Nostalgic for Naughtiness

An old issue of Women’s Physique World featuring Shelley Beattie and Sharon Bruneau.

Every man who was once a teenage boy with raging hormones should be able to identify with this scenario:

You borrow a copy of a dirty magazine from a buddy at school. Or you steal it from a grocery store with the stealth skills of a Special Ops commander. Or you’re lucky enough to stumble upon an old issue of Playboy or Hustler sitting in a garbage can or recycling bin. No matter how you acquire said dirty magazine, it’s a prized possession that you will guard with your life.

Your brothers and sisters cannot know about it. Your parents especially cannot know about it. So it must be kept a secret from prying eyes, forever fated to be stuffed in your sock drawer or underneath your mattress. The only time you can look at it is at night under the cover of darkness. Bring it to school and you risk one of your teachers discovering it, confiscating it, and telling Mom or Dad about it. Talk about bad news. Can’t possibly risk that. No bloody way.

But what’s in that dirty magazine that’s so damn intriguing? It’s simple: Beautiful girls wearing very little (or no) clothing. Just a few short years ago, girls were disgusting creatures who were annoying, bad at sports, and had different hobbies than you. Today, it’s a whole different story. Girls are enigmatic creatures who make you feel wiggly inside. You cannot help but stare at the ones who were the prettiest or had the shapeliest bodies. And you definitely struggle to stop staring at the ones with big boobs. Oh boy…

But your magazine offers a special glimpse that you cannot possibly have while sitting in math class. Your treasured magazine shows you a whole new side of the female species that you’ve only just begun to discover. You finally get to see what a pair of breasts look like. You finally learn why Dad married Mom in the first place. And, you finally find out what girls have between their legs that you don’t.

This scenario should be especially familiar with those of you who are older than 30. However, as the Internet Age rolled around, teenage boys don’t have to sneak dirty magazines into their bedrooms in order to get their “fix.” Pictures of gorgeous naked women are only a simple Google search away (not to mention a furious effort to delete one’s browsing history before Grandma next uses the family computer). So as time goes on, one presumes this familiar scenario will become less familiar.

Will you accept this rose from Raye Hollitt?

Nevertheless, for those of us who love female bodybuilders, there’s an added dimension to our story of how we discovered what turns us on. In addition to conventionally beautiful lingerie and fashion models, we were also introduced to pretty women who sported a bit more muscle mass than usual. So not only were we smuggling copies of Playboy into our coat closets, we were also sneaking in contraband fitness and weightlifting magazines.

Sure, the majority of those publications featured big burly men. But on occasion, we got to feast our eyes on ladies with big burly muscles.

Oh baby.

In today’s modern world in which everything you can possibly think of can now be accessed through the Internet, it’s becoming easier and easier to indulge in your vices in complete privacy. Private web browsing has been a helpful tool in hiding your fetishes from anyone who also happens to use your computer. Granted, you still need to be cautious when you’re at work, but when you’re sitting at home you can be as freaky as you want to be without a single soul knowing about it.

Yet, with all this erotic material readily available at your fingertips, doesn’t it seem like the “old days” were a bit more, how shall we say it, “naughty?”

What is meant by that is the general feeling that back in the days when images of beautiful muscular women were rare, the few opportunities we got to feast our eyes on them seemed much more exciting than they do now. Today, we can easily scroll through hundreds of female bodybuilders, fitness models, and athletes on Instagram, Tumblr blogs, and fan websites without breaking a sweat. No need to sneak in magazines underneath your Mom’s watchful eye. No fear of Dad finding out. Also, no need to research where you can find these photos, which in our youth we treated as precious commodities like gold, diamonds, and crude oil.

With search engines and social media making our beloved ladies more easily available than ever before, why do simple Google searches fail to send that same tingling sensation down our spines that peering through old photos of Rachel McLish late at night in our bedrooms once did? Is it because we’re older and more accustomed to seeing photos of gorgeous muscular women, or is it something deeper?

