Beauty is Overrated

Stephanie Marie definitely isn’t overrated.

“Beauty,” as it is traditionally defined, makes no mention of emotions, feelings, or involuntary intuitive reactions. Yet, the concept of beauty – especially the way we use it in everyday conversation – goes way beyond aesthetics.

For example:

Merriam-Webster’s definition of beauty is “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”

“Gives pleasure to the senses” is a great way of phrasing it. There are, after all, five senses – with sight being just one of them. One can appreciate a rose bush by admiring its beauty, then leaning over and smelling its scent. But you probably wouldn’t want to eat it. And roses don’t make any noise, so there’s nothing to hear. And be careful before you touch it! Those thorns can be prickly.

So one can admire a beautiful thing with more than just one sense. Two or three, perhaps. But there’s another sense that is almost never acknowledged. A sense that is, if you think about it, arguably more important:

The emotional sense.

The sight of a beautiful person can make you feel many things. Lust, longing, exasperation, infatuation, nervousness, giddiness, curiosity, etc. Perhaps the reason why a beautiful person has such power over us isn’t just because of how they look – it’s how they make us feel.

Coco Crush is so damn beautiful.

And this has less to do with who they are and more to do with who we are. Or what we’ve gone through, or what we’ve experienced, or what we’re currently dealing with in our personal lives. For example, you could be minding your own business at the grocery store. You just need to pick up a few items – green peppers, celery, a red onion, and a few quarts of beef stock – for tonight’s dinner. You should be in and out in a hot minute. Suddenly, out of nowhere you see a gorgeous young lady perusing through the salad greens section looking for fresh spinach that isn’t too soggy. She’s beautiful. The most beautiful person you’ve seen in a while. The way she walks, moves, and behaves is like poetry in motion. But you’re not just captivated by her immense beauty. You’re reminded of your high school crush, the one who “got away.” You’re reminded of your own loneliness and your burning need for someone to cuddle with tonight when you’re watching late night TV. You’re reminded of how special this planet can be at times, when a flawless work of art can literally appear out of nowhere unexpectedly and make your heart stop beating.

You know she’s physically beautiful, yet she’s more than that. She makes you feel things. Strong things. Things you wish you could forget. Things you wish you could capture in a bottle and uncork whenever you want to. Things you cannot explain, but you know in your heart is as real as a rainstorm. In other words, “beauty” isn’t just an aesthetic. It’s an experience.

This helps explain why many of us love female bodybuilders so much. We aren’t just attracted to their muscles, curves, strength, confidence, and inspiring stories. We love them because they make us react in ways that are both predictable and inexplicable. We love them because we cannot stop loving them. They’re an unquenchable thirst. A hunger that never ceases.

We can look at a picture of Cindy Landolt and notice many things. Her face is pretty and her muscles are poetic, but her appeal goes way beyond those things. We sense raw energy radiating out of every pore of her immaculate body. It’s almost visible. It’s nearly tangible. To look upon her is to feel like you’re in the presence of a Divine Being. She’s often labeled a “Goddess” by her fans (myself included) and for good reason. She looks too good to be true. The fact she actually is a real-life human being adds to her mystique. How can someone be that beautiful? It’s difficult to wrap our minds around this reality. Yet it’s true. Cindy makes our minds rattle in a million different directions. And it’s not just because of her obvious beauty.

It’s because of her – and many other female bodybuilders – effect on our psyches.

Amanda Ferre looking absolutely gorgeous.

Female bodybuilders are alluring for reasons that go beyond what you can see on the outside. It’s not just their unusually large muscles that capture our attention. When we regard upon a beautiful female bodybuilder, our daydreaming activities go into overdrive. We want her to pick us up and toss us to the ground like a ragdoll. We desire to touch her muscles. We want to ask her to flex her biceps while we measure them with a sewing tape measure. How big is she? When she flexes at maximum capacity, how large can she grow? 16 inches? 18 inches?

Uh, 20 inches?

Is that even possible? Has any woman in the history of the world ever developed biceps that exceeded 20 inches? Maybe, but I’m yet to have seen it. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened before, of course. Renné Toney supposedly holds the record at 21 inches. I highly doubt too many other women have been able to match that, let alone exceed it.

God damn. The very thought of a woman having 21-inch biceps is mind boggling. It’s inconceivable. It’s beyond belief. Yet, she did at one point in her life attain such a measurement. Guys who are insecure or full of self-loathing will immediately scream at the top of their lungs “Steroids, steroids, steroids!” But those of us who respect female bodybuilders and don’t hate ourselves will instead react with “You go girl!”

See the difference?

The same could be said for Tina Lockwood’s thighs. Or Becca Swanson’s career achievements. Or Nataliya Kuznetsova’s entire existence. Or what Shannon Courtney was able to do at such an early age. These ladies defy our expectations of what the female human body is capable of doing. In their own way, they’ve set the bar higher and higher than any of us (or most of us) thought was even possible. To react with derision is unfortunate. It probably says more about the person choosing to think that way more than anything else. But thankfully, for every troll who types mean comments like “She’s probably got a dick” or “She’s actually a man” on a random YouTube video, there are thousands of other people who treat these women with the respect they deserve.

Isabelle Turell makes me react quite irrationally.

How funny it is that female bodybuilders can make us react in such two completely opposite ways. We react with either scorn or praise. Disgust or lust. Hatred or eternal adoration. Dismissiveness or uncontrollable fandom. There’s basically no middle ground. At all. It’s truly a fascinating phenomenon to witness.

This is why “beauty is overrated.” We value beauty because it’s obvious. It’s plain to see. It’s simple to explain. It doesn’t require any thinking. It’s all around us all the time. You don’t need to travel far to see a billboard, television commercial, print advertisement, or pop-up window that features a beautiful person – male or female. It’s deeply engrained into our multimedia landscape. Sex sells, as the adage goes. Heck, it’s so pervasive it’s easy to not notice it.

Yet, beauty unto itself is fairly limited. A pretty face can be forgettable. A shapely body you see in a magazine may draw your attention momentarily, but it’ll fade off into the distance once something else replaces it. The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies? The sound of your favorite song playing over the PA system? The feeling of cool air cascading off your face on a sweltering hot summer day? All of those things can replace the memory of a beautiful magazine cover model because she’s a dime a dozen (no offense to her). Her beauty is considerable, but it’s not enough. We want to feel something. A connection. A memory. An involuntary reaction.

A nameless Victoria’s Secret underwear model cannot compete with Isabelle Turell or Lindsay Mulinazzi. The nameless model looks nice but doesn’t elicit any emotional reaction out of us. We notice their beauty and move on with our lives. Isabelle and Lindsay, on the other hand, make us want to beg for their attention. Get down on our knees and worship them. Shell out hundreds of dollars in cash to purchase their merchandise. Praise them as queens or goddesses. Use hyperbolic language when describing them. Travel to the furthest ends of the earth just to meet them for a single hour. Stay up late watching videos of them when we have to go to work the next day. Do things we normally wouldn’t do like set up a muscle worship appointment or fantasy wrestling session – all in secret, naturally.

Beauty in complete isolation is neat. But it does not give us a complete picture of the situation. Some people – and this includes non-bodybuilders – have a pull on us that almost seems magical. Remember your grade school crush? I sure do. I still think about her. I recently stalked her on Facebook and saw that she’s happily married with a newborn child. She’s kind of pretty, but not nearly as drop dead gorgeous as I thought of her at the time. In this case, distance and time did not make the heart grow fonder. Quite the opposite. But I clearly remember being 12 years old and not being able to keep my eyes off her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. She was sweet, smart, nice, and good looking. I was enchanted with her.

