Alpha Females, Beta Males, and Everybody in Between

Debbie Bramwell-Washington is without question an Alpha Female.

Generally speaking, don’t generalize. This isn’t a rule so much as a modest recommendation. Sometimes, our generalizations can be fairly accurate (i.e. the weather tends to be hot during the summer months and cold during the winter months), but other times our generalizations are not even close to being fair or accurate (i.e. Chinese food is icky because all they eat are dogs).

Within the female muscle fan community – and believe it or not, such a community actually exists, albeit in the online world – the theme of “Alpha Female/Beta Male” consistently comes up. It’s become a cliché by now. Of course, just because it’s a cliché doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right or wrong. The truth is probably closer to it being an overgeneralization. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The existence of the idea of the muscular Alpha Female shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, leading the life of a professional (or dedicated amateur) bodybuilder isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires both mental and physical strength. It takes persistence, passion, guts, and unwavering self-confidence. It takes the ability to persevere despite inevitable setbacks. It takes the will to make tough decisions when the easiest choice is to say “I give up.” It requires you to take the path least traveled when no one will blink an eye if you were to instead take the road most traveled.

The type of person who would be willing to subject themselves to such a grueling lifestyle is most likely the most alpha among us. Professional bodybuilding isn’t for the weak or feeble minded. Even amateur bodybuilders, who don’t formally compete but still maintain an impressive amount of musculature year-round, cannot look the way they look without making sacrifices most of us wouldn’t even dream of doing.

Even though the very concept of “alpha” is subjective (and therefore, not an actual thing that can be quantified or narrowly defined), we’ll just assume its existence is – for the most part – real. Alpha Females are women who take control of their lives, pursue their dreams with absolutely no apology, and more often than not get what they want. Female bodybuilders should wholeheartedly belong in this category.

Alright, the other side of the equation is the concept of the Beta Male. Unlike Alpha Females, Beta Males are weak-minded, lack the will to get what they really want, and allow others to trample all over them. They are quiet, don’t assert themselves when faced with adversity, are perfectly willing to settle for less than they deserve, and aren’t prone to engaging in (as they see it, unnecessary) confrontation. Blah, blah, blah. Just take a few minutes doing a Google search of “beta male” and you’ll come across bloggers that range from idiotic “PUAs” to bizarre conspiracy theorists claiming the Illuminati is plotting to culturally emasculate men worldwide for the sake of implementing the New World Order. Rest assured yours truly doesn’t fall into either of these groups.

How would you react if you saw Isabelle Turell walk by you dressed like this?

Like the Alpha Female, the Beta Male is a socially-constructed stereotype that exists mostly from a pop culture point-of-view, as opposed to objective scientific standards. We can probably name a few Beta Males off the top of our heads, whether it’s from our high school days or the people we interact with at work (or maybe you can look in the mirror and point to yourself). No matter your perspective, it’s not difficult to surmise why this type of person would be attracted to women with lots of muscle.

As this line of thinking goes, Beta Males are too weak to take care of themselves. They have low self-esteem and would prefer if others could make big decisions instead of them. Alpha Females, especially of the highly muscular variety, perfectly encapsulate that missing puzzle piece. They are the complementary element that Beta Males find so darn alluring. They are strong – both emotionally and physically – and don’t hesitate to make bold decisions that they find to be empowering. Female bodybuilders are who Beta Males wish they could be, to put it in horrifically simplistic terms. This may or may not be true, but this sure represents the “logic” of plenty of people who are keen on following FBBs.

The Alpha Female/Beta Male motif looks solidly reasonable on the surface. Of course the type of guys who love FBBs are weak, feeble-minded man-children who sexualize an ideal they can never actually achieve in real life. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not.

No doubt this concept describes a portion of the FBB fandom community, but certainly it doesn’t represent everyone’s personal story. Many men who love female bodybuilders are normal guys who have wives or girlfriends, high paying jobs, families, and stellar reputations. Others are of more modest financial means…but they are still confident in who they are. Not everyone can be clumped into the same surface-level demographic, but we already knew that.

Kim Buck will buck the trend that women with muscles can’t be sexy.

When you boil everything down to its barest essentials, guys love female bodybuilders not just because of who they are, but because of who these ladies are. They’re strong, beautiful women who possess gorgeous bodies, captivating personalities, and inspiring biographies. We can scroll through Minna Pajulahti’s Instagram feed and say to ourselves “hot damn!” without that response being an indication of who we are. We see photos of a beautiful woman and we react accordingly. It’s as simple as that.

Or is it? Understandably, matters get murky when we’re dealing with nontraditional-looking women like female bodybuilders. If you like something that’s so far outside the mainstream, isn’t that an indication that there must be something a little “off” with you? Not at all, but it’s understandable why outside observers would think this way.

The truth is that female bodybuilding fans run the gamut of personality types. Some are meek, others are more assertive. Female bodybuilders themselves are also a diverse bunch; as they come from a wide range of countries, cultures, and backgrounds. Of course, the truth isn’t nearly as exciting as what dwells in our imaginations. We believe all FBBs are forceful Alpha Females not because we actually believe that, but because we want to believe that. We love imagining a strong gorgeous muscular woman dominating in the bedroom. We fantasize about what she’d do to us if we’re naughty…or if we’re completely obedient. We want her to ravage us, use us for her own selfish pleasure, and discard us the moment we become obsolete. We want to be denigrated like that because it makes her seem that much more powerful and us that much more irrelevant.

Is this a Beta Male way of thinking about sexual relationships? Maybe, or perhaps this is just a fun bit of “role reversal” where the FBB takes control of the situation while we’re the ones who are more passive and “just along for the ride.” Nobody wants to have to be in control 24/7/365. Every so often, we want to let go and allow somebody else to shoulder this burden. If a beautiful female bodybuilder is the one to do that, so be it. You won’t hear us complain.

Alright, so not every FBB is an Alpha Female and not every FBB fan is a Beta Male (or Beta Female, if that’s the case). So what? What’s the significance here?

Well, not much outside of the fact that these stereotypes exist and will probably continue to exist for time immemorial. But consider this:

The prevailing perception of the “Alpha Female/Beta Male” theme isn’t harmful, but it isn’t entirely productive either. One might presume that guys who love female bodybuilders would take offense to the notion that they’re weak and socially emasculated. That assumption is correct. But that’s not the only harm that this causes. The other is that it continues to make female bodybuilders appear “weird” and “fetishistic” instead of who they actually are: world-class athletes.

Monique Jones gets what she wants.

Often times, we tend to treat certain people or groups of people with suspicion not because of who they are, but because of who their fans are. It’s perfectly reasonable to like a certain TV show or singer but be completely annoyed by their fawning fans. It’s also perfectly reasonable to not like a certain TV show or singer for reasons that have nothing to do with the temperament of their loyal supporters. What isn’t reasonable (but isn’t a crime against humanity, of course) is disliking something purely because you can’t stand how the screaming fanboys and fangirls behave on the Internet. Yet, it’s difficult for many of us to make this distinction.

Along the same train of thought, some people might be turned off by female bodybuilders and the world of female bodybuilding because they find their fans a bit distasteful. They leave creepy comments all over their Instagram posts. They publicly announce all sorts of gross sexual activities they’d love to do to them. They appear to have no filter and don’t think all too much about who is actually reading these comments. These behaviors have a way of turning people off to whatever you love.

Female bodybuilders are already considered outside the mainstream. Their fans are also perceived to be outside the mainstream, despite the fact a vocal minority doesn’t speak for the entire group. Although to be fair, there really isn’t such a thing as a “vocal” delegation of the female bodybuilding fandom community. We don’t have lobbyists playing golf with members of Congress, to my knowledge.

One way to help FBBs enter into mainstream culture – assuming this is even a unified goal of ours – is to portray them as being perfectly normal women who happen to look abnormal. In many respects, that’s exactly who they are. But not everyone in our culture is buying that argument. They see videos of guys wearing leather masks with an FBB’s massive thighs wrapped around their heads and they think to themselves, “Um, that’s weird!”

To be fair, that sort of behavior isn’t something you witness every day. Yet, it does exist. But so do the countless number of people who love FBBs simply because they appreciate their unique beauty. FBBs are in fact uniquely beautiful, with the experience of “getting” their beauty indescribable. The experience of seeing a gorgeous confident woman with big muscles is so euphoric it can seem like a drug. It’s hard to articulate into words what this is like. Female bodybuilders are so damn beautiful it’s maddening to many of us why more people don’t feel the same way we feel. Shouldn’t FBBs be front and center on every magazine cover across the country? We think so, but the vast majority of our culture does not.

Stereotyping all female bodybuilders as Alpha Females and all fans of female bodybuilders of Beta Males is not only factually inaccurate, it contributes toward limiting our society’s understanding of this world. It makes us think that the two groups are somehow inextricably linked, that FBBs need weak men just as much as weak men need FBBs. This association cheapens FBBs as being a mere product of what certain guys want. Or that men who are perceived as being weak are that way because of women who are perceived as being strong.

Rita Sargo proving that muscles and femininity can go hand-in-hand.

These oversimplifications just perpetuate our dualist culture that puts people into two distinct categories (e.g. alpha/beta male, oppressed/liberated female, liberal/conservative, patriotic/unpatriotic, smart/dumb, educated/uneducated, poor/rich, abled/disabled, etc.) without recognizing nuance, individualized circumstances, and context. This harms the way we treat people whom we believe are “different” from us, even though they’re probably more similar to us than we realize. Imagine that.

When faced with something that’s totally out of the ordinary, the natural reaction is to try to put it into “proper context.” The logic follows like this:

  1. Female bodybuilders are unusual-looking women
  2. Guys who like female bodybuilders like women who are unusual-looking
  3. Therefore, guys who like female bodybuilders must be unusual themselves

Unfamiliarity breeds cognitive dissonance. We don’t like not being able to understand something, so we try to explain it away in terms that make sense to us. If we see weird Internet videos of guys enjoying being trampled on by a “chick with muscles,” then we must therefore assume every guy who loves female bodybuilders are into the same thing. And only “losers” enjoy being in a subordinate position. It makes perfect sense!

Except it doesn’t. The truth is much more complicated. The truth is that men and women from all walks of life comprise the world of female bodybuilding fandom. Some might in fact fit the stereotypes that we’re all familiar with. Others do not. This is not to play the “percentages game” and argue that a majority of us are not “like that.” Not at all. The only point to be made is that the Alpha Female/Beta Male concept is not inaccurate, but it’s also not comprehensive enough.

Perceptions take a long time to change. Many perceptions will never change. But there’s no use screaming at a brick wall that will not budge no matter what. That’s an exercise in futility. And if there’s one thing we can definitively say about female bodybuilders, it’s that when they exercise, they expect to see results.

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Expectations vs. Reality: Tempering Our Warped Perceptions about Female Bodybuilders

A very tiny red bikini being worn by Gina Aliotti.

A very tiny red bikini being worn by Gina Aliotti.

