The Scantily Clad but Not Quite Nude Female Bodybuilder

Cindy is such a tease.

Is it possible for a female bodybuilder to be more beautiful than when she’s nude?

After all, it’s when we are able to see her in her full glory. Nothing hidden from view. Everything she has laid out bare. All her hard work, sacrifices, perfections, imperfections, and insecurities out in the open. She is vulnerable, yet invulnerable at the same time.

Being nude is a female bodybuilder’s natural state. That isn’t to say that all female bodybuilders are also nudists, however. “Nudism” is a cultural movement that seeks to advocate for and normalize nude social activities. That’s a separate thing unrelated to our discussion here. What we’re talking about is that in order for someone to see a female bodybuilder for who she really is, one must look at her when she’s naked. From head to toe. Then, you can see who she really is. This is when her true identity comes out.

Every curve, every muscle fiber, every square inch of her uniquely structured body on full display. She is hiding nothing because there is nothing to hide. She isn’t ashamed to reveal her life’s work, her masterpiece, her artistry. She is an artist and her body is her canvas.

Yet, that is not always when a female bodybuilder is at her most alluring. As strange as this may sound, an FBB might be at her most intriguing when she’s scantily clad – but not quite nude.

Uh, what?

Now, this may sound crazy. Okay, it flat out sounds crazy. But don’t tune out quite yet. Think of it this way:

Throughout the history of humankind, the practice of wearing clothes has almost been universal. Some primitive cultures that exist in hot tropical environments may not wear very much, but they at least cover up the “essentials.” But by and large, you get the idea. All people wear clothes most of the time – at least in public. You don’t need to be a literal believer in the Adam and Eve story to understand this.

Africa Carey (a.k.a. Coco Crush) showing us just enough of her immaculate beauty.

The Book of Genesis notwithstanding, the tendency to wear clothes is based on the assumption that the human body isn’t meant to be seen in full. And it’s not just because it’s cold in the winter. Nudity implies sexuality, even though the two are not synonymous. Nudity exposes genitals, which is central to reproductive activities. Enthusiasts of nudism (or naturism) would vehemently argue that there is nothing inherently sexual or dirty about the human body, even in nude form. That’s certainly debatable, but we cannot ignore that from our society’s point of view, nudity and sexuality are intimately intertwined.

Try not to visualize the words “intimately intertwined.”

So, we’ve decided that the taboo associated with nudity is both understandable and probably, if we’re being honest here, justified. Maybe not completely justified, but justified enough that we’d feel really, really uncomfortable if we learned that our kid’s kindergarten teacher took off her own bra during a makeshift anatomy lesson. That would be weird. Very weird.

But there are definitely variations of nudity that must be acknowledged. Nudity is a continuum, not a black or white matter. On one end of the spectrum we have someone wearing a hazmat suit, ready to clean up after an unfortunate nuclear spill. On the other end we have drunk college kids parading around the street naked in preparation for Mardi Gras. And everything in between. Let’s talk for a moment about what exists in the middle.

Generally speaking, what is the most amount of nudity a person can show in public and not get arrested for indecent exposure? For both men and women, it’s covering up the genitals. For women, it’s also covering up the nipples. Bare butts are discouraged, but acceptable depending on where you are specifically.

Cancun on spring break? Get cheeky with it.

Wading through a public pool at the senior center? Eh, don’t stick out too much if you can avoid it. For everyone’s sake.

God bless America, Kati Alander.

Alright, so no genitals, no bare butts (for the most part), and no female nipples. Got it. Is this fair? Probably not, but it is what it is. At least, this is the way it is for now. There is a hashtag trending on social media called #FreeTheNipple that’s being used to protest Facebook and Instagram’s policy of censoring female nipples. The argument is that if men are allowed to show their nipples without punishment, then women should be allowed the same courtesy. It remains to be seen how effective this awareness campaign will be.

But at the end of the day, this isn’t really a discussion about social standards. This is more about what we find to be erotically pleasing versus what will or will not land us in jail for a night.

Here’s a strange question: What’s more erotic, a nude female bodybuilder or a female bodybuilder wearing sexy lingerie?

Hm. This may seem obvious at first, but later it gets complicated the more you think about it. Yes, a fully nude female bodybuilder is a fantastic sight to see. That same FBB wearing lingerie or a bikini isn’t the same because you don’t see all of her. You see most of her, but not everything. She’s scantily clad, but not quite nude. Yet, as odd as this sounds, the latter is much more intriguing than the former.

A female bodybuilder wearing lingerie, a negligee, a bikini, shorts and gym bra, a towel, a cocktail dress, a blanket draped over her body, or her own hands covering up certain parts intrigues us because we see enough to get a great idea of what she looks like without getting the satisfaction of seeing everything she has to offer. We see her curves, musculature, striations, bulging mounds of flesh, and deep grooves. We see how hard she must work day-in and day-out to attain and maintain that physique. We see her sacrifices. We see her dedication on full display. However, we don’t see the intimate parts of her that she’s chosen not to reveal. And that point cannot be emphasized enough: she’s choosing to not reveal certain parts of her. And that’s perfectly okay, no matter how frustrating it may be for the rest of us.

Maybe she’s covering up certain parts of her because she doesn’t want to get censored or kicked off certain social media platforms. Or for her, full nudity is a bridge too far. The best example of this is Cindy Landolt. Cindy is one of the most beautiful women on planet Earth. She’s stunning. She’s absolutely gorgeous. She’s flawless. She’s a perfect demonstration that muscles do not compromise a woman’s femininity. In fact, muscles can enhance your femininity. For Cindy, her curvy muscles exemplify her feminine identity.

I cannot stop staring at Kim Birtch’s piercing eyes.

Cindy does not do full nudity. Ever. At least, not yet. And that is 100 percent her choice. She can choose to never ever show us her nipples or genitals. As much as we fans want her to “go all the way,” it’s her right to not do that. She is under no obligation to do so. No matter how much we beg her, if she stands firm and goes her entire career without going full nude, we just have to live with it. And we have no reason to feel slighted by her. She showcases her beauty in plenty of other ways. Her contribution to the world speaks for itself. Period.

In a way, Cindy’s choice to never do graphic nudity works to her advantage. It’s a “Holy Grail” of sort that her fans will clamor for as long as they live. It keeps our imaginations running wild. It teases us. Our hormones go into overdrive fantasizing about what Miss Landolt really looks like. Are her nipples long? Pink or brown? What does her clit look like? Is it large like Denise Masino’s clit, or is it normal-sized?

We will never know. Only Cindy’s lover knows. And he is one hell of a lucky guy!

Our continual fascination with Cindy’s mysterious bits makes her that much more alluring. It makes her seem otherworldly. We know she’s a real-life human being, but in the back of our minds we still suspect she’s either a robot constructed from an FBB fan’s wildest dreams or an animated “deep fake” character illustrated by a basement full of horny guys. The same goes for any FBB who chooses to forego full nudity.

It makes them appear more “classy.” That isn’t to say that FBBs – or any model, for that matter – who proudly show us everything God has given them are classless or filthy. They still deserve our respect and admiration. Angela Salvagno isn’t trashy because she leaves nothing to the imagination while Minna Pajulahti keeps things more guarded. Both women are beautiful. Both are unbelievably sexy. Both are irresistible. One chooses to share her intimate parts with the world while the other sticks to keeping things PG-13. Nothing wrong with either choice.

But getting back to our more “modest” FBBs, not only do they let our imaginations run wild and keep us begging for more, they inadvertently make us view them as pieces of art rather than pieces of meat. That isn’t to say that those who choose to go full nude in photoshoots and videos are deserving of ridicule, judgement, or rudeness. Quite the contrary. No one deserves dehumanizing treatment, regardless of their life’s choices. But there is something to be said about an FBB who selectively reveals her body. She knows her body is a work of art and she’s deliberate on how patrons of her art view it.

By showing us just enough but not everything, it leaves us begging for more. It leaves our appetites fulfilled, but not satiated. We will continuously come back, hoping that today is the day when we get to experience everything we want to experience. And even if we go home empty handed, we can still be counted on to come back the next day.

The Scantily Clad But Not Quite Nude Female Bodybuilder is both a tease and a skilled strategist. She toys with her captive audience like an experienced burlesque performer. She flaunts just enough without giving her fans so much that they start to devalue her. This is a key point: FBBs who deny you full nudity are taking a stand. Maybe it’s a principled stand or perhaps it’s a moral one. Regardless, they know that if they “give in” and provide the public everything they ever wanted, deep down inside these fans will think differently about her…whether they know it or not.

Fair or unfair, as mentioned before we as a society associate nudity with sexuality. And sexuality is directly connected with reproduction, then pregnancy, and then motherhood. By being scantily clad, an FBB is challenging us to not think of her as a sex object, but instead as an athlete. After all, she’s showing us all we need to see: her big muscles. Do we actually need to see anything else?

