Oh, Cindy

Cindy 1

Sometimes, perfection is attainable.

It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, you notice. Big time. You don’t need to be an art connoisseur to know that Michelangelo’s painting on ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is a once-in-a-millennium masterpiece. You don’t need to be an expert in music theory to agree that Beethoven’s 9th symphony is one of the greatest compositional achievements of all time. You don’t need to be an erudite dramaturg to understand that William Shakespeare’s Hamlet deserves its uniquely special place in theatre history.

There are many other examples of masterpieces in the world of art, literature, music, architecture, film, and photography. But there is one human being in particular who has achieved something that sounds rather strange when you say it out loud. And many of you should agree with me on this.

This person has achieved Human Perfection.

She’s perfect in every way. Her body, her looks, her intelligence, her personality, her accomplishments, everything and anything. She’s the perfect “bridge” female bodybuilder who pleases both the hardcore Female Muscle Fans and the non-Female Muscle Fans. She may even be able to convert a few cynical Female Muscle Haters. She’s curvy, strong, feminine, classically beautiful, independent, compassionate, relatable, charismatic, unforgettable, and instantly alluring. Once you are introduced to her, you cannot go back. She’s forever burned into your memory.

You begin to wonder what your existence was like before you discovered her: How on Earth was I able to survive without knowing she was out there? Did I really grow up thinking Megan Fox was the pinnacle of female beauty? Did I truly understand what “beauty” really was before knowing this woman had existed? Why did I spend so much of my time jerking off to Katy Perry when someone infinitely more gorgeous was just a simple Google search away?

The answers to these questions are simple: You hadn’t discovered her yet. And once you did, your paradigm shifts so drastically it makes Pangaea’s supercontinental break-up seem trivial enough to belong in a Taylor Swift album.

Who is this Mystery Woman I am cryptically referring to?

Cindy Landolt, of course!

Oh, Cindy.

Cindy, Cindy, Cindy.

You truly are a Female Muscle Fan’s dream come true. You are the physical embodiment of human perfection. When we look up “beautiful” in the dictionary, we’ll see a picture of you. That’s who you are. Beautiful in every sense of the word…and then some.

Cindy Landolt was born on January 11, 1985 in Wetzikon, Switzerland. The Swiss Muscle Goddess has always lived an active life, enjoying skiing, hiking, and mountain biking as a little girl (aren’t these typical activities of any self-respecting Swiss citizen?). She currently lives in Zurich but travels a lot, essentially making the entire world her home. Unlike many of the women we love, Cindy has never been a competitive bodybuilder. She finds such rabid competition distasteful and would rather spend her creative energy lifting up others instead of trying to defeat people.

Good for her!

At age 16 she stopped training to be a gymnast because of her considerable height. Standing at 5’10”, she’s a striking woman who is far from being a dainty ingénue. She’s a Super Woman who appropriately personifies the “Goddess” label. As a young adult Cindy embraced resistance training. Then she enrolled in the Swiss Academy of Fitness and Sports to become a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor, learning the ropes of becoming a certified nutrition, rehabilitation, strength training, weight loss, and sporting coach. In 2009 she founded her own personal training company in Zurich. Her clients are diverse in their goals, but her approach remains the same: she prioritizes growth and progress over an unhealthy hyper-focus on end results.

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She’s also been on the cutting edge of virtual training. People all over the world – and that is not an exaggeration – can sign up for 1:1 online training and nutrition consultations. How she finds the time to manage all her business obligations is beyond me. I’m guessing she has to be selective about who her clients are. But nevertheless, she should be commended for being so tech-savvy, forward-thinking, and proactive in knowing where the fitness industry is going and how to exploit the voids in the market.

Cindy is a flawlessly beautiful woman. She is perfect. Ed Sheeran, eat your heart out. And best yet, as I mentioned earlier she has the potential for major cross appeal of which very few of her peers can boast.

She has plenty of muscle to appease the committed fans of female bodybuilders. She is also “safe” in that she’s conventionally beautiful, curvy, and unambiguously feminine. It’s a shame that traditional femininity is somehow a necessity for obtaining mainstream appeal, but it is what it is. But as it stands today, Cindy is not actually a mainstream celebrity. She’s well-known within female muscle fandom circles and the fitness industry, but don’t expect Miss Landolt to appear on the cover of Vogue anytime soon.

Her physique defines the word “statuesque.” She looks like she was chiseled out of marble, her flesh carved out of an artist’s erotically-charged imagination. She seems too good to be true. Too beautiful to be real. Too perfect to be comprehended. But alas, she is a real human being. She does exist. In our world. She didn’t fall from Heaven. She was born of fellow human beings. She is a woman, not a Goddess. A lady, not an angel. A mortal, not a deity.

But in our feverish imaginations, she is in fact a Goddess. She defies explanation. We are addicted to her and we cannot get enough. We need our daily Cindy fix, like a junkie furiously looking for their shady supplier. Unlike “normal” beautiful women, Cindy casts a spell on us that’s difficult to articulate into words. But I’ll try.

Let’s compare Cindy Landolt to Pamela Anderson. If you grew up in the 1990s, you knew who Pamela Anderson was. If you were a pubescent boy who spent his formulative years during the height of Miss Anderson’s fame, you definitely were aware of who she was. Is Pamela Anderson a flawless woman? Well, yes and no. She’s as physically attractive as any mainstream celebrity who has ever walked this Earth. No doubt about that. She was an international superstar for a damn good reason.

However, Pamela felt very two-dimensional. She was the perfect “Fantasy Woman,” a teenage boy’s ideal wet dream. She tapped into the naughty side of our psyches, providing us the perfect avenue for exploring our newfound sexualities. The scandals she faced, the high profile failed marriages, the “leaked” sex tape; all of it helped build her up as once-in-a-generation sex kitten who defined the decade and the childhoods of millennial men everywhere. The same could be said for Carmen Electra, Cindy Margolis (remember her?), or Jennifer Lopez.

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Cindy, on the other hand, is more three-dimensional. She isn’t just the perfect “jack off” material. No, that’s not her at all. She’s classy. She’s mature. She’s mannered. She has standards. She values her reputation. She isn’t reckless. She’s a forward-thinker. She isn’t obsessed with being popular or going “viral.” Rather, she’s carved out a niche for herself in an industry where entrepreneurship is the name of the game. You don’t get to “break into” the fitness industry like you do Hollywood. You make your own name for yourself. It’s all on you.

“Classy” is the best way to describe Cindy. She’s never crude or rude. She’s sexy, but not dirty. There are layers to her personality. She’s beautiful on the outside, but equally beautiful on the inside. The genuinely wants to help people, an altruistic spirit that is in short supply in show business. She isn’t a “sex symbol.” She isn’t any kind of symbol. She is who she is. What we see is what we get. She isn’t trying to put on a façade for the masses. She’s a businesswoman. An athlete. A coach. An expert. A model. She’s someone we aspire to become, whether we’re male or female.

This level of classiness can sometimes annoy her fans. Cindy never does full nudity in her photoshoots. You’ll never – at least not yet – see her nipples or genitals on full display. Yes, Instagram and other social media channels prohibit that sort of thing. But she doesn’t go there even on platforms (such as her personal website) in which anything is fair game. She chooses to be sexy in an elegant manner. She intentionally doesn’t give you everything you want.

The reason she’s shied away from doing fully nudity is unknown. I’m going to guess that she doesn’t want her brand to be associated with pornography. She wants to embrace her visual beauty, but not in an X-rated kind of way. She’s more PG-13. Sensual, yes. Graphic, no.

Also, in 2013 she did something groundbreaking that split her fanbase in half. She got breast implants. Before, Cindy was all natural and allowed her breasts to shrink as a result of gaining muscle. But in the spring/summer of that year, she did the unthinkable and “enhanced” herself. Unlike Yvette Bova her new endowments aren’t comically large. They’re certainly big, but not distracting. Well, maybe a little distracting. I suppose I mean they aren’t so big they bother you. It’s all semantics.

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Anyway, her boob job five years ago confirmed that she’s not shy about showing off her sexual attractiveness. Whether she did it for personal or business reasons, Cindy made the decision to increase her sex appeal. Now random haters can’t really claim that she isn’t completely feminine. She’s damn muscular…and curvy in all the right places.

In addition to not doing nudity, she doesn’t do any kind of hardcore porn whatsoever. Denise Masino, Angela Salvagno, Amber DeLuca, Brandi Mae Akers, and countless others are perfectly willing to show off every square inch of their bodies. Every. Square. Inch. They don’t leave anything to the imagination. Denise is so open about showcasing her genitalia that a gynecologist can probably give her a half-decent examination just by watching one of her videos. That is, assuming this doctor can concentrate properly while watching said video.