Sometimes, our expectations don’t meet reality.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; nor is it necessarily a good thing. It is what it is. At first, the idea of owning a puppy may sound awesome. But after you adopt one, reality starts to sink in. You have to train him not to poop on the carpet. You have to persuade him not to beg at the dinner table. You have to clean up after every single mess he makes. You need to schedule your entire life around feeding him, walking him, and making sure he is allowed to “relieve himself” as often as he needs to in a socially acceptable way.

In short, the honeymoon soon ends. The joyful expectation of owning a puppy dog – while you may still love being a pet owner – may or may not fully line up with the reality of actually owning a puppy.

The image in your head of your dog being your best buddy who also happens to be low-maintenance, intuitively housebroken, and allows you to live your life as usual with very little disruptions is, as you quickly discover, total BS. Raising a puppy dog is a lot harder than you think. I’m not anti-dog or anything (although I am more of a cat person), all I’m trying to do is illustrate the disconnection that often exists between how we think life is like and how life is really like.

The same goes for female bodybuilders. People who are fascinated with female bodybuilders, but have never actually met one, may be in for a surprise when they first get the chance to encounter one up-close-and-personal. There might be some disappointment…but there might also be some surprises, both positive and negative.

I’ve written before on the ethereal nature of female bodybuilders. We often refer to them as “goddesses” because we revere them as if they were divine beings from Heaven. In non-female bodybuilding parlance, a young lady we’re smitten with is often called an “angel.” If she isn’t in charge of what goes on in Heaven, she’s at least sent there from the Big Guy himself down to Earth to capture the hearts of young men. The point is when we put certain people on a pedestal, our perceptions of them become inflated, warped, and unrealistic.

This is known as “idealizing the other.” This especially happens when we have limited (or nonexistent) contact with this person. Whether we’re talking about our favorite pop singer, baseball player, middle school crush, or pro female bodybuilder, we tend to place idealistic expectations on who they are as people (or lovers, best friends, crushes, idols, etc.) that don’t necessarily fit reality.

May I meet Amy Peters for an intimate evening?

May I meet Amy Peters for an intimate evening?

So don’t get too heartbroken when your favorite ball player won’t give you his autograph. Don’t be too surprised when your favorite politician gets involved in a scandal. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that cute guy or girl you like can do no wrong and is perfect in every way. They are just as human as you are. We all have flaws. For the rich and famous, they have armies of publicists, assistants, public relations personnel, hair and make-up artists, wardrobe consultants, and the like to help present them in the best light possible.

Do you really think your favorite singer has hair that looks that good 24/7? I got news for you. They don’t!

Somewhat related to celebrity worship and idealizing the other is the heightened expectations we have about female bodybuilders. Due to the fact muscular women are rare in our world (unfortunately for us!), we tend to develop in our imaginations a perceived set of expectations for what FBBs are like that may or may not be accurate. Examples of questions we have about female bodybuilders include, but are not limited to:

  • How much can an FBB lift?
  • How tall are female bodybuilders?
  • Do all FBBs have big clits?
  • Do female bodybuilders want to dominate men sexually?
  • What do their genitals look like?

The answers to these questions – and countless others – obviously are not definitive and set in stone. Some FBBs are stronger than others. Many have big clits, but many also have perfectly normal sized clits. Some FBBs are sexually aggressive, others are more passive. Many are lesbians and have no interest in having sex with a man. Female genitalia, whether we’re talking about a muscular woman or a non-muscular woman, comes in all shapes and sizes. That’s just the way things are.

But instead of endlessly speculating on these matters, we end up creating conclusions regardless. I’m guilty of this as well. We take it for granted that FBBs are tall, sexually aggressive, super strong, and are endowed with large clitorises. At least, that’s our expectation. In the back of our minds we may know these assumptions aren’t always true. But we can’t help but think of these conclusions as being more or less the truth.

I love Mindi O'Brien!

I love Mindi O’Brien!

So let’s pretend like you actually end up meeting a female bodybuilder for a muscle worship or wrestling session. You see that someone you admire is travelling to your city and you e-mail her to set up an appointment. You pay your deposit, agree upon the terms of the meeting, and she informs you where she’ll be staying for the duration of her visit. Great! Now what?

You wait. You cross off the days on the calendar in anticipation of your fateful meeting with her. Your imagination goes wild. What will she be like? Will she be as big and strong as she is in my dreams? Will she immediately toss me on the bed and have her way with me without letting up? Will I be sore for the rest of the week as a result of our short hour together?

Then, the day comes. You can’t wait! You struggle to focus on anything but your appointment with her. Butterflies are bouncing wildly all around your stomach. Your heartbeat cannot calm down. You’re afraid you might suffer from cardiac arrest before your appointment even begins.

You sit in the parking lot of her hotel for 10 or so minutes. Finally, you text her and she tells you which room she is staying in. You nonchalantly walk out of your car, stroll into the hotel lobby as if you were a guest, and try to not make eye contact with any of the staff or patrons. You coolly walk up the stairs or ride the elevator. Finally, you’re face-to-face with her door. You knock. You wait. Seconds seems like minutes. Minutes seem like hours.

At last, the door opens!

You hold your breath in anticipation of what she’ll look like. What will the moment be like when you first get to lay eyes on her magnificent body? You then take a deep breath and look directly at her.

Um, oh.

She’s short. Perhaps several inches shorter than you. She’s pretty, but not as pretty as a supermodel. Her hair is unkempt. She has noticeable but not distractingly foul body odor. She’s muscular, but not as huge as you thought she’d be. Is she ripped? Well, sort of. She’s in excellent shape, but her figure doesn’t make my eyeballs pop out of their sockets. But most of all, you still cannot believe how short she is! Even with heels, she doesn’t come close to breaking six feet tall. What’s with that?

As the evening progresses, you have fun doing what you want to do. You get to touch her muscles. You get to playfully wrestle with her on the bed. You may even get a hand job from her at the conclusion of your appointment. All in all, the evening was a blast, but it wasn’t life altering.

Your perspective on life did not change. She was pleasant and awesome to be around, but she didn’t exactly cast a magical spell on you. She was cute, but your high school girlfriend was way cuter.

You come away from your appointment not totally disappointed, but slightly dissatisfied. You struggle to pinpoint why. The evening went exactly as planned. She delivered on all her promises. She’s a friendly lady who’s chill, down-to-earth, and can maintain an interesting conversation. What gives?

Shawna Walker showing off her hard work.

Shawna Walker showing off her hard work.

As time goes on, you realize the problem isn’t her. The problem is you. She did nothing wrong. She’s a beautiful muscular woman who’s trying to make a living doing what she loves to do. Your feelings of being let down isn’t her fault. It’s your fault. You were the one who built up unrealistic expectations in the first place. You constructed an image in your head that could never live up to its hype. Oh well. Live and learn, right?

Yup. That’s the way it goes in life. Live and learn. That’s all you can do.

Without question, female bodybuilders conjure up in our imaginations all sorts of wild thoughts, feelings, and fantasies. After all, since muscular women are rare in our world, all we have is our imaginations. And the human mind has a funny way of creating perceptions out of thin air that are based on nothing more than stereotypes, rumors, and hopes.

In our dreams, we concoct visions of what female bodybuilders are actually like. They’re superhuman, larger-than-life, and the most beautiful and flawless creatures on planet Earth. While FBBs are certainly gorgeous in their own unique ways, they’re not superhuman, larger-than-life, or flawless. They’re people just like you and I. They have good days and bad days, just like us. They have moments when they smell bad, just like us. They’re strong but not supernaturally strong, just like us (at least those of us who make an effort to get stronger).

In the back of our minds, we all know this. We know celebrities are flawed human beings just like the rest of us. Yet, we somehow get surprised or react intensely whenever they accidentally trip over themselves on the red carpet or say something offensive on Twitter. I mean, what were you expecting?

Those of us who ever get the chance to meet in-person a muscular woman may be in for a few surprises – however you define “surprises.” Whether those surprises are positive or negative often depend on what your initial expectations were to begin with. If you’ve elevated muscular women to a level of goddess-like divinity, then you’re going to be in for a disappointing shock. If your expectations are much more modest, then you might actually be in for a few pleasant surprises. How do you like them apples?

Returning to the analogy of adopting a puppy, even being an experienced pet owner may not totally prepare you for the full gamut of what it’s like to own a living and breathing animal. Perhaps your family owned a dog when you were a kid, but your parents did most of the work walking it, feeding it, and cleaning up after it. For sure Mom and Dad were the ones who bought the dog food. If you’re a broke recent college graduate, the cost of buying pet food can be taxing considering you can barely afford to feed yourself. Suddenly, your childhood memories of being a “dog owner” don’t actually prepare you for being a dog owner as an adult. Experience matters, but it all depends on the depth of your experience.

Likewise, watching endless videos and looking at thousands of photos of female bodybuilders – which should describe almost all of us! – will not necessarily prepare you for what it’s like to actually meet a female bodybuilder in the flesh. Like any form of media, photos and videos do not paint a complete picture. Clever lighting, PhotoShop, and creative editing can hide or enhance many things. Don’t get me wrong – female bodybuilders are certainly gorgeous when you meet them up-close-and-personal – but don’t expect them to be as flawless as your imaginations may recklessly hype you up to believe.

Speaking of short, did you know Tera Guzman is 4' 11"?

Speaking of short, did you know Tera Guzman is 4′ 11″?

The human mind has a funny (or tragic) way of playing games with us when it comes to our perceptions of the world. Because we cannot possibly experience and fully understand everything, we are forced to compartmentalize our perceptions into easy-to-digest bits of information. Examples of this are too many, but suffice to say the way we think about female bodybuilders definitely fits into this paradigm.

Some of us will never meet a female bodybuilder. Many of us will, but not for very long. Most of us will encounter athletic-looking women in our everyday lives, but rarely have the chance to get all our questions about them answered. Do you really want to ask a random stranger at the gym who’s just gotten done doing bicep curls what her clit looks like? That’s a good way to get kicked in the groin, if you catch my drift!

Indeed, our expectations don’t always meet reality. But the valuable lesson to be learned isn’t that this is always a bad thing or a negative reflection upon female bodybuilders themselves. Often, it’s a product of our own wild imaginations taking us to strange and magical places. Or it’s because we seldom are able to actually see female bodybuilders up close, so we don’t quite know what to expect. Or, it’s a byproduct of the nature of female bodybuilders as a whole:

They’re peculiar, thought-provoking, mysterious, and gloriously enigmatic creatures who summon in our feeble minds some of the most outlandish and irrational beliefs imaginable. Therefore, it is a struggle and our responsibility to dial back these perceptions out of respect to these incredible women.

Yeah, that’s probably more like it.

Like A Tiger Stalking Her Prey: Comparing a Muscular Woman to a Wild Beast

Desiree Ellis is a beast, no question about it.

Desiree Ellis is a beast, no question about it.

