We Need to Talk About Nataliya Kuznetsova

Nataliya Kuznetsova 4

This is a real human being. Seriously.

By now, you should be familiar with Nataliya Kuznetsova.

Nataliya is the kind of woman that even the most wildly imaginative female muscle fan will admit – if they’re pressed into being realistic for a hot minute – can’t ever really exist.

No woman, even with the help of all the synthetic steroids, supplements, food, weightlifting equipment, and expertise possibly available, can ever actually look like that. Whether you’ve been a bona fide female muscle fan for 40 years or 40 days, you’ve seen your fair share of muscular women. Perhaps even in-person. Yet, the rational part of your brain understands full well that no woman can ever look like her. No woman can ever have arms the size of a Mr. Olympia contestant. Or legs so thick that they resemble actual tree trunks. That’s not physically possible. It’s not scientifically possible. It’s even too absurd to draw a cartoon that looks like that.

Uh, right?

Well, you would be wrong. There is in fact one particular woman who walks on planet Earth – or is it continuously squats and bicep curls on planet Earth? – who defies your expectations of what a female bodybuilder can and cannot look like. She challenges what you previously thought was the limits of human achievement. Sure, guys who take drugs and work out like a madman with his hair on fire can become that huge. But…a woman?

No way! No how! That ain’t right!!!

Yet, it is so right. And it is possible. Her name is Nataliya Kuznetsova.

Nataliya was born on July 1, 1991 in the city of Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai in Russia. She was born just a few months before the Soviet Union officially dissolved; and although the Iron Curtain had fallen, a child had been born who would take her iron pumping quite seriously (did you see what I did there?). She has won many accolades in her life, including being the bench press and deadlift world champion. She’s also a champion armlifter, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever seen her arms.

She aspired to become a professional bodybuilder at age 14 and never looked back. In addition to breaking several records, she’s dabbled in the field of coaching and personal training – which is not uncommon for many bodybuilders, both male and female. She’s maintained a strict diet since the early days of her career, which has clearly paid dividends. After graduating from the Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture in 2013, Nataliya proceeded to pursue her dream of shattering several powerlifting records.

And put her name in the record books is exactly what she did. In 2014 and 2015 she won various contests in Russia and Europe. While it doesn’t appear that she continues to compete in powerlifting, she’s since gained international notoriety for her unusual eye-popping physique that she proudly promotes on her social media channels.

Oh boy. And she’s also not shy about her usage of anabolic steroids and estrogen blockers. I mean, it’s not humanly possible to get as huge as her without drugs. We all know that. But in her case, it isn’t really about whether or not she “fairly” achieved her musculature. What really matters is that she looks exactly how she looks – and that’s the way she wants it.

Her brand is dependent upon the final result, not the process it took to get to that final result.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 1

Muscles on the beach.

Nataliya is the Ultimate Real Human Photoshop Illusion. You’d swear that she’s not actually real. She must be the product of a female muscle growth fiction artist’s imagination. Someone must’ve artificially enhanced her arms and legs. Or, someone superimposed a male bodybuilder’s arms onto her torso, like a G.I. Joe action figure’s arms being popped inside a limbless Barbie doll.

Yet, that is not the case. She is not a character in an FMG story. Nor are photos of her not genuine (to be fair, very few Instagram and magazine photos are 100% genuine) in the proper sense of the word. Her biceps are really the size of most guys’ quads. Her quads are really as thick as your girlfriend’s torso. It’s all true. It’s definitely not all natural, but if we’re only interested in aesthetics, who cares?

And that’s the crux of the argument. Whether she could ever achieve so much muscle mass naturally – the short answer is “no way, José” – is not the point. Insecure guys who constantly insist that she’s “juicing” or “roiding up” are just projecting their own inadequacies onto a complete stranger. They’re envious that they are unable to get that “swole,” so they need to add as many caveats as possible onto Nataliya’s achievements because it, uh, makes them feel better. Or something like that. I don’t know exactly.

But that’s not really where I’m getting at. Nataliya is noteworthy because she is who she is. Whether she “cheated” or did it through unnatural means isn’t what’s truly important. What’s important is that she’s a human cartoon in the flesh. She’s a female muscle fan’s dream come true, if extreme FMG artwork happens to be your thing. It’s not for me personally, but it doesn’t have to be. I can acknowledge her importance without being totally smitten with her looks.

Personally, Nataliya is a bit too much. Everything about her is superhuman, including her lips. Dang. She makes Angelina Jolie look like the before-and-after photo at a lip enhancement surgeon’s office. I tend to prefer ladies who are both large and traditionally curvy. Alina Popa is my jam. So is Isabelle Turell. And Shannon Courtney. And Theresa Ivancik. And Lindsay Mulinazzi. And many others. I have nothing against Miss Kuznetsova as a human being. I’m sure she’s cool and pretty interesting to be around. Apparently, she’s bisexual – which will make any FMG artist go hog wild when crafting erotically-charged dime novel-style fan fiction.

Perhaps this is a reflection of my limited imagination. Is Nataliya’s physique now the new Mount Everest? Are former Ms. Olympia contestants like Iris Kyle, Tina Chandler, Debi Laszewski, Anne Freitas, and Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia merely the tip of the iceberg? Previously, we may have thought of these ladies as being at the peak of the female muscle pecking order. But maybe our standards were set too low. Maybe women like Nataliya Kuznetsova (are there any others like her? Asking for a friend) are where the proverbial bar is now set. Or should be set. It’s not enough to train for a few hours, give yourself a couple of rest days, and intersperse within your daily routine plenty of Tupperware containers full of brown rice, grilled chicken, and boiled broccoli. Perhaps the new normal should be to train for several hours a day – as if it’s practically a part-time job – and eat as much protein as you possibly can without throwing up. This doesn’t sound particularly appealing, but one must suffer for one’s art.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 2

Nataliya’s quads don’t lie.

