A Female Muscle Fan Never Forgets the Moment When He or She Finally “Got It”

A legend of the world of female bodybuilding: Cory Everson.
A legend of the world of female bodybuilding: Cory Everson.

You never forget your first time.

The first time you ever had sex? Nah, I’m talking about the first time you “got it.”

And by “got it,” I mean the exact moment when you truly understood why muscular women are so unbelievably awesome.

This “ah ha” moment is not just an epiphany, but a wholesale perspective shift of how you view men, women, beauty, sexuality, relationships, biology, and your own hidden desires. Typically known as a “paradigm shift” in academic circles, it’s more than just the moment you realized it was Professor Plum in the Library with the Revolver while playing a lackluster game of Clue with your grandparents. It’s the moment you decided to question every assumption you used to hold about human sexuality and start to ask better and more informed ones.

What exactly do I mean? Let me explain in further detail.

The first time you see a photo or a video clip of a muscular woman is not necessarily the first time you “get it.” I can speak for myself when I say the lightbulb did not turn on instantaneously. It took time. I will admit the first time I remember seeing a picture of a female bodybuilder I was sort of disgusted. It took me aback and forced me to do a double-take. I didn’t say anything out loud, but in my head I knew what I was seeing was both jarring and strangely intriguing.

Did I love the experience or hate the experience? Well, it’s hard to say. Neither, really.

I didn’t realize the exact power and allure of muscular women until much later (adulthood, to be exact), but the seeds were sown. But alas, I still had not experienced my Great Female Muscle Awakening. That happened in college. I’ve summarized my own personal history of female muscle fetishism before, but I’ll briefly recap it again. In short, during my freshman year in college I wanted to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15” where new college kids who’ve just moved away from home tend to gain upwards to 15 pounds due to poor dieting, excessive drinking, and other shenanigans. Being away from Mom and Dad’s bird nest has consequences, after all.

So, I went out of my way and researched how to best exercise at the gym and avoid gaining extra weight. My school had a modest yet effective fitness center (of course, they completely renovate it the moment after I graduate!) that I would visit a few times a week. I took a weightlifting class in high school two years earlier but figured I should brush up on exercise techniques so I don’t accidentally injure myself.

YouTube and Google Videos were still in their infancy (yes, I’m getting old), but online workout videos did exist nevertheless. Initially, I only watched exercise instructional videos posted by guys. Then, after searching more and more, I started to stumble upon videos posted by women (or videos featuring women). One video in particular struck me.

It’s grainy, embarrassingly pixilated and looks like it was shot with a camcorder from the 1980s. Perhaps it was. But it featured Lisa Marie Bickels, a low-level competitive female bodybuilder, former U.S. Marine, and personal trainer. The video unto itself was not remarkable, well produced, or intended to be well produced. However, it left an indelible impact on me. I had seen photos and a limited number of videos of muscular women before, but this one produced my “ah ha” moment.

No skimpy dress will get in the way of showing off Lisa Marie Bickels' incredible body.
No skimpy dress will get in the way of showing off Lisa Marie Bickels’ incredible body.

In it, Lisa is doing a set of triceps pull-downs at the gym. After finishing, she poses for the camera and flexes her pumped arm. You can clearly see her ripped triceps running down her beautiful arm. I did some further research on Miss Bickels on her website and it then hit me.

She’s beautiful. And powerful. And independent. She’s willing to show off her hard-earned body and I cannot do anything but sit here and stare helplessly.

Whoa. Now I get it.

Lisa was the first FBB I ever saw who was young, undeniably feminine, muscular, and fiercely powerful (both as a person and as an object of beauty). Of course, in the decade that would follow I would view countless more videos of other FBBs doing similar things, but you never forget your first time. Ever.

Like losing your virginity, the first time you ever had sex wasn’t necessarily the best sex you ever had. It was probably awkward. Or painful. You may not have known what you were doing. Maybe you were sweating profusely. Maybe you were drunk, stoned, or nervous as hell. Regardless, it’s still noteworthy because…well, it was your first time. That’s important!