Imagine a hungry tiger, crouching low in the sagebrush, stalking an unsuspecting prey. An ill-fated rabbit is drinking water out of a river, unaware of his inevitable fate. He prepares to return back to his home until…

The tiger strikes. The prey is caught. The prey bleeds to death. The tiger eats its defeated victim and walks away from the brief encounter satiated and happy.

The rabbit leaves this cruel and unforgiving world so quickly he has no idea what just happened. One moment he’s enjoying a refreshing beverage from the river, the next he’s being savagely devoured by a bloodthirsty beast searching for sustenance.

So it goes.

Mother Nature can be cruel to the weak and unprepared. Those of us fortunate to live in modern times have conveniences, societal structures, and laws that ensure we don’t need to resort to such barbarity. Human beings do from time to time have to engage in such vicious behavior for the sake of survival, but thankfully that’s the exception and not the rule. Despite its flaw, isn’t the 21st Century great?

Yet, even for us city dwellers (or, Heaven forbid, those of us who live in the suburbs!) the “jungle mindset” has not gone completely away. We may shop at grocery stores, eat at fancy restaurants, drive sporty cars, use smartphones to communicate, read books to learn new information, and enjoy indoor plumbing, but deep down inside, buried in our psyches, we still secretly yearn to live in the wild.

Mankind may have become domesticated, but nature doesn’t go away that easily. We aren’t as far off from our caveman and cavewoman days as we might think (and no, I am not referring to the pop culture fad that is the Paleo Diet). We still enjoy hunting, hiking, athletic competitions, competing with others for a mate, and “earning” our right to live. We may not build our homes out of sticks and stones like the good old days, but we work at 40-hour-a-week jobs in order to pay for the roof over our heads.

Perhaps there’s still a part of us that yearns for our Paleolithic days. Even as a casual daydream. Or as the backdrop of a fetishistic fantasy. For those of us who love female bodybuilders, this fantasy manifests itself through our constant comparison (and association) of muscular women with wild beasts.

How many of you imagined the tiger described in the opening anecdote as a muscular cavewoman instead? How many of you thought about the helpless prey as a small, emaciated caveman who heralds from a rival clan? Or a badass chick slaying a (wo)man-eating tiger? Don’t worry if you didn’t initially. You’re sure to think about that now!

When fans of female bodybuilders describe the women they love, two different analogical themes usually emerge: Deific and animalistic.

Werk it, Aleesha Young!

Werk it, Aleesha Young!

The deific nature of female bodybuilders comes out when we talk about muscular women as being “goddesses” or “angels.” Describing a beautiful woman as an angel is quite mainstream. You don’t need to be George McFly to know what I’m talking about (if you don’t get this reference, ask your kids because they’re going to love it). Even the term “goddess” is more or less common among non-muscular women. But I cannot count how many times I’ve come across – or have personally used myself – terms like Muscle Goddess or Muscle Angel as nicknames for women like Alina Popa and Lindsay Mulinazzi.

It makes perfect sense. Female bodybuilders seem almost superhuman. Or in this instance, above human. And what types of creatures are above humanity? The gods, of course. Like Zeus and Athena looking down upon humanity from their ethereal clouds in the sky, female bodybuilders are like Hercules, a human/god hybrid who is technically a deity but has flesh-and-blood and chooses to live among us mortals.

The other theme is animalistic. One of my favorite football (for my non-American readers, I’m not talking about soccer) players of all time is Marshawn Lynch, a former running back for the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. His apt nickname is “Beast Mode” because he runs like an unleashed wild beast when he’s plowing through defenders and picking up yardage. Even though Mr. Lynch (who’s being mentioned in this blog post so he doesn’t get fined) is now retired, he still sells merchandise that blatantly uses the Beast Mode brand.

Other athletes who are hardcore and play with reckless abandon are also often compared to beasts. Ronda Rousey, Rob Gronkowski, LeBron James, Manny Pacquiao, and others come to mind. There’s something to be said about an athlete who puts it all on the line, plays with a savage attitude, and doesn’t seem human when he or she is going about their business.

Bodybuilders, both male and female, are a different kind of animal (pun intended). Unlike athletes who compete in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, boxing, or MMA, bodybuilding is a sport that’s based on subjective judgement, not head-to-head competition. Most of the hard work is done behind the scenes, or more specifically, in the gym and kitchen. Top bodybuilders aren’t dunking over each other, tackling each other, throwing punches at each other, or trying to strike each other out with a 95 mph fastball.

That’s not to say that bodybuilding isn’t a true competitive sport. It’s definitely competitive in every single facet imaginable. But it’s different than other sports. Not better or worse, but different.

However, the beastly comparisons come into play when we think about the physiques of bodybuilding athletes. They look animalistic. It’s hard not to look at a bodybuilder’s hypermuscular body and not compare them to an ox (“strong as an ox”), bull, horse, or lion. So bodybuilders don’t necessarily act like beasts when they’re on the stage, but they indisputably look like beasts.

Male bodybuilders are often compared to beasts. So are female bodybuilders. So what’s the big deal? Here are a few takeaways:

  1. Beasts and traditional roles of women

For as long as human civilization has existed, certain gender stereotypes and roles have also existed. Chief among them is the role of men being the hunters and gatherers and women as caretakers of the family and home. The clear-cut domesticated role for women still persists today in most parts of the world. Who usually takes care of the children? Either their mother or nanny (who is usually a woman). In other words, a maternal authority figure.

Men, on the other hand, are the so-called breadwinners. Men today may not actually hunt for their food, but they are encouraged to work at jobs that pay money intended to help put food on the table. Yes, women do make up a significant portion of the modern workforce, but old habits are often hard to break. Going back several centuries, men hunted for food. Women did not.

This social structure then makes the “woman as beast” motif a rather new phenomenon. Only in cartoons, graphic novels, fetish porn, and pulp literature do you see women portrayed as hunters and gatherers in the jungle (both literally and figuratively). Traditional gender roles make this paradigm not only unusual, but contrary to most of human history.

So associating a female bodybuilder with a wild beast is a definitive break from how we’ve traditionally viewed the role of women in our society. The “man as beast” motif makes sense from an anthropological perspective, but not the “woman as beast” theme. The fact we’ve come to view women in this light is fascinating.

  1. Humans vs. non-humans

An animal is not a human, which is stating the obvious. We don’t expect a human being (not even Usain Bolt) to be able to outrun a cheetah or lift more than a grizzly bear. Humans have certain physical limitations. We can’t fly like an eagle, crawl up a tree like a squirrel or swim underwater for long periods of time like a shark. That’s not in our DNA.

When a human being can (sort of) do things that an animal can, the beast comparisons start to roll in. Mr. Bolt is fast like a cheetah. Andy Bolton is as strong as an ox. Ronda Rousey is as lethal as an anaconda. LeBron James can jump like a kangaroo. We know they can’t literally accomplish feats that a beast can, but sports media (and fans) are often prone to employing hyperbole.

Sporting the shades, Roxanne Edwards is not a woman you want to mess with.

Sporting the shades, Roxanne Edwards is not a woman you want to mess with.

For female bodybuilders, this is even more significant. Because women are biologically not as strong as men, when a woman can achieve a level of muscularity and pure raw strength that surpasses many men, the beast comparisons matter even more. Female bodybuilders are human, but seem almost non-human. They totally destroy whatever notions we hold about the limitations of female physiology.

Male bodybuilders are sort of viewed this way, but it’s exponentially amplified when applied to female bodybuilders. Our perceived stereotypes (and scientifically-backed) beliefs about what women can and cannot physically do shatter when we encounter a muscular woman. She tears down walls that we put around the female species. Like Samson pushing apart the pillars at the Temple of Dagon, female bodybuilders defiantly demolish the box put around them with the ferocious strength of a beast.

  1. The fetishization of beasts

You don’t need to be an expert at Furry culture to know what I’m talking about. If you aren’t familiar with the Furry subculture, Google it and be prepared to feel supremely uncomfortable afterward (don’t say I didn’t warn you!). Yikes.

There exists in our culture the element of fetishizing wild beasts. Additionally, there is something fairly normal to this that has nothing to do with bestiality. Sexuality is a raw element to humanity, something that speaks to our base desires and ability to create future generations.

We like to think of humankind as being intelligent, civilized, cooperative, and advanced. Perhaps the smartest and most resourceful creatures who walk this Earth. It may not seem like it at times (just read the news for five minutes) but for the most part, we humans think of ourselves as superior creatures to wildlife in the jungle, fish in the ocean, and birds in the sky.

However, deep down inside there lurks a desire to reconnect to our animal brothers and sisters. It can get boring and tedious being a human, so why not switch it up for a change and live life (even in a pseudo-sexual manner) as an animal? This is less about anthropomorphism and more about believing that people are really no different than animals.

I’m no expert at zoophilia – and yes, such a term actually exists – but that sort of thing indeed does occur among some folks. Not a huge number of us, but there’s definitely something primal when it comes to thinking about human beings as being wild beasts in need of taming and domesticating.

  1. Beasts are a natural adversary for man

Returning to the hunters-and-gatherers motif, another angle to this discussion is the fact that beasts are also a natural adversary to mankind. Wild animals can be a safety hazard. We treat wild animals as food; just like they treat us in similar fashion. Beasts are not just a common opponent to humans, they often can be an existential threat to humans!

The popularity of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic Park movies speak to this. People are, for whatever reason, naturally worried that someday their global dominance will come to an end. Endless warfare, environmental disasters, economic collapse, destruction of the civil social order, and other unknown threats ominously loom in the distance. We experience all these things now, but it can get worse, right?

Right. Or not. But fiction rarely gives us a rosy picture of the future. History has taught us that those in power are always paranoid about losing it. That goes for kings, queens, presidents, dictators, mob bosses, war lords, and other people in positions of power. Human beings of all shapes and sizes are the same way. Will super intelligent apes or genetically reconstructed dinosaurs eventually replace us as the dominant species on Earth? It’s doubtful, but one never knows how future events will unfold.

Kim Birtch has gorgeous eyes.

Kim Birtch has gorgeous eyes.

This deep-rooted fear might explain why people have a natural inclination to demonstrate who’s boss. People hunt wild game, eat meat, keep pets, and trap animals in zoos for a variety of reasons, but one hidden reason might be our subconscious desire to remind these beasts who’s in charge. Every time we eat a steak we think to ourselves, “This is what you get for being lower on the food chain!”

Therefore, when men who love female bodybuilders start to compare muscular women to beasts, the same phenomena might be happening. Men, on a subconscious level, view a muscular woman as a threat to his social dominance. She’s bigger and stronger than him, which goes contrary to what thousands of years of biological evolution has brought to us. So in order to retrieve his lost masculinity, he imagines muscular women as being a wild beast in need of domesticating. She’s like a hungry tiger who is threatening to unmercifully consume him and his family. How will he manage to survive?

Perhaps this explains why many guys (not me, but I’m not judging anyone) love to wrestle female bodybuilders. I prefer sensual muscle worship, but I do not speak for everybody. They want to “defeat” her in a battle of physical prowess. While this “victory” is more symbolic than anything else (fantasy wrestling is just that: a fantasy come to life), nevertheless it provides him emotional comfort that he’s still a man and she’s still a woman – regardless of how much muscle she’s packed on her body.