Hm. Maybe that’s exactly the point. One must suffer for your art. In Nataliya’s case, her body is her art. Her muscles are her canvas. Dumbbells, vitamin supplements, anabolic steroids, and protein are her paintbrushes. And her Instagram feed is her museum. And we are patrons of her art. Instead of sipping champagne, we down a carton of Muscle Milk. Same thing.

All bodybuilders are artists as well as athletes. They might consider themselves athletes first and foremost, and that would be their prerogative. But whether they consciously consider it or not, they’re also artists. Michelangelo used marble. Nataliya uses her own flesh and blood. That sounds odd, but it’s true. Bodybuilders don’t try to hit a baseball into the centerfield bleachers or dunk a basketball over a 7-foot tall defender. They try to look awesome, prioritizing muscle mass, symmetry, and aesthetic perfection over all else.

Yet, I’m perfectly fine with Nataliya being the exception and not the rule. She can be an Internet sensation who makes our eyes pop out of our skulls. She can be someone who essentially provides fodder for clickbait articles on second-rate news aggregate sites. I highly doubt female muscle fans worldwide are clamoring for more women to look like her. If more do choose to look as extreme as possible, so be it. But we’re perfectly content with more “conventional-looking” female bodybuilders (as contradictory as that may sound) such as Miss Popa and Miss Ivancik. At least, they’re conventional within the context of the world of female bodybuilding.

Here’s a question: Is Nataliya Kuznetsova good or bad for female bodybuilding and fans of female bodybuilders? It’s the question sports commentators always make regarding dynasties like the Golden State Warriors, New England Patriots, the UConn women’s basketball team, Alabama football, Manchester United, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe (ha ha). Is dominance a good thing? Can the lack of parity hurt the overall product? Or does it enhance it? Is temporary dominance – because dominance rarely lasts forever – actually a good thing because it provides an incentive for others to work harder in order to catch up?

Chances are she’s not going to have much of an effect on anything. Nataliya exists in her own little universe. She’s carved out her own unique niche. She doesn’t really exist in the realm of bodybuilding because she isn’t a competitive bodybuilder (to my knowledge). She’s a mini-celebrity whose body is her selling point. Her extreme physique is why she’s famous, not because she climbed up the industry ladder or won so many accolades that we cannot help but notice her. In a way, she’s the perfect example of how the entrepreneurial female bodybuilder is most likely the archetype that will survive the longest.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 5

Ever seen someone like this at the gym? Yeah, didn’t think so.

The bodybuilding industry’s marginalization of female competitors doesn’t need to be rehashed here. The death of the Ms. Olympia is really all you need to know. Wings of Strength is doing their best to resuscitate the spirit of the Ms. O, and we wish them all the best in this endeavor. Long story short, female bodybuilders need to find alternative avenues of earning an income in order to continue doing what they love to do.

Nataliya has done exactly that.

She’s found a void and filled it perfectly. Impeccably. She busted her tail to look as hypermuscular as possible. She knew not everyone would dig her look, but that didn’t matter one iota. There are plenty of people who will. And do. She’s made sacrifices – including long-term risks to her body – to achieve her Human Photoshop figure. She was able to go “viral” because she stood out from the rest of the herd. There are plenty of muscular women out there. But few are as surreal in their musculature as her.

So because of that, she was able to break through in front of more “mainstream” eyes because of her freakish physique. Cindy Landolt or Minna Pajulahti are famous within the small community of female muscle fans, but Nataliya has been able to rise above that and attraction attention from non-female muscle fans. And chances are pretty good that for many people, Nataliya is the only muscular woman whom they care to follow on social media. She’s “famous” – in a 21st century viral Internet meme sense – for being a living and breathing statistical outlier, not because she happens to be a female bodybuilder who’s broken the mold of her predecessors and peers.

And that’s the meat and potatoes of our discussion. Miss Kuznetsova is nothing more than a freakish statistical outlier to the vast majority of Internet-savvy people out there. She won’t help the visibility of the female bodybuilding industry. She won’t hurt it either, but that’s beside the point. She’s a Human Island. A once-in-a-lifetime Black Swan Event. She’s like the people who love to follow Tiger Woods but couldn’t care less about other golfers.

There are golf fans. And there are Tiger Woods fans. And they are often not one and the same. Likewise, there are Nataliya Kuznetsova fans. And there are female muscle fans. And they are not necessarily the same thing.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 3

Can’t tell if those are her quads…or an actual tree trunk.

Some people love Eminem but don’t particularly like hip hop. Some people loved “The Dark Knight” but never read a single Batman comic book. And some people are enamored with Nataliya Kuznetsova but couldn’t identify Alina Popa in a police lineup.

Life is funny like that.

Whether you love her, hate her, or have neutral feelings about her, one thing is certain: You’re totally justified to initially think that this woman couldn’t possibly exist. This has got to be like “Simone,” that 2002 Al Pacino movie about a movie star who’s digitally animated and isn’t really real. Certainly Nataliya has got to be a digital avatar, right? A fake persona meant to punk all of us into thinking a woman could genuinely build muscle mass that male bodybuilders could only dream of? Well, the truth is that she’s real. Very real.

I have no idea how long she can maintain her physique. I’m not a nutritional scientist or biology expert, but it seems reasonable to worry about her long-term health. All that animal protein, steroids, and hormone-blocking drugs can’t be good for you. Years and years of living like that should eventually take its toll, right?

Eh. Maybe, maybe not.

For now, let’s just appreciate who she is and what she’s been able to accomplish thus far. Only time will tell as to how much of an impact she’s making on the visibility of female bodybuilders, if any at all.

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The Vulnerable Female Bodybuilder

The seemingly invincible Ginger Martin.

Female bodybuilders are strong. They seem invincible. Unstoppable. Powerful. Authoritative. A force of nature. One who shall not be reckoned with.

If you mess with her, she’ll mess with you. And you don’t want that to happen to you. Trust us.

