Female Bodybuilders in Limbo

Monique Hayes is out-of-this-world.

Female bodybuilders seem to exist in a world all by themselves, don’t they?

Mainstream culture certainly doesn’t fully recognize their impressive accomplishments. The IFBB doesn’t seem to care about female competitors nearly as much as their male counterparts. Feminists, for whatever reason, don’t loudly embrace them as examples of “strong independent women” (even though they are undoubtedly exactly that). Sports media will celebrate a few physically gifted female athletes, but usually only go as far as the Williams sisters and a few MMA fighters. And even then, they still need to be traditionally feminine, beautiful, and not be too muscular.

The only group of people in our society who truly embrace female bodybuilders with any sort of passion would be…a very small subculture that consists of folks like me and those of you who read this blog.

Hm.

Female bodybuilders do appear to exist in limbo, don’t they?

They live in a strange, isolated world. We fans also exist in this world, but we are certainly not on the same plane as them. Celebrities and their fans will always exist in the same universe, but no one can deny that there’s always going to be a clear separation between the two cohorts. And in this case, female bodybuilders are celebrities as far as we’re concerned. Maybe not according to our mainstream culture, but in our hearts they’re as revered as any Hollywood icon or pop singer.

If female bodybuilders live on one continent on Planet FBB, fans like you and I live on a different continent on the other side of the hemisphere. Same planet, but different environments. Way different environments.

FBBs are not lonely, but they don’t have too many advocates on their side. Their list of partners, associates, allies, and lobbyists (not necessarily in the political sense) are few and far between. And it appears to be shrinking as the years go on. This might be an exaggeration, or maybe it is not. But what we can say for sure is that FBBs exist in probably one of the most bizarre cultural environments possible.

Female bodybuilders are sort of like Hare Krishnas, Scientologists, or Furries. We’re all aware that these sort of people exist, even though we may never come into contact with one of them. We might have a buddy from high school who may have implied on Facebook that he/she is into that sort of thing, but other than that these folks exist mostly on a theoretical level. I’ve never personally met a practicing Scientologist, but they sure do claim that they’re the “world’s fastest growing religion.” Maybe I need to get out of my apartment more.

Sherry Mayumi is a former U.S, Marine who will kick your ass…if she had reason to, that is.

Most people in the world know that female bodybuilders exist. But only an infinitesimal number of those people could name at least one current (or past, for that matter) athlete. If you were to ask a random person on the street what they thought about female bodybuilders, most of the responses – regardless if they come from a man or a woman – probably won’t be too positive. Or they’ll laugh it off and say they don’t know enough about them to make a comment. Fair enough.

It goes without saying that the vast majority of us don’t personally know a female bodybuilder, never mind being on a first-name basis with one. Even those of us who love female bodybuilders more than anything else probably can’t call one a friend or even an acquaintance. FBBs tend to know (or at least know of) each other very well, which makes sense when you consider how intimate of a community they belong to. But their numbers are small – unfortunately – while the number of their fans is larger…but still remarkably small.

According to Catholic theology, “Limbo” is a speculative place where souls go after their worldly bodies die if they did not receive the Christian baptism. Without getting into further detail, this basically means your soul is stuck in an environment that is neither Heaven, Hell, nor Earth. You exist in “no man’s land.” You don’t have a home because no one wants to claim you. It’s pretty darn depressing when you think about it.

Female bodybuilders, therefore, exist in a similar – albeit without the element of “spiritual damnation” attached to it – situation. No one is willing to openly embrace them. Not sports journalists. Not feminists. Not fellow non-bodybuilding athletes. Not Hollywood producers. Not hot shot talent agents. Not even some powerful people within the bodybuilding industry. And those of us who do love them do so in secret. I don’t tell my friends, family, and co-workers that I love muscular women. And I know for a fact I am not alone in making this decision.

So even the most enthusiastic supporters of female bodybuilding aren’t willing to be vocal about it. I try to be as vocal as I can, but I choose to do so under the guise as an anonymous blogger. I’d like to think of myself as a “friend of FBBs,” but can I really stake this claim when I’m too embarrassed to publicly declare my admiration for them? What kind of an ally is that?

Georgina McConnell is like the girl next door. If you happen to live next to a House of Muscle Goddesses.

This isn’t meant to shame anyone or spur any of you to take a specific action. Although if you feel compelled to take matters into your own hands, be my guest. Rather, this is meant to point out a strange yet fascinating aspect of female bodybuilding: They have no home, but that’s okay because they don’t need one.

Huh?

Female bodybuilders don’t need a massive amount of public adoration in order to justify their existence. Nor do they need that to validate their considerable accomplishments. FBBs have carved out a small yet not insignificant niche market for themselves. Their biggest fans may not feel comfortable expressing their fandom quite like football fans or cosplayers do, but that’s perfectly fine. That’s not entirely necessary. Female bodybuilding fans are able to live out their fandom with complete anonymity if they so choose – and many do.

Likewise, female bodybuilders do not have to conduct all their business in broad daylight. Obviously, activities such as competing, endorsing corporate products, running a business, modeling, personal training, and acting are done publicly. In fact, the more publicized these activities can be, the better. Obviously.

However, there are other entrepreneurial actions that do not need to be so public. Offering muscle worship/wrestling sessions and performing in “adult” entertainment media can fly more under the radar. These activities are not a “secret” in the dictionary definition sense of the word, but they aren’t exactly ones that all FBBs are willing to blast out to the world. Also, every FBB is different. Some are very open about the seedier sides of their lives. Others prefer to keep a more “clean” public image and leave the other stuff behind closed doors. To each her own.

Therefore, FBBs exist in multiple worlds. They exist in the open, but also in the shadows. You can read their biographies on Wikipedia or their own websites, but you’re only seeing a fraction of the truth. You can follow them on Instagram, but you need to go behind a paid subscription firewall to really see what kind of photography they like to participate in. You may see that they offer “sessions” to paying customers, but you actually need to set one up in order to truly know what goes on in those hotel rooms.

Lightness and darkness. Truth and secrets. Openness and guarded candidness. Experienced reality and unsubstantiated rumors. The tip of the iceberg and whatever exists below it.

Female bodybuilders live in all of these worlds, often at the same time. They simultaneously write an email to a personal training client to remind them to eat more kale while sitting in a cheap motel wearing a sexy BDSM outfit. They chat on the phone with one of their protein supplement sponsors minutes after wiping a random guy’s semen off her chest. They send a loving text to their children wishing them “good night” just moments before filming a gang bang porno on an amateur movie set.

Not all FBBs can relate to these hypothetical scenarios, but many can. Or at least some of them. For female bodybuilders who wish to make a living doing what they do, they have to live in both worlds – whether they like it or not. Only the elite of the elite can make enough money doing competitions, working part-time or full-time, and endorsing products. Most FBBs have to add to their income through, ahem, “nontraditional” means.

And that means living in a world that is, as explained earlier, simultaneously in the light and in the shadows. Or, it means living in a world that is neither completely in the light nor completely in the shadows. It’s both at the same time. Or neither.

Essentially, they got to do what they got to do. No matter what form it takes, a paycheck is a paycheck that subsidizes the rent and puts food on the table (and bodybuilders have to eat a lot of food to remain that big). Money earned under the table is still money that you can deposit in the bank. Uncle Sam just isn’t able to tax it.

The elegant Elise Penn.

Also, fans of FBBs – like FBBs themselves – want to keep their fandom as under the radar as possible. You don’t just casually declare on Facebook that you’re about to meet a female bodybuilder for fantasy wrestling, muscle worship, and (hopefully) a hand job at the end. That’s just not what most of us do. Instead, we also live in the darkness, albeit for a temporary amount of time. But that’s not all bad. FBBs with families and public reputations want to keep the more erotic side of their business a secret. Guys (and gals) who engage in these erotic activities also want it to be kept a secret. So confidentiality is desired by both parties. Both sides benefit. Both sides consent to what is happening. Both sides want it kept hush-hush. It’s not only a win-win, it’s a situation in which “losing” is considered unacceptable by both sides.

“Losing” means risking public ridicule. It means embarrassment. It means lost sponsorships. It could mean jail time. It could also mean being ostracized by your own industry. Whatever the case may be, this sordid world existing in limbo is in everyone’s best interests.

One more observation about public adoration. It’s overrated. Big time.

Sure, many FBBs love it when peers, fans, and friends compliment their looks. After all, what’s the point of all that hard work if nobody is around to appreciate it? While more eyeballs on you could mean more lucrative opportunities down the road, FBBs don’t necessarily need hundreds of millions of rabid fans frothing at the mouth, hanging on your every word and action. Rather, all they need are a few dedicated but respectful supporters who will pay them $400 per hour doing perfectly legal activities in complete secrecy. These folks will not just verbally compliment you, they will worship you. They will lay their fingers on your body and admire your handiwork without words. Yet, their silence speaks volumes.

These fans aren’t just casually expressing their fondness for an FBB’s work. They’re treating it like a quasi-spiritual experience. Or maybe it’s a full on spiritual experience in the literal sense. Touching a muscular woman’s body is much different than clicking the “like” button or leaving a nonsensical comment on Instagram using the appropriate hashtags. Look at it from the perspective of the session provider: her clients aren’t casual participants, like someone turning on the TV to the baseball game just for the background noise. They’re giving her a significant portion of their month’s wages for the opportunity to see her for just one single hour.

That’s quite a sacrifice. And showering her with verbal and physical compliments on top of it all proves that this is no joke (what exactly is a “physical compliment?” That’s up to your imagination to decide…). Public adoration is fine. It really is. But it can’t beat the kind of adoration that’s more intimate, quieter, deeper, and meaningful. One cannot easily replicate that outside of the context of an erotic session.

It’s one thing to download Beyoncé’s albums and follow her on Twitter. It’s quite another thing to pay a quarter of your hard-earned paycheck to an FBB, meet her at a hotel somewhere far away, and make yourself vulnerable to each other. These sessions are extremely vulnerable for both parties. Probably more so for the provider, but it is as well for the client. An FBB opens up her body – her most treasured asset – to a complete stranger. A client expresses their inner most desires to someone who might – or might not – be judging them; often times these desires being uncomfortable to talk about.

Erin Tolen is showing us that baby got back.

In my experience, when I first started participating in muscle worship sessions I had to give myself permission to enjoy the experience. I had to repeatedly remind myself that it’s okay to be indulgent every once in a while. It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to seek what you want and not apologize for it. So there is without question a high degree of vulnerability required to be a participant. As there is to be the one opening her own body to be touched in the most intimate ways imaginable…and the possibility of pain, injury, and violation.

