Kathy Connors: A Devilishly Sexy Muscle Siren

Kathy Connors showing off her gorgeous legs.

Kathy Connors showing off her gorgeous legs.

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

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

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

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

1989 NE Florida – 1st Light & Overall

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

1990 Southern USA – 1st Light & Overall

1990 Jr. Nationals – 2nd Light

1991 Team USA vs. USSR Exhibition

1992 Florida State – 1st Middle

1992 USA – 3rd Middle

1992 Jr. Nationals – 3rd Middle

1993 Nationals – 10th Middle

1996 NE USA – 2nd Middle

1997 Jr. USA – 1st Middle & Overall

1998 Nationals – 10th Middle

1999 Nationals – 6th Middle

2001 Florida State Championships – 1st Middleweight

2001 Nationals – 7th Middleweight

2002 USA Championships – 13th Middleweight

2003 USA Championships – 12th Middleweight

2003 Southern States – 2nd Heavyweight

2004 North American Championships – 8th Lightheavy

2006 North American Championships – 7th Lightheavy

2007 Florida State – Heavyweight and Overall Champion

2008 North American Championships – 9th Heavyweight

2008 Masters Nationals Heavyweight – Over 45 1st place

2008 Masters Nationals Heavyweight – Over 35 2nd place

2008 USA Championships Heavyweight – 7th place

2012 Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals – 5th

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

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

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

Kathy can definitely sport a sexy black cocktail dress.

Kathy can definitely sport a sexy black cocktail dress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet another leg shot.

Yet another leg shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She can even sport a bikini!

She can even sport a bikini!

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

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

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

To be honest, yes.

Yup, you read that right.

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

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

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

Damn girl.

Damn girl.

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy doing what she does best: looking irresistible.

Kathy doing what she does best: looking irresistible.

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

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

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

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

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

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Halloween is Every Day for Female Bodybuilders

Dena Westerfield wants to suck your blood!

Dena Westerfield wants to suck your blood!

Every October 31 we celebrate a very odd holiday. People of all ages dress up in costumes, artistically carve up pumpkins, attend spooky themed parties and/or wander around their neighborhoods begging strangers to hand out candy.

No candy? No problem! Unless, of course, you don’t mind your house getting egged, toilet papered or surrounded by flaming piles of dog feces.

The concept of Halloween, according to experts in folklore, dates back to Celtic “pagan” traditions of welcoming in the harvest season. Halloween also might be rooted in Festival of the Dead-type traditions where people honor their dead relatives and usher them into the Afterlife. In the United States, a Catholic-inspired Cajun tradition began in the early days of North America to spend a nocturnal Mass at graveyards to bless the souls of the deceased.

Getting a creepy vibe already?

But today, let’s face it. Halloween is all about having a socially acceptable reason to dress up in silly costumes, watch scary movies and eat too much sugary candy. Plus, Halloween sort of officially kicks off the “holiday season” which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Some costumes range from the innocent to more “adult.” Some people will go as doctors, firefighters, kittens or Spider-Man; while other will choose the more family-friendly route and become a stripper, dominatrix or slutty nurse.

Whatever. Your choice of costume is your choice alone, as long as the company you work for doesn’t have any strict policies against publicly embarrassing yourself.

Now this is one Halloween party I'd like to attend! Here we have Annie Rivieccio, Aleesha Young and Alina Popa.

Now this is one Halloween party I’d like to attend! Here we have Annie Rivieccio, Aleesha Young and Alina Popa.

We dress up because it’s fun to pretend to be something we’re not, even if only temporarily. As kids, we wanted to be Superman and Wonder Woman. So if we dress up like them, isn’t that close enough to living out our dreams?

Perhaps, but there’s another reason why we dress up: to celebrate Halloween’s macabre roots. Zombies, vampires, serial killers, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, monsters and politicians are all par for the course. Who doesn’t like to channel their inner Jason Voorhees or reenact a scene from Night of the Living Dead? Whatever is most frightening is often the most fun.

