Who Wants To Be a Female Bodybuilder?

Who wouldn’t want to become Larissa Reis for a single day?

Over the years I’ve received quite a few emails from readers sharing their own female bodybuilder-related fantasies. After all, I have not been shy about sharing my own from time to time. Most of them are pretty standard – a wish list of FBBs they would like to get intimate with, for example – but occasionally some of them will stick in my mind.

One in particular that I find fascinating is the fantasy of actually becoming a female bodybuilder, perhaps for only a day or two.

For those of us who love female bodybuilders, we mostly fantasize about being with them and doing certain activities with them. Wrestling, muscle worship, BDSM activities, making love, dating, romancing, courting, and so on. Some are pretty mundane…and others are more kinky. But nothing too out of the ordinary, assuming your horizons are as conventionally wide as the general population’s. Yet, how many of you have thought about – through magic or some other supernatural means – literally becoming a real-life female bodybuilder?

Personally, I have not thought about this too extensively. But I will admit that it has crossed my mind on occasion. It would be rather fun to become an FBB, even for a single day. In the spirit of “going with the flow,” let’s think this through:

Imagine you go to bed one night feeling a bit down in the dumps. Life is boring. Life hasn’t always gone your way. Your job stinks. Your love life is a hot mess. Your dumpy apartment is getting even dumpier…and your landlord just announced your monthly rent is about to go up. You feel like your life has passed you over. All the good luck went to someone else. You’re just stuck with the leftovers. And not the good kind of leftovers you get from after Thanksgiving. You’re left with the bland deli sandwiches and tasteless store-bought cookies that cost more to make than it does to purchase. You go to bed that night wishing, even if it’s temporary, that you could wake up and experience something new.

Something exciting. Something out-of-the-ordinary. Something fun.

Something really, really, really fun.

So, you brush your teeth, take a quick shower, and crawl into bed feeling crummy but strangely hopeful. Unexpectedly hopeful, to be exact. You don’t know why, you just do. Maybe it’s because of the sexy video you just watched of Larissa Reis lying in the sand of some far away beach. Or the other video of Ginger Martin flexing her biceps for the camera. And the final video of Brandi Mae Akers jerking off some lucky sap who doesn’t comprehend quite how lucky he is. You love female bodybuilders (you’ve loved them since you were 9 years old after randomly seeing a picture of Cory Everson on the cover of some fitness magazine at the grocery store) and secretly hope you’ll get to dream about them sometime during the night. Dreams seem so real when you’re in the middle of them, don’t they?

Magic!

Right. Off to bed!

Maybe you do dream about something pleasant, or maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is when you finally wake up the next morning. At first, nothing seems strange or out of the ordinary. The alarm clock doesn’t go off. You glance over at the time and see that your clock has stopped. But not in a mechanical failure sort of way. Rather, it’s stopped because time itself has stopped. You don’t need to go to work because things like schedules, deadlines, and obligations have temporarily ceased to matter. Oh, how liberating this feeling is!

But then, you notice something quite odd. You’re naked. You don’t recall going to bed naked, but alas, there you are in the nude. You stretch your body and notice how bulky your arms suddenly have become. Gosh, did all that going to the gym and busting my tail finally pay off? How awesome would that be? Finally, I’ve done something right!

But that’s not it. No, not at all. You lift, but not that much. This is something else entirely.

Finally, you sit up in bed and lift the covers off your body. And what you see both frightens and excites you.

You’ve become another person!

And not just any other person, but a woman. You’ve changed genders! And…uh, your level of muscularity. Hm, this is odd indeed! You leap out of bed and run to the bathroom to look in the mirror. And what you see in the mirror’s reflection confirms what you think has just transpired. You’re a whole new person! A female bodybuilder, to be precise.

A lovely, beautiful female bodybuilder. You’re covered from head to toe with large, bulging muscles. You’re totally ripped. Your arms are the size of cantaloupes. Your back is as wide as a door frame. Your thighs are as thick as tree trunks. Your glutes are as firm as a bowling ball. Your penis…

Hold on. You no longer have a penis! You have something much smaller, something that sort of resembles a dick but clearly isn’t…

Holy shit.

Wow!!!

It’s a clitoris. An enormous one! That largest in the world, in fact. Oh shit. Holy fucking shit, this is incredible! How can you possibly explain what has just happened? You can’t, which adds to the mystery and intrigue. But you cannot even attempt to wrap your mind around that now. Who knows how long this blessing will last? Ten minutes? An hour? A whole day? A week? A year? Um, forever? Probably not, but who wants to risk wasting a single second?

If you were to magically become an FBB, would you touch yourself in bed like Hunter Morgan?

What you do after this is totally up to you, my dear reader. I can probably make an accurate guess about how you’d spend your time as an FBB incarnate. You’d probably touch yourself. All over. You’d masturbate. You’d flex in the mirror. You’d go out in public and see how random people react to you. You’d dress in scantily clad fashion. Or maybe you’d dress in nothing at all! That would really get people staring at you. I think I’d try that first. Go out for a casual stroll wearing nothing but my Birthday Suit, showcasing my strong muscles for all to see, whether they want to or not. That would be fun. And a valuable opportunity to conduct a “social experiment.”

Ah yes, all in the name of “science.”

So, what would you do if you could magically transform yourself into a real-life female bodybuilder? If you knew it would wear off in 24 hours (Cinderella-style), what would you do? Who would you meet? What activities would you try out? The possibilities are endless. Email me at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com or share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I might publish the most interesting responses. Or not. We’ll see.

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She Belongs in a Museum

Rachelle Carter belongs in a museum.

Female bodybuilders are both athletes and artists. Personally, I consider them to be more artists than athletes, but that’s just me. Of course, that isn’t to minimize their athletic prowess or their belonging in the world of competitive sports. It’s more of a reflection of how I perceive their modus operandi.

They build their bodies to look a certain way. They lift, eat, hydrate, supplement, rest, and strategically plan their lives in such a way to achieve their desired look. This is why I consider them to be artists. Mozart had his symphony. Picasso had his canvases. Hemingway had his typewriter. Scorsese has his camera. Female bodybuilders have their bodies.

Their bodies are their canvases. It’s a blank slate. A sheet music with no notes. A film stock with no pictures. A chapel ceiling with no paint. A chorus with no conductor. They are in charge of their own destinies. No one will give them what they want. That’s not possible (yet). You can’t go to a plastic surgeon and ask them to give you large muscles. You can’t purchase a muscular physique on Amazon. You can’t cheat your way to the top. Yes, even with steroids. Human growth hormones won’t automatically give you large bulging muscles. You still need to put in the hard work at the gym to obtain them. And keep going back in order to maintain them. Or else they go away like winter snow when spring arrives.

She can choose to be as large as a world-class bodybuilder. Or she can be as slender as a fitness model. Either way, it’s her choice. And which reality comes to pass is entirely up to her. Using “bad genetics” as an excuse is just that. An excuse. And a bad one at that.

But I’ve already written about this. Nothing about this is new. We all know female bodybuilders are artists. We all know their bodies are art. We all know that we’re patrons of that art.

Here’s a cool fantasy I’ve thought about a lot recently. Perhaps many of you have too. Here’s what it looks like:

Imagine you’re a wealthy philanthropist. You’ve assembled hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of wealth during your eventful lifetime. It doesn’t matter how. Maybe you’re a tech CEO. Or a lucky investor. Who cares. One day, you get a brilliant idea. You want to sponsor an art exhibit at a local museum. Or better yet, open up your own museum, perhaps in a makeshift environment like an abandoned office building or factory.

