Alpha Females, Beta Males, and Everybody in Between

Debbie Bramwell-Washington is without question an Alpha Female.

Generally speaking, don’t generalize. This isn’t a rule so much as a modest recommendation. Sometimes, our generalizations can be fairly accurate (i.e. the weather tends to be hot during the summer months and cold during the winter months), but other times our generalizations are not even close to being fair or accurate (i.e. Chinese food is icky because all they eat are dogs).

Within the female muscle fan community – and believe it or not, such a community actually exists, albeit in the online world – the theme of “Alpha Female/Beta Male” consistently comes up. It’s become a cliché by now. Of course, just because it’s a cliché doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right or wrong. The truth is probably closer to it being an overgeneralization. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The existence of the idea of the muscular Alpha Female shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, leading the life of a professional (or dedicated amateur) bodybuilder isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires both mental and physical strength. It takes persistence, passion, guts, and unwavering self-confidence. It takes the ability to persevere despite inevitable setbacks. It takes the will to make tough decisions when the easiest choice is to say “I give up.” It requires you to take the path least traveled when no one will blink an eye if you were to instead take the road most traveled.

The type of person who would be willing to subject themselves to such a grueling lifestyle is most likely the most alpha among us. Professional bodybuilding isn’t for the weak or feeble minded. Even amateur bodybuilders, who don’t formally compete but still maintain an impressive amount of musculature year-round, cannot look the way they look without making sacrifices most of us wouldn’t even dream of doing.

Even though the very concept of “alpha” is subjective (and therefore, not an actual thing that can be quantified or narrowly defined), we’ll just assume its existence is – for the most part – real. Alpha Females are women who take control of their lives, pursue their dreams with absolutely no apology, and more often than not get what they want. Female bodybuilders should wholeheartedly belong in this category.

Alright, the other side of the equation is the concept of the Beta Male. Unlike Alpha Females, Beta Males are weak-minded, lack the will to get what they really want, and allow others to trample all over them. They are quiet, don’t assert themselves when faced with adversity, are perfectly willing to settle for less than they deserve, and aren’t prone to engaging in (as they see it, unnecessary) confrontation. Blah, blah, blah. Just take a few minutes doing a Google search of “beta male” and you’ll come across bloggers that range from idiotic “PUAs” to bizarre conspiracy theorists claiming the Illuminati is plotting to culturally emasculate men worldwide for the sake of implementing the New World Order. Rest assured yours truly doesn’t fall into either of these groups.

How would you react if you saw Isabelle Turell walk by you dressed like this?

Like the Alpha Female, the Beta Male is a socially-constructed stereotype that exists mostly from a pop culture point-of-view, as opposed to objective scientific standards. We can probably name a few Beta Males off the top of our heads, whether it’s from our high school days or the people we interact with at work (or maybe you can look in the mirror and point to yourself). No matter your perspective, it’s not difficult to surmise why this type of person would be attracted to women with lots of muscle.

As this line of thinking goes, Beta Males are too weak to take care of themselves. They have low self-esteem and would prefer if others could make big decisions instead of them. Alpha Females, especially of the highly muscular variety, perfectly encapsulate that missing puzzle piece. They are the complementary element that Beta Males find so darn alluring. They are strong – both emotionally and physically – and don’t hesitate to make bold decisions that they find to be empowering. Female bodybuilders are who Beta Males wish they could be, to put it in horrifically simplistic terms. This may or may not be true, but this sure represents the “logic” of plenty of people who are keen on following FBBs.

The Alpha Female/Beta Male motif looks solidly reasonable on the surface. Of course the type of guys who love FBBs are weak, feeble-minded man-children who sexualize an ideal they can never actually achieve in real life. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not.

No doubt this concept describes a portion of the FBB fandom community, but certainly it doesn’t represent everyone’s personal story. Many men who love female bodybuilders are normal guys who have wives or girlfriends, high paying jobs, families, and stellar reputations. Others are of more modest financial means…but they are still confident in who they are. Not everyone can be clumped into the same surface-level demographic, but we already knew that.

Kim Buck will buck the trend that women with muscles can’t be sexy.

When you boil everything down to its barest essentials, guys love female bodybuilders not just because of who they are, but because of who these ladies are. They’re strong, beautiful women who possess gorgeous bodies, captivating personalities, and inspiring biographies. We can scroll through Minna Pajulahti’s Instagram feed and say to ourselves “hot damn!” without that response being an indication of who we are. We see photos of a beautiful woman and we react accordingly. It’s as simple as that.

Or is it? Understandably, matters get murky when we’re dealing with nontraditional-looking women like female bodybuilders. If you like something that’s so far outside the mainstream, isn’t that an indication that there must be something a little “off” with you? Not at all, but it’s understandable why outside observers would think this way.

The truth is that female bodybuilding fans run the gamut of personality types. Some are meek, others are more assertive. Female bodybuilders themselves are also a diverse bunch; as they come from a wide range of countries, cultures, and backgrounds. Of course, the truth isn’t nearly as exciting as what dwells in our imaginations. We believe all FBBs are forceful Alpha Females not because we actually believe that, but because we want to believe that. We love imagining a strong gorgeous muscular woman dominating in the bedroom. We fantasize about what she’d do to us if we’re naughty…or if we’re completely obedient. We want her to ravage us, use us for her own selfish pleasure, and discard us the moment we become obsolete. We want to be denigrated like that because it makes her seem that much more powerful and us that much more irrelevant.

