Female Bodybuilders in Limbo

Monique Hayes is out-of-this-world.

Female bodybuilders seem to exist in a world all by themselves, don’t they?

Mainstream culture certainly doesn’t fully recognize their impressive accomplishments. The IFBB doesn’t seem to care about female competitors nearly as much as their male counterparts. Feminists, for whatever reason, don’t loudly embrace them as examples of “strong independent women” (even though they are undoubtedly exactly that). Sports media will celebrate a few physically gifted female athletes, but usually only go as far as the Williams sisters and a few MMA fighters. And even then, they still need to be traditionally feminine, beautiful, and not be too muscular.

The only group of people in our society who truly embrace female bodybuilders with any sort of passion would be…a very small subculture that consists of folks like me and those of you who read this blog.

Hm.

Female bodybuilders do appear to exist in limbo, don’t they?

They live in a strange, isolated world. We fans also exist in this world, but we are certainly not on the same plane as them. Celebrities and their fans will always exist in the same universe, but no one can deny that there’s always going to be a clear separation between the two cohorts. And in this case, female bodybuilders are celebrities as far as we’re concerned. Maybe not according to our mainstream culture, but in our hearts they’re as revered as any Hollywood icon or pop singer.

If female bodybuilders live on one continent on Planet FBB, fans like you and I live on a different continent on the other side of the hemisphere. Same planet, but different environments. Way different environments.

FBBs are not lonely, but they don’t have too many advocates on their side. Their list of partners, associates, allies, and lobbyists (not necessarily in the political sense) are few and far between. And it appears to be shrinking as the years go on. This might be an exaggeration, or maybe it is not. But what we can say for sure is that FBBs exist in probably one of the most bizarre cultural environments possible.

Female bodybuilders are sort of like Hare Krishnas, Scientologists, or Furries. We’re all aware that these sort of people exist, even though we may never come into contact with one of them. We might have a buddy from high school who may have implied on Facebook that he/she is into that sort of thing, but other than that these folks exist mostly on a theoretical level. I’ve never personally met a practicing Scientologist, but they sure do claim that they’re the “world’s fastest growing religion.” Maybe I need to get out of my apartment more.

Sherry Mayumi is a former U.S, Marine who will kick your ass…if she had reason to, that is.

Most people in the world know that female bodybuilders exist. But only an infinitesimal number of those people could name at least one current (or past, for that matter) athlete. If you were to ask a random person on the street what they thought about female bodybuilders, most of the responses – regardless if they come from a man or a woman – probably won’t be too positive. Or they’ll laugh it off and say they don’t know enough about them to make a comment. Fair enough.

It goes without saying that the vast majority of us don’t personally know a female bodybuilder, never mind being on a first-name basis with one. Even those of us who love female bodybuilders more than anything else probably can’t call one a friend or even an acquaintance. FBBs tend to know (or at least know of) each other very well, which makes sense when you consider how intimate of a community they belong to. But their numbers are small – unfortunately – while the number of their fans is larger…but still remarkably small.

According to Catholic theology, “Limbo” is a speculative place where souls go after their worldly bodies die if they did not receive the Christian baptism. Without getting into further detail, this basically means your soul is stuck in an environment that is neither Heaven, Hell, nor Earth. You exist in “no man’s land.” You don’t have a home because no one wants to claim you. It’s pretty darn depressing when you think about it.

Female bodybuilders, therefore, exist in a similar – albeit without the element of “spiritual damnation” attached to it – situation. No one is willing to openly embrace them. Not sports journalists. Not feminists. Not fellow non-bodybuilding athletes. Not Hollywood producers. Not hot shot talent agents. Not even some powerful people within the bodybuilding industry. And those of us who do love them do so in secret. I don’t tell my friends, family, and co-workers that I love muscular women. And I know for a fact I am not alone in making this decision.