Therefore, FBBs should be living in limbo. They don’t need to live in a black and white world where there are definitive rules that govern what people should and should not be allowed to enjoy. Of course, there are reasonable parameters that should be observed. But when both sides are consenting to everything that is going on, it’s best for all involved to not think about whether what’s transpiring is considered “socially acceptable” or “popular.” Those are superficial labels we attach to behaviors that don’t encompass the full spectrum of what makes people happy.

At the end of the day, that’s what it all boils down to. Whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes female bodybuilders and fans of female bodybuilders happy is alright, regardless of whether they exist in the light or the dark. Lightness and darkness are boundaries we arbitrarily place on things that we are comfortable acknowledging. It has nothing to do with what the actual truth is.

The Truth with a capital “T” is somewhere in between. Or somewhere else. Or both. Whatever.

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Pin Me, Wrestle Me, Abuse Me, Dominate Me: The Uncomfortable Association of Female Bodybuilders with Violence

Uncomfortable with Mistress Treasure and Yvette Bova? Yeah, neither am I.

The association of female muscle fetishism with violence is an uncomfortable reality that cannot be overlooked. Anyone with even a casual level of knowledge of female bodybuilders and the men who love them can see this relationship underscored everywhere.

Guys who love female bodybuilders often fantasize about being dominated by them, disciplined by them, trampled by them, tied up by them, punched by them, pinned to the ground by them, verbally abused by them, and having other physically demeaning activities done to them. This is not to put all female muscle fantasies in the same boat, however. This is merely an observation of a trend that cannot be denied.

Nothing about this is inherently wrong. Nor is anything about this explicitly scandalous, surprising, or unethical. As far as I can tell, as long as all the parties are consenting, openly communicating, and enjoying these activities, there isn’t anything to complain about. I have no quarrel with a guy who becomes aroused by a female muscle dominatrix teasing him, pouring hot candle wax on his skin, and calling him all sorts of filthy names. I’m not personally into that, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to.

Whatever floats your boat, as the old saying goes.

However, I must be completely honest. I am a bit uncomfortable with the close association of female muscle fetishism with violence. Any decent human being should abhor violence in any form. We live in a particularly violent world filled with shootings, riots, terrorism, war, political repression, rape, abuse, genocide, and a whole host of other unspeakable acts of brutality. I’d like to think we live in a more peaceful world today than our ancestors did hundreds of years ago, but it only takes reading the news for five minutes to have that belief shaken to its core.

This is why the mixing of sex with violence should make any free thinking person squirm a little. You don’t have to be an ardent critic of “50 Shades of Grey” to hop on board this train. While experienced BDSM practitioners are, for the most part, intelligent people who define their sexual play with meticulous rules that ensure safety and mutual consent, accidents do happen. But more than that, it’s the root of BDSM fetishism that can create a cause for concern.

Why does sexuality have a violent component to it that seems, well, unavoidable? Surely, I am not the first person to have ever raised this question. Critics have argued that the proliferation of BDSM into pop culture could have the unintended effect of “justifying” rape and sexual assault in the eyes of people who are already prone to commit such atrocities. I cannot speak to how warranted these concerns are, but they are definitely worth mentioning. How can you not fear such a backlash?

Our pop culture reinforces these messages in other ways as well. I love the James Bond movie franchise just as much as anybody else, but it is clear what 007’s two chief pastimes are: Making love to beautiful women and shooting/punching/blowing up the bad guys. He also happens to participate in both activities in immodest quantities. And worst of all – to put myself in the shoes of a feminist media critic – Bond is “rewarded” with the former after doing the latter.

American football games feature scantily clad cheerleaders right next to big burly men pummeling each other to a pulp. The “Sex and Violence” motif is found everywhere: sports, movies, TV shows, video games, music, literature, advertisements, religious texts, folk tales, and so on. It even infests the evening news. Bombings in Baghdad are shown side-by-side with stories of young female teachers having sex with her teenage male students. It’s everywhere you look. It’s so pervasive it’s sometimes hard to see it because of how saturated it is in our culture. Because it’s everywhere you don’t actually notice it.

Who wants to be put in a headlock by Melody Spetko?

This motif is also deeply embedded within the world of female muscle fetishism. Of course, I’m referring more to the fantasy aspect of the fetish. In no way shape or form are female bodybuilders more inherently aggressive than non-muscular women. But maybe there exists in the imaginations of some of us the belief – or the desire – that this is somehow true. Or that we want it to be true because it titillates a part of our deeply held kinkiness.

One of the reasons why many people in society look down upon guys who love muscular women is because they’re also uncomfortable with how this fetish is played out. Perhaps they’re just as unnerved by the undertones of violence as I am – although I am less troubled by it than others are, for sure. But it is completely understandable why this uncomfortable reality exists…and why we need to talk about it.

I am not of the belief that sadomasochistic sexual activities are explicitly dangerous, oppressive, or dehumanizing. If it’s safe, consensual, and enjoyable by all parties involved, I have no bad words to say about it. But on the other side of the equation, I get why this makes some of us cringe. So I’m not trying to make a point so much as I’m trying to articulate a topic that I think needs to be discussed.

It should be stated that very rarely is any single act, interest, hobby, or creative endeavor inherently evil. Unless we’re talking about terrorism, overt political repression or murder, most activities exist in a gray area. Whether it’s “good” or “evil,” “valuable” or “trash,” all depends on the context in which it exists. A book unto itself isn’t evil. A science textbook, for example, can be a force for good. Books such as “Mein Kampf” or “Mao’s Little Red Book” on the other hand, could be used to spread hateful and dangerous ideas. So it’s not the object of a book that’s up for debate. It’s the intent behind creating a particular book that is. And the results.

If a guy fantasizes about a strong female dominatrix giving him physical pain because he finds it exciting, there’s nothing (on its surface) harmful in that. If this guy goes out of his way and pays a professional dominatrix to perform such acts on him, that also isn’t necessarily a red flag. The presence of violence within female muscle fetishism isn’t a bad thing, nor would I want to change a thing about it. However, what should be talked about is why this is and whether this should concern any of us.

From the beginning of human civilization to the present day, conflict has been a constant theme throughout our history. And not just conflict between groups of people, nations, governments or tribes. There has been conflict between individuals, ideas, cultural norms (both from without and from within), assumptions, and social hierarchies. Without getting too deep into the history of humankind, let’s just settle on this conclusion: Conflict has always been here and will be here to stay.

This is especially evident in the relationship between men and women. Or, to be more politically correct, between masculine and feminine dynamics. Whatever your worldview may be, the Battle of the Sexes is something we’re all familiar with. Hollywood screenwriters have made a fortune capitalizing on this. Lecturers have gone on tour and sold books purely on the basis of telling us how we can alleviate this perpetually awkward relationship. It’s the topic of endless discussions over coffee, beer, cocktails, and happy hour chicken wings. Men and women – and people who are not comfortable identifying as either of these two choices – just can’t seem to get along 100% of the time.

My God…Dayana Cadeau.

For better or for worse, we’ve managed to exist for thousands of years despite these tensions. And we will continue to exist. So will the next generation. And the generation after that one. And so on. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with how violence has been intertwined in this ongoing conflict. Domestic violence, spousal fights, disagreements that lead to physical altercations, and cultural norms that accept these acts as being normal – or at the very least “acceptable” if it’s not openly talked about – have created a cycle of conflict that isn’t healthy. This won’t go away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it or turn our heads in the opposite direction whenever it happens.

This is why BDSM culture strikes a nerve in so many people. This is why people who are supportive of this subculture feel inclined to vehemently defend it with their dying breath. This is why so many of us don’t want to understand these things to begin with. After all, how can you argue in favor of violence? How can you possibly win that debate?

BDSM aside, female muscle fandom is different…but not at the same time. I’ve long argued that one can be not into BDSM but still really dig female bodybuilders. They can be mutually exclusive. Yet, the perception exists that they aren’t. For lots of folks, they are definitely interconnected.

Lots of guys love it when a female bodybuilder wrestles them into submission. Or pins them to the ground and holds them there against their will. Or verbally abuses them. Or smacks them with a paddle. Or “forces” them to do things upon command. This dominant/subordinate relationship carries the underlying theme of violence to its literal interpretation. However, because it’s all “fun and games,” it’s not really violence, is it?

Well, no. But yes. Uh, maybe both?

The relationship between a muscular woman and a normal-sized man can be jarring. It’s unusual. It flies in the face of social norms. We don’t expect to ever see such a sight. It challenges our notions of gender roles. It forces us to ask ourselves questions that we’d rather not contemplate.

Are women the weaker sex and men the stronger sex? Well, most of the time. But not all of the time. What does that mean? And how do we proceed going forward? Is an FBB more than just a woman, or is she just a “normal” woman with an abnormal physique? And is this man really a man, or an emasculated man? Wow, this is bonkers!

And yet, these questions don’t really come up with we witness a muscular woman and a normal-sized man quietly enjoying drinks at the pub. Or silently riding the subway together. Or holding hands while strolling down the sidewalk. If they physically appear to be a “normal” couple, we may stop and stare but we don’t necessarily ask these questions.

We only start to wonder about the dynamic of their relationship if we witness any conflict. What if they start to argue? What if they fight about who will pay the bill? What if she slaps him in the face? Will he slap her back? Or does he not dare? If he doesn’t hit her back, is it because he’s scared of her, or is it because he’s not naturally inclined to do such things? If she were “normal-looking” like him, would his reaction be different? How could we know for sure?

Do you want Amanda Dunbar to put you in an armbar?

Whew! All of this is so confusing. But this does bring up a crucial observation: When we see a female bodybuilder, our minds automatically – whether we consciously know this or not – wander off into the realm of violence. We wonder how rough their sex lives must be. How are they like in bed? Is she domineering? Does she prefer weaker men or men who are strong like her? How does she react if she’s angry? Is she naturally aggressive? Are men scared of her? Are other women scared of her? Is she fearful of people and that’s why she became so big and buff in the first place? Was she physically abused as a child, with bodybuilding acting as a “shield” against future abuse?

So it’s pretty clear that whenever we’re presented with a strong muscular woman, our natural inclination is to think about her within the framework of violence, self-defense, and aggression. Yes, we also think about her beauty, impressive strength, and numerous accomplishments; but doesn’t it seem like the first thoughts that pop into our minds consist of whether she can crush me with her thighs or if any of her ex-boyfriends have ever been sent to the emergency room after an argument?

Perhaps this speaks to the cognitive dissonance that muscular women create in our brains. We cannot accept the sight of a strong woman being “normal” or “no big deal.” There must be an explanation why she wants to look that way. And she must be a completely different person now that she does look that way.

