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.

What is Sexy?

Sexy - Kim Buck
Kim Buck beckoning us to hop in bed with her.

Female bodybuilders are sexy.

Soooooooooooo incredibly sexy. Steaming hot. They pulsate with sexual appeal. Every inch of their immaculate bodies is divine. Female bodybuilders produce emotions, thoughts, and gut reactions out of us that cannot be described, properly attributed, or replicated.

They are also beautiful. Immensely beautiful. Incomprehensibly beautiful.

Sexy and beautiful. Beautiful and sexy.

However, as strange as this may sound, what is beautiful is not necessarily sexy, and by that same token what is sexy is not necessarily beautiful. Hopefully this makes more sense if we dive into what these two concepts actually mean.

The questions of what is “sexy” and what is “beautiful” are two different – though interconnected – matters. Beauty is primarily concerned with aesthetic preferences. Sexy, on the other hand, has more to do with the feelings certain people, words, images, and objects elicit inside us. For example, some people get turned on by the feeling of leather or being picked up and carried. There’s nothing inherently beautiful about either of those things. Yet, they’re considered sexy by those who consider such things to be sexy.

I can look at an artist rendering of the Himalayan Mountains and say that it’s beautiful. I can also glance at a gorgeous woman stroll by on the sidewalk and think the exact same thing. But I can also stare (hopefully, inconspicuously) at a less attractive woman at the gym who’s deadlifting 250 pounds and say to myself:

“Damn. That’s sexy!”

Sidewalk Lady may check all the boxes of physical attractiveness. Every single one of them. Deadlift Lady may check some of the boxes – or very few of them – and yet, for some inexplicable reason, she makes me feel things that Sidewalk Lady doesn’t. This isn’t to insult or degrade Sidewalk Lady, but to point out that how we react to certain visual stimuli doesn’t always follow logical explanations.

Deadlift Lady’s activities spark inside me the desire to do things that are socially inappropriate. Many of us can keep our animalistic instincts in check, but staring a few seconds too long clearly isn’t one of them as far as I’m concerned. I want nothing more than to marvel at her raw strength, cheer her on, and fantasize about what other kinds of miraculous feats she can accomplish. Sidewalk Lady is someone I’ll most likely forget about 30 seconds later. Sorry, ma’am! Sidewalk Lady is a dime a dozen. Deadlift Lady, however, is a much more rare bird.

Sexy - Shannon Courtney
Deadlift Lady is sort of Shannon Courtney. Alright, it’s not “sort of” her. It’s actually Shannon Courtney.

This partially explains why so many people are perplexed that folks like you and I love female bodybuilders so much. On the surface, muscular women are, for lack of a better word, “freaky” looking. They’re not normal. They’re unconventional. They defy our preconceived notions of what a woman “should” look like. Because we typically associate large muscles as being a masculine trait, when we see big muscles on a feminine body our brains struggle to comprehend it. Our natural instinct is to dismiss it as being “against nature” or “unnatural” to the point that a disgusted reaction is a perfectly reasonable response. In other words, being revolted at the sight of a female bodybuilder isn’t bigotry; it’s simply the product of our upbringing and societal expectations.

Yet, for many of us the sight of a female bodybuilder elicits the exact opposite reaction. Instead of looking at her with terror or repulsion, we get turned on. Big time. No mistake about that. Our blood starts to boil. Sexual fantasies of all sorts immediately pop into our minds. Our breathing quickens. We suddenly have the urge to…uh, do certain things. To put it mildly.

This is because our love for female bodybuilders goes below the surface. It’s beyond what you simply see on the outside. The experience of seeing a photo of an FBB may seem jarring at first, but once you actually “get it” and understand their appeal, you become enthralled by them and cannot get enough. Yes, we do love them because we appreciate how they look (or at least, how most of them look). But it’s more than that. We find them sexy because of how they make us feel.

