Female bodybuilders are sexy.
Soooooooooooo incredibly sexy. Steaming hot. They pulsate with sexual appeal. Every inch of their immaculate bodies is divine. Female bodybuilders produce emotions, thoughts, and gut reactions out of us that cannot be described, properly attributed, or replicated.
They are also beautiful. Immensely beautiful. Incomprehensibly beautiful.
Sexy and beautiful. Beautiful and sexy.
However, as strange as this may sound, what is beautiful is not necessarily sexy, and by that same token what is sexy is not necessarily beautiful. Hopefully this makes more sense if we dive into what these two concepts actually mean.
The questions of what is “sexy” and what is “beautiful” are two different – though interconnected – matters. Beauty is primarily concerned with aesthetic preferences. Sexy, on the other hand, has more to do with the feelings certain people, words, images, and objects elicit inside us. For example, some people get turned on by the feeling of leather or being picked up and carried. There’s nothing inherently beautiful about either of those things. Yet, they’re considered sexy by those who consider such things to be sexy.
I can look at an artist rendering of the Himalayan Mountains and say that it’s beautiful. I can also glance at a gorgeous woman stroll by on the sidewalk and think the exact same thing. But I can also stare (hopefully, inconspicuously) at a less attractive woman at the gym who’s deadlifting 250 pounds and say to myself:
“Damn. That’s sexy!”
Sidewalk Lady may check all the boxes of physical attractiveness. Every single one of them. Deadlift Lady may check some of the boxes – or very few of them – and yet, for some inexplicable reason, she makes me feel things that Sidewalk Lady doesn’t. This isn’t to insult or degrade Sidewalk Lady, but to point out that how we react to certain visual stimuli doesn’t always follow logical explanations.
Deadlift Lady’s activities spark inside me the desire to do things that are socially inappropriate. Many of us can keep our animalistic instincts in check, but staring a few seconds too long clearly isn’t one of them as far as I’m concerned. I want nothing more than to marvel at her raw strength, cheer her on, and fantasize about what other kinds of miraculous feats she can accomplish. Sidewalk Lady is someone I’ll most likely forget about 30 seconds later. Sorry, ma’am! Sidewalk Lady is a dime a dozen. Deadlift Lady, however, is a much more rare bird.
This partially explains why so many people are perplexed that folks like you and I love female bodybuilders so much. On the surface, muscular women are, for lack of a better word, “freaky” looking. They’re not normal. They’re unconventional. They defy our preconceived notions of what a woman “should” look like. Because we typically associate large muscles as being a masculine trait, when we see big muscles on a feminine body our brains struggle to comprehend it. Our natural instinct is to dismiss it as being “against nature” or “unnatural” to the point that a disgusted reaction is a perfectly reasonable response. In other words, being revolted at the sight of a female bodybuilder isn’t bigotry; it’s simply the product of our upbringing and societal expectations.
Yet, for many of us the sight of a female bodybuilder elicits the exact opposite reaction. Instead of looking at her with terror or repulsion, we get turned on. Big time. No mistake about that. Our blood starts to boil. Sexual fantasies of all sorts immediately pop into our minds. Our breathing quickens. We suddenly have the urge to…uh, do certain things. To put it mildly.
This is because our love for female bodybuilders goes below the surface. It’s beyond what you simply see on the outside. The experience of seeing a photo of an FBB may seem jarring at first, but once you actually “get it” and understand their appeal, you become enthralled by them and cannot get enough. Yes, we do love them because we appreciate how they look (or at least, how most of them look). But it’s more than that. We find them sexy because of how they make us feel.
Female bodybuilders make us feel inspired, empowered, awestruck, dazed, imaginative, intrigued, aroused, sensual, curious, anxious, jealous, insecure, terrified, astonished, shocked, confused, provoked, delirious, uneasy, and everything in between. Please note that some of these emotions are contradictory. Some are negative. How can someone feel aroused and terrified at the same time? Is it possible to be inspired and insecure simultaneously? Do people really find it sexy to be both empowered and anxious?
The answer is simple to all these questions:
There is tremendous appeal in feeling strong contradictory emotions at the same time. This is why bondage role play is so popular. Some people get tremendously aroused being scared and aroused at the same time. In fact, being frightened heightens the sense of arousal. At least, that’s the idea. It’s totally possible to look at a picture of a large muscular woman and instantly feel inadequate, insecure, and pathetic when you think about your own lack of muscle mass. You’re a guy who lifts regularly at the gym and eats (fairly) healthy. “How the hell can a woman – who’s scientifically predisposed to being smaller in stature than men traditionally are – be bigger than me? It’s so agonizing because it makes me look bad! Compared to her, I’m fat, lazy, tiny, puny, pitiful, weak, and completely out of shape.”
“Yet, I think she’s the most beautiful woman who’s ever existed and I want to ravage her in bed all night!”
Well, then. This is something that’s a bit psychologically complicated. Is it possible that guys who love female bodybuilders are really – whether they realize it or not – projecting their own insecurities onto an object they find sexually desirable? That instead of seeing muscular women as the enemy, they treat them as an ally? That they secretly desire to be the weaker sex for once? That they get incredibly turned on by a woman who can take control? That when they feel at their most helpless, they actually feel the most powerful?
Human psychology is complex and beyond my amateurish understanding. But what I do know – and this comes from experience as well – is that these contradictory feelings are real. And not only are they real, they contribute to explaining why we find female bodybuilders so unbelievably sexy.