But alas, these ideas are not always true. Maybe she always was aggressive, “alpha,” and assertive even before she ever picked up a dumbbell. Maybe for her, bodybuilding is an avenue for channeling her strong personality, not a result of it. Who knows?

The larger point to be made is this: Society, both fans of FBBs and everyone else, cannot seem to separate female bodybuilders and violence from their imaginations. I’ve written this before but will rewrite it again. My ultimate female muscle-related fantasy has nothing to do with violence. It has more to do with a romantic candle-lit dinner, a fine bottle of wine, a nice long walk along the beach, and an entire evening of passionate lovemaking. No one gets tied up. No one gets paddled for being “bad.” No one gets verbally abused. No one feels any pain. Everything is pleasant, sensual, low-key, and most of all, idyllic. In other words, I’d love to spend an entire night with Alina Popa in a setting that looks more like a cheap romance novel than a creepy bondage-themed Dark Web video.

I’d love to spend a peaceful evening with Gina Aliotti.

Yet, not everyone shares my pacifistic fantasy. There are lots of folks – and this is not a negative judgment about them – who want a more “antagonistic” experience. They want Miss Popa to burn them with hot candle wax. They want her to pick them up and toss them to the ground like a rag doll. They want her to punch them in the belly until they surrender. They want her to crush their head between her thighs until they “tap out.” They want all that…and more.

Well, to that I say this: That’s fine.

That’s fine. But that’s not for me. And it probably never will be my cup of tea. I tend to have a “live and let live” attitude toward most things in life. I have nothing against violent fantasies unless things cross a certain line. Yet, there is a significant part of my brain that feels uncomfortable with this. Why must we think about female bodybuilders within this context? Why are we unable to separate FBBs from the violent chambers of our imaginations? Why do our minds automatically go there? Is this unhealthy, or just the cost of doing business? Is it possible to love female bodybuilders in a non-violent way, or is it inevitable that this motif will always seep its way in?

I have no good answers. Only more questions.

Nostalgic for Naughtiness

An old issue of Women’s Physique World featuring Shelley Beattie and Sharon Bruneau.

Every man who was once a teenage boy with raging hormones should be able to identify with this scenario:

You borrow a copy of a dirty magazine from a buddy at school. Or you steal it from a grocery store with the stealth skills of a Special Ops commander. Or you’re lucky enough to stumble upon an old issue of Playboy or Hustler sitting in a garbage can or recycling bin. No matter how you acquire said dirty magazine, it’s a prized possession that you will guard with your life.

Your brothers and sisters cannot know about it. Your parents especially cannot know about it. So it must be kept a secret from prying eyes, forever fated to be stuffed in your sock drawer or underneath your mattress. The only time you can look at it is at night under the cover of darkness. Bring it to school and you risk one of your teachers discovering it, confiscating it, and telling Mom or Dad about it. Talk about bad news. Can’t possibly risk that. No bloody way.

But what’s in that dirty magazine that’s so damn intriguing? It’s simple: Beautiful girls wearing very little (or no) clothing. Just a few short years ago, girls were disgusting creatures who were annoying, bad at sports, and had different hobbies than you. Today, it’s a whole different story. Girls are enigmatic creatures who make you feel wiggly inside. You cannot help but stare at the ones who were the prettiest or had the shapeliest bodies. And you definitely struggle to stop staring at the ones with big boobs. Oh boy…

But your magazine offers a special glimpse that you cannot possibly have while sitting in math class. Your treasured magazine shows you a whole new side of the female species that you’ve only just begun to discover. You finally get to see what a pair of breasts look like. You finally learn why Dad married Mom in the first place. And, you finally find out what girls have between their legs that you don’t.

This scenario should be especially familiar with those of you who are older than 30. However, as the Internet Age rolled around, teenage boys don’t have to sneak dirty magazines into their bedrooms in order to get their “fix.” Pictures of gorgeous naked women are only a simple Google search away (not to mention a furious effort to delete one’s browsing history before Grandma next uses the family computer). So as time goes on, one presumes this familiar scenario will become less familiar.

Will you accept this rose from Raye Hollitt?

Nevertheless, for those of us who love female bodybuilders, there’s an added dimension to our story of how we discovered what turns us on. In addition to conventionally beautiful lingerie and fashion models, we were also introduced to pretty women who sported a bit more muscle mass than usual. So not only were we smuggling copies of Playboy into our coat closets, we were also sneaking in contraband fitness and weightlifting magazines.

Sure, the majority of those publications featured big burly men. But on occasion, we got to feast our eyes on ladies with big burly muscles.

Oh baby.

In today’s modern world in which everything you can possibly think of can now be accessed through the Internet, it’s becoming easier and easier to indulge in your vices in complete privacy. Private web browsing has been a helpful tool in hiding your fetishes from anyone who also happens to use your computer. Granted, you still need to be cautious when you’re at work, but when you’re sitting at home you can be as freaky as you want to be without a single soul knowing about it.

Yet, with all this erotic material readily available at your fingertips, doesn’t it seem like the “old days” were a bit more, how shall we say it, “naughty?”

What is meant by that is the general feeling that back in the days when images of beautiful muscular women were rare, the few opportunities we got to feast our eyes on them seemed much more exciting than they do now. Today, we can easily scroll through hundreds of female bodybuilders, fitness models, and athletes on Instagram, Tumblr blogs, and fan websites without breaking a sweat. No need to sneak in magazines underneath your Mom’s watchful eye. No fear of Dad finding out. Also, no need to research where you can find these photos, which in our youth we treated as precious commodities like gold, diamonds, and crude oil.

With search engines and social media making our beloved ladies more easily available than ever before, why do simple Google searches fail to send that same tingling sensation down our spines that peering through old photos of Rachel McLish late at night in our bedrooms once did? Is it because we’re older and more accustomed to seeing photos of gorgeous muscular women, or is it something deeper?

Let’s explore the latter. It is not beyond comprehension that part of the reason why our adolescent brains were kicking into overdrive was because, well, the clichéd phrase “raging hormones” exists for a reason. So is it fair to say that as we get older our hormones get more under control, thus we become less fanatical in our desire to ogle beautiful women? Maybe, but that doesn’t appear to be the only answer. For the female muscle enthusiasts out there, another explanation must cover the territory of the “forbidden fruit.”

As if peering at photos of beautiful women weren’t scandalous (relatively speaking) enough, being turned on by photos of muscular beautiful women is a whole other story. Now we’re crossing into “weird” ground, not just “scandalous.” It’s not embarrassing to admit you’d like to tap Pamela Anderson (especially if you grew up in the 90s), but it would definitely raise a few eyebrows if you declare proudly that you’d also like to screw Kim Chizevsky. Especially if the people you were with knew who Kim is and what she looks like.

Talk about awkward.

But awkwardness is exactly the point. We’re embarrassed because we don’t want others to find out about our attraction to female bodybuilders, but we’re also somewhat embarrassed for our own sake. We start to wonder if something is wrong with us. We ask questions such as: Am I normal? Am I secretly gay? Why don’t more people feel the same way as I do?

But even those questions are starting to diminish. The Internet has played an integral role in breaking down almost every social taboo you can think of. You can easily locate like-minded individuals who are into the same “unusual” stuff as you. Do you enjoy drawing Game of Thrones fan art? Or writing Harry Potter fan fiction? Or immersing yourself into “Furry” culture (don’t look it up if you aren’t prepared to truly find out what it is)? Well, finding other people who are into the same things as you has never been easier. This is quite a blessing, especially if you are prone to wondering whether if you’re alone in the Universe. Odds are you are not.

The statuesque Bev Francis.

The same goes for female muscle fetishism. For all its flaws, Saradas.com is a popular forum for discussing and sharing content related to female bodybuilding, sessions, fantasy wrestling, and the like. You can easily connect and communicate with people all across the globe who enjoy the same female muscle-related activities as you. This level of connectivity with souls spread around the planet is unprecedented. Yet here we are. What a time to be alive.

However, despite the ease of which we can access photos/videos of muscular women and meet people who share our common interests, why does it seem like (to repeat the question articulated earlier) the old days were much naughtier? Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but it’s not beyond the stretch of the imagination to say that once something becomes mainstream, it starts to lose a little bit of its juice. Granted, female bodybuilding is still (and probably never will be) not considered mainstream, but within the world of Internet subcultures, anything can be mainstream if you look in the right places. What’s the deal here?

The best explanation has to be the fact that before the Internet existed, most of us truly didn’t know if other people felt the same way about female bodybuilders as we did. Before Google allowed us to discover information faster and easier than before, we had no idea how many other people (if any at all) shared our fascination with them. It’s not just loneliness. It’s the fear that nobody else is crazy enough to get turned on by a woman with big muscles. And if that’s the case, isn’t the next logical conclusion that there must be something “off” about us?

Hence, our uncontrollable and unexplainable attraction to female muscle felt supremely naughty. And not just naughty in a moral sense, but also in a psychological sense. We didn’t know if our brains were working properly. That’s taking naughtiness to a whole new level.

The other explanation is the supply of female muscle-related media. Back in the pre-Internet age, our exposure to FBBs was limited to magazines, bodybuilding contests on television, and your old dusty VHS copy of “Pumping Iron II: The Women.” That’s about it. So the few instances in which we could find new photos of female bodybuilders were few and far between.

That made the experience all the more exciting. The rare occurrence when we could get our sweaty hands on a brand new issue of the latest fitness magazine seemed like a quasi-religious experience. It was as if we had found a Golden Ticket in our recently purchased Wonka Bar. We felt as giddy as if it were Christmas morning. But instead of a new bicycle or autographed football, it was a magazine chock full of images of powerful women with bulging biceps and massive quads. Hell, this beats the experience of tearing up presents underneath the decorated tree by a mile!

Who wants to lift with Cory Everson?

Back when the product is scarce, we appreciated it more. Now that the product is available in abundance, you’d think we would appreciate it more, but we don’t. Ironically, an overabundance of the product actually ends up making us appreciate it less. Thirty years ago, we had to risk life and limb to sneak a copy of a bodybuilding magazine into our rooms without our parents detecting it. Today, we can skim through endless Instagram feeds of scantily clad female bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness models with our only concern being whether we’ll run out of battery power.

This is a good thing, right? Of course it is. But human nature being what it is, we can’t help but sense a diminished sense of giddiness living in today’s media-saturated environment. Our love for female bodybuilders seems cheap. Easy. Casual. Maybe not mainstream, but certainly less-out-of-the-ordinary-than-before. Female muscle fetishism has lost some of its naughtiness. What should we make of this?

Well, not much. But this does provide a valuable lesson about the relationship between cultural acceptance and modern communications technology.