Female bodybuilders make us feel inspired, empowered, awestruck, dazed, imaginative, intrigued, aroused, sensual, curious, anxious, jealous, insecure, terrified, astonished, shocked, confused, provoked, delirious, uneasy, and everything in between. Please note that some of these emotions are contradictory. Some are negative. How can someone feel aroused and terrified at the same time? Is it possible to be inspired and insecure simultaneously? Do people really find it sexy to be both empowered and anxious?

The answer is simple to all these questions:

YES!

There is tremendous appeal in feeling strong contradictory emotions at the same time. This is why bondage role play is so popular. Some people get tremendously aroused being scared and aroused at the same time. In fact, being frightened heightens the sense of arousal. At least, that’s the idea. It’s totally possible to look at a picture of a large muscular woman and instantly feel inadequate, insecure, and pathetic when you think about your own lack of muscle mass. You’re a guy who lifts regularly at the gym and eats (fairly) healthy. “How the hell can a woman – who’s scientifically predisposed to being smaller in stature than men traditionally are – be bigger than me? It’s so agonizing because it makes me look bad! Compared to her, I’m fat, lazy, tiny, puny, pitiful, weak, and completely out of shape.”

“Yet, I think she’s the most beautiful woman who’s ever existed and I want to ravage her in bed all night!”

Sexy - Tina Nguyen
Who wouldn’t want to ravage Tina Nguyen all night long?

Well, then. This is something that’s a bit psychologically complicated. Is it possible that guys who love female bodybuilders are really – whether they realize it or not – projecting their own insecurities onto an object they find sexually desirable? That instead of seeing muscular women as the enemy, they treat them as an ally? That they secretly desire to be the weaker sex for once? That they get incredibly turned on by a woman who can take control? That when they feel at their most helpless, they actually feel the most powerful?

Human psychology is complex and beyond my amateurish understanding. But what I do know – and this comes from experience as well – is that these contradictory feelings are real. And not only are they real, they contribute to explaining why we find female bodybuilders so unbelievably sexy.

Our love for FBBs goes well below the surface. When I see Cindy Landolt post a photo on Instagram of her sprawling on a bed wearing sexy lingerie, it’s almost as though I can literally see powerful vibes exploding out of the computer screen. She doesn’t just look hot and beautiful. She looks powerful. At the top of her game. At her peak. She looks invincible. No one can stop her. She has her audience in the palm of her hand and she can control them however she likes. And this is the kicker: She isn’t doing this just because of the so-called “male gaze.” She does this because it makes her personally feel empowered. She chooses to flaunt her immaculate body in sexually provocative ways because it’s her way of transforming herself into a superhero. Yes, she is a human being. But her muscles allow her to transcend her humanness and become something else entirely. She becomes, well, superhuman.

Miss Landolt understands that men are visual creatures. And she just gave them more visual stimuli than they can handle. If their brains explode into a million pieces, so be it. That’s her super power. That’s why she’s world-famous (in a modest sense) while other traditionally beautiful women are not. That’s why we can scroll for hours through Instagram looking at thousands of photos of beautiful women and think to ourselves, “She’s cute.” But when we come across Cindy strutting around in a bikini showing off her perfectly sculpted figure, we then react by saying:

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuummmmm guuuuuuuuuuurrrrrlllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!”

See the difference? Subtle, it ain’t.

The question of deciphering “what is sexy” really boils down to these kinds of emotional reactions. There’s a cliché that states “sexy is an attitude.” There’s a lot of truth to that. But it’s more than that. What we find to be sexy (and by that same token, unsexy) is often a reflection of who we are. It shines a light on our own deepest fears, anxieties, insecurities, and inner demons. Perhaps this is a clever coping mechanism. No one wants to feel inadequate or weak. So instead of giving in to these failures, we turn it around. Rather than treat an FBB as a constant reminder of how “unmanly” we are, we treat them as a partner. An ally. A friend. A comrade. A compatriot. An equal.

Sexy - Cindy Landolt
Cindy Landolt is one of the most perfect female bodybuilders on planet Earth. Anyone want to argue with me about that? Yeah, didn’t think so!