Likewise, Lisa Marie Bickels isn’t necessarily the best or most accomplished female bodybuilder in the world. Nor is she the most famous or best shining example of the beauty of strong women. But she opened my eyes to a whole new world. For that, this hardcore U.S. Marine deserves my respect.

The second part of my “awakening” would happen once I became acquainted with Karen Zaremba. Oh boy, Karen is a thing of beauty! Shortly after discovering Miss Bickels, I inevitably also stumbled upon videos of Karen Zaremba, a 40-something female bodybuilder and mother of two children. Karen is the flip side of the coin to Lisa. Karen is equally gorgeous, feminine, muscular (though not hypermuscular), and enthralling. But she is an older woman. At the time, Lisa looked to be in her mid-20s, which was not far off from where I was as an 18-year-old freshman. But Karen was a game-changer.

How can your perspective not change after discovering Karen Zaremba?
How can your perspective not change after discovering Karen Zaremba?

There is, of course, a certain acronym used to describe beautiful women who are also mothers. Out of respect for these wonderful and accomplished women, I refuse to use it. I hope the rest of you do the same. It’s crude, misogynist, and incredibly disrespectful. Don’t use it. Please.

That being said, Karen is without question a gorgeous older woman who instantly cast a spell upon this teenage boy. For the first time, I realized that muscles are the ultimate anti-aging remedy. Normally, middle aged women do not pique the interest of impressionable teenage boys with raging hormones. But Karen did. At the time, I considered her the Most Beautiful Woman I’ve Ever Seen in My Life. Other women would later replace Karen for that title, but a decade ago she was #1.

My discovery of Lisa Marie Bickels and Karen Zaremba set off a firestorm that would result in me starting this blog a few years after graduating from college. I would learn about hundreds of more competitive bodybuilders, fitness models, and “normal” women for whom lifting is more than just a casual hobby. But none of that would have happened without my fateful “awakening” as an 18-year-old kid.

As I mentioned before, that wasn’t the exact moment I first discovered muscular women. There was the cover of Red Sonja (1985) at a video rental store that made me stop dead in my tracks and stare. I’ve never seen this cheesy 1980s action flick starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger, nor do I ever have the inclination to. But regardless, the cover of the VHS tape caught my attention as a little boy.

Then there was the photo spread of Cory Everson in the 1999 issue of The Guinness Book of World Records. That definitely caught my attention. I reacted to this photo of Miss Everson with a mind-blowing mixture of disgust and arousal. Yes, I will admit that initially I looked upon Cory with repulsion. I’m not proud to admit this, but honesty is the best policy, is it not? However, I cannot deny that a small part of me was captivated by her. I may not have totally liked what I saw, but I could not look away. I spent many hours secretly gazing at this photo in private and wondering all sorts of things about her.

I also grew up watching WWF (now the WWE) and seeing women like Chyna (may she rest in peace), Sable, Jacqueline,  Trish Stratus, Debra, and other prance around, beat each other to a pulp, and occasionally show their male counterparts who’s boss. I also grew up watching GoldenEye (1995) on VHS and getting an electric thrill up my spine whenever Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onnatop flashed onto the screen. If episodes of “Xena: Warrior Princess” came on TV, yeah…I’d watch it in the basement without my family finding out!

May I squeeze Charmaine Patterson's bicep?
May I squeeze Charmaine Patterson’s bicep?

So my experience with strong/powerful/muscular women did not start as a college freshman. It began much earlier. But I didn’t “get it” until Miss Bickels and Miss Zaremba entered my life.

So, what exactly did I finally “get?” I have two major observations:

One, I finally saw a superb example of muscularity and traditional femininity working in tandem together like never before.