These two reasons might explain why, as absurd as this may sound, for a female bodybuilder every day is Halloween. Every day is their chance to “dress up” and become something different. To become something superhuman, unworldly and strange. Many fans of female bodybuilders may not consider the presence of a muscular woman to be “ghoulish,” but unfortunately some people out there do. So let’s celebrate Halloween this year by paying tribute to the ladies we love 365 days a year.

Her body is her costume

Every single time an FBB goes to the gym to train, isn’t she essentially creating the “costume” that she’ll wear every single day of her life? Except in this case, her costume is her own body. It doesn’t consist of hats, tights or capes; but instead muscles, veins and sharp angular curves.

It takes a lot of work to achieve the physique of a Katka Kpytova or Alina Popa. Strict dieting, strenuous weightlifting, supplements, drugs, mental toughness, hardcore dedication and sacrifices are necessary to reach that level of muscularity. Not too many people in this world are that dedicated to their craft. But those who are should be very proud of their work.

When a woman builds bulk on her body, she’s making a decision to sculpt a better version of herself. She’s changing her identity. She’s breaking the mold of convention and embracing the nontraditional. Whether she intends to compete or not is irrelevant. The desire to gain maximum muscularity is a statement unto itself. It says “I’m reinventing myself, whether you like it or not.”

The concept of reinventing one’s self through the lifestyle of bodybuilding is fascinating. If our “traditional” idea of femininity includes slender arms, lush curves and a small frame, a female bodybuilder tosses all of that out the window. Her rebooted identity defies these norms while at the same time creating new ones. “Feminine” doesn’t have to be a euphemism for “weak.” It can mean so much more.

Her muscles are what define this new identity. Because muscles are not typically associated with femininity, women like Debi Laszewski are not seen as traditional women even though their womanhood hasn’t changed one iota. Deep down inside, Debi has always been Debi. Even before she took up bodybuilding, Debi was Debi. Now that she’s a world class athlete, she’s still Debi.

You don't want to get on Maribel Barnes's bad side!

You don’t want to get on Maribel Barnes’s bad side!

Think of it this way: the mere presence of muscles on a woman’s body doesn’t change anything about her. Whether someone changes their appearance for the better or for the worst, who they are intrinsically doesn’t change. Yes, an FBB may gain more confidence during her training, but her inherent identity hasn’t been altered by a single degree. Everyone has an identity. Your body’s appearance is just one facet of that.

In this respect, a female bodybuilder’s muscles act as her “costume” or “uniform.” To put it another way, a football player becomes a football player once they put on their pads, helmet, shoes and protective gear. When it’s not game time and they’re dressed in “street clothes” out in everyday life, they’re no longer a football player. They’re just like you and I. Sometimes, the uniform makes all the difference.

Likewise, an FBB’s muscles acts as her professional uniform. It informs us about who she is and what she does. But that’s not all that there is to her. She’s so much more than her appearance. Her thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, relationships, opinions, interests and everything else encompasses her entire identity. Her body is just the uniform she wears as a result of her chosen profession.

Like other self-revealing occupational uniforms (a construction worker’s hat, a doctor’s smock, a radio DJ’s headset, etc.), a female bodybuilder’s muscular body is an instantly identifiable clue as to what she does for a living. It’s her way of announcing to the world what she’s passionate about. It’s an outward expression of self-identification. Her muscles are her costume. Her muscles are her uniform. Her muscles are not her entire identity, but it’s a very important part of it.

Her body as a grotesque costume

It’s maddening. It’s ridiculous. It’s blatantly sexist and stupid. But this train of thought still exists: Muscular women are gross. They’re disgusting. They’re not real women. They’re women who are trying to become men. They’re revolting to look at. They shouldn’t look like that. Blah, blah, blah.

While the previous point talks about a female bodybuilder’s muscles being her living costume, this point discusses her muscles as other people perceive them. Unfortunately, not everyone perceives them in a positive light.

For many people, an FBB’s muscles make her a monster. It makes her a freak. It changes her identity, but not in a good way. It’s scary, frightening, disturbing, repulsive and lots of other synonyms that would tear a thesaurus in half. Her Halloween costume resembles that of a horror movie villain rather than an elite athlete. These perceptions explain why more women don’t lift weights at the gym and are afraid to pick up a dumbbell heavier than 8 pounds.

