Kathy Connors: A Devilishly Sexy Muscle Siren

Kathy Connors showing off her gorgeous legs.

Kathy Connors showing off her gorgeous legs.

As far as female bodybuilders go, Kathy Connors isn’t for everyone. She isn’t traditionally beautiful, nor is she especially “feminine” in the mainstream sense of the word.

But for those who “get” Kathy’s appeal, one cannot help but be captivated by her unrepentant sexiness. Miss Connors may not carry the crossover appeal of ladies like Larissa Reis or Minna Pajulahti, but she doesn’t have to. Kathy is remarkable for many reasons; but one reason in particular that stands out is the way she’s forged her own path toward becoming a superstar within a very specific subculture.

Definitive biographical information is difficult to find, so here it goes: Kathy Connors was born on April 3, 1960 in Buffalo, New York. She began working out in 1980 at the tender age of 20 and competed in her first show a year later in 1981. She describes herself as being interested in gourmet cooking, biking riding, skiing, scuba diving, travelling, learning foreign languages, and exploring other cultures. She currently resides in New York City.

Her contest history includes the following, though this is probably not a comprehensive list:

1989 NE Florida – 1st Light & Overall

1990 East Coast – 1st Light & Overall & Mixed Pairs

1990 Southern USA – 1st Light & Overall

1990 Jr. Nationals – 2nd Light

1991 Team USA vs. USSR Exhibition

1992 Florida State – 1st Middle

1992 USA – 3rd Middle

1992 Jr. Nationals – 3rd Middle

1993 Nationals – 10th Middle

1996 NE USA – 2nd Middle

1997 Jr. USA – 1st Middle & Overall

1998 Nationals – 10th Middle

1999 Nationals – 6th Middle

2001 Florida State Championships – 1st Middleweight

2001 Nationals – 7th Middleweight

2002 USA Championships – 13th Middleweight

2003 USA Championships – 12th Middleweight

2003 Southern States – 2nd Heavyweight

2004 North American Championships – 8th Lightheavy

2006 North American Championships – 7th Lightheavy

2007 Florida State – Heavyweight and Overall Champion

2008 North American Championships – 9th Heavyweight

2008 Masters Nationals Heavyweight – Over 45 1st place

2008 Masters Nationals Heavyweight – Over 35 2nd place

2008 USA Championships Heavyweight – 7th place

2012 Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals – 5th

Kathy is a rare breed who has enjoyed success in three different professional ventures: bodybuilding, powerlifting, and adult entertainment. Obviously, the latter is where the most amount of stigma exists. Doing porn, regardless of who you are or what kind you participate in, will cause people to look at you differently. Fairly or unfairly, pornography is still a taboo subject in our society, and those who produce pornographic materials are also by extension considered taboo.

Bodybuilding and powerlifting are also somewhat unusual professions, but they’re obviously not offensive to large swaths of society. Porn is.

I’ve heard that the porn stigma exists even within the bodybuilding industry, an assertion that may or may not be accurate. I’m sure it does to an extent, but I’m also sure there are plenty of people and decision-makers within the industry who either look the other way when a prominent athlete participates in adult films or doesn’t care one iota. Or maybe I’m completely wrong about this. Who knows?

Kathy can definitely sport a sexy black cocktail dress.

Kathy can definitely sport a sexy black cocktail dress.

Regardless, balancing all of these endeavors is a challenge that not too many of us are equipped to handle. And not just attempt to do, but to do well. Kathy Connors may not be a superstar at any of these occupations, but she’s without question respectably accomplished with no reason to hang her head in shame.

Kathy is, as I alluded to before, not for everyone. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, but she doesn’t have a pretty face. I wouldn’t say she’s ugly, but on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 being Danny DeVito and 10 being Monica Bellucci – Kathy is probably somewhere in the 2-3 range. Yikes. Not impressive at all, if you ask me. But nothing to be ashamed about either.

However, part of that is what makes her so damn charming. Kathy isn’t blessed with a naturally beautiful face, but she’s still sexier than most women half her age. She’s reinvented herself to become an irresistible sex kitten through sheer willpower, strategic thinking, and business savvy.

In her adult-themed videos, Kathy usually takes on the persona of a pseudo-dominatrix who is tough, naughty, and takes no prisoners. She physically dominates her co-stars (male and female) but doesn’t abuse them in any unreasonable manner. Her shtick is to showcase her sexiness through power dynamics. She’s in charge…but doesn’t forget to please the people she’s lording over. She’ll show off her muscles in proud fashion…and will use it to get her co-stars off.

Whether she’s squeezing a man’s penis between her flexed biceps or allowing her male co-star to ejaculate all over her chiseled torso, Wild Kat (her online alias, for what it’s worth) will allow others to experience pleasure in exchange for the opportunity to show off her power and authority. She dominates not in a self-absorbed sort of way but rather in an altruistic fetishistic way. For Kathy, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac…when it’s used properly, that is.

So she’s not authoritative in the scary sense. She means no harm. At the end of the day, she wants everyone to be happy and go home with a big fat smile on their face. There’s a lot to be said for that.