But you don’t want to showcase paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, or multimedia installations. No, that’s too old school. Too basic. Too…mundane. Been there, done that. Yawn. Instead, you want to display human bodies. And not just any kind of human body: Human female bodies. And not just any kind of human female bodies. You want to feature muscular female bodies.

Real muscular female bodies.

In various forms of dress. And undress.

But, uh, mostly undress.

Imagine thirty or so nude female bodybuilders standing around in a large room. Women of all races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and sizes. Some are posing. A few others are lying down. Others are dancing. One or two are masturbating. You might even catch a glimpse of two FBBs making love to each other. These ladies are standing on the ground, on a dais, on a bed, suspended above ground on wires, and so on. Some are doing explicitly sexual activities, while others are simply showing off their hard work. No matter what, you cannot help but be enthralled by what you’re witnessing. It’s not every day that you get to see this much female muscle in one central location!

Hey! No taking pictures on your phone! Unless you’re Cindy Landolt, of course.

The rules are simple: no touching, no taking pictures on your phone, and do not try to conduct a conversation with any of them. They won’t talk back. You can only look with your eyes. Drink in the moment. Experience what you need to experience. Leave a changed person.

And like most “radical” art, this exhibit is supposed to shock you. It’s provocative. Sensual. Alluring. Unforgettable. Unsubtle. In-your-face. Subversive. Erotic. Educational. And of course, unapologetically sexy. Very sexy. Almost too sexy.

Many people have seen photos of female bodybuilders in old sports magazines or TV documentaries. But few have been in the same room as one. And the experience will certainly be an eye-opener. You will not believe that such women can be real. No Photoshop or Hollywood-grade CGI are at play here. None of that. It’s all real. As real as it can get. Get used to it.

For fans of female bodybuilders, it’s a shame that our favorite ladies aren’t more prominently celebrated by our culture. They aren’t as “seen” as we’d like them to be. We love female bodybuilders but have limited opportunities to demonstrate that love. But more than that, we want FBBs to feel empowered, appreciated, and visible. They’ve worked their whole lives and made numerous sacrifices to look the way they look. One does not get hypermuscular by accident. It’s not a coincidence. You only look like that if you make a concerted effort to look like that. You have to expend blood, sweat, and tears over the course of several years to become that swollen. It takes pain – both physical and psychological – to achieve that level of muscularity. For women, it probably takes more labor and toil to get that big compared to their male counterparts. Life isn’t fair, kids.

So, it’s only fitting that they receive the chance to show off their hard work for an audience that might not necessarily want to see them. It’s one thing for a sympathetic audience to appreciate you. It’s quite another for an unexpected audience – or even one that’s pessimistic – to regard your body of work. And “body of work” should be interpreted literally, not just figuratively. The people who visit this art exhibit know theoretically what they’re getting themselves into, but they can’t truly comprehend what it’s like to see a muscular woman up-close until it actually happens.

The experience of looking at a muscular woman should be audacious. Exploitative. Daring. Bold. Offensive. It’s a powerful experience made more memorable by the fact that such sculpted women are so rare in our world. You don’t see women who look like Brigita Brezovac walking down the street every day. Heck, you may never in your life encounter a woman who looks like her. But if you are lucky enough to be able to, I can guarantee you will remember it for the rest of your existence.

One exhibit should feature Larissa Reis posing exactly like this.

Whenever I have the privilege of meeting a female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session, inevitably there’s going to be a moment during our time together when I think to myself “she belongs in a museum.” I may even tell her that. It’s a natural reaction when you’re in the throes of touching her hard, curvy body in the most appreciative and intimate manner possible. A point I’ve made before that bears repeating is the fact that for most highly accomplished people, their impressive accomplishments are not immediately obvious. For example, you could be sitting on the bus or at a coffee shop or at the library and for all you know the random person sitting next to you is a world-class violinist. Or expert astronomer. Or well-respected heart surgeon. Or once appeared as an extra in a James Bond movie or an episode of Game of Thrones. Or served in the military many years ago and came within a few inches of assassinating Osama bin Laden long before 9/11. Or someone who hosts a podcast that gets two million downloads a month. Or someone who once played the bass for a famous band during one forgettable summer concert.

Regardless, for these highly accomplished people, you can’t really tell what their accomplishments are unless you ask them. Or if they volunteer that information to you. But for a female bodybuilder – and male bodybuilders too – her accomplishments are right out in the open. It’s plain for all to see. It’s embedded onto every fiber of her body. Her artistic achievement isn’t just on her body (like a tattoo artist), but it is her body. Her body is her art. Her art is her body. And for that reason, she definitely belongs in a museum.

But more than that, the sight of a muscular woman elicits a different emotional reaction than seeing a muscular man. By and large, our society is conditioned to not think of a muscular man as being unusual. We know that guys who look shredded like an NFL linebacker are still statistically rare, but seeing a fellow like that up close and personal isn’t something that will make you stop dead in your tracks. Seeing a muscular woman, on the other hand, will make your jaw drop to the floor. As it should.

The sight of a muscular woman makes some people feel disgusted. Or insecure. Or inadequate. Or confused. Or aroused. Or angry. Anger can be a byproduct of insecurity – or a method for disguising one’s insecurity. Seeing a muscular woman distorts our reality and causes cognitive dissonance. We are unable to process what we’re seeing precisely because we rarely ever get to see something like this. Our brains hurt because our brains are processing new information. Women are supposed to be small and dainty. Guys are supposed to be large and buff. But to see a woman with muscle mass that surpasses that of your typical gym bro dude…that visual subversion creates psychological conflict in our minds. Conflict that makes us feel strong feelings. Feelings we cannot easily explain or articulate into words.

Another features Julie Ann Kulla sitting on a bed looking exactly like this.

For misogynists who don’t like strong women – “strong” both in the physical and emotional sense – seeing a muscular woman in the flesh feels like a sledgehammer being smashed into their toxic narrowmindedness. It’s a harsh reminder that their limited understanding of the world is probably a product of their own internal self-hatred. They hate strong women because they themselves are weak, feeble, and hopeless. They’re projecting their own inadequacies onto highly accomplished women who’ve done things they can only dream of doing. Female bodybuilders challenge in the most explicit way possible the notion that women are destined to be the “weaker sex” and that men own a monopoly on strength. Men do not, as it turns out, own any such claim.

I don’t want to suggest that guys who love female bodybuilders are more enlightened, intelligent, and socially progressive than those who do not. In all seriousness, there might be a small sliver of truth to that, but overall the love of FBBs can be politically neutral. I do believe, however, that guys who love FBBs are probably less sexist and hateful than guys who are genuinely disgusted by them. But I could be wrong about that.

But let’s return to my hypothetical situation involving the female muscle museum exhibit. Imagine being a sexist loser who is forced to walk through this room full of strong ladies. Everywhere you look, there are women with bigger muscles than you. They’re happier, more powerful, and more beloved than you’ll ever be. Do you react with bitterness, or a renewed commitment to becoming a better person? I sure hope it’s the latter, not the former. In this respect, this female muscle showcase can be a much-needed wake up call. A reminder that being angry does not make you righteous. That hating someone is less an indication of who they are and more a reflection of who you are. That you can become a better person if you choose to work on who you are. That you are not destined to be a loser for the rest of your life.

Siska Bossert looking like a chiseled sculpture. Because she is!

