The Slayers of Men

Selma Labat is a true slayer of anyone who gets in her way.

A common way we frame female bodybuilders is through the archetype of “Slayers of Men.” Within this framework, female bodybuilders are strong independent women who are here to smash gender stereotypes, the so-called “patriarchy,” and the notion that women are destined to be the weaker sex.

This explains why FBBs are often described as queens and goddesses. They are conquerors, leaders, rulers, creators, destroyers, punishers, and decision-makers. This, of course, has more to do with our fantasies involving FBBs rather than how we actually view FBBs. There’s some overlap, but the “Female Bodybuilders as Slayers of Men” trope exists more in our imaginations than in our literal fears.

In real life, female bodybuilders aren’t anymore violent than normal women. Sure, they have the capacity to cause more bodily harm than most, but that’s not the same thing. I’d rather take a punch to the face from Sarah Paulson than Sarah Hayes, but either way neither of them mean any harm to me unless I pose a direct threat first. Which is unlikely.

It is true that the mere existence of female bodybuilders challenges what we’ve previously thought about gender roles and biology – and this fact cannot be underestimated. But there is a big difference between admitting that “women can become stronger than men if they work hard enough” versus “a man ceases to be a man once a woman is able to lift more than him at the gym.” The former is a statement of fact. The latter is a subtle (or not so subtle) admission of insecurity.

There are many reasons why certain guys fear female bodybuilders. They fear them because they’re jealous. They fear them because they remind them that their title of “the stronger sex” isn’t guaranteed. They fear them because FBBs destroy any excuse they have about not getting bigger or stronger. They fear them because FBBs give permission to other women to get stronger – both physically and emotionally – and not take unnecessary bullshit from ungrateful jerks like them.

Oof.

But it should be obvious that these fears say more about (certain) guys than they do about FBBs in general. Guys who aren’t sexist jerks love strong women because they have no reason to be fearful or disgusted by them. If anything, we have every incentive to lift them up, celebrate them, and appreciate their impressive achievements. Female bodybuilders do not challenge our masculinity because real masculinity and strong femininity can peacefully co-exist together. They are not enemies, but rather two sides of the same coin.

Raquel Arranz looking as though she could defeat an entire army by herself.

Men who feel belittled by muscular women are actually expressing deep-rooted anxiety about themselves. FBBs remind them of their own weaknesses – both literal and figurative. That isn’t to say that guys who love FBBs are inherently stronger or possess rare emotional fortitude. Instead, guys who love muscular women have learned to move on beyond a cheap, surface-level understanding of gender roles, biology, and relationships. If a rising tide lifts all boats, muscular women also lift up all men.

One other way to look at female bodybuilders is to think of them as surrogate punishers for past sins. They are like movie monsters; larger-than-life creatures who act as destroyers sent to us to teach us all a lesson. Godzilla is Mother Nature’s way of punishing humankind for its sins of environmental degradation. King Kong is an allegorical reminder that pillaging, plundering, and economic exploitation are sins that will one day come back to haunt you. Even in the heart of New York City, a bright shining symbol of Western Civilization’s technological and social progress. Likewise, female bodybuilders are the physical embodiment of mankind’s punishment for sexism, misogyny, domestic violence, and structural gender-based oppression. Maybe not in the literal sense, but certainly in the symbolic sense.

Female bodybuilders aren’t lurking in the shadows ready to bash in the heads of guys who blurt out unsolicited catcalls or grab women’s butts, of course. That’s an avant-garde Frank Miller graphic novel just waiting to be written! However, from a psychological point of view FBBs essentially play that same role; as a constant reminder that if you’re not careful, women can strike back when provoked. And they can surpass you in terms of strength and size if you’re not on top of your game.

Even if the significance is more symbolic than literal, there is something to be said about female bodybuilders acting as proxy “Slayers of Rude, Idiotic Men” and, at the same time, allies of “Kind, Gentlemanly Men.” These battles don’t have to transpire on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in order for them to have real substance. All they have to do is exist in our minds.

Because this is where the real battles are fought: in our minds. FBBs are often viewed as the Slayers of Men because either we fear that they are or we wish that they could be. It’s sort of like imagining Brandi Mae Akers riding on top of a fire-breathing dragon as it incinerates a town down below, Game of Thrones style. Except in this case it’s Miss Akers who’s slaying the hapless townspeople, not the dragon. Whether Brandi Mae ever ends up ruling her kingdom is a secondary matter. What’s really at stake is whether or not she taught those insubordinate plebeians down below a lesson.

And in this hypothetical scenario, it matters whether you’re rooting for Brandi Mae to succeed or wishing that she’ll fail. Do you love her or fear her? Which is it?

In the real world, this paradigm doesn’t have to exist. Female bodybuilders don’t have to be the actual or figurative Slayers of Men. They can be the Allies of Men. That is, if enough men agree to join in this mutually beneficial partnership. A strong woman does not invalidate the masculine identity of a man – no matter how “wrong” or “contradictory” it may feel. One could argue that there is no such thing as “masculine” and “feminine” qualities in any objective sense. I cannot speak to how valid that perspective is, but I understand where it comes from. For the time being, let’s assume that masculine and feminine characteristics are real – at least from a cultural standpoint.

Do not get Heather Armbrust angry!

Masculinity and femininity aren’t two separate spheres in which there is no overlap. On the contrary, there is plenty of crossover. Or maybe, our definitions of these two words are too broad. “Strength” is neither a masculine nor feminine quality. It’s both. Or neither. Maybe it exists on a list of things that aren’t gendered. I’ve argued before that female bodybuilders don’t redefine femininity so much as they expand it. They transform our thinking in regards to gender by forcing us to not think outside the box, but to shatter the box with a sledgehammer. Men and women are different, but not as different as you might think. Or, those differences are arbitrary. Or, those differences can change depending on who we’re talking about.

Your status as a “man” isn’t defined by how many masculine qualities you exhibit. This is because our definition of “masculinity” is unto itself subjective. Nor does it mean that women can’t also showcase a few “masculine” traits without compromising their feminine status. This all sounds complicated because what we’re really arguing about here is definition of words, not objective ideas. Words are more than what the dictionary says they mean. Words also carry heavy cultural connotations, historic baggage, and emotional context. None of those things can be properly conveyed by a simple one sentence definition.

Long story short, who you are as a man isn’t predicated on who women are as well. The same is true going the opposite direction. Seeing a strong muscular woman deadlift more than you at the gym doesn’t mean you’re “less of a man” or not “measuring up” to who you’re supposed to be. We are all allowed to go at our own pace. That woman, whom we’ll nickname Deadlift Lady, exists on her own plain. She is an island, floating around in an ocean full of deep-rooted cultural expectations. The same goes for every guy at that gym lifting weights near her. They are also islands – one particular colloquial expression notwithstanding. Let’s say Typical Dude is deadlifting next to her. He can only lift 215 pounds for one rep. Not bad, but not terribly impressive. But let’s say Deadlift Lady is lifting 375 pounds for 10 reps. That’s quite a lot. Way more than Typical Dude. What do we make of this situation?

Well, not much.