Speaking of which, when watching her in action, one cannot help but notice her deep sultry voice.

Indeed, her voice is what makes her a sexy siren. In Greek mythology, Sirens were creatures who took human female form (sometimes bird form, depending on which version of the myth you buy into) and lured male sailors to their death through enchanting music and singing. A sexy body is one thing, but a sexy voice is quite another. The Sirens that Odysseus encountered in Homer’s The Odyssey were merciless beings who would not hesitate to devour whichever helpless victims were to pass them by. I don’t think Kathy is quite that devious, but her sexy hot voice is enough to lead me into certain death.

Yet another leg shot.

Yet another leg shot.

Her irresistible velvety voice is one of her best features. I could listen to her recite the phonebook for several hours and never get tired of it. Seriously, though. Miss Connors’ voice is unique for being unbelievably deep without sounding masculine at all. A remarkable feat, considering the negative stereotype pertaining to the idea that the sport of bodybuilding magically turns women into men. There’s not a single shred of evidence that this is even remotely true, but that’s a whole other story for another day.

Kathy should know that her voice is one of her biggest selling points. In addition to her muscles, Kathy’s speaking voice is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up straight. If it doesn’t do that, then you must be either hard of hearing or totally immune to her unique vocal charms. As rich as butter and as refined as fine wine, Kathy’s voice resonates deeply throughout her environment. She can make the ground shake with her rumbling vocal chords. Her dulcet tones are both surprisingly soothing and undeniably erotic. That’s a winning combination that’s hard to replicate.

Obviously, taking hormones will do that to her voice. That’s shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Her “natural” voice sounds much different. But as things stand now, Kathy Connors can verbally seduce a man – or more specifically, me – in a way that makes Kathleen Turner seem like an amateur.

When looked at from afar, Kathy Connors possesses three distinct features:

  1. A homely face
  2. A deep, traditionally unfeminine voice
  3. Big muscles

How on Earth can a woman with these characteristics be considered tantalizingly sexy? It doesn’t make any sense. It defies all social norms. It goes against our conventional definitions of “beauty” and rules of sexual attraction. Even many female muscle fans prefer an unambiguously feminine woman with a traditionally pretty face. So what kind of person is attracted to a woman that even the most sympathetic female muscle fan finds hard to appreciate?

The answer to that question is simple: She’s confident in who she is and won’t apologize for being who she is.

Compared to Deidre Pagnanelli, Kathy has almost zero crossover appeal. Deidre has the gorgeous good looks of a supermodel and just enough bulk to put her in the “muscle chick” category. For hardcore female muscle lovers, Deidre might not be big enough, but at the very least they can appreciate her divine beauty and unique ability to capture the attention of “female muscle skeptics” across the globe. Kathy isn’t necessarily the epitome of every single negative stereotype associated with female bodybuilders (Nicole Bass and Maryse Manios come closer to that categorization), but she’s certainly not someone who can convert a non-believer into a believer overnight.

Yet, Kathy Connors has found a niche and is willing to exploit that niche to the best of her abilities. There’s a lot to admire about that. Kathy knows she doesn’t appeal to hundreds of millions of people. But she knows she doesn’t have to in order to be successful at what she does. She only needs a few thousand fans who are endlessly devoted to her and “get” her appeal. I am obviously one of those folks. I find her alluring, even though I completely understand why others might not feel the same way. Nor do I expect everyone else to feel the same way.

Kathy understands that if you’re willing to watch videos of her in action or to look at photos of her, then you must be already on her side. Therefore, she doesn’t feel the need to “earn” your interest. She already has it! And she’ll do whatever she can to keep your interest indefinitely.

She can even sport a bikini!

She can even sport a bikini!

One other aspect that cannot be ignored is the “forbidden” nature of Kathy’s aura. As I mentioned earlier, Kathy isn’t a woman tons of guys (and gals) would normally be enchanted by. She’s not very pretty, nor is she conventionally feminine. We’re not “supposed” to like her. But we do! That sort of goes for most muscular women in this world, but Kathy is a rare exception in that even amongst already-converted female muscle fans, she isn’t considered the most popular FBB in existence. Thus, there’s the Forbidden Fruit element attached to Kathy’s identity.

We’re not supposed to admit that we’re attracted to Kathy Connors. But we are. We’re perhaps a bit ashamed to feel this way. We know it’s strange. We know we’re not supposed to be mesmerized by her. But we are regardless of what out gut tells us. Indeed, Kathy is a Forbidden Fruit. In the deepest recesses of our hearts, we know that we’d rather make love to her than Chrissy Teigen or Margot Robbie. We know the vast majority of society would tell us that we’re nuts. Our friends and family would look at us funny and probably would never look at us the same way. But that doesn’t stop us from feeling that way. Not at all.

Do I personally find Kathy Connors more desirable than Miss Teigen or Miss Robbie, two women whom no one would bat an eyelash if I said I’d love to ravish them all night if I could?