Beasts are either defeated or tamed. A defeated beast is forced to either become food or retreat back into their domains and lick their wounds. A tamed beast can become a subordinate or a partner.

Wow. Who knew female muscle fetishism could be so deeply psychological?

  1. Beasts lack inhibitions and manners

The last point speaks to why many of us love female bodybuilders in the first place: Female bodybuilders are rebels. They defy our expectations for what women are supposed to look like. They defy their biological limitations. They defy their socially-constructed subordinate role to men. They defy our standards of beauty, femininity, and masculinity. They do this whether they intend to or not.

What theoretically separates humans from beasts is that we’re civil and rational while beasts are uncivil and primitive. We live in air conditioned homes. They live in caves and makeshift nests. We can do algebra, calculus, perform symphonies, and write poetry. They can’t conceive of such activities. We can cooperate for mutual benefit. Beasts are forced to kill each other for the sake of survival.

But whenever you read about terrorism, war, political corruption, and crime in the news, it’s hard to say with a straight face that humans are civilized. Who are we to talk? We can be just as violent as a pack of wolves attacking a lone deer.

Beasts, however, lack inhibitions and manners. They are not expected to follow such protocols of rational behavior. A hungry tiger can slaughter a group of defenseless rabbits and none of us will blink an eye. A deranged psychopath can shoot up a public place like a school or a shopping mall and we (justifiably) look down upon that person with shame, disgust, and repulsion. People must behave in a certain way. Animals are, for whatever reason, not expected to do the same.

Beautiful legs on Autumn Raby.

Beautiful legs on Autumn Raby.

In vicarious fashion, maybe we envy the beast for not having to follow these rules. We are jealous that female bodybuilders have the self-confidence to pursue their dreams despite what society says – all the while we don’t possess even a fraction of those convictions. We love muscular women because not only are they physically beautiful, but because they’ve given themselves permission to do whatever they want to with their lives regardless of the consequences. That’s pretty cool. How many of us are willing and able to do the same thing?

We love female bodybuilders because they aren’t dainty flowers who feel constricted by social mores. They defiantly break those molds and create their own rules. They feel free to grunt, bust their tail, and sweat buckets at the gym without a second thought to what anybody else thinks. Their lack of “manners” is liberating. We get a sense of vicarious pleasure from watching this unfold.

I apologize if this post took an unexpected dark turn, but discussions about human sexuality isn’t always a bed of roses. Sometimes it is necessary to travel into the Dark Unknown in order to shine a light on Greater Understanding.

To summarize, there’s something undeniably animalistic about female bodybuilders. From the perspective of straight men who love female muscle, we fantasize about muscular women being wild beasts because it speaks to how we view our place in the global order. Are we at the top? Or at the bottom? Do we have power? Or are we powerless? Is our masculinity celebrated or squashed? Are men the stronger sex or are we secretly afraid that not all of us are able to carry this mantle?

Like the tiger hiding in the sagebrush, these questions are lurking in our minds. And like the tiger’s helpless prey, answering these questions may eventually lead us to an unpleasant confrontation.

Size Queens and Muscle Queens

Denise Masino and Roxie Rain are dictionary-definition Muscle Queens.

Denise Masino and Roxie Rain are dictionary-definition Muscle Queens.

No matter how many millions of words are published – both in print and on the Internet – talking about female bodybuilders, speculation about certain aspects of their sexuality will always creep into the conversation.

Their sexual habits, preferences, anatomy, responsiveness, desires, and mechanics will forever capture our imaginations. A female bodybuilder is treated less like a world-class athlete and more like a philosophical jumping-off point for important issues pertaining to male/female relations, gender identity, gender roles, definitions of masculinity and femininity, sexuality, media representation, and so on. This blog unto itself is a testament to that.

Without question, female bodybuilders are fascinating. Yes, they’re tremendously beautiful and arousing, but they’re also intriguing on an intellectual level. The characteristics of their sexuality are of particular interest to us. I’ve written at length about female bodybuilders and orgasms, their clitorises, and generally speaking why their genitals mesmerize us. So you can count me in as someone who finds all of this to be compelling.

One subject in particular that continues to show up in Google searches and porn searches is whether or not female bodybuilders are also size queens. For those of you who have never heard of Urban Dictionary or are as sheltered as our nuclear arsenal, a “size queen” is someone who enjoys having sex with a large penis. Size queens could be men as well as women. A man who is a size queen doesn’t necessarily have a large penis himself, but nevertheless prefers men who do. A woman who claims to be a size queen is a commonly featured archetype found in popular pornography.

What factors determine who is a size queen and who isn’t? For the sake of argument, let’s talk exclusively about women. I’m not an expert at human sexuality, but I’d argue it’s a matter of personal preference more than anything else. I don’t think certain women are more genetically or culturally predisposed to being size queens than others. Just as every penis is different, I’m guessing every vagina is different too.

A very erotically charged moment featuring Yvette Bova and a friend (does anyone know who she is?).

A very erotically charged moment featuring Yvette Bova and a friend (does anyone know who she is?).

What a woman enjoys during sex largely is dependent upon what she’s used to and who she’s with. The same goes for men. However, this discussion is often framed in terms of clichéd stereotypes that we’ve all been accustomed to hearing over and over again. According to casual research (which means a three second Google search), most so-called “penis maps” claim that men from Africa tend to have larger penises than men from Europe/North America, Latin America, and Asia. Of course, the stereotype still persists that Asian men have the smallest penises in the world. I can’t verify whether any of this is true (do professional sexologists go around the globe and ask random men to pull down their pants for the sake of science?), but let’s just assume there’s a statistically significant degree of truth to this.

Alright, is it fair to say that black women are more likely to be size queens because black men tend to have larger penises? Are white and Latina women somewhere in between? Are Asian women less likely to be size queens because they’re (generally speaking) not physically built to be like that? If we assume that “genetics is destiny,” these conclusions probably aren’t too far off from the truth.

But in all seriousness, we don’t actually know the truth. Lots of useless and innocuous ink has been spilled over the years making unverifiable claims about human sexual preferences. I’m not slamming anyone who is a good faith sex researcher, but pop culture has a way of diluting perfectly solid research to become nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors.

Therefore, who is and isn’t a size queen probably cannot be scientifically proven, disproven or accurately predicted. That doesn’t mean you should ignore what popular magazines have to say on the subject (or random bloggers like yours truly), but take everything you read with a grain of salt. People have hidden agendas, personal biases, or are motivated by click rates/page views in order to generate income. Take it with a grain of salt, indeed. Come to think of it, that’s probably the best advice you’re going to hear all day.

But one demographic group within the human female population that piques our interest the most is female bodybuilders. Are muscular women more likely to be size queens than non-muscular women?

It sort of makes sense, I guess. Muscular women are big. They have big muscles. They have big bodies. They also tend to have big personalities, huge levels of self-confidence, and astronomical amounts of drive, determination, and willpower. Female bodybuilders are larger than life, both literally and figuratively. Why wouldn’t they also enjoy having sex with a big penis?

A very sexy outfit being worn by Amber DeLuca.

A very sexy outfit being worn by Amber DeLuca.

After all, the vagina is more of a muscle than an organ. It’s an internal organ for sure, but its structure is mostly defined by its muscularity. So it’s understandable why we’d speculate whether or not a female bodybuilder can be sexually satisfied unless she has a big piece of meat pounding away inside her muscular vagina.

Do female bodybuilders have more muscular vaginas, just like they have hypermuscular biceps, quads, and delts? Eh, probably not. Unless they spend 30 to 40 minutes per day doing Kegel exercises (for reasons that have nothing to do with pregnancy or curing urinary incontinence) I don’t see why their vaginas would be any more tight or durable than “normal” women. It’s a fascinating topic to ponder, but I don’t think any peer-reviewed research on the matter has ever been (seriously) conducted.

Yet, fans of muscular women still wonder whether the buff and brawny ladies they love also happen to be size queens. Instead of discussing on a cultural/social/scientific level the veracity of this claim let’s talk about why people like us wonder – or even dream about – the Muscle Queen/Size Queen motif.

A female bodybuilder is not just a woman, but an Enhanced Woman. Or a Woman. Or a WOMAN. You get the idea. As fans, we treat these women as being new and improved versions of their non-muscular peers. They’re superior. They’re the next step in the evolution of womanhood. They’re ahead of the curve. They redefine the limits (or perceived limits) of feminine identity. They’re not just larger than life; they are life and everyone else is in the unenviable position of trying to catch up.

In our imaginations, female bodybuilders do everything bigger, better, and bolder than everyone else. We think of them as superhuman beings who break down every single wall we try to build around them and can reconstruct their identities from scratch. Everything they do is done to push the boundaries of what is possible.

A woman can’t be as muscular as a man? Nope!

A muscular woman can’t also become a successful business entrepreneur? Try again!

A woman can’t be muscular and feminine at the same time? Sorry!

Can a muscular woman prove her doubters wrong every single time? You better believe it!

Can a female bodybuilder turn her muscles into a financial asset? Yup!

Is it possible for a female bodybuilder to be hugely muscular and irresistibly sexy at the same time? Bruh. Do I even need to answer this question?

So not only can a female bodybuilder not be put into a box, she seemingly has no limitations to what she can accomplish in her life. Her potential for success knows no boundaries. And whatever so-called boundaries do exist are nothing more than an invisible fence propped up by your feeble mind. Fans of FBBs perceive these women to be almost like the next step in the Evolutionary Scale, a preview of what humanity will look like in 500 years.

These perceptions also apply to how we view their sex lives. If a female bodybuilder can transform her body to become superhuman, does it not also make sense that her sexual preferences would also be superhuman? And what could be more superhuman than to prefer to have sex with a large penis?

What a dress Marina Lopez is slaying!

What a dress Marina Lopez is slaying!

A popular genre of porn features a small, skinny, and petite young lady having sex with a large man with a big penis. Many times it’s “interracial,” but that’s sort of beside the point. We see the young woman tremble, moan, squirm, and quiver in pain as the large piece of man meat penetrates her diminutive body. Even though there’s little scientific evidence that “smaller framed” women have small vaginas while “larger framed” women have bigger ones, porn is rarely ever based in reality.

But many people get turned on by seeing our tiny female protagonist experience a jarring mixture of pleasure and pain as our well-endowed male costar pounds her inexperienced (in other words, “virginal”) vagina into submission. The violent subtext is a bit disturbing, but that’s unfortunately the world we live in today. I don’t really find such porn to be exciting, but I don’t speak for the entire population.

However, if there’s anyone on planet Earth who is tough enough to endure – and unapologetically enjoy – being pounded by a huge penis, it would be a female bodybuilder. She’s tough as nails in the gym, so of course she’d also be tough as nails in the bedroom. She’s “Woman enough” to handle such a prodigious piece of masculine meat.