Beautiful female bodies deserve to be seen. Female bodybuilders deserve more visibility, a larger share of the pie of our nation’s multimedia landscape. And I write this not out of a sense of self-serving fetishism, but out of a belief that muscular women can change the world. They can alter our perspectives. They can inspire us to become better people. They can force us to reevaluate our own prejudices and dedicate our lives to self-improvement.

Because female bodybuilders are beautiful. Because female bodybuilders are awe-inspiring. Because female bodybuilders have the potential to break the chains of hatred and foment the foundations of progress. Because of this, there’s no doubt that…

…she belongs in a museum.

So pay your ticket, stand in line, and prepare to have your eyes, heart, and imagination opened. You might just like what you see.

Muscular Women in Still Motion

This old school photo of Cory Everson still gives us chills all these years later.

This old school photo of Cory Everson still gives us chills all these years later.

They say a photograph is a moment in time captured on film; one that can never be reproduced because such a moment will never happen exactly as it did ever again.

Well, today most photos are taken digitally from point-and-click cameras or cell phones. But the idea remains the same: The purpose of still images is to provide a snapshot of a particular moment in time and to allow the viewer – whether they see it a hundred days later or a hundred years later – to experience from a distance what the moment might have been like.

Maybe we’re talking about a photo from your kid’s 6th birthday party. Or your father’s grand retirement celebration. Or when your mom won a prestigious community service award. Or when you and your buddies experienced your team winning the World Series. Or when your lovely partner finally said “I do.” The possibilities are endless.

That’s the inherent advantage between a still photo and a video clip. A still photo captures a precise moment in time. A video captures a stretch of time, which could last seven seconds or seven hours. Technically speaking, a video clip is more accurate in documenting reality while a photograph can be deceptive. How many times have we seen a nice photograph of a couple enjoying a night out on the town only to learn this couple tragically died in a fatal car accident only hours later? Or an image of a star high school athlete relishing in triumphant victory…but later his or her life is unexpectedly cut short after he or she is victim to a heartless shooting?

Thus, the beauty of photographs is that they encapsulate a specific moment without delving too deep into the context of said moment. Even if the subjects of the picture are moving around (as opposed to posing for the photographer), moments very rarely happen in stillness. Yet, a photograph is still. They don’t move or communicate motion. Think about those creepy turn-of-the-century black and white family photos where one of the “posing” members is a dead body. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

The subjects of photos appear to be not just still, but frozen in time. We see who they are instead of what they’re doing. It illustrates the poetic truth that time is not a continuous arc of events, but rather a series of individually poignant moments.

Except when it comes to female bodybuilders.

You knew I’d eventually get around to this subject, right?

For us fans of female bodybuilders, muscular women, athletes, fitness models, and amateur gym rats, the most prominent way we’re able to “experience” these women is through still images. Thanks to YouTube, social media, Vimeo, and other video sharing platforms we’re also able to watch them in action. But the most significant avenue through which we satisfy our female muscle fix is through good old fashioned still photos that we can view on our computer, phone, or tablet device.

What hides under the pasties being worn by Larissa Reis?

What hides under the pasties being worn by Larissa Reis?

Back in the day all we had were fitness/bodybuilding magazines that we tried to purchase inconspicuously at the grocery store and hide under the bed away from prying eyes. Thank God for the Internet.

Recently, I had a bit of an epiphany while scrolling through a Tumblr blog dedicated to muscular and fit women. This blogger also posts photos of “normal” women – meaning they’re gorgeous but gorgeous within mainstream parameters. I began to notice something strange when seeing images of muscular women juxtaposed with images of non-muscular women.

The muscular women seemed to be more alive.

That’s an odd observation considering all the women featured on this blog are, uh living and breathing. No dead bodies posed to look like they’re still alive. But when you take the time and actually look at images of female bodybuilders next to images of non-muscular women, the contrast is both jarring and difficult to explain.

Their body language is nearly identical. Most modeling shots consist of the subjects (or “talent,” using industry parlance) sitting on couches, standing around, laying down provocatively, leaning against a wall or large object, engaging in a suggestive activity, or contorting their bodies in weird ways. Sometimes the subject looks directly at the camera, other times they pretend like there’s nobody in the environment with them. While FBBs will frequently pose for photos of them at the gym doing what they do best, for the most part what their non-muscular counterparts do they will do also.

So, what exactly do I mean when I say that female bodybuilders seem to exist in “still motion” when photographed?

More old school images: Laura Creavalle.

More old school images: Laura Creavalle.

In short, there’s something inherently and inexplicably “active” about a muscular woman. Her muscles give her a sense of liveliness that isn’t present in women who aren’t muscular. A photograph of an FBB conveys energy, vivacity, and dynamism like nothing else. This isn’t true of all photos of female bodybuilders, of course. Ones taken in poor light, terrible conditions, or on a grainy cell phone camera obviously aren’t nearly as good as ones taken by a professional photographer (which goes to show you that the world still needs professional photographers, online photo “filters” be damned). I’m only referring to images that are produced with a certain degree of artistic integrity.

A lot of this has to do with how a woman earns her muscles to begin with. She didn’t get big and buff sitting on her couch eating potato chips and watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory. She earned her impressive physique through sweat, labor, supplementation, dieting, and making wholesale lifestyle changes. So because of this, when we see a still photo of a female bodybuilder, even if she’s not doing anything explicitly active, we know she leads a highly active lifestyle when she’s away from shutterbugs.

She’s constantly lifting, running, stretching, eating, cooking, drinking protein shakes, working, lifting, jogging, eating, lifting some more, eating a bit more, cooking more food that she’ll eat later, and lifting.

Did I mention that female bodybuilders lift weights on occasion?

The point is that female bodybuilders seem to be more active because they are more physically active than the average adult. So it makes sense that their proactive and demanding lives would transfer over to photographs taken of them, even if they’re just sitting down on a chaise or lying down in a frilly white bed. When you see her posing for the camera, you know in the back of your mind that she wouldn’t be in that position in the first place if it weren’t for her impressive muscularity.

That is, you wouldn’t be completely enraptured by her beauty unless she were as muscular as she is. She could very well be quite beautiful even if she didn’t have muscles, but it’s not the same thing. Not even close. A female bodybuilder’s muscles is what takes center stage when we look at her.

Sharon Madderson definitely jumps off the screen.

Sharon Madderson definitely jumps off the screen.

Yes, we know that muscular women are active in their everyday lives. That’s obvious. But that still doesn’t fully explain why they look like they’re ready to jump off the celluloid and into your lap.

Another reason is how surreal it is to actually look at a woman with big muscles. For as many years as I’ve been appreciating female bodybuilders, I still sometimes do a “double take” when I see a picture of a muscular woman unexpectedly. For example, not too long ago a friend of mine shared on Facebook an article talking about HIIT – or high intensity interval training. I don’t know whether this method is best for burning fat and staying in shape, but that’s not the point. The point is that the article featured a picture of a beautiful young lady with gorgeous curvy muscles. I was taken aback. My heart fluttered a bit. I felt a surge of energy run through my core.

Why did I suddenly react this way? I’ve spent countless hours watching and looking at hundreds of muscular women. Why did this “out of the blue” experience cause me to react as if I had just seen my first ever female bodybuilder?