To be honest, yes.

Yup, you read that right.

Although, I’d choose Kathy 8 times out of 10 and choose the other two ladies the remaining two times. But that’s just silliness. Kathy is the Forbidden Fruit sitting next to a cornucopia of hundreds of other pieces of delicious fruit. I can easily choose the others with no judgement from my peers. Yet, I choose the one piece that will cause the largest number of people to raise their eyebrows at me. My head tells me to go with the supermodel or the Hollywood starlet. But my heart tells me to go with the plain-looking middle aged female bodybuilder with a masculine sounding voice.

Wow. How devious is Kathy? Think about it. It’s as though she puts herself out there and says to the world: I dare you to look at me with lustful eyes! I dare you to jerk off to me when you’re all alone and no one else is watching. I dare you to fantasize about me instead of any of the hussies half my age prancing around in their underwear on Instagram!

It’s almost like she’s playing a mind game on us. It’s psychological warfare conducted by an adversary whom you cannot stop thinking about. Kathy is so bold she considers it an act of defiance to strut around naked and show off her gigantic clit for the camera. She loves to talk to her audience and reveal her deep masculine voice to the public at large. She refuses to stay silent. She refuses to put on a hyper-feminine character that would help her reach a more massive viewership. She wants to be the anti-Margot Robbie who defies our traditional notions of beauty, youthfulness, and sex appeal.

Damn girl.

Damn girl.

When we daydream about banging a hot chick in a back alley somewhere, Kathy wants us to fantasize about her being that hot chick instead of anyone else. She wants us to question our sense of “normalcy.” It’s not normal for a guy or gal to dream about having sex with a buff 56-year-old woman with an unattractive face and a man-like voice. Yet for many of us, that’s exactly what we do in the privacy of our own minds. Kathy has us in the palm of her hand and refuses to let us go.

Her defiance is what we love about her. She isn’t the type of woman who “should” do porn. Most women her age would be scared to death to expose their aging bodies like that in such a vulnerable manner. But she does. Most women who are insecure with their looks wouldn’t dream of allowing a camera to zoom in closely on their wrinkle-covered face while they masturbate, which is an act of extreme intimacy. But Kathy does. Not only does she dare to do such a thing, she challenges you to look away, knowing full well that you won’t.

Kathy doesn’t give a fuck that the crow’s feet around her eyes accentuates when she smiles for the camera. She also doesn’t give a rat’s ass when her booming voice causes your computer speakers to rumble like an earthquake. She doesn’t care about these things because she knows that if you’re willing to make it this far, then you’re willing to accept whatever she’s going to present to you.

This is why Kathy Connors is a devilishly sexy muscle siren. She’s someone we’re not supposed to like, but we do anyway. She has incredible assets, even though those assets aren’t appreciated by the vast majority of our culture. She won’t ever have mainstream appeal, but she doesn’t need it in order to thrive. She’s a muscle woman who understands why guys like me love her to death. She doesn’t care if out of one hundred people only three truly dig her. She’s going to stare deeply into the eyes of those three saps and jerk them off until they ejaculate all over her hard biceps, while the 97 others struggle to look away in utter disgust.

Kathy Connors is a rebel. She’s fiercely defiant and proudly unapologetic about who she is. To reiterate the opening line of this article, she isn’t for everyone. But she doesn’t need to be. She’s a grotesque muscle bitch who will dominate you both physically and psychologically. She refuses to hide anything about herself. She, in a metaphorical sense, stands in front of the entire Universe and gives everyone the middle finger while sticking her other middle finger inside her vagina and masturbates until she comes all over herself.

Kathy doing what she does best: looking irresistible.

Kathy doing what she does best: looking irresistible.

She rebelliously shoves a camera right in front of her ugly face, deep wrinkles, big muscles, enlarged clit, and masculine voice and says “fuck you” to anyone who dares to look the other way. If you do look away, she won’t hesitate to grab you by the balls and squeeze until you cry for mercy. Even then, she might not actually give you mercy. Or she’ll torture you until you squirt hot semen all over her maligned face while she dares you to call her “pretty.”

If you do tell her that she’s “pretty,” she might relieve you from your pain. Or she might continue to torment you because you failed the test: You aren’t supposed to call her pretty. You’re supposed to acknowledge that she’s hideous. You failed because you aren’t turned on by her. But once you are, then you’re good to go. You finally “get it” now.

Kathy Connors might be an ugly muscle bitch, but she’s the Biggest and Baddest Muscle Bitch of All Time Who Deserves Our Undying Respect. If you mess with her, she’ll fuck your shit up and laugh as she watches you crawl away in defeat.

Yowza! The Biggest and Baddest Muscle Bitch of All Time Who Deserves Our Undying Respect?

You know what? I get the feeling that’s exactly how she wants us to describe her.

Like Fine Wine, Muscular Women Get Sexier with Age

Very fine indeed is Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

Very fine indeed is Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

Age is just a number, as the old saying goes.