So even the most enthusiastic supporters of female bodybuilding aren’t willing to be vocal about it. I try to be as vocal as I can, but I choose to do so under the guise as an anonymous blogger. I’d like to think of myself as a “friend of FBBs,” but can I really stake this claim when I’m too embarrassed to publicly declare my admiration for them? What kind of an ally is that?

Georgina McConnell is like the girl next door. If you happen to live next to a House of Muscle Goddesses.

This isn’t meant to shame anyone or spur any of you to take a specific action. Although if you feel compelled to take matters into your own hands, be my guest. Rather, this is meant to point out a strange yet fascinating aspect of female bodybuilding: They have no home, but that’s okay because they don’t need one.

Huh?

Female bodybuilders don’t need a massive amount of public adoration in order to justify their existence. Nor do they need that to validate their considerable accomplishments. FBBs have carved out a small yet not insignificant niche market for themselves. Their biggest fans may not feel comfortable expressing their fandom quite like football fans or cosplayers do, but that’s perfectly fine. That’s not entirely necessary. Female bodybuilding fans are able to live out their fandom with complete anonymity if they so choose – and many do.

Likewise, female bodybuilders do not have to conduct all their business in broad daylight. Obviously, activities such as competing, endorsing corporate products, running a business, modeling, personal training, and acting are done publicly. In fact, the more publicized these activities can be, the better. Obviously.

However, there are other entrepreneurial actions that do not need to be so public. Offering muscle worship/wrestling sessions and performing in “adult” entertainment media can fly more under the radar. These activities are not a “secret” in the dictionary definition sense of the word, but they aren’t exactly ones that all FBBs are willing to blast out to the world. Also, every FBB is different. Some are very open about the seedier sides of their lives. Others prefer to keep a more “clean” public image and leave the other stuff behind closed doors. To each her own.

Therefore, FBBs exist in multiple worlds. They exist in the open, but also in the shadows. You can read their biographies on Wikipedia or their own websites, but you’re only seeing a fraction of the truth. You can follow them on Instagram, but you need to go behind a paid subscription firewall to really see what kind of photography they like to participate in. You may see that they offer “sessions” to paying customers, but you actually need to set one up in order to truly know what goes on in those hotel rooms.

Lightness and darkness. Truth and secrets. Openness and guarded candidness. Experienced reality and unsubstantiated rumors. The tip of the iceberg and whatever exists below it.

Female bodybuilders live in all of these worlds, often at the same time. They simultaneously write an email to a personal training client to remind them to eat more kale while sitting in a cheap motel wearing a sexy BDSM outfit. They chat on the phone with one of their protein supplement sponsors minutes after wiping a random guy’s semen off her chest. They send a loving text to their children wishing them “good night” just moments before filming a gang bang porno on an amateur movie set.

Not all FBBs can relate to these hypothetical scenarios, but many can. Or at least some of them. For female bodybuilders who wish to make a living doing what they do, they have to live in both worlds – whether they like it or not. Only the elite of the elite can make enough money doing competitions, working part-time or full-time, and endorsing products. Most FBBs have to add to their income through, ahem, “nontraditional” means.

And that means living in a world that is, as explained earlier, simultaneously in the light and in the shadows. Or, it means living in a world that is neither completely in the light nor completely in the shadows. It’s both at the same time. Or neither.

Essentially, they got to do what they got to do. No matter what form it takes, a paycheck is a paycheck that subsidizes the rent and puts food on the table (and bodybuilders have to eat a lot of food to remain that big). Money earned under the table is still money that you can deposit in the bank. Uncle Sam just isn’t able to tax it.

The elegant Elise Penn.

Also, fans of FBBs – like FBBs themselves – want to keep their fandom as under the radar as possible. You don’t just casually declare on Facebook that you’re about to meet a female bodybuilder for fantasy wrestling, muscle worship, and (hopefully) a hand job at the end. That’s just not what most of us do. Instead, we also live in the darkness, albeit for a temporary amount of time. But that’s not all bad. FBBs with families and public reputations want to keep the more erotic side of their business a secret. Guys (and gals) who engage in these erotic activities also want it to be kept a secret. So confidentiality is desired by both parties. Both sides benefit. Both sides consent to what is happening. Both sides want it kept hush-hush. It’s not only a win-win, it’s a situation in which “losing” is considered unacceptable by both sides.