It’s because it was unexpected and out of context. When I’m searching my usual lineup of blogs for pictures of beautiful muscular women, I know what I’m going to get. But if I stumble upon an image of one accidentally, it’s as though someone just socked me in the face. I think this is because at the end of the day, no matter how many hours I spend looking at images of muscle-bound women, my brain is preconditioned to produce a strong reaction whenever I witness them. I’m socialized to think of muscular women as being “abnormal” no matter how normalized they seem to be to me.

This is why muscular women appear to be suspended in still motion when photographed. My brain subconsciously tells me that this is unusual and therefore I should react accordingly. No amount of zombie movies will actually prepare you for a real-life zombie invasion. You can read all the post-apocalyptic themed fiction you want; if World War III is ever right around the corner (don’t be too surprised!) you’ll have no idea what to do next.

Likewise, you can watch thousands of hours of female muscle videos and meet dozens of FBBs for muscle worship sessions. Still, your mind will intuitively tell you that the sight of a woman with muscles is strange. Strange, bizarre, peculiar, irregular, atypical, odd. That’s not a product of how you personally view muscular women; rather it’s a product of the lack of muscular women in our society.

Anything that’s rare will stand out when it happens. Throwing a perfect game is so unusual that many baseball aficionados could probably name at least a dozen pitchers who’ve done it throughout the game’s history. And when it happens, it’s huge news. The same goes for muscular women. No matter how familiar you are with seeing FBBs, it’s still a memorable experience when it happens outside of normal parameters.

Unlike most amateur photographs, modeling shots are intended to capture the essence of the subject, not the moment. What a model is actually doing is not nearly as important as what they look like doing it. The same goes for FBBs who pose for model shots, but our reactions to seeing them are remarkably different. We don’t just see who they are. We also see their accomplishments, hopes, dreams, successes, aspirations, and passions. A muscular woman doesn’t just stand around and look pretty. She invades her space. She communicates a clear message to the viewer. She owns the frame. She doesn’t want you to just look at her, she wants you to react viscerally toward her.

See the difference?

Back in the glory days of the 90s, I’d surf the Internet and ogle photos of Pamela Anderson, Cindy Crawford, and Anna Nicole Smith. As an inexperienced teenager with raging hormones, I was introducing myself to a whole new world that I’d never known before: female beauty. It was an epic time of discovery. But even back then, I never experienced any sort of spiritual connection with the gorgeous ladies popping up on my computer screen. As odd as it sounds, I sort of feel that way with photos of muscular women. Sort of.

The lovely Elena Oana Hreapca rocking a sexy silver dress.

The lovely Elena Oana Hreapca rocking a sexy silver dress.

It’s as though photos of FBBs exist for purposes that go beyond that of normal photos of beautiful women. Cindy Crawford wants you to appreciate her natural beauty. Debi Laszewski wants to challenge your notions of femininity, gender roles, social stereotypes, and human biology. I don’t think these thoughts literally go through Debi’s mind as she’s posing for the camera, but that’s the sense I get when I look at her flawless visage. Pamela Anderson inspired hundreds of thousands of teenage boys – myself included – to masturbate in the privacy of their bedrooms. Cory Everson may have inspired similar reactions (though on a much smaller scale), but what she’s done that Pamela couldn’t is transform the way you view humanity: Women can be as buff as men – and look fabulous at the same time!

Muscular women can do that, even though many of them don’t intend to. They allude a degree of power and influence that most of them – including fans like us – don’t entirely comprehend. Hell, I’ve been writing about muscular women for nearly five years and even I continue to struggle to articulate this phenomena into words. Our love for female bodybuilders isn’t just rooted in good old fashioned lust. It’s also explained by our intrinsic desire to make sense out of a hectic and chaotic world. Muscular women, simply put, create chaos. How we adjust to that chaos is up to us on an individual level.

So that must be it. There’s the kicker. Muscular women create chaos in our brains. They cause our imaginations to spin out of control. They challenge our beliefs. They unleash our hidden impulses. They awaken our basest desires. They grapple our minds and refuse to let go, even for a moment. And this is something we don’t try to stop because we love every single minute of it. Isn’t that something?

Female bodybuilders appear to be in still motion because they’re perpetually active, even when they’re captured in a lifeless photograph. They activate our hearts, minds, and souls like nothing else can. In this respect, a photograph doesn’t just capture a single moment in time. It captures many moments, both those that have come and those that are yet to be.

As the old cliché goes, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. But not just words that immediately come to mind, but also words that are yet to be written or conceived. When we stare at a still image of a beautiful muscular woman, we’re not just staring at her. We’re staring at ourselves. And others. And everything around us. All at the same time.

Facing the Facts: Why a Female Bodybuilder’s Face Still Matters to Me

My eyes cannot help but fixate on Erin Stern's gorgeous face.

My eyes cannot help but fixate on Erin Stern’s gorgeous face.

When you first look upon a photo of a muscular woman, what do your eyes initially fixate on?

For me, if we’re talking about a full-body shot, or a near full-body shot, my eyes immediately focus on her face. This sounds odd considering my natural inclination is being a “leg” guy, but my brain involuntarily tells me to look at this (hypothetical) woman’s face first before anything else.

Before her legs, before her butt, before her hips, before her arms, before her torso, before any of that. Her face is what matters first to me, for whatever reason. Not necessarily the most, but certainly first. This is not the only thing I look at (obviously!), but old habits are hard to break. In fact, natural habits can tell us a lot about our deeply ingrained opinions, biases, and desires.

Even if she’s wearing a sexy G-string bikini. Even if she’s wearing nothing at all. No matter what pose she strikes or what she’s doing in the photo itself. My eyes will almost always go to her face before anything else. Why is that?

When I see a beautiful non-muscular woman walk down the street or step into an elevator with me, my eyes first go to her lower half: her legs, hips, and butt. I try to do this as inconspicuously as possible, as most of us are experts at doing. We’re all horny creeps to some extent; however some of us are better at hiding it than others. Or some of us are less ashamed about it than others.

But when we’re talking about a muscular woman, my eyes don’t look down, but instead look up. I want to see her face. Her eyes, her cheeks, her lips, her bone structure, her smile. Once again, why is that? The information I want to gather is plain and simple: Is she pretty?

A nice full-body shot of Larissa Reis.

A nice full-body shot of Larissa Reis.

If we’re talking about Larissa Reis or Shannon Courtney, the answer is undoubtedly “yes.” If we’re talking about Jennifer Kennedy or Kathy Connors, the answer ranges from “uh, not really” to “I love them…but unfortunately no.” I adore and respect both Jennifer and Kathy very much, so this is not meant to be an insult to them or their beautiful bodies. This is just articulating what many of us are thinking but are too polite to say out loud.

But the question “Is she pretty” is one that is packed with a whole ton of meaning. Why should this matter? Does this make me a hypocrite?

No matter how many essays I write explaining my position that muscles make women more beautiful, for whatever nonsensical reason my eyes still immediately search her face instead of laser-focusing on her hard-earned muscles. When I’m doing a Google or Bing search – and yes, I actually use both with great frequency – of various female bodybuilders, I still gravitate toward their faces first even though I know for a fact the muscles on their bodies are their claim to fame.

What a strange and unusual thing, indeed. What can be derived from this? Are there any lessons or nuggets of truth to be ascertained from this? Possibly. Let’s look at four of them.

1. Beauty still matters

For all the talk about “body image” and that “real women have curves,” at the end of the day the content of her face still matters a great deal. This might not be true for you, but it’s obviously true for me. Theoretically, I know from a cerebral point of view that I’m attracted to female bodybuilders because their remarkable muscle mass provides an aesthetic that I find particularly pleasing. However, my brain still insists on checking out her face first.