In fact, there are many things in our society that are measured in numbers that are fairly arbitrary. The number of times you’ve experienced the Earth rotating around the Sun is obviously one of them. There isn’t much of a difference between a person who’s 18 years old and another person who is a week shy of their 18th birthday. However, from a legal perspective (I live in the United States) they are leaps and bounds apart.

The 18-year-old is a legal adult and can enlist in the military, purchase cigarettes, and possess a firearm. The other person who is six or seven days away from turning 18 cannot legally do any of those things. In actuality, the latter individual may be more intellectually and emotionally mature than the 18-year-old adult, but that doesn’t matter as far as federal and state laws are concerned. From the perspective of governments, it’s not the “readiness” of the person wanting to do certain things that factors into these legal decisions. Realistically speaking, it’s nearly impossible to gage the “maturity” level of a person. It’s a heck of a lot easier to look at their ID card and see what year they were born.

So age does matter as far as the law goes. But what about normal interactions between human beings? We expect lovers to be in the same ballpark as far as age is concerned, but it’s not terribly unusual to see a married or dating couple be eight to ten years apart in age. The bigger the gap, the bigger the eyebrow is raised by onlookers, but that’s a whole other story.

We also judge one’s accomplishments in terms of their age. It’s impressive for a 12-year-old kid to be able to play the piano at the same level of a professional concern pianist. It’s possible, of course, but remarkable enough that we’d feel compelled to label this kid with terms like “prodigy” and “gifted.” A 45-year-old adult who can play the piano at a high level is still impressive, but less so because they’ve had way more years of practice and experience to hone their craft.

When it comes to sexual attraction, someone’s numerical age matters less than the appearance of their age. If we are someone who values youth and vitality, a 25 year-old and a 35-year-old could very well look the same age, assuming you don’t personally know either of them. Makeup, cosmetic surgery and freaky good genetics aside, physical attraction isn’t based upon knowing the specific age of the other person so much as it’s about enjoying the way they look.

Some of us tend to be attracted to those who are younger, others prefer an “older” person, and some of us are more adaptable. We tend to like people who are our age, which of course changes as the years go on.

How I dream of being that chair being straddled by Lora Ottenad.

How I dream of being that chair being straddled by Lora Ottenad.

For straight guys, the “older woman” thing is very much real and not nearly as taboo as it once was. We all have our limits, but there’s nothing unusual about being attracted to a woman who has more life experience under her belt. There’s no need to go into this topic in too much detail, but there is a fascinating angle when we’re dealing with muscular women.

One reason why lots of guys don’t care for older women is because, unfortunately, age tends to break down the human body. Nobody can remain sleek, perfectly curvy and smooth forever. Eventually, a woman’s breasts will start to sag. She may start to gain a few pounds. Her skin will start to wrinkle and lose its softness. This is not something that can be prevented or reversed, no matter how many thousands of dollars you pay a surgeon to operate on you. Mother Nature is unforgiving and time always wins at the end.

This is true for men. This is true for women. This is true for you and I. Oh well. There’s no use in complaining if it’s inevitable, right?

However, muscular women are a different sort of breed. A female bodybuilder who continues to lift at the gym and eat right well after she retires from the sport can still remain just as sexy as she was when she was in her 20s and 30s. And it’s not because muscles can hide a woman’s age. They don’t, but they miraculously can keep a woman’s body irresistibly desirable to guys who are willing to look at her. Aren’t muscles great?

It should also be pointed out that most of the biggest and brawniest female bodybuilders – although certainly not all – tend to be older as it is. Looking through past Ms. Olympia participants (may the Ms. O competition R.I.P.) one cannot help but notice most of the competitors being either in their 30s or 40s. What can explain this? Well, probably because of the simple fact it takes a whole lot of time to gain that much muscle mass.

While it certainly is possible for younger women in their 20s to develop an impressive level of muscularity (see Shannon Courtney before she retired from bodybuilding), for the most part it takes years and years of strategic dieting, lifting, supplementation, and preparation in order to get really big. A woman who takes up bodybuilding at the age of 20 isn’t going to go from looking like Taylor Swift and transform into Debi Laszewski by the time she turns 21. It doesn’t work that way. She may need a half a dozen years before she can even start to resemble Ms. Laszewski.

Betty Pariso putting women half her age to shame.

Betty Pariso putting women half her age to shame.

Or, perhaps she ends up not having the drive, inclination, or support systems necessary to ever look like Debi. Maybe she sets her sights on being a full-time bodybuilder at 20-years-old and gives up two or three years later because she’s broke, penniless, and without a steady income stream. No matter what your goals are, it’s difficult to attain them when you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from.

But even if you do have what it takes to become a professional bodybuilder, it still takes an incredible amount of time to get to an elite level. “Elite” is a word we often throw around casually. But it shouldn’t be used like that. An elite bodybuilder is someone who belongs in a category with only eight or nine other individuals on planet Earth at the most. Even becoming a non-elite bodybuilder is still tough sledding. Attaining a figure similar to that of Emery Miller is still super impressive. However, even that takes lots of time and effort.