Fans of female bodybuilders have put these ladies onto a pedestal, one in which they don’t seem to be human. FBBs are often described in quasi-spiritual terms; using words such as “goddess,” “angel,” or “queen.” These words evoke ethereal images of immortals walking amongst men. FBBs are somehow not human because a “normal” human can never actually look that breathtakingly beautiful. Regular human beings are not able to make your heart skip a beat, your jaw drop to the floor, and a chill run down your spine just by simply posting an untouched photo of themselves on Instagram.

But alas, many FBBs are able to do just that. Many times over, in fact.

Yet, in the back of our minds we know that FBBs are not actually goddesses. They are flesh and blood human beings with feelings, thoughts, fears, insecurities, families, hobbies, and faults. We know that intellectually, on a theoretical level. But emotionally, we cannot help but view these ladies as invulnerable angels whose unique beauty somehow endow them with some sort of shield against typical human imperfections.

In our fantasies, our favorite FBBs are warriors who can slay thousands of enemies at a time. They’re powerful deities who can make the most formidable kingdoms tremble to their knees. They’re sirens who can enslave men to do their will. They’re so breathtakingly beautiful you cannot imagine a moment when they’d ever be sad, intimidated, or not in control.

Yet…

…yet we know the reality of things is much more mundane. But we don’t want to think about that. We’d rather focus on an FBB’s perfections instead of her basic humanity. However, it is worthwhile to keep this important point in mind: Female bodybuilders are much more vulnerable than you’d think.

Here’s why:

First, female bodybuilders exist in a world that doesn’t always accept them for who they are.

The aesthetic of a woman with big muscles certainly excites some of us, but not all of us. As incomprehensible as this sounds, not everyone appreciates the beauty of female bodybuilders. Some are disgusted by a nontraditional feminine figure that doesn’t fit into the narrow box society has come to define. This could be caused by people not liking what they’re not familiar with, but it goes deeper than that.

They’re disgusted because the sight of veins popping out of a muscular arm isn’t terribly appealing – regardless of the gender of the person it belongs to. But especially if it’s a female arm. We’re taught to believe that a beautiful woman should be smooth, angular, and soft. Female bodybuilders are not smooth, angular, and soft. They’re rough, bulky, and coarse. Their bodies do not fit within the acceptable parameters society (properly understood, that is) has arbitrarily established. And because of that, female bodybuilders are always at a disadvantage when it comes to breaking into the entertainment and modeling industries. Even the fitness industry seems to prefer the “fit” look instead of the hypermuscular look.

This lack of acceptance has pushed the female bodybuilding community underground, away from mainstream attention. Is there any need to bring up the unfortunate demise of the Ms. Olympia contest?

Of course, there will always be the token role in a sitcom for a “muscle chick” who shows up, looks menacing, and does something comedic to the male star like kick his ass or wallop him at arm wrestling. They’re not there as a character, but as comedic foil. It’s a bit dehumanizing, but when it’s slim pickings in the entertainment industry, beggars can’t be choosers. You have to accept whatever paying job you can get. Jayne Trcka’s role in Scary Movie (2000) exploits every single negative stereotype about female bodybuilders you can possibly imagine. But from her perspective, it’s a paying job in a major Hollywood production. Can you really blame her?

Kathy Johansson enjoying fun in the sun.

Second, and this point is directly related to the first one, female bodybuilding isn’t a very lucrative profession.

There’s almost no money to be made through competitions. Traditional modeling jobs don’t pay a whole lot no matter what your body type happens to be. You can work as a personal trainer or fitness coach, but being a bodybuilder isn’t necessarily an advantage. It’s not a disadvantage (as far as one can tell), but there are no “bonus points” to be had from being a bodybuilder except for it gives you an extra sense of validity. But not everyone thinks that’s a deal breaker.

And living the life of a bodybuilder isn’t cheap either. The food and supplementation alone costs quite a bit of money if you’re trying to eat clean, often, and strategically. It takes time to go to the gym, lift, do cardio, stretch, shower, and go home to eat and devour a protein shake. It’s challenging to balance working full time, training as a bodybuilder (even if you’re not competing professionally), and enjoying personal time with friends and family. It boggles the mind to ponder how male and female bodybuilders are able to do it.

In other words, female bodybuilders are essentially normal people like us with much different kinds of living expenses. Unlike pro baseball or basketball players, pro bodybuilders aren’t making $20 million per year. They need to hold down a regular 9-5 job just like the rest of us, except squeeze in several hours of training on top of that. You don’t need to be a life coach to understand the difficulties of balancing all of these priorities.

But where exactly is the money at? Well, one can make plenty of dough if they’re willing to offer muscle worship or wrestling sessions. Which conveniently transitions us to our next point:

Being a session provider can be a risky business.

If you need a primer on what “muscle worship” means, you can read all about it in a prior post. While most of us think (and fantasize) about muscle worship and wrestling sessions from the perspective of the client, we mustn’t ignore the provider’s side of the story. Even if rules are set and established beforehand, participating in a fantasy wrestling session can be quite risky.

You never know when you’ll accidentally get injured. Or intentionally get injured by someone with less-than-honorable intentions (there are a lot of strangely insecure guys who feel like they have something to “prove” to a well-meaning FBB who is just trying to earn a living). Or meet a creepy person who stalks you afterward – both online and perhaps even in-person. Stalkers affect all sorts of people, but female bodybuilders are a special breed. They’re as rare as a solar eclipse, which can drive a person whose mental state is already “shaky” at best to do things that definitely cross the line of sane behavior.

For these reasons, FBBs often lay down ground rules before the session even begins. They want to know how much you weigh if you’re interested in “lift and carry” activities. They want to make clear that the wrestling is for fantasy purposes only, as opposed to being a recreation of the Olympic trials. They want to be clear that “tap out” rules will be honored by both sides. In other words, they want to know that they – and the participant – will be safe at all times.

Honest accidents without any malice will inevitably happen from time to time. That is unfortunate, but a reasonable risk one faces when engaging in such strenuous activities. If you want a job without any physical hazards, get a desk job where you sit at a computer and type all day long. But that is not what an FBB who offers muscle worship/fantasy wrestling appointments chooses to do.

