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

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

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

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

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

Whatever floats your boat, as the old saying goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My God…Dayana Cadeau.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have no good answers. Only more questions.

Like Fine Wine, Muscular Women Get Sexier with Age

Very fine indeed is Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

Very fine indeed is Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

Age is just a number, as the old saying goes.

In fact, there are many things in our society that are measured in numbers that are fairly arbitrary. The number of times you’ve experienced the Earth rotating around the Sun is obviously one of them. There isn’t much of a difference between a person who’s 18 years old and another person who is a week shy of their 18th birthday. However, from a legal perspective (I live in the United States) they are leaps and bounds apart.

The 18-year-old is a legal adult and can enlist in the military, purchase cigarettes, and possess a firearm. The other person who is six or seven days away from turning 18 cannot legally do any of those things. In actuality, the latter individual may be more intellectually and emotionally mature than the 18-year-old adult, but that doesn’t matter as far as federal and state laws are concerned. From the perspective of governments, it’s not the “readiness” of the person wanting to do certain things that factors into these legal decisions. Realistically speaking, it’s nearly impossible to gage the “maturity” level of a person. It’s a heck of a lot easier to look at their ID card and see what year they were born.

So age does matter as far as the law goes. But what about normal interactions between human beings? We expect lovers to be in the same ballpark as far as age is concerned, but it’s not terribly unusual to see a married or dating couple be eight to ten years apart in age. The bigger the gap, the bigger the eyebrow is raised by onlookers, but that’s a whole other story.

We also judge one’s accomplishments in terms of their age. It’s impressive for a 12-year-old kid to be able to play the piano at the same level of a professional concern pianist. It’s possible, of course, but remarkable enough that we’d feel compelled to label this kid with terms like “prodigy” and “gifted.” A 45-year-old adult who can play the piano at a high level is still impressive, but less so because they’ve had way more years of practice and experience to hone their craft.

When it comes to sexual attraction, someone’s numerical age matters less than the appearance of their age. If we are someone who values youth and vitality, a 25 year-old and a 35-year-old could very well look the same age, assuming you don’t personally know either of them. Makeup, cosmetic surgery and freaky good genetics aside, physical attraction isn’t based upon knowing the specific age of the other person so much as it’s about enjoying the way they look.

Some of us tend to be attracted to those who are younger, others prefer an “older” person, and some of us are more adaptable. We tend to like people who are our age, which of course changes as the years go on.

How I dream of being that chair being straddled by Lora Ottenad.

How I dream of being that chair being straddled by Lora Ottenad.

For straight guys, the “older woman” thing is very much real and not nearly as taboo as it once was. We all have our limits, but there’s nothing unusual about being attracted to a woman who has more life experience under her belt. There’s no need to go into this topic in too much detail, but there is a fascinating angle when we’re dealing with muscular women.

One reason why lots of guys don’t care for older women is because, unfortunately, age tends to break down the human body. Nobody can remain sleek, perfectly curvy and smooth forever. Eventually, a woman’s breasts will start to sag. She may start to gain a few pounds. Her skin will start to wrinkle and lose its softness. This is not something that can be prevented or reversed, no matter how many thousands of dollars you pay a surgeon to operate on you. Mother Nature is unforgiving and time always wins at the end.

This is true for men. This is true for women. This is true for you and I. Oh well. There’s no use in complaining if it’s inevitable, right?

However, muscular women are a different sort of breed. A female bodybuilder who continues to lift at the gym and eat right well after she retires from the sport can still remain just as sexy as she was when she was in her 20s and 30s. And it’s not because muscles can hide a woman’s age. They don’t, but they miraculously can keep a woman’s body irresistibly desirable to guys who are willing to look at her. Aren’t muscles great?

It should also be pointed out that most of the biggest and brawniest female bodybuilders – although certainly not all – tend to be older as it is. Looking through past Ms. Olympia participants (may the Ms. O competition R.I.P.) one cannot help but notice most of the competitors being either in their 30s or 40s. What can explain this? Well, probably because of the simple fact it takes a whole lot of time to gain that much muscle mass.

