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

Kathy Johansson, a strong black woman in the flesh.

Kathy Johansson, a strong black woman in the flesh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brigita Brezovac would definitely turn my head in a hurry.

Brigita Brezovac would definitely turn my head in a hurry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re also looking within at ourselves.

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A Female Muscle Fetish Isn’t as Complicated as You Might Think

The reason why Jill St. Laurent is gorgeous definitely isn't complicated.

The reason why Jill St. Laurent is gorgeous definitely isn’t complicated.

Sometimes in life, we tend to overthink things.

Nobody needs to spend twenty minutes thinking about which brand of hair coloring they need to buy. Or a whole hour organizing your wardrobe for the day. Or testing out twelve different fad diets only to discover that none of them actually work.

Overthinking things can be exhausting. It can waste your time, money, energy and faith in your own judgement. Don’t we all wish someone would have the good sense to knock us over the head and tell us this before it becomes a problematic obsession?

Yes, perhaps we do. But our tendency to overthink things can usually be remedied by following this general guideline: KISS.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

In other words, sometimes the simplest explanations are the best. Occam’s Razor, anyone?

The same could be said about female muscle fetishism. We all have our own explanations as to why and how we got into female muscle. Everyone has their unique personal story. And the truth is, anecdotes can be remarkably insightful in explaining so much about our lives. For some, it was a single magazine cover that did it. For others, it was following the career of one specific female bodybuilder. Maybe you caught a glimpse on television of a female bodybuilding competition back in the good old days of the 1980s. Regardless, everyone remembers the time they “discovered” this amazing world and had their eyes opened to an aesthetic that transcends “traditional” standards of female beauty.

There are psychologists, sex experts and ordinary people everywhere who try to “explain away” the larger meaning of these personal stories. Do they reflect hidden insecurity? Or do they reveal latent homosexuality? Are guys who are into “muscle chicks” self-hating men? Do they secretly wish to be physically dominated by their girlfriends? Are they sexual deviants who need counseling? Is this a sign of obsessive behavior that can eventually consume his entire life?

Yikes. That got out of hand in a hurry. Perhaps not all of these stereotypes immediately come to mind when you learn a guy really digs strong women. But certainly these thoughts cross your mind at some level. If it does, don’t worry. Here’s something that will bring ultimate clarity to this situation.

We’re overthinking things. Maybe, just maybe, female muscle fetishism isn’t that complicated. It’s just a simple form of lust that’s inherent in all of us (or, almost all of us).

Hm. An interesting thought. So a guy who drools over the Ms. Olympia contestants is no different than a middle school boy who drools over the girls in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues? Well, I’ll be darned!

Remember when Pamela Anderson was strutting her stuff on Baywatch? The 90s were a glorious time, indeed.

Remember when Pamela Anderson was strutting her stuff on Baywatch? The 90s were a glorious time, indeed.

Most of us guys know what we’re referring to. Face it. We all kept a hidden stash of dirty (or semi-dirty) magazines under our bed. Or old VHS tapes of cinematic sex scenes in the sock drawer. Or porn we printed off the computer when mom and dad were out of the house. Raise your hand if this described you when you were a lad of 14.

You can put your hands down now. Thank you for participating in this unscientific study.

Now turn the clock forward 10-25 years. You’re now a fully grown adult. You might be married, in a relationship, divorced, or single. It doesn’t matter. You’ve ditched the contraband magazines for more sophisticated resources. In the decades between your teen years and adulthood, you expanded your preferences to include beautiful women with more…bulk.

Yes, bulk. Adult women with more muscular development than the pop stars, movie starlets and celebrity socialites of yesteryear. Of course, you might still retain a faint nostalgic lust for these types of females, but you’ve moved on to bigger (emphasis on “bigger”) and better options. You prefer a brawnier look. You prefer fitness models, athletes and bodybuilders over silicone-enhanced Playboy bunnies, Photoshopped fashion models and Botox-injected Hollywood ingénues. So these new preferences can coexist with your old preferences. Expanding your horizons doesn’t mean shutting yourself off to the “old.” It means incorporating more things into the “new.”

So, with that in mind, what’s changed? Why is it considered socially normal for a teen boy with raging hormones to obsess over “mainstream” looking girls but it raises eyebrows when an adult man can’t stop fantasizing about being crushed between the legs of a female Olympic powerlifter?

Lust is, simply put, simple. Whatever floats your boat, right? Whether you’re into skinny women, rotund women, muscular women, skinny men, rotund men, muscular men, light skin, dark skin, tall, short, long hair, short hair, hairy legs, green eyes, tattoos, or whatever else you can think of, does it really matter? What does one’s preferences say about that person?

Uh, who knows and who cares?

But this is not meant to breed any kind of negativity. By and large, guys who dig muscular women are not a persecuted class by any stretch of the imagination. Not even close. That has never been a contention of myself or, to my knowledge, anyone else for that matter. But all the blatant misconceptions can get annoying after a while.

Taylor Smith is everything you could have asked for. EVERYTHING.

Taylor Smith is everything you could have asked for. EVERYTHING.

On a side note, if being annoyed is the worst thing any of us ever experience, then consider us to be lucky. Very lucky.

The real message is this: female muscle fetishism probably doesn’t have an explanation beyond simple carnal lust. The same lust we started to feel when we reached the age of puberty. Remember that adolescent madness we went through when those icky girls with cooties suddenly transformed into immaculate creatures of divine beauty? Yeah, of course you do. Remember when you first thought of female bodybuilders as gross, freaks of nature she-males who are disgusting to look at…but now you consider them to be Amazonian Goddesses of Higher Consciousness?

