Please Don’t Be a Jerk

Who would want to be a jerk toward Margie Martin?
Who would want to be a jerk toward Margie Martin?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Please note that none of the women whose photos are featured in this blog post are women whom I’ve met for muscle worship sessions. I have no idea if any of these ladies even offer such services. I’m just sharing their images because I love looking at pictures of strong beautiful ladies! Thank you.

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It is not too often that I use this platform – and I suppose my blog can be considered a “platform” of sorts – to chastise anyone. Maybe it’s my upbringing, where “calling people out” in a public manner just isn’t encouraged. Or maybe it’s because I value my readers and I don’t want to offend them when it’s not totally necessary.

Regardless, when an issue comes up that I feel is important enough to give attention to, I will do it. Not because it’s my “duty” or anything like that, but because I have values and I respect female bodybuilders.

I’ve met quite a few female bodybuilders over the past half-decade. By my count, I’ve seen 13 female bodybuilders (a few I’ve seen twice) for muscle worship sessions since 2013. Naturally, I am a very curious person when it comes to these female bodybuilders. So I like to ask questions about their training regimen, eating habits, travel schedule, weird experiences meeting with clients, funny anecdotes, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

But, it is the “weird experiences meeting with clients” that often reveal the most enlightening bits of information.

Not surprising, people are strange. Some clients want a female bodybuilder to punch them in the face until their noses bleed. Others want a female bodybuilder to whip them with a long piece of leather until red marks appear all over their skin. One FBB intimated a story of a gentleman who received sexual pleasure from having broken lightbulb shards spread across his chest while she steps on him with her high heels.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

However, one consistent story I keep hearing about is idiot people who email/text with FBBs about setting up an appointment but have no actual intentions of doing so. The narrative is predictable: Someone emails an FBB who is planning to travel to their city. They exchange a few messages agreeing on the terms of the appointment. Finally, they agree on a date and time to meet. The day arrives…and voilà! This person is a no-show.

They might insist in a frantic-sounding text that they’re running late or are lost and will get to the hotel as soon as possible. But that’s just a pack of lies. They never show up and never intended to show up in the first place. Hell, this person may not actually live in the area. So the FBB is left without a client and $350 (give or take) that she thought she’d earn for her services but will not.

Talk about disappointing. It’s like being stood up on a date. But instead of having a broken heart or a wounded ego, you’ve missed out on an opportunity to earn some much-needed cash. Meanwhile, the person leaving the FBB standing on the proverbial altar probably has no clue how irresponsible and inconsiderate they’ve just been. No damn clue whatsoever.

Gillian Kovack by the pool.
Gillian Kovack by the pool.

And does this happen often? You bet it does. I don’t know exactly how often, but often enough that session providers need to take precautionary measures to ensure it doesn’t happen. But no matter how thorough you are, there will always be dummies among us who manage to flake out when the spotlight becomes too bright.

Hm. Why would someone do this?

One theory is that some people get a sexual thrill from merely communicating with an FBB. They find muscular women to be mysterious, alluring, and erotically exciting. I agree with all this, but that’s no excuse to be a jerk. These jackasses pretend like they’re interested in paying for a muscle worship or wrestling session but are only doing so because they think it’s appealing to exchange empty emails with them.

These are lonely and insufferable buffoons who give the rest of us a bad name. I once met an FBB for a session who told me I was her only client during her stay in Seattle. She’d been in contact with four or five other guys…but all of them bailed out except for me. If it weren’t for yours truly, she would have spent her entire trip alone in her hotel room and would have lost a lot of money on air fare and hotel expenses. I was embarrassed to hear that. I apologized to her for the stupid behavior of my fellow Seattleites. She was gracious and told me I wasn’t to blame for any of this. She was right, but I still felt bad for her.

I understand that FBBs are incredible women who deserve our attention, respect, and awe. But that’s no excuse for stringing them along just because you find it thrilling to text with them a few times. Is that how pathetic you are? Seriously? Please.

Lori Emory giving us a sexy side pose.
Lori Emory giving us a sexy side pose.

One FBB told me of a jerk who lied to her about wanting to set up a wrestling appointment happened to live 3,000 miles away from the city she was at! She was visiting the West Coast and this idiot lived on the East Coast but insisted he was “just outside the hotel lobby” and “would be knocking on her door at any moment.” Complete and utter BS. I got angry when I heard this. I cannot imagine how angry she was at the time when it was happening to her.

Another theory is that too many people intend to set up a legitimate session with an FBB and simply chicken out when the day arrives. Whether it’s for moral or psychological reasons, they can’t bring themselves to actually walk into that hotel, take the elevator up to her room, and knock on her door. Cold feet happens to the best of us, including blind dates, brides, grooms, potential bank robbers (remember the beginning of “Dog Day Afternoon?”), terrorists, and would-be presidential candidates.

