Alpha Females, Beta Males, and Everybody in Between

Debbie Bramwell-Washington is without question an Alpha Female.

Generally speaking, don’t generalize. This isn’t a rule so much as a modest recommendation. Sometimes, our generalizations can be fairly accurate (i.e. the weather tends to be hot during the summer months and cold during the winter months), but other times our generalizations are not even close to being fair or accurate (i.e. Chinese food is icky because all they eat are dogs).

Within the female muscle fan community – and believe it or not, such a community actually exists, albeit in the online world – the theme of “Alpha Female/Beta Male” consistently comes up. It’s become a cliché by now. Of course, just because it’s a cliché doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right or wrong. The truth is probably closer to it being an overgeneralization. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The existence of the idea of the muscular Alpha Female shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, leading the life of a professional (or dedicated amateur) bodybuilder isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires both mental and physical strength. It takes persistence, passion, guts, and unwavering self-confidence. It takes the ability to persevere despite inevitable setbacks. It takes the will to make tough decisions when the easiest choice is to say “I give up.” It requires you to take the path least traveled when no one will blink an eye if you were to instead take the road most traveled.

The type of person who would be willing to subject themselves to such a grueling lifestyle is most likely the most alpha among us. Professional bodybuilding isn’t for the weak or feeble minded. Even amateur bodybuilders, who don’t formally compete but still maintain an impressive amount of musculature year-round, cannot look the way they look without making sacrifices most of us wouldn’t even dream of doing.

Even though the very concept of “alpha” is subjective (and therefore, not an actual thing that can be quantified or narrowly defined), we’ll just assume its existence is – for the most part – real. Alpha Females are women who take control of their lives, pursue their dreams with absolutely no apology, and more often than not get what they want. Female bodybuilders should wholeheartedly belong in this category.

Alright, the other side of the equation is the concept of the Beta Male. Unlike Alpha Females, Beta Males are weak-minded, lack the will to get what they really want, and allow others to trample all over them. They are quiet, don’t assert themselves when faced with adversity, are perfectly willing to settle for less than they deserve, and aren’t prone to engaging in (as they see it, unnecessary) confrontation. Blah, blah, blah. Just take a few minutes doing a Google search of “beta male” and you’ll come across bloggers that range from idiotic “PUAs” to bizarre conspiracy theorists claiming the Illuminati is plotting to culturally emasculate men worldwide for the sake of implementing the New World Order. Rest assured yours truly doesn’t fall into either of these groups.

How would you react if you saw Isabelle Turell walk by you dressed like this?

Like the Alpha Female, the Beta Male is a socially-constructed stereotype that exists mostly from a pop culture point-of-view, as opposed to objective scientific standards. We can probably name a few Beta Males off the top of our heads, whether it’s from our high school days or the people we interact with at work (or maybe you can look in the mirror and point to yourself). No matter your perspective, it’s not difficult to surmise why this type of person would be attracted to women with lots of muscle.

As this line of thinking goes, Beta Males are too weak to take care of themselves. They have low self-esteem and would prefer if others could make big decisions instead of them. Alpha Females, especially of the highly muscular variety, perfectly encapsulate that missing puzzle piece. They are the complementary element that Beta Males find so darn alluring. They are strong – both emotionally and physically – and don’t hesitate to make bold decisions that they find to be empowering. Female bodybuilders are who Beta Males wish they could be, to put it in horrifically simplistic terms. This may or may not be true, but this sure represents the “logic” of plenty of people who are keen on following FBBs.

The Alpha Female/Beta Male motif looks solidly reasonable on the surface. Of course the type of guys who love FBBs are weak, feeble-minded man-children who sexualize an ideal they can never actually achieve in real life. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not.

No doubt this concept describes a portion of the FBB fandom community, but certainly it doesn’t represent everyone’s personal story. Many men who love female bodybuilders are normal guys who have wives or girlfriends, high paying jobs, families, and stellar reputations. Others are of more modest financial means…but they are still confident in who they are. Not everyone can be clumped into the same surface-level demographic, but we already knew that.

Kim Buck will buck the trend that women with muscles can’t be sexy.

When you boil everything down to its barest essentials, guys love female bodybuilders not just because of who they are, but because of who these ladies are. They’re strong, beautiful women who possess gorgeous bodies, captivating personalities, and inspiring biographies. We can scroll through Minna Pajulahti’s Instagram feed and say to ourselves “hot damn!” without that response being an indication of who we are. We see photos of a beautiful woman and we react accordingly. It’s as simple as that.

Or is it? Understandably, matters get murky when we’re dealing with nontraditional-looking women like female bodybuilders. If you like something that’s so far outside the mainstream, isn’t that an indication that there must be something a little “off” with you? Not at all, but it’s understandable why outside observers would think this way.

The truth is that female bodybuilding fans run the gamut of personality types. Some are meek, others are more assertive. Female bodybuilders themselves are also a diverse bunch; as they come from a wide range of countries, cultures, and backgrounds. Of course, the truth isn’t nearly as exciting as what dwells in our imaginations. We believe all FBBs are forceful Alpha Females not because we actually believe that, but because we want to believe that. We love imagining a strong gorgeous muscular woman dominating in the bedroom. We fantasize about what she’d do to us if we’re naughty…or if we’re completely obedient. We want her to ravage us, use us for her own selfish pleasure, and discard us the moment we become obsolete. We want to be denigrated like that because it makes her seem that much more powerful and us that much more irrelevant.