A female bodybuilder can control what her muscles look like. Heck, they dedicate their lives toward doing just that. All that blood, sweat, tears, and protein shakes go toward sculpting the most beautiful muscles possible. However, she cannot reasonable control her face. Cosmetic surgery notwithstanding, the appearance of your visage is determined before you were born whether you like it or not. It’s genetics, not hard work. Muscles are built through labor. A gorgeous face is not. So as a fan of female bodybuilders, why does her face still matter to me?

Alright, here's an apt exception. I know where my eyes go first in this photo of Flavia Crisos.

Alright, here’s an apt exception. I know where my eyes go first in this photo of Flavia Crisos.

Perhaps this reveals the truth that deep down inside, traditional beauty is still important to me. I can try to persuade my inner thoughts to value hard work over unearned genetics, but our brains are wired a certain way for a reason. I may not completely understand those reasons, but it is what it is. Beauty still matters. It always has, and it always will. My fetish for a muscular feminine figure may be strong, but my desire for her to still have a pretty face is also strong (if not stronger).

2. The eyes are the windows into the soul

Well, I don’t necessarily agree with this cliché, but there might be some truth to it. We are ingrained into believing the eyes are the best way to really look at a person. When you speak to someone, the polite protocol is to look at them straight in the eyes. Not doing that is culturally inappropriate (in the Western world, that is) and considered rude in most social circles.

So no matter how much six-pack abs, a round butt or swollen biceps turn me on, her eyes are where my eyes initially go. Other than this being a learned behavior, why is that?

I think this speaks to the fact we value the humanity of the people we encounter, even those we happen to be physically attracted to. For all the talk about “objectifying” people, at the end of the day most decent human beings value each other on some level. Obviously we value our friends and family more than complete strangers, but not too many of us wish ill on others without a compelling reason.

I obviously love female bodybuilders. But my appreciation for them isn’t just physical. I love their toughness, self-confidence, drive, passion, dedication, and service to others (many FBBs work as personal trainers or in the healthcare field). So when my eyes first focus on a muscular woman’s face, it’s an indication that I want to learn more about her: her interests, strengths, weaknesses, fears, failures, successes, feelings, thoughts, likes, dislikes, and so on.

There’s way no way I can actually learn any of that just from looking at a photograph of a female bodybuilder, but the natural instinct to want to know exists nevertheless.

3. A subtle bias against muscular women still exists within me

This is probably a bit of a stretch, but it’s worth talking about. I wrote a post recently arguing that muscles are the great equalizer when it comes to assessing one’s physical beauty. I believe this wholeheartedly, but perhaps there’s still a small hint of bias against muscular women that’s hiding deep within my psyche.

I look at a muscular woman’s face first because I want to assess how “feminine” she is. Is her face “man-like,” as many negative stereotypes go? Does her face have masculine features or does she appear to be traditionally feminine? Intellectually, I understand that not every woman, muscular or not, looks “feminine” as society widely accepts that term to mean. I also understand that years of taking anabolic steroids and human growth hormones can change the way your body (and face) looks.

A classic female bodybuilder from yesteryear: Sharon Bruneau.

A classic female bodybuilder from yesteryear: Sharon Bruneau.

The “hardening” of a woman’s face to appear gruffer and less soft – whatever these descriptors even mean – can happen after higher-than-usual levels of testosterone enter the body. I’d venture a guess that these so-called changes aren’t actually real. They’re more perceived due to social stigmas attached to women with big muscles.

These social biases run so deep that even yours truly believes in them to a certain extent. I’d like to think my “street cred” for supporting female bodybuilders should be unquestioned, but even I can admit that I occasionally give in to what popular perceptions teach us. When I look at a photo of a female bodybuilder for the first time – as opposed to a photo I’ve already seen before – my natural inclination to first look at her face tells me I’m still bias toward women who look traditionally beautiful. I still think of FBBs as being “different” or “freakish,” even though I embrace these differences as being a part of her unique beauty.

Bias is not the same thing as hate, however. It’s just what your brain (whether you know it or not) automatically tells you when you’re digesting new information. The first step is to be aware of it. The next step is to recognize that this doesn’t make you a bad person. The last step is to be able to make your own decisions whether the vast majority of others will agree with you or not.

4. It’s not just about her muscles, it’s about her entire self

On a more positive note, one of the reasons why I first tend to look at a muscular woman’s face is because I’m not nearly as fixated on her muscles as one would think. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a pretty face (which I am!). Or it goes to show you that while I love an FBB’s muscles, I actually love her entire self.

Related to point #2, I first look at her face because I want to learn as much as I can about her as a person. Fantastic. But another important observation is that for me, and obviously I cannot speak for anybody else except for me, it’s not just about her muscles. It’s not the mere presence of big muscles on her body that make her extraordinarily beautiful. It’s the entire package.

People who aren’t familiar with the world of female bodybuilding get perplexed when they see a photo of an FBB because they can’t stop focusing on her muscles. Those of us who are more familiar with this aesthetic see past her muscles and appreciate her entire beauty – both external and internal. I recently participated in a muscle worship session with a pro bodybuilder who talked enthusiastically about her passion for helping others. She works as a personal trainer (as many often do) and loves inspiring people to become happier, healthier, and more confident. She spoke of serving homeless young adults, abused women, and emotionally hurt people who have lost their way. Through teaching them how to lift weights at the gym, she saw their lives turn around for the better. Some of her anecdotes were powerful to listen to.

I quickly decided that for as much as I appreciate her external beauty – and she is without a doubt a beautiful person – her internal beauty shines brighter.

Timea Majorova showcasing her assets.

Timea Majorova showcasing her assets.

Whether we’re talking about a slim pop star, a skinny fashion model, or a big and buff female bodybuilder, where your eyes go first when you look upon her depends on what you value, what you’re looking for, and the context of the situation. If a woman intentionally shows off her cleavage, it’s reasonable why your eyes would go there first. If her long gorgeous legs are front and center of the image, I wouldn’t blame you for your imagination running wild with what you’d like to do with those legs.

But for me, I first look at her face. Even if she has big muscles. Even if her muscles are supposed to be the center of attention. There are many reasons for this. Some of them are logical. Others are pure speculative. But it is interesting to reflect on why this happens to me. Do I need to face the facts about my inherent prejudices against muscular women, even though I’m one of the most vocal proponents of female bodybuilders on the Internet (or at least, on WordPress)? Or does this mean that at the end of the day, I appreciate traditional beauty above all else? Or am I so accustomed to seeing muscles on a woman that its affects are starting to wane on me?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down there! Can it be true that I’m getting desensitized to the sight of a muscular woman? Have I plunged so far into the deep end of the pool that looking upon the strong powerful body of Rene Campbell elicits the same reaction as looking upon the narrow skinny body of Taylor Swift?

I’m not showing disrespect to either Rene Campbell or Taylor Swift, but is my brain adjusting to the reality that not only do I think that muscles on a woman are beautiful, but it’s now an ordinary thing to look at?

Hm. Probably not. I don’t think I’ll ever get “used to” seeing muscles on a woman’s physique. No matter how many thousands of photos or hours of video I experience watching FBBs show off their beautiful bodies, I highly doubt the jolt of energy that erupts inside me will ever dissipate. My heart will always flutter. The “Madness” will never go away.

