To See Her is to Understand Her

To understand Yvette Bova, feast your eyes on her body. It’s the right thing to do.

“It’s impolite to stare” is a common piece of advice many of our mothers and grandmothers gave to us as children.

Whether the object we were staring at was a person in a wheelchair, a short person with dwarfism, or a man wearing a dress; the point our elder was trying to make is that by staring at this person for a longer than normal amount of time, we could be making them feel uncomfortable, singled out, or “freakish.” Nobody wants to feel like a social outcast, even if their outward appearance suggests the sentiment isn’t misplaced.

To not stare is to imply that this person should be treated as “normal,” even if they are not. Or even if they are intentionally trying to not be normal. You can’t tell me someone with a face tattoo doesn’t know this will bring additional attention to their appearance. If they get annoyed with people staring and asking them questions about it, why did they acquire it in the first place?

But the point is well taken. Very few of us want to be stared at because we don’t want to feel like an anomaly. We want to be accepted for who we are and not thought of as an outlier. People who appear abnormal on the outside – for whatever reason – just want to be accepted as normal. A small child stopping, staring, and *gasp* coming up to them and asking unwanted questions violates that very principle. So mom and grandma were correct (as usual). Just put yourself in their shoes (or high heels) and ask yourself how you would like to be treated.

This same idea, naturally, doesn’t always apply to female bodybuilders. FBBs, on the other hand, look the way they look by choice. They did not get there by accident or by happenstance. An FBB’s intentional choice to sculpt their bodies to look a certain way is etched into every muscle fiber. You see a female bodybuilder’s body and you can tell – with absolutely no ambiguity – who she is, what she stands for, and what her worldview revolves around.

Debi Laszewski has achieved her Final Form.

Can you tell who she voted for in the last presidential election or whether she prefers Elvis or the Beatles? Well, no. You can’t derive information that specific, but you can certainly deduce that she works out regularly, eats differently, and can probably defeat you in an arm-wrestling contest pretty easily. That much is really darn obvious.

Unlike a burn victim whose scars will forever tell the story of that tragic incident, a female bodybuilder proactively decides to be as bulky, sculpted, and aesthetically pleasing as she wants to be. It’s a choice, not a designation. Her muscles are part of her identity; an identity that she’s chosen to craft from scratch. And her hard work must be appreciated. After all, what’s the point of looking great if no one is around to look at you?

Whenever a female bodybuilder goes out in public, she knows that she will be stared at. And not just by children, but by everyone. Most well-behaved adults will try to be as inconspicuous as possible when they look at her. Some will be more successful than others at hiding their intentions. Whether you are intrigued by what you see, disgusted, grossed out, confused, curious, or uncontrollably aroused, we can all agree that one cannot simply look upon a muscular woman and not have any kind of emotional reaction. Unless you are so accustomed to being around female bodybuilders that seeing one in public is as mundane as seeing a Seattle hipster wearing flannel. If this is the case with you, please let me know where you live ASAP!

But here’s the difference. Whereas a person with a physical deformity or handicap deserves to be treated with respect and not singled out for being different, a female bodybuilder looks different on purpose…and wants to be looked at as being unique.

This, of course, doesn’t excuse rude comments, insults, or physical harassment. Then again, why anybody would want to provoke a strong female bodybuilder who could beat your ass to a pulp is beyond me. But I digress.

Go ahead. Look at Sondra Faas. It’s okay.

FBBs know they look unusual. They know their lifestyle (hours upon hours spent lifting at the gym, strict dieting, etc.) is out of the ordinary. They know not everyone approves of a woman having big muscles. They know they’re taking a risk. They know they could fail. They know they’re challenging taboos, social expectations, and norms. But these warnings do not deter them from pursuing their dreams. In fact, the desire to openly defy these realities may be fueling their life’s work.

So when an FBB goes to the grocery store (back before everyone had to wear face masks and carry around sanitizing wipes everywhere), she can expect that people will stop and stare at her. And you know what? That’s exactly the idea. Maybe not in every case, but generally speaking. Many FBBs talk about how fun it is for people to stare at them in public. They intentionally wear tight clothing because it shows off their muscles. They aren’t annoyed by the additional attention, but rather are flattered by it. Within reason, of course.

But more than feeding one’s ego, it’s important to remember why bodybuilders – both male and female – choose to do what they do. They build their bodies up to look a certain way because it makes them feel empowered, strong, dynamic, superhuman, and yes, freakish (but in a good way). This concept goes into overdrive when we’re talking about women who pursue bodybuilding.

Men are socially expected to be strong alpha providers. While technology, science, engineering, and innovation have made “strength” in the traditional sense somewhat obsolete for survival (we no longer have to hunt and gather our food, but instead patiently wait in line at Costco at least six feet apart from each other), the symbolic importance of physical strength still survives. There’s no practical reason for Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, or Phil Heath to get as massive as they are. But there are plenty of reasons to do so from a professional perspective. You know we’ve advanced as a society when people can earn a living doing impractical – but awesome – things. Gaining hundreds of pounds of muscle isn’t going to make it easier for you to pay your mortgage, but the product endorsement deals you get because of your muscles certainly will.

Kim Buck on full display.

Okay, okay, so men are expected to be strong. We are accustomed to seeing men look big, muscular, invincible, and dominant. But what about women?

There’s no need to go too deep into this, but women are taking a much bigger risk in getting super bulky than men are. Their unnatural muscle mass makes them more unusual because we don’t expect women to ever get that big. Not because they are not able to, but because our society doesn’t encourage them to. The “strong independent woman” trope is more about attitude than it is about practicality. We want to raise our daughters to be mentally and emotionally strong, as opposed to literally strong. Unless you want your little girl to grow up to be a millionaire MMA fighter who can subsidize your future retirement.

All of this is to say that a woman with big muscles is a woman who defies social norms, whether she intends to or not. A woman gains big muscles proactively, not passively. And in doing so, she’s opening up herself to the types of criticism and backlash that a male counterpart would not face. So, what does this all mean?

This means that she is meant to be stared at. Maybe not intentionally, but in principle. An FBB is meant to be looked at. Her body of work (pun intended) is meant to be appreciated. It is meant to be a spectacle. She is a work of art who deserves to be displayed at a museum, even if this museum is more symbolic than literal. In this case, the museum she is displayed in is the real world she inhabits. A supermarket. A public park. A gym. A church. A busy street corner. A nightclub. A library. A restaurant. A bar. An airport. And so on.

Look at Kim Birtch. LOOK. AT. HER.

Wherever she is, whatever she’s doing, she’s meant to be seen. Because to see her is to understand her. You understand her raison d’etre. Her life’s purpose. Her muscles aren’t meant to be hidden. Her muscles aren’t a secret. They should be proudly exhibited as openly as possible.

Here’s a great example. Watch this video of Margie Martin at the 2019 Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championship. It shows a portion of the show where an interviewer speaks to all (or most) of the contestants in front of the whole audience. Watch and be prepared to be dazzled:

Whew! Wow!!! What a moment. What a time to be alive. Can you imagine what it would have been like to be there at that moment in time? I think many of us would have passed out if we saw Margie unexpectedly strip down to a bikini – or try our best to suppress an uncomfortable erection straining in our underwear.

This moment perfectly encapsulates what I’m talking about when I say “to see her is to understand her.” Margie’s beautiful body doesn’t deserve to be hidden underneath that dress (despite her dress leaving little to the imagination as it is). Her beautiful body deserves to be proudly presented in front of an audience of hundreds of screaming fans. Her body deserves adoration. She deserves those screams and applause. That single moment was when Margie was at the Peak of Her Purpose. When her body was being SEEN by everyone in plain sight.

Granted, it would have been socially inappropriate for her to have stripped completely naked. So sporting just a bikini was the maximum of how far she could have gone. But the larger idea remains intact: she was bare. Or as bare as she could possibly be. Her nudity (or near nudity) didn’t make her vulnerable, however. The exact opposite, in fact. Her nude state made her as powerful as she could ever be. Wearing that dress was a disservice to herself, her identity, and her very philosophical purpose. In order for her to fulfill her maximum utility, she had to be as naked as possible in front of as large an audience as possible. There’s no other way around it. It was almost a requirement. Anything less than that would have been an abdication of duty.

Once her dress came off, she had accomplished her personal version of Nirvana. She had reached her summit. Her peak. Her true self. Her real form had finally taken shape. Not just the fact that she had spent the last several months training to become as hypermuscular as possible. No, more than that. In that moment, her body was being seen by the public. By the world. By the whole universe. Even God Himself had to stop whatever He was doing and say out loud, “Damn! She looks great!!!” This was the moment when her final form had reached its zenith.

This is how a female bodybuilder fulfills her destiny. When she’s SEEN. When people are LOOKING at her. When her body is out in the open, almost as in-your-face as possible. When she’s not holding back. When her audience gets more than they bargained for. More than they wanted. More than they actually deserved. When people are staring at her, they are not only doing her a service, they are almost obliged to. We are obligated to SEE her body. We MUST stare at her because to not stare at her would be a sin. It would be a moral failure on our part.

In that moment, Margie was making a statement, whether she knew it or not. She was making a statement that her body must be looked at. Closely. Inspected. Judged. Appreciated. Loved. If you want to truly understand who Margie is and why she does what she does, all you have to do is see her.

See.

Her.

Look.

At.

Her.

Watch.

Her.

Observe.

Her.

Margie’s body isn’t just a part of her identity. It’s the very foundation of her identity. If you don’t look at her body, you will never understand who she is. You’d be a blind person trying to describe an elephant to another blind person. You can try your best but you’ll always fail. In this spirit, go ahead. Look at her. Stare at her. Feast your eyes on her. Make sure she is SEEN. When you look at her body, you aren’t just looking at her body – you’re looking at her soul.

Building muscles is her job. Seeing those muscles is yours.

In Bed with a Female Bodybuilder

I’d love to share a bed with Alina Popa.

When I think about what I would love to do with a female bodybuilder in an intimate setting, there wouldn’t be any whips, handcuffs, gags, rope, hot candle wax, wrestling mats, or blindfolds.

Instead, there’s a large bed with white linen cloth. A bottle of chilled champagne. A bright warm fireplace with plenty of spare logs. Clothing carelessly littered across the room. And of course, her. Naked. Smiling. Confident. Caring. Loving.

There isn’t a hint of animosity in the air. The mood is playful, tender, genuine. We lock eyes. We kiss. We stroke each other’s bodies. I feel her muscle-bound figure not in awe, but with a gentle sense of familiarity. I know her body well. Yet, I am still amazed by it. I’ve felt her enormous biceps thousands of times, but they are still able to send shivers down my spine. I’ve stared into her gorgeous eyes a million times before, yet they still have the uncanny ability to captivate me.