I am less upset at people like this because they, in good faith, actually wanted to meet an FBB/wrestler for an appointment. I understand that it can be nerve-wracking. I understand for many people with certain social/religious upbringings, doing something like this can be a giant leap that sounds great from a distance but becomes less desirable when the moment of truth comes. We’re all human and we all come from different cultural backgrounds.

But one should be honest with themselves. If you don’t have the internal fortitude to follow through with your promises, you should be aware of this and act accordingly. There’s a reason why so many session providers request a deposit and/or references. They want to know if you’re legitimate. They want to know if you’re trustworthy. They want assurance that you’re not a flake. Most of all, they want to know if you’re worth their time and effort.

Sarah Dunlap doing her thang.
Sarah Dunlap doing her thang.

I get it. You regard female bodybuilders to be angels on Earth. Divine. Ethereal. Majestic. Supernatural. Out-of-this-world. Celestial. Heavenly. Goddesses. Immortals among mortals. And so on and so forth.

Guess what? They’re human beings just like you and I. For them, providing sessions isn’t just a hobby. It’s business. It’s how many of them make their livelihood. It’s part of their job. You’re probably aware that the vast majority of professional bodybuilders (male and female) cannot make a viable living just from winning contests. They need other reliable sources of income to pay for food, rent, transportation, and other necessary living expenses.

So when you flake out, that’s sort of like your boss telling you that the three hours of overtime you worked yesterday won’t show up on your next paycheck. Nor will it ever show up on any future paycheck. You basically worked for free. That’s three hours that you can’t get back. How upset would that make you?

But I think the “chickening out” factor is relatively small. I think the first reason is far more prevalent, but I could be wrong about this. People are so captivated by muscular women that they must communicate with them because it’s the closest way they can interact with them without actually interacting with them. It’s like celebrity worship.

No, it’s not like celebrity worship. It is a form of celebrity worship. Maybe not for the general public, but for those of us who love muscular women, FBBs are our celebrities. We treat them just like others treat pro football players, pop singers, movie stars, and charismatic politicians. The thrill you get from spotting your favorite actor at a shopping mall in Beverly Hills is identical to the thrill you get from receiving text messages from your favorite FBB.

Female bodybuilders encounter so many flakes they can all fit into a box of breakfast cereal.
Female bodybuilders encounter so many flakes they can all fit into a box of breakfast cereal.

That, however, is no excuse to waste their time just because you get your jollies exchanging e-mails with them in your spare time. Do you have any idea how many e-mail messages session providers are inundated with every single day? Enough that many of them probably need a part-time secretary to read and respond to them all. One FBB told me she can tell from how well (or poorly) an e-mail is written whether this person is legitimate or not. Messages that are impolite, badly written, chock-full of spelling and grammatical errors, and incoherent are most likely from people who have no serious intent of following through with setting up an appointment.

You know what? I can believe that 100%. More often than not, they’re probably right.

The lesson to be learned is simple: Don’t be a jerk. Please. For the sake of session providers, those of us who respect and adore FBBs, and for yourself, do the decent thing and don’t waste people’s valuable time. It’s sad that such advice needs to be dished out when it should be obvious to most of us. But that’s the world we live in. What is obvious isn’t, which makes it not so obvious, I suppose.

Let’s end on a more positive note. Whether we’re talking about interacting with female bodybuilders, your next-door neighbors, or your in-laws, not being a jerk is not enough. You should treat everyone with the same considerations that you would like to receive. Be nice, and the world will smile back at you.

Errrr, at the very least, I will smile back at you!

A Semiotic Study of a Muscular Woman’s Body

Asian Muscle Goddess Penpraghai Tiangngok.
Asian Muscle Goddess Penpraghai Tiangngok.

“Semiotics” is the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior. A more comprehensive definition is “a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics.”

Huh?

Let’s dispense with the complicated academic language. “Semiotics” is a fancy way of figuring out what signs and symbols mean and why they mean it. And by “signs,” we’re not just talking about STOP signs or “Do Not Walk on the Grass” signs. The most basic and obvious form of symbols is your basic alphabet. When put together, letters of the alphabet can form words. And words have meaning (or as Led Zeppelin would like to point out, sometimes words have two meanings).

But let’s look at a few less obvious but common signs and symbols. When someone raises their middle finger at you, that usually means they’re expressing displeasure toward you at that particular moment. When someone is wearing the jersey of their favorite sports team, they’re saying – even without using any words – that they love their team and are not ashamed to show it. When someone wears a tattoo featuring the Nazi swastika, that’s a pretty good indication you probably don’t want to interact with this person at any level.