Unlike those ladies, Cindy keeps it fairly clean. Of course, not G-rated or PG-rated by any stretch of the imagination. She’ll show off her naked butt, back, and almost everything else. Just not her full breasts and genitals. She’ll pose in a sexy bikini or sultry lingerie if she feels inclined to. Just not in her birthday suit. If she is nude, she’ll artfully cover up certain areas in order to maintain her self-imposed limitations. Will her fans ever get to “see it all?” Eh, probably not. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

Oh, and Cindy never has sex on camera. But that’s sort of a given. It deserves to be mentioned.

In many ways, Cindy’s appeal is based on how much we love to fantasize about her. We know we have 0% chance of getting to be with her. So all we can do is imagine what she’d be like as a lover. How is she in bed? How would she act in the bedroom? Would she be on top or bottom? Would she take control or let her partner carry the reins? What does her, uh, clit look like? Is it enormous like Denise’s? Or more “normal” in size? How large is her labia? How pink is her vagina?

These are, admittedly so, creepy questions. Very creepy. But can any of you say with any integrity at all that these thoughts haven’t crossed your mind?

Didn’t think so.

The fact we don’t associate Cindy with being a smutty female bodybuilder is an intentional choice. That’s not who she is. I’m certainly not judging any FBB who does choose to do porn – but Miss Landolt prefers to keep her sex appeal modest in nature. She sure as heck isn’t shy about showing off her body – and we are all infinitely grateful for that – but she does so tastefully.

She values personal empowerment. She loves to make people feel and live better. She serves people. She genuinely wants to make the world a better place, one personal training session at a time. And if she can find time to do some modelling, so be it. That’s her way of adding more beauty to the Universe. And she succeeds at that with flying colors.

For the uninitiated, Cindy Landolt may be a revelation. A paradigm shift. An awakening. She could be the one who converts someone over to “our side.” As I mentioned before, she’s a bridge. She can live in both worlds and accomplish the nearly impossible task of pleasing both sides. It’s remarkable.

Cindy 5

In a weird way, Cindy Landolt is a very charitable woman. She’s beautiful and she loves sharing her beauty with the world. That’s a rather odd way of phrasing it, but it’s true: She’s charitable with her beauty. For her Instagram followers and millions of others who follow her elsewhere, we need our daily dose of Cindy. If we need something to brighten our day or help us unwind after a long day at the office, we can just scroll through Cindy’s IG feed and…that’ll do the trick. It’s like a medicine that can cure the blues.

We don’t typically view modeling as being an act of charity. We usually look at modeling as a means for corporations to sell more clothing, makeup, jewelry, perfume, and diet books. Within our free market capitalistic system, models add sex appeal to products in order to help them sell better. Yet, Cindy is a different matter. Obviously, she models because it helps promote her personal training business. And she probably finds it personally empowering. That’s all fine and dandy. But her modeling also serves as an act of almsgiving. A virtuous donation that helps make society a better place to live for all of us.

Her beauty isn’t just intoxicating. It isn’t just alluring. It isn’t just addicting. It’s a dose of fresh air. It’s medicinal. It’s therapeutic. It’s just what the doctor ordered!

Cindy Landolt’s beautiful face and body aren’t just art. They’re a fountain of joy. Her beautiful body truly adds color to the dark palette of our existence. She is light where there is darkness. She brings hope where there is despair. She creates joy where there is melancholy. She is a much-needed beacon of beauty in a world of ugliness.

Cindy is, simply put, perfection. In every imaginable way.

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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.

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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.

What is Sexy?

Sexy - Kim Buck

Kim Buck beckoning us to hop in bed with her.

Female bodybuilders are sexy.

Soooooooooooo incredibly sexy. Steaming hot. They pulsate with sexual appeal. Every inch of their immaculate bodies is divine. Female bodybuilders produce emotions, thoughts, and gut reactions out of us that cannot be described, properly attributed, or replicated.

They are also beautiful. Immensely beautiful. Incomprehensibly beautiful.

Sexy and beautiful. Beautiful and sexy.

However, as strange as this may sound, what is beautiful is not necessarily sexy, and by that same token what is sexy is not necessarily beautiful. Hopefully this makes more sense if we dive into what these two concepts actually mean.

The questions of what is “sexy” and what is “beautiful” are two different – though interconnected – matters. Beauty is primarily concerned with aesthetic preferences. Sexy, on the other hand, has more to do with the feelings certain people, words, images, and objects elicit inside us. For example, some people get turned on by the feeling of leather or being picked up and carried. There’s nothing inherently beautiful about either of those things. Yet, they’re considered sexy by those who consider such things to be sexy.

I can look at an artist rendering of the Himalayan Mountains and say that it’s beautiful. I can also glance at a gorgeous woman stroll by on the sidewalk and think the exact same thing. But I can also stare (hopefully, inconspicuously) at a less attractive woman at the gym who’s deadlifting 250 pounds and say to myself:

“Damn. That’s sexy!”

Sidewalk Lady may check all the boxes of physical attractiveness. Every single one of them. Deadlift Lady may check some of the boxes – or very few of them – and yet, for some inexplicable reason, she makes me feel things that Sidewalk Lady doesn’t. This isn’t to insult or degrade Sidewalk Lady, but to point out that how we react to certain visual stimuli doesn’t always follow logical explanations.

Deadlift Lady’s activities spark inside me the desire to do things that are socially inappropriate. Many of us can keep our animalistic instincts in check, but staring a few seconds too long clearly isn’t one of them as far as I’m concerned. I want nothing more than to marvel at her raw strength, cheer her on, and fantasize about what other kinds of miraculous feats she can accomplish. Sidewalk Lady is someone I’ll most likely forget about 30 seconds later. Sorry, ma’am! Sidewalk Lady is a dime a dozen. Deadlift Lady, however, is a much more rare bird.

Sexy - Shannon Courtney

Deadlift Lady is sort of Shannon Courtney. Alright, it’s not “sort of” her. It’s actually Shannon Courtney.

This partially explains why so many people are perplexed that folks like you and I love female bodybuilders so much. On the surface, muscular women are, for lack of a better word, “freaky” looking. They’re not normal. They’re unconventional. They defy our preconceived notions of what a woman “should” look like. Because we typically associate large muscles as being a masculine trait, when we see big muscles on a feminine body our brains struggle to comprehend it. Our natural instinct is to dismiss it as being “against nature” or “unnatural” to the point that a disgusted reaction is a perfectly reasonable response. In other words, being revolted at the sight of a female bodybuilder isn’t bigotry; it’s simply the product of our upbringing and societal expectations.

Yet, for many of us the sight of a female bodybuilder elicits the exact opposite reaction. Instead of looking at her with terror or repulsion, we get turned on. Big time. No mistake about that. Our blood starts to boil. Sexual fantasies of all sorts immediately pop into our minds. Our breathing quickens. We suddenly have the urge to…uh, do certain things. To put it mildly.

This is because our love for female bodybuilders goes below the surface. It’s beyond what you simply see on the outside. The experience of seeing a photo of an FBB may seem jarring at first, but once you actually “get it” and understand their appeal, you become enthralled by them and cannot get enough. Yes, we do love them because we appreciate how they look (or at least, how most of them look). But it’s more than that. We find them sexy because of how they make us feel.

Female bodybuilders make us feel inspired, empowered, awestruck, dazed, imaginative, intrigued, aroused, sensual, curious, anxious, jealous, insecure, terrified, astonished, shocked, confused, provoked, delirious, uneasy, and everything in between. Please note that some of these emotions are contradictory. Some are negative. How can someone feel aroused and terrified at the same time? Is it possible to be inspired and insecure simultaneously? Do people really find it sexy to be both empowered and anxious?

The answer is simple to all these questions:

YES!

There is tremendous appeal in feeling strong contradictory emotions at the same time. This is why bondage role play is so popular. Some people get tremendously aroused being scared and aroused at the same time. In fact, being frightened heightens the sense of arousal. At least, that’s the idea. It’s totally possible to look at a picture of a large muscular woman and instantly feel inadequate, insecure, and pathetic when you think about your own lack of muscle mass. You’re a guy who lifts regularly at the gym and eats (fairly) healthy. “How the hell can a woman – who’s scientifically predisposed to being smaller in stature than men traditionally are – be bigger than me? It’s so agonizing because it makes me look bad! Compared to her, I’m fat, lazy, tiny, puny, pitiful, weak, and completely out of shape.”

“Yet, I think she’s the most beautiful woman who’s ever existed and I want to ravage her in bed all night!”

Sexy - Tina Nguyen

Who wouldn’t want to ravage Tina Nguyen all night long?

Well, then. This is something that’s a bit psychologically complicated. Is it possible that guys who love female bodybuilders are really – whether they realize it or not – projecting their own insecurities onto an object they find sexually desirable? That instead of seeing muscular women as the enemy, they treat them as an ally? That they secretly desire to be the weaker sex for once? That they get incredibly turned on by a woman who can take control? That when they feel at their most helpless, they actually feel the most powerful?