A coy looking Tina Nguyen.

Injuries stink for obvious reasons. They hurt, can lead to future health problems, and can be demoralizing. Injuries also inhibit your ability to train, work, travel, and live comfortably. And when your body and health are central to your income stream, being hurt is a double whammy. It’s difficult to earn a living when you’re preoccupied with healing up from a recent torn ligament or fractured bone.

Any lifestyle that is that physically demanding with carry with it inherent risks. And when you throw in clients who may or may not be familiar with you (not every session provider asks for a reference or makes background checks), you never know what sort of person you’ll be spending the next hour or two with. That can be a scary proposition, no matter how emotionally and physically strong you are.

On top of all that, travelling from city to city takes you away from your friends and family for long stretches of time. It’s hard to imagine what that type of life is like unless you’ve lived it. If you have young children – or even older children – being away from them for long periods of time can be stressful. Think of it from the mother’s perspective. Then the children’s. See why this can be a volatile profession?

The next point goes along with that concept: Being a female bodybuilder can be really awkward at times – both for you and your loved ones.

Can you imagine being a little kid and having a mom who “doesn’t look like the other moms?” She’s a lot bigger, stronger, and physically imposing than Billy and Jimmy’s moms. She even has a deeper voice, smaller boobs, and more veins popping out of her arms than is typically considered, uh, typical. And she can bench press more than all the dads out there.

Talk about awkward.

This idea is directly connected to the first point about FBBs living in a world that doesn’t always accept them for who they are. This explores that very concept from everyone else’s perspective.

The older kids get, the more vicious the rumors will become. It doesn’t take a hardboiled private detective to find out what happens at those mysterious muscle worship sessions. It doesn’t take an avid porn aficionado to stumble upon an obscure video of an FBB giving a blow job or hand job to a nameless and faceless beta male client. This sort of information is out there for anyone who is willing to search for it. And not every blog is as respectful as the one you’re currently reading right now. Some blogs and comment sections (ah, yes. The dreaded “comments section” that has single-handedly contributed to the catastrophic dumbing down of our society) can be quite crude in describing what goes on behind closed doors. And come to think of it, it isn’t necessarily crudeness that makes this an issue. Just the basic knowledge that prominent FBBs provide sessions as a side gig is enough to get people to chat, gossip, and speculate on what actually is going on in those remote hotel rooms.

Rumors are rumors, but when rumors are spread widely and loudly enough, they start to become “fact,” even if they are not actually facts. No need to bring up “fake news,” is there?

Can you imagine being a normal kid who does a Google search on your mom and discovers she gives hand jobs to hundreds of guys across the world each year? And she does it for cash that eventually will help fund your college tuition? Talk about an epic discovery that you’d want to erase from your memory “Eternal Sunshine-style.”

Can you imagine being teased for this by the other kids whose parents are more “normal,” if such a thing even exists? Perhaps your FBB mama is remarkably open about her life’s work. Or maybe she tries to shield you from it. In today’s Internet age, it’s nearly impossible to keep something like that under wraps forever. Eventually, the truth will come out if you wait long enough. Nothing can stay hidden for good. Not anymore. We’re far beyond that point. If there’s a grainy video of you – even if this video is more than twenty years old – doing something even slightly embarrassing (never mind performing sexual acts on strangers), you know for a fact it will eventually smack you in the face. Usually when you least expect it. And especially when you don’t ask for it.

Kiana Phi showing off her hard work.

Here’s a true story that I feel compelled to share: Not too long ago a real-life female bodybuilder whom I’ve met for a muscle worship session once before contacted me via e-mail about a recent blog post I had written. She kindly asked that I remove a photo of her that appears in it. The blog article wasn’t about her specifically, but I wanted her picture to be in it because I like her so much.

I dutifully did remove it, carrying out her request as swiftly as I could. She didn’t want her name and reputation to be tarnished. She didn’t want to be associated with an underground subculture that could come back to haunt her, her husband, and her kids.

She didn’t want her daughters to be teased about what their beloved mama does with men in hotel rooms across America. Even if these rumors aren’t based in reality, that doesn’t matter. Harmful gossip is harmful regardless of its truthfulness. I removed her photo because I didn’t want to upset her, but I also did so because I instantly put myself in her shoes. I choose to remain anonymous on this blog because I wouldn’t want my friends and family to know about my unusual fetish. I can grant myself anonymity with very little effort on my part. For an FBB who is considered a “celebrity” in the eyes of many people worldwide, they do not have that luxury.

Public figures cannot control what people say about them. And not everyone can pay a high-quality spin team, PR representative, or “search engine scrubber” who can find creative ways to hide bad stuff said about you. It’s just not possible in today’s interconnected and plugged-in world to totally control your online reputation. I can create a Ryan Takahashi avatar and establish whatever persona I want to. Public figures cannot do that as easily.

Isabelle Turell – what a woman!

This is something I must – and the rest of you, too – keep in mind at all times. When you write about an FBB, wrestler, or session provider on an Internet chat forum, you’re not just communicating to the people with whom you’re directly corresponding. You’re also spreading information – and this includes both accurate and inaccurate information – to the world at large. That’s someone’s reputation. That’s someone’s mom, sister, wife, friend, or lover. That’s another human being, not a brand new air conditioner that deserves a four star rating out of five.

When you call her a whore, you’re saying that about a person with feelings. When you reveal what goes on behind closed doors without honoring her anonymity, you risk harming her reputation. It makes perfect sense why many FBBs are reluctant about allowing people to write reviews about them on chat forums. Who knows what some disgruntled yahoo will say to a captivated audience?

Female bodybuilders are some of the strongest willed people on planet Earth. But they are not invincible. They are flesh and blood human beings who are just as vulnerable as you or I. They may not seem like it in the fever pitch depths of our imaginations, but this is the truth. They are vulnerable, often times in ways you cannot see or understand.