While it certainly is possible for younger women in their 20s to develop an impressive level of muscularity (see Shannon Courtney before she retired from bodybuilding), for the most part it takes years and years of strategic dieting, lifting, supplementation, and preparation in order to get really big. A woman who takes up bodybuilding at the age of 20 isn’t going to go from looking like Taylor Swift and transform into Debi Laszewski by the time she turns 21. It doesn’t work that way. She may need a half a dozen years before she can even start to resemble Ms. Laszewski.

Betty Pariso putting women half her age to shame.

Betty Pariso putting women half her age to shame.

Or, perhaps she ends up not having the drive, inclination, or support systems necessary to ever look like Debi. Maybe she sets her sights on being a full-time bodybuilder at 20-years-old and gives up two or three years later because she’s broke, penniless, and without a steady income stream. No matter what your goals are, it’s difficult to attain them when you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from.

But even if you do have what it takes to become a professional bodybuilder, it still takes an incredible amount of time to get to an elite level. “Elite” is a word we often throw around casually. But it shouldn’t be used like that. An elite bodybuilder is someone who belongs in a category with only eight or nine other individuals on planet Earth at the most. Even becoming a non-elite bodybuilder is still tough sledding. Attaining a figure similar to that of Emery Miller is still super impressive. However, even that takes lots of time and effort.

It’s definitely possible to achieve the “fit” or “athletic” look after a year or so, but that’s not necessarily what we’re talking about. We have nothing against fitness models, bikini competitors or “normal” women who love to go to the gym, but what really gets our hearts racing are the large female bodybuilders who can bend steel with their bare hands, crush a watermelon between their legs and carry another human being on their back effortlessly. That sort of body is something else entirely. That kind of body doesn’t just develop after running on the treadmill a few minutes per day. That requires a whole set of lifestyle changes that only a few select are willing to implement from start to finish. These are the kind of women we’re dealing with.

So, the “older woman” fetish is attached to female muscle fetishism almost by default. Many female bodybuilders tend to be older. Therefore, guys who love big female bodybuilders also, by extension, love older women.

But is it really that simple?

Perhaps not. In Female Muscle Growth fiction and art, the protagonists tend to be younger women who miraculously become big and buff as quickly as it takes to snap your fingers. Sometimes they’re high school girls. Other times they’re just very young adult women. Nevertheless, there exists a large segment of the female muscle fandom universe who lusts after younger women with big muscles.

However, there does exist a group of folks (myself included) who love strong women and older women at the same time. When I fantasize about making love to women like Denise Masino, Amber DeLuca or Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia (all of them are in their late 40s), the fact they aren’t being mistaken for college co-eds is part of what makes them so desirable. Because these women are older, they’re also:

  • Wiser
  • Sexually skilled
  • Accomplished
  • Experienced in the highs and lows of life
  • Better connected to the human condition
  • Well-versed in what the world has to offer
  • More emotionally and intellectually refined

This isn’t to say that younger people (male or female) can’t also be these things, but years of experience walking on this Earth cannot be easily replicated or substituted. Life can be incredibly complex, with positives and negatives that can hit you from all angles. Perhaps this is why the “older woman” fetish exists. There’s something incredibly sexy about a woman who’s seen it all, experienced it all, and doesn’t have the time nor the inclination to fool around. She knows what she wants, doesn’t want, and will not apologize for either. That’s hot.

Nice view of Dayana Cadeau.

Nice view of Dayana Cadeau.

A woman with muscles is something else. Not only is she wiser and worldly, she’s also strong as hell and beautiful in ways that are indescribable. If Sigmund Freud were a participant in this discussion, he’d point out the fact that strong older women are a sexualized symbol (or surrogate) of our mothers. When we were little kids, we looked up to our moms as being physically and emotionally strong. We still may feel that way today as adults, but as children this was true both literally and figuratively. I’m no expert at Freudian psychology, but I’d wager a guess that there’s probably some element of truth at play here.

We may not consciously consider an older muscular woman to be a quasi-maternal figure in our lives, but deep inside the recesses of our brains we might make that connection. In our secret imaginations, we yearn for a strong older muscular woman to cradle us in her arms just as our moms did when we were young and helpless.