Typical Dude is going at his own pace. He’s setting his own personal agenda. His goals are his and his alone. As long as he’s happy, that’s all we need to know about him. Deadlift Lady, on the other hand, is also going at her own pace. Her personal agenda is probably much different than her male counterpart. After all, no lady who’s deadlifting 375 pounds does so by accident! There’s intention going on here. She’s worked her whole life to make it to this point. The biggest takeaway from this scenario is that the existence of one does not invalidate the existence of the other.

Would you be intimidated if you saw Shannon Courtney lifting next to you at the gym?

They are two human beings working out. They are trying to improve their strength, health, vitality, confidence, self-esteem, and sense of purpose. He may feel slightly insecure lifting in proximity to her, but that’s perfectly okay. And understandable. But it’s not because he has a real reason to feel insecure. It’s because the culture he lives in tells him that he should feel bad. He has no actual reason to feel that way. Deadlift Lady’s remarkable accomplishments do not denigrate or invalidate the accomplishments of Typical Dude. They are two unique, vulnerable human beings trying to make their way through this hostile universe.

Deadlift Lady isn’t slaying Typical Dude. No matter what people around them are saying or thinking, no one is getting “owned” by these two individuals existing side-by-side. They can co-exist because one does not overrule the other. Strong women do not automatically make men weaker. Guys who feel threatened by strong women feel that way because they’re recognize their own shortcomings. The presence of a strong woman makes those feelings bubble to the surface faster than a malfunctioning submarine. Strong women do not make guys feel inadequate; they only bring out those feelings that already exist.

Female bodybuilders not only directly challenge one’s sense of masculine superiority, they also force us to reevaluate how we draw that line between men and women. Is it a hard line in the sand, or one that can easily be washed away by the rising tide?

Do not fear Kathy Johansson. Instead, lift her up!

Strength and weakness. Confidence and insecurity. Superiority and inferiority. Action and inaction. Accomplished and unproven. Happiness and fear. Self-love and self-loathing. Assuredness and doubt. Self-satisfaction and the endless need to prove one’s self.

These feelings are real, even if the reasons they exist are subjective.

The sooner we realize men and strong women are not in conflict with each other, the better off we’ll all be. Better yet, future generations will thank us. Alas, we are not there yet, but I pray one day we will be. Perhaps we can all make an impact, one grueling deadlift repetition at a time.

Strong women are not the Slayers of Men. Men who hate themselves and other women are the actual Slayers of Men. And how do we defeat this mortal enemy?

Easy. In addition to lifting those weights, lift up the people around you.

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The Hyperfeminine Muscular Woman

Minna Pajulahti is too hot for words.

Female bodybuilders are no strangers to the hurtful accusation that they’re not actually women. That they aren’t feminine enough. That they’re turning into men or want to become men. That men aren’t going to like them because of their muscles. That “real women” don’t look like that. That they actually look like men. That they’re confused about their gender.

And so on and so forth.

These slurs are so common I’m guessing most FBBs have achieved the ability to mentally block them out. They have a filter installed in their brain that allows them to ignore stupid opinions that have no merit. At least, I hope so. I cannot imagine how dreadfully annoying it is to have your appearance mocked just because you choose to lift weights, supplement, and bulk up like any other gym bro. Or that your personal definition of “empowerment” requires you to look different than the other girls – and that not everybody is on board with that.

Because of this toxic reality, it is not surprising that many female bodybuilders have decided – whether this is intentional or not is difficult to assess – to counter these slanders by presenting themselves in explicitly feminine terms. Think of it as compensating for their lack of “traditional femininity” by acting more outwardly feminine than they normally would.

Some examples of this include:

  • Getting breast implants
  • Wearing a lot of makeup (even more than usual)
  • Wearing sexy dresses
  • Wearing stylish clothing
  • Smiling, laughing, giggling, and doing whatever she can to appear less “threatening”
  • Posting pictures on Instagram of her doing traditionally “feminine” activities like trying on new clothes, shoe shopping, kissing her boyfriend/husband, playing with dogs, playing with kids, being a “mom,” cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • Promoting brands/products/stores that are traditionally aimed at women
  • Doing porn in which she has sex with men, with the man (or group of men) being in the “dominant” role and the muscular woman in the “submissive” role
  • Or doing porn where the man and muscular woman are equals
  • Choosing not to talk if her voice is too low
  • Doing photoshoots in which her face is edited to look more feminine and less hard edged
  • Avoiding talking about steroids, hormonal supplements, and anything that can be perceived as compromising her “womanhood”

It saddens me to think that female bodybuilders do these things not because they want to but because they feel like they have to. Yet, I am torn on this topic. On one hand, I am a strong believer that everybody has the right to craft their own identity to be whatever they want it to be. They shouldn’t give in to pressure to conform, fit in, or go with the flow. On the other hand, if being “traditionally feminine” is what they genuinely want to do, then nothing should stop them from being that. It’s a tough line to draw in the sand because I do not know what every FBB is thinking and feeling.

Don’t mess with Jayne Trcka. She has handcuffs!

Maybe some FBBs actually enjoy doing activities that are considered “feminine.” Or maybe they do it because they don’t want to alienate anybody. Or, like I said before, they want to appear less “threatening,” as if the sight of a woman with big muscles is somehow considered inherently threatening. Threatening to whom, exactly?

The Hyperfeminine Muscular Woman is a fascinating case study. What do we think of her? Is she compromising her identity by pretending to be something she isn’t, or is that who she really is?

At the end of the day, we don’t really know. But I do know this phenomenon does exist. For example, I can’t recall where I saw this but I remember reading an Instagram post in which Minna Pajulahti says she sometimes acts overtly feminine because she doesn’t want people to think of female bodybuilders as not being real women. That’s paraphrasing her rationale, unfortunately. So she does things like deadlift a crazy amount of weight, drop the bar to the floor, and strike a Beyoncé-like pose at the end as the “kicker.” Why dance around and strike diva poses? Because it reinforces her femininity, which apparently gets compromised when she’s deadlifting, squatting, bench pressing, and lift a ton of weight.

I am not criticizing Minna, of course. I love her and would never do that! But I will acknowledge that I think it’s a bit sad that she feels the need to do this. Not tragic, but mildly sad. Being strong doesn’t mean she isn’t feminine. Doing masculine-labeled activities does not mean she isn’t feminine. Having a nontraditional physique does not mean she isn’t feminine. All of that is complete and utter bullshit.

Minna Pajulahti is a feminine woman. So is Victoria Dominguez. And Kathy Connors. And Jennifer Kennedy. And Gillian Kovack. And Rene Campbell. And Wanda Moore. And Lauren Powers. And Rhonda Lee Quaresma. And Dena Westerfield. And many, many others.

What do all these beautiful women have in common? They’ve all had their feminine identities questioned. Or challenged. Or denied. I’ve seen them labeled “trannies” or “dykes” and other idiotic slurs. The stupidity of people who feel compelled to insult and troll innocent people is boundless. But that is the world we live in today.

Rene Campbell isn’t here for your rude comments.