I didn’t find the photo of Cory Everson arousing, even though I intuitively knew there was something exceptional about it. I did find Famke Janssen and Trish Stratus immensely sexy, but neither of them were very muscular. I knew muscular women existed and I definitely knew beautiful non-muscular women existed, but I never saw the two combined until I encountered Lisa, Karen, and others.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes. It’s not that you’re blind to reality, but rather you just need to see all the elements come together in order for you to believe that it’s possible. As a young teenager I probably knew that a muscular woman could be sexy. I just never thought much about it. It’s not that I doubted this; it just rarely crossed my mind in the first place.

It never occurred to me that a gorgeous woman with muscles can become even more gorgeous. Her muscles can become a complementary asset that accentuates the natural beauty she already has. Her muscles enhance her good looks. I’ve obviously seen beautiful women before. I’ve also seen muscular women before. But it wasn’t until I saw the perfect mixture of the two that my perspective started to change.

Two, I finally realized that muscles can transform a normal-looking woman into an Irresistible Sex Goddess.

I too fell into the trap once upon a time ago that female bodybuilders were sort of freaks of nature who should be admired for their accomplishments but not necessarily seen as objects of desire. Yes, I was also once young and dumb! But I know better now thanks to finally seeing the light.

In addition to realizing that a woman with muscles can be both beautiful and feminine at the same time, I also came to the epiphany that a woman who isn’t considered naturally attractive can transform herself into an epic muscle goddess just by putting on bulk at the gym. I won’t name specific names, but we can probably all think of “homely” women who are hot as hell because their thick legs, bulging biceps, and wide shoulders make them completely irresistible.

Without muscles, these women aren’t much to look at. This sounds like an insult, but it’s not. It’s just a simple observation and a testament to the power of muscularity.

As women who have “earned” their beauty, we applaud them for maximizing who they are as people (not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually) thanks to hard work, sacrifice, and the will to improve day-by-day. Nobody handed them their muscles on a silver platter. They had to expend buckets of sweat for years on end in order to achieve their remarkable physiques.

I now appreciate the beauty of the tall blonde goddess Shawn Tan.
I now appreciate the beauty of the tall blonde goddess Shawn Tan.

Once you have your “ah ha” moment, you feel silly for not realizing this sooner. You feel foolish for intentionally shutting yourself off from a whole category of human beauty. It’s like a poor person living underneath an ocean of oil or a gold mine. They move to a new city, disgruntled and searching for new economic opportunities. A year or two later, the new property owner randomly stumbles upon a suspicious leak of smelly black fluid seeping from the ground.

And voilà! He or she is now rich and you’re still adjusting to your new surroundings as poor as you were when you left. Shucks!

That’s sort of how I felt when I first discovered my love for muscular women. I felt like I was limiting my scope of the world. I felt like I had a narrow definition of “beauty” that did not include a fraction of what humanity had to offer. But now that my eyes have been opened, I now appreciate women like Annie Rivieccio and Shawn Tan as I did not before. People who do not share my love for these gorgeous ladies are truly missing out!

The reason why you never forget your “first time” is because of how beautiful the experience is of enjoying female bodybuilders. Unlike the virginity comparison, even before you ever start having sex you know that sex is (supposed) to be a pleasurable and amazing experience. But before getting into female bodybuilders, I had no idea about the potential these women had to offer. I could never imagine the world of female muscle could be so incredible and stupefying because it never occurred to me it could be so incredible and stupefying. This is another key aspect of our “awakening.” I knew even as a little boy that sex is a big deal. I had no clue FBBs were also a big deal. See what I mean?

Additionally, not only do you finally “get it,” but you now have the opportunity to indulge in this love over and over again. Those of us who love FBBs and fit women understand what it’s like to enjoy them. The tingling that goes down your spine as you watch a sexy woman deadlift or squat 400 pounds cannot be accurately described. I don’t know if I can do it any justice.

But it doesn’t matter. You know a beautiful experience when you are privileged to participate in one. The Female Bodybuilder High we get is difficult to put into words, but it is indeed a tangible thing. It’s very real, and its power has not diminished in the past 12 or so years of my life.

