Gym Bros, Reluctant Girlfriends, and Human Clay

I’d love to have someone who looks like Michele Levesque as my girlfriend. But at what cost?

At the gym where I frequently workout, I often see a sight that I’m pretty sure many of you can also recognize.

I see a huge Gym Bro who looks like he spends way too much of his free time lifting weights and avoiding cardio (not to mention Leg Day) drag his girlfriend (or wife) to the gym with him. She may or may not be in shape. She may or may not even want to be there. Perhaps she’d rather be at home watching reruns of The Bachelorette or reading a book. Or going out to drinks with her friends. Or going to the gym, but not five times a week.

Gym Bro clearly loves working out. You can see it in his huge arms, enormous chest, and cocky strut. The Reluctant Girlfriend of Gym Bro is a different matter. She could be skinny, a bit overweight, or perhaps quite obese. But the body type she isn’t is “muscular.” And you can tell, whether he is willing to admit it or not, that he’d love it for her to become as muscular as he is.

He teaches her how to deadlift, squat, bench press, and shoulder press. She does as she’s told, but you can tell she does it with little enthusiasm. When she uses improper form, he lashes out, or at the very least aggressively tries to correct her “errors.” Not wanting to upset him further, she does her best to please him. It’s a sad sight to see. It’s pathetic. You feel sorry for her and secretly desire to punch him in the face.

I could very well be misinterpreting this situation, or maybe I’m spot on. I don’t see this all the time, but it happens enough that I feel compelled to write about it. Long story short, Gym Bro secretly – or not so secretly – wants his girlfriend to look a certain way. He thinks she’s too skinny, too fat, or too average. Regardless, he wants her to bulk up. He wants her to look like Michele Levesque, even if she has no desire herself to look like that. For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, Michele is a gorgeous fitness model who possesses the ideal look: she’s fit, unquestionably feminine, as gorgeous as a supermodel, and has built enough muscle to turn people’s heads – but not so much muscle that she upstages the man she’s with.

Lauranda Nall has some nice triceps.

Our friend the Gym Bro understands that women who look like Miss Levesque, Julie Germaine, Autumn Cleveland, Lauranda Nall, and Sheronica Sade Henton don’t just grow on trees. They are far from a dime a dozen. They are a one-in-a-million rare specimen that must be treasured because they are few and far between. However, Gym Bro secretly dreams about possessing a girlfriend with such a treasured physique…and will not sit around idly and wait for it to happen.

Therefore, he must take matters into his own hands. Even if that requires “forcing” his girlfriend to put a pair of dumbbells into her hands.

Thus, he nudges her in the direction of bulking up like him. He tells her it’s a healthy choice. He reassures her she won’t start “looking like a man.” He insists she’ll develop more confidence, curves in all the right places, and unsolicited compliments from complete strangers (naturally, the flattering kinds of compliments, not the creepy ones). She sort of goes along with it. After all, she wants to spend quality time with her boyfriend, right? Who wouldn’t?

She goes to the gym whenever he goes to the gym. They lift together. He “trains” her and cheers her on. He gives out advice as if it were candied apples on Halloween. She learns how to lift. She’s taught the proper form, breathing techniques, and recovery methods. He makes post-workout protein shakes for the both of them. She begrudgingly drinks it every single time. Maybe she likes the taste, maybe she doesn’t. But it’s all to keep their relationship intact, so it must be worth it.

If this scenario doesn’t seem familiar to you, don’t worry. Sooner or later you’ll witness something like this up close. And it’ll make you squirm. Or at the very least, feel sorry for her and all involved. You might start to ask yourself whether this behavior crosses into the territory of abuse. Does it? You sure hope not, but how can these thoughts not come to mind?

Sheronica Sade Henton showing off her hard work.

Essentially, Gym Bro wants his Reluctant Girlfriend to become Human Clay. He wants to sculpt her into becoming a Perfect Muscle Goddess who will fulfill his every lustful carnal desire. He wants her to become an Amazon, a strong confident young woman who takes life by the horns and never relents in pursuing her goals. He wants the ultimate arm candy. He wants a sexy flesh-and-blood trophy he can call his own and show off to his fellow gym bros.