We all have similar stories we can tell. Many of us have current stories in similar vein that we can tell. Crushes are exactly that: they crush us. They shatter our ability to think rationally. They stomp all over our sense of self-preservation and force us to act foolishly. We are enthralled by them, taken in by them, infatuated with them. It’s strong. It’s focused. It’s nearly unbreakable.

And when it does break, it tears our hearts in half.

Do you know what this ultimately means? It means beauty is not just overrated, but somewhat misunderstood. We give pure physical beauty more credit than it deserves. It can initially capture our attention, but it’s not enough to keep us tuned in. We need more if we want to continue to be playing the game. We need an emotional bond. A cathartic connection. A spiritual awakening. We need our heartstrings tugged at in addition to blood flowing to our private parts. This isn’t just explained by love or lust. It’s something else. Something…less tangible.

Now, comparing your schoolyard crush to your adult fascination with female bodybuilders is not completely analogous. They are two different things. Yet, the general idea remains the same. They both have us in the palm of their hands. They control the situation, not us. They have the power. All the power. It’s not even close. It’s more than a magic spell. It’s more mysterious than a love potion because this is completely organic. It’s natural. No special sauce is needed.

What kind of beauty is unforgettable to you?

Go back to the beginning of this article and reread Merriam-Webster’s definition of “beauty.” Notice the word “spirit” at the very end. That’s significant. Do not trivialize this. To “pleasurably exalt the spirit” is quite a turn of phrase. It seems to connotate a religious awakening; a divine experience that transcends the mortal body. This is why we tend to use ethereal language when describing female bodybuilders. It’s just like a religious experience. A conversion. A death and resurrection all happening at once.

Beauty is overrated because it places too much emphasis on the person who is being described as beautiful. This isn’t a knock against them, but rather an observation that what really matters is the person experiencing the beauty. What are they thinking? Hoping? Dreaming about? Fearful of? Wishing would happen with all their might?

The fact I’ve been writing about female bodybuilders and female muscle fetishism for seven years now – yes, it’s been that long – is proof that FBBs have a profound grip on me. It’s everlasting. Sure, sometimes it wanes for a bit, but it never goes away. I don’t think that’s even possible.

FBBs are important to me and will continue to be a massive part of my life. The same is probably true for many of you too. And the reason this is true isn’t just because FBBs are physically beautiful creatures. It’s because they have the keen ability to draw out wild thoughts and fantasies from us. They make us act irrationally. They cannot leave our imaginations. They’re living rent free in our heads – and we are grateful landlords who refuse to ask for back payments.

Because it’s not just about how beautiful they are. It’s how beautiful we make them out to be.

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The Unlovable Female Bodybuilder

Love is a many-splendored thing.

Female muscle fans have quite the collection of tea cups. Since, after all, female bodybuilders aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But they are our cup of tea. So for folks like us, we’re in grave danger of running out of cupboard space.

Time to go to Ikea.

However, as painful as it may be to admit this, even the most ardent FBB fan will admit – especially if this confession must be obtained through torture – that not every muscular woman is deserving of our affection. Or attraction. We may still respect them as human beings, but are we “into” them the same way we’re into Cindy Landolt or Shannon Courtney?

Eh, no.

So yes, even for (as Bane would say) the “initiated” like us there are a small handful of female bodybuilders who aren’t our cup of tea either. This isn’t a reflection of who we are as people, nor is it an indication that we’re “sell outs” or not totally “down with the cause.” It just simply means that even we have certain boundaries that we aren’t always willing to cross. Or, simpler than that, not every FBB appeals to us for whatever reason.

There are a variety of reasons why we may not like a certain female bodybuilder. This isn’t to say that these reasons are justifiable, but they’re reasons nevertheless:

  • She isn’t “feminine” enough
  • She’s too “manly”
  • She’s had way too much cosmetic surgery
  • She’s done the type of porn that’s too disgusting, distasteful, demeaning, or nauseating
  • She has a personality that doesn’t mesh with yours
  • She’s personally done something to you that you find objectionable – such as cancelling out on a muscle worship/wrestling appointment, not returning a deposit, or being abrasive when you met her in the real world
  • She’s done things that have hurt other FBBs or the bodybuilding industry as a whole
  • She isn’t beautiful enough
  • She isn’t muscular enough
  • She “sold out” in some way
  • She isn’t your cup of tea – for whatever reason

Yes, even yours truly has a few FBBs that he can’t entirely get behind. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect them as athletes and human beings. I do. But what can I say? Even I have some limits. Maybe not a lot, but enough to justify an article like this.

Out of respect for female bodybuilders, it will do us no good to list names of specific women who are on our “unlovable” list. That’s disrespectful and counterproductive. But every FBB fan can rattle off a few names of ladies who aren’t quite to their liking. We may not want to admit it out loud, but we can.

It’s hard not to love Cindy Landolt.

So what are we to do?

Well, that’s the rub. On one hand, FBB fans tend to feel defensive toward their beloved ladies and hate seeing hurtful comments made about them. On the other hand, there are a few FBBs that even the most ardent fanatic can’t defend in good faith. This dilemma usually results in us not talking them altogether. After all, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I think our parents taught us that.

The inclination to remain quiet makes logical sense. What’s the upside of pointing out FBBs who are a bit “too manly” or “was cute before she got all that plastic surgery?” Not much. It only adds to the already toxic atmosphere that surrounds female athletes. It can also reinforce people’s pre-existing negative beliefs about female bodybuilders. The downside certainly outweighs the upside.

Yet, one cannot ignore one’s personal tastes. Even if we’re not willing to say it out loud, we do have these thoughts.

It goes to show that FBB fandom isn’t an “all or nothing” proposition. You can love certain female bodybuilders and not love others. That’s not a sign of hypocrisy or that you’re not pure of faith. It’s a simple indication that we all have different tastes. Or in some cases, different thresholds for what we consider to be “beautiful.”

Or rather, “not ugly.”

Hm. A fascinating concept, that is. There is a difference between “beautiful” and “not ugly.” Here are two examples (alright, so I guess I’m going to break my own rule and name a few specific names). I am a big fan of both Kathy Connors and Yvette Bova. But I am fully aware that not everyone can say the same. In fact, many devoted FBB fans will place both ladies on their “unlovable” list, just like Santa Claus has a list of children who have been naughty or nice. I understand that Kathy and Yvette are not everyone’s cup of tea (back to that expression again!). I will also admit that neither of them are what one would define as “classically beautiful.” But I find them both unbelievably sexy. See the difference?

You may not like Marse Manios, Kathy Connors, and Sheila Seger Benditz, but someone out there does. And that’s all that matters.

Kathy and Yvette aren’t beautiful. But they aren’t ugly either. They’re compelling figures who demand our attention, tantalize our senses, and electrify our fantasies. I can’t stop thinking about them no matter how hard I try. They’re both way more memorable than a roster full of NFL cheerleaders or a stage full of bikini models. Society accepts the latter as being beautiful while shunning Miss Connors and Miss Bova as misfits. These ladies will never grace the covers of fashion magazines or be seen in advertisements at your local Target. But nobody who does will elicit the same giddiness that you get when you watch yet another video of Yvette joyfully giving a blow job to an ordinary looking guy.