Human psychology is complex and beyond my amateurish understanding. But what I do know – and this comes from experience as well – is that these contradictory feelings are real. And not only are they real, they contribute to explaining why we find female bodybuilders so unbelievably sexy.

Our love for FBBs goes well below the surface. When I see Cindy Landolt post a photo on Instagram of her sprawling on a bed wearing sexy lingerie, it’s almost as though I can literally see powerful vibes exploding out of the computer screen. She doesn’t just look hot and beautiful. She looks powerful. At the top of her game. At her peak. She looks invincible. No one can stop her. She has her audience in the palm of her hand and she can control them however she likes. And this is the kicker: She isn’t doing this just because of the so-called “male gaze.” She does this because it makes her personally feel empowered. She chooses to flaunt her immaculate body in sexually provocative ways because it’s her way of transforming herself into a superhero. Yes, she is a human being. But her muscles allow her to transcend her humanness and become something else entirely. She becomes, well, superhuman.

Miss Landolt understands that men are visual creatures. And she just gave them more visual stimuli than they can handle. If their brains explode into a million pieces, so be it. That’s her super power. That’s why she’s world-famous (in a modest sense) while other traditionally beautiful women are not. That’s why we can scroll for hours through Instagram looking at thousands of photos of beautiful women and think to ourselves, “She’s cute.” But when we come across Cindy strutting around in a bikini showing off her perfectly sculpted figure, we then react by saying:

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuummmmm guuuuuuuuuuurrrrrlllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!”

See the difference? Subtle, it ain’t.

The question of deciphering “what is sexy” really boils down to these kinds of emotional reactions. There’s a cliché that states “sexy is an attitude.” There’s a lot of truth to that. But it’s more than that. What we find to be sexy (and by that same token, unsexy) is often a reflection of who we are. It shines a light on our own deepest fears, anxieties, insecurities, and inner demons. Perhaps this is a clever coping mechanism. No one wants to feel inadequate or weak. So instead of giving in to these failures, we turn it around. Rather than treat an FBB as a constant reminder of how “unmanly” we are, we treat them as a partner. An ally. A friend. A comrade. A compatriot. An equal.

Sexy - Cindy Landolt

Cindy Landolt is one of the most perfect female bodybuilders on planet Earth. Anyone want to argue with me about that? Yeah, didn’t think so!

We turn a loss into a victory. A weakness into a strength. A competitor into a teammate. This is our way of overcoming our fears. We conquer our insecurities not by letting them defeat us, but by embracing them as a source of inner strength. Here’s an odd anecdote that hopefully illustrates what I’m trying to convey:

One time a few years ago I met a well-known female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session. I won’t reveal her name for the sake of her privacy. She’s tall, thick, remarkably muscular, and smart. Very business savvy. She’s tough as nails and can physically dominate any man she encounters. While I’m not personally into fantasy wrestling, we did do some casual wrestling in bed just for the fun of it. She wrapped her strong legs around my torso and squeezed. I was helpless. I could not escape. She dominated me in every sense of the word. I struggled to breathe. She could have killed me if she’d wanted to. I was weak. She was the stronger sex, and it wasn’t even close.

At the end of our time together, she was kind enough to send me off on a positive note. It felt reciprocal because earlier I was giving her plenty of cunnilingus. First, she gave me oral. Then, once I was properly erect she got out a bottle of baby oil and smeared some on the palm of her hand. She then proceeded to jerk me off. I distinctly remember looking up at her and watching her perform this deed. She was on top of me, looking down upon this weak little boy who’s helplessly lying on this back, as defenseless as a newborn kitten. But as she stroked me, I felt a weird and unexpected feeling:

I felt powerful.

It’s strange to say this out loud, but it’s true. I felt like a manly man. I felt like a Real Man. Even though on the surface, I was the weak one and she was the strong one. She could easily snap me in half if she wanted to. Earlier, she demonstrated her superior strength with no ambiguity. There is no contest as to who is stronger. It’s her. No doubt about it. Yet, as odd as this sounds, I felt as powerful as I’d ever felt before in my entire life. There’s no logic to it. I just did.

From my perspective, I was a man receiving pleasure from a gorgeous woman. She was smiling as she was doing it. It looks like she was having fun as well. Inside, I felt like the one who was in charge. It was me who was controlling my own destiny. Even after I came, I still felt that way. For those few short moments, I was experiencing a heightened sort of pleasure that I rarely get to experience. Yet, on the surface it appears like she’s in total control. While that is technically true, that wasn’t true for me emotionally. On the inside, I felt a personal sense of empowerment that no one can understand except for me. And guess what? That’s good enough.

I didn’t treat her like an enemy. She was a friend. Not a literal friend, of course. But in that particular time and place, we were equals. I gave her pleasure. Then she gave me pleasure. This cooperative exchange felt right. It felt just. It was…sexy.

Sexy - Eiza Gonzalez

Eiza Gonzalez isn’t a female bodybuilder, but damn! She’s sexy. Or is it beautiful? She’s both, actually.

What is sexy? It’s simple: Sexy is that magical confluence when a singular human experience and mother nature collide in the most beautiful way imaginable. It’s more than just a pretty face or a killer body. It’s the emotions that come with it. It’s how we feel and how we grow as a human being as a result of experiencing those feelings.

Female bodybuilders have the unique ability to conjure up those emotions like very few other women can. Can a more “traditional” looking woman elicit those same feelings? Sure she can. Back in the day of my adolescent years, Famke Janssen, Monica Bellucci, Rena Mero, Trish Stratus, Sophie Marceau, Pamela Anderson, Halle Berry, and others did just that. But FBBs are like an addictive drug. We can’t get enough of them. We keep on returning to them. Whether we’ve liked FBBs for 30 years, 20 years, or 10 weeks, every single time we regard upon a new photo of a beautiful female bodybuilder proudly showing off her large muscles, it makes us feel jittery inside. It lights a fire in our souls. It’s a wonderful feeling, one that cannot be easily articulated. And in an unfathomable way, we don’t want to have to explain it. We embrace its mysteriousness.

That’s sexy.

The Female Muscle Dark Web

Faceless hooded anonymous computer hacker

You’ve just entered the Matrix…er, the Dark Web!

Deep within the shadowy depths of the Internet, there exists a dark and mysterious space where few dare to tread. You may have heard of it, or perhaps you’re hearing about it for the first time. No matter what, you’re scared to acknowledge it. You’re frightened to visit it. You cannot wrap your mind around why it exists in the first place. Its very existence is a conundrum to you, a macabre riddle that cannot easily be solved.

To attempt to understand this enigmatic space is to dip your toes into a New World that you never knew existed. Even if you’ve already heard of it, there is nothing that can prepare your mind for what is to come. No one is ever “ready,” even those who claim to be. No one.

And once you discover this New World, your mind is changed forever. Your attitude is permanently adjusted. Your worldview flips upside down. Your paradigm doesn’t just shift; it shatters into a billion pieces and is unable to reform itself. You aren’t sure if you would ever want to go back, but that debate is now over. You’re past that threshold, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Resistance is futile. That’s for damn sure.

What type of Internet space am I referring to? Shouldn’t the answer be obvious by now?

Of course, I’m talk about…

…Bronies.

Grown men who adore “My Little Pony,” a Hasbro-developed entertainment franchise aimed at little girls. Apparently, there are adult men – at least, they claim to be adult men – who are into this sort of thing. Very into it.

Wait. That might not be right. Maybe I’m talking about furries? “Twilight” fan fiction? Uh, people who actually liked the Star Wars prequels?

Nah. That’s been done before. Nothing to see here. Move along now. Outside of activities that are clearly criminal, there aren’t a whole lot of fetishes, strange fandoms, and social perspectives that we, as a whole, won’t tolerate. Chalk that up to our “live and let live” attitude that, for the most part, still permeates throughout our society. You don’t need to “approve” or “understand” these subcultures to acknowledge that it’s fine that they exist as long as no one gets hurt.

Arguably, the very concept of “common culture” is starting to go by the wayside. Sure, there will always be things that unite us as a culture – at least temporarily. The Super Bowl, the release of a new Marvel movie, and catchy pop songs are a few examples (this, despite the fact that sports is becoming increasingly more politicized in the wake of high profile protests during the singing of the American national anthem). However, what’s becoming a more significant facet of modern life is the growing acceptance of subcultures as acceptable off-shoots of our main culture.

Dark web - Angela Salvagno

Angela Salvagno chatting with her fans through webcam.

For example, once upon a time ago drag culture was an underground subculture that existed out of sight and out of mind for the majority of us. Today, it’s still not quite a “mainstream” culture (properly understood), but it lives just outside that bubble. Or, it lives tangentially within mainstream culture. Or on the fringes of our main culture. Or, drag performers like RuPaul have one foot inside main culture and the other food inside the drag subculture. RuPaul’s popular TV show certainly contributed to the evolution of drag going from “out of sight, out of mind” to “not quite out of sight, not quite out of mind.”