Meanwhile, you get the sense she doesn’t really want to do this. She’s all for living a healthy life and looking good, but is it worth the soreness and agony of going to the gym all the damn time? It goes without saying that one does not simply become a Muscle Goddess overnight. Nor does it happen by accident. You only look like Cindy Landolt if you put in the effort to look like Cindy Landolt. If you don’t want to look like her, then you won’t ever look like her. It’s as simple as that.

The scenario described above troubles me. But unfortunately, I see it – and hear about it – all too often. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening to see. But alas, it’s quite common. When you start to “force” somebody to do something they don’t actually want to do, that’s problematic.

As I’ve written before countless times, I love muscular women. But I would never pressure my significant other to ever become a muscular woman unless she genuinely wanted to become one. And if that were to happen, I’d enthusiastically support her 100%. But if not, I’d understand completely.

It’s perfectly natural for straight guys to be attracted to muscular women. It happens more frequently than a lot of us are aware of. And it’s also understandable why many of us dream about having a muscular girlfriend. Who wouldn’t want to come home every night after a long day of work to a woman who looks like Minna Pajulahti? I know I would!

And you can share a bed with her every f*****g day? Count me in!

So the awfully awkward situation where guys start to treat their girlfriends like Human Clay seems sort of inevitable. Isn’t that the logical next step? Isn’t this just a natural progression for anyone who appreciates fit women? Well, no. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I fully believe that a woman has every right to pursue bodybuilding and fitness if they choose to do so. Many women find participating in the sport empowering, uplifting, and worthwhile. Yes, it’s a cliché to use the word “empower” when we’re dealing with women and their physical appearance, but clichés are formed for a reason. For many women, bodybuilding has helped them deal with trauma, overcome emotional obstacles, and provide them with a renewed sense of purpose. The list of benefits goes on.

Who wouldn’t want to come home every night to a woman who looks just like Cindy Landolt?

However, women also have the right to not pursue bodybuilding if such a lifestyle does not totally appeal to them. This seems obvious, yet this is not really at the heart of the problem. I don’t think too many women are forced to lift weights at the gym at gunpoint. But pressure (both overt and subtle) from a loved one can be just as coercive. The desire to please your partner will drive people to do almost anything. The same goes for the fear of losing a loved one – and by “losing,” I mean that person choosing to find a different lover, not death.

I understand why a guy would want a sexy muscle goddess for a girlfriend. Trust me, I daydream about this all the time! But, I’d like to think I would never cross that line and pressure my better half to torture herself at the gym just because I want the shape of her body to be more pleasing to my eye. But this is not about me being “holier than thou.” All I want to do is send a warning to those of you who might (or already have) cross that line, either intentionally or unintentionally.

There’s nothing malicious about wanting your partner to look and feel healthy. After all, don’t we all want to be with our loved ones for as long as possible? Of course we do. But this goes deeper than that. This is about the ethics of female muscle fandom. This is about being a decent human being.

No person is Human Clay. No person should ever feel obliged to do anything against their will for any reason whatsoever. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a muscular girlfriend. It’s quite another thing to use coercive measures to make that dream come true. Even if you’re a Gym Bro who thinks they have good intentions at heart, odds are not everyone around you will agree. Being a Reluctant Girlfriend is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Of course you want to look fabulous and sexy. But what are you willing to sacrifice in order to do that? And who is allowed to define what “fabulous and sexy” even means?

If I could snap my fingers and magically make a Sexy Powerful Muscle Goddess appear right before my very eyes, I wouldn’t think twice about doing it. But alas we don’t live in a universe where such miracles are possible. While it never hurts to dream, it can hurt the ones we love if we bully them into fulfilling our dreams – regardless if such a thing is even feasible in the first place.

Autumn Cleveland is heating it up.

At the end of the day, the awkward relationship between Gym Bro and Reluctant Girlfriend is probably never going to go away. It will always be here with us until the world comes to an end. Or until we discover a secret potion that miraculously transforms a humble bumpkin into Muscle Cinderella. If that ever happens, instead of a glass slipper, would the Handsome Prince go around town seeing whose torso is muscular enough to handle a weightlifting belt that was left behind?