Alina Popa has huge, beautifully sculpted muscles. I don’t need to see what her nipples or clit looks like. Those parts of her body are mutually exclusive from her biceps, triceps, forearms, back, shoulders, abdomen, glutes, quads, and calves. She proudly puts those parts of her on full display. I can clearly see how impressive her physique is without seeing her intimate parts.

Does Nat Rochner show up at the gym looking like this?

Heck, just pay attention to the language we use to describe an FBB’s body: We like looking at her glutes, not her butt. The word “butt” has a sexual connotation. “Glutes” does not. See the difference?

I already know everything I need to know about Cindy Landolt’s physique. Would I love to see more of her? Well, yes. But it’s not necessary. Her identity is set in stone. She’s a gorgeous feminine woman with big strong muscles. Period. I don’t need to see her private parts in order to sufficiently come up with that conclusion. All the evidence I need is already right there before me.

In other words, by de-emphasizing an FBB’s sexuality, we are fully able to see her for who she really is: a world-class athlete. That isn’t to say that we can’t see her as both a world-class athlete and as a sex object, but the latter has a pernicious way of overshadowing the former.

A female bodybuilder who shows us enough but not everything may not be intentional about this, but I’d wager a guess that she is. Many FBBs don’t want to be sex objects. They don’t think of themselves as strippers or porn stars. They identify as athletes first and everything else second. There’s nothing wrong with that. By wearing a simple bikini, I can see all her muscles and hard work on display. I don’t need the bikini to come off. If it does, I’m definitely not going to complain (obviously!), but it’s not essential. Her modesty – or lack of modesty – is her choice, not mine.

To conclude, a scantily clad female bodybuilder may not be sexier than a fully nude female bodybuilder, but that’s beside the point. The actual point is that how she chooses to present herself is an intentional strategy meant to influence how we view her. Whatever her reasons are for not going “all the way,” we will be left wanting more. Begging for more. Perhaps one day she’ll give us what we want, or maybe that day will never come. Either way, what happens is up to her.

I still stand by my original assessment that a female bodybuilder’s natural state is being nude. Nothing has changed. But this is more practical than philosophical. I’d love to see every single one of my favorite FBBs in their birthday suits. A few I have. Many I have not. While nude is how to best experience an FBB’s body, it’s not a requirement to learning how to appreciate her. What she allows us to see is sufficient, no matter how frustrated that makes us feel. If she wants us to know that she’s a strong, independent woman who takes risks, lives life to the fullest, and doesn’t care what her haters have to say, we can see that whether she’s wearing underwear, gym attire, jeans and tee-shirt, a sweatshirt, or nothing at all.

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She Belongs in a Museum

Rachelle Carter belongs in a museum.

Female bodybuilders are both athletes and artists. Personally, I consider them to be more artists than athletes, but that’s just me. Of course, that isn’t to minimize their athletic prowess or their belonging in the world of competitive sports. It’s more of a reflection of how I perceive their modus operandi.

They build their bodies to look a certain way. They lift, eat, hydrate, supplement, rest, and strategically plan their lives in such a way to achieve their desired look. This is why I consider them to be artists. Mozart had his symphony. Picasso had his canvases. Hemingway had his typewriter. Scorsese has his camera. Female bodybuilders have their bodies.

Their bodies are their canvases. It’s a blank slate. A sheet music with no notes. A film stock with no pictures. A chapel ceiling with no paint. A chorus with no conductor. They are in charge of their own destinies. No one will give them what they want. That’s not possible (yet). You can’t go to a plastic surgeon and ask them to give you large muscles. You can’t purchase a muscular physique on Amazon. You can’t cheat your way to the top. Yes, even with steroids. Human growth hormones won’t automatically give you large bulging muscles. You still need to put in the hard work at the gym to obtain them. And keep going back in order to maintain them. Or else they go away like winter snow when spring arrives.

She can choose to be as large as a world-class bodybuilder. Or she can be as slender as a fitness model. Either way, it’s her choice. And which reality comes to pass is entirely up to her. Using “bad genetics” as an excuse is just that. An excuse. And a bad one at that.

But I’ve already written about this. Nothing about this is new. We all know female bodybuilders are artists. We all know their bodies are art. We all know that we’re patrons of that art.

Here’s a cool fantasy I’ve thought about a lot recently. Perhaps many of you have too. Here’s what it looks like:

Imagine you’re a wealthy philanthropist. You’ve assembled hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of wealth during your eventful lifetime. It doesn’t matter how. Maybe you’re a tech CEO. Or a lucky investor. Who cares. One day, you get a brilliant idea. You want to sponsor an art exhibit at a local museum. Or better yet, open up your own museum, perhaps in a makeshift environment like an abandoned office building or factory.

But you don’t want to showcase paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, or multimedia installations. No, that’s too old school. Too basic. Too…mundane. Been there, done that. Yawn. Instead, you want to display human bodies. And not just any kind of human body: Human female bodies. And not just any kind of human female bodies. You want to feature muscular female bodies.

Real muscular female bodies.

In various forms of dress. And undress.

But, uh, mostly undress.

Imagine thirty or so nude female bodybuilders standing around in a large room. Women of all races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and sizes. Some are posing. A few others are lying down. Others are dancing. One or two are masturbating. You might even catch a glimpse of two FBBs making love to each other. These ladies are standing on the ground, on a dais, on a bed, suspended above ground on wires, and so on. Some are doing explicitly sexual activities, while others are simply showing off their hard work. No matter what, you cannot help but be enthralled by what you’re witnessing. It’s not every day that you get to see this much female muscle in one central location!

Hey! No taking pictures on your phone! Unless you’re Cindy Landolt, of course.

The rules are simple: no touching, no taking pictures on your phone, and do not try to conduct a conversation with any of them. They won’t talk back. You can only look with your eyes. Drink in the moment. Experience what you need to experience. Leave a changed person.

And like most “radical” art, this exhibit is supposed to shock you. It’s provocative. Sensual. Alluring. Unforgettable. Unsubtle. In-your-face. Subversive. Erotic. Educational. And of course, unapologetically sexy. Very sexy. Almost too sexy.

Many people have seen photos of female bodybuilders in old sports magazines or TV documentaries. But few have been in the same room as one. And the experience will certainly be an eye-opener. You will not believe that such women can be real. No Photoshop or Hollywood-grade CGI are at play here. None of that. It’s all real. As real as it can get. Get used to it.

For fans of female bodybuilders, it’s a shame that our favorite ladies aren’t more prominently celebrated by our culture. They aren’t as “seen” as we’d like them to be. We love female bodybuilders but have limited opportunities to demonstrate that love. But more than that, we want FBBs to feel empowered, appreciated, and visible. They’ve worked their whole lives and made numerous sacrifices to look the way they look. One does not get hypermuscular by accident. It’s not a coincidence. You only look like that if you make a concerted effort to look like that. You have to expend blood, sweat, and tears over the course of several years to become that swollen. It takes pain – both physical and psychological – to achieve that level of muscularity. For women, it probably takes more labor and toil to get that big compared to their male counterparts. Life isn’t fair, kids.

So, it’s only fitting that they receive the chance to show off their hard work for an audience that might not necessarily want to see them. It’s one thing for a sympathetic audience to appreciate you. It’s quite another for an unexpected audience – or even one that’s pessimistic – to regard your body of work. And “body of work” should be interpreted literally, not just figuratively. The people who visit this art exhibit know theoretically what they’re getting themselves into, but they can’t truly comprehend what it’s like to see a muscular woman up-close until it actually happens.

The experience of looking at a muscular woman should be audacious. Exploitative. Daring. Bold. Offensive. It’s a powerful experience made more memorable by the fact that such sculpted women are so rare in our world. You don’t see women who look like Brigita Brezovac walking down the street every day. Heck, you may never in your life encounter a woman who looks like her. But if you are lucky enough to be able to, I can guarantee you will remember it for the rest of your existence.

One exhibit should feature Larissa Reis posing exactly like this.

Whenever I have the privilege of meeting a female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session, inevitably there’s going to be a moment during our time together when I think to myself “she belongs in a museum.” I may even tell her that. It’s a natural reaction when you’re in the throes of touching her hard, curvy body in the most appreciative and intimate manner possible. A point I’ve made before that bears repeating is the fact that for most highly accomplished people, their impressive accomplishments are not immediately obvious. For example, you could be sitting on the bus or at a coffee shop or at the library and for all you know the random person sitting next to you is a world-class violinist. Or expert astronomer. Or well-respected heart surgeon. Or once appeared as an extra in a James Bond movie or an episode of Game of Thrones. Or served in the military many years ago and came within a few inches of assassinating Osama bin Laden long before 9/11. Or someone who hosts a podcast that gets two million downloads a month. Or someone who once played the bass for a famous band during one forgettable summer concert.