What makes the existence of the Hyperfeminine Muscular Woman so frustrating is that we don’t know if it’s genuine or not. Are they acting overtly feminine because that’s who they truly are or because that’s how they think society wants them to be? To segment that last part even further, do they act aggressively feminine because they want to be accepted by society (whatever that means) or because they feel the need to overcompensate? The negative stereotypes that surround female bodybuilders are real, hurtful, and pervasive. Perhaps some FBBs feel compelled to dispel these perceptions by acting way more feminine than they’d normally want to. Either way, it’s sad.

It’s sad because I don’t want any muscular woman to act differently just because they want to please others. That’s heartbreaking. I want female bodybuilders to be who they are and not apologize for it. If being traditionally feminine is who they are, so be it. If they feel more comfortable being “butch” or androgynous, so be it. If acting and appearing more masculine is what floats their boat, so be it. Regardless, I just want every FBB to feel at home in their own skin. Whatever that entails.

But I don’t want to dismiss the fact that outside perceptions do matter, even if we don’t want them to. As individuals, we do have to conform to certain social standards if we want to fit in. At least, whenever we’re in public. Especially in the professional world. Being viewed as a scary butch devil lady may be fun as an online persona, but it’s not going to help you land any customer service jobs. Many FBBs are also personal trainers. They can’t appear too intimidating if they want to gain new clients.

There’s also the moral obligation to consider on top of this. When female bodybuilders choose to act and look “hyperfeminine,” are they actually doing harm to femininity without realizing it? For example, we tend to hold narrow views of what masculinity and femininity look like. It shouldn’t take a Gillette ad campaign to tell us that. Shouldn’t FBBs act however they want to act as a statement that “feminine” can be a much larger tent than it currently is? This could also challenge whether or not “masculinity” and “femininity” are real things. Or to what extent we’re allowed to box in people in these categories.

Roxanne Edwards slaying the bodybuilding stage.

It’s unfair to demand that every popular female bodybuilder is obliged to be an ambassador for female bodybuilders everywhere. They are not symbols. They are individuals. Yet, this obligation is unavoidable. Every time an FBB makes an appearance on TV or in a mainstream Hollywood movie, they represent FBBs as a whole – whether they want to or not. Jayne Trcka appeared in Scary Movie (2000) as the comically androgynous gym teacher Miss Mann. She was great in it, even though I cringe watching her scene. It plays for laughs every single negative stereotype you can imagine regarding muscular women. It reinforces the perceptions that women like Cindy Landolt and Aspen Rae shatter with every new Instagram post. Yet, they aren’t invited to appear in movies or TV shows.

But I am not criticizing Jayne. She’s awesome. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and kind. She isn’t traditionally feminine, but there’s no doubt she’s a woman. She’s a 100% woman. She doesn’t have a secret penis tucked between her legs. And I totally understand why she took that role. You don’t say “no” to a mainstream Hollywood gig. Unless you’re Leonardo DiCaprio or Margot Robbie and you have studios begging you to be in their movie, most working actors have to accept whatever job is available to them. So I don’t begrudge Jayne one bit. I don’t blame her. And I hope none of you do either.

Therefore, Hyperfeminine Muscular Women are caught between a rock and a hard place. They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Female bodybuilders who make absolutely no attempt to act more feminine are also making a difficult choice. They’re also stuck in a Catch-22. But at the end of the day, all this boils down to us. Whether we choose to accept a muscular woman for who she is depends entirely on us. Not her. We choose to embrace her butchness if that’s the road she’s chosen to traverse. We also choose to deny her femininity if she doesn’t uphold our personal standards of what femininity means. It’s a choice. A personal choice. We can either love her for who she is…or not.

Personally, I’ve never questioned the gender identity of any female bodybuilder. Even the ones who are the most masculine presenting. The ones with the deep voice, shrunken breasts, abrasive personality, large muscles, masculine facial features, and large bulge in their panties. They are women, even if 99% of us don’t acknowledge it. They aren’t tearing down femininity; they’re redefining it. Or expanding it. Or challenging us to rethink how we define gender as it is.

The truth is that the “Hyperfeminine Muscular Woman” persona is a performance. The Traditionally Feminine Muscular Woman isn’t. Most likely, an FBB who acts really, really, really, really feminine is putting on a show. She’s intentionally playing a part. She’s an actor and all the world’s a stage. And we are the audience, even if some of us are throwing popcorn at the performers like low-life jerks.

Or do you prefer someone as unquestionably feminine as Courtney Tillia?

This makes me sad. As it should all of you who sympathize with these ladies. When push comes to shove, I want every FBB in the world to feel comfortable in their own skin. I want them to embrace themselves. After all, how can anyone love you if you can’t even love yourself? I want every FBB to wake up each morning, look themselves in the mirror, and say to their reflection “Damn, I look good!” I want these ladies to take joy in looking the way they look, regardless of what anyone else says.

If they feel beautiful with a butch haircut, tattoos, and piercings everywhere, I support that.

If they feel beautiful with long flowy hair, glowing skin, and pouty red lips, I support that.

If they feel beautiful wearing makeup, I support that.

If they feel beautiful wearing no makeup, I support that.

If they feel beautiful slaying in a sexy red cocktail dress, I support that.

If they feel beautiful wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, I support that.

If they feel beautiful acting flamboyantly sexy, I support that.

If they feel beautiful acting quiet, humble, and lowkey, I support that.

If they feel beautiful with big bulging muscles, I support that.

If they feel beautiful with smaller curvier muscles, I support that.

If they feel beautiful playing the “tough girl” role, I support that.

If they feel beautiful playing the “nice girl” role, I support that.

Hopefully, you get my point. I want every muscular woman to feel empowered to be who they are. I wish every FBB can one day figure out who they truly are. Not everyone reaches that point of self-realization. This conversation shouldn’t have anything to do with haters, critics, or trolls. They can go to Hell. Instead, this should be more focused on what muscular women want out of their lives. Do they want to change the world, or do they just want to change themselves? It doesn’t matter as long as they eventually find the path they want to walk down.

And once they reach the end of that path, nothing should stand in their way. Not the haters, not anyone. Because it doesn’t matter what anyone says. When a female bodybuilder is at the peak of her powers, she isn’t listening to what the outside world thinks of her. She’s only celebrating her accomplishments, her goals, her dreams, her life. She’s at her most beautiful when she’s doing this one simple thing:

Being herself.

A Muscular Woman is Always Nude in Public, Even When Fully Clothed

Kathy Johansson, a strong black woman in the flesh.

Kathy Johansson, a strong black woman in the flesh.

Female bodybuilders are caught in a perpetual problem. One they can temporarily try to remedy, but one that will always face them as long as they choose to be bodybuilders.

Imagine this scenario: A world class female bodybuilder goes to the grocery store. She walks down the produce section and selects her desired fruits and vegetables. She notices out of the corner of her eye two teenage boys staring at her incessantly. They can’t help themselves. She thinks nothing of it. Then she strolls through the breakfast cereal aisle to choose which granola she wants to eat in the mornings. Once again, she sees a little old grandma straining her weary eyes to determine whether or not the figure in front of her is a male or a female. The old woman doesn’t say a single word, but the FBB knows exactly what she’s thinking. A few moments later, she moves on to the meat section and tries to calculate in her head how many pounds of chicken and steak will last her for the rest of the week. Before she can make a definitive determination, our heroic FBB – almost on cue – spots a family of four pointing at her and whispering to each other. For the third time in the past ten minutes, she blocks out this experience and tries her best to maintain a dignified aura of “normalcy.”

