A Female Muscle Fan Never Forgets the Moment When He or She Finally “Got It”

A legend of the world of female bodybuilding: Cory Everson.

A legend of the world of female bodybuilding: Cory Everson.

You never forget your first time.

The first time you ever had sex? Nah, I’m talking about the first time you “got it.”

And by “got it,” I mean the exact moment when you truly understood why muscular women are so unbelievably awesome.

This “ah ha” moment is not just an epiphany, but a wholesale perspective shift of how you view men, women, beauty, sexuality, relationships, biology, and your own hidden desires. Typically known as a “paradigm shift” in academic circles, it’s more than just the moment you realized it was Professor Plum in the Library with the Revolver while playing a lackluster game of Clue with your grandparents. It’s the moment you decided to question every assumption you used to hold about human sexuality and start to ask better and more informed ones.

What exactly do I mean? Let me explain in further detail.

The first time you see a photo or a video clip of a muscular woman is not necessarily the first time you “get it.” I can speak for myself when I say the lightbulb did not turn on instantaneously. It took time. I will admit the first time I remember seeing a picture of a female bodybuilder I was sort of disgusted. It took me aback and forced me to do a double-take. I didn’t say anything out loud, but in my head I knew what I was seeing was both jarring and strangely intriguing.

Did I love the experience or hate the experience? Well, it’s hard to say. Neither, really.

I didn’t realize the exact power and allure of muscular women until much later (adulthood, to be exact), but the seeds were sown. But alas, I still had not experienced my Great Female Muscle Awakening. That happened in college. I’ve summarized my own personal history of female muscle fetishism before, but I’ll briefly recap it again. In short, during my freshman year in college I wanted to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15” where new college kids who’ve just moved away from home tend to gain upwards to 15 pounds due to poor dieting, excessive drinking, and other shenanigans. Being away from Mom and Dad’s bird nest has consequences, after all.

So, I went out of my way and researched how to best exercise at the gym and avoid gaining extra weight. My school had a modest yet effective fitness center (of course, they completely renovate it the moment after I graduate!) that I would visit a few times a week. I took a weightlifting class in high school two years earlier but figured I should brush up on exercise techniques so I don’t accidentally injure myself.

YouTube and Google Videos were still in their infancy (yes, I’m getting old), but online workout videos did exist nevertheless. Initially, I only watched exercise instructional videos posted by guys. Then, after searching more and more, I started to stumble upon videos posted by women (or videos featuring women). One video in particular struck me.

It’s grainy, embarrassingly pixilated and looks like it was shot with a camcorder from the 1980s. Perhaps it was. But it featured Lisa Marie Bickels, a low-level competitive female bodybuilder, former U.S. Marine, and personal trainer. The video unto itself was not remarkable, well produced, or intended to be well produced. However, it left an indelible impact on me. I had seen photos and a limited number of videos of muscular women before, but this one produced my “ah ha” moment.

No skimpy dress will get in the way of showing off Lisa Marie Bickels' incredible body.

No skimpy dress will get in the way of showing off Lisa Marie Bickels’ incredible body.

In it, Lisa is doing a set of triceps pull-downs at the gym. After finishing, she poses for the camera and flexes her pumped arm. You can clearly see her ripped triceps running down her beautiful arm. I did some further research on Miss Bickels on her website and it then hit me.

She’s beautiful. And powerful. And independent. She’s willing to show off her hard-earned body and I cannot do anything but sit here and stare helplessly.

Whoa. Now I get it.

Lisa was the first FBB I ever saw who was young, undeniably feminine, muscular, and fiercely powerful (both as a person and as an object of beauty). Of course, in the decade that would follow I would view countless more videos of other FBBs doing similar things, but you never forget your first time. Ever.

Like losing your virginity, the first time you ever had sex wasn’t necessarily the best sex you ever had. It was probably awkward. Or painful. You may not have known what you were doing. Maybe you were sweating profusely. Maybe you were drunk, stoned, or nervous as hell. Regardless, it’s still noteworthy because…well, it was your first time. That’s important!

Likewise, Lisa Marie Bickels isn’t necessarily the best or most accomplished female bodybuilder in the world. Nor is she the most famous or best shining example of the beauty of strong women. But she opened my eyes to a whole new world. For that, this hardcore U.S. Marine deserves my respect.

The second part of my “awakening” would happen once I became acquainted with Karen Zaremba. Oh boy, Karen is a thing of beauty! Shortly after discovering Miss Bickels, I inevitably also stumbled upon videos of Karen Zaremba, a 40-something female bodybuilder and mother of two children. Karen is the flip side of the coin to Lisa. Karen is equally gorgeous, feminine, muscular (though not hypermuscular), and enthralling. But she is an older woman. At the time, Lisa looked to be in her mid-20s, which was not far off from where I was as an 18-year-old freshman. But Karen was a game-changer.