Regardless, for these highly accomplished people, you can’t really tell what their accomplishments are unless you ask them. Or if they volunteer that information to you. But for a female bodybuilder – and male bodybuilders too – her accomplishments are right out in the open. It’s plain for all to see. It’s embedded onto every fiber of her body. Her artistic achievement isn’t just on her body (like a tattoo artist), but it is her body. Her body is her art. Her art is her body. And for that reason, she definitely belongs in a museum.

But more than that, the sight of a muscular woman elicits a different emotional reaction than seeing a muscular man. By and large, our society is conditioned to not think of a muscular man as being unusual. We know that guys who look shredded like an NFL linebacker are still statistically rare, but seeing a fellow like that up close and personal isn’t something that will make you stop dead in your tracks. Seeing a muscular woman, on the other hand, will make your jaw drop to the floor. As it should.

The sight of a muscular woman makes some people feel disgusted. Or insecure. Or inadequate. Or confused. Or aroused. Or angry. Anger can be a byproduct of insecurity – or a method for disguising one’s insecurity. Seeing a muscular woman distorts our reality and causes cognitive dissonance. We are unable to process what we’re seeing precisely because we rarely ever get to see something like this. Our brains hurt because our brains are processing new information. Women are supposed to be small and dainty. Guys are supposed to be large and buff. But to see a woman with muscle mass that surpasses that of your typical gym bro dude…that visual subversion creates psychological conflict in our minds. Conflict that makes us feel strong feelings. Feelings we cannot easily explain or articulate into words.

Another features Julie Ann Kulla sitting on a bed looking exactly like this.

For misogynists who don’t like strong women – “strong” both in the physical and emotional sense – seeing a muscular woman in the flesh feels like a sledgehammer being smashed into their toxic narrowmindedness. It’s a harsh reminder that their limited understanding of the world is probably a product of their own internal self-hatred. They hate strong women because they themselves are weak, feeble, and hopeless. They’re projecting their own inadequacies onto highly accomplished women who’ve done things they can only dream of doing. Female bodybuilders challenge in the most explicit way possible the notion that women are destined to be the “weaker sex” and that men own a monopoly on strength. Men do not, as it turns out, own any such claim.

I don’t want to suggest that guys who love female bodybuilders are more enlightened, intelligent, and socially progressive than those who do not. In all seriousness, there might be a small sliver of truth to that, but overall the love of FBBs can be politically neutral. I do believe, however, that guys who love FBBs are probably less sexist and hateful than guys who are genuinely disgusted by them. But I could be wrong about that.

But let’s return to my hypothetical situation involving the female muscle museum exhibit. Imagine being a sexist loser who is forced to walk through this room full of strong ladies. Everywhere you look, there are women with bigger muscles than you. They’re happier, more powerful, and more beloved than you’ll ever be. Do you react with bitterness, or a renewed commitment to becoming a better person? I sure hope it’s the latter, not the former. In this respect, this female muscle showcase can be a much-needed wake up call. A reminder that being angry does not make you righteous. That hating someone is less an indication of who they are and more a reflection of who you are. That you can become a better person if you choose to work on who you are. That you are not destined to be a loser for the rest of your life.

Siska Bossert looking like a chiseled sculpture. Because she is!

Beautiful female bodies deserve to be seen. Female bodybuilders deserve more visibility, a larger share of the pie of our nation’s multimedia landscape. And I write this not out of a sense of self-serving fetishism, but out of a belief that muscular women can change the world. They can alter our perspectives. They can inspire us to become better people. They can force us to reevaluate our own prejudices and dedicate our lives to self-improvement.

Because female bodybuilders are beautiful. Because female bodybuilders are awe-inspiring. Because female bodybuilders have the potential to break the chains of hatred and foment the foundations of progress. Because of this, there’s no doubt that…

…she belongs in a museum.

So pay your ticket, stand in line, and prepare to have your eyes, heart, and imagination opened. You might just like what you see.

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Exploit Me: The Exploitative Nature of Female Bodybuilders

Exploitation - Denise Masino

Denise Masino exploits every single one of my deepest and darkest fantasies.

Sometimes, all we want is to be exploited.

Not “exploited” in a materially oppressive sense, but exploited in a sensory/emotional/aesthetic sense.

Beginning in the 1960s – although film historians would argue it actually began earlier – a new genre of moviemaking emerged in our pop culture: exploitation films.

Exploitation films took different forms, but the basic purpose was the same: allow viewers to vicariously experience outrageous, hideous, graphic, taboo, or socially unacceptable content in cinematic form. The genre could be horror, action, science fiction, comedy, erotica, or satire. Regardless, you watched those movies – and still do – not for the storytelling, artistry, or critical accolades. You watched them because they made you feel naughty and you secretly loved feeling naughty.

Or, they made you feel emotions that you rarely get to feel in real life: Fear, dread, sexual arousal, disgust, giddiness, catharsis, and so on. Whether we love slasher horror flicks, softcore porn with gratuitous nudity, or ultraviolent action movies that generously bends the rules of physics, these movies are short on plot and character development but rich in shock value.

Popular titles include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pink Flamingos, Shaft, Foxy Brown, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Cannibal Holocaust, I Spit on Your Grave, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Isla: She Wolf of the SS, and many other titles too numerous (or distasteful) to mention. Note that not all of these movies are alike. Some are splatter horror movies that intend to make you sick to your stomach while others are sexually titillating flicks meant to “get a rise out of you”…if you get my meaning.

There are also a few mainstream films that have won critical acclaim and Oscars that could be included in this list. The Exorcist and A Clockwork Orange immediately come to mind.

Exploitation entertainment is the direct descendent of pulp novels known as “penny dreadfuls” that emerged in the United Kingdom in the 19th century. Ghastly and forbidden stories were passed around inconspicuously to curious people desperate for that tingling sensation that comes from being naughty. They exploited our dark and dirty imaginations in ways few “mainstream” literature could. Their cheapness made it all the better. You can’t feel too guilty about sinning when it only cost you a single penny to sin!

Exploitation - Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

All of this is setup for a comparison that may seem strange at first but makes complete sense when you think more about it. In a previous post about Yvette Bova, I likened her to an exploitation film. Her brashness, uncompromising style, unapologetic attitude toward her body and sexuality, and enthusiasm for participating in hardcore porn make her peerless in the world of female bodybuilding. Many FBBs will do porn. But few will do it with as much gusto as her. She doesn’t hold back. She goes all in.

If Nataliya Kuznetsova is the “Human Photoshop Illusion,” then Yvette Bova is the “Human Exploitation Film.” She does it all. Yvette indulges our fantasies in the dirtiest ways possible. It can be gross at times, but we cannot look away. And once one of her nasty videos come to an end…we do not hesitate to wait for the next one to autoplay.

But I’ve spent enough time examining Miss Bova. Let’s talk about female bodybuilders in general. In a strange way, female bodybuilders as a whole are exploitative in nature. Even to those who aren’t “into” female bodybuilders but are still fascinated by them nevertheless. Think of the laundry list of thoughts and feelings FBBs can elicit out of us:

  • Arousal
  • Disgust
  • Confusion
  • Intrigue
  • Lust
  • Horror
  • Surprise
  • Curiosity
  • Perplexity
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Obsession
  • Excitement
  • Nervousness
  • Insecurity
  • Embarrassment
  • Humiliation
  • Defensiveness
  • Hopefulness
  • Inspiration
  • Giddiness
  • Absentmindedness
  • Envy
  • Motivation
  • Coarseness
  • Passion

Whew. Female bodybuilders provoke strong emotional reactions out of people, regardless of how you actually feel about them. FBB fans and haters alike cannot help feel strong feelings when they see images of muscular women in action. However, this discussion really centers around the thoughts and emotions that are more positive in nature.

Generally speaking, there are very few “casual” female bodybuilder fans. Most FBB lovers are fanatical in their devotion to their beloved ladies. We get that same tingly feeling rushing up our spines every single time we scroll through our favorite FBB’s Instagram feed. We ceaselessly search for new photos and videos to satisfy our appetites. We need our “daily fix” of muscular women as if we were junkies. These behaviors certainly fit the definition of fanatical.

Exploitation - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

However, for many of us this is not enough. Sometimes, we need something more. Something stronger. Something more extreme. Something that will satiate our darkest fantasies. Something way more exploitative than we’d normally experience.

It’s one thing to see yet another photo of Cindy Landolt strutting around in sexy lingerie. It’s quite another to watch Brandi Mae Akers give two guys a hand job at the same time before both of them spurt all over her face. The former arouses us. The latter makes us feel dirty. Heck, it may not even turn us on in a traditional sense. Instead, our experience of watching Brandi Mae act filthy for the camera is pure entertainment. Not porn, but entertainment. Porn only exists to sexually arouse us. Entertainment exists to amuse our senses.