Signs and symbols are the basic ways people communicate. Speaking, writing and nonverbal indicating (such as pointing, nodding your head or clapping your hands) are only one form of communication. But there are numerous other ways people can express ideas. For example:

  • Hand gestures
  • Hair style
  • Clothing
  • Tattoos
  • Decorations inside and outside your home
  • Piercings
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Artwork
  • Dance
  • Body language
  • Jewelry
  • Make-up
  • Bumper stickers
  • Facebook profile picture
  • Flags
  • Job title
  • Dietary choices
  • Choice of spouse or significant other
  • Pets
  • Music
  • Choice of what city/neighborhood/region you live
  • Choice of when to use certain languages (English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, Arabic, etc.)
  • Religious insignias (cross in Christianity, Star of David in Judaism, bindi in Hinduism, etc.)
  • Hashtags
  • Nicknames
  • Colors
  • Volume (of words, actions, and so on)
  • Word choices
  • Transportation choices
  • Body art
  • Facial expressions

The list goes on. Flags can be an expression of nationalistic pride. Religious-themed clothing or jewelry can signify adherence to a certain faith. Dietary choices communicates to the world messages like how you view your own health, opinions on environmental stewardship and social responsibility. In fact, here’s an old joke. How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you over and over again!

I’m not anti-vegan, but you get the idea. Being a vegan isn’t just a set of eating choices. It’s a statement on your views pertaining to health, animal rights, the environment, urbanization, human rights, sustainability, ethics, and so forth. Can it get annoying? Perhaps, but it gets annoying because from a semiotic perspective, they’re trying to tell you much more than the mere fact they prefer not to eat animal-based products.

All of this brings us to the focal point of this post: A muscular woman’s body. I’ve covered the topic of muscular women and semiotics in previous blog articles, but I’d love to explore this in further detail.

In bed with Ashley Starr.
In bed with Ashley Starr.

A muscular woman; whether she’s a professional or amateur bodybuilder, personal trainer, athlete, or noncompetitive gym rat; makes a lot of statements even without saying a single word. And not just statements, but definitive statements. I once had a college professor who told our class that “you can never not communicate.” Everything you do, whether you intend to or not, is a form of communication.

To help us understand what this means, imagine this scenario: You’re walking down a crowded street. You’re minding your own business. It’s a perfectly sunny Saturday afternoon. Clear skies, tourists and pedestrians out everywhere. All of a sudden, you see walking down the sidewalk a beautiful muscular woman. She’s making no attempts to hide her muscularity by wearing sleeveless shirt and yoga pants. She casually strolls by you. You stop and stare, but she keeps on moving at her own pace. She’s minding her own business. Most important, she doesn’t utter a single word to you. Nada. Nothing. Although she doesn’t verbally speak to you, she’s told you a whole encyclopedia’s worth of material…whether you realize it or not.

When I talk about a muscular woman’s body, I’m not referring to her hairstyle, choice of clothing, tattoos, piercings or anything like that. I’m only talking about her flesh and blood body. By themselves, her muscles are a symbol. They carry with it meaning beyond her physiological composition. So what we’re talking about isn’t a muscular woman’s entire appearance, just her muscles. Everything else is very interesting unto itself, but let’s keep it simple for the sake of this discussion.

Let’s look at some of the messages inherent in a muscular woman’s body:

1. Social defiance

Perhaps most jarring, social defiance is the loudest message being communicated by a woman’s muscles.

If we presume that society traditionally equates femininity with weakness, a muscular woman shatters those stereotypes with a sledgehammer. Female frailty is an ancient and overused theme that goes back centuries, crossing almost all cultures and continuing to persist even to the present day. Outside of a few fringe cultures that treat women as equals (or superiors) to men, for the most part human civilization has associated femininity with feebleness, softness and fragility.

Muscular women defy all that. They defy the notion that women are the weaker sex. They defy the assumption of female frailty as inevitable. They defy traditional standards of beauty. They challenge us to accept that muscles on a woman can be sexy. They refuse to be put into a box.

Unlike political beliefs, religious beliefs or any other kind of ideological system, a woman’s choice to develop muscle is obvious for all to see. There’s an old saying about how some people “wear their opinions on their sleeve,” which is to say they don’t just have opinions; they shove it in your face and persistently let the entire world know about it. However, that can get exhausting. No matter how passionate you are about something, even at the most superficial level it takes a small conversation with someone to know about it. But that’s not true with a muscular woman. Her decision to bulk up her body can’t be hidden. You can’t wear baggy clothes forever.

A woman’s decision to bulk up flies in the face of our conventional expectations of beautiful women having to be slender and curvy. Big muscles are supposed to be reserved for guys. Big muscles on a woman, on the other hand, aren’t what any of us expect to see. So when we do see it, we instantly realize what she’s doing. She’s creating her own standards of beauty. She’s redefining what it means to be attractive. She’s defying other people’s expectations and setting her own.

