Educating Jonathan – Part Six

Two hungry tigers stalking their prey.
Two hungry tigers stalking their prey.

Two hungry tigers loom in the distance, meticulously stalking their prey. A wounded animal lies on the grass, unable to move and paralyzed with fear. The animal knows its time on Earth is short. He senses his imminent death. Too many times in his life he’s witnessed small creatures like himself helplessly stave off death for as long as possible, only to be disappointed at the end.

Nature is a cruel place. The strong will inevitably triumph over the weak. There is no feeling of injustice or bitterness, however. This is a fact of life. This is how it is. This is how it’s always been. From the beginning of civilization to this present moment, the strong always find a way to destroy the feeble. Even if he could change things, the wounded animal would choose not to and let the course of history continue uninterrupted.

The tigers come closer. He hears a rattling in the bushes. The animal looks down at his bloodied torso and notices his legs are missing. They’re probably hundreds of yards away, being chewed on by vultures with little thought to who they belong to. The vultures don’t care. The tigers don’t care. Even his family doesn’t care. They’ve accepted the fact one of their own will be eaten soon. They secretly wish they aren’t next.

The time has come. The tigers jump on the wounded animal. They tear him piece by piece in the most savage way possible. There is no such thing as a dignified death in the Jungle. Any death is treated the same way. It just happens. Fortunately for those who are strong enough to survive, they don’t have to experience the agonizing pain that comes with death. They can sit back and watch with nihilistic pleasure.

With his dying breath, the wounded animal cries out in pain. It’s a useless expression of suffering, one that will not deter the two tigers from carrying out future massacres. But it’s all he can do. What else is left?

What a beautiful fucking world we live in.

Jonathan opens his eyes and instantly forgets what he was dreaming about. Something about two tigers eating a hapless meerkat? Or was it something more pleasant? No matter. That’s irrelevant right now. He sits up, stretches, and takes notice of how sore he is. That’s what he gets from sleeping on a cold, hard wood floor. The room is still dark. There is no sunlight anywhere to be seen. Silence permeates everywhere. Normally, he’d feel at peace right now. But not today.

Fuck. It wasn’t a dream. Last night wasn’t a nightmare. It’s reality. It’s really real. It happened exactly as he remembers it. And he is powerless to make any of it go away.

He looks behind him and sees Dr. Samantha and Mistress Nguvu cuddled together on the floor. They are also sleeping. Jonathan doesn’t know exactly when they fell asleep, but it couldn’t have been much longer after he did. They were all tired. Physically and emotionally exhausted. How could you not be after experiencing all that?

A pounding on the steel door wakes up everybody. Jonathan leaps to his feet. Dr. Samantha and Mistress Nguvu open their weary eyes and take a look at their surroundings. They too also wish the events of last night never occurred. They are both sorely disappointed.

Breakfast of champions.
Breakfast of champions.

The Short Man enters the room with two of his henchmen. They appear to be still dressed in the same black clothing as the night before. One of the men carries in a pot of coffee. The other has a plastic tray full of bagels, doughnuts, fruit, and pastries. Well, at least these bastards are courteous enough to bring their hostages breakfast.

“Good morning. Or perhaps, I should say good afternoon. It’s a quarter past noon. We let you sleep for a pretty long time,” the Short Man says. “You should thank us.”

The two men place the food and coffee on the carpenter’s table. The third man is still standing outside. Dr. Samantha and Mistress Nguvu get on their feet and glare at the Short Man.

“Go fuck yourself,” Dr. Sammy says. The Short Man gives Jonathan a quick look. Jonathan doesn’t know how to react.

“Women can be so erratic at times, am I right Jonathan?” Upon hearing his captor say his name out loud for the first time, Jonathan refuses to acknowledge his presence. In fact, he agrees that he should go fuck himself. It’s the only thing he could do right.

“Oh well. I don’t exactly expect politeness from any of you. If the situations were reversed, I’d probably say some pretty uncomplimentary things as well,” he says. “As you can see, we’ve brought you breakfast. Don’t worry. Nothing is poisoned. You’re worth more to me alive than dead. So chow down. Enjoy your lunch.”

Nobody moves from their spot.

“Have you heard from my husband? What did he say?” Dr. Sammy asks.

“He said he’s willing to be cooperative. Which bodes well for the rest of you. Soon, we’ll have what we want and you three will be allowed to continue your lives free of danger from us. Sound good?” The Short Man motions for the two henchmen to leave. They promptly exit the room and walk upstairs. Jonathan notices a side door in the hallway that he did not see the previous night.

“Matthew agreed to do what you want him to do?”