Is this a Beta Male way of thinking about sexual relationships? Maybe, or perhaps this is just a fun bit of “role reversal” where the FBB takes control of the situation while we’re the ones who are more passive and “just along for the ride.” Nobody wants to have to be in control 24/7/365. Every so often, we want to let go and allow somebody else to shoulder this burden. If a beautiful female bodybuilder is the one to do that, so be it. You won’t hear us complain.

Alright, so not every FBB is an Alpha Female and not every FBB fan is a Beta Male (or Beta Female, if that’s the case). So what? What’s the significance here?

Well, not much outside of the fact that these stereotypes exist and will probably continue to exist for time immemorial. But consider this:

The prevailing perception of the “Alpha Female/Beta Male” theme isn’t harmful, but it isn’t entirely productive either. One might presume that guys who love female bodybuilders would take offense to the notion that they’re weak and socially emasculated. That assumption is correct. But that’s not the only harm that this causes. The other is that it continues to make female bodybuilders appear “weird” and “fetishistic” instead of who they actually are: world-class athletes.

Monique Jones gets what she wants.

Often times, we tend to treat certain people or groups of people with suspicion not because of who they are, but because of who their fans are. It’s perfectly reasonable to like a certain TV show or singer but be completely annoyed by their fawning fans. It’s also perfectly reasonable to not like a certain TV show or singer for reasons that have nothing to do with the temperament of their loyal supporters. What isn’t reasonable (but isn’t a crime against humanity, of course) is disliking something purely because you can’t stand how the screaming fanboys and fangirls behave on the Internet. Yet, it’s difficult for many of us to make this distinction.

Along the same train of thought, some people might be turned off by female bodybuilders and the world of female bodybuilding because they find their fans a bit distasteful. They leave creepy comments all over their Instagram posts. They publicly announce all sorts of gross sexual activities they’d love to do to them. They appear to have no filter and don’t think all too much about who is actually reading these comments. These behaviors have a way of turning people off to whatever you love.

Female bodybuilders are already considered outside the mainstream. Their fans are also perceived to be outside the mainstream, despite the fact a vocal minority doesn’t speak for the entire group. Although to be fair, there really isn’t such a thing as a “vocal” delegation of the female bodybuilding fandom community. We don’t have lobbyists playing golf with members of Congress, to my knowledge.

One way to help FBBs enter into mainstream culture – assuming this is even a unified goal of ours – is to portray them as being perfectly normal women who happen to look abnormal. In many respects, that’s exactly who they are. But not everyone in our culture is buying that argument. They see videos of guys wearing leather masks with an FBB’s massive thighs wrapped around their heads and they think to themselves, “Um, that’s weird!”

To be fair, that sort of behavior isn’t something you witness every day. Yet, it does exist. But so do the countless number of people who love FBBs simply because they appreciate their unique beauty. FBBs are in fact uniquely beautiful, with the experience of “getting” their beauty indescribable. The experience of seeing a gorgeous confident woman with big muscles is so euphoric it can seem like a drug. It’s hard to articulate into words what this is like. Female bodybuilders are so damn beautiful it’s maddening to many of us why more people don’t feel the same way we feel. Shouldn’t FBBs be front and center on every magazine cover across the country? We think so, but the vast majority of our culture does not.

Stereotyping all female bodybuilders as Alpha Females and all fans of female bodybuilders of Beta Males is not only factually inaccurate, it contributes toward limiting our society’s understanding of this world. It makes us think that the two groups are somehow inextricably linked, that FBBs need weak men just as much as weak men need FBBs. This association cheapens FBBs as being a mere product of what certain guys want. Or that men who are perceived as being weak are that way because of women who are perceived as being strong.

Rita Sargo proving that muscles and femininity can go hand-in-hand.

These oversimplifications just perpetuate our dualist culture that puts people into two distinct categories (e.g. alpha/beta male, oppressed/liberated female, liberal/conservative, patriotic/unpatriotic, smart/dumb, educated/uneducated, poor/rich, abled/disabled, etc.) without recognizing nuance, individualized circumstances, and context. This harms the way we treat people whom we believe are “different” from us, even though they’re probably more similar to us than we realize. Imagine that.

When faced with something that’s totally out of the ordinary, the natural reaction is to try to put it into “proper context.” The logic follows like this:

  1. Female bodybuilders are unusual-looking women
  2. Guys who like female bodybuilders like women who are unusual-looking
  3. Therefore, guys who like female bodybuilders must be unusual themselves

Unfamiliarity breeds cognitive dissonance. We don’t like not being able to understand something, so we try to explain it away in terms that make sense to us. If we see weird Internet videos of guys enjoying being trampled on by a “chick with muscles,” then we must therefore assume every guy who loves female bodybuilders are into the same thing. And only “losers” enjoy being in a subordinate position. It makes perfect sense!

Except it doesn’t. The truth is much more complicated. The truth is that men and women from all walks of life comprise the world of female bodybuilding fandom. Some might in fact fit the stereotypes that we’re all familiar with. Others do not. This is not to play the “percentages game” and argue that a majority of us are not “like that.” Not at all. The only point to be made is that the Alpha Female/Beta Male concept is not inaccurate, but it’s also not comprehensive enough.

Perceptions take a long time to change. Many perceptions will never change. But there’s no use screaming at a brick wall that will not budge no matter what. That’s an exercise in futility. And if there’s one thing we can definitively say about female bodybuilders, it’s that when they exercise, they expect to see results.

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.

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.