Same deal. We might be exaggerating a bit, but the basic idea should ring true. Human attraction isn’t that complicated. It’s what allows for human civilization to persist for generations upon generations. The “Circle of Life” stops the moment we find no reason to find a partner, copulate, reproduce and sow the seeds for the future of humanity. Lust is instrumental to the survival of our species. It can get us in trouble at times, but without it, none of us would be here today.

Some guys are into long legs. Other guys are into muscular legs. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Other gentlemen prefer blondes with bulging biceps and a six-pack abdomen. Some men want to watch the world burn. Other men fantasize about a Powerful Muscle Goddess lighting the torch.

All of this is to say that not everything in life has a clear and clean explanation. Not every sexual kink has to be picked apart and analyzed like the stock market. Sometimes, it is what it is. That sounds boring and un-academic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the most prudent answer.

Nobody is denying that it can seem a bit odd for a guy to obsess over muscular women. Men are, theoretically speaking, the stronger sex. This is a role that has given us (both fairly and unfairly and with mixed results) dominance in the social sphere over our female counterparts. Who would want to abdicate that kind of power by allowing (even in a playful context) a woman to take on the “stronger sex” role? Wouldn’t guys feel intimidated by being in the presence of a muscular woman? Would that challenge his manhood? Would she attempt to challenge his manhood? What happens if he “loses?” Would this change his very identity? Why risk it in the first place?

Strong yet sexy, sturdy but feminine, striking yet accessible. Rita Sargo is all that.

Strong yet sexy, sturdy but feminine, striking yet accessible. Rita Sargo is all that.

But these questions might be completely irrelevant. In fact, one could argue they are all tone deaf to the reality of things. Female muscle fetishism most likely has nothing to do with gender roles, gender identity, self-esteem or even sexual orientation. It’s just one particular tool he has in his toolshed of lust, right next to the “Shy Catholic School Girl” and “Sexy Older Librarian Wearing a Skimpy French Maid Outfit” fetishes.

On a side note, I don’t know what a “Toolshed of Lust” would look like, but I can imagine the possibilities.

On second thought, let’s not!

In conclusion, I’ve discovered an irony in this whole essay. I could have simplified my thesis by merely stating:

A female muscle fetish isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Well, that’s sort of the title of this blog article. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in our modern age of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and social media, it’s that our shrinking attention spans are making it so that all we have the time or the inclination to do is read the headline and be on our merry way. Nobody wants to read anymore. That takes effort that I could be using watching Netflix or ordering an overpriced caramel macchiato at the eight different Starbucks located across the street. But I digress, the actual point is that this whole 1,898 word (which, by the way, is an exact word count) essay isn’t really necessary to make my point.

Don’t overthink the concept of female muscle fetishism. You can, but you might be wasting your time. It’s not pointless or futile, but probably unnecessary. We do lots of things in life that are unnecessary. We put “lol” at the end of every text message despite the fact we didn’t actually laugh out loud. We say “just sayin’” after getting done saying something. Maybe overanalyzing certain sexual fetishes is a similar exercise in frivolity.

Some guys love muscle chicks. Why? They just do.

BAM.

The “Alternate Femininity” of Female Bodybuilders

A striking pose by Karen Garrett.

A striking pose by Karen Garrett.

The unfair stereotypes associated with female bodybuilders are both too numerous to list and cringe-worthy when heard aloud.

“Female bodybuilders are gross because they don’t look like women!”

“Female bodybuilders are disgusting because they secretly want to be men!”

“Female bodybuilders are unappealing because women aren’t supposed to be that muscular!”

“Female bodybuilders aren’t real women because…well, isn’t it obvious?”

How many times have you heard opinions like these? Maybe not word-for-word, but generally speaking does any of this sound familiar? In all likelihood, fans of female bodybuilders and female bodybuilders themselves have probably come across vitriol like this way too often.

In an attempt to shatter some of these negative stereotypes, let’s discuss a concept that a student of gender/sexuality studies should be well versed in: gender as a social construct.

The theory goes that the idea we’ve come to know as “gender” is an arbitrary set of rules, roles and beliefs that is artificially created by culture rather than inherent biology. The differences between men and women are considered “differences” because “we say it’s so.” While certain physiological characteristics separate the male and female sexes (genitalia, hormone levels, reproductive system, etc.), other factors like behavior, intellectual abilities and hierarchal positions in society are nothing more than just a product of the paradigms we’ve created over time.

If we assume this theory to have at least a certain degree of validity, this somewhat debunks the above mentioned stereotypes as, simply put, a bunch of hogwash.

Of course female bodybuilders are real women! They aren’t men. Men are men and women are women. A woman with muscles is still a woman, despite how (admittedly) unusual it is. Who says women aren’t supposed to be that muscular? Just because we don’t see that sort of thing every day doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.

The idea that female bodybuilders aren’t “feminine” plays into traditional gender roles that most human societies have adapted to a point. Yes, it’s true there are certain cultures out there where women are more of the “hunters” than the “gatherers,” but these types of societies are far and few between. For the sake of debate, let’s just assume that the “men are the stronger sex, women are the weaker sex” dichotomy is universally agreed upon.

Famke Janssen might be the most gorgeous woman on the planet.

Famke Janssen might be the most gorgeous woman on the planet.