Thank Heavens for the Clit Pump

Denise Masino proudly showing off her best asset.

Throughout the history of human civilization, there have been several inventions that changed the trajectory of society for the better.

The wheel. The compass. Gunpowder. The printing press. The combustion engine. Vaccinations. The lightbulb. The telephone. The automobile. The computer. The Internet.

These new technologies revolutionized how human beings communicated, learned, traded, survived, and lived. Without getting too deep into the weeds, suffice to say that these inventions – and its descendants that we still use today – have made it possible for our life expectancies to go up and the global population to boom to more than 7 billion people and counting.

Yet, there is one particular technology that we cannot overlook. We must not underestimate its importance to our shared humanity. To not acknowledge and recognize its impact would be intellectually dishonest.

What am I referring to?

The clit pump, of course!

Huh?

Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but hopefully you get the idea in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way.

The clit pump, in case you aren’t acquainted with its existence yet, is a sex toy that increases blood flow into a woman’s top erogenous zone using a small tube and hand pump that creates suction around the clitoris and labia. It is a device that is derived from the penis pump, a gadget that essentially does the same thing for men. The vacuum created inside the cylindrical tube both increases blood flow to the clitoris and enhances its size. This leads to the nerve endings in the clitoral head becoming more sensitive – and subsequently heightens sexual pleasure.

Women tend use clit pumps to masturbate, as foreplay before actual sex, or alternatively on the nipples, which is also an erogenous zone. Since lots of female bodybuilders have larger than normal clits, it makes perfect sense why they’d love to use a clit pump – and why fans of female bodybuilders love watching them use it. It’s a textbook win-win situation.

Any casual fan of female bodybuilding has probably watched a video or two (or three, or four, or five) of a female bodybuilder using a clit pump to pleasure herself. Some prominent FBBs who’ve participated in such videos include Denise Masino, Amber DeLuca, Brandi Mae Akers, Angela Salvagno, Ashlee Chambers, and Kathy Connors. There have probably been others, but this should give you the idea that this activity isn’t rare or unusual.

Angela Salvagno is redefining how we think women “should” look.

The benefit a clit pump provides a woman shouldn’t have to be explained in further depth. You can probably imagine how much pleasure it gives them to have such a sensitive part of the body stimulated in a sucking manner. Um, yeah.

However, female bodybuilders are a different breed of woman. And fans of female bodybuilders recognize this fact as clearly as anyone. Watching a female bodybuilder use a clit pump is an experience unlike any other. Yes, that could seem like hyperbole, but it does indeed deserve special acknowledgment.

The reasons why we love female bodybuilders and their big clits have been outlined before, but here’s a brief summary: In short, a large clitoris is an outward expression of an FBB’s sexual sovereignty. Unlike the vagina, which is an internal organ that serves – at least from a reproductive standpoint – the purposes of receiving a man’s penis and birthing a child, the clitoris is an external-facing organ that exists for the sole purpose of giving a woman sexual pleasure. It’s hypersensitive and provides her satisfying orgasms. However, because the clit is normally very small, our culture at large (as well as other cultures around the world) doesn’t always recognize its importance to a woman’s sexual health. It’s not talked about at school or at home. Thus, many women across the globe never realize what their clitoris is and what unique function it serves.

Men, on the other hand, have penises. The penis is a much larger external organ that is obvious in its appearance and universally understood to give a man sexual pleasure. No culture throughout human history has ever misunderstood the purpose of the penis. Therefore, boys do not grow up not knowing what purpose this organ serves and what benefits it can provide. It also gives men a sense of unearned sexual superiority because of the obvious nature of this particular organ. Women, however, do not have the luxury of possessing an outward-facing organ that serves an obvious sensual purpose. The clitoris is small and is often overshadowed by the vagina, which can be seen as a “passive” organ that only exists to please the penis during coitus.

We know that the vagina isn’t a passive organ, but that fact isn’t ingrained in our culture’s psyche. However, women who possess a larger-than-normal clitoris are a different matter. They do in fact possess an organ that is both obvious in its appearance and unambiguous in its functionality. It gives a woman pleasure, period. End of story. No need to elaborate.

So, an FBB with big muscles and a large clitoris is a special kind of woman whose sexual independence is punctuated by their enormous genitalia. They are in fact sexual beings who don’t just exist to please others, but exist for their own sake. They don’t need a man to please themselves. They don’t need another woman either, so this is not a matter of sexual orientation or preference. This is a case of sovereignty. This is a matter of our culture giving permission to women everywhere to enjoy their sex lives with or without a partner. It’s about women being able to experience orgasms without any rhyme or reason. She doesn’t need any reason to do so other than she desires to have orgasms. Whenever she wants to, how often she wants to. That is the definition of “sovereignty.” Unfortunately, this simple concept hasn’t always been universally agreed upon.

We’re better than we were in the past, but we still have a long way to go. For sure.

Whew!

A female bodybuilder fits the definition perfectly of a “strong independent woman,” yet our culture doesn’t see it that way. Our culture doesn’t really acknowledge female bodybuilders at all. They’re still at the fringes of the “mainstream” and don’t have a seat at the table. It’s a crying shame, but it’s a reality that FBBs and fans of FBBs have come to accept. For those of us who are aware of female bodybuilders and their vast accomplishments, we’ve come to appreciate their sovereignty. Their long hours at the gym, grueling dietary choices, and financial sacrifices are not lost on us. Nor is their sexuality lost on us. Far from it.

Ashlee Chambers filling that tube with her girly meat.

We all know Denise Masino possesses a lot of meat between her legs. A long clitoris, thick labia, and a fleshy pink vagina await anyone fortunate enough to be able to witness her substantial feminine endowments. But here’s the kicker: Her enormous genitalia doesn’t exist to please a man. Nor does it exist to please a woman. Instead, it only exists to please herself.