Not only that, but she also enjoys having such a big penis inside her. Unlike our weak little starlet who is almost on the verge of tears as she’s having sex with her male costar, a female bodybuilder wants him to pound her harder and harder until he gives up. She isn’t experiencing sex with gritted teeth, but instead a smile. This scenario isn’t what I find to be particularly arousing, but once again, my tastes should not in any way be considered universal.

Many of us fantasize about our Muscle Queens also being Size Queens because we love the idea that they’re hard to tame. If you share the “Taming the Wild Beast” fantasy, you know what I’m talking about. As a weaker man (assuming you are a physically weaker man), we cannot lift more than a female bodybuilder or beat her in a wrestling match. So how can we assert our masculinity around her? Easy! We can make love to her and give her such a satisfying, spine-tingling orgasm that she becomes limp, drained of energy, and intoxicated by our male superiority. By Taming the Wild Beast, we men can reclaim our rightful position as being the dominant sex, all through the act of sex. As she’s cuddling up next to you, purring like a kitten, you beam with pride like a Man’s Man.

For many reasons, society tends to associate penis size with one’s level of masculinity. The bigger the member you have, the more “manly” you obviously are. It’s a crude measuring stick (no pun intended), but pop culture is more often than not simplistic and rudimentary. For men who feel insecure about themselves, watching a man thrust his big penis in and out of a muscular woman’s vagina until she reaches orgasmic climax is the ultimate turn-on. It’s vicarious entertainment intended to allow the male viewer to finally be able to dominate a female bodybuilder by proxy.

We can’t bench press more than her, but damn it we can sure as hell give her such a mind-blowing orgasm that she’ll be on her knees begging for more!

This fantasy speaks not only to our desire to see a muscular woman as being sexually superhuman, it also reveals our subconscious yearning to reclaim our masculinity. For an emotionally emasculated man, we see a female bodybuilder as a symbol of what society has become. Women are now in high positions of social, political and economic power. Men are not necessarily lagging behind, but it sure seems like it. So how can we reposition ourselves toward a return to glory? It’s simple:

Sexual performance.

If we can be so desirable that powerful, independent women become putty in our hands, it doesn’t matter how much money is (or isn’t) in our bank accounts. It doesn’t matter what our job titles are (assuming we actually have a stable job) or who our boss may be. In the outside world, we may be weak, feeble, and emasculated. But in the bedroom (or in our imaginary bedrooms), we are strong, powerful, and unquestionable masculine. We are Kings in our own domain, with our trusted Muscle Queen right by our side. She may be physically stronger than us, but she knows ultimately who’s boss.

It’s us. Heck yeah!

She may have more meat on her arms, but we have more meat where it really matters: between our legs. Sexual fantasies can be really weird at times. This is definitely one of those times.

Okay, let’s recap what we’ve learned. First, there exists in the imaginations of female muscle fans the fantasy of our beloved Muscle Queens also being Size Queens in the bedroom. Second, there is probably very little scientific evidence to suggest that heterosexual muscular women prefer larger penises over smaller or average-sized penises. Third, this fantasy is more based in men’s desires to conquer their sexual insecurities by envisioning a muscular woman being tamed and satisfied by a large penis. Fourth, the Muscle Queen/Size Queen narrative is essentially an assumption borne out of who muscular women actually are: larger-than-life superhumans who possess larger-than-life physical and sexual characteristics.

Angela Salvagno showing off the goods of Melissa Dettwiller.

Angela Salvagno showing off the goods of Melissa Dettwiller.

Muscle Queens are not necessarily Size Queens. And who is and isn’t a Size Queen cannot be objectively predicted. Everyone is different. What we like and dislike in the bedroom often times has nothing to do with our race, ethnicity, culture, standard of living, political/social beliefs, or body type. It probably has more to do with our life experience, openness to new things, and willingness to experiment.

This discussion boils down to how female muscle fans think of themselves in relation to the muscular women they love so dearly. Do you view a muscular woman as a prize? As an object of desire? As a means to an end? As an opponent? As an ally? As the flip side of a coin (with you on the other side)? As a barometer of your own masculinity?

This is not, of course, a judgment on the people who ponder such matters. I often fantasize about this too. It does seem rather disappointing for a strong, powerful, and sexually aggressive muscular woman to feel 100 percent satisfied after making love with a normal-sized penis. Wouldn’t she naturally prefer something bigger and better?

Then I realized this: bigger isn’t always better. And this isn’t just a consolation prize for guys who are insecure about the size of their genitalia. Perhaps this is true for many women. Not all, but many.

Like most sexual fantasies, they expose less about the object of desire and more about the person doing the desiring. We love thinking about our cherished muscular women enjoying the pleasures delivered to them by a large penis because, in vicarious fashion, this is an example of a sexually powerful Man asserting his dominance over a Muscular Woman. She may have lots of beefy meat all over her body, but a Man has his meat where it counts. Perhaps this fantasy is more in tune with the Weak Man/Strong Woman motif that permeates the underground world of female muscle fetishism.

He may be a Weak Man, but he is indisputably strong where it matters: between his legs. She may be a Strong Woman, but she can instantly turn into a weakling the moment his powerful manhood penetrates her during intercourse. He’s not just Taming the Wild Beast, he’s also Reaffirming His Own Inner Wild Beast.

<Is he trying to strip her of the “Wild Beast” crown, or is he willing to share it? Hmmmmm…>

But this also speaks to our belief that muscular women deserve better. They deserve to be satisfied by the most sexually potent and competent men on the planet. There’s an altruistic component to this fantasy as well. Not only are we demonstrating to her our masculine powers, we’re also upholding her right to experience maximum pleasure because she is who she is.

She has the right to experience pleasure. And we are privileged to be able to help make that happen.

She’s strong. She’s beautiful. She’s powerful. She’s dynamic. Because of all this, she deserves the best. She deserves to be with an equally strong, beautiful, powerful, and dynamic man. If he happens to also have an impressive endowment, that’s great. He has the best. And she deserves the best. That’s a match made in coital Heaven.

Why We Love Watching a Muscular Woman Masturbate

Look at the biceps of Gillian Ward!

Look at the biceps of Gillian Ward!

There are many activities muscular women do that female muscle enthusiasts love to watch.

Lifting at the gym. Wrestling a hapless opponent into submission. Dominating a weaker man both physically and psychologically. Pumping their clit. Posing for the camera. Talking about her daily routine, best lifts, sex life, etc.

But there is one activity that’s especially compelling, one that deserves special recognition. It’s an activity we all do, although we may not want to necessarily admit it out loud.

We love watching muscular women masturbate.

There’s no denying this. The category of porn known as “solo performance” has much mainstream appeal, whether it features muscular women or “normal” looking women. But it holds special weight among the crowd who loves female bodybuilders. When a female bodybuilder masturbates, we love watching it not just because it turns us on, but because it provides us much needed emotional catharsis.

Think this is a bit of a stretch? Read on.

We all have our masturbation stories. When we first discovered it, when our parents “caught” us doing it, when it came in handy (no pun intended) after a stressful day, ways we’ve improved in doing it after much trial and error, and so on. We were all teenagers at one point, right?

But it doesn’t end after the gloriously awkward days of middle school. No, not by a long shot. Unless we’re a modern day Casanova, most of us do not receive the amount of sexual pleasure from a partner (or multiple partners, depending on who you are) that adequately satisfies our appetites. Many of us need to “release” our built-up tension in other ways. Hence, we do the job ourselves.

Woody Allen is right that we shouldn’t knock on masturbation as a bad thing. After all, it’s sex with someone we love. That’s a win-win in my book.

As a matter of pornography, masturbation is just as titillating an activity to watch as traditional – and non-traditional – sex can be. I don’t have exact statistics in front of me, but I’d be willing to bet that at least 15 percent of porn videos out there on the Internet have at least some elements of “solo performance” attached to it. I’ve seen videos of two people (one man and one woman) masturbating next to each other. They never have actual intercourse together. They just get themselves off with the other person in close proximity. I didn’t find this video particularly appealing, but as they say, different strokes for different folks.

Pun intended? You better believe it.

Returning to our original subject, there’s a huge difference between watching a pretty skinny girl masturbate for the camera and a big, beautiful and powerful female bodybuilder doing the same thing. Both performers will provide their audience the expected dosage of over-the-top fake moans and cheesy convulsing, but the latter carries with her a high degree of interesting context that the former does not.

Lisa Cross is not afraid to show off her assets for the camera.

Lisa Cross is not afraid to show off her assets for the camera.

When a woman masturbates for the camera, the obvious purpose is to sexually excite the viewer. That’s without a doubt reason #1. Yes, she may have exhibitionist motivations behind her, but by and large her performance is for entertainment purposes. Some people may find it more entertaining than others, but that’s beside the point. That being said, when a female bodybuilder gets off in front of the camera, it triggers inside us a whole host of thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

First, we associate masturbation as being the ultimate act of independence. It is, in a literal sense, having sex with yourself. When an FBB masturbates, it reaffirms her devotion to being a strong, independent woman. She’s perfectly able to please herself, thank you very much. It’s not that she doesn’t need a man or woman to please her (let’s face it, many FBBs are also lesbians), rather she knows her body better than anyone else.

Bodybuilders are by their very nature more in-tuned with their bodies than anyone else. It makes perfect sense. They spend years of their lives hyper-focusing on every single square inch of their bodies to ensure it meets their strict definition of “perfection.” This is no small task. So who is best qualified to give their bodies pleasure? That’s right. Themselves.

We love female bodybuilders because they defy so many perceptions we hold about men, women, and male/female relations.  They’re stronger than most men despite women being naturally weaker than men. They’re headstrong, fiercely independent, and refuse to accept the status quo as being adequate. They aren’t women who claim to be strong. They’re women who actually are strong, both physically and emotionally.

Anybody can write a Facebook post claiming to be determined to pursue their dreams. Female bodybuilders, on the other hand, expend blood, sweat, and tears every single day to make their dreams come true. They live out their dreams so that it’s not really a dream, but reality itself.

Can't get enough of Kathy Johansson. Can you?

Can’t get enough of Kathy Johansson. Can you?

This spirit of individual determination mirrors the act of masturbation. Assuming we take a more positive attitude toward masturbation (have you noticed that a man who masturbates is considered a “loser” while a woman who masturbates is considered “liberated?”), watching a female bodybuilder get herself off is just one other example of her taking control of her own life. Her resolve to build up the biggest and brawniest body possible goes hand-in-hand with the desire to take her sexuality into her own hands (literally and figuratively).

When we watch a female bodybuilder pleasure herself with a dildo, vibrator or her own fingers, we’re seeing her display an act of independence that is a natural continuation of the independence she displays in every other facet of her life. Her unique diet, personalized workout regimen, and unorthodox lifestyle separate her from the herd. Her ability to give herself pleasure goes along those same tracks.

Second, we see masturbation as an act of a female bodybuilder rewarding herself for being who she is.

I don’t need to rehash the idea that being a competitive (or a dedicated non-competitive) bodybuilder is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very difficult thing to do. Male or female, the life of a bodybuilder is without debate a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very difficult thing to do.