It’s definitely possible to achieve the “fit” or “athletic” look after a year or so, but that’s not necessarily what we’re talking about. We have nothing against fitness models, bikini competitors or “normal” women who love to go to the gym, but what really gets our hearts racing are the large female bodybuilders who can bend steel with their bare hands, crush a watermelon between their legs and carry another human being on their back effortlessly. That sort of body is something else entirely. That kind of body doesn’t just develop after running on the treadmill a few minutes per day. That requires a whole set of lifestyle changes that only a few select are willing to implement from start to finish. These are the kind of women we’re dealing with.

So, the “older woman” fetish is attached to female muscle fetishism almost by default. Many female bodybuilders tend to be older. Therefore, guys who love big female bodybuilders also, by extension, love older women.

But is it really that simple?

Perhaps not. In Female Muscle Growth fiction and art, the protagonists tend to be younger women who miraculously become big and buff as quickly as it takes to snap your fingers. Sometimes they’re high school girls. Other times they’re just very young adult women. Nevertheless, there exists a large segment of the female muscle fandom universe who lusts after younger women with big muscles.

However, there does exist a group of folks (myself included) who love strong women and older women at the same time. When I fantasize about making love to women like Denise Masino, Amber DeLuca or Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia (all of them are in their late 40s), the fact they aren’t being mistaken for college co-eds is part of what makes them so desirable. Because these women are older, they’re also:

  • Wiser
  • Sexually skilled
  • Accomplished
  • Experienced in the highs and lows of life
  • Better connected to the human condition
  • Well-versed in what the world has to offer
  • More emotionally and intellectually refined

This isn’t to say that younger people (male or female) can’t also be these things, but years of experience walking on this Earth cannot be easily replicated or substituted. Life can be incredibly complex, with positives and negatives that can hit you from all angles. Perhaps this is why the “older woman” fetish exists. There’s something incredibly sexy about a woman who’s seen it all, experienced it all, and doesn’t have the time nor the inclination to fool around. She knows what she wants, doesn’t want, and will not apologize for either. That’s hot.

Nice view of Dayana Cadeau.

Nice view of Dayana Cadeau.

A woman with muscles is something else. Not only is she wiser and worldly, she’s also strong as hell and beautiful in ways that are indescribable. If Sigmund Freud were a participant in this discussion, he’d point out the fact that strong older women are a sexualized symbol (or surrogate) of our mothers. When we were little kids, we looked up to our moms as being physically and emotionally strong. We still may feel that way today as adults, but as children this was true both literally and figuratively. I’m no expert at Freudian psychology, but I’d wager a guess that there’s probably some element of truth at play here.

We may not consciously consider an older muscular woman to be a quasi-maternal figure in our lives, but deep inside the recesses of our brains we might make that connection. In our secret imaginations, we yearn for a strong older muscular woman to cradle us in her arms just as our moms did when we were young and helpless.

This may shed some light on the fetish of “lift and carry” sessions. Our moms held us in her arms when we were babies, so we desire for a female bodybuilder to do the same when we’re adults. I don’t think this explanation is definitive or all-encompassing, but there’s undeniably a rational argument to be made.

I’ve met female bodybuilders who have children that are my age or close to it. I’ve met female bodybuilders who may not have children at all but if they did, they’d be in my age range. Does this reality cross my mind when I’m actively engaging with them in a muscle worship session? Not really, but it does occur to me later after the appointment is over. How can it not?

Perhaps our female muscle fetishism is beneath the surface a longing for returning to our childhood. We crave nostalgia in a pseudo-sexual manner of a time when female authority figures (which can also include school teachers) ruled over our lives. Our fetishes would be totally understood by King Oedipus and Queen Jocasta, a son/mother combo from Greek mythology who ended up marrying and having four children with each other. Gross? You bet it is, but ancient mythology is rarely ever pleasant or polite to contemplate.

Without getting too deep into the weeds, let’s shift gears and talk about the physical attributes of an older muscular woman. She possesses one striking quality that “normal looking” women her age do not: tightness.

No, not the tightness of her vagina! Although, that could be the case. I’d ask you to get your mind out of the gutter, but mine is there as well so I’m in no position to scold you. Instead, I’m talking about the tightness and hardness located everywhere on her body. As a general rule, the older you get the softer and flabbier you also get. Your belly gets bigger. Your arms and breasts start to sag. Your skin gets wrinkled. Once again, it’s inevitably going to happen to all of us, regardless of who we are. Our hormones change. We don’t metabolize food like we used to. We’re less active and possess less energy. It stinks, but it is what it is.

Age doesn't seem to ever affect Yaxeni Oriquen.

Age doesn’t seem to ever affect Yaxeni Oriquen.

But, a muscular woman can delay or hide the effects of aging. Instead of feeling a sagging arm with loose skin, you feel bulging hardness that seems like can burst at any moment. An FBB’s muscularity allows her body to not only defy the inevitable breaking down caused by aging; it empowers her to surpass the perceptual limits of human achievement.