For our hypothetical FBB, this is not a unique sequence of events. This is daily life. This happens all day, every day. There’s no stopping it. But over time, she’s come to expect all this unwanted attention. After all, it is unusual to see a woman with so much muscle on her body. She’s not naïve. She knows the typical person minding their own business doesn’t expect to come across a human female with the muscle mass of an NFL defensive end. But that doesn’t make the feeling of being a “circus freak” go away. It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

This scenario illustrates a simple fact: A muscular woman is always nude in public, even when she’s fully clothed.

As a general rule, public nudity is discouraged in our society. Not just in the Western Euro-American world, but all over the planet. Call it a product of Adam and Eve, the Forbidden Fruit and the Garden of Eden; but whatever the reason is, every single one of us wears clothes for a reason. Besides, we don’t want to freeze to death every winter, do we? And let’s face it. Some of us would prefer not to see certain people naked. Ugh. We’ll leave it at that.

Whether we choose to wear pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, sweaters, socks, shoes, jackets, coats, scarves, slippers, neckties, nylon stockings, boots, robes, or jorts (denim shorts, something we need to legally ban), wearing clothes is both expected and something that’s not debated. Yes, occasionally we’ll read about local municipalities trying to outlaw bikini coffee stands, nude beaches and strip clubs, but overall the expectation that everyone wears clothes goes unspoken. Heck, public nudity is so taboo that something as mundane as a mother breastfeeding her baby will occasionally raise eyebrows from inadvertent onlookers. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way things are these days.

I wouldn't mind seeing Diana Tyuleneva naked in public.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Diana Tyuleneva naked in public.

But there are some people in this world who can’t entirely cover up their bodies. Bodybuilders, both male and female, have silhouettes that stand out from the rest of us. They can wear baggy pants and large winter overcoats all they want, but you can’t do that during the broiling heat of July. So for the vast majority of the year, when a female bodybuilder struts around in public, she can’t help but garner attention to herself – even if she’s not seeking it.

This attention won’t always be unwelcome. Nor will it always be negative. I’d wager a guess that it’s a mixed bag. Positive attention, negative attention…it’s all part of the packaged deal of living life as a professional (or as a dedicated amateur) bodybuilder. Of course, it goes without saying that public harassment is never warranted. Don’t bother people when they don’t want to be bothered. Nobody ever “asks” to be bothered, but FBBs are in the unique position of pulling attention their direction whether they want it or not.

Thus, female bodybuilders can never actually hide who they are. They are always naked. Not in the technical sense, but in the sense that their identity is always on full display to the world. But, if you think about it, isn’t that the point? Bodybuilders – whether they intend to compete or not – are trying to sculpt their bodies to fit a certain preferred aesthetic. Maximizing muscle mass, maintaining perfect symmetry, achieving the “chiseled” look, you name it. It’s all part of a master plan to attain “perfection.”

So it’s not unfathomable why female bodybuilders attract so much unprovoked attention. Not only do their bodies look different, they intentionally seek to look different. A female bodybuilder’s hard work is evident in every square inch of her body. Nothing is hidden from plain sight. So when people can’t help but stare at an FBB’s body when she minding her own business in public, can you really blame them? It might be a tired cliché to say “it is what it is,” but clichés start for a reason.

What we’re discussing here isn’t a major problem, but instead a fascinating insight into what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a female bodybuilder. They are always bare. They are always nude. They are vulnerable to unwanted attention in ways not too many of us can comprehend.

Lauranda Nall, a young up-and-coming blonde muscle bombshell.

Lauranda Nall, a young up-and-coming blonde muscle bombshell.

Additionally, FBBs are nude not just in an aesthetic sense, but in a social sense. People have certain stereotypes attached to female bodybuilders. Many are fair, many are undeniably unfair. Let’s go back to the grocery store anecdote from earlier. What do you think the two teenage boys, elderly grandmother and family of four – not to mention the check-out line clerk, deli employees and the countless shoppers who aren’t in the story but definitely exist in the same environment – are talking about or thinking about when they see our protagonist up close and personal? What assumptions do they have about her? What prejudices do they hold against her? Here is a small sample of some the thoughts that might be going through their heads:

  • “Is that a man or a woman?”
  • “Somebody needs to go to the gym less!”
  • “Gross!”
  • “That’s nasty! Who would want to look like that?”
  • “I wonder if her boyfriend is the ‘woman’ in the relationship…”
  • “Boyfriend? She’s probably a lesbian. And a scary one at that.”
  • “She probably has a penis hiding somewhere!”
  • “Tranny. Without a doubt.”
  • “She’s probably single. Most guys would be too scared to be with her.”
  • “She’s a freak on steroids.”
  • “Boy, if I ever got her mad, she’d probably pummel me to death!”
  • “Seriously. Why the fuck does she want to be that buff? Doesn’t she know that’s disgusting and no guy wants their girlfriend to be like that?”
  • “Steroids. That’s it. That’s the only logical explanation. I wonder who sells to her…”

And blah, blah, blah. It goes on and on and on. So, unfortunately, not only is an FBB bare in the physical sense, she’s also bare in the psychological sense. People start to make assumptions about her lifestyle, relationships, sexual preferences, emotional attitudes, behavior patterns, opinions, and so on. To compare, there are a lot of people in this world who physically stand out from the rest of the general public. Someone who’s really tall or really short can catch your eye. But the difference is that you know they can’t help it. How tall or short you are as a human being is determined by genetics, not lifestyle choices.

But being as insanely muscular as a bodybuilder? That’s totally intentional. That’s not a mistake. That’s all strategic.

Being a remarkably muscular person opens up a whole can of worms of stereotypes, prejudices and cognitive dissonance. The same could also be said for very overweight people and people who make unusual fashion choices. But we’re more accustomed to seeing people with a lot of body fat than we are seeing women with huge amounts of muscle. So our reactions are going to be that much stronger.

Most of us want to blend into the crowd. Even those of us who say we “want to be different” do so within certain socially-acceptable boundaries. Shaved hair, a nose ring, hot pink stockings or tattoos may have been distasteful a generation ago, but it’s not much to blink at today. So how do you genuinely separate yourself from the herd? Simple. Be a woman with a body like Brigita Brezovac. Do all the eating, lifting, supplementation and resting necessary to achieve that look. That’ll turn heads in a hurry!

Brigita Brezovac would definitely turn my head in a hurry.

Brigita Brezovac would definitely turn my head in a hurry.