In conclusion, we all want Cindy Landolt to be our girlfriend. But women who actually look like her are not so common. So accept that. Understand that we can’t always get what we want, just like The Rolling Stones once reminded us. But, as they also remind us, we get what we need:

A loving companion who joyfully goes to the gym with you but doesn’t want to lift super heavy. It may not fulfill all your dirty desires, but it’s much more realistic. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

The lesson to be learned is this: don’t pressure her to be a bodybuilder. Let her get her workout in, kiss her on the cheek, and tell her “I love you the way you are.” And if she’d rather stay at home and play Candy Crush Saga while you’re across town busting your tail at the squat rack, let her…even if you’d rather watch her bust her tail while jealous onlookers stare at you with envy in their hearts.

Let her be who she wants to be. Period.

That is how you live happily ever after.

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A Word on the Social and Political Implications of Being a Female Muscle Fan

We need more of Paige Hathaway on the covers of magazines.

We need more of Paige Hathaway on the covers of magazines.

Equality between the sexes.

It’s a topic of discussion our world has been having for some time now. Schools, churches, workplaces, universities, homes, gyms, bars, everywhere. What kind of a society do we want to achieve? What should the proper relationship be between men and women? In what ways are men and women different? Are these differences inherent or are they completely a product of cultural subjectivity?

While women have made tremendous strides in making high achievements in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as business, politics, media, sports and entrepreneurship, there is still a lot to be desired in terms of giving every single person on planet Earth a fair shot at reaching their dreams. This isn’t any one particular person’s fault, however. It’s a group effort to make our world a better place.

At first glance, one would think that men who love muscular women would be at the forefront of gender equality and other like-minded causes. But the truth is, this is not necessarily true.

In observing from a distance the world of female muscle fandom, there doesn’t appear to be any overt political or social motivations underlying people’s love for female muscle. No doubt the men (and women) who love female bodybuilders and athletes also hold a diverse range of political, social, religious and philosophical beliefs. There doesn’t appear to be any obvious trend in any particular direction.

A rising star in the world of female bodybuilding, Sheronica Sade Henton.

A rising star in the world of female bodybuilding, Sheronica Sade Henton.

That being said, generally speaking men who love muscular women do so without any explicit social agendas. Lust, as it were, is as simple as it can get. Human attraction is as basic a force as anything our species can experience. Without it, how would we reproduce and continue the cycle of life?

So, along those same lines, men who love strong women may not necessarily do so for any feminist or quasi-feminist reasons. Being wildly attracted to Catherine Holland isn’t an act of social justice. None of us lust after Debi Laszewski because we’re trying to right some historical wrong. We aren’t channeling our inner 1920’s era First Wave Feminist by drooling over photos of Sheronica Sade Henton. Some of us may also carry these personal beliefs, but they are not necessarily an explanation to why we choose to lust over these women.

There might be an element, however, of equal-mindedness present in all aspects of female muscle fandom. After all, those of us who willingly pay handsome amounts of money for muscle worship, wrestling or BDSM sessions with female bodybuilders/athletes/fitness enthusiasts wouldn’t do so unless we carried a certain degree of admiration for these women. We wouldn’t be participating in these activities unless we thought highly of these ladies and the hard work they put into sculpting their much-earned physiques.

On the flip side, there definitely could still be traces of sexism present in one’s female muscle fandom. Some guys, unfortunately, still treat these beautiful women as mere pieces of meat whose only purpose is to satisfy their selfish sexual fetishes. When you treat someone as a means to an end instead of an end unto themselves, you dehumanize them. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with the profession of being an “erotic provider,” and fetishism will inevitably enter into the equation, but that’s still no excuse to ignore the woman’s humanity. She’s a flesh and blood human being just like you. She’s trying to make her way through this harsh and confusing world just like you or anybody else.

Another aspect to this conversation is the concept of fetishism itself. As defined by the dictionary, a “fetish” is “any object or nongenital part of the body that causes ahabitual erotic response or fixation.”