It should be mentioned that “femininity” can have a fluid definition. Is “feminine” simply defined as any characteristics that a woman displays, or does there have to be a certain level of “social agreement” on these characteristics? For example, even though weightlifting is traditionally regarded as a male pastime, if more women took up the hobby, over time wouldn’t we start to associate the activity as more “gender neutral?”

Smoking was once seen as strictly a male-dominated activity. Then women started to smoke as well once feminism took off as a major social force. At the time, a woman having the right to smoke in public was a real feminist issue. Our society once upon a time ago looked down upon that suggestion. Then, things changed and both genders were given the “right” to light up a cigarette (now, ironically, smoking is looked down upon not for reasons based on gender, but health).

Perhaps it might be fair to say that female bodybuilders are part of an “alternate femininity.” They’re still feminine, but not in a traditional sense.

One could argue the decision of a woman to take up the sport of bodybuilding is unto itself a feminist act. It’s an act of a woman defying social expectations to achieve results that are both self-empowering and openly defiant of the “weaker sex” label. While many real life FBBs may not actively consider themselves “feminists,” no one can argue that the sport by itself creates problems in how we define traditional femininity.

A lovely pose by Alana Shipp.

A lovely pose by Alana Shipp.

But not “alternate femininity.” The sport of female bodybuilding doesn’t contradict gender roles; it makes it more inclusive of other roles. Men are not the only ones allowed to be physically strong. Women can too. This doesn’t violate the gender divide, rather it challenges us to reconsider whether a divide really exists in the first place (or should exist). Thus, gender roles can’t be contradicted if there is nothing at all to contradict.

The “alternate femininity” theory is based on the idea that if gender is a social construct, everyone is allowed to define gender in their own way. How can you be wrong in your own personal opinion?

So, we can now define “feminine” (and its counterpart “masculine”) in a new way:

Feminine is anything a woman is or does.

This definition completely eliminates the factors of social expectations and cultural rituals. Feminine is not defined as anything a woman is or does as defined by society, but instead anything a woman is or does PERIOD.

For example, if a particular woman likes to drink beer, watch football and play violent videogames, all these activities are “feminine” simply because a woman is doing it. It doesn’t matter that most of us associate these activities with the male species. What matters is what happens on an individual level, nothing more and nothing less.

Who wouldn't go gaga over Sofia Vergara?

Who wouldn’t go gaga over Sofia Vergara?

When we view the world of female bodybuilding through this lens, then theoretically we shouldn’t have any issues here. If a woman wants to bulk herself up, she has every right to. But not only does she have the right to do this, she isn’t betraying her sex, her femininity or her relationship with masculinity. A female bodybuilder isn’t seeking to become masculine. She’s still feminine. Just a different kind of feminine.

It begs to be mentioned that “separate but equal” is not what this is about. “Alternate femininity” is not a separate kind of femininity, but rather a substitute for how we commonly define as conventional femininity.

Alright. So…what’s really the point of all this nonsense?

The main purpose of this conversation is to prove the point that there’s nothing really unusual about straight men being attracted to muscular women. While on the surface this does indeed seem strange, when you logically play out this scenario from beginning to end, this is really much ado about nothing.

Straight men are attracted to women. This simple fact has been accepted for generations upon generations. But if we add the condition of “straight men are attracted to muscular women,” why does everyone suddenly become irrational and think this is some kind of abomination?

I want to be poolside by Simone Sousa!

I want to be poolside by Simone Sousa!

If one of your male buddies told you while you were hanging out over drinks that he thinks “Sofia Vergara is hot,” well, I can’t think of too many guys who would disagree. So why is it considered weird when that same guy also says “Alina Popa is hot”? It’s a matter of personal preference, not some arbitrary set of hard-and-fast rules about what kinds of women men are allowed to be attracted to.

This dispels the rumor that we love female bodybuilders because “they look like men” or that “we’re secretly gay.” This cannot be further from the truth. Our sexuality is not in question. When I fantasize about being with a woman like Amber DeLuca, I’m not thinking about her as one of my guy friends. I don’t daydream about downing cheap lagers with her while we shoot pool or go bowling. Instead, I’m imagining a scenario involving a romantic candlelit dinner, expensive red wine, flowers, an idyllic beach-side resort and hours and hours of very hot and sensual lovemaking.

Oh yeah!

I want to connect with her emotionally and intellectually, not just physically. My romantic fantasies involving an FBB would not seem out of place in a sappy Nicholas Sparks novel. Just the amount of weight the leading lady can bench press might differ a tad!

To summarize, let’s attempt to reduce this discussion to its most basic elements:

Men are attracted to beautiful women.

Sound crazy? Nope. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. As a straight guy myself, I can attest to how accurate this sentence is. Men are attracted to beautiful women. Who can possibly argue with that?

The caveat, of course, is that men define “beautiful” in different ways. And guess what? They have every right to! No man should ever constrict himself over what kinds of beauty he appreciates in the world. Life is too short to limit yourself. Never box yourself in. If there’s something in life that really gets your gears running, don’t shy away from it. Embrace it!

Aaaaaaaand finally, a much-anticipated photo of Adriana Lima.

Aaaaaaaand finally, a much-anticipated photo of Adriana Lima.

I am attracted to women like Lisa Cross and Lindsay Mulinazzi not just because of their muscles. You see, it’s not just about the muscles, or her strength, or her bulk. It’s everything about her. Their personalities. Their intellect. Their drive, dedication, motivation and desires. It’s the total package that makes me go gaga for them.

Simply put, I’m attracted to Miss Cross and Miss Mulinazzi because they’re beautiful women.