You never forget the moment you got it. Not because you regret your previous ambivalence toward female bodybuilders, but because you can now celebrate your newfound love for them. Our worlds are now brighter because of this awareness.

Female bodybuilders are beautiful beyond words. The fact we cannot put it into words is telling.

The Strangeness of Having a Female Muscle Fetish

Lauren Powers is lovely.

I often wonder how many straight men, if they were forced to give an honest answer, would admit to being attracted to muscular women.

Mainstream society tends to frown upon women who’ve gained too much muscle. For example, we like our female athletes to remain feminine, beautiful and graceful even when they’re in the middle of hitting a tennis ball, shooting a free throw, skiing, sprinting at full speed or smacking a softball. Gymnasts, naturally, are supposed to be graceful, so this is an obvious exception.

Female athletes like Venus and Serena Williams, Hope Solo and Lolo Jones are right at the cusp of being “too muscular” while remaining “easy on the eyes.” As long as they keep winning Olympic medals and championship trophies, we’ll endure seeing their non-conformist figures on ESPN for now.

But this is not supposed to be a rant against sexism in mainstream American sports. This is about something else entirely.

In a previous post, I talked about the allure of female bodybuilders. This post is by far the most popular individual post I’ve written on this blog. I think its popularity can be credited to two aspects: 1. Search engines like Google and Bing, and 2. Curiosity.

Straight men (I can’t speak for lesbian women) are not often given a forum to discuss weird sexual fetishes in places other than the Internet. You don’t often hear two dudes talk about their love for feet at a crowded Starbucks on a lazy Sunday morning. Nor do you hear a bunch of football lovin’ good ol’ boys talk about their “thing” for overweight MILFs while watching the game at a bar. These are not topics we discuss in public.

So, I will attempt to dissect and explain to the best of my abilities my personal reasons for being sexually attracted to muscular women. Let’s see where this goes…

The Beginning of My Awakening

This is how it all started. Embarrassing, I know.

I understand “The Beginning of My Awakening” sounds ridiculously overdramatic, but bear with me.

I can’t pinpoint an exact time when I began to be attracted to muscled ladies, but I think it can be traced to this one time when I was a little boy (I was probably no more than 8-years-old), I was at a video store (for you young kids out there, once upon a time ago when we wanted to watch a movie we had to go to a video store like Blockbuster or Hollywood Video and rent a VHS cassette. This is practically ancient history) with my mom and I saw the cover for the movie “Red Sonja,” a cheesy 1985 B-action movie starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I will admit, I’ve never seen this movie nor do I ever plan on seeing it. The 4.7 rating it received on IMDb is not exactly convincing me to go out and rent it.

Alina Popa is divine.

But I distinctly remember, as an impressionable prepubescent little boy, being taken aback by the movie’s cover: It showed two warriors, one male and one female. The male is obviously strong and tough, which any male action hero should be. But seeing a female warrior also look intimidating and ready to kick butt opened my eyes to a whole other world.

Women can be tough, too.

As an 8-year-old boy raised on hyper-violent Saturday morning cartoons and action figures, this was without a doubt a paradigm-shifting realization.

Of course, as I got older I started to “notice” girls once puberty hit. At the tender age of 12, I encountered my second experience with a tough, nontraditional woman. My parents bought a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records for the year 1999 and inside were tons of colorful photos of people doing all sorts of weird and hardcore things.

One page stood out in particular, though: a full color photo of Cory Everson. In it, she looked startling. It was the first time I’d ever seen a woman with bulging muscles all over her body.

She looked freakish; as if she weren’t human. I didn’t want to say she looked gross, but my hormone-driven mind couldn’t process what I was seeing: a woman with muscles. In the years afterward, I would continuously turn back to this particular page to gaze upon this indescribably sight.

Later, when my family first got the Internet (we had dial-up. Remember that?), I discovered the joys of online porn. Like any teenage boy discovering the opposite sex (and the concept of “sex”), viewing pictures of naked women on a computer screen occupied many hours of my life and led me to also discover masturbation, an activity I still enjoy today.