Feet, leather, feces, handcuffs, and other things fall into this category. So do muscles. So when we consider the concept of fetishism, we’re going to get into some murky territory. We lust after female bodybuilders because we get turned on by their muscles. Does that mean we treat female bodybuilders as just muscles and not human beings? No, not really. But we can’t pretend like her muscles aren’t absolutely crucial to our fascination with her.

To fetishize a female bodybuilder’s muscles isn’t to dehumanize her. If you lust after her muscles and disregard everything else about her, that would be dehumanizing her. If you act like she’s a worthless whore whose muscles are there purely for your own enjoyment, that’s a terrible way to treat a person. But by and large, that attitude isn’t too pervasive in the female muscle fandom community.

Who wants to work out with Renee West?

Who wants to work out with Renee West?

So, while fetishizing a type of person doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dehumanizing them, it could lead you down a dark path if you aren’t careful of how you express that fetish. Being attracted to a woman’s muscles is perfectly okay. Treating her like garbage isn’t.

Returning back to the subject of politics and society, do female muscle fans have an obligation to become a vocal champion for women’s rights, gender equality, and the like? In short, not really.

Social and political activism is a brutal monster unto itself. Systems that are intended to fight other systems tend to become systems unto themselves. Without getting on too high of a soapbox, let’s just say that social activism and female muscle fandom can live in separate spheres. One doesn’t have to be an admirer of female bodybuilding one day and march in an anti-sexism parade the next.

Part of the problem with modern day social activism is that many of its prominent adherents use tactics that we may find objectionable. Name-calling isn’t the best way to tell people not to name-call. Stifling debate by unmercifully mocking your opponents’ ideas doesn’t lead to anything productive. How many times have we seen activist movements operate more like a cult than a group of passionate people working toward solving a tangible problem? This is why female muscle fans don’t need to also be activists. Activism is, as previously stated, a beast in its own right.

Does this mean female muscle fandom is totally apolitical? Well, not quite.

If we argue from the assumption that “everything is political,” then one cannot escape political ramifications in every facet of life. Even for the most anti-political or politically apathetic female muscle lover out there, one cannot avoid making the strong social statement that’s embedded in our shared interest.

What is that social statement, exactly? Simple. Strong women are important. We swoon over them because they matter to us.  We can’t get enough of them because they stir up feelings inside us that are untamable. Our thirst for them is unquenchable. Whether we’re hardcore fans of the sport or admirers from a distance, strong women are intrinsically important to us. They pervade our thoughts and change the way to think about mainstream beauty standards. When you first “discover” the awe-inspiring world of female bodybuilding, you can’t remember why you never admired these women before.

Them biceps on Asha Hadley, though.

Them biceps on Asha Hadley, though.

Female muscle fandom isn’t just about lust. Sexuality, while important, isn’t the only prism through which our fascination can be understood. These women aren’t mere pieces of meat that we enjoy purely for primal, carnal reasons. They’re gorgeous and highly accomplished human beings who deserve endless praise.

There’s a reason why many of us engage in “muscle worship.” We worship them not in a literal way, but in a playful way that borders on the spiritual. There’s something very spiritual about being in the presence of a muscular woman. She doesn’t seem real. She is real. We know she’s real. But there’s something otherworldly about her. Her muscles aren’t just muscles. They’re an extension of her humanity. They don’t define her, but they complement her core identity.

Men who love strong women inevitably go through a mini-paradigm shift. They start to see potential in women that they never considered before. They become open to new standards of beauty. They also become open to new experiences. Men who love strong women might not transform into overnight social activists, but whatever negative stereotypes they once had about women and femininity can’t helped but be at the very least slightly altered.

A gorgeous lady from across the Atlantic Ocean, the lovely Laura Madge.

A gorgeous lady from across the Atlantic Ocean, the lovely Laura Madge.

Female weakness? Male superiority? Stigmatization of erotic service providers? These feelings may diminish over time. Or maybe your female muscle fandom has forced you to completely reconsider how you look at the world. That’s also possible.