A clit pump only emphasizes that point. When you see Denise’s large clitoris become even larger, your eyes become so big you’re afraid they’ll pop out of their sockets. It serves as a valuable reminder that Denise is a sexually independent being. She might be showing off for the camera, but the real purpose of her performance is to prove a critically important point: Her body is capable of providing her immense sexual pleasure and she isn’t afraid to explore these possibilities to its fullest limits.

Denise, and every other FBB who’s shot clit pump videos, is willing to titillate her audience as well as educate them. She’s teaching them an important lesson in female sexuality. She’s schooling us on the fact that women are not passive creatures who need a man to please them. Rather, women are sexually autonomous and don’t have to apologize for being so. These ladies may not mean to make this statement, but they are regardless.

A clit pump, therefore, is a fantastic invention not just because of the primary function it serves, but also for its secondary function. It drives home the point in the most bombastic manner possible that women do not exist to give men pleasure. Women are not second-class citizens. They don’t have to be subordinate to anyone. These concepts are arbitrarily drawn up by our culture and have been passed down from generation to generation. When you see an FBB’s clitoral meat nearly fill up the entire tube, your jaw drops to the floor not just because you’re “impressed” by what she has, but also because you finally realize what you’ve been missing all these years: The way women experience sex isn’t radically different than how men experience sex.

Kathy Connors is not afraid to show us her best features.

Yes, there are remarkable differences. Biologically, male and female genitalia are very different. No reason to contest that. Yet, where they are similar is the basic configuration of how orgasm is achieved. Stimulate the genitals during the proper state of arousal…and orgasm will ensue.

This stimulation can be provided by a man. Or a woman. Or herself. Or by a toy. No matter what, the result is the same: Bliss.

There’s even one video where Denise jerks her clit off between her fingers, similar to how a man would masturbate. She strokes her endowment up and down until she comes. Of course, whether she actually climaxed in that moment is beside the point. What’s more important is how much guys watching this can identify with Denise’s actions. We’ve all been there in some form or fashion. It’s supremely arousing to see a lady do what we’ve been doing since we were teenage boys. Denise is a fine looking lady who’s strong, confident, intelligent, sexy, and proud of what her body can do for her. She isn’t ashamed. She isn’t embarrassed to have a large clitoris that provokes Internet trolls to make denigrating comments like “She’s actually a man!” or “Gross! That’s what steroids will do to you!” Denise isn’t a man of course, and not only are these idiots totally wrong, they’re missing out on enjoying an entire facet of femininity that many of us deeply appreciate.

FBBs who use clit pumps aren’t redefining “femininity.” Instead, they’re expanding the definition of it. Big muscles, large genitalia, and an assertive personality can also be feminine. FBBs aren’t trying to be like men; they’re trying to be a better version of themselves. When we see Angela Salvagno stretch her golden brown labia as far out as it can go, we’re reminded that she’s showing off her feminine body in all its glory. We’re not seeing a masculine-looking figure inhabiting a female body. We’re seeing a nontraditional womanly body that doesn’t conform to our preconceived notions of what “feminine” should look like.

These truths can go over the heads of far too many of us. However, clit pumps play an integral role in tearing down these barriers. When that clear tube is filled with 2-3 inches of meat, our philosophical paradigm shifts completely. We finally recognize the irrefutable truth that female bodybuilders are exactly that: females who build their bodies up to proportions that shatter our expectations. And they build their bodies in ways that go beyond their muscles. It includes their genitals, too.

Witnessing a cute girly girl like Brandi Mae Akers filling her tube with a couple inches of clitoral meat really proves the point that our perceptions of “masculine” and “feminine” are completely wrong. Our brains struggle to comprehend how someone so unmistakably feminine can also have such large genitals. How is that even possible? Then, she jokes about walking around in public with the tube still attached, giggling at the possibility of strangers stopping dead in their tracks when they see a pretty young lady like herself sport a substantial endowment between her legs. What a sight that would be!

Brandi Mae Akers says “peek-a-boo!”

Whether we’re dealing with a pretty girl-next-door like Brandi Mae or an intimidating Alpha Female like Amber DeLuca, both of these ladies force us to reevaluate how we should view the differences between men and women. Personally, when I see Amber proudly filling that tube with her large clit, I don’t feel insecure or apprehensive. Instead, I feel a sense of kinship and commonality with her. I feel like she isn’t all that different from me. She’s obviously quite different from me in every aspect of life, but in that moment I feel as though we’re two sides of the same coin.

Male/female. Masculine/feminine. Blah. Why does it matter? What’s the difference? Differences do exist, but why are we so focused on them all the time? Can’t we just celebrate our distinctions, recognize our similarities, and enjoy what every single one of us can bring to the table? I pray the world may wake up and finally realize that we’re tearing ourselves apart for no good reason.

In closing, we should be grateful that there are a number of female bodybuilders who are not afraid to pump their clits for the entire world to see. They’re not ashamed of what Mother Nature has endowed them with, as well as the side effects of living life as an elite bodybuilder. But it’s not just that they’re not afraid; they’re proud of their bodies. They take pride in being unique. They relish being able to shatter our preconceived notions of human sexuality and gender identities. They’re taking all of us to school one way or another.

Every time they film themselves using a clit pump, they’re planting seeds inside our imaginations of what women are actually capable of being. They aren’t people who “lack a penis,” but instead are people who affirmatively “have a vagina, labia, and clitoris.” These parts do not singularly define their identity, but they certainly play a role in shaping how we view and treat them. We take pleasure in watching them experience pleasure. And whether we know it or not, we’re becoming better people, little by little.

As they expand their clits to larger lengths, they’re also expanding our hearts to newer heights.

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.

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.

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

Denise Masino showing Lisa Cross who’s the boss.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huh? What just happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s nothing weak about Angela Salvagno.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are Female Bodybuilders Actually Men?

Kim Buck is ALL woman.

Kim Buck is ALL woman.

The answer is simple.

No.

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Oh, were you expecting me to elaborate further?