“Losing” means risking public ridicule. It means embarrassment. It means lost sponsorships. It could mean jail time. It could also mean being ostracized by your own industry. Whatever the case may be, this sordid world existing in limbo is in everyone’s best interests.

One more observation about public adoration. It’s overrated. Big time.

Sure, many FBBs love it when peers, fans, and friends compliment their looks. After all, what’s the point of all that hard work if nobody is around to appreciate it? While more eyeballs on you could mean more lucrative opportunities down the road, FBBs don’t necessarily need hundreds of millions of rabid fans frothing at the mouth, hanging on your every word and action. Rather, all they need are a few dedicated but respectful supporters who will pay them $400 per hour doing perfectly legal activities in complete secrecy. These folks will not just verbally compliment you, they will worship you. They will lay their fingers on your body and admire your handiwork without words. Yet, their silence speaks volumes.

These fans aren’t just casually expressing their fondness for an FBB’s work. They’re treating it like a quasi-spiritual experience. Or maybe it’s a full on spiritual experience in the literal sense. Touching a muscular woman’s body is much different than clicking the “like” button or leaving a nonsensical comment on Instagram using the appropriate hashtags. Look at it from the perspective of the session provider: her clients aren’t casual participants, like someone turning on the TV to the baseball game just for the background noise. They’re giving her a significant portion of their month’s wages for the opportunity to see her for just one single hour.

That’s quite a sacrifice. And showering her with verbal and physical compliments on top of it all proves that this is no joke (what exactly is a “physical compliment?” That’s up to your imagination to decide…). Public adoration is fine. It really is. But it can’t beat the kind of adoration that’s more intimate, quieter, deeper, and meaningful. One cannot easily replicate that outside of the context of an erotic session.

It’s one thing to download Beyoncé’s albums and follow her on Twitter. It’s quite another thing to pay a quarter of your hard-earned paycheck to an FBB, meet her at a hotel somewhere far away, and make yourself vulnerable to each other. These sessions are extremely vulnerable for both parties. Probably more so for the provider, but it is as well for the client. An FBB opens up her body – her most treasured asset – to a complete stranger. A client expresses their inner most desires to someone who might – or might not – be judging them; often times these desires being uncomfortable to talk about.

Erin Tolen is showing us that baby got back.

In my experience, when I first started participating in muscle worship sessions I had to give myself permission to enjoy the experience. I had to repeatedly remind myself that it’s okay to be indulgent every once in a while. It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to seek what you want and not apologize for it. So there is without question a high degree of vulnerability required to be a participant. As there is to be the one opening her own body to be touched in the most intimate ways imaginable…and the possibility of pain, injury, and violation.

Therefore, FBBs should be living in limbo. They don’t need to live in a black and white world where there are definitive rules that govern what people should and should not be allowed to enjoy. Of course, there are reasonable parameters that should be observed. But when both sides are consenting to everything that is going on, it’s best for all involved to not think about whether what’s transpiring is considered “socially acceptable” or “popular.” Those are superficial labels we attach to behaviors that don’t encompass the full spectrum of what makes people happy.

At the end of the day, that’s what it all boils down to. Whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes female bodybuilders and fans of female bodybuilders happy is alright, regardless of whether they exist in the light or the dark. Lightness and darkness are boundaries we arbitrarily place on things that we are comfortable acknowledging. It has nothing to do with what the actual truth is.

The Truth with a capital “T” is somewhere in between. Or somewhere else. Or both. Whatever.

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Sexy Summer Short Story #3 – Three Strikes

Safeco Field, home of my beloved (but frustratingly inept) Seattle Mariners.

Safeco Field, home of my beloved (but frustratingly inept) Seattle Mariners.