Uh, did I mention it’s a very difficult thing to do?

A female bodybuilder makes sacrifices that very few of us would also be willing to do. I’m sure there are days (and perhaps weeks on end) when an FBB really doesn’t want to go to the gym and lift. Her joints hurt. Her muscles are sore. Her back is stiff. Her stomach hurts from eating the same food over and over again and in such large quantities. She’s sick and tired of drinking so much damn water. All she wants to do is open a bottle of beer, order a take-out pizza, and sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day.

But that won’t get her one step closer to placing 1st at the upcoming competition. That won’t allow her body to remain in a condition that her fans expect. Doing that will be bad for business, because these days female bodybuilders have to think of themselves as a one-woman business.

Instead, she has to suck it up and do what’s necessary to keep making gains at the gym and keeping her body in top shape. Her body wants to quit, but her mind must refuse to let that happen.

Abby Marie showing off her impressive set of abdominal muscles.

Abby Marie showing off her impressive set of abdominal muscles.

That attitude requires a level of mental fortitude that not too many of us possess. We all know that it’s easier for men to develop muscle mass than women. So when a woman achieves muscle mass that surpasses that of a man, we know that’s a supremely impressive accomplishment. We cannot imagine how much sacrifice it takes to get to that point. This is why as fans of female bodybuilders we feel a psychological need to “reward” them for their sacrifices.

If we cannot actually reward these women – through gifts, paying hundreds of dollars for a muscle worship session, purchasing their merchandise, or buying tickets to one of their contests – we need an alternate route instead. Watching them masturbate for the camera is, in a weird sense, a surrogate means of “rewarding” them. When we see a strong muscular woman experience a satisfying orgasm (assuming she’s not “acting” for the camera), we experience cathartic release.

Female muscle fans enjoy a body type that is both rare and tremendously difficult to achieve. It’s easy for us to feel guilty about loving muscular women when we know they don’t owe us anything. Female bodybuilders don’t owe us a damn thing. They don’t have to share free photos of themselves on the Internet. They don’t have to produce videos that are easily found by a simple Google search. They don’t have to make their Instagram and social media accounts open to the public. They don’t have to offer muscle worship and wrestling sessions to anybody who’s willing to pay. They don’t have to do any of those things. But they choose to do so anyway.

So when female bodybuilders do allow people like us to enjoy the fruits of their labor, we feel like we’re not worthy, just as Wayne and Garth weren’t worthy of meeting Aerosmith in their basement. We feel a small amount of guilt, as if we’re getting away with something. It seems almost criminal that photos and videos of Gorgeous Muscle Goddesses are available for free on the Internet. That seems rude. In the back of our minds, we feel like access to these women’s bodies should be safeguarded like the codes to our nuclear arsenal.

Like ancient tribes who made sacrifices to the benevolent gods for providing a bountiful harvest, female muscle fans feel like we must provide our beloved Muscle Goddesses a ritual sacrifice as well. Most of us aren’t able or willing to provide an actual monetary gift, so we do the next best thing: We enjoy watching them give themselves sexual pleasure.

When a female bodybuilder reaches the climax of a self-induced orgasm, we feel like she’s receiving the reward she deserves for being who she is. As voyeurs watching this exhibition of sexual self-actualization, we receive emotional comfort knowing her hard work is being given its due. Even watching a female bodybuilder have sex with another person (man or woman, it doesn’t matter) carries the same effect. Anytime an FBB experiences an orgasm, it’s a ritual emotional cleansing for us. We can now continue to enjoy her muscles without any feelings of guilt. She’s happy and satisfied. She’s glowing. She’s purring like a kitten. She’s experienced pleasure. She’s been erotically satiated. And we love that she’s able to experience this. Because damn it, she deserves it.

Alas, no good deed goes unrewarded. There is justice in the universe. Huzzah!

Third, we view a female bodybuilder masturbating as an act of defiance. Too often female bodybuilders face jeers, insults, and rude remarks from mean spirited and ignorant people. People will say hurtful and sexist things about them over the web or worse, to their faces. It sucks. It’s disgusting. It makes us angry. As fans of female bodybuilders, we feel defensive toward the strong women we love. It’s almost tribalist, as if an attack on her is an attack on all of us. We know that’s not technically true, but it sure feels that way.

If I ever saw Colette Nelson wearing a dress like that in public, I should not be held legally responsible for my actions!

If I ever saw Colette Nelson wearing a dress like that in public, I should not be held legally responsible for my actions!

One common insult hurled toward female bodybuilders is that they’re not actually women. They’re either men, wish to be men, or are freaks of nature whose gender identity cannot be properly diagnosed. Her sexuality is brutally deconstructed, minimalized, marginalized, and trivialized. Her femininity is brought into question. Our masculinity (assuming you’re a man) is also brought into question.

She’s treated like a freak, in summary. She’s not human. She’s repulsive. She’s a betrayal to womanhood. Heck, she’s a betrayal to manhood as well. People out there think she deserves scorn because she defies our common perceptions of “what a woman is supposed to look like.”

It’s enough to make my blood boil. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about.

However, when a female bodybuilder masturbates, she’s openly defying these insults and is taking control of her sexuality. She’s proving she’s not a freak, but rather an exceptional example of the potential of human achievement. She has a vagina, and is willing to spread her legs out wide to prove it. Her clitoris isn’t a small penis, but a clitoris that’s really damn big. Period. She doesn’t need a man to please her. She doesn’t need to gain anyone’s approval. She is perfectly able to live a fulfilling life regardless of the vitriol thrown her way. For her, masturbation is not just an act of defiance, but a total beat down of all the negative stereotypes thrust upon her.

When we watch a female bodybuilder masturbate, we feel like we’re watching a show of protest. We’re watching a female bodybuilder not just reaffirm her right to enjoy pleasure, but giving permission to other women (whether they’re muscular or not) to do the same. If she can unapologetically give herself an orgasm, you can too. Regardless of what her critics will say, she doesn’t give two shits about them. She’s going to fuck herself with a dildo no matter what. She’s going to moan, groan, scream, and squirm to her heart’s delight.

And there’s nothing you can do to stop her.

Indeed, watching a muscular woman masturbate isn’t just a simple act of erotic voyeurism. It’s almost like a religious experience. Or if you’re not spiritually inclined, it’s cathartic. As she’s experiencing sexual release, we’re experiencing emotional release. We may not know it but that’s exactly what’s going on in our minds.

I realize it’s a cliché to refer to an independent woman as being “liberated,” but that’s not far from the truth. Being free means being able and willing to forge your own path. Perhaps that’s at the heart of the matter. It’s one thing to be able to pursue bodybuilding. It’s quite another to be willing to go through the daily grind year after year after year. A so-called “liberated” woman is free from two things: Obstacles created by society at large and obstacles created in her own mind.

I’m a big believer that the most significant hurdles any of us will ever face in our lives aren’t created by other people, but instead are created by ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. The moment we tell ourselves that we’re going to fail, we’re inevitably going to fail. We can blame outside forces all we want, but at the end of the day our lives are controlled by one person and one person only: Us.

We hold the keys to success. We’re the drivers of our own cars. We lay down the bricks to our own sidewalks. We build the doors that lead to our own success. Once we accept that we can take life by the horns and run with it, there’s no stopping what we can do.

When a muscular woman masturbates, she’s doing that in a literal sense.

She decides how, when, and who can please her. If it’s herself, so be it. If it’s someone else, fantastic. If it’s a combination of both, great. Regardless, she dictates the terms of her own life. Just as she’s sculpting her body to look a certain way, she’s also demonstrating her erotic autonomy. As fans, we cannot get enough of this. As fans, we’re rooting for her to masturbate as often as she wants to. We want her to climax as many times as she desires. Watching this happen isn’t just arousing, it’s a purging of our pent-up frustrations about being a female muscle fan.

Didn’t think watching an FBB give a “solo performance” carried that much weight, did you? That’s the beauty of being a fan of muscular women. No matter how many layers you dig through, you’re always going to find more topics to talk about. The onion goes on forever and ever. Let us keep this conversation going, shall we? For the sake of the muscular women we love, it’s the least we can do.

So keep on masturbating, muscular women everywhere! You know you have a small army of dedicated fans who are in your corner, rooting for you like mad.

Taming the Wild Beast: Giving an Orgasm to a Muscular Woman

If Jane looked like this, would Tarzan still want to be with her?

If Jane looked like this, would Tarzan still want to be with her?

There is a common belief out there that men who love muscular women also love (or fantasize about) being dominated by a muscular woman. While there is a close link between female muscle fetishism and BDSM, the two can be mutually exclusive. I would argue they can exist independently.

Nevertheless, the weak man/strong woman motif persists for good reasons. Men who pay strong women for sessions do so for the privileges of wrestling them or worshiping their muscles. Either way, they’re willing to shell out $300 to $500 of their hard earned cash because they love living out the fantasy of being physically and emotionally dominated by a stronger woman.

This fantasy goes a bit further, however. Deep down inside, even the most beta male secretly wishes he can win the upper hand against a stronger female opponent. While there are guys who fetishize the idea of being completely dominated by a woman, there exists other fantasies that go along with that. Primarily, the fantasy of “taming the wild beast.”

For as long as human civilization has been around, it has been commonly accepted that men are naturally stronger than women. This has led to men being the ones who’ve organized society’s political, social, economic, and religious structures. For better or for worse, this is still how things operate today, although that trend is starting to move in the other direction. There is no doubt women are gaining further traction in today’s world, but the way business has been done for thousands of years cannot be radically altered overnight.

Perhaps this “changing of the guard” where men and women are enjoying (more or less) “equal” footing in society’s power structures explains the popularity of men fetishizing being dominated by a woman. There are countless men in this world who are in control but do not necessarily want to be in control. Just as Spider-Man could tell you, with great power comes great responsibility. And great responsibility can be a heavy emotional burden.

Sexologists will argue that the male fantasy of being dominated by a woman is borne out of a desire for powerful men to be able to “let go” and be powerless for at least a few moments in his life. Heavy lies the crown, so the adage goes. This temporary abdication of power is a man’s way of releasing his inner burdens and allowing someone else to take control for once. So perhaps we’re looking at this in completely the wrong way. Guys who love muscular women aren’t necessarily beta males who enjoy submitting themselves to feminine power. Instead, they might just be “average, normal dudes” who crave momentary relief from their male “duties.”

We could go on exploring this issue, but let’s return to the main topic. The association of a muscular woman with a “wild beast” shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Pulp novels of long ago used to portray “jungle women” who would capture, torment, scheme against, and engage in steamy sexual relationships with their male counterparts. The jungle motif continues to be seen today in photoshoots involving female bodybuilders and models. Our pop culture associates a strong, muscular physique with keen survival skills, an animalistic personality, and fierce independence.

What if Jane looked like Dayana Cadeau?

What if Jane looked like Dayana Cadeau?