Let’s explore the latter. It is not beyond comprehension that part of the reason why our adolescent brains were kicking into overdrive was because, well, the clichéd phrase “raging hormones” exists for a reason. So is it fair to say that as we get older our hormones get more under control, thus we become less fanatical in our desire to ogle beautiful women? Maybe, but that doesn’t appear to be the only answer. For the female muscle enthusiasts out there, another explanation must cover the territory of the “forbidden fruit.”

As if peering at photos of beautiful women weren’t scandalous (relatively speaking) enough, being turned on by photos of muscular beautiful women is a whole other story. Now we’re crossing into “weird” ground, not just “scandalous.” It’s not embarrassing to admit you’d like to tap Pamela Anderson (especially if you grew up in the 90s), but it would definitely raise a few eyebrows if you declare proudly that you’d also like to screw Kim Chizevsky. Especially if the people you were with knew who Kim is and what she looks like.

Talk about awkward.

But awkwardness is exactly the point. We’re embarrassed because we don’t want others to find out about our attraction to female bodybuilders, but we’re also somewhat embarrassed for our own sake. We start to wonder if something is wrong with us. We ask questions such as: Am I normal? Am I secretly gay? Why don’t more people feel the same way as I do?

But even those questions are starting to diminish. The Internet has played an integral role in breaking down almost every social taboo you can think of. You can easily locate like-minded individuals who are into the same “unusual” stuff as you. Do you enjoy drawing Game of Thrones fan art? Or writing Harry Potter fan fiction? Or immersing yourself into “Furry” culture (don’t look it up if you aren’t prepared to truly find out what it is)? Well, finding other people who are into the same things as you has never been easier. This is quite a blessing, especially if you are prone to wondering whether if you’re alone in the Universe. Odds are you are not.

The statuesque Bev Francis.

The same goes for female muscle fetishism. For all its flaws, Saradas.com is a popular forum for discussing and sharing content related to female bodybuilding, sessions, fantasy wrestling, and the like. You can easily connect and communicate with people all across the globe who enjoy the same female muscle-related activities as you. This level of connectivity with souls spread around the planet is unprecedented. Yet here we are. What a time to be alive.

However, despite the ease of which we can access photos/videos of muscular women and meet people who share our common interests, why does it seem like (to repeat the question articulated earlier) the old days were much naughtier? Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but it’s not beyond the stretch of the imagination to say that once something becomes mainstream, it starts to lose a little bit of its juice. Granted, female bodybuilding is still (and probably never will be) not considered mainstream, but within the world of Internet subcultures, anything can be mainstream if you look in the right places. What’s the deal here?

The best explanation has to be the fact that before the Internet existed, most of us truly didn’t know if other people felt the same way about female bodybuilders as we did. Before Google allowed us to discover information faster and easier than before, we had no idea how many other people (if any at all) shared our fascination with them. It’s not just loneliness. It’s the fear that nobody else is crazy enough to get turned on by a woman with big muscles. And if that’s the case, isn’t the next logical conclusion that there must be something “off” about us?

Hence, our uncontrollable and unexplainable attraction to female muscle felt supremely naughty. And not just naughty in a moral sense, but also in a psychological sense. We didn’t know if our brains were working properly. That’s taking naughtiness to a whole new level.

The other explanation is the supply of female muscle-related media. Back in the pre-Internet age, our exposure to FBBs was limited to magazines, bodybuilding contests on television, and your old dusty VHS copy of “Pumping Iron II: The Women.” That’s about it. So the few instances in which we could find new photos of female bodybuilders were few and far between.

That made the experience all the more exciting. The rare occurrence when we could get our sweaty hands on a brand new issue of the latest fitness magazine seemed like a quasi-religious experience. It was as if we had found a Golden Ticket in our recently purchased Wonka Bar. We felt as giddy as if it were Christmas morning. But instead of a new bicycle or autographed football, it was a magazine chock full of images of powerful women with bulging biceps and massive quads. Hell, this beats the experience of tearing up presents underneath the decorated tree by a mile!

Who wants to lift with Cory Everson?

Back when the product is scarce, we appreciated it more. Now that the product is available in abundance, you’d think we would appreciate it more, but we don’t. Ironically, an overabundance of the product actually ends up making us appreciate it less. Thirty years ago, we had to risk life and limb to sneak a copy of a bodybuilding magazine into our rooms without our parents detecting it. Today, we can skim through endless Instagram feeds of scantily clad female bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness models with our only concern being whether we’ll run out of battery power.