2. Self-respect

Anyone, whether male or female, who can boast having a fit, muscular body might as well carry around a sign that says in big bold letters “I Take Care of Myself.” Generally speaking, you don’t look that way unless you make a conscious decision to do so. You don’t become muscular by accident. It’s a choice you make to sculpt your body to fit a certain aesthetic.

Becoming “buff” isn’t just about lifting weights. It requires watching your diet. So no excessive sugary sweets, rich coffee drinks or deep fried foods. You have to make sacrifices most of us in the general public (me included!) wouldn’t want to make. While it’s true that excessive exercise and extreme dieting can be unhealthy if taken too far, generally speaking men and women who “look good” take specific measures to look that way.

Self-respect means believing in your own potential. It means setting goals and having an actionable plan to achieve those goals. Goal-oriented people tend to achieve more in life than people who wander around aimlessly. A female bodybuilder, for example, wants to be a winner. Professional (and dedicated amateur) athletes all want to be winners. You don’t get to that level unless you sincerely believe you can do it.

But even if a muscular woman doesn’t compete at any level, she still has self-respect. Perhaps her goals are different. She wants to look fantastic. She wants to inspire others. She wants to prove to herself that she can do whatever she wants. Regardless, the common denominator is that she has her goals set high and will never back down from reaching her full potential. This determination is obvious just from looking at her hard-earned physique. You don’t have to ask her about it. You can see it right in front of you.

3. A desire to shatter social stereotypes

Directly related to point #1, a muscular woman’s body can be an indication that she wants to shatter the stereotypes we have about strength and gender identity. The most obvious example is the idea of female weakness/male superiority. But, if you add elements of race, height, sex appeal and fashion choices into the mix, things can get very complicated.

For example, if a muscular woman chooses to wear baggy jeans and a fur coat everywhere – even if it’s not particularly cold – that’s probably an indication she doesn’t want the public to notice her muscularity. If, on the other hand, she chooses to wear yoga pants and a skimpy top that generously shows off her arms and torso, she definitely wants people to notice her. Not bother or harass her, but see her. Whether she’s motivated by narcissism or personal comfort is impossible to tell. What is obvious is that she’s okay with people seeing her hard work on full display.

In addition to social defiance, a muscular woman who chooses to show off her body is also maybe trying to change the way people view women as a whole. Not just muscular women, but every woman on planet Earth. She wants people to no longer believe women are destined for weakness. She wants people to be convinced that men don’t have a monopoly on strength. Maybe she wants society to redefine what it means to be “beautiful,” “feminine,” and “desirable.” Instead of telling people that “strong is beautiful,” she decides instead to put her money where her mouth is and let the entire world know that she’s a muscular woman who believes she’s just as beautiful as the women you see on the cover of magazines.

Julie Bonnett looking as lovely as ever.
Julie Bonnett looking as lovely as ever.

Stereotypes are commonly accepted boxes we use to put people into. Not all stereotypes are malicious. Some are quite flattering (all Asians are good at math, anyone?). But some are hurtful. For example:

Muscular women are gross. Women shouldn’t look like that! Big muscles makes her look like a man! Men will never find that attractive. She needs to stop bulking up or else she might actually become a man!

All these stereotypes are complete B.S. We female muscle fans know it. But not everyone shares our perspective. Muscular women know this as well, probably better than us. This is why her biceps aren’t just an indication that she works out. They’re a metaphorical hammer of Thor intended to smash into a million pieces every one of these sophomoric beliefs.

4. A redefinition of sexuality

For many of us, the first thing that catches our attention when it comes to sex appeal is a person’s physical appearance. Their face, body, the way they walk, etc. What really catches our attention is anything out of the norm. A stunningly gorgeous face or a killer pair of legs, for example, stand out because of their uniqueness in addition to their obvious aesthetic appeal.

A muscular woman’s sexuality also stands out. Because so much of sex appeal is based on looks, a muscular woman’s intentional transformation of her physical appearance makes this discussion almost inevitable. How can she not be making a statement about her sexuality?

As mentioned before, not everyone who appears “sexy” is intentionally trying to look sexy. But if you have natural good looks, no matter what you do (outside of covering your entire body with a sheet) you’re going to communicate desirability. Or, perhaps, how we as a society defines “desirable.”

Consider this: How many people in our world consider muscles on a woman to be sexy? A number of us, obviously. But certainly not everyone. A woman who chooses to sculpt large muscles on her body cannot help but make a statement about what limits we should or should not put on female attractiveness. She’s saying (implicitly or explicitly, it doesn’t really matter) muscles on a woman can be sexy. She’s saying guys who find her attractive are right to do so. She isn’t necessarily saying that people who find her unattractive solely because of her muscles are wrong, but they shouldn’t discount the opinions of others who do.