We turn a loss into a victory. A weakness into a strength. A competitor into a teammate. This is our way of overcoming our fears. We conquer our insecurities not by letting them defeat us, but by embracing them as a source of inner strength. Here’s an odd anecdote that hopefully illustrates what I’m trying to convey:

One time a few years ago I met a well-known female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session. I won’t reveal her name for the sake of her privacy. She’s tall, thick, remarkably muscular, and smart. Very business savvy. She’s tough as nails and can physically dominate any man she encounters. While I’m not personally into fantasy wrestling, we did do some casual wrestling in bed just for the fun of it. She wrapped her strong legs around my torso and squeezed. I was helpless. I could not escape. She dominated me in every sense of the word. I struggled to breathe. She could have killed me if she’d wanted to. I was weak. She was the stronger sex, and it wasn’t even close.

At the end of our time together, she was kind enough to send me off on a positive note. It felt reciprocal because earlier I was giving her plenty of cunnilingus. First, she gave me oral. Then, once I was properly erect she got out a bottle of baby oil and smeared some on the palm of her hand. She then proceeded to jerk me off. I distinctly remember looking up at her and watching her perform this deed. She was on top of me, looking down upon this weak little boy who’s helplessly lying on this back, as defenseless as a newborn kitten. But as she stroked me, I felt a weird and unexpected feeling:

I felt powerful.

It’s strange to say this out loud, but it’s true. I felt like a manly man. I felt like a Real Man. Even though on the surface, I was the weak one and she was the strong one. She could easily snap me in half if she wanted to. Earlier, she demonstrated her superior strength with no ambiguity. There is no contest as to who is stronger. It’s her. No doubt about it. Yet, as odd as this sounds, I felt as powerful as I’d ever felt before in my entire life. There’s no logic to it. I just did.

From my perspective, I was a man receiving pleasure from a gorgeous woman. She was smiling as she was doing it. It looks like she was having fun as well. Inside, I felt like the one who was in charge. It was me who was controlling my own destiny. Even after I came, I still felt that way. For those few short moments, I was experiencing a heightened sort of pleasure that I rarely get to experience. Yet, on the surface it appears like she’s in total control. While that is technically true, that wasn’t true for me emotionally. On the inside, I felt a personal sense of empowerment that no one can understand except for me. And guess what? That’s good enough.

I didn’t treat her like an enemy. She was a friend. Not a literal friend, of course. But in that particular time and place, we were equals. I gave her pleasure. Then she gave me pleasure. This cooperative exchange felt right. It felt just. It was…sexy.

Sexy - Eiza Gonzalez
Eiza Gonzalez isn’t a female bodybuilder, but damn! She’s sexy. Or is it beautiful? She’s both, actually.

What is sexy? It’s simple: Sexy is that magical confluence when a singular human experience and mother nature collide in the most beautiful way imaginable. It’s more than just a pretty face or a killer body. It’s the emotions that come with it. It’s how we feel and how we grow as a human being as a result of experiencing those feelings.

Female bodybuilders have the unique ability to conjure up those emotions like very few other women can. Can a more “traditional” looking woman elicit those same feelings? Sure she can. Back in the day of my adolescent years, Famke Janssen, Monica Bellucci, Rena Mero, Trish Stratus, Sophie Marceau, Pamela Anderson, Halle Berry, and others did just that. But FBBs are like an addictive drug. We can’t get enough of them. We keep on returning to them. Whether we’ve liked FBBs for 30 years, 20 years, or 10 weeks, every single time we regard upon a new photo of a beautiful female bodybuilder proudly showing off her large muscles, it makes us feel jittery inside. It lights a fire in our souls. It’s a wonderful feeling, one that cannot be easily articulated. And in an unfathomable way, we don’t want to have to explain it. We embrace its mysteriousness.

That’s sexy.

Are Female Bodybuilders Actually Men?

Kim Buck is ALL woman.
Kim Buck is ALL woman.

The answer is simple.

No.

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Oh, were you expecting me to elaborate further?