People tend to react viscerally to things that are unusual, even if they aren’t necessarily “weird.” Unusual is simply anything that is not usual. But the more common it becomes, the less unusual it is, and the more “normal” it seems. This is not rocket science. This simple observation is also true for female muscle and our reaction to it. We think it’s strange to see women with big muscles precisely because women with big muscles are rare. But as our definition of “mainstream” starts to veer away from legacy corporate advertising and toward more grassroots-based media, the doors to almost anything will swing wide open.

The list goes on regarding things you once never saw but now can see whenever you feel like it: Plus-sized models, South Korean soap operas, documentaries about dwarfs (not the Lord of the Rings kind), Bollywood movies, Japanese pop music, Australian rugby matches, Brazilian cooking shows, cosplay conventions, Facebook groups for people who identify as “Gender Non-Conforming,” and so on. And yes, this includes photos, videos, blogs, and communities dedicated to female muscle. Almost anything you can think of is out there for public consumption.

An iconic female bodybuilder, Rachel McLish.

You just have to know where to look for it. Because not all of it will appear right under your nose when you least expect it.

Maybe this is why our love for female bodybuilders seems less naughty in today’s world than it did in yesteryear’s world. It’s not mainstream in the traditional sense of the word, but the very concept of “mainstream” is being challenged like never before. The Internet has allowed for the proliferation of subcultures and subcultures within subcultures to meet and convene in ways that were unimaginable even twenty years ago. And that’s not a long time ago, in relative terms.

Hence, we may be reaching – or have already reached – the point where the familiar scenario outlined in the beginning of this article will no longer be familiar to the younger generation. Those of us in our late 20s and early 30s might be the last cohort who remembers sneaking dirty magazines into our bedrooms. Today, this is a thing of the past. Those days are over. Everything we love is now digitalized. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Only time will tell.

Laurie Noack Gibson by the swimming pool. Want to jump in?

But what we can conclude is that for lovers of female muscle, this is a fantastic cultural development. Our access to beautiful muscular women has reached unprecedented levels. Well, actually, our access to anything you can possibly think of has reached unprecedented levels. As much as this can be a cause for celebration and popping the champagne corks, there is something tangible that’s been lost. That rush of adrenaline we all felt when we were scared out of our wits about being caught with muscle magazines has now been replaced with remembering to delete your browsing history. Ho hum. Boring!

Or is it? Is feeling naughty – and by extension, guilty – really a positive thing? Or does it only serve to suppress our natural desires and keep us shackled to society’s stringent standards? The answer to this is impossible to fully know, and perhaps we’re just being prisoners of nostalgia. We want the next generation to experience the same things we did when we were younger…for no other reason than we enjoyed it.

But will they? Maybe all this sneaking around wasn’t healthy at all and that society will actually benefit from being more open about sexual attraction, desire, and impulses. In this case, we should applaud the trends we’re currently witnessing.

But one suspects that being naughty, no matter what form that takes, will always be with us. And if that’s the case, does it matter how crotchety old fogies like us think about it?

Every ‘90s Kid Will Remember Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson looking her very best.

From the early 1990s all the way to the mid-2000s, Pamela Anderson reigned supreme. Every boy (and girl who appreciates girls) who grew up during this time period should wholeheartedly agree.

Who knew that one fateful day in 1989 an unknown pretty blonde girl from Canada would attend a B.C. Lions Canadian Football League game and set off a chain of events that would eventually lead to tens of millions of horny teenage boys spilling much of their seed during their formative years? The so-called “Butterfly Effect” can be a funny thing to behold.

Pamela Anderson soon afterward would pose for Playboy in October 1989, which launched her stardom. After moving to Los Angeles, short guest appearances on Home Improvement would lead to a prominently featured role in Baywatch, a TV show that launched a few other noteworthy (but not necessarily valuable) careers. And the rest, as they say, is history.

A groundbreaking sex tape, a few failed high-profile relationships, and several plastic surgeries later, Miss Anderson elevated herself beyond stardom. She became an icon. She became in the ‘90s what Marilyn Monroe was in the ‘50s, Raquel Welch in the ‘60s, Farrah Fawcett in the ‘70s, and Brooke Shields in the ‘80s. These women defined not just the beauty and fashion standards of those decades past, but the adolescent experiences of boys everywhere as well.

Although what Pamela Anderson added to the mix could either be the greatest thing or the worst thing ever. She added the element of actual sex to her iconic image. The infamous sex tape with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee notwithstanding, she lived in a time period in which pornography started to become mainstream. And not just elegant “topless” glamour shots, but hardcore porn involving real sex acts, nudity that leaves nothing to the imagination, and unbridled sexual expression that makes no attempt to be subtle.

Miss Anderson could do what Marilyn Monroe could not (or would not) do. If Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly had participated in such explicit pornography, their careers would have been toast. They probably could never fully recover from such a scandal. Yet, regardless if you consider such breaking of social taboos to be positive or negative, there was something lost when hardcore porn turned mainstream: Classiness.

But that is a whole other discussion for another time. Let’s get back to the biography of Miss Anderson.

Pamela Denise Anderson was born on July 1, 1967 in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada. In addition to her modeling and television career, she’s become an outspoken animal rights activist, participating in many awareness campaigns conducted by the controversial People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She is obviously a vegan and eagerly encourages everyone to become one as well. Whether you choose to follow her advice is, well, completely up to you.

Pam offering up her ass.

As a woman who just turned 50 years old, Miss Anderson has for the most part been out of the spotlight since the mid-2000s. The problem with building a financial empire based solely on your physical appearance is that when your looks do start to erode, there’s not much left for you to do. She isn’t 25 anymore. She isn’t 35 anymore. And no amount of cosmetic surgery is going to change that. But somehow, one gets the impression she doesn’t have any regrets. It seems doubtful that she would still prefer to be in the public spotlight as if it were 1996 all over again. But that could be an incorrect assessment.

Pam recently returned to the national conversation when she expressed support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Whether you think the man is a freedom fighter or a terrorist (or a puppet of Vladimir Putin), you got to give him credit if the “It-Girl” of twenty years ago who inspired millions of teenage boys to perfect the art of masturbation thinks you’re good for the vitality of democracy.

Alright, so what does Pamela Anderson have to do with muscular women? The answer is absolutely nothing. She’s always been a skinny blonde bimbo (which is meant to be endearing, not insulting) who never attempted to gain extraneous muscle mass in her life. She’s never been – or aspired to become – a bodybuilder, athlete, or fitness model. So what’s the big deal?

Perhaps the most significant contribution Pam made to modern day female muscle enthusiasts is providing us with our “Awakening” moment.

When we were 12 or 13 years old and just beginning to go through the awkward phase of puberty, there came a moment for almost all of us that hit us like a ton of bricks. Yes, there are the simple moments like when that annoying girl you’ve known all your life suddenly becomes someone you actually enjoyed looking at. But more often than not, you had someone – most likely a celebrity – whose beauty punched you in the face so hard, you felt like your world has just been opened up to new possibilities.

From a personal point of view, I cannot remember the first time I “discovered” Pam. It was probably somewhere on TV. Or maybe during the early days of dial-up Internet. But it doesn’t really matter. Like many teenage boys and young men who grew up in the 1990s, Pamela Anderson single handedly sent us on the fast lane through adolescence into adulthood. I clearly remember downloading and printing nude pictures of her and stashing it underneath my bed for illicit late-night use. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to what that “use” consisted of.

Pam with her “enhancements.”

For lots of us, Pamela Anderson opened our eyes to a whole new world called Female Beauty. For the first time in our lives, we learned why Daddy wanted to marry Mommy in the first place. We found out why Prince Charming felt the need to search the entire kingdom for Cinderella. Every kissing scene we ever saw in movies and TV shows suddenly developed a deeper meaning. She, and others like Carmen Electra and Cindy Margolis, gave us an education on human attraction, sexuality, reproduction, womanhood, and growing up that no textbook could ever come close to providing.

We were no longer boys. We were men. Because we discovered women.

While I don’t really hold a lot of nostalgic feelings for Pam, I can reflect upon my childhood and appreciate her for who she is: A gorgeous blonde bombshell who made my pulse race and my hormones rage into overdrive. There’s something to be said about that.

Coincidentally, at around the time Pamela started to fade into the pop culture background (God forbid she turn 40 years old!), I discovered female bodybuilders.

I don’t think the two events are related, but I cannot help but suspect that they are. I first discovered the glorious world of female bodybuilding during my freshman year in college, which would have been 2005. Pamela would have been 38 at that time, which from my perspective wasn’t super old, but old enough that I was ready to “move on” to other avenues of eye candy.

Female bodybuilders quickly filled that void and became that much-desired candy.

In a way, I felt like I had matured as well. I was not a dopy teenager anymore (even though I was still technically one at 18). I was now into “strong, independent women” who weren’t afraid to show off their big chiseled muscles. I tossed my old photos of Pamela Anderson in the trash can and replaced them with videos of Monica Brant, Karen Zaremba, and Deidre Pagnanelli saved on my laptop computer. I had moved on. Or had I?

I don’t want to suggest that muscular women are a “step up” from more traditionally beautiful women like Pam, Carmen, Sophie Marceau, or Monica Bellucci. I would never say that Monica Brant is definitely more beautiful than Monica Bellucci, because she isn’t. Miss Bellucci still holds a special place in my heart, even though she, like Pam, has never been anything close to a bodybuilder.

Muscular women are just one more tool in my toolshed. It’s one more taco I can put on my plate. Muscular women haven’t replaced traditionally beautiful women. Rather, they’ve just been added to the list. Even at the ripe age of 50, if Pamela Anderson – despite her years of extensive plastic surgery and sordid romantic past – were to approach me and ask me to take her to bed, I would not hesitate to say “yes.” I suspect many of you would probably do the same thing.

Pamela with one hell of a lucky guy.

Maybe that’s nostalgia somewhat kicking in, or maybe it’s not. If Alina Popa and Pamela Anderson both approached me with the same proposition and I had to only choose one of them, my decision would favor Miss Popa instead. As much as I (still) love Pam, I cannot say no to a younger muscle goddess who might be The Most Perfect Woman Ever Constructed on God’s Green Earth.

However, without question the female celebrities who defined my past have played an immeasurable role in shaping who I am today. I fully accept that if it weren’t Pamela, it would have been someone else. And yes, there were girls I knew in junior high and high school who caught my eye and made human sexuality more tangible for me. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Miss Anderson was a huge deal. It was like she held a baseball bat with the words “How to Appreciate Female Beauty” etched in it and whacked me on the back of the head a hundred times with it. I was for a brief period of time obsessed with her. I thought about her every night before I fell asleep. I never talked about her publicly (even with friends who were most likely sympathetic with my opinion of her), but she definitely pervaded my thoughts and fantasies during my early teen years.