Cindy is art. Brandi Mae is smut. This isn’t a criticism, but rather an observation. Miss Akers isn’t trying to appeal to our classy high-brow sensibilities. She’s only interested in making our blood boil to the point that we really need some “alone time” by ourselves to, uh, relieve the pressure. There’s nothing inherently wrong with smut if that’s what one wants to achieve. There’s also nothing wrong with watching a Peter Jackson film festival that features both The Lord of the Rings and Bad Taste. Two completely different movies. The same director. It boggles the mind.

But even the non-smutty FBBs who prefer to keep it modest are still able to elicit strong reactions out of us. Women like Karen Zaremba, Deidre Pagnanelli, Monica Brant, and Shawn Tan have kept things fairly clean over the years. They may do some nudity – or none at all – in photoshoots that are intentionally sexy, but they try to maintain an air of classiness all throughout. Whether an FBB chooses to keep it clean or forego any façade of decency, one cannot deny the enthralling allure these ladies emanate.

That intoxicating allure can only be satiated by having our thoughts, emotions, and fantasies exploited. So, what is it about female bodybuilders in particular that cause us to react this way?

Exploitation - Foxy Brown

The biggest reason is that female bodybuilders, just by being who they are, are so taboo. They don’t even have to try to be taboo. That’s just who they naturally are. A woman with big muscles goes contrary to everything to think we know about men, women, gender roles, biology, culture, and history. Yet, there is a (regrettably) small number of women in this world who dare to break that mold.

Female bodybuilders challenge our perceptions of what women can achieve. If we think they’re always the “weaker sex,” Alina Popa is ready to take you to school. If you think women with muscles look gross, Shannon Courtney will gladly shift your paradigm so fast it’ll register on the Richter scale. For straight men, FBBs challenge our masculinity. They stab a dagger right into our fragile sense of superiority. They prove we are not destined to be the dominant sex and that hard work (and laziness) matter more than genetics. These assaults on our undeserved sense of supremacy can either make us feel insecure or angry. Or both. Regardless, these are strong emotions. And strangely enough, strong emotions have an odd way of turning us on.

Taking our masculine identities out of the equation, FBBs just seem like they’re bigger than life. And not just in a literal sense. Their strength, power, magnetism, personalities, and physical abilities seem superhuman. As if FBBs aren’t actually real – they’re really comic book characters manufactured in a Hollywood studio. But alas, FBBs are very real. And very beautiful. And mind-blowing. Once again, these are strong emotional responses.

As I wrote in a previous blog article about The Scarcity Principle, the fact FBBs are a rare breed also adds to their appeal. In short, we tend to value commodities that are in short supply more than ones that are in abundance. We look forward to holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving precisely because they only happen once a year. If every day were Halloween, dressing up in silly costumes and eating candy would lose its appeal. The fact we have to wait an entire year makes the heart grow fonder, as the old saying goes. Likewise, female bodybuilders are not a dime a dozen. It is extremely unusual to see a woman with big muscles under any circumstances. But when you do, you intuitively gain a deep appreciation for the experience because you know it’ll be a while until you get to experience it again.

Exploitation - Brandi Mae Akers

Brandi Mae Akers is pure smut. And that’s a compliment, not an insult.

The taboo nature of FBBs combined with basic human psychology explain why muscular women are able to exploit our senses like they do. In a world where sexuality has become so commercialized and manufactured that it’s become boring, we deep down inside crave something more raw, audacious, electrifying, and challenging. Female bodybuilders check off every single one of those boxes.

Scroll back up to that long list of emotions that FBBs are able to elicit out of us. Can you say the same for yet another photospread of a nameless and ultimately forgettable plastic surgery-enhanced Instagram model? Maybe a few of them, but certainly not most of them.

This is because female bodybuilders are not just “beautiful” in the traditional sense of that word. Many are definitely beautiful in a conventional manner, but their appeal goes well beyond that. FBBs are not for the simpleminded or faint of heart. They assault our senses and challenge our preconceived beliefs. One cannot simply look upon an FBB flexing her muscles and say “meh.” A million thoughts will start to race through your mind. You’ll get a jolt of energy that reinvigorates your soul. Certain deeply held fantasies will suddenly pop into your head that you never consciously knew you wanted to experience. You’ll want to scream from the rooftops your newfound love for muscular women for all to hear. You don’t care who knows it or what they think of you afterward.

These reactions are common for many people who love FBBs. Not everyone will feel the same way all the time, but that doesn’t have to be the case. A common theme emerges that we cannot ignore: In an increasingly dull and formulaic world, we secretly crave something that will reawaken our senses and make us feel uniquely alive.

Exploited, even.

A Most Magnificent Body of Work – Part Four of Five

Cindy Landolt possesses a most magnificent body of work herself.

Continued from part three

“I knew I had no chance of winning,” Jonathan begins. “But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have run for office. I don’t regret doing something I knew wouldn’t work out.”

By now, the shock that the mystery man is none other than Jonathan Westmore has mostly worn off. Deborah is almost finished with her dinner and probably hasn’t spent a single moment looking away at her handsome host. She’s lost in his deep blue eyes, still fantasizing about what it will be like to share a bed with him – the realization that they will (most likely) make love soon hit her like a ton of bricks – for the entire evening. She smiles and nods, not in a condescending way, but in a genuinely captivated way.

“You gave people hope that we can have more options. Our elections don’t have to be just between two people nobody actually likes,” she observes. “That’s an accomplishment unto itself, trust me!”

He chuckles and drinks the rest of his wine. Deborah quickly glances outside, noticing the sun slowly setting in the distance. Wow, has time flown by that fast?

“Hope. That’s a funny thing. I’ve never put much value into that. I prefer to take action, not sit around and wait for somebody else to do it instead,” he says. And with that, Jonathan runs his finger up and down Deborah’s swollen right bicep, tickling the vein running down the middle. She feels her heart flutter a little. Maintaining her composure, Deborah lays her napkin on top of her plate, drinks the rest of her wine, and stares at her dashing host right in the eyes.

“Are you a man of action?”

“I am. Can’t you tell?”

The sun sets lower over the horizon. The temperature outside may be gradually going down, but the heat inside is being turned up considerably. Jonathan impulsively stands up and positions himself behind Deborah’s seat. He rubs her broad shoulders and kisses her on the neck.

“You are a work of art. A masterpiece, my darling,” he whispers. Deborah feels dampness forming between her massive legs. Jonathan inconspicuously looks down her chest to see the sharp division between her pecs. His manhood awakens from its slumber. And despite their significant age difference, he plans to ravish her like she’s never been ravished before.

“Thank you. I think I know what comes next.” She cranes her head upward to get a better look at him. He smiles, sending shivers down her spine. Jonathan pulls Deborah’s chair out and invites her to stand up. She obliges.

“Before we get to that, there’s something I’d like to show you. Perhaps this will explain why I was so keen on bringing you here tonight.” He takes her hand and squeezes it lovingly. He leads her into another area not far from the dining room. When he opens the door, she’s greeted by yet more art featuring hypermuscular women doing what they do best: show off their beautiful strong bodies.

Paintings of female warriors with bows and arrows. Sculptures of Greek goddesses smiting their enemies. Photographs of female athletes competing in track, basketball, martial arts, boxing, and MMA. Sketches of hypermuscular cartoon characters and celebrities with enhanced musculature (Deborah sees one drawing of Marilyn Monroe looking like she can bench press 500 pounds). All of it looks personalized, as if someone – such as Jonathan himself – commissioned them to be created specifically for one owner in particular. Deborah wonders whether she’ll see a rendering of herself anywhere.

“I think I get the idea. You really love muscular women. Wow.”

Jonathan wraps his arms around Deborah and squeezes as tightly as possible, indulging in experiencing her unbelievable thickness. Deborah kindly flexes for him, challenging his ability to maintain a grip on her massive torso.

Body of work 4 - Boris Vallejo artwork

Female muscle artwork from artist Boris Vallejo.

“Can’t you tell? I’m not very subtle about my interests. I’m glad you’re not offended by this.”

“Not at all.” She flexes her right bicep. Jonathan sticks out his tongue and trails it along its peak. “So, why me? Why did you ask me to come here, out of the thousands of women like me across the globe?” Deborah turns around to face Jonathan. He lets go of Deborah’s body and looks into her beautiful face. He traces his finger along her jawline and pinches her meaty shoulder. She gasps with pleasure at this bold, unexpected move.