Denise Masino is a beautiful woman.

Gayle Moher is a beautiful woman.

Victoria Dominguez is a beautiful woman.

Iris Kyle is a beautiful woman.

Kate Upton is a beautiful woman.

Halle Berry is a beautiful woman.

Katy Perry is a beautiful woman.

They are all beautiful women. The only difference is how universally regarded their beauty is. It’s as simple as that. Most of us can agree that Bar Refaeli is super gorgeous. But not everyone can agree that Monica Martin is equally gorgeous. But the truth is that both opinions are correct. Who is to say that they’re wrong? To each his own, right?

Too often, when we discuss the subject of female bodybuilders and the men who love them, we get way too caught up in talking about an FBB’s muscles. Yes, her muscles are very important, but that misses the mark. To reiterate a previous point, it’s not just about her muscles. Her muscles are just part of why many men are attracted to her. Her muscles are not the “be-all and end-all” of her beauty. They are part of a larger package.

And what package is that? Simple. She’s a woman.

A woman. That’s right. A woman. A very beautiful (and muscular) woman, but a woman nevertheless.

Adriana Lima and Alina Popa are both gorgeous; no if, ands, or buts about it. They just are. No need to explain why. No need to put either of them in a separate category of gorgeousness. No need to justify Miss Popa’s beauty compared to Miss Lima’s. Nope. Both are stunning. End of story.

The “alternate femininity” theory of female bodybuilders really boils down to the simple idea that men are attracted to them because they’re women. We find them beautiful. We love their femininity. Granted, we may define “femininity” differently from the general population, but the essential idea remains the same:

Men are attracted to beautiful women.

This core concept is at the heart of why men like me and countless others love female bodybuilders. We find them beautiful. There’s no way I can reduce this argument any further. It is what it is.

Is there any ambiguity left?

Top 10 Misconceptions About Having a Female Muscle Fetish

The fabulous Fabiola Boulanger.

The fabulous Fabiola Boulanger.

I’d like to think that one day it’ll become more acceptable to being attracted to muscular women. After all, I do sense a somewhat significant backlash against the “skinny is beautiful” aesthetic that we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing.

I’m also willing to bet the recent debate about healthcare will also spur some further dialogue about the health of our country and what it means to be healthy. Is starving yourself in order to achieve that rail thin look good for your body? The answer, of course, is a resounding NO.

Maybe someday we’ll actually see more muscular women in everyday society once we get past the irrational concept that women can’t lift weights in the gym like guys do. Face it: You all know what I’m talking about. Which demographic almost always dominates the weight room at your gym? Men. This isn’t even up for debate.

So, once we see more ladies pump iron in the weight room, perhaps this will lead more and more straight guys (and non-straight guys, to be fair) to openly admit that a women with muscle isn’t gross, but beautiful. Is it so strange to finally admit something that was once “taboo” the moment it becomes mainstream? I would hope not.

But seeing muscular women walk down the streets in droves is far from a reality and probably will never become commonplace (though one does hope and pray!) in my lifetime. Nevertheless, let’s delve into ten common misconceptions about having a female muscle fetish that we should clear up in anticipation of a complete social paradigm shift in how we define “sexy.”

I'd go to the gym more often if women like Ericca Kern were hanging around the weight room.

I’d go to the gym more often if women like Ericca Kern were hanging around the weight room.

1. Straight men who are attracted to muscular women are secretly gay.

There’s this belief out there that straight men who love a female with brawn is somehow living a lie. He’s not really straight, but instead a fabulously gay man ready to burst out of the closet with two chiseled female bodybuilders sitting on his shoulders.

If my understanding of sexuality is correct, gay men are attracted to OTHER MEN, not women. I’m heterosexual and have no desire to be intimate with a guy. I do, however, have many fantasies about being intimate with women like Gayle Moher, Tazzie Colomb, Ericca Kern and Angela Salvagno. I’m attracted to these women (and scores of others) because they’re beautiful women; regardless if their beauty is or is not commonly accepted among the general population.

That’s correct. They’re WOMEN who are BEAUTIFUL by standards that happen to be outside of the norm. My personal standards for female beauty are my own. I’m not saying you should agree with me, but you should accept this fixation of mine and move on with your life.

Sound good?

Great!

I could write a whole essay describing the beauty of Denise Masino. I just might...

I could write a whole essay describing the beauty of Denise Masino. I just might…

2. Having a female muscle fetish also means you’re into BDSM.

BDSM, for those of you who don’t know what this means, is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline (it could also be Domination) and Sadomasochism. In short, this means chains, whips, being tied up, tying up someone else, spanking, role playing, domination, submission, safe words, leather outfits, consensual pain, pleasure though pain, pleasure through risqué social relationships, pleasure through power, pleasure through the lack of power, paddles, rope, orgasm control, dungeons, anal plugs, kinky toys, blindfolds and a whole host of other elements.

You get the idea, right? Think “50 Shades of Grey,” if you’ve ever heard of that before.

Hell, at this point who hasn’t?

While many female bodybuilders often engage in BDSM activities outside of their bodybuilding careers (being a professional bodybuilder, unfortunately, isn’t a very lucrative business), there is no direct link between being having a female muscle fetish and being into the D/s subculture.

Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not judging those who are into that sort of thing. In fact, I believe that whatever you’re into is your own business and no one else’s. What happens between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes is not for us to judge. So…I am not saying all of this because I want to distance myself from DBSM culture.