I am under her spell, yet I do not complain. I do not fight back. There is no fight to be had. She is stronger and more powerful than me. Yet I do not feel emasculated. Rather, I feel like I’m more of a man when I am with her. Her feminine strength does not invalidate my masculinity. It enhances it. I am a man and she is a woman. Her impressive muscular built does not change or disrupt that equation.

We are at peace. We are quiet, but not silent. She has no makeup on, but she is still more naturally beautiful than any supermodel who has ever lived. We love each other. There is no superficiality going on between us. As I caress her body, I am constantly reminded of the countless hours she spends at the gym and the enormous sacrifices she makes every single day to achieve her remarkable physique. She does not have to tell me how difficult it is to look the way she looks. I know everything I need to know just from the touch of my fingers on her flawlessly picturesque body.

Whew.

I can go on and on describing my hypothetical experience of being in bed with a female bodybuilder. But this will do for now.

Guys and gals who love female bodybuilders have a wide array of FBB-centered fantasies. This ranges from desiring to have a female bodybuilder wrap her strong thick legs around your neck and squeeze to feeling up her broad back while she flexes her arms right in front of you. Some fantasies are violent in nature, others are peaceful. Some of the more violence-oriented fantasies hug that fine line between “normal” and “criminal” – although who are we to judge?

A nice look for Cindy Landolt.

FBB fandom can take many forms, yet there is one common element that cannot be ignored: the indescribable feeling that female bodybuilders conjure up inside of us. They make our entire body shake. They capture our attention like nothing else can. They make us do irrational things. We are attracted to them in ways that we are not attracted to in more “conventional” people. While seeing a pretty girl wearing a skimpy bikini at the beach can make our heart skip a beat, watching a video of a beautiful female bodybuilder flex her huge muscles wearing sexy lingerie can make our heart stop beating entirely.

See the difference?

How we prefer to experience this “indescribable feeling” differs from person to person. Some of us fantasize about – or actually get to experience if you have the resources and good fortune of a real-life FBB travelling to your area – being pinned to the ground by a powerful woman. Others of us are rougher around the edges and prefer her to pour hot candle wax on our chests, spit in our faces, and call us demeaning names as we demand further insults to be hurled our way. But there exists another cohort of female muscle lovers who prefer an experience that’s more quiet, tranquil, peaceful, low-key, measured, and intimate.

You can probably guess which group yours truly belongs in.

This is not to say that people who prefer to experience the, uh, “bumpier” side of female bodybuilding fandom are wrong. Far from it. It’s just that some of us aren’t as enamored with power dynamics, sexual politics, and muscle fetishization as others are. That’s it. Nobody is “right” or “wrong” when it comes to fantasizing or actually playing out their FBB-related desires. Unless someone gets hurt unintentionally, of course.

Personally, the few times per year that I get to meet a real-life female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session tend to be as low-key as you might imagine. No wrestling, no submission, no hint of competition. Just her and me. In bed. We talk. We share stories. I compliment her. She grins and giggles. I touch her magnificent body. Goosebumps flare up across my arm. My fingers feel like they could melt after caressing her warm, coarse skin. It’s quiet. The room is dimly lit. There’s music playing softly in the background. The window is open, allowing the bright moonlight to freely fill the room. Whatever happens stays between us. She’s as beautiful as you can possibly imagine, except more so. My heart can burst out of my chest at any moment. Luckily, it does not.

I enjoy everything about a female bodybuilder, not just her muscles. I enjoy her personal journey. Learning about her hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears, annoyances, and joys. I marvel at her self-confidence and unwavering belief in her ability to achieve anything she wants. I enjoy her femininity. I enjoy her power. I enjoy her calmness. I enjoy giving her pleasure (if she lets me). I enjoy receiving pleasure from her (once again, if she feels like doing so). In short, I enjoy everything about the experience of meeting her. Everything.

As gorgeous as can be, the lovely Sheronica Sade Henton.

It’s difficult, though not impossible, to experience those same things when you’re pinned to the ground, gasping for air. I know she’s strong. I don’t need her to demonstrate it for me. But that’s just how I prefer to experience her full power. I certainly don’t speak for everyone. Nor would I want to.

To me, female muscle is highly erotic. Erotic in a way that almost transcends the meaning of the word. It’s not just sexually arousing or exciting. It’s emotionally moving, almost in a quasi-spiritual way. I feel like I’m in the presence of Greatness. Not exactly a goddess, but something very close to that. It’s difficult to describe, but those who do understand what I’m talking about are no doubt nodding their heads in agreement right now.

There is no right or wrong way to pass your time with an FBB, considering everything is consensual and what is previously agreed upon to happen actually happens. For me personally, I love experiences where I can show my appreciation for an FBB’s hard work in the most respectful yet erotic way possible. The feeling of her rock hard muscles against my fingers is indescribably sexy. I’ve tried to explain it, but have failed over and over again. It’s truly something that the English language – or any language, for that matter – cannot justifiably articulate.

May I sit next to Debi Laszewski?

In a way, what I enjoy doing (and fantasizing about) is no different than what a “normal” couple would do when they’re getting intimate with each other. They lie in bed together. They flirt. They exchange needful glances. They chat. They touch each other. They disrobe. They engage in foreplay. They…make love.

I’ve never made love to a female bodybuilder, but that isn’t a precondition to talking about what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the beautiful feeling of sharing time and space with a female bodybuilder in the privacy of a hotel room away from the eyes of anyone else but ourselves. No one has to witness what we do together. It’s just her and me. That’s it. That’s all there needs to be.

Privacy is a wonderful thing. Even more so when you’re willing and eager to become vulnerable with the other person.

Muscle worship is very personal. Extremely personal. It’s fun, of course, but fun in an intimate kind of way. You don’t become “friends” with her, but you certainly share a special connection that will never leave that rented room. There’s something poetically beautiful about that: a private period of time between two people where one party expresses appreciation for the physical beauty of the other party – in which cell phones, modern technology, and eyewitnesses are nowhere to be seen. That’s the way it should be.

Wendy Fortino looking jaw-dropping.

Being in bed with a female bodybuilder is like kneeling before the altar and praying before whatever god you worship. It’s deeply personal, yet surreal in its mundanity. The anticipation of being able to meet her is palpable. Your palms are sweaty. Your heart rate is through the roof. You count down the hours till you get to meet her with the same anticipation of a small child waiting for Santa to deliver your presents. When you do get to knock on her door and walk into her room, you need to pinch yourself in order to discover whether or not you’re actually living in a realistic dream. Thankfully, you are not.

And when you do eventually get into bed with her, you feel like pausing and saying a brief prayer to the Heavens. You want to thank the stars for granting you this privileged moment. This moment may happen to you again, or it may not. Regardless, you want to make the most of it. And you do. You do in fact make the most of it by staring intently into her eyes, whispering melodic compliments into her ear, and caressing her muscular body with the careful prudence of an artist painting a canvas.

What you do is simple. You lie next to her and enjoy each other’s company in complete silence. Not a care in the world. The outside world means nothing right now. You’re like two old lovers rediscovering your shared passion. Nothing about this picture would seem out of the ordinary in any bedroom in the world.

Except for the romantically whimsical image of a man sharing an intimate moment with a woman. A woman who happens to have enormous biceps.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Female Bodybuilding and Steroids

Don't inject yourself with anything the shady guy on Facebook gives you. The sketchy guy on Twitter, on the other hand, is probably more reputable.
Don’t inject yourself with anything the shady guy on Facebook gives you. The sketchy guy on Twitter, on the other hand, is probably more reputable.

There’s a large elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

No, it’s not Dumbo. Or Babar. Or any of the ones that carried historical figures like Hannibal or Alexander the Great into battle. We’re addressing a different kind of elephant, one that’s taking up entirely too much space but none of us are willing to acknowledge.

Sigh. As a female muscle fan, I’m not against talking about this subject, but it’s unavoidable. So here it goes.

Steroids.

There. I said it. Steroids. Steroids. Steroids. Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeroooooooooooooooids.

Steroids.

According to the world-famous online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, steroids – or, in this case, anabolic steroids – are defined as:

“Anabolic steroids, technically known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are drugs that are structurally related to the cyclic steroid rings system and have similar effects to testosterone in the body. They increase protein within cells, especially in skeletal muscles. Anabolic steroids also have androgenic and virilizing properties, including the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics such as the growth of the vocal cords, testicles (primary sexual characteristics) and body hair (secondary sexual characteristics).”

Got all that? I am not a scientist, so I don’t entirely understand the biological properties of anabolic steroids and what exactly they do to the human body. However, we basically all know what they do. They are drugs that help you develop muscle mass. They aren’t a magic pill that transforms you into Ronnie Coleman overnight, but they sure can help you get “big” if maximizing your size is your primary goal.

I will also admit that I am not an expert on the issue of drug use in the sport of professional bodybuilding. If you ask me questions about what policies the IFBB should change, how many pro bodybuilders (both male and female) use steroids, how to technically define “steroids,” or anything like that, I will shrug my shoulders and honestly tell you “I have no f***ing clue.”

I may not be that rude, but you get the point. I don’t have the time, patience, or inclination to diligently research this topic before writing this article. So I am no expert. Alright. Let’s move on.

None of us are naïve. We know many of our favorite bodybuilders and athletes “dope” in order to become and remain top elite competitors. When I look back upon the baseball legends I grew up watching during the 1990s and early 2000s, I now know many of them were “juicing” their way to 50+ home runs, 120+ RBIs and other statistics that earned them Hall of Fame consideration. Some of them are enshrined in Cooperstown, many of them are not – and may never will.

Does juicing still go on in pro sports? Of course. Without a doubt. Methods of testing have definitely improved, but no system is perfect. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A few people are going to slip through the cracks here and there. Whatever. Just as long as we enjoy watching them play, does it really matter what substances they choose to put into their bodies?

Poor Barry Bonds. The poster child for steroid use in professional sports. He was one heck of a ballplayer regardless.
Poor Barry Bonds. The poster child for steroid use in professional sports. He was one heck of a ballplayer regardless.

Before I get too off track, let’s break down the topic of female bodybuilding and steroids in the most logical and honest way possible. Please, feel free to comment down below or send me an e-mail at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com to provide your thoughts. Perhaps your perspective will differ from mine.

Whew. Okay, let’s dive into this deep swimming pool of mixed emotions head-first. Onward!