“I chose you because you’re the most perfect woman I’ve ever laid eyes on,” he says. “I’ve researched most of the women in your profession. But out of all of them, you captured my attention. It’s probably when you were dating William Harris. His death was unfortunate, but it did provide the opportunity for me to be introduced to you. The moment I saw you, I knew I had to have you, one way or another.”

“I was a celebrity of sorts for a while, especially when everyone thought I was a murderer,” Deborah confesses. Jonathan reaches down to rub her abdomen, relishing her hardened core. He knows his erection is poking out of his slacks, but he doesn’t care one bit. “But that was a long time ago.”

“Indeed, it was.” Jonathan plants a soft kiss on her neck. Deborah audibly gasps. He is unable to control his animalistic desires – and Deborah isn’t sure she wants him to. For some inexplicable reason, her thoughts immediately turn to Cassie. Oh, God. Cassie! She wonders what the fuck she’s doing at this moment. Thinking of her, perhaps? Petting Bruce on the head while he sleeps on her lap?

Thankfully, Cassie gave her permission to come here. She’s okay with it, even though they’re both reluctant about the whole thing. The fact she’s given Deborah her blessing has put her mind at ease and given her much-needed peace.

“Enough talk. Follow me to my bedroom, lover.”

Lover? Just hearing that single word uttered from his deep masculine voice is enough to make her knees tremble. Fortunately, she doesn’t fall down to the floor like a pathetic drunk. He graciously takes her by the hand and guides her down the hallway into the room at far end of the mansion.

Jonathan’s bedroom is much more modest than she was expecting. It’s spacious and roomy, with plenty of erotically-charged artwork adoring the high walls (no surprises there, considering where they were just at). Deborah may have seen out of the corner of her eye a watercolor rendering of dozens of nude Amazonian warriors engaging in a massive orgy. Or maybe they were just bathing in a river. Whatever.

Sitting at the far north-facing wall is one of the largest beds – probably a super king-sized one, by Deborah’s estimation – she’s ever seen. It also has the largest number of fluffy white pillows she’d ever imagined could possibly fit on such a bed. Jonathan quietly shuts the door (as if anybody is left inside the house who could disturb them) and presses a button that opens roller blinds that have been covering the entire east-facing wall. It reveals a grand floor-to-ceiling window that boasts an immodest view of their natural surroundings.

“Wow! You can see the entire ocean from here,” Deborah exclaims. Jonathan quickly maneuvers behind her and lightly caresses her wide shoulder blades again, signaling to her that he’s definitely a “shoulder man.” He marvels at how broad they are. He’s seen countless photos of her before – yet being able to finally touch her makes him realize just how massive her body actually is compared to what existed in his imagination.

“It’s a fantastic view, but I prefer the view from in here…”

Body of work 4 - bedroom

A room with a view.

And with that, Jonathan peels away the layers of Deborah’s Xena costume. She almost forgot she was wearing it. Soon, she’s reduced to just her underwear. Jonathan stands back to regard her entire figure. He lets out a whistle.

“Magnificent. Simply magnificent. You possess a most magnificent body of work, my darling. Just fabulous.” He approaches her as he unbuttons his shirt. Deborah kindly showcases all the bodybuilder poses she knows. The fading sunlight’s orange glow accentuates her muscles in the post poetic way possible. Finally, they’re both wearing nothing but underwear. His erection looks almost painful as it presses against the thin fabric.

Deborah takes a closer look at Jonathan’s devilishly handsome face. He’s got some lines here and there, especially around his deep blue eyes. His hair is peppered with greyness in a way that makes him look “distinguished.” He keeps his body in great shape. She estimates he regularly works out and maintains a healthy diet. That’s probably not too far off from the truth.

“Show me why you brought me here,” Deborah dares him.

He smiles and runs to her.

Caught off guard, Jonathan picks her up and carries her to bed. He plants a deep kiss on her. Deborah forgot to take a breath beforehand and nearly chokes. He meticulously lays her down and unhooks her bra. She responds by squirming out of her panties. Finally, she is completely nude. Jonathan tosses her underwear aside carelessly. He gets down on his knees and spreads her legs out wide.

“Just beautiful…so fucking beautiful…” Deborah is proud of her larger-than-normal clitoris. Cassie constantly reminds her of how enormous it is. “You’re not like the other girls down there,” she’d always say. Right now, it’s fully engorged and ultrasensitive. Cassie once measured it just for fun. She says it can get up to three inches long. Deborah has reasons to believe she was exaggerating, but Jonathan’s fascination with her endowment makes her believe perhaps she was telling the truth…

Jonathan greedily opens his mouth and surrounds her feminine endowment with his lips. He experiments with a few lingering licks and kisses. Deborah moans, feeling the tension inside her body start to escape. All the fantasies he’s ever had of doing this to her is finally being realized right here, right now. He’s feasting on the most beautiful woman in the world. This cannot compare to any other experience he’s ever had in his life.

Pressure builds inside her body. All she can do is close her eyes and feel. Feel his tongue inside her sensitive area. Feel his lips gripping her fleshy bud. Feel every pore on her body emanate with pure bliss. Feel…

“Oh!!!”

Deborah climaxes suddenly, sending jolts of electricity through her whole being. She involuntarily raises her pelvis upward as she orgasms. Jonathan continues to feast on her until her spasms subside. Finally, she falls back down onto the bed and opens her weary eyes.

Body of work 4 - Brandi Mae Akers

Who wouldn’t want to spend the night with Brandi Mae Akers?

“My God, Jonathan. That was fucking fantastic.” She struggles to catch her breath. “You’re a real pro. Fuuuuuuccccckkkkkkkkk!”

“My dear…” He leans over and kisses her hard abdomen. “We’re just getting started.”

Jonathan stands up and removes his athletic briefs. He kicks them aside. Deborah sits up and finally gets a good look at him. She’s impressed by his, uh, “endowment.” It’s bigger than she was expecting! A solid six and half inches, perhaps? Maybe seven! Or maybe that’s just because the fading light is playing tricks on her eyes…

Jonathan’s full erection is now liberated, free to be satisfied for its own sake. Deborah will make sure that happens.

“Come here, sweet thing,” she beckons him.

First, Jonathan walks over to the bedside table and takes out a box of condoms. Deborah reluctantly sighs, but realizes it’s the smart thing to do. He finds a single wrapper, tears it open, and sheathes the oiled latex onto his manhood. Deborah watches in anticipation. He comes to her and plants several kisses on her left calf. She kindly flexes it for him, making it jut out further than he thought was possible.

“So hard…so beautiful.” Ignoring all pretenses, Jonathan positions his penis right in front of Deborah’s moist entrance. “I’m taking you. Now.”

“Do it!” she commands.

And with that, Jonathan enters Deborah with the full force of a man who is unsure if this moment is real or not. For years, he’s fantasized about making love to this woman. From a distance of thousands of miles he’s dreamt of this. But now, he gets to fulfill this fantasy. He hooks his arms underneath Deborah’s thick legs and runs his fingers down her sides, feeling the striations of her dense core. He thrusts in and out methodically at first, but then increases his tempo as his furious lust gets the better of him. He’s usually a calm and rational man, but not now. Not today. Not with her in his bed. In this moment, he’s an animal. But she is not his prey; but his lover. His equal.

Deborah moves her hips up and down to match his rhythm. She’s impressed with his ample girth and hardness for a man his age. At first his penetration was painful, but her body eventually adjusts to him. She focuses her eyes on him, watching him grunt and labor as sweat beads down his handsome face. She tries her best to not think about Cassie, the absurdity of her surroundings, or the shock of actually making love to a man she’s admired from a distance. But that distance is long gone. They are as close to each other as is humanly possible, intertwined in a way where physical intimacy transitions to emotional intimacy, which then becomes something closer to…

…spiritual.

With one last heave, Jonathan pushes into her as deeply as he can and finally climaxes. It goes on forever. It’s been a long time since Jonathan has this ferociously made love to a woman. Deborah cannot remember what it was like the last time a man penetrated her in this way. Perhaps never?

Body of work 4 - candles

Romantic candles.

Totally spent, Jonathan collapses on top of Deborah and kisses her intensely. Still hard, he sways back and forth in hopes of giving her a few more moments of pleasure. She appreciates the gesture.

After several minutes of lying together in complete silence, Jonathan pulls out and removes the condom. Deborah sits up in bed and sighs.

“Fuck. That was worth it. You’re fantastic,” she whispers. Jonathan smiles and walks to the bathroom on the far side of the room to clean up.

“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that to you. Especially you.” He places the condom on top of a nearby table. Deborah is curious why he’d do that.

“You’re not throwing it away?” she asks, raising an eyebrow.