Rather, you can be attracted to an FBB and not want her to tie you up, spank you with a paddle and call you dirty names while she makes you do her bidding. Your lust for her can be very “vanilla,” just as if you had a crush on the girl next door.

Except this girl happens to have steel thighs, bulging biceps, wide pecs and rock hard abs!

But this all brings me to my next point…

Would I want Tina Lockwood's massive thighs around my neck? No, but don't knock it unless you've tried it, right?

Would I want Tina Lockwood’s massive thighs around my neck? No, but don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it, right?

3. A guy with a female muscle fetish wants a female bodybuilder to physically dominate him.

Nor is this a true statement. Speaking from my personal life, all my fantasies about being with a beautiful female bodybuilder has nothing to do with her physically dominating me.

I would love nothing more than to make love to a woman like Lisa Cross. She doesn’t have to wrestle me, sit on me, grapple me, pick me up, or pin me to the ground till I beg her to let me breathe. A simple evening with her involving candle light, a bottle of wine, fresh fruit and silky white bed sheets will suffice.

Seriously. That would be awesome.

While many guys who love female muscle are also into D/s role playing, I want to make a point that not every guy fantasizes about the same thing. Just as most regular people have a diverse range of sexual fantasies, so do guys who love ladies with muscles. We’re no different, no freakier than you are. We’re just into a different sort of woman.

Contrary to popular belief, I still find women like Kate Upton to be beautiful.

Contrary to popular belief, I still find women like Kate Upton to be beautiful.

4. A guy with a female muscle fetish isn’t attracted to “normal” looking women.

On the contrary, I find women of all types to be beautiful. When I was in high school, I had the biggest celebrity crush on Monica Bellucci, whom I thought was literally the most beautiful woman in the world.

Upon further review, there is little evidence to suggest that my assessment at the time was wrong. Even as a middle aged woman, Ms. Bellucci remains a supremely gorgeous creature. My high school-self had every rational reason to be enamored by this Italian Goddess.

Like most young men, I see beautiful women everywhere I look and frequently fantasize about being with them (guys think about sex every, what is it…seven seconds?). One young lady I particularly like at the moment is the polar opposite of a female bodybuilder: She’s small, petite and possesses absolutely no upper body strength. Kim Chizevsky could snap her like a twig if she wanted to. But I nevertheless find her supremely beautiful.

She has narrow hips, skinny legs, pale white skin and flat breasts. She’s half Asian but looks very much like she could be full. She’s smart, funny and shares a lot of the same interests as me. I’m very much in love with her, but unfortunately she doesn’t quite share the same mutual feelings (my confession of my love for her and her subsequent “friend-zoning” of me could make for a whole other blog post). Regardless, I think she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met.

All this is to say that I’m also attracted to “normal” looking women. It’s not like guys who love muscular women find their less muscled counterparts to be repulsive. We don’t expect every woman to look like Lauren Powers or Lora Ottenad, so it’s unreasonable to assume if you don’t look like them, we don’t care. It’s not like that at all.

Having a female muscle fetish isn’t a one-track deal. It’s just one tool in the tool shed, so to speak. Of course women like Megan Fox and Kate Upton also catch our eye. But ladies like Deidre Pagnanelli and Monica Brant do as well. That’s all there is to it.

If being attracted to a woman like Gayle Moher means I'm unhealthy, then I'm one sick puppy!

If being attracted to a woman like Gayle Moher means I’m unhealthy, then I’m one sick puppy!

5. Having a female muscle fetish is a “condition” that’s unhealthy.

This is a misconception that especially gets me angry. I don’t know how common this belief is, but I do know that a small percentage of folks out there might think this.

Clinically speaking, the proper term is sthenolagnia, which means “sexual arousal from displaying strength or muscles.” This isn’t a condition. It’s just a kink. Of course, any interest that goes too far can be unhealthy. When a fetish becomes an obsession, you can be prone to adopting some very unhealthy behaviors.

Wasting money you can’t afford to spend to satisfy your kink. Alienating your friends and family. Breaking the law. Endangering your physical being and psyche. All of these things can be associated with a fetish gone too far.

But this definitely is not normal for people with a harmless and unusual fetish.

To be fair, I should say that the word “fetish” can be misleading. In some definitions, the word “fetish” implies that someone needs that particular object in order to get sexually aroused and cannot get aroused otherwise. In other words, if feet are your thing, nothing will turn you on except for feet and feet only.

This definition might be a bit extreme, but like I mentioned before, being attracted to muscular women doesn’t mean I can’t be attracted to non-muscular women. There are lots of non-FBBs who strike my fancy.

So there is nothing unhealthy about having a female muscle fetish. It doesn’t affect my personal or professional life. My relationships with my friends and family aren’t strained because of it. My relationship with women also isn’t suddenly off-the-wall because of this particular fandom. I’m perfectly normal. And many other guys who share my kink are as well.

Growing up, I considered Monica Bellucci to be the most beautiful woman on the planet. After looking at photos like this, I can see why.

Growing up, I considered Monica Bellucci to be the most beautiful woman on the planet. After looking at photos like this, I can see why.

6. A female muscle fetish is caused by unresolved childhood trauma.

Can my love for female bodybuilders be explained because of some unresolved childhood trauma? Was Mommy overbearing, despotic and cruel? Was Daddy weak, complacent and effeminate? Could this be the cause of my lust for strong women?

I’m no psychologist, but I’m guessing there’s absolutely no link between liking female muscle and having a troubled childhood. But it does seem rather tempting to make a Freudian connection between having a strong mother and gravitating toward strong women as an adult.