Author’s note: The following story is inspired by a reader who recently e-mailed me at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com and suggested this plot. As someone who always wants to please his readers, I enthusiastically obliged.

Enjoy! Once again, feel free to submit your story ideas if anything in particular strike your fancy. My ears are always open. I may not follow through on all your suggestions, but I will try my best to take your feedback into consideration.

***

I really want to go home. Right NOW.

I usually love going to baseball games, but this is too much. I’m squirming in my seat. I can’t focus on the game…or anything for that matter. Our team just hit a home run. The crowd is on their feet cheering loudly. I, however, feel absolutely no emotions whatsoever. My mind is elsewhere. My thoughts are preoccupied with millions of thoughts, emotions, and reactions.

Thanks to her.

Her name is Gabby. She’s the new girlfriend of my best friend Jake. Jake and I have been buddies since we played little league ball together when we were little kids. We hang out all the time. We’ve been to hundreds of baseball games together. Occasionally, he’ll bring along a cute girl he’s just hooked up with. Tonight is no exception. But what is unusual is the kind of girl he brought with him.

She’s a bodybuilder. Not a bikini model who likes to use the elliptical machine, but a real life bodybuilder. The real deal. Gabby has muscles that are bigger than that of most of the players on the field. Everywhere she goes, she gets stares from strangers. No one can help but look at her. She’s gorgeous, confident, strong, and built like a saber-toothed tiger.

Fuck. I am so fucking jealous of him!

Ever since I hit puberty, one particular kind of woman has always intrigued me: Muscular girls.

Holy shit, they drive me insane. I used to steal issues of fitness and bodybuilding magazines from my local grocery store and jerk off to the brawny ladies who grace their pages. My mom once caught me in the act, which is still the single most embarrassing moment of my life. We never talk about it. Ever.

All my life I’ve wanted a strong beautiful woman to be my girlfriend. But that shit never happens. After all, buff chicks like Gabby don’t exactly grow on trees. So how the fuck did Jake get so damn lucky?

FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew he was dating a new girl, but I never in a million years ever imagined she would look like this. As thick as an oxen but as graceful as a ballerina, she’s without a doubt the Woman of My Dreams. She has arms that can snap a steel rod in half and legs that could crush a watermelon. She’s perfect in every way. I’ve had dreams about women like her. But my dumbass best friend gets to bang her instead! What the fuck is this shit???

When you think of Gabby, think about Georgina McConnell.

When you think of Gabby, think about Georgina McConnell.

Just look at them. They’re sharing a box of Cracker Jack and giggling to each other. He’s feeding her, as if he’s her personal servant. I want to be her personal fucking servant! I want to be her slave! Where the hell do I sign up to become the lover/slave of a gorgeous female bodybuilder?

Jake just nibbled on her meaty shoulder. She gasps with delight. A little old grandma sitting in front of them shushes them to be quiet. They giggle again, knowing they’ve just been caught being naughty. It’s sickening to watch!

FUUUUUCKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

The past two hours have been torture. All I can do is fantasize about being with Gabby. I want to be the one who makes out with her. I want to be the one who holds her hand in public. I want her to lift me up, drop me on my bed, and savagely make love to me all fucking night long. I want us to be the unstoppable power couple that we were meant to be.

Envy is enough to drive a man crazy. Wow. I really need a drink.

Unable to stand it anymore, I politely excuse myself and walk down the stairs toward the concessions area. There’s a full bar inside the stadium located not far from here. I think I’ll go there instead and down a few shots of tequila or whatever.

“I’ll be back in a few. I need something more stiff to drink, if you catch my drift!” I politely say this with my teeth clenched. Jake nods his head in agreement.

“Enjoy that! We’ll see you around. If we score any more runs, we’ll let you know,” she says. Her lyrical voice is music to my ears. She’s divine. She’s perfect. She’s…meant to be mine.

Damn it. I really need to get out of here!

Twenty minutes later, I’m sitting all by myself at the stadium tavern sipping on God-awful tequila. It tastes like gasoline, but it’s all I can afford. Payday is next week.