But if it does, is that an indication that I’ve become so saturated with muscular women that I’ve finally accepted that this body type is both “normal” and “not out of the ordinary?” Is this progress or a signal that I’ve become a female bodybuilder junkie, where my usual “fix” isn’t good enough to sustain my appetites?

Alright, this discussion is getting weird. I’m probably overthinking a fairly normal phenomenon. I like pretty faces. That’s it, end of debate. But like all topics related to female bodybuilders, muscular women, and analyzing why people like me love them so damn much, there are endless things to talk about. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I look forward to being able to dig a little deeper next time.

For Female Bodybuilding Fans, Workout Videos are Our Porn

The next generation of female bodybuilding, Shannon Courtney.

The next generation of female bodybuilding, Shannon Courtney.

We all have our own vices.

Some of us like to gamble. Others like to party “in da club” till the wee hours of the morning. There are some who enjoy high-fat and high-sugary foods a little too much. How about smoking? Or excessive drinking? Or, *gasp* hitting the Mary Jane a few times here and there?

Unless you’re an ascetic monk living high in the Tibetan mountains, most of us have vices that we’re either proud of or wish would remain a secret. But let’s face it. Unless your vice hurts someone else, what’s the true harm? I, for example, am not one to claim to be a police officer of “outstanding character.”

Another popular vice that many of us share is pornography. Whether we’re talking about late night pay-per-view skin flicks, dirty magazines, snuff films, or good-old-fashioned Internet porn, we all know what we’re dealing with. Porn is everywhere in our society. On the cover of magazines, in popular movies, in clothing store advertisements, in music videos…everywhere. Not just hidden underneath your mattress or behind the playground monkey bars. Both softcore and hardcore porn (however you define either term) is saturated in our culture.

It’s so saturated, we sometimes forget what we’re seeing. Most of us would point to a Jenna Jameson video and say with definitive confidence, “That’s porn!” However, we might look at a Beyoncé music video and say, “Well, it’s not quite porn, but it is quite risqué. I would say…that’s NOT porn.” Fair enough. Everyone has the right to hold their own standards.

The real definition of “pornography” is as follows: “Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.”

This photo of Lisa Cross might give me a heart attack if I stare at it long enough. But I'd die a happy man.

This photo of Lisa Cross might give me a heart attack if I stare at it long enough. But I’d die a happy man.

Basically, porn is media that’s intended to turn you on. It doesn’t have to be explicit. It doesn’t even have to be visual. Written erotica can constitute as porn if we assume a wide all-inclusive definition. Are risqué music videos or provocative fashion ads intended to sexually arouse you? Well, not primarily. They’re intended to persuade you to buy record albums and clothing. But if the adage that “sex sells” is true – which nobody would argue it isn’t – certainly eliciting an erotic response is one of the tactics used to convert advertising media to sales.

Alright. We’ve established that porn is everywhere. We’ve also discussed that porn can manifest itself in a variety of ways, not all of them explicit. Porn can also have objectives outside of just turning you on, such as convincing you to open your wallet and buy something. Other objectives could include persuading you to think about a social issue in a different way (nude PSAs by PETA, anyone?) or inspiring you toward self-improvement (pole dance aerobics isn’t just for exercise, people!).

This all ties in to female muscle fandom, trust me. What, did you think this post would be totally unrelated to what my blog is primarily about? I start with this simple question:

As a female muscle fan, what turns you on the most?

Many of us would answer with traditional responses like FBBs masturbating, FBBs having sex with scrawny guys (or each other), FBBs dancing around in the nude, FBBs glamorously posing in the nude, etc. Essentially, we get turned on by FBBs doing things in from of the camera that traditional looking women also do in mainstream porn. But if there’s one thing I understand about female muscle lovers, it’s that we’re especially turned on by something else entirely, something that’s not necessarily X-rated.

Workout videos.

Or, more specifically, videos of female bodybuilders doing what they do best: building their bodies at the gym.

When I say “workout videos,” the image that probably immediately pops into your head is that of what Denise Austin and Jane Fonda created in the 80s and 90s. Or maybe those old-school Tao Bo videos by Billy Blanks. Ah, yes. Those were the days. The good old days of cheesy music, bad camera angles, bright yellow stretch pants and enough sweat to fill a small lake. I can’t imagine what it must’ve smelled like in those studios. Yuck.

But, no. These are not the type of workout videos I am referring to. Instead, I’m referring to amateurish or semi-professional looking videos of female bodybuilders pumping iron in the gym. They could be shot on a cell phone camera, a store bought camcorder, or perhaps an actual professional-quality video camera. They could be shot for Flex magazine, Bodybuilding.com or for the FBB’s own personal brand. Quality notwithstanding, the idea stays the same: video footage of beautiful athletes doing what they do best.

For female bodybuilding fans, workout videos are our porn. They are what turns us on the most. They titillate us unlike any other media. We find them more arousing than videos that are explicitly sexual in nature. Sound strange? Let me explain what I’m talking about.

As female bodybuilding fans, we don’t just love the final product. Yes, of course images of Alina Popa or Lisa Cross looking ripped and contest-ready can be a divine spectacle to behold, but we’re just as interested in the process it took them to look that way in addition to drooling over how they eventually look.

What’s arousing about female bodybuilders isn’t just that they look so damn sexy, it’s also the fact that they have to bust their butt in order to look that good. There’s something about the strenuous nature of bodybuilding that makes these athletes so remarkable. Female bodybuilders are especially intriguing because their looks are both unconventional and supremely difficult to attain (and maintain).

This is why a grainy 90-second clip shot on an iPhone of a female bodybuilder, completely covered in sweat pants and an old t-shirt, squatting 300+ pounds is way more erotic than watching two silicone-enhanced teeny boppers sucking on each other’s clits with awful automated music playing in the background. If I were a sheltered teenage boy, the latter might excite me like no other. But as an adult, that stuff bores me to death. It’s unexciting. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s disgusting.

Watching two nameless 18-year-old women engaging in sex acts with total lack of interest or passion while moaning from an orgasm so fake it belongs in a can of Velveeta cheese isn’t erotic. It’s dumb. It’s an insult to my intelligence. It’s sophomoric. It’s a shame to the word “erotic.” I’m not necessarily knocking on those who actually like this sort of thing (I’m just kidding – I am knocking on you!), but get with the program, people! Doesn’t authenticity count for something anymore?

Ah, yes. Now we get to the heart of the matter. Authenticity. Workout videos are authentic. I’ve seen a fair share of fake or staged workout videos, but the ones that are real are so fun to watch because it gives you a brief glimpse into the process it takes to transform a woman’s body from “sexy” to “All-Powerful Goddess.”

If more women looked like Mavi Gioia at the gym, I'd go there every single day of my life.

If more women looked like Mavi Gioia at the gym, I’d go there every single day of my life.

But it’s not just about the process of becoming a bodybuilder or the authentic nature of these videos that excite us so much. There’s something unspeakably tantalizing about watching a woman work hard to achieve her dreams. Maybe it’s because a lot of us guys aren’t accustomed to seeing women lift heavy at the gym. There’s an Internet meme that says that “A girl in the gym is much hotter than a girl in the club.” I would agree with that wholeheartedly. But why do I feel that way exactly?

Maybe it goes back to the meritocratic nature of our society. We love female bodybuilders because they earn their beauty. Not every one of us is born with a beautiful face or flawless skin. But we can (to an extent) control the rest of us. A bodybuilder does exactly that. They are in complete control of their physical selves, even to the point that it becomes an obsession. A ripped body is something you earn with your sweat and labor. Mother Nature may not have given you other natural physical gifts, but if you want six-pack abs, you can go out and get it. If you have the willpower to do whatever is necessary to get it, of course.