Is this a Beta Male way of thinking about sexual relationships? Maybe, or perhaps this is just a fun bit of “role reversal” where the FBB takes control of the situation while we’re the ones who are more passive and “just along for the ride.” Nobody wants to have to be in control 24/7/365. Every so often, we want to let go and allow somebody else to shoulder this burden. If a beautiful female bodybuilder is the one to do that, so be it. You won’t hear us complain.

Alright, so not every FBB is an Alpha Female and not every FBB fan is a Beta Male (or Beta Female, if that’s the case). So what? What’s the significance here?

Well, not much outside of the fact that these stereotypes exist and will probably continue to exist for time immemorial. But consider this:

The prevailing perception of the “Alpha Female/Beta Male” theme isn’t harmful, but it isn’t entirely productive either. One might presume that guys who love female bodybuilders would take offense to the notion that they’re weak and socially emasculated. That assumption is correct. But that’s not the only harm that this causes. The other is that it continues to make female bodybuilders appear “weird” and “fetishistic” instead of who they actually are: world-class athletes.

Monique Jones gets what she wants.

Often times, we tend to treat certain people or groups of people with suspicion not because of who they are, but because of who their fans are. It’s perfectly reasonable to like a certain TV show or singer but be completely annoyed by their fawning fans. It’s also perfectly reasonable to not like a certain TV show or singer for reasons that have nothing to do with the temperament of their loyal supporters. What isn’t reasonable (but isn’t a crime against humanity, of course) is disliking something purely because you can’t stand how the screaming fanboys and fangirls behave on the Internet. Yet, it’s difficult for many of us to make this distinction.

Along the same train of thought, some people might be turned off by female bodybuilders and the world of female bodybuilding because they find their fans a bit distasteful. They leave creepy comments all over their Instagram posts. They publicly announce all sorts of gross sexual activities they’d love to do to them. They appear to have no filter and don’t think all too much about who is actually reading these comments. These behaviors have a way of turning people off to whatever you love.

Female bodybuilders are already considered outside the mainstream. Their fans are also perceived to be outside the mainstream, despite the fact a vocal minority doesn’t speak for the entire group. Although to be fair, there really isn’t such a thing as a “vocal” delegation of the female bodybuilding fandom community. We don’t have lobbyists playing golf with members of Congress, to my knowledge.

One way to help FBBs enter into mainstream culture – assuming this is even a unified goal of ours – is to portray them as being perfectly normal women who happen to look abnormal. In many respects, that’s exactly who they are. But not everyone in our culture is buying that argument. They see videos of guys wearing leather masks with an FBB’s massive thighs wrapped around their heads and they think to themselves, “Um, that’s weird!”

To be fair, that sort of behavior isn’t something you witness every day. Yet, it does exist. But so do the countless number of people who love FBBs simply because they appreciate their unique beauty. FBBs are in fact uniquely beautiful, with the experience of “getting” their beauty indescribable. The experience of seeing a gorgeous confident woman with big muscles is so euphoric it can seem like a drug. It’s hard to articulate into words what this is like. Female bodybuilders are so damn beautiful it’s maddening to many of us why more people don’t feel the same way we feel. Shouldn’t FBBs be front and center on every magazine cover across the country? We think so, but the vast majority of our culture does not.

Stereotyping all female bodybuilders as Alpha Females and all fans of female bodybuilders of Beta Males is not only factually inaccurate, it contributes toward limiting our society’s understanding of this world. It makes us think that the two groups are somehow inextricably linked, that FBBs need weak men just as much as weak men need FBBs. This association cheapens FBBs as being a mere product of what certain guys want. Or that men who are perceived as being weak are that way because of women who are perceived as being strong.

Rita Sargo proving that muscles and femininity can go hand-in-hand.

These oversimplifications just perpetuate our dualist culture that puts people into two distinct categories (e.g. alpha/beta male, oppressed/liberated female, liberal/conservative, patriotic/unpatriotic, smart/dumb, educated/uneducated, poor/rich, abled/disabled, etc.) without recognizing nuance, individualized circumstances, and context. This harms the way we treat people whom we believe are “different” from us, even though they’re probably more similar to us than we realize. Imagine that.

When faced with something that’s totally out of the ordinary, the natural reaction is to try to put it into “proper context.” The logic follows like this:

  1. Female bodybuilders are unusual-looking women
  2. Guys who like female bodybuilders like women who are unusual-looking
  3. Therefore, guys who like female bodybuilders must be unusual themselves

Unfamiliarity breeds cognitive dissonance. We don’t like not being able to understand something, so we try to explain it away in terms that make sense to us. If we see weird Internet videos of guys enjoying being trampled on by a “chick with muscles,” then we must therefore assume every guy who loves female bodybuilders are into the same thing. And only “losers” enjoy being in a subordinate position. It makes perfect sense!

Except it doesn’t. The truth is much more complicated. The truth is that men and women from all walks of life comprise the world of female bodybuilding fandom. Some might in fact fit the stereotypes that we’re all familiar with. Others do not. This is not to play the “percentages game” and argue that a majority of us are not “like that.” Not at all. The only point to be made is that the Alpha Female/Beta Male concept is not inaccurate, but it’s also not comprehensive enough.

Perceptions take a long time to change. Many perceptions will never change. But there’s no use screaming at a brick wall that will not budge no matter what. That’s an exercise in futility. And if there’s one thing we can definitively say about female bodybuilders, it’s that when they exercise, they expect to see results.

Nude: A Muscular Woman’s Natural State (NSFW)

Emery Miller in her natural state.
Emery Miller in her natural state.