1. A lot of female bodybuilders take steroids, and that’s perfectly okay

It is a fact that many of our favorite FBBs take steroids to help them get big. It’s an undeniable fact. The reaction many people glean from this most likely sounds something like this:

See? She’s not that strong at all! The only reason why she’s bigger than most guys is because she juices, just like Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds. I told you so! She’s not really that strong!!!

Fair point. Without the help of synthetic drugs, many FBBs would not be able to become bigger than a lot of men. But I think this criticism misses the larger point about why a lot of guys love female bodybuilders.

We love their beautiful bodies. We love looking at their hard work put on display. Steroids may enhance the fruits of your labor, but they do not replace your labor. No matter what drugs they take or how strategic they are in taking them, no FBB got to be that big without commitment, arduous hard work, dedication, smart planning and making enormous personal sacrifices. As mentioned before, steroids are not a magic pill that can transform Taylor Swift into Debi Laszewski with the flip of a switch.

Granted, lots of us who love FBBs admire them because they’ve achieved a level of muscle mass unmatched by guys who take the “natural” route. So I guess in that respect, we have to burst their bubble. Sorry. It’s not what you think it is.

But nevertheless, that’s not the point here. At the end of the day, we love muscular women because we think they’re tremendously beautiful. Regardless of how they got there, we appreciate the finished product with a degree of awe that’s unmatchable. In my opinion, it’s perfectly okay for a woman to take steroids if they will help her achieve her desired physique. Just as long as she’s safe and always takes her long-term health into consideration, I have no issue here. The elite bodybuilders have professional trainers and doctors advising them on which drugs to take, how many to take, when to take them, and how to determine when enough is enough. It becomes supremely dangerous when someone goes rogue and recklessly pops pills or injects themselves with God-knows-what without consulting an expert.

Don’t do that. It won’t end well.

I perfectly understand that a lot of huge muscular women take drugs. In fact, a few of the FBBs I’ve met in real life admit to taking drugs. But that doesn’t change my opinion of them one iota. They’re still strong gorgeous women who deserve immense praise for their hard work, steadfast belief in themselves and willingness to break social taboos in pursuit of their personal definition of “beautiful.”

As female bodybuilding fans, we’re not arbiters of truth and justice. We’re admirers of beauty. We love these women because they’re so incredibly beautiful. We know they would not be able to achieve that kind of muscularity without “help,” but what difference does that make? Just as we’re aware that many of our favorite celebrities undergo plastic surgery to look younger, slimmer or more beautiful, we love FBBs despite knowing their look may not be 100 percent “natural.”

2. Drugs is only an issue of ethics when we’re dealing with athletic competition

Overall, if a woman decides to use drugs to help her achieve an abnormal level of muscle mass, do we care if that helps her land photo gigs, video shoots and erotic session clients? No, we don’t. So at the end of the day, what difference does it make if our favorite female muscle celebrities (in our world, they’re totally celebrities!) are taking drugs to help them look a certain way? None whatsoever.

However, admittedly things change when we’re dealing with athletic competition. And not just bodybuilding – this includes basketball, tennis, MMA, softball, volleyball, sprinting, etc. No one wants a cheater to win the Gold Medal at the Olympics. But if that same person wants to earn a living becoming a muscle dominatrix to consenting adult clients, that doesn’t nearly matter as much.

So in reality, we only care about the ethics of doping when it comes to high stakes athletic competition. We all want a fair playing field. Whether we’re talking about HGH, spitting on baseballs or deflating footballs, no one wants to see a cheater win. It sucks. It makes you angry and lose faith in the integrity of the sport. Therefore, any professional league that wants to see itself exist in 20 years should vehemently crack down on illegal drug use to weed out the cheaters. It makes business sense.

If such a button existed where you could transform Taylor Swift into Debi Laszewski instantaneously, I would do it before you could finish your sentence.
If such a button existed where you could transform Taylor Swift into Debi Laszewski instantaneously, I would do it before you could finish your sentence.

But a female bodybuilder who uses her body to sell muscle worship appointments, video views and website memberships? She can do whatever the hell she wants with her body. It’s her body and her business. Let her take whatever she wants if she feels like it will help her earn a living. As female muscle fans, we don’t care. We love these women and their beautiful physiques. We shell out our hard earned dollars because we feel they’re worth it.

Know why? Because they totally are.

But when it comes to the business of professional (and high profile amateur) sports, where winners and losers are determined solely by head-to-head competition, we want fairness to be guaranteed in every conceivable way. It isn’t unethical to take drugs, unless you do so to earn an unfair advantage over someone who chooses not to. It’s as simple as that.

3. Repeated use of steroids do have side effects, but we’re totally fine with that

It’s no mystery the effects steroids can have on a woman’s body. Increased muscle mass and levels of testosterone can lead to a deepened voice, more body hair, shrunken breasts, more “masculine” facial features, balding, an enlarged clitoris (which, for the record, is not a penis), aggressive behavior, and other physical/emotional changes.

In fact, these side effects are what turn people off the most from female bodybuilders. Arguably, if female bodybuilders could maintain large muscle mass without having to sacrifice a single degree of traditional “femininity,” one could foresee a reality where FBBs would be way more popular in mainstream culture than they currently are. However, this is not the reality. So, society is stuck in this weird grey area of treating female bodybuilders as women who aren’t fully “women.” We know they are by definition, but there’s enough ambiguity going on to give us major pause.

It sucks for these women, but it is what it is. People have their prejudices. Changing them can be an almost unconquerable challenge.

But, alas, most female bodybuilding fans would argue the side effects inherent in steroid use are not that big of a deal. Or, more precisely, they’re not a deal breaker. Side effects are fine, just as long as they don’t cross certain boundaries.

This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions about female muscle fetishism. Those of us who love muscular women don’t like all muscular women. Just because you love Italian food doesn’t mean you love every single Italian restaurant in existence. Truth be told, you probably despise more Italian restaurants than you love because of the fact that you’re such a snob. I can tell you from personal experience that there are a few prominent female bodybuilders whom I do not feel attracted to. While I can find a certain degree of beauty in almost all muscular women, overly masculine facial features and other “freaky” side effects totally turn me off. But that is usually the exception and not the rule.

Some people are disgusted by the masculinization effects of steroid use in muscular women. I get that. But the larger point is that female muscle fans are not unaware of that. We know that, accept it, and still find them beautiful despite their unconventional appearances.

4. Fantasy is almost always more appealing than reality

The truth is, the vast majority of guys who love female bodybuilders understand that many of them didn’t achieve high levels of muscularity “naturally.” We’re not naïve about how the world operates. We understand biological restrictions are almost impossible to break through. But this somewhat miss the point about a female bodybuilder’s appeal.

For a lot of us, we love female bodybuilders mostly because we love to fantasize about them. Who they are in real life is not as important as what exists in our imaginations. Of course, once we get to actually meet a few FBBs, we almost always end up liking them as people. But from a distance, fantasy is a powerful driving force in female muscle fandom.

Everyone’s fantasy is different. Worshipping her muscles. Treating her like a Goddess. Being her slave. Being punished for our naughty behavior. Finding out who the real “weaker sex” truly is. And so on. The fantasies may be different, but the general takeaway stays the same: reality isn’t that important.

Reality has its place, but not always. The vast majority of female muscle fans rarely get to personally meet (either in a public or private setting) their idols. Therefore, our fandom mostly consists of what’s in our imaginations. We love strong women for a variety of reasons. Whether there are elements of fantasy, BDSM, curiosity, sexual fetishism or something else entirely at play, who they really are, and how they got to be that big and strong, are secondary to us.

Some people are into Female Muscle Growth (FMG) stories and art. I am not really one of them. But if you are into that sort of thing, go for it.
Some people are into Female Muscle Growth (FMG) stories and art. I am not really one of them. But if you are into that sort of thing, go for it. Illustration by Grissse.

That isn’t to say that we disrespect who they are as people. On the contrary, most FBB fans have a tremendous amount of genuine respect for the women they idolize. I’d go as far as to say that we treat these women just the way modern day feminists want all women to be treated. So we aren’t indifferent toward who FBBs are as human beings. Rather, their drawing power is derived from the deep recesses of our imaginations.

So if we find out an FBB takes steroids, growth hormones and other supplements to achieve their superhuman muscularity, that isn’t an issue with us. We love the finished product. We love what their beautiful bodies do for our creative minds. The “spark” they provide us cannot be put into words, but rather images, thoughts and feelings that are almost impossible to articulate.

For many of us, the steroid issue isn’t an issue at all. We’re not ignorant about it. We’re not neglecting it. We just don’t care. People love to fantasize even though they know the foundation of their fantasies is built on a house of cards. It doesn’t matter. Reality has its place. So does fantasy. The lines shouldn’t always have to cross.

5. There will always be a little bit of denial going on

Admittedly, denial will always happen. Some people embrace the “ignorance is bliss” mantra. They know it’s happening but choose to either downplay or ignore it. I’m probably a bit in this category. I know many of my favorite FBBs take drugs. I know they might regret it in the future if (or when) the negative side effects come back to haunt them. I know it’s practically impossible for a woman to develop muscle mass that would make a male bodybuilder jealous without some “assistance.”

I get it. But I don’t always want to think about that. I love fantasizing about these strong beautiful women dominating the bullies who taunt them with sexist remarks. I love imagining what it would be like to make love to a gorgeous muscular woman without having to think about excess body hair or stinky odor that comes with taking steroids. I love thinking about all these things…knowing full well reality doesn’t always match up with fantasy.

When we live life through rose tinted glasses, we tend to idealize those we love. We hold them in higher regards than they deserve. We put them on a pedestal and worship the very ground they walk on. This leads, inevitably, to us overlooking their flaws. We justify their bad behavior. We pick-and-choose which parts of them to celebrate and which parts to ignore. In terms of muscular women, we revel in their strength without fully thinking about what it took for them to achieve that strength. We’re not stupid. We just don’t want to let facts get in the way of our fun.

Facts. Such an inconvenient cog in the engine, am I right? But alas, we know the deal. We know a woman cannot achieve that elite level of muscular development without “help.” We know freaky genetics, maniacal hard work, hardcore dieting and sheer willpower is not enough. We know natural biology cannot be altered overnight. Perhaps thousands of years from now women will evolve to become physically superior to men, but today is not that day. Whatever. Why spoil the fun?

6. What is the actual harm of using steroids?

This point is not meant to be scientific. I am perfectly aware that unwise steroid use can lead to cardiac problems, high blood pressure, liver issues and other negative health consequences. What I’m really trying to say is this:

What’s the big deal if woman uses steroids responsibly?