Another reason why we love watching women lift is because it goes against our collective history. Historically, men were the laborers and women were the caretakers. Men were expected to do all the heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively. The fact that men are naturally stronger than women explains a lot of this. But these gendered roles still in many regards persist to the present day. So when we’re in the gym – and I should hurry up and say that the “workout video” thing could also apply to stealing peeks at women lifting at the gym – and we see a cute girl deadlifting more than her own bodyweight, it’s pretty damn sexy to watch. Very damn sexy.

Breaking the old rules of male/female roles? Making an effort to sculpt a sexy body instead of relying on plastic surgery, deceptive clothing (padded bras, for example) and heavily caked-on makeup? Yes, please!

Workout videos, and seeing up-close-and-personal women lifting heavy weights, are without a doubt our porn of choice. Regardless of the production values or quality of the video footage, this excites us more than anything. Here’s an example:

On Lisa Cross’ Facebook page, she’s uploaded a short video that illustrates exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a ridiculously short clip of her squatting a ton of weight on a hack squat machine. In the brief 41-second video, we can hardly even see Lisa. We can’t see her face. Nor her full figure. In fact, she’s as completely covered as a nun. No sexy revealing clothing. Nothing glamourous happening here. But she’s lifting a jaw-dropping amount of weight. And you can clearly hear her grunting as she squats up and down. Her heavy breathing isn’t exactly orgasmic, but its resemblance is impossible to ignore. But most important, you truly get the sense that she’s working her tail off. This isn’t showing off for the camera. This isn’t staged. This isn’t theatre of any sorts. This is authentic. She’s actually working out with the real intent of getting stronger and bigger. This is the master artist in action. She didn’t earn my nickname for her, “Lisa Cross, the British Bombshell,” just by sitting on her butt, watching TV and eating potato chips all day long. She’s a beautiful sexy Goddess because she’s willing to do the dirty work a lot of us aren’t too keen to do.

That might be the best explanation yet. The Dirty Work. Porn videos are also known as “dirty videos” because they show people engaging in unclean, filthy sex acts (as dubbed by certain folks). But ironically, workout videos of FBBs doing the dirty work of heavy lifting, grunting, sweating and torturing themselves for the sake of self-improvement are way more sexually exciting than watching two nameless bozos who can’t act have unemotional sex with each other. That stuff is a dime a dozen. Witnessing an elite female bodybuilder work on her craft is like watching Laurence Olivier perform Shakespeare, Luciano Pavarotti sing opera or Itzhak Perlman play the violin. You cannot look away from watching the elites do what they do best. The rest of us mortals can only stare and passively watch.

To reiterate a previous point, men who love muscular women aren’t just interested in the final product. We’re also interested in the process it took to achieve that final product. Workout videos, and other related media, excite us for reasons we can’t fully explain. Watching that video clip of Lisa Cross – and for the record, you can hardly even tell it’s actually Lisa! – genuinely gives me the chills. It makes my heart skip a beat. It’s a feeling I can’t explain, but every female muscle fan knows what I’m talking about. But it’s not just this particular clip. It’s the thousands of others like it.

Alina Popa doing leg lifts. Debi Laszewski doing lateral pulldowns. Colette Nelson bench pressing. Brandi Mae Akers doing bicep curls. Lindsay Mulinazzi deadlifting. Jana Linke-Sippl killing her arms on a bicep machine. Shannon Courtney punishing her rock-hard quads at the gym. Mavi Gioia doing triceps extensions. The list goes on. And these are videos that I’ve seen. No doubt there are countless more like them out there on the Internet ready for us to drool over.

The larger point is that female muscle fans love strong women for a variety of reasons. It’s not just about lust or appreciating a certain aesthetic. Female bodybuilders are unique in so many ways. They have a quality to them that’s almost impossible to describe, but equally impossible to ignore. Once you’re hooked, you instantly “get it.” You understand their appeal and even begin to wonder why you didn’t notice them earlier. I honestly cannot believe why I didn’t become attracted to FBBs sooner. I really started to notice them when I was 18 and a freshman in college. And how did it start? I was researching workout videos online and stumbled upon amateurish clips of beautiful women lifting at the gym.

Well, viola! There you go. For many of us, including me, workout videos were what got us hooked in the first place. So there’s a reason why they hold a special place in our hearts. The element of sentimental value is also at play here. Maybe that explains a lot. Maybe there’s something about witnessing a beautiful woman exert herself at the gym that lights a fire inside our souls. It begins the “Madness,” as the expert blogger Female Muscle Slave puts it.

Come to think of it, calling workout videos “porn” cheapens what they mean to us. “Porn” is what people view to fulfill a momentary sexual urge. Workout videos, on the other hand, have a more spiritual component attached to them. It’s like a music lover watching Sir Georg Solti conduct Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Or a great philosopher delivering a lecture on the state of the universe. It’s poetry in motion. Watching a strong, muscular woman lift is like a religious experience, or to put it in more easy-to-digest secular terms – it is art. Female bodybuilders are artists. And watching them lift is like watching a painter paint, or a sculptor sculpt, or a musician compose.

Female bodybuilders are masterpieces of human achievement. And witnessing them transform into who they are is as enticing as it gets. Just ask any one of us. All we can do it sit back, relax and indulge in the captivating beauty on full display before our eyes.

The Wow Factor

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

I’ve finally figured it out. In all my years of my female muscle fandom, I’ve never really been able to put into succinct words why I love muscular women so much.

Sure, long essays can explain the bread and butter of why I find female bodybuilders and athletes so appealing. I can even post a ton of photos of my favorite FBBs for all of you to salivate over. But that still doesn’t even begin to describe why exactly we love them.

But now I’ve got it figured out. Finally.

Simply put:

The Wow Factor.

That’s it. The Wow Factor. “Wow” is a word we use to describe something so amazing, Earth-shattering, incredible and astonishing that no other monosyllabic utterance could do it justice. Wow. You could substitute that for “whoa,” but let’s not confuse our female muscle fandom for the vernacular of California surfer dudes or college stoner kids. I’m talking about something else here.

Wow. Just…wow.

The Wow Factor is my best way of describing it.

Women like Debi Laszewski are so damn beautiful that “wow” is the only way I can properly react when I see a photo of her. Yes, “Damn girl” or “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn” are also sufficient substitutes, but I’m not interested in catcalling Ms. Laszewski like a dirty-minded construction worker on his lunch break.

I’m interested in communicating what’s on my mind. And “wow” is the only thing on my mind. Is there any other way to put it?

How can this image of Victoria Dominguez lifting this heavy weight not turn you on?

How can this image of Victoria Dominguez lifting this heavy weight not turn you on?

But it’s not just about putting your feelings into words. It’s describing your gut reaction the moment your brain processes what your eyes have just seen. The millisecond your mind realizes that it just saw an image of a strong, gorgeous woman showing off her hard work in all its erotic glory – you can’t possibly articulate what that feels like. No way. It’s a feeling that hits you on a level that goes way beyond mere “attraction.”

It’s not just lust. It’s not just turning your head when you see a pretty woman walking past you and thinking to yourself, “That’s one fine looking lady.” That happens all the time (at least, it happens to me all the time!). The Wow Factor goes way further. The Wow Factor isn’t an everyday occurrence. The Wow Factor changes the way you think. It changes the way you look at women (all women, not just those of the muscular variety). It changes the way you behave. It changes your paradigm.