This may shed some light on the fetish of “lift and carry” sessions. Our moms held us in her arms when we were babies, so we desire for a female bodybuilder to do the same when we’re adults. I don’t think this explanation is definitive or all-encompassing, but there’s undeniably a rational argument to be made.

I’ve met female bodybuilders who have children that are my age or close to it. I’ve met female bodybuilders who may not have children at all but if they did, they’d be in my age range. Does this reality cross my mind when I’m actively engaging with them in a muscle worship session? Not really, but it does occur to me later after the appointment is over. How can it not?

Perhaps our female muscle fetishism is beneath the surface a longing for returning to our childhood. We crave nostalgia in a pseudo-sexual manner of a time when female authority figures (which can also include school teachers) ruled over our lives. Our fetishes would be totally understood by King Oedipus and Queen Jocasta, a son/mother combo from Greek mythology who ended up marrying and having four children with each other. Gross? You bet it is, but ancient mythology is rarely ever pleasant or polite to contemplate.

Without getting too deep into the weeds, let’s shift gears and talk about the physical attributes of an older muscular woman. She possesses one striking quality that “normal looking” women her age do not: tightness.

No, not the tightness of her vagina! Although, that could be the case. I’d ask you to get your mind out of the gutter, but mine is there as well so I’m in no position to scold you. Instead, I’m talking about the tightness and hardness located everywhere on her body. As a general rule, the older you get the softer and flabbier you also get. Your belly gets bigger. Your arms and breasts start to sag. Your skin gets wrinkled. Once again, it’s inevitably going to happen to all of us, regardless of who we are. Our hormones change. We don’t metabolize food like we used to. We’re less active and possess less energy. It stinks, but it is what it is.

Age doesn't seem to ever affect Yaxeni Oriquen.

Age doesn’t seem to ever affect Yaxeni Oriquen.

But, a muscular woman can delay or hide the effects of aging. Instead of feeling a sagging arm with loose skin, you feel bulging hardness that seems like can burst at any moment. An FBB’s muscularity allows her body to not only defy the inevitable breaking down caused by aging; it empowers her to surpass the perceptual limits of human achievement.

More than that, obviously a muscular woman doesn’t look any younger or older than a non-bodybuilder of the same age bracket. But we need to remember that youthfulness isn’t just defined by looks. It also includes personality, attitude, and one’s outlook on life. A female bodybuilder defies aging not because she physically looks younger, but because she’s refused to give in to the idea that impressive accomplishments is only monopolized by the young.

She’s strong. She’s vibrant. She’s driven. She’s motivated. She’s dynamic. She’s energetic. She’s goal-oriented. She refuses to accept failure as an outcome. She’s proud of her body. She’s permitted herself to remain sexually vivacious well after her non-muscular peers have gone past their peak. She doesn’t just extend her window of opportunity of being erotically desirable; she shatters it with a sledgehammer and believes it can last forever.

A female bodybuilder without question gets sexier with age. Not because a youthful woman with big muscles is somehow inferior to an older woman with big muscles, but because the older woman carries with her a level of wisdom, experience, and sex appeal that the younger woman cannot. Like the clichéd analogy of fine wine getting better with age, a newer bottle of wine still can taste pretty darn good with your juicy ribeye dinner. But if you wait long enough, that same bottle of wine will taste that much better after some proper aging.

Indeed, age is just a number. Youth has nothing to do with the number of birthday candles that’s on top of your cake. It has everything to do with what you choose to do with your life. That’s as simple as it gets. Undoubtedly, female bodybuilders live their lives to the fullest.

Taming the Wild Beast: Giving an Orgasm to a Muscular Woman

If Jane looked like this, would Tarzan still want to be with her?

If Jane looked like this, would Tarzan still want to be with her?

There is a common belief out there that men who love muscular women also love (or fantasize about) being dominated by a muscular woman. While there is a close link between female muscle fetishism and BDSM, the two can be mutually exclusive. I would argue they can exist independently.

Nevertheless, the weak man/strong woman motif persists for good reasons. Men who pay strong women for sessions do so for the privileges of wrestling them or worshiping their muscles. Either way, they’re willing to shell out $300 to $500 of their hard earned cash because they love living out the fantasy of being physically and emotionally dominated by a stronger woman.