She was one of the first celebrities who made me feel a certain way that I couldn’t quite explain. I knew she was attractive as hell. I knew there were only a small handful of human beings on planet Earth who looked as stunning as her. I knew she was a rare specimen. But what I couldn’t point my finger to was the root of my obsession with her.

I wasn’t obsessed in a “celebrity crush” sort of way. Rather, I was obsessed in an I-Can’t-Believe-Human-Beings-Are-Able-To-Be-As-Fucking-Gorgeous-As-Her sort of way. Perhaps it was because I was relatively young and inexperienced in appreciating Female Beauty, but I could have sworn that Pamela couldn’t actually be real. She has to be a human-looking cyborg who was developed in an underground laboratory specifically to test the limits of human beauty. After all, how can someone actually be that beautiful?

Well, someone can. Later, other women would either replace or complement Pamela as objects of obsession. Rena Mero, Trish Stratus, Sophie Marceau, Famke Janssen, Monica Bellucci, Carmen Electra, Cindy Crawford, and Halle Berry immediately come to mind. And yes, female bodybuilders would also follow. But Pamela still holds a special place in my heart. Even as she began to age (not-so-gracefully, unfortunately) and newer and younger sex symbols took her place (paging Megan Fox), I would come to appreciate a middle-aged Pamela and realize that one cannot stay young forever. Nobody wants to become Joan Rivers. Nor should anybody.

Pam cooling off in the sexiest way possible.

Still, looking back upon Pamela’s career, I’m saddened by how she’s become more of a punchline than someone whose contributions to pop culture are rightfully recognized as being noteworthy. If you were to ask the typical person on the street (who’s older than 25) what you think about Pamela Anderson, you’d probably get two typical responses:

  1. Wasn’t she the one who couldn’t decide what kind of boobs she wanted?
  2. Didn’t she make that horribly crass sex tape with Tommy Lee?

While both observations explain why her name was always in the tabloids, they both ignore what she truly provided for the lives of teen boys (who are now adults) like myself:

The discovery of Female Beauty.

Through her, we learned what it means to be so darn attracted to a woman that it would drive you to do things you’d never thought you could do. I never knew about the concept of masturbation until I accidentally tried it one fateful Saturday afternoon – and oh boy, did that leave an unexpected mess! I never thought I’d ever download porn, print it out on our shabby HP printer, and hide it underneath my bed. I never thought I’d be sweating bullets every time my brother or parents wandered into my room, fearing they’d inadvertently stumble upon my “collection.” But the discoveries we make as adolescents do lead to bizarre and unexpected life choices.

Pam looking coy.

I realize as I write this that the unexplainable electric feeling Pamela conjured up inside me would later return the moment I first discovered female bodybuilders. It was as though Pamela first introduced me to Female Beauty and female bodybuilders later introduced me to a whole new subculture within Female Beauty. They are two sides of the same coin.

So that’s it. My obsession with Pamela eventually faded away, but it wasn’t because I “grew up” or “matured.” It’s because someone else took her place. Or more specifically, hundreds of others took her place. Lindsay Mulinazzi. Denise Masino. Debi Laszewski. Emery Miller. Victoria Dominguez. Ginger Martin. Brandi Mae Akers. Tina Nguyen. Amber DeLuca. Angela Salvagno. Shawn Tan. Mavi Gioia. Monica Martin. Larissa Reis. Annie Rivieccio. The list goes on and on.

I’d like to thank Pamela Anderson for playing a role that she probably never intended to play. She acted as the catalyst for hundreds of millions of boys to discover a whole new facet of their humanity that they never knew existed. She made all of us feel a certain way that we couldn’t put into words but are certainly not complaining about. While I would never go as far as to say that if it weren’t for Pamela I wouldn’t have discovered female bodybuilders, I think a compelling argument could be made that she opened my mind to new possibilities. She inspired me to seek out beauty in new and wondrous places. She put me on the path toward searching for other women who could conjure up those same feelings I had for her when I was 14.

I craved bolder forms of Female Beauty that would push the limits of my imagination and light a fire inside my soul that I thought had died out the moment I left childhood. I wanted to rekindle that fervor. Badly.

Well, I eventually found what I was looking for.

You can probably guess what that was.

The Strap-On Fantasy: Ready, Willing, and Well-Endowed

Denise Masino showing Lisa Cross who’s the boss.

Imagine you’re lying on the ground with your hands and feet tied together with rope. There’s a gag in your mouth. You cannot speak a word. You struggle to move. But for some odd reason, you feel no desire to speak or move. You just lie there. Waiting. In complete silence.

Suddenly, a door opens. The silence is broken. You cannot look behind you, but you can clearly hear the clank of high heels banging against the cement floor. The steps come closer. And closer. And closer. Finally, the clanking stops. You hear a low gravelly voice barking out orders. It sounds masculine, but strangely feminine at the same time. But instead of being confused or perplexed, you’re frightened, nervous, and uncontrollably aroused all at the same time.

A strong pair of hands takes hold of you and turns you around. Finally, you see who it is that has graced your presence. It is that of a muscular woman. Tall, confident, and ripped from head to toe with big bulging muscles, she’s a sight you’ve never seen before. You will never forget this moment, the moment your eyes first see her size and strength. It is forever burned into your memory. And for that, you are eternally grateful.

You look at her gorgeous face, then her pecs, shoulders, biceps, six-pack abdomen, and her tree trunk thighs. She definitely goes to the gym regularly! But the one thing that you cannot help but notice is the enormous strap-on attached to her pelvis. Your eyes focus on a huge ten inch long black dildo hanging between her legs. It is the most intimidating thing you’ve ever witnessed. It looks hard, violent, and unforgiving. It is a tool of punishment. It is her way of asserting her deserving and rightful dominance.

However, no matter how scared you get, there’s a small part of you that desires that dildo to penetrate you. You want it shoved deep inside your body, invading your most intimate parts. You want her to be the one to do it. And from the way she positions herself over you, it appears as though that’s precisely what’s about to happen. Again, you are powerless to object. You cannot escape from your fate. She is going to do it. Hard. Over and over again. Until she decides to stop, not when you decide it should stop. She may want to penetrate you for hours. Or maybe for only a few minutes. Or seconds. Regardless, it’s her choice…not yours.

You fully expect the penetration to hurt immensely. It will be the most painful and humiliating experience of your life. But you wouldn’t have it any other way. You want this to happen, even though you’re terrified out of your wits. You’re sweating. Your heart is racing a million miles per second. If the dildo doesn’t kill you, cardiac arrest might instead. But if that were to happen, it would be tragic but at least you will die happy.

The moment of truth is approaching. She parts your thighs, preparing to enter you. She licks her lips. She grabs onto the black dildo and strokes it up and down as suggestively as possible. She then takes out a bottle of lubricant and dabs a small amount onto her fingers. She reaches down and smears it on you. It feels cold, but comforting. The anticipation has reached a fever pitch. It’ll only be a few moments until she finally enters you. She smiles. You grimace, but you also remain calm. You’ve accepted your fate. You choose to accept what’s coming to you.

At last, she positions her dildo right at your entrance, and she squeezes it in…

Alright, wake up sweetheart! It’s time for school.

Huh? What just happened?

If the following anecdote arouses you in any way, I suppose that means I’ve done my job, which is to act as a (de facto) scribe of your dirtiest inner thoughts. Your fantasy world may not be this vivid or kinky, but I’m sure you’ve had your moments. I can guarantee it. Whether you’re truly into kink or if you’re more vanilla, you’ve probably at some point during your female muscle fandom watched a video or two that features a strong powerful woman wearing a strap-on dildo.

Melissa Dettwiller cannot help but submit to Lynn McCrossin (may she rest in peace).

Maybe she’s penetrating a guy. Or a woman. Or a fellow female bodybuilder. Or maybe she’s just by herself and she’s teasing you with it. No matter the circumstances, this fantasy scenario is not uncommon within the female muscle fan community (believe it or not, such a community actually exists!). Watching a hypermuscular woman wear a gigantic strap-on dildo – the color specifications can differ depending on who you are – can be quite arousing, even if BDSM isn’t necessarily your “thing.”

Why is that? Why do we enjoy watching Angela Salvagno or Yvette Bova wear a strap-on around their waists while they prepare to unleash pain and humiliation upon a hapless victim? How many of us wish we were that victim? Or at the very least, how many of us wish we could witness in-person this act of tyranny up close?

The Strap-On Fantasy is a fascinating one to ponder about. It covers a wide range of ideas that exemplify why female muscle fandom is so perplexing. Whether we secretly wish for an FBB wearing a strap-on to enter us where the sun doesn’t shine or whether we get turned on watching it happen to somebody else, let’s dig deep into this phenomena further (no pun intended).

The first major observation is that many female muscle lovers enjoy watching a muscular woman assert her sexual dominance. Many of us don’t fantasize about making love to an FBB as if she were our equal (although I do!). Rather, many of us desire that she take control, declare her sexual sovereignty, and do whatever she wants with us. However, such a fantasy isn’t just reduced to a powerful woman “being on top” in the bedroom. It takes it one step further.

Any woman – muscular or not – can assert her dominance in the bedroom. Either she decides what transpires or she determines the pace of play. Whichever it is, neither option is particular unusual or noteworthy. But when you add the element of a strap-on into the mix, things get a bit dicey. A muscular woman with a strap-on attached to her isn’t trying to become more “masculine” or “man-like.” It certainly appears that way, but underneath the surface we come to realize that a strap-on isn’t just a fake penis. It’s an external (and material) symbol of sexual dominance.

As a society, we view the penis – for better or for worse – as a symbol of sexual sovereignty. It’s an external organ that, when stimulated, provides pleasure for the person who has it. Women have organs that provide her sexual pleasure as well (her vagina and clitoris, primarily), but neither organ is pronounced enough for our psyches to relegate them as “vehicles of pleasure.” The vagina is internal and the clitoris is very small. For this reason, when we were little kids we thought that “boys have a penis” and “girls don’t have a penis,” as opposed to “girls have a vagina.” Girls do have a vagina, but it’s less obvious. Women can have orgasms without a partner, but far too many across the world aren’t explicitly aware of this ability. You can’t learn anything unless you’re taught, right?