FBBs who are “not ugly” are those we acknowledge aren’t attractive in the conventional sense of that word, but are still irresistible nevertheless. Their appeal comes from nontraditional means. They compensate for their lack of natural beauty by beefing up other parts of their selves that people will find attractive. Kathy has perfected the “bad girl” attitude. Yvette has maximized her smutty persona for all it’s worth and more. I – and plenty of others – find Kathy and Yvette attractive because they aren’t afraid to embrace who they are and refuse to conform to anyone’s narrow expectations.

“Unlovable” female bodybuilders are, therefore, less a reflection on who they are and more of an indication of who we are. It demonstrates that we love female bodybuilders for a plethora of reasons…their muscles being one of them. Of course, it’s a significant reason. But it’s not the only reason.

By that same token, if we don’t particular like an FBB, it’s probably for reasons you aren’t expecting. It’s not just because they “look gross” or “have too many veins.” It’s could be because their personality is dull or the kind of porn they choose to do is not to our liking.

But we should be clear on this point: Female bodybuilders are under no obligation to be liked by you or me. They don’t ever have to get breast implants or wear makeup if they don’t want to. They don’t need to conform to anybody’s standards. If looking traditionally feminine isn’t on their to-do list, then so be it. If being glamorous on Instagram – and posting regularly – isn’t a high priority, then that’s the way it is. If they’re fine having a muscular chest and small boobs, well, live with it.

A tea cup.

I’m a strong believer in people – and this includes both men and women – being allowed to live their lives the way they want to as long as they don’t hurt anyone. No one should feel compelled to fit society’s expectations – however one defines that. Therefore, “unlovable” female bodybuilders aren’t unlovable because they choose to be – rather, they’re “unlovable” because that’s how we think of them. Not every FBB will make our hearts flutter or our breathing stop or our jaws drop to the floor. And that’s fine. Someone out there will disagree with you. But even that’s not the point. This isn’t about popularity or the perceptions of others. It’s about something more personal than that.

Female bodybuilders don’t need to be beautiful. They don’t need to be super strong. They don’t need to be glamorous. They don’t need external validation. All they need to be is themselves. All they need is one goal in mind: to become the woman they want to be. Whatever that means. Regardless of what anybody thinks of it. No matter what.

That’s what the game is all about. Self-love. Self-empowerment. Self-confidence.

Anything beyond that is just collecting more useless tea cups.

Oh Behave! The Naughtiness of Liking Muscular Women

Kate Baird makes me want to be naughty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milinda Richardson looking fine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charmaine Patterson is ready to go to the beach!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So why did you do such things in secret?

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

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

Thai fitness goddess Alita Pear.

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

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

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

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

Respecting Those We Lust After: The Sexual Objectification of Female Bodybuilders

Dina al-Sabah, the Muscle Goddess from Kuwait.

Dina al-Sabah, the Muscle Goddess from Kuwait.

I love female muscle.

That should be obvious to everyone. I really love strong women. I love the way they look. I love the giddy feelings they give me whenever I look at pictures of them. I love meeting them in person for muscle worship sessions. I love talking to them about their careers, their lifestyles and the sacrifices they’ve had to make to achieve their immaculate physique.

But there’s a problem here. A problem I feel compelled to address both honestly and openly.

Am I objectifying them?

It’s a fair question. Do I merely lust after these women instead of “admiring” them as world-class athletes? Is my attempt to intellectualize my respect for female bodybuilders just my way of hiding the fact that I really think of them as sex objects instead of human beings? Am I dehumanizing these women whenever I have lustful thoughts about them?

All fair questions. And all of them deserve to be discussed in detail. I’m a big proponent of open, productive dialogue. So let’s begin this discourse!

Of course, I’m biased (because I’m talking about myself), but I don’t believe I’m objectifying the very women I’ve spent the past few years writing about. But let’s first discuss semantics. What exactly does “objectify” mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “objectify” means “to treat as an object or cause to have objective reality.”

Simply put, in regards to interpersonal relationships, it means when you treat a person not as a human being but as tool for your own personal benefit. In popular vernacular, “objectify” usually connotes sexual objectification. When someone treats another person as merely an object for their selfish sexual gratification, that person is objectifying the other. This is considered dehumanizing because you don’t care about their feelings, thoughts and/or point of view. You only care about what they have to offer you personally.

Countless books and academic dissertations have been written on the subject. I highly encourage you to read more about this if you’re truly interested.

But on the other hand, it’s perfectly normal to be sexually attracted to someone. Human beings have desires they cannot control. I didn’t choose to be smitten by the beauty of my high school crush. It just happened. Yes, I liked her for different reasons too (she was very smart and we came from similar cultural backgrounds), but her physical beauty was what initially attracted me to her. Everything else I liked about her I discovered later once we got to know each other.

The object of my desire, Monique Jones.

The object of my desire, Monique Jones.

The same goes for my love of female muscle. I love muscular women. I love the way they look. I think muscles on a feminine form is beautiful. Beautiful beyond words. Beyond description. I’ve written many essays discussing why I love female muscle and how psychologically impactful they’ve been on me. Many of my readers share this love with me. Just take a moment to read some of the comments on my articles.

But my love for female muscle isn’t just aesthetic. It’s also emotional. I think it’s brave to sculpt your body to a standard that completely contradicts what society at large preaches to us. I’m a strong believer in the social benefits of women lifting weights at the gym (there are also obvious health benefits too). I think our world would be a much better place for all of us if we encouraged the “strong is beautiful” mantra instead of “skinny is beautiful.” The latter has faced significant backlash in recent years. The former is just starting to emerge.

So, where does that leave us? How is it possible to humanize someone that I can only see from a distance?

I will admit that there is a fine line between objectifying a woman and being sexually attracted to her. Obviously, I will never actually meet most of the women I’ve come to love. I’ve only met three female bodybuilders in my life, all from participating in muscle worship sessions with them. So for me, it’s hard to get to know someone you simply…can’t ever get to know. Unlike my high school crush that I eventually mustered the courage to ask to the Homecoming dance during my senior year in high school, I will have virtually no chance of meeting and interacting with any of these FBBs.

But that’s not my only “way out.” I realize that an FBB is a human being, no different than you or I. I fully understand that a muscular woman doesn’t exist solely to satiate my own personal fetishes. Even the three FBBs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting I treated with the utmost respect. I tried to be kind. I apologized to one who had the misfortune of having a lot of cancellations before coming to Seattle. I know many of these women may not even like doing these sessions, but they do them because it gives them a consistent source of income. Travelling takes you away from your friends and family. It’s tough to financially support yourself when you’re involved in a career that isn’t terribly lucrative.

On a personal level, I recognize their humanity and never feel I am entitled to receive whatever I want from them. I hope other people who interact with FBBs do the same.

Dana Lynn Bailey is a living legend.

Dana Lynn Bailey is a living legend.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to preach some “holier-than-thou” message and condemn anyone who made a mistake and treated a muscular woman with rudeness. That is not my intention at all. Rather, I’m just trying to wrap my mind around rationalizing my love for female muscle without falling into the trap of “objectifying” them.

Let’s put it this way: the concept of misogyny. Misogyny is “the hatred of women.” I am far from being a misogynist. But as any feminist critic will tell you, there is a long list of behaviors and attitudes that can be construed as “misogynistic.” Unfortunately, when discussing sexuality, gender relations and feminist theory in general, too often the discussion becomes a shouting match instead of a productive discussion. It’s easy to label men like us as misogynistic because of how much we lust after FBBs.