This Wow Factor explains why bloggers like me continue to post pictures and essays about female muscle nonstop. This explains why guys like me are willing to pay $350 for an hour-long muscle worship session with a complete stranger in a hotel room. This explains why we can’t get enough of those glorious FBBs and their immaculate beauty.

The Wow Factor is a visceral gut reaction you can’t control. Here’s an anecdote for you. As strange as it sounds, sometimes I occasionally forget why I love female muscle in the first place. It’s sort of like a professional baseball player who’s played for 10 years in the league but lacks passion because he plays for a terrible team. But the moment his team catches fire and he’s playing in Game 7 of the World Series, suddenly his childhood love for the game returns and he’s playing with rejuvenated energy.

He suddenly remembers why he loves the game. The nervous energy. The thrill of competition. The joy of victory. The heart-wrenching depression of defeat. That child-like love for the game all of a sudden returns in that moment when you’re actually playing for something.

A rising star, Jill Rudison.

A rising star, Jill Rudison.

I sometimes get like that in regards to my female muscle fandom. I know I love strong women, but all it takes is a singular image of Alina Popa flexing her large, beautiful biceps wearing nothing but a microscopic thong bikini, and…I suddenly remember why I think Ms. Popa is a gift from God. I’ve always known that, but The Wow Factor hits me like a semi-truck blindsiding me out of nowhere and I’m instantaneously reminded why I feel the way I feel.

It’s a feeling that causes you to stare at your computer screen with your jaw dropped to the floor and your heart ceasing to beat. It makes me forget that other women exist in this world.

Lisa Cross. Denise Masino. Lindsay Mulinazzi. Angela Salvagno. Victoria Dominguez. Nikki Fuller. Yvette Bova. Amber DeLuca. Autumn Raby. Gayle Moher. Lauren Powers. Annie Rivieccio. Brandi Mae Akers. Jill Rudison. Shannon Courtney. Desiree Ellis. Jana Linke-Sippl. Lora Ottenad. Brenda Raganot. Monica Martin. Gracyanne Barbosa. Juliana Malacarne. Karen Zaremba. Michele Levesque. Sheila Bleck. Monica Brant. Lisa Marie Bickels. Lenda Murray. Iris Kyle. Julie Bourassa. Kris Murrell. Sondra Faas. Vilma Caez. Kris Clark. Melissa Dettwiller.

The list goes on and on and on. This doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Pick anyone on this list and spend five minutes doing a Google Images search on her. I guarantee you’ll be hooked within seconds. You’ll be completely enraptured by her power, beauty and strength. Her feminine prowess and physical stature will make you as hapless as a little puppy dog. You’ll totally forget why you used to ogle at the rail-thin supermodels in the Sears catalog (if you actually at one time did that, I’m really sorry!).

The Wow Factor exemplified in Larissa Reis.

The Wow Factor exemplified in Larissa Reis.

This is what it’s like to experience The Wow Factor. You’re struck by a lightning bolt and feel like there is no definition of “beauty” other than what you’ve just witnessed.

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason why there’s so much animosity against female bodybuilders. Haters (who are, pardon the expression, going to hate) have never experienced The Wow Factor. They’ve instead experienced The Ew Factor. The Gross Factor. The Utterly Disgusting Factor. The Why-the-Hell-Would-Anyone-Want-To-Look-Like-That Factor. It saddens me when people choose to shut themselves out from a certain part of life. True, no one has an obligation to like female muscle, but why say “no!” when instead you can choose “sure, why not?”

It’s clear to me that someone who says they’re repulsed by female bodybuilders say that mostly because deep down inside they’re insecure about themselves. They don’t feel secure in their masculinity. They don’t feel secure in their femininity. They react negatively to what they don’t understand or want to understand. They insult others because the only way for them to feel good about themselves is to bring down everyone else. This is a vicious cycle that especially comes out on the Internet. Anonymity brings out the worst in us. There’s no harm in expressing your true feelings when nobody knows your name. Insecurity and a forum for acting upon that insecurity can be a hurtful combination.

One can never see enough photos of Karen Zaremba.

One can never see enough photos of Karen Zaremba.

It should be obvious to anyone who follows the sport of female bodybuilding that the industry is pushing our favorite ladies off to the side and telling them “we don’t want you as much as we did in the past.” People may have wanted to see you on the cover of magazines thirty years ago, but that’s all changed now. Iris Kyle will never be a sports superstar. No way. We don’t care how many Ms. Olympia titles she’s won. We don’t care how dominating she is in her sport. None of that is relevant. What speaks is dollars. And, quite frankly, she doesn’t bring in the dollars like others can. Sorry. You lose. Better luck next time.

Does this make you angry? To anyone who’s experienced The Wow Factor, it should.

Additionally, The Wow Factor affects you in one other way: It makes you defensive whenever you feel like your passions are being attacked. How many times have you been told that female bodybuilders look “gross?” How often do you read articles about the decline of female bodybuilding and you just want to throw your computer against the wall? Does replacing the sport with pole dancing competitions make you want to face-palm over and over again till your forehead turns beet red?

These reactions are classic examples of wanting to defend what you love. The Wow Factor makes us feel as though any attack on a strong woman is also an attack on us. Insult the sport of female bodybuilding on a public forum? Expect fans from across the world to fight back. Someone wants to deny Alina Popa’s right to climb the mountaintops and finally win the Ms. Olympia? In no time will you see her countless fans defending her on her behalf.

Gracyanne Barbosa. Baby got back.

Gracyanne Barbosa. Baby got back.

Though this negative energy can be seen as a bad thing, anything can be used for something positive. Being angry and defensive all the time will get you nowhere. A more constructive use of these emotions is to become pro-active. There are a lot of things we can do to make sure female bodybuilding doesn’t become extinct. Write letters. Send e-mails. Boycott those who vigorously marginalize the FBBs we idolize. Buy books and magazines promoting female muscle. Open your wallets and hearts to the women we adore. Openly support these athletes as if they truly are our best friends. Don’t let society dictate what you find beautiful. Do what you can to make these amazing athletes more mainstream.

What if one day female muscle becomes more mainstream? Imagine a world where gorgeous women like Larissa Reis are seen in the media as often as we see Kate Upton. Think about how awesome it would be if we can turn on the summer Olympics and instead of being perplexed by the presence of strong women, we can just sit back and enjoy watching her hard work being proudly displayed on the world’s brightest stage.

Instead of thinking to ourselves, “Ew!” we can have a more complimentary reaction:

“Wow.”

2013 in Review – The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi

Happy New Year! I leave you with this photo of Larissa Reis. No particular reason, other than the fact it's an awesome photo of a gorgeous woman.

Happy New Year! I leave you with this photo of Larissa Reis. No particular reason, other than the fact it’s an awesome photo of a gorgeous woman.

Happy New Year, dear readers! I sincerely wish 2014 will be a blessed year for all of you.

Personally, 2013 was an awesome year for me. Yes, I had my ups and downs, but who didn’t? All in all, I can honestly say that I had moments in 2013 that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I’ll make sure to share some of these moments in a future blog post.

So, I wish all of you a tremendous 2014. Thank you for reading my writing in 2013. I am continuously humbled by how many people from all corners of the globe stumble upon my blog on a daily basis. I had no idea my blog would be this popular when I first started this thing back in May of 2012.

Peace be with all of you. I leave you with my 2013 in review, thanks to WordPress.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 92,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.