Alright, I can do that. Judging from what WordPress tells me, the question “Are female bodybuilders actually men?” is a question that frequently brings people to my humble blog. That also includes questions similar to it such as “Are FBBs really men?” or “Do female bodybuilders become men?” Aren’t you glad we have tools like Google at our disposal in this curious age?

This curiosity is unto itself curious. Is there a small group of people in this world who genuinely think female bodybuilders are actually male bodybuilders in disguise (or female bodybuilders who’ve magically transitioned to a different gender)? Or is this meant to be a joke? Or, these folks do know female bodybuilders are actually female…but they just want to make sure? Hey, the world can be a confusing place. It never hurts to ask, right?

Uh, right. It doesn’t hurt to ask. I’m totally in favor of people quenching their thirst for knowledge. Human beings are curious creatures, which means we constantly need our curiosity taken to its rightful conclusion. Ignorance has never served anyone well, as far as I can tell.

So I have no beef against anyone who does an innocent Google search in regards to this question. It may seem silly, but I don’t think it’s spiteful. Biology can be a fascinating area of study. How can a translucent jellyfish with no discernable internal organs survive? How can some creatures like Komodo dragons and hammerhead sharks reproduce asexually? Not all of them do, but scientists have observed many of them being able to. How is that even possible?

Well, it is possible. Life is full of mysteries. This is especially true when our worldviews are perpetually being challenged, poked, and prodded. You don’t need a degree in Gender Studies from Oberlin College to know that our traditional male/female dichotomy may not always accurately describe all of us. Postmodern philosophy has broken apart our black and white way of thinking about the Universe, for better or for worse. I’ll let you decide which it is.

But what cannot be argued is the existence of doubt. Are we human beings truly born male or female? Are these the only two categories that can possibly exist? Could there be more? Or, is gender unto itself not a real thing, but instead an artificial social construct created for arbitrary reasons? To tell you the truth, I will not take a stand either way. How the heck am I supposed to know?

How can one actually think Ava Cowan is maybe a man?

How can one actually think Ava Cowan is maybe a man?

At the heart of this discussion is the concept of doubt. There are many truths that we think are true…but in the back of our minds we know that there exists the possibility that they may not. Unless we’re not terribly self-reflective, people should consistently challenge their own beliefs so that they can continue to grow and mature. It’s not a sign of moral cowardice or intellectual fraud, but rather an admission of humility. We do not know all that there is to know, and what we think we know we may not actually be right about. To admit that is to convey wisdom, not foolishness.

People who are familiar with female bodybuilders but are not closely connected with them are right to be curious. Those of us who are intimately familiar with FBBs – we either have met many of them for muscle worship/wrestling sessions or we pay close attention to them from a distance – have no doubts as to the gender identities of these gorgeous ladies. They’re women, simple and plain. Of course, they’re women whose physical appearance is unusual. But that doesn’t change who they are as people. They may not behave like “normal” women and could perhaps accomplish feats of strength that surpass that of many men, but that still doesn’t make a difference whatsoever. Female bodybuilders are female, period. There’s no argument there. However, one could frame this debate in terms of how we define “gender” to begin with.

Simply put, is “gender” a purely biological trait or is it an indicator of one’s personal identity? Without getting too deep into the weeds, let’s just say that there probably isn’t a definitive answer to this question that will satisfy 100% of us 100% of the time. We don’t live in that type of philosophical atmosphere anymore. We have far too many diverse ideas and viewpoints out there to establish any kind of universal understanding. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it could be when these differences are used to intentionally divide and conquer us.

A better angle to take is to analyze who female bodybuilders are and what makes them so special. In addition to reading every single one of my previous blog articles (which, um, you should), let’s gain a better grasp of this topic together by establishing this concept:

Female bodybuilders challenge the way we see the world.

More than anything else, this nugget of truth cuts to the core of the matter. This is the meat and potatoes of our discussion. Female bodybuilders cannot help but turn our worlds upside down. They may not intentionally try to do so, but they do so nevertheless. It’s nearly inevitable to start to rethink how we view the world when we see photos of a woman with big burly muscles. The sight of them goes against how we view femininity, masculinity, human potential, and sexuality. All our lives we’ve assumed that women are the “weaker sex.” Is this not actually true? Are women indeed the weaker sex, or are they just at a natural disadvantage? You know, sort of like a sprinter who begins the race 20 yards behind the other competitors. The sprinter can still win, but it’ll take some extra effort (and perhaps a bit of luck) to do so.

Diana Tyuleneva wearing a hot BDSM outfit.

Diana Tyuleneva wearing a hot BDSM outfit.

The presence of a woman with muscles also challenges how men view themselves. If she can get that big, why can’t I? If I’m struggling to bulk up at the gym, what excuse could I possibly have when I’m scrolling through Instagram and notice some Finnish chick named Minna Pajulahti deadlifting more than me? Female bodybuilders can, understandably, create feelings of inadequacy in guys who are already somewhat insecure about themselves. This is not an indictment. It’s just the way things are.

Seeing a woman with big muscles also begs us to ask the question: Is there a limit to what humans can do? And to be clear, this goes for both men and women. Can human beings slowly but surely evolve to be able to swim under water for hours at a time? Or fly through the sky? Or become as strong as an ox? Or upgrade our intelligence level to unprecedented heights, where we will be able to teach advanced physics to grade school children? I cannot say yay or nay, but how one cannot stop to ponder such possibilities is beyond me. After all, seeing a female bodybuilder be able to lift heavy weights at the gym is like a smack in the face. If that doesn’t wake you up to challenge your preconceived notions about the Universe, I don’t know what will.

But more than anything, female bodybuilders force us to move the goal posts in terms of what is possible and what is not possible. Don’t say that certain physical feats are impossible because the moment you do someone will come around and shatter that opinion into a million pieces. Don’t say that a woman with muscles can’t be sexy. I can provide you with a list of hundreds of names that will test that belief. Don’t doubt the fact that female powerlifters can’t surpass the accomplishments of male powerlifters. Just do a Google search of Becca Swanson. You’ll be glad that you did.