Is my love for female muscle linked to some deep-seeded hatred for women? Do I love them because they’re women who are more like men, whom obviously I believe are far superior? The answer to these questions is a resounding “NO!”

A great shot of Roberta Toth.

A great shot of Roberta Toth.

My love for muscular women has nothing to do with the fact their physique makes them “look like a man.” It’s easy to slam a person as “objectifying” a muscular woman when you don’t see the world from their perspective. If anything, we’re anti-misogynistic because we love these women for being empowered, powerful (both physically and mentally), determined, goal-oriented and not caring what the rest of the world thinks.

But I digress (boy, what a cliché!) This can be a little extreme. I don’t think too many people who criticize men who love strong women truly believe they actually hate them to any degree. Instead, I think the main criticism we face mostly comes from the accusation that we fetishize these ladies. For example:

White men who only date Asian women are always accused of fetishizing them:

You don’t like them because of who they are. You like them because you love their Asian features and behaviors. You don’t care about them as a person. You only married her because you can’t get enough of her slanted eyes, black hair, slim figure and golden yellow skin. You keep her around because you expect her to be subservient and satisfy your every sexual desire unconditionally.

We’ve all heard this before. And this is just one example. There are plenty more out there. Suffice to say, men who love muscular women might also be slandered for feeling the same way:

You only like them because their muscles turn you on! You only like them because you find their bodies attractive, not them as people. The only purpose a female bodybuilder serves to you is to help you satisfy your personal sexual gratifications. They’re a fetish to you, no different than watching porn or seeing young girls in Catholic school uniforms.

And so on. We’re not fans of these women. We’re creepy, animalistic chauvinist pigs. The fact these women are physically strong means nothing. If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. If you put muscles on a woman, it doesn’t change the fact you’re unequivocally objectifying her.

I really love Lindsay Mulinazzi.

I really love Lindsay Mulinazzi.

But let’s hold on for a moment. All judging aside, there’s nothing wrong with being enamored by someone’s physical beauty. It’s nature. It’s natural. It’s a product of hormones, biology and generations and generations of reproduction. Also, there’s nothing morally reprehensible about being physically attracted to someone. Man or woman, gay or straight, it’s all part of human nature. But how you treat a person, however, is a whole other can of worms.

That’s really what this entire conversation boils down to in a nutshell (wait, can you really boil something down to a nutshell? I may have meshed two idioms into one…). How you treat a person. The Miss America pageant is criticized for putting attractive young women on display for no purpose other than to give male viewers something pleasant to look at for a few hours. The Legends Football League (formerly the Lingerie Football League)? Infamous at best. Misogynistic at worst. But nevertheless, no one watches it for the “sport.”

I will admit this is a difficult subject to broach. This conversation hits a lot of us on a gut level. It’s hard to separate my personal desires from my yearning to communicate fairly and objectively. So here is how I will approach this issue:

Objectification, at its core, is a personal thing. Try as we may, we can never know what’s in someone’s heart. Are there men out there who treat FBBs only as sex objects and not as people? Yes. Are there people (men and women) out there who detest FBBs because of their outdated definitions of “femininity?” Yes. Are some female muscle fantasies (for example, wanting to hurt, degrade or humiliate an FBB) shared by some of us rooted in misogyny? Yes, it’s quite possible.

Diana Tinnelle Stanback is someone I've recently discovered. Why haven't I known about her longer?

Diana Tinnelle Stanback is someone I’ve recently discovered. Why haven’t I known about her longer?

I’m not here to deny that objectification happens. I’m not going to argue that misogyny is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, both are still prevalent in our world.

But…we’ll never know for sure how someone feels. What lies in your heart is something no one else will ever know. I know in my heart that I’ve never dehumanized a muscular woman. I treat them as people, not toys. But no matter how much I try to convince myself of this, there’s always that lingering bit of doubt in my mind.

The sport of bodybuilding is all about aesthetic and judging this aesthetic. It goes against what we’ve been taught about how to treat people. A judge at a bodybuilding contest judges a competitor purely based on what their body looks like. How nice they are, how smart they are, and how hard they’ve worked to get to this point doesn’t matter. What matters is how they appear in your subjective (though based on predetermined objective criteria) viewpoint. This goes counter to our culture that teaches us not to be shallow and judge someone on their looks. But within the context of the sport of bodybuilding, this type of judgment is completely justified.

A bodybuilder willingly puts themselves out there to be judged. This requires a level of self-esteem most of us do not possess. So if you really like how they look, is that such a bad thing? After all, their livelihood depends on improving their body’s appearance. If fans out there love the results, what’s the harm?

So we’re in a strange situation where we’re discussing people who willingly put themselves out there and dedicate their lives to shaping their bodies to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. While a bodybuilder’s chief objective isn’t to maximize their sex appeal, inevitably they’re going to enhance their sex appeal whether they like it or not. True, they’re athletes, not models. But when you sculpt your body to superhuman proportions, eventually somebody’s going to notice!

The lesson to be learned is simple: treat others as you would want to be treated. The Golden Rule is as old as time, but it’s stood the test of time for a reason. It’s a damn good rule to follow!

Don’t treat a female bodybuilder like a piece of meat. If you ever encounter one, treat her with respect. Don’t expect her to do certain things for you or allow you to do certain things to her just because you saw a video of her doing similar activities to a paid actor. Recognize their humanity. Accept that it’s perfectly okay to find her sexually attractive, but don’t allow this attraction to warp your perceptions of them.

The Blonde Muscle Goddess Cindy Phillips.

The Blonde Muscle Goddess Cindy Phillips.

Essentially, don’t be a jerk. You’ll be fine if you always act as kind and respectful as you can.

Will some people continue to ridicule you? Of course. Will certain folks still insist there’s something fundamentally “wrong” with you? Naturally. Just tune them out. Only you know what’s in your mind and heart.

The issue of sexual objectification is a tough one to tackle. Human history is chock full of battles between people wanting to be acknowledged as human beings and people who refuse to treat them like that. This still continues today.

People are people. We are all people trying to make our way through this confusing universe. Our time is limited here on planet Earth. We shouldn’t make things harder on each other if we can avoid it.

So embrace your female muscle fandom. And show your appreciation for these ladies and all their hard work. It’s the most respectful thing you can do.

The Wow Factor

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

I’ve finally figured it out. In all my years of my female muscle fandom, I’ve never really been able to put into succinct words why I love muscular women so much.

Sure, long essays can explain the bread and butter of why I find female bodybuilders and athletes so appealing. I can even post a ton of photos of my favorite FBBs for all of you to salivate over. But that still doesn’t even begin to describe why exactly we love them.

But now I’ve got it figured out. Finally.

Simply put:

The Wow Factor.

That’s it. The Wow Factor. “Wow” is a word we use to describe something so amazing, Earth-shattering, incredible and astonishing that no other monosyllabic utterance could do it justice. Wow. You could substitute that for “whoa,” but let’s not confuse our female muscle fandom for the vernacular of California surfer dudes or college stoner kids. I’m talking about something else here.

Wow. Just…wow.

The Wow Factor is my best way of describing it.

Women like Debi Laszewski are so damn beautiful that “wow” is the only way I can properly react when I see a photo of her. Yes, “Damn girl” or “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn” are also sufficient substitutes, but I’m not interested in catcalling Ms. Laszewski like a dirty-minded construction worker on his lunch break.

I’m interested in communicating what’s on my mind. And “wow” is the only thing on my mind. Is there any other way to put it?

How can this image of Victoria Dominguez lifting this heavy weight not turn you on?