One year ago, I published a post titled “A Muscular Woman is Always Nude in Public, Even When Fully Clothed.” The basic gist of my article is that a woman with muscles cannot easily hide her muscles from the public. Even if she wears baggy clothing and acts as inconspicuous as possible, she can never fully conceal the fact that she is indeed a woman with big muscles.

So no matter what she does, where she goes, or who she associates with, her identity as a “female bodybuilder” is forever branded on her body – that is, until she decides to stop training and lets her muscles atrophy. She can run, but she can’t hide.

However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One does not pursue bodybuilding unless he or she is okay with, ahem, looking like a bodybuilder. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Yes, it is the whole point. No arguments there. I’d like to follow up this post with more thoughts on the concept of female muscle and nudity. Here it goes. Not only is a female bodybuilder always nude even when she’s fully clothed, when she is nude she’s actually in her “natural state.”

By “natural state,” I mean the way in which nature intended for something to be presented. As human beings living in human civilization, it is not encouraged to be naked in public. Nor is it natural for people to live clustered sedentary lives where they spend all their free time glued to a computer screen. In-person human interaction involving people actually looking at and talking to another human being has (nearly) gone by the wayside, thanks to the introduction of social media, texting, and other digital distractions. Life in the 21st Century may resemble a quasi-dystopian (and heavily exaggerated pre-apocalyptic) reality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally turn back the clock and return back to how we were supposed to behave.

Kathy Johansson showing off her best side.
Kathy Johansson showing off her best side.

As a particular sub-species of humanity, female bodybuilders belong in a unique category. Female bodybuilders are, in many respects, a prototypical 21st Century human being: Strong, independent, rebellious, entrepreneurial, and “feminine” by her own definition. Never mind the fact that female bodybuilders are not celebrated by our culture in quite the same way that pop stars and loudmouth politicians are; FBBs are women who are known to exist but aren’t given the adequate public space that they deserve to exist in.

So in a realistic sense, FBBs will forever be relegated to the backburner of greater society’s consciousness. Or more specifically, they’ll inhabit the backburner of the stove located in the shanty sitting 20 miles away from our culture’s proverbial kitchen. It’s a hard knock life, but a life that our beloved FBBs are willing and able to wade through.

But within the female muscle fan community – and to be sure, God knows how many of us are out there – the accomplishments of FBBs do not go unnoticed. In fact, we spend an inordinate amount of time experiencing these ladies as many ways as we can: Meeting them for muscle worship/wrestling sessions, watching their videos, looking at their photos, reading articles about them, following them on Instagram, etc. And if there is one theme that consistently comes up, it’s that we love seeing our gorgeous strong ladies wearing as little clothing as possible.

Granted, the desire to see a beautiful person without clothing isn’t particularly unusual. Adam didn’t notice Eve while she was wearing a nuclear hazmat suit. He noticed her when she was wearing…uh, nothing at all. I’m pretty sure if any of us were to see a beautiful person walking down the street wearing his or her birthday suit, we’d all stop what we’re doing and stare. If you wouldn’t so such a thing, well, I don’t know what to say to you.

However, in a strangely poetic way, female bodybuilders aren’t just beautiful women whom we would like to see naked. They’re beautiful women who should be naked all the time. A muscular woman should never be covered up. Her body should always be displayed in all its natural glory. A clothed muscular woman is a travesty. It’s an abomination. It’s unnatural, just like eating tropical fruit in the winter or listening to Christmas music in July.

The gorgeous Lindsay Mulinazzi.
The gorgeous Lindsay Mulinazzi.

As bodybuilders, FBBs dedicate their whole lives to developing their physical bodies to fit a certain desired aesthetic. It’s not a hobby. Nor is it just a career choice. It’s a lifestyle. What they eat, how they train, when they sleep, where they find themselves at any given moment, what they spend their money on; it’s all part of the life of being a pro (or exceedingly dedicated amateur) bodybuilder. In short, you don’t become a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding becomes you!

And the human body, when deliberately sculpted to look a certain way, deserves to be seen in its proper context. There’s a reason why bodybuilding contests feature contestants wearing almost nothing. Obviously, the competitors won’t wear anything that isn’t acceptable at any public beach, because “going commando” is still pretty taboo. It’s like going to the movies: Seeing hundreds of people get shot and blown up is okay, but seeing a bare female breast is totally wrong.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but plenty of things in life don’t make a lick of sense when you think about it.

So forget about this in a practical sense. I’m not suggesting female bodybuilders – and male bodybuilders, I suppose – should go around completely naked all the time. This is more of a philosophical discussion with regards to who female bodybuilders are and what they represent, not a call to action to defy indecent exposure laws!

Simply put, female bodybuilders should be appreciated in the nude whenever possible. Yes, it can be incredibly sexy to see a gorgeous FBB wearing frilly lingerie or a g-string bikini or a French maid’s outfit. But that’s all fun and games. I’m talking about how a female bodybuilder deserves to be seen.

What can you conclude by seeing Michelle Tuggle fully nude?
What can you conclude by seeing Michelle Tuggle fully nude?

You cannot fully appreciate her hard work unless you see every single square inch of her body. Her calves. Her quads. Her hips. Her butt. Her abs. Her arms. Her chest. Her neck. Her back. Her face. Her breasts. And yes, her genitals.

Her genitals may seem inconsequential, but they are not. Seeing a woman with big muscles and female genitalia proves the point once and for all that she’s a real woman. Whether her clitoris is small or abnormally large doesn’t really matter. What matters is the stark reminder that this hypermuscular human body is also a female body. Whether her breasts are small or large also doesn’t matter. They need to be seen. If her breasts are normal-sized, they serve as further reinforcement of her femininity. If they are flat, they could then be used to argue either that one doesn’t need breasts in order to be a woman or that “womanhood” needs to be redefined. Or more specifically, our concept of “womanhood” needs to be tossed out the window altogether.