Or maybe not. Perhaps your female muscle fandom only provided the attitude shift that women can lift at the gym like guys. Muscular women aren’t gross, but can be strikingly beautiful. We not be total equals, but we should try to treat everybody with respect as much as we can.

Maybe this is how we can achieve equality between the sexes. Not by shaming, isolating or attacking one another, but by teaching universal values of respect.

Now there’s a bold idea.

Self-Worship: The Unspoken Confessions of Female Bodybuilders

Four of the most beautiful women in the world: Yaxeni Oriquen, Anne Freitas, Alina Popa and Iris Kyle.

Four of the most beautiful women in the world: Yaxeni Oriquen, Anne Freitas, Alina Popa and Iris Kyle.

Everyone knows how amazing female bodybuilders are in every aspect of life: Physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, sexually and perhaps even spiritually.

It should be obvious that lots of men out there share these feelings. Female bodybuilders, athletes and those who love pumping their bodies at the gym are, simply put, a thing of beauty. They are beautiful in ways that cannot justifiably be put into words. The context of their beauty is so unfathomable that 100 volumes of encyclopedia-level text could not explain it all.

But that’s just one perspective. That’s the perspective of straight men who love strong women. But there’s a whole other side of the coin that deserves its own discussion.

What about women?

Specifically, women who are also strong and muscular. What do they think of their fellow muscular sisters? Or themselves?

For the past year I’ve been in correspondence with a real-life female bodybuilder who has expressed her love for my blog. Yes, I was floored when I learned that an actual flesh-and-blood FBB was reading my posts! In our many discussions, this topic recently came up: Female bodybuilders are often turned on by each other…and themselves.

A very tanned Nicki Pimm.

A very tanned Nicki Pimm.

Wait, what? In addition to that being perhaps the hottest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, in many ways this makes perfect sense. Of course, it goes without saying that I myself am not a female bodybuilder, so my knowledge on this subject is somewhat limited. But from what I do understand, let’s take some time to discuss a topic that definitely deserves a blog article unto itself.

The Underlying Assumption

First, let’s begin with the Underlying Assumption. A female bodybuilder is a woman who dedicates nearly every waking moment of her life toward one singular goal: to achieve a desired physique that maximizes her body’s muscular potential.

This potential could be realized in terms of muscle mass, aesthetic proportions, striking the perfect balance between muscularity and traditional femininity or a combination of all three. Regardless, the ultimate goal is to sculpt one’s body to become Beautiful (despite, of course, not everyone in our society sharing this definition of “Beautiful”). I capitalize the word “Beautiful” because it’s not just a general classification of “beautiful.” Conversely, “beautiful” with a lowercase “b” is defined as “pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.” That dictionary definition is pretty basic and covers a lot of ground. “Beautiful” with an uppercase “B” means (in my personal dictionary) “pleasing one’s own personal senses or mind aesthetically.”

In this definition, “Beautiful” is not a term defined by others. It’s a standard defined by one’s own self. Yes, obviously competitive bodybuilders are being judged by a panel of other people, but that’s beside the point. Ultimately, an FBB (or male bodybuilder) is really competing against herself. Her standards are the only standards she cares about. Perfection is an internal goal, not an external one. She doesn’t seek to please others. She seeks to please herself. PERIOD.

So given all this, the Underlying Assumption is the basic premise that female bodybuilders are actively pursuing to achieve “Beauty” as they define it. It’s a lofty goal that takes years and years of dieting, lifting, supplementation, drugs (yes, this happens. Get over it), strategic periods of rest, consulting, tears, anguish and sacrifices. All to achieve what? That’s right. Beauty. To become Beautiful in ways that are almost comparable to a religious experience. It’s a spiritual quest that one always pursues, yet never fully achieves.

Sheronica Sade Henton is a rising star.

Sheronica Sade Henton is a rising star.

No professional athlete worth their weight in gold would ever admit out loud that they’ve “made it.” Michael Jordan never believed he reached the mountaintops of being a great basketball player. Even at the prime of his career, he always believed he could be better. There was something about his game that could be improved. While we all know now (and at the time) that he was indeed the greatest of all time, he never believed that. He always needed something to push him further, to motivate him to become better at what he does. Greatness is not an end result, it’s a process. A process one never stops chasing.