I’m willing to bet there’s some truth that someone who was spanked as a child (by mom, perhaps) might develop a fetish for being spanked as a grownup. But I have absolutely no empirical evidence to back me up.

Alas, I can only speak from personal experience that my attraction to female muscle is completely independent from my upbringing.

Then again, it’s hard to self-analyze, isn’t it?

Maybe I should see a shrink after all…

I don't think my attraction for Gina Davis will ever go away.

I don’t think my attraction for Gina Davis will ever go away.

7. A female muscle fetish is temporary and will eventually go away.

Sticking with this theme of a female muscle fetish being a “condition,” is it like the common cold and it will eventually go away with plenty of bed rest, cough drops and chicken soup?

I highly doubt it. This is not some sort of temporary fad that I’ll get into and eventually move on from as if it were a trend diet. The South Beach Diet, Atkin’s Diet and the recently chic Paleo Diet may come and go, but I don’t think the love for female muscle will ever go away.

If you browse chat forums that discuss muscle worship, wrestling sessions and the love for FBBs, many of these folks talk about loving female muscle for many years, sometimes dating back to childhood. It’s like a light going off: Everyone who loves muscular women can remember the exact moment they first discovered this love. Whether it was pursuing through a fitness magazine, catching a glimpse of a female bodybuilder on television or seeing a strong female character in a comic book, everyone with a female muscle fetish can share their personal testimony of “how it all started.”

This is why I very much doubt the belief that this kink will simply run its course after a new fetish is magically “discovered.”

Unfortunately, not all female bodybuilders are as beautiful as Monica Brant.

Unfortunately, not all female bodybuilders are as beautiful as Monica Brant.

8. Guys who are attracted to female bodybuilders are attracted to ALL female bodybuilders.

There are lots of FBBs whom I find attractive. Katka Kyptova, Victoria Dominguez, Tina Lockwood (who retired from bodybuilding a while back), Colette Guimond, Amber DeLuca and scores of others are some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever laid eyes on.

However, this doesn’t mean I find every female bodybuilder attractive.

I hate to say it and sound sexist, but there are some FBBs who do indeed look “gross.” Whether it’s because of veins sticking out of their skin, “masculine” faces caused by an imbalance of hormones, or some other reason, there are some FBBs in this world that don’t even come close to turning me on. While I wholeheartedly reject the notion that female bodybuilders are disgusting because women shouldn’t have muscles, unfortunately (and it hurts me to say this) this is somewhat true for a select few.

Whew. There you go. I said it. Not every muscular woman looks sexy and beautiful. I hope I don’t offend anybody out there!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the old saying goes. Generally speaking, we all have our standards for what we find aesthetically pleasing in a human being. Some folks fit in those categories, and others simply do not. We should try our best not to be judgmental about these sorts of things, but that doesn’t change the fact that some women (and men!) are naturally more beautiful than others.

I have nothing against FBBs whom I don’t find pleasant to look at. They have every right to sculpt their bodies into whatever shape they want. I just don’t need to find it attractive, necessarily.

To each his own, eh?

Sandra Faas is beautiful, regardless of what others might think!

Sandra Faas is beautiful, regardless of what others might think!

9. A female muscle fetish is misogynist because we’re objectifying a muscular woman.

I’m no feminist scholar, but I’m sure some folks out there might object to us guys with the hots for strong ladies because we’re treating them like sex objects instead of human beings.

This is one misconception that might, unfortunately, have a certain degree of truth. I suppose it’s not a stretch to say that a guy who likes the muscles on a woman is similar to a guy who likes a woman with fake breasts, artificially tanned skin and excessive Botox treatments. We like what we see instead of who she is as a person.

If we lust after a woman because of her looks, does this make us sexist? This is a whole other discussion that I’m not too keen on getting into right now. But here is what I can say with a certain degree of certainty: Guys who like muscular women probably aren’t typically going to be the sexist, misogynist pigs you see on Mad Men.

I say this because I think the hatred of female bodybuilders is more fueled by sexism than the love for female bodybuilders. While objectification under any circumstances is unacceptable, I’m willing to bet if there is a group of straight men out there who is less likely to be against a woman demonstrating her independence and bodily freedom, it would be guys with a female muscle fetish.

Personally, I think it’s awesome there are women out there who could care less about what society says and choose to pursue bodybuilding regardless. I’m all for someone striving to be the best they can be at what they do. The beauty about bodybuilding is that it’s a sport where, ultimately, you’re competing against yourself more so than against other people.

Think of it this way: Us guys who like strong ladies do so because we like the way they look. Fine. But there’s a hidden layer underneath this. We also like their will, tenacity and dedication to looking the way they do. Lots of guys are scared and intimated by a woman who’s not afraid to break stereotypes.

Guys like me aren’t.

The peerless Kim Chizevsky could care less if you think muscles aren't sexy on a woman. You go girl! Keep pumping those biceps!

The peerless Kim Chizevsky could care less if you think muscles aren’t sexy on a woman. You go girl! Keep pumping those biceps!

10. A female muscle fetish is rare.

My last point is another point that might be partly true. It’s very hard to say how many guys are actually attracted to muscular women. It is fair to say that the number of guys who are open about their attraction to muscular women is rare. I’ll give you that.

But how many guys (like myself) keep their love for strong lassies a secret? As we all know, it’s a taboo to openly admit this, so this could explain why we think it’s so rare. But is it actually more prevalent but kept underground because of the stigma attached to it?