“Yes, he did.” The Short Man takes out a cigarette and lights it. He blows a small puff of smoke toward Jonathan’s direction. “I also spoke with my Boss. He’s a very reasonable man. I told him that our kidnapping plot is going just as we planned. He sounded happy. But he also had a hint of intrigue in his voice. I didn’t know why, but now I do.”

The Short Man pauses for dramatic effect. Jonathan’s stomach growls with hunger, but he does his best to get his mind off of food.

“I told him we unexpectedly took two additional hostages. He was okay with that, but mostly wanted to make sure we had the wife in our possession,” he says, puffing more smoke out of his mouth. “However, our Boss decided to call us again this morning. Part of the reason why I’m here is to deliver to you your coffee and munchies. Nobody ever goes hungry under my watch. But…I’ve come here for another reason.”

“And what reason is that?” Mistress Nguvu asks. She takes a bold step forward. The Short Man doesn’t flinch. The man standing guard outside the door doesn’t reach for his gun. They both know the three hostages are smart enough to not do anything foolish.

“The reason involves you two.” The Short Man points at both Jonathan and the Mistress. “My Boss is particularly interested in you two. He wants to learn more. I don’t know exactly why, but I can assure you only positive outcomes will result from all of this. For him, of course. Follow me, please.”

The Short Man turns around and walks out the door. Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu look at each other. Then they look at Dr. Samantha. She nods her head, silently telling them to follow the Short Man to whatever fate lies ahead. Reluctantly, Jonathan and the Mistress walk out the door. The guard shuts it behind them, locking Dr. Sammy in all alone.

Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu walk up a short flight of stairs. Upstairs, the Short Man and his two cohorts have set up camp in a spacious lounge area. Peach yellow wallpaper adorns the room. Like all the other rooms in this God-forsaken building, it is sparsely decorated. Hostage-takers apparently have no interior decorating taste.

The Short Man is talking to someone through a laptop computer. Skype, perhaps? Or a different web communication platform used by shadowy global terrorists?

“Here they are, sir. Both of them. I’ll turn around my computer so you can take a good look at them.” The Short Man rotates his computer so Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu can see who is on the screen. It is an older Mediterranean-looking man with silver hair, a trim beard, dark eyes, and an impeccable tan. When he finally is able to see the two hostages standing in front of him, his eyes widen with sudden and irrepressible lust.

“Oh my fucking God. Ma’am, may I ask you a question?” Mistress Nguvu sighs and nods her head in agreement. The Boss squeals in delight. “How big are you?”

“I’m six foot four.”

The Boss’s eyes widen even more, as if that were even possible. “Delightful! And how much do you weigh? I realize that’s a personal question to ask, but I’m sure you’d be thrilled to inform me!”

“I weight about two hundred and fifty pounds.”

“Wow! Six-four, two hundred and fifty pounds. You are a big girl. I love it. Fuck. Look at you! You have so much muscle from head to toe. Stand back a little, darling.” Annoyed at his patronizing tone, Mistress Nguvu takes a giant step backward. The Boss giggles when he sees more of the Mistress’s muscular body. “I love it! Now, you. Boy. Take step toward me, please.”

Jonathan’s heartrate jumps. He does as he’s told. “You also look like you work out, my boy. Do you?”

“Yes, I do. I’m no bodybuilder, unlike the Mistress here, but I do what I can to look good.”

“Ooh, yes. You do, indeed. Alright. Both of you, get naked. Now! Strip all your clothes for me.” Jonathan and the Mistress stay still. One of the henchmen takes out his gun and points it at their direction. This inspires them to get started. As Jonathan and Nguvu remove all their clothing, they can hear the Boss moaning with delight, as if he were masturbating while watching them strip. Mistress Nguvu drops her corset, panties, and bra to the floor. Jonathan kicks his shirt, gym shorts, and underwear to the side. They stare directly at the computer screen and see exactly what they suspected they were hearing. The Boss is in fact masturbating.

“Oh, fuck yes!” Nobody can see it, but the Boss is clearly jerking himself off at the sight of these two naked people standing before him. Jonathan turns his head away in disgust. He sees Mistress Nguvu’s naked muscular body and quickly becomes distracted by it. Tall, thick, angular, curvy in all the right places, Jonathan notices two remarkable features of her divine body: Hard black nipples that stick out nearly a full inch and a breathtaking clitoris that extends more than three inches outward. Even the Short Man and the henchmen cannot help but stare at Nguvu’s incredible features. The sight of her jaw-dropping feminine endowment gives Jonathan a slight erection. His penis coming to life is enough to send the Boss over the edge.