Let’s shift this conversation toward the subject of public nudity itself. What exactly about the human body is taboo? Besides multigenerational tradition dictating that we all clothe ourselves, in the Western world it’s not taboo to show a little bit of skin. We can show bare arms, legs, faces and shoulders without too much trouble. But a woman showing her bare chest? That would be unacceptable. A man letting his penis hang loose? Same deal. Do that and you spend the night in jail. Do that in front of an elementary school and you get tracked by the government for the rest of your life. These rules, it goes without saying, are quite strict!

The parts of our bodies that we really have to cover up are our genitals, butt and for women, their nipples. She can show most of her breasts without much trouble. But expose her areola? Watch out!

Generally speaking, we use the Beach Rule to decide what is or what is not acceptable. Can you wear it at the beach without getting kicked out? Alright, then it’s fine. I won’t get into too much detail as to how we established these social rules to begin with, but they follow a similar pattern: If it can be used for reproduction and nursing one’s young, it shouldn’t be seen out in the open. The penis and the vagina obviously play an important role in conceiving a child. The vagina also plays a role in giving birth to the child. And her breasts are crucial to feeding her child once he or she is born. So there’s that: Conception, birth and nurturing. The three common elements that tie together the parts of the human body we can’t show in public.

But more than that, the three body parts that we can’t show in public – the penis, vagina and a woman’s breasts – also share another element in common. They distinguish men from women. Men have a penis, women have a vagina. Men have flat breasts, women have larger breasts. The parts of our bodies that identify who we are, strangely enough, are the parts we can’t freely show off. I can’t explain why, I just know that’s the way things are.

Jennifer Abrams is showing us muscles aren't just for men. Women can have them too!

Jennifer Abrams is showing us muscles aren’t just for men. Women can have them too!

So, what about muscles? Muscles are something that men have traditionally had a monopoly on. From the statue of David to the characters in Frank Miller’s “300,” men are the ones who are physically strong and determined. Women, however, are not expected to be as physically dominant as their male counterparts. Thus, in addition to genitalia, muscles are another part of the body that separates masculinity from femininity.

Therefore, when a woman is seen with big muscles, she is clearly breaking that paradigm. She’s shattering her subordinate role and challenging men in an arena where they’ve always had the upper hand. Kathy Johansson shows us that a strong black woman can be a literal strong black woman, not someone whose strength is defined by emotional grit. I have no doubt that Kathy has incredible mental fortitude, but her physical strength is what puts her on a level playing field with men.

Thus, an FBB’s muscles don’t just expose her nakedness. They expose our nakedness too! They challenge a physically weak man’s masculine credibility. They challenge our perceptions about the differences between the genders. They defy our standards of beauty, sexuality, gender roles and power structures. A female bodybuilder’s muscles don’t just expose who she is. They also expose who we are. Our beliefs, assumptions and habits are put on display. We become vulnerable as well. Who am I as a man if a woman can work hard enough to achieve strength that surpasses mine? What kind of a man am I?

I’m not saying these assumptions are good or bad, nor that our reactions are justified or unjustified. What I’m saying is that a muscular woman’s body exposes not just what we think of her…but also what we think of ourselves. Her ability to smash perceptions forces us to reevaluate what we believe. Should we treat people differently? Should we treat ourselves differently?

This is why the subject of female bodybuilding and female bodybuilders will always fascinate me. There are an endless number of topics we can discuss related to this. Muscular women are gems. They work so hard to look the way they look. And their beautiful bodies are specimens we cannot look away from. But there’s more to it than that. When we look upon the body of a female bodybuilder, we’re not just looking at her.

We’re also looking within at ourselves.

A Semiotic Study of a Muscular Woman’s Body

Asian Muscle Goddess Penpraghai Tiangngok.

Asian Muscle Goddess Penpraghai Tiangngok.

“Semiotics” is the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior. A more comprehensive definition is “a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics.”

Huh?

Let’s dispense with the complicated academic language. “Semiotics” is a fancy way of figuring out what signs and symbols mean and why they mean it. And by “signs,” we’re not just talking about STOP signs or “Do Not Walk on the Grass” signs. The most basic and obvious form of symbols is your basic alphabet. When put together, letters of the alphabet can form words. And words have meaning (or as Led Zeppelin would like to point out, sometimes words have two meanings).

But let’s look at a few less obvious but common signs and symbols. When someone raises their middle finger at you, that usually means they’re expressing displeasure toward you at that particular moment. When someone is wearing the jersey of their favorite sports team, they’re saying – even without using any words – that they love their team and are not ashamed to show it. When someone wears a tattoo featuring the Nazi swastika, that’s a pretty good indication you probably don’t want to interact with this person at any level.

Signs and symbols are the basic ways people communicate. Speaking, writing and nonverbal indicating (such as pointing, nodding your head or clapping your hands) are only one form of communication. But there are numerous other ways people can express ideas. For example:

  • Hand gestures
  • Hair style
  • Clothing
  • Tattoos
  • Decorations inside and outside your home
  • Piercings
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Artwork
  • Dance
  • Body language
  • Jewelry
  • Make-up
  • Bumper stickers
  • Facebook profile picture
  • Flags
  • Job title
  • Dietary choices
  • Choice of spouse or significant other
  • Pets
  • Music
  • Choice of what city/neighborhood/region you live
  • Choice of when to use certain languages (English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, Arabic, etc.)
  • Religious insignias (cross in Christianity, Star of David in Judaism, bindi in Hinduism, etc.)
  • Hashtags
  • Nicknames
  • Colors
  • Volume (of words, actions, and so on)
  • Word choices
  • Transportation choices
  • Body art
  • Facial expressions

The list goes on. Flags can be an expression of nationalistic pride. Religious-themed clothing or jewelry can signify adherence to a certain faith. Dietary choices communicates to the world messages like how you view your own health, opinions on environmental stewardship and social responsibility. In fact, here’s an old joke. How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you over and over again!

I’m not anti-vegan, but you get the idea. Being a vegan isn’t just a set of eating choices. It’s a statement on your views pertaining to health, animal rights, the environment, urbanization, human rights, sustainability, ethics, and so forth. Can it get annoying? Perhaps, but it gets annoying because from a semiotic perspective, they’re trying to tell you much more than the mere fact they prefer not to eat animal-based products.

All of this brings us to the focal point of this post: A muscular woman’s body. I’ve covered the topic of muscular women and semiotics in previous blog articles, but I’d love to explore this in further detail.

In bed with Ashley Starr.

In bed with Ashley Starr.

A muscular woman; whether she’s a professional or amateur bodybuilder, personal trainer, athlete, or noncompetitive gym rat; makes a lot of statements even without saying a single word. And not just statements, but definitive statements. I once had a college professor who told our class that “you can never not communicate.” Everything you do, whether you intend to or not, is a form of communication.

To help us understand what this means, imagine this scenario: You’re walking down a crowded street. You’re minding your own business. It’s a perfectly sunny Saturday afternoon. Clear skies, tourists and pedestrians out everywhere. All of a sudden, you see walking down the sidewalk a beautiful muscular woman. She’s making no attempts to hide her muscularity by wearing sleeveless shirt and yoga pants. She casually strolls by you. You stop and stare, but she keeps on moving at her own pace. She’s minding her own business. Most important, she doesn’t utter a single word to you. Nada. Nothing. Although she doesn’t verbally speak to you, she’s told you a whole encyclopedia’s worth of material…whether you realize it or not.