The answer is simple. It feels like cheating. In point #2, I discuss that steroids only really matter within the context of athletic competitions. That still rings true. But from a cultural perspective, using steroids to get big still feels like you’re “cheating the system.” Or, at the very least, cheating your natural biology.

Bodybuilding, whether you do it professionally or not, is the ultimate personalized sport. Victory or loss, however you define it, is purely determined by your own merit. Unlike team sports, a bad fumble or blown save by a teammate won’t cost you the game. You’re not even competing directly against anyone, such as in tennis or racquetball. The best comparison is golf, a sport in which you compete against others, but you’re mostly competing against yourself. But golf has elements such as weather and course conditions affecting the outcomes of games. Bodybuilding is a sport more based on preparation than game-day performance.

But more than that, a lot of us are amateur bodybuilders, whether we think of ourselves in those terms or not. Let’s face it. We don’t just go to the gym because we want to “stay healthy” or “shed a few pounds.” Some of us may think that way, but most of us workout because…well, we want to look good. We want to look good naked, as Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty states. He’s telling the truth. That’s 99 percent of the reason why we exert so much of our time and energy in the gym. We may not have any genuine aspirations to compete, but in our own little world, we’re all trying to develop biceps like Phil Heath.

I cannot confirm that Karen Zaremba was a "natural" bodybuilder, but I suspect she was.
I cannot confirm that Karen Zaremba was a “natural” bodybuilder, but I suspect she was.

This explains the backlash against steroid use in general, not just in the context of female bodybuilding. When we see someone walking around with bigger guns than us, we feel jealous. When we find out they had “help” building those huge arms, we feel a little better about ourselves knowing our inadequate gains can be explained by the fact we don’t “cheat.”

This simply explains why we get such a visceral gut reaction when we find out an FBB takes steroids. It feels like they’ve broken our trust. We feel betrayed that their impressive strength wasn’t achieved fairly. It makes us feel more secure about our own bodies knowing their superiority has an alternative explanation.

In conclusion, what is the actual harm of an FBB taking steroids responsibly? Well, not much. If it helps her advance her career, so be it. That’s none of our business. Is she betraying our trust? No, unless she explicitly lied about not taking drugs. Does that make her any less of a strong woman? Of course not. Steroids are not a magic pill that transforms you into a ripped comic book character with the snap of your fingers. Hard work still matters.

The “Steroid Issue” will always haunt bodybuilders, athletes and gym rats, both male and female. It’s unavoidable. In today’s world, it’s understandable why we’d all be suspicious. The proliferation of the underground drug market has expanded well beyond dark alleys and dimly lit parking lots. Online marketplaces, both on the so-called “surface web” and the nefarious-sounding “deep web,” make acquiring drugs as easy as it’s ever been.

But the flip side of the issue is this: As long as no one is getting hurt or gaining an unfair competitive advantage, what harm do steroids actually cause? Scientific issues aside, it’s mostly a blow to one’s personal sense of integrity.

Integrity. There we are. There’s the core of the problem. Integrity.

At the end of the day, we feel a bodybuilder’s integrity should be called into question if we discover they take steroids to help them get big. Personally, this knowledge does not make me change my opinion about any particular male or female bodybuilder. After all, building muscle is their primary goal. If they receive biomedical “assistance” along the way, so be it. I won’t judge them too harshly, especially when we live in an age where much worse crimes are being committed on a daily basis.

So there you have it. Undoubtedly, we will never settle this issue. Some will always feel uncomfortable by the presence of steroids in bodybuilding. Others will have no problem with it whatsoever. And there will be those who are either indifferent or undecided. Whatever. You can feel however you feel about it. Just know this: Everyone makes choices in their lives. These choices are made to help maximize how much they can get out of life. What jobs we work at, where we live, what foods we eat, who we choose to love, who we hang out with, what entertainment we partake in, etc. If a bodybuilder, male or female, believes taking drugs will help him or her maximize their own personal definition of “happiness” or “fulfillment,” I say we should let them. Of course, every choice has pros and cons. Taking steroids has drawbacks. It’s not a decision that comes risk-free. On the contrary, human growth hormones and the like can be very dangerous if they’re taken without proper medical consultation. This is why you should never trust the shady guy standing on a street corner or the anonymous vendor who sends you a cryptic message on Facebook.

Steroids are here to stay. Judge the people who take them however you want to. But keep this in mind: They take them for a reason. Do you fully understand that reason?

My Top 10 Favorite Female Bodybuilders

The future of the sport of bodybuilding: Shannon Courtney.
The future of the sport of bodybuilding: Shannon Courtney.

Since the subject of female bodybuilders is of keen interest of this blog, I figure it’s about time I created a list of my favorite FBBs and why I like them.

After all, isn’t it conventional wisdom that “top 10 lists” are prime ways to score high clicks and search engine optimization strength?

Of course, these rankings are purely unscientific and bear no resemblance to actual truth. It’s not like I’ve seen photos of every single female bodybuilder on the planet and can rank them with the knowledge of a seasoned connoisseur. Even if I did, I still couldn’t give you specific quantifiable criteria as to why I chose to rank a certain lady over another.

When coming up with my list, I sincerely struggled. I wanted to mention at least 20 or 30 of these women, but I had to only narrow it down to my top 10 because…well, because I said so. I make the rules, so I should follow them, am I right?

I’ve also discovered that my top 10 list of favorite female bodybuilders changes as I discover new ones. One woman in particular, who’s listed as number five, is one I’ve discovered fairly recently, perhaps in the past six or seven months. Naturally, she had to boot someone off, which is no slight to that unfortunate soul. It’s not about you. It’s about her. Yes, I’ll stick to that excuse for now.

Enough of that. Let’s get to the good stuff. So, without further ado, here is a list of my top ten favorite female bodybuilders, starting with the bottom and going up.

Love those abs on Karen Zaremba!
Love those abs on Karen Zaremba!

10. Karen Zaremba

Karen Zaremba holds a special place in my heart. She was one of the first muscle women who caught my eye when I first discovered my attraction to female bodybuilders.

Though more of a figure competitor than a hardcore bodybuilder, Karen is the full package: Beautiful, toned muscles and alluringly sexy. What more could you ask for?

Ms. Zaremba is the kind of woman who can steal your breath away in a heartbeat. She could also stop your heart from beating as well. If she’s wearing baggy clothes, she might not appear to be that big, but when she’s wearing something skimpier there’s no doubt she can turn heads left and right.

I think I first stumbled across Karen sometime early in my college years. I could not believe my eyes when I first saw photos of this amazing woman. How could a 40-something mother of multiple children look THAT AMAZING? What makes her even more incredible is that she doesn’t depend on extensive cosmetic surgeries or caking on layers of makeup to look beautiful.

She’s a natural beauty, no doubt about it.

My guess is she’s either fully or partially retired from bodybuilding. Nevertheless Ms. Zaremba will always be one of my favorites. She deserves a “Favorite Female Bodybuilder Emeritus” trophy. She’s the elder stateswoman you know isn’t “active” any more but deserves an honorable mention. You never forget (one of) your first(s), am I right?

May I touch Debi Laszewski's arms?
May I touch Debi Laszewski’s arms?

9. Debi Laszewski

As a bona fide bodybuilding superstar, Debi Laszewski is one of the most well-known stars in the sport today. Ms. Laszewski’s incredible muscularity is only matched by her physical beauty and charming personality. She’s incredibly motivated to be the best in the business and you can certainly see her drive and determination come out in her interviews. If you want somebody to be the ambassador of the sport to the general public, Debi is more than fit for the job.

Of course, I’ve never met her (or any of these women, for that matter), but she seems to be very genuine, down-to-earth, and more interested in lifting other people up rather than tearing them down. In a cutthroat business like competitive athletics, I’d guess that sort of attitude isn’t as common as it should. For me, personality matters.

So does her body. Her body is incredible. Her blonde locks of hair combined with her bulky frame make her seem superhuman. How can one person be that beautiful? How can one person be that perfect? This almost makes me question why Debi is number nine of my rankings and not down further. I may have to adjust this list somewhere down the road.

Who can resist the rich Italian looks of Deidre Pagnanelli?
Who can resist the rich Italian looks of Deidre Pagnanelli?

8. Deidre Pagnanelli

If you don’t know who Deidre Pagnanelli is, stop whatever you’re doing immediately and do a Google search of her as soon as possible. Deidre’s greatest asset – and she has a long list of them – is without a doubt her beauty. Ms. Pagnanelli is a classic beauty of the vintage Hollywood variety.

Part Sophia Loren and part Monica Bellucci, she’s comparable with those legendary Italian beauties on every level: femininity, pure beauty, gracefulness, mysteriousness, sensuality, and on and on and on.

And know what? She’s in her 40s and is a mother of four kids. Yes, you heard that right. This is no joke. She is a middle aged woman with four children who have emerged from her body. Now, there’s a certain popular acronym that’s used to describe women like this, but I refuse to use it. That would be disrespectful to her. It’s vulgar, partially sexist and cheapens who she is. Deidre Pagnanelli is more than just a woman who looks incredible at this stage of her life. She’s a personal trainer, motivator and athlete who should be treated like a Goddess.

She is someone who stops you dead in your tracks. She’s the type who can redefine how you feel about muscular women. To be fair, she’s not as muscular as a pro-level bodybuilder, but her physique should not disappoint anyone. She shatters all stereotypes about muscular women being gross. She commands the room. Once you learn who she is, there’s no way you can get her out of your mind.

I remember when I first came across Ms. Pagnanelli on the Internet. My pulse raced. My eyes were as big as dinner plates. My jaw probably fell to the floor. I could not believe she was real. Is she an actual person or a comic book hero created by a female muscle-loving illustrator?

Nope. She’s real. Very real. And we should all be thankful for that.

How did I not realize Emery Miller's beauty right off the bat?
How did I not realize Emery Miller’s beauty right off the bat?

7. Emery Miller

There are some women in this world whose beauty doesn’t hit you right away. You need to let them grow on you. Emery Miller is one of those women.

I didn’t fall in love with her right off the bat. It took me a while to warm up to her. But once I did, I never looked back. When I first came across her, I figured she was just another cute blonde FBB. But after watching interviews of her and some of her more “adult entertainment” oriented videos, my thinking about her changed. She became a joyfully sexy woman with a level of sexual intelligence that is so extraordinarily appealing.

Emery’s beauty is more on par with the “girl next door” category. She’s pretty, but not too pretty. She’s that really cute girl you knew in high school whom you ignored but years later you regretted it once you realized how awesome she is. That’s Emery Miller. You kick yourself for not realizing how amazing of a woman she is until it finally hits you over the head like a frying pan.