Alright, I can do that. Judging from what WordPress tells me, the question “Are female bodybuilders actually men?” is a question that frequently brings people to my humble blog. That also includes questions similar to it such as “Are FBBs really men?” or “Do female bodybuilders become men?” Aren’t you glad we have tools like Google at our disposal in this curious age?

This curiosity is unto itself curious. Is there a small group of people in this world who genuinely think female bodybuilders are actually male bodybuilders in disguise (or female bodybuilders who’ve magically transitioned to a different gender)? Or is this meant to be a joke? Or, these folks do know female bodybuilders are actually female…but they just want to make sure? Hey, the world can be a confusing place. It never hurts to ask, right?

Uh, right. It doesn’t hurt to ask. I’m totally in favor of people quenching their thirst for knowledge. Human beings are curious creatures, which means we constantly need our curiosity taken to its rightful conclusion. Ignorance has never served anyone well, as far as I can tell.

So I have no beef against anyone who does an innocent Google search in regards to this question. It may seem silly, but I don’t think it’s spiteful. Biology can be a fascinating area of study. How can a translucent jellyfish with no discernable internal organs survive? How can some creatures like Komodo dragons and hammerhead sharks reproduce asexually? Not all of them do, but scientists have observed many of them being able to. How is that even possible?

Well, it is possible. Life is full of mysteries. This is especially true when our worldviews are perpetually being challenged, poked, and prodded. You don’t need a degree in Gender Studies from Oberlin College to know that our traditional male/female dichotomy may not always accurately describe all of us. Postmodern philosophy has broken apart our black and white way of thinking about the Universe, for better or for worse. I’ll let you decide which it is.

But what cannot be argued is the existence of doubt. Are we human beings truly born male or female? Are these the only two categories that can possibly exist? Could there be more? Or, is gender unto itself not a real thing, but instead an artificial social construct created for arbitrary reasons? To tell you the truth, I will not take a stand either way. How the heck am I supposed to know?

How can one actually think Ava Cowan is maybe a man?
How can one actually think Ava Cowan is maybe a man?

At the heart of this discussion is the concept of doubt. There are many truths that we think are true…but in the back of our minds we know that there exists the possibility that they may not. Unless we’re not terribly self-reflective, people should consistently challenge their own beliefs so that they can continue to grow and mature. It’s not a sign of moral cowardice or intellectual fraud, but rather an admission of humility. We do not know all that there is to know, and what we think we know we may not actually be right about. To admit that is to convey wisdom, not foolishness.

People who are familiar with female bodybuilders but are not closely connected with them are right to be curious. Those of us who are intimately familiar with FBBs – we either have met many of them for muscle worship/wrestling sessions or we pay close attention to them from a distance – have no doubts as to the gender identities of these gorgeous ladies. They’re women, simple and plain. Of course, they’re women whose physical appearance is unusual. But that doesn’t change who they are as people. They may not behave like “normal” women and could perhaps accomplish feats of strength that surpass that of many men, but that still doesn’t make a difference whatsoever. Female bodybuilders are female, period. There’s no argument there. However, one could frame this debate in terms of how we define “gender” to begin with.

Simply put, is “gender” a purely biological trait or is it an indicator of one’s personal identity? Without getting too deep into the weeds, let’s just say that there probably isn’t a definitive answer to this question that will satisfy 100% of us 100% of the time. We don’t live in that type of philosophical atmosphere anymore. We have far too many diverse ideas and viewpoints out there to establish any kind of universal understanding. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it could be when these differences are used to intentionally divide and conquer us.

A better angle to take is to analyze who female bodybuilders are and what makes them so special. In addition to reading every single one of my previous blog articles (which, um, you should), let’s gain a better grasp of this topic together by establishing this concept:

Female bodybuilders challenge the way we see the world.