How can this image of Victoria Dominguez lifting this heavy weight not turn you on?

But it’s not just about putting your feelings into words. It’s describing your gut reaction the moment your brain processes what your eyes have just seen. The millisecond your mind realizes that it just saw an image of a strong, gorgeous woman showing off her hard work in all its erotic glory – you can’t possibly articulate what that feels like. No way. It’s a feeling that hits you on a level that goes way beyond mere “attraction.”

It’s not just lust. It’s not just turning your head when you see a pretty woman walking past you and thinking to yourself, “That’s one fine looking lady.” That happens all the time (at least, it happens to me all the time!). The Wow Factor goes way further. The Wow Factor isn’t an everyday occurrence. The Wow Factor changes the way you think. It changes the way you look at women (all women, not just those of the muscular variety). It changes the way you behave. It changes your paradigm.

This Wow Factor explains why bloggers like me continue to post pictures and essays about female muscle nonstop. This explains why guys like me are willing to pay $350 for an hour-long muscle worship session with a complete stranger in a hotel room. This explains why we can’t get enough of those glorious FBBs and their immaculate beauty.

The Wow Factor is a visceral gut reaction you can’t control. Here’s an anecdote for you. As strange as it sounds, sometimes I occasionally forget why I love female muscle in the first place. It’s sort of like a professional baseball player who’s played for 10 years in the league but lacks passion because he plays for a terrible team. But the moment his team catches fire and he’s playing in Game 7 of the World Series, suddenly his childhood love for the game returns and he’s playing with rejuvenated energy.

He suddenly remembers why he loves the game. The nervous energy. The thrill of competition. The joy of victory. The heart-wrenching depression of defeat. That child-like love for the game all of a sudden returns in that moment when you’re actually playing for something.

A rising star, Jill Rudison.

A rising star, Jill Rudison.

I sometimes get like that in regards to my female muscle fandom. I know I love strong women, but all it takes is a singular image of Alina Popa flexing her large, beautiful biceps wearing nothing but a microscopic thong bikini, and…I suddenly remember why I think Ms. Popa is a gift from God. I’ve always known that, but The Wow Factor hits me like a semi-truck blindsiding me out of nowhere and I’m instantaneously reminded why I feel the way I feel.

It’s a feeling that causes you to stare at your computer screen with your jaw dropped to the floor and your heart ceasing to beat. It makes me forget that other women exist in this world.

Lisa Cross. Denise Masino. Lindsay Mulinazzi. Angela Salvagno. Victoria Dominguez. Nikki Fuller. Yvette Bova. Amber DeLuca. Autumn Raby. Gayle Moher. Lauren Powers. Annie Rivieccio. Brandi Mae Akers. Jill Rudison. Shannon Courtney. Desiree Ellis. Jana Linke-Sippl. Lora Ottenad. Brenda Raganot. Monica Martin. Gracyanne Barbosa. Juliana Malacarne. Karen Zaremba. Michele Levesque. Sheila Bleck. Monica Brant. Lisa Marie Bickels. Lenda Murray. Iris Kyle. Julie Bourassa. Kris Murrell. Sondra Faas. Vilma Caez. Kris Clark. Melissa Dettwiller.

The list goes on and on and on. This doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Pick anyone on this list and spend five minutes doing a Google Images search on her. I guarantee you’ll be hooked within seconds. You’ll be completely enraptured by her power, beauty and strength. Her feminine prowess and physical stature will make you as hapless as a little puppy dog. You’ll totally forget why you used to ogle at the rail-thin supermodels in the Sears catalog (if you actually at one time did that, I’m really sorry!).

The Wow Factor exemplified in Larissa Reis.

The Wow Factor exemplified in Larissa Reis.

This is what it’s like to experience The Wow Factor. You’re struck by a lightning bolt and feel like there is no definition of “beauty” other than what you’ve just witnessed.

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason why there’s so much animosity against female bodybuilders. Haters (who are, pardon the expression, going to hate) have never experienced The Wow Factor. They’ve instead experienced The Ew Factor. The Gross Factor. The Utterly Disgusting Factor. The Why-the-Hell-Would-Anyone-Want-To-Look-Like-That Factor. It saddens me when people choose to shut themselves out from a certain part of life. True, no one has an obligation to like female muscle, but why say “no!” when instead you can choose “sure, why not?”

It’s clear to me that someone who says they’re repulsed by female bodybuilders say that mostly because deep down inside they’re insecure about themselves. They don’t feel secure in their masculinity. They don’t feel secure in their femininity. They react negatively to what they don’t understand or want to understand. They insult others because the only way for them to feel good about themselves is to bring down everyone else. This is a vicious cycle that especially comes out on the Internet. Anonymity brings out the worst in us. There’s no harm in expressing your true feelings when nobody knows your name. Insecurity and a forum for acting upon that insecurity can be a hurtful combination.

One can never see enough photos of Karen Zaremba.

One can never see enough photos of Karen Zaremba.

It should be obvious to anyone who follows the sport of female bodybuilding that the industry is pushing our favorite ladies off to the side and telling them “we don’t want you as much as we did in the past.” People may have wanted to see you on the cover of magazines thirty years ago, but that’s all changed now. Iris Kyle will never be a sports superstar. No way. We don’t care how many Ms. Olympia titles she’s won. We don’t care how dominating she is in her sport. None of that is relevant. What speaks is dollars. And, quite frankly, she doesn’t bring in the dollars like others can. Sorry. You lose. Better luck next time.

Does this make you angry? To anyone who’s experienced The Wow Factor, it should.

Additionally, The Wow Factor affects you in one other way: It makes you defensive whenever you feel like your passions are being attacked. How many times have you been told that female bodybuilders look “gross?” How often do you read articles about the decline of female bodybuilding and you just want to throw your computer against the wall? Does replacing the sport with pole dancing competitions make you want to face-palm over and over again till your forehead turns beet red?

These reactions are classic examples of wanting to defend what you love. The Wow Factor makes us feel as though any attack on a strong woman is also an attack on us. Insult the sport of female bodybuilding on a public forum? Expect fans from across the world to fight back. Someone wants to deny Alina Popa’s right to climb the mountaintops and finally win the Ms. Olympia? In no time will you see her countless fans defending her on her behalf.

Gracyanne Barbosa. Baby got back.

Gracyanne Barbosa. Baby got back.

Though this negative energy can be seen as a bad thing, anything can be used for something positive. Being angry and defensive all the time will get you nowhere. A more constructive use of these emotions is to become pro-active. There are a lot of things we can do to make sure female bodybuilding doesn’t become extinct. Write letters. Send e-mails. Boycott those who vigorously marginalize the FBBs we idolize. Buy books and magazines promoting female muscle. Open your wallets and hearts to the women we adore. Openly support these athletes as if they truly are our best friends. Don’t let society dictate what you find beautiful. Do what you can to make these amazing athletes more mainstream.

What if one day female muscle becomes more mainstream? Imagine a world where gorgeous women like Larissa Reis are seen in the media as often as we see Kate Upton. Think about how awesome it would be if we can turn on the summer Olympics and instead of being perplexed by the presence of strong women, we can just sit back and enjoy watching her hard work being proudly displayed on the world’s brightest stage.

Instead of thinking to ourselves, “Ew!” we can have a more complimentary reaction:

“Wow.”

If I Don’t Already Like Female Bodybuilders, Should I?

I love me some Marina Lopez.

I love me some Marina Lopez.

There are a lot of people out there who love female muscle.

A lot.