She’s also a very intelligent woman. Underneath her sexy smile lies someone with an equally sexy brain. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I do. There are certain people you meet you who know are special even though you can’t exactly describe why. Emery Miller wouldn’t have made this list a year ago, but she certain does now. I sure am glad I finally saw the light.

The unbelievably sexy Angela Salvagno.
The unbelievably sexy Angela Salvagno.

6. Angela Salvagno

Out of every pore of her body, Angela Salvagno drips with sexiness. She’s a little rough around the edges but possesses a level of sensual intrigue that leaves you wanting more. And without a doubt, I want more!

Other than her rich Mediterranean looks, Ms. Salvagno is striking for one other reason: her beautiful genitalia. Large clitoris, luscious labia and a pretty pink vagina that seems oh so ready for loving, Ms. Salvagno is a wonder of Mother Nature between her strong legs. Many of you may think it’s rather strange for me to remember her for her genitalia, but that’s just the kind of guy I am.

I discovered Angie through her work in porn. She’s not afraid to masturbate for the camera, that’s for damn sure. She’s proud of her body, isn’t ashamed of a single inch of it, and doesn’t need permission to please herself to her heart’s delight. There’s a lot to like about that kind of attitude. She doesn’t have the salient beauty of Deidre Pagnanelli or the insane muscular development of Debi Laszewski, but she doesn’t have to in order for me to notice her. She oozes with sex. It radiates out of every square centimeter of her being. You can practically feel the heat rising from her body when she performs for the camera. It’s tangible. It’s palpable. It’s very, very erotic.

In addition, Ms. Salvagno also has a little bite to her. She isn’t a “Miss Nice Girl” by any stretch of the imagination. Whether she’s wearing an eye-popping BDSM outfit or wrestling a hapless opponent into total submission, Angie can kick your ass if you’re not careful. There’s something undeniably sexy about that. To be truthful, every single woman on this list could probably manhandle you if you push them to their limits, but Angie is someone you genuinely don’t want to mess with. She’s not dangerous, but she can be if you want her to be.

God help us all if you ever make her angry!

It must be the eyes of Lindsay Mulinazzi that's so hypnotic.
It must be the eyes of Lindsay Mulinazzi that’s so hypnotic.

5. Lindsay Mulinazzi

It must be her green eyes. That has to be it. They’re so captivating. I swear her eyes could hypnotize me and force me to jump off a bridge. I’d be in a trance so powerful I’d empty my bank account in an instant if called upon to do so by her. And you know what? I probably wouldn’t complain too much. I’d accept it as the cost of admiring Lindsay Mulinazzi’s immaculate body.

But not just her body, but her entire self. Everything about Ms. Mulinazzi intrigues me.

Lindsay Mulinazzi has an air of mystery about her. She has so much going in below the surface that none of us will ever know about. Is she sweet or sexy? Is she naughty or nice? Is she a Good Girl or a Bad Girl? She’s probably all of those things. All at once. Yeah…she’s that multifaceted.

Ms. Mulinazzi’s looks are exotic. She’s the type of woman a sophisticated gentleman would appreciate. She’s like a glass of Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France served with filet mignon, grilled asparagus, pâté de foie gras and rich buttery mashed potatoes (that bottle of wine, apparently, is one of the most expensive in the world). She’s a treasure. She’s for sophisticated tastes only. I realize it’s rather odd to think of a female bodybuilder as being “high class,” but Lindsay fits the description perfectly. Savor her like she deserves to be savored. I can guarantee you would not be disappointed.

Denise Masino = SEX
Denise Masino = SEX

4. Denise Masino

For a woman with a gorgeous face, mouthwatering figure and fun, sexy personality, Denise Masino is most famous for another one of her assets.

Her world famous clitoris.

It looks like a pastrami sandwich. Maybe not the most refined analogy, but anyone who’s seen it would have to admit it’s not a terrible comparison. Think it’s strange for us to be so fixated on someone’s genitalia? It is, but rest assured what’s situated between her legs isn’t the only thing I love about her.

Like other women on this list, Denise Masino is an exceptionally intelligent woman whose business savvy is second to none in the industry. She understands her appeal and isn’t afraid to take advantage of it for her own benefit (and ours!). Her large clitoris isn’t a point of embarrassment. It empowers her to make her irresistible to adoring fans worldwide. She’s sexy and she knows how to market herself. She may not be a mainstream Hollywood celebrity, but among female muscle fans across the universe, Ms. Masino is as big as Marilyn Monroe ever was.

She embraces her sexuality in ways many of her peers do not. True, many FBBs will star in sexy videos from time to time, but Denise seems to thoroughly enjoy it. Many female athletes struggle with balancing being an athlete and a (often times reluctant) sex symbol. Denise, however, appears to have embraced her role as a sexually-charged woman who has no problem being both physically powerful and erotic at the same time.

I could go on for days praising Ms. Masino, but I will leave you with one thought: When you first think of Denise, her muscles aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. You think about her beautiful clit, her gorgeous face, smarts, sexiness and shrewdness first. Her muscles, while undoubtedly attractive in their own right, seem to be almost an afterthought. This demonstrates the depth of her appeal. Denise is a one-of-a-kind. There may never be another one like her. For that, we must treasure her while we can.

Lisa Cross, a.k.a. "The British Bombshell."
Lisa Cross, a.k.a. “The British Bombshell.”

3. Lisa Cross

World class female bodybuilder. Author. Part-time dominatrix. International superstar. Perhaps one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

Who could I possibly be describing? Lisa Cross, of course.

Ms. Cross, a.k.a. “The British Bombshell,” captivates your attention. That’s what really sticks with you when you first come across her. Your attention immediately goes to her and no one else. She looks dangerous. She looks intriguing. She’s unique from other female bodybuilders. There’s something about her that sets her apart from her fellow muscle sisters. Once you’re introduced to Lisa, you keep wanting more and more.

Lisa has almost the perfect combination of size, beauty, intelligence, femininity and mysteriousness. She’s exactly what you’d expect a female bodybuilder to be like, yet she’s always surprising you in one way or another.

For example, have you ever read her book Devil and Disciple: The Temptation? I have. While it has a few flaws you often see in new authors, overall it’s a strong book with a compelling story, well-crafted characters and intelligent poetic prose. As far as I can tell, she wrote the book all by herself. Her editor, of course, obviously had his or her input during the creative process, but fitting in writing a book (without a ghost writer) with an already jammed pack schedule of being a professional bodybuilder is nothing short of impressive. How many athletes could say they’ve written such a piece of art?

Lisa Cross is one of my favorites because you keep wanting more from her. She makes you pay attention to her. Not because she forces herself upon you, but because you can’t help but keep on coming back. She’s enthralling because she’s so multifaceted. She’s a beautiful and intelligent woman who’s overcome a lot of obstacles to get to be where she’s at right now. Her success wasn’t handed to her. She earned it with her hard work, dedication and relentless spirit. And she finds time to be creative, personable, confidently sexy and a much-needed ambassador of the sport to the general public.

Hats off to you, Ms. Cross!

Don't cross Victoria Dominguez. You'll regret it!
Don’t cross Victoria Dominguez. You’ll regret it!

2. Victoria Dominguez

Haters gonna hate. She might not be on everyone’s top 10 list (or even top 50 list), but I don’t care. I genuinely don’t care what anybody else says. Victoria Dominguez is one of the sexiest women in the known universe.

She might not have a traditionally beautiful face, but that doesn’t matter to me. Vicky has plenty of attitude, erotic appeal, confidence, intrigue and curves in places most women don’t have curves to make up for it. Know what? I actually think her face is quite beautiful. Don’t agree with me? I really don’t care.

Vicky’s strength as a female bodybuilder is her raw sexual power. Her alter ego, Mistress Treasure, is a true dominatrix in every sense of the word. She’s a scary lady to be around when she’s in her full “Mistress” mode. Don’t ever cross her. EVER.

More than any other FBB out there, Vicky has a level of confidence in herself that borders on cocky. But the truth is, when you’re as ripped and gorgeous as her, you have every right to be as arrogant as you want. She expects cleanliness, respect and adherence to her rules when she’s meeting with her session clients. And do you know what? She deserves every ounce of respect and reverence possible from them. They are the weaker sex, after all.

Ms. Dominguez doesn’t appeal to everyone. But that’s perfectly okay. I love Vicky because she is a powerful, authoritative woman who isn’t afraid to kick your ass if you get out of line. Her intimidating presence, combined with muscular definition that I could explore for days, makes her peerless. She has curves on top of curves embedded within more curves. She’s a beautiful black woman who’s exotic, unapologetically rough and flaunts her sexual prowess whether you like it or not.

Whew. What’s not to like about that? But sadly, not everyone is willing to jump on the Victoria Dominguez bandwagon. For those of you who think her facial features are off-putting or that her persona is too abrasive for your tastes, all I got to say is that haters gonna hate!

Alina Popa is number one! She's number one! She's number one! Whoooooo!!!!
Alina Popa is number one! She’s number one! She’s number one! Whoooooo!!!!

1. Alina Popa

Oh, Alina. You know how to charm a man like me.

Some guys really love a woman with an accent. If you do, then Alina Popa is the lady for you.

Ranking at number one, Alina Popa boasts the impeccable combination of brawn and beauty. Born and raised in Romania, Ms. Popa currently lives in the United States. Those of us in America who love muscular women couldn’t be happier. Welcome to the U.S. of A, Alina!

Alina’s charms come in many forms. First, she seems like a very sweet and kind-hearted person. It’s hard to argue with that, right? Second, she had to overcome her family’s disapproval of her dreams of pursuing bodybuilding. Apparently her mother wanted a “normal” looking daughter instead of what Alina chose to become. Fortunately, she’s warmed up to Alina’s bodybuilding career and right now is her most passionate cheerleader.

Perhaps more than any other female bodybuilder on the planet, Alina strikes the perfect balance between superhuman muscularity and undeniable femininity. If you’ve ever seen her interviewed, she’s very fun, outgoing, irresistibly sexy and unquestionably feminine. She’s unintimidating. She isn’t the type who will try to emasculate you or show off her impressive strength out of sheer narcissism.

Alina Popa may not be my hands-down favorite FBB, but after careful thought, I really have no reason not to put her as number one on my list. If I created a checklist of every quality I value in an FBB, she would score high marks on every single one of them. That counts for something. Alina is like that world class athlete who may not be your personal favorite, but you cannot deny their greatness. They’re the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) while the rest are mere mortals.