More than anything else, this nugget of truth cuts to the core of the matter. This is the meat and potatoes of our discussion. Female bodybuilders cannot help but turn our worlds upside down. They may not intentionally try to do so, but they do so nevertheless. It’s nearly inevitable to start to rethink how we view the world when we see photos of a woman with big burly muscles. The sight of them goes against how we view femininity, masculinity, human potential, and sexuality. All our lives we’ve assumed that women are the “weaker sex.” Is this not actually true? Are women indeed the weaker sex, or are they just at a natural disadvantage? You know, sort of like a sprinter who begins the race 20 yards behind the other competitors. The sprinter can still win, but it’ll take some extra effort (and perhaps a bit of luck) to do so.

Diana Tyuleneva wearing a hot BDSM outfit.
Diana Tyuleneva wearing a hot BDSM outfit.

The presence of a woman with muscles also challenges how men view themselves. If she can get that big, why can’t I? If I’m struggling to bulk up at the gym, what excuse could I possibly have when I’m scrolling through Instagram and notice some Finnish chick named Minna Pajulahti deadlifting more than me? Female bodybuilders can, understandably, create feelings of inadequacy in guys who are already somewhat insecure about themselves. This is not an indictment. It’s just the way things are.

Seeing a woman with big muscles also begs us to ask the question: Is there a limit to what humans can do? And to be clear, this goes for both men and women. Can human beings slowly but surely evolve to be able to swim under water for hours at a time? Or fly through the sky? Or become as strong as an ox? Or upgrade our intelligence level to unprecedented heights, where we will be able to teach advanced physics to grade school children? I cannot say yay or nay, but how one cannot stop to ponder such possibilities is beyond me. After all, seeing a female bodybuilder be able to lift heavy weights at the gym is like a smack in the face. If that doesn’t wake you up to challenge your preconceived notions about the Universe, I don’t know what will.

But more than anything, female bodybuilders force us to move the goal posts in terms of what is possible and what is not possible. Don’t say that certain physical feats are impossible because the moment you do someone will come around and shatter that opinion into a million pieces. Don’t say that a woman with muscles can’t be sexy. I can provide you with a list of hundreds of names that will test that belief. Don’t doubt the fact that female powerlifters can’t surpass the accomplishments of male powerlifters. Just do a Google search of Becca Swanson. You’ll be glad that you did.

What we thought we knew we need to reevaluate. What we were taught may be wrong; even if it was taught to us in good faith. But in addition to beliefs, female bodybuilders also change the way we view sexual attraction.

Before, we assumed that people who are attracted to women are attracted to just, well, “normal” looking women. However, the discovery of muscular women (and to be fair, other nontraditional-looking ladies) throws us for a loop. We ask ourselves how we can possibly be attracted to a woman who has bigger muscles than most men. Does that mean I’m secretly gay? Or is this perfectly normal? How can I tell either way? These questions abound, much to our consternation.

Eventually, many of us will reach the conclusion that it’s perfectly fine to be attracted to muscular women because…they’re still women. Obviously, they don’t look like most other women you encounter in everyday life, but that’s not an indicator of anything unnatural. It’s unusual, but it doesn’t cross any forbidden boundaries. To repeat the answer provided at the beginning, female bodybuilders are not men. Not even close. So why is there even a debate?

Well, there deserves to be a discussion about this topic because of the initial, involuntary gut feeling we received when we first encountered the world of muscular women. Due to all the reasons listed above, the presence of muscular women triggers in our minds an adverse reaction. Like side effects from taking prescription medicine (we’ve all wondered whether vomiting, cramps, and possibly death are acceptable trade-offs for alieving us of the sniffles), it’s like our brains are fighting off a foreign agent when we look upon an image of a woman with big muscles. We feel repulsed. Or confused. Or extreme cognitive dissonance. Or maybe, unexpected and uncontrollable sexual arousal.

Denise Masino may be well-endowed, but she's not even close to being a man.
Denise Masino may be well-endowed, but she’s not even close to being a man.

These reactions are unexplainable. They’re inconceivable. They’re not normal, yet we’re intrigued to learn more. The sight of a muscular woman stirs up in our imaginations all sorts of thoughts and feelings. We begin to question our previously held assumptions about, well, everything in the damn world. We feel compelled, for no logical reason, to do a Google search about whether or not female bodybuilders are actually female or if they’re somehow “male” by some perverse definition.