That being said, a female bodybuilder is – every single day of her life – climbing her own bodybuilding Mount Everest. She’s seeking out her muscular Nirvana. Her spiritual quest, though unorthodox, resembles more a Tibetan monk striving toward Enlightenment than a professional athlete preparing for game day.

Which leads us to…

Now that we’ve established our Underlying Assumption, we can now move on to the idea that started this discussion.

Cindy (which is not her real name, but a fake one to conceal her true identity), confesses that many female bodybuilders get sexually aroused by both themselves and their fellow FBBs. Whether it happens during a contest, while working out or during interactions with her muscle sisters, there are FBBs who can’t help but become sexually provoked by it all.

Just to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, here is an excerpt from a recent conversation I’ve had with Cindy:

Cindy: Women are omnisexual. Everything turns us on. Men are more likely to be oriented in one or the other direction.

Cindy: There are a lot of bisexual men, but bisexuality in general comes STANDARD with the women’s psyche.

Ryan: Do you get turned on by yourself?

Cindy: YES very

Cindy: When I see or feel my body growing, pumping

Cindy: And my body reacts when I see other women’s bodies although I really NEED a man for sex

Ryan: Fascinating

Ryan: Are you turned on by the fact that it’s a female form that’s muscular, or because muscularity is traditionally associated with masculinity?

Cindy: No because of how it feels, the sensuality of it

Cindy: I feel so STRONG

Cindy: It makes me wet to feel this way

Cindy: And my body responds, my pits get moist, my nipples get hard

Cindy: It is just so erotic

Wow. What a fascinating conversation, wouldn’t you say? While this is coming from her own perspective, it probably isn’t a stretch of the truth to assume that other FBBs share this same experience. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that all of them do, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume this experience is common enough.

So, we’re not talking about lesbians who are naturally attracted to other women. That’s an oversimplification. We’re talking about straight (or semi-straight) women who, in certain circumstances, become aroused through the mere fact of being a bodybuilder. This means there must be something inherent within the lifestyle that causes this to happen. But what is it?

What this all means, in a nutshell

It’s not surprising that some bodybuilders (male or female) find their profession (or when participating in activities associated with their profession) to be so sexually arousing. These are men and women who are the top of their class competing with themselves to achieve a physique of gargantuan proportions. Our Underlying Assumption returns us to the concept of “Beauty” and how attaining this level of “Beauty” is an unrelenting driving force behind everything these athletes do.

You don’t reach the pinnacle of athletic achievement without passion. You don’t reach it without being out-of-the-ordinary. You don’t get there unless there’s something deep within your soul that aches to be the best you could be.

And that attitude can be very arousing. Especially when you mix in the dynamic of creating perfectly sculpted bodies, which already carries heavy sexual overtones.

The blonde goddess Johanna Dejager.

The blonde goddess Johanna Dejager.

Think about everything related to competitive bodybuilding. The time. The preparation. The sacrifices. The heart. Everything. Just to qualify for a competition is an accomplishment unto itself. But more than that, it’s a very sensual experience. The hot lights flashing down on the stage, the sweat dripping off your brow as the judges write down notes about you, the sounds of people screaming your name as you strike a pose, and especially the high stakes drama associated with any competitive environment.

Sexual arousal is predicated upon being exposed to stimuli that create a physiological and mental response conducive to sparking arousal. These stimuli come from the five senses: sight, taste, touch, sound and smell. Whether you’re in the gym, backstage before a show or in the privacy of your bedroom admiring your physical progress in the mirror, opportunities to being exposed to stimuli are numerous.

So what is “stimuli?” Stimuli can come from a variety of sources. It’s highly sensual and differs from person to person. We’re not all turned on by the same thing. But when exposed to these stimuli at the proper time in the proper manner, it triggers a sexual response in the mind.