Female bodybuilding fandom, on the other hand, is still considered an underground subculture. While going to a strip bar or smoking weed are still fairly taboo activities, they’re not as taboo as they once were. You don’t need to “approve” of what goes on inside a strip club, but you can accept it existing right next to your favorite nail salon. You don’t need to like the smell of marijuana at a public park, but that won’t stop you from walking your dog along his or her favorite dirt path. Just try to avoid the odor if you must.

Yet, engaging in a muscle worship session with a female bodybuilder is not like going to a nudie bar or getting high while watching reruns of All in the Family. It’s not a very well-known activity. In our mainstream culture, female bodybuilders are nowhere close to being within an ear shot. Thus, for those of us who love FBBs, the Internet is the only place where we can enjoy our mutual love for them.

Is there such a thing as the “Female Muscle Dark Web?” Eh, sort of. But not really.

There are popular websites like HDphysiques.com, saradas.org, sexymusclegirls.com, wb270.com, areaorion.blogspot.com, and sessiongirls.com. Heck, a small number of you might consider my humble blog to be among them. I’m also a fan of Female Muscle Slave. He’s an incredible blogger who is keenly tuned-in to the competitive side of the industry in addition to the fandom side of the industry. Check him out if you haven’t already.

So are there popular female muscle-themed websites where fans gather to congregate? Sure. Does that qualify as a “Dark Web?” Meh, probably not.

Hold on. Before we proceed any further, let’s try to define what the “Dark Web” actually means.

The terms “Dark Web” and “Deep Web” sometimes get used interchangeably. This shouldn’t be the case. Technically speaking, the “Deep Web” is a portion of the Internet that exists below the Surface Web. The Surface Web are things like Amazon.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com, NFL.com, ESPN.com, StarWars.com, Reddit.com, and any other “normal” website you come across every day. These websites – and countless others that aren’t as popular – are indexed by Google and other search engines for easy access. The idea of the “Surface Web” doesn’t need too much explaining.

However, beneath the Surface Web exists a whole host of websites that aren’t indexed by these search tools. The concept of the Deep Web includes all the websites that are intentionally (or unintentionally) hidden from traditional search applications. Most of them are beta sites or old websites that have gone out of commission. Most of it is useless junk. Most of it is boring.

Dark web - Callie Bundy

Callie Bundy has become sort of a mini Internet “celebrity” due to her Instagram page.

Some of it can be exciting. Or useful. Journalists and human rights activists who live in repressive regimes use channels like Tor that are outside of the Surface Web to network with peers in other countries. How do you think we’re aware of the diabolical starvation methods employed by the Kim regime in North Korea or the anti-theocratic movement in Iran?

That being said, there’s a portion of the Deep Web that is a bit more, uh, scandalous. This includes websites where you can sell and purchase illegal guns, stolen credit cards, drugs (both narcotics and prescription medication), child pornography (and other kinds of illegal pornography), leads to hired assassins, and anything else you can think of that you can’t exactly find at your local Target.

This is what is meant by the Dark Web. Dark, scary, frightening, unethical, illegal, and potentially deadly. Terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Qaeda communicate with each other through Dark Web channels. So do Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other extremist groups that are under FBI surveillance.

Not exactly the type of stuff that you want your Grandma to know you’re into.

To be clear, female muscle fandom exists solely on the Surface Web. I highly doubt much of it exists below that. And if any of it does, it’s probably there for a reason. By and large, female muscle fandom can be found through a simple Google search. No need to go further than that. Thanks to Instagram, our access to our favorite FBBs, fitness models, and weightlifting enthusiasts is more open than ever before. Thanks to video curating sites, I can watch endless footage of Denise Masino playing with her clit without having to put on my detective hat. Of course, such videos shouldn’t be viewed during work hours or on your office computer.

Yet, FBB fandom remains an Internet subculture. An Internet subculture that can be found on the Surface Web. So while the so-called “Female Muscle Dark Web” isn’t really a thing, we can use it euphemistically to describe the forums where this subculture is alive and well.

Dark web - Lindsay Mulinazzi

Not following Lindsay Mulinazzi on Instagram? Shame on you!

In many ways, the Internet is the only substantial place where female muscle fandom can happen. Not too many of us get to attend bodybuilding shows. Only a small number of us have the expenses, inclination, and opportunity to meet an FBB for a muscle worship or fantasy wrestling session. So when it comes to experiencing these beautiful women, our computer screen and smartphone are really the only avenues in which we can do that. I can easily go to my local shopping mall and purchase a brand new Star Trek shirt. I cannot easily go to that same mall and find any paraphernalia affiliated with female bodybuilders.

This is why many FBBs utilize social media as much as they can. It’s their best way to connect with their fans. Or to put it another way, it’s the only way they can regularly connect with their fans. Many FBBs offer webcam appointments, AMA chats (“ask me anything”), and members-only content through their personal websites. This is a classic example of meeting your clients where they’re at. Why break your back working a traditional 9-5 job when you can easily make $100 per hour just chatting with a bunch of strangers from the comfort of your living room?

The Female Muscle Industrial Complex – a term that apparently I just coined – is a niche market with a fairly undefined consumer base. In any given city, town, or municipality, you could have 200 female muscle fans, 2,000 female muscle fans, or 20,000 female muscle fans. You don’t know exactly. But it doesn’t matter where they are geographically. It doesn’t even matter what language they speak. The only thing that does matter is whether or not they have Internet access and enough privacy to feel “safe” to experience their love of muscular women. That’s it, practically speaking.

The Female Muscle Dark Web isn’t dark, nor is it just confined to the web. But it is a real space full of real people who share a mutual interest in women with lots of muscle. And this space hasn’t been driven underground by some prudish cabal of anti-FBB misogynists. In fact, it’s always been underground. Or rather, not within the mainstream. Just because something isn’t considered “mainstream” doesn’t mean there’s some massive conspiracy to ensure it remains outside of the mainstream. Some things just don’t pick up steam. Some things are just destined to stay put where they are.

This isn’t a tragedy by any stretch of the imagination. Muscular women will always be here, regardless if mainstream bodybuilding organizations want them included or not. As long as there are women who desire to become a better version of their current selves, female bodybuilders will always be with us. As long as there are women who believe being “strong” and “independent” means being something beyond a simple corporatized rallying cry, FBBs will never die out. The demise of female bodybuilding has been greatly exaggerated. I don’t see any evidence of that happening anytime soon.

Dark web - Goddess Severa

The 6’5″ Goddess Severa is a fan favorite of female muscle/dominance enthusiasts.

Long story short, FBBs and fans of FBBs cannot wait for legacy media outlets to give them their due. It just won’t happen. Sports Illustrated or ESPN aren’t going to cover female bodybuilders (or male bodybuilders, for that matter) like they do basketball or football stars. Those athletes enjoy a powerful perch that doesn’t appear to be eroding. To expect FBBs to ever be mentioned in the same breath as Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, or Julio Jones is folly.

So the obscure and not-so-sinister parts of the web are where FBBs are allowed to shine. And fans don’t seem to mind all that much. Some of us may hope and pray for a day when FBBs can enjoy mainstream status as any normal celebrity would, but most of us aren’t holding our breaths. And the good new is that we don’t need to.

Our access to our favorite athletes is as open and easy as it’s ever been. Just because you don’t feel comfortable talking about Alina Popa’s glutes or Theresa Ivancik’s pecs openly at Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t mean you have a reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed that you are secretly into that sort of thing. On the contrary, you have nothing to worry about. You can be into muscular women without having to tell a single soul about it. That should feel liberating. But if you do want to tell somebody about it, you know where to look. And that can also feel liberating.

Your female muscle community is just a few clicks away. Like it or love it, you can choose to engage in this community, or you can choose to ignore them and keep your interests to yourself.

Either way, it’s your choice. And that’s truly liberating.

Untouched and Unattached: The Virginal Female Bodybuilder Fantasy

Such a pretty smile on Minna Pajulathi.

There’s one remarkable similarity between some of our most favorite female bodybuilders that might explain (slightly) why we universally love them.

What do Denise Masino, Alina Popa, Cindy Landolt, Aspen Rae, Theresa Ivancik, and Minna Pajulahti all have in common?

Besides being Divine All-Powerful Muscle Goddesses, you rarely see them participate in videos with other guys.

Sure, that’s not totally true. All these ladies have shot a few videos of them either allowing a guy to worship their muscles or wrestle them until they helplessly surrender. But for the most part, these ladies – and plenty of others as well – tend to make videos where either they’re solo or they’re with other women (usually fellow female bodybuilders). Have you also noticed this trend?