“Nah, I will later. But not now. Think of it as a, um, ‘record’ of how we’re going to spend this evening together.” Deborah isn’t sure what to think of this, but she goes along with it. She stands up and sees a row of candles next to the condom. She finds a lighter and lights all of them. The gorgeous golden yellow glow illuminates the entire room. By now, the sun has completely set. Jonathan comes out of the bathroom and nods approvingly at Deborah’s initiative.

“Nice choice. Now the ambiance is perfect,” he begins. “Not that it wasn’t before.”

He sits down on the bed and strokes Deborah’s massive quads. She reciprocates by caressing his softened penis.

“It never occurred to me that Mr. Presidential Candidate would be hung like a horse,” Deborah smirks. “But alas, you are.”

“Well, I wouldn’t quite go that far,” he chuckles. “Maybe your standards are too low. Or you haven’t been with enough guys.” She tickles his scrotum in response to his teasing.

“You’re right…I haven’t been with that many men,” she says. “But I like what you’re packing down here…it’s beautiful.” Despite their recent lovemaking, Jonathan’s manhood begins to grow again. Deborah is astonished that he’s able to do that after such little time has passed–

“It’s not how many you’ve been with,” he kisses her delicately on the cheek. “It’s who you’ve been with and how they’ve treated you that really matters.” Touched, Deborah feels her eyes water. Before she can wipe away her tears, Jonathan playfully nibbles on her earlobe, causing her senses to go into overdrive. Cassie isn’t the sentimental type, and if Deborah is to be completely frank, not the most sensual lover. But Jonathan is different. He’s both fierce and gentle. Impulsive and methodical. Calm and unhinged. He’s a complicated man, one who is used to getting what he wants but also cherishes what he has once it’s right in front of him.

“Lie down on the bed for me, lover,” she orders. “I’m about to give you a show.”

To be continued…

Nude: A Muscular Woman’s Natural State (NSFW)

Emery Miller in her natural state.

Emery Miller in her natural state.

One year ago, I published a post titled “A Muscular Woman is Always Nude in Public, Even When Fully Clothed.” The basic gist of my article is that a woman with muscles cannot easily hide her muscles from the public. Even if she wears baggy clothing and acts as inconspicuous as possible, she can never fully conceal the fact that she is indeed a woman with big muscles.

So no matter what she does, where she goes, or who she associates with, her identity as a “female bodybuilder” is forever branded on her body – that is, until she decides to stop training and lets her muscles atrophy. She can run, but she can’t hide.

However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One does not pursue bodybuilding unless he or she is okay with, ahem, looking like a bodybuilder. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Yes, it is the whole point. No arguments there. I’d like to follow up this post with more thoughts on the concept of female muscle and nudity. Here it goes. Not only is a female bodybuilder always nude even when she’s fully clothed, when she is nude she’s actually in her “natural state.”

By “natural state,” I mean the way in which nature intended for something to be presented. As human beings living in human civilization, it is not encouraged to be naked in public. Nor is it natural for people to live clustered sedentary lives where they spend all their free time glued to a computer screen. In-person human interaction involving people actually looking at and talking to another human being has (nearly) gone by the wayside, thanks to the introduction of social media, texting, and other digital distractions. Life in the 21st Century may resemble a quasi-dystopian (and heavily exaggerated pre-apocalyptic) reality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally turn back the clock and return back to how we were supposed to behave.

Kathy Johansson showing off her best side.

Kathy Johansson showing off her best side.

As a particular sub-species of humanity, female bodybuilders belong in a unique category. Female bodybuilders are, in many respects, a prototypical 21st Century human being: Strong, independent, rebellious, entrepreneurial, and “feminine” by her own definition. Never mind the fact that female bodybuilders are not celebrated by our culture in quite the same way that pop stars and loudmouth politicians are; FBBs are women who are known to exist but aren’t given the adequate public space that they deserve to exist in.

So in a realistic sense, FBBs will forever be relegated to the backburner of greater society’s consciousness. Or more specifically, they’ll inhabit the backburner of the stove located in the shanty sitting 20 miles away from our culture’s proverbial kitchen. It’s a hard knock life, but a life that our beloved FBBs are willing and able to wade through.

But within the female muscle fan community – and to be sure, God knows how many of us are out there – the accomplishments of FBBs do not go unnoticed. In fact, we spend an inordinate amount of time experiencing these ladies as many ways as we can: Meeting them for muscle worship/wrestling sessions, watching their videos, looking at their photos, reading articles about them, following them on Instagram, etc. And if there is one theme that consistently comes up, it’s that we love seeing our gorgeous strong ladies wearing as little clothing as possible.

Granted, the desire to see a beautiful person without clothing isn’t particularly unusual. Adam didn’t notice Eve while she was wearing a nuclear hazmat suit. He noticed her when she was wearing…uh, nothing at all. I’m pretty sure if any of us were to see a beautiful person walking down the street wearing his or her birthday suit, we’d all stop what we’re doing and stare. If you wouldn’t so such a thing, well, I don’t know what to say to you.

However, in a strangely poetic way, female bodybuilders aren’t just beautiful women whom we would like to see naked. They’re beautiful women who should be naked all the time. A muscular woman should never be covered up. Her body should always be displayed in all its natural glory. A clothed muscular woman is a travesty. It’s an abomination. It’s unnatural, just like eating tropical fruit in the winter or listening to Christmas music in July.

The gorgeous Lindsay Mulinazzi.

The gorgeous Lindsay Mulinazzi.

As bodybuilders, FBBs dedicate their whole lives to developing their physical bodies to fit a certain desired aesthetic. It’s not a hobby. Nor is it just a career choice. It’s a lifestyle. What they eat, how they train, when they sleep, where they find themselves at any given moment, what they spend their money on; it’s all part of the life of being a pro (or exceedingly dedicated amateur) bodybuilder. In short, you don’t become a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding becomes you!

And the human body, when deliberately sculpted to look a certain way, deserves to be seen in its proper context. There’s a reason why bodybuilding contests feature contestants wearing almost nothing. Obviously, the competitors won’t wear anything that isn’t acceptable at any public beach, because “going commando” is still pretty taboo. It’s like going to the movies: Seeing hundreds of people get shot and blown up is okay, but seeing a bare female breast is totally wrong.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but plenty of things in life don’t make a lick of sense when you think about it.

So forget about this in a practical sense. I’m not suggesting female bodybuilders – and male bodybuilders, I suppose – should go around completely naked all the time. This is more of a philosophical discussion with regards to who female bodybuilders are and what they represent, not a call to action to defy indecent exposure laws!

Simply put, female bodybuilders should be appreciated in the nude whenever possible. Yes, it can be incredibly sexy to see a gorgeous FBB wearing frilly lingerie or a g-string bikini or a French maid’s outfit. But that’s all fun and games. I’m talking about how a female bodybuilder deserves to be seen.

What can you conclude by seeing Michelle Tuggle fully nude?

What can you conclude by seeing Michelle Tuggle fully nude?

You cannot fully appreciate her hard work unless you see every single square inch of her body. Her calves. Her quads. Her hips. Her butt. Her abs. Her arms. Her chest. Her neck. Her back. Her face. Her breasts. And yes, her genitals.

Her genitals may seem inconsequential, but they are not. Seeing a woman with big muscles and female genitalia proves the point once and for all that she’s a real woman. Whether her clitoris is small or abnormally large doesn’t really matter. What matters is the stark reminder that this hypermuscular human body is also a female body. Whether her breasts are small or large also doesn’t matter. They need to be seen. If her breasts are normal-sized, they serve as further reinforcement of her femininity. If they are flat, they could then be used to argue either that one doesn’t need breasts in order to be a woman or that “womanhood” needs to be redefined. Or more specifically, our concept of “womanhood” needs to be tossed out the window altogether.

The size of her muscles, the appearance of her genitalia and breasts, and the confidence in which she carries herself (or perhaps, lack of confidence if she’s self-conscious about anything) all tell us the complete story about her. If she’s embarrassed by her small breasts and large clit, this offers a clue to how she views her own femininity. If she’s damn proud of her big muscles, flat chest, and oversized genitals, we can surmise that she doesn’t give a damn what society says or that she wants society to dramatically change the way we view women.

As I’ve written before in a previous blog article, a large clitoris is beneficial for the perception of women and their sexualities. It proves that women are indeed sexually sovereign beings who deserve to experience pleasure whenever they desire to. The vagina is often (unfairly) mischaracterized as a passive bodily organ that only serves to receive a man’s penis during intercourse and to deliver a child during birth. Add to it a clitoris that is often too small to see (without zooming in very closely!) and you get a set of genitals that can be viewed as being submissive, dependent, and unremarkable.

A very sultry Desiree Ellis.

A very sultry Desiree Ellis.

However, that’s not even close to being true. But as far as perception goes, a big clitoris that resembles a very small penis can go a long way in proving the point that women do in fact possess an organ that exists solely to give her pleasure. We might know that in the back of our minds, but a larger-than-life clitoris that shocks you when you see it accentuates that point a hundred-fold.