I’m also glad Alina hasn’t gotten breast implants yet (as far as I know). Her natural look makes her all the more incredible. She’s like a comic book hero…except she’s real. I don’t know her personally, but she seems to be as authentic of a person as you’ll ever meet. Celebrity status has a way of destroying that facet of your personality. From what I can tell, being an internationally renowned state-of-the-art female bodybuilder has not diminished that part of her one bit.

***

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

I can’t list everybody, but here are five more FBBs who deserve Honorable Mentions.

Shannon Courtney – A newcomer on the world stage, Shannon is a rising star in the bodybuilding industry. She’s young, gorgeous, unbelievably muscular (especially for someone her age) and belongs to the millennial generation – who, for better or for worse, is the future of our world. How lucky we are if Miss Courtney is the future of the sport.

Lynn McCrossin – a.k.a “PecPanther,” Ms. McCrossin’s pecs are not her only noteworthy asset. She’s a bona fide muscular porn star who definitely isn’t afraid to strut her stuff in front of the camera. Lynn may call herself a panther instead of a cougar, but after watching enough of her videos you should get the idea about what she’s into.

Dena Westerfield – Perhaps the poster child for the “natural” look, Dr. Dena Westerfield is legendary for, among other things, her flat chest. She’s as beautiful as she is smart, but her choice to flaunt her body – despite her nonexistent breasts – turns me on like nothing else. Dena is a gem.

Krissy Chin – Finally, an Asian lady! Miss Chin’s petite Asian figure makes her tight muscular body all the more alluring. How can you not want to cuddle up with her on a cold winter evening and stroke her six pack abs over a mug of hot chocolate? She has the figure of a fitness competitor more than a bodybuilder, but that doesn’t matter. Krissy is as cute as a button but feisty if she has to be.

Yvette Bova – If there’s anyone who deserves the “Porn Star” label in all capital letters, Yvette would get that distinct honor. Probably the most sexually dynamic woman on this list, Yvette isn’t for all tastes. But if you really love her, you know why. She brings “sexual liberation” to a whole new level. Yvette doesn’t lack confidence or sexual experience. That combination is dangerous to guys like me!

The Wow Factor

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.
Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

I’ve finally figured it out. In all my years of my female muscle fandom, I’ve never really been able to put into succinct words why I love muscular women so much.

Sure, long essays can explain the bread and butter of why I find female bodybuilders and athletes so appealing. I can even post a ton of photos of my favorite FBBs for all of you to salivate over. But that still doesn’t even begin to describe why exactly we love them.

But now I’ve got it figured out. Finally.

Simply put:

The Wow Factor.

That’s it. The Wow Factor. “Wow” is a word we use to describe something so amazing, Earth-shattering, incredible and astonishing that no other monosyllabic utterance could do it justice. Wow. You could substitute that for “whoa,” but let’s not confuse our female muscle fandom for the vernacular of California surfer dudes or college stoner kids. I’m talking about something else here.

Wow. Just…wow.

The Wow Factor is my best way of describing it.

Women like Debi Laszewski are so damn beautiful that “wow” is the only way I can properly react when I see a photo of her. Yes, “Damn girl” or “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn” are also sufficient substitutes, but I’m not interested in catcalling Ms. Laszewski like a dirty-minded construction worker on his lunch break.

I’m interested in communicating what’s on my mind. And “wow” is the only thing on my mind. Is there any other way to put it?

How can this image of Victoria Dominguez lifting this heavy weight not turn you on?
How can this image of Victoria Dominguez lifting this heavy weight not turn you on?

But it’s not just about putting your feelings into words. It’s describing your gut reaction the moment your brain processes what your eyes have just seen. The millisecond your mind realizes that it just saw an image of a strong, gorgeous woman showing off her hard work in all its erotic glory – you can’t possibly articulate what that feels like. No way. It’s a feeling that hits you on a level that goes way beyond mere “attraction.”

It’s not just lust. It’s not just turning your head when you see a pretty woman walking past you and thinking to yourself, “That’s one fine looking lady.” That happens all the time (at least, it happens to me all the time!). The Wow Factor goes way further. The Wow Factor isn’t an everyday occurrence. The Wow Factor changes the way you think. It changes the way you look at women (all women, not just those of the muscular variety). It changes the way you behave. It changes your paradigm.

This Wow Factor explains why bloggers like me continue to post pictures and essays about female muscle nonstop. This explains why guys like me are willing to pay $350 for an hour-long muscle worship session with a complete stranger in a hotel room. This explains why we can’t get enough of those glorious FBBs and their immaculate beauty.

The Wow Factor is a visceral gut reaction you can’t control. Here’s an anecdote for you. As strange as it sounds, sometimes I occasionally forget why I love female muscle in the first place. It’s sort of like a professional baseball player who’s played for 10 years in the league but lacks passion because he plays for a terrible team. But the moment his team catches fire and he’s playing in Game 7 of the World Series, suddenly his childhood love for the game returns and he’s playing with rejuvenated energy.

He suddenly remembers why he loves the game. The nervous energy. The thrill of competition. The joy of victory. The heart-wrenching depression of defeat. That child-like love for the game all of a sudden returns in that moment when you’re actually playing for something.

A rising star, Jill Rudison.
A rising star, Jill Rudison.

I sometimes get like that in regards to my female muscle fandom. I know I love strong women, but all it takes is a singular image of Alina Popa flexing her large, beautiful biceps wearing nothing but a microscopic thong bikini, and…I suddenly remember why I think Ms. Popa is a gift from God. I’ve always known that, but The Wow Factor hits me like a semi-truck blindsiding me out of nowhere and I’m instantaneously reminded why I feel the way I feel.

It’s a feeling that causes you to stare at your computer screen with your jaw dropped to the floor and your heart ceasing to beat. It makes me forget that other women exist in this world.

Lisa Cross. Denise Masino. Lindsay Mulinazzi. Angela Salvagno. Victoria Dominguez. Nikki Fuller. Yvette Bova. Amber DeLuca. Autumn Raby. Gayle Moher. Lauren Powers. Annie Rivieccio. Brandi Mae Akers. Jill Rudison. Shannon Courtney. Desiree Ellis. Jana Linke-Sippl. Lora Ottenad. Brenda Raganot. Monica Martin. Gracyanne Barbosa. Juliana Malacarne. Karen Zaremba. Michele Levesque. Sheila Bleck. Monica Brant. Lisa Marie Bickels. Lenda Murray. Iris Kyle. Julie Bourassa. Kris Murrell. Sondra Faas. Vilma Caez. Kris Clark. Melissa Dettwiller.

The list goes on and on and on. This doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Pick anyone on this list and spend five minutes doing a Google Images search on her. I guarantee you’ll be hooked within seconds. You’ll be completely enraptured by her power, beauty and strength. Her feminine prowess and physical stature will make you as hapless as a little puppy dog. You’ll totally forget why you used to ogle at the rail-thin supermodels in the Sears catalog (if you actually at one time did that, I’m really sorry!).

The Wow Factor exemplified in Larissa Reis.
The Wow Factor exemplified in Larissa Reis.

This is what it’s like to experience The Wow Factor. You’re struck by a lightning bolt and feel like there is no definition of “beauty” other than what you’ve just witnessed.

Before Lindsay Mulinazzi, there was nothing.

Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason why there’s so much animosity against female bodybuilders. Haters (who are, pardon the expression, going to hate) have never experienced The Wow Factor. They’ve instead experienced The Ew Factor. The Gross Factor. The Utterly Disgusting Factor. The Why-the-Hell-Would-Anyone-Want-To-Look-Like-That Factor. It saddens me when people choose to shut themselves out from a certain part of life. True, no one has an obligation to like female muscle, but why say “no!” when instead you can choose “sure, why not?”

It’s clear to me that someone who says they’re repulsed by female bodybuilders say that mostly because deep down inside they’re insecure about themselves. They don’t feel secure in their masculinity. They don’t feel secure in their femininity. They react negatively to what they don’t understand or want to understand. They insult others because the only way for them to feel good about themselves is to bring down everyone else. This is a vicious cycle that especially comes out on the Internet. Anonymity brings out the worst in us. There’s no harm in expressing your true feelings when nobody knows your name. Insecurity and a forum for acting upon that insecurity can be a hurtful combination.

One can never see enough photos of Karen Zaremba.
One can never see enough photos of Karen Zaremba.

It should be obvious to anyone who follows the sport of female bodybuilding that the industry is pushing our favorite ladies off to the side and telling them “we don’t want you as much as we did in the past.” People may have wanted to see you on the cover of magazines thirty years ago, but that’s all changed now. Iris Kyle will never be a sports superstar. No way. We don’t care how many Ms. Olympia titles she’s won. We don’t care how dominating she is in her sport. None of that is relevant. What speaks is dollars. And, quite frankly, she doesn’t bring in the dollars like others can. Sorry. You lose. Better luck next time.

Does this make you angry? To anyone who’s experienced The Wow Factor, it should.

Additionally, The Wow Factor affects you in one other way: It makes you defensive whenever you feel like your passions are being attacked. How many times have you been told that female bodybuilders look “gross?” How often do you read articles about the decline of female bodybuilding and you just want to throw your computer against the wall? Does replacing the sport with pole dancing competitions make you want to face-palm over and over again till your forehead turns beet red?

These reactions are classic examples of wanting to defend what you love. The Wow Factor makes us feel as though any attack on a strong woman is also an attack on us. Insult the sport of female bodybuilding on a public forum? Expect fans from across the world to fight back. Someone wants to deny Alina Popa’s right to climb the mountaintops and finally win the Ms. Olympia? In no time will you see her countless fans defending her on her behalf.

Gracyanne Barbosa. Baby got back.
Gracyanne Barbosa. Baby got back.

Though this negative energy can be seen as a bad thing, anything can be used for something positive. Being angry and defensive all the time will get you nowhere. A more constructive use of these emotions is to become pro-active. There are a lot of things we can do to make sure female bodybuilding doesn’t become extinct. Write letters. Send e-mails. Boycott those who vigorously marginalize the FBBs we idolize. Buy books and magazines promoting female muscle. Open your wallets and hearts to the women we adore. Openly support these athletes as if they truly are our best friends. Don’t let society dictate what you find beautiful. Do what you can to make these amazing athletes more mainstream.

What if one day female muscle becomes more mainstream? Imagine a world where gorgeous women like Larissa Reis are seen in the media as often as we see Kate Upton. Think about how awesome it would be if we can turn on the summer Olympics and instead of being perplexed by the presence of strong women, we can just sit back and enjoy watching her hard work being proudly displayed on the world’s brightest stage.