I cannot recall watching a video where Denise Masino – who is my favorite FBB – has sex with a man, wrestles a man, or is worshipped by a man. Maybe a few are out there, but I haven’t personally come across anything of the sort. That doesn’t mean they doesn’t exist, of course. 99% of the time, Denise is masturbating by herself with the camera pointed up close to her enormous genitalia, allowing a fellow FBB to suck on her huge clitoris, or participating in an all-female muscle orgy. Naturally, I am not complaining about any of this.

Yet, this observation is jarring. For whatever reason, a significant number of female bodybuilders who participate in porn (the vast majority of actual FBBs do not, for the record) do so either without men in it or only with other women. These women might be fellow bodybuilders or they might be “normal” looking women. But the absence of other guys cannot be overlooked.

Why is that? Why does Aspen Rae choose to make lesbian-themed videos but not a whole lot where she has sex with a man? Why do our favorite FBBs either “go solo” or only allow themselves to be filmed being intimate with other women? It could be that these ladies are genuine lesbians who aren’t interested in having sex with men…or it could be an intentional choice. What would motivate this choice in the first place?

The answer is simple: They want guys like us to fantasize about being with them, knowing we’re not interested in watching guys like us be with them.

In other words, we embrace the “virginal female bodybuilder” motif wholeheartedly. Of course, we know that these women are not actual virgins (far from it, most likely). This isn’t about reality. It’s about fantasy. And fantasy can be broken the moment reality starts to creep in. Any business-savvy FBB understands this.

Domestic bliss with Denise Masino.

We want to imagine that we can be that guy who can suck on an FBB’s clit or make love to her all night long. If we see an actual guy – even if this guy is a nameless and faceless porn actor – do this, it ruins the experience for us. We start to get jealous. We become envious. We get angry. We get frustrated. The “fun” is drained from the experience. We are reminded that never in a million years will we be able to have sex with her. And the moment reality crashes the party, you might as well pack your bags, hail an Uber, and leave. What’s the point?

I keep referencing Denise Masino because she is, in my opinion, one of the greatest businesswomen in the female bodybuilding industry. She understands better than anyone else why guys love FBBs and what it is that they look for when they need their “FBB fix.” She knows her enormous clitoris is her selling point. It’s her moneymaker. She isn’t ashamed of it. She doesn’t try to hide it. Nor does she tease us with it. Instead, she puts it out there front and center, as if daring you to look away. She’s comfortable being who she is and she refuses to apologize for it. That’s hot. That’s sexy. That’s…lucrative.

This is why Denise has embraced the “virginal female bodybuilder” character, whether she admits it or not. Unlike Yvette Bova or Kathy Connors, you won’t see Denise participate in a gangbang where a dozen guys ejaculate all over her at once. You won’t see her give blow jobs to random men one after another. You won’t even see her have penetrative sex with a single guy, let alone two or three or four. She remains virginal. She remains pure, untouched, unattached, and completely attainable.

Is Denise an actual virgin? Hell no! We all know that. She probably has a highly active sex life. She’s a veteran at doing the deed. But we’re not talking about reality here. We’re talking about the artificial image of Denise that exists solely in our minds. Or Aspen. Or Angela. Or Alina. Or Theresa. Or Cindy. Or Minna. Or anybody else that comes to mind. The fantasy works only when the groundwork has been properly laid (no pun intended). Starting from the vantage point of being a “virginal” muscular woman are the building blocks.

Brandi Mae Akers is an interesting case study. Most of her videos are of her being either solo or with other women. But there is a small handful in which she appears with another guy. That guy is probably her boyfriend/husband, but I don’t know for sure. I’m not too well versed in her personal life.

Yet, Brandi still gives off the “Muscle Girl Next-Door” vibes. We still are able to imagine ourselves with her without the memories of another man soiling the mood. Perhaps it’s because the videos in which she’s with a guy are few and far between. That must be it.

The FBB who is untouched and unattached is more desirable because we can more easily place ourselves in the position of touching them like they’ve never been touched before. We may not fantasize about being able to date or marry them quite as often, but that’s just an added bonus. This fantasy loses a lot of its luster if we’re constantly reminded that they enjoy a happy, stable marriage with the luckiest guy in the world.

Alina Popa ready for date night.

What explains all this? Well, we can probably start with the whole idea of “purity” being cherished because our society has roots in the Puritan sect of Christianity. The taboo against sex before marriage has developed a culture in which women are seen as whores the moment they “stain” their purity. The “virgin/whore” dichotomy (or “Madonna-whore complex,” which is probably the more official term) is the basic observation that society at large – however you define that – needs to put women into one of two camps: Virgins or whores. One cannot be both. And the moment one crosses over into “whore” territory, they’re branded that label for life – perhaps with a certain scarlet letter even.

Unless they join a convent. Or settle down, get married, and have children who also grow up to settle down, get married, and have children. One or the other. Yikes. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of options, does it?

So, men tend to fetishize female virginity because they’re socially conditioned to value a woman who will become a suitable wife and mother. Whores who sleep around aren’t exactly fit for such a lifestyle. Even though sexual politics have evolved throughout the years, remnants of these attitudes still persist – even supposedly amongst the most “liberated” of us.

Women are shamed for having sex, enjoying sex, or seeking out sex. Men tend to not face such stigmas. Although, the opposite is sort of true. Men who are virgins themselves are viewed as losers who haven’t yet fulfilled their basic masculine duties. This gets more pronounced the older he gets. So this pendulum swings both ways.

All of that being said, it doesn’t appear as though the “virginal FBB” is an archetype that fits into this neat category. The virgin-whore complex may be part of it, but it’s not all of it. Rather, this boils down to the ability to fantasize about what you know you will never be able to obtain.

For example, think back to your high school days. There was this girl you really liked. She was cute, funny, smart, and had a rocking great body. She flirted with you a little bit and you gladly flirted back. You consider asking her out on a date, until you discover that she flirts with everyone. And that is no exaggeration. Every boy at school – including yourself – believes he has a chance with her. But most of them do not. Then, you discover that she sleeps around. She freely gives blow jobs and hand jobs to boys on the football team. Maybe she has a boyfriend (or two, or three, or four), maybe she doesn’t. But regardless, your crush on her dissipates. The illusion has been shattered. You know who she really is and how she acts. It ain’t pretty. So you move on to a different girl. One who is more, how shall we put it, “virginal” – even if only in appearance.

Hm. Does that accurately describe your experience? If so, great. If not, at the very least you can try to imagine what it would be like to put yourself in this hypothetical boy’s shoes. You desired something that is in fact obtainable, but you back out the moment you really discover what kind of a person she truly is. Of course, her questionable behavior might not be true. It could be rumors. Or flat-out lies meant to slander her reputation. But none of that matters. You don’t want to waste your time on someone who won’t value you back.

Now, contrast this situation with your adult crush on a female bodybuilder. You’re older and wiser, but you’re still a man with normal sexual desires. You follow several fitness models and bodybuilders on Instagram. You spend a lot of time watching videos of FBBs working out, masturbating, posing for the camera, or stroking their huge clits. Unlike the girl you liked in high school, you know with 100% certainty that these FBBs aren’t obtainable. They live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from you. They’re already married. They wouldn’t be interested in an anonymous shlubby guy like you. So you know there is no realistic path for you to hook up with these women. It’s not going to happen. You’re not naïve or hopelessly delusional about this.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning next to Aspen Rae?

Yet, you still are endlessly attracted to them. You cannot stop thinking about them. They are your personal definition of a perfect woman. A flawless 10/10. But you have no illusions that you’ll ever be with her. I would love to make love to Denise Masino, but I know such a thing will never happen to me. I’m not bitter over this, because why should I? I’m not stupid enough to think that could ever occur. However, in my mind, anything is possible. Why limit your imagination?

Thus, for fans of female bodybuilders, FBBs really only exist on a theoretical level. You might get to meet a few for muscle worship/wrestling sessions, but not everyone can do that. Even if you do get to participate in such sessions, the experience lasts for a finite amount of time and eventually reality will settle back in. Like the cute flirty girl who makes your overpriced latte at Starbucks, she’s only nice to you because you paid her to be nice to you. Truth is a cold reality.

But fantasy can be as hot as you want it to be. In the private recesses of your mind, Angela Salvagno is your naughty Alpha Female wife who tells you what to do, makes all the important financial decisions, wears the pants in the house (figuratively speaking), and decides what goes on in the bedroom. She controls your life. And you let her. But in reality, Angela doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t care to know who you are. Yet, your imagination can run wild because nobody can tell you it can’t.

When you watch a movie, you constantly have to “suspend your disbelief.” You have to accept unrealistic circumstances if you want to enjoy it. If you refuse to believe the unbelievable, you’re going to have a miserable time.

Sherry Mayumi = wife material

We all know Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley aren’t actually wielding laser swords and using “The Force” in the most recent Star Wars adventure. We know it’s all animated. Jedis aren’t real. Spaceships like that aren’t real. The Force isn’t real. It’s all an illusion. But, we accept the premise because the filmmakers do their best job to make it seem as plausible as possible.