How can your perspective not change after discovering Karen Zaremba?

How can your perspective not change after discovering Karen Zaremba?

There is, of course, a certain acronym used to describe beautiful women who are also mothers. Out of respect for these wonderful and accomplished women, I refuse to use it. I hope the rest of you do the same. It’s crude, misogynist, and incredibly disrespectful. Don’t use it. Please.

That being said, Karen is without question a gorgeous older woman who instantly cast a spell upon this teenage boy. For the first time, I realized that muscles are the ultimate anti-aging remedy. Normally, middle aged women do not pique the interest of impressionable teenage boys with raging hormones. But Karen did. At the time, I considered her the Most Beautiful Woman I’ve Ever Seen in My Life. Other women would later replace Karen for that title, but a decade ago she was #1.

My discovery of Lisa Marie Bickels and Karen Zaremba set off a firestorm that would result in me starting this blog a few years after graduating from college. I would learn about hundreds of more competitive bodybuilders, fitness models, and “normal” women for whom lifting is more than just a casual hobby. But none of that would have happened without my fateful “awakening” as an 18-year-old kid.

As I mentioned before, that wasn’t the exact moment I first discovered muscular women. There was the cover of Red Sonja (1985) at a video rental store that made me stop dead in my tracks and stare. I’ve never seen this cheesy 1980s action flick starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger, nor do I ever have the inclination to. But regardless, the cover of the VHS tape caught my attention as a little boy.

Then there was the photo spread of Cory Everson in the 1999 issue of The Guinness Book of World Records. That definitely caught my attention. I reacted to this photo of Miss Everson with a mind-blowing mixture of disgust and arousal. Yes, I will admit that initially I looked upon Cory with repulsion. I’m not proud to admit this, but honesty is the best policy, is it not? However, I cannot deny that a small part of me was captivated by her. I may not have totally liked what I saw, but I could not look away. I spent many hours secretly gazing at this photo in private and wondering all sorts of things about her.

I also grew up watching WWF (now the WWE) and seeing women like Chyna (may she rest in peace), Sable, Jacqueline,  Trish Stratus, Debra, and other prance around, beat each other to a pulp, and occasionally show their male counterparts who’s boss. I also grew up watching GoldenEye (1995) on VHS and getting an electric thrill up my spine whenever Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onnatop flashed onto the screen. If episodes of “Xena: Warrior Princess” came on TV, yeah…I’d watch it in the basement without my family finding out!

May I squeeze Charmaine Patterson's bicep?

May I squeeze Charmaine Patterson’s bicep?

So my experience with strong/powerful/muscular women did not start as a college freshman. It began much earlier. But I didn’t “get it” until Miss Bickels and Miss Zaremba entered my life.

So, what exactly did I finally “get?” I have two major observations:

One, I finally saw a superb example of muscularity and traditional femininity working in tandem together like never before.

I didn’t find the photo of Cory Everson arousing, even though I intuitively knew there was something exceptional about it. I did find Famke Janssen and Trish Stratus immensely sexy, but neither of them were very muscular. I knew muscular women existed and I definitely knew beautiful non-muscular women existed, but I never saw the two combined until I encountered Lisa, Karen, and others.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes. It’s not that you’re blind to reality, but rather you just need to see all the elements come together in order for you to believe that it’s possible. As a young teenager I probably knew that a muscular woman could be sexy. I just never thought much about it. It’s not that I doubted this; it just rarely crossed my mind in the first place.

It never occurred to me that a gorgeous woman with muscles can become even more gorgeous. Her muscles can become a complementary asset that accentuates the natural beauty she already has. Her muscles enhance her good looks. I’ve obviously seen beautiful women before. I’ve also seen muscular women before. But it wasn’t until I saw the perfect mixture of the two that my perspective started to change.

Two, I finally realized that muscles can transform a normal-looking woman into an Irresistible Sex Goddess.

I too fell into the trap once upon a time ago that female bodybuilders were sort of freaks of nature who should be admired for their accomplishments but not necessarily seen as objects of desire. Yes, I was also once young and dumb! But I know better now thanks to finally seeing the light.

In addition to realizing that a woman with muscles can be both beautiful and feminine at the same time, I also came to the epiphany that a woman who isn’t considered naturally attractive can transform herself into an epic muscle goddess just by putting on bulk at the gym. I won’t name specific names, but we can probably all think of “homely” women who are hot as hell because their thick legs, bulging biceps, and wide shoulders make them completely irresistible.

Without muscles, these women aren’t much to look at. This sounds like an insult, but it’s not. It’s just a simple observation and a testament to the power of muscularity.