Given this backdrop, a muscular woman wearing a strap-on is an exaggerated and crude way for her to showcase her sexual abilities. It’s her way of communicating to the world that she possesses (even in an artificial sense) a sexual organ that exists for the purpose of giving her sexual pleasure. Obviously, a strap-on is just a toy and doesn’t actually provide her pleasure (unless it’s a double sided strap-on), but that’s beside the point. It’s all about symbolism. If we associate a large sexual organ with sexual dominance, a strap-on hammers this point home unlike anything else.

Along the same wavelength, our culture tends to associate sexual dominance with the ability to penetrate. If you can penetrate your partner, that makes you powerful. It makes your partner subordinate to you. It makes him or her passive. It makes you the active participant who’s initiating the coital act. You are not surrendering your body’s autonomy by allowing someone else to enter it. You are the invader, not the invaded. If all of this sounds violent, it certainly does. On a more serious note, that’s often why we consider rape the highest of all crimes, perhaps worse than murder. Or at the very least, it’s the crime that’s just below murder as the worst possible crime you can commit against another human being. There’s something unholy about entering another person’s body without permission or with ill intent. It’s unseemly, discomforting, and appalling to comprehend. These sentiments stem from our cultural associations of “the ability to penetrate” with “strength” and “being penetrated” with “weakness.”

There’s nothing weak about Angela Salvagno.

Fair or unfair, that’s how we tend to view these matters. I am not here to argue whether or not I like this; rather I’m just pointing out the way things are. So the bottom line is this: Sexual dominance can take many forms, but the ability to penetrate your partner with a pronounced sexual organ is chief among them. Because women do not (normally) possess such an organ, a strap-on is the next best thing; a symbolic way for them to exhibit their power, independence, and authority.

The second major observation is that we enjoy watching female bodybuilders hug that fine line between “feminine” and “masculine.”

Of course, we love muscular women because they’re women with big beautiful muscles. Not because we think they look like men. And not because they exhibit qualities that we traditionally associate with masculinity. Female bodybuilders are feminine. They’re just a different kind of feminine. Or, they’re an “enhanced” version of feminine that embraces muscular curves in addition to her conventional curves.

But on second thought, perhaps there’s a shred of truth to the stereotype that guys who love muscular women are, whether they realize it or not, also embracing the FBB’s “masculine-lite” qualities. Or maybe, and this sounds much more plausible, guys like us are really turned on by strong ladies who walk that fine line between what we are and are not supposed to be attracted to.

We love watching a beautiful feminine FBB sport a large strap-on dildo not because it appears she has a penis – and thus appears to be a “man” of sorts – but because she doesn’t really, but she acts like she does. As men, we may or may not be proud of our phalluses. We may like the power it gives us, or at least the perceived power it gives us. And we love seeing our favorite FBBs share in that power, even if it’s superficial and temporary. Deep down inside our dirty imaginations, we secretly want our FBBs to be strong, powerful, and well-endowed. We want them to act like men while still being women. In our minds, acting masculine doesn’t make you masculine. You can exhibit masculine qualities while still being unquestionably feminine in nature.

As I’ve written before many times, female muscle fans love large clits because it’s their way of demonstrating their sexual power. It’s a (albeit, smaller in size) phallic-like external organ that gives sensual pleasure when stimulated by one’s self or by a partner. It provides orgasm. It becomes engorged when aroused. It grows in size when aroused. And if it’s large enough, it can be sucked on or jerked off to the point of climax. Sound familiar?

Due to extra testosterone in the body caused by both muscle growth and taking synthetic steroids, women bodybuilders often see their clitorises grow significantly in size. There’s a perfectly rational scientific explanation for this phenomenon. So the “female phallus” theme is more evident when we’re dealing with ladies such as Denise Masino (a goddess among men), Angela Salvagno, and Brandi Mae Akers. These women possess abnormally large clits that are gorgeous, sexually alluring, and allow them to demonstrate their power in the bedroom.

We all know that Denise, Angela, and Brandi Mae do not have penises. They have clitorises and vaginas just like every other woman. But without a doubt, the shape of the meat between their legs is noteworthy and sets them apart from the rest of the female species. Their status as women is undeniable. Nobody – at least, nobody with a fully functioning brain – seriously believes these ladies are anything but ladies. Internet trolls aside, it is because they’re strong, beautiful, confident, sexy, and feminine that we love them so damn much. They’ve captured our hearts because they break the mold of what society traditionally expects women to look like while still retaining much of that mold. They don’t defy these notions so much as they redefine them. And that is an impressive feat.

Yet, we are still intrigued by tiny voices inside our heads that tell us there’s more to these ladies than meets the eye. Is it that these ladies expand the definition of “feminine,” as I’ve argued above? Or, do they shatter these definitions completely and flesh out the argument that there’s actually no such thing as “masculine” and “feminine?” Are these labels real or perceived? Are they based on objective biological scientific fact or are they shallow and archaic holdovers from a less enlightened time? Maybe straight men aren’t actually attracted to women…they’re attracted to femininity, regardless of who (or what) exhibits these characteristics.

This brings to mind all sorts of questions regarding sexual orientation, the nature of gender, and whether or not our understanding of biology is totally accurate. But suffice to say is that we know what we like and do not like. Sometimes, someone will come along and challenge our previously held conceptions of our personal preferences. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a confusing thing. The world is a complicated place, indeed.

Meet Mistress Kiana, a London-based erotic service provider.

There is something intriguing about people who are androgynous. We may or may not be attracted to them regardless of who they are – or claim that they are. Female bodybuilders are not always cleanly in the “feminine” category, mostly because the definition of “feminine” changes depending on who is doing the defining. FBBs can walk that fine line between the labels we choose to place on each other and ourselves. Perhaps this ambiguity is what enthralls us the most.

The Strap-On Fantasy forces us to reconsider why we associate a penis with masculinity. After all, we know not to associate big muscles with masculinity. We can think of hundreds of examples of big muscles being very feminine. Muscles are universal, not monopolized only by men. So by that logic, why should we associate a large phallus hanging between one’s legs as being solely masculine as well? What if, instead of the strap-on being designed to look like a penis, it were designed to look like a comically oversized clit? I have no clue if such a contraption actually exists, but the idea should bring a smile to your face.

So, we love seeing a strong woman with a fake penis, but only because it enhances her femininity, not because her appearance traverses into the territory of masculinity. Got that? Don’t worry if you find this confusing. I do too!

The third major observation is how intertwined the concepts of strength, power, and sexuality are. I’ve touched on a lot of these ideas already, so here’s what I’ll say about this. It seems nearly impossible to separate a female bodybuilder from her sex appeal. She isn’t a robot. She isn’t a machine. She’s a flesh-and-blood human being who strives to sculpt the “perfect body” as she sees it. And such an endeavor will inevitably augment her sex appeal. Whether this is intentional or unintentional, as casual onlookers we cannot train our eyes to see things differently. We cannot help but look at a female bodybuilder as a sexual object.

Perhaps we also see her as an athlete, trainer, entrepreneur, model, wife, mother, sister, community leader, celebrity, and most of all, a human being. But how can you not also look at her beauty and find your mind drifting off into all sorts of erotic places?

Don’t make Mistress Treasure (Victoria Dominguez) angry!

Connected to a female bodybuilder’s body is her strength and power. I define “strength” as her pure physical strength and “power” as the dominion she has over her surroundings, including the people around her. We are drawn to FBBs not just because of what they look like, but also because of how they act and what they can do. It arouses us to see them lifting heavy weights at the gym. It turns us on to watch them grapple a helpless male opponent to the ground while he begs for mercy – and doesn’t receive it. We may not fantasize about being the hapless chap whose face turns red while his torso is contorted in all sorts of unpleasant directions, but we sure enjoy witnessing it. Or at least, many of us do. I’m not super into that sort of thing, but whatever.

It’s not enough for us to see our favorite FBBs be strong. We need them to act strong. And not just do stunts like bend steel or crush an apple with her bare hands. That’s all fine and dandy, but what really gets our blood boiling is seeing an FBB exhibit her strength through her sexuality.

These concepts cannot be separated, no matter how much we try to. Strength, power, and sexuality are almost synonymous at this point. They aren’t of course, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about these ideas within the same framework.

The final major observation is this: No strap-on dildo can possibly compete with a real penis. Regardless of the size of your penis – whether you think it’s small, medium-sized, or large – no dildo in the world can act as a substitute for the real thing. Women often say that as much as they love masturbating with a dildo, nothing beats the feeling and knowledge of a man’s actual flesh entering her. Synthetic materials can provide the same orgasmic effect, but it’s not psychologically the same.

A female bodybuilder wearing a strap-on is just that – a female bodybuilder wearing a strap-on. She isn’t an “honorary” man. She isn’t actually well-endowed. Her endowment is fake. She’s still a woman and a man is still a man. Even a man being anally penetrated by a woman wearing a strap-on is still a man. The power she derives from having a phallus is superficial and disappears the moment she takes it off. A man, on the other hand, never relinquishes that power.

Perhaps this is why erectile dysfunction is considered such a bruise to one’s ego. The inability to produce an erection consistently (or at all) is essentially a form of emasculation. His penis isn’t literally cut off, but it might as well be. It’s limp. It’s useless. It cannot bring a woman to orgasm. In a way, the failure to bring a woman to a satisfying climax is the height of emasculation.

Never mind he can’t bring pleasure to himself. That’s almost beside the point. He cannot successfully penetrate his female partner – which in turns makes him less of a man. “Male enhancement” medication sells like hotcakes for a reason.

However, despite all that, even a small and limp penis is still much more potent – mostly in a symbolic sense – than every single dildo sitting on the shelves of every single sex shop in the world. As an elongated piece of meat that protrudes outside of the body, a phallus is the ultimate symbol for maleness. Women, even muscular women, have no such external symbol. No strap-on ever created in a factory can compete in the long-term with the real thing. An FBB wearing a strap-on has power in the bedroom only temporarily. As I mentioned earlier, the moment she takes it off she instantly returns back to her normal state. She is “emasculated” as well – figuratively speaking, that is.

Porn star Ava Devine teaching a lesson to naughty Brandi Mae Akers.

It provides a small amount of giddiness knowing that men still hold the ultimate bargaining chip: a perfectly functional and real penis. No FBB can possibly match that. Regardless of how big her muscles get and how large her dildo is, she’s not even close to being a man. She can never actually be one of us.

But alas, is that necessarily a bad thing? Sexual power can come from anyone, no matter what is hanging (or not hanging) between their legs. So does it really matter whether a man has a penis and an FBB has a strap-on – or no strap-on at all?

Let’s think of it this way: the next time you see Angela Salvagno or Brandi Mae Akers wearing a large dildo around their waists, ask yourself this question:

Does the strap-on complete her dominating presence, or does it merely complement it?