The bartender is nice enough, but he barely speaks English. I think Polish is his native language, but I’m not totally sure about that.

I'm not much of a fan of tequila, but that sure looks good.

I’m not much of a fan of tequila, but that sure looks good.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Jake and Gabby enter the tavern, holding hands and skipping along. They don’t seem interested in ordering a drink. They also don’t seem to notice me sitting all alone at the bar. The bartender just excused himself temporarily because he needed to grab more lemons from the kitchen. It’s dark in here, so there’s a good reason why they don’t see me.

“No one’s in here. Let’s fuck in the bathroom back there!” Jake murmurs to Gabby. He may be speaking softly, but I have really good hearing so I can understand every single word they’re saying.

“Yes, I’d love that!” Gabby responds. She grabs him and kisses him deeply, taking control of the situation. She leads him to a back area and I hear a door open and slam shut.

Intrigued, I immediately leave my seat and scurry in their direction. Sure enough, there’s a unisex single stall bathroom at the back of the tavern. I can hear the crowd roar in the background, but that’s the last thing on my mind. I approach the closed door and hear laughter, sounds of kissing, and clothes being ripped off.

“Quick! Someone may knock on the door! Hurry, Jake!” Gabby begs.

I place my ear to the door and listen intently.

A zipper is unzipped. The kissing has stopped. Jake lets out a passionate groan, which is followed by Gabby also moaning with pleasure. The unmistakable sound of flesh banging against flesh commences. The bartender has still not returned, so I figure no one will witness me listening in on their impromptu fucking.

Always use protection, kids.

Always use protection, kids.

Gabby screams with reckless joy. Jake tries to muffle his own screams, but fails. His banging grows louder and more furious. Her wails become throaty and fervent. Someone kicks the wall on accident, but that only heightens the situation futher.

“God, yes! YES, Jake, YESSSSSSS!!!”

My penis becomes hard at her exclamation of carnal glee. My breathing speeds up. I press my ear against the door as close as possible.

“Oh, fuck!” Jake yells.

The sound of bodies rustling around suggests they’re switching positions. I hear Gabby’s heels clanging against the linoleum floor. Jake is nowhere to be heard. I think the bartender has returned, but I don’t give a shit about him. My attention is on the here and now. In a meek voice, Gabby proclaims to her lover:

“I’m going to come! I’m going…to come….”

The banging stops. Gabby squeals. Jake sighs. I may not be able to see what’s going on in there, but I think they’re done. I don’t hear any more audible noises. I think I hear water running. Or is that heavy breathing? God, it could be anything…

Suddenly, the door opens. I fall on my face into the bathroom. I look up and see Gabby’s muscular calf right in front of my nose. Jake gasps, pulls my legs into the cramped room, and quickly closes the door, locking the three of us inside. I have no idea if the bartender saw us. Regardless, that’s not important right now.

“Holy shit, dude. Were you listening in on us?” Jake asks.

I quickly stand up. The bathroom is a bit larger than I expected, but still too small for three adults to be inside. Gabby’s muscular frame alone takes up most of the space. She’s just pulled up her panties and straightens out her skirt. Jake still hasn’t zipped up his jeans and has just thrown a used condom into the trashcan. I’m blushing uncontrollably. My mind a jumbled mess, I try to think of a way to apologize for spying on them.

“Yeah, man. I was listening. To all of it, from start to finish. Damn, man. I was sitting at the bar and saw you two storming in,” I confess. “I couldn’t help it.”

Silence.

After a brief moment, Gabby flashes Jake a wicked smile. Jake smirks back. Even though they haven’t spoken a single word, they’re apparently in agreement about something. I’m confused.

Gabby squeezes my arm with a level of force that takes me by surprise. She doesn’t look angry. Neither does Jake. What gives?

Gabby reaches into her purse and takes out another condom. She kisses me on the cheek and whispers into my ear:

“Threesome?”