This fantasy goes a bit further, however. Deep down inside, even the most beta male secretly wishes he can win the upper hand against a stronger female opponent. While there are guys who fetishize the idea of being completely dominated by a woman, there exists other fantasies that go along with that. Primarily, the fantasy of “taming the wild beast.”

For as long as human civilization has been around, it has been commonly accepted that men are naturally stronger than women. This has led to men being the ones who’ve organized society’s political, social, economic, and religious structures. For better or for worse, this is still how things operate today, although that trend is starting to move in the other direction. There is no doubt women are gaining further traction in today’s world, but the way business has been done for thousands of years cannot be radically altered overnight.

Perhaps this “changing of the guard” where men and women are enjoying (more or less) “equal” footing in society’s power structures explains the popularity of men fetishizing being dominated by a woman. There are countless men in this world who are in control but do not necessarily want to be in control. Just as Spider-Man could tell you, with great power comes great responsibility. And great responsibility can be a heavy emotional burden.

Sexologists will argue that the male fantasy of being dominated by a woman is borne out of a desire for powerful men to be able to “let go” and be powerless for at least a few moments in his life. Heavy lies the crown, so the adage goes. This temporary abdication of power is a man’s way of releasing his inner burdens and allowing someone else to take control for once. So perhaps we’re looking at this in completely the wrong way. Guys who love muscular women aren’t necessarily beta males who enjoy submitting themselves to feminine power. Instead, they might just be “average, normal dudes” who crave momentary relief from their male “duties.”

We could go on exploring this issue, but let’s return to the main topic. The association of a muscular woman with a “wild beast” shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Pulp novels of long ago used to portray “jungle women” who would capture, torment, scheme against, and engage in steamy sexual relationships with their male counterparts. The jungle motif continues to be seen today in photoshoots involving female bodybuilders and models. Our pop culture associates a strong, muscular physique with keen survival skills, an animalistic personality, and fierce independence.

What if Jane looked like Dayana Cadeau?

What if Jane looked like Dayana Cadeau?

Tarzan wasn’t a weakling. Jane might have been, but certainly not her lover. If we turn the tables around and fantasize about Denise Masino or Alina Popa as modern-day female Tarzans, how many of us would put ourselves into the shoes of Jane? Would we be named James? Or John? Or Jim?

However, as much as we love to think of our favorite female bodybuilders as strong, sexy, independent creatures who can kick our ass at the drop of a hat, deep down inside our imaginations exist an interesting layer to this fantasy. We still want to be in charge. We may enjoy being pinned down, talked down to, and humiliated by a strong woman, but at the end of the day we want to assert our God-given dominance in one way or another.

So how do we do that? In this particular fantasy, the answer – of course! – has a sexual component to it.

If a weaker guy cannot physically dominate a stronger woman, he can assert his dominance in a sexual way instead. How is that done? Simple:

Giving a female bodybuilder an orgasm.

Obviously, not every female bodybuilder who offers sessions will allow that level of sexual intimacy to her clients. That’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, I’m referring to the fantasy of giving a strong muscular woman an orgasm. Let’s talk about this point in further detail.

There are many ways men can demonstrate their dominance over a woman. Not all of them are sexist or spiteful, although these behaviors could certainly be taken to those unfortunate extremes. A guy could show off his strength at the gym, flaunt his wealth at a fancy restaurant, impress his date by introducing her to his high-status friends, remind everyone how much influence he has at his job, and so on. Yeah, many of these things can make you out to look like an egotistical jerk, so I don’t recommend you exhibit these manners too often.

A jungle-themed photoshoot with Wendy McMaster.

A jungle-themed photoshoot with Wendy McMaster.

But…there is another way. It’s less public (at least, traditionally speaking), but it’s a certifiable way to prove one’s dominance. It involves pleasing her in the bedroom. How strange it is that the ultimate act of proving’s one’s manhood involves giving pleasure to a woman. Guys can brag all they want in the locker room about how many women they’ve slept with, but what’s less certain is figuring out how many of these women found the experience of sleeping with you pleasant. You can have sex with ten women in one wild weekend, but if every single one of them left your bedroom bored and unsatisfied, how much of a “Man” are you?