Modern visual effects and CGI enable us to better suspend our disbelief. If we can see the wires holding up a “flying” saucer, it ruins the experience for us. But if you digitally erase the wires and add cool music and special FX into the mix, we cheer it on. We are more likely to accept the unacceptable.

On that same note, we are more likely to enjoy fantasizing about our favorite female bodybuilders if we are better able to distance ourselves from actual reality. In my mind, Sherry Mayumi and I are a happily married couple enjoying a blissful life together. The fact that her Instagram is devoid of anyone but herself (I believe she’s single at the moment!) allows me to indulge in this fantasy. I am empowered to suspend my disbelief. Her “virginal” façade has created a void. A void that I can fill.

At the end of the day, that’s what all of this boils down to: a convincing façade that leaves plenty to the imagination. Our favorite FBBs are our favorite because they hold a special place in our hearts. All that’s required is permission to believe that she doesn’t just occupy that space…but that she belongs there.

And she does. In our minds. And hearts.

10 Favorite Personality Types of Female Bodybuilders (That May or May Not Actually Be Real)

The Angel: Aspen Rae

It’s an old joke that everyone should know by now: When you refer to a woman as having a “great personality,” we all know what that means.

She’s not a looker – but she’d make a great, uh, friend. Or acquaintance. Or someone you wouldn’t mind sharing a long elevator ride with…assuming she doesn’t smell bad or anything.

This euphemism is not just a joke; it’s also an insult. A backhanded compliment, as it were. Lots of us have a great personality. We’re pleasant, fun to talk with, and maybe even a little engaging. But in the Looks Department? Um, let’s not go there! It’ll be better for all of us.

But for those of us who love female bodybuilders, personality does in fact matter. Maybe not a great deal, but it’s especially significant when we’re dealing with our female muscle fantasies. We love FBBs for obvious reasons: Their beauty, muscularity, curves, strength, power, confidence, sexual appeal, enigmatic nature, bravery, perseverance, and so on. There’s no need to rehash this. However, one cannot deny that FBBs can enhance their appeal by striving toward (the more pessimistic of us may say “pandering”) embodying certain personas that we enjoy.

What personas are we referring to? Let’s list a few:

  • The Badass
  • The Angel
  • The Muscle Girl Next-Door
  • The Porn Star
  • The Savvy Business Woman
  • The Elegant Temptress
  • The Dignified Muscle Matriarch
  • The Carefree Youth
  • The Dirty Old Muscle Granny
  • The Fun-Loving Free Spirit

There are probably others, but let’s settle for these for now. Many of our favorite female bodybuilders could fall into one of these categories. Some belong in multiple categories. And the prodigious of them could attempt to try all of them at some point in their careers. Let us look at these in further detail.

The Badass

Simply put, The Badass is the tough-as-nails chick who can easily kick your ass if you give her a reason to do so. She wears leather jackets, rides motorcycles, and chugs beers faster than a college freshman looking to get laid – in photoshoots, that is. Maybe not in real life.

She wants you to know that she’s dangerous. She isn’t always angry, but you don’t want to see her when she is. No way, José! Like Bruce Banner becoming The Hulk, she can easily pick you up by the throat and choke slam you to the ground. Just don’t give her a reason to do that. Or have a Snickers bar handy just in case.

The Badass, like most of these personas, exists mostly in our imagination and not in real life. You might see your favorite FBB post a photo on her Instagram of her splitting wood with a chainsaw or impaling a zombie (presumably, not a real one!) with a baseball bat, but odds are she really spends her free time baking sweet potatoes and mixing protein shakes in the kitchen. But oh well. Fantasy Land is always much more fun than the Real World, right?

The Badass: Suzy Kellner

The Angel

The polar opposite of The Badass is The Angel. She’s sweet, innocent, kind, and thoughtful. She posts photos not just of her lifting weights at the gym, but also inspiring quotes, candid shots of her adorable puppy dog, and recipes for gluten-free raspberry bagels (yuck!). She’s wholesome in the sense that she rarely posts anything too provocative, but it’s not beneath her to share the occasional bikini pic if it’s summertime.

She’s very pretty and feminine, perhaps a little too feminine for some of our tastes. You suspect she’s trying not to fall into the stereotype of the masculine-looking female bodybuilder, so she compensates by acting more “girly” than you (or even she) are comfortable with. The Angel never ruffles any feathers and rarely gets into arguments with online trolls. She’s confident in who she is but doesn’t want to make it too obvious. After all, nobody likes a show-off.

Unlike The Badass, The Angel’s personality never feels forced. It appears to be natural. It’s who she really is. We may not like it from a fantasy point-of-view, but if that’s who she actually is, we’ll celebrate her regardless.

The Muscle Girl Next-Door

This type of FBB can be either a Badass or an Angel. Or neither. Or a combination of both. No matter what, she’s not as glamourous as the Angel nor as dramatic as The Badass. She’s pretty, but not as gorgeous as a supermodel. She’s more “cute” than “drop-dead gorgeous.” In other words, she looks like she could be your next-door neighbor. Hence, the reason why her nickname is…

The Muscle Girl-Next-Door doesn’t necessarily look super muscular at casual glance. Maybe it’s because she likes to wear hoodies and gym sweatpants. Or because she’s more “fit” and not as muscular as a competitive bodybuilder. But no matter what, she captures your attention every time you go outside to take out the trash or fetch your mail. She’s pleasant when you strike up the occasional conversation with her, but that’s about as far as it goes. You know you have no chance with her. Yet, you feel compelled to continue to dream…

The Porn Star: Yvette Bova

The Porn Star

This is where it gets really…uh, exciting. The Porn Star is definitely different than The Angel, but isn’t necessarily The Badass or The Muscle Girl Next-Door. She could be, but what she really is – and this cannot be argued with – is an exhibitionist to the extreme.

Lots of FBBs, fitness models, and wannabe fitness models (just scroll through the #fitgirl hashtag on Instagram) are perfectly willing to show off their bodies to the public. For that, we are eternally grateful! But most – not all – have certain limitations of what they are willing to expose. Some don’t mind nudity. Others are more willing, especially if it’s behind a subscription firewall, to do a little more than that.

The Porn Star isn’t always an actual porn star in the traditional sense. They aren’t always famous or well-known to porn enthusiasts (which, for the record, none of us are willing to ever admit to being…), but their work is widely seen by the people who are most likely to appreciate it. The Porn Star can go solo or she can be with a partner – or multiple partners if she so chooses. She can simply take off her clothes and masturbate quietly for the camera. Or she can allow six or seven guys to gang bang her until semen is coming out of her ears (don’t try to picture that in your mind). Or anywhere in between.

The Porn Star has no inhibitions. She is an exhibitionist to the extreme. She has a fantastic body and a dynamic sexuality that cannot be constrained. The world deserves to see her in her full glory. After all, depriving society of her “goods” would be a crime against humanity. And if she is able to entice countless guys and gals to “get off” from watching her art, so be it. That’s what art is for, right? To stimulate the imagination?

We’ll leave it at that.

The Savvy Business Woman

We love muscular women who know how to make a buck. Often times, we’re the ones who are opening our wallets to subsidize their lifestyles. The Savvy Business Woman knows how to use the right hashtags to promote her line of gym swag. She never passes up on an opportunity to plug her favorite brand of protein powder or energy bars. She understands all of these personalities better than anyone. And not only does she understand them, she knows how to profit off of them too.

She looks just as comfortable wearing a tailored suit as she is wearing a bikini. Maybe she wears both in the same day. But more than that, she knows damn well that it’s a business first and a passion second. Yeah, plenty of FBBs say they love weightlifting and competing because they find it “empowering” or “fulfilling,” but the Savvy Business Woman deep down inside believes there are limitations to such thinking. You also have to know how to earn a living from your passions.

The Savvy Business Woman is also a Life Coach, Personal Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Zen Master, and Boss Lady. She embraces entrepreneurship and all its rewards (and downsides). She’ll do porn if she thinks there’s a market for it. Or she’ll dress up as Wonder Woman at cosplay conventions if she thinks that’ll give her better opportunities to hand out more business cards. Whatever works best is what she’ll do. There’s a lot to admire about that attitude.

The Elegant Temptress: Lindsay Mulinazzi.

The Elegant Temptress

While the Porn Star can be seen as crude and dirty and The Savvy Business Woman as being “too corporate” and boring, The Elegant Temptress expertly mixes sexiness with class. She’ll show off her muscular body, but only if you’ve earned the right to see it. She’ll seduce you, but only after you wine and dine her to her heart’s delight. It’s tough sledding trying to please The Elegant Temptress, however the payoff is undoubtedly worth it at the end.