“Motherfucker! FUCK!!!”

The Boss comes, groaning as he ejaculates all over himself. Thankfully, nobody in the room can see what that looks like. The Short Man turns away, not wanting to witness any of this. The two henchmen are weirded out, but try to remain calm and professional. They do not want to anger their Boss in anyway. The consequences of that would be disastrous.

Slay me, Alana Shipp!
Slay me, Alana Shipp!

“Oooooh, yes. Oh baby. That’s what I like. Jerry!” The Short Man, whose name is apparently Jerry, regains his composure and leans toward the computer’s microphone.

“Yes, sir?”

“At first I was pissed off that you decided to take two extra hostages. But now I see you made the right decision. Call it fate or good luck, but I want to personally meet these two. Send them to the airport immediately. I will order a private jet to transport them to my home. Do it NOW!” The Boss turns off the web chat and the screen goes dark. The man with the gun lowers his weapon and puts it back in his jacket. Jerry takes a deep breath and tries to think of a contingency plan. Transporting two of his hostages to the airport was not part of his original plan. That means his team has to split up. One has to stay here to watch over Dr. Samantha and the others have to escort the other two to a different destination.

Fuck. But if the Boss says this must be done, then it must be done. Jerry and his crew are accustomed to adjusting their plans on the fly, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it.

“Wow. Well, you heard the man. Let’s get going,” Jerry says. “Get dressed. Now.”

Ten minutes later, Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu are escorted back to the dark red SUV. As they pass the door where they were locked up for the night, Nguvu stops and looks at it. She wants to say something to Dr. Samantha. She wants to assure her she and Jonathan will be alright. She wants her to know they’ll both be safe. One of the henchmen grabs Nguvu’s broad shoulders and nudges her toward the parking garage. Jonathan doesn’t offer any resistance.

He thinks about Dr. Samantha too, but doesn’t feel any urge to speak to her. Somehow, for whatever inexplicable reason, he senses she’ll be just fine. Her husband will deliver the x-ray machine and she’ll be secure in his arms soon after. Yes, these people will turn it into a radioactive bomb, but Jonathan doesn’t have the inclination right now to think about that. He still wants to know why the Boss wants to see both he and the Mistress so badly.

Like the ride over to the mystery building, Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu are forced to wear blindfolds. They even put it on themselves. Two hours later, Jonathan can hear the sounds of airplanes landing and taking off for flight. The airport is obviously nearby.

Soon, the SUV stops and the driver shuts off the ignition. A voice instructs them to get out of the car. Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu do as they’re told.

One of the henchmen grabs the blindfolds and hands them to Jerry. The Short Man puts them in his inner coat pocket.

“We’re here. I have no fucking idea why the Boss wants to personally see you two, but for whatever shitty reason he does. Enjoy the flight, fuckers.” Jonathan and Nguvu struggle to adjust their eyes to broad daylight. A few moments later, they peer upwards at a small white twin engine jet. There are no logos anywhere to be seen. A short Hispanic woman walks out of the plane and greets her passengers.

“Good day to you both. If you’ll please follow me inside, our flight will take off as soon as possible. The weather looks fabulous, so I fully expect us to be able to leave without too long of a wait.” Wearing a professional flight stewardess’s outfit, the woman goes back inside the plane. Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu look back at Jerry and his henchmen. They stare right back at them, urging them to board the jet. The two passengers walk up the stairs with no questions asked. The Hispanic woman shuts the door behind them.

“Sit anywhere you like. The Boss will be pleased to see you both. He’s very excited about this meeting. If you need anything from me, just push the green button next to your seats,” the short woman says. “I’ll be by with snacks and drinks shortly after we cruise to 30,000 feet.”

A private white jet preparing for takeoff.
A private white jet preparing for takeoff.

Still in a daze that hasn’t left since last night, Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu choose random seats and sit down. They buckle their seatbelts and stare out the window. Jerry and his henchmen have already driven off. A faint cloud of exhaust is the only indication of their presence at this airstrip.

“Pardon me, ma’am,” Jonathan asks the stewardess. She turns around.

“Yes?”

“How long is this flight, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Nguvu leans forward to hear her answer. The engines start to rumble. The stewardess is right. They do plan to take off right away.

“If we leave immediately, we should be able to get to our destination in nine hours,” she says. “The Caribbean islands are pretty far away, after all.”

The stewardess leaves. Jonathan and Mistress Nguvu can do nothing but sit there in stunned silence. Before either of them could blink, the jet slowly starts to move forward and within minutes they begin their ascent.

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?

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