Muscles challenge our preconceived thoughts about female sexuality. It shows they can be both strong and beautiful, muscular and feminine, unconventional and desirable, empowered and nonthreatening. They’re not trying to shatter how we view female sexuality. They’re trying to expand how we think about female sexuality (and male sexuality, for that matter). They’re not trying to destroy the box. They’re trying to make the box bigger.

Why must we limit how we define “beautiful?” It makes no sense.

5. Unconventionality

This is probably the broadest point of all, but a muscular woman’s body communicates that she’s an unconventional person. Unconventionality comes in many forms. We’ve already discussed a few of these aspects above. But generally speaking, muscles on a woman’s body tell us many things such as:

“I’m the most competitive person you’ll ever meet.”

“I may not look traditionally beautiful, but I am.”

“I’m stronger than most women around here.”

“I will fight back if provoked, unlike others.”

“You can doubt me all you want, but I’ll prove you wrong every single time.”

“My life is different than the rest. But it’s the life I choose to live.”

“I don’t eat the same foods you do, nor eat at the same times you do.”

“I’m a professional athlete. I don’t spend 8 hours behind a desk every day.”

“I truly don’t care what other people think.”

“I love being different.”

“I will prove that muscles on a woman can be sexy. See? Look at me!”

How can a muscular woman not be unconventional? Anyone who consciously defies social norms is intentionally going against tradition. She may not abhor tradition or wish to knock it down with a wrecking ball, but she’s definitely a daisy growing in a field of red roses.

It’s hard not to return back to the point of female frailty. Everything revolves around this paradigm. A muscular woman is so fascinating precisely because she forces us to rethink our preconceived notions about the fundamental differences between men and women. Everything we thought we knew about the world may be wrong. They may be right, but every once in a while we encounter situations that challenge us to open our minds to new hypotheses.

Check out the colorful bikini being rocked by Maria Rita Penteado. Very cute!
Check out the colorful bikini being rocked by Maria Rita Penteado. Very cute!

The unconventional challenge us not to alter our conventions, but question why we have conventions in the first place.

Strong women raise these questions. It is now up to us to try to answer them.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that muscular women are a fascinating topic to talk about. Whether you love them, hate them, or aren’t quite sure what to feel, you cannot help but have an opinion about them – even if you’ve never actually met one in the flesh. These snap judgements are at the heart of this semiotic analysis of a muscular woman’s body.

Fairly or unfairly, every one of us communicates something every single moment of our lives. Intention has nothing to do with it. We see signs and messages everywhere we go. Messages telling us what to think, what to believe, how to feel, how to behave, how to interact with others, and so on. Our world is full of these symbols. Most of us are not aware of them, myself included. But the more alert we are to them, the better we can understand our world.

What interests me on a personal level is talking about how mesmerizing muscular women are. They’re captivating for reasons that go beyond their beauty. When we look at the symbols inherent in her physique, we start to better understand things like sexism, misogyny, human sexuality, relationships, biology, social prejudice, social defiance, the business of advertising, marketing strategies, double standards, beauty, aesthetics, power dynamics, expectations, gender roles, stereotypes, femininity, masculinity, world history, politics, money, human communication, cognitive development, and much more. The list can go on forever. When we really think about female bodybuilding, female athletes and the presence of muscles on a female body, almost every problem we face in the 21st century starts to become clearer. Think about how fundamentally different our society would be if women were just as biologically strong as men. Think hard about that. It’s enough to blow your mind, isn’t it?

The badass that is Suzy Kellner.
The badass that is Suzy Kellner.

Semiotics is all about being aware of what we’re being taught, how we’re being taught, and how we can teach others. Communication is the building block of human civilization. Cities, nations, communities and families would not exist without communication. So the better we understand how we communicate; both verbally and nonverbally, both intentionally and unintentionally, both implicitly and explicitly; the better people we’ll be.

Sound like a big task? It should because it is. Muscular women are creatures who blow my mind. I can’t stop thinking about them on both a primal and intellectual level. They demand closer inspection. They demand our attention. They demand our respect. They demand us to understand them better. Let’s hope that comprehending them on a semiotic level is a productive first step.

How to Deal with Negativity Directed Against Female Bodybuilders

Love the tight red dress Glenese Markes is wearing.
Love the tight red dress Glenese Markes is wearing.

Let’s face it. Being a female bodybuilder isn’t easy.

And I’m not talking about the lifestyle, dieting, excruciating workout regiments, supplementations, lack of financial security, intense preparation, competitive nature of the business, paying for food/personal trainers/gym memberships, or any of that.

I’m referring to the negativity that can be directed against them on a daily basis.