The Elegant Temptress thinks The Angel and The Badass are too simplistic. Why can’t you be a little bit of both? You can dabble in playing The Porn Star at times, but using that identity too often can cheapen who you are and what you stand for. The Elegant Temptress likes to wear fancy dresses and drink expensive cocktails at high class parties. She looks down upon you if you don’t fully appreciate the divine beauty of a gorgeous muscular woman. She’s measured in her speech, dignified in her appearance, and deliberate in her behavior. Naturally, she has a reputation to maintain. In many regards, her reputation is what keeps her going.

The Elegant Temptress views The Muscle Girl Next-Door as a bumpkin. Although, technically speaking she’s also a girl “next door” of sorts – if you happen to live in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood of Paris. Most of us don’t, so that’s out of the question. But we love her because she makes us feel like royalty. The Elegant Temptress is someone you bring with you to the Academy Awards, not the homecoming football game. She didn’t need a Fairy Godmother to turn her into the belle of the ball. She is the Fairy Godmother – and the belle of the ball – simultaneously.

This personality appeals to the gentleman in us. We want to be seduced, not taken around a back alley and given a quick blow job. We want to passionately make love to her, not bang her outside a trashy dive bar at 3 o’clock in the morning. We want to dine with her at the fanciest restaurants in the world, not order a takeout pizza and watch reruns of Seinfeld on the couch. She’s worth much more. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Dignified Muscle Matriarch

Like fine wine, some muscular women get better with age. The Dignified Muscle Matriarch fits that bill perfectly. Unlike the trashy world of porn that labels such women as MILFs, The Dignified Muscle Matriarch cares deeply about her spotless reputation. She and The Elegant Temptress would be best friends. Perhaps the Dignified Muscle Matriarch once was The Elegant Temptress at an earlier point of her life, but she’s now graduated into a more maternal role.

She’ll care for you, sing to you before you fall asleep, and make you breakfast in the morning after an exhausting night of lovemaking. Odds are, she hasn’t competed in professional bodybuilding in years, but her past accomplishments speak volumes. Her trophies are already on the shelves. She doesn’t need to “prove” anything anymore. Perhaps her son or daughter now competes and she’s just a “backstage mom” who’ll root for her kids and laugh and cry alongside them when appropriate.

Unfortunately, she may not be nearly as muscular as she once was, but that’s perfectly okay. She’s allowed Father Time to put lines on her beautiful face and crinkles around her gorgeous eyes, but that doesn’t take anything away from her. She’s still as pretty as she was when she was 20 years old. But now she’s wiser, more experienced, and has weathered every storm imaginable. You definitely want somebody like that on your side when the going gets tough.

The Carefree Youth: Lauren Morasky

The Carefree Youth

Twenty or thirty years ago, The Dignified Muscle Matriarch was The Carefree Youth. She travels to exotic locations, lounges around on the beach sipping margaritas, and dances at clubs until the sun rises the next morning. She’s prone to making mistakes that will later transform her into The Elegant Temptress and perhaps later still into The Dignified Muscle Matriarch. She can essentially take on any of the previously mentioned personalities if she wants to. The only stipulation is that she doesn’t give a damn what you think.

Why wouldn’t she give a damn? Because she’s carefree, that’s why! She hasn’t yet turned 30, isn’t married, doesn’t have kids, and can spend all her disposable cash on cute outfits and trendy gym clothes. The boys will flirt with her and she’ll happily flirt back. If something comes out of it, great. If not, then that’s also great. That’s how The Carefree Youth views the world.

She loves to have fun. She loves to go to the gym and lift with the fellas. The world is her oyster and she has her entire life before her. Why settle down and find a husband? Why think about becoming a mother when that’ll get in the way of clubbing, travelling, and modeling? You only live once, so why not live it up while you still can? Your youth won’t stay with you forever. Eventually, adult responsibilities will have to be addressed. Your biological clock will start to tick. But until that time comes, there’s only one pithy mantra she dares to live by:

YOLO!

The Dirty Old Muscle Granny

Ugh. Not a personal favorite for many of you, but this personality does appeal to some. There isn’t much to say about this other than she’s the polar opposite of The Dignified Muscle Matriarch. She has no dignity in the traditional sense of the word. She has her limitations (maybe…), however what’s more important to her is being as perverted as possible while legally being allowed to get away with it.

She may have been The Angel in her younger days…and wants to desperately make up for lost time. So she’ll gang bang multiple men at the same time. She’ll allow a guy half her age to come on her face and smear his semen all over her skin if that’s what’ll entice him to visit her sketchy apartment. She hates social rules that say that women older than 40 are somehow irrelevant. But unlike some of the previously mentioned personas, she doesn’t just defy those rules; she smashes it with a sledgehammer. She’s not a feminist, although she certainly benefits from the societal gains earned by her more politically-conscious peers.

Well, that’s all that needs to be said about this. Now I need to go take a long shower…

The Savvy Business Woman: Monica Martin

The Fun-Loving Free Spirit

This one is a bit tricky because it’s so close to The Carefree Youth. But here’s a key difference: The Fun-Loving Free Spirit has a good heart and wants to help others. The Carefree Youth only wants to enjoy her life in the moment, while The Fun-Loving Free Spirit is much more altruistic.

The world is a better place when everybody has the opportunity to be happy. She wants to provide those opportunities for as many people as possible. She loves inspirational quotes and memes, but also appreciates a well-written book on meditation, philosophy, or spirituality. Being a bodybuilder is what makes her happy. It’s liberating because it’s so unexpected. Our culture tells her that women “shouldn’t look like that,” so she interprets that as a personal challenge to look exactly like that just to spite our cultural forbearers. But she does it with a smile, not with scorn. She rebels not for negative reasons, but for positive ones. She wants to be who she wants to be and refuses to settle for following the herd. That’s her way of dissenting and living life to the fullest.

This should tell you what she dislikes the most: Conformity.

Yuck! It feels so icky to be average.

Did I miss any major personalities? Were there any ones that particularly stuck out to you? Please let me know if you have any bright ideas in the comments below or by contacting me at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Nostalgic for Naughtiness

An old issue of Women’s Physique World featuring Shelley Beattie and Sharon Bruneau.

Every man who was once a teenage boy with raging hormones should be able to identify with this scenario:

You borrow a copy of a dirty magazine from a buddy at school. Or you steal it from a grocery store with the stealth skills of a Special Ops commander. Or you’re lucky enough to stumble upon an old issue of Playboy or Hustler sitting in a garbage can or recycling bin. No matter how you acquire said dirty magazine, it’s a prized possession that you will guard with your life.

Your brothers and sisters cannot know about it. Your parents especially cannot know about it. So it must be kept a secret from prying eyes, forever fated to be stuffed in your sock drawer or underneath your mattress. The only time you can look at it is at night under the cover of darkness. Bring it to school and you risk one of your teachers discovering it, confiscating it, and telling Mom or Dad about it. Talk about bad news. Can’t possibly risk that. No bloody way.

But what’s in that dirty magazine that’s so damn intriguing? It’s simple: Beautiful girls wearing very little (or no) clothing. Just a few short years ago, girls were disgusting creatures who were annoying, bad at sports, and had different hobbies than you. Today, it’s a whole different story. Girls are enigmatic creatures who make you feel wiggly inside. You cannot help but stare at the ones who were the prettiest or had the shapeliest bodies. And you definitely struggle to stop staring at the ones with big boobs. Oh boy…

But your magazine offers a special glimpse that you cannot possibly have while sitting in math class. Your treasured magazine shows you a whole new side of the female species that you’ve only just begun to discover. You finally get to see what a pair of breasts look like. You finally learn why Dad married Mom in the first place. And, you finally find out what girls have between their legs that you don’t.

This scenario should be especially familiar with those of you who are older than 30. However, as the Internet Age rolled around, teenage boys don’t have to sneak dirty magazines into their bedrooms in order to get their “fix.” Pictures of gorgeous naked women are only a simple Google search away (not to mention a furious effort to delete one’s browsing history before Grandma next uses the family computer). So as time goes on, one presumes this familiar scenario will become less familiar.

Will you accept this rose from Raye Hollitt?

Nevertheless, for those of us who love female bodybuilders, there’s an added dimension to our story of how we discovered what turns us on. In addition to conventionally beautiful lingerie and fashion models, we were also introduced to pretty women who sported a bit more muscle mass than usual. So not only were we smuggling copies of Playboy into our coat closets, we were also sneaking in contraband fitness and weightlifting magazines.

Sure, the majority of those publications featured big burly men. But on occasion, we got to feast our eyes on ladies with big burly muscles.

Oh baby.

In today’s modern world in which everything you can possibly think of can now be accessed through the Internet, it’s becoming easier and easier to indulge in your vices in complete privacy. Private web browsing has been a helpful tool in hiding your fetishes from anyone who also happens to use your computer. Granted, you still need to be cautious when you’re at work, but when you’re sitting at home you can be as freaky as you want to be without a single soul knowing about it.