On the other hand, if a man makes love to only one woman – his wife or girlfriend, perhaps – during one eventful passionate evening, and she experiences a multitude of gratifying orgasms, is this guy more of a “Man” than the guy who slept with ten women who didn’t feel a thing while doing the deed with him?

Yes, of course!

This is why a man’s penis is nicknamed his “manhood.” It’s what makes a man a man. Not only does the penis biologically separate a man from a woman, it’s his way of showcasing his dominion over her. Contrast the guy who sleeps with ten women who can’t remember his name with another guy who spends the whole night with one woman who can’t get enough of him. Satisfying climax after satisfying climax, she’s sure she’ll never have it this good ever again in her life. Without question, this guy is much more of a “Man” than the first guy who should really see a doctor about getting an STD test.

A typical "jungle woman" cover from an old-school pulp novel.

A typical “jungle woman” cover from an old-school pulp novel.

Therefore, this explains the fantasy. A female bodybuilder may be leaps and bounds more powerful, confident, strong, and tough than her weaker male lover. However, in the bedroom, it’s a whole other story. There, he can validate his manliness. She may have bigger muscles, but he has a penis that can satisfy her like no other can. All the dildos and vibrators in the world cannot compare to his manhood. Through the act of sex, the tables are turned. During a passionate lovemaking session, he is the dominate one and she is the weaker one – regardless of the size of her muscles.

Women are different than men in regards to what happens post-orgasm. As one young lady I know once told me, when it comes to having multiple orgasms, women “can keep going until they decide to stop.” Good for them! Guys, on the other hand, are much different. We have one…and we’re as good as spent. There’s a reason why many of us like to get off right before going to sleep. It helps us get to sleep! Our energy is drained and it takes at least 15 to 20 minutes before we can get hard again. And if we do get hard again, you can guarantee our level of enthusiasm won’t be nearly as high as it was beforehand.

But let’s ignore this and assume a satisfying orgasm will sap you of all your energy. After successfully providing one’s sexual partner a toe-curling, scream-inducing satiating orgasm, isn’t it like taming a wild beast? The contrast of energy level couldn’t be starker. During sex, people can exert a tremendous amount of energy. Post-sex, it’s like someone took out your battery and flung it out the window. You’re completely and utterly drained.

Tamed, indeed.

This is the origin of this fantasy. Guys who love a wild and dangerous (whether she’s actually wild and dangerous is beside the point; it’s the fantasy that matters most) female bodybuilder feel the intense urge to “cut her down to size” and show her what a real man is like. It’s understandable for a normal-looking man to feel emasculated when in the presence of a muscular woman. Deep down inside, he yearns to be able to make love to her so passionately and so intently that she’s willing to submit to his every whim.

Perhaps submission is the name of the game. One could argue inside every insecure man is an ultra-masculine He-Man ready to jump out and take on the world singlehandedly. I may not feel that way, but I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who do. I’m not passing down any judgement or trying to psychoanalyze their situation. I’m just trying to make sense out of a fervent fantasy a lot of female muscle lovers share – whether they know it or not.

Post-sex, the image of a strong, powerful female bodybuilder purring like a cat as she snuggles up close to me in bed is enough to get my heart rate going. If she were to whisper sweet nothings into my ear, I might just pass out. Come to think of it, I guess I do share this fantasy!

Taming the wild beast can come in many forms. One could physically show one’s dominance over a muscular woman…but that’s not nearly erotic enough. One could tie her up and play the part of a male dominatrix…but that’s kinky and doesn’t prove anything. Roleplaying is fun, but at the end of the day it’s two consenting adults creating a false reality for the sake of mutual erotic amusement. It’s not real. But having sex with a female bodybuilder and showing her how much of a Casanova you are…well, it’s not like such a thing could actually happen to me, but at least you could consider it an actual accomplishment.

Denise Masino is a wild beast who needs to be tamed.

Denise Masino is a wild beast who needs to be tamed.