However, it wasn’t until college that I truly became enamored with muscled women.

The Female Muscle Fetish Begins

As a freshman in college, I began to work out regularly. During high school I casually lifted weights at home, but the first time I ever stepped foot into a gym was visiting my university’s recreational center on campus. It was small and, looking back upon it, unremarkable; but it was a gym nevertheless.

I lifted weights probably around three times a week. As a beginning weightlifter, I used poor form and technique like any novice would. It even came to a point when people working out next to me would stop me during my work out and tell me how to do certain lifts the right way. Those were embarrassing moments.

Lisa Marie Bickels changed my life. Will she change yours?

This video changed my life, just like that cover of “Red Sonja” and that photo of Cory Everson. Though the video was amateurish and grainy, it showed a beautiful woman working out and showing off her gorgeous muscled arms. Sculpted and divine, Ms. Bickels opened my eyes to an Earth-shattering fact: muscular women can also be feminine and beautiful.

That hyper-muscular photo of Ms. Everson isn’t the only way to view female bodybuilders. They don’t all look “man-like.” They’re just typical women. The only difference is that they’re women who strive to be as strong as possible.

Who wouldn’t want Czech muscle goddess Katka Kyptova as a workout buddy?

As expected, over time I visited YouTube and watched videos of countless other female bodybuilders such as Karen Zaremba, Maryse Manios, Deidre Pagnanelli, Lynn McCrossin, Monica Brant, Krissy Chin and others. I must have seen literally hundreds of videos during my freshman year of these well-defined ladies posing for photos, doing incredible lifts or being interviewed.

It wasn’t until after graduation when I moved back home that I discovered a whole other world: Hardcore porn.

The World of Smut

I feel like this is a progression. First, it was a cover of a b-movie. Next, it was a sports photo in a record book. Then it was a short online video of a woman exercising. Then it was a whole slew of YouTube videos of muscle ladies doing their thing.

Finally, we get to the next step in my personal muscle fetish evolution: porn.

The first hardcore porn video I ever saw was Lynn McCrossin and Yvette Bova, two gorgeous FBBs, pleasuring each other in a steam room. Before then, I’d never seen a woman’s genitalia up close and personal on a computer screen before. And not just any type of genitalia: These two women have very large feminine endowments, something you don’t see every day.

Yvette Bova is not afraid to flaunt her sexuality.

This epic discovery opened the doors to watching other kinds of videos: Female bodybuilders having sex with men, FBBs having sex with each other, FBBs masturbating, FBBs playing with sex toys, FBBs posing nude, etc. This was the first time I ever saw female bodybuilders as sexual beings. I definitely fantasized about them before, but I’d never actually seen them in action before until now.

Smut can be a funny thing. Once you see what people choose to do in their bedrooms, you can never look at the world the same way.

Watching porn (both hardcore and softcore) introduced me to other female bodybuilders like Francesca Petitjean, Denise Masino, Melissa Dettwiller, Lauren Powers, Gayle Moher, Yvette Bova, Victoria Dominguez, Amber DeLuca, Autumn Raby, Roxie Rain and plenty others. While I don’t want to categorize any of them as “pornographic actresses,” I discovered these women thanks to videos of them either being nude and/or engaging in sex acts.

Another photo of Lisa Cross. There is nothing wrong with this at all.

Along the way, I also discovered other FBBs like Alina Popa, Katka Kyptova, Lisa Cross, Angela Salvagno, Karla Nelsen, Colette Nelson and others via Dailymotion, Google Images and Facebook pages.

Regarding FBBs and porn, I could write a whole post discussing this topic. But for now, I’ll just say this: If a woman (or man) makes an independent decision to pose for photos or shoot videos that are sexually explicit, who are we to judge? It’s their bodies. They can do whatever they want with it.