Anything that’s considered “weird” ceases to become weird once it becomes more popular. I could list a million things that fit into this category. But as much as I love female muscle, I’d be very hesitant to openly admit this fetish in casual conversation with my friends. Complete strangers on the Internet? No problem! My best friends? Uh, no.

So is a female muscle fetish rare? Maybe, maybe not. I’m in no position to say either yay or nay.

But maybe it isn’t. Maybe there are a lot of men out there who wouldn’t hesitate to confess that a woman with muscles is way more sexy than a woman with a bony body if it weren’t so “strange.” Maybe the more we see muscular woman in public, the more willing guys would be to whisper to their buddies, “Hey, she’s pretty hot. And strong, too!”

Maybe, and bear with me here, if more guys admitted to liking a girl with a little bulk, more women would abandon ridiculous fad diets and do more bench presses. Starve yourself to get skinny? Screw that! Go to the gym instead and LIFT to your heart’s delight! If we want to see more women in the weight room, all we simply need to do is encourage them. Hmmmmm…

Is strong the new skinny? We can only hope so.

Or, at least, I can only hope so.

What’s So Alluring About Female Bodybuilders?

FBB and Miss Universe 2007 Alina Popa.

Here’s a question that might be on some of your minds:

So, Ryan: Why are you so into female bodybuilders?

As any reader of my blog can attest to, the subject of female bodybuilding is very prevalent in “The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi” fiction series. The central character, Ryan Takahashi, is engaging in a budding romantic relationship with Cindi North, a fictitious female bodybuilder who exemplifies all the fetishistic qualities of a superhuman woman.

She’s tall (described as being 6 foot 4 inches).

She’s thick.

She has bulging muscles all over her body (her biceps are compared to cantaloupes).

She possesses strength that many male bodybuilders cannot attain.

These are all qualities not normally associated with “average” women. And society tends not to put these types of women on a pedestal. We tend to prefer our females not to look like she could bend steel with her bare hands or play defensive end in the NFL.

So…what’s so alluring about female bodybuilders? Why am I, your humble blogger living in Seattle (or at least, a suburb of Seattle), so obsessed and attracted to female bodybuilders? What’s my deal? Am I some freak? Did my parents raise me wrong? Do I have a messed up relationship with my mother?

The answer is, quite frankly, no. I am not a freak. My parents raised me just fine. And I regularly go to church with my mother on Sunday mornings. I’m pretty normal, outside of me being Japanese-American, which is a group of people you don’t meet very often.

To answer your question, here are my top five reasons why I’m attracted to female bodybuilders:

1. Muscle is sexy

From the times of ancient Greece to today, people with muscles have traditionally been revered for their strength, agility, physical superiority, hard work, dedication and aesthetic. From Michelangelo’s David, to the mythical character of Hercules, to modern day professional athletes, muscle has always been sexy.

Hard, ripped muscles convey all the qualities listed above. Strength means power. Hard work and dedication are positive characteristics valued by every society throughout time. And, of course, there’s the aesthetic aspect to it. Muscles catch our eye because they tell us this person has taken the time to improve themselves. This puts them on a higher level than the rest of us. We can trust them to do any of the “heavy lifting” needed by our society.

Victoria Dominguez, a.k.a. “Mistress Treasure.”

However, historically muscled supermen have been just that: men. Women very rarely have been valued for their physical strength. In addition to sexism (a subject that is beyond the scope of this essay), there might be a biological explanation.

It is no mystery that women are not as naturally strong as men. This brings me to my next point.

2. Muscular women boldly break stereotypes and cultural expectations

Because women are not expected to be as strong as men, what’s there not to like about those few brave women who aim to shatter these expectations?

This is probably why a lot of men are repulsed, disgusted or offended by women with muscles. They make them feel weak, emasculated and less of a man. If a woman has bigger biceps than you, what does that say about you? Our culture would say you’re puny and not worthy of your “man” status.

As I write this, the 2012 London Olympics is happening. This is a time when hundreds of millions of people around the globe (apparently, 1 billion people watched the Opening Ceremony) are seeing right in their homes a multitude of young men and women in the prime physical condition of their lives. This is when women with muscles (and other amazing physical abilities) are showcased like never before. And this has caused some cultural clashes.

Some Internet trolls are calling these women “gross,” “man-like” and any other hurtful labels. These are not women who aspire to be men. These are women who aspire to be great.

Deidre Pagnanelli. She’s in her 40s and has 4 kids. Impressed?

While bodybuilding is not an Olympic sport, female bodybuilders nevertheless are also vulnerable to these kinds of verbal attacks, even if it’s at a smaller scale. But they persevere and boldly break these social stereotypes with no shame, embarrassment or second-guessing. Though I’ve never met an FBB, I’m going to guess a majority of them are not doing what they do to emasculate men. They’re doing it to raise the bar for their fellow women.

There’s something to admire about those who are fearless about shattering stereotypes and defying cultural expectations. Do women belong in the kitchen? Hell no! They belong in the gym, pumping iron to become as strong as they can possibly be.

3. Female bodybuilders earn their beauty

Not all of us are born with the genetic material necessary to become a supermodel. Not all of us, even with the graces of Photoshop and other digital image editing software, have what it takes to be featured on the cover of magazines.

Essentially, beauty (or, our personal and collective standards of beauty) is something you are born with. No amount of cosmetic surgery will make you more beautiful than the limitations of what you are given (we all know how off-putting it is to see someone who has had a little too much work done. It can, ironically, make them look less attractive).