The size of her muscles, the appearance of her genitalia and breasts, and the confidence in which she carries herself (or perhaps, lack of confidence if she’s self-conscious about anything) all tell us the complete story about her. If she’s embarrassed by her small breasts and large clit, this offers a clue to how she views her own femininity. If she’s damn proud of her big muscles, flat chest, and oversized genitals, we can surmise that she doesn’t give a damn what society says or that she wants society to dramatically change the way we view women.

As I’ve written before in a previous blog article, a large clitoris is beneficial for the perception of women and their sexualities. It proves that women are indeed sexually sovereign beings who deserve to experience pleasure whenever they desire to. The vagina is often (unfairly) mischaracterized as a passive bodily organ that only serves to receive a man’s penis during intercourse and to deliver a child during birth. Add to it a clitoris that is often too small to see (without zooming in very closely!) and you get a set of genitals that can be viewed as being submissive, dependent, and unremarkable.

A very sultry Desiree Ellis.
A very sultry Desiree Ellis.

However, that’s not even close to being true. But as far as perception goes, a big clitoris that resembles a very small penis can go a long way in proving the point that women do in fact possess an organ that exists solely to give her pleasure. We might know that in the back of our minds, but a larger-than-life clitoris that shocks you when you see it accentuates that point a hundred-fold.

Thus, yes, her genitals do matter. Every single inch of her body matters. You cannot truly understand who a female bodybuilder is unless you see her completely nude. But do not mistaken nudity with vulnerability. There’s a difference between being naked and being nude. “Naked” is when someone lacks clothing. “Nude” is a state of being in which one shows off all their skin. In other words, “naked” implies vulnerability, deficiency, and being unprotected. “Nude,” on the other hand, connotes an active choice to be bare.

Being naked is humiliating. Being nude is an empowering choice. See the difference?

A nude female bodybuilder is most likely to be in the “empowered” camp. But I guess that’s not always the case. In addition to being embarrassed by her genitalia or breasts, not everyone is comfortable being naked…regardless of the circumstances. Obviously, bodybuilders (male and female) tend to have fantastic looking bodies, but we all hold differing mores when it comes to showing off skin to the public.

There’s an undeniable difference between seeing a muscular woman clothed and a muscular woman completely nude. When clothed, we are reminded of her ordinariness. She wears shirts, pants, socks, shoes, and jackets just like the rest of us. It’s like she’s covering up who she really is, as if wearing clothes is just like Clark Kent wearing glasses to disguise the fact that he’s actually Superman. A female bodybuilder who’s wearing clothes is shielding her identity, albeit not completely.

Yes, you can still tell that she’s really darn muscular. Her tight jeans may generously show off her sculpted glutes and rock hard thighs, but it’s not even close to seeing the actual thing. I’m sure Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen suspected that Mr. Kent was actually somebody else, but who in their right mind would go all the way and suggest that he’s actually the Man of Steel? Preposterous!

Likewise, it’s not the same to look upon a fully-clothed female bodybuilder with a similar amount of awe and wonder if she were nude. That even goes for her wearing a bikini. She’s mostly nude…however there are still a few crucial parts still left uncovered.

Now, contrast that with a fully nude muscular woman. It’s as though you’re seeing her from a whole new perspective. She transcends her humanity and becomes a goddess. When you see her in her “natural state,” you truly are able to comprehend just how amazing her body is. You witness not just her physical beauty; you also get to experience her entire essence. Her personality, her hard work, her sacrifices, her lifestyle choices, her fears, her doubts, her dreams, her hopes; everything is right there on display. She hides nothing because this is who she really is.

This is how she’s meant to be seen.

You may be asking yourself: Does the same apply to a gorgeous non-bodybuilder woman? Well, not really. Without question, the sight of a beautiful nude woman is always pleasant to regard, whether she has big muscles or not. I’m only human. However, the major dissimilarity is that an FBB’s sculpted body is so crucial to her identity. Her chiseled physique is central to who she is as a person and what she’s dedicated her life toward accomplishing.

The real Jungle Woman: Rita Sargo.
The real Jungle Woman: Rita Sargo.

A beautiful non-muscular woman isn’t quite the same. A supermodel can wear a sultry black dress and make jaws drop to the floor (although I believe “slay” has become the currently accepted nomenclature). If a female bodybuilder were to wear the exact same dress, she could garner the exact same reaction…but it wouldn’t feel the same. Instead, the dress would seem like a burden. The dress becomes a distraction, an unnecessary diversion away from what’s really important.

And what is actually important? You guessed it! Her hard chiseled muscles.

Perhaps that’s the heart of this discussion. That’s my core message. Clothing seems unnatural when placed on a female bodybuilder’s body. And not just unnatural; it seems sacrilegious. A masterpiece by Monet deserves to be viewed by millions of people at a museum, not locked away in a vault somewhere in an undisclosed underground location. A grand piano deserves to be played, as opposed to serving as a glorified piece of furniture. A novel sitting on a shelf and doing nothing is degrading. It must be read and enjoyed, not relegated as common clutter.

In the same manner, a female bodybuilder’s body needs to be seen in its entirety. And that means she must be fully nude. I’m not suggesting every single bodybuilder must be forced to strip naked and pose for pictures. Heavens no! That’s the furthest thing that I would advocate for, trust me. Rather, I’m talking about this in a metaphysical sense.