In other words, does she even need the strap-on in the first place, or is it just a fun toy for her to play with for the time being? In the back of your mind, do you secretly wish that she actually has a phallus hanging between her legs? It could be a penis that co-exists with her vagina or it could be a clitoris that’s grown far larger than normal. Either way, is that a must? Do you clamor for her to have such an endowment? Or are you perfectly content with her having a slit between her legs and allow her muscularity to speak for itself?

Muscles give women power. The penis gives men power. When a woman can have both, it’s understandable why we’d have such vivid daydreams that prevent us from getting to school on time.

This is the Moment When She is at the Peak of Her Power

Tina Nguyen is at her most powerful right here.

She stares straight ahead, her gaze can pierce through your soul. She’s exhausted. She’s fatigued. She’s determined. She’s ready.

With 65-pound dumbbells in each hand, hanging casually next to her hips, she takes in a deep breath and regards herself in the mirror – not out of vanity, but out of a concern for maintaining proper form and technique. She’s a professional in mind and spirit, though not in livelihood (yet).

With astonishing confidence, grace, and strength, she lifts one dumbbell up to her chest, the cold metal barely grazing her collarbone. She exhales and slowly lowers the heavy weight back to her side, returning it perfectly to where it previously was. Then she lifts the other dumbbell upward in the exact same manner, this time her other collarbone experiences the unforgiving touch of the frosty iron. All the while, curious onlookers can see large veins running down her hardened biceps as she powers through these lifts. It seems like with each repetition, the veins get more pronounced as her biceps grow larger and larger.

The blood rushing into her arms coincides with the blood rushing into the private areas of the males in close proximity. They are unable to concentrate on their own workouts because they are too distracted by hers.

But none of them would have it any other way.

Oh boy. Have you ever experienced a scenario similar to this? I know I have. Maybe not at my local gym – though there have been a few isolated incidents – but certainly while watching Internet videos of female bodybuilders lifting heavy weights. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing such a beautiful phenomenon in recent days, drop whatever you are doing and conduct a few Google searches to whet your starving appetite.

For people who love female bodybuilders, athletes, weightlifters, and fitness models, there are few things that turn us on more than to watch our beloved ladies grind at the gym. Glamour photoshoots behind a pristine white backdrop are fine. So are professionally-done photo sessions taken on an immaculate white sandy beach. But few pieces of media can seriously contend with a video (even if it’s grainy and shot on an iPhone) that showcases a muscular woman laboring hard to become – or remain – a muscular woman.

Indeed, workout videos are our porn. This is nothing new. There already exists a blog post exploring this topic. However, what deserves further examination is a specific moment in these videos that particularly makes our hearts leap out of our chests:

The moment of muscle peak.

This is probably best exemplified in the above example of a female bodybuilder doing bicep curls. But it’s even more evident when she’s doing preacher curls. Preacher curls are, in case you are not familiar with exercise jargon – isolation lifts in which you place your arms against an incline bench (or pad) and lift either a barbell or dumbbell upward toward your chest, targeting specifically your biceps. Visually speaking, preacher curls make for excellent video fodder because you can noticeably see the participant’s biceps swelling up as he or she completes the lift.

Sexy muscle mama Dena Anne Weiner.

When we see a muscle-bound woman’s face strain as she struggles to finish the final repetition of her grueling set, it’s difficult to watch this with zero physical reaction. How can your pulse not start to race, your heart beat a little faster, and blood not rush to your groin? I’d stop being such an adamant female muscle lover if such reactions ceased to take place inside me.

It is at this moment when her biceps are at its largest. “The Moment of Muscle Peak” is so arousing because it symbolizes in a single still frame why we love female bodybuilders so much: They had to earn their gorgeous muscles through hard work and hard work only. No shortcuts, no underserving gains, and certainly no free passes. She didn’t earn her muscles by paying a plastic surgeon to implant them underneath her skin. She may take drugs, but drugs alone do not produce large muscle mass. That only comes from expending sweat, energy, and burning more calories than some of us consume.

Here is the video that inspired me to write this post. It shows world-renowned Swiss female bodybuilder Jay Fuchs doing preacher curls at the gym. Follow her (or periodically revisit) her Instagram account if you don’t already. She completes a few repetitions of preacher curls with her left arm. We see the veins pop out of her skin. We see her bicep grow to its largest possible size. We see it expand and contract. We witness how tired she must be. We empathize with her struggle and admire how she is able to persevere through it. But we also notice how beautifully her bicep “jumps” up as she squeezes the dumbbell close to her chest. It’s as though it’s going to burst open. We are amazed how her skin is able to physically contain so much swollen flesh.

But alas, her muscles are able to expand and contract without her skin peeling open. What a miracle! After she is done with her set, she drops the dumbbell on the floor and flexes for her audience. We now see, in a classic sequence, the simple dynamic of “cause and effect.” We see her lifting weights at the gym. And now we see the results of her years of hard work!

How Miss Fuchs transformed herself into an Angelic Muscle Goddess isn’t a mystery. It’s not a secret. There’s no magic potion that made it happen. It’s all out in the open. The ways and means are as simple as it gets: Hard work, hard work, and more hard work. She has nothing to hide. She also has everything to gain. So do we.

The aforementioned Jay Fuchs.

Jay Fuch’s social media feed, as well as the feeds of hundreds of other beautiful muscular women around the globe, provides a simple yet provocatively arousing look into why some men love muscular women so damn much. “The Moment of Muscle Peak” isn’t just confined to when her muscles are actually at its largest. It’s the exact moment (or moments) when you symbolically get to witness what it is that separates a muscular woman from a “normal looking” woman. It’s the moment when it stops being all fun and games and, as the colloquialism goes, “shit gets real.”

Maybe it’s when Minna Pajulahti is attempting an impressive single deadlift. Or when Lisa Cross finishes her last squat. Perhaps it’s seeing Theresa Ivancik grunt her way toward completing a set of shoulder presses. Or seeing a female Olympic sprinter cross the finish line. Or a lady CrossFit athlete climbing up and down a rope.

It’s the moment when she’s at the peak of her power. When she’s actively doing the hard work necessary to transform herself into a better version of herself. It’s not for show. She’s not showing off for the camera or trying to put on a performance. She doesn’t care if she’s wearing makeup or if she looks “camera ready.” All of that is inconsequential nonsense. The only thing on her mind is finishing her set, breathing steadily, and moving on to the next lift. The rest will take care of itself. She doesn’t care one iota if her hair is unkempt or if she doesn’t quite look like a polished supermodel. After all, when you have muscles that big…who has the right to criticize you?

The Moment of Muscle Peak is when she is at her most unstoppable. It’s when we are helpless to do anything else but witness “true beauty” in action. Unlike a boring and passive Sleeping Beauty, a female bodybuilder busting her tail at the gym is a Wide Awake Muscle Queen Who Refuses to Take Shortcuts and Deserves Her Accolades. She ain’t no princess, sweetheart. She isn’t even a queen, despite the idiomatic expression. Instead, she’s a peasant. She’s Cinderella without the Fairy Godmother granting her temporary “princess status” until the clock strikes midnight.

She’s so damn beautiful because she’s a peasant who earned her regal status not by merely wearing a tiara, but by building up so much muscle on her body that you can’t help but mindlessly stare at her while you struggle to pick up your jaw off the floor.

The biceps on Monique Jones are enough to give me a heart attack.

A female bodybuilder isn’t at her most powerful when she’s got some hapless guy in a headlock or a scissor hold. Nor is she at the height of her authority when she has someone tied to a bed while she squeezes his balls until he begs her to stop. That is, in my humble opinion, a somewhat superficial form of expressing one’s power. Rather, she’s at the height of her power when she’s all alone in the weight room, with sweat dripping down her face, struggling to finish that one final rep before she can’t handle it anymore. Afterward, as she’s breathing hard like a racehorse and chugging down water to help her recover, she’s at her weakest. But in her weakness she finds her strength. She punishes her body so that it can emerge even more powerful than before. She’s drained of her energy for now, but not for very long. Eventually, she’ll refuel and rest up to the point where she can do it all again…this time harder and more strenuously than before.

Female bodybuilders are lone wolves. They aren’t lonely by choice, rather it’s a byproduct of the life they’ve chosen to lead. More often than not, her workouts are not made public. A short 30-second video clip posted on YouTube or Instagram doesn’t do justice to her full training regimen. It’s not even a drop in the bucket. The vast majority of the time she’s all alone at the gym (or at least, she’s all alone in her own personal bubble) away from smartphone cameras or preying eyes. She grinds away for several hours a week in the privacy of her own little world. She spends an inordinate amount of time cooking unglamorous food that tastes the same but plays a crucial role in helping her build muscle mass. She’s constantly reading up on supplementation tips and making valuable contacts – both in-person and online – who can help her succeed at her dream of living life as a bodybuilder.

These lone wolves do have their moment in the spotlight, however. They do compete in bodybuilding shows. They do pose for sexy photo or video shoots. They do meet starry-eyed clients for muscle worship or wrestling sessions. They do walk out in public and see the stunned faces on complete strangers who were not expecting to randomly see a woman with so much muscle. When you’re an entrepreneurial female bodybuilder, it’s impossible to be kept a secret forever.

Muscle goddess Angie Semsch.

But once again, that’s just a drop in the proverbial bucket. The process it takes to be a bodybuilder isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it terribly exciting day-in and day-out. But for those of us who do appreciate the arduous journey it takes to become a Divine Muscle Goddess, we cannot help but stare with our undivided attention as she’s lifting that heavy dumbbell. In that moment, she’s defying gravity, challenging our preconceived notions, and taking one step closer toward reaching her final destination. We can’t always describe why we love watching this; but we do regardless.

The Moment of Muscle Peak, therefore, has two meanings: It’s both the moment when her muscles are at its most swollen and strained; and it’s the moment when she’s at her most empowered. It’s both literal and figurative. When Jay Fuchs is isolating her biceps and lifting that dumbbell toward her beautiful chest, she’s showing us two sides of her personality. One side is her willingness to do the hard work necessary to develop large muscles. The other side is her devotion to striving toward an ideal.

And what is that ideal? She wants to be the best version of herself that she can possibly be. She refuses to settle for anything less than that. And why would she? What would be the point?

As fans of Miss Fuchs and countless others like her, we do not see any other point. Seriously. If you can think of a reason why Jay shouldn’t pursue her personal ideal, you can tell us after we’ve picked up our jaws off the floor.

Oh Behave! The Naughtiness of Liking Muscular Women

Kate Baird makes me want to be naughty.

You know you want to. You know you need to. But there’s a voice inside your head that tells you that you shouldn’t. Or that if you do, something must be “wrong” with you.