But this is not true with female bodybuilders.

Bodybuilding is a sport unlike any other sport. Winners of bodybuilding competitions win because of their aesthetic appeal more than their ability to shoot a basketball, catch a football or hit a baseball. They are judged by their size, shape, symmetry and presentability.

Krissy Chin, an Asian muscle goddess.

In this regard, female bodybuilders earn their beauty. Even if they are not born with a naturally beautiful face, they have direct control over the look of the rest of their body. No one can control what their face looks like, but everyone can control the appearance of their quadriceps, biceps, triceps, pecs, abs and other muscle groups.

To put it in another way, female bodybuilders redefine their beauty by creating their own personal standards of beauty.

And this is something to admire. How many of us genuinely admire a gorgeous supermodel? We brush them off and say things like, “They’re only rich and famous because of the way they look.” Unfortunately, this perspective has some truth to it. Gorgeous people are born gorgeous. But nobody is born with ripped muscles.

I respect a female bodybuilder’s beauty because she has earned it through years of training, long hours of hard work, radically changing her diet, sacrificing her personal comfort for the sake of making her body strong and investing a large chunk of her free time toward achieving her lofty goals.

She has my respect because she deserves her beauty; nothing was given to her for free. There’s nothing sexier than a woman whose beauty comes from her relentless pursuit of perfection through excruciatingly hard work, not a surgeon’s knife.

4. Female bodybuilders treat their bodies like a piece of art

While bodybuilding is technically a sport, one could also argue it is an art. Like traditional athletes, bodybuilders train endlessly to perfect their craft in the name of competition. However, unlike football or hockey players, bodybuilders are more concerned by how they look versus how well they can outmaneuver a cornerback or slap a puck past a goalie.

Bodybuilders willingly put themselves in a position where they are judged by their looks. As a society, we already judge women by their looks, so it must take extra courage for a woman to put herself in a situation where not only is she judged by her looks, but she’s judged by standards that are far outside the norm.

Which brings us to the concept of “art:”

Painters have their canvases, brushes and paints. Musicians have their instruments. Singers have their voices. Writers have their pens and imagination. Sculptors have their clay. Bodybuilders have….their body.

For a woman to put herself in that vulnerable of a position, where she is outwardly judged by her looks while shattering our typical conventions of “femininity,” takes guts that must border on obsession. Her chiseled look doesn’t happen by accident. It’s all a product of her taking a pro-active stance on how she wants to live her life.

Sounds like an artist, doesn’t it? The mindset of a female bodybuilder is no different from Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, William Shakespeare or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Their dedication takes on a life of its own. She must sacrifice more than most of us are willing to sacrifice in order to make her body look the way she wants it.

Sounds very artistic, doesn’t it?

A true artist should strive for perfection even if the general public considers their work to be just fine. A true artist should never be satisfied with their art, as they are perpetually searching for the “truth” in their art. The French poet Paul Valery once said “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

Miss Cross is one of my favorites. She’s beautiful, muscular and British. What’s there not to like?

Likewise, even on the day of a competition, a female bodybuilder’s body is never finished; it is always a work in progress. That day happens to be the day that people will finally judge her.

Like any astute art critic, may they judge her harshly but fairly.

5. The concept of a female bodybuilder is both intellectually and sexually arousing

Aren’t women supposed to be the weaker sex?

If you’re a female bodybuilder, the answer is a resounding “NO!”

But, alas, society at large still views women as weaker and frailer compared to their male counterparts. Generally, they’re shorter, smaller in stature and have less muscle mass. In short, they ARE the weaker sex.

Biologically speaking, none of this can be proven false. This is why the concept of a female bodybuilder is both intellectually and sexually exciting.

A woman who takes it upon herself to make herself strong definitely has my vote of confidence. I’d vote for her if she ran for president. It takes a strong mind to want to prove the entirety of human history to be wrong. It takes an even stronger mind to actually go out and do it.

By defying our entire paradigm of maleness vs. femaleness, she seeks to redefine her identity by tearing down the status quo. Or does she?

Female bodybuilders are often at odds with society because they are expected to exhibit many cultural dualities: She must be strong, but nurturing; she must be muscular, but feminine; she must be tough, but not “unlady-like;” she must be as strong as a man, but not emasculate him. In other words, she must walk that fine (and impossible) line between being strong and being a woman.

Colette Nelson’s chest is out of this world. And I’m not referring to her breasts!

Often female bodybuilders are automatically accused of being lesbians. While plenty of professional bodybuilders (and figure and fitness competitors) are lesbians, a lot of them are not. Many of them are married to a man. Some have children. Some have many children. Some compete professionally, take some time off to become a mother, and resume her bodybuilding career once her children become old enough.

An FBB is always juggling multiple social and internal pressures that are nearly impossible to balance. She must do what she does because she wants to do it. There will always be people out there who say she is “becoming a man” or “compromising her femininity.”

No wonder why you need the heart of a poet to put yourself through all this agony!

And this is why female bodybuilders are so sexually exciting. In addition to looking visually stunning, their open defiance of our culture’s expectations of “femaleness” should make them popular to any anti-establishment, pro-freedom intellectual.

I find female bodybuilders alluring because by lifting weights, they are saying “FUCK YOU” to society (even if they don’t consciously carry around this negative attitude).

So go for it, honey. Pump those weights. Don’t be ashamed to drip with gallons of sweat after a grueling work out. Drink those protein shakes. Do what it takes to make your muscles huge.

Become as beautiful as you can be.