I’m not a female bodybuilder, of course. But from what I’ve read in online comment sections, chat forums and Facebook conversation threads, nastiness targeted against our beloved ladies is all too common. The advent of the Internet has made this type of negativity easier to propagate.

To a lesser extent, fans of female bodybuilders (especially straight men) are also susceptible to mean spirited attacks, jabs, jokes and insults.

Now please don’t misinterpret me. I am in no way shape or form comparing the trials and tribulations of a female bodybuilder to that of their fans. The negativity we face does not even come close to comparing to the social taboo of a human female putting lots and lots of strong muscles on her body. There is no comparison.

But, both sides face unfortunate backlash nevertheless. This explains why so many of us choose to explore our female muscle fandom in secret. Anonymity is a gift from God. In today’s world, we are freer than ever before to pursue our interests without fearing our friends, family or neighbors will ever find out.

Female bodybuilders do not have such a luxury. Not only is the evidence of their life’s calling bare for all to see, it’s very difficult to hide other activities (such as offering muscle worship services, participating in pornographic photo/video shoots, maintaining a sexually explicit website, etc.) from the public’s eye. Not in our 21st century world of high speed communications and the proliferation of user-generated media.

So, it seems appropriate to discuss how female muscle fans should respond to such negativity. Insults, dehumanizing attitudes, negative stereotypes, gender-based discrimination – all of that exists out there for everyone to witness. And this goes way beyond the world of female bodybuilding. Politics, religion, pop culture, sports…the list goes on and on.

Why can explain this? Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems like our ability as a society to conduct calm, rational and productive dialogue has gone totally out the window. But, to be completely honest, this is a whole other discussion for another time.

For the time being, here are some practical strategies, tips and general guidelines both female bodybuilders (and I do know for a fact that a small handful of real-life FBBs regularly read my blog!) and avid fans of female bodybuilders can follow when dealing with negativity directed against our collective interests.

1. Negativity is inevitable and will probably never go away

This is a difficult reality to deal with, but unfortunately it’s true. I’m sure many of you have heard this popular catchphrase before:

Haters gonna hate.

Sound familiar? It should. Basically, the colloquial expression “haters gonna hate” means your critics are going to criticize you regardless of who you are, what you’ve done, or what you plan on doing. Celebrities, politicians, athletes, powerful business leaders and nearly everyone who puts themselves out there in the public domain will experience “hate” from someone.

I should hurry up and say that “hate” is a strong word, as our mothers have all pointed out to us before. While there are disturbed people out there who truly hate certain others (and have very dangerous ill intentions toward them), most of the “hate” I’m referring to is more of a “dislike.” Most of the negativity thrown toward a female bodybuilder on a Facebook conversation thread is not “hate speech.” I wouldn’t categorize it that way.

Erica Cordie showing off her triceps while wearing a gorgeous white dress.
Erica Cordie showing off her triceps while wearing a gorgeous white dress.

But feelings of disgust, distrust, suspicion, jealousy, envy and betrayal are par for the course for any celebrity, regardless of who they are or what they’ve actually done to garner this negativity. It’s going to happen. It sucks, but it happens and there’s no use in denying it or crossing your fingers and hoping it will miraculously go away.

It won’t. Sorry.

Haters gonna hate. It sucks. But you have no choice but to grit your teeth and live with it.

Now that we’ve established this fact, let’s move on to my next point…

2. You don’t have to personally respond to every bit of negativity

It’s tempting to respond to a bigoted comment with an equally bigoted one of your own. My recommendation is that you don’t do that. Try to avoid becoming the attacker yourself even after you’ve been the victim of an attack.

Even though the popular adage “fight fire with fire” is perfectly appropriate to certain areas of life, it simply isn’t always the most prudent strategy. If negativity is inevitable and will probably never go away (as we previously discussed above), then why fight against it? Why fight against every little attack that comes your way? Why pull yourself into battles that will make you lose your temper and could potentially ruin your day?

My basic point is that life is all about picking and choosing your battles. Some battles are more important than others.

If a complete stranger on the web thinks all female bodybuilders are gross and look like men, do you really want to feed into this troll’s desire to instigate a fight? If they truly feel that way and aren’t trolling, will viciously attacking them radically make them change their minds?

Probably not.

If you do feel obligated to respond to a severe ad hominem attack, consider why you’re responding and whether it’s worth the effort. Not every attacker deserves to be counter-attacked. Pick and choose your battles because if you exhaust yourself fighting a series of “little battles,” will you not be drained of all your energy once a truly “big battle” comes your way?

3. Consider the appropriate way to respond before actually responding

The problem with our instant gratification society is that we can speak our minds in a public forum at an instantaneous rate which leaves us vulnerable to letting our emotions get the better of us.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be like that. If you do choose to respond to vitriol, make sure your response is well thought-out, appropriate and productive.