More than that, obviously a muscular woman doesn’t look any younger or older than a non-bodybuilder of the same age bracket. But we need to remember that youthfulness isn’t just defined by looks. It also includes personality, attitude, and one’s outlook on life. A female bodybuilder defies aging not because she physically looks younger, but because she’s refused to give in to the idea that impressive accomplishments is only monopolized by the young.

She’s strong. She’s vibrant. She’s driven. She’s motivated. She’s dynamic. She’s energetic. She’s goal-oriented. She refuses to accept failure as an outcome. She’s proud of her body. She’s permitted herself to remain sexually vivacious well after her non-muscular peers have gone past their peak. She doesn’t just extend her window of opportunity of being erotically desirable; she shatters it with a sledgehammer and believes it can last forever.

A female bodybuilder without question gets sexier with age. Not because a youthful woman with big muscles is somehow inferior to an older woman with big muscles, but because the older woman carries with her a level of wisdom, experience, and sex appeal that the younger woman cannot. Like the clichéd analogy of fine wine getting better with age, a newer bottle of wine still can taste pretty darn good with your juicy ribeye dinner. But if you wait long enough, that same bottle of wine will taste that much better after some proper aging.

Indeed, age is just a number. Youth has nothing to do with the number of birthday candles that’s on top of your cake. It has everything to do with what you choose to do with your life. That’s as simple as it gets. Undoubtedly, female bodybuilders live their lives to the fullest.

A Discussion on the Sexualization of Female Athletes

Brandi Mae Akers wearing a sexy see-through dress.

Brandi Mae Akers wearing a sexy see-through dress.

It should be no mystery that female athletes face a glaring double standard in our society. They are, both implicitly and explicitly, expected to flaunt their sexuality in ways their male counterparts are not. Outside of Ronda Rousey, how many mainstream female athletes are celebrated purely for being a fantastic athlete – as opposed to being a fantastically good looking athlete?

The topic of the sexualization of female athletes has been discussed ad nauseam. This article will not dissect this idea is great detail. Rather, we will explore this from a slightly different angle.

Those who critique the overly sexual nature of media representation of female athletes usually argue that they shouldn’t be sexualized at all. If male athletes aren’t sexualized, neither should female athletes. That argument sounds fair. It’s better to hold no standards versus double standards. Fair treatment means equal treatment.

But, as an enthusiast of female bodybuilders and female athletes in general, I’m slightly uncomfortable with that. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but there’s a fine line between sexualizing someone and demeaning them. I wholeheartedly agree that you should never belittle or dehumanize someone for any reason whatsoever. That’s not in question. What is in question is whether or not sexualizing someone automatically dehumanizes them. It’s a tough one to wrestle with for sure.

I totally get the argument that people are not just sex objects. We are independent agents of thoughts and emotions with basic needs just like anybody else. Every soul is valuable. Every person has purpose. Everyone is important. Whether you believe in the Divine or not, I hope we can all agree that every human being on planet Earth has value. That includes people we love, hate or are indifferent toward.

That being said, is sexualizing someone an intrinsic act of dehumanizing them? I would say if we treat people purely as a means to an end, then the answer is unequivocally “yes.” If we treat someone solely as a sex object whose only purpose is to give you sexual pleasure, then that makes you a terrible person. Even the relationship between a prostitute and a “john” should come with a certain level of mutual respect. Sex, in this case, may be a business transaction, but that doesn’t excuse you from treating the provider of sex like garbage.

I love female bodybuilders. Many of you who read my blog do as well. The reason why I constantly wrestle with this issue is because I definitely sexualize FBBs. I am very much sexually attracted to muscular women. There’s no ambiguity here. It’s really, when we boil things down to its barest essentials, the primary reason why I love them. It’s not the only reason why I’m a fan of female bodybuilding, but it’s undeniably important. If I told you sexual attraction had nothing to do with my fandom of female bodybuilders, I’d be a liar with my trousers definitely set on fire.

Isn't Lindsey Vonn cold? She's so smoking hot, I highly doubt it.

Isn’t Lindsey Vonn cold? She’s so smoking hot, I highly doubt it.

But, deep down inside, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that. I can sexualize someone and still deeply respect them. I’ve met many women in my life whom I found to be very physically attractive. But I try, although not always successfully, to treat them like human beings first. I’m not a perfect person, but I’m trying my best here.

One argument I could make is that sexualizing female athletes is almost inevitable. When a woman trains for a sport, she’s going to sculpt her physical body into a shape that many of us will find attractive. Muscle definition, curves in all the right places, flawless body development, impeccable silhouettes, etc. And as they say, we’re only human, right? Can you blame someone for finding Alina Popa, who is an indisputable world-class athlete in her own right, so very sexy? If finding Ms. Popa sexually attractive is a crime, then put me in handcuffs, lock me in a padded jail cell and throw away the key for eternity. But, to reiterate my point, I don’t believe my opinion of Ms. Popa’s sexiness is somehow disrespectful to her. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her, both as a woman and as a cream-of-the-crop athletic competitor. But her physical attractiveness is without a doubt a main component of my fandom of her.

