosmetic surgery notwithstanding, the appearance of your visage is determined before you were born whether you like it or not. It’s genetics, not hard work. Muscles are built through labor. A gorgeous face is not. So as a fan of female bodybuilders, why does her face still matter to me?

Alright, here's an apt exception. I know where my eyes go first in this photo of Flavia Crisos.

Alright, here’s an apt exception. I know where my eyes go first in this photo of Flavia Crisos.

Perhaps this reveals the truth that deep down inside, traditional beauty is still important to me. I can try to persuade my inner thoughts to value hard work over unearned genetics, but our brains are wired a certain way for a reason. I may not completely understand those reasons, but it is what it is. Beauty still matters. It always has, and it always will. My fetish for a muscular feminine figure may be strong, but my desire for her to still have a pretty face is also strong (if not stronger).

2. The eyes are the windows into the soul

Well, I don’t necessarily agree with this cliché, but there might be some truth to it. We are ingrained into believing the eyes are the best way to really look at a person. When you speak to someone, the polite protocol is to look at them straight in the eyes. Not doing that is culturally inappropriate (in the Western world, that is) and considered rude in most social circles.

So no matter how much six-pack abs, a round butt or swollen biceps turn me on, her eyes are where my eyes initially go. Other than this being a learned behavior, why is that?

I think this speaks to the fact we value the humanity of the people we encounter, even those we happen to be physically attracted to. For all the talk about “objectifying” people, at the end of the day most decent human beings value each other on some level. Obviously we value our friends and family more than complete strangers, but not too many of us wish ill on others without a compelling reason.

I obviously love female bodybuilders. But my appreciation for them isn’t just physical. I love their toughness, self-confidence, drive, passion, dedication, and service to others (many FBBs work as personal trainers or in the healthcare field). So when my eyes first focus on a muscular woman’s face, it’s an indication that I want to learn more about her: her interests, strengths, weaknesses, fears, failures, successes, feelings, thoughts, likes, dislikes, and so on.

There’s way no way I can actually learn any of that just from looking at a photograph of a female bodybuilder, but the natural instinct to want to know exists nevertheless.

3. A subtle bias against muscular women still exists within me

This is probably a bit of a stretch, but it’s worth talking about. I wrote a post recently arguing that muscles are the great equalizer when it comes to assessing one’s physical beauty. I believe this wholeheartedly, but perhaps there’s still a small hint of bias against muscular women that’s hiding deep within my psyche.

I look at a muscular woman’s face first because I want to assess how “feminine” she is. Is her face “man-like,” as many negative stereotypes go? Does her face have masculine features or does she appear to be traditionally feminine? Intellectually, I understand that not every woman, muscular or not, looks “feminine” as society widely accepts that term to mean. I also understand that years of taking anabolic steroids and human growth hormones can change the way your body (and face) looks.

A classic female bodybuilder from yesteryear: Sharon Bruneau.

A classic female bodybuilder from yesteryear: Sharon Bruneau.

The “hardening” of a woman’s face to appear gruffer and less soft – whatever these descriptors even mean – can happen after higher-than-usual levels of testosterone enter the body. I’d venture a guess that these so-called changes aren’t actually real. They’re more perceived due to social stigmas attached to women with big muscles.

These social biases run so deep that even yours truly believes in them to a certain extent. I’d like to think my “street cred” for supporting female bodybuilders should be unquestioned, but even I can admit that I occasionally give in to what popular perceptions teach us. When I look at a photo of a female bodybuilder for the first time – as opposed to a photo I’ve already seen before – my natural inclination to first look at her face tells me I’m still bias toward women who look traditionally beautiful. I still think of FBBs as being “different” or “freakish,” even though I embrace these differences as being a part of her unique beauty.

Bias is not the same thing as hate, however. It’s just what your brain (whether you know it or not) automatically tells you when you’re digesting new information. The first step is to be aware of it. The next step is to recognize that this doesn’t make you a bad person. The last step is to be able to make your own decisions whether the vast majority of others will agree with you or not.

4. It’s not just about her muscles, it’s about her entire self

On a more positive note, one of the reasons why I first tend to look at a muscular woman’s face is because I’m not nearly as fixated on her muscles as one would think. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a pretty face (which I am!). Or it goes to show you that while I love an FBB’s muscles, I actually love her entire self.

Related to point #2, I first look at her face because I want to learn as much as I can about her as a person. Fantastic. But another important observation is that for me, and obviously I cannot speak for anybody else except for me, it’s not just about her muscles. It’s not the mere presence of big muscles on her body that make her extraordinarily beautiful. It’s the entire package.

People who aren’t familiar with the world of female bodybuilding get perplexed when they see a photo of an FBB because they can’t stop focusing on her muscles. Those of us who are more familiar with this aesthetic see past her muscles and appreciate her entire beauty – both external and internal. I recently participated in a muscle worship session with a pro bodybuilder who talked enthusiastically about her passion for helping others. She works as a personal trainer (as many often do) and loves inspiring people to become happier, healthier, and more confident. She spoke of serving homeless young adults, abused women, and emotionally hurt people who have lost their way. Through teaching them how to lift weights at the gym, she saw their lives turn around for the better. Some of her anecdotes were powerful to listen to.

I quickly decided that for as much as I appreciate her external beauty – and she is without a doubt a beautiful person – her internal beauty shines brighter.

Timea Majorova showcasing her assets.

Timea Majorova showcasing her assets.

Whether we’re talking about a slim pop star, a skinny fashion model, or a big and buff female bodybuilder, where your eyes go first when you look upon her depends on what you value, what you’re looking for, and the context of the situation. If a woman intentionally shows off her cleavage, it’s reasonable why your eyes would go there first. If her long gorgeous legs are front and center of the image, I wouldn’t blame you for your imagination running wild with what you’d like to do with those legs.

But for me, I first look at her face. Even if she has big muscles. Even if her muscles are supposed to be the center of attention. There are many reasons for this. Some of them are logical. Others are pure speculative. But it is interesting to reflect on why this happens to me. Do I need to face the facts about my inherent prejudices against muscular women, even though I’m one of the most vocal proponents of female bodybuilders on the Internet (or at least, on WordPress)? Or does this mean that at the end of the day, I appreciate traditional beauty above all else? Or am I so accustomed to seeing muscles on a woman that its affects are starting to wane on me?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down there! Can it be true that I’m getting desensitized to the sight of a muscular woman? Have I plunged so far into the deep end of the pool that looking upon the strong powerful body of Rene Campbell elicits the same reaction as looking upon the narrow skinny body of Taylor Swift?

I’m not showing disrespect to either Rene Campbell or Taylor Swift, but is my brain adjusting to the reality that not only do I think that muscles on a woman are beautiful, but it’s now an ordinary thing to look at?

Hm. Probably not. I don’t think I’ll ever get “used to” seeing muscles on a woman’s physique. No matter how many thousands of photos or hours of video I experience watching FBBs show off their beautiful bodies, I highly doubt the jolt of energy that erupts inside me will ever dissipate. My heart will always flutter. The “Madness” will never go away.

But if it does, is that an indication that I’ve become so saturated with muscular women that I’ve finally accepted that this body type is both “normal” and “not out of the ordinary?” Is this progress or a signal that I’ve become a female bodybuilder junkie, where my usual “fix” isn’t good enough to sustain my appetites?

Alright, this discussion is getting weird. I’m probably overthinking a fairly normal phenomenon. I like pretty faces. That’s it, end of debate. But like all topics related to female bodybuilders, muscular women, and analyzing why people like me love them so damn much, there are endless things to talk about. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I look forward to being able to dig a little deeper next time.