A female bodybuilder’s body is maximizing its utility (or purpose) when it’s displayed in the nude. More than being athletes, female bodybuilders are also artists. And like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci before them, FBBs warrant having their handiwork displayed in a way that provides the viewer an optimal experience:

Nude. No clothing. At all. Just her beautiful body and nothing else shielding it. That’s the way she is meant to be seen. That’s the way nature intended it.

Anything else would be a disservice to all her years and years of shedding blood, sweat, and tears. Maybe I was wrong in my initial assessment that a muscular woman is always nude in public, even when she’s fully clothed. When she’s wearing clothes, she’s just like the Monet sitting in a dark vault or the masterpiece of a novel collecting dust. We’re in the presence of greatness; we just don’t know it. And this is perhaps the greatest tragedy of them all.

That being said, when she’s completely nude, our eyes aren’t the only things that become wide open. So do our minds, hearts, and souls.

Believe It or Not, Muscle Worship May Be a More Intimate Activity than Sex

Shawna Strong's last name is sure appropriate, wouldn't you say?
Shawna Strong’s last name is sure appropriate, wouldn’t you say?

I’ve written at length about muscle worship. If you need a summary of what this is all about, please refer to a previous blog post. I’ve even written detailed accounts of two of my past muscle worship experiences with female bodybuilders.

If you have some unquenched need to live vicariously through me (who doesn’t?), go check them out here and here.

One aspect of muscle worship sessions that I’ve formulated in my mind recently is one that I’m not entirely convinced of, but one I believe deserves to be discussed. Muscle worship is, simply defined, an activity involving a muscular participant (it could be a man or a woman) who allows a client to touch their body, usually for sexual gratification purposes. Other side activities usually occur in addition to this, but the crux of the matter involves intimately exploring a muscular person’s physical body in exchange for payment.

One thought I’ve had about this phenomenon may sound crazy at first, but sort of makes sense the more I think about it. Muscle worship may be a more personally intimate activity than sex.

I don’t want to make any blanket statements and say this is always true 100 percent of the time, but in certain circumstances this can possibly be true. Let me explain further.

Sex between two people is without a doubt a supremely intimate act. Perhaps the most intimate act you could do with another person. We won’t even get into sex between three, four, five or six people! So it seems rather odd that I would say such a thing like muscle worship can be more personal than sex.

Obviously, not all sex is created equal. Context matters a great deal. Sex between a long-time married couple who’s going through the motions definitely isn’t the same as awkward teenage lovers wanting to lose their virginities together during a romantic camping trip. There is a great deal of difference between these two scenarios. The same goes between a prostitute meeting a client versus a couple who has just been reunited after several months away from each other (think of a military veteran returning from an overseas war). Context is everything.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume we’re talking about ordinary run-of-the-mill sex between a couple who knows each other well and has no external drama going on. Got it?

Muscle worship, on the other hand, involves a female bodybuilder – and I’ll be talking exclusively about female bodybuilders, obviously! – providing her client access to her body. The degree of intimacy allowed varies from session provider to session provider, but the basic idea stays the same. Generally speaking, sex is an act where two people share their bodies together for the sake of mutual pleasure. Muscle worship is, by and large, a one-way road where the provider shares her body with her client but the client isn’t expected to share anything back (other than monetary compensation).

A female bodybuilder’s body isn’t just the flesh and blood she carries around on this physical planet. It’s her entire livelihood. From head to toe, even if she isn’t competing in contests, her body is what defines her professional identity. Of course, an FBB is way more than just her physical self. She has her own mind, soul, and divine worth. But her means of making a living depends solely on her body. A tax accountant, for example, offers services that are useful but at the end of the day wouldn’t be described as intimate. A tax accountant doesn’t risk anything personal when they work with a client. They don’t put themselves in nearly the vulnerable position an FBB does when they engage in a session with a complete stranger.

Ebony Goddess Coco Crush.
Ebony Goddess Coco Crush.

If, during a wrestling session, an FBB strains her back and cannot walk properly for a whole month, she loses out on a whole month’s worth of financial earnings. If a tax accountant strains his or her back while raking leaves in the backyard, it would still hurt like hell but he or she could still functionally do their job. Not so with an athlete whose physical body is their entire selling point.

Most female bodybuilders are damn proud of their bodies and have every right to be. And they want their fans to be able to appreciate their hard work with every opportunity they possibly can. But it’s one thing to watch an FBB pose on stage from a distance or watch a video of her on YouTube. It’s quite another thing to be in close proximity to her and feel with your own hands her handiwork. Being a session provider can be a dangerous thing. I’d like to think the vast majority of clients are honest, well-intentioned people, but sadly that isn’t the case for everybody.

You never know these days. There are psychopaths out there who love to do harm to innocent people just to satisfy their sick personal desires. It’s horrific to think about, but unfortunately that’s the reality of our world today. I wonder if FBBs think about this when they exchange e-mails with potential clients. Obviously, they can trust the people they’ve seen before. But what about new people from cities they aren’t familiar with? Can you really trust that the happy-go-lucky person you “talk” to over the Internet is as sweet and harmless as they appear? The truth is, nothing can be safely assumed.

That’s one of the unfortunate realities session providers have to deal with. As mentioned before, the risk factor of facing an accident is also ever present. Injuries happen for a myriad of reasons. You can even hurt yourself at the gym while working out (raise your hand if that’s ever happened to you!). Anything is possible. Session providers who offer wrestling put themselves in harm’s way. It’s not inconceivable for a 250-pound man to inadvertently injure a 180-pound female wrestler during the heat of the moment. Even if the large man got carried away and meant nothing malicious about it, accidents do happen. They’re unavoidable. That’s a fact of life.