It’s a confusing dynamic to deal with, indeed!

In other words, how can I possibly separate sports fandom and sexuality when it comes to female athletes? It’s almost impossible to do so. That being said, that’s no excuse to treat a professional woman basketball player like a junior high school cheerleader or unashamedly flirt with a female Olympic athlete minutes after she’s won a gold medal. Speaking of which, if I have to listen to one more clueless TV reporter ask a female Olympian how she balances being an elite athlete with motherhood, I’m going to rip my hair out. But that’s a whole other issue.

I think the best way handle this whole issue is to have the “yes, and” attitude. For example, you can say this:

“Yes, I find female athletes to be sexually attractive, but I also respect their impressive achievements which can only be accomplished through hard work, diligent preparation and heart.”

It may not sound like poetry, but the sentiment should be clear. You can both celebrate the achievements of female athletes and find them beautiful at the same time. You can enjoy watching female sports on TV or in person and not have to compartmentalize your physical attraction to them simultaneously. Life doesn’t have to be an “either, or” proposition. You can hold two different attitudes at the same time without them being contradictory.

Please don’t misinterpret me. I understand the trepidation about accepting female athletes as sex objects. I get it that once you start to go down a dark path, it can lead you to directions you never originally intended to go. If we start to view them in such a way, will we eventually expect them to pose for magazine photos as a condition of playing the sport? Will we require uniforms of basketball or softball players to be more “revealing” or “sexy” in order to attract the male demographic? Will we start to lose respect for them as athletes because we treat them like sex objects first and athletes second?

These are all valid concerns. I wouldn’t want my favorite FBBs to feel pressured to sexualize themselves out of fear of being ostracized from the business. It is a business, after all. If my favorite FBBs chose to never wear makeup in public and forsake any attempts to appear traditionally feminine, then good for them. I would support them every step of the way. One hundred percent. I want my favorite female bodybuilders to be as free as they want to do whatever they want whenever they want.

Do they want to pose naked for a risqué photoshoot? Good for them. If, on the other hand, a particular female bodybuilder chooses to never ever pose naked under any circumstances, as much as we’d all be disappointed with this decision, I strongly believe she has every right to do that. Freedom means having the opportunity to choose what you want and do not want to do. Her body is her most valuable asset. If she wants to show it off for all the world to see, more power to her. If she wants to remain modest and desexualized in the public’s eye, even more power to her.

The badass that is Ronda Rousey, perhaps the most popular female athlete on the planet right now.

The badass that is Ronda Rousey, perhaps the most popular female athlete on the planet right now.

But this is less about how an FBB (or any kind of female athlete) chooses to conduct herself and more about how we as fans choose to view them. How a female bodybuilder lives her life is nobody’s business but her own. But how we fans choose to live out our fandom is our business.

In short, perhaps the Buddhist “middle way” is the best solution. Don’t go to the extremes. You can both find a female athlete or bodybuilder physically attractive while at the same time respecting them as a person and as an athlete. One can hold both attitudes simultaneously without any hint of contradiction or hypocrisy. In other words, don’t take any side as far as it will go. You don’t have to view every female athlete as either a Playboy bunny or a monastic nun. The “Madonna-whore complex” is an old archetype that’s getting worn out.

The main concept to keep in mind is simple. Channel your inner Aretha Franklin and remember to always R-E-S-P-E-C-T people. I understand it’s unfair how female athletes are put into restrictive sexually-centric boxes without their consent. I understand male athletes, by and large, are not held to similar standards. That’s the very definition of unfair. I also get that no female athlete or bodybuilder should ever be forced to flaunt their sexuality unwillingly. Their main concern should be to play/compete in their sport and nothing else. That is all fine with me.

But as fans of these women, our perceptions don’t have to fit into any particular box. To add to this discussion, bodybuilding is a unique sport. Unlike baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, track and field, soccer, and so forth, winners of bodybuilding contests are judged by their appearances. The nature of the sport is conducive to judging excellence based on aesthetic. So, it’s considered “okay” for choosing your favorite bodybuilding athletes (male or female) purely based on their looks. After all, the sport is called “body”-building for a reason.

Nobody cares how attractive or unattractive a quarterback is. If you can throw for 4,000 yards, 25+ touchdowns and lead your team to the playoffs season after season, teams will pay you a lot of money to play for them. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, are judged by how their bodies look. So judging a female (or male) bodybuilder on their looks isn’t a terrible thing. Following that train of thought, it’s perfectly okay to be erotically turned on by a female bodybuilder’s body. It goes with the territory! An FBB is trying to sculpt her body to fit a desired aesthetic. If you find that particular aesthetic to be pleasing to the eye, what’s the harm?

As mentioned before, it’s sort of inevitable for male and female bodybuilders to be sexualized in the eyes of their fans. Maybe not all of their fans, but surely the ones who would normally be attracted to them regardless if they were a bodybuilder or not. The human body is a beautiful thing. Bodybuilders strive to mold theirs to perfection. If we happen to get aroused by the finished product, so be it.