Anything can trigger a response. Anything. A sight. A scent. Someone’s voice. Someone’s moan. Bright lights. Dim lights. Natural light. Warm air. A cool breeze. A crowded room. A lonely room. Your partner. Yourself. A thought. A memory. A nightmare. A long forgotten dream. A conversation you once had with someone. Hunger. Fullness. Thirst. Feelings of happiness. Feelings of contentment. Feelings of uncertainty. A contorted mixture of emotions too enormous to describe. Excitement. Anticipation. Anxiety. Melancholy. Nervousness. That sensation of butterflies fluttering about in the pit of your stomach. The joy of victory. The agony of defeat. The mixed feelings of seeing a loved one win while you lose. Sweat. Your heart pounding. Your pulse racing a million miles per minute. Someone’s breath. Someone’s jittery mannerisms. The look on someone’s face. The position of someone’s body. The way a beam of light shines down on someone’s face. Her face. His face. Your own face. Youthfulness. Experience. Love. Anger. Hurt. Awkward encounters. Sickness. Good health. Cleanliness. Filth. Body heat. An unspoken sense of connectedness. Intuition. Ambiguity. Jealousy. Envy. Admiration. Unconditional respect. Her muscles. His muscles. Their muscles. My muscles. Flexing. Showing off. Demonstration of hard work. Playfulness. Egos. Competition. Fierce rivalry. The epic build up. The inevitable let down. Persistence. Shattered dreams. Dreams that really come true. Waiting for your turn. Waiting for his turn. Waiting for her turn. Waiting for our turn. The spotlight. The attention. The tens of thousands of voices screaming your name. The hundreds of thousands of voices screaming the other person’s name. Loudness. Quietness. Silence. Stillness. Shaking in your boots. A chill running down your spine. A tap on your shoulder. A pat on the back. A handshake. A kiss. A whisper in your ear. That one time you made love. That one time you masturbated. That one time you saw him. That one time you saw her. That one time you looked in the mirror and liked what you saw. That one time you looked in the mirror and hated what you saw but vowed to change that immediately. The promise you made to yourself to accept who you are regardless of what other people think. Dancing in the rain. Feeling snow hit the tip of your tongue. Basking in the warm glow of a summer evening. Looking out the window at a peaceful autumn storm. The feeling of your sore muscles after a strenuous workout. The feeling of his muscles after his workout. The feeling of her muscles after her workout. Craving that pump. Needing external affirmations. Desiring to be desired. Being desired. Being the one and only. Being the focus of attention. Knowing your destiny is entirely up to you. Knowing you can fail. Knowing you can succeed. Succeeding. Failing. Not giving a damn either way. Epic moments. Subtle moments. Everyday moments. The logical. The unexplained. The magical. The divine. That which you know but cannot put into words. That which you are embarrassed to even think about. That which you need more than anything else. A goal. A purpose. Existing. God. Humanity. Everything.

Everything.

Or, better yet, anything.

Who’s to say you’re wrong to be turned on by any of this? After all, everyone has different sensual triggers. We’ve all lived lives as diverse as anything you can imagine. The list goes on and on and on. But that’s the beauty of the human mind. You can’t explain any of it. You feel things because you can. The heart and mind sometimes work in tandem, other times they work against each other. It’s all out of your control.

Sophie Legace is a spectacular view, is she not?

Sophie Lagace is a spectacular view, is she not?

Any athlete or artist who spends so much time, sweat, emotional vulnerability, personal discomfort and sense of “normalcy” is bound to be a person with heightened passion. That drive isn’t found with just anyone. The “average Joe” or “Average Jane” could not do what a room full of hot, sweaty, smelly and divinely beautiful female bodybuilders could do. Not by a long shot. What they have to do to look the way they do is simply beyond what most of us would do to pursue our so-called “dreams.”

But for them, it’s not just a mere “dream.” It’s a calling. It requires mental toughness that only a small handful of us could emulate. So when you’ve invested so much into your craft, when you’re finally surrounded by peers who know exactly what you experience on a day-in and day-out basis, you have every reason to be aroused by your surroundings. You have every reason to want to participate in a mass muscle orgy right on the spot. All your pent-up desires have to come out or else you might explode.

So…why are some female bodybuilders easily aroused by each other?

For God’s sake. Isn’t it bloody obvious?