This is a good thing, right? Of course it is. But human nature being what it is, we can’t help but sense a diminished sense of giddiness living in today’s media-saturated environment. Our love for female bodybuilders seems cheap. Easy. Casual. Maybe not mainstream, but certainly less-out-of-the-ordinary-than-before. Female muscle fetishism has lost some of its naughtiness. What should we make of this?

Well, not much. But this does provide a valuable lesson about the relationship between cultural acceptance and modern communications technology.

People tend to react viscerally to things that are unusual, even if they aren’t necessarily “weird.” Unusual is simply anything that is not usual. But the more common it becomes, the less unusual it is, and the more “normal” it seems. This is not rocket science. This simple observation is also true for female muscle and our reaction to it. We think it’s strange to see women with big muscles precisely because women with big muscles are rare. But as our definition of “mainstream” starts to veer away from legacy corporate advertising and toward more grassroots-based media, the doors to almost anything will swing wide open.

The list goes on regarding things you once never saw but now can see whenever you feel like it: Plus-sized models, South Korean soap operas, documentaries about dwarfs (not the Lord of the Rings kind), Bollywood movies, Japanese pop music, Australian rugby matches, Brazilian cooking shows, cosplay conventions, Facebook groups for people who identify as “Gender Non-Conforming,” and so on. And yes, this includes photos, videos, blogs, and communities dedicated to female muscle. Almost anything you can think of is out there for public consumption.

An iconic female bodybuilder, Rachel McLish.

You just have to know where to look for it. Because not all of it will appear right under your nose when you least expect it.

Maybe this is why our love for female bodybuilders seems less naughty in today’s world than it did in yesteryear’s world. It’s not mainstream in the traditional sense of the word, but the very concept of “mainstream” is being challenged like never before. The Internet has allowed for the proliferation of subcultures and subcultures within subcultures to meet and convene in ways that were unimaginable even twenty years ago. And that’s not a long time ago, in relative terms.

Hence, we may be reaching – or have already reached – the point where the familiar scenario outlined in the beginning of this article will no longer be familiar to the younger generation. Those of us in our late 20s and early 30s might be the last cohort who remembers sneaking dirty magazines into our bedrooms. Today, this is a thing of the past. Those days are over. Everything we love is now digitalized. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Only time will tell.

Laurie Noack Gibson by the swimming pool. Want to jump in?

But what we can conclude is that for lovers of female muscle, this is a fantastic cultural development. Our access to beautiful muscular women has reached unprecedented levels. Well, actually, our access to anything you can possibly think of has reached unprecedented levels. As much as this can be a cause for celebration and popping the champagne corks, there is something tangible that’s been lost. That rush of adrenaline we all felt when we were scared out of our wits about being caught with muscle magazines has now been replaced with remembering to delete your browsing history. Ho hum. Boring!

Or is it? Is feeling naughty – and by extension, guilty – really a positive thing? Or does it only serve to suppress our natural desires and keep us shackled to society’s stringent standards? The answer to this is impossible to fully know, and perhaps we’re just being prisoners of nostalgia. We want the next generation to experience the same things we did when we were younger…for no other reason than we enjoyed it.

But will they? Maybe all this sneaking around wasn’t healthy at all and that society will actually benefit from being more open about sexual attraction, desire, and impulses. In this case, we should applaud the trends we’re currently witnessing.

But one suspects that being naughty, no matter what form that takes, will always be with us. And if that’s the case, does it matter how crotchety old fogies like us think about it?

Like Fine Wine, Muscular Women Get Sexier with Age

Very fine indeed is Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

Very fine indeed is Debbie Bramwell-Washington.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Betty Pariso putting women half her age to shame.

Betty Pariso putting women half her age to shame.

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

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

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

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

But is it really that simple?

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

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

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

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

Nice view of Dayana Cadeau.

Nice view of Dayana Cadeau.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Age doesn't seem to ever affect Yaxeni Oriquen.

Age doesn’t seem to ever affect Yaxeni Oriquen.

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

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

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

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

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