As women who have “earned” their beauty, we applaud them for maximizing who they are as people (not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually) thanks to hard work, sacrifice, and the will to improve day-by-day. Nobody handed them their muscles on a silver platter. They had to expend buckets of sweat for years on end in order to achieve their remarkable physiques.

I now appreciate the beauty of the tall blonde goddess Shawn Tan.

I now appreciate the beauty of the tall blonde goddess Shawn Tan.

Once you have your “ah ha” moment, you feel silly for not realizing this sooner. You feel foolish for intentionally shutting yourself off from a whole category of human beauty. It’s like a poor person living underneath an ocean of oil or a gold mine. They move to a new city, disgruntled and searching for new economic opportunities. A year or two later, the new property owner randomly stumbles upon a suspicious leak of smelly black fluid seeping from the ground.

And voilà! He or she is now rich and you’re still adjusting to your new surroundings as poor as you were when you left. Shucks!

That’s sort of how I felt when I first discovered my love for muscular women. I felt like I was limiting my scope of the world. I felt like I had a narrow definition of “beauty” that did not include a fraction of what humanity had to offer. But now that my eyes have been opened, I now appreciate women like Annie Rivieccio and Shawn Tan as I did not before. People who do not share my love for these gorgeous ladies are truly missing out!

The reason why you never forget your “first time” is because of how beautiful the experience is of enjoying female bodybuilders. Unlike the virginity comparison, even before you ever start having sex you know that sex is (supposed) to be a pleasurable and amazing experience. But before getting into female bodybuilders, I had no idea about the potential these women had to offer. I could never imagine the world of female muscle could be so incredible and stupefying because it never occurred to me it could be so incredible and stupefying. This is another key aspect of our “awakening.” I knew even as a little boy that sex is a big deal. I had no clue FBBs were also a big deal. See what I mean?

Additionally, not only do you finally “get it,” but you now have the opportunity to indulge in this love over and over again. Those of us who love FBBs and fit women understand what it’s like to enjoy them. The tingling that goes down your spine as you watch a sexy woman deadlift or squat 400 pounds cannot be accurately described. I don’t know if I can do it any justice.

But it doesn’t matter. You know a beautiful experience when you are privileged to participate in one. The Female Bodybuilder High we get is difficult to put into words, but it is indeed a tangible thing. It’s very real, and its power has not diminished in the past 12 or so years of my life.

You never forget the moment you got it. Not because you regret your previous ambivalence toward female bodybuilders, but because you can now celebrate your newfound love for them. Our worlds are now brighter because of this awareness.

Female bodybuilders are beautiful beyond words. The fact we cannot put it into words is telling.

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4 thoughts on “A Female Muscle Fan Never Forgets the Moment When He or She Finally “Got It”

  1. Karen Zaremba was also one of the first muscular women I ever come across on the Internet!
    Her abs have been in my dreams ever since…
    She’s still got a special place in my heart!

  2. Thank you for bringing up this subject, Ryan. This may be a long post. I’ve always wanted to express this to someone because none of my male friends understand my love of female bodybuilders. In the mid 80s I saw my first pictures of an FBB, Cory Everson, Rachel McLish and others. I did find them attractive, but the hook was not yet fully set. Obtained internet access via dial up in 1996. About two years later was randomly surfing various websites and happened upon a site where a guy had pics of things he enjoyed, cars, planes and female bodybuilders.
    After the usual 10 to 20 minute wait to have all the pictures load, he had a bunch of pics of FBBs, one of which was Becky Rampey. When I saw her photos, my jaw hit the floor and my mind went bananas! She was so beautiful to me, and loaded with big feminine muscles all over. That was the “it” moment for me, and I knew instantly I had obtained a new passion. About two years later I found out about L.Scott Sales and that they sold Ray Martin VHS tapes. I found a store in my region and they had in stock RM-48, Becky Rampey. Believe I paid $65 dollars for the tape. And I’d have paid double or triple that at the time to buy it. My hands were shaking when I arrived home and put the tape in. The opening scene has her sitting on a sofa, she introduces herself and has a sweet voice. She starts with a single bicep flex, then goes into a double. It felt as if electricity flowed through my body as her big biceps erupted on her arms. I could not believe how a woman that was so gorgeous and feminine could have such big muscles, and all over her body at that. At about three minutes into the scene after she has done a bunch of upper body flexing, she asks “is that good enough?” An understatement if there ever was one! The first twenty minutes of this video is pure heaven to me. Miss Becky Rampey started me on this passionate journey into the world of female bodybuilders, for which I am so grateful.
    Thank you for letting me express this, Ryan. I’ve always wanted to tell this tale to someone, and finally am able to do so.

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