Tarzan wasn’t a weakling. Jane might have been, but certainly not her lover. If we turn the tables around and fantasize about Denise Masino or Alina Popa as modern-day female Tarzans, how many of us would put ourselves into the shoes of Jane? Would we be named James? Or John? Or Jim?

However, as much as we love to think of our favorite female bodybuilders as strong, sexy, independent creatures who can kick our ass at the drop of a hat, deep down inside our imaginations exist an interesting layer to this fantasy. We still want to be in charge. We may enjoy being pinned down, talked down to, and humiliated by a strong woman, but at the end of the day we want to assert our God-given dominance in one way or another.

So how do we do that? In this particular fantasy, the answer – of course! – has a sexual component to it.

If a weaker guy cannot physically dominate a stronger woman, he can assert his dominance in a sexual way instead. How is that done? Simple:

Giving a female bodybuilder an orgasm.

Obviously, not every female bodybuilder who offers sessions will allow that level of sexual intimacy to her clients. That’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, I’m referring to the fantasy of giving a strong muscular woman an orgasm. Let’s talk about this point in further detail.

There are many ways men can demonstrate their dominance over a woman. Not all of them are sexist or spiteful, although these behaviors could certainly be taken to those unfortunate extremes. A guy could show off his strength at the gym, flaunt his wealth at a fancy restaurant, impress his date by introducing her to his high-status friends, remind everyone how much influence he has at his job, and so on. Yeah, many of these things can make you out to look like an egotistical jerk, so I don’t recommend you exhibit these manners too often.

A jungle-themed photoshoot with Wendy McMaster.

A jungle-themed photoshoot with Wendy McMaster.

But…there is another way. It’s less public (at least, traditionally speaking), but it’s a certifiable way to prove one’s dominance. It involves pleasing her in the bedroom. How strange it is that the ultimate act of proving’s one’s manhood involves giving pleasure to a woman. Guys can brag all they want in the locker room about how many women they’ve slept with, but what’s less certain is figuring out how many of these women found the experience of sleeping with you pleasant. You can have sex with ten women in one wild weekend, but if every single one of them left your bedroom bored and unsatisfied, how much of a “Man” are you?

On the other hand, if a man makes love to only one woman – his wife or girlfriend, perhaps – during one eventful passionate evening, and she experiences a multitude of gratifying orgasms, is this guy more of a “Man” than the guy who slept with ten women who didn’t feel a thing while doing the deed with him?

Yes, of course!

This is why a man’s penis is nicknamed his “manhood.” It’s what makes a man a man. Not only does the penis biologically separate a man from a woman, it’s his way of showcasing his dominion over her. Contrast the guy who sleeps with ten women who can’t remember his name with another guy who spends the whole night with one woman who can’t get enough of him. Satisfying climax after satisfying climax, she’s sure she’ll never have it this good ever again in her life. Without question, this guy is much more of a “Man” than the first guy who should really see a doctor about getting an STD test.

A typical "jungle woman" cover from an old-school pulp novel.

A typical “jungle woman” cover from an old-school pulp novel.

Therefore, this explains the fantasy. A female bodybuilder may be leaps and bounds more powerful, confident, strong, and tough than her weaker male lover. However, in the bedroom, it’s a whole other story. There, he can validate his manliness. She may have bigger muscles, but he has a penis that can satisfy her like no other can. All the dildos and vibrators in the world cannot compare to his manhood. Through the act of sex, the tables are turned. During a passionate lovemaking session, he is the dominate one and she is the weaker one – regardless of the size of her muscles.

Women are different than men in regards to what happens post-orgasm. As one young lady I know once told me, when it comes to having multiple orgasms, women “can keep going until they decide to stop.” Good for them! Guys, on the other hand, are much different. We have one…and we’re as good as spent. There’s a reason why many of us like to get off right before going to sleep. It helps us get to sleep! Our energy is drained and it takes at least 15 to 20 minutes before we can get hard again. And if we do get hard again, you can guarantee our level of enthusiasm won’t be nearly as high as it was beforehand.

But let’s ignore this and assume a satisfying orgasm will sap you of all your energy. After successfully providing one’s sexual partner a toe-curling, scream-inducing satiating orgasm, isn’t it like taming a wild beast? The contrast of energy level couldn’t be starker. During sex, people can exert a tremendous amount of energy. Post-sex, it’s like someone took out your battery and flung it out the window. You’re completely and utterly drained.

Tamed, indeed.

This is the origin of this fantasy. Guys who love a wild and dangerous (whether she’s actually wild and dangerous is beside the point; it’s the fantasy that matters most) female bodybuilder feel the intense urge to “cut her down to size” and show her what a real man is like. It’s understandable for a normal-looking man to feel emasculated when in the presence of a muscular woman. Deep down inside, he yearns to be able to make love to her so passionately and so intently that she’s willing to submit to his every whim.

Perhaps submission is the name of the game. One could argue inside every insecure man is an ultra-masculine He-Man ready to jump out and take on the world singlehandedly. I may not feel that way, but I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who do. I’m not passing down any judgement or trying to psychoanalyze their situation. I’m just trying to make sense out of a fervent fantasy a lot of female muscle lovers share – whether they know it or not.

Post-sex, the image of a strong, powerful female bodybuilder purring like a cat as she snuggles up close to me in bed is enough to get my heart rate going. If she were to whisper sweet nothings into my ear, I might just pass out. Come to think of it, I guess I do share this fantasy!

Taming the wild beast can come in many forms. One could physically show one’s dominance over a muscular woman…but that’s not nearly erotic enough. One could tie her up and play the part of a male dominatrix…but that’s kinky and doesn’t prove anything. Roleplaying is fun, but at the end of the day it’s two consenting adults creating a false reality for the sake of mutual erotic amusement. It’s not real. But having sex with a female bodybuilder and showing her how much of a Casanova you are…well, it’s not like such a thing could actually happen to me, but at least you could consider it an actual accomplishment.

Denise Masino is a wild beast who needs to be tamed.

Denise Masino is a wild beast who needs to be tamed.

Right, there, that’s at the heart of this discussion: showcasing an accomplishment to a woman who has her fair share of impressive accomplishments. Guys who love muscular women also want to “prove” to her that he’s a man and she’s still a woman. The differences in physical strength notwithstanding, guys still want to be the one in charge. They might enjoy being dominated by her for kicks and giggles, but when push comes to shove he still wants the opportunity to assert his masculinity. He doesn’t think he’s superior to her (or that she’s inferior to him); rather he desires to let her know who’s who in this relationship.

Giving an orgasm to a female bodybuilder is the premiere way to prove to her what kind of a Man you are. You deserve the capital “M,” no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And you don’t want to do it by fingering her or performing cunnilingus on her. That’s perfectly okay, but you want to show her you’re a Man the old fashioned way: stick your hard manhood inside her and ride her till she begs for more. And when she does beg for more (assuming your fantasy goes this far), you can choose to either fulfill her wishes or deny her what she wants.

And to make matters better, because it takes guys a little while to get hard again, she has to wait for you to be able to make love to her again. Imagine that!

That’s what this is all about. Whether you want to please her till she’s purring like a kitten or you want to deny her what she desires, it’s your choice. It’s fantasy, and you can definitely see how this could play out in reality. You are a Man. She is a Woman. You dream of demonstrating to her who’s who and leaving absolutely no doubt about it.

She’s still an incredibly strong Woman, but you’re a Man, and there’s nothing that can take that away from you. She is a Wild Beast and you must tame her before she gets out of control. You’re a Man. It’s what you’re supposed to do. She knows it, but she wants to know if you know it.

So there you go. You just want to send her a message. And have fun while doing it. That’s a win-win in my book.

“Taming the Wild Beast” is a fantasy that can be counterintuitive. A weak man who’s with a strong woman doesn’t have to feel emasculated. In fact, he can feel quite the opposite. She may be able to beat him at arm wrestling or deadlift more than him at the gym, but he can still satisfy her in bed and leave her begging for more. This intends to shift the balance of power away from her and toward him…where it rightfully belongs.

I believe this is Julie Bonnett. Can anybody say otherwise?

I believe this is Julie Bonnett. Can anybody say otherwise?

No matter how big she grows, no matter how large her muscles become, no matter how powerful she can be…she can never truly supersede his role as the dominant Alpha Male. A female bodybuilder can pretend to be the Alpha Female, but all that comes to a crashing halt the moment he successfully gives her a fulfilling orgasmic experience. Physical strength can be manufactured at the gym. Sexual prowess is innate. There’s nothing she can do to turn the tide on thousands of years of male/female biological reality.

At the end of the day, he has the penis and she has the vagina. In this fantasy, the vagina is unquestionably subordinate to the penis. Without a penis, the vagina exists in a vacuum. She can masturbate all she wants – and she could very well give herself fantastic climaxes – but there’s still a void left in her sex life. Who can fill that void?

You guessed it. The Man.

Even if this Man is smaller, weaker, and physically unremarkable. Even if the Woman is larger, stronger, and more dynamic. That’s irrelevant. The “Taming the Wild Beast” fantasy ignores those realities and puts the Man in the driver’s seat. This isn’t rooted in sexism, misogyny or even insecurity. It’s rooted in the desire to relinquish control, but not totally give it up. It’s based on the belief that women can be stronger than men, but a man is still a man and a woman is still a woman. Fetishes are often simple to understand. It’s not complicated.

The beauty of this fantasy is the fact that “taming” her doesn’t involve violence or dehumanizing her. That’s out of the question. “Taming” her instead involves giving her sexual pleasure. He gets pleasure out of it as well, but what’s more important is making sure she leaves the encounter happy and satisfied.

She may be a beast on the outside, but deep down inside she can be just as vulnerable as him. It just takes a single passionate carnal encounter to bring these vulnerabilities to the surface. He derives pleasure from giving her pleasure. That’s a win-win indeed.

Envy: The Deadly Sin of Female Bodybuilding

It's understandable to see why some people might be envious of Tatiana Anderson.

It’s understandable to see why some people might be envious of Tatiana Anderson.

Not many of us may be familiar with or sympathetic to the teachings of the early Christian church, but most of us have heard of “The Seven Deadly Sins” at some point.

Whether you’ve seen David Fincher’s classic 1995 film “Se7en” or you just happen to be well-versed in the ethics of medieval Christendom, The Seven Deadly Sins are:

  1. Wrath
  2. Greed
  3. Sloth
  4. Pride
  5. Lust
  6. Envy
  7. Gluttony

These seven vices are associated with self-indulgence and contribute to the fall of humanity. While changing social mores throughout time might knock a few of these sins off their perch, we still to this day regard many of these behaviors with shame.

Female bodybuilding, to switch gears just a bit, is in a position of both strength and weakness right now. On one hand, the popularity of CrossFit, Fitbit, hybrid workouts, customized personal training and fitness apps is making it less taboo for women to lift weights and exercise hard. These trends may not necessarily lead more women down the path of bodybuilding, but the doors are definitely more open than they were in generations past.