Countering an inflammatory remark with one of your own only adds fuel to an already out-of-control fire. Don’t give in to that garbage. Instead, be the “better person” and take the “high road” if possible. Remember that the person you’re responding to is an actual human being who deserves dignity (and yes, respect!) even though you may not think he/she does.

Melissa Wee showing off her bikini body.
Melissa Wee showing off her bikini body.

I want to highlight the importance of “productive.” In my estimation, “productive” is achieved when you create an open dialogue that tries to reach a level of mutual understanding. You don’t necessarily need to “convince” this person to come over to your side, but you do need to communicate your point while at the same time understanding where they’re coming from.

I’m not telling you what to do. All I’m recommending is that whatever you do you should have some sort of tangible objective in mind. Instead of just satisfying a raw emotional need to lash out against your “haters,” consider what good can come out of this.

4. Never stoop down to their level

This is really important when trying to conduct a dialogue with someone. No matter how tempting it is to get in the trenches and engage in a war of words with them, never stoop down to their level. Even if it means bailing out on a conversation, you should always maintain your own dignity at all times.

We’re female muscle fans. We love strong women. Why should we get defensive whenever someone verbally attacks the women we love so much? We’re better than that. We need to be strong, too. We need to prove that our love for female bodybuilders doesn’t need to be defended. There’s nothing to defend. It is what it is. It’s our interest. We don’t have to justify ourselves to anyone, especially someone who finds our admiration for them disgusting.

Never reduce yourself to the point where you’re trading insults with more insults. Don’t argue that we love strong women because fat women are disgusting or a “real woman” has meat on her bones, not all skin and bones.

I have nothing negative to say about Danielle Reardon.
I have nothing negative to say about Danielle Reardon.

That’s not the right approach. Bringing down others in order to make yourself feel better is never justified. Becoming malevolent rarely ends well. Be cautious about your tone. Respond with ideas, not raw emotions.

5. Point out the positives of loving female bodybuilders whenever you can

I think there is great value in appreciating strong women. Not only are we encouraging women to pursue their dreams of strengthening and bettering themselves, we’re helping shatter the stereotype of women being “weak” or “dainty.” You only stay weak if you start to accept your weakness. By admiring female bodybuilders and athletes, we’re expressing our beliefs that women can be strong too (and that women should be strong). How can you not go along with that?

A great way to respond to negativity is to point out the positives. A positive mixed with a negative becomes neutral, right? I’m no chemist, but let’s pretend I’m right.

Point out that strong women are beautiful. Mention that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Never refrain from saying that female bodybuilders are some of the most driven, rebellious and hardworking human beings on this planet. Discuss the idea that men who love female muscle aren’t weird, but open-minded and open-hearted.

Counter hate with love. Don’t tear down a person’s argument by attacking them. Instead, try building up your own argument. People hate what they don’t understand. Make them understand.

Aleesha Young is simply a spectacle to behold.
Aleesha Young is simply a spectacle to behold.

6. When all else fails, tune out the noise

Sometimes, it’s best to just ignore the vitriol. If haters gonna hate, why even bother listening in the first place? You’re only going to just make yourself more and more angry.

Life is too short to be upset all the time. I understand there’s a lot of terrible stuff happening in the world every single day. I get that. But do you really have to let every little bit of negativity that comes your way affect you on a personal level?

Some people will never understand. Others will try to understand but still choose to be repulsed by it. Oh well. That happens. Shit happens. Accept it. Tune out the noise. Don’t let it drag on your psyche. Don’t let venom cramp your style.

Don’t hesitate to put on your imaginary headphones and play your own music if the tunes you’re stuck with in the real world suck big time. Just make sure you don’t bottle yourself up in a silo of self-righteousness. That is also unhealthy.

7. Enjoy your female muscle fandom in all its glory

Have fun. Go to bodybuilding shows. Watch videos of your favorite ladies working on their craft. Read their blogs. Visit their websites. Set up muscle worship sessions with them if they’re travelling to your area. Live out your female muscle fandom to the fullest.

I’m going to assume that female bodybuilders love their fans. Who wouldn’t? Be the best fan you can be. Don’t let those “haters” prevent you from pursuing your interests. Our interests are unusual. But they don’t have to be suppressed.

Explore your interests in a healthy way, of course. Don’t become a stalker or spend all your money on sessions when you don’t have the resources to do so. But never let society dictate what you like. You decide what you like. So like it!

***

To summarize, the lesson to be learned is simple: Always take the high road.

Always.

I understand why vitriol exists. People feel entitled to their opinions, and consequently, entitled to sharing those opinions! I’m a big fan of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. But with that comes the challenge of dealing with the inevitable hurt feelings, wounded pride and fear of public humiliation.