Our love for FBBs goes well below the surface. When I see Cindy Landolt post a photo on Instagram of her sprawling on a bed wearing sexy lingerie, it’s almost as though I can literally see powerful vibes exploding out of the computer screen. She doesn’t just look hot and beautiful. She looks powerful. At the top of her game. At her peak. She looks invincible. No one can stop her. She has her audience in the palm of her hand and she can control them however she likes. And this is the kicker: She isn’t doing this just because of the so-called “male gaze.” She does this because it makes her personally feel empowered. She chooses to flaunt her immaculate body in sexually provocative ways because it’s her way of transforming herself into a superhero. Yes, she is a human being. But her muscles allow her to transcend her humanness and become something else entirely. She becomes, well, superhuman.
Miss Landolt understands that men are visual creatures. And she just gave them more visual stimuli than they can handle. If their brains explode into a million pieces, so be it. That’s her super power. That’s why she’s world-famous (in a modest sense) while other traditionally beautiful women are not. That’s why we can scroll for hours through Instagram looking at thousands of photos of beautiful women and think to ourselves, “She’s cute.” But when we come across Cindy strutting around in a bikini showing off her perfectly sculpted figure, we then react by saying:
See the difference? Subtle, it ain’t.
The question of deciphering “what is sexy” really boils down to these kinds of emotional reactions. There’s a cliché that states “sexy is an attitude.” There’s a lot of truth to that. But it’s more than that. What we find to be sexy (and by that same token, unsexy) is often a reflection of who we are. It shines a light on our own deepest fears, anxieties, insecurities, and inner demons. Perhaps this is a clever coping mechanism. No one wants to feel inadequate or weak. So instead of giving in to these failures, we turn it around. Rather than treat an FBB as a constant reminder of how “unmanly” we are, we treat them as a partner. An ally. A friend. A comrade. A compatriot. An equal.
We turn a loss into a victory. A weakness into a strength. A competitor into a teammate. This is our way of overcoming our fears. We conquer our insecurities not by letting them defeat us, but by embracing them as a source of inner strength. Here’s an odd anecdote that hopefully illustrates what I’m trying to convey:
One time a few years ago I met a well-known female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session. I won’t reveal her name for the sake of her privacy. She’s tall, thick, remarkably muscular, and smart. Very business savvy. She’s tough as nails and can physically dominate any man she encounters. While I’m not personally into fantasy wrestling, we did do some casual wrestling in bed just for the fun of it. She wrapped her strong legs around my torso and squeezed. I was helpless. I could not escape. She dominated me in every sense of the word. I struggled to breathe. She could have killed me if she’d wanted to. I was weak. She was the stronger sex, and it wasn’t even close.
At the end of our time together, she was kind enough to send me off on a positive note. It felt reciprocal because earlier I was giving her plenty of cunnilingus. First, she gave me oral. Then, once I was properly erect she got out a bottle of baby oil and smeared some on the palm of her hand. She then proceeded to jerk me off. I distinctly remember looking up at her and watching her perform this deed. She was on top of me, looking down upon this weak little boy who’s helplessly lying on this back, as defenseless as a newborn kitten. But as she stroked me, I felt a weird and unexpected feeling:
I felt powerful.
It’s strange to say this out loud, but it’s true. I felt like a manly man. I felt like a Real Man. Even though on the surface, I was the weak one and she was the strong one. She could easily snap me in half if she wanted to. Earlier, she demonstrated her superior strength with no ambiguity. There is no contest as to who is stronger. It’s her. No doubt about it. Yet, as odd as this sounds, I felt as powerful as I’d ever felt before in my entire life. There’s no logic to it. I just did.
From my perspective, I was a man receiving pleasure from a gorgeous woman. She was smiling as she was doing it. It looks like she was having fun as well. Inside, I felt like the one who was in charge. It was me who was controlling my own destiny. Even after I came, I still felt that way. For those few short moments, I was experiencing a heightened sort of pleasure that I rarely get to experience. Yet, on the surface it appears like she’s in total control. While that is technically true, that wasn’t true for me emotionally. On the inside, I felt a personal sense of empowerment that no one can understand except for me. And guess what? That’s good enough.
I didn’t treat her like an enemy. She was a friend. Not a literal friend, of course. But in that particular time and place, we were equals. I gave her pleasure. Then she gave me pleasure. This cooperative exchange felt right. It felt just. It was…sexy.
What is sexy? It’s simple: Sexy is that magical confluence when a singular human experience and mother nature collide in the most beautiful way imaginable. It’s more than just a pretty face or a killer body. It’s the emotions that come with it. It’s how we feel and how we grow as a human being as a result of experiencing those feelings.
Female bodybuilders have the unique ability to conjure up those emotions like very few other women can. Can a more “traditional” looking woman elicit those same feelings? Sure she can. Back in the day of my adolescent years, Famke Janssen, Monica Bellucci, Rena Mero, Trish Stratus, Sophie Marceau, Pamela Anderson, Halle Berry, and others did just that. But FBBs are like an addictive drug. We can’t get enough of them. We keep on returning to them. Whether we’ve liked FBBs for 30 years, 20 years, or 10 weeks, every single time we regard upon a new photo of a beautiful female bodybuilder proudly showing off her large muscles, it makes us feel jittery inside. It lights a fire in our souls. It’s a wonderful feeling, one that cannot be easily articulated. And in an unfathomable way, we don’t want to have to explain it. We embrace its mysteriousness.