Right, there, that’s at the heart of this discussion: showcasing an accomplishment to a woman who has her fair share of impressive accomplishments. Guys who love muscular women also want to “prove” to her that he’s a man and she’s still a woman. The differences in physical strength notwithstanding, guys still want to be the one in charge. They might enjoy being dominated by her for kicks and giggles, but when push comes to shove he still wants the opportunity to assert his masculinity. He doesn’t think he’s superior to her (or that she’s inferior to him); rather he desires to let her know who’s who in this relationship.

Giving an orgasm to a female bodybuilder is the premiere way to prove to her what kind of a Man you are. You deserve the capital “M,” no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And you don’t want to do it by fingering her or performing cunnilingus on her. That’s perfectly okay, but you want to show her you’re a Man the old fashioned way: stick your hard manhood inside her and ride her till she begs for more. And when she does beg for more (assuming your fantasy goes this far), you can choose to either fulfill her wishes or deny her what she wants.

And to make matters better, because it takes guys a little while to get hard again, she has to wait for you to be able to make love to her again. Imagine that!

That’s what this is all about. Whether you want to please her till she’s purring like a kitten or you want to deny her what she desires, it’s your choice. It’s fantasy, and you can definitely see how this could play out in reality. You are a Man. She is a Woman. You dream of demonstrating to her who’s who and leaving absolutely no doubt about it.

She’s still an incredibly strong Woman, but you’re a Man, and there’s nothing that can take that away from you. She is a Wild Beast and you must tame her before she gets out of control. You’re a Man. It’s what you’re supposed to do. She knows it, but she wants to know if you know it.

So there you go. You just want to send her a message. And have fun while doing it. That’s a win-win in my book.

“Taming the Wild Beast” is a fantasy that can be counterintuitive. A weak man who’s with a strong woman doesn’t have to feel emasculated. In fact, he can feel quite the opposite. She may be able to beat him at arm wrestling or deadlift more than him at the gym, but he can still satisfy her in bed and leave her begging for more. This intends to shift the balance of power away from her and toward him…where it rightfully belongs.

I believe this is Julie Bonnett. Can anybody say otherwise?

I believe this is Julie Bonnett. Can anybody say otherwise?

No matter how big she grows, no matter how large her muscles become, no matter how powerful she can be…she can never truly supersede his role as the dominant Alpha Male. A female bodybuilder can pretend to be the Alpha Female, but all that comes to a crashing halt the moment he successfully gives her a fulfilling orgasmic experience. Physical strength can be manufactured at the gym. Sexual prowess is innate. There’s nothing she can do to turn the tide on thousands of years of male/female biological reality.

At the end of the day, he has the penis and she has the vagina. In this fantasy, the vagina is unquestionably subordinate to the penis. Without a penis, the vagina exists in a vacuum. She can masturbate all she wants – and she could very well give herself fantastic climaxes – but there’s still a void left in her sex life. Who can fill that void?

You guessed it. The Man.

Even if this Man is smaller, weaker, and physically unremarkable. Even if the Woman is larger, stronger, and more dynamic. That’s irrelevant. The “Taming the Wild Beast” fantasy ignores those realities and puts the Man in the driver’s seat. This isn’t rooted in sexism, misogyny or even insecurity. It’s rooted in the desire to relinquish control, but not totally give it up. It’s based on the belief that women can be stronger than men, but a man is still a man and a woman is still a woman. Fetishes are often simple to understand. It’s not complicated.

The beauty of this fantasy is the fact that “taming” her doesn’t involve violence or dehumanizing her. That’s out of the question. “Taming” her instead involves giving her sexual pleasure. He gets pleasure out of it as well, but what’s more important is making sure she leaves the encounter happy and satisfied.

She may be a beast on the outside, but deep down inside she can be just as vulnerable as him. It just takes a single passionate carnal encounter to bring these vulnerabilities to the surface. He derives pleasure from giving her pleasure. That’s a win-win indeed.

You Can’t Please Everybody: The Difficulty a Female Bodybuilder Faces in Maintaining the “Perfect” Balance

Dayana Cadeau may not be able to please everybody, but she can sure please me!

Dayana Cadeau may not be able to please everybody, but she can sure please me!