On the other hand, the sport of female bodybuilding is being more and more marginalized as the years go on. Elite, hyper-muscular female athletes are being pushed out of the industry while more watered-down “fitness” and “bikini” competitors are taking their place. Pretty soon, it’s not inconceivable that the Ms. Olympia competition may not exist anymore. Competitions involving highly muscular female bodybuilders will definitely still persist, but they’ll most likely receive less mainstream support than they did before.

The gorgeous Debbie Leung flexing her bicep.

The gorgeous Debbie Leung flexing her bicep.

For fans of female bodybuilding, this is a tragedy that feels both inevitable and sadly predictable. We hope this day never arrives, but one can certainly see which direction the tide is turning.

That being said, how does one explain this downgrading of the sport many of us love so much? One of The Seven Deadly Sins may offer a plausible explanation.

Envy.

Let us explore this issue in greater detail.

  1. Envy, in both men and women, is contributing to the assault against female bodybuilding

Unfortunately, the attack against female bodybuilding is coming from two different directions: men and women. Let’s first start with men.

Traditionally-speaking, men are considered to be the “stronger sex” while women are, by default, dubbed the “weaker sex.” There is biological data to back this up, as well as centuries of culturally imposed gender roles – spanning across the entire globe – that contribute to this well-entrenched social paradigm. The concept of men being naturally stronger than women is something we didn’t have to learn in school. Most of us know this by our own accord.

Therefore, when we (and by “we,” I’m referring to us guys as a whole) encounter a woman who’s clearly stronger than us, we feel emasculated. We’re supposed to be the stronger ones, not the losers coming in second place. If you’re at the gym and you see a lady deadlifting two or four 45-pound plates more than you, it makes you feel puny, incomplete and a shame to your gender.

In other words, you feel envious. “Envy,” just to be clear, is defined as “a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.”

I still don’t quite know the difference between “envy” and “jealousy,” (I think “jealousy” is being resentful toward another person as a result of your feelings of envy) but it’s pretty clear what’s going on here. The guys who disdain or are disgusted by female bodybuilders are more targeting their own insecurities instead of expressing their hatred toward someone else. When you see an Internet troll describe a female bodybuilder as “trying to become a man” or saying “she probably has a penis,” what they’re really doing is conveying their personal anxieties rather than stating an objective opinion.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Akila Pervis.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Akila Pervis.

Emasculation can be a powerful motivator. Or a powerful wrecking ball of other people’s accomplishments. It’s sad that more guys aren’t encouraged by women who achieve high levels of strength and muscularity. But not all of us see eye-to-eye. What some of us guys perceive to be sexy others interpret to be an attack on their manhood.

Conversely, envy among women is also at play here. Female bodybuilders may not be shattering any proverbial “glass ceilings” per se, but they do tear down certain excuses we use to justify female weakness. Like men who feel emasculated when in the presence of a muscular woman, there are most certainly women who feel “effeminated” – if such a word actually exists – by the same thing. The small number of women (but by no means insignificant) who achieves strength that surpasses the average man brings about a sense of inadequacy in the majority of women who cannot achieve similar results.

They too are repulsed by their more muscular sisters because they feel challenged not by “society” as a whole, but by their peers. It’s one thing to call yourself a “strong, independent woman” and hope the rest of the world goes along with you, but it’s another thing entirely to actually put in the effort to become a genuinely strong woman. Talk is cheap. What female bodybuilders and athletes do is definitely not.

  1. The best way to deal with envious feelings is to pretend like the object of your envy doesn’t exist

Nobody wants to feel emasculated, degraded or second rate. Nobody wants to wake up, look at themselves in the mirror, and see mediocrity reflected back at them. You feel mediocre because you can’t compare to your competition, however you define “competition.”

So what’s the best way to assure you don’t lose to your competitors? Simple. Don’t have any competitors.

Obviously, it’s impossible to snap your fingers and make everybody who is richer, smarter, stronger, better looking and more successful than you magically disappear. So the next best thing is to pretend like they don’t exist. Or, on a more practical level, deny their identity as a method of “erasing” who they actually are.

This is why the insult “she looks like a man” is so common among trolls. Women aren’t supposed to be stronger than men, so when a woman is proven to be stronger than a man, then she must not actually be a woman. She’s probably secretly a man disguised as a woman. Or a woman with biological characteristics more becoming of a man, which by association means she’s not a genuine woman. Which then means her accomplishments aren’t legitimate. And if her accomplishments aren’t legitimate, you feel better about yourself because that battle you thought you lost you then win by default.

Also flexing her beautiful bicep is Mindi O'Brien.

Also flexing her beautiful bicep is Mindi O’Brien.

Delegitimizing your opponents is a classical tactic to eliminating their victories. If you convince enough people – including yourself – that female bodybuilders are actually women with substantial male components (biological traits, hormone levels, etc.), it makes their accomplishments as elite athletes null and void. It comforts your mind knowing Alina Popa isn’t really a normal woman who, by her sheer willpower and hard work, built herself to be stronger and bulkier than most guys. She has to have an unfair advantage somewhere! Perhaps she has an unusual amount of natural testosterone hidden in her system that, scientifically speaking, makes her a “man.” Yeah, that must be it! There’s no way that she can be that buff while being 100% female. Case closed.

While it’s true many female bodybuilders take drugs that increase their capacity to build muscle mass, that doesn’t make them less of a woman. Scientific arguments aside, the point I’m trying to make is that delegitimizing the accomplishments of a female bodybuilder is the primary way critics try to pretend like the objects of their jealousy don’t exist. Deny them their identity, and you “win” because it gives you personal comfort knowing there’s nothing wrong with your own identity.

It’s a terrible thing to do, but unfortunately it’s all too common.

  1. Envy is more of a product of your own insecurity

As mentioned before, the contempt critics of female bodybuilders feel toward them is more a product of their own insecurities rather than anything else. They aren’t angry at them necessarily, but are actually angry at themselves for not doing enough to measure up.

I won’t stress this point any further, but I will add one more nugget. One of the biggest problems facing our society is the belief that someone’s accomplishment is automatically someone else’s loss. In other words, too many of us embrace the idea that life is a zero-sum game.

In case you need a refresher, a zero-sum game is “a mathematical representation of a situation in which each participant’s gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s). If the total gains of the participants are added up and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero.”

You don’t need to be a mathematical genius in the vein of the late John Forbes Nash, Jr. to understand what this means. In sports, athletic competition is a zero-sum game. Either you win or you lose. There’s no middle ground. Yes, some sports have ties. Other sports have placements, so you can come in third or fourth place and still earn a comically oversized check. But most of the time, athletic competitions end with either an absolute winner or an absolute loser.

Stay positive. Look at the gorgeous Gina Aliotti.

Stay positive. Look at the gorgeous Gina Aliotti.

But life is not always like that. One smart kid earning an A+ on their spelling test doesn’t in any way, shape or form prevent other kids from earning a similar grade. Theoretically, every single kid in your class can earn a perfect score (logically, every kid could also earn an F). Yet when you’re the only one who earns the highest mark, why do the rest of the kids treat you with scorn? Why are you labeled a “smarty pants” or other such similar names? For whatever reason, too many of us have been taught that someone else’s gain will automatically result in everyone else’s loss. They can’t prove it, but they inherently believe that you earning the A+ means they’re left with the B- or C+ grades by default.

But life is not a zero-sum game. Seeing a strong, beautiful woman at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the same thing. Nor does it mean she got there through some unfair advantage. Beauty doesn’t have to be a competition. Even if you aren’t gifted with a lot of natural beauty, I’ve written before that female bodybuilders earn their beauty in ways that their peers who hit the genetic jackpot don’t.

Some of the most beautiful female bodybuilders in the world have faces that aren’t traditionally pretty. Some are plain looking. Others might have faces that revolt you. But their bodies are breathtaking and deserve high praise. Regardless, one woman being beautiful doesn’t mean the woman standing next to her can’t also be beautiful. Life isn’t like that.

Perhaps this psychologically explains where envy is rooted in. We, for whatever reason, are socialized to believe that people who are successful make it harder for the rest of us to be just as successful. But this is a fallacy. Life isn’t about fighting over who gets the biggest slice of the pie. It’s about each one of us baking our own delicious pie, without any regard to what other people are doing. This may not be true in every facet of life, but we’d be better off if we all lived life in the positive rather than the negative.

  1. Envy keeps everyone down, even those who’ve reached the top

The last point is probably the most important. Envious feelings hurt everyone. Everyone. Including those who are the object of envy.

Call it “victor’s guilt.” Some people feel guilty for “winning” at life. A parent who has a healthy family might feel bad for their neighbor who can’t conceive a child no matter how hard they try. That same kid who earned the A+ on their spelling test might secretly tank their next test so that they could be more like everyone else. That rising star in the world of female bodybuilding may reduce her muscle gains so that she could encourage her less successful peers to feel better about themselves.

These reactions are understandable. They also reflect a larger issue when achieving the most you can becomes discouraged, or worse, taboo.

It goes without saying that there are many examples in life when someone’s gain truly comes at another person’s loss. But more often than not, this is not the case. Female bodybuilders are already stuck between a rock and a hard place (and I’m not just referring to their rock hard abs and firm glutes). They live a financially and emotionally draining lifestyle that’s receiving less and less support from their own industry, their own peers, the opposite gender and their own gender group. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration, but perhaps it’s not. Either way, it’s hard out there for a female bodybuilder. The battles, both large and small, they have to face every single day is enough to boggle the mind.

If I went to the gym and saw Autumn Raby and Nadia Nardi posing like this, I'd probably have a heart attack. Oh boy...

If I went to the gym and saw Autumn Raby and Nadia Nardi posing like this, I’d probably have a heart attack. Oh boy…

How they manage to maintain their lifestyles and persist in pursuing their dreams is a testament to their inner strength, which is probably mightier than their physical strength. Not all of us are that mentally tough. Female bodybuilders are without a doubt that tough minded.

In conclusion, female bodybuilders create cognitive dissonance in our minds. Or more accurately, emotional dissonance. They spark feelings of envy within us that make us hate them even though we have no justifiable reason to actually hate them. Hate is often attributed to a lack of understanding. It’s also been described as irrational. Whichever it is, envy is at the root of all this. It is until we wrap our minds and hearts around this that we will be able to treat FBBs the way they should be treated: with great respect, not malice.

The best piece of advice I can give is to celebrate people’s accomplishments instead of dwelling on your own shortcomings, either perceived or real. This fortune cookie mantra could be applied to almost all aspects of our lives. Life is too short to hate on other people. Life is also too short to waste your time wishing you could be “better.” Who can really define “better?” This is not to justify mediocrity, but instead to point out the fact that it’s harmful to kick yourself over not being “perfect” or “better than XYZ.”

This is partly why I started my blog. I want to celebrate these beautiful women and their beautiful bodies. Not because I want to shame anyone or tear down anything, but because I want to focus on the positives in life instead of the deficits. We may not all universally agree that “envy” is a Deadly Sin, but we should agree that it tends to lead us in poor directions.

Cut out the frivolous negativity in your life, and good things will follow. And that’s a game we can all play and win.