Instead of thinking to ourselves, “Ew!” we can have a more complimentary reaction:

“Wow.”

Top 10 Items on Every Female Muscle Lover’s Christmas Wish List

All I want for Christmas is...Jana Linke-Sippl.
All I want for Christmas is…Jana Linke-Sippl.

It’s December. The days are getting shorter. The skies are becoming grayer. Precipitation is starting to fall harder and more often. Chilly weather is now the norm. Sunny days? Sorry, but see you next year.

But don’t fret. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Christmas is approaching!

As a proud Female Muscle Lover (“F**k My Life” isn’t the only phrase with the acronym “FML” that is in our popular vernacular), there are many things I wish were different about our society. Whether you live in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific or somewhere else, I’m going to guess the presence of muscular women isn’t very common wherever you are.

What a shame that is! If only more ladies would be encouraged to pick up a weight every once in a while and LIFT at the gym instead of doing endless hours of cardio.

That got me thinking. Since Christmas is fast approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to list the Top 10 Items on Every Female Muscle Lover’s Christmas Wish List. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, bear with me here. I’m sure these are wishes you’d love to have granted regardless of what time of the year it is.

Without further ado, let’s get this started:

Dear Santa,

My name is Ryan. You may not remember me, but I was definitely a “Good” boy growing up in the suburbs of Seattle, WA, USA. If I somehow got on your “Bad” list, I apologize and hope it won’t spill over into my adulthood.

I may be a grownup now, but I still have a list of items I want for Christmas. I understand you usually give out toys to all the good girls and boys, but my wish list is a little different. Though unorthodox, I sincerely believe I’m not alone in wanting these things. So if other people around the world share these same requests, you’re more likely to grant them, right?

Eh, whatever. I’ll let YOU decide how you want to divvy up the loot. Read carefully, because these items could very well change the course of human history if implemented correctly (no pressure!).

10. I want more women around the world to lift at the gym

If more women like Debi Laszewski lifted at the gym, would you ever miss a day?
If more women like Debi Laszewski lifted at the gym, would you ever miss a day?

If you’ve ever been to a gym, you probably know it’s nothing but a “Boy’s Club.” Men, young and old, usually are a monopoly in the weight room. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but the situation could be improved.

Truth be told, if we more openly encouraged women to lift, this could come with many social benefits. Lifting improves your strength (obviously); a facet of our health that most of us concede is dominated by men. Females are the weaker sex? Yes, but that shouldn’t be an excuse not to lift.

Consider these other benefits. Lifting also helps speed up your metabolism, prevents injury (how many of us have strained our back because of either improper technique or having weak backs?), allows us to enjoy an easier life when we get older and improves our confidence.

How can it improve our confidence? Do you want to look in the mirror and think to yourself: “Damn, I look good!” If so, lift. Trust me, lifting won’t transform yourself into a bodybuilder. That requires dieting, taking supplements and creating a workout regimen unlike anything you’ve ever done before. But the difference between a “slim” look and a “toned” look can make all the difference in boosting your self-esteem.

9. I want “strong” to be the new “skinny”

Maryse Manios is strong and sexy. Enough said.
Maryse Manios is strong and sexy. Enough said.

Ever heard this catchphrase before? If not, don’t worry. The gist is that instead of pushing the idea that in order to be beautiful you have to be skinny, we should instead encourage the stronger, toned look as our preferred ideal.

If we (as a society) pushed the idea that “strong” is a preferable beauty ascetic to “skinny,” think of the benefits. We’d see fewer cases of eating disorders. Horribly unhealthy habits of starving yourself and experimenting with radical crash diets would dissipate. Judging people based on unrealistic standards would slowly become extinct.

But more important, people would be healthier. As mentioned before, building muscle keeps you stronger, burns unnecessary body fat, speeds up your metabolism and limits your chances of getting diabetes and suffering from heart disease.

See? “Strong” should be the new “skinny.” Being skinny doesn’t automatically mean you’re healthy. But being strong is a whole other story.

8. I want the marginalization of female bodybuilders to stop

Nikki Fuller deserves everyone's respect. MEOW.
Nikki Fuller deserves everyone’s respect. MEOW.

In case you haven’t heard, now is not the optimal time to be a female bodybuilder. The Arnold Classic (now known as The Arnold Sports Festival), arguably the most popular bodybuilding competition in the world, recently announced that starting in 2014 the Ms. International women’s international competition would be replaced by the “Arnold Classic 212 professional men’s bodybuilding division.”

Well then. It appears the “Powers That Be” are slowly but surely deciding that female bodybuilding isn’t worth continuing. Whether it’s a financial decision or one based on a trend of overall lack of interest in female bodybuilding, this is bad news for female muscle fans like me and many of you.

It’s hard to believe that female bodybuilding once held a significant place in pop culture. When it entered the mainstream in the 1970s and continued in the 80s and 90s, women like Rachel McLish and Cory Everson were legitimate celebrities. Not A-listers by any stretch of the imagination, but more famous than the female bodybuilders of today.

So my Christmas wish is simple. I want the marginalization of female bodybuilding to stop. NOW. I want it to become mainstream again. I want young FBBs like Shannon Courtney to be what Rachel and Cory were in the 70s and 80s. With more luck and with help from fans like you and I, this can happen.

We can make this a reality.

7. I want Iris Kyle to become more of a role model for young girls than Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus or Iris Kyle? There's no debate. Sorry, spawn of Billy Ray.
Miley Cyrus or Iris Kyle? There’s no debate. Sorry, spawn of Billy Ray.

Whenever the thought occurs to me that there are young kids out there who actually look up to people like Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian (and legitimately want to emulate them), it makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

I mean, seriously! REALLY? Come on! We can do better than that!!!

Yes, as a matter of fact, we can do better than that. We can have hardworking, accomplished women like Iris Kyle as role models instead. Kyle, who has won the Ms. Olympia 10 times and the Ms. International seven times, is currently the top ranked female bodybuilder in the world. She actually works hard for these accolades and didn’t depend on extensive plastic surgery, a famous father or an infamous sex tape to get her foot in the door.

While I highly doubt a lot of young girls will want to actually become bodybuilders when they reach adulthood, Iris Kyle is without a doubt a much better alternative than the jokers we have for “role models” today.

6. I want an army of gorgeous FBBs fighting alongside me during the imminent Zombie Apocalypse

In a battle for survival, who wouldn't want Denise Masino fighting by your side?
In a battle for survival, who wouldn’t want Denise Masino fighting by your side?

This is where I get into the territory of Fantasyland. It’s my Christmas wish list, so I can do whatever I want!

I’m not entirely sure why the concept of a Zombie Apocalypse is so popular right now, but it is what it is. If something like this were to ever happen (or something like it – such as a planet-wide extraterrestrial invasion, werewolves, vampires, velociraptors, Communists, rabid dogs, man-eating squirrels, etc.), how splendid would it be to have an army of badass female bodybuilders fighting alongside me?

In any fight for survival, one must endure a civilization reduced down to a Hobbesian State of Nature and battle through it by any means necessary. And you can succeed using only one guiding principle: Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

And if you had a rag tag team of gorgeous, strong, hardcore FBBs as your friends, imagine how doomed your enemies would be in a dogfight. No zombie, Commie, or squirrel with a taste for human flesh would stand a chance against us.

Imagine us walking through a deserted wasteland armed to the teeth with knives, baseball bats, Samurai swords and throwing stars. We hunt our own food. We live off whatever barren resources are left. We maintain a “pack” mentality, perhaps even forming our own tribe. We might even be mankind’s only hope for defeating this treacherous enemy.

But think of it this way. If this anime-inspired fantasy doesn’t appeal to you, consider this: In a world without normal societal structures such as jobs, functioning electronic devices and hectic modern-day schedules, there probably wouldn’t be much to do during the day.

Not much to do? Hm. What could I and a whole gang of lovely, muscular women do to pass the time between our epic battles for survival?

Draw your own conclusions here.

5. I want a Matrix/Inception-style dream machine available where I can live out my female muscle fantasies and experience them as if they were real

Fanny Palou. Whoa.
Fanny Palou. Whoa.

This is a wish that goes well beyond female muscle. Who hasn’t had fantasies of spending a romantic, candle-lit evening with the man/woman of their dreams? Or on a less sexual level, hitting a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 7 of the World Series? Or scoring the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds of the Super Bowl? Or delivering your Oscar acceptance speech moments after hearing your name called for Best Actor/Actress?

We all have our dream moments. Unlike actually living out your fantasies, the convenience of this particular wish is that the dream doesn’t have to last long. It lasts only as long as you want it to. Like the science fiction world of The Matrix and Inception, you create your own realities within whatever boundaries and limitations you desire.

No consequences, no penalties whenever something goes wrong.

What sort of a fantasy scenario would I craft? I could come up with hundreds of thousands of setups to tell you the honest truth…

4. I want to go on a romantic date with Lisa Cross

If my first date with Lisa Cross ends up like this, what a night that would be!
If my first date with Lisa Cross ends up like this, what a night that would be!

Oh, Miss Cross. You are so beautiful. Strong, confident, sexy. You’ve led a very interesting life. You’ve overcome self-esteem issues, an eating disorder and other troubles to become one of the most recognized bodybuilders in the business today.

Not bad for a British girl who once weighed “six and a half stone” as a teenager (as an American, I have no bloody idea what this means). You went from avoiding meals to consuming 5,000 calories per day spread over 10 separate meals. I’d sure like to go out to dinner with you!

Which is why a romantic date with the resilient Miss Cross sounds so damn appealing. Of course I’m stereotyping, but I’m going to assume that The British Bombshell must be a mannered young lady who’s well-spoken and remarkably thought-provoking in conversation. The fact she’s beautiful as hell is a whole other story.

A candlelit dinner complete with soft sensual music and an evening on the town would definitely hit the spot. And whatever happens after that would be gravy on top.

Or would she be the one who’s on top?

3. I want Victoria Dominguez to be my best friend

I want Miss Vicky to be my BFF. NOW!!!
I want Miss Vicky to be my BFF. NOW!!!

Think about all the advantages you would have if the stunningly gorgeous Victoria Dominguez were your best friend. You could hang out together. She would be an excellent training buddy (I know I’d sure feel inspired to go to the gym every single day). She seems outgoing, personable, intelligent and unapologetically sexy.

Plus, if you ever get into a bar fight or some kind of tussle with unwelcomed company, who else would you want defending your back? Bring ‘em on! She can protect my turf any day, if you know what I’m saying!