Whether you consider your cup of tea to be women bodybuilders, female athletes, fitness and figure competitors, lady personal trainers or muscular porn actresses, the existence of society’s affinity toward female muscle is undeniable. Granted, it’s not a huge portion of society, but there is little doubt that many folks around the world share this particular attraction.

The reasons why a man (or woman) would like female bodybuilders are numerous. After all, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, n’est-ce pas?

But a far more interesting question to discuss is as follows: If I don’t already like female bodybuilders, should I?

In other words, if you don’t consider women like Marina Lopez, Jana Linke-Sippl or Emery Miller as sexy as a Victoria’s Secret supermodel, should you? Do you have any obligation whatsoever to at least consider the possibility that a woman with muscles can be beautiful – not grotesque, disgusting or repulsive? Or are you justified in making your conclusion and never reconsidering your position?

I am of the opinion that whatever (or whomever) you find attractive is your opinion and yours alone. You have every right to find a particular person beautiful and the person standing next to them not as beautiful. But I also believe you should never limit yourself. You should never shut out any possibility without sampling what it could be like first. That’s true for many things in life.

The British Bombshell Lisa Cross.

The British Bombshell Lisa Cross.

While I challenge everyone who finds female muscle hideous to strongly reconsider their opinion, I also don’t want to guilt trip anybody to move to “our side.” I could make a socio-feminist argument in support of female bodybuilding. I could get defensive. I could get mean and nasty. But that would be counter-productive. No one ever won an argument by shouting, right?

One of my favorite Facebook pages is Women Who are Big, Thick, Dense and Muscular are Hott and Sexy Heaven. Don’t let the extravagant and hyperbolic page name turn you away. While I still haven’t figured out why “Hott” is spelled with two t’s, I can forgive them because they post every single day really awesome photos of female bodybuilders. It’s always the first page I check every morning. I highly recommend you “like” their page if you’re an active Facebook user.

Just make sure you don’t post too many mean spirited comments. You’ll almost always receive negative feedback, mostly from the page’s administrator (whoever that is). Though I think they tend to get a little too defensive toward undesirable comments, trying to keep the conversation positive is a noble goal.

So if you’re ever feeling like people are negatively judging you for your love of female muscle, countering that with a judgmental attitude of your own doesn’t do anyone any good. Fighting fire with fire isn’t always a prudent strategy. As difficult as it can be, sometimes you have to take mean, sexist comments in stride and counter it with grace, humility and intellectual integrity.

Angela Salvagno's sexiness is off the charts.

Angela Salvagno’s sexiness is off the charts.

I suppose the answer to my proposed question is “no.” You don’t have to like female bodybuilders if you don’t already. You have no requirement to do so. In your life’s Bucket List, looking at an image of an FBB and thinking to yourself, “Gee, she looks great!” shouldn’t have to be on it.

However, this point of contention does come with a caveat. You do have to respect those who do and not try to embarrass them about it.

And, don’t assume that people who love female muscle are weird, deranged, psychopathic, psychologically damaged, bizarre, sociopathic or any other insulting label.

Here’s an example. Some people think guys (and gals) like us are somehow unhealthy. Some get the impression that we need help, that our attraction can be dangerous, that we’re crossing over into the perilous territory of “obsession.”

Don't you wish you had abs like Cindy Landolt?

Don’t you wish you had abs like Cindy Landolt?

Personally, my attraction to female bodybuilders isn’t even close to being an obsession. So never assume that it is. Obsessions can be unhealthy. Obsessions can lead to squandering money, damaging relationships, destroying your work and family life and consuming everything that is good about you. Like the issue of substance abuse, your obsession can take on a life of its own and create a monster that can be really tough to slay. But, and I want to make this a point of emphasis, this is often the stereotype associated to people who like female muscle.

We’re addicts. We need help. It will eventually consume our lives.

While any mild attraction can morph into something terrible, I don’t believe liking female muscle is any unhealthier than being into BDSM. Lots of people are into that sort of thing. You probably know dozens of people; family members, neighbors, friends, coworkers, the cute lady who makes your coffee every morning at Starbucks; who are turned on by bondage, discipline, sado-masochism, etc. You just don’t know it.

And if it’s someone close to you, you probably would rather be kept in the dark!

So, even if you did find out somehow, would that change your opinion of them? Would you choose to move out of your neighborhood when you find out the nice couple living across the street from you likes to spank each other occasionally? If so, I’d advise you never peek into your neighbor’s bedrooms at night to find out (not that you should for any other reason!).

Is Alina Popa the most beautiful woman in the world? Yes. Yes, she is.

Is Alina Popa the most beautiful woman in the world? Yes. Yes, she is.

I suppose this blog post is aimed at two audiences: Those who like female muscle and feel defensive about it and those who do not and think that people who do are “strange.” Unfamiliarity, strained egos and the unwillingness to tune out antagonistic chatter can cause this animosity between us. We shouldn’t let this happen, of course.

So if you don’t already like female bodybuilders and female muscle, you don’t have to. There! I just answered the $1 million question. Likewise, if someone does prefer ladies with meat on their bones, just acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own tastes and move on with your life.

I try to write articles that can create a dialogue. Thus far, I’m blessed to have a strong readership who reads all the material I post on here. Thank you so much! Without readers, a blog is meaningless.

I’m also aware that lots of people share my articles on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once again, thank you for spreading my words across the large galaxy that is the Internet. I never imagined when I first started this blog that I would be as “popular” as I am now (so to speak).

A lot of folks find my blog randomly through search engines. I believe this is proof that there are plenty of people out there who are just as curious about having a female muscle fetish as I am. Some of you have an incomprehensible admiration for female muscle and can’t explain why. Others of you know someone who shares this attraction and are baffled as to why they feel this way.

I need Ludmila Kolesnikova to protect me in battle. Seriously.

I need Ludmila Kolesnikova to protect me in battle. Seriously.

We come from dissimilar paths in life and from all corners of the world. But we all share one thing in common, regardless of which side of the fence we’re on: We’re all captivated, albeit in different ways, by a woman with muscles. They entice us. They provoke us. They stir thoughts and emotions within us that nothing else can. It’s unexplainable. It’s irrational. It’s undeniable.

Why is Alina Pope one of the most beautiful women in the world? Why does she grab my attention in a manner a Playboy playmate can’t match? I could write a whole blog post about Miss Popa alone if I want to. Seriously. I might actually do that.

But to attempt to articulate my love for Alina Popa would bring up a mountain load of follow up questions to the skeptical eye. Why do you like a woman who looks like that? Why don’t you like smaller women instead? Do you actually think the veins in her arms are sexy? Did your mother excessively punish you when you were a child?

Perhaps we could hold a Socratic dialogue and really get to the root of why men like me like ladies like her. We could do this over a couple of beers and plenty of chips and salsa. We might actually learn something about each other.

I’m game. Are you?

Top 10 Misconceptions About Having a Female Muscle Fetish

The fabulous Fabiola Boulanger.

The fabulous Fabiola Boulanger.

I’d like to think that one day it’ll become more acceptable to being attracted to muscular women. After all, I do sense a somewhat significant backlash against the “skinny is beautiful” aesthetic that we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing.

I’m also willing to bet the recent debate about healthcare will also spur some further dialogue about the health of our country and what it means to be healthy. Is starving yourself in order to achieve that rail thin look good for your body? The answer, of course, is a resounding NO.

Maybe someday we’ll actually see more muscular women in everyday society once we get past the irrational concept that women can’t lift weights in the gym like guys do. Face it: You all know what I’m talking about. Which demographic almost always dominates the weight room at your gym? Men. This isn’t even up for debate.