An injury can sideline you for days, weeks, months, and perhaps (if it’s serious enough) years. If you are unable to work for several months, how will you make money? How can you continue to lift at the gym and maintain your muscular figure when you’re bedridden for months at a time? Muscle atrophy will eventually kick in. She’ll start to lose her size. After she recovers, she’ll need to build her body back up to where it was before the injury. And that takes time and effort. Think about the lost income that results from that. FBBs who hurt themselves for work-related reasons cannot rely on worker’s compensation insurance to support them during their recovery period. Ouch.

The Asian Muscle Goddess Michelle Jin.
The Asian Muscle Goddess Michelle Jin.

Injury is one valid concern. So is the prospect of a crazy kook wanting to do something harmful to you. Another one is this: The psychological toll of being a female bodybuilder and session provider.

I’ve talked at length about the sexism faced by FBBs. That’s a major issue. But another one is a problem that I’m guessing both male and female bodybuilders face: The pressure to be perfect. In essence, this is what being a bodybuilder – whether you compete professionally or not – is all about. It’s about the continuous journey toward attaining aesthetic perfection. It’s nonstop. There is no end in sight. A bodybuilder can never be satisfied with where they’re at physically. The moment you think you’ve arrived at your “goal,” what is there left to strive toward? Will complacency kick in?

Due to this line of thinking, many FBBs are stuck in a never-ending cycle of insecurity. Women as a whole are definitely stuck in this maddening hamster wheel of self-esteem issues, but FBBs in particular are right in the thick of it. Without a perfectly chiseled body, where would they be? In order for them to be able to do what they love doing, they have to look a certain way. Like professional models, their looks define their livelihood. It’s a brutal world to live in.

I’ve read interviews with Rene Campbell where she talks about being a “bigorexic.” She defines this as being constantly insecure about being small. Anyone who’s ever seen Rene Campbell would know she is the complete opposite of small. She’s huge! She has eye-popping muscles that are as large as you’ll ever see on a woman. She’s a very big lady. But deep down inside, she still thinks of herself as dainty, frail, and weak. Call if “Fat Kid Syndrome.” Kids who grew up overweight still think of themselves like that even when they reach adulthood and are no longer medically overweight. It’s a mental block in your brain that doesn’t ever completely vanish.

Rene’s insecurities about her size is just part of this spiteful equation. Session providers also face other pressures. In addition to maintaining their impressive level of muscle mass, they also have to do whatever they can to look “traditionally” beautiful. Many choose to get breast augmentation surgery in order to look more “feminine.” I’m sure Botox injections and faithful usage of anti-wrinkle cream are also par for the course. There are plenty of clients who do not want to see an FBB who looks “too old.” But age is an inevitability. No amount of medical procedures or cosmetic products will completely turn back the clock.

Rita Sargo werking so hard.
Rita Sargo werking so hard.

The vast majority of FBBs I’ve met for muscle worship sessions have been older women. Most were probably older than 40. The youngest was probably in her mid to late 30s. I know for a fact – though I never asked! – a few I’ve met were older than 50. But that doesn’t matter to me. They were all beautiful women. I mean, stunningly beautiful. Yes, they had wrinkles on their face. Yes, they had crow’s feet around their eyes. But they were still absolutely gorgeous.

I think many of these strong female bodybuilders are way more beautiful than “normally built” women half their age. But that’s just me. I’ll bet if you were to meet them up-close-and-personal too, you’d feel the same way.

However, not all guys are think that way. I’m not suggesting I have an “older woman fetish,” but age doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it does other people. You can cover up your age when doing photoshoots, video shoots, and other multimedia projects. Adobe Photoshop is a hell of a software program. Clever lighting can do wonders. There are tricks of the trade to make a 40-year-old woman look like she’s 30. But when you meet her for an intimate muscle worship session, you see her for who she is. Some guys are turned off by this. Others don’t mind it. But regardless, an FBB can’t please everybody. Nor can she stay young forever.

Once again, it’s a brutally unforgiving world we live in.

The idea that people in certain professions have a “shelf-life” is pretty dehumanizing. But it is what it is. I’m not here to lead any kind of social revolution. It’s unnerving that models, athletes, and entertainers (one could put a female bodybuilder in all three categories) have an “expiration date” set by the powers-that-be in their respective industries. But that’s how the system works. The moment you get too old, too fat, too slow, and not as lucrative as you used to be, you get tossed to the scrap heap. There will always be newer and younger people to replace you.

Can’t hit 40 home runs anymore? Don’t draw the sold-out crowds like you used to? Can’t sell perfume like you did 15 years ago? Here’s the door. See you on the other side. Have a good day. Oof. Brutal.

The revolving door will continue to cycle people in and out. That’s why you have to earn every single penny you possibly can while you can. Cut-throat? You better believe it.