Fantasy vs. Reality

Unlike a lot of guys who are into muscle women, the sub-genre of erotica called “Female Muscle Growth” stories isn’t really my thing. These stories usually involve a guy meeting a dainty, weak girl who, either by magic or through some scientific potion, grows a freakish amount of muscle to become superhuman. For whatever reason, I’m only attracted to watching and looking at strong, muscled women doing real things; like pumping iron, posing for pictures or doing whatever they do in porn.

Personally, I’ve never met a professional (or amateur) female bodybuilder, so my only exposure to FBBs is through the glorious wonders of the Internet.

The closest I’ve ever been to a real FBB was back in college when, for some reason I could never quite figure out, I walked past a woman (she was older and clearly not a student) in our student union building with huge arms busting out of her short sleeve shirt. I didn’t get a clear look at her, but I could tell she didn’t just casually lift at the gym. I could tell she puts extra effort into her exercising.

Speaking of the gym, most of the women who go to my gym either do only cardio exercises or attend classes like Zumba, Pilates and yoga. Only a small handful of women lift with us guys. Of them, only two of these ladies have any discernible muscle definition. Too bad.

So…in other words, I’m attracted to the real thing, not a fantasy. I’m not turned on by the idea of a strong, muscular woman. I’m turned on by actual strong, muscular women. Nor do I have any alternative fantasies involving role playing or BDSM.

The idea of wrestling an FBB doesn’t appeal to me. Neither is being tied up and spanked by one. Nor do I want an FBB to wrap her legs around me in a headlock. Instead, I’d prefer to make love to a beautiful, strong athletic woman just as though she were any other kind of woman.

Karen Zaremba is living proof that muscles doesn’t in any way shape or form compromise a woman’s femininity.

I guess this means I don’t necessarily fetishize female bodybuilders; I’m just attracted to them in a special way. They’re women who take great care of their bodies. They’re women who spend countless hours pumping iron at the gym and making lots of dietary and lifestyle sacrifices in order to get their bodies to look the way they want it to look. There’s a lot to admire about that.

Some women starve themselves to look “beautiful.” Others go under the knife to remove any perceived “blemishes.” Some hate themselves because when they look in the mirror all they can see are “imperfections.” My previous post about FBBs best summarizes why I’m personally attracted to a woman with muscle. The purpose of this post is to give you some context and perhaps a deeper explanation.

So…What’s the Big Deal Anyway?

Simply put, I’m attracted to female bodybuilders because they are, quite simply, beautiful. I hope others who share my attraction feel the same way. I hope you now understand that being attracted to a lovely muscled lady isn’t weird, strange or disgusting. There’s nothing incomprehensible about it.

A woman with muscles is still a woman. She’s not a woman trying to be a man. She’s a woman trying to become the best woman she can possibly be. That’s another great reason to be physically and emotionally attracted to her.

Perhaps, little by little, society can start accepting muscular woman as a normal thing instead of a freak of nature. I strongly believe when people are disgusted by a muscled woman, it’s because there’s some deep rooted sexism at play. Plenty of people in our society still expect women to be dainty, weak and ultra-feminine. Anyone who rebels against this is either a “gender traitor” or a monster.

Look at the photos of the FBBs I’ve put in this post. Are any of them disgusting to you? Do you find any of them “masculine,” “repulsive,” or “monstrous?” If you do, I think that reflects more on you than it does on me.

But please don’t misinterpret me. I’m not claiming to be some quasi-feminist activist. I’m not claiming to be “sexually progressive” in my attraction to FBBs. I’m not trying to destroy the foundations of gender roles or sexual politics by this post or through my blog. All I want to do is express my opinion that being attracted to a muscular woman isn’t all that strange.

In fact, it makes a lot of sense. Muscular women are healthy, curvy, dedicated, passionate and strong-willed. Who could possibly be turned off by that?

So the next time you encounter or see an image of a female bodybuilder, female athlete or a woman who takes her fitness hobbies very seriously, keep an open mind and try to appreciate a different side of life.

Who knows? You might just enjoy it.

You also might enjoy this shot of the lovely Victoria Dominguez.
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