But seriously. It would be beyond amazing to have this elegant FBB as your BFF (did you see what I did there?). She can coach you through your first date with Miss Cross and perhaps join the fun later in the evening. Too kinky for you? Then why are you reading this list?

If you had Miss Dominguez defending your honor any time someone foolishly disrespects you, I can guarantee you wouldn’t be openly dishonored too often after that. No sir. Once this exotic Spanish/Caribbean beauty puts you in your place, you wouldn’t dare leave it for any reason.

That’s the kind of person I want at my side at all times.

2. I want to be stranded on a deserted island with Alina Popa

Me and Alina Popa on a deserted island? Yes, please!
Me and Alina Popa on a deserted island? Yes, please!

Me. Her. A deserted island. White sandy beaches. Palm trees. Fresh tropical fruit. No soul within thousands of miles. Plenty of food and drink to last us a lifetime (what were you expecting, the female muscle version of “Castaway?”).

Yes, that would be the life. Not to mention all the spare time we would have. Lots of spare time. No electronic devices, no employment, no bosses, no obligations. Just me and her.

Alright. I think we all know where this is going!

Humor me here. What enthusiastic Female Muscle Fan wouldn’t want this dream scenario to come true? Granted, you might have a different gorgeous, sexy FBB as your choice island mate, but the overall concept stays the same.

Hm. Where can I sign up?

1. I want a beautiful muscle girlfriend all to myself

If my girlfriend were Dr. Dena Westerfield, I wouldn't ask for another thing for Christmas ever again.
If my girlfriend were Dr. Dena Westerfield, I wouldn’t ask for another thing for Christmas ever again.

Yes, this is a bit selfish, but can you really blame me? A beautiful muscle girlfriend would be awesome. Who wouldn’t want a young lady like Catherine Holland or Michelle Levesque as your better half? I know for a fact they’d be my better half.

VOICE INSIDE YOUR HEAD: But wouldn’t you feel emasculated being with her? I mean, she can probably lift more than you!

ME: Well, if that’s the case, then so be it. I can live with that. It’s not like going to the gym and working out should be a competition or anything. Everyone does their own thing to get in shape. If my lady friend can bench press more than me, great. If her deadlifts blow me out of the water, fine. If she can squat more than twice my bodyweight, more power to her. If she can easily arm-wrestle any man to immediate submission, c’est-la vie.

If your lover looks that damn good, to hell with what other people say. If she’s that confident to take charge of her life and sculpt her body to look the way she wants it to look, then by all means I want her by my side. Bring her on!

If I saw Kathy Connors sitting under my Christmas tree, watch out!
If I saw Kathy Connors sitting under my Christmas tree, watch out!

So there you have it, Santa. Deliver what you can. I understand it’s a bit unrealistic to expect all these things to appear underneath my tree come Christmas morning, but even one of these items would completely shatter my expectations of your power and influence.

I’ll even up the ante! If you can give me just a single item on this list, I’ll never ask for another thing again! That’s right. From here on out, no more wish lists for me. None. I’m through. Done. Finished! Do you see the long-term economic benefits of granting me what I want?

Alright. I’ll stop now. I’m sure you have plenty of work to do between now and Christmas Eve. Tell your elves I said “hi” and your reindeer that I’m a big fan of their work.

Have a Happy Muscular Christmas, everybody!

Sincerely,

Ryan T.

Female Muscle and Masculine Insecurity

The gorgeous Debi Laszewski.
The gorgeous Debi Laszewski.

I often wonder why being attracted to muscular women isn’t more mainstream.

Of course, there are the obvious reasons, such as muscular women aren’t commonplace, “society” (however you define that) believes skinny is beautiful and the perception that women with muscles look too much like men.

All these reasons are valid and definitely hold a degree of truth, but there lies a deeper explanation. And that explanation can be summarized into two words: Masculine insecurity.

One has to conclude that, by and large, straight men in America aren’t encouraged to openly admit they like muscular women out of fear they’d be labeled as “not a real man.” What real man would like a woman who is stronger and bigger than himself? I mean, do you really want to marry a lady who can bench press more than you in front of your friends at the gym? Talk about embarrassing.

Then again, one has to also wonder whether this fear is based on other people’s judgments or actual personalized fear. Are guys more afraid of the pure fact that a woman is be stronger than him or the public ridicule that comes with it? It seems like what other people think about you is more important than how you think about yourself.

There’s also the literal fear of a muscular woman.

Are some guys afraid that muscular women are more dangerous than normal women? If your muscular girlfriend gets mad at you, will she start hitting and beating you up like an abusive partner? Would you be powerless to effectively fight back?

I don’t think there’s a strong stereotype (thought it does exist to a degree) that female bodybuilders are more aggressive and violent in nature. Being strong doesn’t mean you always use that strength for belligerent purposes. I don’t think people believe male bodybuilders are more dangerous than “normal” guys.

Blonde Muscle Goddess Melissa Dettwiller.
Blonde Muscle Goddess Melissa Dettwiller.

Nor do we believe professional athletes are more prone to violent behavior than non-athletes. An NFL linebacker may spend their Sundays pounding guys to a pulp, but I don’t think that behavior necessarily translates off the field. Granted, there are professional athletes across all sports who can be violent at times, but that has nothing to do with their profession.

Sadly, plenty of people who don’t play sports for a living commit acts of violence in everyday life. Violence is a result of a large variety of social cues, which are obviously too numerous to explain. Suffice to say it’s foolish to equate muscular strength with any tendency toward violence.

It could be true that people predisposed to aggressive behavior tend to gravitate toward hobbies that exhibit these characteristics; such as boxing, hunting or martial arts. But correlation doesn’t prove causation, a sentiment you’ll hear often on Internet discussion forums.

So, if engaging in activities that create muscular strength (like weightlifting, sports or physically demanding jobs) does not automatically mean that person will be more aggressive, this also means men have nothing to fear when it comes to interacting with muscular women. Obviously, muscular women don’t exactly show up in our lives every day, but discussions surrounding strength and femininity do.

And this is where a heterosexual male’s fear of strong women comes into play. We fear a muscular woman will “emasculate” us, not in a physical sense (a female bodybuilder isn’t going to rip off your penis during foreplay!), but in a psychological sense. She makes us feel inadequate because her strength is superior to ours. As the so-called “weaker sex,” a woman isn’t supposed to be stronger than a man.

Maybe this is why so many male sports fans make fun of female athletes. We tell athletes like Danica Patrick and Venus and Serena Williams to “go back into the kitchen” because we feel emasculated that they’ve achieved something we haven’t. They’ve become good at a professional sport. Most of us aren’t professional athletes who get paid millions to play a game. Most of us pay the bills doing something less glamorous with our lives.

This might also explain why rabid male sports fans will worship somebody like LeBron James or Adrian Peterson while making fun of Abby Wambach for being a lesbian. We admire James and Peterson for being supreme athletes but are secretly jealous of Wambach because she can score more women than most of us guys. And she’s a chick!

Also, we can rationalize that athletes like Kobe Bryant, Justin Verlander and Tom Brady are where they are because they have more natural skill, support systems (professional trainers and coaches) and personal drive than us. So we accept the fact that they’re wildly successful multimillionaires. But how can you explain Kim Clijsters? How can a woman be so rich and famous while I’m not? Preposterous!

Let’s look at this from another angle: the relationship between a female muscle fetish and BDSM culture.

I can only speak for myself on this point. I’m obviously very attracted to muscular women, but I don’t consider myself into BDSM kink culture. I’d love to have sex with a woman like Alina Popa or Amber Deluca, but I have no desire to be tied up, spanked, slapped or wrestled by either of them.

Meet Coco Crush. She could "crush" you if she wanted to, but I don't think she would.
Meet Coco Crush. She could “crush” you if she wanted to, but I don’t think she would.

I should hurry up and say that I’m not against BDSM, nor am I judging anyone who is into that. Not at all! Rather, I’m just saying I’m not personally into that sort of thing. Anything consensual is fair game in my book. What I do want to say is that being attracted to female muscle isn’t the same thing as being into bondage, submission or sadomasochism. Rather, my attraction is purely based on other reasons.

We’ve just explored that the backlash against muscular women by heterosexual men can be based upon a combination of sexism and irrational fears. But it can also be based on prejudice and the mistaken belief that if you can lure a muscular woman into bed, she’ll “take over” and become the “man” in the relationship.

I’ve never had sex with a muscular woman, but I’m willing to bet their bedroom behaviors and preferences are no different than any other woman. She just wants to have a good time like you! I highly doubt she’ll want to grapple you and make you into her “little slave” without your consent. If she’s into that sort of thing and you are too, great. But I’m willing to bet not every FBB shares that kink.

Seriously, who wouldn't want to be Deidre Pagnanelli's little slave?
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be Deidre Pagnanelli’s little slave?

If only I could ask a hundred or so straight men to anonymously answer me this simple question: Are you attracted to a woman with muscles?

I’d like to think if they could honestly answer without anyone knowing their answer, a good percentage of guys would say “yes.” I can tell you from my personal experience that I’d say yes in private but would be less likely to admit it in public.

Of course, no one has ever directly asked me if I’m into muscular women, so I have no idea how I’d answer. Maybe it all depends on who’s asking and why.

Now…I don’t want to come across as a man-basher. I’m far from it. I’m a man, too! I realize embarrassment, fear, misinformation and sexism aren’t the only reasons why a straight guy wouldn’t be attracted to a lady with bulging biceps. Sexual attraction, ultimately, is a personal thing determined by each individual.

To each his own. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s all a matter of opinion. Blah, blah, blah. We’ve all heard this before. Maybe some guys genuinely don’t dig this particular aesthetic. They’d rather go for Kim Kardashian instead of Colette Guimond. There is no right or wrong answer.

If hypermuscularity isn't your thing, check out professional figure competitor and fitness model Erin Stern. Isn't she ridiculously pretty?
If hypermuscularity isn’t your thing, check out professional figure competitor and fitness model Erin Stern. Isn’t she ridiculously pretty?

But my real point is that regardless of what you’re into, can we stop judging each other for it? I’m into muscular women. There you go. Can we move on with our lives? I’m no more freaky than you are. In fact, I might be less freaky because I can actually put into words what my penis tells me is attractive in a woman, while some guys are only attracted to someone because a Photoshopped magazine cover told them to be.

Maybe someday it will be more socially acceptable for a guy to admit he likes muscular women. Maybe someday it will be accepted into the “mainstream.”

Maybe.

So, if that day ever comes, here’s my stereotypical Seattle hipster moment for the day:

I was into beautiful muscular women BEFORE it was mainstream.