When I talk about a muscular woman’s body, I’m not referring to her hairstyle, choice of clothing, tattoos, piercings or anything like that. I’m only talking about her flesh and blood body. By themselves, her muscles are a symbol. They carry with it meaning beyond her physiological composition. So what we’re talking about isn’t a muscular woman’s entire appearance, just her muscles. Everything else is very interesting unto itself, but let’s keep it simple for the sake of this discussion.

Let’s look at some of the messages inherent in a muscular woman’s body:

1. Social defiance

Perhaps most jarring, social defiance is the loudest message being communicated by a woman’s muscles.

If we presume that society traditionally equates femininity with weakness, a muscular woman shatters those stereotypes with a sledgehammer. Female frailty is an ancient and overused theme that goes back centuries, crossing almost all cultures and continuing to persist even to the present day. Outside of a few fringe cultures that treat women as equals (or superiors) to men, for the most part human civilization has associated femininity with feebleness, softness and fragility.

Muscular women defy all that. They defy the notion that women are the weaker sex. They defy the assumption of female frailty as inevitable. They defy traditional standards of beauty. They challenge us to accept that muscles on a woman can be sexy. They refuse to be put into a box.

Unlike political beliefs, religious beliefs or any other kind of ideological system, a woman’s choice to develop muscle is obvious for all to see. There’s an old saying about how some people “wear their opinions on their sleeve,” which is to say they don’t just have opinions; they shove it in your face and persistently let the entire world know about it. However, that can get exhausting. No matter how passionate you are about something, even at the most superficial level it takes a small conversation with someone to know about it. But that’s not true with a muscular woman. Her decision to bulk up her body can’t be hidden. You can’t wear baggy clothes forever.

A woman’s decision to bulk up flies in the face of our conventional expectations of beautiful women having to be slender and curvy. Big muscles are supposed to be reserved for guys. Big muscles on a woman, on the other hand, aren’t what any of us expect to see. So when we do see it, we instantly realize what she’s doing. She’s creating her own standards of beauty. She’s redefining what it means to be attractive. She’s defying other people’s expectations and setting her own.

2. Self-respect

Anyone, whether male or female, who can boast having a fit, muscular body might as well carry around a sign that says in big bold letters “I Take Care of Myself.” Generally speaking, you don’t look that way unless you make a conscious decision to do so. You don’t become muscular by accident. It’s a choice you make to sculpt your body to fit a certain aesthetic.

Becoming “buff” isn’t just about lifting weights. It requires watching your diet. So no excessive sugary sweets, rich coffee drinks or deep fried foods. You have to make sacrifices most of us in the general public (me included!) wouldn’t want to make. While it’s true that excessive exercise and extreme dieting can be unhealthy if taken too far, generally speaking men and women who “look good” take specific measures to look that way.

Self-respect means believing in your own potential. It means setting goals and having an actionable plan to achieve those goals. Goal-oriented people tend to achieve more in life than people who wander around aimlessly. A female bodybuilder, for example, wants to be a winner. Professional (and dedicated amateur) athletes all want to be winners. You don’t get to that level unless you sincerely believe you can do it.

But even if a muscular woman doesn’t compete at any level, she still has self-respect. Perhaps her goals are different. She wants to look fantastic. She wants to inspire others. She wants to prove to herself that she can do whatever she wants. Regardless, the common denominator is that she has her goals set high and will never back down from reaching her full potential. This determination is obvious just from looking at her hard-earned physique. You don’t have to ask her about it. You can see it right in front of you.

3. A desire to shatter social stereotypes

Directly related to point #1, a muscular woman’s body can be an indication that she wants to shatter the stereotypes we have about strength and gender identity. The most obvious example is the idea of female weakness/male superiority. But, if you add elements of race, height, sex appeal and fashion choices into the mix, things can get very complicated.

For example, if a muscular woman chooses to wear baggy jeans and a fur coat everywhere – even if it’s not particularly cold – that’s probably an indication she doesn’t want the public to notice her muscularity. If, on the other hand, she chooses to wear yoga pants and a skimpy top that generously shows off her arms and torso, she definitely wants people to notice her. Not bother or harass her, but see her. Whether she’s motivated by narcissism or personal comfort is impossible to tell. What is obvious is that she’s okay with people seeing her hard work on full display.

In addition to social defiance, a muscular woman who chooses to show off her body is also maybe trying to change the way people view women as a whole. Not just muscular women, but every woman on planet Earth. She wants people to no longer believe women are destined for weakness. She wants people to be convinced that men don’t have a monopoly on strength. Maybe she wants society to redefine what it means to be “beautiful,” “feminine,” and “desirable.” Instead of telling people that “strong is beautiful,” she decides instead to put her money where her mouth is and let the entire world know that she’s a muscular woman who believes she’s just as beautiful as the women you see on the cover of magazines.

Julie Bonnett looking as lovely as ever.

Julie Bonnett looking as lovely as ever.

Stereotypes are commonly accepted boxes we use to put people into. Not all stereotypes are malicious. Some are quite flattering (all Asians are good at math, anyone?). But some are hurtful. For example:

Muscular women are gross. Women shouldn’t look like that! Big muscles makes her look like a man! Men will never find that attractive. She needs to stop bulking up or else she might actually become a man!

All these stereotypes are complete B.S. We female muscle fans know it. But not everyone shares our perspective. Muscular women know this as well, probably better than us. This is why her biceps aren’t just an indication that she works out. They’re a metaphorical hammer of Thor intended to smash into a million pieces every one of these sophomoric beliefs.

4. A redefinition of sexuality

For many of us, the first thing that catches our attention when it comes to sex appeal is a person’s physical appearance. Their face, body, the way they walk, etc. What really catches our attention is anything out of the norm. A stunningly gorgeous face or a killer pair of legs, for example, stand out because of their uniqueness in addition to their obvious aesthetic appeal.

A muscular woman’s sexuality also stands out. Because so much of sex appeal is based on looks, a muscular woman’s intentional transformation of her physical appearance makes this discussion almost inevitable. How can she not be making a statement about her sexuality?

As mentioned before, not everyone who appears “sexy” is intentionally trying to look sexy. But if you have natural good looks, no matter what you do (outside of covering your entire body with a sheet) you’re going to communicate desirability. Or, perhaps, how we as a society defines “desirable.”

Consider this: How many people in our world consider muscles on a woman to be sexy? A number of us, obviously. But certainly not everyone. A woman who chooses to sculpt large muscles on her body cannot help but make a statement about what limits we should or should not put on female attractiveness. She’s saying (implicitly or explicitly, it doesn’t really matter) muscles on a woman can be sexy. She’s saying guys who find her attractive are right to do so. She isn’t necessarily saying that people who find her unattractive solely because of her muscles are wrong, but they shouldn’t discount the opinions of others who do.

Muscles challenge our preconceived thoughts about female sexuality. It shows they can be both strong and beautiful, muscular and feminine, unconventional and desirable, empowered and nonthreatening. They’re not trying to shatter how we view female sexuality. They’re trying to expand how we think about female sexuality (and male sexuality, for that matter). They’re not trying to destroy the box. They’re trying to make the box bigger.