Thus, yes, her genitals do matter. Every single inch of her body matters. You cannot truly understand who a female bodybuilder is unless you see her completely nude. But do not mistaken nudity with vulnerability. There’s a difference between being naked and being nude. “Naked” is when someone lacks clothing. “Nude” is a state of being in which one shows off all their skin. In other words, “naked” implies vulnerability, deficiency, and being unprotected. “Nude,” on the other hand, connotes an active choice to be bare.

Being naked is humiliating. Being nude is an empowering choice. See the difference?

A nude female bodybuilder is most likely to be in the “empowered” camp. But I guess that’s not always the case. In addition to being embarrassed by her genitalia or breasts, not everyone is comfortable being naked…regardless of the circumstances. Obviously, bodybuilders (male and female) tend to have fantastic looking bodies, but we all hold differing mores when it comes to showing off skin to the public.

There’s an undeniable difference between seeing a muscular woman clothed and a muscular woman completely nude. When clothed, we are reminded of her ordinariness. She wears shirts, pants, socks, shoes, and jackets just like the rest of us. It’s like she’s covering up who she really is, as if wearing clothes is just like Clark Kent wearing glasses to disguise the fact that he’s actually Superman. A female bodybuilder who’s wearing clothes is shielding her identity, albeit not completely.

Yes, you can still tell that she’s really darn muscular. Her tight jeans may generously show off her sculpted glutes and rock hard thighs, but it’s not even close to seeing the actual thing. I’m sure Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen suspected that Mr. Kent was actually somebody else, but who in their right mind would go all the way and suggest that he’s actually the Man of Steel? Preposterous!

Likewise, it’s not the same to look upon a fully-clothed female bodybuilder with a similar amount of awe and wonder if she were nude. That even goes for her wearing a bikini. She’s mostly nude…however there are still a few crucial parts still left uncovered.

Now, contrast that with a fully nude muscular woman. It’s as though you’re seeing her from a whole new perspective. She transcends her humanity and becomes a goddess. When you see her in her “natural state,” you truly are able to comprehend just how amazing her body is. You witness not just her physical beauty; you also get to experience her entire essence. Her personality, her hard work, her sacrifices, her lifestyle choices, her fears, her doubts, her dreams, her hopes; everything is right there on display. She hides nothing because this is who she really is.

This is how she’s meant to be seen.

You may be asking yourself: Does the same apply to a gorgeous non-bodybuilder woman? Well, not really. Without question, the sight of a beautiful nude woman is always pleasant to regard, whether she has big muscles or not. I’m only human. However, the major dissimilarity is that an FBB’s sculpted body is so crucial to her identity. Her chiseled physique is central to who she is as a person and what she’s dedicated her life toward accomplishing.

The real Jungle Woman: Rita Sargo.

The real Jungle Woman: Rita Sargo.

A beautiful non-muscular woman isn’t quite the same. A supermodel can wear a sultry black dress and make jaws drop to the floor (although I believe “slay” has become the currently accepted nomenclature). If a female bodybuilder were to wear the exact same dress, she could garner the exact same reaction…but it wouldn’t feel the same. Instead, the dress would seem like a burden. The dress becomes a distraction, an unnecessary diversion away from what’s really important.

And what is actually important? You guessed it! Her hard chiseled muscles.

Perhaps that’s the heart of this discussion. That’s my core message. Clothing seems unnatural when placed on a female bodybuilder’s body. And not just unnatural; it seems sacrilegious. A masterpiece by Monet deserves to be viewed by millions of people at a museum, not locked away in a vault somewhere in an undisclosed underground location. A grand piano deserves to be played, as opposed to serving as a glorified piece of furniture. A novel sitting on a shelf and doing nothing is degrading. It must be read and enjoyed, not relegated as common clutter.

In the same manner, a female bodybuilder’s body needs to be seen in its entirety. And that means she must be fully nude. I’m not suggesting every single bodybuilder must be forced to strip naked and pose for pictures. Heavens no! That’s the furthest thing that I would advocate for, trust me. Rather, I’m talking about this in a metaphysical sense.

A female bodybuilder’s body is maximizing its utility (or purpose) when it’s displayed in the nude. More than being athletes, female bodybuilders are also artists. And like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci before them, FBBs warrant having their handiwork displayed in a way that provides the viewer an optimal experience:

Nude. No clothing. At all. Just her beautiful body and nothing else shielding it. That’s the way she is meant to be seen. That’s the way nature intended it.

Anything else would be a disservice to all her years and years of shedding blood, sweat, and tears. Maybe I was wrong in my initial assessment that a muscular woman is always nude in public, even when she’s fully clothed. When she’s wearing clothes, she’s just like the Monet sitting in a dark vault or the masterpiece of a novel collecting dust. We’re in the presence of greatness; we just don’t know it. And this is perhaps the greatest tragedy of them all.

That being said, when she’s completely nude, our eyes aren’t the only things that become wide open. So do our minds, hearts, and souls.

Faster, Female Bodybuilder! Grow! Grow!

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

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

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

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

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

Wait, what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

She-Hulk!

She-Hulk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yuck. We all know how it goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Female Bodybuilding Fans, Workout Videos are Our Porn

The next generation of female bodybuilding, Shannon Courtney.

The next generation of female bodybuilding, Shannon Courtney.

We all have our own vices.

Some of us like to gamble. Others like to party “in da club” till the wee hours of the morning. There are some who enjoy high-fat and high-sugary foods a little too much. How about smoking? Or excessive drinking? Or, *gasp* hitting the Mary Jane a few times here and there?

Unless you’re an ascetic monk living high in the Tibetan mountains, most of us have vices that we’re either proud of or wish would remain a secret. But let’s face it. Unless your vice hurts someone else, what’s the true harm? I, for example, am not one to claim to be a police officer of “outstanding character.”

Another popular vice that many of us share is pornography. Whether we’re talking about late night pay-per-view skin flicks, dirty magazines, snuff films, or good-old-fashioned Internet porn, we all know what we’re dealing with. Porn is everywhere in our society. On the cover of magazines, in popular movies, in clothing store advertisements, in music videos…everywhere. Not just hidden underneath your mattress or behind the playground monkey bars. Both softcore and hardcore porn (however you define either term) is saturated in our culture.

It’s so saturated, we sometimes forget what we’re seeing. Most of us would point to a Jenna Jameson video and say with definitive confidence, “That’s porn!” However, we might look at a Beyoncé music video and say, “Well, it’s not quite porn, but it is quite risqué. I would say…that’s NOT porn.” Fair enough. Everyone has the right to hold their own standards.

The real definition of “pornography” is as follows: “Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.”

This photo of Lisa Cross might give me a heart attack if I stare at it long enough. But I'd die a happy man.

This photo of Lisa Cross might give me a heart attack if I stare at it long enough. But I’d die a happy man.

Basically, porn is media that’s intended to turn you on. It doesn’t have to be explicit. It doesn’t even have to be visual. Written erotica can constitute as porn if we assume a wide all-inclusive definition. Are risqué music videos or provocative fashion ads intended to sexually arouse you? Well, not primarily. They’re intended to persuade you to buy record albums and clothing. But if the adage that “sex sells” is true – which nobody would argue it isn’t – certainly eliciting an erotic response is one of the tactics used to convert advertising media to sales.

Alright. We’ve established that porn is everywhere. We’ve also discussed that porn can manifest itself in a variety of ways, not all of them explicit. Porn can also have objectives outside of just turning you on, such as convincing you to open your wallet and buy something. Other objectives could include persuading you to think about a social issue in a different way (nude PSAs by PETA, anyone?) or inspiring you toward self-improvement (pole dance aerobics isn’t just for exercise, people!).

This all ties in to female muscle fandom, trust me. What, did you think this post would be totally unrelated to what my blog is primarily about? I start with this simple question:

As a female muscle fan, what turns you on the most?

Many of us would answer with traditional responses like FBBs masturbating, FBBs having sex with scrawny guys (or each other), FBBs dancing around in the nude, FBBs glamorously posing in the nude, etc. Essentially, we get turned on by FBBs doing things in from of the camera that traditional looking women also do in mainstream porn. But if there’s one thing I understand about female muscle lovers, it’s that we’re especially turned on by something else entirely, something that’s not necessarily X-rated.

Workout videos.

Or, more specifically, videos of female bodybuilders doing what they do best: building their bodies at the gym.

When I say “workout videos,” the image that probably immediately pops into your head is that of what Denise Austin and Jane Fonda created in the 80s and 90s. Or maybe those old-school Tao Bo videos by Billy Blanks. Ah, yes. Those were the days. The good old days of cheesy music, bad camera angles, bright yellow stretch pants and enough sweat to fill a small lake. I can’t imagine what it must’ve smelled like in those studios. Yuck.