Yet, with all this erotic material readily available at your fingertips, doesn’t it seem like the “old days” were a bit more, how shall we say it, “naughty?”

What is meant by that is the general feeling that back in the days when images of beautiful muscular women were rare, the few opportunities we got to feast our eyes on them seemed much more exciting than they do now. Today, we can easily scroll through hundreds of female bodybuilders, fitness models, and athletes on Instagram, Tumblr blogs, and fan websites without breaking a sweat. No need to sneak in magazines underneath your Mom’s watchful eye. No fear of Dad finding out. Also, no need to research where you can find these photos, which in our youth we treated as precious commodities like gold, diamonds, and crude oil.

With search engines and social media making our beloved ladies more easily available than ever before, why do simple Google searches fail to send that same tingling sensation down our spines that peering through old photos of Rachel McLish late at night in our bedrooms once did? Is it because we’re older and more accustomed to seeing photos of gorgeous muscular women, or is it something deeper?

Let’s explore the latter. It is not beyond comprehension that part of the reason why our adolescent brains were kicking into overdrive was because, well, the clichéd phrase “raging hormones” exists for a reason. So is it fair to say that as we get older our hormones get more under control, thus we become less fanatical in our desire to ogle beautiful women? Maybe, but that doesn’t appear to be the only answer. For the female muscle enthusiasts out there, another explanation must cover the territory of the “forbidden fruit.”

As if peering at photos of beautiful women weren’t scandalous (relatively speaking) enough, being turned on by photos of muscular beautiful women is a whole other story. Now we’re crossing into “weird” ground, not just “scandalous.” It’s not embarrassing to admit you’d like to tap Pamela Anderson (especially if you grew up in the 90s), but it would definitely raise a few eyebrows if you declare proudly that you’d also like to screw Kim Chizevsky. Especially if the people you were with knew who Kim is and what she looks like.

Talk about awkward.

But awkwardness is exactly the point. We’re embarrassed because we don’t want others to find out about our attraction to female bodybuilders, but we’re also somewhat embarrassed for our own sake. We start to wonder if something is wrong with us. We ask questions such as: Am I normal? Am I secretly gay? Why don’t more people feel the same way as I do?

But even those questions are starting to diminish. The Internet has played an integral role in breaking down almost every social taboo you can think of. You can easily locate like-minded individuals who are into the same “unusual” stuff as you. Do you enjoy drawing Game of Thrones fan art? Or writing Harry Potter fan fiction? Or immersing yourself into “Furry” culture (don’t look it up if you aren’t prepared to truly find out what it is)? Well, finding other people who are into the same things as you has never been easier. This is quite a blessing, especially if you are prone to wondering whether if you’re alone in the Universe. Odds are you are not.

The statuesque Bev Francis.

The same goes for female muscle fetishism. For all its flaws, Saradas.com is a popular forum for discussing and sharing content related to female bodybuilding, sessions, fantasy wrestling, and the like. You can easily connect and communicate with people all across the globe who enjoy the same female muscle-related activities as you. This level of connectivity with souls spread around the planet is unprecedented. Yet here we are. What a time to be alive.

However, despite the ease of which we can access photos/videos of muscular women and meet people who share our common interests, why does it seem like (to repeat the question articulated earlier) the old days were much naughtier? Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but it’s not beyond the stretch of the imagination to say that once something becomes mainstream, it starts to lose a little bit of its juice. Granted, female bodybuilding is still (and probably never will be) not considered mainstream, but within the world of Internet subcultures, anything can be mainstream if you look in the right places. What’s the deal here?

The best explanation has to be the fact that before the Internet existed, most of us truly didn’t know if other people felt the same way about female bodybuilders as we did. Before Google allowed us to discover information faster and easier than before, we had no idea how many other people (if any at all) shared our fascination with them. It’s not just loneliness. It’s the fear that nobody else is crazy enough to get turned on by a woman with big muscles. And if that’s the case, isn’t the next logical conclusion that there must be something “off” about us?

Hence, our uncontrollable and unexplainable attraction to female muscle felt supremely naughty. And not just naughty in a moral sense, but also in a psychological sense. We didn’t know if our brains were working properly. That’s taking naughtiness to a whole new level.

The other explanation is the supply of female muscle-related media. Back in the pre-Internet age, our exposure to FBBs was limited to magazines, bodybuilding contests on television, and your old dusty VHS copy of “Pumping Iron II: The Women.” That’s about it. So the few instances in which we could find new photos of female bodybuilders were few and far between.

That made the experience all the more exciting. The rare occurrence when we could get our sweaty hands on a brand new issue of the latest fitness magazine seemed like a quasi-religious experience. It was as if we had found a Golden Ticket in our recently purchased Wonka Bar. We felt as giddy as if it were Christmas morning. But instead of a new bicycle or autographed football, it was a magazine chock full of images of powerful women with bulging biceps and massive quads. Hell, this beats the experience of tearing up presents underneath the decorated tree by a mile!

Who wants to lift with Cory Everson?

Back when the product is scarce, we appreciated it more. Now that the product is available in abundance, you’d think we would appreciate it more, but we don’t. Ironically, an overabundance of the product actually ends up making us appreciate it less. Thirty years ago, we had to risk life and limb to sneak a copy of a bodybuilding magazine into our rooms without our parents detecting it. Today, we can skim through endless Instagram feeds of scantily clad female bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness models with our only concern being whether we’ll run out of battery power.

This is a good thing, right? Of course it is. But human nature being what it is, we can’t help but sense a diminished sense of giddiness living in today’s media-saturated environment. Our love for female bodybuilders seems cheap. Easy. Casual. Maybe not mainstream, but certainly less-out-of-the-ordinary-than-before. Female muscle fetishism has lost some of its naughtiness. What should we make of this?

Well, not much. But this does provide a valuable lesson about the relationship between cultural acceptance and modern communications technology.

People tend to react viscerally to things that are unusual, even if they aren’t necessarily “weird.” Unusual is simply anything that is not usual. But the more common it becomes, the less unusual it is, and the more “normal” it seems. This is not rocket science. This simple observation is also true for female muscle and our reaction to it. We think it’s strange to see women with big muscles precisely because women with big muscles are rare. But as our definition of “mainstream” starts to veer away from legacy corporate advertising and toward more grassroots-based media, the doors to almost anything will swing wide open.

The list goes on regarding things you once never saw but now can see whenever you feel like it: Plus-sized models, South Korean soap operas, documentaries about dwarfs (not the Lord of the Rings kind), Bollywood movies, Japanese pop music, Australian rugby matches, Brazilian cooking shows, cosplay conventions, Facebook groups for people who identify as “Gender Non-Conforming,” and so on. And yes, this includes photos, videos, blogs, and communities dedicated to female muscle. Almost anything you can think of is out there for public consumption.

An iconic female bodybuilder, Rachel McLish.

You just have to know where to look for it. Because not all of it will appear right under your nose when you least expect it.

Maybe this is why our love for female bodybuilders seems less naughty in today’s world than it did in yesteryear’s world. It’s not mainstream in the traditional sense of the word, but the very concept of “mainstream” is being challenged like never before. The Internet has allowed for the proliferation of subcultures and subcultures within subcultures to meet and convene in ways that were unimaginable even twenty years ago. And that’s not a long time ago, in relative terms.

Hence, we may be reaching – or have already reached – the point where the familiar scenario outlined in the beginning of this article will no longer be familiar to the younger generation. Those of us in our late 20s and early 30s might be the last cohort who remembers sneaking dirty magazines into our bedrooms. Today, this is a thing of the past. Those days are over. Everything we love is now digitalized. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Only time will tell.

Laurie Noack Gibson by the swimming pool. Want to jump in?

But what we can conclude is that for lovers of female muscle, this is a fantastic cultural development. Our access to beautiful muscular women has reached unprecedented levels. Well, actually, our access to anything you can possibly think of has reached unprecedented levels. As much as this can be a cause for celebration and popping the champagne corks, there is something tangible that’s been lost. That rush of adrenaline we all felt when we were scared out of our wits about being caught with muscle magazines has now been replaced with remembering to delete your browsing history. Ho hum. Boring!

Or is it? Is feeling naughty – and by extension, guilty – really a positive thing? Or does it only serve to suppress our natural desires and keep us shackled to society’s stringent standards? The answer to this is impossible to fully know, and perhaps we’re just being prisoners of nostalgia. We want the next generation to experience the same things we did when we were younger…for no other reason than we enjoyed it.

But will they? Maybe all this sneaking around wasn’t healthy at all and that society will actually benefit from being more open about sexual attraction, desire, and impulses. In this case, we should applaud the trends we’re currently witnessing.

But one suspects that being naughty, no matter what form that takes, will always be with us. And if that’s the case, does it matter how crotchety old fogies like us think about it?