Why must we limit how we define “beautiful?” It makes no sense.

5. Unconventionality

This is probably the broadest point of all, but a muscular woman’s body communicates that she’s an unconventional person. Unconventionality comes in many forms. We’ve already discussed a few of these aspects above. But generally speaking, muscles on a woman’s body tell us many things such as:

“I’m the most competitive person you’ll ever meet.”

“I may not look traditionally beautiful, but I am.”

“I’m stronger than most women around here.”

“I will fight back if provoked, unlike others.”

“You can doubt me all you want, but I’ll prove you wrong every single time.”

“My life is different than the rest. But it’s the life I choose to live.”

“I don’t eat the same foods you do, nor eat at the same times you do.”

“I’m a professional athlete. I don’t spend 8 hours behind a desk every day.”

“I truly don’t care what other people think.”

“I love being different.”

“I will prove that muscles on a woman can be sexy. See? Look at me!”

How can a muscular woman not be unconventional? Anyone who consciously defies social norms is intentionally going against tradition. She may not abhor tradition or wish to knock it down with a wrecking ball, but she’s definitely a daisy growing in a field of red roses.

It’s hard not to return back to the point of female frailty. Everything revolves around this paradigm. A muscular woman is so fascinating precisely because she forces us to rethink our preconceived notions about the fundamental differences between men and women. Everything we thought we knew about the world may be wrong. They may be right, but every once in a while we encounter situations that challenge us to open our minds to new hypotheses.

Check out the colorful bikini being rocked by Maria Rita Penteado. Very cute!

Check out the colorful bikini being rocked by Maria Rita Penteado. Very cute!

The unconventional challenge us not to alter our conventions, but question why we have conventions in the first place.

Strong women raise these questions. It is now up to us to try to answer them.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that muscular women are a fascinating topic to talk about. Whether you love them, hate them, or aren’t quite sure what to feel, you cannot help but have an opinion about them – even if you’ve never actually met one in the flesh. These snap judgements are at the heart of this semiotic analysis of a muscular woman’s body.

Fairly or unfairly, every one of us communicates something every single moment of our lives. Intention has nothing to do with it. We see signs and messages everywhere we go. Messages telling us what to think, what to believe, how to feel, how to behave, how to interact with others, and so on. Our world is full of these symbols. Most of us are not aware of them, myself included. But the more alert we are to them, the better we can understand our world.

What interests me on a personal level is talking about how mesmerizing muscular women are. They’re captivating for reasons that go beyond their beauty. When we look at the symbols inherent in her physique, we start to better understand things like sexism, misogyny, human sexuality, relationships, biology, social prejudice, social defiance, the business of advertising, marketing strategies, double standards, beauty, aesthetics, power dynamics, expectations, gender roles, stereotypes, femininity, masculinity, world history, politics, money, human communication, cognitive development, and much more. The list can go on forever. When we really think about female bodybuilding, female athletes and the presence of muscles on a female body, almost every problem we face in the 21st century starts to become clearer. Think about how fundamentally different our society would be if women were just as biologically strong as men. Think hard about that. It’s enough to blow your mind, isn’t it?

The badass that is Suzy Kellner.

The badass that is Suzy Kellner.

Semiotics is all about being aware of what we’re being taught, how we’re being taught, and how we can teach others. Communication is the building block of human civilization. Cities, nations, communities and families would not exist without communication. So the better we understand how we communicate; both verbally and nonverbally, both intentionally and unintentionally, both implicitly and explicitly; the better people we’ll be.

Sound like a big task? It should because it is. Muscular women are creatures who blow my mind. I can’t stop thinking about them on both a primal and intellectual level. They demand closer inspection. They demand our attention. They demand our respect. They demand us to understand them better. Let’s hope that comprehending them on a semiotic level is a productive first step.

The Erotic Dreams of Max Shimura: Episode One – The Nameless Woman

I image the Nameless Woman would look like Rena Mero, who played "Sable" in the WWF during the 1990s.

I image the Nameless Woman would look like Rena Mero, who played “Sable” in the WWF during the 1990s.

Max couldn’t tell if he was awake or dreaming.

Is this room real? Are these walls real? Are the sounds of waves hitting the rocky shore genuine or a part of his rich imagination?

What about the beautiful woman standing across from him? Is she real?

Max couldn’t care less.

He didn’t know the woman’s name. Claire, perhaps? Or is it Jennifer? Or Stacy? Or Miranda? Or something else entirely? Max had no idea.

“I love you,” she says to him.

“I love you, too,” Max impulsively replies, not knowing who this woman is and how she knows him. What would his girlfriend think if she saw the two of them together like this?

Wait…does he even have a girlfriend? He cannot remember.

“Come to me,” she commands.

Max stands up off the bed and slowly approaches her. Shirtless, he suddenly feels inadequate compared to this gorgeous creature. Wearing nothing but white lace panties and a bra, she looks radiant; a glowing picturesque specimen of femininity. But who is she? Where does she come from? How did they make it into this room?

Before he could ponder these questions, he found himself face-to-face with her. He stared into her deep blue eyes, lost in its poetic magnificence. Impulsively, she kisses him, a deep languorous kiss that cuts through any boundaries that may have previously separated them. She tastes like blueberries and sunshine, a combination that only makes sense to him. Max closes his eyes, trying to imagine his girlfriend’s pretty face, but comes up empty. It’s like he’s forgotten what she looks like. Or did he ever know what she looked like to begin with?

Their lips eventually came apart and Max is able once again to breathe. Her breath tickles the small hairs on his neck, making them stand up at attention. Her arms wrap around his body, clinging to him like a small child embracing her mother. Max remains frozen, paralyzed, unable to move.

“I like how you taste,” he says to her.

She smiles. Her long blonde hair bounces as she lets out a tiny giggle. Not a schoolgirl type of giggle, but the giggle of a grown woman seductively flirting with her man. This turned Max on even further, as if he needed the extra inspiration.

Suddenly, she grabs his hand and she pulls him toward the bed. They walk side-by-side and feel the heat of their bodies radiate off each other. She then pushes him onto the bed, an unexpected show of force that takes Max totally by surprise. He feels his manhood quiver at her remarkable display of authority.

The Nameless Woman looks at Max and nods her head slightly, cuing him to remove the remainder of his clothing. He obliges.

First, Max takes off his shoes and socks and tosses them across the room unceremoniously. No need to be neat and tidy, Max decides.

Second, Max unbuckles his belt and drops his pants, revealing the inevitable bulge in his underwear. She giggles again. Was she giggling because his bulge is too small? Or is she giggling because of his quick arousal? Max needed to know…

The Nameless Woman snatches the bottom of his pants and pulls them off Max’s legs. She likewise tosses them across the room, uncaring about cleanliness. Then she zeroes in on Max’s underwear and hooks her index fingers underneath the waist. Max takes a deep breath as she drags his underwear down his body. His erect manhood protrudes outward, greeting her like a hungry beast. She smiles at the sight of his arousal, but does not make a sound.