I've never seen the film "Blood + Kisses" starring Denise Masino, but I'm sure she's very sexy in it!

I’ve never seen the film “Blood + Kisses” starring Denise Masino, but I’m sure she’s very sexy in it!

Thus, another reason why every day is Halloween for female bodybuilders is because for many folks out there, an FBB is a walking and breathing humanistic monstrosity of distorted femininity. Her Halloween costume is her “man-like” muscles that obviously make her so unattractive. Whether her motivation for gaining muscle mass has anything to do with a deliberate attempt at reorganizing her gender identity has nothing to do with this perception. For far too many people, a muscular woman is nothing more than a woman pretending to be a man (or to put it another way, she’s “unnatural” for looking like that).

Or, wanting to become a man. Short of undergoing gender reconstruction surgery, adding muscle bulk to her body is the next best option. This opinion is far from being the most popular reason why women decide to pursue bodybuilding. Most do it for the sport. Others do it for self-empowerment. For many, it might be a “hobby,” but one that they take a bit more seriously than knitting or collecting postage stamps.

For the men and women out there who are genuinely sickened by muscular women…well, that’s life. There’s very little that will change overnight. They might view her like a sci-fi creature from a mad scientist’s laboratory, but the rest of us know better. It’s only a matter of time when women like Lisa Cross are celebrated as much as mainstream female celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence.

If Tina Chandler wanted to arrest me...yeah, I'd let her.

If Tina Chandler wanted to arrest me…yeah, I’d let her.

Trick or treat?

Just so we don’t end this discussion on a sour note, imagine this scenario playing out in your actual life:

You’re going out trick-or-treating. Let’s say you’re an adult, but you live in a neighborhood where it’s socially acceptable for grownups to knock on doors and ask for candy. It’s getting late, so you know it’s about time to start wrapping up this confection excursion. You have one house left to visit. It’s nearing 9 p.m. (your self-imposed bedtime is 9:30 for whatever boring reason) and your bag of candy is still not completely full.

You knock on the door of a strange brick house standing on the top of a steep hill. It’s covered with moss, ivy, chipped paint and cobwebs. You’re alone. Your heart races but you’re still insisting on gathering as much sweet loot as possible. You approach the house cautiously. You knock once. No answer. You knock twice. Still no answer. You knock thrice. Once again, there is no answer. You wait a beat. Then two beats. Then three. Several more beats pass by, then you finally give up and start to walk back to the main street. Then, out of nowhere, you hear the door open. It creeks loudly. You turn around. And you see who answers the door.

Monica Martin. MEOW!

Monica Martin. MEOW!

It’s not one, nor two, nor three, but seven gorgeous female bodybuilders having some sort of a spooky soiree. They’re all in costume, ranging from Elvira to a cannibalistic Nazi zombie stripper to a trial lawyer. Seven tall, thick, highly muscular women with the most beautiful faces you’ve ever seen. They seem intrigued by you. They look you up and down at your wimpy frame and even wimpier costume. A glow-in-the-dark cartoon skeleton? Seriously? That’s the best you could do?

The host FBB speaks first.

“Are you here to trick-or-treat?” she asks. Her low, gravelly voice seems to shake the foundations of the Earth.

“Uh, yes. That’s why I’m here ma’am,” you answer timidly.

The seven start to laugh. You might have heard laughter from several other female bodybuilders inside the house that you can’t see. The leader raises a hand to hush everyone up. Everyone becomes silent. But their gaze is still exclusively on you.

“Good,” she begins. “Then you should come on in. We’ve got a very big treat for you.”

The seven FBBs move to the side of the door, inviting you indoors. You can clearly see that the house is infested with beautiful muscular women, all of them more muscular and more beautiful than the rest. There must be several dozens of them in there. Their costumes are very sexy. Everyone is scorching hot beyond description. You’re speechless.

But you go inside nevertheless. The door closes behind you. The party commences.

Happy Halloween!

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?