So, once we see more ladies pump iron in the weight room, perhaps this will lead more and more straight guys (and non-straight guys, to be fair) to openly admit that a women with muscle isn’t gross, but beautiful. Is it so strange to finally admit something that was once “taboo” the moment it becomes mainstream? I would hope not.

But seeing muscular women walk down the streets in droves is far from a reality and probably will never become commonplace (though one does hope and pray!) in my lifetime. Nevertheless, let’s delve into ten common misconceptions about having a female muscle fetish that we should clear up in anticipation of a complete social paradigm shift in how we define “sexy.”

I'd go to the gym more often if women like Ericca Kern were hanging around the weight room.

I’d go to the gym more often if women like Ericca Kern were hanging around the weight room.

1. Straight men who are attracted to muscular women are secretly gay.

There’s this belief out there that straight men who love a female with brawn is somehow living a lie. He’s not really straight, but instead a fabulously gay man ready to burst out of the closet with two chiseled female bodybuilders sitting on his shoulders.

If my understanding of sexuality is correct, gay men are attracted to OTHER MEN, not women. I’m heterosexual and have no desire to be intimate with a guy. I do, however, have many fantasies about being intimate with women like Gayle Moher, Tazzie Colomb, Ericca Kern and Angela Salvagno. I’m attracted to these women (and scores of others) because they’re beautiful women; regardless if their beauty is or is not commonly accepted among the general population.

That’s correct. They’re WOMEN who are BEAUTIFUL by standards that happen to be outside of the norm. My personal standards for female beauty are my own. I’m not saying you should agree with me, but you should accept this fixation of mine and move on with your life.

Sound good?

Great!

I could write a whole essay describing the beauty of Denise Masino. I just might...

I could write a whole essay describing the beauty of Denise Masino. I just might…

2. Having a female muscle fetish also means you’re into BDSM.

BDSM, for those of you who don’t know what this means, is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline (it could also be Domination) and Sadomasochism. In short, this means chains, whips, being tied up, tying up someone else, spanking, role playing, domination, submission, safe words, leather outfits, consensual pain, pleasure though pain, pleasure through risqué social relationships, pleasure through power, pleasure through the lack of power, paddles, rope, orgasm control, dungeons, anal plugs, kinky toys, blindfolds and a whole host of other elements.

You get the idea, right? Think “50 Shades of Grey,” if you’ve ever heard of that before.

Hell, at this point who hasn’t?

While many female bodybuilders often engage in BDSM activities outside of their bodybuilding careers (being a professional bodybuilder, unfortunately, isn’t a very lucrative business), there is no direct link between being having a female muscle fetish and being into the D/s subculture.

Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not judging those who are into that sort of thing. In fact, I believe that whatever you’re into is your own business and no one else’s. What happens between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes is not for us to judge. So…I am not saying all of this because I want to distance myself from DBSM culture.

Rather, you can be attracted to an FBB and not want her to tie you up, spank you with a paddle and call you dirty names while she makes you do her bidding. Your lust for her can be very “vanilla,” just as if you had a crush on the girl next door.

Except this girl happens to have steel thighs, bulging biceps, wide pecs and rock hard abs!

But this all brings me to my next point…

Would I want Tina Lockwood's massive thighs around my neck? No, but don't knock it unless you've tried it, right?

Would I want Tina Lockwood’s massive thighs around my neck? No, but don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it, right?

3. A guy with a female muscle fetish wants a female bodybuilder to physically dominate him.

Nor is this a true statement. Speaking from my personal life, all my fantasies about being with a beautiful female bodybuilder has nothing to do with her physically dominating me.

I would love nothing more than to make love to a woman like Lisa Cross. She doesn’t have to wrestle me, sit on me, grapple me, pick me up, or pin me to the ground till I beg her to let me breathe. A simple evening with her involving candle light, a bottle of wine, fresh fruit and silky white bed sheets will suffice.

Seriously. That would be awesome.

While many guys who love female muscle are also into D/s role playing, I want to make a point that not every guy fantasizes about the same thing. Just as most regular people have a diverse range of sexual fantasies, so do guys who love ladies with muscles. We’re no different, no freakier than you are. We’re just into a different sort of woman.

Contrary to popular belief, I still find women like Kate Upton to be beautiful.

Contrary to popular belief, I still find women like Kate Upton to be beautiful.

4. A guy with a female muscle fetish isn’t attracted to “normal” looking women.

On the contrary, I find women of all types to be beautiful. When I was in high school, I had the biggest celebrity crush on Monica Bellucci, whom I thought was literally the most beautiful woman in the world.

Upon further review, there is little evidence to suggest that my assessment at the time was wrong. Even as a middle aged woman, Ms. Bellucci remains a supremely gorgeous creature. My high school-self had every rational reason to be enamored by this Italian Goddess.

Like most young men, I see beautiful women everywhere I look and frequently fantasize about being with them (guys think about sex every, what is it…seven seconds?). One young lady I particularly like at the moment is the polar opposite of a female bodybuilder: She’s small, petite and possesses absolutely no upper body strength. Kim Chizevsky could snap her like a twig if she wanted to. But I nevertheless find her supremely beautiful.

She has narrow hips, skinny legs, pale white skin and flat breasts. She’s half Asian but looks very much like she could be full. She’s smart, funny and shares a lot of the same interests as me. I’m very much in love with her, but unfortunately she doesn’t quite share the same mutual feelings (my confession of my love for her and her subsequent “friend-zoning” of me could make for a whole other blog post). Regardless, I think she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met.

All this is to say that I’m also attracted to “normal” looking women. It’s not like guys who love muscular women find their less muscled counterparts to be repulsive. We don’t expect every woman to look like Lauren Powers or Lora Ottenad, so it’s unreasonable to assume if you don’t look like them, we don’t care. It’s not like that at all.

Having a female muscle fetish isn’t a one-track deal. It’s just one tool in the tool shed, so to speak. Of course women like Megan Fox and Kate Upton also catch our eye. But ladies like Deidre Pagnanelli and Monica Brant do as well. That’s all there is to it.

If being attracted to a woman like Gayle Moher means I'm unhealthy, then I'm one sick puppy!

If being attracted to a woman like Gayle Moher means I’m unhealthy, then I’m one sick puppy!

5. Having a female muscle fetish is a “condition” that’s unhealthy.

This is a misconception that especially gets me angry. I don’t know how common this belief is, but I do know that a small percentage of folks out there might think this.

Clinically speaking, the proper term is sthenolagnia, which means “sexual arousal from displaying strength or muscles.” This isn’t a condition. It’s just a kink. Of course, any interest that goes too far can be unhealthy. When a fetish becomes an obsession, you can be prone to adopting some very unhealthy behaviors.

Wasting money you can’t afford to spend to satisfy your kink. Alienating your friends and family. Breaking the law. Endangering your physical being and psyche. All of these things can be associated with a fetish gone too far.

But this definitely is not normal for people with a harmless and unusual fetish.

To be fair, I should say that the word “fetish” can be misleading. In some definitions, the word “fetish” implies that someone needs that particular object in order to get sexually aroused and cannot get aroused otherwise. In other words, if feet are your thing, nothing will turn you on except for feet and feet only.

This definition might be a bit extreme, but like I mentioned before, being attracted to muscular women doesn’t mean I can’t be attracted to non-muscular women. There are lots of non-FBBs who strike my fancy.