Or is it the other way around? Is the fact that society tells you that you shouldn’t actually like a certain thing indicative of the reality that something is wrong with society, not you? It goes with the old saying that “I’m not crazy. Everybody else is!”

Indeed, liking muscular women is something that feels a bit…naughty. Maybe not taboo or morally reprehensible, but mischievous. Like eating a cookie while you’re on a diet or taking a much longer smoke break than is allowed at work, what you’re doing isn’t going to kill anyone or harm anything. But, that doesn’t mean it’s totally 100% innocent. Isn’t there something a bit scandalous about digging the looks of female bodybuilders?

To be truthful, yes there is. But this feeling has very little to do with what “society” says. In today’s world, there isn’t much that isn’t at least somewhat socially acceptable anymore. This is both good and bad, the specifics of the situation dictating which is which. Without question, female bodybuilders are not particular popular or widely accepted as part of our pop culture. But that’s just part of the equation. It’s the very nature of female bodybuilders themselves that explains why it feels so naughty to be turned on by them.

In a nutshell, the argument is this: Muscular women are not supposed to be real, but they are.

Muscular women defy almost every notion we hold about the differences between men and women. Even for the most open minded of us, the sight of a woman with large muscles will make us do a double-take. Even if we question or flat out reject traditional paradigms regarding gender, the presence of muscular women cannot help but throw a monkey wrench into the engine.

Muscular women are rare. So rare, we sometimes don’t believe they actually exist. Of course, we see photos of them on Instagram and bodybuilding magazines, but are they really real? Our brain tells us “yes” but our heart tell us “uh, maybe.”

Milinda Richardson looking fine.

This is why we get butterflies in the stomach moments before meeting a muscular woman for a wrestling or sensual worship session. This is why when we first see her, our minds need a few minutes to fully process what we’re witnessing. This is why when our time with her is over, we feel like we’re in a daze as we ask ourselves the burning question: Did that actually happen?

Well, yes it did happen. Every moment of it was very real. We know that on a gut level, but it can be surreal to experience something that is truly out of the ordinary. And not just extraordinary, but mind boggling as well. Female humans are supposed to be weaker than men. They’re not supposed to be able to bench press 300 pounds, deadlift 350 pounds or squat 400 pounds. But some of them can. And there are plenty of men who cannot. None of this should surprise you if you’re well versed in the world of female bodybuilding. But alas, not all of us are.

But even if you are, it’s still pretty darn jarring to see a cute blonde lady like Minna Pajulahti deadlift like an Olympian weightlifter. Even if you know intellectually that she can do this, it still makes your heart flutter a bit when you get to see it happen right before your eyes.

Those of us who are fans of female bodybuilders are not only keenly aware that our beloved muscle ladies can accomplish amazing feats, it turns us on like nothing else to see them carry out these feats. It’s arousing. It’s exciting. It’s jaw-dropping. It’s unforgettable. It’s forever etched into your memory. It’s like a drug…and lovely Instagram videos of our favorite FBBs showing off their hard work gives us our fix. And like most junkies, we need our fix periodically or else we might go mad.

So, our unexplainable love for muscular women, combined with society not giving these ladies the credit that is due to them, manifests itself in this way: we feel like we’re being naughty.

Not naughty in a moral or ethical sense, but naughty in a giddy schoolboy sense.

This sense of “naughtiness” isn’t quite the same thing as when you snuck dirty magazines into your bedroom and ogled at them late at night. Or when you discovered the art of masturbation and did whatever you could to please yourself as quietly as possible without anyone hearing you. Or when you tried to sneak a peek at the cute girl sitting in front of you in math class without her noticing.

Those feelings of adolescent guilt eventually go away once you reach adulthood. The giddy feeling you get of trying to do mischievous things without mom and dad finding out is very real, but that only lasted for a short while. The naughty feeling you get at being attracted to muscular women doesn’t ever really go away. It doesn’t fade off into the distance or become “normal” after a few years.

Instead, this feeling of impishness is here to stay for the long haul. But unlike actual feelings of guilt – whether borne out of religious convictions or your own personal sense of moral decency – you don’t ever feel the need to apologize for your attitude toward muscular women. You love them to death, no matter what anybody else says. You just don’t feel too comfortable letting the whole world know about it.

Charmaine Patterson is ready to go to the beach!

Perhaps that’s the core issue at play here. For the vast majority of us, our love for female bodybuilders, wrestlers, athletes, and fitness models are kept secret, or at the very least publicly restrained. We don’t go around announcing to the Universe that we love women with big muscles or women who can easily kick our ass. We obviously feel these things in private, but we very rarely dare to ever say these things out loud.

The reasons for this are not complicated, nor do they need to be rehashed here. What is worth talking about is the fact that deep down inside, we actually relish the idea that our fetishes aren’t mainstream – or at least not yet. There’s something rebellious about being a female muscle fan. But not rebellious in an “I’m-going-to-shove-it-in-your-face kind of way,” but instead in an “I-don’t-need-to-justify-myself-to-anyone-in-public” sort of way. We love female muscle, but we feel no need to shout it from the mountaintops.

Unlike other forms of social rebellion (like getting a face tattoo or dying your armpit hair pink), it doesn’t matter to us if anybody else knows that we love big muscular women. So we’re not rebelling for the sake of rebelling. We’re rebelling because, well, that’s sort of the way it is. We’re not intentionally being contrary. We’re not aiming to go against the grain and defy social norms. We just happen to be doing those things by happenstance. It’s more of a happy accident than an intentional choice.

So this is why our feeling of being naughty is more fun than degrading. There isn’t an Atlas-style burden of guilt being thrust upon our shoulders that we must harbor for all eternity. Loving muscular women is awesome, alluring, and astounding. It just isn’t something that we need to make public. It’s not something we share across Facebook or Instagram. We don’t discuss it at the dinner table or around the water cooler during our lunch break. We’re fans…quietly.

Being a quiet fan can be odd, indeed. It can be interpreted as being embarrassed about being into certain things, just like the high school jock may not want to also admit that he has an ample stamp collection. Or the popular cheerleader who also attends knitting seminars on the weekends. Or anybody with even an ounce of self-respect who admits to actually liking Nickelback’s music.

And there is definitely a significant amount of truth to that. It’s a bit strange for a guy (or gal) to be attracted to a woman who can deadlift 400 pounds or squat like an NFL offensive lineman. But that doesn’t quite cut to the heart of the matter. There’s something else going on here below the surface. There must be the element of naughtiness that relishes the fact that one is being naughty. In a funny sort of way it makes you feel somewhat superior.

This is not to imply that guys who love muscular women are more enlightened, intelligent, and cultured than guys who do not (although that is most likely true!). This is to imply that we receive a unique thrill from knowing that if anybody would find out that we love what we love, that person wouldn’t look at us the same way. Or maybe, this person might actually secretly love the same thing! They were just too embarrassed to admit it to anyone. All they needed was someone else to break the ice and make it more “socially acceptable” to talk about this topic.

Whenever I read and exchange emails with fans of my blog, I get the sense they feel relief knowing that they’re communicating with someone who also “gets it.” We’re both in the same boat. We may not be into all the same fetishes, but we’re in agreement with the basics of female muscle fandom even if our kinky interests don’t fully align. I may not be into wrestling quite like you are, but I understand why you dig it. And you don’t have to worry about me judging you harshly. Because I won’t!

It’s okay to admit that you’re really turned on by Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

Likewise, rarely will anyone send me a nasty message demanding I explain why I harbor such subversive thoughts. More often than not, my correspondence with folks tends to be jovial, pleasant, and productive. Like I said before, they feel a sense of liberation knowing they’re talking with someone who gets where they’re coming from. In fact, my blog might help them understand why they feel the way they feel in ways they could not articulate before.

It’s fun to be naughty, isn’t it? But more than that, it’s fun being a female muscle fan in general.

One other aspect of female muscle fandom that cannot be understated is how we tend to embrace the secretiveness of our fetishes. Remember in grade school when you created secret handshakes, passwords, and playground clubs with your buddies? These “secret clubs” didn’t really amount much to anything, but that wasn’t the point. If you and your best friend had a personalized handshake that only the two of you knew about, most of the kids around you didn’t care at all. But that didn’t stop you from having one.

So why did you do such things in secret?

It’s because you loved being someone with “insider knowledge” about something that everybody else was completely oblivious to. It harkens back to our feelings of superiority that I talked about earlier. Human beings love keeping secrets not because the secrets you kept were necessarily important per se, but because you loved the feeling that you knew something that nobody else did. And that feeling makes you seem powerful.

For example, in the BDSM subculture a popular practice is for couples to engage in their submission play while in public…without making it too obvious. A man might ask his wife to wear a butt plug while they go out for dinner at a fancy restaurant. A woman might force her husband to wear a cock ring around his penis while they meet friends for happy hour drinks. There’s an irresistibly naughty feeling that comes with doing something scandalous in the privacy of your own mind without anybody else knowing about it. Only you (and your partner) know about it and the innocent elderly couple sitting right next to you has absolutely no idea that anything “dirty” is happening in their proximity. And that’s the way it’s supposed to happen. That’s what makes it fun.

Thai fitness goddess Alita Pear.

Likewise, those of us who love muscular women cherish the fact that we keep it secret. I’d even go as far as to suggest that there’s a small part of us that wishes that female bodybuilding doesn’t ever go mainstream.

Really? Is that true? It can be, yes. Like hipsters who hate it when their favorite band become popular with the larger culture, I’m willing to guess that deep down inside there are lots of us who don’t want FBBs to become as popular as MMA fighters or NASCAR drivers. We sort of like them as being perpetual underdogs. We like that they’re not famous. We feel indignant – in a good way – when people write nasty comments about them in online chat forums. Perhaps we’re secretly afraid that if FBBs were to become “mainstream” our love for them might dissipate.

Or maybe that’s total BS. Whatever. Even if you could imagine a scenario where female bodybuilders reach a point of becoming mainstream pop culture celebrities, would a tiny part of your soul become crushed knowing everyone is jumping on the FBB bandwagon when you’ve been riding this train for years and years? Then it’ll no longer be naughty. It’ll become mundane and boring. That would be a tragedy.

Or perhaps not. Regardless, without a doubt there’s a part of our psyche that doesn’t want this naughtiness to go away. We want to feel like we’re part of an exclusive club that we can’t talk about out loud but will intently defend to our dying breath. That fluttering of our heart gives us life, even if we don’t know why. We can’t explain it. But we love it like nothing else. In that respect, we’ll keep stealing cookies from the cookie jar even if we’re the only ones telling us we shouldn’t.