Misty May-Treanor demonstrating why a lot of guys really don't mind watching Olympic beach volleyball.

Misty May-Treanor demonstrating why a lot of guys really don’t mind watching Olympic beach volleyball.

One could argue that sexuality is embedded within the sport of bodybuilding. It’s not the entirety of the sport, but one cannot deny its underlying presence. Men and women are hardwired to find certain genders, body types and people sexually attractive. I realize asexuality is a real thing, but for the sake of argument let’s assume most of us are born this way. Bodybuilding, by its very nature, seeks to elevate the human form to its highest possible peak. If muscular development is considered a proper barometer of beauty, then bodybuilders are closer to the pinnacle than us “mere mortals.” It logically follows that fans of bodybuilding would unavoidably become sexually attracted to these amazing athletes.

There are certainly women and men who love male bodybuilders. There are definitely men and women who love female bodybuilders. And guess what? That’s perfectly okay! I see nothing wrong with any of this.

Like any form of attraction, anything can be taken too far. This should be obvious to anyone. To treat a female athlete as nothing more than eye candy is an awful choice to make. She’s much more than something pretty for you to look at. She’s an accomplished competitor who deserves respect for her accomplishments and sincere admiration from her fans. I love female bodybuilders just as much as anyone else, but I always try to keep at the forefront of my mind that they’ve achieved things I could never dream of doing.

Think about what a typical woman bodybuilder has to go through every single day of her life:

  • Sacrificing her time
  • Sacrificing her energy
  • Maintaining a strict diet
  • Strenuous weightlifting regiments
  • Various non-weightlifting exercises
  • Following a strict schedule
  • Pressure from friends and family to not pursue bodybuilding
  • Stress from training and competing
  • Persistent insecurity
  • An emotionally draining lifestyle
  • Blatant misogyny
  • Sexism within the sport of bodybuilding itself
  • Worrying about unusual changes to the body
  • Unintended side effects from taking drugs and hormones
  • Paying for food, supplements and other sport-related paraphernalia
  • Travel costs
  • Injuries
  • Rude comments from people in public, over social media or elsewhere
  • Other unpleasant experiences that often go unseen

That’s quite a lot! The struggle is real, indeed. If this doesn’t instill in you more respect for women bodybuilders, then I have no idea what will. When you keep things like this in perspective, you start to realize how insanely disrespectful it is to treat female bodybuilders and athletes as mere sex objects who only exists for your own enjoyment.

I have no idea how to pronounce Zsuzsanna Toldi, but I do know that she's extremely attractive.

I have no idea how to pronounce Zsuzsanna Toldi, but I do know that she’s extremely attractive.

But alas, I highly doubt the majority of FBB enthusiasts feel this way. Most of us know FBBs and female athletes are people, not products. But, as said before, everything must come in moderation. Don’t think of strong women as sexual commodities, but don’t be afraid to celebrate their sex appeal at the same time.

In conclusion, how are we to handle the issue of our society’s sexualization of female athletes? The most rational answer might be this: There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging, celebrating and enjoying a female athlete’s sex appeal. However, there is something wrong with making that the sole focus of her identity. Whether we’re talking about Lindsey Vonn, Misty May-Treanor, Cat Zingano or Brandi Mae Akers, always keep in mind that they’re athletes who happen to be physically beautiful, not beautiful people who just happen to be athletes. That distinction might help clear up any possible sexist attitudes toward these remarkable women.

Understandably, there are many female athletes who are uncomfortable being viewed in a sexual nature, regardless of the respectful intent demonstrated by the admiring party. I get that. I’m not going to dismiss that attitude as being “overly sensitive” or “puritanical.” No one should ever be pressured to be comfortable with their sexuality or how other people feel about their sexuality. That’s not the point here. The point is that as fans, we have a responsibility to recognize the humanity in the strong beautiful women we love so dearly.

A very pretty Jennie Finch.

A very pretty Jennie Finch.

This topic can be a touchy one. I will admit that I do not have all the answers. I could be wrong about a point or two or three. The best rule of thumb is to look at this issue from all perspectives and try your best to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if every time you stepped up to the plate, onto a basketball court or in front of a bodybuilding stage, thousands of people started thinking of you not as a hardworking and passionate athlete, but instead a nameless Barbie doll with muscles? That sounds like a pretty condescending way to be treated.

Be kind. Be respectful. Don’t be a jerk. Always remember that regardless of who we are, whether we’re a world class female bodybuilder or an unapologetic fan of female bodybuilders, we’re all people trying to coexist on this beautiful, confusing and interconnected planet. In many regards, recognizing this basic fact could eliminate the vast majority of the problems we face every day.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your opinions. Feel free to share them in the comment section below or send me an e-mail at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Just so you know, I write out my e-mail address that way to avoid my inbox being inundated with gratuitous spam. But I never consider any of you readers to be spam! I welcome feedback of all kind just as long as it’s productive, informative and respectful. So have at it!