We realize it’s silly. We know in the back of our minds that female bodybuilders are definitely women. But we can’t help but feed our curiosity. We must know for sure. In the dark recesses of our imaginations there’s a tiny part of us that thinks that maybe FBBs are not really women in the traditional sense of the word. Or maybe they’re women…sort of. Kind of. Maybe they’re men…sort of. Kind of. Or perhaps they’ve transitioned into a third option. Uh, right?

Yikes. What the hell am I thinking?

You want to slap yourself in the face, but resist the urge to do so. That’s good. No need for self-flagellation. At the very least, you can smile to yourself, look into a mirror, and whisper to no one in particular: “Hey, what I Google in the privacy of my spare time is my business and no one needs to know about it!”

Which is true. Of course it is. No one will ever know what you choose to Google, unless you believe all sorts of wacky conspiracy theories. Do search engine crawlers count?

There’s nothing male about female bodybuilders. There are plenty of FBBs who exhibit masculine qualities, but that’s a whole other story. Masculine/feminine are behavioral and physical signifiers that have no biological connections. A man can have a “feminine-sounding” voice and still be 100% a man. A woman can have “masculine-looking” facial features but still be 100% a woman. Biology is more objective than arbitrary gendered descriptions that societies have used for centuries. Whether these identifiers are good or bad is up to you to decide. Volumes of books have been written on the harm produced by gender roles, so I don’t feel too obligated to rehash these ideas at this time.

Suffice to say, it’s not a bad thing to have questions. Being inquisitive is a sign of wisdom, humility, and practical intelligence. Nobody knows the answers to everything. That’s simply impossible. Heck, as incredible as this sounds, despite all the breakthroughs we’ve made in recent generations in regards to theoretical physics, we still don’t know even a fraction of a fraction of what there is to know about the Universe. Theorists like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are like the One Eyed Kings leading a pack of blind subjects. But in this case, they have one eye that’s peering into the world through a coffee straw. They are able to speculate about the world at levels that most of us will never be able to comprehend, and even they can’t manage to scratch the surface. Far out, man!

Makes you not feel so guilty about wondering if Denise Masino is secretly a dude, huh?

I can assure you that Denise Masino is not a dude. Despite the impressive amount of meat dangling between her legs, I can assure you that it’s all feminine meat. Nothing masculine about it. She doesn’t have a penis. Though her phallic-like clit sort of resembles a really tiny penis (especially when she uses a clit pump), there’s no doubt that it’s a clit, end of story. Beneath her impressive feminine endowment is her vagina, an organ I don’t believe too many men can say they also have.

Maryse Manios isn't everybody's cup of tea, but there's no doubt that she's a lady. No doubt at all.
Maryse Manios isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but there’s no doubt that she’s a lady. No doubt at all.

As far as I can tell, it is not possible for a woman to become a man without an intricately planned series of hormonal therapy sessions administered by trained medical professionals. I am no expert about the female-to-male or male-to-female transition processes, but lifting weights at the gym (and yes, even taking synthetic steroids to help you bulk up more) will not do the trick. Of course, I don’t think too many folks actually believe this. So to reiterate, it’s hard to not question your assumptions when you’re faced with examples that challenge them.

Female bodybuilders are not actually men. I understand why someone would allow their minds to drift in that direction, but at the end of the day there’s no evidence to suggest that such a phenomenon is even scientifically possible. But that doesn’t mean we should mock people who do dare to Google such a titillating question.

There’s an old saying that “it never hurts to ask.” Well, that’s not entirely true. It can hurt if the person(s) to whom you’re asking the question retaliates in any sort of way. However, that’s the beauty of the Internet. You can ask away with little risk to your reputation or ego. I may not have all the answers, but I am qualified to provide a small degree of insight onto the issue of female bodybuilders and their gender identities:

Female bodybuilders are female, not male. You can take it to the bank and bet your life’s savings on it. But if even a slight hint of doubt creeps into your mind, remember this: That’s perfectly okay.