She drops his underwear to the floor and takes one step back, fully examining Max’s nude form. Does she like what she sees? Is she judging him? Is she unimpressed?

“You’re beautiful,” Max manages to say, his voice squeaky and weak.

“Thank you,” she answers.

Stillness.

After a moment, the Nameless Woman takes several steps back and strikes a pose, showing off her flawless body. Long, curvy and tanned, she is every man’s dream. An impeccable demonstration of what a woman should look like. Her angelic form perfectly complements her gorgeous face, a visage that is seamlessly symmetrical and unapologetic in its youthfulness.

She slides her panties down to the floor, revealing her womanhood. Golden locks of hair cover her most intimate parts, like a magician covers up the secrets of the trade. Her panties pools around her feet and she kicks them off to the side.

Next, she reaches in front of her chest and unclasps her bra and lets it fall to the floor. Max’s eyes could not stop staring at her bountiful breasts, so plump and nubile, unlike the flat bosom of his girlfriend (whose name is merely a long forgotten memory).

Her dark pink nipples stand at attention, ready and willing to be pleased. Max desperately wants to put his mouth around them and suck on them till the day ends. But will she let him? How far can he go with her?

The bright sunlight casts a brilliant aura around her, further validating her Goddess-like nature.

“Lie down on the bed,” she whispers.

“Okay.”

Max does what he’s told and lies down on the bed, his erection standing straight up at attention. Max’s insecurities return. She must have been with hundreds of guys, none of them Asian like himself. All of them better endowed, more handsome and much more pleasant to look at, Max thought. Max couldn’t help it. Insecurities are hard to ignore, especially in moments like this.

As if she read his thoughts, the Nameless Woman sits down on the bed next to him and leans over for another kiss. This time, she uses her tongue to explore the insides of his mouth as if she were claiming him as her own. Max didn’t mind at all. He wants to be claimed. He wants to be hers. He wants her to take charge.

Her hands explore his body, caressing and touching with such a finesse he was sure he was in Heaven. When her fingers tickle his scrotum, Max feels a sudden jolt of electricity shoot up his entire core.

“I…love you,” Max struggles say, wanting to remind her of how much he loves her. Losing his composure as her fingers greedily move their way up to his erect manhood, Max comes to the realization that he’s never felt more like a real man in his entire life. For once, a woman is giving him unbridled pleasure for the sake of pleasing him; not because he wants her to, but because she wants to.

“Shhhhhh. Quiet,” she says back, tantalizing him with her touch.

The moment her fingers wrap tightly around the shaft of his penis, Max lets out a groan and feels his vision blur. A minute contraction surges throughout his manhood, forcing a tiny drop of clear fluid to leak out the tip. The Nameless Woman catches the drip on the tip of her index finger and rubs it into Max’s sensitive head.

Max couldn’t think; he only had one thing in mind: feeling. Feeling her touch, feeling her caresses, feeling her femininity joining his masculinity.

With the erotic artfulness of a skilled lover, she starts to lightly stroke him; up and down, up and down, up and down; until Max lets out another groan, this time harder and louder than the first. Waves of pleasure explode throughout his manhood as she continues to stroke him with sensual finesse. Max has no idea when the last time he ever experienced pleasure this deep, this provocative, this enticing.

Perhaps he’s never experienced this before. Perhaps this is the first time he’s ever felt pleasure in its truest form.

The Nameless Woman stops her stroking and gives Max’s penis a hard squeeze, making his entire body jolt in reaction. Many more small drips of fluid leak out of his manhood, but he has yet to fully come.

Gripping onto his penis more firmly, she knows it wouldn’t be long before Max climaxes. She wants to give him the best orgasm he’s ever felt and intends to make this a reality. She also doesn’t mind being known as “The Nameless Woman” to him. She knows this is all an act, a charade, a game.

She knows who has the REAL power in this relationship.

The Nameless Woman releases her squeeze and Max moans in response. She gives him a second squeeze, then a third, then a fourth, then a fifth. By now Max is on another planet, perhaps a different universe. He never knew his body could produce such pleasurable sensations. He doubts he’ll ever be the same after this.

She knows he’s close. But she wants to tease him even further. She wants to see how far the rabbit hole goes…

Freeing her fingers from his penis completely, the Nameless Woman decides it’s time to change things up. She lightly brushes the tip of her fingers against his tightened scrotum and moves her way up. His penis has become impossibly hard, harder than it’s ever been before. Max’s body has never responded to a woman’s touch this way before. His little penis has probably grown to a size that even male porn stars would consider respectable. But he’s not thinking about the size of his Asian manhood right now. In fact, he’s not thinking at all. This is the power Nameless Woman has over him. She owns him, controlling him, claiming him as her property, her toy, her plaything.

Max takes in a deep breath as her fingers finally brush the sensitive tip of his penis, sliding around the rim. He’s about to blow and they both know it. She decides it’s time to finish the job.

The Nameless Woman encloses her fingers around his shaft once again and grasps it securely, as if her life depended on her hanging on to it. She caresses his shaft up and down again and increases her pace as she sees fit. Max knows it’s going to end soon and closes his eyes to soak up the entire experience. He knows he’ll never experience pleasure so transcendent again in his lifetime. He knows…

She stops stroking him and gives him one last hard squeeze.

Eureka!

“Ah!” Max moans.

She lets go and watches Max ejaculate all over the bed sheets. Normally when he climaxes, his penis releases three or four squirts of semen before simmering down, but this time Max spurts six or seven times, all more powerful and potent than he’s ever spurted before.

After his spasms finally subside, the Nameless Woman snickers as she sees a large white pool of liquid spread all over the dark blue bed sheets. Max is currently on Cloud 9 and could care less what mess he’s made. This isn’t the first time he’s stained the sheets and it won’t be the last.

Several minutes later, Nameless Woman leans over and stares into Max’s eyes. They share an intimate moment together, a spiritual form of communication that could never be replicated nor understood by anybody else.

He cannot even begin to thank her for the selfless pleasure she’s given him. Knowing she unselfishly gave him pleasure when she expected nothing in return brings tears to his eyes. The gift of her divine touch will be a debt he could never repay. But she doesn’t expect to be repaid for her gift. Knowing he’s at peace is enough for her. And this peace brings tears to her eyes as well.

Finally, they share a kiss that lasts for an eternity. Is it a literal eternity? Probably not, but neither of them care at this point. Max closes his tear-soaked eyes and concentrates on feeling her lips against his. She tastes sweet and powerfully feminine, a taste Max could never put into words.

He doesn’t remember exactly when he drifts off to sleep, but when he did the Nameless Woman disappears along with her surroundings. The sunlight stops shining. The waves stop hitting the shore. All of that goes away as quickly as it appeared. The shared experience they had together is now a distant memory that neither will ever forget. Whatever comes next is completely irrelevant at this moment, when all that matters is the beautiful fact that a woman just gave a man the greatest pleasure he’s ever known.

Max still couldn’t tell if he was awake or dreaming, but he knew one thing for sure:

He was alive.

And he was thankful for it.