For all of us female muscle fans (and those of you who are actual FBBs), I suggest taking the high road whenever possible. Don’t feel scared about being attracted to a woman with muscles on her body. Embrace it! Don’t feel obligated to respond to every venomous comment. Life is too short to spend all your free time wallowing in bitter resentment.

Instead, be strong. Be strong in your convictions, your thoughts, your feelings, your interests. Be strong in who you are and what you like.

Always.

Starting a Dialogue, Creating a Better World: An Open Letter from Ryan Takahashi

I never heard of Holland Canter before a young reader e-mailed me and mentioned her.
I never heard of Holland Canter before a young reader e-mailed me and mentioned her.

Dear readers,

When I first started this blog back in the spring of 2012, I did it because I had a fire lit inside me.

This fire was fueled by strong muscular women and my newly discovered attraction to them. This fire was unquenchable. A whole ocean of rushing water could not put out this flame.

Anyone who has discovered the world of female muscle knows what I’m talking about. What once seemed foreign is now more desired than whatever you previously considered “normal.” You’ll never look at a professional female athlete the same way. You’ll never look at a male athlete the same way either.

Any look a man can achieve a woman could achieve as well!” you’d enthusiastically say.

When I first launched this blog, the purpose was to give myself a place to publicly feature my fiction writing. It all started with “The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi” series. Since then I’ve written numerous articles and essays all about my personal attraction to female muscle. I’ve also been fortunate to have gathered an international readership that crosses multiple language and cultural barriers. For this I am eternally humbled.

Now my purpose has slightly changed. I’m no longer running this blog for personal reasons. I want to run it for more altruistic and educational reasons. I want to start a dialogue. I want to contribute to a larger conversation about sexuality, gender relations, sexism, pop culture and society. I want my writing to inform people. I want to comfort those who feel “weird” that they like muscular women. I want to inspire women who are insecure about their bodies that it’s okay to lift at the gym (and that it’s perfectly healthy to do so!). I want to teach people who think strong women are “gross” that they aren’t. They’re beautiful in ways you could never imagine.

I want people to open their minds, and ultimately…their hearts.

I want to start a dialogue. A rational, productive dialogue. No screaming matches. No hurling insults. No calling people hurtful names. No shouting, belittling or making condescending remarks. I want none of that. I want people to intelligently talk about these issues and discuss how we can all become better people.

Monica Brant was one of my first ever female muscle crushes. Wonder why?
Monica Brant was one of my first ever female muscle crushes. Wonder why?

I realize this is a pretty lofty goal. I understand that finding muscular women attractive isn’t the only sexual kink that needs to be de-stigmatized. I know we need to have a lot more discussions about a wider range of topics in order to truly make this world a better place. I’m not naïve to those facts.

But nevertheless, I want this blog to be a place where people can come together and share their stories, experiences, ideas, secrets and anecdotes in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. After all, that’s the beauty of the Internet. You can be completely anonymous. No one will ever know who you are unless you tell them.

“Ryan Takahashi” isn’t my real name. I don’t even live in Seattle. I live just outside of Seattle. But I am Japanese-American and a male under 30 years old. All this you can be assured of, I promise you.

I also can promise you that I respect privacy. No real names will be published here unless you want it mentioned. I’m also very open-minded and will not judge you for expressing your voice.

So this is an open invitation to start a dialogue with me. I’ve already received a number of e-mails from people all over the world who have come to me asking questions and wanting answers. I will admit I do not have all the answers. I’m not God. I’m just one person trying to make my way through this crazy universe. My perspective is no more valid than yours.

Think all Asian women are small and petite? Rebekah Kresila should change your mind about that.
Think all Asian women are small and petite? Rebekah Kresila should change your mind about that.

All I’ve done is put into words the feelings, desires and thoughts many of us share together. Someone has already dubbed me a “spokesman” for female muscle fans. Thank you for thinking of me in this way!

So, feel free to send me e-mails or write comments in any of the articles you read here. My e-mail address is ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com. (FYI – I write it out in this format to avoid Spam messages from unwanted sources)

Ask me anything. Vent to me. Give me suggestions on topics you want discussed on this blog. Feel free to disagree with me. Don’t feel like the conversation has to end with my words. If you want to be a guest writer, send whatever you’ve written and I’ll definitely consider publishing it on here. Fiction, non-fiction, random thoughts, incoherent ramblings, it doesn’t matter. Send me anything.

I don’t want to be the only voice on this forum.

We all have a voice. We all have ideas. Everyone has a story to share. Please, share it with me. I want to talk with you. I can guarantee others do as well.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my writings. I am truly humbled by all of you. Without you, I wouldn’t be doing this.

Peace be with you always.

Sincerely,

Ryan

I leave you with an image of Brenda Smith flexing her amazing biceps.
I leave you with an image of Brenda Smith flexing her amazing biceps.