What we thought we knew we need to reevaluate. What we were taught may be wrong; even if it was taught to us in good faith. But in addition to beliefs, female bodybuilders also change the way we view sexual attraction.

Before, we assumed that people who are attracted to women are attracted to just, well, “normal” looking women. However, the discovery of muscular women (and to be fair, other nontraditional-looking ladies) throws us for a loop. We ask ourselves how we can possibly be attracted to a woman who has bigger muscles than most men. Does that mean I’m secretly gay? Or is this perfectly normal? How can I tell either way? These questions abound, much to our consternation.

Eventually, many of us will reach the conclusion that it’s perfectly fine to be attracted to muscular women because…they’re still women. Obviously, they don’t look like most other women you encounter in everyday life, but that’s not an indicator of anything unnatural. It’s unusual, but it doesn’t cross any forbidden boundaries. To repeat the answer provided at the beginning, female bodybuilders are not men. Not even close. So why is there even a debate?

Well, there deserves to be a discussion about this topic because of the initial, involuntary gut feeling we received when we first encountered the world of muscular women. Due to all the reasons listed above, the presence of muscular women triggers in our minds an adverse reaction. Like side effects from taking prescription medicine (we’ve all wondered whether vomiting, cramps, and possibly death are acceptable trade-offs for alieving us of the sniffles), it’s like our brains are fighting off a foreign agent when we look upon an image of a woman with big muscles. We feel repulsed. Or confused. Or extreme cognitive dissonance. Or maybe, unexpected and uncontrollable sexual arousal.

Denise Masino may be well-endowed, but she's not even close to being a man.

Denise Masino may be well-endowed, but she’s not even close to being a man.

These reactions are unexplainable. They’re inconceivable. They’re not normal, yet we’re intrigued to learn more. The sight of a muscular woman stirs up in our imaginations all sorts of thoughts and feelings. We begin to question our previously held assumptions about, well, everything in the damn world. We feel compelled, for no logical reason, to do a Google search about whether or not female bodybuilders are actually female or if they’re somehow “male” by some perverse definition.

We realize it’s silly. We know in the back of our minds that female bodybuilders are definitely women. But we can’t help but feed our curiosity. We must know for sure. In the dark recesses of our imaginations there’s a tiny part of us that thinks that maybe FBBs are not really women in the traditional sense of the word. Or maybe they’re women…sort of. Kind of. Maybe they’re men…sort of. Kind of. Or perhaps they’ve transitioned into a third option. Uh, right?

Yikes. What the hell am I thinking?

You want to slap yourself in the face, but resist the urge to do so. That’s good. No need for self-flagellation. At the very least, you can smile to yourself, look into a mirror, and whisper to no one in particular: “Hey, what I Google in the privacy of my spare time is my business and no one needs to know about it!”

Which is true. Of course it is. No one will ever know what you choose to Google, unless you believe all sorts of wacky conspiracy theories. Do search engine crawlers count?

There’s nothing male about female bodybuilders. There are plenty of FBBs who exhibit masculine qualities, but that’s a whole other story. Masculine/feminine are behavioral and physical signifiers that have no biological connections. A man can have a “feminine-sounding” voice and still be 100% a man. A woman can have “masculine-looking” facial features but still be 100% a woman. Biology is more objective than arbitrary gendered descriptions that societies have used for centuries. Whether these identifiers are good or bad is up to you to decide. Volumes of books have been written on the harm produced by gender roles, so I don’t feel too obligated to rehash these ideas at this time.

Suffice to say, it’s not a bad thing to have questions. Being inquisitive is a sign of wisdom, humility, and practical intelligence. Nobody knows the answers to everything. That’s simply impossible. Heck, as incredible as this sounds, despite all the breakthroughs we’ve made in recent generations in regards to theoretical physics, we still don’t know even a fraction of a fraction of what there is to know about the Universe. Theorists like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are like the One Eyed Kings leading a pack of blind subjects. But in this case, they have one eye that’s peering into the world through a coffee straw. They are able to speculate about the world at levels that most of us will never be able to comprehend, and even they can’t manage to scratch the surface. Far out, man!

Makes you not feel so guilty about wondering if Denise Masino is secretly a dude, huh?

I can assure you that Denise Masino is not a dude. Despite the impressive amount of meat dangling between her legs, I can assure you that it’s all feminine meat. Nothing masculine about it. She doesn’t have a penis. Though her phallic-like clit sort of resembles a really tiny penis (especially when she uses a clit pump), there’s no doubt that it’s a clit, end of story. Beneath her impressive feminine endowment is her vagina, an organ I don’t believe too many men can say they also have.

Maryse Manios isn't everybody's cup of tea, but there's no doubt that she's a lady. No doubt at all.

Maryse Manios isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but there’s no doubt that she’s a lady. No doubt at all.

As far as I can tell, it is not possible for a woman to become a man without an intricately planned series of hormonal therapy sessions administered by trained medical professionals. I am no expert about the female-to-male or male-to-female transition processes, but lifting weights at the gym (and yes, even taking synthetic steroids to help you bulk up more) will not do the trick. Of course, I don’t think too many folks actually believe this. So to reiterate, it’s hard to not question your assumptions when you’re faced with examples that challenge them.

Female bodybuilders are not actually men. I understand why someone would allow their minds to drift in that direction, but at the end of the day there’s no evidence to suggest that such a phenomenon is even scientifically possible. But that doesn’t mean we should mock people who do dare to Google such a titillating question.

There’s an old saying that “it never hurts to ask.” Well, that’s not entirely true. It can hurt if the person(s) to whom you’re asking the question retaliates in any sort of way. However, that’s the beauty of the Internet. You can ask away with little risk to your reputation or ego. I may not have all the answers, but I am qualified to provide a small degree of insight onto the issue of female bodybuilders and their gender identities:

Female bodybuilders are female, not male. You can take it to the bank and bet your life’s savings on it. But if even a slight hint of doubt creeps into your mind, remember this: That’s perfectly okay.