But, no. These are not the type of workout videos I am referring to. Instead, I’m referring to amateurish or semi-professional looking videos of female bodybuilders pumping iron in the gym. They could be shot on a cell phone camera, a store bought camcorder, or perhaps an actual professional-quality video camera. They could be shot for Flex magazine, Bodybuilding.com or for the FBB’s own personal brand. Quality notwithstanding, the idea stays the same: video footage of beautiful athletes doing what they do best.

For female bodybuilding fans, workout videos are our porn. They are what turns us on the most. They titillate us unlike any other media. We find them more arousing than videos that are explicitly sexual in nature. Sound strange? Let me explain what I’m talking about.

As female bodybuilding fans, we don’t just love the final product. Yes, of course images of Alina Popa or Lisa Cross looking ripped and contest-ready can be a divine spectacle to behold, but we’re just as interested in the process it took them to look that way in addition to drooling over how they eventually look.

What’s arousing about female bodybuilders isn’t just that they look so damn sexy, it’s also the fact that they have to bust their butt in order to look that good. There’s something about the strenuous nature of bodybuilding that makes these athletes so remarkable. Female bodybuilders are especially intriguing because their looks are both unconventional and supremely difficult to attain (and maintain).

This is why a grainy 90-second clip shot on an iPhone of a female bodybuilder, completely covered in sweat pants and an old t-shirt, squatting 300+ pounds is way more erotic than watching two silicone-enhanced teeny boppers sucking on each other’s clits with awful automated music playing in the background. If I were a sheltered teenage boy, the latter might excite me like no other. But as an adult, that stuff bores me to death. It’s unexciting. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s disgusting.

Watching two nameless 18-year-old women engaging in sex acts with total lack of interest or passion while moaning from an orgasm so fake it belongs in a can of Velveeta cheese isn’t erotic. It’s dumb. It’s an insult to my intelligence. It’s sophomoric. It’s a shame to the word “erotic.” I’m not necessarily knocking on those who actually like this sort of thing (I’m just kidding – I am knocking on you!), but get with the program, people! Doesn’t authenticity count for something anymore?

Ah, yes. Now we get to the heart of the matter. Authenticity. Workout videos are authentic. I’ve seen a fair share of fake or staged workout videos, but the ones that are real are so fun to watch because it gives you a brief glimpse into the process it takes to transform a woman’s body from “sexy” to “All-Powerful Goddess.”

If more women looked like Mavi Gioia at the gym, I'd go there every single day of my life.

If more women looked like Mavi Gioia at the gym, I’d go there every single day of my life.

But it’s not just about the process of becoming a bodybuilder or the authentic nature of these videos that excite us so much. There’s something unspeakably tantalizing about watching a woman work hard to achieve her dreams. Maybe it’s because a lot of us guys aren’t accustomed to seeing women lift heavy at the gym. There’s an Internet meme that says that “A girl in the gym is much hotter than a girl in the club.” I would agree with that wholeheartedly. But why do I feel that way exactly?

Maybe it goes back to the meritocratic nature of our society. We love female bodybuilders because they earn their beauty. Not every one of us is born with a beautiful face or flawless skin. But we can (to an extent) control the rest of us. A bodybuilder does exactly that. They are in complete control of their physical selves, even to the point that it becomes an obsession. A ripped body is something you earn with your sweat and labor. Mother Nature may not have given you other natural physical gifts, but if you want six-pack abs, you can go out and get it. If you have the willpower to do whatever is necessary to get it, of course.

Another reason why we love watching women lift is because it goes against our collective history. Historically, men were the laborers and women were the caretakers. Men were expected to do all the heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively. The fact that men are naturally stronger than women explains a lot of this. But these gendered roles still in many regards persist to the present day. So when we’re in the gym – and I should hurry up and say that the “workout video” thing could also apply to stealing peeks at women lifting at the gym – and we see a cute girl deadlifting more than her own bodyweight, it’s pretty damn sexy to watch. Very damn sexy.

Breaking the old rules of male/female roles? Making an effort to sculpt a sexy body instead of relying on plastic surgery, deceptive clothing (padded bras, for example) and heavily caked-on makeup? Yes, please!

Workout videos, and seeing up-close-and-personal women lifting heavy weights, are without a doubt our porn of choice. Regardless of the production values or quality of the video footage, this excites us more than anything. Here’s an example:

On Lisa Cross’ Facebook page, she’s uploaded a short video that illustrates exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a ridiculously short clip of her squatting a ton of weight on a hack squat machine. In the brief 41-second video, we can hardly even see Lisa. We can’t see her face. Nor her full figure. In fact, she’s as completely covered as a nun. No sexy revealing clothing. Nothing glamourous happening here. But she’s lifting a jaw-dropping amount of weight. And you can clearly hear her grunting as she squats up and down. Her heavy breathing isn’t exactly orgasmic, but its resemblance is impossible to ignore. But most important, you truly get the sense that she’s working her tail off. This isn’t showing off for the camera. This isn’t staged. This isn’t theatre of any sorts. This is authentic. She’s actually working out with the real intent of getting stronger and bigger. This is the master artist in action. She didn’t earn my nickname for her, “Lisa Cross, the British Bombshell,” just by sitting on her butt, watching TV and eating potato chips all day long. She’s a beautiful sexy Goddess because she’s willing to do the dirty work a lot of us aren’t too keen to do.

That might be the best explanation yet. The Dirty Work. Porn videos are also known as “dirty videos” because they show people engaging in unclean, filthy sex acts (as dubbed by certain folks). But ironically, workout videos of FBBs doing the dirty work of heavy lifting, grunting, sweating and torturing themselves for the sake of self-improvement are way more sexually exciting than watching two nameless bozos who can’t act have unemotional sex with each other. That stuff is a dime a dozen. Witnessing an elite female bodybuilder work on her craft is like watching Laurence Olivier perform Shakespeare, Luciano Pavarotti sing opera or Itzhak Perlman play the violin. You cannot look away from watching the elites do what they do best. The rest of us mortals can only stare and passively watch.

To reiterate a previous point, men who love muscular women aren’t just interested in the final product. We’re also interested in the process it took to achieve that final product. Workout videos, and other related media, excite us for reasons we can’t fully explain. Watching that video clip of Lisa Cross – and for the record, you can hardly even tell it’s actually Lisa! – genuinely gives me the chills. It makes my heart skip a beat. It’s a feeling I can’t explain, but every female muscle fan knows what I’m talking about. But it’s not just this particular clip. It’s the thousands of others like it.

Alina Popa doing leg lifts. Debi Laszewski doing lateral pulldowns. Colette Nelson bench pressing. Brandi Mae Akers doing bicep curls. Lindsay Mulinazzi deadlifting. Jana Linke-Sippl killing her arms on a bicep machine. Shannon Courtney punishing her rock-hard quads at the gym. Mavi Gioia doing triceps extensions. The list goes on. And these are videos that I’ve seen. No doubt there are countless more like them out there on the Internet ready for us to drool over.

The larger point is that female muscle fans love strong women for a variety of reasons. It’s not just about lust or appreciating a certain aesthetic. Female bodybuilders are unique in so many ways. They have a quality to them that’s almost impossible to describe, but equally impossible to ignore. Once you’re hooked, you instantly “get it.” You understand their appeal and even begin to wonder why you didn’t notice them earlier. I honestly cannot believe why I didn’t become attracted to FBBs sooner. I really started to notice them when I was 18 and a freshman in college. And how did it start? I was researching workout videos online and stumbled upon amateurish clips of beautiful women lifting at the gym.

Well, viola! There you go. For many of us, including me, workout videos were what got us hooked in the first place. So there’s a reason why they hold a special place in our hearts. The element of sentimental value is also at play here. Maybe that explains a lot. Maybe there’s something about witnessing a beautiful woman exert herself at the gym that lights a fire inside our souls. It begins the “Madness,” as the expert blogger Female Muscle Slave puts it.

Come to think of it, calling workout videos “porn” cheapens what they mean to us. “Porn” is what people view to fulfill a momentary sexual urge. Workout videos, on the other hand, have a more spiritual component attached to them. It’s like a music lover watching Sir Georg Solti conduct Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Or a great philosopher delivering a lecture on the state of the universe. It’s poetry in motion. Watching a strong, muscular woman lift is like a religious experience, or to put it in more easy-to-digest secular terms – it is art. Female bodybuilders are artists. And watching them lift is like watching a painter paint, or a sculptor sculpt, or a musician compose.

Female bodybuilders are masterpieces of human achievement. And witnessing them transform into who they are is as enticing as it gets. Just ask any one of us. All we can do it sit back, relax and indulge in the captivating beauty on full display before our eyes.