There are some people in this world who need to please others. And not just please them every so often; they have this burning desire to please everybody every time with everything they do.

This, of course, is an impossible task. But that doesn’t stop certain people from trying to do so with all their might.

Call it insecurity. Call it a psychological complex. Call it irrational. Or you can chalk it up to good business sense. Being a bodybuilder isn’t just a lifestyle. It’s a business venture. Like all business ventures, success isn’t guaranteed, nor is the formula for success set in stone permanently. In our ever-changing market of goods and services (which is becoming more internationally-driven as the years go on), what works today won’t work ten years from now; just as what worked ten years ago isn’t the same as what works today.

The same is true for how a female bodybuilder has to promote herself to the public. In decades past, there were more “traditional” routes to how she could achieve financial success. Competitions were still fairly lucrative and endorsement deals were there for the taking. The money in it wasn’t always reliable or plentiful, but you knew where it was if you wanted it.

Today, things are much different. Big, brawny female bodybuilders aren’t given the opportunities they once were. They aren’t becoming extinct by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s hard to imagine the glory years of the 1970s and 80s returning any time soon.

Jill St. Laurent is a true saint in my book.

Jill St. Laurent is a true saint in my book.

So here’s the fundamental dilemma: The general public – and whether this assertion if fair or not can be up for debate – tends to gravitate toward people who fit “one size fits all” molds. If we’re talking about strong women, they want these women to fit all these criteria:

  • Tough, yet approachable
  • Strong, yet vulnerable
  • Muscular, yet traditionally feminine
  • Accomplished, yet still physically beautiful
  • Intelligent, yet not condescending
  • Individualistic, yet still marketable
  • Talented, yet unintimidating
  • A woman, yet not defined by her gender
  • Speaks her mind, yet doesn’t ruffle any feathers
  • Dedicated to her craft, yet still has time to do “woman” things like get married and raise children

These hideous double standards are obviously not felt by the majority of male athletes. Whether the typical sports fan would ever admit this or not, this is how we treat our female athletes. In many cases, they feel this way without even explicitly knowing it! Talk about having certain attitudes ingrained into our psyche from birth.

Nobody can chain down Fabiola Boulanger!

Nobody can chain down Fabiola Boulanger!

If a female bodybuilder were to be one of those types who needs to please everybody every single time, she’ll go crazy and would tear all her hair out. Thankfully, the vast majority of FBBs are mentally strong and ignore useless nonsense like that. But this illustrates the predicament that comes with the territory of working in the industry. Female bodybuilders cannot possibly please everyone. The so-called “perfect balance” of being someone who can appeal to all audiences is a myth. Not even the most popular celebrities in our society are universally popular with all people. Singers, actors, TV personalities, writers, sports heroes, etc. Everyone has their fair share of critics. This isn’t a reflection of them, however. This is more of a reflection of the diverse tastes, opinions, and aesthetic standards we have available to us.

So how does one survive in a business where appeal is the name of the game? After all, if enough people don’t like your brand, your earning power will quickly diminish. Blockbuster Video no longer exists because Netflix (and, ahem, online pirating) replaced it as the consumer’s top choice for purchasing cinematic entertainment. Therefore, FBBs cannot completely ignore the importance of mass appeal.

What is she to do? There are two routes:

  1. Appeal to as many different audiences as possible
  2. Appeal to a very specific audience and take full advantage of this niche market

One could argue an FBB would best be served if she pursued route #2. Non-bodybuilders like soccer players, tennis players, basketball players, MMA fighters, and prominent fitness celebrities are more likely to find financial success if she dips her toes in route #1. But this could very well be wrong.

To an extent, appealing to a niche audience is what FBBs do currently. In many respects this is their only viable option to staying financially secure in today’s world. This isn’t a criticism of the “Female Bodybuilding Business Model.” This is just an observation of what actually works.

Ever heard of the “80/20 Rule?” Also known as the “Pareto principle,” in the business world it states that in general, 80 percent of your business revenue will come from 20 percent of your customers. If you open up a coffee shop in the middle of a busy downtown business district, your most valuable clients will be the people who buy an iced latte or white chocolate mocha from you five days a week. The spunky happy-go-lucky traveler who’s in town temporarily to visit his in-laws and decides to stop by your establishment only one time isn’t. That guy may be a totally nice person, but his value to your business is limited. Your repeat customers who loyally visit your shop on a consistent basis are way more important in the long-term.