Imagine this scenario: You’re a 50-year-old female bodybuilder who is also a mother of three high school children. All three of your kids are considering going to college. You may or may not be married to the father of your children. Money is tight. College tuition continues to rise year after year. You used to compete professionally, but don’t anymore because the winnings weren’t consistent or large enough. You’re still physically beautiful, but you’re also a 50-year-old woman and there’s no denying that. Your name recognition remains strong, but that is by no means secure forever. You regularly travel the world providing muscle worship sessions. You’re always away from your family. You live out of a suitcase for months at a time. Travelling can be stressful. Setting up appointments with clients is equally stressful. You risk injury and physical harm every single time you meet a client. From the perspective of your children, in today’s social media age word can get out quickly that your mom gives out hand jobs to complete strangers in hotel rooms across the globe. That thought is constantly going through your mind. We also live in the Yelp Age where crowdsourced opinions on the web can make or break your reputation. One bad review or two floating around an Internet message board can harm your ability to earn money (even if those poor reviews are written fairly and objectively and without malice). It’s a savage world we live in. If you put yourself in this particular hypothetical female bodybuilder’s shoes, how would you go about your everyday business? What choices would you make?

You’d probably be a bit stressed out. How would you feel if you knew your body, personality, and reputation was being discussed by strangers on the web? Talk about an invasion of privacy. Talk about breaking down the walls of confidentiality with the hammer of Thor.

While the theoretical woman I’ve outlined above isn’t based on anybody in particular, women like her do exist. That story isn’t unique or completely made up out of thin air. There are women (and men too) out there who could probably identify with some of that. Please, think about this the next time you anonymously berate a session provider on a chat forum just because your $400 session wasn’t quite worth every single nickel and dime you paid her.

Jean Jitomir wearing a sexy black cocktail dress.
Jean Jitomir wearing a sexy black cocktail dress.

So when I say that muscle worship may be a more intimate activity than sex, I may not be too far off. Like I said before, context matters a great deal. I could write for days and days on how intimate sexual intercourse can be. But sex is, for the most part, an intimate act that you share with a limited number of people. You do offer your body to another person, but it’s (usually) kept private, low-key, and doesn’t involve your ability to pay your bills. Muscle worship can be dramatically different. As outlined previously, it’s not just your body you put on the line. You put your reputation, health, wellbeing, livelihood, and family on the line as well. That definitely puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

I’m not trying to make any definitive statements or be dogmatic about anything. I’m just trying to offer some perspective about what it’s like to walk this earth in the shoes of the muscular women we love so much. It’s ain’t easy, that’s for sure.

Intimacy isn’t just defined by what the activity entails. Sex can be intimate. Or it can be casual. Rather, it’s defined by what you put on the line. What do you risk? What is the price of success? Of failure? When your life’s passions are defined by your body, putting your body in a vulnerable position is the riskiest thing you can possibly do. While I wouldn’t go as far as to call this bravery, it does require a level of fearlessness that very few people can match.

Female bodybuilders are strong women. Being able to deadlift 400 pounds or squat 500 pounds requires impressive strength. But being willing to put your body and soul on the line in the name of doing what you love requires a level of strength that is beyond comparison.

A Female Muscle Fetish Isn’t as Complicated as You Might Think

The reason why Jill St. Laurent is gorgeous definitely isn't complicated.
The reason why Jill St. Laurent is gorgeous definitely isn’t complicated.

Sometimes in life, we tend to overthink things.

Nobody needs to spend twenty minutes thinking about which brand of hair coloring they need to buy. Or a whole hour organizing your wardrobe for the day. Or testing out twelve different fad diets only to discover that none of them actually work.

Overthinking things can be exhausting. It can waste your time, money, energy and faith in your own judgement. Don’t we all wish someone would have the good sense to knock us over the head and tell us this before it becomes a problematic obsession?

Yes, perhaps we do. But our tendency to overthink things can usually be remedied by following this general guideline: KISS.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

In other words, sometimes the simplest explanations are the best. Occam’s Razor, anyone?

The same could be said about female muscle fetishism. We all have our own explanations as to why and how we got into female muscle. Everyone has their unique personal story. And the truth is, anecdotes can be remarkably insightful in explaining so much about our lives. For some, it was a single magazine cover that did it. For others, it was following the career of one specific female bodybuilder. Maybe you caught a glimpse on television of a female bodybuilding competition back in the good old days of the 1980s. Regardless, everyone remembers the time they “discovered” this amazing world and had their eyes opened to an aesthetic that transcends “traditional” standards of female beauty.

There are psychologists, sex experts and ordinary people everywhere who try to “explain away” the larger meaning of these personal stories. Do they reflect hidden insecurity? Or do they reveal latent homosexuality? Are guys who are into “muscle chicks” self-hating men? Do they secretly wish to be physically dominated by their girlfriends? Are they sexual deviants who need counseling? Is this a sign of obsessive behavior that can eventually consume his entire life?

Yikes. That got out of hand in a hurry. Perhaps not all of these stereotypes immediately come to mind when you learn a guy really digs strong women. But certainly these thoughts cross your mind at some level. If it does, don’t worry. Here’s something that will bring ultimate clarity to this situation.

We’re overthinking things. Maybe, just maybe, female muscle fetishism isn’t that complicated. It’s just a simple form of lust that’s inherent in all of us (or, almost all of us).

Hm. An interesting thought. So a guy who drools over the Ms. Olympia contestants is no different than a middle school boy who drools over the girls in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues? Well, I’ll be darned!

Remember when Pamela Anderson was strutting her stuff on Baywatch? The 90s were a glorious time, indeed.
Remember when Pamela Anderson was strutting her stuff on Baywatch? The 90s were a glorious time, indeed.

Most of us guys know what we’re referring to. Face it. We all kept a hidden stash of dirty (or semi-dirty) magazines under our bed. Or old VHS tapes of cinematic sex scenes in the sock drawer. Or porn we printed off the computer when mom and dad were out of the house. Raise your hand if this described you when you were a lad of 14.

You can put your hands down now. Thank you for participating in this unscientific study.