So there is nothing unhealthy about having a female muscle fetish. It doesn’t affect my personal or professional life. My relationships with my friends and family aren’t strained because of it. My relationship with women also isn’t suddenly off-the-wall because of this particular fandom. I’m perfectly normal. And many other guys who share my kink are as well.

Growing up, I considered Monica Bellucci to be the most beautiful woman on the planet. After looking at photos like this, I can see why.

Growing up, I considered Monica Bellucci to be the most beautiful woman on the planet. After looking at photos like this, I can see why.

6. A female muscle fetish is caused by unresolved childhood trauma.

Can my love for female bodybuilders be explained because of some unresolved childhood trauma? Was Mommy overbearing, despotic and cruel? Was Daddy weak, complacent and effeminate? Could this be the cause of my lust for strong women?

I’m no psychologist, but I’m guessing there’s absolutely no link between liking female muscle and having a troubled childhood. But it does seem rather tempting to make a Freudian connection between having a strong mother and gravitating toward strong women as an adult.

I’m willing to bet there’s some truth that someone who was spanked as a child (by mom, perhaps) might develop a fetish for being spanked as a grownup. But I have absolutely no empirical evidence to back me up.

Alas, I can only speak from personal experience that my attraction to female muscle is completely independent from my upbringing.

Then again, it’s hard to self-analyze, isn’t it?

Maybe I should see a shrink after all…

I don't think my attraction for Gina Davis will ever go away.

I don’t think my attraction for Gina Davis will ever go away.

7. A female muscle fetish is temporary and will eventually go away.

Sticking with this theme of a female muscle fetish being a “condition,” is it like the common cold and it will eventually go away with plenty of bed rest, cough drops and chicken soup?

I highly doubt it. This is not some sort of temporary fad that I’ll get into and eventually move on from as if it were a trend diet. The South Beach Diet, Atkin’s Diet and the recently chic Paleo Diet may come and go, but I don’t think the love for female muscle will ever go away.

If you browse chat forums that discuss muscle worship, wrestling sessions and the love for FBBs, many of these folks talk about loving female muscle for many years, sometimes dating back to childhood. It’s like a light going off: Everyone who loves muscular women can remember the exact moment they first discovered this love. Whether it was pursuing through a fitness magazine, catching a glimpse of a female bodybuilder on television or seeing a strong female character in a comic book, everyone with a female muscle fetish can share their personal testimony of “how it all started.”

This is why I very much doubt the belief that this kink will simply run its course after a new fetish is magically “discovered.”

Unfortunately, not all female bodybuilders are as beautiful as Monica Brant.

Unfortunately, not all female bodybuilders are as beautiful as Monica Brant.

8. Guys who are attracted to female bodybuilders are attracted to ALL female bodybuilders.

There are lots of FBBs whom I find attractive. Katka Kyptova, Victoria Dominguez, Tina Lockwood (who retired from bodybuilding a while back), Colette Guimond, Amber DeLuca and scores of others are some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever laid eyes on.

However, this doesn’t mean I find every female bodybuilder attractive.

I hate to say it and sound sexist, but there are some FBBs who do indeed look “gross.” Whether it’s because of veins sticking out of their skin, “masculine” faces caused by an imbalance of hormones, or some other reason, there are some FBBs in this world that don’t even come close to turning me on. While I wholeheartedly reject the notion that female bodybuilders are disgusting because women shouldn’t have muscles, unfortunately (and it hurts me to say this) this is somewhat true for a select few.

Whew. There you go. I said it. Not every muscular woman looks sexy and beautiful. I hope I don’t offend anybody out there!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the old saying goes. Generally speaking, we all have our standards for what we find aesthetically pleasing in a human being. Some folks fit in those categories, and others simply do not. We should try our best not to be judgmental about these sorts of things, but that doesn’t change the fact that some women (and men!) are naturally more beautiful than others.

I have nothing against FBBs whom I don’t find pleasant to look at. They have every right to sculpt their bodies into whatever shape they want. I just don’t need to find it attractive, necessarily.

To each his own, eh?

Sandra Faas is beautiful, regardless of what others might think!

Sandra Faas is beautiful, regardless of what others might think!

9. A female muscle fetish is misogynist because we’re objectifying a muscular woman.

I’m no feminist scholar, but I’m sure some folks out there might object to us guys with the hots for strong ladies because we’re treating them like sex objects instead of human beings.

This is one misconception that might, unfortunately, have a certain degree of truth. I suppose it’s not a stretch to say that a guy who likes the muscles on a woman is similar to a guy who likes a woman with fake breasts, artificially tanned skin and excessive Botox treatments. We like what we see instead of who she is as a person.

If we lust after a woman because of her looks, does this make us sexist? This is a whole other discussion that I’m not too keen on getting into right now. But here is what I can say with a certain degree of certainty: Guys who like muscular women probably aren’t typically going to be the sexist, misogynist pigs you see on Mad Men.

I say this because I think the hatred of female bodybuilders is more fueled by sexism than the love for female bodybuilders. While objectification under any circumstances is unacceptable, I’m willing to bet if there is a group of straight men out there who is less likely to be against a woman demonstrating her independence and bodily freedom, it would be guys with a female muscle fetish.

Personally, I think it’s awesome there are women out there who could care less about what society says and choose to pursue bodybuilding regardless. I’m all for someone striving to be the best they can be at what they do. The beauty about bodybuilding is that it’s a sport where, ultimately, you’re competing against yourself more so than against other people.

Think of it this way: Us guys who like strong ladies do so because we like the way they look. Fine. But there’s a hidden layer underneath this. We also like their will, tenacity and dedication to looking the way they do. Lots of guys are scared and intimated by a woman who’s not afraid to break stereotypes.

Guys like me aren’t.

The peerless Kim Chizevsky could care less if you think muscles aren't sexy on a woman. You go girl! Keep pumping those biceps!

The peerless Kim Chizevsky could care less if you think muscles aren’t sexy on a woman. You go girl! Keep pumping those biceps!

10. A female muscle fetish is rare.

My last point is another point that might be partly true. It’s very hard to say how many guys are actually attracted to muscular women. It is fair to say that the number of guys who are open about their attraction to muscular women is rare. I’ll give you that.

But how many guys (like myself) keep their love for strong lassies a secret? As we all know, it’s a taboo to openly admit this, so this could explain why we think it’s so rare. But is it actually more prevalent but kept underground because of the stigma attached to it?

Anything that’s considered “weird” ceases to become weird once it becomes more popular. I could list a million things that fit into this category. But as much as I love female muscle, I’d be very hesitant to openly admit this fetish in casual conversation with my friends. Complete strangers on the Internet? No problem! My best friends? Uh, no.

So is a female muscle fetish rare? Maybe, maybe not. I’m in no position to say either yay or nay.

But maybe it isn’t. Maybe there are a lot of men out there who wouldn’t hesitate to confess that a woman with muscles is way more sexy than a woman with a bony body if it weren’t so “strange.” Maybe the more we see muscular woman in public, the more willing guys would be to whisper to their buddies, “Hey, she’s pretty hot. And strong, too!”

Maybe, and bear with me here, if more guys admitted to liking a girl with a little bulk, more women would abandon ridiculous fad diets and do more bench presses. Starve yourself to get skinny? Screw that! Go to the gym instead and LIFT to your heart’s delight! If we want to see more women in the weight room, all we simply need to do is encourage them. Hmmmmm…

Is strong the new skinny? We can only hope so.

Or, at least, I can only hope so.