Brandi Mae Akers posing in a sexy see-through dress.

Brandi Mae Akers posing in a sexy see-through dress.

For an entrepreneurial female bodybuilder, she must take heed of the 80/20 Rule. She may not have the largest number of clients available to her, but she can have a smaller group of fans who will follower her to the ends of the Earth. They may be small in size, but their return on investment (ROI) may be significant. One person who will buy tickets to a bodybuilding competition, pay you $500 for a muscle worship session, and purchase customized swag through your website is more valuable than 20 people who know your name but don’t want to have anything to do with you.

This small group of fans will adore you for who you are. They aren’t disgusted by your large size, shrunken breasts, deepened voice, and blunt personality. In fact, they love you because of all those things! Sadly, some FBBs feel like they need to get “smaller” in order to survive in the industry. That’s sad and hopefully they choose to look the way they want to look regardless of what other people think. But the pressure of being an elite athlete who remains unambiguously “feminine” persists whether we like it or not.

However, that doesn’t mean an FBB should be compelled to sell out who she is as a human being in order to earn a steady income. If she wants to squat so much her legs grow to the size of tree trunks, then she has every right to do that. If there are people out there who want her to stop squatting so damn much because she’ll end up “looking like a man,” here’s a pithy comeback for them:

Go fuck yourself.

That’s right! An FBB doesn’t have to be that crude, but she can be if the situation calls for it. The truth is, not everyone in the general population appreciates thick strong legs on a woman. But for those of us who know who Shannon Courtney is, a small but significant portion of us do in fact appreciate the finer things in life. Miss Courtney’s legs are definitely in the category of the “Finer Things in Life,” right up there with 50-year-old scotch whiskey, the cinema of François Truffaut, Lamborghinis, and Thai cuisine.

Shannon Courtney’s legs might be the best illustration of the 80/20 Rule. A vast number of us would appreciate her hard work and provide her a “you go girl!” compliment. A smaller number of us would willingly pay her $300 for the right to touch her legs. I have no idea if Shannon offers these kinds of services, but that’s not the point. If she wanted to, she could make a healthy buck on the side. For many female bodybuilders, they actually make a living wage offering customers the ability to touch their hard-earned bodies.

Shannon Courtney - definitely one of the finer things in life.

Shannon Courtney – definitely one of the finer things in life.

In order to survive in today’s interconnected world, a female bodybuilder doesn’t have to appeal to large audiences. She only has to find a specific niche and saturate that market to the best of her ability. And there is no doubt that such a niche market exists. It may not be obvious or widely talked about, but there are plenty of guys and gals in this world who share a keen interest in muscular women.

These are the people who matter to an FBB. Not the rest who are openly disgusted by her life’s choices. An FBB shouldn’t waste her time trying to please people who don’t already appreciate her beautiful muscles. Trying to convert them will be an exercise in futility. Instead, she should focus her attention on cultivating meaningful relationships with clients who already love her muscles. That will reap much more ROI.

Thankfully, most female bodybuilders are already doing this! This essay isn’t telling them anything they don’t know already. But it can serve as a reminder to the rest of us that living life as an FBB can be arduous, frustrating, and unpredictable. There are outside forces working against you. The deck is not stacked in your favor. But all is not lost. There are avenues to success that are proven to work on a practical level. The challenge is tapping into those avenues and feeling confident, supported, and empowered to do so.

Indeed, you cannot please everybody. This requires either maintaining the (impossible) “perfect balance” that appeals to all audiences … or diluting your product. The first option is impractical and the second option forces you to compromise your integrity. Either one stinks. So your third option is probably your best option: Screw what the masses think and embrace what your dedicated fans think.

And let’s be honest. Not even your most dedicated fans will appreciate everything you do 100 percent of the time. That’s totally fine. But you know they’re in your corner, cheering for you every step of the way. They may not make up large numbers, but their proud loyalty amplifies their voices ten-fold.