Now turn the clock forward 10-25 years. You’re now a fully grown adult. You might be married, in a relationship, divorced, or single. It doesn’t matter. You’ve ditched the contraband magazines for more sophisticated resources. In the decades between your teen years and adulthood, you expanded your preferences to include beautiful women with more…bulk.

Yes, bulk. Adult women with more muscular development than the pop stars, movie starlets and celebrity socialites of yesteryear. Of course, you might still retain a faint nostalgic lust for these types of females, but you’ve moved on to bigger (emphasis on “bigger”) and better options. You prefer a brawnier look. You prefer fitness models, athletes and bodybuilders over silicone-enhanced Playboy bunnies, Photoshopped fashion models and Botox-injected Hollywood ingénues. So these new preferences can coexist with your old preferences. Expanding your horizons doesn’t mean shutting yourself off to the “old.” It means incorporating more things into the “new.”

So, with that in mind, what’s changed? Why is it considered socially normal for a teen boy with raging hormones to obsess over “mainstream” looking girls but it raises eyebrows when an adult man can’t stop fantasizing about being crushed between the legs of a female Olympic powerlifter?

Lust is, simply put, simple. Whatever floats your boat, right? Whether you’re into skinny women, rotund women, muscular women, skinny men, rotund men, muscular men, light skin, dark skin, tall, short, long hair, short hair, hairy legs, green eyes, tattoos, or whatever else you can think of, does it really matter? What does one’s preferences say about that person?

Uh, who knows and who cares?

But this is not meant to breed any kind of negativity. By and large, guys who dig muscular women are not a persecuted class by any stretch of the imagination. Not even close. That has never been a contention of myself or, to my knowledge, anyone else for that matter. But all the blatant misconceptions can get annoying after a while.

Taylor Smith is everything you could have asked for. EVERYTHING.
Taylor Smith is everything you could have asked for. EVERYTHING.

On a side note, if being annoyed is the worst thing any of us ever experience, then consider us to be lucky. Very lucky.

The real message is this: female muscle fetishism probably doesn’t have an explanation beyond simple carnal lust. The same lust we started to feel when we reached the age of puberty. Remember that adolescent madness we went through when those icky girls with cooties suddenly transformed into immaculate creatures of divine beauty? Yeah, of course you do. Remember when you first thought of female bodybuilders as gross, freaks of nature she-males who are disgusting to look at…but now you consider them to be Amazonian Goddesses of Higher Consciousness?

Same deal. We might be exaggerating a bit, but the basic idea should ring true. Human attraction isn’t that complicated. It’s what allows for human civilization to persist for generations upon generations. The “Circle of Life” stops the moment we find no reason to find a partner, copulate, reproduce and sow the seeds for the future of humanity. Lust is instrumental to the survival of our species. It can get us in trouble at times, but without it, none of us would be here today.

Some guys are into long legs. Other guys are into muscular legs. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Other gentlemen prefer blondes with bulging biceps and a six-pack abdomen. Some men want to watch the world burn. Other men fantasize about a Powerful Muscle Goddess lighting the torch.

All of this is to say that not everything in life has a clear and clean explanation. Not every sexual kink has to be picked apart and analyzed like the stock market. Sometimes, it is what it is. That sounds boring and un-academic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the most prudent answer.

Nobody is denying that it can seem a bit odd for a guy to obsess over muscular women. Men are, theoretically speaking, the stronger sex. This is a role that has given us (both fairly and unfairly and with mixed results) dominance in the social sphere over our female counterparts. Who would want to abdicate that kind of power by allowing (even in a playful context) a woman to take on the “stronger sex” role? Wouldn’t guys feel intimidated by being in the presence of a muscular woman? Would that challenge his manhood? Would she attempt to challenge his manhood? What happens if he “loses?” Would this change his very identity? Why risk it in the first place?

Strong yet sexy, sturdy but feminine, striking yet accessible. Rita Sargo is all that.
Strong yet sexy, sturdy but feminine, striking yet accessible. Rita Sargo is all that.

But these questions might be completely irrelevant. In fact, one could argue they are all tone deaf to the reality of things. Female muscle fetishism most likely has nothing to do with gender roles, gender identity, self-esteem or even sexual orientation. It’s just one particular tool he has in his toolshed of lust, right next to the “Shy Catholic School Girl” and “Sexy Older Librarian Wearing a Skimpy French Maid Outfit” fetishes.

On a side note, I don’t know what a “Toolshed of Lust” would look like, but I can imagine the possibilities.

On second thought, let’s not!

In conclusion, I’ve discovered an irony in this whole essay. I could have simplified my thesis by merely stating:

A female muscle fetish isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Well, that’s sort of the title of this blog article. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in our modern age of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and social media, it’s that our shrinking attention spans are making it so that all we have the time or the inclination to do is read the headline and be on our merry way. Nobody wants to read anymore. That takes effort that I could be using watching Netflix or ordering an overpriced caramel macchiato at the eight different Starbucks located across the street. But I digress, the actual point is that this whole 1,898 word (which, by the way, is an exact word count) essay isn’t really necessary to make my point.

Don’t overthink the concept of female muscle fetishism. You can, but you might be wasting your time. It’s not pointless or futile, but probably unnecessary. We do lots of things in life that are unnecessary. We put “lol” at the end of every text message despite the fact we didn’t actually laugh out loud. We say “just sayin’” after getting done saying something. Maybe overanalyzing certain sexual fetishes is a similar exercise in frivolity.

Some guys love muscle chicks. Why? They just do.

BAM.